Page 1

Vol. 9 No. 85

Friday, December 7, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Al-Muharram 23, 1434 AH


North ‘ll take 20 years to recover from Boko Haram - Abdulsalami From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


ormer Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has reviewed the socioeconomic implications of the current security challenges in the North regretting that it will take

the region some 20 years to recover from the damage. Abdulsalami spoke yesterday in Kaduna when he chaired a session at the Arewa Houseorganized conference on strategies for sustainable development in the north.

According to him, unity has taken flight from the North arguing that the development gave rise to the conference, aimed at what Abdulsalami described as cleaning up the mess. “Certainly if there is unity we wouldn’t be here at this

conference, so since there is no unity, that is why the Arewa House is trying to galvanize it at this conference “It will take 20 years to revive the North because a lot of socioeconomic damage has been done. “If you go round the areas, that

is when you will appreciate the extent of the damage done to the region. We have to work together to revive it. “All of us should join hands as we cannot leave security to the Contd on Page 2

VP’s residence to gulp N14bn By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he official residence of the Vice President will gulp a total of N14 billion as the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) is now demanding for a fresh N7 billion for the completion of the palatial building in addition to the N7 billion that has already been spent on the structure. The FCDA initially requested for additional N9 billion which would have brought the total cost to N16 billion but was slashed to N7 billion by the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP).

. . . Senate kicks

Contd on Page 2


6th Dec., 2012


BUYING 154.76 249.412 202.24 0.2892 41.266

SELLING 155.76 251.02 203.54 0.3092 41.53


BUYING 207 255 42 157

SELLING 209 256 44 158

L-R: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Professor Samuel Ohaegbulam, President Goodluck Jonathan, and Professor Emmanuel Ayotunde Yoloye, during the conferment of the 2012 Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) award on Professor Ohaegbulam and ProfessorYoloye by President Jonathan, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

FG bars states from direct foreign loans >> PAGE 2

N152m unauthorised loan discovered in COE Ilorin >> PAGE 6

Investigate killings in the North, ACF tells FG >> PAGE 5

















S/Exchange Interview Islam

23 24-25 26

FG bars states from direct foreign loans By Richard Ihediwa


he Federal Government has barred states taking loans directly from foreign institutions without approvals by the Federal Government and endorsement by the National Assembly. This is just as the Senate has resolved not to approve loans for states that failed to appear before it to defend the reasons for the credit facilities they are seeking for. Minister of State for Finance, Yerima Ngama disclosed Federal Government’s position yesterday when states seeking for foreign loans stormed the National Assembly demanding speedy passage of the pipeline projects listed for them in the Medium Term External borrowing plan presented by President Goodluck

Jonathan to the federal legislature for approval. Currently, the National Assembly is considering loan proposals amounting to $9 billion out of which states are seeking for $3.39 billion while the Federal Government is seeking for a total of $4.8 billion. The remaining $1.1 billion represents funds from Eurobond and Diaspora bond. At the hearing yesterday, members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Loans and Debt maintained that any state that did not give cogent reasons and satisfactory mechanism for the utilisation of the loan would not have its demand approved. Chairman of the committee, Senator Uzamere Ehigie also said states that failed to appear before his committee to defend their proposals would not have

government’s approval for the loans. States that have not appeared to defend their own loans are Ondo, Rivers and Delta states. Many commissioners who represented their various state governments complained of the failure of the Ministry of Finance to release the fund even when they met all the criteria laid down for the loans. Speaking at the meeting, Ngama explained that the current loans were different from the ones collected by the nation in the past saying they were interest free concessional loans with 40 years repayment period. He added that all states in the country have been banned from negotiate for the loan individually in order to ensure that the interest rates of the loan

are the same. One of that states that requested for loans include Imo state with the Commissioner of Finance, Chike Okafor submitting a proposal for $45 million and $20 million for erosion management and youth empowerment support projects respectively. Details of the overall loan profile shows that the Federal Government seeks to borrow the sum of $300 million to support the provision of the affordable houses for Nigerians with long term repayment period. Also, $200 million will be borrowed to support agriculture in the areas of seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals. It will also use to develop data base and research through the West Africa agricultural productivity project.

VP’s residence to gulp N14bn Constitutional roles for traditional rulers will check insecurity, says Gen. Usman, Page 37



Strange World 31 Revue




Digest Politics News Extra Sports

36 37-39 40 41-44





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Contd from Page 1 The issues is now raising a fresh controversy over the perceived lack of frugality on the side of the Federal Government as the Senate had rejected the cost with lawmakers describing it as “indefensible”. The Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Adamu Ismail, yesterday told members of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory who were on oversight tour of projects in the territory that the construction of the Vice President’s residence was awarded in 2009 at the cost of N7billion. Already, a fresh N2 billion has been provided for the structure in the 2013 budget with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, mounting a stiff defense for the project despite public criticisms. At the tour, Ismail said while the initial fund has been used on the super structure, an additional N9 billion was needed to provide furniture, fencing, two additional protocol guest houses, a banquet hall and other security gadgets for the one storey building. Ismail

explained that the new proposal was not included in the original scope of work which is currently being handled by construction giant, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited. Ismail told members of the committee that the N9 billion proposed by the FCDA has been slashed to N6 billion by the BPP. “We have worked out the details and passed to BPP for consideration. They (BPP) have sent it back to us with their observation. We requested for N9 billion but now it came to about N6 billion”, he said. But some official of Julius Berger who were at the tour said the company charged N7 billion for the additional work and not N9 billion. However, members of the Senate panel outrightly kicked against the proposal saying no more money would be approved for the building aside from the original N7 billion that was appropriated. Chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, argued that since a design for the building was made and approved by the FCT, based on which the National Assembly appropriated funds, no more fund would be approved for it by the legislature. He said that the National Assembly strongly believes

that the original N7 billion already appropriated for was more than enough, pointing out that there were other numerous projects that would benefit the people that have been begging for funds. He said the N14 billion is indefensible in view of present realities. Adeyemi said; “Now you are asking us to approve a total sum of about N14 billion and this is just the Vice President’s residence. The National Assembly is not going to appropriate additional N9 billion for the project especially at a period in this country where people cannot get “three square

Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo

meal. “The N9 billion is far more than the original cost of the project. N14 billion to me is huge for the Vice President’s house. The reality is that N14 billion is indefensible and that is our submission. In Nigeria there are still many people with empty stomach. We have to look at budgeting in relation to the needs of the people”, he said. Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Domingo Obende, however asked the Executive Secretary to submit the additional scope of work for which the fund is required to the committee for proper scrutiny. The FCT Minister had on Tuesday defended the budget saying that Vice President is staying in a guest house meant for visiting heads of state saying such was not befitting for the position. “It became imperative for us to provide accommodation for the Vice-President.The Vice-President has no accommodation; certainly you will agree with me that it is unbecoming for any government not to provide accommodation for its VicePresident. We will now embark on the construction of a befitting residence for the vicepresident,” he had said.

North ‘ll take 20 years to recover from Boko Haram - Abdulsalami Contd from Page 1 government alone. “Every Nigerian is a security officer. Let us join hands and report what we see so that government will be able to take action, we should be government’s watch dogs and also watch our communities.” In his contribution, a former Secretary of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Hakeem BabaAhmed, also lamented what he described as the Boko Haram insurgency in the north.

As he put it, “the Boko Haram insurgency is eating up the North like a cancer and it will require bold initiatives by northerners to find a solution, by influencing both the insurgency and the government. “Not all Nigerians are comfortable with a united and strong North. Its current position therefore is welcome to its detractors and rivals. “They will not lift a finger to heal its wound. This will have to be done by people in this hall who feel the pain most.” A former Governor of Benue

state, Senator George Akume, who chaired another session on values and leadership, noted that the North is no longer safe for both its people and visitors. According to Akume. “if there is no peace, development hardly takes place, no matter the determination of the actors. “The theme of this conference bears direct relevance to what is happening in the north. “I am very sad things are happening the way they are happening now. I was in Borno about six months ago when my friend and brother, the Governor,

Kashim Ibrahim gave out his sister for marriage. “We were about 30 persons who were supposed to go to Borno but only eight of us decided to go. The others gave different reasons for not making it. “We must imbibe the values of honour, respect, integrity, hard work and determination because they have direct bearing on the development of the North.” As at the time of this report last night, a communiqué was still being awaited from the organizers of the conference which was concluded yesterday.


NASS members not behind Abuja demolition, Reps say By Lawrence Olaoye


awmakers in the National Assembly have denied speculations that they nudge the Minister for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, to demolish estates in order to redistribute lands recovered to them. The House of Representatives yesterday clarified that they are not in any way connected with the exercise. Deputy Chairman, House committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Victor Oghene, told newsmen that the House resolved not to dabble into the spate of demolition in the FCT because the Senate has already begun investigation into the matter. According to him, although the House was worried by the series of demolition involving 500 housing units at Minanuel Estates and the threat by the Minister to further demolish 31 other estates in the nation's capital, "It is a norm with the 7th Assembly that if the Senate is handling a matter, we stay off. "To say that National Assembly members are prospecting for plots, I don't know about that," Ogene clarified. He however pointed out that cases arising from the demolition of the Minanuel Estate in Abuja are already in the court of law and that it would be prejudice to make further comments on the matter. Several estates and indigenous settlements, including Mpape district, in Abuja have been marked for mass demolition by the FCT Minister in spite of public outcries. This, it is argued, would further compound the woes of Abuja residents currently under the siege of homelessness. Commenting on the refusal of the House to recognize Armah Oteh as the Director General of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the budget defense, Ogene maintained that the resolution of the House that the SEC boss be removed stands. The House spokesperson pointed out that she had similar case with the sacked Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Ms. Bolanle Onagoruwa, whom the Senate recommended for dismissal.


INEC deregisters 28 more parties By Richard Ihediwa


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday announced the deregistration of 28 more political parties. This brings to 28 the number of political parties in the country from the 63 that contested in the 2011 elections. The latest de-registration is despite the case filed against the commission by the seven political parties it deregistered in April this year following its insistence that they were moribund and did not meet the conditions to operate as political parties. The Secretary to the Commission, Abdullahi A. Kaugama, in a statement last night listed the latest

deregistered parties, though the statement did not give reasons for the decision. It rather said the decision was based on the powers conferred on the commission by the 1999 constitution and the Electoral Act as amended. The affected parties include African Liberation Party (ALP), Action Party of Nigeria (APN), African Political System (APS), Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP), Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Community Party of Nigeria (CPN), Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), Freedom Party of Nigeria (FPN), Fresh Democratic Party (FDP), Hope Democratic Party (HDP), Justice Party (JP) and Liberal Democratic Party of Nigeria (LDPN). Other are Movement for

Democracy and Justice (MDJ), Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD), Nigeria Advanced Party (NAP), New Democrats (ND), National Majority Democratic Party (NMDP), National Movement of Progressive Party (NMPP), National Reformation Party (NRP) and National Solidarity Democratic Party (NSDP). Also deregistered are the Progressive Action Congress (PAC), Peoples Mandate Party (PMP), Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), People's Salvation Party (PSP), Republican Party of Nigeria (RPN), United National Party for Development (UNPD) and United Nigeria Peoples Party (UNPP).

Customs and Trade Felicitation Consultant, Valentina Mintahi (left), ComptrollerGeneral, Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko Inde (middle), and other top Customs officers, at a Single Window demonstration, during the C-G Customs Conference, recently in Katsina.

Suleja bombings: Court slates Dec 20 for trial By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned till December 20, 2012 the trial of six persons alleged to have participated in the bombings which occurred last year in Suleja, Niger State. At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, the court was informed that about 200 explosive devices were retrieved from the accused persons at the time of their arrest. The prosecution witness, an army officer whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, told the court that one of the devices could pull down an entire building if triggered. While under cross examination by the defense counsel, Kevin Emeka Okoro, the witness denied planting incriminating pictures in the mobile phones which were retrieved from the accused persons. He said, "I can never load such things to incriminate someone I do not know and have never seen until that day". Shuaibu Abubakar, Salisu Ahmed, Umar Babagana, Mohammed Ali, Musa Adamu and Umar Ibrahim were charged on five count-charges bordering on terrorism. They were alleged to have caused the death of several persons through the use of improvised explosives at a political rally and at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Suleja and Dakwa Village in Bwari Area Council of Abuja. The trial Judge, Justice Bilkisu Aliyu adjourned at the instance of the prosecuting counsel, Thompson Olatigbe, who has five more witnesses to present before the court.

Forgery: EFCC docks one, court orders arrest of another By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday has docked one Ibrahim Mohammed Kamba before an Abuja High for allegedly conniving with two others to forge title documents of a property located at plot 307 B05 Utako District of Abuja. The two other accused persons, Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir and Barrister Steve Imokhe were not in court for their arraignment. The trial Judge, Justice A. B Mohammed issued a bench

warrant against Mohammed Bashir, who was to be arraigned on a 12-count charge of fraud and forgery of title documents of the property . Barrister Steve Imokhe and Ibrahim Mohammed Bashir were not in courtfor their arraignment, as the matter was adjourned to January 23, 2013 for either to arrest Bashir or separate the charges and arraignedKamba. After the court granted the prosecution leave to prefer charges against the three accused persons, counsel to Imokhe, Abdulamid Mohammed

informed the court that his client's inability to appear forthe day's proceedings was as a result of bad health and hospitalization. Mohammed Bashir was neither present in court nor was he represented by a counsel. Prosecution counsel, C.O Ugwu, informed the court of the need to prefer a separate charge for Ibrahim Mohammed Kamba and issue bench warrant against the other two accused that deliberately refused to appear in court for the arraignment. Justice Mohammed while upholding the prayers of the prosecution to issue arrest

warrant on Mohammed Bashir directed the prosecution to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the claim of illhealth by Imokhe. The judge also granted the prayers of the prosecution to separate the charges against Kamba to ensure his separate arraignment if the two other accused cannot be present at the next adjourned date. Trouble for the trio followed a complaint by Sanusi Ado Bayero, who had alleged that sometimes in 2006, he applied for and was allocated Plot 307 B05 Utako District, Abuja.

Sambo condoles Buhari over daughter's death


ice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo yesterday in Kaduna condoled with former Head of State, Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) over the death of his eldest daughter, Hajiya Zulaihatu

Buhari. Sambo, who was at Gen Buhari's Kaduna residence was accompanied by Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna state and his deputy, Alhaji Ramallan Yero and other top federal and

state government functionaries. VP Sambo prayed Almighty Allah for the repose of the soul of late Zulaihatu as well as grant her Aljanna Rirdausi. He also prayed Allah to grant General Buhari, his entire

family, late Zulaihatu's husband and the children she left behind the fortitude to bear the loss. Responding General Buhari expressed his gratitude to the Vice President for the visit. The 40 year old Hajiya

Zulaihatu Buhari died on Thursday November 29, 2012, leaving behind her husband, Captain Junaidu Abdullahi and three children, Amira, Mohammad and a new born baby.



Constitution review: NULGE looks for input abroad From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, In Niamey


he Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, (NULGE) Katsina state chapter has visited Niamey in Niger Republic to study their local governments mode of operations to source for inputs in the on going constitution review efforts. President of the State Chapter, NULGE, Alhaji Ali Haruna Kankara stated this yesteray, during an interactive session between the union and its Nigerien counterpart, at the Gaweye De Niemey Hotel.

He noted that owing to the myriad of problems facing local government operations in Nigeria, the union decided to source for inputs abroad to better their operations. Kankara added “we have problems in local government operations such as the issue of autonomy and sources of revenue. Our national president is currently on a visit to five European nations to study their mode of local governments operation”. In his remark, the CDTN, Chairman, Yossouf Sidibe stressed the importance of unity among labour groups the world over.

Mint MD to remain on compulsory leave R-L: Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. Mas'udu Adamu Kazaure, receiving copies of Peoples Daily from Chief Operating Officer, Peoples Media Limited (PML), Malam Ali M. Ali (left), during a visit by the management of PML to NBTE, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Investigate killings in the North, ACF tells FG From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has urged the Federal Government to institute a high powered commission to investigate the controversial murders that have happened in the country since the insecurity permeated the polity with a view to unveiling the truth. The call is contained in a communiqué after a meeting of the National Executive Council of the ACF held on December 5th, 2012, at its National Secretariat Hall along Sokoto Road, Kaduna, and chaired by the Deputy Chairman of NEC, Alhaji Saidu Barda, and deliberated mainly on matters bordering on security challenges such as acts of terrorism, armed robbery, kidnappings and militant

activism in different parts of the country and by Boko Haram in the North. The communiqué signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony N. Z. Sani, said that the ACF considered the recent killings of prominent Northerners by gunmen, and particularly the allegations and controversies surrounding the killing of General Mohammed Shuwa very seriously. “All these have been very disturbing especially in view of the fact that nothing has been done to bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book”. It stated. The Forum also noted the disturbing trend of bomb explosions in the nation’s security establishments, most recent of which happened at the Jaji military cantonment

Fuel queue: ‘FG ignores oil marketers’ pressure’ By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he long queue of vehicles being experienced in fuel stations across the country at the moment was because the Federal Government has refused to shift to pressure by oil marketers in the country, the Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe has said. Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja,Okupe said there was need for Nigerians to go through the pains at the moment to address the issue of

fuel scarcity ones and for all. Okupe said the fuel subsidy regime which had been a conduit pipe for siphoning huge sums of money from the national treasury has been subjected to forensic scrutiny by various agencies and committees set up by the President. According to him, by the time the Petroleum Industry Bill is passed into law, the country would have successfully broken the jinx of being a nation where global business rules and practices are flouted with impunity. He said President Jonathan has being working hard to

and said such trend should not be allowed to continue. The meeting then appealed to federal government to thoroughly investigate the incident at Jaji and that no blames should be apportioned before the conclusion of the investigation. It observed that ACF is concerned that the authorities appear to be taking different actions for events that are identical in nature. Such actions are liable to different interpretations, including the likelihood of injustice and victimization of officers involved. The meeting also deliberated on the impending national census and urged all northern governors, political leaders and traditional rulers to mobilize people for the exercise. transform the lives of Nigerians as well as to enhance the image and prestige of the country abroad since he took charge of affairs of the country eighteen months ago. He said, President Jonathan’s administration does not believe in arresting people for the sake of playing to the gallery nor does it harbour the idea of deploying anticorruption agencies as tools to witch-hunt political opponents, which he noted were familiar practices in the past administrations. While lamenting that there are limiting factors in the legal system which accused persons explore to scuttle judicial process, Okupe said government has put together the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2012 to ensure speedy dispensation of justice.

By Abdulwahab Isa


he Board of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC), the Mint has approved the extension of compulsory leave for the embattled Managing Director of the firm, Ehi Okoyomon . A source privy to the board’s decision chaired by the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi which met yesterday said it was unable to take final position on the matter, but approved that Ehi should

continue on compulsory leave for now to enable auditors complete their work. He told Peoples Daily that the verification of cases of alleged financial malpractices against Ehi admistrastion are being handled by the CBN auditors. The meeting could not make a pronouncement because the auditors were yet to finish their work, the source explained yesterday. An Executive Director, Ahmed Bamali is functioning in acting capacity.

Four kerosene racketeers in jigawa NSCDC custody From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp have arrested four suspected kerosene racketeers in Dutse,the Jigawa state capital. Briefing newsmen yesterday in his office, the NSCDC state Commandant, Mohammad Mahmoud Fari,said his men arrested the suspects while on

illegal petroleum products deal at the NNPC Mega station. The commandant explained that the operation resulted in the arrest of a Peugeot J5 Van with registration NO. XA 838 GWW with 342 Jerry Cans of 30 litres capacity each, filled with Kerosene. He said, among those apprehended include Aminu Yau, Sulaiman Mohammad, Hamisu Umar and Halilu Sulaiman.

Oil communities demand complete right to 13% derivation By Abdulwahab Isa


he Oil and Gas Communities of Nigeria is demanding that the 13% derivation revenue meant for oil producing states from the federation account be directly to the oil and gas producing communities. The association stated this in a letter addressed to the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam dated November 19, 2012 and a copy made available to Peoples Daily. The body also proposed that the payment should be made through a national derivation board whose members shall be recommended for appointment by the president on the advice of leaders of oil and gas communities. The association which comprises communities from Bayelsa, Delta, Edo Rivers states

and other oil producing communities noted that the 13% derivation fund belongs exclusively to the oil and gas producing communities. It said that, the oil facilities, flow stations etc. are located in the communities where oil exploration, exploitation and production are being carried out causing monumental degradation, pollution and health hazard adding that the fund was a compensation and reparation for loss of fishing rights and productive farmland. The body also proposed that, the composition of National Derivation Board (NDB) would have executive chairman, secretary and members including a member from the RMAFC . The chairmanship of NDB should rotate amongst oil and gas producing states every four years.



Ex Minister tells court how EFCC sold Tafa Bolgun’s house to him By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he former Minister of Works and Housing, Hassan Lawal yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the N43.4 million which is the subject matter of his arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the allegation of money laundering was the proceed of his landed property in Nasarawa he sold to repay a loan he obtained from the United Bank for Africa (UBA). While adopting his argument for a no case submission over his

on-going trial for allegedly laundering N43.4 million, Lawal said he took a loan from the bank to buy a house belonging to former Inspector General of Police (IGP), Tafa Balogun at Asokoro, Abuja which EFCC had seized and offered to sell to him. Lawal said he later sold his landed property in Nasarawa state to repay the loan and paid the proceed of that property into his UBA Plc account that has become the subject of money laundering charge preferred against him by the anti-graft agency. Counsel representing the

former Works Minister, M. A. Odeh asked the court to strike out the EFCC charge on the grounds that the sale of a landed property can never constitute an illicit act or illegal source of fund. He said the evidence of Prosecution Witnesses (PW1, PW2, PW3, and PW5) which was discredited during crossexaminations cannot be considered by the court, as the evidence of the prosecuting witnesses clearly stated that the transactions between the accused persons and the bank were normal banking transactions.

“PW2 who is a former staff of the EFCC said Lawal bought the Asokoro house from the EFCC, while PW3 and PW5 who are staff of UBA said Lawal took loan from the bank and used the lodged proceeds of the landed property sold in Nasarawa state to off-set the loan’’, he said. But EFCC asked the court to discountenance the submission of the accused. Justice Adamu Bello however adjourned to February 25 next year to rule on Lawal’s no case application.

Police repel attack, arrest 8 suspected militants From Edwin olofu, Kano


olicemen on patrol yesterday ”at about 0730hrs” repelled bomb attack by suspected militants, arresting eight of them who trailed the police van in a Golf Car. It was gathered from reliable police sources that the attackers hurled an Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) at the moving vehicle, but missed their target as the van swerved and escaped. A source told our correspondent that “the substance was intercepted by a gallant officer and returned it to where it was coming from and it exploded within a split second”. It was further learnt that the operational vehicle and the officers escaped unhurt, adding that they came under fire from the vicinity of the blast” The Kano state police image maker the ASP Magaji Musa Majia confirmed the incident, saying that eight persons were arrested.

Minister inaugurates Rep’s 32 boreholes


Former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari (left), with other dignitaries praying for the repose of the soul of his daughter, Zulaihatu, during a condolence visit by the management of Peoples Media Limited at General's residence, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Jaji bombing: Redeployment has no religious bias - Army By Joy Baba


he Chief of Army Staff, (COAS), Lt-Gen Azubuike Ihejirika has denied allegation that there was religious considerations in the change in the leadership of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) and Infantry Corp and Center (ICC),Jaji noting that it is a disservice to the nation to link the activities of the of the military to ethno-religious considerations. The Army Chief, who was represented by the Director of Military Intelligence, Maj Gen Ahmed Jibrin stated this while briefing journalist at the Army Headquarters, Abuja yesterday In response to accusations by the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) that the changes in AFCSC and ICC has religious tinge. According to Ihejirika, the change was not a punishment but part of measures to enable new hands tackle lapses, shortcomings and limitations that would be identified in the course of the investigations.

The COAS pointed out that, earlier attacks on barracks has prompted the review of policies, measures and standards to be adopted in all military locations to prevent reoccurrence. He also noted that nobody raised the issue of religious sentiments when Headquarters, 1 Division was attacked on February 7 this year and the General Officer Commanding, Maj Gen JO Shoboiki, a Christian was redeployed and replaced by

a Muslim, Maj Gen Garba Abdulwahab. Ihejirika said if JNI had contacted the military on the issue before making public pronouncements, adequate explanation would have been given concerning the changes since the group has been noted as one of the organisations in the country that has given support to the efforts of the military in combating terrorism and other criminal activities in some parts

of the country. “The Nigerian Army is a professional army that conducts its affairs within given mandate, rules of engagements and global best practices; its operations especially in the fight against terrorism, are subjected to thorough planning, scrutiny and supervision to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all abiding populace with little or no collateral damage”, the army chief said.

From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo

the family compound and drove off in the victim’s car which was later abandoned along Mararaba-Zing road. Ciroma was rushed to the federal medical center, Jalingo where he was confirmed dead. The Police public relation officer PPRO Amos Olaoye confirmed the incident but said that he was yet to get the details of the murder. Meanwhile, all cases at the high court Jalingo have been

suspended for one day in sympathy with the murder. The State Secretary of the NBA Abubakar Maidallailu told our reporter that the members of the NBA took the decision to down tools today to enable them join in the mourning of their murdered colleague. He said such tragedy could happen to any one hence the need for all members to share in the sorrow.

Gunmen kill lawyer in Taraba


member of the Nigeria Bar Association in Taraba state, Aliyu Ciroma has been murdered by unknown gunmen yesterday at Unguwar Gadi in Jalingo, the Taraba capital. Investigation by our reporter revealed that the lawyer was short six times on the head, chest and stomach by the gunmen after breaking into

he Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, has commissioned 32 motorized boreholes constructed by Hon. Aisha Dahiru Ahmed, a member of the House of Representatives representing Yola North Yola South Girei Constiturncy. The Minister, who commissioned some of the N73.6m boreholes yesterday in Gokra in Girei Local Government Area of the state, said the boreholes would assist in eradicating some water-borne diseases in the area. Ochekpe said: “This is a good example of service to one’s constituency and community. I wish to appeal to other elected political office holders to emulate Hajia Aisha’s efforts at complementing the present administration’s policy to provide social amenities to Nigerians. “The water projects executed by Hajia Aisha will improve the health of the people in the various benefiting communities, because most of the water associated diseases which is very common in rural areas will no longer affect the people of these communities. ”Hajia Aisha is a political mentor to our young women, she proved that if women are more in leadership position the welfare of the people and the economy of the country will improve fast and the electorate will appreciate democracy.” Hajiya Aisha said the construction of the 32 solar powered boreholes in all the wards in her constituency was her personal efforts to complement the government of Adamawa State under Governor Murtala Nyako, to provide dividends of democracy to the people of the state.



N152m unauthorised loan discovered in COE Ilorin A

Measles kills 5 in Kebbi

From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara State Executive Council yesterday approved the setting up of a Committee to look into allegation of unauthorised loan of N152 million sought by the College of Education Ilorin. Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, who stated this during a post executive council briefing, said the state government would not exonerate the institution’s council members.

"Council also considered the draft White Paper on the report of the visitation Panels to the 3 Premier State-owned Colleges of Education in Ilorin, Oro and Lafiagi. The striking feature of the reports was falsification of admission enrolment; unauthorised borrowing, highhandedness and power tussle within the rank and file of the institutions' authorities. "In view of these, Council approved the setting up of committees to look into (i) the Debt Profile of over N152m in the College of Education, Ilorin and (ii) a

committee to check the appropriateness of re-introducing the IJMB programme in the College Of Education, Oro and Lafiagi without losing focus of their primary mandate." He disclosed that the Council also directed the three colleges to discontinue all degree and outreach courses and focus on training teachers for basic education level. He noted that instead of the Colleges to focus on the training of professional teachers, they were busy doing another thing which made it to derail from its mission.

While speaking on recent flooding that wrecked havoc in some parts of the state, Gold expressed disappointment of the Council over the delay in the implementation of HYPPADEC. "Council expressed concern about the delay in the take-off of the Commission despite the enactment and signing into law of its Act. "In view of the recent flood devastation and unquantifiable damages suffered by the downstream communities, council felt disturbed by the plight of the thousands of victims.

n outbreak of measles in the A m b u r s a / K a r d i Development Area in Kebbi, has caused the death of five children and isolation of 187 others. An official of the Primary Health Care (PHC) in the area, Malam Isa Abubakar, told newsmen in Ambursa on Thursday that initially, 192 children were afflicted by the disease. He said that state, federal and international agencies had intervened to curtail the spread of the disease and provided drugs to the victims. The Chairman of Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area, Alhaji Musa Dan-Illelah, who inspected the isolation camp and victims in Ambursa, lamented the death of the children because of the scourge. He said that efforts would be made to prevent and forestall spread of the disease to other communities in the state, especially immunisation of children against the six killer diseases. He said that drugs and medical facilities would be provided at the designated place of isolation for the victims. (NAN)

Yar'Adua memorial lecture holds tomorrow By Abubakar Ibrahim

B L-R: Special Adviser on Economic Intelligence to the National Security Adviser, Professor Soji Adelaja, National President of NUJ, Malam Garba Mohammed, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, Managing Director, Aso FM, Malam Mohammed Hassan, representative of Niger State Governor, Alhaji Danladi Ahmed, and Chairman, NUJ Abuja council, Mr. Chuks Ehirim, during the first NUJ colloquium, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Jigawa awards N2.3bn Feeder roads contracts From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa state government has awarded contract for ten feeder roads at the sum of N2,353,323,766.07 billion in some areas of the state. Addressing journalists yesterday after the state council meeting at Government House Dutse, the Commissioner of Information, Youths, Sports and Culture, Alhaji Ibrahim Babandi, said the roads By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


s part of efforts to promote research and other intellectual endeavours in the country, the Federal Government is contemplating the establishment of a National Research Development Fund. President Goodluck Jonathan hinted this yesterday while presenting the 2012 Nigerian National Order of Merit Award to Prof. Samuel Ohaegbulam (medicine) and Prof. Emmanuel Yoloye (humanities) at the State House. The Nigeria Order of Merit Award, the highest award for intellectual, academic and creative

included that of Limawa to Galamawa in Dutse local government area, with a distance of 2.2Km, and awarded at the cost of N68.3 Million. Adding that the road from Yalo to Unguwan Jibrin in Kaugama local government area, which is about four Km, was awarded at the cost of N86.4 Million respectively. According to him, a contract sum of N562.3 million has been awarded for the 36 km's Garki road,

which is also from Jangari to Moku and Kanya towns, all in Garki local government area, in addition to the roads from Guri to Adiyani, Lambar Zauma to Mahauta, Dwingi to Gwiwa costing N175.1 Million and N195.7 Million respectively. The commissioner also said others are from Gantsa to Tijiyo, Ahoto in Buji local government area and Ayama to Junction Ayama town in Auyo local government area at the contract sum of N107.7

Million and N208.4 Million, while the roads linking Arbus to Girbobo in Kauma local government area was also given at the cost of N442.1 Million. He also explained that about N411.6 Million and N95.2 Million had been set aside for the construction of roads linking Idanduna to Kadowawa and Jibori to Garin Alaye and Madachi all in Jahun and Kafinhausa local government respectively.

FG to establish research devt fund achievements is given by the Nigerian state on the statutorily fixed date of the first Thursday of December. In line with the requests made by the Chairman of NNMA Governing Board, Prof. Sylvester Adegoke, President Jonathan said: "Our government will not only study the recommendations in the communiquĂŠ of the 5th annual forum of the laurets, we will also continue to support your initiative efforts and solutions to major problems in our country. The report of the committee on the activities of the

NMMA is also being studied by the office of the SGF. I will like to assure you that the Federal Government supports the endowment fund of the NMMA and will take necessary steps to strengthen the institution." He continued: "Through the SGF, actions have already commenced on the proposed NMMA Policy Group and the establishment of National Research and Development Fund. The government will continue to promote excellence on merit in our strive to rapid development and nationhood. In this regard, those who are honoured will be remembered as

beckons to serve as motivation and encouragement to younger generations of Nigerians. With our two awardees this year, the total number of Nigerians who have been honoured with the award now stand at only 67, an average of two per year. This is a strong pointer to the high standard and merit-driven evaluation procedures underlying the selection of the winners of the award. It also underlines our nation's expectation that our new awardees, like their industrious predecessors, will hold the banner of creativity and intellectual development."

oard of Trustees of the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Foundation will host the Second Annual Memorial Lecture in honour of late General Shehu Yar'Adua on Saturday, December 8, 2012 at the Yar'Adua Centre, Abuja. The event which would be chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, would commemorate the 15th year anniversary of his death on December 8, 1997. According to a press release signed by the Director General of the Foundation, Jacqueline W. Farris, an illustrated biography of the late Tafidan Katsina titled, Shehu Musa Yar'Adua: Neither North Nor South, East Nor West, One Nigeria, would be presented at the lecture with the theme: Rebuilding Public Education as a Bridge to Nigeria's Future. "Published by Mockingbird Books, this simple yet poignant story will serve as an educational tool for primary school students throughout the country. It tells the story of a man who stood in the forefront of those demanding a timely handover to democratically elected government; a man who traversed the nation building bridges of peace, understanding and unity which he prized as the hope for this nation. In addition to Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, expected dignitaries at the occasion include former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who will deliver the lecture and former Senate President Ken Nnamani, who will serve as Special Guest of Honour. Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will serve as Chief Launcher, while Chief Tony Anenih is Chairman of the Memorial Lecture Steering Committee. Mrs. Lola Shoneyin, winner of the 2011 ANA Prize for Children's Literature will review the book", she stated.


Minister scores Nigeria, Philippines trade relations low


he Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, yesterday scored the trade relations between Nigeria and Philippines as ‘quite low’. The minister made the remark at the 2nd Nigeria-Philippines Joint Commission in Abuja. “In spite of the long standing relations between the two countries, the economic and trade relations have been quite low,’’ Onwuliri said. “Whilst it is heartening to note that there have been an increasing number of Filipino companies conducting business in Nigeria, there is yet much to be done to improve our economic and trade relations,” she added. Onwuliri, however, noted that the two countries had achieved ‘a desirable’ record on their bilateral relations. She said that numerous Filipinos had been engaged as expatriate workers thereby contributing positively to the development of Nigeria. The minister also noted that some Nigerians were currently in pursuit of taking up jobs in the Philippines. Onwuliri described the Commission, which was being kick- started 27 years after its establishment, as significant adding that a new impetus will be introduced to broaden existing bilateral relations. “Nigeria and Philippines have several areas for mutually beneficial cooperation which will enhance the growth and development of our two countries,’’ she said. The minister listed the areas to include education, health, agriculture, water resources, immigration, culture and tourism, trade and commerce and Justice. She suggested that the collective desire and focus of the two countries should be to institute fruitful deliberations. Earlier, Erlinda Basilio, Philippines Head of Delegation, expressed that country’s resolve to further strengthen and deepen the existing relations with Nigeria. Basilio said that the Pilippines would discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest. She also listed other areas of cooperation to include political, economic, cultural, consular and labour related sectors. Nigeria formally established diplomatic relations with the Philippines in 1962. (NAN)


FG blames media for poor rating on corruption By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government Thursday blamed the media for the poor rating the country gets from international organisations on corruption. Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the

Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said the latest Transparency International report which rated Nigeria as the 37th most corrupt country in the world, was more as a result of negative reportage by the media than the level of

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr. George Ossi, Assistant Controller, Nigerian Prison Service, Mr. Chucks Afujue, and Assistant Controller (Welfare), Nigerian Immigration Service, Mrs. Juline Fariku, during a conference in commemoration of the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo


he Kogi state House of Assembly yesterday pleaded with the security operatives in the state to reinforce surveillance on Obajana-Kabba road. Moving the motion on the floor of the House during plenary, Hon Yori Afolabi, representing Ijumu constituency averred that the security challenges on that route has become worrisome.

Nigerians and negative media reports. “If there are areas where things are not be done right, journalists should follow up. The federal government will continue to support all efforts to fight abuses”, he said. According to him, the antigraft group drew its conclusions from perceptions of both Nigerians and negative media reports because they have refused to appreciate that the Jonathan administration was taking steps to deal with corruption through systematic and institutional approaches that are gradually yielding results. Citing instances of efforts made by the government in tackling graft, Maku listed the prosecution of those implicated in the fuel subsidy fraud, investigation into the pension fund scandal, the geometric auditing of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and curbing of graft in the supply of fertiliser and seeds to farmers. He said when the President attempted to curtail patronage in the oil and gas sector by introducing deregulation of the sector, Nigerians staged a protest which crippled activities in the country.

Suntai orders reconstitution of Mambila chiefdom From Yusha’u Alhassan Jalingo.


overnor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai of Taraba state had allegedly before the air mishap, ordered for the reconstitution of the Mambila Chiefdom. In a letter dated October 18, 2012 which was read at the floor of the Taraba state House of Assembly yesterday, the Governor requested the lawmakers to deliberate and pass into law section 12 of the local government by-law to enable the Mambila traditional council be reconstituted. Governornor Suntai informed the MPs that the Mambila Traditional council shall consist of two ruling houses of Audu Baju and Muhammadu Mansur while Kaka should produce the Wakili and Dan’iya. He also requested the House

...It’s not true, says MP to amend the title of the chief of Mambila to be addressed as His Royal Majesty, the chief of Mambila and be placed as first class chief. After the presentation of the letter by the Clerk, Ismailu Tentason, the member representing Gembu constituency Abubakar Jugulde, doubted the genuineness of the letter and said, as the representative of Mambila, he and his people were not aware of the letter. Jugulde rejected the letter and requested other members to do so, according to him, in the best interest of the house. In another development, the Taraba state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Emmanuel Bello has

Kogi Assembly seeks more security along Obajana- Kabba road From Sam Egwu, Lokoja

corruption existing in the system. Maku urged the media and Nigerians as a whole to project the country in good light to the world. The minister also noted that a recent Gallup Poll which indicated that Nigeria was among the top corrupt nations in the world was also a product of interactions with

Afolabi noted that frequent attack on travellers on that route has put pressure on the state and all relevant stakeholders to bail the innocent citizens from the hazards. The motion which was seconded by Hon Shehu Idris of Lokoja 11 state constituency who said that motorist on the route in the last couple of months have been groaning under the menace of armed robbers. The menace, he said, has put

travelers under heavy tension indicative that during this festive period many lives and property would be in danger. The speaker ruled that the House committee security should be in the positiion to meet the security operatives to properly come out with workable solution. Meanwhile two bills on vigilante services and other issues connected thereto and security trust fund has been passed to law by the House.

urged Tarabans to disregard the story on internet by Saharareporters (an internet news site) on Governor Danbaba Suntai. Bello said the story lacked substance and credibility because it did not reflect the reality on the state of health of the governor. Saharareporters said Governor Danbaba Suntai has brain damage. Bello said that none of the reporters visited the German hospital where the governor is

receiving treatment. The Commissioner told Journalists that the governor’s health had improved and he has been speaking with prominent Tarabans including his family, adding that preparations have been concluded for the return of the governor. Bello however called on Tarabans to intensify prayers for the speedy recovery of the governor and his successful return to the state. According to him, the return of his aides was a strong indication that Governor Suntai would soon come back to the state.

Awoniyi urges Kogi pilgrims to be good ambassadors From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


83 indigenes performing this year’s Holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem from Kogi State, have been tasked to work towards protecting the integrity of the nation. They were equally charged to ignore all forms of misconducts including bitterness, acrimony and bigotry. Kogi State Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, gave the admonition at a one day orientation seminar for this year’s pilgrimage organized by the State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board. The Deputy Governor pointed

out that religion emphasise peace, love and other holy virtues, and therefore, the government expects harmony and understanding among all pilgrims. In his speech, the Executive Secretary, Christian Pilgrims Board Mr. Eguda said the theme of this year’s pilgrimageSpiritual Transformation and Moral Rebirth- was aimed at mind renewal of the pilgrims towards assisting in the transformation agenda of the state government. He added that the seminar would help pilgrims to understand the rules and regulations for a successful pilgrimage.


Kano state governor, Engineer Rabi’u Kwankwaso (middle), receiving the governor of the year 2012 housing and urban development award from Senator Bukar Ibrahim (3rd right), chairman, senate committee on lands, housing and urban development on behalf of Circuit Maga, on Tuesday, in Kano with them is minister of housing, Ms Amal Pepple (3rd left).

L-R: Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Professor Charles Onocha, Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Delta state Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, and Delta state Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs Pat Ejeteh, during the commissioning of Uzoigwe Primary School Asaba, built through UBEC counterpart funding, on Tuesday in Asaba, Delta state.


L-R: Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Chairman, Buyright Africa, Mr. Stan Leo Ekeh, and National President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, during the launch of Nigerian Employees Digital Welfare Scheme, yesterday in Abuja.

L-R: Chief of Mission, International Organisation on Migration, Mr. Martin Ocaga, Director, Human Rights Institute, Mrs. Oti Anukpe Ourawah, and Professor Dakas Dakas, during a media briefing on the protection and assistant for internal displaced persons, organised by Civic Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and National Human Rights Commission, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo and NAN



We are determined to complete all projects – Gov Yari From Salisu Zakari Maradun, Gusau


amfara state governor Alhaji Abdulaziz yari has expressed his concern over the negative roles some leaders play in the discharge of their civil responsibilities, particularly in the area of development. Yari made the disclosure in Gusau, the state capital shortly after he received a delegation of elders and traditional rulers from Zurmi local government under the leadership of the emir, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku who paid him a thank you visit over the completion of the three-decades

Poverty alleviation: KNSG gives capital to trainees From Edwin Olofu, Kano


ano state government has spent over N35.8 million to empower 137 youths who were given four months intensive skills acquisition training on various trades in tourism and hospitality-related courses. The beneficiaries trained in leather works, hospitality , tourism and ICT among other things. The capital, according to Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso who spoke at the graduation ceremony held at Government House Kano, would be shared among the artisans as start up capital to enable them obtain necessary facilities and equipment to start their respective endeavors. He explained that students who trained in leatherworks would share N1.5 million; N2.1 million would be shared among 14 graduates who trained in art and design, while N2.4 million is to be shared among 16 graduates of interior decoration. Other graduands at the occasion were 374 youth who participated in NEPAD training, where 40 youth trained on preservation of perishable items, 40 trained on hatchery, 25 students trained on animal feed production and 20 youth studied machine fabrication techniques. The governor said “Time has past when government employed all, in fact every economy must be dependent on small scale entrepreneurs, that is why we are encouraging self reliance”, governor Kwankwaso said. He explained that the government established 21 institutes to achieve this goal and cautioned the beneficiaries to put the money into proper use as government is now working to establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure effective utilisation of the intervention funds.

devastated road. He said had the leaders,right from independent to date continued from where their predecessors stopped in terms of development, the nation would have been extremely developed

to complete with any other country in the world . According to the governor, his administration was determined to give the state a befitting look, and general transformation of all the sectors throughout his tenure.

Yari also stated that every leader will stand before his Creator and give an account of his stewardship in the hereafter, and thus important to do good to the people. The governor further

revealed that honesty, sincerity, justice and fairness were some of the qualities of a good leader, and whoever embrace them, would succeed “because God is always by the side of righteous people”, he added.

L-R: Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, and Minister of Transport, Alhaji Idris Umar, jointly briefing journalists on cassava bread after their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, on Wednesday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye.

FG to implement new agric funding policy in 2013 By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government is planning a new agriculture funding policy that will guarantee loans at single digit interest rate to Nigerian farmers from 2013. Briefing State House correspondents after yesterday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting , the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said President Jonathan made the announcement during Council as part of his commitment to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, adding that government was committed to rescuing Nigerian farmers from the present interest rate of over 20 percent. Presenting the success story of his ministry in the last one year, Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina added that in the last one year, his ministry had installed 13 new rice mills across the country which have a combined capacity of 240,000 metric tonnes. The minister also said that the

distribution of high performance seeds to farmers across the country was perfect while Cassava bread would from January, be exported to other West African countries beginning with Ghana and Benin. According to Akinwunmi, the major policy reform in 90 days was able to take government off procurement and distribution of seeds and fertilizers. He also said that in 120 days since the introduction of e-wallet system, 1.2 million farmers received seeds and fertilisers. “Nigeria is the first to use this system in the world and its success story has attracted interest from the government of Tanzania and world bodies like World Bank. We ended the corruption of four decades in Nigeria using this system.” He also said the government is to supply 10 million mobile phones to farmers next year and five million of them will be given to women. This will enable them get their information on the seeds and fertiliser. Adeshina said so far 8.1million

metric tonnes of food has been added in his first year in office making it 41% of the 20 Million Metric tonnes of food he had promised to generate by 2015. The Council also approved the sum of N478 million for the feasibility studies for two new standard rail lines. The feasibility studies which will be awarded to consultants are the Coastal rail line taking off from Benin through Sapele, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Akampka, Ikom to Obudu Cattle Ranch with 673km at a cost of N334 million. The second rail line of 280km at a feasibility cost of N144 million, will take off from Ajaokuta through Lokoja, Abaji to Abuja. Another major issue discussed in FEC was the celebration of Nigeria’s Centenary celebration. According to Maku, the Centenary celebrations will be marked to celebrate the amalgamation and greatness of Nigeria as the largest country in Africa.

Health, Dr. Salma Anas Kolo who disclosed this at a ministerial press briefing warned that, unless all hands were put on deck, the virus would continue spreading. Dr. Kolo observed that there was urgent need for the traditional and religious leaders as well as relevant stakeholders to join forces with government to ensure total eradication of the disease. The commissioner said, government has embarked on

aggressive enlightenment campaigns to educate parents on the importance of presenting their children for polio vaccination. She also revealed that the state has recorded over 16,000 new HIV/AIDS infections in the last one year and implored HIV/ AIDS victims to avail themselves with the anti-retroviral drugs and other healthcare facilities provided by government at various hospitals and treatment centres across the state.

Borno records seven new polio infections From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


orno state government yesterday expressed worry over the increasing polio virus infections with seven new cases recorded recently. The government said it was seriously disturbed despite the huge resources invested by the state government and other donor agencies to curtail the spread of the virus. The state Commissioner of

Lekki-Epe: Lagos unveils second toll plaza From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


agos State Government yesterday inaugurated a 3.6 kilometre dual carriage road to serve as an alternative route for motorist plying the Lekki-Epe expressway “whose daily activities does not require making use of the toll plaza.” Also the Lekki Concession Company (LCC), the concessionaire handling the construction of the road, disclosed that it would commence the collection of toll at the 2nd toll plaza on December 16th, this year. Speaking at the unveiling, the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Public Private Partnership (PPP), Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi assured the residents living along the Lekki-Epe corridor that the Lagos Government would not force toll payment on them. Gbeleyi explained that the alternative route was newly designed to accommodate such facilities as street lights, comprehensive drainage system, dual side walk as well as detailed road signs, which the special adviser said, were put in place to ensure safety and security of lives and properties along the route. While inspecting the route which starts from Chevron Drive and ends at Oluwanisola Estate, Gbeleyi explained that the road was not just an alternative route for motorists who are not willing to pay toll at Conservation Plaza, but a second toll plaza built about 10 kilometres away from Admiralty Plaza.



FG distributes relief materials to flood victims in Niger From Iliya Garba,Minna


he presidential committee on the distribution of relief materials to victims of the 2012 flood disaster has assured them of rehabilitation and improved living standard as they put the bitter experiences behind them. Speaking during the distribution of materials to victims in Lapai, Niger state, a member of the committee and former Minister of Information,

Prof. Dora Akunyili said they were yet to spend a kobo out of the N15 billion donations so far realized for their upkeep. Prof. Akunyili however debunked the insinuations in some quarters that some of the promises being made to the flood victims in parts of the country may be empty or have political undertone. According to her, "There is nothing political about this committee's assignment or visit. It is a visit done with the

best intention and we are doing the work assigned to us by Mr. President to join the government in bringing succour to these less privileged people". According to her, "We are going to continue to give them relief materials, we will ensure that they are comfortable and we will resettle them at the end and all the expenditures will be published in some national dailies for accountability and transparency".

Akunyili expressed worry about negative reports about diversion of materials meant for flood victims and advised those concerned to be transparent in handling the distribution of materials. Among the items donated on behalf of both the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the committee to the flood victims at Yelwa community in Lapai Local Government Area includes bags of rice, salt, cartons of Indomie noodles, Palm oil, sugar,

soap,detergents and 700 pieces of shadda(guinea brocade) and 700 pieces of Super Wax among others. Akunyili was accompanied on the visit by the Niger state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Musa Ibeto and two other members of her committee which included the Secretary, Alhaji Umar Ghali and the Deputy National President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Rotimi Obamuwagun.

Niger govt signs MoU with Korea on health From Iliya Garba-Minna


he Niger State Government has reiterated its determination and commitments towards providing qualitative, affordable and accessible healthcare delivery services to the people of the state. Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu stated this shortly after signing a Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between Niger state government and Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea on healthcare delivery services. Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Daniel Clifford Shashere, Governor Aliyu said the present administration has constructed additional General Hospitals in New-Wuse, Gulu and Nasko in line with health care policies. The government also renovated the existing ones and provided hospital equipment to meet the health needs of Nigerlites. Governor Aliyu appealed to the Korean government to assist the state in the area of healthcare capacity building which plays a very prominent role in the attainment of the administrations' vision 3:2020. He said the essence of the collaboration is to add value to what the present administration in the state is doing in making Niger state one of the top three best economies in the country by the year 2020 especially in the health sector. The Counselor at the Embassy of Korea, Abuja, Mr. Ri Il Sop had earlier told his host that the bilateral cooperation between the Korea and Niger state would help in actualizing the states' development goals.

National Coordinator, Abuja Grassroots Association (AGA), Mrs. Hauwa Aduda (left), addressing members of Girls Guide, during the flag-off of the association, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Legal Aid boss lists ways to decongest prisons By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


o decongest the prisons and other detention centres in the country, the Nigeria Police Force must change of attitude towards persons arrested by them, the Director General of Legal Aid Council (LAC), Mrs. Joy Bob-Manuel has said. Mrs. Joy Bob-Manuel who said this yesterday during the handing over of the five year review report of the Police Duty Solicitor Scheme (PDSS) in Abuja, insisted that the law mandates the police to inform in writing, every person arrested and the offences he or she committed. The police, she added, must allow detainees to have access to their lawyers, even where such detainees cannot afford a lawyer. According to her, the police should call on the legal aid council to provide legal representatives for the detainees. She said the old ways of insistence by the police that

detainees' lawyers cannot come in until they finish interrogating the suspects, must be amended to comply with global best practices . "After all, such interrogations has led some suspects who were just unfortunate to be where a crowd of people were rounded up or arrested, end up staying for five or more years in detention without prima facie evidence to arraign him or her'', the D-G said. Meanwhile, the former D-G of legal aid council, Mrs Uju Aisha Hassan Baba presented the five year review report of PDSS to her successor, Mrs Joy Bob-Manuel for discussion and charting the course for criminal justice management in the country today. ''In the course of this review, I and my team sat through interviews, listening to numerous duty solicitors, legal aid lawyers, a chief judge's personal assistant, magistrates, DPO's of police stations in the focal states, and Directors' of Public Prosecution. We also visited Law firms of

private practitioners, prison officials and those incarcerated within their custody but was however not privileged to meet with those arrested and detained

( the star actors ) at police stations in three focal states due to the politics that police often play when they feel threatened by outside surveillance", she added.

A'Ibom govt suspends new projects From Mike Etim, Uyo


he Akwa Ibom State government has said that it has no intention to further embark on new capital intensive projects until the ongoing projects are completed. The State commissioner for Finance Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan gave this indication at a Pre-Budget and Public Hearing of the State 2013 Budget organized by the State House Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Finance, which held in Uyo Wednesday. The Commissioner said the action was necessitated by constraint in cash flow which

has forced the state government to concentrate on ongoing projects and stop further contract in the first six months of next year. He said some of the ongoing projects like the new Olympic Stadium being planned, the Tropicana Complex and other road construction attract huge capital commitment which makes it impossible for the state to embark on new projects. However, the commissioner assured the hearing that the government would implement to the letter, every project that was listed in the 2013 budget before the State House of Assembly waiting for approval.



Benefits of a current account to a family S ome family still resist the idea of having a current ac count as they don’t trust banks or want to keep their money themselves. However there are many benefits of having a relationship with a bank or a building society, which can include the following: First and foremost, they are a safe and secure store for your money, much better than having it stashed under the sofa for instance The next benefit is that you won’t have to carry around large amounts of cash whenever you perform a transaction, as you will rather get a debit card that lets you pay for things wherever the merchant is accepted (E.g. visa). Another good thing is that many now come with online banking too so you can manage, track and check on your money online

making it really convenient and easy to see what you have and where it is. Another common advantage is telephone banking, access to a huge network of branches at which you can make transactions and more. You will also tend to get a cheque book which makes making payments easier, though indeed many are now actually phasing out cheques and encouraging customers to use other methods of making their payments. Advantages of a student bank account If you are a student, then you should take advantage of this situation financially. Have a normal current account? Get it switched over to a student bank account as soon as you can. There are many advantages

of doing this, which include the following: An interest free overdraft to a certain agreed sum and sometimes the ability to increase this limit. A better rate of interest than a standard account when you go over your rate that is agreed on your overdraft Often you will get access to other benefits too that are better than on a standard account. Also of importance is the fact that there are sometimes really good freebies on offer to those who sign up for an account, so for instance if you want a MP3 player but can’t afford one look out for a student account that offers one of these as the perks of signing up - perhaps not the most solid of reasons but a good perk is a good perk nonetheless.

like encouraging you to save and giving you more interest the more money that you earn encouraging you to get into the discipline of saving money nice and early. They often also give you a connect card letting you take out money and feel grown up by using a card, something that lots of your friends who still rely on cash will feel a bit jealous about too. You can also pay money direct into these accounts so it will mean you aren’t tempted to blow your pocket money straight away, so if you want to learn to manage money responsibly than such an account will really be excellent for you.

How to get more out of your current account If you want to get the most out of your current account then you need to understand how to use it for maximum benefit. The key thing is the following: -Never get too low or too high a balance in your current account. -For many, the latter is always a dream so focus on the former. Don’t get seduced by a nice looking overdraft amount because that money isn’t yours. Never include it in your sums even if the banks do and say total sum withdrawable is x when really half of

Getting a child’s bank account I

f you want a bank account and you are a child then the good news is that there are more options out there than ever. Rather than just having a bog standard adult account there are now on offer a range of bank accounts from a large number of providers that are dedicated to children. These will typically include a nice free gift or several which is also a good thing. For those who are under 15, accounts will often have a minimal requirement to open so something like 1 will be all that you need to open it so you won’t have to save too hard to open it. They also have nice benefits

x is an overdraft amount. Now if you can keep your account running in the black you is halfway there to sound financial management of your finances. But next you should ensure that there is never too much there either. If you have more than say about 500 in the current account in general circumstances (e.g. not paying a particular bill or there ready for the mortgage payment and so on) then you will benefit from moving the money to a savings account to get lots of interest on it, where it is almost always minimal with standard current accounts with large high street

banks. Of course the key is to ensure there is always enough there to cover the monthly bills that go out else you might move into an overdraft and get some banking charges, so always be careful. Whether you want to lower your electric bill to save money or save the earth from climate change, you need to do the same things. Whatever your reason for wanting to reduce your electric bill, you need to take the same simple steps. First, conserve as much energy as possible before you look at alternative sources of energy.

Simple ways to lower your electricity bill O

Heating and Cooling ne of the biggest culprits of high electricity consump tion is the heating and cooling of homes. By installing a programmable thermostat that is set at a comfortable temperature and by improving insulation of homes, it is possible to dramatically reduce your electric bill. Better insulation in homes means checking the attic, the doors, windows, roof, and floor for air leaks. Also check around vents for drafts. If possible install double paned windows to help insulate your home better. An added advantage of insulating your home for heat is that it keeps out noise pollution as well. Heating water uses an enormous amount of energy. So keep

Quote "When someone tells you that you can't do something, perhaps you should consider that they are only telling you what they can't do." Sheldon J.Cahoon: Author, entrepreneur

Electric bulb the water heater thermostat at 120 degree Fahrenheit. Also wash your clothes in cold water. Your clothes will be just as clean and you will save on your electricity bill. When on the topic of washing clothes, try not to use the clothes dryer. Use a clothesline or drying rack to dry your clothes and you will pay less on your electricity

bill. Your dishes too can be air dried. Also, operate the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads. This way you will save both electricity and water, thereby doing the world a lot of good. Appliances After lowing your heating and cooling bills, try to reduce the energy consumption of the other

appliances. Upgrade your appliances to those with an Energy Star rating. This will ensure that they consume the minimum amount of electricity. First replace those appliances that you use on a regular basis, before replacing occasional-use appliances. Next, tackle your lighting system. Switch over to energy saving CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) from incandescent bulbs. Though CFLs are costlier than incandescent bulbs, they last longer - up to 10 times longer. Apart from this they consume only a quarter of the energy that an incandescent bulb does to produce light of the same lumen. Because of these double savings, CFLs are cheaper in the long run. Refrigerator Another way of saving on your electric bill is to upgrade your refrigerator. Get a model with the freezer on top. This is more energy efficient. Also, remember to set the thermostat of the fresh foods section at 40 degree Fahrenheit and the freezer section at 5 degree Fahrenheit. This is enough to keep your food fresh, while at the same time saving your energy. Residential solar power sys-

tems Once you have adopted all these energy conservation methods, go in for a solar power system. Such a system converts solar light energy into electricity. As solar energy is free, you have no fuel costs. The solar panels last for up to 30 years, so that is a onetime investment. There is no pollution from such a system, and it can safely be installed in homes. It is relatively maintenance free as well - all it needs is an occasional wash to remove dust. Most solar power systems pay for themselves in a period of seven years. So, this is a great way to save on your electric bill. Conclusion As is clear from the above discussion, it is first necessary to conserve as much electricity as possible before you go in for a solar power system. This is because solar power systems are still costly - that is, the initial installation costs are high. It makes much more sense to upgrade the insulation of your home first, than to install a solar power system for all the extra energy an uninsulated home will consume.




Egypt: President Morsi’s dangerous political overdrive


t is one of those political paradoxes. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, long persecuted under the autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak, and even his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, is today invoking the same monster against Egyptians who toiled to end Mubarak’s reign of terror and put the Brotherhood in power earlier in the year. On November 22, President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood caused a stir when he announced a decree that temporarily vested him with absolute power, which no other institution in Egypt can challenge, pending the enactment of a new constitution that is expected to make strict Islamic legal code the basis of governance. Not unexpectedly, Egyptian liberals who gave impetus to the February 2011 revolution that swept away Mubarak’s ancient regime are back at Tahrir Square in protest. We do not think that it is proper, prior to the proclamation or enactment of the new constitution, that a single person should assume absolute power in a civil order. Even Egypt’s respected military junta which assumed power following the fall of Mubarak and oversaw the transition to civil order did not give itself the luxury of absolute authority. With protesters at Tahrir Square constantly thumbing on their nose, even they could not manipulate the transition process to produce their preferred successor. President Morsi’s November 22 announcement to temporarily assume absolute power is a throwback to those locust years when

the Mubarak court was in absolute charge. Even in the temporary absence of a constitution, there are sufficiently established conventions to draw on in democratic governance. No wonder then that Morsi and his Islamist allies are in trouble today. The country has been stirred up again, this time not by the old guard wanting to re-assert itself but by the post-revolution regime wanting to undermine its own legitimacy.

President Morsi has overplayed his hand, it is agreed, but the opposition groups should know that in unleashing chaos to get at him, they might have produced a monster, with a consequence of dispatching the revolution to the political emergency ward Regrettably, Egypt has been dragged into an impasse at a time when she needs to move beyond the hubris of its revolution to reconstruction. According to the President, he needs to govern under a decree to thwart political ambushes by the old guard. But to us, the cause of democracy is better served by allowing individual freedoms than a return to the absolutism of the old order. With President Morsi’s political overdrive, the country is almost at a halt as supporters and opponents try to outdo

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”

each other in street protests. On his part, the President has resorted to political subterfuge, the type that emphasizes “craft, tact and art” instead of democratic accommodation. The Muslim Brotherhood-dominated national assembly is rushing out a new constitution and the President has set the date of December 15 for a referendum to approve it. Meanwhile, the president’s political dust has touched the judiciary’s raw nerve. The supreme Constitutional Court has suspended sitting, announcing that it would not sit again until judges can operate “without psychological and material pressure”. To us, the controversy stoked by President Morsi is completely avoidable. The haste with which he wants to weed out institutions that are not in the grip of his political faction is bound to arouse suspicion as to his motive. We also are doubtful whether reframing Egypt in the political strait-jacket of the Muslim Brotherhood would offer the pluralism that the revolution both expressed and articulated. Egypt can’t afford perpetual turmoil both for its economic survival and pivotal role in a turbulent region. President Morsi has overplayed his hand, it is agreed, but the opposition groups should know that in unleashing chaos to get at him, they might have produced a monster, with a consequence of dispatching the revolution to the political emergency ward. The two parties must come together to thrash out a compromise.









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


By Josephine Ella Ejeh


he Transportation Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has announced that the enforcement of mini bus feeder routes operation in Abuja would take effect from January, 14, 2013. Speaking at a press briefing to sensitise stakeholders and the general public on the decision, the Transport Secretary, Engineer Jonathan Achara Ivoke informed journalists that the implementation date was shifted forward, following pleas by transporters for ample time to prepare for the scheme. By implication, the Secretary said that upon take-off, mini bus operators in territory are expected


FCTA to enforce mini bus feeder route operation Jan.14 to operate only on the routes designated for their operations. According to him, their operations would be relegated to feeder routes, that is, they are expected to pick passengers from feeder routes into the city centre. “The services we want to implement from January 14, 2013 has to do with the feeder routes within the FCT. Those outside the FCT, we don’t have any problem with their operation sp they have to continue the way

they are operating”, he said. He explained that the feeder routes mini bus transportation service is incorporated in the Operator’s License Scheme of the FCT administration launched in May 2011. On the high capacity buses, ivoke said out of the eight high capacity bus routes within the FCT as contained in the Operator’s License Scheme, Nyanya, Aya and Eagle Square have been designated for the Bus Rapid

Services, which would be fully implemented next year. “We are following the implementation of the transportation policies of the FCT. We have high ways so we are trying to use them the way the master plan has provided for it. The design of the highway is for high capacity buses so we have to implement this to ensure that things are done properly,” he explained. He said the secretariat would

continue to sensitise transporters so that next year it could start effective implementation. The secretary also seize the occasion to warn unlicensed transport service operators, including care hires as they would not be allowed to operate from the targeted date for implementation. This was as he urged the public not to patronise them for their security and to ensure compliance to road traffic rules and regulations.

Residents call for rehabilitation of Gwagwalada roads By Usman Shuaibu


nhabitants of Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have appealed to the FCT Minister, Senator Mohammed Bala to rehabilitate neglected roads in Gwagwalada. Some of the residents, who spoke to Peoples Daily in Gwagwalada said that so many roads in the area were not longer motorable. One of the residents, Alhaji Salisu Yahaya, the headmaster of Islamiyya Primary School in Gwagwalada, called on the FCT Minister to rehabilitate the road linking Kasuwa Dare- Alhaji Nura road to save lives . Mallam Saleh Lawal, a community leader at Angwar Hajara also appealed to the minister to repair Angwar Hajara road which was abandoned for so many years now. Lawal further lamented that the people of Angwar Hajara had been neglected in the area of provision of basic amenities such as potable drinking water as well as electricity and urged the FCT landlord to come to their rescue, Speaking in the same vein, a plumber, Mallam Aliyu Mohammed Iliyasu popularly known as ‘Dantani’ accused the former chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Saidu Garba Zuba of failing to rehabilitate Alhaji Nura-Angwar Hajara road as the contract was awarded during his regime. On his part, a taxi driver in Gwagwalada, Mr. John Samuel said that the roads that needed urgent rehabilitation by the minister included sharp corner road, town hall road, demonstration primary school road/Paikon motel market road. “People who ply the roads are not save, vehicles and hawkers are also at risk, especially during the rainy season”, Samuel said.

A scene of an accident along Sabon Lugbe Airport Road, in Abuja yesterday.

Photo: Joe Oroye.

Mechanic jailed for inflicting injuries on fellow


41-year-old mechanic, Benjamin Idoga, was yesterday sentenced to two months imprisonment by an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for causing grievous hurt on another man. Idoga, who lives in Masaka in Nasarawa State, was charged with causing grievous hurt before Senior Magistrate Idaiyat Akanni.

The Prosecutor, Corporal Simon Emmanuel, told the court that the complainant, Felix Odey of Mpape, Abuja, reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station on November 28, 2012. Emmanuel said that on the same date, the convict had an argument with the complainant where the convict hit the complainant with a wooden

plank on his head, which injured him on the head. He added that the complainant was rushed to the hospital for treatment and incurred a bill of N3,500 for the treatment. The prosecutor said that the action of the convict contravenes Section 246 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded guilty

and asked the court for leniency. Delivering judgment, Akanni said offenders must be punished in order to deter others from similar acts. She sentenced the convict to two months imprisonment or to pay N2,000 fine. She also ordered the convict to pay N3,500 compensation to the complainant for the medical bill incurred. (NAN)

Man bags six months jail for stealing car


n Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court yesterday convicted and sentenced one Abubakar Mohammed of Kuchigoro village, Abuja, to six months imprisonment for stealing a Toyota salon car. The Magistrate, Mrs Rosemary Kanyip, who gave the judgment, however, gave an

option of fine of N2,000 after the accused had pleaded guilty to the charge. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Mr Paul Anigbo, told the court that the matter was lodged at the Lugbe Police Station, Abuja on December 1, 2012. According to Anigbo, one Iliya Ado, the owner of the car, who lives at Block 2, Flat 4, City

Gate Police Station, Abuja, reported the case at the station. Anigbo said the accused stole the car with registration number XA 490 KWH from where it was parked on November 22 and took it to a mechanic in Mabushi to repair the engine so that he could take it out of Abuja. He said the car, painted in

Abuja taxi colour, was recovered at the mechanic’s place in Mabushi by some police officers. The prosecutor added that during police investigation, the accused confessed that he stole the car valued at N350,000. Anigbo said the offence contravened section 287 of the Penal Code. (NAN)



FCTA collaborates with stakeholders to prevent environmental disaster


he Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide, has said the administration would collaborate with relevant stakeholders to prevent environmental disasters in the metropolis. Akinjide made this known at Kwali, Abuja at the communitybased sensitisation workshop on "Sustainable Wetland Management and Livelihood Improvement''. The workshop was organised by Wetland Advocacy and Livelihood Development Initiative (WALDI), an NGO based in Abuja. Akinjide, who was represented by Mr Lateef Olawuwo, an Assistant Director in the FCTA, bemoaned the manner people took environmental issues with levity. According to her, the FCTA will always support initiatives that will impact positively on the environment. "We will continue to support any initiative that has positive impact on our environment, we are also here to make this community know that we care for their environmental challenges. "We must work hard to avert further environmental disasters in this country, and I am calling on this community to support programmes on environment.'' The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that WALDI had planted 3,000 trees of different species around the river bank and within the Junior Secondary School premises in Wako, a community in Kwali Area Council in the FCT. NAN also reports that the NGO has embarked on the planting of grasses as well as seedlings to check erosion and desertification in Wako. Also speaking, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman, Emir of Wako, Kwali commended the organisers for the programme and expressed his appreciation SGP/GEF for ensuring that his community benefitted from the scheme. Usman assured that the community would henceforth encourage women participation in all environmental issues, adding that the community would give ultimate support to the project. The emir appealed to the minister of the FCT to assist the community in addressing the erosion problem which had been their major environmental challenge. He said that erosion was a threat to the federal highway under construction in the area, adding that it was capable of washing the road away. Earlier, Mrs Esther Okunade, the Executive Director, WALDI said that the project was to address the basic challenges facing biodiversity in the area. Okunade said that the continuous washing away of the trees was a threat to the presence of soil water. (NAN)

Old men displaying their cultural heritage at a function, recently in Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Pregnant women, nursing mothers get over 1,000 free insecticide treated nets By Adeola Tukuru


s part of its efforts to eradicate malaria and other related diseases in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT), Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) yesterday distributed over one thousand treated mosquito nets to pregnant women and nursing mothers in Dutse Garki Primary Health Care Centre. According to the Chairman of the Council, Hon Micha Y. Jiba , these would go a long way to curb

malaria and other related diseases affecting mostly the children in the society. Jiba stated this during the flag off program, adding that the administration has deemed it fit to ensure that residents at the grass root level under AMAC gets adequate health care delivery in the council, as part of his agenda. He further assured that the other 34 primary health care centres under the council would get their free mosquito treated nets immediately after flag off of

the program. “What we are doing today is a continued process and we will ensure that other mothers in AMAC ,who didn’t benefit from the last distribution gets will benefit this year ,because we have enough mosquito nets that will go around these women in AMAC, he assured”. He said the administration was ready to empower women and youths in the council soon. On her part, the Supervisory councilor of Health in AMAC, Hon Josephine Nnodim urged

the women to ensure that they use these mosquito nets. The Head of Department for health in AMAC, Dr Modupe Adeyinka said that the Environmental Department Unit in the council are going about to educated the residents on how to keep round schools in the FCT to address them on health talks. A beneficiary and also a nursing mother, Nkechi Ifeanyi lauded the good gesture, saying, she would ensure that the mosquito net is used.

Court dissolves 9-year-old marriage


Grade One Area Court sitting in Wuse, Abuja, yesterday granted one Mrs Habiba Ibrahim of Zauda Village her request for divorce. The Judge, Qaseem Muhammed, granted the divorce, following allegations by Habiba that her husband was a drunk who did not provide for her. “He does not live up to his responsibilities, he calls me a barren woman and insults my parents at the slightest provocation. “To make matters worse, he

does not observe his five times daily prayer because he is always drunk,” she said. Habiba told the court that her marital problems started because she had not been able to bear a child for her husband. “Our marital problems started after nine years of childlessness. He started behaving anyhow, one day he left me at home and went to marry a second wife secretly. On another occasion, I gave him money to buy me land and he went to buy it in his name,“ she told the court

Responding, Salihu, prayed the court to grant his wife her request. “Please grant her request because I have begged her and she refused to change her mind’’. He told the court that his wife had not produced any child for him after nine years of being together, which prompted him to take a second wife. “I have not known peace in my home since I married a second wife because she has never liked the idea,’’ he said. He said it was normal for couples to quarrel and insult

each other in the process and “the issue of observing prayers or not is personal”. Muhammed said that the court used the concept of irreconcilable difference in granting Habiba’s request. He said that any kind of difference between two parties that could be changed or where an individual did not want to change, could be considered as irreconcilable difference. He, therefore, held that from December 6, 2012, the marriage between Habiba and Ibrahim was dissolved. (NAN)



400 patients to benefit from free polio surgery


n Indian orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Deepak Purohit, said in Abuja on Thursday that the India Nigeria Rotary Polio Surgery Project team would treat more than 400 patients. Purohit made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), adding that the project was aimed at bringing polio patients from affected areas of the country to access the services. “In this project, we aim to treat no less than 400 patients, whose limbs are affected, correct their deformity, so that they will be able to walk, use their elbows instead of crawling.’’ According to him, the project is free of charge, with the help of Rotarians in India and Nigeria as well as Rotary Foundation in Nigeria.

The orthopaedic surgeon, who is also the project chairman, said that the transportation of the patients, treatment, operation and medicine were free of charge. “Indian doctors, local doctors, and Nigeria Rotarians as well as the government agencies are working interdependently with each other to give this benefit to the largest section of community, who are poor and not able to afford the treatment”, he said. He added that after the polio affliction, the child craws and losses his or her dignity, “so we are trying to bring the dignity of the child back, that is what polio project is all about”. “We have selected two hospitals; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Gwagwalada FCT. He said the programme

which started on December 3, 2012 would end on December 11, 2012. Purohit said that one of the challenges the team had was moving the patients from the camp to the hospital down to the theatre, adding that it was a team of 25 “so it was a bit hard bringing them due to the way the programme is organised.”

“Another thing is coordinating with the local hospital, because each hospital has got its own set of rules, but now we have been able to understand them. “The local people have been helping us a lot especially here, the official has been considering to give us full support with the help of the Chief Medical Director

(CMD) as well as the Keffi hospital,” he said. According to him, the team has already done 55 surgeries and still have a long way to go. “Three hundred patients have been examined and about 60 are still waiting for surgery, so in coming days, we hope to perform more surgery to meet our target,’. (NAN)

Conductor, 25, arraigned for alleged theft


he Police have arraigned one Ushe Michael of Karimo Last Gate, Abuja, before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for alleged theft. Police Prosecutor, Corporal David Udeh, told the court that one Anthony Nnondu of Karimo, Abuja, reported the matter to the Wuse Police Station. According to Udeh, the accused picked N18, 000 from

Nnondu’s pocket when he was boarding a bus at Wuse market on December 3, 2012. Udeh added that during police investigation, the sum of N3, 500 was found in the possession of the accused. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying that one of his friends “passed money to him and that he had no idea how he got it’’. Senior Magistrate, Njideka

Duru, granted the accused bail in the sum of N5, 000 and a reasonable surety in like sum who must be resident with the jurisdiction of the court. She added that the accused friend should be brought to the court at the next sitting. “We are aware of crimes like this and how they are perpetrated by one person passing a stolen item to another until they finally get away. “I hereby wish to see the said friend of the accused person appear in court with him for questioning on the next date of hearing,’’ Duru said. She adjourned the case to December 19, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Man, 42, arraigned for allegedly issuing fake receipt

O A young man patronising road side baber, yesterday in Area 1, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Laboratory scientists laud FCTA over testing machine By Adeola Tukuru


he Federal Capital Territory(FCT) chapter of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), has lauded the F CT Administration (FCTA) for the available testing machine called Adaltis machine, used for screening blood and blood product for transfusion. Chairman of the association, Dr Casmir Ifeanyi during an interview with journalist in commemoration of the just concluded World AIDs Day said that among the states across the country, FCT is the only centre where the Adaltis machine is available.

Dr. Casmir called on other state government and state ministries of health to begin to take the cue from the FCTA by acquiring this machine and to help in breaking transmission particularly where it involves the use of blood and blood products. He explained that Adaltis machine allows simultaneous detection of HIV-p24 antigen and anti-HIV in human serum or plasma, adding that it is a comparative timing of detection of primary HIV infection following sero-conversion have shown that Adaltis Detect-HIV™ gives better sensitivity than the current HIV Rapid Testing Algorithm. The Chairman lamented that

the increase of the spread of HIV / AIDS in the country today is because most people who go to the hospital to know there status are judged negative, while they are positive. He further explained that the reason for these was because most of the primary health care centres in the country lacked medical laboratory scientist. “This is a huge challenge for us and it requires a political will on the part of Federal Government to prevent this ordeal, introducing a Medical laboratory services at the Primary Health Care as a key component. There are policy papers from the Federal Ministry of Health in that regard, but it

has not been implemented”. “What we are saying is that it is time for the Federal Ministry of Health to collaborate with the Medical laboratory Scientist and other stakeholders in the health system to find the existing Algorithm against superior method of testing and be sure that when you say somebody is negative that person is truly negative, he said”. Casmir said the association in collaboration with the USAID, Centre for Disease Control of the United States (US), Population Census and other agencies had distributed materials and also provided free HIV testing at community level to mark the World AIDs Day.

ne Olamide Olatayo, 42, of Lugbe, Abuja, has been arraigned before a Gudu Upper Area Court, Abuja, for alleged cheating and issuing fake receipt. The Police Prosecutor, ASP Patrick Obetta, told the court that one Richard John, of Lugbe, Abuja, wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, on January 14, 2012. Obetta said the accused induced the complainant and collected N450, 000 from him to hire a store at Lugbe market, Abuja. “The accused, knowing well that AMAC had revoked the shop allocations, went ahead to issue a fake receipt to John,’’ Obetta stressed. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding Judge, Adamu Wakili, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500,000. Wakili added that the accused must present a reliable surety who must be resident within the FCT and must have a fixed address. He adjourned the case to February 18, 2013, for hearing. (NAN)






- Pg 20

Revamp of NEXIM, NEPC panacea for Nigeria's vision 2020

Mob: 08033644990

Public assets lack insurance cover- NAICOM boss By Abdulwahab Isa


ost public assets, especially edifices owned by various tires of government do not have i n s u r a n c e cover, Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive Officer of the National Insurance

FMBN records success on mortgage deductions, monthly collection hits N1.3 bn

suspends sanction on insurance broker

Commission (NAICOM), Fola Daniel disclosed yesterday. He said the Commission also noticed that the current budgetary provisions for insurance of government assets and properties were inadequate or in most cases not made at all. As a proof for this assertion, he said very strategic government assets had become an eye sore rotting away after they are engulfed by fire because there were no insurance policy coverage on them. Daniel spoke yesterday in Abuja at a sensitization workshop

on implementation of “No cover” rule for insurance stakeholders. He said NAICOM was committed to implementing the stricter policy of no premium no cover to its letter. According to him, “where the provisions are made, payments of premium to insurance companies are either delayed for months or the funds redeployed to meet other needs by Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government which is in clear breach of section 50(1) of the Insurance Act 2003”. He reaffirmed commitment

of NAICOM to addressing the vexed issue of delayed or unpaid insurance premium which he said has attained an alarming crescendo which if not tackled, could drive the industry in to extinction. Daniel urged insurance desk officers of various organizations to counsel their organization on the importance of paying premium adding that the Commission will not spare any in the implementation of “No premium No cover “policy. This comes as the Commission announced lifting

suspension it slammed on Ibadan based Prime Investment Insurance Brokers Limited in a statement issued by its spokesperson Lucky Fiakpa. The lifting of the sanction is hinged satisfactory conduct of the Broker during the period of the suspension while it has purged itself of all the infractions that necessitated the suspension of its license. The company was suspended from doing business as insurance broker with effect from June 14, 2012 following the unprofessional manner with which the firm handled the Ondo State Government property insurance account.

By Abdulwahab Isa


he Managing Director , Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) Gimba Ya’u Kumo said the bank has recorded tremendous improvement on the collection of 2.5 percent mortgage deduction from N950 million to about N1.3 billion monthly . The bank also attained higher grounds on request by contributors for refunds, which has moved up from N70 million previously to N1.5 billion. He spoke recently in Abuja while receiving honorary award of patron conferred on him by National AntiCorruption Volunteers for his dedication and transparent approach he brought to bear in FMBN. On status of loan facility grant to Estate Developers and the Primary Mortgage Institutions (PMIs), he said the bank recorded tremendous improvement just as he ruled out the option of sourcing loans for mortgage purposes from local commercial banks citing bank’s astronomical interest charges. Ya’u Kumo said the achievement recorded under his watch was a collective efforts of FMB staf as according to him, “it’s not about me, but a collective effort of FMBN team. Fighting corruption as it is today is joint task. To win war on corruption, we have to start it on individual level. He allayed fear in some quarters that estates funded by FMBN could be targeted for demolition by the Federal Capital Territory Administration squad. He said estates funded by FMBN go through thorough process of correctness of land allocations and urged FMBN estate occupant to be calm. In a remark earlier, Director of National Anti- Corruption Volunteers Gabriel Onwe said the FMBN boss was selected for his commitment and selfless dedication to his assignment.

L-R: Executive Director, Metropolitan Construction Limited, Mr. Tony Fagbuaro, Sector Engineer, Office of Public Private Partnership, Lagos state, Mr. Taofeek Kelani, Managing Director, Metroplotan construction company limited, Mr. Carlos Franyi, and special adviser to the governor on public private partnership, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi, during the inspection of the alternative road to the toll plaza 2 in Ikota, Eti-Osa local council area of Lagos state, yesterday. Photo: NAN

NEXIM Bank to set up a shipping line By Umar Muhammad Puma


igerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) plans to set up a shipping line to boost trade between Nigeria and other African countries. Managing Director of the Bank, Mr. Robert Orya confirmed during budget defense of the House of Representatives committee on

Banking and Currency to defend the bank’s 2013 budget proposal. Throwing more light on why NEXIM plans to float the shipping line, Orya disclosed that it was for the purpose of facilitating transportation of goods to both the West and Central African sub regions adding that road transportation presently used for the movement of Nigerian exports posed many obstacles and

bottlenecks. He said “there is need for NEXIM to set up a shipping line because for goods to be shipped to Tema in Ghana from Lagos, it would take not less than 60 days for the ship to arrive at its destination. The ship would first of all travel from Lagos to Europe before returning to Ghana.” He further stated that already Nigerian goods were

Management Tip of the Day



Be assertive while being yourself

you're reserved, you've likely been told you need to be more assertive at work. But if that's not your natural style, how can you still ask for what you need and get what you want? Here are three ways: Start with a success inventory. To understand when your style is effective or not, spend a week assessing your

success. Before a meeting, ask yourself, "What do I want?" Then, afterwards, evaluate the results. Set small goals. Challenge yourself with a specific goal. For example, give yourself a week to initiate three difficult conversations with colleagues. Or promise that in group discussions for the next month, you'll speak up within

the first two minutes. Build relationships. If you hold back because you're uncomfortable with your co-workers, consider interacting more with colleagues outside of work so that you feel more at ease speaking up. Source: Harvard Business Review

widely distributed within the West and Central African subregions. Orya expressed frustration over the bank’s efforts to recover debts it was being owed across the country. “We have used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies in the country and even moral persuasion in our efforts to recover debts we are being owed but still we haven’t achieved much in this regard.” He lamented that the profit the bank had made had been eaten up by huge debt it was being owed. In his speech at the occasion, the Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency of the House of Representatives, Hon. Jones Onyereri ( PDP Imo state), pledged the readiness of the House to assist the bank recover its debts but insisted that management of the bank should provide comprehensive information about the debts it was been owed.



COMPANY NEWS $10 Billion ‘Hot Money’ Not Posing a Threat – Sanusi


igeria’s financial system is not under threat from speculative investments valued at about $10 billion, Central Bank of Nigeria Governor Lamido Sanusi said. Nigeria would still have $36 billion in reserves if the investments left the country, Sanusi said today at a conference in Abuja, the capital. High interest rates have kept inflation below forecast, stabilized the naira and helped raise foreign currency reserves, he said. “The policy is working” in providing price stability, the core mandate of the bank, he said.

Nigeria Holds Talks with Shell, Exxon to Agree on Oil-Tax Reform


he Federal Government is in talks with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., and other energy companies to reach an agreement on tax demands proposed in draft legislation. “There’s always the intent to try and strike a balance, particularly from the side of government,” Petroleum Minister Diezani AlisonMadueke said today at a conference in Abuja. “There seemed to be such disparity in terms of where we stood on the fiscals.”

MTN, Glo, Etisalat and Airtel May Face more Punitive Fines – Minister


he Federal Government may levy more fines against telecommunications companies if their service hasn’t improved by the time service quality checks are made in December, Communications Technology Minister Omobola Johnson said. The telecommunications regulator fined companies including MTN Group Ltd. (MTN) and Emirates Telecommunications Corp. (ETISALAT) a combined 1.17 billion naira ($7.4 million) in May for failing to meet minimum service standards. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with more than 160 million people, is targeting voice penetration of close to 100 percent by 2014-2015. “Fining isn’t something we want to do every six months, so we’re working very closely with them,” Johnson said in a Nov. 26 interview in the southern city of Warri.

NEXIM, NEPC revamp panacea for Nigeria’s vision 2020 N igeria’s reliance exclusively on crude oil resources as a means of executing her developments is responsible for the current stagnant growth. In more ways than one, the snap but cheap reliance on oil earnings has crashed her out of the 2020 vision race which it earnestly began with trappings of fanfare. It became apparent few days ago that the aspiration by most populous black nation to be part of top 20 economies 2020 is a hoax and mere mirage after all. Nigeria is displaced by Saudi Arabia. The confirmation came from no other person but the DirectorGeneral of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Frank Nweke Jnr- convener of the annual forum that brainstorms on direction of the economy. Nweke, Tuesday in Abuja said “based on our projections using the IMF World Economic Outlook database, our findings are that Saudi Arabia will be the 20th largest economy in the world by 2020, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.2 trillion dollars in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Nigeria on the other hand would be the 27th largest economy in the world by 2020, with a GDP of $864 billion in PPP; falling short of being the 20th largest economy by a GDP of $316 billion,” NESG boss said. He said Nigeria needed $730 billion to close the gap in order to become the 20th largest economy by 2020. The Vision 20:2020 is aimed at making Nigeria one of the top 20 economies by year 2020. But Nigeria does possess all it takes to lead aspiring pack of vision 2020 nations. However, the opportunity cost of her total dependent on oil thus robbed her of huge economic attraction offered by diversification in to non-oil sectors. The untapped huge agriculture potentials , vast e n t e r t a i n m e n t sector, manufacturing, agro processing, solid minerals and services are potential Nigeria’s gold mines that deserve all impetus but relegated to second fiddle after oil. The Managing Director/ CEO, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) Mr. Roberts U. Orya at a recent interactive session with media representatives underscores huge potentials imbedded in non-oil sector. He said Nigeria could address its huge unemployment challenge by

The disclosure with voice of certainty by the Director-General of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Frank Nweke on Tuesday that Nigeria has fallen off the track in the race for the top 20 economies in 2020 due to her failure in meeting basic requirements once more opened the flank for ceaseless calls for diversification of the nation’s resources from oil to the non-oil sector. In this analysis, Abdulwahab Isa argues that a repositioned NEXIM Bank and a well funded Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC)- two key institutions in non-oil sector should be encouraged and supported by government for nation quest as top hub economies to be met

NEXIM boss, Mr. Roberts U. Orya giving greater attention to non-oil sector. It remains a huge source of foreign exchange earnings for the country. The occasion was NEXIM score card in the last three years of Orya on saddle. He cited Nigeria’s film industry hitherto neglected but being repositioned through the bank funding interventions He said the bank has extended loans to eligible companies in all the value-chain within the creative arts and entertainment industry under the Nigerian Creative

Arts & Entertainment Industry Facility Scheme. Giving a breakdown of the bank’s interventions, he said “as at today, the total funding support to the Industry by NEXIM comprised of N700 million and N536 million disbursed to six beneficiary clients”. An institution established for intervention and financing of non-oil exports, he said the bank in the last three years has supported Nigerian exporters majorly the small and medium enterprises (SME’s) with some engaging in Greenfield projects to the tune

Giving a breakdown of the bank’s interventions, he said “as at today, the total funding support to the film industry by NEXIM comprised of N700 million and N536 million disbursed to six beneficiary clients”.

of N23.33 billion and issued Guarantees valued at $27.3 Million between 2009 and August 2012. The interventions were majorly in the bank target sectors with high growth potentials such as the manufacturing, agro processing, Solid Minerals and Services. E x p e c t e d l y , the repositioning of the bank by the current management is said to have led to various operational interventions and this in effect, has generated/ sustained direct jobs of over 14,358 as at August 31, 2012 while its facilitates granted has culminated to foreign exchange earnings in excess of $189.20 million annually in the last the three years. Of note, Orya said the modest achievements recorded by the bank in the last three years in the area of lending support to the non-oil sector would not have possible without fresh capital injection by the shareholders. Besides fresh capital injection, it got institutional support through supervisory and regulatory oversight and guidance from the CBN and Federal Ministry of Finance, a gesture that translated to the bank capacity to support the growth of the non-oil exports and complement the export credit support of the commercial banks. Orya said the bank is currently on the verge of establishing a shipping line to boost trade between Nigeria and other African countries. “ There is need for NEXIM to set up a shipping line because for goods to be shipped to Tema in Ghana from Lagos, it would take not less than 60 days for the ship to arrive at its destination. The ship would first of all travel from Lagos to Europe before returning to Ghana”, he affirmed recently. Experts are of the view that agencies like NEXIM, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) whose mandates centre on promoting the development and diversification of Nigeria’s nonoil export trade are capable of leading the nation to the desired spot of being among top economies if well funded.



Optimizing revenue yield from stamp duties collection through enforcement of tax Law (1) By Frank Obaro


tamp Duties are transaction taxes imposed on instruments executed by individuals and corporate entities in Nigeria. The 1999 Constitution (as amended) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria places the responsibility of legislating Stamp Duty on the Federal Government. It also places collection of taxes on the concurrent legislative list, empowering the Federal Government through its revenue administration body; the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect stamp duty fees where a company is involved for the Federal Government and were individuals or persons are involved to be paid collected by a State Stamp Duty Office. Payment of Stamp Duties is backed by law, the Stamp Duties Act 1939 as amended by numerous Acts and various resolutions and contained in Vol. 22 cap 411 LFN 1990. Note that Stamp Duty is one of the matters reserved to the Federal Government in the Exclusive Legislative list. Stamp Duties was introduced in England in 1694. In Nigeria it is presently administered through the Stamp Duties Act CAP S.8 LFN 2004, which started as the Stamp Duties Act 1939. Stamp Duties are duties/fee basically on instruments and it is defined to include every written document. The Black's Law Dictionary defines stamp duty as a tax raised by requiring stamps sold by the government to be affixed to designated documents, thus forming part of the perpetual revenue. If a transaction is effected orally or arises solely from the conduct of the parties and there is no document to stamp, no duty can be payable. The Federal Government is the only competent authority to impose, charge and collect duties upon instruments specified in the Schedule to the Act if such instrument relates to matters executed between a company and an individual, group or body of individuals. While the State Governments shall collect duties in respect of instruments executed between persons or individuals at such rates to be imposed or charged as may be agreed with the Federal Government (FCT Inclusive). Stamp Duty collection is jointly administered by the State and Federal authorities, depending on the type and nature of the document to be stamped. Stamp duties are regarded as transaction taxes, and the rates charged would depend on the classification of the document. Documents are assessed on their individual characteristics. At the federal level, the administration of the tax falls squarely on the Commissioner for Stamp Duties through the process of adjudication. An instrument must be sent to the Commissioner of Stamp Duties for adjudication.

FIRS Ag Chairman Alhaji Kabiru Mashi Instruments are charged at either flat rates or ad valorem. At adjudication, the commissioner issues a certificate. The special nature of Stamp Duties is illustrated by the adjudication process which enables the correct amount of duty to be determined by the Commissioners. A duty payer may require the Commissioners to express their opinion on the liability to duty or otherwise. With the assessment, the duty payer goes to the bank to pay as per the commissioner's evaluation. Once the payment is confirmed and an acknowledgement receipt is issued, the document is then stamped with the correct stamp denoting the payment. Legal effect of a stamped

FIRS Headquaters, Abuja

instrument. According to section 19 and section 22 of the Stamp Duties Act, an unstamped instrument will not be admissible as evidence in a Court of Law. This excludes instruments executed or relating to property situated or any matter or thing done or to be done outside Nigeria and instruments given as evidence in a criminal matter. Terms upon which instruments not duly stamped may be received in evidence 1) Upon the production of an instrument chargeable with any duty as evidence in any court of civil judicature in Nigeria, or before any arbitrator or referee, notice shall be taken by the judge, magistrate, arbitrator, or referee of any

omission or insufficiency of the stamps thereon, and if the instrument is one which may legally be stamped after the execution thereof, it may, on payment to the officer of the court whose duty it is to read the instrument, or to the arbitrator or referee, of the amount of the unpaid duty, and the penalty payable stamping the same, and of a further sum of two naira, be received in evidence, saving all just exceptions on other grounds. 2) The officer, or arbitrator, or referee receiving the duty and penalty shall give a receipt for the same, and make an entry in the proper book kept for the purpose of showing receipts of money and of the amount thereof, and shall communicate to a Commissioner the name or title of the proceedings in which and of the part from whom, he received the duty and penalty, and the date and description of the instrument, and shall pay over to the Accountant-General the money so received by him for the duty and penalty. 3) On production to the Commissioner of any instrument in respect of which any duty or penalty has been paid, together with the receipt, the payment of the duty and penalty shall be denoted on the instrument. 4) Except as aforesaid and subject to the provisions of Section 90(3) of this Act, an instrument executed in Nigeria, or relating, wherever executed, to any property situated or to any matter or thing done or to be done in Nigeria, shall not, except in criminal proceedings, be given in evidence, or be available for any purpose whatever, unless it is duly stamped in accordance with the law in force in Nigeria at the time when it was first executed. Chargeability of duties on instruments Stamp Duties are charged on instruments falling within specified heads of charge. The enforcement of stamp duties

is ensured by the consequences of failure to stamp, which are the incidents of penalties and offences and inadmissibility of the instruments in evidence. These consequences apply where an instrument has been insufficiently or incorrectly stamped. For an instrument to be chargeable, it must fall within one of the heads of charge and subsequent legislation. The head of charge is determined by the substance of the transaction recorded in an instrument rather than its form and the wording used by the parties is not conclusive. If an instrument falls within two heads of charge, the Government can only levy one duty, but may choose the higher (Speyer Bros v CIR HL, (1908) AC92). The principles of construction of a taxing statute apply, inter alia, as follows: o The onus of proof is on the government to show that an instrument is within a stamp duty charge; o The wording of a charge to stamp duty must be clear and unambiguous and if the language is clear, the court must give effect to it; o In a case of real ambiguity, the construction most favorable to the taxpayer should be given. o There are numerous exemptions from specific heads of charge or from stamp duties generally. Here the onus is on the taxpayer to show that the instrument qualifies for exemption. Form of Stamp Duties Act The Stamp Duties Act is made up of three parts; Part 1: Contains provisions applicable to instruments in general and contains the charging section. Part II: Contains regulations applicable to particular instruments. Here, the heads of charge are shown. Part 111: Consists of supplementary provisions on duty on capital of companies, miscellaneous items and a schedule. Organization of stamp duty office. There are twenty four (24) stamp duty offices of FIRS throughout the country. The offices are closely located to offices of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) because of the need of stamping Memorandum and Articles of Association, share capital and debt instruments. The Commissioner for Stamp Duties is responsible for the adjudication process in determining the correct duty to be paid. The confirmation of all assessments raised by the Assessment officers as well as receipts issued, are also part of his responsibility. The Commissioner for Stamp Duties is also required to ensure that right rates are charged in accordance with the law.



Report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force, Nov 2012 (III) Overview 1.2.1. The Nigerian Petroleum Industry Nigeria is the home to substantial deposits of oil and gas resources. The country's proven oil reserves totalled 37.2billion bbls as of January 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Nigerian Government sources claim that reserves may actually be as high as 38.2billion bbls. However, due to lack of transparency in reporting, key statistics on Nigeria's hydrocarbons industry vary widely and are often coloured by different interests. Still, Nigeria's deposits are regarded internationally as the tenth - largest in the world and the second largest in Africa after Libya. Nigeria's oil is prized for its purity. Export blends are Bonny Light and sweet crudes, which require less refining and are thus more lucrative. The oil typically fetches more on global markets than Brent Crude, the global benchmark oil that is extracted from the North Sea. Despite the fact that the country's reserves are substantial, crude oil production faces serious challenges such as Nigeria's inability to meet its funding obligations to the joint ventures (JVs). Nigeria also faces the challenges which include social unrest in production areas, wilful damage to the pipeline network and crude oil theft to name a few. In 2008, Nigeria's output was enough to rank it as Africa's largest producer, but since 2009 the country's production has been occasionally surpassed by Angola. Nigeria also has the ninth largest proven gas reserves worldwide, at about 5.2trn cu meters, according to government figures. Like its oil, Nigeria's gas is high quality and low in sulphur. Of the total, 2.7trn cu meters is associated gas mixed in with oil deposits. Non - associated gas, which is more valuable because it does not require separation from crude, amounted to about 2.5trn cu meters. One of the main issues relating to Nigeria's gas market is gas flaring. Before 1999, most gas was flared due to lack of demand. In 2004, both Chevron and Sassol signed gas-toliquid (GTL) agreements and Mobil decided to reduce flaring to 10% by 2004. Since then, alternatives to liquefaction and exporting have emerged in the form of electricity projects, petrochemicals plants and other industrial

President Goodluck Jonathan uses. However, supply constraints have blocked growth in gas use due in part to a lack of distribution infrastruct u r e . These constraints have resulted in significant gas flaring in Nigeria. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show

that Nigeria flared 14.9billion cu ft (10.6%) in 2008 making the country the world's second biggest gas flaring nation after Russia, which burned 40.2 cu ft. The country's downstream sector is also plagued with various challenges. Nigeria imports most of its re-

Minister of Petroluem, Diezani Allison Madueke

Nuhu Ribadu fined petroleum products due to inadequate refining capacity in-country. Officials of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC) submitted to the Task Force that Nigeria owns four (4) refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000bpd. In addition, for the purpose of distribution, Nigeria has 5,120km of pipelines, 23 storage depots, 8 LPG depots, 24 pump stations, 2 offshore jetties (Atlas Cove and Escravos) and 4 Jetties (Apapa, Warri, Okrika and Calabar). However, the four (4) refineries are in poor shape and currently operate at about 30% capacity due to poor maintenance, fire damage, crude oil theft, and other issues. Domestic consumption of Nigerian crude oil is low - about 200,000bpd, or around 15% of total petroleum products consumed. There are well known and frequently documented challenges to the downstream sector which include frequent wilful damage to the pipeline network, refined product theft, inadequate storage tanks, high demurrage costs, and alleged fraudulent prac-

tices relating to government s u b s i d i e s . The government agency overseeing and representing the interests of Government in the oil and gas sector is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The NNPC is the national oil company, but performs several other functions as well, serving as energy sector regulator, joint venture partner in all onshore operations and the nation's primary source of income. The Department of Pet r o l e u m Resources, a separate body under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, conducts the bidding rounds for exploration blocks and tends to be regarded as the technical regul a t o r . This introduction gives a glimpse of some of the issues and the case for change in the Petroleum Sector. The next section describes the terms of reference of the Special Task Force and the work approach adopted. An international firm of consultants and auditors Pricewaterhouse Coopers {PwC} was engaged to support on the forensic reviews and data gathering.



Another new year and endless repetition (iii) Allah says: “The number of months In the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)so ordained by Him the Day He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are sacred: that is the straight usage. so wrong not yourselves therein, and Fight the Pagans all together As They Fight you all Together. but know that Allah is with those who restrain themselves”. [Taubah: 36] n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. This time around, we will not relent our tempo in sorting out some of the major events recorded during the early days, and may be the recent days of the Muslim months. The purpose is to remind us of our past glorious days, and that we will one day all pass away, to be remembered only by history! If could remember we have treated three monts: Muharram, Safar and Rabbi Thani. Today we will march on. Rabbi’ II, Rabbi¿ athThani or Rabbi¿ al-Akhir is the fifth month of the Islamic calendar. It means ‘’the second or last spring”. It is the continuation of the immediate previous months. Like all previous months, there were series of events that took place therein. the following are just, but few. Shaikh Khwaja Syed Muhammad Nizamuddin Auliya 18th Rabi-ul-Akhir, the 725 Hijri. He was the a famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order in the Indian Subcontinent Hadrat Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilanee11th Rabi-ul-akhir: 561 Hijri passed away at the age of 90 Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilanee departed from this life at the age of 90, on the 11th of Rabbi¿ alAkhir, 561 AH However, some people, without any Shari’ah injunction, venerate Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al Jilani every 11th of this month. These people believe that the practice pleases the soul of the Sheikh, and in return, he will help them in fulfilling their worldly and spiritual goals. Jumâdâ I or Jumada al-


Ula is the fifth month of the died on the 4th day of this month Islamic lunar calendar. It means in Medinah. “the first month of scorched Muhammad Nasiruddin alland”. It is the period that wells Albani died in Jordan on dry up and o f t e n considered the preI s l a m i c “summer”. It is a period experienced w i t h By Husain Zakariyya parchedness Yawale a n d waterlessness +234-8052952900 (sms only) due to excessive heat of the sun. It was the month in which the Saturday 21st of Jumada Thani, Messenger of Allah (SAW) 1420 corresponding to October married his first beloved wife 2, 1999. He was an influential Khadijah (RA) at age of 25 years, Sunni scholar of Albanian and 15 years before his extraction. appointment as the last and final Rajab means “respect” or Apostle of Islam. “nobility”. It is another sacred Similarly, the month month in which fighting was witnessed the death of some traditionally forbidden, even Sahabas, such as Zaid Ibn before the advent of Islam. The Haritha (RA), Ja’far Ibn Abi word ‘Rajab’ is derived from the Talib (RA) and Abdullah Ibn word Rajaba meaning “to Rawaahah in the processes of respect. It is also known as Rajab fighting in defence of the young al Fard or loneliness, because it Islam in the 8th year of the comes alone, separated from the Hijra. Abdullah Ibn Uthman rest consecutive sacred months. (RA) died the normal death There are several events It was related that Abdul related to this month since the Muttalib, the grandfather of the Jahiliyya period which have Prophet (SAW) met his death in nothing to do with Islam. Even this 32 years before the advent though there are no Shari’ah of Islam. ruling regarding these rituals Sayed; Koteb, Qutub, the or practices, a lot of people went famous Islamic scholar died on ahead to innovate them for Monday 12th the Jumada worldly gains. Awwal, 1386 A.H. which Some of the widely spread corresponded to October 9, bid’ahs include increasing the 1906. tempo of worship throughout the Sheikh Maududi another month of Rajab, celebrating the Islamic luminary passed away night of Isra’ and Mi’iraj from the on Monday, Jumada Ula 1324 mosque of al-Quds, Jerusalem, Hijra. every 26th of this month. Some Jumâdâ II, Jumada ath- people offer sacrificial donation Thaniya or Jumada al- on the 27th of Rajab and then Akhira. It means “the second standing in voluntary prayer or the last month of parched throughout the night. In this part of the world, land”. It is the continuation of the previous month. The same especially old people observe weather or climatic condition fasting of the whole month, and called it “the fasting of olds” or of persists. In this month akin to all the “the clavers”! Notwithstanding the months of the year, many events innovations, the took place which needed our rampant attention historically. The early Messenger of Allah (SAW) period of Islam saw many attempts to exterminating it from the onset. So, many battles took place in its defence. Some of the ones recorded were, battles of Salasil took place in the 8th year of the Hijra. prior to that many sariyyah; minor battles in which the Prophet delegated power to some individual Sahabas to head the war. Such minor battles were headed by Abdullah ibn Jahash (RA) in the 2nd year of the Hijra, while those of Abu ubaidah ibn Jarrah (RA) and Zaid bin Haritha (RA) took place in the 6th year of the Hijra. However, Abu Salama (RA)


ascended to Heaven on the 27th of Rajab named the grand “Mi’raaj” The expedition of Tabuk took place in the 9th year of the Hijra. It was the last outing in which the Holy Prophet (SAW) took part S h e i k h Mawdudi was born Friday, 3 rajab 1321, corresponding to September 25, 1903 However, many Muslim erudite scholars of fame and knowledge, passed away in this month. Some them were Imams Abu Hanifa (RA) passed away on the 15th of Rajab 150 AH, Shafi’i (RA) on the 14th of Rajab 204 AH, Muslim (RA) on the 24th of Rajab 261 AH and An-Nawawi (RA) on the 14t of Rajab 677 AH. May Allah grant them everlasting and endless bliss! Sha¿bân connotes “scattered” or “dispersed”. It was the usual period when the varriious clans and tribes would leave their homes and hamlet in search of water. It was a period that everyone was onto himself. But towards the middle of this month, the signs of the coming the rain would appear, and the hope for life would be rekindled again! Just as a farmer prepares for a fruitful harvest, so also it will be preparing us for the coming of the month of blessing; the Ramadan. The Holy Prophet (SAW) has said, “Sha’baan is my month and Ramadan the month of Allah Ta’aalaa.” [Daylami] The month of Sha’aban is indeed a very significant period in Islam. A companion Anas (RA) reported that the Holy Prophet was asked, “Which fast is the most meritorious after the fasts of Ramadan” he replied “Fasts of Sha’baan in honour of Ramadan” Another companion of the Prophet of Allah, Usama ibn Zaid (RA) reported that he asked the

Apart from the change of direction of salats, the fasting of Ramadan was also made compulsory in the year 2 AH on the 25th of Sha’baan. Also Hafsa (RA) was joined in matrimony with the Prophet (SAW) in 3 AH, and it was the same month after 42 years of marriege, left the world into the glory of Allah!

Holy Prophet (SAW), “O Messenger of Allah (SAW), I have seen you fasting in the month of Sha’baan so frequently that I have never seen you fasting in any other month” he replied “That (Sha’baan) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan which is neglected by many people. And it is a month in which an account of the deeds (of human beings) is presented before the Lord of the universe. So I wish that my deeds be presented at time when I am in a state of fasting” Despite all the permission to fast any number of voluntary fasting in this month, yet others would innovate. There is the bid’ah of fasting on the 15th day of this month and standing in voluntary prayer throughout the night, has no any religious significance associated with it. A significant event that occurred during this month was the change in the direction; Qibla from Bait-al-Maqdis to the Ka’abah. For seventeen months after the migration to Medinah the Prophet faced the Bait alMaqdis. Then suddenly Allah changed the direction towards the Ka’abah. Allah says: “Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s (SAW)) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- alHarâm (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (you’re turning towards the direction of the Ka’bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah (SWT) is not unaware of what they do.” (Al-Baqarah 2:144) Apart from the change of direction of salats, the fasting of Ramadan was also made compulsory in the year 2 AH on the 25th of Sha’baan. Also Hafsa (RA) was joined in matrimony with the Prophet (SAW) in 3 AH, and it was the same month after 42 years of marriege, left the world into the glory of Allah! Also, the daughter of the beloved Prophet (SAW) Ummu Kulthum (RA) took leave from this world, in the 9 AH Hussain (RA), the grandson of the Prophet’s (SAW) was born, four years after Hijri on the 5th of Sha’baan The 5th year of the Hijra witnessed the Battle of Banu Mustaliq took place. A very important revelation was made in the year 5 AH, in which the verse of ‘sand ablution’ ‘’Tayammum” was revealed, Sayed Qutub, died on Tuesday 20 sha’aban 1324 equivalent to August 29, 1966. to be concluded next week.



Ghana decides: Profile of top contenders Full Name: John Dramani Mahama Party Affiliation: National Democratic Congress Born: 29 November 1958 (age 53) Hometown: Bole, Northern Region Religion: Christian Occupation: Communication Expert Current Office: President of Ghana Previous Office: Vice President of Ghana, Minister of State, Member of Parliament Education: University of Ghana, Legon, Institute of Social Sciences, Moscow Website:


is Excellency John Dramani Mahama is a writer, historian, and communications expert, former Member of Parliament and Minister of State, and sitting President of the Republic of Ghana. Mr. Mahama was born in 1958 in Damango in the Northern Region of Ghana. His father, Mr. Emmanuel Adama Mahama, was the first Member of Parliament for the Gonja West Constituency and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region during Ghana's First Republic. John Mahama Full Name: Dr. Henry Herbert Lartey Party Affiliation: Great Consolidated Popular Party Born: 5th February 1954 (58) Hometown: Osu, Greater Accra Region Religion: Christian Occupation: Financial Consultant Current Office: Flagbearer, GCPP Previous Office: Self Employed Education: University Of Bath, UK Website: http://


r. Nduom was born in Elmina on Sunday, February 15, 1953. He was given the name Papa Kwesi Nduom by his parents, Mr. Joseph Hubster Yorke and Mrs Monica Yorke. Dr. Nduom was also named Joseph Hubster Yorke Jr. by his parents. Papa Nduom is a well-known name in the Yorke family. The Yorke family can be found in many towns and villages in Ghana particularly in Elmina, Tarkwa and Gomoa Dago. Mr. Samuel Yorke the grandfather of Dr. Nduom was instrumental in laying the foundation for what has become St. Augustine's College at Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana. Dr. Nduom's mother is one of the Mensah-Brown brothers and sisters from Elmina. Dr. Nduom's grandfather's annual family gatherings that took place in Tarkwa when he was alive, was instrumental in building a foundation for the extended family interaction, community spirit and caring that he exhibits currently.


r. Henry Herbert Lartey is Chairman of the Great Consolidated Popular Party, a champion for the economic improvement of the people of Ghana, and an inspired Pan-Africanist and visionair with hopes for a United Africa. Since becoming leader of the G.C.P.P., Henry has begun travelling across every corner of Ghana, listening to the stories and the experiences of the People, talking to them about their hopes, dreams and expectations for the future. It is the same interactive approach he has taken during his long career as a scholar, business man, and as a leading Black executive on the world stage.

Paa Kwesi Nduom Full Name: Papa Kwesi Nduom Party Affiliation: Progressive People's Party Born: February 15, 1953 (age 59) Hometown: Elmina, Central Region Religion: Christian Occupation: Management Consultant Current Office: Flagbearer, PPP Previous Office: Minister of State MP, Komenda-Edina-EguafoAbirem Education: University of Wisconsin, USA Website:

Full Name: Akwasi Addai Odike Party Affiliation: United Front Party Born: 13th Septem ber, 1964 (Age 48) Hometown: AdwumakaseKese, Ashanti Region Religion: Christian Occupation: Businessman Current Office: Flagbearer, UFP Previous Office: Education: 'O' Level, Aduman Secondary School

Henry Lartey Full Name: Nana Addo Dankwa AkufoAddo Party Affiliation: New Patriotic Party Born: March 29, 1944 (age 68) Hometown: Kyebi, Eastern Region Religion: Christian Occupation: Legal Practitioner Current Office: Flagbearer, NPP Previous Office: Minister of State, Member of Parliament Education: University of Ghana, Legon Website:


Nana Akufo-Addo

orn March 29, 1944, in Swalaba, Accra, Nana was raised in Ga Maami (Accra Central) and in the Nima area of Accra. His father's residence, Betty House at Korle Wokon in Accra, was effectively the headquarters of the country's first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), after it was formed at Saltpond on August 4, 1947. Three of the Big Six (founding fathers of Ghana) were Nana's blood relatives: J.B Danquah (grand uncle), William Ofori Atta (uncle) and Edward Akufo-Addo, who became the third Chief Justice of Ghana and later ceremonial President of the Republic from 1969-72, was his father.

Akwasi Addai Odike


r. Nduom was born in Elmina on Sunday, February 15, 1953. He was given the name Papa Kwesi Nduom by his parents, Mr. Joseph Hubster Yorke and Mrs Monica Yorke. Dr. Nduom was also named Joseph Hubster Yorke Jr. by his parents. Papa Nduom is a well-known name in the Yorke family. The Yorke family can be found in many towns and villages in Ghana particularly in Elmina, Tarkwa and Gomoa Dago. Mr. Samuel Yorke the grandfather of Dr. Nduom was instrumental in laying the foundation for what has become St. Augustine's College at Cape Coast in the Central Region of Ghana. Dr. Nduom's mother is one of the Mensah-Brown brothers and sisters from Elmina. Dr. Nduom's grandfather's annual family gatherings that took place in Tarkwa when he was alive, was instrumental in building a foundation for the extended family interaction, community spirit and caring that he exhibits currently.



Egypt: Army clearing presidential palace area Ivorian PM says sooner the better for Mali mission


est African states must deploy a military force in north Mali quickly or it will become increasingly difficult and costly to oust Islamist groups there, Ivory Coast Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said in an interview. Duncan, a former foreign minister, said that calls from Washington and elsewhere for a delay in introducing a force of 3,300 African troops were misguided as this would increase the risk of militant attacks in West Africa and beyond. The U.N. Security Council tasked West African states in October with preparing a plan for military intervention to wrest control of north Mali from Islamist groups, which seized control of the vast desert region following a military coup in April. In recent weeks, however, Washington has pressed for political negotiations and said any military action would require time. The head of U.N. peacekeeping, Herve Ladsous, said on Wednesday no intervention could take place before September due to weather conditions and the need to train Malian troops and pursue peace talks. "Some allies are asking if we need to intervene right now. Our position is yes, we do, because the longer we wait the more these groups will put down roots. It will be more difficult afterwards and more expensive," Duncan told Reuters in Paris, where he attended a conference with international donors. Duncan said al Qaeda militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan had travelled to Mali to reinforce the group's north African wing, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of several groups controlling northern Mali. Delaying intervention would make it much harder to dislodge these foreign fighters, who were training militants from across the region, particularly members of the Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram, he said. "There is a destabilisation of the region taking place in Mali," Duncan said. "We have to get rid of these groups. Nor can we tolerate the traffic of drugs and the taking of hostages." Seven French nationals are being held in the Sahel region, which has also increasingly become a haven for international organised crime groups. France is the most outspoken Western advocate of military intervention. Duncan welcomed negotiations with two rebel groups which opened on Tuesday in neighbouring Burkina Faso, while maintaining that military intervention was unavoidable.

Armour tanks used to scare away demonstrators outside the Palace


he Egyptian army has begun clearing demonstrators and the media from outside Cairo's presidential palace. It follows violent overnight clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohammed Morsi that left five people dead and 644 injured. Most protesters left the area by the 15:00 (13:00 GMT) deadline, though some opposition activists remained. Meanwhile, Egypt's top Islamic body has called on the president to suspend his decree claiming sweeping powers. The Al-Azhar institution also demanded an unconditional dialogue between the president and his opponents. Jon Leyne in Cairo says this move by one of the most respected bodies in Sunni Islam has put President Morsi who was largely brought to power by the powerful Islamist Muslim Brotherhood - under more pressure. But he adds that it is difficult to see what compromise is possible between President Morsi and the opposition. The president adopted new

powers in the decree on 22 November, and stripped the judiciary of any power to challenge his decisions. Mr Morsi, who narrowly won Egypt's first free presidential election in June, says he will give up his new powers once a new constitution is ratified. But there is also controversy over the proposed constitution. Critics say the draft was rushed through parliament without proper consultation and does not do enough to protect political and religious freedoms and the rights of women. The government insists that a referendum on the draft constitution, drawn up by a body dominated by Morsi-supporting Islamists, will go ahead this month despite strong opposition. Mr Morsi is expected to address the nation later on Thursday. Four of his advisers resigned on Wednesday - three others did so last week and the official Mena news agency reported a further resignation on Thursday. Tanks and armoured troop carriers were deployed outside the

presidential palace on Thursday morning following the overnight clashes between the pro-Morsi Muslim Brotherhood supporters and his mainly secular opponents. The head of Egypt's Republican Guard said the forces had been sent there to separate the rival protesters. Following a meeting between the president and military commanders, the 13:00 GMT deadline to clear the area round the palace was set. A ban on all protests in the area has also been ordered. But the commander of the Republican Guard, Maj Gen Mohammed Zaki, said the security forces "will not be a tool to crush protesters", telling Mena: "No force will be used against Egyptians." The Muslim Brotherhood supporters left the square before the deadline, but a few dozen opposition supporters remained in place. The scene was calm, however, and there was no sign of any attempt to breach the military's barriers.

France sent a 4,000-strong force to its former colony after it descended into a now-ended civil war in 2002. Force commander Gen Henri Poncet was sacked following Mr Mahe's death. He is not on trial, and denies ordering Col Burgaud to kill Mr Mahe. Mr Mahe, whom the French accused of being a murderer and

a rapist, was arrested near the western town of Bangolo in May 2005. He was then suffocated with a plastic bag in the back of a military vehicle. His family has always insisted that he was innocent, and has been campaigning for the former peacekeepers to stand trial for his murder. On Thursday, prosecutors called for prison terms of between two and five years for the accused. Chief prosecutor Annie Grenier said the ex-soldiers had been involved in a "cold-blooded murder" in a country where they were supposed to help protect civilians. She said even if they acted on orders, it was their "duty to refuse to carry out an illegal order". Col Burgaud said Gen Poncet ordering the killing with the phrase: "Drive slowly, you understand me?"

11 Mandela's medical team feared killed in air crash


he wreckage of a missing military aircraft believed to be carrying 11 members of the Nelson Mandela medical team has been found in the Drakensberg mountain range, an official said. The South African National Defence Force on Thursday said that It appears there were no survivors. The aircraft went missing en route to Mthatha - near Mandela's hometown in Qunu - on Wednesday after experiencing severe weather. An Air Force statement said the Dakota was flying from Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria when it encountered severe weather. "Unconfirmed reports said the aircraft last communicated with Air Traffic Control when above Giants Castle in the Drakensberg, saying they were at 11,000 feet and flying in Instrument Meteorological Conditions due to the bad visibility. "The aircraft never arrived at Mthatha Airport,'' the statement said. The modified World War 2 Dakota took off from Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria at about 8 a.m. local time and was scheduled to land in Mthatha two hours later.

Nelson Mandela

France's ex-soldiers admit killing Ivorian


our ex-French peacekeepers have admitted their role in the killing of a suspected gang leader in Ivory Coast in 2005, but say they acted under orders. Prosecutors have asked a Paris court to jail Col Eric Burgaud and his three codefendants for suffocating Firmin Mahe to death with a plastic bag.

French troops helping to rebuild the Ivorian army

He understood this to mean that it would be "best if Mahe arrived dead" and he relayed the instruction to his co-accused, Col Burgaud said. They include Sgt-Maj Guy Raugel, who suffocated Mr Mahe with the help of Corporal Johannes Schnier. The vehicle's driver, Corporal Lianrifou Ben Youssouf, has also been charged with murder. French peacekeepers were first deployed to Ivory Coast when it split between a rebelheld north and a governmentheld south in 2002. The conflict ended last year when French and United Nations forced helped arrest thenPresident Laurent Gbagbo after he refused to accept defeat in elections. This allowed the winner of the elections, Alassane Ouattara, to take power. French troops are now playing a key role in training the new Ivorian army.


Asia and Middle East


sraeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been holding tense talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel as plans to build thousands of new settler homes on occupied Palestinian land strained ties with key allies. On a visit that risks being overshadowed by the diplomatic storm, Netanyahu joined Merkel for a meeting on Thursday morning after they had a dinner


Merkel meets Netanyahu amid tense relations late on Wednesday, together with most of their cabinet ministers. The Israeli leader arrived from Prague where he had singled out the Czech Republic for its "friendship and courage" as the only European state to have opposed a Palestinian status upgrade at the United Nations last week.

Netanyahu's first European visit since the UN vote came amid mounting international calls for Israel to drop plans to build 3,000 new settler homes in a highly contentious strip of the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem. He announced the move in reaction to the upgrading of

Palestine to non-member observer state at the UN and has refused to go back on the decision despite strong international condemnation. "Germany abstained from voting, which was seen as a slap in the face by many in Israel, and that's what Binyamin Netanyahu

Indian officials accused of Kashmir rights abuses


Binyamin Netanyahu(L) with Angela Merkel(R)

said he was disappointed about," said Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer, reporting from Berlin. "When they came and spoke to the press, they were very keen not to underline their differences." German daily Die Welt on Thursday quoted Netanyahu as saying he was "disappointed" that Berlin had abstained from voting at the UN despite reported pleas by Israel to reject the Palestinian resolution.

ore than 500 members of India's armed forces are accused of human rights abuses in a damning report on conflict in Indian-administered Kashmir. The alleged offences detailed in the report by a leading human rights group include custody deaths, abduction, torture and rape. Army, police and paramilitary officers of senior rank are among those named. There was no immediate army response. Thousands have died in a separatist insurgency in Kashmir since 1989. The disputed region, claimed by both India and Pakistan, has seen violence fall in recent years. But tens of thousands of Indian army and paramilitary troops continue to be deployed in the Muslimmajority Kashmir Valley. The report's authors say they gathered information from the police and under India's new freedom of

information laws, as well from interviews with families and others. An army spokesman said he was not aware of the report. "If they have sent it to the defence ministry we have not received it so far. We can respond after proper perusal of the document," Lt-Col HS Brar, who speaks for the Indian army's Kashmir-based 15 corps, said. The 354-page report was compiled by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) and the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian-administered Kashmir (IPTK). It has analysed 214 cases of abuse and highlighted the role of officials in the killing of nearly 70 people and the disappearances of 8,000 people over two decades. The report names military officials of very senior rank as "perpetrators", our correspondent reports.

Afghan spy chief wounded in grenade attack


Men of the India Army man the streets in the Valley

fghanistan's intelligence chief has been wounded in an assassination attempt in Kabul, the capital. Asadullah Khalid, who heads the National Directorate of Security (NDS), was injured in a grenade attack in a NDS guest house, police said on Thursday. The intelligence agency confirmed the attack, which has left Khalid with injuries on the lower part of his body. "The Afghan intelligence chief has survived a cowardly terrorist attack in the city of Kabul," said the NDS in a statement. "The case is under investigation." Bernard Smith, reporting from Kabul, said that the Taliban are

claiming to have penetrated Khalid's security. "He was at one of their [the NDS] guest houses at Kabul this afternoon when there was an explosion that left him injured and needing hospital treatment, needing a blood transfusion," said Smith. There were few details on the nature of the attack. Witnesses heard an explosion. Police said Khalid was wounded by a grenade, but unconfirmed reports by senior government officials said it had been a suicide attack. Neither was his condition immediately clear, and there was no immediate word on what had happened to the attacker.

Eastern Iran hit by deadly in 2003 tens of thousands of people earthquake -were killed in a quake which


Asadullah Khalid

t least five people have been killed by a moderately powerful earthquake in eastern Iran, say officials. The 5.5 magnitude quake struck near Zohan in South Khorasan province, close to the Afghan border, in the early evening, said the Fars news agency. At least 20 people were hurt and many in the provincial capital Birjand fled their homes, the agency said. Iran is frequently hit by quakes

flattened Bam. More than 300 people died in two quakes in north-western Iran in August this year. Tehran University's Seismological Centre said the latest quake hit at 20:38 local time (17:08 GMT), 25km (15 miles) from Zohan. State TV quoted a local MP, Javad Heravi, as saying it had damaged rural buildings and cut phone and power lines. Twelve villages were affected, the TV added. Search and rescue teams have been dispatched to the scene, media reports said.


Europe and Americas Germany to send patriot missiles to Turkey


Obama prepared to go over 'fiscal cliff'


ermany has said it approved participation in a NATO mission to deploy Patriot missiles to help member state Turkey defend its border against Syria and will send up to 400 troops. The foreign and defence ministries said in a joint statement on Thursday that the mandate, which is expected to be presented to parliament early next week, would run to January 31, 2014. NATO on Tuesday approved Turkey's request for Patriot missiles to defend its border against Syria following a series of blunt warnings to Damascus not to use chemical weapons. NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance's decision reflected a "steadfast commitment" to preserving the security of its 28 member states. The alliance said that Germany along with the Netherlands and the United States have agreed to provide the Patriot missile batteries, which would come under the command of the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR). "Turkey is currently the mostaffected partner in the Syria conflict. It is exposed to a potential threat from Syria," Germany's ministries said. In an interview with Lebanese news channel Al Manar on Thursday, Syrian deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad blasted NATO's move to deploy the Patriot missiles, calling the decision "provocative". "The Turkish move and NATO's support for it is a provocative move, part of psychological warfare against Syria," Meqdad said. "But if they think this will affect our determination to fight the terrorists ... they are wrong." An explosion in front of the Damascus headquarters for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent killed at least one person on Thursday, Syrian state television said. Syria TV said "terrorists from alQaeda" blew up an improvised explosive device in a car, causing damage to the organisation's building. The government and state media often refer to opposition rebels fighting to topple President Assad as "terrorists".

NATO head, Anders Fogh Rasmussen

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner


he US Treasury Secretary has said the Obama administration is "absolutely" ready for the US economy to go over the "fiscal cliff" rather than accept a budget deal that does not include higher tax rates for top earners. Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday that the administration believes budget deficits are so large that they cannot be closed without boosting tax rates on the highest-earning two per cent of Americans. Most Republicans oppose higher rates for any taxpayers. "There's no prospect in an agreement that doesn't involve those rates going up on the top two per cent of the wealthiest Americans," Geithner said in an interview on CNBC.

Geithner's comments immediately drew fire from a top Republican senator. "This is one of the most stunning and irresponsible statements I've heard in some time," Senator Orrin Hatch said. "Going over the fiscal cliff will put our economy, jobs, people's paychecks and retirement at risk, but that is what the White House wants, according to Secretary Geithner, if they don't get their way." Republicans in Congress and Obama consumed much of Wednesday talking up their positions on the "fiscal cliff" and though Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone, neither side offered any new compromises in public.

Nor was the phone call, a rarity, followed by any immediate announcement of a face-to-face meeting that has been widely anticipated all week and was explicitly requested early in the day by House of Representatives Republican leader Eric Cantor. Obama has said there could be a quick deal if Republican leaders dropped their opposition to raising tax rates for those making more than $250,000 a year in exchange for spending cuts and entitlement reforms. "If we can get the leadership on the Republican side to take that framework, to acknowledge that reality, then the numbers actually aren't that far apart," Obama told The Business Roundtable in Washington.

Colombia's FARC peace talks resume in Cuba


eace talks between the Colombian government and FARC rebels have resumed in Cuba, after a week's break. In a statement, the rebels hinted that there was still a long way to go before they could reach an agreement to end five decades of conflict. The Colombian government has said a peace deal should be reached in a matter of months, not years. It has continued its military attacks on FARC camps, despite a unilateral ceasefire declared by the rebels. In a statement read before the second phase of talks began in Havana, FARC spokesman Marco Leon said it was "normal for the two sides' positions to appear far apart at the start". FARC negotiator Andrew Paris refused to comment on how the killing of some 20 rebels by Colombian military in the weekend would affect the negotiations. The government has stressed

that the military will continue to fight the left-wing rebels until they sign a final treaty renouncing the armed struggle and agreeing to enter the legal political process. Chief government negotiator Humberto de la Calle has said the government will not repeat the errors of the past, in a reference to the previous peace talks which ended in 2002. The government said the rebels used a ceasefire agreed then to rearm and regroup.

Last month, the FARC declared a unilateral ceasefire over the Christmas period, lasting until 20 January. The Marxist rebels have repeated that no deadline can be set on reaching an agreement, as the talks deal with complex issues. The negotiations, which were launched in Norway on 18 October, before moving to the Cuban capital a month later, have focused initially on the issue of land reform.

FARC negotiator Marco Leon reads his statement

Marijuana decriminalised in Washington State


ossession of marijuana has become legal in the US state of Washington, a month after voters opted for decriminalisation. From midnight (08:00 GMT) anyone aged 21 and over was allowed to carry up to 1oz (28.4g) of cannabis, but smoking it in public will remain illegal. It has been legal for medical use in the state since 1998. A law legalising gay marriage also came into effect in Washington state on Thursday. On 6 November Washington, Maine and Maryland became the first US states to back same-sex marriage in a popular vote, and Washington is the first of those to enact the law. The first same-sex weddings in Washington are expected on Sunday. Gay marriage is permitted in six states, but those laws were passed by legislators or by courts. Also on 6 November, Washington and Colorado both voted to decriminalise marijuana, which remains illegal under US federal law. However, there will be nowhere to purchase marijuana legally in Washington for at least another year. It also remains unclear how federal law enforcement agencies will deal with liberalisation of drug laws in Washington and - eventually - Colorado. Any decision to crack down on states with liberal drug laws could affect Washington's plans to raise tax revenues from a licensed and controlled marijuana market. "We're in uncharted water here," Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said at a news conference on Wednesday. "We've struggled with prohibition for a century," Mr Holmes said, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "It's going to take some time to substitute a statelicensed and regulated system." Backers of the Washington law insist it does not encourage or require anyone to break federal law. But a regional federal prosecutor in the state, Jenny Durkan, told the PostIntelligencer that "growing, selling or possessing any amount of marijuana remains illegal under federal law," no matter what state law comes into effect in Washington. The drug remained in the same category as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, she said, adding that only Congress could change that designation.



Zombies a factor in gun sales increase, gun rights advocate says

Zombies want your brains, and that's made some people want their guns, according to gun rights advocates.


t's not just President Obama's re-election that's lead to a spike in gun sales. The living dead are also providing a reason to stock up on firearms and ammo.

My reports that, according to FBI data, background checks for guns rose 20 percent on Black Friday from the same day last year. According to KIRO, one gun

rights advocate said part of the reason for the increase is zombies. "A lot of people appear to be really enthralled by this," Dave Workman said. "I've seen lines of zombie targets, I know one or two

ammunition companies have introduced boxes, lines of cartridges they called zombie cartridges, shotgun shells and rifle shells." The zombie-themed

merchandise has ushered in a new generation of gun shooters, according to Workman. Of course, the popularity of TV's "Walking Dead," heralds the coming of a zombie apocalypse for which we must prepare. Those sentiments were echoed earlier this year by Texas gun purveyor Cris Parsons in an interview with ABC News. He said products like Zombie Max ammunition (slogan: "just in case") made by Hornady Manufacturing fly off the shelves. "We can't keep it in stock," Parsons said. "It comes in a cool, colorful box with a Zombie on it." Clearly zombies are hot with gun fans, but what about other weapons? Could they too become the beneficiaries of a "zombie bump"? Absolutely, according to Detroit Free Press' Eric Millikin. "Zombies are also sure to increase sales of machetes, nunchucks, and prosthetic chainsaw hands," he writes.

Dog behind the wheel Housewife spends 25 years building up


hey're really putting the fur in chauffeur. For the past two months, animal trainer Mark Vette has been teaching dogs to drive, New Zealand TV station Campbell Live reported. The lessons are part of a campaign by the New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), meant to clear up "common misconceptions" about rescue dogs. "Sometimes people think because they're getting an animal that's been abandoned, that somehow it's a second-class animal," SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin told the New Zealand Herald. "Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks." Kalin added that the canines' achievements behind the wheel shows "just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets." All the new drivers are shelter dogs: Monty, an 18-month Giant Schnauzer, was given to the SPCA

Chief Dog driver doing her thing

when he became too much for his owner to handle. Ginny, a 1-yearold whippets cross, was rescued from an abusive home. Porter, a 10-month old Beardie cross, was abandoned on the streets. The dogs trained for several weeks before hopping into a real car, modified to accommodate the unique needs of a canine driver. So far, the animals have driven only with some human guidance, in the form of verbal commands and the occasional steering wheel readjustment. Next week, star pupil Porter will take the Mini Countryman for a spin -- completely unassisted -- on Campbell Live, the Fraser Coast Chronicle reports. That's not to say the other two dogs haven't made great strides in their driving as well. "The way all three SPCA rescue dogs have taken to training really does prove that intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they're in," Vette told the paper. "It really is remarkable."

massive collection of 1,000 snowmen


hile many households sigh at the prospect of dusting their decorations and untangling strings of fairy lights in time for Christmas, one woman is gleefully unpacking hers. But then Diana Howes' approach to festive furnishings is slightly unusual. For the married woman has got an army of at least 1,000 snowmen in all shapes and sizes After she bought her first little snowman 25 years ago, she became so fond of her frosty friend that she's now built up a vast array of the ornaments. Diana rolls out her battalions of chilly chums at the home she shares with bemused husband David in Briggate, near North Walsham, Norfolk, every

December. The staggering squadrons of snowmen dominate her kitchen, lounge and stairs, with carrot noses and button eyes peeping out from the most unlikely places.

There are cuddly ones, glass ones, candles, fridge magnets, cake decorations, mugs, tins, a tablecloth, snowglobes, snowmen on skis and sledges, tree baubles and wind-up toys.

Diana Howes and her collection

Pizza hut Launches hand-tossed dough perfume


ow you can smell of "freshly baked, handtossed dough" thanks to Pizza Hut's newest product: pizza perfume. It began as a joke on the

company's Facebook page in August when Pizza Hut Canada's marketing firm, Grip Ltd., published a post about bottling the pizza chain's scent, Business Insider reported.

Customers who love pizza can now smell like it with Pizza Hut's new pizza perfume.

Thousands of fans commented asking where they could purchase the fragrance prompting Pizza Hut to actually make it. The limited-edition perfume features subtle notes of freshly baked dough and seasoning, a Pizza Hut spokesperson told Business Insider. It was awarded to fans who were among the first to comment on the original Facebook post. Though only about 100 bottles were produced, there is a chance the perfume could be sold in stores eventually, the company said. This isn't the first time a chain restaurant has tried to break into the perfume business. Burger King did it in 2008 with its Flame by BK body spray for men, which smelled like grilled meat, according to The Guardian.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2012 With Tobias Lengnan Dapam 07036990957

Queen Amina according to Jos Repertory Theatre L

ife of legendary warrior and heroin of Northern Nigeria, "Queen Amina of Zazzau", was brought live on stage at the weekend in Abuja, by the Jos Repertory Theatre. The play which was directed by Patrick Oteh, and played by 22 actors, bothered on how the famous legendary warrior of the Zaria emirate ascended the throne of her father and achieved greatness by conquering most of the neighbouring kingdoms and her death at the war front which brought to the end the ever talked about emirate. The play which started at exactly 7:15pm saw a lot of foreigners, predominantly white, who came to watch the play. As a form of introduction, an insight of the play, a narrator, vibrant and eloquent young man in his mid 30s, who spoke like an orator of medieval theatre, and also doubled as the spiritual father of the emirate, came forward and dashed his eyeball on the audience and told the them how Amina became famous in the emirate. To set the stage ready, rumbling drums rolled continuously, just like those in traditional northern

Nigeria to usher a king or queen to palace. This was followed by a loud call from the "Sarkin Fada", a tall dark young man with heavy Hausa accent, who always stressed and gave more meaning to the comments of the queen. His usually loud cry paves way for the queen to discuss urgent issues bothering the kingdom. The stage depicts a northern setting, with the elders sitting in semi-circle to attend to matters. On the discussion of Amina, an averagely tall refined beauty, enough to set two brothers on war path, the elders expressed worry about her recalcitrant attitude towards marriage, which was consented to by the mother. The elders, most of whom she declined their advances, suggested that she must get a husband. But Amina who presented herself as woman-man, got furious and told them that there was nothing wrong with her decision. However, after a lot of altercation, she agreed to meet the spiritual father to make a choice. The discussion was not amicably resolved, when three villagers, as if hunted by spirit interrupted the meeting to complain about a piton that swallowed a child in the river.

Em set to drop new album By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


-town based artist, Emmanuella Ma'andik, popularly known as Em, has said that plans have been concluded for the release of her new album,

Em, artist.

"Another day". Em who made this known to our reporter in Jos, the Plateau state capital, added that the new album is coming with some new flavour to add some contents that are not commonly found in Nigerian music. The animal health specialist turned artist said she has been working assiduously with highly experienced producers and musicians like; Suka, Geniuz and Hal of the Nu-page crew, to ensure the best collaboration in the new album. "I have been working with the best hands in the industry to release a "bombshell". I have spent a better part of my life studying collections of master performance to be outstanding in my contribution to the development of music industry in the country. "I know that we have come a long way as a people, but we still have more work to do if the lyrics of our music will develop instead of just having rhythm with no lyrics", the animal health turned artist said. The artist, whose voice is said to be the reminiscence of a violin in spring time, also said that she will not stop at just projecting the best voice in the industry but will be flexible in showcasing her talent in Rock music, R and B and gospel. She called on her fans to start counting their fingers to December 20th, saying, "I will set the stage open and implant scintillating words in your heart".

This news sent shiver down the spine of the chiefs who said that the snake should be killed so that the villagers will be saved. At the court of the priest, Amina stood amidst other cult members who were dressed in their regalia for ritual. She chose the option of joining a cult instead of marriage. As she peered in to the calabash that holds her fate, the narrator explained that she will kill all men that shared her bed by apportioning poison to them. The narrator prefers to tell the future to the audience at the expense of Amina's character. In most case the character will not be aware of the consequences of his action, making his future unknown to him. In her own case, she knew next to nothing about her future. Meanwhile, her first task was to kill the deadliest snake (Kububuwa). This assignment was the cause of her mother's death. The mother was struck by fear, thinking the snake will kill her daughter. After Amina was crowned queen, kings of neighbouring kingdoms brought gifts-including the king of Kano kingdom, whose major request of marriage she bluntly refused, referring the messenger to some of her admirable chiefs whom she did not consent to their advances. As she dressed for war and set to embark on her conquest to Nupe, in the present Niger state, she appeared on stage, looking gallant and fearless, just like Julius Caesar set out to conquer Gaul. The war was fought and won. But she showed no sign of fatigue, even as most of her warriors struggled to stand on their feet. Amina wanted to move further but the Waziri opposed, saying it will be disastrous to have a larger province which will be difficult to maintain should crises break out. All the soldiers shared his view, even as they feared her anger. However, the argument was laid to rest when the priest said they will be on the brink of destruction should they continue such quest. When they returned from the

Queen Amina addressing the elders war, Amina continued her act of killing all the men that slept with her by apportioning the poison to them. This according to the Narrator was for her to always be in control. However, it did not end as planned when Amina sent one of her most trusted maid Mairo, to call Aliyu, the greatest warrior of the kingdom- tall and huge, brave like Hector, in the ancient city of Troy. Mairo, a young girl in her early 20s was more concerned about how to win the love of the warrior instead of delivering the queen's message. She feared for Aliyu, but warned him about the impending danger. He refused to believe his secret admirer despite her plea that such visits had claimed many lives. At the queen's palace, she trembled at his bold chest, and told him how she longed to be in his arms. Aliyu was scared, but beguiled by her seductive looks, enough to strike even Achilles

Queen Amina and elders of the kingdom

and render him speechless. The night of bliss came and gone, the queen gave the warrior the poison to drink. He left her palace almost dead but was saved by Mairo who had earlier stolen the antidote and traded it for her virginity.

Pa Elebuwa dies in Indian hospital, says AGN source

N has confirmed from a top shot in the actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) that Nollywood veteran actor, Enebeli Elebuwa is dead. The actor, was said to have died on Wednesday at his Indian hospital. It further said that the iconic actor was flown to India few months ago after battling with a reported partial stroke.

Pa Enebeli Elebuwa


D'Banj pulls out of "big guns" as Idris Elba set to host 2012 Koko concert


012 Koko Concert is set to wow Nigerians who are die hard Koko master fans. However, revealed that there will be more to look forward to at this year's edition of the Koko concert, saying that the management of the Koko Concert have decided to bring out the "big guns" and haul in the hottest of the stars. According to the fliers that are circulating, the host of the

show will be none other than Hollywood hottie, Idris Elba. further said that there will be performances from D'banj's colleagues in music, Big Sean and Pusha T, who are also signed on to G.O.O.D Music and his younger brother K-Switch who is signed on to his music label DB Records. The event is slated for December 27th, 2012, in Metropolitan city, Lagos.


Tonto Dike gets marriage proposal from 5 year old Year Old T hough the general perception towards Tonto Dike is rather flippant, there are some people who appreciate the young lady, especially small children.

This revelation was made recently by, when it reliably gathered that a 5 year old boy demonstrated his affections know through his magic board, where he asked

if Tonto Dike would marry him. Though sweet, it wondered how much the 5 year old has been exposed to know so much about 'Aunty Tonto'.

Tonto Dike and a five year old kid

Rita Dominic beats Genevieve, Omotola to win FAB Awards' Stylish Actress


Isaac and Clarke to star in William is producing with Monahan Thriller Atlas'Monahan William Green. Atlas' Andy


op hollywood actors,Oscar Isaac and Jason Clark, are to feature in William Monahan thriller early next years, Hollywood reporter has said. It added that Charles Roven's Atlas Entertainment is behind the movie, which Monahan's Henceforth Pictures is producing. Monahan, who won an Oscar for penning the Martin Scorsese crime drama, "The Departed", wrote the script, whose plot details are being kept under wraps although the story involves a desert escape by a criminal.

Oscar Isaac

Horwitz and Henceforth Pictures' Justine Suzanne Jones will executive produce. Both Isaac and Clarke are seen as rising actors amongst the Hollywood crowd. Isaac was recently seen in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis and counts The Bourne Legacy, Drive and Sucker Punch as his credits. Similarly, Clarke is one of the leads in Zero Dark Thirty, Columbia's Osama Bin Laden thriller that is generating Oscar buzz and is part of the all-star cast of Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

Jason Clarke

Rita Dominic

efore now, not many would have really given Rita Dominic the chance of winning the "Most Stylish Actress"of the year at the FAB Awards where heavyweights like Omotola Jalade Ekeinde and Genevieve Nnaji were also in the run for the same award category. revealed that many movie followers were shocked when Rita was announced the winner of the award. It added that Rita Dominic, who many knew

as classic movie diva, in her dress style and sense, was surprisingly announced as the winner as against the initial expectations, while Genevieve and Omotola were recognised as the major runners for the award. I n t h e male category of actors, Joseph Benjamin was announced the winner of the award while D'Banj and Mo'cheddah were announced winners of the male and female artistes' categories respectively.

Johnnie Walker partners with Mode Men on Man of the Year Award be the Johnnie Walker bar which


ohnnie Walker, the world's premium Scotch whiskey is partnering with Mode Men for this year's Men of the Year Awards, has said. It added that this is the biggest partnership of the year, owing to the pedigree of Johnnie Walker. The event is a black tie event that promises to take guests on a Johnnie Walker journey. The event would feature an A-class guest list to grace the occasion, adding that the guests will be treated to the very best of Johnnie Walker cocktails. Johnnie Walker will be giving out top range labels to winners at the Men of the Year Awards. These include Blue and

Gold labels. It also said that the most exciting aspect of the award will

would ensure that guests will feel the classic ambience that Johnnie Walker is known for.



Managing disasters: The U.S example By Temitope Ponle


he episode of catastrophe wrought by the last tornado in the United States of America can not go out of memory in a hurry, against the backdrop of the flooding that wreaked havoc across Nigeria, prior to the U.S. scenario. Up till now, many victims in Nigeria are still counting their losses in terms of destruction to lives and property, and for many, life can never be the same again.. The U.S. has, over time, had various natural disasters most especially in form of whirlwinds. There was Hurricane Galveston in 1900, the Great San Francisco Fire in 1906, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and most recently Hurricane Sandy, among others. Hurricane Sandy, for instance, devastated portions of the Caribbean and the MidAtlantic and north eastern of the U.S in October. The storm is rated the largest Atlantic hurricane on record with winds spanning 1,800 km. However, it is important to note that before the storm, and following the predictions by the weather forecast; citizens had been educated on what to do. Residents of the area and zones suspected to be affected were urged to move from flash points while offices, schools and major transportation systems were closed. According to media report, most workers in the Federal Government stayed at home while the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel prepared for instant response. Even other states which were not predicted to be affected by whether forecast took precautionary measures in ensuring that residents adhered to several warnings on the looming danger of the storm. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate said the agency “stockpiled over 600,000 litres of water and almost half a million meals, as well as blankets and cots. “Large industrial-sized generators are being moved to help institutions such as hospitals and water treatment plants to keep operating once the power goes out. U.S. President Barack Obama reaffirmed confidence in government’s preparedness to contain the situation, assuring the citizens of safety and care. By all standards, therefore, it is right to conclude that adequate arrangements were made as soon as the forecasters raised the alarm. Yet, estimates of losses due to damage and business interruption stood at 65.6 billion dollars while more than 253 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries. There is a clear difference, of course, in the level of readiness to respond to disasters between Nigeria and the U.S. Inadequacies in response

Residential houses submerged by flood recently in Bayelsa state programmes are indicated in the plight of flood victims in several states, who have yet to recover from the effects of flooding. Observers say with adequate response programmes, Nigeria’s situation in the event of any disaster will better be managed. Media reports indicate that 30 states were affected while 431 persons died and no fewer than 1.3 million residents in the affected areas were displaced. In a response, President Goodluck Jonathan directed the release of N17.6 billion as financial assistance to the affected states. Some Nigerians have also stressed the need for equitable distribution of the relief materials to victims and effective monitoring of funds disbursement. Aside this, it is evident from the response to the disaster that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was overwhelmed by the situation. This situation was intense to the extent that the DirectorGeneral of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, called for urgent action on equipping emergency response organisations in the country. He said that was necessary “especially now that disaster challenges are on the rise in the country.’’ Also, Mr Abdusalami Nasidi, the Director of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), emphasised the importance of capacity-building at the grassroots to facilitate response to disaster situations. He also reiterated efforts undertaken by the NCDC to curb damaging effects of disease outbreaks, especially those arising from the effect of the

NEMA D-G, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi recent flooding. “Looking at the response of recent floods that affected most parts of the country, the results are poor and the health systems are bad; we have to be coordinated to get things moving. “The establishment of the NDDC is to create a paradigm shift, that is, we are not just preparing and responding but we have come together to put up a coordinated and efficient system. “We established surveillance through the Nigeria’s Field

Epidemiology and laboratory training where we have official residents in every state,’’ he said.. Supporting the need for effective response to disasters, the World Bank President, Mr Jim Yong Kim, says better planning will help reduce damage and loss of lives from disasters. “Prevention can be far less costly than disaster relief and response; distribution of emergency supplies needs to be orderly, involve local leadership,

and help enhance social cohesion. “If it does not, the opportunity cost is huge”, he says. In its report on managing disasters, the bank states that every single response during an emergency period is either developmental or counterdevelopmental. It recalls that the reconstruction of Haiti following the recent earthquake has been complicated by the haphazard relief distribution practices. It states that the ability to make relief and emergency decisions and communicate them speedily to the involved parties is important to prevent rumours and forestall mob action. In Nigeria, while the president and his team responded adequately to the disaster, observers say that citizens’ perception to disasters as God’s act must change, while their attitude to the environment equally needs to be changed. “ A situation where people build on the path of a dam or a river, or when drainages are blocked, can not be an act of God when disasters strike, because water must find its level. “There is also the need for continuous campaigns and sensitisation by stakeholders in disaster management, as our people find it difficult to change their attitude towards everything, including the environment. They say all over the world, climate change is manifesting in huge destruction, and in as much as we are lucky in this part of the world that most disasters are caused by human beings, we can be proactive enough to contain them. Source: NAN



Persons with disabilities clamour for equal opportunities

Some physically-challenged persons By Ifeanyi Nwoko


nternational Day for Persons Living with Disabilities’ celebration every year on Dec. 3, is an indication that the physically challenged are an integral part of of the sociey. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 15 per cent of the World’s population is living with disabilities. a high number by any standard. In Nigeria for instance, more than 25 million people live with one form of physical disabilities or the other, according to statistics. Analysts, however, stress that in spite of this number; most of persons with disabilities do not have access to facilities that would enable them to conduct their daily activities without stress or discrimination. They say many are cut off from meaningful activities which can make a difference in their lives. So, there has been intense clamour for the President’s assent to the National Disabilities bill , as such will address all the challenges of person’s living with disabilities. According to Mr Danladi Bashiru, the National President, Joint National Association of Persons with Disabilities, the law is the only way that persons living with disabilities can be protected. “We want to appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan to

leave a legacy by assenting to the bill. “The major issue expected to be addressed is that of accessibility to housing and inclusion of the physically challenged in policy formulation,’’ he says. Supporting Bashiru’s view, Mr Rilwan Adullahi, the National Vice President of the association, says the issue of barrier is a major challenge to persons with disabilities. “When I was going for a celebration, people had to come over to help me; what if they had not been there! “There is no means by which this issue can be changed without a law but the bill has been in the corridor of the government without assent.. “It will give persons living with disabilities a sense of belonging and change the lives of several Nigerian citizens with disabilities. “By the time you as a physically challenged, have accessible life in totality; you will never feel you are a person with disabilities,’’ he says. In her view, Hajiya Rabi Yusuf, a nurse, pleads with the government to assent to the bill without further delay. According to her, as the population of those living with disabilities increases, government should take appropriate steps at

integrating them in the affairs of the governance and other areas. However, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mr George Ossi, says there are certain things that must be put in place before the passage of the bill. “The ministry is in touch with the President; there are things he wants to make sure fall into place before he signs, by the time he signs it, the law will be better than it is today,” he remarks.. He says the ministry is increasing its advocacy for the physically challenged and also seeking funds from international organisations to help them. Commenting on the challenges faced by persons living with disabilities, the Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, says the Federal Government is concerned. Maina however states that the government alone does not hold the key to tackling the challenges, noting that the private sector and individuals also have key roles to play in terms of acceptance and non-discrimination. “We need to rally support from all and sundry to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities in Nigeria are met for full integration. “In this regard, all hands must

be on deck and on my part, I will lend my full weight to making Nigeria and, indeed, Africa responsive to removal of barriers and creating inclusive and accessible society for all,” the minister says.. She urges those with disabilities to rise and pioneer the way for their full inclusion through advocacy and partnerships. Similarly, international organisations are not relenting in addressing the challenges. For instance, UNICEF is sensitising the public to the need for the children of the physically challenged to be trained and become useful members of the society. UNCEF says: “If we train them now, and empower them to be independent of anyone, then we would have disabled adults who are indeed enabled.” In his remark, the Project Director of UNDP-Democratic Governance (DGD), Dr Mourtada Deme, says the UNDP is committed to strengthening and monitoring the protection of the human rights of persons living with disabilities. He says the UN passed the convention on the rights of persons living with disabilities and Nigeria signed the convention in 2007 with ratification in 2010. “However, I am aware that in

practice, many people are still unable to live full lives free from suffering, whether purposely inflicted or arising from neglect. “Establishing that persons living with disabilities are entitled to the same basic human rights as the rest of the population is important, ensuring that the barriers are removed is a major challenge worthy of our efforts. “So, what are the responsibilities of governments, what are the responsibilities of legislators, what are our global responsibilities,’’ he asks. Deme says there must be recognition of the special needs of persons living with disabilities and measures taken to realise the promotion of their rights. He says the duty of government should not just end with enacting a law as there is the need to also create awareness to ensure the supervision of the full implementation of such laws. The observers’ view is that whether or not the bill receives the presidential assent as expected soon, the society should accord persons living with disabilities with all rights and respect, as they are part and parcel of that society. Their disabilities should, by no means be an obstacle as they have proved their mettle when given the same opportunities as ablebodied persons. Source: NAN.



Going to bed an hour earlier each night ‘lowers blood pressure in just six weeks’ G

oing to bed an hour earlier than usual could help to ward off high blood pressure, according to a new study. Researchers found people who were showing the early signs of high blood pressure were able to restore readings to healthy levels in just six weeks if they had an extra hour in bed every night. The study, carried out at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA, looked at men and women who regularly slept for only seven hours or less a night and were beginning to have borderline high blood pressure readings. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects one in five adults in the UK and is thought to be responsible for half of all heart attacks and strokes. But despite an array of different drugs available on the NHS, it’s estimated more than half of all patients have ‘poorly controlled’ blood pressure, which means they still have readings in the danger zone above 140mmHg/90mmHg, a measure of the amount of force inside arteries when the heart is forcing blood through them and

Time for bed: Going to bed an hour early could ward off high blood pressure, a study suggests the force when it relaxes. Lack of sleep and a stressful lifestyle have long been associated with an increased risk of the condition. But the latest study is one of the first to prove that blood

pressure can be brought under control by simply increasing sleep duration. Researchers recruited 22 middle aged men and women who either had prehypertension, where their readings were not

excessively high but had been increasing and were on target to reach dangerous levels. The volunteers all claimed to sleep seven hours or less a night. Over a six week period, 13 of the group were told to extend

their sleeping patterns by getting to bed an hour earlier than they normally would. The rest were told to stick to their normal sleeping routines. They all wore monitors to check their blood pressure roundthe-clock and underwent blood and urine checks too. The results, published in the Journal of Sleep Research, showed the extended sleep group managed to get at least 35 minutes extra in bed. As a result, their average blood pressure readings dropped sharply by between eight and 14mmHg. It’s thought too little sleep affects the body’s ability to deal with stress hormones that can drive up blood pressure. In a report on their findings the researchers said extra sleep could soon be prescribed as a remedy for high blood pressure. ‘These preliminary findings have to be interpreted with caution. But future investigations should look at whether increasing sleep duration serves as an effective strategy in the treatment of hypertension.’ Source:

Brain changes may make older people more prone to scams


t’s a frequent scenario. Two young con artists walk a retired high school teacher to the bank and fleece him out of $17,000. But why did the man, in his 70s, fall for it? It may be that older people are less able to identify shady characters than younger ones, according to a study by Shelley Taylor of the University of California, Los Angeles, published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Adults older than 60 lost at least $2.9 billion in 2010 due to financial exploitation - ranging from home repair scams to complex financial swindles - up 12 percent from 2008, according to the MetLife Mature Market Institute. To understand why, Taylor and colleagues did a series of studies comparing perceptions of trustworthiness among younger and older individuals. They found older people tended to miss common cues that suggest a person is not trustworthy. “It’s that ‘uh-oh’ response that people get,” said Taylor, who directs UCLA’s Social Neuroscience Laboratory. “The younger adults are getting that and the older adults are not.” In one of the studies, the researchers asked 119 people between 55 and 84 and 24 younger people to view a stack of 30 photographs of faces that had been rated by another lab according to how trustworthy the individuals looked. Individuals were rated as trustworthy, neutral or untrustworthy.

When faces in the photos were trustworthy or neutral, the older adults’ responses were very similar to those of younger adults. But when viewing faces rated as untrustworthy, the older adults were less likely to pick up on cues. Next, the team did the same test with a different group of 44 study subjects while their brains were being scanned in a functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI machine. Such tests help show which parts of the brain are active during certain tasks. In the younger study subjects, the brain scans showed significant activity in a portion of the brain called the anterior insula when they looked at pictures of untrustworthy types. But in the older volunteers, there was very little b r a i n

The human brain

activity in this region. One of the functions of this area of the brain is that it helps interpret sensations in the body that form “gut feelings,” according to lead author Elizabeth Castle. “We saw that older adults didn’t get the same level of insula activation that the younger ones did,” Taylor said. “It should be telling them this looks risky, this looks iffy.” To Taylor, this suggests that during aging this portion of the brain becomes less responsive, either because it is degrading or because the neurons that send signals to this region of the brain are not firing properly. Taylor said her findings contradict the notion that the

current crop of post-war seniors was raised during a more trusting time and are simply too well mannered. “That is not it. It’s an agerelated trend,” Taylor said. “We’re going to see this with Boomers and Gen Xers.” Although the study only looked at visual cues of trustworthiness, Taylor said some of the same issues may be at work when seniors get taken in by smooth-talking telephone marketers. “Cues to deception are carried not only through the face but also through the voice,” Taylor said. “In a face-to-face situation, people are using a compilation of the cues they see and hear. It’s entirely possible that an analogous process is going on for telemarketing.” The findings appear to agree with what experts on scams and the elderly have long noticed, says Doug Shadel, Washington state director for AARP, a national grassroots organization t h a t represents o l d e r Americans. He said scam artists have admitted in interviews that their main ploy is to get their intended victim “under the ether,” or in a heightened emotional state that puts them off kilter. “They’re bypassing that

same part of the brain - the frontal cortex, the part that makes you doubt things - and bringing you to the present moment where you’re going to make a rash decision,” said Shadel. “It’s something that we in the practitioner world have suspected for years. But getting concrete science behind it is really important,” added Shadel, a former fraud investigator. In fact, the findings may help older people avoid such scams. Taylor’s own father was the retired school counselor who got scammed by the two young men, who were homeless and missing teeth. “He thought they were nice young men and he was making loans,” Taylor said. And Taylor’s aunt was the victim of telephone marketers who convinced her to purchase fake gems. Given older people’s weakness when it comes to judging whether a person is trustworthy, Taylor advises to reduce the temptation. “You want to get people to shut it off before they ever have the conversation: to hang up without talking, to throw the mail solicitation away, to not go to the free lunch seminar,” she said. AARP recommends that people never decide to buy something while listening to a sales pitch or reading a mail solicitation. “Always give yourself at least 24 hours so that you have time to engage your rational mind,” Shadel said. Source:



Constitutional roles for traditional rulers will check insecurity, says Gen. Usman INTERVIEW What is the highlight of the assignment your committee is saddled with? was invited to join the North-East Forum for Peace and Development based on those things that are happening in the NorthEastern region of the country. So, we as elders of this region felt concerned. It was a forum that was actually set-up to look into the various problems and issues that are facing the north-East region. Along that line, the initiators invited some of us to seat down with them; rub minds and see how we can check the development within the sub-region in other to find a way forward.

Major General Yakubu Usman (Rtd), a member of the North-East Forum for Peace and Development in this interview with our Borno Correspondent, Ahmed Kaigama, bares his mind on the security challenges and developmental backwardness in the region and proffers solutions. Excerpts:


From your interaction, have you been able to find a way forward? The North-East region has been bedeviled with lack of development; lack of industries, lack of educational institutions and in fact a lot of things have been left to decay. So we look at ways we can face these challenges particularly the security threat. Thus we are trying to find ways which we could collaborate with the security agencies in other to find answers to the security challenges. As for development, we look at ways we could partner with government so that we can develop our industries, agricultural resources as well as our mineral resources so that we can provide employment for the youth and the masses in the sub region; and by that we can check the unemployment which we believe contributes to the insecurity that is prevalent in the North East sub region. Have you been able to achieve these goals? Well, we are just in the process of seeing how we can put things together when the last meeting that was supposed to be a forum where we would inaugurate the committees / sub-committees that were supposed to come up and look into the various aspects of lack of development and security challenges was stalled. We had some setbacks and we had to adjourn the meeting. What would you say are the major set-backs that brought about the adjournment of the inauguration of the committees?

unfortunate. May his soul rest in peace. It is very bad for someone to look at a war veteran who fought to keep Nigeria one, who fought as a commandant during the Cvil War, having retired peacefully and never got himself involved in politics nor blow any trumpet about his roles in the war, even when some empty drums who did not participate fully in the civil war are talking here and there, to end up being gunned down by some sadists. Unfortunately, these sadists, I don't even know what to even call them, whether they are human or not, ended up assassinating him. May God forgive them, because I know they don't know what they are doing?

Major General Yakubu Usman (Rtd). You are aware that the major stakeholders, who are the governors, were not at the meeting due to some reasons and we were advised to get back to them, so that if there are some misgivings, we could sort them out. Certainly, it is the conveners of the Forum that will do that because I am not one of them but I was only invited and having seen the aims and objective of the Forum, I was convinced that it would assist the sub-region. So the conveners have been advised to go back and make further consultation with the governors in particular who are the Chief Security Officers of their various states and who are the major stakeholders because without their support the Forum cannot

move forward. Why would the governors who were supposed to be the conveners of the Forum refuse to attend the meeting? You can go and ask them. I am not a governor; I am a citizen like you and like any other person, so I don't know the reason. The major challenge, like you have said and like any other person knows, that is confronting the region is insecurity. Recently General Shuwa was killed by unknown assailants. How do you feel about the incident? It's sad and very

As a retired military officer, considering the complaints about soldiers alleged abuse of human rights particularly in the states facing security challenges like Yobe and Borno, what is your take on this? Well, it is again unfortunate but if you ask me as a military man, what I will say is that you cannot eat your cake and have it. There is a saying that a child who will not allow his mother to sleep would not also sleep. So if you cause insecurity, you have already lost certain parts of your rights. So, whatever the military is doing, they are doing it to provide security. So, we should choose either to tell the soldiers to go back to their barracks and allow anarchy to reign or call in the soldiers to do what the can do. In the military, there is what we call using minimum force, and within that minimum force there are bound to be collateral damages and those collateral damages is what people call human right. Yes, everybody has his/her own right but the military also have right to self defense. They can't go into a battle and allow themselves to be shot at, bombed at and because of human rights you expect them to sit down watching. So, I believe that while the soldiers are doing their duties we should give them the maximum co-operation. They are also implored upon to observe the rules of engagement. For every operation, there is a rule of engagement and I am sure the soldiers are very well trained, they know what their rules of engagement are, and they abide by them. I believe by

co-operating with the Joint Task Force, I am sure the abuse of human rights would definitely be reduced. However, one major point is that those soldiers should not be kept on the streets longer than necessary. Once they finish their operation, they should go back to their barracks and let the police or whoever is responsible for maintaining law and order to carry-on with their duties. But soldiers have been overexposed, they are seen everywhere and that is why to some extent, people see them and talk anyhow about them. There are those who still say politicians have a role to play in this present situation of insecurity, do you agree with that? Security has so many faces. It has the political face, religious face and the criminal face. So if you talk about politicians or criminal or religious fanatics I know they all exist but I can't differentiate them. What about other stakeholders like traditional rulers, is there any role they too can play to bring about an end to this problems of insecurity? I have the belief that our traditional rulers have a big role to play. In fact I am one of those who advocate that traditional rulers should be given a role even in our constitution, because it is not only when we have problems that we start to call upon them to solve the problems. If you give them a role in the constitution and such roles include monitoring people coming in and out of their domains; if they can check that, I believe we can bring an end to this problem of security threat in the north east zone. What about religious leaders? The religious leaders have similar roles with the traditional rulers. I believe that the religious leaders have a duty to restrain their followers from engaging in any form of violence, because I believe that if we have tolerance, and we preach love which both Islam and Christianity preach, I believe that peace would rein not just in North-East but in the whole country and the world at large.


Kogi Assembly wants Akpogu community rehabilitated From Sam Egwu, lokoja


ogi State House of Assembly yesterday at the plenary urged the state government to urgently consider the rehabilitation of the Akpogu community. The motion which was moved by Hon Salihu Akawu, member representing LokojaKotokarfe state constituency stated that since the last rainy season, the community had been cut off from the rest of the state. "The only road leading to the only primary school in the area has since been washed away allow the school pupils idling at home". Akawu's motion seconded by Hon Suleiman Babadoko of Lokoja 1 constituency stated that most houses in the community had been destroyed. Speaker Hon. Momojimo Lawal, in his ruling stressed that the motion was self explanatory and requires urgent attention.


LG polls: PDP to end bad losers' syndrome By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday declared that it has resolved to end the bad losers' syndrome in the nation's polity by ensuring that it concedes victory to the opposition wherever it loses election. The party in a congratulatory

message to its Benue and Kaduna Benue Chapters on the successes of the Local Government Area Council Polls held recently in the two states and sigend by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, hailed the smooth conduct of the polls whose outcome has once more reestablished the fact that the PDP is the party of choice and

the only vehicle to deliver development at the grassroots level. Metuh who commended the PDP's dedication to democratic principles in accepting the results in some areas where the party lost in Kaduna state assured "We are poised to end the bad loser syndrome in Nigerian politics. In

the areas we lost, we are prepared to go back to the drawing board and work hard to reclaim them". The PDP spokesman added "The fact that we are ready to concede to winners in other parties should be a lesson in political tolerance to other opposition parties who see electoral contests as battles to be won at all costs".

L-R: Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, Deputy Chairman, PDP Gombe State Chapter, Alhaji Nasiru Aliyu, and caretaker chairman, Balanga Local Government Area, Mr. Solomon Yaro, during the Governor's Tour of Balanga-North Constituency at Talase, Gombe State on Wednesday.

Oron people want Akwa Ibom governorship in 2015

Photo: NAN


ron ethnic group in Akwa Ibom on Wednesday declared that it was their turn to produce the state governor in 2015. Mr Okon Usung, a spokesman for the group, conveyed the declaration at a news conference in Uyo. He noted that the Oro nationality in Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District had never produced the state's governor since its creation in 1987. Usung stressed that the senatorial district, which had 12 local government areas, was the single largest contributor of revenue to the state coffers. ``We formally declare unequivocally that it is the turn of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, in general, and Oro, in particular, to produce the next governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2015. ``Akwa Ibom Senatorial District generates the largest percentage of the state's revenue. ``It is blessed with oil and gas reserves and other non-oil minerals such as limestone, salt, zinc, and it has an incredible array of aquatic resources. ``Regrettably, in the last 25 years since Akwa Ibom's creation, the senatorial district has not produced any governor; military or civilian,'' he said. Usung stressed that Oro people, who were faithful members of the PDP, the dominant party in the state, should be given a chance to govern the state. (NAN)

Parliament calls for democratic culture, good governance in Africa


he President of the Pan African Parliament, Mr Bethel Amadi, on Wednesday called for democratic culture, good governance and transparency among member countries. Amadi made the appeal at a twoday Regional Parliamentary Meeting on "good governance in Africa" organised by the parliament in Port Harcourt. He said institutional instability in the continent deeply underscored the need to consolidate the rule of law and other positive democratic values. He noted that the AU Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance had laid the basic framework for democracy in Africa. "This legal document promotes a system of governance that is representative and emerges through regular, transparent, free and fair elections. " It encompasses our collective aspirations to bring to an end unconstitutional changes of government on the continent and forms the foundation of our shared values," he added. The issue of governance, according to him, has posed the biggest challenge confronting the African continent.

The president said corruption had continued to undermine all efforts geared toward development among member countries. Amadi said the African Charter on Values and Principles of Public Service and Administration, laid an important foundation as well as standards for public administration in Africa. He said the integration process

of the continent could only be achieved through economic factors and legal frameworks such as free movement of people among member states and goods and services. The Speaker of the Rivers House of Assembly, Mr Otelemaba Amachree, urged the body not to derail in its mandate but to remain focused. " As the apex regional parliament, you are the cynosure of all national and state parliaments

in Africa," he said. The speaker commended the organisers for choosing Port Harcourt and the state assembly as venue for the meeting. " Your choice of Port Harcourt and indeed the Rivers assembly as venue for the meeting is not an accident. "It is predicated on our antecedent as a dynamic house, being the only state assembly in Africa that has hosted a continental parliament," he said. ( NAN)

secondary school graduates numbering 15 million to 20 million, how can you have peace in that situation? ``This number is more than the population of a medium-sized country, nobody is happy with the development not even the government. Musa said the strategy to address the issue had to change from one based on self-interest to one based on public interest. ''You know during our time when public interest was primary, self-

interest was secondary, we registered some progress, some of it is still visible.'' The CNPP chairman said that public interest should be the over riding interest so that automatically the nation could move in the right direction, including the development of the country's financial system. On the security situation, Musa criticised the spate of uncertainty in the nation's security system and called for the restructuring of the system, which, he noted, was drawing the country backward. (NAN)

CNPP expresses concern over high rate of unemployment


he National President, Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) Alhaji Balarabe Musa, on Thursday expressed concern over the high rate of unemployment in the country, saying there was need to adopt another approach to address the issue. Musa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the number of unemployment had increased to about 15 million to 20 million. ''We have unemployed post-



Nigeria will surmount its challenges - Mark M

Lagos lawmaker asks FG to strengthen the nation's electoral system

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


resident of the Senate, David Mark, has noted the trying times Nigeria is passing through and urged the people not to despair but to resort to prayer to almighty God, saying that Nigeria will overcome the challenges. He said "We are in a difficult

situation but we will continue to pray and I know with prayer, honesty and commitment of all of us, we can overcome. We must not despair. We must be resolute to face the challenges". He was speaking at the St. Mulumba Catholic Chaplaincy during a holy Mass celebrated by the new Cardinal John Onaiyekan in Abuja yesterday

morning. Mark, who led Nigerian delegation to the Vatican to witness the consistory of his Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan, noted that the Cardinal has brought fame and honour to the nation. He added that Cardinal Onaiyekan has remained humble, steadfast and dedicated

in spite of elevation and urged him not to rest on his oars in the crusade for peace and unity of Nigeria. Earlier in his homily, Cardinal Onaiyekan implored Nigerians, both rich and poor to have compassion on one another. He preached love and togetherness as a panacea to the intractable conflicts across the country.

Taraba govt. appoints new Chief of Mambilla


he Taraba Government has approved the appointment of Dr Shehu Baju as the First Class Chief of Mambilla, 10 years after the death of the substantive ruler. Baju, succeeds the late chief, Alhaji Muhammadu Mansur who died in 2002. A statement issued by the Government House Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Hassan Mijinyawa on Thursday in Jalingo stated that the acting governor, Alhaji Garba Umar gave approval for the appointment. It stated that the appointment followed a reconciliation initiated by Gov. Danbaba Suntai between the ruling houses of Mansur and that of Baju, where an agreement was reached to rotate the chieftaincy stool between them. It stated that the new Chief, who was born in 1959, was until his appointment, the Director of Veterinary Services in the State Ministry for Agriculture, Jalingo. According to the statement, arrangements for the installation is to be announced on a later date. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tussle for the Mambilla stool had lingered in the past 10 years due to disagreement over who should take over as the Chief. NAN recalls that the Mambilla Chiefdom has been without a ruler since 2002 when the late Mansur died after reigning for 42 years. (NAN)

Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Almakura (left), in a handshake with former Zamfara state Governor, Senator Sani Ahmed Yerima (right), during a visit by National Rebuilding and Interparty Contact Committee to the governor, yesterday in Nasarawa. With them is former Yobe state Governor, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim (middle).

Senate Committee pledges more funding for FCTA's social department By Lawrence Olaoye


he Senate Committee on the FCT has pledged to canvass increased budgetary allocation to the FCTA Social Development Department for expansion of vocational training facilities. The committee, led by its Chairman, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, expressed satisfaction with the quality and standard of facilities provided at the centre by the

Social Development Department. Adeyemi, made the promise on Wednesday when the committee visited the Youth Support Centre, Nyanya, as part of its oversight tour of ongoing projects in the FCT. He commended the Secretary of the Social Development Department, Mrs Blessing Onuh, for the completion of work at the centre and said the effort was worthy of emulation. He gave the assurance that the Committee would work hard

to ensure that more funds were allocated to the department in the 2013 appropriations. ``This is what social development is all about. Once the youth are skilled, they become useful members of the society. ``I hope what we have seen here can be taken as example by other states of the federation so that the youth can be gainfully employed and not to get involved in crimes. (NAN)

A/Court bars Airhiavbere from calling witnesses By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ourt of appeal, Benin Division yesterday dashed the hope of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag-bearer in the July 14 2012 Governorship election in Edo state, MajorGeneral Charles Airhiavbere, to call more witnesses. Delivering two separate judgments yesterday, the three-man panel of Justices headed by Justice George Shoremi dismissed the appeals

brought before the court by the appellant for lack of merit. The court held that failure by the petitioner to list the witnesses alongside the main petition "added poverty to the petition". According to Justice Shoremi, the complaint of lack of fair hearing by the petitioner was faulty and lacking in merit and therefore upheld the ruling of the lower tribunal. In a similar ruling, the court held that issues raised by

Airhiavbere in his reply were new and fresh issues not contained in the main petition. The court ruled that bringing in such issues would take the respondents by surprise and would not give them time to respond. Justice Shoremi held that the paragraphs struck out by the lower tribunal dealt extensively on academic qualification not contained in the main petition. He insisted that the new facts can only be provided in a petition through

an amendment, with a caution that allowing the issues was an infringement of First Schedule of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). The appellate court said only paragraphs 6 and 7 in Airhiavbere's reply are competent. "The findings of the lower tribunal are sound in law. If the paragraphs struck out are heard, the respondent will be taken by surprise. The paragraphs ought to have been in the main petition. This appeal is dismissed".

r Oluseegun Olulade, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly (LAHA), on Thursday urged the Federal Government to strengthen the country's electoral system, toward achieving credible elections in 2015. Olulade (ACN-Epe II), Chairman, House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He argued that the only way the electorate could have confidence in the process was through credible elections. "I think ,if there is any sector that needs to be strengthened, it is our electoral system. Once we get it right at the polls and Nigerians can have confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the country will move forward. "Once the votes of Nigerians can count at the end of the day, that means that we have solved half of the problem we are facing today," he said. Olulade argued that granting full autonomy to INEC would ensure good leadership in the country. The lawmaker also charged youths to cooperate with relevant bodies toward having free and credible elections in future. "Nigerians must come out in 2015 elections, not by bullet, but by ballot ,to elect credible leaders," he said. (NAN)

Dankwambo pledges to provide social amenities for LG


ov. Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State has pledged to provide social amenities for the people of Balanga North Local Government Area. Dankwambo gave the assurance on Wednesday when he visited Talase, the headquarters of Balanga Local Government Area. He said that he was in the area to identify the major problems confronting the people so as to find lasting solutions to them and accelerate the area's development. The governor said that some of the people's demands would be addressed within a short time, while others would be tackled later. Dankwambo commended the people for promoting peace in the area and urged them to continue to guard jealously all the projects sited in their area. The News Agency Nigeria (NAN) reports that representatives of the five wards of the council area presented their demands to the governor during the visit. The demands include rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools; electrification, water supply and road construction projects as well as the upgrade of Balanga Dam. (NAN)



Supersand Eagles not under pressure to defend Cup, says coach


he Beach Eagles Team Coach, Audu Adamu, has dismissed assertions that the team was not under any pressure as hosts and defending champions of the competition. The Beach Eagles will feature at the Lagos Cup fiesta along with Argentina, Lebanon and Portugal in the competition scheduled to hold from December 14 to Dec. 16 at the Eko Beach in Lagos. Adamu, who spoke yesterday after the team’s training session in Badagry, said that the team will work hard to defend the trophy the worthy champions

that they are . “I am assuring Nigerians that the Beach Eagles will retain the Copa tournament’s trophy. As the host and the defending champions, we will use the advantages to retain the cup. “We have never played Lebanon before but have defeated Argentina twice and we have unfinished business with the Portuguese. The Portuguese defeated us in a World Cup training early this year in Portugal and we are set for a revenge,” Adamu said. According to him, the team’s

preparation for the competition, saying that it was poised to come out tops. The team’s goalkeeper, Abdul

Isah, urged Nigerians to support the team, assuring that with adequate support, the team would not disappoint.

participation in the Samsung tournament held recently in Dubai, had further prepared it for the Copa Lagos competition. “At the tournament, we defeated the current European Club Champions, Switzerland and the current Asian Champion, Japan. “With all that, we are filled with confidence and we know that we will defeat anyone that stands between us and the trophy,” the coach said. Meanwhile, Olawale Isiaka, the team’s captain, also assured Nigerians of the team’s

NPL crisis: Obaseki faults NFF’s truce


ormer chairman of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Oyuki Obaseki believes the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is wrong in trying to find a truce in the current crisis rocking the league’s governing body. The NPL board was sacked by 18 clubs after a meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, on Wednesday. Baribote Victor Rumson has however continued to insist he is still chairman of the NPL board which prompted the NFF to wade into the crisis as they attempt to find a solution to the impasse. Obaseki, who was chairman of the NPL between 2008 and 2010, said the NFF was wrong to have called for a meeting between the club owners and the Baribote-led NPL board. “The NFF must not dictate to the NPL. They (NFF) have no

Aminu Maigari, president NFF

right to interfere in the decisions and affairs of the NPL. FIFA is watching. They are not doing the right thing. I am very sure people are behind them,” Obaseki exclusively told Obaseki said the club owners were backed by the statues to call for the dissolution of the NPL board but insisted that they (club owners) should have waited for the 2012 congress before making their move to unseat Baribote. “The congress is backed by statutes of the NPL to dissolve the board. But my question is why they were in such a hurry? The 2012 congress had been fixed for Thursday and by Wednesday morning, they take a decision to dissolve the board. Why the hurry?

“Since they had 16 or 17 club owners, they should have gone to the congress on Thursday and move a motion to throw the board out of office if they felt that was the right call,” he said. The football chief said he was pained at the situation as he had worked hard during his tenure as NPL chairman to make the league a brand. The Benin High Chief concluded by predicting a dangerous phase for Nigeria football if “things are not handled in the right manner.” “Our football will go down the drain if things are not handled in the right manner. Let the statutes be implemented and the NFF must not meddle in the affairs of the NPL,” he said.

… As Exec C’ttee holds emergency meeting over league crisis today


n an attempt to stave off the brewing crisis in the Nigeria Premier League, the executive committee of the NFF will meet today to deliberate on the club chairmen’s impeachment of the Victor Baribote-led league board. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that muted angst over Baribote-led board’s management of the league took a disturbing dimension on Wednesday when 16 clubs met in Abuja and subsequently dissolved the board and appointed a six-man interim board committee to run

the affairs. Though the football federation had faulted the clubs’ bosses on procedural grounds, a release made public same day expressed its worries over the likely aftermath of another round of crises in the domestic league. Consequently, the board, which has been accused of working in conjunction with the leadership of the National Sports Commission to oust Baribote, opted to meet as body to deliberate on sundry matters raised by the agitating clubs.

18th NSF: Obisia decries low standard in boxing at Games


bisia Nwakpa, the immediate past head coach of the Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF), has decried the low quality boxing exhibited by pugilists at the almost concluded 18th National Sports Festival. The ex-Commonwealth Games champion lamented the dearth of quality boxers at the Games, tagged “Eko 2012’’, noting that there was little to cheer in terms of prospect stressing “I think we are not getting it right because I did not see quality boxers from all the bouts I watched. This goes to show that the states are not

developing sports but rather looking for short cuts to success in sports,’’ the former pugilist said. Nwakpa noted that many of the boxers might be technically sound but lacked the stamina a good boxer needed to excel and added that the missing link was the fact that their coaches had not worked hard enough. Nwakpa, who described sports administrators as “slave drivers,’’ alleged that they had been feeding fat on sports, to the detriment of the athletes. “The quality of athletes is a reflection of what is happening in

the sports sector. How do you expect an athlete that is not well fed to do well in major competitions?’’ he asked. The former Head Coach blamed the National Sports Commission (NSC) for not taking care of the athletes. “The actors should be the priority of the NSC because one would have expected the commission to keep a record of athletes discovered in the last two festivals. “Our athletes are not well taken care of and we always want to push them to do well at major tournaments,’’ Nwakpa said.

Lagos state commissioner for sports, Mr Wahid EnitanOshodi, presenting gift to team Delta after winning gold medal, during the women table tennis event, at the 18th Photo: NAN national sports festival, in lagos.

NGO distributes 178,000 condoms to athletes, officials


he Youth Network on HIV/ AIDS in Nigeria (NYNETHA), a NonGovernmental Organisation (NGO), said yesterday that it has distributed more than 178, 000 condoms to athletes and officials at the ongoing 18 th National Sports Festival. Moses Okpara, Executive Secretary of the NGO, who disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that both male and female condoms were distributed at the fiesta. Okpara said that the distribution was complementary to the collaborative activities of some agencies working on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria to provide free HIV screening and counselling at the sports festival. “What we are doing is a collaborative activity to provide free HIV counselling and screening to both sportsmen and spectators throughout the national sports festival. The National Sports Commission is there. UNICEF has played a prominent role. “So also has the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), AIDS Prevention Initiative in Nigeria (APIN), in collaboration with United States Agency for International

Development (USAID). “The Lagos State AIDS Control Agency (LSACA), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Society for Family Health (SFH) and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) have also contributed immensely.” Okpara said that the response to the free HIV/AIDS screening at the various venues of the festival and the demands for condoms at the fiesta had been encouraging. “When we were conceiving the whole idea, we were looking at just reaching out to 2,000 people and then 5,000 athletes with prevention messages and then sharing 100, 000 condoms. “But, as I speak to you, we have surpassed our expectations. It has been an overwhelming experience. In fact, in the first three days, we had surpassed 3,000 and we had to get re-enforcement from USAID, Abuja,” he said. According to him, our condoms are on high demand because people want the condoms, especially the female condoms. Lots of people have not seen the female condoms. “They are having a firsthand experience of feeling it, having some and believing that they can use the female condoms,” Okpara added.



Premier league players depress by NPL impasse


everal top stars have voiced their discontent over the present state of affairs in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL). The executive board of the NPL was thrown out of office by 18 clubs after a meeting in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja on Wednesday. Baribote Victor Rumson says he is still the chairman of the league board insisting that due process was not followed in his “purported removal.” The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has now called for an emergency meeting on Friday to resolve issues surrounding the NPL board and the club chairmen. Victor Ezeji is one of the most experienced players in the NPL and he believes it is time for the warring parties to sheath their swords. “When things like this happen, it is the league and the

players that suffer. This will take us nowhere and I hope the issues are resolved as quickly as possible so we can return and play football,” Ezeji told Warri Wolves’ defender, Ike ThankGod was also disappointed at the crisis in the league and called for calm to be restored. “I hear they (NPL, club owners and the NFF) will meet tomorrow. I was getting ready to play the game I love best as we were told the league will resume this month. I pray everything is resolved quickly,” he said. Heartland captain, Chinedu Efugh also voiced his sentiments on the issue. The defender, who captained his side to Cup success in the last two seasons, said no player in any of the clubs would be happy over the development. “I can tell you NPL players are not happy. We love football and we want to play. We feel sad when we hear things like this,” he said. It now looks highly unlikely that the December 22 kick-off date for the 2012/13 season will stand.


































Bolaji Abdullahi’s ignominious mark


t seems indubitable to conclude that there is something uncanny about the National Sports Commission (NSC), particularly the office of the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the commission. The commission seems to have infamous reputation for producing, whether so-called technocrats or political appointees, elements proficient at generating controversies than impacting positively on the sports scene itself. In fact, in the last decades, one would hardly recall an occupant of the office that did not become enmeshed in one controversy after another, and with the so-called professionals in the commission diligently digging their graves. Take for instance, Professor Taoheed Adedoja. Perhaps, he would best be

remembered for his umpteenth but largely unrealisable promises and unwittingly providing the prop for a citizen whose alleged act of indescription at an international forum brought no little disdain to the nation. A certain Isa Bio came on the scene. Like Nero, he slept on while Rome burns. One, perhaps, retain faint memory of Bio's sojourn in the commission on account of his lackadaisical approach to the NFF crises. Sadly, his inaction or whatever consumed him as President Jonathan eased the former Kwara House of Assembly Speaker off the saddle. Ask commission staff, he was barely missed even by his avowed stooges. Enter the Sokoto prince. Well intended at first, but hardly able to march the prevalence of theatricals in administration and expertise peculiar with the commission's top dogs, he

opted to return to his more comfortable zone: electioneering theatrics. That threw up Bolaji Abdullahi, first on supervisory capacity and later in full regalia. The former journalist turned politician left none in doubt about his incisive knowledge of the hiccoughs in the sports terrain. Many thought a Daniel has come to Zion. How hasty they were to conclude! Abdullahi has presided over nothing new: His administrative mien, drift, acts, character and vision and mission, are all too similar. The only difference being the persons and time. His, as were others, has been all motions without movement. Attempts to uproot, dismount, and upstage have remained largely kids' gloves, nothing concrete and hope inspiring. Recall that Adedoja made a pretense of being unaware of the existence of an


i r r i t a t i n g parallel NFA; e l e m e n t s without locus standi even in the football constituencies yet enjoyed the support of the chieftains of the commission, who deployed them to derail the NFF. No, not that the NFF top ought to and thus left their statement on their dogs in themselves were flanks bare for the deadly competence ratio. No saints. They never were cut. wonder, the commission and are still not. Bio's Ivory Who won't given a knife has remained a Peter Pan, Towerism created the and the freedom to take a perpetually in the woods. necessary ambience for plunge at the spoil? Victor The leadership of the surreptitious elements to Baribote, the same individual league board may lack operate and effect whatever that fought his way to the finesse in the changes they had desired. throne but seems unable to administration, vision and Not so Abdullahi, the discern what next to do with clout to generate goodwill veteran journalist. No, he the assumed authority took for the game. But what has acted. But what missed the cut. And what cut! conscious efforts has the kicks! Bolaji has failed in a Abdullahi's unfulfilled minister made to attract simple act of unseating an quest (at least for now) to sponsors to the league? unwanted element. Well, remove Baribote clearly Why would he choose to some persons gathered in exposed the wield the big stick without Abuja to execute a domestic unprofessionalism with providing desirable league board coup. Sadly, if which Sports Ministers have succour? Indeed, what's inebriated by the prospects acted. They all failed to Abdullahi's legacy other of victory mounted the accomplish simple task. than the same lame rostrum sooner than they That in itself is a huge promises, cash of cymbals?

By Patrick Andrew

African Ballon d’Or: It’s Yaya versus Drogba

T Yaya Toure


uan Manuel Marquez wants to celebrate victory over Manny Pacquiao, just once. That is his sole motivation for the non-title welterweight clash with his arch-rival in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Marquez has fought Pacquiao three times, most recently 13 months ago in the same MGM Grand ring where they meet on Saturday. But he has not beaten the Filipino. “People tell me, ‘You really beat him’, in the last three fights,” Marquez, a three-division world champion, said on Wednesday. “A lot of people feel I beat him. But I want to have my hand raised. I want the judges to really look at what they’re doing and get it right this time.” When they last met, Pacquiao retained his WBO welterweight title with a controversial majority decision. On his part, Pacquiao seems to be growing increasingly irritated by the Mexican’s insistence that he won their previous three fights, particularly because of the counter-punching style favoured by Marquez, whose record now stands at 54-6-1, with 39 knockouts. “He always claims he won the fights,” said Pacquiao (54-4; 38) who has won world titles in eight divisions. “So he needs to prove something. “You cannot say, ‘Yes I won the fight’ when you are always backing off. If you’re claiming you won the fight, then you have to press the action.” The four-fight rivalry between the two almost failed to last one round. Pacquiao knocked Marquez down three times in the opening round of their first

he Confederation of African Football (CAF) unveiled the names of the three players who are in contention for the title of African Player of the Year and the winner will be announced on December 20, in Accra, Ghana. Manchester City and the Elephants’ midfielder Yaya Touré, the 2011 winner, is still in the running for his second consecutive title and will be competing against his national team captain Didier

Drogba and Cameroonian Alexandre Song. Playmaker and the younger of the Touré brothers will have a tough job bagging the trophy for a second year running, because his compatriot managed to dazzle Africa and Europe during this year, 2012. Didier Drogba was the architect behind the success of Chelsea in the FA Cup and the Champions League before his exile to China, and also

led Côte d’Ivoire to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations 2012 and to qualification for the 2013 edition, following an epic double confrontation with Senegal. The third contender Alexandre Song made the big move to Catalonia, to FC Barcelona from Arsenal, his Cameroon’s absence from the Afcon 2012 and 2013 could prove to be a serious handicap for the Indomitable Lions’ defensive midfielder’s chances of success.

Didier Drogba

Marquez needs just one win over Pacquiao to be happy “When you say ‘Muhammad Ali’, you think ‘Joe Frazier’,” the Filipino said. “And I think when you say ‘Manny Pacquiao’, you think ‘Juan Manuel Marquez’.

And when you say ‘Marquez’, you think ‘Manny Pacquiao’.” But neither man is expecting a fifth fight, whatever happens on Saturday. The fourth bout,

they insist, will be the last. “This is the last fight with Manny,” said Marquez. “I don’t know what will happen in the ring, but this is the last time.”


Barros, Jorge Solis and Daniel Ponce De Leon. Farenas, 28, from the Philippines, has lost just once in his past 30 fights. That was in July this year when he challenged WBA superfeatherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama. The fight was stopped in the third round and declared a technical draw after Farens was cut over the right eye. Miguel Vazquez, a Mexican with a record of 32-3; 13, will defend his IBF lightweight title against a 25-year-old Filipino, Mercito Gesta (26-01; 14) who is rated at No 5. Vazquez, 25, won the vacant belt in 2010 and has made four

defences. Vazquez, unlike most Mexicans, is a stylish fighter. Gesta who has been called “the next Pacquiao”. Two undefeated fighters, Javier Fortuna (20-0; 15) and Patrick Hyland (27-0; 12) meet for the interim WBA featherweight title. The 23-year-old Fortuna, a southpaw from the Dominican Republic, beat Yuandale Evans and Cristobal Cruz in his past two fights. Hyland, 29, born Ireland but now based in Newburgh, New York, has beaten the likes of Emmanuel Lucero, Frankie Archuleta and Carlos Fulgencio this year.

Messi’s focus not on breaking Muller’s record, says Villanova

and they could now face the likes of Porto, Arsenal, AC Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Galatasaray in the Round of 16, although Vilanova does not have a preference.

encounter in 2004, but the Mexican rallied to outbox his opponent and eke out a draw. In their second meeting, four years later, Pacquiao knocked down Marquez in the third round, which proved the difference when he won a split decision. Their third bout was adjudged a majority decision victory for the Filipino southpaw, despite his surprisingly unimpressive performance. “I thought Manny won that fight,” Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach said on Wednesday. “But the booing was very loud and very vocal. “Someone said, ‘Why aren’t you smiling? You won the fight’. And I said, ‘It’s very hard to smile when you’re being booed.’” Pacquiao acknowledges that his series of fights with Marquez had been the defining rivalry of his career.


ionel Messi worked out in the gym as his Barcelona team-mates trained this morning, and the Argentinian could yet be fit for Sunday’s match against Real Betis despite being carried off in last night’s UEFA Champions League clash with Benfica. Messi gave Barça a major injury scare in Wednesday night’s goalless draw, colliding with Benfica goalkeeper Artur Moraes and then falling awkwardly in the 84th minute. But the club said last night that the 25-year-old had suffered nothing more than a bruised left

RON JACKSON writes that SuperSport viewers will be able to watch several other top-class fights on the undercard. The talented Yuriorkis Gamboa, undefeated at 21-0, with 16 knockouts, faces Michael Farenas (34-3-4; 26) for the interim WBA junior lightweight title. Gamboa, a 28-year-old Cuban, is a former WBA and IBF featherweight champion. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and now lives in Miami, Florida. It will be his first fight this year but he has beaten highly rated fighters such as Rogers Mtagwa, Jonathon Victor

knee, and have since confirmed that he had been able to work in the gym. The final Group G game was meaningless to Barcelona, forcing coach Tito Vilanova to defend his decision to send Messi on as a 58th-minute substitute. The No10 went into the game one goal shy of Gerd Muller’s record of 85 in a calendar year, but Vilanova denied that played a part in his selection. “He’s not focused on breaking the record that everyone is talking about, if that were the case he would have played against Alaves (in the Copa del

Rey last week) and the full 90 minutes against Benfica. Playing is part of his physical training.” Vilanova made a host of changes for last night’s match, several of them enforced, but Messi’s apparent let-off was not the only good news on the injury front this morning. Andres Iniesta, Alexis Sanchez, Jordi Alba and Dani Alves all took part in training with the rest of the squad, while Eric Abidal was able to return to the field for lighter workouts. Barcelona had already secured top spot in their group,

Lionel Messi



Igali happy with wrestlers Referee wants international flavour for abula


lympic gold medallist, Daniel Igali has heaped praise on athletes who took part in the GrecoRoman wrestling event at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Nigeria. The 38-year-old said he has identified a handful of wrestlers during the event won by Team Delta. But Igali is worried that the powerhouses in wrestling in Nigeria is not evenly distributed following the domination of Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers in the sport. “The sports festival is always an avenue to discover new and young talents. I have seen some very young wrestlers here who will be groomed for future games. Definitely we will be working with them soon. “But as much I’ve seen some very good young talents at this games, it is also of concern that the top performing wrestlers have come from one particular geographical region. I would have loved to see the wrestling talents evenly spread across the country’s geographical regions,” said the former Canadian freestyle wrestler. Igali competed for Nigeria at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada but stayed back in the North American nation, where he got citizenship in 1998. At the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia and 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, he won gold medals for Canada in the freestyle wrestling event. Igali is, at present, the head coach of the Nigerian national wrestling team.


amuel Daudu, Chief Referee of Abula at the ongoing 18 th National Sports Festival (NSF), on Thursday urged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to do more to enhance the promotion of traditional sports. Daudu said in Lagos that traditional sports should be promoted beyond the country’s borders, to enable it to gain international recognition. Daudu noted that Abula has been upgraded and made viable for international competitions, adding that the sport had always been a crowd puller at the ongoing fiesta. “This is an indigenous sport that has its roots in Lagos, lots of awareness had been created across the country about it and people like it so much. “There has been a lot of improvement in the sport, such that like many other festival events, the standard is very high. I believe the sports would appreciate if it is exported to other countries. “It is interesting and unifying and if it gets proper attention, it would go beyond our continent as a representation of Nigeria in the global sports, “ he said. Daudu commended the high skills that were displayed by both Rivers and Bayelsa players, adding that the

standard surpassed what was obtainable at the 17 th edition of the tournament in Port Harcourt in 2011. “This sport is long overdue for adoption in international competitions and I urge the NSC to lend its assistance in promoting it. “This sport is far better than most of the sports we see at the Olympics. It is more entertaining than many events at the Olympics, “ he added. Daudu advised athletes participating in the NSF to be hard working, and to sustain the high standards they had displayed at the festival. Team Rivers proved to be worthy winners of the event at the 2011 NSF by successfully defending its title at the ongoing Games in Lagos. Team Rivers won the gold medals in the male, female and mixed doubles events of Abula.

Official lauds CRS sports development programmes


he Director of Sports, Cross River, Dr Jude Amadi, says the state’s sports development programme is beginning to yield good results going by athletes’ performances at the ongoing National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos. Amadi said in Lagos yesterday that the programme had been on for the past two years adding that its emphasises on talent-hunt at the grassroots level appears to be yielding positive results. “In this country today, it is only Cross Rivers State that has what we call a comprehensive sports development programme, which means going to the grassroots to discover these young lads and train them to stardom; and, I want to tell you that the programme had been on for about two years now. “I want to tell you about the products: the athletes from this programme, in swimming yesterday a 13year-old girl, Abenoka, won silver in the 200 metres event. “And, you will agree with me that she swam with her grandmothers, so to speak; I tell you the truth and I continue to tell people that if we continue this way, if we do not go back to the grassroots, the gap created in Nigerian sports will continue to exist.’’ Amadi urged state governments to pay attention to grassroots sports development as one way of discovering and nurturing future athletes for the country. He commended Gov. Liyel Imoke for being steadfast and focused on the implementation of the state’s sports development programme, saying that in future, Cross River would have the best athletes in the country having laid the foundation for talent-hunt earlier. The director also said Team Cross River had done well at the ongoing games, winning 3 gold, 6 silver and 9 bronze medals and placing 9th on the medals table. “I want to tell you that our programme is yielding dividend and if you go to other sports, especially in athletics, products of our sports development programme have all qualified for the finals. We are building the future and that is our target.”

Action during a traditional wrestling (KOKAWA) between team Rivers (blue), and team Taraba, at the 18th national sports festival, in lagos. Photo: NAN

Plateau joins bid for 2014 NSF P

lateau State has signified interest in playing host to the 19th edition of the National Sports Festival in 2014, can report. Commissioner for Sports Development of Plateau, James Yakubu revealed that his state has spoken to the Nigerian National Sports Commission, which also doubles as the sports

ministry about the bidding process. Yakubu said he spoke to the sports commission’s directorgeneral, Dr Patrick Ekeji, who confirmed that no state has been picked as the next host of the sports festival. “I’m surprised that there are reports that the next host of the sports festival has been decided. But that is not true

because after I spoke to the DG (of the NSC), he told me that they have not decided that yet. “So since it is still open, we are also interested. Plateau State has the capacity to play host to the sports festival,” said Yakubu. Before now, Cross River had already stated its readiness to play host to the 2014 edition of the sports festival. Cross River Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Patrick Ugbe, had said the state has the potential to be a good host. Already, Cross River has a local organising committee in place for the 2014 games.

... As Commissioner praises team, urges good officiating


r James Yakubu, P l a t e a u Commissioner for Sports Development, has praised Team Plateau for putting up commendable performances at the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival. Also, he urged technical officials to stick to international best practices in officiating to allow for the

emergence of the best talents at the Games. Yakubu said Team Plateau had done well so far in the Games as it has won 5 gold, 5 silver and 17 bronze medals and are placed 7th on the medals table. “I am proud of what we have achieved so far. As at the records of yesterday, Plateau was placing 7th. We are leading the whole

northern states. “We do not expect to win all the games .What we expect is to move sports forward in this country. The officiating umpires should be fair. Let’s leave all the games open, so that the best teams can show case themselves. “And, that is how we can pick, from each state, people that will represent

us in international games.” On fair officiating, he said that the nation would get the best athletes from the festival, if officiating of the various games would be open and devoid of biases. So far, he said that athletes had been fantastic but was quick to add that prospective talents were

easily spotted where the standard of officiating had not been as good. “The standard of the athletes as individuals is fantastic. It’s very good. But, if you talk about the standard of officiating is zero. “Once you do not allow the best teams to play, you will not know and you just asked the question, how we

can pick players for the next future. “But, How can we do that when these issues of what is happening is happening. There is bureaucracy in sports, the civil service. The only way we can have a way forward, I mean, is to have a genuine officiating team. “Let the best man win, I have been saying that and I will remain an advocate for this, and I will keep preaching until the best thing is done.’’



Quick CrossWord (85)

Say what?

Here are some Ultra Quick Crosswords. Can you do all three in five minutes? (II) ACROSS 1 Cofirmation (5) 5 Lashed (5) 7 Long firearm (5) 8 Shelter (3) 9 Absorbent cloth (5) 10 Mamma __, Abba song (3) 12 Roof’s overhang (5) 13 Company of herons (5) 14 Garish (5)

SUDOKU Getting Started Each sudoku puzzle is a 9 by 9 grid of horizontal and vertical rows, evenly separated into 9 squares with 9 spaces each. Instead of word clues, each puzzle’s solution is determined by the pattern of the numbers already filled in you. You solve the puzzle by filling in the missing digits so that, when completed, each row and each square will have all the number from 1 to 9; each number will appear in exactly nine spaces within each puzzle.

Yesterday’s answer

DOWN 1 Kitting stitch (4) 2 Behind the scene (3-3) 3 Coast on a bike (9) 4 Boundary (4) 6 Jumper (8) 10 Light fog (4) 11 Exploited (4)


Yesterday’s solution

People enjoy throwing tomatoes to each other during the "VI Tomatina Colombiana" festival. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Mikel handed three-match ban


helsea midfielder John Obi Mikel was yesterday suspended for three matches and fined £60 000 (74 320 euros) for clashing with match officials following the controversial 3-2 defeat to Manchester United. Mikel was reported to have stormed into the officials' dressing room at Stamford Bridge after the Premier League match in October following accusations that referee Mark Clattenburg had racially abused the Chelsea midfielder. But the FA decided there was "no case to answer" over the allegation Clattenburg said "shut up you monkey" to Mikel and the official was clear of all charges. Mikel had admitted using threatening and/or abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour in the official's changing room at the end of the game at Stamford Bridge on October 28, said the Football Association. "Chelsea's John Obi Mikel has been given a three-match suspension to begin with immediate effect and fined £60 000 following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today," said an FA statement. "The Regulatory Commission's independent chairman Christopher Quinlan QC emphasised that the Independent Regulatory Commission accepted, as did The FA, that at the time he threatened the referee the player genuinely believed that the referee had racially abused him. "But for that factor the suspension would have been significantly longer. Subsequently The FA investigated the allegation that the referee racially abused the player and found that there was not a case for him to answer." Mikel's suspension will take effect immediately, ruling the Nigeria international out of domestic duty until December 26. The 25-year-old, who signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea on Wednesday, will miss Saturday's trip to Sunderland, but will be available when his club compete in the Club World Cup in Japan next week.


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Jude Egbas is one of those young Nigerians who is very passionate about galvanizing the minds of other young Nigerians to action through his timely, satirical and witty articles. One of his most memorable pieces ‘Everybody Loves Abati’, comically captures Reuben Abati playing ‘protector’ to President Jonathan, and how he gradually losses relevance after a more vicious ‘watch dog’ is hired. Trained as a Brand and Communications Expert, Egbas work has enjoyed great appeal in the online media. He was a regular contributor for Sahara Reporters for about 3 years, and is currently the managing Editor of

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE The President doesn't sit in court to imprison people. There are institutions set up to do that...If there are areas where things are not being done right, journalists should follow up. –– Mr. Labaran Maku, Minister of Informmation, reacting to Transparency International's poor ranking of Nigeria on its corruption index


platform to air their views on subjects relevant to the growth of Nigeria.

This week, he tells the story of a father who sends a letter to his unborn child. Urging the child not to make the same judgment errors his parent’s generation made, he completes the letter by prompting the child to grow up quickly because Nigeria needs him. This perhaps is a call for all Nigerian youths. It is with pleasure that I introduce another young person Mr. Jude Egbas, following in the footsteps of Yemi Adamolekun, Auwal S. Anwar, Elnathan John, Japheth Omojuwa, Zainab Usman, and Ogunyemi Bukola - all youths that give me hope that future generations will not make the mistakes of previous generations.

your mortal bodies! Your future begins today. Several years ago, I and my generation were also labeled the “Leaders of tomorrow”. See where that has brought us! That appellation remains, in my view, a curse. Those who called us “The Leaders of tomorrow” are still holding onto leadership positions with the last drops of their blood, as our own future erodes before our eyes. Actually, my Generation preferred to play football on the streets or dirt pitches on polling days while politicians stuffed fake ballot papers into ballot boxes. On election days, we also slouched on the sofas in our living rooms, watching the latest Movies or catching Live Football action, while our futures were collectively compromised and seized by those who referred to us as the “Leaders of tomorrow”. We were blessed with some of the most enthralling communication gadgets you could find in the shops at the time—Iphones, Blackberrys, Ipads and a host of other handheld wonders, but we never fully utilized the powers innate in these gadgets to make society a better place. One of our greatest undoing. Some members of our generation also aided the political class in snatching ballot boxes into the bushes, ‘commando-style’, and inflating election figures in favour of a certain political party big wig, subject to a miserly fee. It was an error of Judgment that cost my generation dearly—it was an error of Judgment that has ensured that all public utilities have gone comatose and infrastructural improvements exist only in the realms of our imaginations. It was a grave error of judgment that still rankles to this day. So, gird your loins and get politically active pretty quickly. And talking about loins, Mum hates sagging trousers, and so do I. And not just because we think there is a reason why God avails everyone of some buttocks (to keep their pair of trousers in place), we also consider it indecent to allow everyone glean the colour of your briefs from a mile. If

you are interested in taking back your country, you have to look and act the part from the first day. ‘Responsibility’ should be your watchword. Avoid candidates who appear during electioneering campaigns, wearing their ‘shoeless status’, like a badge of honour. Reject acronyms like NEEDS, SEEDS and UBE. Every politician who arrives your door-step with a sack load of these acronyms and buzzwords like ‘Fresh Air’ and ‘Transformation’ and without shoes to boot; was never prepared for office in the first place. Visionary leaders do not bore the electorate with a potpourri of mantra and buzzwords and do not eat Cassava bread either, trust me. You are allowed occasional visits to the Cinema and the Malls during your pre-teen and teen years , but please, reeling out the names of every movie and their creepy story lines was not why God brought you to Nigeria. Watch and listen to the News, engage your peers in civic discourses and seek out creative ways to make your country a better place. Like I wrote earlier, you haven’t arrived the wrong country. Not yet. But if you dwell on the mistakes your Mum’s generation and I indulged in, the ‘wrong country’ may well be your lot. Your chants of ‘Aluta’ should not end within the precincts of the University. You should be able to bring those slogans and deeds from the Campus to bear on the political landscape. And as much as I recommend that you watch Football (because it is the beautiful game and Daddy loves football), remember that life is worth more than the round leather game. Draw life and managerial lessons from every game you watch. It is a ready excuse I flaunt around when quizzed on why I am such a Footie addict. Now, Goodnight Donnell, and do have a sound sleep. And, while I pray you sleep like a baby, I urge that you grow up quickly enough because your Nation needs you—and fast! Yours Sincerely, Big Daddy.

introduced by

NASIR EL-R UF AI EL-RUF UFAI ON FRID AY FRIDA one of Nigeria’s fastest growing blogs tailored towards giving younger people a

A letter to my unborn child

By Jude Egbas NOTE: To be read to Donnell by his Mum; a few hours after he has arrived Nigeria and shortly before bedtime; to the accompaniment of Tupac Shakur’s song of a similar title….. Dear Donnell, elcome to your cot. It was the best we could find around, and welcome to Nigeria—we are the Giant of Africa! You are probably wondering at this point why mum is reading this letter to you with the aid of a candle in a dimly lit room…. I can explain: it is raining out there and I am unable to fetch us the night’s gasoline because of what the weather man called ‘inclement weather’. Coming from Heaven where it is all bright lights; and where angels serenade you before bedtime and shortly before you wake up, in those cadence laden celestial voices, you could be forgiven for wondering if you have arrived the wrong country. No, you haven’t. At about the same time you found your way to our home, your peers landed in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Liberia. So, it could have been worse, you see. You may want to replace those clasped fists and furrowed brow with a glint in your eyes at this point. Thank You, baby! Several years ago when I arrived Nigeria in the ‘80s, I did also feel like I had ended up in the wrong country. But over the years, I have had to quit expecting my country to change overnight. I had since discarded the garb of self-pity. That, my little boy, should be the spirit you carry with you as you learn the ropes in life. So, once the rain simmers , I would scurry to the petrol station and fetch us a week’s worth of gasoline. I say ‘a week’, because we will ration the petrol to the very last drop. Yes, you heard that right! (my apologies for raising my voice there). The Generator will come on at 7pm every night and go off at 2am— once we are certain that the mosquitoes have fled to other victims in the


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Jude Egbas neighborhood and the heat levels have become bearable. And we are doing this just for you; with all the love in our hearts. Before you found your way into our home, I was in the annoying habit of pleading with Mum on most nights to switch off the Generator shortly after the curtains had been drawn on her favourite late evening soap—‘Tinsel’ and the BBA daily highlights. And ‘No’, we are not mean. On the contrary, we mean well for you. I have acquired an inverter which should store power for your delight during the day until we return from our places of work to get the Generator rolling at 7pm. And during weekends, because Daddy loves Football (and Mum is beginning to love football too, although she supports a rival team—Chelsea), the Generator comes on earlier—at 2pm, and keeps buzzing till 2am. As you grow older, we may tweak the rules a bit. The Generator may come on at 4pm on weekdays, just so you can catch the latest on ‘Cartoon Network’ or ‘Disney’. But no more! While you are at school, please do not let your teachers regale you and your friends with lines like: “You are the Leaders of tomorrow”. Abhor being so tagged with every fiber in

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 07, December, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 07, December, 2012 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 07, December, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 07, December, 2012 Edition