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Vol. 8 No. 54

. . . putting the people first

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rajab 17, 1433 AH


Customs comptroller arrested for gun running By Lawal Sadiq Sanusi & Lambert Tyem


Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Jack Bot, has been arrested for illegal gun running, Peoples Daily gathered last night. Bot’s arrest was personally announced by the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Alhaji Dikko Inde, yesterday. Inde disclosed that Comptroller Bot was discovered to have been involved in illegal gun running when a vigilante leader, Ali Kwara, arrested his orderly, a junior Customs officer named Shehu. He said Shehu made “useful statements” that led to the arrestA of the comptroller, adding that the suspect’s boys “have been doing the dirty job for him, taking illegal arms to criminals in Anambra and Plateau states since 2002.” This is how Inde explained the process that led to Bot’s arrest: “Ali Kwara came to my office and said Jack should be called because he was involved in illegal arms running. “We contacted the officer who said he was indisposed but I directed that he should be arrested and brought to me even if on his sick bed. “When he was brought, Ali used his cell phone to call Shehu, and Shehu confirmed his involvement.” The Comptroller-General said that he ordered Bot’s sack with effect from yesterday. “I sacked him as from yesterday, and asked them to take him away since he accepted being part of a criminal act of gun running,” Inde said. “I m sure Ali Kwara’s team’s Contd on Page 2

L-R: Minister of State for Agriculture, Bukar Tijjani, and Minister of Aviation, Stella Odua, in a pensive mood during a special Federal Executive Council (FEC)meeting in honour of DANA Air crash victims, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Cash squeeze hits FG Ban placed on contract awards MDAs funds moved to CBN vault By Abdulwahab Isa


espite denials by federal government officials of an acute cash squeeze, emerging signals point to a government that is in dire straits. In May, this year, the Federation Accounts Allocation

Boko Haram denies dialogue with FG >> PAGE 3

Committee that meets monthly to allocate federal revenues to the three tiers of government failed to convene on scheduled dates because there was nothing in the treasury to share. The latest indication of the government’s insolvency came yesterday when Peoples Daily learnt, on usually good

Crash victims’ father still in coma 3 days after >> PAGE 4

authority, that the government has placed a ban on the execution of development projects by a sizeable number of ministries. A top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity listed only six out of 28 federal ministries that have President Goodluck Jonathan’s

New Nigerian staff suspend strike >> PAGE 4

approval to award contracts henceforth. They are the ministries of power, agriculture, works, petroleum, housing, lands and urban development as well as health. According to our dependable source, the six are unaffected by Contd on Page 2

Man, 40, jailed for defiling 5-year-old >> PAGE 7

























How mother of 3 perished in DANA crash


ne of the victims of the Dana Air plane disaster was a Liverpool woman who had fled Nigeria and settled in Britain as a refugee after the 1972 Biafra war , it has emerged. Computer expert Antonia Attuh, 46, from Wavertree, died when Dana Air Flight 9J-992 crashed on Sunday night on its approach to Lagos airport after a flight from the capital Abuja. Her devastated sister Jill has called for an international inquiry into what caused both engines to fail on the 22 year-old Macdonald Douglas MD-83 aircraft. Her sister Jill spoke of how brilliant mathematician Antonia spoke not a word of English when she arrived in Britain as a fouryear-old. After settling in Liverpool with her parents, from an early age Antonia excelled in her studies and won a scholarship to Notre Dame RC Girls’ Grammar School. She achieved excellent A-level results and went on to win twin degrees in economics and finance before obtaining a doctorate in computer science. Antonia then embarked on a career in local government and was the first black woman to become a senior management executive with Westminster City

Council. Two years ago Antonia took a job with the Central Bank of Nigerian and decided that her three children should accompany her in order to expose them to her homeland’s life and culture. Antonia’s husband , technology expert Robert Attuh, remained at the family home in Radlett, Hertforshire, while she often travelled back and forth to the UK with Chamaka, 12, Chike, 8, Amarachi, aged 6. Speaking at the family home in Liverpool, her sister Jill Chime, told how the family feared the worst when they saw TV reports of the plane crash on Sunday night. Her name was on the passenger list and although her body has not yet been positively identified her family have accepted that she has perished. Jill, 39, said: “We definitely need a full inquiry into this disaster. Only then will the lessons be learned so that there are no more terrible tragedies like this. “My sister was the type of person who would never have rested until she got to the bottom of what went wrong and we will press for that on her behalf.” Jill told how Antonia’s death has devastated their extended family. She was the oldest of four

Antonia Attuh

with two sisters, Jill, Nky, 35, and brother Kingsley, 38. She said: “Antonia was my big sister. She was so generous with her time and looked out not only for me but for the whole of the family. “She was so kind in every way that you can think of. Nothing was too much trouble for her. It’s so cruel that she has been taken from us in this way. We are all in a state of shock.” Jill also described the frantic hours the family spent on the phone and emails hoping against

hope that Antonia had missed the flight. She added: “My father couldn’t get hold of Antonia, and my brother had mentioned something about a plane crash. “I contacted my cousin Solomon who was supposed to pick her up at the airport and he was waiting for her but she didn’t turnup. “Reports were coming in about a crash and it was being televised, which just heightened the awful feelings of dread that we were going through.” Antonia, studied Economics at Middlesex University, before taking Maths and Finance at North London Polytechnic in 1987. She later obtained a masters degree in computer science at the University of Kent in 1992. Her father Edwin told how he collapsed when he realised that his daughter had been killed. Speaking at his home in Wavertree, Liverpool, Edwin, 82, said: “Antonia phoned me every day, and when she was going to Lagos she told me she was going for a training course. “I told her not to forget to call me when she landed, but at about 4pm she hadn’t called and I started to worry. I phoned her again and again but there was no answer.” Culled from Liverpool WEDS

Cash squeeze hits FG Jonathan didn’t consult before renaming UNILAG Gowon, Page 9

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU The Peoples Daily wants to hear from you with any news and pictures you think we should publish. You can send your news and pictures to:

Phones for News: 070-37756364 09-8734478

Contd from Page 1 the ban “ of the critical role they play in actualizing the Jonathan A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ’ s transformation agenda.” All others, he said, “are only to pay monthly salaries for now.” Besides, he said, the government has directed that public sector funds for MDAs should be moved from various deposit banks to the Central Bank’s vault. The development lends credence to government’s insolvent position which became public knowledge but was vehemently denied by officials. Efforts made to get the

responses of both the CBN and ministry of finance did not pay off. When contacted yesterday on phone, CBN Director of Public Communications, Mr. Ugo Chuckwu Okarafor, who was boarding a flight at the time our correspondent reached him on the telephone, requested he be called again in an hour’s time. Subsequent efforts at getting him to speak were unsuccessful as his line was constantly shut off. Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala’s Senior Special Assistant

(SSA), Mr. Paul C. Nwabuikwu who promised to respond to mails sent to him on the issue never did even after repeated reminding calls. A top finance ministry official, however, told Peoples Daily that the table of the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Danladi Kifasi, was piled high with approval files for projects but they could not be cleared due to lack of funds. This bleak picture is emerging as the 2012 budget approved by the National Assembly and signed by President Jonathan is yet to be implemented, six

month into the year. When the FAAC was unable to meet twice last month it was widely believed then that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) failed to make regular payments to the federation account as oil marketers and corporations were deducting their shares of profit in offshore accounts to avoid dealing with local bureaucratic bottlenecks. Before then, Okonjo-Iweala had raised an alarm over crude oil thefts which if unchecked, according to her, would adversely affect the nation’s revenue profile.

Customs comptroller arrested for gun running Contd from Page 1 work does not end with arresting a criminal but to take him to the appropriate court of law to answer the charges that would be read to him.” He said Jack, under investigation, did not admit that he was selling the weapons but he was sending them as his contribution to be used by his kinsmen in Plateau to fight their enemies, which was the only agenda he wanted to achieve”, said the Comptroller General. “Now it is that court that will determine the kind of punishment befitting his offence; nobody can quantify the lives lost in Jos because of his misdeed and the contribution he made by

way of supplying weapons. “In spite of this discovery, it will surprise you to hear that since they started their criminal activities Customs’ weapons had not been involved as they got their supplies from abroad and Ali Kwara confirmed that he had met with their suppliers. “He had arrested the suppliers too; we must give thanks to God that among the over 20 thousand men and officers of the Customs service of which I am the head, only two were found to be bad eggs.” Asked how he would ensure that illegal arms are not smuggled into the country, Inde said: “The weapons used by Jack and his accomplices were not

smuggled but the ones given to other security agents in the country which they decided to sell for criminal purposes.” He added that the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) has given the Customs a modern arms detecting scanner that can be used to detect weapons and people carrying illegal arms even from a far distance. He assured they were doing their best to ensure that Nigerians are safe and to uphold the trust reposed in them. He warned his officers that he would not spare anyone of them found to be involved in dubious acts, stressing that

the bad ones would be handed over to the police for prosecution according to the laws of the country. He said the arrest of Comptroller Bot by Ali Kwara has further opened their eyes to monitor everyone in the service. According to him, henceforth anybody that signs for an arm and does not return it within two days would be suspected. When contacted the State Security Service (SSS) could not confirm if the arrested comptroller was in their hands. The spokesperson of the SSS, Marylin Ogar, could not be reached on her cell phone lines.



L-R: Lagos state Commissioner for Justice, M.r Ade Ipaye, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, and Director, Dana Airline, Mr. Francis Ogboro, during a news conference on the recent Dana plane crash, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Pastor murdered in Benue, body tied to tree From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


Boko Haram denies dialogue with FG through Dahiru Bauchi By Aminu Imam


he Islamic group , Jama’atu Ahlussunnnati lidda’awati Wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram, yesterday denied that it has commenced dialogue with the Federal Government through the mediation of renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi. Media reports on Tuesday quoted the renowned Islamic scholar as saying during the birthday commemoration (Maulud) of the late Tijjaniyya scholar, Sheikh Ibrahim Nyass in Bauchi that the Federal Government has commenced

dialogue with the group through his mediation effort and that the Bauchi state government has set up a committee for the purpose. However, in a swift reaction yesterday, the sect, according to its leader, Imam Abu Muhammad Abubakar Bin Muhammad Shekau, conveyed through its spokesman, Abul-Qaqa, denied the cleric’s claim. The statement read in part: “Following recent reports in the media that we have commenced dialogue with the Federal Government through mediation effort of renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi, we wish to categorically state that

there is no iota of truth to the allegation. “We further state that there has never been any dialogue with the Federal Government since the collapse of talks with Dr. Datti Ahmed President of the Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria (SCSN), earlier this year. It would be recalled that since that time, we announced that we were pulling out of the mediation effort. “We are therefore calling on Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi to respect his status as an elder and respected cleric and to desist from allowing some forces to drag him into issues that will make him lose

the respect and dignity he presently enjoys”, said the sect. Furthermore, the sect claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s killing of over 50 soldiers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Kawar Maila area of Shehuri-North, when officials of the JTF allegedly attempted to attack their members as well as the killing of former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Haruna Ningi, in Kano. The sect also threatened that very soon it will hunt down any person or group that it perceives as it enemy as well as the media, electronic and print, which fails to publish this refutal.

Only 52 bodies so far identified N450bn fraud: Reps order From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Lagos state government has disclosed why the bodies of the 149 dead victims removed from the crashed site where the Dana Air aircraft from Abuja to Lagos on Sunday 3rd June accidentally rammed into some building along Popoola Street in IjuIshaga area of the state. The state government said among other things, autopsies need to be carried out on the victims in order to clearly identify and match victims with sample of materials that will be taken from their relatives so that confusion will be avoided when releasing the bodies to their owners. Speaking during a joint world press conference inside the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General of the state, Mr. Ade Ipaye said DNA examination must be carried out

on all the bodies before they are released. He said also that only 52 of the 149 victims have so far been identified after undergoing scientific examination at the LASUTH facilities, while autopsy on others which are difficult to know their true identity will be carried out in due course. Meanwhile, the team of experts to carryout autopsy on the victims of the crash disclosed that barring any unforeseen circumstances, all 149 bodies removed from the site of the accident will be clearly identified within two weeks. Speaking at a joint world press conference on the state of the remains of the victims in Lagos, the head of the team, Prof. John Obafunwa, said the initial team of experts on ground has already carried out scientific examination on 30 out of 52 bodies that were readily identifiable while the rest would be completed today (Thursday).

NNPC to refund N3.08tr

…Akintola Williams Delloitte, others indicted …Shell, Chevron, others to refund $3.675 By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives has ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to refund the sum of N3.08 trillion which it failed to remit to the Federation Accounts between 2004 and 2011. Peoples Daily exclusively gathered that the House’ joint committee on Finance, Petroleum Resources (Upstream and Downstream) and Gas Resources in its report, also indicted NNPC’s external auditors including Akintola Williams Deloitte, Muhtari Dangana & Co. (Chartered Accountants) and Hart Group for conspiring to overstate the corporation’s payments by

N349 billion on domestic crude take in 2004. According to the report, the accounting firms misled the public by stating that the NNPC remitted the sum of N635 billion when it actually paid N289 billion into government coffers. The committee declared that the corporation’s direct deduction from the revenue accruing to the Federation Accounts while hiding under the provision of Section 7 of the NNPC Act was illegal. The committee equally recommended that the four carrying partners, namely, Shell, ELF, Mobil and Chevron which over-bloated their claims by $3.675 billion between 2004 and 2006 should refund same to government coffers.

Methodist Church pastor in Ago, Otukpa in Ogbadibo local government of Benue state, Rev Michael Ejeh, on Monday was discovered dead, tied to a tree five kilometers away from the church. Peoples Daily investigations showed that the late Rev. Ejeh had travelled to Odebe for deliverance. Wife of the deceased, simply identified as Charity, said her husband suffered from malignant hypertension and had gone to see one Prophet Moses Ujah for deliverance where he met his untimely death. According to her, they discovered her husband’s body tied to a tree after he had gone to ease himself. Another source narrated that Rev Ejeh after prayers on the fateful night, decided to spend the night in Odeba as it was late for him to return to his village, Ago. His host, Prophet Ujah had graciously agreed to host him and directed two of his pastors to sleep with him at the ministry’s office. It was gathered that in the course of sleeping in the church, his lifeless body was found tied to a tree. Late Ejeh’s body has since been deposited at a mortuary in Otukpa while his diocese has commenced action to unravel the mysterious death of their pastor by inviting the police to arrest Prophet Ujah. Meanwhile, the police spokesman has denied any knowledge of the incident, adding "I have not been briefed by the DPO yet".

Jonathan vows to punish DANA crash culprits By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


n continuation of the threeday national mourning, President Goodluck Jonathan told members of Federal Executive Council (FEC), yesterday, that government will ensure that anyone indicted of negligence that may have led to the mishap, is adequately punished. Jonathan, who reiterated the commitment of government to uplifting the standards of the aviation industry, urged Nigerians to stop spreading rumours about the possible cause of the crash and wait for the result of ongoing investigations. The President said: “In the past few days since the crash, our newspapers, airwaves, and social media have been awash with all manner of theories and speculations on the cause of the tragedy. I urge that there should be no rush to judgement. “The lives of all Nigerians and foreigners in our country are precious to this administration. We will continue to do everything possible to protect lives and prevent avoidable deaths...” Jonathan said.



New Nigerian staff suspendstrike From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


orkers at the New Nigerian Newspapers (NNN) have announced the suspension of their fourmonth-old strike, following the intervention of the Sokoto state governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, who is also the chairman, sub-committee on NNN of the Northern State Governors’ Forum (NSGF). The workers had embarked on the prolonged strike action to protest the non-payment of salary for about a year. A press statement yesterday by the Joint Workers Consultative Committee said, however, that the workers would be forced to resume the strike after two weeks if definite action was not taken to address the issues involved. The statement signed by NNN branch of the NUJ, Ibrahim Adamu, and Saidu Bello, urged the governor to use the period to fulfill promises to the workers made by the NSGF.

Assakio killings: community wants panel of inquiry From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Alago Development Association (ADA), an umbrella body for Alago people in Nasarawa state, has called on Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura, to immediately set up a judicial panel of inquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the crisis that erupted in Assakio, headquarters of Lafia East development area. In a statement signed by Mathew Attah Akwe, interim chairman and David Ogwole Ayew, interim secretary, ADA condemned in the recent unprovoked and premeditated attack on Assakio town by the Eggon ethnic group. They described the invasion as an attempt to systematically kill every Alago man on sight and to wantonly destroy, burn and loot their properties. While expressing fear at the careless position of the state government and other security agencies when they Eggon people allegedly consolidated their attack on the town from dusk to dawn and despite earlier warnings and repeated reports of the situation on the ground, the association called on the government to ensure that the Osakyo of Assakio is returned to his domain and provided with adequate security to re-establish his full traditional authority over the town. The ADA assured the state government of its full cooperation in its efforts to restore peace and order in Alago land, in particular and the state in general. It appealed to all Alago men and women to remain calm and law abiding.

From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


member of the Special Task Force (STF), drafted to Jos to restore peace was yesterday alongside three Berom youths, killed by unknown gunmen in a fresh attack at a Tanjol village of Riyom local government of Plateau state. The killing of the STF member has come at the time the new commander for the taskforce, MajGen. Henry Ayoola, had told news men that the Federal Government mandated him to restore law and order in the state.

Dana crash: Obakpolor heads probe panel

Gunmen kill STF soldier, 3 others in Plateau An eyewitness said the attack was carried out at about 6:30 pm on Monday by unknown gunmen who invaded the village. According to him, the bodies of the three Berom youths have been recovered and have already been buried by relations, adding that the body of the STF member is yet to be

found. However, it was gathered that the STF has commenced the search for the whereabouts of the said mobile police officer. Police Public Relation Officer (PPRO), Plateau state command, DSP Emmanuel Abu, confirmed the incident saying “The officer is

missing; we are not seeing him and we can’t find the body anywhere, the search is still on and we are pleading with the general public to assist the security agencies in this search. Meanwhile, the STF spokesman, Captain Markus Mdahyelya, could not be reached at the time of press.

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


ormer chairman of the defunct Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Group Capt. John Obakpolor (rtd) is to head a nineman investigative panel charged by the Federal Government to determine the immediate and remote causes of Sunday’s crash of DANA passenger aircraft. Addressing State House correspondents after a special session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), meeting yesterday, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, gave the names of other members of the investigative panel as Capt. Austin Omame, Capt. Dele Sasegbon, Dr. O.B. Aliu, Engr. F.C. Onyeyiri, Capt. Mfon Udom, Capt. Muhtar Usman, Dr. Tony Anuforom and Capt. A. Mshelia. The minister said the panel would immediately perform a comprehensive assessment of all the domestic scheduled airlines to ensure that effective management culture were being followed as well as ensure that the effectiveness of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) oversight were being maintained.

... Yakowa condoles with victims’ families From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


aduna state governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, yesterday, expressed sympathy to the families of the victims of DANA Air crash who reside in Kaduna. The victims include Falmata Mohammed Kur, daughter of late Col. Kur Mohammed, who lost his life during the 1966 coup. Mr. Yakowa was received by former governor of the defunct North Central state, Brigadier General Abba Kyari (rtd), who was the guardian of late Falmata. At Gwadabe Road, Kaduna, Mr. Yakowa was also received by Alhaji Shehu Kaikai, father of late Farida Shehu Kaikai, a victim of DANA Air crash who was until her death, a staff of Aso Savings and Loans, Abuja. Governor Yakowa was also at Rock Road, Kaduna, where he condoled with the family of another victim, late Ibrahim Yusuf, who was a senior supervisor with CBN Abuja. The governor also condoled with the family of late Umaru Balanga, a photojournalist with New Nigerian Newspapers who died after a protracted illness.

L-R: Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Hon, Abubakar Momoh, Acting Director General, Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa, Mr. Suleiman Shuaibu, Deputy Chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Abdul Malik Usman and a member, Hon. Jimoh Adelowo, during a public hearing on a Bill for an Act to establish the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa, yesterday at National Assembly, Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Subsidy: Ribadu, others win in court From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


ustice Mojisola IsholaOlatoregun of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, has struck out a suit challenging the propriety of the committees set up by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to carry out reforms in the petroleum industry. The committees are the Petroleum Revenue Task Force, headed by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Governance Control Task Force, headed by

Dotun Suleman; and National Refineries Special Task Force, whose head is Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu. A Lagos-based lawyer, Gabriel Amalu, had instituted the suit, contending that the setting up of the committees amounted to an unconstitutional delegation of the powers of the minister and those of the agencies and other parastatals in the ministry to “quasi-committees”. He had therefore asked the court to give an order restraining the operations of the committees. But Justice Olatoregun struck out the suit for lacking in diligent prosecution. The decision to strike out the

matter was prompted by the absence of parties in the suit at the Tuesday’s proceedings. Joined as parties in the suit were the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Bello Adoke, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Alison-Madueke and heads of each of the committees. The plaintiff had contended that the setting up of the committee infringed on the ministerial powers of Minister of Petroleum Resources, as provided for in section 5(1) of the constitution as amended and section 13 of the Petroleum Act Cap P10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Crash victims’ father still in coma 3 days after From Ayodele Samuel & Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


he head of the Fatokun household who lost three family members (Angela Fatokun, Olaoluwa Fatokun and Ibukun Fatokun) in the last Sunday crash of Dana Air plane in Lagos has been reported to be in a coma. A Fatokun family member at the crash site told Peoples Daily on condition of anonymity that Mr. Fatokun has not regained consciousness since his arrival from Abuja where he resides. He said Mr. Fatokun’s

condition was being closely monitored by his medical doctors in an un-disclosed hospital in Lagos. According to him, the incident is a great shock to the family and the lost is immeasurable to his brother and the extended family. ”My brother lost his consciousness since then and he has being under the close monitor of his family doctor at home. He is presently in Lagos, even I myself have not been to my office since Monday,” he added. Meanwhile rescue agencies yesterday completed the demolition of four houses in Iju

Ishaga, crash site. Rescue workers packed the debris of the ill-fated MD83 aircraft as well as the rubble of the buildings into trucks that took them away from the site of the crash. The Lagos State government has said the area will be fumigated, to prevent the outbreak of diseases. Dana Air, Flight 0992 from Abuja to Lagos crashed into a residential building in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos state on 3 June as the air craft approached the airport’s runway, killing all 153 people on board and several others in the building.



European Commission President sympathises with Nigeria By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


resident of the European Commission, Jose’ Manuel Baroso, has joined the rest of the world in sympathising with the Federal Government of Nigeria over the ill-fated plane crash on Sunday that killed 153 people on board and several others in the affected buildings. Baroso, who expressed his heart-felt sympathy to the Nigerian government in a statement issued by the Press and Information Officer, delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, Mr. Modestus Chukwulaka, said the crash has caused so much suffering to the people of Nigeria. He said that the commission deeply sympathised with victims and the people of Nigeria. “On behalf of the commission and my own behalf, allow me to offer you our sincere condolences and the expression of our deepest sympathy and solidarity with the families of the victims”, he said.

PATTEC national coordinators’ to meet in Accra By A’isha Biola Raji


he national coordinators of Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC), are to hold a meeting in Accra, the capital of Ghana. The meeting organised by the PATTEC Coordination Unit of the African Union Commission (AUC), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (ADB), and the Government of the Republic of Ghana, is the 10th of its kind. It is scheduled to take place from 13th to 15th June 2012 in the Grand Mensvic Hotel, Accra, Ghana. In a press statement signed by Directorate of Information and Communication, Tankou Azza Esther, the objectives of the proposed meeting is to synchronise country level programme performance indicators, build synergy among country results, share experiences/elaborate on challenges, share best practices to boost implementation, identify global problems, and to track cross-cutting issues which involve revising work plans and budgets. Participants at the meeting will include the PATTEC Coordinators from the six ADB supported countries which include: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda as well as some Member States Experts from Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, DR Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, Togo, Senegal, Sudan, South Africa, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Also included are representatives from key stakeholders and partners.

Bauchi state Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman, Rev. Lawi Pokti, preaching during the burial of last Sunday’s bomb blast victims at Living Faith and Harvest Field churches, yesterday in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

Victims of Bauchi church blast buried amidst tears From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


ictims of bomb blast at Harvest Field church and Living Faith Church Bauchi last Sunday, were buried amidst tears yesterday at the Christian cemetery, Yelwa Tudun Bauchi. Families of the dead, leaders and members of the church as well

as the students of ATBU, Federal Polytechnic and secondary schools who attended the burial to pay their last respects to their loved ones and friends, could not hold back tears when the bodies were brought to the cemetery. Among the victims were former House of Representatives member during Shehu Shagari's administration, Hon Dodo

Hassan, Effiom Augustine Itta, Reproductive Health HIV/AIDs consultant in Bauchi, a graduate of University of Maiduguri, Suru Bamgbose, a student of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi, Jopseph Kehinde Aiyebe, final year Engineering student of ATBU and Samuel Olusegun, 16-yearold student of Divine Primary

and Secondary School International, Bauchi. In an interview with newsmen at the burial ground, the state chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Lawi Pokti, enjoined Christians not to retaliate saying: “nobody should take laws into his hands by causing trouble because the church will not support any act of lawlessness. “I want to call on the Christian community to always trust the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord will fight for his church”.

ACF urges FG to probe DANA plane crash ‘Technology is From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has urged the Federal Government to probe the circumstances that led to last Sunday’s DANA Air plane crash which reportedly claimed over 150 lives in Lagos. In a communiqué yesterday at the end of a meeting of its National Working Committee (NWC), the group also noted that it lost a member of its Board of

Trustees, Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida, in the accident while urging Nigerians to pray for the victims of the crash. The communiqué signed by the ACF National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, also condemned the attack on two churches last Sunday in Bauchi. According to the communiqué, “the meeting was chaired by Alhaji Aliko Mohammed and the NWC the meeting deliberated on many

issues of national importance. “ACF noted the sad event of the DANA plane crash which occurred last Sunday and claimed two hundred people, including one of the forum’s member of BOT in the person of Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida… “ACF hopes the Federal Government would go as far as efforts can go to investigate all the circumstances leading to the plane crash with a view to preventing future occurrences…”

Ex-JTF commander heads Edo Neighbourhood Watch From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


former commander of the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, Major-General Charles Omoregie (rtd), has been inaugurated as chairman of the Edo state Neighborhood Watch Committee. The committee was set up by the state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole with a charge

to complement the security agencies in the prevention of crime. Inaugurating the committee at the Government House, Benin City, Comrade Oshiomhole said the law under which the committee was set up was enacted in January 2002. According to him, “the committee is not a rival to any security agency and is expected to

complement the security agencies; hence membership is drawn from all facets of the society. “The committee is expected to assist the security agencies with information in ways that would make them proactive. They are also expected to sensitise and galvanise the people on the need to give them information to reduce crime in the state,” he noted.

Woman jailed 12 months for damaging prison door From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


n Oredo Area Customary Court sitting in Benin City has sentenced a 23-year-old lady, Sarah Ighodaro, to 12 months in prison for damaging

the door to the cell of Oba Market Police Post on the 4th of June, 2012. The prosecutor, Corporal Charity Asemota, told the court that Sarah was arrested at Oba Market while fighting with her ex-

lover and upon arrest, damaged the door to the cell where she was detained. She pleaded guilty to the offense. President of the court, John Fisher Akhime, gave the convict an option of fine of N20,000.

driven and sustained by research’ By Joy Baba


he Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Ewa Okon Bassey has said Technology in Nigeria can be sustained only if the results of research are packaged and exploited for the market. This was contained in a key note address by the minister at a three-day workshop organised by National Office For Technology Acquisition Promotion (NOTAP), in collaboration with Islamic Education, Scientific And Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) titled ‘Packaging Research and Development Results and Inventions for the Market”, yesterday in Abuja. The minister who was represented by at the occasion by the Director of Planning, Research and Policy Analysis of NOTAP, Mr. Aaron Renkwar, said science and technology is a tool for transformation in any nation and can be sustained and driven by research. The numerous research and development results in parastatals and other relevant government agencies in Nigeria must be linked to the market for it to be sustained, the minister said.



Alleged N567m fraud: Lack of service aborts Ehindero’s arraignment T

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

he arraignment of former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Sunday Ehindero, before an Abuja High Court was yesterday stalled because of the inability of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to serve the charge personally on the former boss and his co accused, Mr. John Obaniyi, a Commissioner of Police in charge of Budget when Ehindero was IGP. The former police boss and the former commissioner were alleged to have conspired with one another between the months of

May and November, 2006 and used their position to confer corrupt advantages upon themselves by placing the sum of N300 million out of the N558 million donated to the Nigeria Police Force by the Bayelsa state government for the procurement of arms, ammunition and riot control equipment, in a fixed deposit account at Wema Bank Plc where it yielded an interest of N9.8 million for them. The former IGP was spotted at the court premises at about 8:13 am but was nowhere to be seen when the court resumed sitting at about 10:49 am.

The ICPC's Mr. Elijah Akaakohol, told the court that the commission had difficulties tracking Ehindero to effect personal service on him as prescribed by the law. He stated that they tried locating Ehindero at his chambers within the Central Business District of Abuja metropolis but were told by a lawyer in his chambers that the former IGP was attending a Bar Conference in Asaba, the Delta state capital. He further told the court that one Mr. Olufemi Ogunleye who works for Ehindero at his office tacitly collected the charge and

signed for it on Ehindero's behalf but however noted that it was not proper as it had to be a personal service on the ex police boss himself. On the 2nd accused, Mr. Obaniyi, the lawyer informed the court that from the information received at the Police Headquarters, he had been sacked from the force and his address from police records is at Akure, the Ondo state capital. He subsequently sought for

Why religious crises persist in Nigeria- Don From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Dean of the Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Prof. M. A. Bidmos, has blamed the persistence of religious crises in the country on the lack of understanding of the basic tenets of the two major religions, Islam and Christianity by most of their adherents. The don who is also the Chief Imam of the University, made this observation while delivering a public lecture in the Department of Religion, University of Ilorin's auditorium. In the lecture, entitled "Religious Harmony in a Multi Faith Society: An Islamic Perspective", Bidmos said the incessant religious upheavals in the country could only be

L-R: Senior Project Coordinator, African Artist Foundation (AAF), Miss Medina Dugger, Director of AAF, Mr. Azu Nwagbogu, and Curator of AAF, Miss Zainab Ashadu, during a press briefing on the 2012 African Artist Foundation National Art Competition, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Why aviation sector must be probed - Rep From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ember representing Agege Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, has assured that he and his colleagues in t h e l o w e r chamber of the National Assembly would do everything possible to ensure that aviation sector is probed

in order to bring sanity to the sector. Adejare, while reacting to the DANA aircraft crash that occurred on Sunday in Iju-Ishage area of Lagos state, in which over 150 lives were lost, maintained that members of the House of Representatives will look critically at the sector to see w h a t e x a c t l y i s w r o n g with it.

The lawmaker who spoke with our reporter in a telephone interview, said: "We at the National Assembly would ensure that we look at the sector critically, we will investigate this accident, we will also investigate the whole sector and see what is happening there and we will bring the report like we have always done to the public domain".

a short adjournment to enable the anti corruption agency effect personal services on the accused persons. Ehindero's lawyer, Mr. E. O Telah, opposed the application for an adjournment for the arraignment of the accused persons and urged the court to strike out the charge instead. He argued that there were no materials before the court to show that any reasonable attempts were made to serve the accused persons personally.

brought to an end through dialogue conducted in an atmosphere of mutual trust and sincerity, stressing that dialogue had been used by many prophets who had delivered divine messages in history. The Chief Imam also identified certain "institutional, sociological and cognitive obstacles", as the bane of interreligious harmony in the country. The Deputy ViceChancellor, Prof. Y. M. Fakunle, who represented the ViceChancellor of the institution, Prof Ish-aq Oloyede, said religion was a mystery such that despite the religiosity of Nigerians, many of them are still corrupt and bad because religion was mostly taken as a social activity.

Leaders, activists to hold breakfast parley at MKO residence on June 12 From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


n commemoration of the annual June 12 democracy discourse, the June 12 Movement of Nigeria in collaboration with Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), and Change Agent of Nigeria (CAN), will be hosting eminent leaders of thought across the country to honour late Chief MKO Abiola at a national breakfast colloquium next week in Lagos. The event which is expected to be attended by senior citizens, political activists, pro-national conference advocates and lovers

of democracy from all walks of life, will hold at the residence of late M.K.O Abiola located at No. 42/46 MKO Abiola Crescent off Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos. The theme of this year's gathering: "Democracy and the National Question in Nigeria", will be moderated by a veteran political scientist and activist, Chief Olawale Okunniyi. Lead Speakers and other discussants at this year's event include: Prof. Ben Nwabueze, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Prof. Akin Oyebode, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, close members of the Abiola family among others.

JTF kills 16 gunmen in Maiduguri, recovers arms From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


peratives of the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF), on Tuesday evening, kiled16 suspected members of the Boko Haram in a fierce gun battle at separate locations of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. Field Operations Officer of the JTF, Col. Victor Ebhaleme told newsmen yesterday that the incidents occurred in some wards

of the Maiduguri metropolis, comprising of Lawan Bukar, Railway Quarters, Gwange and Budum, behind the Shehu of Borno's palace. According to Col. Ebhaleme, the incidents occurred at about 4.00pm, when over 50 terrorists, armed with sophisticated weapons and improvised explosive devices, (IEDs) launched coordinated attacks on the JTF personnel deployed in the affected areas, saying the security agents had successfully

repelled the attack and gunned down 16 suspects, while five others were apprehended. "The JTF wishes to inform the public that on June 5th, at about 4.00pm, some members of the Boko Haram group attempted to launch simultaneous attacks in Maiduguri, using AK 47 rifles, bombs, rocket propelled grenades and other deadly weapons; the attack was successfully repelled and during the encounter, 16 suspects were killed, while a soldier sustained minor injury,"

the spokesman further added. He explained that the task force also detonated several explosives, which were buried by the gunmen in Lawan Bukar area, saying "In fact we completed the operation yesterday morning by detonating some explosive devices buried in several spots". Items recovered from the gunmen, comprised seven AK47 rifles, anti-armored tank rocket launcher, a pistol revolver, 2000 assorted live

ammunition, 12 magazines of AK 47 rifles and two gas cylinders, used in assembling home-made bombs. Our correspondent reports that over 50 Hilux vehicles of soldiers backed by five armoured tanks and heavy artillery swarmed the affected areas. However, residents of the area were still fleeing their homes, accusing the soldiers of burning their houses and shops, under the guise of hunting the Boko Haram gunmen.



SON uncovers adulterated petroleum products in Port Harcourt From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), has clamped down on a Filling Station in Port Harcourt, Rivers state where petroleum products

ranging from premium motor spirit (PMS) and automotive gas oil (AGO) are allegedly adulterated and sold to unsuspecting motorists and household users. Head of SON Public Relations, Mathias Bassey in a statement said

“NECCON filling station on Eleme Road, Port Harcourt was discovered to have an illegal depot behind the station where petroleum products are adulterated, while vehicles and tanks used for conveying the products including

containers and drums of different sizes with hoses used for the adulteration were found at the vicinity.” The statement said the discovery was made when the Task Force on Petroleum Products Adulteration led by Engr.

Lecturers fault Katsina govt on sexual harassment committee From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ecturers of Isa Kaita College of Education, Dutsin-ma, Katsina state, have faulted the setting up of a committee by the state government to investigate alleged cases of sexual harassment of female students of the college by some academic staff. Addressing a press conference, yesterday in Katsina, the chairman of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union of the college, Comrade Garba Idris ‘Yargamji noted that investigation within the college should have been conducted before the setting up of the committee by the

government. He added that the college has its own mechanism of investigating such immoral acts without any interference, alleging that the speed with which government set up the committee was suspicious. Yargamji further stated: “All academic staff

of the institution are worried over the serious allegation of sexual harassment against them. We therefore want the committee to name names of those accused of the crime.” According to him, there was never a time complaints of sexual

harassment were received by the college management against any lecturer. It would be recalled that the Katsina state government last week set up a five-man committee to investigate the alleged cases of sexual harassment at the college.

Man bags one year jail term for defiling 5-year-old

accused was contrary to section 285 of the penal code. The accused was earlier brought to the court by the police after the father of the 5-year-old girl reported to them that the culprit had lured his daughter to his house and inserted his finger into her private part. It was also reported that after the arrest of the suspect, the little girl was taken to a hospital where she was treated for injuries in her private part.

From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina 40-year-old man, Ahmadu Kabir Sararin Tsako, was yesterday sentenced to one year imprisonment by a Chief Magistrate Court III


sitting in Katsina after being found guilty of committing an act of gross indecency. Passing the judgement, the presiding Magistrate, Nurudeen Abdulmumuni Jikamshi, noted that the offence committed by the

Timothy Abner visited Port Harcourt as part of SON ongoing zero tolerance to substandard products in Nigeria programme. “Other than the adulterated products sampled at the NECCON filling station which

showed 22 percent kerosene in diesel, the overall quality of PMS and AGO sold in Port Harcourt and Calabar were found to meet the quality specifications, with the latter meeting the Cetane number of 49min required for EURO11.”

High Court judge ends 19-year-old land dispute From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, presided over by Justice Inumidun Akande, has finally put to rest a 19-year-old land dispute between parties claiming to be the true descendants of Esimikan. The judge ruled that the defendants in the case were the rightful owners of the land under dispute. Justice Akande also ordered the arrest and prosecution of one of the claimants, Rasheed Olushesi for illegal occupation of the disputed islands since 2004. The court in its judgment held that Olushesi having told the court during trial that he had no documents

backing his position as the Baale of Ilado-Odo and Inagbe Islands since 2004, committed an offence contrary to Section 23(1) of the Obas and Chiefs Law of Lagos state. The outgoing Chief Judge of Lagos state therefore ordered that the Lagos state AttorneyGeneral prosecute him for the criminal offence. The claimants, Prince Waidi Akeju, Adisa Waheed Aberuagba and Rasheed Akangbe Olushesi for themselves and as head and representatives of the Esimikan, had dragged the defendants to court on April 21, 1995 asking the court to amongst others declare that the 1st to 7th defendants are not members of the Esimikan Family of Ilado–Odo.

CBN governor bags traditional title From Bala Nasir, Kano


s the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero turbans the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as the Dan Majen Kano come Saturday, people in the state are looking forward to the event especially as the CBN Governor commands respects for his stewardship at the apex bank, and intellectual prowess. The history of Dan Majen Kano title in the hierarchical traditional titles of the traditional institution of Kano Emirate dates back to the 16th century, exactly in 1509 when the then Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Kisoki appointed the first Dan Maje, that is, Dan Maje Ummaru. This title continued to exist up to the time Kano fell under the authority of colonialists after its invasion and from that time to date, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is the 10th Dan Maje of Kano. Dan Maje title is 21st in the hierarchy in the over 60 District Heads and title holders in the

Kano Emirate after the Magajin Gari title and followed by of Dan Kadai who is the 22nd in the hierarchy. It is believed that since 1882 Dan Maje title was the 17th title in the order of office precedence, following the Barden Kano title which is the 16th and followed by Dan Makwayo. Maje means 'sarki' or Emir and 'Dan' means son of, therefore, Dan Maje means son of the emir which literally means a prince. For this reason therefore, the title of Dan Maje is exclusively reserved to only people with royal blood. The holder of this title's primary responsibility in the Kano Emirate is to safeguard peoples' wealth, integrity and protect their lives in addition to serving them diligently and protecting the religion, culture and traditions of the people. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi's predecessors from 1920 to date include: Zakari Dan Sarkin Kano Abbas, Shehu Ahmad, Ahmed Gwadabe Dan Sarkin Kano Alu, Mahmud Bayero, Muntari Zakari, Sayyadi Mahmud,

Aminu Ado Bayero, Tijjani Abubakar, Yusuf Ibrahim and now Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. The unique thing about the newly appointed Dan Maje is that, "From his mother's side he was a grandson of Alkali Ummaru II of Fulata Barno from the Zarawa Clan who were famous Islamic Scholars, holding the titles of Chief Imams of Kano and Islamic judges right from the time of Emir of Kano, Ibrahim Dabo when the clan leader, Muhammad Zara became the chief Imam of Kano."

CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi



Work in progress on Mokola overhead bridge, yesterday in Ibadan, Oyo state capital. The contractor is working to meet the December 2012 deadline given by the state government. Photo: NAN

L-R: FCT NYSC coordinator, Mrs Amina Dawa, corps member, Mr Alkassim Abdullahi, and Schedule Officer, MDG Family and Community Life Re-orientation, Mrs Aina Bugah, during the inauguration of a borehole drilled by Abdullahi, yesterday in Bwari, Abuja. Photo: NAN

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (2nd right), commissioning a network of ten roads with streetlights, walkways and underground drainage in the 3rd Cemetery area of Benin City Tuesday night. With him is Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole (left), his daughter, Dr. Winnie Owumi (2nd left), and Commissioner for Works, Engineer Francis Evbuomwan, (right).

R-L: Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, presenting a souvenir to Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Austria, Dr Michael Spindelegger, during the latter visit to the governor, yesterday at the Lagos House, in Lagos.



Family to sue PHCN over child’s death From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


he family of Faith Gambo, a 7year-old who was killed by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) high tension line in Kabong community, Jos, has vowed to drag the management of PHCN to court for negligence. Late Faith and her younger sister, Goodness Gambo, who were returning from a church service were electrocuted by a high tension electric cable. However, a good Samaritan was said to have rushed them to Bingham University

Teaching Hospital (BUTH), where Faith gave up the ghost while Goodness had her arm amputated. Our correspondent gathered that on Sunday morning of 27 May, 2012, the

community discovered that a PHCN high tension line had disconnected and was hovering over a major road and the community alerted PHCN management who did not take action until at

about 10:00am when tragedy struck. The family in a press statement signed by Nanden Gideon Tyem, and made available to newsmen, said it is in a state of psychological and mental disarray,


he Independent National Electoral C o m m i s s i o n (INEC), yesterday, commenced preparation for 2015 general elections as it flagged off voter education in secondary schools. The Resident Electoral Commission in Oyo state,

from negligence and dereliction of duty by those saddled with responsibilities of looking after PHCN equipment, stressing that the family considered the incident too sensitive to be swept under the carpet.

Jonathan didn’t consult before renaming UNILAG - Gowon From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ormer Head of State and chairman, Nigeria Prays, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), on Tuesday, took a swipe at President Goodluck Jonathan for not consulting widely before he embarked on

renaming the University of Lagos to honour the acclaimed winner of 1993 presidential election, late Chief Moshood Abiola. Gowon who made the observation in Benin, during a courtesy call on Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, further observed:

“University of Ife was changed to Obafemi Awolowo University; now that University of Lagos is now changed to Abiola University, it would have been better for President Goodluck Jonathan to have consulted with old students of the university before

2015: INEC takes voter education to secondary schools From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

particularly, the mother of Faith, Mrs. Grace Gambo, who slumped on hearing the sad news and has not fully recovered. Gideon Tyem said he wondered how long innocent Nigerians would continue to suffer

Alhaji Olanrewaju Ayilara, stated this at a Voter Education Workshop for principals of public secondary schools held at House of Chiefs Parliament Building, Secretariat in Ibadan. Ayilara explained that for stability and widespread embrace of true democracy to be attained, practical voter

education must be introduced in schools especially secondary schools across the nation. The REC noted that the workshop is a pilot scheme to establish ‘Voter Education Clubs in their various schools adding that the underlying reason for the formation of the club is to catch them young for democracy. He added that by

2015, these students would have matured to voters’ age and there is need to prepare them for future civic responsibilities. Ayilara explained that student-members would be introduced to the fundamental differences between the military regime and democracy. According to him, the ultimate objective of Voter Education Club is the emergence of matured political environment saying the project is designed to erase negative mindset while encouraging robust political discourse rooted in electoral knowledge.

Kogi CJ wants Police Act abrogated From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he chief judge of Kogi state, Justice Nasir Ajana has described the Police Act as obsolete, calling for its abrogation. Justice Ajana noted that the re-orientation of the police as a reform mechanism cannot achieve its objectives if the Act is not repealed. He made the observation in Lokoja, yesterday, during a public hearing on Police Reform organised by the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) The CJ who was represented by Justice Henry Olusuyi, said there is the need for Nigeria Police to change people’s perception about them by respecting human dignity and becoming people friendly.

renaming it to Abiola University”. “I honestly do not want to comment on that one. I am sure that anyone who has gone to UNILAG, ask them how they feel about the change and I know that a lot of students who went to University of Ife, when it was changed to Awolowo University, if you asked them if they wanted the change to Awolowo University, they will say ‘no’!. So, that is the feeling. “I think probably all the people who are involved in making that decision should have consulted all those people before making that decision. It is very important”. The former Head of State commended Governor Adams Oshiomhole for considerably impacting on infrastructural development in the state capital and other parts of

the state. Gen. Gowon who refused to be drawn into the politics of Edo state, said it was left to the residents and people of the state to decide based on what they see on ground, who they will vote for in the July 14 governorship election. He however likened Oshiomhole to former two-times state governor, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, saying they were both action governors. On the recent illfated DANA crash which claimed over 153 lives, the septuagenarian said air disasters in Nigeria are historical irrespective of beliefs; adding that people should be more conscious. “Did I not come here with a plane? British Oversea Air Ways Corporation (BOAC), now British Air Ways crashed when I was President”, he stated.

Ekweremadu commends human right organisations By Jamila Nuhu Musa


eputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremmadu has commended the role of human rights organisations in sensitising Nigerians on their rights and enhancing the rule oflaw. He made the remarks while receiving members of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, which paid him a curtesy visit in his office. Ekweremmadu said human rights is one aspect of our being and differentiates humans from animals, the association is therefore very important in projecting these rights and making sure that people are treated fairly. He pointed out that there is elaborate provision in the constitution regarding the rights of Nigerians, the reason why the National

Assembly supported freedom of speech and the Freedom of Information Bill. Speaking on the electoral reforms, he declared that though the country has an Electoral Act that can serve Nigerians, the National Assembly will continue to review the process to see areas that require amendment. He said no stone will be left unturned in exposing corruption in the system, and that the subsidy scam involving some top Nigerians will be followed to the letter by the committee on subsidy. Earlier, the National Coordinator, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said the association was at the Deputy Senate President’s office to commiserate with him on the demise of his father and to present some view points to aid review of the 1999 constituion.



Muslim groups call for probe of DANA crash By Lawrence Olaoye


ome Muslim groups in the country have joined others in sending condolences to the families of the victims of DANA Air crash and called for a comprehensive probe of the accident. In separate condolence messages, the groups described the accident as monumental national tragedy that has left most Nigerians with a sense of helplessness. The groups are the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates Association (UNIFEMGA), Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), Movement for Islamic Cultural Awareness (MICA) and Muslim Consultative Forum (MCF). MPAC in its message signed by Kamor Disu described the accident as a national tragedy that has left most Nigerians with a sense of hopelessness.

“It is not only the victims’ families that are affected by this monumental tragedy but in a different way, the nation,” MPAC said. UNIFEMGA called on President Jonathan to use the opportunity of the crash to carry out holistic reforms in the aviation sector and make use of the recommendations of the previous air disaster reports. MMPN in its message signed by its chairman, Abdur-Rahman Balogun attributed the Sunday DANA crash to negligence on the part of the regulatory agencies. MICA through his Coordinator, Malam AbdulBasit Bakare urged all Nigerians not to despair and to make special prayers for the safety and security of the country. The Association also pleaded with Nigerians to give generously to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis emerging as a result of the air crash.

Fulani union makes Kano regional headquarters By Lawrence Olaoye


he African Fulani Cultural and Development Organisation (Tabital Fulaaku International) has selected Kano state as its regional headquarters. A statement by the Director, Press to Kano state Deputy Governor, Bala Salihu, on Tuesday in Kano said that the decision was part of the resolution adopted by the organisation at a meeting held in Ouagadougou last week. It added that the meeting, presided over by its president and deputy governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, directed all sub-regional branches to form their executives before the next general meeting. The meeting emphasised the need for ECOWAS, AU and the UN to make the crisis between pastoralists and farmers an important agenda in their programmes in

view of its gravity. “The meeting noted that crises between pastoralists and farmers is a universal issue cutting across borders and must be addressed seriously by all stakeholders. “During the meeting, a four-member committee was constituted to develop an action plan and road map for ratification at the next meeting”. The committee is under the chairmanship of Cdr Mohammed Bello from Nigeria with Issa Diallo of Burkinna Faso, Abdoua Mainassara of Niger, and Abubakar Girie of Nigeria, as members. The meeting unanimously approved the request of the grand patron of the organisation, the Lamido of Adamawa, Alhaji Aliyu Barkindo Mustapha, to host the 10th anniversary of the organisation in Yola this year. “During the meeting, Rwanda and Kenya were admitted into the body on their request as new members”, the statement added. (NAN)

Gombe FCE staff, Yuguda pledges students give police to rebuild 2 14-day ultimatum bombed churches From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


olleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COESU), Senior Staff Union for Colleges of Education in Nigeria and the Students Union Government (SUG) of the Federal College of Education, Gombe, have given a 14-day ultimatum to the Gombe state police command to fish out the killers of Muhammad Kabir Nasir, a 200 level student of Biology and Integrated Science who was allegedly shot dead by the Anti-Kalare squad at the college. The chairman of COESU in the college, Mr. Biwe Ephraim who stated this during a joint press briefing by the unions, said they will not tolerate the security operatives’ dastardly act. The unions also condemned the police act as not the best way of handling a situation in a civilized society. He said if the police did not fish out the culprit and also apologise to the school management, they will suspend academic activities in the 63 colleges of education across the country pending the time the culprit will be brought to justice.

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda has declared that his administration will rebuild the Harvest Field Church as well as the Living Faith Church and other structures around the area that were affected by the bomb blast in Bauchi last Sunday. Yuguda stated this when he visited the scene of the incident at Yelwan Tudu, a Bauchi suburb , assuring that government will go after the perpetrators until they were brought to book. He described the incident as barbaric and man’s inhumanity to fellow men. The governor, who was accompanied on the sympathy visit by the Bauchi state CAN chairman, Rev. Lawi Pokti, as well as Bishop David Oyedepo, General Overseer of the Living Faith Church worldwide, lamented the monumental loss of lives and properties in the blast, declaring that his administration will do everything possible to bring succor to all those who lost their loved ones adding that his government has already picked up the medical bills of the injured.



Oyo NURTW c’ttee lauds Gov Ajimobi for lifting ban

Abuja coy organises selfemployment seminar

From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


By Etuka Sunday


n Abuja based Human Resource Development Company; Favour-Slux Uche & Co. is organising a training seminar to empower unemployed youths on job hunting skills that would enable them secure jobs. A statement by the chief executive officer of the company, Mr. Chika Chukwuka, stated that the seminar will teach participants how to use the skills to secure jobs quickly, revealing that the seminar which is expected to take place at the Youth Centre, Karu local government council secretariat, Ado along Abuja-Keffi Road on the 8th and 9th June respectively, will focus on ICT since it has the potential of reducing unemployment in the society. “We have packed ecommerce training for the participants in order to get those with entrepreneurial ability into the mainstream of economic productivity. Ecommerce will help create more employers of labour because when well trained, a practitioner could become an employer in”, the statement said.

Monarchs commiserate with families of plane crash victims From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he bi-weekly scheduled meeting of Obas and Baales (traditional rulers) in Ewekoro local government area of Ogun state at Akinale, near Abeokuta, has been called off in order to commiserate with the families of passengers and other souls lost in Sunday’s plane crash at Iju-Ishaga outskirts of Lagos metropolis. Chairman of the group, Oba Olufemi Ogunleye, ordered a oneminute silence in honour of the departed before the meeting dismissed, consoling the families and friends of those who lost their life. Oba Ogunleye, an aviation enthusiast, described the accident as a monstrous anticlimax, coming at a time Nigeria is still in the euphoria of celebrating the successful safety oversight management which earned the country a category one status from the world aviation body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The monarch pleaded with the public not to jump to conclusion on the cause of the unfortunate accident until detailed investigations are carried out by designated experts. “This is the only way we can know the exact reasons leading to the crash and make amend to prevent future occurrence”, Oba Ogunleye added.

R-L: Osun state Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, Chief Judge/Chairman of the newly inaugurated State Judicial Service Commission, Justice Olaniyi Ojo, members of the commission, Barrister Oluwole Adebayo and Mr. Ismail Kunle Jayeola, during a swearing-in ceremony yesterday at the Governor’s Office in Osogbo.

he newly-inaugurated caretaker committee of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Oyo state headed by Alhaji Taofeek Oyerinde, has commended the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi for lifting the ban placed on the operations of the union in the state. A press release jointly signed by Alhaji Oyerinde and Comrade Akin James, the chairman and the secretary respectively, read: “the union noted with concern the bad image of the transport workers union in Oyo state during the period of the unpleasant crisis and assured the government and the good people of the state that the new team would do everything humanly possible to stamp out lawlessness in all the motor parks across the state”.

FCC frowns at Oronsaye c’ttee’s recommendation From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ederal Character Commission (FCC) has noted with dismay that the recommendation of the Steve Oronsaye Committee for its abrogation is not in the interest of the commission which should be insulated from partisan politics. The commission in a communiqué of a two-day

workshop held in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, for the North-Central zone, reached a consensus that the rate of insecurity in the country was due to high level of unemployment. The communiqué signed by the Prof. Shuiab Oba AbdulRaheem, the Executive Chairman of the commission, and Prof. Gbenda Batur-Laha of Benue State University, Makurdi, stated that the commission believe that

peace and equity in the nation should be paramount agenda of every citizen. “The workshop notes and agrees that the basis of peace and unity in all federal systems of government is the practice of equity and fairness. It therefore called on governments at all levels and employers of labour in Nigeria to ensure equity and fairness in making political and public service appointment as

well as the provision of socioeconomic amenities and infrastructural facilities so as to give every citizen a sense of belonging”. The commission which commiserated with the victims of the DANA Air plane crash in Lagos, and appealed to the all airline operators in Nigeria to intensify efforts on improving their services to prevent avoidable deaths.

Borno govt condoles with Council accuses Ogun govt of patronising fake builders DANA crash victims From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


orno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has condoled with President, Goodluck Jonathan and all Nigerians, and especially the families of those who perished in the ill-fated DANA Air plane which crashed in Lagos last Sunday, killing all passengers on board. A statement signed by Inuwa Bwala, the state Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information, and Culture, said the news of the mishap which coincided with another one in Ghana and an attack on some places of worship in Bauchi, came to the governor with a rude shock. He therefore stressed the need for prayers, and national vigilance in the face of competing calamities in the country. “At this time when innocent lives are being lost in diverse conflicts across the country”, Governor Kashim described last Sunday’s plane crash as “a tragic addition to our national problems, taking into account the fact that

Borno had its own share of casualties from the crash”. He called on the authorities to take decisive steps in addressing the problems of air crashes, which have become a nightmare to the aviation industry, stressing the need for the use of new aircrafts to ply Nigeria’s airspace, and the strengthening of rules guiding the operation of flights in the country. The governor was particularly shocked with the involvement of a prominent elder from the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Damcida in the accident, recalling that he only parted with the elder statesman a day before the sad event.

From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta


he Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON), has accused the Ogun state government of patronising fake builders at the expense of certified professionals. The body further accused the government of failing to implement the Urban and Regional Planning Law since its submission in 2005. Under the aegis of Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), the national chairman of the council, Prof Akin Akindoyemi, made the allegation when he led other executive and members of CORBON on a courtesy call on the state

governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun. However, the governor was represented by the Commissioner for Housing Daniel Adejobi and Special Adviser on Housing, Mrs. Segun Abiodun at the meeting which took place at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Housing, Oke-Mosan Abeokuta. The council boss while speaking noted that section 5(1) of the law spells out the need for an Urban and Regional Planning Board with composition spelt out in that section, emphasising that the board is required to oversee physical planning and development in both urban and rural areas to come into existence, but lamented that contrary is the case with Ogun state.

Police mum on rumoured arrest of DANA MD By Lambert Tyem


olice authorities on Tuesday in Abuja, kept mum over the alleged arrest of the Managing Director (MD) of DANA Air whose aircraft crashed and killed over 150 people

last Sunday in Lagos. Acting Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) of the Nigeria Police, Frank Mba, in a telephone chat, said he could not confirm the arrest but said he could be called back later to confirm the report.

But he could not be reached as agreed. Also efforts to contact the State Security Service (SSS) for comments proved abortive as the spokesperson of the service, Mrs. Marilyn Ogar could not be reached.




Listen to the Northern Elders Forum, Mr. President!


n Tuesday last week, Northern leaders, under the aegis of Northern Elders Forum (NEF), paid a courtesy visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa where they raised two fundamental issues that are, in their view, challenging the survival of one Nigeria. Led by the former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, the Danmasanin Kano, the Northern leaders, among whom are also Malam Adamu Ciroma, Professor Ango Abdullahi, Wantaregh Paul Unongo, Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd), Alhaji Lawal Kaita, General Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd), Dame Pauline Tallen, Dr. Safiya Iliyasu Mohammed, Alhaji Bello Kirfi and Bishop John Praise, expressed concern over the “security challenges facing the country in general and the north in particular” and “the manifestation of various developments and events which can constitute a threat to the unity and development of the country”. Specifically, the group raised an alarm over the increasing frequency and ferocity of the extra judicial atrocities being committed by the various Joint Task Forces (JTFs) operating in many parts of the north with impunity. Citing Maiduguri, Kano, Damaturu, Gombe, Azare and Mubi,” the NEF told the President that “available records indicate the figures of those that were killed by the JTF to be in thousands, most of whom were first arrested/apprehended before they were extra-judicially executed”. The group alleged that the “JTF has now resorted to burning down the private residences of people in any neighbourhood where a suspected Boko Haram is claimed to have resided”, claiming that “In the past fortnight alone, the JTF has razed to the ground not fewer than fifty houses in the neighbourhood of

Shehuri North, Korongoso and Abbaganaram wards of Maiduguri”. Asking the President to call the JTF to order and “change their mode of operation to an approach that will engender mutual respect and trust between them and the generality of the populace whose cooperation they need to fulfill their lawful mission”, the northern leaders claimed that “many are beginning to wonder whether they are on a genocide mission” in the North. The NEF also raised an alarm over what

We are one with the NEF that the greatest security threat to the nation today is posed by the reprehensible activities of the JTF and the unguarded remarks of some of the President’s close confidants as well as the government’s anti-North stance it described as “inciteful sectional, ethnic and religious rhetoric by persons, some of whom are holding high positions in the society, mostly condemning or disparaging whole groups or sections especially from the North”. No less worrisome, perhaps more so, for the Northern leaders, are some deliberate acts of commission and omission by the Jonathan-led administration, which they perceive as inimical to national unity and development because they reduce the northern part of the country to a mere appendage that is only tolerated by 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”

central government. Some of these acts include the arbitrary and indiscriminate retirement of senior officers in the Nigerian Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police, the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service and in ministries, departments and agencies; disparity in citing federal capital projects; the suspicious relocation and creation of military installations and services from and in some parts of the country; downgrading of exploration activities for hydrocarbons in the North; disparity in revenue allocation against the North; disparity in appointments into the Federal Public Service and the break-up of the dialogue between government and the Boko Haram group. We are one with the NEF that the greatest security threat to the nation today is posed by the reprehensible activities of the JTFs and the unguarded remarks of some of the President’s close confidants as well as the government’s anti-North stance. In these, there is a clear and present danger to the corporate existence of Nigeria, which, if not expediently addressed, will worsen the security situation in the country. Indeed, it is a measure of the increasing concern of the extra judicial atrocities of the JTFs that a coalition of 24 civil society organisations (CSOs) had instituted legal action against the JTF operating in Kano 24 hours ahead of the NEF visit to the President. And only two days ago, the Bauchi state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) re-echoed the NEF plea to President Jonathan to call the JTF to order. The President would do well to listen to the NEF and walk his talk especially his recent declaration that Nigeria will not break up. Mr. President, now is the time for more positive action and less platitude.








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


By Chukwudi Enekwechi


t is not common practice to roll out the drums for an administration that has spent just one year in the saddle, yet where so much has been achieved, there is always an exception to every rule – written and unwritten. My recent visit to Gombe state turned out to be an eye opener in the art of governance, more so for a state that is second to the last on the table, in terms of resource allocation from the federal government. The visit afforded me the opportunity to appreciate how a prudent and determined leader can change the fortunes of his people for better, by utilizing available resources for developmental projects. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo clocked one year in office exactly on 29th May 2012, but Gombe state has continually witnessed tremendous improvement in the quality of life of its citizens. In what some analysts will call a “paradigm shift” the Dankwambo administration on assumption of office ensured that he restored peace and orderliness in Gombe state. Today, the hitherto restive state is enjoying unparallel peace and unity among its diverse ethnic groups. People now walk along the streets without any fear of molestation, intimidation or harassment. Restive youths of the state no longer carry dangerous weapons moving from one office to the other molesting innocent people and instilling fear in them.


Appraising Dankwambo’s one year in office In the educational sector, there is total overhaul as most of the primary and secondary schools are being rehabilitated as model schools. Part of the strategy adopted by the state government is to recruit qualified teachers to bring the teacher – students ratio to an acceptable limit. The administration has also gone a step further by rehabilitating the Gombe School of Basic Studies, as well as College of Education, Billiri. In the area of infrastructural development, it is indeed marvelous that the Dankwambo administration has started construction of over 51 roads with a view to opening the nooks and crannies of the state to development. What is more gratifying is that the quality of the roads is adjudged the best in the entire North East Zone of the country. Simultaneously, the Gombe Water Reticulation and Expansion programme has commenced, and it is being extended to Kwami, Gadam and Bojude. There is also a plan to reticulate water from Balanga Dam and supply to Southern Gombe and parts of Gombe central. Equally, the administration has started a mini power project in Balanga that would supply power to the new Gombe South

Regional Water Supply Scheme. As the Dankwambo administration is poised to develop all sectors of the Gombe socioeconomic life, they are also tackling gully erosion problems in the state; street lights are being installed along the newly constructed Gombe township roads, while the beautification project for Gombe Township has started in earnest. Even as traffic lights are being installed at various intersections, the administration is tackling the issue of environmental cleanliness headlong by acquiring and deploying various types of environmental sanitation equipment to all parts of the state. Cognisant of the adage, “health is wealth”, the health sector has been given adequate attention under the Ibrahim Dankwambo administration. Even as the Gombe Specialist Hospital is being totally refurbished, the maternal mortality rate in the state has reduced significantly, while polio, which has been ravaging most parts of Northern Nigeria has been completely eradicated in Gombe state. Towards ameliorating the burden of its citizens, his administration has been offering free medical services to pregnant women and new born

babies from day one to five years old. Housing for the citizens has also received the attention of the Dankwambo administration as 450 housing units are being constructed, while a state secretariat is underway. On agriculture, which is the mainstay of Gombe State economy, the administration has embarked on the process of procuring over 20,000 metric tones of fertilizer for the state farmers, while35 new tractors have been ordered from Pakistan, and another 25 tractors refurbished for use of the farmers. Further to delivering democracy dividends to its citizens, the state government has procured and distributed transformers for the electrification of various communities; earth moving equipment for construction of roads, earth dams and such like projects in the rural areas. This is to guarantee that the urban and rural areas are being developed simultaneously. On youths empowerment, the state government has designed a programme in which over 1200 restive youths are being trained as marshals and wardens at the NYSC Orientation Camp Mallami Sidi, under a programme

christened ‘Talba Youth Reorientation and Rehabilitation Programme’. As the Commissioner for Information put it, “the success of this pilot scheme will see more youths trained in like manner’. He also revealed that 350 youths who had earlier being trained at the Skills Acquisition Centre would receive soft loans of N200, 000 per person to enable them start meaningful business. What sets Gombe apart from other states is the ability of the administration to accomplish so much in one year, their meager resources notwithstanding. From the beginning, the helmsman displayed an usual desire to improve the lot of his people and this is an uncommon phenomenon in our clime where leaders first settle the interests of their cronies and godfathers before ever going into the normal business of governance. The surprising aspect is that the governor is not relenting in pursuing these lofty goals with single-minded determination, and by the time he marks four years in office, Gombe will truly be the “Jewel in the Savannah”. Chukwudi Enekwechi, the publisher of Spectator Magazine can be reached at

In defence of Buhari’s democracy By Muhammad Ajah


hat is the problem with Nigeria’s democratic rule that worries General Muhammadu Buhari so much? Is justice denied in Nigeria? For some Nigerians, Buhari is overdue for retirement from the political scene. The popularity of his efforts, according to this group, has gone down that all he needs now is to be a political oracle for consultation in the swampy scene of Nigerian politics. Just similar to former heads of state, he would maintain relevance when the need arises. But others believe that Buhari is a unique human who prefers to die for the cause he believes in. Having participated actively in the last three political dispensations, what aspect of Nigeria’s democracy does Buhari detest? Speaking from the mind of a frustrated patriot who, however, wishes that things should not continue the same way in Nigeria, he made a parable of the dog and baboon. Journalists, probably those who prefer the sensational aspects of speakers’ speeches picked on this, thus generating another heat in the already overheated polity. Buhari wants a democracy where justice is enforced, where poverty is suppressed, where ignorance dwindles and where

society becomes an organized one for unity, peace and development, so that citizens and their properties will be safe – a government of the people, by the people and for the people, not a government against the people and cruel to the people, at least according to his perception. However, in defence of Buhari’s democracy, many prominent Nigerians have made certain points that are relevant in resolving the political dust raised by this. It is left for posterity to judge and for the witnesses of today’s politics in Nigeria to decide which way is better for the country to tow. General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida alias IBB recently in Minna, the Niger state capital challenged journalists to go for translation training to guard against misinterpretation of viewpoints of speakers. This was at a function where seasoned journalists were present. This was surely in reference to General Buhari who spoke in Hausa language and was believed to be misquoted in the journalist’s attempt to translate Buhari’s statement. IBB clearly said, “I wanted to speak in Hausa but now that I see journalists here, I will speak in English because I do not want to be misinterpreted”. Translation is a very difficult exercise and journalists should not even attempt translating

people’s opinions from one language to the other. That is why some well-established news outfits employ the services of specialists in different local and international languages. That is why some of the media have the local versions of their newspapers once a week at least to summarize the happenings of the week in the local dialects of their common readers. That is why some books, which have undergone series of translation from one language to the other, have lost their original meanings. In every language, there are borrowed words which cannot be rendered into an equal meaning with a single word in another language. This is a difficult task for the translators some of who would prefer to use the words as they are, but would give an interpretation in brackets. Former FCT Minister, Nasir elRufai was even harder and blunter in defence of General Buhari. el-Rufai believed that if things were allowed to continue the way they are in Nigeria today, then 2015 may never come to be for the Nigerian nation. He hinged his defence for Buhari on the fact that the nation has witnessed bad elections since 1964 through 1983 and 1993, leading to the overthrow of the authorities whether at the state or federal levels. “There is a pattern to this that

people do not want to look at. That is why I was surprised when the government was trying to attack General Buhari because he said if elections in 2015 are rigged there will be violence. History has said that. So Buhari did not need to say it and it is the truth and the PDP should understand that if they rig the 2015, they will not survive the aftermath,” said el-Rufai. Continuing, “They will not live to enjoy the fruits of their rigging. They should understand that everybody is up to his necks in anger and frustration. Take it anywhere. They need to understand that is not Buhari talking; ask any man in the street, they will tell you the same thing. All this talk about 2015, in my opinion is a distraction,” the former Abuja boss insisted. Deputy Minority Whip and CPC House Caucus Leader, Hon. Garba Datti Muhammad took a swipe on those who seem afraid of doing the right thing in Nigerian polity. Muhammad was of the opinion that the current dangerous wave of crisis and insecurity in the North was a game plan by the Presidency to give the impression that the North is making good governance difficult for the President and discredit its leaders in order to attract sympathy from within and outside the country. He,

therefore, called on the Federal Government to demilitarize the North and evolve a more civilized and technology driven strategy for security surveillance and operations. “No matter how Buhari is despised or whatever any thinks about his views, he would remain unruffled, resolute, blunt, bold and daring to call a spade a spade anywhere, anytime. Whenever Buhari sneezes, the PDP catches cold and the Presidency get feverish. Therefore, if they are frightened by the dog and baboon theory, they must conduct a credible election in 2015 and we cannot be fooled again,” the CPC House Caucus Leader averred. The director general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) Mike Omeri recently while receiving the leadership of Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Zone D urged journalists to be thorough in their investigation of event before relaying them to the public, as according to him, “the more responsible the media is, the more credible it would be because foreign media rely considerably on the local ones.” Chief Moses Oyinlayefa and Comrade Peter Izonkeme, president and secretary respectively of Izondeinyefa Renaissance Movement, in defence of General Buhari, Continued on page 15



What is wrong with Vision 2010? By Daniel Ike Uzor


any Nigerians are still at a loss why the Vision 2010 economic blueprint of the late General Sani Abacha administration was thrown away like a baby with the bath water. In fact, two years ago, Nigeria’s National Planning Minister, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, publicly admitted that he didn’t know why the former Obasanjo administration threw away one of the most brilliant and imaginative economic roadmap documents ever conceived by any government in living memory. The Vision 2010 Committee, headed by a former UAC Chairman and head of the Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, was a galaxy of Nigeria’s best and brightest from all professional backgrounds. These gentlemen and women patriotically accepted the clarion call to help Nigeria draw up an economic roadmap for the country. They sacrificed their time and energies to participate in these efforts. At the end of their assignment, they produced what is still widely regarded as one of the best economic blueprints any government could produce anywhere in the developing world. These experts put their shoulders to the wheel to give Nigeria a significant and sustainable direction. As President Barack Obama of the United States argued in a

veiled warning to oil producing personal animosity towards General Obasanjo came into countries, “No development Abacha’s memory and Nigeria’s office in May 1999 with a mind strategy that depends entirely on larger economic interest. overheated with fury and what comes from the ground is Chief Ernest Shonekan made vengeance, one of his major sustainable.” President Obama sacrifices for the sake of Nigeria policy actions was to abandon noted that development is driven to produce the Vision 2010 the Vision 2010 document. He by knowledge and document. If he was myopic and didn’t do so because the vision. Oil is a document wasting asset and was useless with Europe and o r America still irrelevant; Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text engaged in the he did so out messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written sustained search of pure for alternative s e l f i s h contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 source of energy, oil reasons words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and p r o d u c i n g rather than a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed countries like p u b l i c to: Nigeria should open interest. their eyes and be on Ironically, The Editor, their toes. In fact, it Obasanjo’s Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, was reported so-called 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. recently that the economic Email: let O b a m a reforms SMS: 07037756364 administration had agenda was announced a plan a collection to reduce U.S. oil of stolen imports by a significant degree. selfish, he would have rejected ideas from the Vision 2010 of the It is surprising therefore, why the national assignment on the late Abacha regime. His whims any wise and imaginative leader grounds that he was toppled from and caprices became the official should throw away an all- power by General Abacha when policy. If he hated any previous embracing economic blueprint he was the head of the Interim policy however good, it must put together by distinguished National Government. The die. Such was the fate that befell Nigerian experts. One has not as former UAC boss, however, is a yet come across any convincing man who thinks beyond his nose; the Vision 2010 futuristic of the Abacha arguments against the relevance he places the higher national project and desirability of the Vision interest above private personal administration. For a minister 2010 blueprint. It is obvious that consideration. That to admit that he didn’t know political and short-sighted distinguishes him from other why a previous government reasons largely influenced the narrow-minded and backward- discarded the Vision 2010 blueprint goes to demonstrate decision by the former Obasanjo looking leaders. administration to discard Vision The current infrastructure the backward-thinking minds of 2010. Good policies live beyond challenges facing Nigeria were some African leaders. No their initiators. Unfortunately, adequately addressed by the forward-looking leader should Obasanjo could not separate Shonekan committee. When let his personal interest


overshadow public good. Nigeria could have covered a lot of grounds in the implementation of the Vision 2010 project. Unfortunately, the almighty, all-knowing former President Obasanjo had decided that the project must die and it did. Who then was the loser? Nigeria certainly! It is very insulting to those Nigerian experts that sacrificed their time and energies to participate in the production of Vision 2010 report and see those ideas killed purely for selfish reasons. Policy reversal for no valid reason doesn’t help any nation. If Shonekan and other experts didn’t believe in the relevance of the blueprint, they wouldn’t have staked their reputations on the project. Can we afford to mouth the imperative of sustainable development efforts and then refuse to demonstrate the sincerity to achieve those objectives? Paying lip-service to development is one of the factors holding back Nigeria. The bigger problem, however, is a situation where the personal interest of a leader displaces the larger public interest. Worse still, why should the whims and caprices of leaders become official policies? Uzor, a labour activist and writer on development issues, lives at 27 Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja. Email:

Issa Aremu and the burden of intrigues By John Ejoha Odah


here would have been no need for a rejoinder to whatever damage to history the henchmen of Nigeria’s ‘New Labour’ are visiting on the movement given the embarrassing implosion within NLC, but for matters of honour and integrity, and most profoundly, to correct the unacceptable distortion of institutional records by my friend, Comrade Issa Aremu. His flippant reference to former General Secretaries of the NLC in a recent interview is neither reasonable nor justifiable and his construction of history was a fascinating window into his mind. Logically, crisis brings out the very best in people just as it could also bring out the worst in them. Very unfortunately, the crisis in the NLC, no thanks to a strange tradition of labour politics, is bringing out only the worst in some of our comrades. Was it necessary for Comrade Aremu to disparage former General Secretaries of Congress for no provable infractions, especially those who are dead? Is it possible that all those who came before Aremu were not good, in spite of the incredible sacrifices and contributions they all made to the growth of Congress? In the interview which

sounded more as a monologue than an interrogative process, Aremu went on a patronizing rendition of substantive issues of labour administration from too selfinterested a position. The first point to clear is how Aremu came by a sentence such as “This is historical too because the workers from day one wanted to elect their general secretary in 1978 when we did restructuring”. Comrade Aremu was expelled from ABU, Zaria in 1981. That means that in 1978, he was nowhere near any form of labour politics in Nigeria as to have participated in the re-structuring that took place then. So, who are the ‘we’ in the above sentence? It might have been pardonable if the distortion stopped here! Unfortunately, Aremu went on to circulate a grave, mean lie that the appointment of the first General Secretary of the NLC was influenced by the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who was Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters. This is a most callous assertion which can only be understood in terms of a hidden grouse against Comrade Aliyu Dangiwa. Eeveryone in the labour movement knows that four persons were interviewed for the first General Secretary of the NLC. These were Aliyu Dangiwa, who was a lecturer in Public Administration at Ahmadu Bello

University, Zaria; the late Dr Lasisi Osunde, who was equally a lecturer at the University of Lagos; Comrade Benard Obua, a trade unionist and then the late Professor Ahmadu Jalingo, the NEPU Political Scientist from Bayero University, Kano who withdrew once it was clear that Dangiwa was a nominee of the equally late Dr Bala Usman, then an elected trustee of the NLC. It was Comrade Hassan Summonu and Co who interviewed this team. Once Dangiwa got the job, Dr. Osunde and Bernard Obua were subsequently made Deputy General Secretaries. Dr Osunde eventually succeeded Dangiwa as General Secretary. He too retired upon attaining the stipulated age of retirement. It is a most uncharitable comment for Aremu to say that Dr. Osunde was tired and fatigued as General Secretary. If a 65-year-old man is not to be tired by then, who should? To categorize Morgan Anigbo as lacking in articulation vis-à-vis the Acting General Secretaryship of NLC is, to say the least, illbehaved. This is because he couldn’t, in Aremu’s rating, be fantastic and vibrant in one breath and in another, be inarticulate. Anigbo probably wasn’t among those who rallied with their tongue unstoppably but somebody who went to NIPSS

couldn’t fit into the image of a dumb bureaucrat suggested by Aremu’s rating. Comrade Aremu arrived at myself, whom it appears was his main reason for his longish, reductionist historiography or, if you like, revisionist piece. According to Aremu, “now the real box, how do you put the General Secretary? That is how John Odah, for a long time was more or less acting before some people put pressure and Comrade Adams said we must confirm him, with all sorts of resistance, to become General Secretary.” There are two issues here! One, how does the General Secretary of NLC get appointed? The NLC Constitution is quite clear on this. It says the National Executive Council of NLC appoints the General Secretary who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the organisation. The second issue in Aremu’s imagination is about my acting for a long time before some people put pressure on Comrade Oshiomhole to confirm me. The facts are that when the Oshiomhole leadership of the NLC was elected in February 1999, Comrade Salihu Mohammed and myself were made Acting General Secretary and Acting Deputy General Secretary respectively. In September of that year, Mohammed resigned citing personal reasons and the

search for his replacement began. Interviews were conducted and two candidates shortlisted; Sola Iji, the General Secretary of Association of Senior Staff of Food and Beverages and Abdullahi Shehu, General Secretary of National Union of Banks and Financial Institutions Employees. For reasons which I cannot go into here, both were not appointed. At the NEC meeting of the NLC in March 2001, I was confirmed substantive Deputy General Secretary and the NEC said I should act for six months and if I did well, I would be confirmed substantive General Secretary. In December 2001, NEC confirmed me as General Secretary. If one adds the period spent looking for a suitable General Secretary – from September 1999-March 2001, to the period NEC decided that I should act as General Secretary till my confirmation, this adds up to two years, three months. Compare this to Aremu, who acted as General Secretary of Textile Union from 2000-2008, and one can then ‘understand’ Aremu’s arithmetic of who, between him and myself, spent longer time in acting capacity. Aremu’s central theme in his monologue is that “full time has now become sit-tightism” for General Secretaries. This is a meaningless phrase unless if one Continued on page 15



2015: Jega must spare us By Abdullah Musa


o we know our country well? Were someone to describe the character of Nigerians in one word, which would be most suitable: rational? Or emotional? In view of its limitations in withstanding incessant stress, the human mind, to my thinking, seeks to simplify the complex, or the intractable. We are inclined to impose our wish on a given situation if our mind is not willing to accept the opposite. In many cases, the reality will persistently insist on coming to surface, on being recognized; with equal intensity we will cling to our wish, for the reality is so foreboding that we feel safer to deny its existence. Is Nigeria a united country? Of course! 36 states; 774 Local Governments; a President from a minority tribe; a Christian Governor of a Muslim-majority state (Kaduna) and a minority (Fulani) as the Chairman of the ruling party?! What other sign does one want to see? Let’s go back to a past that is not so distant: One year ago (2011 Presidential election). As a fall-out of that election, thousands of people lost their

lives. From the southern part of Kaduna State, many Muslim were displaced; becoming part of a new nomenclature: IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons). As a fall-out to that election, many young graduates from south on national (or foreign) service to the North were killed. What happened there after? Is the President and the Christian Governor of Kaduna state comfortable on their seat? So for what reason or purpose did Muslims and Christians lose their lives? One would not be wrong to assert that many of us have opted for mental laziness. If an unpleasant event happens to us, we would rationally be expected to think, analyse, and take steps to avoid recurrence. But once it moves away from our radar; once the pain subsides; once the wounds are no longer garish, we would prefer not to go back in introspection. The wheel of life will keep on churning, and lo! Another election is around the corner. Then we catch the election fever: the airwaves are full of campaign materials. Battle lines will be redrawn: we know who we will vote for: a man of our faith (women are yet to be serious contenders to

the do-or-die Presidency) a man from our geographical area. From the actions of Ayo, (whose second name I do not want to corrupt for lack of familiarity) one is tempted to believe that CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) was set-up in order to be a political vanguard. Who were the main presidential contenders in 2011? There was the current President, Dr. Goodluck; and former military Head of State, General Buhari as CPC’s Presidential Candidate. Thanks to the godly acts of CAN’s Ayo, the contest was defined as a battle between Christians (represented by Dr. Goodluck) and Muslims, (represented by General Buhari). Thanks to the myopic stand of some Northerners, the contest was defined in terms of geography: between North and South. Like a bitch in heat, nobody had the time to reflect that, officially, the running mate of Dr. Goodluck, now Vice President Namadi Sambo is a Muslim. CAN’s Ayo was of course not oblivious of the fact that General Buhari’s running mate, Tunde Bakare, was an apostate from Islam to Christianity: an evangelist to the core. And Jega was the umpire! Is it true that two weeks back, INEC

Chairman Jega was stoned by the youths in Kazaure, Jigawa state where he went to attend a wedding ceremony? Grapevine had it that he had to leave unceremoniously by the available vehicle to escape the stone missiles! What was/is Jega’s crime? He denied the candidate of the people victory. One year on, people have not forgotten. Already politicians are getting ready for 2015, since 2011 – 2014 has already passed. But who cares for any dividends? The driving factor is simply hatred! Mr. G is mine, Malam B is not mine. But why should we worry about 2015? Well, because 2011 happened. And were we to hazard a guess, Doctor Goodluck will be PDP’s candidate in 2015, while General Buhari will be CPC’s, or that of an alliance that might be patched up. Other things being equal, CAN’s Ayo will still be around come 2015 and in any electoral contest for the Presidency in Nigeria between a Christian and Muslim, Ayo will always be Ayo: virulently siding with a member of his flock. And those who also think and act like Ayo in Muslim North, will also fundamentally unsheathe their sword to protect

a brother in faith. And Professor Jega is the umpire. Are there elders in Nigeria? Ah! Thousands of them. But by elders here we mean those who are 60 – 80 years of age. But the elders needed are those who will be above the fray. If that is the requirement, then we have no elders. Ours ere elders that favour the status quo and the status quo is determined by the person who holds the reins of power at the centre; in the present situation, Dr. Goodluck. Would Dr. Goodluck be kind to helpless Nigerians and refuse to contest in 2015? Most unlikely. Would General Buhari be kind to overzealous Northerners and refuse to contest? Most unlikely. Can Professor Jega disqualify Dr. Goodluck and General Buhari for their role in 2011 elections? Very unlikely. Can Professor Jega refuse to be INEC Chairman in 2015 if the duo emerges as their respective party’s candidates, knowing that “the baboon and dog will be soaked in blood”? It is within his power, but he will be prevailed upon by the upholders of status quo to supervise the inevitable carnage. Abdullah Musa wrote from no. 557, K/Nassarawa, Kano city.

In defence of Buhari’s democracy Continued from page 13

acknowledged that Buhari spoke in Hausa language, such statements from which a translation was made into English. The translation read, “God willing, by 2015 something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would be soaked in blood”.

The group condemned the rigging of elections in any form but warned that those who desire to rule Nigeria with a view to plunder resources of the Niger Delta should be reminded that such action would be resisted in any form. Oyinlayefa and Izonkeme appealed to General Buhari to desist from making inciting statements and allow the President to concentrate on the job of governance. They said, “If President Jonathan fails to deliver on his promises in an

atmosphere devoid of threats of war in the next three years, then the electorates will decide his fate in 2015.” They threatened to deploy any necessary means to defend their OWN from any threat, in accordance with the fact that no individual, section or group(s) of Nigeria has the monopoly of violence. In his Peoples Daily Weekend column Nigeria: The systemic reduction of May 26, 2012, Ibrahim Sulaiman was of the

opinion that the Nigerian people were losing control over their political destiny to foreigners. According to him, the nation’s Democracy Thieves (DT) – the supreme cabal – has stolen the lion share of Nigeria’s democracy. All the cabals and all the thieves in the oil industry, in the telecom industry, in the banking industry, in governance industry and in all other sectors are very active in the political sphere and have almost wrested

democracy from the Nigerian people. They handle democracy in exactly the same manner as they handle oil. Oil flows in their direction and in their interest, so must democracy. Which democracy will save Nigeria: PDPsm, Buharism, Tinubuism or Nigerianism? Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja. E-mail

Issa Aremu and the burden of intrigues Continued from page 14

allows him or herself a false trail of Aremu’s pseudo intellectualism. The intention being incompetently purveyed is his equally poorly articulated notion of “democratising” the office of General Secretary of NLC, which he believes “would have removed the fiasco we have around the John Odah saga.” Notwithstanding whatever message Aremu may wish to peddle here, it is the most glaring admission by any of the current leaders of the NLC that they fumbled in the project of emasculating John Odah. For a unionist who barely escaped sanction by his own union for attempting to smuggle a motion on ‘democratising’ the office during the last delegates conference, Aremu must, indeed, be so desperate about this

‘democratisation’ of the office of General Secretary. But the NLC Conditions of Service says every full time staff of NLC will retire when he attains 65 years of age. When I was being confirmed as General Secretary in 2001 at the age of 41, everyone knew I would be around for quite some time. Ten years down the line, some people became desperate to shove me off. Comrade Oshiomhole became General Secretary of Aremu’s textile union in 1982 and spent 26 years on that position before bowing out in 2008. S.O.Z. Ejiofoh, the veteran’s veteran, was appointed the first General Secretary of what is now Amalgamated Union in 1977 and retired around 2009, thus spending 32 years in the service of the workers. Anyone familiar with our labour movement will know the tremendous services these people offered to their

unions. Aremu talked glibly about how they in the textile union elect their General Secretaries. Everyone in the labour movement knows how this peculiar situation came about as part of the strategy to beat Uba Ahmed, Abacha’s Labour Minister and the late General Sani Abacha who were trying to stop Comrade Oshiomhole, then General Secretary of the textile union, from contesting for the NLC Presidency. When our forebears were fashioning the constitution of the NLC and industrial unions in 1977/78, they consciously chose the British model of union organisation, where General Secretaries are appointed and oversee the secretariats of unions being the engine rooms of these unions. The fact that up to now, only the textile union nominally “elects”

its General Secretary out of the nearly 60 industrial unions in Nigeria points to the fact that this model has served our movement well. Invariably, it is absolutely difficult to find any other explanation for Aremu’s agenda of ‘democratisation’ of the General Secretaryship of the NLC at this point in time beyond providing him the opportunity to “contest” and “win” and fulfill his openly secret desire to occupy this office. While there is nothing condemnable in this ambition, the tactics observable with my comrade are not in tandem with the spirit of the struggle in our movement. I can count a number of people off the cuff who believe that I am having problems in the NLC because I collected bribe from the government and their source of this malicious misinformation is

as good as anybody’s guess. Has it come to where the end justifies the means in labour politics? I didn’t expect Aremu to be charitable to me but to give the impression that I was picked from nowhere is contradicted by the evidence. It is contradicted by what his superiors said about me when I celebrated my 50 th birthday less than two years ago. These testimonies are documented for anyone to assess. At times like this, it is very easy for those with personal agenda to go about posing to be repository of wisdom of the crisis. But even at that, we should conduct ourselves in a way that resolves the crisis rather than Aremu’s self-centered interventions. Odah, erstwhile General Secretary of the NLC, is currently in court challenging his removal.



Police arraign Indigenous contractors 21-year-old woman for under criticism from FCDA alleged forgery By Josephine Ella


ome indigenous contractors handling projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have come under criticism from the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA). Executive Secretary of the FCDA, Engineer Adamu Ismaila, who recently under took a tour of engineering projects, condemned the nonchalant attitude of the indigenous contractor handling the power injection substation at Wuse Zone 1, M/S Mogabs Engineering Nigeria Limited, saying “this is sabotaging the efforts of the

administration”. He lamented that in the past 12 years that the project was awarded in 1991, the 33/11 kv substation meant to complement existing power substations in the capital city has suffered so many setbacks. He condemned “the substandard materials used in installing 33kv panels, cables, transformers and ancillary equipment”. Similarly, he condemned the attitude of another firm, BOOS Engineering Nigeria Limited in the maintenance of telecommunication ducts and manholes in the capital city. He criticise the firm, whose scope of work is to replace 122

manhole covers and 90 joint box covers, evacuate debris by pumping out water from manholes for the improper manner it is handling the project and called for a review of the agreement on service charge. Another contractor at Mbora District, Messrs Sammya Nigeria Limited also came under criticism for its slow work pace. The company is to construct roads, lanes and culverts, waste water drainage system, telecommunication duct and manholes and street lighting poles. “I have not seen any difference from what I saw six months ago. Please step up your work,” he advised the contractor.

Responding, the contractor, blamed the situation to the delays in issuance of permit to blast rocks on their site from the Ministry of Mines and Power. However, Ismaila has expressed satisfaction with the ongoing project of provision of infrastructure by Zamrak Engineering Services Nigeria Limited at the Minister’s Hill, near NEPAD office. The project, which according to him, which has reached 37 per cent completion stage, involved evacuation of trenches, laying of precast concrete pipes on bedding for storm water lines and placing of manholes for storm waters and laying of pipelines for water supply.


he Police on Tuesday arraigned a 21-year-old woman, Pauline Adede, before an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court on allegations of forgery and attempt to commit an offence. The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Jeremiah Elijah, told the court that the accused forged the signature of her ‘madam’ and attempted to withdraw N300, 000 from a bank. Elijah said the complainant, one Anthony Ogbechie, was the Internal Control Officer of Keystone Bank, Wuse II, Abuja, and that the matter was reported on May 30 at Maitama Police Station, Abuja. The prosecutor explained that the accused brought a withdrawal slip with account number 146001532 belonging to one Felicia Achu. “The accused claimed that she was sent by `the madam’ to withdraw the said amount,’’ he said. Elijah said the accused was unable to give a satisfactory account of her action during interrogation. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. In view of this, the prosecutor prayed the court to fix a date for hearing. The Magistrate, Josephine Obanor, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with a surety who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She adjourned the case to June 26, 2012 for continuation of hearing. (NAN)

Keke NAPEP rider in Keffi prison for allegedly causing hurt Park and pay officers doing their job near Merit House in Maitama, Anuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

AEPB impounds tipper trucks By Josephine Ella


he Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has commenced arresting of those found culpable of abusing the environment through illegal excavation of the earth and other mining activities. This is coming as Nigeria joins the global community to celebrate the World Environment Day. As part of activity to mark the event on Tuesday, the AEPB swung into action, impounding tipping trucks and their owners for illegally excavating the earth within the capital city for building purposes The AEPB director, Isah

•••Arrests on owners over illegal excavation Shuaibu, who led the enforcement team of the board to the sites, said it was time to stop the illegality in order to save the environment for the present and future generation “Let me make it abundantly clear, if Abuja has been destroyed by our fore fathers we would not have Abuja today. You have to leave this environment in its best form for generations unborn. You have seen the consequences of soil erosion in the eastern region of this country today. The land is tight, a lot of development and excavation here and there and this is why today you have this problems, so it is better we sustain the environment for the future,” he said.

He said that the truck drivers and those working at the excavation sites, had been fore warned by the board against their illegal activities. “Today we are crying all over the world for sustainable environment, my happiness is that they have acknowledged the fact that they have been duly informed in the past,” he said of those arrested. Earlier, the Deputy Director in charge of Monitoring and Enforcement Unit, Mr. Uche Agbanusi said the over 10 suspects arrested would be charge to court without delay, saying, this it is only the court that can decide their faith because I have no power to

set the free”. In his reaction to the arrests, the Auditor of the Independent Tipper Workers Association of Abuja, Saleh Suleman, who spoke on behalf of the suspects urged the government to demarcate a specific area in the capital territory where people can excavate sharp sand for building. ”We submitted our document to the former director of the AEPB for him to show us excavating site where we are permitted to dig and get sand, up till now nothing has been done. This one we are doing we know it is illegal but,” we are doing it because we don’t have appropriate place for us to do this business,” Suleman said.


member of the Keke Union, Area 1 in Garki, Abuja, Ishaku Abdullahi, has been remanded in prison by an Abuja Upper Area Court for allegedly causing hurt. Police Prosecutor, Mohammed Garuba told the court that the matter was reported by one Ebuka Joseph of Tophill School, Wuse Zone 5, last Saturday.. Garuba said that on June 2, 20year-old Ishake, laid ambush for Joseph at the National Hospital, Abuja and when he saw him, he jumped out from the bush and threw a stone at him and ran away. The prosecutor said that the accused was later caught by some people, adding the offences contravene Sections 246 and 292 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, ordered that the accused be remanded in Keffi Prison and adjourned the case to August 1, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)



UK based NGO takes free health care services to Koroduma By Josephine Ella


United Kingdom (UK) based nong o v e r n m e n t a l organisation(NGO), Cry For Help has taken its free medical health care services to residents of Koroduma, a settlement in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT). The three-day health programme, being organised in collaboration with the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCT, would offer to residents, free services bordering on medical screening, free drug distribution and referral. Speaking at the flag-off yesterday, the Health Secretary, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya said, the collaborative effort “will focus on screening of apparently healthy individuals for the detention of ailments, provision of appropriate short term interventions for those with common ailments within the community”. “It will ensure appropriate referral of those who may require continuity of care at a higher level. This campaign also aims to create demand amongst populations for health care services,” he added. He thanked all the team members of the NGO and assured them that the effort would be sustained for the greater good of the residents of the FCT. In a separate interview

with journalists, the Coordinator of the NGO, Vera Mensah said the organisation focuses on provision of free medical services to the less privilege in Africa. Aside the Koroduma community, she disclosed that similar gesture has been replicated in the Gbagalape community, near Nyanya and other states in the country, including Delta and Port-Harcourt in River state.

Giving an insight into the services that would be provided in the course of the programme, she said: “Patients will be able to identify their ailments. Is it diabetes or whatever illness they may be living with”. “If they are critically ill, they will be referred to the National Hospital, so they are going to be assessing a lot of free medical health care. We have got a lot of drugs which

our pharmacists would give to the patients. We will be here for three days and when we finish, we will be coming back to revisit our patients again,” she added. Reacting to the gesture, Councillor representing the Garki ward, Hon. Bala Iya thanked the NGO, FCT minister and the health secretary for selecting the village under his ward for the free health services.



A cross-section of residents of Koroduma, yesterday, at the Koroduma Primary School for free medical health services offered by UK-based, Cry for Help. Photo: Josephine Ella

metal fabrication and welding, leather works as well as the production of shoes and bags. “Other skills designed for our students include fashion designing, which involves tailoring and designing. We also have computer applications and repairs, electronics and hand set repairs and poultry and fishery,’’ the Principal added. He explained that with fish farming or poultry, the graduates of the school could always use the skills to augment their income. “Mostly, our students are

those abandoned those with disabilities, sometimes those arrested from the streets and drug addicts. They are rehabilitated and weaned off the drugs and then provided with skills, so they can earn a living. “There is a law in the FCT which prohibits begging, child abuse and prostitution. These are the people we train and even those with mental illness,” he further said, adding the students were doing fine in terms of performance. He said the training must be for two years but, it was not a rigid rule as it depended on

the ability of a person to pick up what he was taught. “Supposing you come to the centre and you are able to cope with all the course work and the practical within six months, there is no point keeping the student for two years, so we allow them to graduate. Both male and female students are admitted and we admit persons from the age bracket of between 14 years and 35 years’’, he said. NAN reports that after graduation the students are given N100, 000 each with kits for the skills they acquired. (NAN)

Man, 37, held for extorting N.35m from sex partner


37-year-old man, Uche Okpara, was on Tuesday, arraigned before an Upper Area Court in Gwagwalada, Abuja, charged with criminal conspiracy and extortion. The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Modupe Musa, told the court that the


wo labourers, Abubakar Ibrahim, 27, and Bello Isah, 31, are presently, cooling off their feet in prison for stealing two air-condition units. Magistrate Hauwa Aliyu of an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court sentenced the duo to two weeks imprisonment each after they pleaded guilty to committing the offence. She did not give them any option of fine. Police Prosecutor Monday Akor had told the court that the complaint was lodged at the Maitama Police Station by one Abdullahi Dogara, of Katampe village, Abuja, on May 29, 2012. Akor said that when the convicts were arrested the aircondition units were recovered from them. He said the offence contravenes Section 288 of the Penal Code. Akor said the convicts admitted that they stole two units of the air-condition before and sold them for N6,500. (NAN)

Tanker driver bags 15 months imprisonment for stealing diesel

350 students graduate from FCT skills centre he Principal of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, Bwari, Malam Bala Musa, said the institution had so far graduated 350 students since its establishment in 2003. Musa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the students were now selfemployed and earning a living. “They are no longer begging on the streets’’. He said that the centre graduated 53 students this year that specialised in different fields, including

2 jailed over theft of air conditioner units

accused, who resides along Kuje Road, Gwagwalada, committed the offences with two others now at large. Musa alleged that the accused extorted N350, 000 from a 26-year-old woman after having sexual intercourse with her, adding that the offence was committed

at Gabstina Hotel, Dagiri, Gwagwalada, in June 2011. The prosecutor said the accused threatened to kill the woman if she exposed them. She added that on May 27, the complainant was able to identify the accused at the Living Faith Church, Gwagwalada, before reporting

to the police. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Judge, Mr Babaginda Hassan, ordered that the accused should be remanded in prison. He adjourned the case to July 11, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

n Upper Area Court in Gwagwalada has sentenced a 30-year-old tanker driver, Aliyu Yakubu, to 15 months imprisonment for stealing diesel worth N169,800. The presiding judge of the court, Alhaji Babangida Hassan, who gave the convict an option to pay N45,000 fine, also ordered him to pay N169,800 compensation to the complainant. Yakubu, a tanker driver with Jibeco Filling Station, Gwagwalada, had on April 20 sold 500 litres of gas (valued at N82,500) belonging to the station, while in transit to Warri, Delta state. Police Prosecutor, Martha Paul had told the court that the convict, also on June 4 sold 900 litres of fuel valued at N87,300 while in transit to Kaduna. She said the convict was arrested on June 4 following a complaint lodged at the Gwagwalada Police Station by Mr Gerald Ugwu, a manager with Jibeco Filling Station. Paul, who said the convict was arraigned on a three-count charge of breach of trust, cheating and theft, had urged the court to grant N169,800 compensation to the complaint. The convict pleaded guilty to the charges and begged for leniency, saying that he had three children and a wife to feed. Hassan, therefore, sentenced him to five months imprisonment with an option to pay N15,000 on each of the charges brought against him. (NAN)



1. ‘A bite will convince you’, a young dried meat (kilishi) seller seems to be saying to a prospective buyer, at Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

2. Car washing is a thriving business at Area 10, Abuja.

3. A woman hawking green vegetables, yesterday at Garki market, Abuja.


Two girls hawking groundnuts, yesterday at Garki, Abuja.


Photos: Justin Imo-owo








INSIDE - Pg 20 Nigeria, Turkey trade hits N192bn

Mob: 08033644990

Pension scheme: Ghana, Malawi enlist PenCom assistance By Abdulwahab Isa and Tinuade Oredoyin hree African countries: Ghana, Malawi, and Tanzania have signed up with Nigeria’s National Pension Commission (PenCom) to u n d e r s t u d y t h e modalities and operating structure of the Contributory


Pension Scheme (CPS). Director-General of PenCom, Muhammad Kabir Ahmad confirmed on Tuesday in Abuja saying the countries sent their representatives to understudy the system and procedures with a view to fully implementing same or parts of CPS in their respective countries. He spoke in Abuja, while

Oil prices to ease further this year, says Shell CEO By Muhammad Nasir


il prices will weaken further in the second half of this year as demand reacts to a slowing global economy, while international political tensions ease, said Shell CEO on Tuesday. It was noted that Brent crude this week dropped to a 16-month low below $96 a barrel as weak economic data from the United States and China added to ongoing worries about the euro zone crisis, though prices moved back up to $98 a barrel on Tuesday. “Global demand is softening, we have got recessionary elements in Europe, a small slowdown in Asia Pacific,” Voser told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Gas Conference in Malaysia’s capital.

Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30 ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10

“At the same time, some of the geopolitical elements of price volatility over the past few months have kind of receded, and therefore we see a softening of prices which I expect to go well into the second half of this year,” he added. Shell is in talks with Iraq to cut its eventual output target from the field from 1.8 million bpd to 1 million bpd in 2017. Speaking on the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) market, Shell said exports of the fuel from the United States would help meet rapid growth in world demand. “It’s hard to see how the industry can lift supply to meet the speed of demand without a contribution from North America,” De la Rey Venter, Shell’s head of global LNG, noted at the same conference earlier, adding he expected the global LNG market to remain tight until at least 2015 due to a dearth of new supply projects coming on stream as a result of a slowdown in investment after the global financial crisis.

LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08

IRS AIRLINES LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45

From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, yesterday described the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as a rare gem who has succeeded in revolutionising the banking institution for the benefit of the nation. The royal father, who is the permanent chairman of the Oyo state Council of Obas and Chiefs, described Sanusi as “a giant among the banking gurus in Africa and in the comity of nations EXCHANGE RATES


L-R: Representative of Director-General, Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), Dr. Ismail Abdelhamid, and Director-General, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Umar Bindir, during a workshop on packaging research, development results and inventions for the market, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

• £ RIYAL $

all over the world”, adding that royal family members across the nation were proud of Sanusi’s outstanding performance. Alaafin gave the commendation yesterday when the apex bank’s boss paid him a courtesy visit in his palace, ahead of his being honoured by the Emir of Kano tomorrow. “As many people have said, you are a gem in the history of banking profession. We have been very impressed by your track records in the industry, not only because of your brilliance, exposition, education, but also because you made us proud as a member of the family of the blue

SELLING 0.2916 193.5036 239.0284 41.5411 155.8

BUYING 210 250 40 156

SELLING 212 252 42 158

blood. “Many say that you are controversial, and you must, because of your position. But much as your critics have complained, none of them has controverted the fact that you are a round peg in a round hole. Nobody has ever faulted your track record. Your economic policies have been superb and nobody has been able to fault them. “You are the first CBN governor to let the nation know that the spending of the National Assembly was over the board and that unless we reverse the trend, the nation would continue to be in the woods. That unless we

control our expenditure and the way we spend money, the nation would be in problems, and that is why Nigeria is in problems”, Alaafin said. In his remarks, Malam Sanusi thanked the Alaafin for the commendation, promising never to disappoint Nigerians and the royal members that he represents. “I assure you that in everything I do, I am conscious of what Nigerians hold of me and my family, and I pledge that up till the end of my tenure, I will not do anything that will tarnish the image of the institution”. He said that he would be most honoured if the Alaafin could attend the Friday ceremony in Kano, his home state, the reason he came personally in recognition of the imperial eminence of the Alaafin in Yorubaland.

Management Tip of the Day

5th June, 2012 BUYING 0.2716 192.2616 237.4942 41.2745 154.8


ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30

N2.6 trillion between 2004 to date. Commenting on the essence of the meeting that seeks to tackle the plight of migrant workers in the sub-region, the PenCom DG noted that “as you are aware, as part of the ECOWAS protocols, citizens in members country can work in different part of the region, which is why we feel the need to sit down and discuss within the context of ISSA and International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Alaafin lauds Sanusi’s aggressive revolution in banking

ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00

opening a three day meeting of the migrant workers working group of International Social Security Association (ISSA) West Africa chapter region. The new Contributory Pension System introduced in 2004 allows employees of both the public and private sectors to open Retirement Savings Accounts (RSA), which accumulates assets for payment of pension after retirement from active service. The new pension scheme has pooled a whooping

convention as to how to protect migrant workers retirement benefits”. He said the beauty of contributory pension scheme introduced by Nigeria in 2004 is that, the retirement benefits are paid into individual savings account and it affords an individual the opportunity to move it to any part of the country. He said the existing regulation that covers migrant workers is already in existence, adding “we thought we can share this with other existing members of ECOWAS countries.”


Find a mentor who scares you

very newbie professional wants a caring and supportive mentor who will usher him into his next role. But when you’re a rookie it’s a good time to take risks. Better to face criticism now so that you avoid it later on when the stakes

are higher. Go out and find the most qualified and talented mentor, coach, or manager you can, and subject yourself to everything he can throw at you. Don’t run from the challenge, run towards it.

If you’re terrified of a star manager in your organisation, sign up to do a project with him. You may not love it now, but you’ll carry those lessons with you as you move up the ladder. Source: Harvard Business Review



COMPANY NEWS Standard Bank appoints new head of transactional products, services for West Africa


tandard Bank Group has further bolstered its plans to secure a greater share of transactional banking business in Africa with the appointment of Babatunde Macaulay as its head of transactional products and services for West Africa.

Nigeria, Turkey trade hits N192bn Stories by Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he bilateral trade between Nigeria and Turkey has reached $1.2 billion (N192 billion) as at the end of 2011. Deputy Secretary-General, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ICOC), Mr. Kenan Oztekin made this disclosure on Tuesday in Lagos at a news conference to announce the 1st Turkish Product Exhibition, which will take place in Lagos between 12 and 14th June, 2012. He said that Turkey exported $394 million worth of goods to

Nigeria, while it imported $605 million worth of goods in the same period. He noted that the figure showed that the trade between the two countries has increased significantly from $134 million and $148 million, which they recorded in 2007 in exports and imports. Oztekin listed certain industrial product, which Turkey exported to Nigeria to include iron, cement, steel construction components, steel wire rods, machines and instruments for cleansing, separating, grinding

and processing of seeds, isolated wire, cables, paper towels, tissues materials and table cloths. He said that Turkey imports from Nigeria remained petro gases, oleaginous seed and fruit, cocoa, tanned sheep and lamb hides, cotton, natural rubber, timber, ethylene polymers and others. Oztekin added that over 30 Turkish companies were already working as developer in Nigeria, as well as in the manufacturing and energy sectors. Oztekin explained that the exhibition taking place at Eko

Bauchi, Nasarawa , Niger others to get N5 billion grazing reserves

CDL grows shareholders’ fund to N22.3 bn in 15 years



onsolidated Discounts Limited (CDL) has grown shareholders’ fund by 674.2 percent to N22.3 billion within a period of 15 years.

RIM tumbles below $10 for lowest price since 2003


esearch In Motion Ltd. (RIM) fell to the lowest level since December 2003, marking four days of declines since the struggling BlackBerry maker forecast an operating loss and said it had hired banks to explore strategic options.

AfDB partners Mobile Accord for meaningful surveys


he African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced a strategic partnership with Mobile Accord for the processing of mobile-based surveys throughout Africa.

Nigerian firms lag behind investment trends in reporting systems, says Oracle


ompanies in Nigeria are not following the global trend of investing in financial reporting systems intended to improve their close reporting and filing processes, leaving businesses with ineffective solutions and a lack of visibility, quality and confidence in the financial data.

Hotel, Lagos from 12 to 14 June is expected to further strengthen the trade relationship between the two countries,” he said He added: “In the exhibition nearly 100 companies will take part and all sectors from Turkey, ranging from construction, textile, food, industrial machines, kitchen equipments, home textile, cosmetics, furniture and others. He said that the exhibition was important and would create opportunity to strengthening the relationship between Nigeria and Turkey.

Bauchi state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, inspecting motor-cycles assembled at the Bauchi state Styer Construction Company, Bauchi during his visit to the company, on Tuesday. Photo: NAN

BOI showcases Nigerian apparels at Tanzania meeting


he Bank of Industry (BOI) from Nigeria has facilitated an exposition of the products of some of its highly talented small business customers who operate in the cotton, textile and garment industry sector at the ongoing Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Arusha, Tanzania. The items that are on display at the Marquee of the Arusha International Conference Centre, behind the registration centre and at the New Safari Hotel are basically ethnic fabrics including the adire range and aso-oke as well as Nigerian prints. Aside from apparels, there are also on display ladies hand bags, shoes, iPad cases, conference folders and other accessories produced from the Nigerian fabrics and prints. In the course of this exposition, contacts are expected to be made with potential buyers and market opportunities explored. Literature on their production through the entire value chain are in circulation. Many of the exhibitors are beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s 100 billion

Cotton, Textile and Garment Revival Scheme that is being managed by the Bank of Industry. BOI’s Arusha initiative is designed to identify export markets for the highly talented Nigerian entrepreneurs most of whom are women, youths and owners of small businesses who reside in rural communities. It is envisaged that the process would potentially assist in boosting intra-African trade that presently stands at less than 12%. The Bank of Industry’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Ms Evelyn Oputu is convinced that the presence of the producers of these items that are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at the annual meeting of the AfDB that is being attended by ministers, policy makers, leading bankers and captains of the private sector from more than eighty countries would expose them to potential buyers within and outside Africa. The resultant feed back from the interactions at a forum of this nature are expected to serve as input that would help them meet and anticipate the

requirements of domestic and foreign markets. Helping to identify export markets for this level of entrepreneurs who are based in rural areas and who lack the capacity to do so on their own, would assist in empowering them, promote entrepreneurship and ultimately help efforts at attaining national and regional development aspirations as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Over the years, many of Nigeria’s traditional fabrics, especially the Adire and Aso oke ranges have been admired internationally. Production of both fabrics have for decades and across generations served as means of livelihood for several people who operate in groups and clusters in local communities as family businesses. Hence, the traditional production techniques have been well preserved. The weavers and producers of these ethnic fabrics draw inspiration from their immediate environments. There are no focal points on the surface of the designs. Rather they are simple and distinct. It is believed that these designs speak and convey messages.

non-governmental organisation, Pastoral Resolve (PARE) has said it is mobilising N5 billion the establishment of six grazing reserves in six states in northern Nigeria. This initiative is aimed at solving the perennial conflicts between pastoralists and farmers occasioned by poor access to land and water, among other facilities. The targeted pilot states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kogi, Nasarawa and Niger. Pastoral Resolve is working on the project in collaboration with Enhancing Nigerian Advocacy for a Better Environment (ENABLE), a development agency. The President of PARE, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, at a news conference said that the problem was due to population explosion. This, he said, had resulted in competition for scarce resources such as land and water, among others, between the farmers and pastoralists across the country. Joda noted that the global climate change phenomenon, had exacerbated desert encroachment, thereby pushing pastoralists further southwards in search of grazing lands. According to him, the problem is compounded by the nonenforcement of grazing laws on the part of government. Joda, a retired Permanent Secretary, who is currently a farmer, expressed concern that the current tension between herdsmen and farmers constituted a threat to peace and national security, if not addressed. “At the rate we are going, there will be no grazing land; and this might result to a war along ethnic and religious lines. Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of PARE, Mr. Umar Hassan noted that only 12 of the 433 grazing reserves in the country were functional while 36 were receiving attention. The livestock industry, Hassan said, had the potential to generate about US$ 20 billion but currently accounts for six to seven percent of the nation’s GDP, representing N250 billion (about US$1.5 billion).



APCON honours founding advertising fathers, staff Stories from Suleiman Idris, Lagos


t was a moment of honour for some founding fathers in the nation’s advertising industry and members of staff of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) who have served the industry for over a decade, as they were recently celebrated by the apex regulatory body at an elaborate event in Lagos. The occasion, which was

graced by the present council members, staff of APCON, some past registrars and council chairmen, was, according to APCON, basically designed to honour past chairmen and registrars of the institution and staff members who had dedicated their time to the service of the council. Expressing his delight at the occasion, one of the past council chairmen, Chief Olu Falomo, advised the awardees to see the award as a divine blessing,

while advising them to put in more efforts in enhancing the fortunes of the regulatory body within and outside the country. While congratulating the awardees for the honours bestowed on them, the incumbent Council Chairman, Mr Lolu Akinwunmi, charged them to continue to work hard to ensure that the apex regulatory body in the industry was taken to a greater height. He described the past

chairmen of council and registrars as role models in the Nigeria advertising industry, who had continued to provide purposeful leadership for the youths in the industry. In his remarks, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the regulatory body, Alh. Garba Bello Kankarofi, urged the awardees to continue to work for the council to enable it achieve its mission of building a virile advertising industry.

R-L: Head, Ecosystem and Developer Experience, Nokia-West Africa, Mr Teemu Kiijarvi, Director, Pre-Incubation and Research, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Eleso, and Director, Wizardry and Development at Futurice, Finland, Mr Paul Houghton, during the launch of Nokia/CCHUB Growth Academy, yesterday in Lagos.

OAAN and challenge from states


he recent pronouncement of the Kano state government, through its consultants, the CPMS, of its intention to pull down all billboards in the state, again, brought to the fore the many battles that have been going on in that sector in the past few years. To say the sector has become a battle front for various interests, fighting for a share of the sectoral advertising ‘cake’ is nothing but an understatement. Even the inter and intra - scheming in the sector has, to a large extent, crippled activities and fortunes of practitioners in the sector. Prior to the Kano pronouncement, practitioners in the sector had cried out on the assault their billboards have continued to suffer in different parts of the country, especially the north, which has, of late, become a hotbed for terrorist insurgence. For instance, at a media chat in Lagos recently, the president of the Outdoor

Advertisers’ Association of Nigeria (OAAN) had described recent happenings in the northern part of the country as a major disincentive to members of his association. According to him, members had lost quite a fortune over the past few years to the activities of the Boko Haram group. ‘Our billboards have been destroyed, and brand owners are now reluctant to make use of these media in that

part of the country as a tool for advertising’, the OAAN boss had lamented. Not a few therefore see the recent pronouncement by CPMS, the consultant appointed by the Kano State Urban Planning and Development Authority to manage outdoor advertising in the state, as another stab on the back of the nation’s outdoor advertising practitioners. Though such directives are

no longer strange to the association since it is believed the former groundnut pyramid state is only towing the footsteps of states like Lagos, Ekiti and recently, Oyo, but what has been a source of concern for stakeholders in the industry is the method the state government has adopted this time around in propagating its own environmental enhancement programme.

SMEDAN wants more funding for SME operators


he Small and Meduim Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has stressed the need for more funding of Micro, Small and Meduim Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. The Director- General of SMEDAN, Alhaji Nadada Umar pointed out that in order to give semblance of reality to MSMEs, “there is the need for effective monitoring and adequate funding.” Umar while speaking at a forum designed to review the SMEs policy, also called for more workable strategies to combat the weak institutional synergy faced by operators. “There is need for the government to provide extension services for MSMEs, especially as they relate to product development as well as managerial assistance.” He further pointed out that MSMEs cover the entire range of economic sector in Nigeria. He further pointed out that the performance of the sector, over the last few years, had been dismal, with challenges ranging from low market access, poor access to credit, poor access to land, amid lack of infrastructure. “The national MSME collaborative survey puts the estimated number of enterprises at 17.24 million with a total employment of 5.54 million which is dominated by wholesale and retail trade. There is the need to provide an enabling environment for them to thrive. This sub sector needs special attention by the Federal Government because the operatives are fairly informal and very weak financially.” “The new policy is targeted at creating an enabling environment for this sector to blossom and contribute effectively to national growth and development.” Umar pointed out that at independence, Nigeria inherited a small business sector, with small scale sector accounting for 15 per cent of the manufacturing sector. He also added that in view of the challenges confronting MSMEs in Nigeria and in recognition of the numerous prospects of the sector and the need to encourage the growth of entrepreneurship in the country, the government had tried various means to aid the ailing sector which has yielded little or no results.

Noah’s Ark puts Nigerian advertising on global map


dvertising in this part of the globe received a boost recently, when one of the nation’s new generation ad agencies, Noah’s Ark, emerged the first agency in the country to have its work published in the world’s acclaimed international advertising catalogue, Luezer’s Archive. The archive, globally regarded as the ‘Bible of advertising, is a bi-monthly publication that showcases the

best of advertising from around the world. Out of the thousands of entries received, only 70 of the best get published. Speaking on the recent feat recorded by the company, its Managing Director, Mr Lanre Adisa, believes it is a great achievement, not only for Noah’s Ark’s team but also a triumph for the nation’s creative advertising industry. He explained that the decision to enter its creative work for the

publication was informed by the realisation that no Nigerian agency’s work had featured in the publication. He noted further that with the listing of Noah’s Ark work in Luezer’s Archive, it is the first time ever that the work of any advertising agency in Nigeria is published in the archive. He also disclosed that the same work has been entered for this year’s Cannes Advertising Festival.

The Noah Ark’s boss also used the opportunity to announce new accounts, such as Swift Network, Horlicks (GSK) and Paga, recently won by the agency. In his own remarks, the Managing Director of Chini Productions, the representative of Luezer’s Archive in Nigeria, Mr Nnamdi Ndu, described the achievement as not only for the agency, but also for the Nigerian advertising industry as a whole.



CBN staff lost in DANA crash

Mr. Kim E. Norris, a Canadian was the Special Adviser to the CBN Governor on B a n k i n g Supervision. Kim, as he was fondly called set up the CBN risk-based supervisory framework. He has provided technical assistance to the staff of CBN and NDIC on a number of occasions. He loved Nigeria.

R a p h a e l O w u o n u Amiaka, a Senior Manager in Other F i n a n c i a l Institutions Supervision Department (OFIS) - A diligent, highly focused and thoroughbreed bank examiner, Mr. Amiaka met his death on his way to attend a foreign exchange course in Lagos.

A n t h o n i a Attuh, a graduate of the University of Kent was just settling down on her job as a Senior Manager in the Financial Policy and Regulations Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. She met her untimely death on her way to attend the Bank Examiners' Course in Lagos.

Falmata Kur Mohammed, an Assistant Director in the Banking Supervision Department fondly called 'FK' by her colleagues was an amiable, humble and listening leader.

Mr. Ibrahim Yusuf, a Principal Manager with the B a n k i n g Supervision Department was a Fellow of the Institute of C h a r t e r e d Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN). He was also a member of Global Association of Risk Professionals.

An economist and a Barrister at-Law, Mr. Bamaiyi Adamu worked with the Micro P r u d e n t i a l Analysis Division of the Financial Policy and R e g u l a t i o n Department.

Mr. Istifanus Mutihir was a Deputy Director in the Financial Policy and R e g u l a t i o n Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria. A committed staff, he was on his way to attend a course in Lagos when the sad event occurred.

Mr. Samuel Eventus Mbong until his death was a Manager with the Financial Policy and R e g u l a t o r y Department. Mr. Mbong known for his commitment to duty and organizational ability met his untimely death while on official duty to Lagos.

Source: CBN

NPA assures NIMASA of collaboration and partnership From Soji Oyinlola, Lagos


he Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Omar Suleiman, has assured the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) of his preparedness to collaborate and to partner with NIMASA and indeed all stakeholders on matters that can move the industry forward. According to a statement issued on Tuesday by the General Manager, Public Affairs Chief M. K. Ajayi, the MD said that such inter-agency collaboration would enhance the realisation of the objectives


he staff of MTN Jos Call Centre, who were locked out of their offices by management on May 1, have vowed to remain at home until their demands were fully met. Paul Afolabi, the leader of the workers, said that they would not listen to appeals to resume work, until a valid agreement was signed. Communication Network Support Services Limited (CNSSL), the company that MTN out sourced the call centre to manage on its behalf, closed the doors against

of the transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in the maritime sector. The MD of NPA, Omar Suleiman directed the General Manager, Security of NPA, Lt. Col. J Tahir, RTD to immediately liaise with NIMASA on the implementation of International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) code at the nation’s seaports. Earlier in his address, the DG NIMASA, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi described his courtesy call to the MD NPA, as both solidarity and partnership visit especially in view of rumours and

insinuations that NPA and NIMASA do not agree on issues in the maritime sector. He added that both NPA and NIMASA are joint stakeholders in the industry, stressing that he and Suleiman share similar opinions on ways of moving the Maritime Industry forward and had on numerous occasions collaborated very well on matters bordering on the interests of the two organizations. Akpobolokemi stated that there are so many areas of collaboration but the most critical is that of security of our water ways and informed the Managing Director that NIMASA will soon take

delivery of Ten,10 patrol boats to complement existing security infrastructure in the industry. He also emphasised that all agencies in the maritime sector are all working for the development of the nation, assuring that a renewed synergy between NPA and NIMASA will engender mutual financial benefit to both organizations. He declared “NIMASA has invented a package whose implementation will not only bring about increase in revenue to NIMASA but also to NPA and Nigeria Custom Service”. Akpobolokemi was

MTN Jos workers vow to remain at home the workers on May 1, under the pretext that they were fumigating the place. The latest development was a new twist to the series of protests from the workers over allegations of poor conditions of service. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) in March picketed the centre and entered into an agreement with CNSSL to improve the conditions of service of the call centre staff. However, the

CNSSL has not fully implemented the conditions of service and this has resulted in the renewed agitations. Mr. Afolabi, who is the call centre branch chairman of the National Union of Postal and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE), said that they discovered that the company wanted to recall some staff and leave others. He said, “On Friday we barricaded all the entrances to the call centre when we

learnt that the management wanted some of the staff they believed to be loyal to them to resume work. “When that attempt failed, they now resorted to pleading with us to resume work without any formal agreement to show that they are ready to do the things we are demanding for.” The chairman said that it was the management that asked the staff to stay off duty and they would remain as

accompanied by his Executive Directors in charge of Maritime and Safety, Dr. Ibrahim Shekarau, Cabotage and Labour Matters, Hon. Ibrahim Zelani and other top management staff. Also present at the meeting on the side of NPA were the Executive Director, Finance and Admin, Malam Habib Abdullahi, Executive Director Engineering and Technical Services, Mr. S.C. Nwobi, General Manager Marine Captain Ebubeogu, General Manager Public Affairs, Chief Michael Ajayi, General Manager Security, Lt. Col. J. Tahir ,RTD and S.A. to MD, Mr. C.A. Borha. such until their demands were met. “Our demands are very simple, review our wages and make them to be at par with our colleagues in other call centres across the country and recall our suspended colleagues. “We do not know the reason for the sudden desperation to call us back, but whatever reason it may be, nobody will resume until our demands are met”. Top officials of CNSSL refused to comment on the issue. (NAN)

S&P report says Nigerian insurers to continue consolidation


ergers and acquisitions will likely continue to feature prominently in Nigeria’s insurance industry over the next two years. This is according to an article Standard & Poor’s Ratings

Services published today, titled: “Tightening regulation will hasten consolidation among Nigerian insurers”. The article also outlines Standard & Poor’s view that improvements to transparency and corporate

governance under tougher regulation will not only spur consolidation, but enhance Nigerian insurers’ ability to pay claims. The article outlines several other advantages of consolidation, including improved market

efficiency, due to a lower number of insurers. According to the article, “If Nigeria’s insurance regulator succeeds in its goal of market development and effective supervision, the result will be a smaller

industry that is easier to regulate, audit, and access externally, which would improve transparency, reliability, and confidence in what we see as a currently opaque sector.” (Source: Reuters)




Global: “Big Five” crushes “Small Five” over veto powers At the height of the Cold War, a Peruvian diplomat, Dr. Victor Andres Belaunde, publicly expressed scepticism about the ability of small countries to survive the diplomatic might of the big powers in the world body, writes Thalif Deen.


he United Nations, he was quoted as saying as far back as the 1960s, is an institution “where there is always something that disappears”. “When two small powers have a dispute,” he observed, “the dispute disappears. And when a great power and a small power are in conflict, the small power disappears.” That was presumably what happened in the last week of last month when five of the UN’s smallest member states, describing themselves as the “small five” (S5), challenged the five permanent members (P5) of the Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia, over the misuse of their veto powers. Hours before it was to be debated and voted in the 193-member General Assembly, the resolution u n c e r e m o n i o u s l y disappeared from the hallowed precincts of the United Nations - and probably from the face of the earth. As former New York Times Bureau Chief Kathleen Teltsch recounts in her 1970 “Crosscurrents at Turtle Bay”, the Peruvian diplomat went one step further when he added: “When two great powers have a dispute, the United Nations disappears.” Mercifully, both the United Nations and the S-5 - Costa Rica, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Singapore and Switzerland - survived the ordeal last week and lived to tell the tale. The aborted resolution, couched in delicate diplomatic jargon, “recommended” that the P5 members of the Security Council consider “refraining from using their vetoes on action aimed at preventing or ending genocide, war crimes and

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

crimes against humanity”. But right from the beginning, the P5 clearly signalled that the General Assembly has no business offering such recommendations to the Security Council. William Pace, executive director of the World Federalist MovementInstitute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP), told IPS that even though the S5 were compelled to withdraw their historic resolution, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) hope this is just the opening chapter to the General

Assembly - after 67 years beginning to work with the Security Council to address the U.N.’s massive need to improve the organisation’s ability to maintain international peace and security. “The dysfunctional pillars of the Cold War Security Council must be remoulded, and by the Council agreeing to the provision not to use the veto to block action on major war crimes, genocide and other crimes against humanity would be an indispensable beginning,” he said. Pace said it was

“outrageous” that the issue of a recommendation is being opposed. Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, told IPS the withdrawal of the resolution shows the P5 still run things in the world body. “But they are coming under increasing challenge, their credibility is weakening, and their moral failure is becoming increasingly obvious to an ever larger majority of the international community,” he said. The importance of this

resolution is that it implicitly challenges not just the Chinese and Russian vetoes regarding repression in Syria, and the Chinese vetoes regarding genocide in Sudan, but U.S. vetoes and related policies to block U.N. action regarding Israeli war crimes as well, said Zunes who has written extensively on the politics of the Security Council. “These small countries pushing this resolution recognise that violations of i n t e r n a t i o n a l humanitarian law are inexcusable regardless of

any of the P5s relations with the offending government.” He said it is particularly

timely not only because of the ongoing repression in Syria, but the nearlyunanimous vote of the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month which stated it is the off i c i a l policy of the United States to veto any one-sided U.N. Security Council resolutions critical of Israel. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Third World diplomat told IPS the S5 withdrew the draft resolution last Wednesday - the very day on which action was planned, after they came under intense pressure from the P5, both in New York and in the capitals. The Office of Legal Affairs (OLA), he pointed out, also complicated matters by putting out the opinion that the resolution needed a twothirds majority before it could be adopted, implying it involved the reform of the Security Council. “The OLA was probably doing the bidding of the P5 - and it is interesting that China circulated the OLA text to all member states even before it was made public indicating the P5 had advance notice of OLA’s opinion,” he said. “This has stymied all momentum behind the reform of the Security Council. It has also undermined the effectiveness of the Council,” he said. By blocking the slightest of reforms, the P5 might have won the battle for now, but in the long run they might have done untold damage to the

credibility of the Security Council. “We might increasingly see many countries bypassing the Council or refusing to comply with its decisions,” the diplomat said. Pace told IPS that besides the P5 opposition, the S5 could not convince enough governments to separate the Charter amendment issues of Security Council expansion from the issue of

reforming the working methods and procedures of the Council. This is also constrained by the 1993 General Assembly resolution requiring any decision s h o u l d have a two-thirds majority of all member states of the U.N., or 129 countries. “A key goal, I believe, is to separate non-Charter amendment issues from the 1993 restrictions. This can be done by a majority decision

of the General Assembly,” Pace said. While the issue of expansion of the Council is extremely important, said Pace, these will require years, probably decades, to resolve, and the other reforms of the Council must be addressed immediately, by both the General Assembly and the Council. The S5, he pointed out, was not challenging the legitimacy of the veto, but

The dysfunctional pillars of the Cold War Security Council must be remoulded, and by the Council agreeing to the provision not to use the veto to block action on major war crimes, genocide and other crimes against humanity would be an indispensable beginning Swaziland's Prime Minister Dr. Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini

the misuse of the veto, which is responsible for millions upon millions of deaths. Criticising the overwhelming silence in most of the mainstream media, Pace said, “The fact that Inter Press Service (IPS), and only a few other media in the world covered the S5 resolution, is a frightening comment on the status of international relations journalism.”




Addressing national insecurity (II)


NEMA D-G, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi (centre) accompanied by other NEMA officials, delivering relief materials to displaced victims of recent ammunition depot explosions in Congo Brazzaville.

NEMA trains civil servants on emergency evacuation


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has successfully trained some federal civil servants on emergency evacuation. The Acting Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Alhaji Musa Kallah, said at a two-day workshop for the staff that the programme was designed following persistent disaster outbreaks, especially fire, bomb scares and terror attacks. Kallah said the agency had discovered that there was a need for pro-active measures in preventing stampedes during emergency situations in offices. The coordinator said the training would also help to mitigate the impact of such emergencies on workers and other stakeholders in disaster

management. He added that it would help to build a culture of emergency readiness in the people due to the security challenges in the country. Kallah said the staff sensitisation and emergency evacuation drill for public servants would be replicated across the seven states in the zone with the commencement of the programme at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Kaduna. He said the aim of the exercise was to monitor the state of preparedness of NEMA’s critical stakeholders in emergency response. “This would mitigate the impact of such emergencies, like fire outbreaks, bomb scare and terrorist threats, and educate occupants of such buildings on emergency evacuation

procedures, where there is none in place,” he said. On his part, an Assistant Superintendent of Disaster Management, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Shehu Maiyaki, said the workshop would awaken the mental alertness of civil servants on security threats. Maiyaki said the training would also curtail the spread of disasters in public places and save lives and property. Earlier, the Federal Comptroller of Land, Housing and Urban Development in Kaduna State, Mr Isiki Bams, called for collective efforts to deal with current security challenges in the country. He urged the workers to take the workshop serious as anyone could be a victim in an emergency situation.

…Distributes relief materials to Boki residents


ubsequent to the devastating windstorm that swept across some communities of Boki Local Government Area in Cross River Stat, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has delivered relief materials to about three affected communities of Kakwagon, Bawop, and Oku in the state. The agency had earlier distributed some relief materials to the affected communities, but a statement issued by its heade of press and public relations, Yushau A.

Shuib, said a detailed assessment of the situation, and noted the disaster had spread to more areas which necessitated the delivery of more items. Speaking on behalf of the Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, the Director Training Department of the agency, Mrs Clement Assueini, said the items were approved by the Federal Government to mitigate the effects of the disaster and help members of the affected communities recuperate. Receiving the items on

behalf of the state government, Mr. David Akade, who represented the state SEMA, commended federal government for the kind gesture and lauded NEMA for its timely evaluation and delivery of the materials to the people. Meanwhile, the items delivered to the distressed citizens include 500 bundle of roofing sheets, 100 bags of roofing nail, 100 pkt of Zink nail, 600 bags of cement, 1000 pieces of2by4 planks, and 1000 pieces of2 by4 by 12 planks.

here is urgent need to rethink the policy, institutional frameworks and means of dealing with security related issue in Nigeria. Over the years, the security operatives have decried lack of clear document on national security policy which has remained one of the major problems facing ways of tackling security challenges across the country. It is important that excellent policies and institutional frameworks are strategically incorporated into the training courses of our military institutions such as Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Nigerian Military Intelligence (NMI), Police Mobile Force Training School, Police Colleges, Police Academy, and Detective Colleges. These efforts will help in building adequate delivery and professional development of strategic leaders required to meet up with the global challenges for maintaining peace and security. Adequate orientation and training must be introduced for political aspirants at federal, state and local government levels via programmes relating to cultural, political education and orientation in accordance with the basic philosophy of democracy. This way, they will imbibe principles and practices essential for democratic sustainability. Such programmes must also address and keep them aware of specific tendencies that create security breach and concerns in the country. Besides, an instant review and amendment must be initiated in process of our national legislation and constitution; while effort should be made to assess and review the complicated areas giving rise to conflict and insecurity in the country. The process should also introduce new provisions and legislations that will ensure better and more effective interplay of interests among all groups and stakeholders in Nigeria in democratic and diplomatic manners. It has been argued that widespread insecurity in the country was occasioned by organised criminality and political and sectarian insurgency. The inability of the police to provide law and order in the country and the resulting insecurity, has led some individuals and communities to acquire small arms for protection. The Police can be more effective if it is better equipped, better paid, and motivated. Putting this in place will help to tackle security situation where the Armed Forces are used as a result of ineffectiveness in Police Force. For the adequate reform to be realized, Nigeria Police Force (NPF) must restore its core values of discipline and professionalism which are fundamental to the main roles of crime prevention and maintenance of law and order; while

capacity building of the entire personnel of the force must be fully considered to meet up with the challenges of the 21st Century. In addition, the former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ogonna Onovo once noted that adequate reform in Nigerian Police Force (NPF) could be attained through training and re-training of officers to enhance their performance; improvement of welfare conditions for personnel; adoption of contemporary policing strategies to close security reassurance gaps, improve police legitimacy through constructive engagement with the community and removal of inherent deficiencies of traditional reactive policing method; renewed commitment to fighting violent crimes; and full implementation of the administrative aspects of the White Paper on Police Reform. Meanwhile, the national security vote must be effective utilized; as the ongoing security situation in the country allows large proportions of funding for securityrelated issues. These funds can be judiciously expensed towards the provision of adequate training and welfare service of the security operatives, acquisition of sophisticated modern security equipments. Also, constant participation of security personnel in seminars and workshops on security tactics and national peace building should be encouraged. Advanced approaches must be exploited in addressing the national security challenges. These include adequate deployment of the modern Internet Protocol-based, Electronic Access Control System (EACS), Intruder Alarm System (IDS) and Perimeter Detection System (PIDS) which are very essential technological innovations that can help in the area of physical security and building management system. But, one of the problems undermining the current security technology networking- Closed Circuit Television System CCTV, that aid operations by the security agencies in the country include loss of data, which can restrict it to send images being recorded to the monitoring station. However, the international techno-security experts have recommended the use of IP-based cameras to pave way for effective real time recording, video analytic capabilities, and automatically analyze videos or images to detect and determine criminal events using both single and multiple images. There is also the need all stakeholders to strictly adhere to the principle of fairness and justice in Nigeria judiciary process. Cases of conflict perpetrations and security breaches should be equally addressed and not be compromised let alone adjourning them endlessly; as this has allowed for the growth political violence, armed robberies, social hoodlums that pose a threat to the national security.


House-tohouse sanitary inspection more resultoriented, says AEPB


he Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has said that house-tohouse environmental sanitation inspection was more resultoriented in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Deputy Director, Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, Mrs Aishat Adebayo, who disclosed this in Abuja, said officials of the board had carried out successful house-to-house inspections and caught many residents who refused to comply with healthy residential accommodation rules. “House-to-house sanitary inspection is better and more effective than the old style where peoples’ movement was being restricted, yet they would not participate in the sanitation exercise,” she said. “Most residents were not participating until this new system was introduced, and with this, we have identified many defaulters who will soon be prosecuted,” Adebayo added. Adebayo further explained that the house-to-house sanitation was more diplomatic, adding that defaulters were given abetment notice, which meant 24 hours for them to do the right thing. According to her, there are some offences that will take some time to correct, adding: “we will still give them the benefit of doubt. “We will still go for reinspection and thereafter, if we find out that one deliberately refused to comply, then we prosecute. With this, it takes only a stubborn and adamant resident to be prosecuted. ” Adebayo said that the Abuja Environmental Sanitation Mobile court last Saturday prosecuted more than 166 residents for various sanitation offences. She said that 150 residents and 16 residents were prosecuted in Garki Area II and Wuye District of Abuja respectively, adding that fines imposed on were determined by the magnitude of offences committed. “Unkempt and dirty environment, fish farming in residential premises, dumping of construction waste and cooking with fire wood within residential premises are some of the offences we found residents committing,” she said The deputy director urged the people to report any violation of environmental sanitation rules to the board for prompt action, to serve as deterrent to other violators of the law. She gave assurance that officials would continue to sensitise residents on the need to live in a healthy environment. (NAN)


Dana crash: FG postpones World Environment Day T

he Federal Ministry of Environment has postponed the globally celebrated World Environment Day (WED) slated for Tuesday, June 5, due to the national tragedy of Dana plane crash that occurred last Sunday, killing over 153 people in Lagos. Chief Press Secretary of the ministry, Mr Lawrence Ojabo, told journalists that the postponement was necessary mourn those who lost their lives in the tragedy. Ojabo, who noted that the

event earlier scheduled to hold at the National Press Centre on Tuesday, has been postponed till further notice, however said,”we cannot be mourning and at the same time celebrating, so the ministry will fix a day after the period of mourning.” Meanwhile, some of the guests expressed their disappointment at the late postponement of the event, saying that they were not informed of the decision to cancel the event. One of the guests, Mr John Musa, a civil servant, said the

tragedy occurred on Sunday, but the decision to cancel the event was not taken until some of them had spent their money and time to come to Radio House. On his part, Mr Ahmed Muktar, an environmentalist, said he was highly disappointed because WED was an event that holds annually, adding that the postponement was uncalled for. Muktar, who came all the way from Kano State, said that the decision should have been earlier than now, advising the ministry

to be proactive in its decisions. “The ministry would have communicated to all stakeholders in time to avoid this kind of embarrassment,” he said. But, Mrs Catherine Ejiofor said the postponement was in order, adding that the Dana crash affected all Nigerians. She also said that the declaration of three days of mourning by the Federal Government superseded any convention by a ministry or agency. (NAN)

Open defecation, a hinderance to Millennium Development Goal.

FG resuscitates shelterbelt programme to curb land degradation T he Federal Government has resuscitated the National Council for Shelterbelt Afforestation programme to combat land degradation in subSaharan Africa. Director, Drought and Desertification Department, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr Bukhar Hassan, said in Abuja that, the programme had not functioned for sometime because the government felt that it needed political commitment to enable it to supervise its implementation. According to him, the council, chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, has seven ministers as members. He said that the council would supervise the implementation of the Great Green Wall Sahara Initiative, adding that, “the Federal Government’s commitment is very strong as it wants the programme to be implemented in Nigeria and 10 other countries that

have signaled their interest in the Great Green Wall Sahara Initiative project.” “But we have to be seen to be leading the programme in order to justify our leadership role in the continent and also justify that we initiated the programme,” Hassan explained. He recalled that the Great Green Wall Sahara was known as a regional project involving 11 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Hassan listed the countries as Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Burkina Faso. He told NAN that 10 nations proposed the Great Green Wall Sahara Initiative project in June 2010, in Istanbul, Turkey, during the meeting of Heads of State and Government. “Since then a lot of activities have been going on in order to ensure that Nigeria is not left behind

because the country initiated the programme before fellow African countries endorsed it and was later adopted by the African Union commission. “So you can see that we are really in the lead and we must, therefore, be prepared to continue to lead in the implementation. By the leadership Nigeria plays in the continent, we cannot afford to be left behind,” he said. Hassan also said that Nigeria would liaise with the African Commission, the overall supervisory body of the programme, to provide technical backing to countries. He said that the Federal Executive Council had put in place a cabinet committee that would be responsible for developing the structure for the new agency and also draft a bill for consideration by the National Assembly to give it legal backing. Hassan said that the committee

had Mr Mohammed Adoke, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice as chairman. He said that Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, the Minister of Environment, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, the Minister of Water Resources and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, were members. Hassan also said that Dr Shamsudden Usman, the Chairman, National Planning Commission, was also a member of the committee. Meanwhile, Shelterbelt Afforestation programme was established in 2004. Shelterbelt is a process for taking immediate shelter in a location readily accessible to the affected individual by sealing a single area from outside contaminants and shutting off all Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC). (NAN)



The world environment in threshold I

As WED turns 40

t is no longer in dispute that mankind is today faced with a catalogue of environmental problems, threatening the supportive ecosystems and indeed human survival on the earth planet. At first, it appeared that better life on earth solely depended on vigorous industrialization, economic prosperity and political stability. No doubt, these important factors contribute to decent living and prosperity. Yet the pursuit of comfort and advancement in technology seemed to have driven many nations towards uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, neglect of abatement measures in industrial process and poorly managed environment. The resultant effect underscores the numerous environmental problems that have become our lots today, which include deforestation, desertification, soil erosion, climate change, industrial pollution among others. Just imagine, how 7 billion people feed on the planet Earth today, and another 2 billion are expected to join by 2050. Then, think about a billion people in the world already living in chronic hunger, and other resources that are under serious pressure, we cannot pretend that everything is alright with our environment. This was what led to the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Environment that marked the beginning of the yearly celebration of the World Environment Day. The Earth Summit of 1992 in Brazil further reaffirmed the political will and commitment of governments, communities, individuals and groups to organize various activities that leads to the improvement of their Environment. This year marked the 40 years of World Environment Day that has been celebrated around the world, to remind ourselves of the importance and the many benefits which we gain from a healthy and sustainable environment. 5th June of each year, is the day set aside for the international observance of the World Environment Day by the United Nations. It is one of the most important events on the international environmental

calendar, for worldwide action plan for areas where human activities may affect the environment. This is also to reflect on the global environmental conditions; to raise peoples awareness about the danger we all face should we failed to act positively to reverse the deteriorating conditions of our environment. Each year, United Nations Environmental Protection (UNEP), the agency responsible for coordinating WED activities select a global theme and a city as the main venue for the global celebration. This year, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was selected as the host city for the WED. And the theme for this WED is Green Economy: Does it include you? The UN Environment Program defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive. UNEP described Green Economy as one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments, it stated, need to be catalyzed and supported by targeted public expenditure, policy reforms and regulation changes. But what does all this mean for you? Well, this essentially what the second part of the theme is all about. If the Green Economy is about social equity and inclusiveness, then technically it is all about you! The question therefore asks you to find out more about the Green Economy and assess whether, in your country, you are being included in it. As the city chosen for the celebration, representatives of countries round the world gathered in Rio to share ideas and experiences, identify tools towards achieving the goals for Green Economy. All nations of the world are enjoined to mark the World

ENVIR ONMENT ENVIRONMENT WATCH By Ambrose Inusa Sule, mnes 0703-441-4410 (sms only) The UNEP-led Green Economy Initiative which was launched in late 2008 provides a comprehensive and practical working mechanism, through analysis and policy support for investing in green sectors and in greening environmental unfriendly sectors. According to the UN agency, the Green Economy Initiative

Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Jibril Mailafiya Environment Day in their unique way to raise people’s awareness about our environment. Nigeria as a member of the United Nations has been keeping faith with this injunction since 1981 with the planting of commemorative tree at the National Arcade, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, which was used to mark WED. Nigeria as a member of the global community joined the rest of the world in reaffirming its concern for the preservation and enhancement of the quality of the environment towards achieving Green Economy. A green economy is further described as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In other words, we can think of a green economy as an economic environment that achieves low carbon emissions, resource efficiency and at the same time is socially inclusive.

has three main activities, which are to produce a Green Economy Report and related research materials, which will analyze the macroeconomic, sustainability, and poverty reduction implications of green investment in a range of sectors; to provide advisory services on ways to move towards a green economy in specific countries; and to engage a wide range of research, n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l organizations, business and UN partners in implementing the Green Economy Initiative. The purpose of the awarenessraising event is to give human face to environmental issues, empower people to become active agents of sustainable and adequate development, promote understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues and advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and people to enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.

WED is a people’s event with observations and activities which includes campaigns, public lectures, rallies, concerts and a lot more. The UN uses WED to stimulate awareness of the environment and to enhance political attention and public actions. It’s sufficed to say that most of the environmental problems in Nigeria have arisen from excessive exploitation without abatement measures. With the benefit hindsight the concern to protect and develop our environment and the provision of adequate institutional arrangement to address the issues concerning the environment have witnessed several changes that culminated in the creation of the Federal Ministry of Environment in 1999. It is important to note that the ministry was created to ensure that environmental matters are adequately mainstreamed into all developmental activities. This was in the recognition that government efforts to eradicate poverty and the improvement of the standard of the people cannot be achieved in a degraded environment. The protection of the environment is paramount to the achievement of the objectives of the laudable socio economic reforms of the federal government which include the National Economic Empowerment Strategy (NEEDS) and other regional and global initiatives, such as the New Partnership for African Development (NEPADS), Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI). It should be noted that the role of governments in environmental matters is mainly catalytic. Government programs constitute the framework for a dynamic evolving process for cooperation among stakeholders. These are the catalyst for evolvement of entire societies and points of reference for all agents involved in the process of environmentally sustainable development in this country. It is a challenge to all of us to pause and reflect on the state of our environment, reexamine our activities in relations to the myriad of ever emerging new phenomena of environmental problems threatening our very existence. As we wish ourselves a very happy Environment, may we remind ourselves that it is our collective duty to ensure a better and healthy environment? The environment is our heritage, and we are duty bound to preserve it.



Breivik murder trial judge caught on camera playing solitaire in court A

fter seven weeks in court, the murder trial of Anders Breivik must be getting a little tedious for the five judges whose job it is to decide the Norwegian mass killer’s fate. One of the men presiding over the lengthy trial has been caught on camera playing solitaire on his laptop. As the Oslo trial entered its eighth week on Monday, TV cameras clearly captured lay judge Ernst Henning Eielsen tackling the tricky card game when he should have been listening to the evidence of a Swedish professor. The image is likely to anger relatives of the 77 people Breivik, 33, admits he murdered in two attacks in Norway last year. But a spokesman for the Oslo court insisted Mr Eielsen was concentrating. Irene Ramm told AFP: ‘The judges are attentively following what is being said and what is being presented to the court. ‘There are different ways of staying focused.

It’s not the first scandal to hit the high profile trial. In April another lay judge was dismissed after it was discovered he had commented on the case on Facebook. In the aftermath of the killings last year, Thomas Indebro wrote: “The death penalty is the only just sentence in this case!!!!!!!!!!” Breivik killed eight people in a bomb attack on a government building in the capital Oslo, before shooting to death 69 teenagers at a youth camp on the island of Utoya. He has confessed to the killings, but denies criminal responsibility on the grounds the attacks were an act of ‘self-preservation’ carried out to protect the ‘indigenous’ population of Norway from immigration. His trial, designed to determine if he is sane, is expected to last 10 weeks. If he is, he will be sent to prison, if he’s ruled insane, he will be held in a psychiatric institution. Source:

Playtime: Anders Breivik (top left) looks on as the judge (centre) plays solitaire.

Google to warn Gmail users when foreign spies are hacking their email I

t’s certainly more alarming than your average PC warning message - ‘We believe state-sponsored attackers are attempting to compromise your account.’ Google unveiled the ‘last line of defence’ for users it believes may be under attack from foreign spies this week. The warning will pop up in Gmail accounts Google believes to be under attack. Google remains coy about how big a threat state-sponsored hackers

monitoring efforts—we show clear warning signs. Today, we’re taking that a step further for a subset of our users, who we believe may be the target of state-sponsored attacks.’ The move comes in the wake of several high-profile cyber attacks originating in China which targeted U.S and other government officials. Last year, hackers based in Jinan, China targeted personal Gmail and Yahoo accounts of government officials.

The methods used suggested insider knowledge about the offiicals according to many observers. The Chinese government denied any involvement. ‘Blaming these misdeeds on China is unacceptable,’ said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei after the attacks. ‘Hacking is an international problem and China is also a victim. The claims of so-called support for hacking are completely unfounded.’

The warning will appear in the accounts of users Google believes to have been the targets of foreign spies - although the firm will not reveal HOW it knows.

Google has built warnings about cyber attacks by foreign agents into its popular Gmail webmail service.

Google says, ‘If you see this sponsored.’ warning it does not necessarily mean ‘We believe it is our duty to be that your account has been hijacked. proactive in notifying users about It just means that we believe you may attacks or potential attacks so that be a target, of phishing or malware they can take action to protect their for example, and that you should take information. And we will continue to immediate steps to secure your update these notifications based on account.’ the latest information.’ ‘You might ask how we know this China is widely suspected of being activity is state-sponsored. We can’t the origin of many hacking attacks on go into the details without giving away government and commercial information that would be helpful to websites abroad, but officials have these bad actors, but our detailed repeatedly dismissed reports that the analysis—as well as victim reports— government or military could be strongly suggest the involvement of behind such attacks. states or groups that are stateSource: - spies - actually are, but the threat is widespread enough for Google to build defences into Gmail. The warning will pop up if Google believes an account may have been targeted by state hackers - although the firm refuses to reveal exactly how it knows. ‘We are constantly on the lookout for malicious activity on our systems, in particular attempts by third parties to log into users’ accounts,’ said Google in a blog post this week. ‘When we have s p e c i f i c intelligence—either Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates: Clarke alleges directly from users that U.S. companies are at a disadvantage due or from our own to Chinese hackers stealing their secrets.



The little boy born with no eyes but loves playing with a torch T

his is the boy who was born with no eyes, but is heartbreakingly happy when shining a torch at his face. Since he was eight months old, Marwanijun has been flashing light at the socket where his left eye should be. Now doctors in China have discovered that he has an eye under the skin there - but it is too sensitive to ever be exposed. The boy’s parents were devastated when their son was born with only smooth skin in the sockets where his eyes should be. But when father Madamihan and mother Salamu, both 26, took the child from their small community to a hospital in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, they were offered a glimmer of hope. Doctors told them their son loved the torch because he actually had a left eye, but it was blocked by skin. ‘He is eager to see light, and we pray everyday that he could see the

light,’ said the boy’s father. Sadly, experts at the Army 474 Hospital said the baby was not suitable for surgery because his eye has no lens. Even if the surgery exposed his left eyeball, he would not be able see anything. Doctors suggested that the boy could be suitable for artificial eye installation once he reaches 16 years old. There are various reasons that children are born with no eyes. Earlier this month, Lacey Buchanan made a touching video of her and her blind one-year-old son Christian. He has no eyes because he suffers from tessier cleft - a rare and severe cleft palate that can affect different areas of the face, such as the mouth, nose, eyes and jaws. In 2010, Taylor Garrison’s daughter, Brielle, was born with a rare condition that left her eye sockets completely empty of tissue. Source: Searchlight: Marwanijung shines a torch at his eyes as his mother Salamu holds him protectively.

Distraught: Marwanijung's devastated parents sought help in a hospital in Urumqi, where doctors told them their son may be able to have an artificial eye fitted after he is 16

Ray of hope: Doctors in China found that blind Marwanijung has a left eye, but it is covered by skin.

The Victoria Falls is a milewide, 355-foot waterfall on the Zambezi River, on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia Inspiring: Lacey Buchanan holds up her one-year-old son Christian in a moving video she has made about the boy, who was born with a severe cleft palate that left him blind.

Plans for the future: Marwanijung's parents said they pray every day that one day the boy will be able to see light properly.




ambridge, England Despite the frozen 'peace process' - or perhaps in part because of it - there have been a number of interesting developments in the Palestinian political scene in recent years. This includes the emergence of new youth-based groups and actions, as well as a growth in coordination between Palestinians on both sides of the 'Green Line'. With this context in mind, a new initiative by BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights is instructive for the direction of the conversation amongst Palestinian activists. The Ongoing Nakba Education Centre (ONEC) was launched this month by the Bethlehem-based non-profit organisation, boasting a websiteand Education Centre. At the heart of the project is the participatory website which, in the words of BADIL's Rich Wiles, "uses multi-media tools to build a significant advocacy resource". The site, which is still in an early stage of development, will depend on contributions in order to document stories of Palestinian displacement, using photographs, short films, audio recordings - and covering everything from "photo stories of demolitions" to "oral history interviews". The emphasis is on an ongoing project that, while obviously not being able to highlight every story, will grow as a resource that provides networking opportunities for Palestinians and nonPalestinians working in the field. Nor is there any need to be a 'professional'; BADIL say they will take unedited media to turn into content for the site. Najwa Darwish, Director of BADIL, feels like there is something unique about the 'Ongoing Nakba' project: "The Education Centre presents the Palestinian story of displacement as one continuous and evolving story spanning several decades. This is the fundamental issue at the root of Palestine's struggle, yet it is not usually addressed in this way. So by presenting it in this manner, we clarify current Israeli policies by showing how they evolved, as well as their origins". Furthermore, having a physical space in a major tourist destination like Bethlehem dedicated to education and advocacy means reaching a large number of visitors, and giving them ideas about possible rights-based events they could do in their own communities or countries. Nassar Ibrahim, Palestinian author, activist and Head of AIC (Alternative Information Centre), has described ONEC as less of "a research centre in the traditional sense of the word" and more "a centre that aims to raise awareness in order to strengthen political activity on all levels". Links and ties


Re-shaping Palestinian national identity

Palestinian NGOs with a focus on participation and popular 'ownership' will impact leadership [GALLO/GETTY] Such a project is not without its challenges: it can only reach its potential if people hear about it, and, more importantly, submit their contributions. Like many similar initiatives, a real test will be to broaden its appeal beyond those activists already comfortable with the political vision behind ONEC. However, with an emphasis on participation, popular 'ownership' and the creation of links and ties between Palestinian victims of displacement as well as those currently struggling against it, ONEC has the advantage of standing out from a host of NGO-based projects in Palestine. Furthermore, the political framework shaping ONEC is one that challenges assumptions adopted by a number of human rights groups with regards to Palestine.

"At least 70 per cent of all Palestinians in the world today are displaced people," notes Darwish, "and no more than 45 per cent of the entire Palestinian people currently live within the oPt". The vision behind the project, she says, is a "human rights approach" something common to a number of Palestinian advocacy initiatives in recent times, including the Boycott Divestment Sanctions campaign. "It is a vision that works for and demands a rights-based solution in accordance with international law and principles of justice that realises the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In its core, it is a justice-motivated approach. It also contrasts with the approach that calls for a two state solution and merely a humanitarian compromise on the refugee question."


Visitors to the ONEC homepage are immediately struck by the fact that BADIL have based interaction with the website around a map of Mandate Palestine. The reason for this, according to Darwish, is a belief that this is the clearest way to show "the intrinsic links between the various different policies of displacement since 1947". Bisan Kassis, Advocacy Officer at the Joint Advocacy Initiative (JAI) and another attendee of the Bethlehem launch, hopes that unifying Palestinians - whether refugees, Israeli citizens, or militarily occupied - could become "a compass in the re-shaping of our national identity and in working toward our national aspiration of freedom and independence". This idea of a compass and a 're-shaping' of national identity suggests that BADIL's ONEC project speaks to wider trends,

This idea of a compass and a 're-shaping' of national identity suggests that BADIL's ONEC project speaks to wider trends, beyond this specific website and education centre.

beyond this specific website and education centre. It seems appropriate to place it alongside other forms of 'green shoots' resistance emerging in sectors of Palestinian civil society: from the harnessing of social media and hunger strike solidarity protests, to the development of the BDS campaign and drive for the democratic revitalisation of the PLO and PLC. What these various activities have in common is a total disconnect with the strategies and discourse promoted by Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad of 'negotiations', 'reform' and 'economic peace'. The practical efforts on the ground, small as they might seem by themselves, are indicative of a broader paradigm shift that is taking place. These new directions are still only found at the level of the grassroots and not-for-profits, and it will take some time for it to impact at the level of political leadership. ONEC symbolises a shift that is well underway, one that can only breathe hope into the Palestinian struggle for decolonisation and equality. Ben White is a freelance journalist, writer and activist, specialising in Palestine/ Israel. He is a graduate of Cambridge University.



South Sudan asks officials to return stolen funds


Liberia minors used in Ivory Coast raids - HRW


rights group says militants in the West African state of Liberia are using children to conduct cross-border attacks on villages in Ivory Coast. Human Rights Watch says the attacks have killed at least 40 people since July 2011. Hundreds of Liberian mercenaries fought on behalf of deposed former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo in last year's political unrest. Along with Ivorian militants, many crossed the border back into Liberia. The New York-based group says in a report that militants are recruiting children as young as 14 to attack Ivorians who are aligned to President Alassane Ouattara and live close to the border. Last July, Mr Gbagbo's refusal to concede power to Mr Ouattara after a December 2010 presidential election escalated into violence. Mr Gbagbo was eventually captured and handed to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to be tried on charges of crimes against humanity. Hundreds of Liberian mercenaries, as well as Ivorian militants fighting on Mr Gbagbo's behalf, are now living in Liberia and have not been prosecuted by authorities in the capital Monrovia, according to Human Rights Watch.

n a letter that reveals a shocking level of government corruption, South Sudan President Salva Kiir has asked more than 75 former and current senior government officials to return an estimated $4bn in stolen funds to the country. Corruption has plagued South Sudan's government since the 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war with Sudan. In January, South Sudan's auditor general reported that nearly $1.5bn in government funds were unaccounted for from the 2005-06 fiscal year. "We fought for freedom, justice and equality," the president's letter reads. "Yet, once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people." The letter was dated May 3 and was obtained by the Associated Press news agency over the weekend. Barnaba Marial Benjamin, the country's information minister confirmed its authenticity on Monday.

Salva Kiir says that citizens and international community are "alarmed" by country's corruption levels [Reuters] The president wrote that South Sudan's citizens and the international community were "alarmed" by the levels of corruption and that "the credibility of our government is on the line".

He promised amnesty for officials who return stolen funds and to keep the identities of those officials confidential. According to the statement, Kiir has reached out to heads of state in Africa, Europe, the

Middle East and the United States to ask for help fighting South Sudan's corruption. Benjamin said that Kenya, South Sudan's southern neighbour, is playing an active role in South Sudan's fight against corruption. South Sudan has opened a bank account in Kenya where anyone who has taken government funds can return them. "If anybody again is found taking government funds in an inappropriate manner, there will be laws in place that will definitely punish such individuals," he said. Earlier this year Kiir issued a decree ordering all public officials to declare their assets to the South Sudan AntiCorruption Commission. The call was supported by Vice President Riak Machar, who declared his assets to the commission in February. But the decree was initially ignored by many other officials. The office of the president now says around 5,000 former and current public officials have declared their assets to the commission. Despite South Sudan's peaceful vote last year to break away from Sudan, tensions between the two sides remain, especially over what was once their shared oil industry.

Libya starts first trial of Gaddafi official


he first trial of a senior the former senior official of the Muammar Gaddafi's regime, accused of crimes relating to last year's war has opened. The trial of Buzeid Dorda, a former Gaddafi intelligence chief which began on Tuesday, will be seen as a test of the Libyan government's ability to try high profile loyalists and family members of the deposed leader. Under heavy security, Dorda, arrested last September in Tripoli, appeared in the dock in the first such civilian hearing since last year's uprising. Judge Al-Ajaily Al-Maaloul

read six charges against him conspiring to kill civilians, providing weapons for the purpose of killing civilians, conspiring to provoke civil war, denying people their right to protest, unlawful detention and abuse of authority. "I deny all these points. I will supply the evidence when I testify in court," Dorda said. The judge adjourned the trial until June 26, as demanded by defence lawyer Dhao Al-Mansouri Awon, who said he and his client needed more time to study the case files. Wearing a blue prison inmate uniform, Dorda walked into the court using two canes.

Officials said he had injured his legs about two months ago

told Al-Jazeera that no one was injured in the attack, by unknown assailants. The US official deplored the attack and asked the Libyan government to increase security

around US facilities. Libya has witnessed a spate of attacks on important local and foreign landmarks in the country this year. We have asked the Libyan

when he tried to escape and fell from a second floor window.

The trial will be seen as a test of Libya's ability to try high profile loyalists and family members of Gaddafi [Reuters]

‌Benghazi blast hits US office in eastern Libya

At least 40 people have been killed in cross-border attacks, HRW says


bomb went off outside the US embassy offices in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi Tuesday night, causing minor damage to its main gate. A US embassy official in Tripoli

Protesters press political demands in Egypt Thousands of protesters have converged in Cairo's Tahrir Square for the fourth night in a row to protest against Ahmed Shafik, the presidential candidate widely seen as a representative of Hosni Mubarak's deposed regime. Crowds marched to the square from several locations in the capital, led by two defeated candidates from the first round of the presidential ballot. They have demanded that Shafik, a former military man who was Mubarak's final prime minister, withdraw from the runoff election scheduled to begin on June 16. Many are also

angry with Brotherhood's

the Muslim Mohammed

Morsi, the other contender in the runoff.

Several political groups in Egypt have called on the people to attend mass

"Neither Shafik nor Morsi are any good," Arafa Mohamed, 21, told the Associated Press news agency. "They have to pull out of the presidential race. One is from the former regime, and one has no political experience and has a group's Islamist agenda." Tuesday's marches were led by Hamdeen Sabbahi, a liberal, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a moderate Islamist and former member of the Brotherhood. They placed third and fourth in last month's election. Thousands of people also turned out to protest in the northern city of Alexandria, and small demonstrations were reported elsewhere around the country. This latest wave of protests

government to increase security around the US facilities in the country" End Quote US official Earlier this week, the runway at the international airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli was temporarily seized by an armed militia from the western town of Tarhouna, grounding all flights. Last month, the office of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Benghazi was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. The latest attack comes days before the first general elections in the country. Libya is preparing for elections expected to take place on 19 June. Libyans will be voting for 200 members of an assembly that will form a panel to write a new constitution and form a new government. It is still not clear who is behind these attacks, including the latest in Benghazi.



Queen visits Prince Philip in hospital T he Queen and Prince Andrew have visited the Duke of Edinburgh at King Edward VII Hospital, where he is being treated for a bladder infection. Earlier, Buckingham Palace said his condition had "improved considerably" but he was likely to stay in hospital for the next few days. Prince Philip, 90, has spent two nights in hospital, missing the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the duke was in "good spirits". The duke was admitted to hospital on Monday, just hours before the Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace. On Wednesday, the Queen attended a lunch with Commonwealth leaders, as she continued to mark 60 years of her reign. Prime Minister David Cameron was among the 70 guests at the lunch, at Malborough House on Pall

Mall. The engagement saw a protest by some members of the UK's Tamil community, as Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived. They were demonstrating about the country's record on human rights. The duke, who had treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December, turns 91 on Sunday. A palace spokesman said: "The treatment of his infection continues with

The Queen visited the duke for about 45 minutes on Wednesday evening

antibiotics. "He is likely to remain in hospital over the next few days. He is in good spirits."

The Queen arrived at the hospital, in central London, at 17:10 BST and left by 17:55. Meanwhile, the Prince

of Wales, who earlier opened a sheep industry show in Scotland, told wellwishers the duke was "doing well".

Assad appoints new Syria prime minister Former agriculture minister and ruling Baath party member Riyad Hijab entrusted with task of Syrian President Bashar alAssad has named former agriculture minister Riyad Hijab as prime minister to form a new government, state television has reported. Wednesday's appointment comes after a new parliament was voted in on May 7 in elections boycotted by opposition groups. "President Assad issued a decree asking Riyad Hijab to form a new government," the broadcaster said. Hijab replaces Adel Safar, who was appointed in April last year shortly after a popular uprising erupted in the southern province of Deraa and later spread across the country, presenting Assad with the sternest challenge to his 12year rule. A member of the ruling

Baath Party, Hijab was minister in the previous cabinet. Jihad Makdissi, Syrian foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed the report on Twitter, saying: "Dr Riyad Hijab is the new prime minister of Syria and will form the new government." In a speech to parliament on Sunday, Assad said the new government would "take into account the new political forces" after the May election, held under a revised constitution which allowed for new political parties to be established. A prominent dissident said that by appointing Hijab, 46, the president was snubbing demands for change. "We expected Assad to play a game and appoint a nominal independent but he chose a hardcore Baathist," Najati Tayyara said.

"In any case the cabinet is just for show in Syria and even more so now, with the security apparatus totally taking over". Speaking to Al Jazeera, Nabil Samman, the head of the Centre for Research and Documentation in Damascus, said the appointment of Hijab was merely "an administrative process". "Even though article 8 of the constitution [which declared the ruling Baath Party as the leader of the state and society] has been scrapped, the prime minister is a Baathist and the parliament is dominated by Baath members," he said. "I do not expect any changes in the political scene in Syria as the sanctions continued to drain the economy and Assad declared he will resume his military campaign to crush the opposition."

Assad told parliament on Sunday the new government would 'take into account the new political forces' [Reuters]

China’s Hu sees regional role in Afghanistan


he Shanghai Coo p e r a t i o n Organisation, or SCO, wants to play a bigger role in troubled Afghanistan, Hu Jintao, the Chinese president, has said, as a two-day summit of the regional grouping gets under way in Beijing. The bloc, consisting of China, Russia and Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan - is set to discuss the future of neighbour Afghanistan after NATO-led forces pull out in 2014.

"We will continue to manage regional affairs by ourselves, guarding against shocks from turbulence outside the region," Hu was quoted as saying in an interview with China's official People's Daily newspaper on Wednesday. "We will play a bigger role in Afghanistan's peaceful reconstruction. "We'll strengthen communication, coordination and co-operation in dealing with major international and regional issues."

However, Hu did not give details of how the lose SCO security grouping could play a bigger role in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, has been invited to attend the summit as a guest, and his country is due to be granted "observer" status, meaning it can attend meetings but not vote. Karzai said in Beijing on Wednesday the two governments are preparing to sign a preliminary agreement about the "creation of a strategic partnership" between them.



US Republican governor survives recall poll


he Republican governor in the US presidential battleground state of Wisconsin has survived a recall election by defeating his Democratic challenger Tom Barrett. Scott Walker becomes the first governor in the country's history to stay in office after a recall challenge. Tuesday's election was seen as a window on voter sentiment ahead of November's presidential contest. Walker prompted mass protests, and the rare special

election, after pushing through legislation to radically curb the power of public sector unions despite weeks of mass protests last year. Just two other governors have faced a recall so far in US history, and both were removed by angry voters. "After tonight's results, Democrats and the Obama campaign are surely nervous," Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement hailing Walker's "momentous victory". "Wisconsin Democrats now

head into November dispirited and in disarray, while Republicans remain strong and organised, with momentum on our side." Barrett, a former member of the US congress, was Walker's opponent in the 2010 governor's race. The political divisions virtually mirror sentiments nationwide. Last winter, one million state residents signed a petition demanding the recall of Walker. The governor's hardline approach with public-sector

unions - cutting benefits and ending most collective bargaining - polarised the state, spawned mass protests and garnered national media attention. Unlike most governors' races, the outcome in Wisconsin located in the US Midwest region, an electoral battleground roughly evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans will be felt far beyond state borders. Both Republicans and Democrats know this, with each party having invested heavily in the vote. Walker alone has raised more than $30m, more than even some presidential contenders. Speaking to Al Jazeera ahead of the result, Julie Wells, a forklift-driving grandmother who signed the recall measure, said: "Wisconsin was a kind of a test case for America. "If we can fight back on a national level, then the rest of the world, I mean, we've seen it in Egypt, the rest of the people


"We can do this. As a people we can stand up and fight back." The effort to unseat Walker, who is just 17 months into a fouryear term, was rooted in the state's labour union movement and the Democratic rank and file. Both groups are angry over his budget-cutting policies and moves to make unions for teachers and other public employees give up nearly all their collective bargaining rights. That stance had unions across the US watching Tuesday's vote closely. Walker's victory will be a major boost for already highly motivated Republican Tea Party voters, who want smaller government, lower deficits and tax cuts. The victory will also help Mitt Romney, Obama's Republican presidential challenger, who has endorsed budget- and tax-cutting Tea Party fiscal plans at the national level.

Russian legislators pass protest-fines bill


Republican Governor Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Election

NATO blamed for Afghan civilian deaths


fghanistan has been rocked by two violent incidents, the first resulting in 18 apparent civilian deaths in a predawn NATO missile strike in Logar in the east, and the second involving at least 22 deaths in two suicide attacks in the afternoon in Kandahar in the south. In a third fatal incident on Wednesday, NATO acknowledged the loss of two soldiers in a helicopter crash in the eastern province of Ghazni. The NATO assault in Logar, if confirmed, may prove to be another deadly and politically damaging mistake by international forces, whose reputation in Afghanistan is already low. NATO has denied the report, saying it knows of only two civilians who were lightly injured, but the head of the Logar provincial council has said that 18 civilians died.

"NATO is sticking to the line at the moment that it was targeting a Taliban leader and it called in the air strike and only two women suffered light injuries," Al Jazeera correspondent Bernard Smith reported from Kabul. The target of the missile strike

was a house in the Baraki Barak district where a tribal elder was meeting Taliban fighters. International forces learned of the meeting and launched a night raid to arrest the fighters, who opened fire when they were asked to surrender, Al Jazeera's Qais Azimy said.

he Russian lower house of parliament has adopted a controversial bill that raises fines 150-fold for people taking part in unsanctioned protests, a move aimed at discouraging the opposition from challenging the Kremlin. The bill would increase maximum fines from the current 2,000 rubles ($60) to 300,000 rubles ($9,000), and comes after a series of massive protests that have reflected growing public frustration with President Vladimir Putin's effective 12-year rule. The bill raises the fine for organisers of illegal protests to one million rubles ($32,100) In an unusually tense debate in the Duma, long a rubber-stamp body for the Kremlin, opposition legislators argued into the night on Tuesday proposing around 400 amendments to mark their disapproval. But members of the Kremlin's majority United Russia party voted the amendments down one by one and used its parliamentary majority to approve the bill. The final vote was 241-147.

Following fierce criticism by opposition legislators, some of the most controversial proposals, such as fines for internet users who spread the word about rallies, were dropped. Russian authorities routinely deny permission for opposition rallies or offer rally organisers venues away from the city centre. Police often use force to break up unsanctioned protests. Opposition leaders and rights activists, including the US-based group Human Rights Watch, say the law violates the 31st article of Russia's constitution on the right to free assembly. The Kremlin wants the new bill to become law by next Tuesday when the opposition plans a major protest in Moscow. The bill will require approval by the upper house and Putin's signature, but both steps are formalities. Since returning to the presidency in May, Putin has toughened his line towards the opposition, whose protests over the winter drew up to 100,000 people in an unprecedented challenge to his rule.

US Drone Crew Blamed for Afghan Civilian Deaths

US says drone killed al-Qaeda commander


bu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaeda second-in-command, has been killed in a US drone attack in Pakistan, US administration sources said. US officials said on Tuesday that the Libyan-born al-Libi had recently been considered by US counterterrorism experts as the No 2 in the core al-Qaeda group led by Ayman al-Zawahiri. It is difficult to independently confirm the reports of al-Libi's death. However, if the US claims are true, then al-Libi would be the latest of

more than a dozen high-ranking alQaeda commanders killed during the past year. The US state department had set a $1m reward for information leading to al-Libi. US and Pakistan sources said on Monday that al-Libi was the target of a deadly drone attack in Pakistan's North Waziristan region. However, the US sources could not confirm whether he was killed in that raid. Zawahiri has headed the group since al-Qaeda's founder, Osama

bin Laden, was killed last year in a US commando raid on his hideout in Pakistan. A US official described al-Libi as "among al-Qaeda's most experienced and versatile leaders", saying that he "played a critical role in the group's planning against the West, providing oversight of the external operations efforts". The drone raid that targeted alLibi killed 15 people, according to Pakistani officials, who said more than half of the victims were "foreigners", most of them Arabs.

Activists protesting against the bill outside the Duma were detained [Reuters]



‘Dead’ Brazilian boy ‘sits up in coffin at his own funeral and asks for water before lying back down lifeless’


elvin Santos stopped breathing during treatment for pneumonia and was declared dead on Friday On Saturday he allegedly sat up in his coffin and asked his father for a glass of water

A two-year-old boy sat up in his coffin and asked for water before laying back down again lifeless, according to a Brazilian news website. In a case that seems almost too incredible to be true, ORM

Two-year-old Kelvin Santos was declared dead on Friday after he stopped breathing during treatment for pneumonia

I pulled my grandson from devil dog’s jaws Dave tells how he saved toddler

claimed that Kelvin Santos stopped breathing during treatment for pneumonia at a hospital in Belem, northern Brazil. He was declared dead at 7.40pm on Friday and his body was handed over to his family in a plastic bag. The child's devastated family took him home where grieving relatives held a wake throughout the night, with the boy's body laid in an open coffin. But an hour before his funeral was due to take place on Saturday the boy apparently sat up in his coffin and said: 'Daddy, can I have some water?'. The boy's father, Antonio Santos, said: 'Everybody started to scream, we couldn't believe our eyes. Then we thought a miracle had taken place and our boy had come back to life. 'Then Kelvin just laid back down, the way he was. We couldn't wake him. He was dead again. Mr Santos rushed his son back to the Aberlardo Santos hospital in Belem,where the doctors reexamined the boy and confirmed that he had no signs of life. He said: 'They assured me

that he really was dead and gave me no explanation for what we had just seen and heard.' The boy's family decided to delay the funeral for an hour in the hope that he would wake up again, but ended up burying him at 5pm that day in a local cemetery. Convinced that his son was victim of medical malpractice, Mr Santos has now registered a complaint with the police who

have launched an investigation He said: 'Fifteen minutes after rushing him away for resuscitation, they came and told me he was dead and handed me his body. Perhaps they didn't examine him properly. Dead people don't just wake up and talk. I'm determined to find out the truth.' The local state department today confirmed the boy had been admitted to hospital in a critical condition and was declared dead after suffering cardiac-respiratory failure.

Olympic ambition of stuntwoman born with no legs mostly first place awards and that's what has got me where I am today," she said. "I want to get on the team and win gold for the United States. "It's been a long time since our

Brave Dave Guess with bite on arm The grandfather of a toddler savaged by a devil dog last night told how he rescued him.

wandering into a neighbour's garden through an open gate in Swindon, Wilts. The Staffordshire bull terriertype dog tore at his nose, an ear and an eye. He is critical in an induced coma after seven hours' surgery. Last night there was hope of a recovery after he squeezed relatives' hands. Docs do not know if they have saved the sight in his eye Keiron's mum Stacey, 22, and dad Anthony, 23, are at his bedside at Bristol Children's Hospital. Keiron's other grandfather Shaun Leonard, 46, said the boy looked like he had been "thrown to a pack of wolves". The dog - which has been put down - is said to have killed a pensioner's terrier in 2007 and attacked a cop last year. Owner Garfield King caused fury when he blamed Keiron's parents for allowing him to wander into his garden.

Paralympic hopeful Barbara C. Adside . A horse riding stuntwoman, born without any legs, is hoping to compete in this summer's Paralympic games - despite having first sat in a saddle just six months ago.

rave Dave Guess, 49, was bitten on the arm as he stepped in to save two-yearold Keiron Guess's life. He said: "The dog was ripping him to pieces - Keiron was a mess. The dog owner was holding Keiron up but the dog was just jumping up and biting him. "I took Keiron off him, put him on my shoulders and ran into an alleyway. I was bitten by the dog but eventually managed to get Keiron safe." He added: "Keiron has massive scars across his face." The toddler was attacked after

Victim Keiron Guess

he plucky 35-year-old, who has starred in hit TV shows Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Murder She Wrote - will compete against 22 others at trials for the US Para-equestrian team this weekend. Spina Bifida caused blond Barbara C. Adside's disability. But she has not let it hold her back and controls her black thoroughbred horse Pegasus with ease. The hopeful, from Lancaster, California can ride at full canter, brace herself on the back of the animal with only the stumps of her legs and can even walk her steed in circles with a rope - just like traditional US cowboys. "In my competitions I have won


Devastated: Kelvin's father Antonio Santos claims his son was a victim of medical negligence

Quick learner Barbara only took up riding six months ago Barcroft Media Barbara has been training six hours a day to take part in the selection trials.

equestrian team has won anything so that's my big goal. "But most of the people that are on there, I'd say 99 per cent of them, have been doing this for 17 or 20 years. "A lot of people have contacted me, people who have lost their arms or legs and said - If you can do it, I can do it."

Stunt woman Spina Bifida robbed Barbara of her legs Barcroft Media "I have been doing this maybe six months.


Gruesome: The body was found in a freezer in a fishing company Going gold Barbara which for Mr Yamada ownswith horse Pegasus Barcroft Media



Chocolate: Dark variety can help heart-risk patients and cut diabetes L

overs of dark chocolate have known for some time that their favourite treat can help protect them against high blood pressure and cut the risk of diabetes. But now scientists say that it can even benefit those who are already at high risk of heart attacks and strokes. Although regular chocolate eating doesn't work quite as well as drugs, the researchers say it has virtually no side effects and, perhaps not surprisingly 'high rates of compliance'. A team of researchers from universities in Melbourne, Australia, used a mathematical model to predict the effects and cost effectiveness of daily dark chocolate consumption in 2,013 individuals at high risk of heart disease over a decade. They all had metabolic syndrome - a mix of problems including raised blood pressure, obesity, high fat levels in the blood and an inability to control blood sugar levels - but no history of heart disease or diabetes and they were not on blood pressure drugs.

Daily consumption of 100g of dark chocolate could potentially avert 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people treated over ten years, according to the study published on This could be considered an effective intervention, said the researchers. It would be costeffective too, costing £25 a year per head of population. This would cover advertising and possible subsidising of dark chocolate for the less well-off. The protective effects have been shown only for dark chocolate which is at least 60-70 per cent cocoa. Milk or white chocolate does have not provide the same benefits. It is rich in flavonoids which are known to have heart protecting effects. Sceptics say the high calorie content of chocolate tends to offset the benefits. Previous research shows eating chocolate reduces blood pressure and improves insulin sensitivity, reducing the risk of diabetes. Source:

Brushing your teeth too soon after meals can seriously damage them, warn dentists


t is the news that chocolate lovers the world over have been waiting for. The confectionery is the latest super-food that scientists claim can slow down the ageing process. Researchers based in Cambridge claim to have made a scientific breakthrough that transforms chocolate into an antiageing wonder drug. The technology increases the body’s absorption of cocoa flavanols - molecules contained in chocolate that improve skin oxygenation, which is an essential factor in slowing the ageing process. Scientists at biotechnology specialist Lycotec have modified chocolate with an ingredient they have developed called CocoLycosome. This boosts the power of cocoa flavanols by up to 20 times compared with unmodified chocolate. A small chunk of modified chocolate has the same antiageing benefits as two bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk, according to the researchers. Lycotec founder Dr Ivan Petyaev told The Grocer magazine: ‘Two bars a day may be good news for chocoholics but not everybody loves chocolate that much. ‘But now everyone can benefit from the intrinsic values of cocoa flavanols without compromising their health and habits.’ Dr Petyaev added that the technology had no impact on the taste or texture of chocolate and that the ingredient was safe and

Miracle food: Dark chocolate can benefit people who are already at high risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Drinking four or more cups of tea can lower the risk of middle-aged related diabetes


Many people brush more than the recommended number of times per day - especially after a rich meal. accepted by the food industry. He said it is ‘ready for the market’. But nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton said she wanted to see more evidence. She said: ‘They are definitely on the right track. Flavanols are clunky molecules and there have been problems with absorption so it sounds interesting. ‘But before I get excited I want some concrete end points that the consumer would experience. And you always have to balance the benefits with any detrimental effects. ‘If you are looking at increased consumption of chocolate you will see an increase in calories and saturated fat.’ Source:

he British habit of teadrinking can help lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes - but only if you drink four or more cups a day. A study of European populations found that countries that drank four cups a day - the British average - had a 20% lower risk of developing the illness. Tea drinking ranged from an average of none a day in Spain to four a day in the UK. The study found that benefits seemed to be most obvious among heavy tea drinkers - drinking a mere one to three cups a day doesn’t lower the risk. A research team led by Christian Herder from the Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany, said previous analyses showed tea consumption was associated with lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. ‘Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, but dietary factors may also play a role. One dietary factor of interest is tea consumption. ‘Tea consumption may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by influencing glucose digestion, glucose uptake, and by

protecting beta-cells from freeradical damage. This beneficial effect may be due to the polyphenols present in tea.’ Herder said, ‘Drinking at least four cups of tea per day was associated with a 20 per cent lower risk, whereas drinking one to three cups per day did not lower the risk of diabetes compared with non-tea drinkers. But it was unclear if tea is associated inversely over the entire range of intake.

He wrote ‘Therefore, we investigated the association between tea consumption and incidence of type 2 diabetes in a European population.’ It was done in 26 centres in eight European countries, and consisted of 12,403 incident type 2 diabetes cases plus thousands of others without the disease. Tea drinking ranged from an average of none a day in Spain to four a day in the UK. Herder wrote: ‘Increasing our understanding of m o d i f i a b l e lifestyle factors associated with the development of type 2 diabetes is important, as the prevalence of diabetes is increasing rapidly. ‘In line with this, no association was observed when tea consumption was studied as c o n t i n u o u s variable. This may indicate that the protective effect of tea is restricted to people with a high tea consumption. The habit of tea-drinking can help lower the S o u r c e : risk of Type 2 diabetes - but only if you drink four or more cups a day



This government doesn’t listen to good counsel, says Rep Segun William who represents Abokuta South federal constituency in the House of Representatives, in this interview with newsmen, speaks about the consequences of a further increase in the pump price of petrol and submits that the Federal Government does not have the stomach for good counsel. He calls for a dialogue with Boko Haram to end its insurgency in the North. Lawrence Olaoye was there. Excerpts:



igerians have been told to brace themselves for yet another regime of price increases on petroleum products; what does this portend for Nigerians in general? The implications of a further increase in the prices of petroleum products in the country are manifold. Nigerians woke up to a new year with the unpalatable news of over a 100% increase in the price of petrol; it took dtreet protests for the government to bring it down to the current level it sells for now. Then Nigerians reacted to the pump-price increase with a large wave of street-protests, rallies and demonstrations with some of them turning violent. Whatever affects the price of petrol and related prices ultimately affects the prices of other commodities and services and virtually touches on every strata of lives of the people; food, Housing, Health, Education, Transportation and what-have you. Therefore, should there be further increase in the prices of petroleum products, I am afraid of the violent consequences that will be unleashed by the generality of Nigerians. One would have expected the present administration to have learnt from the recent experience and its attendant protests to look for alternatives to fuel pump-price increase. You can imagine the effects of further fuel price increase on the average Nigerian, especially the rural dwellers whose incomes are more or less fixed, even the urban dwellers with low incomes. These and other people pay tax and feel the crunch of the present increase, not to talk of a further increase. I just plead with the government at the centre to temper justice with mercy. They should execute more pragmatically, the palliative measures introduced to cushion the effect of the fuel price increase; we see branded buses meant to serve as palliative for transportation, but how widespread and durable are they? The price increment has come to stay, but the palliatives, will they last?

With the current security challenges facing the country, coupled with the prevailing charged socio-political atmosphere, is it right for the government to at this time contemplate another fuel price hike? I begin to wonder often times what type of democracy we practice in this our country. To me it looks more like military democracy. A government that will not listen to and heed the advice of its people is certainly leaning towards militocracy. We’ve had cases where clarion calls have been made to the government for the general good of the citizenry and they were discarded; is that true democracy? Rather, government tends to see such objective advice as the handiwork of the opposition. Take the case of the recently concluded investigation into the fuel subsidy regime by the House of Representatives in which members, after the consideration of the report, called for the removal of the Minister for Petroleum Resources for the ignorable roles the ministry and its Parastatals played in the scam; up till now government at the centre has not taken any action on this. If it were in other climes, such a minister whose ministry superintends over such a scam involving billions of dollars would have, out of decorum, resigned on his or her own volition and if not, would have been booted out of office by a responsible government. Rather our own minister had the guts to come out publicly to say ‘I won’t resign and nobody can force me to resign’, imagine the cheek of that statement. If government was truly representative of the people, it

Rep Segun William should have taken the advice given by the House of Representatives. By this stance the government is directly or indirectly aiding this corrupt system. As for me, the present administration is not responsive enough to the wishes and aspirations of the people and as such does not deserve the electoral support the ruling party got in the last general elections. The same scenario played itself out prior to January’s fuel-price hike, then the organized Labour and other stake holders cried themselves hoarse warning about the hardship such an unpopular policy will force on Nigerians,

We’ve heard accusations by some aggrieved politicians who might want to politicize the security issues with the intent of destabilizing the government

but what happened? Government as usual turned a deaf ear and today the rest is history. If government at the centre continues this way, then I foresee a situation where the opposition gets the mandate of the people to form the next government. How do you see the state of insecurity in the country generally? The burning issue is the activities of the Boko-Haram and on this, like I have said earlier, the best bet for government is to dialogue with the sect’s leaders or representatives. The level of insecurity in this country presently demands that the bull should be taken by the horns. The recent statement by the National Security Adviser, Patrick Azazi, to the effect that the activities of the Boko Haram was receiving support right from the highest echelon of the ruling party, the PDP itself was a weighty one that leave much more to be desired, considering the source the statement. On this issue I think the government itself should be more open. It is my thinking that the government knows more about this Boko Haram issue than it is divulging to the citizenry and

this is not helping matters. Government should use all information it can garner on the Islamic sect proactively. Another major aspect of counter terrorism is analyzing the information so gathered and putting it to use in anticipating their nefarious activities. This is how government can restore the peoples’ confidence in a peaceful society. Do you see any political under-current in the issue of insecurity and activities of the Boko Haram? Yes, I suspect political undertones, though I am not a security expert; I still have this strong intuition about this matter. We’ve heard accusations by some aggrieved politicians who might want to politicize security issues with the intent of destabilizing the government. These are all possibilities; we are not saying it with clear facts, as we don’t have clear facts at hand. What is sure though is the strong possibility of this kind of development and it needs looking into by our security agencies. The CBN has just announced that it would soon be introducing higher denominations of the Naira notes while lower ones would be converted to coins. How will it impact on inflation in the economy? Well, I do not subscribe to the idea that mere raising the denominations of our currency will lead to inflation. The variables responsible for inflation are far more different and complex than this, even coupled with the fact that smaller denominations will now be coins. You know Nigerians and their attitude to coins, somehow we just don’t spend or transact business with our coins and this is bad attitude which in my opinion should be changed to see our buying and selling as well as payment for services embrace more transaction in coins. Be that as it may, let’s take the exchange rate of the Nigerian naira to other international currencies, particularly the dollar. Whether we like it or not, lots of dollars are being spent right here in Nigeria especially by the government in the payment of Continued on page 39



Stop dropping Yakowa’s name, PDP chieftain cautions

Zamfara Rep trains 100 disabled in IT

From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna

From Salisu Zakari-Maradum, Gusau


chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state, Prince Isa Bashayi Wasa, has frowned at the frivolous use of the name of the state Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. He describes the practice as not only “uncharitable and disrespectful of the office and the person of the governor but also cheap politics”. Speaking to newsmen in Kaduna yesterday, BashayiWasa took exception to the governor’s name being linked to the impending local government election in the

state, saying that those who are saying that Governor Yakowa has not anointed any candidate for Sanga local government were only playing to the gallery with a view to currying favour with the governor. “I consider this name dropping as cheap politics, and those behind this claim are not doing His Excellency any favours, because they are cheapening his office and person. “To associate the governor with a particular part of his domain in whatever light is reductionist, because it casts the Chief Executive of the state as representing only a locality rather than the entire state which is his constituency”.

He said people who were in the habit of dropping the name of the governor are those whose time in politics was either up or nearly out, hence the resort to associating themselves with the governor so as to remain relevant in the eyes of the larger society. Calling on politicians in the state to stop unnecessary name dropping, he said Governor Yakowa, as the leader of the whole state, has every reason and right to be interested in whatever is happening in every and any part of the state because that is what he was elected to do without fear, favour or favouritism. He said the Kaduna state Governor had not disappointed the people, as he has surpassed even

the expectations of those who had initially doubted his capacity to deliver the dividend of democracy fairly and evenly to all parts of the state without fear, favour or favouritism. “That His Excellency’s performance has exceeded the expectations of the doubting Thomasses is a credit to the electorate who made the right decision by giving him their vote. Therefore, having come this far, the good people of the state should not allow or encourage anybody or group of people to do anything that will distract him. We all must do anything and everything possible to encourage our governor to continue with his good work,” Prince Prince Bashayi Wasa urged.

L-R: Director General, National Institute of Legislative Studies, Dr. Ladi Hamalai, with the Clerk of National Assembly, Alhaji Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, during an interactive session between the institute and the Management of National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Edo guber: Oshiomhole donates sunglasses to pensioners By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


overnor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state yesterday flagged off his re-flection campaign with a donation of 240,000 sunglasses glasses to pensioners and those above 60 years with poor vision ahead of July 14 Governorship

election. Some 20, 000 persons are expected to benefit from the first phase of the continuous exercise. In a brief remark, Oshiomhole said the gesture stemmed from concerns by the number of 'void votes' recorded in past elections. The Governor who appealed

to all tiers of government across the nation to institute a programme that will care for aged added that he would be using the one week medical mission to mark the first year anniversary of his late wife, Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole.'The number of voided votes have been through poor eye

sight…Nigerians cannot have peace if there is no justice and fairness', he said. Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (Rted), called on all state governments to rededicate themselves to duty in the course of serving the People by initiating programmes that will make life meaningful for the elderly.

Dana crash: Senate suspends anniversary to honour victims By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


enate has suspended its one year anniversary celebration in honour of the people that lost their lives in the Sunday Dana air crash. Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba who addressed journalists yesterday after plenary observed that it will be insensitive for the 7th Senate

to mark its one year anniversary at a time when the nation is mourning. He said, "Regrettably we are unable to celebrate this first anniversary 7th Senate because of the mood of the nation. You know with the tragedy of last Sunday, particularly the Dana plane crash, it will be insensitive for us to proceed with any form of

celebration. So in honour of those who lost their lives on Sunday, we decided to suspend any form of celebration." The Senate Leader who also spoke on the activities of the 7th Senate in the last one year added that the upper chamber has performed creditably since inception on June 6, 2011. He said the 7th Senate has passed the highest number of

bills since the inception of democracy in 1999. He said, "If we took session to session since 1999, this has been the most productive session so far. We have recorded the highest number of bills passed so far in one year since 1999. The implication is that as the institution matures, it gets more efficient and the learning curve gets shorter."


ember of the House of Representatives representing Gusau/Tsafe Federal Constituency of Zamfara state , Engineer Ibrahim Shehu Gusau, has concluded plans to sponsor the Training of 100 indigent children with physical disabilities on Information Technology Training (IT). Gusau said, the gesture to the underprivileged children was borne out of sympathy and to answer the call of Her Excellency, wife of the Governor of Zamfara state, Hajiya Asmau Abdul-Azeez Yari who recently challenged well to do individuals and politicians in the state to assist them. He said "the programme which will be jointly conducted by the Zamfara state Universal Basic Education Board (ZSUBEB) and National Institute of Technology Development (NITD) have advantage of making them to undergo special programme of learning skills on technological new approach and development in IT training that will provide enough technological manpower to the state. He described the condition of those children as very sad and expressed disappointment at their neglect by the society when they needed help the most. The lawmaker said he will initiate the training programme with all the needed facilities in Gusau immediately so as to ascertain the quality and capability of their knowledge and ensure the success of the enrolment of the physically disabled Shehu who is also the Chairman House Committee on ICT commended the effort of the governor's wife over her commitment and interest toward the improvement of their welfare. The lawmaker described Governor Yari's one year in office as a reflection time for onward transformation of Zamfara state that have suffered of poor leadership and bad governance. He said within his one year in office, Yari brought discipline, commitment and honesty to the state service in providing social amenities and ensuring political cohesion and progress among all the people of the state. He stated "At least we have shown our readiness in fulfillment of the promises made to the people of Zamfara state during our campaign tour last year by using good governance to save our people from under development and bringing good change to them. It is now yielding fruit on all our party promises of providing many infrastructures, completion of ongoing projects and sanitizing our politics through empowerment, provision of social amenities all within one year of Governor's tenure in the state" He urged the people of the state to support the state government and continue being prayerful for the peace and stability of the state and nation in general.



Group supports FCT Minister, faults politicians From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


group, Democracy and Justice Vanguard (DJV), based in Bauchi, has described as mischievous a call for the removal of the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, by those it described as “undesirable elements sponsored by some powerful politicians in the corridors of power in Bauchi

Oyo ACN sure of victory at LG elections From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN), Oyo state chapter, yesterday assured of its at the forthcoming local government election saying past governors had laid precedent for the conduct of council poll. The state chairman of the party, Chief Akin Oke who spoke with newsmen disclosed this during a chat with newsmen said “The two past governors ‘Senator Rasheed Ladoja and Chief Adebayo Akala’ really taught us how to conduct local government election and we are ready at anytime”. He noted that tremendous success of the party in the last 12 months can not be compared with four years of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. Reacting to a statement credited to opposition that ACN was afraid of losing local government election as reason for not planning to conduct council polls, the ACN Chairman the progressive party in the state can not put trust in electoral body constituted by opposition. He reinstated that the delay in conduct of local government election in the state was as a result of court proceedings over the tenure of Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission(OYSIEC) board members which expires in November.

state”. A statement by the group’s Chairman and Secretary, Comrade Bala Saleh Rambo and Buba Ibrahim Gamawa respectively, alleged that some powerful politicians in Bauchi state are jittery and fearful about the rising political influence of the FCT Minister in Nigeria’s politics. “Those politicians have lost focus and relevance in the polity and the only politician that seems to be a threat to the realization of their political ambition is the FCT Minister”. Rambo and Gamawa noted that the fearful Bauchi politicians deliberately preferred to be mischievous in their clandestine activities to satisfy the whims and caprices of their masters, and equally derail the existing cordial relationship between President Goodluck Jonathan and the FCT Minister. “We wish to categorically state for the benefit of those who do not know that the reconciliation of Bala Mohammed with his boss, Governor Isa Yuguda, has become a source of serious concern to the man who has resorted to all forms of mischief against the minister”, they stated. While reacting to a recent publications in some national dailies with caption “Group wants FCT Minister Sacked’’

which the newspapers attributed to a group called Congress for National Democrats(CND), Rambo said the so-called democrats falsely and baselessly accused Senator Bala Mohammed of ineptitude in FCT administration. He noted that the democrats’ action was politically motivated and it portrayed the fear of someone who felt that the presence of Senator Bala in President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet was a threat to his political ambition in Bauchi and the country at large. The FCT Minister, the duo said, was pre-occupied with the task entrusted to him by President Goodluck Jonathan, stressing that Bala was occupied with national assignments, facilitating the transformation agenda of the President, and justifying the confidence reposed in him by the Federal Government. The DJV recalled that it was Senator Bala Muhammad who while in the Senate moved for the transfer of executive powers to the then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan at a time when many Nigerians were afraid of coming out to acknowledge that late President Yar’adua was incapacitated and therefore incapable of leading the country. “We are proud to have you as

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Muhammad the son of the soil, you should therefore, see your appointment as the recognition of your hard work which should not be allowed to go un-noticed by the Presidency”, the DJV positioned. While in concordant with the

progressive ideals of Senator Bala Mohammed, Rambo also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to continue with his good work of putting the right people in the right places in order to move the country to greater heights.

Sacked lawmaker: Kwara Assembly awaits Appeal Court ruling From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state House of Assembly resolved to continue to allow the sacked lawmaker, Hon. Salman Abdulfattah, to sit at plenary until Court of Appeal gives its final ruling on the matter. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had urged the Assembly to stop the PDP

member from sitting and participating in debates on the floor of the House because he had been sacked by an Ilorin High Court in a suit injstituted against him by Abdul Kayode Aiyelabegan, the party’s candidate in the 2011 state Assembly elections. The Assembly in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Speaker, Abdulrahaman

Sanni, stated that it resolved that it was a party to the suit and there was no where in the judgment that ordered that Hon Salman should vacate his seat. “However, the matter was referred to the lawyers to the Assembly. They have advised that since there is a pending appeal by Hon. Salman and the Assembly has not been notified of the outcome of that appeal, the

matter remains subjudice. As such, it would be improper to take any action. “The Kwara state House of Assembly always respects court judgments and orders. However it is foolish to rush to take action one way or the other without the legal position being made clear and unambiguous. Otherwise, we might ourselves run foul of the law.”

This government doesn’t listen to good advice, says ACN Rep Continued from page 37

Rep Segun William

goods and services and also by some private concerns and individuals. Now with the naira exchanging for over 150 to the dollar and over 250 to the Pound, you can imagine the sheer bulk a person paid in these currencies will have to carry along if he needs to change his money back to the local currency with 1000 naira being our highest denomination for now. What I am trying to say is that for a society like Nigeria that believes so much in cash-transaction, higher denominations will ease logging around bulky cash and make cash transaction easier and safer for the generality of the people. So, I do not want to attribute the introduction of higher denomination of the naira currency and the

changing of smaller ones in coins as solely capable of leading to inflationary trends in the nation’s economy. If the price regulators such as the Federal Office of Statistics and the likes are more up and doing and report back to government any arbitrary increase in prices for necessary sanctions, then much of the inflationary trends would have been nipped in the bud. Any caring government must be alive to the duty of price monitoring and not leave its citizens to the mercy of greedy businessmen and service providers who would stop at noting to maximize their profits. Government through its relevant agencies must monitor all aspects of production from the importation of raw materials to final packaging so as to have the idea of the indices

surrounding production. This will allow it place a ceiling on cost-prices after giving ample margin for profit for the manufacturers or importers of goods and services. But this is not the case here in Nigeria where anything goes as far as pricing is concerned. Here there is no price control mechanism, everybody including the authorities are left at the mercy of profiteers. The day I saw a policeman buying fuel at the black-market during scarcity was the day I realized that we are finished as per protection in this country. Imagine a cop in his full regalia buying blackmarket fuel at a station near his police formation, a policeman who is supposed to check such abuses, himself now part of the Abuse. Do you subscribe to the

view by your party (ACN) that convening the Sovereign National Conference (SNC) is a cure-all solution to the nation’s problems? Well, I am not speaking for my party, the ACN, but rather as a representative of the people. The Sovereign National Conference, looking at it objectively could be the avenue through which the voice of the people would be heard and loudly too. As it were, the National Assembly as it’s presently constituted is a military concoction. Nowhere did Nigerians sit down under a Plebiscite to allot seats to the different federating states. There is no conference whatsoever, neither was there any agreement on the criteria for allotting seats in the NASS to the states of the federation.



Crisis in APGA won’t affect development, says ex-adviser


former special adviser to Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra, Chief Sylvester Nwobu-Alor, has said that the internal crisis rocking APGA will not adversely affect the development of the state. Mwobu-Alor gave the assurance at a media forum in Awka on Wednesday while evaluating the performance of the state government in the past six years. The state government, he observed, had made balanced appointment of people into strategic positions, resulting in even development in all sectors of the economy. The APGA chieftain said that 85 per cent of stakeholders in the party were yearning for reform in the party and that the crisis tearing it apart would be resolved very soon.

L-R: Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Education, Hon. Faruk Lawan, Chairman Committee on Media and Public Affairs , Hon . Zakari Mohammed, and Chairman, Committee on Rules and Business, Hon. Sam Albert, during a press briefing on the activities of the House in the last one year, yesterday at the National Assembly, Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

FG urged to stabilize the democratic process


university teacher, Prof. Sat Obiyan, has urged the Federal Government to tackle the challenges confronting democratisation in Nigeria. Obiyan, who spoke in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) from IleIfe, Osun, listed the challenges to include corruption and the cost of governance. The don spoke on his expectations of President Goodluck Jonathan in the next 365 days. Obiyan, Head of Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, said the challenges must be addressed quickly for the

nation’s democracy succeed. “The Federal Government must deal with corruption, as well as reduce the cost of governance while giving priority to other areas of the economy including education, unemployment and roads,’’ he said. According to him, the present cost of governance was too high, thereby making it attractive for people without political determination to struggle for positions at all cost. “Government must discourage ‘must win and violent attitude ‘of some politicians for democracy to be fully effective.

“There is need for politicians to have the right political culture and attitude in mind so as not to make politics a do- or-die affair,’’ he said. Obiyan advised the government to find a lasting solution to the security challenges which had become a major challenge threatening the democratic process in the country. Also speaking on his expectations from the president in the coming year, Dr Olugbemiga Afolabi, a lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Obafemi AwolowoUniversity, called for support for the government.

Ajimobi warns NURTW against violence


ov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has warned the new caretaker executive of the NURTW in the state against acts of violence and brigandage in the state. Ajimobi gave the warning yesterday when the executive members led by Alhaji Taofik Oyerinde visited his office in Ibadan. The governor said all acts capable of breaching public peace

in the state would be seriously dealt with. He, however, vowed that government would make the state conducive for every peace loving member of the union to go about his business. Responding, Oyerinde commended the governor for lifting the ban placed on the union’s activities in the state. Oyerinde assured government

that his members would give necessary support to the restoration programme of the state government by conducting itself peacefully at all times. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had suspended the activities of the NURTW in the state on June 4, 2011 following a factional crisis of the union which led to some killings.

President Jonathan forwards bills to rename UNILAG, two other varsities (NAN) recalls that the President


resident Goodluck Jonathan has forwarded bills to the Senate to change the names of three federal universities. They are University of Lagos, to be renamed Moshood Abiola University, Lagos, Federal University of Technology Yola to be changed to Modibbo Adama University of

Technology,Yola and Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike to be named after the late Dr.Michael Okpara, Premier of defunct Eastern Region. The President in a letter to Senate President David Mark yestersday, appealed to the legislators to expedite work on the bills. The News Agency of Nigeria

announced the renaming of University of Lagos to Moshood Abiola University, Lagos on Democracy Day, May 29, in a nationwide broadcast to honour the late politician who was the acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential election. However, students of the University took to the streets protesting against the name change.

The former adviser on parks and markets, who is calling for the removal of the national executive of the party, argued that they did not come into office through elections. “We, as a party, cannot move forward as currently constituted until elections are conducted into various positions to enhance democratic principles,” Nwobu-Alor noted. On the non conduct of local government polls in the state, he said that as soon as all issues relating to litigations over it were settled, elections into the 21 councils would be held. “APGA as a party remains a veritable voice for the actualisation of the Igbo dream for political reintegration in Nigeria,” the former adviser said.

INEC pledges support to voter education club


yo state INEC yesterday said the commission would ensure the sustenance of its Voters Education Club (VEC) in schools. The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Alhaji Nasir Ayilara, said this at a workshop organised for 132 secondary school principals in Ibadan. Ayilara, who said the commission was aware that funding was key to the sustenance of the club, would be done to ensure the success of the initiative. He said the establishment of VEC would be an antidote to the menace of electoral malpractice in the country. According to him, youths from secondary schools form the bulk of those used by politicians to perpetrate electoral fraud during elections. Ayilara explained that adequate voters education at the secondary school level would further inculcate the tenets of democracy in the people. He commended Gov. Abiola

Ajimobi for making the workshop a reality by approving the release of the principals. In an address at the workshop, the Oyo state Director of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr Femi Mapaderun, called on principals to ensure the teaching of civics as a core subject in their schools. The NOA boss also urged principals and parents to inculcate moral lessons in children at school and home, saying the two institutions shape their future. The state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Tokunbo Fayokun, lauded the VEC initiative and pledged the support of her ministry to the project. Fayokun assured principals that arrangement had been concluded to review the subvention given schools in line with reality. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commissioner administered the oath of allegiance on VEC members from Community Secondary School, Inalende, Ibadan, to signify the takeoff of the initiative.

Reps pass bill on National Climate Change Commission


he House of Representatives in Abuja on Tuesday passed a bill for the establishment of the National Climate Change Commission. The bill seeks to give the commission the responsibility to regulate and coordinate policies and actions on climate change in Nigeria. The bill, sponsored by the Leader of the House, Rep. Mulikat Akande – Adeola, was passed when put to vote by the Speaker, Rep. Aminu Tambuwal. The House also passed the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap.C45. The bill seeks to establish the Nigeria Customs Service and reform the administration and management of Customs and Excise in Nigeria.

The assembly also passed the Senior Citizens Centres bill in Nigeria, to be given the responsibility to cater to the needs of senior citizens. The house passed a bill for an Act to provide for the establishment and operation of a programme to enable certain persons to receive protection in relation to certain inquires and investigations or prosecutions. Other bills passed by the house were a bill to establish the Federal Capital Territory College of Education and a bill to establish the National Commission for Conciliation and Arbitration. Others are the bill to regulate the business of equipment leasing in Nigeria and the bill to provide for the establishment of the Federal Capital Territory Education Resource Centre.



NFF will encourage Keshi to succeed, Maigari assures Stories by Patrick Andrew

Stephen Keshi

Super Eagles Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, will continue to receive necessary support for the rebuilding of the Eagles from the board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), according to Aminu Maigari, the president of the football federation. Maigari gave the assurance against the backdrop of Sunday’s new found form exhibited by the still-in-the works Super Eagles, showed flair, depth and were entertaining in spite of not scoring many goals as were expected to. “On our part as a Federation, we will continue to give the team maximum support and create conducive environment for Coach Keshi and his players to succeed in the task of qualifying for the 2013 Cup of Nations and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, and generally making us all happy again,” said Maigari. The president applauded Keshi’s rebuilding process noting the new team have

taken a shape that has shown so much prospects and hopes that the dividends will be realised sooner than later. “It is crystal clear even at this point that the re-building project is not a vain venture. Surely, the Super Eagles now play with far greater enthusiasm and vivacity, and they fight hard on the field. The goals may not have come aplenty against Namibia but we created chances and were simply unlucky to have won by only one goal,” he said. The Super Eagles will fly to Blantyre tonight for Saturday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifier against the Flames at the Kamuzu Stadium. A week after, the Eagles will take on Rwanda’s Amavubi at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar in the return leg of a 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying fixture, which first leg ended 0-0 in Kigali on February 29. The winner on aggregate qualifies for the

final round of the qualifying series for the 2013 African Cup of Nations, which would be played over two legs in September/ October. The 2013 African Cup of Nations finals will be staged in South Africa.

Aminu Maigari

Chelsea, Liverpool in hot chase of Victor Moses Roland Garros: Nadal hits semifinal without dropping a set, meets Ferrer Friday


igan Athletics’ want out wing player, Victor Moses, has revealed that his agent is considering offers from UEFA Champions League champions, Chelsea and Liverpool, who are restructuring for next season. Moses, who featured for the Super Eagles in Sunday’s narrow win over the Brave Warriors in the first round matches of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, has opted not to seal a deal with Wigan as he wants to shift base for greener pasture. And his agent Tony Finnigan has said the 21-year-old forward, who is valued at 10 million pounds, could soon quit his modest English club, following his splendid season for Wigan where he scored seven goals. Moses, who disclosed in an interview with a wire service yesterday, said that he is yet to decide on his future but stressed that interests from Chelsea and Liverpool are attracting his serious consideration. “I don’t know for now (whether I will move), but there’s a link for me to Liverpool, Chelsea and some other clubs in England. If the offer is cool, why not I

will move,” Moses said in Abuja. Moses still has a year left on his contract at Wigan, who have reportedly tabled him an extension which however, falls short of the player’s expectations. He also said he would love to star in the Italian Serie A at some point in his career. “I’m looking at (playing in) Italy, but that would be much later in my career,” he said. The player, who fled Nigeria as an 11-year-old child following the murder of his parents in Kaduna during a religious uprising in the northern Nigeria city of Kaduna, is set for his third Super Eagles appearance in Malawi this weekend after he featured against Rwanda and Namibia recently. “We did well in Calabar against Namibia and we hope to win in Malawi. We just have to take chances very well because they are not going to come out to play us, just like Namibia did,” said Moses. “It’s kind of nice in the Eagles, obviously we have some big names and everyone here is working week in, week out. And I believe that we will qualify for the World Cup.”

You won’t be lucky like Namibia, Ambrose warns Malawi


amibia were lucky to escape with a narrow loss, according to Efe Ambrose, who warned Malawi against banking on such luck when the Super Eagles take on the Flames in Blantyre in the second game of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Ambrose, who played as a right back in the slim 1-0 victory over Namibia in Calabar,said that the Eagles were unfortunate not to have scored more than they did against Namibia, but assured that they will correct all their offensive blunders before Saturday’s match in Blantyre. “We are leading the group now as expected. We are

set to remain there. We will go to Malawi with aim of victory. We ought to beat Namibia well last weekend but we only managed a 1-0 despite our performance. “But Malawi won’t be lucky. We will do what we failed to do right against Namibia when we go to Blantyre. We all know the importance of the game, we are getting along well as a team and by the time we play Malawi, we would be better than against Namibia.” Ambrose, only one of three Samson Siasia Eagles players that featured in the match, said that the Eagles are determined to impose themselves on the group to assume the leadership of pack. The defender, who combined well with Godfrey Oboabana and Azubuike Egwuekwe, said the Eagles are working hard to know themselves noting that once they are blended it would be Super Eagles will difficult to them. travel to Blantyre “I am calling on Nigerians tonight via to keep supporting us and Johannesburg, pray for us. We won’t South Africa. Head disappoint the nation as we Coach, Stephen will get the desired results Keshi, will lead a as the team play games,” team of 23 players Ambrose said. and seven The Eagles pipped hosts technical officials Malawi 1-0 in March 2003 in a in the trip 2004 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.


afael Nadal defeated fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-3 yesterday to reach the French Open semifinals without dropping a single set. It was the 50th win for Nadal at the spiritual home of claycourt tennis since he first competed here as an 18-year-old in 2005. His only defeat came in the fourth round in 2009 when he lost to Robin Soderling of Sweden in a fourth round match. This year Nadal is bidding to become the first player to win seven French Open titles, moving him out of a tie with Swedish legend Bjorn Borg. A win on Sunday would also be his 11th Grand Slam title, level with Borg and Rod Laver. In the end Almagro went the way of so many others over the course of the last seven years, but he gave a solid account of himself especially in a hotly-disputed first set. Nadal’s drive into the final four has come at the cost of just 30 games. The other semifinal has already been set, with top seed Novak Djokovic taking on third seed Roger Federer. Meanwhile, Andy Murray’s hopes of ending Britain’s 76-year wait for a Grand Slam men’s champion stalled again yesterday when he was defeated 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-2 by Spain’s David Ferrer in the French Open quarterfinals. Sixth-seeded Ferrer reached his first Roland Garros semi-final where he will tackle compatriot and six-time champion Rafael Nadal on Friday for a place in Sunday’s final. Murray, bidding to reach a second successive French Open semi-final, comfortably matched his opponent in the gruelling, big-hitting rallies, but was undone by 59 unforced errors.

Efe Ambrose

Rafael Nadal



Loaded Harambee Stars named for Namibia tie


xcept for AFC Leopards’ goalkeeper, Patrick Matasi and Paul Ochieng, that have been left out of Harambee Stars’ the Harambee Stars will parade a loaded squad against the Brave Warriors of Namibia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier this weekend First choice goalkeeper Arnold Origi who linked up with the team yesterday has made the trip and looks set to make his first start for Stars since the 0-0 draw away in Uganda last October. Sofapaka stopper Eugene Asike, who was given summoned to the side on Monday was also included to beef up the defence in the absence of Ochieng and Thiak left back Dennis Odhiambo.

Kenya drew their opening 2014 World Cup Group F qualifier against Malawi and need a result against the brave Warriors to stay in touch with group leaders Nigeria. Their opponents lost 1-0 to the Super eagles and will bank on home advantage. The sides last met in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers with Namibia winning the first leg 2-1 in Windhoek while Stars won the match up in Nairobi 1-0 via a Jamal Mohammed penalty. Squad: Keepers: Arnold Origi (Ull/Kisa/Norway), Boniface Otieno (Tusker FC), Duncan Ochieng (Sofapaka) Defenders: Mulinge Ndetto (Ulinzi Stars),

Brian Mandela (Tusker FC), James Situma (Sofapaka FC), Jockins Atudo (Tusker FC), Joseph Shikokoti (Tusker FC), Eugene Asike (Sofapaka FC), Dennis Nzomo (Mathare United). Midfielders: Titus Mulama (St Eloi Lupopo/DRC), Victor Mugube (Glasgow Celtic/Scotland), Kelvin Ochieng (Gor Mahia), Humphrey Mieno (Sofapaka FC), Clifford Miheso (Thika United), Jamal Mohammed (Mathare United), Collins Okoth (Gor Mahia), Kevin Kimani (unattached), Patrick Osiako (Petrolul Ploie?ti/Romania) Forwards: Dennis Oliech (AJ Auxerre/ France), Kepha Aswani (Thika United), Paul Were (AFC Leopards).

Dennis Oliech

Frustrated Zambia coach, Renard, gives quit threat


Herve Renard

fter working for six months without being paid, Herve Renard, who led the Chipolopolo of Zambia to Nations Cup victory last February, has threatened to quit his post if the Zambian football federation fails to pay soonest. Renard told French sports daily l’Equipe that he was getting frustrated with his situation as coach of the 2012 African champions. “I have not been paid for six months. After the Africa Cup, I took the decision to remain with the group, despite other big offers. I planned to go to the World Cup. That’s life, I’ve learnt my lesson,” Renard

said. Renard was re-appointed as Zambia coach in November last year after taking over from his successor Dario Bonetti of Italy, a year and a half after leaving the team in April 2010 to take up a luctraive two year deal with Angola that lasted just five months. “There is an incredible lack of respect and consideration. Enough is enough. If nothing is settled before the end of June, I am leaving,” the Frenchman said. His latest revelations have shuttered an image of Camelot that has been swirled around Zambia since their recent Africa

Cup triumph. Furthermore, the news does very little for Zambia with just 72 hours before Chipolopolo host Ghana in a crucial 2014 World Cup Group D qualifier in Ndola. The game comes a week after Zambia’s embarrassing 2-0 defeat in their opening Group D match away to Sudan on June 2. When contacted by a wire service he declined to confirm or deny the report instead said he said he was firmly focused on Saturdays clash against the Black Stars. “Concentrate on Saturday (s) game,” was Renard’s short and sharp reply from Ndola where the team is camped.

Malawian midfielder Robert Ng’ambi has just completed a relatively successful club season captaining Platinum Stars in the South Africa Premier League but on Saturday he will be among key players hoping to transform club form to country when the “Flames” host Nigeria in a 2014 World Cup qualifier. spoke to Ng’ambi ahead of the encounter against the “Super Eagles” to be played in Blantyre at the weekend.


ow important is it to do well at home against Nigeria? Every international game is important to a player and this is even more important as it is the first home match for us this year. We have to make home advantage count as nothing is guaranteed when playing away and our away record is not good enough.

Super Eagles can’t escape defeat in Blantyre, says Flames defender

Nigeria seems to be struggling of late does this matter to you as hosts? It does matter and in a big way. We have to take advantage of Nigeria struggles and make the most of it. We have to use that as our advantage. We have to win all home matches and try to snatch points away. Our goal should be getting maximum points in all home matches. And the Flames do have a strong home record It is a plus for us to play at home but nothing is achieved yet. Our home record will matter depending on the squad we have. We have some young players being integrated in the team by the coach but in this type of a match, you need more experienced players. Obviously the coach knows better but we need experienced players who can handle the pressure of facing a giant like Nigeria. Do you have an idea yet of the Nigeria you will face on Saturday? I have an idea having watched some of their recent games against Botswana and Kenya. They appear to be struggling even at home. Scoring also seems to be a challenge for them, even more away. But we cannot underrate them. They are powerful and strong.

Robert Ng’ambi The odds are surely staked against the Flames since you have not beaten Nigeria for decades? We have never beaten them but it is not cast in stone that we cannot end that bad record against Nigeria. It is not easy beating a team of Nigeria profile but we can do it. More pressure is on them since they missed out on qualification for the last Africa Cup of Nations finals. Do you feel intimidated playing against Nigeria’s big name players? On the contrary, this is the type of a game any worthwhile player must stand out and be counted. You need to prove yourself against the best team to be a best player. I am personally up to the task; no nerves what so ever. But the Flames are also struggling evidenced by the goalless draw in Kenya on Saturday.

There is no cause for panic. We need to rectify this as quickly as possible. It’s all in our heads as players. Let us hope playing at home would help us end this winless patch.

Do you realistically think Malawi can qualify for the World Cup finals in Brazil? All teams that are in the qualifying race want to qualify; you need to be ambitious but obviously this has a limit. We have never qualified for the World Cup finals and even our qualification to the final of the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations was the second ever and it happened after 26 years so it is tough for us. We may not stand a chance of World Cup qualification but we will give it our best shot. Dike says no to ‘rushing’ Eagles Ahead of Saturday’s 2014 World Cup qualifier in Blantyre against the Flames of Malawi, former Enugu Rangers’ manager, Alphonsus Dike has charged Super Eagles to be calm around their opponents goal area. Dike blamed the slim win the Eagles recorded against the Brave Warriors of Namibia in Sunday’s game in Calabar to the forwards being too much in a hurry to score. The former Golden Eaglets’ coach told that if Eagles would come out unscathed from the Blantyre’s battle the attackers must be able to control their instincts. “Our attackers were too much in a hurry to score in the game against Namibia, the lone goal came when Uche was able to calm down, control the ball before he took the shot. “Against Malawi, I advise them to be calm in Azubuike Egwuekwe the 18 yard box of their opponents, knock the ball around and create opening to score or they’re brought down and get penalty. No need to rush or struggle. “And their crosses and passes must be purposeful and tailor made meant to teammate. I’m confident they’ll get the three points in Blantyre.” Apparently pleased with the performances of the domestic players, Dike would want more of their presence in the run in of the World Cup qualifiers. “The domestic lads have been fantastic, I think in the African qualifiers the local lads should get the upper hands. “Ejike Uzoenyi has proven to be the best winger in the national team now, what they need is more exposure and playing time. “I’m not saying that the Europe-based players are irrelevant, we need the committed ones to mix them up with the local chaps,” he said. Eagles will face the Flames of Malawi in Blantyre in the race for the Brazil 2014 World Cup ticket. Malawi got a vital away point at Kenya in Nairobi last weekend.



The season is over. Clubs are counting their blessing as well as losses and would like to make amends and even beef up their squads where noticeable lapses exist. And the transfer market is agog barely 24 hours after major European leagues dropped the curtain. And so to keep abreast with latest rumours, we begin daily doses of movements within the market both for players and coaches like.

Baines, Modric top United hit-list


anchester United has increased its bid to sign Everton and England left-back Leighton Baines and -Tottenham’s Croatia midfielder Luka Modric who are still in his sights as he seeks to hit back after Manchester City’s dramatic last-gasp league success. United has agreed terms with Borussia Dortmund for the midfielder with an initial fee of £12million, rising to a potential £17m. Having missed out on Eden Hazard , United moved swiftly to land Japan star Kagawa for around half the price of Chelsea’s£32m Belgian. He was a key member of Dortmund’s triumphant side last season, helping them to see off Bayern Munich to complete an impressive Bundesliga and German Cup double. The 23-year-old, who can play on both sides or behind the main striker, scored 13 goals in 31 league -appearances last term. Kagawa’s versatility gives Fergie more -flexibility in attack and he is expected to play just off Wayne Rooney. Ferguson was in Berlin to watch Kagawa in Dortmund’s 5-2 German Cup final win over Bayern Munich the day before United lost the title to City.


Pandev completes Napoli switch


acedonia forward Goran Pandev has signed a three-year deal with Napoli following a £6.4 million switch from Inter Milan. Pandev, 28, who helped the club to a Coppa Italia title while on-loan this campaign, makes the move after a disappointing two and a half years at Inter during which time he scored just eight goals for the Nerazzurri. “I have great confidence in this project and I am convinced that the victory in the Coppa Italia final is just the beginning of a great time for this club. I hope I can end my career at Napoli.”


ranislav Ivanovic’s future at Chelsea is once again up in the air after he rubbished quotes which were wrongly attributed to his ‘agent’. Ivanovic said in May that he thought Real Madrid was tracking his progress, which led to speculation he could quit Stamford Bridge over

Leighton Baines

Newcastle eyes £6m Dame


ewcastle boss Alan Pardew has lined up another Senegalese striker if Demba Ba quits the club this summer Toon scouts have filed glowing reports on £6m-rated Copenhagen hitman Dame N’Doye and the Geordies are ready to pounce should Ba move on. N’Doye, 27, scored 24 goals in 40 games last season and would jump at the chance of a move to England. Twelve months ago he snubbed a mega-rich deal to join Saudi outfit Al-Bilal, claiming his next planned career step was into the Premier League. Newcastle can’t stop Ba leaving due to a release clause in his contract which kicks in if any club tables a £7.5m bid.

Goran Pandev

Tevez happy at City


anchester City striker Carlos Tevez has said he is happy with life in England after a season dogged by uncertainty over his future. Tevez, 28, spent five months of the season in self-imposed exile after a dispute with City manager Roberto Mancini but returned to play a role in City’s Premier League triumph. “My biggest wish is to finish my career in the Boca shirt, I am still

thinking the same as when I left - I want to retire here. I am here for whatever Boca need. “But the truth is that I finished the season very happy in England, I am feeling good, I have no desire to be thinking that I want to leave, my family are happy.” Tevez said: “I did not miss the Seleccion. I was happier watching from outside. I liked the team, but for now I do not want to be there. When I am called I will be there, of course.”

Pandev made 30 appearances for Napoli during his loan at the Stadio San Paolo, scoring six goals in the process to make his mark at the club. Napoli later officially confirmed Pandev’s signing on their website: “Goran Pandev will be tied to the Azzurriclub until June 2015 with an optional further year.” He is a gentleman and has proved to be generous because he agreed to earn less than what he got at Inter. I hope he not only plays the next four years at Napoli but also has an even longer career with us.”

Ivanovic future in fresh doubt the summer. Those rumours were apparently quashed when Vlado Borozan made comments to the media declaring Ivanovic was happy with life in West London and had no

intention of leaving. However, it has now emerged Borozan is not Ivanovic’s agent, and the Serbia international has left the exit door slightly ajar for Real Madrid. “I have four years

Everton fight to keep £20mrated Baines N

apoli are showing interest in Everton and England left back Leighton Baines. The 27year-old has been linked with Manchester United this summer but Everton insist they have yet to have any contact from Sir Alex Ferguson or David Gill. Everton value Baines at around £20million and do not want him to leave. The valuation is likely to deter Napoli, who wants Baines as a replacement for Andrea Dossena, who is talking to AC Milan. Everton expect to have to sell players this summer but may sacrifice others instead. Midfielder Tim Cahill has refused to rule out the prospect of a move to Saudi Arabia. The Australian, currently on international duty, is wanted by Al Nassr and although Everton manager David Moyes said he thinks the 32-year-old will stay, Cahill said: ‘I am a massive fan of the Middle East, the cultures, the people.

Carlos Tevez

QPR, Sunderland set to battle for Everton midfielder


PR and Sunderland are keen on former Everton and Portsmouth midfielder Manuel Fernandes. The 26year-old is available on a free transfer after a contract dispute with his club Besiktas. Sunderland also remains interested in Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Dame N’Doye

remaining on my contract, have just won the Champions League, just captained my country on international duty, and am now ready for a holiday with my family to recharge my batteries and get ready for next season.”

Manuel Fernandes



Samsung Diamond League

Nine to vie for Girls’ Dream 100, as Felix, Madison join New York fiesta Morolake Akinosun


ennifer Madu and Morolake Akinosun will lead seven others to compete for the prestigious adidas Girls’ Dream 100 prize this weekend at the sixth Samsung Diamond League meet which already an entry that is rich in depth. Brown Aaliyah, Tristie Johnson, Sanders Shayla, Washington Arianna, Davis-White Kali, Cause Destinee, and valentine Tianna are the other youngsters that will be on the marks for the 100m prize as part of the events of the Samsung Diamond league. Also, the duo of Allyson Felix and Tianna Madison, both of whom have exploded this season as surprise contenders to make the U.S. Olympic Team at 100m, have been added to the field for the adidas Grand Prix this Saturday. They join a women’s 100m field that already includes American Carmelita Jeter, the reigning World Champion; Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, the 2008 Olympic gold medallist and 2009 World Champion; and Kelly-Ann Baptiste of Trinidad and Tobago, the reigning World Championships bronze medallist. The top three times in the world this season are owned by Jeter (10.81), Baptiste (10.86) and Felix (10.92). Felix, a three-time World Champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist at 200m, ran a personal best 10.92 in defeating a strong 100m field at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Doha on 11 May. Felix, 26, also has two World Championships titles in the 4x100m Relay. Madison, the 2005 World Champion in the Long Jump, suddenly emerged as a sprint threat this indoor season when she won the U. S. indoor title before earning a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships. In her only 100m this season, the 26-year-old set a personal best of 11.01 in winning the Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico on May 12. Also included are Nickel Ashmeade of Jamaica (200m), who finished fifth at the 2011 World Championships at 200m and last week notched a personal best of 9.93 at 100m in the Prefontaine Classic. Valerie Adams of New Zealand (Shot Put), the 2008 Olympic gold medallist and three-time World Champion; Fantu Magiso, the 19-year-old Ethiopian 800m sensation who has smashed her national record twice in the past three weeks by running 1:57.90 in Doha and then 1:57.56 in Rome; and Yargelis Savigne of Cuba, a three-time World Triple Jump champion (2007 and 2009 outdoors, 2008 indoors). Two athletes previously announced Mbulaeni Mulaudzi (800m, injury) and Matthew Centrowitz (1500m, focusing on Olympic Trials preparation) - have withdrawn. In its eighth year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Allyson Felix

Carmelita Jeter

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

David Rudisha

Abubakar Kaki

Jennifer Madu

Headlining the world class international roster, which features athletes from 42 countries, are 72 Olympic or World Championships medallists, 40 of whom are

Olympic gold medalists and/or World Champions. Men’s National 100m: 2011 World Champion Yohan Blake of Jamaica faces

Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, and Trell Kimmons, the 2012 U.S. Indoor Champion. Men’s 400m: Jeremy Wariner, 2004 Olympic gold medallist and two-time World Champion (2005, 2007) goes up against Jamaican National Record-holder Jermaine Gonzales and Oscar Pistorius, the four-time Paralympic gold medallist who is seeking to run 45.30 or under to be considered for the South African Olympic team. Men’s 800m: David Rudisha of Kenya, the World Champion and World record holder who is making his U.S. debut, will face Alfred Kirwa Yego of Kenya, the 2007 World Champion; Abubaker Kaki of Sudan, the 2011 World Championships silver medallist and two-time World Indoor Champion; and Boaz Lalang, the 2010 World Indoor silver medallist. Making his major professional debut in the Northeast will be former New Jersey high school star Robby Andrews. Men’s National 1500m: Two-time Olympic medallist and 2007 World Champion Bernard Lagat of the U.S. will be challenged by Augustine Choge of Kenya, the 2012 World Indoor silver medallist at 3000m; Craig Mottram of Australia, the 2005 World Championships bronze medalist at 5000m; and 2009 World Championships finalist Leonel Manzano of the U.S. Men’s 110m Hurdles: A star-studded field is led by Cuba’s Dayron Robles, the reigning Olympic gold medallist and World record holder who is competing in the mainland U.S. for the first time. He faces stiff competition from 2011 World Champion Jason Richardson; 2008 Olympic bronze medallist and American Record-holder David Oliver; 2012 World Indoor champion Aries Merritt of the U.S.; and surprising 20-year-old Cuban Orlando Ortega, who upset Robles for victory in a meet in Havana late last month. Another young phenom, 21-year-old Hansle Parchment of Jamaica, is also on tap. Men’s High Jump: 2011 World champion Jesse Williams of the U.S. takes on 2012 World Indoor champion Dimítrios Chondrokoúkis of Greece. Men’s Long Jump: Australia’s Mitchell Watt will meet Greg Rutherford of Great Britain, whose jump of 8.35m is the longest in the world so far this year. Women’s National 200m: Sanya Richards-Ross, the 2009 World Champion at 400m and two-time 4x400m Olympic gold medallist, faces Bianca Knight, a 2011 World Championships gold medallist in the 4x100m Relay. Women’s 800m: Jenny Simpson, the 2011 World Champion at 1500m, comes up against one of the hottest young talents in the world this season in Magiso. Also in the field are the two U.S. high school stars, Ajee Wilson of Neptune, N.J., and California sensation Amy Weissenbach. Women’s 5000m: The 5000m World record holder and 2008 double Olympic gold medallist (5000m, 10,000m) Tirunesh Dibaba will be seeking to impress the Ethiopian Olympic selectors with a fast time. Also in the field are countrywoman Werknesh Kidane, the eight-time World Cross Country Championships medallist, and three-time U.S. Olympian Jen Rhines. Women’s 400m Hurdles: Kaliese Spencer of Jamaica, fourth in the World Championships in 2009 and 2011, meets young Americans Queen Harrison, a 2008 Olympian, and T’erea Brown, the 2010 U.S. champion. Women’s Triple Jump: Savigne will face Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, the 2010 World Indoor champion and two-time silver medallist (2011 outdoors, 2012 indoors). Women’s Shot Put: Adams will go up against American Jill Camarena-Williams, the 2011 World Championships bronze medallist.






A A. The Luxembourg Boxing Federation votes in favour of licensing the fight between David Haye and Dereck Chisora. B. Sven Goran Eriksson has branded the reaction to Roy Hodgson's omission of Rio Ferdinand from his England squad for Euro 2012 a "smear campaign". C. Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has revealed his happiness with life in England, after a season dogged by uncertainty over his future and revealed his dream of a future Boca move. D. Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp may be forced to enter the final year of his current contract after talks over an extension showed no signs of reaching a resolution. E. South Africa coach Heyneke Meyer has named three uncapped players in his starting line-up for Saturday's first Test against England. F. Uefa president Michel Platini says the best way to prevent racism at Euro 2012 is for referees to stop a match when there is abuse. G. Britain hockey apologises to the South African women's team after apartheid anthem Die Stem is mistakenly played at the London Cup.






Only best ‘ll represent Lagos, says Oyewumi


layinka Oyewumi, Head Coach of the Lagos State Basketball Association, has affirmed the body’s resolve to rescreen newly discovered talents from the Ibile Games, to ensure due process. Oyewumi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos, that those who eventually scaled through would join older players in camp on June 11 for a vigorous training session. NAN reports that the body had earlier discovered 25 players from the Lagos State Championship, and an additional five from the recently concluded Lagos State Sports Festival, tagged ‘Ibile Games’. At the end of the camping programme, 20 players will be eventually selected to represent the state at the forthcoming 18th National Sports Festival in November The coach said that the first phase of the session would be dedicated to a blending session after which the team would focus on team work and tactics. “There is no automatic shirt for the regular players because of the new talents discovered in ‘Ibile Games.’ We will embark on training missions to fish out the best,”he said. The head coach stressed that it was only through a vigorous training programme that the very best could be selected to actualise the state’s dream of clinching the gold medal at the National Sports Festival. “But I must tell you that there would be no automatic shirt for both set of players in camp. “Only players with outstanding performance will represent the state in the upcoming National Sports Festival. “We will start playing friendly matches with Premier League teams like Comet, Police Bombers, Union Bank etc and from there, we will know the best team to put together,” he said.

Union Bank Basketball team

Official says Kaduna Corporate League Cup promotes healthy rivalry among banks


oach of Zenith Bank team in the Kaduna Corporate League Cup, Paulinus Ajiake, has asserted sports necessary tools that ginger healthy rivalry among banks in Kaduna state. Speaking in Abuja on the competition whose fifth edition got underway last Saturday, the coach said the event had helped staff of banks in the state to know each other better. “It has brought about comradeship amongst staff of banks, and this is why we at Zenith Bank, in spite of losing our opening game, still believe we are still much in the competition,” he said. Ajiake said that his team still had a good chance of winning the competition in spite of the setback of a 1-2 loss. They had also missed a 56th minute penalty kick through Christian Ogbeji during the match. Two matches had been played last Saturday to kick off the competition’s 2012 edition, with last year’s runners-up Fidelity Bank being held to a goalless draw by Ecobank. In the day’s second game, Zenith Bank had lost 1-2 to Micro-cred Micro-Finance Bank after taking a second minute lead through a free kick by Isuwa Dauda.


r Patrick Ugbe, Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development in Cross River, says government is planning to make the state a destination for sporting excellence. He disclosed yesterday in Calabar that Gov. Liyel Imoke had shown determination to make the state the number one sporting centre in the country and was working hard to realise the ambition. “Well, that is our vision to make Cross River State a sporting destination, a destination for sporting excellence. We are building fast towards that. We thank God for the Governor we have, who is very sports loving , who is able and ready at all times to answer our call and give us what we need. “Because of that, we are beginning to attract the best sporting events in the world to come here. Apart from the ones you have mentioned, the sports festival will be here in 2014. “So, we are happy that these

David Paul had drawn Micro-Cred level, before Ayok Gandu scored the winning goal in the 75th minute. The Secretary of Micro-Cred, Ms Mistura Oyekola, while speaking on the game and competition, also said her team had been well prepared for the competition’s fifth edition. “The 2011 edition was a bad experience for us, when we lost all three group matches. Now, we are back and better prepared for the competition. “And, let no one think that because our name has ‘micro’ in it, we will be micro. No, we will behave macro, as the trophy is on our mind this time around,” she said. Five teams are taking part in the 2012 edition of the competition designed for corporate bodies in Kaduna state. The competition is on a round-robin basis with the top two teams in the first phase playing in the final match, and the third- and fourthplaced teams playing in the third-place match. The competition will continue this weekend, with Access Bank facing Zenith Bank and Ecobank meeting Micro-Cred.

Cross River’ll be a sporting destination, says Commissioner things are happening and it will assist in realizing that vision of being a destination for sports” he said adding that the state decided to host Super Eagles matches because sports were part of its tourism vision. “Apart from the fact that this is the national team and we are sentimentally attached to the game, this keys into the overall vision of the state of tourism. “Sports and tourism go hand in hand. The greatest pool of people to a sector, to an area is sports and football. And, that’s one of the reasons why we decided that we will host the team. “And, again, for us who believe in development, we have a sports development programme in place, it means that we want our children, our younger ones to see these players as their role models and take more seriously to the

game of football because we believe it is an empowerment tool” he said. The Commissioner said the

people of the state were known to be hospitable and would ensure that the Super Eagles enjoyed their stay in Calabar.

UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar. Insert Mr. Patrick Ugbe

Ogunjobi blames dismal sport fortunes on nonimplementation of policy


hief Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former SecretaryGeneral of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has blamed the country’s dwindling fortunes in sports on the non-implementation of the national sports policy. Ogunjobi said in Ibadan that lack of sports in the curriculum of schools also posed a problem to sports development in Nigeria. The former NFF official, who recently bagged the Patron of the Organisation of Grassroots Sports Development (OGSD) award, said the 1989 sports policy, delayed till 2009, was never made public. “Lack of adequate facility and technical knowhow on the policy has further compounded the problem because those to implement the policy require training on the implementation,” Ogunjobi said. He also said there was need to regularly train administrators abroad to keep them abreast of modern trends and developments.




Euro 2012: Michel Platini says refs must stop games over racism


EFA president Michel Platini says the best way to tackle racism in football is for referees to stop a match whenever there is abuse. “Referees can finish the game. They have this power in case of racism.That is, I think, the best way to protect the game against racism,” Platini told the BBC. Platini dismissed suggestions that his reputation would be tarnished if there was racial abuse at Euro 2012. “My reputation because there are racists in Poland and Ukraine - are you joking? You think I am responsible for the racists in the rest of Europe or in England or in France?” he said. “My responsibility is not to do nothing - and we have done a lot to change the rules, to change the regulations, to help 'You're Fair' and 'Never Again'. We help them, we do a lot for racism - but I am not responsible for society. “The society is not so easy. You have some problems and we have to organise these Euros from the beginning with some problems because these two countries never welcome so big an event in the past. “It was a big challenge for Poland, big challenge for Ukraine, a big challenge for Uefa - and we have done our best.” The UEFA president has previously criticised the host nations, describing Ukrainian hoteliers as "bandits" for the rising cost of accommodation and bemoaning the quality of pitches in Poland. The Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, has downplayed fears over racist attacks in Ukraine, saying hooligans were known to the authorities and security services “will be watching all the matches closely”.

UEFA President, Mitchel Platini


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Patriotism is your conviction y is superior to thatt this countr country tha all other countries because you wer e bor n in it ere born d Sha w — Geor ge Ber nar Georg Bernar nard Shaw

. . . putting the people first




Corruption Roulette ... (IV) Corruption will kill us all. If Nigerians did not know this previously, say, two years ago, they surely know it today. Is Cartelopia's vicious ruling elite learning any lessons, yet? I started this column series some weeks ago with the aim of presenting two sets of related ideas. I used the 'predicament' of former Delta state governor, James Ibori, as example. Not all thieves are thieves First, I queried the motivation of the British authorities, given the fact that Ibori is not at all 'a lone' thief amongst his powerful exfriends. Hundreds of other dishonest public officials and politicians have stolen billions and lodged them safely in British and other 'reliable', developed-country banks, over at least three decades of unrelenting theft of our national resources. I cited the work of British advocacy groups such as Global Witness who have been stating the obvious ( a 2010 report titled International Thief Thief: The complicity of British banks in Nigerian corruption): 'British banks have accepted millions of pounds from corrupt Nigerian politicians, raising serious questions about their commitment to tackling financial crime....' Global Witness noted the contrast between the United States' (US) and the United Kingdom's (UK) dealings with corrupt politicians. They reported that since 2004 such politicians have often been denied US visas in addition to the fact that US banks 'have been fined hundreds of millions of dollars for handling dirty money.' So, I posited that corrupt politicians and governments are neither discouraged nor sanctioned by a Western/ International financial system that really does not mind profiting from lawless loot, by fair means or foul. Prosecution of fall-guys In the current scheme of things, Ibori and our other criminal public officers, who have been prosecuted properly at all, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere, are those whose luck has simply run out - fall guys, scapegoats, and unlucky blips in a game of charades played with the active support of foreign governments who should know better. I have presented data from developed country world sources (the World Bank's World governance indicators) that showed an astounding divergence between good governance in Nigeria and the public posturing by foreign governments. The plunging slopes for regulatory quality and rule of law during the regime of the 'statesman' Olusegun Obasanjo are so atrocious that one would assume that as the then presiding officer he must have had to answer some hard questions of accounting at some time to some one, somewhere..!? Obasanjo has made such a great career of posing as a reformist that in contrast to our previous graphs on the specific areas of Rule of Law

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CAR TEL OPIA CARTEL TELOPIA By Aisha Yolah 08086296783 (text only please)

Fig 1: Nigeria - Control of Corruption. Source: Worldwide Governance Indicators, World Bank and Regulatory Quality his government's control of corruption despite plunging to near zero control in 2002 rises steadily past the Abacha government's 8th to 10th ranking (1996- 1998) to 11th in 2005 and 16th in 2007. But, the highest ever ranking of 21 in the hopeful days of 2008 under President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, soon plunges again. Under President Jonathan in 2010, Nigeria is ranked 16th. To put this in context we should note that for the year 2010 Ghana was ranked 60th , Mali 30th, Niger 31st ,United States 86th ,United Kingdom 90th and Netherland 98th . The dataset defines 'control of corruption' as reflecting perceptions of the extent to which public power is exercised for private gain.... This indicator clearly is less definable than say, ease of business (regulatory quality). We are on our own My second focal point in this series is that it is up to us, ordinary Nigerians, to wrest the resources of our country from the hands of thieves - Cartelopians who think citizenship and honour is defined by networth. I keep reiterating that we are on our own. We cannot rely on 'well meaning' technocrats who are beholden to the same clubs of financial institutions that have done little or nothing to stop this large scale theft, or capital flight for their own profit. This theft and lawlessness is directly responsible for the complete absence of good governance that has delivered poverty amidst plenty; unemployment despite

The data points (Fig 2) which 'Reflect perceptions of the likelihood that the government will be destabilized or overthrown by unconstitutional or violent means, including politicallymotivated violence and terrorism,' is astonishing in the face of public approving positions of foreign governments! The private sneering from foreign 'friends' over our 'legendary' corruption and lawlessness, that I have often

Fig 2: Nigeria - Political stability and absence of terrorism,1996-2010. Source: Worldwide Governance Indicators, World Bank

natural endowment - and now we can add -random death. The plunging graph for political stability and absence of violence (Fig 2) since 1998 tells us another shocking story that is belied by the positive assessment of our democratic transitions (elections) by the international community. Our current situation did not just come about by accident. From scores of political assassinations (all unpunished), armed robbery and extra-judicial killings during the Obasanjo years, we have 'graduated' into a country where the explosion of sectarian and communal conflicts is rationalised by executive power, rather than confronted and stopped. Public officials from the President down, merely continue to make sometimes outlandish but always, unsubstantiated accusations against opposing political blocs. The rhetoric casts aspersion, inflames tensions and perhaps deflects attention from the wholesale thievery that is going on unabated. In 1996 under Abacha, we were ranked 12th , just above Pakistan (11.5) but way behind South Africa (37) in terms of stability. Obasanjo's administration (and General Abdulsalami?) bears preponderant responsibility for dragging us from a more stable 24th in 1998 to a terrible 4th in 2006. In 2010 we are back at 4, better only than Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (0.4). And note: this is in 2010 before the bombs really started flying!

endured, now seems far more charitable than this grand deception by developed country governments. They affect 'satisfaction' with criminal levels of 'transparency deficits', coddling petty, half-educated tyrants and thieves in civilian garb. I know it is in their geo-political interests (oil, markets, contracts etc), but it still hurts. Small progress, huge reversals Following serial airplane disasters prior to 2006 - improved oversight by airport authorities had resulted in six years of fairly safe air travel in Nigeria. Not any more. Over 160 human beings including whole families - died in last Sunday's tragic, tragic plane crash. They joined tens of others who died over that same weekend in Bauchi, Kano, Maiduguri, Nassarawa and elsewhere at the hands of different types of murderers. We pray for them all. The killing fields have widened, the slaughtering and shootings have gone on, as strangely disconnected and shameless ministers and officials fiddle on... Even security forces are so frightened that their only defence is to gun down anything that moves. More about this 'strategy' next week. Until then, as foreign governments fall over each other to 'Stand By' this Jonathan government which mourns selectively, let us think hard about where we stand, henceforth, lest Corruption kills us all. Concluded

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday, June 07, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday, June 07, 2012 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday, June 07, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Thursday, June 07, 2012 Edition