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Vol. 8 No. 76

Monday, July 9, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Shaaban 19, 1433 AH


Plateau violence

Senator Dantong, MP slump, die Death toll rises, Fulani kick Jang imposes curfew on 4 LGAs Jonathan, Mark, Tambuwal react

Jumbo pay tears PDP apart

By Osigbesan Luqman, Abuja & Nankpah Bwakan, Jos, with agency reports


hairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Gyang Dantong and the Majority Leader, Plateau State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani, were confirmed dead yesterday following an attack launched by unknown gunmen at a mass burial for the victims of Saturday’s killings in Maresh village in Barkin Ladi local government area of Plateau state. A member of the House of Representatives, Hon Simon Mwadkwom (Barkin Ladi/Riyom federal constituency), who, like Dantong and Fulani, was said to have collapsed while trying to escape from the attack, was however lucky to survive and is receiving treatment in Barkin Ladi General Hospital as at press time yesterday. Dantong, Fulani and Mwadkwom were in Maresh village to witness the mass burial Contd on Page 2

Supreme Court revokes sale of ALSCON >> PAGE 3

By Lawrence Olaoye

T R-L: National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Director General, Malam Muhammad Sani-Sidi, Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Mailafiya, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, during World Ministerial Conference on Disaster Reduction, recently in Sendai, Japan.

250 more couples ‘Wonder bank’ vanishes for Kano mass with depositors’ wedding money in Jos >> PAGE 3

>> PAGE 5

he recent jumbo pay of between N12 million and N24 million approved by members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for themselves has become a source of controversy within the party as other members of staff of the PDP national secretariat have begun to Contd on Page 2

Peacekeeping: 34 Nigerian cops bag medals >> PAGE 7



























I am alive, Saraki cries out, Page 7

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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Senator Dantong, MP slump, die of 50 people allegedly killed in the home of a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) pastor where they ran for safety. The death toll was reported to have risen to 80 as at press time yesterday. However, contrary to reports that the senator and the state Assembly member were killed by the unknown attackers, Dantong’s family said the senator died of shock triggered by the sight at the mass burial scene. A brother of the senator, Mr. Ruwang Dantong, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that his brother died after seeing the dead bodies of his kinsmen killed in the weekend attack. Ruwang also confirmed the death of Fulani. He said the lawmakers were at the scene of the attack carried out between Friday and Saturday when they started hearing gunshots from another set of attackers. Shocked by the situation, the trio collapsed and was taken to Barkin Ladi General Hospital where Dantong and Fulani were pronounced dead while Mwadkwon was revived. Speaking in the same vein, a senior journalist in Plateau state who prefers anonymity also confirmed that Dantong and Fulani died as a result of “possible panic, anxiety and exhaustion”. According to the source who also arrived at the scene at the pick of the confusion, “the report I got from my colleagues who were eyewitnesses at the scene was that those people (the senator and MPs) did not die of gunshots; there were no gunshots on them when they were confirmed dead at the (Barkin Ladi) hospital. “They were trying to escape after they heard the gunshots, and somewhere along the line they collapsed. Mwadkwom was ultimately revived but the other died”, the source who spoke to one of our reporters reluctantly stressed. However, Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and the Senate spokesperson, Eyinnaya Abaribe, in separate statements, attributed Dantong’s

death to “brutal assassination.” Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, also condemned the killings of innocent mourners in Plateau state, saying the incessant killings in the state and other parts of the country must be stopped forthwith. Tambuwal described Dantong as “a man of peace whose death is highly regrettable.” Meanwhile, the Plateau state government yesterday announced the imposition of curfew on Jos North, Jos South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi local government areas of the state, following the mass hysteria that followed the rumoured killing of the lawmakers, resulting in reprisals that allegedly claimed a senior official of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). Habu Kankia, an Assistant Superintendent of the NCS who was recently transfered to Lagos command of the service was allegedly killed while travelling between Barkin Ladi and Heipang by suspected Berom youths, after he left his home town, Shendam enroute Lagos. The four councils affected by the curfew are already under state of emergency declared by President Goodluck Jonathan late last year. Plateau Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yiljap Abraham, in a press statement, said the imposition of the curfew was in view of the prevailing security situation in the state. The curfew starts from 7.30 pm yesterday to 7.00am today, while it starts 6pm today to 7am till further notice. When NAN visited the Rayfield residence of the late senator, relatives and well wishers were in shock and wailing over the deaths. Before he slumped and died, Fulani told newsmen that his constituency was under siege and alleged that his constituents were not been adequately protected by the security agencies. The STF in a statement by its Media and Information Officer,

Contd from Page 1 agitate for review of their pay packages. Our reporter learnt that workers at the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the party are already warming up for a total show down with the Bamanga Tukur led NWC over what they described as their enslavement by the party leadership. Some members of staff who spoke with our reporter at the weekend vowed to ensure that the proposed pay hike for NWC members was not approved by the party’s National Executive Council (NEC).

Under the salary regime, the national chairman would receive N24 million per annum, an amount that is higher than what is due to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria within the same period. The PDP national secretary would get N18 million per year in line with the proposed pay package, while other NWC members would get N12 million each apart from the N50,000 sitting allowance for each of the 12 members. In addition, the NWC members would also receive housing, furniture and vehicle allowances

Contd from Page 1

Capt. Salisu Mustapha, said it killed 21 of the assailants and arrested one of them. According to the statement, the assailants were heavily armed with different assault rifles and dressed in camouflage and mobile police uniforms with bullet proof vests. Meanwhile, injured victims are currently on admission in the General Hospital in Barkin Ladi LGA. One of the survivors, Mrs. Simi D. Gyang who is also on admission in the hospital said she woke at about 6:00a.m. and saw people wearing military uniforms who started shooting directly at her. She immediately ran and alerted people in the house. “But, I can’t explain how I found myself on the hospital bed,” she said. Spokesman of the state police command, Emmanuel Abu, said “Mobile policemen have been deployed to the 10 villages and as I’m talking to you normalcy has returned to those villages. In fact, you can go there and see it”. But the state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), in a petition addressed to the commander of STF, accused the latter of complicity and conniving with the state government to eliminate them from the state. The petition signed by Mohamed Nuru, state secretary of MACBAN, which was copied to security chiefs in the state, said they had earlier on alerted security operatives over the plans to attack and destroyed Fulani villages. Meanwhile, there was tension in Jos, the Plateau state capital following the deaths of Senator Dantong and Fulani. The Heipang major road leading in and out of the state capital to local government areas such as Mangu, Pankshin and Shendam was blocked by residents thereby preventing people from coming and going out of Jos. It was gathered that all the major roads in Bukuru, Jos South, LGA were also blocked while

gunshots were heard in the area. Our correspondent who went round some areas in Jos observed that people were seen packing their property to zones perceived to be safe for them depending on their faiths. According to one of the people seen waiting for taxi around DogonKarfe with his family, they were moving to a safer place for fear of the unknown. Major streets in the state capital were deserted while security operatives took over them. Shocked by the renewed wave of mass killings that hit Plateau state over the weekend, President Jonathan yesterday ordered all relevant security agencies to ensure that all those involved in the alleged killing of Senator Gyang Dantong are brought to book. Jonathan, who spoke with our correspondent through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, described the killing as cruel and regrettable. He said he had directed all security agencies to ensure that thorough investigation is carried out to ensure that the culprits are apprehended and brought to justice in due course. Meanwhile, the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) has appealed to the people of Plateau State to exercise maximum restraint following the death of Senator Gyang Dantong, Hon Gyang Fulani and several others in the latest attacks on villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom local governments of the state. Chairman of the forum and governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu said the forum is pained by the barbaric act, especially that it came at a time that the Federal Government is overhauling the nation's security architecture to enable it contain the excesses of various armed groups terrorising the nation. A statement by Governor Aliyu’s Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo urged families of the victims not to retaliate, emphasising that vengeance belongs to God.

Jumbo pay tears PDP apart running into several millions of Naira. Our reporter further gathered that the workers are also kicking against what they described as double payments for the NWC members, insisting that since they would be on such huge monthly salaries there would no need for the payment of the proposed sitting allowances for the working committee members. Investigations revealed that the monthly take home of a Director at the National Secretariat of the party is N62, 000, while that of an Assistant Director is N50, 000. An office

supervisor earns N48, 000 monthly while other officers below that rank receive N24, 000 per month. The workers alleged that they have been on the same salary scale for the past 12 years, and that all efforts to get salary review from previous administrations had proved abortive. Though the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Chief Olisah Metu could not be reached, a senior party source who pleaded anonymity disclosed that the issue of salary increment remained a priority for the Tukur administration.



S/Court revokes sale of ALSCON to Russian firm By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Supreme Court has revoked the sale of the Federal Government owned multibillion naira Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state to a Russian firm, United Company RUSAL Plc. The Russians who bought Africa’s biggest aluminum company at the cost of $205 million, eight years ago have been ordered to surrender the company on the ground that it was acquired illegally. The apex court in a judgment delivered Friday, declared an American Investor, BFI Group as the rightful owner of ALSCON and

was consequently directed to take over the running of the company having emerged the highest bidder during the bidding process. The court ordered the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to execute the share purchase agreement for the sale of the company with BFI Group Corporation to enable the company pay the agreed 10 percent of the accepted bid price of $410 million within 15 working days from the date of the execution of the Share Purchase Agreement. Five member panel of justices of the apex court unanimously agreed that there was a binding contract between BFI Group and the BPE which should be enforced. The Supreme Court also issued

an order of perpetual injunction restraining BPE from inviting any further bidding for the sale and acquisition of ALSCON and also awarded N50,000 costs against BPE. Justice Afolabi Fabiyi who delivered the lead judgment held that UC Rusal had challenged BPE’s refusal to consummate the transaction it entered with the company. Justice Fabiyi held that: “The Respondent (BPE) must be made to appreciate the purport of the doctrine of lis pendens which is aimed at preserving the subject matter of litigation. Any extraneous body including Rusal which buys the subject of litigation does so as its own risks”.

The court held that BPE had no power to unilaterally change the mode of payment of 10 percent of the bid price. He consequently set aside the judgments of the two lower courts and issued an order of specific performance which mandated BPE to execute the mutually agreed share purchase agreement with BFI Group. Meanwhile, UC RUSAL and BPE said they are still waiting for a copy of the Supreme Court judgment on the sale of ALSCON. Also BPE spokesman and Head of Public Communications, Mr. Chukwuma Nwoko, told NAN that BPE prefers to get a copy of the judgment of the apex court before making comments.

Another 250 couples for Kano mass wedding From Bala Nasir, Kano


n continuation of its mass marriage programme, the Kano state government will again this Saturday, sponsor the marriage of 250 women, Grand Commander of Kano HISBA, Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa has revealed. Speaking through HISBA spokesman, Musa Tanko the commander stated that five women are drawn from each of the 44 local government areas of the state. While the state government would do exactly what it did to the first batch of the mass marriage, there are indications that there could be some additions to what was done to the previous ones. Also, Kano businessman and philanthropist, Sheikh Isyaku Rabiu has promised to pay all the dowries for the grooms as he did in the previous exercise. Sheikh Aminu Daurawa said that many other philanthropists have expressed willingness to help the brides and the grooms this time around as they were fascinated with the previous exercise.

Tax: Health workers give Katsina govt ultimatum From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

T Relations of late Senator Gyang Dantong at his residence, yesterday in Jos.

Photo: NAN

Airlines to deny passengers boarding without proper identification From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


s part of on-going efforts to strengthen safety and security procedures in and around the Nigeria airports, airline operators have been charged to adhere strictly to NCAA regulation requiring proper

identification of all passengers before boarding. The directive which was said to have been issued at the instance of the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Odua by the Director General of the NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, said the approved means of identification are

International Passports, Federal Republic of Nigeria National Identity Card, National Drivers' Licence and any other verifiable photo identity card. The directive further warned airlines that “they are therefore reminded that they are under strict obligation to deny boarding

to any passenger without a proper photo ID card.” “This reminder which is Security Directive No 16 is in accordance with Part 17, Regulation 83 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations and Section 13.7 of the Nation Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP)”, it read.

he Joint Health Sector Union of Katsina State has given the state government a three week ultimatum to withdraw its new tax regime or face strike action. The state chairman of the union, Comrade Aminu Usman who issued the warning in a press conference, noted that the new tax regime has reversed the benefit of the salary increase. "This tax regime is unacceptable to us. If it is allowed to stand, the salary increase has no value. With the new regime there are some health workers that would be paying one million naira annually as tax,” he said. Usman who also lamented the nonpayment of six month arrears to local government health workers, advised the government to immediately pay.

N8bn fraud: Kenny Martins asks S/Court to stop retrial By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Coordinator of the Police Equipment Fund (PEF), Kenny Martins, Mr. has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal which ordered him and three other persons to stand trial in respect of the alleged embezzlement of N7.74 billion belonging to the Police Equipment Fund. In the appeal filed by Martins’ lawyer, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi,

Martins said the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that a prima facie case was established against him and the other accused persons. Martins further said that the Appeal Court was wrong to have held that Festus Keyamo has the power to prosecute the charge when he had no fiat from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. To stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

(EFCC) from prosecuting them while their appeal is pending before the Supreme Court, the accused persons had applied for a stay ofexecution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal had, in a judgment delivered on June 28, 2012 by Justice Regina Nwodo, held among other issues that the four accused persons have a case to answer and that Justice Mohammed Talba of the Abuja High Court misdirected himself and was wrong to have

discharged the accused persons on a no-case submission. The appeal was based on a charge filed by EFCC against Martins, Ibrahim Dumuje, Yaro Gella and Nigerstalg Limited. After the trial, Justice Talba discharged the accused persons on a no-case submission. However, dissatisfied with the ruling, the EFCC filed an appeal. On the issue of bias, on which basis an Abuja magistrate court and the high court had disqualified

prosecution counsel, Festus Keyamo from prosecuting the accused persons, on the grounds that he had written several petitions against the accused persons in the past, the Court of Appeal held that a prosecutor should not be disqualified from prosecuting a matter based on allegations of bias. The court ordered that the case file be remitted to the Chief Judge of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for reassignment and re-trial of the accused persons.



NAHCON urged to takeover allocation of pilgrims to air carriers NUJ Abuja who noted that several hiccups crop allowing the state pilgrims welfare to lobby and sometimes forced to gets new exco By Muhammad Nasir up during the airlift of pilgrims boards to allocate pilgrims to air bribe their way before state


r. Chuks Ehirim, the newly elected chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja Council, has pledged to build a stronger union that will be committed to the welfare of members. Ehirim made the pledge in Abuja on Saturday at the inauguration of the new executive committee of the union. He said the new executive would carry along all journalists in its task of rebuilding a virile union that would be the pride of all journalists in the FCT. The chairman said that the union, under his leadership, would fight for the rights of members and ensure that professionalism was restored. The Zone ‘D’ secretary of the union, Mr. Wilson Bako, advised all parties in the election to put heads together for the development of the union. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ehirim, of the National Accord newspaper, won the chairmanship position by polling 252 votes. Two other contestants, Mr Ben Bright of Business News online; and Mr. Abdulrahman Balogun of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) polled 110 and 109 votes respectively. Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche of Abuja Enquirer won the post of Secretary with 292 votes, defeating Mrs Rafat Salami of Voice of Nigeria (VON), who got 224. Mrs. Amaka Ene of FRCN won the post of Assistant Secretary with 289 votes, while Mr. Primus Kanoba of Aso Radio was returned as Vice-Chairman with 271 votes. (NAN)

Media NGO wants constitution review By Joy Baba


network of media nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) has submitted a Memorandum to the National Assembly, seeking constitutional provisions to guarantee media freedom and independence. The organisations which include; the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), and the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), also requested the right of access to information and the independence of media regulatory bodies. This was contained in a statement jointly signed by International Press Centre (IPC), the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) on the platform of the Media Network on the Review of the 1999 Constitution. It said that the 50-page Memorandum was delivered separately by representatives of the three organisations to the relevant committees in the Senate and House of Representatives. The organisations further suggested that a constitutional backing for the right of access to information should be included in the proposed new constitution, as a subsection of the current Section 39 containing guarantees for free expression, media freedom and access to information rights.


he National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has been urged to centralise the allocation of pilgrims to air carriers to ease operational difficulties during Hajj. The call was made by Independent Hajj Reporters, a nongovernmental organisation in a statement issued in Abuja by its national secretary, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad and publicity secretary, Mahmoud Abubakar,

“because states pilgrims welfare boards were allowed to allocate pilgrims to air carriers which brings about politics, unhealthy competition, corruption among other avoidable difficulties”. They also noted that to rid Hajj operations of this unhealthy trend, “NAHCON must intervene as a regulator to minimise logistics and other operational bottlenecks created as a result of unhealthy competition that emanate from

carriers." It said that “screening and selecting of air carriers is the sole responsibility of NAHCON. Therefore, allowing states pilgrims’ welfare boards to choose and allocate pilgrims to air carriers, screened and selected by NAHCON is not healthy for smooth Hajj operations.” The group said that “after passing through elaborate screening and meeting other requirements, air carriers are made

pilgrims’ welfare boards allocate pilgrims to them. There are allegations that air carriers resort to lobbying that entails all forms of unwholesome practices in order to get bigger allocation from states.” The NGO said that “allowing NAHCON to handle the allocation of pilgrims as stated in the NAHCON Establishment Act 2006 section 4, item (4i – iii) will reduce or delete serious challenges bedeviling pilgrims’ movement.”

Students of Cherryfield College, Abuja with one of their parents in a group photograph, during the valedictory service for outgoing students of the college, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Senate vows to stop Ghana from frustrating Nigerians From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Senate President, David Mark has vowed to resist the Ghanaian goverment’s move to impose stringent conditions on Nigerian businessmen in Ghana. According to him, it is against ECOWAS protocols,which allows free movement of persons and goods within the region. Mark, who spoke at the National Assembly and Private Sector Partnership Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Lagos, vowed to resist the Ghanaian government’s

move to frustrate Nigerian businesses in Ghana, which requires that Nigerian and other foreign investors have an initial capital of $300,000 and must employ 10 Ghanaians before they could start any business regardless of the size of the business. He identified diversification of the economy, adequate funding of infrastructure, identification and selection of priority projects, foreign direct investment and capacity development, as measures to save the dwindling state of the economy. He said there was need to diversify the Nigerian economy to

allow for a robust inclusion of nonoil sectors in the country’s economic development adding that the country’s overreliance on crude oil for revenue generation was a hindrance to economic growth. “We are all aware that a few years ago, Nigeria was a key exporter of rubber, groundnut, cassava, cocoa, and palm oil. But that is no more”, he said. Mark explained that mere revival of the manufacturing, mining and agricultural sectors without adequate infrastructure such as consistent power, good roads, rails and air services may not yield the desired results. He emphasised the need to

Trovan drug compensation: Kano hires lawyers From Bala Nasir, Kano


ano state government has hired the services of a legal practitioner with a view to pursue payment of compensation to victims of the 1996 Trovan drug test conducted on some 200 children in the state. This was contained in the outcome of the weekly meeting of the state’s executive council which was chaired by Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso as announced by the information commissioner of the state, Dr. Umar Faruk. The test which was conducted by the world pharmaceutical

giant at a government owned hospital, left all the 200 children either dead or deformed. A lingering court action by the Kano state government led to the out of court settlement where Pfizer agreed to pay $35 million compensation to the victims in 2009 but the victims are yet to receive the money. The Kano state government therefore decided to pursue the case until the victims are paid by the hiring the services of a legal firm, Dikko and Mahmoud. This is coming in relation to a proposal made by state on the way forward at a meeting between it and the world’s pharmaceutical

giant, Pfizer Inc. in April this year. The state government has also expressed delight over the promotion of eight lecturers who are indigenes of Kano state to the rank of professors by the authorities of Bayero University Kano. Those promoted are Professor Hafiz Abubakar (Biochemistry), Professor Yusuf Adamu (Medical Geography) Professor Muktari A. Yusuf (Linguistics), Professor Habu Mohammed (Political Science) and Professor Muhammad Dalhatu Galadanchi (Economics) Others are Professor Aminu Kabir (Law), Professor Muhammad I Yakasai (Education) and Professor Ahmad Manga (Agriculture).

encourage and support local innovation and technology to feed these non-oil sectors in order for any meaningful and sustainable development to be recorded in the long-run.

Death of pregnant woman: Minister issues three weeks ultimatum By Adeola Tukuru


he Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate has given an investigative panel three weeks ultimatum to ascertain the cause of the death of a pregnant woman at the Federal Medical Centre, Bida in Niger state. The minister insisted that a thorough investigation into the matter was desirable to address some of the general issues plaguing the health sector and ensure such incidents never occur again. He noted that the Federal Ministry of Health was taking the issue of maternal deaths very seriously and it was unacceptable for the country to continue to lose pregnant women during child birth. According to him, a major policy thrust of the Federal Ministry of Health is to improve the quality of care through better clinical governance.


Bandits invade UNIBEN, steal books From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ithin the last one week, bandits have launched three separate attacks on University of Benin, Benin City, Edo state and carted away books and other valuables. One of the victims and a university books vendor in the Faculty of Art who confirmed the attacks, said, over 70 academic textbooks on philosophy and English and literature were stolen. The vendor, also known as Pastor, said his shop was burgled last Friday night and over N200, 000 worth of books were stolen. He said the school authorities have been briefed on the incident. The bandits had in separate attacks on Tuesday and Thursday burgled over three shops at a complex near the school’s health centre and another inspirational book shop in the Law faculty. But the cost of the losses incurred is yet to be quantified. UNIBEN Public Relations Officer, Mr. Harrison Osarenren declined comment on the incident.


‘Wonder bank’ vanishes with depositors’ money in Jos From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


here was confusion and panic in Jos, Plateau state capital yesterday over the alleged disappearance of an investment house popularly known as Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society with the savings of 500 customers of the scheme. Following the rumour of the closure of the cooperative society, about 500 customers who had invested sundry amounts of money in the purported investment house stormed its office located at the NICON Building in Jos demanding the

immediate withdrawal of their membership and re-fund of the capital invested. Our correspondent gathered that state and local government legislators, former and serving commissioners, professors, lecturers of the University of Jos, lawyers, soldiers, pensioners, civil servants and students invested in the house. Initially, the cooperative was paying its customers 30 percent interest of the amount invested monthly but later cut down the interest to 10 percent. But from January, the payment reportedly became unstable with over 150 applications for withdrawal of

membership of Covenant Fadama Cooperative Society. One of the investors who spoke to our reporter under anonymity, said since January this year, he has not been paid his interest and because of that applied for withdrawal and he was long overdue for payment yet his interest and capital invested has not been paid. According to him, "on Wednesday, a friend of mine put a phone call across to me informing me that Fadama has been closed down and they ran away with our money. I called some people we rushed to office of the Fadama and I heard that one

of directors was arrested. Few of us have mobilised ourselves and already briefed our lawyer adequately to take action against management of Fadama". Meanwhile, the president and founder of the cooperative society, Bishop Jonah Katu of Maranatha Church in Jos was on the state radio and television to assure customers that the purpose of establishing the Covenant Fadama was not to operate for four years and either close down or run away. He further assured that payment for all customers would resume on the 15th July urging the customers not to panic as their money is in safe hands.

Functional education will stop incessant killings, says Baraje From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he immediate past acting national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, has said that functional education coupled with good moral upbringing of the youth would stop the religious-motivated killings in parts of the Northern Nigeria. Baraje who stated this at the weekend in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital during the graduation of pupils of Baraje Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies, said misguided people are hiding under the cloak of religion to kill and maim fellow Nigerians. “The intension is to give a good foundation to these youth and they will not misinterpret whatever they read and nobody can hoodwink, misguide and hypnotise them. Because I believe it is the misguided ones that are turning the name of Islam upside down. “What we are doing here is to build a future for Nigeria. A future where the youth will not only be given education but functional one for that matter, an education that will enable him live peacefully with any Nigerian or anybody causing any harm. To prove that Islam is a religion of peace, to prove Islam preaches welfarism, to prove that people who are killing and maiming in the name of Islam are totally being misguided and misled. Earlier, a judge of the Kwara state Sharia Court of Appeal, Imam Saliu Mohammed urged Nigerians to rally round President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration to bring about enduring peace in all the troubled parts of the country.

L-R: Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, Sheikh Ahmed Lemu, and Secretary General, Jama'atu-Nasril-Islam, Dr. Khalid Aliyu, during the national conference on moon sighting, yesterday at the National Mosque, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Third Mainland Bridge repair: Lagos releases daily traffic diversion schedule From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


he Lagos state government has announced the traffic diversion on the Third Mainland Bridge at the weekend as the repairs of eight weak expansions joints along the longest bridge in Africa starts. During the official commencement of the repairs, the Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, said there shall not be total closure of the bridge, but there will be restricted access during specific hours. According to the communiqué issued at the end of the interactive session, the condition survey and investigation conducted in 2007 by the Federal Ministry of Works revealed that 12 expansion joints were in need of repairs with four in very critical condition.

It further stated that the joints exhibited advanced decay of the sheer connectors linking adjacent decks and required urgent attention. While speaking, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, assured Lagos residents of wellmanaged traffic while the repairs

last and advised them to always listen to the state-owned Traffic FM on 96.1 for periodical information on traffic management plan. “The Third Mainland Bridge is the most important bridge in Lagos, Nigeria's economic centre, with an average of 180 vehicles accessing it every minute,

according to a Federal Ministry of Works data. Therefore, residents are apprehensive of a possible traffic standstill that a closure of the bridge will cause. "In 2008, we had it difficult because many roads, including some of the alternative routes, were under construction, but those roads are good now. Oshodi is now passable. Murtala Mohammed Way was completed with a functional BRT lane. Therefore, we expect a lighter challenge now,” he added.

DANA crash: ICAN joins family at member’s funeral By Isa Abdulwahab


delegation of officers, management and staff of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), led by the 48th president, Mr. Doyin Owolabi will join the family and well-wishers of the late Mrs. Lilian Las this weekend in Abuja to bid her goodnight. ICAN statement by Assistant

Director, Corporate Affairs Dayo Ajigbotosho announcing funeral arrangements of Mrs. Las, Senior Manager (ICAN Abuja office) who died in the ill-fated Dana air crash on June 3, 2012 in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos said, will begin on Friday, July 13, with a Service of Songs at her residence, Plot A190 AMAC Estate, Sabon Lugbe, Airport Road, Abuja. On Saturday, July 14, there will be a Memorial Service at RCCG,

Resurrection Parish, FHA Estate, Lugbe, Abuja and Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, July 15 at RCCG, Governors Assembly, FHA Estate, Lugbe, Abuja. On the fateful day, Mrs. Las was on her way to attend a management meeting in Lagos. Apart from Mrs. Las, nine ICAN members working in different organisations also lost their lives in the crash.



Promasidor Emir urges support for polio immunisation laments northern students' Chukwu to unveil national emergency line absence at Maths competition By Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


By Maryam Garba Hassan


anaging Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Keith Richards, has attributed the low participation of northern students in this year's Cowbell National Secondary Schools Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) competition to the security challenges that had bedevilled the country in the last three years. Richard, who spoke at the prize-giving ceremony of this year's Cowbell National Mathematics Competition in Abuja, said out of 20 students who won the 2012 competition only one was a Northerner as opposed to six in 2009, seven in 2010 and 11 in 2011. He said: "The activities of Boko Haram are seriously threatening the hope and future of our children. The level of participation from the north and the result of this year's competition further supported my assertions on the down trend of educational advancement in these areas. Out of the 20 student honoured today, only one is male student from the junior category could make the list from the entire northern region as opposed to 6,7 and 11 in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. This is very sad and pathetic." However, Richard assured that the organisation would continue to work hard to sustain the record it has set and serve as an example to other corporate bodies to emulate. He added that the 20 students who exhibited exceptional aptitude for mathematics in the competition would become Cowbell NASSMAC Ambassadors in their schools and communities while the top two students in the senior category would be sponsored by Promasidor to represent Nigeria at the Pan African Mathematics Olympiad.

he Emir of Argungu and cochairman, Technical Committee on Eradication of Polio, Alhaji Samaila Muhammadu Mera, has charged parents to support government's efforts immunising children against polio. He also appealed to the people of the emirate, especially the traditional title holders, to continue to allow their children to be vaccinated in the on-going poliomyelitis plus and oral vaccine campaign in order to ensure a poliofree society. The emir, who made the

appealed at his palace while supervising the flag-off of 2012 polio immunization + administration vaccine alongside the turbaning of the Dangaladiman Kabi (district head of Argungu), Alhaji Mahmud

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


inister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, will tomorrow unveil a national emergency toll free line 122 for the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) at its National Headquarters in Abuja. According to a statement by

Sama, noted that children were the future generation, hence a lot should be done to protect them. He also tasked traditional rulers not to relent in their effort in mobilising and sensitising their

the Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Jonas Agwu, the launch of a toll free emergency line was necessitated by the public seeming apathy that trailed the launch of the tollcharging 070022553772 emergency line in 2008. However, Agwu noted that 070022553772 had received


over 14,062 calls from the public since it was launched. He said the unveiling of an emergency line which would not place any financial burden on Nigerians was also informed by the FRSC's desire to elicit public collaboration and prompt reports on traffic emergencies such as road crashes, obstructions, gridlock and other related emergencies.

Cleric condemns terror attacks in Nigeria From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin he Chief Imam of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof. Adbulganiyu Oladosu, has expressed concern over the growing spate of insecurity in Nigeria while condemning violence and wanton killings as unIslamic. Oladosu who expressed his displeasure in a lecture titled, "The Role of the Muslim Ummah in the Face of the Current State of the Nation", as part of the send-forth programme organised by the University of Ilorin Muslim Community for its former chairman and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Rasheed Lasisi, said: "Shedding human blood is evil and Almighty Allah forbids it. Muslims are disturbed that what Islam forbids is being blamed on Muslims." He noted that "Islam condemns wanton killing of human beings as the Qu'ran stresses that whoever kills a person is like a person who kills the whole mankind and that life is so sacred in Islam that even animals cannot be killed anyhow." The Azhar University-trained Professor of Arabic Education highlighted a 17-point agenda on the Boko Haram saga which was focused on the sanctity of human life, sanctity of churches and mosques, prohibition of suicide and homicide as well as the position of Islam on corruption, illicit sexual behaviour and general misconduct. He also charged the Muslim Ummah to embrace sincerity, patriotism, knowledge and piety while stressing that spiritual reawakening and avoidance of sins were crucial to redeeming the country from its current spate of insecurity. Vice-Chancellor, UNILORIN, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who was represented by the Deputy ViceChancellor, Management Services, Prof. Yisa Fakunle, charged Muslims to remain relevant and useful to their communities even after retirement from active service.

T L-R: Chairman, Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FEMA), Engineer Jide Adeniji, Ondo state Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, and Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, Senator Basheer Muhammed, during a dinner in honour of Engineer Adeniji, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Boko Haram: VC canvasses academic research for solutions From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ice-Chancellor (VC) University of Ilorin, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, has called on the security agencies to permit academic research into the activities of the Boko Haram group in order engender a better understanding of the sect and prevent further loss of lives and property. Oloyede stated this while receiving the Commander, Nigerian Army Education Corps, Major Gen. L. M. K. Banjiram who paid him a courtesy visit. He noted that the arrested members of the sect should be

interviewed by the intellectual arm of the security agencies who he said could study the sect and come up with objective understanding of its activities. The VC, who also is the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), said he felt unfulfilled as a professor of Islamic Studies with the prevalent lack of understanding of the Boko Haram group. His words: "We will only be gullible to think members of the sect are not educated. Their very activities confirm that they are more educated than the public is made to believe. Using first hand information about the sect to conduct a proper research

into their activities would help to get to the root of the problem. Education is very important in our quest for peace as a nation." Oloyede observed that the Nigerian Army Education Corps occupied a strategic position in the Army, stressing that "no institution in the country gives serious attention and resources to education like the Nigerian Armed Forces." He commended the Nigerian Army School of Education (NASE) for the quality of its officers and leadership, stating that the school has taken education to greater heights and has added value to peoples' lives.

FG debunks vaccine stock-out report he Federal Government has denied recent media report of central stock-out of vaccines for immunisation in Nigeria. Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Ado Muhammad, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at the end of polio free-torch campaign and flag-off of July 2012 immunisation exercise in Zamfara and Sokoto States.

subjects to fully embrace polio immunisation and all other government programmes. According to him, there was no single reported case of polio in the state this quarter and commended the state government and other stakeholders for the feat.

According to a statement, Ado said the Federal Government has spent N6 billion on vaccine procurement, distribution, cold chain infrastructure and logistics this year, stressing that projected vaccine needs for the country had been met by the Federal Government. He explained that religious scholars and members of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN)

were being engaged as part of strategies to address cases of noncompliance while over 100 senior staff members had being deployed to high-risk states and local governments in recent weeks to improve quality of planning and outcome. According to Ado, 32 border vaccinating posts have been established in various parts of the country to prevent cross-border transmission of polio from neighbouring countries.

Ado commended the state governors, Sultan of Sokoto, traditional leaders, religious leaders and other stakeholders for their support on polio eradication and expressed optimism that Nigeria would soon be a polio-free nation. Former President Shehu Shagari, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III and Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko were among eminent Nigerians present at the July Sokoto flagoff.



NAF honours late AOC

Minimum wage strike: Kebbi HOS pleads with NLC

From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, at the weekend, named a newly constructed three-kilometre street at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Base, Kaduna, after late Air Officer Commanding, Training Command (AOC TC), Kaduna, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Salihu, who died few months ago. The NAF Chief also commissioned a six 3bedroom flat Dam Quarters at the Base and handed over keys of the apartments to the beneficiaries. Dikko who spoke with reporters after the commissioning, described the late AVM Salihu as a brother, a colleague and a great airman who had passion for the service of the NAF and the entire country. Condoling the NAF community and immediate family of the fallen officer, Dikko noted that NAF decided to name the street after Salihu to immortalize him. According to him, “the driving force behind this year’s commissioning of projects especially at all the NAF formations in Nigeria despite our lean resources is as a result of our drive since assumption of office in September 2011 when we came out with a vision. “One of the key drivers of that vision is personnel motivation because we believe that we cannot achieve our vision for the Air Force without giving care to the welfare of our personnel who are doing most of the work.”

From Ahmed Idris, Brinin Kebbi ebbi state Head of Service, Alhaji Buhari Halirun Jega has called on the Nigerian Labour Congress [NLC] in the state not to embark on strike, assuring it that government is working to ensure the full implementation of the new minimum wage which will be implemented very soon. He stated this at the weekend while addressing newsmen in his office adding that dialogue was the best solution to any development in the the society. Last week, the state chairman of NLC, Comrade Sadiq Sambo Kaoje had vowed that its members would embark on indefinite strike action on Wednesday July 11,2012 over the failure to fully implement the minimum wage to workers in Kebbi State. Addressing newsmen at the Labour House after decision was reached during a meeting held in Birnin Kebbi between the NLC,TUC and other unions in the state, Comrade Sadiq Sambo Kaoje said, “following series of meetings between the state Government and the organized labour on the issue of the N18,000,00 which has not yielded any positive conclusion, the organized labour held a meeting today and after extensive deliberation, resolved to resume our suspended strike action as from Wednesday 11th July ,2012.Comrade Kaoje explained that since the partial implementation of the minimum wage in March this year, the Kebbi state government has been using different salary tables to pay workers in the state despite several appeals from the organized labour for the government to correct the anomalies.


Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad (right), vaccinating a baby during kick-off National Polio Immunisation exercise, at the weekend in Sokoto.

I am alive, Saraki cries out he Second Republic Senate Leader and the Waziri of Ilorin, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki has denied his death as he called on Nigerians not to loose hope in the Nigeria Project but rather support the leaders both in action and with prayers. The Kwara political kingpin who gave the charge while addressing hundreds of his supporters, friends, associates and well-wishers who thronged his country home in Lagos to receive him on arrival

from vacation in Los Angeles, United States of America noted that the country was going through a critical period in her political history, hence the need for all and sundry to support the government of the day in all possible ways. A statement sent to journalists by the Kwara PDP Publcity Secretary, Mas’ud Adebinpe said the octogenarian, who stressed that the Nigeria’s unity was not negotiable, said “it must not but rather preserved, protected and sustained by the leadership and Nigerians”.

On his death rumour about two weeks ago , Saraki responded philosophically, “ what you cannot give you cannot take. Only Allah gives life and only Him can take it. Alhamdulillahi, am back to your midst hale and hearty. “ But I must thank Nigerians at home and in Diaspora who have expressed concern and love when they had the unfounded rumour particularly my good people of Kwara State for their show of love, prayers and steadfastness”, he said.

ceremony which took place last week at the UN peace keeping headquarters in Tomping-Juba, Southern Sudan had Representatives of the UN Secretary General, Mrs. Hilda Johnson, Nigeria InspectorGeneral of Police, AIG Zone 2 Lagos Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe), UN Force Commander, Major General Moses Obi, UN Police Commissioner , Dr. Frederick Yiga, the Consul-General of Nigerian mission in South Sudan - Dangiwa Kumba Gideon amongst others in attendance. While decorating the officers

with their medals, the SRSG Mrs. Hilda Johnson described the honour as hard earned considering the enormous commitment and sacrifices the officers are making in the efforts towards enthroning the rule of law in the newly independent state. She commended the Federal Government of Nigeria as well as the Nigeria Police Management Team for their strategic partnership and contributions towards global peace. In his goodwill message to

the Nigeria Police contingent, the IGP commended them for their sterling performances at the mission area which have earned them several international recognition and honour. He charged them not to deviate from those core values of discipline, professionalism, selflessness and total dedication to assigned duties which have endeared them to the UN authority and the host country. The IGP also expressed his gratitude to the UN authority for the confidence repose in the

From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


34 Nigeria police peacekeepers bag medals By Lambert Tyem


he United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UN MISS) has presented special UN medals to 34 Nigerian Police contingents for outstanding performance. The awardees including three females are currently serving in UN international peacekeeping mission in Southern Sudan for their exceptional performance in the discharge of their assigned roles. According to police spokesman Frank Mba, the

Nigeria Police Force, promising that the Nigeria Police will continue to support and actively participate in international peace keeping operations, particularly in Africa. He noted that organised and trans-boundary crimes such as arms dealing, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking thrive better in conflict and postconflict areas of the world, thus the need for Police Forces all over the world to work together towards global peace and stability.

Abiola must be declared Nigeria’s elected president, insist Soyinka, Bakare From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


olitical heavyweights at the weekend gathered at the residence of the late Chief MKO Abiola, winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election calling for a more dignifying honour for the

late politician. Present at a brief ceremony organised by family, friends and well-wishers of late MKO Abiola include Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, Save Nigeria Group (SNG) coordinator Pastor Tunde Bakare, among others Marking the 14th

anniversary of MKO Abiola’s death, Soyinka called for the late politician to be posthumously named as Nigeria’s elected president. Professor Soyinka’s statement was read by the leader of Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr. Joe Odumakin, at the event

which was marked in the late politician’s family home in Lagos on Saturday. In his address at the event to mark MKO’s death, the convener of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Pastor Tunde Bakare noted that late Abiola lived and died for a just cause and that no matter

what was done to diminish his sacrifice for the nation, it will not stand. MKO Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1999 presidential election passed away in detention on July 7, 1998, fighting to regain his mandate.



L-R: National co-ordinator, Oodua Peoples Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, convener, Save Nigeria Group, Pastor Tunde Bakare, president, women Arise, Dr Joe Odumakin, and president, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Hafsat AbiolaCostello, during a rally to commemorate the 14th anniversary of late chief M.K.O. Abiola, at the weekend in Lagos. Photo: NAN

L-R: Minister of State for FCT, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, with Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, during the third annual graduation and prizegiving ceremony of FAMAKS International School, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

L-R: Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo, Anambra state Governor, Mr Peter Obi, and Ekiti state Governor, Chief Kayode Fayemi, after their meeting President Goodluck Jonathan, recently at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

L-R: Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabiu Kwankwaso, with Governor of Niamey, Niger Republic, Hajiya Kane Aichatou Boulama, during the former’s visit to Niger Republic, recently.



FCT minister urges pilgrims to pray for Nigeria From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


Journalists voting during Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT election, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

inister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, has asked Christian pilgrims from Nigeria for this year’s holy pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray for divine solution to the Boko Haram and other security challenges facing the country. The minister stated this in Ibadan, Oyo state while addressing intending Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem from the state sponsored by the FCT. Speaking through her Personal Assistant on Media, Kehinde Isiaka, the Minister stressed that there was the need for the pilgrims to join the Federal Government in its efforts at ensuring that the nation overcomes all security challenges. “While in the Holy Land, kindly pray for Nigeria on the Boko Haram issue and other security challenges security challenges facing the country. With prayers there will be a divine solution to all the security challenges in the country.

Katsina council sacks officials over polio immunisation From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


andamu local government area of Katsina state has sacked all vaccinators that took part in the last polio immunisation exercise due to the emergence of a fresh polio case in Karkarku Village. Chairman of the council, Sani Sabo, disclosed this during the flagoff ceremony of another round of polio immunisation in the area.

Sabo, who attributed the new polio case in Karkarku to laxity on the part of the vaccinators, noted that the council has recruited new vaccinators for the current campaign. In his remark at the event, Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruq Umar, who looked visibly worried by the fresh polio outbreak, warned that he would not hesitate to sack any traditional leaders whose area recorded new case of the dreaded disease.

“The reason why we will not sack the district head of Karkarku over the fresh polio case in the area is that our investigation has uncovered that it was not his fault,” he added. According to the emir, the emirate council would not fold its arms and watched huge government investment go down the drain over the immunisation campaign, adding that even rejection would lead to the sack of traditional leader concerned.

Also, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ado Jimada Muhammad noted that polio was still endemic in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Muhammad disclosed that 10 cases of the disease had occurred in 30 local governments across the country, adding that government has increased funding from $17 million to $30 million to effectively check polio in the country.

Bauchi spends N95m on 795 community projects From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state government has executed 795 community development projects at a total cost of N95,209,214.50. Commissioner, Ministry of Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation, Isa Mohammed Wabu disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the achievement of the ministry. Out of the amount, the local

communities contributed N55, 250,120; local governments assisted with N11,079,694.50; Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) N28,580,000 while the state government chipped in only N300,000. Wabu gave a breakdown of the expenditure as follows: 159 feeder roads, N18,369,705.50; 292 water works, N10,447,560; 87 health projects, N13,148,450; 87 education projects, N32,558,830; and 170 others comprising market

stalls, NYSC projects, grave yards, CD farms and religious centres, N12,275,550. Wabu attributed the successful execution of the community development projects to dedicated staff motivated by the government to put in their best in the execution of self-help projects. He also revealed that government has given N24. 5 million for grant-in-aid to some community development self-help

projects, and N3.6 million for the provision of working tools to deserving communities in the state during the period under review. These, Wabu said, were in addition to the ministry’s construction of Yuguda Model Village in Katabarwa and Sirko at the cost of N12 million, and community self-help earth dams at Marana Gahure, Mamu, Kesa, Damba and Kekeno at N1.5 million.

We need your prayers for this administration and the country as a whole,” the minister said. The minister, however, urged the pilgrims to be good ambassadors of Nigeria throughout their stay in the Holy Land by adhering to the laid down rules and regulations guiding the holy pilgrimage. She also warned them against absconding in Israel. Her words: “I am imploring all intending pilgrims from Oyo state to be good ambassadors of this country while in the Holy Land. I also want to caution that it is against the rules and regulations for any of the intending pilgrims to defect while in the Holy Land, so I urge you people to go and return back to the country after the pilgrimage.”

Gombe gives N150m to tanker fire victims From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


wo years after the incident, the Gombe state government has presented N150 million to the victims of Jekadafari petrol tanker fire disaster, which occurred on July 2, 2010. Presenting cheques to the beneficiaries in Gombe, Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo said that his administration was deeply touched by the plight of the victims. Dankwambo described the disaster as a lingering issue inherited from the past administration, which hisgovernment had been trying to find solutions to, considering the monumental loss involved. He explained that the tanker disaster led to the loss of 15 lives, 132 shops, 33 houses, 12 offices and over 300 motorcycles while four people sustained serious injuries in the incidaent. The governor pointed out that his administration and other donors cannot replace the losses suffered by individuals and families but could only provide palliative assistance. Dankwambo said the money being disbursed was contributed by the state, local government and donation from Nigerians sent to the committee set up to raise funds for the victims. Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Yarima Abdullahi, who was represented by his deputy cum Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Abubakar Ahmad Walama, said N 149.9 million would be disbursed to assist no fewer than 130 victims of the disaster.

Lawmaker files appeal against court’s election verdict From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he lawmaker representing Toro/ Jema’a state constituency in the Bauchi state House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Tukur, has filed an appeal against the judgment of the Bauchi Federal High Court nullifying his election. Counsel to Tukur, Mathias

Tsuwa, disclosed this while addressing newsmen over the judgment at the weekend in Bauchi. It would be recalled that Federal High Court sitting in Bauchi before Judge Mohammed T. Salihu declared the Plaintiff, Yahya Ishaq Umar, winner of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) primary election held on

January 11, 2011 with the highest votes of 240. However, a few days to the general election, the electoral body substituted Umar’s name with Tukur’s, contrary to section 33 and 35 of the electoral act 2010 as amended. Umar and the CPC filed a suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and

the lawmaker. Tsuwa said: “We filed an appealed that very day of 15 June at the Court of Appeal Jos against the judgment of the Bauchi Federal High Court that restrained Hon Tukur Ibrahim from parading himself as the member representing Toro/ Jama’a and ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to the first

plaintiff. “Until the appeal is determine, in the provision of section 143 of the electoral act as long as the appeal of Hon Ibrahim Tukur against the Bauchi Federal High Court has not been determine, Hon. Tukur remains the representative of Toro/Jamaa state constituency in the Bauchi state House of Assembly.”



Polio: 15 LGAs at risk in Bauchi - Official


he executive secretary, Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (PHCDA), Dr. Nisser Umar, has said 15 out of the 20 local government areas face the risk of polio infestation. Umar said this at the flaggingoff ceremony of the July 2012 Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs) at Firo community in Ganjuwa LGA on Saturday. He said that this was why the

campaign teams were increased from 836 to 2000 for effective campaigns. Dr. Umar said that in all, 200 local government areas were at the risk of being infected by the scourge in the country. Umar called on parents to ensure that all children eligible for the exercise were restricted from moving so as to avoid missing being missed. He said the state in collaboration with the LGAs had

procured 1.900 million doses for the targeted number of children to be immunised. “In the last one we did, we came to realise that some of the issues were as a result of the movement of the children from one place to the other as such the children missed out at that time. “Some LGAs provided 80 cartoons of the plus during the last IPDs, but with the collaboration of state and LGAs we have increased

it to 686 cartoons”, he said. In his address, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NHCDA), Dr. Ado Mohammed, represented by Elder Lawrence Oden, said 38 monitors were deployed to the state. Flagging off the IPDs, Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state, represented by his deputy, Alhaji Aminu Saleh, said that over 2. 2 million doses of oral polio vaccines

were provided to the state by the NPHCDA for the exercise. The governor expressed his disappointment with community leaders and LGA administration over the new cases of wild polio viruses discovered in the state. The governor commended development partners for their support and called on parents to avail their children of the government gesture. The IPDs would last for four days. (NAN)

Bauchi Special Schools Board decries untimely release of funds From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi State Special Schools Management Board has expresses concern over the irregular and untimely release of contract funds by the ministry of finance to facilitate general repairs and renovations of the six special schools in the state. The chairman of the Board, Alhaji Ahmed Suleiman stated this while briefing newsmen on the activities of the board at the state secretariat in Bauchi. He said due to the noncompletion of the first phase of the project, most of the facilities at the schools have deteriorated to a level of total disrepair and has been put out of use by the school authorities. According to the chairman, “The nature of the release of the contract funds for the project is not up to the normal 50 percent down payment of the sum as per an agreement between the state government and the contractors. The functionality of an organisation such as the Special School Management Board has been seriously affected because there is no appropriate facility maintenance, renovation and upgrading as the basis of its physical existence”. He said some of projects for the schools include Government College Toro, Government Girls College Kafin Madaki, Government College Azare, Jibrin Aminu Model School Bauchi, and Tambari Model Schools Bauchi.

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members deployed to Plateau state protesting for redeployment during the visit of NYSC Director-General, Brgeral-General Nnamdi Okorie-Affia to the state NYSC orientation camp, on Saturday in Jos. Photo: NAN

Unions want more funding for NYSC post-service scheme By Abdulwahab Isa


he two labour unions within the National Youth Service Corps scheme (NYSC), have urged the Federal Government to accord adequate funding to the ongoing initiatives targeted at training corps members and empowering them technically and entrepreneurially for post-service job opportunities. Chairmen of the unions, Comrade Alloysius Idoga of the

Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and his Amalgamated Union of Public Service Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUCPTRE) counterpart, Comrade Kingsley Izah, jointly advocated this position at a joint press briefing held over the weekend in Abuja. They said adequate funding of the managerial scheme would help in translating the ongoing skill acquisition and other selfdevelopment initiatives being

undertaken by the management into huge socio-economic benefits for the country. The leaders of the two unions commended the Director General of NYSC, Brig General Nnamdi Okore-Affia, for giving a new impetus to the skill and entrepreneurial capacity building agenda of the NYSC. The workers pointed out that additional support for the NYSC scheme was required to tackle the growing problems of corps under-utilisation, paucity of

funds, poor training facilities and others that are hampering management’s efforts to build in the corps members post-service career development capacities. The DG NYSC in his remarks, said a noble concept of this nature requires reasonably massive financial outlay. He said integrated settlements would have to be created which would serve as centres of excellence where corps members would back their theoretical knowledge with practice.

TUC disassociates self from Youth should strive positively, says DG, Bauchi teachers’ strike National productivity centre From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Trade Union Congress (TUC) Bauchi state council has distanced itself from the ongoing strike by secondary school teachers in Bauchi state, and passed a vote of confidence in support of the state’s Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim. It could be recalled that the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) embarked on an indefinite industrial action which began on Thursday 5th July. It also called for the removal of the education commissioner and presented some demands to the

Bauchi state government while the state Ministry of Education went to the court and obtained interim order that restrained the ASUSS from embarking on strike”. A statement signed by the TUC chairman, Muhammad Usman and secretary, Sulisma G Lemuel alleged that “the strike action invited by ASUSS and the demands presented are mischievous, intrusive and have the capacity to provoke and mislead any sincere administrator on their face value, and we have sincere confidence on the Commissioner of Education; we believe he has a lot in store for the improvement of teaching and learning in Bauchi state”.

By Augustine Aminu


n the face of rising unemployment in the country, the Director General of the National Productivity Centre, Dr. Paul Bdliya has urged Nigerian youth to develop entrepreneurship mentality rather than continue to wait for government jobs. He said the youth have skills to be great entrepreneurs but stressed that they need to develop a positive attitude towards becoming self-employed. He said, “I am not saying government jobs will cease. But we are saying young people need to

stop depending on government job and develop skills that will enable them become entrepreneurs and employers of labour”. He said the country is in dire needs of entrepreneurs to develop its economy, stressing that “I have faith in the Nigerian youth. It is a matter of time. We will pick up the innovations and technologies to develop our economy” he said. He said that the agency has engaged in various sensitisation workshops to acquaint young Nigerians with its activities, especially on how to be self-employed. "These programmes are designed with a strong training element to impact productivity

consciousness into the citizenry," he said. According to him, the sensitisation programme will help youths to apply productivity in their day-to-day life and learning schedule. He also said the centre had conducted capacity-building seminars, workshops and conferences where information on knowledge and skill were disseminated and shared. “It is through productivity that we can enhance service delivery and it is effective service delivery that can bring improvement to human life,” he said,” he said.




Insecurity: Beyond the sack of Azazi


resident Goodluck Jonathan showed rare bravado in the sacking of his security adviser General Andrew Owoeye Azazi on June 22, 2012. He took the decision the day he returned from the Rio+20 climate change conference in Brazil. The president hastily called a National Security Council meeting at the end of which his media aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, put out a brief statement announcing Azazi’s removal as National Security Adviser (NSA) and his replacement by Sambo Dasuki, a former army colonel and aide de camp to former President Ibrahim Babangida. The statement did not say why Azazi was sacked. Abati only said the decision was taken at the NSC meeting presided over by President Jonathan himself. Two days later, however, the President provided an explanation in one of his irregular media chats. Getting rid of Azazi, from his home state of Bayelsa, was his government’s response to the growing Boko Haram insurgency in the North. “They (Boko Haram) are changing their tactics every day, so you also have to change your style and personnel to beat their style,” Jonathan explained. Azazi’s sack came only few days after the sect bombed three churches in Zaria and Kaduna, attacks that sparked revenge killings by angry Christian youths in the Kaduna state capital. It also came few months after former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Hafiz Ringim was replaced by present Acting IGP Mohammed Abubakar.

To be sure, the Jonathan Administration’s unimpressive response to the Boko Haram menace had led to calls for heads to roll in the President’s security team, Azazi’s in particular. These calls increased after the dismissal of Ringim. The former NSA angered the majority of Nigerians by his inability to provide a robust response to match Boko Haram’s increasing sophistication and reach. Public exasperation only grew with Azazi’s open admission that Boko

However, dealing with the nation’s security challenges, which Boko Haram tops, requires something beyond personnel change. It requires a president with the capacity to lead a whole nation, not just a part Haram “is a new phenomenon in our country and we have to live with it”. Not long after, he came up with this strange conspiracy theory, suggesting that Boko Haram was a creation of some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders who did not want Jonathan as the party’s candidate in last year’s presidential election. By implication, it is Northern political elites who want to cripple the government that

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are fuelling the Boko Haram insurgency. Azazi’s outburst which came at a meeting of South-South governors was rejected by the PDP national leadership; Jonathan said Azazi expressed his own opinion, not the position of the government. However, he allowed the NSA to continue in his job. Which was not surprising given the President’s notoriety of being slow in action. That fuelled the suspicion that the Jonathan government saw Boko Haram as a northern problem, not a national security issue. That Jonathan has now sacked Azazi is a pleasant surprise to many. However, dealing with the nation’s security challenges, which Boko Haram tops, requires something beyond personnel change. It requires a president with the capacity to lead a whole nation, not just a part; it demands government officials stop denigrating Northerners in both official and private utterances. More important, it requires an entirely new set of “rules of engagement” for military task forces set up by the government to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency that see themselves as forces of occupation and find it difficult to distinguish between the enemy and innocent citizens. In other words, we identify with the position paper Northern elders, led by Alhaji Maitama Sule, delivered to President Jonathan last month. It tells him how the Boko Haram insurgency and other national security challenges can be overcome.










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


By David Manchok


n Wednesday May 30, another Northern group known as the Northern Elders Forum visited President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the Presidential villa. Made up of 24 prominent public figures of Northern extraction, the group tabled a number of proposals particularly on the current security problems facing the nation and how they can be tackled. Conspicuous among the 24 were their leader Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule Nigeria’s former Permanent Representative to the UN, Adamu Ciroma, Professor Ango Abdullahi, Air Marshall A.M. Dagash (rtd), Wantaregh Paul Unongo, Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd), Prof Idris Mohammed, Alhaji Lawal Kaita, General Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd), Bishop John Praise, Paul Mamman Thahaal, Alhaji Shehu Malami, Dame Pauline Talen, Dr Safiya Iliyasu Mohammed, Alhaji Bello Kirfi and Major general I.B.M Haruna (rtd). Their address to the President which was later released to the media carried the signature of their leader Alhaji (Dr) Yusuf Maitama Sule (Danmasanin Kano). In it, the group condemned “in totality” the activities of Boko Haram sect” but also raised objections to the activities of security personnel (JTF) especially soldiers deployed throughout the north to protect lives and property. The activities of the security personnel left their members to wonder whether they were not sent to the region on a “genocide mission.” Of particular concern to the group is the activities of the security personnel in Maiduguri where “available records indicate


Northern elders and national security the figures of those killed by the JTF to be in thousands, most of whom were arrested/ apprehended before they were extra judicially executed. In the past forthnight alone the JTF has razed to the ground not fewer than fifty houses in the neighbourhood of Shehuri north, Korongoso and Abbaganaram wards of Maiduguri.” According to the Forum, complaints against the activities of the JTF are not restricted to Maiduguri. It said there have been similar incidences in several parts of the north such as Damaturu, Azare, Gombe, Mubi etc. “The JTF is currently holding thousands of people, mostly youths, in various detention centers all over the country under dehumanizing conditions, including allegedly one underground detention center where the inmates are said to be on a rationed feeding of half a loaf of N100 worth of bread per day, with four of them sharing a sachet of what is called pure water per day. Other issues of concern to the Forum are the “inciteful, sectional and religious rhetoric by persons, some of whom are holding high positions in society, mostly condemning and disparaging whole groups or sections especially from the North”. The group also raised alarm over some disturbing actions of the

Jonathan administration which it said are inimical to national unity and development. These include the arbitrary and indiscriminate retirement of senior officers in the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Customs Service, the Nigerian Immigration service

government and Boko Haram. These are indeed weighty issues to be brought to the President’s desk especially by people who at one time or the other held sensitive positions in Nigeria’s public life. It is somehow salutary that the President promised to study the submission and call the

Of particular concern to the group is the activities of the security personnel in Maiduguri where “available records indicate the figures of those killed by the JTF to be in thousands, most of whom were arrested/apprehended before they were extra judicially executed and in Ministries, departments and Agencies; disparity in citing federal projects; the suspicious relocation and creation of military installations and services from and in some parts of the country; downgrading of exploration activities for hydrocarbon in the North; disparity of appointments into the Federal public services and break up of dialogue between the federal

group back within a week to discuss the issues raised. But the problem with the northern pressure groups and power brokers is that they are so many that the President may spend his remaining three years in office attending to them. At the beginning of the present republic in 1999, the Arewa Consultative Forum emerged as the umbrella organization for the north. It

claimed to be a socio cultural organization to anchor the north’s stand on a number of issues. But its regular pronouncements on such issues like cabinet appointments and the 2005 National Political Reform Conference convinced everybody that it was more political than cultural. Before too long, Olusola Saraki, the strong man of Kwara politics broke ranks with the ACF to form the Northern Union. Today, there are so many splinter groups in the north that it is difficult for even the President to know who really speaks on behalf of the north. Consequently, the ACF has lost its intimidating voice that made it reminiscent of the days of the first republic when the Sardauna of Sokoto’s pronouncements sent shivers down the political spine of the country. Today, the federal government can afford to and has severally disregarded threats and advice from the ACF. Even northern state governors have called off its bluff. What has brought the north down from its high political horse? Bad leadership. The Northern regional government headed by Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto was very transparent. He set targets and even with the lean resources available to him achieved those targets. The Continued on page 15

Youth empowerment: The K wankw aso example Kw ankwaso By Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi


rmed with numerous empowerment initiatives in his ideological kitty, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State came into office well-prepared to tackle the daunting challenges bequeathed to him by his predecessor. Since his triumphant return to power, the major thrust of his policies centers on populistoriented programmes. The level of achievements recorded in the last one year shows that he did not come by accident nor did he come unprepared. He saw the problems when he was out of power, he met the problems when he assumed office and he is now conquering the problems right from their roots. As he always says, security does not just entail that of lives and property (which he places high premium on), but also job security (which he provides through myriad of empowerment policies) and food security (evident in the laurels the state receives in agricultural development recently). Prudent management of resources, transparency in government decisions, poverty alleviation, commitment to

education, healthcare service delivery and general infrastructural feats are elements that paint the theme of this administration. The first budget of our government, which has a ratio of 65:35 in favor of capital expenditure, buttressed my point. While applauding the governor for husbandry of public till, many leading economists said the budget is first of a kind in this democratic era. Worried by the fate of the army of youths who staked their lives to vote and protect their votes, Governor Kwankwaso rolled out empowerment policies that will help alleviate poverty among the people. From Lafiya Jari scheme, the employment of traffic assistants, the employment of more than 1,000 graduates, the women empowerment, down to the newly-born taxi scheme, Kano youths are now enjoying the dividends of democracy under Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. One of the pillars of our government’s empowerment initiatives is Lafiya Jari, a longrunning initiative that empowers the youths on one hand, and on another hand brings affordable drugs to the people. A clear case of nipping two birds with a stone.

Another interesting aspect is that the beneficiaries of this scheme during the first tenure of His Excellency between 1999 and 2003, have achieved an appreciable degree of success so far. For these youths, the sky is not just the limit but the beginning. Determined to also empower the graduates of Health Technology and those of Schools of Nursing and Midwifery who were yet to secure gainful employment or entrepreneurial support from the previous government, Governor Kwankwaso directed for their inclusion in this highly-successful scheme. The new beneficiaries of this scheme are well trained and vetted in line with His Excellency’s penchant for manpower development and quality service delivery. After undergoing a formal training and obtaining their certificates/ diplomas in healthcare service delivery, the present administration therefore offered them a free take-off capital of N50,000 each. But the empowerment package did not just stop at the formal training and the capital, the government went a step

further to offer flexible micro credit facility of N100,000 that will enable them buy drugs and other relevant stock. The beneficiaries are to utilise the amount to procure drugs from the state-owned drug consumable supply company in the form of a revolving loan repayable within 18-month period. Through this process, the government can also check the proliferation of fake and counterfeit drugs. Already hundreds of beneficiaries of this scheme have started business, and they would soon go in concert with the earlier beneficiaries in terms of successes. And this is not just a one-off affair as it will run throughout the tenure of this government. In order to have even spread of the scheme benefits in the 44 local government areas of the state, each local government presents their nominees who were screened through a transparent process by a panel. The membership of the panel is drawn from the lafiya Jari committee, the Community Reorientation Committee (a hugely-successful sister scheme) the Kwankwasiyya movement (serving as a watchdog), and the Kano Proper Committee (a very vital committee that promotes good

conduct and ethics in handling government affairs). With the apparent success of his empowerment initiatives, other states and policy makers are borrowing a leaf from him. While the political opponents were pontificating about the enormity of the plans, Governor Kwankwaso proved them wrong as his marshal plan and blue print began to take a pragmatic inroad. Apart from the foregoing, the administration has also established 20 training institutes, two universities and a number of colleges in just a period of one year. Most of the institutes have already begun session, while others have graduated sets of trainees. With this dazzling array of empowerment initiatives, it is little wonder that the present administration receives torrents of commendations from editorialists and respected public affairs critics. Equally gladdening is the fact that other states in the federation are copying the policies. Even without perusing the nation’s poverty index, one can infer that Kano State’s ranking has changed significantly under the present administration. Bichi is the Secretary to Kano State Government


By: Ifeanyi Izeze


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) deserves a Nobel laurel for its record in churning out Group Managing Directors as compared to apex national oil monopolies of other oil producing countries, particularly those of the OPEC cartel. Is it not recordbreaking that in the last 10 years the NNPC has produced seven Group Managing Directors? However, if President Goodluck Jonathan expected applause for the sack of the entire leadership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), obviously he is not going to get it, at least from those who know where the real problems of the nation’s apex oil company comes from. The President’s action was a mere naked ‘owigiri dance’ because he deliberately failed to properly situate/address the root of the gross financial malfeasance in the NNPC which to a great extent, was not the fault of the top management though they cannot be completely extricated from complicity in the rot. According to a statement by the Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, the sack was to further strengthen the ongoing reforms and transformation of the petroleum sector. As said, “The action of the President was in furtherance of efforts to achieve greater transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector.” By Ifeanyi Uddin Those loud speakers mounted outside the churches, and turned our way, what purpose(s) do they serve, but to aggravate? Too loud to be turned in on the faithful, they become an auto-da-fé that kaffirs (remember, the only way one could suffer this brunt, is for failing to go to church) must endure. ver the past week, I have been at the receiving end of a most cruel and unusual punishment: sleep deprivation! Now, familiar though this torture style might sound, I do not live in or near the US’ terrorist containment facilities in Guantanamo Bay, nor close to or inside Iraq’s infamous Abu Ghraib prison. Neither am I a political prisoner in some Third World tin pot dictator’s lock-up shops. Instead, I reside in Iju (as close to suburbia as you can get in Lagos without becoming countrified, and close enough to the site of the Dana plane crash to have caused worry to kit and kin that day). So, what did I do wrong to have had this punishment inflicted on me? Along with the answer to the question around who my torturers are, this is where this tale gets Kafkaesque. Lest I forget, I should aid this narrative by including in it, the fact that I do live in a part of the Iju suburb properly designated “residential”. Until, that is, this church decided to set up shop a couple of houses from mine. That was some three years ago. It feels like an eternity now,



Sack of NNPC leadership: Dancing around the real problem To a great extent, the NNPC was the organisation. The presidency in the operations of the NNPC, the architect of its misfortunes. of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo started especially in money matters has The top Management of the this unholy relationship and ever done more harm and made the corporation especially within the since, any sitting administration corporation completely lose its in business last 14 years allowed the sees the NNPC as a cash cow to be credibility Presidency to use them to ridicule milked, and in most times, in transactions both at home and abroad. It is not a Jonathan thing the organisation’s efforts at being unsustainable manners. anything near a credible and However, if we are now ready at all. It was instituted by King Obasanjo when serious-minded he reigned as the national oil s o l e interest. This is administrator of the truth. the entire oil and No doubt Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text gas sector using that since the messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written even NNPC NNPC was contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 funds to run his established in words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and P e o p l e s 1977 to oversee a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed Democratic t h e to: Party activities management and campaigns. and operation That was why we of the nation’s The Editor, had people like oil industry, it Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, the former PDP had not only 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. C h a i r m a n failed to Email: let heading the establish itself SMS: 07037756364 “lucrative” cow as an active oil m i l k i n g company in business to make profit, it also failed to redress the fraud and corruption conscription- the PPPRA. We had in establishing administrative culture in the NNPC system, the what happened during the fight structures that is free from approach must be holistic if it’s a between Obasanjo and his deputy government manipulations. And sincere one. All these years, we Atiku over how the NNPC was this led to the 100 percent hijack have majorly dwelt on the bad used for purposes other than our of the day-to-day financial and eggs in the system ignoring the collective national interests. And business decisions- making hen that has continued to lay it has been so through Yar’adua muscles of the corporation by the these bad eggs. It is time we place and now to Jonathan- nothing Presidency under the pretence of the NNPC problem in proper has changed. So blanket condemnation of correcting the fraud and culture perspective. of corruption often associated with The Presidency’s interference the NNPC as inefficient and fraud

infested may not be enough in our genuine quest to unravel the demon that has continued to hold the corporation moribund. Every concerned Nigerian should bother to ask where and how the NNPC gets the funds to run its operations including the joint venture obligations. Does the Corporation really have anything like its own budget in the strict sense of the term? Any performance or transparency rating/assessment of the NNPC would be out rightly biased and grossly incomplete if it does not take due consideration of the negative effects of the undue Presidency’s interferences in the activities of the corporation. Ask me, and I would say that the parasitic marriage of convenience between the Presidency and the NNPC be dissolved immediately rather than re-packaging it under the guise of reform and restructuring for transparency and accountability. There is no amount of restructuring that would make NNPC corruption/fraud-free and profit-driven if the corporation continues to take direct instructions from the Presidency or even any other government agency that is not schooled in the highly technical oil and gas

but in this period, it has been a damascene experience of sorts. A journey through infernal noise, in search of eternal values. Gingerly picking my way through a bog of moral and secular questions. In an increasingly virtual world, is there for instance a new moral to the Samaritan tale? Are we not building new incentive structures on the fact that one does not get rewards, coins, or expandable packs for selflessness in online role-playing games? Does it matter that the emphasis in our virtual experiences is as much on stealth, as it is on interdicting opponents with extreme prejudice? What about the old tension between the speck in my neighbour’s eyes and the log in mine? On the other hand, is that strange process, ongoing, by which our lived experience is virtualised also resolving this contradiction in the person of the modern day pastor: urbane, witty, natty, and post-legal? Moreover, it is safe to presume that somewhere in our modern reformation of the concept of “chance” (it no longer exist, business schools tell us, only the marriage of “preparedness” and “opportunity” do) we have lost the karmic resonance of the requirement that we “do unto other as we expect to be done by them”. Do “globalisation” and its

an auto-da-fé that kaffirs (remember, the only way one could suffer this brunt, is for failing to go to church) must endure. Is there a cause-effect relationship here? One that the Christ recognised, and on account of which He took His sermons out of town, atop mountains, away from built up areas: as always, giving unto Caesar what was his, and to God His dues? And our modern day Caesar: the secular state? Most appeals to this arbiter failed. As secretary (for a while) to the residents’ association, and through the community development association, we did reach out to the Lagos State Government. Did it help that the building permit for this violator of sleep is not for a church, but for some form of parish residence? No! The adviser to the governor on religious affairs spoke to the need for good “neighbourliness” (that word, again), stressing the reluctance of the state to do anything that could poison the religious atmosphere. In a democracy? I thought that only a corporatist state would argue the interest of organisations over that of individual electors. On the other hand, we may just be witnessing the final stage of a very bad play: the resolution of the supposedly timeless and antagonistic contradiction between Caesar and God!!!


Contd. on page 15

The fisherman’s heir “

It is safe to presume that somewhere in our modern reformation of the concept of “chance” (it no longer exist, business schools tell us, only the marriage of “preparedness” and “opportunity” do) we have lost the karmic resonance of the requirement that we “do unto other as we expect to be done by them” shrinking of our shared space not compel a redefinition of that noun with which we have long described those living or located near us? In a global village, we are all “neighbours.” Would it then not be tautological to require that we “love our neighbours as we love ourselves”. Once I define myself as a “neighbour”, simultaneously dissolving the old contradiction between myself and significant others in the anonymity of the “World Wide Web”, am I not justified in a new narcissism: one that the high-resolution touch screen tablet computer is bound to exacerbate, going forward? Through time even have I journeyed (as my “neighbours” succumbed to the scriptural

injunction to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”) trying to understand how a philosophy purportedly based on giving could create interpersonal relations this vile. I do not refer, in this instance, to the extremism of the Boko Haram sect: alienation of the same type as I have encountered, no doubt, but several notches higher, I believe. Nor to the diverse variants of terrorism that has arisen as religion, through the ages, deployed its proselytising legions. No! Those loud speakers mounted outside the churches, and turned our way, what purpose(s) do they serve, but to aggravate? Too loud to be turned in on the faithful, they become


By Ibrahim Modibbo


n my quiet moments of writing this piece, I recalled with nostalgia a paper delivered in Enugu, by Miriam Ekejiani Clark, a professor and former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, who declared Nigeria a failed state. She said came to that conclusion because of “undue political patronage to low quality democrats, who now pilot the affairs of government that woefully failed to provide or improve infrastructural facilities in Nigeria.” Having set the template for discourse on this issue of fundamental importance, one is at liberty to critically examine the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed’s 700 days in office. It is songs of sorrow and lamentations as the FCT is drifting in almost every department of human endeavour. With a clear demonstration of blatant ineptitude, comprehensive incompetence and cluelessness of wider proportions that one could decipher, the dream of many Nigerians of developing a world class capital city out of Abuja could only be a wishful thinking as the man lacks the vision and mission of executing the people’s mandate. Top fight analysts are of the opinion that the last 700 days of Mohammed’s administration in the FCT have not been worth recalling with fanfare as all indices of socio-economic development are gradually drifting from the sublime to the ridiculous. As a resident and a student of development strategies, I have followed with keen interest the activities of the current Minister of the FCT. To say that I am not personally disappointed with the poverty of governance which, to a large extent, has been raised to an acceptable statecraft, is, to say the least, foolhardy. The 700 days gone by were


FCT: This is paradise lost days of lost glory and perverted adventure in strategic thinking. So Nigerians who expect something good to come out from the FCT under Mohammed, had better forget it as there seems to be nothing noteworthy to cheer about, but jeers and tears for a nation’s capital. In fact, the actions and body language of the Minister during the period under review tend to suggest yawning gaps due to intellectual paucity and logical puerility on how to transform this critical sector that represents the heart and soul of the nation. Although President Goodluck Jonathan came to power through a dubious political arrangement, yet expectations were high as people clamoured for patriotic individuals who could be positive agents of the transformation agenda. But sadly, there is no paradigm shift to stem the tide of half measured solutions to our teething problems. Instead, there is a lack of honest, transparent and selfless approach to governance, while allegations of high profile corruption and monumental looting of the public till occupy the centre stage. In the last 700 days, the FCT got a lot of funds from the coffers of the Federal Government, but there is little or absolutely nothing in terms of concrete achievements in Abuja. The consensus among many scholars is that Abuja is swiftly becoming a safe heaven for anti-people policies, abuse of due process and negative impact of the rule of law. It is lamentable that the physical beauty of Abuja is fast fading as the minister who seems to be at the crossroads due to poverty of ideas on how to improve the existing structures cannot take us to the Promised Land. I am afraid that if Senator Mohammed continues to govern the FCT in the

next one year, we should be thinking of the Stone Age. It is the opinion of many that if meaningful development is to come to Abuja, then Jonathan should save the FCT from the jaws and fangs of political jobbers who bestride the territory like a Colossus and rule it as a conquered territory. The question is, what criteria has President Jonathan used in appointing his ministers and assessing their performances? Is it based on blind party loyalty, sycophancy or what? It is a common knowledge that though Bala Mohammed’s appointment came as part of the “job for the boys” for assisting the President to come to power when late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua was on his death-bed, I think, time is up, for the pay back time has elapsed. Apart from payment of workers’ salaries and clamping down on hapless prostitutes, I cannot in all honesty enumerate the achievements of Senator Mohammed in the FCT. I think it is tragic in strategic thinking to prioritize the renaming of Maitama Phase II to Goodluck Jonathan Zone, and the alleged confiscation of Turai Yar’adua’s land for onward delivery to Dame Patience Jonathan as critical areas of achievement. It is being rumoured that the ministers’ aides are deeply involved in land deals, with green areas hitherto reclaimed by ElRufai, now given to close friends and associates for development of residential and commercial edifices. Former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, had set a bar of high standard which many of his contemporaries cannot come to terms with. Though smallish in stature, his vision was limitless, while his proverbial shoes remain an over-sized for modern day Rip-van winkles or spineless Lilliputians. Like him or hate him for his guts

and gusto in leaving lasting legacies, Abuja under El-Rufai witnessed optimum capacity utilization of its scarce resources. As a committed, resourceful and result-oriented Nigerian, El-Rufai was averse to failure in the FCT. The then minister made Abuja a place of pride in the comity of nations as the city recorded high level development projects that attracted commendations from even his ardent critics. Subscribing to international best practices, then, Abuja was a cynosure of beauty in SubSaharan Africa. El-Rufai bequeathed a clean city with cultivated green areas and children’s parks. He was impatient with law breakers, irrespective of their social status. He moved in the bulldozers to remove shanties that were eyesores, white structures that fell outside the Abuja master-plan, such as on sewage lines, high tension cables and green areas, were uprooted. The former minister banned street hawking, evacuated beggars who constituted a colony in the FCT and outlawed commercial motorcycles (aka okada). Trade and commerce flourished under peace and tranquility, while social infrastructure was maintained and improved upon. That was the golden era of the FCT. Sadly, all these achievements are fast fading due to non-conformity with standards and lack of continuity. What we have today is a dirty city where anything goes. Okada operators are daring the government as they operate with impunity into the heart of the city. Describing the current administration as inept, naïve and weak, the okada riders are commonly seen around Area One overhead bridge, Asokoro flyover and even in high-brow Maitama

District. Hawking by under-aged children is now common place and beggars are back on our streets. The cultivated green areas and gardens that were once a delight to the soul and a soothing balm to the heart are now overgrown by tall weeds, thus becoming a safe heaven for dangerous reptiles. It is curious to note that many traffic lights are no longer working as it used to, while lunatics and the disabled control some of the ever increasing traffic in the FCT. Having gone to Lagos on a working visit, I thought the Minister might have gone on a shopping spree on how government works in other climes. The Babatunde Fashola experience would have been a good template to build on, but alas! It was alleged that the minister, after a dose of criticism for lackluster performance by some media organizations in Abuja, recently ordered his henchmen to use their bulldozers to demolish structure in the State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalism (NUJ), in Utako. An aide of the minister was quoted as saying “this is to teach the Journalists a lesson that we are in government. If El-Rufai could be associated with the mass transit buses and the return of sanity to the Abuja master plan, the former minister, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo; to ban on smoking and city boulevard, while Adamu Aliero for the creation of speed bumps, what would Mohammed be leaving behind as his legacy? To save us from the current calamity, I think President Jonathan will do Nigerians a lot of good by effecting swift changes that can bring back the lost glory of the FCT. The time is now because we must help building institutions of democracy that are devoid of generational corruption and under-development. Ibrahim Modibbo resides in Abuja.

Sack of NNPC leadership: Dancing around the real problem Contd. from page 14

exploration and production business even the marketing of the crude and products. The Presidency should completely hands- off the NNPC so that the corporation can function like a commercial profit-driven business outfit. Is it no interesting that everybody in the NNPC who should refund or at least tell us how to trace and retrieve the stolen fuel subsidy money is being sacked in an ‘operation sweep’ style. Who is Contd. from page 13

legacies are there on the ground for all to see: sound, qualitative education that enabled Iya Abubakar, a village boy from Belel to gain entrance at the University of Ibadan and beat all the southern students to acquire a first class degree in mathematics and the setting up of a first class university in Zaria. Sir Ahmadu Bello’s government also set up agricultural research centres all over the north. The end product was that the north was able to

going to be held responsible for the monumental fraud in the fuel subsidy scam? How is the stolen billions going to be retrieved from the alleged culprits if actually those NNPC officials were the ones responsible for the fraud? Is it not obvious that somebody or an office that was actually responsible, maybe by proxy, wants to cleanup/cover something? In the past few months, the nation has spent billions of naira on the refineries’ revamp project working to bring back the

refineries. And there have been some results to this effect no matter how small, as the Kaduna and Port Harcourt Refineries have started working progressively towards their installed capacities from their present disabled setting. Now we have sacked the people incharge of this operation. So are we going to start all over again or accept that nothing is going to come out from the exercise after the huge resources already committed to the exercise? Is it deliberate that the first causality of the President’s

decision to sack the entire leadership of the NNPC is definitely going to be the ongoing Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) and revamp of the four existing nameplate refineries intended to put them back on stream to operate at least somewhere near acceptable capacities? Let’s watch and see. Severally, I have challenged those incharge of the NNPC to institute an independent audit of its finances and come up with a strong case to prove that the problems of the corporation had

been extraneous. And again, whether the latest Group Managing Director, Andrew Yakubu likes it or not, if he does not pioneer this self audit, he will go the way of his predecessors and with the same accusations as any assessment coming from outside the corporation would continue to indict the NNPC Management of fiscal irresponsibility. This is the truth! Ifeanyi Izeze can be reached on or 2348033043009

Northern elders and national security

service its budget and even give out some surplus to the government at the centre. The groundnut pyramids of Northern Nigeria were a pride to lovers of agriculture all over the world. The achievements were endless. The tragedy of the north is that those who inherited the mantle of leadership from the Sardauna did not toe his line. Instead of embracing the man’s policy of “one north, one people, one destiny”, they embarked on a

frightening policy of discrimination and humiliation of northerners who were classified as none core northerners. The “core northerners” were made to believe that they were a superior race and had the birth right to hold the other northerners in perpetual subservient positions. To sustain this obnoxious policy, deliberate indoctrination and brain washing was embarked upon. It is this campaign of religious and ethnic superiority that has led to

the emergence of the Maitasine uprisings in the 80’s and 90’s and now the more menacing Boko Haram campaign. Majority of the Northern Elders who went to see President Goodluck Jonathan cannot wash their hands clean of the current carnage unleashed by Boko Haram. Why are they shifting the blame to somebody else? They want the President to hold dialogue with people who have advertised a manifesto that is

against the corporate existence of Nigeria? Who are these people in Boko Haram that Northern Elders want the President to discuss with? If the Boko Haram people are known to Northern Elders and the Elders want so much peace for Nigeria, why can’t they go and hold these discussions on behalf of the government? David Manchok contributed this piece from Kaduna where he resides


No going back on Lugbe demolition, others, says Devt. Control By Josephine Ella


he Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has said there is no going back on its decision to embark on massive demolition of nineteen villages in the FCT before the end of the year. To be affected by the impending demolition are Idu Karmo/DApe, Tasha, Gwagwa, Saburi, Zauda, Jahi, Gishiri, Mpape, Kuchigoro, Chika, Aleita, Piwoyi, Lugbe, Pyakassa, Tudun-Wada, Dei-Dei and Guzape communities. The Public Relation Officer (PRO), Mrs Josie Mudasiru, who reiterated this during an interview in Abuja stressed that the department would not rescind the exercise which is aimed at ridding the territory of illegal structures and shanties. She therefore, warned residents of the affected areas against the impending demolition, urging them to relocate in order to avoid the bulldozers. She said that sensitisation exercises that would usher in the demolition exercise is on going in the affected villages as officers of the department have been meeting with stakeholders on the various platform in the villages for over a month now. Asked if the exercise would affect the entire communities pencilled down, Mudasiru said she could not be specific but said it would affect every owner of illegal structures and shanties in the area and those that have not regularise their titles. On the planned demolition which would affect the ‘Lugbe Across’ the PRO was silent about question directed to her on the subsisting legal suit instituted by residents against the board. It would be recalled that an attempt of the Development Control to demolish the Lugbe Across between 2008/2009 was thwarted by residents of the area who resorted to legal action against the department to seek redress. However the PRO said whether the said nineteen villages went to court or not the department will continue to be law abiding in carrying out its activities saying anytime court gave its verdict Development Control has no choice than to abide.


Pastor, another charged for impregnating teenager, illegal abortion


pastor and his accomplice have been arraigned at an Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court in Karu for criminal conspiracy, false impersonation, criminal intimidation, criminal force and assault. The accused are Apostle

Basil Princewill of Mountain Mover Fire Ministry Church, Nyanya and Pauline Okoh Odey of Block E 7, Flat 1 FCDA Owners Occupier Estate, Nyanya, Abuja. Police Prosecutor, Oyemisi Abiola had told the court that on July 2, 2012 the

Teenage girls selling groundnuts in Garki, Abuja, recently.

Commissioner of Police, FCT received transferred case file with covering letter from National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP). Abiola said that on June 22, an information reached NAPTIP that the first accused

Photo: Justin Imo-owo

person Princewill and the second accused person Odey conspired among themselves. He further said that the first accused Princewill had several unlawful carnal knowledge with a 14-year- old and another 15-year-old girls both students and also members of his church. Abiola said that the Apostle did that on pretence that he was carrying out deliverance on them and in the process he impregnated the first victim. He added that the first accused discovered that, he conspired with second accused person Odey, who took the victim to Fantami Head Medical Centre, Mararaba, Nasarawa, and falsely claimed to be the father of the victim. The Prosecutor said that the girls pregnancy was aborted without her consent and intimidated her that if she disclosed the situation to anybody that she would die. Furthermore, Abiola said that before the incident, the first accused person Princewilll falsely claimed to his church members including the mothers of the victims to be a lawyer. According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Sections 97, 179, 397B, and 268 of the Penal code. The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge and Chief Shuaibu Ahmed granted them bail in the sum of N5 million each with one surety in like sum. Ahmed ordered that the surety must be civil servant of Grade Level 14 or a business man with landed property of N5 million that resided within FCT and adjourned the case to July 25, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Teenage guard arraigned for alleged theft


ne Tukur Usman, 18, has been arraigned before an Abuja Magistrate’s Court, for alleged theft. Police Prosecutor, Simeon Roko told the court that on July 1, 2012 Richard Anim of 8 Bissau Street, Wuse Zone 6,

Abuja, reported the case at the Utako Police Station. Roko said the accused, who was a security man at the complainant’s building site, stole a 1.5 mm multiple cable from the site. The prosecutor listed other items allegedly stolen to include

a 2.5 mm multiple cable, 40 mm multiple cable and 20 coils, all valued at N800,000. Roko said the offence contravenes the provisions of Section 288 of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty. The Magistrate, Mrs

Fatimah Malo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100,000 and a surety in the like sum. Malo said the surety must reside within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and adjourned the case to July 25, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

FCTA to distribute cleaning materials to residents By Josephine Ella


n a bid to encourage participation in the newly introduced community environmental sanitation initiative of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), the Special Adviser to FCT Minister of State, Alhaji Ibraheem Aminu Ibraheem

has said that the administration will distribute cleaning materials to residents at the grassroot. Ibraheem, who spoke to journalists in his office called on residents of the six area councils of the FCT to embrace the initiative. According to him, the initiative could not have come at any other time than now

when the area councils are facing the problem of improper waste disposal and blocked drainages. He noted that these environmental problems if properly tackled could lead to outbreak of epidemic such as cholera and diarrhoea. He however, pointed out that the initiative would help create a sense of urgency in the

residents to be alive to their responsibility in keeping their environment clean. Ibraheem added that the initiative which was kicked off at Gwagwalada Area Council by the Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide and equally launched at Kuduru village in Bwari Area Council would be replicated in all the villages in the six area

councils. While affirming that the FCT administration would do everything possible to support the villagers in keeping their environment clean, he disclosed that cleaning equipment such as hand gloves, brooms, wheel barrows among others would be made available to communities for the exercise.


Man, 35, docked for alleged forgery


aymond Akpama, 35, of Angwa TV Street, Karu, Abuja has appeared before an Upper Area Court in Karu, Abuja, for alleged forgery and attempt to commit theft. Police Prosecutor Ambi Ayuba told the court that Mr Anthony Awugolu of No. 792 Mohammed Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja, reported the incident at the Garki Police Station on June 28. Ayuba alleged that the accused came with a forged Diamond Bank cheque with serial No. 11925298, belonging to one Solomon Nyagba. He said the accused took the cheque to Diamond Bank branch in Garki 2, Abuja, to withdraw N1.6 million. The prosecutor said the offences of forgery and attempt to steal contravened the provisions of Sections 327 and 90 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and the Presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, granted him bail in the sum of N1.7 million with one surety in like sum. Kagarko said the surety must be reasonable and reliable, and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to September 4, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)


Demolition: Abuja indigenes appeal to FG, FCDA to have rethink By Adeola Tukuru


buja indigenes have warned the Federal Government (FG) and the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) against the planned demolition of 19 communities in the FCT. The President, Greater

Gbagyi Development Initiative (GG-DIN), Prince Gbaiza Gimba who spoke on behalf of the indigenes, advised the relevant authorities to have a rethink over the decision for the common interest of all indigenes. According to him, “the Federal Government and the authority in charge of the

demolition, should take note of the landmark orders of Kado and Gosa villages, when the court of justice ruled in favour of the original natives”. Gimba noted with regret that governments have continued to embark on demolition without considering their plights despite the greatest sacrifices

made by their fore fathers who relinquished their means of livelihood which is their farm lands to ensure that FCT became a reality. As one of the proactive measures to avert the impending demolition of their original habitats, the group said they intend to send a letter to the Minister of FCT and other relevant bodies.

Fourteen bag four weeks imprisonment for nuisance


n Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court on Friday sentenced 14 persons to four weeks imprisonment each for constituting themselves into public nuisance. They include Aminu Mohammed, Laminu Musa, Saminu Sani, Haruna Mohammed, Jamilu Audu and Abdullahi Ismail. Others are Sani Umar, Shehu Umar, Idris Adamu, Auwalu Saidu, Baba Ali Audu, Sani Musa, Rufai Hassan and Mohammed Bashir. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the convicts were arrested by a police patrol team at Banex junction, Wuse 2, Abuja, close to the scene of Tuesday’s bomb blast. Senior Magistrate Hadiza Shagari said although they had shown remorse, the accused had failed to give genuine reason for their action. She said: “They will still be punished for this to serve as a deterrent to others”. Shagari, however, gave each of them the option to pay N500 fine, having pleaded guilty to the charge. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Mohammed Ahmed, had told the court that the 14 accused persons were arrested on July 5, 2012 by a patrol team led by SP Kabiru Mohammed of Maitama Police Division. Ahmed said the accused were arrested at a black spot within Banex junction in a manner annoying to the public contrary to and punishable under section 183 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

A motorcycle repairer at his workshop yesterday in Nyanya, Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-owo

MDGs chairmen appeal for support towards food production By Adeola Tukuru


he Chairmen of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) projects in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) at the weekend call on the Federal Government and government at other levels to support them in order to ensure adequate food production, through farming. Bwari chairman of the MDGs, Hon. Thomos Marcus Yaupe, who spoke on behalf of the chairmen, said that they could

feed the entire city of Abuja and as well make increase revenue through agriculture, urging the Federal Government to invest more resources on farming. According to him, the current farming season has offered them the opportunity of getting over Five Hundred and Eighty (580) tons of grains which are currently stored in their central store in Kwali for further repackaging. This was as he pleaded for more support from the Minister of the FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed to make the projects more viable

for the interest of the people. He commended the Agric Department of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) for the first hand information derived by visiting all the area councils in the territory in order to render assistance needed and further appealed for prompt release of farming incentives to farmers in the territory to enable them carry out their farming operation without hitches. Yaupe decried the late release of farming incentives and fertilizers to farmers in the territory last year, adding that

such had adverse effect on food production and farm yield as most farmers were left with few bags of fertilizer, coupled with poor road network among other challenges which hampers farming activities. He further stressed the need to provide more bags of fertilizer for farmers and also called on the area council chairmen to ensure immediate flag-off of fertilizers to farmers, in order to encourage farming activities, saying that delayed could endanger some farming activities particularly in rural areas.

Bwari Council commences house-to-house inspection


he Bwari Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has commenced a house-to-house inspection exercise to encourage healthy living in the area. Head of the council’s Environmental Department, Mr Haruna Labaran, made the disclosure in Bwari in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

“The house-to-house inspection exercise will inculcate day-to-day sanitation practice amongst residents in the area. When residents imbibe daily sanitation practice, death cases will reduce because of minimal reports of diseases. “Also, there will be no build up of refuse dumps around dwelling places that can spread

cholera,” Labaran stated. He said the environmental department had the backing of Mr Peter Yohanna, the Chairman of the Council, to sanction any sanitation. Labaran advised residents to stop dumping refuse on sewage pipes to avoid flood that could destroy lives and property. He called on landlords to make good soak-away pits for

tenants to prevent them from unhygienic practices that could cause sicknesses for dwellers. NAN reports that the inspection cuts across popular, including 16/16, Sabon-gari and Kuduru areas of the council. Labaran said that residents who flouted rules guiding the sanitation exercise would be charged to mobile courts. (NAN)






- Pg 22

Eni blames sabotage for Nigeria oil spillage

Mob: 08033644990

L-R: TUC Senior Programme Officer, Comrade Tunji Seeoni, Delta State Chairman of AMFSON, Hon. Anthony Amitaye, National Secretary of AMFSON, Alhaji Usman A.Usman, TUC Secretary-General, Comrade John Kolawole and AMFSON National President, Chief Andrew Ashga at the AMFSON /TUC one-day workshop on in Abuja, yesterday.

Filling stations owners seek strong ties with NNPC By Abdulwahab Isa


o enhance unhindered distribution of petroleum products nationwide, the Association of Mega Filling Stations Owners of Nigeria (AMFSON) is advocating a close ties with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). AMFSON President , Chief Andrew Ashiga stated recently in Abuja at a one day workshop

in collaboration with the Trade Union Congress (TUC). He said filling stations owners are determined to work with the NNPC Retail to fasttrack product distribution as according to him, such a relationship will enable the federal government achieve its transformation agenda programme. Chief Ashiga further commented on recent change of guard at top helms of affairs

at NNPC noting the change was necessary . He pledged his group readiness to work with the new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Engr. Andrew Yakubu to realise his goals in the down stream sector of the petroleum industry. He said his group is committed to working with Yakubu for the economic development of the country through a perfect product

distribution scheme. He urged the GMD to ensure sustainable product supply to the mega filling stations as one of the means of tackling poverty in the country. According to him, an unbroken chain of product supply will go a long way to enhance economic activities. Of importance, AMFSON president urged the new NNPC GMD to pay special attention to the supply of Kerosene which is

FDI into Africa to double by 2014 - UN


oreign direct investment inflows into Africa fell in 2011 for the third consecutive year but could more than double by 2014, as stronger economic growth, ongoing reforms and high commodity prices improve investor perceptions, the United Nations said on Thursday. The decline in investment, from $43.1 billion in 2010 to $42.7 billion in 2011, was largely due to reduced inflows to North Africa as social and political unrest in Egypt and Libya deterred investors, according to the 2012 World Investment Report. Africa's share of global FDI also dropped from 3.3 percent in 2010 to 2.8 percent in 2011. However, inflows to subSaharan Africa jumped 25 percent to $36.9 billion in 2011, close to its peak of $37.3 billion in 2008, as commodity-rich

countries in west and central Africa saw a rise in new projects. The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said Africa's FDI prospects for 2012 were promising and forecast average flows of between $55 billion and $65 billion in 2012. It projected this would grow to $70-$85 billion in 2013 and $75-$100 billion in 2014.

"Inflows to Africa are expected to recover as a result of stronger economic growth, ongoing economic reforms and high commodity prices, as well as improving investor perceptions of the continent, mainly from other emerging markets," the report said. For the first time, FDI inflows from developing economies into Africa ($45.5 billion), outstripped those from developed



SELLING 0.2979 193.0042 242.253 41.57 155.9


BUYING 243 43 154

SELLING 257 45 159

class has also spurred the growth of FDI in the services sector, though FDI to the extractive industries tends to attract more attention, Zhan said. Commodity-rich countries, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo, attracted the bulk of FDI in their respective regions. Nigeria, Africa's top oil producer and most populous nation, received inflows of $8.92 billion, representing a fifth of all flows to the continent. (Source: Reuters)

Management Tip of the Day

6th July, 2012 BUYING 0.2779 191.7662 240.6991 41.3034 154.9

economies ($43.2 billion), the report showed. "In terms of green field (new) projects, which account for over 90 percent of total FDI, the largest developing-economy investors in 2011 were India, South Africa, China, Korea and Mauritius," said James Zhan, director of UNCTAD's investment and enterprise division. Africa's emerging middle

critical to families that depend on the product on daily basis to cook their meals. The Association’s Head of Monitoring of Product Supply for North-west, Mr. Patriot Prince Oscar, cautioned members of the association to continue to do their business of distribution without any thought of introducing any form of illegality which some persons are conniving with top officials to perpetrate.

Write a job description that attracts - not repels - candidates


mployers often complain that they are unable to fill open jobs. But many are looking for such a narrow set of competencies that no candidate could possibly measure up. Next time you're hiring, consider these tips: Focus on success factors,

not experience. Don't itemize every skill the candidate could possibly need. Instead, briefly list the most important abilities required for a person to succeed. Make the title clear. The way you label a job defines who will apply. Use job titles that clearly describe the profession.

Don’t use insider jargon. Watch your biases. Be careful not to include requirements that would rule out capable candidates who don't exactly match the ideal in your head. Source: Harvard Business Review



COMPANY NEWS Livestock Feeds seeks to accelerate growth with UACN partnership


ivestock Feeds Plc, a pioneer animal feed milling company in Nigeria with over 48 years in animal feed industry, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UAC of Nigeria Plc, a move that will see them raise additional equity from the capital market to finance investment and working capital needed to grow the company.

UNECA announces call for $150,000 Innovation Prize for Africa 2013


he United Nations Economic commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced the call for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) Wednesday. The prize aims to support Africans’ efforts to develop new products, increase efficiency and drive cost-savings.

IHMS optimistic over future growth with new products

Interbank rates up on Naira cash shortage


igeria’s interbank lending rates rose slightly this week to an average of 15.33 percent, from 15.16 percent last week, as naira liquidity fell, on large outflows to foreign exchange purchases, traders said on Friday. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had sold a total of $601 million at its bi-weekly foreign exchange auction this week, while some oil multinational companies also sold large dollar amounts to some banks, draining naira from the system. Also reacting to the shortage,

the naira closed up 0.75 percent against the dollar on the interbank market on Friday, dealers said. Dealers said the market opened on Friday with a cash deficit of about 12.74 billion naira ($78.59 million), compared with a cash balance of about 21 billion naira last Friday. The disbursal of budgetary allocations to government agencies last week had pushed down the cost of borrowing among banks, but large cash outflows to finance treasury bill purchases lowered liquidity in the market.

Dealers said the budget flow last week was short-lived because the market was short before the disbursal, while the inflow from matured treasury bills this week was not enough to support it. The secured Open Buy Back (OBB) rose to 14.75 percent, compared with 14.50 percent last week, 2.75 percentage points above the central bank’s 12 percent benchmark rate, and 4.75 percentage points above the Standing Deposit Facility (SDF) rate. Overnight placement closed

flat at 15.50 percent, while call money rose to 15.75 percent, compared with 15.50 percent last week. “The cost of funds will continue to rise next week because of expected outflows to treasury bills and foreign exchange purchases,” a dealer said. The Debt Management Office (DMO) plans to auction 254.61 billion naira in treasury bills with maturities ranging from 3months to one year on July 12. (Reuters)

stated that the move was in line with the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of lending support to the needy. According to Obijiaku, “Fidelity Bank strives to impact on the lives of its customers and other people around it, by putting smiles on their faces.” While commending the bank’s staff for their commitment towards the CSR project, he noted that it would go a long way to actually impact on many lives. “I commend the bank’s staff for what they have come up with. It is a reflection of what Fidelity Bank

represents. It is not just about business and profit making; It is about lending hands to the needy. “The passion of the staff toward the lending hand project is commendable. We hope other organisations can tap into this in order to make our society a better place,” he added. Group Head, Marketing Communications, Emma Esinnah explained that Fidelity’s ‘Helping Hand’ programme was conceived to make workers of the bank give back to the community as well as to help the less-privileged in the society. Giving an insight into the donation, he said: “The bank decided to reach out to Miss Akinselure when she sought the help of the bank. Since she had the accident

in 2009, it has been difficult to eat as she needs N850, 000 for her reconstructive surgery in order to be able to feed normally again. This, the bank’s staff have been able to assist her with.” According to him, Akinselure had a near fatal accident in which she sustained multiple fracture and loss to her dentition, thus necessitating the need for a reconstructive surgery to the effect. Public Relations Officer of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Mrs. Hope Nwawolo commended the bank for the gesture. She stated that the hospital had to negotiate the bill in order to support the bank in its cause, and expressed commitment to ensure that the surgery becomes successful.

Fidelity Bank lends hand to NYSC member

From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


idelity Bank Plc has donated the sum of N850,000 to a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) -Miss Omonike Akinselure, under the commercial bank’s ‘Helping Hands’ scheme. The amount which was given to her at an event held in Lagos was meant to support her in undergoing a reconstructive surgery on her jaw. Speaking at the presentation of the cheque, General Manager, Operations of the bank, Mr. Sam Obijiaku


nternational Health Management Services Limited (IHMS) is looking forward to a rewarding future as the company puts in place cutting-edge market expansion and product innovation initiatives to take optimum advantage of the various macro-economic policies designed to broaden health insurance penetration.

Increased investment in marketing shores up Honeywells revenue by 12%


oneywell Flour Mills Plc’s recently released its audited annual financial results for the year ended March 31st 2012 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) shows that turnover which is represented by revenue from sales of products, grew 12 percent, from N34 billion in the 2011 financial year to N38 billion in 2012.

First Bank Plc unveils brand ambassador for ‘12 Olympics Inflation rates from Jun, 2011 to May, 2012 Max = 12.9%, Min = 9.3% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 12.7% Source:CBN


irst Bank of Nigeria Plc has unveiled its Brand Ambassador for the 2012 Olympics and the 10 lucky winners of the ‘Save and Win’

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

promo. Bronze medallist (All Africa Games), Blessing Okagbare will fly First Bank’s flag at the Olympics while the 10 lucky winners would be attending the Olympics on full expenses of First Bank. First Bank’s Executive Director Public Sector (South), Urum Kalu Eke who relayed the relevance of the Olympics to First Bank said the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and First Bank both share a formation heritage of the year 1894. Eke in an interview affirms that First Bank believes in the person and capability of its brand ambassador, Blessing Okagbare who recently covered a sprint distance of 6.97mt at Calabar and led in the 100mts race. Meanwhile, Okagbare, in a statement has assured Nigerians of remarkable records in her representation of Nigeria at the Olympics and enjoined Nigerians to support the sprinter and urge those visiting the Olympics Village to take advantage of the various products of the First Bank in London.



All-Share Index records +2.37% gains, sustains rally


he bulls continue with their impressive bargain activities as profitable transactions dominate in most trading days of the week while the key benchmark indicator, the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) All-Share Index (ASI), closed above 22,000 psychological lines with market YTD performance currently standing at +6.66% Furthermore, the bears resurfaced to dominate market activities as ASI dips by -0.13% to open the first trading of the week negative while market resumed northwards movement in the second session to close upbeat by +0.55% amid slightly low market turnover while market sentiments remained weak due to continuous volatile sessions

witnessed in recent sessions. The bulls continue to dominate market activities in the third session as NSE ASI firms up by +1.11% due to intense bargain activities witnessed across the main board. Market sustained the rally in the fourth session as market recorded +0.55% gains while the key benchmark indicator closed above 22,000 psychological lines. Conversely, trading activities on Friday closed northwards as sentiments remained optimistic. Consequently, the key benchmark index inches up by +0.28% while market closed the week with aggregate gain of +2.37%. Further analysis on acquiring banks since transaction date

showed that the share price of Access Bank Plc has recorded +51.52% gains with FCMB recording -14.10% losses while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with +82.30% gain. However, Sterling Bank Plc recorded -8.66% losses while ETI also closed negative with -10.45% loss recorded. However, the All-Share Index in the week under review moved up by +2.37% to close at22,110.91 as against an upbeat by +0.96% recorded last week to close at 21,599.57. In the same vein, the market capitalization in the week appreciated by N163.24 billion (US$1.08 billion) to close at N7.05 trillion (US$47.04 billion) as against appreciation by

N65.37 billion (US$435.84 million) recorded last week to close at N6.89 trillion (US$ 45.95billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 1.00 billion units valued at N8.50 billion (US$56.68 million) compared with 5.38 billion units valued at N22.46 billion (US$149.73 million) exchanged in 17,019 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved down by -81.29% as against upwards movement by +482.31% recorded last week. Weekly value also went down by 62.14% as against positive position of +256.88% recorded last week.

in FY’2013 numbers. In terms of assets, the company achieved high double digit growth rates. Total assets grew 54 per cent to N45 billion via the acquisition of several strategic assets, including a state-of-the-art fully automated warehousing and inventory control system. “In the year reported, Honeywell Flour Mills forged stronger relationships with its distributors and strategic partners through several business-to-business engagement forums and initiatives aimed at improving its distribution network ahead of planned capacity increase”. Honeywell Flour anticipates more impressive results and appreciable growth in the 2013

financial year, when additional capacity from its 1,000MT/day twin mill facility, which is close to completion, finally comes on stream. This capacity increase of 62 per cent, will take total milling capacity to 2,610MT/day and will be reflected in increased sales and profit. To support its longer term aspirations, the company is looking to expand its growth platforms via the introduction of new brands in the near term, that will participate in fast growing food segments to meet the needs of consumers. Honeywell Flour is one of the largest flour millers in Nigeria and is the preferred producer of high quality bread flour and other wheat based foods. Its range of products include: Honeywell Superfine Flour, Honeywell Semolina, Honeywell Whole Wheat meal and variants of Honeywell pasta and Honeywell Instant Noodles.

Increased investment in marketing shores up Honeywell’s revenue by 12%


oneywell Flour Mills Plc., Nigeria’s premier producer of wheat based products, recently released its audited annual financial results for the year ended March 31st 2012 on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). The report shows that turnover which is represented by revenue from sales of products, grew 12 per cent from N34 billion in the 2011 financial year, to N38 billion in 2012. Also profit before tax went up by a marginal 4 percent to N4 billion in the year under review, from 3.5 billion the previous year. Profit after tax grew 8 per cent, year-on-year, from N2.49 billion in 2011 to N2.7 billion in 2012. Going further, the company’s

cash and bank balances also witnessed a marginal 6 percent increase from N3.8 billion in 2011 to N4 billion in the year under review. Commenting on the company’s performance, an e-mail response to Business Day stated that growing appeal of Honeywell Noodles and Pasta products was evident in the enhanced contribution to sales revenue from its vertically integrated subsidiary; Honeywell Superfine Foods Limited. The popular ‘Bam Bam La La’ advert is an example of recent investments in marketing to drive sales of Honeywell Noodles and this has begun to yield progress in customer pull and the company expects more of this to be reflected

Dangote Group shareholders get N59.12bn dividends in 2011 By Aminu Imam


hareholders of Dangote Flour Mills last week ratified a dividend payout of N500 million for financial year ended December 31, 2011, during the company’s annual general meeting (AGM). By this development, the total dividend paid out by the companies in the Dangote Group in 2011 financial year alone have climbed to N59.12 billion, with its Cement

subsidiary leading the way. It would be recalled that the Dangote Cement Plc with three plants across the country and presence in 14 African countries earlier this year paid out N19.36 billion as dividend to its shareholders as well as a bonus of one share for every ten shares held previously. The leading cement company had also paid out N34.86 billion as the final dividend approved for the 2010 financial year. Another of its subsidiary,

Dangote Sugar Refinery rewarded shareholders with N3.60 billion dividend, while its Salt manufacturing company, National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) equally paid over N1.8 billion as dividend. Speaking on the development, Chairman of Dangote Flour Plc, Alhaji Aliko Dangote disclosed that the Flour Group recorded a turnover of N66.28 billion and gross profit of N9.70 billion. He added that the plan to

commence direct and indirect export into neighbouring states of Chad, Cameroun, Senegal and Liberia was already yielding fruits, pointing out that “We intended to intensify efforts to deepen and strengthen the business relationship already established along the West Africa Coast.” Dangote noted that the Noodles subsidiary of the company had been able to improve its market acceptability in the past financial year.


High interest rates, security challenges rumble Berger Paints earnings


erger Paints Nigeria Limited has revealed that its sales in 2011 were negatively affected by the tight liquidity prevailing in the Nigerian economy and the high interest rates charged by banks, which resulted in financial constraints encountered by many property developers as well as individual consumers.

Cadbury, Law Union, NASCON, Mobil join 30 most capitalised, liquid stocks


he recent review of NSE30 Index saw the inclusion of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Law Union & Rock Insurance plc, National Salt Company of Nigeria Plc, and Mobil Oil Plc.

Nigeria plans 510 yr bonds in Q3


igeria plans to raise between 200 billion and N280 billion ($1.23 billion - $1.72 billion) in sovereign bonds ranging between 5 and 10 years in the third quarter of the year, the Debt Management Office (DMO) said on Thursday, less than its second quarter debt issuance.

Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc FY ended 31 March 2012


lour Mills of Nigeria Plc recorded a full year 2012 turnover of N258 billion, an 8.2% Y-o-Y growth and the company’s slowest growth pace in 8years.

Livestock Feeds Plc signs MoU with UAC Nigeria Plc

L Source:Pro-share Nigeria

ivestock Feeds (LSF) Plc has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)with UACN Plc for UACN Plc’s plans to make an equity investment in LSF Plc.



Eni blames sabotage for Nigeria oil spillage By Nasir Muhammad with agency report


talian oil major Eni said on Sunday there has been an oil spill on its Nembe-Obama pipeline in Nigeria's onshore Niger Delta due to sabotage. “Repair work has started. The wells of Nembe South have been closed with minimal impact on production," a spokesman for the company said. In 2009, Eni said its net output in Africa's biggest oil producer was 128,000 barrels per day (bpd). Sabotage of foreign oil

company's infrastructure in the Niger Delta has reduced since an amnesty for militants in 2009, but there has been a surge in oil theft in the region this year. Oil companies and the Nigerian government have accused communities of causing spills to claim compensation for the environmental damage caused. Locals often say oil companies are slow to react to spills and do not clean them up properly. "It is indeed sad and most unfortunate that in spite of the huge consequences occasioned

by the oil spill, Eni has failed to discuss development," Nengi James, chairman of an oil community committee in the Nembe region, said. “They (oil firms) allow oil spills to spread to rivers and mangrove forests before coming

for inspection and clean-up." The environmental damage caused by oil spills in the Niger Delta has destroyed fishing livelihoods and means some communities drink water containing deadly levels of toxins, the United Nations said

in a report last year. Foreign oil majors, the Nigerian government and Niger Deltans blame each other for the damage done. Shell, the largest producer in Nigeria, estimates 150,000 bpd of crude oil is being stolen. (Reuters)

PHCN privatization's for efficiency, restates BPE By Abdulwahab Isa


rivatisation of State owned Enterprises is driven by desire to restore efficiency in their operations and not for the revenue realizable from sale of their assets, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) declared yesterday. Its declaration is hing on claim by two union leaders of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) suggesting gross undervaluation of PHCN assets by BPE. BPE Head, Public Communications Chukwuma Nwokoh in a statement issued yesterday clarified that, "revenue from the sale of government enterprises has not been the main reason for the federal government's decision to undertake privatisation given that most privatisation proceeds are channeled to addressing labour liabilities". The statement also clarified over N200 billion to be realised as privatisation proceeds is in respect of 60 per cent equity in the eleven distribution companies does not include the proceeds to be realised from the sale of the generating companies. BPE clarification is against

the backdrop of statement credited to the President of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Mr. Bede Opara, suggesting that if PHCN assets were valued at over N200 billion, then the workers should be allowed to buy the successor companies created from the unbundling of PHCN with their severance benefits. Similarly, the General Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Mr. Joe Ajaero, had reeled out plethora of assets-buildings; parking lots; power and distribution transformers; associated accessories like towers, insulators of different sizes, poles of different sizes, armoured cables (different sizes), conductors of shapes and sizes, and other accessories including vehicles of various brands and capacity- that should be included in the valuation of the successor companies. However, BPE said the over N200 billion to be realised as privatisation proceeds is in respect of 60 per cent equity in the eleven distribution companies and does not include the proceeds to be realised from the sale of the generating companies.

L-R: Coordinator, Honorary International Investors Council (HIIC), Baroness Lynda Chalker, and Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, during a press briefing, after HIIC meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, last Friday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye.

AfDB strengthens its anti-corruption agenda and procurement rules By Aminu Imam


he Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) have approved policies designed to strengthen the institution’s anticorruption agenda as well as its procurement rules and procedures to bring them in line with practices in peer development finance institutions. At their regular sessions chaired by President Donald Kaberuka on Thursday in Tunis, the Board approved a proposal

for the Implementation of a Sanctions process within the AfDB Group which includes the establishment of a sanctions Office comprising a Sanctions Commissioner, an Alternate Sanctions Commissioner, and Secretary to the Sanctions Office; The Board also approved a proposal which includes the establishment of a Sanctions Appeal Board comprising three substantive members, three alternate members and a Sanctions Appeal Board Secretary; terms of reference for

the sanctions and Appeal Boards; expansion of the range of sanctions to include reprimand, conditional non-debarment, debarment, restitution and remedy, as the case may be. The Board also approved a revised Bank Group ICT Operations Strategy and Action Plan for the Medium-Term 20122014, designed to expand its role in leveraging the African ICT sector in three critical areas: regional/national ICT infrastructure, policy and regulatory frameworks and ICT applications.

UC Rusal, BPE await details of Supreme Court judgement on ALSCON


nited Company RUSAL Plc and Bureau of Public Enterprise are waiting for a copy of the Supreme Court judgement on the sale of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom, to react. A Director in UC RUSAL a Russian company, Mr Albert Dyabin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the firm had applied for the judgment but had yet to receive it. As soon as we receive the written copy of the Supreme Court decision, we will be able to make further comments. “Currently, ALSCON is part

of UC Rusal and the smelter is operating in a normal mode. At this time, we cannot make further comments because we are yet to get details,” Dyabin said.


tandard & Poor’s Ratings Services on Friday, Zenith Bank PLC credit rating stood at B+/Positive/B. In a statement released by the rating agency, the general outlook on the bank and economy was positive. it was noted that, the outlook on Zenith Bank PLC (Zenith) largely reflects the outlook on the Federal Republic of Nigeria (B+/Positive/B).

Also BPE spokesman and Head of Public Communications, Mr Chukwuma Nwoko, told NAN on Sunday that BPE wanted to get a copy of the judgment before making

comments. NANrecalls that the court decided on Friday that BFI Group, the Nigerian-American consortium that emerged the preferred bidder for

S&P rates Zenith Bank B+ In Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services’ view, if Nigeria’s reform initiatives support positive economic growth, build stronger buffers against the country’s dependence on petroleum revenues, and reduce pressure on the exchange rate, these factors could lead to a

sovereign upgrade and result in a more-favorable operating environment for the banks. The agency also believe that the bank’s cost of risk and profitability will likely improve as general economic activity picks up and cautious loan growth continues. “We would raise the

ALSCON in 2004 but was disqualified by BPE, was the valid winner of the bid. UCRusal took over the plant in 2006 with a bid of 250 million dollars. (NAN) ratings on Zenith if we were to raise the ratings on the sovereign, as long as the bank maintains a stand-alone credit profile “We would revise the outlook on the bank to stable if the outlook on Nigeria were revised to stable. The lowering of the bank’s SACP would not have an impact on its ratings as long as it remains at least at ‘b+’, all things being equal.”



r Aisha Abdullahi, Nigeria’s candidate for the post of Commissioner for Political Affairs at the AU Commission yesterday said she would integrate Africa into the mainstream of global problem-solving when elected into the office next week. Abdullahi, who is the Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guinea, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Correspondent in Addis Ababa that under her leadership, the new decade of the Department of Political Affairs would consolidate and implement AU Shared Values instruments, especially on the democratization of Member States. She said if elected, the Department would shape the course of


AU election: Amb Abdullahi promises to integrate Africa’s political system international politics and diplomacy by ensuring coherence and harmony in African thinking and actions. “As Commissioner for Political Affairs, I will be proactive in conducting sound programmes that will assist the AU and its Member States to evolve, promote and nurture political governance systems, practices, structures and institutions that respect political pluralism and inclusiveness. “This will also ensure ethno-

cultural diversities and unravel the bogie of political crisis and conflict’’, Abdullahi said. Abdullahi said her multidisciplinary background would tremendously help her to achieve the stated mission. “Guided by knowledge of political application of universal political theories and models in Africa, as well as my experience in addressing Guinean political crises, I will accelerate activities that will help

Member States develop unique internal democratic systems and structures’’, she said. Abdullahi said under her watch, the effectiveness of the Department in pursuit of its mandate would depend greatly on her leadership and experience which would ensure the development of internal capacities, and in engagement with Member States, other AU departments, UN Systems, international partners and civil society.

She said the above would help to reduce international marginalization of the continent and render unnecessary external interventions on the continent without Africa’s invitation. Abdullahi said developing strategies, compliance and enforcement of AU instruments would remain the major pre-occupation of the Department under her leadership. “As Commissioner for Political Affairs, I visualize a vibrant and dynamic continent of well-informed citizens actively contributing to the peace, security and prosperous Africa’’, She said. NAN reports that Abdullahi, who holds Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, in 2005, was appointed Nigeria’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Guinea in May 2008. After finishing her four-year term successfully in Conakry, Amb Abdullahi’s tenure was renewed in 2012 by President Goodluck Jonathan, for her wonderful performance at her duty post. Before her appointment as an Ambassador, Abdullahi was Commissioner for Special Duties in Bauchi State from May 2004 to May 2007. She rose from the position of Graduate Assistant to Senior Lecturer at the School of Science and Science Education, ATBU, Bauchi, between 1990 and 2003. A Fellow, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Abdullahi had published many articles, received many commendation awards from her Secondary School days to the University level, held many leadership positions, served in various communities and was an editor, School of Technology Journal in 1977. Abdullahi, who was the mentor, Choices of Girls Project, sponsored by Mac Author Foundation from 2004 to 2007, read, writes, speaks and understands English, French and Arabic, was married with children. NAN reports that Seven other candidates from Ghana, Tchad, Burundi, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Cameroon and the DR Congo were contesting for the same post, with Ghana being the major contender being from West Africa. NAN further reports that following Ghana’s withdrawal for Nigeria, Abdullahi became the sole ECOWAS candidate for the post and the only female candidate from the Sub-region. The elections were suspended in January following a deadlock in the election of the Chairperson of the Commission. Speaking on Abdullahi’s candidature, Mr Bulus Lolo, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU Commission said the efforts were being made to ensure the success of Abdullahi. Lolo, who is also the Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, said the Embassy in collaboration with ECOWAS ambassador’s group were reaching out to other regional bodies and embassies qualified to vote, to ensure her success. He expressed confidence that being the best candidate for the post, considering her track record, Abdullahi would be voted on merit by all AU Member States. (NAN)



The imperatives of staying the course By Atiku Abubakar


am very pleased and excited to celebrate the immense achievement of the young people before us and their families. I understand that this is the 13th graduating set of the SS3 students of this school. I am sure that we have in our midst very proud and relieved families. Let me give special thanks to the founders of this great school, especially the late First Lady, Mrs Maryam Babangida, and the Babangida family for the vision, commitment and hardwork that have gone into building this school to what it has become today. I am told that that late First Lady’s foresight, relentless drive, uncommon determination and her well known commitment to excellence, are responsible for the immense progress that this school has made over the years. It is obvious that the class, grace and elegance with which she carried herself have been moulded into this magnificent school. El-Amin International School is a legacy of inestimable value and the generations of Nigerians that would have been educated here in the years to come will be grateful for the opportunity, and they would become key human resources for this country's development. When we successfully arrive at the destination of a journey we give thanks to God and we feel a sense of relief. For the youngsters though, this may just be a step in a long but important journey to academic fulfilment and rewarding careers. Your school has asked me to speak to you on the imperatives of staying the course. I understand that to mean why you must remain focused on your goal and objectives in life until you have achieved the success that you desire. Your graduation marks the beginning of a more challenging phase in your life's journey. But you must look forward to that journey with excitement rather than anxiety. Whether you are going on life's journey by road, by rail, by sea or by air you are likely to experience difficult challenges. Some of these challenges might try to take you off course. Stay the course, for that is the guarantee of your reaching your destination wherever that might be. What are some of those challenges that you might face? Broadly they fall into these, among other categories. • Obstacles or bumps along the way. • Distractions • Naysayers who say you cannot do it •Failures that you may experience along the way •Doubts that set in as a result of these and because of possible delays in getting expected results. • The Lure of instant gratification Let me explain some of these. Obstacles are inevitable in human affairs. Rarely do we go through life's journey without encountering obstacles and

bumps. Some are very serious while others are not. As you embark on the next phase of your life's journey you are likely to encounter obstacles or bumps along the way. Just treat them as such - mere challenges that try to take you off course. These may include inadequate infrastructure or reading materials, shortage of good teachers, poor performance in a particular examination, difficulties raising money, difficulties finding a desired job on graduation, among other things. They task your ingenuity, creativity, problem solving skills, endurance and perseverance. And there are numerous things that can form distractions as you strive to realize your life's goals. So many things and people compete for our attention and not all of them are consistent with the realization of the goals we set for ourselves. They may be friends and acquaintances, excessive partying, eating and drinking, too much or too little sleep, excessive use of the internet or smart phone or addictive substances. Those that try to take you off course are distractions. You have to deal with them in ways that ensure they never constitute severe impediments that take you off course. Never lose sight of your goals; and stay the course. As you strive to realize your goals, there would be those who tell you that you cannot make it. Some might even say that you will not amount to anything. Some of these people may even be close to you or actually love you. But they may think that you cannot achieve your goals either because they are using themselves to judge you or they do not understand your real strengths and capacities. Prove them wrong. If others doubt your capacity, it is the more reason why you have to double your efforts and make them believers through your achievement. Others do not control your destiny; it is in your own hands. As long as you

remember that and let it guide your plans and actions, you will stay the course. You may also experience some failures along the path of life. You must never consider failure as a death sentence or an end to your striving. Failure is never the end of the road; rather it is a call to a redoubling of efforts to realize your goal. It is the test of your true mettle. Falling down is not the problem; not getting up is. So you must always dust yourself up and stay the course. Sometimes we give up not because we failed but because success was slow in coming. You must learn to be patient. You must also avoid the lure of instant gratification. Results do not always come quick. Put in the years of hard work first, and reap the benefits later. Because we experience failures sometimes and because others doubt our capacity or our resolve, and because we experience other obstacles in life's journey we sometimes entertain doubts about our ability to realize our goals. While some doubt is necessary to make us think things through to ensure we are on the right track, you must not allow doubts to paralyze you. Forge ahead and stay the course for your destination is at the end of the journey rather than the place where doubts set in. Stay the course. So, my young friends, stay the course in spite of the challenges. In fact, stay the course precisely because of the challenges. Challenges make us stronger; they build our character; they bring out the leader in us; they give meaning to our strivings; and they ensure that we have a sense of accomplishment when victory comes. Never give up. You are really only beginning your lives. You are still very young. Up to now you have been protected by your

So, my young friends, stay the course in spite of the challenges. In fact, stay the course precisely because of the challenges. Challenges make us stronger; they build our character; they bring out the leader in us; they give meaning to our strivings; and they ensure that we have a sense of accomplishment when victory comes.

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar parents and guardians and teachers. Nearly all of you will be proceeding to universities and other institutions of higher learning, and from there into careers of your choice. You will find that you will have to mature quickly in order to meet the challenges of higher learning and/ or the world of work. And challenges must surely come as you strive to succeed in life. Things that come too easy should be viewed with caution. The more difficult the challenge is, the sweeter the victory will be. So stay the course. But staying the course is not a religious creed. You have to plan. You have to question. You have to think clearly about your goal. You do so with a clear head. You must have a vision of where you want to go in life. Then you work out a strategy to get there. That is when you tell yourself to stay the course even when things do not seem to work out the way you expected. If you fall, dust yourself up and continue going. When naysayers say you cannot do it, that you cannot succeed, just keep going because you thought it through at the beginning, and your destiny is not in the hands of naysayers or detractors. To be sure, luck has a role to play in human affairs - being at the right place at the right time. But you do not sit and wait for luck to smile on you. You have to work hard to put yourself in a position to take advantage of opportunities that will surely come your way. That is a way to ensure you become lucky. In any case, stay the course. Do not forget your roots; they

give you the necessary grounding and cultural nourishment. Do not forget your parents and guardians; they made it all possible up to this point and they will continue to support you. And do not treat them as mere ATM machines. More than anything else, they are your family and your key emotional, protective and social support system as well. We live in a world of change, of progress. It has been called a global village because the revolution in communication and transportation has brought the far reaches of the world ever closer to each other. It is the world of supercomputers, the cell phone, the internet, nanotechnology, 3D printing, DNA sequencing and other cutting edge technological wonders. Find your path in this world or the one you will help create and follow it with enthusiasm, commitment, fidelity and dedication. That way you will help change the world for the better. And you will be happy that you did; by staying the course! Once more congratulations on your achievement and good luck in your future strivings. Do not forget to say a very big thank you to your parents and guardians today. Thank you for listening and God bless Being a speech delivered by Atiku Abubakar, GCON, former Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the Graduation Ceremony of El-Amin International School, Minna and Launching of the School's Year Book - KS2012 on Saturday.


TUC disassociates from secondary schools teachers’ strike in Bauchi From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) Bauchi state chapter has distanced itself from the ongoing strike of the Secondary School Teachers in the state passed a vote of no confidence on the state Commissioner of Education Alhaji Aminu Ibrahim. It would be recalled that the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASSUS) has embarked on an indefinite industrial action which began on Thursday 5th July. According to reports, the body called for the removal of the Commissioner of Education and presented some demands to the Bauchi state government. Meanwhile, the state ministry of Education has also obtained interim order from the court which restrained ASSUS from embarking on the strike. A statement jointly signed by the Chairman of ASSUS

Muhammad Usman and the Secretary, Sulisma G Lemuel, alleged that, “the strike action invited by ASSUS and the demands presented to the state government are mischievous, intrusive and have the capacity to provoke and mislead any sincere administration on their face value, we have confidence in the commissioner of Education and we believe he has a lot in store for the improvement of teaching and learning in the state.” According to the statement “the establishment of Servicom Bureau in connection with the joint negotiation council in one of their meetings agreed on modus operandi; how grievances are to be presented and addressed which says all grievances most go through the federation of trade unions for scrutiny and discussion, with the union on the validity on each complain which ASSUS has not fulfill the condition.”


Great Heights Academy celebrates 10th anniversary By Maryam Garba Hassan


reat Heights Academy, a private Islamic institution comprising of Nursery, Primary and Girls Boarding Secondary school situated in Kado, Abuja, is celebrating her 10 th Year Anniversary. A statement signed by the school principal Mrs. Hussaina Abdul, stated that various Programmes have been lined up for the event which will

commence with the Valedictory session for the graduating set of 2011/2012 session on Saturday 14thJuly, the 4th Walimatul Qur’an on Sunday 15 th July while the 10th Year Anniversary/Speech and Prize Giving Day is slated for Saturday 21th July, 2012, at the Women Development Centre, Abuja. According to the statement, the event is worth celebrating, because the school is gradually achieving her mission which is to be the best private Nursery,

Primary and Girls Secondary School in Nigeria by providing the highest possible standards of Western and Islamic education capable of giving children especially the girl child the opportunity for self actualization and solid foundation for life in this world and hereafter. She said the school was established in 2002 under the chairmanship of Late Alhaji Abdullahi Jika , (AIG Retired) and Hajiya Rabi Namtari, as the Executive Director.

ANA quiz competition: Regina Pacis College emerge winner By Mohammed Kandi


he quiz team of Ragina Pacis College, Garki Abuja, has won the maiden edition of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Abuja, Yusuf Alli literary quiz competition, beating seven other schools to clinch the prize in the competition. The competition, held in Abuja, saw Government Secondary School Garki emerging second and Model Secondary School, Maitama third respectively. The competition which was sponsored by Yusuf Alli in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) was part of the national reading campaign in 16 states of the federation, which involved donation of books, reading and quiz competition among selected secondary schools in the Federal Capital Territory. The FCT campaign, which kicked off on the 5th of June 2012 was in two phases; donation of books which took place between the 5th and 8th of June 2012, and book quiz competition which held on Thursday 28th June, 2012. The schools which participated in the competition included: Government Secondary School, Maitama; Government Secondary School, Wuse; Government Secondary School, Kubwa; Government Secondary School, Garki; Eco International School, Kubwa; Ragina Pacis College, Garki and School for the Gifted, Gwagwalada. The students had earlier read six texts donated by the association; ‘Purple Hibiscus’ by Chimamanda Adichie, ‘Scavengers Orgy’ by Ozioma Izuora, ‘Women of Owu’ by Femi Osofisan, ‘Under a Darkling Cloud’ by Isaac Atta-Ogezi, ‘Abuja Nunyi’ by Denja

Abdullahi and ‘Drums of Curfew’ by Patrick Oguejiofor. Speaking at the event, the National Vice-President of ANA, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, who represented Yusuf Alli (SAN) said the reason for the literary campaign was to help Nigerian students “go back to the era when reading was the only culture known to them.” He further said that the students should not only read, but also start documenting their writings, noting that writers do not die, since their works live after them. All winning and participating schools received prizes of books donated by Yusuf Alli.

L-R: Representative of Minister of Education, Professor Sagir Abbas, Master Uwa Benjamin, a student of Iganmode Grammer School, Otta, with the first position trophy, Director-General, National Mathematical Centre, Professor Same Ale, Master Samuel Adegboyega of Otta Total Academy, Otta with the first position trophy in junior category, and Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Ltd, Chief Keith Richards, during the 2012 Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition prize giving ceremony, recently in Abuja. Photo: NAN

ASUU integrity UniAbuja dissociates self from demand on Jonathan By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Integrity ASUU, of University of Abuja has dissociated itself from the unconditional demand letter served by ASUU splinter group on President Jonathan, mandating him to constitute a special visitation panel to University of Abuja or face industrial action. A statement signed by the group chairman, Dr. Ya’u Damagum, said the decision was part of the resolution arrived at by the group at the end of its Congress meeting on the 5th of July 2012. According to him, the demands by the splinter group are unreasonable and tantamount to breach of the autonomy of institution’s principle, which restricts the presidency and other agencies from interfering in the internal

administration of universities. He said that ASUU struggled for several years to get government to sign the agreement on autonomy. The statement further said that the manner in which the demand notice was served, leaves much to be desired since the university was recently visited by a presidential panel which covered events of the past and the present administration. “Similarly, the university is undergoing a turnaround exercise with committees set up to see to the development and accreditation of all relevant academic programmes under the supervision of the NUC with full knowledge and support of the President. To us therefore, serving an unconditional demand at this moment constitutes act of disrespect for constituted authorities”, the statement

added. It added that those pushing for the said action are doing so for selfish reasons only because evidence have shown that they have some personal scores to settle with the current Vice Chancellor. He said “ASUU Integrity is for the sustenance of peace and stability of the system in University of Abuja and therefore; we stand by the position and efforts so far made by government through the Federal Ministry of Education, the National Universities Commission (NUC) and our Governing Council to address the problem of accreditation in UniAbuja”. The group however appealed to Government and its relevant agencies to meet up their obligations by releasing the funds promised the university towards infrastructural development. They call on parents and the

general public to repose confidence on the university’s ability to address the current impasse and the students to give peace a chance and avoid being instigated by some elements to engage in violent action. “We would like to inform the general public and the entire University of Abuja community that; we stand strongly opposed to the idea of embarking on an indefinite strike on flimsy reasons such as the failure of government to send a visitation panel to the university. Therefore all members of our Congress are enjoined not to participate in such an action if eventually declared by any group. To us such an action can lead to disruption of academic calendar with detrimental effects on our students, parents and general public in particular during this period when the nation is facing massive security challenges.”



World Bankassisted project disburses 130m dollars


he World Bank-assisted Science and Technology Education Post-Basic (STEPB) Project has so far disbursed 130 million dollars for science and technology projects in Nigeria. The national Coordinator, Prof. Michael Adikwu made this known in Abuja on Sunday when he featured at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). The STEP-B project is aimed at improving the quality of science and technology education in all federal institutions at the postbasic level including research institutions and federal unity schools. Adikwu explained that the project’s funds were replenished as the moneys were used. He said that out of the 180 million dollars given for projects in Nigeria, 130 million dollars had been disbursed to relevant Federal Government’s agencies including schools for their projects. “At the national project level, we fund the institutions directly, but sometimes some money may still be sitting there and so we are not able to properly account for it from time to time unless we send people out. “From my own level we have spent over 130 million dollars out of the 180 million dollars, but much of that money, more than 45 million dollars is also committed. (NAN)

Kwankwaso urges parents to invest in children’s education


ov. Rabi’u Kwankwaso of Kano State on Sunday urged parents to invest in the education of their children. He made the call in Kano at the opening ceremony of the second Quranic Recitation Competition organised by Sen Basheer Garba, representing Kano Central Senatorial Zone. The governor, who was represented by state chairman of PDP Elders Committee, Alhaji Datti Wudilawa, noted that education was the only lasting legacy parents could leave to their children. He commended the legislator for organising the completion and called on other wealthy Muslims to emulate him. Kwankwaso also urged parents to ensure good moral upbringing of their children so as to contribute their quota towards the development of the society. The Chairman of the Quranic recitation committee, Alhaji Salati Indabawa, said 145 students from various Islamiyya schools across the 16 Local Government Areas of the senatorial zone were screened for the competition. He cautioned the participants to exhibit good moral conduct during and after the programme. (NAN)

Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i

L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, and National Coordinator, Step B. Project,Mrs. Grace Tokerhi, during the minister's inspection of facilities at the project office, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

ASUU pledges to work towards improving varsity education in Nigeria By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said that it is prepared to work with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to move the education sector, especially the university sub-sector forward. The new President of ASUU, Dr. Nasir Isa who made the commitment, while leading the delegation of his other officials to TETFund headquarters in Abuja, told the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, that he believe ASUU can work together with all stakeholders towards actualizing quality of education in Nigeria. According to him, “I’m convinced that working together with the Executive Secretary of TETFund, will move Nigerian universities towards a position of competing effectively at the international forum. We should

look forward for more interaction between us and not only the TETFund, but other stakeholders in education sector towards actualizing the vision of Nigerians for qualitative education. “We are convinced that no country can achieve development without placing high premium on education, countries that we have been competing with at the African front towards ensuring that we get students to the universities, have been able to substantially invest in education for upwards of 25 years. Ghana has been investing at least 30 percent of its annual budget on education. The same thing with South Africa and it is surprising that our students are moving in droves to these countries for education”, he said. “Recently we worked together with the former ES of the then ETF and we were able to

push through the NASS a review of the Act, in such a way that the initial concept of ETF was revived, so that ETF can be restricted to tertiary education. Yakubu, who led other management staff of TETFund to receive the ASUU delegation, described the visit of ASUU leadership as “a vote of confidence on the little contribution they have been making to the education sector and a source of encouragement especially in a country where we are used to criticisms of government, when such commendation comes and it is truly earned, it becomes very special. We will continue to do what we have been established to do, in line with our laws and to the best of our abilities.” He however expressed happiness that TETFund has become almost an alternative proprietor, to some institutions instead of an intervention

Kogi, South Korea partner on technology institute


ov. Idris Wada of Kogi said the government has commenced work, in partnership with South Korea, on the establishment of a technology training institute in Lokoja. The governor announced this while inaugurating a Rural Information Technology Centre at Ejuku in Yagba West Local Government Area. The centre was established by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). Wada said the institute would offer diploma programmes in ICT, automobile and electrical engineering, welding and piping. The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to

the State Government, Prof. Olugbenro Jegede, said that the government decided to establish the institute to ensure the technological development of rural areas of the state. He commended NITDA for establishing the centre, adding that this had underscored government’s belief that rural areas should be competitively developed with modern infrastructure. He appealed to the agency to establish more centres in other rural areas of the state, saying that the infrastructure should be distributed to reflect the three senatorial districts. The Director-General of NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye,

said the centre was set up to provide universal access to Internet and to develop information technology in rural areas of the country. He also said it would provide a community-based platform for youth empowerment through elearning and capacity building in ICT. According to him, it will also enable the local government to work closely with NGOs to fully tap the potentials of the centre to stem rural-urban drift. Angaye said the facility would give residents of Ejuku and its environs good access to a full range of information technology services and applications. (NAN)

agency. Prof. Yakubu, who gave the details of the reasons for the conception of the agency, said it emanated from the FG/ASUU agreement in 1992, though it came into effect in 1993, through an Act. He said that most of the structures if not all in the tertiary institutions of learning in the country are funded by TETFund not only in the area of physical infrastructure and learning resources like workshops and laboratories, but also in the area of capacity building for those who teach and work in the system. According to him, so far, over 5,800 lecturers have been trained and that out of the figure, 624 lecturers were sent for the postgraduate studies both within and outside the country and have completed their courses of study and returned to the country. “The majority of the beneficiaries went for the masters’ degrees programme which was started in 2009, hoping that by next year, quite a number of PhD holders would join us”. He further disclosed that in TETFund’s bid to continue to improve the most important elements in the university system, it also sponsored over 8000 lecturers from the universities, polytechnics and colleges of education to attend conferences outside of the country to improve on their global view of modern teaching, noting that none of the beneficiaries had absconded so far, except for a University of Maiduguri lecturer on teaching improvement programme who died of natural cause in a University in Malaysia.



VVF (vesico vaginal fistula) is an abnormal communication between the urinary bladder and the vagina that results in the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault. An accurate diagnosis is paramount before consideration of repair. A variety of methods are available to the clinician, and any excessive or suspicious vaginal discharge in a patient who recently underwent pelvic surgery or who has a history of pelvic radiotherapy should be evaluated promptly for a UGF. In developing countries, the predominant cause of VVF is prolonged obstructed labor (97%). VVFs are associated with marked pressure necrosis, edema, tissue sloughing, and cicatrization. The frequency of VVF is largely underreported in developing countries. The magnitude of the fistula problem worldwide is unknown but believed to be immense. In Nigeria alone, Harrison (1985) reported a vesicovaginal fistula rate of 350 cases per 100,000 deliveries at a university teaching hospital. The then Nigeria Federal Minister for Women Affairs and Youth Development, Hajiya Aisha M.S. Ismail, estimated that the number of unrepaired VVFs in Nigeria was between 800,000 and 1,000,000 (2001). In 1991, the World Health Organization identified the following geographic areas where obstetric fistula prevalence is high: virtually all of Africa and south Asia, the lessdeveloped parts of Oceana, Latin America, the Middle East, remote regions of Central Asia, and isolated areas of the former Soviet Union and Soviet-dominated eastern Europe. In contrast to developing countries, countries that practice modern obstetrics have a low rate of UGFs and VVF remains the most common type. Less frequently, UGFs may occur between the bladder and cervix or uterus; between the ureter and vagina, uterus, or cervix; and between the urethra and vagina. Of note, a ureteric injury is identified in association with 1015% of VVFs. Numerous factors contribute to the development of VVF in developing countries. Commonly, these are areas where the culture encourages marriage and conception at a young age, often before full pelvic growth has been achieved. Chronic malnutrition further limits pelvic dimensions, increasing the risk of cephalopelvic disproportion and malpresentation. In addition, few women are attended by qualified health care professionals or have access to medical facilities during childbirth; their obstructed labor may be protracted for days or weeks. The effect of prolonged impaction of the fetal presenting part in the pelvis is one of widespread tissue edema, hypoxia, necrosis, and sloughing resulting from prolonged pressure on the soft tissues of the vagina, bladder base, and urethra. Typically in these countries, the UGF is large and involves the bladder, urethra, bladder trigone, and the anterior cervix. Complex


High rate of unrepaired VVF in Africa a cause for concern

A HIV/AIDS patient being assisted to drink water from a rubber kettle neuropathic bladder dysfunction and urethral sphincteric incompetency often result, even if the fistula can be repaired successfully. Other cultural factors that increase the likelihood of obstetrical UGFs include outlet obstruction due to female circumcision and the practice of harmful traditional medical practices such as Gishiri incisions (anterior vaginal wall incisions) and the insertion of caustic substances into the vagina with the intent to treat a gynecologic condition or to help the vagina to return to its nulliparous state. VVFs in developing countries are attributed predominantly to inadvertent bladder injury during pelvic surgery (90%). They involve a relatively limited focal bladder injury leading to smaller VVFs than are observed in developing countries. Numerous authors highlight the risk of various types of bladder trauma during pelvic surgery. Such injuries include

unrecognized intra-operative laceration of the bladder, bladder wall injury from electrocautery or mechanical crushing, and the dissection of the bladder into an incorrect plane, causing avascular necrosis. Suture placement through the bladder wall in itself may not play a significant role in VVF development. However, the risk of formation of a hematoma or avascular necrosis after a suture is placed through the bladder wall and can lead to infection, abscess, and subsequent suture erosion through the bladder wall. This wall defect permits the escape of urine into the vagina and may be followed by an eventual epithelialization of the track. Gynecologic procedures are the most common iatrogenic factor. Symmonds evaluated 800 genitourinary fistulas over a 30year period at the Mayo Clinic. Of these, 85% of the VVFs were related to pelvic operations and

75% were related to hysterectomy, with more than 50% being secondary to simple uncomplicated total abdominal or vaginal hysterectomy. Symmonds also found that 5% of these VVFs were obstetric and 10% occurred after radiotherapy. Obstetric UGFs in modern centers include vaginal lacerations from forceps rotations, cesarean delivery, hysterectomy, and ruptured uterus. Other types of pelvic surgery (eg, urologic, gastrointestinal surgery) also contribute to the incidence of VVFs; such surgeries include suburethral sling procedures, surgical repair of urethral diverticulum, electrocautery of bladder papilloma, and surgery for pelvic carcinomas. Other less common causes of VVFs include pelvic infections (eg, tuberculosis, syphilis, lymphogranuloma venereum), vaginal trauma, and vaginal erosion with foreign objects (eg, neglected pessary).

Lastly, a congenital urogenital abnormality may exist that includes a VVF. Risk factors that predispose to VVFs include prior pelvic or vaginal surgery, previous PID, ischemia, diabetes, arteriosclerosis, carcinoma, endometriosis, anatomic distortion by uterine myomas, and infection, particularly postoperative cuff abscess. Tancer found prior cesarean delivery to be the most common factor predisposing to vault fistula after abdominal surgery in his series of 110 cases; here, 29% were associated with prior cesarean delivery.[15] Of interest, Tancer also noted 67% of the VVFs in his series occurred in the absence of any risk factors. He also noted that 24 patients incurred a bladder injury during hysterectomy; the injury was recognized intraoperatively and received immediate intraoperative repair (often by a consulting specialist). Despite prompt identification, treatment, and postoperative continuous bladder drainage for 7-10 days, a VVF could not be averted. The uncontrolled leakage of urine into the vagina is the hallmark symptom of patients with UGFs. Patients may complain of urinary incontinence or an increase in vaginal discharge following pelvic surgery or pelvic radiotherapy with or without antecedent surgery. The drainage may be continuous; however, in the presence of a very small UGF, it may be intermittent. Increased postoperative abdominal, pelvic, or flank pain; prolonged ileus; and fever should alert the physician to possible urinoma or urine ascites and mandates expeditious evaluation. Recurrent cystitis or pyelonephritis, abnormal urinary stream, and hematuria also should initiate a workup for UGF. The time from initial insult to clinical presentation depends on the etiology of the VVF. A VVF secondary to a bladder laceration typically presents immediately. Approximately 90% of genitourinary fistulas associated with pelvic surgery are symptomatic within 7-30 days postoperatively. An anterior vaginal wall laceration associated with obstetric fistulas typically (75%) presents in the first 24 hours of delivery. In contrast, radiation-induced UGFs are associated with slowly progressive devascularization necrosis and may present 30 days to 30 years later. Patients with radiationinduced VVFs initially present with symptoms of radiation cystitis, hematuria, and bladder contracture. In general, no absolute contraindications exist for the attempted correction of a VVF in patients who can medically tolerate a surgical procedure. vesicovaginal-fistula.html


What Is a Stroke? troke is a medical emergency It occurs when a blood vessel in the brain bursts or, more commonly, when a blockage develops. Without treatment, cells in the brain quickly begin to die. The result can be serious disability or death. Signs of a stroke may include: • Sudden numbness or weakness of the body, especially on one side. • Sudden vision changes in one or both eyes, or difficulty swallowing. • Sudden, severe headache with unknown cause. • Sudden problems with dizziness, walking, or balance. Every second counts when seeking treatment for a stroke. When deprived of oxygen, brain cells begin dying within minutes. There are clot-busting drugs that can curb brain damage, but they have to be used within three hours of the initial stroke symptoms. Once brain tissue has died, the body parts controlled by that area won’t work properly. This is why stroke is a top cause of long-term disability. Types of stroke: • Ischemic Stroke The most common type of stroke is known as an ischemic stroke. Nearly nine out of 10 strokes fall into this category. The culprit is a blood clot that obstructs a blood vessel inside the brain. The clot may develop on the spot or travel through the blood from elsewhere in the body. • Hemorrhagic Stroke Hemorrhagic strokes are less common but far more likely to be fatal. They occur when a weakened blood vessel in the brain bursts. The result is bleeding inside the brain that can be difficult to stop. • ‘Mini-Stroke’ (TIA) A transient ischemic attack, often called a “mini-stroke,” is more like a close call. Blood flow is temporarily impaired to part of the brain, causing symptoms similar to an actual stroke. When the blood flows again, the symptoms disappear. A TIA is a



Stroke: Deadly but preventable warning sign that a stroke may happen soon. It’s critical to see your doctor if you think you’ve had a TIA. There are therapies to reduce the risk of stroke. • What causes a stroke A common cause of stroke is atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries. Plaque made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances builds up in the arteries, leaving less space for blood to flow. A blood clot may lodge in this narrow space and cause an ischemic stroke. Atherosclerosis also makes it easier for a clot to form. Hemorrhagic strokes often result from uncontrolled high blood pressure that causes a weakened artery to burst. Risk factors: Chronic conditions Certain chronic conditions increase your risk of stroke. These include: • High blood pressure • High cholesterol • Diabetes • Obesity Taking steps to control these conditions may reduce your risk. Risk factors: Behaviors Certain behaviors also increase the risk of stroke: • Smoking • Getting too little exercise • Heavy use of alcohol Risk factors: Diet A poor diet may increase the risk for stroke in a few significant ways. Eating too much fat and cholesterol can lead to arteries that are narrowed by plaque. Too much salt may contribute to high blood pressure. And too many calories can lead to obesity. A diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and

fish may help lower stroke risk. Risk Factors You Can’t Control Some stroke risk factors are beyond your control, such as getting older or having a family history of strokes. Gender plays a role, too, with men being more likely to have a stroke. However, more stroke deaths occur in

women. Finally, race is an important risk factor. AfricanAmericans, Native Americans, and Alaskan Natives are at greater risk compared to people of other ethnicities Stroke prevention: Lifestyle People who have had a stroke or TIA can take steps to prevent

a recurrence: • Quit smoking. • Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. • Limit alcohol and salt intake. • Eat a healthier diet with more veggies, fish, and whole grains.

oil and mix well. Rub this mixture into your scalp with massaging, circular motions. Leave on your hair for 30 minutes or longer. You should feel a warming effect on y o u r

scalp. Shampoo or rinse well. Dandruff Ginger has antiseptic properties that work to get rid of dandruff. Use this recipe three times a week until you’re dandruff-free. Mix 2 tbsp. of freshly grated ginger with 3 tbsp. of oil (preferably

sesame, though olive will be fine). Add a dash of lemon juice. Massage into your scalp—you may not need the whole mixture, so refrigerate any leftovers. Leave this treatment on for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse well. Sensitive Scalps The strong tingling sensation of ginger may irritate your scalp, but you can still get the benefits of ginger hair treatments with a little modification. For hair growth, mix 1 tsp. of grated ginger with 1/4 cup of oil. Leave on your hair for 10 minutes. For dandruff, increase the amount of oil used in the recipe to 1/3 cup. Remember, you can decrease the amount of ginger and/or the duration of the treatment until you find the perfect mixture for your hair. Source:

Ginger treatment for hair A

utumn Jones has been working as a freelance writer since 2007 with work appearing on various websites. She majored in creative writing at Vassar College and continues to pursue her passion for the written word as much as possible. Ginger is a popular spice from the root of the Zingiber Officinale herb. You’re probably familiar with ginger in foods, but the root is also used for a multitude of health problems, including nausea, respiratory issues, indigestion and heart health. And that’s not all: the strong, stimulating properties of this root make it an excellent hair treatment. Hair Growth Ginger works to increase scalp circulation. When blood flows to

the scalp, it stimulates the hair follicles and encourages growth. The fatty acids in the root are great for thin hair. Use this recipe for hair loss, thinning hair or growing out a bad haircut. Grate about 1 tbsp. of ginger root into a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of olive

Ginger root



Facts and fallacies of race for African Union Commission Chairperson (I) ANALYSIS By Alexander Ojo


ome Sunday, July 15, 2012, African leaders will once again, resume the process of electing the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. It is to be recalled that last January, the leaders suspended the elections for the African Union Commission following the inability of Dr. Jean Ping to win the requisite two third majority vote to secure his second and final term in office. This was due largely to the unbridled ambition of South Africa that decided to foist its Interior Minister Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on the continent. Dr. Zuma was once married to President Jacob Zuma to whom she bore children. The failure of the African leaders to elect a Chairperson in January sent shockwaves not only within the continent, but also abroad, where partners and keen followers of Africa's political events were baffled over the development. Many had hoped that the leaders would use the elections to send an unmistakable message of Africa's capacity and resolve to overcome the schisms occasioned in succession by the political crises in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya. It was not to be, as several leaders, egged by President Zuma with the Angolan President in tow, fed with a cocktail of lies, disinformation and in some cases, hard to refute allegations of monetary inducements, refused all entreaties to give Dr Ping a second term in office. South Africa is hell-bent to stamp its hegemony on the continent buoyed by its record as the only African country to belong to the G-20 and BRICS. President Zuma, having won his leadership contest against President Thabo Mbeki, wants the world to remember his pedigree as one-time guerrilla fighter against apartheid. For him, every contest is a war, and in his war theater no prisoners are taken; they are fodder to be killed and annihilated at all cost. This is the mindset President Zuma has brought to the contest for the Chairperson of the AU Commission. From the time Dr Zuma was introduced as candidate to challenge Dr. Ping, South Africa has used one argument after another, mostly fabricated, to explain the rationale for its action. The arguments include, but are not limited to the discredited claims that Dr Ping was not interested in seeking reelection; Dr. Ping misled Africa on the Libyan crisis; Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

encouraged South Africa to field a candidate, France was behind Dr. Ping's candidacy and SADC has never held the topmost administrative position at the defunct Organization of African Unity and its successor, the African Union. These are bare-faced half-truths and deliberate distortion of facts in pursuit of a narrow agenda, informed by arrogance, pride and obduracy. In defense of its ill-advised decision to throw Dr. Zuma into the race, South Africa has invoked gender, sovereignty and regional representation as rationale. What the country does not state, yet remains incontrovertible, is the fact that three candidates from SADC have contested and lost at different times their bid for the topmost administrative position at the OAU/AU, the last being Mrs Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika of Zambia who lost to Dr. Ping in the first round in 2008. South Africa has also failed to acknowledge that a SADC national, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim of Tanzania, a founding member of SADC, holds the record of being the longest serving administrative head of the OAU. Dr Salim was OAU Secretary General from September 19, 1989 to September 17, 2001. South Africa's penchant to present Dr. Zuma as SADC candidate, and therefore transcending narrow national interest, introduces a number of questions that beg for urgent answers. What is the determinant of the boundary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), economics or politics? If SADC is a regional geographical body, as South Africa insists with regard to the AUC elections, why does it count among its membership Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which, geographically, are in Central Africa, and Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania that are geographically in East Africa? Is SADC merely an organization of convenience capable of changing the true color of its composition as does a chameleon in every environment? The onus is on South Africa, messianic

Dr. Jean Ping champion of regional justice, equity and fair-play, to answer these pertinent questions. In its final push for Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, Mrs Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Foreign Minister of South Africa, said Dlamini-Zuma is a regional (SADC) candidate. This was restated in a press release issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria on July 3, 2012. The release asserted, "As a regional candidate, Dr Dlamini Zuma will be at the service of all African countries, guided in her work by the mandate of the African Union as well as decisions of the Policy Organs of the African Union Commission‌ Southern Africa and Northern Africa are the only two African Union regions that have not had the privilege of leading the Secretariat of the African Union Commission". The truth nevertheless, is that there are murmurs across the continent and within SADC that Dr. Zuma is, to all intents and purposes, an imposition. Speaking privately, several SADC countries have expressed displeasure over the manner of her emergence as regional candidate, but are unwilling to challenge or contradict


South Africa openly for fear of reprisals. An Ambassador from a SADC Member State, who pleaded anonymity, said in February after the January election deadlock, that Dlamini-Zuma is rather a candidate of South Africa than SADC. ``Dlamini-Zuma is an imposition on SADC. She is not a regional candidate as pretended by South Africa and SADC. Her candidature remains an imposition to SADC Member States in particular and to Africa in General'', he said. It is instructive that although South Africa recognizes that it is a privilege to lead, it fails to acknowledge that in 1974, Vernon Mwaanga from Zambia contested for the top post of the OAU against Mr. Omer Arteh of Somalia. Neither candidate could win after twenty rounds of voting. Ben Gurirab of Namibia also contested against Amara Essy of Cote d'Ivoire in 2001 and lost. In 2008, Mrs Inonge Mbikusita Lewanika of Zambia squared off against Dr. Ping and also lost. On each of the three occasions that these candidates from the heart of Southern Africa made their bid to head the administrative organ of the OAU/AU, there was no impediment placed in

In its final push for Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, Mrs Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Foreign Minister of South Africa, said Dlamini-Zuma is a regional (SADC) candidate.

their way to hinder their victory. They lost fair and square through free, transparent and democratic means. Missing in this dubious campaign is reference to or admission of the underlying domestic political calculus that underpins the quest to foist Dlamini-Zuma on Africa by all possible means. First, President Zuma, not wishing to go the way of President Thabo Mbeki, has his sight on the forthcoming election to determine the leader of the African National Congress (ANC). Dlamini Zuma has the potential to unseat her former husband in such contest and the safest way in President Zuma's political calculation, is to send this formidable and potential rival into political exile in faraway Addis Ababa. One cannot fail to read the personal angle behind the push to get Dr. Zuma elected. Second, President Zuma desperately needs to project his leadership prowess, which has become a subject of intense domestic debate raised to a new level by his depiction in Brett Murray's allegorical cum satirical painting poignantly called "The Spear". The furore generated by Murray's depiction of President Zuma overshadowed the question of his leadership quality. Zuma obviously believes in South Africa's dominance of the continent and thus, he has stopped at nothing to take his colleagues in the continent for granted. No African leader is yet to acknowledge that President Zuma consulted him or her prior to announcing the candidature of Dr. Zuma. Ojo, a political analyst, is based in Nairobi, Kenya.



Sudan and South Sudan in verbal peace pledge

Ethiopian capital ahead of celebrations on Monday to mark one year of independence for South Sudan. "We have agreed... to the unequivocal commitment of the two parties to never solicit force to settle their disputes and differences and to commit

themselves to the cessation of hostilities," Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein, Sudan's defence minister, told reporters. The two sides also agreed "to strengthen [and] enhance the political will which is happily once more existing between the two countries."

The countries had resumed African Union-led peace talks on Thursday after negotiations adjourned last week without a deal. The talks are expected to continue on Wednesday following the independence celebrations. 'Normalisation' The two sides reached no agreement on a demilitarised buffer zone along the border in the latest round of talks, but Hussein insisted the "normalisation" of relations was the current priority for both countries. "We are going to discuss all issues, security, economic, that includes trade and oil... and we have committed ourselves to resolving the border dispute." - Pagan Amum, South Sudan Negotiator "The demarcation of the [safe border zone] is not in itself an objective." he said. "What we are trying to do to is normalise relations between the two countries." Pagan Amum, South Sudan's chief negotiator, said he was pleased with the "new spirit" at the latest round of talks, and said his country was committed to improving relations with Khartoum.

Gaddafi last year. The leader of one of Libya's main Islamist parties also acknowledged that the rival coalition had the advantage in the country's two largest cities. "The National Forces Alliance achieved good results in some large cities except Misrata. They have a net lead in Tripoli and in Benghazi," said Mohamed Sawan, who heads the Justice and Construction party. "But it is a tight race for us in the south," added Sawan, a former political prisoner and member of Libya's Muslim Brotherhood, which is widely considered to have launched the party. Al Jazeera's Paul Brennan, reporting from Tripoli, said:

"The UN says it's relieved at the way [the voting] has gone. In the main, this was a very wellrun election."

"All the polling stations in Ajdabiya did open in the end and all voting was able to go ahead," our correspondent said.

US sanctions on Eritrea spy chief Negash over alShabab


he US has imposed sanctions on six people, including Eritrea's spy chief and a senior military officer, for allegedly aiding Somali militants. A Muslim cleric in Kenya and a Sudanese man are also accused of providing financial and logistical support to the Islamist al-Shabab group. Two other Kenyans named by the US Treasury Department are in jail. Eritrea is already subject to UN sanctions for supporting the alQaeda aligned militants, which it denies. Al-Shabab, which joined alQaeda earlier this year, is fighting a UN-backed government in Somalia. The group still controls much of the country but is under pressure from pro-government militias, an African Union force and troops from Ethiopia - which remains Eritrea's bitter foe after their 1998-2000 border war. 'Training fighters' "The United States is determined to target those who are responsible for the ongoing bloodshed and instability in Somalia," Adam Szubin, the director of the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which administers the sanctions, said in a statement. The move will freeze the assets of the men in the US and block them from doing business in the country. The US statement said that Eritrea's intelligence officer Col Tewolde Habte Negash was the principal architect of his government's relationship with alShabab, going back eight years, and was the main co-ordinator of financial and logistical support. "He appears to have been indirectly involved in the training of al-Shabab fighters between 2007 and 2009 at an Eritrean training camp for instruction in suicide bombing and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices," it said. The cleric, Aboud Rogo Mohammed - who has preached in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, and in the coastal city of Mombasa - is accused of fundraising for al-Shabab.

Despite recent losses, alShabab still controls much of southern Somalia

No concrete deals have been forged since talks resumed in May, but both sides have pledged peace [Reuters]


udan and South Sudan have pledged to cease hostilities along their disputed oil-rich border, but stopped short of actually signing an agreement, officials have said The verbal agreement on Saturday came as the latest round of talks closed in the

Libya’s liberals claim early election lead


ival party leader and unofficial media reports concur with National Forces Alliance claim of early electoral advantage. Liberals have claimed an early lead in the counting of votes from across the country after Libya's first free elections following the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi. "Early reports show that the coalition is leading the polls in the majority of constituencies," Faisal Krekshi, secretary general of the National Forces Alliance, said on Sunday. The alliance of liberal forces is headed by Mahmoud Jibril, who played a prominent role as rebel prime minister during the popular revolt that toppled

Libya ElectionsVoters were subjected to security checks before entering the Taquddum polling station in Tripoli

Mali interim government urged by Ecowas


summit of Western African leaders has called for a national unity government to end the political crisis gripping Mali since a military coup in March. The regional bloc, Ecowas, also urged Mali to request international military intervention to win back the country's rebel-held north. The area was seized by Islamist and Tuareg rebels after the March coup. Since then, a shaky interim government has been formed in Mali, but the coup leaders remain powerful. The Ecowas summit also called for the International Criminal Court to investigate alleged war crimes

committed by the rebels in the north. The meeting in Ouagadougou capital of neighbouring Burkina Faso

- was attended by six regional heads of state. In a statement, they urged Mali's

There are fears northern Mali could turn into a haven for jihadist groups

interim President, Dioncounda Traore, to request that Ecowas and the UN authorise the deployment of an Ecowas force to restore order in the country. After the Islamist group Ansar Dine and Tuareg separatists overran more than half of Mali, coup leader Capt Amadou Sanogo agreed to hand over power to a civilian interim government, but stability has remained elusive. President Traore, who is recovering in Paris from injuries sustained when he was beaten by coup supporters in May, was not present at the Ouagadougou summit.



Sinaloa Cartel-linked US drug cell busted


S authorities say they have busted an elaborate drug trafficking cell in Arizona linked to the deadly Sinaloa Cartel from Mexico. Police in the city of Tempe announced on Friday that 20 people had been arrested and $2.4m was found after a six-

month investigation involving local and federal authorities. Officials said they obtained 15 search warrants and seized an airplane, 14 weapons, 13.6kg of methamphetamine and nearly three tonnes of marijuana. The Drug Enforcement Administration said the bust was

part of "Operation Nayarit Stampede'', aimed at attacking a drug trafficking organisation that stretched across the Mexico border and into Arizona. The seizure comes after American authorities arrested Noriega Rios, an alleged top operative in the La Familia

Cartel, last week. Noriega was purportedly a contact between the Michoacan Cartel and the powerful leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel, including kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, a man the US Treasury Department has called the world's most powerful drug trafficker.

Donor nations pledge $16bn to Afghanistan

Thousands protest Mexico’s president-elect


he demonstrators, including students, leftists, anarchists and union members, shouted slogans criticising Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the electoral authority. Pena Nieto won Sunday's election by almost 7 percentage points, according to the official count, returning the PRI to presidential power after 12 years in the wilderness. The PRI previously ruled Mexico for seven decades, during which time it was accused of rigging elections and repressing protesters. "The PRI threatens many people and buys others with a couple of tacos," said Manuel Ocegueda, a 43year-old shop worker participating in the march. Lopez Obrador denies involvement Pena Nieto is due to take power in December, replacing Felipe Calderon of the conservative National Action Party, or PAN. The constitution barred Calderon from running for a second term. The PAN candidate, Josefina Vazquez Mota, finished third, with many voters dissatisfied over relentless drug violence and sluggish growth.


Officials say bust was part of "Operation Nayarit Stampede", aimed at combating crossborder trafficking [Reuters]

Envoy Annan calls Syria mission a ‘failure’


n comments published by French newspaper Le Monde on Saturday, Annan was quoted as saying that significant efforts had been made to try to resolve the crisis peacefully and politically. However, the plan had not been successful and perhaps there was no guarantee that it would succeed, he said. The Annan plan, which insists on a cessation of violence by all sides, has made little headway. Activists say more than 17,000 people have now died since the uprising began in March last year. UN chief Ban Ki-moon called on Friday for scaling down an observer mission in Syria to refocus on political efforts to end the bloodshed. Annan, a former UN chief, spoke of the importance of Russia, a Damascus ally which has so far blocked international action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, while stressing that Iran should be involved in discussions.

Officials say the Sinaloalinked operation sent drugs to New York, Alabama and California, as well as other parts of the country. The drugs were transported inside hidden compartments of commercial tractor-trailers crossing the Mexican border.

Thousands of protesters marched through the Mexican capital on Saturday against presidentelect Enrique Pena Nieto, accusing him of buying votes and paying off television networks for support.

International envoy Kofi Annan acknowledged the failure so far of his mission to bring peace to Syria, as more than 60 people were killed in violence that also spilled over into Lebanon.

apanese foreign minister, who will co-chair meeting, said Kabul must curb corruption to receive aid [Reuters] US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has made a pledge to continue Afghan aid at its current levels until 2017, as some 70 countries gathered in Tokyo to announce a four-year civilian assistance plan. Altogether, the countries promised on Sunday to give $16bn to Afghanistan through 2015. The White House will ask Congress to sustain US assistance for Afghanistan near the average amount it has been over the last decade through 2017 as part of the international effort to stabilise the country, even as most international forces pull out over the next two years. The funds would help Afghanistan build its economy and make necessary reforms, Clinton said. "We have to make the security gains and the transition irreversible,'' Clinton told officials, including Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

…Deadly roadside bombs strike Afghan south


oadside bombs killed 14 civilians traveling in two vehicles in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province close to the Pakistan border, police said. "This morning a tractor and small truck hit roadside bombs in Arghistan district, killing 14 people and wounding three," provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq said. He blamed the attack on Taliban fighters who have been waging a decade-long campaign to topple the government of President Hamid Karzai. The deaths come a day after bomb blasts and a rocket attack in southern Afghanistan killed 11 civilians, including at least four children, in a space of 24 hours. The attacks add to fears about security as NATO prepares to hand responsibility to Afghan forces and recall the vast majority of its 130,000 combat troops by the end of 2014.


Doctors identify Cambodia mystery illness


cientists identify illness that killed 64 children as Enterovirus 71, a strain of hand, foot and mouth disease. Scientists in Cambodia have said they have identified the mystery illness that has killed dozens of children in the past three months. The Pasteur Institute in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, announced on Sunday that tests indicate the unknown sickness that has led to the deaths of 64 children and hospitalisation of 66 is the Enterovirus 71. The virus is a strain of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) that is widespread in Asia, but not usually found in Cambodia. HFMD is a human ailment caused by intestinal viruses, and not to be mistaken for footand-mouth disease, which only affects animals. Infected children generally suffer from high fever, rashes, respiratory and sometimes neurological problems. In 64 of the 66 cases, the children's health deteriorated much faster than doctors expected. This is one of the reasons why the illness was difficult to identify, as the Enterovirus 71 usually does not lead to such quick deaths. Paediatrician Beat Richner, founder of Kantha Bopha children's hospitals, was the first to raise concerns about the illness. Richner said all the patients who died were treated in private clinics in local areas before being brought to the Kantha Bopha hospitals in the capital and the northwestern province of Siem Reap. "They all got injections or infusions by private centres before coming to us," he said. "Some died four hours after arriving." Faulty prescriptions? Out of the 66 children hospitalised, the two patients that lived were treated only by Kantha Bopha staff, suggesting that botched medical treatment may be a factor. "All these children have encephalitis [inflammation of the brain] and in the later hours of their life they develop a severe pneumonia with a destruction of the alveoli in the lungs. That is the reason they die," Richner said. The alveoli, or air sacs, are pockets in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. There is no known cure for the Enterovirus, but doctors recommend good hygiene especially for young children. The UN health body and Cambodian officials have urged parents to bring their sick children to hospital if they see any signs of any unusual illness.


Syrian forces bombard Aleppo R egime forces are attempting to regain control over [the Aleppo] region, where they suffered heavy casualties over the past months to rebels," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based activist group, said. The group claimed 19 people had died across the country. In Lebanon, rocket fire from Syria and gunbattles across the border left two women dead and nine people injured. A local official said clashes had broken out at dawn between the Syrian army and fighters on the Lebanese side of the border. Syrian rebels and opposition politicians inside the country and abroad also continued to gather information about the defection of Brigadier General Manaf Tlas, a commander in the Republican Guard and close friend of Assad who reportedly fled the country last week. In France, where Tlas was said to be headed, members of the Syrian National Council, the main opposition bloc which is based outside Syria, welcomed the defection. Clinton's remarks 'totally unacceptable'

China and Russia separately rebuffed accusations by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, that they are hindering the resolution of the crisis in Syria. Liu Weiman, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said Clinton's

comments, made at the "Friends of Syria" meeting in France on Friday, were "totally unacceptable", adding that any attempt to "slander" his country was doomed to fail. At the meeting, CIinton said the two countries should "pay a price"

for helping Bashar al-Assad keep power in Damascus, remarks that were among Washington's toughest yet in 16 months of revolt in Syria. Liu said China's efforts at resolving the crisis had won international support.

Syrian forces bombarded towns in the northern province of Aleppo on Saturday, as the conflict spilled into neighbouring Lebanon and opposition representatives in France welcomed the defection of a general who was close to President Bashar al-Assad.

US congressman has historic same-sex marriage


assachusetts Governor Deval Patrick arrives to officiate the wedding of US Representative Barney Frank [Reuters] Democratic Representative Barney Frank has wed his longtime partner, James Ready, becoming the first sitting US congressman to enter into a same-sex marriage. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officiated the ceremony on Sunday and added some levity by saying Frank, 72, and Ready, 42, had vowed to love each other through Democratic and Republican administrations alike. "Barney was beaming," said Al Green, a Democratic congressman from Texas who attended the ceremony. He added that Frank, a champion of gay rights and the sweeping reform of Wall Street, shed a tear during the ceremony. After exchanging their vows, Frank and Ready embraced each other, Green said. "It was no different than any

other wedding I've attended when you have two people who are in love with each other," Green said. Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and a former chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, has been an openly gay congressman since the late 1980s. He is well known for his legislative acumen, including as an architect of the reforms in the Dodd-Frank bill, which US President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis following the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market. Frank's office in January announced he would marry Ready, whom he met at a political fundraiser in Ready's home state of Maine. Ready lives in Ogunquit, where he does carpentry, painting and welding work. Frank and Ready have been involved since 2007.

The evening wedding took place at the Boston Marriott Newton in suburban Boston, attracting political luminaries, including Nancy Pelosi, top Democrat in the US House of Representatives, and Elizabeth Warren, who is battling Republican Scott Brown for his US Senate seat in Massachusetts. Frank, who first won a seat in congress in 1980, has said he will retire at the end of the current term. Besides championing financial reform and the rights of fishermen, Frank has been a vocal supporter of gay rights, which have been gathering support in public opinion polls and US high courts. In May, for example, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that a US law defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman unconstitutionally denies benefits to lawfully married samesex couples. The ruling on the 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act,

marked a victory for gay rights groups and President Obama, whose administration announced last year it considered the law unconstitutional and would no longer defend it. Also in May, Obama openly endorsed gay marriage, a move that will surely be a flashpoint in the upcoming presidential election. His Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, opposes gay marriage, saying marriage should be limited to a union between one man and one woman. Eight of the 50 states and the District of Columbia permit gay marriage. Several polls show public support of gay marriage is rising. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state in the country where same-sex couples could be legally married. More than 18,000 same-sex couples have wed in Massachusetts since then.

US orders Iran to pay for 1983 Lebanon attack


US federal judge has ordered Iran to pay more than $813m in damages and interest to the families of 241 US soldiers killed in the 1983 bombing of a Marine barracks in Lebanon. Judge Royce Lambeth wrote in a ruling this week that Tehran had to be "punished to the fullest extent legally possible" for the bombing in Beirut on October 23, 1983, the deadliest ever against US soldiers. "After this opinion, this court will have issued over $8.8bn in judgments against Iran as a result of the 1983 Beirut bombing," Lamberth wrote in the ruling, a copy of which was seen on Friday by the AFP news agency. "Iran is racking up quite a bill from its sponsorship of terrorism,"

the Washington judge added, noting that "a number of other Beirut bombing cases remain

pending, and their completion will surely increase this amount." At least 241 American soldiers,

The attack in Beirut in 1983 was one of the deadliest against US soldiers [EPA]

including 220 Marines, were killed in the Lebanese capital Beirut when a truck packed with explosives rammed through barricades and detonated in front of the US barracks near the international airport. The same day, in a coordinated attack, 58 French paratroopers were killed by a truck bomb at the French barracks in Beirut. The US has blamed the twin bombings on Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia party which is backed by Iran. Lamberth, whose ruling was delivered on Tuesday, wrote that "no award, however many billions it contained, could accurately reflect the countless lives that have been changed by Iran's dastardly acts".



University sues student for graduating too quickly S tudents generally are encouraged to stay on top of their work studies but that doesn't appear to be the case with one German university. This is because a pupil is being sued by his university after he completed his Bachelors and Masters degrees in around a quarter of the normal time. Marcel Pohl completed a total of 60 examinations during his 20 months at the Essen-

based School of Economics and Management (FOM). He managed to achieve a grade of 2.3 but now FOM is suing Mr Pohl for loss of income after he completed his studies in August of last year. Pohl managed to gain his degree in rapid time by dividing up simultaneous lectures with two friends before then swapping notes. He also managed to complete an apprenticeship in a bank while studying.

Champion eater ‘Jaws’ scoffs his way to victory at Hot Dog Eating Contest

'When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn't be true,' Pohl told the Bild newspaper. 'Performance is supposed to be worth something.' His lawyer Bernhard Kraas added: 'We're always against slow students but when someone hurries and finishes early, suddenly he has to pay. That can't be right.' A spokesman for the university said it didn't want to comment on the case before it had gone to court. Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut competes at the International Hot Dog Eating Contest (Picture: Andrew Burton/Getty Images) champion eater chomped his way to a sixth successive victory at the International Hot Dog Eating Contest after devouring 68 hot dogs in just ten minutes. Joey 'Jaws' Chestnut romped to victory with a joint personal best performance at the annual contest held at Coney Island, New York, on Wednesday. His effort saw him take home the coveted $10,000 (£6,000) prize and the aptly coloured mustard yellow championship belt. 'Jaws' was neck-to-neck with his rivals throughout the majority of the contest, before eventually managing to pull ahead to grab a well-deserved victory with a ten dog winning margin. 'I'm happy to come out with the win,' he said after the event, which Sonya Thomas aka the Black saw him move level with long-term Widow (Picture: AFP) rival, Takeru Kobayashi, for consecutive wins. He added: 'I feel good, it was a great win. I tried my best. I'm looking forward to next year already.' Champion: Virginia's Sonya Thomas, Joey known as the 'Black Widow', 'Jaws' grabbed the women's title after Chestnut downing 45 hot dogs to grab (Picture: herself a cash prize. Andrew New York mayor Michael Burton/ Bloomberg, who watched the Getty competitors weigh in earlier in Images) the day, said he didn't see a problem with the controversial competition. 'Having it [a hot dog] occasionally is fine,' he said. 'If you want to eat 65 hot dogs in 10 minutes, that's even fine. Just don't do it more than once a year and you won't have a problem.'


A German university is suing a pupil who graduated too quickly (PA)

Panda-monium as pandas invade London Underground Keep right: Panda bears let loose in London (Picture: PA)

Garden. Promoting Panda Awareness Week, the 108 'pandas' represented the number of bears currently living at the Chengdu Panda Base, in China. Panda Awareness Week is part of a bid to raise awareness about the plight of the giant panda, one of the world's most threatened species. The costumed pandas will also be accompanying wildlife presenter Nigel Marven, an ambassador for the campaign, on educational visits to schools across the capital throughout the week. 'Our ultimate goal is to help the

pandas return to their natural habitat and to increase the number of giant pandas living in the wild,' Marven explained. 'We hope that Panda Awareness Week can help us gain more support for panda conservation and find new advocates for this very special cause. 'I am confident that all the great work taking place during PAW will highlight the fantastic efforts of Chengdu city, especially the Panda Base, and will, in turn, help raise awareness for one of the world's most threatened species, the giant panda.'


group of giant pandas caused a stir on the London Underground network this week after taking a ride on the Tube. The cuddly creatures, performers dressed in costumes, clambered into Charing Cross Tube Station before shuffling along to Trafalgar Square on Wednesday. The costumed pandas performed a tai-chi inspired dance in the square before attending a Panda Party in nearby Covent

Costumed pandas on the platform at Charing Cross (Picture: PA)

Hot dogs in buns at the official weigh-in ceremony (Picture: AFP)


Women who have their appendix out ‘have a greater chance of becoming pregnant’


omen who have their appendix out have a greater chance of becoming pregnant, according to experts. A study in the journal Fertility and Sterility debunks the notion that the common operation can lower a woman’s chances of conceiving. The procedure is usually performed to treat potentially lifethreatening appendicitis. Researchers at Dundee University studied one of the world’s largest digital databases of medical records, the UK General Practice Research Database. They found that out of more than 76,000 women who had undergone an appendectomy, 39 per cent had a first pregnancy within 10 years. The rate for twice as many women who had not had the surgery was only 28 per cent. The fertility gap remained after accounting for age, birth control use, number of previous hospitalisations and other factors. The team said the results now begged further research to determine whether there was ‘something unique’ about women who require appendectomies. Mr Sami Shimi, a Dundee surgeon who worked on the study, said: ‘We are not saying that women should have an appendicectomy to increase their chances of fertility. ‘But the results to do show that women who need an appendectomy should not worry about fertility problems. Fears about infertility after appendicectomy are unfounded.’ Mr Shimi said he launched the study after lots of women expressed fears to him about their chances of having a family after the ops. He said: ‘A lot of patients think they may become infertile after appendicectomy, But when I looked at the reports supporting this, they were really weak. We decided to do a bigger study, using a large patient database.’ Older reports had suggested that the surgical trauma of appendectomy might hurt a woman’s fertility by leaving scar tissue sticking to the fallopian tubes, obstructing the egg on its way to the uterus. The appendix is a muscular worm-like pouch that is attached to the first part of the large intestine. It has no known function in modern humans but it is thought it used to help our ancestors digest tough food like tree bark. Source:


Why a low-fat diet might not be helping your heart I

f you’ve carefully been avoiding fatty foods to take care of your heart, here’s a word of warning. A low-fat diet may not protect against heart disease unless you eat ‘good fats’ too, a study has found. In one of the largest studies of heart disease ever, scientists at the University of Cambridge examined the diets of 25,000 Britons aged between 40 and 79. They found those who ate foods rich in omega 6 – a fatty acid present in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds – significantly reduced their risk of heart problems. But those who had simply cut their intake of unhealthy saturated fat did not reduce their risk to the same extent. The researchers suggest the ‘balance of fats’ in our diets could be the key to preventing coronary heart disease, which is the UK’s biggest killer. They say the current advice to reduce saturated fat in our diets is right, but ‘inconsistent’, because it does not tell people what

to replace it with. In the study, those at the highest risk of heart disease – who ate a lot of saturated fat and little omega 6 – were around 50 per cent more likely to suffer from it than those at lowest risk. This was regardless of other major risk factors such as obesity and smoking. The researchers took blood samples from the volunteers in the mid-1990s, then followed them up over an average of 13 years, looking at the fats in their bloodstream compared with heart disease sufferers. Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, lead author of the study, said: ‘It is not as simple as fat is bad for heart disease. ‘We found you have to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fatty acids to reduce the risk. ‘We measured 20 types of fatty acid in the blood, which was not possible to do in the past, to get a much more accurate picture of people’s diets. ‘We did find an association

Other fats – such as omega 3, found in fish oils, and monounsaturated fat, found in olive oil – did not appear to affect coronary heart disease, but are widely thought to be good for other conditions

Warning: A low-fat diet may only protect you against heart disease if you also eat 'good fats', a study has found. between coronary heart disease with certain fatty acids, but the association was much stronger when we looked at the relationship between different fats.’ Saturated fats are found in foods such as cheese, cakes and biscuits. Too much can raise

Balancing act: Dieters are encouraged to cut out saturated fats contained in foods such as cheese, but are often not told to replace them with good fats, which can be found in avocados, eggs and poultry .

cholesterol levels in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. The NHS recommends a man should eat no more than 30g a day and a woman no more than 20g. Most of us eat around 20 per cent too much. Professor Khaw said their results ‘add to the accumulating evidence’ that substituting saturated fat with omega 6 benefits the heart. It is found in avocados, eggs and poultry as well as sunflower and corn oil. In the study, published today in the journal PLoS Medicine, the professor added that there was potential to learn a lot more about how genetic factors affect the way different fats are metabolised. Other fats – such as omega 3, found in fish oils, and monounsaturated fat, found in olive oil – did not appear to affect coronary heart disease, but are widely thought to be good for other conditions. A Department of Heath spokesman said: The link between saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease is already well established. ‘This study supports current public health advice to reduce saturated fat intake.’ Source:



Challenges of governance in Nasarawa are enormous -Hon. Abdulkarim Usman INTERVIEW


ou have been in the Nasarawa state Assembly for a year now. What is the experience so far? Very interesting, the legislative business is very tasking. It is a completely new field. When you come into a new field, you must learn the process and procedures. From the way we sit in the chambers, almost everything is being regulated by rules. You can’t speak more than once at the plenary. It is only at the committee levels you are allowed to speak more than once. It’s very challenging and it is a process that you keep learning; you can’t say you know it all. As Assembly committee chairman on health, what is your assessment of the health sector in Nasarawa state? The Government is trying all it can to see that there is great improvement in that sector. One area of the 2012 budget proposal was the upgrading of almost all the General Hospitals in the state. And recently, the governor launched the drugs resolving scheme, whereby hospitals were given instruments to acquire drugs and sell to the public. To some extent, there is an improvement in the standard of hospitals, compared to what we met on ground. Taking a look at your constituency (Wamba) with regards to development in the last one year, what have you done? During my first three months in the Assembly, I purchased and installed a300KVA transformer to one village called Mansangi in Farin Ruwa Development Area. After that, I bought 300 bundles of zincs and distributed to communities and individuals within my constituency, because this is raining season, and my community are local people, and most of the structures are made of mud blocks, so I can’t allow rain to bring their houses down. So there was urgent need for roofing. I also, constructed a bridge linking Wamba town, that will link Wamba to many villages and recently, seven boreholes in Wamba town were also sunken. Three already are on survey because I intend to

Honourable Abdulkarim Usman represents Wamba Constituency in the Nasarawa state House of Assembly and is currently the House committee chairman on Health. In this interview with Miriam Humbe, he speaks on his contributions on the floor of the Assembly, the security situation, need for religious tolerance and government’s efforts at development in the state. Excerpts: achieve 10 boreholes in the township, because there is problem of portable drinking water. I am also trying to see that in the next one month, we will put overhead tanks and commission the bridge and the boreholes respectively. Education is considered as bedrock of civilization; what is your contribution in that sector? Before I got into politics, I facilitated admission for indigenes of my state into various higher institutions. There is improvement in education sector, as far as I am concerned, because the previous government didn’t do so much in that area. We are trying to see how we can contribute our quota by giving scholarship to respective students so that they could do better in their education. Sometimes, it’s not all about conducive atmosphere, but giving children food to eat in schools. More often than not, you hear students saying they want to pay for accommodation yet they don’t have the money; because their parents are poor, they can’t afford it. So we want to give such assistance, particularly to university students in my constituency. Suffice it to say you are part and parcel of the present administration in the state. How can you access Governor Tanko Almakura’s one year in office? I can say he is trying and at the same time, doing his best. This is the first time he is being in public life. He has been in the private sector all his life, so the challenges are enormous. But there are lots of physical

Honourable Abdulkarim Usman

projects on-going in Lafia town. This means he is trying his best. What is your take on security in Nasarawa State in view of the Assakio crises recently? To some extent, relatively speaking, we have a peaceful environment at the moment. Once in a while we have had some challenges here and there, but I keep telling people that nothing bad will happen to this state. You see, any community without peaceful coexistence is in trouble. We are human and God made us to be of different beliefs and

It is better to be informed and there is no need to consider differences as a barrier to developing Nasarawa state. Above all, let’s live together as brothers and sisters, whether we are Christians or Muslims. God bless Nasarawa and Nigeria.

backgrounds. We need to start appreciating and respecting each other. That is the only way we can move forward. What we are having is normal Funlani/Tiv clash, Fulani/ Alago clash but, we were shocked with the Mada, Alago crisis in Assakio recently. All the same, stakeholders have worked assiduously to ensure that such a thing does not happen again. What should your constituents expect from you, now that one year is gone, and you still have three more years in office? Better legislation. When I was campaigning, I told them that I was going to give them purposeful representation and I am happy with my performance today. My first bill was the bill to establish the Nasarawa state border towns to get the attention they deserve from the government. These are borders that are shared by Plateau, Taraba and Kaduna states respectively. They were completely neglected with no

infrastructures on ground. That was why I incited that bill, and I am happy that the bill is now awaiting the assent of government. My second bill was the bill to establish the rehabilitation board. The rehabilitation board is a board that is supposed to take care of the physically challenged. Those who are handicap, blind etc. are not less human, so they should be trained in different fields, so that they can compete with others. Some of them, I can say, are more God fearing than us. My last Bill was on prohibition of all forms of stigmatization and discrimination against people leaving with HIV/AIDS who are also human too. Just because of sickness, some people don’t eat at work place, schools etc. they are being victimized and discriminated against. There should be a law to curtail that. It has passed the first and second reading, and is at the committee stage now. Any moment upon resumption, the bill should be passed into law. When you are not talking politics, what else do you do? I chat, I relax, I meet people, I go for games because I need to be fit, I visit hospitals too. What is your message to your constituents and Nasarawa state as a whole? Glory to God for this one year, and I want to call on the people of Wamba and Nasarawa state to appreciate what the State Assembly is doing today. As for the rumour mongers and hearsays, when they are not clear about an issue, they should ask questions instead of wallowing in ignorance and unnecessarily heating up the polity. It is better to be informed and there is no need to consider differences as a barrier to developing Nasarawa state. Above all, let’s live together as brothers and sisters, whether we are Christians or Muslims. God bless Nasarawa and Nigeria.



ACN, CPC alliance talk binding on Edo chapter - Momoh By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Chairman of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Tony Momoh, has explained that the alliance talk between the ACN and CPC on the possibility of presenting a consensus candidate in the Edo governorship election slated for July 14th is going on at a level above the State chapters of both

parties and therefore binding on them. In a recent interview with our reporter, Momoh clarified that though no consensus candidate is agreed on yet, the alliance/ merger talk between the leadership of both parties will have a far reaching effect on their candidates in the Edo guber poll. He further explained that the

statement from the ACN governorship candidate in Edo, Adams Oshiomhole, and the State leadership of the ACN, that there is no alliance between both parties was right since the state chapters of both parties never sat to negotiate any alliance. Momoh noted that the ongoing merger talk involves other opposition parties, and is primarily aimed for the 2015

general elections adding that if the talk succeeds, the parties involved will collapse their identities and logo to adopt something common. “Except if it is alliance, which implies that the parties will support each other where they have a comparative advantage, we will still retain our identities and logos.” Momoh said. Speaking on the possibility of

the negotiation hitting a brick wall again, he pointed out that the first merger moves were fire-brigade because it was initiated few months to the Presidential elections, arguing that since it has started well ahead of 2015, it indicates that all the parties concerned are serious and committed this time around. Meanwhile, he has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure that the Edo election is not rigged, saying that the state is mini Nigeria, and therefore, any attempt to rig the election will definitely affect Nigeria as a whole. “INEC should know that what played out in Adamawa, Sokoto, Kogi, Cross River, and Bayelsa, where results were circulated before elections should not repeat itseif. Nobody will rig Edo governorship and go free,” Momoh threatened.

Kebbi reshuffles 12 permanent secretaries From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

L-R: National Secretary, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Engineer Buba Galadima, Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and National Chairman of CPC, Prince Tony Momoh, during INEC meeting with all stakeholders on the forthcoming Edo state governorship election, last Friday at the INEC Headquarters, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Edo guber poll: ACN governors recruit thugs, contribute N2bn - PDP alleges From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, of recruiting over 1,000 thugs to be used during and after the next Saturday’s Edo state gubernatorial election. The party, which called on security agencies in the country to probe Aregbesola’s outburst that “come July 14, heaven will fall if Oshiomole loses election,” said what Aregbesola said was akin to declaring war on the country and he must be held responsible if anything untoward happen in Edo State after the election. Zonal Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Kayode Babade, who made this allegation in a statement issued today, also accused the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governors in Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Ekiti States of contributing N2 billion public funds to prosecute the Edo state election. “Nigerians, especially security agencies, should take

notice of Aregbesola’s comment at the campaign rally held for Adams Oshiomole on Saturday that heaven will fall if Oshiomhole is not announced as the winner of the election, and act appropriately. “It should also be noted that it was the same way some people threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable if General Mohammadu Buhari was not declared winner of the 2011 presidential election, and we all saw what happened after the election and we can see what is

still happening now. “Most importantly, we are aware that Aregbesola is in charge of recruitment of thugs for the election and he has already recruited over 1,000 thugs. The thugs are to be moved to Edo State from Wednesday, using government vehicles,” Babade said. While also accusing ACN governors of using public funds to prosecute the Edo State election, the PDP alleged “We are aware that a sum of N2 billion is being raised by the five ACN

governors in the Southwest to buy voters during the election. “It is their assumption that if 650,000 votes can be bought at N3,000 per vote, Oshiomhole will win comfortably. And for this purpose, the five Southwest governors have been mandated to contribute N2 billion to prosecute the ‘see and buy’ strategy. “We are therefore warning the governors to desist from wasting funds meant for the development of Yorubaland on electoral adventures in

Benue directs council heads to cancel employment From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


enue state special adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Solomon Wombo, has frowned at the over bloated list of employees at the local government areas and directed the 23 local governments chairmen to immediately cancel employment made within the past six months in their domains. Wombo who gave the directive during the Joint

Account with council chairmen in the state at the weekend regretted that the wage bill had increased so much without commensurate increase in their internally generated revenue. He blamed this development on the irregular employment made by the various councils, maintaining that it has worsened the revenue situation considering the shortfall in the allocation from the federation account. He advised the council

chairmen to embark on aggressive revenue generation while commending Vandeikya local government for broadening its revenue base. In a related development, the state chairman, Local Government Service Commission Mr. Richard Gbande has directed all Director-General, Services and Administration, DGSAs of all the local government in the state to forward the list of staff to the Commission for proper scrutiny.


ebbi state Governor, Alhaji Usman Saidu Dakingari, has approved the movement of twelve Permanent Secretaries in the state. In a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Alhaji Abubakari Dakingari, stated that the posting also affected the new three permanent secretaries who are appointed recently. Those affected include Alhaji Labarab Muhammad Kalgo who was posted to Ministry of water resources and Rural Development; Dr. Usman Sheahu Umar to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources while Aminu Usman redeployed to the Ministry of Justice. Alhaji Udu Idris was redeployed from General Administration to Youth and Sports, Alhaji Sani Muhammed Sarki from Water resources to Special Service, Alhaji Tanko Musa Magaji will be in-charge of General Aministration from special service. Others are Dr. Abdulahi S. Gobir from Youth and Sports to Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Farouk Bako of works is to move to Ministry of Finance, Dr. Sani Muhammed Ka’oje from Agriclture to Health, Muhammed Musa Kamba from Budget to Works and Transport, Mukatari Abdulahi Diri from Establishment to Cabinet Affairs and Shuaibu D. Abdulahi from Cabinet Affairs to Establishments.



CPA: Participants, others hail Nigeria By Lawrence Olaoye


articipants to the 43rd conference of C o m m o n w e a l t h Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region, which ended in South Africa yesterday, have commended Nigeria’s legislature for its role in deepening democratic norms in the country. They equally praised the efforts of the leader of Nigeria’s delegation to the conference and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, for ensuring the full participation of Nigerian lawmakers in all the sessions of the week-long conference which held at the Gauteng Province in South Africa. A statement issued by Tambuwal’s Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, quoted Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, as saying that for the first time in recent years, Nigeria made the necessary impact in the continental gathering. “Our delegates took part in all the sessions and made useful contributions many of which were adopted at various committee levels. This is instructive considering the fact that we were notorious for not showing up at such gatherings or if we do, we pack our belongings and return home early. “This change of attitude was made possible by the leader of our delegation (Tambuwal) who took part in all the sessions thereby leading by example. Due to his diligence, our country has reaped the benefit of its attendance. Our members from the National Assembly and state Assemblies have enriched their legislative skills and I am sure we will benefit from it when we return home,” Ekweremadu added. Speaking at a lunch attended by Nigerian delegates, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Rafiu Babatunde Adejare, said the leadership provided by the Speaker at the conference offered an opportunity for the lawmakers to retool and strategise for better service delivery back home. According to him, taking part in the CPA will play a big role in fostering unity and understanding among lawmakers from the continent and the entire Commonwealth as a whole. On his part, the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Sam Ikom, said the new found synergy existing between the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly will be beneficial to the country. He equally commended Tambuwal for his efforts saying with the legislature working together, Nigerian democracy was on the right path. Giving his remarks to reporters, a member of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Luke Onofiok, appealed to Nigerians to give democracy a chance by supporting the lawmakers.

L-R: , Lagos State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Oladele Ajomale, the state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, during the 8th Executive/Legislative Parley , last Friday in Lagos.

Nasarawa Assembly bye-election: CPC wins, PDP wants election cancelled From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


lhaji Umaru Tanko Tunga of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), was at the weekend declared winner of the Awe north state Assembly byeelection having scored the highest number of votes cast. Announcing the result in Awe, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s Returning Officer, Usman Abubakar, gave a breakdown of the result as follows; CPC, 10428; PDP, 3400 Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the outcome of the election and called for the cancellation of the entire exercise, arguing that the election was characterized by corrupt practices ranging from thumb printing and stuffing of

ballot boxes. Citing gross misconduct allegedly perpetrated by the CPC, characterized by the snatching of ballot boxes, intimidation of traditional rulers and the threat of termination of appointments issued to civil servants, the PDP dissociated itself from the byeelection. In a press briefing at the secretariat of the party, state chairman, Chief Yunana Iliya, alleged that in places like Baure, Abuni, Kanje and Tunga, village and district heads served as agents or even Presiding Officers, with the CPC snatching ballot boxes and other electoral materials meant for parts of Madaki, Agudu in Tunga electoral wards, as well as Abuni in Kanje/Abuni ward. In all, Iliya disclosed that elections did not hold in 26

polling units. In a related development, eight National Youth Service Corps members posted to INEC to help in conducting the election were arrested for thumb printing and were handed over to the police. Confirming to Peoples Daily, the state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Alhaji Ahmad Makama, said that following complaints from some polling units in Madaki ward, INEC supervisors sent there reported that polling materials, including ballot papers and boxes, together with 8 Youth Corps members and their security details posted there, have all disappeared, with no election taking place there. Makama narrated further that the corps members who were not seen at the units

however emerged later at the collation centre to submit results, where upon they were arrested and after being questioned disclosed that they were hijacked by CPC supporters and taken somewhere and asked to thumb print the ballot papers in their possession. The REC stated that while the police were still searching for the security men detailed alongside the NYSC members who failed to show up at the collation centre in Awe, the 8 corps members have been handed over to the police for further investigation. Confirming the arrest also, command police spokesman ASP Cornelius Ocholi, said INEC officials handed 8 NYSC members arrested over electoral offences and are in police custody, pending further investigations

Edo 2012: ACN financier defects to PDP From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ew days to this governorship election in Edo state, one of the former financier of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state, Captain Hosa Okubo yesterday in Benin reasons why he dumped the party for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), insisting that he took the decision in the overall interest of his people. Hosa who disclosed this at a Press Conference yesterday in Benin City said a very good politician must take into account the interest of his people at the Ward, local, state and national level. According to him, "I remove my support from the ACN to the PDP

because of some interests. I believe every politics is local; you have to belong to a Ward, local government, State or National and if you are a good politician, you must take into account the interest of your people at the Ward, local government, state and national". "When people talk of ethnicity, I don't believe that there is anything like ethnic politics. I believe it is talking about the interest of your people. Why I am saying this; today as we speak, I have experienced this over the past four years. Edo state has three Senatorial districts, that is, Edo South, Edo North and Edo Central, "Edo South where I come from have close to 58 percent of the votes in the state and this was

demonstrated during the last presidential election and the total votes that came from Edo South was more than the other two Senatorial zones combined "So, in Abuja today, we have people from Edo North (which I don't want to mention) that are in Abuja politically; we have people from Edo Central that have some political presence in Abuja. But the zone where I came from which has more than 50 percent of the voting population of the entire state has nobody in Abuja today or any political strength." He insisted that people from Edo South Senatorial zone were just tied to the opposition saying that Edo state alone cannot absolved the pressure that was

coming from the people of the zone just as he noted that businessmen like him cannot also handle the pressure from his people. "We need to go back to the mainstream because the interest of our people cannot only be supported by the state, but also supported by the Federal government. I believe the state is bigger than me or anybody, but the interest of my people is bigger than friendship, is bigger than relationship, because that is where I stand": On the July 14, governorship election, Captain Okubo sued for a free and fair election insisting that the electorate must be allowed to exercise their franchise to elect a governor of their choice.



National Assembly will not cover corrupt members - Mark T

he Senate President, David Mark, says the National Assembly will not provide safety net for any of its members found wanting in their responsibilities as lawmakers. He vowed that no amount of blackmail would deter the institution from carrying out its oversight functions. Mark made the pledge in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Mr Kola Ologbondiyan on Saturday in Abuja.

He stated this in Lagos at the National Assembly-Private Sector Forum organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI). He, however, cautioned members of the public against compromising lawmakers in the discharge of their duties. According to him, the National Assembly will continue to clear itself in its strong determination to meet the expectations of the electorate. “There are those who say

that the National Assembly take the bunch of the budget. This is very ridiculous. I know that what goes to the National Assembly is not more than 2.5 per cent of the total budget. ”The National Assembly members are always accused of corruption but Nigerians to a large extent are responsible for this alleged corruption. ”We will cleanse our house to earn the respect of those that elected us into our respective offices. “We will continue to clean

our house and those who bring us to shame will get their punishment accordingly.” Mark advised members of the LCCI to participate in the public hearing on the forthcoming Constitution review exercise particularly on the issue of the Land Use Act. The President of the LCCI, Chief Goodie Ibru, urged the National Assembly to expeditiously pass the Petroleum Industry Bill as well as the amendment to the Land Use Act.

L-R: President, Pan African Parliament, Hon. Bethel Nnameka Amadi, President Goodluck Jonathan, First Vice- President of the parliament, Hon. Roger Nkodo, and Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, during the visit of the Pan African Parliament Delegation, recently to the state House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

ACN members defect to PDP in Lagos


ome 2, 000 members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Lagos, led by Mr Abdulkareem Rafiu, a former security aide to Gov. Babatunde Fashola, on Saturday defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Rafiu told PDP big wigs and party faithful who were at the state party secretariat in Ikeja, where the defectors were formally accepted, that the

ACN had not lived up to expectation. “I believe the PDP is the party that would bring back the dream Lagos,” Rafiu, popularly called ``Otto’’ , said. NAN reports that on hand to receive the defectors were PDP bigwigs, including its former National Deputy Chairman, South-West, Chief Olabode George, former governor of Ekiti, Mr Segun Oni, and former

Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope. Addressing the defectors and party members at the event, George said that a PDP-led administration would never disappoint the people of Lagos. “I am delighted that many people in the ranks of the ACN are now seeing the light,” he said. Oni, who also spoke at the event, informed the gathering that by 2015, PDP would form

the next government in Lagos State. He called for unity among the party members. Earlier in a welcome speech, the state chairman of the party, Chief Tunji Shelle, urged the members to join hands to move the PDP forward. “Let us move this party to a position in which the teeming masses of Lagos State, who have suffered so much, can find succour,” he said.

Group expresses confidence in INEC over Edo election


n election monitoring group, Voters Awareness Initiative (VAI), says Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is adequately prepared to conduct hitch-free governorship election in Edo on July 14. Mr Wale Ogunade, the President of the group, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos. “I can tell you authoritatively that INEC is prepared to conduct

a free and fair election in Edo in line with the international best practises. “INEC, in collaboration with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), a global electioneering monitoring group, has just completed training in Enugu for both local and international observers. “The commission has demonstrated to us what they intend to do during the election and we, as observers, are quite satisfied.

“However, the success of the election depends on the politicians and the electorate because without their cooperation, things will not go as planned.” Ogunade said that Edo election was crucial to all the political parties, particularly the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). “Edo is an important state for both the PDP and ACN. The PDP sees Edo as one of its states, though

the party lost to ACN in 2007. “The ACN, being the government in power, wants to retain the state and so the stake is very high.” Ogunade, therefore, urged the politicians in the state and at the national level, not to interfere with the conduct of the election. He also advised the electorate to vote for right candidate of their choice, urging them not to mortgage their future for temporary monetary gains.

First Lady, governors wives’ projects are legal – Mrs Suswam


rs Yemisi Suswam, the wife of the Benue governor, said on Sunday that pet projects initiated by the Office of the First Lady and state governors’ wives are constitutional. Suswam, who is also the Chairperson of Northern Governors Wives’ Forum, made the statement in an interview with the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in London. “If you say the Office of the Wife of the Governor is not in the constitution so it does not attract budgetary allocation, which is correct. “But our pet projects are not unconstitutional because we run them as nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and it is not illegal to have an NGO under the law,’’ Suswam said. She explained that the governors’ wives used the goodwill of their husbands to create awareness and attract support that could impact positively on the lives of vulnerable and less privileged in the society. “We try to reach out to people who are friends of government, well meaning Nigerians that can charitably support some of the social problems that we try to address through our pet projects so this is not against the law,’’ she stressed. Suswam, who expressed concern over the insecurity and loss of lives in the Northern part of the country, disclosed that the Northern Governors Wives’ Forum was currently working on ways to curtail the impact on women. “We are taking the security issue very seriously; we are looking at its impact and how it can and has affected women and looking at how we can curtail it in a very subtle way as wives of governors,’’ she said. Suswam urged Nigerian women in the Diaspora to get involved in development processes in the country. “I want to encourage Nigerian women in Diaspora to get connected at home, a lot of them are still disconnected from the reality at home. “ It is not enough to criticise. If you do not come home to see what is on ground, you will also not have a better understanding of what the challenges are and how to tackle them,’’ she said. Suswam also urged the women to get involved in the political process to enable them to contribute to laws that would further improve the lives of women and children.



Vanzekin confident of top-four finish Uweru sure of Federation


arri Wolves’ goalkeeper, Ambrose Vanzekin has backed his side to finish in the top four of the Nigeria premier league despite dropping all three points against Dolphins on Wednesday.

Ambrose Vanzekin

Wolves went into the game knowing victory would lift them to 48 points were they would have been within reach of rivals such as Dolphins, Sunshine Stars and 3SC. The defeat rather saw them slip to 14th place, but Vanzekin said that they have not yet lost the initiative and can still recover effectively before the season ends. “We still have an outstanding game as well as two away matches to play before the end of the league, and we’ve set our sights on winning all our home games and at least one of the away fixtures to achieve our target of finishing in the top four,” he said. “We have a very good team and our performances have been encouraging even when we lose matches, so we have to remain positive and give it all we got in the last round of matches. “We were disappointed to lose

out of the Confederation Cup, as we expected to reach the group stage, so we are determined to give it another try next year by finishing well in the league.” The former youth international reckoned the title race was now a straight fight among the trio of Enugu Rangers, Enyimba and Kano Pillars. “I think it would a herculean task to overhaul the teams that currently occupy the top three positions, and for me, Pillars look like the team with the character to go all the way,” he said. “They play good, confident football irrespective of the venue, and that’s what a team needs to have the edge in the title run-in.” Wolves have also made progress to the last 16 of Federation Cup, where they were drawn in Group A along with Enyimba, Lobi Stars and Samba FC in Bauchi.

Cup qualification


wara United goalkeeper, Michael Uweru is positive his side will qualify from Group B of the Federation Cup competition. The Afonja Warriors will vie for the last eight tickets in Lagos together with NPL title chasers, Kano Pillars, El-Kanemi Warriors and Crown FC. The Cup group games will hold between July 16 and 20 in four centres. Uweru said that he sees the llorin-based side qualifying ahead of their group’s opponents. “Kwara United chance is very bright, I see us qualifying ahead of our opponents. “It won’t easy, because Kano Pillars and El-Kanemi are strong

sides but Kwara United will pull through. “Our target is the cup and with the unity among my teammates I don’t see any team stopping us from achieving our goal,” said the keeper. The former Crown FC shot stopper said he does not see more upset in the group stage of the competition. “Federation Cup will always be full of surprises but I don’t see more upset or surprises in the group games. “The teams are established sides. The only team that can pull surprise is Samba. “But I see the Premier League top guns finishing in the last four and eventually playing in the final,” he said.

Obuh invites 5 foreign-based ahead of Tanzania clash Stories by Albert Akota


John Obuh

ive Foreign-Based players have been invited to the Nigeria Under20 football team, the Flying Eagles, ahead of a 2013 Africa Youth Championship qualifier against Tanzania. Olarenwaju Kayode of Swiss side Lucerne, Egbedi Edafe (AGF Aarhus, Denmark), Aliyu Mohammed Goyi (Tavriya, Ukraine), and Oliha Aigbe (Esperance, Tunisia) have all been called up ahead of the AYC clash away to Tanzania on July 28. Seventeen-year-old striker, Cedric Omoigui from the youth team of Spanish club, Real Mallorca is expected to make his debut for the Under20 side as he also received a call-up. Kayode and Edafe featured at both the AYC and the Under20 World Cup in Colombia last year, while Goyi and Aigbe were part of the squad but did not make the final cut for the World Cup. Big defender, Kenneth Omeruo was also listed for the game, but was later excused as he is at present in pre-season with English Premier League club, Chelsea. Coach of the team, Sam John Obuh has also recalled Abduljeleel Ajagun (Dolphins), Chidi Osuchukwu as well as Bright Ejike (Sharks), who were part of last year’s squad. The Flying Eagles will face their Benin Republic counterparts in a warm-up match on July 14.

Victor Moses

Gunners take aim at Moses


arclays English Premier League club, Arsenal is reportedly ready to make a move for Nigeria striker, Victor Moses. Investigations by reveals that as uncertainty about Theo Walcott’s future grows, the Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger may now turn his attentions to the unsettled Wigan Athletic man who is been courted by rivals, Liverpool and Chelsea. Walcott has just 12 months remaining on his contract at the Emirates Stadium and talks about an extension have stalled. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is apparently now ready to sell,

as long as he can find the right replacement. The man he wants is Wigan’s Nigerian playmaker Moses according to Sunday’ reports in the British media. The 21-year-old has been linked with Chelsea and Liverpool in recent weeks, after making it clear he has no intention of signing a new contract at the DW Stadium. Latics chairman Dave Whelan has tried to deter interest from rival Premier League clubs by placing a £12million price tag on the former Crystal Palace trainee. Chelsea appears unwilling to meet that valuation, but Arsenal could afford it if they are able to offload Walcott.



Kano Pillars go shopping

Fergie admits Drogba ‘boost’


ir Alex Ferguson believes Didier Drogba’s departure from Chelsea is good news for Manchester United as he has such a great record in big games. Drogba inspired the Blues to Uefa Champions League glory at the end of last season before announcing that he had decided to bring his eight-year spell at Stamford Bridge to an end.

He has since secured a transfer to Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua, and Ferguson doubts whether Chelsea will remain as strong a force in the future. Ferguson feels that Drogba was such a key player for Roberto Di Matteo’s side that his summer exit can only be welcomed by the other Premier League title challengers.

“When you think of the season he’s just had, I must say it is a big boost for us that Drogba is leaving Chelsea,” Ferguson said. “He scored that fantastic goal in the final with two minutes to go and his goalscoring record in the big games, in big finals, is incredible. “As far as I was concerned, he won the Champions League for Chelsea.”

N Didier Drogba

Esperance beat Sunshine to top ACL group


itle holders, Esperance of Tunisia defeated debutants, Sunshine Stars 2-0 in Group A tie of the Caf Champions League at Dipo Dina stadium, Ijebu Ode yesterday. The Tunisian champions now top the group on superior goals after compatriots; Etoile de Sahel defeated its Algerian opposites, AS Chlef 1-0 in Algeria. The North African side took the game to their hosts right from the blast of the whistle, showed maturity, confidence and clearly in full control of the ball. Their domination of the game, at least, in the first 20 minutes was not in doubt and it was a matter of time for them to record an opening goal. Their efforts were rewarded in the 20th minute when Msakni Youssef tapped in the goal beyond the reach of Sunshine Stars’ goal keeper, Moses Ocheje. Sunshine response was rapid but what would have been a clear equalizer from Godfrey Oboabona’s set piece in the 22nd minutes was not well converted by striker, Azuka Izu as his shot hit the upright. The Nigerian side intensified the search for goal but it was the visitors that profited from the attacks as Ndjeng Joseph Yannick rallied his side to the second goal in the 45th minutes ending the first half 45 at 20. Sunshine pulled out Osas Idehen for Olorundare at resumption of play still asking the question but met a stubborn and unyielding Tunisian side backline. Ajani Ibrahim, Dayo Ojo, Azuka and Olorundare efforts for goal did not yield any dividend as most of their shots either hit the upright or stopped by the Tunisian goalkeeper who stood out to keep a clean slate. CHANGE OF NAME It was a good second half I, FORMERLY KNOWN AND ADDRESSED AS MISS efforts for the Nigerian ALIU OMOSOMI SARAH NOW WISH TO BE KNOWN side unfortunately it did AND ADDRESSED AS MRS DAVID OMOSOMI nothing to help them from SARAH. ALL FORMER DOCUMENTS REMAIN VALID. suffering first home GENERAL PUBLIC SHOULD PLEASE TAKE NOTE. defeat.

Msakni Youssef


a n y a n a Banyana’s friendly against Cameroon set to play in Lille, France on Wednesday has been cancelled, according to the SA Football Association. This is due to the Cameroon Football Federation not being granted permission by world soccer body, Fifa, because the application of staging the match from the West Africans was considered too late. Instead, the South African national women’s team will play a practice match against local club side, Bayer 04 Leverkusen ladies team on Thursday evening in Hennef, Germany. They will no longer travel to France from Germany, where they had arrived on Saturday, as they conclude final preparations for the 2012 London Olympic Games set to begin later this month. “There is not much we can do about the match, we were really looking forward to

Banyana, Cameroon friendly called off testing our strength against Cameroon,” Banyana coach Joseph

Samuel Eto

Mkhonza said. “I believe Bayer 04 Leverkusen will also give

us a lot of insight into how European teams play and we will go into that

practice match with the same determination as though we were facing Cameroon.” The second friendly match against Great Britain will go ahead in Birmingham, England on Sunday. “With less than 20 days to the start of the Olympics, we are hoping to use this time wisely in refining our skills ahead of the tournament,” said Mkhonza. “We must remember that we began preparing for this tournament during the Olympic qualifiers last year. “We need to carry forward what we have learnt as we prepare to take on the world’s top athletes.” Banyana, who now form part of Team SA for the sporting showpiece, will begin their Group F Olympic campaign against Sweden on July 25 in Coventry. This will be followed by a clash against Canada three days later and Japan on July 31, both in Cardiff, Wales.

igeria Premier League (NPL) title contenders, Kano Pillars have made an informal contact with ABS FC for the services of Abdulrahman Bashir and Bright Esieme. Kano Pillars’ head coach, Baba Ganaru made enquiries about the two players after they impressed against his team in a Matchday 33 game at the Sani Abacha Stadium on July 4. Though ABS lost 1-2, Ganaru is said to have held informal talks with officials of the Ilorinbased team. “Kano Pillars’ coach, Baba Ganaru is very interested in Bright Esieme and Abdulrahman Bashir because they impressed him in the game against his side. Ganaru is keen to bolster his playing personnel as he is certain that Kano Pillars are in a good position to win a place to one of Africa’s club competitions next year. But Kano Pillars might miss out on Bashir, who is set to leave for Belgium next week for trials. The striker, who has scored 11 goals this season, is valued at $150,000 (around N24 million) and ABS will be keen to cash in on him by selling to a foreign club than any of their Premier League rivals. However, right-back Esieme might be open to a move to the 2008 champions, as the lure of continental football will be too much to ignore. Kano Pillars currently sit in second place in the NPL standings on 54 points and one point behind Enugu Rangers.

Papa Idris


Arsenal eye Fiorentina star to replace Robin van Persie

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

Chelsea trail Modric


helsea have re-entered the Luka Modric transfer saga, with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy holding the key to a series of big money deals which will kick start the new season. In spite of having a £40million offer turned down in last summer’s transfer window, Roman Abramovich will throw his hat into the ring again for the Croatia midfielder in an 11th hour bid to hijack his move to Real Madrid. The summer’s major transfer business is inextricably linked with the Modric move. That includes Robin van Persie’s possible move to Manchester City and Tottenham completing the £15m signing of Emmanuel Adebayor, as well as attempting to snatch Portugal midfielder Joao Moutinho from under the noses of Manchester United as Modric’s midfield replacement. Adebayor’s departure from City will free up the club’s bid to sign Van Persie after United decided that Arsenal’s £30m asking price was poor value for a 29-year-old who will have insignificant sell-on value.

Luka Modric



Stevan Jovetic

rsenal and Tottenham are set to launch big-money transfer raids as they prepare for life without two of their biggest stars. With Paris St-Germain, Juventus, Manchester City and Barcelona queueing up to pay up to £25million for the unsettled Robin van Persie, manager Arsene Wenger last night prepared to answer his critics with moves to replace him.

Inter move for Paulinho


nter Milan could move a step closer to signing Paulinho from Corinthians after the player revealed the club are in talks with his agent - but he may yet opt to stay in Brazil. Paulinho, 23, was signed by Corinthians from lower league club Bragantino two years ago and has excelled in the Brazilian top flight and helped them win their first ever Copa Libertadores title earlier this month. “Inter Milan have already had talks with my agent and they will probably make an official offer next week,” Paulinho, who has one full Brazil cap to his name, told Radio Bandeirantes. “We are talking about Inter Milan, so it obviously affects me, but Corinthians are my preference. “If an offer comes, I’ll sit and see if that’s what I want. But if Corinthians tell me that they want me to stay I’ll listen and have talks to stay.”

Lampard dismisses MLS link


rank Lampard has shrugged off reports he is set to exit Chelsea to join former England team-mate David Beckham at MLS side LA Galaxy, after the pair were photographed together at a recent match. Lampard is entering the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge and has recently been linked with moves to the MLS and the Chinese Super League. Speculation was fuelled this week when Lampard and his agent Steve Kutner joined Beckham to watch the Galaxy go down to the Philadelphia Union, but the 34-year-old moved to play down exit fears. After missing England’s Euro 2012 campaign due to injury, Lampard declared he will be “fit and fresh” for the Blues next term as they look to build on last season’s Champions League triumph. I had a full summer off and I’m ready to go back to start the hard

work for the new season. We’ve more to look forward to with the Super Cup and World Club Championships,” he said. Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo also backed Lampard to stay on at the club, hinting the midfielder may be offered a new contract beyond next season.

Sanga, Park impressed during his nation’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2002, when they were co-hosts. Such performances saw him follow national team coach Guus

Hiddink to PSV Eindhoven, where he played for three years before making a £4m move to Old Trafford, becoming a reliable wide option for boss Sir Alex Ferguson.


Park Ji-sung

Jan Vertonghen

Spurs agree Vertonghen deal


ottenham Hotspur has finally been given the green light to sign Jan Vertonghen from Ajax. Vertonghen, 25, had been at loggerheads with his club over a cut of the transfer fee he was due under the terms of his contract. But after weeks of wrangling the matter has finally been settled and the defender is now able to move to the Premier League. The 2011-12 campaign was the Belgium international’s most successful season to date - being named Ajax captain at the start and going on to lead the Dutch side

to their second straight league title. “The centre back’s impressive performances did not go unnoticed as he was named Eredivisie Player of the Year as well as Ajax’s Player of the Year in a season that saw him score 10 times in 37 appearances. In total, Jan made 220 appearances and scored 28 goals for Ajax since making his debut for them in 2006.” Spurs are expected to pay £9 million to bring the centre-back to White Hart Lane, where he will link up with new boss Andre Villas-Boas. Vertonghen joins Gylfi Sigurdsson in boosting the ranks at Spurs.

Keita leaves Barcelona after 14 trophies in four years

M Frank Lampard

QPR agree to sign Utd midfielder ueens Park Rangers have agreed a deal to sign midfielder Park Ji-sung from Manchester United. The agreement, which could potentially be worth £5m, will see QPR pay an initial transfer fee of £2m for the 31-year-old. The South Korea international has made 133 Premier League appearances for United since joining the club from PSV Eindhoven in 2005, scoring 19 goals. He won four Premier League titles and the Champions League while at United. After beginning his professional career with Japanese side Kyoto Purple

And as Real Madrid moved closer to the capture of Luka Modric, Spurs new boss Andre Villas-Boas has already earmarked where some of the £28m he is expected to get for the Croatian playmaker will go. Wenger is understood to have Fiorentina striker Stevan Jovetic as his No.1 target, but he faces competition from Chelsea for a player who is also valued at around £25m. Borussia Dortmund’s Polish

ace, Robert Lewandowski, 23, is believed to be next on the list. AVB, who would appear to have eased some of the pain of losing Modric with the £6m signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson, has also set his sights on a new striker. Spurs have already had a £12m bid for Internacional’s Leandro Damiao knocked back. But after completing the signing of Diego Forlan from Inter Milan yesterday as a potential replacement, the Brazilians seem to have cleared the way for the 22-year-old to move to White Hart Lane.

ali midfielder Seydou Keita has left Barcelona after a trophy-laden spell during his four years at the club. “Seydou Keita has announced he will not continue with the club next season,” Barca. “Barcelona thanks Seydou Keita for his contribution over the past few years and wishes him more professional and personal success in the future.” Keita, who won 14 trophies during his time with Barca, has been linked with a move to Chinese side Dalian Aerbin. Such a move would continue a recent trend for a handful of African footballers, withDidier D r o g b a , F r e d e r i c Kanoute and Yakubu Aiyegbeni all joining Chinese Super League clubs in recent weeks. Keita, 32, joined Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and was the first signing of Pep Guardiola, who had just taken over as coach. Spanish media report that Keita had a clause in his contract, which had been due to expire in 2014, allowing him to leave on a free transfer if he did not start at least half of last season’s games.

Seydou Keita Guardiola used the Malian almost exclusively as a substitute and the player helped Barca win three Spanish leagues, two Champions Leagues and two King’s Cups among other trophies.




et’s kick off with a subject that I’m sure you’ve spoken about many times before, but this time it concerns football not tennis. Will you support Brazilor Argentina at the next FIFA World Cup? (Laughs) I’ll be cheering for Brazil. I’m Brazilian; it’s as simple as that. Of course I’ve got a huge soft spot for Argentina as it’s where I was born and it’s my parents’ country, but human beings go through changes in life and my becoming Brazilian is really special to me. But my sister, for example, came over here at the same time as me but to her there’s no doubt in her mind: she supports Argentina. I think the big difference comes down to me having represented Brazil, like I did so many times in the Davis Cup as well as at the Pan American Games.

Then it turned out we reached the final of the doubles, which was on the Sunday the same day as the game! So, we took to the court, with one eye on the ball and one of our watches, hoping we’d still have time to catch the plane to France to see Brazil in the Final. We were up against a Czech guy called Cyril Suk and the Argentinian Daniel Orsanic, a mate of ours going way back. It was really comical: Guga and I were desperate to finish the match quickly, while Orsanic was walking really slowly during every changeover, saying stuff like “Listen, I think I’ve got a bit of a twinge. I’m going to get the physio on, you guys aren’t in a hurry, right?” (laughs) In the end,Guga and I won in two sets and still managed to get to the Final on time, so everything went perfect. Well, except the result

But you’re earliest FIFA World Cup memories are from Argentina, right? Ah, that’s right. I clearly remember my dad going mad when we won the world title in 1978, then us all celebrating together after the 1986 win. But since then I always associate the World Cup with the country I’ve chosen. Even now back at the family home, when A Seleção is on TV everybody teases me by saying “look, ‘your team’ are playing”. (Laughs)

Brazil 2014 FIFA world cup will be brilliant, says Meligeni

Playing football is a popular pursuit among a lot of players on the tennis circuit, isn’t it? Yes, definitely, there are loads of guys that play. Particularly the Brazilians, Argentinians and Spaniards: all three of which are football-crazy countries and generally have a lot of tennis players travelling together on the clay-court scene, which is the favoured surface for players from these countries. For a long time several of these tournaments even theBrazil Open, when it was held on the Costa do Sauipe (in Bahia) used to have a compulsory kickabout among the tennis players. But later on things got a bit too intense and a few guys got injured (laughs). Nowadays it’s harder to see the guys playing in a proper match, but there are still loads of football-mad people on the circuit. I think the pressure on A Seleção to win here in 2014 is going to be greater than any team has ever had to endure. Besides which, it’s not just playing, you get to watch games too. That’s one of the biggest perks we get when we’re on tour: tournament organisers know that people love the game and always sort out tickets for us. Over the course of my career I saw so many great matches that way, such as Bayern Munich, the RomaLazio derby, two Barcelona-Real Madrid clásicos. It became an obligatory part of our routine. Back then I used to piggyback on the reputation of Guga (Brazilian ex-tennis player Gustavo Kuerten, a former world No1) and get in everywhere! (Laughs) Any other particularly special trips I’ve a great story from 1998, from the ATP event in Gstaad, Switzerland. Guga and I were both knocked out in the second round of the singles and then he got an invite he couldn’t refuse: tickets to go and see the World Cup Final in Paris.

Fernando Meligeni

When they talk about Fernando Meligeni, many people say the former tennis player is more Brazilian than most. And that is because the 41-year-old is not only Brazilian, he is Brazilian by choice. Born in Buenos Aires, Fininho moved to Brazil with his parents when he was still a child and, though he returned to Argentina to complete his development in youth tennis, he always made it abundantly clear just how Brazilian he feels. This level of patriotism shone through in his 29 Davis Cup matches for the country and when draping himself in the greenand-yellow flag, tears streaming down his face, after winning a gold medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. As part of this series of interviews with celebrities from other walks of life, we spoke to the former world No25 and three-time ATP title winner about his relationship with football, the sport which is lived and breathed in both his countries the one of his birth and the nation that won his heart.

Fernando Meligeni [France beat Brazil 3-0] that is! (Laughs) Having represented Brazil so many times, how do you think A Seleção will find playing at home come 2014? Well, that’s where there’s a huge difference between tennis and football. For me, I always saw playing at home as a real plus. Even when things went wrong, such as when we lost against Australia in Florianopolis in the Davis Cup for example, I never felt under added pressure due to playing at home. I felt sad to have let the fans down, but I never felt under pressure. But with football it’s a different story altogether: the pressure’s going to be a problem. When it comes to football, Brazilians are incredibly passionate. I think the pressure on A Seleção to win here in 2014 is going to be greater than any team has ever had to endure. What kind of atmosphere are you expecting in Brazil come the FIFA World Cup? It’s going to be a brilliant World Cup. It’ll be different to the ones a lot of people are used to seeing in Europe: things are different over here. But I think it’ll be the perfect opportunity to showcase one of the wonderful qualities of Brazilian people: their friendly, kind, hospitable nature and the way they’re always smiling. Even during the World Cup, as the whole country is going to revolve around that. Whoever comes over here is definitely going to have a brilliant time, over and above the matches themselves.



a e

PICTORIAL a. b. c. d.

b e. f.


Spurs have finally been given the green light to sign Jan Vertonghen from Ajax after the defender settled an ongoing contract dispute with the club. Arsene Wenger has insisted he has no plans to rework his philosophy of developing young talent to turn Arsenal into a big-spending club. Unbeaten welterweight Kell Brook survives a scare against American Carson Jones to win his IBF world title eliminator on points. England's David Howell and Dane Anders Hansen are joint leaders going into the final round of the French Open, with Ian Poulter among those within striking distance. Veteran Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs is named as captain of Great Britain for the Olympics. Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has warned Fernando Torres he is not assured of a place in his team but expects him to be a "fantastic player" this season. Former Olympic champion Michael Johnson believes Usain Bolt has the potential to run the 100m in 9.4 seconds.








n b e a t e n welterweight Kell Brook survived a scare against American Carson Jones to win his IBF world title eliminator on a point’s decision. The 26-year-old had blood pouring from his nose after being pushed all the way by world number three Jones. But two judges awarded 116-113 and 115-113 points in his favour, while a third judge scored the bout a draw. Kell Brook remains

Brook win on points undefeated, winning 28 professional fights, 18 by knockout. “I think I’ve proved I’ve got the heart. I stood my ground and did what I needed to get the fight,” Brook said. Cheered on by his hometown crowd in Sheffield, Brook controlled the early rounds against his higher-ranked opponent. But after Brook’s classy

Kell Brook

Carson Jones


Bolt may run 9.4 seconds at Olympics, says Johnson

our-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson believes Usain Bolt can run 100m in 9.4 seconds but only if the Jamaican refines his sprinting style. The 25-year-old broke his own world record with a time of 9.58 secs at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Johnson said: “Bolt could absolutely run faster, but it would take a tremendous commitment on his part to do a complete overhaul of his technique.” But the American still thinks Bolt is favourite to retain his Olympic titles.

“He could probably run 9.4 seconds,” added 44year-old Johnson, who won gold in Barcelona in 1992, did the 200m and 400m double in Atlanta four years later, and claimed another gold in the 2000 Sydney Games. Bolt, who will also be defending his 200m and 4x100m Olympic titles in London,announced on Thursday he was going to withdraw from the

Marcel wins French Open


ogeys on the final two holes saw Ian Poulter drop out of contention as German Marcel Siem won the French Open. Siem carded a four-under par 67 on Sunday to finish eight under, one clear of Italian Francesco Molinari, who made a stunning 64 in his final round. Poulter’s poor finish meant a tie for fourth with fellow Englishmen David Lynn and David Howell on five under. Compatriots Justin Rose and Lee Westwood finished further off the pace, in joint ninth and 40th respectively. A birdie on the 16th had seen Poulter go level with Molinari and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson on seven under before the mistakes crept into his game. The victory for 31-year-old Siem was his first on the European Tour since the Dunhill Championship in South Africa eight years ago. World number three Westwood climbed 18 places with a closing 70 after he had considered pulling out of the tournament on Saturday with knee and groin problems picked up after he slipped on the walk to the first tee.

Marcel Siem

Diamond League meeting on 20 July after suffering a “slight” injury problem. J o h n s o n told that Bolt was “not a very clean sprinter” from a biomechanical standpoint, compared to America’s Tyson Gay or Jamaican Asafa Powell. Johnson cited analysis conducted at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Dallas.

While being very impressed by Bolt, he thinks the outcome of the men’s 100m in London is far from settled. Yohan Blake showed he will take advantage when Bolt does not perform at his best,” said Johnson. Blake beat Bolt at the Jamaican Olympic trials in both the 100m and 200m, running 9.75 secs to Bolt’s 9.86 secs in the shorter distance.

start, Jones battled back and badly bloodied Brook’s nose in the eighth as the British fighter began to look ragged. In the final round, Jones pushed hard for a knockout but after an anxious wait, Brook was declared the winner. “Carson Jones has won my respect tonight It was a fight I needed, to dig in if you don’t get through the fight you don’t win,”

Usain Bolt

said the former British Welterweight champion. Jones had no complaints about the decision but is hoping for a rematch after such a narrow defeat. “I think it was a close fight. Hopefully we can do it again, and make it right,” he said. “I should have started a bit earlier and it might not have been as close. But I take nothing away from him, he’s a great fighter.”

Giggs to captain Team Britain


tuart Pearce has announced that Manchester United midfielder Ryan Giggs will captain the Great Britain team at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament. The Welshman was selected as one of Team GB’s three over-age players along with compatriot Craig Bellamy and Manchester City defender Micah Richards when Pearce named his 18-man squad on Monday. The London Games represents the first opportunity for Giggs to appear at an international tournament, with Wales having failed to qualify for a FIFA World Cup™ or European Championship during the 38-year-old’s 16-year career with the Dragons. The United star said: “Obviously I have experience and there are a lot of younger players in this squad. As captain, hopefully I can pass that on to them.” Despite frustration for his country, Giggs has enjoyed a glittering career at Old Trafford since arriving as a schoolboy. The Welshman has won 12 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two UEFA Champions Leagues and one FIFA Club World Cup. Great Britain will play Brazil in a pre-tournament friendly on 20 July before beginning their Group A campaign against Senegal at Old Trafford six days later. United Arab Emirates and Uruguay complete the section.

Ryan Giggs

. . . putting the people first

MONDAY, JULY 9, 2012


LA TEST LATEST Federer beats Andy to win Wimbledon 2012


ndy Murray's bid to win Wimbledon was ended by Roger Federer as the Swiss claimed a recordequalling seventh SW19 triumph and 17th Grand Slam title. Murray, 25, was aiming to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to lift a major singles trophy. But 30-year-old Federer won 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4 on Centre Court to match the mark set by Pete Sampras and reclaim the world number one ranking. A tearful Murray has now lost all four of his Grand Slam finals. He was the first Briton to contest the Wimbledon men's singles final since Bunny Austin in 1938, but fell just short of the ultimate goal. Federer fully deserved his victory, which not only sees him level Sampras on seven Wimbledon titles, but also secures him a record 286th week as world number one. He is the second-oldest man to occupy top spot, goes away with a cheque for £1.15m and will head to the Olympics - also being staged at the All England Club - as clear favourite. Murray, who collects the £575,000 runner-up prize, now shares his coach Ivan Lendl's unenviable record of losing his first four Grand Slam finals. All was going to plan as a couple of pummelling backhands down the line, a tactic many highlighted prematch, helped Murray break in the opening game and then consolidate the advantage for a 2-0 lead. Federer looked uneasy with the pace his opponent was setting and began deploying sliced groundstrokes to slow things down.

Roger Federer


0803 0805 0803 0805 0803

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE I believe that you cannot ignore moder n science and moder n modern modern tec hnolo gy. If it’ s tr ue tha o Har am technolo hnolog it’s true thatt Bok Boko Haram exists, then they must have been or mer misguided — Alhaji Alhaji, ffor ormer finance minister o Har am minister,, on Bok Boko Haram

Nigeria: Third quarter top 10 watch list You can tell a good Friday from the Wednesday preceding it” — Hausa Proverb


his watch list focuses on issues, activities, developments or actors with the potential to affect the Nigerian political economy in the period, July to September, 2012. It is not exhaustive, and the criteria for selection have been informed by current national concerns, developments and linkages with other issues outside the list. The watch list is meant strictly as a guide on areas or issues that may inform government policy or shape public opinion. The rainy season The rainy season in Nigeria has always had two contradictory impacts. It is the period during which the nation's major investments in agriculture are made. It is also the season which tends to expose the weaknesses and limitations of basic physical and social infrastructure, as well as the capacity of the state to respond to them. The rainy season in this quarter will bring widespread damage to socio-economic infrastructure which governments have ignored to fix; and widespread complaints, particularly from the northern part of the country, that fertilizer is still too expensive for small producers to access. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy is potentially a very powerful person in the management and reform of the nation's economy. Her first year in office has been marked by massive turbulence around issues relating to deregulation and liberalization. This quarter should indicate the degree to which she is succeeding in pushing the frontiers of reform, or accepting the limited space and scope in which she has operated so far. The Sovereign Wealth Fund The fate of this instrument intended to shield national resources from endemic plunder and create a stable resource base for real investment may be decided this quarter. The deadlock between the federal government and governors over the size of the fund and the existence of serious political issues around a consensus towards achieving at least $10b in the fund will either cripple it substantially, or be resolved by more effective political negotiations.

311 689 606 327 454

7458 1765 3308 1969 0344

FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala The Federal Cabinet There has been much speculation over the fate of many ministers in a rumoured shake up. Elaborate details have been leaked and denied by the administration, leading to intense lobbying and loss of morale among ministers. The period under review should indicate whether the President is willing to bring on board fresh and more capable hands, or even sack untouchables in his cabinet who represent major sources of weaknesses in his administration. Fuel subsidy investigation The federal government has just set up another committee to investigate, verify and reconcile the findings of the technical committee earlier established by the Federal Ministry of Finance to conduct a detailed review of all subsidy claims and payments that were made in 2011. The committee has only one week to conclude an assignment into an issue over which many other committees have also been involved. The national assembly's effort have registered a major casualty among its ranks, which has quite possibly fatally injured its own report. There are many other reports of investigations, and even the E.F.C.C. is supposed to have received information which could be acted upon to prosecute those involved in the subsidy scam. This period should indicate the sincerity of the federal

government in exposing those involved in the scam, and willingness to tackle widespread corruption in the oil and gas sector. National Security Adviser The new National Security Adviser may substantially improve the prospects for some type of truce and commencement of engagement with JASLIWAJ (a.k.a Boko Haram), or he may turn out to be even more powerless than his predecessor. The frenzy of contacts, visits and media engagements in which he has been involved since his appointment suggest that he believes that governors, traditional rulers and public opinion are critical to his success. If he is wrong in identifying these as sources for the resolution of the issues raised by the insurgency, he would have missed a critical period within which to make an impact. Major indicators for gauging his success include the degree to which he influences activities of security agencies, and whether he represents a credible mediatory avenue, either on his own or with others. The caliber, clout and pedigree of the person to be appointed Minister of Defence will also be an important success factor for the NSA. Jama’atu Ahlil Sunnah Liddaawati Wal Jihad (aka Boko Haram) With the Ramadan fast starting in July and a new National Security Advisor vigorously waving olive branches, this period should indicate whether this insurgency has the cohesiveness and foresight to take political decisions that go beyond fighting state agents and Christians. If it calls a truce during the Ramadan period, and it is able to sustain it, it could strengthen its hands in any discussion with the government. Its continuing threat and potential to cause widespread havoc has been amply demonstrated in Kaduna state. The elections in Edo state All the indices for a bitterlyfought gubernatorial election in Edo State have been registered. The PDP is desperate to defeat the

sitting governor, and even President Jonathan has had to undergo a personal humiliation at the palace of the Oba of Benin in his bid to enlist influential support. The governor himself will throw everything at the PDP, and the electoral process will be severely stressed in this election. The fallout of these elections will be registered well beyond the elections themselves, and politically-related violence will most likely rise. The Edo elections are critical because they have a direct relationship with 2015. Northern governors Northern governors have retreated substantially from effective governance since the middle of 2011. Serious incursions of JASLIWAJ (Boko Haram) activities in many parts of the north have introduced a heavy and crippling federal presence through security agencies' activities in the North. Declining resources to make any real impact, (especially with the N18,000 minimum wage burden) have made northern governors largely irrelevant in terms of development and politics in the north and Nigeria. The period under review should either see an initiative to recapture lost ground by the governors through populist rhetorics or use of proxy groups, or a further decline in their influence as they retreat from the threat and damage of JASLIWAJ and the poverty of their citizens. President Goodluck Jonathan President Jonathan has not demonstrated a strong political will and character to lead this nation out of its severely crippling challenges and limitations so far. Deepening and expanding corruption and the increase in the scope and damage of the JASLIWAJ insurgency have created the image a weak and ineffective President. This period should indicate whether the President can generate and deploy a stronger will and demonstrable competence in managing the affairs of state; or he will continue to operate in a manner that suggests that the solutions to the nation's problems may come from anywhere else, but him. General Overview The third quarter of 2012 is likely to be marked by intensification of violence by the JASLIWAJ insurgency and efforts to frustrate genuine efforts to expose and deal with corruption which occurs substantially around the administration. There are likely to be issues around ineffective and weak implementation of the budget, and wider clamour for improvements in accountability by leaders. Real improvements in the quality of governance or effectiveness of policies to eradicate poverty and insecurity are not envisaged.

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday, July 09, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday, July 09, 2012 Edition

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