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Vol. 9 No. 21

Monday, September 10, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Car thieves: Police arrest 3-man syndicate, recovers 19 vehicles >> PAGE 2

Armed robbers kill policeman, driver >> PAGE 3

Shawwal 23, 1433 AH


Replace Nnaji with one of our own, Igbos advise Jonathan >> PAGE 5

N5,000 note’ll bolster cashless policy – FG By Lawrence Olaoye


ontrary to speculations making the rounds that the introduction of the new N5000 note by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would rubbish its cashless policy, the Presidency has said that such would only bolster the policy by making it work more effectively. Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, who spoke to newsmen at the weekend stressed that the new note would never clash with the CBN’s cashless policy. Okupe explained that the N5000 bill, like the $1000 dollar bill in America, would be meant for the high class businessmen who may want to make cash payments without having to carry a lot of currencies. He said “N5000 note does not conflict with cashless policy; cashless society does not cancel cash transactions. Although America is a cashless society, it still has high denominations of dollars circulating in its economy.” According to him, seasoned economists, including Professor Contd on Page 2


9th Sept., 2012


BUYING 154.8 246 195 0.2793 41

SELLING 155.8 247.9 196.5 0.2993 41.5


BUYING 202 257 40 158

SELLING 204 259 42 160

L-R: Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam, listening to the Commissioner for Housing, Alhaji Muhammad Ago Dala, during the governor’s inspection of the State Liaison Office Abuja under renovation, at the weekend in Abuja.

Death toll from Adamawa flood hits 30 From Blessing Tunoh, Yola with agency report


he death toll from flooding in Adamawa state following the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon has risen to 30, with some 120,000 people displaced, Shadrach Daniel, secretary of the Adamawa State Emergency

Management Agency said yesterday. “So far we have recorded 30 deaths from the flooding caused by the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon”, he told AFP. “20 people are still missing. The flood has displaced 121,000 people, with 61,000 living in 30 camps across the state”.

Daniel’s agency had reported 10 deaths in late August. A cholera outbreak had also occurred, with 65 cases recorded, but no deaths, he said. Flooding in various parts of northern Nigeria has already already killed dozens of people. Water was released from the Lagdo Dam in late August in neighbouring Cameroon after

officials there warned Nigeria several weeks earlier. The opening of the dam led to flooding along the upper Benue River plains in Adamawa state. Meanwhile floods across the country have killed 137 people and displaced more than 30,000 since the beginning of July, the Nigeria Red Cross said yesterday. Contd on Page 2



















DG, provost, others to face trial as CCT begins sitting By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Director-General, National Centre for T e c h n o l o g y Management, Dr. Willie O. Siyanbola, will this week face trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for allegedly recruiting over 60 percent of his staff from a particular section of the country. The tribunal chaired by Justice Danladi Umar, would commence the trial of other public officers for nondeclaration of assets as well as other corrupt practices. Siyanbola was alleged to have contravened the federal character principle of the 1999 Constitution and has been recommended for prosecution

by the Code of Conduct Bureau. This is one of the various trials that will run between September 11 th and 15 th . The Provost, Federal College of Education, Kontagora, Dr. Nathaniel Olaitan Odediran, will also be arraigned for allegedly manipulating the award of contract procedures in favour of certain companies. The provost allegedly forced his Director of Works to award contracts running into millions of naira to crony companies in contravention of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act. In addition, Emil Lemke Inyang, a former chairman of Biase local government council in Cross River state, will be tried for being a member of an illegal cult group.

Inyang is being accused of being a member of the Buccanneers, which membership is incompatible with the functions and dignity of his office. Another case due for hearing include the one involving one Barrister Ikechukwu Ozor, who was said to have engaged in private legal practice while still in full time employment of the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ESUBEB). Former vice chairman of Biu local government council of Borno state, Muhammed Tukur Aliyu, is another person who will be prosecuted for receiving double salary by not resigning from the Primary Healthcare Department of the

council, thereby collecting double remuneration from government. Another category of offenders that will be charged for failing to declare their assets as required by the law upon entering public office include Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo, a retired Comptroller of the Nigerian Customs Service and Dauda Ashige, an Assistant Comptroller of Nigerian Customs Service. Similarly, Aliyu Umar Santuraki, former Special Assistant to the governor of Nasarawa state is also to appear before the tribunal for failing to declare his assets within the prescribed period of three month after receiving asset declaration form.

N5,000 note’ll bolster cashless policy – FG

Performance Contracts: Serious policy or publicity stunt? Page 4

International 32-34 Digest




Sports Columnist

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Contd from Page 1 Kalu Idika Kalu has consistently argued that the introduction of the new N5000 note would not cause inflation as being variously feared. While urging the CBN to carry out extensive enlightenment campaigns in order to assure the populace that the introduction of higher denomination will neither conflict with its cashless policy nor cause inflation, Okupe also cautioned that the matter

should not be politicized. He said “We are losing too much heat on the debate on an issue that its impact on the economy of the country and the citizens is minimal. A renowned economist, Kalu Idika Kalu, has said that it would have no impact. The debate is being dangerously over-politicized. “America government has $1000 bill but it is not for everybody. The introduction of N500, N200 and N1000 in the past did not affect the economy.

Nigerians should focus more on issues that affect their lives directly,” he counselled. The Presidential spokesperson equally pointed out that the introduction of the N5000 bill would reduce the strain on foreign exchange. “It will interest you that most people who make request for foreign exchange do not use it to travel; most of them procure dollars because it is convenient for them to carry money without having bulging pockets.

Car thieves: Police arrest 3-man syndicate, recovers 19 vehicles By Lambert Tyem


he Nigeria Police Force yesterday in Abuja, said between 22nd and 28th of August, 2012, through its operatives of the IGP’s Special Taskforce on Heinous Crimes, successfully raided some notorious and dangerous criminal hide-outs in Kaduna and arrested three car thieves and recovered 19 vehicles. Frank Mba, the force spokesman, said the special taskforce working on a tip-off in reaction to the upsurge in incidents of car theft in some parts of the country, proceeded to Kaduna state on the 22 nd of August, 2012, where it smashed and arrested a 3-man syndicate that specialises in car theft. Police said the syndicate made disclosures that led to the recovery of 19 stolen vehicles of various makes and brands.

“Information of this recovery has since been disseminated to all the 37 state police commands for circulation to the public, to enable persons whose vehicles

were stolen to come forth for necessary identification and possible collection. “The vehicles recovered are shown below with their particulars.

They include: Toyota Camry Golf wagon Vectra Opel Honda Accord Nissan Primera Honda Accord Honda Civic Honda CRV Honda Civic Honda Civic Honda Accord Toyota Camry Honda Academy Honda Accord Honda CRV Toyota Camry Nissan Pathfinder Toyota Corrola Honda CRV

“The N5000 note of course would reduce the demand for foreign exchange, especially dollars, and such would help in stabilizing the naira in the long run,” Okupe assured. Responding to questions on why his principal has refused to reinstate Justice Ayo Salami, the sacked President of the Court of Appeal, Okupe said no law has been broken even as he insisted that complying with the advice of the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) was discretionary.

Death toll from Adamawa flood hits 30 Contd from Page 1

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Nigeria, which has a rainy season from May to September suffers from seasonal flash floods, which are sometimes lethal, especially in rural areas or overcrowded slums where drainage is poor or nonexistent. Red Cross spokesman Umar Mairiga told Reuters said the floods had affected some 15 local government areas, with the worst hit being Adamawa, Taraba and Benue states in the east-central part of the country. “We are expecting the numbers of dead or displaced to keep building up,” he said, putting the latest displaced figure at 36,331. There have been no reports so far of major damage to agriculture or industry.



Armed robbers kill policeman, driver From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


aredevil armed robbers yesterday afternoon, gunned down a policeman and a commercial bus driver in the Ikeja area of Lagos. The incident which happened along the LagosAbeokuta expressway attracted

sympathisers who bemoaned the guts of gunmen to operate during the day. The gunmen suspected to be armed robbers were said to have trailed the commercial bus conveying the policeman and other passengers from Oshodi but on getting close to the Ikeja bus stop, the three-man gang doubled

crossed the bus and opened fire on the policeman who reportedly died instantly. Our correspondent who got to the scene after the killing saw the driver in a pool of blood in the vehicle. It was gathered that the LT2 commercial bus with the registration number XQ 336 EKY was in motion and as a result of the

shooting of the policeman and the driver, the vehicle skidded off to the right hitting the gutter and stopped badly damaged at the railway line. The driver was also feared dead as it could not be ascertained if other passengers in the bus were affected. Policemen were later said to have removed the vehicle from the

railway line to prevent a train crash. Two Rapid-Response Squad (RRS) patrol vehicles were sighted later at the scene. When contacted, the Lagos Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ngozi Braide, said she was aware that a policeman and a driver had been killed by gunmen in Ikeja.

...attack petrol station in Birnin Kebbi From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


L-R: Kaduna state Governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Major-General C.O. Onwuamaegu, and Senate President David Mark, during the passing-out parade and convocation ceremony of the 59 Regular Course Cadet and Short Service Course 40 (NA) of NDA, on Saturday in Kaduna.

Tiv sue FG for N5bn over lopsided employment From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Tiv nation has sued the Federal Government before the Federal High Court, Makurdi alleging breach of federal character principles and discrimination in the employment of Tiv indigenes into federal parastatals. The suit which is filed by the National Survival Front (TNF), a

socio-political organisation in Benue state led by its president, Chief Terlumun Akputu including Engr. Nath Apir, Sarwuan Tanongo, John Akpereshi and Livinus Awuhe by their counsel, T DPepe, is claiming over N5 billion and also praying for a court order directing federal agencies such as Nigeria Prisons Service, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Army, Nigeria Airforce, Nigeria Navy, Nigerian Security

and, Civil Defense Corps, Nigeria Defence Academy, NDA, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria Customs and Excise and Federal Character Commission which are also joined in the suit, to redress the imbalances and discrepancies in the distribution of positions during recruitment exercises carried out by agencies from 2006 to date. The plaintiffs complained that Benue North East and North West

the founders of Nigeria’s most popular Newspaper and mouthpiece of democracy, Newswatch magazine as a core investor, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim is using dubious means to take away the company from its original owners through legal technicalities”. “The trio of Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed and Dan Agbese must have fallen cheap for the antics of Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim who is known for illegal acquisition of very lucrative ventures belonging to individuals and government using legal jargons and technicalities, we must rise up as lovers of objective journalism being practiced by these exceptional Nigerians to ensure that no man is allowed to kill the vision and mission which Newswatch magazine has brought to bear everywhere in the world.

By Adeola Tukuru

Senatorial Districts and their component local government areas were not accorded equal status with local government areas in Benue South Senatorial District. The plaintiffs further claimed that the organisation has received complaints from over 1,000 youths of Tiv origin who applied for jobs in these agencies but were outrightly rejected by the defendants.

t was a calamity to oil businessmen in Kebbi state yesterday as three hoodlums attacked the Oando Filling Station situated along Bypass Road at Bayan Kara area of Birnin Kebbi and made away with millions of naira in broad day light. Our reporter gathered that the incident occurred around 1pm. Eyewitnesses, one Mariya who lives in the vicinity of the petrol station and one Malam Abdulrahman Koko told Peoples Daily that the men of the underworld attacked the filling station around 1 pm on a motorcycle. According to Abdulrahman “they came around 1 pm on motor cycle and asked everybody to lie down and snatched all the money from the petrol attendants and even hit one man with their gun who wanted to show some resistance”. Mariya also told newsmen that when the robbers came she was asleep and heard shouts “lie down, lie down”! She said during the operation, the robbers who were said to be three in number, did not face any resistance either from the petrol attendants or people buying fuel because of their weapons. One of the petrol attendants, Uzairu, who confirmed the incident, said the robbers went away with undisclosed amount of money.

Our attackers bore arms, Global adults illiteracy CSO backs Newswatch corps members founders against Jimoh Ibrahim population 775m, says UNESCO tell police tremendous relevance to the

By Augustine Aminu


he Coalition of Civil Society Organisations for Transparency in Governance, has thrown its weight behind the trio of Ray Ekpu, Yakubu Mohammed and Dan Agbese, founders of Newswatch magazine to reclaim the management of the media outfit from Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim who is now on a collision course with both management and staff of the organisation. The national president of the group, vComrade Ibrahim Alih described the forceful seizure of the company from the founders by Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim who went in as a core investor as an extension of Jimoh’s business empire. “Nigerians must rise up in prayers at this critical moment for


he United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has estimated that the global adult illiterate population stands at 775 million, while there are still 122 million illiterate youth worldwide. According to the DirectorGeneral of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, women and girls make up nearly two-thirds of the illiterate adult and youth population, adding that great potential is being lost. Ms Bokova noted this at the International Literacy Day with special focus on the fundamental relationship between literacy and peace. She explained that this has

current turbulent times. ‘Countries with patterns of violence have some of the lowest literacy rates in the world. Conflict remains one of the major barriers to the attainment of the Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Conflict-affected countries are home to over 40% of the world’s out-of-school population of primary school age’ UNESCO declared. In her words: “Literacy is a fundamental human right, and the foundation of all education and lifelong learning. Literacy transforms the lives of people, allowing them to make informed choices and empowering individuals to become agents of change”.

From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


ictims of the Thursday early morning attack on Redeemed Christian Corpers Fellowship (RCCF) in Jalingo, Taraba state, have denied a police statement that their attackers did not carry arms. The corps members said the statement credited to the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed Maishanu, that the bandits were local thieves and hoodlums armed with cutlasses and sticks and not guns was misleading. The corps members’ statement said the robbers had deadly arms, and carted away N122,600 in cash; and N652,590 worth of valuables including three laptop computers.



Performance Contracts: Serious policy or publicity stunt? About three weeks ago, President Goodluck Jonathan made ministers to sign performance contracts with him, telling Nigerians that the step is aimed at restoring accountability, transparency and efficiency in the business of governance. The novel idea however, raises a lot of questions regarding its desirability, workability, specific targets, timeline, yardstick for measurement and punitive measures for defaulters, among others. Abdulrahman Abdulraheem takes a look at the issues.


resident Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday August 22nd 2012 at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, signed performance contracts with ministers in an effort to make them more committed to the Transformation Agenda. The Performance Contract System, which is expected to be reviewed with the President every six months, was developed by the Ministry of National Planning. While the dismal performance of most of the ministers had contributed to the President’s poor rating after more than a year in charge, his renewed vigour to change the situation and earn the applause of Nigerians by 2013 and beyond had made most people believe some of those of underperforming ministers would be shown the way out around the time the issue of Performance Contracts came up. And when the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku first announced the idea a week to the signing ceremony, most observers concluded that the President had finally decided to go with public opinion and rejig his team. The President however said during the ceremony that the exercise was not meant to witchhunt any minister “but to ensure that they are all accountable to Nigerians.” Continuing, President Jonathan said, “I have read all kinds of things in the media that the President wants to assess the ministers so that he will know who will go and who will stay, that is not the purpose of this. We would have done it probably the first week when we came on board. The key thing is that we have given ourselves points that we think we will get to. We believe that if we get to those points or if we achieve 70 per cent, it will be better for our country.” He also disclosed that himself and the Vice President would also develop performance indicators, noting that “it gives all of us targets and you can assess yourself whether you are really achieving that target, you will not depend on what the newspapers will want to write because the media today is highly politicised.” Stressing further the importance of the concept, the President said it would assist in delivering quality and timely

President Goodluck Jonathan

Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala services to the citizenry, improving productivity and instilling a greater sense of accountability for effective service delivery. President Jonathan therefore, charged the Minister to go beyond “the periodic Ministerial Press briefings, by continuing to set targets for ourselves”, adding that “the importance of a monitoring and evaluation system to track performance must now also be clear to all involved. “I expect the process to be reproduced throughout the system, with the Ministers signing similar agreements with their Permanent Secretaries and Heads of Agencies and Parastatals.” Explaining the need for signing the contracts, Minister of National Planning, Dr Shamsudeen Usman said, “unless we find a credible way of measuring performance, we will not know we are making progress.” He revealed that government drew inspiration from other countries including the United Kingdom and South Africa, which have effectively applied similar performance contracts. The minister disclosed that

some of the ministers had already drawn up parameters to assess agencies under their ministries while the National Planning Ministry provided technical support. While, in theory, the policy looks sensible, observers have however raised some fundamental questions the answer of which would determine whether or not the exercise was designed to make government look as if it is working while it is not. To start with, just like the much trumpeted Transformation Agenda that doesn’t have any known or available document through which people can know what it contains and what it doesn’t, it is not clear if the President through the Ministry of National Planning actually drew a list of targets for each of the about 40 ministers with timelines for them to follow. While the ceremony we all watched on Television didn’t suggest this, the document (if any) that contains what each minister is expected to accomplish and a clearly defined yardstick for measurement should have been

made public so that both the media and the civil society will also be able to judge each minister using his or her performance. The President spoke well when he said the policy was good for democracy, but what is democracy when only he has the criteria and what it takes to determine which minister is performing and which one is not? What is democracy if the President is averse to the media for being critical of his administration? Obviously, he believes the media is to blame for his low performance rating. According to him, whatever scores he and his Deputy record for themselves and the ministers cannot be subject to any other kind of scrutiny because the media he said, is too “politicised.” Aside the media and civil society, the major stakeholders in the aviation sector, for example, will want to know the specific targets that was set for the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah by the President. To achieve maximum results, President Jonathan also ordered the ministers to sign similar contracts with permanent secretaries and heads of agencies under them. So far, only about two ministers have complied while Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga only said he would sign Performance Contracts with the heads of Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) and Consumer Protection Council (CPC) for them to eradicate sub standard goods in the country by end of next year. This fact is capable of sending a bad signal to right thinking members of the society that the policy may not just be as serious as it was made to look. This is because even Aganga

didn’t say he planned to do so with all heads of all parastatals under his command. He mentioned it as an applause- seeking statement in an event organised by the CPC in Abuja recently. The policy did not also specify the punitive measures that would be meted out to defaulters. This is considered very important by most observers given that contracts are meant to be strictly adhered to by all parties and in the event of a breach by either, a consequence has to follow. This is considered equally important because, if a minister who has signed a performance contract with the President but goes ahead to breach the terms of the contract or misses targets but continues to provide unconvincing excuses for his failures, that minister has to be shown the gate. So, the President saying that the Performance Contracts will not be used to fire incompetent ministers, is rather confusing. Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji was shown the door recently, just few weeks after the signing ceremony. We do not have the specific details of the contract he signed with President Jonathan and if it includes issues about conflict of interest but if the performance contract has a played a role in his dismissal, then the omen is good. The President had been a bit slow in taken decisions on the top government officials he fired recently - Austen Oniwon, Andrew Owoeye Azazi, Haliru Bello Mohammed etcso, the Performance Contracts may just be what he needs to take faster decisions on the remaining incompetent ones whose actions and inactions have so far denied Nigerians the long awaited fresh air.



Replace Nnaji with one of our own, Igbos advise Jonathan By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


socio-political organisation, Ndi-Igbo Council for National Co-ordination (NCNC), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to be wary of those who are interested in derailing the ongoing transformation in the country’s power sector. However, it advocated for the appointment of a technocrat as the new minister of power, who must come from the same region

as Nnaji, in order to consolidate on the appreciable gains achieved so far in the power sector. In a statement issued yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Ifanacho Oguejiofor, the group expressed happiness that electricity supply in the country recorded impressive improvement during Prof. Barth Nnaji’s stewardship as the Minister for Power. It therefore enjoined President Goodluck Jonathan to thoroughly

investigate the alleged illegal diversion of funds meant for 3D seismic survey and feasibility studies for the Enugu, Benue, Kogi and Gombe coal-fired power plants. It said the development has led to the termination of the projects, saying that investigation of the allegation would allay the fears that after the resignation of Nnaji, the anti reform forces have reemerged to push the country back to darkness. “NCNC implores the

President not to allow the negative forces and agents of darkness, who have in the past undermined and frustrated all the efforts of the previous administrations to restructure the power sector due to their greed and self interest”, the statement read. The group also advised President Jonathan not to allow the resignation of Nnaji to retard or kill his initiative and hard work while at the helm of the power ministry.

L-R: Founder and Executive Secretary of the Lumina Foundation, Dr. Promise Ogochukwu, Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, winner of the 4th Edition of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, Sifiso Mzobe from South Africa being decorated by former President of Ghana and Chairman of the occasion, Mr. John Kufuor, during the event, on Saturday in Lagos


auchi state government is poised to restructure the the standard of medical practice in the state. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Sani Abubakar Malami, who stated this while fielding reporters’ questions in Bauchi over the reported kidney removal from a patient, assured that the ministry would address salient issues pertaining to the standard of medical profession to ensure there was no recurrent threat to public safety in future. He said the alleged kidney removal of 25-year old Abubakar Buba in a Bauchi private clinic has been a wake-up call to restructure of the standard of medical profession. “This incident was a wakeup call for us at strengthening our supervisory and monitoring mechanisms. We are now in the process of restructuring the whole process because it means that there are some areas where there are gaps”, Malami said. He explained that the Ministry has medical team in each of the

By Josephine Ella


he Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Engineer Anthony Ozodinobi, has been nominated to receive the Mohammed Lawal Uwais Public Service Award from the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies. A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, said the award is expected to be handedover to him in a ceremony tomorrow at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre. The statement said the award would be preceded by a public lecture titled “Public Service and the Transformation Agenda: Redefining the Rules Engagement”, is to be delivered by Chief Philip Asiodu, a seasoned administrator and former Permanent Secretary. The statement quoted the institute to have indicated that “Engr. Ozodinobi was nominated after a careful and thorough screening of all entries, applications and nominations for the award. The award is being co-hosted by the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) and the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Borno moves to decongest school From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

Bauchi govt to standardise medical practice From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

FCT Perm Sec to receive Uwais Award tomorrow

three senatorial district of the state that reports back to it as they go out at periodic intervals to inspect not only the private but also government clinics to keep records of how the standard of medical profession is being maintained. Dr. Sani Malami stated that he did not know the full details of the circumstances that culminated to the alleged removal of the boy kidney, as the Ministry await the completion of report of the medical inquiry into the matter. “We have to wait until the medical inquiry panel has completed its job before we can say anything”, Malami told reporters at the Bauchi dialyses centre where the patient is undergoing medical treatment. Pressed further on measures to be taken against the perpetrators of the act, the commissioner said “I am told that three suspects were identified, they were questioned by the police. You must understand that there is a criminal investigation and then there is professional misconduct investigation going on side by side in this case”. Malami further explained that

NDA honours Mark, Anyaoku, Sirleaf From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) at the weekend in Kaduna, conferred honorary doctorate degrees on the Senate President, David Mark, former Commonwealth SecretaryGeneral, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and the Liberian President, Mrs. Ellen John Sirleaf, during the convocation ceremony and passing out parade of cadets of the 59 Regular Course and Short Service 40 (Army) of the institution. In his message, President Goodluck Jonathan who was represented at the programme by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, re-affirmed Federal Government’s commitment to tackling the security challenges in parts of the country. According to Jonathan, “those who are bent on causing disaffection among the good people

of our country under whatever guise, must desist from such unprofitable venture and embrace our shared aspiration for peace and progress. “Our vision for this Academy, and indeed for Nigeria, is a place of immeasurable opportunities where every citizen, irrespective of gender, tribe or creed is able to legitimately aspire for recognition and greatness. “Since this is the expectation of our people, we are firm in our commitment to creating a peaceful environment conducive for positive aspirations to thrive. “Building a peacefuland prosperous Nigeria of our collective dream is a task to which we must all remain committed”. He commended the NDA for consistently training what the President described as welldisciplined officers of the Nigerian armed forces and those of sister African countries, which he noted ,has justified its strategic importance to the nation.


overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has directed the Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Inuwa Kubo and that of Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Zainab Gimba to construct additional 10-classroom blocks in the Government College Maiduguri so as to decongest about 150 students per class to 40 students. Shettima said it was improper and against the educational system for about 150 secondary school students to receive teaching in one classroom considering the high temperature experienced in the state. He said no student would learn in an unconducive environment that is not conducive, and so, his administration would do everything to provide necessary facilities to public schools across the state. It would be recalled that the state government had early this year awarded contract worth N3.7 billion for construction and reconstruction of additional classrooms among others, in which Government College Maiduguri is one of the beneficiaries. Conducting the governor round the ongoing work in the school, Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Inuwa Kubo, said with the award of the contract, additional 10 new classrooms have been constructed making the school to have about 46 classrooms.



Muslim, Christian women unite for peace By Maryam Garba Hassan


Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola (2nd left), receiving award as Governor of the Year in Information Communication Technology (ICT) from former Defence Minister, Dr Bello Haliru Mohammed (left), during the 8th Nigerian Telecom Awards, at the weekend in Lagos. With them is the governor's wife, Alhaja Serifat Aregbesola (2nd right), and former Minister of Information, Chief Alex Akinyele (right).

Chieftaincy can wait for now, Fashola tells Lagos monarch From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, on Saturday, politely refused the honour of a chieftaincy title from Oba Abidun Idowu Oniru, Oniru of Iruland, Lagos, saying he wants to give absolute focus to governance and chieftaincy titles can wait. He, however, received the

award of excellence conferred on him by the monarch who was celebrating his 75th birthday and 18th coronation anniversary. According to Fashola, the award for excellence was not for him; rather, he dedicated it to all the civil servants in the state whom, he said, were responsible for the giant strides of his administration.

Nigerian media tasked on coverage of health matters From Mohammed Adamu, Kaduna


igerian media have been tasked to accord priority to coverage of health issues with a view to enlightening citizens on better practices. The Zonal Manager, News Agency of Nigeria Kaduna, Alhaji Ibrahim Mammaga made the call when he received members of journalists for Better Health Initiative (JOBETH), who paid him a courtesy visit in his office over the weekend. He said as watchdog of the society, the media has a

responsibility to educate people on the need to patronise health facilities, as well as present facts that would guide policy makers to put the right health policies in place. Mammaga also lamented the rate of maternal deaths in the country, saying enlightenment by the media would go a long way in addressing such issues. He said his organisation would support the move by Civil Society Organisations in pushing for a law to back the free maternal and child health programme in Kaduna state.

He said: “Kabiyesi and his chiefs can continue to lead us, let them deal with all those traditional and chieftaincy issues. At the appropriate time, we will come and join them, but for now, leave us in our suits, booths, overalls and helmets, because this agbada is not good for clearing refuse and tarring the roads”. Fashola said: “This award does not belong to me; it belongs to all

the public servants in Lagos state who do the great work that is responsible for the progress in the state”. While acknowledging the monarch’s exemplary leadership and support for his administration and his predecessors, the governor expressed his gratitude to the Oniru on behalf of members of the state executive council.

Interior ministry introduces new regime for business visa From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he Minister for Interior, Comrade Abba Moro has lamented that lack of transparency and time consuming visa procedure is the major inhibition to foreigners gaining easy entry into the country to do business. The minister who made the lamentation at the weekend in a chat with newsmen in Makurdi, said to address this, his ministry has introduced a new visa regime. Comrade Moro intimated that many attachés from the Nigeria Immigration Service have already been sent out to foreign countries

to attend to visa applications, noting that the new measure is in line with the transformation agenda of the administration and its desire in ensuring that the country becomes the next business destination in Africa. He said the Federal Government has liberalised the process of visa process to allow for the issuance of visas particularly business visa to businessmen at point of entry into the country. The minister also added that Nigeria Immigration Service has taken appropriate steps to flush out criminally minded people in Nigeria particularly the insurgency in the northern part of the country.

n what has been described as a significant turning point in the ongoing peace initiatives in Nigeria, representatives of women Christian and Muslim groups have jointly added voice to the call for religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence in the country. A statement issued on Friday in Abuja by the Deputy Director, Press at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Saghir el Mohammed, said members of the Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), and the Federation of Muslim Women of Nigeria (FOMWAN) who paid a courtesy visit to the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina, in her office, reaffirmed that "Christian and Muslim women are united for peace in Nigeria". According to the statement, the minister while receiving the groups, said “No doubt, the visit marks a significant turning point in the efforts to promote religious and peaceful co-existence as well as harmonious relationship among the various faiths, tribes and cultural inclinations in the country”. The statement further explained that the minister said as religious leaders, great responsibility lies on their shoulders to be bridges and models of peace and religious tolerance across faiths in the country. “As women religious leaders and those responsible for the home front, you must identify and control the activities of your wards, followers and mankind by continuously appealing to them to reason in whatever they do. "We are all aware of the way our children are being used to kill, maim, destroy and cause untold hardships to innocent citizens in the name of religious, ethnic or sectoral cleansing. Violence in whatever form is a crime against humanity…” She said the Federal Government has been mobilising all stakeholders to chart workable strategies to sustain and enhance peace and stability in the nation. Earlier, the acting national chairperson of WOWICAN, Mrs. Leah Solomon, said their visit was a sign of solidarity for the present administration and the nation and urged the Federal Government not to be shaken by the acts of ungodly people in the country.

NEMA presents relief items to Jigawa flood victims From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), over the weekend presented relief materials worth millions of naira to flood victims in Jigawa state. Presenting the materials to Governor Alhaji Sule Lamido, the

Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, said the agency was shocked with the number of people affected by the calamity in the loss of lives, farmlands and other property in the disaster. The Director-General told the governor that immediately the agency received the sad news of the flood disaster, "I dispatched my

officials for an on-the-spot assessment of the incident to determine the gravity of the disaster and recommended for timely emergency intervention". Alhaji Sani-Sidi maintained that "the increasing incidents of flood in the country are not only devastating but also have the grave potentials of slowing down

our developmental strides as a nation", he added that "NEMA will continue to work with relevant stakeholders to create the necessary awareness and sensitisation campaigns on disaster risk reduction strategies". According to him rapid urbanisation occasioned by natural population growth and rural-urban

migration has given rise to land use pressure and weak adherence to physical planning regulations in most of our towns and cities; "we must see the recent flood disaster as a wakeup call towards efficient and effective disaster management and the building of communal resilience in our urban and rural communities", he added.



NEMA urges states to enforce physical planning regulations


he Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sani-Sidi, has urged state governments to enforce physical planning regulations as part of measures to prevent flooding. He gave the advice when he paid a courtesy call on the Jigawa state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud, yesterday in Dutse. Sani-Sidi explained that most of the incidents of flooding which occurred in some parts of the country this year were due to the building of structures on the waterways. “Rapid urbanisation, occasioned by natural population growth and rural-urban migration, has given rise to land use pressure and weak adherence to physical planning regulations in towns and cities”, he said. The NEMA director-general said the recent flooding in Jigawa was a wake-up call towards efficient and effective disaster management and the building of communal resilience in urban and rural communities. He added that NEMA was willing to collaborate with the Jigawa Government to explore long-term sustainable solutions to disasters.

500 Tsangaya teachers to benefit from monthly allowance From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


t least 500 Tsangaya Qur’anic Schools in Bauchi state are to benefit from the N825 million from cash assistance spanning over a period of 33 months, with the sum of N25 million to be distributed monthly. The cash assistance to the Tsangaya Qur’anic schools in Bauchi state was launched over the weekend by the State Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda at the Credit Finance Agency (CFA), and Hotel in Bauchi state. The beneficiaries of the programme comprise of chief Imams or Mallams of the Tsangaya schools effective from August this year to April, 2015 when general elections wouldbe held in the country. The Governor who was presented by the Directorgeneral (Tsangaya Qur’anic Schools), Sayyadi Dahiru Usman Bauchi, reiterated the determination of the state government to give help Qur’anic schools in the state. Sayyadi Dahiru Bauchi disclosed that monthly allowances of N400, 000 have also been earmarked by the government for those saddled with the responsibility of disbursing the cash assistance to Mallams and Imams across the state.

L-R: Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide , Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, and Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during the 2013 budget presentation by the FCT administration, recently in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

FRSC stops arrests, embarks on safety campaign By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


n its determination to reduce the increase in road crashes, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), will today, stop arresting defaulters and embark on a nationwide enlightenment campaign to sensitize the general public on the need for safety. The Corps Public Education

Officer (CPEO), Jonas Agwu, who stated this over the weekend at the headquarters of the FRSC in Abuja, while addressing journalists on their new strategy, added that the campaign was necessary owing to the increase in road crashes as revealed by its 2012 half year report. Jonas said that the campaign which would run for one-week,

would help to restore public trust, understanding, and improve response time, thereby reducing crashes. He listed the places including offices, schools, places of worship and parks, as targets of the sensitization campaign on the public need for safety. The CPEO revealed that within the period of the campaign, the corps would not arrest

defaulters, even as he warned the general public against illegality on the road. Jonas further said that officers of the corps would be manned in various routes identified as trouble and notorious accident spots like the Lagos-Ibadan, Benin-ore, Ogbomosho -Ilorin, Lokoja-Abuja, Enugu-Otukpo, Uyo-Ekpoma, Kaduna-Zaria and Kaduna.

Lagos NMA laments division among doctors From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


he Lagos branch of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has lamented division among members of the association. Speaking at the meeting of the Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), the President, NMA Lagos branch, Doctor Francis Faduyile said urged the

resident doctors to encourage unity among colleagues as according to him, Lagos NMA is loosing ground and reputation to the division in the house. “We are working seriously on the resolution of intra association conflicts with a view to totally resolve it within the next six months and we are ready to explore every possible means to achieve this. “Our challenge in Lagos

NMA presently includes low interest among our colleagues in the affairs affecting doctors and the mutual mistrust between the state government and the medical and dental doctors in the state establishments,” he added. Also speaking on the theme of the meeting, “Emergency preparedness and crises intervention: tightening the loose ends”, the Assistant Director-General of National

Crisis: Wada pledges to implement whitepaper From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he governor of Kogi state, Captain Idris Wada has pledged to implement the 2010 government white paper on crises in Kogi central district in order to ensure complete end to violence. The governor made this promise when stakeholders from Kogi central, led by the senator representing the area, Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Lokoja, over the weekend. According to Wada, “ I will implement the white paper on the investigation that was done in 2010, I will. We will review it and we will implement them.

I have no problem in implementing government position. You know if there are changes that have occurred since then, that have brought new dimension, we will look at them and then take action that are current and are in the best interest of all our people” he stressed. While restating his administration’s commitment to evenly develop the state, he noted that no meaningful development could thrive in an atmosphere of insecurity. Earlier the leader of the delegation, Senator Usman said, as part of measures to curb violence in the area, government must implement the 2010 white paper and other

reports on previous crises in kogi central, to the letter. He said the new administration must take urgent steps to address issues of inequalities in governance, particularly what he referred to as the systematic marginalization of Kogi central. Abatemi-Usman said greater respect must be accorded the people of Kogi central and called for more patronage in terms of political appointments. He said the revival of the Ajaokuta steel company and scholarship to the less privileged would help to solve the issue of unemployment which has made some people susceptible to manipulation by evil-doers.

Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ben Ogenah called on governments at all levels to respond to the technical and human need of disaster response agencies. Ogenah stated that funds and other resources provided for disaster management by the Nigerian government was inadequate. “For instance LUTH is supposed to have a specialised unit for disaster preparedness but there are no tools and sufficient workers to achieve that. “Now, NEMA is training 200 volunteers in each local government across the nation as rescuers of accident and disaster victims. “This is an initiative NEMA is funding independently and we are calling on local government to help in compensating the volunteers, though we selected those that have a job doing to earn living.” The Head of Department Accident and Emergency Department, LUTH, Doctor Kunle Badmus however called on Nigerians not to relent in saving lives of victims when accidents occur in their environment before the arrival of rescue agencies.



HIV: Agency enlightens Nsukka business community


he Enugu State Action Committee on HIV/Aids (ENSACA) has advised members of the Nsukka business community to be faithful to their partners to avoid contracting HIV. Mrs. Patricia Ugwu, ENSACA Private Sector Officer, gave the advice at a sensitisation seminar in Nsukka on Saturday. Ugwu said that the best way to avoid contracting HIV was for one to be faithful to his or her partner after undergoing HIV test.

“Remember HIV does not show on one’s face. About 92,000 people are already infected in Enugu State. If you cannot stick to one partner, ensure that you use condom when having sexual intercourse with another person,” she said. Ugwu urged those who already had the virus to join one support group where they would be able to access HIV/Aids drugs easily. “If you already positive, do not kill yourself as government has

procured enough drugs to carter for those living with the virus. “Through medical attention and counselling, infected mothers will be able to deliver babies that are negative “Do not stigmatise anybody living with the virus as that is offence punishable by government,” she said. The officer advised the public to avoid sharing sharp objects such as razor, clipper, and injection needle.

“It is better to prevent contracting HIV than managing it. “Do not share any sharp object with anybody,” she said. Earlier in a remark, the chairman of Nsukka business community, Mr Augustine Okeagu, thanked the ENSACA team for deeming it necessary to educate and enlighten the group. “I commend Gov Sullivan Chime for the love he has for

Nsukka allied business community, the executives will ensure that members put into practice all they have learned today. I assure government that allied members will continue to be law-abiding. He urged other agencies of government to emulate ENSACA. Highlight of the seminar was free HIV test to interested members of the allied business community by ENSACA team. (NAN)

China: Nasarawa lawmaker emerges best trainee in rice assignment, saying that the production experience he gained during the From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


One of the participants, "Steps to the Top Leadership Centre" Summer Camp, Simon Nkemdilim (left), receiving certificate from Officer in charge of Cultural Affairs, U.S Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Bill Strassberger (right), during the Summer Camp wrap up ceremony for youths organised by the centre, on Saturday in Abuja. With them is Chief Executive Officer, Steps to the Top Leadership Centre, Dr. Theresa Nwachukwu (middle). Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

member of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly (NSHA), Philip Aruwa Gyunka (PDP, Akwanga South), has emerged the best trainee during a 5-month long training for hybrid rice cultivation programme in China. Gyunka, who returned from China at the weekend, displayed the medal he won, as well as samples of packaged rice he cultivated during the programme to members of his constituency that turned up in their numbers to celebrate with the lawmaker, during a reception in his honour in Akwanga. The legislator was among 20 others selected by the Chinese government to represent their various countries in the 5 months intensive training in hybrid rice production, in the bid to reduce food insecurity, poverty and unemployment across the globe. In a chat with journalists shortly after the reception,Gyunka expressed gratitude for his selection for the worthy

training would contribute to enhanced rice and cotton cultivation, not only in the state but the country at large. “I have seen and witnessed what is necessary to help my nation. The quality and volume of rice production in China is something else and they want us to replicate it here in Africa and other developing countries in order to fight hunger and poverty”, he said. Gyunka, who disclosed that he would sponsor a bill on the floor of the Assembly, for a law to encourage scientists as well as farmers in the state, called for the establishment of seed industries that would produce hybrids of various home grown crops for farmers. While stressing that he would bring his experience from China to influence his colleagues on the need for the law he will initiate, the lawmaker however urged the state government to cooperate with him as he seeks to transmit his experience to rice farmers across the state for the harvest of up to 7.5 tonnes per hectre.

BUK students protest killing Kebbi indigenes call for hitch free LG poll of female colleague S

ome students of Bayero University Kano (BUK), on Saturday,staged a peaceful protest over the killing of one of their female colleagues by a truck driver. An eyewitness told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano that the deceased, who was a final year student, was crushed to death on Friday night while trying to cross the road in front of the university’s new campus main gate on Gwarzo Road.

From Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna

The protesting students then barricaded the Gwarzo-BUK Road and the main gate of the campus on Saturday, leading to the disruption of traffic along that road. Some of the students claimed that several letters had been sent to BUK authorities, the state government and officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), over the spate of reckless driving by motorists on BUK Road but did not yield any positive result.

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the university, Alhaji Mustapha Zahradeen, confirmed the students’ protest. He, however, said that the university authorities had intervened and appealed to the students to remain calm, and gave the assurance that it would take up the matter with the appropriate authorities. He said the protesting students had since returned to the campus. (NAN)


he association of Kebbi indigenes resident in Kaduna have called for the peaceful conduct of the upcoming local government election in Kebbi State just as the State Independent Electoral Commission (KESIEC) has fixed Saturday 15th September 2012 for the conduct of local council election. Speaking in an interview shortly after the executive council meeting of the association,the Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim

MASSOB forecloses reprisals over Boko Haram By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


gainst the background of Boko Haram violence in the northern Nigeria, which has affected Igbo traders, the leader of Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazurike, has stated that the group will not engage in reprisals

of any kind on Muslims reident in the East. Speaking over the weekend at a meeting with the traditional rulers of Igbo communities in the 19 northern states, Uwazurike said though so many prominent Igbo traders have lost their lives and property in targeted attacks, there is no justification to take the life of a

Muslim in the East. He therefore called on government to be more proactive in combating violence in the north and to most importantly, provide special security measures for the protection of the Easterners in the north, since their businesses and places of worship have become targets of Boko Haram

attacks in the north. Speaking earlier, the custodian of Igbo ancestral traditions, who doubles as the traditional ruler of Nri kingdom in Anambra state, Eze Onyesoh Obidiegwu, urged Igbo residents in the Diaspora to always think home, saying that home remains the most secure and permanent place of return

Usman Yauri called on youths to shun any act of indiscipline or violence. He charged youths not to allow themselves to be used as political thugs by selfish politicians who want to use them to cling on to power at all cost. “We are calling on all eligible voters to turn-out en-masse to elect credible candidates of their choice in order to move the state forward. “We are also calling on KESIEC to ensure a level playing ground and to work together with security agents to also to ensure a hitch free election in all the 21 local government in the state. The association also condoled with the families of those who lost their lives in the recent Cholera outbreak in Kalgo local government of Kebbi State. “We are also calling on the state government and other stakeholders to send immediate relief material and assistance to the victims and families of the Kalgo LG Cholera outbreak that claimed many lives to alleviate their sufferings”, he stressed.




Glossary on financial and banking terms

Save your family that future hassle, make a Will now


lthough aware of its importance not many in Nigeria make a will, where as doing so is not at all difficult, says VK Verma's book, Making a will made easy. Lawyer VK Verma in his book, " Making a will made easy" published by Macmillan Publishers cautions that laws do not consider the emotional or financial circumstances of an individual's heirs in case the individual dies without a will. "When an individual dies intestate (without a will), the legal system which controls the distribution of an individual's property, does not take into account the needs of individuals in their particular circumstances" Verma says. He adds," The hard fact is Indians refrain to accept that few things pertaining to their death need to be planned in advance." "Making a will made easy" is a self help book written in layman's language to assure that people who require any assistance in this direction do not require to rush to the chambers and respective offices of legal

experts for small clarifications and eradication of confusions. "Though execution of Will has no rigid requirements yet the statistics show that three out of four people die without a will because they can't bring themselves to think about their death," says Verma. During his practice as a lawyer for more than four decades the author says he noted the deficiency relating to interpretation of succession laws in India. "The purpose of converting the original guide into this compact book is to help the common man gain clarity in dealing with the estate in his hands and discharging his social and legal obligations effectively." he says. Explaining the importance of will the author says, "Will is a legal document which directs transfer of property of an individual to his future generations affects human relationships and not just money. Therefore, it is of great significance in Law as well as our social set up."

Risk-Averse, Risk-Neutral, Risk-Taking: Risk-averse describes an investor who requires greater return in exchange for greater risk. Risk-neutral describes an investor who does not require greater return in exchange for greater risk. Risk-taking describes an investor who will accept a lower return in exchange for greater risk. Senior Bond: A bond that has priority over other bonds in claiming assets and dividends. Short Hedge: A transaction that protects the value of an asset held by taking a short position in a futures contract. Settlement: Conclusion of a securities transaction when a customer pays a broker/ dealer for securities purchased or delivered, securities sold, and receive from the broker the proceeds of a sale. Short Position: Investors sell securities in the hope that they will decrease in value and can be bought at a later date for profit. Short Selling: The sale of borrowed securities, their eventual repurchase by the short seller at a lower price and their return to the lender. Speculation: The process of buying investment vehicles in which the future value and level of expected earnings are highly uncertain. Stock Splits: Wholesale changes in the number of shares. For example, a two for one split doubles the number of shares but does not change the share capital.

Subordinated Bond: An issue that ranks after secured debt, debenture, and other bonds, and after some general creditors in its claim on assets and earnings. Owners of this kind of bond stand last in line among creditors, but before equity holders, when an issuer fails financially. Substantial Shareholder: A person acquires an interest in relevant share capital equal to, or exceeding, 10% of the share capital. Support Level: A price at which buyers consistently outnumber sellers, preventing further price falls Technical Analysis: A method of evaluating securities by relying on the assumption that market data, such as charts of price, volume, and open interest, can help predict future (usually short-security. Trust Deed: A formal document that creates a trust. It states the purpose and terms of the name of the trustees term) market trends. Contrasted with fundamental analysis which involves the study of financial accounts and other information about the company. (It is an attempt to predict movements in security prices from their trading volume history.) Time Horizon: The duration of time an investment is intended for. Trading Rules: Stipulation of parameters for opening and intra-day quotations, permissible spreads according to the prices of securities available for trading and board lot sizes for each and beneficiaries.

How to save money on electronics L

et's face it -- a lot of the electronics we want don't come cheap. That doesn't mean, however, that you can't find a great bargain if you know where to look. By following some savvy consumer secrets, you can save hundreds of dollars on the hottest electronics to outfit your home and office. Buy Refurbished Buying electronics that have been refurbished can save you a great deal of money. The definition of refurbished isn't regulated by the government, so what constitutes as refurbished at one store may not apply at another. In general, the term refurbished applies to a used item that has been restored to like-new condition. However, you want to make sure you know exactly what the store means by refurbished before buying refurbished electronics from them and you want to make sure that all refurbished electronics you buy come with at least a 30-day warranty. Retail Returns Oftentimes, electronics that have been returned to a store are

Quote Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always make you less than you are - Malcolm Forbes

put back up for sale at a discounted price, even if the item hasn't been used at all. Ask the person in the electronics department where they keep their open-box items and store returns and see what deals you can find there. Again, make sure any returns you buy are covered by a warranty. Floor Models You know those televisions that line the isles of the electronics section? Not the ones in the boxes, but the ones on display. When a store stops carrying a certain model, the demo needs to go on sale and these floor models are usually offered at deeply discounted prices. When buying floor models, make sure that you get all of the accessories such as remote controls or user manuals and make sure that the item has warranty coverage. Discontinued Models Older electronics that are being discontinued are usually put on clearance so the store can make room for newer products. You won't get the latest and greatest technology with these buys, but you will get great savings. By shopping smart and looking for these deals, you'll be able to get significant savings on all of your electronics needs. Steps on how to save your electronic gadgets Ever dropped your gadget in

a puddle, had your toddler pour coffee on your laptop (ah, the perils of a working parent), or worse ... you leaned over to flush

the toilet only to have your cell phone slide out of your pocket and right into the bowl? Usually it means that you have to replace

your gadget ... but sometimes if you act fast, you can save yourself from another expensive purchase.




CBN’s anti-people currency policy


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), led by Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as its Governor, is bent on putting in circulation early next year, a N5, 000 note and N5, N10 and N20 coins. Its argument for this unpopular policy is that it will “complement” the bank’s project to make Nigeria a “cashless economy” by reducing the volume of currency in circulation. It also expects the latest policy change to lead to a “drastic reduction” in the cost of currency management. “Under the new currency structure in which a N5, 000 denomination will be introduced, our projection is that the total volume of currency to be produced will drop and the total cost of production will drop consequently”, said CBN Director of Publications, Mr. Ugo A. Okarafor, in a statement he put out Wednesday, September 5. However, the apex bank’s claim that “significant savings” will come from the cost of printing the new note and coins rings shallow if it is true that this exercise will cost a little over N40 billion. Compared to N47 bn spent in 2009, N46 bn in 2010 and N36 bn in 2012, N40 bn will see only a marginal, not a drastic, reduction in cost. Another argument of the CBN is that it is not only Nigeria that will be circulating a higher currency denomination. Indeed, it claims Germany, Japan and Singapore are already doing so. However, it has conveniently ignored the fact that the United States, the world’s biggest economy, has the $100 note as its highest currency denomination and that in the United Kingdom, the £50 note has been the highest denomination since 1945. Or that in India, there have been calls on the government to phase out the

higher denominations of Rupees 500 and 1000. On the other hand, the anti-higher 5, 000 Naira denomination campaign, led by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), a renowned professional group, is anchored on the argument that the policy will fuel inflation; it contradicts the cashless economy push; will marginalize 90 percent of Nigerians who survive on less than a dollar; it will fuel corruption and encourage currency faking. This is ICAN’ biggest fear: “In our

Our position at Peoples Daily is that President Goodluck Jonathan should go with the majority of Nigerians who demand that Sanusi be stopped in his track view, the introduction of N5,000 note will eventually alter the pricing structure of products in the market, leading ultimately to the permanent disappearance of the five, 10 and 20 naira notes (and even the proposed new coins) from circulation. “The extinction of these small denominations will negatively impact the buying capacity and habits of low-incomeearners and the poor as goods and services will be priced above their levels.” ICAN would rather that “CBN work towards

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

strengthening the purchasing power of the naira through policy consistency”. And it said “The steady decline in the value of the naira in relation to other currencies like the American dollar and the British pound sterling in an importdependent country should be a major cause for concern.” It is interesting to note that support for Sanusi and his new currency policy has come from only the Presidency, his employer, and the National Economic Management Team (NEMT) of which he is a member. National Planning Minister Shamsudeen Usman, speaking to newsmen last Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting, said: “Clearly, the N5,000 note, unlike some people have misrepresented, is not going to lead to higher inflation; there is absolutely no link.” Sanusi may have his boss’ ear on this, but the body of public opinion is decidedly against what he plans to do with the naira. Recently, the opposition has been swelled by senators and representatives in the National Assembly who say they were not consulted by the CBN in a matter as sensitive as this. The 36 state governors who are members of the National Economic Council (NEC) say at no time was matter raised in the NEC, if Governor Gabriel Suswan of Benue state is to be believed. Our position at Peoples Daily is that President Goodluck Jonathan should go with the majority of Nigerians who demand that Sanusi be stopped in his track, just as his late predecessor Umaru Yar’adua was forced by strong public opinion to stop Sanusi’s immediate predecessor Charles Soludo from revaluing the naira. Just as Soludo’s plan was ant-people so now is Sanusi’s.









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


By Victor Ndoma-Egba


s a politician and a three-term member of the National Assembly, I cannot but be disturbed by the floundering state of security in Nigeria in recent times. I know a lot of our compatriots also feel the same angst, consternation and ‘confoundment’. It is indeed disheartening that innocent Nigerians are being murdered in a manner that is too serial and sectarian for comfort. It is even more discomfiting that a large number of those killed in many of these attacks are youths. Youths are the real resource of a nation. By these killings, we are squandering not only our wealth but our future. Up till now, no one is yet to fathom the goals being pursued by these attackers. What is known is that the attackers have been meticulous in their strategy by choosing to hide under the cover of our diversity to cast their terror thus creating a hiatus in our national unity. So, to the extent that each time these terrorists attack, we are quick to stand apart on the threshold of Christian-Muslim or SouthernNorthern divide, we continue to lose the war against terrorism in our country. I doubt if this country had ever been as divided as it is today. Yet, ironically, this is the time we need to stand together as a people - more than ever before - to fight the boggy of insecurity plaguing our land. Then we can fully address the poverty and inequities in our polity; issues that know neither tribe nor religion. I believe that a more pragmatic approach to solving the menace of terrorism in our country is to reinvent those social and communal values that bound us in the past. As far as history can guide my thoughts, most of the communities where we have problems of


Terrorism, society and the rest of us terrorism today have had centuries old history of social and communal relationships and co-existence. The Berom have for centuries accommodated and lived with the Fulani in Plateau State, the Hausa in Kano State have over the years, accommodated and lived peacefully with the Igbo, the Kataf in Kaduna State and the Kanuri in Maiduguri have also had age-long histories of accommodating nonnatives in their communities. These were communities that thrived on the strength of association, friendships, and interdependence. Jos once used to be the hub of hospitality in the whole of West Africa. Kano became a great city of commerce because of its association and friendship with people from other places. Kaduna was once a flourishing city known for its intellectual enterprise. All these are no more, and that begs the question: where and when did we get it wrong? Where did we miss the turn? I recall with nostalgia my days as a member of the 1978-1979 National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) set. I served in the old Bauchi State, which is now Bauchi and Gombe States. At the same time, my elder brother, Rowland now Professor of Surgery, was serving in Song in the old Gongola State now Adamawa and Taraba states and his fiancée (now his wife of several years) was also serving in Numan now in Taraba. I also had friends in Bauchi, Gombe, Kano and, of course, Jos. That meant I was perpetually on the move between these cities. The hospitality I experienced was unparalleled. The elder brother of Yayale Ahmed, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Head of Service (HOS), Alhaji Yelwaji Azare of blessed memory, adopted me as his son; and

I was treated as such. A political icon from Cross River State, late Chief I.I Murphy, gave me a note to his political associate, Alhaji Ibrahim Dimis, then a serving senator who also threw his home open to me. I could go there anytime. Not to talk of the person I served directly under in the Nigerian Police, Senator Nuhu Aliyu, who was then an Assistant Commissioner of Police. He retired as Deputy InspectorGeneral of Police and I had the good fortune of becoming his colleague in the 5th and 6th Senates. He made me a member of his household. I lived in a flat on Yakubu Wanka Street, Bauchi with Justice Shehinde Kumuyi, current Chief Judge of Ondo State; Oyewale Akinrinade, who was Majority Leader in the Oyo State House of Assembly during the aborted Fourth Republic and a senior lawyer based in Ibadan and Ibrahim Muktari, the current Secretary to the State Government in Katsina State. Life-long friendships were struck. Our flat had no locks. We travelled everywhere and when we come back everything would be intact. These same Almajiris, who today are being linked to the security problems in the country, were the ones protecting the flat. They ate your cooked food when you travelled but touched no other thing. In fact, they would be the

ones to report themselves to you, good naturedly, that they ate the food because it was getting bad. So where did things go wrong? I do not want to imagine that for whatsoever reasons that Nigeria cannot stand as a country. If we look at it critically, almost every other country in the world is plural just like us. Apart from perhaps the Koreas I know no other country that is completely homogeneous. It is commendable that the Federal Government has taken some measures - most of which military - to arrest the menace of terrorism in the country, but I believe that social therapy will also go a long way in combating the cancer of terrorism which has eaten so deep into our social fabric. For one thing, the situation that we have on our hands now did not come about because of a general collapse of law and order, thus necessitating just the deployment of military strategies to restore normalcy. The situation came about due to a collapse of communal values those values of friendship, interpersonal trust, sanctity of human life and accommodation - that once made us a people. This was the same position held by the late Senator GyangDantong who was consumed by the crises in his senatorial district in Plateau State. Senator Dantong was a fine

Of course, bad governance and corruption are catalytic to the problem. To this end, it is important to stress the point that only a government that is respected by the people and seen to be transparent, can take up this task of social healing

gentleman, and a pillar in the National Assembly. I remember he often harangued about the declaration of states of emergency in some parts of Plateau State, insisting rather that the situation required more of a social solution than military intervention. A social solution to the problem of terrorism in Nigeria will mean that the younger generation especially unlearns certain negative perceptions and prejudices against others and relearn values that unite us. Since we know that a lot of these criminal acts of terrorism are actually being committed by the youths, substantial efforts should be made to re-engineer their mindset to rekindle to those values that enabled communities thrive on plurality. Our diversity can be, and indeed should, be our strength if the political class is creative and honest about the good of all and not just power for the sake of it. What is the benefit of power if it does not create a secure and equitable society where all can equally and fairly compete for resources and opportunities? Of course, bad governance and corruption are catalytic to the problem. To this end, it is important to stress the point that only a government that is respected by the people and seen to be transparent, can take up this task of social healing. Concomitant to this is addressing the issues of poverty and injustice in the midst of plenty. We must make our enormous human and natural endowments work for our people and give them a sense of ownership of government. Until government touches the most vulnerable amongst us, security will remain the challenge of our time. Victor Ndoma-Egba is the senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District and Senate Leader

Interfaith relations: An encounter with Sheikh Yasin By Yushau Shuaib


uring the last Ramadan fast, a text message was widely circulated, inviting members of the public, especially Muslims, to a lecture by renowned African-American Muslim scholar, Shaikh Khalid Yasin on “Peaceful Coexistence among Muslims and Non-Muslims.” Venue was the International Conference Centre, Abuja and ticket was sold for two thousand naira. Though I could not attend due to pressing engagements outside Abuja, reports indicated that the venue was jam-packed by not only Muslims, who paid for their tickets but also Christians who were admitted free of charge. The money raised from ticket sales and donations at the venue was according to the organizers (Muslimah Foundation and Light of the Ummah) were intended for developmental projects to assist the less-privileged. Sheikh Khalid Yasin, who is the leader of Purpose of Life Foundation and Purpose Media Group also visited Lagos and Osun states, where he addressed thousands of faithfuls. Having watched and listened to some of his videos and audio materials, I regretted missing the opportunity of watching live the

charismatic lecturer who believes strongly in religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence among adherents of different faiths and creeds. Providence however, intervened a week later when I had the rare opportunity of meeting Sheik Yasin while on tour of United Arab Emirates (UAE). I had been invited as resource person at a Dubai PR programme organized by Zenith Professional Training. The charismatic speaker was coincidentally also on tour of Sharjah, another town in UAE. One of the facilitators of the PR programme, Abdul Rasheed, who is a friend of Khalid Yasin promised to introduce us. In company of my wife, I was driven to Sharjah to meet Sheik Khalid Yasin. He is not only charismatic, but eloquent and simply humble. We shared a dinner, had breakfast together and attended the naming of a child named after him by one of his fans in Sharjah. We also accompanied him to counsellng sessions with young graduates and some elders. Sheik Yasin is not just a religious scholar; he is a motivational speaker who is very mindful of his topic and his target audience. He is articulate and sincere but careful never to hurt the feelings of his

audience, whether Muslims or nonMuslims. From our close interactions and discussions, one could see an advocate who strongly believes that Muslims and Christians should embrace tolerance and brotherliness saying both faiths are connected. He attributed the communal clashes and sectional attacks in Nigeria to intolerance and vengeance. He said religious zealots from both sides conspired against innocent men, women and children. Anger and vengeance, according to him, have poisoned the air so that all human life and dignity have been marginalized and compromised. He noted that fanatics abound in every facets of life but that leaders and followers must ensure they contain the excesses of such elements through public enlightment, dialogues and economic empowerment. He admonished that where dialogue fails, it could be necessary to identify the extremists among religious followers and expose them for what they are. According to him, Christians and Muslims in Africa were living together in peace and harmony for centuries before the arrival of conspirators and dirty politicians who deliberately created enmity and hatred among people of

different faiths, tribes and regions for their selfish gains. Though a religious leader, it was clear that Sheik Yasin is greatly concerned about happenings in developing countries. He expressed alarmed about insecurity, poverty and disease ravaging some African countries. He talked very passionately about Nigeria’s potentials and greatness through its abundant human and material resources that are not being harnessed. He therefore, called on African leaders to give priority to education, agriculture and industrialization yo galvanize economic development and job security. He urged governments to invest in youth development and make a huge investment in skill acquisition for self-reliance. He also enjoined Muslims to take the advantages of modernization, to take active part in professional training such as engineering, medicine, architecture, law among others in deliberate efforts to be relevant in global politics. Concerned about the crisis in the Arab world, the AfricanAmerican lamented the propensity of western-media to twist their editorial contents to make it appear that the crisis is religious whereas most of the issues are political, tribal

and economic, which have nothing to do with Islam as a religion or Muslims. On information technology, he pointed out that there is nothing wrong with social media if parents and guardians closely monitor their wards against evil and negative influences on some of the platforms. He therefore implored guardians to actively engage the youths on the ethics of society, morality and spirituality. Sheikh Khalid Yasin is an American who, though proud of his nation, expressed reservations about the qualities of some of its leaders. He is an outspoken lecturer on contemporary topics including global politics, youth empowerment, gender issues and economic development in the context of Islam. Born a Christian in New York City, USA, Yasin embraced Islam in 1965 and has dedicated the last thirty-five years of his life debunking misconceptions about Islam and Muslims through diplomatic approaches and respect to the feeling of his audience. Through those tactics, he has won thousands of converts in different nations. He is due to be in Nigeria again to engage youths and women on their potentials. Yushau A. Shuaib is reachable on


By Philips Akpoviri


ave for President Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience, no other serving Nigerian public official, in my reckoning has in the past year attracted more vilification than Dr. Reuben Abati, the president’s spokesman. Petroleum minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduekwe, comes pretty close, but Abati leads the way. There was actually a period not quite long ago, when the name, Reuben Abati, appeared in just about every article published by a Nigerian commentator. That period has since rolled by, but has returned. Returned with a bang! Abati orchestrated the return. He wanted it badly, I guess. Opting against letting disappointed Nigerians manage their despair quietly, only few days ago the spokesman published an essay he titled ‘The President Jonathan They Do Not Know’. In this piece, Dr. Abati made a bold, albeit unconvincing, attempt to launder the president’s image. In fact, it’s to me an unnecessary work, which was destined to attract if anything, more flak than commendations. It did. The president’s spokesman, has through his tactical miscalculation, resurrected the hitherto hibernated grudges against him, and his principal. In soccer, this is akin to an own goal. ( While I will not dwell further on this, I do wish to posit that President Jonathan’s government has though earned some marks in an area or two; it has come disappointingly short of expectations in general considerations. Hence, much to Abati’s frustration, the swift loss


Abati: Sir, you missed the point

of loyalty among the president’s It is a settled fact that Nigerians Today, only few Nigerians know friends on social media – I mean love the EFCC as an institution. the name of the incumbent EFCC the same set of Nigerians he first They wish to see an EFCC that barks Chairman. I do not need a dibia or made his substantive Aso Rock loudly, and then bites mercilessly; babalawo to tell me even fewer residency ambition known to. an EFCC that would guarantee the Nigerians could recognize his I remain in shock that a sights of influential politicians portrait when one is displayed. gargantuan pro-masses advocate of behind bars; an EFCC that would Juxtapose this with a certain Abati’s caliber Nuhu Ribadu, appears to be a loss and a glaring as to the reasons for sign of yet the scathing another vital Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text criticisms the institution president seems to that has since messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written suffer on a regular shed its skin of contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 relevance, basis these days. words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and and is now at The erudite Abati a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed the precipice surely has acted to: of oblivion, true to my flashes at your prophecy in my The Editor, face. July 2011 piece Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, The way which I titled, Dr. 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. things stand, Reuben Abati: It’s Email: let it doesn’t seem Hard to Say a bit that this Goodbye. SMS: 07037756364 u g l y Well, perhaps, downward by stating the reasons as to why people like me become the cornerstone for anti- spin of the EFCC would change remain disappointed with this corruption and prudence in public anytime soon, but if the president administration thus far, the picture service. Nigerians want to see an could reverse this, he surely would would become a bit less blurred EFCC that would recoup trillions of win back some new converts to his Transformation before the former Guardian our stolen common wealth stashed flailing Newspapers top shot. in banks and converted to choice movement. There is yet another Firstly, the government has properties across Nigeria, America, set of Nigerians whom the never failed in advertising its Switzerland, Britain, Dubai, and president has since sidelined, much to his own disfavour. These determination to stem the ugly tide elsewhere. of corruption in the land. President Jonathan met a are fellows who don’t want Boko Seductively worded scripts on the struggling EFCC, an institution Haram to be celebrated nor war against this disease have been fighting to win back the trust of pampered. I, too, belong here. Like read by the president, the vice Nigerians. However, rather than many, I believe that the president president, state governors, reinforce it, this government has the powers, and the ministers, legislators, and just instead seems to be working instrument to adequately contain about everyone connected with the assiduously to hasten its collapse. Boko Haram. The only item amiss government. But, as though Ibrahim Lamorde may not be a is the willpower to do this. Boko Haram was never in the Nigerians are being deliberately weak man per se, but he does considered as irredeemable mumu, definitely need the fortification and stature of Al Qaeda. Boko Haram the more the government speaks, protection of Mr. President to go after was a group of illiterate local with a poor the less the people see. the most powerful ones in the land. outlaws


understanding of the good faith they profess. Unfortunately, this government mismanaged their lawlessness, and in the process handed relevance, and value to a group of unskilled pastime criminals. Granted, every leader has his own strategy and personae but, in this circumstance, I feel right to say that Boko Haram would have since become distant history if we had the likes of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in power. Rather than tame, this government has only succeeded in nurturing a hungry domestic pussycat to become a wild terrifying tiger. I still cannot fathom the motivation behind allowing defense-less Nigerians to continually live in tangible fear, and die cheaply in the one half of the country, no thanks to Boko Haram. Some utterances credited to the president, the defenses of the Minister of Information, the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and the events surrounding the ouster of General Azazi as NSA suggest to many that the characters behind the Boko Haram menace are not ghosts, after all. It appears to a large extent that the government has a healthy dose of information; information that could be harnessed towards a satisfactory solution. Things have gone pretty bad, but if Mr. President could deliver Nigerians from the scourge of the regrettably new improved Boko Haram, he surely would have succeeded in deleting the trending word, “clueless” (as used by Abati in his piece) from the books of quite a lot of Nigerians. Philips Akpoviri is on Facebook

Is the West lusting for Mugabe again? T By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

wo interesting incidents that played out on the international scene recently clearly underlined the profound confusion of values that has crept into Western policies and attitudes towards President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Late in May, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) announced the choice of President Mugabe as the UN Ambassador for Tourism, despite the fact that the international travel ban and other sanctions imposed on him by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU) were yet to be lifted. He was warmly welcomed into the prestigious “leaders of tourism” group with his Zambian counterpart, Michael Sata. At Victoria Falls, on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, where Sata and Mugabe met to sign an agreement with the UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, Mugabe must have been surprised and elated to hear Rifai say this about his own Zimbabwe: “I was told about the wonderful experience and the warm hospitality of this country … By coming here, it is a recognition, an endorsement on the country that it is a safe destination.” Following this May 28, 2012 agreement, Zambia

and Zimbabwe will jointly host the UNWTO general assembly in August 2013. Reactions to this development were prompt and unsparing. Human rights groups across the world and government functionaries in EU countries condemned it in very strong terms, just as Canada immediately announced its decision to withdraw from the UNWTO. But while Canada maintained that Mugabe’s appointment was the key factor that inspired its decision to terminate its membership of the global body, UNWTO stated that Canada had already withdrawn its membership two weeks before Mugabe was invited to join the body. And while the controversy raged, the UNWTO weighed in with a “clarification” that smells and tastes like an after-thought. It denied that it had made Mr. Mugabe a tourism ambassador stressing that the same letter it sent to him was equally “sent to all heads of state and government worldwide and aims to raise awareness of the potential of tourism for development, job creation and economic growth.” Well, no matter what the UNWTO chooses to say it did or did not do, what cannot be denied is that Zimbabwe and Zambia will jointly host the UNWTO general assembly next year, with Mugabe starring prominently and savouring

positive global spotlight. The world was still trying to come to terms with this development, when by mid-July, the media went to town with screaming headlines that the European Union (EU) has announced its intention to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe, some of which were targeted at Mugabe and his inner circle players. The Telegraph (UK) quoted a Foreign Office spokesperson as saying that changing situations in Zimbabwe had compelled the EU to review its position. If the EU expected this gesture to provoke jubilations in Harare, it must have been sorely disappointed. Spokesman for Mugabe’s party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Rugare Gumbo, underlined the party’s suspicion of this move, accusing the EU of harbouring “an agenda to weaken Zanu-PF,” adding rather defiantly that such a move “will not work. We will always get help from the East (Asia).” The party thinks the EU’s real intention is to position itself properly to influence the next election against it. Now, even though Mugabe has a very fashion-conscious wife whose love for designer dresses and jewellery is widely acknowledged, was it not naïve of the UK and the EU to think that the Zimbabwean president must have been having sleepless nights over his inability

to holiday and shop in London or Paris? No doubt, the 88-year-old fox in Harare knows full well that bitterness in the UK towards him is still very deep mainly because of his “land reforms” which had displaced white farmers from their vast farmlands and forced many of them to leave the country. Securely wrapped in his memory, too, is the disastrous fate of his late friend, Muammar Gaddafi, who had allowed himself to be seduced by similar gestures of rapprochement from the West, only to soon realize that it is only the foolish butterfly that hastens to think that by flying like a bird, it has become a bird, instead of a bird’s prey. Indeed, Mugabe knows that the only thing that can assuage the US and EU strong feelings against him is an opportunity to humiliate him out of power, pick him up immediately and parade him helpless, handcuffed and grossly diminished before the world, and then finally liquidate him at The Hague with an overdose of the Charles Taylor treatment. Now digging in and remaining in their trenches have been at a very grave cost to Zimbabwe and its people. Mugabe is a man ruled by fear – the fear of tomorrow; the fear of losing power and the great security and grandeur it provides him. And so, whoever he considers, rightly or

wrongly, as a possible tool in the hands of his enemies (read the US and UK) to bring him down is visited with the worst kind of ruthlessness. Thus, a reign of terror has become the worst nightmare of Zimbabweans, with human right violations reaching an unprecedented height. Whether the situation would still have degenerated so badly, if Western powers were not breathing down his neck in their desperation to achieve a “regime change” and teach Mugabe a lesson of his life, would make an interesting study. But the painful reality is that Zimbabweans have suffered terribly under Mugabe, and his vigorous attempts to explain it away remains exasperating, especially, as it is public knowledge that himself, family and cronies are insulated from the unimaginable suffering Zimbabweans have been through under his watch. In due time, he ought to be called to account, but what many people are not agreed upon is whether that should happen at the International Criminal Court (ICC) sitting at the Hague, which ought to have been named the “Special Court for African Leaders Who Fell Out With the West.” Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye is reachable on



CBN’s currency restructuring: Matters arising By Uddin Ifeanyi


uch of the ensuing conversation since the CBN governor announced plans, a week ago, to restructure the naira has dwelt on the decision to introduce higher denomination banknotes. The cons have largely dominated the discourse. And reading them, you could be forgiven the conclusion that the central bank has once again branched out on a tenuous limb. The main arguments here dissolve into three strands. First, is the concern that a N5,000 note sits oddly with the apex bank’s other pet project: its campaign to reduce the proportion of cash-based domestic financial transactions. Second, opponents of the restructuring wonder to what effect. On balance, it is arguable that previous such restructurings have failed. Five years after the apex bank introduced 50K, N1, and N2 coins the public’s unwillingness to transact in these denominations speak to a deeper problem. And finally, the CBN is charged with an old crime: arbitrariness. Of these plaints, the latter is the By Nasiru Suwaid


am an interested interloper in the expansive realm of global ideological politics. This is perhaps not surprising since I am always fascinated with the short history of Nigeria’s political struggle for independence and the eventual achievement of that goal. The independence movement was never conducted along a clear ideological line. As such, you could easily find a dyed in the wool progressive consorting and conspiring with an archconservative to promote actions and activities that galvanize the populace to seek for freedom from the oppressive shackles of colonialism. Yet still, it has always been drummed unto our ears that the chasm between the different ideologies are a reality never breached. Thus, whenever I cohabit a space with individuals holding such strong ideological beliefs, I always get mystified on the logic of leading such a complicated life. Indeed, of all the ideological groups I have encountered in life, two stand out in their irrational fervour for an argument that confuses a sensible mind. Within the capitalist fold, the Republican Party of the United States of America visibly stands out as one of such group, with the selfrighteous temerity and effrontery to advocate to the poor for their approval, a campaign on the reduction of taxes for the rich, while the other lesser income earners forgo such a profitable grace. The basic idea and argument is that an industrial entrepreneur unencumbered with the burden of perennial heavy payments to the government as revenue source, finds the extra cash at their disposal as a motivational incentive, to further invest on their business organization, thus

easiest to come to terms with. In his August 23, 2012 press briefing, the CBN governor painstakingly detailed the process by which this decision was reached. Up to and including obtaining the president’s approval for the exercise, this process was far from capricious. Besides if it is true that there are unintended downsides from the adoption of polymer substratebased currency notes (especially significant difficulties associated with their processing and destruction) we may cavil at the integrity of the decision-making process that led to the adoption of this technology in February 2007, but would be stretched to hold-out against the decision (today) to correct this shortcoming. There is, in result, plenty of space for the CBN to contemplate a restructuring of the currency without much of the recent hoopla. If for no other reason than to upgrade “the design of the entire existing range of currency denominations in order to enhance the quality and integrity of the bank notes”. However, when the CBN purports to introduce new coinage (“the relevant denominations in this category are N5, N10, N20,

N50, and N1003 ) “due to inflationary pressures” we may be justified the raising of a few eyebrows. Whereas the relevant statute governing the apex bank’s operations includes ensuring “monetary and price stability” as part of the CBN’s “principal objects”, I had never imagined that the structure of the domestic currency was an important tool in the discharge of this assignment. Indeed, it is fair to argue that the high mortality rate of coins in this economy is a symptom of improperly managed domestic prices. It is counter-intuitive to imagine that this proposition reads vice versa. For starters, not too long ago, the Professor Soludo-led CBN introduced bi-metal coins, in part (I guess) hoping that their exotic look will strengthen their staying power in people’s pockets. However, prices moved so far and so fast that no sooner were those coins minted than they acquired a collector’s appeal. Governments at the different tiers spent themselves out of pocket faster than we could extract crude oil from the wells, and the cost of money remained cheap enough to drive strong credit creation even when the rest of the

economy (outside of the financial services, and telecommunication sectors) struggled to shake off a debilitating torpor. With so much (government spend-driven) money persistently chasing fewer goods, the Sanusi Lamido Sanusiled CBN has done much to choke of liquidity in the system, as it tightened the policy rate all through last year. All that effort notwithstanding, the CBN’s challenge, evidently remains the (least-cost) achievement of “our desired goal of a stable financial system”. On December 4 2006, frustrated likewise by monetary policy regimes “characterised largely by liquidity surfeit and the arduous tasks of mopping it up”, Professor Charles Soludo (then governor of the central bank), announced at the Eko Hotel and Suites, a new monetary policy regime. Re-reading his press briefing it looks like the banking industry may have been chasing after its tail in the last decade. The features of the monetary policy regime that worried the CBN then included “highly volatile interbank interest rates and high money market interest rates,

lopsided credit by the banking sector, and crowding out of the private sector by public sector borrowing”. The tools have not changed either. As it was then, “the use of government and Central Bank’s debt instruments to mop up liquidity has become more frequent than ever, while the cost of debt management operations continues to rise to worrisome levels”. Evidently, therefore, the CBN’s decision six years ago to “introduce a new framework for monetary policy implementation in the market place, using the short-term interest rate as its ‘operating target’” may either have run out of steam, or there are environmental conditions that predispose monetary policy to failure here. In case of the former, the task is to finetune policy in a way that finally allows the apex bank to “control the supply of settlement balances of banks and motivate the banking system to target zero balances at the central bank through active inter-bank trading or transfer of balances” with the CBN. The latter possibility does, however, present us with a unique proposition altogether. Uddin Ifeanyi is on Twitter.

creating more production output and greater availability of goods in the society, which ultimately stimulates more trade and commerce, thereby resulting in a more prosperous and wealth national community. Moreover, an entrepreneur uninhibited with excessive returns to revenue authorities, who is able to increase mass industrial output, finds the necessity to employ more workers, creating alternative taxation opportunity through Pay as You Earn (PAYE) and Value Added Tax (VAT) options. But, could a lesser buoyant income earner understand the crux of an argument which entails the miserable poor subsidizing the economist projections on the rich; an expectation that is an extremely hard sell in an ever cynical world, populated mostly by the infamous ninety nine percent poor of the Wall Street occupy movement, who simply do not trust the rich, the policy maker, the politician, administrators and individuals representing the oppressive state apparatus. Unfortunately, that is the burden which lays before the Republican Party; to convince the American people in less than a hundred days, on the reasons why they are a better option than the Democrats in the White House, with the tasking logic even an ideologue would dread to debate. However, it is the other group that takes the trophy for unbelievable impudence in argument, represented by the obstinate dogmatic stance of the Chinese in their sticking to the unfashionable mantra of a communist ideology, when the world community has since consigned its fate and progress to

the dustbin of history, at the altar of the profit driven free market economy. As far as the global community is concerned, the fact about the people is that they are characteristically selfish, always driven to excel by pure greed and the dream of obtaining and attaining wealth, through whichever way that justifies the means. Thus, whenever I see a Chinese who is a strict adherent of the communist ideology at home, exploring the anti-communal opportunities of the decadent capitalist orientation abroad, which depicts of crass primitive accumulation of wealth, the thought which always comes to mind is whether not only me, but even the great Chairman Mao would have found such logic hypocritically confusing. It is upon the premise of such a scenario that the acts and activities of the leadership of two of the foremost labour movements in Nigeria, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers (NUPENG), became an issue, especially in the past two months.

Actually, it is intrinsically connected to the implementation and practical application of another ideological orientation, which is the transformation agenda of the current Nigerian administration that has as its core basis the privatization of unproductive and inefficient government companies, while imbibing the necessary and fundamental behavioural trait of transparency in transaction and interactions between governmental agencies and the private sector. Unfortunately the unions do not like the stated agenda. While there is nothing wrong in a worker’s organization holding a divergent opinion with its employer or even using every legitimate means to seek for the reversal of a policy, which if implemented could cause unnecessary hardship to its membership, the premier electricity workers’ union in the country thinks the only way of safeguarding itself, against the obviously obstinate administrators is to punish the hapless consumer. Thus, whenever a glitch occurs in its negotiation with the government’s team, the hasty threat is to switch off the lights and

punish the general populace for a crime they did not commit. The grand irony though is that this mass organization seeks, courts, and expects the understanding of electrical power hungry Nigerians, in its ideological battle with the collective might of the federal state. After all, it is difficult enough to convince an average person on the evils of privatization, when the operational management of governmental corporations in Nigeria, perpetually equals inefficiency, corruption and system collapse. However, it is the petroleum and natural gas workers union which took the cream off the cherry in such hypocritical thinking, with their last impromptu strike covering only the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which crippled most of the activities within the city and caused an untold amount of hardship on the inhabitants of the government’s seat of power. The declared industrial action was a proactive advocacy effort, to force the authorities to pay the indicted and much maligned fuel subsidy companies their unverified dues, their argument being the failure of the government to honour the contracts sums, indirectly forces such company to lay off workers, which within all logical explanation falls on the purview of diligent labour leadership, who only had the honest interest of its membership at all instance. Surely a Nigerian first, when a benevolent workers union fought the legal battles of some complicit entrepreneurs, including a clarion call for the write-off and renegotiation of their bad loans from the banks. Nasiru Suwaid wrote in from Kano and is on Facebook.

The tyranny of comrades

As far as the global community is concerned, the fact about the people is that they are characteristically selfish, always driven to excel by pure greed and the dream of obtaining and attaining wealth, through whichever way that justifies the means



Gwagwalada residents threaten to stage protest over power failure Adeola Tukuru


he Residents of Old Kutunku district in Gwagwalada area council have threatened to stage a protest in the council, if the unending power failure in the area is not urgently addresses calling on the Chairman of the council, Alhaji Zakari Angulu Dobi and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to intervene in the matter. Some of the residents who spoke to Peoples Daily at the weekend decry the total black out in the area.

NDLEA advised parents to educate their wards against drug abuse

One of them, Mallam Bitrus Alli lamented that they have made several attempts to Gwagwalada Business Unit under the leadership of Dr. Hariyel Balami and that current Business Management Aminu Bello without any improvement. Also another resident in the area , Mr. Adamu Mustapha explained that the problem began when the fence around the transformer that serve Kaida road collapsed, which paved ways for non-staff of PHCN to manipulate supply to the residents. In his words: “Though other parts of Gwagwalada are enjoying relative regular supply of about twelve hours, we hardly get once a month supply which would only last for one or two hours”.

It was gathered that several delegations comprise residents of Kaida road had been led to the Business Unit to make their grievances known to the closest authority of PHCN, but they were promised that the fence would be repaired which as at the time of filling this report remain the way it is. The Business Manager, Bello Aminu had recently told newsmen at the Consumer Consultative Forum organized by the Unit that they were on top of the situation. He noted: “What I understand about the place is that it is a developing area and it is expanding by the day, there are lots of investments done to the place by the area council we have already

requested for transformers and once it is captured in the budget and money is appropriated for the reinforcement of network in the Old Kutunku in terms of improving the wire conductors and transformers, if that is what will solve the problem, we are on top of the situation”. “Meanwhile, there is another transformer mounted along Kaida road over a year ago by the area council which could have served as supplement to boost supply in the area, but it is yet to be fully installed”. The secretary of Gwagwalada Area council, Usman Yahaya when contacted promised that as soon as the contractor handling the installation is paid the balance, the transformer would be fully installed.

By Adeola Tukuru


he Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), FCT command, Denis Obiefule has cautioned Parents to educate their children against the danger of illicit drugs. The Commander in an interview explained that this became necessary as most youths nowadays are more prone to drug addiction. He enjoined parents to endeavor to know the friends their children go out with both in school or at home, noting that the types of errands youths go for some adult should as well be monitored by their parents. Obiefule however regretted that parents don’t mentor the youths in their custodies well, lamenting that there is an increase rate of drug addiction. Speaking on the command’s achievement in the last eight months, Dennis Obiefule said intensive public enlightenments had been embarked on with school sensitization on the danger of illicit drugs and drug addiction. He added that thirty five drug addicts had so far been treated by the command with 21 undergoing treatments in the period under review. Also 21 persons applied and got Visa clearance from The FCT command between February to August of this year. The commander therefore enjoined members of the community to always assist the operatives of NDLEA in the cause of performing their duties.

How safe is this for other road user?

Photo: Joe Oroye

Ex-banker, 43, arraigned for issuing dud cheque


retired banker, Michael Kelikume, 43, was on Friday arraigned before a Karu Chief Magistrates’ Court in the FCT for alleged criminal breach of trust and issuance of dud cheque. Police prosecutor Sgt. Abiola Eyewusi, told the court that the accused of FCDA Estate, Garki 2, Abuja, was also being arraigned for alleged criminal intimidation. Eyewusi said that the complainant, one Otsenye Egyekivenye, reported the case sometime in January at the FCT

Police Command. He said that N5.2 million was entrusted to the accused to do business with on an agreement to refund the money to the complainant on an agreed date. “The accused, however, issued a dud cheque to the complainant and when he went to complain to the accused in company of his two friends, the accused slapped one Nwafoso Onyebuchi and threatened to deal with him if he did not mind his business,” he said. The crime according to Eyewusi,

is punishable and contrary to sections 312, 320, 265, 296 of the Penal Code and section 1 of the Dud Cheque Act. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and his counsel, Mr N.E. Nnaji, applied for bail, saying that his client was a law-abiding citizen and had no previous criminal record. “An accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. The court has the right to grant an accused bail under section 340 of the Criminal Procedure Law,” he argued. (NA)

Jiwa community appeal to AMAC to reconstruct bridge By Stanley Onyekwere


he village head of Jiwa ward under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Alhaji Garba Daudu has called for the urgent intervention by the council’s authority to salvage the community from been caught off from the rest of other communities in the council, due to the worsen condition of bridge linking the only access road in Tungan Madaki, community and other adjoining communities, in Jiwa. The community leader at the weekend expressed worry by the worsening condition of a bridge linking the only access road in Tungan Madaki, community and other adjoining communities, in Jiwa. According to him, the affected bridge which links several other villages near the Nnamdi International Airport and Zuba axis, including the a road believed to be first road constructed in the Federal Capital Territory, which the community claimed served as the only access road to the Airport during the Shagari era, stating that the bridge is at verge collapsing if nothing was done by the council. In his words: “With about population of about one hundred thousand people ranging from students, famers and traders who need the road for mobility to and fro schools and markets in Madala, Zuba and the city centre. Without the bridge movement of people and goods and the people would become near impossible”. According to him, the most recent development on bridge threatening to cut the entire road started sometimes last year when the two edges of the bridge began having a problem orchestrated by a deep gully caused by gradual washing away by outstretched water around the bridge. “Since the administration of Zaphaniah B. Jisalo, we have been writing and sending pictures of the affected parts of the bridge, in attempt to draw the attention of the council to the area, without getting any commensurable response from the past administration; but with coming of new administration, we deemed it fit to raise the issue again”, He explained.

AMAC chair tasks residents on religious tolerance, charity By Stanley Onyekwere


he Chairman of Abuja municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Micah Y. Jiba has stressed the need for residents to always tolerate and support one another, irrespective of their divergent religious beliefs in the society. Jiba, who made this point at the

weekend while fielding questions from pressmen after a brief fellowship with some Christian fateful at an ECWA church, in Gugugu community, Orozo ward of the council, said followers of two major religions in the country; Christianity and Islam should know that both religions are one as they all worship one supreme God. According to the council chair,

both Christian and Muslims fateful residing in the council and other communities in the country, must at all times learn how to respect and tolerate the differences in practicing their religious beliefs in the interest of the collective good of the society. “In my own capacity as the executive chairman of the council, I want to say that this without any apology that the two religions would

continue to gain my support in any where I find myself, because I believe that both religions are worshiping one supreme GOD”, he expressed. The council chair, who pledged to support with a token sum of money, said he was move to contribute his quarter to the progress of the church when he discovered that there are some things they lack to support their activities.

On the issue of dilapidated state of roads leading to the community, Jiba disclosed that the council recently acquired some D7 caterpillars to enable it grade some roads across many rural communities in the council to make them accessible for people to use for the transportation of goods and human movement in and out, thereby opening up these places for development.



Police clamp down on touts in Abuja By Lambert Tyem


rmed Mobile Police Force (MPF) yesterday in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) came down heavily on the activities of touts popularly called Agberos chasing and arresting them at major points of the city. The PMF men, who were armed to the teeth in full uniforms and vests were visibly seen chasing the touts at places like Apo bridge, Areas three, one, Julius Berger junction among others. The touts/Agberos, who usually claims they are of the transport unions in Abuja and therefore prohibit carrying passengers by roadside except their designated parks where the car owner must a union fee. While commuters and vehicle owners, stood aloof hailing the police as they watched the scenario, the Agberos, who appeared to be in a rat race style with the PMF men deserted the

junctions with motorists heaving a sigh of relieved. A private car owner from Karu Abuja by name Mr. Simeon, driving a Toyota Camry said the menace of touts was his major problem in Abuja. A shop owner in UTC area 10, Simeon narrated that he finds it difficult to pick or drop anybody

by any of the Junctions or bus stop in Abuja because the Agberos can either ceased ones key or sometimes remove your seat or plate number to any of their union office. The FCT Police Commissioner, Mr. Aderele Shinaba when contacted on the development said Police resolve to weed off touts

and Agberos, who makes lives unbearable for others is daunting. “Our fight against Agberos or Touts in Abuja is not limited to the city centre. We are extending the war to all the nook and crannies of the FCT especially where these set of human beings constitutes nuisance to others”, the CP noted.

AMMC dislodge illegal traders in Dawaki By Josephine Ella


Committee, STDA commence satellite towns’ cleaning sensitisation programme By Josephine Ella


n a bid to ensure a hygienic environment, the Ministerial Committee on Clean and Green Greater Abuja Initiative and the Satellite Towns Development Agency (STDA) will today begin an advocacy and sensitisation programme for the cleaning and greening of area councils and satellite towns. Peoples Daily recalls that the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, had on August 23, 2012 inaugurated the committee with the mandate of building effective and sustainable enforcement strategies in the cleaning and greening of the satellite towns. The Chairman of the Ministerial Committee and Director of the STDA, Alhaji Tukur Ibrahim Bakori, disclosed on Sunday that the advocacy & sensitisation programme would hold simultaneously in three Area Councils of the FCT – Gwagwalada, Kwali and Abaji. Bakori explained that the sensitisation committee at the area council levels would move in immediately to begin house to house sensitisation of the residents to ensure a clean environment in the area councils and satellite towns. “The Monitoring SubCommittee will this week commence work at the area councils. They are to identify and mark collection centres for refuse dumps by the residents,” he added.

It would be recalled that the Inspector General of Police, MD Abubakar had last month met with National and State Executives of the transport Union and warned them to abide by the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or face hard times as his administration will not condone any act of lawlessness.

Hawking continues in the city, Wuse 2.

Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Man, 31, accused of stealing neighbour’s goat


he police on Friday arraigned one Garzan Yusuf, 31, of Tudun Wada, Mararaba, near Abuja before a Karu Area Court in the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) for stealing a goat. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Inuwa Maigida, told the court that the incident was reported to the police by one Alex Nnamani of the same address at the Aso–Pada Police Station in Mararaba on September 3,

2012. Maigida said that Nnamani reported that he returned from work to discover that his goat was missing, adding that a search revealed that the goat was found tied to a stake in the compound of the accused. Nnamani said that the accused claimed ownership of the goat. Maigida said that the offence of theft contravenes Section 288 of the Penal Code.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The presiding Judge, Albert Maga, granted the accused bail in the sum of N150,000 with one surety in like sum. Maga ordered that the surety must present a national identity card or an international passport and adjourned the case to October 3, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

FCT minister’s wife charges Nigerians to assist the less privilege By Adeola Tukuru


he Wife of the FCT Minister, Hajia Aisha Bala Mohammed has called on well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations in the country to always come to the aid of the needy in the society. Hajia Aisha made the call during the Lecture /Award organised by the National Association of Women Journalists (MAWOJ), FCT chapter at the weekend in Abuja. She noted that her non-

g o v e r n m e n t a l organization,(NGO) ALMuhibba Foundation was specially established for the rehabilitation, reformation and modernization of existing Muslim and Christian burial cemeteries in the FCT. According to her, in the course of carrying out these jobs, she realised that there are people that really need basic support to improve their living standard, hence, she included assistance of the less privileged among her activities. She reiterated that her Foundation within it short

period of existence has also been able to collaborate with the National Directorate of Employment and has trained over 300 women and youth in skill acquisition. Accordingly to her, the foundation has also distributed various economic empowerment items to them. At the event, the FCT Minister’s wife and the Minister’s Senior Special Assistant, Hajia Jamila Tangaza received a ‘Meritorious Service’ and ‘Excellence in Achievement’ awards respectively from the association.

he Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) at the weekend, demolished shanties and the popular ‘Panteka’ in Dawaki village, a settlement in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Addressing journalists after the exercise, the Coordinator of AMMC, Architect Reuben Okoya frowned at the attitude of traders and artisans operating at unauthorised locations with the FCT. He condemned this action, which he noted was an outright violation of the Abuja Master Plan. He said that the council has taken steps to monitor all areas cleared of illegal structures to ensure that those removed from the settlements do not return. To this end, Okoya said that the department of Parks and Recreation of the AMMC has been mandated to fence off the demolished areas to forestall the resurgence of the squatter settlements. Fielding questions from journalists as to where the traders dislodged from the road corridor would now operate, he said that the city could boast of adequate business premises designated for such purposes, urging traders to seek for spaces within such premises. Meanwhile, the affected traders described the demolition as unjust and unfair, adding that it could lead to increase in crime rate in the territory. A food vendor, Urenna Agbai, lamented that the present administration has deprived them of their genuine source of livelihood. ”We are trying to make a living by engaging in a dignified trade; now they have demolished where I try to earn a living lawfully. What do they want me to do? If I decide to take standing on the road, they will say I’m violating the law by prostituting; but they will not allow us do our little business with dignity,” Agbai said. A rod trader in the Panteka, John Aja, said the demolition of business sites of the impoverished was a misplacement of priority by the administration. ”Nigeria has a security situation on ground and instead of seeking ways to tackle it they are busy demolishing people’s place of business which indirectly would contribute to the high rate of crime. They will never learn. The cause of the present security challenge is poverty, yet they are still rendering people poor through demolitions,” he lamented.



1. Young children displaying their God’s given talent in a public function, recently in Garki, Abuja

2. Young girls hawking walnuts, in Area 1, Abuja.

3. A dry cleaner ironing his client’s cloth, in Apo village, Abuja.

4. A tailor taking his service to his clients' doorstep, in Nyanya.


5. Keke NAPEP driver and

friend sleeping in the tricycle, in Garki, Abuja.

Photos: Justin Imo-owo

3 2 4 5






- Pg 20

CIBN to hold 6th annual banking & finance conference

Mob: 08033644990

NNPC takes delivery of seized petroleum products


L-R: Group head, Retail Banking South-South First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs Rosemary Asiegbu, Head, Consumer Banking Products, Mrs Funke Smith, Barrister Lucky-Abbe Felicia, winner of a refrigerator in the First Bank Save and Excel Promo, and Business Development Manager, Port Harcourt North, First bank, Mr Darlington Orlu, during the prize presentation and monthly draws of the First Bank Save and Excel promo, recently in Port Harcourt,Rivers state.

2020: Dangote promises more investments for jobs creation By Aminu Imam


ollowing a recent global survey which declared Nigeria as having the potential to lead the continent in terms of growth by 2020, President of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote has reassured that all his investments would be tailored towards job creation for gainful employment so as to alleviate poverty among the people. Dangote, who is a member of the National Economic Management Team stated in Lagos at the weekend that what Nigerians need most presently is economic empowerment and that is only a working population whether self-employed or engaged could be economically empowered. Speaking against the background of a report on Africa’s growth and job creation by Mckensey Global Institute, which described Africa as the second fastest growing region in the world with decline in poverty, Alhaji Dangote said all hands must be on deck to ensure the dream of Nigeria’s economic turn-around becomes a reality. According to the report titled: “Africa at Work: Job Creation year” published in August by Mckensey and Company, Africa is the second-fastest-growing region in the world with decline in poverty and that the continent is harnessing its natural wealth, and that sectors across the economy are growing rapidly. These sectors are said to be agriculture, manufacturing, and local services such as retail, banking, and transportation and communications, in addition to the natural resources sector, which

was the largest single contributor to growth. It stated: “The three largest oil producers—Algeria, Angola, and Nigeria— earned $1.3 trillion from petroleum exports from 2001 to 2011, compared with $300 billion in the 1990s. However, manufacturing and service sectors remain relatively small, accounting for just one-third of GDP on average. Because the resources sector employs few people, there are large differences in the labour markets across Africa’s oilexporting economies.” Dangote advised that Nigeria should take the advantage of analysis of state of agriculture, manufacturing, and retail and hospitality sectors which suggested that Africa can accelerate employment growth in these sectors, with the potential to create up to 72 million wage-paying jobs across all sectors by 2020 and that capturing this potential would move Africa closer to matching the job-creation trajectory of South Korea and other successful emerging markets. He promised that he would do

all within his power to ensure that any investment he makes is job creation focused and urged other investors to do same for the nation to be where it ought to be 2020. He therefore urged that local investors should complement the efforts of the Federal government at ensuring the success of the economic agenda by delving to manufacturing as one of the means of empowering Nigerians through job creation.

he Lagos state command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) at the weekend handed over 8,270 litres of petroleum products seized from suspected pipeline vandals to NNPC officials. The products were handed over to officials of the NNPC at the NSCDC state Command headquarters at Alausa, Ikeja by the spokesman of the NSCDC, Mr. Sunday Eromosele. The products were seized at Ikorodu and Ijora Water Front on Aug. 14. Handing over the products, Eromosele said that 26 big nylons in sack bags were filled with the products, with each bag containing about 120 litres of petroleum products. He said that other contents of the products were stored in 90

. . . as fuel scarcity looms in Ibadan


undreds of vehicles were on queue to buy f u e l at filling stations in Ibadan, Oyo state at the weekend, raising fears that another fuel scarcity may hit the state in the days ahead. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that motorists struggled to buy fuel at filling stations at Mokola, Agodi, Olomi, Ring Road and Adeoyo areas of the city. An attendant at the Total Filling Station at Iyaganku, Mr. Femi Ogundeji told NAN that the queue was due to panic buying as there was

NTDC set to create database of hotel operators, their employees


he Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has concluded arrangements to create a database of hotel operators and their employees in the country, the South-West Zonal Coordinator of the corporation, Mr. Nasir Kaka has said. Kaka, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the weekend in Lagos, noted that the creation of the

database would enable the corporation to have a complete list of hotel operators in the country and their employees for referral anytime it wanted. He added that the idea was for the NTDC to monitor the operations of both hotel operators and their employees. “The database became imperative following complaints about unacceptable practice by some hotel operators and their employees. (NAN)

Management Tip of the Day


Make your big idea happen

ou’ve landed on what you think is next big, groundbreaking idea. But how can you turn it into a reality? You need other people to adopt your idea. Start by creating a vision and sharing it with others. Put forth a compelling view of what the future could look like

once your idea has been realized. Don’t just pitch this vision — evangelize it and bring early supporters onboard. Attract others by convincing prominent or powerful people to join your calling. Then create a platform — physical or virtual — that allows these

(50)-litre jerry cans and 26 (25)litre jerry cans. The spokesman said that the suspects were still under investigation. The Chief Security Officer of the NNPC Depot, Mr. Festus Awotale, who received the products on behalf of the company, said that he would take the products to slum tanks at Mosimi, near Lagos for laboratory tests. “The products would be ascertained if good enough. After the test, the management would decide what happens to the products,’’ Awotale added. He commended the NSCDC for intercepting the products and watching over NNPC pipelines, urging the Federal Government to give adequate logistics to the NSCDC. (NAN)

supporters to connect and further disseminate your idea. Find ways for people to link up with, work with, and draw strength from each other. This will help build your fan base to gain critical mass. Source: Harvard Business Review

sufficient fuel at every filling station in the city. “I am surprised that people are queuing to buy fuel when there is fuel. We sold petrol yesterday, in spite of the long queue. We are used to the system. “People thought that since fuel was scarce in other states, the situation might be the same in Ibadan,” Ogundeji said. At the Bethel Filling Station at Adeoyo, attendants charged N200 before selling fuel to motorists. The attendants said that the management of the station instructed them to collect N200 before they could sell fuel to motorists. Mr. Temitope Olusegun, who was buying fuel at the station, said that it was cruel for the station to collect N200 from motorists before selling fuel to them. “Corruption is deeprooted in this country. The first day of queue, N200 is collected. What happens if the scarcity of fuel persists?,” Olusegun asked. Efforts to speak with the manager of the station proved abortive as he was said not to be available. Lagos Zonal Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Mr Olayemi Oluleye told NAN that the NNPC stock at Ibadan was low, due to vandalised pipelines. Oluleye said that a pipeline was vandalised recently at Arepo Town, a boundary community between Oyo State and Ogun. “The pipeline caught fire and it is undergoing repairs. It only affects Ibadan deport,” he said. O l u l e y e c a l l e d on government to send security operatives to the area to rescue the situation.(NAN)




Microfinance Banks


aving engaged microfinance banks (MFBs) in Lagos state in series of capacity building, the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), South West Zone, has now moved to other states in the region to integrate micro financing. The states include Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Ekiti, and Ogun. The zone recently embarked on a capacity building in Lagos State, incorporating all the MFBs in the region.



auwei Technologies Nigeria, in collaboration with Visafone, on Friday unveiled a new Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) smartphone into the Nigerian market. Speaking at the launch of the “Ascend C8655” CDMA smartphone in Lagos, Mr David Pan, President of Huawei, said that the new smartphone presented users an excellent device with an unforgettable experience. According to him, Huawei is aware of competition in the industry, hence ýt has loaded the phone with a wide array of features and made it affordable. Chairman of Visafone, Mr. Jim Ovia said that though there were smartphones in the Nigerian market, there might not be quality data access on such handsets.

Jigawa, IITA


he International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the Jigawa state government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to enhance the growth of agricultural sector in the country. The agreement aims to facilitate collaboration between the Jigawa State government and the Institute towards rapidly improving food production, food security, and value addition and marketing of agricultural products in that north eastern state. The Director-General of IITA, Dr. Nteranya Sanginga disclosed that the signing of the MoU further demonstrates the institute’s resolve to work with partners in agricultural development.

First Bank’s Save & Excel promo produces more winners By Abdulwahab Isa


84 winners have emerged from the monthly draw of the ongoing ‘First Bank Save & Excel Promo’ designed to enhance a savings culture in the nation and encourage the unbanked to embrace the financial services system. The draw, which held in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state was monitored and endorsed by Representatives from the National Lottery Regulatory Commission and KPMG Advisory Services.

The breakdown of the winners include: 46 winners of N50,000 cash; 46 winners of LCD Television sets; 46 winners of Home Theatre sets; and 46 winners of chest freezers. Three brand new peugeot 307 cars are up for grabs in addition to other prizes at the quarterly draw which comes up next month. The promo runs till December 2012. According to the Bank’s group head, retail banking, South-South, Mrs. Rosemary Asiegbu, the promo represents the Bank’s commitment to celebrating its customers in

addition to its continuing drive for enhancing service delivery across all touch-points. “At FirstBank we value the relationship we have with our customers and will stop at nothing to delight them through innovative products, financial solutions and reward initiatives,” she said. Asiegbu enjoined the Bank’s customers and the general public to embrace the savings culture, adding that the leading financial institution has an array of products that are specific to the

needs of all classes of customers. Also Speaking, First Bank Head, Consumer Banking Products, Mrs. Funke Smith said “the motive behind the promo is to continue to reward our loyal customers and appreciate their patronage and this is the way to say thank you to the customers that have been with us and continue to enhance our position as the nation’s Number One Bank Brand.” To qualify for the promo, FirstBank customers need to open an account with the bank with the minimum of 30 days for the monthly draw or to deposit N20,000 every month for three months or put in N60,000 and allow for 90 days to qualify for the quarterly draws.

Naira advances for second week against dollar


he Naira advanced against the dollar, heading for its second weekly gain, after inflows into the West African nation’s debt markets. The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer climbed 0.2 percent to 157.64 a dollar as of 1:01 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital, taking its weekly rally to 0.3 percent. The naira has risen 3 percent this year, the best performer in Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Treasury bill yields declined to the lowest in more than three months at a Sept. 5 auction as investors bid for three times the 142.9 billion naira ($905 million) on offer, the central bank said yesterday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said last month that it is considering adding the West

African nation’s debt into its government bond emergingmarket index series. “Strong offshore institutional inflows for naira debt purchases are adding to foreign exchange supply in the interbank market,” Gregory Kronsten, head of economic research at FBN Capital Ltd. in London, wrote in an emailed note today. “This has brought exchange-rate stability for now as sought by” the central bank, he wrote. Nigerian benchmark Bonny Light crude increased 0.7 percent to $114.29 per barrel and has gained 26 percent since a June low this year. The country’s foreign-exchange reserves reached a more than two-year high of $39.2 billion, according to Sept. 3 data compiled by the

Inflation rates from Aug, 2011 to Jul, 2012 Max = 12.9%, Min = 9.3% for period in display. Current Inflation rate = 12.8% Source:CBN

Abuja-based central bank. The yield on Nigeria’s 7 percent domestic bonds due October 2019 fell five basis points to 13.82 percent, according to Thursday’s data on the Financial

Markets Dealers Association website. Yields on the nation’s $500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 rose less than one basis point to 4.87 percent today. (Reuters)

FGN bond market capitalisation up to N4.04tr


GN bonds market capitalisation rose to an alltime high of N4.04 trillion ($25 billion), last week on the back of the fall in yields and spike in bond prices. The highest negative change in yield was recorded by the 10 year benchmark security with 228 basis points (bps), followed by the 5 year benchmark with 187 bps; the least change was seen in the 1 month, with 28 bps. “Consequently, the significant movement in bond prices has provided the tailwind for driving FGN bonds market capitalisation to an all-time high of N4.04 trillion ($25 billion),” said Dunn Loren Merrifield (DLM) bond analysts in a research note. There was also sustained influence of the proposed inclusion of Nigerian government bonds in the JP Morgan GBI-EM index on general market activities. As a result, secondary market trading was largely speculative. The maturity of the 9.50 31Aug-2012 FGN bond worth N46.00

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

billion equally influenced market activities last week. Accordingly, there was continued intra-day volatility across all the actively trading bonds which resulted in a significant increase in prices. “The announcement last month that JP Morgan is to include FGN bonds in its index of local currency government bonds in emerging markets (GBI-EM) will help to deepen the market,” said FBN capital analyst Gregory Kronsten “The main driver of the market on the demand side is the liquidity provided by the monthly disbursement from the federation account to the federal and state governments.”

CIBN to hold 6th annual banking & finance conference


he Coordinating minister of the Economy and Minister for Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, will tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11, declare open the Annual Banking and Finance Conference at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The conference, with the theme “Transformation of the African Economy: Financial Services Industry as Catalyst’’ is organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), in collaboration with Alliance of African Institutes of Bankers and expected to attract participants from across the globe. Four critical issues shall be discussed at the various sessions during the conference and they include but not limited to the following: Embedding E-banking Habits: Prospects and Challenges. Financing the Real Sector: Issues and Resolutions, Corporate Governance Ethics & Professionalism: Raising the Moral Barometre and Fostering an Effective Intra-African Trade: The Way Forward.



T-bill yields fall


ields on Nigeria’s treasury bills fell at its bi-monthly auction, dealers said on Thursday, as they were oversubscribed, particularly by foreign investors, whose strong demand also pushed up the local naira currency . The central bank was due to release the amount it sold at Wednesday’s auction. It had planned to auction 142.97 billion naira, of which 32.9 billion naira was in 91-month bills, 50 billion naira in 182day paper and 60 billion naira in 364-day notes. The bank auctioned the 91day bill at 13.64 percent, the 182-day paper at 13.80 percent and 364-day note at 13.87 percent, dealers said, between

36 and 100 basis points lower than what it had offered at its previous auction last month. Dealers said there was strong demand for Tbills from foreign players, which also pushed the naira up to 157.85 naira to the dollar by 0932 GMT on Thursday, firmer than Wednesday’s close of 158.20. The bank sold 30.65 billion naira in 91-day paper at 14 percent at its last auction, while it auctioned 20 billion naira in 182-day notes at 15.08 percent on August 24. It did not sell 364-day notes at the last auction. Nigeria issues treasury bills regularly to curb money supply, contain inflation and help lenders manage liquidity.

Nestle spends N1.9bn on plant upgrade


estle, one of the world’s leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, with strong presence in Nigeria has said it spent about US$12 million (N1.9 billion) on upgrading its cereal products manufacturing plant in Harare, managing director Kumbirai Katsande revealed, saying after the plant upgrade the firm had more than doubled its production capacity. The plant will be commissioned next Friday. Katsande said most of the funding invested over the last three years had gone into raising capacity in production of infant cereals.

“We have more than doubled production capacity for our popular cereal brands,” he said. “You remember that even during economic difficulties, in all the countries we hold sway, especially Nigeria, Ghana, Nestle remained open. “After the coming of dollarisation we have been able to build on that, but were not able to cope with demand. The fact that we have more than doubled gives us capacity to export as well.” Nestle used to export to regional countries, including Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

SEC, NSE target 700 SMEs for listing From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) are intensifying efforts to get some of the 700 small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the Onitsha and Nnewi business district of Anambra state to list on the exchange. The Director-General of SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh and Chief Executive Officer of NSE,

Mr. Oscar Onyema were at the inauguration of Orient Petroleum Refinery Limited by President Goodluck Jonathan last week, a move which was part of strategies to woo the firms to the capital market. Oteh went a step further by holding meetings with some members of the business community among whom are entrepreneurs as part of a capital market outreach organised by the commission in Anambra state last week.

Oteh was said to have stressed the need for entrepreneurs to access the capital market for long -term funds to finance their businesses instead of depending on other sources of funding that are less cost effective. The SEC boss who confirmed the meetings, emphasised that the capital market provided the best possible opportunity for sourcing medium and long term capital / finance for business expansion.

A source close to NSE, Onitsha branch confirmed that the exchange was already in talks with some of the prospective SMEs, assuring that necessary steps were being taken to ensure they get the needed support to list on the Nigerian bourse. According to the source, the NSE’s decision to review its listing rules was part of efforts to encourage the listing of more firms in the Nigerian capital market.

Stock market records +4.58% gains in week


rading activities on the Nigerian bourse remained optimistic for the third consecutive week as profitable transactions continue to permeate the Exchange amid unrelenting and increased optimism while market closed upbeat in all trading days of the week as rally enters its eleventh session on a stretch. Market sustained uptrend as trading activities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange closed positive for the first session of the week as All-Share Index (ASI) moved up by +0.48% while market outlook remain positive on Tuesday as NSE ASI closes above 24,000 psychological lines, the key indicator further went up by

+0.62%. Market upheld northwards trend on Wednesday as unrelenting bargain activities continued to permeate the bourse while NSE Index firms up by +1.44% amid increased optimism witnessed across board. Similar posture was also recorded on Thursday as the rally enters its tenth session while ASI records +0.84% gain. Conversely, trading activities on Friday closed positive as sentiments remained optimistic. Consequently, the key benchmark index inches up by +1.12% while market closed the week with aggregate gain of +4.58%. Further analysis on

acquiring banks since transaction date showed that the share price of Access Bank Plc has recorded +71.11% gains with FCMB recording -15.38% losses while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with +210.05% gains. However, Sterling Bank Plc recorded -11.81% losses while ETI also closed negative with 5.83% loss recorded. However, the All-Share Index in the week under review inches up by +4.58% to close at24,838.70 as against an upbeat by +1.50% recorded last week to close at 23,750.82. In the same vein, the market capitalization in the week appreciated by N347.05 billion (US$2.13 billion) to close at N7.90 trillion (US$52.69

billion) as against appreciation by N111.80 billion (US$745.34 million) recorded last week to close at N7.56 trillion (US$ 50.38 billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 3.46 billion units valued at N23.99 billion (US$159.90 million) compared with 1.46 billion units valued at N10.14 billion (US$67.59 million) exchanged in 20,322 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved up by +137.42% as against upbeat by +66.28% recorded last week. Weekly value also went up by +136.57% as against positive position of +2.38% recorded last week.




he Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) may alter regulations on trading limits as part of its plans to encourage market making. The bourse is starting its market-making program, in which broker-dealer firms will enter bid and offer prices on specified stocks to improve liquidity, on Sept. 18. Stocks that have market makers assigned to them will have a price bandwidth movement of 10 percent, instead of the current 5 percent, Securities Africa Ltd. said in a note on Friday. “Brokers have been informed of the new limit which is intended to make market making function properly, as widening the price band will enable market makers to recoup investments in stocks, cover risk and remain in business,” David Adonri, chief executive officer of Lagos-based Lambeth Trust and Investment Co., said.



C Rusal, the world largest aluminium producer and parent company of Nigeria’s ALSCON, has made public a long term phased production optimisation programme, targeted at a substitution of lower cost effective smelting capacities with advanced cost competitive ones. The decision, which however did not affect the Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), has sparked off strong protests from its Sual Partners, which owns 15.8 percent stake in Rusal.

Maritime workers


orkers in the maritime sector of the economy under the umbrella of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) are working on plans to secure an operational license from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to float a microfinance bank. The President-General of MWUN, Nted Anthony said that the union was planning a takeoff capital of N40 million and upon commencement of operation, the bank would advance loans to members and small scale business operators for the expansion of their businesses.

Palm oil


Source:Pro-share Nigeria

igeria could be making at least N8 billion annually if it had maintained its market share of palm oil production from what it had in the 1960s, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the minister of agriculture has revealed.


PAGE 23 08028402920

I love Islamic Banking concept, but Sanusi breached due process, Says lawyer

In Brief

CJN flags off new legal year Barrister Godwin Sunday Ogboji is a Public Interest lawyer with over 14 years practice in Wednesday Abuja. He is the lawyer that challenged the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi before a Federal High Court, Abuja for issuing licence for non profit banking in the country. In this interview with Peoples Daily Law, Ogboji bares his mind on what informed his decision to drag the CBN boss to court.

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he CBN recently issued out licence for the setting up of Non Profit banking in the country, what does the non profit banking entails? Non Profit Banking is not specifically captured in the legislation. Looking at the law governing or regulating banking in Nigeria, it is not something that one person will sit down as the governor of Central Bank and come out with the decision to issue licence for non profit banking. It is regulated by Law. The Law that regulates banking business in Nigeria is the BOFIA Act of 2004, that is the Banking and Other Financial Institution Act 2004. What also regulates the Central Bank is the Central Bank Act 2004, which was recently amended by the Central Bank Act of 2007. These are the Laws that regulate banking business in the country. When you come to the BOFIA Act, it talks about the day-to-day banking operation, talks about different types of banking. We don’t have anything like the profit making account, but what we have, as specified in that Law is the profit and loss account and banks that can operate on those bases. We must be careful as lawyers and people in authority, as you cannot on your own bring in concepts or ideas for institutions without first been legislated upon. We must abide with the law. No matter how nice an idea is, it must pass through the proper procedure so that other persons can cue into. There were protests against the decision of the CBN over the non profit banking; you went to court to challenge it, what actually informed that action? irst and foremost why I went to court was because of the way and manner, and the impunity displaced by the CBN Governor. He is a public officer, he did not go there on his own. The CBN is not an emirate council. He is a public officer in an office been created by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and appointed in accordance with the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. When he went there and he said he is coming up with specialised Banking operated under Islamic jurisprudence, that is where I grudges. The point was that, we appreciate that concept, am aware that Islamic Banking is practiced even in UK and America. The


Barrister Godwin Sunday Ogboji point is that the concept is not captured in BOFIA Act. That was my grudge. The CBN Governor had the effrontery to tell Nigerians to go to court that he was doing the right thing. It didn’t take me time, when I flipped through BOFIA Act, I realised that he does not have that power he purport to arrogate to himself. No such power existed anywhere in BOFIA or the Central Bank Act that gives him the power to create a new set of bank without legislation by the National Assembly. That was what informed my going to court to halt the impunity of the CBN Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. What are the specific prayers you took to the court in your suit against the CBN governor over the matter? hank you very much for this opportunity because people misconstrue this as if one has specific problem with Jaiz Bank as an institution, no, we don’t have any problem at all. I love the concept of Islamic Banking, I like it because of the nature of its operation that deals with, not really getting interest from facilities given there, but I keep on insisting and saying that Nigeria is not a lawless society, that due process of the law was not followed. When the CBN governor brought out this very noble concept of wanting to bring banking, based on Islamic jurisprudence, which I applaud, I love it because the concept is good. If you are a genuine business man,


you can easily access funds without any hassle, but he did not go through the normal procedure as it is not captured in BOFIA. You cannot bring up something without something as Lord Dennis says, “you cannot put something on nothing”, because it will definitely collapse. I went to court and asked whether this man has the requisite authorities and powers to come along with this beautiful concept, which he wants to sell the wrong way. We prayed the court to declare whether the CBN and its governor can validly issue any guideline for the regulation of banking operation in respect of non interest financial institution under the principle of Islamic commercial jurisprudence, same, having not been specifically provided by the Bank and Other Financial Institution Act 2004 and the CBN Act 2007. The second issue is whether the CBN governor can validly issue a banking licence to any applicant without complying with the provision of the BOFIA Act 2004 and the CBN Act 2007. More fundamentally is the impunity of Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, he went ahead to licence a bank without a prior approval in writing of the Minister of Finance. He didn’t do that. When he licensed Jaiz Bank, there was no substantive Finance Minister. By then, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala was named as Minister of Finance but was not sworn-in. You will recall that when Okonjo Iweala was appointed Minister of

Finance, she didn’t take up her responsibility as a Minister for over two months. It was during this period that Sanusi capitalised on and abridged the provision of the law. The court upheld that contention that you cannot do it without the Minister’s consent. I didn’t go to Court against Jaiz Bank, not against Islamic bank, but against the impunity of Sanusi because he did not follow the laid down law. Say you want to establish something like Islamic Banking, do your framework. Nigeria is a multi-religious group. Let us not be accused of bias or prejudice and let us not be accused of heating up the polity at any point in time. What you will have to do is to go to the National Assembly and bring out this wonderful idea, the regulation that will come from the National Assembly will be all encompassing that if any person tomorrow also open a Christian bank, a pagan bank or any bank with any type of denomination or area of operation could be captured by law. But now, there is no law backing up this institution that was my grudge. What do you stand to gain as an individual now that the court granted your prayers? he most important thing is that impunity was called to order, in the sense that the court held that Sanusi does not have the power to do what he did. Even though the Judge, in his wisdom held that I have no locus standi, because of that, he will not annul. He said it clearly, had it been, in his opinion that I had a locus standi, he would have nullified what Sanusi did. Because the court said I don’t have a locus standi, he then directed the person in the court’s wisdom and opinion had the locus standi, who is the Attorney General of the Federal to take appropriate action. It is not a new phenomenon. Before now, we have seen when Soludo came about his policy of re-designing the naira currencies, bringing it down-ward, the Attorney General of the Federation brought out BOFIA and requisite laws and said, this one is wrong, and it was annulled. Same thing could be done and applied here too. Nobody is against the promulgation or coming into existence of Islamic banking, but it must be done within the framework of the law. Why is Sanusi afraid of passing this laudable concept to the National Assembly for promulgation into law? Why is he afraid of that? That is my contention.


Stories By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mariam Muktar, will on Wednesday flag off the 2012/2013 legal year just as she would also swear-in new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Information of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Mr. Festus Awneri Akande said the occasion will take place at the main auditorium of the Supreme Court. According to Akande, “the recess marking the end of the current legal year 2011/2012 which commenced on Monday 16th July, 2011 is expected to terminate on Sunday 9th September, 2012. Meanwhile, the special valedictory court session in honour of the retired Hon. Justice Francis Fedode Tabai will hold on Thursday 13th September, 2012 at 10 am at the same venue.

…Swears in new SANs


he Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Alloma Mukhtar will Wedenesday September 12, 2012 swear-in 25 newly appointed Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). It would be recalled that Human Rights Activist Femi Falana, Lawyer to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Rotimi Jacobs and 23 other Lawyers were on June 12th named as Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) by the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC). Addressing a press conference in Abuja the Chef Registrar of the Supreme Court and Secretary of the LPPC Sunday Olorundahunsi stated that out of the 25 new Senior Advocates of Nigeria two are from the academics while the rest are regal practitioners.

Lagos judiciary begins new legal year next week From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Phillips will next week visit the Kirikiri Medium and Maximum prisons, Apapa, to free some inmates of the prison who are qualified to be released under the relevant laws of the state. The gesture is part of a weeklong activity marking the commencement of the year 2012/ 2013 Legal Year which begins on September 17, 2012. A statement by the Lagos High Court Chief Registrar, Ganiyu Safari said the programme will start with a Church and Mosque service on September 17, 2012 at the Cathedral Church, Marina and the Central Mosque, Lagos respectively. The CJ will thereafter proceed to the High Court to inspect a parade of guards by the Nigerian Police.




Why public health care delivery in FCT is poor, explains Dr. Mohammed It was to make health care services available to rural dwellers in the territory that the FCT Primary Health Care Development Board was established in 2010. The strategy was to revitalise all primary health facilities in the nation’s capital. In this interview with Josephine Ella and A’isha Biola Raji, the pioneer Executive Secretary of the board, Dr. Rilwan Mohammed, himself a public health physician, speaks on the journey so far, particularly challenges of primary health care delivery. Excerpts:


hat is your overview of the journey

so far? When we came on board we decided that we needed to know what and

Dr. Rilwan Mohammed

what we were; we carried out an inventory of infrastructure for primary health care delivery in the FCT. That took us to all the primary health care centres in the

area councils. We found out that there were 216 primary health care centres but only 33 were functional, and some had one medical personnel. I couldn’t see any magic

that only one member of staff could perform. That is the reason why we have low turnout of patients in the primary health care centres. Instead they are moving in large numbers

to general hospitals in the territory especially those at Maitama, Asokoro, Wuse and other secondary and tertiary health care facilities like National Hospital and

Abuja University Teaching Hospital because primary health care centres are not working. Let me state that Nigeria’s health care policy is based on primary health care delivery in rural area where 70 per cent of the populace is living. We need to make sure that we capture them over there. If primary health care centres are working, we will be able to reduce the burden of secondary health care. From our survey, we found out that we have 1, 384 health workers as against the 4,892 benchmark set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and we are supposed to have 280 primary health care centres but we have only 216 in the FCT, out of which only 33 are functional. It is to redress this imbalance that the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, has set up the board to revitalise the primary health care. After ascertaining where we were, we then moved on to plan where we wanted to go. What are the board’s strategies towards revitalization? We’ve decided to carry out a five-year strategic plan of action, from 2011 to 2015. With that strategic plan of action, we have started our activities in earnest. We have our budget line. We have carried out some activities with all the chairmen of the area councils to solicit for their cooperation and support. The reason is because all primary health centres are in the area councils. If we don’t have

their support we cannot carry out our activities. We are sensitizing them on the need to take care of the primary health care centres under their jurisdiction and we are trying to take over the primary health care centres gradually. We’ve also paid courtesy calls on our traditional rulers, religious leaders to bring them together. What effort are you making in the area of community mobilization? We have carried out activities on nutrition, family planning particularly, during our Maternal Newborn Child Health Care Week in July and November; another one is coming up soon. It is usually to mobilize the communities to take care of their health through hand washing, family planning, child health care, b i rth regi st ratio n . It is an integrated health care approach. We distributed free drugs, malaria insecticides, treated nets and we gave lecture on the need to use them and lecture on HIV/AIDS and other health related topics. Along the line, the FCT minister established and inaugurated the board members this year, under the chairmanship of Altine Kajiji, with 13 other members. All the area council chairmen are members of the board. We also have representatives of private organizations, private health care centres. The board is the policy making body in primary health care; they are to make sure all

the primary health care centres are functional, they carry out supervisory functions and bring out some policies that will guide primary health care activities in the FCT. What would you say about polio in the FCT? We had one case of polio in November 2010 and even the polio case was a migrant from a neighbouring state. We are not keeping quiet in the FCT. We want to inform the public that immunisation is important because prevention is easier than cure. The FCT is the centre of the nation, so people come and go everyday because of insecurity and instability in some parts of the north. They are bringing polio back, so we are doing immunisation every time to make sure we prevent any possible case. We are going to hold a Local Immunisation Day which the Nigerian First Lady, Patience Jonathan herself, will flag off this month (September). This

will give us high political support. We are not waiting for the Immunisation Plus Day (IPD) because the FCT is very close to high risk states like Niger, Nasarawa and Kaduna; we have to be very careful. A polio task force was inaugurated by the FCT minister earlier this year of which the Minister of State Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide is the chairman and the Health Secretary, area council chairmen are members as well as traditional rulers. There are about 33 members of the task force and we are mandated to ask all the area councils to set up their task forces; we don’t want to take any chance. What support do you get from partners for your health programmes? We have a lot of support from the FCT minister who gave us N53 million for our programmes, N20 million for the first quarter and now we have asked for N33 million for the second quarter for

The only problem we have now is the issue of staffing. We have an acute shortage of personnel to man those primary health care facilities. We plan to recruit but the FCT administration has not given us the approval because of the high cost of personnel payments in the FCT. We are still hoping that this year we will get the approval to employ more staff that will man these centres

our polio eradication activity. We carry out a lot of activities in nutrition, supported by the United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) in the area of nutrition supplements and family planning materials. Also, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDFA) gives us support in training of our midwives, renovation of 12 primary health care centres and this year they want to renovate 9. We also have support from the MDGs Office in the Presidency. They are constructing 30 primary health care centres. They have done 12 now out of the 30. As they are building, they are equipping and we are very happy about that. What are the challenges ahead of the board? The only problem we have now is the issue of staffing. We have an acute shortage of personnel to man those primary health care facilities. We plan to recruit but the FCT administration has not given us the approval because of the high cost of personnel payments in the FCT. We are still hoping that this year we will get the approval to employ more staff that will man these centres. In this year’s budget we have about 18 that we are going to renovate; we want to renovate about three laboratories in these primary care centres so that we will be able to get the staff and five new primary health care centres are going to

Dr. Rilwan Mohammed

be set up, so we need more staff. We are also problem in the area of acceptance by the local government councils. We are trying our best but we are not getting financial support from the area councils. They are supposed to pick up bills, put staff in all the primary health care centres because they are under them. They are supposed to give us money to carry out these activities. Another thing that is giving us problem is the issue of legitimacy. The bill that establishes the board is part of the National Health Bill which has its own problem. The two Houses of the National Assembly have passed the bill but up till now we are waiting for the assent of Mr. President. If the bill is passed it will give us the legitimacy to carry out our activities based on the approval of the FCT Executive Council.



The gains of Jonathan’s diplomacy ANALYSIS By Reuben Abati


he gains of President Jonathan’s diplomacy are often overshadowed by misrepresentations of the size of his delegation, ignorance about the value of his foreign travels, and the positives of his constant engagement with the international community. I have had cause on more than one occasion to expose the lie about published figures about the size of his delegations. I intend to deal here with what is overlooked. Given the damage that the Nigerian interest suffered a few years ago, the same interest needed to be clarified and strengthened. We are living witnesses to that short, critical, phase in Nigeria’s foreign relations when the country failed to show up at important international meetings, lost many positions in multilateral associations, forsook obligations, and found itself in a situation where many of our allies started wondering what had gone wrong with Nigeria. President Jonathan has brought the muchneeded change in this arena, and has launched an operational framework for Nigerian diplomacy, which continues to strengthen the place of Nigeria in the world. In 2010, as Acting President, he embarked on a number of diplomatic shuttles, as part of a deliberate attempt to reassure the world that Nigeria was well and secure despite the trauma of succession that it had just experienced and the divisive politics of zoning that threatened to scuttle the country’s political transition. Many may have forgotten, selective amnesia being a dangerous national malaise, that President Jonathan’s statesmanship, his humility, and the maturity that he displayed during that momentous season proved to be a strong stabilizing influence on a nervous Nigerian community. He had promised that Nigeria’s next general elections to be conducted under his watch, in 2011, even with him as a contestant, will be free and fair, and that nobody’s blood was worth being shed for him to win an election. That promise was kept. The elections were not only free and fair, they were adjudged the best ever in Nigeria’s modern history. The achievement was not merely one of legitimacy; the applause from the international community was redemptive. Nigeria, at that point, almost a typical case study of the challenges of democratic consolidation, became yet another success story. President Jonathan has since taken many steps further to build on this. One of the very early steps was a four-day, August 2011, seminar on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Process, with inputs from

President Goodluck Jonathan the Presidential Advisory Committee on Foreign Affairs led by Chief Emeka Anyaoku. The seminar and the foreign policy experts, recommended, inter alia, a robust diplomacy, driven by Nigeria’s economic interests. This accent on self-interest had shown up during the Obasanjo years. It reflected an increasing awareness that Nigeria’s foreign policy should not be driven by the vainglory of being a certain brother’s keeper, or the Father Christmas pretensions that dominated it for years, rather, hard-headed pragmatism. The world had changed a lot since Nigeria distributed its oil wealth to other countries and asked for nothing in return. The new strategy called for partnership, mutual respect, enhanced and innovative diplomacy, and constructive exchange. In this context, President Jonathan leads a foreign policy process that has been fruitful and meaningful, and properly linked to domestic policy. His foreign travels fall into three categories: state visits (formal state to state activity), courtesy visits (attendance at ceremonies, burials, inaugurations) and working visits (trips to attend multilateral, bilateral and regional meetings). Each of these visits is official, the ultimate gainer is Nigeria, and it is well worth noting that since his assumption of office, President Jonathan has not gone on any unofficial or private trip abroad. It is a trite point that a strong foreign policy process, one which involves constant interaction and openness brings a country much goodwill, promotes understanding and strengthens the country’s friendship with other countries. Closed countries are often treated with suspicion; their leaders are subjects of mystery. President Jonathan

has worked very actively in the last two years to promote Brand Nigeria. His foreign travels are usually, carefully chosen. He has equally played host to Heads of State and Governments and delegations from around the world including high profile visits by Britain’s David Cameron, Germany’s Angela Merkel, and US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. On all of these occasions, Nigeria’s interest is strategically promoted. The President is accompanied on each of his trips by members of the National Assembly and Ministers who attend the relevant meetings and make necessary inputs for follow up action. Trade and investment always tops the agenda. The President personally leads the campaign of inviting investors to set up industries in Nigeria, and produce locally if they wish to take advantage of Nigeria’s huge market potential. Interestingly, Nigeria’s domestic security challenges have not proved to be a disincentive. Foreign Direct Investment generated in the last year alone according to UNCTAD’s 2012 Investment Report was $8.9

billion making Nigeria No 1 in Africa and a top quartile investment destination in the world. During a recent trip to Rio, Brazil, Nigeria signed an MOU with Electrobras to invest in the generation of 10, 000 MW; since then, there have been subsequent visits to Nigeria by Brazilian investors interested in infrastructure, food and beverages and consumer items. In October 2011, when President Jonathan met with the Australian investment community in Perth, on the sidelines of CHOGM, the Australia-Nigeria Trade and Investment Council (ANTIC) was established to facilitate the flow of investments into agriculture, mining and the petrochemicals sector. Australian Council members have since visited Nigeria, and there is an agreement in place to provide technical support for the local mining sector. In April 2012, the President, in the course of an official visit to Germany, got Siemens to commit to investment in power generation, and turbine maintenance and repair in Nigeria. Generally, there has been massive support from

President Jonathan never fails to acknowledge the importance of Nigerians abroad and the invaluable resource that they represent. To prove the point, many members of his government were sourced from the Diaspora

governments and investors for the President’s policies and strong interest to invest in the country. The corollary to this is the search for opportunities for Nigerian investors in foreign markets. The President often times travels with Nigerian businessmen who are looking for in-roads into foreign markets: the Nigerian private sector is involved in banking and insurance in Rwanda and other parts of Africa (Access Bank, IGI, GTBank), in manufacturing in Ethiopia, and Southern Africa (the Dangote Group, LUBCON) and so on. Such investors often require the support of the Nigerian government, which has been readily and consistently provided by the Jonathan administration. The class of Nigerians who have probably benefitted most or who stand to do so, would be the Nigerians in Diaspora. Wherever President Jonathan goes in the world, he insists on the local embassy organizing a meeting with the Nigerians in the country. He likes to exchange views with them, find out how they are faring and even ask them to raise issues they may want him to take up with the host country. Such issues usually range from immigration to Nigerian issues, particularly absentee voting, and in one instance, request for the airlifting at Government expense of Nigerians who are willing to return to home, but cannot afford to do so. President Jonathan never fails to acknowledge the importance of Nigerians abroad and the invaluable resource that they represent. To prove the point, many members of his government were sourced from the Diaspora. The Jonathan administration has always had cause to defend the interest of distressed Nigerians in diaspora in pursuit of citizen diplomacy, famously the evacuation of distressed Nigerians from Libya (more than 2,000 between March and November 2011) and Egypt (more than 1, 000 in January 2012). It continues to engage with several development partners to ensure managed migration in the overall interests of all sides, including Nigerians. The fifth Nigeria/EU dialogue on Migration and Development was held in Abuja in January 2012. Thus, the welfare of Nigerians in their relations with other countries has also been given the top most priority. Government has stood up to all countries in upholding the principle of reciprocity and by insisting that Nigerians be treated fairly. Multilateral institutions usually have vacancies to be filled by nationals from all over the world. Even when the positions are rotated on a regional basis, the relevant countries still have to compete for such Continued on page 34



UN welcomes resignation of Guinea’s electoral commission president


Egypt and Israel ‘cooperate’ in Sinai


gypt and Israel are coordinating on Cairo’s biggest security sweep in decades against fighters in Sinai, an army spokesperson said in the first clear statement on communication between the neighbours. Colonel Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed Ali told a news conference in Cairo on Saturday that 32 “criminal elements” were killed and 38 suspects arrested, including non-Egyptians, during the operation which began on August 7. “Egypt is coordinating with the Israeli side over the presence of Egyptian armed forces in Sinai. They know this,” he said. “The deployment of the armed forces on all the territory of Sinai is not a violation of the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.” An Israeli diplomatic source, who asked not to be identified, confirmed Ali’s comments and told the AP news agency there was a “fluid dialogue between Israel and Egypt”. “The operation will continue until its goals have been achieved ... These are not just military goals but also developmental goals for the Sinai,” Ali said. The sweep began after fighters killed 16 border guards on August 5 in the worst attack since Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel. Ali said the operation “will continue until its goals have been achieved ... These are not just military goals but also developmental goals for Sinai”. Bedouin tribes in the area have long complained of neglect by the central government. Hundreds of troops with tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters were sent to Sinai in a joint operation with police to raid hideouts, arrest suspects and seize weapons. The Egyptian military is replacing some of its heavy tanks in Sinai with light armoured vehicles, security sources said this week. Ali rejected the idea Egypt was pulling out its heavy equipment in response to pressure from Israel. He said the operation was entering a new phase that required different equipment.

President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt

he UN envoy for West Africa, Said Djinnit, has welcomed the resignation of the President of Guinea’s National Independent Election Commission (CENI), Louceny Camara. Djinnit, who is the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the subregion, said on Friday that the resignation was crucial in resolving the country’s on-going political impasse. In a statement by the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Djinnit said Camara’s declared intention to step down was an important step in paving the way towards a new round of legislative elections. “I encourage all parties to build on the momentum and engage constructively in discussions on the re-composition of the electoral commission. “I also encourage the Guinean stakeholders to reach a compromise on the technical arrangements for the holding of the legislative polls,’’ he said. Guinea had been affected by political tumult since Capt. Moussa Camara seized power in a coup in 2008, following the death of long-time president Lansana Conte. In November 2010, the election of Alpha Conde as

President was the final stage of an interim government’s efforts to set the stage for democracy in the country. According to media reports,

Camara’s resignation followed accusations by Guinean political stakeholders that the electoral commission chief was using his office as a pretext to delay the

elections. UNOWA reiterated the UN’s commitment to providing assistance in preparing and holding the elections.(NAN)

R-L: President Goodluck Jonathan, visiting Liberian President Helen Johnson-Sirleaf, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Professor Viola Owunliri, at the presidential wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, last Friday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

SA miners ‘killed while trying to surrender’


l Jazeera has learned that some of the South African miners who were shot dead at the Marikana mine last month may have been trying to surrender. At least 34 men died when police opened fire on striking workers at the platinum mine, 100km north of Johannesburg. A key human rights organisation in South Africa launched an independent investigation into the police shootings on Sunday. The Legal Resource Centre (LRC) said that it had obtained multiple witness testimonies that blame police brutality for the killings of strikers who were calling for pay raises. Some witnesses have said that police shot protesters who were either trying to escape confrontations with police by hiding behind rocks, or while surrendering to authorities. The LRC also said it has forensic evidence that suggests a police cover-up of the killings. Police opened fire on a crowd of miners engaged in a strike at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana on August 16. Video showed a densely packed crowd of miners, some armed with clubs and machetes, approaching heavily armed police, who claimed self-defence in the shooting. The incident was the climax of an escalating stand-off between rival unions that had already killed 10 people, including two police officers. Government officials and

police officers have repeatedly rejected Al Jazeera’s request to comment on the allegations, saying they would not speculate until a judicial inquiry into the incident was complete. Danny Titus, a representative of the South African Human Rights Commission, told Al Jazeera that the organisation was very concerned with allegations of human rights violations. “We are really concerned about the allegations coming from the miners, really giving us so much detail about what really happened,” he said. Titus added that if the allegations were proven to be true, it would suggest that the workers were shot “out of vengeance”. “There was not a crowdcontrol approach [by police]. These police already went before parliament to explain themselves, and one of the first kind of defences they put forward was the fact they did not have training in crowd-control very high in their priority, which is very strange.” “And beyond that there are further allegations of torture [of striking miners].” Meanwhile, striking mine workers say they will not return to work until their demand for more pay is met, the leader of a key union said. Workers are facing a Monday deadline to return to the Lonmin PLC mines, paralysed by a fourweek strike that has sent company shares plummeting, raised world

platinum prices and stoked worries of labour unrest spreading through the mining sector of Africa’s largest economy. “When the employer is prepared to make an offer on the table, we shall make ourselves available,” Joseph Mathunjwa, president of Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), told a news conference on Friday. Mathunjwa was responding to his union’s decision not to sign a “peace accord” with its rival National Union of Mines (NUM) and the mine’s management on Thursday. While AMCU says it represents about 7,000 workers, Mathunjwa, told reporters that he supported the workers but could not speak on their behalf, according to local media reports. Negotiations on the wage demand will begin on Monday. Gideon du Plessis, general secretary of Solidarity,

one of the unions that have signed the accord, said that all parties involved, including AMCU and representatives of the striking workers, have been invited to the negotiations. “Solidarity now appeals to the striking workers to comply with the requirements for the negotiations, namely to lay down their arms and to return to work by Monday, so that their demand could be addressed.” On Friday, Lonmin said two per cent of shift workers reported to their posts. Miners have said they have been threatened by striking miners with death if they go back into the shafts. About 3,000, mostly rock drill operators, of Lonmin’s 28,000 South African workforce walked off their jobs. They were demanding a monthly base pay of 12,500 rand ($1,500), which is double current wages, an amount analysts said the financially strapped company cannot afford.

Mali army kill 16 at Segou checkpoint in Diabali


he army in Mali says it has shot dead 16 people after their vehicle failed to stop at a checkpoint in the town of Diabali in the central Segou region. At least some of the dead are believed to be Islamic preachers from the conservative Dawa sect and included Mauritanians as well as Malians. They were travelling to a

conference in the capital, Bamako. Northern Mali is now controlled by Islamist militants, following a military coup in March. Correspondents say the army may have mistaken the preachers for Islamist fighters. The Dawa sect originated in Pakistan and first spread to Mali in the 1990s.


Asia and Middle East


raq’s fugitive vice-president Tariq al-Hashemi has been sentenced to death in absentia after a court found him guilty of running death squads. The court ruling came as at least 45 people were killed in a wave of about 24 attacks across Iraq. Hashemi was the most senior Sunni Muslim in the


Iraq VP Tariq al-Hashemi sentenced to death predominantly Shia Iraqi government until he was charged last December and went on the run. The charges against him sparked a political crisis in Iraq. Other Sunni politicians

denounced Shia Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki - who issued the warrant for Mr Hashemi - as a dictator, accusing him of deliberate provocation that risked plunging the country back into sectarian conflict.

Correspondents say the fragile government coalition between Sunnis, secularists and Shia has seemed in danger of collapse ever since. Sunni insurgents linked to alQaeda have been blamed for much of the recent violence in Iraq. The Iraqi government issued the warrant for Hashemi’s arrest on 19 December 2011, the day after the last US troops left the country. He fled first to the largely autonomous Kurdish north of the country, and from there to Qatar

and on to Turkey. Prosecutors said Hashemi was involved in 150 killings. During his trial in absentia in Baghdad, some of his former bodyguards said Mr Hashemi had ordered murders. He says the charges against him are politically motivated and has accused PM Maliki of fuelling sectarianism. On Sunday, an Iraqi court found Hashemi and his son-in-law guilty of two murders and sentenced him to death by hanging. The judge dismissed a third charge for lack of evidence.

Landslides and floods kill dozens in Vietnam


Tariq al-Hashemi is now in Turkey, where he has held meetings with Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish politicians.

andslides and floods in Vietnam have killed at least 29 people in recent days as heavy rain soaks northern and central areas, state media and the government said. More rain was forecast to strike the flood-hit Nghe An province and authorities were removing people from dangerous areas, the government said on Saturday. In one incident, 16 people were killed in landslides while they were going to tin mine on Friday in the mountainous northern province of Yen Bai. Another person died in hospital, the Defence Ministry-run People’s Army newspaper said. The affected provinces are far from the Central Highlands coffee

belt. Rice production in the Mekong Delta is also not affected. Vietnam is the world’s second largest coffee producer and comes second after Thailand in rice exports. Vietnam, parts of which are densely populated and low-lying, is regularly battered by heavy weather and floods during the rainy season. An average of 430 people were killed each year by natural disasters between 2007-2011 in Vietnam, with property losses estimated at 1 per cent of gross domestic product, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung told a conference on food security and climate change in Hanoi on Thursday.

Scores killed in China earthquakes


At least 44 people killed in several explosions across Iraq, including a car bomb outside a French consular building.

Government forces said they have pushed rebels out of the Hanano military base in Aleppo [Reuters]

t least 89 people have been killed and 20,000 homes damaged by a series of earthquakes, one measuring 5.7 in magnitude, in southwestern China. The largest of the quakes struck the border between Yunnan and Guizhou provinces at about 11:00am local time (03:00 GMT) on Friday. The state-run Xinhua news agency said the earthquake hit the border area of Yiliang county of Yunnan and Weining county of Guizhou. By mid-afternoon, authorities had moved more than 100,000 from the area as a series of more than 60 aftershocks struck. Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, visited an affected area on Saturday and met some of the evacuees. Zhang Junwei, a spokesperson from the Yunnan seismological bureau, said that the deaths all occurred in Yiliang, and that another 150 people were hurt. The main quake, which occurred at a depth of 14km, was followed by a series of aftershocks, the China Earthquake Networks Centre said. The earthquake was also felt in neighbouring Sichuan province. Xinhua said the provincial government had sent work teams to the quake-hit area and the civil affairs department was shipping

thousands of tents, blankets and coats to the area. Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas, reporting from Hong Kong, said that the military had been deployed to conduct search and rescue operations in the area. The US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the largest quake at 5.6 and said it struck at a depth of 10km. Footage from state broadcaster CCTV showed boulder-covered roadways, abandoned cars and black smoke pouring from buildings. “The hardest part of the rescue now is traffic. Roads are blocked and rescuers have to climb the mountains to reach hard-hit villages,” Xinhua quoted Li Fuchun, an official from Luozehe, the town at the epicentre of the quake, as saying. The death toll may rise as rescuers reach villages cut off by landslides, the news agency said. Local residents described how people ran out of buildings screaming as the quake hit. “I was walking on the street when I suddenly felt the ground shaking beneath me. People started rushing outside screaming, it still scares me to think of it now,” posted one on Sina Weibo, a microblogging service similar to Twitter.


Europe and Americas


ewish and Muslim organisations have staged a joint protest in the German capital Berlin over a regional court’s ruling that the circumcision of young boys constituted bodily harm. The protest was prompted by the news that a rabbi in Bavaria was being investigated over the practice. The ruling on circumcision was handed down by a court in Cologne in June. However, the German government has since announced it will legislate to explicitly legalise the practice. About a thousand people joined the protest to hear speeches from the chief rabbi of Berlin and other religious leaders.


Germany Jews and Muslims protest at circumcision ruling “I’m here to stand for the freedom of religious rights,” protester FereshtaLudin told the BBC. The court in Cologne had declared that the ritual circumcision of a Muslim boy, in accordance with his parents’ faith, had caused the child bodily harm. The German Medical Association then told doctors across the country to stop performing the procedure. Both Jews and Muslims feel that, whatever the court intended, the ruling will be used as a way of attacking their religions, the BBC’s Stephen Evans in Berlin reports. On Wednesday, the state

The issue has united Germany's Jewish and Muslim organisations government in Berlin announced that circumcision was legal there, as long as it was

properly carried out. The federal government, perhaps in response to

international condemnation, has also said it wants to legalise the procedure explicitly, our correspondent adds. There has also been renewed debate over the practice in the US, one of the countries where it is most prevalent. Last month, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a review of scientific evidence on the circumcision, saying that “the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks of the procedure”. However, the AAP added it did not recommend it for all newborn boys, saying the decision was best left to parents, in consultation with doctors.

Colombia’s Santos believes peace is possible


olombia’s president says he will not lower his guard against the country’s main rebel group, but he believes a peace deal is possible if there is “goodwill” on both sides. “If there is goodwill from both parts, we will reach an agreement much sooner than people expect,” Juan Manuel Santos told Al Jazeera on Saturday, as peace talks between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), aimed at ending half a century of war between the two sides, is set to kick off next month.

“I think the fundamental issues that are on the table, that we agreed to discuss and agree on in order to finalise the conflict, are not that difficult,” the president said in his first extensive interview with an international network. Santos said he remained sceptical about FARC’s motives, and that the Colombian military and police had been instructed to intensify their offensive against the rebels as they entered the “last track of this conflict” and could not afford to lower their guard. He said a fundamental issue

in the negotiations would be about balancing peace with justice, by finding ways to reintegrate FARC members into society while also seeing to it that those who committed crimes be punished accordingly. He also guaranteed the safety of rebels who stop fighting. In the past, rebels who had laid down their arms were killed by government-backed death squads. “This will not happen from the state,” Santos said. “I will protect the process from everything I have in my hands. And when I say sit down and I

give you guarantees, I will comply.” On Friday, FARC said it would still engage in peace talks with Colombia’s government in the Norwegian capital next month, despite Santos rejecting a ceasefire proposal from the group a day before. In an interview with The Associated Press, Marco Leon Calarca, a FARC spokesman, said the discussions could continue without a truce. “No, we are not saying that if there is no ceasefire then we will not begin ... We are simply calling for sanity by saying that

if we are going to talk, let us try and avoid more damage. If we are willing for peace, let’s not hurt each other anymore. Let’s not hurt our people anymore,” Calarca said. FARC leaders had said on Thursday that a key item on their agenda is to propose a truce in the decades-long conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people. But just hours later, Santos said that would not happen. “There’s not going to be any ceasefire. We will not give anything until we get the final agreement, and I want to make that very clear,” he said.

The gains of Jonathan’s diplomacy Continued from page 31 positions. It is not always an easy struggle as each country jostles for the positions with the highest possible visibility or influence. It requires sharp diplomacy to secure the support of other countries and to get the required number of votes for your candidate. When your country is not eligible for the post, you become one of the brides to be wooed to deliver the vote in favour of a particular country’s candidate. It sounds like routine diplomacy, but it is high-wire politics. In the past one year, President Jonathan has devoted considerable energy to lobbying and campaigning for Nigerian candidates to get into positions in international organizations. The achievement in this regard has been remarkable: Dr. Bernard O. Aliu, President of the Executive Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) based in Montreal, Canada; Mrs. Theodora Oby Nwankwo, member, UN Committee on the Elimination of All forms Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); Dr. Aisha Laraba Abdullahi, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs.

After three unsuccessful attempts, Nigeria finally broke the electoral jinx at the AU for the first time in ten years. Mrs. Salamatu Sulaiman, Commissioner Political, Peace and Security at the ECOWAS Commission; Nigeria’s election to the Executive Board of UNESCO for a term of four years in November 2011; Nigeria’s election to the Governing Board of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP); Nigeria was also elected to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on October 24, 2011; Election of Mr. Adamu Mohammed, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, as the Vice President of INTERPOL representing Africa at a meeting held in Hanoi, Vietnam in October, 2011; Re-election of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Hon. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN to the International Law Commission on November 17, 2011. The election of Dr. Chile Eboe-Osuji as one of the six judges of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a tightly contested election in New York in November, 2011 and the election last year, of Nigeria as the first President of the

Executive Board of the United Nations Entry for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women). Our embassies abroad are also better organized. Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru, Jonathan’s appointee as Minister of Foreign Affairs is a career diplomat who has been doing a good job of actualizing the new framework for Nigerian diplomacy. He is collegial in approach, and supportive of Mr. President’s vision. Career diplomats used to complain about their jobs being taken over and messed up by politicians. This year, President Jonathan handed over letters of commission to the country’s new set of ambassadors, mostly career diplomats, and because he has thus encouraged the professionalization of the diplomatic service, career diplomats are no longer complaining. Many who have no foreign postings have achieved their career dreams as ambassadors-in-situ; our diplomats are reciprocating by showing higher levels of enthusiasm for the job. Nothing can be more damaging to a country’s foreign policy process than a distracted professional

foreign affairs cadre. We have a leader who is respected by the international community. When TIME international magazine named President Jonathan one of the 100 Most Influential leaders of the world in 2012, a fitting acknowledgement of his achievements, and the only African leader to be so recognized, the warm citation was written by the Liberian President. Our President also holds one of the highest national honours in Liberia. In the last year, he has also been honoured by people, governments and institutions in Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. At the regional level, Nigeria’s voice now rings loud and clear; its interventions are taken more seriously. President Jonathan served as ECOWAS Chairman for two years, and received great applause at the end of his tenure in February 2012. Under his watch, he led both Nigeria and ECOWAS to put an end to the threatened mayhem in Cote D’Ivoire when Laurent Gbagbo refused to hand over power, after the 2010 Presidential elections in that country. He helped to check a similar crisis of self-perpetuation

in office in Niger, and has provided support for democratic efforts in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Mali, Ghana and Guinea Bissau. He was one of the first African leaders to recognize the National Transitional Council of Libya and ask Muammar Gaddaffi to quit. Since handing over as ECOWAS chair, President Jonathan has remained a respected voice among his brother Heads of State. At the moment, he is a comediator in the crisis in Mali. The relationship between Nigeria and other countries in the region, particularly Ghana, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of Benin, Niger, Senegal and Liberia has never been stronger. Commentators often insist that greater emphasis should be placed on domestic policy, not foreign policy. Our new framework links both strategically. The investments that are flowing into Nigeria create jobs, deepen competition within the market, push the drive for necessary infrastructure further, and on all fronts, Brand Nigeria is strengthened. Dr. Abati is Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to President Jonathan.




US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2012 Poll: Obama widens lead over Romney despite jobs data

he latest daily tracking poll showed Obama, a Democrat, with a lead of 4 percentage points over Romney. Forty-seven percent of 1,457 likely voters surveyed online over the previous four days said they would vote for Obama if the November 6 elections were held today, compared with 43 percent for Romney. “The bump is actually happening. I know there was some debate whether it would happen... but it’s here,” said Ipsos pollster Julia Clark, referring to the “bounce” in support that many presidential candidates enjoy after nominating conventions. Obama had leapfrogged Romney in the daily tracking poll on Friday with a lead of 46 percent to 44 percent. The president’s lead comes despite a mixed reaction to his convention speech on Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Friday’s government data showing that jobs growth slowed sharply last month. Obama’s lead over Romney is comparable to Romney’s former lead over the president after the Republican National Convention finished last week, Clark said. “We don’t have another convention now to turn our attention to, so (Obama’s bounce) may maintain,” Clark said. “How big it’ll be and how long it will last remains to be seen.”

Obama increased his lead over Romney in certain favorable characteristics. Asked who was more “eloquent,” 50 percent of the 1,720 registered voters questioned in the poll favored Obama, compared to 25 percent for Romney. Asked about being “smart enough for the job,” 46 percent sided with Obama compared to 37 percent for Romney. In fact, Obama led Romney in a dozen such favorable characteristics, such as “represents America” or “has the right values.” The only such category in which Romney had an advantage was being “a man of faith,” as 44 percent picked Romney, who is Mormon, compared to 31 percent for Obama, who is Christian. The Democratic National Convention itself received a rather muted response in the poll. Of those registered voters who had heard, seen or read at least something about it, 41 percent rated it as “average” and 29 percent as “good.” The Republican National Convention that wrapped up August 30 in Tampa, Florida

U.S. President Barack Obama poses with crowd members after speaking at a campaign event at Natural Habitat Park Field on the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus in Florida. similarly was rated “average” by 38 percent and “good” by 27 percent in Saturday’s polling results.

The precision of the Reuters/ Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this

case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Romney attacks Obama over weak US job figures


S President Barack Obama faced a withering attack from Republican rival Mitt Romney over disappointing new US jobs numbers as the candidates launched the final two-month drive in their battle for the White House. Just hours after basking in his supporters’ adulation at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Obama was hit on Friday by a stark reminder of the challenge he faces because of high unemployment on his watch. Pouncing on the jobs data to slam Obama’s handling of the economy - the top concern of voters - Romney called the figures “another disappointing, sad report.” “If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover,” the former Massachusetts governer said. “It is clear that President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises and his policies haven’t worked. We aren’t better off than they were four years ago.” In his first campaign event following his convention speech on Thursday, Obama said the rate of job creation was “not good enough. We know it’s not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster. We need to fill the hole left by this recession faster.” At the same time, he pointed out that Republicans in Congress had blocked much of his jobs plan and accused Romney of making promises to revitalise the economy but not telling voters how he would do it. “I honestly believe this is the

clearest choice that we’ve had in my lifetime,” Obama said at a later rally. “It’s a choice between two fundamentally different visions of our future, where America goes.” Jobs growth slowed more than expected in August, setting the stage for the Federal Reserve to pump additional money into the economy next week. Non-farm payrolls increased by only 96,000 last month, the Labour Department said. While the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 per cent from 8.3 per cent in July, it was largely due to Americans giving up their

search for work. The report’s weak results were also underscored by revisions to June and July data showing 41,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. The labour force participation rate, or the percentage of people who either have a job or are looking for one, fell to 63.5 per cent - the lowest since September 1981. The unemployment rate peaked at 10 per cent in October 2009, but progress reducing it stalled this year, threatening Obama’s bid for a second term. Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher,

reporting from the Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC said that while Obama’s administration has been asking the public to rate him on his track record and has been constantly talking about jobs, the results indicate that many people have given up the job search. “Creating 96,000 jobs is not nearly enough to take in the population growth of the number of people that start looking for jobs each month,” said Fisher. Fisher said the Republicans were bound to sieze on this figure. “The Republicans ... will use the 96,000 figure as the stick to beat

Attendees at the Democratic National Convention promoted Obama's credential on jobs [GALLO/GETTY

Obama with.” “8.1 per cent is a good headline figure, but ... with only 96,000 new jobs created in a country the size of America, you can understand why the Republicans think this is an importabt figure and why they think it is one that Obama will not be able to defend very well,” said our correspondent. Economists polled by the Reuters news agency had expected payrolls to rise 125,000 last month, but some had pushed their forecasts higher on Thursday. The economy has experienced three years of growth since the 2007-09 recession, but the expansion has been grudging and the jobless rate has held above eight per cent for more than three years - the longest stretch since the Great Depression. Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, last week said the labour market’s stagnation was a “grave concern,” a comment that raised expectations for a further easing of monetary policy when the central bank meets on Wednesday and Thursday. Speaking to Al Jazeera, Chris Townsend, from the United Electrical Workers Union, said that the jobs figure that comes out as frequently as it does really does not reflect the real job situation. “What we have in the US is a long-term steadily deteriorating job situation,” he said. “It’s very distressing, because we continue to lose good jobs and at the same time we haven’t found the political will to confront the corporate forces that deal with the quality of the jobs that we are creating.”



People can be fat and fit – study N

early half of fat people are just as healthy as slim people - and at no more risk of developing heart problems or cancer, researchers claim. Doing exercise can offset the dangers of being obese, the researchers found. The study - which is the largest of its kind - abolishes the notion that obesity automatically leads to ill-health. It shows that some fat people manage to remain ‘metabolically healthy’ even though their body mass index would suggest they are not. They have less risk of dying prematurely than unhealthy obese people and up to half the risk of developing or dying from heart disease or cancer. Other research suggests that, among those with heart problems, those who are underweight or even normal weight are actually worse off than those who are fat. Overweight and obese people should not fight the flab after having a heart attack because they are more likely to outlive their leaner counterparts, the new data says. The controversial findings come as Britain grapples with an obesity epidemic, with almost a quarter of Britons classified as obese and around half overweight. But an international study of 43,265 people shows people can be obese but metabolically healthy and fit, with as much chance of keeping cardiovascular disease and cancer at bay as normal weight people. Obese people who are metabolically healthy don’t suffer from conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes and high cholesterol or blood pressure and are fitter, as measured by how well the heart and lungs perform, than other obese people. The new study, which recruited Americans between 1979 and 2003 who underwent fitness tests, found 46 per cent of the obese recruits were metabolically healthy. They had a 38 per cent lower risk of death from any cause than

their metabolically unhealthy obese peers, and the same risk as healthy, normal weight participants. The risk of developing or dying from heart disease or cancer was reduced by between 30-50 per cent for metabolically healthy, obese people, compared with fat unhealthy people, and was similar to those of normal weight. Study leader Dr Francisco Ortega said ‘It is well known that obesity is linked to a large number of chronic disease such as cardiovascular problems and cancer. ‘However, there appears to be a sub-set of obese people who seem to be protected from obesity-related metabolic complications. ‘Our study suggests that

Fat but fit? Dr Ortega said not all obese people have the same prognosis

metabolically healthy but obese people have a better fitness level than the rest of obese individuals. ‘We believe that getting more exercise broadly and positively influences major body systems and organs and consequently contributes to make someone metabolically healthier, including obese people. ‘In our study, we measure fitness, which is largely influenced by exercise.’ Dr Ortega is a research associate at the Department of Physical Activity and Sport, University of Granada, Spain), and at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, but the investigation took place at the University of South Carolina, USA. Dr Ortega said ‘Physicians should take into consideration that not all obese people have the same prognosis. Physician could assess fitness, fatness and metabolic markers to do a better estimation of the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer of obese patients. ‘Our data support the idea that interventions might be more urgently needed in metabolically unhealthy and unfit obese people, since they are at a higher risk. This research highlights once again the important role of physical fitness as a health marker.’ The findings are published online today in the European Heart Journal. A second study which analysed data from 64,000 heart patients in Sweden provides new evidence supporting the ‘obesity paradox’, which means fat patients with heart disease have ‘paradoxically’ better outcomes and survival than thinner patients. The greatest risk of dying was among the underweight and morbidly obese, who have the very highest levels of obesity. The lowest risk of death was found among overweight and obese patients, said researcher Dr Oskar Angerås, consultant cardiologist at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. He said it was well known that

People can be obese but metabolically healthy and fit, found an international study. maintaining a healthy weight could help avoid heart problems. But advice to overweight and obese patients who have already developed heart problems to lose weight was wide of the mark as it might have a ‘negative effect’. Excess weight may help because patients have more reserves to fight chronic disease than thinner patients. Amy Thompson, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: ‘In the majority of cases, obesity is an undeniable risk factor for developing coronary heart disease. However, these studies

remind us that it is not always your weight that’s important, but where you carry fat and also how it affects your health and fitness. ‘It is particularly important to be aware of your weight if you are carrying excess fat around your middle. The fat cells here are really active, producing toxic substances that cause damage which can lead to heart disease. Maintaining a healthy diet with lots of physical activity can help to slim you down as well as reduce your risk of heart health problems.’ Source:

Migraines not tied to greater weight gain D espite what some research has suggested, women with migraines may have no greater risk of becoming overweight than other women do, a large study finds. Some studies, though not all, have found a connection between excess pounds and a higher rate of migraine. But they have mainly studied people at one point in time - leaving it unclear whether the pounds or the migraines came first. “Our study should be reassuring that having migraine is not associated with future increase in relative body weight or obesity,” researcher Dr. Tobias Kurth, of the French national research institute

INSERM and the University of Bordeaux, told Reuters Health by email. In the new study, researchers looked at data from the Women’s Health Study, a long-term clinical trial that began following thousands of U.S. women in the mid-1990s. Overall, women who had migraines at the outset were no more likely than other women to become overweight or obese over the next 13 years. And the average weight gain in both groups was almost identical, at around 10 pounds. “We do not see convincing data that migraine should be considered a risk factor for the development of obesity,” Kurth said.

In theory, migraines could contribute to weight gain indirectly. Frequent or severe headaches could keep a person from regular exercise, for example. But the new findings, reported in the journal Cephalalgia, do not support that theory. The results are based on 19,162 female health professionals who were age 45 or older, and normal-weight, when they entered the study. Almost 3,500 reported a history of migraines. Over the next 13 years, 41 percent of those women became overweight, while about 4 percent became obese. The odds of becoming obese were no

greater among women with a history of migraine, and the risk of becoming overweight was only slightly higher - 11 percent. Severe migraines did not seem to carry a risk of extra pounds, either, Kurth’s team found. Women who had migraines weekly to daily were at no greater risk of becoming overweight or obese than those whose migraines came a few times a year. The study did not look at the question in the other direction: Are overweight or obese women at increased risk of migraines, or more severe ones? “This is still possible,” Kurth said. “In fact, several studies have now shown that obesity is

associated with increased migraine frequency.” There is also some evidence tying obesity to an elevated risk of developing migraines in the first place, Kurth said. But, he added, the prevalence of migraine has remained stable in recent decades, while obesity rates have soared. So it would not seem “reasonable” to assume obesity is causing cases of migraine, Kurth said. A limit of the study, the researchers say, is that all of the women were at least 45 years old at the start, and still normalweight at that point. So it’s not clear if the findings would be the same for young women. Source:



Yuguda has failed the people of Bauchi, says state CPC scribe INTERVIEW


hy do you have leadership crisis in your party both at the national and state levels? You know most of CPC problems were sponsored by PDP (Peoples Democratic Party). It is the PDP’s agents that are fuelling crises in the CPC. I can say there is little friction in the CPC but we don’t have leadership crisis in Bauchi. If not for the court case we have with Shehu Barau Ningi, everybody knows about the organized leadership of the state CPC led by Aliyu Sai’du. General (Muhammadu) Buhari identified himself with us; the national leadership of the party recognized our leadership and you have seen in this Press Conference that we were accompanied by who is who in the CPC like Baba Garba Gadi, Chief of Staff to the National Chairman of CPC, Captain Bala Jibrin National auditor of CPC, all gubernatorial candidates and all members of State and National are with us. We are united. Why did you have the crises in the first place? The CPC crises was sponsored by the ruling PDP to scuttle our party to destabilize us, because they are afraid and they think we will capture power from them. But now, we have identified the people sponsored by the PDP among us and both at the national and state level we are doing our best to become one united family. What prompted the press conference by CPC in the state We came here to hold a press conference to express our concern about how the present administration is running the state as well as to react to the way the Bauchi State government is running the affairs of the state including the recent comment made by Governor Isa Yuguda where he claimed to have executed some projects in Bauchi State. In fact, many of the things he claimed to have executed were not projects on the ground. First the government had awarded the contract for the renovation of State House of Assembly since 2008 but the contract is still ongoing because only one chamber of the House was renovated and none of the principal officers

Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Dogarai Ningi, Bauchi State Caretaker Committee Secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in this interview with our Bauchi Correspondent, Ahmed Kaigama, scores Governor Isa Yuguda low in performance just as he alleges that the crises in the opposition party, both at states and national levels are being sponsored by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Governor Isa Yuguda in the House has office. You can go and check and ask the members. We have first hand information from our members; we were there; we saw things for ourselves. Secondly, he claimed to have built a College of Medicine in Bauchi state, everybody knows that there is no such college. Take for instance, what he called legacy projects like building specialist Hospital, airport roads and many all these were still ongoing projects even though he claimed to have given them 70% down payment; but the projects have yet to reach appreciable level. Some of them were turned to be undertaken through direct labour by the state’s ministry of Special Duties; because for now it’s difficult for the government to pay salary of workers they pay between middle and second week of next month. To be candid, the serious problem of this administration, to my understanding, is lack of focus, insincerity and lack of supervision of contracts awarded due to the reason best known to the government. This is because there were many allegations of fraud and distribution of money by government officials. They paid contractors 70% with

Alhaji Aliyu Ibrahim Dogarai Ningi right hand and collected the money with left hand. Take for example, on projects awarded like the case of Specialist Hospital, there is one internet news published by 247 ureport where they alleged that over N400 million was shared among government officials. The government was silent on the report and they did not deny it. They are aware of it and they didn’t even make attempt to sue the author of the report. You can get a copy of the report published as evidence. Again, we have authentic document where a senior government official collected a loan of 25million naira for personal use to be paid to private firm in Abuja. You can also collect copy of this document. You can see their

names and everything; the people whose names were mentioned did not deny to clear their names and the government too is silent. Then in the education sector, I can tell you even students in both primary secondary and tertiary institutions took lessons under the shades of trees while others still sit on the floor to take their lessons. Go to the School of Health Technology, Ningi, my home town you will see for yourself. All these problems were becoming serious because of the inability of the governor to stay in the state due to his frequent travels using public funds. Are you making all these allegations just because you are in the opposition party? Well, if it’s a mere

You can see the huge amount of money spent on Governor Isa Yuguda son’s wedding; the money was tax-payers’ money

allegations let the government come out and deny all that I have told you, and tell people the truth and put the record straight. All of you are in Bauchi state, you know the truth; where you don’t know I supported you with lots of authentic documents to verify my facts. And for the 247-ureport, if the report is not true let the government come out and deny. The reason why we are doing this is because of our love for our dear state, not because of we are not in power because we know that all power belongs to Allah. It’s He who gives power to whom He wishes and accept it from whom He wishes. You can see the huge amount of money spent on Governor Isa Yuguda son’s wedding; the money was tax-payers’ money. Any advice for the people of Bauchi state? Well my advice is first to the government. It’s good for them to focus and carry- out good work for the people of the state as they pledged during their electioneering campaigns. They should learn from their past mistakes, and the people of the state should continue to be patient, law abiding and work for the development of the state.



CPC decries FG lift of DANA’s suspension By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


L-R: Members, Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Abdulazeez Yusuf, Senator Awaisu Kuta, Chairman, Senator Adamu Gumba, and Deputy- Chairman, Senator Mudashiru Hussain, during the committee's oversight tour of Bauchi games village, on recently in Bauchi. Photo: NAN

Mark, retired military colleagues, committed to peace By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ormer top military officers rose from a meeting in Otukpo, Benue State on Thursday with a resolve to contribute to the peace and building bridges of understanding across the religious and ethnic divide in the country. Meeting under the aegis of 3rd Regular Course of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Alumni Association Annual General Meeting (AGM), the retired military officers said peace and unity of Nigeria cannot be compromised. Making the resolution known at the end of the 2012 AGM hosted by its chairman, Senator David Mark, its Publicity Secretary and former transport minister, Rear Admiral Festus Porbeni, pledged the association’s readiness to support

the present administration in the task of ensuring peace and progress of the nation. Porbeni urged Nigerians to rise above the mundane divisive tendencies and face the challenges of nation building saying that the fight against violence or terrorism in the country should be a challenge to all well meaning Nigerians saying. “As statesmen, we all have a duty to ensure that peace reigns in our communities, states and the nation at large. We cannot sit back and watch the situation deteriorate. We must come together to say no to violence. No to destruction of lives and property”. He stated. Collaborating Porbeni, former ECOMOG Commander General, Tunji Olurin, noted that there is no alternative to peace and security if Nigeria must make progress.

In his comment, former Chief of Army Staff, General Alwali Kazir, lamented the challenging Security situation in the country and urged security operatives to be more proactive in order to bring the situation under control. Kazir counseled that nobody should play the ostrich but to come out and proffer solution even as he advised government to be fair and just to all sections of the country. Welcoming his colleagues earlier, Mark implored them to continue to play the role of statesmen where ever they find themselves so that citizens can emulate them and learn to live in harmony with one another. He enjoined them to bring their wealth of knowledge and experience to bear so that the discipline and patriotism inculcated in them in the NDA could be impacted positively on the larger society.

National interest paramount in constitution amendment, says Ekweremadu By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


eputy President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on Nigerians and leaders at all levels of government to show statesmanship and exhibit highest level of patriotism in the on-going efforts at evolving what he described as a “people’s constitution.” This is even as he said that any attempt to reduce any matter up for amendment, to regional or ethnic rhetoric, rather than looking at it on its merits and how it would further enhance the political and economic growth of the country, would certainly not be in the interest of the country. He made these submissions at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, on Thursday, while delivering a paper, titled: “Strategies for Evolving the

People’s Constitution,” at a Presidential Retreat for Civil Society Organizations and Professional Associations, organized by the Presidency, as part of its contribution to the ongoing effort at amending the 1999 constitution. The Deputy President of the Senate, who expressed his disappointment over insinuations in some quarters that to contemplate fiscal federalism as proposed by Nigeria in their submissions to the National Assembly, was to further impoverish some parts of the country, also noted that such insinuation was not only false, but a “wrong and an unfortunate imputation of motive.” While arguing that every state in the country had no reason to be poor, with graphical details of solid minerals deposits in each of the state waiting to be harnessed, Ekweremadu said “Besides the fact that fiscal federalism was proposed

by memoranda submitted by Nigerians, it is also an inalienable feature of federalism. “Also, the decline of the nation’s economy and development recorded at the time of the nation’s agro-based economy can be directly traced to the replacement of fiscal federalism which engendered hard work and healthy competition with a ‘feeding bottle’ federalism which has continued to churn out indolence, poverty, and underdevelopment”. He added that “importantly, the table (making reference to the graphical details) shows that every part of this country is too richly endowed to be poor.” He further noted that while the lawmakers, as representatives of the people, would do everything to ensure that the review produced a constitution that would reflect the views and aspirations of Nigerians, Nigerians must be ready to abide by the spirit and letters of the constitution.

ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) has decried the decision of the federal government to lift the ban earlier placed on the DANA Air, saying it shows institutional sluggishness. In a statement issued recently by the Publicity Secretary of the party, Rotimi Fashakin, CPC said that decision was an anti-climax to the investigation process. “While we are not entirely averse to the lifting of the operational license of the Airline if there is an over-arching need to do so, it is pertinent to ask for the original purpose of suspending the Airline’s operational license.” the statement read in part. In addition, CPC questioned how the government arrived at the conclusion of the air-worthiness of the air craft, saying that on the basis of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Act 2006, Section29 (13), after the

investigation, findings of accident investigations, the Director General shall take corrective actions that, in the judgment of the Authority, will prevent similar accidents in the future. “Indeed, we have trodden this path way before as a Nation in which air disasters occurred incessantly, thereby eroding confidence in the Aviation industry despite government’s constant assurances. There is a real concern whether, with the opacity with which the Federal Government had conducted this Accident Investigation Process thus far, this is not the beginning of an incipient crisis in the Aviation Industry.” CPC stated. Based on the foregoing, CPC suggested that the audit of an Airline’s safety regulations process by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Aviation Ministry should be done as a routine to proactively ensure compliance with world aviation standard.

Constitution Amendment: Reps want timely submission of bills to NASS Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives has called on the Presidency to ensure timely transmission of executive bills on the amendment of the constitution to the National Assembly to allow thorough work them before 2015 electioneering activities take centre stage in the polity. The House said it will not wait indefinitely for the executive bills which may arise from the Justice Alpha Belgore Presidential Committee on Constitution Review and therefore urged Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to hasten the tidying up of the committee’s report and facilitate the transmission of the ensuing bills to the National Assembly in decent time. The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, in a statement on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary, Oke Epia stated that the House is targeting the second quarter of 2013 to conclude work on an amended constitution for the country.

Stating that an incremental approach is preferred in amending the constitution, Ihedioha said the House has resolved to “secure the buy-in of the greater majority of Nigerians on any issue that would be brought up for possible amendment” and that consensus be built on those issues. “As umpires in this process, it is our considered view that the House of Representatives at this stage should listen more to the Nigerian people rather than dictate to them.” The Deputy Speaker, who said the House Committee on Constitution Review is working in cooperation with its senate counterpart, noted that over 124 memoranda have been received from the public bordering on various burning national issues. He however said it has become critical for consensus to be built on some of these issues including security architecture, devolution of powers, structure of the federation, fiscal federalism, indigeneship/ residency, justice sector reform, the legislature, and the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy.

Botched PDP Congress to hold in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


he disagreement over the non-conduct of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) ward congress in Okpokwu local government of Benue State has been resolved with the National Secretariat of the party insisting that all card carrying members must participate in the congress. The congress which is scheduled to hold tomorrow, had suffered several postponements following insistence by State chairman of PDP, Mr. Emmanuel Agbo, that only 600 members from each ward of the local

government should participate. The chairman’s action was vehemently opposed by stakeholders in the area including the Minister for Interior Comrade Abba Moro. Hence the matter had to be tabled before the national secretariat of the party. Dr. Agbo said at the weekend that armed policemen would be drafted to the area to ensure peaceful conduct of the exercise. He advised people from neighboring local governments to steer clear of the exercise as only PDP members from Okpokwu local government would be allowed to participate.



PDP stalwart warns against political adventurers From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in Bauchi state, Alhaji B.B. Dogo, has advised the party against opening its doors to political adventurers and opportunists in the 2015 elections. Dogo while speaking to newsmen in Bauchi said PDP as the largest political party in Africa should not mortgage its hard earned credibility to political opportunists now on the corridors of power amassing wealth for the 2015 elections. “Some of those that may want to use the platform of the party in 2015 are not even registered members of the party but intruders in search of a credible platform for the sake of elections. Some of them are making plans to contest elections on the platform

of the PDP after betraying and abandoning the party that provided them platform in 2007 to contest and win elections. There are those that accused Governor Yuguda for dumping the ANPP in 2009 to the PDP despite the fact that he was pressured by the late President and leader of the party to do so”, he said The chieftain alleged that one of such political prostitutes now running helter-skelter to use the platform of the PDP is the FCT minister, Senator Bala Muhammed, who openly accused governor Yuguda of dumping the ANPP in 2009 despite the genuine reasons offered for doing so. “Senator Bala had accused Yuguda for dumping the ANPP in 2009, but when President Goodluck (Jonathan) offered him a ministerial position in 2010, he made desperate attempts to join

the PDP in Bauchi state. His reason was that he wanted to join the PDP to serve the President and by implication, his joining the PDP was to serve only the interest of the President, not the interest of Nigerians and the party as he said at different occasions. He never offered any convincing reason for wanting to dump the ANPP nor for wanting to join the PDP”, Dogo alleged. The chieftain wondered why such a politician should be allowed by any party to use its platform to contest any election without fear of betrayal as he did to the ANPP. He advised the leader of the PDP in Bauchi state, Malam Isa Yuguda, to make sure that such intruders are neither accommodated nor offered any slightest opportunity to use its platform to contest an election in 2015 for fear of betrayal.

“Governor Yuguda offered convincing reasons before decamping from the ANPP to the PDP and part of his reason was in the interest of the state but Senator Bala was only interested in the PDP to serve the President and that is why the FCT is under-developed because he is not there to serve the FCT but the President. Tomorrow, he may dump the PDP for wanting to serve another person in another party or even dump the party if not allowed to use its platform to achieve his selfish ambition”, Dogo added that for the PDP to maintain its credibility in the state, the likes of Senator Bala should be kept at a distance or advised to return to those parties that provided them platforms to contest in 2007 and continue from where they stopped rather than bringing confusion and hatred into an organized party.

Gov. Orji, Abia Exco pay last respect to late commissioner


ov. Theodore Orji of Abia on Friday led members of the State Executive Council to the burial of Chief Matthew Ochiobi, the former Commissioner for Sports. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ochiobi died of cardiac arrest on July 11 at the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia. He was buried at his country home in Amankwo Mbutu-Ngwa in Isiala Ngwa South LGA of the state. In a brief tribute during a requiem mass at St. Paul Catholic Church, Mbutu-Ngwa, Orji described Ochiobi's death as ''a big tragedy to the state.'' He said ``Ochiobi was a good man, but we cannot question God. ``We loved him very much and we worked with him since I came to power in 2007 because of his steadfastness, loyalty and reliability. "We did our best to save him. Government had already obtained a travel visa to fly him to India before death struck." The governor said death was inevitable and awaited everyone, adding that there was the need for people to amend their ways for the better while alive. In a sermon, Rev. Chidozie Nwala of the church enjoined the living to prepare themselves in readiness for death, saying ``it will come one day and after death comes judgement.'' He said death was not a punishment but a transformation, adding ``one's good work on earth will remain a testimonial for him even after his death.'' NAN reports that the Abia House of Assembly had on Thursday held a valedictory session in honour of the late Ochiobi. He had represented his constituency in the House between 2003 and 2004. (NAN)

L-R: Governors Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, Liyel Imoke of Cross River state, Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers state, and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state, during the meeting of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Advisory Council, last Friday in Asaba, Delta state. Photo: NAN

Inflated contracts: ANPP wants FG to tackle culture of impunity and the Legislature to be By Umar Muhammad Puma


he All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) has called on the government to tackle the culture of impunity by making those found culpable of inflating contracts to face the wrath of the law. The opposition party, while reacting to the warning handed down to government contractors by President Goodluck Jonathan at the 21 st Assembly of the Council for the Registration of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) on the high cost of projects in the country, said the government may have woken up to reality. In a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Emma Enuekwu, the

party stated “We believe that the wealth of this great nation is frittered away on a daily basis through deep-seated corruption which finds its throne in inflated government contracts” He added “The cost of projects in Nigeria is the highest in subSaharan Africa because the people in government collude with contractors to pad the cost, without fear of any punishment whatsoever.” According to Enuekwu any pronouncement and plans in the direction of reducing the cost of projects in Nigeria which does not deal with the fundamental issue of culture of impunity amounts to mere lip service and playing to the gallery. He therefore called on the President to allow the Judiciary

effective arms of government whose fundamental duties are to check the excesses of the Executive and its machinery and in so doing disperse the spirit of impunity that has suffused the government. ”We also call on the National Assembly to consider more strident checks against government and public officers’ interference in procurements, in the ongoing constitutional amendment. We hope that the spirit of transparency, accountability and probity introduced by the honourable action of the former Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, sprouts into a veritable new fruit of responsibility and discipline in the service life of our public officers,” he said.

PDP, Akinjide empower 100 Oyo farmers By Josephine Ella


he Oyo state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in collaboration with the Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, on Saturday commenced an agriculture empowerment programme for farmers in the 33 Local Government Areas of the state. According to a statement in Abuja by the Special Assistant, Media & Publicity to the minister of state for FCT, Oluyinka Akintunde, Akinjide said the empowerment programme kicked off with over 100 farmers from six local governments areas of Ibadan North-East namely: Lagelu, Egbeda, Oluyole, Ona Ara, Akinyele and Ido. The minister of state, who addressed a stakeholders' forum of the farmers from the 33 local government areas at Ile Aperin in Oyo state, was quoted to have explained that the empowerment programme was for all farmers and not based on party inclination. "The farmers are the people that can support the economy and they need to be empowered also. The nation can't depend on oil and gas sector only. The government is therefore diversifying to other sectors of the economy including agriculture and rural development. "The empowerment programme will support farmers in Oyo State through capacity building in modern farming techniques and agric-businesses to address the issues of poverty and unemployment, thereby boosting agricultural production and improving the farmers' income and quality of life," she said. The statement said that under the empowerment scheme, Oyo state farmers are to be supported with tractors, seedlings and fertilisers as well as extension workers to supervise their various stages of production. Akinjide further stated that the Oyo state PDP would partner with microfinance banks to provide low-cost funding for the farmers. On his part, the Chairman of Oyo state PDP, Hon. Kunmi Mustapha, was said to have commended the minister for supporting the party's empowerment programme, reiterated that the programme was for all farmers and not based on party membership. "We are starting with six local government areas of Ibadan North-East and would be extended to other local governments. The programme is for the 33 local governments. "We have often repeated it that we have structures in Oyo State PDP to benefit the people. We need to support our farmers because they are the people that will provide food security for the country," Mustapha noted.



Oni vs Fayemi: Blackmail of GEJ, VP, CJN, others won't work, PDP tells ACN From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the SouthWest has described as cheap blackmail, claims by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in Ekiti state that PDP National Vice-Chairman (SouthWest), Chief Segun Oni boasted that the Vice President, Architect Namadi Sambo had reached out to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar and that he (Oni) had been assured of victory in the case he filed at the Supreme

Court, challenging the composition of the Appeal Court Panel that sacked him from office on October 15, 2010. The PDP said blackmail and arm-twisting tactics being employed by the ACN will fail, adding that; "Oni is not known to engage in underhand deals in pursuing his course, and on the case before the Supreme Court, what the ACN should do is to file its defence instead of engaging in blackmail that cannot work." Using a faceless group, Conference of Ekiti Youths, the ACN had claimed in a letter addressed to

President Goodluck Jonathan, which was published in some newspapers recently that Oni met with 177 former Ward Development Officers (WDO) and directed them to mobilise 50 persons per ward that would move to AdoEkiti to celebrated his victory at the Supreme Court, which he had been assured of. In its reaction, the South-West PDP, said in a statement issued by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon Kayode Babade, that there was no iota of truth in the publication, adding that; "should the house of

fraud built for the ACN in Ekiti State by Justice Isa Ayo Salami and his cohorts crumble today, the entire people of the State, including members of the ACN, who are praying ceaselessly for the end of Fayemi's tyrannical and clueless government do not need anyone to mobilise them before trooping out to the streets to celebrate." The statement reads; "Ordinarily, we would have ignored the said publication because the group, which purportedly authored it does not exist. Even the e-mail address (, which the group presented as its, does not exist. All the messages sent to the e-mail address on Friday were returned undelivered. "However, we are aware that the publication was part of the sinister plan of the ACN government in Ekiti state to once again blackmail and arm-twist the judiciary on the pending case at the Supreme Court, challenging the composition of the Appeal Panel that delivered the October 15, 2010 judgment that installed Dr. Kayode Fayemi as the governor of Ekiti state.

"Also, we know it as a fact that the publication originated from the office of Mr. Yemi Adaramodu, Chief of Staff to the judiciary imposed governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. "In actual fact, more of such falsehoods should still be expected from them because falsehood itself is the only mainstay of the ACN party. "Nevertheless, we must alert the public that ACN and its functionaries are noted for having fore-knowledge of court judgments and it is not impossible that they are already trying to work their ways round the justices of the Supreme Court as they did on the controversial October 15, 2010 Appeal Court judgment that brought them to power in Ekiti state. "Therefore, Nigerians, especially President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, the CJN and others that the ACN propagandists will still blackmail in their attempt to once again pervert the course of justice should be mindful of these political cankerworms in the ACN, and continue to ignore them."

Interim chairman resigns to contest election


L-R: Member, House of Representatives, Hon. Stella O. Dorgu, receiving an award from the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, African Centre for Citizens Orientation, Mr. Olugbenga Adeleye and Secretary of the Centre, Mr. Abdulkareem Tijjani, during their visit to Hon. Stella, last Friday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Court restrains arrest of Katsina PDP guber aspirant From Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna with agency reports


Katsina High Court presided by Justice Musa Danladi Abubakar has restrained the Police from arresting a PDP governorship aspirant in the state, Alhaji Umaru Tsauri. The Commissioner of Police had ordered the arrest of Tsauri, popularly known as Tata, following a ruling by a Chief Magistrate Court, over allegations of political violence. However, Tsauri told newsmen in Kaduna yesterday that the planned arrest was aborted by the Court Order

through an `experte motion' filed by his counsel, Mr Abbas Ibrahim Jafar. He said that sometimes in June, this year, there was an alleged attack on the chairman of Danja local government council of the state by unidentified political thugs. Confirming the report, Jafar recalled that 25 suspects were arrested and arraigned before the magistrate court by the police. The counsel said that the name of his client (Tata) was not on the original list of the First Information Report (FIR), which compelled him to seek for court redress. He said that the court granted

their prayers to prevent the police boss or proxies from arresting Tsauri pending the determination of motion on notice. A copy of the court order with Motion No: KTH/566M/2012 made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was signed by Justice M. D. Abubakar and dated Sept. 3, 2012. The paper cited Umaru Abdullahi Tsauri `Tata' as the applicant, while the Commissioner of Police, Katsina state, Chief Magistrate Nuraddeen Abdulmumin, and the Katsina state Attorney General appeared as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd respondents in the case, respectively.

Wada ties success of Vision 20:2020 to merit, justice


ov. Idris Wada of Kogi said on Saturday in Kabba that Nigeria could achieve the goals of Vision 20:2020 if leaders adhered to the core values of merit and justice. Vision 20:2020 aims at making Nigeria to be one of the 20 largest economies in the world, able to consolidate its leadership role in Africa and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic and political arena., the

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. The governor made the remark at the presentation of scholarship to 50 indigent secondary school students selected from across the Kabba/ Bunu/Ijumu federal constituency. He said the country had for long abandoned the cherished core values of its founding fathers, hence the myraid of problems

confronting it. He urged the leaders both in private and public sectors to recognise merit and justice as it was in the past, to enable the country overcome numerous challenges confronting it. The governor expressed belief in education, saying that the state was in need of well educated citizenry to sustain and improve upon the current gains being recorded in all the sectors. (NAN)

hairman, Interim Management Committee of Jemaa Local Government Area of Kaduna state, Mr Yunana Barde, has resigned in order to contest the council's chairmanship position. “Yes, I am contesting for the chairmanship of Jemaa Local Government. I have resigned my chairmanship of the caretaker committee to present myself before the electorate,'' he said. Barde, a member of the PDP, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Kafanchan on Sunday that victory at the polls would afford him the opportunity to consolidate on his achievements so far. He identified the prevailing peace in Kafanchan as one of his achievements in the past one and a half years as interim head of the council. He explained that he achieved this by bringing all stakeholders to see the need to accept each other and live as one family.

“I preached the need to live in unity. I also made the people to accept that they must live together-- being citizens of one country as destined by God. “In the course of my pursuit of peace, I realised that most of the troubles in Kafanchan were caused by outsiders. “So, I made it a point that community leaders must strive to know any stranger among them and understand his or her mission. “I also spoke with youths' groups and convinced them that no one can be bigger than the government. “I told them that it was in their interest that peace is maintained because they still have more time ahead of them and should not use their hands to destroy their future,'' he said. He said the relocation of Kafanchan market to a more spacious area was the most challenging task he faced as caretaker committee chairman.

Benue council polls: Suswam warns candidates against violence


ov. Gabriel Suswam of Benue State has warned aspirants vying for various elective offices in the Nov. 24 Local Council polls to shun acts of violence. Suswam gave the warning at Anyiin while addressing candidates seeking nomination under the platform of the PDP for the forthcoming local government elections. The governor advised them to be tolerant of the views of others, as they both belonged to the same community. He warned them against

engaging in unwholesome practises under the guise of politicking, pointing out that, he would not hesitate to disqualify candidates who went contrary to the rules. Suswam said he had the powers to disqualify such candidates and would not hesitate to discharge the powers to ensure peaceful conduct of the polls. He, however, commended the political chieftains in the area, Chief Atoza Hindan and King Abu Shuluwa for maintaining peace even while the two were political rivals.(NAN)



Skipper Joseph Yobo, deputy captain Vincent Enyeama, were less than impressive in Monrovia Keshi

Keshi lashes out at, vows to axe ‘unprofessional’ Eagles


uper Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, was visibly angry when addressed members of the team soon after the 2-2 against the Lone Stars of Liberia. Keshi accused especially

some of the foreign-based players for being ‘unprofessional’ and lacking the vim and dedication needed to achieve victory on the pitch. The former Togo and Mali

manager lashed out at the players for being in want of the required fighting spirit and the sterner stuff of championsqualities he said he needs from them if Eagles are to meet the Presidential fiat-winning the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa, next year. The Eagles were held to a 2-2 draw by hosts Liberia in a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday night, but had given so much hope when they came from behind to take the lead only to loss steam in the second half and allowed the Lone Stars to draw level. “I will appreciate players who stay away and say they cannot make it than for them to come and show Nigerians that we are not serious here,” he said in apparent reference to the somewhat lackadaisical display of the likes of Emmanuel Emenike, skipper Joseph Yobo and Vincent Enyeama. “With this attitude on the pitch from top professionals who are in this collection, we won’t

London Paralympic Games: Nigeria 3rd as Africa clinches 112 medals MEDAL COUNT

By Patrick Andrew


eam Nigeria Paralympic contingent garnered six gold, five silver and two bronze medals- a total of 13 medals and were third behind Tunisia, and South Africa in the final medal table. In all, the African contingents to the Games, which ended yesterday, amassed a total of 112 medals over the 11 days of the Games. No fewer than fewer than 10 African countries made the medals table. The African nations’ performance at the Games represented a marginal improvement over their performance at the last Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, in 2008, where only eight nations made the medals table. In the London Games, the 10 medal winning countries clinched 38 gold, 36 silver and 38 bronze medals with Tunisia and South Africa eventually upstaging Nigeria, which led Africa’s medals table from the beginning of the Games. Tunisia, now Africa’s number one at the end of the Paralympic Games, won 19 medals nine gold, five silver and five bronze, to beat South Africa, which had 25 medals - eight gold, 12 silver and seven bronze medals - to the second position. Nigeria, which placed third with 13 medals over all, had six gold, five silver and two bronze. Nigeria, however, ended up the Games’ overall number one winners of the Power lifting event, from where it won 12 of its 13 medals. Algeria placed fourth with a total of 19 medals (4-6-9), Egypt had 15 (4-4-7), Morocco (3-0-3), Kenya (2-2-2), others are: Namibia (1-1-0), Angola (1-0-1) and Ethiopia (0-1-0).

excel at the Nations Cup, that is what we want to stop,” perhaps referring to Yobo who was characteristically out of synch with the rest of the players. Enyeama in particularly for the second consecutive times let down the team in a manner that angered the technical crew. In Blantyre, it Enyeama’s blunder some 45 seconds to the end of the two minutes added on time that allowed the Malawians to equalised and in a similar fashion he allowed slipped through a shot that the crew thought he could have prevented were he not rusty and

lackadaisical. “I recall that when we thought we were going to play on a synthetic pitch, I called Mikel Obi and he said it’s not healthy for him to play on such a pitch, that is the type of maturity and honesty I want from all national team players.” Further, he threatened to axe players who arrived late in the camp for whatever reasons. “Any player who cannot make it in time should just stay away, because we need all the time we can get to blend for our games, because the Nations Cup is just around the corner,” he warned.

Nigeria already late for Rio 2016 Olympics, says Ekeji


ould-be Team Nigeria contingent to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games to be hosted by Brazil, is already late to prepare meaningfully and participate productively at the Games in four years time, according to the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), DR. Patrick Ekeji. Ekeji made the assertion at a reception hosted by Dr Dalhatu Tafida, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, on Saturday in London in honour of the Nigerian Paralympians at the London 2012 Paralympic Games which ended yesterday. “We have already started out late in the preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympics,’’ Ekeji said according to the Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Nonetheless, Ekeji appealed to the federal government to turn around the failure of the ablebodied athletes to win any medal to achieve positive things in the sports sector by paying more attention to the sector. “We should use the disappointment of the ablebodied athletes at the Olympic Games and the success of the physically-challenged athletes at the Paralympics to transform the sports sector. “Yes, the able-bodied Olympians must have disappointed the nation, but the physicallychallenged Paralympians have made us proud. “But right now we need the political will to develop and transform sports. Winning medals these days at international meets has become more challenging with the emerging technological innovations,’’ he said. Ekeji, who expressed concern over the obsolete training facilities the physicallychallenged athletes were compelled to train with yet excelled, called on the government to effect total overhaul of the present facilities. He lauded the Nigerian Paralympians for doing the

nation proud and for their “highest sense of dedication and patriotism.’’ Tafida in his remarks said the Paralympians’ performance was commendable and was worth emulating. “The uniqueness of the London Games lies in the fact that the Paralympians broke four world records when compared to the poor performance of our able-bodied athletes at the just-concluded Olympics,’’ the envoy said. He noted that the Paralympians had always showed commitment and dedication and had never disappointed the nation at any of their competitions outside and within the shores of the country. “This feat is not only worth of celebrating but also serves as a lesson for us to look beyond their disabilities,’’ the envoy added. Ms Gloria Anozie, a gold medallist in the women’s +82.50 kg category of powerlifting suggested that government must show commitment in the development of the special sports. “We have never disappointed Nigeria in any of our outings. It is time government stopped paying lip service to the welfare of those with disabilities and treat us as equals with our ablebodied counterparts,’’ she said. It would be recalled that four of the Paralympians; namely Esther Onyema, Joy Oyelapo, Yakubu Adesokan and Shade Ayo broke world records in powerlifting.

Chief Patrick Ekeji, DG, NSC



Igwe canvasses more support for athletes T

Mary Onyali, was discovered by Tobias Igwe

obias Igwe, a former Head Coach of the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN), over the weekend appealed to sports authorities to always support athletes for good results. Igwe made the appeal when he spoke on the physically challenged athletes’ performance at the Paralympic Games in London. He spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. “These Paralympic athletes have really come out to prove a point and I hope that our sports administrators can now see the need to develop all sports. “Sports administrators have

the power to make a positive change, which will be beneficial to all of us, if the right things are put in place. “It is unfortunate that at the moment sports are at the lowest ebb in this country,’’ he said. Igwe also advised sports administrators to consider coaches who have important input to make toward the development of athletes and sports in general. “Administrators should be on the lookout for quality coaches who are ready to go to the grassroots to search for talents that are ready to give their all. But one problem again is that we don’t know how to manage our

resources. “Take for instance, I discovered the likes of Mary Onyali and the Ezinwa brothers, but I have been underutilised due to favoritism and they often lay off the good ones,’’ he said. The junior athletes coach also pleaded with the Abia State Government to reinstate him as their employee and pay his outstanding salary. “I want to appeal to the Abia State Government to come to my aide. October this year will make it a year that I was disengaged with no compensation. I want my reward while am alive,’’ he pleaded.

18th NSF: Coordinator satisfied with Kebbi’s arrangement to host zonal elimination


he North-West Zonal Coordinator of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Alhaji Shehu Gusau, has expressed satisfaction with Kebbi’s preparations to host the forthcoming Zonal Elimination competition of team games. Gusau told the Kebbi Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliyu, during a courtesy visit

on Friday in Birnin Kebbi that the elimination competition would commence on Sept.17. The zonal championship will be used to select representatives for the zone for the 18 th National Sports Festival scheduled for November 27 to December 9 in Lagos. “The zonal office has inspected the facilities put in place by the


WBC champ, Vitali Klitschko to retire ‘soon’

or the second consecutive times, Vitali Klitschko successfully defended his WBC title but in a fashion that left many wondering when he would hang up his gloves. Against Dereck Chisora, in Germany, he fought hard but left visible traces of aging and rust occasioned by decline in speed, force of jab and obvious footwork. On Saturday night the Ukrainian returned to the square box against Manuel Charr. Much was expected but little was seen and it left many in no doubt that sooner than latter Vitali would call off time in the ring. No, he has not retired, but he knows he will have to do so soon. “I’m 41 and I’m still boxing. But one cannot trick nature. I will have to hang my gloves on a nail soon,” the WBC champion said after beating Manuel Charr in Moscow on Saturday night. “I’m facing major tasks, and not only in sport,” he said. “I’ll fly to Kiev in the morning and will be fully occupied with preparations for the (Ukraine) parliamentary elections in October. Klitschko, who heads an opposition political party called Udar, said he would have some rest and then announce his future plans. He retained his WBC heavyweight title in Moscow when his fight against Manuel Charr was stopped in the fourth

round. A cut to the side of the challenger’s right eye was bad enough to force the stoppage, recommended to referee Guido Cavalleri by the ring doctor. “I’m disappointed because I wanted to win by a real

state and the readiness to host the competition which will also involve Zamfara and Sokoto State is not in doubt. “We are assured of a smooth hosting, especially with the presence of top functionaries and chairmen of sports associations at the venues. This is commendable,’’ he said. Responding, Aliyu said

knockout; not a technical one,” he said after the bout after retaining his title on a fourthround stoppage. “I was ready to keep on fighting and so was Charr. But it was the doctor’s decision to stop the bout and it was his

Vitali Klitschko (right) vs Manuel Charr

efforts would be intensified to ensure the competition was conducted under a peaceful environment, with the spirit of good sportsmanship prevailing. “The few facilities that had not been transformed to standard would be completed before the commencement of the games.

responsibility.” When he realised the fight was over and he had lost, Charr immediately kicked and punched the ropes, showing more aggression than in the 11 minutes and 4 seconds that the bout lasted. Charr having made a dramatic entrance and doing a good job of pretending to stare the champion down before the first round, he showed acting talent. His performance after the stoppage was even better. He really did look upset. But as long as the fight lasted he never troubled the 41-yearold Klitschko, who showed the hand speed of a 55-year-old. Fair enough, the champion had to fight a fighter who did not really want to fight, which is always difficult. But even in taking his record to 45-2, with 41 knockouts, Klitschko did not look like one of the two men his brother Wladimir being the other one who have dominated heavyweight boxing for a few years. Klitschko praised Charr, a 27year-old Beirut-born former kickboxer, saying he was “a real fighter with a big heart. One day he will be a champion.” Charr said, “Everyone who

“The state will uphold the honour of hosting other states in the most appropriate way and in line with the ideals of the NSC,’’ he said. The games to be competed for at the zonal level includes football, basketball, hockey and volleyball, with one team each qualifying to represent the zone at the festival. knows me know I never give up Vitali is a great champion but he didn’t win. It was the doctor who won the bout. It was not our corner’s decision.” The beaten Germany-based challenger asked for a rematch, but Klitschko said he had had his chance. Charr spent most of the first round covering up and offering little on attack. He was also mostly on defence in the second round but Klitschko finally knocked him down. Charr got up but when the referee counted to three, the bell marked the end of the round. “I provoked him to be more aggressive and he began to make more mistakes,” Klitschko said. “Those were my tactics.” Midway through the third round Klitschko landed a hook that opened a cut from which the blood immediately started pouring. Klitschko has held the WBC title since 2004. His younger brother Wladimir holds the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts. Charr, 27, also lost his undefeated status, dropping to 21-1; 11. On the undercard Magomed Abdusalamov knocked out American Jameel McCline in the second round after taking a count in the first round. Abdusalamov is now unbeaten after 16 fights and 16 knockouts. McCline dropped to 41-13-3, with 24 knockouts.



Bassey donates N.1m to Eaglets’ technical crew

“I have watched football all my life and I can’t count the numbers but today, I saw my best game ever. I saw a team that played like a family. I saw young boys who were enjoying themselves.” mpressed by the technical depth and savvy of the ‘New Nigeria Golden Eaglets’ who defeated the Junior Menas of Niger Republic 4-1 at the weekend, Etubom Paul Bassey, donated N100,000 to the team’s technical crew. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Match Commissioner and General Coordinator, said his ‘widows mite’ was borne out of the fact that the players would not have


raised their game to such an excellent level without conscious coaching. Bassey, who praised the players in the dressing room, prophesied that there was indeed hope for Nigerian football going by the maturity, depth and cohesive display by the players and pleaded with the technical crew to remain focused and concentrate of strengthening the team further. “When I heard that you were beating local teams 9-0, 7-0 6-0 in Calabar, I was not impressed,”he said. “Dr. Ikpeme said to me that we have a good team but my response was that I

was not impressed. “But when you played Rwanda and won convincingly, I said maybe because that was your first real test, you had to roll out the tank to kill Rwanda. My mind was a bit at rest but today, you made me so happy.” Bassey noted that his happiness was not borne out of the fact that the Golden Eaglets scored four goals but their compelling display. “I have watched football all my life and I can’t count the numbers but today, I saw my best game ever. I saw a team that played like a family. I saw young boys who were enjoying themselves. But please, don’t carry this into

FIFA U-20: Stars express gratitude over special awards The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Japan 2012 reached a dramatic climax in an exciting final in whichUSA emerged as worthy champions. In addition to the team trophy, numerous individual honours were awarded. Some outstanding players later spoke to about their feelings.


zsenifer Marozsan was given the adidas Golden Ball as best player of the tournament. Dzsenifer, you may have lost the final, but you still managed to win a trophy. Is that something you can be pleased with? “I wasn’t expecting it at all. You hear other people talking about how well you’re playing, but when you get something like this, it’s a big surprise. It’s a huge honour. Of course I’d have preferred to have won the World Cup and it’s a massive disappointment. We played a great tournament and one goal ruined everything. We’ll need a bit of time, but then I’ll be able to enjoy my award. We can be proud of ourselves and our displays here. We need to get over this defeat quickly and set ourselves new targets.” As the only freshly-crowned world champion among the individual winners, USA captain Julie Johnston was handed the adidas Bronze Ball for third-best player of the tournament. “My eyes filled up straight away and I cried a little. It was so unexpected. I was so happy with winning the World Cup and then a woman approached me and told me I’d won the Bronze Ball. I feel very honoured. I came here to play for the team. It’s just such a big surprise. Normally it’s the attacking players who get these awards, not defenders. I’m so happy and proud. It means a lot to me.” Germany No1 Laura Benkarth kept five consecutive clean sheets before conceding her only goal of the tournament in the final. Yet that does not detract from her achievement and she was a worthy winner of the adidas Golden Glove for the competition’s best goalkeeper. “Obviously I’m delighted with the award, it’s a massive honour. But right now the disappointment about losing the final against USA is overwhelming. It’ll take a bit of time before I get over it.” Hosts Japan were able to celebrate two additional honours alongside their third-placed finish. On top of the FIFA Fair Play award, Yoko Tanaka was presented with the adidas Silver Shoe as the tournament’s second-best goalscorer. “I’m happy and satisfied with myself because I don’t normally get so many goals. In every game I played up front in, I was so eager to score for the team, for us to win and not to fail. I gave everything and I’m really proud of what I’ve done for myself and for the team at this tournament.”

Dzsenifer Marozsan, adidas Golden Ball winner, Laura Benkarth, Winner of the adidas Golden Glove, Yoko Tanaka was presented with the adidas Silver Shoe as the tournament’s second-best goalscorer

your heads. “Even if you had won 2-1 today, it would have been immaterial because I didn’t come to see the score line. I came to watch a team that has a future and I’m thoroughly impressed. This is just the beginning for you. I’m so happy with all of you. I’m happy that I’m part of this delegation to Niamey.” The morning after the game, Bassey announced his cash gift to the technical crew saying: “I’m so happy with what you people are doing, please keep it up.” Expectedly, members of the technical crew collectively thanked him, promising not to let Nigerian down.

Garba Manu, Head Coach, Golden Eaglets

Eagles to resume camp for Liberia early October


he Super Eagles were yesterday in Abuja decamped but are to return in the first week of October to begin preparations for the conclusive leg of the 2013 Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Star of Liberia. The team’s Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, said in a statement that team chief coach Stephen Keshi announced the recess to the players soon after they arrived in Abuja yesterday morning. The return leg scheduled to be held in Calabar on October 13, will produce the eventual winner of the sole ticket for the 2013 African Nations Cup Finals in South Africa, January next year. In Saturday’s first leg clash, the Eagles were forced to a 2-2 draw by the Lone Star at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium in Monrovia. “Those that will be needed for the return leg match will be notified early,’’ Keshi was quoted as saying while addressing the players at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. Keshi’s announcement prompted many of the foreign-based players to quickly return to their respective base, while only a few headed to the team’s Bolton White Apartments’ camp from where they departed to their various clubs. Meanwhile, date for their will be announced later according to the team’s Secretary, Dayo Achor. “The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will take a decision on the camping dates and place for the team later this week. “However, a proposal that will see the Nigeria-based players resuming camp ahead of their overseas-based counterparts is already being worked on,’’ it added.

Blatter urges Falconets’ transformation to Super Falcons


IFA President Sepp Blatter has advised the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to transform the present set of Falconets into the next set of Super Falcons. Blatter, who was impressed by the performance of the African champions throughout the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, in Tokyo, Japan, said the team was promising and could be a force to be reckoned with in future if the players were kept intact. The Falconets had on Saturday in Tokyo lost 1-2 to hosts Japan in the third-place match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. “Though they ended up with the wooden spoon among the four semi finalists, after a splendid run that saw them win three matches and draw one, the Falconets played with purpose, vision and invention and should be encouraged. “ Your girls are very good players. Their creativity and strength bring a lot to the tournament. It would be good to keep them together so that they can take the steps to the next grade,” Blatter was quoted to have told NFF’s Executive Committee member, Effiong Johnson. “Their battling effort on Saturday against the host nation, especially in the second half, underscored tenacity and courage in front of a near full-house rooting for the opponents,’’ he was further quoted to have said. Blatter urged the players not to be discouraged as they had shown strength of character and capacity, describing them as a great credit to the women’s game, even as Effoing promised to relay the message to the NFF. The Falconets, who were in Group B along South Korea, Brazil and Italy, failed to go a step further than they did in 2010 where they emerged finalists losing to hosts Germany 2-0. They lost in the Losers’ Final to Japan on Saturday. Their semi-finals conqueror, the U.S.A, won the competition after a lone strike from Kealia Ohai a minute before half-time gave them a 1-0 win over defending champions Germany.







i/ The stars of USA's remarkable FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup victory over Germany, despite a 3-0 defeat against the same opponent in the group stage, say they achieved glory because of their mental strength.


David Weir wins his fourth gold on final day of the Paralympics while Lewis Hamilton clinches Italian GP.


ii/ Star midfielder Marouane Fellaini claims he has "seen everything" at Everton and could push for a transfer away from Goodison Park as early as January.




v/ Andre Ward beats Chad Dawson in the 10th round to retain his WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles. vi/ South African Oscar Pistorius provided a fitting finale to the Paralympics track and field competition with gold in the last event of T44 400m.


Chris Paraskevas explains how a decade of financial mismanagement has landed AEK Athens in a dire situation.


vii/ England captain Stuart Broad says freshness is more important than practice before the second T20 international against South Africa.








FACTS * The first Fords had engines made by Dodge. * A mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long in just one night. * Peanuts are one of the ingredients in dynamite. * Ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone. * A hippo can open its mouth wide enough to fit a 4 foot tall child inside. * A quarter has 119 grooves on its edge, a dime has one less groove. * A hummingbird weighs less than a penny. * Until 1796, there was a state in the United States called Franklin. Today it is known as Tennessee. . Source: Weird facts


Scotsman and Englishman A Scotsman who was driving home one night, ran into a car driven by an Englishman. The Scotsman got out of the car to apologize and offered the Englishman a drink from a bottle of whisky. The Englishman was glad to have a drink. "Go on," said the Scot, "have another drink." The Englishman drank gratefully. "But don't you want one, too?" he asked the Scotsman. "Perhaps," replied the Scotsman, "after the police have gone."


Teachers given a head start in telling quadruplets apart

Quick CrossWord (23) ACROSS 6 Scornfully disobey (5) 7 Crises of approval (6) 11 Cosy corner (4) 13 North American enclosure for horses and cattle (6) 15 Brash (5) 16 Self-indulgent (6) 17 Soil (4) 20 Military square-bashing (5) 22 Congested (7) 23 Midget racing car (2-4) 24 Marriage payment (5)

DOWN 1 Money borrowed to buy a house (4,4) 2 Milkmaid’s seat (5) 3 Eat vulgarly (5) 4 Pull down (7) 5 Sung musical piece (4) 6 Extensively (3,3,4) 8 Quit (4,2,1,3) 12 Enjoyment (3) 13 T’ai__, Eastern exercise system (3) 14 Fail copiously (4,4) 15 Controversial 1980s community charge (4,3) 18 Extreme (5) 19 Of land, tree-covered (5) 21 Flattener (4)

Yesterday’s answer

The parents of these quadruplets were so worried their kids would get mixed up at school they branded them with numbers on their heads, in China.

. . . putting the people first



2013 Nations Cup qualifiers First-leg leads for Mozambique, Zimbabwe


imbabwe exhibited clinical finishing by beating Angola 3-1 in Harare, while Mozambique netted twice during the second half for a 2-0 victory over former champions Morocco in Maputo. Angola and Morocco will enjoy home advantage in the mid-October return matches and the aggregate winners will be among 15 teams who join automatic qualifiers South Africa for the three-week tournament next January and February. Bastos conceded an early own goal before a Khama Billiat shot and an Archford Gutu header gave Zimbabwe a threegoal half-time lead that was trimmed early in the second half when Djalma scored. It was a competitive baptism of fire for Uruguayborn Black Antelopes coach Gustavo Ferrin, although the away goal will give the Angolans some hope for the second leg in Luanda. Mozambique wasted several chances that triggered the constant booing of striker Jerry Sitoe before Almiro Lobo broke the deadlock and Domingues snatched a potentially crucial second goal in stoppage time. Congo DR is virtually assured of returning to the tournament after a seven-year absence thanks to a 4-0 thrashing of Equatorial Guinea in Kinshasa. It was one-way traffic towards the Equatoguinean goalmouth from the kick-off, with the Congolese Lions forcing 11 first-half corners, but they had to wait 55 minutes before translating their dominance into goals. Dieumerci Mbokani broke the deadlock and completed the rout 11 minutes from time after Deo Kanda and Isama Mpeka also scored. Nations Cup results Zimbabwe 3 Angola 1 Mozambique 2 Morocco 0 DR. Congo 4 E/Guinea 0 Libya 0 Algeria 1 Guinea 1 Niger Rep. 0


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Today is a total victory, a victory for Nigeria, a victory for ECOWAS, a victory for Africa and indeed a victory for the entire humanity — Ger man dele gation leader on German deleg Nigeria’s role in getting UN Programme ms adopted on Sa tur da y on Small Ar turda day Arms Satur

Untrue federalism It is ridiculous for hunters to argue about the skin of the lion when they have not killed it Tanzanian proverb


here is a popular fiction in Nigerian political language which is covered under a generic term, true federalism. It is built around the claim that there are true federal systems in the world, and the one we operate in Nigeria is not one of them. It says that if Nigeria operates a true federal system, most of its short and long term political and economic problems will disappear. It claims that we can move from this untrue to true federal system if we allow an unfettered and all-inclusive conclave of ethnic groups (or their polite name, “nationalities”) to agree and adopt a federal system of our choice. In the past few months, the demand for revisiting the nature and limitation of our federal system has been manifested in the clamour for political space by powerful interests. The demand for state police, borne out of the claim by governors that they have responsibility but not power for law and order and security is at the heart of the debate over what type of federal system best suits Nigeria. The potentially explosive, yet unavoidable arguments over revenue derivation and allocation which is widening the gulf between federating units to dangerous levels is also a key element in the arguments over our federal system. Then you have raging arguments over the nature and size of the federating units, and claims by some elements in the turbulent Ogoni community that they can secede from the federation. The report of the Justice Alfa Belgore Committee on Review of the Constitution is full of observations and recommendations on improving the nature and quality of our federal system. It addresses the issues of local governments’ autonomy, state-federal relations and issues around fiscal federalism. The JASLIWAJ (a.ka. Boko Haram) insurgency is setting its own agenda for a nation that will have to fight to preserve its multireligious nature, or live under Islamic law. There are fringe groups who think that is what muslims generally want; so let them have it in a nation of their own. The Biafra spirit flickers on and off, and Igbo leaders appear comfortable with a situation in which they both live with it, and remain distant from it. There are ominous signals that Ijaws could trigger an effort to pull the south south, or parts of it out of the federation if they feel hard done by around 2015. Many people among Yoruba think the idea of a Yoruba nation is more and more a feasible option in the long run.

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur The fiction that a “true” federal system will resolve these multiple challenges in our nation is one of the many liabilities we carry as we deal with serious threats to our future as a stable, united and prosperous nation. In the first place, there is no “true” federal system. All federal systems are different, products of unique historical circumstances and struggles, and none is perfect in the sense that it satisfies all citizens’ desire to share values and preserve uniqueness. Federalism is a government in which power is divided between a central authority and constituent political units. It contrasts with a unitary system in which power is located in a single central government. Every federation faces unique challenges, but also shares many common problems: un-answerable questions about the right balance between and federating units and central powers; constantly-shifting determinants and elements which inform the basis of the federation; stresses and strains triggered by conflicting demands from federating units, centrifugal forces or threats to the entire arrangement. A federal system is fundamentally a dynamic and institutionalized compromise, and one of its intrinsic characteristics is that its value, nature and operation are constantly questioned and altered. The vast majority of complaints against our “unture” federal system come from people whose interests will be best served if they have their own versions of what our federal system should be. Starting from those who argue that the best Nigerian federal

arrangement is one which does not exist (that is, those who believe that the nation has no business continuing to exist as one), you have those who think we should federate as ethnic groups; or as clusters of groups based on an agreement by tribal leaders; or those who think the six geopolitical zones should form federating units; or those who think there is room only for Muslims and Christians, each in their own nation, or sub-nations. Those who want “true” federalism will argue that ours is a bastard born out of violence and duress, a colonial creation which can only be cured by re-submitting it to a holistic repudiation and reinvention by the people it has tainted for 100 years. Once our leaders exercise a purging process over the present arrangement, a new federal system will emerge which will address bad governance, corruption, impunity, systemic violence, crimes and all the structural limitations to our unhindered growth and development. This purging and rebuilding process, however, must be total, free and open-ended. Nothing short of a sovereign conclave can do this, and if delegates decide that even a federation is no good for us, so be it. They can decide that the colonial creation should come to an end; Nigerians should regain their God-given rights to selfdetermination, and each tribe should go its own way. That, the conclave could argue, will be the best redress to the injustice of a century ago; and no one would have the powers to disagree. There is a lot wrong with our federal system, but blaming its genesis for them is a waste of time. All systems are born of conflicts and struggles, and generations build on them, try to improve them, or fail to do so. Nations do fail, and they do so because leaders and citizens fail to address their most challenging problems. Pluralism has to be systematically tackled by systems built to accommodate inclusion and diversity, or the system will break down. At this stage, we are at our usual crossroads, where acute problems trigger calls for reviews of the basic framework and elements of our national existence.

Basic unifying political institutions such as political parties and governance structures are weakening. In spite of its dominance of the political terrain, the PDP’s contribution to national unity and cohesion, and the creation of a sense of pride and faith in a united Nigeria is in deficit. It has serially abused its own formula for ensuring cohesion to a point where it represent a major source of political instability and insecurity. Its commitment to the electoral process has been at best questionable, and at worst preeminently subversive, to the point where few Nigerians believe elections have any value for them. Leaders and governments have been so far removed from people to whom they are supposed to be accountable, that impunity and abuse of the rule of law are more the norms than exceptions. The judiciary has been so compromised and corrupted that justice is literary available only to those who can afford it. Corruption has deprived citizens of hundred of trillions of their resources which should improve the quality of life; and has created a thin layer of fabulous rich which treats public funds as private assets. Citizens do not trust leaders. Leaders live in fear of citizens, or treat them with contempt. The state and the citizens have drifted so far apart that the remedy cannot be found in tinkering with our modes of coexistence. This penchant for demanding for changes in our political arrangements every time our political elite fail us is akin to football players demanding for the right to change the rules of the game every time they lose or fail to score. If Nigeria is governed well, by people genuinely elected, and governments which will use resources well, disputes over our systems of government will not take the pride of place in current debates as they do. No form of federal system will mitigate the damage which corrupt and incompetent leadership does to a nation. Corrupt leaders impoverish Nigerians from Bayelsa to Sokoto, from Kwara to Adamawa. If we submit to the demands for a radical review of our federal system, it should not be because some of the same leaders who brought our nation to its knees want it. Let us first improve on the quality of our election; on the capacity of state institutions of provide justice to all; roll back corruption; deal with many threats to our security; and remove other structural limits to the development of our nation. The only true federalism for Nigeria should be one which allows all citizens to live free, productive and secure existence. No ethnic or religious group wants this more than others. This is why the debate should move away from the fiction over true federalism to the real limitations in our bid to grow and develop as a nation, or at least lay the foundations for it for this and the next generations.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 10, September, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 10, September, 2012 Edition