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Tuesday, March 10, 2015 Jumada Al-Awwal 19, 1436 AH

. . . putting the people first

Military owes N700m electricity bill, says Eko DISCO >> page 20


FG frustrating N230bn road projects nationwide- Minister


N150 Vol. 15 No. 72

Mbeki, Abdulsalami, Buhari in closed-door meeting

>> page 5

>> page 5

7 PDP govs working for APC victory- Okorocha >> page 2

R-L: All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, former South Africa President Thabo Mbeki, and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, during Mbeki and Abdulsalami’s visit to General Buhari, yesterday in Kaduna. Photo: Bashir Bello

Chibok parents to FG: We P want our girls, not schools

From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

arents of the 219 abducted Chibok schoolgirls and hundreds of their sympathisers otherwise called the Concerned Chibok Community on Monday asked the Federal Government to strategise on how to rescue their daughters from Boko Haram insurgents, rather Contd on Page 2

330 Days after Indonesian court insists on Will the abducted Chibok schoolgirls ever be rescued?

execution of Nigerian

>> page 3


News CONTENTS News 2-11 Editorial 13 Op.Ed 14 Letters 15 Politics 16-18 Business Stockwatch

19-22 23

S/Report 24-25 Feature 26 Defence 27 Agric 28 Interview 30

I’ll confront insecurity with grit, zeal – Buhari – Page 15



Int’l 39 S/World


Digest 40 Sports 41 Columnist 48

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Chibok parents to FG: We want our daughters, not school Contd from Page 1 than embarking on rebuilding the destroyed Government Secondary School Chibok. It would be recalled that last week, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, had visited Chibok town and represented President Goodluck Jonathan for the foundation laying of the rebuilding of the school, which was destroyed by the insurgents? However, briefing newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday, the aggrieved parents condemned the Federal Government decision to rebuild the school, insisting that what they are after is for it to bring back their children. Chairman of Chibok local government council, Ba’ana

Lawan who spoke on behalf of the parents, accused the government of making several promises of rescuing their 219 abducted schoolgirls, but to no avail. Lawan also stressed that the traumatized parents and the entire people of Chibok community have nothing to do with school project, when their whereabouts of their daughters remained mystery. “It is disheartening to inform you that since the abduction of these girls, the FG did not bother to send delegations to Chibok to sympathize with the parents, instead, the parents were invited to Abuja and conveyed in cargo military plane with no comfort for whatsoever. “We still observed that

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Serving commissioner led attack against APC in Kaduna -Rev Oganto alleges


prominent member of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Southern Kaduna, Rev. Yunana Oganto has alleged that, the last Saturday attack on the party’s Senatorial campaign train was led by a serving Commissioner under the Peoples Democratic Party government. Oganto who spoke in a telephone interview with the media in Kaduna yesterday said, it was unfortunate that, a serving Commissioner could stoop so low to lead attack on opposition members. APC had at the weekend said its senatorial candidate in southern Kaduna zone of Kaduna state, Dr. Ishaku Shekarau was attacked by hoodlums in Fadan Kagoma, Jema’a local government area of the state. A statement made available to newsmen by the spokesperson of Kaduna State APC Campaign

Council, Samuel Aruwan said Shekarau, in company of APC stalwarts, was in the town to attend the annual Gwong day celebration when he was attacked by the thugs who were wielding dangerous weapons as they chanted PDP slogans in the venue. . Shekarau’s personal car was also smashed by the hoodlums. According to the statement, “Explaining how the attack happened, Shekarau said: ‘On getting to the venue, I was subjected to thorough security check, suddenly hoodlums started attacking me with clubs and dangerous weapons. I escaped but they destroyed 16 cars belonging to our party and my bulletproof car.

recently, President Goodluck Jonathan visited Mubi and Baga, but failed to visit Chibok to sympathize with our people. “We also observed that the President and Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh had severally promised that these girls will soon be released, but it is now more than 300 days, and nothing of such happened”, the chairman queried. He added: “It is most unfortunate that the area had witnessed six different attacks by insurgents and about 300 people lost their lives with property worth millions of naira destroyed. Hundreds of houses razed down as well as food and cash crops were looted. The

“The security personnel saw all that transpired and none of them tried to repel the hoodlums who were brought to Southern Kaduna in droves. “It is quite unfortunate and condemnable. How can such a thing be allowed by a government that said it wants peace? It is a clear case of inciting violence and intimidation in the name of politics.” It read. Aruwan said, the attack on Shekarau is the latest in a series of violent incidents targeting APC supporters in Kaduna State. The attacks have not been restricted to persons. Last week in Zaria, thugs, assisted by security agents, destroyed APC billboards. Meanwhile, Rev. Oganto who

most recent attacks being that of Gatamwarwa, Kautikari and other surrounding villages where several lives were equally lost. Yet there was no response from the federal government. “We therefore condemn the FG decision to, instead of bringing back our girls as severally promised, they decided to embark on the reconstruction of the school (GGSS Chibok)”. He however appreciated the persistent efforts of the ‘#BRING BACK OUR GIRLS’ group in Abuja who have been pressurising the FG to intensify effort in rescuing the innocent girls as well as the media in their consistent effort to ensure that the girls are being freed safely.

is equally the Head of Research and Strategy Buhari Support Organisation (BSO) in Abuja said, the PDP has foreseen its waterloo and had decided to resort to violence against the opposition. However, the PDP in a statement it circulated to the press said, APC members were just trying to attract public sympathy for their party ahead of the election. According to the statement though not signed by any PDP official, but made available to the press through the Director General Media and Publicity to Governor Yero, said, “it is no hidden secret that a trouble maker is usually the first to cry foul at a fight he starts”.

7 PDP govs working for APC victory-Okorocha From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


overnor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha has said that seven governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently working for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the forthcoming presidential election. Okorocha speaking yesterday during the APC governorship rally which held at Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, added that the seven PDP governors are also negotiating their defection to the APC. “Now let me tell you the victory of General Muhammadu Buhari has been signed, sealed and delivered. But let me tell you something but don’t tell anybody. It is a secret today (yesterday) about seven governors who are not APC are coming to hold meeting with us privately to join us. “There is fear in the country. The fear is that they know Buhari is a good man, they know Buhari will win but there is fear. The fear is that once they announce Buhari on the 28th of March as president all the bad people stealing the

nation’s money will take mid night flight and run away from the country. The fear of Buhari is the stoppage of corruption in Nigeria. “ Okorocha added that PDP died when APC was formed. “The day Fashola , Rochas Okorocha and other governors came together PDP died in Nigeria. On the 14th of February last month we were supposed to bury PDP but they changed the date of the burial to 28th of March. “Now we are waiting patiently to bury PDP forever. Let me tell you, you can change the day of the burial but you cannot change the burial, it must take place. May the soul of PDP rest in peace. “The worst thing that can happen to any nation is to have a bad government and the worst thing that can happen to any family is to have a bad father. Today it is obvious that PDP is a bad government. Thank God we came together for a change and the change we came together for has started. He urged the Ndigbo community in Lagos to vote massively for the APC

governorship candidate in Lagos State Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode , saying he has the capacity to ensure mutual coexistence of all tribes in the Africa modern mega city. Also speaking, the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said the country has been united before the present administration polarized it along religious and ethnic delineation. “The Language you speak and the tribe you were born to were decided by God. It is not your choice; it is the choice of God. When you get to the hospital do you see Christian or Muslim sections? Do you see Ibo, Yoruba or Ijaw ward? We are one people. “Does hunger, poverty has tribal mark? Can you go to an Ibo bread seller and say I am an Ibo man I need bread? Can you go to a Yoruba woman selling roasted plantain and tell her to give you one because you are a Yoruba person. The road is not labeled Muslim, Christian, or Obatala road? Let not these people continue to deceive us. “Those of you traveling with flights, for instance Dubai when

you want to board the plane do you ask about the name, tribe or religion of the pilot. All you simply do is to pray to God for a safe flight.” Tinubu said the government has not been able to provide employment and insurance cover for “Soldiers and police who are working in danger. Their insurance has not been paid but they are busy bribing people for votes.” Also speaking at the rally, Lagos state Governor Raji Fashola said that rather than throw money around, the APC has used the resources of Lagos to build infrastructure and improve the lives of the people. “Rather than build roads and hospitals, we would have shared the money to people just like the PDP is doing. The ministry of works misinformed the President, telling him that they built 25,000 kilometers roads, which everyone knows is untrue. The president did not investigate before announcing to the country. If that number of roads have been built, we would not have any bad federal roads in the country,” he said.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

News Indonesia court insists on executing Nigerian By Ai’sha Biola Raji with agency report


n Indonesian court has rejected a legal challenge by a Nigerian on death row in a decision that augurs badly for the Bali nine duo’s hopes that a similar appeal will be successful. Lawyers for a Nigerian, whose alias is Raheem Agbaje Salami, appealed against President Joko Widodo’s rejection of his clemency plea in the Administrative Court on Monday.

But the court dismissed his appeal on the grounds it did not have jurisdiction over presidential decisions. According to the Sydney Morning Herald,this was also the reason given for the dismissal of a similar challenge by Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran last month. Meanwhile,the Federal Government on Monday, again summoned the Indonesian Ambassador, Mr Harry Purwato, over the country’s planned execution of more Nigerians by

firing squad for drug-related offences. Amb. Danjuma Sheni, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a meeting with the envoy in Abuja that the death sentences should be converted to life imprisonment. He told the envoy to speak with his home government to tamper justice with mercy in order not to allow anything to jeopardise the “very robust and excellent relationship“ between Indonesia and Nigeria.

Fani-Kayode’s mentality is infantile - Shettima From Mustapha Isa, Borno


overnor Kashim Shettima yesterday lambasted the spokesman to the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation,Femi Fani Kayode describing him as one with a mentality of infants. The Governor who spoke through his media aide,Isa Gusau was reacting to a statement said to have been issued by Mr Femi Fani Kayode saying Governor Kashim Shettima is to be prosecuted over missing Chibok schoolgirls. Gusau noted that, “Long before Kayode was appointed, his employer and our dear President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had in 2014, set up a Presidential Factfinding committee on the missing Chibok schoolgirls which was made up of serving and retired security officials, civil societies, elders from Chibok, the Christian Association of Nigeria, Muslims, journalists, labour groups, the National Council on Women Societies and many others with the mandate of establishing facts concerning the circumstances that led to the kidnap of the schoolgirls. the committee gave a clean bill to Governor Kashim Shettima as he was rather a traumatized victim that was doing so well in managing the security

challenges in the State.” He said Femi Fani Kayode cannot be taken seriously as he often contradicts himself,adding that Kayode is only begging to be reported on Newspapers and shown on Television screen with the soul aim of creating an impression that he is working. Kayode, to us and many, is an adult with the mentality of an infant.” Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, had berated Governor Shettima, for ignoring security reports and the counsel of the Federal Government against holding the 2014 May/June West African Examination Council (WAEC) in Chibok. Fani-Kayode who alleged that the abducted Chibok school girls would have been saved the ordeal to which they have been subjected these past 329 days had the governor taken the advice and acted in accordance with the security reports that the town was not safe for the examinations. The presidential media campaign director also stated that the party has served notice to Governor Shettima to be ready for investigation and prosecution after leaving office if found complicit in the circumstances that led to the abduction of the girls.

FG to spend N1.5 trillion on education, says Sambo From Edwin Olofu, Kano

L-R: Under-Secretary, Region and International Organisation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Hussein Abdullahi, Minister of State for Education, Professor Viola Onwuliri, and Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr Bello Umar, during the 2015 Commonwealth Day celebration, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

APC alleges plot to harass financiers From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over plans by one of the security agencies, apparently acting at the behest of the Jonathan Administration, to harass and intimidate supposed sponsors of the party, as part of ongoing efforts to cripple its activities in the run up to the March 28th polls. In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party however said the agency can only target

phantom financiers, since the APC is, in reality, being financed by Nigerians, not some money bags. “We made it clear early on that our party, which has now become a people-driven movement, is being bankrolled by ordinary Nigerians, who have contributed generously to the party through the platforms that we published in the newspapers for all to see. “Though the federal government has used some national institutions to stifle our party’s fund-raising efforts, Nigerians have utilized the available platforms to make their

donations. It is therefore a futile exercise for anyone to harass some innocent people for supposedly financing the APC,’’ it said. The APC said security agencies should only serve national, rather than partisan, interests, because while governments will always come and go, Nigeria as a country will remain. “The information at our disposal about the role of the security agencies in the forthcoming elections is very disturbing, despite the public opprobrium that has greeted the role played by the military in rigging the 2014 Ekiti governorship election.” APC said

Maku denies membership of APGA since 2013 By Evelyn Okakwu


ormer Minister of Information, and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA), Labaran Maku has denied allegation by one of Nigeria’s publications stating that he had been a member of the party since 2013. While describing the publication as the result of

desperation and misinformation, Maku said he was only allowed a waiver to backdate his membership of the party, after he was welcomed by APGA, who initially approached him with a governorship ticket. A statement from Nasarawa state APGA secretariat said: “The attention of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa State has been drawn to yet another mischief planted in one of the nation’s Newspaper on

the 8th of March, 2015 claiming that our governorship candidate, Mr. Labaran Maku, has been a card carrying member of APGA since 2013”. “While we do not want to join issues with the PDP and APC in Nasarawa State, who have now formed an unholy alliance in the smear campaign against Mr. Maku, it behooves on APGA to clarify the issue and put the records straight”.


ice President Namadi Sambo yesterday in Kano said that the Federal Government has approved about N1.5 trillion to improve infrastructure and the welfare of lecturers in Nigerian universities. Sambo dropped the hint on Monday at Bayero University, Kano (BUK) when he laid the foundation of a 360 bedded female hostel at the institution to be named after Dame Patience Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Peoples Daily observed that economic activities were brought to a halt because of the tight security at all the major streets of the commercial city. It was also gathered that Vice

President Sambo who is billed to spend about three days in Kano would be meeting with pressure groups and community leaders in a bid to sell the Jonathan/Sambo candidature in the state known to be one of the All Progressive Congress (APC) strongholds. Places visited by the Vice President include Bayero University, Kano, BUK, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, AKTH and the ongoing fly-over along Zaria Road which he inspected. Sambo who commissioned projects cited at BUK and sponsored by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s led-administration said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government under President Jonathan is committing over N100 billion annually in education.

ACF to Gani Adams: You’re ignorant of digital age From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


rewa Consultative Forum (ACF) yesterday hit hard on Coordinator of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC ) Chief Gani Adams for calling for the sack of INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega and for saying he has never had of were card reader contributed or added value to any major election in the world. ACF described him as someone that is ignorant of the digital age seeking for political relevance. It could be recalled that

recently the Odua leader called for the sack of the INEC Chairman on the basis of PVC distribution, introduction of card reader and creation of 30000 bogus and fraudulent polling units in the northern part of Nigeria against the southern part. ACF in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary Muhammad Ibrahima and made available to newsmen in the state, said chief Adams comments was laughable and shows his pedestrian understanding of the Nigerian constitution and the electoral law.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


Page 4 Report Int’l Women’s Day and maternal mortality

On this International Women’s Day celebration, health experts and partners have called for effective implementation of policies and commitments that promote rights and access of women to quality maternal health and family planning services, even as they charged stakeholders on women empowerment in Nigeria, Ngozi Onyeakusi reports.


he International Women’s Day 2015, which was celebrated on March 8 all over the world, seeks to encourage effective action for advancing and recognizing women through the theme: ‘make it happen’. Nigeria currently has an unmet need of 16 percent for family planning among currently married women and 53 percent of women complain of at least one problem in accessing health care in Nigeria. Getting money for treatment (42 percent), distance to health facility (28.8 percent), and attitude of health worker (16.5 percent) are top challenges women face in accessing health care in Nigeria. According to the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey (NDHS) 2013, Nigeria recorded slight improvement in access to antenatal care - the proportion of women receiving antenatal care from a skilled provider is 61 percent compared to 58 percent in 2008. It would be recalled that Nigeria has made several commitments to improve these undesirable indicators. The Millennium Development Goal 5, Abuja Declaration of April 2001, and commitments towards FP 2020, were among the commitments made to improve the health and wellbeing of women in Nigeria. In area of family planning, the Advocacy Advisor, Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI), Ms. Ibeawuchi Charity in her message for the International Women’s Day 2015, noted that Nigeria joined the world at the London Summit in 2012 to commit to achieving the Global FP Vision 2020, which aims at supporting the rights of women and girls to decide freely and for themselves, whether, when and how many children they have. She said, “government at all levels and partners should work together to ensure that Nigeria’s goal of 36% Contraceptive Prevalence Rate is achieved by 2018. Culturally appropriate information and facts about FP and its benefits should be widely available to all. In particular, the youth should know all about FP, well before they engage in active family life. It is only when young women begin early to know their reproductive health that they can genuinely achieve responsible family life. When all families are planned, the larger society will begin to also plan its affairs and eventually achieve development”.

information” she added.

Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5: With less than 297 days left to the MDG deadline, Nigeria is still far from achieving the Millennium Development Goal 5 which aims at reducing by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health. The maternal mortality ratio reduced from 1000 per 100,000 to 576 per 100,000 between 1990 and 2013 (NDHS 2013). This figure is far from the 250 per 100,000 target expected at the end of 2015. Consequently, Nigeria loses an average of 40,000 women due to child birth according to the World Health Organisation in its publication: “Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 - 2013”. Thus, an average of 110 women die daily due to child

birth. Commenting on Nigeria’s high maternal mortality ratio, the Programme Officer: Media, Development Communications (DevComs) Network, Mr. Ayodele Adesanmi said “Nigeria will have to do something drastic to achieve MDG 5. These means intensifying efforts made regarding Midwives Service Scheme (MSS), orientation of public, wide adoption of free maternal and child health programmes, increased funding of maternal health programmes, tracking and learning from causes of maternal deaths, and something very innovative”. Women Rights The Executive Women Advocates and Documentation (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Afolabi described

Director, Research Centre Akiyodematernal

health issue as a host of human rights issues, including social, cultural, legal and accountability issues. She said, “In the past, people look at the issue of maternal health from medical point of view. However, if you don’t situate it between the human right discourses, you may not be able to have a holistic understanding of what maternal health is and the implication of maternal health. When you situate it in that manner you will be able to understand that maternal health is a social issue, cultural issue and legal issue. It’s an issue of accountability”. “The other issue is also the fact that you deserve information that can help you secure your health as a woman, your right to Family Planning, contraception and all that. The fact that those information are also not there is also a violation of your rights to

When women are empowered, they are in control; their voices are heard and can make decisions about their health seeking behaviours without approval from their husbands

Making it happen In order to achieve the goal of this year’s International Women’s Day, a consultant gynecologist and technical adviser to DevComs Network on health matters, Dr Adeleke Kaka, has called for actions to empower women. According to him, empowering women would make them to decide when to get pregnant and when not. “When women are empowered, they are in control; their voices are heard and can make decisions about their health seeking behaviours without approval from their husbands. Women empowerment can also reduce domestic violence and help them to seek appropriate complaint channels when one occurs” he said. Meanwhile, Mrs Ibeawuchi urged the government to ensure that all women of reproductive age in Nigeria have unhindered access to quality family planning services as a matter of right. “The right of women to quality family planning services in the community is not negotiable; same applies to all other maternal health services. The Federal Government’s Policy of Free FP methods to all women who need the services should be equally supported by the States and Local Governments. Each level of government must commit to adequate budgetary expenditures on all the other components of a good FP programme, including consumables, logistics, supervision and training of the service providers” she said. International Women’s Day The International Women’s Day is celebrated March 8th. It’s the one day of the year when people around the world come together across physical and cultural divides to celebrate the rights of women and girls. The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. The International Women’s Day date was moved to March 8 in 1913.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

News FG frustrating N230bn road projects nationwide-Minister By Umar Muhammad Puma


inister of Works, Mike Onolememen, has attributed the nonrelease of N230 billion budgetary allocations for various critical projects as responsible for the delay in completion of the projects. Onolememen who spoke at the 2015 budget defence held at the House Committee on works gave the breakdown of the sum, N219.5 billion is for highway projects, N10 billion is for engineering design and supervision consultants while N1.2 billion is for weigh bridge and materials and geotechnical contracts. He noted that the ministry and various parastatals including Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) were incapacitated by the abysmal release of annual budgetary allocation. According to him, the sum of

N45.682 billion (46.2 percent) was released out of N98.814 billion appropriated for the capital expenditure for the main ministry and parastatals, leaving the balance of N53,131,524,309 as at 30th December 2014. He said “It is important to emphasis that the performance of the ministry would have been considerably enhanced if the outstanding budgeted funds of N53, 131,524,309 had been released to the ministry. More importantly, if the cumulative outstanding budgeted funds of N203,392,075,947.25 for the period spanning 2011 to 2014 had been released, the total indebtedness would have been brought down from N230 to N27 billion.” He disclosed that the ministry accessed the sum of N93 billion out of the N98 billion appropriated through SURE-P in 2014 fiscal year. Major road priority projects awarded in 2014 include rehabilitation of

Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan dual carriageway section I & II; rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway section I $ II; dualisation of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja sections I, III & IV; dualisation of KanoMaiduguri sections I-V; Others are, dualisation of Suleja-Minna phase I in Niger state; rehabilitation of ApapaOshodi expressway in Lagos, phase II; the rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway sections III & IV; dualisation of SulejaMinna phase II in Niger state; dualisation of Sapele-Ewu road section I & II and construction of Ikom bridge, Cross River state. Worried by the approved lean envelope for capital projects for year 2015 as contained in the circular issued by the Federal Ministry of Finance, the minister noted that emphasis is on minimum level of activity on the project sites where provisions have been made in the proposed

budget. “In view of the lean allocation for the ministry in the 2015 budget, only road and bridge projects have been considered. Out of the ministry’s portfolio of about 210 ongoing road and bridge projects, only 33 nos have been provided for and the provisions are insufficient to encourage the contractors to sustain appreciable progress of works on site,” Onolememen stated. He also lamented that from the N39.579 billion proposed for year 2015 out of which N11.232 billion is for capital projects, no provision was made for all the parastatals and agencies including road maintenance. According to him, the sum of N1,398,449,075.51 counterpart funding required by the Road Sector Development Team (RSDT) which manages the fund from multilateral agencies such as World Bank and African Development Bank, only N425


million was proposed in the 2015 budget, hence may stalled most of the RSDT projects scheduled for completion this year. He disclosed that the sum of N25 billion has been paid through SURE-P to contractors handling Lagos-Ibadan expressway. For the 2nd Niger Bridge, he disclosed that Federal Government paid N10 billion counterpart funding, additional N15 billion through SURE-P and attracted N50 billion private funding from Julius Berger. On his part, Surveyor Ayeni, Registrar of SURCON who expressed regrets over the nonrelease of the appropriated funds, argued that it will be very hard for the presidential land committee to achieve its set objectives. Speaking earlier, Chairman of the committee Rep Ogbuefi Ozomgbachi, (PDP Enugu), stressed the need for alternative funding of critical projects considering the dwindling oil revenue.

KWASU researchers discover alternative medicine for kidney diseases

From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


group at

L-R: Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, Minister of Communications and Technology, Omobola Johnson; Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, President Goodluck Jonathan, Minister for Health, Dr Kjhaliru Alhassan, Minister of State for Agriculture Hajiya Asabe Ahmed, and Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurencia Laraba Mallam, during the official launch of Growing Girls and Women in Nigeria (G-WIN), yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Mbeki, Abdulsalami, Buhari in closed door meeting From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ormer South African, President Thabo Mbeki and Former Nigerian Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar yesterday stormed kaduna residence of Presidential Candidate of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari residence.

General Buhari who returned to the country from London few days ago met with his guests around past 10:20 a.m inside his resident conference hold located at Jabi road GRA in the state. It was gathered that the two leaders were in kaduna to meet with Buhari ahead of general elections scheduled to hold on 28 of this month. The three leaders refused to address the few journalists present as they went into a

closed door meeting. The meeting ended after an hour around 11:30 am and Mbeki and Abdulsalami left for the Kaduna International Airport en route Abuja after a photo session which marked the end of the meeting. The meeting according to a source closed to the APC presidential candidates centered on the need for peaceful elections. The source added that the visit also had to do with

National Peace Committee for 2015 General Election led by former head of state Abdulsalami Abubakar. He said the leaders Mbaki and Abdulsalam were working tirelessly to see that the next general election was conducted peacefully nationwide. It would be recalled that Mbeki and Abdulsalami met with President Jonathan at Aso Villa at a closed door meeting at the weekend.

of researchers Kwara State

University(KWASU),Malete has discovered a new phytomedicine for the deadly kidney disease. The researchers, led by Mr Sabiu Saheed of Biochemistry Unit, Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, the researchers presented their findings at Ogbondoroko, Asa Local Government Area of Kwara State. The project which was an action-research sponsored by the University’s Centre for Community Development is entitled, “Utilization of Corn Silk for the Management of Kidney Disorders among the People of Ogbondoroko, Kwara State, Nigeria. The team leader, Saheed explained that the corn silk has macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats (volatine oils) and protein as well as micronutrients which include vitamins and minerals. He said that the corn silk phytomedicine had been scientifically tested for the management of liver and Kidney disorders. Saheed disclosed that about 300 million people suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) worldwide while 3.4 million people died as a result of the disease in 2012 according to World Health Organization (WHO). The researcher added that the discovery can be used to treat diabetes and urinary tract disorders, among others killer diseases.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


EFCC arrests two suspects for defrauding bankers of $2.25m

By Joy Baba Yesufu


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested two suspected fraudsters for allegedly stealing the sum of $2,250,000 (Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) from two bankers. The suspects: Uwem Antia and Alhaji Yerima Suleman allegedly approached the bankers: Gladys Aginwa and Ale Dennis in February, 2015, offering to sell foreign exchange to the tune of $10,000,000 USD to them. After agreeing on the exchange rate, a sum of N672, 750,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy Two Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) was transferred from BlueBeam Capital Investment Limited and Capital Field Investment and Trust Limited into the account of one of the bankers: Smiles and Light Limited.

It was from the banker’s account that the entire sum was moved into Antia’s account: Kafisto Oil and Gas Limited. According to a statement by Wilson Uwujaren Head, Media & Publicity, findings showed that the entire sum of N672, 750,000 actually hit Antia’s account. A Bureau de Change operator who changed the money into its dollar equivalent, told EFCC’s investigators that he went with Antia to his bank along Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the transaction was confirmed. The Bureau de Change operator further said that, Antia subsequently transferred the sum of N666, 250,000(Six Hundred and

Sixty- Six Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) into his own account. He said he worked out the dollar equivalent of the money, which was $3,127,000 (Three Million, One Hundred and Twenty- Seven Thousand United States Dollar). He said he could only give $3,124,000(Three Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Four Thousand Dollar) to Antia, leaving a balance of $3,000(Three Thousand Dollar), which he promised to give him the next day. EFCC said that immediately Antia collected the foreign exchange, he reportedly headed for Number 17A, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the two bankers

and his accomplice, Suleman were waiting for him. However, rather than handing over the entire foreign exchange to the bankers, he only gave them $1,000,000(One million dollars), claiming that he could not source the entire amount. “He allegedly promised to give them a balance of $2,250,000 (Two Million, Two Hundred and TwentyFive Thousand Dollar) the next day. This balance would be the dollar equivalent of the entire sum of the transaction (N672, 750,000). The bankers said that, since the day Antia and Suleman gave them the initial $1,000,000, all efforts to reach them had proved abortive. “Their cell phones were

Women seeking medical attention at the launch of free medical outreach by SURE-P to Jaba Local Government, yesterday in Kwoi, Kaduna state.

Ensure peace reign during polls, Anglican primate tells politicians By Evelyn Okakwu


igerian politicians have again been urged to avoid possible occasions of violence during and after the 2015 general elections. The call was made during a program organised by the primate of Anglican Communion; Most Rev. Nickolas Okoh, at the Church of Advent, Abuja; with the theme: “Victory through the cross.” Addressing journalists on the significance of the program, the primate said it was a call to prayer at a season of lent, which signifies victory through the cross. “The cross is the crucial issue this is a narrow way, the way of self-denial, the way of Easter. We are approaching the problem of Nigeria, from the spiritual and the medical approach”. He said the politicians should be mindful of the people, rather than of themselves; “This election is for Nigerians; it’s not for the politicians. It is true that the politicians are stake holders, but the ordinary Nigerian is the major stake holder. So we appeal to the politicians to ensure that Nigerians have peace that they can move about in peace”. “We appeal to the politicians to ensure that peace reigns and that the accord that was signed is been kept”. “Because if you sign an agreement and you do not keep it, it becomes a judgment on you.” He called on Nigerian youths to avoid any occasion of violence. Also speaking at the event, the guest speaker, Bishop Joseph Akinfenwa of the Anglican diocese of Ibadan said election postponement has, despite its problems, been of good effect to Nigeria

turned off”, they said. However, they lodged a complaint with the EFCC and operatives of the Commission eventually arrested the two fraudsters. “The fraudsters, upon their arrest, claimed that they had given one of the bankers, Dennis the balance of the money at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, but investigations by the Commission, showed that no such transaction took place between them. One of the suspects, Suleman is reportedly standing trial at a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State for a separate offence.” The statement read.

Photo: NAN

N66.9m scam: Appeal court orders re-trial of Frank Amah By Aisha Biola Raji


he Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has ordered the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Funmilayo Atilade to re-assign to another judge, the trial of Frank Amah, implicated in a N66,960,000.00( Sixty-Six Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira) property scam. Amah was originally arraigned before Justice Morenike Obadina of the Lagos High Court, in 2007, on a six count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money from one Mr. Donatus Duru by false pretence. He was discharged and acquitted on

all the counts by the court. However, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, appealed the ruling at the Court of Appeal. In a judgment delivered recently, the appellate court affirmed the decision of Justice Obadina in counts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the charges preferred against Amah but held that Amah had a case to answer in counts 5 and 6 and remitted the case to the Chief Judge of Lagos State for re-assignment to another judge for trial. Amah was embroiled in a property scam with Duru, initially to the tune of N190, 000,000.00(One Hundred and Ninety Million Naira only). In a

letter written by Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, to the EFCC, in 2005 on behalf of Duru, Amah allegedly sold a Federal Government Property, at No.7, Bell Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos to Duru in the sum of N190 million. In the transactions, Amah allegedly informed Duru that the original allottee of the property was one Abubakar Mallam, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs who had authorized him to dispose the property on his behalf. Duru alleged that Amah instructed him to make payment of the N190million through Zenith Bank drafts. In spite of all these payments, the Federal Government reportedly

Sobi specialist hospital records 1,942 deliveries,7 death in 2 yrs From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


Gynecologist at the Sobi Specialist Hospital,Dr Salamat Lawal, has revealed that about 1,942 deliveries were recorded in year 2013 and 2014 at the hospital. Lawal, who stated this while speaking with Journalists in Ilorin also disclosed that the hospital recorded seven maternal mortality during the years under review.

“We had three maternal deaths in 2014 in the hospital. As far back as 2007,we had just 50 deliveries,35 in 2008,which was quite small because the hospital was under-utilised. “The hospital became fully functional in 2011. We started picking up in 2013 when we had about 990 deliveries.” The Gynaecologist who linked the deaths recorded in the hospital to emergency and complications

said maternal death could be prevented if pregnant women ensure they go for ante-natal for proper healthcare. She said” since many of women even those who are educated need some enlightenment on pregnancy issues,ante-nata attendance would avail them the opportunity to know those things, so I will advise them to embrace ante-nata care though we have appreciable attendance here to avert complications”.

cancelled all the allotments and sale made by the Committee and directed that the money collected from buyers be returned. Duru said that, based on this development, Government refunded the money he paid to the implementation Committee but out of the N102,400,000.00 paid into Amah’s company ( Chyfrank Nigeria Limited), only N34,440,000.00( Thirty- Four Million, Four Hundred and Forty Thousand Naira only) was returned to him by Amah, leaving a balance of N66,960,000.00( SixtySix Million, Nine Hundred and Sixty Thousand Naira only), which is the basis of litigation against Amah. Count 5 of the charges for which Amah will now face fresh trial reads: “Frank Amah and Chyfrank Nigeria Plc, on or about the 10th day of March, 2005, at Ikoyi, Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division of the Lagos State High Court, did fraudulently steal and converted to your own use the sum of N86,900,000.00( Eighty- Six Million, Nine Hundred Thousand Naira) property of Mr. Donatus Duru, which he entrusted to you for purchase of House No. 7, Bell Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos”.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


INVITATION FOR PRE-QUALIFICATION AND TENDER 1.0 INTRODUCTION In compliance with the requirements of the Public Procurement Act of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Agbani, Enugu State, hereby invites interested, competent and reputable contractors and suppliers with relevant experiences, requisite expertise, and good track record for timely delivery of projects to apply for Pre-qualification and Tender exercise for execution of the following Projects under YEAR 2014 TETFUND SPECIAL INTERVENTION:

2. PRE-QUALIFICATION CRITERIA Interested and competent contractors are to submit Pre-qualification documents which should include but not limited and MUST be arranged in the following order and page-numbered: i. A sworn affidavit indicating that all documents submitted are genuine and verifiable. ii. Consent to allow for verification of all the documents submitted including CAC, Inland Revenue, VAT remittances, Pension & Industrial Training Fund and company’s financial standing with the bankers. iii. Certificate of Incorporation with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). iv. Current Tax Clearance Certificate for the last three (3) years 2012-2014 v. VAT Certificate and VAT remittances to Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) in the last three years, (2012 – 2014). vi. Evidence of compliance with the provisions of the Pension Reform Acts, 2004 with (at least 5) employees on pension scheme. vii. Evidence of compliance with the statutory provision of Section 8(1 – 3) of the Industrial Training Fund (Amendment) Act 2011. viii. Comprehensive company profile showing organizational structure, list of staff including curriculum vitae of key personnel involved in project implementation stating qualifications and professional registration where applicable (enclose photocopies of professional qualifications).. ix. Evidence of possession of a substantial proportion of equipment required to successful execute the contract. State location of the plants and equipment for ease of verification. x. Audited company account for the last three (3) years ie (2012, 2013 and 2014) xi. Evidence of Financial Capability with Bank reference letter indicating accessibility to credit facilities, with maximum amount stated. xii. Bank statements of account for the last three months and letter authorizing the University to verify same from the Bank. xiii. Evidence of performance on similar verifiable and successfully executed projects in the last three years (2012 – 2014) stating: clients, location, Letters of awards, cost with completion certificates and photographs attached. xiv. A sworn affidavit that none of the directors has been convicted in any country for any criminal offence including fraud or financial impropriety. xv. Quality assurance / control manuals for the company. 3. COLLECTION OF TENDER DOCUMENTS: Tender documents should be collected from the office of the Director of Physical Planning, Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Agbani. Collection of the documents will be from the date of this publication. The documents can only be obtained on presentation of evidence of payment of non-refundable TENDER FEE of One hundred thousand Naira (N100,000.00) only for Lot 1 and Fifty thousand Naira (N50,000.00) only for Lot 2. 4. METHODS OF PACKAGING/ SUBMISSION OF PRE-QUALIFICATION and TENDER DOCUMENTS Interested Contractors are required to prepare and submit both their Pre-Qualification documents in six (6) hard copies and one soft copy in a sealed envelope, and the Completed Tenders in a separate sealed envelope. The envelopes should be addressed to: The Registrar, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Agbani, Enugu State The top left hand corner of the envelopes shall bear the name of the project which you are applying for, and also specify whether it is Pre-qualification or Completed Tender documents. These documents shall be dropped in Boxes marked “Pre-Qualification” and “Completed Tender” which shall be supplied for this purpose at the office of the Registrar, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Agbani 5. OPENING OF PRE-QUALIFICATION AND TENDER DOCUMENTS The Pre-qualification and Tender documents should be submitted latest Monday, March 23rd, 2015, before 12.00 noon. These documents will be opened on the same day in the Council Chamber in the Administrative Building of the University by 1.00 pm. All bidders and/or their representatives are expected to attend. After opening of the documents, the Pre-qualification documents shall be analysed by the University Technical Committee. Only the Pre-qualified contractors shall have their commercial bids (Completed Tenders) analyzed for consideration for award. PLEASE NOTE THAT a) By the submission of pre-qualification and Tender documents, ESUT is neither committed nor obliged to award any contract to any contractor/supplier or agent b) This invitation for Pre-qualification and tendering for the projects shall not be construed as a commitment on the part of the University, nor shall entitle any contractor/supplier to make any claims whatsoever or seek any indemnity from ESUT. c) That due diligence would be followed as all documents submitted would be verified including the past executed works and, contractor’s offices shall be visited. Any discrepancies found would disqualify the contractor/company.

Signed Barr. CHRIS IGBOKWE Registrar and Secretary to Council



Native doctor lynched by mob over prophesy From Osakhare Erese, Asaba.


ngry mob at the weekend in Ekiegwore Quarters, Ovwian community, Udu Local government area of Delta State allegedly lynched a native doctor to pulp after he was reported to have made an evil prophesy. Reports said that the native doctor identified as Baba Chuks, had allegedly predicted death in a prominent family

member in the community, a prophesy the angry mob described as “doom” to descend on him. Besides, it was reliably gathered that the native doctor before the incident had allegedly confessed to have been hired to kill 15 people in the same family and was dragged before the royal father in the community where he vowed not to do strange things again before he was let off the hook. According to the confessional statement by

the native doctor, he was hired by some persons to kill some people in the prominent family and list of the people was given to him, but the angry mob led by one Johnson Igum said they descended on him two days after the prophesy when a family member of the prominent family died in a motor accident. The native doctor was however rescued by the security agents who swung into action during the melee and arrested some of the mob

it difficult for people to recognize him. Speaking to Nigerian Pilot at the deceased residence, his immediate younger brother, Gabriel Ogbole Onyilo, a teacher at St. Francis College, Otukpo described the death of his brother as a mystery and gruesome, noting that the location where his corpse was found was not close to his house or where he went for wake. “His death is a mystery to us. Where his body was found is a place he hardly go to. We live everything to God Almighty to judge,” Gabriel Ogbole said. Wife of the deceased, Ada Onyilo, also a teacher at the department of home economics, College of Education, Oju expressed shock at the sudden death of her husband and said she has

left everything relating to his death in the hands of God. The principal of Government College Otukpo, Godwin Ochube extolled the virtues of late Onyilo as a hardworking staff who has contributed immensely to the development of youths in the area through his profession. Also commenting on the tragic incident, Paul Barry Ogbu, teacher at St Monica’s Girls Secondary School, Otukpo regretted that Onyilo died at a time that teachers in the state were being owed salaries. When contacted, the state police spokesman, Mr Austin Ezeani said the police is yet to be briefed on the incident. It should be noted that kidnappers have been on the prowl in Otukpo recently, causing panic amongst the residents.

Hoodlums murder teacher in Benue

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


deputy director of education and teacher at Government Model College Otukpo, Benue State at the weekend was murdered by suspected hoodlums in Otukpo, Mr Akpa Onyilo, father of six was said to have left his home at Oyigebe Street on the evening of March 4 for a walk at the Agbenyojo area of the town only for his corpse to be found by the road side at the GRA area at the wee hours of the following day. The corpse was allegedly picked by the Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC and deposited at the General Hospital in Otukpo. His head was said to be badly damaged while his face was swollen making

Group calls for probe of mob killings in Michika From Umar Dankano, Yola


orried by the spate of extrajudicial killings in some Michika villages currently liberated by Nigerian troops, a group of concerned residents of Michika have called for the constitution of a committee to probe the killings, saying that the call is necessary to prevent the break down of law and order in the local government. In a press statement signed by Christopher Umar Tizhe, the group alleged that many innocent returnees have been slain by mobs in Khurkasa and Kamale villages of Michika

local government area of Adamawa state on the allegation of being Boko Haram elements without justification. The statement further alleged that there were incidents of organised killings in the name of reprisals going on in some villages of Michika local government under the guise of fighting boko Haram and something urgently needed to be done before things degenerate to another serious crisis. “In Khurkasa village for instance, 16 people mostly women and children passing through the village where killed and burnt by mob. Similarly another group of 17 people including a

pregnant woman returning to Michika from Cameroun after the announcement that Michika had been recaptured from Boko Haram were burnt alive in Kamale village by a mob claiming to be fighting boko haram”, the group said. While eulogizing the military for their renewed offensive against the insurgents leading to the liberation of Michika and other towns, the group counseled the military to be careful against being misled by some selfish groups or individuals looking for opportunities to settle personal scores against others as the development may blur the success recorded.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


El-Rufai vows to crush southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari killers From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ll Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Kaduna state, Malam Nasir El-Rufai yesterday vowed to tackle the killings occurring in Southern Kaduna and Birnin Gwari areas of the state. El-Rufai’s stated this in a statement by his media assistant, Samuel Aruwan which was made available to newsmen in Kaduna. Speaking in a Freedom Radio

Kaduna breakfast programme ‘Barka da Warhaka El_Rufai said the people of the state deserve a government that will actually provide maximum security and not propaganda for election purposes. “This is not play or politics, we are here with serious commitment and determination to serve with all sense of honesty, sincerity and fear of God. How can they be killing our people in Southern Kaduna areas like Kaura, Sanga and Birnin Gwari and Giwa without any action? Who are

they and where are they coming from? How can these killers be committing such crime without being arrested and prosecuted? “Something is wrong somewhere, part of which is negligence and insensitivity, we will not tolerate it and by the power of almighty God we will crush them for maximum security and stability in the state.” On whether he is bothered by religious blackmail against him, El-Rufai explained, “By the special grace of God, I am not worried because it is a blessing and has

exposed those peddling religious and ethnic blackmail as those short of ideas and manipulating religion for only election purposes. And for their personal benefits only. “No matter their manipulation, the people of Kaduna state have rejected their sinister interest. What the people of Kaduna state need is a government that will be honest and lead with justice to all people irrespective of religion, ethnicity and without sentiment,” he said. El_Rifai said based on his record he has ever compromised

L-R: Director of Finance, Ministry of Works, Alhaji Ibrahim Tumsah, Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, and Minister of State for Works, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, during Ministry of Works budget defence before the House of Representatives Committee on Works, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NPC to conduct education survey in 30,000 households

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


ational Population Commission (NPC) said it has concluded plans to conduct National Education Survey (NEDS) in 30,000

households in the country. The Chairman of NPC, Eze Duruihioma stated this yesterday in Saminaka, Kaduna state, while speaking during the opening ceremony of a 13- day training for 300 participants

that would be engaged in the survey. The participants were selected from the 36 states of the federation. Duruihioma said about 72 , 000 children from 4-16 years

CASER withdraws suit for postponement of election By Evelyn Okakwu


he Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) has expressed its desire to withdraw a suit filled at the ECOWAS court of Justice, seeking a suspension of the 2015 Genral elections across the country. A statement from the office of CESER’s Cheief Executive, Frank Tietie said the The suit which was set for hearing on the 10th of March at the ECOWAS Court of Justice was based on the concept of Human Rights for the promotion of better standards of living for the citizens of Nigeria. Part of the statement reads: “CASER filed the suit on the 11th of January, 2015 out of

palpable fear that the Boko Haram insurgents may cause a lot more harm in the build up to the general elections while the grave insecurity lapses that led to the death of over 800 Nigerian citizens in the post-election violence of 2011 had not yet been evidently addressed. CASER filed the suit before the National Security Adviser (NSA) made his call for the postponement of the elections at Chartam House in London, where he alleged poor distribution of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) as the grounds for his call.” The stamen adds that: “Following the postponement of the Feb 14 elections, the Nigerian Armed Forces have recorded astounding success against the

insurgents. This has rekindled great hopes, that the Armed Forces being less burdened and possessing requisite military sophistication, may now be able to provide security for the general elections. CASER was therefore quick to commend the Armed Forces as was widely reported accordingly. Therefore, it has become necessary for CASER to strongly consider withdrawing the suit it had filed at the ECOWAS Court of Justice which sought to postpone or suspend the general elections in Nigeria. She further revealed that questionnaires would be printed in English and the three major languages in the country. The languages are; Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo.

would be sampled. “The interview will focus on reasons for not attending school and for dropping out of school, the frequency of pupil absenteeism and reason for missing school. The cost of schooling and other issues. “The information will provide insights in to the behaviours and attitudes of parents and gurdians in the country”. Represented by the Federal Commissioner representing Kaduna state in the Commission, Usman Ya’u, the Chairman said NEDS would provide adequate and relevant data for national planing. Earlier in her presentation, the Project Coordinator, Amaka Ezenwa, said the 2015 NEDS in which households with children from 4 - 6 years old visited during the earlier survey will be revisited. Mrs Ezenwa also said that questionnaires would be available for adults who are illiterates in the country so as to know certain factors affecting them.

merit on religious and ethnic grounds, saying ‘ I am guided by merit and competency and above all social justice as instituted by almighty God,” “They assume that the best way they can stop me is to bring blackmail and lies but the people of Kaduna state will soon confirm to them that this has failed. They are too wise and sound to be manipulated and the rejection of the blackmail has vindicated us. He also explained that jobs will be created through the utilization of natural resources and agricultural products that abound in the state. For instance, El-Rufai said the cultivation, processing and marketing of ginger, which abounds in Southern Kaduna, can employ up to 500,000 persons. Similarly, Shea butter from Birnin Gwari can be organized to be economically viable.

Buhari’s wife donates relief items to Borno blast victims From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


ajiya Aisha Buhari, wife of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Presidential candidate, retired General Muhammadu Buhari’s on Monday, donated assorted drugs and other relief items to over 100 victims of the last Saturday multiple suicide in Maiduguri the Borno state capital. Represented by Hajia Nana Kashim Shettima, wife of Borno state governor, Mrs. Buhari, said the donation was to assist the victims to have effective medical care. While sympathising with the victims over the unfortunate incidents, Hajia Aisha asked them to consider the situation they found themselves as an act of God. She urged the citizens particularly women to embark on massive prayers, seeking divine intervention over the persistent security challenges confronting the state and the entire north-east. The APC’s presidential candidate’s wife also commended efforts of the security agencies and the civilian JTF in their fight against insurgency in the state. Receiving the items on behalf of the victims, Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Borno State Hospitals and Management Board, Dr. Salisu Kwaya Bura, said the gesture will go a long way in attaining the health needs of the patients within the state owned hospitals. He expressed gratitude to Hajiya the donor for the kind efforts, describing the gesture as timely. The items included 150 cartons of assorted drugs, 1000 multi-vitamins, polythene mats and blankets, among others.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


By Mohammed Kandi


he Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has alleged that at least 40 million cattle have been stolen from its members across the country in the last two years. President of the MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, who disclosed this yesterday at the Association’s National Executive Committee meeting in Abuja, condemned the increasing rate of attacks by the cattle rustlers in the country. Kirowa, who insisted that the ugly development portends a great danger not only to his members but to the country’s economy, however, appealed to the Federal Government to intervene and give more attention to myriad of challenges facing the nomads in Nigeria. He further identified some copious challenges confronting him members including cattle rustling, inadequate educational facilities, shortage of vaccination facilities for members, increasing level of insecurity of member across the country. Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto and grand patron of the association, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, called on the Federal Government to ensure that the proposed cattle ranches across the country become a reality.

AIT Lagos studio gutted by fire From Matthew Aramunde,Lagos


frican Independent Television, Lagos State studio was Today gutted by fire after an air conditioner in its studio was affected by high voltage electricity. The fire incident which reportedly occurred around 9:00 a.m Monday morning was put out by men of the Lagos State Fire Service from Agege, Ikeja and Alausa divisions with one water truck each. Briefing newsmen on the incident Director of Lagos State Fire Service Rasak Fadipe stated that his men arrive the scene 15 minutes after it got a distress call. “The fire was caused by high voltage. We arrived at the scene at 9:30 a.m. and we spent about 15 minutes for active firefighting operations. “Only the air conditioner was badly damaged as we were able to curtail the spread of the fire,” he said. He urged Lagosians to be conscious of electrical appliances in their homes and offices. Also National Emergency Management Agency South west zonal Spoke person Ibrahim Farinloye said no life was lost to the incident adding that the fire was put out by the combined team of fire service from Lagos and Ogun State

40m cattle lost to rustling in Nigeria-Miyetti Allah

The Sultan, who called for cooperation and unity among members of MACBAN, assured them of his continuous support and that of the northern leaders, as well as, the Federal Government’s readiness to addressing their plights. Reacting to various appeals made by the Association,

Mr Balarabe Mahmud who represented Dr. Ademola Raji, Director of Animal Production and Husbandry Services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, informed that the ministry had already developed a comprehensive work plan towards addressing various issues facing the herdsmen.

He assured that the plight of the nomads would soon be addressed following the establishment of a committee that would partner with the international organization to look into their problems. In his remarks, representative of the Department for International Development

(DFID) Bello Yakassai, stressed the need for the herdsmen to step up their business strategies so as to boost their contribution to the national economy. Yakassai also recalled that as part of the foreign revenue earnings, Nigeria generated about $800 million from sales of animal skins and $2.8 billion from meat.

R-L: National President, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa, Sultan of Sokoto/ Chairman Board of Trustees of MACBAN, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Professor Rashid Aderinoye, during the National Executive Committee meeting of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Insecurity affecting tourism, hospitality industries, says Yankari resort chair From Ahmed Kaigama,Bauchi


he security challenges currently bedeviling North East is having adverse effect on tourism and the hospitality industry in the country just as Yankari resort and game reserve witnessed a decline in profits and its turnover. The Chairman Interim Management Committee,Mallam Jibrin Adamu disclosed this while speaking to newsmen at the weekend where he blamed the decline in profit and turnover on the securities challenges in the region, which he stressed is having negative effect on tourism and the hospitality industry. He said the state government is making effort to bring foreign investment to make the reserve more attractive as well as to boost the economy, He said that despite the fact that patronage of the reserve has dropped due to security challenges facing the north east sub region, Bauchi happens to be the most peaceful state in the region. Jibrin Adamu stated that the interim management is doing everything possible to ensure the total protection of animals in the area especially ensuring the daily

patrol, night camping of rangers to bring to an end the activities of poachers in the Game Reserved. He however said Governor Isa Yuguda led administration has invested so much in an effort to provide enabling environment to the tourist as well as to generate revenue for the state. Adamu said “Despite the security challenges we are top in the state, in terms of internally generated Revenue IGR for the state the management is up and doing “ “Rate of our services has been reduced with 50% to make it affordable to our visitors, what will surprise you most was the decision of the state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda who used to pay whenever he comes into Yankari, so I see no reason other people should not pay. I have turned back a lot of people even from the second gate simply because they refused to pay, special consideration was given to students to make it affordable to them” he said, The Interim Chairman pointed out that the management are making effort to bring in communities within the area on how to manage conservation to protect animals and called on media to support the management by showcasing the Game Reserve to the tourist.

Bauchi: NEMA sensitises stakeholders on dangers of post election violence

From Ahmed Kaigama,Bauchi


ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has sensitized stakeholders in Bauchi state on the need for violence free election. NEMA Head of Operation Gombe office, Alhaji Saidu Ahmed Minin, said the sensitation and awareness creation among stakeholders at this moment is critical and important He stated this at the one day stakeholders sensitization and awareness creation meeting in Bauchi yesterday, on the dangers of election violence, organized by NEMA Gombe Operation office held at the state secretariat in Bauchi. “Such meetings on dangers of post elections violence especially which targeted at youth women groups faith based organizations and community based organizations in Bauchi will go a long way in conducting free violence election” He said According to him, this has become important in view of the fact that any breach before, during or after election will be a

disaster. The stakeholders comprising security agents, Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, Non Governmental Organization NGOs, National Orientation Agency NOA, political parties and religious leaders have pledged to ensure a violent- free election and called for a revitalization of value system in the country. Presenting a paper entitled, “ Value Re-orientation as a Tool for Curbing Electoral Violence in Nigeria”, the State Director of the National Orientation Agency, Sakace Amance lamented how some Nigerians have lost their value systems which have degenerated to the level whereby there is no respect for human lives. He said:” When we talk about election violence, there are factors that breed it and one of such is that some Nigerians have abandon their cultural values, thereby leading to bad attitudes, core values such as respect for elders, respect for human life and patriotism for one’s nation has been eroded away”




INVITATION TO TENDER INTRODUCTION Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic Kazaure wishes to invite competent Contractors/Suppliers to submit their Tender documents for the following projects, under ‘2014 TETFUND Special Intervention Projects’ 1. Construction of One Storey Block of 20No. Academic Offices. FPOLY/KAZAURE/TETFUND/14/01 2. Furnishing of 4No. Agric Technology Laboratories and the Academic Staff Offices Complex FPOLY/KAZAURE/ TETFUND/14/02 3. Supply/Installation of Office Equipment to the College of Agric and College of Engineering Technology Office Complex. FPOLY/KAZAURE/TETFUND/14/03 PREQUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Interested Companies are required to submit the following documents: (i) Evidence of Registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (C.A.C.) (ii) Evidence from the company’s Bankers as to their Financial Capacity to undertake the services (iii) Evidence of Tax clearance (tax clearance certificate for the last three years) (iv) Evidence of VAT remittance (v) Evidence of Tax Identification Number (TIN) (vi) Evidence of compliance with new Pension Reform 2004 (vii) Evidence of qualified Technical/Professional Staff (viii) A comprehensive company profile to include verifiable key professional staff and evidence of financial capability. (ix) Certified Audited Accounts of the company for the last three years (x) Evidence of similar jobs undertaken; and (xi) Evidence of registration with professional body SUBMISSION OF TENDER DOCUMENTS The Documents should be submitted in the following prescribed manner: 1. The Contractor/Supplier shall enclose the document in a sealed envelope, duly marked as “Tender Document for -----------------------stating the project (Financial) and Tender Document for --------------------- stating the project (Technical) 2. The envelopes shall then: a) Bear the name and address of the contractor b) Be addressed to the Registrar, Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, P.M.B. 5004 Kazaure, Jigawa State c) Bear the name of the Project of interest CLOSING OF SUBMISSION: Submission of Tender Documents closes on Tuesday, 22nd April 2015. OPENING OF TENDER DOCUMENT: All the tender document envelopes received will be opened on Tuesday, 22nd April, 2015 at the Council Chamber, Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic Kazaure, 1:30pm prompt. The Tender fee for Lot:1 = N50,000.00 For Lot: 2 = N20,000.00 and For Lot: 3 = N20,000.00 For more Information, please contact the Procurement & Services Department, Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic Kazaure Jigawa State, on 08034033385 or

SIGNED: Rabi’u M. Danmalam Registrar

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

APC condemns Maiduguri bombings From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the dastardly bombings that left many dead and injured in Maiduguri over the weekend, warning that those behind the continued killing and maiming of innocent people will not go unpunished. In a statement issued

in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party condoled with the families of those killed as well as the government and people of Borno state. It prayed that God will grant repose to the souls of the innocent citizens who were sent to their early graves, while wishing those who were injured a speedy recovery. ‘’As we have said many

times, nothing in the world justifies the killing of innocent men, women and children, and the cowards who have continued to kill and maim must realize that they will not escape justice, no matter how long it takes,’’ APC said. The party called for vigilance among the people of the state and indeed the entire North-east, against the background of the stepped-up fight against the terrorists.

Terrorism: ECOWAS, CBCN advocate strengthened regional ties By Evelyn Okakwu


resident of the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS) Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to strengthen regional ties in the fight against terrorism. speaking during the interreligous dialogue and ecumenism commission, a program organised in Abuja by the episcopal committee on dialogue of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, (CBCN), with the theme: religious extremism and its challenges in west Africa, the ECOWAS president who was represented by Prof. Kyari Mohammed of the Centre for Peace and Security Studies, Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola said: “Their is the need for the state of Nigeria and all its regional neighbours to Coporate on a regional bases”. “Either through the Lake-chard basin commission, through ECOWAS or the

esterblishment of a military alliance, such as the multinational joint task force”. “The current development where the Chadian military has been engaged to liberate parts of Bornu, is a little heart warming”. “The development of the region should be a priority for the federal government of this country”. Speaking earlier, the convener of the meeting, Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, in his opening address, said that the dialogue was an opportunity to create harmony and consensus among religious groups. ``This dialogue is a laudable initiative and a great opportunity to create harmony and consensus amongst all faith-based groups in the continent of Africa,” Kukah said. He added however that the fight against terrorism can only be truly won, along with the fight against poverty “Even if Biko Haram goes, but poverty and

injustice persists, it may still mutate in another form”. Delivering the opening address, Rev. Fr. Cornelius Omonokhua, of the Catholic Secretariat Abuja, lauded the idea of religious leaders from across West Africa forming a synergy on religious tolerance. He said that the dialogue was necessary to address the decline in human dignity as perpetuated by some religious extremists. ``The coming together of the countries of West Africa to discuss the common concerns of interreligious dialogue is imperative now more than ever before. ``Our region is witnessing a serious decline in the sense of human dignity because of the spate at which some people take human lives due to religious extremism. ``It is hoped that ECOWAS response to religious extremism in West Africa would direct citizens in the region to peaceful coexistence and religious harmony,’’ he said.

Benue ASUU down tool over nonpayment of Salaries From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Academic Staff Union of Nigeria, ASUU Benue State University, BSU has downed tool to press home the nonpayment of salaries by Governor Gabriel Suswam’s government. Disclosing this in a telephone chat with Peoples Daily yesterday, the Chairman of the Union, Dr.

David Ikoni said the State government has failed to pay their February salary thus necessitating the strike action. “We have downed tool and this is indefinite until the State pays our February salary. It does not matter how long it takes government to pay, we will not return to classes until we are paid”, he said angrily. It could be recalled that two(2) years ago during the

nationwide ASUU strike, Governor Suswam had threatened the lecturers with ‘no work, no pay’. But this threat turned against him as the lecturers also issued theirs of no pay, no work. Governor Suswam has been grappling with nonpayment of teachers’, local government, pensioners as well as civil servants salaries for many months.

Page 11

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015



The bully of Niger

of the House of Assembly, he Governor of Niger out of office. Governor Aliyu’s Barrister Adamu Usman. Then state, Dr. Babangida belated explanation that he followed the ejection of Ibeto Aliyu, relishes handed over government to the from the governor’s office. In a the title ‘Chief Speaker because his Deputy letter dated February 27, 2015, Servant’. It is a title was nowhere to be found is an signed by the Secretary to the he appropriated since his insult on the intelligence of the State Government, Idris Ndako, election as governor almost people who elected the two of Ibeto was given up to Monday, eight years ago. Another fancy them on the same ticket into March 2 to relocate to a distant of the governor is to listen to office. We consider his claim his voice. He has travelled that he is in the best of terms far and wide in the country with his Deputy in the same and beyond, giving lectures vein. It is unfortunate that after on subjects related to good swearing with the Holy Book governance. Some analysts call to serve the people truthfully, him an itinerant pedagogue. Aliyu could come to the public But going by his recent conduct with stories he definitely knows since he had some political are short of the truth. disagreement with his Deputy But let us even leave religion Ahmed Musa Ibeto, the aside. Aliyu has a PhD; he governor has neither behaved has worked as a teacher and as a servant nor a teacher. a civil servant, rising to the The public impression he has position of federal permanent created for himself is that of a secretary. He has toured the bully. whole of this country giving For instance, on February 11, lectures on good governance. before the commencement of It is catastrophic for the public a state executive meeting that service in Nigeria if a man of day, he ordered Ibeto, to leave his refined background would his seat and, henceforth, stop turn round to be so intolerant attending the executive council of political disagreement that meeting. His reason for doing he presents the public image of so was that Ibeto had defected a bully. locale, about two kilometres from the Peoples Democratic Niger state is a relatively peaceful away from Government House. Party to the All Progressives state with good people. The Prior to that, the offices of the Congress and had called him a ordinary man in the street may governor and his deputy were thief at an APC public meeting. not have a say in what is going located in the same wing of The deputy governor denied on between the two most senior Government House, separated the charge and protested but citizens of the state. Niger is, by a parking lot. the Governor had his way. however, blessed with senior Shortly after that, the governor Those three instances provide citizens two of whom had the substantial evidence that embarked on a vacation rare opportunity to govern this Governor Aliyu has embarked and sidestepped his deputy country. We are looking up to on a whole sale campaign to and handed over the them to rein in the rampaging persecute and bully his Deputy administration to the Speaker ‘Chief Servant’.

Niger is, however, blessed with senior citizens two of whom had the rare opportunity to govern this country. We are looking up to them to rein in the rampaging ‘Chief Servant’.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

President Jonathan and doubting Thomases

By Yushau A. Shuaib


oubting Thomases is the plural of a doubting Thomas. It refers to an incredulous or habitually doubtful person who is sceptical and refuses to believe something without proof. I learnt the expression is a reference to the Apostle Thomas in the Bible, who refused to believe that Jesus Christ had resurrected despite testimonies of his friends and the 10 remaining fellow apostles insisting that he would only believe after seeing. Going by experiences of Nigerians with their leaders especially on politics, there are many who will rather prefer to remain Doubting-Thomas. In fact some of the Doubting-Thomases are not ordinary individuals but highly placed personalities even among the media. I do not judge a person by the group or party he/she belongs but by that person’s character and attributes. Remove Major General Mohammad Buhari from All Progressive Congress (APC) and President Goodluck Jonathan from Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and what remain of the groups is same people that are of the same antecedents, character, dispositions and embodiments among others. These influence the wanton decamping from one party to the other because they lack ideological differences. I must declare from the outset that whoever insults General Buhari, a former Head of State must be psychotic; and whoever attacks President Jonathan of non-performance must be a

prevaricator. Just to outsmart one another, the major political parties i.e. APC and PDP recourse to gutter politics to hoodwink not only the gullible public but surprisingly, even brainwash t h e s uppo s e d ly e nlighte ne d individuals. It is surprising how people accept some conspiracy theories without questioning the rationality. Sometimes last year, a former top military officer and a governor issued an official statement accusing Federal Government of being behind terrorism activities in North-East. He even claimed that aircrafts were dropping food and ammunition to the terrorists in their enclaves. Many of his colleagues believed the arguments until the accuser was asked to substantiate the allegations at the meeting of Council of States. Those who had earlier believed his allegations were ashamed when he was unable to substantiate and was thus forced to recant. Sometime this year the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki gave sincere advice that due to widespread insecurity in the North East as well as inability of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to distribute permanent voter cards (PVCs), it was necessary to shift elections. The spirit of cynicism aka Doubting-Thomas took over and many Nigerians came up with theories of conspiracy. Just weeks after however, the same individuals who doubted the military’s excuse are now the ones commending Nigerians troops for liberating dozens of towns and villages from Boko Haram.

Again, the rate of distribution of PVC has increased from about 50% on February 3, 2015 to 80% by March 3, 2015. While the debate on the postponement of elections raged, there were also allegations by DoubtingThomases that federal government was planning to institute an Interim National Government (ING). The media was awash with insinuations despite the insistence by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke that such contraption was illegal, unconstitutional and therefore, baseless. In the midst of the confusion came yet another allegation that the Chairman of INEC was in the process of being removed without running afoul of any laws or regulations. Government officials did not only deny the speculations but President G oodluck J onathan him s e lf was forced to publicly deny the speculations. According to him, “INEC is a very sensitive body... You cannot wake up and change INEC Chairman… I never told anybody that I will remove him”. The President is conscious that he lacked powers to unilaterally removed INEC Chairman just like any other constitutionally recognised commissions. There are some arguments that are neither morally or logically sound. Meanwhile, apart from politicians playing their games, there has been a deliberate ploy by certain individuals to bring security agencies into the fray. For instance, DoubtingThomases raised false alarm that Nigerian Customs Service

(NCS) and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have been ordered to withdraw their personnel from some borders in the NorthWest without any cogent reason. One wonders what that action could have achieved. The timely response of Comptroller-General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko and Comptroller General of Immigration, David Parradan in denying the allegations saved the situation from further controversies on same. Though Doubting-Thomases are still sceptical if security chiefs would allow the rescheduled elections to hold, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh and Inspector General of Police Abba Suleman have assured eminent members of National Peace Committee on General Elections led by former Head of State, General Abubakar Abdulsalami that “the elections will be free, fair, credible and violence-free.” Not yet done, when the online news syndicate platform, PRNigeria reported that the military have been instructed to make every effort to capture the leader of Boko Haram terrorists alive, another allegation emerged. This time, the theory was that government was planning to arrest a fake terrorist and force him to implicate some leaders through false confessions and statements. Not even the operations of the Multinational Joint Taskforce (MNJTF) were spared in the antics of Doubting-Thomases. It was politicised. Rather than see the Nigerian troops as our people,

the military is being portrayed as part of the ruling party because they serve the government. For that reason some critics would rather attribute successes and accomplishments of the Nigerian troops to the efforts of partnering countries. The painful irony is that Nigerian troops have been victims of the insurgents, victims of local collaborators within the communities who betray them, victims of a political class which castigates them unnecessarily and are also victims of social critics who refuse to commend their efforts when they do well but ridiculed when they fall to the bullets or daggers of terrorists. While some of us enjoy the friendship and brotherliness of patriotic and well intentioned officers and politicians, it will be disappointing and disheartening if either of the political parties play into the hands of enemies of progress and inadvertently help to truncate our hard-earned and cherished democracy. There are not much differences between the major political parties apart from the names of their flag-bearers. Our appeal therefore to partisan politicians, is that they should be conscious and mindful of what they do and say because Nigeria is bigger than individuals and institutions. The March 28 and April 11 elections should remain sacrosanct while the swearing in of the elected President on May 29, 2015 must be respected. Yushau A. Shuaib via

Let no one speak ill of these ones By Adekoya Boladale


here is a general saying that as humans we are less appreciative of the science involved in having a peaceful sleep and waking up peacefully everyday. Most religious people say that the chemistry behind it is more of divine intervention. Atheists on the other hand are of the view that this exercise is the exclusive work of the human brain. Both may be right but who or what then is responsible for the passion of a man willing to die trying to ensure safety of lives of others? There are individuals who have taken up the responsibility to ensure we all can go to sleep and have both eyes closed. Among them are men and women who probably lack the ability to provide for their family but chose to jettison this responsibility on the altar of patriotism and love for country. Few years ago after my university education, I joined the ‘labour market’ in search of employment. After a long period of fruitless efforts my uncle advised me to enrol in the military recruitment exercise that was on as at time. I bluntly disagreed with

him on this suggestion. How will I willingly, without being under duress, die for a cause that has nothing to do with me? Secondly, the military men I knew then painted the picture of bullies, who enjoyed brutalising helpless citizens. But today, I know better. I have learnt to appreciate and respect the uncommon zeal of those who chose to defend the integrity of the territory of our dear country. I have come to realise that we all have a responsibility to ourselves and to our country and while some may feel too weak to take up the barrel and fight for its sovereignty, the ones who do so deserve our support and encouragement. Recently I came in contact with Ahmed somewhere around Ikeja, Lagos State. Ahmed, is one of the few soldiers who survived the menace of the terror group, Boko Haram in the ongoing war against the insurgents. Last year, he and other members of his group where ambushed during an operation that turned out to be a nightmare. His team members were immediately executed while he was beaten blue-black and then got kidnapped. While one would

have expected the Nigerian Army to send a rescue squad to help, the commander of his battalion issued an arrest order against his family. What happened was that when the reinforcement team got to the scene of the ambush, they met the lifeless bodies of his colleagues and when they couldn’t locate him, the immediate thought was that he betrayed his colleagues and had a hand in the attack, hence he was declared a mole. Ahmed’s wife was arrested and locked up and was subjected to intense interrogation. She was treated as an accomplice and an enemy of the state but even in the midst of severe interrogation, she continued to preach the innocence of her husband and herself. Meanwhile, Ahmed as a guest of Boko Haram was put under chains and tortured severally to give details about the military operations. Ahmed was in detention for over six months and so was his wife. His children suddenly began life as ‘orphans’ and had to struggle to fend for themselves. Salary including allowances stopped coming and even if it didn’t stop coming, their mother, who had the right to receive the money

in the absence of Ahmed, was in detention. After three months of intensive struggle, Ahmed’s family came for the children. It was after a successful raid on one of the insurgents’ hideouts and the arrest of one of the sect’s key men that he confessed during interrogation that they had a kidnapped soldier. Ahmed was rescued and his wife was let go. As Ahmed recounted his personal ordeal, I asked him a question on what he would do should he be called up once again to fight for Nigeria. He looked at me, smiled, removed his shirt and showed me a long mark that crossed from his chest round to the back of his neck and said: “Sir, Boko Haram is not rocket science, I made a pledge to die for this country and as long as I live I haven’t fulfilled that pledge”. The response of Ahmed moved me to tears and I had to ask why he would return to the warfront even after the treatment meted to his wife got. Ahmed responded by exonerating the command, saying if he was in their shoes he would have done worst because most of the failed military operations against Boko Haram were handiwork of

moles and saboteurs in their midst. Like Ahmed, their are thousands of others who have pledged to liberate this country from the grip of terrorism or to die trying. There are many more unsung heroes who have laid down their lives to ensure the continuous existence of our country. While we watch matches, dance at clubs, talk and share jokes, they stand at the forefront, confronting the beasts that wish to consume us all. As some Nigerians plan to march in support of our troops who continue to keep sleepless nights mapping strategy, setting traps for the blood thirsty Boko Haram, the least we can do is to show our affection and solidarity for the sacrifice these heroes are making. We should also endeavour to move a step further and show love to their families and loved ones who they have been forced to leave while obeying the clarion call of duty. Fellow Nigerians, let no one speak ill of these ones, let no one cast aspersions on their shortcomings. They should be treated as gods as we all are forever in their debt. Adkoya Boladale wrote in from Lagos

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015



Debating Reno Omokri and Reuben Abati

By Garba Shehu


he weekend press was, as usual, very generous with its pages dealing with the Special Adviser to the President on Media, “my friend before, before” as we say in everyday parlance, Dr. Reuben Abati. Reuben was joined in the attack against General Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal, this time, to attend presidential political debates, by his “cousin in office” Reno Omokri. Having seen the beating he received in the digital media, his own reputable turf, Reno deserves my sympathy. I won’t flog a dead horse. In responding to The Punch, which did us the courtesy of seeking our reaction to the Abati diatribe, our argument has been that three times in the past (2003, 2007, 2011),Buhari appeared and took part in debates while all his opponents, including Dr. Jonathan in 2011, refused to take part. Where were all the critics, including Abati, then? Specifically, why did Dr. Jonathan refuse to debate in 2011? These are questions to be expected of every journalist handed the Abati script. For us in the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign, the decision to stay away from the debate was not one that was taken lightly. It was indeed a difficult one, considering

that the promoters of the debates, themselves important arms of the media as they, were in all probability not going to accept this for any excuse. It is for this reason that we wrote very politely to them to request that we be excused. Our view of their Principal, Dr. Jonathan, is that he is a man who does not know what is debate or discourse. What he knows is insults, abuse and mudslinging. He doesn’t

have the frame of mind to warrant a debate. That’s the man who called President Obasanjo a motor-park tout for merely criticizing him. Dr. Jonathan doesn’t “give a damn” about public issues, is that not what he said when he was asked whether he would declare his assets publicly? When you are in public office, you are a public property. The President they are presenting for a TV debate doesn’t

know the difference between stealing and corruption and he goes on defending their ridiculous position at every given opportunity. How can you dignify a fellow who lacks the comportment of public interest with a debate? Dr. Jonathan doesn’t have an understanding of public interest. Neither does he have respect for age and the high office he occupies. If he and his team did, they would not have

The President they are presenting for a TV debate doesn’t know the difference between stealing and corruption and he goes on defending their ridiculous position at every given opportunity. How can you dignify a fellow who lacks the comportment of public interest with a debate? Dr. Jonathan doesn’t have an understanding of public interest. Neither does he have respect for age and the high office he occupies. If he and his team did, they would not have addressed every critic in the way they did, nor would have Reuben described General Buhari as having run with his tail in between his legs

addressed every critic in the way they did, nor would have Reuben described General Buhari as having run with his tail in between his legs. The President and his handlers have shown a rare lack of dignity and comportment dealing with people who differ with them. All through his tenure, whenever he is criticized on issues and policy by anyone, the tradition they put in place is to attack the critic with insults. Among these critics are men and women who want to exercise their right to choose as guaranteed by the Constitution. The amazing thing about Dr. Jonathan is that he lacks the cultural diligence to call his handlers to order whenever they aggressively go after the honest critic. His handlers seem to know just one thing – the personal interest of Dr. Jonathan, and they too, in line with their boss’s thinking, don’t give a damn about public good and public interest. Our position is that we can’t debate personal interest above public interest. We have chosen to stay away from debating Dr. Jonathan because we are not given to insults and abuse. We await their defeat in the election on March 28th. Garba Shehu is Director, Media/Publicity for the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation

Tinubu: Political genius or supreme opportunist? By Femi Akinfolarin


don’t know Mr. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. I have never met him, but I have slowly come to admire him over the last 2 years. Now, I believe that hands down, he is the most astute politician in the country in this current political dispensation. A review of his political choices over the last 16 years simply leads to only that conclusion. As a disclaimer, a lot of what I am putting down in this article is pure conjecture from an hyperactive mind built around a number of seemingly auspicious coincidences that have brought Mr. Tinubu to the pinnacle of his wildest dreams. It goes as follows: What if Mr. Tinubu, after winning the 1999 elections in Lagos State, desired political power at the centre? What if the central part of that plan was a realisation that Nigerians would vote for a competent political leader with a strong performance record and that he was uniquely positioned as the leader of the largest state by GDP to seize power at the centre, stemming from that same performance? What if Tinubu then proceeded to a build a workable leadership structure in Lagos State built around having technocrats competently govern and transform the business of the State while he ran the political structure? To finance the long game, a sizeable war chest was built from providing perfectly legitimate contractual services to Lagos state. This was the first step in a longer game plan that led to the gradual acceptance

of Tinubu’s political network across the South West. I have always wondered how Mr. Tinubu survived the purge of Action Congress governors in 2004 when the whispered agreement with the then President Obasanjo on voting for him at the national level and him leaving them alone at the state level led to most governors letting their guards down and all being swept out of office apart from Mr. Tinubu. What if Tinubu survived because he was smart enough to have deconstructed what Obasanjo was planning to do and because he refused to sleep with his eyes closed? Smart right? What if 4 years later, he suspected Obasanjo was going to repeat the 2003 rigging which led to the blowout victory for Mr. Yar’Adua and he prepared for this eventuality by cultivating the judges

that would decide the gubernatorial cases across the country, especially the Court of Appeal justices? It seems overly fortuitous that the Appeal Court gave the Action Congress four states (Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Oyo) via their decisions (though the rigging by PDP was obvious). What if in 2011, Mr. Tinubu saw the possibility of achieving his political agenda by entering into an alliance with Mr. Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change that would have created a credible alternative to the ruling PDP? When that alliance did not materialize and shrewdly comprehending that based on all computations, his party going alone couldn’t conceivable win, he chose an expendable candidate, Mr. Ribadu, whom he later sold down the river to Mr. Jonathan’s PDP for a significant sum of money,

adding to the war chest, which he is now using to fight the same Mr. Jonathan. What if all the machinations of the previous four elections crystalised in 2011, when after the election Mr. Tinubu saw that Mr. Buhari was more open to the possibility of a new alliance? Now, with a fighting chance, Mr. Tinubu has consistently been on the front foot. First, he midwifed the birth of the All Progressives Congress through the merger of disparate parties. Then, he worked strenuously to crystalize the defection of PDP legislators and governors into the new party, soothing egos, placating alliances and allocating monies. The APC congress was a defining victory for the APC flag bearer, Mr. Buhari, but the victory would never have happened if the primaries did not

The APC congress was a defining victory for the APC flag bearer, Mr. Buhari, but the victory would never have happened if the primaries did not hold in Lagos and the delegates were not directly under Mr. Tinubu’s thumb, because Mr. Atiku, another contestant, spread his largess around aggressively before voting commenced, and in the old Nigeria, this would have secured victory for him

hold in Lagos and the delegates were not directly under Mr. Tinubu’s thumb, because Mr. Atiku, another contestant, spread his largess around aggressively before voting commenced, and in the old Nigeria, this would have secured victory for him. What if after Buhari’s victory, he used the threat of putting himself up for the Vice Presidency position as a stalking horse to get Mr. Osinbajo accepted by everyone for that position? A move which completely negated all PDP’s plans to paint Buhari as an islamist and also split the important Christian vote. What if, way ahead of the APC primaries, he saw the need for a coherent general campaign strategy and he got the consultant firm of AKPD Message & Media to help craft the campaign strategy, including the pictures of Mr. Buhari wearing suits and playing with his kids, which has led to a significant shift in perception of the Northern candidate. What if all the way along this political journey, with the destination firmly in hand, Mr. Tinubu has schemed and planned and seized all available opportunities to undermine the PDP and booster the chance of taking power at the centre? Then, even if just 50% of the above postulations are true, it would make Mr. Tinubu the supreme pragmatist and opportunist of this political dispensation and quite rightly the political grand chess master of Nigeria. Oluwafemi Akinfolarin, a lawyer, wrote in from Lagos.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015



Unilorin VC seeks more fund for Nigeria varsities From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


he Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor AbdulGaniyu Ambali has called for improved funding of universities in the country to enhance the delivery of

quality education and to enable more people have access to tertiary education. He said that if they were fully funded, it would create room for more expansion of existing facilities in various universities.. Ambali, who made the call

in an interview with Journalists in Ilorin also registered his support for the mooted plan by the Federal Government to establish mega-varsities in the country, saying they would substantially help in absorbing many of the university admission

seekers who could not otherwise be admitted due to limited carrying capacities of the existing universities. The Vice-Chancellor urged the Federal Government to improve the funding to universities because with adequate funding,

NTI trains science, mathematics teachers in 25 states From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


ational Teachers Institute (NTI), Director General, Associate Professor Aminu Ladan Sharehu yesterday said the institute has succeeded in training Science and Mathematics teachers from 25 states of the federation under its strengthening Science, Mathematics Education ((SMASE) training programme . According to him, there are also plans by the institute to complete the training of teachers from states that have not yet participated in the training. Speaking at the flag-off of Cycle ll, 5th Cohorts of the SMASE programme organized by the institute, Sharehu said no country can progress without giving quality training to its teachers. He said science and mathematics teachers have a greater role to play in the development of any country. “We all know that teachers have a greater role to play in the development of any country, particularly science and mathematics teachers. So we have succeeded in training science and mathematics teachers from 25 states, and we also planning to train teachers from other states that have not participated in our training. “Presently, we have teachers from Abia, Kebbi, Cross-Rivers, Ebonyi, Borno and Kwara states that are participating and this is the first time we are having more than 5 states that are usually coming for training. This has showed the interest of some states on the training, “He said. The Director General further urged states like Rivers, Kano, Jigawa to try and send their teachers to benefit in the training for development of education. Earlier, National Coordinator of SMASE, Joseph Aguiyi who represented the Minister of Education commended the NTI management for a good job in sustaining the SMASE training. He urged participants to make sure they cascade the knowledge acquired at the training to their colleagues at their respective schools when they return back to their states. Universal Basic Education (UBE) representative, Alhaji Madawaki Wadatau expressed their readiness to partner with NTI on the SMASE training for teachers of science and Mathematics in the country.

Adults sleeping in one of the classrooms in the floating school, yesterday at Makoko community, Lagos state. Photo: NAN

some of the existing universities will be expanded to accommodate more candidates. “If that is extended to the populace, it will reduce the backlog of un-admitted candidates that we have across the country”. “We have so many projects that we want to execute. We want to be able to provide more infrastructure, especially in terms of building more hostels to accommodate students; we also need more money to train more staff, though we are among the very few universities that have 60 per cent of staff with PhDs. “ We want to improve on that so that we can have better quality teaching staff. We need funds for our staff to attend more conferences, to be able to present their research papers and interact with their colleagues all over the world. “The little money we have is channeled towards improving the condition of the University, especially in terms of offices, laboratories, as well as equipment in the laboratories”, he noted. Ambali expressed optimism that the oil palm plantation, as well as others, like the Teak and Jatropha plantations, being embarked upon by the University, would contribute to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the institution in the future, saying that the plantation was established to serve as a laboratory for students in the Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry Department and other disciplines like Life Sciences, and even Engineering.

Ibrahim Bello appointed new emir of Gusau From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


overnor Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar of Zamfara State yesterday approved the appointment of Alhaji Ibrahim Bello (Sardaunan Wonaka) who also is the cousin of late Emir Alhaji Muhammad Kabir Danbaba to take the throne as the new Emir of Gusau. Speaking with Peoples Daily, the state Commissioner

of Information, Ibrahim Muhammad Birninmagaji said, the newly appointed Emir was born on 12th June 1954 in Wonaka under Gusau local government area, and is a grandson to Malam Muhammad Murtala who ruled the emirate from 1900-1916, a descendent of Muhammad Sambo the founder Gusau Emirate. Ibrahim Bello served as permanent Secretary in the Zamfara Civil service from 19982002 and a Commissioner

Ministry of Animal Health from February 2011- June 2011. He was also a principal School of Health Technology Jega and Executive Director Sultan Abdurrahman School of Health Technology, Gwadabawa all in old Sokoto State. Birnin Magaji further informed that, the newly appointed Emir is virtually a holder of Master’s degree in Health Education from the University of Manchester,

United Kingdom, and a registered nurse as well, adding that will be turbanned as 15th and 9th Emir of Gusau from the lineage of Malam Sambo Dan Ashafa who reigned from 18061827. A source close to the emirate leaked that the appointed Emir was successfully selected by the Kingmakers forum of the emirate among 37 contestants that indicated their interest earlier.

N22m scam: Delta Arewa exonerates Bafarawa, Tukur From Osakhare Erese, Asaba.


he Arewa community of Delta State has debunked a report credited to the social media, that former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Altahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa bolted away with the sum of N10 million allegedly donated by President Goodluck Jonathan during the community endorsement of the president by the northerners in southern Nigeria at a rally held in Asaba last week. The community also

dismissed the report that Alhaji Awalu Tukur Special Assistant to Governor Uduaghan also made away with the sum of N12 million grant allegedly given to the community by the Governor to host the President. A statement issued by the secretary of Arewa Initiative for Peaceful Co-existence in the State, organizers of the rally, Hon. Bawa Abdullahi at the weekend described as spurious, unfounded, baseless and malicious the report saying, it is capable of tarnishing the

image of the Arewa people and their leadership in the State in particular and Southern Nigeria in general. The integrity of the formal Governor of Sokoto State, Jagaban Yan Arewa, Alhaji Bafarawa who chaired the rally, the statement added was never in doubt as records had marked him out distinctively as a man of honor, philanthropist, Godfather who had contributed immensely to the development and growth of democracy in the country.

According to Hon. Abdullahi, Uduaghan’s aide, Alhaji Tukur has been loyal to his principal and has worked tirelessly for the growth of Arewa community in the State adding that the report which was the figment of the reporter’s imagination amounted to giving a dog a bad name just to hang it. However, the statement added that the report was the handiwork of the opposition who were intimidated by the rally and endorsement of the President by Northerners in the South.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

I’ll confront insecurity with grit, zeal – Buhari By Umar Muhammad Puma


he presidential candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed outrage and grief at the latest terrorist suicide bomb attacks in Maiduguri, which left at least 54 innocent people dead. In a condolence message issued in Abuja yesterday through his media campaign committee, General Buhari said the frequency with which terrorists destroy lives and property embarrassed

him beyond measure, and that tackling such indiscriminate violence would be on top of priorities once elected into office. According to him, the violence has achieved nothing good for anybody and that his administration would confront this insecurity problem with determination and remarkable zeal. The APC presidential candidate explained that nothing can justify this endless and brutal violence targeted at innocent

people, which has also destroyed the economic and social life of the people in areas where terrorists are notoriously active. General Muhammadu Buhari, however, called for increased vigilance among the people, saying the ease with which suicide bombers blend with lawabiding citizens and reach their targets undetected is disturbing. He explained that majority of the people have no idea about the features and characteristics of suicide bombers, and cannot,

therefore, identify such killers in their company. The statement extended Buhari’s condolences to the families of the victims of the latest terrorist attacks on Maiduguri. General Buhari has also condoled with families of the recent violence in Rivers State in which some unidentified gunmen attacked and killed APC supporter in the state. He said violence benefits nobody and, instead, it sets back the progress of the country.

Group endorses Wadada for Nasarawa west Senatorial race By Etuka Sunday


peer group, Target Club of Ugya (TCU) has thrown its weight behind the candidacy of Hon. Ahmed Wadada, for the March 28, Nasarawa West Senatorial race. In a statement issued by the public relations officer (PRO) of the club, Alhaji Haruna Usman and signed by its president, Alhaji Suleiman Yakubu, in Toto, capital of Toto local government council (LGC) of Nasarawa State, the club said it arrived at the decision after an emergency meeting held at Ugya. It said the decision was reached to declare unalloyed support to Hon. Wadada after careful vetting of the front runners to the Senate. It said in taking the decision, the club reckoned with the campaign style of Hon. Wadada which is devoid of empty promises but rather “delivering on mandate before getting the mandate.” He said: “to begin with, we have had Senators that purportedly represented us but never deemed it fit to honour us with their visits to canvas for our vote. They never thought we matter in this zone. But Hon. Wadada has broken the jinx. He not only visits us, but went to the remotest part of the local government to see and hear out those he wants to represent. For us, this is an honour we value so much,” it said. It also said it aligned itself with Hon. Wadada’s campaign style of coming to the aid of electorates by providing transport means to some communities, building bridges for others and grading of road for some other’s still. It said Hon. Wadada’s pragmatic approach to politicking had exposed the previous representatives as politicians who collected money on their behalf but never delivered.

2015: Group throws weight behind Jonathan From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


non political pressure group the Advance Progressive Forum (APF) has thrown its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan who is seeking re-election into office in the forth coming March 28th Presidential election. Speaking through the Chairman of the group Otunba Joseph Onasanya, the group claimed to have the numerical strength of over one million members in twenty-six states of the federation, and listed sixty projects that the Goodluck administration have embarked upon since assuming office noting that these projects have either been completed or in their final stages of completion. Among the listed projects of the Goodluck administration according to the group, are the resuscitating of the railway transportation system that has been in a state of inertia for the past forty years, the National Conference that saw the people of Nigeria from every ethnic groups, religious organization, traditional institutions including the civil society coming together to proffer the way forward for the Nigeria nation an attempt it noted by previous administration to convene such gatherings of Nigerians in the thirty years failed but was successfully convened by the Goodluck administration.

We’ll support Buhari if he wins presidency N/ Delta group declares By Umar Muhammad Puma L-R: Oyo state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ambassador Rufus Akeju, Head, Voters’ Education and Publicity, Mr. Ayo Fola and Administrative Secretary, Mr. Ebenezer Fakorede, during the launch of market outreach and road show on elections, yesterday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Polls: Gombe INEC sensitizes women From David Hassan, Gombe


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Gombe State has organized a workshop in order to sensitized women on how to conduct themselves during and after the forthcoming general elections. Speaking during the occasion of the opening of a one day work shop yesterday in Gombe organized by INEC for women and other disadvantaged groups held at Emerald Hotel in Gombe, the Resident Electoral commissioner Barr. Kassim Gaidam who was represented by the Admin secretary of INEC in Gombe Mr. Greg G. Tarkumbur stated that the

commission found it necessary to sensitize women to enable them have sense of belonging in the society, adding that the launching of a gender policy by INEC last year was a deliberate act to expand the space for gender participation in the political process. He said there is need for women gender participation in politics to enable them access electives offices. According to him, the involvement of CSOs in sensitization and mobilization on the electoral process has recorded tremendous success, adding that the commission has approved grants as well as voter education and publicity materials in order to sensitize

them at local government level. He enjoined the participants to contribute actively in the work shop being the first of its kind organized by the commission in the state. Presenting his paper at the occasion, director National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Gombe, Alhaji Mato Yakubu Dukku emphasized the need for women to play their roles as mothers, noting that their participation at the poll would ensure their recognition in the society Speaking further, he said participation of women in politics will give them the opportunity to reach the 35 percent promised elective position in governance.


x Niger-Delta militants under the platform of Niger-Delta Coalition (NDC) and Delta Coalition for Change (DCC) have vowed not to make any trouble if President Jonathan lose re-election bid, saying they will support Buhari if he wins the forthcoming presidential election. In a statement issued and signed in Abuja yesterday by Comrade Young Piero and Peters K. Asuluwa, the exmilitants assured Nigerians that major steps to ensure peace have been put in place in the region, even as it also called on political parties, candidates and their supporters to accept the outcome of the elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). “You will agree with me that Nigerians need a corrupt free government, our experience this past years made us to understand completely that there is no easy walk out of corruption anywhere, many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires, we must be participant to make democracy work, not simply observe” the group stated.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Do not be intimidated, return love for evil-ElRufai tells supporters From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna

K L-R: Lagos state APC Deputy Chairman, Mr. Omolaja Odumbaku, APC South West Leader, Mrs. Kemi Nelson, Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and Lagos State APC Governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, during the Lagos APC rally, yesterday at FESTAC, in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Poll: Jonathan, PDP, utterances close chance of free poll - Babankowa From Edwin Olofu, Kano


lder statesman, Ibrahim Babankowa yesterday said that recent statements credited to President Goodluck Jonathan, the first family and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party on the forthcoming general election has erased hope of credible, free and fair elections in Nigeria. Babankowa who was speaking with newsmen in Kano Sunday, said that recent comments and outburst credited to the first family and the party over the

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senatorial candidate for Southern Kaduna Senatorial District, Chief Danjuma La’ah has expressed dismay over the activities of some political hoodlums allegedly hired by the opposition to destroy his billboards, describing it as strange and a sad development in the politics of the zone. He stated this in a press statement signed by the Director of Media of his campaign organization, Mr. Luka Binniyat and made available to the press in Kaduna yesterday. According to Chief La’ah, “Southern Kaduna is known for its tolerance to all political views and affiliations, even the 2011 post presidential election skirmishes notwithstanding, but it has become imperative to bring to attention of the public a very disturbing and strange political development gradually being introduced into Southern Kaduna by, notably, a handful of unruly youths who are supporters of Dr. Ishaku Shekarau of the All Progressive Congress (APC)”.

forthcoming general election compromises the exercise. President Jonathan was reported by Nigerian media last week that he would not hand over to opposition, noting that such statements are “not statesmanlike from a man that benefits much from the system”. The former police chief further stated that “the summary of these unwarranted outburst from the President, his wife and party over the forthcoming general elections pointed clearly to a confusion that has sparked desperation on the side of those

who should strive to keep peace.” The front line ACF stalwart cautioned the sitting President that “we are in a democracy, and not military dictatorship, therefore views of the majority must triumph and must be so respected no matter which side of the divide one may belong”. He therefore advised the President to develop a big heart that would enable him accommodate the good and ugly side of life, pointing out that “such toughness defines a man on line of duty.” Commenting on the recent

attack on the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari by the First Lady, Babankowa described her conduct as “reckless and a disgrace to African value”. The retired police boss said that “the verbal attack on General Buhari explained the level of desperation among members of the first family all at the expense of our cherished values”. Walin Rigim advised Nigerians to continue to leave in peace, adding that the “union of multi ethnic nationality was not a mistake.”

PDP senatorial candidate laments destruction of billboards by suspected hoodlums The statement added that for no apparent reason, the thugs have so far destroyed his pricey billboards in strategic locations in Kafanchan, Kagoro and Samaru Kataf all in an attempt to lure La’ah’s overwhelming supporters into an unnecessary conflict. “They even have the guts to pull down the costly billboard of our aspirant right by our secretariat in Kafanchan, in a surprise and swift way like accomplished vandals. “In all these, Shetiman Kagoro has kept a firm stand to his supporters never to venture to retaliate, never to harass anyone, no matter what may be the reason. “While we treat the person of Dr Shekarua with respect, as a candidate for the exulted office of the Senate seeking to represent Southern Kaduna Senatorial Zone by never mentioning his person in any undermining way during our rallies and campaigns, we are inundated with reports of savage verbal attacks on the person of

Chief Danjuma La’ah in many of the campaign outings of our rival. “The audacity of Dr Shekarau’s team obviously ran into a ditch last Saturday when it provoked the sensibilities of very important personalities from Southern Kaduna, including the Governor of Kaduna state, Alh. Mukhtar Ramalan Yero at the Gwong Day Annual cultural celebration, at Fadan Kamanton, the birthplace of the late governor Patrick Yakowa. “With the Governor seated, VIPs from outside the state, top government officials, traditional rulers, clerics and an array of distinguished personalities, Dr. Shekarau’s convoy barged into the venue of the occasion with no decorum. “It is still not clear how he intended to make political gain by his late coming and disruption of the smooth running occasion. But his sudden appearance infuriated and shocked not only the official security at the venue, but everyone

including the peace loving people of Gwong who viewed the act as very disrespectful of their people. “His convoy was forced away from the venue, his rascally supporters chased away with their brooms, and sadly some irate youths broke the windscreens of some of their vehicles. “This is the kind of strange of politics that Dr. Shekarau team is introducing into Southern Kaduna. We therefore want to call on all our supporters and the entire people of Southern Kaduna not be drawn into a shameful act of reaction. “Chief Danjuma La’ah is a gentlemen and a man of peace who has invested heavily in Southern Kaduna and would do everything to protect it from an alien culture of hate and violence. We call on all the people of Southern Kaduna, to come out on the 28th March, 2015 and use their voting cards to vote for peace, development and respect for Southern Kaduna to end this show of arrogance.” The statement reads.

aduna State All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate, Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai yesterday in his home town, Zaria urged his supporters not to be intimidated by their opponents and that they should return love for evil. According to him, only almighty God gives power to whom he wish and at the appointed time. This was disclosed by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan in a statement issued in the state. El-Rufai who spoke in his ancestral ward of Kwarbai, Zaria on a private visit after multitudes of children on sighting him stormed the area along with women and men, expressed gratitude to the creator for the love showed him by the people. “I want to reiterate again, we should continue to be law abiding and peaceful because peace is paramount and hub of any purposeful development. Only almighty God gives power and it is from almighty God that we are seeking for this leadership and from people of Kaduna State. Because of God do not bother about blackmail, lies and intimidation, return love for evil and kindness for wickedness and remember that our lives and future are in the hands of God. “I am grateful for this kindness and honor and I want to assure you that we should continue to put faith in almighty God. We are deeply inspired and confident that God will not forsake us; he will continue to see us through this moment. “We are only in a competition, it is not war but a competition that will we will use in rebuilding a new Kaduna State where peace, development and unity will dwell if God give us this leadership. We have no one to lean on but almighty God, who is our creator and supreme. And so let’s keep faith alive,” he said. El-Rufai was well received as thrones of passionate supporters turned up, including men, women and children chanting, singing and filling the streets with human and vehicular traffic.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

March Polls: Propaganda, hate speeches but where are the issues? Analysis By Ali Abare Abubakar


ever in the political history of Nigeria has propaganda featured so prominently as now with particularly the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) resorting to the systematic manipulation of information to gain the upper hand ahead of the March 28 presidential election which has been variously described as the most keenly contested election so far, with the stakes arguably high. As the country approaches the 2015 elections, the signs are ominous. Never has the information system been so manipulated and saturated with so much propaganda and misinformation, to the point that real issues that should rightly be addressed by political parties and gladiators, have been jettisoned for the out rightly mundane. Propaganda, according to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, means information which is false or which emphasizes just one part of a situation, used by a government or political group to make people agree with them. Politically, the theory of propaganda could be traced to the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, was a known propagandist who invented the theory with the aim of cajoling the people, suggesting that propaganda and its apostles, apologists and advocates recognize the importance of people in society. Propaganda therefore has evolved into a trend in Nigerian politics, a country blessed with abundance of human and natural resources but for which despite these enormous resources at the disposal of the people saddled with governance, the country, according to the 2012 World Bank report, is on the brink of collapse; life expectancy has drastically reduced from 52 to 42; vision 2020 has become a mission that can never be achieved; unemployment is on the increase; illiteracy and maternal child birth on the high. Corruption is on the rise while the judiciary, the hope of common man, has been compromised. Judging from events unfolding within the political terrain, it is obvious that propaganda and hate speeches have become dominant in the actions of politicians and political parties, essentially geared toward persuading the electorate, more so with the contest becoming uncertain, particularly for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which for the first time, is facing the challenge of a life time as the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) prepares to take centre stage. When for instance, the presidential candidate of the ruling PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan was presented before supposed loyalists and supporters of the party across most northern states,

President Goodluck Jonathan the denial was astounding as the people shouted “Sai Buhari” to the chagrin of the president’s handlers. Instead of addressing this obvious disconnect, the PDP merely resort to propaganda in an attempt to distort an obvious fact. This calculated attempt to misinform Nigerians undoubtedly displaced critical issues the electorate would have preferred to be addressed; epileptic power supply, unemployment, corruption, insecurity, poor healthcare services, dysfunctional education sector, dwindling economic fortunes occasioned by the downfall in oil price as well as several other pressing issues that combine to make life unbearable to the ordinary citizen. The propaganda machine of the PDP assumed a life of its own shortly after the national convention of the APC in Lagos that saw to the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as its presidential candidate, with the ruling party setting out to deliberately misinform Nigerians allegedly in order to whittle down Buhari’s awesome support. Buhari as religious bigot This propaganda and deliberate misinformation by the ruling PDP has assumed a life of its own, with the sole aim of pitching northern Christians against the APC flag bearer. There was a calculated attempt to paint Buhari as a Muslim candidate, a fundamentalist and to discourage Christians from voting for him. Doyin Okupe, Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, who has always been the attack dog of the ruling party, described the APC presidential candidate as a religious bigot, adding that the former Head of State is a non-issue. “Buhari is a religious bigot and there is nothing he can do about that. He is not even a nationalist” Okupe wrote recently on his Twitter handle. On Buhari’s certificate Since the Nigerian Army came out to declare that it does not have photocopies of Gen

General Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari’s certificate as earlier claimed by the APC presidential candidate, the PDP has latched on to this revelation, dishing out misinformation to Nigerians all in an effort to discredit Buhari and to reduce his estimation before the electorate. The ruling Peoples Democratic Party and the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, insisted that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), was taking Nigerians for granted by not clearing his name of allegations of forgery and lying on oath. The ruling party said the presidential flag-bearer of the APC should clear the controversy surrounding his certificates. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, stated this in an interview with journalists recently, saying, “Gen. Buhari must tell Nigerians in clear terms where his certificates are. He should stop taking Nigerians for a ride. We demand he clears the air on this before the day of the election.” He said the retired army general must come out openly and clear his name “because you can’t give the people what you don’t have.” On its part, the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation alleged that the school certificate presented by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), was forged. The Director of Media and Publicity of the organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, made the allegation at a press conference in Abuja. He, however, added that the organisation had yet to contact the school that issued the certificate to either confirm or deny its authenticity. This is despite the confirmation by Buhari’s secondary school principal, Mallam Isyaku Bello that the certificate he signed was genuine. “If they doubt the result, then they should come and see

the authentic copy and not the photocopy sent to us by the Cambridge West Africa School. “We are here waiting for anybody doubting what we have sent out. We are not running away. Let them come and found out “Bello was quoted to have said. Nevertheless, Fani-Kayode still insisted that the documents, which were released by the Ministry of Education, Katsina State and the University of Cambridge, was fraudulently procured. He said those who authored the result must be arrested by the police and be prosecuted. “Our conclusion from all these is that the document purportedly released by the Government College (Pilot) Katsina, upon which the APC presidential candidate hopes to bury the doubt about his eligibility for next month’s election is forged, manipulated and fraudulently procured. It is therefore untenable in fact and in law. “We do not know who the authors and masterminds of this forgery are but whoever they are, we urge them to come forward and be identified. “If they fail to come forward voluntarily, we hereby call on the police and other security agencies to seek them out, find them, arrest them, interrogate them and prosecute them, in accordance with the laws of the land.” Fani-Kayode also called on Buhari to submit himself to the police to answer charges of perjury, alleging that the former Head of State lied on oath about his academic qualification. Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Organisation has said that it prefers not to respond to the provocations of Fani-Kayode, but rather engage him on issues that have the potential to bring the greatest good for the greatest number of Nigerians. A press statement signed by Director of Media and Publicity of the APCPCO, Mallam Garba Shehu, said it was laughable the PDP would not let-go of the educational qualification of the APC presidential candidate, even when the matter

had been exhaustively laid to rest. ““The APC and its candidate are in this presidential campaign to discuss issues that will improve the standard of living of Nigerians and ensure that the people of this country are properly secured. Whenever the PDP and its presidential campaign spokesman feel ready to join us on this noble path, we will not be willing to join them on petty issues,” Shehu said. He noted that these distractions are being promoted in order to provide a blanket cover over the shortcomings of the Jonathan administration in the areas of security, employment, war against corruption and infrastructure. “Nigerians need no telling that all these distractions and provocations by Jonathan, the PDP and their cohorts are aimed at ensuring that they escape scrutiny over their score card marked by insecurity, unemployment and rampant corruption,” Shehu said. On Buhari’s age The PDP has equally latched on the issue of age to try to undermine Buhari’s acceptability, hinting that he is too old to lead the country. Pastor of Flock of Christ Mission International, Warri, Delta State, Bishop Simeon Okah, arguably speaking the minds of supporters of the president, advised Buhari, 72, “to sit down because he is too old”. Okah who gave four reasons why Nigerians should not vote for Buhari, said, “At his age, I have the desire and cry for the youth of Nigeria. Buhari will not communicate with these young ones. He will not feel what they feel, I prefer a younger person to him, who is educated.” Buhari’s health When the APC presidential candidate saw it expedient to travel to the UK in the wake of the postponement of the general election, the PDP propaganda machine swung into action with the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign organization, Femi Fani-Kayode accusing the All Progressives Congress (APC) of trying to force a dying man into office to achieve ulterior motives. Femi Fani-Kayode has said that the leaders of the APC know that its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari has “prostate cancer, acute asthma and that he suffers from dementia” and as such wouldn’t last long in office if elected. The PDP spokesperson alleged that the major plan of the APC leadership is for Vice-Presidential candidate, Yemi Osinbajo to hand over to party leader, Bola Tinubu after Buhari’s likely demise. “Since the formation of the APC it has been an open secret that Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu is its national leader and also its biggest financier. The question that should agitate every Nigerian is why Tinubu has been investing heavily in the APC presidential project to such a point that he has single-handed produced the joint presidential ticket of Buhari and Osinbajo,” Fani-Kayode said.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Fayose: APC plans to shortchange north again From Jame Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Army, Hon. Mukhtar Betara (middle), sympathising with one of the victims of Biu bomb blast, during his visit to Biu General Hospital, yesterday in Borno state.

Incumbency, another factor for election violence-Polytechnic Don From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


takeholders in Bauchi have identified refusal to accept election results by contestants as the root cause of election violence in the country. The stakeholders yesterday made this known at the NEMA Gombe Zonal sensitization and awareness meeting on Dangers of Post-Election Violence held at the state Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) Office, Bauchi. A lecturer from the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Hamid Mohammed, also described

incumbency as another factor for election violence as, according to him, incumbents always regard wining election as their rights. Hamid told the stakeholders of the need for INEC to be impartial in the conduct of elections in order to avoid violence before, during and after elections. Also contributing to the workshop, Bauchi State Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Chairman, Rev. Joshua Maina attributed religion, politics and money as cause of violence during elections. Rev. Joshua Maina explained

that the electorates have the right to decide on the type of leader they want but not leave it to the powers that be for aggrandized interests. He enjoined religious leaders to be non-partisan and to preach divinity in the conduct of the people without recourse to financial benefits from any quarter. Head of NEMA Gombe Zonal Operations Office, organizers of the workshop, Saidu Ahmed Minin said the meeting is geared toward realizing the concept notes developed for the implementation of Nigerian elections risk preparedness and contingency plan

in line with the agency’s mandate. Minin, who described as disaster any security breach before, during and after election, said INEC after drawing lessons from 2011 post-election violence, constituted an inter-agency consultative committee on election to proffer solutions to election violence in Nigeria. He told the stakeholders that the meeting which targets youth, women group, and faith based organizations and CBOs has been divided into sub topics which include role of INEC in addressing elections violence.

We’ll create enabling environment for physically challenged people, Amosun From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


overnor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has pledged his administrations continued commitment in creating necessary enabling environment for stakeholders to collaborate with government in uplifting the lives of the less privileged in the state.

Amosun who made the pledge during an interactive session with Non-Governmental Organisations and Joint National Association of People Living with Disabilities (JONADP) in Abeokuta, noted that his administration would remain committed to the welfare of the people living with disability, adding that different programmes and policies had been formulated in the last three and half years to improve

the quality of lives of the people. Speaking at the forum, Wife of the Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun noted that the Senator Ibikunle Amosun led administration is sensitive to the plight of the less privileged in the state, particularly people with special needs and would continue to ensure equal opportunities for all the citizens. She enumerated the

achievements of her Uplift Development Foundation to include, uplifting the aged where over 1000 selected elders are given stipends monthly since 2012, uplifting the youth, uplifting the physically challenged, uplifting widows and women, among others. She commended other NGOs for supporting the less privileged since government alone could not meet their needs.

Maku denies members of APGA since 2013 By Evelyn Okakwu


ormer Minister of Information and the governorship candidate of theAll Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA), Labaran Maku has deniedallegation by one of Nigeria’s publications stating that he had been amember of the party since 2013. While describing the publication as the result of desperation and misinformation, Maku said he was only allowed a waiver to backdate

his membership of the party, after he was welcomed by APGA, who initially approached him with a governorship ticket. A statement from Nasarawa state APGA secretariat said: “The attention of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa State has been drawn to yet another mischief planted in one of the nation’s newspaper on the 8th of March, 2015 claiming that our governorship candidate, Mr. Labaran Maku, has been a card

carrying member of APGA since 2013”. “While we do not want to join issues with the PDP and APC in Nasarawa State, who have now formed an unholy alliance in the smear campaign against Mr. Maku, it behooves on APGA to clarify the issue and put the records straight”. “In line with the party guidelines, Mr. Maku was granted a waiver to contest on the platform of APGA which entailed back-dating his

membership of the party by one year”. “Based on the waiver granted Mr. Maku by the national leadership of APGA, the party filled his INEC nomination forms with the date that was shifted back to accommodate the waiver”. “Even though the waiver was an internal affair of APGA and accepted by INEC, out of desperation and trepidation, the opposition parties have gone to town spreading lies to misinform the public.”

he Ekiti State Governor, Mr Peter Ayodele Fayose has disclosed of a game plan by the South West All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to again shortchange the North just as former President Olusegun Obasanjo did in the case of nominating late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua from the North to replace him in 2007. Fayose who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi in Ado Ekiti at the weekend said the APC leaders were further encouraged by the mere fact that such a game plan succeeded as the power returned to the South barely three years after the exit of Obasanjo. According to him, the main reason why the APC leaders gave the ticket to General Muhammadu Buhari was their plan to make the 72 year old General who they believe would be too weak to go beyond 2019 to step down for the Vice President. Fayose who boasted that the APC cannot win the March 28 election said that part of the APC leaders’ game plan should Buhari wins the election is to begin propaganda two years to the 2019 general election on why Buhari cannot continue in office. In what look like a political landmine, Fayose explained that Tinubu and others have mapped out step by step propaganda that will portray Buhari as too old to continue as the President so that there will be clamour for his vice who could be the present pastor Yemi Osibajo or Tinubu himself to take over from as is been practiced constitutionally and conventionally. The Governor said, “It is very clear that APC and Buhari cannot win but we need to expose their game plan so that the North don’t fall into their deceit. “They have many options, and supposed Buhari lives beyond their imagination. “By 2017, they will begin by using the media to discuss the age of him; they will say he is too weak, old and sickly to go for second term. “They will say that Buhari’s vice who may be Osinbajo or Tinubu should step in. Their lawyers are there to raise constitutional provisions to back up their agenda.” Fayose stressed also that by doing so the Tinubu and southern planners would have successfully shortchanged the North of their entitled eight year stint at the presidency. The Ekiti Governor reminds the Northern political stakeholders of what happened in the case of the imposition of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua by Obasanjo who knew before hand that the ailing former President would not be able to complete his term which has now become an advantage to the southern part of the country and a shortchange to the north.

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N1.5bn Scam: Trial of Former Taraba Accountant General continues April 20 By Etuka Sunday


he trial of the former Accountant General of Taraba State, Joel Joseph has been fixed for April 20 to 24, 2015 for continuation of hearing. Joseph is being prosecuted

by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) for offences bordering on obtaining by false pretence. A statement by the Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren quoted Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court,

Jalingo, Taraba State to have so fixed the date. According to the statement, the accused person, who was arraigned on an 8-count charge in July 2014, allegedly abused his office and stole funds amounting to N1.5billion. He however pleaded not guilty and

was granted bail by court. At the resumed hearing of the case on March 5, a prosecution witness and chief accountant of the state, Bautn Isa, told the court how his office raised the alarm over irregular increase in the figure for salary payment approved by

the accused. He said as a result of the whistle blowing, a committee was set up to investigate the payroll which eventually confirmed that the former accountant general fraudulently inflated the wage bill of the state.

L-R: Lagos state APC Deputy Governorship Candidate, Dr Oluranti Adebule, Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, General Manager, Lagos Electricity Board, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, and Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of science and Technology, Mrs. Regina Obasa, during the inauguration of Lekki Peninsula Integrated Power project, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

CBN, NDIC at loggerhead over NDIC Amendment Bill

By Ali Abare and Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he two Nigeria’s leading financial system regulators; the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Deposit Insurance Cooperation (NDIC) are at loggerhead over the moves by the Senate to amend the NDIC Act to give more powers to the cooperation. This came to the fore yesterday during a one day public hearing held by the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions on the “NDIC Act 2006, Cap N102 LFN 2012 (repeal and re-enactment) Bill, 2015” at the National Assembly. Making a presentation at the public hearing, the Governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, cautioned against the proposed empowerment of the NDIC through amendment of the Act

establishing the cooperation. Emefiele, who was represented by his Deputy, Sulieman Barau, pointed out that the proposed amendment would end up creating instabilities in the nation’s financial system operation. While arguing that some of the powers which the Senate seeks to give to the NDIC amounts to usurpation of some of the fundamental duties of the CBN, even as he warned that this would result in anarchy in the financial administration of the country. He observed that part of the amendment proposals would confer executive powers on the NDIC to coordinate and supervise the Nigeria’s financial institutions without recourse to the CBN, adding that NDIC, being the undertaker, cannot seek to be a judge and prosecutor in its own case. This, the CBN said, would

make NDIC a parallel/coordinate regulator for banks like CBN; which will create overlapping regulatory responsibilities for the NDIC. Meanwhile, the amendments to the NDIC Act, included powers to licence banks, powers to supervise banks without reference to the CBN, power to determine the licences of banks and powers to assume a liquidator for banks. “It is pertinent to mention that all the above powers, which the NDIC seeks to assume and exercise, are ostensibly to ensure that it carries out its function as a risk minimizer and that depositors of distressed banks and other deposit taking financial institutions are paid in good time to avoid delays. “While the CBN supports the desire to pay depositors of distressed institutions in good time, the proposal to make

NDIC “the judge and juror” in cases involving banks is fraught with dangers and is a recipe for financial instability”, CBN said. However, the Managing Director of NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim, responded by stating that what the amendments wants to achieve is not away from its constitutional mandate, arguing that the amendments would guarantee sound and viable banking system in Nigeria. While noting that NDIC is not competing with CBN, he emphasised the need for the NDIC to have some level of operational freedom from the CBN as intended in the Act establishing it. “Yes, we may have disagreements here and there, we are not reinventing the wheel. I noticed from the presentation of Mr. Barau that apparently he may not be aware of the fact that a lot of these have been resolved and will be resolved.

“We are for collaboration, we are for the safety and soundness of the system. We are not in competition with the CBN. At the same time we cherish our own operational independence and we cherish our mandate as provided by our Act. Meanwhile, the Senate President, David Mark, represented by the Senate Leader, Victor Ndoma-Egba, declared the public hearing open by saying that the exercise was aimed at obtaining authentic information from various shades of interest and opinion to guide the Senate in its legislative action. “It is hoped that this exercise if successfully completed would produce results that are acceptable to the generality of our citizenry”, he said. Also, the Chairman Senate Committee on Banks, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions, Bassey Otu, said the amendments being proposed in the Bill is targeted at revitalizing and enhancing the operational framework of the nation’s financial institutions. This, he said, would strengthen their capacities in addressing challenges in line with international best practices.

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Military owes N700m electricity bill in Lagos

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ko Electricity Distribution Company (EKEDC) has reveals that the military formations under its network are owing almost N700 million. EKEDC, Chief Executive Officer Dr Oladele Amoda speaking at a media briefing in Lagos yesterday said the company has begin to engaged the military formations in discussions and working out modalities to recover the debt. He said between Nov. 2013 to date EKEDC has invested over N7billion to rehabilitate, sustain and do expansion of the networks. “We are focusing on loss reduction (Aggregate Technical Commercial and Collection Losses) which we have been able to reduce significantly from 35 per

cent when we took over to 29 per cent presently. “It is also imperative to state that the losses were actually more than 35 per cent when we took over and re-examined the assets. “In the next five years, we are working to reduce it to 10 per cent maximum,” he said. The CEO also reveal plans to procure 400,000 meters which will cost the sum of N3.9 trillion to serve other commercial and residential customers within its operations. Amoda that it has earmarked the sum of $15 million (2.92 billion) on maximum demand pre-paid meters to meet the demand of customers. He called on Nigerians to embrace the Credit Advancement Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) in

other to curb the much talked about estimated billing. He said that CAPMI provides a platform for willing customers to pay the cost of the meter into a dedicated account jointly managed by the DISCO and meter Vendor/Installer. According to him, once payment has been effected, the customer will have their meter installed within 45 days, by a NERC accredited Vendor/ Installer. Amoda said that it is better for customers to approach the DISCOs for advance payment and get metered immediately. “We want to eliminate estimated billing gradually, this is because meter is free but customers can either wait for our meter or advance us some fund and get a refund later under the

CAPMI. “We will meter them within 45 days, though our customers are not fully metered, but we have designed a robust strategy to metering our customers. We have metered about 3000 customers so far. “By month end, we should have a large consignment that will help us meter our customers. We will meter our customers with new smart meters. So, our customers should bear with us,” he said. On dwindling power supply from the grid, he blamed the situation primarily on gas pipeline vandalism which he said has been on the increase. Alternatively. He said that EKEDC is expecting about 170MW from off-grid suppliers like 13MW from First Power in Ijora,

another 40MW from Ogijo, and 100MWnfrom Egbin power plant. He said his company has sustained inherited network through rehabilitation of dilapidated assets. “Over 200No new distribution transformer and 3No 15MVA 33/11KV Power transformers installed. “10No 33kV new feeders and several 11KV feeders constructed in several locations. “We focused on improving customer’s service reorientation and gradual elimination of estimated billing through in-house metering. “Our greatest challenges include shortfall in generation capacity resulting from incessant gas pipeline vandalism. “Vandalisation of cables, transformers and other distribution equipment. Energy theft is not left out and by-passing of meters by customers,” Amoda added.

Oil rebounds from early drop on modest Cushing stock build


L-R: Chairman, Board of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Ambassador Hassan Adamu, Acting Board Secretary/ Director, Legal Dept., Mr. Belema Talibo, and NDIC Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, during the Senate public hearing on NDIC Re-enactment Bill, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

NCDMB seeks to partner ISPON on oil, gas software By Chris Alu


igerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) Executive Secretary, Dr. Ernest Nwapa has called for a continuous engagement between his agency and Institute of software practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON) for the application of local content policy in the software used by oil and Gas companies in the country. He stated this while delivery a keynote speech at this year’s president dinner of ISPON held in Lagos over the weekend. He said that local content is about things done in Nigeria and that his agency is today focusing on in-country value addition which

includes promotion of capacity and use of local resources among others. “In doing these we have been able to create robust local supply chain,” he said. According to him,’ implementing local in any sector of the economy requires a strong political will to enforce which contributed to the success my agency has recorded so far’. He cited a policy where Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in oil and gas are not allowed to supply anything to any oil company without evidence of manufacturing something in the country. “This is innovative way of improving processes. In communications technology sector you can insist

that certain percentage of software in use must be local,” he said. Nwapa expressed the readiness of his agency to collaborate with ISPON the way it has done with power sector to plug into its capacity building in training engineers for structural and other electrical and mechanical design in that sector. “A software engineer who wants to develop an application in the oil and gas sector have many Nigerians working in the sector that can explain to him what the operations are all about, which will guide him in that regard. We don’t have that big gap like before when Nigerians are not allowed in some operational areas in the oil and gas sector,” he added.

Earlier, Pius Okigbo Jr. president, ISPON, in his remark, said that local content by its very nature, is a deliberate policy focused on economic growth. “At its core is the principle of human development and the need to develop and deepen human capabilities as well as build the requisites skills at all levels of value chain. From inception, the Nigerian Local Content policy has been and continues to be focused primarily on engineering and successfully so.” He explained that within this space, exists a myriad of opportunities in software and related software services, the scope of which lies in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

il prices rose on Monday, rebounding from early losses, after market data firm Genscape reported a modest stock build last week at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery point for U.S. crude. A strong dollar, which hit 11year highs against other major currencies, and worries about U.S. crude inventories reaching another record peak last week weighed on prices earlier. The front-month contract in U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 jumped $1, or about 2 percent, to $50.61 a barrel by 10:58 a.m. It traded below $50 prior to the Cushing build data. The front-month in benchmark Brent crude LCOc1, down nearly $1 earlier in the session, turned positive, gaining 20 cents to $59.93 a barrel. Genscape reported a 157,000-barrel hike at the Oklahoma oil hub delivery for oil from Monday through Friday last week, a trader who saw the data said, adding that the “market expected a lot more” in builds. The data eased some concerns in the market about U.S. crude inventories having hit record highs for a ninth straight week from new builds. The government last reported a total inventory of gain of more than 10 million barrels for U.S. crude for the week ended Feb. 27, taking stocks to beyond 444 million barrels. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) analysts said in a note to clients that oil prices would reverse recent gains due to rising global inventories. They forecast U.S. crude would drop to around $40 a barrel. (Reuters)

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Seven million Glo subscribers’ sign into N27.5bn ongoing free airtime reloaded promo

Stories by Chris Alu


ver seven million Glo subscribers had signed up to the ongoing N27.5 billion naira worth of bonus free airtime overload reloaded promo. The promo was re-launched in January as Glo overload reloaded with expanded bonus of 400 percent bonus airtime for every recharge of N200 and above, up from the 200 percent bonus airtime initially given to customers for every recharge of N200 and above.

And in February ,subscribers took the advantage of the multifaceted benefits, including free airtime and joined the promo, the company said it has given out a total of N27,523,577,800 bonus airtime to customers so far. Under the overload reloaded promo, a subscriber who recharges with N200 receives a total value of N1000 automatically, which is 5 times the value of recharge. Any airtime recharge of N500 gives the subscriber N2,500 airtime value; N1000 gives N5000; N2000 gives N10,000;

while N5000 gives a whopping N25,000 value. The customer’s main credit can be used to call any network at any time of the day, while the bonus airtime can be used for Glo to Glo calls and SMS between 10pm and 8am, depending on the validity period of the recharge denomination, ranging from two to fifteen days. The bonus is also extended to the operator’s data subscribers. For instance, a subscriber who spends N2,500 on data plan subscription or renewal

automatically gets 4.5GB worth of data, N5000 gives the subscriber 12GB of data, and N8000 gives a whopping 24GB. Additionally, subscribers on the Glo overload reloaded promo platform will have a chance to become one of the 120 millionaires that the promo will produce. In addition to the 40 millionaires who have already emerged and been given their N1m cheques each, a total of 80 more winners will emerge in the weeks ahead. The company’s Regional

chief marketing officer, Ashok Israni ,stated over N30 million naira worth of gifts will be given out as embellishment prizes in the course of the promotion. According to him, these include modems, Nokia Lumia Smartphones, LED TV, HP Dual core Laptops, iPad Air and iPhone 6 devices. He explained that customers can avail themselves of the benefits of the promo by dialing *200# on their phones just once to start enjoying Overload bonus on subsequent recharges.

Concept Nova collaborates Konga on car tracking device in Nigeria


L-R: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtana Lamamra, addressing journalists during vice-president official visit to seek Algeria support the candidacy of Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister as the next president of the African Development Bank, yesterday at the Houari Boumediene Airport, in Algiers.

DStv now App gives out three bonus free channels


he DStv now App, has dole out three bonus channels; ShortsTV, Ginx TV and Eurochannel, that will only be available for a limited period. According to John Kotsaftis CEO DStv Digital Media, said as a pioneer at delivering content via breakthrough technologies, we do our best to get content that will captivate audiences across the continent. We are pleased to acquire the new channels for DStv Now and hope they will resonate with short film junkies, video gamers and European culture lovers. The programming line-up includes films with big stars such as Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, award-winning animations, and African short films. “At ShortsTV we are thrilled to expand our carriage in Africa with MultiChoice this March,” said ShortsTV EMEA President Jan Pieter Koene.

“Our short film programming is very well suited to the DStv Now platform and on-the-go viewing, and we are confident that the channel is a unique addition to the line-up.” Ginx TV is the world’s only 24/7 international video gaming television channel – offering the very best video reviews, news and features from the world of video gaming and video gaming culture. Based in the UK, the growing library of shows and videos are enjoyed by audiences both as a part of the Ginx TV channel on 26 million homes worldwide and in 9 languages, through syndication on other networks and services across the globe. “We are very excited to be taking this step into African markets. Video-gaming is now a massively mainstream leisure activity and it is fantastic that we are able to bring the channel to African gamers as part of

this exciting new offer from MultiChoice,” Commented Ginx CEO, Michiel Bakker. Eurochannel is an award winning television channel featuring premium European entertainment with the biggest stars; the channel is in English. Eurochannel presents only top-of-the-line European programming from recent blockbusters to critically acclaimed TV series. Experience Europe on Eurochannel through cinematic adventure, humor, history and entertainment, now offers local listings for DStv customers as well as local editions of its monthly digital magazine the Eurochannel Guide. “We’re thrilled to start offering our extensive and premium selection of European movies, TV series and music to the African audiences thanks to MultiChoice’s new OTT service DStv Now. All Eurochannel programs

will be available in English, so everyone is invited to take this emotional rollercoaster ride of non-stop European entertainment! To celebrate our launch, Eurochannel will offer an exceptional line-up in March, such as a music special on Grammy Award winner Sam Smith and a gripping British period drama starring 50 Shades of Grey’s Jamie Dornan - Shadows in the sun,” says Gustavo Vainstein, Eurochannel’s President. The DStv Now app is free to download and is available to all DStv customers. The video content on DStv Now is available exclusively to DStv Premium PVR customers and can be watched via an Android phone/tablet or iOS phone/ tablet. Relevant data costs will apply when streaming content. Shorts TV, Ginx TV and Eurochannel will be available for three months from mid March to mid June 2015.

oncept Nova, Nigeria’s foremost IT solutions company has launched a new innovative product called the Ti-kon Vehicle Tracker in partnership with Ms. Chidimma Onyeokoro, head of Strategy and Marketing, Concept Nova, said the innovative products launched are the largest online marketplace.” According to her, the Tikonvehicle tracking device launches is already on the well-known online shopping site and subsequently offline with selected franchise partners around the country. She explained that Tikon vehicle tracking solution will provides effective monitoring of vehicles’ daily Performance, as well as shows employees’ driving habits, all at the touch of a button via any GSM/GPS enabled mobile phone. The Ti-kon device is packed with the latest in tracking technology that gives one complete control of one’s asset which can be accessed all in real-time. Data monitoring from the device is provided every 10 seconds, viewable from a personal computer or smartphone. Ms. Onyeokoro further stated that the location of all customers’ assets can only be viewed by selected members of the Concept Nova technical team.

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NACIMA reiterates plan to strengthen international economic growth By Evelyn Okakwu


he Chamber of Commerce, Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has retreated its plan to boost economic trade with Nigeria and the international community. A statement from the office of the FCT chapter of the Chamber, said it made the information known during a cutesy visit to the

office of Sir Emeka Offor, the Vice Chairman, Chrome Group. According to the statement, president of the Abuja chapter of the Chamber, Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye stated that it is in the Chamber’s interest and principal objective to enhance trade promotion most especially among African countries. It said the Chamber cited the proposed collaboration with

Nigeria-Turkish University where ABUCCIMA would like to key into some of their curriculum for the benefit of our members. It further noted that the visit was to congratulate the Vice Chairman over his recent award by the chamber, in commemoration of his efforts towards economic development in the country. According to the statement, it was the first time the Chamber

honoured individuals that distinguished themselves in the society because of its belief that every such an award must be highly merited. It noted that the ward was given after a very rigorous selection process adding that the award was to encourage Sir Emeka Offor to press forward with the good work he is doing. The statement noted that Mr.

Ike Okpala, the Chief Operating Officer, Chrome Group said the company would find ways to partner with ABUCIMA in boosting economic growth. It also stated that former Senate President Sen. Ken Nnamani, appreciated the gesture by ABUCCIMA and stated that politicians should talk not only politics but also business, in a good way to move the country forward.

Expert advocates diversification of energy sources to boost industrial sector


L-R: Divisional Director, Large Scale Enterprises, Bank of Industry (BOI), Mr. Joseph Babatunde, Chairman, Lufodo Productions, Mr. Olu Jacobs, BOI Group Head, Creative Industry, Mrs. Uche Nwuka, and BOI Group Head, Corporate Communications, Mrs. Hadiza Olaosebikan, after a meeting between BOI and Olu Jacobs, recently in Lagos.

GEMS3 urges Nigerians to pay tax

From Bashir Bello, Kaduna


nongovernmental organisation, Growth and Employment in States, (GEMS3) has appealed to citizens to pay their tax to government to provide it with the resources needed for development. Kaduna State Manager of the organisation, Hajiya Aisha Mujaddadi made the plea in an exclusive interview in her office. Hajiya Aisha Mujaddadi also advised the state and local

governments to be executing projects and providing services to justify the tax being paid by citizens. She pointed out that the organisation has being partnering with Kaduna state government for the past four years in the enhancement of business environment so as to encourage entrepreneurship in the state. The GEMS3 Manager noted that Kaduna state government has been supporting the programs and projects of the organisation which has led to many successes in

various areas. Hajiya Aisha Mujaddadi also explained that GEMS3 has facilitated the acquisition of five thousand Certificates of Occupancy, CFO, by land owners in kaduna State. She further explained that the NGO has also helped in resolving various land disputes by liaising with relevant government ministries and agencies in the state. The Manager also noted that through the ‘tax-for-service’

initiative, GEMS3 has facilitated the execution of several projects particularly in markets with the aim of providing a conducive atmosphere for businesses to grow. GEMS3 is also involved in mass mobilisation of women by empowering and encouraging them to be self-reliant. In this regard, GEMS3 partners with the ministry of women affairs and other sister NGOs to identify their specific needs and challenges with a view of helping them.

Group lauds Jos East council electrification project From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos


group under the umbrella of Global Network for Peace in Nigeria (GNPN), has appreciated the executive Chairman of Jos East Local Government Council, General Samuel Aboki (rtd), over what

it described as his, “project of rural electrification.” The group in a statement signed by its director of contact and mobilization Patriot Atang Izang, made available to media men yesterday in Jos. He added the council under Abok has completed projects that have direct bearing to

the socio-economic and educational development of the People. He said the council has completed, “electrification projects in six communities in Shere and Fobur districts where economic activities by artisans have sprung up.” The release further stated

that the council has within one year sponsored forty five indigenes students of the local to study at the Government technical college Bukuru, as well another batch to study at the National power training institute in order to raise the standard of education in the area, amongst other gigantic projects.

he Director-General, Advocacy for Economic Integrity, Mr Abdullahi Aremu, on Monday advocated diversification of energy sources like coal, wind, hydro and nuclear in order to boost industrial sector. Aremu, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, said the diversification was necessary to stabilize power to run manufacturing plants for long period. “There is the need to urgently diversify the energy sources as excessive concentration on gaspowered stations constitutes a major risk to the power sector and the economy. “Government should focus on other sources of energy like coal, wind, hydro and nuclear,’’ the director-general said. According to him, the first step is to ensure that all the equipment necessary for the development of these sources are fully exempted from all forms of import duties, levies and taxation. Aremu said all power sector investments should enjoy a tax holiday of minimum of 10 years. “What is happening to the economy and the power sector inclusive is lack of political stability in our system. “For our economy to achieve optimum growth there must be stability to enhance sustainability both in the medium term and longrun expectation. “The greatest challenge, especially for the industrial sector is power crisis, this is why local manufacturers cannot compete with their foreign counterparts,’’ he said. According to him, some manufacturers spend so much buying diesel on daily basis to power their generators, yet estimated bills of huge amount are being given to them by electricity distribution companies. He urged government to grant manufacturers licences to generate their own power because refusal to give them approval to generate electricity for their own use would affect operations. “Aside from that, each state should generate its own power, rather than depending on the Federal Government. “The 36 states must be involved in electricity generation and distribution in order to have constant power supply. Generally, the power sector should be flexible like telecommunications,’’ he said. (NAN)

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Stock Watch

Report as at Monday, March 9 2015


Peoples Daily, Tuesday, March 10, 2015



Special Report

How one charity is working to prevent child sacrifice in Uganda


hild sacrifice in Uganda is more common than authorities acknowledge. Children disappear frequently, murdered or mutilated by witch doctors as part of ceremonial ritual. According to Ureport, SMS-based reporting system supported by Unicef and Brac: “10,317 youth in Uganda, representing every district in the country, confirmed they have heard of a child being sacrificed in their community”. A 2013 report from Humane Africa said that during their four-month fieldwork period from June to September 2012 there has been an average of one sacrifice each week in one of the 25 communities where the research was based. The practice is rooted in the belief that blood sacrifice can bring fortune, wealth and happiness. The “purer” the blood, the more potent the spell, making innocent children

Simple solutions like loudspeakers and bicycles can protect children from abduction by witch doctors, a UK NGO has found. Esther Smitheram who is a communications officer at Children on the Edge writes on rising child sacrifice in Uganda.

a target. Witch doctors look for children without marks or piercings, so many parents pierce their children’s ears at birth and get their boys circumcised in an effort to protect them. Children are either abducted from, or in some cases actually given to, witch doctors by relatives out of desperation for money. The rituals involve the cutting of children and the removal of some body parts, often facial features or genitals. These brutal acts are done while the child is still alive, and few survive. According to Ugandan police records, incidences of child sacrifice are on

the increase, with 10 cases recorded in 2013. The Ugandan Internal Trafficking Report estimated the number was 12, whereas first-hand interviews by Humane Africa detailed 77 incidents. Current research by KidsRights states that these varying statistics are most likely the “tip of the iceberg, as data is insufficient and the real scope of child sacrifice is not yet visible”. Evidence that reflects the true scale of the problem is hard to find, as many cases go unreported and, as a result of corruption in the police and judicial system, few perpetrators are convicted. Unicef stated that “task forces

... lack resources to convene and exist often in name only”. Masese II, a small community of displaced people on the outskirts of Jinja in eastern Uganda, has suffered many ritual attacks on its children. The police cite eastern Uganda as having the highest incidence of child sacrifice cases; and blame the high infiltration of unregistered healers. With little protection from the authorities, communities like Masese II were seemingly powerless. In partnership with a Ugandan NGO, Adolescent Development Support Network (ADSN), UK charity Children on the Edge

started a programme there in 2012, after an assessment identified the children in this slum as particularly vulnerable. The only industry at the time was the brewing of potent alcohol (waragi), which did not generate enough income for parents and carers to feed their children or send them to school. With many adults inebriated and a prevalence of grandmother- and childheaded households, children were particularly exposed to being taken. To bring the abduction rates down, a “child friendly space” was established in the community, using a donated local council building. This centre is a safe place, where children from the ages of three to six receive a daily meal, learn, play and receive care from trusted adults. When they reach primary school age their parents/carers are supported through income-generating schemes to enable them to send their children to school. As part of the project, a patch of land was donated to grow food for the children at the centre and to enable many adults from the community to develop agricultural livelihoods as an alternative to breweries. The most important component of the programme

has been the establishment of a community child protection committee (CCPC). At the height of a a spate of killings in July 2012, 10 responsible adults were identified within the community and were trained on all aspects of child protection. Part of this process was to raise awareness of the issue of child sacrifice, tackling the beliefs, mindsets and behaviour that sustain the practice. These workshops were held together with local leaders and police. The CCPC then began raising awareness of child protection issues within the community, holding meetings and visiting door to door. They were equipped with a loudspeaker system so that when a child went missing the community could be alerted. This, along with a bicycle so that members could immediately report cases to the local police, has proved to be a remarkable deterrent to the perpetrators. Children have participated in the process by helping to identify the area by the railway tracks where they are at most risk of abduction. Children used to collect scrap around these tracks, but the committee taught them to avoid it and not to wander too far from home. All of these measures have resulted in a rapid decrease in

Creating a child-friendly space for vulnerable children in Masese II community in eastern Uganda has reduced abductions in the area. abductions, with seven cases in 2011, eight in 2012 and no incident in Masese II in the last 18 months. The CCPC reports

that there was one attempted case nine months ago, when a four-year-old girl was taken, but she was “swiftly rescued by

community members”. ADSN programme manager Edwin Wanede says the CCPC has made an impact by building relationship and trust, while the government’s poster, radio and TV ads do not get the message through. This is because many poorer communities are illiterate, and people respond

better to the advice of their friends and neighbours, rather than that of strangers and authorities. With work in Masese II proving effective, Children on the Edge and ADSN have started developing the programme in two neighbouring communities. Two weeks ago, we heard that

Equipping the community child protection committee with bicycles meant they could report missing children to local police more quickly. Photograph: Edwin Wanede/Children on the Edge

Children on the Edge ran a social mapping workshop with children to show them the safe places to play.

The practice is rooted in the belief that blood sacrifice can bring fortune, wealth and happiness. The “purer” the blood, the more potent the spell, making innocent children a target. Witch doctors look for children without marks or piercings, so many parents pierce their children’s ears at birth and get their boys circumcised in an effort to protect them

two children in the Jinja area had gone missing. The mother found two skulls which she suspects are her children’s. Previously her partner had suggested one child be given to a witch doctor in exchange for 200 million shillings (£45,000). It’s clearly time to begin some work on replicating the Masese II project in other areas. One of these places is Wandagu, which is situated off a main highway and consequently prone to passersby stealing children. Isolated parts of the sugar plantations here also provide hiding places for perpetrators. Just four months ago a five-year-old girl was found murdered amongst the sugar canes, with parts of her body missing. A CCPC is already being formed here, and a few bicycles and loudspeakers bought. The hope is that soon the Wandagu community will form a safety net as strong as that in Masese II. Source: UK




PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Why radical reforms should be introduced in judiciary, by Ozoaka


he new NBA President on assuming office sacked some committees of the association like the Business Law (SBL) committee; but some lawyers who do not agree with that leadership style have gone to court to challenge him. What’s your take on this? I wouldn’t want to make much comment on that matter considering the fact that it is sub judice. The NBA President campaigned for that office, he presented his manifestos; there were also other contestants to the office, but was chosen by his colleagues to lead. Now, having accepted and voted him in as the one who should lead us at this point in time; and he thinks there are measures he need to take to achieve his vision for the association; why going to court? Personally, I believe in giving encouragement to the leader and wait for him to prove himself good and competent or otherwise; and the next election we take more informed decision based on his performance. To me, going to court is disparaging the steps he is taking to actualize his manifestoes. I believe that the association’s Section on Business Law (SBL) committee should be there, but if he feels he should be scrapped as has done, let’s give him the benefit of doubt and see how it will impact us positively. There are other things he has done which are quite interesting, even though I do not agree with him, but I don’t see it as enough reason to begin to challenge him unnecessary. What radical reforms do you want the 15th Chief Justice of Nigeria to introduce in Nigerian Judiciary? Nig e r i a i s o v e r d ue fo r a constitutional court. The CJN should appoint more Judges. If you go to the Federal High Courts you



ost of those in the group drive tankers of petrol, diesel or kerosene to and from Maiduguri the city at the heart of the Islamist insurgency in the north-east and the capital of Borno state. Gathered at the Ogere Trailer Park, about 50km (30 miles) north of Lagos, they say they have all been affected by the six-year conflict. “We are all concerned about the situation, we have all lost relatives, wives and children are kidnapped and houses have been burnt,” says Atiku Abubakar. Speaking in Hausa, he and his colleagues describe the perils of the route to and from Lagos. It takes two and a half days when a tanker is empty and four and a half

Barrister Max Ozoaka, is a constitutional lawyer of over 24 years and publisher of Nigeria’s foremost specialized Law Reports of the Supreme Court. In this interview, he bares his mind on why the 15th Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Mahmud Mohammed, is expected to introduce some radical reforms into the Nigerian Judiciary. Also, he touches on other sundry issues affecting the sector. Stanley Onyekwere reports.

Barrister Max Ozoaka will find a Judge having up to 16 to 20 cases in a day; it is obvious that these Judges are not coping, not because they are incompetent but the volume of work is too much for them. The CJN should build more courts and provide facilities for speedy administration of Justice; till today court proceedings are still been recorded manually. He should also ensure that Judges don’t compromise; there have

been reports and complaints here and there; though unfounded, of Judges compromising their integrity. He should also ensure that any Judge found to have compromised any Judgment is adequately disciplined. Another radical impact which the CJN is expected to make is to secure the independence of the Judiciary; this is one area where things are not comfortable in the

As a matter of fact I have gone to court over that and very soon it will become a public knowledge. The thing is clear, if I say that this thing is with me, when I know and ought to know that it is somewhere else; if I do that

Judiciary. This is also the basis of the recent JUSUN strike. I don’t feel comfortable that the Judiciary will depend wholly on the executive to get its financial funding. Any person depending on another for funding is not independent of that person. The CJN should strive to secure complete independence of the Judiciary from the other two arms of government. If the Judiciary becomes indeed independent, the judges will be emboldened to do their jobs without any fear of being starved of fund by the politicians. The storm stirred up by Buhari’s certificate saga is yet to settle. As a constitutional lawyer do you think that he has committed perjury? As a matter of fact I have gone to court over that and very soon it will become a public knowledge. The thing is clear, if I say that this thing is with me, when I

know and ought to know that it is somewhere else; if I do that under oath that is perjury. Now at the time he enrolled in the Army his certificates ought to be submitted to the military board, and if it was submitted; in my views, there is no reason why it ought not to be there, if the certificates of the other persons are there. So, who is fooling who? If he didn’t submit it, it is either that the certificates do not exist or they were submitted but was stolen from there; is our military such an establishment where documents as important as that can be taken away? In a circumstance as this, the onus is on Buhari to take a step further to prove that he actually submitted the certificate; but he has not taken such steps since the military board came out to deny him. Since all these are done under oath, it is undeniable that Buhari perjured.

Highways from hell: The perils of driving lorries across Boko Haram territory Nigerian truck drivers who have survived a journey through Boko Haram territory relax out of the sun under the porch of a building. days when full. They say it is dangerous enough without the militants to contend with as there are so many potholes. “Ten of my colleagues who ply this route have been killed in the last three weeks,” says Mr Abubakar. “The militants stopped them and cut off their heads with an electric chainsaw and burned the trucks,” he says. “Boko Haram is usually only

interested in commandeering smaller vehicles, sometimes the fighters will take the lorries, but most of the time they burn them.” Another truck driver chips in to say that if a driver looks “powerful” he may be kidnapped and conscripted as a fighter, but anyone looking “weak” will definitely “lose his head”. “If you reach Damaturu by five in the afternoon, you dare not continue on the final leg to

Maiduguri,” he says, explaining that a driver may not manage the last 130km before the sun sets, when they would be most vulnerable to attack. ‘Too traumatised’ The drivers tend to work for an owner who has about 20 tankers - each vehicle also has about two assistants to help with loading and guarding the cargo, known as motor boys. As the drivers and motor boys

ease into the conversation they begin to open up about how the insurgency has directly affected them. Driver Trap Bukar says he was in the town of Bama when it was captured by Boko Haram last September. “It started early in the morning. Suddenly they came. There was shooting, in my presence I saw four people go down; the soldiers fled,” he says. He lifts up his shirt to show what look like bullet scars on his upper torso.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


Boko Haram: DHQ accuses allied soldiers of ‘careless’ statements Stories by Joy Baba Yesufu with agency report


he Nigerian military has raised concern over careless talks and undue exuberance by some individuals from the military of neighbouring countries involved in the Multinational Joint Task Force, MJNTF, which have the implication of destabilizing the spirit of the joint efforts against terrorism within the sub-region.

Reacting to a purported statement in some media by officials from the MJTF that troops from Niger and Chad made deep incursions into Nigerian territory to battle Boko Haram elements, the Director Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, advised that it was necessary for officers from participating countries to beware of the terms they use while speaking with the press and also understand the implications of those terms.

Chief of Nava Staff (CNS), Admiral Ola Ibrahim

According to him, “The location in question has to be mentioned before one can confirm whether it is part of an assigned or authorised mission or an incursion as described. This campaign against terror only makes provision for collaboration and cooperation; not incursion into territories. I think there is a careless use of terms by some inexperienced people or officials eager to make impression without understanding the implications. There’s no allowance

for incursion here. “The truth is that there were some pre-emptive manoeuvres along an axis in the theatre. Nigerian forces were also involved. It is unfortunate if that is what this young man is reporting in this false and divisive way. He may have to be called to order to stop this exuberant attitude of misinforming people as this is not good for our collective efforts. We will take this up where it matters.”

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh

Terrorists’ pledge to ISIS means nothing – Army


he Nigerian Army has said that Abubakar Shekau’s pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State group (ISIS) amounts to nothing. Shekau had pledged his allegiance to ISIS via an audio clip posted on Twitter on Saturday, March 7. The army has however said that Shekau’s move changes

nothing and will not save him. “With or without allegiance to ISIS, the days of Shekau has already been numbered, ”Colonel Sani Usman, the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, said during an interview on the Hausa service of the BBC. “…because all the insurgents’ training camps and hideouts in the affected North-East have been destroyed, while the

terrorists have been routed from their camps and hideouts; and those who have escaped our cordon and search operations in the Sambisa Forest and the Lake Chad Basin Areas, are on the run, abandoning their operational vehicles, arms and ammunitions,” he added. “Shekau’s public allegiance to IS clearly indicates that he may surrender or be killed in the

ongoing joint military operations of Nigeria and three neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger,” Usman said. Usman also added that Boko Haram, was only attempting to strike fear and terror in the hearts of Nigerians. Experts have said that Shekau’s pledge of allegiance to ISIS is a final act of desperation and a cry for help.

Navy hands over 11 suspected oil thieves to EFCC


he Nigerian Navy has handed over 11 suspected oil thieves to the Economic and Financial Crime’s Commission (EFCC) for prosecution, an official said Monday. Navy Captain Noel Madugu, Commanding Officer, Forward Operating Base, Brass, said the suspects were on board the vessel “MT Redemption” which was arrested by Nigerian Navy Ship in Badagry. The commander said that the vessel was subsequently transferred to the Naval Base in Brass. The naval base is saddled with the responsibility of handling oil theft-related matters where the impounded vessel is currently held. Mr. Madugu said the vessel was laden with some 100,000 litres of stolen crude which weighed about 1,000 metric tons. He said the captain of the ship on interrogation, claimed that the content of the tanks and drum was bitumen. “The Captain of the vessel said that the cargo in the drum was bitumen but what we discovered was petroleum product suspected to be crude oil. “We subjected the products to laboratory tests on Jan. 20, 2015 at Nigeria Agip Oil Company laboratory and it turned out to be crude oil. “We have handed the suspects to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution. “A Senior Detective, Abraham Rege of the EFCC, was here at the handing over ceremony performed recently,” Mr. Madugu said. He said that MT Redemption belonged to Omar Oil Agency Ltd., a firm based in Tema, Ghana and owned by one Omar Sulleman. He said that the captain and crew members are all Nigerians. Mr. Madugu said MT Redemption concealed the products in some external tanks comprising of 5×1000 litres container and 28 drums on the main deck. He reiterated the command’s zero tolerance for oil theft and warned anyone contemplating disrupting the forthcoming elections to desist or have themselves to be blamed. The commander also urged the people to give the Navy useful information to clamp down on oil theft and illegal oil bunkering.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


FG partners AfDB, IITA to develop youth scheme for food security in Africa By Mohammed Kandi


n a bid to enhance quest for attainment of food security and to increase farmer’s income generation, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) has launched the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase 1 (ATASP-1). The ATASP-1, which was recently launched at IITA location in Abuja, is financed by AfDB to the tune of USD 170 million, a statement by Godwin Atser, a communications expert at IITA said.

It said the effort was geared towards creating additional incomes to an increased number of producers and entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector in Nigeria, and providing about 120, 000 jobs along the value chain of priority commodities. “An additional 20 million tons of key commodity food crops including cassava, rice, and sorghum will be added to the domestic food supply each year,” the statement said, adding that “A significant part of the project is developing outreach models with young entrepreneurs in agriculture—IITA youth agripreneurs.” The statement added: “This component will be implemented by IITA which has established a Youth Agripreneurs scheme at its

Headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State, and in DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia.” “The Agripreneurs are promoting agriculture among other young people in their regions through peer education, training and demonstration of agricultural best practices, and business skills in value chain development. “All over Africa, many young people are migrating to cities in search of business opportunities, leaving behind an increasingly ageing population. The challenge is to create business opportunities for productive activity in agriculture and non-farm enterprises,” said Dr Nteranya Sanginga, IITA’s Director General during the launch in an interview with reporters. “This project aims to build on

the youth model developed in IITA to change mindsets of young men and women and gainfully engage them in agriculture,” he added. AfDB’s Chief Country Program Coordinator, Andoh Mensah, explained that the project would capitalize on IITA’s participatory approach and would train and retrain young men and women along the commodity value chains. According to him, the ATASP-1 is part of the Bank’s efforts in contributing to the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Government of Nigeria, which aims to create 3.5 million jobs along key crop value chains. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina underlined that “Africa’s

L-R: Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Arc. Sonny Echono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina CON and DG IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga during the Launching of Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program 1 (ATASP-1) at IITA Kubuwa

Biotechnology will boost farming, alleviate poverty, says AFAN Chairman


he National Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Karbir Umar, has said the use of modern biotechnology will boost farming and alleviate the poverty among Nigerian farmers. Umar stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while commending the Senate for the passage of a bill seeking to establish the National Bio-Safety Management Agency. NAN reports that biotechnology is the use of modern scientific

techniques including genetic engineering to improve or modify plants, animals or micro organisms. The National Bio-Safety Management Agency, when established will regulate the application of biotechnology in the country and ensure that it does not have negative effect on human health and the environment. Umar said when the technology is applied; it would boost yields and increase income of farmers in the country. “This is a welcome development;

it will take our farmers out of poverty and also out of subsistence farming. “Biotech enhances the yields of seeds; with minimum input, it will produce the desired high quantity, which when sold will increase the income of farmers,’’ he said. The AFAN chairman said the association was partnering with local and international seeds companies to further increase seeds accessibility to farmers. He appealed to the Federal Government to open up more

windows for financing and the possibilities of processing all agricultural produce in the country. The chairman acknowledged that the Federal Government was making efforts to fund agriculture through the N220 billion micro, medium and small enterprise fund. He urged farmers to key into various government programmes and vote wisely during the upcoming 2015 general elections, saying that if there is peace and security in Nigeria, agriculture will replace oil. (NAN)

future millionaires and billionaires will make their money from agriculture,” as the governments marshal out plans to unlock wealth from the soil. He estimates that the bulk of this new wealthy population will be made up of young people adept at creating jobs for millions in each African country and bringing business opportunities to rural communities all across the continent. The Minister further enjoined the youth to stop seeing agriculture as a tool for development but as a business. He reasoned that agriculture is now an exciting sector. “Today, major local and international investors are investing in this sector. The number of seed companies alone has risen dramatically and the banks are lending to the sector more than ever before.”

6,808 Edo rice farmers benefit from FG scheme


o fewer than 6,808 rice farmers in Edo State had benefited from the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) Scheme during the 2013/2014 dry season rice farming in the state. Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Edo, Mr Wellington Omoragbon, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Benin. He said that the rice farmers in the state benefited from the scheme by redeeming fertiliser at 50 per cent subsidised rate. He said water pumps, rice reapers and threshers allocated to the state were also provided to the farmers at subsidised rate to enhance the dry season rice farming. According to him, 30 agro dealer redemption centres were created where these inputs are redeemed at subsided rates by registered farmers. “At the moment, farmers have redeemed 129,284 bags of NPK, 125, 351 bags of urea, 40, 012kg of maize seeds and 13, 348kg of rice seeds,” he said. He said government incentive was aimed at boosting production of agricultural produce to ensure self-sufficiency in food production. He explained that government was also determined to guarantee food security and stop importation of rice into the country. The director also said that the ministry had registered about 152, 110 farmers under the GES programme. Omoragbon gave the assurance that the ministry was ready and would continue with the registration of farmers, who were yet to key into the programme. He said the Federal Government was committed to farmers’ welfare and had made arrangement for the delivery of tractors and other farm equipment for 2015 farming season.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Agriculture US renews commitment to boost Nigeria’s food production


he United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at the weekend renewed the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting Nigeria in boosting her food production for export. USAID’s Mission Director, Michael Harvey said this in a statement by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Nigeria at the end of a four-day national workshop on food security. The statement said the workshop, which was jointly organised by the agency, Federal Ministry of Health and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, was meant to boost Nigeria’s food production capacity. The director said in the statement that the workshop was part of the U.S. government’s l ong t e r m e f f o r t t o s u p p o r t the National Food Safety Management Committee. It said the committee was put in place to promote a strong food safety regime to boost Nigeria’s export market as well as the agriculture sector. “We are pleased to have USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture work together with Nigerian counterparts to hold this workshop. “This training follows the inauguration of the InterMinisterial Committee on Food Safety and the National Food Safety Management Committee by the government of Nigeria in January 2015. “The training workshop involved a series of case studies on topics such as quality management systems, risk analysis, food safety modernisation act, and monitoring and evaluation procedures,’’ it said. The statement said that since 2013, the U.S. Government had been working with stakeholders in Nigeria’s food industry in reviewing the country’s national food policy. “These efforts have laid the foundation for the recently inaugurated committees that are charged with ensuring that food safety systems in Nigeria are on par with international best practices. “Interventions supported by the U.S. Government will improve food safety, thereby helping Nigerians to avoid food-borne and food-related illnesses,’’ it said. The statement said that the workshop was attended by participants from the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. (NAN)

A woman processing cassava into Gari

Nigeria gains N777bn from agric interventions T he Minister of Agriculture, Mr Akinwumi Adesina, said Nigeria gained N777 billion as income from various intervention programmes in the agricultural sector in 2014. Adesina made this known in Abuja while briefing members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture on the performance of the ministry’s budget in 2014. He said the money went to the rural economy of the nation as many local farmers benefitted from the interventions and were currently performing well in their farms. The minister, who also defended the ministry’s 2015 budget before the committee, announced that a crop insurance for farmers in the country. He said that no fewer than five million farmers would benefit from the programme, explaining that it was intended to build the confidence of farmers and encourage more people to farm.

“The main economic value of all the interventions that were done on rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, soy beans, cassava and others added N777 billion worth of income back into our rural economy. “This has helped to create significant amount of wealth for our farmers in the country. “As you know, we added about 21 million metric tonnes of food to the domestic food supply and that goes all over from rice to maize, cassava, sorghum, and to soy beans. “All of that has added an average of N777 billion of revenue back into the economy; that is money going back into the hands of farmers and communities,’’ he said. “If you go into many parts of Nigeria today, particularly if you go into the north, and particularly for rice farmers, for example, they will tell you that those that actually pay first to buy tickets to go to Mecca are rice farmers. “That tells you how much things have changed for them; we have

been able to create significant amount of wealth across the country from agriculture,’’ he added. Adesina disclosed that the agriculture sector witnessed a revolution in maize in 2014 with 14.9 million metric tonnes production from nine million metric tonnes recorded in 2009. He said that wheat industry witnessed a revolution with new varieties that yielded an average of six tonnes per hectare of land with 240,000 metric tonnes produced in 2014 ‘’on a 75,000-hectare’’. He said that the ministry had also liberalized the insurance market and opened it up for private sector companies to invest in insuring farmers, adding that the Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) had been completely revamped. “NAIC is now offering a new product which is called ’Planting with Peace’ so that our farmers will have access to crop insurance. “We are hoping to reach about

five million farmers by this year and then we can scale it up; it is a very important issue for us,’’ he said. Adesina said the milestone recorded i n the sector wa s responsible for reducing the food import bill from N3.3 trillion in 2011 to N634 billion in 2014. This, he said, was responsible for the stable prices of food in the country in spite of the devaluation of the Naira and the fall in oil prices. He said that the ministry utilized 100 per cent of the money released to it in 2014 and planned to make judicious use of its proposed N12.82 billion allocation for 2015. In his remark, the Chairman of the committee, Sen. Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP-Taraba South), said that the committee was satisfied with the budget implementation of the ministry. He, however, deplored the level of funding from the Ministry of Finance to the ministry and called for more funding to it. (NAN)

Indiscriminate logging worries farmers in Ekiti


armers in Ikole-Ekiti and its environs have expressed concern with the indiscriminate logging that is fast degrading forest and destroying their tree crops in the area. A cross section of the farmers expressed this concern in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ikole-Ekiti recently. The farmers said the illegal activities of some timber contractors, who cut down trees indiscriminately in the area, were becoming worrisome. They urged the Forestry

Department in the state to step up efforts to curb the menace, so as to reduce the level of deforestation and save tree crops from total destruction. Mr Ezekiel Ojo, a cocoa farmer, decried increase in the number of timber contractors indulging in the felling of trees with impunity in the area. Ojo warned that cocoa, Kola, palm trees and other cash crops in the area might soon go into extinction, if urgent steps were not taken to address the situation. “The indiscriminate felling of trees by timber contractors has started to cause conflicts, as some

of them infringe on other people’s farms without permission. “The perpetrators normally carry out their nefarious activities in the night and evacuate the logs before the day break,” he said. Mr Samson Olalekan, a farmer, said he had interest in cocoa cultivation but could not access fertile farmland that could make his dream come true due to deforestation. Olalekan said he planted 500 cocoa seedlings in 2013 raining season but only 150 survived the 2014 dry season, adding, “now, I cannot say how many will remain at the end of the current dry season.”

He attributed the problem to non availability of enough trees to provide cover for the young cocoa trees, stressing that cultivating tree crops in the area was now a difficult task. Madam Funke Abutu, a widow, said her cassava farm was destroyed in 2014 when an unidentified person cut down a tree near her farmland, which fell on the cassava farm. Abutu said that no person claimed responsibility for the act and called on timber workers to find other means of livelihood other than destroying people’s farms for their own selfish interest. (NAN)

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


Page 30

Highways from hell: The perils of driving lorries across Boko Haram territory Contd from page 26


could tell you many unhappy tales,” he says, with tears in his eyes. But he suddenly gets up and leaves the group and his colleagues say he is too traumatised by his memories to continue. Kullima Ali, 18, who has been a motor boy for four years, says he is now his family’s only bread winner. He says it is very difficult to tell the militants from soldiers, as they dress in camouflage with only their eyes visible. “They stole some food, killed my two brothers and burned our house in Maiduguri in January 2013,” he says. “There’s only my

mother and my sister now.” He says he had wanted to go and study science, but he is unable to afford to continue his education. ‘Scared’ “Many of the drivers have good qualifications,” says Umar Hussaini, 18, a motor boy who helps his driver brother. He introduces me to Ibrahim Abdullahi, 25, a former university student who had been studying civil engineering at the start of insurgency. He has been working as a trucker for the last five years as there are few other employment opportunities for young men, especially in the areas affected by the conflict.

Drivers and motor boys at Ogbere Trailer Park in Ogun state, Nigeria

behind him. “The killings are too much and have been going on for too long,” says his colleague Mr Abubakar.

“President Jonathan is not doing anything. We hope he will leave - we want change.” Source: BBC

The drivers can spend several weeks at Ogere Trailer Park as they wait to get clearance for Lagos port “Yes I am scared, if there was other work I would find another job,” says Mr Abdullahi. All the truckers express anger about the six-week postponement of the 14 February presidential election and are vocal in their criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s handling of the conflict. Some even refer to him as “the chairman of Boko Haram” - seeing him as complicit in the group’s growth over the years. Others say his complicity lies in his neglect of north-east. “President Jonathan is just as guilty as those Boko Haram killers because he has chopped off all the money to repair the roads,” Mr Abubakar says. Life is now a constant financial struggle for them, he adds. For each trip, a driver gets a 10,000 naira ($50,

£33) living allowance but this might have to last for several weeks as he waits at Ogere Trailer Park for clearance to go into Lagos port to collect cargo. Most of the truckers get a monthly salary of between $100 and $200 and the motor boys receive

$2.50 a day. Saleh Mohamed, a driver who has just arrived back from Lagos port with his shipment of petrol, sits down with the group under the porch looking exhausted. “I spent four days in the queue in the traffic to the

port - I haven’t slept for four nights because I had to watch out for thieves as they remove parts from the vehicle or steal the gas,” he says. But he is only taking a short break of a couple of hours as he is anxious to put the coming dangers

While there, they are able to get their vehicles checked over

All the truckers express anger about the six-week postponement of the 14 February presidential election and are vocal in their criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s handling of the conflict. The truckers sleep outdoors in areas organised by the state - and there are mosques in some sections


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

People milling round in a junkyard, at Karu, in Abuja.

CP urges installation of CCTV in homes, public places By Stanley Onyekwere


ommissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command, Wilson Inalegwu has enjoined private citizens and corporate organisations to install ClosedCircuit Camera Television (CCTV) in their homes and places of business to help in effective policing in the Territory. He noted that installation of CCTV in homes, public places would boost the resolve to maintain a peaceful territory as a way of further promoting investment in the society. The CP who made this known

at the weekend, during an I-Nigerian organised interactive media chat in Abuja, explained that the cordial relationship among all security agencies in the FCT is helping to achieve the objective of zero criminality, according to a statement obtained by PeoplesDaily from PRNigeria News Release. In order to ensure that criminals driven away from the FCT do not find safe havens in the neighbouring states, he said he was discussing with relevant authorities to foster a working relationship with commissioners of police in the seven states. He revealed that he has

scheduled a meeting with leaders of Fulani communities to further enlist their help in minimising or even eliminating incidences of robberies and cattle rustlings. He therefore reassured residents of the territory that they are safe and that everything necessary was being done for them to continue to live peacefully. Furthermore, the CP disclosed that the command organised a specialised training for its officers and men, as part of efforts towards ensuring the conduct of peaceful, free and fair elections within the FCT. He added that in the spirit

of inter-agency collaboration, other security agencies were also involved in the training. Inalegwu who was a senior peace keeping officer with the United Nations until he was recalled in 2007, noted the experience he gathered at that time has been very useful since he was appointed to the present position on September 15, 2014. He noted that already, a peace accord had been signed by youths of original inhabitants, okada riders, market women, traditional and religious leaders as part of efforts to ensure that the

National Assembly elections that will hold within the territory. The Police Commissioner said he met last week with all the mosque imams where the religious leaders unanimously expressed desire for peace before, during and after the general elections and that he will meet with representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) during this week for the same purposes. To this end, he said dozens of stolen vehicles and illegally acquired weapons have been recovered by officers and men of the command in the course of their operations.

FRSC to destroy 400 rickety vehicles impounded in FCT


he Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has said that it would destroy more than 400 rickety vehicles it impounded in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The FCT Sector Commander of the commission, Mrs. Susan Ajenge, disclosed this in a recent

interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja. “Rickety vehicles are menace on roads and should be taken off the roads; they breakdown at any time and distort flow of traffic. “We have been sensitising motorists on the need to take such vehicles off the roads. While some

heeded the advice, others are adamant. “Over 400 rickety vehicles have been impounded in the territory in the last six months, waiting for the FCT Minister’s approval for destruction. “The FRSC is part of a Task Force on cleaning of FCT, our

role is to remove rickety vehicles from all roads in the territory,” Ajenge said. The commander advised owners of such vehicles in the territory to either refurbish them or move them out of Abuja to avoid seizure. NAN recalls that the Corps

Marshal of the FRSC, Mr. Boboye Oyeyemi, had directed sector commands nationwide to rid the roads of rickety vehicles. Oyeyemi said the measure was part of efforts to keep the roads safer and reduce road traffic accident in the country. (NAN)


Photo Splash

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Men loading iron rods into pick-up vans, yesterday at Games Village, in Abuja.

A driver carrying aluminum door on the roof of his car, yesterday at Central Area, A pick-up carrying building materials, yesterday at Area 10, in Abuja.

Scavengers on the move, yesterday at Zone 4, Lugbe, in Abuja.

People Democratic Party (PDP) supporters at a political rally, recently in Abuja. Photos: Joe Oroye


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


Priority projects in FCT to gulp N12bn By Stanley Onyekwere


he Federal Government will in 2015 fiscal year expend a total sum of N12 billion on national priority projects in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). According to the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who disclosed this, the sum of N2 billion has been earmarked for the provision of engineering infrastructure to Kyami District along the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway (Airport Road). He added that the sum of N2 billion has also been set aside in budget for the

work on extension of Inner Southern Expressway (ISEX) from Southern Parkway to Ring Road II. A statement by Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister Muhammad Sule, the minister made this revelation last week, while presenting the 2015 national priority budget to the House of Representative Committee on FCT at the National Assembly Complex. The Minister disclosed that the sum of N2 billion has also been proposed for the designing and construction of National Assembly Presiding Officers Residences. He also disclosed that the

sum of N1.75 billion has been proposed for rehabilitation, renting of office Space for displaced staff and provision of additional security measures for United Nations Building in Abuja this fiscal year. According to the minister, the sum of N850 million is being proposed for the contract for the completion of roads B6, B12 and Circle road in the Central Business District, Abuja. The Minister remarked that the sum of N850 million has been earmarked for the provision of engineering infrastructure to Guzape District Lot I & II, as well as N300 million for addendum

contract for the complimentary engineering infrastructure facilities to the FCC stage II. Mohammed emphasised that the construction of Usuma Dam, Gurara road will get N1 billion this fiscal year as provision of engineering infrastructure to Abuja Technology Village, Phase I gets N200 million. He added that the sum of N300 million has also been earmarked for the on-going construction of Cultural Centre and Millennium Tower at the Central Business District this year. Responding, the Chairman of the House of Representative

Committee on FCT, Hon. Emmanuel Jime appreciated the progress being made in the Territory as it concerns infrastructural development. The Chairman particularly lauded the way the budget is being structured to service ongoing projects; stressing that this would not allow FCT get abandoned project.

NGO to stage walk against terrorism, electoral violence


Young girls hawking sachet water, at Karshi, in Abuja.

Bala reiterates support for foreign missions to build embassies By Stanley Onyekwere


ederal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) will continue to support foreign missions in the country to construct their embassies and residences in Abuja, the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has restated. He said that his Administration would continue to encourage embassies in the country to develop their plots of land in Abuja to enable them relocate

and settle down to perform their statutory roles to foster bilateral relations with Nigeria. Mohammed gave this assurance at the weekend, while receiving the Ambassador of Republic of Japan, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji that paid him a working visit in his office, Garki I District of the Territory. Specifically, the minister promised to amicably resolve the problems surrounding the Japan Embassy plot at the

diplomatic enclave in Abuja to enable the embassy commence development in earnest. He appreciated the support Nigeria, and particularly the FCT has been receiving from the government of Japan especially in the areas of education, health and most recently in power sub-sector. “The Federal Government under President Goodluck Jonathan cherishes the support and collaboration of the members of the diplomatic community in the country and

would do everything possible to make their stay more comfortable,” the Minister stressed. Speaking earlier, the Japan Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, appealed to the Minister to help resolve the lingering problem of his country’s embassy plot at the diplomatic enclave in Abuja, to enable them start development. The Ambassador reiterated that Japan would continue to support the people and government of Nigeria.

he Youth Alliance for Greater Africa Foundation (YAGA), a Non-Governmental Oganisation (NGO), has said it would organise a united walk against terrorism and electoral violence, in Abuja, the nation’s capital. National Coordinator of the foundation, Mr. Gabriel Ashibi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that the event would feature participants from all sectors and that about 500 people were expected to partake in it. According to Ashibi, the walk was part of a project tagged: United Voice Against Terrorism and Electoral Violence; and that it was in collaboration with the coalition of civil society groups. He said the exercise was expected to take off from Apo Bridge to Eagle Square and was slated for March 14 and March 15. Ashibi said the group was involved in things that had to do with governance, leadership and elections, adding the foundation had done projects such as voter education before the recent postponement of the elections. The coordinator commended the Nigerian Military for the success they had so far recorded in their campaign against the Boko Haram insurgents. “On that basis we call on all Nigerians to encourage the military and speak with a united voice to boost their morale,” he said. Similarly, the Project Manager of YAGA, Olabiyi Oluseyi, described the current distribution of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) by INEC as ``very encouraging’’.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Money Sense

Six Ways to know that you might be a spendaholic

By Dr. Boyce Watkins


he world wants to be a big time consumer. Black people are among the worst, since many of us are not raised to appreciate the idea of holding onto the money that we make. Instead, many of us turn right around and hand that money back to our oppressor. A spendaholic is a person who wants to move forward financially, but always ends up with empty pockets. It’s like an addiction, where money burns a hole in your wallet and you find yourself going through the tragic ups and downs that come with never having enough money to do anything you want to do. It’s all in fun, but here are a few ways to know that you might be a spendaholic: 1) Do you wake up at the end of a weeklong shopping binge wondering “Where did my money go?” – Not keeping track of how you spend is an easy to way to end up broke. When it comes to your money, it’s always important to know where it’s going and where it went. Budgeting is a good place to start. 2) Do you usually end up eating beanie-weenies and Ramen noodles the week before you get paid? Most people live paycheck-to-paycheck, which can be stressful, since losing your job could make you

homeless overnight. Find a way to scrape 10% off of your income every time you get paid into an automatic savings account that will protect you during the dry times. You might think you can’t save, but that’s typically

because you haven’t learned the difference between wants and needs. There are people who live on less than you do. 3) Every time you spend up your paycheck, you swear you are not going to go through

that again, but you repeat the same cycle: The psychology of money is one that can cause us to go from feast, to famine, back to feast again. A good way to avoid this kind of chaos in your life is to try not to spend right after

you get paid and to refrain from using credit cards. By forcing yourself to remain on a cash budget, you can more closely track what you’re spending. 4) Do you pay enough money in overdraft fees to fund the Pentagon? Overdraft fees are an easy way to end up financially busted. Banks are experts at using your bad habits against you, charging massive fees for even the tiniest overdrafts. 5) Does spending money make you feel better? If you’re bored, do you respond to your boredom by pulling out your wallet? In this case, spending money might be a coping mechanism with deep emotional ramifications. Pay attention to how your mood changes when you spend money or when you’re broke; it might give you insights into your personality. 6) When you get a large sum of money, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think about how you can invest and turn that money into more money, or do you think about some kind of material possession that you can purchase? If you’re the kind of person who sprints to the mall when you get your tax refund, you might be a spendaholic. Knowledge of self is the first step toward conquering the world. Don’t let the power of money control you; you should be controlling your money instead.

…and how to curb compulsive spending By J.D. Roth


y name is J.D., and I’m a spendaholic. Now admittedly, I mostly have my spending under control. I’m no longer in debt, and I force myself to make conscious decisions about what I purchase. (Conscious spending is one of the keys to overcoming emotional spending.) Having said that, I know that if I relax for even a moment, I’ll be right back in my old habits. I’ll find myself at the grocery store, buying magazines to soothe a bruised ego, or shopping for music in the iTunes store because I had a stressful day at work. How do I know I’ll relapse if I’m not careful because I do from time-to-time? When I returned from our trip to Europe last fall, for example, I spent a weekend buying clothes and gadgets that I didn’t really need. I Though I’m a recovering spendaholic, I’m still a spendaholic. I’m always one step away from compulsive spending. Confused relationships with

money People who have never suffered from compulsive spending can’t understand the problem, and you may have a hard time explaining it to them. They don’t know what it’s like to see something and feel the urge to buy it now. They don’t know the lure of the shopping “rush” and the subsequent nausea from the guilt having spent too much. “Overspender have confused and confusing relationships with money,” write psychologists Brad and Ted Klontz in Mind Over Money. “On one hand, they’re convinced that money and the things it can buy will make them happy; yet they’re often broke because they can’t control their spending.” Fortunately, I’ve learned some ways to cope with emotional spending. Though I’m still tempted, I don’t spend nearly as much as I used to because I’ve developed habits that help me do the right thing, even when the right thing is difficult. Here are some steps I’ve

learned can help people overcome emotional spending: • Cut up your credit cards: If you have a problem with compulsive spending, destroy your credit cards now. Don’t make excuses. Don’t jot the account numbers someplace “just in case”. Don’t rationalize that you need them to help your credit score. If credit cards fuel your emotional spending, you’re better off without them. • Carry only cash: Don’t use your checkbook or a debit card. Inconvenient? Absolutely, but that’s the point. If you’re a compulsive spender, your goal is to break the habit. To do this, you’ve got to make sacrifices. Spending cash is a way to remind yourself that you’re spending real money. Plastic (and to some degree checks) make this connection fuzzy. • Track your spending: You may not even be aware of how much you’re spending. When I let my emotions rule my financial life, I had no idea how many books I was buying, for example. But once I started tracking every dollar that

came into and went out of my life, patterns became clear. When you see your spending patterns, you can act on them. • Play mind games: For some people, money isn’t an emotional issue. They’re able to make logical choices and not be tempted to otherwise. They’re lucky. For most of us, however, it doesn’t work that way. If you’re in this majority, find ways to play tricks on yourself. You might train yourself to use the 30-day rule, for instance: When you see something you want, don’t buy it right away; instead, note it on your calendar for 30 days in the future. If you still want it in a month, consider buying it. I’ve found that I can keep myself from buying a lot of stuff by simply putting it on my Amazon wish list. I come back later and wonder why I was ever tempted! • Avoid temptation: Speaking of temptation, the best way to keep from spending is to avoid situations that tempt you to spend in the first place. If your weakness is music, stay out

of record stores and de-activate your iTunes account. If you tend to overspend at big department stores, stay away from the mall. Avoid the places where you normally spend, especially if you’re under emotional stress. • Ask for help: There’s no shame in asking for help if you’re having trouble with your spending. Talk to a close friend or family member, and ask for support in breaking the cycle of compulsive spending. You may even want to seek professional help. But remember: If you ask for help, don’t get angry when your counselors call you on your missteps. Listen to what they have to say. The good news is that you can break free from emotional spending. The bad news is that it’s going to take work, and it won’t happen overnight. You’ll make mistakes and backslide, but when you do, don’t give up, and don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re human, after all. Stay focused on your long-term goals, and resolve to do better next time.

Page 35

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


ANALYSIS By Jack Hewson


odrigo Gularte has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, but his illness may not stop a 12-man firing squad. Jakarta, Indonesia - Rodrigo Gularte spends much of his days conversing with an absent person, alone in his cell. His fellow prisoners believe he talks to ghosts. Black magic is greatly feared in Indonesia and most inmates avoid the 42-year-old Brazilian - one of a minority of foreigners held on the prison island of Nusa Kambangan in Central Java province. But according to doctors, the ghosts he talks to are in fact voices inside his head. Gularte’s sanity has steadily deteriorated since being sentenced to death in 2005 for smuggling 6kg of cocaine into the country, sealed inside surfboards. Last year his family, assisted by the Brazilian embassy, arranged for a group of specialists to evaluate his mental health. Psychological assessment reports seen by Al Jazeera show that after visiting him twice monthly between July and November, they concluded he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. “Now Rodrigo lives in an unreal world,” his cousin AngelitaMuxfeldt says. “He was first diagnosed with depression and bi-polar disorder when he was 16, but he’s never accepted treatment or medication. So it’s very difficult.” Most pertinent among his delusions is that Indonesia has abolished the death penalty. “He doesn’t believe he could die. One of the voices tells him he will be extradited and that he will go home,” Muxfeldt says, speaking to Al Jazeera by phone from Cilacap town, near the prison where Rodrigo is being held. But this is not true. New Indonesian President JokoWidodo, best known as Jokowi, has made executing drug convicts - particularly foreign nationals - a policy priority since taking office in November. Between 1999 and 2014, 27 people were executed, an average of fewer than two executions per year. But within Jokowi’s first 100 days in office in January, Indonesia executed six people - the highest number in the previous six years. A further nine are expected to be put to death in the coming days or weeks, including Gularte. 12-man firing squad Andrew Chan and MyuranSukumaran, the alleged lead members of the “Bali Nine” - a drug-smuggling syndicate caught attempting to take 8.4kg of heroin out of Bali in 2005 - were moved to the Nusa Kambangan prison facility in recent days, along with convicts from France, Ghana, Nigeria, the Philippines and Indonesia. At an imminent but undisclosed date, they will be taken from their cells in the middle of the night, led to a jungle clearing, and shot to

Will Indonesia execute a mentally ill Brazilian?

AngelitaMuxfeldt, a cousin of jailed Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte, is fighting to halt his execution [AP]

A photo of imprisoned Rodrigo Gularte [Provided by family]

death - each by a separate 12-man firing squad. The Brazilian embassy has made efforts to have Gularte’s life spared, but relations with the Indonesian government have been strained since fellow Brazilian Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira was executed last month for smuggling cocaine. President DilmaRousseff withdrew her ambassador and refused to acknowledge Indonesia’s new ambassador, Toto Riyanto, after reports that Moreira was dragged crying from his cell, and was refused religious counsel in his

final moments. It seems all that stands between Gularte and a similar fate is the conclusion of a small team of psychiatrists sent by the Indonesian attorney general’s office to assess his condition last Tuesday. To save the Brazilian’s life it is vital that his illness be recognised. In accordance with Article 44 of the Indonesian penal code, a person who has a mental disorder cannot face sentencing. Executing anyone suffering from mental illness is also prohibited under international law. ‘They’ll think I’m crazy’

But Muxfeldt is concerned the state-appointed psychiatrists who came to visit her cousin were only given two hours to evaluate him. She says during her cousin’s consultation he refused to admit to hearing voices and did not understand he was talking to a doctor. “I said to Rodrigo ‘why didn’t you tell them?’” she says, her voice cracking with frustration. “And he said ‘no, if I tell him that then they’ll think I’m crazy.’” The attorney general’s office could not be reached for comment by the time of publication, but has reportedly said there remains “uncertainty” over Gularte’s mental health. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights could also not be reached for comment. Regardless of the eventual decision, rights campaigners say that from the beginning Gularte’s treatment has demonstrated the calamity of Indonesia’s legal system. “Rodrigo has been mentally ill since he was a teenager,” says HarisAzhar, coordinator of Kontras, a Jakarta-based human rights NGO.

Women’s angst stems from a quivering political will that the Afghan political leadership has demonstrated in the past decade on the issue of women’s rights and status in this male-dominated society.

“You cannot try a mentally ill person, and the court failed to establish that he had a mental condition. These are major failings. He does not speak Indonesian, he did not have a lawyer - you cannot claim that he faced a fair trial.” Tales of corruption and incompetence abound on every tier of Indonesian law enforcement, and concerns remain over the use of the death penalty in a system that consistently fails to deliver justice. Rights advocates say it is because of a lack of a proper legal process that Gularte’s mental instability only now is being brought to light. And if the courts fail to acknowledge Gularte’s condition, there may be little hope for him. Defiant president So far Jokowi has remained defiant in the face of international pressure to grant clemency - refusing to pardon any of the 58 foreign drug convicts on death row. “I need to say [this] firmly ... there should not be any intervention regarding the death penalty,” Jokowi told reporters last month. “It is our sovereign right to exercise our law.” Threats of minor diplomatic sanctions appear to have delayed the latest round of executions, pushed back from February, but the president seems determined to continue as planned. In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera, Jokowi said the death penalty was necessary to combat Indonesia’s “drug emergency”. “Now we have 4.5 million people in rehab and at least 1.5 million people who cannot be cured. I don’t want Indonesia’s next generation to be ruined,” he said.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Page 36

International Flabba killing: South African rapper ‘stabbed by girlfriend’


UN peacekeeper killed in attack in Mali’s Kidal


hree deaths reported in northern city, a day after blast in Bamako restaurant killed five people, including UN experts. At least three people, including a UN peacekeeper, have been killed in an attack near the northern Malian town of Kidal. Dozens of rockets and shells were fired towards a UN base just outside the desert town early on Sunday, and at least one of them fell on a Tuareg camp, RadhiaAchouri, a UN spokesperson, told Al Jazeera from the capital Bamako. “It was a terrorist attack of a very complex nature, in the sense that they used mortars and shells from different locations; from the north and the south of the base,” she said. “They launched at least 30 mortars at the camp and some of them landed inside the camp, which explains the casualty among our men and the civilians as well.” The attack near Kidal came just a day after an attack on a restaurant in Bamako killed five people, including a French citizen and a Belgian security officer with the EU delegation in Mali. Two international experts with the United Nations Mine Action Service were among the nine people wounded in the Bamako attack, according to the UN peacekeeping mission to Mali, MINUSMA. Three Malians were killed in the attack in and around Bamako’s La Terrasse restaurant, which is popular with expatriates, the Malian government said, describing Saturday’s attack. Mali’s desert north, where French forces wrested control of territory from separatist rebels and al-Qaeda-linked fighters, is plagued by frequent political violence, but Saturday’s attack was the first in years in Bamako, in the south. France has more than 3,000 soldiers in West Africa as part of a counter-insurgency force against al-Qaeda-linked fighters. Mali’s government has signed a preliminary peace proposal meant to end fighting with northern separatists, but the Tuareg-led rebels have demanded more time before agreeing to any accord. The French embassy in Mali said on Saturday it had alerted its citizens and tightened security.

Flabba (front row, left) was a member of popular 1990s hip-hip group Skwatta Kamp

woman has been arrested in South Africa for allegedly stabbing and killing a wellknown local rapper. NkululekoHabedi, known as Flabba, 38 died, in his home in Alexandra, a Johannesburg township. Police have told the BBC that his girlfriend will be charged with murder and will appear in court “within 48 hours”. Mr Habedi became popular after he joined award-winning rap group Skwatta Kamp. South Africans have taken to social media to send their condolences to his family and friends. The BBC’s PumzaFihlani in Johannesburg says Skwatta Kamp, founded in 1996, were seen as the pioneers of South African hip-hop, featuring local street slang and rhythms. The group had hits such as uMoya and Clap Song.

South Africa: An economy under threat?


few years ago, BRIC became BRICS with the addition of South Africa. But Africa’s second largest economy is not in good shape: the South African economy only grew 1.5 percent in 2014, its slowest pace since 2009. One factor was the labour strikes in the mining sector, but more recently, power cuts have become a serious issue. In fact, things looked so bad for the country’s largest power generator Eskom, the South African government had to provide a $2bn bailout. The financial services group Efficient believes the economy has lost $25bn since 2008 because of electricity shortages, or, put another way, one million jobs which are desperately needed in a country where unemployment is at 25 percent. There are concerns on how all this will impact South Africa’s National Development Plan, which is looking to spend $72bn over the next three years on infrastructure. And on top of all that, South Africa’s debt status could be cut to junk by the ratings agencies and the finance minister needs to slash the country’s public-sector wage bill. So, what will it take to switch South Africa’s lights back on? Is South Africa at the brink of a serious crisis? And what can be done do to stop the downward slide? Al Jazeera’s Erica Wood reports from Johannesburg; and Ben Kruger, the co-chief executive of Standard Bank, talks to Counting the Cost about the state of the South African economy. T he E u r o p e a n Ga me s , a

new event on the international sporting calendar this year, will have its inaugural outing in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, in June: 50 countries, 20 sports, and 6000plus athletes. But Azerbaijan, like so many nations dependent on commodities, has got some problems right now. Oil makes up 95 percent of Azerbaijan’s exports and 75 percent of its revenue. So with the price of oil as low as it is, that spells trouble. The currency has been

devalued by one-third, budgets are tight - all at a time when Azerbaijan wants to show off its capital city to the world. Simon Clegg, the chief operating officer of Baku 2015, spoke to our sport presenter Joanna Gasiorowska about the importance of these games to Azerbaijan. It has been well-documented how so many of our smartphones and other gadgets are manufactured in China these days. But Vietnam is emerging as

an alternative to China, with its tax incentives, and cheaper workforce. While carmakers are showing their newest models at the Geneva Motor Show, tech giants Apple, Google and Uber are developing their own autonomous vehicles. Can they challenge the big players in the car business and how will it impact the traditional car industry? Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault Nissan, talks to Counting the Cost about the future of the car industry.

The BRIC nations, Brazil, India, China and Russia, once aimed to distance themselves from the economic woes of the West.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

Page 37


Bali Nine: Families visit Chan and Sukumaran on prison island


he relatives of Australians Andrew Chan and MyuranSukumaran are visiting them for the first time on the Indonesian prison island where they are to be executed. The fate of the men, who were ringleaders of the “Bali Nine” drugsmuggling gang, will be decided by a final appeal this Thursday. They were moved to Nusakambangan prison last week to face a firing squad. They were arrested in 2005 attempting to smuggle heroin out of Bali. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott: “We deplore the death penalty” Chan’s mother Helen and brother Michael, who visited him regularly when he was in prison in Bali, have travelled to Nusakambangan along with Sukumaran’s parents Sam and Raji, and other relatives as well as Australian consular staff. Michael Chan told reporters before leaving the island that they were looking forward to seeing his brother. “When we get over there, we’ll give him a hug,” the Associated Press quoted him as saying. Sukumaran’s brother, Chinthu, said they had been “counting down the days” until the visit.

The BBC looks at the prison which has been called “the Alcatraz of Indonesia”, where condemned prisoners are executed by firing squad “We’ve been told he’s doing well, so we just want to see him for ourselves, just to make sure, and let him know that we love him,” he told AFP news agency. Speaking on Monday morning,

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Australian government was “continuing to do what we can”, but added he was “not in the business of peddling false hope”. “I’m in the business of assuring the Australian people that your government is doing everything we can to stand up for our best values and our best interests,” he said. Indonesian President

JokoWidodo, who strongly supports the death penalty for drug dealers, has refused to grant Chan and Sukumaran a presidential pardon. An appeal last month to overturn his decision was rejected. In a lastditch attempt to avoid the death penalty, lawyers for Chan and Sukumaran will go to court on Thursday to appeal against that rejection.

The families took a boat to Nusakamabangan on Monday

Abbott: Australia ‘sick of being lectured’ on migration


ustralian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said the country is “sick of being lectured” by the UN over its treatment of asylum seekers. It comes after the special rapporteur on torture said some aspects violated the convention against torture. Australia detains all asylum seekers who arrive by boat, holding them in offshore processing camps. Rights groups have criticised

conditions on Manus Island, where asylum-seekers are held. In a new report to be tabled to the UN Human Rights Council on Monday, the rapporteur, Juan Mendez, investigated allegations of torture and abuse in more than 60 countries. In Australia, he highlighted some cases where the authorities had failed to provide adequate detention conditions, end the detention of children, or prevent

Thousands of asylum seekers have risked the perilous sea journey to Australia

escalating violence and tension at Manus Island. This meant Australia had violated the right of the asylumseeker to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, the report said. The Australian government has rejected the report. When asked about the UN’s findings, Mr Abbott told reporters: “I really think Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations, particularly, given that we have stopped the boats, and by stopping the boats, we have ended the deaths at sea.” He said hundreds had drowned at sea as the people-smuggling trade flourished under the previous government. Mr Abbott said stopping the flow of people coming to Australia by boat, mostly through Indonesia, was the “most humanitarian, most decent, the most compassionate thing you can do”. “We have stopped the boats and I think the UN’s representatives would have a lot more credibility if they were to give some credit

to the Australian government for what we’ve been able to achieve in this area,” Mr Abbott said. When asked about conditions on Manus, Mr Abbott said: “All of the basic needs of the people on Manus Island are being met ... everyone’s needs for food, for clothing, for shelter, for safety are being more than met.” One of the allegations investigated by Mr Mendez is the intimidation and ill-treatment of two asylum-seekers after they gave statements about violent attacks at Manus. He found their rights were in fact breached. He also found that two government changes to immigration legislation risk violating international laws prohibiting torture. The report found violations in more than 60 other countries including in the US for the 30-year imprisonment of a mentally ill man on death row. It also raises alarm at the proposed deportation of several individuals from the UK to countries that engage in torture.

among farms in the city of Sumoto on Awaji Island. The man who was arrested was identified as Tatsuhiko Hirano, according to KeizoOkumoto, deputy chief of the Sumoto police

department. Violent crime is relatively rare in Japan. Okumoto said such incidents are unusual in Sumoto, a city of 44,000 people known for its oranges, onions and Awaji beef.

Elderly Japanese killed in stabbing spree


uspected detained after killing of five people ranging in age from 60 to 80 in rural town on Awaji Island, police say. A 40-year-old neighbour of the victims was arrested

in connection with Monday’s attacks. The motive was unclear. Media reports said the victims ranged in age from 60 to 80 years old and lived in two houses set

Asia & Middle East

India suspects charged over Nagaland mob lynching


olice in north-eastern India say they have charged 42 people in connection with the lynching of a suspected rapist who was taken from prison by a mob. Syed Sharif Khan was stripped naked by the mob, beaten and dragged through the streets before being hanged in Dimapur, the main city in Nagaland state. Hundreds of policemen have been patrolling the streets of Dimapur since the incident amid increasing tension. A curfew was also imposed in the city on Sunday to maintain law and order. In earlier reports, Mr Khan was named as Farid Khan, but police have now identified him as Syed Sharif Khan. Police said Mr Khan was a Bengali-speaking Muslim trader from the neighbouring state of Assam. He was arrested in February on charges of raping a 19-year-old tribal woman three times. Mr Khan’s brother said he was picked on because of ethnic reasons. According to reports, the woman was related to Mr Khan by marriage. After Mr Khan was taken from prison on Thursday, he was dragged through the streets by thousands of people. Police opened fire to try to stop the mob, wounding several people. On Monday, police said the arrested men had been charged with rioting, arson and unlawful assembly. “Some of these 42 arrested men were also directly involved in the lynching, and will face additional charges,” news agency AFP quoted Inspector General of Police WabangJamir as saying. There are conflicting versions of how a large mob entered the prison and then removed - and killed - one selected inmate. One version is that initially a small group of men went to the prison, and demanded to take out Mr Khan, and that some prison officials complied and led them to him. Only later, several thousand people collected outside the jail, demanding that the prisoner be handed over to them. The lynching happened in the midst of a controversy in India over the government’s decision to ban India’s Daughter, a documentary about the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student in Delhi. But correspondents say the killing is also linked to rising ethnic tensions in Nagaland, whose indigenous tribespeople have blamed migrants from Assam state and Bangladesh for settling on their land. Vigilante justice is not unheard of in India but it is rarely seen on this scale.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

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International Europe and Free schools: David Cameron Americas The occupier’s pledges 500 more by 2020 guide to Cyprus


further 500 free schools would be opened in England in the next five years under a Conservative government, David Cameron will pledge. He will commit to creating an extra 270,000 school places in free schools, if re-elected, by 2020. The prime minister says these state-funded, start-up schools are “raising standards and restoring

discipline”. Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt says free schools lead to school places where they are not needed. Speaking in London, Mr Cameron will set out the details of the final wave of 49 free schools agreed for the current Parliament, and then promise an expansion if re-elected in May’s general election.

Free schools, both primary and secondary, are set up by academy sponsors, charities, teachers and groups of parents, and operate outside local authority control. Academy sponsors include faith groups, universities and companies. With the free schools being announced later, there will be more than 400 already opened or approved, with 230,000 places.

David Cameron, pictured with Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, will promise an expansion of free schools

But the policy has been controversial because there is no local strategic oversight of where these schools open, and some have opened in areas where there are already enough school places. Equally some local authorities in areas where new schools are needed have struggled to find groups to open free schools. Mr Cameron will say that the Conservatives are the “only party that’s opening up the education system so we can get more good places for your children”. He will say that free schools “are not only outperforming other schools, but they are raising the performance of those around them, meaning more opportunities for children to learn the skills they need to get on in life”. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that 70% of inspected free schools had been rated good or outstanding. When questioned about the impact of free schools on neighbouring schools and whether it justified their expansion, she said free schools were a “huge success story”. “We know from our own evidence that 72% of free school heads say they are having a positive impact on local schools in their area, they are driving up standards and they are giving parents more choice about having a great local school in their area,” she said.

James Molyneaux: Former UUP leader dies


ormer Ulster Unionist Party leader James Molyneaux has died aged 94. His political career spanned more than three decades. He joined the party in 1946 and went on to become one of its longestserving leaders from 1979 to 1995. At the end of World War Two, he was among the first British troops to enter the newly liberated Belsen concentration camp in Germany. He was knighted in 1996 and was granted a life peerage in the 1997 Birthday Honours list, becoming Lord Molyneaux of Killead. Fifty-six years after the liberation of Belsen, former Ulster Unionist leader Lord Molyneaux returned to location of the concentration camp in Germany. Ulster Unionist Party leader

Mike Nesbitt said: “He brought a stability to the unionist party at a time when it was much needed. “Times were fraught, not just in terms of the exceptional level of barbaric terrorism that was being imposed upon the people of Northern Ireland, but this very difficult political situation where the then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher was persuaded to sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement with the government of the Republic of Ireland, which was incredibly destabilising for Northern Ireland.” Lord Molyneaux was MP for South Antrim from 1970 to 1983 and for Lagan Valley from 1983 to 1997. He was a quiet man of politics, but a very genuine gentleman who gave great leadership to the Ulster

Unionist Party at a time when it was riven by division” End Quote Lord Kilclooney Former Ulster Unionist MP In 1979, he succeeded Harry

West as UUP leader. He held his party together in the face of a continued challenge from the Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley.

Latin America’s longest war has killed 220,000 people and displaced millions over 50 years [Reuters]

Snow-hit Bulgaria regions declare state of emergency


ulgaria has declared a state of emergency in the snow-hit Rhodope Mountains after

conditions worsened in the regions of Smolyan and Kurdzhali. Three skiers, all young Bulgarian

Three skiers died in an avalanche whilst apparently skiing offpiste in the Pirin Mountains [AFP]

men, died in an avalanche whilst apparently skiing off-piste in the Pirin Mountains, a range in southern Bulgaria, bordering Greece. The avalanche risk remained high because of recent heavy snowfall. The snowfall has brought down trees and cut the power supply to at least 800 settlements. Although the storm has disintegrated, another 20cm of snow could still fall in the mountains of southern Bulgaria before the cloud finally breaks. The rivers were rapidly rising, and with the snow already thawing,

flooding would be the next problem. In the capital, Sofia, it started snowing on Thursday morning and it hasn’t stopped since. In the following days, the sun has not been seen, the breeze has been light and the temperature has hovered around zero. About 36cm of powder now lies on the ground, and finally, the snowfall has nearly stopped. Snow has fallen extensively and heavily in the Dinaric Alps, over the Hungarian Plain, in the Carpathian Mountains, the Rhodope and Pindus ranges and especially in the Balkan mountains.


henever my septuagenarian Turkish acquaintance Mustafa imbibes a certain amount of raki, Turkey’s national alcoholic beverage, he feels compelled to recount once again the story of his participation in the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish military. In Mustafa’s raki-fuelled version, the operation’s swift success - which led to the deaths of thousands of Cypriots, both Greek and Turkish, and Turkey’s occupation of two-fifths of the island - was largely the result of his own military prowess, enabling the recuperation of a vital component of the Turkish empire. The reality, of course, was a bit different - and the Turks’ imperial interests weren’t the only ones at stake. In a 2008 essay for the London Review of Books, British historian Perry Anderson writes that “political responsibility for the disaster [in Cyprus] lay with those who allowed or encouraged it”. The US, he notes, is often regarded as the primary culprit, with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger assisting in the coordination of the Turkish advance as part of his perceived international anti-Communist duties. Indeed, Cyprus was - and still is - of substantial strategic interest to Washington, particularly in its role as an offshore intelligence facility for surveillance of the Middle East. But the overall blame for the “dismemberment” of Cyprus, Anderson contends, lies with the British, who officially relinquished their colonial hold on the island in 1960. Having pursued a long-term campaign to provoke Turkish enmity vis-a-vis the Greek Cypriots, the British then refused to halt the 1974 invasion despite being obligated to do so by a treaty they themselves imposed. The words “divide and conquer” come to mind. Furthermore, the curious form of “independence” granted to the island has entailed continued British control over 250 square kilometres of territory constituting two military “Sovereign Base Areas”, as well as a host of additional “British-retained sites”. On a recent visit to the United Nations buffer zone in Cyprus, I learned that these crucial sites include an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a sports field. The island-wide buffer zone, viewed by some as the dominion of yet another occupying force, divides the Republic of Cyprus from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - the latter unilaterally proclaimed in 1983 and recognised only by its Turkish sponsor. Among the more famous of the UN’s projects in the country is the Annan Plan, named for the former UN secretary-general and designed to sort out the reunification of Cyprus in time for its accession to the EU in 2004. The plan was shot down by Greek Cypriot voters, however, and Cyprus entered the union in its rather unique state.

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

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Strange World

Desperate mother who killed three disabled children is released after three months

Tania Clarence was under incredible strain when she killed three of her own children


desperate mother who killed her three severely disabled children has been allowed to her family home four months after pleading guilty to their manslaughter. Tania Clarence was overwhelmed by an incredible amount of strain as a result of looking after the three children and was detained in a psychiatric hospital. She admitted killing her threeyear-old twin sons Max and Ben and daughter Olivia, four, on the grounds of diminished responsibility. Her husband, Gary, was in South

Africa when news of the deaths took place and he has stood by her throughout the horrific ordeal. Mrs Clarence declined to comment when approached by the Mail on Sunday for comment while Mr Clarence said: ‘Okay, fine’ when told an article would be published. Mr Justice Sweeney said the mother was suffering ‘unbearable pressure’ in looking after the children, adding that she was a loving and caring mother. The Mail on Sunday printed pictures showing Mrs Clarence with a girl believed to be her surviving daughter outside her home in New

Malden, Surrey, where the killings happened. Clarence, who admitted to manslaughter by diminished responsibility for the killings, was sentenced in November to an indefinite hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act, meaning she will not be released from hospital until she has recovered from mental illness. ‘You devoted yourself to providing optimal care for your children, suppressing your feelings of distress and sadness by focusing on their needs,’ said Mr Sweeney. ‘Your increasing distress when witnessing the various medical interventions required, and the constant demands placed upon you in the absence of emotional support from others, entirely overwhelmed your psychological resources. She had given up her job as a graphic designer to care for her children, who suffered from the muscle-weakening condition SMA type 2, and had repeatedly clashed with medical experts on their treatment. Her investment banker husband Gary had taken their eight-year-old daughter on holiday to South Africa for the Easter holidays when his wife carried out the killings at the family home in New Malden, and said in a statement issued by his solicitor outside the court that ‘lessons need to be learnt’ from the tragedy. ‘Tania’s depression was certainly not assisted by the constant pressure placed on the family by some individuals within the medical profession and social services who could not agree with Tania and Gary Clarence’s stance of prioritising quality of life for their

Baby starved to death in apartment after mother ‘took overdose’

Sara and Casey Kessler were found dead in their apartment (Picture: Facebook)


9-month-old baby boy was found dead in an apartment up to two weeks after his mother took her

own life. Casey Kessler was discovered by mother Sara’s brother who had not heard from her for several days.

It also emerged that neighbour William Gonzalez had heard Casey crying at the flat in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but did not think anything of it. He told the Pittsburgh TribuneReview: ‘If I was closer to the noise, I would have done something. I didn’t

know. I feel so guilty. I feel so bad. ‘The thought of that little kid running around after she died … looking for food. That’s what I’m upset about. It’s such a helpless feeling.’ Kessler may have died a week or two earlier, Assistant Allegheny County police Superintendent James Morton said Friday. She was found on her bed and her son in the living room. There was no sign of foul play. Police suspect Sara Kessler died of a drug overdose. Autopsies were performed Saturday on Kessler and her son, but a ruling on the cause of death is pending. Sara Kessler’s mother died of natural causes in the same apartment in November, Morton said. No one else lived on their floor, he said. Gonzalez and another tenant, Elizabeth Freismuth, said Kessler struggled to cope with her mother’s death. ‘She seemed so sad her mom was gone. I told her if she needed anything to ask me, but she never did,’ Freismuth told the newspaper. ‘She loved that little baby. He was such a beautiful little boy. She told me: `I can’t believe he’s going to be almost a year old. He’s getting so big.’

children,’ the solicitor said. Mr Justice Sweeney stressed that Clarence ‘remains vulnerable to a significant deterioration in her mental health’ and ‘further treatment is going

to be required for the forseeable future.’ The children, who were killed in the early hours of Easter Tuesday, were tucked into their beds with toys placed around them when they were found.

Gary Clarence, pictured with his twin three-year-old sons Max and Ben (Picture: Facebook/collect)

Pets at home put down sick pet cat and keep it in freezer after he went missing because vet couldn’t find owners


his is the heartbreaking moment a little girl cried when she was reunited with her sick cat after it was put down and frozen by Pets At Home. Julie Neeson and her daughters Tia, 13, and Kiana, ten, learnt of Babies’ demise after searching for him through Sunday night around their home in Newtonabbey, Belfast. The mum had let him outside earlier that day but he never returned. But Babies had been picked up by a local who, fearing it was a stray, took him to Pets At Home. On Monday he was checked over by a vet who confirmed he was in the end stages of chronic renal failure and put him to sleep by lethal injection. Mrs Neeson said: ‘At 5.30pm Babies was dead by lethal injection given to him by the Vets4Pets surgeon who works through the shop. ‘When I got there handed my cat to me and he was frozen. He had been kept in the freezer over night. He was frozen stiff and waiting to be disposed of. I couldn’t believe it.’ A spokesperson for Pets At Home said: ‘At Pets at Home we always put pet welfare at the heart of everything we do. Stray animals are frequently brought to our vets and they always receive a full clinical examination. ‘We will always try to rehome

them whenever appropriate. The cat was brought in and presented as a stray by a concerned and sympathetic member of the public who recognised that he was not well. ‘Our vet carried out a full medical examination as we do with all animals brought to us. Our vet has over 12 years’ experience and quickly diagnosed that the cat was in the endstages of chronic renal failure.

Kiana cries After finding her cat dead and frozen (Picture: Julie Neeson/ Facebook)

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015

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Digest Why fish is nature’s antidepressant


t is known to prevent against heart disease and is hailed as the secret to a long, healthy life. Now, researchers have found the Mediterranean diet can help people with depression, too. A study found people who followed the diet were happier, less stressed and reported an improved quality of life compared to those who ate fewer Mediterranean foods. The researchers said omega-3 in particular, a fatty acid found in fish, plays a vital role in maintaining and improving mental health and stability. Thedietconsistsofplant-basedfoods such as vegetables, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds and olives, extra virgin olive oil, fish, with moderate red wine intake. It also involves a low consumption of processedfood,processedcarbohydrates, sweets and chocolate and red meat. As part of the study, Australian researchers recruited a total of 82 adults with depression, aged between 18 -65. They assessed their mental health and quality of life using two official scales: the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS) and the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). They then assessed how strongly they followed the Mediterranean diet through a 14-item questionnaire. The study’s lead author, Dr Natalie Parletta, of the University of South Australia, said there was a strong link between the Mediterranean diet and lower scores for mental illness. This was despite the fact it was a study of people with depression, who tended to have poor diets in the first place. She told MailOnline: ‘What we found is that poor diet is predicting the onset of depression. ‘We recruited people who had depression already. We screened out people who had good diet. It’s not that people are getting depressed and then eating badly, eating badly causes the depression in the first place ‘So it was amazing that there was a significantcorrelationtheMediterranean diet and mental illness, even for people with low scores on the consumption of

Omega-3, a fatty acid found in fish, plays a vital role in maintaining and improving mental health and stability wholefoods.’ She said research shows there is an overlap between heart disease and depression, and scientists have begun to thinktheremightbecommonunderlying mechanisms. Inflammation and insulin resistance which occurs in the body and causes heart disease could also cause depression in the brain, she said. ‘The brain is an organ like any other,’ she explained. ‘It has higher needs than other organs, from bloodflow to delivering oxygen, glucose and nutrients. ‘A lack of bloodflow and inflammation can affect the brain as much as any other organ. A Mediterranean diet is high in nutrients such as omega-3, vitamin B, vitaminD,healthyfatsandanti-oxidants, she said, which are all important for keeping the brain functioning well and

staving off mental illness. There has been a lot of research on how omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, play a vital role in maintaining or improving mental health and stability. Deficiency in these nutrients can impair the brain’s functioning and lead to depression, she added. She said: ‘There are many challenges in life, and factors that lead to depression. But by developing a strong foundation for our brain to function well through providing it with key nutrients, we’re better able to deal with life’s challenges. ‘And it’s not just the nutrients - the fibre is also beneficial. Highly fibrous foods means you’re not getting mood swings through sugar. She continued: ‘Sometimes depression is biological. It could be a wheat allergy, it’s rarely known that an intolerance can lead to depression and even bipolar.

When the body is stressed or anxious, it goes into fight or flight mode which shuts down digestion and healing. Eating Vegetables, fruits and legumes ensures it has the nutrients it needs to function properly

‘Depending on the person, a deficiency could be the key link to what is causing mental illness.’ On the other hand, a poor diet can lead to depression, stress and anxiety, she said. She explained hat highly processed foods, red meat and confectionary increase our blood glucose levels, leading to sensitivity to insulin – the hormone that controls how much sugar is in our blood – and obesity. This inflammation affects the brain, causing mental illness. When a person is stressed and anxious, they go into a ‘fight or flight’ mode in which stress hormones are released, making the body more aroused and responsive, shifting blood from the skin to the muscles, and raising heart rate. This shuts down digestion and

healing. ‘If you’re in a state of stress, your body isn’t absorbing as many nutrients as possible, so the need for nutrients is increased,’ Dr Parletta said. ‘You’ll be in a better state to replenish the nutrients if you’re eating a nutrient-rich Mediterranean diet. ‘So no stress is best of all, but a Mediterranean diet with stress is better than a poor diet with stress.’ The results indicate that dietary intervention may improve mental health and so the researchers are seeking more volunteers to further examine the ability of diet combined with fish oil supplementation to improve mental health. They are now looking for volunteers aged 18-65 in Adelaide who have depression, to investigate this further. Source:

Sometimes depression is ‘biological’, the researchers said. It can be a deficiency in some of the nutrients that keep the brain functioning properly

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015, SMS- 08142929046

Supersand Eagles through as Libya withdraws

Keshi set to dump Nigeria for Mali

>>>Pg 42

By Albert Akota


ut of contract Chief Coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi may be returning to Mali to handle that country’s senior national team, the Eagles. The Malian Football Association, otherwise known as FEMAFOOT revealed early today that Keshi is one of the three coaches they received applications from after the sack of Mali’s FrancoPolish coach Henryk Kasperczak. FEMAFOOT says in a statement today that the Franco-Polish coach Henryk Kasperczak is no longer in charge of the Malian Eagles. “The Malian Football Association’s chairman (ndlr : Boubacar Baba Diarra) and his deputy in charge of the national teams (ndlr : Boukary Sidibé) met with Henryk Kasperczak on Saturday. Following a cordial exchange, both parties decided to put an end to their contract,” FEMAFOOT announced in a press release. After a first spell on the Mali bench in 2001-2002, Kasperczak had made his return at the head of the Eagles in December 2013 to lead them to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations’ finals, where they suffered a first round exit following a drawing of lots between them and Guinea. A new head coach should be unveiled before 25 March when Mali are set to face Gabon in France in an international friendly. According to Boukary Sidibé, FEMAFOOT received already several applications including those of former Eagles’ bosses Alain Giresse, Patrice Carteron and Stephen Keshi. The Nigeria worked as manager of the Mali national football team, after being appointed in April 2008 on a two-year deal. Keshi was sacked in January 2010,

Mourinho is not special - Luiz >>>Pg 43

after Mali’s early exit in the group stages of the Africa Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, a member of the Senate Committee on Sports has accused the Nigeria Football Federation of ‘celebrating failure’ over its decision to hand a new contract to Keshi. Heineken Lokpobiri, an influential two-term senator who rep-

resents Bayelsa West, said that the NFF was playing politics with the job of the coach when the man failed to lead the Super Eagles to the last Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. While the NFF has acted like its hands are tied over the decision to re-hire Keshi, it also did not show it was interested in making the job

available beyond a single candidate. “I was the former chairman of the Sports Committee between 2007 and 2011 and I know the politics and intrigues which have been playing out in the country’s football house,” Lokpobiri said. “Are we trying to celebrate failure?

“I’m aware that Siasia was sacked after he failed to qualify the country for the 2013 Nations Cup. “Keshi was given all the support even more than Siasia, yet he failed to qualify the country for Afcon. “So I don’t see any reason why NFF should be talking about giving Keshi another contract,” he queried.


Homeless Sierra Leone athlete arrested in London

>>>Pg 44

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


Kwankwaso sympathizes with Kano Pillars over robbery attack

NFF to meet Keshi tomorrow in Abuja By Albert Akota


Kano Pillars


he Kano State Governor, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, on Sunday visited three Kano Pillars FC players, who are currently on admission at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, as a result of an attack by armed robbers in Abaji,

Abuja. The team was on its way to Owerri, Imo state for a match with Heartland FC. The three players, Adamu Murtala, Gambo Muhammad and Otakpa Oneji, who were shot, had the bullets excised at the hospital,

Mr. Kwankwaso sympathized with the victims. He described the attack as barbaric considering the fact that the team was engaged in a trip for common good. He promised that the state government would shoulder the hospital bills

of the victims and prayed for their quick recovery. The governor was conducted round the hospital ward by the state Commissioner of Health, Abubakar Yusuf, in the company of officials of Kano Pillars Chairman FC and senior staff of the hospital.

ACL: Kano Pillars face huge task over injured stars-coach

igeria Football Federation (NFF) Technical and Development Committee Chairman, Felix Anyansi Agwu has confirmed to that the Football House will meet with the representatives of out of contract Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi on Wednesday in Abuja. The meeting will centre on the new contract offered to the Big Boss and his reactions to some of the terms itemized in it. Anyansi disclosed that Keshi shouldn’t have proceeded to the media to express his grievances about the condition attached to his new contract offer when he still has the contact of his employers. He said the chitchat is at the instance of the Big Boss and that the NFF obliged it so as to put an end to the raging war of words

between both parties. “There is a meeting between the NFF and Keshi on Wednesday in Abuja,” Anyansi said. “Recently the NFF wrote Keshi and displayed their displeasure at the turn of event regarding the contract stipulations sent to him. The letter was also meant for him to give us a feedback. “Keshi replied us through his lawyer and requested for a meeting which is coming up on Wednesday in Abuja. “We are going to have a discussion with his lawyer for us to look at the so called grey areas. It is the way it should be and not what he did that he went to the pages of the newspapers to start unnecessary tantrum. “The conditions enshrined in the contract shouldn’t have been revealed in the media because it wasn’t meant for them,” he concluded.

Supersand Eagles through as Libya withdraws


ano Pillars head coach, Okey Emordi has said it will be difficult to prosecute the Caf Champions League clash at Moroccan champions, Moghreb Athletic de Tetouan (MAT) without his key injured players. The Nigerian champions were involved in an armed robbery attack on the outskirt of Abuja on their way to Owerri for Glo Premier League match day opener at Heartland on Saturday which saw five key players namely Gambo Mohammed, Eneji Otekpe, Adamu Murtala, Moses Ubong Ekpai and Reuben Ogbonnaya hospitalized after the ugly incidence. The Pyramid City is expected to depart the nation’s shore on Thursday for the weekend clash billed for the 10,000 seats Saniat Rmel, Tetouan, Morocco. Emordi said his side will believe in destiny and go ahead to play the game if the African football body, Caf refused their passionate appeal for a shift in date. “Of course, naturally it’ll be difficult to prosecute the match at Moghreb Athletic de Tetouan of Morocco without the injured players in attendance. The encounter is expected to hold on Friday while the reverse fixture holds in the first weekend of April at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.


Canada: Falcons will reach semi final, coach believes


uper Falcons Chief Coach Edwin Okon has said that his team has the right mentality to reach the semi final of the FIFA women world cup slated for Canada in June. Coach Okon told the media who where at Falcons thanksgiving at Our Lady Queen of Peace

Catholic Church that Super Falcons may not be a star studded team but they have developed a winning mentality that will see them do well in Canada. “Our target in Canada will be to surpass the quarter final record of the Super Falcons at previous world cups. We have very young but combative girls

who would give their best in every game to get results. “What they lacked in experience, they make up with their skills, strength and strong mentality. With this spirit and with adequate and appropriate preparation I can beat my chest that we can get to the semi finals in Canada” he stated. Coach Okon

commended the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for arranging two friendly international matches as tune up games before the World cup said he would have wished for more games if not for the Olympic and All Africa games qualifiers preceding the world cup.

Bartholomew Ikechukwu Ibenegbu

By Albert Akota


igeria has qualified for the 2015 African Beach Soccer Championship finals after Libya announced its withdrawal from the qualifying competition. Libya’s withdrawal has been communicated to the Nigeria Football Federation, meaning the 2007 and 2009 champions go through to the finals scheduled for Seychelles April 14-19. The Supersand Eagles returned to the country yesterday following a

third place finish at the Power Horse Invitational Tournament in Durban, South Africa, and were set to continue training in Lagos ahead of the first leg of the qualifying fixture against Libya which was to be played this weekend. Coach Audu Adamu Ejo said: “We would have loved to use the fixture against Libya as part of our preparation for the African Beach Soccer Championship. However, there is nothing we can do other than to now start our final camping for the championship proper.”

PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015



Porto must cope with Injuries - Lopetegui


ulen Lopetegui has called on his Porto side to prove they can cope without injured striker Jackson Martinez in today’s UEFA Champions League showdown with Basel. The prolific Martinez has been ruled out of the second leg of the last-16 tie after suffering a torn thigh muscle in Friday’s 1-0 Primeira Liga victory at Braga. Adrian Lopez (thigh) will also miss the out against the Swiss champions, but Oliver Torres (shoulder) is

back in the squad. The 1-1 draw at Basel came in between two three-game winning runs, during which Martinez scored three times to take his tally to 25 goals in all competitions this season but Lopetegui will have to contend with his absence this time around. “We are talking about the quarter-finals of the Champions League, of the opportunity to be among the best eight of the competition,” the coach said.

PSG’s David Luiz shakes Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho’s hand

Mourinho is not special- Luiz


avid Luiz has stoked up the tension surrounding Paris Saint-Germain’s UEFA Champions League last 16 second-leg clash with Chelsea by claiming Jose Mourinho “is not special”. PSG travel to Stamford Bridge with the tie level at


Mali part ways with Kasperczak Mali has parted ways with Coach Henryk Kasperczak following the side’s poor Africa Cup of Nations campaign. The Mali Football Federation said that after a meeting with the 68-yearold Polish coach “it was agreed his contract will not be renewed”. Kasperczak was unable to steer the team out of their group at the recent

tournament in Equatorial Guinea. Mali finished tied with Guinea but were eliminated after the drawing of lots to separate the teams. The Eagles plan to name their new coach by 25 March with former handlers Alain Giresse, Stephen Keshi and Patrice Carteron believed to be the frontrunners to fill the position.


1-1 following the first leg at the Parc des Princes, however, Chelsea hold a slight advantage courtesy of their away goal in the French capital. Luiz left Chelsea for PSG in a £50million move last June after his only season under the stewardship of Mourinho, who has long

been referred to as “the special one”. But Luiz told a L’Equipe journalist: “He is special for you, not for me. “I had some great moments at Chelsea and won a lot of titles. I was very happy. “They are having a great season, defend well

and have great players but above all I know my team. We will try to score there and play like we know how. “We will have a good game plan and implement it the best way possible to achieve a great performance. Both can still qualify.”

Lahm rejects criticism Johnson reveals talks of Guardiola system with overseas clubs


s Bayern Munich prepare for their UEFA Champions League last-16 second-leg meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk, Philipp Lahm has defended their attacking style. Bayern are favourites to progress to the quarterfinals after a goalless draw in the opening meeting in Lviv three weeks ago. Last season, Pep Guardiola’s side reached the semi-finals and were well in the tie after a 1-0 loss at Real Madrid in the first leg, before the Spanish giants tore Bayern apart 4-0 in the return at the

Bayern Munich’s Philipp Lahm

Allianz Arena. The nature of that defeat caused some to question Guardiola’s tactics, but Lahm has defended his coach’s philosophy. “This discussion is unnecessary,” he told Perform. “In the 17 games before, plus the previous season, everyone hailed our style of play. Lahm conceded that the heavy defeat to Real last season was a painful lesson, but says his team-mates are fully focused on putting those memories behind them this time around.

Glen Johnson


iverpool defender Glen Johnson has revealed he has held talks with foreign clubs as he prepares to leave Anfield at the end of the season. The full-back is out of contract in the summer and will leave the Reds after having been told back in October to look for a new club.

The 30-year-old was keen on a January move to Roma but his €167,000-a-week wages have proved something of a stumbling block. However, Johnson admits the idea of moving abroad still appeals although he admits he is unsure where he will be playing his football next season.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


WGC-Cadillac Championship: Holmes hits hole-in-one atMiami

JB Holmes Jimmy Thoronka competed for Sierra Leone in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Homeless Sierra Leone athlete arrested in London


sprinter from Sierra Leone who has been sleeping rough on the streets of London is facing deportation after being arrested. Jimmy Thoronka, 20, was his country’s top 100m runner but did not return home to Africa after the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year amid Ebola fears. Homeless Thoronka says Ebola has killed his immediate family in Sierra

Leone. The Met Police said he was arrested on Friday for immigration offences and is now with the UK Border Force. Jimmy’s chances to become one of the world’s greatest sprinters would be much better if he could stay in the UK and find someone to sponsor his training” An appeal started by Cambridge student Richard Dent on Friday afternoon to raise money for Mr Thoronka stood at £12,000

Tete defeats Butler at world super-flyweight title bout


aul Butler failed in his bid to become a two-weight world champion, suffering a first career defeat by South Africa’s Zolani Tete in Liverpool. Tete stopped his opponent in the eighth round of the IBF superflyweight title fight after landing with an uppercut. Butler, also 26, dropped a division for Friday’s

contest at the Echo Arena but lost his 18th professional fight. The South African southpaw, who has held the title since July, now has a fight record of 20-3 with 17 knockouts. Chester-born Butler won the IBF bantamweight title from British rival Stuart Hall last year but relinquished it immediately.

just over 24 hours later. Thoronka arrived in Glasgow with his teammates in July, just as the Ebola outbreak in his home country was declared a public health emergency. The death toll from the virus in Sierra Leone is now more than 3,500. Thoronka said his visa ran out last year and he had not been working illegally, nor claiming benefits or housing and understood the legal implications of remaining in the UK after

his visa had expired. Up to 30 of the country’s athletes wanted to extend their visas past September last year to stay in the UK two were tested and given the all-clear for the disease on their arrival in Scotland. Thoronka won medals in African competitions and received the Sports Writers of Sierra Leone’s best male athlete award in 2013. He was the first athlete in Sierra Leone to carry the Queen’s baton in the run-up to the Games.

Joe Joyce



outh Korea’s Inbee Park held off world number one Lydia Ko and American Stacy Lewis to claim the Women’s Champions title. The five-time major winner recorded a twounder-par 70 to finish on 15 under, two strokes ahead of

17-year-old Ko. Park was consistent throughout in Singapore, with the 26-year-old hitting four bogey-free rounds in the event. “This is a good sign for the season and hopefully many more to come,” said Park.

before in Miami. Johnson and Bubba Watson are the nearest challengers to Holmes, while Rory McIlroy is well back on one under. After a second round where he threw his three iron into a lake by the fifth, the world number one managed to keep his temper in check on Saturday, carding a 72.

World Series of Boxing: Joyce wins to keep Olympic hope alive

Park beats Ko to claim Women’s Champions title

Inbee Park

Zolani Tete


merican JB Holmes hit a hole-in-one at the par-three fourth as he built up a five-shot lead going into the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship. It was the second holein-one in quick succession with Dustin Johnson, who lies second, having aced the same hole a few minutes

ondoner Joe Joyce stayed on target for Olympic qualification with another victory in the World Series of Boxing (WSB), but the British Lionhearts lost 4-1 to the China Dragons in Sanya. The 29-year-old’s fourth win of the series, over Vladan Babic, put him top of WSB’s super-heavyweight rankings. The British boxers are using the series individually to qualify for Rio 2016. Only the top-ranked super-heavyweight at the end of the season will automatically qualify. However, most boxers will still qualify through more traditional routes, including world and continental championships. Joyce’s two main rivals, Croatia’s Filip Hrgovic, who represents Kazakhstan, and Arslanbek Makhmudov, who represents Azerbaijan, box on Saturday. Joyce’s first-round

stoppage of Babic was the high point of an otherwise frustrating evening for the visitors, with the Lionhearts on the wrong end of three split decisions. At welterweight, another strong performance by Nottingham’s Ekow Essuman went unrewarded as he lost to Wei Liu. At light-heavyweight, John Newell lost out despite a fine performance against Yibulayin Abudureyimu, with one judge scoring all five rounds for the Oldham boxer. Defeats for the Lionhearts’ two overseas boxers, flyweight Jose Kelvin De La Nieve and lightweight Oualid Belaoura, ensured the China Dragons avenged the defeat inflicted upon them in London in January. Next-up for the Lionhearts are two home matches against the Ukraine Otamans on 12 March and the Morocco Atlas Lions a week later.

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015



1.Paul Butler failed in his bid to become a two-weight world champion, suffering a first career defeat by South Africa’s Zolani Tete in Liverpool. 2.Britain’s Richard Kilty takes 60m gold at the European Indoor Championships in Prague, adding to his 2014 world title. 3.Andy Murray puts Great Britain into the Davis Cup quarter-finals with victory over John Isner of the United States.


4.Cologne striker, Anthony Ujah, has apologised to the club mascot after manhandling the goat during his goal celebrations in the side’s 4-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt. 5American Dustin Johnson fired a three-under-par 69 to win the WGC-Cadillac Championship by one stroke on Sunday.



4 5

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PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


There is huge potential in USA league, says Raul


aul Gonzalez is a player that needs no introduction. For over a decade he made the No7 shirt his own with the Spanish national team, just as he did in the white of Real Madrid from the mid-90s until 2010. Along the way, the prolific striker earned iconic status at the Bernabeu, winning three UEFA Champions Leagues, two Intercontinental Cups and six Spanish La Liga medals, among other things. The Madrid native also picked up a host of individual accolades and set

numerous goal-scoring and appearance records with the club. After 17 years delighting fans of Los Merengues, Raul signed for Bundesliga outfit Schalke and quickly did the same. Then after two seasons in Qatar with Al Sadd, he came out of retirement to join t h e

legendary New York Cosmos in a quest for success in the USA.

In the first instalment of an exclusive two-part interview w i t h FIFA. c o m , R a u l c h a t s a b o u t the new adventure in the States, the secret to still playing at 37 and a

possible future in coaching. After gracing La Liga and the Bundesliga, and competing at European Championships and FIFA World Cups, what attracted you to New York Cosmos and the North American Soccer League? What brought me here was a desire to keep playing and the exciting project the Cosmos proposed to me.

As well as being able to play, which is my passion and what I like doing, they also gave me the chance to help develop a youth academy, where I can bring my experience and knowledge to bear. I like the idea of working on the creation of an academy in a country where soccer, as its known here, is steadily growing in popularity. I believe there’s huge potential here and a lot of interesting things to do in that regard. Was the prospect of living in New York part of the attraction? Yes, for the family it was a wonderful opportunity to live in a great city like New York, which has everything. It’s an ideal location in terms of my children’s future. I knew the city before moving here as I’d visited a couple of times. Whatever you want to do or obtain, you can find it here, on every level. We’ve been here three months now and are very happy and integrated. With each passing week, I’m more and more convinced I made the right decision. We’re very excited about what the future will bring. With regard to the academy project, will you also be involved with the coaching side of things? I haven’t yet decided how exactly that will work. For now, I’m sure I won’t be desk bound as my main objective is to play and help the team. I also want the crowds to enjoy themselves and be entertained at our games and, of course, help the team win titles. We’ll be trying to measure up to the club’s brilliant past. Later, I’ll gradually get more involved with the academy, and when I finally hang up my boots, I’ll dedicate my time to working with the boys, though I’m still not sure if it will be as a coach or an assistant. We’ll have to see as I still have to get my coaching license.

That said, what I want is to do is use my experience to help develop a good methodology that allows the youngsters to understand the game and enjoy it. I believe there are huge potential here and a lot of interesting things to do in that regard. So you’re not ruling out a career in coaching? As of today, I can’t tell you it won’t happen, nor can I tell you it will (laughs). We’ll see. Football is my passion and right now I’m physically in good enough shape to keep playing. Once I decide to retire, then we’ll see. During my time in Qatar, I also combined playing with being part of the Aspire Academy, and here I’ll be doing something similar. What I do in the future depends on how things go in the next year or two. As a 37-year-old, do you have train any differently to stay fully fit, and what’s the secret to your longevity?

You need to take care of yourself, have a good diet, rest sufficiently and have a lot of enthusiasm. I’ve also been very fortunate not to have had serious injuries and to still be in good shape. In addition I’ve come to a league which, while physically demanding, is providing the right conditions for me to make a contribution with my game. It’s not like we’ll be playing every three days (laughs). When you arrived at the Cosmos, the No7 jersey was already taken, but the previous wearer didn’t hesitate in handing it to you. Can you explain your attachment to that shirt number? Well at Real Madrid I had the honour of wearing it for many years, and it’s a shirt that some of the club’s most important and legendary players have worn. Later, when I went to Schalke and Qatar I continued the tradition.


However, here there was someone wearing it, another Spaniard in fact, Ayove Garcia. Yet as soon as the coach announced I was joining, Ayove said he’d gladly pass it to me. I greatly appreciate his gesture, although I did tell him I had no problem using a different number. The problem would be for

the fans they’d never recognise you in a different number. (Laughs) Yes, probably better for them [if I keep wearing it] as it would feel strange. That said what really matters are playing well even if, after 20 years, the fans associate me with that number and probably always will.


PEOPLES DAILY, tuesday, march 10, 2015


Some Interesting Facts

kissing the conveyor legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the belt. horse has one front leg in the air, the person mericaonceissueda5-centbill. • If a statue in the died as a result of wounds received in battle; An iguana can stay under park of a person on a if the horse has all four legs on the ground, water for 28 minutes. horse has both front the person died of natural causes. • An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. PHOTO OF THE DAY •Batsalwaysturnleftwhenexitingacave. • Ben and Jerry’s send the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo. • Dolphins sleep with one eye open. • Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it’s



Firm friends: Daphne and baby Aisha relax on a sand dune in Tsavo National Park, the Kenyan wildlife reserve that Daphne and her husband David helped found. Source:

Niger: Cry the ‘beloved power state’ (II) Cond on Backpage

In fact even when a rented 12-man so called ‘Talba Success Movement’ was allegedly paid to counter some of the numerous petitions written against Dr. Aliyu’s permissive Administration, the group’s comments on the Regime’s abysmal performance on Education was to say the least, culpably Jonathese (defending as Jonathan would). It said that “The issue of decay in education did not start today neither is it restricted to Niger State.” By the way even Talba’s anointed ‘successor’, the 39-year old ‘pampered son’ of General Gado Nasko (Rtd) who, commendably is shaping up to speak in the esoterically beguiling dialect of the PDP, has been promising that “The education sector will remain the bedrock of our strategic development agenda”. For a regime that rode on the populist crest of ‘ChiefServant-ship’, promising to lift Niger to one of three best state economies, it was amazing that by the 5th year in office Talba’s Administration had virtually bankrupted the government and had gone a-borrowing. Nor was there anything to show for it other than a couple of locally

constructed or re-graded roads, a few substandard housing projects and carcasses of littered un-completed elephant projects many Nigerltes allegedly say are conduit pipes for the unspeakable. By the 6th year Dr. Aliyu had started selling off prized State property in order to finance yet another white elephant project called the Three-Arms-Zone, -and for which a whopping N6billion bond had earlier been raised. APC’s David Umaru, (Dr. Aliyu’s political arch enemy) in a published petition titled ‘DISPOSAL OF NIGER STATE LANDED PROPERTIES’ (Daily Trust, Aug, 28, 2012) wondered why this “should be such a big priority… to the extent we are made to spend our last ‘dime’ for it when government is hardly able to pay ordinary workers.” By the way it is now less than a month to the end of Talba’s Administration and virtually nothing has been done on this phantom project. Nor do Nigerlites know what has happened to the monies so hurriedly ‘needed’ then that choice properties belonging to the State had to be sold to raise. So where is all the money that Talba received both federally and internally in all

these 8 years?; I do not know. But many Nigerlites believe that the Governor, in cahoots with what they describe as the ‘donothing’ State Assembly, share every penny that comes to the State. A petition to the House Speaker and signed by/for 30 ‘CONCERNED CITIZENS OF NIGER STATE’, said that much: “since nothing worthwhile can be shown to have been done with (State) funds”, the State Assembly should “clear itself (of the allegation) that the Chief Servant usually shares these federal allocations” with them. What the petitioners did not add in the sharing allegation was ‘privileged close relatives’ one of whom allegedly is a celebrated billionaire because he has his hand in virtually every pie baked by his brother. Thus where Kure allegedly shared amongst anointed Aides, loyalists, friends, relatives and godfathers, Talba’s sphere of the anointed is a tight Bermuda Triangle of self, brothers and allegedly Assembly members only. Do not ask me where Kure’s godfathers are; or whether Talba has any; he once told us he is his own godfather. And you know that no one touches The Don. Not even Kure’s godfathers. Concluded

. . . putting the people first

tuesday, march 10, 2015

QUOTABLE QUOTE This campaign against terror only makes provision for collaboration and cooperation, not incursion into territories. I think there is a careless use of terms by some inexperienced people or officials… – Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade on reported incursion of troops from Chad, Niger into Nigerian territory

SPORTS Niger: Cry the ‘beloved power state’ (II) latest

England out of Cricket World Cup


ngland was knocked out of the World Cup in dismal fashion as Bangladesh claimed a stunning 15-run win. Set 276 to win, England were bowled out for 260 despite Jos Buttler’s 52-ball 65, while Rubel Hossain claimed 4-53. Bangladesh had earlier posted 275-7 in Adelaide thanks to 103 from Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim’s 89. England go out in the group stages for the third time in five World Cups, while Bangladesh advance past the first round for only the second occasion. Bangladesh’s victory also secured Sri Lanka’s place in the last eight, alongside Pool A winners New Zealand and Australia. A fourth defeat in five games is the latest episode in 23 years of World Cup failure, since they reached the final in 1992.

Cagliari sacked Gianfranco Zola


ianfranco Zola has been sacked as manager of Cagliari after only 10 games in charge of the Serie A club. The former Chelsea striker was appointed in December and leaves having won eight points from a possible 30. Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Sampdoria leaves 18th-placed Cagliari third from bottom and four points from safety. Zola, who finished his playing career at Cagliari in 2005, also spent seven seasons as a player with Premier League club Chelsea between 1996 and 2003. The 48-year-old began his managerial career at West Ham in 2008, but was sacked in 2010 after less than two years in charge, before resigning halfway through his second season as manager of Watford in 2012.

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once believed that no State Governor in Nigeria could have been or ever be as corrupt as my erstwhile Governor of Niger State Engineer A. Kure. And now after eight years of Kure’s successor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu I do not know what to believe any more. Kure’s regime was so crude and un-clerkly in its open and brazen rape of the State’s treasury that even a charge and bail lawyer should have no difficulty him away. Engineer Kure’s unceremonious exit from the Niger State Civil Service back in the 80s was allegedly to avert the hammer of an impending White Paper on corruption charges. His godfathers allegedly sneaked him into FCT where he rose to be Director Engineering but where he also unceremoniously left in the late 90s on yet another allegation of massive corruption. But his godfathers loved him so very much they brought him back home to the Power State and against all odds made him a Governor. Predictably Kure’s regime became the epitome of unspeakable fraud, embezzlement and criminal misappropriation of State resources. In fact for a regime that hypocritically prided itself upon the implementation of the Shariah, nothing could be more monumentally ironic! In 8 years Kure had allegedly received from the Federation Account over N800 billion (a couple of billions shy from a trillion) but many Nigerlites believed that he left office without completing a single project worth a billion naira. In fact Kure was reputed to have publicly claimed that Nigerlites did not want projects; that they wanted handouts. Kure’s administration brazenly sold State-owned properties and businesses, and indulged in a mindboggling monthly sharing of State allocations amongst anointed Aides, loyalists, friends, relatives and godfathers. Many Nigerlites described Kure as the un-ideological modern version of Robin Hood. The latter

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TuesDAY Column Mohammed Adamu (08035892325 sms only)

Niger Gov, Aliyu Babangida robbed to give to the poor. Kure allegedly littered the streets unintentionally with droppings from his heist, and poor Nigerlites occasionally fed from the pickings and always hoped that this guy would pass by again. Kure’s godfathers, on the other hand, took accolades for the ‘gift’ of a ‘monster’ Governor with a ‘bad, bad’ but pleasant eating habit. When Kure left office in 2007 and there were rumors his godfathers had recommended him for ministerial appointment to the infant Yaradua Administration, some detribalized kinsmen of his under the Nupe Progressive Alliance, in a paid advert (Daily Trust June 6, 07) said that Niger State had “suffered the greatest setback in its history during his tenure” and that “To appoint Engineer Kure as a minister after his dismal record would amount to rewarding the gross lack of transparency that characterized his eight-year rule”. In the end Kure’s godfathers got him appointment to head FERMA and to superintend over the mending of our Federal Roads.

Such was Kure’s record that when Dr. Muazu Babanga Aliyu was surreptitiously poached from the Federal Civil Service, obviously in circumvention of the Electoral Law, to become Governor, Nigerlites thought that this would be a ‘fresh breath of clean air’. In fact in my little school of thought I said that since it was inconceivable that any Governor could do worse than Kure, ANY Governor therefore would be better than Kure. Let alone, in this case, a doctor of philosophy, PhD and an ‘astute’ administrator who had risen to the enviable position of a Permanent Secretary in the Presidency. If governance was rocket science, we thought, then it had met its Albert Einstein in Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, The Talba of Minna. When at inauguration Dr. Aliyu adopted the title of ‘The Chief Servant’, arguing that “Excellency is for Lords, Presidents and… not for servants of the people”, many Nigerlites, in excitement, said “This was the Caesar! Whence comes another?” And when he pledged a vision of Niger State as one of “top three state economies by 2020”, we all thought that healing had finally come for the many sicknesses of Kure’s mis-governance. But what is monumentally ironic today is that Nigerlites are hardly divided over whether Kure’s 8 years of plunder were not still better than Talba’s 7-plus of pillage. They are now agreed that Talba’s self-indulgent rein has now virtually angelized Kure’s all-indulging, Robin-hood-style of governance. In fact in that very reputation as the inadvertent Robin hood alone, many said that Kure will be profoundly more

Predictably Kure’s regime became the epitome of unspeakable fraud, embezzlement and criminal misappropriation of State resources. In fact for a regime that hypocritically prided itself upon the implementation of the Shariah, nothing could be more monumentally ironic!

missed than Talba; because they say that the un-gilded streets which were once paved with droppings from Kure’s heist are now high and dry with an E-Financed-Talba who minds his every pound and penny. Many tease that with Kure went the age of ‘Robin hood’; and with Talba the era of ‘hooded Robbin’ came. The Talba regime prides itself upon a policy of ‘Free Education’. And so given the paucity of space in this two-part write up, I intend to use only this sector as metaphor to illustrate the rot that run the gamut of the Talba Government. Aside from making a sing-song of paying (???) NECO and WAEC fees for students in Public schools, the practical implementation of the Talba Policy on Education is easily mistakable for a program conceived essentially to miseducate. An Assessment Report of a State Assembly 10-man Committee on Education signed by its Chairman Hon. Abbas A Waziri and read to the House in July 2013, told a gory tale, across the State, of “inadequate”, “dilapidated” or “decaying” school buildings; non-existent staffrooms, toilets, libraries and laboratories. In a particular TECHNICAL College, not only were “existing tools obsolete” the Report said, “all the machines in the entire workshop are not functioning”. And it added that School furniture “in all the schools visited (were) grossly inadequate” and that in many cases “students resort to squatting on the floor, on the windows” or that “some hang outside” to listen to lectures. Then in another particular Secondary School, the Report said that there were “only 6 teachers” notwithstanding the fact that the School had “written several times to the (State) Ministry”.

Cond on Page 47


there won’t be elections if Jega is removed – Oyegun

It doesn’t require a soothsayer to predict this

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