Page 1

Vol. 10 No. 93

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Jimadal Akhir 28, 1434 AH

1,000 PDP stalwarts defect to ANPP in Yobe


>> 39

Lawmakers query N3bn CBN transactions By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives yesterday queried the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over financial transactions of over N3 billion without regard to due process. The House committee on Public Accounts chaired by Hon. Solomon Adeola expressed dissatisfaction with the documents tendered by the apex bank’s officials to back up the transactions even as it directed CBN to produce all relevant documents within the next 48 hours. The bank, represented by its Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Mr. Suleiman Barau, responded to several audit queries raised against the CBN by the office of the Auditor General of the Federation over the years. The lawmakers requested for relevant documents backing the N2.8billion the Contd on Page 2

L-R: Yobe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Gaidam, in a handshake with Senator Adamu Talba, one of several Yobe PDP leaders who moved to the ANPP, at a ceremony in Damaturu yesterday.

2015: Northern govs, Reps unite against Jonathan Want Dokubo, Kuku arrested

By Umar Muhammad Puma, Ibrahim Kabiru Sule, Abuja & Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


he Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) yesterday requested security agencies in the country to arrest leader of the Niger Delta militant group, Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo, over his recent

statement on President Goodluck Jonathan and the 2015 presidential race. Dokubo had at a news conference in Abuja last weekend said that Nigeria would be in crisis if Jonathan does not win re-

election as President. According to Dokubo, “the day Goodluck is no longer the President, all of us who are on sabbatical will come back and there will be no peace, not only in the Niger Delta but everywhere; if they say it is an empty boast let them wait and see.” Describing the proclamation

as treasonable, the NSGF through its Chairman, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, noted that Dokubo’s position is “inciting” adding that, “by now, the security agencies should have arrested him for treason.” Aliyu spoke yesterday in Minna when he received members of the House of

Representatives committee on Education led by Honourable Aminu Sule who paid him a courtesy call at Government House. According to Aliyu, “you do not win election by frightening people and even if you win, the victory will be pyrrhic. Contd on Page 2

My husband would’ve Okorocha formally transformed Nigeria dumps APGA for — Turai >> 3 APC >> 5




Jonathan decries violation of rule of law in Africa


By Ikechukwu Okaforadi























resident Goodluck Jonathan has condemned what he described as routine violation of rule of law in Africa, regretting that democratic institutions on the continent has not been strengthened enough. Addressing the South African Parliament yesterday during a state visit to that country, Jonathan also enjoined African legislatures to insist on respect for the rule of law and accountability in the conduct of governmental affairs across in their respective countries. He pointed out that more than ever, Africans must take their destinies in their hands, adding that the time was ripe for countries of on the continent, particularly Nigeria and South Africa, to focus their minds on how to bring about a renaissance Africa.

*Urges leaders to prioritise economic emancipation “We have many more democratic nations in Africa than at any other time in our history. Sadly, however, democratic institutions are still weak in many African countries; there are also conflicts and routine violations of the rule of law. “These are being addressed by our sub-regional and regional organizations on the basis of commonly agreed peace and security protocols”, he said. Speaking further, he enjoined African leaders to work towards the attainment of economic emancipation for Africans, arguing that the must work together to put an end to the exploitation and exploration of Africa’s resources for export without any value added. According to him, “African

countries must transform from being primary sources of raw material into producers to create jobs and opportunities for our people. “We must check the loss of Africa’s trained manpower to already developed countries, these are the very people we need to scale up our economies as well as improve our public and social services.” While admitting that in the global scheme of things, Africa has emerged as the new frontier for trade and investment, the President said this has provided another opportunity for the continent to embark on the road to economic emancipation, hence the political liberation of the continent is almost complete. He said in the context of this new interest in Africa, it was imperative for African leaders

across the continent to recognise the extra burden of responsibility expected of them to manage the situation in a manner that would be beneficial to the people. “We must check the illicit transfer of huge sums of money to the developed world from Africa through sharp practices such as transfer pricing, tax evasion and corruption, all of which contribute to Africa’s economic underperformance. “We must work together, to promote trade and investment among our countries and build trans-national infrastructure in such critical sectors as trade, telecommunications, and transportation in order to fast-track the process of people-centred, continental integration”, Jonathan said.

Lawmakers query N35bn CBN transactions

Jonathan's 'Big Brother' gamble, Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest










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

Phones for News: 070-37756364 09-8734478

Contd from Page 1 bank claimed to have used for the renovation of the CBN's Port Harcourt branch; the N23 million paid out to a tenant for the renovation of the bank's Governor residence without any agreement; and the N50 million for the renovation of the same residence when the then Governor wanted to pack in, less than four years after the last renovation. The committee also demanded the rationale for the upward review of another contract from the initial N74 million to N79.6

million shortly after it was awarded and the whopping N848million for the purchase of property for the National Planning Commission (NPC) while items worth several millions of naira said to have been supplied to its branch offices were nowhere to be found as contained in the audit report. However the Director of Procurement of the Bank, Gbadamosi I.O, told the members of the committee that the CBN may not be able to lay its hands on some of the documents being requested, especially the ones concerning the official residence

of the Governor, because of the five year life span of archives of record keeping system of the bank. The Deputy Governor however calmed down the nerves of the members who reacted swiftly that he would go and make frantic efforts to produce the requested documents and report back to the committee. He declared that "I was not in the office when all these happened,am only defending the institution". But the Committee gave the CBN the option of either producing all the relevant documents on all the transactions or refunding all

the amounts involved into the Consolidated Accounts within a stipulated time, just as it directed officials of the NPC to appear before it next week Monday over property allegedly purchased for it by the CBN. Adeola said: "We have invited the CBN on several occasions to come and defend the queries but they refused and today they came with documents that cannot stand the test of time. We are giving them the last chance, after which the Committee will go ahead and rule over their case in accordance with the laws of the land”.

2015: Northern govs, Reps unite against Jonathan Contd from Page 1 “We should bring discipline to our politics; we should be a nation of rules”. He also said that Nigerians and its leaders should cultivate the habit of respecting its security agencies and give them the support that will make them successful in their assignments. Also yesterday, the House of Representatives urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to investigate and prosecute Presidential Adviser on NigerDelta Amnesty Programme, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, for purportedly making inciting statements capable of causing disaffection among Nigerians. Kuku was reported to have said in the United States that there would be chaos in the country if Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015. The House also mandated its committee on Public Safety and National Security to liaise with the IGP and keep it abreast with any development on the subject matter and condemned the statements "in the strongest terms." In a motion moved by Aliyu Sani Madaki under matters of urgent public importance, titled, “Need to check the utterances of some Nigerians capable of causing

disaffection among people in the country,” he regretted that, "while Nigerians are fervently praying for peace in Nigeria, some Nigerians are already out sowing a seed of discord amongst people," adding that if not checked, the statements credited to Kuku and Dokubo were "capable of creating disunity and disaffection among the good people of Nigeria.” On its part, the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) responding to Dokubo’s statement, said the north is not worried “because we have all its takes to protect the interest of the region and country.” The AYF National President, Gambo Ibrahim Gunjugu, in a statement said that, “Asari must understand and recognize the fact that we in the north are not afraid of war or violence that he is declaring, but following recent antecedents in the country we are of the view that this is the time for well meaning Nigerians to put their heads together and work for peace and the socio economic development of the country. “We are looking forward to the 2015 elections with minds of democrats who believe in the democratic tenents that will usher in socio -economic development for a united Nigeria where all youths in Nigeria will

be able to achieve their potentials. “We believe that power comes from God and he will give it to whoever he pleases anytime he pleases. “Ordinarily, we would not join issues with the likes of Asari that are known for the antecedents but let it not be known that as youth from the north, we are not afraid of anything that Asari and his cohorts can dish out, we have what is takes to protect the interest of the north and the country as whole. " All we are concerned about is to work with other stakeholders in the country towards the return of peace and normalcy in the region and by extension the country.” Also, Executive Secretary of Anti-Corruption Network, and a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, yesterday called on the federal government to treat the threat by the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Dokubo, with all seriousness. Melaye in a statement in Abuja said the civil rights community was expecting what Jonathan would do on the threat from a man "who has carried arms against the Federal Government of Nigeria." He said, "were it to be any of us in the civil society groups that

made such an outrageous statement, by now, we would have been invited by the SSS and the Police and we would have been accused of threatening the security and peace of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. "How can a private citizen who has carried arms against the Federal Government of Nigeria before, that the country became so magnanimous to grant him amnesty, now categorically state that if Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015, apparently, there will be no Nigeria again. "We are using this opportunity to call on the IGP, DG of SSS and DG of NIA to place Dokubo-Asari on caution and let him be made to write a statement and that statement must be investigated.” On its part, the Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) urged the Federal Government to immediately call Kuku and Dokubo to order for what the group described as their “inflammatory media statements capable of igniting instability and disunity. According to HURIWA, “the silence of President Jonathan in the last 48 hours since Mr. Dokubo made the threat of war should he (Jonathan) not be re-elected in 2015, is absolutely unacceptable and incongruous.”



State of the nation: NSCIA, emirs meet in Kaduna From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


R-L: Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Minister of International Developmental Cooperation, Gunilla Carlssin, Swedish Leader of Delegation and Minister of Finance Mr. Anders Borg and Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria, Svante Klauder, during the courtesy visit to the State House by Swedish delegation in Abuja yesterday. Photo: Joe Oroye

My husband would’ve transformed Nigeria, says Turai Yar’adua From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


ormer First Lady, Hajiya Turai Umaru Musa Yar'adua, said at the weekend in Katsina that late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, would have transformed Nigeria but for the ailment which eventually claimed his life. Turai who spoke at a lecture organised in honour of her

husband over the weekend in Katsina, noted “had it been my husband is alive, he would have made a difference because he has focus”. “Although my husband late Yar'adua was sick, he gave his very best for Nigeria. As the governor of Katsina State, Umaru gave his best for the state. He was an honest man who believed in service”, she said. She added that the late

president was a leader who will not award contract without having the money to pay for it, adding “there was a time I approached him that people are complaining that the government was slow but he said to me people can say whatever they like but I will not give out contract if I have no money to pay”. “The late Umaru was kind of a leader who would go out and monitor projects. I could recall when I used to join him to supervise

the project at the Umaru Musa 'Yar'adua University, Turai 'Yar'adua Hospital and the roads”, she added. According to her, “Yar'adua shunned material things while his slogans are purely service to humanity”, disclosing that “there was a time he said to me Turai, I pity you because when I die, you will have quarrels with my relatives because they will think I have so much money”.

High cost of governance: Senate to scrap NEIC By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


pparently reacting to the public outcry over high recurrent expenditure, the senate yesterday moved to scrap the National Economic Intelligence Committee (NEIC), as it passed for second reading an executive Bill which seeks to repeal the law establishing the committee. Senate President David Mark, who pointed out that the Committee was relevant at the

time it was set up, however argued that the dynamics of the current economic reality has made the committee redundant. He said their duties have also been absorbed into other existing acts, adding that efforts is also being made to downsize government structures. He said since their duties are already taken by existing acts and agencies, there was no need to continue maintaining the committee. Earlier in his lead debate,

Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma Egba, said the Bill merely seeks to remove the Act establishing the NEIC from the statute book since it has outlived its usefulness. He recalled that the Decree was enacted during the General Sani Abacha regime, pointing out the purposes it was meant to serve as including recommending increase or decrease in price for manufactured goods. He added that other responsibilities which the

committee performed were enforcement of the implementation of existing tax legislations, working out details on the method of enforcing implementation of the annual budget, among others. Senator Adeyeye Olusola, ACN Osun state, who supported the motion, said to run the government well, the size of government must be reduced, adding that agencies should not be allowed to proliferate due to ineffectiveness of government.

Protesting staff barricade NASS over ‘exploitation’ By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


rotesting staff of National Assembly yesterday barricaded the entrance into the senate chambers, in protest against alleged illegal deductions from their salaries and diversion of their training funds by management. The protesting staff who chanted various protest songs while parading through the premises of National Assembly complex, later ambushed the

Issues 21-day ultimatum

Senate President David Mark, who was coming out from the plenary apparently disrupted by the noise of the protesters. Attempt by other principal officers of the senate, including the Deputy Senate Leader, the Senate Leader, to address the protesters was resisted, as they insisted on listening only to the Senate President. Baring their grievances to the Senate President, the leader of the

protesters, Comrade Chris Odoh, accused the management of National Assembly of subjecting them to oppression with the aim to impoverish them for selfish gains. He said it has become a tradition in National Assembly that each time an approval is given for staff welfare, the management will conceal and divert it to their personal pockets. While recalling that the

management of National Assembly led by Salisu Maikasua, attempted to divert the 52% basic salary for federal civil servants, which was approved by President Jonathan, Odoh said they are protesting the diversion of funds appropriated for their capacity building. He added that similar deductions have been witnessed in the guise of pension, taxes, etc, claiming that those deductions have been diverted into personal pockets by the National Assembly management.

he Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and northern traditional leaders met in Kaduna yesterday to deliberate on contending national issues, according to a source close to the meeting. The meeting held at the National Secretariat of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) where the emirs, religious leaders and others converged from 9 am and the meeting lasted several hours, chaired by the venue told our reporter that the meeting was chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar. “I am sorry I cannot give you any details with regards to the meeting but I can tell you that the meeting was organized by NSCIA, Traditional leaders and other stakeholders,” the source said. A communiqué was expected at the end of the meeting.

Gunmen kill 55 in fresh Bama attack


unmen have raided the north-eastern town of Bama, leaving 55 people dead, reports said yesterday. The gunmen killed 22 police officers, 14 prison officials, two soldiers and four civilians, while 13 of the group's own members were also killed, military spokesman Sagir Musa said. Gunmen freed 105 prison members during the raid, which began about 5:00am (local time) and lasted almost five hours, Mr Musa said. Witnesses said Bama's police station, military barracks and government buildings were burned to the ground. Bama is a small, remote town in north-eastern Borno state, where Boko Haram was reported to have launched an uprising in 2009.

Niamey crash: NAF releases names of pilots By Joy Baba


he Nigerian Air Force yesterday released the names of its pilots who were killed in the ill-fated Alpha jet that crashed in Dargol village, Niamey, Niger Republic on Monday. The deceased officers are Squadron Leader Benjamin Bem Ado, a member of the 50th regular course of the Nigerian Defence Academy and Flying Officer Ayuba Joab Layelmeson, a member of the 57the regular course.


Jonathan's 'Big Brother' gamble involved with the project said it is being stifled by government's lack of "seriousness", even as security challenges tighten the grip on parts of the country.

By Aminu Imam


n one of the most far-reaching policies ever designed in Nigeria's history to invade the privacy of its citizens, the Goodluck Jonathan administration secretly, and in open violation of lawful contracting procedures, awarded an Israeli firm, Elbit Systems, a $40million (N6.4 billion) contract to help it spy on citizens' computers and Internet communications under the guise of intelligence gathering and national security. Elbit, a firm with headquarters in Haifa, Israel announced the contract award a fortnight ago, during a global press release, and although the company was silent on the Nigerian destination of the contract, multiple and very reliable sources in the administration have since confirmed that Nigeria is indeed the "unnamed African country in Africa" to be supplied the Wise Intelligence Technology (WiT) system‌"for Intelligence Analysis and Cyber Defense". The attempt by this administration to invade the privacy of its citizens, not surprisingly, has generated a deluge of criticism from a crosssection of Nigerians, given the fact that Nigerian citizens that use the computer and Internet have risen dramatically within a decade, from a mere 200,000 Internet users in 2002 to 47 million this year and the 10th in a global ranking that make them 27 percent of Africa's total Internet users, far ahead of Egypt and South Africa, according to data from the Global Internet user, one of the Internet audit groups. This development has not always gladdened public officials in Nigeria many of whom have expressed open displeasure at the use of the Internet by social media activists and the power of its possibilities as an empowering medium for popular communication. The calls for regulation have been loud in both the administration and in the Nigerian legislature. Elbit says it will take it two years to complete the project, by which time it claimed, the administration will have "a highly advanced end-to-end solution, [to] support every stage of the intelligence process, including the collection of the data from multiple sources, databases and sensors, processing of the information, supporting intelligence personnel in the analysis and evaluation of the information and disseminating the intelligence to the intended recipient‌[that] will be integrated with various data sources, including Elbit Systems' Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) solution and Elbit Systems' PC Surveillance Systems (PSS), an advance

President Goodluck Jonathan solution for covert intelligence gathering." It could be recalled that following the August 26 suicide bombing of the United Nations House in Abuja, which is the second of such devastating attacks inside the Federal Capital Territory, the seat of power, President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the deployment of Israeli Security experts to supervise the security of Aso Rock. Aside from Aso Rock, it was gathered that wholesale surveillance and reconnaissance, was being carried out on federal government assets like the NNPC TOWERS, CBN, National Assembly, Supreme Court, Finance Ministry, Police Force Headquarters, Federal Secretariat, SFG office, foreign embassies and others with a view to coming out with a new security blueprint that will counter the element of surprise being used by the emerging terror groups across the nation, especially in the North. To realise this objective, it was gathered that Israeli security experts who had made several convincing presentations on how to checkmate the Boko Haram menace, and these agencies, are convinced that they have the

wherewithal to checkmate the spate of bomb blasts now ravaging the country. The administration had indicated in the 2013 budget that it would procure a Wise Intelligence Network Harvest Analyzer System, Open Source Internet Monitoring System and Personal Internet Surveillance System at a cost of N9.496 Billion ($61.26 million). The earliest hint that the Jonathan administration had desires to invade the privacy of its citizens surfaced in early April when researchers at the Munk School for Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, in Canada alerted the world that Nigeria, Egypt, and Kenya were deploying Internet surveillance and censorship technology developed by an American company, Blue Coat, which specializes in on-line security. If the Federal Government's plan sees the light of day, Blue Coat's technology will allow the government to invade the privacy of journalists, innocent citizens who browse the internet and their sources. Its censorship devices use Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), a technology employed by many western Internet Service Providers to manage network traffic and suppress unwanted connections. Civic groups have kicked


If the Federal Government's plan sees the light of day, Blue Coat's technology will allow the government to invade the privacy of journalists, innocent citizens who browse the internet and their sources.

against DPI because, they say, it makes it possible for censors to look into every single Internet Protocol packet and subject it to special treatment based on content (censored or banned words) or type (email or Voice Over Internet Protocol). DPI not only threatens the principle of Net Neutrality and the privacy of users, civic groups say, it makes single users identifiable and, in countries that flout the rule of law and violate human rights, often exposes them to arbitrary imprisonment, violence or even torture. The new collaborative security stance of government, according to investigations, showed government's realization that the security agencies in the country can not do it alone without assistance from foreign experts, especially those that have tackled the menace for so many years. Recall also, that a multibillion naira Federal Government project for the installation of security cameras in Abuja and Lagos has become dormant three years after it was awarded under the National Public Service Communication System (NPSCS). The Federal Government, in August 2010 awarded the $470 million (N73.9 billion) contract to Chinese company ZTE for the installation of 2,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the two cities with a central control unit at the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, aimed at helping security agencies in dealing with security challenges. Although, the project, which was supposed to be completed in July 2011, none has been put to use and at least 130 of the units have been vandalised in Abuja. Sources

The project has long been mired in controversy, and a House of Representatives committee instituted an investigation in December 2011, following allegations of breach of the due process in awarding the contract. No report has been made public by the House yet. This development has led to a simmering cold war between the Federal Government and Lagos state government, and is said to be the reason why the Presidency has stopped the Lagos Safe City Project, a scheme aimed at providing 10,000 solar-powered closed circuit cameras all over the metropolis to help to reduce crime in the state. Curiously, a police source at the State Criminal Investigation Department told a journalist, who was making enquiries on the issue that security cameras had never been used in their investigations. "The only time we make use of CCTV cameras is when our investigation takes us to a hotel or mall with security cameras. But if it is a crime committed on a Lagos road, forget it," the source said. With the contract awarded to Elbit for about $40million, it is unclear if the National Assembly will raise questions as to what becomes of the extra $21million earmarked for the project. Investigations indicate that in awarding the contract to the Israeli firm, no tenders or calls for bids were made, just as there were no public announcements. The contract was awarded following a proposal from a single vendor who dictated the contract sum and the terms of the contract. The procedure for public procurement of services, as stipulated by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Nigerian agency charged with the duty of ensuring transparency in all matters concerning government contracts, were largely ignored. In addition, there are no public records indicating that the BPP approved this contract. The manner of award directly contravenes the 2007 Public Procurement Act. While the Act gives room for single source contracts, the Elbit contract met none of the requirements under which such special contracts could be awarded. Section 47 (3) (iii) of the 2007 Act stipulates that single source contracts are to be awarded in emergency situations such as "natural disasters or a financial crisis".


UN bombings: FG arraigns four suspects By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


lmost two years after the suicide bomb attack on the Headquarters of the United Nations in Abuja, the federal government yesterday arraigned four terror suspects believed to have been involved in the plot, before a Federal High Court in Abuja. The suspects, Mr. Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mukailu, DanAzumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu, were slammed with a four count-charge wherein they were accused of agreeing amongst themselves and with others still at large, on or about August 20, 2011, to commit an illegal act which resulted in the death of 23 persons, contrary to section 96(a) of the Penal Code Law. They were also alleged to have knowingly assisted and facilitated the activities of persons engaged in act of terrorism, thereby committing a punishable offence. On counts three of the charges, the suspects were alleged to have deliberately and maliciously damaged an international organization thereby violating the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011. They were also accused of being involved in the release of dangerous substance that caused explosion endangering 23 human lives at the United Nations building. This offence also runs contrary to the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011. At the trial, the prosecutor, Mrs. I. Ideva, a Chief State Counsel, applied that the charges be read to the suspects who claimed that they do not understand English language. A court interpreter had to be invited to relay proceedings to the suspects in Hausa language before their pleas were taken. All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges. The bomb explosion which caused massive devastation to the building's lower floors, also destroyed offices of 26 humanitarian and development agencies of the UN which are housed there. More than 73 persons including staff of the UN, visitors and staff of private businesses operating from the building received fatal injuries while scores of others lost their lives. In September 2011, Nigeria's state security service (SSS), accused one Mr. Astrid Mantuk as the mastermind of the attack and offered a huge sum of money as reward to anyone with useful nformation that will lead to his arrest. Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mikailu, DanAzumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu, who were docked Tuesday were arrested that September and dragged before an Abuja magistrate court where they were charged with organizing the bombing. They had been in custody since then. The trial judge, Justice Gladys Olotu, adjourned the matter to Tuesday, 11th June, 2013.


Okorocha formally joins APC G

ov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo state yesterday formally expressed support for the All Progressives Congress (APC), urging the people of the state to join him. Okorocha made the declaration at a rally in Owerri as part of activities marking his two years in office. He said his intention of joining APC was to ensure that the people continued to benefit from the dividends of democracy. He

explained that APGA had engaged in the merger and not in alliance with any party, noting that a two party system was good for the country's democracy. The governor told the crowd that came to witness his declaration that the state had witnessed more development in two years than in the past 12 years. Okorocha also told them that APC would bring the state closer to the ``federal eye''.

The moves by the governor to merge APGA with the APC has generated heat among APGA stakeholders. Seven state governors were present at the rally to show solidarity with the governor. Speaking at the occasion, Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos commended Okorocha for his bold move, describing APC as the solution to the numerous challenges facing the country. Gov. Umaru Al-Makura of

Nasarawa state described the governor as a true democrat who would not relent in delivering the dividends of democracy to his people and urged them to support Okorocha. On his part, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti observed that Okorocha had brought some noticeable changes in the state, saying he would through the APC bring more transformation. (NAN)

L-R: Baba Adinin of Lagos, Alhaji Shehu Abou; Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi; and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III, at the National Executive Council meeting of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo NAN

Niger govt, Bank of Agriculture to inject N2bn in agriculture


iger state government has agreed to partner with the Bank of Agriculture to help farmers in the state with the provision of N1billion for mechanised agriculture while the Bank will give equal amount for the same project which will engage 10,000 farmers and create 50,000 additional jobs.

The Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu made this known yesterday in Minna when the Managing Director of the Bank of Agriculture, Dr Kudu Santuraki and his team paid him a courtesy visit. Under the agreement, 5500 hectares of land would be cultivated in the scheme designed to engage 250,000 farmers over the next two

years. He said the government's transformation of the agriculture was aimed at making farming attractive to farmers especially youths adding that it would also reduce unemployment of young school graduates. Aliyu also said that the state rice consortium alone would make it

possible for more than 10,000 additional rice farmers to be engaged to more than triple the hectare-age of land put under cultivation in the rice producing areas of the state. He commended the Bank of Agriculture for the support given to the state, adding that this has improved farming in the state.

Civil Defence officers owed since July 2012 By Lambert Tyem


taff of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) engaged in July 2012 have cried out that they are dying of hunger due to non-payment of their salaries and allowances since recruitment. The officers who are scattered across the federation told to Peoples Daily exclusively that some of them collected salaries and allowances once, twice and three times while majority have not collected a kobo since their employment in July 2012. Some of the affected NSCDC staff who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that the authorities have failed to give satisfactory reasons for their non payment but instead,

cronies and relatives of some top government functionaries among the victims, were preferentially paid regular salaries while others have to bribe their way through. Some senior officers who spoke exclusively on condition of anonymity blamed their plight on unchecked corruption in the payment system of NSCDC and government in general, and lamented their condition since employment. "I am a graduate recruited last year July, 2012 but up till date, I have not received a dime as salaries or allowances. We went through three months training after recruitment before starting work without salaries. " Some of us have to go to our respective states for the training.

We paid for registration fees, certificates of training, Uniforms, shoes, cap, belts, buttons etc before and after graduation. We were posted to different Local councils within the states and all these we witnessed. "Not enough, some of us were selected for arms training at our various states command headquarters. We have to pay again for registration and other materials for training for a month and yet no salaries. Now some of us have spent five, six , seven, eight and nine months respectively without salaries and yet we go to work regularly as expected. "I, on behalf of my affected NSCDC staff make this appeal passionately to members of the National Assembly and other relevant government

organs to please come to our aid. We are human beings and all working together to build our nation", an Assistant Superintendent stated. Confirming the allegations of non-payment of salaries and allowances, the Corp spokesman, Chief Superintendent Emmanuel Ukeh explained that the problems came from unverifiable bank accounts details provided by the victims. Mr. Ukeh who admitted that the salaries and allowances of the affected new recruits had since been captured in the budget of government, attributed the non payments to other factors like improper placements, transfers and postings as well as meeting the demands of Federal Ministry of Finance with regards to Integrated Payment System (IPS).



Munya 10km road abandoned


President Goodluck Jonathan addressing the joint session of the South African parliament, yesterday in Cape Town. Photo NAN From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


n its effort to revitalize adult education in Nigeria, the Federal Government has earmarked N1 billion for adult education in the country. Minister of State for Education, Nyeson Wike, disclosed this yesterday while declaring open a fiveday workshop organized by the department of continuing education and extension services in conjunction with national commission for mass literacy, adult and non formal education and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held in Bauchi state. Represented by the Deputy Director, Nomadic Education Commission, Alhaji Ibrahim Yemta, the Minister said the money was kept in the custody of UNESCO in order

FG earmarks N1bn for adult education to work with all stake holders to revitalize adult literacy in the country. He said the committee set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to revitalize the adult education is working to meet with stake-holders in the six geo political zones of the country in order to ascertain the actual problems affecting adult education as well as proffering solutions to the problems. Vice Chancellor of University of Maiduguri, who was also represented

by his Deputy, Professor Ibrahim Njodi, in his remark, identified inadequate funding, lack of professional development opportunities for adult educators, inadequate training for adult educators as part of the problems affecting adult education in Nigeria. He said "most contemporary analysts regard illiteracy as a developmental issue because of its link between poverty and illiteracy. Funding is inadequate and inconsistent and is needed for priority

areas such as educator training, monitoring and evaluation. There is a clear and urgent need for investment in capacity development, having a full, sufficiently paid and well qualified professionalized staff, and increasing the demands for adult education professionals. "Majority of adult educators are untrained, especially in basic literacy. "Governments often employ school teachers and others in adult education posts rather than experienced adult educators.�

Dickson commissions SMEDAN office By Etuka Sunday


overnor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson, has promised to stimulate the growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which he described as a critical cornerstone of his government's restoration agenda. A statement by SMEDAN said the Governor made the promise recently while commissioning the

south-south zonal office of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Yenegoa. Dickson who was represented by the Commissioner of Trade and Investment, Hon Ayakeme Masa, noted that the sighting of SMEDANs zonal office in Bayelsa state would no doubt assist in stimulating the growth of MSME's in the state, adding also that, "we shall leverage on your presence in the state to

empower the youths through the creation of wealth and job for them. "I want this sector to blossom in Bayelsa because that is the quickest way that we can create wealth, create employment, enable people to employ themselves and perhaps employ others and then generate skills that our economy really deserves." He thanked the Management of SMEDAN for identifying with the state adding that his government

is ready to assist SMEDA all times, in view of its importance in the success of his administration. Earlier, the acting Director General of SMEDAN, Mr Wale Fasanya, said the office would provide advisory services, trainings as well as updating start ups and existing SMEs with business knowledge, book keeping as well as linking them up with financial institutions for funding.

Olabanji who stated this at the 2013 in-house review meeting and north-east refills workshop organized by the Lake Chad Institute, Maiduguri, said the institute was working towards increasing national wheat production by 90 per cent.

He said the Institute was currently coordinating wheat agricultural transformation agenda where suitable land will be used in Nigeria and produce at least 2.7 to 3.6 million tons of high quality wheat within the next few years. Olabanji noted that LCRI has

not only developed technologies but has extended technologies to farmers. In his remarks, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Buba Biri, said his ministry was set to provide enough fertilizer to farmers in the state.

Research institute harps on quality seeds From David Hassan, Gombe


he Executive Director, Lake Chad Research Institute, Dr. Oluwasina Gbenga Olabanji, has called on farmers in north- east region of the country to consider farming as a major source of livelihood.

ontract for the construction of the 10km road in Munya local government area of Niger State, awarded to Messrs KCN Construction for the rapid socioeconomic-development of the area, has been abandoned. According to the Monitoring and Evaluation Team that visited the site, there was no activity going there as it also gathered that there were dilapidated equipment site which the team said was over grown with weeds. None of the company's officials was available for comments. When contracted, Chairman of the council, Alhaji Danjuma Baje Baro, told the Team led by the Director General, Mallam Iliyasu Dhacko, that he made several complaints to the relevant authorities and that the contractor refused to respond. He appealed to the Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu, to wade into the matter as the concept of the construction of 10kilometre road networks in all the 25 local government areas is one of the landmark achievements of his administration. He added that any attempt to rubbish this laudable step towards the actualization of vision 3:2020 of the state should be discouraged. Nine Kwara communities demand PHCN pre-paid metres Nine communities in Ilorin have called on the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to give them prepaid metres as a solution to the irregular power supply in their areas. A spokesman for the communities, Mr. Alayande Abdulateef, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday that residents were worried over the outrageous PHCN bills being given to customers inspite of incessant blackout. He said residents of the nine communities met and reached an agreement to demand for pre-paid metres from PHCN because of incessant power outage and huge bills. "We are tired of irregular power supply and unethical billings and disconnections. "We demand improvement in the service and billings by PHCN without delay," he said. The commuinties involved are Opomalu/Saboline,Adualere, Isale Dumo, Isale Koko, and Ipata/Ojagboro. Others are Okesuna/Isale-Maliki, Gambari, Mubo, Amilegbe and Adewusi. NAN reports that warning posters were distributed and pasted in many places with the following inscriptions: "No light, no payment" and "Give us pre-paid meters.'' Alhaji Abdulrasheed Ganiyu, a resident of Adewusi, told NAN that the area had been in darkness for seven days. But the Youth Leader of Adewusi, Rasheed Alade, warned the youths of the area not to resort to self help. `` Do not to molest any PHCN official on duty as our demands would be pursued legally," he said. Alade, however, said that bill distribution and disconnection would not be allowed in the area until their demands were meet. (NAN)



Group slams Kaduna ACN over statement on Yero P

Police redeploy commissioners By Lambert Tyem


oordinator of Yero Frontiers Movement (YFM), Abduljalal Jumare, has described as irrational and ridiculous, a recent statement credited to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Kaduna urging Governor Muktar Ramalan Yero to resign his position over foreign loans. R e a c t i n g t o the statement yesterday, Jumare

said that the ACN factional Chairman, Mohammed Soba, “is desperate and using threat as weapon” saying that the era of such politicking is over. Jumare said that no politician was capable of intimidating and the Governor and that aggrieved persons in the state should endeavour to follow the due process in addressing such issues.

According to him, “disgruntled politicians in the state should not waste their time because Governor Ramalan Yero is a man of proven integrity who was never been found wanting in discharging his responsibilities and whatever he intends to do in terms of capital projects he will do it for the interest of the state and his people. “We therefore advise Soba to

focus on issues that will make Kaduna greater instead of creating issues that will heat up the polity. “We also as usual urge the people of Kaduna state to rally round the present administration as it has the intention of transforming the economy for the benefit of the people.”

R-L: Garrison Commander, Nigeria Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Obidah Ethan, receiving a souvenir from Niger state Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu during a courtesy call on the governor, yesterday in Minna.

KRPC builds boreholes for host communities From Mohammed Ibrahim, Kaduna


s part of its social and cooperate responsibility, the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), has built 10 solar powered boreholes with pump heads for Mahuta and surrounding communities.According to the KRPC Managing Director, Bolanle Ayodele,”we plan to commission some important projects that we have completed for our host communities in the next two weeks.”We have embarked on the project of electrification of the Kamazou area and the Kamazou GRA as they have not been connected to the national grid and they have been living in darkness. He spoke at the weekend after receiving the Global Youth Service Day Leadership Award from Journalists Initiatives on Immunization Against Polio (JAP) in collaboration with the National Youth Action for Development and empowerment (NAYADE). According to Ayodele, “next week, we intend

to commission a giant solar powered industrial water borehole with 10 pump heads for Mahuta and its surrounding communities, to alleviate the problem of water that they have been facing.”We will distribute 30, 000 exercise books to primary schools in our

communities for this quarter in a week.”In the coming week, KRPC will be supplying furniture to classrooms in our primary schools in Mahuta and Kamazou areas. ”These are some of the projects that we have in the next two weeks. The fifth edition of the annual youth training

programme will start next month and arrangements have been concluded for the programme to run till November when they will graduate.”He expressed happiness that JAP and NAYADE deemed it fit to recognize the KRPC efforts at youth empowerment and community development.

Electricity: Minister reassures on privatization benefits By Etuka Sunday


inister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, yesterday re-assured investors in the Federal Government power privatization efforts of tremendous benefits at the end of the exercise. The Minister spoke yesterday in Capetown, South Africa, at a programme organized by Nigerians living in that country, as part of activities to host President Goodluck Jonathan. According to him, private ownership of power concerns would thrive on the economic principle of making profit from producing and

distributing energy to all corners of the country. This he said, would change the socio-economic fortunes of Nigeria and Nigerians and reduce the cost of telephony when telecommunication firms stop spending money on running generating sets. Nebo commended the courage and political will exhibited by Jonathan in driving the privatization programme and executing hither-to abandoned electricity projects. He noted that among other things, rural electrification has become a priority of the Jonathan administration, beginning with the

full re-activation of the Rural Electrification Agency. According to him, despite numerous challenges, power generation has doubled under Jonathan’s administration, and will further increase within the next year while transmission is expected to increase by at least 50 per cent during the same period. He also announced that one of the significant areas of proactive action has been in capacity building, with Presidential approval for the recruitment of thousands of engineers, beginning with an initial engagement and training of five hundred young engineers to man the emerging new power sector.

olice authorities yesterday announced the redeployment of eleven commissioners of Police to various commands and formations. The development followed the recent elevation of some senior officers to the rank of commissioners and the retirement of some others. According to Police Spokesman, Frank Mba, the newly redeployed commissioners have been charged to show commitment in the fight against crime and criminality in their new areas as well ensure that they work cordially with the public and to serve as motivation to their subordinate officers in the discharge of their responsibilities. According to Mba, “the InspectorGeneral of has also directed the commissioners to be mindful of the fundamental rights of the citizenry and ensure that complaints are promptly attended to avoid the miscarriage of justice. “He further directed all affected officers to ensure that handing and taking over exercises are completed as at when due. The postings take immediate effect.” The new postings are, Agboola Oshodi-Glover (Kwara), Abubakar Adamu Mohammed (Enugu), Tonye Ebiye Ebitibituwa (Bayelsa), Umaru Shehu (Nasarawa), Hurdi D. Mohammed (Katsina), Sylvester Umeh (PAP, Eastern Port), Kudu Nma (Gombe), Usman Isa (Cooperative), Saidu Madawaki (Border Patrol), Usman Yakubu (Welfare ‘A’ FHQ), Abdulmajid Ali (EOD ‘B’ DEPT, FHQ).

Jigawa spends N2bn on destitute From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa state government said it expended over N2 billion in the last six years under its social security policy in upgrading the status and welfare of the disabled and the destitute. According to the Executive Secretary of the state Rehabilitation Board, Alhaji Ibrahim Rabakaya, the amount covers payment of the monthly Social Policy allowance of N7, 000 each across the 27 local government areas which he noted gulps about N4 million monthly. Rabakaya told our correspondent that some other activities covered are the renovation, and rehabilitation of the major rehabilitation centre’s at Kiyawa, Dutse, Hadejia, BirninKudu, Gumel, among others, in addition to the renovation of destitute vocational training centre’s across the state. Rabakaya also listed other achievements of the board to include improvement on the health of people with disabilities and establishment of community-based rehabilitation centre’s, training people with disabilities for self reliance, aimed at engaging the services of various communities towards improving the welfare of destitute.


Traditional rulers at the National Executive Council meeting of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: NAN

Representative of First Lady/ Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (left on the front row) with National President of Naval Officers' Wives Association (NOWA), Mrs. Vivian Ifeyinwa Ezeoba, and members of NOWA in a group photograph, during the first Golf Tournament organised by NOWA at the Dolphin Golf Club, Navy Town Ojo, yesterday in Lagos.

L-R: Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom, Director General (Designate) Nigerian Civil Aviation Authourity (NCAA), Captain Fola Akinkiotu and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation Sector Reform, Ms Anne Ene-Ita, during the Interaction Meeting with the owners and Operators of Foreign and Nigeria Registered business Aircraft, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Traffic gridlock at Ojuelegba, following breakdown of an articulated vehicle on the flyover, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN






Briefly Kebbi police arrest four over Kao'je killing


he police in Kebbi state have arrested four persons in connection with the recent killing of four persons in Kao'je local government area, over a boundary dispute. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Ikechukwu Chuckwu, who confirmed the arrest, said that the police had launched an investigation into the matter. From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

New aviation policy establishes NAERA


he new aviation policy by the Ministry of Aviation has proposed the establishment of a Nigerian Aviation Economic Regulatory Agency (NAERA) which is to be saddled with the responsibility of regulating economic, commercial and financial activities in the aviation industry. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had hitherto performed the function of economic regulation of the aviation industry. The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, had last week presented the new policy to aviation stakeholders, which is intended to Part of the work of the new agency includes the regulation of Tariff of aviation service providers in accordance with ICAO policy, in consultation with stakeholders of the services. By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule

WAC Properties: Appeal Court upturns ruling against winding up


he Lagos division of the Court of Appeal sitting at Igbosere has condemned the ruling of the Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi which had earlier dismissed the preliminary objection of WAC Properties Nigeria limited (Appellant) against the Winding up Petition filed by Royal Exchange Assurance Nigeria Plc (Respondent) following issues of declaration of dividends. The court, presided over by Justice F. O. Akinbami, in his judgment declared that the trial court should have considered the preliminary objection of the appellant rather than dismiss same. Earlier in his submission, counsel to the respondent, Val Izah, had argued that the trial judge, Justice I. N. Auta, was right in ruling that that the appellant's notice of preliminary objection dated June 12, 2006 was demurrer. From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos

L-R: President , Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, Bode Adeaga, Minister of Works , Arch. Mike Onolememen, President , International Federation of Surveyors , Chee Hai Teo, at the Opening Ceremony of the 27th FIG (Workingweek) of International Surveying Congress, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Bauchi SUBEB builds 3000 classrooms From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) has built over 3000 classroom blocks across the 20 local government areas,according to a member the board, Alhaji Mohammed Isa Narabi.

Narabi told reporters that the measure was part of efforts of government to provide adequate classrooms for pupils in the state, noting that the board was set to build additional 300 classrooms. Moreover, according to him, the board will also recruit 5000 teachers in order to meet

government's target of one teacher for 40 pupils which he said would enhance quality education in primary schools. He said that SUBEB had provided text books worth N2.2bn and built toilets as well as provided portable water and furniture in all primary schools

in the state. According to narabi, "we inherited decayed educational structures in the state at all levels but presently government is making efforts to leave a legacy in the education sector so that many pupils will benefit."

NOA designs new framework for peace

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


ational Orientation Agency (NOA) has begun the implementation of a new framework for peace across the country. Tagged, "the NOA Peace Project," the NOA Director General, Mr. Mike Omeri, described the project as national initiative tailored to engage all

sectors and representations in the Nigerian socio-political and cultural spaces. A statement by the NOA Chief Press Secretary, Paul Odenyi, said in order to drive the project, the Agency had assembled a core group of select leaders and captains of industries that can network and synergize efforts to achieve the goal of national, regional and continental peace. The statement quoted Omeri

as saying that, "we are faced with a giant that threatens our sovereignty as a united people, but we are a formidable force. "We will not surrender as we will fight for the inheritance of a land given to us by the Almighty God. "So, we must come together; young and old, great and small, rich and poor and pledge to work for peace." According to the statement,

the select group is expected to meet bimonthly to share experiences, brainstorm on solutions, receive progress reports and review the project's strategies. It said that the Agency was already reaching out to students of several institutions of learning with the message of peace and had also enlisted the support of the media, the United Nations, and international development partners.

IFC, Bill Gates Foundation partner for Nigeria's poor By Etuka Sunday


he International Finance Corporation (IFC), a private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has concluded plans to partner with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK's Department for International Development through a $60 million investment to increase coverage of priority health technologies and interventions from which about one million less-privileged Nigerians are expected to benefit. The project is under the African Health Markets for Equity (AHME) project.

The AHME which is in operation in Nigeria and two other African countries-Kenya and Ghana-is "a five -year investment which will increase the scale and scope of franchised health care, expanding from family planning and sexual and reproductive health to also address malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, nutrition, maternal care, HIV and Tuberculosis," a World Bank statement said. According to the statement signed by the World Bank Lead Health Specialist, Khama Rogo, "within Nigeria, this investment is targeted at strengthening health care providers (hospitals,

clinics, pharmacies). "Currently, over 60 per cent of the health care in Nigeria is provided by private providers. "This project aims to impact at least one million people within Nigeria living below the poverty line in the rural areas, by directly targeting these interventions at them and strengthening the health facilities within the social franchise networks. "Practically speaking, one million people over the next five years will have a chance to overcome the barrier of being denied healthcare due to paying for it at the point of health care delivery."

The statement noted that it is expected that by the fifth year of the program, at least 300 health facilities would have benefitted from this support within the rural communities and the processes and skills imparted within these facilities transferred to other facilities within the social franchise network. The partners within the country include Society for Family Health, Marie Stopes Nigeria, Grameen Foundation, Safe Care, Population Services International with Pharmaccess and the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group giving technical support.



Update your knowledge with Be wise ways to generate passive income when borrowing E




he best tip about borrowing money is simple: don't. If you think of it this way, credit cards can add up to 20% interest to all of you normal expenses, so if you avoided paying all that money to interest, it would be like getting an extra 20% raise. There are benefits from credit cards, like extended warrantees, dividend programs, air miles, purchase protection, and establishing a strong credit rating, but the best approach is to make sure you pay your balance in full every month. This can be a benefit in purchasing in cash by giving you small benefits plus allowing you a few extra days to pay your balance in full. Having said that, there are some purchases or situations where you will need to borrow money, and there are always better approaches in how to borrow. "Remember - they do want your business and at the end of the end of the day, you are the customer with control over who you do business with." One major tip is to shop around on interest rates. Banks are often very competitive on rates to get customers, so you may be able to drop an interest rate by a percent or more with the cost of spending a few extra minutes or hours talking with a few more banks. Remember they do want your business and at the end of the end of the day, you are the customer with control over who you do business with. Many banks rely on the consumer feeling intimidated and 'at the mercy' of the big banks and the dictated terms and rates. There are also different ways of approaching loans that may help not only from a financial point of view, but also by streamlining your finances. For example, if you have a number of loans and credit cards with balance, it may be convenient to arrange for a consolidation loan with the bank.

Quote "They who are of the opinion that Money will do everything, may very well be suspected to do everything for Money." - George Savile

arning income passively is a dream for most people, since it essentially means you make money without putting in a significant time investment. Most sources of passive income will require time and some money to get started, but if successful, these opportunities can generate income for you long-term and without your direct involvement. Here are some great ways to generate passive income. Create a Product You can earn passive income by creating a digital product, whether it is an e-book, audio file, video, or some type of presentation, and then sell it over and over again automatically. Once the initial creation of your product is complete, the sales of the product become passive if you set up an automated system to deliver prospects to your sales page, collect payment, and send out their purchased product. Other opportunities for passive income by creating a product might include writing a physical book and getting it published - ongoing sales of your book are earned passively. Some people become television writers, and when their series is picked up for reruns, royalties earned are considered passive income. Sell advertising As a website owner or publisher of a popular magazine, blog, or newsletter, you can sell advertising space. While you will have to do the initial legwork to create a successful website with a large following, once

established, advertising revenue is a passive income opportunity where other business owners will pay you to include an advertisement on your website or in your newsletter. Own a business When people think of passive income, chances are they will immediately think about an online business of some type. The internet makes it possible to start and run a business with low start-up costs and low overhead expenses, which means more profit in your pocket. It also creates opportunities for

automation, and anything you can automate provides a potential passive income stream. While it's often easier to break into the world of passive income online, passive income is not limited to the internet. Any business you own can generate passive income for you if it is established the right way. If you hire people to fulfill the day-today activities of your business, your business should generate a profit after all the expenses are paid. The profit you receive as the owner of the business is passive if you aren't directly

involved in the daily operations. Become a landlord People who own apartments or commercial space earn passive income through the rent payments they receive from their tenants. You receive the payment every month simply because you own the property; and you aren't exchanging a direct service or time for the rent payment. There are of course, responsibilities that come with being a landlord, but many people find the experience rewarding and a way to establish consistent income without directly trading their hours for money. If buying a property to rent out is out of your comfort zone, you can start on a smaller scale and rent out an extra room in your home, your garage, or even your driveway. Park at My House will tell you the "value" of your driveway and help connect you to people looking for a place to park near event venues or who just need a place to park their vehicle in your area. Investing A variety of social lending opportunities online allow you to earn a return by helping fund other people's loan requests in peer-to-peer lending. Your total investment in the peer-to-peer lending site is generally divided up across multiple borrowers to help reduce your risks, but your money helps others gain the money they need, and you benefit by earning a return on the investment in the form of interest. Two of the more popular social lenders include Prosper and Lending Club.

Develop personal values to guarantee your contentment


hat we're "willing to pay" means the work required (or its equivalent) to achieve what we want. But what we want, truly want, is the most important thing, and that is a reflection of our values, who and what we are inside, at the core of our being. Satisfying those values is the key to happiness and security. Synchronizing your goals to your values brings great personal power to the decisions you make in life. Chasing other goals can eat up huge amounts of effort, time, emotion, and money for things that will never bring lasting gratification. What and where are your

values? They lie in what you know to be true about yourself and in how you use, or ignore, that knowledge in your decisions. Your values are defined by who you are, by your evaluations of yourself, and by how you judge the material and moral worth of life's options. How sincere you act on those judgments shows your values' depth and stability. Simply stated, our actions reflect our values, giving rise to the old aphorism, "Actions speak louder than words" when judging a person's true self. Contentment and values Values, goals, and security are major motivators in our lives. Our values shape our

expectations of ourselves. Fulfillment of those expectations brings us deep psychological and emotional rewards (and failing in them brings injury). These outcomes cause us to repeat (or shun) that behaviour. In pursuing self-expectations and the values that underpin them, we're after goals that bring us pleasure, promise, and a sense of belonging. As we develop, we also generate images of which we are a sense of self. We then try to fulfill those images, or visions, that are in our best interests. These "best interests" reflects back on our values and reinforce

our goals. Values provide critical directions on the road to happiness and contentment, so they need to be a big part of how we choose and act. Achieving goals will not by itself bring you happiness. Gordon Livingston, in Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart, tells us that happiness comes from good work to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to. Those things revolve around a person's values, so it's essential that your goals be bound to what has real meaning and worth for you. Power Our ambitions reflect our values and our usefulness to other deserving people and to life in general. Fulfillment of values and achievement of ambitions rely primarily on our ability to maintain and exercise personal power, especially over ourselves and the natural inclinations we all have to take our gratifications today, to take the easy road. Learning about yourself, day by day and year by year, gathering information on who you are and how you live your life-these are the keys to controlling your power, to keeping your goals in focus and your life on track. Using your power well is how you will reach the goals that match your values and find the most meaning in life.

Share your Money Tip: do you have a business/money idea, and you want to share it with our dear readers? Then, send it to: or (text it to 08091904890)





Floods: Shall we do things differently this year?

he Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has just released its annual flood prognosis for this year, warning the rains would be just as excessive as they were last year, if not worse. NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency) has followed up with its own advisory and so has the Federal Ministry of Water Resources. NIMET Director General, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, is specific about the states that will experience "above normal" rainfall this year. In the North, he mentions Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger and Kwara; and in the South, almost all the coastal states will experience flooding at a level worse than last year's. According to him, in the North this year's rainfall will range from 400mm to 1000mm, while in the South it will be between 1500mm and 3000mm. We at Peoples Daily earnestly hope this early flood warning will prepare the three tiers of government and their respective disaster management agencies to better deal with the impending floods than they did last year. But then, we recall that NIMET did warn of "unprecedented floods" that year as early as April 3. Yet our governments went to sleep. The heavens opened up as never before seen and we were all caught napping. Between July and November, floods overran about 25 states, killing a conservatively estimated 363 persons and displacing over 2 million. Senate President David Mark was not right

when, confronted by the extent of the destruction and loss of lives that the flood caused, he said nobody had envisaged the enormity of the disaster. Truth was a government agency did warn of what was coming. It was a flustered, panicky federal government that, in November, a clear seven months after the flood alert was given, announced a N17.6 bn "direct

we hope the nation has learnt a painful but useful lesson. And there are encouraging indications that it has. Or has it? financial assistance" budget for victims of floods in all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Apart from evacuating endangered communities to safety, there were related challenges of epidemics and rape in refugee camps as well as diversion of money and relief materials by government officials. All avoidable, of course, everybody had been alive to their responsibility! At this point, we recall an editorial we ran on this very page on April 19, 2012, a week after NIMET gave its warning

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”

circular: "NIMET has done well by not just giving a general warning; it has gone on to name the states that will be the worst hit by the coming [floods]. It is now up to the governments of those states and their people to take measures to obviate the deadly impact of the inclement weather." We noted that "In the past, the governments of states prone to natural disasters such as floods had used them to blackmail the federal government and wealthy Nigerians to pour in money and relief materials which, regrettably, ended up in the pockets of their functionaries. Now is the time for the 10 states named by NIMET to say it if they need help, not after the damage, in both human and material terms, will have been done". Unfortunately, our advice went unheeded and the nation reaped a bountiful harvest of preventable deaths. However, we hope the nation has learnt a painful but useful lesson. And there are encouraging indications that it has. Or has it? Kwara state government, for example, is building camps where it will relocate communities threatened by flooding. According to Alhaji Dabarako Mohammed, Chairman of the state's Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee, the government is determined to avoid a repeat of last year's blunder. Besides, it is doing "massive sensitisation" and other projects to "stave off flooding". We urge the other state governments to do the same. A stitch in time saves nine, they say.









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


By John Igoli


frica is full of potentials: potentials for investments in oil and gas, solid minerals, agriculture, communication, construction, education, hotels and tourism, movie making, collaboration in research etc., etc. At every opportunity African leaders are quick to remind foreign investors, academia and industries about these potentials for investment in Africa. Our leaders boast of owning the land, the oil wells and mining pits and in fact, every other natural asset bestowed on the continent or the country. From the way they treat Africans or their fellow nationals, they unwittingly pass across a message saying "move away Africans, foreigners are coming!" While Africa and Africans are naturally and potentially rich and wealthy, we are realistically and unexpectedly poor. Our wealth has become our poverty. The more we point to our wealth the poorer we become. Our problem seems to be that of transforming our wealth to be our wealth! If the amount of energy and resources spent in wooing foreign investors is expended in Africa, we would have moved much further than where we are today. Looking abroad for solutions to our economic or development problems is like star gazing. While star gazers do not go to the stars to find answers to their problems, African leaders must go abroad to find solutions to our problems no matter the cost. One of such ambitious efforts or "wooing of foreign investors" By Olayinka Ajila


here is one society where factuality is a deterioration of reasoning. A place where a limping ghost emerges after a known limp disappears. Yet if ideology is as visible as a storm that would rain, you are as better as the proverbial talking drum that has shown two faces to confuse no one. If I have to describe her it is for the unborn child. She calls herself Nigeria. Survivor of the Stone Age that bears raw meat home to declare a successful gaming. Nothing short of a demolition bomb seems to make her insecure. Her children rather believe in their feet because national security is a kind of death. And for so long I have not seize to wonder why the green of her colors signifies scarcity, poverty, and impurity, and white on the other phase tells more about cruelty, deformity , and the sagacity of ethnicity In my strive to know why Nigeria has become a thirsty shark in the deep blue sea, several issues keep popping as if squeezing a pimple rearing skin. And as I combine situations on and of the "coal tar" I see Nigeria as the story of a young lad with delicate beauty. That of spinach in the soil. Thus in a land where sickness and dying are paid for, success is but cards on a poker table. The recycling process of an industrial waste (A case study of the Nigerian leadership) is one topic I had waited long overdue to witness its birth. But as conferences and


Our wealth of poverty packages was the recently held (25-26th April, 2013) Scottish African International Business Conference and Exhibition 2013 at Glasgow Caledonian University hosted and organised by the African Forum Scotland. The conference is expected to be an annual event and the theme for this year's conference was "Towards a Sustainable Africa: The Changing Perspective of the African Business Environment" which according to the organisers will be a "reflection of the evolving market trend in Africa, and how the world's perspective of Africa must evolve too." Some points we fail to note are, if investors are not coming to our continent or country, it is not because they have stopped investing it is because they are either going elsewhere or they are remaining at home. Secondly a collaboration or business investment is between people and not just the agencies or institutions. Investors will not go to places where they will not benefit or are not sure of the security of their lives, properties or investments. The fact that African leaders are law or even above the law is quite scary to investors. The corruption toga does not help either as foreign investors fear they must get their hands stained to invest or sustain investments in Africa. We compare security situations in some countries to those in Africa and conclude that Africa is much safer than those countries

but this is half-truth. Security in investments has more to do with human attitudes at peace time rather than in times of violence or military interventions. Our attitude to business is simply poor. Apart from the of lack of infrastructures such as power or poor intra-continent or country transport network (air, road, water, rail), weak banking systems and networking with foreign banks, money laundering and other prevalent economic crimes, Africans do not like to pay. Our wages (when they are paid) are only fit for humour. There is no dignity of labour, no insurance and no security of properties. The government or the indigenes can wake up one day and confiscate all you have laboured to build. When we add to this social insecurity, armed robbery, kidnapping and communal

clashes or conflicts, we do not need any sacrifice or ask a native doctor what the sex of our baby will be. The answer is obvious. While foreigners are advertising or promoting investment in Africa, Africans are busy investing abroad. The message is for us to imbibe the culture first then others will follow. We must befriend science and its ethics for research and development. We must develop and maintain sustainable databases for information exchange. We must learn to obey laws and live under acceptable rules of business and corporate management and social responsibility. Things cannot be different in Africa just because we are Africans and investors should understand that. The fact that we do not have enough food for our population in spite of the available land is quite


While foreigners are advertising or promoting investment in Africa, Africans are busy investing abroad. The message is for us to imbibe the culture first then others will follow. We must befriend science and its ethics for research and development. We must develop and maintain sustainable databases for information exchange

unnerving too. No visitor will come to your house when he knows you are unable to feed yourself and you will still struggle to give them gifts. Gifts such as import or tax waivers or provision of personal bodyguards are not so enticing to many or the discerning investor. Similarly the parallel demands for kickbacks, building structures (houses, schools, hospitals or worship centres) in hometowns or localities and meeting other selfish demands of those in power or control is frightening. The rapid changes in policies following equally rapid or unexpected changes in government personnel/leader also scares away many would be foreign investors. We should remember our foreign investors are not just businessmen seeking to invest their funds and reap profits, they are also tourists (when their friends and families visit), they also seek quality education for their children, require good health system and may desire social engagements or contracts such as marriage etc. It is a package and such packages are not sold by word of mouth but by what is on ground. As our leaders globe-trot let them remember that the amino acids that make up the DNAs of foreigners are the same ones that make up the DNA of Africans. We therefore deserve equal opportunities to life and living as our foreign brothers. The audacity to walk lions in our Safari parks and Game Reserves must be extended to providing a better living and business climate in Africa rather than the present perplexing situation we have. John Igoli lives in Lagos.

The monopolization of rulership seminars in their routine has proven a profound negligence to why such an issue must be a debate, then, no sniffer dog is needed to tell if really there are sincere moves towards national development. However, if national development be the construction of drains and plywood bridges in your ancestral community, you might just have missed the drift of this piece. Who are the Nigerian leaders? I couldn't help but tremble when list of names started trooping in like the 44army-battalions. But if you would permit me to use my words I will tell it in just one sentence. Nigerian leaders are a product of the political interbreeding whose trait has

been traced to exist as far back as the first republic. And so, if the names that rocked your government way back have reincarnated in the National Assembly in transfusion or transgression, you shouldn't be careful to say that monopoly is not only in the stock market. Attahiru Jega got all the praise that the last elections were free and fair simply because some heavyweight politicians were unseated. True? This depends upon individual views. But an election that started with the looting of imported registration gadgets we know has got a lot conceived. While working on the processes that unseated the so called giants it was discovered that the recycling "chamber" was filled with men at the peak of


their political manhood standing either as godfathers or contenders. Cases like this in a chemical process usually lead to what is known as preferential discharge. Here, only the strongest are left standing. If only the electorates can understand that the tongue of an aspirant is a fiction painted as manifestos. And that the real him is the seen him that existed long before he dreams himself a candidate. Then, weather for the perfumed paper called money or the perishable materials they see as luxury will they agree to be blindfolded, gathered in their masses, and tied together with a string of their own veins, in sacks, waiting to be transported as a mandate to a senator who just felt their need for a

Attahiru Jega got all the praise that the last elections were free and fair simply because some heavyweight politicians were unseated. True? This depends upon individual views. But an election that started with the looting of imported registration gadgets we know has got a lot conceived. While working on the processes that unseated the so called giants it was discovered that the recycling "chamber" was filled with men at the peak of their political manhood standing either as godfathers or contenders

rechargeable street light few days to his re-election. As it is certain that Hitler would still be Hitler tell us why much cannot be said about an issue that is best discussed than resolved. But on the basis of reality, the Nigerian history of leadership has shown that man indeed is the enemy of his own soul. The reason for his own tears. In himself he carved the figure of death. He stood and watched the termination of life like an appointment. That in the absence of a gun shot, a thrust from the spear, and a release from the bow string, the monster of destruction is growing over weight. Even if Dele Giwa never opened his letter, today might still have killed him because it is filled with what his blood considered venomous. His eyes would have seen enough to weaken is fingers on his column. After-all when Noah's preaching became like spending time drinking the blood of flies, there was nothing he could do but what he did. This means that if Nigeria has to be left with the only choice, you should know that a domestic rodent has just crossed over a late night meal. Nevertheless, one thing is also certain and it is the fact that Nigeria will not perish. But if Nigeria should fall, Africa will raise another nation to fortify the black race. Olayinka Ajila is on



By William Hague


en days ago I stood alongside the President of Somalia and watched the Union Flag fly once again over a British Embassy in Mogadishu for the first time in twenty two years. It was a proud moment, showing how far Somalia has come in recent years and the deep relationship between our two countries. For twenty two years, the people of Somalia have suffered appallingly from conflict and insecurity. Two generations of Somali children have grown up without access to healthcare, schools and jobs. Over a million Somalis were internally displaced, while hundreds of thousands more became refugees in neighbouring countries. And many thousands of Somalis lost their lives. Terrorists and extremists used the absence of the rule of law in Somalia to gain a foothold. Yet against all the odds, the extraordinarily talented and resilient people of Somalia kept the hope alive that one day they would rebuild their homes and their livelihoods and create a peaceful future for their

Somalia: Keeping hope alive put the weight children. of the In the last international year Somalia community has made Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text behind the extraordinary messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written Government of progress. A contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 Somalia's plans new Federal to develop words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and Government effective has been a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed security and formed. Al to: police forces; a Shabaab has functioning lost large areas The Editor, justice system; of territory. Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, and wellThe Somali 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. managed, Diaspora are Email: transparent returning, and SMS: 08134607052 public finances some people to provide are now able to services to the rebuild their Somali public and ultimately community if this recent properties and businesses. In pave the way for international progress is to become Mogadishu, despite some financial institutions to be able irreversible. But we now have deadly terrorist attacks, there to work with Somalia. a unique opportunity to help is a palpable sense of optimism. At the conference we will be Somalia renew itself, and to This progress has been urging all countries present to increase our common security underpinned by the spell out how they can support in the process. determined support of the these plans, by technical Somalia and the United international community. assistance or funding for Kingdom are co-hosting an Huge challenges organisations implementing international conference in undoubtedly remain, and we London bringing together other programmes on the ground. are under no illusion about the This conference is a historic 50 countries and organisations efforts that will be required opportunity for leading in support of Somalia. The from Somalia, its neighbours countries of the world to purpose of the conference is to and from the international


demonstrate their commitment to the Somali people. We must help the new Government of Somalia to end the threats of war, terrorism, piracy and famine which have dominated Somalis' lives for far too long, and to make the most of this opportunity to build a peace and stability for all Somalis. Now is the time to stand by Somalis as they rebuild their country. The United Kingdom and Somalia are bound by living ties which stretch back into history. Somali communities across the UK are incredibly generous, contributing their hard-won earnings in remittances back to Somalia and offering their expertise to help reconstruction and development. Drawing strength from these links, our two countries will work together to ensure that the hope and optimism of the last year is translated into lasting progress and a secure and peaceful future for Somalia. William Hague is the British Foreign Secretary

Teaching immorality in schools By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye


f anyone had told me a few years ago that a time will come in Nigeria when the authorities will approve the teaching of sexual immorality as a subject in junior and secondary schools, I would have thought that the person had lost his mind. But now, before our very eyes, it is happening, and I lack words to describe the shock among many Nigerians! Not too long ago, I was shown the topics being treated under the subject called "Sexuality Education" or "Sex Education" which tender kids in both junior and secondary schools in Nigeria are now being forced to learn. Mere kids, some as young as ten or even nine, are put in the hands of teachers, who deploy every energy, talent and creativity to saturate their tender minds with every detail about sexual immorality and the use of contraceptives. It is difficult to imagine that anyone outside a mental home could have the mind to design such a subject even for the children of his worst enemy! In my view, this clearly qualifies as child abuse, which, sadly, has been endorsed by the authorities. I have reasons to suspect that what some of the teachers would be giving out would be targeted more at titillating their tender victims than educating them! I can imagine how easy it would now become for a teacher who has been targeting a female student to use his creative elaboration of this subject, to get the girl so overwhelmed she would become easy meat.

I am told that there are two main reasons for the introduction of this subject in our schools. One is to empower school children with adequate knowledge about their bodies and how to "safely" indulge in pre-marital sex without falling victims to teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS. The second reason is to demystify fornication, give it a positive image, as something to be cherished and enjoyed without any fear, as long as it is done "safely" and consensually. The belief is that with the agelong "superstition" built around sexual immorality which 'stigmatizes' it as an evil and sinful activity, some kids tend to go into it with fear and dread, and so develop psychological problems arising from the guilt they feel afterwards. But these reasons are simply hollow and unconvincing. They are built on the assumption that in the present age, it is

extremely difficult, if not impossible, for unmarried people to abstain from pre-marital sex. Instead of emboldening kids to behave like dogs, why not teach them to value their bodies and maintain their self-esteem by abstaining from immorality as our own parents had taught us? The difference between human beings and animals is the ability to reason and determine the consequences of actions, and then exercise discretion and selfcontrol. Why not tell a kid the consequences of an action and use that to dissuade him from indulging in it? Looking at the earnestness with which this policy is being pursued despite opposition to it, one is forced to suspect that there may also be a commercial angle to it. Are we sure that substantial profit is not accruing to the initiators of this programme and their collaborators in government from the sales of the several books being written and printed


on the subject? Support may equally be coming from the manufacturers of contraceptives who certainly see in this a lucrative venture to promote and sustain. Now, how far has this subject helped in reducing teenage pregnancies and STDs in the Western nations where it has been taught, assimilated and practiced for many years now? It is a fact that these teachings have, for instance, been introduced in both the United States and Britain for many years now, but as I write now, I have before me, a BBC report saying that Britain has the highest record of teenage pregnancy in the whole of Western Europe. Also, another report has it that the United States has the highest number of teenage pregnancies in the entire Western world. Again, in the United States, it is reported that new infections of HIV are still on the increase. That naturally leads us to

Now, how far has this subject helped in reducing teenage pregnancies and STDs in the Western nations where it has been taught, assimilated and practiced for many years now? It is a fact that these teachings have, for instance, been introduced in both the United States and Britain for many years now, but as I write now, I have before me, a BBC report saying that Britain has the highest record of teenage pregnancy in the whole of Western Europe

the contentious issue of "safe sex." So, what is all this fetish about "safe sex" and how "safe" can sex actually be? The truth is that a lot of studies and findings have effectively punctured the dubious confidence built over the years on condom-use. We know that with an effective magnifying lens, it is easy to see that several objects, especially rubber and plastics, have tiny holes through which very minute micro organisms could pass. I read somewhere recently that "HIV virus is only 0.1 micron in size while the naturally occurring holes in a latex condom is of the order 5 to 50 microns in diameter." So where then is the "protection" we have heard so much about if the deadly virus can indeed pass through the wall of a condom? Is this not why we have often heard reports of people contracting HIV even though they had practiced the so-called "protected sex"? This is the time to rethink all this stuff behind which some fellows have hidden to pollute the minds of kids with ruinous teachings. Fortunately, we have one precaution that does not fail. And that is the good old abstinence, which has been tested to be the only reliable protection against deadly STDs and teenage pregnancies. We must hasten to realize that what is at stake here is human life that should not be toyed with, for whatever reasons. It is becoming increasingly difficult to understand this desperation to create an immoral and ungodly society by misleading the youth? Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye (



Weddings, bomb blasts, and dead history By Ose Oyamendan


had a great pre-summer plan. It was formed a couple of years ago. After some patriotic talks dipped in the liquid jars of nationalism by the elders, I decided to fast track my decades-old passion. It would not be about money but historical preservation. I was listening to people I loved and respected who felt I should do more filmic work about Nigeria. It is a tough balance. Nigeria is a place where dreams go to die sometimes, except you are ready to swim in mud. I have spoken to a few Nigerian-born successful artistes and athletes who chose to fly a foreign flag and they all felt Nigeria is too complicated to sow a dream in. They felt the motto should be "care about your family and friends and, let Nigeria worry about itself". Harsh! Patriotic blood was coursing through my veins. I decided to produce a documentary on one of my heroes, a Nigerian leader from the past who loved his people and died serving them. It was to be the first of a select few. I always desperately want to put my country's history on disc for the future. That filmic journey would delay a bigger journey. For the last three years, I've been honored to work on a project that has taken me into the homes and hearts of some of the most fascinating people in Israel and Palestine. I've made new friends, learned about a new world and twisted my tongue with new

languages. It's a journey that's humbled this kid from the streets of Ibadan. This dream will seat for a few months so another dream can live. Then, we ran into the Nigerian buzz kill - thinking small and ethnicism. A few princes of the north felt history is better left dead than told by a non-native. My production associates whose crystal ball often spills out doom when Nigeria is on the plate were ready. They always felt when you have a creative dream in Nigeria you buy a coffin because you will always need to it. Now, I'm in Gaza, the land with tales that send shivers down the spine. The night has wrapped itself around the beautiful beach a shadow away. Gaza is not the most romantic place to go. Everyone tries to stop you. The embassy sent me an e-mail asking me not to go. The Israeli Defense Force officer asked me pointedly, "do you really have to?" The last words I heard from the customs lady at the border crossing between Israel and Gaza was, "please be careful". One full day into the trip and I was wondering why everyone was binging on paranoia. I felt like the prince of something. My only worry was that I was gonna need a trolley to carry me back to Israel. Palestinians kill you with food. There is no simple meal like jollof rice and chicken or tuwo shinkafa with these folks. It's always a full table - seven, eight course meals. And, being someone who hates to disappoint

his hosts, I ate like I just got out of a Nigerian prison. Stepping into Gaza from Israel is an experience unto itself. One step in and you know you're in a new place. The air changes, the voices change and the scenery changes. Israel is like an old lover. You keep coming back and sharing the same old tales over wine, with your necks nestled on soft pillows. I love going to Israel in the final days of spring. I get a pleasant taste of the beautiful country before the scotching summers. I love trekking to the historical sites. They give me a sense that there

was a past and, despite the tough times my friends along the borders face, there will be a future with peace. But, in this journey, I have to leave the comfort of Israel and be in Gaza. I told one of my characters I'd love to ride on one of those horse-drawn carts all over the old city. He probably thought I'd lost my mind because he did what made me think he'd lost his mind - offered his sparkling new Mercedez Benz truck to ferry me around the streets. One thing that struck me about Gaza was that people are warm and nice. The old men

Patriotic blood was coursing through my veins. I decided to produce a documentary on one of my heroes, a Nigerian leader from the past who loved his people and died serving them. It was to be the first of a select few. I always desperately want to put my country's history on disc for the future. That filmic journey would delay a bigger journey. For the last three years, I've been honored to work on a project that has taken me into the homes and hearts of some of the most fascinating people in Israel and Palestine

wanted to know about Nigeria and the young ones wanted to know about America. Strangers ask you to visit their homes for dinner. I told them in my town, if you show up at the door unannounced we dial 911. They laughed because they probably thought 911 was the number for a meal delivery service. Another thing that hits you right in the face is the wedding parties. It seemed to be on every street corner. I'm struck with the gaiety in this town that's supposed to be wrapped in doom. And, I love a party. "Where's the booze?" I asked. "This is Gaza, alcohol is not allowed," he said. "No alcohol! What kind of party is that?" I shouted. "You can dance." I tried a Palestinian dance with a crew. It felt like aerobic exercise so I stopped and drank some more cola. "You can shoot fireworks," I was encouraged. I love fireworks. "Cool," I replied. "Can I have some with the big sounds?". "No, the boom-boom ones are bombs. It's still a war zone, you know," I was reminded. And, suddenly - the party was over for me. And, I kept thinking how wrong I was to think the counsel of those athletes and artistes was bunkum. Ose Oyamendan is a Hollywood-based, Nigerian filmmaker. You can follow him on his new twitter page at @iamose

May Day: How NLC and Cuba support Nigerian workers' cause By Emmanuel Yawe


he history of May 1 as an International Workers' Day is varied and interesting. It all started with the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse a public demonstration on May 1 of that day by workers who called a general strike in support for their demand for an eight hour work day. In the commotion, an unidentified person threw a bomb at them. The police reacted by firing on the workers, killing four demonstrators. The agitations for the commemoration of this sad event started in 1889 at the first congress of the "Second International" meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution and the Exposition Universalle. A participant, Raymond Lavigne, called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. Eventually, May Day was formally recognized as an annual event at the International's second congress in 1891. Subsequently, the May Day Riots of 189 a series of violent demonstrations occurred throughout Cleveland Ohio in which the unemployed condemned city leaders for their ineffective relief measures. In 1904, the International Socialist

Conference meeting in Amsterdam called on "all Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on May First for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace." The congress made it "mandatory upon the proletarian organizations of all countries to stop work on May 1, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers." In many countries, the working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday, and their efforts largely succeeded. May Day has been an important official holiday in countries such as the Peoples democratic Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba the former Soviet Union and many other countries. May Day celebrations typically feature elaborate popular and military parades in these countries. Ironically in the United States where events leading to May Day as an international workers day started the official holiday for workers is in September. The international campaign for May 1 as workers day received a boost in 1955 when the Catholic Church dedicated May 1 to "Saint Joseph The Worker". The Catholic Church considers Saint Joseph the patron saint of (among others) workers and

craftsmen. According to Issa Aremu, the Deputy National President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, "May Day celebration started in Nigeria with the declaration of the Labour Day by the then progressive Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) of Balarabe Musa and late Abubakar Rimi of Kaduna and Kano States respectively in 1980. President Shehu Shagari legitimised the Labour Day as a public holiday the following year, 1981. The season of May Day celebrations offers an opportunity to assess the working and living conditions of the working people globally. But also importantly, at this time, we are even encouraged to critically examine the performance of trade unions, organisations formed by workers with the main aim of ensuring dignity of labour at national and global levels." Nigerian workers marked this years May Day celebrations with a difference because for the first time since 1980 it witnessed a high level of collaboration and concern with the Cuban embassy and pronouncements about issues affecting the Cuban people. It all started in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on April 18 when 400 delegates on behalf of more than one million members of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE)

in Nigeria. In its closing statement read and approved, the workers demanded an end to the unjust U.S. blockade against Cuba and the freedom of the Cuban Five imprisoned in U.S. jails. The closing statement at the meeting also declared support for the people Venezuela and its newly elected president, Nicolas Maduro. This followed an update of the meeting by the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Cuba in Nigeria, Miriam Morales Palmero, who participated in the event. She had during the deliberations that preceded the closing statement briefed the meeting on the effects of the blockade on the Cuban people and on the situation of the Five Cuban antiterrorist. On April 29, in Abuja, the federal capital, the Ambassador of Cuba in Nigeria, Hugo René Ramos Milanés participated with Abdulwahed Ibrahim Omar, National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), at a press conference as part of the activities to mark the International Workers Day. Both parties informed the press of the historic ties between Nigerian and Cuban workers and the interests of further strengthening relations between the two unions and peoples. The NLC National President read out a statement of support for the release of the Cuban Five unjustly imprisoned

in the United States. The statement condemned the unjust imprisonment and calls on all workers of the world especially the United States to unite and demand an end to the unjust imprisonment of the Cuban Five. The NLC President reminded Nigerians that Cubans shed blood for the liberation of Africa and grounded collaborative ties between the peoples of Cuba and Africa, of which Nigeria has benefited. He also ratified on behalf of his organization the commitment to support the Cuban people in the struggle to end the unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade the United States government has imposed on the Island and for the release of the Cuban Five. Overwhelmed by the demonstration of support shown by Nigerian workers, Ambassador Hugo Rene thanked the NLC that represent the largest trade union in Africa. He also briefed the press about this year's May Day celebrations in Cuba where Nigeria sent a large contingent. Thus this years May Day celebrations in Nigeria will be remembered for a long time because unlike other years, it took particular interest in the affairs and issues that bother Cuba, a country that has strong and friendly ties with Nigeria. Emmanuel Yawe is an Abuja-based journalist



Butchers lament over lack of land in Bwari By Usman Shuaibu


Residents of Agbo Community in Phase 2, Site 1, Kubwa, beholding the new 300 KVA transformer released to them by PHCN recently. Photo: Miriam Humbe

Bwari immunises 140,273 children – Director


wari Area Council in the FCT immunised 140, 273 children against childhood killer diseases last month, an Assistant Director in the council, Alhaji Isa Maka, announced on Monday. Maka told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that about 141,069 children benefited from the immunisation exercise held in January this year. According to him, the council has not recorded any case of meningitis or measles in recent times. Maka said: “now the council has 36 operational clinics within the area council.

“Two out of the five clinics not being utilised have now been equipped and put to use.’’ He said that the Gaba clinic which was previously not operational was now serving communities around it. “Apart from equipping it, bore hole was sunk to provide potable drinking water to the clinic and people in the area,” he said. Maka also said that the Lower Usman Dam clinic was renovated at an undisclosed amount. “We have written a proposal on Sherepe and Kuduru clinics for the contract to be awarded

by the council for the equipping of the two clinics. “Drugs worth over N4.5 million were received from the Millennium Development Goals Office and the drugs were distributed to Ushafa, Kogo, Kudupe and Kawu clinics,’’ he said. The five primary and comprehensive healthcare centres at Ushafa, Kawu, Kuduru, Shere and Igu were at various times inaugurated by the then Permanent Secretary of the FCT Administration, Dr Nathaniel Olorunfemi. When NAN visited the Kuduru Health Centre, the inauguration plague showed

that the centre was inaugurated in May 2011 but it was not functional. Mr Samuel Agbor, who owns a block industry near the clinic, said the last time someone visited the area was in February. He said that the person said he was there to take stock of missing items in the clinic as it was reported to the council that the clinic was burgled. Agbor said that he had foiled many attempts by thieves to burgle the clinic. He alleged that the thieves were always coming for a solar panel, installed in April 2010 to facilitate water supply to the clinic.

Prolonged sitting predisposes one to chronic diseases ,says Oncologist


eople who sit for long hours have a higher risk of having chronic diseases such as cancer, an Oncologist at the National Hospital Abuja, Dr Abdulaziz Idris, has said. Idris told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that sitting for long hours reduced the process of metabolism of foods and calories in the body. He said that when calories in the body were not used up, the body stored fats, which could also lead to obesity,

hypertension and some other cardiovascular diseases. “You have the tendency of getting fat, obese and obesity also leads to hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. “It is also a risk factor for a lot of cancers for example, breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.” The oncologist said that a lot of things could happen by just sitting down and not moving about, adding that while at work, a little moving around would help.

“It is better that after every thirty minutes, one should stand up to walk round the environment for a while. “It even releases tension and you are relaxed and by the time you go back to work, you are more refreshed to concentrate on work.” Idris also said that if one’s work was hectic, there should be a cultivation of habits, such as exercising even at work. “People who drive cars should endeavour to park after some distance and walk the

remaining distance and those with lifts in the office should make efforts and use the stairs.” He also said that rather than send people on errands, one should try to run some errands by himself or herself because it was also a form of exercise. Idris said that taking out time to walk during office hours was very important, adding, “even one hour of sitting without standing up can increase your chances of getting cancer”. (NAN)

utchers in Bwari area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have appealed to the second term Chairman - elect of the council, Hon. Peter Yohanna Ushefa to allocate a piece of land for them to carry out its economic activities in the area. The Chief Butcher of the association, Mallam Dalhatu Haruna Jakiri, who spoke to Peoples Daily, urged the chairman to take the butchers along in the scheme of things in the area. He called on the chairman to sink boreholes in the temporary site of the association to boost constant supply of water. According to him, his administration would continue to cooperate with the leadership of the area council for the benefit of the butchers in Bwari and environs. He urged the officials of Butchers Association to join hands with him to solve some pending issues affecting the association. Jakiri advised the chairman not to neglect the ideas and efforts of the traditional rulers in governance. He further added that things were falling apart in the country due to non- involvement of those who can gather the masses from the grassroots.

Monarch tasks students on reading culture By Usman Shuaibu


he District Head of Zuba in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu, has urged the students in the Secondary schools to cultivate the habit of reading their books always. He also warned them against examination malpractices and other social vices at their various secondary schools in the territory. District Head, who stated this in an interview with Peoples Daily in Zuba while speaking on the fallen standard of education in the country, urged the students to participate actively in extra-curricular activities apart from their normal studies. He appealed to the teachers at their various colleges to remain committed towards the academic performance of their students. He further called on the FCT Education Secretariat to expedite action to provide the needed infrastructural facilities in both secondary and primary schools to enhance learning. Continuing, Adamu advised the school principals to gear towards the development and progress of their colleges.



CAN condemns demolition in Bwari By Stanley Onyekwere with agency reports


he Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bwari chapter, Mr Segun Odex, has condemned the ongoing demolition exercises within Bwari. Odex said the rate at which residential buildings and places of worship are being marked for demolition in Bwari is alarming.

In his words: “We have written letters as religious heads to concerned authorities like the Sarki, Esu and Chairman of Bwari but have discovered that the issue is beyond them. “We proceeded to FCDA where we discovered that the director in charge of lands in the minister’s office is not aware of the markings of houses for demolition in Bwari. “The deputy director of lands in FCDA denied the

marking of houses at the SCC road in Bwari, and he stressed that he was not aware of the demolition. “To my surprise, we were shown two master plans; the first one stated that the SCC road was occupied, while the second one stated that it was not occupied. “They said the second one is the correct one, which stated that the place has not been allocated for any purpose.“ The CAN chairman said

that the demolition was of great concern to natives of the area as well as those who reside in the areas. “ It is high time that these issues of land allocation stopped and natives are integrated. “ The right of local government to manage and allocate land for residential, gracing and agricultural purposes is enshrined in the Land Use Act 1978, “ he said. Odex appealed to the Federal Government to make use of the

laws in the constitution that availed indigenes to settle anywhere in the country. “In the 1999 Constitution amended in 2011 in Section 299, it stated that a citizen of the country can build anywhere, you can establish school and can live anywhere.“ He advised that the FCT administration should monitor buildings by residents, even at foundation level to curb the menace of demolition of buildings. (NAN)

Albinisim is a genetic disorder not a curse – Gynecologist


Gynecologist at the Garki Hospital, Abuja, Dr Kayode Obende, has said that albinism was a genetic disorder that could be transferred from both parents. Obende told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the albinism gene could be passed down through generations, just like the sickle cell gene. He said that a defect in the gene, which provided coded instructions for the production of melanin, was responsible for the manifestation of albinism. Melanin is the pigment that gives colour to the skin, hair and eyes. He explained that albinism could not be prevented in pregnancy, adding that it had nothing to do with what the woman did or did not do in pregnancy. Obende clarified some myths about albinism, which had led to the discrimination and violations against the right of persons living with albinism. “That a child born with albinism is conceived when a woman has intercourse while she is menstruating. This is biologically impossible,” he said. The doctor said that people believed albinism was a punishment or a curse from the gods or ancestral spirits as a result of an offence committed in the family. Another myth was that body parts of persons living with albinism made potent charms that could make people rich and successful or a form of love potion. “Albinism does not cause blindness nor does darkness improve the vision of albinos,’’ he said. Obende, however, said albinism was associated with some form of vision impairment. “If proper and efficient medical care is applied to protect the skin from ultra violet rays of the sun and the eyes are well protected, they can live normal and productive lifestyles.’’ Obende explained that people also believed that persons living with albinism were mentally retarded and not intelligent. He explained that albinism had nothing to do with a lack of intelligence, adding that many of them were living very productive lives. (NAN)

FCT Area Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Haruna Mamud (L) receiving a plaque from comptroller, FCT Command in Abuja.

Prison Service trains 45 personnel on HIV/AIDS prevention By Usman Shuaibu


he Nigerian Prison Service in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday organised a 3-day workshop for 45 prison personnel on HIV/AIDS prevention in the area. The Deputy ControllerGeneral of Prisons, Dr Hassan S. Labo, said that the administration of Prison Service would continue to

enlighten the prison staff on HIV/AIDS pandemic. He pointed out that the leadership of Prison Service would not hesitate to equip and support the prison workers in order to face the challenges ahead of them. He further said that the administration of Prison Service would always support the capacity building of its staff and urged the HIV/AIDS desk officers to give adequate attention to issues of HIV/AIDS

testing and counseling of the prisoners. Labo frowned at the level of stigma and discrimination attached to HIV/AIDS patients while advising Nigerians to shun such act. On his part, Assistant Controller-General of Prisons, Mr. Nwosu, who is the coordinator of HIV/AIDS expressed dismay that the prisoners were the people mostly affected with HIV/AIDS due to the overcrowding

environment they found themselves. On his contribution, the director in charge of NACA who was represented by a staff in the agency, Hajiya Maimuna Mohammed, advised the participants to shun multiple sex partners. He said that the management of Prison Service would continue to care for the inmates and staff in the area of health to boost their morale at work.

Traditional rulers in Kuje urged to embrace alternative dispute resolution


raditional rulers in Kuje Area Council of the FCT have been urged to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in order to scale down litigations in the courts. The Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in FCT, Mr Moses Abbah, made this call in Kuje on Tuesday during an advocacy visit. He said the visit was aimed at educating District Heads on peaceful resolution to scale down litigations in court rooms. “We are bringing what we call social justice to our communities,

to encourage our people to settle disputes among themselves in their own way. “The ultimate goal is to ensure that there is peace in the Area Council and in various communities in the Federal Capital Territory.” Abbah explained that NOA embarked on the campaign in order to educate traditional rulers on ADR in their various communities. Mrs Chinwe Ekaroha, the Head of Social Justice Unit of the agency, said the objective of the campaign was to enlighten the traditional

rulers on how to apply ADR. She added that the ADR has many advantages over litigation as it is collaborative, flexible and cost effective. “People are ignorant of what ADR is; all they do is go to court always instead of settling disputes among themselves. “With more enlightenment, peace will be ensured in the rural areas for sustainable development.” The traditional ruler of Paseli in Kuje, Mr Usman Yusuf, said the visit was a right move toward peaceful resolution of conflicts in

the rural areas. Yusuf urged the NOA to properly examine the system of land allocation and encroachment on farm lands which had been the major sources of disputes in the FCT. “Most of the conflicts we have arise from encroachment on our farm lands, and we have no other occupation apart from farming. “Government should be allocating lands to the original inhabitants who are farmers rather than giving it to those who don’t know the essence of farming,” Yusuf said. (NAN)



Landlord charged for unlawfully evicting tenant


he police on Monday arraigned a 40-year-old landlord, Bitrus Isah, at an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for assaulting and unlawfully evicting his tenant, Charles Egbe. Isah, an employee of the Niger State Board of Science and Technology, is facing a five-count charge of joint act, criminal force, assault, mischief and theft. However, the accused entered a not guilty plea after

the charges were read out to him. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Pascal Njoku, told the court that the accused stormed the complainant’s apartment at Jikwoyi, Phase 4, FCT, on April 10 in company of three persons, including two uniformed military personnel. He said Isa and three others still at large, jointly beat up the complainant and threw out all his household effects during which he sustained injury in

his mouth. “As a result, his belongings were destroyed by rain, while some were nowhere to be found,’’ Njoku said. The prosecution said the total value of the belongings destroyed was N788, 450. Pascal said the offences were punishable under sections 79, 263, 264 and 288 of the Penal Code. If found guilty, the accused may face a cumulative jail term of at least 20 years or

An accident scene on Zuba-Abuja Northern Express way at Kubwa, yesterday in Abuja.

options of fine at the discretion of the court. The magistrate, Mrs Hadiza Shagari, however, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 and a surety in like sum. She said the surety must be a civil servant of not below Salary Grade Level 14 and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. She adjourned the case till May 22,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Photo: NAN

INSIDE FCT COURTS Pastor, 40, in court for careless driving


ne Pastor Moris Chima was yesterday arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for driving his Nissan Sunny car carelessly along Umar Musa Yar’Adua Way at Lugbe, Abuja. Police prosecutor Jeremiah Elijah told the court that Chima, who claimed to be a pastor, was reported by one Mr Shittu Dogo at Lugbe Police Station, Abuja on March 3. Elijah alleged that on the same date, the accused, while driving his car with registration number HH814 KJA, left his lane and collided with a Toyota Carina driven by the complainant. The prosecutor said the accused committed an offence contrary to Section 29(1) CAP 548 of the Road Traffic Act (RTA). Section 29(1) CAP 548 of the RTA says “A person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other using a highway, is guilty of an offence and liable on to a fine of one hundred naira.’’ Senior Magistrate Mimi KatsinaAlu granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties in like sum who must be resident within the court jurisdiction. She adjourned the case to May 16, 2013 for further hearing (NAN)

Man jailed for joint act, causing hurt

A Man jailed, gets 12 strokes for assaulting a police officer A

Zuba Grade 1 Area Court in the FCT on Monday sentenced Aliyu Mohammed, 33, of Runji-Abuja to four months imprisonment for assaulting a police officer. Mohammed was also sentenced for smoking Indian hemp and resisting arrest. He was tried on a four -count charge of resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer preventing him from

discharging his duty and for constituting a public nuisance. Alhassan Kusherki, the judge, who also ordered Mohammed to be given 12 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to the charges, however, gave him an option to pay N30,000 fine. Police prosecutor Momoh Ibrahim told the court that on May 2, a police officer attached to the Zuba Market out Station went

to the Zuba Fruit Market to invite Mohammed to the station for questioning. Ibrahim said that when the officer got to the market, he met the convict with a group of men smoking dry leaves suspected to be Indian hemp. He said that when the officer made an attempt to arrest Mohammed, he refused to follow him and instead struggled with and fought him.

Ibrahim said that the convict tore the officer’s uniform, picked up a bottle and attempted to stab him. Momoh told the court that but for the timely intervention of people around the convict would have succeeded in carrying out his evil intention on the officer. The prosecutor said the offences contravened the provisions of sections 144, 267 and 183 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

Court remands 2 in prison for alleged theft of phones


Senior Magistrates Court sitting in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, has ordered two accused persons to be remanded in prison for alleged criminal conspiracy and theft. The accused persons are Kelechi Cletus, 27, of Aunty Alice Area Mararaba and Ayo Fisayo, 28, of Block 9, Angwan Juma, Mararaba. The accused persons pleaded not

guilty to the charge. The prosecutor, Mr Joseph Ahwa, told the court that one Joseph Idoko reported the matter at Sani Abacha Road Police Station, Mararaba, on May 5. Ahwa said that the accused persons conspired between themselves with one Ades whose surname and address were yet to be known and stole a Nokia phone valued at N13, 000 belonging to his (Ade’s) girlfriend called

Shawomi Andrew. He said that the accused persons also stole Andrew’s black berry valued at N45, 000 and N740 cash which they handed to Ades. The prosecutor said that the accused should not be granted bail to enable him to carry out further investigation, stressing that bail was at the discretion of the court. However, counsel to the accused Mr Joseph Onuminya,

prayed the court to grant his client bail. The Senior Magistrate, Mr H.A. Abundaga, criticised counsel to the accused for soliciting oral application of bail, stressing that the application should come up formally. He refused to grant the accused bail and ordered that they be remand in prison and adjourned the case to June 10, 2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

n Abuja Upper Area Court yesterday sentenced a 33-year-old man, Osita Nnabogu, of Church Road, Zuba, Abuja, to seven months imprisonment for joint act and causing hurt. The presiding judge, Ahmed Ado, sentenced Nnabogu after he pleaded guilty to the charges and begged the court for leniency. Ado, however, gave the convict an option of N8,000 fine. The judge warned Nnabogu to be of good character and to steer away from crime. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Mr Simon Ibrahim, told the court that the matter was reported by Abdul-Maleek Abdul-Latif, of Behind Zenith Bank, Dutse Alhaji, Abuja, to the Utako police station on April 27. Ibrahim said the complainant was at the Jabi Motor Park to collect his air conditioner when the convict and three others who are now atlarge accosted and beat him up without any provocation. Section 79 states that ‘‘when a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for the act as if it were done by him alone.’’ Section 246 states that ‘‘whoever voluntarily causes hurt, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with a fine or with both.’’ (NAN)






- Pg 22

Price of garri soars in Cross River

Mob: 08033644990

Nigeria LNG exports delayed over tax dispute


igeria’s Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports have been delayed after a security agency blocked ships from accessing the Bonny terminal from May 3 to May 5, the state-LNG firm said on Monday. The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stopped the ships from entering or leaving the 22 million tonnes-a-year terminal because it said Nigeria LNG was not paying its freight levies. “Nigeria LNG is a lawabiding corporate citizen and pays all its lawful dues and taxes ... NLNG’s position had been that it was exempted from the levies,” Nigeria LNG said in a statement. Access was denied from 1600 GMT on Friday until an unspecified time on Sunday, said Nigeria LNG. One ship loaded with LNG was prevented from exiting the terminal during the blockade

and two ships for loading could not enter, an LNG industry source told Reuters. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) owns 49 percent of Nigeria LNG with Shell holding 25.6 percent, Total 15 percent and Eni 10.4 percent. Nigeria ships over 250 cargoes of LNG a year, contributing around 7 percent of global supply and accounting for 4 percent of GDP in Africa’s second largest economy, according to NLNG. Buyers of Nigeria’s LNG include Spain’s Repsol, Italy’s Enel, Britain’s BG Group France’s GDF Suez and Portugal’s Galp. Nigeria LNG lifted a force majeure - a clause freeing the company from supply obligations due to circumstances outside its control - on exports two weeks ago, initially imposed because of a ruptured pipeline to a Shell gas field. (Reuters)

World Bank N160 bn portfolio to reduce poverty, promote good governance in Nigeria By Etuka Sunday


n furtherance of the World Bank’s strategy to reduce extreme poverty from 20% to 3% by 2030 and promote share prosperity by fostering income growth for the bottom 40% of the population in every country, the World Bank said its new partnership strategy would be anchored on “sustainable and inclusive non-oil growth, human development and governance for results” in Nigeria. The World Bank’s country Director, Marie Francoise MarieNelly, while speaking to newsmen on Monday in Abuja said, “Today, poverty as estimated by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is 62.6% in 2010 against 64.2% in 2004 (per capital assessment by the NBS). Note that in adult equivalent terms, poverty is 46.1% in2010 against 48.3% in 2004", she stated. “The extreme poverty is slightly higher at 63.4% in 2010 (based on $1.25 per day). Meeting the target in Nigeria will require significant and sustained growth but more importantly reduction of inequality,” she further said. She however stated that “our engagement at state level has increased significantly since our first strategy (bulk of our resources is now in state programs). Governance has become an integral part of all what we are doing (institutions, transparency and accountability). “We are moving towards a result-based approach

and away from an input approach which did not trigger significant improvement in delivery of social services. We have developed a common donour platform (Country Assistance Framework) to avoid duplication of tasks,” she assured. Marie gave some of the success stories especially in the area of human development thus: “Secondary education in Lagos; school grants, teacher training and school management committee.

L-R: Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza; President, African University of Science and Technology, Prof. Wole Soboyejo; and Visitor, AUST, and Coordinating Minister for Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during the unveiling ceremony of UBA ICT Centre at the pan-African institution in Abuja, at the weekend.

Nigerian Shippers lose N2bn weekly on container deposits From Olawuni Oladapo, Lagos


ctivities at the Tin - Can Island Port and the PTML terminal in Apapa, Lagos was on Monday paralyzed for hours by freight forwarders operating at the port over what they described as arbitrary charges by the terminal operators and the shipping companies. This is coming even after the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Barr. Hassan Bello

has stated that one of the main purpose of the port reform exercise carried out by the Federal Government seven years ago, which is essentially to eliminate corruption and reduce the cost of clearing has not yield desired results. The freight forwarders lamented that over N2billion is being lost weekly by their principals to the shipping companies as container deposits while terminal operators still impose huge

Nigeria’s external debt rises to $6.67bn By Abdulwahab Isa


espite calls by economists for the country to reduce its external debt profile, figures from the Debt Management Office (DMO) show that it rose by $143m in the first quarter of 2013 to $6.67bn from $6.527bn at the end of last year. It rose consistently throughout 2012. For instance, as of March 31, 2012, it stood at $5.91bn; by June 31, 2012, it rose to $6.03bn, edging higher

to $6.3bn by September 31 before closing the year at $6.527bn. The development caused analysts, including the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, to warn that it was not in the nation’s best interest. In December 2012, at the Honorary International Investment Council Conference in London, Sanusi argued that if the existing level of borrowing

from big nations continued, the huge debt profile would place “undue burden on posterity.” “We are borrowing more money today at a higher interest rate, while leaving the heavy debt burden for our children and grandchildren,” he had said. In December, the total external debt stood at $6.53bn; and despite promises by the Federal Government to slash it, it had continued to rise.

Management Tip of the Day


Set the right tone for your talk

hen you present, your audience usually sizes you up before you even utter a word — so it's critical to make a positive first impression. Start by communicating ahead of time. Send a thoughtfully written agenda with a concise but telling subject line — and be

explicit about what the audience will get out of it. Once they're in the room, match your disposition to your presentation. For your content to ring true, do you need to come across as passionate? Humbled by the challenges ahead? If you're announcing a layoff: be somber,

not happy. If your talk is upbeat, chat with individuals as the group gathers. No matter what tone you're trying to establish, be available and sincere. Source: Harvard Business Review

sums on them as terminal handling charges.Explaining the rational for the action, President of the Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders, Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC), Chief Osita Patrick Chukwu pointed out that shipping companies hide under different guises to defraud importers of their container deposit funds. He also alleged that government agencies like NIMASA are now being included among the moneys paid on debit notes, saying, “Freight forwarders loss N2billion weekly as regards to container deposits, some shipping companies fraudulently use one system or the other to exonerate themselves from paying the shipper back his money. Barrister Hassan Bello had stated at the weekend, that Nigeria is still grappling with high cost of doing business, which according to him is suppose to be down after the port reforms, but he however assured that the Federal Government is not unaware of the situation. Bello, who was addressing members of the group who had sought redress from the council, said that government is trying to remove corruption by bringing increased participation of the private sector into the port transport system.He described the pressure group; Save Nigeria Freight Forwarders Importers and Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC) as the eyes and ears of Nigerian shippers, and by extension the government.





TN Link Forum, an engagement platform for young, budding entrepreneurs made a stop this weekend in the beautiful city of Calabar to engage entrepreneurs and professionals within and around the metropolis also known as “Canaan City.” The Forum, aimed at providing young, talented and promising entrepreneurs and professionals, the opportunity to connect to their aspirations, by engaging and interacting with accomplished entrepreneurs and business icons, who come to share with them their success stories, will have guest speakers for the event. Kola Oyeyemi, the General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN, described the forum as one of the many initiatives by MTN to enrich lives. “MTN Link Forum is a value-added platform for young, budding entrepreneurs and professionals to network and connect to their dreams.

Chemical and Allied Products


hemical and Allied Products (CAP) Plc, a subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc (UAC) and the technological licensee of AkzoNobel, world’s largest paints and coatings company and manufacturers of Dulux premium brand of paint, has unveiled an experiential campaign tagged‘Dulux Mobile Room Make-Over Activation’. The road show was formally activated by the Executive Director Corporate Services of UAC, Joe Dada with a call to Dulux customers to take advantage of the campaign to add both colour and value to their lives. The campaign is in line with the company’s strategic thrust to enhance the living standard of its consumers and to strengthen the connection between them and the Dulux brand.

Heritage Bank


eritage Bank, a new entrant into the Nigerian banking market, has announced the successful implementation of Infosys Finacle in world record time of just fifty (50) days to drive its core banking and treasury business. The solution empowers the bank to deliver seamless service to its growing customer base of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), and to roll out new offerings for the small-tomedium business banking segment. The deployment of Finacle by Heritage Bank, according to a statement was implemented in just 50 days, thereby enabling the bank to meet the go-live mandate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Proffering solutions for energy and infrastructure deficit in Africa By Etuka Sunday


he continent of Africa is one that has a tremendous economic growth, investment and business opportunities. But inspite of these opportunities, less efforts are directed towards energy and infrastructural development, which has continued to rob the continent of it immense potentials. The facts and figures available for these two critical sectors in Africa are obvious. This position was also taken by Dr. Ken Giami, the Editor in Chief of African Energy and Infrastructure magazine, on the occasion of the African Energy and Infrastructure Forum and Awards recently in Abuja. According to him, “The 21st century Africa is about opportunities, technology, and entrepreneurship. Across the continent the conditions and environment for doing business is changing with improving legal structures, developing infrastructures, combating corruption, enhancing democracy, easing bureaucratic regulations and upgrading of frameworks for development and trade agreements. Trades between countries and across regions are increasing while trade organisations are strengthened and regional integration and trade are advanced as means to prosperity. Internet connectivity, increased interregional flights and trade are increasingly connecting and interconnecting the continent.” However the continent is far from getting it. “In the power sector, the entire installed generation capacity of 48 subSaharan African countries is 68 gigawatts, and 25 percent of that capacity is unavailable because of aging plants and poor maintenance. It is dramatic since inadequate access to energy is the single largest impediment to economic growth. No country in the world has developed its economy without abundant energy supplies. If the light strayed on longer, the idea is that Africans would be noticeable more productive than they are at the moment. This would also translate into a wealthier society. the infrastructure necessary to power the continent would be, perhaps, second to building physical roads, the most labourintensive and job-creating prospect in its building phase. “This is also due to the gap between where African countries are at the moment and where they should be, given that the global conversation has now moved to a completely different kind of energy-Renewable. Energy, and the advances that have taken place in this scientific field, has defined mankind’s progress. One single change in this scientific field, using stream

to power engines, meant people and services could travel to the far ends of the globe in half the time. “The new phase of renewable energy stands to usher in a new era in global commerce and standard of living. Those who are expected to lose out are disproportionately Africans, if current trends continue. It is estimated that by 2030 1.4 billion people will not have access to electricity-600 million of those in this group will be on the continent. Africa generates just 3% of the world’s electricity; South Africa generates more than 405 of the electricity produced in Africa. more than 25% is generated in the five countries of north Africa; Across the continent, one third of people have access to electricity; in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the figure falls to a quarter; in rural areas, the number is even lower: Fewer than 10% can turn on power at the flick of a switch; “The continent has unfortunately remained in the “dark.” But the change in conversation from fossil fuel energy sources to sustainable environmentally friendly alternatives delivers another opportunity for Africa to partake in the benefits of this coming change. And bold energy and infrastuctural policies from the continent’s governments and

public policy sectors are in order if it is to succeed in not being left behind. “Unlike fossil fuel energy, renewable energy requires infrastructures that demand a higher level of technical knowhow. Investments in these new sources of energy will also mean investment in human potential, in addition to research and development projects. The continent is lacking the academic and commercial avenues for obtaining new technology and this will be crucial in its journey to close the energy gap. “African governments will have to tap into the global market place for ideas. On this issue, the continent’s knowledge base is very little, if any, and global institutions-international organisations, world-class universities, and transnational corporations-are willing partners with the expertise needed to craft the bold and visionary energy future the continent’s billion-plus populace needs to realise a better future. We must therefore all take advantage of the opportunities that exist in Africa’s energy sector,” he concluded. In Nigeria for instance, efforts are been made by the present administration with regards to power, to light up the entire country. Speaking at the Occasion, the Minister of power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo said that “the

In Nigeria for instance, efforts are been made by the present administration with regards to power, to light up the entire country.

ministry was mandated to develop and facilitate the implementation of policies for the provision of adequate and reliable power supply to drive the socio-economic development of the nation. “Against this backdrop, we seek to provide adequate and reliable power by implementing generation, transmission and distribution projects in the sector, and facilitating the emergence of a private sector-led competitive and efficient electric power industry. As part of our responsibility, we also implement renewable energy programmes and initiates in solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, etc. We encourage bilateral and multi-lateral cooperations and relationships affecting the power sector in Nigeria. The power sector remains a veritable market and opportunity for those who want to invest in power. The Nigerian government recognises that a range of assistance is needed to drive and support the implementation of the Nigerian Vision 2020 in which we target a generation capacity of 40, 000 megawatts. While the output of power sector in Nigeria is still inadequate and constitutes a major roadblock to the socioeconomic wellbeing and progress of the nation, the current power sector transformer is on course to meet these challenges,” he said. The general assessment is that, the continent of Africa is still largely in the dark. Although efforts are fast being intensified towards lighting up the continent with regards to energy and power, but would that tempo be sustained considering some environmental factors, polices of government and lack of political will by our leaders that have seemed being barriers and clogs in the wheel of progress and development? Only time would tell.



Casandra Management Services Ltd declares N62.2 m PAT By Aminu Imam …declares he Board of Directors of the premier outsourcing N0.25 dividend company in the North,


L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwabiala and Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Pfrofessor Charles Onocha, during the Minister's Meeting With Contractors handling Federal Government UBEC, Almajiri schools projects and those handling Federal Government Colleges Library Projects, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Minister reiterates Nigeria’s commitment to multi-lateral trading system objectives By Etuka Sunday


he Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom yesterday reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the principles and objectives of the multilateral trading system through the pursuit of liberalized trade and dynamic economic policies. The Minister, who was represented by the Special Assistant (Technical) at the opening of a 5- Day workshop on: “World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation National Self Assessment of Nigeria’s Needs and Priorities” in Abuja, said that Nigeria was committed to the objective of trade facilitation and trade related financial services aimed at ensuring smooth and effective import and export procedures relating to customs and port clearance, border management and performance monitoring systems, trade documentation and tariff development. The Ministry, in a statement quoted the Minister as saying that Nigeria as a responsible member of the WTO will

continue to intensify efforts to play more active and collaborative role in shaping the direction of multilateral trade policies consistent with our development aspiration. He commended the Management of Customs for embarking on full automation of the clearing process and continued efforts to reposition the customs service to meet WCO/WTO standards thereby ensuring that international best practices requirement are met. The Minister recalled the global concern for trade facilitation which had led to continuous WTO negotiations with the aim of reducing trade inhibiting bureaucracy at the borders as this tends to slow down trade between countries. Earlier in a welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, represented by the Director of Weights and Measures, Alhaji Bashir Zoru, pointed out that the purpose of the Needs Assessment was to examine WTO members proposed measures on Trade Facilitation vis-à-vis Nigeria’s current situation, support and prepare Nigeria in the current

negotiation on WTO trade facilitation. He added that it was also to identify and develop strategies towards overcoming barriers to trade among others with a view to streamlining overlapping functions, identify and prioritize technical assistance needs and areas in which Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) will be necessary. In a goodwill message, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, represented by Comptroller Azarema Abdulkadir stated that the critical ways to compliment efforts in trade facilitation was to update Customs procedures to a more modern technology standards which the Nigeria Customs Service has undertaken from 2006 to date, through development of Customs Single Window for Trade 2010, Nigeria Integrated Information System (NICIS), Establishment of Nigeria Trade HUB website and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which covers valuation, classification and risk management for imported goods.

Casandra Management Services Ltd yesterday declared a Profit after tax of N62.274 million for the financial year ended 31st Decmber, 2012. The Chairman of the Board, Dr. Evans E. Woherem stated this at the company’s 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM), which held in Abuja. The Chairman stated that, by all standards, the company had a very fulfilling business year, as it increased its business volume and extended its tentacles to new frontiers. “The company’s operational strategy and business model have proved to be worthwhile as it fastened its hold on existing clients while attracting new ones”, he stated. Casandra Management Services Ltd, was hitherto one of the subsidiaries of Pacific Bank Plc, which was bought over by Unity Bank Plc following its merger with the bank.

Dr. Woherm stated that, following the Central Bank nof Nigeria (CBN)’s directive in December, 2012 for all banks to divest from their subsidiaries and concentrate on their core banking activities, Unity Bank divested all its holdings from Caranda by way of Rights Issue and this increased the number of its shareholders to more than 50, hence the Company, with the approval of the shareholders, is going “Plc”. According to the Chairman, the company is continuously scanning the horizon for new opportunities and has recorded impressive strides in an effort to expand its business outlook. “Towards this end,we have been able to buy a new plot of land at Gudu district cadastral zonein Abuja”, he further said. The Company has declared a dividend of 25 kobo for every Ordinary share of N1 each to be paid to its existing shareholders, for the financial year ended 31st December, 2012.

Jonathan identifies Surveyors profession for tackling national challenges By Miriam Humbe


resident Goodluck Jonathan has identified the profession of Quantity Survey as a veritable tool for the purpose of solving contemporary challenges faced by government today. Minister of Works, Arc. Mike Onolememen said this when he hosted the President International Federation Of Surveyors, FIG, Chee Hai Teo and members who are embarking on a one-week conference on behalf of President Jonathan at his office in Abuja on Monday, The minister said the federal government has realised the importance of the 135 year-old profession and is ready to work with members of the profession in solving contemporary challenges of governance today. The theme of the conference is “Environmental for sustainability” is taking place at the Nicon Luxury, Abuja and International Conference centre

from 6-10 May, and is being held in collaboration with other two Nigerian members of the FIG which are The Nigerian Institutions of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, (NIESV) and the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS). Nigeria is hosting the International Federation of Surveyors, FIG, a global body for surveyors which consists of membership of over 120 professional associations. While speaking, President of Nigerian Institution of Surveyors (NIS), Surveyor Bode Adeaga said that NIS bid and won the bid to host the event, which is one of the largest events in the global calendar of the surveying and geo-spataial world and coming to Nigeria is a privilege. He therefore called on all professionals and other stakeholders to join in ensuring that the country is successful in hosting the International conference.

N1.8bn subsidy fraud: Oil marketers challenge court jurisdiction From Matthew Irinoye,Lagos


wo oil marketers and their company on Monday challenged the jurisdiction of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja, to entertain N1.8 billion fuel subsidy fraud charge instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The marketers include, Mahmud Tukur and Alex Ochonogor, alongside their company, Eterna Plc, filed their

application before the court presided over by Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo. The application dated May 3,2013, was filed by their counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN). The defendants were charged to court alongside Abdullahi Alao, son of prominent businessman, Alhaji Abdullazeez Arisekola-Alao. During proceedings yesterday, Olanipekun informed the court that the application

had been served on the EFCC counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) Olanipekun said the application was seeking for an Order or striking out the charge, for want of jurisdiction. He said:” This charge is a matter relating to the revenue of the Federation on which only the Federal High Court has jurisdiction. “The substratum of the charge is within the admirality jurisdiction of the Federal High Court. The criminal charge was

not instituted in accordance with procedural due process.” Olanipekun said his clients filed the application late because they were still discussing with the Federal Government pertaining to the charge. “As at now, we are still discussing. I say this from the Bar even if my learned friend, Jacobs, claims not to be aware,” he added. In response, EFCC counsel Rotimi Jacobs, told the court that he was not aware of the said

discussion between his client (Federal Government) and the defendants. He urged the court to allow the parties take the applications orally but the judge declined his request. Onigbanjo therefore adjourned the matter till May 28 for argument of the applications. He also directed all the parties to file and attach their written addresses to the processes before the next adjournment date.



Bloomberg Group seeks SEC support for TV Africa project From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


eal time reportage of Nigeria’s business and financial sector will soon get a boost as the Bloomberg Group from London has commenced activities for the take off of its television station, Bloomberg TV Africa in Lagos. As part of its efforts to prepare for the take-off of the station, the Group was at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) headquarters to seek the support and co-operation of the apex capital market regulator in the new venture, TV Africa. The Bloomberg TV Africa, according to the Commercial

Director, Bloomberg Group, Linsey Olivier, during the visit, will be broadcasting business news; economics and financial markets information on Africa live from Lagos. The station planned to commence operations in October 2013, with Lagos as its headquarters. Speaking during the visit, the Executive Producer Bloomberg Africa TV, Mr Kieran Baker, said the group already had presence in some other jurisdictions like India and Turkey but now wanted to tell the African business and financial stories “straight from source” in order to engender enhanced awareness

of the business opportunities in Africa and attract more investors to the continent. He noted that Bloomberg would leverage its well known integrity in generating and transmitting business data to provide information on Africa to the global market, adding that the station would start with a soft lunch in July 2013 with programmes from London which would be followed in October with live transmission from Lagos, its headquarters in Africa. Speaking further, he said the station would commence with coverage of the financial markets in Nigeria, Ghana,

South Africa and Kenya and later spread out to other markets in Africa. He then solicited the support of the Commission as a major regulator in the Nigerian financial industry in the area of giving TV Africa access to business centres and intelligence. Responding, the DirectorGeneral of SEC, Arunma Oteh, commended the group for coming to Africa and Nigeria in particular, adding that there was no better way of telling Africa’s stories than through presence in Africa. She noted further: “The Bloomberg Africa initiative

should have come earlier but this is still an ideal time. Despite great interest, there’s not enough understanding of African markets. The moment is particularly opportune, because Africa is at the verge of an epochal transition to economic prosperity”. According to her, this is Africa’s finest hour when, owing to saturations and reverses in Europe, America and certain parts of Asia, Africa now provides the best investment opportunities”. She also counseled that Bloomberg Africa should include Francophone Africa in its marketing plans and strategy.

Price of garri soars in Cross River


rice of garri, a staple foodstuff in Cross River, has risen in Calabar and environs, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. NAN investigation in markets in Calabar found that a basin of garri, which was sold for N3500 in April, now sells at between N5000 and N5500. Similarly, three cups of the commodity now sell for N100 and seven cups at N200 as against N100 for six cups before. A garri seller on Parliamentary Road in the city, Mrs Joy Iquo, told NAN that the price of the commodity had also increased in other parts of the state. According to her, the basin measurement of garri which used to sell for between N3500 and N3800 at Ugep, in Yakurr Local Government Area, is now sold for N4800. “This situation is rather unfortunate because garri is supposed to be very cheap in Ugep. It is the area of the state where it is very affordable and everybody

goes there to buy.’’ Iquo said it has become a problem now to buy the commodity, stressing that the price increase might have been caused by dwindling amount of cassava in circulation as well as expectations of new cropping season. Mrs Alice Udoh, a garri dealer at Marian Market, said the hike in the price of the commodity, at this time of the year, was normal, adding that the 2012 flood in the state might have contributed to the scarcity of the product. Mr. Joseph Johnson, a taxi driver in the metropolis, said he was already having difficulty in affording enough garri for his family. “Garri is the number one food in my family but the price is now making it almost impossible for me to retain it as number one food in my home.” However, a farmer, Mr Owali Ilem told NAN that the price of the commodity would soon come down as corn and other foodstuffs would be available. (NAN)

Smart money embedded with radio chips


rom hotel towels to just about everything seems to be tagged with radio frequency identification (RFID) chips these days. Now scientists have developed a way to embed these chips in paper, which could pave the way for so-called smart money. Developed by a team of researchers from North Dakota State University, the RFIDequipped smart paper could potentially be used in legal documents, tickets, package labels and banknotes. Researchers say the technology could help prevent fraud and counterfeiting While RFID-equipped paper already exists, other versions on the market rely on thicker chips, resulting in bulky and bumpy paper that can’t be printed. However, researchers at North Dakota State developed a process called Laser Enabled Advanced Packaging that creates ultra-thin silicon chips that can be seamlessly embedded in paper.

The process uses a plasma etcher to thin down the chips, then uses a laser beam pulse to insert the chips, as well as antennas, directly into the paper. Project leader Val Marinov said the process is cheap than current manufacturing methods because less materials are being used and equipment is less expensive. Not only that, the process is twice as fast as other methods. “About ten years ago the Bank of Japan and the European bank signaled their intention to develop such technology but they aren’t there yet,” Marinov told the BBC. “I believe our scheme is the first to demonstrate a functional RFID tag embedded in paper.” Marinov and his team recently presented their work at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers conference on RFID in Orlando, Fla. They are currently seeking commercial investors. “The technology needs to leave the lab and find a place in industry,” Marinov said.

Chairman Oil Producing Community Ndokwa Nation, Delta State, Chief Anamali Joseph (middle) addressing pressmen, supporting local content and transferring of the operatorship of the oil well to Atlantic Energy in their community while Chief Grant Oji (left) and Chief Fidelis Onu (right) looks on, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Insurance industry database records 1.5m Vehicle insurance policies From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Director-General Nigerian Insurers Association (NIA), Sunday Thomas, has stated about 1.5 million vehicle insurance policies have been uploaded to the Nigeria Insurance Industry Database (NIID). Speaking during a media chat with the National Insurance Correspondent Association (NAICO) during its monthly meeting in Lagos, Thomas stated that operators have continued to upload data of new policies they registered. According to him, the association has procured 1000 units of motor insurance electronic readers, of which 25 units has been given to Ogun State Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) and that reports have revealed that the units has helped the agency to spot genuine policies. He further opined that the

association is presently discussing with the Lagos state government and that a date for the deployment of the devices in the state will soon be fixed. He noted that with the success achieved from the deployment of motor insurance data, the association will intensify efforts to ensure that by the end of the year, marine data will be deplored followed by property and other classes of insurance. NIA said it decided to start deplorement of the electronic devices with Abeokuta, because historically, insurance in the country is traceable to the city, adding that the state also is one of the states to first indicate interest in the project. The industry’s database project which was conceived in 2010, to help develop robust information on insured vehicles, was launch on June 26, 2012. The NIA at the launch promised to deploy over

500000 electronic card readers to security agencies to verify genuine vehicle insurance licences. The project according to NIA would eradicate fake insurances and minimise instances of fraudulent claims provide real time information that would address issues raised by all stakeholders: insuring public, market players, law enforcement agents and regulators. Serve as source of historical data for analysis and benchmarking, thereby providing qualitative analysis of industry performance. It is believed that the initiative will enhance transparency and accountability to its stakeholders thereby restoring confidence in the insuring public, creates the basis for scientific management of operations in the industry and it will enable the tracking of transactions in the industry.



Report as at Tuesday, May 7, 2013




○ ○ ○

Pg 26

How we paid off Housing development to our mortgage: Tales of 3 drive economic homeowners growth in 2013 Pg 27



Paving Stones Today's patio paving stones offer the look of natural, traditional stone products, but with the added benefit of variable sizes, colors and ease of installation. Here are some designs you can adopt to bring a touch of class to your home or office.

With its graceful simplicity and weathered, dimpled surface, Cassova resembles the traditional Brussels paver. It can be configured into a variety of designs, including herringbone, basket-weave, running bond or stacked-bond patterns. It also makes a great soldier course (a border to contain a gravel walk) or accent for other pavers.

This Plaza Stone paver features an embossed surface with soft-curved edges to give it a somewhat worn look. It is available in a variety of colors in either standard or tumbled finishes. The installation shown combines three different sized pavers-6"x9", 6"x3", and 4"x6"-in the Oaks Blend coloration.

Bristol pavers come in 6"x 9" and 6"x 6" sizes and can be combined or used singly to create distinctive walkways, patios and focal points. Their antique, tumbled appearance and soft colorations-toasted almond, shown here-make them perfect for any house style and hardscape plan.

Today's pavers come in all shapes and sizes making them ideally suitable for any landscape plan. While the square and rectangular stones are more popular, there are a variety of other designs to consider, from natural-looking flagstone to special deisgns and shapes including tulip, wave, and the hexagon-patterned layout shown here.

Coventry Brickstone pavers offer the classic look of traditional, age-worn brick. Available in a full range of colorations, among them Haddon Blend, shown here, the bricks can be configured in a variety of patterns from herringbone and basket weave to running- and stacked-bond installations.

These aged-looking Cambridge pavers are designed to resemble the walkways and piazzas of the European Renaissance. Featuring ArmorTec for lasting beauty and color protection, each paver offers the look of naturally-aged stone making it particularly suited for historic house styles.



Housing development to drive economic growth in 2013 By Udenna Orji


igeria's deficit of 16 million housing units may soon be erased if ongoing meetings and collaborative efforts between the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development yield fruits. Government is said to have finally accepted the counsel from experts that a vigorous and robust housing development programme aimed at reducing the nation's ballooning housing deficit would have a positive effect in not only providing houses for Nigerians but in reviving the comatose industrial sector. A revival of the nations ailing manufacturing sector would help mop up the swelling army of unemployed graduates now roaming the streets in search of elusive jobs. It was to use the housing sector as one of the launching pads for reviving the Nigerian economy that led to the approval of the new National Policy on Housing and National Policy on Urban Development by the Federal Executive Council last year. Speaking on the approval of the new policies recently, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple said "the approved policies are veritable instruments for empowering the ministry to reposition and revitalize the sector to optimize its contributions to the development of our national economy, especially in the area of job and wealth creation as well as enhanced contribution to the GDP". The two new policies are expected to deliver about one million housing units annually to Nigerians. Confirming these feelers from government, Muhammed Jibrin, Chief Executive Officer of Abuja-based Sun Trust Savings & Loans Ltd, a mortgage bank, said "I am aware that the Minister of Finance and the Coordinator of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is committed to and looking at the housing sector as a catalyst for growth and employment generation. The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple has been holding stakeholder meetings with the sector. She has set up committees, she is doing a great job honestly and the Federal Mortgage Bank has been providing the necessary support to this effect. I know that the housing and finance ministers have been working together to ensure that the housing sector is jump-started seriously this year. It is on top of their radar. The idea is to create jobs in the economy. The Central Bank needs to get involved too by providing the necessary funds and credit guarantees to

the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria in particular and to the sector in general. The Nigerian housing sector is one of the most diagnosed sectors of the economy. The issues that are militating against its development are very clear." Jibrin said. A recent World Bank report says Nigeria has the potential to become Africa's foremost economic power, with an average GDP of six per cent per annum, buoyed by a young and growing population of 160 million. Morgan Stanley, an investment banking institution, also predicted that Nigeria's economy would outperform South Africa's by 2025 to become the biggest in Africa. The macroeconomic outlook is favourable. With an expected stable inflation rate, five per cent rural to urban immigration, and three per cent population growth, experts say Nigeria is a huge real estate market by all standards. Concurring with the statistics, the Jibrin noted that "in the highly developed economies, the average contribution of the real estate and housing sectors to the GDP is 40 per cent. In every economy, there is an engine room for that economy. The Nigerian housing sector can serve as that engine room as we seek to diversify our economic base. The sector has the potential to generate and create huge economic activities. The housing sector needs to consume other building materials and products such as electrical equipment, furniture, paints, roofing, cement, etc. The sector can help in developing small and large scale production of these key inputs thereby generating employment and increasing the level of national income. Addressing the housing sector problem is the same as addressing the unemployment problem and one avenue to diversify the economy away from dependence on the oil sector". Jibrin highlighted poor mortgage development as one of the problems hindering the development of the housing sector and called for the use of pension funds to boost mortgage development in Nigeria. His words: "the Pension Reform Act, 2004, has made it possible for people to have a contributory pension scheme in place. The pension industry has an estimated N2.4 trillion of pension funds under management. These are mostly long-term funds and are the most qualified to support the mortgage industry in attaining its millennium development goals. But these funds, understandably, are mostly locked up in government treasury bills and bonds. These (pension) funds have to be

President Goodluck Jonathan

Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala unlocked and made available for the real estate sector. This is because the funds are basically long-term and you may not have the problem we (mortgage banks) experience today in terms of mismatch in the maturity profile of the loans we grant, because mortgage loans are long term as against the deposits we take that are mostly short-tenured. If you do an actuarial valuation of the pension funds managed by the PFAs (Pension Fund Administrators), the minimum average number of years the money will remain

with the PFAs is about 20 years. This is what we call long term money. This is the type of money you expect should go into the housing and mortgage sector" Managing Director, Union Assurance Company Limited, Mr. Godwin Odah while blaming poor development of Nigeria's mortgage industry on the low level of insurance penetration and awareness in the country described insurance as a mechanism for mobilizing funds, adding that mortgage and housing remained scarce because there were no funds.

"We need long term funds, which is what life insurance provides. Life insurance comes in the category of 5, 10 and 15-year plans and so on. Funds at the disposal of banks are short-term in nature and most times, have a maximum tenor of 90 days before the owners come calling and with this condition, banks can only lend short-term at high interest rates that are largely a disincentive to the entrepreneur in the real estate business. But the situation will be better if banks had insurance life funds", Odah said.



How we paid off our mortgage: Tales of 3 homeowners W

hile renters dream of buying a home, homeowners dream of the day they pay off the mortgage and own the property debt-free. It’s not an easy goal to accomplish, but here, three homeowners explain why they wanted to pay off the mortgage — and how they did it. Pay off mortgage before retirement Phil Lobel, 52, has a conservative approach to money that largely explains why he repeatedly refinanced his mortgage over a 20-year period, reducing the interest rate and shortening the term until his loan was paid in full. “Even though everybody else seemed to take cash out and buy fancy cars and more real estate,

I said, ‘What happens when the real estate drops (in value) or you reach your balloon payment on the five-year term and the low rates are over?’” he says. Lobel, a public relations professional in West Hollywood, Calif., describes his home as a bungalow/cottage that includes a main house with two bedrooms and one bathroom. The home includes a garage that’s been converted into a one-bedroom, one-bathroom guest house. The total space is about 1,500 square feet on a 4,000-square-foot lot, Lobel says. He estimates the market value at $900,000. His initial mortgage, taken out in 1993 as part of the $280,000 purchase price, had an interest rate of 7.34 percent and a 30-year term. His second loan, obtained a few years later, had a

rate in the 6 percent range and a 20-year term. His last loan, originated in the early 2000s, had a rate slightly lower than 5 percent and a 10year term. Along the way, his payment increased in increments of 10 percent to 20 percent, and at times, he added as much as $700 extra to his payment to reduce the principal. “I had the cash, and instead of spending it frivolously, I felt this was a wise way to go,” Lobel says. “I wanted to have a home free and clear when I retire and not have any mortgage.” Pay off mortgage to prep for college Wendy Kerschner, 37, and her husband, Ken, 42, paid $155,000 to buy their house in 1997. They expect to pay off their

$124,000 purchase-money mortgage next summer, a year before the eldest of their two sons completes high school and begins college. The house is a two-story stone Colonial with four bedrooms and 1 1/2 bathrooms in Lancaster County, Pa. “Four years ago,” Wendy Kerschner says, “I went to the bank and said, ‘What do I need to do to make sure my mortgage is paid off by the summer of 2014?’ The bank told me I needed to provide an extra $200 per pay. That meant $400, or sometimes $600, a month because we pay biweekly.” Wendy Kerschner says she and her husband could “easily afford” the extra money, despite their modest incomes — he’s a schoolteacher, and she’s a sales and marketing assistant — due

Real estate opportunities in Nigeria are phenomenal Says Seyi Oyetunde, Managing Director, Continental Estates


nterestingly, despite the recent global meltdown and turmoil in Dubai where property prices are coming down, discerning investors, with eyes on the future are building more portfolios in real estate. And following the approval of a new National Housing Policy and a new Urban Development Policy by the Federal Executive Council last June, foreign capital has been flooding into the country for housing development under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) through which the federal government intends to build one million housing units annually under the new housing policy. The reason for the blossoming real estate sector in Nigeria, according to Seyi Oyetunde, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Continental Estates, is because “real estate

cannot crash, it stabilizes. Demand is higher than supply in real estate. I tell you there is nowhere else like real estate. The richest men in the world, if you look at their wealth, the bulk of it comes from real estate. I can’t remember exactly now but I know about 90 per cent of the world’s richest men thrive in real estate. Even when they do other things, it is based on their stock of real estate. They own corner shops everywhere, corner shops that enjoy appreciation. Because they own their own shops, they don’t rent and if at all they’ve got to rent, maybe it’s out of compulsion. But 90% or 95% of their locations are out rightly owned. People whose wealth is phenomenal and will last about four generations without effort are in real estate. I tell you it is exodus syndrome that happens

in Nigeria. With the direct foreign investment into the Nigerian market too, many shops are opened, so many people globally are beginning to realize that the local market in Nigeria is attractive for their various businesses. One of the first things they will need is commercial real estate and then maybe back it up with one serious luxury apartment for the CEO and then the other managers can be given housing allowances and the rest of them.” Analyzing further, he said “Nigeria is a seriously emerging economy, the opportunities here are phenomenal. When I say phenomenal I mean it’s pretty huge. We have seen the impact of direct foreign investment into Nigeria in the past three years and there is a lot more to be said. The capital market has witnessed its

boom; it is right now in a depression and real estate which was neither here nor there for a long while is suddenly beginning to enjoy unprecedented gains too. Those are the things that drove the likes of myself about four years ago to cultivate a new set of clientele, the billionaire’s club, people who have loads of money, intelligent people but with no wherewithal on real estates. We’ve been able to cultivate and build serious portfolio for them and for all its worth, most of them can boast of not just having money alone locally or offshore, they can boast of owning an estate. When I say estates, we are not talking of one house or two houses or multiple of duplexes but holding huge chuck of real estate that over time has enjoyed serious appreciation. That is what I would want to say about ourselves.”

to decades of careful spending habits. The Kerschners were housepoor for their first two years of homeownership because of a car loan, Wendy Kerschner recalls. Once that was paid off, she says, they had “$400 of play room” in their monthly budget. That spare cash wasn’t applied to the mortgage immediately, but combined with pay raises over the years, it enabled them to make the extra payments when they were ready to do so. “I am very frugal, but not that it hurts my lifestyle or makes me stand out in a crowd,” Wendy Kerschner says. “We take vacations — we go to water parks or amusement parks or camping, but we have never spent (much money) on the vacation. Our children have never been on an airplane.” Pay off mortgage to downsize Patrick Mellody, 54, and his wife, Vickie, 53, took a two-step approach to mortgage freedom: First, they paid off $50,000 of a $130,000 home loan, then they sold that home and used the equity cushion to pay cash for their current home. The property they bought in 1992 and sold in 2006 was a 3,200-square-foot house with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, what Patrick Mellody describes as an “enormous” great room and an in-law apartment. The replacement property, bought in 2006, is a 1,200square-foot town house with three bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms and a nearby park. Both properties are in the suburbs of Buffalo, N.Y. “We only paid $82,000,” Patrick Mellody says. “It was an amazing deal.” The Mellodys aren’t big earners. He’s a sales manager for a company that distributes bakery ingredients, a selfdescribed “volunteer budget coach” and the author of “ The Unemployment Budget,” a book about household budgeting for unemployed workers . She’s an office administrator for an oil and gas association. To chip away at their mortgage, Patrick Mellody says the couple paid off other bills, mostly credit cards and car loans, then applied the extra money from those extinguished debts to their home loan. They also refinanced, lowering their rate from the 8 percent range into 6 percent territory and shortening their term from 30 to 15 years. “Sometimes I was paying an extra $1,000 a month,” Patrick Mellody says. “I set a goal to be debt-free by the time I was 49, and one month before that date, I wrote a check (to buy the town house). It was a wonderful feeling and has been ever since.”



Grand Cherokee rebounds with significant improvements


he 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee receives a host of changes this year. Highlights include a refreshed exterior design, a new 3.0liter V6 diesel engine, a new eightspeed automatic transmission and an updated interior with new technology features. If you haven't been around a new Grand Cherokee in a while, you might be surprised when you slide behind the wheel of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Previous versions of the top Jeep took hits for their excessive fuel consumption and general lack of refinement, but the Grand Cherokee has rebounded in recent years with significant improvements to ride quality, fuel economy and interior accommodations. It's one of our favorite midsize SUVs, and Jeep has made key updates for 2014 to address its few lingering faults. The two biggest changes to the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee are its eight-speed automatic transmission and a new, highly economical diesel V6. Jeep has fitted the eight-speed automatic to every Grand Cherokee model, and its smooth, refined shifts are a welcome improvement over the lurchy, indecisive behavior we noted with the five-speed automatic previously offered with the base V6 engine. Better yet, the new transmission brings better fuel economy across the board. The new turbodiesel V6 marks the first time the Grand Cherokee has had a diesel engine option since 2009. It provides the highest fuel economy of

all the available engines, and its ample low-end torque makes it the best option if you're planning to tow or go off-road with your Jeep. The downside is that the diesel engine is more expensive than the JGC's V8, but our math tells us that difference is made up at the pump in about 35,000 miles. If you can handle the upfront cost, the diesel engine is an outstanding choice on the

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Although the current-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee is much more comfortable and civilized in everyday driving than older versions, it hasn't lost any of its off-road prowess. Jeep gives you several four-wheel-drive systems to choose from, and an optional off-road package provides an adjustable air suspension that can change the ride height on the 2014 Grand Cherokee from 6.6 inches for easy entry in garages with low vertical clearance to 11.3 inches for maximum

ground clearance while on rough terrain. Alongside that, the Grand Cherokee's upscale interior continues to be a draw, and it's complemented this year by a new electronics interface

with a n

available 8.4-inch touchscreen. Add this up and you're looking at one of the best picks for a doeverything midsize SUV. The Grand Cherokee's closest competitor, the Toyota 4Runner, shares the Jeep's off-road aptitude, but it doesn't offer a V8 or diesel option, and its interior simply isn't as nice. The price tag on the JGC, however, typically exceeds that of the 4Runner or popular

crossover SUVs like the Ford Explorer or Honda Pilot. In that sense, the Grand Cherokee is similar t o the Volkswagen Touareg,

which also has a high-end cabin and offers a diesel engine option (though the VW is tuned more for onroad performance rather than offroad pursuits). Like the Touareg, the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee feels as if it belongs in a higher class, and if you need or simply want all of its capabilities, you won't mind paying a little more for it. The 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a five-passenger midsize SUV that comes in five trim levels: Laredo, Limited, Overland, Summit and SRT. Each is available with rear-drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD), except the high-performance SRT model, which is 4WD only.

Standard equipment for the Laredo includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, foglamps, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, dual-zone airconditioning, a tilt-andtelescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a 5-inch touchscreen, a CD player, a USB port and an auxiliary audio jack. T h e Laredo's optional Security and Convenience G r o u p includes a p o w e r liftgate, r e m o t e engine start, a 1 1 5 - v o l t household-style power outlet, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Also optional on the Laredo are 18-inch wheels, an eight-way power driver seat, satellite radio and Jeep's new 8.4-inch touchscreen display with voice command. The Limited trim level includes the Laredo's standard equipment plus the contents of the Security and Convenience Group, 18-inch wheels, power front seats, driver memory settings, heated rear seats and a nine-speaker premium audio system. With the Limited trim, two additional option packages become available: the Luxury II Group and the Advanced Technology Group. The Luxury Group II adds a panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon headlights, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The Advanced Technology Group includes Forward Collision Warning, rear cross path detection, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. The 8.4-inch touchscreen is again optional, though it can also be fitted with a navigation system on the Limited. The Overland model features all of the standard equipment from the Limited, plus 20-inch wheels, the 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation and the contents of the Luxury Group II package. The Summit comes with the most standard equipment, as it includes all of the features from the Advanced Technology Group, along with a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and polished 20-inch wheels. Source:



FR OM THE FROM LIVE ST AGE STA with Patrick-Jude Oteh 0803 700 0496, 0805 953 5215 (SMS only)

The citadel of king Christophe


NAFETY cultural dancers performing at a fuction recently in Bogoro local government area of Bauchi State. Photo: NAN

Abuja Film village to partner with science and technology agency on youth empowerment


buja Film Village International is to partner with the FCT Agency for Science and Technology on youth empowerment through film production and entertainment. The Managing Director of the agency, Mr Segun Oyekunle, announced the plan in Abuja, saying the partnership would help to empower and remove youths from the streets. "We intend to train and help young people to go into the entertainment industry and we thank the minister for supporting this kind of training for empowering youths," Oyekunle said. He said the programme, being funded through SURE-P, ``is critical because we want the public to be aware of what we are doing. "We have put measures on ground that will help us identify

and recruit intending students. ``We have students in different areas in production, script writing, camera handling, so many areas in entertainment and film recording." Also, the General Manager of the agency, Mr Badewa Williams, said: "We are reaching out to a micro-finance bank for funding. ``We are also raising funds from other corporate bodies and MDAs so that at the end of the programme they can actually produce a movie. ``We don't just want to empower them but they will also have the capacity to empower others." Mr Williams Uchemba, the Managing Director, Prothesis School of Entertainment, said that the goal of the programme was to help people to become what they wanted to be. "What I believe is that the

entertainment industry performs, teaches and entertains. `` We have been getting it right in entertaining the people but the other aspect is the one we need to work on, not just to entertain but to show you the moral aspect. ``We are trying to remove those negative things known to the society that we can actually entertain and teach as well," Uchemba said. In his remark, the Zakaruyi of Karu, Chief Emmanuel Yepwi, commended the initiators of the programme when they paid him a courtesy call in his palace. Yepwi said the programme would go a long way in helping the youth and make them more responsible. He commended the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Muhammed, for supporting Abuja entertainment industry. (NAN)

Kwara Govt. to boost culture, tourism sites


r Ebenezer Adetula, the Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state on Tourism, has expressed the state's willingness to boost its cultural and tourism sites. Adetula said the resuscitation was to harness the rich economic potentials of the state using tourism as a platform and to boost its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). ``Kwara is naturally endowed with rich culture and tourism sites that if properly harnessed will boost the state's Internally Generated Revenue. ``Aside that, it will also place the state among the international tourism centres,'' he said. Adetula, who just concluded the tour of some of the sites, said that modalities to harness them had been put in place. He also said that government would use the sector to generate employment for the youths.

(NAN) Youths literary day holds tomorrow - Macmillan boss Mrs Francesca Emmanuel, Vice Chairman, Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Ltd., has said that the 2013 youths literary day would hold tomorrow. Emmanuel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the theme of this year's celebration is: ``Nigeria: Our Tears, Our Hopes``. She said that the programme would allow children and youths use their various presentations to showcase their potential. NAN reports that since 2002, Macmillan has been championing the cause of youth development through its various activities including ``Literary Day and ``The Macmillan Children Cultural Day``. Emmanuel said that the two programmes provided avenues for the promotion of reading culture and the scrutiny of societal trends as they affect young people.

She added that the programmes would also create a pedestal for capacity building for youths. ``The young ones have the skills, ability and mental capacity to rise above the odds and achieve greatness; so, we have to encourage them, `` she said. She, however, called on the Federal and State governments to make laws that would encourage Nigerian youths to better their lives. Emmanuel said that the country could still realise her noble and glorious destiny through the contributions of the youths only ``If we can encourage our youths and children to develop values that will stand them in good stead as leaders of tomorrow. ``We need to aid the development of the young Nigerians, and their preparations for a fulfilling adulthood and productive citizens''. (NAN)

he play, The Tragedy of King Christophe (1767 1820) was written by Aime Cesaire an Afro Martinican Francophone poet, author and politician in 1963 as a drama of de-colonization in 19th century Haiti. Christophe was an important general of the Haitian revolutionary army under Dessalines. He aided Toussaint Louverture who liberated Haiti from the French. When Dessalines declared himself Emperor, Christophe a pure blooded Black took part in a successful plot against Dessalines and was selected President of the Republic. Christophe then proceeded to wage a savage and inconclusive struggle with Alexandre Petion, the champion of mulatto supremacy who retained control of Southern Haiti. In 1811, entrenching himself in Northern Haiti, Christophe declared and crowned himself King as Emperor Henri I. Christophe had been a slave and before his career in the army he had been a cook and a waiter in a public hotel. He was an illiterate but he learned to speak English and French fluently. As Emperor and King he built a court full of sycophants and tolerated no opposition to his dictates. He built and created an autocracy patterned after the absolute monarchies of Europe. Compulsory and free labour coupled with crippling corruption became the order of the day and he and his inner caucus were thus enriched. Eventually from being a benevolent ruler, he transformed into a tyrant ruling the people with an iron fist all of this geared towards his vision to build a capital city upon a hill which he called The Citadel. Christophe surrounded himself with lavish and sometimes ludicrous magnificence with parties and orgies becoming the norm and the fabulous Palace at Sans Souci at Cap Haitien, his capital was transformed into one huge edifice of parties and orgies which occurred at the slightest opportunity. The Citadel of La Ferriere was a formidable fortress on top of a mountain surrounded by cliffs and mountains which was built with forced free labour. Emperor King

Christophe turned his people into slaves and the complaints rose from the fishermen to the sugarcane cutters. There was general despair in the land. The peasants expressed the complaints of the people saying they were tired and they had lost hope as they all felt and hoped that with the ascension of one of them to the throne they will be rewarded for their unwavering loyalty, hard work and heroic struggles. Emperor Christophe turned the people away saying that he would very much detest their victory if it allowed laxity. He reminded the people of the poverty and hunger in the land and that the only solution was to rebuild and recultivate the wastelands as they were once among the best cotton estates in the world. He told the people that no Haitian had the right to be lazy sending them away with spades and picks to continue the work for the Kingdom. The people at this point could not understand him for they felt that they had given up their freedom under the French for a new form of slavery. They revolted against him. His generals deserted him and at the peak of his powers he started to engage in voodoo worship alongside his professed Christianity which was the official religion of the new colony that was peopled by freed slaves from France. When the then Catholic Archbishop criticized him, Christophe had him buried alive in the Archbishop's official residence. In his later years, he had a stroke and became partially paralysed, committing suicide when he felt that life was no longer worth living as he had been deserted in his magnificent citadel atop the hill where he was eventually buried in a standing position. Today, the once upon a time magnificent palace of Sans Souci at Cap Haitien and the formidable fortress called The Citadel are nothing but ruins sitting atop a forgotten mountain with shanties surrounding it in a Kingship that fell into ruins. When asked why he wrote such a haunting play, Aime Cesaire replied that he wanted to send a powerful message to newly independent African countries of the 1960's to beware of vanity and the use of excessive force and power on their people.



Book R evie w Re view

A Child-Poet's beginning of silence - A review By Chiedu Ezeanah


ames Joyce, the giant Irish modernist novelist of the twentieth century paid his own tribute to the creative genius of youth, when he published his first notable work and entitled it, Portrait of An Artist as a Youngman. When in August 2012 the city of Abuja witnessed the birth of a book, The Beginning of Silence, by the twelve year old author and poet, Ibrahim Zakama, even Joyce must rejoice that some cheeky yet to be teen boy dared to shred the implicit age-limits he drew on the sands for artists. His very choice of title sets you thinking, that we may well have a prodigy among us, because for those who know, the solitude which silence bestows is the beginning of wisdom for the truly creative mind. This gem of a title enunciates our very aware child-poet's artistic principle. So, all you noisy throng of adults, take heed! The ambition of the poet is expressed in the first poem, when he seems to wonder in"Beautiful Sun": The sun brighter than light/You still are looking at the sun. Same sun teases his dream in the concluding lines: Believe and one day you will/be as bright as the sun. A declamatory cadence tinged with innocence seeps through the fourth poem, "Song in My Heart", to reveal what our poet thinks all his chanting is all about- I always sing and dance/To the song in my heart/I tell the truth and I sing/About the song in my heart. The search for truth is the province of philosophers(?), while the poet's fount of inspiration remains the heart. So, we have here a poet of the mind and heart, poised to reflect and create for his audience. The Beginning of Silence, however, offers more abundant lines of the

intimations of a poet of amour. The question arises, what does a boy, sorry, a poet at twelve know about 'love', to devote close to a third of the forty-six poems in his book, to cogitating and musing about it? They range in intensity and tenderness from "What's Her Name?", "Your Beauty", to, 'What Is Love?", 'When Love Says No', and "My Love Is Blind", where he raps and

confesses: I would love her so true/But she makes me feel blue‌ The 'thinking' poems are no less meditative and motivational, in such verses as"The Journey", "If Only", "Peacemaker", "Racing Is Unlimited", "Bring Me A Clear Hand", "A Man With A Dream", "The Rules", "My Teachers", "The Lazy Man's Song". Related to these are the poems on nature-

"Dove From Above", "Wildcat", "Rain", "By Sunlight". Of course, much to be expected from a child, there are the whimsical pieces, like -"If I Shoot Now", "You Don't Know My Name", and , "Usual Parade", which satirizes our current political scene. However, the very last poem in the book- "I Never Said I Wasn't Afraid" is the poem that truly speaks to our troubled times, where he despairs- I'm scared of the animals that lurk in the dark/ Am I soon to become their midnight snack? Not unexpectedly for a child growing up in this wild, wild age of rap music where everything seems to rhyme without reason, most of Ibrahim's poems mimic this trend. But, "Baby's Cry", stands out as a stylistically successful and empathetic poem, and it does not try to rhyme-A baby's cry/Sometimes it feels/Like it came out/Of nowhere, though‌ A considerable number of the poems are dedicated to family members, sibling brother who also writes, late aunt, an uncle, mother, and most especially the poet's father, who's a versifier himself. The father's influence cannot be discounted, but listening to Ibrahim recite his work as I did recently before a mostly adult audience at the Abuja Writers' Forum Monthly Session, tells you he crafted each line in The Beginning of Silence. Formerly a pupil at Educare Private/Chosen High School in Jos and Funtaj International School in Abuja, and currently enrolled at Belle Vue Boys' School in Bradford, UK, versatile Ibrahim also sketched the thirty-seven illustrations in this book, including the cover. And he responded to every query with surprising aplomb. Like the question from me concerning his choice of title, he said: It's my first ever book. I have to be quiet when I set out to write and create".

Festival on historical past of Lagos State heroes coming-Official


r Oma Imishue, the Facility Manager, Freedom Park, Lagos, said the park would soon hold a festival that would educate tourists and youths on the historical past of Lagos State. Imishue told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that a suitable date for the festival was being discussed by the management.

He said that the festival was to promote the historical past of Lagos State and its heroes who suffered greatly for the freedom of the people. He reiterated that the park, being an old prison, was used by the colonial masters to imprison the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Chief Cbafemi Awolowo, Chief Michael Imodu, Sir Adeyemo Alakija, and others

``This old prison, now Freedom Park, was used by the British colonial masters to torture those that opposed colonial rule in Nigeria. ``During the festival, hundreds of performers will animate the ancient city of Badagry and cosmopolitan Lagos with the passage of the traditional and the modern. "Besides, the festival would celebrate African creativity

within a carnivalesque of traditional and contemporary dance, music, painting and photo-exposition and drama. "Others are design and fashion display, an international symposium, film and video fiesta and other artistic and intellectual displays," he said. The manager said that over 1,500 foreign visitors would witness the festival. (NAN)

POEM OF THE WEEK PRETENDERS (For James D. ( Rubadiri ) It is worrying, that I must learn about you, soul brother from eyes looking through a blurred vista that contains your virtuous and beautiful mind. It is worrying, that they have everything else but respect for your rigorousness, that the prophet will not draw blood of respect or an honest ear from his own kindred it is worrying, that they take the new man's wine even its bitter dregs without a fret. It is worrying, how comfortable they get. How comfortable they have gotten In another man's skin SUSAN White walls. Empty beds waiting occupation. Angels some ugly some beautiful. Some ask me odd questions, Some I ask the odd question. Wide rooms filled with emptiness. Gloom smiles at me. Should I smile back? Will he not refute it? The stench rises. Sometime in my life This was familiar place. She was in its baptism. And I required Such baptism to get to her. But now there is not a thing That respects her. Nothing speaks of her It is all empty and I am afraid. Who will save me in her absence? Source:


Humorists can never start to take themselves seriously. It's literary suicide. - Erma Bombeck



PAGE 31 08091700949

Sweden to partner Africa on development Stories by Abdulkadir Isa


weden will partner Africa to help consolidate its development strides, the Swedish Finance minister has said. Mr Anders Borg made this commitment yesterday as the leader of the Swedish delegation to the to the Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS) Commission in Abuja yesterday. Borg expressed belief in the rebirth of Africa saying, ``the continent is growing faster than China.We have come to show our support for ECOWAS and the transformation and the important work on security that ECOWAS is doing". ``The reason we are here is the fact that we believe and are deeply committed toward developing and working together with Africa.We will try to work together, we have had good talks and we have listened to arguments on the need to connect trade and development" Borg added. ``For our industries and

Mr Anders Borg (M) investment to come here, it is important to have good facilities and infrastructure, wellfunctioning courts and governance system.

Canadian arraigned for fraud, forgery


a Canadian, Jim Mansfield, was arraigned at a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates' Court for allegedly duplicitousact against one HajiyaBintaMuktar amounting to N15 million. The prosecutor, Tope Falode, told the court that Muktar reported the matter to the Interpol on May 2012. Falode said that in May 2012, Muktar leased her house located at No 3, Udi-Hill Close, Aso Drive, to Mansfield with an agreement that he should pay N15 million into her account. However, he said, Mansfield fraudulently possessed the said house and refused to credit Muktar's account. The prosecutor added that the accused, in July 2012, presented forged documents from Wells Faruo Bank to Muktar, claiming to have deposited the said sum into her account, an offence which contravened sections 312, 321 and 368 of the Penal Code. Section 312 of the code states that whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or fined or both. Section 368 states that whoever has in his possession any forged document shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 14 years and shall also be liable to fine. However, Mansfield, pleaded

not guilty to the charges as his Counsel, Mr David Ashaolu, prayed the court to grant bail to his client. Ashaolu said his client would not jump bail and would not jeopardise investigation in the case. But the prosecutor objected the bail of the accused, and said, ``the accused is not a Nigerian and he is likely to jump bail''. The prosecutor also alleged that the accused had two different passports bearing two different names. ``The accused has a Canadian passport bearing the name Jim Mansfiled and a UK passport with the name James Michael Mansfiled.'' Mansfield's counsel, however, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms. The Senior Magistrate, Mr Tony Ubani, granted the accused bail in the sum of N5 million with two sureties in like sum. He said one of the sureties must be a civil servant of not less than Grade Level 13 and must be living within the court's jurisdiction. He said the civil servant must deposit the original copies of his employment and last promotion letter and bank statement of account for the last three months in the court. The second surety should be reasonable and swear to an affidavit of having not less than N2 million in his account. Ubani then adjourned hearing to May 20th 2013.

``We are very thankful for the good work ECOWAS is doing and for the cooperation that we have,'' he affirmed. Responding to his speech, The

President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr KadreOuedraogo, thanked Sweden for its support for ECOWAS programmes and crisis

management on the African comtinent. Ouedraogosaid that trade partnership between the commission and Sweden had been discussed and that emphasis would be placed on development. ``Let me express our deep appreciation to the honourable minister from Sweden for this visit to the ECOWAS commission. ``I want to say that this is an occasion to strengthen the already excellent relations existing between Sweden and ECOWAS. ``We are indeed grateful to them for their support to ECOWAS programmes and also to the crisis management in Mali in particular. ``We have discussed economic partnership agreement and we believe trade can promote growth and development.'' Sweden had supported ECOWAS with six million dollars to combat the effect of climate changeOuedraogo added. Chief Operating Officer,Peoples Daily Newspaper, Ali M. Ali (4th left), Head of Subscription Xinhua Kenya, Penny Chen Shipin (4th right), with other members of staff of both Peoples Daily Newspaper and Xinhua News Agency, when the latter visited Peoples Daily In Abuja on Monday

Deputy Speaker HOR Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Abdul Ningi, Sen. Ike Ekwerenmadu, The President of ECOWAS Commission, Mr KadreOuedraogoand Representative of Benin Republic at the ECOWAS parliament meeting in Abuja.



Libya's defence minister resigns Editor of leading Zimbabwe weekly 'detained'


he editor and chief reporter of a leading weekly newspaper in Zimbabwe have been arrested by police after publishing a politically sensitive article, according an article published on the paper's website. DumisaniMuleya and Owen Gagare of the Zimbabwe Independent were said to have been detained for publishing "falsehoods" in a story two weeks ago. The news of the arrests could not be confirmed as the police were not immediately available for comment. The article in question claimed that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change was talking to top officials, including military commanders, to ease the path to elections expected later this year. The branches of state security in Zimbabwe are dominated by supporters of veteran President Robert Mugabe, who is seeking reelection in upcoming polls which are seen as likely to end a shaky Mugabe-Tsvangirai coalition. The talks with Mugabe's top brass were a bid to "allay fears they would be removed if President Robert Mugabe is defeated", the article said. Quoting "military sources", it said the discussions were also aimed at "preventing possible political instability or a potential coup if Tsvangirai trounces Mugabe". The report has already been met with a furious rebuttal from the military. Constantine Chiwenga, the commander of Zimbabwe's defence force, told state media he would not meet with Tsvangirai. "We have no time to meet a sellout. Clearly Tsvangirai is a psychiatric patient who needs a competent psychiatrist," he was quoted as saying. Independent media outlets have found it difficult to operate in the country under the government of Mugabe. Last week, the president was declared a press "predator" by Reporters without Borders, a watchdog for press freedom.

Mohammed Mahmoud al-Bargati


ibya's defence minister has resigned, calling a siege of government ministries by armed groups an "assault" on democracy. The resignation of Mohammed Mahmoud alBargati comes as gunmen in Libya's capital Tripoli kept up their siege of ministries on

Tuesday despite parliament's adoption of a law to purge Gaddafi-era officials from their posts, which was supposed to appease the protestors. Some are demanding the government's resignation."I will never be able to accept that politics [can] be practiced by the power of weapons ... This is

an assault against the democracy I have sworn to protect," Bargati said. He is the first cabinet minister to quit in a crisis over the siege. On Sunday, Libya's parliament voted to ban anyone who held a senior position during Muammar

Gaddafi's 42-year rule from government, a move which could also unseat the prime minister and other top officials regardless of their part in toppling the dictator. Politicians debated the draft law for months, but the issue came to a head this week when heavily armed groups took control of two ministries and stormed other institutions including the state broadcaster. The decision to hold the vote under duress could embolden the armed groups to use force again to assert their will over parliament. Members of parliament in Libya, plagued by armed disorder since Gaddafi's demise, say the new legislation could be applied to around 40 of 200 deputies and could also unseat the prime minister, who some protesters demand should quit immediately. On Monday a spokesman for parliament conceded that the siege of the ministries was out of the government's hands and that it would be up to the militiamen now to leave as promised. 'Fifty countries and organisations are gathered in London for an international conference aimed at preventing Somalia from slipping back into abject lawlessness.

Niger jails ally of ex-president in graft probe


iger jailed a close ally of former president MamadouTandja on Monday on suspicion of embezzling some 20 billion CFA francs ($40 million) as head of the state electricity company, judicial sources said. The arrest marked another blow against corruption in the poor West African nation by President MamadouIssoufou's government, which has made

tackling graft a priority since taking office in 2011. "Foukory Ibrahim, the former head of Nigelec, was imprisoned on Monday in the framework of an investigation into embezzlement at the company," a magistrate in the capital Niamey told Reuters, asking not to be identified. Ibrahim ran Nigelec until February 2010 when Tandja was toppled in a coup. He has

been a member of parliament for the opposition MNSD party for two years but was stripped of his parliamentary immunity in March 2012 as part of the investigation. He was detained in a nonmilitary prison in Kollo, 35 km (22 miles) southeast of Niamey. The landlocked former French colony remains one of the poorest countries in the

world despite rich uranium deposits. In February, Niger arrested about 20 doctors suspected of embezzling funds from a charity backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to promote vaccination in poor countries, the Gavi Alliance. Last year, Issoufou fired two ministers suspected of illegally awarding state contracts.

reporting from Mogadishu said that the feeling in Somalia seemed to be that this was one in a line of international conferences, and it was unlikely results would be seen. "A lot of people mention that this is one in a series of international conferences and people are yet to see the outcome of these on the ground. "If the security situation in Somalia breaks down there is a fear we could see a resurgence of Islamic extremism and piracy. The key reason for the drop in hijackings is seen as the increase of security." Big challenges Speaking to Al Jazeera, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said security was at the top of the list of the country's priorities. "We have a six pillar policy frameworks to build the foundations of a new beginning for Somalia," he said. "Today, among the other priorities, security is the top one." Somalia has been battered by conflict since 1991, but a new

United Nations-backed government took power in September, ending more than a decade of transitional rule. The al-Qaeda-linked alShabbab armed group was driven out of Mogadishu in August 2011 by a regional military offensive, but have carried out a series of attacks in recent months. The conference follows on from ones held in London in February

2012 and Istanbul four months later. Cameron said despite the progress made by the Somali government since then, big challenges remained. "Tragic and despicable" recent attacks on Mogadishu are a reminder of "how much work we still have to do", he said.

Somalia asks for international support


ifty countries and organisations are gathered in London for an international conference aimed at preventing Somalia from slipping back into abject lawlessness. British Prime Minister David Cameron and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud are cohosting Tuesday's meeting, which hopes to bolster political stability in the conflict-battered Horn of Africa country. "The Somalia conference in London aims to capitalise on the significant progress made over the past year and to agree coordinated international support for the government of Somalia's plans to build political stability by improving security, police, justice and public financial management systems," Britain's Foreign Office said. Organisations such as the United Nations, the African Union, the International Monetary Fund and Somalia's neighbours are among those invited. Al Jazeera's Peter Greste,

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud


Asia and Middle East Kerry in Moscow to bridge gap with Russia on Syria


S Secretary of State John Kerry is in Russia to try to bridge the divide with Washington over the Syria conflict. He is to have talks with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow but the two disagree on the future of President Bashar al-Assad. Russia, which supports Mr Assad, refuses to back US pressure designed to force him to step down. The US recently said it does not rule out providing arms for the Syrian opposition. "Arming the rebels - that's an option," US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel said last week. Mr Kerry's visit comes days after Israel launched air strikes in southern Syria. Russia condemned the attacks which Israeli sources said targeted missiles destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon - as a threat to regional stability. President Putin had spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Kremlin said. Ahead of Mr Kerry's visit, Russia's foreign ministry called on the West to stop politicising the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, BBC Moscow correspondent Steven Rosenberg reports. It expressed concern that world public opinion was being prepared for possible military intervention, he adds. The United Nations has played down claims by one of its experts that there was evidence rebels had used nerve gas. Investigator Carla Del Ponte earlier said testimony from victims and doctors had given rise to "strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof" that opposition forces had used sarin. But the Commission of Inquiry on Syria stressed on Monday it had not reached any "conclusive findings". The colourless, odourless gas is classed as a weapon of mass destruction and is banned under international law. In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said it was "highly likely" that any use of chemical weapons that had taken place had been carried out by government forces. Both the US and Israel have described the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict as a "game-changer", which could trigger international military intervention. Correspondents say it is unlikely that Mr Kerry will be able to change President Putin's stance on Syria. Moscow genuinely fears that a bad situation will get even worse if President Bashar al-Assad is pushed from power, and that Islamists will fill the void, reports the BBC's Steven Rosenberg in Moscow.


Bangladesh building collapse death toll passes 700 T

he death toll from the collapse of an eightstorey factory building near the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, has passed 700, officials say. The announcement came after workers pulled dozens more bodies from the rubble. Many people are still missing. Several people, including the building's owner, have been arrested. The collapse of the Rana Plaza on 24 April stands as

Bangladesh's worst industrial disaster. It sparked outrage among workers in the country. The previous most deadly structural failure in modern times - excluding the 9/11 terror attacks in New York was the Sampoong department store in Seoul, South Korea, in 1995, in which 502 people died. The death toll from Bangladesh now stands at 705. Officials say about 2,500

people were injured in the collapse and that 2,437 people have been rescued. Rescue officials also say they do not know exactly how many people are still missing as factory owners have not given them precise figures. It came as hundreds of garment workers who survived the collapse protested by blocking a highway close to the accident site demanding unpaid wages and benefits.

Reports say many of them were working in some of the factories housed in the illegally constructed building. Local government administrator YousufHarun told the Associated Press news agency that they are working with a garment industry body to ensure the workers are paid. The disaster put the spotlight on conditions in the country's garment sector. Bangladesh has one of the largest garment industries in the world, and some of the clothes produced in the building were made for Western retailers. The EU has said it is considering "appropriate action" to encourage an improvement in working conditions in Bangladesh factories. This includes the use of its trade preference system, which gives Bangladesh duty- and quota-free access to markets in member states. On Monday the government announced a panel that would inspect garment factories for building flaws.

Korean Peninsula peace meets interests of all - FM spokeswoman


President Putin

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman HuaChunying

UN peacekeepers seized near Syria border


our UN peacekeeper's are being held in the so-called Area of Limitation between Syria and Israel, where neither Israeli nor Syrian forces can operate. Al Jazeera's James Bays, reporting from the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, said the soldiers are a part of the Disengagement Observer force and have been in the Golan Heights

since the end of the ArabIsraeli war in 1973. He said the peacekeepers monitor the Area of Limitation. He said there are no details of the missing peacekeepers' nationalities, adding that the force comprises personnel from Austria, India, Morocco and the Philippines. Our correspondent said

Tuesday's incident follows a similar situation in March involving peacekeepers from the Philippines, and UN diplomats are worried about the continuation of the peacekeeping operation at a time of extreme tension in the region. A UN spokeswoman told Reuters news agency that the organisation did not know who had detained the peacekeepers.

hina says that maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula meets interests of all relevant sides. China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman HuaChunying made the comments in response to a journalist's question at a daily press briefing. Maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula should also be "the common responsibility of all relevant sides," Hua said. "The current situation on the peninsula remains highly complex and sensitive. We hope all sides do more things conducive to relaxing tensions on the peninsula," she said. According to media reports, officials from the United States said that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has withdrawn two Musudan missiles from a launch site on its east coast. When asked to comment on the summit between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States, Hua said that "it is a matter between them to keep normal relations." She added, "Meanwhile, we hope the ROK-US relationship can play a constructive role for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the East Asia region at large." ROK President Park Geunhye and US President Barack Obama will meet on May 7 in Washington DC. Source: Xinhua



Europe and Americas Brazil to deploy 6,000 Cuban doctors in remote areasminister


razil plans to hire 6,000 Cuban doctors to serve in remote parts of the country where medical services are deficient or nonexistent, despite controversy over the quality of their training. Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said on Monday negotiations were under way involving the Washington-based Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to allow the Cuban doctors to practice in Brazil. Brazilian medical associations have opposed Cuban-trained doctors practicing in their country, arguing that standards at Cuba's medical schools are lower than in Brazil and equivalent in some cases to a nursing education in Brazil. Over the past decade Cuba's communist government has sent 30,000 doctors to work in poor neighborhoods of Venezuela, Havana's closest political ally in Latin America, under an agreement reached with the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez that involved an exchange of medical services for cheap oil. The Cubans are expected to be sent to poor corners of the Northeast of Brazil and the Amazon jungle where Brazilian doctors are reluctant to serve. "Cuba is very proficient in the areas of medicine, pharmaceuticals andbiotechnology and Brazil is considering receiving Cubans doctors in talks that involve PAHO," Patriota said at a news conference with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. The Federal Council of Medicine, a body that represents doctors in Brazil, criticized as "irresponsible" the government's proposal to allow in doctors whose "technical and ethical quality was in doubt." It issued a statement demanding foreign doctors be recertified in Brazil before being allowed to practice. Foreign Minister Patriota said the plan to bring Cuban doctors to Brazil would strengthen ties between Havana and Brasilia that have expanded since the leftist Worker's Party came to power a decade ago. He announced that Brazil will finance the modernization of five airports in Cuba, where Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht is already building a container terminal at the port of Mariel.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota

US accuses China government and military of cyber-spying C hina's government and military have targeted US government computers as part of a cyber-espionage campaign, a US report on China says. Intrusions were focused on collecting intelligence on US diplomatic, economic and defence sectors which could benefit China's own defence programme, it says. This is the first time the Pentagon's annual report has directly linked such attacks to the Beijing government. China called the report "groundless", saying it represented "US distrust". A report from state news agency Xinhua cited Sr Col Wang Xinjun, a People's Liberation Army (PLA)

researcher, describing the report as "irresponsible and harmful to the mutual trust between the two countries". Both China and the US were victims of cybercrimes and should work together to tackle the problems, the agency quoted him as saying. The Pentagon report also criticises a "lack of transparency" in China's military modernisation programme and defence spending. "In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the US government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government

and military," the report from the US Department of Defense said. The attacks were focused on "exfiltrating information" that "could potentially be used to benefit China's defence industry, high technology industries... and military planners," it said. It added that this was particularly concerning because the "skills required for these intrusions are similar to those necessary to conduct computer network attacks". While China has long been suspected of a role in cyber attacks, the US has generally avoided publicly attributing attacks to the Chinese government, or confirming that US government

computers have been targeted. But the issue has come under increased scrutiny in recent months. In February, US cyber security firm Mandiant said that it had linked hundreds of data breaches since 2004 to a Chinese hacking team traced to the site of a military unit in Shanghai. China called the Mandiant report flawed, and said it was opposed to cyber-crime. The report also analyses China's progress in modernising its military and says that a "lack of transparency" about its military capabilities has heightened regional tensions

Ecuador recalls 'brawl' ambassador after spat with Peru


cuador's ambassador to Lima, Rodrigo Riofrio, has resigned after being involved in a brawl with two women in a supermarket in the Peruvian capital. The brawl between the ambassador and two female shoppers led to diplomatic tensions between the two neighbours. Both countries had threatened to expel each other's ambassador, but on Monday agreed to name new people to the jobs. Ecuador's President, Rafael Correa, said he "wouldn't let an incident in a supermarket" ruin bilateral relations. Tensions had increased between Lima and Quito after Mr Riofrio was accused of assaulting two women, Cristina Castro and her daughter Cynthia Nunez, in a supermarket on 21 April. Ms Castro said Mr Riofrio had become annoyed when they were served first and had insulted them. She said her daughter had

slapped the ambassador in the face in response, who in turn hit her and her daughter with a magazine. Ms Castro said the ambassador had called them "crazy old hags" and insulted the Peruvian people. Reports of the incident and CCTV footage from the supermarket dominated the news in Peru, with celebrities expressing their outrage at the perceived aggression. A number of politicians called for Mr Rofrio's expulsion. Peruvian First Lady Nadine Heredia also weighed into the discussion, saying that "aggression against women should not be tolerated". Following a meeting with Ambassador Riofrio, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he backed the diplomat, as "he had been the one to be hit first". He also threatened "with sorrow in his heart" to bar Peru's ambassador from returning to Quito if Peru did not allow Ecuador's

ambassador to return to his post. But on Monday, the foreign ministries of Peru and Ecuador released simultaneous statements in which they declared they would each recall their ambassadors and name new candidates to the posts in an effort to safeguard their "excellent bilateral relations". Peru said its ambassador, Javier Leon Olavarria, would

he former chancellor of the exchequer, Lord Lawson, has called for the UK to leave the European Union. Writing in the Times, he said British economic gains from an exit "would substantially outweigh the costs". He predicted any changes achieved by David Cameron's attempts to renegotiate the terms of the UK's relations with the EU would be "inconsequential". But Downing Street said the prime minister remained "confident" that his strategy "will deliver results". Mr Cameron is facing calls to bring forward a promised referendum on the UK's EU membership. He says he will hold a vote early in the next parliament should the Conservatives win the next general election - but only after renegotiating the terms of

the UK's relationship with the EU. However, Lord Lawson said any such renegotiations would be "inconsequential" as "any powers ceded by the member states to the EU are ceded irrevocably". The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said Lord Lawson's

intervention was a "big moment" in the EU debate. The peer - who was Margaret Thatcher's chancellor for six years - voted to stay in the European Common Market, as the EU was known in 1975, but said: "I shall be voting 'out' in 2017." He said he "strongly"

"soon assume a high post" somewhere else, while Ecuador announced that Mr Riofrio would be sent to serve as ambassador in another country. Peru and Ecuador fought a 5-week-long war in 1993 over a disputed territory on the shores of the River Cenepa, but the dispute was laid to rest with the signing of the 1998 Brasilia accord.

Rodrigo Riofrio (r) shakes hands with Peruvian President OllantaHumala in 2012.

UK ex-chancellor calls for EU exit T

Lord Lawson

suspected there would be a "positive economic advantage to the UK in leaving the single market". Far from hitting business hard, it would instead be a wakeup call for those who had been too content in "the warm embrace of the European single market" when the great export opportunities lay in the developing world, particularly Asia. "Over the past decade, UK exports to the EU have risen in cash terms by some 40%. Over the same period, exports to the EU from those outside it have risen by 75%," he added. Withdrawing from the EU would also save the City of London from a "frenzy of regulatory activism", such as the financial transactions tax that Brussels is seeking to impose.



Qigong master generates Intense heat from his hands Z

hou Ting-Jue is an internationally renown Qigong, Tai Chi and Kung Fu grand master who has shocked the world with his abilities to generate extreme heat from his hands and stand on thin sheets of paper without falling through. Master Zhou, also known as "The Jewel of China", has been featured on a number of television programs such as Ripley's Believe It or Not, That's Incredible or Stan Lee's Superhumans, and his amazing abilities have been studied and verified by various scientists for decades. For some time now, researchers have been presenting information about the benefits of practicing Qigong, but what Master Zhou is able to accomplish by channeling his inner Chi defies science and Western medicine. Not only is he able to generate heat close to boiling point through the palms of his hands, but this traditional healer says his Qigong treatments have the power to "dissolve tumors, heal severe, chronic injuries, as well as successfully treat "incurable" diseases." People from all over the world seek his aid for a variety of conditions,

Zhou Ting-jue and in the past he has used his powers to treat the Dalai Lama, members of the LA Lakers basketball team, Olympic athletes, celebrities and dignitaries. In China, he is so respected that he has been named a "Treasure of the

Kung Fu sisters organize combat tournament to find suitors


hen you're a deadly martial arts expert, traditional dating just doesn't cut it, so you have to take special measures to find your soul mate. In the case of sisters Xiao Lin (22) and Xiao Yin (21) we're talking about amartial arts tournament for suitors. The two young sisters, from Foushan, East China, said they've tried dating agencies, but the men they met were too weak, and they could easily beat them. Since they want their special half to be stronger than them, they decided to bring back an ancient tradition called Bi Wu Zhao Qin - a tournament in which the warrior princesses of old found their men.


The three-day tournament will take place in their home town, and will have challengers compete in an archery event, carry weights over sharp bamboo spears, and finally, beat one of the sisters in full contact combat. I take it this isn't a challenge for gentlemen‌ The two kung fu sisters will give their opponent the chance to choose between open hand combat and any weapon, but they warn everyone that they won't be holding back: "If they can't beat us they aren't worthy", said Xiao Lin. Only after they've beaten one of the sisters can the suitors take off their masks to see the face of the one they're going to marry.

Nation". 79-year-old Zhou Ting-jue began practicing Kung Fu under his grandfather at the age of 7, and by the time he was 16, his uncle began teaching him the secrets of Qigong, to help him maintain

his body strength. He has been practicing it ever since, developing a growing understanding of the ancient art and its potential. Before moving to the United States, Master Zhou traveled through China, teaching Qigong,

treating patients and displaying his incredible martial arts techniques. Word of his superhuman powers spread like wildfire after he arrived in America, sparking the interest of scientists and martial arts enthusiasts. So far no one has been able to explain how exactly he is able to generate heat of up to 202 degrees Fahrenheit through the palms of his hands, or shift his body weight from his legs to his chest and stand on a thin sheet of paper. As you would expect Master Zhou has a number of detractors who call him a fraud, but he says the secret to his "tricks" lie in focus and controlling his chi energy. As for those skeptical about his healing powers, Ting-jue claims after treatment "everybody believes". On an episode of Ripley's Believe It or Not, Zhou's heatgenerating abilities were captured with a thermal camera and even the naked eye can spot vapor rising from a piece of cloth as he channels his energy into it. One of his patients, a former anesthesiologist who couldn't find a cure for his back pain until he met the Qigong master, says: It's‌I can't explain it, but it's real".

Indian man single-handedly plants a whole forest


t's truly amazing when we get to cover news of people who single-handedly create something truly significant.Churches on a mountain side, for instance. Or in this case, an entire forest. JadavPayeng, a man in his mid-fifties, has been instrumental in converting a sand bar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra in Assam, India, into a huge forest. His work of the past 30 years is being recognized by tourists and film-makers, the world over. Mulai, as Jadav is known among locals, started work on the land in 1980. A scheme was launched at that time by the social forestry division of the district, involving the planting of trees on only 200 hectares. The project was completed after 5 years and all the laborers left, except Mulai. Dedicated to the forest, he stayed on and single-handedly looked after the trees, continuing to plant more of them. Eventually, the forest expanded to 550 hectares. According to Assistant Conservator of Forest, GuninSaikia, this is perhaps the world's biggest forest in the

Photo: Cea. middle of a river. Mulai says there's potential to extend this even further to 1000 hectares. Inspired, the department has planned to launch another plantation program this year. The Assamese name given to the forest is "MulaiKathoni," meaning Mulai's forest. It is home to several thousands of varieties of trees. Bamboo alone covers about 300 hectares. And it's not just the plants, there's wildlife living in there too. There are about four

tigers, three rhinos and more than a hundred deer, rabbits and apes. There are innumerable varieties of birds who call this place home, as well. A herd of about 100 elephants is known to visit the place every year for six months. MulaiKathoni has attracted several visitors so far, including British film maker Tom Robert. S o u r c





Children brought up by two parents are more intelligent By Emma Innes


hildren who are brought up by two parents grow up to be cleverer than those raised by just one person, new research suggests. Being with both parents in the earliest years of life leads to a child developing more brain cells, the scientists believe. However, the benefits vary between the sexes. Being brought up by both parents causes boys to have better memory and learning functions.

By contrast, it causes girls to develop improved motor co-ordination and sociability. It is believed that babies with two parents tend to get more attention and more stability, and that they are less likely to suffer emotional distress in the first years of life. This leads to greater brain cell production - for boys it is grey matter brain cells that develop and for girls it is white matter brain cells.

The researchers from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) of Calgary University, in Canada, studied mice and experimented by creating one parent and two parent family groups. They then measured the offspring's brain cell development from birth to adulthood. Adult mice with the highest number of brain cells turned out to be those who had been brought up by two parents rather than

Being with both parents in the earliest years of life leads to a child developing more brain cells

one. As babies they had received m o r e attention and more nursing as b o t h p a r e n t s took turns to lick and tend to their youngsters, said HBI director, Dr S a m u e l Weiss. As a Children brought up by two parents get more r e s u l t , t h e attention and stability and suffer less distress, say b a b i e s w i t h researchers two parents are less likely to suffer early life trauma w hich can have a massive impact on how their brains develop in later life, the research shows. However, what did surprise the researchers is that female babies who grew up with both parents turned out to be good single mothers, as if good parenting was passed on. Dr Weiss said: 'Our new work adds to a growing body of knowledge, which indicates that early, supportive experiences have long lasting, positive impact on adult brain function. 'Surprisingly, the advantages of dual parenting were also passed along when

these two groups reproduced, even if their offspring were raised by one female. 'The advantages of dual parenting were thus passed along to the next generation.' Although the experiment was conducted on mice, many of the same principles of how early life events can influence growing up are relevant to humans too, the report added. The researchers said: 'In the mouse model, parenting and the environment directly impacted adult brain cell production. 'It is possible that similar effects could be seen in other mammals, such as humans. Source:

A lack of sleep can reduce a man's sperm count by a third By Pat Hagan and Fiona Macrae


leep problems can drastically lower the fertility of young men, warns a study. Those struggling to make it through the night have more problems than those enjoying a sound rest. Their sperm counts were cut by a quarter and they also had smaller testicles. The latest research is the first to look specifically at whether broken rest affects male fertility although links between sleep and health have been well-studied. poor diet and lifestyle or even 'gender-bending' chemicals in the environment. But work at the University of Southern Denmark suggests that modern sleep patterns may also be a factor. The scientists examined nearly 1,000 men in their late teens or early 20s about to do military service. They gave sperm samples and answered questions about how well they slept. Questions included how often they slept badly and how often they found it

difficult to nod off. The men were also asked if they regularly woke up during the night and found it difficult to go back to sleep. Those who frequently retired late, woke many times in the night or struggled to nod off in the first place, had a sperm count 25 per cent lower

than those who had no trouble. Tests showed that their testicles were also significantly smaller, according to the study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. It said: 'The frequency of sleep disturbances has increased in the industrialised world during the past few

decades, a period in which a decline in semen quality has also been reported. 'The results may have important public health implications.' They added that it was not clear why sleep problems affected sperm levels and that it had not been proven that one caused the other.

A lack of sleep even made their testicles shrink, the study found

The researchers stressed that men who sleep less tend to have unhealthier lifestyles. They weighed more, drank more alcohol and were more often smokers. It was also possible sleep problems affect levels of testosterone. At least one other study has found keeping young men awake for longer reduces production of the sex hormone. The report said: 'This is the first study to relate sleep disturbances to semen quality. Men with a poor sleep score had poorer semen quality and smaller testicles.' Experts believe the ideal amount of rest is seven to eight hours a night. But the average Briton sleeps for six hours and seven minutes. A British male fertility expert said that although the study was interesting, men should not worry. Dr Allan Pacey, from Sheffield University, said it was unlikely that the poor sleepers would have suffered a major impact on their fertility. Source:



Despotism: How culpable is President Jonathan? ANALYSIS There has been exchange of hot words between the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the media handlers of President Goodluck Jonathan over recent allegations that the President is gradually sliding into despotism in the ways he is handling critical issues in the country. Our Lagos Correspondent, Ayodele Samuel, looks into the matter and seeks to gauge the level of his culpability in this write-up.


igeria’s leading opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) latest salvo against President Goodluck Jonathan, accusing him of sliding into dictatorship has drawn an equally combative and virulent responses from presidential aides, accusing the opposition party, instead of being the abode of despots. Reuben Abati, Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity said “The paradox is that those who do not allow freedom and equality in their own party or backyard; those who are well known as self-proclaimed Godfathers and closet despots, are the same ones who are now quick to accuse others of despotism. The ACN should start by removing the log in its eyes. President Jonathan is not a despot. ACN is the real abode of budding despots in Nigeria.” From Abati also came another salvo to the CPC spokesman, Rotimi Fashakin, who had accused Jonathan of not doing enough about Baga and of not visiting the town, where 185 civilians were reportedly killed by a multinational force, including Nigerian soldiers. Abati said “It is in the character of the CPC and its spokesperson to play to the gallery even when the occasion calls for maturity and sobriety. The problem with them is that they consider everything “very unacceptable”, and in particular everything relating to President Jonathan. They deserve our sympathy. ”If they care to know, President Jonathan has been very pro-active in dealing with the Baga incident. He ordered

an immediate probe by the Military High Command and the intervention of rescue and aid agencies, who have been working with the Borno state government and other agencies of state to ensure that the victims are rehabilitated and assisted with relief materials.” The ACN started the main controversy with the statement recently by its Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed,

President Goodluck Jonathan President to an Emperor, a despot,” Mohammed had alleged. “If the President is not prevailed upon to change course, Nigeria may be in for another season of anomie, reminiscent of the days of the maximum ruler who took the country to the brink before his sudden demise,” he added. But the presidency responded by accusing the ACN of ‘standing truth on its head’, of indulging in ‘politics of abuse’, ‘of engaging in perfidy’ and of poor understanding of the word ‘despotism’. According to Abati ”Does Lai Mohammed know the meaning

The ACN’s allegation that there is a disagreement between the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi is also wrongheaded and mischievous. Governor Amaechi has publicly stated that this particular allegation is a piece of fiction created by certain persons and the media accusing President Jonathan of heating up the polity with his move to silence perceived enemies and opposition. The ACN accused the president and his administration of steadily descending into despotism with a brazen assault on the freedom of expression and the press, the use of national institutions against perceived enemies and a growing inclination to denigrate opposition leaders. “The Jonathan’s administration is anchored on a Transformation Agenda. But the only transformation that we can see is the one from a democratically-elected

of the word despotism, or is he just throwing the word around for onomatopoetic effect? He and his sponsors are in fact beneficiaries of the openness and freedom that this administration promotes. “The ACN’s allegation that there is a disagreement between the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi is also wrongheaded and mischievous. Governor Amaechi has publicly stated that this particular allegation is a piece of fiction created by certain persons and the media. We insist that President Jonathan is not engaged in any quarrel or dispute with Governor

Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State Amaechi. And it is wrong to use the matter of the aircraft that was grounded by the aviation authorities to concoct stories of persecution. The institutions involved have offered reasons publicly why they took their decision with regard to the unlicensed aircraft, which in any case is an asset of the state, not the Governor’s personal property. The President has nothing to do with that incident. “The ACN claims that there is ‘a growing propensity to stifle the freedom of expression and freedom of the press.’ The report by the Committee to Protect Journalists which the ACN quotes is not a comment on government-media relations in Nigeria. This administration sees the media as a strategic partner in the business of nationbuilding. The government not only enjoys a robust relationship with the media, it continues to encourage the freedom of expression and of the press. In its statement, ACN said that the way President Jonathan is handling his political disagreement with a member of his party, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, has portrayed him as a leader who is willing to jettison democratic ideals and principles on the altar of personal ambition. The party wondered why national institutions have to be bastardized and compromised just to get at a political enemy, specifically citing the role being played by the Ministry of Aviation, its parastatals like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, National Airspace Management Authority and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the police, among others, in the presidency’s clash with the Governor Amaechi. “Like we said before, we are not perturbed by what is happening in the PDP,” the ACN

said. “Our main concern is the fact that the party’s internal crisis is overheating the polity and threatening the country’s hard-won democracy,” it alleged. “After the theatrics of the aviation agencies and their parent ministry, the EFCC has suddenly realised that the cost of the Rivers state’s plane was inflated by US$10 million while the police have sacked the Secretariat of Obio-Akpo local government in Rivers. “The question is: who gave the orders for the police to sack the Secretariat, and in the process take sides with the president in the political disagreement with the Governor? Which are the other national institutions that will be drafted into this scorchedearth campaign against a perceived non-conformist party member? If the president can go to this length against his own party man, what will he do against the opposition? “Why is it that a democratically-elected President cannot be challenged by anyone, whether or not he is a member of his party?” it queried. The party also expressed concerns at the growing propensity of the administration to stifle the freedom of expression and freedom of the press, citing the report by the media rights group, Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ, on the occasion of this year’s World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, as a global testimony to the worsening record of the administration as far as press freedom is concerned. Nigerians are worried that with the exchange of salvos among these political class, there are indications that the nation’s political landscape may be in for interesting fireworks in the next few months.



Lawmaker donates motorcycles to reduce youth restiveness in Nasarawa


Senate President, Senator David Mark, addressing National Assembly Staff who are protesting non-payment of their approved allowances by the National Assembly Management, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Makinde needs prayers, drug test – Omisore From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


enator Iyiola Omisore has called for prayers and drug test for a member of the House of Representatives, Rotimi Makinde, describing his statements as incoherent words from an infantile mind. Omisore speaking through his Media Aide, Kolawole Victor Oriola, expressed support for calls by the CBN governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, urging the governemt to start conducting drug test for politicians before they are presented for election.

“I know if we have followed this step, characters like Makinde and his ilk’s will not be in our hallowed chamber today. Tell me, what is his relevance at the National Assembly other than fomenting trouble and throwing chairs at perceived and imaginary enemy? If he (Makinde) is conversant with the working of National Assembly, he would have known the implication of printing someone else insignia as billboards in order to depict him as harbinger of thuggery. It is not only libelous, it is capable of causing a breach of public peace and Senator Iyiola Omisore has

demonstrated a high sense of responsibility by reporting the ugly incident to the appropriate authorities for necessary action. “He is hallucinating, otherwise he won’t be calling a governor whose academic records are shrouded in secrecy a colossus. Colossus my foot! Does Makinde understand the meaning of colossus at all? What is the antecedent of Rotimi Makinde? I don’t want to join issue with him because what do you expect from such an infantile mind.” Omisore argued that sending character like Markinde to a House of Representatives is

scandalous. “ Tell me, how many popular bill has he sponsored or co-sponsored since he was elected? Unfortunately, he is one of the rascals that were expert in pepper soup joint gossips before his election.” On the murder of the late Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Ajibola Ige, he said that nemesis would soon catch up with those who are using the gruesome murder of the elder statesman for politics. “They have come to their wits end and all what they need to do is heating up the polity unnecessarily to curry undue favour.”

Constitution Amendment: NBA condemns slow pace by National Assembly


he Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has condemned what is described as ‘’piece-meal and cosmetic’’ approach to the issue of constitution amendment by the National Assembly. The Chairman of the Ado-Ekiti Branch of the association, Mr Joseph Omodele, made the statement at a news conference to commence the 2013 Law Week.

He said that the attitude of members of the National Assembly did not show Nigerians that they were on their side. Omodele said that the national body of the association and those of its branches nationwide had expected a speedy review. “With particular reference to the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency and other security challenges facing the country, we

had thought that Nigerian laws would have been amended before now. “Can you imagine that up till this moment, there are still some aspects of the Nigerian Constitution that give freedom to commission of crime. “There are still some offences that attracts as ridiculous as N20 or N50 as fine for heinous crime. “This perhaps made the Abuja judge, recently suspended by the

NJC to award only N750, 000 five in a large-scale fraud,’’ Omodele stated. According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan will be doing a disservice to the nation, if he considers amnesty for members of Boko Haram sect. The NBA boss said that the theme for the week is, “Nigeria’s Security Challenges – Genesis and Possible Redemption’’. (NAN)

r Joseph Kigbu, the member representing Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State yesterday donated six Jincheng motorcycles to the youth of Lafia to reduce youths restivessness. The lawmaker, who made the donation through his Senior Legislative Aide, Mr Musa Magaji in Lafia, said the gesture was also to engage the youths in productive venture to earn a living. He said that channelling the energy of the youth toward positive endeavours would go a long way in boosting the pace of development of the state in particular and the country at large. Kigbu added that the donation was part of his commitment to improve the standard of living of youths and to also fight poverty in his constituency. “This donation is not political, religious or tribal, that is why the beneficiaries cut across all the nooks and crannies of this local government,” he said. He stressed the need for the government and the private sector to provide employment for the youth adding that youth unemployment was one of the causes of insecurity in the country. Kigbu called on youths to engage in meaningful ventures and to shun acts capable of tarnishing their image, that of the state and the country in general. The lawmaker urged them to embrace peace, unity, love and to be law-abiding citizens for the development of the country. Kigbu also advised them to use the motorcycles for the purpose intended to enable them take care of their financial commitments and those of members of their families. He assured the people of the state that he would continue to embark on projects that would impact directly on their lives and for the overall development of the country. Mr Adamu Hakimi, who spoke on behalf of other beneficiaries, thanked the lawmaker for the gesture. Hakimi called on other political office holders to emulate Kigbu by embarking on projects with direct bearing on the lives of the people, especially the youth. (NAN)

Opposition lawmakers demand reinstatement of suspended chairman of Obio/ Akpor LG Five PDP lawmakers in the Rivers State House of Assembly who are opposed to the suspension of the chairman and 17 councillors of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, have demanded a reversal of the suspension. The News Agency of Nigeria

(NAN) recalls that the Assembly suspended Mr Timothy Nsirim, Chairman of the Obio/Akpo Council and 17 councillors for alleged financial misappropriation and security breach. Addressing newsmen recently in Port Harcourt, one

of the lawmakers, Mr Micheal Amaewhule, representing Obio/Akpo Constituency 1, called for the reversal of the suspension. He said that the suspension was not carried out in line with due process. Another lawmaker, Mr

Michael Chinda, representing Obio/Akpo Constituency 11, described the suspension as ‘illegal.’ He said that the allegations levelled against the chairman and councillors were neither debated nor investigated by the House before the

pronouncement was made. The other three PDP legislators, who attended the briefing were Evans Bipi of Ogu/Bolo Constituency, Kelechi Wogu of Omuma Constituency and Victor Ihunwo of Port Harcourt Constituency 111. (NAN)



Gaidam receives defectors from PDP in Yobe From Uche Uche, Yobe


obe State Governor, Alh. Ibrahim Gaidam , yesterday received over 1000 members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), most of them House of Representatives members at the National Assembly. Speaking during the

reception ceremony which took place at the Government House,Damaturu yesterday, the governor also offered them equal politicalopportunities to seek for elective positions in ANPP that would soon become part of the newly formed All Progressive Congress (APC). “I want to assure you that we will create a level playing

ground to ensure that you are fully integrated into the party and its structure; you will be accorded all privillages being enjoyed by party members including the right to go for elective positions” Gaidam assured. The governor however was reluctant to use the word defectors in addressing them

but referred to them as ‘returnees’, whom he addressed as brother, comrades and political associates some of whom have been the founding members of the ANPP. Some of the defectors include Alh. Saleh Bagere, the deputy governor under former governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim; Alh. Tijjani Zanna Zakariya,

former Speaker of the state House of Assembly; Alh. Adamu Talba, Senator representing Yobe South at the National Assembly. Others include Baba Gishiwari, Hassan Jonga, Yusuf Yunusa,Zakariya Galadima Usman, who was once chairman of the state Teaching Service Board, among others.

Group urges Jonathan to ignore calls for Bamanga’s removal By Umar Muhammad Puma


ational Association for Probity and Justice (NAPOJ) has called on the presidency to ignore the persistent opposition of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governors against the on-going repositioning of the party by its national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, which is against their selfish interest of derailing the nascent democracy through. Speaking to journalists, leader of the group, Sanusi Muhammad said, “if PDP is a sincere political party as it claims to be, it should see the efforts of Bamanga Tukur as a marvelous job against the interest of a certain cabal whose interest is to wrest power from Goodluck in 2015 and impose their stooge on the party against national interest. Bamanga should be supported by the presidency to sanitize PDP and reposition it for optimum results as the largest party in Africa” he said. According to Him, particular mention must be made of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) whose interest in the 2015 is already in the front burner and for the system to grow, the interest of those PDP Governors should not be allowed the test of time unless the PDP is the party of rogues as claimed by Edo State Governor. “The NGF apart from being an illegal organization has over the years failed to support the transformation agenda of the president tailored to addressing the needs of the people in their respective states but instead, squander public fund to sponsor jamborees for selfish desire. President Goodluck should remain focused and courageous to resist threats and intimidation poised by NGF since most of the governors have lost touch with the electorates in their respective states that are now toothless”, he added. Muhammad added that despite the laudable efforts of the PDP national chairman to restore the party’s fading glory through unalloyed support and cooperation with the president, some governors nursing presidential ambition are strategizing to scuttle those efforts against the president in 2015 for their selfish interest. “Those Governors not satisfied with the on-going repositioning exercise should state their reasons than sending discerning signals to the authority for intimidation and threat”, he warned.

R-L: Executive Director, Nancy and Jennifer Ibe Anti-Corruption organization, (NAJICPA), Barrister Ike Ibeh, Convener NAJICPA Walk against Corruption, Chinyere Ibeh and the Chairman, FCT Council, Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Chucks Ehirim, during the media briefing on the coming " Save Nigeria from Corruption" Road walk by NAJICPA, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Police harassment: Oyo ACN urges IG to investigate PDP allegation From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has urged the Inspector General of Police to investigate an allegation by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that the state anti-crime outfit, Operation Burst, was being used for witch-hunt of perceived political enemies and bring to book whoever was found guilty of unnecessarily heating up the polity. It made this call in a release issued by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Dauda Kolawole. The party alleged that the PDP had made a “baseless, puerile and illogical” allegation and said that an end must come to “PDP’s long years of tar-brushing its opponents for political advantage.” The ACN said that the investigation was necessary, so as to put an end to what it called a regime of lies and unfounded allegations. “While we had always known the PDP to be a nest of liars, we never knew its operatives and faithful also didn’t have respect for the

sacredness of facts and figures. The people of Oyo State know the unimpeachable truth that Ajimobi’s government is modern and cannot stand thugs and violence. Second, they also know that, but for Operation Burst, the crime rate in Oyo would have quadrupled. How come then the PDP is dishing out these uncircumcised falsehoods?”the ACN asked. The party said that the crime outfit comprised of highly professional members of all the forces and was headed by highly professional officers. “It is a fact that can be crosschecked that Operation Burst’s activities, until a few weeks ago,

when it was deployed to the Ibarapa area, was only in Ibadan. How come the PDP is alleging that it was deployed to harass one of our leaders, Chief Michael Koleoso? We urge the IG to investigate these allegations so as to disallow cheap lies served for political ends from being disseminated to unsuspecting public,” the party said. While alleging that the sequence of allegations from the Accord Party that its faithful had been attacked and PDP’s vociferous attempts to pin the violence on the ACN-led government could not be divorced from an alleged recent meeting between Senator Rashidi Ladoja and Chief Adebayo Akala in London, the

ACN urged the IG to thoroughly investigate the allegation of a PDP/ Accord Party alliance to puncture the peace of the state. “Both former governors were alleged to have met in London after Governor Ajimobi sacked Ladoja’s aides in his government. Less than a week after the report, Accord Party and PDP are in cahoots in trying to dismantle our greatest achievement in Oyo State, which is peace. The IG should please investigate this because, as the African proverb says, we should not dismiss the unholy connect between the witch that cried overnight and the child who died at dawn” the ACN said.

N/East students want Tambuwal to contest for president From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


tudents under the aegis of North East Students Enlightenments Form, NESEF, have called on the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri , to contest for the presidency come 2015. A statement jointly signed by

the National Coordinator of the Forum and the General Secretary Khalid Barau Ningi and Abdullahi Mohammed made available to newsmen in Bauchi yesterday, stated ” The North East students have confidence in the leadership qualities of Tambuwal that will rescue the country from the state of collapse”

According to the statement, Tambuwal conduct and actions and his leadership in the House show that youth leaders like him has the capacity to sustain the labour of our heroes past. They advised Nigerians to encourage him to contest in order to transform the country through his energetic and excellence leadership.



CPC lauds Ajimobi over urban renewal programme, infrastructural devt. From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


Some members of ACN, Ibadan North-West, protesting over tenure extension of the caretaker chairman of the council, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Rep cautions Zamfara youth against thuggery A

member of the House of Representatives representing Bakura/ Maradun federal constituency of Zamfara state, Alh Bello Matawalle, has counseled youths to shun thuggery as the act is no longer fashionable in the present political dispensation. Speaking during the formal opening of the Peoples Democratic Party {PDP] Zonal office located at

Gidan Sambo in Gusau metropolis of Zamfara state, the lawmaker charged that the era of using thugs by politicians to win elections was over. He said elections were won by those who work for the development of their people, saying that, ‘the electorates are now very wise in choosing whom they like because nobody can deceive them.

The lawmaker who is also an aspirant under the platform of PDP in the 2015 governorship elections in the state advised the youths to shun thuggery and work for the entrenchment of true democracy. ‘Did you ever see the children of politicians in the streets carrying sticks or matchets during elections? He asked. He also posited that PDP was strategizing to ensure victory in the 2015 governorship election

in the state. He alleged that the ruling party in the state was just using religion to deceive the people. He added ”it is against this background that we are now trying to put an end to thuggery. Our plan is to send our teeming youths to school as most of them are drop-outs so that they could further their studies because they are the leaders of tomorrow,” Matawalle stressed.

Anti-trafficking bill passes second reading By Umar Muhammad Puma


Bill seeking to prohibit and prescribe stiffer penalties for persons involved in the trafficking of persons, yesterday passed second reading in the House of Representatives. Leading the debate, Rep. Mulikat Akande-Adeola (PDPOyo), said that presently, the laws do not address the current activities of criminals in trafficking in persons.

“The inadequacies in the current law has created a conducive environment for trafficking in persons in Nigeria as traffickers gets minimal sentences,” she said. According to her, Nigeria which is a signatory to the protocol on trafficking in persons had been rated as a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. “This rating is not because Nigeria does not have institutional and legal framework for tackling the ugly scourge of human

trafficking. These frameworks are not adequate and do not considerably satisfy the conditions under the United Nations trafficking in persons Protocol,” she argued. Akande-Adeola noted that the fines currently imposed by the Judiciary were usually being paid by convicts from the proceeds of trafficking because they are minimal and ineffective. In her contributions, Rep. Beni Lar ( PDP-Plateau), chairman, House committee on Human Rights said that the new law will check

trafficking in persons. She noted that the fight against the scourge in the country had slowed down considerably because of the absence of adequate legislation. Rep. Raphael Igbokwe (PDPImo) urged members to ensure that the law was brought at par with existing one in other countries in order to check the crime of human trafficking. The bill was referred to the House committees on Human Rights and Justice for further legislative inputs.

Group urges leaders to imbibe culture of development


r Ezenwa Nwagwu, Chairman, Partners for Electoral Reform (PER), an NGO, yesterday stressed the need for leaders at all levels to imbibe the culture of development in the country. Nwagwu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that unless the orientation of leaders changed toward societal progress and

development, the nation would not make progress. “We should have leaders, who think about development in order to change the orientation of the people toward growth and development. “If leaders at all levels begin to think about development, we can make progress in all facets of human endeavour as a nation,’’ he said.

The chairman tasked the political class to accord priority to infrastructure development. Nwagwu emphasised the need for citizens to be development conscious with a view to demanding explanation from the state institutions as to how their taxes were spent. He urged the anti-graft agencies in the country to increase efforts in fighting

corruption and corrupt officials. Nwagwu regretted that many federal highways still lacked good roads in spite of the fact that government budgeted billions of naira for their reconstruction and maintenance. “The same situation applied to the health and education sectors in the country,” he said. (NAN)

ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) has lauded Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state for the success of his administration’s urban renewal programme and infrastructural development. The Leader of CPC Contact and Mobilization Committee, Senator Solomon Ewuga, gave the commendation during a courtesy call on the governor in his office. Senator Ewuga said he had lived in Ibadan as a student of the University of Ibadan many years ago and knew what the environmental situation of the ancient city used to look like. “I want to use this opportunity to commend you on the work you are doing on infrastructure. We have gone round and we have seen the work you are doing; you need to be commended and please, don’t give up, that is the spirit of change that the new party is going to bring to Nigeria. “The work you are doing is commendable; what you wear expresses the content of your heart; what you are doing expresses the inner value of legacy you want to leave; it expresses the way you want Oyo State to be after you might have left office. “This is the seat of the Western Nigerian Government; you are giving it a greater value. Honestly, I am happy with you because you are trying to re-build Ibadan and to give Oyo State a challenging future of greatness,’’ he remarked. Ewuga said members of the CPC were in the state and in the South-West zone to sensitise members of the party on the need to participate actively in the merger process of CPC with other progressive parties. He assured the governor that the CPC members would participate actively in the merger with ACN and other parties, disclosing that the committee had successfully sensitized members in the North-West and North-East. Responding, Governor Ajimobi lauded the efforts of the CPC in sensitising its members on the merger, describing the exercise as a welcome development. “In view of what is happening in Nigeria today, there is no gainsaying the fact that we must follow the path of positive change. If things are to improve, the sociopolitical movement we are embarking on now is a necessity,’’ the governor said. He described CPC as a progressive party populated by people of integrity and impeccable character stressing that “the unification of all progressives under the umbrella of APC would go a long way in repositioning Nigeria and transforming it into a better country”.



Isokpehi urges equity in sports federations’ elections Rangers By Patrick Andrew


national basketball coach and deputy director of sports, Ondo State Sports Commission, Mr Andrew Isokpehi, has appealed to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to ensure fairness and equity in the forthcoming elections into the boards of the respective sports federations. Isokpehi, who applauded the commission for the well-thoughtout guidelines for the conduct of the elections, pleaded with the acting Director-General, Alhaji Mohammed Mustapha, to ensure that the guidelines were strictly followed. The coach, who has been

elected to represent zone six in the board, was of the view that if the guidelines were the desired candidates that would advanced the course of the game are sure to emerged. “The elections and appointments guidelines are quite revolutionary and if strictly followed would ensure that quality candidates emerged as federations’ presidents after the national elections,” he said. Further, he believes that for the sports federations to make progress, respective boards must be composed of “popular and visionary federations’ presidents,” he said stressing that the commission could that becomes a reality if it encourages adherence to the

guidelines. He harps on the need to sustain democratic principles in all facets of our national life stressing that only would ginger the sports polity and guarantee performance. “This would not only democratize sports in the country but would also guarantee the continued development of our sports.” The basketball coach commended the acting DG for the steps he has so far taken to reposition sports through transparent electoral processes noting that such progressive endeavours are sure to produce desired dividends. “At a time government is finding it difficult to fund sports due to competing needs, there is

the need to have people on board who have strong private sector connections and can raise funds for their federations without actually having to wait for handouts from government,” he said stressing that the present guidelines was intended to produce such persons. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that the commission recently released the ‘Elections and Appointments Guidelines into Non-Concessioned Sports Federations’ for the elections into the boards of the 27 sports federations. Already, zonal elections have been conducted while elections of the leaderships of the various boards have been slated for May 14 in Abuja.

Keshi facing internal, external oppositions, says Siasia F

ormer head coach of the Super Eagles, Samson Siasia, has sympathised with his successor Stephen Keshi, whose present wrangling he said are both internal and external. According to Siasia, Keshi, who should be commended for the good work he is doing to return the Nigeria’s football to the pinnacle of African and world reckoning, is being subjected to unnecessary hiccups because certain elements would rather the football polity is heated up than stability be allowed to thrive. Keshi replaced Siasia as Nigeria coach in 2011 after the latter failed to guide the Super Eagles to the finals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. “Keshi has done a very good job under the circumstances because the job of Super Eagles coach is a very difficult one. He did what I didn’t do. “He qualified Nigeria for the (2013) Nations Cup and also led the team to the title so he has done very well,” Siasia said stressing that the coach should be allowed to concentrate on the

busy schedule before him. The Eagles have hectic schedule starting with this month’s friendly duel against

Mexico in the USA and the subsequent 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with Kenya and Namibia and the FIFA

Joseph Akpalla, Mike Eneramo, being looked at by Keshi for Eagles call up

Confederation Cup still in June. “Keshi lives and works in a hostile environment where the expectations are always high. He was almost fired before he won the Nations Cup title. The coach is not a magician that can continue to win every day. He still needs time to build an even stronger team,” he added. Keshi has recently come under the spotlight after seemingly falling out with several of his playing personnel like Emmanuel Emenike and captain, Joseph Yobo who was subsequently omitted from the Nigeria squad for the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup. Siasia, who also fell out with several top players like Vincent Enyeama and Peter Odemwingie during his time at the helm, says Keshi must tread carefully as it concerns dealing with the individuals. “Players of the Super Eagles can be extremely difficult to manage so a coach needs to be very careful and must handle things right. Good players make for good coaches. If a coach does not have good players, he can’t do a thing,” he concludes.

GSS Minna, CAC Grammar Schol emerge Milo champions


overnment Secondary School, Minna, Niger; and Christ Apostolic Church Grammar School, Akure; have emerged the male and female champions of the 15th annual Nestle Milo Secondary School Basketball championships in Akure. The Central Conference of the competition was tagged: ”Champions! It’s Dunking Time” and Government

Secondary School, Minna defeated their counterpart from St. Joseph Secondary School, Gombe, 26-24 to emerge the male champions. In the female category, Christ Apostolic Church defeated Army Day Secondary School, Birni Kebbi, Kebbi, 15-12 to emerge the champions. Abdulbasit Yusuf of Government Secondary School won the male MVP of the

tournament while Eucharia Akena of Government Secondary School, Gboko, Benue, won the female MVP. Both Yusuf and Akena later said that they were happy for winning the MVP and thanked their team mates and coaches for the feat. Speaking earlier, Funsho Osho, the Brand Specialist, Nestle Milo, gave an assurance that the championships would continue to expose and harness the enormous

potential in Nigerian youths. “Milo Basketball has produced several talents at previous championships that have found their way into the national team and major leagues around the world,” he said. Taiwo Kolawole, the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Ministry of Education, noted that the event was targeted at promoting basketball at the grassroots.

draw SFaxien for Confed Cup duel


igeria’s sole representatives in the CAF clubs’ competitions, Rangers International have been drawn against two-time champions CS Sfaxien of Tunisia in the CAF Confederation Cup last 16. Ranger, beaten 3-1 last weekend by Recreativo of Angola, are to host Sfaxien in the first leg during the weekend of May 18 and a fortnight later travel to Tunisia for the conclusive leg. And DR Congo giants TP Mazembe have received a fair draw against Mozambique club Liga Muculama. Mazembe will be home in the first leg next weekend in Lubumbashi. Rangers and Mazembe are part of the eight teams that fell at the CAF Champions League pre-group stage over the weekend and were relegated to the Confederation Cup. Meanwhile in the rest of the other last 16 draws, Saint George of Ethiopia face a second successive encounter with an Egyptian side after they were draw against ENPPI just two days after they were eliminated from the Champions League by Zamalek . St George will be home in the first leg. The draw has also served up three derbies with the big one between a Moroccan rivals FUS Rabat and FAR Rabat with the former hosting the latter in the first leg. CA Bizertin of Tunisia have another North African derby to contend with when they play Ismaily of Egypt whom they hosts in the first leg. The draw comes in the wake of CAB’s Champions League elimination at the hands of defending champions Al Ahly who beat them 2-1 last Sunday in Cairo to advance to the group stage by the same aggregate score line. The third North African derby in the competition will see Esperance of Tunisia travel Algeria to take on JSM Bejaia next weekend. And in the final last 16 pairings, Stade Malien will host Lydia Academic from Burundi in Bamako in the first leg while Gabonese club US Bitam travels to Algeria to take on Entente Setif. Winners over both legs will qualify to the Confederation Cup group stage that kicks off on July 19.



Takashi KOs Parra to retain WBA title


Takashi Uchiyama, WBA super featherweight champion

akashi Uchiyama knocked out Jaider Parra to retain his WBA superfeatherweight title in Tokyo on Monday night. The fight ended 2 minutes and 15 seconds into the fifth round when Uchiyama fired a powerful left to the stomach that sent the Venezuelan to the canvas. “He had never lost before and he was really strong,” the Japanese fighter said. “He has a good jab so I had planned to beat him in the latter half of the bout. But I was able to end it earlier than I had expected.” It was Uchiyama’s seventh defence of the title he won from Juan Carlos Salgado of Mexico in January 2010. He maintained his

unbeaten record, which now stands at 20 wins, including 17 knockouts, and a draw. Parra, ranked ninth by the WBA, suffered his first defeat after 20 wins, including 10 knockouts and a draw. On the same bill, Liborio Solis of Venezuela beat Kohei Kono of Japan to claim the WBA super-flyweight title. Two of the judges had Solis ahead, 115-111 and 114-112 and the other scored it 113-113. Kono counter-attacked with a straight right to knock Solis down in the second round. But the Venezuelan also had Kono on the canvas in the eighth after unleashing a left hook. “I had to change my plan after being knocked down, but I’m really

happy that I won. I tried to knock him out, but he was too strong,” said Solis. The 31-year-old Venezuelan, the top-ranked challenger on the WBA list, improved his record to 15 wins, including seven knockouts, against three defeats and a draw. For Kono, 32, it was his first defence of the title he took from Tepparith Kokietgym of Thailand in December. His record dropped to 28 wins, including 11 knockouts, and eight defeats. Kono said: “I was very disappointed. His punches were stronger than I had expected. It affected me that I lost a penalty point for a low blow in the tenth round.”

beyond the players and it is not just about kicking the ball on the field. “We keep saying the same thing over and over, but nothing is being done. I am beginning to sound like a broken record,’’ he said. Onigbinde urged the authorities to be steadfast in its bid to repackage the NPFL for a better and more conducive atmosphere for players and the clubs.

“There shouldn’t be any rancour between the LMC and the club owners; they need to comport themselves in a manner in which more sponsors will be willing to do business with them. “We do our things upside down. There is no cause for the rancour, the administrative set up is terrible. A house divided against itself is not a marketable brand. “If we get our administrative structure right, there will be

Aminu Maigari, president NFF development at all levels, including our clubs. It is bad that clubs now fight for players and these are shameful developments,’’ the former Super Eagles Head Coach added.

Onigbinde says rancour in domestic league needless A

degboye Onigbinde, a former Super Eagles Head Coach, has asserted that the only way football could thrive unhindered in the country was through a viable administrative structure. Onigbinde said this in Lagos yesterday stressing that the ongoing rancour between the League Management Company (LMC) and club owners was needless. The veteran coach urged the contending parties to sheathe their swords and close ranks for the long overdue improvement of the country’s domestic football league.

Onigbinde, who is also a CAF and FIFA instructor, attributed the early exit of the country’s clubs from CAF competitions as a symptom of the problems afflicting domestic football. Heartland FC of Owerri, Lobi FC of Makurdi and Kano Pillars FC of Kano, were all sent packing from the preliminary round of the competition. The defeat effectively consigned the 1977 winners of the then African Cup Winners Cup competition to the lower rungs of continental competitions. “Everybody will now heap the blame on the club, but it goes

Special Olympics: Nigeria prepares for South-East Regional Games


pecial Olympics Nigeria (S.O. Nig) said yesterday that its forthcoming Regional Games billed for Enugu was part of its preparations for the 2014 National Games. The organisation’s National Director, Folasade Bolumole, who disclosed this in Lagos, the non-profit organisation that is solely dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities through sports, to become physically fit. She described the recentlyconcluded South West regional games at Ijebu-Ode in Ogun, as a success, and attributed the development to God and some viable sponsors. “Two weeks before the regional games, we didn’t even know it will hold, we were not sure, but for the enormous support of our sponsors, we were able to camp them. “We had support from: Union Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Cashmere and the Ogun state government, that gave us their games village, God took

control. “The essence of the regional games is to prepare for the National Games which will come up sometime next year. It will also serve as a preparation to the Special Olympics Summer Games in Los Angeles U.S. in 2015, it’s a buildup,’’ Bolumole said. The body intended to organise regional games in three zones of the country; the South West, which was held in Ijebu-Ode, South-East and the South-South. The director was also optimistic that the forthcoming regional competition in the South-East zone of the country would equally be a success. “We have done that of the South-West which was a success; I’m positive that the one in Enugu will not fall short of this standard. “We are still looking out for more sponsors to partner with us,’’ the national director added. The regional games in Enugu will hold on a yet-to-be-disclosed date in June.

…Efugh blames Heartland, Rangers exit from CAF tourney on poor planning


eartland FC of Owerri skipper, Chinedu Efugh, has blamed the poor performances of the country’s clubs at continental competitions to inadequate

planning by their respective managements and the Nigeria Football Federation. The player said in Lagos yesterday that the clubs were eliminated because those who

Sunday Mba, whose goal couldn’t secure Rangers’ qualification

ought to have made adequate plans for their participation failed to do so because they lacked such culture. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that Heartland FC of Owerri, Lobi FC of Makurdi and Kano Pillars FC of Kano were all sent packing from the preliminary round of the competition. The only club left in any CAF competition is Rangers International FC that dropped to the CAF Confederation Cup from the CAF Champions League. Rangers International got trounced 3-1 by CRD Libolo FC of Angola in Luanda, after battling to a goal less draw in the first leg in Enugu to put an end to Nigeria’s hope of elite clubs’ trophy dream. “I think it boils down to planning; we don’t plan in this part of the world, and when you fail to plan, then you are obviously planning to fail. It’s a simple logic. “We should always plan ahead of time, it’s a simple thing, there is no miracle in football and God is not a partial God, he won’ favour those who have planned, for those who haven’t. “I am sure that if we plan on time for our continental assignments, we won’t find ourselves at this level, for there to be a change, we need to do the needful,’’ Efugh added.











Christiano Ronaldo

Barca possible champs if Real lose


arcelona will celebrate their 22nd Spanish league title today if Real Madrid fail to beat Malaga at home. The Real-Malaga fixture was originally scheduled for May 19 but has been brought forward to Wednesday because Real will face neighbours Atletico in the Spanish cup final on May 17. Real are currently 11 points behind Barca with four games left. Therefore, should they fail to beat Malaga who last season battled out a 1-1 draw in the Estadio Bernabeu then Barca will be celebrate the title without kicking a ball in anger. That would be particularly sweet for Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who is back in New York this week to continue with his treatment for throat cancer. A celebration is just what Barca need after that painful 7-0 aggregate meltdown against Bayern Munich in the semifinals of the Champions League, a humiliation which confirmed that the Catalans need a profound renovation this summer.

Keshi wants Okpalla, other backroom staff recalled By Patrick Andrew


he last may not have been heard about the sacked backroom staff of the Super Eagles following Stephen Keshi’s insistence that they be restored to their positions. The Super Eagles head coach yesterday pointblankly told the leadership of the football federation that Sylvanus Okpalla, Valerie Hounandinou (assistant coaches), Robin Okosun, the psychologist, Ben Alaija-the media officer and five others were recurrent decimal in his rebuilding processes of the Super Eagles. Accordingly, he said he cannot afford to be without them stressing that needed sacrifices must be made to retain them. Keshi held a meeting with the NFF president, Aminu Maigari before moving to the National

Stadium Complex where he had an expanded meeting that included the Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi. “I made it clear to everyone at the meeting that I would want my backroom staff back to the team. We have worked as a team and I would want us to continue the way we started for us to get more positive results” he said. Though he appreciated the financial problems of the football federation, he insisted that the staff be recalled because they have become recurrent decimals in his calculations and strategies for 2014 World Cup qualifications. The former Eagles skipper, who later managed both Togo and Mali respectively, it was learnt also apologised to the minister and the NFF over his actions in recent times. “I am truly sorry for

whatever bad blood my actions and general conduct might have generated. But I want everyone to forgive and forget and let us focus hard on the big challenge of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals,” Keshi said but blamed the media for amplifying the rift. Speaking at the meeting, Abdullahi live the present before forgetting whatever success they had achieved and focus attention on qualifying Nigeria for the 2014 Wiorld Cup finals in Brazil. “The triumph in South Africa was truly a delight and made Nigerians happy. But that feat will pale into insignificance if we fail to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals. “The principle behind this meeting is that the country is bigger than all of us. We must forget the

little things that might have transpired which we did not like. We must forget personal injuries and be prepared to forge ahead.” Also speaking at the end of the meeting, NFF president, Aminu Maigari said that the meeting was centered on mapping out strategies to ensure that the Super Eagles have a successful World Cup qualifiers and Confederation Cup outing in June and described the meeting as rewarding.

Sylvanus Okpalla

PASAN plans 11 sports at 2013 Parliamentary Games


leven sports will be competed for at the 2013 edition of the Parliamentary Games being organised annually by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), an official has said. Comrade Fatai Jimoh, PASAN’s National President, said yesterday in Abuja that the number of sports was an improvement on what obtained in the past. “We are happy to say that we are gradually enlarging the Games, with the number of sports we will now be having at

the 2013 Games. “I can recall that at the first edition of the Games in Abuja in 2011 we had only three sports, while at the second edition in Abeokuta in 2012 we had five. “But now, we will have 11 at the third edition of the Games in Port Harcourt in June, and that is a big leap for our young body,’’ he said adding that the 2013 Parliamentary Games is scheduled for Port Harcourt in Rivers from June 13 to June 22. Jimoh listed the 11 sports as football, basketball, volleyball,

table tennis, badminton, swimming, tennis, chess, scrabble, draught and athletics. “We have already made elaborate preparations for competitions in all these sports, with only the athletics sport being competed for in the three events of 4 x 100 metres relay, 100 metres and 200 metres,’’ he said. The PASAN National President also said qualifiers for the competition were already emerging from the association’s delineated zones. “There are already eight

zones listed to participate in the Games, and these are the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), North-Central, South-West, North-East, South-East, South-South, North-West and hosts Rivers,’’ he said. Jimoh said five of the zones had completed their qualifying competitions, with the South-East, South-South and NorthWest to hold theirs soon. PASAN is the umbrella body of all staff of the legislative houses in all the 36 states of the federation and the National Assembly.



Rushida draws global attention to Kenya’s athletics


s a country, it is common knowledge that Kenya has more than its fair share of long distance running talent, only rivaled by neighbour, Ethiopia. However, in spite of possessing tens of current, former and retired Olympics, world, Continental, Africa and All Africa Games champions and not forgetting elite circuit title holders, few Kenyan runners have entered the pantheon of greatness. This is baffling considering that the East African nation has the capacity to produce global sporting icons in the scale of say Chinese with gymnasts, Brazil with football or U.S. with basketball. Only a few Kenyan athletes are said to have commanded global attention. These include retired double Olympic champion Kipchoge Keino, who is the president of the country’s National Olympics Committee and retired former 3000m steeplechase record holder,

Moses Kiptanui. Other are twice women’s marathon champion, one time record holder and four-time Boston winner, Catherine Ndereba and the late men’s Olympic champion Samuel Wanjiru. The rest in that hallowed group are former marathon men record holder, Paul Tergat and of course, the renowned peace ambassador and former women’s marathon record holder, Tegla Loroupe. In David Rudisha, the country has perhaps its answer to global sporting giants such as Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, U.S.’s LeBron James, Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Germany’s Sebastian Vettel. At 24, Rudisha has yet to fulfill his enormous potential and who knows how further he can raise the bar in the pristine track event of men’s 800m that he has bossed since 2010. When everyone deemed they have seen it all from the lanky 6 foot 4 inches

powerful runner who gave London 2012 Olympics one of its signature individual performances, ranked among the top 10 iconic shows in the Games, Rudisha is back for more. “The difference between being a good athlete and being a great athlete is somebody who can pull motivation out of nowhere. “David is the Olympic champion, world champion, record holder, you might wonder, what is left for him to achieve,” his coach, Irish Brother Colm O’Connell summed of the prized runner. O’Connell said great athletes can always manage to move a notch higher in their motivation and preparation and that is something, he said, David needs to look at this year. “He has shown he can handle the tag of favouritism, he has done it before, he went to the biggest arena in London and performed under pressure and I think he is becoming an athlete of occasion. When occasion demands it, he performs,’’ O’Connell said of prized

runner. Just like those gathered, he was blown away at his sparkling new career best of 45.15 over 400m set at the low key domestic track and field series as he launched his 2013 season. Considering the punishing elevation of Nairobi (4,921ft), the performance that eclipsed his 45.50 effort record in Sydney in 2010 was staggering. The last time he ran in front of his home crowd, Rudisha stopped the clock at the jaw-dropping 1:42.13 during the trials for London Olympics last July and it was a performance that was correctly cited that he was primed to break his own world record. For it to happen at the Olympics final itself, 1:40.91, to be precise, ushered the world champion into yet another pedestal and it was not surprising other great 800m runners of yore including Sebatian Coe, Wilson Kipketer and Alberto Juantonera were quick to usher him into the high table in the aftermath. “I’m happy to start here at home and run that time. I have won all titles an athlete can ever wish and dream to become but I want to be motivated because they are those who have defended them several times,’’ he said. “This year, we have World Championships and I want to go there and defend my title in 800m,’’ Rudisha categorically stated after tearing the track last Saturday, a week ahead of his IAAF

Diamond League debut in Doha. “He is not an ordinary athlete because of how he views his races himself and how he prepares. David knows exactly what he wants, I have to base most of my training and mental preparations on how he responds,’’ his coach conceded. For 38 years, the Irishman has moulded most of the most renowned Kenyan distance runners, including Wilson

Kipketer, the man Rudisha succeeded as record holder who switched his allegiance to Denmark and for him to make that assessment on the current king of the two-laps speaks volumes. “He cannot relax on his laurels. In London, it took a world record to win gold, that tells you how much David has taken it to the next level and this year, the men 800m will be one of the most followed,’’ Brother Colm cautioned.

Ayilo Buraimoh, an Assistant Coach with the Lagos State Cycling Association, has urged the incoming board of the association to concentrate on sourcing for sponsorships, in order to be able to transform the sport. Buraimoh said in Lagos that the poor strides being made in the sport were because of a dearth of competitions, from lack of sponsorships. “Cycling is expected to have moved far ahead of where it is today. The main problem is a lack of competitions at both state and national levels. “We have many cyclists across the country, but

there are little or no competitions to showcase their talents. The only visible competition appears to be only the National Sports Festival. “For instance in Lagos, our cyclists are not happy because there are no competitions, even after several training efforts,’’ he said. The coach suggested that the leadership positions should be left for people who would be proactive about sourcing for sponsors for competitions. According to him, sports managers who rely solely on government support to do anything will be an

obstacle to the development of cycling in the country. “Cycling has been a sleeping sport that will need to be resuscitated through regular sponsorship of competitions. “Nigerian cycling can qualify for the Olympics. All we need are modern cycles, experienced coaches, regular competitions and incentives to encourage progress,’’ he said. He urged the managers of the sport in Lagos State to work hard in getting sponsors to organise competitions to promote the sport.

Moses Kiptanui, former 3000m steeplechase record holder

Cycling coach tasks incoming board on sponsorships

David Rudisha




1] Laura Robson achieved her first victory over a player ranked inside the world's top five by beating world number four AgnieskaRadwanska at the Madrid Open. 2] With just weeks to the 2014 World Cup qualifiers, the Super Eagles need a striker capable replacement for Afcon's highest goal scorer. 3] Leicester Tigers captain Geordan Murphy has confirmed he will retire at the end of the season.



4] FIFA reviews a massive week in the women's game highlighted by huge interest as Barcelona edged Athletic Bilbao in a stunning Spanish season finale, champions crowned in Italy, plus the latest from Germany and USA. 5] Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has strongly hinted that Jose Mourinho will be making his much-anticipated return to Stamford Bridge this summer.




6] Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud believes he has had a better debut season in the Premier League than either Thierry Henry or Didier Drogba.


. . . putting the people first



FIFA expect attendance record at Confed


his year's Confederations Cup in Brazil will be the best-attended ever with nearly 600 000 of the 826 000 tickets already sold despite delays caused by stadiums being ready late, soccer's world governing body Fifa said on Tuesday. FIFA said 588 178 tickets had already been bought for the eight-nation tournament which features the champions from each confederation as well as hosts Brazil, Italy and Uruguay and acts as a rehearsal for next year's World Cup. "Due to delayed stadium deliveries, we are only now in the position to conduct the seat allocations in each of the venues," FIFA's marketing director Thierry Weil said in a statement. Some 58,000 tickets have been sold for Brazil's opening match against Japan in Brasilia and 60 000 for the final, but only 10 000 sold for the Tahiti versus Nigeria in Belo Horizonte. The 16 matches at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa were watched by 584 000 fans - an average of 36 555.

Chelsea return nothing special for AVB


ndre Villa-Boas, sacked less than nine months in charge at Stamford Bridge before rebuilding his reputation at Tottenham Hotspur, said his return to Chelsea for a key Premier League clash today was "not very special". Villas-Boas was fired by Chelsea in March 2012 after a poor run of results amid reports of dressing room disharmony with his coaching methods and was replaced by Roberto Di Matteo who guided them to FA Cup final victory and then a memorable first Champions League triumph with a penalty shootout victory over Bayern Munich. Chelsea, on 68 points from 35 games, can effectively guarantee finishing in the top four if they beat Spurs, who are fifth on 65 points from 35 and have a far inferior goal difference. Fourth-placed Arsenal have 67 points from 36 games.


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Please, I don't want anybody to cry for me. Were you told I was dead? I am alive and nobody should shed tears for me. — Elder statesman Shettima Ali Munguno after his release Monday by his abductors, suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents

Letter to President Jonathan and Dasuki Y

ou will, please, permit the public nature of this letter. It is about the collective security of our nation and people. The public nature of my letter to you is justified by the fact that citizens themselves are a nation's best form of security. Despite official protocol, which often unjustifiably rationalizes secrecy of and about state matters, citizens deserve to know. The matter at hand is your decision to hand over our security to a foreign company. It was reported that you, our president and by implication the national Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, have contracted the monitoring of computer and Internet communication in Nigeria and of Nigerians to an Israeli company. It is instructive that on such an important matter as our security, the information did not emanate from you, your security adviser or anyone in your presidency. We, Nigerians, got to know about an issue that will fundamentally impact on our security and sovereignty from a spokesperson of the foreign company, Mr. Yehuda Vered. It matters. These are the details as publicly disclosed by the general manager of the Israeli CompanyElbit, Mr. Yehuda Vered: "Elbit Systems will supply its Wise Intelligence Technology (WiT) system to an unnamed country in Africa under a new $40 million contract… for Intelligence Analysis and Cyber Defense…" While Mr. Vered did not name the "African country", an online publication alluded to Nigeria as the "African country". If this is true, it means that you, President Jonathan and Col. Dasuki, have officially asked a foreign company to engage in intelligence monitoring in Nigeria. Sirs, it is now more than a week since the news broke. You have not denied it, neither have you affirmed it. As a Nigerian, I believe that your silence has raised serious issues about your patriotism, nationalism; and moral and ethical issues of responsibility of a president to the citizens. Sirs, given the importance of a nation's security to its sovereignty, these conclusions are grievous, traumatic, and demoralizing for citizens. Unfortunately, those who defend you on this unpatriotic act, which borders on treachery to our nation because it subverts our sovereignty, have argued that

311 689 606 327 454

7458 1765 3308 1969 0344


President Jonathan this decision is justified because our country needs "monitoring". On this, you will agree with me that such defense on your behalf is self-serving because any human society is essentially a "monitoring" society. In other words, monitoring goes on every minute in our daily lives-both private and public. So it is trite to attempt to justify allocating the monitoring of our collective security as a people and as a nation to a foreign company on the premise that "monitoring is important." No responsible state rests a major act (such as this) in the lives of her citizens on the obvious reason that "monitoring is important." Excuse me, sirs, we all know that. We all know that some intelligence gathering of data is important in the life of any country in our modern and complex world. However, the issues are our sovereignty as a nation, and your sincerity as the president with respect to the mode you have chosen to do this. For example, when your adviser on amnesty, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, was quoted as having said that insecurity would return to the Niger Delta region if you are not re-elected, do you need an Israeli company to decode what Kuku said, and gather "intelligence" for you on that? Do you need an Israeli company to decode for you what your presidency said through the mouth of your own adviser? Still on another current and pertinent "intelligence" and security issue, do you need an

Israeli company to inform and decode for you who paid 500million naira ransom to Boko Haram to free the French hostages? These two successive incidents call to question your sincerity about matters of "intelligence" and the nation's security and your readiness to honour and defend our sovereignty in the matter of the Israeli company, Elbit. Sirs, to put this right on your tables, this is what we need to do by ourselves as a nation. This is because if I as a parent monitor the moral, social and intellectual lives of my children for public good, I should know that "monitoring" is important. But if mom and I have to contract our responsibility to our children as parenst to an outsider, an alien, then our children and the larger society are free to see us as being incompetent parents, bad, disloyal, unfaithful, unloving and irresponsible to our children, unintelligent, and perhaps beneath contempt. The critical point is the issue of propriety, which is whether it is proper for you and Col. Dasuki to farm out our nation's security to a foreign company. Is it proper for you to contract a serious security issue such as "intelligence analysis and cyber defense …suitable for countries, armies and critical infrastructure sites." (Sic) in Nigeria to a foreign company? Does this make sense to the two of you as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and as adviser on security? While you, Mr. President and Col Dasuki were negotiating this unpatriotic and treacherous security contract with this foreign company did you, in passing, ask Mr. Vered if the Jewish people would be comfortable with a situation where their security and that of the Jewish state was contracted to a foreign company, for example a Nigerian firm? Mr. President, did you? Or are these questions unimportant to you? Or do you as persons of African descent subscribe to the view that peoples of African descent are genetically inferior, such they cannot design and handle a basic task like this? Sirs, let me put it on record that you should not act as if the ELBIT

contract is not treacherous, and that it does not suggest that you subconsciously subscribe to the view that Africans are genetically inferior. It shows the two. A treachery is moral, political subversion of our state and existence. To hand over our collective being - which intelligence amounts to - to foreigners is worse than just being unpatriotic because it erases our being, it is complete disloyalty to our nation and our people. And because it did not cross your mind that our scientists can handle this task, you unconsciously lend credence to the intellectually dubious view that we are inferior. When you took office you swore to defend the corporate integrity of Nigeria. Handing over our collective security to any foreigner is a violation of the oath you took to defend us when you assumed duty as president of the Republic. If the ELBIT contract goes on then we become nothing in the hands of an Israeli company-we become plaything, which can be manipulated. This is why it is worse than just being unpatriotic. On this, I am asking that you put on record your patriotism and nationalism for the security of a country is not like b??li and ?pa or Mr. Bigg's, or MacDonald's hamburger or whopper that can be contracted out like a piece of menu or commerce. Hence, in deference to the oath of office you took, you have the moral obligation to Nigerian citizens to stop this treacherous contract with this foreign body. There is a solution right before you. You should call members of the Nigerian Academy of Sciences and the Nigerian Society of Engineers and other related professional science bodies in Nigeria, hand over the $40 million to them and give them a marching order to produce within six months a Nigerian centered cyber security mechanism to protect the corporate integrity of Nigeria. That is what a proud and sovereign nation would do. Sirs, given the evil of terrorism and the cyber crime of the 419 yahoo yahoo boys and girls, we know that we are in a war situation and in war situations respectable countries would use the minds of their scholars, academics, scientists to turn adversity to prosperity. The Soviet Union did it in the Second World War. As late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, one of our nation's founding fathers, said, we as a people can do it; you, as Mr. President, can do it; African leaders can do it if they display that intense and passionate sense of urgency to govern Africa, join and lead the world. Adeolu Ademoyo ( is of Africana Study and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 08, May, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 08, May, 2013 Edition

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you