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Christians, Muslims besiege Jaiz Bank for Islamic banking services


Vol. 7 No. 70

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rabiul Awwal 17, 1433 AH


L-R: Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ali Rifat Koksal, FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, and Managing Director, AlSurat Limited, Mr. Hikmat Coban, during the commissioning of office for the Association of Nigeria/Turkish Investors and Businessmen in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Boko Haram: Soldiers get blank cheque to kill By Ahmed I. Shekarau & Emmanuel Irioghe


embers of the joint military (special) task force deployed to contain the rising insecurity in various parts of northern Nigeria, especially in the North-east geopolitical zone of the country have been ordered to shoot and kill any resident in sight in neighbourhoods where suspected insurgents detonate explosives, Peoples Daily findings reveal.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday requested the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Inspector

General of Police (IGP) to investigate allegations of extra judicial killings, torture, harassment and other forms of

human rights violations levelled against the JTF operating in Borno and Kano states. Executive Secretary of the

NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, said in a letter to the NSA and the IGP that “the Commission has in its Contd on Page 2

I was bribed to nail Al-Mustapha, says Katako By Ali Alkali


ne of the star witnesses in the murder case of Kudirat Abiola, Muhammad Abdul, also known as Katako, who during the trial testified against

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha has yesterday said that he was bribed by the government to lie, and that Al-Mustapha is innocent. Katako made the startling revelation in an interview with the Hausa service of Radio France

International (RFI), monitored in Abuja. “Yes, I lied. But later I reflected over my life and what I will meet in the hereafter. Whatever financial reward one gets here for giving false testimony, one will one day

definitely die. So, I realized what I was doing was mortgaging my hereafter, and went back to the court and told them that I lied”, he said. Asked why he gave the false Contd on Page 2

I N S I D E Reps indict Vitol Oil over subsidy deals

SSS denies arresting Abul Qaqa

LG caretaker c’ttees illegal – INEC

The House of Reps currently investigating the government subsidy regime yesterday indicted a major player in the importation of fuel into the country, Vitol Oil – Page 2

SSS in Borno yesterday, denied the much pronounced media reports that its operatives have arrested the spokesman of Boko Haram sect, Abul Qaqa – Page 3

INEC has described as “illegal” the appointment of caretaker c’ttees at local government councils and warned state govs against taking actions that can truncate democracy – Page 4


























Subsidy Probe: Reps indict Vitol Oil for circumventing CBN rules By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives currently investigating the government subsidy regime yesterday indicted a major player in the importation of fuel into the country, Vitol Oil, and may recommend a ban on it from conducting oil importation business in the country. This indication emerged when the ad hoc committee conducting the subsidy investigations discovered that the company circumvented extant regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on foreign exchange. The committee while probing the management of Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) on alleged that Vitol Oil Company abetted and aided illicit oil trading by some Nigerian importers by circumventing the regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Other multinational companies set to appear before the Committee next week Thursday for similar probe include

Transfigura, Sahara Energy and Duke Oil. Rep Ali Ahmed, a member of the committee, during the review of documents submitted by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and various importers alleged that Vitol evaded payment of levies on mother vessels and failed to adhere to international best practice on exportation of petroleum products. He said “you need to give us the details of buyers and the quantity bought by other marketers because we can’t relate the names of the buyers with the list you submitted... Even if you are not dealing with exportation of oil, you saw importers circumventing the CBN regulations that are not qualified for foreign exchange. “You go offshore Cotonou but you didn’t ask yourself why? When you are selling to NNPC directly you berth in Lagos but when you are selling to private individuals you go offshore Cotonou and offshore Lome. You are assisting some importers to circumvent the

rules and regulations of the country. Certain companies have been involved in daylight robbery. You can’t claim ignorance of double dealing even CBN can’t claim ignorance of this. With your good name, Vitol, didn’t this prick your conscience?” To ascertain the claims of various importers and marketers, the Committee asked Vitol to produce relevant documents including the list of companies that bought petroleum products in Nigeria, especially the Mobil importation documents worth N1.3 billion. In his defense, the Managing Director of Vitol Oil, Rodney Gavshon, disclosed that the company has never issued any Bill of Laden to Mobil and that the company ceded collaboration with NNPC as a business decision. He explained that the company paid three major levies namely security, inspection and STS operation but that the company was not aware of any other duties and

that there was no payment on mother vessel to Federal Government. While answering question on the illicit loading activities, Gavshon said there has been illegal loading activities in offshore regulations. On his part, one of the beneficiaries, Saminu Rabiu, Managing Director of Alminu Resources after short presentation affirmed that he got N2.3 billion subsidy but failed to present relevant documents to substantiate the company’s participation in the PSF. Lawan however urged him to forward to the committee the details of his participation and all relevant documents to the transactions. Chairman of the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA), Sylvanus Okoli, in his presentation said “It is sad that all marketers including DAPPMA members have been labeled as criminals, considering teh contribution of the association to thenation’s economy.”

Boko Haram: Soldiers get blank cheque to kill

Wamakko will come back stronger, says commissioner, Page 37

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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Contd from Page 1 possession various complaints on human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by the Joint Task Force”. Prior to Monday’s statement by the Federal Government-financed agency, Amnesty International, had accused the Nigerian Army of indiscriminate killings in the ongoing peace operations in Maiduguri, Borno state. “House to house searches, brutalisation, unlawful arrests, killings and disappearances have been the operating practice in Maiduguri for some months now. Unless steps are taken to ensure security forces operate within the law and respect human rights at all times, the next time Boko Haram attacks or kills a soldier, we are likely to see the same thing happen again,” Amnesty said in a statement issued by its Deputy Director for Africa, Tawanda Hondora, in July last year.

At the weekend, some members of the JTF operating in Borno state told one of our reporters on phone that they got “directives from above”, that mandating them to move in and shoot-at-sight any human being, man, woman or child in an area where there is a bombing or shooting incident. The sources who pleaded anonymity for obvious reasons, said: “The order is that once there is a bombing or shooting incident in any neighbourhood here (in Maiduguri), in which one or more of our members are affected, we’re told to move in and wipe out the entire neighbourhood”. The military personnel, who expressed reservations about the directive, said their main worry was that the operation was “turning into a genocide”, lamenting however that, “instead of cleaning up the state (Borno) of Boko Haram elements, we’re now turning into enemies in every

corner of the town we visit”. It will be recalled that penultimate week, parents of 11 youths alleged to be suspected Boko Haram members and gunned down by operatives of the JTF) in Maiduguri, petitioned the Federal Government over what they described the ‘extra-judicial’ killings of their ‘decent’ children who had no record of any link with the dreaded group. Reports from Kano have also indicated a similar trend, with members of the joint military task force accused of serial violations of human rights in the name of searching for Boko Haram suspects even as the dreaded sect’s members continue with their violent campaign, further tormenting residents of the commercial city. But when contacted for comments on the directive to JTF personnel to kill, spokesman of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Raphael Isa indirectly confirmed the order, even as he

tactical tried to parry our question, sent to him through an SMS. According to General Isa, who is the Director, Army Public Relations, “Once you force your way in a checkpoint or gate, no one will take chances again. Soldiers know it and so people are warned to identify themselves well and stop for check”, he concluded. Amnesty International had warned in its statement that: “President Goodluck Jonathan must get a grip on the Nigerian armed forces and immediately prevent them from carrying out further human rights violations and unlawful killings”, adding that, “The government must now investigate these heinous crimes and put on trial those found to be responsible for the killings”. The global rights group cautioned that, “Allowing troops to go on the rampage will not bring to justice those who carry out these terrible bomb attacks on civilians”.

I was bribed to nail Al-Mustapha, says Katako Contd from Page 1 testimony in the first instance, Katako said, “I was promised so many things. But let me clarify something first. When I was arrested my case had nothing to do with Major Al-Mustapha. I was arrested concerning the issue of Mohammed Sani Abacha. They told me they wanted to recover some money from him and they promised me 10 percent of whatever they will recover, plus a house at any place of my choice. After convicting him, they will also take me to any country of my choice. “Then later, they brought AlMustapha’s case, read all the

charges against him and told me what to say when I am taken to court. That was how I found myself among the witnesses introduced in court”, he said. Among the people who lured him into the trap, according to him, were “Colonel Kayode Are (rtd), former Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, former Lagos state Commissioner of Justice, Yomi Oshibanjo and his deputy, Fola Author-Worrey. We sat with these people several times. These are lawyers. I asked them if anything was going to affect me negatively; and they said no. They said I should not worry about any anything. They said these people are your

lawyers; they will not lie to you. After all, this is a government case and you are a government witness.” Katako said he now regrets his action, because as a Muslim he is supposed to be a good person, not the cause of someone’s pains or death. “But even though I went back to the court earlier and said that I lied, still the court decided to discard my second testimony and based its judgement on the lies I told earlier. That’s why I now want everybody to know the real truth, through other means”, he said. Asked if the lofty promises made to him were fulfilled, he said: “Only

one promise was fulfilled. They bought me a house in Jos,” he said. He however added that it was not because of the unfulfilled promises that he was spilling the beans, because even if the rest were fulfilled, he will not accept anything from them now. “My conscience is pricking me; that’s because of my false testimony against an innocent person. That person is now facing death by hanging. If he is killed, his blood is in my hands; and no matter how long I live, one day I must die. “So, I want the world to know that he is innocent” , Katako concluded.



NNN staff down tools over 10 months salary arrears From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


Fake police uniforms allegedly recovered from the dreaded Islamist sect

INEC is enmeshed in corruption, says Tinubu By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


ormer Lagos state governor and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), national chairman, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is beclouded with corruption which could destroy the country’s democracy if not properly addressed. Tinubu who stated this yesterday in Abuja, during a

national political summit, with the theme; “Strengthening Political Parties Internal Democracy and Accountability for Democratic Growth and Development of Nigeria”, added that INEC has totally deviated from its major functions of conducting free, fair and credible elections in the country. Represented by the party’s national secretary, Lai Muhammed, he said: “There are so many irregularities strangling INEC from conducting credible elections. The most corrupt system was

during Maurice Iwu, where election rigging was almost an exercise by those with the instrument of power, making it hard for the opposition to exercise their rights. “Most Nigerians today, see INEC as an annex of the ruling political party. It is a stooge of the party, which is always used against the opposition. The INEC also relies solely on the ruling party for finance and other incentives, making it hard for the body to be truly independent,” Tinubu said. Delivering a keynote address on the topic; Challenges of Monitoring and Regulating Political Parties in Nigeria”, the

ACN chairman said so long as the body continues to remain a stooge of those in power, it will not present a fair atmosphere for the opposition to contest, while citing the case of Kogi gubernatorial election as completely unconstitutional and use of coercion by the ruling party. While quoting relevant section of the constitution, he said INEC has the right to probe electoral campaigns and rallies, but the INEC, according to him, delves into intra-party affairs instead of checking policies that were germane to the democratic development in the country.

How we destroyed bomb factory in Kano, by JTF From Edwin Olofu, Kano and Mohammed Sada, Abuja


he newly formed joint security task force in Kano state has claimed that it has located and destroyed a suspected Boko Haram bomb factory in Mariri area of the state. This was disclosed to newsmen by leader of the task force, Lieutenant Ikedichi Onyenonachi Iweha, who said the officers of the newly formed Kano State Joint Security Task Force conducted a

security enforcement operation at Mariri area in Warawa local government area of the Kano metropolis. He said the joint task force discovered a hideout of some suspected Boko Haram members and immediately swung into action to arrest them, but said on sighting agents they opened fire on them while trying to resist arrest. “The suspects on sighting the first elements of the Joint Services team without provocation, opened

fire on the teams using AK47 riffles. The security personnel restrained themselves. However, within minutes, it became clear that the suspects had improvised explosives devices on them as they were freely throwing them at the joint service team. “Based on this observation, the Joint Services assault team had to effectively cordon the area and engaged the men in sustained gunfire which lasted till 0340 hours. It was observed that the occupants of the compound had

substantial fire power and continued firing and throwing IEDs indiscriminately. However, the reinforcement brought finally resulted in the target area being dominated. “At the end of the standoff, four casualties were recorded on the side of the suspected terrorists while none on the side of the security agencies. Thereafter, a search of the premises revealed that suspects facility which was attacked is a bomb manufacturing facility,” he said.

orkers of the New Nigeria Newspapers (NNN) in Kaduna, commenced an indefinite strike action yesterday in pursuance of 10 months outstanding salaries owed them by the organisation and sundry liabilities which includes salary differences, leave grant arrears and so on. The strike option was taken after series of dialogue involving the management and the organised labour. According to the Nigeria Union of Journalists’ (NNN chapel leadership), the strike can only be withdrawn if all their demands are met. The management of the NNN has revealed that it has no funds to pay the outstanding salaries owing to inability to run the organisation as most major stakeholders are reluctant in disbursing their financial contributions. The Joint Union Consultative Committee Secretary, Mr. Victor Dazang, when contacted recalled that the Bureau for Public Enterprise has computed the aggregate liabilities owed the workers since 2010.

Army postpones 67th regular recruitment exercise


he Nigerian Army has announced the postponement of its recruitment exercise for the 67th Regular Recruits Intake which was earlier scheduled for 10 February, 2012. The new date for the exercise is now from 12 to 22nd March, 2012. A statement signed by Col. Usman Abdul notified the public that all other arrangements for the exercise remain unchanged and that the sale of application forms is still on. The statement regretted any inconveniences this change might have caused.

SSS denies arresting Boko Haram spokesman From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he State Security Service (SSS) in Borno yesterday, denied the much pronounced media reports that its operatives have arrested the spokesman of Boko Haram sect, Abul Qaqa and tasked journalists to put the interest of the country first when reporting issues of national security.

The Borno state director of SSS, Abdullahi Ahmed, who spoke to newsmen in Maiduguri, debunked a news item in which he was quoted by an international news agency, the Associated Press, confirming the arrest of Qaqa. Ahmed, who declined entertaining questions from reporters over the issue, however described the statement credited to him by AP as malicious,

falsehood in its entirety, arguing that he had never known or spoken to the AP reporter. He said: “Let me make it clear that the service in Borno did not arrest any person by the name Abul Qaqa as was wrongly claimed, in fact I had just read this on the national dailies like any other person and was deeply embarrassed at the audacious and false comment attributed to me in the said report”.

The director further threatened to institute legal action against the news agency should it fails to retract the story and tender an apology to him. “Consequently, I demand that AP do a comprehensive retraction of the story with unreserved apology to me and my office, and give it due publicity like the first report, without delay, as failure to do so would compel me to institute a legal

action” he added. “I’m using this opportunity to appeal to the conscience of Nigerian journalists to put the country first in their reportage, especially on sensitive national issues, than succumb to obscure and primitive whims that are fired by pecuniary motives as has become obvious in this relationship between the reporter and his pay master,” the SSS boss advised.



EFCC docks man over love scam By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned one Ayoola Temitayo (aka Nelly James and Dara Martins) before a Lagos High court sitting at Igbosere, for allegedly obtaining the sum of USD 5,000 (Five thousand United States Dollars) from one Ricky Dean under false pretences. Ayoola was arraigned before Justice E. O Adebanjo on a four count charge but pleaded not guilty to the charges. Mohammed A. Kabir, counsel to the EFCC asked for an adjournment, while urging the court to remand the accused person in prison custody. The defence counsel, F.E Ajao, represented by Ifeoma Ukandu did not object. She said even if the trial was to commence she was not prepared as she was holding brief for the defence counsel who was not in court. Justice Adebanjo at this point remanded the accused in Ikoyi prisons and adjourned proceedings to April 5, 2012.

Kaduna gun runner: Court rejects application to join SSS DG From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


he Federal High Court in Kaduna, has rejected an application by the Nigerian Army, requesting to join the Director-General (DG) of the State Security Service (SSS) in the case filed by the family of former Chairman of Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Comrade Nuhu Mohammad Babawo, challenging his arrest and detention for alleged

gun running by the army authorities in Kaduna. Denying the application filed by counsel to the respondant (Nigeria Army), Biola Oyebanjo, the High Court Judge, Justice Lucia Ojuckwu granted the objection raised by counsel to the plaintiff, Bello Ibrahim against the request by the Army to join the DG SSS as co-defendant as ‘unnecessary party to the case.’ The family had dragged the

Army Authorities to the court last Thursday, seeking for unconditional release of their bread winner, Nuhu who had been in Army custody on alleged association with a terrorist group and gun running since January 14 th 2012. The High Court Judge, Justice Ojuckwu has set Thursday 16 th February, 2012 for ruling over the case. The former Chairman of the

Man, 30, arraigned in court on sodomy charges

Wife killer to die by hanging in Kogi From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ustice Esther Haruna of High Court in Ankpa, Kogi state has sentenced a motorcycle rider, popularly called Okada, Idris Amodu to death by hanging for killing his wife, Mrs. Sadia Adjatu. Delivering verdict on the convict at Ankpa, headquarters of Ankpa local government, Justice Esther Haruna said “those who kill by the sword also die by the sword”. The judge, who upheld the submission of the state prosecuting counsel, David Ocheme said she was not unmindful of the provision of section 273 of the criminal procedure code which gave capital punishment to accused persons who violate provision of that section of the law. Justice Haruna explained that section 221 [a] of the Penal Code also pronounced capital punishment for violators of the section and thus she accordingly ordered Idris Amodu to be hanged by the neck till he was pronounced dead. It would be recalled that the convict Idris Amodu was accused of using a cutlass to slaughter his wife, who had three children for him, after some family dispute on August 8, 2010 at Ogaji village in Ankpa local government, Kogi state. The prosecuting state counsel, Mr David Ocheme, who described the sentence as commendable, articulate, balanced and sound also stated that it would serve as a deterrent to others.

PTD, Kaduna branch, Nuhu and his son Musa Marafa were arrested and subsequently paraded by the Nigerian Army in Kaduna in January, for being in possession of ammunition and other items including a bottle with contents described as explosives. But his lawyers, who addressed journalists shortly after he was paraded said the paraded ammunition particularly the gun, was licensed, adding that his arrest was politically motivated. The lawyers, who described the suspect as a law-abiding citizen said they will employ all legal actions in defense of the suspect. In the meantime, one of the sons of the suspect, Yusuf Marafa was said to have escaped with another weapon and is presently at large. The Army has however declared him wanted.

From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

L-R: Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Adah Oduah, and Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, at the State House, in Abuja, yesterday.

LG caretaker committees are illegal, says INEC By Ali Alkali, with agency reports


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has described as “illegal” the appointment of caretaker committees at local government councils and warned state governors against taking actions that can truncate democracy, insisting that the leadership at the local government council level must be constituted by elected officers. INEC made the clarification yesterday in Abuja through Mr. Kayode Idowu, the Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman. INEC said sole administrators and caretaker committees had no place

in the local government system. “The act of having caretaker committees, transition committees and stuff like that is illegal because the constitution makes provision for the councils to be constituted by elected people”, Kayode said in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Kayode said the view formed part of recommendations made at the INEC retreat with State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) in Enugu in November 2011. The electoral body identified local government councils as the tier of government closest to the people insisting that “its leaders should be democratically elected as

provided for in the constitution.” He pointed out that as part of its recommendations, the retreat had demanded the immediate conduct of elections into local councils where such sole administrators and caretaker committees currently exist. He, however, said though INEC had no control over the conduct of the local government elections, “we are advising states that have not conducted local council elections to do so”. Just recently, the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Dahiru Musdapher had to petition the Plateau state government over this unconstitutional act, describing Governor Jang as “a threat to democracy”.

Apo 6: Court orders arrest of witness By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


n Abuja High Court yesterday, has ordered the arrest of a prosecution witness, Mr. Chukwudi Chukwu for failing to testify before it over the Apo six murder trial. The trial Judge, Justice Ishaq Bello, who made the order following an application for the order by representative of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), Mamman Usman (SAN), said, “I have no difficulties in acceding to the request

made by the prosecution. There is no doubt that he has receipt of the court process which he has flagrantly violated. Bench warrant is hereby issued to have the said witness, Mr Chukkudi Chukwu arrested and brought to court tomorrow for the continuation of trial”, the judge said. In the application for the bench warrant, Usman had notified the court that after a subpoena was issued against Chukwu on February 2, which he acknowledged receipt of but still refused to appear. “Relying on section 56 of the

Criminal Procedure Code, I apply my lord, to issue a bench warrant on the said Chukwudi Chukwu to compel him to testify in this matter”, he urged. Earlier, a prosecution witness, Cpl Haruna Saleh, who said he was one of the officers that investigated the killings, testified that in the morning of June 8, 2005 after he saw corpses in front of the station, the Divisional officer, Uthman Abdulsalam ordered him to bring the photographer, popularly called Chidi Best to take shots of the bodies together with two locally made pistols, two knives and one cutlass.


30-year-old man, Musaddiq Musa Rafukka was yesterday arraigned before Senior Magistrate Court 3 sitting in Katsina, for alleged repeated sexual abuse of a 13 year-old boy for over a year. Arraigning the suspect before the court, prosecuting police officer, Mr. Okolo Usman told the court that the accused was reported to the police by the father of the victim over alleged sexual abuse of his son by the accused for over a year. The prosecutor noted that it was after the arrest and investigation of the accused that he was brought to the court to answer charges for the alleged sexual abuse of the minor. Similarly, the prosecutor told the court that the victim was taken to the General Hospital, Katsina where, according to him, doctors that examined him discovered that the boy has some injuries in his anus as a result of alleged repeated sexual abuse by the accused. He also said the accused has committed an unnatural act, which he said was contrary to section 284 of the Penal Code. However, the presiding magistrate, Nuruddeen Abdulmumini Jikamshi asked the accused whether he fully understood the charges brought against him and said he was only brought to the court for mention of the case before sending him to the appropriate court for trial. The magistrate therefore ordered the accused to be remanded in prison custody till the 23rd of February for continued hearing on the case.


S/Court ruling: Yakowa extends olive branch From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


s the Supreme Court reaffirmed the election of Kaduna state governor Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa in Abuja yesterday he extended olive branch to his political opponent to come on board for the development of the state. Yakowa made the call after the Supreme Court ruling that reaffirmed his victory at the polls as the duly elected governor of the state. He promised to promptly swing into action to implement the 2012 budget the moment it is passed by the State House of Assembly. The policies and programmes of his administration, he stressed would ensure the growth and development of the state to better the lives of the people. Yakowa thanked the people of the state for their support and believing in him promising not to let them down. The rulings of the Courts he stressed, has authoritatively stamped the decision of the majority of the electorates who voted him as their governor. The Apex Court has yesterday in Abuja, re-affirmed the earlier rulings of the Gubernatorial Election Tribunal as well as Court of Appeal ruling in Kaduna. The judgement was read by Justice Francis Fadode Tambai who led other five Justices of the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision in agreement with the two lower courts’ earlier rulings.


Boko Haram may destroy northern Nigeria, says FG By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday expressed fear over the ability of security agents and other Nigerians to stop Boko Haram elements from destroying the northern parts of the country. The council rose from its meeting yesterday with Information minister, Labaran Maku, expressing government's worry that insecurity and terrorism was about to destroy the North. Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, which was chaired by President Goodluck Jonathan, the minister said at present, the North needed peace and stability since according to him, it was lagging behind in infrastructure and other development indices.

Reacting to consistent Boko Haram bomb attacks on parts of the North, Maku pointed out that, "terrorism in places like Kano is destroying the north as it hits at the heart of the development of the region". He noted that Kano serves as a commercial nerve centre of not only the North but services neighbouring countries like Chad and Niger Republic whose traders also patronise the city. Maku added: "It makes no sense to attack innocent people and destroy the North. Sokoto is the spiritual headquarters of Islam in Nigeria and the terrorist group claims they want to attack the city. "In what way does that help Islam, or progress and development of the region if that is what they are fighting for?" He harped on the imperative of northern leaders, elders and

other stakeholders to rally round the government and get involved in bringing terrorism to an end. The minister however assured that government would continue to deploy resources and develop capacity to contain insecurity and terrorism. "A lot of arrests are being made, about 14 so far. The Federal Government is investing resources in intelligence and we are beginning to see results on a consistent basis. More security personnel are also being deployed to trouble spots," he stated. On the offer of dialogue offered by President Jonathan, Maku argued that, "it is known to government that our children and citizens are involved in these terror attacks, and it has offered an opportunity for them to come forward and state their grievances."

IGP seeks cooperation on security By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Security men carry out a stop and search on civil servants before they enter Federal Secretariat, in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Jonathan salutes late Dantata’s contributions to economic devt By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday commiserated with the entire Dantata family of Kano on the death of one of its most illustrious and industrious sons,

Reminded of the splinter Boko Haram group that agreed, via a recorded message on NTA to a dialogue through some prominent northern citizens, the minister replied: "It could be true, it could be false. It takes more than having names published or broadcast by a group to establish the veracity of the claims". Meanwhile, the FEC was informed that UNESCO will be siting a Category II river basin management authority in Kaduna as well as a regional multisectoral centre in Abuja, which shows greater confidence in Nigeria. Jonathan also informed FEC of the outcome of the 33rd course of Nigeria Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) which discussed Nigeria's diversity and its potentials for development and harmony.

Alhaji Abdulkadir Sanusi Dantata. A statement signed yesterday by Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said: “President Jonathan joins the family, the people of Kano and other Nigerians in mourning the late Chairman and co-founder of

one of Nigeria’s leading construction and engineering companies, Dantata & Sawoe Limited.” He further prayed God to comfort Alhaji Abdulkadir’s family and heirs, and give them the wisdom and fortitude to

maintain and build on his legacy. Alhaji Abdulkadir Sanusi Dantata, who was the eldest son of Alhaji Sanusi Dantata and Hajia Mairo Dantata, had died on Tuesday in a German hospital after a brief illness.

he acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar yesterday said the current security challenges facing the country can be surmounted through collaborative efforts of the Police, Military and other security agencies in the country. Speaking when he paid a courtesy visit on the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief Air Marshal Oluseyi Petirin, the Chief Naval Staff and the Chief Air Staff at the Defence Headquarters, Abuja the Acting IGP enjoined the leadership of the Military to support the Police Force in its quest towards ensuring safety of life and property nationwide. Responding, the CDS said other Service Chiefs shared same views and assured the Acting IGP of unflinching Military support to the Police through capacity building, training and a well defined InterAgency Cooperation and Partnership. especially in the fight against Boko Haram. He then assured the general public that the Security Agencies are doing all its level best to close in on the group.

MDGs targets: Women ministry underfunded, says Senate c’ttee By Maryam Garba Hassan


hairman, Senate Committee on MDGs, Senator Ali Ndume has said that for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieve its targets by 2015, the Women and Social Development sub-sector must be adequately funded and properly supported to address the issues and concerns of over 70 percent of Nigerians under the purview of the Ministry of Women Affairs.

A statement issued yesterday by the ministry of Women Affairs, quoted Ndume as stating this at the budget defence of the Ministry on MDGs projects. According to him, all the 8 goals of the MDGs, women, children and other vulnerable groups are affected. “When we talk of extreme hunger and poverty, you are talking about women, destitute, orphans and vulnerable children. Looking at your budget, to me, it represents just about 10 percent of the federation’s budget.

How do you address your mandate with this? It is grossly inadequate to make the desired impact”, Ndume said. While stating his support for the 35percent Affirmative Action by the present Administration, the lawmaker also canvassed for 35 percent of the budget to be allocated to the sub sector. “Even as it is, there is nothing for the rural women, you need small grants to boost their petty trading. You need to make it a priority.

If you give N10,000 to every woman, by this time next year, you will discover that the country will change positively, economically, because poverty will start changing its address out of Nigeria. But if you give a man N100,000, by next year you will see multiple marriages and new cars on the roads”, Ndume stated. He therefore urged the Minister to discuss with the MDGs Office and request for an upward review of its budget to fund related projects, saying that the

presidency has presented about N800million while MDGs approved N500million and her ministry is requesting for about N64 million. “All these to me are grossly inadequate to address your huge responsibilities”. He charged the Ministry to approach multinational companies such as MTN and similar corporate organizations to assist by reaching out more to the rural women and persons with disabilities as part of their social responsibility.



S/Court upholds Yakowa’s election victory By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


President Goodluck Jonathan (middle), discussing with leader of the European Union (EU) delegation and Danish Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Villy Sovndal (right), and EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. David MacRae (left), during a visit by the delegation to the president at the State House in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Joe Oroye

IBB’s son yet to declare guber intention, says family From Iliya Garba, Minna


he family of former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has debunked rumours that Mohammed Babangida had been penciled down to take over from Dr. Mu’azu

Babangida Aliyu as governor of Niger state come 2015. A spokesman of the family, Hon. Dattijo Aliyu made the clarification in a telephone interview with our correspondent in Minna, Niger state capital yesterday, saying, “he has not formally told us.”

“I am aware that a lot of people have been putting pressure on him to contest the governorship position of the state in 2015 but his father has not called a family meeting to inform us of the need to work for the actualisation of such ambition,” Dattijo who is currently standing trial over his

alleged involvement in the recent unrest over fuel subsidy removal, said. Peoples Daily investigations on those scheming to take Aliyu’s job in 2015 include his deputy, Hon Ahmed Musa Ibeto, the present commissioner for Finance, Mu’azu Mohammed and Engr Mustapha Bello, the present Executive Secretary of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).

NCC denies budgeting N75m for toilet doors By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has denied newspaper reports that it budgeted N75 million for the replacement of its toilet doors, saying that the reported amount was for major works which were fully evaluated by the commission before the submission of its 2012 budget proposal. A release signed by the commission’s head of media and public relations, Reuben Mouka said: “The sum of N75 million under reference was for major

works which were fully evaluated by the Commission before the budget submission. They include repainting of the external walls of the commission’s headquarters building, repairs and repainting of the steel roof structures.” This he said, was in addition to a major face lift of the reception areas, waiting room, two-wing canteen facilities with several equipment, provision of directional signs in the 9-storey edifice of the commission, in addition to replacement of old and unbefitting toilet doors and locks. “There was also no query by the committee on the provision of the

sum of N30 million in the budget for procurement of furniture at the headquarters of the commission, and four zonal offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu, and Ibadan. The N10 million provision for air conditioners at the headquarters building is for the phased replacement of some air conditioners which have served out their useful life as procurement of new ones is more cost effective than the high cost of maintaining the old ones,” the statement said. It continued: “The newspaper reports also misconstrued the provision of N89 million for project

vehicles, and N72 million for Quality of Service monitoring vehicles as duplication. The information provided in the budget details was explicit. Project vehicles are operational vehicles for compliance monitoring and surveillance exercises in Port Harcourt, Kano, and Lagos zones covering all the cities in the respective geopolitical zones while monitoring vehicles are special purpose-built vehicles with equipment for drive tests designed for quality of service monitoring as they enable set-up tests with minimal vibration and shocks while in motion.”

Jonathan seeks EU’s support in mopping up arms By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has sought the assistance of the European Union (EU) in mopping up small arms and weapons that may have fallen into the hands of non-state actors in Nigeria such as Boko Haram in the aftermath of the Libyan conflict. President Jonathan while speaking to a delegation of the European Union and the European

External Action Service at the State House, Abuja yesterday, said Nigeria and other countries in West and Central Africa would appreciate EU’s support in this regard. Recalling the recent prosubsidy strike and protests in the country, President Jonathan insisted that there was no justification for government to pay for elite consumption through subsidies on petrol. “There is no justification for

government to subsidise elite consumption. Diesel, which fuels mass transit vehicles has been deregulated, so we will use the savings made from removing the subsidy on petrol to provide for the needs of the poor in our society,” he stated. President Jonathan also told the EU delegation that the conduct of elections in Nigeria was getting progressively better, and assured them that efforts were being made to ensure that only voters

determine the winners of the 2015 national elections. “We promise that the 2015 elections will even be better than the 2011 elections,” he assured. Earlier, the Foreign Minister of Denmark and leader of the delegation, Mr. Villy Sov had said that the recent strike in Nigeria further confirm the commitment to the growth of democracy, adding that the President took “very brave” decisions on fuel subsidy.

he Supreme Court yesterday upheld the election victory of Governor Patrick Yakowa in the April 2011 governorship election in Kaduna state. The apex court also dismissed in entirety the appeal filed by the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Haruna Saeed Kajuru. Justice Francis Tabai who chaired a five-man panel of justices affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal in Kaduna that had earlier dismissed Kajuru’s appeal. Justice Abdu Aboki-led threeman panel of the Kaduna Division of the Court of Appeal had dismissed Kajuru’s appeal on the grounds that he failed to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt, adding that the CPC flag bearer’s appeal lacked merit. “The petition has no merit and so it is dismissed. We have gone through the entire records of appeal which is eight volumes. We see no merit in this appeal and is thereby dismissed,” the judge said.

Boko Haram: Nigeria, EU to engage experts By Abdullahi Yunusa


oised to bring activities of the dreaded Boko Haram sect to an end in Nigeria, the European Union and Nigeria yesterday agreed to engage experts on the matter. The group had in the past months claimed responsibility for bomb blasts and shootings which have claimed about 2,000 lives in different parts of the country. A joint communiqué was signed and issued at the end of the two-day 3rd Nigeria-European Union Ministerial Meeting by the Nigeria's Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru and Denmark's Foreign Affairs Minister, Villy Soevndal on behalf of the EU in Abuja. They agreed that the experts will be charged with the responsibility of identifying action plan to tackle various security challenges in the Northern part of Nigeria. They also agreed on the need for the Nigerian government to fully implement its amnesty programme as way of ensuring lasting peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. Ambassador Ashiru said, “The parties agreed that the core values which Nigeria and the EU share are key to overcoming terrorism. These values include an open society, adherence to the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights.” The parties, he said also agreed on the need to increase efforts to tackle the poverty and environmental degradation the region currently faces, with regard to the corporate social responsibility of the operating companies.


By Ugochukwu Raymond Ogubuariri


ccording to recent news report in some newspapers, details of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC’s budgeted expenditure for the 2011 fiscal year included the following items: N1.3 billion for fumigation of its premises; N1.2 billion for presidential project monitoring (i.e. hosting government officials who visit NDDC office and project sites); N1.8 billion for traveling; N603 million for staff training; N550 million for international conferences; N759 million for project consultancy; N550 million for donations; N638 million for security; N682 million for hotel bills: N402 million for telephone bills; etc. Obviously, this is one of those pieces of news that hits your eardrum and you find yourself at a loss as to whether to start crying, to laugh it off as a huge joke or to simply ignore the news as if it never existed. Elementary knowledge teaches me that “fumigation” is basically the use of chemicals, smoke, or gas to clear disease, bacteria, insects etc from an area. In the case of the NDDC, what was the fumigation exercise meant to clear away? Witches and wizards? By expending such a hefty sum on the mundane ritual of office fumigation, was the NDDC actually commissioned to fumigate the entirety of tropical Africa? And by perpetrating this nauseous prodigality, is the Commission implying that the particular species of rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes resident within its premises are deadlier and more destructible than the dreaded By Ose Oyamendan


he National Assembly seems like a village square where people love hearing their own voices. I would rather work in radio. The state governors are always running to Abuja like executive beggars. I keep getting a flood of e-mail that I should run for something. And, it’s not the running away from a vexed girlfriend variety. Some folks, who I must admit, live in my fantasy, want me to run for elective office. They believe I would be a great leader. I love being a leader but not a poor one. So, I asked a simple question. Is there money to be made in leadership? “Is the Pope Catholic?” the replied. I got very patriotic. I am going to run for something. But, what? The national assembly seems like a village square where people love hearing their own voices. I’d rather work in radio. The state governors are always running to Abuja like executive beggars. Not attractive. I decided my destiny is the Aso Villa. What’s there to lose? Fall into a ministerial position or ambassadorship? But, I had a dilemma. In America, the battle for the next election often starts the day after


Killing mosquitoes with a sledgehammer Boko Haram? Perhaps, I am ill-informed. It could actually be that the variant of the fumigating agent used by the NDDC was imported from planet Jupiter while its constituent ingredients are more treasurable than enriched uranium! Even at that, does it really matter how a pestilential cockroach is killed? For I know that with my ever dependable “ota pia pia,” I would still achieve the same heroic result. Then, imagine if I were to spend over a billion naira to procure “ota pia pia” or its equivalent – “rat killer” which is very popular in Lagos traffic, I’m sure God himself will accuse me of genocide against defenceless rodents and harmless insects! Seriously, what makes this action by the NDDC utterly lamentable and unscrupulous is the fact that while the Commission claim to have spent such an outrageous sum on fumigation, the people of the Niger Delta (especially, those domiciled in remote localities) are still confronted with the stark oddity of drinking polluted water and living in squalid conditions characterized by acute scarcity of basic necessities of life. It is a sad commentary that an institution like the NDDC which was created with the mandate to midwife grassroots development in the Niger Delta area has invariably become a

veritable apparatus of disempowerment and corrupt misapplication of resources meant for the development of the people. This it is dong through its manifest penchant for unmitigated profligacy, malevolent corruption and predatory parasitism. Imagine the impact N1.3 billion will make in the lives of the rustic dwellers trapped in the harshest creeks of ogbolomambri in Bayelsa state or their ill-fated counterparts in the massively polluted enclave of Ogoni land in Rivers state. Lest we forget, N1 billion, we are told, will require spending N50,000.00 everyday for 52 years before it can be exhausted. To imagine that such a fortune was dedicated by the NDDC to the

fight against inconsequential invertebrates is, to say the least, mind-boggling. This brings me to the issue of the habitual complicity of the National Assembly in holding a candle to the devil. The Parliament, whether at federal or state level, is supposed to be seen as an institutional repository of the people’ will and sovereignty. Unarguably, the legitimacy of the Legislature in a democracy is assured only when its actions and dispositions are attentive to and protective of the abiding interest of the larger public or general citizenry. Regrettably, one of the patent tragedies of Nigeria’s democracy is the fact that the Legislature has, uncannily, become an antithesis of what it ought to

A typical example of such choreographed caricature is the sporadic episodes of committee probes into certain activities of government or any of its agencies. The power probe, the probe on privatization of government institutions, and the ongoing probe on the utilization of fuel subsidies are all notable examples

be. Nigeria is democratizing with a Legislature that is averse to the protection of citizens’ interest; dissociated from accountability, transparency and justice; and generally inclined to making a huge caricature of the doctrine of legislative oversight. A typical example of such choreographed caricature is the sporadic episodes of committee probes into certain activities of government or any of its agencies. The power probe, the probe on privatization of government institutions, and the ongoing probe on the utilization of fuel subsidies are all notable examples. During such probes, Nigerians are treated to sordid spectacles of startling revelations all bordering on corruption, resource misallocation, economic sabotage and, in certain cases, crime against the Nigerian state. Strangely, at every round of conclusion of such probes, there is always an unusual onset of chronic parliamentary amnesia and general systemic passivity and disinterestedness. Our lawmakers (when reminded of such probes) will readily plead the alibi that “implementation rests squarely with the Executive.” In their craze for opportunistic denial, they conveniently forget that they Continued on page 14

Running for Aso Rock the last election. You gather your team together, drown yourself in whiskey and beer then sleep away your loss. The next morning, you wake up, fix yourself the strongest coffee and start planning your way out of loserdom. In Nigeria, it’s a lot different. First, you’re not sure when the seat will become open again because, with or without merit, you’re suing the winner and you may not have a judgment until a few weeks before that term expires. I did what every smart aspiring politician does. I assembled a team. I wanted to know what steps to take before I ran for the presidency. 2015 is a mere three years away. Time to get the party started. First thing, I was told to do is, start a newspaper or a radio station or a television station. Or, all three. In war, armies are organized into brigades. In politics, the first brigade is your media empire. With a media empire, you can bully your way down the power boulevard. That was bad news. My media

empire is restricted to my Facebook page and text messages. I was getting out of the race before I began. But, my consultants found another way. Start a newspaper column, they advised. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing absolute rubbish or fighting your friends who you used to be in power with. Just write. Make sure you always take the opposing side from the government. If the government says the day is bright, tell the world it’s dark. And, if the government insists, go to court. Make yourself a nuisance. Get a chieftaincy title. Make sure the title means leader. People love leaders. No one elects a man that is simply mister. I don’t have a title but I have uncles who do. I smell a traditional coup. It always helps if you are the financier of a party that has at least one or two governors. That way everyone will know you’re a leader in waiting. And, just to make sure every dullard in the country knows you’re actually a leader, have your associates refer

to you as “our leader” or “our father”. If anyone can’t take the hint, they need brain surgery. If you have a fat bank account, you’re halfway home. Make sure you put the money to good use. Sponsor a few gubernatorial, senatorial and representative races. If you’re lucky to be on the progressive divide, then make sure you’re an activist. That made me pause. I have a bank account and it’s fat with emptiness. My consultants said not to worry. I will sell my political soul to moneybags who will turn me into a puppet when I get to power. I was worried about that. But, they assured me everyone does that. As I got up and started thinking of my campaign posters, one of the consultants said, “one more thing, Ose”. I was pissed. And, I let everyone know it. No one was to call me Ose again. I have become bigger than the Ose they know. From now on, they will call me “our leader” in the native tongues. Everyone applauded. I am a fast learner, they realized. I could

hear calculators going off in their heads. They will be Nigeria’s new billionaires as soon as I’m in power. “In this age of Arab spring and the occupy movements, it’s advisable that you are an active part of an Occupy movement,” a consultant said. “But, the labor leaders have already settled with the government. There is nothing to occupy except university girls and unemployed graduates trying to survive,” another consultant said. Occupying young girls and unemployed graduates actually sounded appealing. But, I am a leader now. My affairs must not be publicized. “That’s okay,” I replied. “I will come into Nigeria, travel all over the country and consult with opposition leaders. That will solidify my status as a national leader.” My team was so excited they started singing the national anthem. Ose Ayamendan is a Nigerian-America filmmaker based in Los Angeles, USA


By Sunday Njokede


f you compare the positive practical developments in Lagos and Edo states with as against the backward, Stone Age Bayelsa State, the need to stone all former governors of Bayelsa arises immediately. And to achieve that aim, the ‘OccupyNigeria’ movement has just captured Jonathan and Sylva and put them up for public stoning. Furthermore the organizers have imported quality subsidised stones for stoning both former governors of Bayelsa. The reasons for importing subsidised stones was one, for Nigerians to have enough stones – two, local stone production fell short of supply. Some are blaming the stone cabal for the shortage while others are saying it is due to lack of electricity. If you think that Taliban and Boko Haram are the only ones who promote public stoning, you are damn wrong. Even President Jonathan is a prostoning advocate. Follow me as I narrate the whole story to you. Yes. Bayelsa has been living rough since its creation. All exgovernors who piloted her since 1999 are guilty of official

By Uddin Ifeanyi


ince the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) constituted its current rate-setting committee (the Monetary Policy Committee - MPC) almost three years ago, I (along with a few others, I guess) have looked forward to reading the communiqués that mark the end of the MPC’s bi-monthly meetings. In part, this is because of the level of detail in these communiqués (a lot more now, than previously). Usefully, this new disclosure level has increased the transparency of central bank communication in the country, and to this extent has played a useful role in keep inflation down. But the interest in the MPC’s account of its meetings is more because the communiqués have consistently attempted to open a window into the heart of the central bank’s rate-setting committee’s decision-making process. Accordingly, commentary by each member of the MPC, attached, as appendices to the communiqués, has been useful in dimensioning macroeconomic options locally. Ahead of the MPC’s first meeting this year (Monday, last week), this dynamic changed ever so slightly. It was evidently too early in the year for monetary policy to be set. Thus, the pre-meeting colloquy devolved around what the MPC’s members could possibly have to mull over. Much in the policy environment still had to crystallise. Equally clear was that policy this year will set sail against very strong winds. But there was general agreement around the fact that it will take time, for one, until we have a working sense of the consequence for domestic prices of a number of recent


Do I stone Jonathan or Sylva? negligence and bad They contend that Occupy win elections as if in horror and performance. They raced the Nigeria and ordinary stoning fantasy movies. State to rotten bottom. spree is too feminine. It’d not Somebody is going six-feet And as if that is not enough, send a strong message to those tonight. I mean this fictional the damning ways and means who loot and abuse power and and literary. Don’t get me Jonathan is manning our position of trust. Come to think wrong. Remember the ‘... I statecraft in Abuja put him in a of it, firing squad or stoning shot the sheriff but I didn’t special stone-worthy position. squad – anything, would do in shoot the deputy’ song of Bob That is why M a r l e y ? Nigerians have Never mind to decide who Bob Marley gets stoned for now. b e t w e e n We’re not Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text Jonathan and doing any messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written Sylva. The shooting here contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 stoning squad but stoning words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and has to be two former a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed so m ew ha t sheriffs of to: democratic and Bayelsa State: partly Taliban. Jonathan and The Editor, I can’t wait Sylva. Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, f o r W e OccupyNigeria a p p l a u d 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. to line up the OccupyNigeria Email: let stones and for giving us SMS: 07037756364 declare the the support Stoning Squad and swagger open in Bayelsa State. I might this era where EFCC and other to stone Jonathan and Sylva. need a slingshot or catapult for corruption agencies are in a If this trend continues, we effectiveness. Some people prefer sleeping mood conniving. Plus might just have the Abuja for this National event. Jega’s INEC looking the other opportunity to stone public Others are saying an outright way whilst non-performing PDP officers each time they err. military firing squad would do. governors and co., continue to The National Assembly should


be of good cheer and take cue from President Jonathan in legalising stoning of public officers in line with what Occupy Nigeria is doing. Last week in Bayelsa state, President Jonathan had raised the bar of public stoning as he taunted Sylva like this “I was here in this place some months ago and Bayelsans stoned the governor.” That is, after he accused ex-governor Sylva for non performance. I know you have had bellyful of the sadism and corruption which the cabal class inflict on man and country. After all said and done, we are now here in the stoning venue kudos to OccupyNigeria organizers. Jonathan and Sylva are standing there before you. In this case, who would you stone, Jonathan or Sylva? Do the stoning now! The choice is yours and the stones are plenty subsidised. Those who need catapult for grandiose result should put up their hands. OK! Sunday Njokede can be reached at

Those curious agric numbers developments in the polity, especially government’s recent tinkering with the pump-gate prices of petrol. Much of the research available on this subject locally suggests a moderate, short-term spike in prices, but both anecdotal evidence, and the reaction of political leaders at the sub-national level, indicate rather larger levels of disruption to domestic economic activities in consequence of the fuel price rise. Similarly, the implementation of the multiyear tariff order in the power sector should drive electricity prices up for just about every category of consumers. By how much? And what implicationfor the CBN’s price stability remit? The effects of all these, together with the central government’s adjustment to the tariff structure for wheat and flour remain to be felt. The MPC did not disappoint. At the end of its meeting, it kept just about every monetary policy handle unchanged. Indeed, the inability of the CBN’s rate-setting committee to shock the markets any longer has been very useful in managing domestic price movements. The MPC anchored its neutral call on the “clear impact of previous tightening on the rate of inflation and exchange rates up to December 2011”. A “wait-andsee” call, then? Anticipated though this outcome was, it would have been an error not to read the communiqué. For thoughtfulcrums there were aplenty. However, of all of these, one in particular stood out. Based on anecdotal evidence, I’ve always wondered if the proportion

assigned to agriculture in our output growth figures are not a rounding error. The number of commercial motorcyclists in Lagos, for instance, and the places from which they reached the nation’s commercial centre from should concern anyone interested in this economy. With that amount of young, able-bodied persons daily leaving our rural areas, what’s to happen to an agricultural sector that’s both rain-fed and organised on a subsistence basis? Besides, for those of us who come from villages, it has been clear for a long time that the populations there have been

rapidly aging because of the faster rate of young people heading out in search of greener pastures. What to make, then, of this passage in the MPC’s recent communiqué? “The Committee also noted the NBS survey data on the rise in the unemployment rate to 23.9 per cent in 2011 from 21.4% in 2010. The latest unemployment rate is considerably higher than the 12.3% recorded in 2006 by the NBS survey, which suggests that the consistently high output growth during this period had failed to create adequate employment for the growing

labour force”. If the larger proportion of growth last year was in agriculture, then lower workforce participation rates would suggest growing mechanisation. This is an inevitable part of the development process, as more efficient resource use pushes labour into service industries. The only problem is that this transition is not taking place in this economy. We therefore need a different explanation for the combination of high unemployment and high output growth rates. Uddin Ifeanyi is a retired Nigerian journalist.

Killing mosquitoes... Continued from page 13

are constitutionally empowered to enforce the compliance of the Executive (e.g. through the threat of sanctions). At the very best, Nigeria’s Legislature has become a “clearing house” for corruption and other undemocratic practices. The art of law making has become a euphemism for “monkey business.” If not so, how can one rationalize the fact that over a billion naira was budgeted for fumigation by the NDDC in the year 2011(including other egregious proposals) and such proposals received the endorsement of the Federal Parliament. Of what use is the various legislative committees that are set up and funded at public expense and given the mandate to oversight

government institutions and programmes? What really is the essence and purpose of legislative oversight if public institutions are footloose and fancy free to fritter public funds away with mindless impunity and tag it with one ludicrous title? What kind of democracy will permit an agency of government - the Directorate of Petroleum Resources, DPR – to propose spending N31.5 billion on 1,350 staff as salaries in a given fiscal year? All too often, Nigerians are persistently cajoled and prodded to “defend this democracy and to pray unceasingly for the unity of the country.” Incidentally, in the face of this undisguised, maniacal robbery and debauchery which pervade our public space (and the corridors of power in particular), it will not be out of place to ask as follows:

whose democracy are we really defending and who are those that actually benefit from this unjust, strangulating and corruptionbreeding unity called Nigeria? Is there any assurance that this democracy will survive in the face of an entrenched culture of corruption that expresses itself as cannibalism? Before now, I used to think that when you “kill a mosquito with a sledgehammer,” you are merely stating an idiomatic expression. Amazingly, by spending N1.3 billion on the fumigation of its premises, the NDDC has given concrete particularity to an otherwise abstract expression. Indeed, the NDDC has killed mosquitoes with a sledgehammer. What an absurd ingenuity! Ugochukwu Raymond Ogubuariri can be reached at



Nigeria: A world of greys (I) By Samuel A. Caulcrick


here are the Sam Alukos of the present time? Years gone by, bold economists were never afraid to come out of the cupboard and challenge populist economic theories. Nigeria, meanwhile, is littered with celebrated economists graduates of faculties of social sciences of ivy-league colleges. Where are Nigeria’s graduates of the best world faculties of engineering? The Nigerian society accords them high regards; offering them recognition, but there is no better time to earn that respect than now. Most of these fellows graduated with flying colours - at least on paper. Why can they not take Nigeria out of this logjam? These people ought to realise that they were trained with the wealth of this nation (either By Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega If a country has “too much” defence it is wasting its resources, and if it has “too little” it is insecure. The penalty for the former may be a lower standard of living for its citizens; and for the later it may be a loss of independence or an unwanted interference in domestic affairs – Kennedy G. (1975)


he 2012 budget presentation by President Goodluck Jonathan has come and gone, with euphoria and nook out. The annual ritual of budget presentation has become a normal Crosby show, by Nigerian leaders in the last 12 years. It is on record that since the country’s return to democracy, the Nigerian government have never implemented budget to at least 50% and the institutions that are saddle with the responsibility of checkmating this rascality, seat comfortably, without asking questions on the performance of the last budget. I think the Nigeria budget can be referred to as “Our budget, their money”. This is against the backdrop of the budget failing to impacts on the lives of majority, but, seems to service the comfort and irresponsibility of a gluttonous and vampire ruling elite. The Tuesday December 13, 2011 presentation the N4.75 trillion budget for the fiscal year underscored what is to come. A breakdown of the budget saw capital expenditure: N1.32 Trillion; Recurrent (non Debt) Expenditure: N2.472 Trillion, Statutory Transfer: N398billion; Debt Servicing: N560 Billion. Further breakdown, saw, and the security sector taking the lion share of N920 billion, almost a trillion, submerging about 12 ministries that are critical to the transformational agenda of the current administration. This is rather outrageous and bogus for a country that is barely crawling to survive. Not only did the president face a lot of criticism from developmental analysis and ordinary citizens, but, it only shows

personal or public). Besides, most still carry Nigerian passports, in spite of dual nationality. In other countries, economists and engineers, in their separate fields, argue from both sides of schools of thought for a way-forward; in Nigeria, they all hum the same tune with no positive result. Everyone considers it wise to conform with a popular theme; afraid to differ. Nigeria’s economic growth is gloss-painted and that is why it has not translated to jobs or joy. The country’s external earning is made up of 96% of the proceeds from oil that is extracted by foreign companies that operate 90% outside of the economy. It is the reason why many public holidays have not affected the economy. That Nigeria needs to diversify, sounds like a broken record, as if Nigerians are not willing. We are

bamboozled everyday with economics and technical jargons that have not improved the living standards of Nigerians - both rich and poor. It is not that the rich live a better live, they are only able to afford unnecessary alternatives to a good life. The Nigerian economy has faltered long enough; electricity, that the rest of humanity has taken for granted, has become a puzzle. Every Nigerian knows how to produce electricity, because we all have individual generators; it is the production of electricity of sound economies of scale (the commercial electricity) that is eluding us. Enough of the lame excuses and unfulfilled promises; most people are beginning to lose their patience. To say there is nothing wrong with us, is to put it mildly. The elites in Nigeria fiddle, whilst the country

burns. The madness is such that even the privileged amongst us still live below par when compared with the living standard of the least privileged in some sister countries where you turn on any switch, there is always light; you open any tap, there is always water. We are so busy trying to survive individually with little or no capacity left to nation building. Those in position of trust and responsibility often lace their decisions with personal interest. Whatever that is suggested for nation building that does not put money into their pockets is considered rubbish. So, for many years we continue to panel-beat unworkable systems, hoping that it would work for individual self and not for the country. Monetarism as a form of capitalism, for example, is not working in Nigeria; yet it is not on the discussion table. Most people

hope that their time will come, just as it had profited some of their friends or relations. Do not get me wrong, capitalism is still it, but it not this type that has fuelled corruption. However, if we have to continue with this madness, we need to fix three things with all sincerity: We must revisit the method used to determine the value of the currency (naira) against other currencies in order to reduce distortions that militate against an equitable value; find a way to empower government to control the cost of borrowing, i.e. interest rates; and reduce the pressure on the oil receipt that government, its arms and agencies exert, by funding the national treasury through tax and only that. Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick resides in Lagos

2012 budget of death the government is really on the threshold of furthering insecurity and death in Nigeria. I really understood and appreciate the growing security challenges in the country, with the spate of bombing and killing around the country, especially with the activities of myth mania Boko Haram. But, importantly, is either the President is being blackmail or he does not know what to do. This is rather like treating cancer instead of a headache with paracetamol. The real reason for the growing insecurity in the country is the long years of governmental insensitivity to the yearning and aspiration of average Nigerian. The reality is that; the agonies of corruption, injustice, poverty, unemployment, despondency, frustration and insensitive ruling elite, are all by product of contemporary insecurity. Interestingly, a further breakdown of security sector proposal carryout by the Daily Trust newspaper, added to the general outcry and confusion. According to the report titled “Security: FG to Spend Billions on Weapon” Monday, December 19, 2011, Page 1 and 6 graphical reported that, under the budget of the SSS (State Security Service), procurement of arms and ammunition will gulp N5 billion. Advance explosive detectors will be bought at N2 billion and another N2 billion is voted for forensic laboratory. Installation of antibomb blanket and bomb detectors in North - East, North- West and North – Central will cost N1 billion; while procurement of communication and technical equipment will cost N1.2 billion. Also for the SSS, purchase operational vehicles is to cost N1 billion; installation of cell phone tracking system interception, N1.3 billion; N5 billion is for acquisition of counter surveillance jammer; VSat project, N1.675 billion; procurement of tactical interception system using vehicle,

N1 billion; and satellite monitoring system, N1.5 billion. In the office of the National Security Adviser, N8.87 billion will be used to purchase satellite communication equipments in FCT; N14.4 billion will go for data signal centre and equipment; N3.2 billion iridium communication platform; N2 billion will be gulped by 12 motorized direction finder jeeps to be stationed in the FCT; N150 million is for cyber security; and Presidential communication network will cost N2 billion. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA), for its part, will spend N8 billion on purchase of security equipment; N1 billion on satellite; N1 billion is for 100 piece of 5.7 by 28 P.90 Belgium assaults rifles with 50 round magazine and extra magazines; and N1 billion on installation of motorized gates at three locations in the headquarters complex. The Presidential Air fleet is allocated N2 billion in 2012 from which N1.9 billion is for balance for the purchase of aircraft Hawker 400Xp. The police formation and commands has a total allocation of N307.8 billion in the coming year out of which, N241 million is for purchase of explosive ordinance disposal equipment for anti-bomb squad; and N243 million is for antiterrorism squad equipment. Also, N52 million is for purchase of BMW motor cycles configured to police specification including riders kits; N260 million is for security votes; N203 million will go for the procurement of armored patrol vans; N301 million will also be used to procure patrol vehicles with installed communication equipment and arms and communication will cost the government N431 million. Looking at this breakdown gave someone the reflection of Somalia like situation for Nigeria. I believe it is only a country at war that could budget such amount of money for security, especially weaponry. Weaponries and money have never solved security problems across the

globe. The real security of any country lies with human aspect of security. People can only be secured when they are free from hunger, poverty, fear, diseases, and environmental degradation. These are human security indicators across the globe. Even the militarily advanced countries are not yet free from fear and insecurity due to the general neglect of the human aspect of development, irrespective of social security for the unemployed. The United State of America, United Kingdom, France, and Israel still suffered insecurity and fear even with advancement in weaponries and military capabilities; compared to countries like Croatia, Switzerland, Finland, Iceland, Sweden, Austria, U.E.A etc. Further re-echoing Robert McNamara statement that, “Security means development. Security is not military hardware…. It is not military force….. Security is development, and without development there can be no security. The security budget only confirmed the various projections of veteran journalists like Mohammed Haruna, on the role of corruption and defence contractors in the whole insecurity situation in Nigeria, especially with the growing dexterity and attacks of the Boko Haram insurgent. If there is anything, the security budget has just confirmed, that international conspiracy and internal security dynamics are at play in the growing quest to secured Nigeria and Nigerians. To my mind, the 2012 budget is a budget of death. Death indeed, because, different interest groups will scrambles for the spoils of war; thereby endangering more insecurity, bomb explosion and deaths. Am not a prophet of doom, but, this is the reality of our existence. Corruption within all sector of the Nigerian economy, has crippled the potential of a promising country. For the sake of money,

power and blackmails, defence contractors, security circle and external collaborators, will force the government to doll out this outrageous money for weapons instead of settling the crisis of insecurity which lies with poverty, unemployment and despondency in governance. I think, just like the fuel subsidy removal debate; government is shying away from its responsibilities, and spends so much energy chasing shadows. Government or the President seems not dispose to fight the crouches of corruption, poverty, unemployment and criminality in governance. Before, the bombs and killing machine begins; President Goodluck Jonathan must be sensitive to the wishing and aspiration of Nigerians who are suffering from the crouch of poverty, unemployment and insensitivity of ruling elite. The current security situation call for broader strategies involving religion and community leaders, youth groups, civil societies, and media. The insecurity situation only shows lack of intelligent gathering and human intelligent sharing. Money has never solve any problem, it only escalate it. So, for the peace and security of Nigeria, we hope the National Assembly should slash this budgetary proposal of death and insecurity. I hope Allah in His Infinity mercy; will protect the lives and properties of His servants against criminals and evil force both within and outside the government. No doubt; 2012, is a decision point to Nigeria, and will be beclouded with uncertainty amidst governmental failure and insensitivity of a ruling elite. No doubt; moderate security budget and human security are the panacea to insecurity, not this budgetary proposal of perfidy. Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega can be reached at



FOSLA academy to register for Gothia, Dana Cup


Sani Lulu

OSLA Academy Under-14 Boys football team is to participate in this year edition of the annual Gothia Cup and Dana Cup in Sweden and Denmark respectively. The Gothia Cup will hold in Goteborg, Sweden from the 15th to 21 st July 2012 while the Dana Cup is expected to kickoff 23 rd to 28 th July, 2012. The principal of the school, Mr. Stephen Ayeshu who disclosed yesterday after the school were held to a 3-3 draw by their GSS Korudu counterpart in a keenly and excite friendly match played at the school’s football pitch, Karshi, Abuja, said the aim is to expose the team to outside world and international competitions that will enable garner the necessary exposure and experience. “Here, we combine education with football and our aim is to help young and aspiring footballers achieve their dream of becoming a professional footballer. “As you can see, we organise friendly matches for

them on regular basis as part of their training programmes to enable gain the necessary skill and exposure. Also as part of plan to expose the team to the outside world, we have registered to participate in this year edition of Gothia Cup in Sweden. After that we will also participate in Dana Cup. These two youth competitions are big international championships and would give the boys all the necessary exposure and experience they need as they grow in their carers,” he said. Gothia and Dana Cups are annual international competitions which brings together over 30’000 youths from 70 countries annually. Nigeria has been represented in the two tournaments severally by Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON). YSFON paraded the like of Tajudeen Disu and other ex-internationals won the cup in 1982, but failed to defend the title the following year. They lost to Royal Navy of England in the final. The team also won Dana cup.

Match fixing: NFF slams five years ban on Eguma, three others ...Fines Sunshine Stars, N20m


Stories by Albert Akota


he Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF) has slammed five year ban on Dolphin FC of Port Harcourt coach, Stanley Eguma and two referees, Stanley Okoro and Chukwuma Durunna for attempted match fixing. Also banned for five years are; the chairman of the River State Referees Association, Henry Dokubo and the general coordinator of Sunshine Stars, Devine Benjamin. While the president of the Nigeria Referees Association, Ahmed Maude was sack from member of the referees’ appointment committee. The 34 minutes judgment delivered by the NFF disciplinary committee chairman, Adeleye Adepoju also placed a fine of N20m on Sunshine Stars FC of Akure and N10m on Dolphin FC for their role in the said attempted match fixing. Adepoju while delivering the judgment at NFF’s board room yesterday said theruled was based on article 451 and 67 of the 2010 Nigeria Football Federation statutes. However, he sounded warning to to Sunshine Stars general manager, Mike Idoko for his pre-match conduct prior to the said match between his club and Lobi Stars of Makurdi in Bauchi and reprimanded Lobi vice chairman, Dominic Iorfa for going on air before reported the matter to the appropriate quarters. According to Adepoju, the case which was brought to the committee on September, 2, 2011was carefully investigated after the two hearings that was made public last year and found out that there was really an attempt by the general coordinator of Sunshine, Benjamin to have a rapour with the two referees before

Maigari they were caught by Dominic Iorfa who acted on information. He said Dokubo and Eguma through their contact with referee, Okoro on phone prior to the match was an attempt to fix the match for Lobi so that if Sunshine dropped points they (Dolphin) who were second will automatically move to the top, therefore they are both culpable for the offence of attempted match fixing.

Demola hails NFF, Keshi, Eagles’ vision


emola was sighted yesterday morning training session of the Super Eagles at the FIFA Goal Project and in all his humility and candor, he was still passionate about Nigerian football, especially that of the national team. Adeshina, who came to Abuja for a coaching seminar said he returned from the United States over a year ago and decided to pitch tent with Osun State owned Prime FC, as the Technical Adviser. “I came here to offer a hand of fellowship to an old friend and teammate Stephen Keshi, who was very close to me in our

playing days. Remember he was playing from the number 4 position and I was playing in the number 5, in those days, it was a superb pairing. I still remember them like it was yesterday”, he said. After watching the training session which lasted over two hours, he said he was convinced that there are still plenty of talents in the Nigerian league waiting to be harnessed. “The problem is that the players are in a hurry to play in Europe and they end up selling cheap. They must be patient, make their names here and go abroad to add to the name and

Agbim, Aneke back Keshi’s ban on Eurotrials

make good money, “he said. He recalled that after playing in the Nigerian league for several years, himself, Yisa Sofoluwe, Humphrey Edobor and late Uche Okafor, decided to journey to Belgium to join Keshi and they were all instant successes. “We all got calls from the clubs and they signed us on immediately, because we were natural talents, let the younger ones of today learn from us”. Adeshina poured encomiums on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), for having the vision to restart the discovery of the national team

from the local players. He also had sweet words for the Stephen Keshi led technical crew for taking the risk in accepting to groom the home grown talents. “We can get it right and soon people will see what I mean because I know Keshi well and he know he knows Nigerian football.” We must also tell all the tiers of Education Ministries in the country to return to school sports, because that is where the basic talents are learnt not in the national team, as we now see these days. Most of us who were household names then, started from the schools.”

wo key members of the national team have added their voices to the move by Super Eagles Head Coach Stephen Keshi, to stop incessant European trips by players in search of trials. Warri Wolves keeper and current captain of the Eagles, Chigiozie Agbim, said he does not see the stance of the coach as punishment to any of the players, as they were given the option to quit camp if they so desire. “It’s like each time you build a house, it crumbles and you have to start all over again. It could be frustrating and you must build on solid, concrete grounds to survive the storm and I think at the end of the day, it’s we the players who will benefit the more from the policy. On his part Nigeria Premier League record goals scorer, Jude Aneke, who just returned from trials some few weeks ago, said he feels the policy will give Nigerian football a new face and the players the respect they deserve from European club managers. “Like the coach did say if any club feels we are good enough, they should come down here and sign us up, instead of calling us for trials that most times will not work. That is not how they treat their own professionals in Europe and we must accept that what the coach is saying is the right thing.”




Injury-free season is key - Ebinum N Azuka Ebinum

iger Tornadoes top scorer, Azuka Ebinum has said an injury-free season is key for him than pegging the number of goals to score. Ebinum has raked in five goals in the six-week old elite league, just a goal behind top scorer, Mustapha Babadidi of Gombe United. Ebinum told that instead of worrying his head over the number of goals he will score in the season he would rather pray not to cup an injury.

“Injury comes unannounced and can cut short the dream of any player. “That is why I would rather pray for an injury-free season than to set a mark on the number of goals I will score in the season. “I will never involve myself in that exercise, I pray to be able to take the chances at scoring goals. “If I take the chances and end up scoring the highest goals at the end of the season, I will give God the glory,” he said. Tornadoes will host ABS on Matchday

Eight at their Bako Kontagora Stadium, Minna home this weekend, and the former Zamfara United goal king said the important thing is the three points. “The most important thing is the three points and not who scores. “One can score and his team still loses, so it is three points that matter and if I end up being the one that scores and we win, then that will be fine with me. “I am never desperate to score rather for us to win and pocket the maximum points,” he said.

Babadidi, Ogbe win January awards G

ombe United duo of Mustapha Babadidi and Bernard Ogbe has been picked as the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) Player and Manager for January respectively. The two men were named winners for the month of January by the organisers of the Naija Premier League Awards. Babadidi and Ogbe were picked as the best performers for the first month of this season’s top flight in Nigeria based on their outstanding display for table-topping Gombe United. Teenage striker, Babadidi scored high points for his output in Gombe United’s impressive start, as he also bagged a hat-trick in his side’s 3-1 win over Niger Tornadoes. “I’m happy with this award and it is going to serve as a way to help

me realise that people are watching and I need to give my best every time I play for Gombe United,” Babadidi said. He edged the like of Azuka Ebinum (Niger Tornadoes), Godfrey Oboabona (Sunshine Stars), Ini Akpan (Akwa United), Femi Thomas (Akwa United), Josiah Maduabuchi (Enyimba) and Sanusi Sani (Gombe United) for the January Player of the Month award. Ogbe clearly earned his thunder as Manager for the month of January by leading Gombe United to an unbeaten start this season. He has also ensured that the Desert Scorpions remain the only side this term to have secured an away win. In January, Gombe United dropped points only at 3SC but defeated Lobi Stars, Niger Tornadoes and Kaduna United.

Musa stars in CSKA win

Mustapha Babadidi

Saka to start against Gombe


ttacking midfielder, Ayo Saka will start his first game for Enyimba in week Eight of the nigeria Primier League (NPL) against leaders, Gombe United in Aba on Sunday. The Nigerian playmaker joined the Peoples Elephant from Ocean Boys at the start of the 2011/2012 season. Saka, who has been kept off the pitch due to transfer formalities, told that he is keenly looking forward to the weekend debut against the team of the moment, Gombe United. “I will start playing for Enyimba at the weekend against Gombe United. “I am excited making my debut with such a high profile game.


uper Eagles winger, Ahmed Musa was impressive for Russian club, CSKA Moscow in the 1-0 win over Krylita Sovetov in the Marbella Cup. Musa started the game and was on for 85 minutes before the CSKA coach, Leonid Slutsky substituted him for the Russian attacker, Serder Serderov. the former Kano Pillars star who was full of running in the game raked an impressive score of eight for his display by fans of the club on the official CSKA Moscow website. He was making his third start of the season for the club following his January switch from Dutch side, VVVVenlo. Musa scored on his debut when CSKA defeated Videoton 1-0 on January 30 in the club’s opening game at the Marbella Cup. The speedy attacker also played from the start for CSKA in their second game of the competition, a 0-1 loss to Chinese side Guangzhou on February 3. The 19-year-old who is fast establishing himself as a super regular in the CSKA side is capped by Nigeria at Under20 and Under23 levels. Musa is also an integral member of the Nigeria men’s national team, the Super Eagles and has scored once in 12 senior appearances.

“I must say I have never been honoured this way in the league since I became a coach. It is the first of its kind and I want to say to the organisers of this awards that they should continue as this is encouraging to us, the coaches and the players,” Ogbe remarked. Babadidi and Ogbe were presented with certificates for Player and Manager of January accordingly in Port Harcourt on Sunday before their game against champions, Dolphins. The Naija Premier League Awards is organised by three top Nigerian football blogs,, and The copyright of the NPL Monthly Awards for players and managers is also reserved to the three organisations.

“Gombe United are the team to beat at the moment, they are strong both at home and away. “So it will be a big fun starting my first game against them,” he said. Saka, is however, certain that the Aba landlords will clip the wings of the visitors at the end of the duel. “It will be tough for both sides who will want to bounce back to winning ways after suffering defeats in their last games. “But it will be a tall order for Gombe United to hope to pick points from that game. “We can’t compromise with the three points. We need it badly to improve our position on the log,” he said.

Babadidi set to erase Aneke’s goal record

G Ahmed Musa

ombe United star, Mustapha Babadidi, has set a target of 30 goals in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) this season. Babadidi scored the first hattrick in the NPL this term and added a brace in the 5-0 demolition of Sharks to take his tally to five. Interestingly, his teammate, Sanusi Sani, has also taken his tally to five after scoring the NPL’s third hat-trick against Sharks. Sani had earlier scored a brace against Lobi Stars. “I can erase Jude Aneke’s 20-goal record. My performance this season is because I have been playing regularly. Last season, I was usually introduced in the second half and I had little or no time to make an impact. “This season has been good to me and I intend to maintain this form,” Babadidi said.



Mutumba named in Cranes squad


Martin Kayongo Mutumba

ganda Cranes coach, Bobby Williamson, yesterday named a 24man squad to prepare for South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers first round against Congo Brazzaville. Martin Kayongo Mutumba inclusion is viewed by pundits as David Obua’s replacement, the Hearts utility player having fallen out with Bobby and the local federation president. The 26-year-old AIK star is Swedish but that the Ugandan government accepts duo citizenship, making him eligible to feature for the country.

The Cranes, who failed to qualify for the ongoing Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, will need these attributes for South Africa 2013 campaign. Uganda play Congo Brazzaville away on February 29 hoping to prevail over the two legs before they can face anyone pooled against them from the ongoing Nations Cup. But first a team of predominantly home-based players will face the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, on February 16 from which Bobby expects to pick one or two players for the Congo date.

South Sudan set to be world football member


outh Sudan will become a provisional member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) tomorrow, the first step to becoming the world’s newest footballing nation. the country, which broke away from Sudan and was declared independent in July last year, will need another two years before it can compete fully in all competitions, CAF general secretary Hicham El Amrani told Reuters on Wednesday.

South Sudan will be inaugurated in a flag-raising ceremony at the CAF Congress in Libreville tomorrow and become eligible for immediate financial assistance from African football’s governing body. A new South Sudan Football Association was established last month and a first election for leaders will be held in Ap ri l. Full membership of soccer’s world governing body Fifa, which already has 208

members, will be granted in 2014 after which South Sudan can play in the World Cup and African Nations Cup and enter teams in Africa’s two annual club competitions. In the meantime CAF will seek to provide assistance with the development of administrators, referees, coaches and sports medicine specialists, plus the establishment of a national league. “We are very keen to help get them on their feet,” El Amrani said.

Senegal sack Traore after ANC failure


mara Traore has been relieved of his duties as Senegal coach after the country’s humiliating showing at the 2012 African Nations Cup. Boasting arguably the continent’s most potent strikeforce in Moussa Sow, Demba Ba, Papiss Demba Cisse and Mamadou Niang, Senegal were among the pretournament favourites. But the Teranga Lions flattered to deceive in Equatorial Guinea, losing all three games against Zambia, Equatorial Guinea and Libya, and finishing bottom of Group A their worst ever performance at the finals. After the embarrassing group stage exit, the writing was on the wall for Traore, who was part of the Senegal squad that famously reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002. “It was a failure and it is the coach’s responsibility,” Senegalese Football Federation president Augustin Senghor said. “Decisions had to be taken and the executive committee has decided to end its collaboration with the coach and his backup staff.” The Teranga Lions’ build-up to the Nations Cup was overshadowed by a contract wrangle between the federation and Traore, with the

Amara Traore governing body seemingly in no doubt that the dispute contributed to the poor showing at the finals. Karim Sega and captain of

the 2002 Senegal side Aliou Cisse have been named as caretaker coaches for Senegal’s friendly against South Africa in Durban on February 29.

Cranes Squad for Congo Brazzaville game


ennis Onyango, Abel Dhaira, Ali Kimera, Simeon Masaba, Godfrey Walusimbi, Andrew Mwesigwa, Habib Kavuma, Isaac Insinde,

Henry Kalungi, Hassan Wasswa, Moses Oloya, Musa Mudde, Mike Mutyaba, Patrick Ochan, Sula Matovu, Tonny Mawejje, Martin Kayongo

Mutumba, Dan Wagaluka, Vincent Kayizzi, Mike Sserumaga, Geoffrey Massa, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, Emmanuel Okwi, Brian Umony.

Emmanuel Mayuka

Zambia upset Ghana for final place Z ambia caused a major upset when they beat Ghana 1-0 in Bata yesterday to advance to the final of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. Chipolopolo will be appearing in their first continental final since they lost the 1994 decider to Nigeria and few will argue that they do not deserve it for their thrilling play right through this tournament. They rode their luck against Ghana, who missed an early penalty through Asamoah Gyan, but a lone goal from substitute Emmanuel Mayuka late in the second half proved decisive for the Southern Africans. The star-studded Black Stars came into the match as favourites but two of their key men, defender Jonathan Mensah and striker Gyan, were not 100 percent fit and it showed later in the game, while they finished the match with 10 men after Derek Boateng received his marching orders. Gyan should have put his side ahead on seven minutes when he saw his spot-kick saved by Zambian goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene after Davies Nkausu had fouled Kwadwo Asamoah. Mweene again saved from Gyan soon afterwards, this time from open play, while the striker then scuffed his shot from a brilliant lay-off by Andre Ayew as the chances mounted for the Ghanains. Perhaps the best of the half fell to Jordan Ayew, who found himself eight-yards out with not a defender in sight from Brother Andre’s free-kick, but completely missed the ball when it seemed all he had to do was side-foot home. Zambia’s best chance of the half fell to Chris Katongo, who was played in on goal by

Rainford Kalaba, but put his shot from 10-yards went wide with just Adam Kwarasey in the Ghana goal to beat. Mayuka came on for the ineffective James Chamanga at halftime and his extra pace started to give Ghana problems, though the Black Stars continued to have much of the play. Jordan Ayew forced a smart save from Mweene low to his left, while Gyan shot wide and then had a free header from a Mweene mistake that he could not direct on target. Mensah and Gyan left the pitch within minutes of each other as it was clear they were not up to the pace of the game, and just minutes after that Zambia were ahead. Mayuka collected the ball on the edge of the area and the Ghana defence stood off him long enough for him to pick his spot and curl a side-footed shot past a helpless Kwarasey to give Chipolopolo the lead. Boateng received his red card six minutes from time after a cynical block on Kalaba that produced a second yellow of the game for him and by that time it looked as though Ghana had no more fight. Zambia saw out the remaining minutes fairly comfortably and appeared to do their own version of the New Zealand Haka after the final whistle, before breaking into wild celebration. They are the only ones who appear to have believed they could go all the way in this tournament and now they are set for an emotional return to Gabon some 19 years after a tragic plane crash off the coast there saw the country lose an entire generation of footballers. Perhaps this group will write their names into the history books.



De Gea eyeing greatness in Man Utd


avid De Gea intends to remain at Manchester United for “many years” and is determined to be remembered as one of the club’s top goalkeepers. De Gea, 21, signed for United from Atletico Madrid last summer for £18.9 million, but has failed to impress at Old Trafford following a number of highprofile errors. The Spaniard, though, has shown flashes of quality, the most recent of which came at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when he made a fine late stop to deny

Chelsea in their 3-3 draw. De Gea said: “I have every intention of spending many years at Manchester United. I want to go on to become a great United keeper and to earn and deserve respect. I want to help United make history.” Of his transition from La Liga to the Premier League, De Gea said: “I think it is fair to say La Liga and the Premier League are the two best leagues in the world. “But it’s well known the style of play here is rather more physical and, as a goalkeeper, you have to be right on it.

You have to be attentive all through the match. “The players coming at you can shoot from any angle and from distance. You need to be aware you might get a shot from distance at any time. “Having said that, there’s a lot of crosses from the sides, a lot of high balls and aerial play. So you have to be able to get in there and block, interfere and stop shots being taken. “I knew when I was coming to United this was the style of play. So I was pretty much ready and I was already confident.”

Suarez expects Old Trafford hostility


uis Suarez is determined to put the race row with Manchester United’s Patrice Evra behind him, but is expecting an unpleasant welcome when Liverpool travels to Old Trafford this weekend. Suarez did not offer an apology to Evra after being slapped with an eightmatch ban for being found guilty of racial abuse during a match at Anfield in October. Ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash in Manchester, Suarez claims he has now moved on from the incident and is ready to use any abuse he receives from the United faithful as fuel to boost Liverpool’s league position. “I know against Man United it is going to be tense because I’m going to face Evra. But I’m used to having fans whistle at me. I hope nothing unusual happens. I’ll have to forget what happened for that moment. “I do know Man United fans are going to try to make me feel uncomfortable. But I have to tell them - they are going to spur me on if they whistle at me.” Show Racism the Red Card chief executive Ged Grebby has suggested

Suarez only has himself to blame if he is given a hostile reception at Old Trafford. “It’s important we move on because this has been going on for months now,” Grebby told The Telegraph. “I hope Manchester United fans take the moral high ground and they don’t boo Suárez, but as an anti-racism campaigner I can understand why they might. “He made things much worse by the reaction he had [to the FA charge]. If his reaction to it had been, ‘I hold my hands up, I said it. I didn’t realise it was wrong, but I do now’, this whole thing would not have exploded like it has done. “He should have held his hands up, he didn’t do himself any favours refusing to accept he had done anything wrong. I just hope he has learned from i t. ” Meanwhile, PFA boss Gordon Taylor remains hopeful that a handshake will take place between Suarez and Evra in order to help ease tensions prior to the m at ch . “I would hope that would take place, that would be a sign that having gone through the situation that those two

Callejon expects Mourinho stay

Capello quits as England manager F


eal Madrid midfielder Jose Callejon does not believe coach Jose Mourinho will leave the club at the end of the season. Despite guiding the club to a sevenpoint lead over perennial foes Barcelona at the top of the Primera Division table, reports continue to link Mourinho with a move away from the club at the end of the campaign. But Callejon, who has been an impressive performer under Mourinho since returning to the club from Espanyol last summer, does not believe his manager is looking to quit the Spanish capital. He told AS: “I don’t think he is going to leave because he is happy here. He wants to work and do things right. I see him as calm and with the desire to win many titles.’’

Jose Mourinho

abio Capello has resigned as England manager, the Football Association has confirmed. Capello resigned after a meeting with FA chairman David Bernstein and general secretary Alex Horne at Wembley. An FA statement read: "The Football Association can confirm that Fabio Capello has yesterday resigned as England manager." The Italian publicly challenged the FA's decision to strip John Terry of the captaincy. The FA's statement continued: "The discussions focused on the FA Board's decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry, and Fabio Capello's response through an Italian broadcast interview. In a meeting for over an hour, Fabio's resignation was accepted and he will leave the post of England manager with immediate effect." Bernstein said: "I would like to stress that during meeting and throughout his time as England manager, Fabio has conducted himself in an extremely professional manner. We have accepted Fabio's resignation, agreeing this is the right decision. We would like to thank Fabio for his work with the England team and wish him every success in the future." The FA will not be making any further comment until the media conference. Wednesday's meeting was the first time Capello had met the FA since their decision to remove the armband from Terry pending the outcome of his court case in July. Terry, 31, denies a charge of allegedly

Luis Suarez players would shake hands and we can move on,” Taylor told Sky Sports News. “If they can accept that having paid that penalty, like Suarez has, that you learn from it and move on. That’s the only chance we’ve got, if we can do that. If you keep things festering it will only exacerbate how the problem was initially, and in that way we will be losing the battle.”

racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand. On Sunday, Capello told Italy's state broadcaster RAI he did not believe someone should be punished by sporting authorities before a court had reached a verdict. "I thought it was right that Terry should keep the captain's armband," said the 65-year-old, who's first game in charge was on 6 February 2008, against Switzerland. "I have spoken to the (FA) chairman and I have said that in my opinion one cannot be punished until it is official and the court - a non-sport court, a civil court - had made a decision to decide if John Terry has done what he is accused of." It is understood England Under-21 head coach Stuart Pearce will be in charge for England's friendly against the Netherlands at Wembley on 29 February.

Fabio Capello

Spurs fans ease nightmare, says Redknapp


ottenham chairman Daniel Levy and the club’s fans were in good mood yesterday after he was cleared of tax evasion charges yesterday. Jurors accepted Redknapp’s denials after it was alleged that he avoided tax on payments totaling over £189,000 found in a Monaco account. Both he and co-defendant Milan Mandaric found themselves the subjects of a five-year police investigation, which finally came to end yesterday. Redknapp has missed a string of training sessions and even Monday’s game at Liverpool due to his involvement at Southwark Crown Court. Key players such as Scott Parker and Michael Dawson have confessed that it has been tough to stay focused in his absence. However, Redknapp insists Levy was aware of the case against him when he was hired at White Hart Lane in 2008, and he credited the entire club for its loyalty throughout the trial. “I want to thank the support I’ve had from Tottenham, the support from Daniel Levy,” Redknapp stated. “If ever he thought there was a problem when he gave me this job - this was going on over three years ago he would never have employed me. He knew this was a case that should never have come to court. “I especially have to thank the fans of Tottenham the Wigan game was the most moving I’ve ever felt it. To have them singing my name throughout the game, that will always be special to me. I’ll never forget that. “Five years this has been hanging over us, I’m really looking forward to getting home. It’s been a nightmare, five years for a case that should never have come to court. It’s unbelievable. “It was horrendous but it was a unanimous decision, the jury was unanimous that there was no case to answer.”

Harry Redknapp

Anelka tells off Chelsea woe


nelka, 32, was deemed not in manager Andre Villas-Boas’ plans and played his final game for Chelsea in November before having a transfer request accepted. Alongside defender Alex, who has since joined PSG, the Frenchman trained away from the first-team, and ultimately sealed a move to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua. Reflecting on the finals weeks of his time at Stamford Bridge, having joined from Bolton for £15 million in 2008, Anelka told The Sun: “Ever since I was punished they put me with the youngsters. “It’s true that I could have had a better career but I know I’ve succeeded and I’m proud of that when I go back to France, back to the suburbs I came from, the guys there are proud of me. “They know I never gave up. I took plenty of knocks but I’m still here. Shanghai is Asia’s New York. I love the way they live here. I often come here on holiday. This is my last contract.”









Pictorial 7

Pix 1: Harry Redknapp paid special tribute to Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and the club's fans after he was cleared of tax evasion charges. Pix 2: World road race champion Mark Cavendish records his first victory as a Team Sky rider on stage three of the Tour of Qatar. Pix 3: India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh thanks well-wishers for their support as he recovers from cancer and vows to come back "stronger than ever". Pix 4: British number one Andy Murray believes new coach Ivan Lendl has improved his game already. Pix 5: World Cup-winning rugby star Sonny Bill Williams becomes a boxing champion after a first-round win. Pix 6: Ruby Walsh will ride Zarkandar in Saturday's Betfair Hurdle after he was allowed to defer his suspension. Pix 7: Tyson Fury vacates the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles after talks break down on meeting English champion David Price.


Pix 8: L-R: Senate president David Mark presenting best hole 17 and hole 18 trophy to the Minister of Niger Delta Elder Orubebe, at closing ceremony of Golf tournament in honor of Pa- Aikuta Mark at Otukpo Golf and country club St. Mark Akpegede, yesterday



US coach is my role model, says Buddle


ne of the highly rated US strikers, Edson Buddle has said that the chief coach of US, Jurgen Klinsmann, is his role model in the round leather game, saying that it has always been his dream to play under the German tactician, FIFA .com revealed. In most cases, people can do little about their first names. Ultimately, it is a decision taken at such an early stage in life that any choice over the matter is virtually impossible. They are often passed down through generations or simply selected for their beauty or sound, but in the case of Edson Buddle, the source of his forename is r a t h e r different. He was named after one of the greatest and most f a m o u s As coaches they have the same footballers of all time: Pele or experience, but Jurgen was a fantastic E d s o n Arantes do Nascimento to player. He played at the highest level be precise. The 30-year- and knows what he’s talking about. old striker, whose Jamaica- Perhaps that’s the biggest difference. born dad Winston was also a professional footballer, told “That’s right, my father was a big fan of Pele. Of course I never really had a say in it, but I think it’s a great honour if your father names you after such a great person.” With such an iconic namesake to live up to as well as a footballer father, Buddle’s path to becoming a professional player was almost predestined. “My dad only ever wanted me to play football as a kid,” he revealed. “I doubt he would ever have guessed I’d get so far, but he’s very happy about it.” As coaches they have the same experience, but Jurgen was a fantastic player. He played at the highest level and knows what he’s talking about. Perhaps that’s the biggest difference. Buddle has managed three goals in ten appearances for USA, though interestingly seven years separate his first full cap in 2003 from his second in 2010. “It was disappointing not to be a part of it for so long, but it’s not the end of the world,” he said. “It gave me a chance to concentrate on myself. I didn’t do enough to play for the national team during that time, but I’ve worked on my game and now I’m involved again, something I’m very happy about.” Buddle could not have timed his comeback better, making his return to the fold shortly before the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, which was like “living the American dream” according to the goal-getter. “It was great,” he said. “Normally I’m just a spectator, but this time I took part. Of course I would have liked to have played more, but I’ll never forget being part of the World Cup squad. It was one of the highlights of my career, without a doubt.”

Klinsmann praised, Brazil quest


ith USA set to battle it out with Guatemala, Antigua and Barbuda, and Jamaica for a place at Brazil 2014, another chance to prove himself at the highest level could well be on the horizon: “It’s a challenge. Any of these teams are capable of beating us. Obviously I’m hoping to be involved again.” Currently the Stars and Stripes’ fortunes are former Germany striker Jurgen Klinsmann. “He’s great, he was one of my role models,” said Buddle. “I used to have a poster of the Germany team which won the

Edson Buddle

1990 World Cup on my wall. I can learn a lot from him. I listen a lot more now because I know who he is and what he can do. “(Bob) Bradley and Klinsmann are fairly similar. As coaches they have the same experience, but Jurgen was a fantastic player. He played at the highest level and knows what he’s talking about. Perhaps that’s the biggest difference.” Unsurprisingly, Buddle turned to Klinsmann for advice when he was considering a move abroad: “He recommended that I go to Germany when we met in LA. He said it would be a challenge for me, and that’s what life is all about.” After netting nine goals in 31 appearances in just under a year with German second division outfit FC Ingolstadt, Buddle recently returned to former club Los Angeles Galaxy, where he had previously spent three years between 2007 and 2010: “I’m pleased that the chance arose to return to an MLS club which has been so important to my career.” Back under Klinsi’s gaze, Buddle is again hoping to establish himself in the national side ahead of Brazil 2014. “It would be nice to play at a World Cup again, but really I’m just happy to be part of the process,” he told “You have to set yourself different goals in life and make sure you achieve them.” Buddle has already begun setting himself new targets for the future, earning a coaching license and expressing a keen interest in “passing on some of what I’ve learned to the kids”. Having already overcome the challenges of living up to his famous namesake, making his international comeback and proving himself in a European league, few would bet against the American doing just that.

Park Ji-Sung

I’m proud to reach 200, says Park


ark Ji-Sung is the latest proud member of Manchester United’s 200-club having silenced those who claimed he was only bought to sell shirts in the Far East. The energetic midfielder completed the milestone when he was introduced as a substitute in United’s staggering comeback draw at Chelsea on S un d ay . It is not a bad effort from the 30-year-old considering how many times he has been forced out for extended periods through injury since his £2m arrival from PSV Eindhoven in 2005. At the time, Park’s signing was dismissed as an elaborate money-making venture by the Old Trafford money men. Yet Sir Alex Ferguson always knew the South Korean had the capacity to be a key figure in his plans. “I am proud to reach this mark,” said Park. “I never thought I could play 200 matches for Manchester United. “Some people did say those things (shirt-seller) when I came here. Now no-one says it. I am very happy that I proved Asian players can deal with the high levels of European football.” Park was part of an odd trio of close friends at United. The sight of him engaged in animated conversation with Patrice Evra and Carlos Tevez brought inevitable questions about what language they communicated in. Tevez has gone of course but the observations of Park have been widened beyond mere curiosity to an appreciation of his game. The atmosphere at Manchester United is such that when you reach one point in your career, there is a determination straight away to reach other goals and aims. His industry has never been questioned. But with greater experience has come a calmness and game appreciation even he wondered whether he was capable of when he left Asia for Europe almost a decade ago, and then headed for the Premier League. “Before I came here, I believed I could do it but I wasn’t sure,” he said. “But the manager believed in me. He encouraged me to deal with these kinds of levels. He told me to fight. That made a big difference for me to adapt to English football.” Park’s return has been impressive. Since he has The atmosphere at Manchester United been at United, the club have claimed four is such that when you reach one point league titles becoming the in your career, there is a determination first South Korean to collect a winners’ medal - three straight away to reach other goals and League Cups, the FIFA World aims. Club Cup and the UEFA Champions League. Park was not in the matchday squad for the latter triumph over Chelsea in Moscow four seasons ago. However, he did play a pivotal role in the semi-final victory against Barcelona, running a mammoth 19 km to help shut down Lionel Messi in the second leg at Old Trafford. He has also made a remarkable habit of scoring in matches against the biggest opposition, most recently in the FA Cup defeat to Saturday’s visitors Liverpool. Typically though, Park has no desire to rest on his laurels. “To make 200 games is brilliant,” he said. “I have a lot of good memories, especially the days when I have lifted trophies. They are great feelings. But the atmosphere at Manchester United is such that when you reach one point in your career, there is a determination straight away to reach other goals and aims. “That is why Manchester United players want to lift trophies again and again. I know why their hunger is so much to win titles. That is the mentality.”



Olympic venues on sale Andy praises new coach’s tactics


he Britain government has re-opened a tender process for bidders of Olympics venues until 23 March to submit full proposals. Long-term naming rights and sponsorship deals are being sought for London 2012 Olympic Park venues. Rights for the Olympic Stadium, Multi-Use Arena and Aquatics Centre have been made available. Parties have until 2 March to formally register their interest, with a final decision to be made in May. “We are looking for sponsors who share our vision to create a Park that promotes healthy living,” said Legacy Company chief executive Andrew Altman. The venues and Park will begin to re-open in 2013 after they have been converted into their use beyond this summer’s events. The drive to create a lasting legacy for the Games infrastructure will see the Multi-Use Arena - also known as the Copper Box - host cultural as well as sporting events, while the Aquatics Centre will continue to boast two 50m swimming pools. West Ham is believed to be one of 16 parties to have expressed an interest in moving to the Olympic Stadium, which will retain the athletics track, after the Games.

London 2012: British rhythmic gymnasts launch Olympic exclusion appeal


ritain’s rhythmic gymnasts have appealed against their exclusion from the Olympics, accusing their governing body of misinforming them. They narrowly missed a target score set by British Gymnastics at the Olympic test event and were then told they could not go to the Games. However, the team exceeded that target the next day and now say they were not informed Tuesday was the cutoff point. “A separate online petition has been started to get the rhythmic gymnasts to the Games. More than 2,000 people have already signed the petition in support of the girls. I’m in contact with one of the girls’ parents but at the moment, because of the appeal process, she doesn’t want to comment.” Team captain Smith said “We did the routine on the Monday and Tuesday and just missed out (scoring 44.950, with

the target set at 45.223). “After that routine we were told immediately that that was it that was our last chance. A statement on the team’s website confirmed ”British  Gymnastics  has announced that a rhythmic gymnastics group will not be nominated for inclusion into Team GB for London 2012. We are appealing against this decision.” British Gymnastics has maintained that Tuesday always marked the cutoff for the target to be reached, and this was clearly communicated to journalists inside the arena before the competition began. However, in television interviews after Tuesday’s competition became apparent that the team members though clearly upset - were unaware that their final chance of reaching London 2012 had passed.

Williams wins New Zealand title


orld Cup-winning rugby star Sonny Bill Williams won the New Zealand heavyweight title with a first-round knockout of Clarence Tillman.

Sonny Bill Williams

Williams, who played the final four minutes of the All Blacks’ victory over France in October, beat veteran Tillman with a second of round one remaining. The win means Williams has won all five of his professional bouts, three of them by way of knockout. The 26-year-old gave away 44lb in weight to his American opponent. Williams is competing as a boxer on a part-time basis before he starts the 2012 Super Rugby campaign with the Waikato Chiefs, for whom he signed after last year’s Rugby World Cup. Williams was originally scheduled to take on Richard Tutaki for the crown vacated by Shane Cameron but Tutaki’s arrest on drug charges saw 34-year-old Tillman drafted in as a late replacement. After the two boxers sounded each other out early in the clash in Hamilton, New Zealand, Williams connected with a good left hook and finished Tillman off with a flurry of blows that left his opponent with his head hanging out of the ring. There was plenty of ill feeling going into the clash after the fighters’ altercation at Tuesday’s weigh-in and that continued during the fight, with the duo having to be separated as they banged shoulders and exchanged words.


ndy Murray believes new coach Ivan Lendl has improved his game already. The British number one appointed Lendl, the winner of eight Grand Slam titles, in December. Murray reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open before losing a five-set thriller to Novak Djokovic, but says Lendl has made a difference. World number four Murray has 22 ATP titles to his name but has yet to win a Grand Slam after losing three finals. The Scot could benefit from the experience of Lendl, 51, who lost his first four Grand Slam finals. But Murray, 24, admitted that he is inspired by Djokovic, who dominated 2011, losing just six matches all year. Murray has played in an era dominated by what many regard as three of the greatest players of all time in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic. He added: “Everything that’s happened in the past, you would say Federer and Nadal are the greatest players ever and Djokovic, the last year, had probably the greatest year ev er . Andy Murray

Tyson vacates British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles


yson Fury has vacated his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles after a proposed bout with English champion David Price fell through. Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy claimed Price’s camp rejected £100,000 to fight his man, who is unbeaten in 17 bouts. David Price really believed he could beat me; the smart move would have been to take the great payday to appear on terrestrial. Unbeaten Price won the English title

in his last fight against John McDermott. Fury, 23, added: “I’m really excited about my future plans as I’m doing things differently and currently training like a Trojan in pursuit of becoming heavyweight champion of the world. “It’s been an honour to have won and held both the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, but as I’m now currently number seven in the world it’s time to move on.”

Davies banned for six Nations


ales lock, Bradley Davies, will miss the rest of the Six Nations after being banned for seven weeks for his tip tackle on Ireland’s Donnacha Ryan The 25-year-old was suspended at a Six Nations disciplinary hearing in London on Wednesday after pleading guilty to foul play in Wales’ win in Dublin   . Davies returns on 26 March so can play in Cardiff Blues’ Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster on 7 April. The second-row was cited after being sin-binned by referee Wayne Barnes. Use accessible player and disable flyout menus An independent Six Nations disciplinary committee, chaired by England’s Antony Davies, considered independent Six Nations citing Commissioner Achille Reali’s citing report and the television footage. The committee found the incident, in “which the player lifted his opponent beyond a horizontal position but did not bring him to the ground safely contrary to Law 10.4(j) and the IRB’s particular emphasis on this aspect of the game”, merited a “top end entry to the IRB’s table of sanctions.” Gatland had prepared for the worst as he believed Davies, who has the right

of appeal against the length of his suspension, should have received a red card in the first instance. The Committee applied an additional two weeks to the entry point of 10 weeks to reflect the need for a deterrent for this type of foul play but, in mitigation, took account of various factors in the player’s favour including his admission of guilt, his previous good disciplinary record and his conduct at the hearing.”

Bradley Davies

QUOTABLE QUOTE A citizen of America will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national election — Bill Vaughan



FIFA confirms Japan for U-20 Women's World Cup 2012


IFA and the Japan Football Association (JFA) are delighted to announce that the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2012 will be hosted by Japan. Japan was proposed as the new host for the competition at the FIFA Executive Committee meeting held in Tokyo on 16 and 17 December after it was decided that Uzbekistan could no longer organise the tournament due to a number of logistical and technical issues. Japan was formally confirmed as the 2012 host today after FIFA officially received the government documents which are a requirement for hosting the tournament. JFA President Junji Ogura said: "It is with extreme pleasure that we can formally confirm Japan will host the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. It is a big challenge but also an excellent opportunity to maintain the momentum and interest in the country following the world title the Nadeshiko won in Germany last summer. Japan is definitely a country where women's football is on an upward curve. Holding two FIFA competitions in Japan in 2012, we, together with FIFA, would like to encourage the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake." FIFA's Secretary General, Jerome Valcke, added: "Japan has a proven track record in hosting FIFA competitions and we are fully confident that the JFA will successfully organise its first-ever FIFA women's competition." The FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™ set a new benchmark for women's football. At the FIFA Ballon d'Or gala last month, Norio Sasaki was presented with the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women's Football award whilst Homare Sawa added to her growing list of honours, being crowned the FIFA Women's World Player of the Year 2011. The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup will be played from 19 August to 8 September 2012. Ten of the final 16 teams have already qualified: Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland (UEFA); Japan (host), Korea DPR, China and Korea Republic (AFC); and Argentina and Brazil (CONMEBOL). Germany are the reigning champions, having defeated Nigeria 2-0 in the 2010 final.


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Death of patriots T

ime is felling this country's foremost generation of intellectuals and genuine statesmen. The passing of Professor Samuel Adepoju Aluko was announced on Tuesday. He had reached the grand age of 82 and had been suffering from cancer. The news of his death jolted, not least because one had not known he was ill. But really because the fact of his passing leaves one with the feeling that we are on a losing streak... a whole generation of sincere, principled nationalists is leaving us and we are today at the mercy of insincere opportunists. Current developments - our security disaster, the House of Assembly petroleum sector hearings, etc - just reinforce this feeling. Professor Aluko's views may not have been shared by many of those mourning him in private and public today, but he was respected. There are not many public figures who can be so described: well-loved AND respected? He added vital texture and substance to the current debate on the petroleum subsidy as well as many of the great economic questions of our time and country. In a National Mirror interview in July last year he asks: 'How can government be talking about subsidy when the cost of production of oil is less than what we are paying now? To me, we are paying tax to the government on each litre of fuel bought. In other countries, it is through such things that government makes money. For instance, the cost of production in England is about 30p and so when they charge 1 Pound, they know that government is collecting 70p as tax on a litre of petrol.' He thus always provided a counterpoint to the overwhelming influence of apostles of what has been called the Washington consensus. This is him writing in Newswatch in May 2006: 'It is in the pursuit of further pauperising the citizens, that the World Bank document titled, 'NEEDS', (National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy), was foisted on the nation. NEEDS lacks time dimension. It is without investment quantum. It stresses an undue dependence on the private sector that itself depends heavily on the public sector. Neither the elite nor the masses of our people participated in the

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CARTELOPIA By Aisha Yolah 08086296783 (text only please)

Late Prof. Sam Aluko formulation and articulation of NEEDS. …the basic tenets of NEEDS, SEEDS, or LEEDS violate the provisions of Section 16 of our 1999 Constitution.' Sam Aluko goes on to actually quote the relevant section of the Constitution as follows: "The state shall harness the resources of the nation and promote national prosperity and an efficient and selfreliant economy; control the national economy in such a manner as to secure maximum welfare freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity; manage and operate the major sectors of the economy; protect the rights of every citizen to engage in any economic activities outside the major sectors of the economy; direct its policy towards ensuring the promotion of a planned and balanced economic development; ensure that the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production and exchange in the hands of a few individuals, or of a group and, ensure that suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions, and unemployment benefits, sick benefits and welfare

of the disabled are provided for all citizens.'' One wonders, if indeed this is the constitution by which we are governed. Aluko tirelessly reminded policy makers of this imperative of the 'need to provide for all citizens' which was he said, not the motivation of foreign 'development partners'. In the same Newswatch piece in which he points out the faults of the Abacha government (which he served as adviser), as well as subsequent '3rd term' impulses, he warned that foreign interference apart from 'violating our Constitution, further contributes to [the] deformation of the Nigerian economy... increasingly concentrate[ing] wealth in the hands of a few at the expense of the majority. .. Further polaris[ing] our people into feuding groups, not only in the Niger Delta but also country-wide... to the detriment of our economy and our national pride and psyche. Those who continue to celebrate the ongoing reforms are deceiving the nation into a false sense of security and forlorn hope. They are benefiting from our collective loss...' His opposition to Islamic banking was also consistent. In a paper entitled The Social and Economic Implications of Sharia Law presented at the Archbishop Vining College of Theology in Akure, Ondo state in November, 1999 the Prof takes great pains to expatiate Islamic economics as he understands it, concluding thus: 'There is the vital need to avoid social and political crisis in a multireligious society where Muslims predominate. ….. Finally, it is incumbent on modern governments and their religious leaders and supporters to put in place such policies and programmes that will reduce, if not totally eliminate, the vices that are increasingly plaguing our country and our societies. Otherwise, we will be deceiving ourselves by using any legal system or government

machineries to fight the consequences rather than the causes of the social and economic vices in our country.' Despite his negative and I believe inaccurate assessment of Islamic finance, his ever present dedication to our collective progress as a nation comes through clearly in his last sentence. In addition, unlike many of our opportunistic ideologues who have shouted themselves hoarse today in opposition to the same issue, Professor Aluko at least made some effort to grasp some of the intricacies of Islamic economics and tried to present it to others. While accepting the necessity of dealing with excessively high interest rates in the more recent National Mirror interview cited earlier, Professor Aluko still insisted that Islamic banking 'would not work'. His regularly quoted insistence that the fuel subsidy did not exist must have riled President Jonathan's policy makers no end. In December 2011 he reportedly told the President 'not to hide under subsidy'. He basically meant that if the President and his government needed to raise money they should simply tell Nigerians so: "All governments in the world who have oil, always increase the price of oil or gas to make additional money. If they say they want to increase price, tell Nigerians you want to increase price. Don't hide under subsidy…'' Such intellectual honesty is not something Nigerian policy makers are known for and clearly economists such as the late Professor who sought to constantly remind them of their duty to us, to the Nigerian people, are not very many. He is described by Bismark Rewane, managing director of one of Nigeria's cutting edge finance houses as a bold, fearless and 'traditional economist'. This column mourns the loss of this 'old-fashioned' economist who always helped to remind us that government policy is meant to serve the people, not the other way round. Profesor Sam Aluko's voice was often a lone one, going against the grain of the current liberal market economic bandwagon. And it is for that very reason that students of development finance such as this writer feel an acute sense of loss at the news of the passing of this economist and superlative patriot.

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

Peoples Daily Newspapers, Thursday 9th, February 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspapers, Thursday 9th, February 2012 Edition

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