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Vol. 9 No. 65

Friday, November 9, 2012

Otedola slams N250bn suit against Lawan, Tambuwal

. . . putting the people first

Again, Boko Haram suspect escapes from custody

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Zhul-Hajj 24, 1433 AH


NASS under pressure to scuttle LG autonomy bid >> PAGE 3

Presidency dumps Ribadu report . . . Says it is inconclusive

By Lawrence Olaoye


here are indications that the Presidency may have resolved to dump the controversial report of the Petroleum Revenue Special Task

Force (PRSTF) chaired by Malam Nuhu Ribadu recently submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan as it yesterday rubbished it. Briefing newsmen on the controversies generated by the report, Senior Special Assistant to

the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said the Task Force report was inconclusive and therefore untenable. According to him, President Jonathan’s intention for setting up the committee was for it to do a

holistic investigation into the intransigent challenges of the nation’s oil and gas industry in the past 10 years but, unfortunately, the committee has passed the job of verifications and reconciliation back to the

government. He pointed out that one of the major terms of reference of the committee was “to work with consultants and experts to determine and verify all Contd on Page 2

2015: Buhari cannot decide for himself - CPC By Abdul Labaran Malumfashi & Ikechukwu Okaforadi


Gov Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe state (right) speaking during the presentation of food items to orphans, crippled and less privileged in the 17 local government areas at the Government House Damaturu, yesterday. With him is Chairman of the Committee on Orphans and Vulnerable Persons, Alhaji Ibrahim Kalallawa.

eneral Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to call time on his presidential aspiration may have been premature as the National Chairman of his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Chief Tony Momoh yesterday said that only the party had the power to decide who does or aspires for what, not the individual party members. General Buhari, it would be recalled, had soon after the Supreme Court had announced its verdict in favour of President Goodluck Jonathan, said that he would not contest for the presidency any more after his unsuccessful attempts in 2003 and 2007 under the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and in 2011 under his current party, CPC. But the CPC Chairman told Peoples Daily that nobody but the party had the last word on any issues as far as the CPC is

concerned, adding that discipline is the watchword in the party as nobody can unilaterally decide on what they want to do and go ahead with that decision without the blessing of the party. “In the CPC, it’s the party that has the last word, individuals do not decide what they want or don’t Contd on Page 2


8th Nov., 2012

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CONTENTS News Editorial

2-11 12

Faroukgate: Otedola slams N250bn suit against Lawan, Tambuwal By Sunday Ejike Benjamin
















he controversy over the alleged $620 million bribe against the former chairman of the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc committee on Fuel Subsidy probe, Farouk Lawan yesterday assumed a different dimension as the Lagos based multi billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola slammed a N250 billion suit against the embattled lawmaker and the speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal before an Abuja High Court. Otedola, who joined Farouk Lawan and the Speaker as Defendants in the suit filed on his behalf by his counsel, Babajide Koku (SAN) is claiming a total sum N250 billion as compensation for the business losses he suffered by their action. He wants the court to order the Defendants to pay him N100 billion as general damages for acts of intimidation, loss of good-will and patronages occasioned by the acts of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Farouk Lawan. In the legal action he jointly filed along with his Zenon Petroleum and Gas Company, Otedola is claiming another N150

billion against the Defendants as exemplary damages for their alleged oppressive and arbitrary actions against him and his company. He is also challenging the alleged move by Farouk Lawan and Tambuwal to re-list his company among the oil firms indicted for allegedly defrauding the federal government. Otedola averred in a 28paragraph statement of claim, that by the resolution of January 8, 2012, the House of Representatives set up an Ad-Hoc Committee to verify and determine the actual subsidy amount paid to oil companies and to also monitor the implementation of the subsidy in the country. He alleged that Farouk Lawan later informed him that his company was going to be indicted for purchasing foreign exchange from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) without importing fuel and that in spite of his explanations, Farouk Lawan allegedly demanded $3 million bribe to enable his company, Zenon Oil and Gas Limited get a clean bill of health. Otedola further averred that Lawan resorted to persistent phone calls threatening him that his company would be included in the

list of indicted oil importers and that the image and reputations of Zenon oil would be greatly affected unless he pays the $3 million. Faced with the unrelenting bombardment of intimidating phone calls, the plaintiff claimed that he became distressed and reported the unlawful demands to security agencies. He averred that he secured the advice of security agents to play along by giving marked money to Lawan so as to gather evidence in the nefarious activities of the Lawmaker. Otedola alleged that the situation got to the peak on April 18, 2012 when the fuel subsidy probe report was submitted, indicting his Zenon Oil and Gas Company. He claimed further that Lawan called and assured him that his company can be delisted from the list of the indicted oil importing companies prompting him to give $620,000 marked money in two instalments with $500,000 to Farouk and another $120,000 to the secretary of the Farouk Lawan led committee, one Boniface Emenalo on the instruction of Farouk. With the bribe paid to him, the Plaintiff averred that Farouk on April 24, 2012 moved the House to de-list the name of his company

from the indicted companies but was still persistent in demanding for balance of $2,380,000 prompting him to report the incident to the Police. The plaintiff asserted that in spite of the on-going Police investigation, the Speaker and Hon. Farouk have allegedly conspired to re-list his company among the indicted companies to embarrass him and his business corporate image, adding also that the purpose of re-listing his company was to force and intimidate him to drop his complaints against Farouk. Otedola therefore asked the court to award him N250 billion for the grave injuries done to his reputation and business image resulting in the substantial loss of goodwill and patronage of his business built over the years. However, the Speaker and Farouk have filed an objection to hearing of the suit by an Abuja High Court claiming that it is only the federal high court that can adjudicate over such a matter. The objection was filed by Mr. Kehinde Ogunuwuniju from the chambers of Chief Afe Babalola. The trial judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke of adjourned till November 23, 2012 to hear arguments on the Preliminary Objections of the defendants in the matter.

Presidency dumps Ribadu report I built my career, family in between postings, says Sa’ab, Page 40











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Contd from Page 1 petroleum upstream and downstream revenues (taxes, royalties, etc) due and payable to the federal government of Nigeria. “Unfortunately and most regrettably, this paramount duty of the PRSTF committee could not be accomplished as stated in paragraph four of the covering letter signed by Ribadu and Secretary of the committee,” he stated. Paragraph four of the covering letter reads: “The data used in this report was presented by various stakeholders who made submissions to the Task Force of our assignment at various dates, which have been disclosed in relevant sections of the report. Due to time frame of the assignment some of the data used could not be independently verified and the Task Force recommends that the government should conduct such

necessary verifications and reconciliations”. Okupe noted that the implications of this paragraph four of the covering letter of the Ribadu committee was that the committee has issued a disclaimer to its own report which will now make it “impossible under our laws to indict or punish anybody except and until the Federal Government fully verifies and reconciles the facts as recommended by the committee in its submission to the government”. Okupe, however gave assurance that all the work to be done to rectify the incompleteness of the document will be done and a white paper would be issued and its recommendations fully implemented by the government. He also condemned the politicization of the report and obvious attempt in certain quarters to disparage the genuine

efforts of President Jonathan to bring sanity and cleanse the Nigerian oil sector once and for all. “There is a major public disinformation deliberately calculated to overheat the polity and cause disaffection and opprobrium against the President for doing what is right, what is needful and profitable to the nation”. Jonathan’s spokesperson alleged “We are aware that Malam Nuhu Ribadu to a certain extent, advertently or inadvertently but definitely unfortunately, has encouraged this negativism. For instance on his Facebook a while ago, Malam Ribadu remarked that he resisted overtures to make him compromise the report and rather than compromising the report, he stayed on the side of the Nigerian people.” “His claim of an overture to him to compromise the report is perfidious and false. We respectfully

enjoin Malam Ribadu to be patriotic enough to name the proponents of this compromise. If Ribadu claims that by serving on the committee he is on the side of the Nigerian people, on whose side is President Jonathan whose idea it was in the first place to set up the Task Force and approved the appointment of Malam Ribadu as chairman of the committee. While condemning the leakage of the report to foreign press as irresponsible and capable of compromising the nation’s security, Okupe warned that ambition and the quest to be popular should not drive people to undermine their country. Okupe who acknowledged the cynicism on the part of the populace against the government stressed that of the 10 years covered by the investigation, Jonathan could only take direct responsibility for just two years.

2015: Buhari cannot decide for himself - CPC Contd from Page 1 want to do, because ours is a disciplined party. Those who are saying they don’t want to do this or that or they want to do this or that have to wait for the party to decide, because it is the party, not the individual, that sponsors candidates. On why the CPC advised its leader and former presidential flag bearer from accepting Boko Haram’s offer to mediate along

with other eminent Nigerians on its behalf with the Federal Government, Chief Momoh reechoed General Buhari stating that apart from the fact that there was no communication between the sect and the General, the party abhors anything the sect stands for. The former Head of State had Wednesday dismissed reports that he will be involved in negotiating a truce between the federal

government and the Boko Haram sect. The CPC leader spoke to newsmen at the party’s Board of Trustee (BOT) meeting in Abuja. The retired military general , who was named by the sect ahead of negotiations on ceasefire with the federal government, stated that he could not represent people he does not know nor does he believe in their cause. He also assured Nigerians that

opposition parties in the country will work together to defeat the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the coming presidential election. The dreaded Islamic sect had nominated the retired military general with other northern elders to represent the federal government in the proposed talks to end the insurgency in the northern part of the country.



Presidency begins Senate to probe arms implementation of supply to robbers by police petroleum sector reports B T By Richard Ihediwa

he Senate has commenced probe into the allegations of supply of arms to robbers by police officers in Zamfara state. This is just as it has directed the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to immediately scale up surveillance and effective policing in Zamfara state and other parts of the country that have been under heavy attacks by armed robbers in the recent time. It equally directed the Federal Ministry of Works to, in view of the growing danger, prioritise the construction of

Anke-Dangulbi-Birnin Gwari and Dayi-Tsafe-Dangulbi federal roads as a means of opening up the area and linking it with neighbouring communities. Senate’s position followed the adoption of a motion to that effect by Senator Kabiru Marafa, who drew the attention of the lawmakers to the increasing spate of armed robbery in many communities in Zamfara state resulting in the slaughter of over 250 persons between August and October this year. “Between August and October, over 250 villagers within the neighbouring zone have been brutally murdered,

villages sacked, treasures looted, farmland and produce destroyed with attendant loss of property running into millions of naira through the callous activities of the armed bandits”, he lamented. All the senators who contributed supported the motion and urged the Federal Government to take urgent steps to check the trend. They also called for the extension of the scope to other parts of the country that have been under siege in the recent times. Many of them described the situation as a system failure and urged the National Security Adviser to step up actions towards curtailing the trend.

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

arely a week after the committee set up by the Federal Government on the petroleum sector submitted their reports, President Goodluck Jonathan has set in motion machinery for the implementation of the reports. Jonathan has also chosen to begin the implementation with the committee on the nation’s refineries in order to boost domestic refining of products and create jobs. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr.

Reuben Abati who disclosed this to State House correspondents yesterday, said already, the President has set March, 2013 deadline for the completion of the Turn Around Maintenance and complete rehabilitation of three refineries in Kaduna, PortHarcourt and Warri. It would be recalled that the committee on the refineries which was headed by Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu blamed the epileptic performance of the country’s refineries on lack of proper maintenance and funding.

Constitution: NASS under pressure to scuttle LG autonomy bid . . . as Reps grumble over N1.5m ‘allowance’ By Richard Ihediwa


L-R: President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar discussing with the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, during the flag-off ceremony of peoples public session on the review of the 1999 Constitution, at the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

he two chambers of the National Assembly are now under intense pressure from governors of the 36 states of the federation to scuttle plans to grant financial autonomy to state assemblies and local government areas in the current constitution review. This is just as it was gathered that a total of N540 million has been earmarked for the planned peoples public sessions in all the 360 federal constituencies by the House of Representatives with each member getting the sum N1.5 million to conduct the parley. Already it was learnt that the governors have mounted intensive lobby on federal legislators from their states to jettison the demand to scrap the Joint State and Local Government Account so as to grant financial autonomy to local councils which is one of the key issues being considered in the review exercise.

The governors are also said to be persuading legislators not to yield to the demands by state assemblies to grant them financial autonomy in the amended constitution, assuring that they would take care of the state legislators. The development is however said to be causing a stir in the system as the 36 state Houses of Assembly had last month pointedly demanded financial autonomy and that of the 774 local councils emphasising that such has become non-negotiable in the current review of the 1999 constitution. Chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures of Nigeria (CSSLN) and the Speaker of Gombe state House of Assembly, Inuwa Garba, who presented the position of the state lawmaker at the Senate public hearing on the constitution review, said state legislatures would only support the amendment process if their demands are met.

Boko Haram suspect 2013 Budget: Reps demand Again, escapes from custody details of foreign grants, . . . police denies …insist on $80 crude oil benchmark By Umar Mohammed Puma


he House of Representatives yesterday demanded to know the whereabouts of grants from developed countries and various multilateral organisations to the country. This is just as the House Committee on Public Accounts has said the office of AuditorGeneral of the Federation (AGF), has given the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) 124 queries bordering on the integrity of the agencies saddled with the responsibility of collecting taxes and revenue. The chairman House Committee on Media and Public

Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammed, made the disclosure at a press briefing yesterday. He said the grants were not captured in the 2013 budget proposal and the lawmakers had no knowledge of how much they are and where they are domiciled. Mohammed who was reacting to media reports credited to the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala asking the House not to politicise the issue of oil benchmark in the 2013 budget, said the 7th Assembly was in pursuit of transparency and accountability in line with its legislative agenda. He said “our 2013 budget has come, do you know that grants

that come to this country are not captured in the budget? Where are those funds being applied? And other series of accounts not known. We are asking for that account and bringing it to the public for everybody. Nobody can play games with us. Grants are not captured in the budget. Please ask them because we want to know”. He assured that the House would not be blackmailed into passing the 2013 budget without asking pertinent questions insisting that “as for 2013 budget, we will not serve as a garbage-in, garbage-out House. 2013 budget is on course, we are working on it; we will ask questions”.

By Lambert Tyem


senior Boko Haram suspect simply identified as Sani Mohammed, yesterday, reportedly escaped from police custody in Abuja. The suspect who was said to have been arrested alongside Kabiru Sokoto in January, 2012, allegedly escaped from the cell where he was kept with other terror suspects. Though the police in a statement claimed that no terror suspect escaped, security sources confirmed that Mohammed absconded from custody. The details of his escape was however sketchy as at press time. However, the police in a statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said no terror suspect escaped from its custody, adding that a check of its records shows no such name as Mohammed is

on its list of detainees. It said: “The attention of the Police High Command has been drawn to a news flash being relayed by African Independent Television, Abuja. The television station today 8th November, 2012, alleged the escape from police custody in Abuja, of one Mohammed Sani purported to be a top Boko Haram member. “The police authority hereby informs the public that the information being circulated by the aforementioned TV station is totally untrue and should be disregarded in its entirety. “No suspect whatsoever, especially in connection with terrorism-related crimes, escaped from any of our detention facilities in Abuja or any part of Nigeria. In addition, a meticulous check of our records shows that no such name as Mohammed Sani or even Sani Mohammed is in our custody”.


By Richard Ihediwa


he naming of former Military Head of State and Presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), by the Jama’atul Ahlis Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, also called Boko Haram, to lead six prominent northerners, to mediate between it and the Federal Government has continued to generate serious political debate with many believing it was part of a smear campaign by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rubbish Buhari’s image ahead of the 2015 Presidential elections. Though Buhari had on Wednesday announced that he would not be part of that negotiation team on the ground that he has nothing to do with the sect and do not know what they stand for, the issue of the motive behind his being named, and who was actually behind the issue had continued to be on the front burner. Buhari had also said he cannot work for either Boko Haram or the government noting that their ideologies do not tally with his and that of his party. He said he was not and has not been contacted by either Boko Haram or the government and his supporters insist on opinions that the issue may be surrounded by certain political undertones. Last Wednesday, a spokesperson of the group, Abu Mohammed Ibn Abdulazeez, who is also said to be doubling as the Second-in-Command (Amir) to the sect’s leader, Imam Abubakar Shekau, had in a tele-conference with journalists named Buhari to lead the team which also has Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno, former Yobe State governor, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Ambassador Gaji Galtimari and Hajia Aisha Wakil and her husband, Alkali Wakil. The sect gave conditions for the proposed peace talk with government including holding the talks in Saudi Arabia, which it said was informed by the insincerity of the Nigeria government for dialogue and its betrayal in the past. The sect also demanded that government must not only apprehend, but prosecute former Borno state governor, Senator Modu Sheriff according to the laws of the land as well as compensate members of the group and rebuild their places of worship destroyed during 2009 uprising, which led to the alleged murder of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf. It also demanded that all their members, who were arrested and are under the custody of security agencies, must be released immediately, just as their wives and children who were displaced following the crises should be rehabilitated into the society. The sect thereafter dissociated itself from the recent killings and destruction of property in Maiduguri, saying such attacks were not only politicallymotivated, but carried out by those seeking power in the Borno Emirate council or in government adding that such were against its ideology. The naming of Buhari by the

2015: Gen. Buhari and the Boko Haram conundrum

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari sect to lead the mediation team sparked off series of public debates with many, including the leadership of Buhari’s party, the CPC questioning the rationale for such. While some analysts believe that the sect chose Buhari because of his integrity and the respect he commands across board, others including many CPC chieftains see it from a political point of view, suggesting that it was a ploy by the ruling PDP to defame him ahead of the 2015 election following apprehensions that he remained the most credible opposition candidate for that race. Immediately, the news got to it, the leadership of the CPC rejected the idea and accused the PDP of mischief. First to react was Buba Galadima, a close associate of Buhari, who said the former head of state had told him that he has no link with the sect and that nobody contacted him before the announcement was made. Drawing from this, the leadership of the CPC, after wide consultations, announced that the group did not appoint Buhari as a mediator. The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Rotimi Fashakin in a statement last Thursday said reports naming Buhari as a link for the sect was aimed at tarnishing his image. Fashakin, who accused PDP of “cheap propaganda” said Buhari has never been directly or remotely connected with any insurrection or insurgency in the country and has never been contacted by either Boko Haram or government to mediate any talks. Also reacting to the issue, the National Chairman of the party, Prince Tony Momoh on Tuesday

Leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau in Abuja said the naming was a ploy to drag Buhari into the Boko Haram issue in order to tarnish his image ahead of the 2015 elections. He said the party does not see the rationale of asking Buhari to attend a meeting on issue that has nothing to do with him. “There is no need for any other person to attend a meeting between the Federal Government and Boko Haram for whatever grievances they say they have. We in the CPC do not see where Buhari comes in; we are concerned by the way the name of General Buhari is being dragged into this affair. “Another thing is that nobody reached out to General Buhari to say they have been nominated or is being nominated along with others, to mediate or be witnesses to discussion between Boko Haram and the Federal Government,” he said. Momoh said Buhari had not told anybody or the party that he was interested in the nomination adding that his party “would not associate with issues that involved criminality.” On Wednesday, Buhari himself responded to the said nomination saying he has nothing to do with and intends to have nothing to do with the sect. Buhari said he does not know any member of the sect nor the cause the group stands for. He noted that the principles of the group did not tally with the ideology of his party, even as he stressed that the CPC had never believed in the wanton destruction of life and property, which he accused the group of championing. “I do not know any member of Boko Haram. Secondly I do not

believe in their cause. I do not believe and I do not know of any religion that will go and kill people and burn schools. Ordinarily, if there was a stage where I mentioned anything about the sect, that was when I said that there are three different groups of Boko Haram. “One that was led by Mohammadu Yusuf, whom we knew very well in the military. He was a very fine soldier, we all knew of, they arrested him and handed him over to the police, a healthy and hearty young man, and they killed him. Again his inlaw was murdered and their houses were razed and the Borno State government compensated them. These things we criticised. “The second Boko Haram was a criminal who used to blow up banks and thieve money and issue statements as Boko Haram. Then I said that the biggest Boko Haram is the Federal Government itself. This is because it has all the power to stop those killings. This has led a section of the country to be paralysed. So how can I represent people I do not know? Buhari made it clear that he cannot work either for Boko Haram or for government, saying he does not believe in destruction of life and property. “I do not believe in whatever they are seeking. I cannot work for either the Boko Haram or government. I do not believe in what they are doing, in destruction of life and property, and the government does not want to intervene to stop all that. With all the military and security, the Federal Government could not stop that”, he said. Observers tend to critically look at the allegations that the

PDP was out to tarnish Buhari’s image from a wider perspective. Buhari’s response to the matter, as direct as it were, had rattled the Presidency which yesterday reacted by heavily criticising him. Reacting, the Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, accused Buhari of advocating for violence in the past saying it was out of place for him to accuse the Federal Government of being behind Boko Haram. The president’s aide referred to General Buhari’s claim that Boko Haram is a creation of the Federal Government as ‘ridiculous’. Referring to Buhari’s claim that he doesn’t know the agenda of Boko Haram and any religion that condones violence, Okupe recalled that “during the election, during the campaign, General Buhari himself campaigned for violence… it is too late in the day to try to back track. Those who sow wind should not try and start and begin to look good.” Drawing from Okupe’s position one begins to wonder how Buhari’s alleged statements in the past when he accused PDP of rigging elections amounted to being behind Boko Haram. Political observers see the reaction of the Presidential aide as pointing to some political under-currents which may not be far from the quest for the 2015 elections especially as it is believed that the PDP see Buhari as the most credible and formidable opposition candidate against the backdrop of moves to merge major opposition parties to square up with the PDP in 2015.



kill 2 armed General Shuwa’s death Police robbery suspects in Lokoja shocking, says Jonathan L From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


resident Goodluck Jonathan has described the killing of General Muhammadu Shuwa as worrisome not only to the people of Borno state but the entire nation. President Jonathan who was represented by the Minister for

Youths Development, Barrister Inuwa Abdulkadir, made the statement while leading a Federal Government delegation to condole the government and people of Borno state over the death of General Shuwa at the Government House, Maiduguri. He said the General represent a symbol of unity and humility who served his fatherland selflessly, adding

that he has been a good ambassador of Borno state throughout his life time. The President said his administration will do everything possible to see to the end of the crisis and called on every well-meaning Nigerians to provide useful information and cooperate with the security agencies in order to find lasting peace Borno and Nigeria at large.

UN to track MDGs commitments made by other countries through IIF By Adeola Tukuru


he Special Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Dr. Precious Gbeneol, has assured Nigerians that the MDGs office will do what is needed to domesticate the tracking tool through the Integrated Implementation Framework (IIF) to enable Nigeria track commitments by Nigeria and other countries to ensure the country makes good use of such pledges. Gbeneol gave this assurance yesterday to newsmen at the United Nations Secretary

General’s Integrated Implementation Framework, adding that through the IIF, the MDGs office will follow up on commitments made by other countries to ensure donor countries fulfill them. According to her, this tool will also help Nigeria track delivery on commitments by signaling prevailing gaps while demonstrating inconsistencies between pledges and delivery. Also the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Nigeria, Mr. Daouda Toure, said this initiative seeks to promote

partnership and accountability for the MDGs through a publicly available interactive web portal. He said the portal will provide an overview of all international commitments made in direct support of MDGs 1-8 since 2000. “The IIF will provide information on the nature of these commitments, track their delivery, signal prevailing gaps, demonstrate inconsistencies, track their delivery, and identify needs to support national development strategies through global partnerships”, he said.

uck ran out on a suspected six-man robbery gang in Lokoja yesterday as two of them were killed in a bloody gun battle with policemen. The Kogi state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Katsina, who briefed newsmen on the incident, said that two of the suspects were also arrested while two escaped with gunshot injuries. Katsina said that one Chimeze, believed to be the ring leader of the gang, was one of those killed. He said the suspects, who carried out an operation on three power bikes, intercepted a man coming out from one of the commercial banks on Fen

Junction in Lokoja and dispossessed him of his money. Katsina said the suspects fired several shots into the air to subdue their victim. He added that it was the gunshots that attracted the command’s undercover anti-crime outfit to the scene. The commissioner said that members of the squad cordoned off the scene before engaging the suspects in a gun battle that lasted more than one hour. Katsina said that the lifeless bodies of the dead suspects, a pistol and several rounds of live ammunitions were recovered from the scene of the shooting. (NAN)

FG set to present Bill on criminal justice administration to NASS By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, has said the administration of Criminal Justice Bill 2012, designed to address the problem of prisons decongestion by checkmating the awaiting trial inmates (ATIs) syndrome will soon be presented to the National Assembly for passage into law. Adoke, in a message to the opening ceremony of the national consultative workshop on the Administration of Criminal Justice

Bill (ACJ), 2012, held yesterday in Abuja, said the Bill introduced the central record registry system, restorative justice measures and mandatory timelines for carrying out specific tasks by the operators of the criminal justice system in the country. In his remark at the occasion, the chairman of the panel on Implementation of Justice Reform (PIJR), Justice Ishaq U. Bello, said Nigeria’s criminal justice system is in dire need of a serious reform as the democratic system of government cannot function properly without effective means of dispensing justice.



Former CAN scribe gets 2012 SAINT award

L-R: Director Defence Information, Col. Mohammed Yerima, decorating Wing Commander Adedayo Makun, with his new rank of group captain, assisted by his wife Oluwakemi Makun, yesterday in Abuja.

From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


wo-time former secretary of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Engr. Samuel Lando Salifu, has been awarded the Stefanus Alliance International (SAINT) Norway Year 2012 prize. The award according to the SAINT is in recognition of his numerous contributions to religious tolerance, freedom and human rights and coordination of Christian bodies in Nigeria. Salifu had served as secretary of CAN under former president of CAN, now Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Archbishop Akinola Aguda of Methodist Church and partly with the present CAN president, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. A letter signed by Bjoern A. Wegge, CEO/General Secretary of the organisation, from Oslo Norway, states: "I have the privilege to inform you that Stefanus Alliance International, Norway Year 2012 awarded to you was decided by the Stefanus Committee, for a life long struggle for human rights and peace in Nigeria and especially for your advocacy work on behalf of brothers and sisters in your country." "The Stefanus prize is awarded you for a life long struggle for human rights and peace in Nigeria and especially for your advocacy work on behalf of brothers and sisters in your country". The ceremony will take place at the Trinity Church, Oslo, the Norwegian capital today, and will consist of a special designed diploma and an art piece (multicoloured woodcut/graphics) and will be supported with a grant. Salifu will be the fifth recipient of the prize. Past recipients are Bishop Thomas of El Qussia of Egypt, Mr. Doan Trung Tin, of Vietnam, Mr. Tin A peters from South Korea and Mr. Victor Biak Lang from Myanmar.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Four shot during vigilante, youth clash in Ilorin From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


our people have been reportedly shot while many vehicles were vandalised during a clash between members of local vigilante group and some youthd in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital over allegations of carrying out sacrifices in the metropolis. It was gathered that the fracas which lasted for about four hours started brewing since Tuesday night

Niger plans to sustain MDGs beyond 2015 From Iliya Garba, Minna


he Director-General of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) office in Minna, Mr. Joshua Bawa, has reiterated government's plan that will see to the sustenance of the MDGs programme even after the scheme has been wound down in the next 1000 days. He said government will construct a permanent office complex at the 3-Arms Zone to accommodate the state and zonal offices of the MDGS. He made this known yesterday in Minna at a press briefing, saying the project will cost the state government over N100 million. Mr. Bawa said the proposed 2storey building with 30 offices will also have a 50-sitter conference hall that can be used for mirage of programmes including the training of workers. The DG who stated that the MDGs had been operating from a rented apartment, said the successful completion of the new office complex will save the state money hitherto spent on rent and improve the 'aesthetic value of the 3-Arms Zone'.

He said that with period for the winding down of the programme fast approaching the Niger state government has resolved to 'domesticate' the programme because of what they benefited from it. Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ibrahim Sule, disclosed that the state government will begin a one-week Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week to sensitise the public on the need to improve the health conditions of pregnant and nursing mothers as well as children.

as a result of the allegation as well as toll collections at Gambari area and later spread to Ita-Adu and Baboko areas. The aggrieved parties freely used dangerous weapons such as cutlasses and guns which caused the closure of shops while business activities were paralysed for hours. An eyewitness informed journalists that trouble started on Saturday night as members of the local vigilance group visited the area

with the aim of placing a prepared ritual offering/sacrifice at Isale Koko/ Gambari junction, one of the popular junctions in Ilorin. The source said that youth of Gambari however resisted the plan of the group on the argument that Gambari area was a Muslim community. Unsatisfied with the stubbornness of the Gambari youth, the vigilantes group it was learnt launched an attack on them and

Wada assures youth corps members of adequate security From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ogi state government has assured that it would not spare any effort in ensuring the safety of lives and property of individuals and groups in the state. The state governor, Capt. Idris Wada, made this disclosure in Asaya, Kabba/Bunu local government area of the state during the swearing-in of the 2012 Batch 'C'orientation course of National Youth Service Corps

(NYSC), members deployed to the state. Represented by his deputy, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, the governor noted that the occasion coincided with the 21st anniversary of the state creation, stressing the state has made giant strides in the education, health, and other socioeconomic sectors. The governor added that the state is on the verge of transformation as well as taking its pride of place among the comity of developed states,

Nasarawa LG to build five settlement areas From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


n a bid to augment dwindling federal allocation, Nasarawa local government council, Nasarawa state, is set to diversify its revenue base by building five settlement areas in Laminga, Kurudu Wache, Marmara and Arabishi Dansa. Making this known to Peoples Daily yesterday, Ayuba Wandai, council chairman, stated that having since realised that land

allegedly shot four persons, who are receiving treatment in private hospitals. It was also gathered that six commercial motorcycles plying the area were snatched from their owners and burnt during the confrontation. In a reaction, the Kwara state police command through its spokesman, DSP Femi Fabode, confirmed the incident and said 15 suspects have been arrested. He said the command when alerted on the incident immediately drafted its men to the scene adding that investigations were still going on to discover the real cause of the crisis.

administration is a goldmine, the council has set about procuring satellite images for the settlement areas, which it will supervise in conjunction with the emirate council. Wandai stated that the council is working assiduously to build one of the best LG land departments in the state by making sure that record keeping is made top priority and that corruption which is bedeviling land administration, is reduced to the

barest minimum. In his words, "we want to bring credibility to land administration in the council. We want to run it in such a way that people will not run away from paying levies and dues". He said it has become necessary to improve the council's internally generated revenue so that it will be better placed to execute more projects that will transform the lives of the people of the area.

describing the state as peaceful and filled with potentials. Capt. Wada, urged the corps members to work assiduously towards surpassing the achievements of their predecessors, urging them to also be law abiding and believe in a united, peaceful country with focus on development. In his speech, board chairman, Kogi state NYSC and Commissioner of Youths and Sports, Anthony Puke, said the corps members will during their three weeks course, undertake courses in entrepreneurial skills and other teachings aimed at broadening their horizon. Anthony Enweonwu, Kogi state Coordinator of NYSC in his remark, noted that 1,878 corps members registered for the orientation, describing the youths as hope for a brighter future. Highlight of the occasion was the administration of oath of allegiance on the corps members by Justice Richard Olorunfemi, who represented Kogi state Chief Judge, Justice Nasiru Ajanah.



orkers of Zaria Industries Limited yesterday protested the closure of the company and non payment of their salaries for six months. The workers are also demanding the payment of gratuity of some former staff who died or were retired in the last 10 years. The company was closed down by the Managing Director, Alhaji Ilyas Saleh in October to forestall revolt by the workers. The workers who were in large numbers, presented their


Workers protest company’s closure, non payment of salary 17-point demands to the Board of Directors of the company which met in the morning. The spokesman of the protesters, Malam Abubakar Abdu told the Chairman of the board, Alhaji Gidado Idris that the workers decision to protest was due to the lukewarm attitude of the company’s management towards addressing their plight,

in spite of several complaints. Abdu also accused the management of syphoning funds meant for the growth and development of the company as well as workers’ welfare. He said, “Many have not received gratuity for more than 10 years. “As you can see here, there are many women whose

husbands died, leaving many children behind without anything to cater for their wellbeing.” Responding, the board chairman assured the workers that their complaints would be looked into and advised then to remain peaceful and law abiding at all times while pursuing their rights. (NAN)

Group lauds FCE Okene provost From Sam Egwu, Lokoja he leadership of Ebira Peoples’ Vanguard, (EPV), has commended the leadership style of the provost of the Federal College of Education, (FCE) Okene, Associate Professor, Ajayi Iyela in returning peace to the once crisis-ridden institution. In a statement issued yesterday and signed by the National President and National secretary, Alhahji Abdulrahman Adoke and Engr. Tijani Ramat Momoh, respectively, the organisation regretted that the Kogi central has for a longtime faced dwindling fortunes in its educational standard, as most of the secondary schools in the area have become glorified primary schools. The group noted that FCE Okene, the only federal educational institution in the central district of the state, has a vital role to play in boosting the educational standard as trainers of trainers, and commended the provost for repositioning the institution for effective service delivery.


Akwa Ibom to assist Navy with patrol boats From Mike Etim, Uyo

L-R: President, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Okey Wali, First Vice President of NBA, Osas Justy Erhabor, Senate President, David Mark and Leader of the Senate, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, during the NBA’s Visit to the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

ESSPIN spends N31m on primary schools in Kwara From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Education Sector Support Programme in Nigeria (ESSPIN) in Kwara state has donated a two classroom blocks, three modern toilets and a borehole to the LGEA Primary School Budo Oyo, a village in Ilorin East Local Government Area of the state. The primary school pupils have been studying inside two classrooms without windows and taught by four teachers. Our correspondent gathered that 47 pupils were in the school before the intervention of

ESSPIN but enrolment increased to 87 with seven teachers. The Kwara State ESSPIN Team Leader, Mrs Emma Mba in her address said the NGO has spent N23 million in providing boreholes, rehabilitation of some classrooms in eleven selected primary schools out of 79 in Ilorin East local government. She lamented the situation where the headmaster and another teacher teaches two or three classes at the same time stressing that parent would not be motivated to send their children to such schools. The team leader also

condemned a situation when a teacher spends N700 on fares daily to come to school stressing that government need to provide accomodation for teachers. Speaking during the commissioning of the projects, the Executive Chairman of State Universal Basic Education(SUBEB), Barrister Lanre Daibu who was represented by Permanent Secretary,Dr. Musa Dansuki commend the initiative of ESSPIN saying “ it is our hope and desire that the synergy which has gathered sufficient

strength in the past three years will be reinforced for the benefit of our wards”. He urged the community to guide the facilities to ensure its longevity and usefulness for many generation of pupils. ESSPIN according to Director and Chairman on Infrastructure of SUBEB, Hajia Rofdiat Yusuf has dug over 60 boreholes across primary schools in the state stressing that government could not do everything alone. She added that ESSPIN projects are now in 50 locations in the state.

NMA, FG plan health summit to address healthcare challenges


he Nigeria Medical Association has said that it is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Health to organise a health summit that will address healthcare challenges in the country. The NMA Chairman in Kogi state, made this known in an interview in Lokoja on Wednesday. Olumayowa said that the quality of the nation’s healthcare delivery was on the decline, culminating in high child and maternal mortality rates, especially in the rural

areas. He attributed it to a number of factors including; poor funding, dearth of facilities and equipment, ill-trained personnel, compromised standards, poor remuneration, brain drain and avarice. According to him, the Federal Government has tried in enhancing standard and quality of tertiary health institutions. He said: “But, the impact is not being felt in states and local governments because the tiers had failed to discharge their responsibilities.

“In the rural areas where we have majority of the citizenry, there are no federal facilities there because they are under the purview of the state and local governments. “When you go down to the local government level, the primary healthcare and comprehensive health centres are not functioning. “Even, the General Hospitals lack qualified medical doctors and enough nurses and medical attendants,’’ he noted. The NMA chairman said that in the developed nations,

between 20 and 25 per cent of annual budgets were allocated to health sector. “But, in Nigeria, it is between 4 and 5 per cent,’’ and urged the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the National Health Bill to streamline healthcare delivery system. Olumayowa urged the Federal Government to improve the remuneration of health workers and provide basic social amenities in the rural areas to enable them to accept posting to such places.(NAN)


etermined to address the problems of Sea Pirates operating on its waters, the Akwa Ibom state government is to assist the Nigeria Navy in the purchase of patrol boats. The state governor, Godswill Akpabio gave this indication when the Chief of Naval Staff(CNS), Admiral Dele Ezeoba accompanied by other naval personnel paid him a courtesy call in his office in Uyo. The governor informed the Naval Chief that the challenges facing the state was that of sea pirates and expressed confidence in overcoming it with the assistance of the Nigeria Navy. As an incentive, the governor announced a waiver of N360 million it had earlier demanded from the Navy as compensation for the land acquired from the state government for the building of a barrack for the NN Jubilee at Ikot Abasi. The governor then directed the commissioner for land and Survey in the state Obong Eno Akpan to make the relevant land documents available to the Navy for development. G o v e r n o r Akpabio commiserated with CNS on the death of some of his men on the waterways while on official duty. In his reply, the CNS, Vice Admiral Ezeoba said he was in the state to acquaint the governor on the way forward for the Navy and to continue to build on the existing relationship between the Akwa Ibom State government and the Navy.



FG urged to give Infrastructure Concession Commission free hand From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


n Economist and Chairman, Wemabod Estates Limited, Dr Ismail Adewusi on Wednesday appealed to the federal government to give the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) free hand to operate. Adewusi, who commended the government for establishing the ICRC through a 2005 Act while

presenting a paper in Ibadan as guest lecturer at the Radio Nigeria, Ibadan monthly public lecture, alleged that the Commission had not been empowered for political reasons, to carry out its responsibilities, by over - bearing ministers. "ICRC has human capacity in terms of knowledge and competence to do the right things, but they have been hampered by politically powerful ministers who have refused to heed professional advice because of

their closeness to the seat of power," Adewusi said. He advised further that ministers should be stopped from granting concessions without ICRC approval. "Most of the time, the concession contracts favour the private sector parties more than government due to settlement and kick backs. And once a new minister comes on seat, he wants to review all concessions in his ministries all over again. "All federal and state government

concessions and privatisation should be done by competitive bids. This is to ensure that the government is not short - changed in all these negotiated concessions by Ministries, Department and Agencies" Adewusi said. The economist said local and foreign funding from private sector and multilateral agencies were required to fund infrastructure deficit in Nigeria.

L-R: Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Hon. Alhaji Muhammad Usman, Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike and Director General, National Teachers Institute (NTI) Dr. Sharehu Ladan, during the 3rd NTI National Teachers Summit, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: Justin Imo-owo From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


very adult affected by flood and accommodated in various camps in Delta state is to be given five thousand naira while every child would receive three thousand naira each before they leave the camps. The state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan who announced this at a meeting with political appointees said the gesture was a "token pocket money" for those anxious to go back to their homes. Dr. Uduaghan said the committee inaugurated to work out modalities for the resettlement of the internally displaced persons has not submitted report and so the ultimate resettlement plan was yet to be unfolded. He also explained that once the committee's report was received the state government would reach out to the victims and resettle them properly. The governor therefore directed camp commandants to properly document data of victims to ensure

Delta to pay flood victims N5,000 that each family would be easily contacted when government was ready with the final resettlement package. He however cautioned against the registration of persons not resident in

the camps, adding that his administration has no plans to recruit people to work in the camps According to the governor " I have not directed any group or individuals to recruit people to work in the camps ".

The governor who was visible angry with an information that some people sold forms for employment in the camps for N20,000 each, expressed shock at the extent people could go to make money.

NTI graduates 53,000 students From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he National Teachers' Institute (NTI), is set to graduate a total of 53,320 students at a ceremony on Saturday in Kaduna. The NTI Director-General of Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu, who briefed the press yesterday said 44, 060 students will receive the National Certificate of Education (NCE) while 878 students will be awarded the Advanced Diploma in Education and 13, 382 students will get the Post Graduate Diploma in

...Honours Shema, Okorocha, give award of the Fellow of the Yakowa, others beNational Teachers'Institute. Education. According to Shaheru, the NTI will also honour a number of individuals for their contribution to the development of education. Top on the list of awardees is the Katsina state Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema, along with his Imo state counterpart, Chief Rochas Okorocha and President of the Commonwealth of Learning, Prof Asha Kanwal, who will

Some others to be honoured also include Kaduna state Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, along with his counterparts from Edo and Jigawa states, Adams Oshiomhole and Alhaji Sule Lamido, respectively as well as Chief Afe Babalola, Prof. Adamu Baike and Prof. Thomas Adeyanju who will receive the Ambassador of NTI award for their contribution to distant learning and the welfare of teachers in general.

Tambuwal calls on FG to embrace Green economy By Umar Muhammad Puma


he Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday said it is high time Nigeria embraced the green economy as alternative to oil. Tambuwal stated this while declaring opened the parliamentary dialogue organised by the House committee on climate change in

conjunction with the federal ministry of environment and the United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) The speaker who was represented by the deputy leader, Leo Ogor said the theme of the dialogue "pursuing a legislative agenda to enhance Nigeria's green growth: developing an efficient oversight framework for resource governance" was apt. In his opening address, chairman of the climate change committee,

Eziuche Ubani said it has been proven that green economy would yield more than oil hence Nigeria should start developing it. He said the essence of the dialogue was to interact with the relevant stakeholders in order to generate a legislative framework to foster the development of green economy in the country. He said Nigeria must learn to use her resources better in an efficient

manner as well as employ the natural resources to contain natural disasters. In her goodwill message, the minister of environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia said "greening the economy simply implies reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in all our developmental pursuits in order ensure economic growth and poverty eradication which are key challenges to achieve a long-term sustainable development in the world".

Monarch commends anti-cultism volunteers From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


he traditional ruler of Emu Kingdom in Delta State, King Johnson Ekpechi Ulu, has commended the activities of Delta State Volunteer Corps in curtailing the activities of cult members in higher institutions in the state. The monarch made this remark when members of the Anti-Cultism Volunteer Corp led by its President, Emu Amaka Ogwu Chinuwa paid him a courtesy visit. Welcoming the team to his palace, he said he was delighted their efforts at leading the crusade to cleanse higher institutions and by extension the entire Delta State of cultism, an act of bravery and courage highly admired by his subjects While urging the Corps members not to relent on their oars, he asked them to establish units of the volunteer corps in his domain as to allay the deep seated fears of the activities of cult members in the minds of his subjects. In his response, the founder and President of the volunteer corps, Chinuwa said that his group are ambassadors of Delta state and future leaders who took the responsibility to rid the state of destructive elements. He also noted the invaluable contributions of the state Governor , Emmanuel Uduaghan and Hon Ebifa Ijomah, the Commissioner for Youth Development to the success story recorded to date by the volunteer corps. Presenting the score card of the Anti-Cult Volunteer Corps whose sole objective is the attainment of crime-cult-free environment across the length and breadth of Delta State, he noted that robbery, kidnapping, rape and pipeline vandalism were direct consequences of cultism and cult related activities stressing that in its three years of existence, the group has recorded remarkable achievement in ckeckmating cult members and clashes by different factions in Delta State; initiating peace talk amongst warring cult groups; burning down of twelve weed smoking joints that littered Kwale; the renunciation of cultism by 289 cult members from 2009 till date and who have been empowered by the Delta State Commissioner for Youth, whose Foundation has awarded scholarships to 32 indigent youths to various tertiary institutions in Delta State as well as special grant to four youth to study Intelligence and Security studies at Novena University; the rescue of eight kidnapped persons; assault on robbery attacks and establishment of units of the volunteer corps in Kwale.



How to start catfish farming in Nigeria


atfish farming in Nigeria consists of two most important types, which could either be operated separately or as an integrated process. The two divisions are the Nursery Fish farming and the Grow out Fish Farming. The grow out fish farming is dependent of the nursery fish farming because you can't grow fish without the nursery. But, like I said, they can be operated separately by two different farmers. The nursery involves the inducement of the female fish to lay eggs, which are then fertilized, incubated and hatched. Those little fishes are known as fries. These fries are then nurtured from between three and four weeks into fingerlings which is the size suitable for use in the Grow Out farming. Catfish farming is a major investment operation. And so, starting one needs careful consideration. In between the nursery and grow out operation is what we referred to as the primary operation. It involves the nurturing of the three or four weeks within which they could grow into post fingerlings, mini juveniles and juveniles respectively. These can then be nurtured for between four to five month into grow out or table size fish suitable for sale and consumption. Going in catfish farming involves the following Step One: Land to Use This is very important. One has to acquire at least half plot of land in a suitable location. This means, you must consider good access road, closeness to market and labor. If the land is already available, it is good. Then we apportion it as follows: 1 . Location of ponds 2. Location of farm house 3. Location of water supply and lastly, location of drainage facility. The last point is very important, as you don't drain your water to constitute public nuisance. 2. Step Two: Pond Planning Here, one has to determine whether one wants to go into a big or small-scale commercial venture, secondly, the pond system to

Quote The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail. – Napoleon Hill

adopt, Re-circulatory system, earthen pond or concrete/ plastic pond or both. Once the pond was dug and the area has been developed, there is nothing one can do to undo the work and recover the cost. And so, extensive evaluation must be done by someone planning to start a catfish farm before he finally decides whether it is wise for him to pursue the project. C o n s t r u c t i o n Considerations Where should the pond be located? Does the site have enough supply of quality water (from wells or springs)? There are minimum water flow rate requirements in building a pond for a catfish. Will the source meet them? Employ professionals to test whether the water supply volume and flow rate meets standard requirements. Is the water supply suitable for catfish farming? Try growing a few catfish using water taken from the target source. Is the area suitable for pond construction in terms of soil composition and permeability? Ideal soil for pond construction is one with good compaction property. One resource you can run to check on this is your local soil management office. Catfish farming will require some water movement. Will you be able to obtain permits and other necessary licenses for the operation? Step Three: Water Supply

Source The best water for catfish farming is from bore hole. One or two must be sunk to guarantee steady water supply. Overhead tanks for holding water should also be installed. The mechanism of pumping of water must be back up facility. The system must not fail. Step Four: Pond Construction It is advisable to engage the service of a consultant. The success or failure of this project depends largely on

construction of standard ponds that can stand the test of time. Pond Design and Construction One major consideration in designing a pond for catfish production is the flatness or steepness of the area and the source of water supply. For a generally flat area that has access to a well, a levee pond could be built. Watershed ponds are built for steeper areas near a natural source of water. The depth of the pond is also crucial as this influences the

availability of oxygen for the fish. And so is the amount of fish per surface acre of water. Check catfish growing manuals for standards to adhere to. For one to get the most profit for a catfish harvest, it is necessary to determine buyer requirements when planning the season's production. Consider what buyers demand in terms of weight, frequency, size and price. One can sell the season's harvest to fish processors or directly to consumer. The latter results a greater return to the farmer.

A typical Fish Pond

How to start a block industry and become a real business owner, making N500, 000 monthly


very one of us knows what cement block is used for, but few of us know the money making potential that exist with the business of block making. There is this woman, a neighbor who lives just a stone throw from Ikorodu area of Lagos State. She is called Iya Ibeji; she used to live from hand to mouth like every

other woman in that area until about two and half years ago (as at march 2012) when she started a Bock Industry in a piece of property (land) she rented near her house. At first, no one took her seriously and people where wondering how a woman with children could run a Block Industry successfully, that is if

there is even a gain at all in it. People thought she would just fold up after some months, but that did not deter her from carrying on with her planned project. As at the last time I checked, she had fully acquired the previously rented land from the owner, built three flats of two bedrooms each for rent, renovated their previously dilapidated house, and bought a supply truck! All within two and half years of running the Block Industry. The most interesting part of it all is that, she barely lifts a finger. She is not the one who used mix the cements, she is also not the one molding the blocks, neither is she the one loading or offloading the blocks. All she does is supervising, while her money works for her. At the end of every working day, she will smile to the bank with thousands of Naira made from the business. There were some people living in that area who had more money that she does at that point in time when she started the business but none of them was thinking in that direction until she got it going. Today, she is the envy of everyone in that area

including those who previously thought she was wasting her time. You in your own part, it doesn't matter how much you have now, what really matters is the idea you have because without useful idea, the money you have now will just go before you realize it. This is because, "money come and go on daily basis" like Buba Marwa (former military Governor of Lagos State) once said. But if your idea is solid, the tiniest money in your hands now could be turned into mega millions within a short time. And one of the business ideas that could do that for you right now is the idea of starting your own Block Industry in your area straight away! If you're ready to give it a try, here is the step by step how to go about it: • Acquire a Land - A 60 x 120 plot of land preferably in a new and developing site is very good, that will be able to accommodate your blocks and other materials. If you can get something bigger, that will be better but a plot is just very OK. You can either buy or rent one, but buying is better.




Ribadu report: Mr. President should prove doubters wrong


he Federal Government instigated a nationwide strike when it surreptitiously introduced a new price regime for petroleum products on January 1 this year. Labour unions working in hand with other civil society organisations called for a strike which crippled the country for one week. Then the government did the more sensible thing after the strike by appointing a Petroleum Revenue Special Task Force. Nigerians would have dismissed the task force as one of the pranks of government but for the fact that Nuhu Ribadu was made its chairman. From day one, Nigerians were prepared to give it a chance because Ribadu has carved out for himself the reputation of Mr. Clean. Unfortunately, the same government that made this nice move sabotaged it before long. Mr. Steve Oronsaye, who was the task force’s deputy chairman and Mr. Bernard Otti, a member, were appointed into juicy positions in the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC). At the presentation of the report of the task force exactly a week today, President Goodluck Jonathan said there was nothing wrong with those appointments. We disagree; there is everything wrong with what his government did.

Our stand is based on the fact that the contradictions created by those appointments led to an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion among members which pitched chairman and deputy chairman against each other. There is glaring evidence that some members, particularly Oransaya and Otti did not participate fully in the work of the task force. Two other members of the committee who belong to the

The President must prove wrong Nigerians who are accusing him of sabotaging Ribadu’s work by implementing his recommendations to the letter, no matter whose ox is gored Ribadu faction, Sumaila Zubair, who is its acting secretary, and Ignatius Adekunle, have said publicly that the duo of Oronsaye and Otti never attended the meetings of the committee. The split in the task force led to the embarrassing exchange of hostile words between the two contending factions right in the presence of

OUR MISSION “To be the market place of ideas and the leading player in the industry by putting the people first, upholding the truth, maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards while delivering value to our stakeholders”

President Goodluck on November 2. This ugly situation would have been avoided if the President had been better advised to withhold the appointment of the two gentlemen in the NNPC until they had finished their work on the task force. Better still, the duo should have resigned their appointments on the task force to work for the NNPC. It was morally indefensible for them to hold on to the two offices at the same time. There is a strong suspicion that the President deliberately wanted to sabotage the Ribadu report because it has indicted some sacred cows in his government. It this is true, it is most regrettable. The President must take a clear and transparent stand on the report submitted by Ribadu. The tragedy of our current democratic experience is that since 1999 to date, attempts by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), the National Assembly to look into the operations of the oil sector of our economy have all come to naught. The President must prove wrong Nigerians who are accusing him of sabotaging Ribadu’s work by implementing his recommendations to the letter, no matter whose ox is gored.









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National security and media sentiments A By Muyiwa Adekunle

recent editorial run by a national newspaper exposed the sentimental swings in the analysis of current security challenges as a major flaw of editorial positions on national issues. That editorial was nothing short of a premeditated derision of the concerted efforts of government and its respective agencies in striving to manage the truly alarming security situation in the country. The editorial said there is “nothing to show that the government is still making serious efforts to fight Boko Haram”. It went on to accuse the government of “capitulating” to the sect. All these weighty charges were triggered by the unfortunate suicide bombing of the St Rita’s Catholic Church at Unguwar Yero, in Kaduna on October 28 which claimed lives and maimed scores of worshippers. You don’t have to be a media psychologist to know that the editorial was an expression of the spontaneous sentiment of outrage by agitated observers and not the sober and objective analysis enlightened readers deserve from a leading national daily. Now that, God willing, the aftershock of that tragedy has been By Jon Chikadibie Okafo


wo weeks ago, I travelled down to my home state of Anambra to pay my last respects to a dear aunt who passed away. The burial was in Amawbia, a high profile area of the state Governor Peter Obi’s Governor’s Lodge is located. Apart from my understandably sombre mood brought about by that feeling that life is futile, I was confronted by a very wicked and irrational action of the Anambra state police command. This essay therefore is intended to seek for reasons and answers to why the police authorities in Anambra State would deem it morally and ethically right to impose more hardship, sufferings, mental trauma and anguish on the already mesmerized teethgnashing people of Anambra State. The Anambra Police headquarters cum the Commissioner of Police office is located along Zik Avenue, Amawbia and is about five minutes’ walk to the official residence of Governor Peter Obi. Both vehicular and human traffic were allowed passage along Zik Avenue until recently when the police command in their rather bizarre wisdom deemed it fit to restrict movements on this road by wickedly erecting concrete barriers to shut out traffic of all sorts. As I write, the police headquarters in Amawbia has arrogated to itself the sole right to use a portion of a public road by diverting traffic through a very tortuous route. Mean looking and assault rifle wielding police officers now man this portion of the road to coerce compliance. Well, the police authorities could argue that their action was borne out of the need to

peacefully dissipated, the Sun’s editors should be more composed to compose editorials hinged on candid review of the issues at stake pertaining to the bombing and the on-going counter-insurgency and law enforcement operations across the country. For sure, whenever such savage assaults on innocent people occur there should be no hesitation or word-mincing in condemning them or even in expressing concern about insecurity and urging the authorities to be more “pro-active”. But when respected national dailies take a position on the matter, we should have enlightened commentary that will positively impact on readers, the authorities and the nation. In spite of the bombing of the Kaduna church, we cannot dismiss the reality of a relentless and ruthless counter-insurgency operation especially in the northern states in general and the Borno-Yobe axis in particular. This operation has even caught the attention of certain international organizations whose criticisms may not be complimentary but certainly confirm the awesome joint-services onslaught on the Boko Haram insurgency. Of course no northerner or resident of the northern states will agree that there is nothing to show to

demonstrate the seriousness of government’s fight against the sect. From tortuous queues at sandbagged security posts in towns and on highways, to constant patrols of city streets and metal screening body searches even to enter mosques and churches, there is just too much to show proactive as well as counteractive seriousness in the management of security challenges. Our brethren in besieged Maiduguri/Damaturu have even been saying the fight is too serious ! The visible manifestations of vigorous counter-insurgency operations are themselves supported by a myriad of covert activities and intelligence initiatives as well as training and logistics undertakings specially packaged for addressing the peculiar challenges of unconventional urban armed insurrections. Arguably, the most intriguing challenge of all is nagging infiltration of local communities by insurgents and the ensuing dilemma of dealing decisively with insurgents in the midst of “human shields” and concerns for other collateral damage. Our gallant joint-task forces are currently in the eye of an internationally-triggered storm over human rights and rules of engagement,

surreptitiously skewed to demonize the security agencies. In the heat of outrage following an act of terror it is easy to “forget” the gains of the supposedly unwinnable war without boundaries. Yet there is no reasonable doubt about the marked decline in scale and spate of the bombing sprees that heralded the onset of terrorism. The joint operations of the security forces have definitely and effectively curbed those wanton attacks and practically contained the insurgents in a virtual enclave in the Borno/Yobe axis by sheer firepower and fearlessness. To their credit, even in the midst of unavoidable protests from unintended victims of urban warfare, the justification of their deployment is upheld by the lengthening intervals between attacks and the hard fact that Borno and Yobe would have been bombed out of the nation’s control long ago. We must not gloss over the steady decimation of the ranks of the insurgents, particularly the spectacular arrests and killing of several insurgent “commanders” and spokesmen, not to mention the gradual unravelling of the mystery of the political and the partisan dimensions of the insurgency as well as the regional

and international linkages. It must be conceded to the recent dexterity and potency of the internal security management apparatus that the hitherto abominable prospects of cease-fire and dialogue has ultimately become a realistic recourse of the insurgency leaders. Indeed, Nigerians have all welcomed this as a credible evidence of sustained government seriousness in fighting terrorism from all fronts to achieve peace and restore security of lives and property in affected areas. The Kaduna bombing was therefore hardly enough ground for Sunday Sun to launch into a flight of fury and unwarranted discrediting of the valiant efforts of our security forces in the battle against Boko Haram insurgency. We have moved from the initial shell-shocked despondency into a more re-assuring phase of containment and negotiated resolution. This welcome development is the most remarkable evidence of the seriousness of government and its internal security management team in their constitutionally and professionally assigned role of ensuring the security of lives and property and defending the territorial integrity of the nation. Muyiwa Adekunle wrote from Osogbo

A scared, mean Nigerian police? “secure” their location against enemy action. This is laughable and an attempt to clearly portray the police as being scared and insensitive! Are we now, the peace loving people of Anambra State being told in very explicit terms that the police whose duty it is to secure lives and property is now more interested in securing their offices at the detriment of the thousands of Ndi Anambra? For the avoidance of doubt, there is no imminent Boko Haram threat in the State Capital; the Anambra State police should please relocate to a more serene location instead of annexing our road. One would have expected Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State to resist this wicked action of the police only that he too has successfully alienated us the more by closing a portion of the road leading to Nibo for his sole “Executive Security”. A once open road leading to Nibo/Governor’s Lodge has been closed to the people of Anambra State for the sole reason that the Governor drives into his Lodge built with our money using same road. This brings us to the worldview and mind frame of those entrusted with the task of leading us in Nigeria. Our elected and selected leaders find it exceptionally amusing and exhilarating heaping more hardship and wickedness on us by first securing their luxurious lifestyle as against working for the common good. It is only in Nigeria nay Africa that those in positions of authority see themselves as being more important than the rest of the people they claim to represent.

The Anambra State police command has soundly demonstrated this callousness by employing hardship-inducing measures to secure their location rather than strive to effectively secure the rest of the State. The Commissioner of police by restricting movement on a public road is telling us that his security is more important than ours, the police in Anambra is telling us that their office in Amawbia should be secured at all costs irrespective of the sufferings, anguish, evil and harrowing experience of the people of the State. Whatever may be the case, I make bold to submit that the action of the Anambra State police command clearly summarises the ineffectiveness and archaic policing approach of the Nigerian Police. Modern day policing is not about erecting thick concrete barriers on public roads and stationing hundreds of armed police officers on the road to ward off hapless citizens. Modern day policing involves amongst others, the use of accurate intelligence to checkmate the nefarious plots of criminals. It beats my imagination why people in this part of the world

choose to close their eyes to official recklessness and impunity; it breaks my heart to see the level of docility and ignorance ravaging the mind-frame of many Nigerians. It is our collective responsibility to elect a government to run the affairs of the State, it is equally our collective duty to be on guard always to prevent a situation whereby the Government starts working for itself rather than working for us. The police which is an apparatus of government should focus more on transforming into a more civil and people-oriented outfit rather than speedily transforming into a monster whose primary function is to intimidate, harass, oppress, maul, exploit (financially and otherwise), kill those who they are meant to protect. Even though I commend the present Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar on his efforts to turn the police around for good, I sincerely think that more work needs to be done to save the situation. A police office should be one where citizens of all social cadres should feel free to walk in and out without first being marooned by a

Whoever advised the police in Anambra should be filled with shame for making the police resort to 19th Century policing by commandeering a public road and forcing innocent citizens to suffer as a result

feeling of dread; a typical police office in Nigeria however represents an ugly place filled with the stench of human misery, a place peopled by mostly uniformed men and women with little or no understanding of the core duties of a modern day police officer, a place littered with broken down and accident ravaged vehicles, a place where “bail is free” only in the imagination of citizens, etc. Little wonder why we have a Nigerian Police that is notorious for robbing hapless citizens, shooting them when they refuse to part with bribe money and framing them up as armed robbers after killing them! I have always called for a more comprehensive reform of our police institution; there is a serious need for a review of the training manual and style adopted in recruiting people into the Nigeria Police. The IG must do whatever it takes to ensure that his department is no longer seen as a place where the dregs of the society are dumped. Will the Inspector General of Police stop paying lip service to reforming the service by first of all giving it a human face? Will the IGP please direct the Anambra State police command stop making us feel as if we were under occupation by removing the barriers on Zik Avenue Amawbia? Whoever advised the police in Anambra should be filled with shame for making the police resort to 19th Century policing by commandeering a public road and forcing innocent citizens to suffer as a result. Jon Chikadibie Okafo is reachable on



Re: Nigerian army unfit for frontline action in Mali


he attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to the story with the above stated caption originally published by the Guardian of London newspaper on 5th November 2012 and culled out by the People's Daily (Nigerian) of 6 November, 2012. It is unfortunate that a combat-tested Army as the Nigerian Army which has also won respect at home as a pillar of democracy and 'Pride of the Nation' as well as outside the country's borders in peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations over decades could now be adjudged as an unfit force for a role that it is familiar with. Such judgement, without mincing words, is myopic. It is indeed absurd that the bulk of officers and soldiers who featured prominently in active service in the ECOWAS military outfits ECOMOG and ECOMIL and garnered valuable experiences in decades of military engagement such as in the fourteen-year Liberian Civil War and the civil war in Sierra Leone could now be relegated

in newspapers' news stories as unfit in training and discipline for combat operations such as the one required in Mali. Indeed, the Nigerian Army is still largely made up of the veterans of the various campaigns in terms of personnel holding. It is on record that the Nigerian Army fielded majority number of troops in the AU, ECOMOG and ECOMIL operations. The Army also contribute greatly to making the country to be the fifth largest troop contributing country to the United Nations numerous peacekeeping operations. Added to this service credibility are the updated training institutions for basic,

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: let SMS: 07037756364 advanced and specialized military operations. These include the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Centre (NAPKC),

It is on record that the Nigerian Army fielded majority number of troops in the AU, ECOMOG and ECOMIL operations. The Army also contribute greatly to making the country to be the fifth largest troop contributing country to the United Nations numerous peacekeeping operations

the Centre for Counterterrorism and CounterInsurgency (CTCOIN) and the establishment of the Nigerian Army Training Centre for further specialized training of officers and men among others to address contemporary challenges. Since military disengagement from politics in 1999, the NA has been busy on transformation efforts in all ramifications including contemporary military doctrine to train and retrain and equip for its constitutional role to the country. It has also

adopted a credible maintenance culture of its equipment. We wish to remind detractors that the Chief of Army Staffs vision 'to transform the Army into a force better able to meet contemporary challenges' is adopted in all training doctrine and equipment efforts of the Army. Success in battles and military operations are generally known to be eventually decided largely by the commitment to the overall cause for which they are necessary. It is also a fact that many conventional forces have been defeated by less armed and smaller groups of fighters. The success of the proposed military operations in Mali cannot be attributed to solely one of the many component forces to be deployed in the country under UN, AU and ECOWAS mandates. Much depends on correct appreciation of the problems on the ground, the root causes of the conflict and the people's willingness to allow the problems to go. MA KOLEOSO Brigadier General Director

Why US elections matter (II) By Reuben Abati


his should mean something to us in Nigeria, and in the larger African community, for it is at the centre of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda. It is the same electoral ethic that President Jonathan has insisted upon since his assumption of office as President. Nigerians, long used to a political situation in which the privilege of incumbency confers all powers have seen under President Jonathan’s watch, a completely different arrangement. It used to be the case in this land, that all that was required of an incumbent in the position of a President or Governor was to sit back and assume that incumbency will confer automatic re-election, and if the incumbent managed to stir at all, he did so with so much arrogance. Most of the time, this worked. The incumbent bullied and forced his way through to a second term. Not since President Jonathan assumed the mantle of office, though. In the recent Gubernatorial elections, in Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo, and in other elections since 2011, we saw how the incumbents had to struggle hard to convince and mobilize the electorate. President Jonathan’s signature cry of one man, one vote, one woman, one vote, one youth one vote, reiterates the power of the voter. I have seen the same principle well advertised in the humility of the two US

Presidential candidates, and the struggle over the swing states that are so crucial to the electoral college arrangement. Candidates will go to the polls on Tuesday completely humbled by the supremacy of the American voter, who has been called upon to use his vote as an instrument of either power or “revenge.” That is what democracy is all about: Ideas, competition, debate, choice. African politicians who manipulate electoral processes to suit their own purposes will be among the many observers of the US elections. They need to look beyond the drama at the morality of the experience. The US Presidential election further matters because institutions matter. Americans are going into the election on Tuesday convinced that the system will protect the voters and their choice. So much money has been spent on the campaigns – over one million TV ads, and more than $7 billion on television advertising alone- but not money on a desperate attempt to bribe the voter. There are political parties but those political parties function as institutions not as personal fiefdoms. There are individuals occupying such positions as Chairmanship of the political parties and of the Electoral Commission, but they are not part of the debate because the system does not make them unduly obtrusive. Apart from the Presidential election, Americans will determine who controls the Senate. There are 33 Senate seats up for grabs. The Democrats currently hold a 53-47 majority;

if the Republicans are able to gain 4 seats, they will gain control of the Senate and also maintain their control over the House of Representatives. These elections are just as important as the Presidential election. The candidates are important too. This sounds like a restatement of the obvious. But of course, that is what it is. There is no candidate in this election who has not been subjected to laser jet scrutiny: who they are, what they represent, what they say, what they will do or not do, this is not really about their villages or state of origin; but their beliefs and non-beliefs. The voter can make a mistake, but he or she is given enough opportunity and latitude to make an informed choice. There is no room for anyone to smuggle himself or herself into office without passing through the crucible of scrutiny. The

emphasis is on the responsibility that comes with office and the ability and character of the applicant to it. When all is over, Americans want to wake up with the feeling that they have chosen the better man for this time and that the choice is a true reflection of the majority. That is what matters. And all of these matter because it is the country that matters most. Pro patria: Love of country. This is all about country, that is, America’s prestige and place in the world. The average American will make a choice to sustain the exceptionalism of the United States as a country that can still be remembered and protected as “God’s own country,” a country where all Americans can still feel that sense of pride, that they are “the best” in the world. And that is why the key issue has been how to make America

So, as they say, what is our own in this matter? As Nigerians monitor the US elections along with the rest of the world, we must spare a thought for our own democracy and this administration’s efforts at its consolidation; in noting the differences and commonalities, we should reflect on the projected values of duty, responsibility, institutional integrity and love of country. That is what I think. And let me add: Good luck to the Americans

better for Americans: healthcare, medicare, social security, housing, energy, immigration reform, taxes, jobs, national security, the economy, foreign policy- issues that connect with the ordinary people in their daily circumstances. And one more thing: in the midst of last minute 2012 US electioneering, Hurricane Sandy occurred, wrecking such havoc on the Eastern Coast of the United States that should be familiar to Nigerians who had also just witnessed the same devastating impact of climate change in parts of the country. During that critical moment, Americans refused to play the politics of disaster. They all united as Americans, Republicans and Democrats alike, even the Romney team praised Obama for his leadership. Great lesson! So, as they say, what is our own in this matter? As Nigerians monitor the US elections along with the rest of the world, we must spare a thought for our own democracy and this administration’s efforts at its consolidation; in noting the differences and commonalities, we should reflect on the projected values of duty, responsibility, institutional integrity and love of country. That is what I think. And let me add: Good luck to the Americans. Concluded Dr. Reuben Abati is Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to President Goodluck Jonathan



Rise and rise of Cardinal Onaiyekan By Emmanuel Onwubiko In the last thirteen years, I have had an increasingly close encounter with a fine gentleman, Right Reverend John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, who is the Catholic Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Abuja Ecclessiastical Province. Cardinal Onaiyekan has provided the needed moral fabric and a formidable spiritual background to our common fight and advocacy for the rights of oppressed Nigerians. Few years back, we bestowed on him the national award of human rights excellence and also enrolled him into our national human rights hall of fame. Long before we collectively gave him this award, we had always believed that His Holiness Pope Benedict the Sixteenth will surely reward this hardworking missionary of God with a higher calling and we are in no way shocked that our prediction was quick in becoming a reality when recently the Church raised him to one of the highest offices in the Worldwide Catholic Church as a Cardinal, making him eligible to participate in any future conclave to elect a new Pope whenever the By Justine John Dyikuk


ost parts of our country were recently submerged have by flood waters. The tidal waves are reminiscent of the flood that washed away the ancients of Noah’s time in biblical literature. Victims of this overflow have been humans and livestock, farmlands and property. To say this deluge is one of monumental proportions and a national disaster is to remark mildly. It made the rounds that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State while visiting the Institute of Continuing Education, ICT, flood victim’s camp Asaba, Monday, invited Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme popularly known as Aki and Paw Paw as motivational speakers believing that some of the victims needed psychological support, which he was optimistic that they actors would provide for them. He was reported as urging, “…those who have ability to ease those in pains,” to “please help.” He concluded that, “it is not about food alone for victims – that will not ease their pains.” Pain-alleviation indeed! It will be recalled that the ‘hydro-hurricane’ swept across many parts of the country with an unstoppable speed. Questions that readily come to mind are; was this flood foreseen? Were there measures that would have been taken but were ignored? Are we giving any extrapolation about States yet to be affected and the dire consequences of this sad development as regards the food crisis in the coming year? Are verbal-palliatives sufficient? Historically, floods are as old as humanity. Perhaps it is because water accounts for

need arises. At that award ceremony of our organization, Cardinal Onaiyekan provided food for thought regarding how best human rights can be protected and promoted but never shied away from the controversial same gender sexual orientation of a section of the developed western world that is gradually finding its way into Africa and Nigeria particularly. He criticized this unnatural sexual orientation and called on Africans not to allow it to permeate our clime. Cardinal Onaiyekan who was the only black African to be so appointed among the six new Cardinals had proffered solution to the myriads of Nigeria’s constitutional problems made worst by the complete disregard by government officials and important business leaders of the concept of human rights and the need to mainstream the respect of the human rights of Nigerians as a necessary weltanschauung [worldview] of Nigeria as a political entity. On poverty in Nigeria which is widespread, he called for quick surgical operation to end this social malaise. ’’Over and above, there is the tyranny of poverty,

rampant and abject poverty which has rendered many people powerless and voiceless, incapable of resisting injustice, less still fighting for their rights. This practically makes whatever we may say about human rights in Nigeria a dead letter,” he said. On gay marriage he said: ‘’In particular, I have serious concerns on three points: first, there is the right to life which is clearly spelt out in our Constitution and in the Fundamental Human Rights to which we are signatories. Yet there is so much wanton killing going on and killings with impunity. “Extra-judicial killing by security agents is a regular occurrence. Then there are the frequent outbursts of murderous sectarian violence. As I am writing this text, we are hearing of over 500 villagers slaughtered in the middle of the night by marauding armed groups that seem to have dissolved into thin air. Besides, people are left to die through criminal neglect. “Condemning abortion and showing his support for the right to life of the unborn, Cardinal Onaiyekan said: ‘’The first and obvious example is where abortion

is being presented as a right of the woman which the state must fund from public resources. The eyes are deliberately closed to the fact that every abortion entails the killing of an innocent human being’’. “Every law that permits abortion simply means that your human life is sacred only when you can fight for yourself. For as long as the modern world tolerates abortion as a right, we are simply denying with one hand what we are proclaiming with the other.” Onaiyekan said pointblank that; ‘’Similarly, issues of sexuality for example, homosexuality and same sex marriage are all now being proposed as “rights”. This has never been so until recent years. The responsibility for this lies with a small but powerful lobby doing all it can to impose these things on the whole of humanity. The criminal aspect of this exercise is that some of the rich nations are pressurizing poor countries to adopt these inhuman positions as a condition for help and assistance. “Nigeria has no business giving in to these pressures because we have enough resources to feed our people. But I

am not sure that there is an adequate clear vision in these matters. I suspect that many of those who attend big International meetings on our behalf are often very much unaware of the agenda behind many programmes that appear on the surface very positive and good’’, Onaiyekan stated. “The tendency to use ambiguous terminology is often a way to deceive people into accepting things that they would not have accepted when presented bluntly. Thus expressions like “family planning”, “reproductive rights”, “safe motherhood” which are valid and wonderful on their own, often hide the gruesome crime of abortion, which is nothing less than the killing of innocent but defenceless human beings’’. In Onaiyekan we now have a Cardinal that can unequivocally stand up to challenge the antics of the big money spenders who support the spread of the same gender sexual orientation including gay marriage. However, he has a tough battle and ideological war ahead with these forces that are powerful and rich in the western world. Emmanuel Onwubiko is on Facebook.

71.11% percent of the world. The flooding began in early July of this year. According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), since July the inundation has taken a rude ride across the country over close to 30 out of the 36 States of Nigeria being affected. Some of the affected States are: Lagos, Plateau, Borno, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Kebbi. In the litany include; Taraba, Adamawa, Benue, Niger, Kaduna and Kano States. Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Imo, Delta, Edo, Ebonyi, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states were among the last hits. The causes of these torrents are very obvious. They range from climate change to heavy rainfalls or seasonal flash floods which started around May through September. Others include; poor drainage systems, indiscriminate dumping of refuse, building on waterways, improper town planning, overcrowded slums and lack of precautionary measures. These floods came about as a result of heavy downpour and release of water from Lagdo Dam and Lake Nyos in the Cameroons which started affecting towns bordering Nigeria. The devastating effects are more than obvious. The loss of lives and property worth millions is a painful cliché. The floods have killed hundreds of Nigerians in various states and displaced countless. Over 120,000 Nigerians are displaced and homeless - leaving in camps across affected areas. According to NEMA, ”Some 2.1 m Nigerians

have been displaced and 263 have died in what the authorities say is the worst flooding in over 40 years...” (http:// worst-flooding-decades). Farms crops and seedlings like cassava, rice and maize meant for the next farming session have been galloped away by the flood. The struggle to get what they can of those food items while courageously keeping their heads above the water to avoid being drowned! Five women who gave birth at camps of the flood victims in Idah, Ibaji local government area of Kogi state with the sixth, one Philomena Victor, delivering hers in a boat. It took the extra courage of her mother and the compassionate enthusiasm of the Catholic Diocese of Idah led by Fr. Elias Ojoma (rescue-team chairman) to bring mother and child to safety. Horrific scenes similar to this are legion: the upsurge of endemic diseases, hunger plus plundering waves, sight of women with babies at the breast, people brawling to cross over barefooted or barely dressed, others struggling with valuables, food items, goats and bicycles

epitomizes the flood cruelty and its devastating effects on humans. Aside from the environmental hangovers of the floods, the economic impact on the country as regards food security is the most severe. The effort of the Federal Government is so far commendable especially as President Goodluck Jonathan in his last national broadcast announced the release of N17.6 billion to aid the affected states and some Federal Government agencies responsible for disaster management to provide succour to flood victims. Equally, the bold step of setting a National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, chaired and cochaired by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, respectively, is admirable; same for Mr. President’s inspection tour of States affected by the floods. However, NEMA and the Flood Relief and Rehabilitation Committee must be up and doing in giving a human face to this daunting yet humanistic national assignment. Many may be thinking it will be business as usual – the national cake

syndrome. Perhaps the pecuniary pedigree of personages in the latter group ‘will suffice for fuel.’ Government cannot do it alone, spirited individuals, NGO’s, multinational corporations, captains of industries, religious leaders and traditional rulers and other major stake holders must rise up to bring assistance to the flood victims and strategize in salvaging this country from impending food shortage come next year. We must learn to revamp the agricultural sector and support farmers as in the days of the green revolution! The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, recently at the opening ceremony of the National Agricultural Show held at National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria, Keffi Abuja road, made a frantic defense that we shall not have food crisis or famine despite the farm losses caused by the widespread flood disaster. This, surely, is oversimplifying the matter! This time, one would think that the claim by him that the Federal Government has made adequate preparations not only to help the affected people, but to boost irrigation in the area is a white elephant project/ promise. As a people, we must learn to move from taking curative measures to concrete preventive measures, the likes of food storage! Fr. Justine John Dyikuk, a Catholic priest, wrote in from the Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt.

Flood cruelty and food crisis

The devastating effects are more than obvious. The loss of lives and property worth millions is a painful cliché. The floods have killed hundreds of Nigerians in various states and displaced countless. Over 120,000 Nigerians are displaced and homeless - leaving in camps across affected areas



Security man in court over negligent conduct, unlawful juju By Amaike Beauty with agency report


he police yesterday arraigned a 25-year-old security man, Habibu Musa, of Kado Estate, Abuja, before an Abuja Magistrates Court for alleged negligent conduct and unlawful “juju”. He pleaded not guilty. Police prosecutor Sgt. Philip Apollos told the Court that one Abiola Coker of the same

address reported the matter at the Life Camp Police Station on Nov. 3, 2012. Apollos said that the complainant travelled and left his house in the care of the accused and returned to discover that someone had broken into his house and stolen some items. He said the things removed from the house included a television set, generator battery, three sets of wrappers

and perfumes. The prosecutor said that during police investigation, the accused could not give a satisfactory account of how the things disappeared from the house. He added that a bag containing some items suspected to be juju was found at Musa’s security post, items which he kept without the consent of the complainant. He said the offence

contravened sections 196 and 215 of the Penal Code. The magistrate, Mr Musa Jobbo, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50,000 and a surety in like sum. Jobbo said the surety must have a reliable address and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to Nov. 20, 2012 for hearing.

L-R: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Agricultural Show and Exhibition and Director of Economic Planning, Research and Statistics, FCTA, Alhaji Ari Isa Mohammed, and DirectorGeneral of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr. Joe Wenegieme, during the visit of the LOC members to the minister, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Abuja-based faith organisation holds health seminar By Miriam Humbe


n Abuja based faith organization, Graceville Christian Center, has organised a three-day seminar to equip residents with knowledge regarding their well being through the Health and Healing seminar.

Announcing this yesterday to newsmen, the Pastor of Graceville Christian Center, Tunde Ayeni said the event which is tagged: “A Heritage of Life and Wholeness”, is expected to hold this Sunday, will November 11 th ,2012 feature two sessions which the morning session starting at

9am and the evening session at 6pm. He explained that a guest minister, Pastor Joshua Tende who is alsotrained medical personnel is expected to chair the sessions at the occasion taking place at The Haven, 6a Lasale Street, Off Shehu Shagari Way, by MTN

Junction in Maitama, Abuja. According to him, health and wholeness are the believer’s heritage, however, a lot of people still come short in this area because of a lack of understanding needed to build faith in this regard which has prompted the need for the seminar.

University of Abuja holds conference on terrorism By Usman Shuaibu


he University of Abuja , Gwagwalada, FCT yesterday organized a Conference to enlighten the students and the entire Nigerians on the role to play to end terrorism. The First Annual Conference was held by the Social Studies and Civil Educators Association of Nigeria, North Central Zonal Chapter of the University. Speaking at the occasion, the Vicechancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. James Sunday Adelabu, who was represented by the Deputy vicechancellor Academics Prof. Samuel E. Kakulu urged Nigerians to combat terrorism and militancy in their domains. He said that the authorities of the University would continue to hold conferences against terrorism and militancy, appealing to Nigerians to go against terrorism in anywhere they found themselves. He added that the fight against terrorism is responsibility for all of us. On her parts, Prof. Veronica Larba Amadii from the faculty of Education at the University of Abuja emphasized that the conference was organized to inculcate moral values in students/pupils in the country. She asked the community leaders to organize such forum to educate their people on the need to fight terrorism. Amadii however called on Nigerians to come together to arrest the security challenge faced by them, describing the security challenge as a national calamity. Presenting a paper entitled “The Role of Religion and Education in Curbing Terrorism in Nigeria”, Dr. Benedict M. Umaru at the University of Abuja said that the religious leaders were better placed to curb the social vices militating against the societies Umaru noted that the economic hardship faced by the people is responsible for the insecurity in Nigeria. He urged the government to provide job opportunities for Nigerians.

Court remands man in prison custody for stealing cell phones


n Abuja Magistrates Court yesterday ordered that Hassan Ibrahim, 19, of Mabushi Village, Abuja, be remanded in prison custody for allegedly stealing cell phones. Police prosecutor, Francis Tanko, told the court that the matter was reported by one Ayodeji Obamura of Plot 677,

Burisan Crescent, Utako, Abuja, at the Utako Police Station on Nov. 2. Tanko said the crime was committed at the Wuse Zone 5 Bus Stop when the accused stole two cell phones and N20,000 cash from the complainant’s car. He said the complainant saw

the accused removing the items from the car and raised an alarm. The prosecutor said the accused was arrested and taken to the Police Station, where the phones were recovered from him. He added that the offence contravened the provisions of

Section 287 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded guilty to stealing the cell phones but denied taking N20,000 cash. “It is true that I stole two cell phones from the car, but I did not see or take any money from the car. “They chased me and collected the phones from me,

but they did not see any money on me,’’ he said. Magistrate Musa Jobbo ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody “pending when a formal application for his bail is filed’’. He adjourned the case to Nov. 14, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)



Two men jailed for possession of dangerous weapons

Yam seller along Airport road Abuja.

By Amaike Beauty with agency report


Photo: Mahmud Isa

FCT Primary Health Centre, Lugbe calls for more manpower ByAdeola Tukuru


he Primary Health Care Centre in Lugbe, FCT, has called for increased manpower to cater for the increasing demand by residents in the area. The Higher Community Health Extension Officer of the centre, Mrs Juilana Jimoh stated that the workload was much and the staff was being over worked. While explaining the situation of the clinic, Jimoh said that the infrastructure was packed down; stressing

that there was the need to employ a permanent doctor to oversee the facility. “We don’t have enough staff; we only have six staff and about eight volunteers, a doctor usually visit the centre periodically. “We need more space, the space we have is too compacted and we need more hands, including a medical doctor on permanent basis,’’ the officer said. Jimoh said that the clinic in recent times had witnessed a lot of patients coming from neighbouring communities to seek medical attention.

She said that because of insufficient wards, the clinic admit men, women and children in the same room for observation. The health worker said that the clinic had electricity problem from public supply, saying that the use of generating set had led to increased spending on diesel. She said that if the clinic could not attend to patients’ health situation, they usually referred them to Wuse General Hospital, Kuje General Hospital and some specialist hospitals. She said that the turnout of women who came for

Man, 22, gets one month imprisonment for trespass


n Abuja Senior Magistrates Court has sentenced Abdul Ibrahim, 22, of no fixed address to one month imprisonment for trespassing into a school. The Senior Magistrate, Malam Aminu Abdullahi, who handed down the sentence, however, gave the convict an option of N1, 000 as fine. Earlier, the Prosecutor, Mr Christian Munonye, had told the court that the case was reported at the Garki Police Station by one Ofonime Udoh on Nov. 3, 2012. Munonye said that on Nov. 3,2012 Udoh, who works as a security guard at the American International School, Abuja, found Ibrahim in the school premises and he could not give account of what he was doing there. He added that Ibrahim unlawfully entered the school

premises through the back gate with the intent to steal. The prosecutor said that Ibrahim’s offence contravened Sections 342 and 79 of the Penal Code. Ibrahim pleaded guilty to the charge of trespass but denied the allegation of theft. “ I admit entering into the school premises but I did not have any intention to steal as I was only looking for unused items. “I did not know it was prohibited for me to enter into the school, I am begging the court to forgive me.” The prosecutor prayed the court to discharge the second charge of theft against Ibrahim and the application was granted by the magistrate. He, however, said that the Ibrahim must be punished to serve as a deterrent to others. (NAN)

Wheelbarrow pusher waiting for customers at Wuse market. Photo: Joe Oroye

antenatal was good as some pregnant women also came to be delivered of their babies. NAN observes that the road to the health care centre is bad as women in labour find it difficult to get there in time of emergency, Mrs Hauwa Liman, who resides around the area, said that the clinic was usually overcrowded and not conducive for her to seek medical attention. Liman said that she would rather go to a secondary facility to seek for treatment than to receive drugs in the PHC in Lugbe.

Kuje Area Court, FCT yesterday sentenced two men to three months imprisonment each for being in possession of dangerous weapons. The judge, Alhaji Nuhu Ibrahim, convicted the two men on charges of lurking with house-breaking weapons, an offence which contravenes the provisions of Section 360 of the Penal Code. Ibrahim, however, gave them an option to pay N5, 000 fine. Police prosecutor Samuel Ochefu told the court that one Aminu Auwalu of Sauka Vilage, Kuje reported at the Kuje Police Station that the two men were in possession of two sharp cutlasses. Ochefu said the cutlasses were hidden under their trousers, and that they were suspected to be among those terrorising commercial motorcycle operators along Sauka Giri Road in Abuja. The convict agreed being in possession of cutlasses but said they were meant for farm work.

Landlord docked for intimidating tenant By Amaike Beauty with agency report


he police yesterday arraigned 50-year-old landlord, Bamaiyi Adaji before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for allegedly intimidating his tenant, Mr. Desmond Anunobi. Police prosecutor Lucas Ephraim told the court that the case was reported at Kubwa Police Station by Anunobi on Oct. 7, 2012. Ephraim said that the accused sometime in March 2012 entered the room of the complainant and forcibly removed his toilet and bedroom doors. The prosecutor said that when the complainant confronted him, the accused threatened to deal with him. “The accused thereby put the complainant in a state of fear,’’ he said. Ephraim said the offence was punishable under sections 397, 348 and 327 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty. Senior Magistrate Simisola Adeniyi granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with a reliable and reasonable surety who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She adjourned the case to Nov. 27, 2012 for hearing.



Motorists driving through a deplorable road along Jamb office in Bwari Area Council, Abuja.

A vulcanizer waiting for customers yesterday in Apo village, Abuja.

A woman plaiting her customer’s hair yesterday in Bwari, Abuja

A fruit seller in Durumi, Abuja.

A Teenager Hawking groundnuts yesterday in Kubwa, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo





INSIDE - Pg 20 Advertisers spent N103bn in 2011

Mob: 08033644990

Cross section of Participants at the 8th National Conference on Investment in Abuja on Wednesday.

Photo: NAN

Stakeholders advocate for integrated policy for aviation sector From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Federal Government has been urged to formulate an integrated policy that will cater for the whole country’s aviation industry. One of the speakers at a forum in Lagos yesterday and

former Captain with the defunct Nigerian Airways, Capt. Dele Ore said the policy would enable the sector to achieve economic growth in the country. Ore, who is the President, Aviation Round Table, spoke at a workshop with the theme: ‘Capacity Building in the Aviation sector’, organised by the

Oyo, UK firm sign MoU to establish N4bn soya milk firm From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Oyo state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a United Kingdom-based milk producing company, Kama Milk Industry for the processing and production of soya milk. When it eventually comes on stream, the company, whose establishment will cost $25 million (N4 billion), will be producing about 750,000 metric tons of soya milk per annum, aside the provision of about 100,000 jobs for the people of the state. Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who presided over the signing ceremony at the Governor’s Office, Ibadan on Wednesday, said that the development was the product of his many foreign trips which were aimed at improving the economy of the state and enhancing the living standard of the people. “The MoU is one of the products of our promotion; we are now having a company involved in the large manufacturing of soya bean which will be the largest in Africa outside South Africa,’’ he said. The governor assured the

management of the company that government would provide the enabling environment to enhance its success. “We are indeed ready to partner with you and provide the enabling environment that will make you succeed and all that is required of us to promote and make progress in Oyo State,’’ he said. The governor also assured that the company would be provided with 25 hectares of land to commence the production of soya beans which, he said, would have its own value chain addition through the promotion of poultry, fish product and animal feeds. He added that apart from the

Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (Aviation Chapter), in Lagos. He said, “We should know how to manage transport industry, particularly the aviation sector. Increase taxation, rising fuel prices and political instability has continued to test the economy system of the aviation industry in land being provided at the industrial park on the LagosIbadan Expressway, the company would also be provided with a large farmland in Oke-Ogun Area that would serve as a feeder to the firm. Governor Ajimobi charged the management of the company to ensure the commencement of operation within the next three months. Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of Kama Milk Industry, Mr. Dipak Mirchandani assured that his company was ready to partner with the state government in the area of soya beans processing and milk production, adding that 75,000 tons of soya milk would be produced per annum. He lauded the governor for having the interest of the state at heart, which he said, had manifested in the establishment of the company.

Nigeria,’’ The ex pilot noted that domestic airlines should return or adapt positively to a changing environment; otherwise the aviation industry would collapse. “The charges in Nigeria are very high, when this are put together, airlines cannot survive. Intending airlines

NDIC says it has paid N2.45bn to depositors of failed MfBs


he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) says it has paid N2.45 billion to the depositors of the 103 distressed microfinance banks (MfBs) as at Aug. 31. The Managing Director of the corporation, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, disclosed this at the ongoing 26th Lagos International Trade Fair yesterday in Lagos. The MD said that the corporation had also paid N2.25 billion to the insured depositors of the failed micro-finance banks as at December, 2011. He added that the corporation had also given insured deposit of N6.682 billion to the 48 depositors of commercial banks

Management Tip of the Day


When working hard, make time for rest

hen you're on a deadline or have a particularly thorny project in front of you, it can be tempting to try to power through for long periods of time. But your brain's ability to focus only lasts about 90 minutes before you need to take a break. If you ignore signs from your

body that you need a rest difficulty concentrating, physical restlessness, irritability - your productivity will wane. Instead, completely focus your energy in 90-minute cycles. Set an alarm, turn off your phone, close unnecessary windows on your computer, and put a sign

investors should know the implication of what they are trying to get into. Successful airlines try to slim line their operations; they make money through hotel operation.” “Government should invest more in aviation training schools and they should specialize in a particular area of study,’’ he added.

on your office door. When the time is up, take a needed break, even if you're on a roll - go for a walk, take care of an easy task, read an article, etc. Once rested, get back into your focused state. Source: Harvard Business Review

liquidated as at Aug. 31. Ibrahim said that this was against the N6.64 billion paid as at Dec. 31, 2011. Ibrahim also said that a cumulative dividend of N77.38 billion was paid to depositors whose claims were in excess of insured amount in the 48 closed commercial banks as Aug. 31. Ibrahim, who was represented by the corporation’s Head of Asset Management, Mr. Olarenwaju Sulaimon said that N73.55 billion paid to the same depositors in 2011. Ibrahim added that it has also paid an cumulative dividend to shareholders of Alpha Merchant Bank, Nigeria Merchant Bank and Pan African Bank.. The President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Goddy Ibru, said that the shift of the fair to Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) was because of the ongoing construction of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. Ibru said that the traffic situation was been effectively managed by a combined team of Lagos State Traffic Maintenance Agency (LASTMA) and Federal Road Safety Corporation (FRSC).(NAN)





oca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) , the world’s second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola Co. soft drinks, posted a 12 percent drop in nine-month profit, hurt by austerity in its debt-laden markets, higher commodity costs and currency shifts. The company’s comparable net income of 265 million euros ($338.01 million) beat analysts’ average expectations of 256.8 million. EU-IMF austerity measures have caused sales volumes to drop in Greece and Ireland as well as Italy, where the government is also curbing spending to cope with higher borrowing costs. The bottler, with operations in countries including Russia and Nigeria, said the volume of unit cases sold dropped by 1 percent year-on-year to 1.61 billion. Sales rose 3 percent to 5.47 billion euros, compared with an analysts’ average forecast of 5.44 billion.

Advertisers spent N103bn in 2011 From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he advertising industry in Nigeria has recorded an increase of, N102.755 billion or 5.3 %, spent on television, radio, outdoor and press advertising activities in 2011. This is against the N97.549 billion spent in the same period of 2010. Mediafacts, an annual publication of MediaReach OMD, Nigeria’s most influential media independent agency, disclosed this in its 2011 edition of the publication. According to the publication, of the N102.755 billion, television had N46.076, radio N13.142, outdoor N28.142 while N15.395 was spent on the press. It noted that in 2011, Lagos region accounted for 54 % or N55.778 billion, north 20 % or

N20.130 billion, the east N11.485 billion or 11 % while the western part of Nigeria accounted for the remaining 15 % or N15.46 billion. From the total advertising, Telecommunications product category spent the highest N20.118 billion, followed by Personal Paid announcement with N8.654 and Entertainment, Leisure & Tourism was third in the product category with N5.976 billion. In the telecommunication category, MTN topped the list with N6.381 billion followed by Globacom which spent N5.704 billion. Etisalat and Airtel spent N4.255 billion and N3.439 billion respectively. All the four brands topped the list of the top 20 brands in terms of ad spend last year. Another highlight of Mediafacts 2011 is that of

television advertising which amounted to N46.076 billion, as against the N39.656 billion recorded in 2010. Radio recorded for N13.142 billion as against N12.807 billion spent in 2010 while the print media spent N15.395 billion lesser than the N16.524 spent in 2010. Outdoor expenditure was N28.142 billion also lesser than N28.562 spent in 2010. The report also noted that Nigeria has the potential to build a prosperous economy with its large reserves of human and natural resources, adding that Nigeria witnessed major changes in the economic sector in 2011, some of which were the Federal Government’s amnesty programme that resulted in higher oil production, growth in the insurance sector and consistent growth in the telecommunication sector amongst others.

Mobile money


isa Inc. and Fundamo, the Visa-owned mobile money platform, have announced the results of a study of 2,500 consumers reveals that consumers in six developing countries including Nigeria are already highly aware of mobile money services – the ability to make payments or send funds simply by accessing an account on their mobile phone. The results reveal that consumers’ needs for financial services are far more sophisticated than previously believed and go well beyond the established transaction set offered by mobile money services today, both companies announced. The study also found that security concerns associated with carrying cash and the need to quickly send money to family members living far away are among the key drivers for mobile money adoption.

Nigeria’s web TV


ebTV Nigeria is Nigeria’s online business television & video service, founded in May 2011 as an add-on complement to the financial market information service of Proshare, Nigeria’s leading financial Information communication, analyst and Investor relations firm. The Managing Director/CEO, Mr Olufemi Awoyemi said that the WebTV service, since its creation has grown into a dedicated service catering for a wider audience in the investing and commercial business community. The WebTV crew has the distinctive advantage of comprising of members from a cable television station known for its technical, professional application and excellent customer service, which it believes is necessary for the business and financial market Nigeria is building.

Airport Custom’s pool of arrests uncovers billions of undeclared sums From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Nigeria Custom Command at the Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos yesterday disclosed that passengers arrested at the international wing of the airport in the last three month had attempted to ferry billions of Naira undeclared to the appropriate authority before travelling abroad. It said that it arrested one passenger with one hundred and thirty seven thousand , four hundred and thirty five( $137,435) at the terminal, who was on his way to China to perpetrate copy right offences. The passenger, Mr. Chukwuonu Nnaemeka John was travelling to China with textbooks published in Nigeria with the sole aim of re- importing them back to Nigeria. The Customs Area Controller of the airport, Eporwei Charles Edike told reporters that the passenger only declared seventy thousand dollars. But, when officials carried out search on the textbooks, they discovered that sixty seven thousand and four hundred and thirty seven dollars (67,437),was found that was not declared. He explained that the Area Command has put in place measures to hand over the passenger to officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) for further investigation.

Expert woos investors over N7.5tr untapped bonds at NSE L-R: Secretary, Royal Commonwealth Society, Musa Abutu, Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneur and Social Development, Hon. Patricia Yakubu and the representative of Etsu of Karu, Ambassador Williams Yaji, during the presentation of Honorary Ambassador Award to Hon. Yakubu,on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

NBS plans overhaul of data base for efficient performance By Abdulwahab Isa


he National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is set carry out comprehensive updating of its statistical system data base with a view to improving the quality for effective planning and implementation at all levels of government. It would be done to ease the conduct of nationwide enlarged socio-economic survey slated for the first quarter of 2013. NBS Director, Real Sector and Household Survey Department Mr. George Oparaku gave the hint at an interactive session with participants at the National

Statistical User Workshop hed recently in Nasarawa State. He said the planned surveys were aimed at enhancing the production of reliable and timely statistical information on all areas of the national life and usage in the formulation of policies and execution, monitoring and evaluation of development programmes. ”The enlarged socio-economic survey and others being planned by the NBS when completed will meet users’ expectations better through many and diverse indicators that will come out from them. This is in line with the Statistician General’s vision of making the NBS the primary

source of evidence-based statistical information for national development”. In addition to the enlarged socio-economic statistical survey, the Bureau, according to the statistician while responding to users and other participants’ enquiries, is also collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a proposed survey on public perception and awareness of the Commission. According to the officials of the statistical agency, discussions are already going on between the parties with a view to determining when the exercise would formally kick-off.


n investment expert, Mr. Malcolm Gilroy, said yesterday that the value of untapped bonds at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) currently stood at N7.5 trillion. Gilroy, who is the Global Head Sales &Trading, Dunn Loren Merrifield Ltd, Lagos, disclosed this at the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) forum in Lagos. Besides, he said out of the amount, that of the Debt Management Office (DMO) was N3.5 trillion while that of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) was N3 trillion. He said that state governments and corporate bonds contribution stood at N1trillion, adding that the amount was huge because the bonds had not been tapped for capital projects. It also provides first class research services to companies and work with international emerging fund managers and international banks with an appetite for sub-Saharan Africa investments. (NAN)



lot of companies in different sectors of the economy have been enjoying this benefit. The incentive is also available for tourism industry operators to enjoy. (3) Deduction of reserve made out profit for research and development The statutory ground for this incentive lies under Section 26 of CITA 2004 as amended. This is a good incentive for tourism industry operators to enjoy. (4) Incentive for Reserve made out of profit for tourism development 25 % of incomes derived from tourists by hotels in convertible currencies are exempted from tax provided such income are put in a reserve fund to be utilised within five (5) years for expansion or construction of new hotels or facilities used for development of tourism. (5) Low Tax Treaty Concession Rate of 7.5 percent for foreign investors from treaty Nations. This incentive was introduced as part of the 1999 Fiscal Policy. It is applicable to investment income such as royalty, interest, rent and dividend earned by Nonresidents who are citizens of treaty nations (i.e. countries having Double Taxation Agreements with Nigeria) which are to liable to withholding tax deduction at 7.5 (%) percent. A rate of 10 (%) percent is applicable to non-residents who are citizens of Non-Treaty nations. Foreign investors in the tourism industry from treaty nations can enjoy this. (6) Accelerated Capital Allowance Scheme Schedule 2 to the CITA gives the details on this.


Imperatives of taxation on tourism development in Nigeria (II) Federal Inland Revenue Service handle. Foreign investors in the Tourism industry are free to take advantage of this. (9) National Tax Policy and Tourism Industry It is pertinent to mention that with the approved National Tax Policy, it is considered imperative to address the issue of multiple taxation and introduce more sectors focused but time bound incentives to support the tourism industry and other industries in Nigeria. Government will be motivated to give more incentives if the operators in the Tourism industry are prepared to be tax compliant by filing their tax returns and paying their taxes as and when due.

Tourism companies which incur qualifying capital expenditure in doing their business are entitled to enjoy capital allowances. Unrelieved capital allowances are allowed to be carried forward indefinitely. This is available to be enjoyed by both foreign and local investors in the Tourism industry. (7) Loss Relief

The applicable statute on this is Section 31 (2) of CITA 2004. The loss relief is subject to four (4) year carry forward limit. This is also available for all local and foreign Tourism industry operators to enjoy. (8) Repatriation of Net Earnings outside Nigeria by Foreign Investors

Section 101 Subsection 5 of CITA is the relevant provision on this. There is opportunity for foreign investors in the Tourism industry and other industries to repatriate their net earnings outside Nigeria immediately the tax obligation on the income has been fulfilled. This is part of what the International Tax Units of the Large Taxpayers Offices of

Conclusion It is obvious from the foregoing that taxation is an essential catalyst to the development of tourism in Nigeria. The relationship between the two should be a mutual one. If government supports tourism development with favourable tax regime which will lead to greater output and income, the tourism industry will in turn support government with more revenue through payment of more income tax, personal income tax, value added tax etc. This type of symbiotic relationship where one reinforces the other is good for the nation. Concluded

Sustainable development and healthy competition as overriding philosophy of the National Tax Policy (II)


he tax policy shall therefore promote and encourage a shift in focus from non-tax revenue to tax revenue by Governments at all levels of the Nigerian economy. Following from the above, the tax policy shall also promote and encourage healthy competition amongst tax and revenue authorities in Nigeria at the Federal and State level to facilitate rapid development of the tax sector in Nigeria. The focus of the competition shall be to maximise tax revenue within the jurisdiction of each Government in line with Constitutional and statutory provisions. It is expected that there would be increased collaboration as a result of the need to grow tax revenues by each level of Government and that improved collaboration would enhance tax yield between and amongst federal, State and Local Government authorities. The concept of sustainable development and healthy competition shall be upheld as underlying philosophers in the development of Nigeria's tax

system. It is however important to note that even as healthy competition is encouraged, this should be balanced with the need to have an effective tax system. Several jurisdictions have different ways of striking that balance. In Nigeria,that balance will be achieved by ensuring that those ratios that drive allocation of revenue collected from any source has built in mechanisms for rewarding and recognising arms of government that demonstrate effective utilisation of revenues, investment promotion, infrastructural development and economic activity amongst others. The role of fiscal federalism Fiscal Federalism is expected to play a major role in Nigerian tax policy and administration.In this regard, it is intended that the concept of fiscal federalism would be the common thread holding the National Tax Policy together. Nigerian tax policy would therefore uphold the application of fiscal federalism in the generation and expenditure of revenue by government at all levels in accordance with the

tenets of the Nigerian Constitution. There should be strict adherence to the tenets of fiscal federalism, which will include the basic understanding of which revenue functions and agencies are best centralized, which should run concurrently and which are better placed under the sphere of decentralized levels of Government. In this regard, it is expected that the Tax policy and other tax legislation, would resolve the issue of who collects what, how it is collected, who controls what is collected, how is what is collected shared, who is responsible for spending what is collected and who is ultimately responsible and accountable to the tax payers for the revenue collected and its expenditure. The Tax policy would provide a workable and acceptable platform which should be adopted by all tiers of Government for the proper application of the doctrine of separation of powers in relation to taxation. It is believed that adherence to these principles would be discussed in the National Tax policy would bring

an end to disputes on the limits and powers of the tiers of Government in our Federation on fiscal matters. It will also bring clarity and certainty to tax administration and entire Nigerian system. In putting together a National Tax Policy, it was paramount to uphold the concept of federalism, as practiced under the Nigerian Constitution. The present structure of taxation as stipulated by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reflects the three-tier system of Government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels. Under the constitution, each tier of Government has been granted powers and responsibilities in respect of the imposition and collection of taxes. The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria places the responsibility for legislating on taxation of incomes, capital gains and Stamp Duty on the Federal Government. It also places collection of taxes on the concurrent legislative list,

enabling the Federal Government to delegate administration or collection of taxes as it pertains to taxation or duty on a capital gains, incomes or profits of persons other than companies; and documents or transactions by way of stamp duties to State Government. At the same time, the constitution places the responsibility for legislating on the collection of taxes, fees and charges that can be collected by the Local Government on the State Governmnets.Other than those specifically stated in the exclusive legislative list, activities that would ordinarily attract taxes, fees and charges (forms of levels) are placed squarely as part of the responsibilities of the Local Government Council in the 4th schedule. To check on the possibility of multiple taxation, the constitution is clear on giving responsibility to the Federal Government in the case of state Governmnets, and to the State Government in the case of local Governmnts. To be continued



Nigerian economy not encouraging enterprises well enough – Industrialist


President Goodluck Jonathan (right) in handshake with the leader of a business group from Dubai United Arab Emirate, Mr. Iskandar Safa during a visit to the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Manpower shortage threatens FAAN’s fire service department By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


ging workforce and retirements of staff may put the work of aviation fire personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in danger, as cautioned by Lewis Ojeifo, President of Nigerian Aviation Fire Safety Association (NAFSA). Fire points at the Nigerian airports need additional aviation fire personnel of about 1000 to meet the demands of fire services across the country. Ojeifo said this during the activities of the department marking one year of the present management team of the Federal Airports Authority of

Nigeria FAAN, adding however there has been a lot of significant transformation in the system. The president explained how the ageing workforce and retirement has depleted the staff strength of fire men across the nation’s airport making it imperative more fresh hands to be recruited into the service to adequately meet the challenges of the future. “People are retiring on daily basis; not that they do not like the job, the people have attained the retirement age. So, we need to bring in fresh hands to add to what we have. We do not need anything less than 1,000 men to add to what we

have now and that is when we will say that we have enough hands to support those on ground,” commented Ojeifo. The shrinking number of firemen has gone below 800 across the airports forcing some of the personnel working round the clock in some airports to ensure that they keep the airports running but lamented that it could lead to fatigue. He then expressed appreciation to the Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah for her transformation programme and commended George Ureisi for equipping airports across the country with new fire trucks and the training of fire personnel on the trucks.

LAPO chief lauds CBN over restructuring of microfinance banks


he Managing Director of Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO) microfinance Bank, Mr. Godwin Ehigiamusoe has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the ongoing reform of the sub-sector. Ehigiamusoe gave the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin on Tuesday. He said that the on-going reform and policy review of the microfinance sub- sector was necessary in addressing emerging and unanticipated issues and developments in the operating environment. He also said that the proposed establishment of special courts by the CBN to hear cases on loan default by customers of microfinance banks was a welcome development. Ehigiamusoe said that this would help microfinance banks

to recover their bad loans. He also extolled the CBN on the creation of a Micro finance development fund called the Microfinance Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMEs) Fund. “Most of the microfinance banks are faced with the challenges of inadequate funds for on-lending; the Fund is expected to provide funds to microfinance banks on affordable terms. “The other benefit is that loans to clients will obviously be cheaper as microfinance banks will access low cost funds from the MSME Fund”, he said. Ehigiamusoe, however, urged the CBN to put adequate measures on ground to make the plan work effectively. “As in other countries, where similar Fund has worked well, there will be a number of factors that will be required for success. “Sources of funds for the

Fund should be diversified to include private sector contributors, development agencies and government”, he said. Ehigiamusoe also advised that the governance structure of the MSMEs fund should be shielded from political influence and they should strictly adherence to their operational guidelines to guarantee that only deserving microfinance banks access it. Ehigiamusoe said that the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by microfinance banks would place additional costs on them.Transition to IFRS by microfinance banks and indeed by any business enterprise will require some form of technical assistance and this comes at a cost. “Most microfinance banks will find it difficult to cover the cost”, he said. (NAN)

n Aba-based industrialist, Chief Kevin Obiodu, on Tuesday said that business economic environment in Nigeria was still not too conducive for business enterprises. “Our economy is not encouraging smallscale entrepreneurs,`` Obiodu said in interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba. He said that lack of access to funds to start a business was the greatest obstacle facing smallscale entrepreneurs in the country. He said that most of the raw materials being used by local industries were imported and this had made setting up small enterprises very expensive in Nigeria. Obiodu, the Managing Director of KCOBI Foods Ltd., said that government was not taking enough “financial risk” to encourage small-scale businesses. “The government has been sponsoring activities within and outside the shores of our country

with low positive yields on our economy. “Meanwhile, much more government investment in small businesses will address our unemployment challenge. “There is no point that our institutions of higher learning are churning out thousands of graduates yearly and there are no jobs for them,’’ he said. He said that government needed to revisit the policy of giving tax holidays to people, groups or associations that were providing small businesses with funds. Obiodu, a former Chairman of the National Association of Small-Scale Industrists in the old Imo state, said that Nigeria could meet her staple food needs if entrepreneurs were encouraged. “I came back to Nigeria from the UK with high spirits to apply my creativity to enhance our economy and create job opportunities. But unfortunately, I feel that I have not received the necessary encouragement to actualise my dreams,” he said. (NAN)

Shared benefits require bold economic reforms - African Economic Conference


articipants at the closing session of the seventh African Economic Conference, on Friday in Kigali, Rwanda, urged African leaders to put in place bold economic reforms, aimed at sustaining growth and boosting human development. The four-day conference highlighted the need for policymakers to create diversified economies capable of generating employment, implementing better social policies and inclusive growth. Participants agreed that good governance and fair competition will help Africa meet its sustainable development agenda. Africa has become the world’s second-fastest growing region. Hosting the AEC for the first time, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said that in this era of economic uncertainty, the world has high expectations for the African

continent. According to the African Economic Outlook 2012, economic growth across the African continent is expected to rebound from 3.4% in 2011 and accelerate to 4.5% in 2012 and 4.8% in 2013. “Rich countries are very much concentrated on their own immediate problems to fix,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. “As we can see from the trade and climate negotiations, there is limited appetite for the multilateral solutions, so we need to trade our way out of poverty and deal with the impact of climate change.” “If politically the leadership is right, there is no doubt that leadership will focus on inclusion in almost everything it does,” the former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo also said.(Source: AfDB)

Company to empower Nigerians through e-commerce By Muhammad Nasir


n abuja based Internet Services Company, Netfundsolution has launched a programme whose aim is to empower Nigerian though ecommerce. The purpose of this programme is to train Nigerians on the art of making a living off the internet through the establishment of web-based enterprises. According to the Project coordinator, Mr. Chika Chukwuka, this training is designed to train internet entrepreneurs on the methodology of online business success. Participants of this training will be provided with technical tools and support necessary to earn a living primarily off the internet. Mr. Chukwuka further said, "It is our belief that the Internet is one

medium that has been underutilised in developing countries with Nigeria not exempted. It has the potential of being a prominent provider of jobs if its immense potential is harnessed. This is what countries like India, Pakistan and Singapore are doing and we intend to replicate same here in Nigeria". On who the prospective trainees are, he said that all individuals who have reading and writing skills and the ability to follow simple step-by-step, do-this, do that instruction are eligible for the training. "In fact, if you can read and write and have access to the internet, you have no business not being comfortable because the internet has the capacity to make you an employer, but you must have the right training" he said.




Abuja: Rivalry between mass transit commuter buses and commercial buses leave passengers groaning By Ibrahim Kabiru Sule


igeria’s seat of power, Abuja, became the federal capital territory in 1991, under the then military president of Ibrahim Babangida, replacing Lagos which had been the capital since independence. Ever since the official relocation, the city has been witnessing an unprecedented influx of people from all crannies of the country, ostensibly in search of a greener posture. This however has resulted in the unavoidable emergence of satellite towns on the outskirts of the city, and invariably renders transportation one of the critical needs of a growing

population. On a daily basis, hundreds of people, including civil servants, bureaucrats, business people struggle to enter the nerve centre of Abuja; They arrive from mostly adjourning suburbs of Suleja, Kubwa, Lugbe, Karu and even from Gwagwalada. It is said that about 75 percent of the city’s population live in these towns at the outskirt of Abuja. The long hours spent on the daily traffic jams especially during rush hours speak volume of the number of people that are trouping into the city, coupled with the seemingly inadequate commercial transports had been given such people a hard times.

However, the increase in the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) back in January, this year, came with both respite and increasing hardships to these daily patronisers of commercial transports. As a palliative measure, the federal government launched 1,100 Mass Transit scheme. The diesel-mediated buses under the SURE-P initiative were the first batch, and include those with 26-seater and 50-seater. This quick federal government initiative came at the time when the Nigeria Labour Congress’ (NLC) championed rallies simultaneously across the country grounded activities of government and private sectors and was seen as an

effort to cushion the hard effect of transport fares that instantly jerked up. Despite the launch of the mass transit buses, followed by the belated but eventual effective volte face of the President over the fuel price hike, little changes were noticed by the passengers as the number of buses was grossly believed to be inadequate to convey passengers to their different destinations. Although, there was an increase in the number of these mass transit buses recently, which significantly reduced the hardships faced by commuters, yet one thing remained a thorn in the flesh of most passengers who continually patronize both

A ‘battle ground’ in the silent war over passengers between mass transit and private commuter buses

Abuja mass transit buses in a parking lot commercial and government subsidized mass transit buses. While the commercial buses maintained their high transport fares, the newly introduced mass transit, have uniform fares of N50, as stated by the Trade and investment minister, Olusegun Aganga, saying the goal of providing the buses was to bring down the prices by 20 percent. It is against this that a relatively large number of passengers often resort to wait for up to an hour or more and sometimes have had to endure a meandering queue in order to get the much cheaper buses, popularly known as “el Rufa’I”. The minister under whose office the purchase and distribution of these buses was saddled has been reported to have said concerning the launch of the subsidy buses that “we are looking at areas where we have the pressure points, where you have large passengers…” Though the program was not only targeted to benefit the people of Abuja, yet it took a long period of time for the gesture to be felt in almost the rest of the states of the country. This could be related to the fact that after the celebrated launch of the

scheme by the President, it was left to private sector to continue the supply of the buses from the federal government’s loans, which was put at the much manageable interest rate of five percent. Moreover, the continued supply would heavily rely on the revolving funds of the first batch to make it a sustained program. Some passengers were quick to relate the relatively low fares charged by these mass transits to the reduction of commercial bus price especially at the afternoon or late in the evening in an effort

to lure few passengers at bus stops. These advantages over the commercial buses notwithstanding, some passengers interviewed expressed their displeasure with regards to inconveniences associated with the mass transit buses. A passenger at the Berger junction, waiting for such government buses remarked “I prefer to wait for ‘el- Rufa’I’ because it is more cheaper compared to the commercial one,” the passenger who did not want his identity revealed

I really hate to be dragged by a bus conductor just for me to patronize his while. That is why I don’t want to come out at the weekends because that is what is happening during weekends. And it once happened to me that two conductors each wanted me to enter his bus. While one of them was pushing me in the direction of his bus, the other one was holding my hand bag and that break the handle at the end

continued “but sometimes, it delays person especially if you are in hurry to reach office, because of the number of passengers it carries”. Some passengers however attributed the attitudes of Drivers and their Conductors of some commercial buses as the reason for their resolve to wait for these mass transit buses. They blamed them for not respecting the people they carry and in most cases even fight between a passenger and a conductor occurs. A passenger, Mallam Gambo who lives in Kuchi Goro, a settlement along airport road says that he always waits in order to get the mass transit bus for many reasons. He said “those mass transit buses have lower price, and are even more comfortable, unlike commercial ones that you have to be pressed whenever a passenger is dropping or if it you entering” though he stated that it is only when he is going back home that he wait for such mass transit. Similar scenario of such clashes once occurred in the presence of Peoples Daily in which a passenger was asked to align from the bus on the ground of that passenger’s height. The fierce argument started when the bus conductor invited a women

passenger to the already full bus and went thus: “Oga make una come down, no vex,” pleaded the conductor. “Why u dey ask me to commot?” the passenger angrily inquired and the conductor then retorted “because you dey too

Another ‘battle’ ground

tall!” Na God made me like this…na God made me like this”, the provoked passenger continued to backfired, as he was making way for the next passenger-in- waiting. Most of the passengers have by the way expressed their concerns over the attitudes of

both commercial buses and the government’s mass transit whenever there is scarcity of passengers like in the afternoon or during weekends. They maintained that during such times, conductors drag passengers to their various buses which at most times leave the passenger at the disadvantaged position. “I really hate to be dragged by a bus conductor just for me to patronize his while. That is why I don’t want to come out at the weekends because that is what is happening during weekends. And it once happened to me that two conductors each wanted me to enter his bus. While one of them was pushing me in the direction of his bus, the other one was holding my hand bag and that break the handle at the end,” a lady lamented to Peoples Daily. In a response to the alleged harassment on passengers, a conductor of a commercial bus who barely spared time refuted the allegations, whom he said, were just the sentiments of passengers. He then continued to blame the passengers for their disrespect to ant person they see in their business, as what normally instigate such disagreements. “Some passengers deliberately enter motor to cheat the conductor or to refuse to pay their money,” alleges the conductor, who said that is why they sometimes quarrel with some passengers. It all appears that this raging competition would remain for a foreseeable time. However, the unions of these two opposing transport services can well intervene to sanitise the activities of their members, owing to how it in most times leave passengers at the receiving end.



Muslim traveller: The pains and the anguish I Abu Hurairah related that the Messenger of Allah,(SAW), said, “Travelling is a portion of the torment. It denies you your sleep, food, and drink. When you have accomplished your purpose, you should hurry back to your family.” [Muslim: Book 20: Hadith 4725, Muwatta’ Malik: Book 54: Hadith 54.15.39]


n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. The dictionary meaning of ‘hobby’ is ‘feelings of ardent love of something’ and one of its synonyms is ‘devotedness’! These meanings gave me every cause to doubt with a feeling of mystification, whenever I read some one’s Resume, and tumble on with travelling as his or her hobby. The facts remains, travelling has never been, and will never be just ‘an auxiliary or spare-time activity’ which someone would say without thinking that he or she loves it! Travelling is a very serious and solemn activity which is in most cases characterized by a firm commitment and definite process. It involves physical ability, financial capability, psychological preparedness, security and peace, and of sufficient time frame assignation. Thus, any undertaking involving these serious preparations, cannot be called or described as past-time or simply leisure pursuit, by any classifications. Subsequently, I am almost certain that that was one of the reasons the Apostle of Islam rightly described travelling as a ‘portion of torment’. He described it in many traditions and instances as a ‘wahala’ because of its associated inconveniences and difficulties. Despite all arrangement and preparations, or status of the traveller, travelling is connected with inconvenient discomfort, difficulty and anxiety. These disfavours cut across both olden and modern days journeys and by any means of transportation. Even Presidents and leaders of nations, experience several severities and asperities while abroad, on the way or in the presidential villas or five-star hotels while on official trips! There are still the fears and nervousness related with air travels, notwithstanding the relief that it is one of the safest means of transportation; the risk is

inherent. make easy for us this journey of Travelling, the mere thinking ours and make its length short for of it can give many people us. O Allah, Thou art the sleepless nights for many people Companion in the journey, and because of the series of the One Who looks after the family uncertainties it holds. There are and property in our absence.” the fears of accidents due to When he returned, he said these development of sudden mechanical faults, potholes for travellers in s u b developed By Husain Zakariyya nations, Yawale road blocks by bandits, +234-8052952900 (sms only) terrorists or e v e n executive extortionists, fuel scarcity or words adding: “Returning, contamination, and so many repentant, serving and praising other associated apprehensions our Lord.” The Prophet (SAW) and

seating neighbours. There is also the depressive syndrome of flying economy class as a result of its tight and compacted sitting arrangements. In addition, there is the possibility of catching thrombosis (DVT). The baby food potion distributed to all the passengers regardless of body sizes. I have not forgotten the possibility of catching deadly contagious or communicable diseases, such as polio and measles, and the commonest is cold. Similarly, there are the risks of anything from nausea and common malaise to sudden death due to poor acclimation. At one’s destination,

which can befall travellers. Another source of fear for travellers, despite the means and the place, is forceful setting at awkward times by circumstances beyond their ability to set out in the night. The reason is that should any calamity befall them, (God forbid), assistance may be very slow in the night. The Apostle of Allah was reported to have said concerning travelling in the night that If only people knew what he knew pertaining travelling in the night they would have think twice or even shelve it! The messenger of Allah, (SAW), in view of the anguish and apprehension associated with generally travelling, guided us that whenever we are setting out for a journey, we should perform two units of recommendatory salah, and then rehearse this prayers: Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that When the Apostle of Allah (SAW) sat on his camel to go out on a journey, he said: “Allah is Most Great” three times. Then he said: “Glory be to Him Who has made subservient to us, for we had not the strength for it, and to our Lord do we return. O Allah, we ask Thee in this journey of ours, uprightness, piety and such deeds as are pleasing to Thee. O Allah,

one can hardly escape from extreme heat, cold, humidity or altitude which you forsake from your comfortable home. Indeed the Messenger of Allah has spoken the truth: “Travelling is a tortuous experience. It deprives a person of his sleep. his food and drink. When one of you has accomplished his purpose, he should hasten his return to his family.’’[Muslim: Book 20: Hadith 4725] In most cases occasional and first time flyers could be susceptible to very serious risk of illness due to radical change of temperature, food and water either on board or at destinations. There is the problem of Jet-lag and fatigue, also. In developing countries like Nigeria, thinking of travelling can cause heart attack. When you think of visa application, fees, interviews, booking and the cost of tickets, you just feel like you should not travel at all. My greatest nightmare is the airport rites; the scanners, the X-rays, the removing of shoes and all metal from your body into the hazard ridden sophisticated X-ray machine, sometime several times when a beep sounds, retard from unimportant travels. In some countries I have visit frequently, I shiver whenever I am in front of


his armies said: “Allah is Most Great” when they went up to high ground; and when armies said: “Allah is most Great” when they went up to high ground; and when they descended, they said: “Glory be to Allah.” So the prayer was patterned on that. [Dawud: Book 14: Hadith, 2593] In another tradition, Abu Hurairah narrated: When the Apostle of Allah (SAW) proceeded on journey, he would say: “O Allah, Thou art the Companion in the journey, and the One Who looks after the family; O Allah, I seek refuge in Thee from the difficulty of travelling, finding harm when I return, and unhappiness in what I see coming to my family and property. O Allah, make the length of his journey short for us, and the journey easy for us.[ Dawud :: Book 14 : Hadith 2592] In fact, regardless of all the anxieties, air travel is less interesting, less safe in terms of health, less faster, and is full of mental anguish. For example, flight crews and frequent flyers are prone to many health related problems; cancer, cardiovascular diseases, mental disorder, cognitive decline, vision and hearing loss. there is also the possibility of having snoring or foul-smelling or unfriendly

their immigration staff. They completely lack good skill of human management. Visitors who are first time in their country, experience unwelcomeness by their attitudes and behaviours. They do not regard any international protocol agreement, or pay any regard to age, gender or even purpose of entry. Their treatment to visitors, unfortunately, neither reflect their religion, culture or international procedures. In fact, it does not matter whether you have been to their country a million times; the treatment since I first visited the country in 1980, until recently sometime last month, is without positive improvement! I am sure many visitors share with me similar pathetic and unwelcome treatments and experiences. In my country I seen many intending travellers shelved their plans because they were denied entry visas, refused entry at their destinations, risk of jail at airports, and if they are lucky deported immediately to their point of exits. Air travel has never been any advantage to many travellers out of Nigeria. Our country has become a pariah and castaway nation among comity of nations. Sometimes the fact that you are a Nigerian, is enough a reason to be maltreated ay many ports of entry. In fact your problem becomes more compounded and complicated if you are a Muslim! If you keep beards, may Allah save you! Really I abominate travelling beyond my town of domicile, except for very important reasons! Muslims frequent flyers experience the harshest hatred and maltreatment simply because of their Islamic natural appearances or mode of dressings at many entry ports after the 9/11 unformatted terrorist acts. By decorum, individual should be treated on individual basis, and by what they commit, and not by mere suspiciousness and distrustfulness. Islam phobia has become widespread, uncontrolled and very rampant in many Western countries, thus making travelling very uninteresting! I remember a story given to me of a Muslim travelling one of the European country whilst he was fasting. His problem was his polite refusal, after stating he was fasting, to drink or eat anything usually offered to business class passengers. His ordeal started immediately at embarkation point at the host airport. He was not allowed to explain his abstinence from both eating and drinking. He was forced into series of x-rays and scanning to confirm or otherwise of what he swallowed which prevented him from eating. That was not all, he was subjected to drink certain chemicals that induce purging , but to avail! he was simply fasting that Muslim way! I faulted him for refusing to accept the concession given to travellers on fasting period. To be continued




BAMA: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward. It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people. Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come. I want to thank every American who participated in this election. Whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone. Whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference. I just spoke with Governor Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it's only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward. I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America's happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden. And I wouldn't be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation's first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you're growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I'm so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog's probably enough. To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics... The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the life-long appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way


You voted for action, not politics as usual – Obama

The Obama's and I will always be grateful for everything that you've done and all the incredible work that you put in. I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you'll discover something else. You'll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who's working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You'll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who's going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You'll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse whose working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home. That's why we do this. That's what politics can be. That's why elections matter. It's not small, it's big. It's important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight,

and it shouldn't. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today. We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this -- this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being. We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant's daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker's child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president -- that's the future we hope for. That's the vision we share. That's where we need to go -- forward. That's where we need to go. Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking


forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We've got more work to do. But that doesn't mean your work is done. The role of citizens in our Democracy does not end with your vote. America's never been about what can be done for us. It's about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That's the principle we were founded on. What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That's what makes America great. I am hopeful tonight because I've seen the spirit at work in America. I've seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I've seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them

We want to pass on a country that's safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known.

watching their back. I've seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care. I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father's story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That's who we are. That's the country I'm so proud to lead as your president. And tonight, despite all the hardship we've been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I've never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I'm not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I'm not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight. I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. America, I believe we can build on the progress we've made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you're willing to work hard, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try. I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We're not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America. And together with your help and God's grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States. President Obama acceptance speech



Hague prosecutor urges Libya not to grant amnesty for war crimes


Churches force Malawi to change tune on antigay law


alawi's government has back-tracked on its decision to suspend arrests of gays, after churches in the strongly Christian country fiercely criticised the move. Justice minister Ralph Kasambara was widely quoted in media this week as saying the government would suspend arrests pending a decision on whether to repeal laws banning homosexuality. However, on Thursday he said he had never made such statements and that laws carrying up to 14 years in prison for committing homosexual acts were still being enforced. "There was no such announcement and there was no discussion on same-sex marriage," he told the Daily Times. Homosexuality is illegal in 36 African nations, and Malawi's antigay laws have caused friction with Western donors, whose assistance is crucial to propping up the economy of the impoverished southern African nation. Justice ministry sources told Reuters pressure from the Malawi Council of Churches, a group of 24 influential Protestant churches, and the Law Society had forced the Uturn. "Our stance has always been that this practice should be criminalised because it runs contrary to our Christian values," said the Malawi Council of Churches' Secretary General, Reverend Osborne JodaMbewe. In 2009, two men were arrested and charged with public indecency after becoming the first gay couple to marry in the socially conservative former British colony. The prosecution drew international condemnation and was one of the reasons Western donors withdrew budget support to the government of Bingu wa Mutharika, who died in April. A recent report presented to Mutharika's successor Joyce Banda recommended decriminalisation of same-sex marriages as a way of helping fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Steven Monjeza (L) and Tiwonge Timbalanga appear before a magistrate court in Blantyre

ibya should not grant amnesty for war crimes committed during last year's uprising against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, regardless of who committed them, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said. In her first official presentation to the U.N. Security Council as The Haguebased court's top prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda said that the ICC's pre-trial chamber would decide "in due course" on whether the late Libyan leader's son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi should be tried in Libya or The Hague. Bensouda recalled the Libyan authorities' stated commitment to ensuring that there would be no impunity for crimes committed during the fight to overthrow Gaddafi, who was captured and killed by rebels in October 2011 after a half-year civil war. She pointed to a recently approved Libyan law that raises the possibility of amnesty for

Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda of the International Criminal Court "acts made necessary by the 17 crimes committed by antiFebruary revolution," Gaddafi fighters. apparently creating the "I encourage the new Libyan possibility of not prosecuting government, scheduled to be

sworn in tomorrow, on 8 November, to ensure that there is no amnesty for international crimes and no impunity for crimes, regardless of who the perpetrator is and who is the victim," she told the 15-nation council. Bensouda said she understood that the Libyan government has committed itself to a strategy of addressing all crimes committed in the country. "I encourage the government of Libya to make this strategy public, and to work with key partners to receive feedback on this strategy and to seek out the views and concerns of victims in Libya. Early finalization of this strategy will be yet another milestone on Libya's path to democracy and rule of law." Richard Dicker, an international law expert at Human Rights Watch, welcomed Bensouda's remarks on the Libyan amnesty law, which he described as "an affront to victims of serious crimes and a flagrant violation ... of Libya's responsibilities."

Military action in Mali will have humanitarian cost- ICRC


military intervention in northern Mali against Islamist militants will have a high humanitarian cost, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday. Access for aid workers is already precarious in the north, where 500,000 people - half the remaining population - depend on foreign aid, ICRC President Peter Maurer said. Military experts from Africa, the United Nations and Europe have drafted plans to recapture northern Mali, which fell to rebels in March after a coup in the capital Bamako led to a power vaccum. Maurer urged foreign leaders to bear the humanitarian cost in mind as

they planned action. "There is a lot of talk how to 'liberate' the north, how to reconquer the north, but there is little consideration of what the humanitarian impact of whatever scenario would be," Maurer told a news briefing. "It remains a vulnerable region in terms of food security anyway, it has always been. But compounded with the insecurity of the politics and military planning, this becomes particularly dire and particularly sensitive," he said. Maurer said that he had discussed the issue during visits to Mali, Niger and at a closeddoor session of the African Union's peace and security council in Addis Ababa in October.

Fighters from the militant group, MUJWA.

Ghana collapse: Negligence blamed


aulty construction caused a multi-storey shopping centre to collapse in Ghana's capital, Accra, killing at least nine people, officials have said. They say the building did not have the necessary permit and so

had not had a safety inspection. President John Dramani Mahama said those responsible for the "negligence will pay a price". Rescue efforts are continuing, with 69 survivors pulled out from under the rubble since Wednesday,

Police and rescuers at the scene of the collapse

police said. Mr Mahama suspended his campaign for next month's election, after the disaster at the Melcom store. He also ordered an investigation into why the building, in Accra's Achimota neighbourhood, collapsed. A spokeswoman for Ghana's National Disaster Management Organization, Kate Adobaya, said structural weakness had caused the collapse, AP news agency reports. "The foundation was not good enough," she is quoted as saying. Police spokesman Freeman Tettey told the BBC that rescue teams have so far pulled out 78 people from beneath the debris - nine of them dead and 69 alive. It is not known many people are still trapped, he said. An Israeli rescue team has arrived, using sniffer dogs to help

locate people buried under the rubble. The BBC's Akwasi Sarpong reports from the scene that the rescue operation is far more organised than on Wednesday, when there was confusion, frustration and anger as people demanded to know how the shopping centre, which opened earlier this year, could have collapsed. Ghana Institution of Engineering Vice-President Magnus Quarshie told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that they were still carrying out their investigations into the disaster. "However, looking at the debris, it shows workmanship was very, very poor," he said. "We can tell the concrete mix was not to the specifications we require," the AFP news agency reports him as saying.


Asia and Middle East By Charles Onunaiju with agency reports


hinese president Hu Jintao said that China will continue to carry out reform of the political structure, but the country will never copy a Western political system. "We must continue to make both active and prudent efforts to carry out the reform of the political structure, and make people's democracy more


China will not copy Western system in political reform- President Hu extensive, fuller in scope and sounder in practice," Hu said in a keynote address at the opening of the communist party of China 18th National Congress. Hu said the CPC should place high importance on systemic building, give full play to the strength of the socialist political system and draw on the political achievements of other societies.

"However, we will never copy a Western political system," he said. Stressing the unity of the leadership of the Party, the position of the people as masters of the country and law-based governance, Hu said the CPC should place greater emphasis on improving the way the Party exercises leadership and governance to ensure that it leads the people in effectively governing the country.

"We should attach greater importance to improving the system of democracy and diversifying the forms of democracy to ensure that the people conduct democratic elections, decision-making, administration and oversight in accordance with the law," he said. The CPC should give greater scope to the important role the rule of law plays in the country's

governance and in social management, uphold the unity, sanctity and authority of the country's legal system and ensure that the people enjoy extensive rights and freedoms as prescribed by law He further said the Communist Party of China (CPC) must make unremitting efforts to combat corruption, promote integrity and stay vigilant against degeneration.

Deadly blasts in east and south Afghanistan


lasts in southern and eastern Afghanistan have left eight security forces and 10 civilians dead. In the southern city of Kandahar, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle killed at least three policemen when he blew himself up at a check post early Thursday. Nesar Ahmad, a resident of the nation's second-largest city, described the bomb as powerful, citing damage to windows in nearby buildings. peaking to the Reuters news agency, Ahmad said "it was early in the morning when I heard a heavy bang, we came here and saw that a suicide attacker had targeted the check post, I have no more details about the incident". Another three people were wounded in the Kandahar attack. In the east, five soldiers of the Afghan National Army were killed after their convoy struck a landmine, said Sarhadi Zewak,

spokesman for the provincial governor. Along with the the attacks on security forces, killing eight, a roadside bomb in Helmand province killed at least 10 civilians on Thursday. The blast in Helmand province killed 10 civilians, including four women and one child, while on their way to a wedding party. "Ten civilians, including four women and a child were killed in a roadside bomb attack as they were going to attend a wedding party in Musa Qala district of Helmand province," Ahmad Zeerak, the provincial governor's spokesman, told the AFP news agency. Steve Chao, reporting from Helmand, said the province has experienced daily attacks, which have been seen as "an indication the Taliban are testing Afghan resolve" ahead of a 2014 international troop withdrawal.

Chinese president Hu Jintao President Goodluck Jonathan receiving g letters of from the new Ambassador of Egypt to Nigeria H.E, Ashraf Elmorsi Salama at the presidential villa, Abuja yesterday

Arab League says Assad’s days are numbered


yrian President Bashar alAssad's regime will not stay in power for much longer, Nabil el-Araby, the head of the Arab League, has said, urging the opposition meeting in the Gulf state of Qatar to put aside their differences. "It is important to unify the opposition's visions, especially because everyone knows that the regime in Syria will not remain for long and one day there will be a new situation in Syria," he told reporters in Cairo on Wednesday. El-Araby's comments came as the Syrian National Council's (SNC) general assembly of nearly 420 members meeting in the Qatari capital Doha moved to choose two leadership bodies and a president. Attempts at new leadership have followed intense international pressure from critics who say the exile-dominated group needs to be overhauled as it does not represent the Syrian opposition on the ground. Omar al-Saleh, reporting from the conference in Doha, said: "The electing process is ongoing. By Thursday morning there will be a new leadership, but the problems will remain huge as the SNC are seen to be weak." The meeting took place as Western efforts to help rebels depose Assad have shifted dramatically, with Britain saying it will deal directly with rebel

military leaders and Turkey saying NATO members have discussed protecting a safe zone inside Syria with Patriot missiles. Britain announced it would begin direct talks with military figures in Syria's armed opposition groups, as Prime Minister David Cameron called for a new international approach to ending the conflict. In a statement to parliament, William Hague, the foreign secretary, said Britain still would not supply weapons to the rebels and said officials would stress to the opposition groups the importance of respecting human rights. Cameron himself toured a desert refugee camp for Syrians in northern Jordan on Wednesday. "I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to [US President] Barack [Obama] about is how we must do more to try and solve this crisis," he said. In Ankara, a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman said Turkey was in talks with NATO about the possible deployment of Patriots, primarily used as anti-ballistic missiles, but Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Turkey's prime minister, said no request had yet been made.

Photo: Joe Oroye.

Scene of the blast that rocked a military vehicle


Europe and Americas Greece passes crucial austerity bill


reek legislators have narrowly passed a crucial austerity bill, after thousands of people gathered outside parliament to protest against the cutbacks. The bill, which will further slash pensions and salaries, passed 153-128 in the 300-member parliament early on Thursday. It came hours after police used tear gas, stun grenades and water cannon to push back rioters during an 80,000-strong anti-austerity demonstration. Police said at least 20 people had been detained. Approval of the cuts and tax rises worth 13.5bn euros ($17 billion) over two years was a big step for Greek efforts to secure the next instalment of its international rescue funds, and stave off imminent bankruptcy. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said the country will run out of euros on November 16 without the funds. "Today we took a big and decisive step towards growth," he said after the crucial vote. The tough measures to be implemented by 2016, include raising the retirement age to 67, slashing benefits and cutting the minimum wage. The close vote was a major political blow to the three-party coalition government, which holds a total of 176 seats in parliament. The result shows support for continued austerity three years into Greece's financial crisis is dwindling fast. Immediately after the vote and before the tally had been officially announced, two of the three coalition parties expelled a total of seven dissenting deputies from their ranks. Deputies from the third, the small Democratic Left, mostly abstained, in accordance with their party's line. Leader Fotis Kouvelis had said in the days leading up to the vote that he could not back labour reforms included in the bill. During hours of acrimonious debate in parliament, Samaras acknowledged that some of the measures in the bill were unfair, but insisted they were vital to avoid bankruptcy and Greece being forced out of the euro and back to its old currency, the drachma. "This [bill] will finally rid the country of drachmophobia," Samaras said. "Many of these measures are fair and should have been taken years ago, without anyone asking us to," Samaras said. "Others are unfair _ cutting wages and salaries - and there is no point in dressing this up as something else," he said, adding that the country was, however, obliged to take them.


Guatemala continue hunt for hundreds in quake rubble H

undreds of rescuers are sifting debris of wrecked towns for survivors of Wednesday's earthquake in Guatemala. The 7.4-magnitude tremor, the most powerful to hit Guatemala since 1976, left at least 52 people dead, many more injured and thousands without power. President Otto Perez Molina told the BBC that 22 people were still missing and as many as 10,000 houses may have been rendered uninhabitable. Most of the damage was in San Marcos region, near the border with Mexico. The president, who visited the affected area on Wednesday, declared three days of mourning. He told Mundo that rescuers were continuing to search through the rubble. "We have identified the places where [survivors] could be, and rescue units are working there," he said. The mountainous town of San Marcos and the surrounding area was hit particularly hard, with 40 people confirmed dead. Many residents spent the night outside, huddled under blankets and afraid to go back into their homes. The only building left with electricity in the area was the hospital, which was packed with


ark Basseley Youssef, the conman behind an antiMuslim film that led to violence in many parts of the Middle East, has been given a oneyear prison sentence for probation violations unrelated to the film.

the injured and their families. In San Cristobal Cucho, a village 5km (3 miles) from San Marcos, 10 members of the same family were killed when their house collapsed. "The whole village is in mourning because an entire family was taken by God's nature. What can we do," said

local mayor Pedro Cardona. The other fatalities were in the neighbouring region of Quetzaltenango. About 2,000 soldiers joined hundreds of rescuers in a bid to find any possible survivors. "We started rescue work very early," said Julio Cesar Fuentes of the municipal fire

department. "The objective is our hope to find people who were buried." Late on Wednesday, the energy ministry said about 73,000 people were left without electricity. Roads had been deluged by landslides and most regions of the country reported some damage as a result of the quake.

Firefighters transport a wounded resident into a hospital

US jails anti-Islam film-maker The sentence was handed down on Wednesday after a plea bargain was reached between solicitors for Youssef and federal prosecutors.

Youssef's lawyer Steven Seiden (R)

Youssef admitted to using several false names and violating his probation order by obtaining a fraudulent California driver's license under a false name to commit bank fraud. US District Court Judge Christina Snyder accepted the plea agreement and immediately sentenced Youssef after he admitted to four of the eight alleged violations. Shortly after Youssef left the courtroom, he issued a provocative statement through his solicitor, Steven Seiden. "The one thing he wanted me to tell all of you is President Obama may have gotten Osama bin Laden, but he didn't kill the ideology," Seiden said. Asked what that meant, Seiden said, "I didn't ask him, and I don't know." Prosecutors agreed to drop

the other four allegations under the plea deal, which also included more probation time. Both sides agreed that none of the violations were a consequence of the content of "Innocence of Muslims," a film seen as offensive by Muslims. Deadly violence related to the film broke out on September 11 and spread to many parts of the Middle East. But Assistant US Attorney Robert Dugdale argued Youssef's lies about his identity had caused harm to others, including the film's cast and crew. "They had no idea he was a recently released felon," Dugdale said on Wednesday. "Had they known that, they might have had second thoughts" about partaking in the film.

Police battle prison drug-gang in Sao Paulo


t least eight more people have been killed in the Sao Paulo metropolitan area overnight, a public security spokesman said, despite plans by state and federal police to join forces to contain the violence. State authorities appear unable to contain the murder spree, which experts blamed on a prison drug-gang known as the First Command of the Capital, or "PCC," that is said to be targeting state military police. Press reports initially spoke of nine deaths in assaults and clashes with

police, but a spokesman for the state public security secretariat told the AFP news agency on Thursday that he could only confirm eight. The latest deaths bring the number of killings, including that of several military police, to at least 55, over the past week. The PCC has been linked to around 100 murders of police and prison guards across the state this year. On Tuesday, state and federal authorities agreed to set up a new, joint police agency to spearhead the fight against organised crime.

Police screen residents of suspected hideouts



uesday’s decisive win by Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential election highlighted how population shifts - ethnic and generational - have buoyed Democrats while forcing Republicans to rethink their message. Without recasting their core message and actively trying to expand their base beyond older mostly white Americans, conservatives could struggle even more in future elections as the nation’s population incorporates more Latinos, Asians and other minorities as well as young voters, analysts said. Obama won an estimated 66 percent of the Hispanic vote, according to Reuters/Ipsos election day polling, at a time when the Latino population is growing rapidly in states such as Florida, one of eight or so politically divided states that were crucial in the presidential race. Other estimates put Obama’s share of the Hispanic vote above 70 percent. “The nonwhite vote has been growing - tick, tick, tick - slowly, steadily. Every four-year cycle the electorate gets a little bit more diverse. And it’s going to continue,” said Paul Taylor of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center. “This is a very powerful demographic that’s changing our politics and our destiny,” Taylor said, adding that the number of white voters is expected to continue to decline a few points in each future election cycle. Data has shown for years that the United States is poised to become a “majority minority” nation - with whites a minority of the country - over the next several decades. But Tuesday’s results highlighted the political impact. About 80 percent of blacks, Latinos and other nonwhite voters cast their ballots for Obama on Tuesday compared with less than 17 percent for


Obama win shows demographic shifts working against Republicans Romney, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling. Obama also won about 63 percent of total voters age 18 to 34. Overall, Romney won nearly 57 percent of the white vote compared with 41 percent for Obama, the polling data showed. The vast majority of votes cast for Romney came from white voters. Demographer William Frey said that division is troubling. “We still are a country that’s kind of divided, and a lot of that fissure in the population tends to be based in race and age and ethnicity,” said Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute. “There’s kind of a dangerous result in

this election when we see older whites moving in one direction and younger minorities moving in another direction.” Frey said he sees the gap less as racism and more as a cultural generation gap. “It’s a little bit of a warning sign that we need to pay attention to,” he said. U.S. data released earlier this year showed the number of ethnic minority births topping 50 percent of the nation’s total births for the first time.. It will be years before those newest Americans will be old enough to vote, but the demographic shift is clear. Most analysts project whites to be the racial

U.S. minority sometime between 2040 and 2050. Latinos, the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, are a huge factor. More than 70 percent voted for Obama compared with about 28 percent for Romney, according to Reuters/Ipsos data. “We are a much more diverse country than we were” just a generation or two ago, said Pew’s Taylor, who also oversees the center’s Social and Demographic Trends project and the Pew Hispanic Center. The rising number of multiracial children are also likely to become more of a factor, he

Barack Obama

added. Obama, whose historic win in 2008 made him the first ethnic minority U.S. president, had a black father and a white mother. Aging baby boomers also are a key factor in the demographic transition, as older voters “leave the electorate,” as Taylor delicately put it, and young voters more accepting of diversity and an active government are added to the rolls. That could help drive certain civil rights ballot initiatives, like votes in Maryland and Maine on Tuesday to approve same-sex marriage. In each instance, support from younger voters helped put the measures over the top. “It was an election in which the future won over the past,” said Marshall Ganz, a Harvard University lecturer on public policy, said of Tuesday’s various contests. Not all Republicans were willing to concede to demographics. Some highlighted tactical and strategic issues in their lost bid for the White House and their failed efforts to take control of the U.S. Senate. And analysts said Democrats, too, have lessons to learn. “It is a very powerful wake-up call to both political parties,” said Pew’s Taylor. Brookings’ Frey said Democrats still must keep the white vote in mind for at least the next couple of election cycles. “Whites are not dead,” he said. “They’re still a big part of this population.”

Obama, buoyed by election win, faces new battles


resident Barack Obama had little time to savor victory on Wednesday after voters gave him a second term in the White House where he faces urgent economic challenges, a looming fiscal showdown and a still-divided Congress able to block his every move. Despite a decisive win over Republican Mitt Romney in Tuesday’s election, Obama must negotiate with a Republican majority in the House of Representatives to try to overcome the partisan gridlock that gripped Washington for much of his first term. The Democratic president’s most immediate concern is the “fiscal cliff” of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts that could crush the U.S. economic recovery if it kicks in at the start of next year. The prospect of Obama and Congress struggling to agree on the issue weighed heavily on global financial markets on Wednesday and helped send Wall Street stocks into a post-election swoon. Obama also faces challenges abroad including the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran, the civil war in Syria, the winding down of the war inAfghanistan and dealing with an increasingly assertive China. At home, Obama’s triumph could embolden him in his dealings with the Republicans, who were in disarray after failing to unseat him or reclaim control of the U.S. Senate, an outcome many conservatives had predicted. Their party is now headed for a period of painful soul-searching. Voters gave Obama a second

chance despite stubbornly high unemployment and a weak economic recovery, but they preserved the status quo of divided government in Washington. Obama’s fellow Democrats retained control of the Senate and Republicans kept their majority in the House, giving them power to curb the president’s legislative ambitions on everything from taxes to immigration reform. This is the political reality facing Obama - who won a far narrower victory over Romney than his historic 2008 victory over John McCain when he became the country’s first black president. He headed back to Washington on Wednesday after basking in the glow of his re-election together with thousands of elated supporters at a victory rally in his hometown of Chicago in the early hours of the morning. “We can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests,” Obama told the gathering. Trying to make good on his promise to seek compromise, Obama followed up in telephone calls with congressional leaders, including the two top Republican lawmakers, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, to express his determination to work together. “The president reiterated his commitment to finding bipartisan solutions to: reduce our deficit in a balanced way, cut taxes for middleclass families and small businesses

and create jobs,” a White House official said. The problems that dogged Obama in his first term, which cast a long shadow over his 2008 campaign message of hope and change, still confront him. He must tackle the $1 trillion annual deficits, rein in the $16 trillion national debt and overhaul expensive social programs. The most urgent focus for Obama and U.S. lawmakers will be to deal with the “fiscal cliff,” a mix of tax increases and spending cuts due to extract some $600 billion from the economy starting early next year, barring a deal with Congress. Economists warn it could push the United States back into recession. Obama has pledged to increase tax rates on Americans earning more than $250,000 as a part of his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction something Republicans still vow to resist. In remarks to reporters, House Speaker Boehner struck a conciliatory tone but stuck to the Republican position that they will consider boosting revenues to help reduce deficits, but only as a “byproduct” of tax reform that lowers rates and eliminates loopholes and deductions. Boehner said lawmakers and Obama should find a short-term solution to avoid the fiscal cliff and work on a long-term debt reduction plan in 2013. “In order to garner Republican support for new revenues, the president must be willing to reduce spending and shore up the entitlement

programs that are the primary drivers of our debt,” Boehner said. Senate Republican leader McConnell gave no sign he was willing to concede his conservative principles. “The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president’s first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control,” McConnell said. Vice President Joe Biden told reporters the election delivered a mandate on moving closer to the administration’s views on tax policy, and Republicans would have to do some “soul-searching” about issues they would be willing to compromise on, according to a pool report. Post-election concern about U.S. fiscal problems contributed to a fall in global financial markets as jittery investors scrambled for less-risky assets. All three major U.S. stock indexes fell more than 2 percent, with the Dow Jones industrial average losing more than 300 points and the S&P 500 posting its biggest drop since June. Euro zone debt worries were also a factor in the market decline. The nationwide popular vote in Tuesday’s election was extremely close with Obama taking about 50 percent to 48 percent for Romney after a campaign in which the candidates and their party allies spent a combined $2 billion. But in the state-by-state system of electoral votes that decides the White House, Obama notched up a

comfortable victory. By late on Wednesday, he had 303 electoral votes, well over the 270 needed to win, to Romney’s 206. Florida’s close race was not yet declared, leaving its 29 electoral votes still to be claimed. The Republican Party, after losing the past two presidential contests, is expected to analyze at length what went wrong and how to fix it, especially how it has alienated Hispanic voters who were an important constituency in Obama’s victory. Some critics have argued that the Republican Party, with its conservative Tea Party faction, have moved too far from the American mainstream to attract enough independent voters to reclaim the White House. “The fact is, Republicans are going to have to do a lot of rethinking at the presidential level,” Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who lost the Republican nominating race to Romney, told CBS’s “This Morning” program. Obama may now reshuffle his cabinet. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plan to step down soon. Democrats widened their control of the 100-member Senate by two. The Republican majority in the 435member House means that Congress still faces a deep partisan divide. “That means the same dynamic. That means the same people who couldn’t figure out how to cut deals for the past three years,” said Ethan Siegel, an analyst who tracks Washington politics for institutional investors.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2012 With Tobias Lengnan Dapam 07036990957

Wizkid tells Tonto Dike to improve her English


rush up your spellings,” this was what the sensational artiste popularly called Wizkid wrote on his twitter, while retweeting on the beautiful actress, Tonto Dike to correct her spellings and tenses, has said.

However, fans of the ve rsatile actress have seen this as an insult to the actress, on account that Wizkid is just a University drop out unlike Tonto who is a Petrol Chemical Engneering graduate. Though, the two have been

twitter buddies for years, and contrary to what is widely believed, they both continue to insist there’s never been any romance between them. Well, Wizkid might just be severing ties with Tonto Dike who many feel is fast becoming a ‘nuisance’ on the

social network, Twitter. Wizkid on Tuesday, expressed his displeasure at Tonto’s spellings and sentence construction, “Who eva said Succezz waz a slow procezz waz mos defntly not talking abt Mii/Businez tycoon/A petro/

chemical engr / IAMNollywood *#IAMPOKO# Tlovethyself #I luv TerryG”. Wizkid said it is improper for public figures to confuse their audience with such sentence constructions.

Several Nigerians among 17th Annual African Film Awardees


he 17th African Films Awards, also known as the Afro Hollywood Awards 2012, held at the Old Stratford Town Hall in London, saw a lot of Nigerians Nollywood actors winning the award, has said. It listed some of the award winning actors to include; Helen Paul, Kiki Omelie, Muka Ray Eyiwumi, Olufemi Adebayo and a host of others.

Also at the award ceremony, Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon was recognized for his outstanding contribution to arts and craft in Nigeria and Africa. Speaking at the event, the organiser, Mike Abiola, expressed his approval at the rate of growth of the African film industry, while urging investors to look at the African movie industry as a new platform to partner for growth.

Eva Longoria celebrates Obama’s victory

T Wizkid

Tonto Dike

I don’t care about Pirates, Enenu Miltex


or almost a decade that she has been in the industry, Enenu Miltex, a Nollywood actress, producer, Script Writer is now bubbling with lots of activities that is getting her all the necessary attention. The creative lady who claims to be a devout Christian said she doesn’t give a hoot about pirates but will commit them into God’s hands to judge them if her movies are pirated. “I am a Church girl, and I believe in God a lot. I do not care what pirates are doing with our

movies. What I know is that by the grace of God, Kahani will make its mark. It is selling fast already, so, I leave the pirates to God. I do not even want to think about them. We should all just move on with our lives.” She said This beautiful actress also informed about her latest works and how she has been able to relate with her colleagues like Chioma Chukwuka on set of a movie recently, “I have been on various sets in the past months and the movies are not yet out.

There is one I cannot wait to see.I have not done anything with Chioma Chukwuka until some weeks ago. She is such a likeable person. We did a royal movie together but it is up to the producers to determine when it will come out. Also in the movie are Jibola Daboh and Chika Ike. There are some scripts also waiting for me, but I am kind of taking my time. There are some functions I am very involved with. Some of my friends are getting married, and I am helping in the whole organisation.”

he Hollywood Democrat and ex-Desperate Housewife, who also followed Obama on his last campaign tour in Florida, has poured out tears of joy shortly after the Democratic Candidate was declared winner, Hollywood Reporter has said. It added that Eva Longoria and Wilmer Valderrama got out the Latino vote, phoning into Wednesday’s edition of “Good Morning America”, and said, “I was in tears, first of all. I thought it would be a longer night. We were prepared. I was so excited because we did work very hard for the campaign, but it just shows that the middle class won. Super PACs didn’t get to buy the election. They didn’t get to buy

Cinema Audio Society to honour Jonathan Demme with Filmmaker Award


irector Jonathan Demme, will receive the Cinema Audio Society Filmmaker Award at the 49th CAS Awards, which

Jonathan Demme

will take place on February 16th, 2012, at the Crystal Ballroom of the MillenniumBiltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, Hollywood reporter has said. It added that Demme, who won the best director Oscar for 1991 “Silence of the Lambs”, has directed and produced more than 30 movies, including Rachel Getting Married, Beloved, Swimming to Cambodia, Melvin and Howard and Crazy Mama. Also, one of his yet to be released film, “The Untitled Ibsen Project”, based on Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn’s adaptation of the Ibsen play, “The Master Builder”, is now in post-production.

In announcing the award, CAS president, David E. Fluhr said, “We are thrilled to be honoring Jonathan Demme. Jonathan’s career spans 40 years as a director, producer and writer. It also includes both film and television which illustrates an incredible talent for both narrative films and documentaries.” The society will also recognize the career of sound mixer Chris Newman, as its career achievement honoree. Newman, an Oscar nominee for Lambs, has worked with Demme on Philadelphia, the Manchurian Candidate, Married to the Mob and Niel Young.

Eva Longoria

America”, Longoria said. The former Desperative Housewives star also praised the growing presence of women in Senate, and joined the chorus of many others who think it is time “to end the gridlock that we have been seeing in Congress.” Last month, Longoria was critcized by comedian Paul Rodriquez for making “meanspirited” comments about Romney. Rodriquez, who recently made a Latinotargeted ad supporting the Republican’s presidential bid, was miffed over Longoria’s retweet of a statement saying, women and minorities supporting Romney would “have to be stupid to vote for such a racist and misogynistic tweet.”



AGN members are diabolic, says John Okafor J

Susan Peters

Controversial upcoming actress, Susan Peters adopts baby girl


doma, Benue State-born budding actress, Susan Peters has adopted a child, has said. It added that the globe-trotting Nollywood actress also announced it on Twitter, that she adopted a baby girl. Susan tweeted, “Motherhood, loving it with my new baby from Ogun state. Susan, who once told that she would have become a pilot, runs a charity organisation called ‘Susan Peters Foundation.’ She has been in the news for some controversial issues which include the display of her Blackberry porsche, her reported hijack of a fundraiser show held in December last year involving two teenagers.

ohn Okafor, popularly known as Mr.Ibu, has lashed out on the members of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), saying they are diabolic in nature, Nigeriafilms .com has said.

It added that the Enugu born actor and comedian, said most of the AGN members are fetish in nature, adding that the association will not be favorable for people of good conduct. Recently, Mr. Ibu confessed

that, his not being involved in Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN’s activities is simply because some of the members of the association are diabolically inclined and he won’t, for posterity sake, put himself in

such a place. “Some of the members are diabolic; that is why I’m not fully involved. I’m not interested in anything involving fetish practices,’’ he told

Nadia Buari, Jim Iyke in Marathon race for Ugandan orphanages

N is authoritatively reporting that two of Nollywood’s best, Nadia Buari of Ghana and Jim Iyke of Nigeria have been pencilled down for a charity marathon race for Ugandan orphanages. According to information gathered by from a reliable source, the two screen icons will storm Uganda in an international film festival called ‘The Nile Diaspora’. It would be held in Kampala and other towns in Uganda from December 815, 2012. Also, Nadia and Jim will be given awards in different capacities. A representative of the African Film Consortium, Omar Oyin Bala, who is the festival’s West Africa representative, also confirmed to that the marathon race is to help raise funds for devastated orphanages in Uganda. To attend the festival are Tonya Lee Williams of the young and restless, the CEO of Reelworld film festival in Canada amongst others have confirmed their attendance. African Magic’s East Africa regional head has also shown immense support for the film festival.

Nadia Buari

Jim Iyke

U.K.’s Warner Bros Studio buys Post-Production House


arner Bros Studios Leavesden, the Hollywood major’s studio outside of London, has acquired U.K. sound mixing and post-production facility De Lane Lea, Hollywood reporter has said. It added that the acquisition of

De Lane Lea in London, where “Skyfall” was post-produced, will allow Leavesden’s range of service offers to mirror those of Warner’s Burbank headquarters. The acquisition means that the studio can also offer full postproduction services to in-house film

2012 MTV: Ludacris premiered new video


Burna boy donates relieve materials to flood victims


urna boy has joined the number of other celebrities, to assist flood victims. revealed that the singer helped the flood victims with a few relief materials in his home town state, Ibiama in Ahoda West.LGA, Rivers state. Some items which the music icon donated included; food, water, toiletries and a host of other items. The artist, was also reported to have performed a song for the victims.

he “2012 MTV EMA Red Carpet Show” was a thrilling event, as Ludacris was on the red carpet in Frankfurt to exclusively premiere his new music video for “Rest of My Life” featuring Usher and David Guetta, thenet has said. It further stated that the show which was hosted by international presenters, Tim Kash, Louise Roe and Sway, the “2012 MTV EMA Red Carpet Show” will also premiere on Sunday at 9PM CAT, and will give viewers a front row to all the pre-show action, featuring interviews with world class artists and celebrities. MTV also announced that Ludacris will make a special appearance during the main show, and that reality star and socialite Kim Kardashian; GRAMMY® nominated musicians/actors Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas; Brett Davern of MTV’s popular scripted show “Awkward”; the cast of

“Geordie Shore” (MTV UK’s #1 show of all time); and supermodels Anne V and Isabeli Fontana are all confirmed to present. Additionally, producer/DJ Madeon will be playing a special role at the “2012 MTV EMA”, as the French music prodigy will be dropping his one-of-a-kind mixes throughout the evening for the entire audience to enjoy. Meanwhile, actor David Hasselhoff will be reporting from backstage via social media – giving his thoughts on the performances, interacting with other stars and generally showing the world the 2012 MTV EMA from the Hoff’s-eye-view. Hosted by supermodel, entrepreneur and hometown girl Heidi Klum, the 19th annual MTV EMA will broadcast live from Frankfurt’s historic Festhalle on Sunday at 10 PM CAT on MTV channels around the world.

and TV productions and external clients in addition to its production facilities and on-site production rentals at Warner bros. Hollywood reporter also said that part of the film and TV production community of London’s Soho district for 65 years, De Lane Lea will be renamed Warner Bros. De Lane Lea houses three rerecording stages, two Additional Dialog Recording (ADR) stages, 40 picture editing suites, one TV mixing stage, a transfer bay for the digital delivery, conversion and ingestion of picture and sound, a 37 seat screening room and a client lounge. Warner Bros’ association with the facility stretches as far back as 40 years with its post-production work on John Boorman’s 1972 picture, Deliverance. The upcoming Warner Bros. movie Gravity, directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, is currently in post-production at De Lane Lea. Speaking on the acquisition, Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros said: “Just five months on from the opening of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, this latest acquisition is further evidence of our commitment to the U.K. film industry and the worldleading Greater London media cluster.



Taraba women Floods: Taraba commissioner protests category-2 classification by the Federal Government, placed in the second category. representatives the National urged to be From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo attributing it to the underHe said most parts of River Assembly for sleeping on duty entrepreneurial araba state Commissioner reporting of the magnitude of Benue in Nigeria are in Taraba which allowed the Federal From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Special Adviser on Women Affairs and Child Development to the governor of Taraba state, Beatrice Kitchena, has called on women to use their potentials to harness the untapped natural resources in the state. The Adviser stated this at a launching of a nongovernmental organisation – The Development Initiative for African Women (DIFAW) in the state. She said women and youth who are nation builders should utilise their talents to generate income that would better the lot of their homes. Kitchena stated that gone were the days when women were seen begging for money adding that every woman is an entrepreneur. According to Kitchena, there are so many industries and companies coming to collaborate with the state government to help women in harnessing their products. She explained that she has seen in the women of the state international business acumen and that all they needed was to have the knowledge of their chosen businesses.


for Agriculture, Mr. Anthony Jelason, has decried the placement of the state in the second category for the disbursement of flood relief fund

the disaster in the state. Jelason observed that Taraba state was worst hit by the flood but because of epileptic coverage of the disaster, it was

state and the people in the reverine areas were badly affected by the flood. The commissioner also blamed the state’s

Government to place Taraba state in the second category and urged them to wake up from their slumber in the interest of the state.

L-R: Minister of Sports, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, Minister of State Niger Delta, Garius Ishaku, Minister of Niger Delta, Peter Orubebe, Minister of Petroleum, Deziani AlisonMadueke, Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade and Minister of State Power, Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Don’t heed Melaye, says former student leaders

DPP frees suspected killer of Oshiomhole’s aide

By Adamu Saleh

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


eactions have continued to trail the allegation of contract scam raised by Comrade Dino Melaye against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godsday Orubebe. The forum of former presidents of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in a press conference in Abuja, has challenged Melaye’s allegations and called on Nigerians to disregards them, adding that “the integrity of Dino is in question...” Etuk Bassey Williams, former NANS president and a member of the group, told journalist that, the total sum of the contracts according to the document made available to the forum is barely above N6 billion and not N29 billion as alleged by Melaye and that the projects are on ground as against his claim that those projects do not exist. Willams said “Our investigation reveals to us that the projects are one of the best initiatives of the incumbent government to alleviate the sufferings of the people of Niger Delta and none of the contractors have been fully paid against the lie of Dino Melaye and Dino that we know is educated enough to know that there is the need to verify information before casting aspersion …” the statement added. Efforts to seek Melaye’s reaction yesterday were not successful as at press time.


xecutive Director African Network for environment and economic Justice (NEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor accused of being the sponsor of alleged murder of late Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde, private secretary to the governor of Edo state, has been exonerated by the Department of Public Prosecution of the Edo State Ministry of Justice. The DPP established that prima facie case was made against Ugolor and advised that Ugolor be released if still in custody. This was contained in a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police and dated 29th October. The DPP in the letter, said the

allegations against Ugolor hinged on the confessional statements of Garba Maisamari. It therefore based its argument on the premise that: “It is trite in law that in the absence of independent evidence, the confession of an accused person is not admissible evidence against a co-accused”. It described as evidently incongruous for two of the suspects, Danjuma Musa and Murtala Usman, who have been in police custody since April 24 for unlawfully possession of cartridges to confess to the murder of Oyerinde which took place on May 4th, 2012. The DPP added the cut-to-size gun and one cartridge the suspects confirmed was used for the

operation at Olaitan’s residence, was recovered on 24th of April, 2012 by the Esigie Police Division. According to the letter, “This is alleged to be a weapon used during the robbery incident that took place on 4th May, 2012 – another incongruity. Could a weapon recovered and in possession of the police be confirmed by suspects to have been used for the commission of the offence?” The DPP however advised that a prima facie case of conspiracy to commit armed robbery and murder is made against Garba Usman Maisamari, Auta Umaru Ali, Moses Asamah Okoro and Usman Adamu who confessed to the crime. It also said a prima facie case of

receiving robbed property is made against Hassan Aliyu Babete and Idris Adulhamid who both made confessional statements. On Rev David Ugolor, the DPP said no prima facie is made against him and ordered Ugolor to be released if still in custody. Responding to the development, Rev Ugolor said the police has no reason for framing him up apart from bringing Maisamari to frame him up. He said, “We have come to a glorious end of the battle to enthrone justice in my case …For us the case is ended with me, but the battle to set the innocent free who are still held captive and end to culture of impunity among law enforcement officer has just begun.

Flood victims’ departure from camp voluntary, says CPS From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ollowing the recession of the flood waters in some areas in Kogi state some displaced victims have left refugee camps in Kabawa and other camps across the state. Reacting to accusations that victims are abandoning the camps due to neglect, Abu Michael, Chief Press Secretary to the Kogi state deputy governor in a statement, said the relocations were voluntary. He said after an audit test to ascertain the strength of their buildings some of the victims who are mainly farmers and fishermen, have been allowed to go and continue with their businesses.

“They decided to leave their camps especially the Kabawa Camp in Lokoja; the people left voluntarily but with the knowledge of the government to take advantage of the remaining

presence of water around their communities and the rich alluvial soil the state is blessed with to engage in dry season farming and fishing”. While insisting that those who

left had their records documented for possible further assistance, he noted that the victims had the best of upkeep while in camps and were well catered for since September 23, when the camps opened.

1915 NYSC members deployed to Jigawa From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa state NYSC coordinator, Mr. Ishaya Dede, has said 1,915 corps members have been deployed to Jigawa state for Batch ‘C’ 2012 service year. The coordinator made this declaration yesterday on the occasion of swearing-in ceremony for the corps members deployed to the state.

Mr. Dede stated that out of the 1,915 prospective corps members 1,329 were males while 586 are females and they have already been registered and sworn to render their selfless service to the nation. He urged them to adhere strictly to camp rules and regulations which have been codified in the various NYSC publications. The coordinator warned them to abide by the orientation rules and regulation saying that the authority

will sanction anyone who deviates and disregards the rules and regulations during the orientation course. Speaking during the occasion the Jigawa state Governor Alhaji Sule Lamido represented by his deputy, Alhaii Ahmad Muhammad Gumel, stated that the NYSC scheme remains one of the strategic institutions established 39 years ago as a tool for the national integration.


We have made progress in fighting security challengesJonathan By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Nigeria has made significant progress in meeting the country's security challenges. Jonathan was speaking to the new Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Mr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel, after he presented his letters of credence to the President at the State House, Abuja. "We are making significant progress in meeting our recent security challenges and we shall continue to improve, so investors have nothing to fear," he assured. The President, who also received three other ambassadors at different ceremonies, urged the new envoys to encourage more business delegations from their countries to visit Nigeria. "Nigeria is a huge market, with many green areas waiting for investors. I urge you to prepare the ground for more robust economic relations between our two countries." President Jonathan told the new Egyptian Ambassador, Mr. Ashraf Abdelkader Elmorsi Salama, that the two countries have a crucial role to play in the African Union, especially because of their strategic locations and population.

Military action in Mali will have humanitarian cost - ICRC


military intervention in northern Mali against the militants will have a high humanitarian cost, the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said yesterday. Access for aid workers is already precarious in the north, where 500,000 people, half the remaining population depend on foreign aid, ICRC president Peter Maurer said. Military experts from Africa, the UN and Europe have drafted plans to recapture northern Mali, which fell to rebels in March after a coup in the capital Bamako led to a power vacuum. Maurer urged foreign leaders to bear the humanitarian cost in mind as they planned intervention in the country. "There is a lot of talk on how to 'liberate' the north, how to reconquer the north, but there is little consideration of what the humanitarian impact of whatever scenario would throw up,'' Maurer said. "It remains a vulnerable region in terms of food security anyway, it has always been. But compounded with the insecurity of the politics and military planning, this becomes particularly dire and particularly sensitive", he said. Maurer said that he had discussed the issue during visits to Mali, Niger and at a closed-door session with the AU peace and security council in Addis Ababa in October. (Reuters/NAN)


Don’t reduce Jonathan to sectional leader, AYF tells Niger Delta group From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), has urged the Amalgamation of Niger Delta Youths for Peace (ANYFPI) to desist from giving the impression that President Goodluck Jonathan is leader of the Niger Delta people alone. "Any legitimately elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria remains a president for all sections of the country

irrespective of his ethnic background," the AYF national president, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu, said yesterday at a press conference in Kaduna. The AYF explained that it was reacting to a recent statement credited to the ANYFPI in which the group threatened to among other things, shut down facilities of oil production in the Niger Delta and also demanded the relocation of the headquarters of the NNPC to one of the state capitals in the

Niger Delta. According to Gujungu, "the Arewa Youth Forum wishes to express its shock at such misguided and extremist utterances, intended to further polarise the country."It is our considered view that it is pedestrian to also reduce President Goodluck Jonathan to a sectional leader simply because he hails from the Niger Delta. "The ANYFPI ought to channel its energy towards addressing fundamental issues that confront

the nation and it should also come to terms with the fact that the Niger Delta region is not the beginning and end of the Federal Republic of Nigeria simply because the nation derives a larger chunk of its resources from that area." The AYF noted further that whatever socio-economic challenges confronting the people of the Niger Delta are also a reflection of what is happening in all other parts of the country.

R-L: New Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information, Mrs. Kehinde Ajoni, signing handing over notes by her predecessor, Alhaji Salihu Gusau, at a ceremony in Abuja on Tuesday

Constitution review: NBA demands for referendum By Richard Ihediwa


head of the collation of opinions for the current amendment of the 1999 constitution, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has called for the conduct of a referendum to enable Nigerians truly participate in the process. President of the NBA, Chief Okey Wali, made the position of the body known when he led a delegation of its members on a courtesy visit to the leadership of the Senate in Abuja, yesterday.

Wali said the adoption of a referendum as a process for the amendment of the 1999 constitution was the only way to get all Nigerians to participate in the process that will guarantee the making of a grand norm that will truly reflect their wishes and aspirations. He said the NBA has already set up two special committees; that on Legislative and Constitution Matters and Law Reforms headed by Paul Erokoro and Charles Edosanwan,

respectively, to interface with the National Assembly on behalf of the body in the constitution amendment exercise. Responding, Senate President David Mark allayed fears that the National Assembly has a preconceived idea on the amendment of the constitution. He said: "All we are interested in is to mobilise and get all Nigerians involved in the process of constitution amendment. We have no particular agenda but that

which majority of Nigerians desire. "I have heard people criticise my position on the desirability of state creation. There is no part of Nigeria or geo-political zone in the country that has not requested for state. It is not a David Mark agenda. We shall weigh the scales and respond to the genuine desire of Nigerians. Senator Mark said all interest groups would have a say in the process adding that the amendment would be guided by the dictates of the constitution.

Judges tasked on impartiality, effective judiciary By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Lawal Gumi, former Attorney- General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Human Rights Writes Association (HURIWA), yesterday in Abuja, urged judges to be impartial and transparent in the dispensation of justice, declaring that those values were essential towards forging an effective justice system. Speaking at the 2012 Bar Annual lecture in honour of the

Chief Judge of FCT, Gumi, Agabi, NUJ and HURIWA were united in the position that without an effective judiciary peopled by fair minded judges with courage and good conscience to dispense justice, there would be a breakdown of law and order, leading to a collapse of society. In his remark, t Justice Gumi said: "there is no point having a judiciary that wasn't effective. An ineffective judiciary is like a car that you cannot drive; nothing more than a piece of valueless metal or a house with a leaking roof that is incapable of protecting you from the

elements". Gunmi said "an effective judiciary is that one which has a mechanism that upholds the rule of law. It must be able to provide users with a forum to resolve disputes and to test and enforce laws made by the legislature in a fair and rational manner". While delivering the paper entitled, "Towards A More Effective Judiciary", Agabi said any nation with an effective and efficient judiciary was on the path of growth and development as societies only make progress where the machinery of justice was awake and alive to its

responsibilities. In his contribution, the chairman of theNUJ, Abuja branch, Comrade Chuks Ehirim, while commending the FCT Chief Judge, said there was a need to continue to strive towards eliminating from the bench the bad eggs that seek to rubbish the enviable efforts of the majority. Also speaking at the occasion, the head, HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, called for the scrapping of some mobile courts in the FCT which he described as"unconstitutional", noting that these courts were at the heart of human rights abuses and violations.



Dangerous herbal pills used to treat menopausal symptoms leave woman suffering liver failure


ealth watchdogs have warned of the potential danger of a herbal remedy used to treat menopausal symptoms – after one woman became so ill that she needed a liver transplant. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is concerned about products containing black cohosh, a native American plant.

It is understood the woman, who has not been named, developed liver failure after starting to use it. It has not been confirmed how much she consumed before becoming ill. Black cohosh is the second most popular herbal ingredient in the UK and is used to treat symptoms of the menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, poor sleep, mood

changes and irritability. It is also often recommended as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy – and is available in capsules in most high street chemists, health food shops and supermarkets. Richard Woodfield, the MHRA’s head of herbal policy, said: ‘It is important people with a history of liver problems do not use black cohosh herbal products.’

The latest case reported to the regulator is suspected to be directly linked to the woman using a product containing the herbal remedy and an investigation is ongoing. The MHRA said it had received a total of 53 reports of adverse reactions suspected to be associated with the use of black cohosh products – the majority involving liver

problems. Black cohosh is registered as a herbal medicine with the MHRA under its Traditional Herbal Registration scheme, which was introduced last year to impose more stringent controls. But in some cases, the MHRA has found it being sold as a food supplement at more than 50 times the recommended dose. Source:

The best way to lose weight and keep it off? Delay your diet for two months while you PRACTICE it first


hey say practice makes perfect – and it seems that applies to dieting and staying trim. Women who did a practice run before they started losing weight were better at keeping the pounds off, a study has suggested. The approach may solve the problem of ‘yo-yo dieting’, in which slimmers regain lost pounds. Researchers believe the secret of avoiding weight gain is making small, quick adjustments to eating habits before beginning a diet. The study looked at 267 overweight or obese women who either started a weight loss regime immediately or spent eight weeks learning ‘weight maintenance’ skills before starting. They were also encouraged to weigh themselves daily to see how different eating patterns affected their weight. After both groups completed their 20-week weight-loss period, which included exercise and eating more fruit and vegetables, all the women lost about 17 pounds on average. However, a year later the diettraining participants had regained only three pounds on average, compared with a sevenpound regain for the group that started without training. Michaela Kiernan of Stanford University School of Medicine, in California, said: ‘Those eight weeks were like a practice run.

‘We found that waiting those eight weeks didn’t make the women any less successful at losing weight. ‘But even better, women who practised first were more successful in maintaining that loss after a year.’ Miss Kiernan added: ‘Losing a significant amount of weight requires a lot of focused attention to what you’re doing, and most people can’t keep up that intensity long term. ‘This approach helps people learn how to make small, quick adjustments that can help them maintain their weight without a lot of effort.’ The research was published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. The study comes at a time when figures suggest British women are the fattest in Europe, with around one in four obese - so fat it threatens their health - and almost half overweight. Obesity increases the likelihood of a range of health problems including heart disease and diabetes, yet losing between five and 10 per cent of your body weight can decrease the risk factors. But crash dieting often leads to yo-yo weight loss, with the lost weight being put back on again within a short period of time. Experts claim this is worse for health than simply maintaining an ‘unhealthy’ weight. Dr Kiernan and her team at the Stanford Prevention

The approach may crack the problem of yo-yo dieting where women meet their target - but regain lost weight within weeks. Research Center devised a new approach teaching women not just how to shed the pounds, but a different set of skills and

behaviours for weight maintenance. She said women need to pay ‘relaxed attention’ to their weight in ways that can be maintained over the long term. She said ‘Losing a significant amount of weight requires a lot of focused attention to what you’re doing, and most people can’t keep up that intensity over the long term. ‘For weight maintenance, we wanted something that would make the day-to-day experience positive while not requiring overwhelming amounts of effort.’ The ‘stability skills’ included searching out low-fat or lowcalorie foods that taste as good as high-fat/high-calorie options to avoid feelings of deprivation. Women were taught that occasionally eating small amounts of favourite high-fat/ high-calorie foods was acceptable. They were also encouraged to weigh themselves daily to see how water retention and holiday

binge-eating affected their weight. For the study, published online in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 267 overweight/ obese women were randomly assigned to start a weight loss regime immediately or spend an initial eight weeks learning weight maintenance skills. The 20-week weight-loss programme encouraged greater intake of vegetables and fruit, increased physical activity and keeping daily food records. Women in the control group were only given tuition in weight-maintenance skills after they lost weight. By contrast, the women in the maintenance-first group spent the initial eight weeks learning stability skills. The women were asked not to lose any weight during that time; if they did lose a few pounds, they were asked to gain them back to give them real-life experience of how their weight would fluctuate slightly. After both groups completed their 28-week programs, the results showed all the women on average lost a similar amount of weight - about 17 pounds, or roughly nine per cent of their initial weight. Once the weekly group sessions stopped, the women were on their own. When they were weighed after a year, the maintenancefirst women had regained only 3 pounds on average, compared to a 7-pound average gain for the control group. Altogether one-third of women in the maintenance-first group had the healthiest pattern of weight loss - losing at least 5 per cent of body weight without regaining more than five pounds in a year - compared with 18 per cent of the women in the control group. Dr Kiernan said the maintenance-first approach, though sounding a bit unorthodox, could be a useful tool for those who are trying to slim down and be healthier. In the future, she hopes to investigate whether people can maintain the weight loss for more than a year, and if men can also benefit. Source:



Past Zamfara governors should be made to render account of their stewardship, says Ex-Rep INTERVIEW


hat informed your decision to be part of those who want to contest for governorship position in Zamfara state comes 2015? There are two fundamental issues in Zamfara state; that each and every person who happens to be part and parcel of the state from inception understands two things. First, the developmental speed at which we are supposed to move is too slow in comparison with other states created at the same time with our state in 1996. I did the case study of Gombe state which was created at the same time with Zamfara state. The amount of money Gombe state got as allocation from 1996 to 2011 is not what Zamfara state got during the same period. Zamfara state got more than what Gombe state received during the same period. If you go to Gombe state now, you will not compare it with Zamfara because they are far ahead of us. They have a University, an International Airport; they have virtually dualized all the township roads in Gombe and they have a regional water supply. They have rural roads everywhere. Secondly, I want the people of Zamfara state to differentiate between moneybag politics and decent politics. They should understand that now we have reached the time when people should do away with politics of money. At this stage, we need people who, even if they don’t have money can, effectively deliver service to the teeming people of Zamfara state so that we can actualise the dream of those who fought for the creation of our state. So after examining all these factors, I put myself on the scale and discovered that I have all the credentials that make me presentable to the electorate in my state, though I don’t have wherewithal financially, to finance my gubernatorial ambition. I however declare my ambition to vie for governorship position so as to see if people can distinguish between money politics and decent politics. Thirdly, I am not going to participate in do-or die type of politics and I am not going into the race in order to condemn or criticise somebody, because, criticisms of opposition can be positive and negative depending on the way you understand it. If you criticise the government in power it means you are asking them to amend their mistakes and if you keep quiet, you can capitalise on their mistakes and promote your political interest. I never deny the fact that, I am part and parcel of previous administration. I was part

Alhaji Sani Takori, former member of the House of Representatives representing Gummi/ Bukkuyum Federal Constituency of Zamfara State from 2007 to 2011, in this interview with our Zamfara steate Correspondent, Salisu Zakari Maradun, says the past governors of the state have not lived up to expectation in the development of the state in spite of the huge resources accruing to them from the Federation accounts. While suggesting that they be made to render accounts for their stewardship, he vows to contest the governorship election in the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) regardless of his financial position. Excerpts and parcel of Alhaji Ahmad Sani’s administration for good eight years and I was in the National Assembly from 2007 to 2011. I never served under Mahmuda’s administration. Now we have Alhaji AbdulAziz Yari and his cabinet who are about one and a half years. Recently, there was a controversy over the amount of money that the state is owing, I was discussing with somebody in Kaduna where I said, if it is in a civilised country, the three governors would have to appear before a public hall and people would ask them questions on how much did each one of them take as loans so that people would come to know the truth. Let each one of them explain and by doing this, the issue of speculations and rumours would have been addressed. Just like what is now happening in America where a candidate would be asked in a public hall to explain his stewardship. Now if you ask Takori to explain his stewardship when he was in the National Assembly, I will tell you that, during that period, I had three accounts, that is to say, I had my own account personal account at the National Assembly; I had another account where Iused to transfer money at Gummi and I used to give a standing order on different kinds of transactions and I had all the printed statements of account and anybody who wanted to get them could get it. Anybody who wants to contest is free to do so. I am not the only person who is going to vie for the governorship position. We may be up to 20 or more than that. So let people choose within us. What will you do differently if elected the governor of Zamfara state? I have only declared my interest now for the contest. We have three more years to go; by next year, I will bring out my blueprint. I have adequate experience about my state. I know what happens today, yesterday and day before yesterday. I have been with government since the military regime. I know the number of secondary schools we had when we came to Zamfara state; I know the number of houses we inherited from former Sokoto state and the number sold; I know the number of hospitals we inherited and I know how many have been increased as well as those refurbished and renamed even though there is no equipment. When we came to Gusau I know the problem of water

Alhaji Sani Takori and I know the amount of money spent on water in Gusau town. So I will look at all these things and see how best to improve from what other people have done. It is not the question of whether I am going to continue with inherited projects. But it is always good to continue with projects you inherit because continuity in government ensures speedy progress and development. That is why I appreciate Governor Abdulaziz Yari for completing the projects left by the former Governor, Alhaji Mahmuda Aliyu. If the former governor did not start the Yariman Bakura General Hospital and the present Governor did not complete it, we will not have that kind of hospital and if the former governor did not start the building of the Sharia Court of Appeal, we would not have such court. So we have to commend the present governor for competing former governor’s viable projects. Can you specifically mention the total amount collected by Zamfara and Gombe states so as to enable the reader to believe that the former collected more amount than the latter? I had an interview with a magazine in Kaduna where I stated all these things in about 18 pages.

I know even the money given to the military regime of former military administrator. What I am saying is that, if you go to Gombe you will believe with me that it is far ahead of Zamfara despite the fact that Zamfara received more allocation than Gombe from the Federation Accounts. If you go to Gombe you will see beauty in it. There are so many problems in my state. Have you consulted with stakeholders in the PDP because there are so many eyeing the governorship seat in 2015? Well, I have not consulted anybody yet but I have made up my mind that I will contest and in the process, I will make consultations. I have made up my mind and whoever is going to contest under PDP will contest primary election with me even if I will get only one vote because I want people to know that there are decent and educated people who posses high qualification in the state. I want people to understand that the era of politics of money is over. I have never been found wanting during my career as a civil servant or a politician. Have you ever heard my name as wanted person by EFCC or ICPC? Don’t you think it is too early to declare your interest in the

governorship position? Those who are slow movers usually start the race very early. Those who have money can come later and gate crash but before they start thinking, we have already gone into people’s mind even though we don’t have money. At least by now, I consulted some people telling them that I don’t have money to offer before I am elected and they all agreed that it is not the matter of money. Therefore, it is not too early, by the time I start thinking of my blueprint, studying the need of each of our 14 local government areas and by the time I unveil my blueprint, everybody would say ‘yes’ I have done a lot of work before joining the race. This is because Nigerian leaders are accused of not being prepared before getting into an office. Don’t you think you are only pursuing a shadow if you are vying for a governorship position without money considering the Nigerian factor? I have already told you that I don’t have the financial wherewithal to finance my campaign. Then how do you realise your ambition? I am trying to sell my moral and decent status if you believe they are valuable But Malam Balarabe Musa, a former Governor of Kaduna state has been preaching the same gospel of politics of decency and moral status but has yet to convince Nigerians who always look for wealthy politicians during election. It is not the question of Balarabe Musa, because as I told you, the issue of money politics is now over as people have been taught several lessons by those moneybag politicians who after their elections have completely forgotten about their people. What message do you have for those PDP members who might think that you want to spoil their chances? Well I want them to understand that we are one family aiming at improving the lives of our people. So whoever wins the primary should be assisted by others for the general election. I will personally accept the result and will congratulate whoever is elected as our party’s flag bearer.



UPP congratulates Obama By Mohammed Umar-Puma


Political thugs running away with the mace yesterday at the Benue State House of Assembly

Pandemonium in Benue as Speaker resigns From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


andemonium reared its ugly head in Benue state yesterday as Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. David Iorhemba, was forced to resign for allegedly misappropriating the finances of the House. Thugs invaded the Assembly ostensibly to stop the removal but it was too late as the lawmakers insisted that Iorhemba must write and sign his resignation letter. Benue Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani, also made frantic efforts to mediate but his efforts did not yield the desired result even as most members were held hostage

and beaten to pulp by the thugs. Similarly, staff of the Assembly, including journalists, only managed to escape as the thugs seized total control of the hallowed chamber to the consternation of the police who merely watched helplessly. The House sitting commenced at about 12pm with Hon. Baba Odeh representing Otukpo state constituency moving the motion for the removal of the speaker on the grounds of misappropriation of over N105 million meant for members constituency assignments. Ode who is also the chairman, G-24 of the house, accused Iorhemba of high

handedness and misrepresentation to the executive. His motion was seconded by Hon. Benjamin Adanyi representing Makurdi North Constituency and the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Stephen Onmeje, adopted the motion for the resignation of the former Speaker who also wrote a resignation letter that was presented to members. However, a drama ensued at point of electing a new Speaker when thugs stormed the Assembly in a commando manner and took away the mace while Iorhemba hurriedly left the Chamber. Members had to scale the fence of the Assembly into Government House which shares boundary with it.

US oil policy: NASS must pass PIB bill is now – Rep. Ukeje By Lawrence Olaoye


rawing from the resolve of the United States of America (USA) to cut oil importation after the reelection of President Barack Obama, Rep. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, has urged the National Assembly to hasten the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law. Obama had said in his acceptance speech on Wednesday that America will further reduce its oil imports, which it cut by half in 2011, in the next four years. ``To me as a Nigerian, Obama is directly talking to us as a country, such policy, if carried out, will have its own consequences on our oil foreign earnings. It is also a clarion call on us as lawmakers and other stakeholders in the oil sector, to quickly pass the PIB bill into law'', she said. Ukeje, (PDP-Abia), said that the U.S election was a great lesson to Nigerians and politicians alike to always be patriotic irrespective of political differences. She said that there was urgent need for Nigeria to refocus its foreign policy to meet the current global challenges. While congratulating Obama on his reelection as the President of America for another four years, Ukeje called on Nigeria political leaders to emulate the gesture

exhibited by both the winner and the opposition in the last US elections. Speaking on the ongoing review of Nigeria constitution, the lawmaker said it was imperative in order to be just and fair to all the stakeholders in the country. ``The review is necessary in order to address the concerns of all the geo-political regions in the country. For the people of South- South, the issue of derivation is still a burning one which must be addressed while

the South West is still clamouring for regional autonomy and true federalism. ``Similarly, the Northern part of the country will continue to agitate for the equitable distribution of the country's wealth while creation of at least a state is pertinent to the South East people. Ukeje said the earlier all the issues affecting each geopolitical zone were addressed, the better for the corporate and peaceful co-existence in the country.

Former Taraba, Oyo Milad pays tribute to Ogbemudia and developed the Nigerian nation. From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ormer Military Administrator of Taraba and Oyo States, AIG Edore Oyakhire, has described the octogenarian, General Samuel Ogbemudia (rtd.) as a patriot, nationalist and a statesman extraordinary whose frank, straightforward and unhesitating attitude to life makes him the very model of a military history. Oyakhire, who paid glowing tribute to Ogbemudia for clocking 80-years recently, said “only those favored by God are actually strong at 80”, adding that it is a thing of joy to celebrate a disciplined Nigerian like Ogbemudia who in national service patriotically secured, protected

He also said that as governor of defunct Bendel State, Ogbemudia governed “as a fulfillment of destiny and as a Minister, he was a consummate strategist and a role model in public administration; his monumental achievements facilitated the opportunity for many under his tutelage into public administration. “His professional decency compels him to pay great attention to details which draws him into virtues of compassion, diligence, humility, love, vision and tolerance which make him an officer and a gentleman”. He described Ogbemudia’s life as “a remarkable testimony, a success compilation, a virtuous pedigree, a sacrifice, a unique miracle, a fine example of decency and a package of blessings whose quality as a person cannot be exactly expressed in words”.

nited Progressive Party (UPP), the newly registered political party, yesterday congratulated President Barack Obama on his victory in the United States presidential election. A statement by Chief Ogbuehi Dike, National Publicity Secretary of the party stated in part: “This is democracy in action and worthy of emulation by Nigerians in our quest to build a strong, virile and prosperous democratic society”. The party noted that the massive turnout of voters and peaceful conduct of the Presidential polls in spite of that struck some parts of the nation shortly before the elections reaffirmed Americans’ belief and confidence in democracy as the best form of government. “By re-electing Obama, the US electorates have once more proved that power belongs to the people. Obama should justify the confidence Americans reposed in his presidency and work hard to revive the country’s economy and improve US-Nigeria relationship,” the party stressed.

ACN, CPC out to destabilize Nigeria, says PDP By Lawrence Olaoye


eoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday expressed surprise at what it described as the 'knee jerk reactions' of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) over its appeal for losers of elections to accept results in good faith. The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, bemoaned what he referred to as "the uncouth reaction of both parties to an innocent advice intended to further stabilize Nigeria's democracy. Metul stated further "The PDP is alarmed at the hot air blown by the ACN and CPC over a simple advice for losers of elections to demonstrate sportsmanship. In giving this advice, we expected a sober reflection from those who have attempted to drag our democracy back through needless and endless litigations. They must be made to realize that there must be winners and losers in every contest," the ruling party admonished. The PDP spokesman also denounced the notion that elections in Nigeria could only be classified as free and fair when opposition parties win stressing that "this idea is not only self-serving and negative but also an attempt to discredit the rights of Nigerians to free choice. "If we are in politics to serve the people, we must learn to honour their choice whether it favours us or not," he stressed. Metuh however admitted that the Nigerian electoral process could be improved upon but however pointed out that elections in Nigeria have gone progressively under President Goodluck Jonathan. "The global community has given the electoral process in Nigeria pass marks since 2011. Only the convoluted minds in opposition parties still question the credibility of the elections," he stressed. On the frequently vaunted tone of PDP operating a do or die system, the PDP spokesman reminded Nigerians that as the ruling party, PDP has suffered losses in elections held in Nigeria without any fuss.



ANPP canvasses for health sector reform By Umar Muhammad Puma


L-R: National Leader, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Garba Abari, National Organizing Secretary ACN, Alh. Abubakar kari and the Party, National Secretary, Senator Lawal Shuaibu,during 2012 Abuja Municipal Area Council Chapter of ACN Talk Show, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Oshiomhole proposes N150 billion 2013 budget to Assembly From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


do State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has presented estimated N150, 045, 377, 60 billion budget proposal for 2013 to the State House of Assembly for consideration. The 2013 appropriation Bill christened, ‘’taking Edo State to the next level of development’’ is lower than the 2012 budget which is N159 billion. In the budget breakdown, N64, 341,876,840 billion is for projected capital receipts. N23, 065, 599. 015 billion of the deficit budget is expected to be funded through the World Bank Budget support facilities and additional credit lines.

The budget has N87, 407,475, 855 as capital expenditure as against approved 2012 capital expenditure of N94. 02 for 2012. N62, 637, 901, 205 billion is for recurrent expenditure representing 40 percent of the total budget size. N116, 479, 778.045 billion is for recurrent revenue which is made up of Statutory Receipt of N86. 51 billion, while, N26.97 billion is proposed as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Oshiomhole said the State government did not ‘attract as much revenue as was estimated in the budget due to reduction in the benchmark on crude from $80 to $72; reduction in personal income tax (PIT) to offer relief to

middle and lower cadre of employees and monthly reduction in Internal generated Revenue (IGR) as well as delay in receipt of the $175 million World Budget support facility. A breakdown of the N62, 637, 901,205 billion recurrent expenditure has N25. 46 billion as Personnel cost, overhead, N16.40 billion; while, N20.76 billion is for consolidated Revenue charges. Roads and infrastructure across the state is expected to gulp a substantial sum of N33, 351, 000.000 billion out of N87.40 billion capital expenditure. Recurrent and capital expenditure for education is N26.7 billion excluding payment of primary school teachers salaries which

is handled by local government Councils. Similarly, the sum of N6.78 billion is allocated to Health sub-sector, comprising of N2.8 billion capital projects and N3.98 billion for recurrent expenditure. N1 has been proposed for water sub-sector, Agriculture N400 million, while N765 million is for energy sector. The governor emphasized that no economic shocks from the Federal Government would bar him from meeting the projected revenue in 2013. He said new projects will be initiated; ongoing ones would be completed, while wastages will be minimized to the barest minimum just as he gave insights into the 2012 budget performance.

Group vows to champion Igbo political course By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


socio-political group, ‘Odinma Igbo’ has resolved to actively participate in formulating and advancing core Igbo positions in the evolving Nigeria politics. In a statement issued yesterday by the Secretary General of the association, Maxi Okwu, the group said that their goal is the enhancement of Igbo interests and development within the Nigerian federation. Okwu explained that they

would attain this objective through a tactical political and economic engagement with stakeholders. “Odinma Igbo is an Igbo political think tank with headquarters in Enugu; we are positioned to proactively articulate progressive and tactical positions on national issues that affect and impact on vital interests of Ndi Igbo,” the statement read. It also disclosed that it has submitted a memorandum that has clearly stated the Igbo position on the review of the

1999 constitution, adding that it is their position that the present six geopolitical zones be enhanced by making them the constituent units with the centre as the federation. “The zones should get constitutional recognition as political and administrative regions. In the first instance the principle of zonal equality must be understood and respected. All Regions would take off with an initial eight state structures. “Subsequently, the six regions shall be left to

delineate by themselves without any federal interference in the number of states or sub-regional structures making up the regions. The irreducible minimum of democratic structures at all levels must be respected. “Substantial powers shall be devolved to the regions and subsequently to the states in the areas of agriculture, education, health, administrative structure, policing and state security,” the group advocated.

he All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has described the report by the Senate committee on health that the country is losing N80billion annually to medical trips abroad by Nigerians as an outrageous trend that should be condemned by every Nigerian. In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Emma Eneukwu, the party said this trend is too dangerous for a nation that is aspiring to become one of the twenty strongest economy in the world, adding that the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate, has said that the Ministry of Health proposed N278billion in the 2012 budget, out of which N14.5billion was for capital expenditure. “It is abominable that this PDP government and its self-centered public officers abandon health reforms in Nigeria in their misguided confidence that they could always buy proper medical treatment overseas. We believe that health is not the prerogative of the rich only; it is the right of every living Nigerian,” the opposition party stated. He added that it is unacceptable for the government to map out a budget for the health sector with less than ten percent for capital expenditure. “Capital projects are needed for innovative intervention in the diminishing health status of the Nigerian people. Is it not a shame for a manifest giant of Africa that life expectancy in Nigeria is now 47 years, making it the lowest among West African countries. Yet this position is 30 per cent below the world’s average life expectancy, a situation that is attributable to some health factors, including high death rates in children and women, spread of polio virus, deaths due to carnage on Nigerian roads and other epidemics. “Surely, this horrible statistic is a direct result of the country’s inefficient health system, which is getting worse by the day. In saner climes this is enough to make a government either bow out or own up to the abuse of the people’s mandate,” ANPP added. The party therefore called on the National Assembly to have health reform entrenched in the ongoing constitution amendment as this, according to the party, is the only way to ensure that Nigerians get basic minimum package of health that is affordable, accessible, sustainable, equitable and qualitative. “We urge the Senate to fast-track the passage of the revised version of the long overdue National Health Bill. We believes that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation, and a reformed health sector will give the nation a new lease of life, where the innate productiveness of the great Nigerian people shall be tapped for the good of all, and the building of our great country. We are positive that with proper reforms our dear nation can still achieve the Millennium Development Goals as it concerns health”, he said.





an you give us a brief history of your life? My names are ZainabIlyasuSa’ab. I was born in Jigawa state. I had my primary education part at home and in a local primary school, where I spent about 3years. After my Common Entrance Examination, I gained admission into Government Girls College Dala, In Kano state. After I finished my secondary school education, I was admitted into the School of Basic Studies, AhmaduBello University, Zaria (ABU). When we were in secondary school, there was a change of system from 5 years to 6 years which affected us. We were the first set that started the 1year basic studies in ABU Zaria in 1974, which made us to work extra hard because what was designed to be achieved in 2 years was changed to 1 year programme. I studied Business Administration in 1975 in ABU and graduated in 1978. I got married while I was still in the University and had my first child in my last year in the University. After my National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) I joined my husband where he was posted to because he was a diplomat. When we returned to the country, my first place of work apart from the private work I did while on posting was with the Northern Nigerian Development Company (NNDC) where I spent some years and later joined the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) in 1985 and rose to the post of Managing Director, CEO. What are the challenges you face as a female boss in one of the most important sectors of the country then? Of course, as a woman you face a lot of challenges when you are steering the affairs of an organisation where the staff are both male and female. In a Nigerian society a man will always show that he is in charge and deserves to be respected by the woman irrespective of her position. You should try to overcome the challenges. To me, a challenge is something that will push you to work harder and try and solve a complex situation. There are times that some of your staff will talk to you rudely but you have to look at it that you are not there to make enemies but to work in the interest of the country and its people and to carry everybody along with you. Such challenges are there on daily basis. That has been my doctrine, as a woman leader you have to work hard to prove that you are worth your salt when assigned to lead. You should try and lead the team correctly for your subordinate to get the experience they are supposed to get from you. How would you assess the role female public office holders play in the development of the country? I look atwhat role people play as an individual not as a woman. As a woman, you have to work ten times more than your male counterparts for people to understand that you are a hardworking person and that you can do it. In Nigeria a lot of female public office holders have made and are still making impact in their places of work, but they are not as many as they should be. A lot of women have impacted a lot in the Nigerian polity.

I built my career, family in between postings, says Sa’ab Zainab Ilyasu Sa’ab is the Managing Director/ CEO of the Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL).In this interview with Maryam Garba Hassan, she spoke on the challenges of being a diplomat’s wife and building a career, the role female public office holders play in the development of the country, her opinion on the much talked about NITEL privatisation and how the lot of the Nigerian women can be improved among others. Excerpts

ZainabIlyasu Sa’ab I will say kudos to Nigerian women and I believe they can perform even better if given the opportunity. Having worked in NITEL for many years where you rose to the rank of Managing Director/CEO, what can you say is your greatest achievement? It is difficult to assess one’s self. Even before I became the Managing Director and CEO of NITEL, I have held important positions but,as an MD you will meet more challenges which you will not say you cannot tackle them. What I can say is our biggest achievement is that since 2009 when the issue of privatisation of NITEL came up, the staff have been going through a difficult time, instead of leaving we made the choice to stay behind till the end no matter what. This I believe is an achievement which I attribute to all the staff, because this is a company that was making billions of naira but today can hardly pay salary in

time. We still come to work even when we are not been paid as at when due. In what way do you think the government can address the issue of NITEL privatization which has been on for years? In my own opinion and the way we are been assured, NITEL can be viable but like any other thing, it needs a lot of hard work and the most important thing is that in an environment of technology today, you have to be innovative as

technology changes all the time. Government’s policy of privatisation is a good policy but it is the way it is been implementedthat is the problem. If by privatising NITEL the government will inject some money into the company to make it a modern one and for it to compete with others, it will be a good idea that can generate more money for the country. I believe in the government’s policy to get NITEL privatised and it should be carried on. NITEL

Of course, as a woman you face a lot of challenges when you are steering the affairs of an organisation where the staff are both male and female. In a Nigerian society a man will always show that he is in charge and deserve to be respected by the woman irrespective of her position

should bemodernized to compete with other telecommunication networks in the country because it is a national carrier and it has everything it takes for a telecommunication, so it shouldn’t be allowed to just go down. We are not against privatisation or modernisation, no. in fact, that is what we stand for. In what way do you think the lot of the Nigerian women can be improved? I had the opportunity of interacting we women from the other side of life and I believe that one way the life of the Nigerian women can be enhanced is through empowerment especially at the grassroots level and also through the promotion of girl - child education, because when you educate a woman, you educate a nation. Educating and empowering our women will go a long way in reducing the rate of poverty in the country. It will also address the issue of maternal and child mortality rate. How do you juggle the demands of your career and the home front? It was not easy especially as a diplomat’s wife. Sometimes I leave my job to join my husband at his posting. Even though there is a government policy that favours wives’ of diplomats. As a woman naturally you are supposed to work hard especially when you make up your mind to be a career woman. All thanks be to Allah I was able to go through everything and today all my children are grown ups and some of them are parents. You can say that I built my career and raised my family in between travelling and working whenever we return to the country at the end of my husband’s postings. Who inspired you the most in life? I don’t want to be selfish but I can say that I got my inspiration from my late mother who touched the lives of many people when she was alive. Though she was not educated but she impacted in the lives of a lot of people. She is also my role model. What is your advice to the younger generation? They should be hard working and focused and when they are assigned to do something, they should do it well. Take the challenges that come your way as something you can overcome and developyourself by going for trainings when opportunities present themselves. Lastly, you should be sincere and honest in whatever you do, it pays no matter how long it may take and you will go along way.



Hamilton laments Super Falcons loss


aul Hamilton, a former Super Falcons Head Coach has described the team’s 1-0 loss to Banyana Banyana of South Africa at the ongoing African W o m e n ’ s Championship (AWC) in Equatorial Guinea “as unfortunate’’. Hamilton said

yesterday in Lagos, that the Kadiri Ikhana tutored team fell short of the expectations of its teeming fans, even as he urged the handlers not to relent on their efforts rejig the team for future engagements. “We lost 1- 0, it’s quite unfortunate. Ikhana has done his best but the better team won at the

end of the day. We need to come back and start thinking on what to do in order to get them back into shape,’’ the coach said. Hamilton, who coached the Super Falcons at the maiden edition of the Women’s World Cup in China in 1991, called on the authorities to

resuscitate the women’s football league. “We ought to have a vibrant women’s league in place, to ensure the steady supply of grassroots talent to the national teams. Our league has a part to play, because, most of these players are from the league. “Ultimately, the

level at which our league is, would determine the quality of players we select to represent us,’’ he said. Banyana Banyana would engage Equatorial Guinea in the final on Saturday, while the Falcons would lock horns with Lioness of Cameroon in the third place match.

Malam Aminu Kurfi (centre) sponsor of the Most Valuable Player at the recently concluded Kaduna Fifth Chukka Polo Tournament being franked by members of the Subriders Polo team. From left: Bashir Bashir, Sherif Shagaya,right by Usman Usman and Ezekiel Montini, an Argentine polo player.

Kurfi appreciates academy lads with dollars for holding Super Eagles By Patrick Andrew


or successfully withstanding, and even dominating, the Super Eagles in a friendly game decided yesterday at the practice pitch of the National Stadium Abuja, members of the Kipsta Football Academy, Abuja were rewarded with $2000 by a sports philanthropist, Malam Aminu Kurfi. Malam Kurfi, who is an avowed sports devotee and a renowned sponsor of different sports events, was delighted with the performance of the lads in the game that ended in 3-3 scoreline. In the match, the lads contested every ball and tactical moves of the Eagles, defended stoutly and made daring incursions into the vital area of the Eagles, thereby forcing them to struggle while members of the national team’s technical crew were on

their toes. In fact, the Eagles’ technical and other staff heaved a sigh of relief when the centre referee blew the final whistle even as the lads jubilated by embracing themselves and their officials along with the handful of fans that witnessed the game. Consequently, Aminu Kurfi’s heart went out to them as he joined in the general acknowledgement of the delectable display of the academy lads. Litlle wonder he doled out $2000 (N.3m) to the team for such gallant and hopeinspiring display against a collection of domestic league stars, most of whom have had international exposures and even won continental diadems. “Those boys- mostly under 18- did not just perform brilliantly, but inspired hope in the future. It means Nigeria have budding stars that

only need proper grooming and guidance and support. “I decided on the spot to appreciate them by giving them morale support by way of my presence in the stadium and equally financial support to take care of some of the players’ basic needs. The money was a token of my encouragement for them. “Of course, when you appreciate a good effort, the doer will naturally work harder to excel and thus win more favour. I am also happy that they are truly young. It means there is a future for Nigerian football. I think corporate organisations and individuals should identify with these talents, instead of allowing the government to bear the burden of grooming them alone,” he said. In a swift reaction, Keshi applauded the efforts and resourcefulness of the lads noting that they gave a

good fight to the Eagles. “We used our best team in the first half and then gave some others opportunity to show off what they have. You know we are working to select players for Venezuela. The Eagles are still a work in progress. “The gift to the boys is

Ambrose, Moses in cloud nine after clubs’ victories


fe Ambrose and Victor Moses are in cloud nine after contributing immensely to their clubs’ victories in the UEFA Champions League over Barcelona and Shakhtar Donetsk, respectively. Ambrose, who boasted that he would keep Lionel Messi in check and almost did a perfect job of that, was delighted that Celtic defeated the La Liga giants and thre season ago champions of Europe. In the same vein, newly acquired Chelsea wing attacker, Moses came off from the bench to nod in a last gasp goal to hands Stamford Bridge the much needed breather and leadership of the group. “Victory is always good, but this one over Barcelona was sweet. We avenged the loss from the first leg and this victory was also a great anniversary gift for the team, you know the team clocked 125 years on Tuesday,” Ambrose declared. “We really deserved the victory because we worked hard for it. It was not an easy game, many people don’t expect us to win but we were focused and determined, we give God all the glory for crowning our effort. “We won’t let this victory get into our head but rather we will build on it for the remaining two games in the competition,” he said as he hopes to crown their efforts with last 16 finals ticket. Also, Moses was delighted after scoring his third goal since joining the Blues in the Summer. “I came on and only played about 10 minutes on the pitch but it was great to get a winning goal and I thought we deserved it. We deserved to win the game, particularly second half, we dominated the game. “We’re delighted with the three points. The three goals I’ve scored for the club have been headers, it’s been great for me so far so I’m just delighted,” he said in his acknowledgement of his first Champions League goal for the Chelsea.

a welcome development because it encourages them to do more. It is a boast to grassroots football and I wish some other individuals will identify with football academies in the country,” Ben Alaiya, the Eagles media officer quoted Keshi to have said.

Confed Cup will have six host cities


IFA says Brazil will be able to host the Confederations Cup with six venues as originally planned. Football’s governing body said yesterday that the northeastern cities of Salvador and Recife will be part of the World Cup warm-up tournament next year. Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, Salvador and Fortaleza will also host matches. FIFA had previously announced the six cities as hosts, but said Recife and Salvador would only be ratified if they showed significant improvement in their preparations. They had until this month to convince FIFA that their stadiums would be ready in time for next year’s competition. The Confederations Cup will be played June 15-30 among the six continental champions, the World Cup winner and the host team.

Efe Ambrose

Victor Moses



Super Falcons: Has the house caved in?


ew years ago, it would have been a foregone conclusion that the Super Falcons would dominate every continental fiesta and not just in victory, but in a nononsense manner. Such was the fear of the Nigerian amazons that the mere mention of Ann Chijiene, Cyntha Uwak, Mercy Akide or Super Falcons conjures certain dread and teams ended up conceding goals even before the first ball was kicked. Not anymore. That searing dread dissipated in 2008. Yes, Equatorial Guinea stole the show from Nigeria. Or they played a fast one by accommodating some aggrieved Nigerian female players, who, denied opportunity to wear the green, white, green, opted for greener pastures. Those spurned would-be Falcons became the rejected stone that became

the chief corner stone and therefore crucial for lasting foundation for Equatorial Guinea. They mocked the Falcons, who, bereft of the savvy and diligence of the afore-mentioned still possessed some steam. However, such steam has gradually ran out. Well, the quality that used to dot the Falcons are barely available now. The bulk that were a pleasure to behold, that inspired fear to the opponents and confidence in Nigerians are well past their peaks. Now, the centre seems incapable of maintaining a restraining cord. Now, the Falcons are feeble, susceptible to every hare and are bare about with impunity. Yes, there are the likes of Perpetua Nkwocha, Stella Mbachu, Precious Dede, all of whom are in their 30s. But, who are their replacements? They are recircled in every

tournament devoid of recourse for the needy days. That's the mirage. As always, the leadership of the NFF few years ago indulged in the profligate proclivity in the euphoria of the team's successes as if it were an unending glow, and thus conveniently forget to plan for the rainy day. Now, that day has dawn on Nigeria. And it's no shower as the droplets are in torrent. Definitely, unnecessary scapegoats are sure to be the victims of an institution's haplessness, blur vision and administrative ineptitude. Yes, the leaderships of the football federation ought to have known that that day would come when the youthful vibrancy would give way to dreary bones: When speed would become a bore and tact a struggle. Two years ago in South Africa the signs were all there but were generally

Bayelsa volleyball coach dreams championship trophy


ustin Odumo, the Coach of Bayelsa Volleyball team, said that he had no fears over winning the ongoing maiden South-South Volleyball Championship in Port Harcourt. Odumo said in Port Harcourt while reflecting over his team’s performance so far that Bayelsa would emerge winners. “Winning is what I promised my state; I told the Bayelsa government that we are coming to the competition as winners and I hope we will make it. With what I have seen so far, I do not think any team can beat us,” he said. Odumo, who is also the national female volleyball team coach, said his players had been on top of the game, especially in the nation and South-South region. “Well, what gave me the courage that we are going to win is that the state has had a consistent team that has been doing well on the international scene,’’ he said. Odumo urged his team to be focused and to keep to their performance to ensure that they win the championship. Bayelsa team made it to the semi-final of the game after

beating Nigerian Police team 31, while Shell Volleyball Club defeated Delta 3-0 respectively on Wednesday. The teams that qualified for the semi-finals are Bayelsa, (male and female), Shell (male and female), Rivers and Edo. Bayelsa will take on Shell Club in male category, Rivers play Edo and Bayelsa slug it out with Shell Club in the female category.

ignored. Initial blames for poor display were traded, and then swallowed up by the falsity of victory. Two years on, rather than address the observed lapses, things have been allowed to remain static. Well, there have been snippets of Where, then, is the London Olympics. Instead, seemingly repositioning. grassroots development these elements were busy How ironic! Because, which was meant to serve pulling strings to secure instead of rebuilding in a and indeed has served as the positions in the board of the realistic way by indulging oasis for the generation of NFF, even when everyone grassroots women fledgling talents for other knows that they lacked clear development and thus countries! No, Nigerian vision for developing the enabling the discovery of female football game other than growing real fresh talents, administrators are light distended bellies at the deliberately working to years behind their expense of the game. groom and nurture them to contemporaries. No, trading blame is no stardom, those responsible Whereas other countries good. What one is trying to opted to bask in past glory. went meticulously do is to let us know where we Isn't it true that Nigeria maximizing from the cadet went wrong. Whatever have participated in cadet tournaments, Nigeria went result we get tomorrow from women tournaments more to sleep and indeed snored the Losers' final should not consistently than other loudly to the hearing of her be the basis for impish joy African countries? Yet, who foes. And they lay the snare. rather shock reminded of the are the players? It is obvious Were they alert to their essence of continuous even to the blind that we responsibilities they would preparation. Let's be happy parade the same crop of have seen the hand writing that the house has caved in players for the U- 17, U-20, on the wall when the early enough to allow us to the Olympic team and the Falcons could not make the rebuild for the FIFA Women Super Falcons. All Africa Games and the World Cup.


By Patrick Andrew

Messi blast teammates over Barca loss to Celtic


ionel Messi has blasted teammates for being wasteful in front leading to Barcelona’s shock 2-1 Champions League defeat to Celtic. Messi, who believes Barca played better on Wednesday than they did a fortnight earlier winning by the same margin, he rued missess stressing that his colleagues were rather lackadaicial in front of goal. The Argentina skipper, may have had in mind the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who wasted several opportunities during the match. The woodwork denied Messi and

Sanchez, while Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster made a number of crucial saves as the home side went ahead through Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt. Messi eventually scored a late consolation, but conceded Barcelona needed to make more of their earlier chances in order to get something out of the game. “We did everything well, played better than two weeks ago against them, but the ball didn’t go in,” Messi said. “The same thing happened at the Camp Nou. They played defensively and they waited to make fast counter-attacks. They are very comfortable on corners

and set-pieces, and that’s how they scored their two goals.” Meanwhile, Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova congratulated Celtic on their upset triumph, but refused to fault his players on their effort or performance. “We interpreted the game well, knew what we wanted to do, created many chances, but didn’t finish well and their ‘keeper was great,” he said. “I don’t like to lose, but if we have to lose, let it be this way.” Barcelona remain on top of Group G on nine points, while Celtic lifted themselves into second place, above Benfica and Spartak Moscow.

Eko 2012: ACP assures on adequate security A

CP Vincent Brown, the Chairman, Security Subcommittee for the 18 th National Sports Festival, has assured participants of security of lives and property at the Games. Brown disclosed yesterday in Lagos that he was confident that the plans made by the committee would ensure adequate security. The chairman, who spoke on the outcome of the committee’s inspection of Games’ facilities and venues, noted that Lagos State was 90 percent ready with

security. According to the ACP, the tour was in continuation of the task to provide the security coverage suitable for the tournament across the state. “Our going round is in continuation of our effort to inspect all the venues and facilities that will be used for ‘Eko 2012’ with a view to determining all the security needs. “These are in terms of the exit points, the entrances, the particular sport taking place and the expected crowd. We will also design the

Close to 40,000 AFCON tickets sold lmost 40,000 tickets for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations have been sold, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the tournament has revealed. The LOC are aiming to sell at least 500,000 tickets before the competition kicks off. “We are nearing the 40 000 mark, in terms of tickets that have been sold for the matches,”


Afcon chief communications officer Sipho Sithole LOC chairperson and Safa vice president, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane, encouraged South Africans to avoid waiting until the last minute to purchase their tickets. Nonkonyane was speaking in Rustenburg during a flag-raising and inter-faith prayer

ceremony being held at all host cities to mark Afcon week. “All Africans must fill up all the stadiums and feel at home. We also encourage South African to be hospitable to our visitors by making them feel welcome,” Nonkonyane says. Fans are still able to purchase tickets for all games, with prices ranging from R60 in the group stages to R600 for the Final.

security apparatus needed in an area on the spot according to the architecture design of the venue,’’ he said. Brown also assured Nigerians that all the relaxation points around the venues would be taken care of during the Games. According to him, 18, 000 policemen had been mobilised to provide security, apart from other security outfits like KAI, Man O’War, LASTMA and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). “Besides the 18,000 regular policemen, there are also the armed forces and other para military personnel on ground, that had been co-opted to support the police. Our security consideration is as detailed as possible, and covers even the neighbourhoods of the venues,’’ Brown said. He said that everyone would feel safe to go out and come in any time of the day, without molestation, during the biennial tournament slated for between Nov. 27 and Dec.9. The ACP said the committee was also co-operating with

Hostels and Accommodation, Media and Technical Committees for adequate security. The committee has visited sports complexes and hostel facilities at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Federal College of Education (Technical) and other venues.

Mohammed Abubakar, IGP



18th NSF: Rivers ready for opposition, says Sports Director


r Daobu Harry, Rivers Director of Sports, says the state is prepared to retain the top position at the upcoming 18th National Sports Festival to be hosted by Lagos State. Rivers emerged the overall winners of the 17th edition of the Games that it hosted in 2011 with 135 gold, 79 silver; and 85 bronze medals. Delta placed second with 82 gold, 89 silver and 81 bronze medals while Edo finished third

with 46 gold, 41 silver and 43 bronze medals. Harry also said in Port Harcourt that Team Rivers was aware of opposition expected from other rival states and would be well-prepared for them. “National Sports Festival is not a push over something. It depends on your preparations and it depends on the type of athletes you have. And, we are saying that those states are not

Rivers state, Gov. Rotimi Ameachi

just going to push us around and I have always said that we are going to defend our title. “And the whole world will know that we have just defended our own title. We want to prove that it is not because we hosted,

that is why we won, but we want to win again in a neutral ground.” Harry said the state had started its third phase and final camp for the festival adding that Rivers won in 13 of the 14 events

during the zonal eliminations held at Uyo, Akwa Ibom, early in the year. The director said a total of 1000 athletes and officials would represent team Rivers at the 18th edition of the sports festival.

… Enugu releases N69m for preparation


nugu State Government has released N69 million for the preparation of its athletes for the 2012 National Sports Festival holding in Lagos from November 27 through December 9. Mr Chijioke Agu, the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, who disclosed this in Enugu on Tuesday, said that all the 266 athletes were already in camp. “The governor had more than a month ago approved all our requests for both preparations and festival proper. ‘The state executive council has approved N69 million for the participation of Enugu State at the sports festival. “ The funds have been released to us and are being utilised towards the procurement of that festival. ‘We are very motivated. We have the honour of being one of the states that have enhanced remunerations for our participation at the festival. “The fees or the allowances we pay our athletes were increased by 100 per cent by the governor. The equipment we need for the

preparations, the gear we need for the actual competitions are all in place and properly branded for Enugu State participation at the sports festival.” The commissioner said that sports development had been one of the key thrusts of the government. Agu said that the contingent comprised talents discovered during the secondary school sports festival, adding that the state would not hire mercenaries for the festival. “Our team is geared toward providing the best outing we have never had since the creation of this state. We are one

of the few states who are going for the sports festival this year solely to expose the talents discovered as a way of growing sports in Nigeria.“ The commissioner said the state would participate in football (men and women), volleyball, basketball, handball, para athletics and traditional sports and athletics. Others are table tennis and tennis, judo, taekwondo, boxing, weightlifting, chess and scrabble. Agu assured the sports loving people of the state that with the preparations, the state would come out victorious.

NVBF lauds talents at South-South Volleyball Championships


r Ebenezer Morakinyo, the first Vice-President, Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF), has lauded the talents on display in the first South-South Volleyball Championships in Port Harcourt. Morakinyo made the commendation while speaking with sportswriters in Port Harcourt after the first round of matches of the competition. “The players are doing well; I have seen that there are abundant talents in the sport in the South-South Zone of the country,” he said. The competition, organised by NVBF is sponsored by Master Energy Oil and Gas Ltd and Mr Dakuku Peterside, a member of the House of Representatives,

representing Andoni/Opobo Federal Constituency. He said the nine teams participating in it were selected from Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Delta, Nigerian Police Force Club and Shell Petroleum Club. According to Morakinyo, six teams were participating in the male category, while three are featuring in the female. The Vice-President said the prize money was N600, 000, explaining that the winner would get N250, 000, second position N200, 000 and the third place N150, 000 respectively. He also commended Master Energy Oil and Gas for helping to develop the sport in Nigeria and called on private organisations to support sports. In the three matches played so far, Rivers beat Shell Club 3- 2, Bayelsa defeated Edo 3-0 in the male category, while in the female Rivers outscored Bayelsa 3-2.




























Say what?

Source: Reader's Digest


* Richard Millhouse Nixon was the first US president whose name contains all the letters from the word 'criminal.' The second was William Jefferson Clinton.

Quick CrossWord (66)

* Turtles can breathe through their butts.

ACROSS * Butterflies taste with their feet. 1 Went along with in order * In 10 minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world's nuclear weapons combined. to appease (8) 6 Notion, thought (4) * On average, 100 people choke to death on ball-point pens every year. 7 Weedy bloke (4) * On average people fear spiders more than they do death. Source: Weird facts 8 Yogurt brand name (3) 9 Give out (radiation, eg) (4) PHOTO OF THE DAY 11 Small cut on groove (4) 13 Cadge, beg (8) DOWN 1 Pound (4) 2 To begin with (3,1,5) 3 Making tea (7,2) 4 Bible’s first man (4) 10 Perfume ingredient (4) 12 Bird pen (4)

Yesterday’s answer

. . . putting the people first


QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE I do not know any member of the Boko haram sect. I do not believe and I do not know of any religion that will go and kill people, burn schools. – General Muhammadu Buhari, former Head of State, refusing to be part of Boko Haram's team to dialogue with the Federal Government.

SPORTS How Africa could feed the world LA TEST LATEST

Spanish government gets tough with clubs over Euros 750m tax debt


he Spanish government has begun slapping embargoes on some soccer clubs' future earnings as it tries to force them to settle outstanding tax bills worth around •750 million at the start of the year. The clubs' liabilities attracted the attention of European Union anti-trust officials, prompting the government and the football league (LFP) to agree a "road map" in April designed to allow them to settle up. Spain's tax agency has collected •329.9 million this year, with 305.1 million coming from clubs in the first division, according to an agency briefing note. Some 130 million euros more is expected to pour into the agency's coffers this year, around 55 million of which is accounted for by embargoes placed on income from sources including audiovisual rights, ticket sales and lottery, the note said. The agency declined to specify which clubs had been affected by the embargoes. Soccer clubs' tardiness in paying their taxes has caused deep resentment in Spain at a time when many citizens are having to tighten their belts as wages and benefits are cut and taxes on incomes and goods and services rise. As well as their tax liabilities, clubs owe around •600 million to the social security system and many are in dire financial straits after years of profligacy. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said this week clubs would not be allowed any more leeway. The government's tough new line appears to already be having an effect on La Liga clubs. Total spending by the 20 teams in Spain's top division in the last transfer window fell by 65 percent to •128 million, according to the latest Prime Time Sport Transfer Review published in September. La Liga clubs earned 55 million euros more from player sales than they spent strengthening their squads, the study showed.


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mages of starving children, epitomised in news coverage from Ethiopia in the 1980s, have given Africa a reputation for famine that does an injustice to the continent’s potential. It’s true that a recent report by three U.N. agencies said nearly 239 million in Africa are hungry, a figure some 20 million higher than four years ago. And recent crises in the Horn of Africa and Sahel certainly highlight the desperate uncertainties of food supply for millions – malnutrition still cuts deep scars into progress on health and education. But the Africa Progress Panel and many others believe that Africa has the potential not only to feed itself, but also to become a major food supplier for the rest of the world Consider, for example, Africa’s agricultural land. According to an influential recent analysis, Africa has around 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land, roughly 60 percent of the global total. And on the land that is being used, outdated technologies and techniques mean productivity is low. African cereal yields, for example, are just over one-third of the developing world average and have barely increased in 30 years. One major issue is that as much as 80 percent of Africa’s agriculture still depends on rain not irrigation. So what should be done to increase agricultural productivity in Africa? First, African and donor agricultural policies must focus on the smallholder farmers. Some African governments see the efficiencies of large scale commercial farming as a means to increase productivity. But Africa cannot increase its food production, create jobs and reduce poverty on the scale required without unlocking the potential of smallholder agriculture. In addition, Africa’s rapidly growing youth population makes job creation an urgent matter for many of the continent’s governments. Already, nearly two out of three Africans depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. And in countries such as Ethiopia and Kenya, agriculture is key to reducing poverty. In these countries, agricultural growth has been shown to reduce poverty twice as fast as any other sector. Governments must invest in infrastructure that gives these smallholders better access to markets, including storage facilities to keep produce in good quality, and new and better roads. Governments must also invest in research and development to help smallholder farmers access new techniques and technologies such

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GUEST COLUMNIST Olusegun Obasanjo

Rice field as drought resistant seeds. They should encourage innovations in information and communication technologies, which may also help to involve young Africans in the sector. Second, African government s must deal with the land grab issue, as mentioned in an earlier article for this series by my fellow Panel member Michel Camdessus. Population growth, a burgeoning global middle class, and the search for low-carbon energy sources mean that demand for food and biofuels has shot through the roof. Spotting profit opportunity, foreign investors are scrambling for a piece of the action. They rent land, use the latest agricultural methods (plus precious water from nearby sources), export the food, and make a fortune. Africa has been at the epicentre of global land deals. Between 2000 and 2011, for example, Africa saw an estimated 948 land deals, covering 124 million hectares – an area larger than France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined. Many of these transactions involve countries along the Nile and Niger rivers, whose water will be used to irrigate thirsty agricultural schemes. Typically, foreign investors win concessions at low rent and with extensive tax exemptions. Contracts are often negotiated behind closed doors without consulting affected communities. Indeed, many of these schemes have seen local communities forcibly removed from their land.

Some deals have been complicated for investors, too. In Ethiopia, an armed group ambushed workers from a Saudiowned agribusiness project, killing five. Analysts say the ambush in April 2012 was linked to the project’s plan to use large amounts of precious water from the nearby Alwero River, upon which thousands of people depend for their survival. At the Africa Progress Panel, we support the combination of foreign expertise with local knowledge to increase production, generate jobs, and transfer technical know-how. But what Africa does not need, and cannot afford, is the use of African land and water by foreign investors who use Africa’s scarce resources to supply food and biofuels to other countries. And for Africans, the benefits of large-scale land acquisitions have been questionable. Africa’s smallholder farmers need protection in such deals. The African Union should develop a framework for managing foreign investment in agriculture, and governments should assess largescale land deals and consider a moratorium pending legislation to protect smallholder farmers. Third, governments and others must help smallholder farmers manage risk more effectively. Crises in the Horn of Africa and Sahel have highlighted the risks faced by smallholder farmers, who are barely able to feed themselves and their families as it is. Governments and donors should provide cash or food that enables rural producers to get through the difficult periods of drought, for example, without compromising long-term productivity or withdrawing their children from school. Governments and donors should help household enterprises reduce their dependence on agriculture. Fourth, we want to see the international community devote more money and more effort to improving food security and nutrition in Africa, an issue that goes to the heart of so many other development challenges. By weakening a child’s resistance to disease, malnutrition is a major contributor to child mortality. A global study in 2008 found that an average one third of all child deaths

were related to malnutrition. The Panel welcome this year’s Camp David G-8 commitments to launch a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. This New Alliance aims to lift 50 million people out of poverty over the next decade. And we will be watching eagerly when the United Kingdom assumes presidency of the G-8 next year. Fifth, and finally, the international community should step up their support for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Higher temperatures, increased water evaporation, less predictable rainfall, increased water stress and an expansion of drought zones is likely undermine production. Cassava and maize yields could fall by 15 percent and 30 percent respectively by 2050, for example. And research by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) suggests that climate change effects alone will push an additional 1 million children into malnutrition by 2030. At the Africa Progress Panel, we hope these risks and the enormous opportunities of a growing global market will lead African governments to invest in agriculture and raise productivity. We fear that such risks could lead to a dramatic worsening of poverty and malnutrition among vulnerable communities. But while rich countries have been spending billions of dollars on climate change adaptation, such as flood defenses, Africa has been receiving peanuts. One recent study for Tanzania concluded that an annual investment of $100 million in adaptation for smallholders – encompassing support for smallscale irrigation, terracing, rural roads and research – would prevent annual losses of several hundreds of millions of dollars. Consider that while the U.K. spends $1.2 billion annually on flood defenses, African nations receive just $100 million to $200 million for climate adaptation through the specialized multilateral funds created for this purpose. This amounts to what Desmond Tutu has aptly described as “adaptation apartheid.” African leaders and their partners must all do more to shape the continent’s mighty farming potential. One day Africa could feed the world. But first it must feed itself. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is former Nigerian President and a member of the Africa Progress Panel, chaired by Kofi Annan. This article is special to CNN.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 09, November, 2012 Edition