Kaduna blast: Yakowa in London as Okada union declares 100 missing
Vol. 8 No. 13
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Jimadal Ula 19, 1433 AH
JTF: Bomb-laden car found in Kano Gunmen attack bank, police post in Borno, kill 6
From Edwin Olofu, Kano & Mustapha Isah, Maiduguri
lmost 13 weeks after the devastating attacks in Kano by the Boko Haram sect, security operatives in the
city yesterday allegedly uncovered a car laden with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) abandoned along Zaria road in the state. This is coming 24 hours after a deadly car bomb attack in
Kaduna on Easter Sunday that claimed at least 40 lives. Men of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) were reported to have acted on a tip off and impounded a bomb-laden Honda car, abandoned on the Kano-Zaria
road roundabout within the state capital. The vehicle, which was not shown to newsmen, was allegedly removed from the scene and taken to a safe place by the task force officials who used the
police bomb disposal unit of Kano state Police Command to defuse the explosive devices. Spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Ikedichi Iweha, confirmed the incident, stating that the bombs Contd on Page 2
Reps dillydally over N450bn NNPC unremitted funds probe By Lawrence Olaoye
he House of Representatives appears to be undecided over what becomes of the report of its inquest into the N450 billion allegedly unremitted into the federation account by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). But there are indications that the House may have resolved to discontinue deliberation on the matter even as the ad-hoc committee set up for the purpose has yet to submit the report at the plenary. Contd on Page 2
Security men on alert during the Easter Monday celebration, yesterday in Central Area, Abuja.
Photo: Joe Oroye
Pension scam: ‘70% Kaduna EFCC monitors bomb victims not 6 bank executives Christians’ >>PAGE 3
Sokoto records 2 new wild polio cases
Fulani-Tiv clashes: First Katsina Elders denounce Maths professor youths’ allegation ‘crowned’
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Boko Haram: Borno police reward informant with N.5m
From Mustapha Isah, Maiduguri
he Borno state Police Command yesterday fulfilled its promise to reward anybody who offers useful information that could lead to the arrest of Boko Haram members, with the presentation of the sum of N500, 000 to an anonymous informant. The state Police Commissioner, Bala Hassan, who handed over the
amount to the beneficiary at the command’s headquarters, in Maiduguri, the state capital, did not however comment on the kind of information given by the informant. Journalists, who were invited for the mini-event, were however allowed to observe the handing over of the N500,000 to the said informant whose face was covered, perhaps to avoid being identified by the Boko Haram
members. The commissioner said the police was determined to protect “the good citizen for his commendable efforts,” urging citizen to demonstrate such rare courage. Responding to question about the safety of the person, Hassn assured that the police would give adequate protection and security of the informant. He said none of the policemen in the command
knew the identity of the person except himself, assuring that “the police will handle such information with confidentiality it deserves.” He also paraded some of the arms and ammunition recovered in recent times including pump action gun, AK 47, several rounds of ammunition and their magazines, metal detectors, bullet proof jackets, police crash helmets among other items.
Kwara govt commiserates with victims of church collapse, bomb tragedies
overnor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state yesterday commiserated with members of the Deeper Life Church over the death of five of its members at a retreat in Ilorin on Saturday. The governor, in a statement in Ilorin by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, also expressed concern over the spate of bombings in some parts of the country, saying it
may be the handiwork of non Nigerians. Ahmed described the church tragedy as "unfortunate" and pledged that the government would strengthen the machinery to ensure enforcement and compliance with town planning regulations. He directed the Town Planning Authority to commence immediate assessment of on-going buildings
projects across the state, to ensure compliance with town planning rules and regulations. The governor prayed for the repose of the souls of the deceased and for their families to bear the huge loss. Five persons had died when a wall collapsed on worshippers who had gathered for an Easter retreat organised by the church. In his reaction to the recent bomb blasts in Kaduna and Jos, Ahmed condemned the action saying it negates the spirit of love and brotherliness.
The governor expressed doubt about the possibility of Nigerians detonating the series of bombs that were killing innocent lives. He urged security agencies to monitor the activities of non Nigerians infiltrating into the country and masquerading as Nigerians. Ahmed noted that bombings would draw back the development of the country and appealed to well meaning Nigerians to strive towards overcoming the prevailing challenges. (NAN)
JTF: Bomb-laden car found in Kano Reps in the news, Page 37
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Contd from Page 1 have been safely defused. “Our men discovered a heavily wired vehicle abandoned somewhere around the Zaria road roundabout; it was confirmed to be primed with explosives. We invited the Bomb disposal men of the Kano Police, who immediately defused it” he said. Iweha said no one was hurt, and that they were making efforts to arrest those behind the failed attack, even as it was speculated that the dangerous weapons were meant for suicide mission in the state, similar to the attack on Easter day in Kaduna, which claimed scores of lives. Meanwhile, security is still high in the state with the military and police on regular patrol with armoured vehicles equally on duty in strategic locations. Military helicopters drafted by the Airforce Base in Kano and the
state Police Command were still mounting aerial surveillance on Kano and its environs as at late evening yesterday. In a related development, six persons including three suspected members of the Boko Haram sect, a policeman, an ex- local government chairman as well as an unidentified civilian, were killed on Sunday night when some gunmen carried out multiple attacks in Dikwa town, headquarters of Dikwa local government area of Borno state. Our correspondent reported that a one-time chairman of Dikwa local government, Babagana Ali Karim, a police sergeant and another person, were killed when heavily armed Boko Haram members stormed the area, attacking a police station, a branch of Unity Bank, and Freedom Hotel, also in the town.
Witnesses told newsmen that the incident took place when over 20 men, armed with AK 47 rifles, raided the town and fired several shots in the air, before heading to the various targets. The invaders were said to have driven into the area in three Hilux vehicles in the operation which lasted for an hour. Spokesman of the JTF in the North-east, Lt- Col. Sagir Musa, while confirming the incident to newsmen yesterday said, “yes it is true that between 0135 to 0245 hours, some suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked and burnt down Dikwa police station, Unity Bank and Freedom Hotel”. According to Lt-Col. Musa, the gunmen had also attempted to burn the local government secretariat without success as a team of soldiers attached to the 202 Battalion in Gamboru town
and some policemen were quickly deployed to the area to battle the attackers. The spokesman explained that during the confrontation, the security operatives killed three of the attackers, while several thers escaped with gunshot injuries. He stated that items recovered from the suspects comprised a pump action rifle, AK 47 rifle, double barrel gun, bullet proof vest, a box filled with assorted ammunition and 19 empty magazines of AK 47 rifle, among others. In Maiduguri, the state capital, the JTF reportedly gunned down two suspected members of Boko Haram along Baga road, yesterday afternoon, just as a BBC Hausa service report monitored yesterday said that some gunmen attacked a police officer’s family in Potiskum, killing a 6-year old girl in the process.
Reps dilly-dally over N450bn NNPC unremitted funds probe Contd from Page 1 The House had last year commissioned its joint committee on Finance, Petroleum Upstream and Downstream and Gas to investigate the veracity of the allegations that NNPC had refused to remit N450 billion oil proceeds to the federation account, and report back to the House. But the joint committee under the chairmanship of Rep. Abdulmumin Jibrin (PDP,
Kano) held a controversial public hearing which was marred by internal protests among its members in November last year. The lawmakers had alleged that certain members of the joint committee were compromised, leading to an uproar that eventually marred the probe. Months after the hearing nothing has been heard about the investigation as the committee has yet to lay its report at the
plenary. All efforts to get Rep. Jibrin to clarify the actual position of his committee on the matter proved abortive as his GSM numbers were unreachable, and text messages sent to them were not replied up to press time last night. Nevertheless, the Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep Zakari Mohammed told newsmen on Friday that the probe has been swallowed by the activities of the
Ad-hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the Fuel subsidy regime led by Rep Farouk Lawan. According to him, the investigations into the management of the subsidy by the Farouk led ad-hoc committee encapsulated the earlier investigations conducted by the Jibrin's joint committee charged with the responsibility of looking into the alleged unremitted N450 billion.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Probe Obasanjo’s third term agenda, CNPP urges EFCC By Lawrence Olaoye
L-R: Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, during a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on the state of the economy, at the State House, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye
Pension scam: EFCC monitors 16 bank executives T
2011 at Abuja Division of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory agreed to do an illegal act, to wit: criminal breach of trust by public officers in respect of the sum of N14,518,567,724.36 (Fourteen Billion, Five Hundred and Eighteen Million, Five Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty Four Naira and Thirty Six Kobo) and that the same act was done in pursuance of the agreement among you and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 97 of the Penal Code Cap. 532, Laws of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria 2007…”
he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has begun close monitoring of 16 bank executives alleged to have helped top civil servants to launder over N38 billion pension funds stolen from the Federal Government’s coffers. Already, sources at the EFCC told Scannews, an online news agency that about N50billion was discovered in accounts belonging to one of the principal suspects of the pension fund fraud. Investigations revealed that
over N111 billion of the Police Pension Fund has been recovered by a Task Force, whilst 45 bank accounts used to siphon the funds have been uncovered and action taken. The six suspects who were arraigned on a 16-count criminal charges bordering on conspiracy and criminal breach of trust include Esai Dangabar, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira.
Fire guts Zenith Bank’s Abuja complex
Northern CAN leaders trade words
mysterious fire broke out at the Garki Area 8 branch of the Zenith Bank Plc in Abuja yesterday. The fire which sources said started at about 7.28 pm, was suspected to have been caused by a surge in electricity current when power was restored to the area from the national grid. A source who spoke to our reporter recalled that at about 6.48 pm, there was electricity outage in the entire area and that shortly after power was restored, the fire broke out given credence to the speculation that it was caused by surge in electricity current. The source also said firemen who were mobilised to quell the inferno had difficulty gaining access into the building at the initial stage. However, they were able to put out the flames at about 8 15 pm. The extent of damage could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report and there were no reports of casualties from the incident.
From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna
aduna state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described the Northern states branch of CAN as an illegal entity. Speaking at an interactive session with reporters in Kaduna yesterday, CAN state Chairman, Reverend Samuel Kujiyat, explained that CAN constitution only recognises branches in the state across the six geo-political zones in the country. “There is nothing like northern CAN or southern CAN,” Kujiyat said and noted that the group that calls itself northern CAN has consistently worked against the Kaduna state CAN. According to Kujiyat, the northern CAN had, in collaboration with the national CAN, attempted to make his election look illegal, a development which described as unfortunate. As he puts it, “the Constitution of the national CAN recognises only six geo-political zones; South-South, South East, South West, North Central, North East and North West.
Kigo was the Director of the Police Pension Office, before he was made Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta. While the trial of the suspects commences by the 28th of May, 16 counts have been preferred against the suspects. The charges read in part: “That you Esai Abubakar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Atiku Abubakr Kigo, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira between January 2009 and June
“There is no provision for Northern states CAN or Southern states CAN. The Northern states CAN have been staying with us here for the past seven years and they have not been working for our interest. “CAN Kaduna state chapter dissociate itself from all the utterances, views and activities of Northern states CAN. “Northern states CAN does not represent Kaduna state CAN. Constitutionally it is illegal to continue to harbour Northern states CAN in our premises and also security unwise because right under our watchful eyes they have worked against us for over seven years sorely trying our tolerance to its limit. “We once said that we will give them quit notice but our big spiritual fathers told us to calm down, and they stopped us from carrying out the quit notice. But like I said to you, it must not be heard from my mouth, that is why am not saying anything about it apart from what I have been saying. “We are just letting you know that constitutionally speaking,
there are things that have happened that are unconstitutional. We have youths that are boiling, we are trying to calm them, but it can get to a certain limit that things may not work well. “After my election as the Kaduna state CAN chairman, groups of northern states CAN were on the opposing side. They were with my opponents. They championed that cause with serious campaign. “When the votes were finally counted, I emerged the winner. They did not shake my hand to congratulate me. “They moved to Abuja to announce to the national CAN that the election was fraudulent, and from there onward, every move has been made not to even swear me in. “It was a campaign promise made to them by the present CAN President that if he came on board, he was going to nullify the election and of course, on November 29, at a meeting in Abuja, I was there, I was described as an illegality by the present national president of CAN,” he said.
he Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately commence investigations into the third term agenda of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo. The conference in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Osita Okechukwu, stated “Probe of the 3rd Term is a matter of utmost national importance, not only to recover our looted funds, a bleeding which took place when the oil price was hovering at its peak of between $140 to $145 per barrel; but also to locate how Chief Obasanjo’s failure to extend his tenure led to his adoption of ‘do-or-die’ tactics hence the 2007 sham elections and the emergence of the incompetent government in our clime today.” CNPP said that the commission was in good stead to carry out this probe because the current chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde was the agency’s Operations Officer at the time. “Now that Senator Ibrahim Mantu, former deputy senate president and chairman, Joint Constitutional Review Committee (JCRC) during the 3rd Term saga, has come out publicly to defend Obasanjo’s revision of history and his infamous role in the failed bid that cost the nation over N30 billion; CNPP calls on the EFCC to probe the failed exercise,” the statement said. Mantu was quoted to have said “Throughout the exercise there was never a time that President Obasanjo lobbied me to use my position as chairman of the CRC to bend the rules and ensure the passage of the tenure elongation clause …nobody can say I took money or distributed money. I was not only the DSP, I was the chairman of the CRC and therefore there is nothing that will happen without me at the centre of it. First and foremost, the whole thing about third term is much ado about nothing. It was in the course of the zonal public hearing that a sub-committee headed by Senator Omar Hambagda brought in the report’. But the CNPP stated “We dismiss Senator Mantu’s statement in its entirety and are of the candid view that the 3rd Term is much ado about the depletion of our natural resources, the failure of Obasanjo regime to complete any project, especially of the federal roads he awarded since assumption of office, even OtaAgege-Abeokuta road and total criminal dislocation of our journey to true democracy.”
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
33 to bag First Class degrees in FUT Minna
Kaduna blast: NEMA disputes casualty figures
he Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, will honour 33 of its graduating students on Saturday with first class degrees. The university will also confer honorary doctorate degrees on Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ike Ekwerenmadu, Alhaji Sani Dauda of ASD Motors and Mr. David Victor of Osprey International Ltd. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mohammed Audu disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Minna, during the pre-convocation briefing in preparation for the 19th and 20th combined convocation ceremony, during which 2,571 students would officially pass out. He said the convocation which would kick off on Friday, is expected to be graced by the Visitor to the university, President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Education, Prof Ruqayyatu Rufa’i and Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger state. (NAN)
gainst earlier publications by some national dailies that the death toll of the Easter day bomb blast in Kaduna state had rising to 40, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday disputed the figure after another assessment on the number of casualties. A statement issued by the agency’s head of Press and Public Relations, Yushau A. Shuaib, said “only nine victims have been certified dead in the Easter Day bomb blast in Kaduna state, while 38 injured persons are currently receiving treatment at various hospitals”. The figures, according to NEMA, were obtained after a joint rapid assessment by officials of the agency and the stakeholders which reveals that some of the injured persons that were initially presumed dead have regained consciousness following their prompt evacuation and access to medical assistance. NEMA also said the immediate impacts of the explosion affected 8 buildings, including a bank, 2 hotels, eatery and commercial shops, including 23 motorcycles. The statement further revealed that the explosion had prompted the agency to immediately rally the
Commercial drivers, okada decry poor patronage at Easter
ome commercial motorists and motorcyclists in Lagos, yesterday, decried the low patronage they experienced, as many residents celebrated Easter Monday indoors. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Federal Government declared April 6 and April 9 public holidays to enable Christians to celebrate Easter. The public holiday compelled many workers and traders to remain indoors. A commercial bus driver, Mr. Kayode Oladimeji, who plies the Ikotun-Cele Road, told NAN that the holidays did not favour him financially. Oladimeji said Mondays were usually ‘good days’ for commercial motorists but that the public holiday made the day to be ‘dull’. “I picked only two passengers from Ikotun to Cele in the early hours of the day”, he said. Mr. Sukomi Ayinde, who drives a commercial bus from Cele to Lawanson, also counted his losses. “I know how much I make on Mondays but it is so surprising that I did not even make half of the amount today,” Ayinde told NAN. A commercial motorcyclist, Mr. Uche Ugbona, also decried poor patronage, expressing regrets that he would not be able to remit enough money to the motorcycle owner. (NAN)
By Tobias Lengnan Dapam & Mohammed Kandi
stakeholders that deployed ambulances and para-medics in carrying out the quick intervention in the evacuation of the affected persons, who were taken to the
various medical facilities for necessary assistance. It said the agencies included; the Red Cross, Civil Defence, Kaduna SEMA, police and the military, adding that
the medical facilities were: Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, St Gerald Catholic Hospital, Rakiya Memorial Hospital, 44 Army Reference Hospital and ABUTH Zaria.
Associate Priest of Church of Assumption, Asokoro Abuja, Rev. Fr. Vincent Ogundoro (left), baptising a catechumen during the Easter Vigil Mass, on Sunday. Photo: NAN
Kaduna Easter blast: Yakowa still globetrotting as residents wail We lost 100 members, says Okada union From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna
aduna state Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, who travelled to London on Good Friday, is still out of town even as citizens continue to grieve following the car bomb explosion which claimed scores of lives last Sunday. Yakowa is expected to move from London to the United States of America (USA). Apart from officials of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) who assisted in the evacuation of victims at the scene of the blast on Junction Road, there was no official reaction from the government. Though the Deputy Governor, Muktar Ramalan Yero, was reported to have visited the scene of the blast yesterday, there is not yet any official information on the incident. Efforts to reach the Commissioner of Information, Saidu Adamu, failed as he did not respond to repeated calls made to him. Contrary to earlier reports of 40 victims in total, the
Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (ACOMORA), says it lost over 100 of its members during the Easter Sunday car bomb explosion at Junction Road. Eyewitnesses at the scene of the explosion had said that 40 persons were killed, while the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) gave a casualty figure of 36, even as the Kaduna state Police Command said only five persons were killed in the attack. But the Secretary-General of the Okada union, Nasir Mamman, protested these figures when he told reporters that no fewer than 100 of his members were killed in the blast. He noted that it was untrue that commercial motorcycle operators are involved in most the crimes in the state and argued that those carrying out bomb attacks ride in exotic vehicles. Mamman urged the government to look into a proposal which the association
submitted to it, aimed at sanitizing the union. According to him, “yesterday (Sunday) was very dark day because we lost our members and other innocent Nigerians. It is indeed very unfortunate. We pray that God will give their families the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. “We urge government to ensure the security of lives and property of citizens and we are not blaming anybody in particular. “We are calling on the state government and especially the SSG who is one of our patrons to look into the proposal the association sent to government aimed at sanitizing the way and manner our members operate. “Part of the proposal is the need for screening anybody before becoming our member. We do not just want anybody to come into the trade just like that. “If the government had worked with our proposal, by now we would have told you authoritatively the number of
those that are our members who died in the unfortunate incident. “However, we have summoned an emergency meeting of all our chairmen across the five zones we have in the state and they are here already. On the average, our people are over 100 who lost their lives.” Also reacting to the incident, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani, said, “This is condemnable. Few things are less pleasing to God when innocent people are killed in the name of God. “Yes ACF asks Nigerians not to be discouraged by the spate of bomb explosions. Rather, they should regard the challenges by the insecurity as a collective responsibility by living up the collective challenges. ACF condemns the bomb explosions and condoles with families of those who lost their lives and property as well as pray for the repose of the souls of those who died.” He stated.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Local content drive: Samsung trains Nigerian youths abroad From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
s part of foreign supportive efforts at ensuring the local content input drive in the oil and gas sector, SAMSUNG Heavy Industries (SHI), has sent the first group of 20 young Nigerian trainees to Samsung's shipyard in Geoje, South Korea on an extensive training programme. SHI is a foremost world class shipbuilding and offshore fabrication company. The company's extensive commitment to training Nigerians was first announced on February 6 this year with the ground breaking of its new world class training facility in LADOL Free Zone, called ("Samsung Nigeria Technology Academy") SaNTA. The training facility would cost about USD 10 million and benefit from having Samsung's world class training programmes and equipment. Samsung said it has gone a step further by launching Samsung's Intensive Technical Training Programme, providing full scholarships for young Nigerians to also be trained at its facility in Korea. The scholarship programme run by Samsung for young Nigerians, would cost the South Korea based company the sum of $300,000 on each group of 20 trainees. Speaking at the pre-departure ceremonies for the 20 youths at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, the General Manager, SHI in Nigeria, Mr. Frank Ejuzi, told journalists that the company decided to key in to the training of Nigerian youths to meet the local content initiative of President Goodluck Jonathan. "In order to recover the Nigerian local content initiative of Mr. President, we felt it is important to support that initiative and my company is sending the first batch of youths in the oil and gas sector for training in Korea in other for them to transfer the technology to our other youths back home," said Ejuzi. "Samsung believes Nigeria will be the hub for oil and gas in West Africa and their long-history of success in this industry has taught them that the key to harnessing success and achieving local content is investment in people. By making huge investments in Nigeria's human capital Samsung is helping to finally unleash Nigeria's potential." The company has been working with the first group of trainees, (17 men and three women) for over a month already, preparing them for the program, including one week of social training". According to a trainee, Mr. Henry Ototo,who is an environmental Engineer, the successful completion of the programme would certify him internationally in welding and fabrication in oil and gas industry.
Zakkat: Zamfara gov warns against dishonest distribution From Salisu Zakari Maaradun, Gusau
overnor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state has warned that his government will not hesitate to deal with anyone tampering with property belonging or meant for Zakkat, no matter his status. Said he: "We are assuring our continued support and cooperation to the board, which is why we said we will not accept any negligence and dishonesty from anyone as far as this
assignment is concerned". He also called on wealthy individuals to give their Zakkat dues to the board established by the government as has been the practice for over a decade. Yari made the disclosure in Maradun town yesterday, the headquarters of Maradun local government council at the occasion of the distribution of Zakkat to the poor of over N17 million raised by its committee in the emirate. The governor explained that the aim of establishing the
board was to among other things, ensure that people, particularly the needy, were treated equally in the distribution of Zakkat in accordance with the instruction of the Holy Qur'an. According to him, Zakkat is one of the five pillars of Islam binding on any Muslim who has reached the financial capacity to give and therefore, the state government provided every necessary support to the board financially and morally, to enable its members discharge their duty honestly and
effectively without tampering with what is not theirs. In his remarks, the Emir of Maradun, Alhaji Garba Muh'd Tambari told the governor that the emirate, in collaboration with some honest people was able to raise N17million for this year alone. Tambari explained that his emirate would not relent in its efforts towards ensuring the maintenance of the tempo in Zakkat collection and assured the governor of its readiness to protect the wealth in the emirate.
L-R: Wife of Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, behind the Speaker is Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku and other personalities, during the 64th birthday thanksgiving service of David Mark, on Sunday at St. Augustine's Catholic Church, Otukpo, Benue state.
20 injured, property vandalised as OPC clashes with ‘area boys’ in Ibadan From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan
o fewer than 20 people were serious injured and property worth millions vandalised as members of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) engaged some area boys at the Ita Faaji near Wire and Cable Company at Owode, Apata, Ibadan in a violent clash on Easter Sunday evening. The armed OPC members,
numbering about 30 stormed the Ita Faaji junction at about 6.00p.m with charms and dangerous weapons like cutlasses, matchetes, clubs and locally made guns. Immediately, the OPC members arrived at the ever busy junction, they started shooting sporadically into the air and this made people in the area, including traders and commercial motorcycle operators (okada
riders) to run for safety. It was gathered that, during the stampede that lasted for about 20 minutes, no fewer than 15 people, including female traders, Okada riders and passers-bye, were wounded. An eye witness told our reporter that after the stampede, the attackers then descended heavily on the area boys, leaving at least 10 of the boys with varying degrees of injuries. The motive for the attack was
not known as at the time of filing this report as the OPC Chairman in the Ido local government area, Comrade Muritala Adekola Ifawale (a.k.a Muri Omi), could not be reached. It was gathered that the OPC members, later vandalised some shops located at the Ita Faaji junction. The state police command through its PPRO, DSP Bisi Okufwobi confirmed the attack saying that investigation was ongoing, while normalcy has returned to the area.
‘70% of Kaduna bomb victims not Christians’ From Lawal Sadiq Sanusi, Kaduna
hairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Youth Wing, Diji Haruna, has confirmed that more than 70 percent victims of Esther Sunday car bomb explosion in Kaduna are non-Christians. Speaking while hosting Muslim youths at a refreshment to celebrate Esther Monday in Kaduna yesterday, the CAN youth chairman called on Nigerians to inculcate the spirit
of forgiveness between each other. He said: “We are gathered today to commemorate and to celebrate Esther with our Muslim brothers and to have a sober reflection on what we have done against each other in the past, what we are doing in the presence and what we will do in future that will bring back the once peaceful co-existence between Muslim and Christians. "We, the Christian youths and our Muslim brothers condemn the act of bombing and any form of terrorism in strong terms, as a
means of resolving grievances. Conflicts can never be resolved with violence; it is only dialogue that will bring peaceful resolution of our differences, because without peace, no meaningful development can be achieved. Therefore, we are calling on all peace loving Nigerians and those who feel there is injustice in the country to embrace dialogue. "In the north, who will stand up today and say stop the violence, like the Sardauna of Sokoto and Joseph Tarka both of blessed memory? So, it means that it is we
the youths that will take the bull by the horns and say no to violence and yes to peace", the CAN youth chairman stressed. In his remarks, the leader of the JNI youths, Muhammad Shuaibu expressed gratitude to their Christian brothers for hosting them and called on international media organisations to desist from reports that are capable of inciting and frustrating all efforts in returning lasting security and peaceful co-existence between the two major religions.
Nasarawa Fulani/Tiv skirmishes: Tiv elders denounce youth over allegations From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia
he Tiv community in Nasarawa state has denounced statements credited to one of its sons, Dennis Utsa, to the effect that a member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA) representing Keana constituency, Francis Orogu and the Keana local government area were among sponsors of the Tiv/Fulani crisis in the southern senatorial district of the state. The elders and leaders of the community also noted that Utsa was "on his own" just as the allegations he made against the leadership of the council as well as the lawmaker were his views and not that of the entire Tiv community. President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA), Keana LG chapter, Innocent Bem made the disclosure yesterday, in a chat with journalists in Lafia. While commending the initiatives of Francis Orogu for constituting a Joint Reconciliatory Committee made up of leaders of the Tiv, Fulani, and Eggon nations as well as a representative of the police aimed at finding a lasting solution to the lingering crisis in the area, Bem stated that the Tiv people in the state were never part of the claims made by Utsa, especially that which exonerated Fulani herdsmen over attacks on its people. The TIDA president, who was supported by Elder Gbamwuan Vue, as well as the chairman, Ipusu Progressive Union Association in Keana LGA, Thomas Orban, also alleged to have signed the document in which the allegations were made, maintained that the clarification has become necessary following reports in some national dailies wherein Utsa alleged that the attacks were sponsored by some individuals and groups in the state. "The claims by Utsa that a member of the NSHA, Hon. Francis Orogu and the leadership of Keana Council are responsible for the attacks on the Tiv is solely the opinion of the author of the document", the TIDA president said.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Sokoto records two new wild polio virus cases T
wo new cases of Type 1 Wild Polio Virus were last week recorded in the Sokoto South and North Local Government Areas of Sokoto State. Special Adviser to the state governor, Aliyu Wamakko on Primary Health Care, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, disclosed this in Sokoto yesterday. Jibril made the disclosure at a reception organised in his honour
by the State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) . ``This is a very sad development and the state government will do everything humanly possible to stem its tide,'' he said. Also speaking at the occasion, Director of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Alhaji Garba Kadi, said the cases were recorded in
Rumbukawa and Marina areas of Sokoto city. ``An investigation conducted in the affected areas revealed that children there were never immunised against polio or any other childhood killer disease. ''So, the agency will tomorrow (today) conduct a mop-up immunisation exercise against polio in the two areas to cover about 562 children, all of ages 0-5 years,''
L-R: Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, decorating the winner of the female category of the swimming competition, Miss Timi Urounah, during the 2012 Lagos Water Regatta, on Sunday at Victoria Island, in Lagos. From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin
he Kwara Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governorship candidate in the April 2011 poll, Mohammed Dele Belgore at the weekend visited the victims of the Ilorin fire outbreak, accompanied by top party chieftains in the state and members of the Emirate Vision, an influential socio-cultural organisation. In a statement by his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye, Belgore also felicitated with the Christian
Kadi said. It would be recalled that another case of the type 1 wild polio virus was recorded at the Kwanni area of Sokoto North local government area in January 2012. Speaking further at the occasion, Jibril who describing the Sokoto state government as ``labour-friendly'', disclosed that it had recently recruited over 500 health personnel. He said the personnel would man the newly-established 230 health facilities across the state, saying Wamakko had a good vision for the health sector, especially primary health care. The state NLC Chairman, Alhaji Bello Tambuwal, and his predecessor, Alhaji Abubakar Shamaki who is also the incumbent Chairman of Yabo local government, also commended the state government. They praised the state government for implementing the new national minimum wage of N18,000. Tambuwal and Shamaki however urged that the gesture be extended to the members of staff of the 23 local governments and the local education authorities. They also commended the Sokoto state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) for recently embarking on unscheduled visits to the various ministries, departments and agencies.he The visits were to assess the level of compliance of the workers with the scheduled resumption and closing time. (NAN)
Belgore visit fire victims in Kwara community on the Easter celebrations, saying: "For our Christian brothers and sisters, the significance of Easter, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, lies in its promise to the faithful of ultimate triumph over all challenges and adversity. I pray the Almighty to let the peace and joy of this session abide by all of us." During his visit to the scene of the Ilorin fire outbreak, Belgore said
he visited not as a politician but as a member of the community to give his sympathy to the victims at Alaro compound in Gambari area of the metropolis. He addressed and gave the family a sum of N200, 000 collectively, aside the undisclosed individual amounts given to the victims when he went round the rooms affected by the inferno which occurred on Thursday night.
He prayed the Almighty to help "stave off this sort of accident in the future." Alhaji Baba Alaro, who conducted Belgore and the delegation round the scene, thanked him on behalf of the family. Baba Alaro narrated that the fire started middle of the night from inside one of the rooms and spread quickly, fuelled by the dried wood used to roof the house.
Nigeria migrates from terrestrial to satellite navigation From Suleiman Idris, Lagos igeria aviation recorded another much anticipated feat at the weekend in line with international standard when it migrated from the terrestrial air navigation to a satellite based navigation system otherwise known as Performance Based Navigation (PBN). The feat received the boost when Emirates Airlines based in Dubai, the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) and Europe premier carrier KLM both carrying out test flying operations of the new approach procedures successfully landed at both the international wing of the Murtala
…As Emirates, KLM test fly new procedures Mohammed Airport in Lagos and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport respectively. Emirates Airlines was first to carry out the approach test on Global Navigation Satellite System [GNSS] in Lagos while KLM recorded same in Kano. For any aeroplane to operate on GNSS, the aircraft are expected to be equipped with necessary prescribed gadgets on board for easy link with the satellite for seamless navigation and communication to designated airports. In this case the pilots of the both
airlines, while approaching to landing at the airports had little or no contact with the air traffic controllers except that they were under close watch and monitoring on the radar. Speaking in Lagos yesterday, the Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, Engineer Mazi Nnamdi Udoh described the development as a great achievement in the current drive at transforming the nation's aviation industry by the federal government. ''With the success recorded in our quest of moving from terrestrial to satellite based air navigation system,
Nigeria has joined the league of big countries that are already operating the ICAO endorsed air navigation programme.' Udoh told journalists. The NAMA boss explained that the operation of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) would save cost for the airlines as they would burn less fuel during takeoff and landing, reduction in carbon dioxide emission and reduction in air traffic controllers' work load. The agency commenced the transformation with the completion of the N360million World Geodetic
Survey (WGS-84) of the country's 22 airports and the procedural design of the four major airports in 2010. Sixty industry stakeholders are currently undergoing training on the satellite based air navigation system with participants drawn from Air Traffic Controllers, Pilots, Nigerian Civil Aviation [NCAA] while the rest include Nigerian Air Force[NAF],Nigerian College of Aviation Technology [NCAT] and the Presidential fleet undergoing training Ed Hajek, a PBN expert from the International Air Transport Association [IATA] headquarters in Monteal, Canada.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Kebbi SSG sues for peace From Ahmed Idris, Brinin Kebbi
he newly appointed Secretary to the Kebbi state government Hon. Nora Usman Kangiwa, has admonished the people of Kangiwa local government area to live in peace and harmony with one another and support the mission and vision of the present administration. The SSG who gave this advice yesterday in his office when he received the people of the area on solidarity visit on his new appointment saying
that in a democratic dispensation there is need for the electorate to leave in peace in order to promote democracy. He commended the people of the area for the support they gave during the recent re-run governorship election in the state, and urged them to forgive each other for the progress of the state. He also assured them that he is ready to carry everybody along, and promised that the present government is ready to deliver the dividends of democracy to its people.
Jang vows to tackle ghost workers in Plateau From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos
G L-R: Director General of NTA, Alhaji Usman Mohammed Magawata, and Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, during the committee's visit to the NTA headquarters, recently in Abuja.
Northern youths blame elders for insecurity, economic woes From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin
he youth wing of Northern Union (NU), has called on northern elders and leaders to accept responsibility for the state of insecurity and economic backwardness in the region. In a statement jointly signed by the national coordinator and publicity secretary of the union, Comrade Kolo Majin Jerry and Mohammed Katun, the youth wing of NU cautioned northern leaders against heaping the blame for the insecurity in the
north on the government. The youths charged northern leaders to be proactive rather than been reactionary in their attempt at finding lasting solutions to both the security and economic challenges facing the region. The NU posited that, “at a point they (northern leaders) kept a golden silent, now they broke the silence. They bore us by blaming others for their failure while in power for about 40 years of 52 years long age of Nigeria’s existence”. It added, “our northern
political elders and leaders were 40 years in control of federal resources but how does or has the power they held religiously translate to collective prosperity rather than general poverty... “As youths, we grieve over the state in which we find our generation as the ignorance of our people becomes the weapon of mass destruction. But we are quick to remind them while they are busy creating and widening the gap of northern unity, and fanning the embers of violence …”
were secretly killed in some parts of the state. Honourable Daniel Dem, a member of the state legislature, said unknown gunmen had attacked and killed one Mrs. Anah Christopher Gyang, aged 40, in Luwa village of Bachit District, in Riyom local government area of the state around 9pm on Sunday 8th April, 2012, Similarly, one Mr. Dawus Mangs, a resident of Tudun Wada, said that the security situation is
worrisome, adding that despite the presence of security operatives, people were maimed every day. He appealed to the current security agencies in the state to be more proactive in safeguarding the lives and property of innocent Nigerians. On his part, the Plateau state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Samuel Dabai, said the security operatives in the state would soon put an end to the situation.
Jos residents decry insecurity From Bayo Alabira, Jos
esidents of Jos, the Plateau state capital have called on the authorities saddled with the responsibility maintaining law and order in the state, to be more vigilant in their activities, so as to track hoodlums who are perpetuating violence on daily bases in the state. A cross section of the residents told our correspondent that they are not comfortable with the security operatives as people
Bayelsa Assembly to screen 26 commissioner-nominees
he Bayelsa State House of Assembly is to commence the screening of 26 names Gov. Seriake Dickson forwarded to be appointed as commissioners today. A statement by the clerk of the Assembly, Mr. Aaron Gimiye, yesterday, in Yenagoa, said the screening would last for two days. The statement directed the nominees to submit 30 copies each of their credentials to the clerk’s office.
NAN reports that the nominees include the immediate past chairman of the PDP in the state, Deacon James Dugo, and a former member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Nelson Belief, and Mr. Mitema Obodor. It also includes a former president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Dr. Felix Tuodolo, Mr. James Agari, Mr. Fred Obuah, Mr. Ambrose Alfred, Mr. Markson Fefegha, Mr. Zuwa Konugha and Mr. Dein Binadoumene.
Also on the list are Mr. Furuebi Akene, Mr. William Alamene, Mr. Gesiye Isowo, Mr. Ball Oyarede, Mr. Lawrence Erudjakpo, Mr. Francis Ikio, Mr. Duate Iyabi, Mrs. Sarafina Otazi and Marie Ebikafe, both females. The rest are Dr. Sylvanus Abila, Dr. Thomas Commander, Chief Kuroekigha Ben-Wari, Mr. Ayakeme Massah, Mr. Francis Egele, Hon. Salo Adikumo, and Mr. A k p o e b i d e Alamieyeseigha. (NAN)
overnor Jonah Jang of Plateau state, yesterday, vowed to restructure the state’s civil service saying he is determine to get rid of ghost workers and to save cost. Speaking at the 2012 Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) Jos North chapter interdenominational service, Jang said the money being wasted on ghost workers would be channeled into the development of the state which all and sundry stand to benefit from. Jang who was represented
by Commissioner for Information and Communication Abraham Yiljah, called on Nigerians regardless of religion, ethnic and political differences to unite and defeat evil, urging people to be bold and go anywhere they wished not minding the bomb blast threats. He challenged both Christians and Muslims to unite and to live in peace with one another saying without peace and harmony government cannot be able to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorate.
First Katsina mathematics professor gets traditional title By Muhammad Sada with agency report
lhaji Bello Abdulkadir, Danejin Katsina and District Head of Mahuta in Kafur local government area of Katsina state, on Sunday, turbaned Prof. Haruna Yusuf as “Danmasanin Danejin Katsina”. Yusuf, a Mathematics lecturer at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, was conferred with the traditional title in recognition of his achievement as first Mathematics professor in Katsina state as well as first indigene from Kafur local government area to attain the highest academic status. Abdulkadir urged intellectuals in Nigeria and abroad to contribute their quota towards the development of their local communities. He said Yusuf was honoured to serve as inspiration to other people and urged them to live in peace and engage in viable ventures capable of contributing to the development of the area and the nation. Speaking at the occasion, Yusuf expressed appreciation
over the appointment, adding that the process of establishing a foundation for mathematics study and development had reached an advanced stage. He said the initiative was aimed at halting the persistent mass failure of students in the subject as the foundation would run programmes that would encourage students to have interest in the study of mathematics from the grassroots level. According to him, “Increased collaboration is desired among parents, teachers, wealthy individuals and other non-governmental organisations”. He also called on Northern states’ governments as well as other stakeholders to invest more on the development of education. He called on youths to consider success in mathematics as a challenge that was simple to achieve through commitment and dedication, adding that mathematics was a subject like any other one. The ceremony, which was conducted in Danejin Katsina’s palace in Mahuta, witnessed Durbar, traditional dances and other traditional rites.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Sokoto NLC wants govt to pay N18,000 minimum wages to LGAs From Sadeeq Aliyu, Sokoto
okoto state government has been urged to ensure that the N18,000 minimum wage paid to workers as March salaries is extended to workers in the local government areas of the state. The state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Mohammed Danyaro Tambuwal
made the call during a reception in honour of the former NLC chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril who was appointed Special Adviser to the governor on Primary Health Care. Comrade Tambuwal said though the union was very much appreciative for the new salary, government should hasten its payment to workers in local governments and rectify all
discrepancies that arose during the payment of last month’s salary. While speaking about qualities of the special adviser, a former NLC chairman Comrade Garba Kadi described him as a man of track record in the health sector, adding that his appointment was well deserved. Another former NLC chairman, Comrade Abubakar
Yabo who is currently the council chairman of Yabo local government, stated that the appointment of Ibrahim Jubril would encourage past leaders of the union to come to the aid of the congress when the need arises. Responding, Alhaji Jubril who expressed happiness for the reception, said his appointment was not for him alone but all
workers in the state from whom he drew his powers and inspiration. He said the state government is very much aware of the importance of NLC and it is left for members to make judicious use of the opportunity available to them, saying that “we don’t push our request in the militant way but through diplomacy, and the more we request the more we get”.
Zamfara distributes N52.3m Zakkat to 1,098 persons
Tsangaya Model Boarding School (Almajiri School) built at the Gagi, Sokoto South, Sokoto state to be commissioned by President Goodluck Jonathan today. Photo: Joe Oroye
he Zamfara state Zakkat and Endowment Fund will this year give out sums amounting to N52.3 million to a total of 1,098 persons, state governor Abdulaziz Yari has said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the organisation commenced the distribution of the assistance in Bakura on Sunday. Speaking at the occasion, Governor Yari said “unlike in the past, where each person got between N5,000 and N10,000, beneficiaries will now receive between N50,000 and N100,000”. He explained that since the fund was aimed at empowering the beneficiaries, it was only when they got good money that they could use it to upgrade their petty businesses. “It is only when this is done that they and their businesses make impact on the economy”, the governor said.
SSS to train NOA staff on intelligence gathering By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
he Director-General of State Security Service (SSS), Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, has said the service will train staff of the National Orientation Agency (NOA) on intelligence gathering. Ekpenyong who made this pronouncement recently when he received the NOA Director-General, Mr. Mike Omeri on a working visit to the SSS, noted that the training would assist the staff of the agency in dispensing their duties. According g to him, reports
from NOA to the Service must have intelligence value to enable the service take the requisite security measures, while announcing the willingness of the SSS to build the capacity of the agency. A statement issued by the Assistant Director, press in the agency, Fidel Agu, said that the SSS boss appealed to all Nigerians to avail the SSS of intelligence reports to facilitate pro-active strategies as against reactionary security measures. It commended the NOA for its role in creating security awareness
across the nation and for providing security reports to the SSS. He harped on the need for infrastructural development, the lack of which, he said, provides conducive environment for the recruitment of terrorists, warning that the country must not allow criminal elements to make life difficult for its people. Meanwhile, the NOA DirectorGeneral, Mike Omeri, commended the SSS for its resilience and the patriotism of its men in combating insecurity in the country, and disclosed the willingness of his
agency for closer team work with the SSS to ensure safety of citizens and non-citizens alike. Mr. Omeri said that jingles and posters alone were insufficient to raise the consciousness of Nigerians to the required level on security matters. He said the task requires strategic synergy among stakeholders at all levels, which he said has informed the current approach by the NOA to engaging traditional and community leaders in the country as security agents and peace builders.
Jonathan to commission Almajirai FRSC recovers N9.1m in road EH582AB and a Mercedes Benz Mohammed Maccido who school in Sokoto Hassan car. conducted State House journalists accident From Joe Oroye, in Sokoto
resident Goodluck Jonathan is expected to commission the Tsangaya Model Boarding School (Almajirai school) built at the Gagi , Sokoto South, in Sokoto state today. As at yesterday, the school premises were full of activities as finishing touches were being put in place for the commissioning ceremony. The Director of Press to the Sokoto state governor, Alhaji
round the project, explained that the school is designed to teach both Islamic and Western education. He added that the students would be drawn from Sokoto, other neighbouring states and Niger Republic. Among the prominent dignitaries expected with President Jonathan at the commissioning ceremony are, the host governor Alhaji Aliyu Magatarda Wamakko, Minister of Education Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i and other top officials.
By Adeola Tukuru
en of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have recovered the sum of N9.1 million in a road accident which occurred along AbujaLokoja road in Koton-Karfe local government area of Kogi state. The accident, according to Oheari Osondu, the staff officer of the FRSC who spoke to our reporter on telephone, involved a luxury bus with registration number
He explained that 57 people were involved in the crash and that they included 33 males, 18 females (adult), and 6 children. He said the victims were rushed to Ideal Hospital in KotonKarfe for treatment. The number of deceased however, was yet to be ascertained. Osondu said that the money recovered was handed over to the relations of the victims and the case has been reported to the police.
He said Islam provided for the issuance of Zakkat to the poor and needy so as to reduce poverty. Yari urged the beneficiaries to ensure that by next year they too could help others. He also called on the well-to-do within and outside the state to continue to give the required percentage of their wealth in cash, animals or grains so that the wealth could go round. The governor announced that in the near future the state government would be raising the amount to be given to individual beneficiaries to N1 million each. “This will help the empowerment measure to be faster”, he said. NAN reports that 61 persons were selected from each of the 13 emirate councils of the state to benefit from the assistance. 10 of them got N100,000 each, while the remaining 51 got N50,000 each. NAN gathered that the emirate councils had also locally set up their Zakkat and Endowment Funds. Through this, persons of various poverty levels, as well as the aged and orphans, were being assisted annually. (NAN)
Osun govt plans to access N60bn loan for capital projects By Muhammad Sada, with agency report
he Osun state government says it is planning to access the N60 billion bond loan for the execution of some capital projects across the state. This was disclosed by the Osun state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, in Osogbo. Akere said the executive would soon forward a bill to be known as Bond and Fiscal Responsibility Bill in that respect to the state legislature for consideration and approval. He explained that the bill, when approved and signed into law, would authorise the state government to raise the long term loan at cheap and fixed interest rates throughout the period of the loan. Akere said the need for the loan became imperative because the State Executive Council had noted that the state government was in “dire need of funds to execute some projects.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Catholic Bishop urges peaceful co-existence From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
igerians have been called upon to strive to live in peace and harmony with one another in the spirit of the Easter. Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, stated this in his Easter message to Nigerians yesterday. The bishop said “as Muslims, Christians and traditional worshipers, we would all benefit from a peaceful environment by living in peace with ourselves”. He therefore implored: “Let us all be vigilant and work for peace so that we can have development and prosperity in Nigeria as a whole… “Jesus died to bring us peace, preached justice so, let us all work for peace and do justice, to one another”, he said.
Orphans’ plight worries Edo guber aspirant’s wife From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
he wife of the governorship candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Edo state, Mrs. Yetunde Airhiavbere has pledged to cater for orphans and vulnerable children, physically challenged children and others if her husband’s ambition to rule the state is realised. Mrs. Airhiavbere berated relevant government agencies who are charged with their welfare for insensitivity. She dropped the hint with newsmen during Easter visit in the company of her children to three orphanage homes in the three senatorial districts of the state, where she donated cash, food items, clothes, toiletries among other valuable items to the inmates. “We have not come here today to show off but to give to the needy. I know that most times the children are forgotten, I’m not an exception. In most times, we don’t remember them. I want to tell you that, this is the beginning and not the end”.
L-R: Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, Minister of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Bukar Tijani, and Minister of State for Works, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, discussing during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, at the State House, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye
Clerics express optimism for Nigeria at Easter From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos
lergymen in Lagos have called on Nigerians not to give up despite challenges facing the country as better days lie ahead. The preachers in separate Easter messages to Christians in the country urged them to embrace Christ’s teachings and remain positive about the nation. The president, Christian
“We should also expect that the sacrifices of the past and those that we are making will bring about restoration. As Jesus Christ rose from the dead, the church and Nigeria will rise again. “We will not just talk about a sleeping giant, but one that is awake; a giant that we can all be proud of,” he said. The general overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Pastor Williams Kumuyi who addressed a press
conference, urged political leaders and Nigerians to emulate Christ’s lessons on forgiveness, love and commitment to “servant leadership.” Pastor John Tunde Awe of The Christ Apostolic Church, Glorious Assembly, Ayobo said Nigeria will overcome its security challenges; he called on political leaders to deliver on the dividend of democracy to the people of the country.
Tarok youths to plant 500 moringer trees From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos
ouths Organisation in Plateau State under the auspices of Ngwang Ishi O'Tarok (NIO), have declared that henceforth they will decide the
Physician says regular check of cholesterol level will prevent disease physician at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Ogugua Osi-Ogbu, has advised people to check their cholesterol level regularly to avoid diseases attributable to lifestyle. Osi-Ogbu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday that the body produced Vitamin D and bile from cholesterol to aid digestion. She noted, however, that while cholesterol played a key role in the functioning of a person’s heart, a high level of it in the bloodstream could cause heart disease. She encouraged everyone to conduct cholesterol tests regularly and ensure that their fat level
Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor had urged Christians to show love to friends, neighbours and relations, irrespective of their religious or ethnic backgrounds. “I congratulate Christians for another Easter…It is a time for restoration because he rose from the dead. As Christians, we must be prepared to make sacrifices for the growth of the church and Nigeria.
remained normal. Cholesterol is a fat, which is produced by the liver and is crucial for normal body function and exists in the outer layer of every cell in the body as waxy substance that is transported in the blood plasma of all animals. “High levels of low density lipoprotein is a risk of you clogging your arteries and developing things like strokes, heart-attacks, and low flow of blood to your extremities such as your legs, and could actually require amputation. “Another fraction of cholesterol is triglyceride where we have levels above normal levels of triglyceride there is a risk of arterial clotting.”
economic, political, educational and social future of the Tarok nation. Chairman of the group Pirtim Andrew Bali while addressing members at it Easter day celebration on Lohmak Mountain, announced that in December the association would plant 500 moringer trees and establish a factory that would process and package the oil, seed and leaves of the tree. Bali said the demand for moringer tree leaves and oil is high because it is used for treating HIV/ AIDS and other deadly diseases; explaining that the first 500 trees
would be a pilot scheme. According to him, when the factory takes off a lot of Tarok youths and women who are unemployed would be gainfully engaged. He said in the past people wasted the tree but research has shown that the tree "is a tree of life and wealth". He said the association was designed to teach the youths the Tarok culture, tradition and belief system as well as to assist one another, particularly in educational and career pursuits for the better future of Tarokland and society in general.
He said there is a serious need for Tarok people to be economically independent; stressing that Ngwang Ishi O'Tarok is one platform that has come into existence to unite the Tarok people both at home and abroad. According to him, the forum is working out modalities to uplift the standard of education in Tarok land by organising extra moral classes and appealed to members of the organisation who have advanced academically to avail themselves as it would be good for them to impact on the younger ones who are the leaders of tomorrow.
Kebbi to upgrade airstrip to international airport
he Kebbi government will upgrade the Ambursa Airstrip to an international airport within the year to boost social and economic activities, state governor Saidu Dakingari said yesterday. He made the disclosure in Birnin Kebbi during a courtesy visit to him by traditional leaders in the state, led by the state council
of chiefs’ chairman, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar. Dakingari said the provision of an international airport would be part of efforts to attract investors. “It will also provide a means of export of commodities, as well as the importation of goods to the state”, the governor said. He also pointed out that the airport would reduce the difficulties
faced by residents in the state who go on religious pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem. Dakingari said modalities for the expansion of the airport, as provided by officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), would be strictly adhered to. “All the required equipment will be provided, according to international standards,’’ he said.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
EDIT ORIAL EDITORIAL
How to end Fulani-Tiv skirmishes
ral tradition - accepted by both Tiv and Fulani tribesmen - says that the two tribes are cousins. They are consequently forbidden by tradition from engaging in acts of hostility against each other. However, in recent times, this gentleman’s agreement has been observed only in the breach. Frequent clashes between itinerant Fulani herdsmen and sedentary Tiv farmers have shattered the myth of common ancestry and communal harmony. When he was made governor of Benue state in 2007, Gabriel Suswam was so concerned about these clashes, some of them very bloody, that he initiated a Tiv/Fulani forum to tackle the ugly development. The Tor Tiv, Alfred Akawe Torkula, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, are joint leaders of the forum. The Sultan has, however, delegated his authority to the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Usman Shehu Abubakar, who presides over these meetings. Even then, the Sultan has taken the initiative so seriously that two years ago, he went down to Makurdi, the Benue state capital, accompanied by Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar. Unfortunately, these efforts have not yielded any fruitful results. Now, there are daily reports of more deadly clashes between the Tiv and the Fulani from Nasarawa to Benue and Taraba states. This is a sad commentary on the state of security in the country and particularly in the North. When both the modern machinery of government and the traditional institutions of
authority fail to restore order in an African society, only one option is left: anarchy. The Suswam initiative, no matter its good intentions, failed because members of the forum after collecting fat allowances for their meetings turned it into a ‘story tellers’ club where members met in air conditioned hotel rooms in Abuja and humoured themselves with stale, time -worn stories of the traditional ties between the Tiv and the Fulani! The result of their story
In our considered opinion, the government needs to take a more comprehensive view of the Fulani - Tiv clashes than the myopic advice of these ‘experts.’ It is the only way to find an enduring solution to it telling exploits is the disaster we have on our hands today. We believe that the situation deserves a more serious and responsible approach than what the Suswam initiative has given us. The nomadic Fulani move around with their cattle in search of grazing land. The governments, both federal and state, MUST provide this land for them. They are citizens of this country who are subjected to taxation on their cattle wherever they graze. More ever, they supply a very essential part of our
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nutritional needs. However, this should not be done at the expense of sedentary farmers who also need the land to till for their daily needs and the economic growth of the country. It is the responsibility of the government to work out this delicate balance in the name of equity, justice and communal harmony. So far, we regret to say our governments – both federal and state - have failed. Much of the blame goes to northern state governors who have failed to check the damaging impact of desert encroachment in the region. The loss of arable land in the North-east and North-west has forced out an increasing number of herdsmen from these regions to the North-central states where clashes have become rampant, not only with the Tivs but also other sedentary farmers. This situation, if not checked, will develop into a more complex security threat than the Boko Haram. Sadly, the federal government is treating the Tiv-Fulani clashes with characteristic ennui. We understand ‘security experts’ in the government have been telling President Goodluck Jonathan that the combatants are bush primitive men who can easily be overwhelmed with the might of the federal security apparatus. This is the same attitude that led us into the intractable Boko Haram tunnel. In our considered opinion, the government needs to take a more comprehensive view of the Fulani - Tiv clashes than the myopic advice of these ‘experts.’ It is the only way to find an enduring solution to it.
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PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Jonathan is the ‘gift’ that keeps giving By Folabi Ogunleye
he so-called detractors need not work too hard - the president and his aides might already be doing a good job of creating enough distractions. The first thing I said to myself on reading about it was “no way”. Goodluck Jonathan, at a recent dedication of a church building in his village in Otuoke, Bayelsa state, told the gathered faithful how the idea of a new church building came about, no doubt proud of the role he played in facilitating the project. According to the president, he had bemoaned to the hearing of the managing director of the Italian construction firm, Gitto Construzioni Generali Nigeria Limited, the unbefitting only major church building in Otuoke. The president went on to say that the latter thereafter offered not only to renovate the old church building, but to build Otuoke a new one, fitting for a president to worship in. [Can we safely assume here that this offer came as a complete surprise to the president? No?]. In any case, the president’s narrative probably came across as some heavenly testimony in the ear of the Anglican faithful who heard him speak [à la “God works in miraculous ways!”]. Or what might one call the strong pushback coming from the highest hierarchies of the Anglican Communion against the president’s more vocal critics, both in the mainstream media and in the political opposition? Case in point concerns the Primate of the Anglican Church
in Nigeria, Reverend Nicholas Okoh, who on Friday, April 6, described as “satanic” the call by opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) for impeachment proceedings to be initiated against the president. It is possible that nobody would have heard a peep of all this without President Jonathan coming out to tell his own story. But in giving a testimony, the president has given everybody and his oga their talking points, while Mr. Jonathan and his supporters continue pointing at everybody else for the latest “distraction,” even if these same people know that the president blew the lid on his own ill-advised choices. “Man, sometimes I wonder if he has any clue”, said a friend and a neighbour of mine the other day. It is not the first time that Mr. Jonathan will show such naiveté in expressing himself. There are many other such instances, which include his January 22 remarks to local and international journalists, after one of the many bloody terrorist attacks under his watch, in Kano, where about 200 people were murdered in one fell swoop by blood-thirsty terrorists belonging to the group known as Boko Haram. “Unfortunately the whole world is passing through terror attacks - a very ugly stage of our history. We know that we will get over it,” the president and commander-in-chief of the federal republic consoled, in a manner that grated on the ears. It takes a blank mind to make that kind of remark, so soon after the
brutal annihilation of many innocent citizens and at a location so close to the scene of the deadly attacks. Jonathan is the president that Nigeria gets when Nigeria lets her emotions guide her choices rather than let her intellect take charge. Nigeria, hypocritically religious as ever, looked not for Goodluck Jonathan’s record in the service of his homeland, but was mesmerized by the divinelike manner of his ascension: his boss in Bayelsa fell and Jonathan emerged as governor. Again his boss when he was vice-president died, and again he rose to become president, against every machination of those who opposed the idea of a ‘President Jonathan’. By the time the narrative of a shoeless Jonathan hit the press, every Adisa, Tompolo and Haruna was going around town saying “I’m Goodluck Jonathan.” Nigeria is now led by a man not only deficient in charisma but one who is also lacking in the kind of exposure that any serious country of Nigeria’s stature and influence requires in its leader. President Jonathan is a timid leader without guile or wile – attributes that even the purest among mongers of morality possess to navigate a treacherous world. Persons like Jonathan can only rise to the top in a Nigerian society already overrun by raw opportunism - opportunism armed with the naked aggression of filthy lucre. In the wake of the latest revelation, those who have enough esteem to feel affronted, and those who pretend to same, have come out to lambast the
Jonathan government, daring Nigeria’s caricature of a National Assembly to commence impeachment proceedings against the president. To hope that any such thing as a legislative investigation will happen is to believe that all the herd of cows in Nigeria will be inspired to an Orwellian revolution that will make herds of their previous herdsmen. The presidency has, of course, reacted in the way it is best equipped to react. In a rambling statement that read like a high school rebuttal to a not-soinaccurate rumour, signed by presidential adviser, Dr. Reuben Abati, intelligent Nigerians were labelled by the president for their supposed lack of discernment. The presidency resorted to juvenile lambast unbefitting of a presidential press release. The statement written in the name of the President of Nigeria was full of barely concealed hysteria, irritable damnation and a misguided – if not flat-out false sense of affront over a situation initiated, highlighted and exacerbated by the President himself. The statement was a disgrace in presidential communication. Yet it would not be the first time that such statements would come out of Aso Rock in response to valid questions and deserving hard-knocks from both an enlightened citizenry and a vocal [if not self-serving] opposition. Indeed, heavens forbid that day when the people of Nigeria will not find the esteem and the confidence and the common-sense to lash out and, if
necessary, ridicule bone-headed leadership when they see one. If the recent statements coming out of the Aso Rock Villa were the best that the Jonathan administration could do for press releases, why bother making any statements at all? It is even more distressing considering the fact that the president’s office is headed by persons like Dr. Abati, who is supposed to be well-heeled in communications. The questions torment: What happened to class? What happened to finesse in language and carriage? Do these people learn from others out there – do they learn anything from the societies that pioneered and perfected the art of communication as we know it today? It is doubtful that they learned anything from those who know better – a sad testament for a country full of brainy, exposed and distinguished sophisticates. It is one thing for a man of former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s age to be rough at the edges or uncaring about the finer tenets of classy, diplomatic politispeak; but it is another thing for a much younger President Goodluck Jonathan and his aides in Aso Rock to carry such deficiency in the mores of public communication befitting of presidential press releases. Nigeria must begin to work at doing better in what she showcases for leadership going forward. And that work starts not in 2015; the work starts now. Folabi Ogunleye wrote in from the UK.
Nigerian child: Situation is critical By Emmanuel Onwubiko
wo recent events of significance paint graphic picture of the critical situation that contemporary Nigerian children face on daily basis. The first of the two events is catastrophic and has already occurred while the second could be categorized as an attempt by the political authority to try to find workable solution to the disturbing statistical evidence that over 20 million Nigerian children are out of school due largely to poverty afflicting their parents. Firstly, in the first week of April 2012, a bus conveying to school the pupils of the Divine Wisdom Nursery and primary school in Ibadan, Oyo State, caught fire while in motion even as over six children were killed in the inferno and fifteen others who were trapped in the fire were successfully rescued but with varying degrees of injuries. From medical report cited by reporters of various national dailies, eight of the pupils were diagnosed to have suffered shock as a result of the fire incident speculated to have been triggered by electrical fault in the ill-fated school bus.
This Ibadan bus fire incident took a dramatic stage when 13 of the pupils who survived the accident were rushed to the university of Ibadan college hospital because of the severity of the burns and they were said to have been placed on oxygen but other vital medical equipment that are essentially needed to treat these children were totally absent in this Federal government owned medical facilities. Underscoring the historic absurdity witnessed in this derelict and dysfunctional Federal Government run hospital of tertiary level supposedly, the Oyo State governor Abiola Ajimobi had to urgently release N6 million to the hospital officials to rush to Lagos to procure the needed facilities in an attempt to save the lives of the injured children. Media report has it that soon after the children were rushed to the badly equipped University college Hospital in Ibadan run by the federal government of Nigeria, the state governor who rushed to the hospital and noticed the deplorable state of facilities, ordered his security officials to escort the hospital staff with the sum of N6 million to procure the
most essential medical equipment from Lagos for the treatment of these children. On arrival at the university college Hospital, the Oyo state Chief executive was briefed by the chairman, Medical Advisory Committee, Dr. Biodun Otegbayo who confirmed the critical medical situation of the children, but was quick to confirm that the hospital lacks some of the basic tools needed to attend to this type of medical emergency. Aside ordering the equipment, the Oyo state Governor said the medical bills of these admitted injured children for treatment would be settled by the state government. The unfortunate hospital scenario reported above is replicated in virtually all parts of the country whereby the primary Health care system seems to have collapsed thereby resulting in the unfortunate and untimely deaths of scores of children from even seemingly treatable diseases like malaria and Pneumonia. But should government officials at local, state and Federal government levels wait for such medical emergencies to happen before they embark on media and politically-motivated charitable
assistance as was seen in the Ibadan school bus fire incident? The second event which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 10th April 2012 in Sokoto state is the official commissioning by President Goodluck Jonathan of the Model ‘Almajiri’ school which is proposed to remove hundreds of thousands of homeless children from the streets of Northern Nigeria and offer them formal, organized educational life line and to try to transform them into law abiding, patriotic Nigerians when they become adults. It is yet to be seen how this new approach by government could go in removing children from the streets of Northern Nigeria and even Abuja. These vulnerable children are left to wander around by their parents to fend for themselves. A greater percentage of persons spoken to about this proposed model ‘Almajiri’ school system say it may not work except the necessary structures are put in place and workable measures put in place to check corruption and economic crime by the managers of the new school system because a bad precedent was set when the Nomadic Educational System was set up by the Federal
government few years back but this effort did not make much impacts because of ineptitude, corruption and crass opportunism which characterized the hierarchy of this ill-fated school system that was originally designed to educate the Fulani herdsmen and their family members to transform them into educated members of the Nigerian society. I am of the considered opinion that because the Nomadic Educational infrastructure were left to rot due to official incompetence and corruption, the targeted beneficiaries have lost the opportunity of the life time and this may account for the frequent clashes between members of farming communities across the country and these Fulani Herdsmen who are often accused of invading farm lands and destroying farm produce. I am of the opinion that if Nomadic Educational system was effectively implemented, then better and more improved relationship would have been worked out and clashes that have lately become bloody and violent would have been avoided. Both the officials of Federal Ministries of Contd. on page 14
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Aliero: In the interest of the people By Kabiru Sani Giant
ow that reality has dawned pertaining to the momentous return of Senator Mohammed Adamu Aliero to the PDP, conditions are ideal for a more sober political analysis of the event, if only to put issues in their true perspective and deflect all the sensational insinuations by cynical critics. It is music to the ears however to hear that Senator Aliero, the irrepressible arrowhead of Kebbi politics is now even a potential Vice Presidential candidate for 2015, even though the “OBJ Agenda” it was linked to by dreaming editors is a fallacy. If Governor, Senator, Minister (GSM) Aliero can also add VP to his impressive political credentials it can only distinguish his distinction further. He is definitely qualified! And by what better criteria can we sort out the boys from the men in politics- if not by such progress? It is also worth pointing out that VP Namadi Sambo, who has cordial ties with Aliero, former President Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan, played an active role in Senator Aliero’s triumphant return to PDP. And why not? Apart from being absolutely in PDP’s strategic interest, the salient issue in the momentous return of Senator Aliero to PDP is that it marks a restoration of normalcy, decency Contd. from page 13
Education and Agriculture ought to have worked in synergy to educate the Fulani Herdsmen on the best methods of grazing and indeed if the Federal government had clearly established grazing reserves across the country. In view of the increasing existential situation that the Nigerian children face, I had to task Miss. Oladapo Osareme Victoria, a political science undergraduate of one of the public schools to conduct a research on the state of the Nigerian child and her findings were as pathetic as they are horrific making it imperative that one is left with no option but to propose to government and other private sector stakeholders to take urgent steps to establish viable and functional educational and health facilities to care for our Nigerian children and to transform them into better citizens for the greater glory of our fatherland. In carrying out this intellectual assignment, the 21 year old Miss Oladapo Osareme Victoria who is an active affiliate of my registered civil society organization, also reflected on the symbolism of the International Children and Youth Day usually marked on May 27th every year. Highlights of her findings reveal that the international children’s and Youth Day is no longer a new event as far as Nigeria is concerned. This event is celebrated all over the world on every 27th day of May. Nigeria therefore joins the United Nations
and sincerity in the political averted by the withdrawal of an intimate friend of Aliero. Aliero affairs of Kebbi State which has CPC’s Abubakar Malam from the successfully marshaled Dakingari been in a state of aberration and impending “mother of all into election success following his high tension since 2007. It has elections”! Perhaps people outside historic realignment of Kebbi and thereby ended the bad blood, the state who constitute majority Sokoto politics into PDP bickering and violent rivalry that of the critics are too far from the mainstream. Aliero also fought has marred the political scene in kitchen to feel the rising heat but the legal battles that raged in the the state. Above all, it signifies in Kebbi State it is thanksgiving face of Dakingari’s election. reconciliation between Governor all over. The circumstances that sowed Saidu Dakingari the seeds of and Senator d i s c o r d Adamu Aliero, between them the two most have been Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text prominent subjected to messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written political leaders of s e v e r a l the state, a interpretations contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 conscious and m o s t l y words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and mature mutual uninformed. a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed decision that The allegation to: practically that it was removes any caused by The Editor, bones of A l i e r o ’ s Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, contention from financial 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. the equation. demands on Email: let email@example.com All the critics Dakingari in SMS: 07037756364 of Senator Aliero particular has who have had a b e e n It is pertinent to cast our minds overblown. If truth be told, Aliero field day portraying him in uncomplimentary light have back and recall that the then demonstrated sincerity in his obviously and absurdly Governor Aliero and aspirant- avowed commitment to the overlooked these very candidate Saidu Dakingari had emergence of Dakingari as fundamental outcomes for reasons the best of human and brotherly governor, in financial and moral best known to them. The peace relations for decades. It was such forms without extracting any dividend alone stands out high as a strong affinity that Aliero stood oath/agreement from him as our being more beneficial to the people resolutely and defiantly against south-eastern comrades do and the progress of the state than so many odds piled up against openly. Dakingari also knows that any of the hollow sentiments of Dakingari’s candidature such as he played little or no part in his “political principles” bandied sheer lack of political exposure and own campaign and election and around by myopic experience as well as availability that his “oga” lived up to commentators. Only God knows of more suitable candidates expectation. There could not have the potential blood bath that was including Abubakar Malam, also been much ado about
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reciprocating such a gesture as investment in politics was never regarded as senseless or suicidal in Nigeria. Besides, Aliero who was pro-active in exposing corruption by inviting ICPC/EFCC to Kebbi State as governor will not be expecting his successor to repay him corruptly! The numerous reconciliatory moves by well-meaning leaders at state and national levels culminating in the final breakthrough exposed the hideous roles played by certain characters close to both Aliero and Dakingari in whispering campaigns of animosity and antagonism for their own sinister ulterior motives of currying favour and acquiring relevance. It is no secret that such evil characters hang around personalities to gossip and back-bite their way into the inner circles of confidants as a way of life. Such people thrive only in an atmosphere of crisis, distrust and suspicion but they are the first losers when their agenda is exposed and curbed as is the case now. They are the ones sponsoring all the press criticism, including columnists who know better, as they desperately seek to regain their evil relevance. The crux of the matter is that the new era of unity and common political destiny that has been ushered in by the Contd. on page 15
Nigerian child: Situation is critical Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to honour children, recognize their need and address their challenges. This singular event, according to her, is meant to unite children all over the nation and put smiles in their faces through organized social events. The pertinent question to ask is how many of these children are privileged to actively involved or participated in the festivities? Too many of them suffer from life vagaries and deprivations such as neglect, poverty, hunger, illiteracy, squalor and sexual molestation and other imposed child laborrelated hardships. This is the reason why I think that the contemporary Nigerian Children should be paid ‘HARD SHIP ALLOWANCE’ rather than pay legislators at the National Assembly who are usually isolated in their air conditioned offices and heavily air conditioned chauffeur driven cars what is dubiously called hardship allowance even when they [legislators] know nothing about hardship. The Nigeria child in the considered opinion of Miss. Oladapo, is bedeviled by too many problems and what ordinarily should have become a celebration has therefore become a sober reflection on the plight of the Nigerian child, millions of who are not presently in school even though they are of school age, making the level of illiteracy in the country to be all time high. Nigerian government on
paper is said to have tried all effort and means to redress this trend but it appears every attempt at solving this problem is always hitting the rock because in the first instance, officials of government lack the necessary commitment and political will to do the needful so as to transform the present precarious situation of the Nigerian Child and lift them to their better selves. Miss. Oladapo thinks that the latest in this move by government to redress the educational imbalance of the contemporary Nigerian Children, is the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme lunched in 1999 by the government of President Olusegun Obasanjo to capture the children of both primary and junior secondary. Again, the implementation of this obviously noble idea has been weighed down heavily by official corruption, incompetence, opportunism, mediocrity and outright heist of financial resources meant for the program thereby scuttling the dream and lofty goals for its conception. Recalling with nostalgia that the goal of this system is primarily well targeted and laudable in that it is set to make education free and compulsory at these basic levels, Miss Oladapo also recalled that also embedded in this laudable programme is the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Program (HGSFHP) Act
2004, aimed at reducing dropouts and improving nutritional status of children. Regrettably, in her assessment, so far the above goals and good intention of the Nigeria government have failed to achieve its purpose due to what she simply calls “the Nigerian factor”. She rightly stated that it seems the Nigerian government and the general public have become collaborative in their insensitivity to the plight of the Nigerian child. The programme aimed at integrating basic education into the Qu’ranic school system seems not workable thereby hordes of children move from one street to the other in some parts of the country begging for alms. Over the years such children have become easy prey for politicians who use them to ferment civil unrest in order to achieve their selfish political interest. Citing findings from other researchers which she shares, She found out to her consternation most local government areas in Nigeria today have no schools or viable programs for the blind or the deaf and dumb. Her words: “The Nigeria government in collaboration with some foreign NGOs may be making loud noise in their fight at eradicating childhood diseases but the fact remains that infant mortality rate from lack of access to primary healthcare remains
high in a country that aspires to be a truly global player by the year 2020”. But she quickly stated that government alone should not be blamed for the poor state of the Nigerian child because parents ought to and should be active in reducing the plights of the Nigerian child. “The average Nigerian parents of today unfortunately have put the search for wealth above their children’s needs and welfare thus making them susceptible to various forms of social abuse. The high rate of broken homes in some parts of the country has had its negative impacts on the moral upbringing of children. Poor parental examples are another factor that is fast leading children astray”, she averred. The former United States President Mr. Bill Clinton wrote in his book “Giving: How each of us can change the World,” that those who are financially well endowed owe humanity a duty to lift the millions of disadvantaged children into their better selves. President Clinton said thus; “The fact that one in four people who die this year will succumb to AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, or infections related to dirty water casts a pall over all our children’s future”. * Emmanuel Onwubiko heads HUMAN Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria and writes from www.huriwa.blogspot.com.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Reinforcing Nigeria’s security system S
By Bijida Charles
ecurity is one of mankind’s essential needs. It is germane to the peaceful coexistence of every society and plays a vital role to the development of a nation. A country without an effective security system in place is no doubt predisposed to all manner of crimes which in most cases pose threat to the lives of its people and even its existence. This is why most governments across the world invest huge amount of money to ensure the security of lives and property of the citizens. With the complexity of the society, however, the issue of security has taken a new shape. New technologies such as computer have further opened up complex ways of carrying out crime and fighting wars. We are in the era of cyber crime when people do not have to carry guns to rob, but only need to spam the internet and cart away billions of dollars almost unnoticed. Weapons of man’s destructions have also been built in a way that a country can annihilate another almost without anybody noticing. These changes have therefore made it imperative for nations to evolve new measures of tackling security problems. Sophisticated equipments and the use of intelligence have largely taken over the crude forms of security management in most countries of the world. Today, with the development of digital video surveillance technologies and the digitization
and networking of physical control systems, it has become possible to detect crimes even before they are carried out, therefore making security more of a proactive measure rather than a reactive measure. In the same vein, it has become imperative for most countries to ensure that only the best brains are employed into their security units. High premium is placed on individuals’ ability to man sophisticated technologies and also manipulate them. In Nigeria however, the reverse is the case. Crude measures of security management are still in use, with little or no effort to meet up with global security challenges. This has further given rise to crime especially in recent times. Crime rate is on increase either via the internet or on the roads of major highways in the country. Lives are being lost almost on daily basis. In fact, the recent killings of innocent citizens and the destruction of property by “unknown persons” in some parts of the country show clearly that the security system in the country is deficient and there is need for much to be done. In terms of technology, the Nigerian security system is nothing to write home about. Hardly can one find police stations equipped with internet facilities. Communication gadgets are also lacking, making it impossible to track crimes either before they are committed or even after. There are no much needed functional vehicles, thus
emergency cases are rarely attended to. More so, unlike in most countries where only “the best brains” get enlisted into their security agencies, in Nigeria the reverse is the case. Security is seen as the reserve of illiterates, school dropouts and mostly people who have lost hope in life. A large number of people recruited into the various security organizations in the country have scarcely gone past secondary school. Some people even have to forge results or pay huge amount of money to get their way into the system. Consequently, the aspect of intelligence is grossly lacking in our security system. The increase in manpower has therefore yielded little or no result in terms of curbing crimes in the country. What can be done to salvage the situation? What can be done to put the Nigerian security system in order so as to achieve maximum security of lives and property of the people? First, it is important to recognize the fact that security plays a major role in the peaceful coexistence and development of every society. It is a major factor in determining the economic growth of a nation. Investments, for instance, can only be attracted when we have maximum security in place. Therefore, security must be seen as a priority for governments at all levels. Federal and state governments as well as the local government must invest largely into security by ensuring that
needed equipments are provided for security agencies in the country, especially the Nigerian police force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps. Also, as pointed out earlier, security management has taken a new dimension, world over, and Nigeria cannot afford to be left out. The era of walkie-talkie telephone, “talk true” and cogand-shoot guns is passed. We are in the era of intelligence security networking system and the use of sophisticated weapons. Nigeria cannot afford to be left out in the global trend in security management. Government must therefore invest in these areas. With this it is possible to have a proactive approach to security problems rather than a reactive approach. There is also the need to have intelligent security personnel in the system. It is no use if we have all the sophisticated gadgets in place if there are no intelligent people to man them. Therefore, it is important to ensure that knowledgeable persons are enlisted into the system. The perception that security is the reserve of illiterates, school dropouts and people without hope must be stopped. We must begin to appreciate the fact that security is a very sensitive issue which cannot be handled with levity. Adequate training should also be given to security personnel in the country. Such training should include how to employ the new security technologies in curbing crime and enhancing
both external and internal defence of the country. It should also include the various modern strategies of security management and the proactive approaches to issues of insecurity and many more. Rather than wait until crimes are committed before we start looking for culprits, if we have the necessary technologies in place and intelligent people to man them, we can even detect the crimes before they are committed. Government should also look into the remuneration of security personnel. That way we can attract the best brains into the system. There are graduates of relatively important disciplines like criminology, ICTs and law who are willing to work in the various security organizations in the country, but because of the poor remuneration and condition of service of security personnel, they feel discouraged. Sometimes even if they are still interested to join despite the poor remuneration, they are deprived either because they have no money to bribe someone or because some “security godfathers” and “elder statesmen” have closed up their chances of being enlisted with lists of their relatives who might unqualified. Lastly, there is need to also equip the various security academies in the country to meet global standard. Bijida Charles is a 300Level student of The Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri.
A ticking time bomb in North-east Nigeria By Tina Hains
just read a piece in the papers about the Federal Government’s plans to build 100 almajiri schools across Northern Nigeria and it got me thinking. I remember asking my mother five years ago if the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board had commenced the sale of UTME forms. I wanted to help a prospective candidate buy the form. Her answer not only shocked me but got me worried. I have not stopped thinking about it. She (was a secondary school
teacher then) said she was not sure. I then asked her why she was not sure she being a teacher. She responded that her students hardly took the UTME examination; that most of them could not afford it and also, not all the students wrote the WAEC/ NECO examinations. I asked myself what would become of an 18-year old who manages to get to SS3 and cannot afford to pay for the examination which would usher him into the world. In the society we live in, the UME, NECO and WAEC defines the course of a person’s life.
Aliero: In the interest of the people Contd. from page 14 historic reconciliation of Aliero and Dakingari must not be sabotaged under whatever guise. All genuine seekers of the peace and progress of Kebbi State must therefore rally round and support the new dispensation by encouraging the two central figures to remain focused on the positive thinking that secured the truce in the interest of the people and their own place in history. It is God Almighty that made
this remarkable political development possible and we all must pray that it is sustained for the benefits to manifest. Both Aliero and Dakingari should therefore brace up to the challenge of responsible leadership by resisting all pressure on them to turn back the hands of the clock of Kebbi progress. The last thing the people want is to see their leaders at daggers drawn. Kabiru Sani Giant No. 10, Abdullahi Fodio road, Makera Gandu, Birnin Kebbi
Passing the examination is the first step to a new chapter of a young person’s life. It determines whether or not you will further your studies, which institution you will attend and so on. In a society that is largely defined by salaries from white collar jobs and only those with a BSC/HND secure the best paying, I shiver to imagine the future of these youth. I observed from my local community back home that most end up either working in the cotton fields of Afcott or the sugarcane fields of Savannah Sugar Company as day labourers. This occurs during the harvest seasons, in between that, some of them (now) engage in roasting pork for sale. A negligible percentage of the ladies work also in the fields, the rest lazy at home and end up pregnant. You will therefore find a lady of 20-22 years being an unwed mother of two or three with no visible means of supporting them. The same scenario occurs all over Northern Nigeria, only in those areas the young men engage in Okada business and the ladies fry Bean Cakes, waina (Rice Cakes) and co. Three weeks ago, a young man who was my driver in the past visited me at the office (he had resigned due to his passion to join the Nigerian Army). I cannot count the number of times he bought forms for the army or Air
Force recruitment. He was a secondary school leaver who never wrote UTME (you do the math).He had just returned from another exercise and was not successful. He narrated a story that gave me the chills: That after spending a certain number of days at this recruitment exercise, passing through many hoops,” notes” started coming in from influential members of the society, names started dropping from the list for no justifiable reasons. That a young man whose name was dropped from the list, started shouting and questioning why he had to be dropped, that he was fit and passed the entire fitness test, that the exercise was his 10th attempt. He added that he was going to join Boko Haram, saying that at least BH would give him a sense of belonging and money in his pocket. On hearing that, the Soldiers descended on him, beating him. The more they beat him the more he stated he would join BH as soon as he left the camp. The fellow I was speaking with now said “Madam, the Army recruitment is not for table work i.e. white collar, it is more of physical work yet we are sidelined for people with connections. We are grown men with needs, our parents expect us to contribute to the feeding of the household, we need to buy soap,
marry and co, how do they expect us to survive”? I pondered on our discussion for a long time. These ones somehow managed to complete the secondary education. I assure you there are ten who dropped out for everyone who finished. Then the ones who finish do not finish well i.e. getting good grades in WAEC or NECO .They hardly write the UME. These fellows remain at that level and are easy prey for recruiters during political rallies and riots. They live very angry lives, bitter at the society, the rich and powerful who lord over them. It is not enough to build schools. We have to find out the quality of education the students get. Does it prepare them to compete for slots in higher schools? What is the percentage that passes the examinations? Government has to go beyond paying for NECO and co (when it bothers to) it has to afterwards find out how many passed and what happens to those who fail. We all have to be concerned about this group of people whose destinies are determined by whether or not they write/pass WAEC, NECO or UME. It goes beyond building schools for Almajiris, the others who stay with their parents and go to school are not any better. Tina Hains posted this article on nigeriavillagesquare.com
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Easter: Abuja parks, gardens, fun spots witness high patronage amidst tight security
Fun seekers having a good time during the Easter celebration, at Wonder Land, yesterday in Abuja.
arks, gardens and other merry-making spots in Abuja yesterd a y w i t n e s s e d h i g h patronage as residents continued the Easter celebrations amidst tight security. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) found that many of the parks and gardens visited in the Central Area and other districts in the city centre
had witnessed large turnout of people in spite of the security challenges. NAN reports that operatives of the State Security Service and the police were seen at designated points at the entrance, inside and around some of the parks visited. At the popular Millennium Park in the Central Business District, fun seekers told
NAN that they could not stay at home throughout the holidays and were comfortable with the security arrangements at the parks. An Abuja resident, Mr Emmanuel Ajeh, said that he went to the park in company of family members because they were tired of staying at home. He said that marking such important holidays
like Easter and Christmas in parks and gardens was the best way to relax with the family. Ajeh said his family chose the Millennium Park because it was affordable and convenient for them. “If you look at the holiday, it’s quite a long one, we have been indoors since Friday, the thing was becoming boring for us, so we decided to go out and I
think this place is not bad at all. “This is the best place to be at Easter, Christmas or Sallah, you do not need to have a lot of money to come to this place.” he said. Miss Maimuna Istifanus, a student of the FCT College of Education, Zuba said that she was at the park with her two nephews, after her initial reluctance to venture out was doused by a friend who assured her that the parks were safe. Mr John Idanyi, a Maitama resident told NAN at the Maitama Amusement Park, that he was there to entertain his children, adding it was a good way to relax rather than give money to children to spend on unimportant things. The influx of people had a l s o encouraged photographers to throng the parks, on the hope that people may capture the moments in pictures. One of such photographers, Mr Hycenth Okeke operating at the Millennium Park, however, said business was extremely low, due to poor patronage. According to him, unlike previous festivals, when he made up to N10, 000 daily, he is yet to make more than N2, 500 since Sunday. Another photographer the amusement park, Innocent Pam, also said that the patronage was low, but expressed hope that the situation would improve before the end of the day. NAN also reports that many people were seen thronging the Cinema houses in the city to while away the time. (NAN)
Bwari to sanction environmental defaulters By Adeola Tukuru
he Head of the E n v i r o n m e n t Department in Bwari Area Council, Mr Haruna Labaran has said the council was set to constitute a task force to sanction environmental sanitation defaulters in the area. Labaran said that the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has therefore directed every area council to set up a task force to enforce good sanitation practices. He urged all residents to protect their environment to forestall outbreak of diseases
and reduce deaths resulting from unhygienic practices. According to him, the council lacks adequate manpower to monitor the areas so as to checkmate unhygienic sanitation practices. He said that the council would continue to enforce good sanitation practices through enlightenment campaigns, to inculcate positive attitudes to the environment, especially among landlords and tenants. Labaran condemned the non-provision of toilet facilities by most landlords in the area, leading to the abuse of the environment.
Children enjoying them selves, during the Easter celebration at Wonder Land, yesterday in Abuja. Photos: Mahmud Isa
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
A sweeper keeping the cemented wall clean at Sabon Lugbe Abuja.
Looking for a way out after falling into the Gutter along Piakasa junction Airport road Hair dresser at work at the Aco shoping Complex Abuja. Abuja.
A woman roasting maize at Giri Junction Abuja.
Risky ride along Airport Lugbe road Abuja.
Photos: Joe Oroye
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Easter: Cleric urges Christians not to despair
he Secretary, Episcopal Conference of West Africa, Abuja, Rev. Fr Octovius Moo, has urged Christians not to despair, no matter the challenges they face. “This is because Easter is a great feast of hope.” He said. He made the call in Abuja on Sunday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) after a vigil mass to herald the Easter Sunday. “Easter had always been a great feast of hope, that Jesus Christ rose from the death paved the way for us. “We now have a new life in Christ and new hope while we are still alive, and so we should always look ahead and live our lives in view of the future. “With the celebration of Easter, it beholds on Christians to live in anticipation of hope for a better tomorrow.” Commenting on security challenge in the country, he said that with Christ’s resurrection, victory had won evil. “But for those who have faith in God, the trial of Jesus over evil in the world cannot permit evil to triumph again. “With Christ resurrection, it tells us that we have the capacity to overcome the challenges we are going through, if we have faith and doing what is good.” Rev, Fr. Christopher Bologo, the Parish Priest of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa, urged Christians to learn how to sacrifice like Jesus did to gain salvation for mankind. “We should look at the fact that in every victory, there must be sacrifice; as we celebrate, we must realise that Jesus offered his life and we must appreciate that and also try to sacrifice.” He advised Christians to face their challenges squarely, stressing that “we don’t need to give up”. (NAN)
Celebrating the Easter at Wonderland park, Abuja, yesterday.
Gwagwalada residents accuse PHCN of deliberate disconnection By Adeola Tukuru
esidents of Federal Housing Estate behind Hajj Camp in Gwagwalada have accused officials of the business unit of power holding company of Nigeria (PHCN), of deliberate disconnection that has thrown residents into
perrenialblackout. Mr Sibia Thliza, a resident disclosed that before the disconnection, supply to the estate was being rationed because of the pressure on the transformer. He said findings by residents of the estate showed that the disconnection was to restore 24 hours power supply to other areas rationing the supply with the estate. Thliza who said residents of
the estate had not defaulted in paying their bills payment in spite of the disconnection, therefore, called for restoration of the rationing system so as to allow for even distribution of power supply. In his reaction, the Business Manager of PHCN, Gwagwalada, Mr Aminu Bello, said he got to know about the disconnection of the estate following persistent calls by a resident of the community.
“I was at the estate immediately I got the information about the disconnection and as I speak to you, no good reason has been given for the disconnection. “To avoid break down of law and order we have resolved to first, restore the rationing system immediately to enable us investigate what prompted the disconnection so as to proffer possible solution,” he said.
Goat meat seller at the Lugbe in Abuja. Photos: Joe Oroye and Mahmud Isa
Garbage at the AMAC Housing Estate, Airport road, Abuja.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
- Pg 20
FG signs N160bn gas treatment agreement with indigenous firm
FAAC allocation for the month of March 2012 S/N
FG (52.68%) States (26.72%) L/govt Councils (20.72%) Derivation (13% of Mineral revenue-oil/gas) Value Added Tax (VAT) & Transfers
Association urges FG to stop export expansion grant to save local industry
he Leather and Allied Products Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (LAPMAN) has called on the Federal Government to stop the policy on Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to save local industries from collapse. The call was contained in a petition which the association sent to the Kano State House of Assembly Committee on Commerce and signed by its Chairman, Board of Trustees, Alhaji Bashir Danyaro. The petition, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Kano at the weekend, also called for the urgent probe of the importation value of leather in 2008. According to the association, the probe is necessary to unravel the high level scandal that charaterised the exercise. The association said the
Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30 ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20
AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30
DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN)
policy was originally designed to assist the sector but was hijacked by few powerful foreigner- individuals who allegedly siphoned the fund to the detriment of other sectors. It also noted that the EEG policy had led to job losses in local leather industries, pointing out that the promotion of local content had also been relegated. The associated contended that beneficiaries of EEG in the leather sector had driven the price to all time high, thereby making it impossible for local users of leather to make profit. The petition lamented that the abuse of the policy had led to the closure of several shoe companies that were once household names in the country. It called for urgent scrutiny of the grant to ascertain the level of abuse by the operators. “Our industries are at present in a serious jeopardy and facing imminent collapse if your committee recommends the continuation of this EEG." (NAN).
pain's crude imports from Iran dropped in January, while its supplies from Nigeria and Iraq rose sharply, just as the European Union imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, official data showed yesterday. In its latest monthly bulletin, strategic hydrocarbons reserve board CORES estimated Spain had imported 279,000 tonnes of crude oil from Iran, a drop of 31 percent from December. As a proportion of total EXCHANGE RATES
ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00 LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08
CFA • £ RIYAL $
4th Apr, 2012 BUYING 0.2954 203.7245 245.8728 41.3023 154.9
SELLING 0.3154 205.0397 247.4601 41.5689 155.9
LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45 ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30
Continental Re posts N9.4bn gross premium From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos
ontinental Reinsurance Plc financial report for the year ended December 31, 2011 showed a Gross Premium income of N9.484 billion against N10.253 billion recorded in 2010 financial year. According to the audited report which was submitted to the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE), Profit after Tax also stood at N1.232billion compared to
Spain says it imports less Iran, more Nigerian crude oil
LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10 ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40
L-R: A recipient of UBA Most Valuable Performer(MVP) award, Mrs Sola Yomi-Ajayi, Executive Director, Resources, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, and Managing Director, UBA Asset Management Ltd, Mr. Jalo Waziri-Haruna, at a staff ceremony to celebrate and decorate MVP awardees, held in UBA Head office in Lagos recently.
• £ RIYAL $
BUYING 210 255 40 158
SELLING 212 257 42 159
imports, Iranian crude fell to 6 percent in January from 9.5 percent in December, which compares with around 14 percent in previous months. Spain, which needs to import virtually all of its crude, ramped up imports in January from Nigeria, Iraq and Libya, where production has been returning to normal after last year's civil war. The European Union imposed sanctions on Iran on Jan. 23 over the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme, although importers have until July 1 to executepreviously signed contracts. (Reuters)
N1.230 billion achieved in 2010 while its Net Assets increased to N8.540 billion against N7.171 billion written in 2010. The company said it would continue to support the insurance market in developing the required capacity for the industry. The Managing Director, Dr. Femi Oyetunji emphasised the relevance of developing financial, human and technical capacity, for a stronger insurance industry in the country. Dr. Oyetunji said, "One thing which we have always been given credit for in Continental Re, but which we have not been making noise about, is the quality of training that we provide for insurance companies within and outside Nigeria. "This year, we will be bringing experts from Europe to provide training to the local insurance market in underwriting skills for construction, engineering and agricultural insurance, which are increasingly relevant for Nigeria. Last year, the company did a major training in oil and gas insurance with energy underwriters. This training was
also followed up by another seminar on liability insurance. He said, "Similar training was carried out in Nairobi and Accra. We do not see ourselves as just taking insurance business from insurance companies, we take responsibility for developing the insurance market as well which goes beyond just providing reinsurance cover". The Continental Re boss, who noted that insurance is a global business, said that the local market should continue to develop and transact its business professionally as it is done in London, New York and other developed markets. He observed that everywhere in the world, all financial institutions are moving towards enterprise risk management, which involves risk identification and assessment, risk monitoring and measurement and appropriate response to and reporting of risks that affect achievement of strategic goals. As part of its commitment to developing the insurance business, Dr. Oyetunji said that the company will continue to support its clients in the development of their enterprise risk management framework, because this will have positive effect on the industry in the medium term.
Management Tip of the Day
Expand your mentoring network
ne great mentor can help you, especially early in your career. But as you progress you need a network of mentors who can broaden your perspective and grant access to new opportunities. Build your mentoring network by creating a personal relationship
map. Identify the people you need help from to be successful in your current job and everyone who might help you advance your career. Ask yourself which of those individuals you need to know better. Leverage your current mentors to provide introductions
and to fill you in on people's backgrounds, interests, and current projects. With that information, you can make meaningful connections by offering relevant expertise or ideas, or finding other ways to assist. Source: Harvard Business Review
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Planned rice mills, cassava plant to cost N189.6bn
stablishing the 100 rice mills and 18 high quality cassava flour processing plants being planned by the Federal Government to boost production and encourage value chains will cost about $1.2 billion (N189.6 billion), Akinwunmi Adesina, Minister of Agriculture, has said.
Samsung estimates record Q1 2012 profit, beats most bullish view
amsung Electronics, the world’s top technology firm by revenue, estimated operating profit nearly doubled in January-March from a year ago, boosted by sales of its flagship Galaxy smartphones and its Note mini-tablet and phone.
Nigerian agriculture to benefit from equity deal
n a landmark transaction announced last week, Zeder Investments Limited, a South African listed agricultural investment company managed and 40% owned by SA investment firm, PSG, is committing $46.7-million to acquire and expand an agricultural business that will be known as Chayton Africa.
Finance not most crucial to business startup - BOI CEO
anaging Director/Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Industry (BOI), Ms Evelyn Oputu, has affirmed that contrary to popular opinion, finance is not the first and most important input to start or grow any business or advance any economy.
FG to build houses for widows, elderly
he Federal Government has embarked on construction of low income houses for the physicallychallenged, the homeless, the poor and the needy.
Experts call for more funding for SMEs
resident of Premier Industrial Estate Cooperative Multi-Purpose Society Limited, Alhaji Olayiwola Jaji, has said the organisation’s upcoming trade fair and exhibition is aimed at refocusing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and boost its job-creating capacity.
AfDB President cautions Ghana, others on usage of oil cash for populist policy Stories by Muhammad Nasir
frican nations joining the elite club of oil and gas producers should invest in education and roads while supporting traditional sectors to avoid the “oil curse” trap, the head of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said. Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda have all discovered oil and gas in recent years, thrusting them into a crossroads between following the likes of diamond-rich Botswana into prosperity or the likes of Nigeria into over-dependence on oil. Donald Kaberuka said governments should resist using windfalls from oil and gas exports
Escravos gas plant will be ready first quarter of 2013 – Sen. Nwogu
to pursue populist policies like sharply raising public sector wages. “(They should) avoid using the resources to rapidly increase recurrent expenditure. That is what people will be expecting but that would be the wrong thing to do,” he told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday. Over-reliance on oil exports has created an imbalance in the economies of producers like Angola and Gabon, with the oil sector overshadowing others and giving rise to inflationary pressures that curb citizens’ purchasing power. In extreme cases in the past, it has led to outright conflicts and exclusion of vast segments of the population, leading to the term “oil curse”. “This region (East Africa) has done very well without oil, without gas, without minerals. These are finite resources. In
other countries they have become a curse, so make the right public policy choices,” Kaberuka said. Earnings from the resources should be channelled into sectors like education and the infrastructure in order to build a sustainable base for future development, he said. Fast economic growth rates on the continent in recent years have caused an explosion of demand for basic infrastructure like roads as well as reliable power supplies. African leaders say the continent has to invest a minimum of $92 billion in its infrastructure per year, in order to keep up with the demand. Kaberuka said he expected total infrastructure spending on the continent to rise from the $42 billion invested last year. “It will be higher especially in the energy sector. The regulatory
he Escravos Gas-To-Liquid (EGTL) plant in Delta, may be inaugurated during the first quarter of 2013, Sen. Nkechi Nwogu, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Gas Resources, has said. The senator said this on Wednesday in Warri shortly after leading members of the committee on an inspection visit to the plant. Nwogu, who spoke while briefing Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan on the outcome of the plant tour, said that more than 80 per cent of the project had been completed. She said that the contractor handling the project assured members of the committee that the project would be ready by early 2013. She said that when completed, the plant which had already provided jobs for more than 14,000 people, with about 75 per cent of them as indigenes of Delta, would be the largest gas plant in the world after the one in Qatar. “The plant will produce 23.4 million barrels of high quality diesel daily and to a large extent, gas flaring in the country will be reduced in the country.” Nwogu described the visit to the plant as ‘informative and educative. ’ “We can now appreciate why the contract sum for the project had to be reviewed upwards from the initial value,” the chairman told the governor. Nwogu, however, said that the plant still had some challenges but declined to discuss them “in the open”. “We observed some challenges at the plant, which were also confirmed by the contractors and workers there but we will discuss them at the Senate.” Responding, Uduaghan commended the senators for the visit and implored them to sustain their oversight function on the facility till it was completed. (NAN)
AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka
environment for the energy sector is improving... that makes it much more possible for independent producers to come and generate energy, knowing they will be paid,” he said. But he cautioned against developing roads, railways and other transport systems that would not be used optimally due to man-made barriers like national borders. “We don’t believe that you can have 54 segregated markets in a continent of one billion people and you claim that you have got one market,” he said, adding 20 percent of AfDB’s soft lending capacity was dedicated to regional integration. Trade experts say Africa can raise its share of global trade from under 5 percent, by increasing trade between African nations, helping to stimulate growth and development. Growth Outlook AfDB expects the continent to maintain an average growth rate of 6 percent this year, thanks to reforms in management of public finances, higher investment and the continent’s own consumers. Save for the period during the global financial crisis, economies in the continent have grown by an average of 5 percent per year in the last decade, buoyed by a surge in demand for its commodities by nations like China. The outlook depended on whether the euro zone resolved its debt crisis, and whether major emerging markets would avoid a slowdown in economic growth, Kaberuka said. “Despite those turbulences I’m simply confident many economies in sub Saharan Africa will maintain the momentum which began in 2002,” he said. He said the continent no longer had difficulties caused by mismanagement of public finances, and that economies navigated the global crisis better than some European countries.(Reuters)
FG signs N160bn gas treatment agreement with indigenous firm
he Federal Government has signed an agreement with an indigenous oil company, Southfield Petroleum Limited to build supplementary gas treatment plants at Utorogu and Oben estimated to cost between $800 million and $1billion. The agreement was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on behalf of government with Southfield Petroleum, which signals the Federal Government determination under President Goodluck Jonathan to develop and maximise the utilisation of gas for the gas to power programme, ensuring adequate supply of lean gas required to cater for the nation’s power plants, expected to have increased in generation capacity by at least threefold by 2015. It was revealed that the Utorogu gas plant has the capacity to process
360 million standard cubic feet of gas per day while Oben facility will process 90 million standard cubic feet per day. The expected take off time is 18 months from the time of signing the agreement and that the feed stock from the plants would lead to the production of about 300,000 metric tons of propane for the petrochemical plants. It was noted that the Southfield Gas Processing Facility would produce Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and would also produce other feed stocks in line with the dream of President Jonathan transformation agenda by 2014 which will positioned Nigeria firmly as the undisputed regional hub for gas-based industries such as petrochemicals, fertiliser and methanol. The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani AlisonMadueke maintained that the
Federal Government had unfolded a major plan to fast-track Nigeria’s industrial rebirth through a gas revolution anchored on the construction of two world scale petrochemical plants, two fertilizer plants, five fertiliser blending plants, a methanol plant and a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) distribution plant. Alison said the petrochemical and fertiliser projects, which will attract over $10 billion foreign direct investment between 2012 and 2014, would have a huge impact on the Nigerian economy and that globally, the petrochemical value chain is known as a major creator of employment. Based on our planned investment in the 1.3 million tons per annum capacity petrochemical plant, it is estimated that over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs will be created.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Robust ICT policy will create environment for rapid development — Minister
he Minister of C o m m u n i c a t i o n Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, says a robust national Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy will help create the environment for rapid economic development. Johnson made the statement at the inaugural meeting of the National Council on Communication Technology (NCCT) in Abuja recently. NCCTwas inaugurated by the ministry on July 2011 to deepen the national ICT policy drafting process and ensure its logical conclusion. The council also expected to serve as a national advisory body to the government on policies and strategies related to ICT and the harmonisation of a national ICT policy. The minister said prior to the creation of the Ministry of Communication Technology, there were disparate policies governing various aspects of the ICT sector. She said it was crucial for the country to review all exiting IT, telecommunications and broadcasting policies with a view to harmonising and streamline them to produce one single policy for the ICT sector. “A robust national ICT policy will create the needed environment for rapid
development of Nigeria into a globally competitive and knowledge-based economy which a holistic approach to the policy drafting process will help to achieve. “The council shall become the common platform for the planning and coordination of all programmes and activities in ICT geared towards a robust private sector participation in ICT development both at the federal, state and local government levels,’’ Johnson said. She, however, urged members of the council to deliberate on issues that would ensure the success of the National ICT policy. The Minister of FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed, said the harmonisation of ICT policy was important to bridge the digital gap in the country. Mohammed, represented by Hajiya Jamilah Taugaza, the Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Information Management System, said the policy was important for effective use of ICT in Internet, mobile telephony and other areas of national development. “The most advanced ICT countries of the world, like Sweden, Iceland, Norway, UK, Republic of Korea, etc, have demonstrated that there are huge economic incentives and
benefits in using an integrated system approach to unleash a climate of growth and development in a country,’’ he said. He also advised that the council should use its experience to ensure the drafting of a sustainable ICT policy for the country. “Going by the crop of members of the council, I am sure you will advise government on the right and most appropriate ICT strategies and approaches to adopt against the backdrop of Mr President’s transformation agenda and the long-term strategic vision for ICT as contained in the Vision 20:2020 document,’’ he said. Prof Raymond Akwule, the Chairman of the ICT Draft Policy, said the policy now going through a harmonisation process, contains the major challenges facing the ICT sector, capacity building and local content in the use of ICT for software development and industry. He, however, called on all stakeholders to contribute to the harmonisation of the policy for national development. “We need ideas from states and other stakeholders on how to reflect their situations in the ICT policy document,’’ Akwule said. (NAN)
NATCOMS wants operators to improve quality of service
he President of National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS), Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo has advised operators to improve their infrastructure for better services. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that with improved infrastructure, the operators would effectively reduce the incidence of dropped calls and improve the Internet speed. Ogunbanjo said that the telecom operators should be encouraged to erect more masts to meet the demand of subscribers. “The reasonable low tariffs being charged by the operators has increased the call frequency, hence the current infrastructure cannot accommodate the expected quality of service,” he said. NATCOMS boss commended the current low tariff regime, saying that it would encourage subscribers to make more calls. “More base stations should be constructed to accommodate the volume of voice calls and I am optimistic that they will further reduce their tariff,’’ he said. Ogunbanjo said that the low tariff would enhance revenue of the operators since more calls would be made and also impact positively on the economy in the
long run. He also commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for introducing the Number Portability Scheme (NPS). NPS will enable subscribers to migrate to other networks using their original Subscriber Identification
Module (SIM) card. “This will force operators to improve on service delivery, bandwidth usage and reduce tariff further. “The NPS is a unique programme that will transform telecommunications business and reduce financial stress,’’ Ogunbanjo said. (NAN)
Glo unveils SMS storage service for subscribers
lobacom has launched GLO SMS4EVER that enables subscribers to store their text messages (SMS) for as long as they want, the second national operator (SNO) has announced. Glo says with the service, subscribers are able to store and retrieve their important SMS online straight from their telephone handsets. Head of Value Added Services, Globacom, Samson Isa, says the new service addresses the space constraints subscribers face trying to store vital messages on their phones. “Since the introduction of GSM communication, SMS has remained a veritable tool for mobile communication. But sometimes, the SMS is so valuable that we find it difficult to delete it from our SMS inbox folder, thus limiting available space on the handheld device. SMS4EVER service was, therefore, conceived to address this challenge”, he adds.
“It is a simple SMS save, store and restore service which provides the user a safe and secure personal storage space on the internet. Unlike the phone inbox folder, it is unlimited and it is there forever. The messages are stored in a secured server and are backed through a network storage system.” To enjoy this service, he explained, the intending subscriber is required to simply text ‘yes’ to 20350 or subscribe to the service through the web portal link: http:/ /sms4ever.gloworld.com/. The service has a 30-day subscription period within which the customer is entitled to store and retrieve 60 text messages in his account. Each subscription cycle cost N100.00 per month with a 2day prior notification message for renewal, the company says. According to Isa, the new service is one more demonstration of Globacom’s commitment to meeting the changing needs of its customers. Technology Times
ICT ESSENCE with
Bello Abdul’Azeez +234 805 113 0075 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ictessence.com
Do not be a victim!
imple info for operating safely in an interconnected world Everyone is becoming gadget savvy on a daily basis. This is the season where interconnecting service is becoming a way of life! Gadget shops are reaping profits on every sale. Smiles and laughter are now part of gadget seller’s structured faces. It’s likely that Internetenabled gadgets will be on the top of everyone’s wish and even as gift giving lists. We are in a world of advance cyber profile robbers (thieves), gadgets these days are connect to the Internet in even faster ways than their predecessors; thus, providing a convenient way for cyber adversaries to acquire your sensitive information. Beyond exposing personal information to unknown adversaries, these devices can also serve as a gateway into your home network and quite possibly reach into your work network as well. You must serve as the first line of defense. To do so, you need to understand the vulnerabilities your gadgets expose. It is possible to safely enjoy your new iPhones and other smart phones, Blackberries, iPads other tablet devices, routers, computers, and even nowadays smart internet connected TVs. If you follow the instructions from the vendor provided “out-of-box” security with the following simple techniques from my blog, your personal information and your devices will be much more secure, thereby giving you a little peace of mind. Here are a few of the topics I will cover in this series, and check back regularly for additional topics. iPhones (Smart Phones) That your precious iPhone must be protected, no! no!! no!!!, I don’t mean from “pick-pockets” I mean iPhone viruses, they are here, and becoming infected can be as simple as opening a malicious SMS message. If your iPhone becomes infected with this virus, the malicious entity could obtain remote control over your phone. This problem isn’t isolated to iPhones however, other smart phones, like an Android, are just as susceptible to the same kind of attack. Your device can fall
victim to viruses if your phone is not properly patched or secured. iPad (Tablets) iPads are increasing in popularity, I’ll soon get mine. They are c o n v e n i e n t , lightweight and portable, and boast a fast processor f o r accessing favorite programs or browsing the web without delay. Be careful though! These devices run on similar technology to your iPhones and Computers, and are susceptible to same kinds of attacks. Browsing to a malicious website using “Safari” can infect your iPad the very same way it could if you browsed using your laptop. Blackberry Ladies’ iRobot! “Blackberries have the power to make a combination of work and life flow smoother and quicker. Like other Smart Phones on the market, the business person’s phone is not immune to attacks from malicious actors. Zeus is an example of a Trojan virus that targets Blackberry owners. A recent variant of Zeus has been known to do harmful things to the device such as turning it on and off, blocking phone calls, and sending SMS messages to expensive phone numbers. Computers Who doesn’t love a new computer? Whether it is for gaming, for work, watching a favorite show, or browsing your favorite sports site for news and scores, these new systems can’t be beat. Most computers are coming packaged with 30 day free trials to Anti-virus companies, which is great, but that is only a first step toward making sure your computer is secure. Almost daily a new Trojan or Worm propagates throughout the Internet causing harm to many unsuspecting victims, and each is more harmful than the previous. New gadgets expose new vulnerabilities. So, what are you going to do to protect yourself? Never connect to the Internet? Of course not… Embrace new technology and maximize the value of your investment, but respect the risk of exposure by remaining vigilant and adequately protecting yourself. Stay glued to the site. I’ll tell you how.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Business mogul, Aliko Dangote turns 55 Love him, loathe him Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dangote Group of companies continues to make all the difference in the nation, and indeed Africa’s economy, particularly the private sector. As he marks his 55th birthday today, Aminu Imam traces the path of the truly outstanding achiever and an icon of our time.
ith an intimidating stature imposed on virtually all sectors of the economy and touching nearly every aspect of human endeavour, the Kano-born business mogul appear to have demystified every impediment to success and instead opened up avenues for thousands of Nigerians to make a living. Aliko Dangote, was born on the 10th of April, 1957. A graduate of Business Studies from the Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt, he ventured into entrepreneurship early in life, starting off as a trader in 1978, before he ventured into fullscale manufacturing. The Dangote Group is currently a diversified and fully integrated conglomerate with Group turnover in excess of N450 billion (US$3 billion) in 2010. The Group’s operations cut across a wide range of sectors in Nigeria and 14 other African countries. Current interests of the Group include cement, sugar, salt, pasta, beverages and real estate with new projects underway in the oil and gas, telecommunications, fertiliser and steel sectors of the economy. Dangote Group is a worldclass enterprise that is passionate about the quality of life of the people and giving high returns to stakeholders. This philosophy is driven by its core values, which include customer service, entrepreneurship, excellence and leadership. Dangote Group has four listed companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of its vision of being a world-class organisation. They include Dangote Cement plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery plc, Dangote Flour Mills plc, and the National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON). Already the largest cement producer in sub-Saharan Africa - Dangote Cement, is more than doubling capacity this year to 21m metric tonnes, and wants to reach 43 in metric tonnes in 2015. Besides Nigeria, where it has three plants and 70 per cent market share, the company has contracts to construct factories in eight African countries, from Senegal to South Africa to Ethiopia. Dangote Cement’s net profit in 2011 is expected to be about $790 million and revenue of about $1.5 billion, according to guidance filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Alhaji Aliko Dangote, who is Chairman of Dangote Cement
micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) at zero interest. Last year, the Foundation donated US$2 million, through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), to assist survivors of flood that ravaged Pakistan. Through this donation, the Foundation extended its support to more than 325,000 children in need. Dangote, who emerged the
Like he often says, “I have more confidence in Nigeria than in any other country. I will keep investing”. Alhaji Aliko Dangote Plc has hinted that he will step down from the company next year if his plan to list the $11 billion cement business on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) succeeds. The industrialist told the Financial Times (FT) that the move would also loosen his personal control over the company, specifically saying that he intends to free-float 20 per cent stake in Dangote Cement Plc to finance its rapid expansion. The plan, if successful, would become the first listing of one of Dangote’s companies outside the country. He also said the company was on track to meet the stringent corporate governance requirements for a premium listing, insisting that he would give up his current role as chairman. Dangote, whose net worth is $12 billion according to Forbes, also said he wants to quadruple profits within four years and turn the business into the world’s most profitable cement company. The FT said: “The expansion comes at a time of fast growth in Africa, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasting that regional economies will expand by 5.75 per cent this year. This is boosting spending on infrastructure and housing and driving demand for cement.
“At the same time, Mr Dangote’s conglomerate, Dangote Group, is changing focus. It plans to sell 80 per cent stakes in its food business, which include salt, sugar, flour, rice and pasta.” It also quoted Dangote to have said: “Besides cement, the group will concentrate on three other main sectors. The mining arm will focus on coal, iron and bitumen. The petrochemical business will produce methanol, polyethylene, and fertiliser. “The infrastructure business plans to produce and sell 2,000MW of electricity in Nigeria - about half of the country’s current capacity when power sector deregulation is completed, and to build a $1.5 billion port -the biggest deepsea port in West Africa, near Lagos.” Dangote Group is fully involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities and uses Dangote Foundation as a vehicle to drive this. As part of its CSR initiatives, in March 2011, the Foundation announced a N20billion strategic partnership with the Bank of Industry (BOI) that would ultimately lead to the empowerment of more than 1 million Nigerians in the informal sector of the economy in the next few years. The Foundation’s counterpart fund of N10billion is to be given to
African Business Leader of the Year 2011 at the annual African Business Awards organised by African Business Magazine and the Commonwealth Business Council (CBC) in London in June, is a notable philanthropist. He is listed by Forbes magazine as the richest black man in the world with a networth of US$13.8 billion as of March 2011. Dangote, who is also the chairman of the Federal Government Committee on Job Creation had said during a recent chat with newsmen that the federal government must do all things possible to
make sure that companies are not allowed to collapse, and that can only be possible through policy stability and the provision of business friendly environment. Most Nigerians believe that what Nigeria needs now is more of Dangotes that would provide jobs for the 600,000 graduates, and the youths which constitute the largest percentage of the country’s population. It is not only in Nigeria that the Dangote Group is creating jobs. The group is doing the same in 13 African countries, with huge investments presence. It is against this backdrop that last year the Federal Government described Alhaji Dangote as a rare breed who has contributed enormously to the growth of the economy and the country, especially in his role as the Chairman of the National Committee on Job Creation. In the words of Olusegun Aganga: “I want to extend my appreciation to Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the tremendous job he did and has continued to do as the chairman of the Presidential Job Creation Committee, a committee I inaugurated last year as the chairman of the National Economic Management Team (NEMT). Alhaji Aliko Dangote has shown himself a trailblaizer. Not only has he grown his business to global reckoning, but in reaching out to help small businesses grow through this initiative, he is establishing new standards of corporate behaviour for blue chip companies.” World’s famous author on money books, George Samuel Clason wrote in his: The Richest Man in Babylon, “Money is plentiful for those who understand the simple laws which govern its acquisition”. As the business mogul, who turns fifty-five years today, arguably knows these simple laws, one of which is never to rest on your oars, as he opens new investment frontiers. Like he often says, “I have more confidence in Nigeria than in any other country. I will keep investing”.
Key milestones of Dangote Group • •
Dangote Cement plc became the first Nigerian company to join the Forbes Global 2000 Companies in April 2011. Dangote Cement plc is currently the biggest quoted company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and in the entire West Africa. Dangote Group was rated among Top 40 African Challengers in June 2010 by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Dangote’s Obajana Cement Plant is the largest cement plant in the world with 10.5 million metric tonnes per annum capacity.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Report as at Thursday, April 5, 2012 Security
Price Open High Low Trades
20.00 20.00 +
24.44 + 0.05
0.95 2.19 139.30
146.26 139.30 140.00 +
419.00 418.50 418.50 +
554 14,848,298.00 145,151,007.99
508 25,972,447.00 372,606,860.62
58.00 + 0.39
13.28 + 3.10
398 31,217,320.00 392,033,365.65
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
In divided Nigeria, latest attack strikes all though suspicion immediately fell upon Boko Haram. Boko Haram, whose name means “Western education is sacrilege” in the Hausa language of Nigeria’s north, is waging an increasingly bloody fight with security agencies and the public. More than 390 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone, according to an Associated Press count. The sect, employing suicide bombers and assault-rifle shootouts, has attacked both Christians and Muslims, as well as the United Nations’ headquarters in Nigeria. It has rejected efforts to begin indirect
By Jon Gambrell
he suicide car bombing that killed at least 38 people in Nigeria claimed victims across its religious and ethnic lines, showing clearly everyone is at risk in this nation often violently divided against itself. Young Muslim men of the Hausa Fulani people of Nigeria’s north burned to death in Sunday’s blast, pinned under the weight of their motorcycle taxis. A passer-by from Nigeria’s southwestern Yoruba people found himself thrown to the road in the explosion. The blast tore apart businesses owned by Christian Igbo people of the nation’s southeast. All those who spoke yesterday said they wanted Nigeria’s weak central government to stop the violence now spreading across the country, including attacks carried out by a radical Islamist sect. However, authorities in the northeast said the sect known as Boko Haram had killed four people, as soldiers in the northern city of Kano found another car bomb ready to explode. “Who are they really fighting?” asked one woman while looking over the scene of the Kaduna suicide attack yesterday, choking back a sob before walking away. Sunday’s blast struck the capital of Kaduna state, apparently after the suicide bomber turned away from attacking a church holding a morning Easter service. The car exploded at a busy junction about 200 meters (yards) away, tearing apart makeshift restaurants made of
A victim recieving treatment at the St. Gerald Catholic Hospital, Kaduna
peace talks with Nigeria’s government and wants the introduction of strict Shariah law across the country, even in Christian areas, and the release of all imprisoned followers. Boko Haram, which speaks to journalists through telephone conference calls at times of its choosing, could not be immediately reached yesterday. Both the United Kingdom and the United States had warned its
Smouldering remains: A burning wheelbarrow and scorched personal effects lie on the road after a car bomb in Nigeria killed at least 38 people in Kaduna on Easter Sunday. Picture: AFP
discarded lumber there serving cheap rice patties to the city’s working poor. The blast sent metal shards flying in all directions that left bulletlike holes in buildings and killed several people, witnesses said. At a hotel near the blast, the force of the bomb tore away the ceiling and blew out windows. A family staying just across from where the car detonated walked away unharmed, manager Stephen Uka said. “They checked out with their lives,” he said. The explosion also
ignited black-market jerry cans full of gasoline, which spread a fire that consumed the group of motorcycle taximen,
witness Kunle Olowe said. Those men burned to death as local people tried to pull them away, scorching their own hands,
The blast sent metal shards flying in all directions that left bullet-like holes in buildings and killed several people, witnesses said
Olowe said. There was “no water to put them out,” Olowe said. Others blamed security agencies for taking too long to respond in a city where soldiers have been on the street since election violence last year. Administrators at St. Gerard’s Catholic Hospital, which took in some victims, said they didn’t have enough ambulances to ferry the wounded. Crowds gathered at the blast site yesterday, looking on as a road crew used pickaxes to cut away the small crater left by the
bomb and concrete to repair the curb running alongside it. Those gathered in small crowds nearby, however, all seemed fixated on a choppy, mobile-phone video apparently taken immediately after the blast. It showed bleeding victims crying out incoherently, the lifeless dead laying still on the debris-strewn road. One man, bloody, simply crawls along the street unhelped as another slumps by an open sewer. No one has claimed responsibility for the blast,
It showed bleeding victims crying out incoherently, the lifeless dead laying still on the debrisstrewn road. One man, bloody, simply crawls along the street unhelped as another slumps by an open sewer
A police bomb expert inspecting a crater created by the explosion on the road
citizens living in the country that violence was likely over the Easter holiday, though Nigeria’s government publicly dismissed the alert. Attacks blamed on Boko Haram continued through the weekend into yesterday as well. In the northeastern city of Potiskum, gunmen opened fire on a policeman and his family, killing the policeman’s 6-year-old daughter, Yobe State police spokesman Toyin Gbadegeshin said. Early yesterday, gunmen killed three people when they attacked a police station, a church and a bank in the border town of Dikwa in the northeast. In Kano, the largest city in Nigeria’s Muslim north, military spokesman Lt. Iweha Ikedichi said soldiers discovered a car yesterday packed with explosives. Soldiers began searching the area for a man holding the remote control that
could detonate the vehicle, though the area around the car had been secured, the lieutenant said. Nigeria is a nation of more than 160 million people and more than 250 ethnic groups. Kaduna is on the religious and ethnic dividing line, was at the heart of the violence that followed the nation’s April 2011 presidential election. At least 800 people died in that rioting across the country, Human Rights Watch has said. In Sunday’s blast, however, members of Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups became victims of the violence now sweeping the country. At St. Gerard’s Catholic Hospital yesterday, a young Hausa Fulani man who had been selling food from a wheelbarrow near the blast lay in agony, his right hand shorn away by the explosion. Doctors were giving him a third blood transfusion. A Yoruba man, Femi Johnson, lay in the bed beside him, his arms and legs burned by the flaming gasoline flung from the black market stall alongside the road. “The bomb blasts (are) getting too much now,” Johnson said. As Johnson spoke, a young man visiting another patient silently watched the camera-phone footage of the blast’s aftermath. Source: AP
Since his return to the mantle of leadership last year, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has shown some determination to transform Kano state. Aminu Imam, who was among a team of journalists that toured some of the Kwankwasoled administration’s projects in the housing, education, health,roads and agriculture sectors, reports.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Kwankwaso’s new drive to change Kano
udging from his very quiet mien and an unassuming image, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has been true-to-type, demonstrating that the best any leader can bequeath his followers is the provision of basic amenities that would guarantee meaningful living. No wonder, he operates an open door policy which gives all Kano people, irrespective of social status and political leaning, the opportunity to offer suggestions on ways of developing the state. Governor Kwankwaso, in the confession of the high and mighty and the Talakawas (commoners) within the state, is a man so attached to the grassroots. His relentless efforts to transform the state through massive infrastructural development cut across all sectors. On this, his administration minces no word in reiterating its readiness to explore all genuinely acceptable means to bring government closer to the people. Despite the state’s inadequate monthly federal allocations compared to what other states get, Gov Kwankwaso remains undauntedly committed to judicious use of every kobo that comes into the state’s treasury to better the lives of his people. The Kano state capital which was once dubbed a ‘decaying and neglected capital city’ has now blossomed into a hub of modern network of roads with interlocking pavements and functional solarpowered street lights, becoming the envy of other states in the federation. The huge transformation going on in the roads sector is expected to lead to enhanced transportation of goods, services and people, translating to increased economic activity. His developmental strides, which were first initiated during his first tenure as the governor of the state in 1999, cut across all sectors. For instance, the Kwankwaso administration has achieved tremendous success in addressing the intractable housing problem through the provision of affordable housing for urban and rural dwellers. Similarly, the state government plans to build a new city which you have been hearing about here and there. E.g. Kwankwasiya city, which is targeted to be a large housing estates, comprising hundreds of blocks of flats. According to the Secretary to the state government, Dr. Rabi’u Suleiman Bichi, “Kwankwasiya city is envisaged to be a sight and sound city. Kwankwasiya
Kwankwasiya city under construction. Inset: Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso blocks with about four billion naira we used to assessed the counterpart funding which has not been done from 2008, 2009, 2010 up to 2011. Commenting on the methodology adopted by the state government in ensuring an allinclusive approach to allocating the houses, the Managing Director, Kano state Housing Corporation, Arch. Ali Mukhtar, said middle income earners are expected to benefit from the scheme. He said the first phase of the project has recorded significant success, as many residents of Kano continue to show much interest in the scheme, and advised interested buyers to liaise with the existing mortgage institutions to get the requisite funding. He said the initiative is part of government’s promise to provide affordable and comfortable shelter for all Nigerians who are resident in the state irrespective of their states of origin. The state government is also constructing several other housing estates, like the Jido Layout Housing Estate along Kano Wudil road which is a public-private-partnership scheme that government has initiated to ensure affordable housing to its citizens. Also, Education is indeed getting much attention in the state, as
manifested in the array of projects aimed at changing the state’s low educational status. In a bid to reverse the state’s poor outings in most national and international examinations, the state government, through the education ministry, has mapped out a series of laudable programmes. Tertiary level education is also given a lot of attention by the Kwankwaso administration. The state government completed the renovation of the Kano state University of Science & Technology in Wudil. A state-of-the-art ICT centre which was abandoned by the previous administration has now been revived and has reached almost 90 per cent completion. The state also entered into a partnership with Dangote Group of Companies, who has undertaken to fully fund the construction of a 500capacity hostel for the students of the university . According to the SSG, Dr. Rabi’u Suleiman Bichi, “In Kano, the most populous state in the country, we used to have only a state university and BUK. I want you to take note that His Excellency established the Kano state University of Technology in 2011. This is a remarkable achievement. Also, another university called the Northwest University has been
set up by the Kwankwaso-led administration, which has already received the green light from the National Universities Commission towards its take-off. Speaking on the planned Northwest University, the Executive Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Alh. Wada Zakari said, “We want many universities in Kano because for dearth of admission in tertiary institutions, our children are turning into nuisance. So, government must provide social service to curtail this menace. He further said, “We are constructing all these Kwankwasiya blocks with about four billion naira we used to assessed the counterpart funding which has not been done from 2008, 2009, 2010 up to 2011. In each local government, we are constructing four blocks of four classroom and two offices. So, each local government will have 16 classrooms within the first one year of His Excellency. The exercise has been concluded. We are now embarking on the second phase of two-storey buildings”. Also speaking on the expansion of tertiary institutions in the state, the SSG, Dr. Bichi said, “In a population of about 15 million where about 10 million are said to be living in the metropolis, Kano needs
Low cost Housing Estate being constructed along Kano Wudil road
additional universities even if it is not the conventional types. The catchment area of Northwest University is Kano, Northeast, Niger Republic and even states from the southern part of the country. “Northwest University is purely Kano state government’s idea. Our idea is to galvanise other state governors in the North to build similar universities to raise literacy level in the region. If you go to western part of the country, for example, Ekiti, Ibadan, etc, you will see many universities and affiliate campuses of universities. We want the North to come out of their slumber”, he further stated. It is envisaged that by the construction of the University shall be completed by the end of September this year. Also, in order to cut that ruralurban migration, there are a variety of empowerment schemes that are positioned in all the 44 local government areas through Community Re-orientation Committee (CRC) saddled with the responsibility of rehabilitating primary schools across the state. School feeding programme is also handled by CRC, school uniforms and training of women in various trades are all handled by CRC. About 44,000 were selected and the first phase has been concluded. This singular act by the governor, in the submission of the Secretary to the State Government accounts for why his boss enjoys massive support across the state. On the transformative efforts of the Kwankwaso administration, the Permanent Secretary, Administration & General Services Directorate, A. B. Hassan said the state, since its creation has never witnessed such a massive transformation as during Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s tenure. He said the governor’s transformative efforts cut across all the key sectors of the economy with direct bearing on the lives of all the citizens of the state. For him, the governor is an all-round achiever.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Outrage after whale shark is tied up for two and a half hours so girl can ‘surf’ on it A Facebook picture of a girl ‘surfing’ a captured whale shark has sparked outrage among environmentalists and animal lovers. The girl, identified as Carinn Lestolis, her family and other tourists gathered around the shark in the waters of Barangay Granada in Boljoon, Philippines, after its tail was tied to a post. They were seen petting the three-metre long fish just off shore while fishermen held on to it. Miss Lestolis was then helped onto the creature where she appeared to use it as a surfboard. The giant shark, which eats tiny plants and animals, had been caught in a fishing net, according to Cebu Daily News. Fisherman Pablo Trapero, claimed it had to be dragged to shallow waters in order to be released. But a resident in the town allegedly paid 100 pesos (£1.47) to have it tied up so tourists could see it, the Sun Star reported. The shark was then subjected to a two-and-a-half-hour ordeal before being released, Maylyn Avenido, from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
(BFAR) in the Philippines, said. Ms Avenido described the scene as a ‘fiesta’ (feast). ‘The children were jumping around in the water touching the whale shark all over its body,’ she told the Sun Star. ‘They touched the animal and stayed in the water with it. I told them once again to set the shark free or else I would call the police. It was only at that instance that they set the whale shark free.’ Ms Avenido noted the whale shark had wounds on its tail and near its face after the ordeal. She said: ‘The whale shark, although was set free, was probably stressed and disoriented to comfortably swim to deeper waters.’ Because of their gentle nature, whale sharks are a popular tourist attraction in the Philippines. The country’s official tourist board is careful to protect the animals. It says people should keep a distance of at least three metres from the animals and not touch them. However, it is increasingly common to see fishermen lure the sharks closer to the shore with food to benefit visitors to the area. Environmentalists are
concerned this will disrupt the whale sharks’ migration patterns. The girl who was pictured on top of the creature, said she didn’t know it was wrong to touch the whale shark. ‘All we know is that they shouldn’t be harmed,’ she said. But marine biologist Agnes Sabonsolin, who works with Coastal
Conservation Education Foundation (CCEF), said whale sharks were not whales and needed to keep moving to breathe. She said: ‘They constantly need to move so that water passes through their gills - that’s how they can get their oxygen.’ The government has now promised to tighten up regulations
in light of the ‘surfing’ incident. Mayor of Boljoon, Teresita Celis, apologised and told the Inquirer News she is now pushing for stricter regulations to protect whale sharks. A Facebook group called Stop Whale Shark Feeding in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines, has so far attracted 674 ‘likes’. Source: Dailymail.co.uk
Cruel: A girl, identified as Carinn Lestolis, smiles as she 'surfs' a stranded whale shark, which had been tied up by fishermen in Boljoon, Philippines, according to reports
Injuries: Maylyn Avenido, from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in the Philippines, noted the whale shark had wounds on its tail and near its face after the ordeal
Distressed: The creature had been caught in a fishing net and dragged to shallow waters where it provided entertainment for tourists before being set free 2.5 hours later
Money spinner: But because of their popularity, it has become common to see fishermen luring the sharks ever closer to the shore
Lure: Fishermen can be seen feeding the whale sharks in a bid to get them to swim closer to shore
Attraction: Whale sharks only eat tiny plants and animals and have become a popular tourist attraction. However, people are supposed to stay at least three metres from the sharks and not touch them
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
BY EMMANUEL IRIOGBE email@example.com 08026125552
Nigerian Army must re-invent self on road construction
he Nigerian Army engineering Corps has proven over time as the most innovative of all the corps in the Nigerian military. For over five years now, the corps has engaged in the construction of roads and building of barracks across the country. It has gone a notch further to take road construction away from military settlements into major cities in the country. A ready case in point is the 10km road constructed for the Dunamis church in Area 1, Garki, Abuja. Only recently, the Chief of army staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika led the minister of defence, Dr. Mohammed HaliruBello, Chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin, other service chiefs and top dignitaries to the commissioning of various roads and block of flats constructed and built solely by the army engineering corps in various barracks in the federal capital territory (FCT). This must be commended, but, there is need for the generality of the army to be more inventive and innovative in their approach to road construction in the country. When the 10km road mentioned above is compared to what its counterpart in Egypt and other countries where the army has become investors, it pales into insignificance. Nothing stops the Nigerian army from inventing or procuring machines that can go into serious business of road construction that will in turn give all the foreign firms presently siphoning our hard currency to different countries of the world in the name of road construction a run for their money. It is a thing of shame that all the construction companies engaged by various arms of government in the construction of roads in the country are foreign. These companies include Julius Berger, Setraco, RCC, Triacta, Gitto, Dantata and Sawoe just to mention but a few. It is a well documented fact that road construction is no childâ€™s play since it involves a lot of money and mostly in foreign currency. With government preaching the need for local content, the involvement of the Nigerian army in road construction will make it a Nigerian affair since the army is peopled by only Nigerians. Aside this, it will go a long way in engaging men and officers of the Nigerian army who many see as
redundant presently since we are not at war with any foreign enemy. Road construction involves opening up of the country, which is a security matter. We have left our security in the hands of foreigners for too long by engaging these foreign firms in the construction of roads. After all, you are at the mercy of a man that constructs a road to your house since he can always find his way to that house when he so wishes even in war time. Aside the security implications, involving the army in serious road construction that would compete favourably with these construction giants will help save foreign currency for the country since monies repatriated by these expatriates will be saved in the country. I Another pointer to our retrogression into self deceit is the case of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) which is the only indigenous agency involved in road rehabilitation. Even at that, it is not encouraged into going the full hug of exploiting the full benefit of road construction since its activities are limited to road maintenance. The Nigerian army can improve on the cold asphalt developed by FERMA through research and make more money from the success of such a venture. Again it is apt to point to the Egyptian army that is into building of tractors and agricultural equipments. It is sad that the top hierarchy of the Nigerian army is more interested in purchase of weaponry thereby limiting the efforts of the engineering corps. If more money is voted for the purchase and invention of construction machineries for the Nigerian army, our problems of bad roads would certainly become a thing of the past. Government should look into this area and see how this seeming anomaly can be corrected since it would save money for government and bring governance closer to the people through the construction of good roads on the long run. It would amount to patriotism on the part of the army if they become more engaged in the construction of roads across the length and breadth of the country as the civil populace would come to see them as part and parcel of the society instead of the present toga of an army of brutality and occupation.
DEPOWA President (seated middle) with other participants and resource persons in group photograph
DEPOWA gives priority to training, women empowerment â€“ Apollonia Petinrin T
he National President of Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs Appollonia Petinrin led a team of DEPOWA members to attend the International Leadership & Management Development Summit (HMDS), tagged "HMDS Turkey 2011", organized by Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey. The summit was aimed at training women on better ways of managing available resources in order to sustain the challenges of home management and that of other small scale businesses. Speaking before their departure, the DEPOWA President stressed that knowledge is power and therefore the knowledge acquired from the summit is expected to be impacted to the DEPOWA members and beyond. In her words, "It is my belief that travelling is part of education, and knowledge, they say is power. As a non-governmental organization, DEPOWA gives priority to training and skill acquisition of its members as a way of empowering them. As
you can see, our members are enthusiastic and highly motivated to partake in the summit and interact with fellow women from around the world". According to Mrs Petinrin, "DEPOWA is therefore convinced that, our attendance at the summit shall not only enrich our knowledge in business and home management, but equally prepare us for Vision 20:2020 as well as the Millennium Development Goal of the Federal Government of Nigeria". At the summit in Istanbul, various topics were delivered by different intellectuals and professionals from across the world including, Simel Esim from Lebanon as well as Sengul Akcar and Itir Huseyin, both from Turkey and Mrs Gonju Akintola, a Nigerian based in England. The summit apart from equipping participants with the various leadership and management strategies, also empowered them with skills on how to support the efforts of their husbands in managing Armed Forces and the Police families and exposed them
to diverse business opportunities in Turkey. The team took time after the engaging conference to visit some places of interest including St. Sophia Museum which is one of the greatest architectural masterpiece of the ancient world. The team also visited the Hippodrome, a sports and political centre of the old city to see the Egyptian Obelisk, Serpentine Column and German Fountain before proceeding to the underground Cisterns built by Justinian in 1535AD. Lastly, the team browsed around the Ground Bazaar, a Maze of over 4000 tiny shops selling Gold, Jewelries, Leather and fine Carpets. The DEPOWA Executives also undertook a 5-hour tour of Cairo on their way back to Nigeria. The tour was a noble initiative to positively occupy the team during the long hours of waiting time to connect their flight back to Abuja. Overall, the 7-day leadership and management development summit in Istanbul was quite rewarding for the DEPOWA officials that made the trip.
R-L: Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Dikko Umar and the Minister of Housing, Ms Ama Pepple, when Umar visited the Minister in her office lately
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Gates Foundation donates $12m to boost yam productivity in Nigeria, Ghana By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report
he International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and its partners announced recently a new initiative to boost yam productivity and double the incomes of three million yam farmers in West Africa. It was learnt that the initiative, Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project, is supported by a 12 million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The initiative according to reliable sources would be led by IITA in collaboration with Nigeria and Ghana, the UK’s Natural Resources Institute (NRI), the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The YIIFSWA project, NAN further reports, will focus on increasing yields through better seed tuber supply and improving markets for the crop. Meanwhile, a statement issued recently in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital by IITA quoted its Director
General, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga, as saying that increasing yields would help boost the income of yam farmers. “Right now, most farmers cultivate yams mainly for household consumption, but if we can increase yields while also improving marketing conditions, then many of these farmers should be able to earn a steady income from growing yams,” he said. “Yam prices have been rising in recent years because there is a strong demand for the crop in Africa, and even in places like Europe and the United States where rapidly growing West African immigrant communities still have a big appetite for their traditionally preferred staple,” he added.
YIIFSWA project is an ambitious, multifaceted five-year effort with a vision of doubling the incomes of three million smallholder farming families. The initial focus of the project is on 200,000 smallholder farm families in Nigeria and Ghana, 90 percent of whom cultivate less than two acres. A key priority is to ensure that affordable pest- and disease-free seed yams are available to farmers along with storage and handling technologies that can reduce postharvest loss. Yam breeders will develop and widely disseminate new, higheryielding, disease-resistant varieties. The private sector partners are expected to play a key role by
providing certified seed and working closely with efforts to link smallholder farmers, particularly those in remote areas, to markets where a strong and steady demand for yams should allow them to realise the economic benefits of increased productivity. The statement further quoted Dr Regina Kapinga, a Programme Officer for the project at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as saying that the initiative would help make a difference in the lives of farmers. “Yams are a very important crop to smallholder farmers in Africa and if these farmers can grow more and have better access to markets, it can make a real difference in their lives,” it stressed. “Women will be actively engaged
GOL, FAO sign fishery project
he Government of Liberia and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have signed a Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) to develop a community support model of empowering women fisher-folks by building confidence as entrepreneurs in leadership and as managers. Agriculture Minister, Florence Chenoweth, who signed for Liberian Government, recalled FAO’s long-standing technical support to the Government in funding projects that created better environment for communities, provided employment opportunities for rural dwellers, and enhanced Liberia’s food security drive. A statement quoted FAO’s Country Representative, JeanAlexandre Sacglia as expressing optimism that the project will lead to productivity and growth among the population. He stressed FAO’s strong commitment to supporting community-based projects that are sustainable and viable in the long run. According to the project document, the intervention will lead to improved fisher-folks livelihoods, ensure food security and nutrition and will increase the contribution of marine fish resources to the local economies. “Beneficiaries will harvest the marine fish resources in an environmentally sustainable manner and acquire skills in fish postharvest handling,” it said.
Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima (middle), at Songhai farms in Porto-Novo, Benin Republic, during his visit to the explore agro-allied cooperation, recently, in Benin Republic. With him is founder of the farm, Rev. Fr. Godfrey Nzamuio (2nd left).
Agric transformation agenda document cumbersome for peasant farmers, says AFAN
he All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Oyo has urged the Federal Government to enlighten peasant farmers on its ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda Programmes (ATAP). The chairman of the association, Mr Emmanuel Elegbede, made the call in an interview with journalists in Ibadan recently. Elegbede said that the language of the ATAP document was not only cumbersome but also too academic for the peasant farmers to understand. “I think the government should come down a little to the language which the ordinary farmer can understand. When you begin to talk at university level, it does not do us much good,” he said. Elegbede also expressed his belief that the ATA would take a longer time to implement, saying
that farmers had not seen anything concrete in the first three months of the year. The AFAN chairman underscored the importance of proper enlightenment on the transformation agenda due to the ongoing efforts in the state attract the interest of secondary school graduates to agriculture. “When you begin to talk to them in a language they do not understand, it might frustrate them. It might plant the seed of disaffection for the profession in them,” he said. He said that if the government came down to farmers’ level of understanding, they would know where to fit in, to make the agenda successful. He advised the Federal Government to organise a symposium that would bring peasant farmers together to interact with government
representatives to enlighten them on the agenda and its components. It was also learnt that the agenda targets the development of the value chain of five staplecrops, including rice, cassava cotton, cocoa and sorghum. Also banks are expected to play a critical role in the sector through the Central Bank’s innovative scheme tagged ‘Nigeria Incentivebased Risk Sharing Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL). NIRSAL is a new dynamic approach that seeks to address risks in both the agricultural value chains and the agricultural financing value chain. Furthermore, the Federal Government has also launched the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) programme under the agenda targetting five million farmers for access to fertiliser and improved seeds, among other initiatives. (NAN)
in this project, in part because they play an important role in yam production and marketing,” it stated. “We want to reach a stage where robust yam seed production techniques will use parts of the yam plant other than tubers, thereby releasing an additional 30 percent of the crop to food ware tubers,” she said.
Agriculture: 7 states adopt Songhai integrated farm model in Nigeria
even of the 36 states in Nigeria have begun partnering with the Songhai farm in Porto-Novo in neighbouring Benin Republic to set up integrated farm system in their states. The Director of Songhai Regional Operations, Revd. Godfrey Izamojo, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Porto-Novo. He said that the states were Rivers, Enugu, Cross Rivers, Benue, Katsina, Ogun and Lagos, adding that, “we are already in Rivers State and Enugu. We are going to Cross Rivers, Benue, Kastina, Ogun and Lagos State. Many other states are partnering with us in Nigeria.” According to him “we are supposed to be in 15 African countries as part of the regional plan of the project.” Izamojo described the Songhai farm model as an African concept aimed at empowering the youth to be self sufficient. “Songhai farm is a project about a new African society where Africans are empowered to be on the driver’s seat to solve their problems instead of looking elsewhere,” he said. “We believe we can harness the resources given to us by nature to create wealth and take care of our unemployment and poverty problem,” he explained. Izamojo said that the basic idea was to ensure maximum utilisation of natural resources by preventing wastage. “The concept of Songhai integrated farm takes care of everything right from the farm to the factory and to the industry all aspects are taken care of in Songhai farm,” Izamojo said, adding that “the whole idea is to empower the youth to learn and be on the driver’s seat.” Izamojo expressed confidence that the idea would help secure Africa’s future and prevent it from depending on other continents for food and other industrial products. “The Songhai farm was established by a Non- Governmental Organisation (NGO) and has been on for the past 20 years, he noted saying “what we did was to make sure that we avoided direct government ownership to prevent collapse.” “In fact, the Songhai farm is one of the largest NGO projects working for several years for the empowerment of Africans,” he stressed.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Community demands revitalisation of moribund farm settlement in Abia
he Ohuhu community in Abia state has appealed the State Government to revamp the Ulonna Farm Settlement in Umuahia North Local Government Area to boost food production and the state’s economy. The community made the appeal on Saturday during the inauguration of the NkataUmukabia Road by Gov. Theodore Orji. The President-General of Ohuhu Welfare Union, Mr Ejikeme Ikwunze, said that the settlement would help to create job opportunities in the state if it was
revamped. Ikwunze, who is the Director of Abia Sports Council, said Malaysia, which purchased its first oil palm seedlings from the farm settlement, had become a major exporter of oil palm. “In 1960 some Malaysia agriculturists came all the way from Kuala Lumpur and picked oil palm seedlings from the farm in our clan at the time Nigeria was a net exporter of oil palm produce. “Today, Malaysia has become
a net exporter of palm oil, while Nigeria is wallowing in the quagmire of oil palm produce,” Ikwunze said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the moribund farm settlement was established by late Dr Michael Okpara, the premier of Eastern region. The community also called for the revamping of the abandoned Compost Recycling Centre at Ofeme, near Umuahia, which was initiated by late Dr Sam Mbakwe
as the governor of the old Imo. Ikwunze said that the project would help to provide jobs for the people as well as promote sanitary condition in the area. Orji said while inaugurating the project that the NkataUmukabia Road was constructed to ease transportation problem in the area. He said further that it was done to reciprocate the support he received from the community and prominent sons of the area,
including the former Champion Newspapers’ Managing Director, Chief Bob Ogbuagu, during and after his election. NAN reports that the governor had earlier commissioned the Okweyi Road also in Umuahia North Local Government Area. NAN reports Senators Nkechi Nwogu (Abia Central), Uche Chukwumerije (Abia north) and members of the state assembly were present at the inauguration. (NAN)
Farmers lament govt. failure to distribute fertiliser in Kaduna
ry-season farmers in Kaduna have decried the state government’s failure to distribute fertiliser to them for irrigation farming. Some of the farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the action did not augur well for the state government’s effort to ensure food security. One of the farmers, Aliyu Muhammad, said the difficulties in getting the commodity had affected the yield of most dry-season crops. Muhammad said the situation had also forced many farmers to abandon dry-season farming. Another dry-season farmer, Barau Halidu, said the commodity was beyond the reach of farmers in the market. “Government gives us fertiliser at the rate of N2,800 but marketers sell it at N6,200 in the market,” he said. He appealed to the government to distribute fertiliser to the farmers because dry-season farming “provides food and employment for the rural populace”. Abdu Bature, another farmer, appealed to the state government to borrow a leaf from the neighbouring states of Zamfara and Katsina that had provided the commodity for their farmers. Meanwhile, the Director, Fadama Development in the Kaduna State Agricultural Programme (KADP), Malam Abdullahi Ibrahim, said the state government was not lagging behind in promoting irrigation farming. Ibrahim said the state government had been distributing inputs and other materials to farmers at subsidised rates. He said the KADP had started distributing hand pumps and sprayers to farmers to promote irrigation farming. “Our extension workers are also in the field to train and advice farmers on modern methods of farming,” he explained. Ibrahim said that failure to distribute fertiliser was not enough to conclude that the state government was not doing much for the development of agriculture. He said the government had already distributed improved maize seeds to dry-season farmers. He gave the assurance that assorted fertilisers would be distributed to farmers before the commencement of rainy season. (NAN)
Agricultural produce, woman peels cassava
Oxfam warns FG about imminent food crisis By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report
xfam International has called on the Federal Government invest more in small scale farming in Nigeria so as to boost the country’s food security and prevent an imminent food crisis. Oxfam, a civil society group involved in the fight against global poverty and hunger, made the call at a news conference in Lagos recently. The Country Director, Oxfam Nigeria, Mr Tunde Ojei, stressed the need for the government to map out strategies to forestall an imminent food crisis in Nigeria since neighbouring countries such as Niger, Chad and Mali were already experiencing food
shortage. He said that that the implication of this was that there would be increased pressure on the Nigerian agricultural sector, as those countries’ demand for food would be high, a situation which Nigeria was not prepared for in any way. “Nigeria currently is surrounded by countries that are already affected seriously by the food crisis and in those places; the food crisis has become severe,” he said. “These countries, at some point, will approach Nigeria to buy food and then, there will be undue pressure on the food which we are depending on,” he added. “Therefore, we, as individuals, must create awareness for this imminent crisis in order to
prompt actions towards ensuring that we have a functional food security system in the country,” he said. Ojei further said that a lot had to be done to boost small scale farming in the country as small scale farmers produced 80 per cent of the food consumed by the citizenry. He urged the Federal Government to make small scale farming more attractive and profitable, so as to attract more people to engage in food production. Miss Jamillah Mwanjisi, Campaigns Manager of Oxfam, bemoaned the lack of access of small scale farmers to modern equipment which would make their job easier and more efficient. She noted that most of the
farmers who produced virtually all the food which the country consumed could not afford modern equipment and tools which could enhance their productivity. Mwanjisi stressed that the farmers ought to have hitch-free access to fertilisers, good storage systems, favourable credit systems and a good insurance policy in case of unforeseen circumstances. She urged the government to provide facilities and equipment which would boost small scale farming in Nigeria and guard against food shortage at any point in time. She also stressed the need to sensitise the citizens to the threats of food crisis, while mobilising the people to contribute toward efforts to prevent a food crisis.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
ANALYSIS By Greg Miller
or every cloud of smoke that follows a CIA drone strike in Pakistan, dozens of smaller plumes can be traced to a gaunt figure standing in a courtyard near the center of the agency's Langley campus in Virginia. The man with the nicotine habit is in his late 50s, with stubble on his face and the dark-suited wardrobe of an undertaker. As chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center for the past six years, he has functioned in a funereal capacity for al-Qaeda. Roger, which is the first name of his cover identity, may be the most consequential but least visible national security official in Washington - the principal architect of the CIA's drone campaign and the leader of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. In many ways, he has also been the driving force of the Obama administration's embrace of targeted killing as a centerpiece of its counterterrorism efforts. Colleagues describe Roger as a collection of contradictions. A chain-smoker who spends countless hours on a treadmill. Notoriously surly yet able to win over enough support from subordinates and bosses to hold on to his job. He presides over a campaign that has killed thousands of Islamist militants and angered millions of Muslims, but he is himself a convert to Islam. His defenders don't even try to make him sound likable. Instead, they emphasize his operational talents, encyclopedic understanding of the enemy and tireless work ethic. "Irascible is the nicest way I would describe him," said a former high-ranking CIA official who supervised the counterterrorism chief. "But his range of experience and relationships have made him about as close to indispensable as you could think." Critics are less equivocal. "He's sandpaper" and "not at all a team player," said a former senior U.S. military official who worked closely with the CIA. Like others, the official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the director of CTC - as the center is known - remains undercover. Remarkable endurance Regardless of Roger's management style, there is consensus on at least two adjectives that apply to his tenure: eventful and long. Since becoming chief, Roger has worked for two presidents, four CIA directors and four directors of national intelligence. In the top echelons of national security, only Robert S. Mueller III, who became FBI director shortly before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, has been in place longer. Roger's longevity is all the more remarkable, current and former CIA officials said, because the CTC job is one of the agency's most stressful and grueling. It involves managing
A convert to Islam leads CIAâ€™s terrorism hunt (I)
CIA Director, Leon Panetta thousands of employees, monitoring dozens of operations abroad and making decisions on who the agency should target in lethal strikes - all while knowing that the CTC director will be among the first to face blame if there is another attack on U.S. soil. Most of Roger's predecessors, including Cofer Black and Robert Grenier, lasted less than three years. There have been rumors in recent weeks that Roger will soon depart as well, perhaps to retire, although similar speculation has surfaced nearly every year since he took the job. The CIA declined to comment on Roger's status or provide any information on him for this article. Roger
declined repeated requests for an interview. The Post agreed to withhold some details, including Roger's real name, his full cover identity and his age, at the request of agency officials, who cited concerns for his safety. Although CIA officials often have their cover identities removed when they join the agency's senior ranks, Roger has maintained his. A native of suburban Virginia, Roger grew up in a family where several members, across two generations, have worked at the agency. When his own career began in 1979, at the CIA's southern Virginia training facility, known as The Farm, Roger showed little of what he would become. A training classmate
recalled him as an underperformer who was pulled aside by instructors and admonished to improve. "Folks on the staff tended to be a little down on him," the former classmate said. He was "kind of a pudgy guy. He was getting very middling grades on his written work. If anything, he seemed to be almost a little beaten down." His first overseas assignments were in Africa, where the combination of dysfunctional governments, bloody tribal warfare and minimal interference from headquarters provided experience that would prove particularly useful in the postSept. 11 world. Many of the agency's most accomplished
Roger's longevity is all the more remarkable, current and former CIA officials said, because the CTC job is one of the agency's most stressful and grueling. It involves managing thousands of employees, monitoring dozens of operations abroad and making decisions on who the agency should target in lethal strikes.
counterterrorism operatives, including Black and Richard Blee, cut their teeth in Africa as well. "It's chaotic, and it requires you to understand that and deal with it psychologically," said a former Africa colleague. Roger developed an "enormous amount of expertise in insurgencies, tribal politics, warfare - writing hundreds of intelligence reports." He also married a Muslim woman he met abroad, prompting his conversion to Islam. Colleagues said he doesn't shy away from mentioning his religion but is not demonstrably observant. There is no prayer rug in his office, officials said, although he is known to clutch a strand of prayer beads. Roger was not part of the first wave of CIA operatives deployed after the Sept. 11 attacks, and he never served in any of the agency's "black sites," where al-Qaeda prisoners were held and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques. But in subsequent years, he was given a series of highprofile assignments, including chief of operations for the CTC, chief of station in Cairo, and the top agency post in Baghdad at the height of the Iraq war. Culled from The Washington Post
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Libya rules out ICC trial for Saif al-Islam Mali leader resigns ahead of power transfer
eposed Mali president has officially resigned, paving the way for a deal that would also see the two-weekold military junta stepping down in return for the end of trade and diplomatic sanctions. Amadou Toumani Toure was ousted from power in a military coup last month. "I think that my duty today, as it was 22 years ago, is to help Mali," President Amadou Toumani Toure said on Sunday from one of the hiding places in the capital where he had been holed up since last month's coup. "I therefore believe that it is very normal, and I do it without pressure and in good faith. In particular, out of love for my country, I have decided to hand in my letter of resignation, which I will hand in to the relevant authorities to allow the smooth transition." Toure penned his resignation letter and in the presence of reporters handed it to an emissary to deliver to the country's new leaders. Djibril Bassole, Burkina Faso's foreign minister, and a leading ECOWAS mediator, confirmed the resignation, saying: "We will now contact the competent authorities so that the vacancy of the presidency would be established and so that they take the appropriate measures." Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from the capital Bamako, said the resignation should pave the way for the formation of an interim government. "Diouncounda Traore, who is the president of the National Assembly, is going to be appointed tomorrow as per the constitution as the interim president of Mali," Ahelbarra said. "Then [Traore] will start talks with the military junta and at the same time with the main political parties here in the capital Bamako to form a national unity government. "As soon as they overcome some of the obstacles, they will start looking after the major issues particularly half of the country which is under the control of the Tuaregs." Ahelbarra also said that members of the military junta would probably get positions in key political ministries in the interim government, most likely in the ministry of defence.
ibya will not send Saif al-Islam Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the country's justice minister has said. Saif al-Islam, the most prominent son of the country's former leader, will instead be put on trial in his own country by Libyan judges, on charges of financial corruption, murder and rape, Ali Ashour told Reuters news agency on Sunday. The second son of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Saif alIslam is in a secret prison in the custody of the Zintan fighters who captured him last year during the country's bloody struggle to overthrow his father's regime. Earlier this week an ICC defence lawyer alleged that the Saif al-Islam was being mistreated and beaten, but Ashour denied the allegations, "He eats with the people who guard him, and he is in good condition," Ashour said. Pressure is mounting on Libya to hand Gaddafi's son to the ICC, as human rights organisations say the country is unable to give him a fair trial. The ICC ordered Libya on Wednesday to "comply with its obligations to enforce the warrant of arrest" and surrender Saif al-Islam to the court's custody without delay. An ICC delegation arrived in Tripoli on Sunday to discuss the case with the justice ministry, Libya's representative in the ICC, Ahmad alJahani, told Reuters. The court says that an UN Security Council Resolution obliges Libya to cooperate with the court,
and Tripoli's failure to hand over Saif al-Islam could result in it being reported to the council. It says it has jurisdiction over the case because it issued warrants last year for the arrest of Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah alSenussi, who was arrested last month in Mauritania. The ICC had earlier given Libya until January 10 to say whether and when it would surrender Saif al-Islam and to provide information about his
health, then extended the deadline to February. However, Ashour said on Sunday that "there is no intention to hand him [Saif alIslam] over to the ICC, and Libyan law is the right system to be used to try Saif Gaddafi". Ashour said his ministry had prepared a prison for Saif alIslam and negotiations were under way with the Zintan fighters to transfer him to Tripoli. The minister, however, declined to give details of how Saif al-Islam
would be tried or of preparations for his trial, saying only that the judicial committee responsible for the trial had not yet been created. Ashour said the 62-year-old former intelligence chief, Senussi who is thought to have been behind the 1996 killing of more than 1,200 inmates at Tripoli's Abu Salim prison and has been sentenced in absentia in France for the killing of a further 170 people in the 1989 bombing of a UTA airliner over Niger - is to be handed over to Libya by Mauritania.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is seen sitting in a plane in Zintan November 19, 2011.
Blast kills 12 in southern Somalia market - official
t least 12 people died in a bomb attack in Somalia yesterday targeting Somali and Ethiopian troops in a busy market in the southern city of Baidoa, witnesses and officials said. It was the second blast in the country in barely a week. Last week, a female suicide bomber killed six people, including two top sports officials, in the theatre near
the presidential palace in Mogadishu. The attack on Monday was the deadliest since Ethiopian and Somali troops captured Baidoa, about 250 km to the southwest of Mogadishu, from al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab rebels in February. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the latest attack. "We planted a remotely
controlled bomb in Baidoa market. We targeted the Ethiopian and the Somali troops. About three of them died," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, spokesman for al Shabaab's military operations, told Reuters. Musab said government soldiers had killed a number of civilians after opening fire following the blast but the regional governor has denied the accusation.
Malawian President, Joyce Banda addresses a media conference in the capital Lilongwe. Banda took over the running of the southern African nation on Saturday after the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
Witnesses said the explosion happened outside a butchery. "As we shopped we suddenly heard a blast. I counted 10 dead civilians and over 30 others injured," Shukri Hussein, a mother of five, told Reuters by telephone from Baidoa market. "Most of the casualties were in front of the butchery inside the main market. All the casualties were civilians save a soldier who was slightly injured," she said, adding that the explosive was hidden in a female shopper's plastic bag. She said the soldiers surrounded the market after the blast, shooting in the air. Ali Aden, a nurse at Baidoa hospital, told Reuters they had received 35 wounded civilians. Abdifatah Ibrahim Mohamed, the Bay region governor, told Reuters from Baidoa, said at least 12 civilians were killed and more than 30 wounded. Ethiopia sent troops into Somalia last year to open another front against al Shabaab after Kenya deployed soldiers in the south. On Thursday, the African Union's AMISOM force deployed 100 soldiers to the country's third biggest city and a former rebel stronghold in the south that served as a key recruitment and training centre until it fell to Ethiopian forces.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Cruise ship to retrace voyage of Titanic A cruise carrying relatives of some of the more than 1,500 people who died aboard the Titanic nearly 100 years ago is setting sail from England on Sunday to retrace the ship's voyage, including a visit to the location where it sank. The Titanic Memorial Cruise,
carrying the same number of passengers as the Titanic did, is set to depart from Southampton, where the doomed vessel left on its maiden voyage. The 12-night cruise will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the White Star liner.
Tulsa shooting suspects charged with murder
wo Oklahoma men accused in a rampage that left three people dead have been charged with murder. Alvin Watts and Jacob England appeared via closed-circuit television from jail for their first court appearance yesterday in the city of Tulsa in the US state of Oklahoma. A judge set their bail at $10,160,000 apiece. Both are charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of shooting with the intent to kill and one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Neither man had an attorney present yesterday. The judge set an April 16 court date. Police have yet to describe the attacks, which took place on Friday morning, as racially motivated, although the suspects are white and the victims were African Americans. Police are examining whether
England was trying to avenge the death of his father, who was killed two years ago. The two men were arrested at a home just north of Tulsa on Sunday afternoon, Jason Willingham, a spokesperson for the Tulsa police, said on Sunday. Willingham said police acted on an anonymous tip and went to one location and followed the suspects after they had traveled about more than half a kilometre on foot to another place where they were then apprehended. Police had previously said they did not believe the victims knew one another and they were trying to determine the circumstances behind the killings. The attacks had alarmed many in the predominantly black north Tulsa area, and local community leaders met earlier in an effort to calm worries about the shootings.
As passengers gathered to board, many self-professed "titanoraks" wore period costumes as first-class passengers, crew members, steerage passengers and stewards. Dressed as an Edwardian gentleman, passenger Graham Free described his excitement. "I have been a fan of the Titanic since I was nine years old and this cruise is the closest you are going to get to it," said the 37 year old. "The trip has cost a considerable amount, but I wanted to do it." Fellow cruiser Carmel Bradburn,
55, who lives in Australia, described herself as "fanatical" about the Titanic and struck back at accusations that retracing the doomed voyage is in poor taste. "I don't think the cruise is morbid. It's like saying Gallipoli is morbid or commemorating the (Crimean) war," she said. "Remembering those who died is not morbid." With 1,309 passengers aboard, the MS Balmoral will follow the same route as the Titanic. Organizers are trying to recreate the onboard experience - minus the disaster - from
the food to a live band playing music from that era, in tribute to Titanic's musicians who reportedly played their instruments until the ship sank. Organizers said people from 28 countries have booked passage, including relatives of some of the more than 1,500 people who died when the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912, in international waters in the North Atlantic. Other passengers include relatives of the around 700 survivors, along with authors and historians.
Maritime artist James Allan Flood (2nd L) of Del Ray Beach, Florida arrives wearing period costume to board the Titanic Memorial Cruise in Southampton, England on Sunday.
US experts to aid Pakistan rescue mission
Jacob England, right, and Alvin Watts have been charged with three counts each of first degree murder
Italy political funding scandal claims new victim
taly's Northern League party suffered another blow to its prestige yesterday when the son of its iconic founder became the latest victim of a growing scandal over misuse of party funds. Renzo Bossi, 24, resigned as a regional counsellor of the Lombardy regional government, four days after his father Umberto, 70, stepped down as national party leader. Both resignations came in the wake of an investigation by Milan magistrates over misuse of funds the party received from the state for electoral campaigns. Renzo Bossi, who was seen as an eventual heir apparent to lead the party that once held a pivotal position in Italian politics, was one of the beneficiaries of a party slush fund managed by the party's former treasurer, according to media reports. Magistrates suspect Renzo
Bossi's education at a private university in Britain was paid for by party funds and that he was also given use of two party cars for private use. Prosecutors have already placed the party's treasurer, Francesco Belsito, and two other officials, under formal investigation. Belsito, who has also resigned, is accused of channelling party funds to pay for the personal expenses of the Bossi family, including travel, dinners, education fees, hotel accommodation, expensive cars, and improvements to the Bossi house. While both Umberto Bossi and Renzo are not yet being formally investigated, Renzo Bossi said it was "opportune" for him to leave his post because the party was going through a "difficult moment".
he US has sent a team of experts to help Pakistan search for 135 people buried since Saturday by a massive avalanche that engulfed a military complex in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border. The team of eight experts sent to Islamabad on Sunday will provide technical assistance, the Pakistan army said. At least 240 Pakistani soldiers and civilians worked at the site of the disaster at the entrance to the Siachen Glacier on Sunday with the aid of sniffer dogs and heavy machinery, the army said. But they struggled to dig through some 25 metres of snow, boulders and mud that slid down the mountain early on Saturday morning. General Athar Abbas, Pakistan army spokesman, said on Sunday evening that it was unclear whether any of the
people who were buried are still alive. At least 124 soldiers from the 6th Northern Light Infantry Battalion and 11 civilian contractors are missing. "Miracles have been seen and trapped people were rescued after days ... so the nation shall pray for the trapped soldiers,'' Abbas said in an interview on Geo TV. General Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistan army chief, was personally at the site on Sunday, supervising the search-and-rescue operations. The army has moved in heavy engineering machinery by air from the garrison town of Rawalpindi to aid in the operation. A team of doctors and paramedics has also been rushed to the region, which suffers extreme weather conditions, with temperatures on the Siachen Glacier plummeting to as low as
Army chief Kayani, at right, inspected the search-and-rescue operations near the avalanche site on Sunday
minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94F) during the winter. Shaukat Qadir, a former brigadier in the Pakistani army who has been to Siachen on numerous occasions, told Al Jazeera it was the biggest casualty of soldiers on the glacier known for its treacherous conditions. "We have fantastic accommodation for the soldiers," he said. "When you walk on this terrain you never know when it would come down, and certainly you cannot predict an avalanche." The Siachen glacier, on the tip of the Kashmir region that both Pakistan and India claim, is home to an estimated 15,000 soldiers from both countries. At Siachen, which rises to 6,000m above sea level, more soldiers have died near the Karakoram base from weather-related incidents than gunfire since 1984. "The fact of the matter is that 70 per cent of the people have died because of natural causes," Qadir said, "and I think this is the time we ended this damn conflict, which has absolutely no explanation." The US assistance comes at a tense time between the two countries and could help improve relations following air strikes in November that accidentally killed 24 Pakistani soldiers along the Afghanistan border. Pakistan retaliated by closing its border crossings to supplies meant for NATO troops in Afghanistan.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Egypt tensions rise as poll registration ends
egistration for candidacy in Egypt's first postuprising presidential election has closed, amid lastminute twists and turns that
have shaken the political race. About 20 candidates have registered, each hoping to lead the Arab world's most populous nation through a fragile transition
following a movement that toppled Hosni Mubarak from power last year. Military and riot police lined the entrance to the
â€Ś Court hears case to bar Mubarak aides from presidency
n Egyptian court will hear a suit seeking to prevent Hosni Mubarak's former intelligence chief and his last prime minister from running for the presidency, a judicial source said yesterday. Omar Suleiman, 74, who served for years as Mubarak's head of military intelligence and General Intelligence Service and was vice president in the dying days of his rule, joined the race on Sunday, fuelling anger among activists and rival Islamists and liberals contesting for the top post. A lawyer filed the case to have Suleiman barred from running because he served under the ousted leader. Two other similar cases were filed to the public prosecutor,
the judicial source said. An administrative court in Cairo will hold its first hearing today. Another former figure, Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister and a former air force commander, is also running in the country's first free presidential vote, scheduled to take place over two rounds in May and June. The case targets both Suleiman and Shafiq. Suleiman's 11th-hour decision to run for president showed he still wields political clout by collecting around 49,000 signatures of eligible voters, exceeding the 30,000 required. His opponents see him as a symbol of a harsh security regime and a threat to Islamists, who were
routinely harassed and arrested during Mubarak's era, and to the liberals who spearheaded Mubarak's fall. But his candidacy might appeal to some Egyptians hoping for an end to political instability. His decision to join the race came shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist movement long suppressed by Mubarak and now in control of a parliament majority, broke a pledge not to field a candidate and nominated its deputy leader. In an interview with Reuters on Sunday, the Brotherhood's candidate, Khairat al-Shater, denounced Suleiman's bid for his former boss's job and called it "an insult" to the revolution.
election commission headquarters in a Cairo suburb amid fears of possible clashes between supporters of rival presidential candidates. They include former Arab League chief Amr Moussa, ultraconservative preacher Hazem Abu Ismail, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat El-Shater, and Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq. Omar Suleiman, Mubarak's intelligence chief and vicepresident during the final days of his presidency, registered less than half an hour before the 2pm local time (1200 GMT) deadline. "The people want Omar Suleiman," his supporters chanted as he struggled to get through the crowds outside the election commission. Politician Ayman Nour, whose unprecedented challenge to Mubarak in presidential elections in 2005 earned him worldwide recognition, was disqualified by a court on Saturday from contesting because of a conviction for alleged fraud. The country's ruling military council had earlier agreed to let him run. Nour's lawyer said he would be appealing the latest ruling, the official Mena news agency
reported. Saturday's verdict said he could only stand for the presidency six years after his pardon. Bothaina Kamel, the only woman to announce a bid, failed to gather the required 30,000 voter signatures to qualify but she told reporters she would "continue to work to develop the political conscience of the Egyptian people". The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces [SCAF], which took power after Mubarak was toppled, has said it will hand power to civilian rule in June after a president is elected. Fearful that their primary nominee could also be disqualified, the Muslim Brotherhood, the country's most influential political group, nominated the head of its party as a back-up candidate. In a statement released late on Saturday, the Brotherhood said they were putting forth party leader Mohammed Morsi as an alternate to Khairat el-Shater, the party's chief strategist and financier. The group fears Shater could be banned under the same rule as Nour, as he was released from prison last month after serving five years on charges of being a member of the then-outlawed Brotherhood.
S Korea warns North over rocket launch plan
Supporters crowd round the car of Presidential candidate Egypt's former vice president Omar Suleiman as he arrives to present recommendation documents to the Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) headquarters in Cairo on Sunday.
outh Korea has threatened to deliver a "firm response" to "provocation" if the North goes ahead with its planned rocket launch. North Korea's long-range rocket, scheduled to put what it says is a satellite into orbit next week, has been installed on its launch platform, according to the country's space officials. Speaking on Monday, Kim Min-seok, South Korea's defence
Police clash with anti-govâ€™t protesters in central Tunis
olice clashed with thousands of antigovernment protesters who tried to storm Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis yesterday, defying a ban on demonstrations in the area - a focal point of the revolt that ousted Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali over a year ago. About 2,000 protesters marching from the nearby headquarters of the main labour union, which has been at the forefront of opposition to the Islamistled government, were met by riot police at the interior ministry on Bourguiba Avenue. The moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which won elections last year, is under pressure from secular parties and the labour union not to give religion too prominent a place in public life - and from Salafist parties wanting the opposite. Protesters on Monday also likened Ennahda to the Trabelsi family of Ben Ali's wife Leila, widely blamed by Tunisians for the rampant corruption of the final years of his rule. "The people are sick
of the new Trabelsis," protesters chanted. Police beat back protesters with batons and fired tear gas to break up the crowd, chasing stone-throwing demonstrators down side streets in scenes reminiscent of the tactics used during Ben Ali's 23 years as president, when Tunisia was a police state and freedoms severely restricted. "The people want the fall of the regime," protesters chanted, echoing
the demand that was coined in Tunisia during the 2011 revolution and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings. "No fear, no terror, the street belongs to the people," the crowds chanted as they confronted police. Hundreds more protesters were heading towards the central street from other areas after an online call to march on Bourguiba Avenue on the April 9 Martyrs'
Demonstrators wave flags and shout slogans during a protest in Tunis April 9, 2012.
Day holiday, marking the suppression of pro-independence demonstrators by French colonial troops in 1938. Tunisia has changed enormously since the revolution, with a democratic system now in place and ordinary people able to speak and demonstrate freely for the first time in memory. The interior ministry decided to ban rallies on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in late March after local hotels, restaurants and other businesses complained that repeated protests and counterprotests were snarling traffic and disrupting business. Tunisia's revolution ousted Ben Ali in January 2011. In October, in the country's first free elections Ennahda won 40 percent of seats in the constituent assembly that will draft the new constitution. From the outset, Ennahda has faced strong opposition from secular parties and Tunisia's powerful labour union, which fears it will impose conservative religious values on a country long known for its liberal and secular outlook.
ministry spokesman, said: "We want to clarify that the launch is a provocation that threatens the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia. "The South Korean military is fully prepared to protect the South Korean people and respond firmly against any acts of provocation that threaten the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula." North Korea maintains that the launch is meant to demonstrate its scientific achievement. Engineers, insisting the project was for scientific purposes, said the satellite will orbit the earth and send back data for weather forecasts and crop surveys. Nevertheless, the US, Japan, Britain and other nations have urged North Korea to cancel the launch. They say that firing the longrange rocket would violate UN resolutions and the country's promise to refrain from engaging in nuclear and missile activity. The communist nation organised an unprecedented visit to Tongchang-ri space centre to show that the Unha-3 rocket is not a disguised ballistic missile, as claimed by the US and its allies, notably South Korea and Japan. "To say this is a missile test is really nonsense," Jang Myong-jin, head of the space centre, said. "This launch was planned long ago, on the occasion of the 100th birthday of [late] president Kim Ilsung. We are not doing it for provocative purposes." For the first time, North Korea allowed some 50 foreign journalists to go to the new space centre built on the Cholsan peninsula, 50km from the Chinese border.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Panic-inducing snake draught excluder turns out to be just a load of hot air
terrified Scottish woman called an animal rescue centre after discovering a snake in her loft only for officials to find a harmless draught excluder instead. Sid the snake-shaped draught excluder (Picture: Scottish SPCA) The unidentified woman called the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after mistaking the instrument used to stop heat escaping for a menacing legless serpent. Officials said the lady was visibly distressed by the ordeal after she discovered the 5ft snake replica in the loft of an apartment she had only just rented. Attending officer Karen Hogg told the BBC: 'We've rescued hundreds of snakes from properties in all sorts of unusual circumstances, so we had no reason to believe this might not be the real thing.
Sid the snake-shaped draught excluder (Picture: Scottish SPCA)
A close-up of Sid 'the snake' (Picture: Scottish SPCA
Raising the bar: Team of bakers serve up worldâ€™s largest hot cross bun
un-believable! A team of bakers have battered their way into the world record books after creating the world's biggest hot cross bun. It took a group of five dough punchers to complete the bread and butter challenge and set a new Guinness World Record. The traditional Easter treat, which contained over 145lbs of flour, weighed a whopping 26 stone and measured a gigantic 7ft 10ins when completed. It was equivalent in weight to that of 2300 regular-sized hot cross buns. The event took place at Greenhalghs bakery in Bolton, Greater Manchester, where it took ten people to carry the baked treat into a custom-made oven. Manager Stuart Hartlebury, 43, said: 'We made it in the traditional way, using all the traditional
ingredients but the hard part was rolling it out. 'Making the bun was most enjoyable and to achieve the world record is quite an achievement. 'I feel fortunate to have participated in making it and I'm very proud. 'It has been a big effort from everyone at Greenhalghs bakery, so we're all really pleased.' The attempt was in celebration of a number of Easter events taking place at reserves run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds across the country this Easter. A RSPB spokesman said: 'We weren't sure we would be able to pull it off, but we've gone and broken the world record. 'From the piece I've tried it tastes amazing, but it seems we will have quite a lot of washing up to do.' It beat a previous record set by a bakery in South Africa in April 2009.
Hot cross done: The record breaking bun (Picture: Solent)
Boko Haram: A more deadly force is at work Contd. from Back Page conniving civil servants who have perfected various means of short-changing Nigerians. Does anyone ever put the cart before the horse? To solve a problem, you start by addressing its root causes. According to the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, injustice anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere. Let government address all those years of neglect in the North occasioned by the northern leaders who took and pocketed allocations meant for their people while the people languished in poverty and almajiris dotted the northern landscape. My first-hand experience of the situation in the North was appalling. When you throw away an empty ice-cream pack, before you could blink your eyes the almajiris are all over the pack, fighting one another over the empty pack. Certainly, these gory sights cannot continue! If the kids are not intuitive enough to take revenge, can't they be brainwashed to do so? An idle hand
is a ready tool in the hands of the devil! Let the government, especially State Governments in the North and all the northern leaders who do more of talking than acting, tackle all these injustice. Our leaders can pretend and dilly-dally all they want, until we sit down together to agree on how best to progress, we may be going round in circles. Someone once asked me how best to curtail the political Boko Haram. Rivers State Governor Rotimi Ameachi has graciously offered the panacea. In response to a question at a youth forum in Lagos recently, Amaechi, who was one of the keynote speakers, said "If I sit in my office and you do not pursue me, I will continue to enjoy, but if you pursue me..." What better solution can we have than this one? Amaechi may simply be saying that the political Boko Haram is too comfortable. Let us make them uncomfortable! Let us organise ourselves into a strong unit, one whose ranks cannot be broken, because unity of
purpose is of essence to dislodge the political Boko Haram. Let get involved by becoming members of political parties for it is only from within that the fight can be effective. It is only by being involved that we can effectively negotiate with our numerical strength. Without this political strength, our representatives will always be chosen for us by leaders of political parties. This is why rather than represent the masses to the political class, most of our so-called representatives have become representatives of the political class to the masses, justifying to us how it is so difficult to govern. During the struggle for blacks' emancipation in the United States of America, Martin Luther King told negroes that they could not win if they were willing to sell the future of their children for their personal and immediate comfort. The masses, who constitute a larger part of the membership of political parties, must shun crumbs. Some people say one cannot get nominated by parties or win
elections without money; I disagree. Let the masses infiltrate these parties in their large numbers and pick a representative from among them who enjoys their support. If the party refuses to nominate him, let them withdraw their political base enmasse from the party. Let's see who will vote for their anointed representative. Let us see who will fill up their rallies. Let us see who will go from house to house on their behalf. It worked in Ondo State when Mimiko would not be given the ticket; he pulled out with his supporters and pitched his tent with the Labour Party. Although Mimiko is part of the old order, the same strategy can be used by the masses in making sure that their trusted representative gets nominated. The masses do not have to start from presidency; they can start from councillorship, Local Government Chairman, House of Representatives, Senate, governorship, eating gradually at the foundation of the political Boko Haram until it finally crumbles like a pack of cards.
To stay away from the political process is to leave our destiny in the hands of the political Boko Haram. For how long would we complain? Let us stop talking and start acting! Too much talk does nothing! Haven't we been talking since 1960? Where has it gotten us? Has the political Boko Haram stopped stealing our commomwealth since then? It is the masses that can provide solution to their own predicament; not the political Boko Haram. Theirs is to plunder. Ours must be to restore. And let us remember when we achieve our aim that nothing would be deadlier to our survival as a people than to repeat the pattern of those we presently criticise. When all this is done, then we can be sure of victory over the other Boko Haram, the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati walJihad. Dimeji Daniels wrote in from 6 Fiyinf'Oluwa Street, Adebayo, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Women over 40 told: ‘Don’t take IVF success for granted’ W
omen in their 40s expect ‘Their typical reaction is, fertility treatment to “what do you mean you cannot rewind their ‘biological help me? I am healthy, I exercise, clock’, and are upset when they and I cannot have my own baby?’’’ find out they can’t have babies, The latest report comes as UK warns a top fertility specialist. figures show 40-somethings are Demand for IVF from older becoming pregnant at more than women is rising dramatically, but double the rate of two decades ago. they don’t realise the chances of But there is growing concern success are limited, said Pasquale among British doctors over the Patrizio, of the Yale Fertility Center ‘epidemic of pregnancy’ in women in the U.S. in middle age. He said the latest research Some of the country’s leading showed success rates for women fertility specialists have warned aged 42 and over had stayed static that women who put off having at less than 10 per cent. children are ‘defying nature’ and Even if a woman conceives, risk never becoming mothers. being older makes it less likely a The Yale researchers said live baby will be born and pushes women who delayed pregnancies up the risk of abnormalities. in their most fertile years were Professor Patrizio said: ‘There is ‘vaguely aware’ that fertility an alarming misconception about decreased with age, but only when fertility among women. As they experienced age-related clinicians, we should begin infertility first-hand did they begin educating women more to understand the reality of their aggressively.’ situation. He and his colleagues have noticed more women coming to their fertility clinic at age 43 or older, expecting that pregnancy can be instantly achieved. He added: ‘We are really seeing more and more patients upset after failing in having their own biological child after age 43 so we had to Treatment: A human egg cell with spermatoza during IVF treatment report on this.
Delaying pregnancy: More women are putting off getting pregnant in their most fertile years because of advances in treatment The growing popularity of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) has given women the impression that female fertility may be manipulated at any stage in life, and the problem is made
worse by images of celebrities who seem to effortlessly give birth at advanced ages, said Professor Patrizio. U.S. figures show the number of IVF cycles performed between
Eating berries can cut men’s risk of Parkinson’s disease by 40 per cent E ating strawberries, blueberries, blackcurrants and blackberries could help to protect against Parkinson’s disease, researchers suggest. Men who ate the fruits along with other foods rich in flavonoids were found to be 40 per cent less likely to develop the brain disease. And those who ate berries at least once a week could cut their risk of developing the disease by a quarter compared with those who never ate them, the study by British and U.S. experts also found. Flavonoids – which are also found in tea and red wine – are antioxidants which can offer protection against a range of diseases including heart disease, some cancers and dementia. The research is the first largescale study looking at the effect of flavonoids in protecting against Parkinson’s disease, a progressive neurological condition which affects 125,000 Britons. It causes tremors and muscular rigidity or stiffness, and affects all kinds of movement in the body. About 10,000 new sufferers
are diagnosed each year. There is no cure, but drugs and surgery can help control symptoms. About 130,000 men and women took part in the research, published in the journal Neurology, of whom 800 had developed Parkinson’s disease during 20 years of follow-up. It involved an analysis of their diets and, adjusting for age and lifestyle, men volunteers who ate the most flavonoids were shown to be 40 per cent less likely to develop the disease than those who ate the least. The study found no similar link for total flavonoid intake in women. Antioxidants help to neutralise free radicals – destructive byproducts of metabolism in the body that can damage cell membranes and DNA. Brain cells are particularly sensitive to free radicals – which may help to explain the benefits revealed by the study. It found the main protective effect came from higher intakes of anthocyanins – a type of flavonoid – present in berries and other fruits and vegetables such
as aubergines. Men who ate one or more portions of berries each week were 24 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, relative to those who did not eat the fruits, the experts said. Dr Xiang Gao of Harvard School of Public Health, one of the study leaders, said the findings suggest that anthocyanins ‘may have neuro- protective effects’. He added: ‘Given the other
potential health effects of berry fruits, such as lowering risk of hypertension as reported in our previous studies, it is good to regularly add these fruits to your diet.’ His colleague Professor Aedin Cassidy, of Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia, described their findings as ‘exciting’. Source: Dailymail.co.uk
Berry power: Men who ate the fruits along with other foods rich in flavonoids were found to be 40 per cent less likely to develop the brain disease
2003 and 2009 for women aged over 40 increased by 41 per cent – four times as fast as for women aged under 35. Professor Patrizio said: ‘Even though the number of women turning to ART has increased, the number of IVF cycles resulting in pregnancy in women above age 42 has mostly remained static at 9 per cent. ‘If pregnancy is achieved at an older age, women then face higher risk of pregnancy loss, birth defects, and other complications. ‘Women should be given the appropriate information about postponing fertility, obstetric risks, and the limited success of ART in advanced age to allow them to make informed decisions about when, if at all, they hope to become pregnant.’ Professor Patrizio said women should take advantage of eggfreezing if they wanted to postpone motherhood. Alternative options such as egg donation, which leads to the highest pregnancy rates reported for any type of fertility treatment, are also available. He added: ‘There is an urgent need to educate women that reproductive ageing is irreversible and, more importantly that there are options to safeguard against the risk of future infertility.’ Last month, Britain’s oldest first-time mother, Sue Tollefsen, admitted she had made a mistake in waiting until she was 57. She regretted not having a baby earlier because she might not be around to see her daughter grow up. Source: Dailymail.co.uk
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Reps in the news By Lawrence Olaoye
s the House of Representatives embarked on recess to resume next week, certain members of the Green Chamber were in the news during their sittings before the recess. While some of the lawmakers have contributed immensely to the image of the Chamber, others have inadvertently contributed to the further smearing of its public perception. At the inception of the Seventh Assembly, Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was so conscious of the battered image of the Green Chamber that he took it upon himself to make a declaration aimed at changing the seeming negative perception of the institution. He said “We acknowledge that the House has had to navigate the difficult terrain of winning public trust and confidence and even of being the champion of the peoples’ cause. Years of struggling to establish adequate legislative mores and practices, especially upon the return to democratic rule in May 1999, have meant that some of the things we have done may not have met public expectation.” ”The Seventh House of Representatives seeks to build a new image for the legislaturea strong, vibrant and effective legislature, able to assert itself as an important partner with other arms of government in the delivery of good governance, due process and rule of law,” Tambuwal declared. With these apt statements, the Speaker has been able to set the tempo of the arduous task of rebuilding the image of the institution. But, he cannot, and will not do it alone. Activities of some of his colleagues have been in line with the image laundering declaration of the Speaker while news coming from some others has aided the challenge facing the institution Tambuwal inherited. Activities and news about some of the members of the Seventh House have helped reshaped the perception of the House positively while some others have helped to further rubbished the institution. Ndudi Elumelu News around the Delta born lawmaker has helped shore-up the image of the House. Following allegations of graft leveled against the lawmaker in the N5.2 billion rural electrification saga, the Economic and Financial
Ndudi Elumelu Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged him to court. Although the wheel of justice grinded slowly, he has been vindicated and discharged by an Abuja Court. His vindication and eventual discharge has shown that most allegations of corruption against lawmakers may not be true after-all. His vindication has restored the image of the House both internally and internationally. It pointed to the fact that most often than not, allegations of corruption against some of the members of the National Assembly may have been oversensitized indicating that some innocent people may have been condemned before they are actually tried by the courts of law. His ability to sustain his innocence plea at the face of gargantuan charges against him in the contract saga has restored his rubbished integrity and that of the House. Farouk Lawan The Kano born lawmaker who is not strange to legislative excellence has been around the House since 1999. Although he has made his marks projecting the image of the institution positively in the last twelve years or so, his latest efforts came to the fore in the recently concluded probe into the controversial subsidy regime. Lawan’s Ad-Hoc committee succeeded at exposing some of the nation’s parasitic
Farouk Lawan businessmen who are adroit in sucking the nation dry. The Committee succeeded at achieving the statutory responsibility of oversight over government agencies and thereby exposed the corruption inherent in the nation’s down stream oil sector.
Apart from the Subsidy investigation, Lawan has been able to manage the House Education committee, which is the largest in the House without much fuss. His committee’s role in the final resolution of the prolonged ASUU strike portrays him as an administrator
worthy of emulation. He has contributed substantially to the vision of repositioning the Green Chamber as postulated by the Speaker. Abike Dabiri-Erewa This lawmaker from Lagos state has equally contributed to shoring up the image of the House in less than one year of its inauguration. Although, she is at the head of an innocuous committee that some members would consider inconsequential and unjuicy, Dabiri-Erewa has succeeded in using the platform not only to impact positively on the image of the House, but has substantially improved the ratings of the country internationally. The lawmaker has made the committee a rallying point for Nigerians in diaspora facing one challenge or the other. Her findings in the course of her committee’s activities have become reference points in the nation’s foreign policy thrusts. She has been able to identify some countries that are unnecessarily hostile to Nigerians while advocating for those disadvantaged countrymen languishing in several jails across the globe. She brought to the fore the agonies of Nigerians kept in inhuman captivity at the heat of the struggle for freedom against Late Muammar
Contiuned on page 39
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Contiuned from page 37 Gadaffi’s government in Libya. She recently visited Brazil and discovered that about 457 Nigeria women were languishing in jail after being convicted for drug trafficking with some of them romped into crime ignorantly. According to her, her committee’s intervention after interacting with the prisons officials in Brazil made country’s prisons officials to relax the stringent measures imposed on some of the prison inmates in that country. Herman Hembe He is the Chairman of the suspended House Committee on Capital Market. Charged with the responsibility of examining and evaluating the rots in the Capital Market which has crumbled over time with the nation’s investors being the worse for it, Hembe’s committee began the task with high expectations but things went awry mid-way as allegations and counter allegations began to fly in the air. Although, the committee succeeded at exposing profligacy in the agency by showing, with documentary evidence, that the Director General of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Aruma Oteh, spent huge sum of money on ostentatious meals at a high-brow Abuja hotel. The ovation garnered for the Committee’s efforts at exposing waste and corruption of monumental level had hardly calmed down when Oteh’s bombshell, that eventually smashed the committee’s integrity, landed. She pointedly accused Hembe of soliciting for funds to finance the public hearing. She also told the whole world that the Commission sponsored Hembe to a Seminar in Dominican Republic and that the Committee Chairman failed to attend the meeting and refused to refund the money he collected for the trip. The allegation of corruption against
Reps in the news
Herman Hembe the committee, though raised directly against the Chairman, rubbed-off negatively against the entire House. This is because the House has assumed notoriety for allegedly requesting for money from the government agencies for public hearing thus raising the question as to whether the leadership do not make funds available for all its public hearings. This again has raised the fears that the leadership may have returned to the
‘collapse system’ prevailing under the leadership of the former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole. Although, Hembe has volunteered to face the anti graft agency, EFCC, to clear his name from the corruption allegation, the damage to the public perception of the House has been done. In order to remedy the situation, the House has suspended the Committee and referred Hembe to its Ethics and
The allegation of corruption against the committee, though raised directly against the Chairman, rubbed-off negatively against the entire House. This is because the House has assumed notoriety for allegedly requesting for money from the government agencies for public hearing thus raising the question as to whether the leadership do not make funds available for all its public hearings Privileges Committee chaired by Rep Gambo Musa for further investigation; but a substantial damage had already be done to the much coveted image Tambuwal has preoccupied himself building. However, the outcome of the EFCC intervention and the verdict of the in-house Ethics and Privileges Committee would go a long way in revamping the House dented image if they could manage to vindicate Hembe and his committee. Ahmed Idris He is a lawmaker representing Wase Federal Constituency from Plateau state. He is at the head of the House Committee on Federal Character charged with the responsibility of addressing one of the most pernicious challenges facing the country. His committee was charged with the responsibility of
probing into the adherence to the principle of federal character meant to ensure balancing in the distribution of federal employments, appointments and infrastructures across the six geo-political zones of the country. Although the committee has yet to submit its reports, Ahmed has demonstrated his resolve to deliver on the task before him. His intervention in the recruitment process in the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), notorious for its circumvention of the rules, has begun to yeild the desired results. Several agencies, including the Nigerian Army, have been caused to appear before the committee to answer questions on alleged lopsidedness in their recruitment processes. Ahmed’s committee recently queried Katsina University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor James Ayatse, for allegedly clouding the nominal roll of the institution with individuals from his state and ethnic stock! Several government agencies are also scheduled to appear before the committee which has vowed to ensure that the principle of Federal Character is applied in the recruitment and infrastructure distribution process nationwide. Ahmed’s committee has succeeded in advancing the policy thrust of the House and has been on course of redressing the obvious imbalance in the nation’s body politik. Abdulmumuni Jibrin He is a first termer in the House from Kano state who hit the ground running by showing robust organizational skills and
the ability to liaise with his colleagues to arrive at predetermined goals. The Speaker probably considered this trait before making him the Chairman of the Finance committee usually reserved for the ‘big-boys’ imbued with experience and strength of character. But, Jibrin has been lacklustre as the chairman of the committee because nothing much has been heard of his activities. This is more so when the former occupant of the office, Rep John Eno, now the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, has set a pace of performance. Jibril who chaired the joint committee which include that of Petroleum Resources charged with the task of investigating the alleged non-remittance of N450 billion by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into the federation accounts has yet to present the committee’s reports several months into the assignment. Although the joint committee conducted a public hearing into the matter as charged, such was conducted acrimoniously with allegations of financial inducement flying in the air. Apart from his performance at the committee level, the allegation of corruption hanging around Jibril’s neck at the EFCC has become an encumbrance to his performance as he seemed to lack the moral will to perform his duties until he extricates himself from the charges he is currently facing. To this extent, Tambuwal’s House may be having a dent in public perception until this lawmaker rediscovers himself and begin to discharge his statutory functions accordingly.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Ajimobi restates commitment to welfare of traditional rulers
overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has said that his administration will continue to accord priority to the welfare of traditional rulers in the state. A statement from the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Dr Festus Adedayo, and made available to newsmen yesterday in Ibadan, quoted Ajimobi as speaking at the presentation of the instrument of office to the Okere of Saki, Oba Olatoyese Kelani Olarinre II at Saki. The governor said that provision of social welfare and prompt payment of salaries of traditional rulers had been of utmost concern of the present government in the state. Ajimobi urged the traditional rulers to reciprocate the good gesture of his administration by ensuring a conducive atmosphere in their respective domains. He solicited the cooperation of the people of the state for the successful execution of government programmes for their welfare. ``As the government is committed to ensuring the safety of lives and property, the citizens too must be lawabiding. "They must channel whatever grievances they may harbour through legally acceptable means and to the appropriate channels.'' The governor said the state government employed 20,000 youths under the Youth Empowerment Scheme of Oyo State (YES-O) to demonstrate its commitment to solving unemployment and improving the welfare of the people. ``I promise our good people of Oyo State that all the cardinal programmes of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) will be fully implemented to revamp the downward socio-economic situation of the state.'' He congratulated the traditional ruler and the people of Saki and implored them to work as one indivisible entity for the development of the town and the state in general. ``There are always gains to be derived from a collective sense of community. "Even the Holy Spirit testifies to the fact that it is always a thing of joy for people to come together and celebrate like this in a peaceful atmosphere.'' The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwole Adeyemi III, who was among important dignitaries who attended the occasion, prayed for peace, progress and development of Saki and the state at large.
R-L: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, acting Project Manager of Hartland Construction Company, Engineer Marco Malinni, and Personal Assistant on Media to the Deputy Speaker, Chibuike Onyeukwu, during the inspection of 17.5km Okpuala-Igwuruta road in Imo/Rivers states recently.
Church gift: Criticism not ethnic, religious-ACN By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said its reaction to the bribery allegation against President Goodluck Jonathan, over the construction or ‘renovation’ of a church in his village, has nothing to do with religious or ethnic considerations. ACN in a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the issues involved are those of ethics, constitutionality and the rule of law, saying anyone or group that attempts to make it a religious or ethnic issue would be doing a great disservice to the nation.
It also urged religious leaders in particular and other opinion leaders in general to always rise above politics and primordial considerations in commenting on such issues. “Sadly, since the bribery allegation came to the fore, we have seen otherwise respectable religious leaders joined the fray and used uncomplimentary words just to be seen to be defending the President. We have seen how they attempted to use religion to divide Nigerians. This is unfortunate and must never repeat itself. “’Like these unwary religious leaders, we have also read comments from some ethnic jingoists making it look as if the criticisms of the
President’s solicitation and acceptance of a church ‘gift’ from a foreign construction company doing business with the government he heads is targeting the South-South or the Niger Delta. “All these developments confirm what we have always known: That this President is the most divisive Nigerian leader ever, and he and his ‘supporters’ will not hesitate to play the religious or ethnic card even when the issues involved have nothing to do with that. Any criticism of his actions is immediately interpreted as an attack on the Ijaw, the Niger Delta, the South-South or Christians. This is not the stuff of good leadership,’’ ACN remarked.
The party continued: ‘’The last time we checked, President Jonathan was voted into office by people of all ethnic and religious groups. He is not the President of the Niger Delta, neither is he the President of Christians or Muslims, but the President of all Nigerians. He should always remember this.’’ It wondered where the religious leaders now rushing to the President’s defense were when this same ACN campaigned rigorously for him to be sworn in as Acting President, when his boss was ill and he was marooned; or why they never came out to defend the late President Umaru Yar’Adua when the party criticized his administration’s policies.
Edo Labour party gets new executive
he Edo sate chapter of the Labour Party (LP) at the weekend in Benin elected its state executive members to pilot the affairs of the party for the next three years. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the election was witnessed by officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The National Chairman of the party, Mr Dan Nwanyanwu, was represented by the National Vice Chairman, South East zone, Mr Calistus Okafor. The former state party chairman, Mr Sam Omede, was returned while Mr Patrick
Eholor, Mr Dan Aiziegbemi and Mr Nasir Momoh were all adopted as Edo South, Edo Central and Edo North Senatorial districts chairmen, respectively. The position of the party's Public Relations Officer went to Mr Austin Obaze, while the position of deputy chairman went to Mrs Aina Adedeji. Mr Abure Julius emerged as State Secretary of the party. The position of the state woman leader went to Mrs Rabi Aigbojie who had yet to recover from an undisclosed ailment in an undisclosed hospital. Tempers flared among
women delegates who resisted the imposition of a woman leader on them by the Chairman of the election committee, Mr Olu Aderibigbe. However, when the women realised that their protest would not stop Aigbojie from emerging as the Woman Leader over what they termed 'order from above,'' they left the hall one after the other. In his acceptance speech, the new chairman said the party would field candidates in the next local government election in the state. He said that party's flag would be flown all over the state during
the 2015 general elections. In a related development, Mr I m a g u o m w a n r h u o Erhunmwunse, has emerged the governorship candidate of the National Conscience Party (NCP) for the July 2012 gubernatorial election in the state. This was the outcome of the party's primary conducted on Saturday in Benin. Erhunmwunse was adopted as the party's governorship candidate in an election conducted by the election committee chairman, Mr Haruna Amed and INEC officials.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Players want amputee football tourney revived
ius Asaba, a former Secretary of the Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAAF), has advised the Federation to embark on an aggressive marketing drive to revive the game. Asaba said yesterday in Lagos that the sport had been neglected due to the inability of the body to secure sponsorship for its programmes. He noted that the game had been allowed to degenerate and
urged stakeholders to close ranks in order to resuscitate it and raise players’ interest. “There has been a dearth of activities in the federation, which has left most of the players in complete disarray, the situation is not good for amputee football development. “Since the beginning of this year there had been no activity whatsoever, and this has made players to abandon training and become disenchanted,” he said.
Falconets to play Zimbabwe Sunday
Agbim, 20 other Eagles jet out to Dubai for Pharaohs
he return leg of the second round fixture of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup qualifier between Nigeria’s Falconets and the Young Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe will be decided this Sunday, February 15 in Harare. President of the Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari while confirming this said their hosts opted for Sunday as against Saturday that they had thought it would be played. “Before we went for the Easter break, our counterparts from Zimbabwe wrote to inform us that they have picked Sunday for the game and we have accepted since they are at liberty to choose the date,” said the President. “The way it works is that CAF which is the football governing body in Africa gives the host FA the privilege of picking the day and date for that weekend which they would like to play. So it is either you play on Friday, Saturday or Sunday,” he added. In the first leg fixture decided in Abeokuta 10 days ago, Nigeria played on a Saturday which they won 3-0 with goals from Esther Sunday and Francisca Ordega who got a brace. Right from the inception of the qualifiers, Zimbabwe has always played its matches on Sundays. A win or a draw would see Nigeria advance into the third and final round of the Africa qualifying series. Four teams from Africa are expected to qualify for the next round with two teams representing the continent at the World Cup in Japan from August 18 to September 8.
Stories by Patrick Andrew
arri Wolves goalkeeper and stand-in skipper of the domestic league Super Eagles, Chigozie Agbim, along with 20 other players flew out of the country yesterday to Dubai, where the Eagles will confront seventh times Nations Cup winners, the Pharaohs of Egypt. Agbim, of CAF Confederation Cup campaigners Warri Wolves, will have as cover goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, with defenders Azubuike Egwueke, Papa Idris, Juwon Oshaniwa, Hamed Adesope, Godfrey Oboabona and Nura Mohammed. Left-footed Ejike Uzoenyi of Enugu Rangers, voted Man of the Match in the 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda in Kigali at the end of February, leads the midfielders that also include Bartholomew Ibenegbu and Gabriel Reuben,
In the same vein, Gbenga Dosunmu, the national coach of the NAAF, was also unhappy with the way the federation was running its affairs. “From the way things are turning out, it is obvious that the President of the federation wants the sport to go extinct. Because she has not done anything as regards the welfare or other forms of support for the players, she does not even know who the players are,” he said.
with strikers Uche Kalu, Sunday Mba and Izu Azuka among others. Mba scored the two goals in
Dosunmu added that since the beginning of the year, there had not been any form of training for the players, which he claimed had led to despondency among them. Meanwhile, Chimobi Michael, a player, told NAN that he was disenchanted with the trend of development, which had made him to lose interest in training. “I am not happy at all with what has been going on in the
the 2-0 away win over Liberia’s Lone Star in Monrovia in February while Azuka has been in great form for Sunshine
NFF set to reorganise domestic league, says official
igeria Football Federation (NFF) has reaffirmed its commitment to reposition the country’s football through the domestic league. Chief Media Officer of NFA Ademola Olajire told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Lagos that the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) would be the launch pad for the development. He stressed that players’ level of performance in the league would determine their invitation to the Super Eagles as part of the repositioning. “We are working hand-in-hand with the NPL to signpost the new face of our domestic league. “It would afford eligible players the opportunity to fight for shirts in the Super Eagles, to ensure that only the best get to represent the country,” he said. Olajire said by so doing, the players would be “pushed” to play quality football in the league,
which would in turn, improve the quality of play in the league and make it worthwhile for fans. It is also expected to spur foreign-based players in their performance since competition for shirts will be stiffer. “The boys will be willing to do everything humanly possible to get the national shirt, which denotes the peak of any footballer’s career. He described the appointment of Tom Saintfiet as the Technical Director of the NFA, as a move by the body to ensure the rapid development of football in the country. “The recent selection of the experienced Belgian coach is one of the recent developments that will reshape our football; he will be saddled with the responsibility of nurturing young talents,”he said.
federation since the government took over. After our participation in the Ghana Cup of African Nations for Amputee Football (CANAF) in 2011, where we faced untold hardship, we have not heard anything from the federation. “Tell me why I should waste my hard earned money to transport myself to the stadium and train when there is no hope for me to participate in any competition,” he said.
Stars, and scored home and away as the club knocked out Recreativo Libolo of Angola to reach the CAF Champions League third round. The list of players was released yesterday by Dan Amokachi, one of the three assistant coaches of the team. He leads the team to Dubai in the absence of Stephen Keshi who has been holidaying in the USA and is likely to join the squad before the game on Thursday. Newly appointed coach of the Pharoahs, Bob Bradley, had specifically requested for Nigeria’s home-based Eagles who impressed against the Lone Stars of Liberia beating them 2-0 in Monrovia and had even earlier held Angola to goalless draw. Thursday’s game will mark Coach Stephen Keshi’s sixth match in charge of the Senior National Team, with two wins and three draws in the previous five.
FULL LIST: GOALKEEPERS: Chigozie Agbim, Dan Akpeyi DEFENDERS: Godfrey Oboabona, Azubuike Egwueke, Papa Idris, Juwon Oshaniwa, Hamed Adesope, Nura Mohammed MIDFIELDERS: Uche Ossai, Ejike Uzoenyi, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Obinna Nwachukwu, Henry Uche, Gabriel Reuben, Ogonna Uzuchukwu. STRIKERS: Gbolahan Salami, Uche Kalu, Mohammed Lawal, Izu Azuka, Sunday Mba, Barnabas Imenger Jnr.
our among the popular figures in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) have revealed that the recent shirt branding deals secured by 3SC and Enyimba has give them a bit of financial hope. 3SC and Enyimba entered into one-year deals each with Guinness Nigeria Plc last week to wear the Dubic lager beer brand on their jerseys with an option of renewal. Enyimba strikers, Gbolahan Salami and Uche Kalu believe that the shirt deal is a right step for their club to shore up their finances. “It is good one for Enyimba as a club. We are the biggest
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
New shirt deals increase teams’ prospects Salary of and most successful club in Nigeria and we deserve this as I believe it will only get better,” said Salami. Kalu said “This is very good for the clubs. I want to believe this will help our club financially as we continue to push for the title.” 3SC goalkeeper, Dele Ajiboye is happy that his side have started off on a winning note following the one-year shirt branding deal with Dubic lager beer. Ajiboye, who last kept for Pontevedra CF, wants part of the fund from the deal to be
used in bringing in “good players” before the second round kicks off. “The (shirt branding) deal came at the right time for us because we need more players to survive (relegation) and we need money to buy good players,” he remarked. General Manager of 3SC, Mutiu Adepoju said “the deal is a sign of bigger financial things to come for the club.” The former Super Eagles’ midfielder further stated that the shirt deal also shows that the NPL is still a brand to reckon with.
“The league might have its problems but this (shirt branding) deal is a statement to the fact that it (the NPL) is still a worthy brand and things will get better,” he said. 3SC and Enyimba are just among three of NPL clubs with shirt branding deals. The Dubic lager beer sponsorship is said to be worth a combined fee of N27 million for both clubs. Warri Wolves are the other side with a shirt branding deal with an Asaba-based construction company, ULO valued at N50 million (about $312,500).
NIPOGA 2012: Doping remains a great challenge, saysYABATECH coach
rederick Yamala, the Chief Coach of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), on Monday said it would be very difficult to detect athletes using steroid during the forthcoming Nigeria Polytechnics Games (NIPOGA). Yamala stated this in Lagos at the presentation of the institution’s athletes for the 17th NIPOGA, slated to hold at the Federal Polytechnic, Ede between April 10 and April 21. Yamala explained that NIPOGA had not acquired the anti doping facilities with which to screen out such athletes,
Bolaji Abdullahi, Supervising Minister of Sports
saying the issue of doping “still remains a great challenge”. “The Nigeria Universities Games and the West Africa Universities Games are already versed in the detection of athletes on steroid because they have the equipment to that effect. “In NIPOGA, it remains a great challenge, because we are yet to acquire the equipment. It remains a great challenge because it has not been addressed. “We are seriously looking into the issue and will soon overcome it. It is going to top our agenda at NIPOGA’s next stakeholders meeting,” the coach said. He however promised that the organisers would do everything possible to curb the use of steroid by athletes at the Ede Games. Yamala said that TABATECH would storm the Games with 119 athletes of 65 female and 54 male athletes, as well as 26 technical officials. The coach said that the institution would feature in all events at the games. Events lined up in the 17 TH edition of NIPOGA are: athletics, tennis, table tennis, and chess. Others he said were taekwondo, chess, basketball, football, judo, squash, badminton, scrabble, handball
and volleyball. Speaking earlier, the chairman, School Sports Committee, Samuel Adeakin, said that the institution has completed arrangements to emerge the overall champions at the two week event. Adeakin said that the institution intended to surpass its previous third placed position at the last Games held last year at Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, and reclaim its pride of place in NIPOGA events.
“Apart from the past three editions, we have always emerged as the overall champions at NIPOGA and we are returning to the top again this year. The only challenges we may have at the Games will be from the hosts and perhaps Kaduna Polytechnic. “To win the Games, we are focusing more on individual events to team events, we are hopeful that individual events will fetch us more medals than team events,” he said.
FCT needs volleyball coach, says referee
Dolphins of Nigeria, who were bundled out of the CAF Champions League
Eguma rues 2-1 home win elimination from the Champions League, Eguma told SuperSport.com that they missed the opportunity to advance by allowing their opponents to score in Port Harcourt. “We lost the ticket to progress to the next stage of the competition in Port Harcourt. “The away goal picked by Cotonsport in Port Harcourt killed it for us. I know that Cotonsport will come up with all manners of trick to frustrate us at their home, I was not disappointed. “It’s very sad that we’ve been
ow that Saudi Arabia has failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, the judgment is in on national coach Frank Rijkaard: His salary is a waste of money. Rijkaard, a former Dutch star and Barcelona coach, has been criticized by the council advising the Saudi monarchy. Monday’s edition of the Saudi daily Al Eqtisadia reports that Shura council members said Rijkaard’s salary would be better spent on youth programs. They said his salary was equivalent to that of 10 ministers and his performance so far didn’t justify it. Rijkaard signed a three-year deal in June worth $15.9 million. He was expected to turn around a team that was unable to advance past the group stage in the 2011 Asian Cup. Instead, the team won just one of its six World Cup qualifiers.
By Albert Akota
CAF Champions League: olphins’ manager, Stanley Eguma has admitted that his wards ceded the progression ticket of this year’s CAF Champions League to Cameroon’s Cotonsport de Garoua in Port Harcourt. The Nigerian champions managed a slim 2-1 win over the Central African side two weeks back at the Liberation Stadium, Port Harcourt in the first leg, second round of Africa’s elite club competition. The hosts edged their guests through the lone strike of danger man, Jacques Haman and ensured that they advanced with a 2-2 on aggregate, courtesy the away goals’ rule. Still ruing his wards sudden
Saudi soccer coach deemed waste of money
eliminated, we pray to be luckier next time,” Eguma said. Dolphins suffered similar fate in the 2005 edition of the same competition. The former Nigerian Under23 assistant coach said they will focus at retaining the domestic league shield. “We have the league to contend with at the moment and the aim would be to defend the title we won last time. We’ll intensify the push to the top once the second stanza starts,” he said. Dolphins have picked up 26 points from a possible 57 with three matches at hand.
Coach Stanley Eguma
CT-based national volleyball referee, Benjamin Daniel, has called on FCT Sports Council to consider urgently the matter of appointing a qualified coach for FCT volleyball team ahead of the 18th National Sports Festival in Lagos, next November. Daniel, who is also boxing coach, the FCT is lacking a competent coach that would tinker its continegent and put the players in shape for the festival, if it must harbour any hope of winning medals at the Games. He said since the Territory hosted several volleyball competitions last year, a substantial number of players were discovered adding that it requires a qualified coach to tutor the talents to winning ways. “We in FCT are lacking behind in aspect of volleyball because we don’t have a coach. Other states are training hard ahead of the festival in Lagos where we are yet to set things in order. “Last year, we organised many competitions which availed us the opportunity of selecting at 10 quality players that can bring honour the FCT. But there is no volleyball coach to build a team out of them. “I want to appeal to FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed through the FCT Sports Coiuncil, to as a matter of urgency appoint a volleyball coach for the FCT,” he appealed.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Being a local hero better than playing in Europe, says legendary Hassan C
ongratulations on becoming the world’s most-capped player. How have you managed to maintain your form and fitness over the years? Ahmed Hassan: Let me first say that I’m very proud of this record, not just for myself but for all of my countrymen, because it’s a great achievement for an Egyptian to be the world’s most-capped player. It wasn’t easy at all to reach this many caps and it took a lot of effort and perseverance in the face of many challenges. In fact, I never thought about winning so many caps when I set out on my football career. My dream was just to be a good footballer and play for Egypt. I was called up to the national team at 19 and I always did my best to be available for selection. As the years passed, especially over the last three years, people drew my attention to the fact that I could become the most-capped player in the world, so it became one of my targets. In a way, I was even quite late in accomplishing it because I picked up a serious knee injury in 2010. Fortunately, however, I managed to recover quickly and finally break the record.
Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan set a new international appearance record for men’s football in February when he represented his country for the 179th time. FIFA World met up with the durable Egyptian to discuss his career, the recent tragedy in Port Said and the future of Egyptian football.
The mentality of Egyptian or Arab players in general is quite different, they still think of football as a pastime, unlike European players, who live and breathe football and change their whole life to adapt to their jobs as professional players.
You’ve known success and failure with Egypt, winning three consecutive CAF Africa Cup of Nations titles but failing to qualify, as title-holders, for the 2012 edition. How do you see the future of the team? We’ve lived through one of the best eras in Egyptian football and it is only natural for any team that has done so well for so many years to go through a rough patch. After being on top for all those years, we simply underestimated our opponents, but we have learnt our lesson well and we have learnt it the hard way. Whoever is in charge of the team in the upcoming period has a very tough job ahead of them, especially after the recent decision to cancel the league and the overall instability of the country. It’s not going to be easy. On the night you broke the caps record, you spoke a great deal about Egypt’s instability and the mixed emotions of breaking the record so soon after February’s Port Said stadium tragedy. How did the tragedy affect you personally? It touched all of us in the football community. It’s depressing to see the sport that everybody loves become a source of such sadness but, ultimately, what happened was a result of fanaticism. I have to say that the media also played a large role by stirring up the fans’ aggression instead of attempting to calm things down. I’d like to take this opportunity to send my condolences to the families of all the fans who passed away and I hope that this is the last tragedy, and that football returns to its role as a form of entertainment and source of happiness for all Egyptians.
community, whether they be players, fans, referees, journalists or security staff, recognise their role, stick to it and respect the role of others. Do you agree with the widely held belief in Egypt that last year’s political unrest contributed to the ailing fortunes of Egyptian football? It has definitely been a factor, but it’s not the main reason. We’re all part of this country and anything that goes on affects Ahmed Hassan us, so naturally our concentration levels drop and we cannot remain focused when such turmoil is happening at home. On top of that there’s the fact that we couldn’t play for a very long time with the league being suspended for almost four months. But, again, I don’t believe that was the only reason. We also got over-confident and just thought it was going to be easy to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations. By the time we’d realised our mistake, after the first two matches against Sierra Leone and Niger, it was already too late. Egypt are now coached by Bob Bradley, whose USA team eliminated Egypt from the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009. What is your impression of him so far? Is his style different from an Egyptian coach? I don’t believe in classifying coaches or anybody else for that matter based on where they come from. Regardless of whether he is an Egyptian or an American, I think every coach wants his team to do well for his own sake, since it’s his reputation that is on the line. Bradley is a great coach and he has a vision. It is an extremely tough job to take on the Egyptian national team at this time and I sympathise with him, but he has been trying out new players and new strategies, which is a good thing for the team and for the future of Egyptian football. What are Egypt’s chances of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in Brazil? It’s going to be tough. In the current situation, it’s hard for players to stay in shape and find opportunities to practise and play meaningful games but it is still possible, as long as we don’t repeat our mistakes from the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. We have to treat every game very seriously, from the first match on, and never underestimate any opponent. You are also one of the few Egyptians who have enjoyed a successful professional career in Europe. Why do you think other players have faced difficulties playing in Europe? What is the secret recipe for an Egyptian to have success in Europe? Egyptian players unfortunately have not yet understood the meaning of professional football and that it is a job not just a game or a hobby. The mentality of Egyptian or Arab players in general is quite different, they still think of football as a pastime, unlike European players, who live and breathe football and change their whole life to adapt to their jobs as professional players. Once Egyptian players reach that level of professionalism, they will succeed for sure, because we have many great talents, but that on its own is not enough. Mindset is also an extremely important part of a player’s career. You could have stayed longer in Europe. What made you decide to return home? I made a great name for myself in Turkey and Belgium and I played for ten years in Europe, so yes, I could have stayed longer, but I felt that I had accomplished all I could there and that it was time to return home to win titles here in Egypt and leave a legacy here in my home country. I also had personal reasons: I wanted to raise my children in their homeland amidst our own customs and traditions.
You’ve played in Egypt, Turkey and Belgium. What was your view of the fan culture in these countries? Did you notice differences between them? Nowadays in Egypt all the big teams like Al-Ahly, Zamalek, Ismaily and AlMasry have their own groups of “ultras”, which is a great thing if they stick to supporting their teams within the
reasonable and ethical limits. But once it crosses the line and turns aggressive or becomes a vehicle for something completely beyond football then it becomes unacceptable and can lead to disasters. All over the world, ultras support their clubs using organised cheering which can be very entertaining and this is what we as players like to see in the stands, but if they cause violence in the stadiums then no, we cannot tolerate that.
Following the events in Port Said, many players even announced their retirement from the game. How long will it take Egyptian football to recover from the tragedy? It is not just about football. The whole country is currently suffering from a lack of ethics, as well as a general lack of security, and this is causing problems in all facets of life. It is going to take some time to recover. There is no doubt that football will bounce back but the whole country has to make it out of this dark tunnel. Stability will only return when all members of the
And now the inevitable question when do you intend to hang up your boots? There will come a time when I will have to step off the pitch, of course, it’s a fact of life. But I haven’t decided when yet. I’ll retire only when I feel that I cannot or do not want to play football anymore. At that point, I’ll set some new goals for myself, most probably in coaching and sports media.
Greece to send 100 athletes to Olympics
Results 800M MEN
round 100 Greek athletes will compete at the Olympic Games, a top sports official said countering speculation that track and field stars may not make it to London because of financial cuts. Panos Bitsaxis, Greek general secretary of sports, was responding to the decision by Greece’s athletics federation (SEGAS) to suspend all athletic activities in the country until the state takes back its proposals to make drastic cuts in their budget. The announcement, Bitsaxis told radio station Athens 984, has “misled the international press into believing that Greece will not be represented at the Games”. “Greece will be in London with around 100 athletes,” he said, warning however: “The gentlemen at the federation must take into account the time and place that we live in today. The athletics federation is the locomotive of Greek athletics. “But there is no doubt that the financial crisis cannot leave Greek athletics untouched. The resources are limited.” SEGAS president Vasilis Sevastis said on Thursday that he had met with Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Geroulanos, who is also in charge of sports in the country, and that he gave him the impression that an effort will be made to solve the financial problems of the federation. However he charged the Secretariat of Sports with selective and non-transparent policies regarding the issuing of grants and complained that some sports federations had not undergone the minimum reductions. “If a solution is not found, we will continue our actions, even if it means not participating in international meets,” warned Sevastis, adding that federation coaches had not been paid since June. But he added: “What we will certainly try to avoid at all costs is to discontinue the preparation of athletes for the London Olympics. “The state should also deal seriously with the equipment at the stadiums. In a short time we won’t have athletes as there will not be equipment.”
Kalmer gears up for Olympic marathon
1. Evans Kosgei 1:48.4 2. Alex Kibet 1:49.0 3. Andrew Kiptoo 1:49.3 4. Nicholas Kipchumba 1:49.9 5. Elijah Kipchirchir 1:50.4 6. Albert Kemboi 1:50.1 800M WOMEN 1. Lydia Wafula 2:03.4 2. Faith Cheruto 2:12.0 3. Beatrice Chepkoech 2:14.6 4. Hilda Muneria 2:27.2
Evans Kosgei 1500M WOMEN 1. Eunice Sum 4:14.3 2. Janet Kisia 4:15.7 3. Winnie Chebet 4:16.0 4. Pamela Lisoreng 4:17.7 5. Faridah Chelang’a 4:19.6 6. Janeth Jepkosgei 4:19.9 1500M MEN 1. Elkana Yego 3:43.2 2. Vincent Kibet 3:44.0 3. Mike Too 3:44.7 4. Jake Robertson 3:45.1 5. Gilbert Kisang 3:46.0 6. Abednego Chesebe 3:47.4
5000M MEN 1. Duncan Kipchirchir 13:52.9 2. Hosea Macharinyang
ene Kalmer coasted to her second Two Oceans halfmarathon title in Cape Town on Saturday, in spite of unfavourable weather. With her sights set on the London Olympic Marathon in July, Kalmer said she appreciated racing in similar conditions to those which could be expected in the English capital. Kalmer, who clocked 2:29.59 in Yokohama in November to book herself a place in South Africa’s Olympic team, will not run another marathon before the quadrennial Games. “This was good preparation for the Olympics, because they can also have four seasons in one day. I think it will be a good dress rehearsal for the London Games.” Kalmer said. She confirmed, however, that she would line up as a pace setter at the London Marathon later this month in another effort to acclimatise herself. Kalmer looked comfortable as she smiled and waved to the crowd at the University of Cape Town, crossing the line in one hour, 15 minutes, two seconds (1:15.02) to hold off a record field of over 12 000 finishers in the 21km race. Her training partner Irvette Van Blerk, who will chase the Olympic qualifying time at this month’s big city marathon in London, finished second in 1:16.22. Xolisa Tyali won the men’s half-marathon in 1:04.54, holding off countryman Joel Mmone by seven seconds in a sprint finish as local runners dominated the 21km race. Foreigners, however, strengthened their grip on the 56km ultra-marathon. Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi became only the second person since Derek Preiss in 1974 to hold the Comrades and Two Oceans titles at the same time. Muzhingi drew clear in the dying stages to win a tightly contested race in 3:08.08. Veteran Gert Thys, the first South African home in fourth position, warned that he would challenge the course record at this year’s Comrades after making a comeback to competitive racing in his maiden ultra-marathon. The 40-year-old South African was cleared of a doping case in February, which had dragged on for six years, and he was confident he could improve Leonid Shvetsov’s mark of 5:20.49 in the ‘down’ run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. Elena Nurgalieva brushed aside the poor conditions, and the absence of injured twin sister Olesya, to secure her fourth victory in the women’s race in 3:41.55. Adinda Kruger was the first South African woman home, finishing sixth in 3:50.13.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
13:59.17 3. Bethwell Birgen 14:01.0 4. Jairus Kipchoge 14:01.4 5. Moses Kipsiro 14.02.2 6. Thomas Ayieko 14:03.1 5000M WOMEN 1. Lydia Rotich 16:01.0 2. Magdalene Masai 16:04.2 3. Phanencier Jemutai 16:06.1 4. Helen Obiri 16:15.1 5. Linah Chemto 16:25.8 6. Gladys Chemweno 16:34.9
3000M STEEPLECHASE MEN 1. Silas Kitur 8:43.3 2. Clement Kemboi 8:44.25 3. Laurence Kemboi 8:52.7 4. Timothy Toroitich 8:54.0 5. Patrick Chukor 8:55.3 6. Hillary Kemboi 9:02.3 3000M WOMEN STEEPLECHASE 1. Phanencier Jemutai 10:11.2 2. Ivyne Kiyeng 10:25.0 3. Lucy Kamene 10:51.11 4. Sudha Singh 10:04.3 5. Mary Maiyo 11:00.0
Sum shocks mentor, wins 1500m at Kenya’s National Meet
he highlight of the two-day 4th National Bank/ Athletics Kenya which ended at the weekend in Kitale, was Eunice Sum’s victory in the women’s 1500m. Sum, a semi finalist over 800m at the Daegu World Championships took the top honours after motoring around the murram track in 4:14.13. She beat her mentor and reigning women 800m Olympics silver medallist, Janeth Jepkosgei, who faded to sixth (4:19.9) in a race where Janet Kisia, who won the junior race at last year’s national Cross Country championships before finishing fifth in Punta Umbria clocked 4:15.7 for second. The 2007 Ostrava World Youth champion Winnie Chebet (4:16.0) arrived home for the last podium place ahead of fourth finisher, Pamela Lisoreng (4:17.7). Unheralded Elkana Yego soared to victory in the corresponding men’s race in 3:43.2 ahead of Vincent Kibet (3:44.0) and Mike Too (3:44.7) as the 2008 Africa champion, Haron Keitany, who had won in the heats declined to contest the final. World Indoor 3000m gold winner, Helen Obiri returned 16:15.1 for fourth in her step-up to the women 5000m race won by Lydia Rotich, the bronze winner in 3000m Steeplechase at the 2010 Africa Championships in 16:01.0. Magdalene Masai (16:04.2) and Phanencier Jemutai (16:06.1) filled the rostrum in that order. Double Commonwealth champion, Moses Kipsiro of Uganda found the going tough across the border when he was timed at 14:02.2 for fifth in the 5000m men’s run. His compatriot Thomas Ayieko, the World Cross junior men silver medallist was sixth (14:03.1) in a race where unheralded Duncan Kipchirchir scooped the top honours in 13:52.9 in the Good Friday final. Hosea Macharinyang, the seven-time World Cross competitor clocked 13:59.17 to lead the challengers home with Bethwell Birgen, who made his World Indoors debut in Istanbul last month sealing bronze in 14:01.0. Evans Kosgei was the outright winner in the men’s two-lap race after he detached from all comers with 300 metres to romp home in 1:48.4 ahead of Alex Kibet (1:49.0) and Andrew Kiptoo (1:49.3) in second and third. Lydia Wafula (2:03.4) won the corresponding women’s event as Faith Cheruto (2:12.0) and Beatrice Chepkoech (2:14.6) filled the podium in silver and bronze positions respectively. Jemutai, the Brother Colm O’Connell coached athlete ran away with top honours in the women 3000m steeplechase where she stopped the clock in 10:11.2 ahead of Ivyne Kiyeng (10:25.0) and Lucy Kamene (10:51.11) in second and third in a race where Indian runner, Sudha Singh (10:04.3) who is training at the Rosa Camp in Kaptagat came fourth. Silas Kitur (8:43.3) took the men’s water and barriers race with Clement Kemboi (8:44.25) and namesake Laurence Kemboi (8:52.7) followed each other across the line for the minor podium places.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
Juventus may upstage AC Milan in Serie A title today
fortnight ago, AC Milan like Real Madrid in the La Liga were comfortably coasting home. Not any more. Though AC Milan have one point lead, which is npo mean advantage, but with seven games remaining, Milan whose four-point lead two weeks seems enough for a consecutive title win, are being seriously threatened by the Old Ladies. And should it comes to the wire, Juventus would have an edge with the tiebreaker having had a win and a draw head-to-head advantage. Well, it must be admitted that Milan were behind, but mid-February regained
the ground following when Juventus’ match with Bologna was postponed due to a snowstorm. However, the Turin club has cut the losses by outscoring opponents 12-0 in its last four matches all victories and has a 36-match unbeaten streak in all competitions, with its last loss coming against Parma at the end of last season. Juventus has not won Serie A since having the 2005 and 2006 titles stripped for its role in the 2006 match-fixing scandal. The last title it still holds came in 2003, when Marcello Lippi was in charge. Both Milan and Juventus face tough
Barcelona may turn screw against Real today Stories by Patrick Andrew with agency report
aving successfully reducing the 10-point gap to a mere four, Barcelona take to the pitch today confident of further giving a dent to Real’s points lead. A win at against midtable Getafe will cut down the lead by three points. Jose Mourinho’s side surrendered their massive advantage to Barca following slips by way of consecutive draws against Malaga and Villarreal and just last Sunday sharing the spoil with a spirited and well-organised Valencia side. The draw signalled that there is fire on mountain and should Real dipped further tomorrow against hard fighting though weak lately Atletico Madrid in derby, then they shall have inevitably handed the leadership barton to their archrivals Barcelona.
Real, who play Barca at the Nou Camp later this month, have 79 points from 31 matches, with Barca on 75 after Saturday’s 4-1 win at Real Zaragoza and Valencia in third on 49. Champions Barca, chasing a fourth straight title, have the armoury to secure the maximum points. Leading the pack is the Argentine and the World Player of the Year, who has become the first man to score 60 goals in a season in European top-flight soccer in almost 40 years. Messi tops Cristiano Ronaldo by a goalhe has found the target 38 times as against 37 by the Portuguese whose rivarly with Messi on and off the pitch has generated uncommon interest and excitement. Messi aims to equal former Bayern Munich striker Gerd Mueller the last man to have reached the milestone by netting 67 in the 1972-73 season. So, Real, whose first goalless draw at the Bernabeu in more than five years, was in Sunday’s tough encounter with Valencia, will keenly follow proceedings at the Nou Camp and fervently hope that Barca slip. Pep Guardiola’s team are in unstoppable form and have won their last nine games with Messi scoring a dozen goals. Should Barcelona replicate their form against AC Milan and keep their fighting spirit alive, then Real will be subjected to further discomfiture. Already, 79 percent of the analysts who spoke after Sunday’s match have conceded victory to Barcelona. Anything less than a convincing win away to crosstown rivals Atletico tomorrow will create a massive crisis for Mourinho and his players, who also face a visit to Barcelona later in the month. “Our schedule is very difficult but it is time to demonstrate our capacity. On Wednesday
tests in midweek fixtures. Milan visits an in-form Chievo Verona side today and Juventus hosts third-place Lazio tomorrow. While Juventus is relatively healthy, Milan is desperately hoping that Mark van Bommel and Clarence Seedorf return from minor injuries with Massimo Ambrosini, Alberto Aquilani and Daniele Bonera all suspended. Ninth-placed Chievo is hoping to make relegation a mathematical impossibility, while Lazio wants to hold on to third place, which carries the league’s final Champions League berth. Lazio has 54 points, Udinese is next
with 51, followed by Napoli (48), Roma (47) and Inter (45). Udinese visits Roma on Wednesday, Napoli hosts Atalanta and Inter faces Siena. Also Wednesday, it’s: Catania vs. Lecce; Fiorentina vs. Palermo; Genoa vs. Cesena and Parma vs. Novara. In Thursday’s only match, Bologna hosts Cagliari.
we have to the Estadio Calderon to win, knowing that we are facing difficult opponents,” Real director Emilio Butragueno said. “Wednesday’s game will be crucial. It will be another final for us.” Atletico have not beaten Real since 1999. They are stranded in seventh place after Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Levante, and will be without suspended players Miranda, Mario Suarez and Eduardo Salvio. In addition to the Barca-Getafe clash, the other matches for today will be Osasuna against Espanyol and Real Sociedad take on Betis. Wednesday’s other games are Granada v Athletic Bilbao, Valencia v Rayo Vallecano and Sporting Gijon v Levante. Valencia must win in order to keep Malaga and Levante away from third place which grants direct entry into the Champions league. The visit of Levante will be do or die for Gijon, who are joint bottom along with Racing Santander. Failure to beat Levante could lead Gijon to sack Javier Clemente, their third coach of a troubled season. The midweek round concludes on Thursday with Villarreal v Malaga, Santander v Mallorca and Sevilla v Zaragoza.
Title on line as Dortmund host Bayern
he Bundesliga title will be on the line when Borussia Dortmund hosts Bayern Munich tomorrow in the most anticipated match of the season. Defending champion Dortmund holds a three-point lead going into the showdown, with five matches remaining. Bayern, however, has a better goal difference and would take over first place with a win before 80,000 mostly hostile fans. Dortmund is undefeated in 23 matches and is coming off a 3-1 win in Wolfsburg. Bayern looked lethargic in a 2-1 win at home over lowly Augsburg on Saturday. But Dortmund’s two subsequent matches are against Schalke and Borussia Moenchengladbach, the two teams right behind Bayern in the standings, and a defeat on Wednesday would be hard to make up.
After strong performances to reach the semifinals of the Champions League, Bayern has plodded through some matches in the Bundesliga but it has collected wins. Mario Gomez, who scored both goals against Augsburg, tops the scorers’ list with 25 goals. Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski is not far behind at 19. Dortmund hopes to establish itself as the long-term rival to Bayern, the historically most dominant team in the Bundesliga. After cruising through to the title last season, Dortmund got off to a poor start. But it picked up speed just as Bayern went through a midseason slump and surged into the top. Bayern has been creeping back and has won its last five matches to put itself in position to determine its own fate. After failing to win a trophy last
season, Bayern is on course for a treble. If it can overcome Real Madrid, it will be in the Champions League final, which will be played in its stadium next month. Bayern also has another date with Dortmund when the sides meet in the German Cup final. Dortmund can win the domestic double for the first time. In today’s matches of the 30th round, it’s: Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg Augsburg vs. Stuttgart Mainz vs. Cologne Werder Bremen vs. Moenchengladbach Wednesday Nuremberg vs. Schalke Hoffenheim vs. Hamburger SV B/Leverkusen vs. Kaiserslautern Hannover vs. Wolfsburg.
Norwich puncture Tottenham’s push for Champions League slot orwich placed a huge barrier Tottenham’s push for Champions League qualification yesterday as it stunned their hosts with 2-1 win in a crucial Premier League game. Elliott Bennett powered the ball into the far corner of Brad Friedel’s net in the 66th minute from outside the penalty area for the winning goal. The strike calmed Norwich manager Paul Lambert, who had been furious that two potential penalties were not awarded. The first spot kick appeal was waved away just before Jermain Defoe completed a blistering counterattack to equalize in the 33rd. While Spurs remained in the fourth place and still harbour a Champions League spot, they now face stiff competition from Chelsea wins and Newcastle. Newcastle’s growing threat to Tottenham’s hopes of returning to Europe’s lucrative competition after its debut in the 2009-10 season intensified following the northeast club defeat of Bolton 2-0. They now join Tottenham on 59 points but in fifth place due to an inferior goal difference. Tottenham’s fortunes have rapidly plummeted since enjoying a 10-point lead in third over fourth-place Arsenal at the start of March. Norwich, though, continues to impress in its first season back in the Premier League after a six-year absence. Avoiding relegation was the priority, but the club is 11 points clear of the relegation zone in 10th place. Also, Everton thrashed Sunderland 4-0.
PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
DSTV Men’s B’ball: Dodan Warriors’ coach Group plans to attributes team’s victories to determination develop tennis
deka Daudu, the Coach of Dodan Warriors Basketball Club of Lagos, has attributed the team’s unbeaten run in the ongoing DSTV Men’s Basketball League to determination and hard work. Dodan Warriors on Sunday defeated the Police Baton Basketball Club of Lagos 7670 to record its seventh successive win of the season and remains unbeaten in the contest. The highly competitive encounter saw the host Police Baton taking the first quarter 15-13; while Warriors claimed the second and third, 23-18 and 25-21 respectively. The Police won the last quarter of the game with just a point 16-15 but this was not enough to turn the match around in their favour. It would be recalled that the league, which is in its seventh week, has featured 28 matches so far and Daudu said the game against the Police was almost evenly matched. “I have to confess that the Police gave us a run for our money, but we are not
ready for any loss this season,” he said. According to him, the team is out this season to clinch all the available points at stake in its bid to emerge as winners of the coveted league trophy. The coach of the Police team, Mark Balogun, described their loss to the Warriors as unfortunate. “It is so unfortunate that we could not win this game because my players had put in their best. The truth is that in spite of the loss, I was impressed with their performance,” he said.
London 2012: Coaches demand foreign training tours for boxers
oxing coaches say there is the need to expose boxers, currently in camp in Benin City, to competitions to prepare them adequately for the 2012 London Olympics. Already, the 20 boxers who were invited to camp in Benin in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics qualifiers, have been sweating it out in preparations for the different qualifying competitions. Accordingly, coaches have advised that training tours should be arranged to expose the boxers and hone their skills to achieve good results in the forthcoming Olympics. Sunday Nwamuda, a grassroots boxing coach, advised the coaches in camp to test the quality of the selected boxers by pitting them against skilled boxers, in competitions. He said Nigeria stood a good chance of winning medals at the Games if the best boxers were selected to participate. “We cannot afford to take the less competent boxers to the Olympics when we have numerous talents. Our country has many good boxers and the only way to identify the best among them is to organise competitions and test their skills within and outside the country. “Let the gate be opened in the camp to try other talents and whosoever that is beaten should be dropped; those to represent us must be the best,” the coach said Nwamuda also flayed the culture of inadequate funding and late preparations for competitions, saying the development
had adversely impacted on sports development. “If 10 per cent of what is given to football is invested in boxing, it (boxing) will rise beyond expectations. Government should reach out to individuals and corporate organisations and seek for sponsorships, if it cannot finance boxing again,” he said Another boxing trainer, Paul Nwachi, said that a national boxing team was long overdue. “Let’s go round the country and source for talents who are qualified to be in the national team; forget about hand- picking and the fire brigade approach we adopt whenever there is a competition,” he said. Nwachi urged boxing administrators to take boxers in camp on training tours and expose them to other champions outside the country to test their skills before the Olympics. “We still have time, let’s train those boys in camp well and open them to
Dodan Warriors Basketball team in action
national and international assessments before the Olympics for everybody to be
bel Ubiebi, Coordinator of the Ace Tennis Services (ATS), has said that the group will embark on the development of tennis at the grassroots in the second quarter of this year. Ubiebi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the programme would enhance the development of tennis in the country. “I believe that for tennis to grow, it has to start from the grassroots where the basics would be taught with the right techniques. “Such planned programmes will also improve the standard of play whereby players will learn the game in a more practical approach,” he said. He said that the group was seeking partnership with some unnamed companies with a view to getting them to sponsor events and in the process attract quality participants. “I hope to make a bigger impact in grassroots tennis as I have visited a few companies that will help in the sponsorship of the training programme. “Also with the support of the Nigeria Tennis Federation and the mass media, we hope to bring out the best in grassroots tennis,” Ubiebi said.
satisfied that the boys are up to the task ahead,” he said.
Nigerian boxer at the Beijing Games
…Nigeria’s medal chances bleak in badminton, Agarawu declares
former national badminton player, Tunde Agarawu, says Nigeria’s chances in badminton at the London 2012 Games was daily becoming bleak because preparations have been inadequate. Agarawu, who decried the neglect of the game, says the future of the game in the country was not looking bright due to the failure of the authority to have proper focus and vision for the game. “Nigeria cannot do very well at the Olympics because it (badminton) is not a game of chance. There has to be preparation because it is not a child’s play. It is based on exposure and training. Nigerian players will attend three or four championships and expect to gain points. It is never done that way. “We go to the Olympics most time by virtue of gaining a slot in Africa. They get there thinking they can scale through, not
Agarawu also said that those with the with the likes of China, the U.S. and interest of the sport at heart should be Switzerland taking part in the game. “I am not saying we do not have quality appointed to develop it. players but when they do not attend enough championships to gain points, how can they do well?,” he said. The former player said that the federation needed to arrange training tours for the players. According to him, the players need to train with well exposed foreign players to prepare them for the task ahead. “I think it is time we had a rethink and help the players. To do well at the Olympics, we need to take our players on foreign tours go and dump them in the midst of exposed players. That is when we can know our lapses and improve,” he said. Nigeria’s badminton medal hope, Grace Daniel
QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Your tr ue friend is the one true who par ticipa tes in y our participa ticipates your ef ts and ffor or the sak e of efffor orts sake your gain, is prepared to suffer losses –Ali RA
TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2012
LA TEST LATEST Havelange returns to intensive care unit for heart problems
ormer FIFA president Joao Havelange, 95, was again admitted yesterday into the intensive care unit of Rio de Janeiro's Hospital Samaritano, due to a heart problem. According to a brief medical report that was made public by his personal doctor Joao Mansur Filho, Havelange's condition is "serious" and he is again breathing only with mechanical help. The Brazilian sports official was admitted into the same hospital on March 18 due to a bacterial infection in his right ankle, which has required IV antibiotics treatment and three instances of surgical drainage since then. He had left the ICU last week. Havelange led FIFA 197498 and remains an honorary president of the governing body of world football.
Kwesi Appiah is new Ghana coach
he Ghana Football Association have confirmed the appointment of James Kwesi Appiah as the substantive head coach of the Black Stars. A statement on the website said the executive committee of the GFA confirmed the appointment of the former international at a meeting in Accra yesterday. The meeting was called to discuss the head-hunting exercise undertaken by the GFA to find a permanent Black Stars coach. Appiah will meet the executive committee of the GFA on Tuesday to formalize the deal. He has been the assistant coach of the Black Stars since since 2008 and led the Black Meteors to win the Gold medal at the 2011 All African Games. Kwesi has also been captain of the Black Stars, as well as having been a member of the junior national teams. It puts paid to all the strong rumours and associations of Marcel Desailly for the job.
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Boko Haram: A more deadly force is at work
doubt if Nigeria will ever find a solution to the Boko Haram problem until the other more visible Boko Haram lay down its arms and stop waging war against the Nigerian State. This other Boko Haram had positioned itself well before independence and has since eaten deep into the skin of the nation, so much so that the nation's internal organs, which are also presently being infected, now lay bare. If this other Boko Haram is not curtailed from its present assault on the nation, by the time it wholly infects all the nation's internal organs, not even transplant would save Nigeria. Whenever I look at the killings that have been done by this other Boko Haram, I shudder because it makes the number of killings ascribed to the Islamic sect we all know as Boko Haram look like child's play. To recruit their members, this other Boko Haram does not consider religion, tribe or even intelligence. Their recruits need not be brainwashed; there are simply a lot of carrots dangled before them to make them fall in line. Unlike the Islamic sect which probably convinces its members of the reward of paradise for martyrdom, the other Boko Haram cares not about paradise as their reward is here on earth. And just so you know, most of its members are scared of death so don't even mention martyrdom to them. This world is too sweet for them to lay down their lives for one stupid cause! The Islamic sect seems to have restricted itself so far to the North. This other Boko Haram is everywhere in the country and nobody dares arrest or molest them as they have informants and loyalists in all the security agencies. In fact, the security agencies rely on them for their budgets. Who then can arrest them? Far more lethal and dangerous than the Islamic sect we know as Boko Haram that it is even said that it gave rise to the Islamic sect. This Boko Haram has membership in all families in the country, both mine and yours. Some of us even have them as friends. They are the greedy politicians and the conniving civil servants who have dirtied the landscape of this country since independence. Don't get me wrong! I am not saying all politicians fall into this category, but more than ninety percent of
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GUEST COLUMNIST By Dimeji Daniels
NSA, Gen. Andrew Azazi them are members of the political Boko Haram. Until we find a solution to their attacks, we may not solve the problem of the Islamic sect because their actions gave rise to some of the underlying factors responsible for the birth of the Islamic sect you and I know as Boko Haram. You may be wondering how they have been able to kill more Nigerians than the Islamic sect. A report by the United Nations and the World Bank says 144 women die in Nigeria daily from pregnancy and childbirth complications and that there are 840 deaths per 100,000 live births in Nigeria. Nigeria accounts for 11 percent of infant mortality worldwide. In 2010
alone there were 88 deaths per 1,000 live births and 138 deaths per 1,000 live births in under-5 mortality in 2009. Let us not mention kids that die daily from Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) of HIV/AIDS. All these deaths because of the lack of quality medicare occasioned by lack of equipment and brain-drain in the health sector! Our leaders failed to put all these equipments in place and they run overseas to take care of even an ordinary head-ache. Where does the common man run to? God? When you put the figures of all these deaths together, tell me if the Islamic sect has killed that many. According to the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) at a forum in 2010, of the over one million reported cases of road accidents in the country since independence, 314, 016 deaths have been recorded. Most of these accidents were caused by our poor road network which the political Boko Haram has failed to put in good shape despite the country's vast resources. A lot of bright stars have been cut down by road accidents. Popular comedian MC Loph Osondi Owendi died in an auto crash in September 2011. Nollywood actor J.T Tom West, whom I had always wanted to be like while I was very young, lost his life in another auto-crash in
If this other Boko Haram is not curtailed from its present assault on the nation, by the time it wholly infects all the nation's internal organs, not even transplant would save Nigeria. Whenever I look at the killings that have been done by this other Boko Haram, I shudder because it makes the number of killings ascribed to the Islamic sect we all know as Boko Haram look like child's play
September 2006. The one still very fresh in my memory was that of the eighteen corps members who were going from Imo State to the NYSC orientation camp in Taraba State. All eighteen died. Some may argue that some of these accidents were due to driver's recklessness, maybe they are right, but many more were caused by the poor condition of the roads. It is only in Nigeria that roads newly constructed wash off within one year. Do you blame the contractors? No! Blame the political Boko Haram whose palms must be greased from every contract money (the one currently making the rounds is the church allegedly donated to Mr President by a construction company). Like hawks, they have thrown caution to the winds, preying daily on lives which would have brought glory to this country. I read recently about the students of the Holy Rosary College, Enugu who were raped in Ogun State on their way to Lagos, I cannot but imagine the psychological damage that has been meted out to these kids. Oh! You can say robberies happen everywhere, but how quickly do our policemen respond to robberies. How effective and equipped are they? The children of the political Boko Haram have enough security around them, so they are safe and couldn't care less about effective policing of the highways. Do their children even travel by roads with all the planes around and fleet of helicopters owned by their dads? Heaven knows the number of pensioners who have died while awaiting their dues and yet some people allegedly downed over 14 billion naira police pension fund as if we are in a banana republic. I couldn't but be amazed when one of the accused said she made 544 thousand dollars found in her account from the sales of pure water. Who knew pure water business could be that lucrative! I do not say the actions of the Islamic sect known as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati walJihad is justified. No! Even Allah condemns in totality their actions as attested to by the Quran and the Bible. But we would be deceiving ourselves if we think there is any solution in sight without first curtailing the political Boko Haram and the Contd. on Page 35
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