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Vol. 8 No. 35

Friday, May 11, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Jimadal Akhir 20, 1433 AH


Jos crisis: Gunmen wipe out family of 7 From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


L-R: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Nasrul-Lahi-Li-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Alhaji Abdullateef Olawale Olasupo, President of NASFAT, Alhaji Sheriff Yussuf , and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa'ad Abubakar, during NASFAT National Symposium on Islam and Peaceful Co-Existence, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

unmen set fire to a home in a village, near Jos, the Plateau state capital and shot those who ran outside, to flee the flames, killing at least seven people and wounding three others, Peoples Daily learnt last night. The three injured are on admission at Vom Christian Hospital. The attack represents the latest killings spiraling out of unrest between communities living around the city of Jos, an area that has seen thousands killed in the last decade in Contd on Page 2

NJC reinstates Justice Salami By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


ine months after his suspension, former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, yesterday, returned to his post. His recall by the National Judicial Council (NJC) followed the recommendation of a threemember panel led by a justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Aloma Muhktar, that Salami be

reinstated immediately. The NJC met yesterday in Abuja, Peoples Daily learnt. A vote was taken at the meeting which favoured Justice Salami. Ten members voted for Salami’s recall while 8 voted against him. It would be recalled that Justice Salami was suspended by the NJC last August on a charge of insubordination, but a 29member Judicial Reform

Hembe, Azubogu to face trial over N44m fraud >> PAGE 2

Former CJN Aloysius Katsina-Alu and Justice Isa Ayo Salami

Tears as Oshiomhole’s aide is buried >> PAGE 3

We are ready to dialogue with Boko Haram – VP >> PAGE 4

Committee set up by the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, on October 14 recommended his reinstatement. A sub-committee of the panel, which included Justice Mamman Nasir, Justice U. Kalgo and Justice Bola Ajibola, asked the CJN and the NJC to reinstate Salami. The committee upheld the decisions of the sub-committee Contd on Page 2

We found 20 bombs at BUK in two weeks – Police >> PAGE 5




Hembe, Azubogu to face trial over N44m fraud


By Sunday Ejike Benjamin & Lawrence Olaoye

























ormer Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Capital Market, Mr. Herman Hembe is to face criminal trial alongside his Deputy, Chris Azubogu, for allegedly receiving estacode, but failing to embark on the foreign trip or returning the funds to the treasury. Ruling on an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Justice Abubakar Umar of the Abuja High Court granted the anti-graft agency leave to prosecute the two officials on corruption charges. EFCC prosecuting lawyer, Mr. Onjekwu Obe, filed an application for leave to prefer a two-count criminal charge against two members of the House of Representatives, under section 185 (d) of the Criminal Procedure Code. Obe declared: “I hereby apply for leave to prefer a criminal

charge against the above named accused persons. Attached herewith are the following documents: a copy of the charge in respect of which leave is sought, and a verifying affidavit. “Others are names and addresses of the witnesses, statements of the witnesses and that of the two accused persons and other documentary evidences.’’ Ruling, Umar granted the application and said that from the proof of evidence presented by the EFCC, Hembe and Azubogu are to be arraigned on Thursday, May 17. According to Justice Umar: “The application to prefer a criminal charge against Hon. Herman Hembe and Hon. Chris Azubogu has merit,’’. Addressing journalists outside the courtroom, the prosecution lawyer with the consent given by the judge, Hembe and Azubogu would now be arraigned on May 17 on a two-count charge bordering on misappropriation of

public funds. He said that the EFCC investigations revealed that Hembe and Azubogu were the two key actors in the N44 million fraud allegation rocking the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Other Institutions. The EFCC counsel added that investigations also revealed that the two had confessed that they did not attend the workshop for which they collected money from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Similarly, the House of Representatives yesterday disclosed that Hembe and the Director General of SEC, Ms. Aruma Oteh, would be facing the Disciplinary Committee chaired by Rep Samson Osagie very soon. Oteh had accused Hembe in the botched investigation by the defunct committee that he solicited N34 million bribe to finance the probe into the near collapse of the Capital Market. Tambuwal urges US to support Nigerian in corruption fight

By Umar Mohammed Puma The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has urged the United States government to support Nigeria in strengthening and deepening democratic values and to support Nigeria’s anticorruption agencies in fighting corruption by way of stopping any suspicious funds flowing into the United States. The Speaker made the request when the United State Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCulley paid him a courtesy call in his office yesterday. Earlier in his speech, the Ambassador said the US considers Nigeria as an important partner because of the role Nigeria plays in the African continent and to strengthen cordial working relationship with the National Assembly plays in the entire democratic process, as well as to discuss bilateral relations in security, petroleum and oil and gas.

NJC reinstates Justice Salami Contd from Page 1

CPC dismisses Lado, Danmusa, others, Page 38

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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and recommended Salami’s reinstatement. It is recalled that Salami’s suspension was recommended to President Goodluck Jonathan who approved it. The Council also directed Salami to hand over to the most senior justice of the Court of Appeal. Justice Dalhatu Adamu was consequently appointed in an acting capacity as the President of the Court of Appeal pending when the issue would be resolved. The charge of insubordination against Salami was based on his alleged refusal to tender an unreserved apology to the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice

Aloysius Katsina-Alu, whom he accused of attempting to pervert the course of justice in the Sokoto gubernatorial election dispute. That was after two separate panels that investigated the allegation turned in reports that said there was no truth in Salami’s allegation against the CJN. However, Salami stood by his allegation and went to a Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order voiding the findings and conclusions of the NJC on the issue. He had argued that NJC was a mere administrative body with no powers to examine and make findings on allegations made under oath, pointing out that it was only a court of law that could do what the NJC was

trying to do. Salami therefore asked the court to nullify the NJC’s action. There was a mild drama

CJN Dahiru Musdapher

when the court process was first served on the NJC and it refused it on the ground that it was neither signed nor dated. The NJC, in a statement issued on August 18, 2011 asked Salami to immediately proceed on an indefinite suspension, with a recommendation to President Jonathan to retire him. The statement was signed by the council’s Director of Administration, Mr. E.I. Odukwu. Consequently, Justice Dalhatu Adamu was appointed acting President of the appellate court. Meanwhile, Salami’s suit against the council and other eminent Jurists over his suspension is still pending before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Jos crisis: Gunmen wipe out family of 7 Contd from Page 1 fighting. That violence continues to go further and further out into rural villages, a potential sign that killings could again rage out of control. The killings that took place late Wednesday night happened in the village of Tahoss, said Mark Lipdo, who runs an advocacy group known as the Stefanos Foundation. The gunmen, suspected to be from herdsmen who roam the pasturelands of the plateau, targeted one specific family in their attack, Lipdo said. Plateau state Police Command spokesman Samuel Dabai said he visited Tahoss and saw the corpses. Dabai said police had begun

an investigation into the attack. These are just the latest killings to target the Riyom local government area, a rural, 800square kilometres region of farmlands that supply produces like potatoes, corn and tomatoes to the rest of the nation. Recent attacks there have killed at least 18 people before the violence Wednesday night. Peoples Daily recalls that last week 11 Journalists and four members of the Nigeria Red Cross escaped death by the skin of their teeth at Kak village where armed men shot at them as the journalists were doing an on-thespot assessment of the damage done by the last attack. Confirming Thursday’s attack, the member representing Riyom

constituency in the state House of Assembly described it as sad, saying it was just not right for people to be attacked and killed in their sleep. According to him, “seven people, including two children were shot dead in the early Thursday morning attack”. The lawmaker lamented that despite the fact that the local government area “is under state of emergency, people are being killed on a daily basis”. He called on security personnel deployed to the area to be proactive and bring the culprits to book. Governor Jonah Jang’s Special Adviser on peace building, Barrister Timothy Parlong, said that the state government was doing

“everything to ensure that peace returns to the local government”. He appealed to “my people to remain calm and not to take the law in to their hands as appropriate measures are being taken to bring to an end the senseless killings in the locality”. Jos and surrounding towns in Plateau state have been torn apart in recent years by violence pitting its different ethnic groups against each other. Human Rights Watch says at least 1,000 people were killed in communal clashes around Jos in 2010. The violence, though fractured across religious lines, often has more to do with local politics and economics.



Alleged certificate forgery: CJN summons judge over petition By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


hief Magistrate Hafsat Soso handling the certificate forgery allegation against Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue state, has been summoned by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, to appear before a complaints and petitions committee of the FCT Judicial Service Commission and explain her role in a petition filed by one Alexander Oketa on behalf of his clients, Chidozie Okpabi and three others.

Similarly, Magistrate Soso has been directed to stop further proceedings and hearing in a case filed by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) against Chidozie Okpabi, Governor Suswam versus Chidozie Okpabi and three others. Justice O.O. Goodluck of FCT High Court 9 sitting in Zuba in granting Okpabi’s application stated that, "after hearing Alex Oketa for the applicant and reading the affidavit of Chidozie Okpabi in support of his application, leave is hereby granted to the applicant to apply for judicial

review of the case of Rt. Hon Gabriel Suswam v Power Steering and 3 others case no. CR/50/2010 (later changed to IGP v Chidozie Okpabi and 3 others)". "The Chief Magistrate 2 presided over by Hafsat Soso is hereby ordered to transfer the case file pertaining to, concerning and relating to the case IGP v 3 others formerly known as Rt. Hon Gabriel Suswam v 3 others. Thirdly, the Magistrate court presided by Chief Magistrate Hafsat Soso to stop further proceedings and hearing of the case pending the hearing and

final determination of the substantive suit at the FCT high court 9, Zuba. Case adjourned to May 16, 2012". The matter, it would be recalled is coming up today, 11th May, 2012 before the same magistrate. The copy of the CJN’s summon signed by himself and made available to newsmen reads: ‘There appears to be so many complaints against CM Hafsat Soso. Please investigate and report back to me within three days. You should also investigate the allegations on page 1031 of this file".

New electricity tariff won’t pinch the poor, say govs By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


tate governors have defended the increase in electricity tariffs under the Multi-Year Tariff Structure proposed by the Nigerian Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC) which is billed to commence on June 20, 2012. The governors who met under the aegis of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo in the Presidential Villa, yesterday, however assured that the increase would have little negative effects on urban and rural poor who consume less electricity. Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state said there was the need to do the right thing in the power sector as manufacturers were leaving the country to neighboring countries because of the problem of power.

Reps to verify MDA’s capital projects By Umar Mohammed Puma

T Remains of Olaitan Oyerinde, slain principal private secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, in an open casket shortly before his burial yesterday.

Tears as Oshiomhole’s aide is buried


ears flowed freely when the casket carrying the body of the slain Private Principal Secretary of the Edo state Governor, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde was interred at the parade ground of the NYSC orientation Camp in Ede. According to Politicsonline, it took the intervention of the wife of Olaitan to persuade students under the auspices of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) to control their anger at government and security agents

for theirfailure to safeguard life and property. The governor of Osun state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in an elegy delivered his Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi, at the state funeral service in Olaitan's honour, described life of the deceased as one "free of limiting prejudices that often hamstring many Nigerians from rendering service to the people who are not of their tribe". He stressed that Olaitan enlisted freely in any cause that

would improve the lives of those around him, deriving great joy from being instrumental to the progress and success of others. The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Waheed Omar, in a tribute, said the deceased was a dependable ally who was not just an appointee in Edo state but the Deputy General Secretary of NLC. Comrade Femi Falana chided security agents and government for not rising to the challenge of ensuring the security of its citizens,

describing the threat of Senator Iyiola Omisore to attack the convoy of Aregbesola as a serious case which should not be treated with kid-glove. “Olaitan is a pan-African of exceptional qualities, who chose a path of justice and progress of his country, the killing of Olaitan has shown that everybody is no longer save as the spate of insecurity is on the rise, the situation can be likened to that of Banana Republic, the recent treat of Omisore should not be taken lightly is you look at the way Chief Bola Ige was killed after the episode of his cap removal at the Palace of the Oni of Ife,” he said.

Customs apprehends 4 tokunbo cars in gov’s convoy From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta


our smuggled cars which infiltrated the convoy of Ogun state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun during his tour of Ipokia local government area of the state have been confiscated by the Nigeria Customs

Service, while one of the offending drivers was also arrested. The smugglers drove about 30 fairly used vehicles popularly called Tokunbo and forced their way into the governor’s convoy at Ajegunle, a suburb of Idiroko border town, a development which almost caused serious accident in an attempt to escape arrest by

customs. Speaking on the ugly development yesterday, Area Comptroller, Ogun State Command, Bamidele Akande said his men were still on the trail of the smugglers who infiltrated the governor’s convoy with the view to recover the remaining smuggled vehicles. He identified the arrested

driver as Omolegbe Toyosi, who received gunshot on the leg and is currently on the admission at Customs’ Staff Clinic in Idiroko. He said the driver had allegedly knocked down and seriously injured a customs officer identified as Adeyemi Fatai with one of the smuggled vehicles that broke into the governor’s convoy.

he House of Representatives yesterday directed all housing standing committees to provide detailed report of all on-going projects of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA’s) within their purview in preparation for the 2013 Appropriation Bill. Moving the motion to that effect, Deputy House Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor, cited section 82 (1) and (2) which empowers the President to prepare and lay before each house of the National Assembly, an appropriation bill which seek to authorise the House to approve the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation for recurrent and capital expenditures for the year. He noted that the National Assembly had appropriated trillions of naira to ministries, department and agencies for capital projects and for infrastructural development of the nation from 1999 till date with no commensurate develpment. Contributing to the debate, Hon. Datti Mohammed (Kaduna) said the bill was timely because, “our budget has become an annual ritual, over the years, trillions of naira have been appropriated to the (MDA’s) and has gone through the drain without anything to show for it, instead what we are left with is accumulated abandoned projects. He then urged the House to give priority in the 2013 budget to abandoned and uncompleted projects.



NEMA delivers relief materials to Congo Brazzaville By AbdulRahman Abdulraheem


n the spirit of African brotherhood, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has delivered relief materials approved by the Federal Government to the government of the Republic of Congo to assist the 14, 000

persons displaced by the recent ammunition depot explosions in Brazzaville. Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, who delivered the items on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Brazzaville said the gesture was in solidarity with the Congolese government to support the local

efforts in addressing the humanitarian challenges triggered by the disaster. He conveyed the condolence of President Goodluck Jonathan, noting the courage and forthrightness which the Congolese have been able to

handle the situation. . Responding, the Congolese Minister of Social Affairs and Humanitarian Action, Mrs. Emilienne Raoul thanked the Nigerian government for the kind gesture. She conveyed the goodwill of the Congolese

President, Dennis Sassou Nguesso to Nigeria and promised that the relief would be distributed to the IDPs accordingly. The items delivered were food items, toiletries, beddings, clothings, medicaments and assorted household materials.

Labour minister advocates paradigm shift in industrial relations By Albert Akota


he Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu has disclosed government’s resolve to pursue a more cordial relationship with the labour unions in the country. Chief Wogu made this remarks yesterday at the official commissioning ceremony of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) House, in Abuja. “Government has considered the current industrial relations principles and practice hinged on adversarial relationship that does not promote the envisaged peace and harmony. Accordingly,

government has resolved to pursue a paradigm shift from this adversarial position to a more flexible win-win relationship in tandem with the basic tenet of the Transformation Agenda of Mr. President”, the Minister said. “Arrangements are on top gear to convene a high-level stakeholders’ forum to deliberate on this new focus together,” Wogu further said. He added that the social cost of incessant strikes and lock-outs is increasingly becoming unbearable to an emerging economy such as ours. The minister commended the exemplary leadership strides of NASU for the judicious use of union dues.

Tukur raises alarm over spate of insecurity From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


lhaji Bamaga Tukur, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday bemoaned the rising wave of insecurity and use of extreme violence in settling scores in the country, and called on the PDP led Federal Government and Nigerians to embrace dialogue and negotiation in order to find solutions to the problem. Alhaji Tukur disclosed this in Yola during a civic reception organised by Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state and the state chapter of the PDP in his honour as the new national chairman of the party. “We are passing through many challenges as a nation due to the growing spate of insecurity and sectarian violence. These are new challenges in our polity and we must come out as one family irrespective of political party affiliation to tackle the problems

head on”, he said. He observed that where debate, peaceful negotiation and dialogue seize to exist, “democracy is doomed and invariably collapses”. Tukur added that he would use his wealth of experience to work hand in hand with President Goodluck Jonathan to actualise his transformation agenda and reform programmes just as he assured Governor Nyako of his readiness to work towards uplifting the party in the state. “We are faced with challenging problems like abject poverty, youth restiveness, unemployment, corruption, and decline in moral values etc” and the only way to overcome all these is by debating and dialoguing. In his goodwill message, national secretary of the PDP, Olagunsoye Oyinlola, commended Governor Nyako and the people of Adamawa state for the reception, and assured Tukur that the entire hierarchy of the party is solidly behind him.

Niger govt to embrace GES proposal on agriculture From Iliya Garba, Minna


ecretary to the Niger state government, Mr. Daniel Clifford Shashere has said government would embrace the proposal of the Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) because of its attendant benefits to the farmers and agricultural production in the state. He made this known yesterday, while declaring open a workshop on the GES and the use of Improved Seeds/Seedlings held at U.K. Bello Arts Theatre, Minna. Mr. Shashere further noted

that the state government was taking maximum advantage of the agricultural transformation agenda of the Federal Government, especially along the value chain of high crops such as Rice, Cotton, Cassava and Soya Beans. In his remarks, commissioner of agriculture and rural development, Alhaji Mohammed Kwatu Abdullahi disclosed that the GES is an initiative of Federal Ministry of Agriculture, aimed at addressing the challenges of past system of inputs and subsidy administration.

L-R: Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam, Sokoto state deputy governor, Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, and Kaduna state governor, Mr. Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye.

We are ready to dialogue with Boko Haram, says Sambo So am I, Dankwambo declares By Lawrence Olaoye


he Federal Government has reiterated its readiness to negotiate with the members of Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna lid Da’awati wal Jihad, popularly known as Boko Haram and other aggrieved groups if only they ceasefire and embrace dialogue. Vice-President Namadi Sambo made this call yesterday in Abuja, at a national symposium organised by NasirulLahi-Faith Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) with the theme: “Islam and Peaceful Co-Existence in a Contemporary Multi-Religious Society.” He said: “It is clear today that the terrorist attacks are clearly against all segments of our society, which is uncalled for. I must seize this opportunity to call on all the groups to ceasefire and come forward for dialogue. Government is ready to discuss. “History has proven that even wars that are fought for decades, at the end, are concluded only by dialogue. I am not aware of any religion in the world that encourages unprovoked and relentless attack on other people,” he said. He said President Goodluck Jonathan led-administration was doing what humanly possible to tackle the menace of insecurity occasioned by the activities of

militant groups across the country. Sambo gave the assurance that the activities of militant groups in the country would not jeopardise government’s effort at stimulating Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs). “Our desire to propel Foreign Direct Investment cannot be jeopardised. We are therefore extending our hands of friendship to our foreign friends with genuine intentions to come and do business in Nigeria. “We assure them that our effort at tackling this menace is real and determined. Let me also appeal to foreign missions in the country to continue to support our efforts in this direction. Such gesture will not only be appreciated, but will go a long way in strengthening the cordial relationship mutually shared by our countries, ” he added. In the same vein, Gombe state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo has declared that his administration is ready to dialogue with the religious sect for the sake of peace in the country. He made the revelation yesterday when some national officers of the People’s Democratic Party visited him to sympathise with the state over the incessant attacks by the sect on northeastern states, noting that it would be imperative to dialogue to

guarantee peace and development of the state and the zone. The National Organising Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, who led the team to the two states equally restated the call for dialogue with the sect, to find lasting solution to the violence threatening peace in the North. “The PDP as a party condemns in totality, violence and terrorism and call on all those whose responsibility it is, to take all steps necessary to bring this to an end. We believe enough is enough; We have been saying that Nigeria deserves to be among the top twenty countries by the year 2020 and this would be a mere dream as long as peace isn’t with us”. “I also want to assure you that we have taken measures to ensure that we give support to some of the victims that lost their property; but those who lost their lives, it is most unfortunate, lives are irreplaceable. But for those who lost their property, we have taken some remedial actions to ensure that they didn’t lose, completely”, he further stated. In his remarks, Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima warned that the entire North would become inhabitable in the next five years, if nothing was done urgently to stem the menace of Boko Haram.



Nigerian youth need reorientation, says Senators T From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

he Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs and Youth Development, Senator Helen Esuene has said Nigerian youth need reorientation. She proposes that state governments should partner with the Federal Government to establish institutions like the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (C&LTC) in order to remould the youth as the present seven centres are not enough. The call was made in Lagos yesterday when Senator Esuene led members of the committee that included Senators Boluwaji Kunlere representing Ondo South and Nenadi Usman, Kaduna South, on an oversight visit to the centre at Sea School, Apapa.

Esuene stressed that the situation that warranted the establishment of the institution in 1951 we still persistent, and she urged Nigerians to refrain from bringing down the country but to criticise constructively. Senator Esuene however commended the efforts of the centre at moulding minds of the nation's youth, adding that the centre could do better if the Federal Government properly funds it. She noted that the buildings

were old and should be pulled down and reconstructed. Also, Senator Kunlere who is a member of Senate Committee of National Security and Intelligence, said the current violence and political killings could only be addressed if the citizens rise as a nation to address the issue. He emphasised that the training given to youths at C&LTC was enough to prevent youths from suicide bombing or armed robbery by inculcating the spirit

of brotherhood and self confidence. Director General C&LTC, Michael Oladele Fawole said since the establishment of the Centre it has made remarkable progress in improving the quality of courses, the number of participants and infrastructure. "However, a lot of grounds still needs to be covered to bring our training programmes to more Nigerians at the grassroots", he said.

NOA urgey Nigerians to bury differences From Ahmed Kaigama Bauchi


igerians have been called upon to set aside their differences and work together in order to restore the battered image of the country. The Bauchi state Director of National Orientation Agencies (NOA) Hajiya Jummai Bello made the plea during the formal launching of NOA's transformation slogan "Do the right thing, Transform Nigeria", while lamenting the moral decadence in the country. Bello said that it was time Nigerians came together to advance the rich but fading value system of its various cultures which held the country in unity. "We feel this is a clarion call. Everybody knows what is good and so we should go back to the good old days of our value and save our country from decaying," she says. Bello said the campaign to transform the country cuts across all stakeholders from commercial motorcyclist to tricycle operators, taxi drivers, community and religious leaders among others.

Copy Editor of Peoples Daily newspaper, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim (left), presenting copies of the paper to Abuja Coordinator of Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA), Abdulbasir Bakare (middle), during the organisation’s visit to Peoples Media Limited headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. With them is Abuja Team Leader of MICA, Idris Tiamiyu (right). Photo By Justin Imo-Owo

Nigeria will defeat Boko Haram-Army commander

From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Commander of 3 Brigade of the Nigeria Army Kano, Brigadier General Isa Abbah has assured that Nigeria will soon overcome the challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgency. The commander who spoke when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Sule Lamido at the

Government House Dutse yesterday said many countries of the world had passed through more deadly challenges and came out of it. He indicated that the challenge he met in Kano when he took over as 3 Brigade commander was not easy but however under control. He solicited for the cooperation of all in committing insecurity to

the dustbin of history. He commended Governor Lamido for the peace Jigawa state has been enjoying adding that it was a manifestation of his leadership style. Responding,Governor Sule Lamido said the Boko Haram insurgency and others manifested from bad governance in the past three decades.

MICA launches N250m Islamic centre in Abuja By Muhammad Nasir


he Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA) has set to establish an Islamic centre in Abuja primarily design for the Muslim Ummah across Nigeria. The disclosure was made by the head, Research, Publicity and Publication (RPP), Idris Tiamiyu yesterday at the headquarters of Peoples Media limited, Publishers of Peoples Daily Newspaper, during a courtesy visit noting that the Islamic centre would carry out

other key activities including capacity building, training, and gym as well as research libraries. Tiamiyu noted that the establishment is to inform the contemporary Muslims and that the launching of endowment fund for the Islamic centre to be located at Lugbe in Abuja would come up on May 26,2012, adding that MICA is headquartered in Lagos and has branches in UK, Abuja and Kaduna respectively. "We are looking for N250 million from the launching of the Islamic center for Muslims and we

have acquired a piece of land in lugbe estate, it's about three thousand square meters and we have secured the approval, "he noted. Tiamiyu also said that they have collaboration with government agencies in the course of their corporate responsibilities, adding that in the past they had invited Road Safety Corps to deliver lectures, Vehicle Inspection Officers and other organizations into their activities. He also maintained that they carried out spiritual activities such

as Da'awah, and offer free medical services as some of their corporate social responsibilities across the federation. Also speaking, the Coordinator, Abuja Chapter of MICA, Abdulbasit Bolaji Bakare praised Peoples Daily for its stride within a short time. "We are here to assure you that in our own part, we have looked through your regular daily, and we decided to support your organization in our capacity and we want you to help us to give maximum publicity in what we are trying to do, insha Allah, come May 26th, 2012.

Community protests takeover of land, demolition of buildings


eople of Tirwun community in Bauchi local government area have protested the nonpayment of compensation for their land forcefully acquired by the Bauchi state government. A community leader, Alhaji Umar Faruk who led members of the community and owners of the land to the secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalist, said they were protesting the annulment of land titles and demolition of their buildings by the state ministry of lands. He said, "we are over 2000, we purchased the land in the last five years and we heard that the government intends to acquire the land to build 1000 houses in the area". According to him, the committee set up by the community negotiated with the government and relevant authorities and the government sent officials of the Ministry of Lands to offer them 50,000 for each person's land. "Some people agreed and collected the money while many others refused to collect the money because it's too small and we asked government to increase the money to enable us buy another land or to give us a new land so that we can build our houses". Umar lamented that without notice, government sent officials of the Ministry of Lands and survey to demolish all their structures without notice or prior compensation. The community leader said one of his members fell unconscious from shock as a result and he is still in hospital.

Safer mining key to eradicating lead poisoning in Zamfara By A’isha Biola Raji


articipants at the international Lead Poisoning conference which ended in Abuja yesterday, have called for the introduction safer mining activities as key solution to health hazards being generated from mining activities in Zamfara state. Mr. Ivan Gayton, Coordinator, Medecin Sans Frontiere (Doctors Without Borders), said this at the closing ceremony yesterday. He said it is possible for artisanal miners to benefit from mining activities without endangering the lives of children as is being done now. The Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mohammed Ali Pate represented by Abdulsami Nasidi, Project Director Nigeria Centre for Disease Control who presented the outcome of the conference to newsmen, said action has been initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan as he has directed all ministries concerned to include funding that will aid elimination of this contermination in the 2012 budget.


3 docked over alleged poisoning, robbery From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


hree persons were yesterday arraigned before a Katsina Chief Magistrate Court 111 for allegedly poisoning two people before robbing them of the sum of N775,000. The prosecuting police, Sergeant Okolo Usman noted that the suspects include, Abdullahi Bala, Jamilu Tasi'u, Abdulhamid Kafur and one Malam Rayya who is at large. The prosecutor told the court that the suspects on the 24th of April 2012 lured their victims, Sani Mu'azu and one other with the promise that they have cotton to sell to the victims. He added that when the victims from Kandarawa village in Bakori local government area of Katsina state demanded to see the cotton, the suspect took them to Kafur town. Usman further told the court that on reaching Kafur the suspects change the story that the cotton was in Gwarzo town in Kano state and therefore demanded the victims to join them to the town to inspect the cotton. The prosecutor disclosed that it was on their way to Gwarzo that the suspects offered their victims a drink suspected to have been poisoned, which made them to become unconscious and therefore abandoned them before fleeing with the loot. Usman therefore told the court that by this act, the suspects have committed criminal conspiracy and robbery which he said was contrary to section 97 and 1 (a) (b) of robbery and fire arms special provision CAP 398 LFN 1990. However, the presiding magistrate, Nuruddeen Abdulmumini Jikamshi told the accused that they were only brought to the court for mentioning, saying that the court has no jurisdiction to entertain the case. He therefore ordered them to be remanded in prison custody until the 6th of June 2012.


We found 20 bombs at BUK in two weeks, say police From Edwin Olofu, Kano


he Kano state police command has revealed that it discovered 20 improvised explosives device (IEDs) at Bayero University, Kano (BUK) in the last two weeks. The Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, who made the revelation in Kano yesterday while speaking to newsmen, said the anti-bomb squad of the command drafted to the institution was compelled by certain exigencies to revert to “controlled detonation”

in order to avoid fatalities. “After the bomb attack in BUK April 29th, the command’s bomb disposal unit recovered IEDs, and 14 canned IEDs in the university’s premises. Likewise, another bomb was evacuated from the Faculty of Sociology on May 1st, while three bombs were recovered at various locations in the university May 8th and were successfully detonated,” he explained. Idris stated that they realised it was dangerous for his men and members of the public to evacuate such explosives from the school,

saying that they were left with the option of detonating the explosives. He tasked the university authorities to overhaul their security system, while calling on the academic community to be more vigilant as a proactive measure to check the new trend. The commissioner further said that “the security officers attached to the institution have an important role to play by ensuring that all persons, carriages, vehicles and motorcycles entering the university are thoroughly

searched”. He, however, expressed delight with the high level of cooperation from the general public saying that their prayers have done some miracles in the war against criminals in the society. “The good people of Kano state have answered the call for cooperation, support as well as furnishing the security agencies with accurate and timely information that had immensely contributed to unveiling of criminals and their hideout”, Idris said.

R-L: Gabonese President Alli Bongo Odinmba, President Goodluck Jonathan, Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, during the opening of 2012 World Economic Forum on Africa, yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

FG urges militants to embrace dialogue By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he Federal Government has reiterated its call on all aggrieved groups to ceasefire and come forward for dialogue. The Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, made this call yesterday in Abuja at the national symposium, organised by Nasirul-Lahi-Faith Society of Nigeria (NASFAT),

tagged “Islam and Peaceful CoExistence in a Contemporary Multi Religious Society.” The Vice President, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion, said “government is ready to discuss. History has proven that even wars that are fought for decades, at the end, are only concluded by dialogue.” Arc. Sambo commended the organisers of the symposium, adding that it would help to

educate the public on the Islamic view of peaceful co-existence and the concept of Jihad. He stated that to deliver on government’s promise on the revitalisation of the Railway system, government had signed an MoU with General Electric for the delivery of 200 locomotive heads and also for the location of a locomotive manufacturing plant in Nigeria, which would also serve the West African sub-region.

Similarly, the Vice President assured that the activities of militant groups would not jeopardize its desire to propel Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs). In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, called on the Muslim Ummah to champion the principle of peaceful co-existence and education, saying that religious leaders should be mindful of their utterances so as not to overheat the polity.

Abducted Ogun medical doctor freed Lagos Assembly orders dissolution her captors. From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta The chairman, Nigeria Medical of troubled Ironsi market executive


he medical doctor in Ogun state, Taiba Olusola Otulana, who was recently kidnapped, has regained her freedom after spending six days in captivity. It would be recalled that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ogun state chapter, had on Wednesday embarked on a protest over the kidnap of their colleague, who was a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu. The victim, who doubles as a senior lecturer at the teaching hospital was kidnapped at gun point along LagosSagamu road, on her way to school. The motorists who attempted to rescue her were allegedly shot. However, she was released on Wednesday night, after being blindfolded by

Association (NMA), Adewunmi Alayaki, who spoke with journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, said the kidnapped female doctor was released at about 8.30pm on Wednesday. He said, the victim did not sustain any physical injuries. The NMA boss said he could not ascertain if any ransom was paid before her release, but was of the opinion that the rally embarked on by the association, coupled with media outcry contributed to the urgent release of the victim. “Because like I said if you have an armed robber visiting you for an hour, the trauma will live with you till the rest of your life, let alone somebody being in the captive for several days, you can imagine what we mean,” he stated.

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


agos state House of Assembly has ordered the dissolution of the executive council of Traders Association of Aguiyi Ironsi Market, headed by Jonathan Okoli, as a result of recent crisis in the market. The order which was carried out by Mushin Local Government was sequel to adoption of the report presented by the House committee on Judiciary and Human Right and Public Petition to the members. It was also ordered to setup a Caretaker/Management Committee for the trade centre, consisting of three

representatives of the various groups in the crisis, which will be inaugurated immediately. The committee is therefore charged with the responsibility of maintain peace, and to conduct a free and fair election for new executive within 3 months from the date of inauguration. The Chairman of the committee, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, while presenting the report stressed that persons identified and named by parties in the dispute as the arrow heads and ring leaders of the crisis should not be allowed to participate in the Joint Sanitation Committee, Caretaker/ Market Management Committee or stand for any office in the forthcoming election.



Power generation from Kainji drops by 38mw


ower generation from the Kanji Dam has dropped by 38 megawatts, Mr. Reuben Akinwumi, its chief executive officer, has said. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday that the drop was caused by the unending low-level of water in the dam intake scheme. Akinwumi said power generation from the dam hovered between 225 and 238 megawatts in March, but had dropped to 200 megawatts from four

turbine units. Akinwumi said that although the station had completed repairs of the fifth unit, which was meant to boost output, the ongoing low-level of water at the dam was hindering effective generation from the station. “We are currently generating about 200 megawatts, but we hope that by the time the water level increases, we are going to hit 350 megawatts”, he said.

He said that the turnaround maintenance of the dams was long overdue, adding that the Federal Government had promised to rehabilitate all the dams in the country. Akinwumi said that the plant had not been overhauled since it was constructed 44 years ago. NAN gathered from a source at the National Control Centre in Osogbo that that the country’s power generation was now around 3,236.9 megawatts. (NAN)

Distorted value system cause of corruption in Nigeria – ICPC From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


orruption in Nigeria has been attributed to the absence of obedience to moral injunctions and religious teachings. The Zonal head, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Olusegun Adigun, made the declaration in Bauchi yesterday while delivering a paper during a sensitisation workshop for National Anti-Corruption Volunteers Corps (NAVC) titled: Corruption, ICPC Act

and You. He opined that although Nigerians are religious, their value orientation leaves much to be desired hence corruption is becoming the order of the day among them. He expressed sadness that corruption has led to societal degradation, dilapidated infrastructure, unemployment among other negative effects. He lamented that corruption has cause serious setbacks to the development of the country Mr. Adigun is in charge of ICPC Bauchi, Taraba and Yobe states, lamented the

shocking corruption revelations coming from the House of Rep probing activities of the Stock Exchange Commission (SEC) and the fuel subsidy. The ICPC zonal officer was of the opinion that the country’s value system is so bad that many citizens do not question the source of wealth of their fellow citizens. He said: “A major problem is our distorted value system. Nigeria has a distorted value system. Somebody is employed for only six months and we see him with a bid jeep and nobody questions how he came about it”.

FG assures Abuja tanker drivers, others government of Kaduna state of world class park as well as other stakeholders By Adeola Tukuru


n its effort to bring sanity and reduce carnage on Nigeria roads, the Federal Government has promised petroleum tanker drivers and their counterparts in the road sector of its commitment to providing world class tanker parks across strategic locations in the country. The Minister of State for Works, Amb, Bashir Yuguda, gave this assurance when

he visited the Tafa Tanker park along the Abuja/ Kaduna road that is being constructed by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) along with the executive members of Road Transport Owners Association of Nigeria (NUPENG), as well as the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO). He sought the support of NUPENG, NARTO and Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) to collaborate with the ministry, and the

in the road sector to curb the situation. While fielding questions from journalist immediately after inspecting the old park in Tafa town, the president of NARTO, Alhaji Ibrahim Kasim Bataiyya, pleaded with the Federal Government to assist the association and rehabilitate the existing Tafa park to standard, he also promised to collaborate with the ministry in solving the problem of indiscriminate parking along Nigerian highways.

Development (DFID), and produced by a team of Nigerian researchers further revealed that Nigeria ranks 118 out of 134 countries in the Gender Equality Index, only 15% of Nigerian women have bank accounts, 41% of children under five years are suffering from malnutrition and stunted growth and only 3% of girls enrolled in school completed secondary school this year. According to the project manager, Roy Chikwem, the report took

into cognisance women in both the Northern and Southern part of the country and highlighted the realities of women in the country and made recommendations on policies that can improve their lives and help the government in addressing the challenges. He said the report will affect the way policies in relation to girls and women are formulated in the country as its goal is to have more than 30 percent representation of women in government.

aNigeria ranks low on gender equality index By Maryam Garba Hassan


he 2012 British Council Gender report titled “Gender in Nigeria Report 2012’ launched yesterday in Abuja, has revealed that 6million Nigerian youths go into the labour market every year but only 10,000 get employed out of which a quarter are women even as women constitute 70% of the country’s population. The report which is funded by UKaid from the Department for International




L-R: Lagos state Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola , and Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, during a condolence visit by ACN governors to their Edo counterpart, on Wednesday over the killing of his Principal Private Secretary, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde and the death, in a motor accident, of three journalists attached to the Edo state Government House.


Trailers parked at Tafa along KadunaAbuja federal highway. Photo: NAN

L-R: National President, Association of Primary School Head Teachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON), Mr. Mahmud Lawal, Guest Speaker, Alhaji Shuaib Akaaba, and National Secretary of the association, Mr Oluwole Adeola, during a leadership and management workshop, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo





Members of AntiCorruption Network, led by former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Dino Melaye, queuing to sign a register against corruption and electricity price hike, yesterday at Wuse II, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

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Youth empowerment will be skill-based, says Wada From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state government has reiterated its intention to make its youth empowerment programme, in this dispensation demand and not supply driven. The state governor, Capt

Idris Wada made the disclosure through his deputy, Arc. Yomi Awoniyi, at a training workshop to acquaint heads and directors of local government in the 21 council areas of the state on the philosophy of the present administration. Governor Wada said unlike

in the past when money was being shared to solve temporary needs, the present administration’s efforts would be to empower the youths with skills that would make them gainfully empowered as well as check the growing rate of poverty and youths restiveness in the state.

The governor reiterated his administration’s priority of making education and skill acquisition programmes top on the agenda, noting, “learning how to fish was better than feeding”. Wada vowed to permanently stamp out thuggery, violence and other

social vices associated with the youths in the present day society, restating that his administration has resolved to improve agriculture through farm settlement programme for youths who are interested in farming.

28 years after: Environment officers demand more hands From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


L-R: Head of Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Richard Montgonery, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and Country Director, British Council, Mr. David Higgs, during a conference on gender in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Lagos Assembly orders sacking of troubled Ironsi market executives From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Lagos state House of Assembly has ordered the dissolution of the outdated executive council of Traders Association of Aguiyi Ironsi Market headed by Jonathan Okoli as a result of recent crisis in the market. The order which was carried out by Mushin local government was sequel to adoption of the report presented by the House Committee on Judiciary and Human Right and Public Petitions to the members. It also ordered the setup of a caretaker management committee for the trade centre consisting of three representatives each of the Jonathan Okoli group, Okechukwu Imoh group, Paramo Ventures and Mushin local government to be constituted and inaugurated immediately. The committee when setup is expected to maintain peace and conduct a free and fair election of new executive within three months from the date of inauguration. The chairman of the committee, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade while presenting the report explained that in view of Article 9, Section 1 of

the Constitution of Aguiyi Ironsi Association upon which Jonathan Okoli was elected, and further to paragraph 9 of Jonathan Okoli’s inaugural speech of 7th April, 2007, more so that there has been no other election since 2007 up till date, it was deemed that Okoli’s regime has ended. Agunbiade stressed that

persons identified and named by warring parties in the dispute as the arrow heads and ring leaders of the crisis should not be allowed to participate in the Joint Sanitation Committee, Caretaker/ Market Management Committee or stand for any office in the forthcoming election.

Presidential panel lauds progress at Fedpoly Bauchi From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Presidential visitation panel to polytechnics and colleges of education has commended the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi for its infrastructural development Chairman of the panel, Professor George A. Obiozor made the commendation during its visitation to the Federal Polytechnic in Bauchi, saying that he was impressed with the level of facilities put in place in the polytechnic According to him, the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, “is one of the best polytechnics in the country if not the best and it was confirmed to me, so this call for commendation The chairman told the

polytechnic community that the panel was there to review the institution’s activities from 2004 to 2011 notably on issues related to financial management, infrastructural and human capital development, general administration and the polytechnic’s relationship with other stakeholders such as the state government, traditional institutions, public agencies and other social stakeholders. In his remark the Rector, Dr. Shuaibu M. Musa, asks the team to feel free within the environment in order for them to carry out their assignment. He called on the staff and students to make their submission to the panel freely without fear of intimidation.

Lagos warns Okada riders on traffic rules From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


he Lagos state AttorneyGeneral and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye has warned commercial motorcycle operators popularly known as okada riders to always obey traffic rules, or face sanctions. Ipaye gave this warning while reacting to the case filed against the state government by Okada riders at the Federal High Court asking the court to restrain law enforcement agencies from arresting them and to release their seized bikes. The Attorney-General said motorcycles were means of transportation which must be licensed to operate. “The okada operators must have rider’s permit and their motorcycles must have commercial plate numbers. It is illegal for motorcycles without the commercial plate number to be used for okada business,” he said adding that they disobediently take the BRT lane meant for BRT buses, drive against the traffic and disregard traffic lights.

he Association of Environmental Health Workers, Oyo state chapter has urged Governor Abiola Ajimobi to recruit more qualified environmental officers saying the last recruitment exercise was conducted 28 years ago. The state chairman of the association, Mr. Ayoola Olagoke Joseph disclosed this at the 3rd National Conference of the Guild of Environmental Health Teachers held at School of Health Sciences, University College Hospital, Ibadan. He attributed major problems on environment to lack of qualified, and well equipped manpower, adding that government was always silent over recruitment of competent hands to the sector. “Recruitment of environmental officers are state policy, Oyo state has abandoned the exercise since 1984, we are the last set. I was employed in 1983, since then, government has been silent over it. This is the reason for low and unseen performance of environmental health workers in the state when compare with Lagos state that recruits 500 staff every year,” he said. In a keynote address delivered by Professor Mac Araromi titled ‘Challenges to Education in Nigeria: The Journey so Far’ called for national dialogue on comprehensive factors militating against education. The Director, Institute of Education, University of Ibadan blamed the government for the deplorable condition of educational sector in the country since the Second Republic and urged the stakeholders in the education sector to converge on issues affecting the system. In his welcome address, The National chairman of the Guild of Environmental Health Teachers in Nigeria, Alhaji Ado Bello called for dynamic academic structure that would note the myriad health problems confronting the nation. Bello said there was need to upgrade and update environmental teaching facilities and personnel amidst uncontrolled population growth and current societal change.



Terror attacks: AYF wants Aliyu out as NSGF chair From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


he Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) has asked the chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, to resign his position over the recurrent cases of terrorist attacks in parts of the north. AYF in a press statement in

Kaduna, on Wednesday, accused Aliyu, the Niger state governor of failing to use his position to curb the activities of terrorist groups in the north. The statement signed by the group’s national president, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, lamented that the current state of insecurity has virtually destroyed

the northern economy even as it urged aggrieved groups in the area to embrace peace. The statement said: “Governor Babangida Aliyu should resign his position as chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum because the northern economy has been destroyed under his watchful eyes. “The situation in the north has

continued to deteriorate due to the guerilla warfare in parts of the region and for now, it appears there is no solution. “Since the crisis began and it has continued unabated, hundreds of people have been killed and property lost and the north has become unattractive to investors. “In a situation where the

governors under the leadership of Babangida Aliyu continue to watch helplessly as such crisis situation continues to unfold in the region, the best thing is for Governor Aliyu to give way to a much more robust and proactive person who can pave the way for a genuine dialogue so that peace can reign in the region”.

Council decries high maternal, infant mortality rate From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


L-R: NUPENG National Secretary, Comrade Dayyabu Garba, National Vice-President, Kaduna state, Alhaji Tijani Zubairu, NARTO Deputy President, Chief Ayoola Sadiku, and the National President, Alhaji Kassim Bafaiya, listening to the Minister of State for Works, Malam Bashir Yuguda, yesterday during the inspection of trailers parked at Tafa along Kaduna-Abuja road. Photo: NAN

Look inward for your aide’s killers, PDP tells Oshiomhole By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has told the Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to look inward for the killers of his principal secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde, instead of blaming the opposition for the dastardly act. The party expressed worry at the spate of killings and political

violence in Edo state ahead of the July 14 governorship elections in a statement made available to newsmen by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh. He said: “The NWC is particularly appalled with the dangerous descent to violence and the resort to baseless accusations and foul language employed to score cheap political points.” “While we sympathise with

the government and people of Edo state over the unfortunate murder of the principal secretary to the governor, Mr. Olaitan Oyerinde, we urge the Edo state governor to look beyond his obsession with wild accusations against his opponents and also consider the possibility of culprits within his set up. “We condemn the attitude of the ACN who have chosen to

dishonor the memory of this gentleman by making his death a tool for political campaigns. The PDP has absolutely nothing to gain from the murder of Mr. Oyerinde and it is only the ACN that stands to gain massive sympathy and public sentiments in this regard. Let us emphasise here that motive is always a factor in murder cases. Who stands to gain from this gruesome murder”?

he Plateau State Health Council a health policy making body has decried the increasing rate of maternal and infant mortality in the rural areas of the state saying there is an urgent need to employ the services of qualified midwives in the hinterlands so as to check the trend and meet with the health related targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jacob Wongdem, disclosed this at the opening session of a four day seminar organised for stakeholders in the health sector. He noted that though there is no database to prove his observation, cases of safe motherhood have improved in the urban areas while those in the rural areas need prompt intervention to curb loss of lives of pregnant women and new born babies. While discussing a paper with theme ‘Countdown to 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Revamping the Healthcare Delivery System in Plateau State’, Wongdem urged participants to look critically at health issues in the state to ascertain areas of improvement and give operational training to their staff especially in the hinterlands so that the rate of maternal and infant mortality could be curbed.

Obasanjo, Tinubu fit to lead Yoruba nation Shema advises film makers From Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji, Abeokuta


ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Lagos state governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu have been identified as the most formidable Yoruba men capable of providing responsible leadership for the Yoruba nation like the late Obafemi Awolowo. The Bishop of Lagos West, Anglican Diocese, Right Reverend (Dr.) Peter Adebiyi, made the observation during his sermon at the 25th remembrance and patronal anniversary of the sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, held at Our Saviour Anglican Church,

Ikenne-Remo, Ogun state. “Who shall we call upon to lead the Yoruba nation? Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is a formidable leader of the Yoruba. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu can also lead the Yoruba nation. You may not agree with me,” he added. The cleric noted and lamented that the Yoruba nation could not agree 25 years after the death of Awolowo, who the leader of Yorubas is and used the occasion to stress the need for unity among the shades of political groups in the race. The bishop said the Yoruba nation, as the largest ethnic group in the country, remained very weak and incoherent. He added

that other regions had been profiting from the disunity among the Yoruba people because the strength of the Yoruba lies in unity as was experienced during Awolowo’s leadership. The cleric said: “We need one another for a true Yoruba nation. We must prepare for any eventuality that can happen in this country. Although I do not wish that Nigeria will disintegrate, if this happens and the Yoruba are still in disarray, then we are done for.” Adebiyi also described himself as a living testimony of the greatness and foresight of the political leadership of Chief Awolowo.

on quality films


he Governor of Katisna state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, has advised film makers in the country to produce quality films to meet international standards. Shema, who gave the advice at the closing ceremony of the 2012 ZUMA Film Festival held in Abuja, said for the country's films to gain acceptance in the international market, the quality must improve. According to him, it is important to draw the attention of those in the film industry to continue to work hard to ensure that films made in the country get access to international market. “I

am certain that with hard work, our films will continue to make the necessary impact that other films are making on our land”, he said. Shema urged film producers to continue to strive hard to sell Nigeria’s culture and films aboard, adding that it would indeed educate people of how Nigerians live, what they do and the effort the country was making to develop the industry. Presenting awards to winners at the event, Mr. Afolabi Adesanya, Managing Director, Nigerian Film Corporation, thanked participants who brought their films for entry in the 2012 ZUMA Festival to make it a success.



NLC boss says employment panacea to peace From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he chairman of the Bauchi state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Hashimu Gital, has declared gainful employment as the panacea to peace in Nigeria. Gital stated this while speaking with journalists in Bauchi yesterday. He called on government at all levels in the country to create jobs for the teeming unemployed Nigerians, while intensifying efforts aimed at providing adequate security for the lives and properties of the people. “Creating jobs will ensure the engagement of our teeming youths which will automatically reduce the level of criminal activities in the country,” the Bauchi NLC boss stated. He noted that the current insecurity in the country was “partially caused by lack of jobs for our teeming youths and the situation is continually becoming alarming.” He argued that when more jobs are created for the youth, it would keep them busy and out of crimes.

Prices of tomatoes, pepper soar in Yola – Survey


rices of tomatoes and pepper have soared in Yola, a market survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday said. NAN reports that a basket of tomatoes that formerly sold for N1, 300 per basket now goes for N8, 000. Speaking with NAN, Alhaji Adamu Dan-Wanzam, the state chairman of dry season farmers, attributed the hike in price to short supply due to limited harvest within the state. “The annual perishables we produce here is limited. We now travel as far as Sokoto, Katsina, and Benue to buy the commodities. “Another reason for the sharp increase in price is that we observed high demand from customers”. He explained a bag of pepper which sold for N500 had shut up to N4,000 while a basket of tomatoes jumped from N1,300 between N7,500 and N8,000. Meanwhile, a cross section of food vendors interviewed over the development, expressed worry over the development, which they said could cause confusion between the traders and their customers. One Madam Kande Ayuba, a food vendor at Jimeta shopping complex, said that to compensate for the additional on the essential ingredient, she had resorted to reducing the quantity of food while retaining the price of a plate of food. She further said that some of the food vendors had also resorted to using dried tomatoes and pepper due to the high cost of the fresh ones. (NAN)

L-R: Anambra state Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. David MacRae, and Abia state Governor, Chief Theordore Orji, during the 2012 Europe Day celebration, on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Nigerian gynaecologist killed in Cameroon A

Cameroon-based Nigerian gynaecologist, Dr. Samuel Ogoke, has been found dead in his home in Garoua, northern Cameroon. Ogoke, 43, hailed from Ahiara in Mbaise local government area of Imo state. The Chairman of Imo/Abia Association in Garoua, Mr. Ibeabuchi Ololo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on phone from Garoua on Wednesday that Ogoke was allegedly killed in his house on May 8. “Dr Ogoke’s landlady came to

me to complain on Wednesday that he had not come out. “I suspected foul play and went with three other members of our association to his house. “We saw his doors and windows opened, and on entering his bedroom, all his electrical appliances were on. “We saw his dead body. His hands and legs were tied with cellotape, with wounds on his head and stomach”, he said. Ololo said members of the association did not touch his body and decided to report to the police

in Garoua. He said the police went to Ogoke’s house with a doctor who examined him and said he had died of internal bleeding. “We have taken his body to the mortuary and will meet soon to decide when to bring his body home for burial”, he said. The chairman said the police in Garoua had asked them to come back for another meeting. He said Ogoke returned from Nigeria on May 7, where he went to buy equipment and drugs which he supplies to hospitals in Garoua.

“We are still at loss on what happened to Dr. Ogoke. It is very unusual because we have not had this kind of experience in the past”, Ololo said. Ogoke, he said, lived in Garoua for more than 15 years, practising as a gynaecologist and businessman. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ogoke was of tremendous assistance to the Dolphins FC of Port Harcourt when they played a CAF Champions League match against Coton Sports of Garoua on April 8. (NAN)

Kogi communities urged to key into transformation agenda From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ommunities in Kogi state have been urged to key into the transformation agenda of the current administration in the state. The state governor, Capt Idris Wada, gave the urge when he received in audience, Banda Community in Lokoja local

government of the state, who were in his office to sort out issues over the planned modern trailer park, in the area. The governor maintained that adequate compensation would certainly be paid to encourage sacrifices made by the communities and owners of land, who partner with the present administration.

He revealed that Kogi state is among the three states to benefit from the Modern Trailer Park to be built by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in conjunction with the state government. He called on the Banda Community to show understanding and do all it can to accommodate the opportunity for

the overall benefit of the immediate community and the state. The park when completed, Capt Wada disclosed, will have a mega station, restaurant, lubricant shop, trailer park and other facilities, adding that it is a dream fulfilled for the people who are daily inconvenienced by trailers along the NATACO area, the gateway into the ancient city of Lokoja.

SMEDAN boss wins NFC award Kebbi govt to support security According to the award for SMEs growth organisers, House, Birnin-Kebbi. the SMEDAN boss was agencies By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


n recognition of his contribution to the growth of small and medium scale enterprises in the country, the Director General of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Mohammed Nadada Umar, was among special award recipients at a dinner organised by Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC) as part of this year's annual Zuma Festival.

honoured for his outstanding contribution to the growth of the movie industry as part of his brief to encourage the growth, profitability and continued existence of small and medium scale businesses in the country. Speaking to reporters after the award ceremony held in Abuja on Wednesday night, Alhaji Mohammed thanked the organisers for the recognition, saying that the entertainment industry needed to move away from just entertaining people to making money.

From Ahmed Idris, Brinin Kebbi


ebbi state governor, Alhaji Usman Saidu Dakingari has assured the security personnel in the state of cooperation and support with a view to curtailing the incessant security breaches in the country. He gave this assurance yesterday when the newly posted Commissioner of Police for Kebbi state, Adisa Bolanta paid him a courtesy visit in Government

“With the current security situation in the country police and other security agencies need to be empowered to carry out their duties effectively”, he said. In his remark the police commissioner also promised to uphold the professional standards in service delivery and proactive policing in the state. He called for support and cooperation from the general public in providing the police with relevant information with a view to maintaining peace.





Charles Taylor and long arm of the law

bout two weeks ago, the International Criminal Court for Sierra Leone, sitting in The Hague, Netherlands, found Charles Taylor, former president of Liberia and alleged mastermind of the civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone, guilty of all the 13 charges against him. Thus, after a chequered political career which saw him rise from a warlord to president and then to an ex-president in exile, the 64-year-old former Liberian strongman may live the rest of his life in a British jail. Britain had agreed to take him in, if convicted. Now, having been found guilty on all counts, and he is due to be sentenced on May 30, there is already a celebratory mood in Sierra Leone, where the defunct Revolutionary United Front (RUF) which he allegedly created, wreaked havoc, the purported principal actor in the carnage is about to be brought to justice. While we sympathise with the victims, we hasten to ask if the RUF was the only culprit in the brutal war in Sierra Leone, bearing in mind the infamous role by the then governmentbacked traditional hunters called the Kamajoors, whose brutalities and other inhuman methods were no less heinous than those of the RUF. That the backers of the dreaded Kamajoors are not standing trial at The Hague means that only half the story of the atrocities is known. Since Charles Taylor has claimed to be a victim of big power conspiracy, it is our view that justice would be best served if he is allowed to narrate his actual role in the war. Even as we acknowledge that the

culture of impunity is an African cankerworm, we wonder aloud why the special tribunal seems to address the excesses of African leaders alone. Plunging Iraq in protracted strife, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and still counting, for the unsubstantiated allegation against the toppled Saddam Hussein’ regime of possession weapons of mass destruction,

Since Taylor left the Liberian political space, the country has made some progress; we appeal that his sentence must take into account that his selfless action has tremendously helped to stabilise his country and even opened the way for neighbouring Sierra Leone requires that the authors of the unjust war be made to answer for their actions. Unfortunately, it is never possible within the framework of the current global power equation that former US President George Bush and erstwhile British Prime Minister Tony Blair would ever be brought to The Hague. Yet, there is almost a consensus that the excesses and impunities of African leaders in their treatment of their citizens need to be

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reined in even by extra-territorial judicial authority as The Hague tribunals. However, we are worried by one snag in the Taylor saga: an elected Liberian President, Taylor abdicated office on the prodding of African leadership as a way of finding a lasting solution to the bitter divisions in his country. He was seen as a divisive figure and his country could have the chance to heal only if he abdicated power and went into exile. To the surprise of many, Taylor voluntarily accepted to step down and began a life in exile in Nigeria, as agreed by the African Union leaders. This was rightly hailed as an African solution to an African problem. In the middle of his exile, he was grabbed and handed over to The Hague. We fear that this action could undermine any future continental initiative to political problems in Africa. Since Taylor left the Liberian political space, the country has made some progress; we appeal that his sentence must take into account that his selfless action has tremendously helped to stabilise his country and even opened the way for neighbouring Sierra Leone, where his crime is said to have been committed, to normalize and launch itself on the path of recovery. For this, we believe that Taylor deserves a lenient sentence. The rest of his life behind the bars would be too harsh and vindictive. More so, it might be interesting to see how an ex-convict former leader would behave. However, the message of a former strongman behind bars will not be lost to his peers still in office and may even serve as a wake-up call for them to modify their behaviour for the better.








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


By Wale Odunsi


rancois Hollande, a moderate Socialist, was elected French president on Sunday narrowly defeating the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy, a conservative in a TWO MAN runoff vote put at about 52 to 48 percent. Case closed. No fraud claims, no litigation. I had prepared the original of this commentary few days after the 2011 presidential election, but did not publish it. At that time, I was in Jos, Plateau state, for the mandatory one year National Youth Service. Providentially, the issue raised is still relevant thirteen months after. Democracy is the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people. But the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, felt the above definition was an overdose of English language. He consequently put it simpler by defining it as “the government of the people, by the people and for the people”. His view which is generally accepted has ever since been regarded as the most accurate and comprehensive. Our democracy was restored over a decade ago, after many years of torturous autocratic rule. We heaved sigh of relief having witnessed disgusting tyranny at its crest. We stood united knowing


Nigerian politics: A needless multiparty system full well that the chance to get out of the hitherto doldrums was here. While hundreds of defenseless citizens especially journalists and human rights crusaders were assaulted and thrown into the gulag, others became martyrs of liberty as they paid the supreme price. Irrefutably, one of the key hallmarks in the tenets of democracy is the choice of expression and association. In fact this is considered as the single biggest gain of a democratic regime. However, the multiparty system currently practiced in the country appears to favor only a handful to the detriment of a strong and competitive polity. In the 1999 general elections, three parties namely Alliance for Democracy (AD), All Peoples’ Party (APP as then known) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) contested. After a keen battle of wits and vigor, the PDP presidential candidate General Olusegun Obasanjo was declared winner and return elected consequent upon the defeat of Chief Olu Falae candidate of a joint AD/APP ticket. Even as a youngster who was yet a legitimate voter, the furore that

surrounded the electioneering was noticeable. The candidates were conspicuous and the general public was abreast of anything and everything about the polls. Prior to the advent and eventual registration of new political parties, not a few analysts perceived the idea inessential. Expectedly, the proponents not only kicked but threatened fire and brimstone. Their braggadocio got inordinate by the day. They went further, dubbing critics “bad belles” and enemies of progress. It is against this backdrop that one is tempted to ask: Where are the political parties? During the course of build up to the 2011 elections, most of the parties were as good as not being in the race. Of the registered fiftytwo parties, less than half fielded candidates for all the elective posts. And of the sixteen parties that presented candidates for the number one seat in the land, less than six were serious contenders. Save for the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan and a few others that were visible, the rest were egoistic bystanders who were either too vague or equivocal. In spite of that, they refused to establish a

coalition either by merger or alliance. In the light of the foregoing, it is apt to say that a wise alternative to the charade of the opposition at the last general polls is for us to return to a two (or not more than three) party system. A situation whereby parties are unable garner one percent of votes casted is repugnant. How will the leadership of a party explain the inability of its candidate to secure a quadrant of ballots albeit he is from that area! The ambition of such aspirant was prima facie, a failed adventure right from inception. For instance, there is a party where the father is the national chairman and his son, the national secretary. What can a party like that offer other than intermittently organize tea revelries? The PDP has been the ruling party at the federal level since 1999 for we have pampered it. In 2011 total votes, it proved its dominance by getting 58.89 per cent, while the Congress for Progressive Change got 31.98 per cent, Action Congress of Nigeria got 5.41 per cent, All Nigerian People’s Party got 2.40 per cent, and the remaining parties that

participated got less than one per cent each. From the analysis, what we had was a minor contest. I cited the French election because it was not a one-horse race like we had here. It drew massive attention; it was very intense and unpredictable. Now that the elections are over, the kindergarten ‘parties’ are asleep. Their alarm is set to quarter to next election year, while supposed members are back to normal business. To ensure sanity, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should in the same way it did some months ago, descend its hammer on more indolent political parties. I hope the jokers will in earnest throw in the towel. They should seek de-registration before they are humiliated. Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. The season of failure is the best time for sowing the seeds of success. Futile political parties should either take a bow or be forcedly shown out! Nigeria as a politically active country is too big for clowns who tirelessly wander the polity despite woeful outings in elections. Wale Odunsi can be reached at

Between Ibori and Okpara: Reminiscence of thievery and honest service By Christopher C. Ulasi


he adventures of Chief James Ibori, the erstwhile Governor of Delta state who is now a prisoner, a convicted thief in Her majesty’s prison in the United Kingdom has prompted me to recall the life of Dr Micheal Okpara, who was a direct opposite of Chief Ibori. Dr. Okpara was the Premier of the old Eastern Region of Nigeria which comprised present day Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa, Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi States. James Ibori governed Delta state from 1999 to 2007. He ended up a ruthless and conscienceless thief. What he stole is mind boggling. His property dotted the world. Just before he was arrested in Dubai he was about to take delivery of a private jet worth millions of dollars. For his thieving escapades in the United Kingdom he involved his wife, sister and concubine. I imagine that if his mother was well and alive he would have involved her too. Reports have it that he is now in a Class A prison. Class A prisons are occupied by hardened criminals. If hardened criminals in the United Kingdom are as hardened as those in Nigeria prisons then Ibori is in trouble. Definitely by the time he is released he would have undergone some transformation may be the type that Apostle Paul experienced on

the road to Damascus when he encountered our Lord Jesus Christ. Doctor Micheal Okpara governed the nine states which made up Eastern Nigeria from 1959 to 1966. When the military coup of 1966 terminated his governorship on January 16, 1966 the only property he owned was an old bungalow he had in his village Umuahia, Abia State. When the Biafra war ended in January 1970 he desired to study Economics in an American University but he could not raise the fees. In 1974 after he had gone back to brush up his medical knowledge and was in Edinburgh for his membership examination he shared a flat with a foreigner, a West Indian. The first time I saw Dr Okpara was at a political rally in Enugu in the early 1960’s. What impressed me that day was his pronunciation of the word simultaneously as in Simon. The next time I encountered him was in 1974. This time it was on one on one basis. It was in the city of Edinburgh Scotland the United Kingdom. He was there to prepare and sit for his membership examination in medicine Dr. Okpara had qualified as a Medical Doctor in the 1950’s at Yaba Higher College but had gone into politics and had almost forgotten everything about medicine. When he was the Premier of Eastern Nigeria Mazi S.G. Ikoku, a renowned economist

was the leader of opposition. Ikoku used to confuse, dazzle and bamboozle the government side with economic jargons. It got to a stage where Dr. Okpara could not take it anymore. He bought books on Economics and when others would be sleeping he would keep awake to swort Economics. Armed with what he was able to learn he was prepared for Ikoku’s fire. He was able to return fire for fire and there was always thunderous applause from the government side whether he got it right or not. This kindled his interest in Economics. When the Biafran war ended it was every man to himself. He first went to Ivory Coast and then from there to the United Kingdom. He was hoping to study Economics in an American University but he could not afford the fees nor did he got any sponsors. His younger brother was a Medical Student in Germany and his children were still growing up. He had hoped that the then British Foreign Secretary would come to his aid. Dr. Okpara refused to appeal to him for help. In his own words he felt it was “infradig” to beg Lord Shepherd for help. Incidentally this was the same man of whom Okokon Ndem in one his news talk on Radio Biafra had said, “This particular lord cannot be our shepherd”. This was because of the not so friendly attitude of the British government to Biafra. When Dr. Okpara was confronted with the problem of

which way to go he decided to return to medicine. He made his way to the Dublin University. The first day he stepped into the lecture hall he was lost completely. What the lecturer was saying was all Greek to him. To compound his problems his classmates were his children’s age mates. But he was determined to succeed. He showed extreme humility, courage and determination. He succeeded and relocated thereafter to Edinburgh for his membership examination. We met in Edinburgh this time on one on one basis. When my colleague Mr. Emma Chiedu and I informed him that we were sent to Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh by Golden Guinea Breweries Plc Umuahia for a Post Graduate Diploma in Brewing Science his joy knew no bounds. He said he was always happy to learn that the establishments he set up were still functioning. For want of space I shall list some of these; Calabar Cement Factory, Nigeria Cement Factory Nkalagu, Niger gas Enugu, Turners Asbestos Enugu, Pepsi Cola Factory Onitsha, Goden Guinea Breweries Umuahia, Aba Textile Mills, Trans Amadi Industrial Complex Port Hacourt, Obudu Cattle ranch, Presidential Hotels (Enugu and Port Harcourt) Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation rubber and palm plantations, Cashew Industries and Ekulu Pottery.

Eastern Nigeria had the largest number of secondary schools and they ranked among the best. Farm settlements were located all over the region. Of his role in the University of Nigeria project He quoted the scripture. Apostle Paul had said in (1 Cor 3:6) I have planted Apolos watered. It was Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who planted and Dr. Okpara watered His only source of watering was the sales from Palm produce. The current Government lodge was built by Dr. Okpara. Even Independence Layout where the Lodge and the House of Assembly are located was designed during his regime. During his stay in Edinburgh a time came when his flat mate finished his course and was about to relocate. It was gathered that he was looking for a flat mate. The thought that the former Premier of Eastern Nigeria was looking for someone to share a flat with was extremely depressing and I felt very sad. I did not habour the thought of ever making myself available. How could I have shared a flat with Mike Power even in far away Edinburgh I recall that John the Baptist confessed that he was not fit to untie the lace of Jesus’s sandals. That was exactly how I felt. How could I have watched him clean, cook and wash the dishes. On the other hand if I had decided to serve him my studies would have suffered greatly. In any Continued on page 15



Lagos doctors mass sack: An act of inscrutable illegality that will not endure By Bamidele Aturu


e make this public statement as counsel to all the members of Lagos State Medical Guild who were summarily dismissed from the services of Lagos State on account of the ongoing dispute between the doctors and the State Government. The decision of the government was made in spite of its awareness of the suit filed by the doctors at the National Industrial Court seeking an order of injunction restraining the government from dismissing them from service. The suit which comes up tomorrow at the National Industrial Court is suit No. NIC/LA/158/2012 filed on 24th April, 2012 against the State Government, Commissioner for Health, Lagos State Health Commission and Lagos State Teaching Hospital. The existence of the suit was communicated to the State Government through the Attorney General of the State. In the said suit the Medical Doctors are seeking the following reliefs, namely:

A declaration that the refusal of the defendant’s management and the Defendant. of the defendant to completely board and is illegal, unlawful and As counsel to the doctors we implement the consolidated constitutes an abuse and violation wrote to the government medical salary (CONMESS) scale of the claimant’s rights intimating it of the pendency of in favour of the claimant An order of perpetual the suit before a court of competent association jurisdiction. constitutes a T h e violent breach of regrettable the agreement consequence reached between of the Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text the defendant and decision of messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written the claimant on the the state contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 f u l l government words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and implementation of is that it has a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed Conmess and is illegally to: therefore unlawful, dismissed unconstitutional, the doctors The Editor, null and void and as the Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, constitutes unfair Supreme 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. labour practice Court has A declaration held in the Email: let that the planned case of SMS: 07037756364 disciplinary action Ojukwu v against the Governor of members of the claimants by the injunction restraining the Lagos State that a party that is personnel management board of defendant from taking any aware that injunctive relief has the defendant in respect of the 3 disciplinary action against any been sought against him ought to days warning strike embarked member of the claimant for taking refrain from doing anything to upon in pursuit of the full part in the 3 day warning strike foist a situation of complete implementation of CONMESS organised by the claimant helplessness on the court and that agreement between the defendant association in pursuit of the full if he does he acts at his own peril as and the claimant is wrongful, implementation of the CONMESS the state government has done in arbitrary, ultra vires the power agreement between the Claimant this case. It is unfortunate that the


government which routinely advertises its adherence to a progressive ideology and respect for the rule of law has taken what clearly is a reactionary and illegal decision in violation of the rule of law. We urge it to reverse the indefensible and unconstitutional decision before the 9th of May 2012 when the matter comes up before the National Industrial Court. While we do not deny that the government has the power to exercise disciplinary control over its workers, the doctors inclusive, our position is that it cannot do so illegally and in violation of the tenets of constitutionalism and the rule of law. We are concerned that the government has taken a panicky decision that cannot endure as the consequence is that the health care system in Lagos will be damaged irreparably if the decision is permitted to stand and it will usher in a dangerous era in industrial relations in the country. Bamidele Aturu, Esq. is reachable at

Yar’adua, wake up, Nigeria is boiling! (II) By Obinna Akukwe


ar’adua, Nigeria’s fourth democratically selected president. Yar’adua, Nigeria’s most unassuming president. Yar’adua, Nigeria’s most frail president. Yar’adua, Nigeria’s most educated president. Yar’adua, Nigeria’s only president with leftist ideology. The manner of your exit equals the manner of your entrance. Mysterious appearance and mysterious disappearance. State Governors Peter Odili, Donald Duke, Sam Egwu, Ahmed Makarfi, even Jerry Gana and Rochas Okorocha were all in the presidential race of 2007 and from nowhere you appeared through Obasanjoic abracadabra and became the ruling party flag bearer. All the presidential aspirants except Rochas and Jerry were commandeered to genuflect before His Royal Ota majesty and accept the native intelligence that brought you to power. The ensuing presidential do or die abracadabra raised to power two made you the choice of the entire Nigerians while your Buhari opponent was left to weep the second time. Yar’adua , the first thing you did as president elect was to denounce the process that brought you to power while still clinging to the stolen mandate. You were the first president in Nigeria to ever admit that the road to victory was as fraudulent as fraud itself. However the Justices of the Supreme Court by their majority judgment felt that you actually had typhoid fever when you admitted that the election was fraudulent. Yar’adua you were the first president in Nigeria to declare your asset. You weren’t materialistic but

your wife Turai was the direct opposite of you .During your regime the praise of Turai was the arrival of favour. Emirs, Igwes, Obas, Professors, High Chiefs, Ex this and Ex that all bowed down to Her Majesty Turai before being qualified to share in the national cake. Yar’adua, you weren’t corrupt but during your regime, the newest cabal in the country, the Nigeria Governors Forum manipulated your rule of law mantra and begun the process of liquidating the foreign reserves which godfather Obasanjo left behind. Yar’adua your Seven Point Agenda has been replaced by the Transformational agenda and Vision 20; 2020 and Nigerians are anxiously waiting and praying for the transformation. All those cabals who held the nation hostage while you were sick have been thrown into the dustbin by your brother Goodluck and replaced by another set of cabal. Your godfather Obasanjo have been frustrated out of the PDP as the Chairman of BOT and the assistant godfather Babangida have been sidelined and marginalized by the same party that he goes about the globe complaining. Yar’adua you weren’t confrontational but you could not suffer fools hanging around your political space. On your way to Brazil you gave the military high command order that before you finish your first breakfast in Brazil they would have wiped off Boko Haram from your Presidency or you sack all of them from the service. Of course before you finished brushing your teeth to taste the sumptuous ala-cart before the breakfast table in Brasilia, the army high command have finished wiping off the then Boko Haram and handed their leader

to the notorious Nigerian police. Yar’adua you weren’t an economist but you never trusted the economic theories of the all knowing western economists. They forced you to increase fuel price by ten naira but immediately their convoy left the gates of the state house you hastily reversed yourself and reduced it by five naira to the fury of the western economists. Yar’adua your godfather Obasanjo , just like Shehu your late brother, never believed in rule of law but rule of power and money but you defied their philosophy and introduced the rule of law mantra into the Nigerian polity. You obeyed court orders and asked your Ministers, Ambassadors and Heads of Parastatals to do the same. Yar’adua why did you leave live this? The nation you left behind is now a mess and civil war is looming. Let me intimate you of events that occurred in your absence. The first lady, Patience is still very powerful but not as powerful as your wife. The power Turai once wielded has been split between Patience, Ngozi, Diezani and stellaOduah. The 2011 presidential election was still fraudulent but not as fraudulent as the one supervised by Professor Maurice and Dr Abel. The Governors Forum cabal you couldn’t checkmate have checkmated your younger brother Goodluck. They have collectively defecated fuel subsidy, corruption and Boko Haram on the transformational agenda your brother promised Nigerians. Yar’adua , while you got the Boko Haram extremists hunted and chased into Chad and Sudan your Goodluck brother have continued to play snooker with them until they

now have annexes in his state house, national assembly, judiciary and police force. Yar;adua you started the amnesty programme for the Niger Delta militants and established a ministry for the interest of Niger delta but your brother have not been able to establish a negotiable link with the Boko Haram militants. Yaradua the James Ibori which you shielded from prosecution for helping you with funds for the presidential election have now been jailed in Britain for money laundering charges. Yaradua ,the latest is that the fuel subsidy bill which was N384 billion naira in 2009, the year you went to that Saudi hospital where they finished you off, by 2011 the subsidy bill had skyrocketed to N1.7 trillion naira and the culprits are walking freely and threatening Brimstone. Yaradua, some elder statesmen have left to join you in that place. Have you met with them. Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Ezeigbo Gburugburu died and was given the most celebrated burial in the history of Africa. From London to Zungeru, Lagos to Enugu thousands gathered to pay homage to the Lion of Biafra. Dr Matthew Mbu and Professor Sam Aluko also died and were accorded respects. Yar’adua, your brother Goodluck isn’t an economist either but he got so carried away by the economic theories of western capitalists that he added eighty naira to the same fuel price you removed five naira. Yar’adua , the rule of law mantra have died .Twenty protesters were killed around the country because they gathered to occupy empty square hitherto

inhabited by beggars and mentally deranged to complain that they are hungry and need food on their table. Yar’adua wake up. You have slept enough! The northern politicians wished you death with the evil permutations that they will use the zonal formula to ascend your exalted throne where food is N1billion naira annually. However your brother Goodluck thought them lessons on silence and subterfuge and dribbled them to political irrelevance. Out of frustration they have sworn to make the nation ungovernable for your brother until he reverts back to the zoning formula and allows them to complete your tenure and your brother is presently helpless. He prefers to hide in the villa like goggled Sanni and occasionally escape for meetings of African Union. Yar’adua wake up now before civil war starts in Nigeria. Your tenure remains one year. Move round your former residence in the villa and chase away those people wining and dining from five pm while distracting your brother from giving us the needed fresh air. Yar’adua wake up! You’ve slept enough! Wake up! Wait! Did I hear that revered Christian leaders like Archbishop John Onaiyekan, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Emmanuel Kure and Professor Yusuf Obaje prayed with you days before your death? That’s a problem. If they did then they must have administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction to you. This revered Sacrament is administered only to people at the point of death so that the Almighty will receive them unto paradise. If they administered it then Yar’adua you better stay where you are because that place is better than your former residence in Aso Villa.


By Farouk Martins Aresa


hen we get the opportunity to write about good news on Nigeria, it must be seized with all candor and celebrated. The reports from all over the country is that finally, roadblocks by police are dying down. Of course, there are still illegal ones here and there but as a whole, it looks like this one man is about to make a difference that we must congratulate him on. It only takes one Nigerian to lead and play his or her part. There is no reason to repeat the history of road blocks in Nigeria that became family allowance for both the Police and the Army, tolerated by past military heads of state. This policeman was determined to stop it and when we claimed it was still going on, he stuck to his gun that it must stop. Well, it looks like it is dying out. We hear reports of illegal road blocks that were quickly dismantled and arrested by enforcement agents. Who said we could not change Nigeria, and only God could? Well, even God uses man to accomplish his mission. Before our people tell some of us it is too early to celebrate, please forgive me. There is little to celebrate in Nigeria these days. Give us these few days to hope and pray that there are people out there willing to do what is right, not just preaching what is right. So please understand that, don’t let our prayers be in vain.


Police I.G Abubakar N6.43 trillion economic stimulus Wait a minute. You mean Police road blocks have been milking N6.43T from Nigerians? O kokomiako o! Please somebody, hold me before I faint. Some people will argue that it is more, others will ridicule it as less. Whatever, that is a lot of gari, rice and beans inside our hungry bellies. No wonder, Nigerians are getting poorer by the day. More studies have to be done to find out if that money is out of 69% of Nigerians that live in poverty. Nevertheless, the Inspector General of Police has played his role. We must also give credit to those brave uncelebrated police officers that went to Abuja to testify that they use the money they collected at the road blocks to maintain and buy fuel for their vehicles. Police did not just get posted to road blocks, they had to grease superior officers to get there and make daily returns to these rogues in uniforms. Well, some of them must be in depression right now while others are thinking about other ways to milk Nigerians. Many police chiefs have been defied and have failed to stop road blocks because it was so endemic, no amount of laxative

could purge or kill it as it mutates like cold virus evading the best prophylactic available. But for a determined Police Chief, we thought it was going to be the same promises again. There are reports that police have sharpened their illegal detention, abuse and beating of Nigerians. If this is as a result of elimination of road blocks or victimization as usual from those determined to give police a bad name, it must also be sorted out. If we want to turn the Police into a professional force as the number of graduates amongst them are increasing, their officers must do it out of dedication to duties. Nigerians on the streets must be able to gain from the N6.43t economic stimulus. Danfo and okada operators must decrease their fares accordingly. That will put gari, tuwo, rice with okazi on the table. Traders will get more customers as products and services get cheaper with lower transportation cost. Even poultry and beef will be cheaper since there were many complaints from transporters from North to South about road blocks. Some people might want to

know who told this writer that the law of economics ever worked in Nigeria on supply and demand. Some of us do not even believe traders and transporters will pass on their savings to the man on the streets. There are many greedy people that will just pocket it all. Some may even use the lack of road blocks to increase fare, food, material prices and create backroad toll blocks. Haba! Not Nigerians! Just a few years ago, Obasanjo ordered the destruction of toll gates and people were happy expecting that some savings will be passed on. They waited in vain. Indeed, some states and local governments have erected their own toll gates on old roads built since the time of old civilian government based on promises to build new toll roads. They have now created business for back roads toll collectors, in their private domain. The story of Nigeria is: as individuals strive to make a difference, their contributions are either counterbalanced by others or evil minds that are supposed to complement them, making progress unsustainable. This is why many people throw up their

hands and give up claiming we are all corrupt. Please, there are decent Nigerians out there willing to do the right thing or change their evil ways. We must remember that the Inspector General of Police is also part of the corrupt system. But whenever one of us gets up and bolts away from a corrupt system, we must congratulate him and encourage him to greater heights. If he can accomplish the ban on road block that was so ingrained in the system, he can do more. He has to step on some powerful toes, some of whom were and are his colleagues. There are too many unjustifiable detentions and horrible stories while detained illegally. Bribes are still changing hands and you can still go to any Police station, bribe officers to arrest and punish innocent people. But it not the reason to abandon a cop, that has risen to the top of his profession trying to set a corrupt system right. Yes, even if he was beating his chest, it was not based on promises but based on result. This is what we need in Nigeria, accomplishments based on result not on promises.

Throwing the baby away with the bath water? (I) By Kayode Oladele


Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria recently dismissed the corruption charges filed by country’s anti-graft Agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Erastus Akingbola for lack of diligent prosecution and discharged the accused from all the charges before his Court. In the same vein, the trial judge, Justice Charles Archibong sanctioned the prosecuting attorneys led aby five Senior Advocates including the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, to disband them accordingly while describing them as a drain in the public purse. Other Senior Advocates involved

in the prosecution of the case are Emmanuel Ukala, Konyinsola Ajayi, Kola Awodein, and Damien Dodo. How did this happen? According to reports, the judge had earlier denied the Defendant’s objection to the new amended twenty-six- count charge against him which was filed by the EFCC as far back as that December, 2010. The trial judge in his ruling denying the Defendant’s objection had held that the leave of court was not required to amend a charge and that the anti-graft agency could amend the charges against the Defendant as it did. The Judge then ordered that the amended charge be read to the Defendant for him to take his plea. However, the prosecuting counsel in Court on that day informed the Court that the prosecution was not ready for trial arguing further that a motion for stay of further

proceedings in the matter had been filed as a result of which he requested for continuance for the sole purpose of compiling records of an appeal filed by the commission against an earlier decision of the trial Judge denying a motion for recusal filed by the EFCC, hence, did not disqualify himself from the case. As if the judge’s heart was sore pained within him after hearing the prosecutor’s argument, the judge rose and went into his chamber to write his ruling on the EFCC’s motion to stay further proceedings in the matter pending appeal. The case took a new and dramatic turn from that point when the trial judge returned to the Court to deliver his ruling. Then the melodrama began moving speedily like a roller coaster from that point and the whole wall of defense came tumbling and crashing down like

...Reminiscence of thievery and honest service Continued from page 13

case when I was growing up doing domestic chores was not one of my attributes. I was not ready to learn how to be dexterous with my left hand at an old age. He was successful in his membership examination in Edinburgh and those of us from the old Eastern Nigeria and our friends threw a party for him. I still remember how happy he felt and was dancing all over the place. When he eventually came back to Nigeria he had nothing on which to fall back. It was

Chief C.C Onoh whom he had made Chairman of Nigerian Coal Corporation who gave him a half built property along Ogui Road, Enugu. That property was disposed of after his death. His family was engaged in importation and when their goods attracted demurrage, the property was sold to settle the indebtedness. In concluding this reminiscence. I am reminded of the words, of the popular Anglican Church Song which says that when we have departed this earth we will only reminded by what we have done. Now there is Michael Okpara

University at Umuahia. It ranks among the top Federal Universities in Nigeria. Okpara Avenue is one of the major streets in Enugu. Along it are sixteen different banks including Central Bank as well the Zonal Headquarters of PHCN. Okpara Square is a beautiful arena where important events take place in Enugu. Jesus Christ said in Mark 8:36: What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul. Christopher C. Ulasi lives in Texas, US

the wall of Jericho. Delivering his ruling on the EFCC’s motion the judge stated: “I direct the AGF (AttorneyGeneral of the Federation) to disband, sack and debrief the present prosecution team of five SANs and their respective firm for being incompetent in the prosecution of the charges against the accused before this court. I direct the AGF to disband the team for serious abuse of process. They are a drain in the public purse, a fact the AGF should be mindful of now if he was not before. This prosecution team have (sic) chosen to pursue a campaign to scandalize (sic) the court. This amounts to serious and professional incompetent (soc) on the prosecution of the accused. This prosecution team or any part of it shall not be given any further audience in this court in relation to the charges against this accused either before this presiding judge or any other judge of the Federal High Court for the reason I have given in the foregoing. Furthermore, I take judicial notice that the accused is presently facing charges before the Lagos High Court emanating from his tenure as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Intercontinental Bank Plc, the AGF may wish to regain control of this process. This he can of course do at anytime of his choice. Meanwhile, the prosecution team presently employed indulged in their professional incompetent (sic) to the extreme, had been unmindful of the accused rights for him to have the case against him clearly stated. They have

been dismissive of his right to speedy trial which in reality should be a credible procedure. Not to indulge in this extended campaign against the presiding judge, I therefore dismissed (sic) the charges amended or otherwise. For this incompetent (sic) and abusive prosecution team, I discharge the accused accordingly and leave the AGF to consider his options”. It is trite that criminal defendants enjoy the right to a speedy trial. Courts look for certain factors when deciding whether a defendant’s rights to a speedy trial have been violated. In Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), the Supreme Court laid down a four-part case-by-case balancing test for determining whether the defendant’s speedy trial right has been violated in the case. The four factors are: Length of delay: a delay of a year or more from the date on which the speedy trial right attaches was termed “presumptively prejudicial,” but the Court has never explicitly ruled that any absolute time limit applies; reason for the delay: the prosecution may not excessively delay the trial for its own advantage, but a trial may be delayed to secure the presence of an absent witness or other practical considerations; time and manner in which the defendant has asserted his right: if a defendant agrees to the delay when it works to his own benefit, he cannot later claim that he has been unduly delayed and lastly, the degree of prejudice to the defendant which the delay has caused.



‘Ban on public smoking still in force’ •••GSS Nyanya wins drama competition By Josephine Ella


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration has reiterated that the law prohibiting smoking in public places in the FCT is still in force. Speaking yesterday at a precommemoration event organised to enlighten secondary school students on the danger of smoking, the Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS) of the FCT, Mrs Blessing Onuh said those found culpable would be arrested. According to the secretary, who was represented by the Chairman, FCT Ministerial Committee on the ban on smoking in public places and Acting Director of Tourism, SDS, Mr Samuel Tunde Bello, “the FCT authority cannot fold its hands and watch while the life of its citizens are put at risk by those who puff out smoke in public places”. A situation whereby, passive smokers inhale the smoke puff out by a smoker himself , is detrimental to the health of the FCT residents, she noted, while urging residents not to buy or sell cigarettes. The secretary also urged smoking parents to desist from sending their children to buy cigarettes for them and further appealed to students to plead with their parents, relatives and friends to quit smoking. High point of the event, which had in attendance, students from notable public schools such as Government Secondary School (GSS) Karu, GSS Garki, GSS Maitama, GSS Nyanya among others, was a drama competition by participating schools, on the danger of tobacco smoking. At the end of the drama presentation, aimed at discouraging people from smoking, GSS Nyanya emerged overall winner of the competition. Reacting to the victory, a teacher from GSS Nyanya, Mr. Lucky Anakhaso commended the performances of the students. Anakhaso, who also commended the secretariat for hosting the event, aimed at catching them young, noted that such an event would “discourage young people from smoking at their tender age and when they eventually grow up”. The World no Tobacco is celebrated across the world on 31 st of May every year.

This is dump site opposite Garki market overflowing with refuse for months. Quite an environmental hazard to people living in the area. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Suleja electricity consumers owe PHCN N1.3b By Adeola Tukuru


he management of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) yesterday revealed that electricity consumers in Suleja, an Abuja suburb, owes the company the sum of N1.3billion. The company’s Business Manager in the area, Mr Pope Shima, told newsmen in Suleja that the debt had adversely

affected the operations of the company in power supply to the area. Giving a total breakdown of the debt, he said: “The residential customers owe us N900 million, state and local governments owe us N120 million. For commercial consumers, they owe us N115 million, industries is N80 million while government parastatals owe us N26 million”. He pointed out that: “No business company can deliver

with this high debt profile because the company needs to improve its services to the customers. “This amount is for the already consumed energy; and we need the payment so that we can improve services; that is why we have been sensitising the public on the importance of bill settlement’’. He called on the customers to pay bills promptly, adding that the curfew imposed on Suleja and its environs had also drastically

affected revenue generation of the company. Shima solicited for the support of traditional and religious leaders and the vigilante groups to assist in sensitising the public on the need to protect PHCN installation against vadalisation. According to him, “vandalism has nearly crippled the operation of the company in this zone; the company installs equipment today and in the next few days such equipment are stolen or vandalised; how does the company render better service?”

Fraudsters arraigned for possessing fake dollars


ight persons have been arraigned before an Abuja Magistrates’ Court on three counts of joint act, public nuisance and being in possession of counterfeit dollars. They are Joseph Adamu, 32, Uzoma Ajunbu, 27, Michael John, 36, Joseph Ibeh, 32, Ugochukwu Chikudi, 28, Sunday Chinyere, 40, Nsikak Matthias, 35, and

Samson Emmanuel, 34. Police Prosecutor, Simon Emmanuel told the court that the suspects were arrested on April 24 at various locations in Jabi, Kado, Anguwan Cement and Dape village, Abuja, by a combined team of detectives attached to Life Camp Police Station. Emmanuel said the team, acting on information, raided

black spots identified as criminal hideouts in the areas. He said the accused were caught in groups at the various locations with valuables and counterfeit dollars they used in defrauding people. The prosecutor said the offence is contrary to Sections 79, 198 and 439 of the Penal Code.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The magistrate, Hajiya Sadiya Mayana, granted them bail in the sum of N20,000 each with two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil servant on GL 12 or above, she said, adjourning the case to May 17, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)

Court docks two for allegedly assaulting policeman


he police on Wednesday, arraigned two men Lukeman Garba and Idris Yunisa before an Upper Area Court, Gwagwalada, for allegedly, assaulting a police officer The accused persons were arraigned along with four others now at large on a four-count charge of criminal conspiracy, assault, causing of grievous hurt

and inciting public disturbance. Garba was said to have, on May 5, rode his motorcycle recklessly at Abaji Market Square, resulting in an accident involving the police officer, James Bashir of the Nigeria Police, Abaji division. The Police Prosecutor, Modupe Musa further informed the court that Garba also conspired with Yunisa and four others, went to Bashir’s house to attack and beat

him up. Garba and Yunisa were also alleged to have inflicted serious injury on one Corporal Helper Jediel during their arrest. “During arrest, the two accused persons in the process of struggling spoilt the door of the police vehicle,’’ she said, pointing out that the offence contravenes Sections 267, 114, 149 and 245 of the Penal Code.

While the accused persons pleaded not guilty to all the charges, the judge, Mr Babangida Hassan granted them bail in the sum of N200,000 with one surety each in like sum. Hassan said the sureties should be civil servants who owned landed properties and must be residents of the FCT. He adjourned the case to June 13, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)



A make-shift called “mama put” that is common place in Abuja.

A woman watches as her male companion takes a look at broken-down car at Area 10, Garki, Abuja.

Refuse dumped under a bridge in Wuze Zone 4 by destitutes.

This is a living apartment in Abuja’s Garki slum.

Many poor working class families in Abuja rely on fuel wood for cooking . Photos: Justin Imo-Owo



FCT compensation saga: A ticking time bomb (I)


t is a fact that the Niger Delta militancy, which threatened the security of the region and the Nigerian state as a whole, was an outright protest against the impunity, human rights violation and perceived neglect of the region by the Nigerian state. On the other hand, the struggle was a direct response to the sustained environmental hazards imposed on local Niger Delta communities as a result of the oil production activities of multinational oil companies. Ironically, for several decades, the case of the Niger Deltans, appeared to like the Nigerian state was ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg’. Despite the unbearable consequences of the daily oil drilling and gas flaring, the residents of the Delta have little or nothing to show for the ‘black gold’ and billions of dollars of oil revenue pumped from their lands. While the stupendous wealth derived from the Niger Delta are evident in the lavish six lane highways and skyscrapers in Abuja and Lagos, in return, what they get for their sacrifice, are oil spillage which pollute their water supplies, kill their crops, poison their lungs, disrupt their daily life and stunt their children’s development. Although the Niger Deltans still have their lands in their hands, and what they had been agitating for, basically, compensation for damaged ecosystems, the indigenous settlers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have lost their ancestral home to the government of Nigeria. One thing, though, is common among the two groups, the struggle against injustice by their own leaders. Apart from the Niger Delta militancy, the Boko Haram insurgency is yet another issue threatening the existence of the Nigerian state. The Islamic fundamentalists, whose basis for the coordinated onslaught targeted at Nigerians in the northern parts of the country and the FCT, is also rooted on injustice by the Nigerian government. In a country like ours, where what successive governments know best, is to feed fat on public resources, enriching themselves, their relatives and close associates, while the masses are left to suffer,

ABUJA DIARY with Josephine Ella 08065327178

FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed many more of such revolts should be envisaged in future. This is very likely to be the case in time to come because the masses or any group at all, which feel it has been marginalised, unfairly treated and abandoned by the government, will most probably, resort to using this means as a tool to register their grievances. Back to the indigenous people of the FCT, which is the emphasis in this piece, almost on daily basis, the pages of newspapers are being inundated with one report or the other of complaints by indigenes of negligence by the Federal Government and injustice being meted to them by the FCT administration in the resettlement and compensation exercise. The resettlement initiative of the FCT administration failed because it was fraught with illegalities and as a result, the intended objectives have not been achieved. In the same vein, it is also known that, the indigenes from various communities that make Abuja are not satisfied with the outcome so far, decades after the exercise was commenced. Within a space of three days, earlier this week, Monday April 7-Wednesday April 9, precisely, similar complaints of injustice were brought to the fore by 11 indigenous communities in the FCT. On Monday, the Garki, Apo, Akpanjiya, Dutse, Chufuyi, Pigba, Kpebi, Guzape and Kuruduma communities, under the auspices of Joint Youth Indigenous Communities of Apo Resettlement Site, addressed a press conference, to call the attention of security agencies, the National Assembly, the FCTA and all its relevant departments

and the general public to their plights. The group accused the FCT administration of reallocating plots within the Apo resettlement area, meant for resettlement of the indigenes to non indigenes, while, many indigenes who are entitled to such allocations have been denied their rights of compensation and resettlement. A more worrisome dimension to the agitations of the indigenes, was their threats to resist the FCT administration and the developers, who have erected more 20 magnificent edifice (some still under construction), by whatever means at their disposal. The FCT administration has ordered them to vacate the farm lands, which it made them to believe would be used for relocation of indigenes of Apo, Apkanjiya and Garki, only to be dishing out same to high profiled Nigerians, who are non indigenes. It is disheartening that despite several verbal and written appeals to the Department of Resettlement and Compensation and letters directed by the association to the FCT administration, it has turned deaf ears to their complaints. Again, barely two days after this, more than 100 of the inhabitants of Gosa community, a settlement along Airport Road, storm an FCT High Court sitting in Lugbe over a similar resettlement and compensation issue. Similarly, the indigenes are seeking for redress over ‘unlawful’ allocation of their community to the Nigerian Police Force to build a mobile police barracks and demolition of their houses by the FCT administration without due compensation and resettlement. These recent cases are only two out of a hundred other cases emanating from the resettlement and compensation issue in the FCT. It beats the imagination of many observers that, the FCT administration, which has time without number, made Nigerians to believe that it does not embark on demolition exercises without resettling and compensating the affected indigenes, would engage in such an unlawful and inhuman action, subjecting innocent citizens to untold hardship.

FCTA signs MoU for comprehensive HIV/ AIDS services in Gwarimpa hospital By Josephine Ella


he Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private organisation, Excellence and Friends Management Consult (EFMC) for provision of comprehensive HIV/AIDS services at Gwarimpa General Hospital, Abuja. Aimed at enhancing collaboration, exchange of information and quality health care services, the Health Secretar, Dr Demola Onakomaiya expressed optimism that the MoU would enhance the delivery of quality health care services to People Living With HIV/AIDS(PLWHA) in the territory. He advised the organisation to stay focused

and face the several challenges currently affecting PLWHA in Nigeria, urging them “to also join the battle by increasing you reach out to all pregnant women to ensure that Mother to Child Transmission(MTCT) is eliminated and no single pregnant woman goes home without HIV test and no unborn baby is allowed to be infected”. In a remark, the Executive Director of Excellence and Friends Management Consult, Dr Obinna Oleribe, commended the FCT administration for its commitment to the course of the less privileged and infected/affected with HIN/ AIDS in the FCT. He informed the Secretary that REACH project of the organization, which means Reaching All with Care and Support Services in HIV/AIDS, has in the past six months,

activated 38 new sites, 26 of which are in FCT including three comprehensive centres. He said that within the same period, the project has also provided testing and counseling services to 36, 816 people with a yield rate of 4.8%. “4177 pregnant women were tested, 3663 people received prevention messages that met the minimum package, 92 pregnant women were given prophylaxis to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV, while 30 HIV infected people were commenced on anti-TB medication”, Oleribe said. While expressing hope that the MoU with the hospital would impact positively on lives, he disclosed that with this, REACH would be activating her fourth comprehensive site and looks forward to activating General Hospital Abaji soon.

A woman preparing meal at Federal Housing Estate, in Lugbe, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Property agent arraigned over land scam


property agent in Abuja, Hassan Ibrahim, 42, has been arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Karu, in connection with land scam. Ibrahim of No 20, Airport Road, Lugbe, Abuja, was charged with joint act, criminal breach of trust and cheating. Police Prosecutor, Pascal Njoku told the court that on April 27,2012, Mr Amos Adisa of Jikwoyi and one

Pastor Obi of Angwangade Jikwoyi Abuja, reported the case to the police. Njoku said that sometime in February, the accused deceived Adisa and Obi and collected a land document of Plot No 302 Kpeyegyi Layout valued at N800,000. The prosecutor said the accused sold the land for N550,000 and converted the money to his personal use. According to the prosecutor, the offence contravenes Sections 79, 312

and 322 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Nkamdimi Buba granted him bail in the sum of N300, 000 with two sureties in like sum. She ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant on Grade Level 10, adding that his house and office must be verified and adjourned the case to June 6, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

Man, 21, bags three months imprisonment for theft


ne Ibrahim Muhammad, 21, was on Wednesday sentenced to three months in prison for criminal trespass and theft. Police Prosecutor, Abdullahi Adamu told a Senior Magistrate’s Court sitting in Wuse Zone 6 that, on May 8, Gift Friday of Roconio Plaza, No. 78, Abidjan Street, Wuse Zone 3, reported

the case at the Wuse Police Station. Muhammad was arraigned on a two-count charge of criminal trespass and theft. Adamu said the convict entered the complainant’s office at Roconio Plaza and stole her Nokia X1 phone, valued at N8,000, adding that it was recovered from him during police investigation,

He said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 348 and 287 of the Penal Code. The convict pleaded guilty to the charges. In her ruling, Senior Magistrate Vera Tom tukura noted that the convict had no criminal record, and ordered him to return the phone to the complainant. (NAN)






- Pg 20

Banks plan restructuring ahead of CBN stress test

Mob: 08033644990

Dangote to spend N1.2 tr on expansion ...eyes London By Aminu Imam with agency report lh. Aliko Dangote said his conglomerate needed to spend $7.5 billion (about N1.2 trillion) over the next four years to expand operations in a range of sectors. The disclosure was made by Dangote on Thursday on the sidelines of the world Economic Forum, “We are going into something big. We are going into mining, petrochemicals, cement and infrastructure, “We need to spend $7.5 billion in the next four years. So, definitely, we need a lot of concentration.” Dangote said this changing focus was one of the reasons he was looking for a partnership for his flour business, Dangote Flour Mills, with Tiger Brands, South Africa’s biggest consumer foods maker. “We are actually trying to have a partnership between us and Tiger Brands, and we believe they are much better than us in terms of the retail business.” Banking and company sources have told Reuters Tiger Brands was bidding for an 80 percent stake in Dangote Flour Mills, which makes pasta and flour in Africa’s most populous country.


Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30 ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10

listing by Q3, 2013 Buying all or part of Dangote Flour Mills would give the maker of bread, breakfast cereal and energy drinks a substantial presence in the Nigerian food market. Dangote said a deal was about partnership, not offloading assets. In his statement:”We are not selling. If it was to raise money, we would have sold the whole business to them. But no. What we are trying to do is actually to have them so that we can now enjoy the downstream of the business.” Dangote also said yesterday that he was aiming to list his $11 billion cement company on the London stock exchange by the third quarter of 2013.(Reuters)

NSE turnover drops by 31.3%


ransactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) dropped in volume and value terms yesterday as a total of 323.36 million shares worth N2.23 billion were traded in 4,247 deals. This was against the 483.89 million shares valued at N3. 82 billion exchanged in 4,657 deals on Wednesday. The All-Share Index, which opened at 22,533.72, depreciated further by 22.42 points or 0.09 per cent to close at N22, 511.30. The market capitalisation also lost N7 billion or 0.09 per cent to close at N7.179 trillion from the N7.186 trillion achieved on Wednesday. The financial service sector remained the toast of investors as investors exchanged 263.61 million shares worth N1.97 billion in 2,592 deals. The banking sub-sector was the most active, accounting for 257.98 million shares valued at N1. 97 billion in 2,472 deals. UBA traded 79.32 million shares worth N290.12 million in 441 deals while GTB followed with 41.47 million shares valued at N675.89 million exchanged in 426 deals. (NAN) EXCHANGE RATES

ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00


LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08



LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30

• £ RIYAL $

CBN to grant lion’s share of SME fund to women By Abdulwahab Isa


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says 60 per cent of the proposed small and medium enterprise fund will be devoted to women-owned and managed businesses. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi said this yesterday in Abuja, at the launch of the “British Council Report on Adolescent Girls and Women in Nigeria’’. “The proposal is for 60 per cent of the whole fund set up on macro small and medium enterprises of that fund to be devoted to women-owned and managed resources,” he said. “The women will only have to pay back in single digit interest rate.” He said studies had shown that women were less likely to make bad investments than men, noting that women should be able to access loans. Sanusi said that the banking sector was looking at technology as a way to cut out the middleman, who deprived women of the money set aside for them. “Imagine if a woman can receive a voucher on her cell phone and take that to her

SELLING 0.3083 202.1012 250.9444 41.5289 155.75

BUYING 210 250 40 156

SELLING 212 252 42 158

hospital in order to get treatment, that way the hospital gets paid and no one gets cheated.” He said that in the past, homes were like mini factories, though women were in the home, they worked just as hard as the men and contributed to the family’s income. Sanusi said that Nigeria needed to change the work culture that indirectly benefited men at the expense of women. “In our work environment, even though the work hours are from nine to five, workers who stay late get merit,” he said. “If a man has someone taking care of things at home, he can work late, while women might have to rush home to prepare dinner, help the children with their homework and take care of the home. He said the work culture being practised now was unfair to women. Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Farouk Lawan attributed withdrawal of girls from school to several reasons. He said harassment from teachers, male students and unfavourable conditions in the schools, were some of the reasons why girls withdrew from school.

Lawan condemned the issue of families using girls as housemaids and prevented them from getting education to improve their lives. The report says Nigeria exhibits high and worrying levels of inequality, adding that until women in Nigeria begin to contribute more to household cash income, spending at the household level will continue to be limited. It says the ability of women to influence others are the extent to which changes in education policy can influence family decisions about age of marriage. “Nigeria still has a disproportional share of global infant, child and maternal deaths. “There is a lack of gender parity in almost all areas of human development, the poorest girls and women experience the worst outcome. “Gender violence has emerged as a cross cutting theme that impacts on women and girls in their homes and in every sphere of their lives,’’ the report said. It recommended among other things, the promotion of women’s livelihoods, keeping girls in school, improving women’s health and reducing maternal mortality.

Management Tip of the Day

9th May, 2012 BUYING 0.2883 200.8036 249.3332 41.2623 154.75


ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45

L-R: Director, Special Duties, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mr.George Okere; Director-General, Mr. Joseph Odumodu; and Head , Southern Operations, SON, Mr. Bayo Adegun, during a press briefing recently at Westown hotel in Ikeja, Lagos.


Build a better business case

hen building a business case, many managers pick an early solution and fail to explore additional possibilities. Others fail to consider the status quo as an alternative. To avoid these traps, bring

together the people who will be affected by the outcome of your proposal — these may be customers, frontline workers, or managers in other departments. Ask them to brainstorm alternatives. To generate as many ideas

as possible, record everything without judgment or discussing pros and cons. Once you have a full list, move on to assessing which are feasible. Source: Harvard Business Review




NAMB Osun adopts BankOne


ankOne, AppZone Group’s financial services platform has been officially adopted by the Osun state, chapter of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) for the harmonisation and seamless integration of its members’ operations.

FG eyes increase of broadband speed by 2015


he Federal Government has set a target of 50 per cent internet speed by 2015, the Minister of Communication Technology, Omobola Johnson, has said.

Nigeria ahead of South Africa, Kenya in tourism investments

Fashola commences work on Lekki-Epe international airport From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos


agos state government has commenced work on the development to the LekkiEpe International Airport to complement the activities of the Zone as well as provide alterative air transport services in the state. Disclosing this at a ministerial press briefing in commemoration of the First Year Second Term anniversary of ‘Governor Babatunde Fashola in Office’, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Senapon Oworu said that the state government has successfully obtained the site approval for the airport from the Federal Ministry of Aviation and has also completed the master plan on the 3,500 hectares of land earmarked for the project. Mrs. Oworu explained that the airport is designed to handle about 5million passengers annually, with provision for a modular terminal for future

expansion, adding that preliminary work on the project have commenced, with the clearing of 4.5 km of the access road and 9km of perimeter road. She said that this is in furtherance of its objective to make the Lekki Free Trade Zone a fully functional investment haven. The Commissioner also reiterated that the Lekki Free Zone project is a reality as it has so far attracted key players particularly in the oil and gas sector with a greater prospect of attracting more investors as its development progresses, especially with the provision of power. According to her, “A further testimony to the development of the Zone is the interest expressed by the Federal Government through the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to establish a pioneer Hydrocarbon Industry Park, which would comprise of a Green Field

Refinery, Petrochemical, Fertilizer and Power Plant within the Zone. The state has earmarked 1,500 hectares of land for this purpose, out which 550 hectares will be released for the development of the refinery and power plant” “A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with the NNPC to this effect. The refinery is designed to have a refining capacity of between 200,000 - 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day. When completed, it would help to shore up the domestic refinery capacity and close the prevailing demand - supply gap for petroleum products in the country”, she said. Concluding, Mrs. Oworu assured that the state government has made appreciable progress in some of the social challenges that had in the past encumbered the smooth implementation of the Lekki-Free Zone Project.


ven though Nigeria attracted the largest investment in hotel infrastructure on the African continent, ahead of South Africa and Kenya in 2011, the nation has yet to tap fully into her huge tourism potential, Ndiana Matthew, president, Palm3 Concepts, a leading Pan African strategic communications firm specialising in Southern and Western Africa emerging markets, has observed.

Mines & steel sector generates N1.4 bn revenue in 2011 – Sada


he mines and steel sector in Nigeria generated about N1.4 billion income revenue in 2011 for the Federal Government, according to the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Musa Muhammed Sada.

Dangote Cement new capacity operational and ramping up


angote Cement, Nigeria’s largest cement producer says its new capacity is operational and ramping up towards higher production, even as Nationwide gas supply problems affected margins in the short term, Devakumar Edwin, Group Executive Director has revealed.

L-R: Former President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), Chief Kayode Naiyeju, Afuntade (i), Alawe of Ilawe-Ekiti, Oba Adebanji Alabi, and CITN President, Mr John Femi Jegede, during the 14th annual conference of the institute, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Banks plan restructuring ahead of CBN stress test By Abdulwahab Isa


igerian banks have commenced strategic restructuring in an effort to ensure that they measure up when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) conducts its coming evaluation of their viability, mission fulfillment and solvency, otherwise known as the ‘stress test’. The restructuring by the banks is aimed at bringing about improvements in corporate governance, cost effectiveness and the streamlining of internal functions, for enhanced efficiency. The impending stress test is causing tension in the industry, such that some financial institutions are embarking on unwholesome activities, like the hasty disposal of some relics of acquired banks, and merging of treasury products inherited from the acquired banks. Also, some middle level banks have commenced negotiations for

the purchase of buildings occupied by acquired banks, as well as their Information Technology (IT) assets, in an effort to ensure that all payment solutions are functional. Besides, the poor outing by most banks in the last financial year, as well as the increasing demand by customers for sophisticated products and services and the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS), which requires full disclosures of operations, have thrown the banks into a scramble for a complete turn around, so as to move to full profitability and commence payment of dividends. The CBN said recently that the fresh stress test, reminiscent of the 2009 one, was to prevent a similar crisis situation which led to the near collapse of many of the banks, three years ago. A stress test refers to the comprehensive capital analysis and review programme that examines the ability of the banks to survive a financial crisis.

Kingsley Moghalu, CBN deputy governor, Financial Systems Stability, recently said, “As a followup to the last stress test conducted in 2009 at the request of the CBN, plans are underway to conduct another round of assessment on commercial banks before end of 2012 as part of the Financial Sector Assessment Programme under a technical assistance programme facility provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank,” Consequently, some of the banks have been layingoff staff in the last few weeks. The lay- offs in many of the banks, including the nationalised ones, cut across all cadres. PeoplesDaily further gathered that the development has put the banks under pressure, to the extent that profits made by some banks in the last financial year, was aided more by disposal of some assets, a development that requires putting the records straight before the next round of examination by CBN.

NCC steps in to reduce internet service costs By Muhammad Sada


he high cost of distributing internet bandwidth from submarine cables on the shores across the length and breadth of the country will soon become a thing of the past as there are indications that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) plans to introduce a cap on fibre transmission costs after a survey conducted specifically to determine real cost of deploying fibre is completed. It has been established that the price of moving internet capacity from Lagos to Abuja is indeed much higher than the cost of moving capacity from Lagos to London. This, according to industry analysts is due to the dearth of transmission backbone network needed to move bandwidth capacity. As a result, Nigeria has one of the highest costs of internet access in the world, at approximately N8, 000 to N10, 000 for 5Mbps (Megabits per second) of data. Eugene Juwah, Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC said in an interview, that the commission is also conducting another study to clearly map out the country’s fibre assets. “The NCC is conducting a survey to determine the real cost of deploying fibre. We are not running away from putting a cap on fibre transmission cost but we must have cost- based information before the NCC makes its decision.

PZ Cussons Nigeria advances on dividend bets


Z Cussons Nigeria Plc (PZ), a consumer products manufacturer, rose to the highest in more than three weeks on investor bets that it will declare a dividend for its fiscal year, which ends this month, PAC Securities Ltd. said. The stock rose by the daily limit of 5 percent to 23.20 naira on Wednesday, the highest since April 16. “We are expecting that PZ will declare a reward in the form of dividends, so investors are taking position now,” Eugene Ezenwa, chief operating officer of Lagosbased PAC, said by phone today. “The stock has been trading at a resistance point of about 21 naira for some time now, but it is trying to break off from that point as a result of the expectations,” he said. The stock could rise as high as 25 naira in the next month, depending on the timing of the release of PZ’s results and corporate action, he added. Net income for the nine months through February fell to 666.9 million naira ($352 million), from 3.8 billion naira a year earlier, the company said April 18. (Source: BusinessWeek)



FIRS to simplify issuance of tax clearance certificate By Muhammad Nasir

T Telecom operators to pay tax on telecom masts By Josephine Ella


elecommunication companies operating in Abuja are henceforth to pay levies to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) for installing telecom masts anywhere, within the territory. The Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, revealed this at the weekend, during the inauguration of the Ministerial Committee on Revenue Generation/Collection, and the Regulation and Control of Outdoor Advertisement Structure as part of the administration’s efforts towards stepping up its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) base. She said the influx of people into the city had put much strain on social amenities provided in the FCT, emphasising that the administration would not achieve much without generating more revenue.

“Therefore, we need to increase our IGR dramatically, in order to be able to function and provide the amenities, services and infrastructure needed for the territory to function because what we are getting from the Federal Government is simply not enough, so we have to generate more revenue,” she added. The minister said that revenue collection should not be limited to advertising structures only, but telecommunication masts as well. “If you have telecommunication mast, that means you are making money and you have the ability to pay; we are not targeting the ordinary Nigerian, we are not increasing their tax burden,” Akinjide said. This was as she urged the committee to partner with the area councils of the FCT and the outdoor advertisers towards ensuring telecom operators comply with the resolution by paying a commensurate tax.

FIRS to review capital gains tax


wholesale review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Stamp Duties (SD) Acts to ensure that the laws are in conformity with global best practices, is on the cards, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has said. Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, who made the disclosure at a workshop on Administration of CGT, SD and Personal Income Tax (PIT) for optimum revenue yield held in Abuja, said that the Service would also embark on massive sensitization of the public and create awareness on best practices that would help drive improved collection of all taxes. Mashi harped on the need for the FIRS to focus more on CGT, SD and PIT to ensure increase revenue generation and maximize revenue potentials from various sources that have remained untapped. He stressed the need for CGT, SD and PIT to contribute more to the total tax take in view of the pressing need to improve revenue accruable to government at all levels. “This position must however be reversed if we are to meet our targets and ensure that these taxes begin to make substantial contribution to overall revenue collection”, he said. The Ag. Executive Chairman noted that the realization of

Nigeria’s 2012 Budget is dependent on earning from taxes, urging staff of the agency to brace up for the challenges of increasing government’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Mashi said, “It must be noted with particular respect to Capital Gains Tax, that despite the preponderance of huge capital assets disposals in Nigeria and Abuja, in particular which is our area of coverage for the tax, it has continued to make little contribution to the overall tax yield. “We must therefore commit ourselves to reversing this trend not only for Capital Gains Tax, but also for Personal Income Tax and Stamp Duties.’’ he said, adding that the challenge of growing revenue requires continuous innovation for the Service to attain and surpass the performance target not only for 2012 but on a sustainable basis. “The challenges of revenue shortfall being experienced at all levels of government and the pressing need to improve revenue accruable to government are apparent. This revenue shortfall has created a gap between government’s expectations and revenue available for expenditure. “In spite of these limitations, which are not restricted to Nigeria alone, the FIRS has been able to perform creditably well over the years’’, he noted.

he Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has promised to review the process of issuance of Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC), so as to make the procedure simpler and easier to obtain. The Acting Executive Chairman of FIRS, Alhaji Kabir Mashi, who made this known at the opening of the inaugural Field Operations Group Regional Management Meeting (FOGRMM) held recently in Asaba, Delta state. He said that such a review would reduce tax fraud, fast track payment of taxes and ease the problems of delay associated with the issuance of TCC to taxpayers.

Mashi said that the Service would work to achieve simplified and ease tax payment processes. He said “We have to put more efforts in order to achieve our set target for the year 2012. The issuance of Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC) is a very important aspect of what we do. We have to clear all hurdles on the process of issuance of TCC. “Some taxpayers tend to forge TCCs because the process of getting the Certificate after application is slow. So, they think it is faster for them to forge. This in turn reduces the amount of tax revenue that could have accrued to the Federal Government. In order to increase tax collection, the process of issuance of TCC has to be faster. We have to make it faster”.

Mashi said the FIRS has started the year 2012 in a right footing having performed better in the first quarter of 2012 than it did in the first quarter of the year 2011. “In the first quarter of the year 2012, our quarterly government target is N909 billion and the Service collected N1.7 trillion for the same period. This is better than last year’s first quarter performance of N955 billion and 29 percent over and above government target for the year. He urged the management of the Service to up the ante, to ensure that the progressive history of tax revenue collection by FIRS over the years does not drop.

L-R: Chairman House of Representatives, Committee on Finance, Hon. Abdulmumini Jubril with Acting Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabiru Mashi, during the House of Reps Committee on Finance Oversight Function to the FIRS Office, on Wednesday, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Understanding the concepts of basis period for assessment of profit to tax (1) By Muhammad Nasir


oth taxpayers and tax authorities are expected to know their rights of elections and the basis period of assessment. The Basis Period of Assessment: This is the period in which the profit of a business is assessed to tax in a particular year of assessment or the period of business activity taken into consideration in determining the tax liability of a chargeable company in the year of assessment. It’s important for both taxpayers and tax authorities to note that basis period can be normal or abnormal depending on the prevailing circumstances. Key concepts in the understanding of the basis

period are as follows: 1. Accounting Period: This is the period for which a taxpayer has declared an income either profit or loss. The Accounting Period is usually 12 months. A Normal accounting year has the following characteristics: (a) It must be 12 months (b)It must be the only accounting period ending in that particular year of assessment (c)It must commence immediately after the end of the previous accounting period year. 2. Assessment Year: This is the year in which the income of a tax year will be assessed to tax. It must be on a preceding year basis (PYB) for an Actual year Basis (AYB).

(a)PYB: This is usually a situation where the incomer of a preceding year is taken as a basis for the current year of assessment. This process is the normal situation for the basis period and it is a statutory recommendation for existing companies, except for some select companies in their airline business, oil and gas sector etc. (b)PYB: This usually corresponds with the 1st January to 31st December government fiscal year. It means that assessment is based on income from that particular year of assessment. Examples of tax liabilities that will arise on actual year basis are taxation from petroleum profit, capital gains and employees tax (PAYE).


Wal-Mart focuses on existing Africa markets


al-Mart Stores Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, is focused on strengthening its existing operations in Africa and not immediate expansion into new markets on the continent, the head of its international businesses said yesterday. Wal-Mart, last year spent $2.4 billion on a majority stake in South Africa’s Massmart, a discounter with a growing presence on the continent. “Massmart is currently located in 12 markets so that’s our focus. Building our business in the markets that we are currently in is our primary focus,” Doug McMillon told Reuters. “We are excited about the region. We have a longterm view,” he said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place this week in Addis Ababa. Massmart has a handful of stores outside South Africa, giving it a foothold but not a major presence in markets such as Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda.(Reuters)


NAFDAC to register patent medicine stores in Zamfara T

he Zamfara office of NAFDAC plans to register patent medicine stores in the state to regulate the sales and use of drugs. This was announced yesterday in Gusau by the Unit Head of the Agency in the state, Mr Bugu Peter, at a meeting with members of the state chapter of National Association of Patent and Proprietary. He said NAFDAC had concluded plans to carry out the task, to regulate sales and consumption of foods, drugs and other related commodities to curtail abuse. Peter said the Agency would continue to regulate and control the importation, exportation, m a n u f a c t u r i n g , advertising, distribution, sales and use of all commodities under its mandate in the country. H e u r g e d consumers to be wary of

all the items so as not to fall victims of the law. While commending the efforts of the Agency

in its drive, the state Chairman of the Patent Medicine Dealers, Mr Augustine Kalu, called

on the members to cooperate with the Agency in the discharge of its responsibilities.

Kalu assured of its members’ readiness to cooperate with the authorities. (NAN)

L-R: CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-makura, during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, held at the State House, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

NDIC set up financial literacy programme in secondary schools By Muhammad Nasir


he Nigerian Deposit I n s u r a n c e Corporation (NDIC) has step up the distribution of the ‘Basic Knowledge on Banking’ booklets to junior Secondary Schools (JSS) in the six geo-political zones of the country as part of initiative to promote financial literacy among the youths. In a statement issued by the Corporation yesterday, the NDIC noted that the distribution has been expanded to cover all Junior Secondary Schools in the 36 States of the AFederation and the Federal Capital Territory through the Zonal Controllers of the NDIC’s eight Zonal Offices, who distribute the booklets through ministries of education in the various states, adding that the NDIC Zonal Offices include Kano, Bauchi, Yola, Illorin, Benin, Enugu and Port Harcourt. It was noted that the project was initiated in 2010 with seven selected states where the corporation sponsored popular sports competitions as part of the NDIC’s contribution to the development of sports. He also maintained that the major objective of distributing the banking to

JSS students is base on the need to catch them young in understanding the principles and Practice of banking. Adding that the NDIC believes that as the students read the booklets, their knowledge of basic issues in banking will enable them to make informed financial and investment when they grow up.

Bichi said the 19-page booklet covers important issues on basic financial concepts, including definition of a bank, types of financial institutions, the reason why depositors should keep their money in the banks, different types of accounts, basic information people need in their choice of banks to open accounts and other basic banking terms.

PenCom reads Riot Act to with the erring firms collaborating Independent Corrupt From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he National Pension C o m m i s s i o n (PenCom) has reaffirmed its readiness to deal decisively with firms that will fail to comply with the laws on the pension scheme PenCom’s DirectorGeneral, PenCom, Muhammad Ahmad, who made this known in a statement yesterday, noted that there should be a review of the Penalties and Sanctions in the 2004 Pension Act, adding that the sanctions in Section 85 should be amended because they are no longer sufficient against infractions. The PenCom boss said the commission is

Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to stop sharp practices and make defaulters comply with remittance. He said the commission will also continue to organise workshops with the anti-corrupt agency to educate employers on the need for proper documentation and remittance. He noted that work is ongoing in developing and implementing framework for supervision of states and local governments as well as standard operating procedures for corrective actions, withdrawal and suspension of licence, mergers and acquisitions and contingency plan.




Travelogue: In Niger Republic in search of Aisha By Aliyu Tilde


he road to Aisha was not straight. In fact, just an hour before I finally met her, I almost lost any hope of our union. But when I met her finally, the toil proved to be worth undertaking. The first difficulty was caused by my fading memory. Before I could find her I had to find Tchima Illa Issoufou, the BBC correspondent in Maradi who aired the voice of Aisha in a report on food shortage last March. As I tried to remember her particulars which Tchima mentioned at the end of the report, I mistakenly thought she said Aisha came from Unguwar Hardo outside Damagaran. So I set out for Damagaran – or Zinder, as the French call it – very early in the morning through Bauchi, Dutse, Gumel and then Babura. I crossed the border at Babban Mutum and reached Damagaran through Magarya an hour before sunset. The road was not good, I must say, though it was far better than what I am used to between Jos and Saminaka. The shallow potholes, though numerous, were filled with sand unlike the car-swallowing ones we have on some Nigerian roads. At Radio Amfani in Damagaran, I was told that Tchima lives in Maradi, not Damagaran. A colleague of her was able to connect the two of us on phone. I then booked an appointment with her against the following morning. And so without much waste of time, I was out of Zinder chasing the sun on my way to Maradi, though the red star did not take time before it disappeared from my sight altogether. The road was perfect except for the bumps that are located at every settlement along the 300 km stretch. By the time I checked into Jangwarzo Hotel in Maradi around 9.00pm, I discovered that I have covered a distance of 930km that day. The following day, as I was discussing with some officials at Universite de Maradi, Tchima called and together we went to pick a female friend of hers, Rakiya of Radio Amfani, who would later prove to be very useful in locating Aisha. Tchima would readily confess that she is not good with directions, something that her friend Rakiya does with fascinating ease. Tchima on her part could recall fine details of conversations and faces with an amazing accuracy, as we will see shortly. The two makes a perfect company for any one in search of Aisha under the prevailing circumstance. Together we left Maradi that afternoon for Gidan Hardo Isa which is in Hawan Dawaki ward. We left the Maradi-Zinder road at Gazaoua (Gazawa) and drove

Throughout my visit, I was delighted by the development and orderliness of Niger. If the Ghana I saw in 2007 gave me hope that Africans can achieve good governance, Niger brought that message closer home because of its proximity and our cultural affinity. along the quiet laterite road until we reached Hawan Dawaki, at every point guided by the good senses of Rakiya to whom we conceded defeat in any argument regarding direction. It was in this village that Tchima interviewed Aisha and her friends a year ago when they came in the entourage of the President. From there we were guided to remoter village south east of the Gazaoua-Maiadua road. At Tuburtu, a person I thought was old enough to know Hardo Isa said there was nobody with that name among all the Fulani settlements around. I returned to the car and told my already tired co-travellers, “Il y a une probleme”. However, the old man was kind enough to direct us to a settlement where the oldest Fulani leader around lives. I left Tchima and Rakiya in the car and trekked about a kilometre away where I met Hardo Jibgau in his hut. He counted, and my heart started racing in despair, all the five hardos in the area and said there was only one Hardo Isa. Mentioning Isa immediately rekindled the hope of locating Aisha. He described the site for his son who volunteered to lead us there. After promising Jibgau that i will look for his sister Rabi, the mother of Hardo Ango at Gadan Maiwa in Bauchi state where he once lived, we returned to the car and drove through the narrow sandy path until we arrived at Hardo Isa quarters. Aisha must be living in one of them, we hoped. The quarters are sparse. Like other Fulani quarters, they form a group of houses separated from one another by distances that could be as wide as 500 meters. Before we could even pull the brakes, there was Tchima at her best: from afar she amazingly spotted one of the women, Fatouma, that were with Aisha the day she interviewed them. We approached the woman who was processing some guinea corn in a mortar. First, the apprehensive Fatouma denied being at the spot of the interview that day. She did not even go to the event, she claimed. Tchima and Rakiya tried hard to describe Aisha to her but she declined knowing anyone like that. Aisha did not help matters either. She did not give Tchima her actual name during the interview. However, as the

women realized that we were not there to bring any trouble, they opened up and named Aisha, pointing at her house, some 300 meters away. They sent for her and she arrived shortly. Tchima instantly recognized her. As she sat on an empty mortar to answer Tchima, the clear voice of Aisha as it was aired on BBC hit my ears unmistakably. Aisha is middle-aged, dark, slim and medium in height. She is a guest every journalist would like to host. She is not shy to speak her mind, eloquently and frankly. Yet, when she spoke to Tchima about the food shortage they were facing last year, she was kind enough to acknowledge the effort of government in distributing foodstuff even though she was yet to receive any personally. What was more interesting in that interview was how she kept on entrusting her hope in God, “E. Ana rabawa amma mu Allah bai ciyar damu ba tukun”. What a good citizen! And God did not fail her. He did not wait much after the interview was aired to answer her prayer as well as that of others around her in Gidan Hardo Isa. The following forty minutes we spent there before we started our return trip to Maradi were among the happiest moments one could experience in life. It is fascinating to see other people happy, especially when something good visits them unexpectedly. A unique blend of joy and gratitude remarkably changed their faces before us and I had to fight hard to suppress the tears their happiness instigated in my eyes. God is gracious. Very gracious. Whatever little aid we took to them was from Him. We remain grateful to Him for the opportunity. We bade the residents of Gidan 000Hardo Isa farewell amidst the joy that surrounded their homes. You would think Zaytouna, the teenage girl of Aisha, would jump into the car out of sheer happiness. As we drove back to Maradi, the eastern sky had better news for the inhabitants of that region of the Sahel. Rains fell just before sunset. And by the time I went to bed in Maradi, they have arrived at the regional capital in considerable quantity to make the rest of the night enjoyably cool for our sleep. Throughout my visit, I was delighted by the development and orderliness of Niger. If the

Ghana I saw in 2007 had given me the hope that Africans can achieve good governance different from what obtains in Nigeria, Niger brought that message closer home because of its proximity and our cultural affinity. Niger is no longer a country of hunger and underdevelopment as the media portrays it. Of course, shortage of rains will contnue to be a problem in the Sahel but the country is increasingly becoming adept in facing the challenge. What is more interesting is how the contrast with Nigeria would bring out Niger as a true jewel of the Sahel. Right from the first village after the Babban Mutum border, one cannot fail to discern the difference. “With their opposites, things become clear,” said Al-Mutanabbi. Their primary schools, except those built by communities – and all public buildings for that matter – are built to an impeccable standard. The nearest types of structures in Nigeria to which one could compare the official primary school buildings I saw in their villages are those built here by professional companies like Julius Berger. Even their very large and numerous agricultural stores have defied the instable earth and violent winds of the Sahel. They stand rigid and intact. Contrast this with the subhuman standard classrooms in both our public and private schools, the vandalized and empty stores that were mercilessly stripped of their fittings and roofs by the gluttony of thieving officials, etc. The student/teacher ratio is small in all the schools I visited. I have not seen any classroom holding under shade. The same

children go to school morning and afternoon, including Saturdays as it used to be here in the 1960s. There are sufficient instructional materials and the standard of learning is really high compared to ours. The Primary III children I met at Gurguji, some kilometers away from Magarya, were reading and writing composition in French. On the other side of the border, it is not uncommon to find Nigerian children in SS III who cannot make a single sentence in English – after 12 years of seducation. The comparison is the same even on matters of governance. Nigeriennes - commoners and elites alike – that I spoke to are unanimous on one point: that ‘doka’ – or rule of law – is the fundamental difference between their country and Nigeria. Niger is where one can say nobody is above the law and readily win a nod. Officials do not engage in the bizarre corrupt practices that take place in Nigeria with impunity. They have a genuine patriotism for their country. Officials in Niger have direct contact with their people and they show remarkable concern for any plight that might visit them. Officials, including the President, convene ‘town hall’ meetings even in the remotest areas. In fact, the reason why we learn about their food shortage is precisely because the government is concerned about the welfare of its citizens. There are millions of Nigerians under similar circumstance but I have never heard of any effort by government to provide food for them and their livestock. Who

The present government in Niger is particularly doing well. Throughout the regions of Zinder and Maradi, there is a common sight of trucks carrying food and animal feeds to stores and people in the hinterland. A journalist that is critical of the regime confided in me that if this dry season passes without significant of human and animal deaths, he would lead a delegation of his colleagues to commend the President in Niamey

Niger-Nigeria border at Birnin Kuta, Katsina state cares in Nigeria if you or your cow would die of hunger? Even the “fuji” or cattle vaccinations exercises that were common up to the 1960s have completely disappeared. And when the vaccinations are done in order to patronize a party official, they are counted as a favour to the herdsmen. Millions of our children are malnourished in Nigeria; we lose hundreds of thousands of cattle to hunger annually. But the world does not know about our hunger for two reasons: one, hunger is the last thing the world would expects to exist in a leading OPEC country and, two, Nigerian officials are too wicked to give it a damn. By contrast, government in Niger knows that its population would take it to task on any lapse, more so if there were reports of animals dying of hunger. The government too is responsive and does not pretend that it is rich. If a cry would bring assistance from donors, it is ready to do it loudly. And it does not wait for them. Along the way to Hawan Dawaki, Rakiya keenly showed me what they called “demi lun”. As the name applies, these are half moon basins which government pays villagers to dig on vast areas and plant them with drought tolerant grasses. The ones we saw along the way to Hawan Dawaki were still not harvested, indicating that the cattle, as we

saw them, will escape the lethal effect of the drought this year. The present government in Niger is particularly doing well. Throughout the regions of Zinder and Maradi, there is a common sight of trucks carrying food and animal feeds to stores and people in the hinterland. A journalist that is critical of the regime confided in me that if this dry season passes without significant of human and animal deaths, he would lead a delegation of his colleagues to commend the President in Niamey. President Mohammed Isoufou is not waiting for them. He is already trying his best to fulfill his campaign promises. He promised building 2,500 classrooms annually throughout his tenure, for example. In his first year that just ended, he has built 2,800. This is remarkable in a country with just a population of 15 million and which is regarded among the poorest in Africa. At the peak of the recent fuel subsidy crisis, by contrast, the federal government in Nigeria promised to put thousands of buses on the roads of Nigerians cities. Nothing came out of that simple promise. How much would it take to buy a bus in a country that receives billions of naira daily as rent from oil companies?

The result of the responsiveness of government and its resolve to institute rule of law is the prevailing atmosphere of security and peace. The governor of Maradi, Sidi Mohamed, drives around his capital city freely. I saw the richest person in the region, Umaru Laouli Gago, driving in the city alone in his car. And when night falls, I am sure both will go to their houses and sleep quietly. Nigerian governors cannot dare drive around their capitals without a coterie of hostile and trigger happy security personnel. In fact, mine is reported to have requested his House of Assembly to allow him officially relocate to Abuja. It refused. If he would come to town, it may be once a month or less, since Boko Haram placed him on its hit list in spite of his apology. In the Southeast and South-south, the rich have resorted to residing in hotels, for fear of abduction by kidnappers or attack by armed robbers. What worth is our wealth? Now, there are no go areas even for the Nigerian president, like Eagle Square that is just a kilometre away from Aso Villa, many places in Abuja and security risk states like Borno. By contrast, the President of Niger travels to very remote areas to meet his people and pass the night along with his ministers in mobile tents pitched in open

air. I remembered the story of Kusroe’s (Persian) messenger who was shocked to meet the second caliph, Umar Bin AlKhattab, taking a nap under a tree in the outskirts of Medina, alone without any guard, when his domain had already encompassed the entire Arabia, Syria and Palestine. He said, “I wish my King will enjoy the same level of tranquillity!” I also wish to see President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign train in Tilde one day where he will pass the night in a tent at the foot of the Shere Hills. Hahahahaha… As a result of rule of law also, Niger is one fo the democracies to beat in Africa. Tchima told me that if there is any manipulation, it could only take place before balloting. But once the ballot is cast, nobody can change the result. Results are announced instantly at polling station and agents are given their copies of the return sheets. Every party collates its results independently at its situation room. Immediately the pattern shows the winner that would emerge, Tchima assured me, other candidates would call that candidate on phone to concede defeat and congratulate him or her. “Shi ke nan,” she said, waiving her hands as we drove towards the Jibiya border. That is Niger, with its scant resources and population. And here is Nigeria, with over a

hundred billion naira spent on elections, with a PhD as President, with hundred times more policemen than those in Niger, with thousands of election officials that include numerous professors and PhDs as returning officers, with thousands of magistrates and justices, and with thousands of lawyers. Yet, we cannot afford to be honest enough to conduct a single credible election. What a shame! The reason is simple. The Qur’an says, “Say, the bad and the good cannot be equal even if the quantity of the bad has amazed you. So fear God, Oh people of talent, such that you can succeed.” It was then I realised the stupidity in the idea I put across to Aisha back in Gidan Hardo Isa the previous evening. I asked her why they would not just cross over to Nigeria where there is enough grass for their cattle and arable land to grow crops. She said they prefer to remain in Niger in spite of the difficulties. “If we leave, to whom do we abandon this place: these huts, this fence, this land? Let our men go and search for whatever they could get for us. But here we shall remain.” More oil is discovered in the Sahel. Definitely, Niger will get rich in the next two decades. I told Tchima that I am afraid that the grip of the state on the affairs of the country may become loose.

She disagreed, averring that more resources will be committed to law enforcement commensurate with the challenges. After two days of discussion, I conceded that Niger will face the challenge of wealth squarely, given the long experience it has in French style of administration and the blessing of learning from the bad experience of its ‘oil rich’ southern neighbour. In the end, I returned home pleased with my union with Aisha and her people, and, more importantly, with the first hand knowledge that our northern neighbour is not as poor as we think. It is developing fast; its riches are increasing by the day; and its people are proud of it. Its people are Africans too, except that they believe in rule of law. With it, their future would certainly be better than ours. I cannot help but wish them success. If any of my readers, any student of law or any Nigerian official wants to breathe the air of rule of law, he or she may not need to visit far away Europe or America. Niger is close by. That was the prayer of the late Mamman Shata before his benefactor, the late Emir of Daura, Alhaji Muhammadu Bashar. Hear him in the famous LP, Kwana Lafiya Mai Daura: “In kasar waje ta yi nisa Mamman Nan kusa ma kamar nan Nijer In ga Magarya, jikan Abdu Kai ni Damagaran, dan Sanda Sannan sai ka kai ni Maradi In kwana in gaida Sarki Buzu.” By sheer coincidence, not by the design of my pocket - unlike Shata, this was the same route I took in search of Habiba few days ago and forty-one years after I heard that song for the first time as a primary school child. As I bade Tchima farewell at the border and thanked her for her invaluable help, I was immediately greeted on the Nigerian side, before I drove into Katsina, by sights of blown roofs of newly built classrooms, by a large acreage of firewood bales (not a single piece have I seen sold by the roadside in Niger), by police and soldiers soliciting for tips even under the current security situation, by bare walls of stores that used to harbour tonnes of fertilizer and other agric inputs, and by a people each left to his own devices. I was definitely back to Nigeria, my one and only country, the land of religion without faith, of nothing amidst plenty, of poverty amidst wealth, of ignorance amidst knowledge, of impunity amidst laws, and of dictatorship amidst democracy.



Power drinks: Islam’s verdict Allah says: “O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. Satan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with Intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?” [al-Ma'idah: 90-91]


n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, is His servant, and messenger. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. Today we will try to expose one of the evil aspects of profiteering by intoxicating innocent generation in capitalism, and measured as positive indices of healthy economy. I am precisely talking on the so-called 'power drinks' that is everywhere and almost drunk by every age group. Today, unfortunately, power drinks have taken alcohol to every house, school and almost every public and places of worship without allowing the victims to know what they are guzzling! They, mischievously concealed the true contents and ingredients of the poisonous drinks! In the advanced Western nations, many advocates of human rights and concern organizations have written tons of literatures in many magazines and newspapers, in their efforts to educate the humanity of their right to know. Unfortunately, forces of destruction have overpowered them. Actually, my objective is to educate our Muslim youths and elites on the health danger as well as spiritual implications of power drinks. The crux of the matter is that power drinks are not only intoxicants but are more dangerous than alcohol as destructive agents. In Islam, all agents of intoxication are prohibited in big and small quantity! They are completely outlawed and proscribed. The Qur'anic verse aforementioned is very explicit on its proscription. Before the advent of Islam, consumption of liquor, just like other ills and evils of society, was also prevalent, and very profitable to the Meccan oligarchy who were then the capitalists of their time, as well. So, when the Apostle of Allah migrated from Makkah to Madinah he found that the people there were also indulging in drinking alcohol.

The masses were so attracted by packaged, you can pick the superficial and deceptive something up that has alcohol in benefits offered by all sorts of it and not even know it." Mr. intoxicants that their minds McKenna, an advocate against became oblivious of the harmful consumption of power drink said, effects and the e v i l s waylaying within these addictions. manufacturing and trading of liqour was very By Husain Zakariyya lucrative and Yawale m o n e y s p i n n i n g +234-8052952900 (sms only) business. On the other hand , the social problems of the masses were "It's time to bring an end to the gathering with no permanent sale of alcoholic energy drinks," solution in sight. "They're marketed to kids by Power drink of all sorts are using fruit flavors that mask the dangerous drinks to human taste of alcohol, and they have body. They drain him in bits by such high levels of stimulants bits sending him suddenly to his that people have no idea how grave. Last year in December, for inebriated they really are."

potentiating the GABAergic neurotransmitter system. GABA [gamma-aminobutyric acid] is an inhibitory neurotransmitter. When the neurons in the brain release GABA, it acts to slow down or inhibit other neural processes. This reduces a n x i e t y , i n c r e a s e s relaxation while sedating a person...Compared to alcohol, caffeine is on the other end of the spectrum of psychoactive drugs in that it is a stimulant. Caffeine is an antagonist for the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine is an inhibitory neurotransmitter; so similar to GABA, adenosine can dampen or inhibit other neural processors.

example, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) of America effectively banned the sale of all alcoholic energy drinks after in view of several studies regarding such 'beverages'. The Commission called the packaging of these products "misleading," and an attempt to appeal to younger customers "encouraging excessive consumption while mixing alcohol with various other chemical and herbal stimulants" that are very injurious to body. The MLCC pointed out that a typical alcoholic energy drink is 24 ounces (0.7 liters) and has a 12 percent alcohol contentcompared with a 12-ounce (0.35liter) can of beer, which normally has 4 to 5 percent-plus the caffeine equivalent of five cups of coffee. A report issued recently by Doug Scoles, executive director for the Ohio chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving that alcohol companies mimic marketing strategies used to sell non-alcoholic energy beverages, popular among teenagers. He said, "The way these things are

With caffeine, we have a double negative in that it inhibits an inhibitory neurotransmitter and thus increase levels of arousal and alertness-but higher doses can produce nervousness, anxiety and tachycardia." Energy drink companies are cramming more and more ingredients into their products without telling the consumers what these ingredients supposedly do to the their bodies. The following is a list of the most common ingredients and their believed effects on the body. While ingredients such as caffeine have been widely studied, others haven't and are using manly anecdotal evidence as justification of their use. According to Kavita M. Babu, MD, Richard James Church, MD and William Lewander, MD. in their research: "Energy Drinks: The New Eye-Opener For Adolescents" released by Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2008, the following ingredients are found in mostly energy drink: Caffeine, Taurine, Guarana, B Vitamins, Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, L-Carnitine,


Today in America and Europe, power drink is wrecking more havoc than real bear beverages. Youths have abandoned their studies and run pubs in their schools. On the health side there are more accident cases due to the immediate effect of altering the mood of the individuals. In a new study of more than 1,000 college students in the US, people who drank energy beverages 52 or more times a year were more than twice as likely as non-users to meet criteria for alcohol dependence. In addition, such "high-frequency users" were more likely to get drunk at an earlier age, drink more in one sitting, black out, and/or experience hangover symptoms that limited their usual activities, the study showed. An associate professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Thomas Gould explained what happens to the body when large amounts of alcohol and caffeine are consumed simultaneously in following words: "Alcohol is a sedative. It works in part by

Sugars, Antioxidants, Glucuronolactone, Yerba Mate, Creatine, Acai abery, Milk Thristle, L-theanine, inisitol and Artificial Sweetner. Without further ado, energy drinks are refered to as caffeinated alcoholic drinks or "malt beverages" of which virtually when all these chemicals are "infused" together with 6-12% alcoholic by volume. Energy drinks sequentially and subliminally inculcate addicts into more dangerous substances in no time. Moderate drinkers become heavy drinkers anyway so why the risk? Islam does not encourage one to take risks unnecessarily because there is no inevitability at all for drinking alcohol in any way and so should be totally prohibited even if it takes extra force to do so. The Prophet of Islam Muhammad (SAW) said: “Anything which intoxicates in a large quantity is prohibited even in a small quantity.” [Aljami': 5530] He said also, “Alcohol is the mother of all evils and it is the most shameful of evils.” That was why the Apostle of Allah in a extraordinary Hadith which was reported by Anas bin Malik (RD) said: “God’s curse falls on a group of people who deal with alcohol. The one who distils it, the one for whom it has been distilled, the one who drinks it, the one who transports it, the one to whom it has been brought, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who utilizes money from it, the one who buys it and the one who buys it for someone else.” Sheikh Qardawi the Grand Mufti of Qatar made a terrible slip of the tongue in giving out a fatwah of consuming power drink on the ground that the alcohol content was not more than 1/8th of the content; and that it was too small to get someone off! The fatwah is a direct violation of the Shari'ah based on the authentic Hadith of the Rasulullah (SAW) which we sighted above. Another cause of the goof was his haste in giving the fatwah which was devoid of full scale professional research. The crux of the remains, a drop of anything intoxicant is haram; no two ways about it! That is why Islam does not excuse for a nip or a tot. According to a report published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, caffeine abuse along with nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, tremors, dizziness and numbness are the main side effects reported after drinking these beverages. Many countries including war torn Chechnya have proscribed energy drink. The deputy minister of health, Rukman Bartiyev, said, "Energy drinks are comparable to beer because they were harmful to health." My sincere advice to my brothers and sisters who guzzle energy drink should henceforth stop, repent and ask the forgiveness of Allah. May Allah have mercy on us in what remains of our time.


By Martins Abochol


limate change has become a global concern with harmful effects as seasonal cycles are disrupted. For example, food production and water supply are adversely affected by the effects of climate change. The impact of climate change induces new challenges in the global campaign against extreme poverty and diseases, particularly in developing countries like Nigeria. Experts predict that in many sub-Saharan African countries, climate change could mean more frequent drought, floods and water scarcity. They fear that the new challenges will make it difficult to achieve the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as they somewhat threaten the progress already made in the fight against extreme poverty and disease Speaking on climate change, the Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, said that the Federal Government was mindful of the adverse consequences of the phenomenon, adding that it was striving to sensitise the citizens to the dangers of climate change. The minister made this known in Abuja at a Ministerial Press Briefing organised to mark first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. She said that the ministry would soon launch a public awareness campaign on climate change so as to educate the people on their expectations, particularly in the areas of adaptation and mitigation. Mailafia announced that a graduate programme on climate change issues would soon be introduced in two Nigerian universities, under the aegis of the German Initiative on the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use. According to her, the two institutions which will run the programme are Federal University of Technology, Akure, and Federal University of Technology, Minna. The minister also announced that the special climate change unit of the ministry had been upgraded to a full-fledged department, as part of efforts to combat the adverse effects of climate change in the country. Besides, Mailafia said that Nigeria had collaborated with other ECOWAS member states to develop a West African Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (WACCAS). “The development of nationally appropriate mitigation action plans via ECOWAS, as well as the establishment of a special climate change trust fund have been some of the achievements of the ministry,’’ she said. On the state of the country’s forests, the minister noted that Nigeria’s total forest cover had depreciated from six per cent in 1997 to 10 per cent in 2010. “The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has recommended that 25 per cent of total landmass of a country should be under forest cover,’’ she said.


Tackling climate change problems in Nigeria Mailafia also noted that the number of states that were ravaged by desert encroachment had increased from 11 to 13. She, however, listed the 11 states that were seriously affected by desert encroachment as Adamawa, Kebbi, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Zamfara, Gombe and Sokoto states. She bemoaned the fact that between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Gombe states were prone to desertification “Thirty-five per cent of Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states are prone to desertification, while 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the neighbouring states are also desert-prone,’’ she added. As part of efforts to check the growing menace of desertification, Mailafia said that the ministry had distributed 22 million assorted seedlings to communities under the Presidential Initiative on Afforestation. “These seedlings were also distributed to institutions for the establishment of woodlots and forest reserves, as well as for the greening of premises,’’ she said. The minister said that the ministry was intensifying efforts via the Green Wall Sahara Initiative to ensure the preservation of the environment. In the area of e-waste management, Mailafia announced the ban on the use of two-stroke engines in the country. “A two-stroke engine is an internal combustion engine that completes the process cycle in one revolution of the crankshaft. “The importation of old vehicles and cars with two-stroke engines into Nigeria is very dangerous to our environment because such vehicles are causing pollution,’’ she added. Mailafia vowed that her ministry would, in concert with the police and the FRSC, ensure the people’s compliance with the ban on the import of such vehicles. “We will even stop the usage of such vehicles in Nigeria because the amount of smoke that comes out of them pollutes our entire environment,’’ she stressed. On waste management processes and strategies, the minister announced the establishment of an integrated waste management facility in Ekiti State, as well as the setting up of scrap metal recycling plants in Kaduna and Sokoto states. Mailafia also pledged the government’s commitment to ensuring the adequate provision of waste bins across the country. “We are looking into ways of partnering with private organisations in efforts to distribute these waste bins to all parts of the country because we cannot do it alone.’’

Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Jibril Mailafiya As regards environmental laws, Mailafia expressed the ministry’s acceptance of the Presidential directive that the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) should enforce all environmental laws. She, nonetheless, stressed that NESREA must ensure strict compliance with environmental regulations, while enforcing all the laws relating to the environment. “The safety and health standards of Nigerians must not be compromised; the health of Nigerians must not be equated with economic gains.’’ On the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of projects, Mailafia said that 34 impact mitigation monitoring exercises had been carried out on EIA-approved projects in all the sectors of the economy. She said that the ministry had also carried out a review of the environmental audit and certification of 29 existing facilities. The minister said that the environmental impact assessment of the facilities of Etisalat Nigeria Ltd, a telecom service provider, had just been concluded, adding that the appraisal and certification of the communities chosen for new base stations of the company would soon be carried out. Nevertheless, Mailafia said

that there were no plans to scrap the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). She noted that NOSDRA, a parastatal agency of the ministry, certified 1,119 oil-impacted sites and successfully carried out the cleanup the Bonga oil spill that occurred on Dec. 20, 2011. She also noted that NOSDRA was also able to control the fire outbreak at Chevron Nigeria Ltd.’s KS Endeavor Drilling rig in Funiwa, Bayelsa, on Jan. 16. Besides, the minister stressed that the Department of Erosion and Flood Control of the ministry had completed 62 projects in different locations across the country. Mailafia said that the ministry had established 13 web-based Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) in Makurdi, Kebbi, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Port-Harcourt, Akure, Minna, Sokoto, Ilorin, Benin, Kebbi and Kaduna. “The ministry has also installed two stand-alone automated FEWS equipment at Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority,’’ she added. The minister disclosed that the ministry’s Department of Renewable Energy had established 50 megawatts solar farms in Kaduna and Katsina to provide alternative and clean energy sources for the people. All the same, experts have been advising the Federal Government to give priority attention to the sensitisation of the

people, particularly farmers, on how to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. Mr Ademola Akintola, an expert in agro-climatology, stressed that tangible efforts should be made to educate small holder farmers in the northern part of the country on the need to adjust their planting periods due to climate change. Describing the impact of climate change on agriculture as severe, Akintola stressed that the phenomenon constituted a major challenge to global food production. He said that the consequences of climate change were more severe on peasant farmers, reiterating the need to make that group of farmers to see the wisdom in adjusting their farming programmes periodically. “We are calling on government to intensify its public awareness campaign to educate more farmers, so as to enable them to prepare for the challenges of climate change. “Adequate sensitisation of farmers will foster the evolution of a dynamic calendar that will enable farmers to achieve their optimal goal of boosting production,’’ Akintola said. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Ewah Eleri, the Executive Director, International Centre for Energy and Environmental Development (ICEED), emphasised that climate change was generating serious threats to agricultural production. “As millions of Nigerians are engaged in agriculture, climate change is, perhaps, the greatest challenge they face. “Besides, climate change is a daily challenge facing all the citizens, as it affects our economy in many ways,’’ he said. Eleri stressed that the negative impact of climate change on agriculture could not be over-emphasised, as “ 42 per cent of our entire GDP is from agriculture.’’ He, nonetheless, lamented that Nigeria had not paid enough attention to weather changes. “Climate change is a clear bread-and-butter issue; it is a daily challenge confronting the everyday life of all Nigerians. “For instance, we have nearly 70 per cent of our workforce engaged in agriculture and just about one per cent of all our farms are irrigated. “What it means is that 99 per cent of Nigerian farmers depend totally on rainfall,’’ Eleri said Observers are of the view that the government should initiate more pragmatic measures to tackle the growing menace of climate change. They say that the citizens, particularly farmers, should be educated on how to lessen the impact of the current climatic condition. Source: NAN



Nwonyo Fishing Festival: An emerging tourist destination By Dorcas Jonah


y most accounts, the Nwonyo International Fishing and Cultural Festival, which recently took place in Ibi, a town in Taraba State, aptly signifies the readiness of the state government to promote tourism as a means of boosting economic activities in the state. The two-day event, which took place between April 20 and April 22, was a rallying point for the people of Ibi and its environs, as it did not only showcase the people’s culture but it also heightened economic activities in the community. For instance, all the hotels in Wukari and Zaki Biam were fully booked some days leading up to the fiesta, while restaurants, taxis and motorcyclists, food vendors and petty traders in the neighbourhood obviously experienced improved patronage and bumper sales. Observers acknowledge that even though the Nwonyo festival is not as well-known as the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival in Kebbi, it could be nurtured with time and extra commitment to become a major fishing festival in Nigeria and Africa at large. All the same, the grand fishing event started at the Nwonyo river in Ibi when Sarkin Ruwa (the custodian of the river) appeased the gods of the river with some rituals and blew the whistle for the onset of the fishing contest. The thrills and glamour of the event reached a crescendo as the fishermen invaded the river with different fishing apparatuses and canoes, keeping visitors and spectators spellbound for over 50 minutes without any captivating catch. The contestants, however, started catching big fishes after a drought that lasted for about one hour and the event soon came to an end with the announcement of the winners. Hudu Yakubu was declared the overall winner of the fishing competition for a prize catch of a fish weighing 280 kg; Shehu Umar came second with a fish weighing 215 kg, while Likita Aboshi came third with a 214-kg fish. Speaking after his victory, Yakubu said: “This is not my first time in the competition; I have participated in previous editions without any luck but that did not deter me. “This year, I tried again and with God on my side, I won,’’ he said. Yakubu expressed appreciation to God and the event’s organizers for the Hilux van he won as a prize, conceding that he never expected to return home with a vehicle. He commended the state government and the corporate organisations that co-sponsored

Fishermen dragging their nets, during Nwonyo Fishing and Cultural Festival, recently in Ibi, Taraba state. the fishing fiesta, urging them to do more to boost the tourism profile of Taraba. Gov. Danbaba Suntai, who presented the prizes to the winners, however, challenged the State Tourism Development Board to initiate pragmatic means of developing and marketing the state’s tourism potential. He enjoined the Board to look at ways of developing the Nwonyo festival and other tourism events in Taraba into becoming veritable revenue earners for the government. “Four years after the Board’s inception, we have yet to see a blueprint that would turn tourism in Taraba State into a revenue generating venture. “You have just started; that is just the honest truth,’’ Suntai said, while challenging the Board’s members to look into ways of turning things around positively. “In the next two years, if you cannot change your ways of handling the state’s tourism industry, I will quietly withdraw from the sponsorship of the Nwonyo Fishing Festival,’’ he, nonetheless, warned. “If the festival cannot be transformed into a revenuegenerating event; then, it will not be able to add value to the people’s lives.’’ However, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the Board’s Chairman, said that over the years, the Board had conducted a feasibility study on tourism sites, tourism-related activities and their acceptability. All the same, he said that appreciable progress had been made in efforts to develop the

tourism sector. Abubakar said that the Board has been calling for private sector participation in its tourism development efforts, citing the involvement of MTN and Zain telecom service providers, as well as Zenith Bank, among others, in the sponsorship of the 2012 edition of the Nwonyo festival as a major breakthrough. The guest speaker, Dr Joseph Rishante, the Dean of Taraba State University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, called for a

paradigm shift in the approach to tourism development. “Due to the capital and labour intensive nature of the tourism industry, there is a need to explore different development strategies, which calls for more creativity,’’ he said. Rishante commended Suntai for his efforts to develop of a vibrant tourism master plan for Taraba, saying that the blueprint, if properly executed, would lift tourism development in the state from the drawing board

Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state

to a practical reality. He stressed that the master plan would transform the state’s tourism events into large-scale ventures which would even attract tourists from foreign countries. Mr Emmanuel Bello, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, however, announced that the Nwonyo Fishing Festival would now be a biennial event so as to give the organisers ample time to plan for the fiesta. He said that the restructured festival would particularly make the experience of the participants and observers unforgettable and long-lasting. Besides, the commissioner said that the government was planning to construct a fish house and a holiday resort near the Ibi Lake to enhance the area’s potential as a tourist destination. Bello stressed that the project would partly stem the current situation whereby most of the people who attend the Nwonyo festival in Ibi are accommodated in hotels in neighbouring towns such as Wukari and Zaki Biam, in Benue state. “Such scenario has denied the Ibi people from getting the full benefits of Nwonyo Fishing Festival directly,’’ he added. Observers, nonetheless, say that pragmatic efforts should be aimed at enhancing the tourism appeal of the fishing festival and similar cultural events, as part of efforts to boost the economic potential of the tourism sector of the national economy. Source: NAN



Corruption, scandals and Italy’s other pressing priorities ANALYSIS


s it really possible that economic plans can so detached from every day life? Put it in a different way: can economic rigour and austerity measures be the only key to solving critical situations in countries like Italy, Greece or Spain? Should Euro-elites instead force weaker EU nations into a deeper restructuring of their political structures and of some inner social practices? There may, in fact, be evidence that economic plans alone may not be enough to generate long lasting growth if other serious issues are not similarly tackled. Other aspects of national life should be scrutinised too. Italy does represent, again, a key case of this European "saga". The last series of political scandals dismantled what was the only presumed quality of Silvio Berlusconi's former and very close governmental ally, the Northern League - a party until then unscathed by corruption and misuse of public money record. In the end, the party proved not to be as "immune" as it claimed to be. "Electoral reimbursements" made by the Italian state were already used in an attempt to make the party's financial investments abroad. In truth, parties should not receive funding from the state. Yet, politicians have been able to (legally) find another way to transfer a huge amount of public money to themselves. There seems to be now a lot of evidence that this public funding to political parties was, and is, often used for personal purposes - as electoral reimbursements usually exceed the current (genuine) expenses of parties. In a dramatic and somewhat grotesque assembly of the Northern League to vindicate their lost pride, the leaders decided to purge their treasurer and the deputy president of the Higher Chamber of the Italian parliament. Other leading politicians resigned from their positions in the regional government of Lombardy for these corruption related scandals, new allegations are out on the powerful president of the same region and on the "usual" Berlusconi. All of this happened while the IMF warned that Italy and Spain would suffer a deeper recession. On the one hand, common citizens are asked (and forced) to cope with the crisis, negatively influencing their lives: cuts in pensions, unemployment and so on. On the other hand, Italian political parties receive, and then often spend millions of euros. Could this money be

In order to solve the economic crisis, many issues including corruption and mismanagement of public money will need to be addressed, argue authors returned to the taxpayers and re-invested by the state? Has this huge waste of public funding had an impact on the current public debt? It is unclear what the position of European elites or the European Central Bank on this issue is. Furthermore, the Italian technocratic government seems to not have any realistic plan to strongly reduce the overall "costs" of the party system (the famed costi della politica). This is generating a risky anti-political resentment among people (and entrepreneurs too) who have been seriously hit by the economic crisis. Along with the drama that these recent events caused in the (already troubled) political system, and two decades after the famous Bribesville investigation (on corruption, bribes and politics) which pulverised Italian politics and created a vacuum for the rise of Berlusconi's political adventure, the newest scandal is only a reminder of how pressing a decisive - but still fundamentally missing - action of Mario Monti's government on political corruption and its costs. Despite the fact that financial

markets and international politics seem to focus only on Italy's need for further financial reforms and job market regulations, one should wonder how it is possible to encourage any economic growth when the role and influence of political parties are so widespread in the economic life of the country. We had already warned that national crises are almost never generated by a single issue many, for example, believed that Italy was about to change completely after Berlusconi's dismissal. While the media tycoon aggravated the "conditions" of a sick country, most of the problems have a long history. Italian newspapers are, in fact, full of stories of managers with a lack of expertise, fake competitions to recruit university professors or state officers, tonnes of money lost in improbable publically-funded projects and current investigations in the links between local politicians and corruption in the national heath system. There is, unfortunately and in many ways, a sort of "social acceptance" of corruption and


politicians' privileged status. Yet, all of this still seems to be overlooked and not taken seriously while it is undoubtedly one of the reasons stopping foreign investments in many areas of Italy. "High social inequality... the suffocating presence of organised crime... and the widening economic gap... are as present in foreign investors' minds as the conditions of the labour markets." On April 7, Italy's prime minister Mario Monti, for example, wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal defending some changes to his proposed employment laws, after the US newspaper accused the Italian government of surrendering to trade unions. "Labour reforms are serious and will be effective," warned the political leader. This reform of the labour market has monopolised the discussion on the necessary interventions to promote Italy's economic growth, but, as suggested, equally important issues have not been part of the government's strategy so far. The widespread corruption in the public service alone is a major drawback to development

After various cuts in public spending and the rise of taxes influencing all people's lives, there is now a wide call from the Italian public opinion to deal with the previously mentioned critical issues and, above all, to act against corruption and the unrestrained influence of politics.

(and an OCSE representative in a recent hearing in the Italian parliament also highlighted this issue). Moreover, the high social inequality, the disastrous state of universities, the underfunded R&D national projects and institutions, the suffocating presence of organised crime in southern regions and its "investments" in legal business in Northern Italy and the widening economic gap between different areas of the country are, in fact, as present in foreign investors' minds as the conditions of the labour markets. Why are these issues still missing in the political agenda? Why don't Euro elites and markets force Italy to deal with these critical features that strongly influence Italy's precarious economic conditions? After various cuts in public spending and the rise of taxes influencing all people's lives, there is now a wide call from the Italian public opinion to deal with the previously mentioned critical issues and, above all, to act against corruption and the unrestrained influence of politics. Reforms in this field may be met with a very high level of popularity. It will also show other countries that Italy's elites are capable of selfreforming for the good of the country. But will they be able (or willing to) do so? According to public opinion, patience towards parties is getting thin, and there is a worrying rise of various forms of "anti-politics", which may generate a season of social protests and unrest. It is evident that most of these critical issues are particularly problematic to face by the political parties that currently sustain the technocratic government. This is, in fact, the same political class that has been ineffective for many years. They proved to be unsuccessful dealing with the nation's decline and in formulating solutions to create growth. The key to success lies now in setting a new agenda for proper reforms with the right priorities. After the necessary emergency interventions to avoid a Greek-style crisis, a further step is needed innovation, meritocracy and anti-corruption policies. These are among the core causes of the very large public debt of the Italian state. Culled from Aljazeera. Andrea Mammone is a historian at Kingston University, London, and Giuseppe A. Veltri is a social scientist at the London School of Economics. They are editors of Italy Today.



Oil will bring downfall of Sudan government: Turabi

interview. Oil once accounted for 90 percent of exports, but Sudan's economy took a beating when South Sudan gained independence in July and took away most of the known crude

reserves. Citizens have since had to cope with inflation at nearly 30 percent and a rapidly devaluing currency in a country where the economy is already reeling from U.S. trade sanctions and the cost of renewed conflict with South Sudan and rebels. "Hatred for the regime is intensifying now in the country," Turabi, the leader of the opposition Popular Congress Party told Reuters in a recent interview in Khartoum. "The economic crisis has intensified and this is very dangerous. If the hungry go out in a revolution, they will break and destroy ... I expect it won't take us long now," Turabi said. Turabi was one of the most powerful figures in Sudanese politics in the 1980s and 1990s and his comments still attract widespread attention. But the Islamist and former spiritual mentor to Sudan's President Omar Hassan alBashir has seen his influence decline sharply since the two men fell out. Sudan's government dismissed Turabi's statement, denying the economic situation

Council resolution last week that called on both countries to negotiate their differences peacefully or face sanctions. "We are ready to go for negotiations any time ... I expect negotiations to resume any time from now," Alor told a news conference in the South Sudanese capital Juba. The May 2 Security Council resolution endorsed an African Union plan demanding that Khartoum and Juba cease hostilities, withdraw troops from disputed areas and resume talks within two weeks on all outstanding disputes. It gave them three months to resolve the issues under threat of sanctions.

Sudan"s President Omar al-Bashir welcomes his South Sudanese counterpart Salva Kiir during his arrival at Khartoum Airport October 8,2011 for his first visit since southern secession to discuss key unresolved issues, including Abyei and oil, that have undermined north-south relations.

Islamic opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi of the Popular Congress Party speaks during a news conference at the party headquarters in Khartoum January 5, 2012.


udan's loss of billions of dollars of oil revenues will bring down the government as inflation soars, the economy buckles and people grow hungrier, opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi said in an

was that gloomy. "What Turabi says is not based on reality ... the economic situation is not as bad as Turabi is saying," said information ministry advisor Rabie Abdelatie, adding the situation was much worse in the 1980s. "There was no infrastructure, no oil, no development, no electricity. There's a big difference." Recent data have painted a bleak picture of the Sudanese economy. The loss of oil revenues has left the country with $2.4 billion gap in public finances as well as a trade deficit of $540 million at the end of this quarter, compared to a surplus of $1.7 billion in the same period last year. The government has also raised custom fees and a social development tax by 66 percent. "The government is completely broke. If hunger intensifies, people, along with their other reasons for anger ... we are worried that a revolution will come, which will lead to chaos," said Turabi, who has in the past called for the "downfall of the regime" through a popular movement instead of a military coup.

Sudan and S.Sudan at odds over talks after fighting


outh Sudan said yesterday it was ready to reopen negotiations "any time" on a range of disputes with its northern neighbour Sudan after a spasm of fighting, but Khartoum said there could be no such talks unless the two sides settled security issues. The two countries have been at loggerheads over oil, security and frontier disputes that ignited border clashes last month and for a while raised fears of full-blown war in one of Africa's most significant oil regions. South Sudan Minister of Cabinet Affairs Deng Alor told reporters that his country, which became independent from Sudan last year, was committed to complying with a U.N. Security

Mali coup leader who stood aside now wants power back


Captain Amadou Sanogo, leader of Mali"s military junta, speaks during a news conference at his headquarters in Kati, outside Bamako March 30, 2012.

he officer who led a military coup in Mali in March wants to take back power when the term of a caretaker president, appointed under an agreement brokered by regional mediators, runs out later this month, aides said yesterday The military nominally handed over power last month to Dioncounda Traore. Regional bloc ECOWAS, Mali's foreign donors and many political parties want him to stay in office to oversee a transition back to civilian rule even after his 40-day mandate expires on May 21. Efforts in the capital Bamako to prepare a return to civilian rule have made little progress and coup leader Captain Amadou Sanogo has continued to hold sway. "Our proposition is that the only neutral umpire in this is the army.

Given the situation, only he (Sanago) can run this " Bakary Mariko, a spokesman for the CNRDRE body that represents the coup leaders, said by telephone. "For now, it is not negotiable." The CNRDRE position was confirmed by another official close to Sanogo. The coup has left the West African nation diplomatically isolated and allowed a mix of separatist and Islamist rebels to seize all the main towns in the desert north, sweeping with them fighters linked to al Qaeda. The April 6 agreement that saw soldiers hand power to Traore for an interim period stipulates that if polls are not held within 40 days, Sanogo and ECOWAS would together decide on who should lead the transition back to civilian rule.

However, at a summit last month, West African leaders said they wanted Traore to remain in place for as long as a year, a proposition that was rejected by the junta. Traore was sworn in on April 12 but the military, enjoying the support of some political parties, has continued to flex its muscles, arresting a number of senior civilian and military figures linked to ousted President Amadou Toumani Toure. ECOWAS mediators, currently holding talks in Mali, did not make any public statement. But a source close to the delegation said: "It is the choice of the person who will lead the transition that is the problem." Most of aid-dependent Mali's donors have cut non-humanitarian support since the coup.

Zimbabwe critical of S Africa ruling on abuse


imbabwe's justice minister has denounced a South African court ruling that would allow prosecutions related to alleged torture under President Robert Mugabe. "The ruling brings the South African justice system into disrepute. No specifics have been identified, because they should have laid a blow by blow account of what crime has been committed," Patrick Chinamasa told state media on Wednesday. The Tuesday ruling could affect Zimbabwean refugees, many of whom have fled to neighbouring South Africa, and government officials, who also sometimes come on business or personal trips. In a landmark judgement, high court judge Hans Fabricius ruled that authorities in South Africa can probe and prosecute not only high-level crimes committed in neighbouring Zimbabwe, but anywhere else in the world. National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said prosecutors will study the ruling and decide what legal steps to take. "There may be an appeal,'' said James Gathii, co-chairman of the Africa interest group of the American Society of International Law. ``But I think that more likely than not the [prosecutors] and police will have to take a closer look at the case.'' The case centres on Zimbabwean officials accused of state-sanctioned torture against scores of activists following a raid on the headquarters of the Movement for Democratic Change in 2007. MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is now the prime minister in a powersharing government with Mugabe, and his party hailed the decision. "Torture is a barbaric instrument of dealing with issues of politics," spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the AFP news agency. "For that reason it remains our wish that all people of Zimbabwe with injured hearts and troubled minds are brought to restorative and rehabilitative, as opposed to retributive, justice."

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's party has welcomed the South African court's decision



ussian authorities say security agencies have foiled a plot by Muslim fighters to attack the 2014 Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, using an arsenal of weapons including surface-to-air missiles and a flamethrower. Russia's National AntiTerrorism Committee (NAC) said yesterday that special services had confiscated arms, ammunition and explosives in the breakaway Abkhazia region of


Russia ‘foils Winter Olympics attack Georgia, the South Caucasus country with which Russia went to war in 2008. Abkhazia, which Russia recognised as an independent nation after the war, is adjacent

to Sochi on the Black Sea coast. The assailants had also planned attacks in the run-up to the Winter Games in February 2014, it said. "Russia's FSB [security service]

Putin, seen here with Medvedev at right, has an official residence in Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympics

Distraught relatives of passenger waited for news about the plane at Jakarta Airport

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, with his Ivorian Counterpart, Alhassan Quattara, during Jonathan's one day official visit to Abidjan, on Wednesday.

was able to establish that the fighters planned to move the weapons to Sochi from 2012 to 2014 and use them to carry out terrorist acts before and during the Olympic Games," NAC said in a statement. The NAC ascribed the plot to the Caucasus Emirate, one of the leading groups in an armed campaign against Russian rule in the volatile North Caucasus, where Russian troops have fought two wars in Chechnya since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It suggested that the group's leader, Doku Umarov, had been co-operating with Georgian special services but did not give any details to support this allegation and the NAC report could not be independently verified. Russia has often said Georgia may be plotting further aggression following the war, an accusation Georgia rejects. NAC said the weapons included Igla and Strela portable surface-to-air missiles, two antitank guided missiles and 36 mortar bombs as well as a flame thrower, grenade launchers, explosive devices and anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Any security breach could hurt President Vladimir Putin's attempts to use the global event to improve Russia's image. Anti-Russian Muslim fighters want to create an Islamic emirate and say they were behind a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport that killed 37 people in January 2011 and twin bombings that killed 40 people on Moscow's metro in 2010. One Muslim community, Circassians, who were driven from their homes in the North Caucasus by Russian soldiers in the mid-19th century, say the Games are being held on a "mass grave". They say 1.5 million of their predecessors perished as Russian embarked on a mass expulsion of their people to try to conquer the Caucasus. The NAC did not say how the Caucasus Emirate might have got hold of the arms in Abkhazia, but many could have been available following the five-day war in 2008 between Georgia and Russia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another separatist region. The International Olympic Committee has said it is confident Russia will provide a safe Games and Russia is working hard to prevent its image being tarnished by security problems at an events that will be watched around the world. Putin, a sports lover who likes to ski in Sochi and has an official residence there, has staked a lot on the Olympics, and staging a successful Games is a matter of national pride. Russia's 2014 Winter Games chief, Dmitry Chernyshenko, said on Sunday Sochi was ready to step into the spotlight and underlined Putin's personal involvement.

Bodies found at Russian jet crash site


escuers say they have discovered bodies near the wreckage of a Russian-made passenger plane that crashed into the slopes of an Indonesian volcano with 45 people aboard. Search and rescue spokesman Gagah Prakoso said his teams reached a crater on the remote, rugged upper slopes of Mount Salak yesterday afternoon but had not found any survivors. "We entered the area... and found the dead bodies, but we cannot say about the number," Prakoso said. "I cannot say anything about the condition of the bodies," he said, but added: "A high speed jet plane hit the cliff, exploded and tore apart." A helicopter searching the mountainous region south of the Indonesian capital found the wreckage of the new Sukhoi Superjet 100 which disappeared on Wednesday morning, the Indonesian government said. A Sukoi spokesperson told Al Jazeera that those aboard consisted of 33 Indonesians, eight Russians, two Italians, a US citizen and a French citizen, including business people, Russian embassy officials and journalists. Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen, reporting from Jakarta, said it was still unclear what had caused the crash. "All we know is that the pilot asked to descend from 10,000 feet to 6,000 feet (3,000 to 1,800 metres) just before they lost contact, so it is a big question as to why the pilot was asking to descend in this mountainous area, and why did the airport tower in Jakarta grant him permission to descend."

Obama backs same-sex marriage


S President Barack Obama has said he believes same-sex couples should be allowed to get legally married. The remarks on Wednesday marked a shift in his position on the issue that is likely to please his political base and upset conservative rivals. "It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Obama said in an interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts. Obama's comments came days after Joe Biden, the US vicepresident, and Arne Duncan, the education secretary, both made statements to the press in support of same-sex marriages. Biden said on Sunday he was "absolutely comfortable" with allowing same-sex couples to wed. Obama says he has concluded that it is important for him to affirm that he thinks same-sex couples should be able to get married. "But it's also the Golden Rule, you know -- treat others the way you would want to be treated" he said. He says he came to the conclusion over the course of several years of talking to family and friends.



Dozens dead in twin Damascus blasts

Mangled and smouldering vehicles are seen at the site of an explosion in Damascus May 10, 2012.


wo powerful blasts in quick succession have killed dozens of people and injured more than 300 others in the Syrian capital Damascus, according to Syrian officials and state media. One of yesterday's rush hour explosions hit the Qazaz

neighbourhood that houses a wellknown military intelligence headquarters involved in President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on a 14month uprising. The interior ministry said at least 55 people were killed and 372 wounded in the blasts.

"Two explosions caused by terrorists took place on the road in the south of Damascus," state TV reported, adding that the blasts occurred "as people were heading to work and children to school". Both the government and the opposition blamed each other for

the deadly explosions, but a retired Lebanese army major general, Hisham Jaber, told Al Jazeera a third group may be involved. "I am not accusing al-Qaeda, but everybody knows there are groups from al-Qaeda or similar or belong to it or they have the same objective and belief," he said. "We do estimate the number of those groups, who came from Libya, Yemen, north Lebanon and Iraq, at about 800-1000. These are well-indoctrinated and well trained. Washington condemned the attacks as "reprehensible" while UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who brokered the truce, described them as "abhorrent". Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, has also condemned the deadly attacks. "The Secretary-General reiterates his urgent call on all sides fully to comply with their obligations to cease armed violence in all its forms," a statement issued by his office said. Russia and China, both supporters of Assad's embattled regime, called for a stop to the violence and urged all parties in Syria to co-operate with Annan's peace plan. An Associated Press reporter at

Hamas will not go to war for Iran, says Haniyeh


he Islamic movement Hamas will not let itself be dragged into a war against Israel if it attacks the nuclear facilities of Hamas ally Iran, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said yesterday. "Hamas is a Palestinian movement that acts within the Palestinian arena and it carries out its political and field actions in a way that suits the interests of the Palestinian people," he said at his headquarters in the enclave. "Iran did not ask anything from us and we think Iran is not in need of us," the prime minister of the Hamas government told Reuters in an interview. Israel has repeatedly said it rules out no option in its determination to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes. "The Israeli threats are declared and they are not in need of analysis. But I think such an issue would have grave consequences on the entire region," the 48-year-old Hamas leader said. "I cannot predict the scenarios but a battle of this kind would have repercussions for the region." Israel says it would have to reckon with potential attacks from the south by Iranian-supported Hamas and from the north by the Tehran-backed Hezbollah army in Lebanon, if it came to war with Iran. Israel says both groups possess stockpiles of rockets supplied by Iran and accuses both of practising terrorism. Haniyeh said the grand coalition formed this week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which gives him an unassailable majority in parliament, had been established for internal reasons but could also have "external motives".

"On the external level there is no doubt that it was an attempt to absorb the big changes that have taken place in the region - the socalled Arab Spring - and maybe a preparation for several issues," he said. Asked if Iran might be one of the issues, he said: "Maybe." Haniyeh said the current hunger strike by hundreds of

Palestinians in Israeli prisons was a test of Israel's commitment to universal humanitarian principles which must be recognised. He warned that the death of any prisoner would have "negative repercussions", but did not elaborate. "I do not wish that any prisoner in Israeli jails is martyred and so I demand that they

implement international law in respect to the prisoners, who should be regarded as prisoners of war," he said. Palestinian human rights groups say up to 2,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails have been refusing food since April 17. Two have been on hunger strike for some 70 days and are said to be in serious condition.

A coalition of Philippine activist groups are planning to hold rallies at Chinese embassies around the world on Friday to support the Philippines in the dispute. Organisers hope thousands of people will attend what they expect to be the biggest of the rallies, in Manila, and the Chinese embassy's safety alert was circulated chiefly to warn its nationals about that protest. The safety alerts came as the Chinese state media reported Beijing was prepared to use military force to end the standoff over the Scarborough Shoal islands that both nations claim as

their own. "No matter how willing we are to discuss the issue, the current Philippine leadership is intent on pressing us into a corner where there is no other option left but the use of arms," the China Daily newspaper said in an editorial. "Since ancient times, our nation has deemed war the last resort in handling state-to-state relations. But Manila is living in a fantasy world if it mistakes our forbearance for timidity." The two nations have had nonmilitary vessels stationed at the shoal since April 8 in an effort to assert their sovereignty to the area.

China says citizens not safe in Philippines


hina has told its citizens that they are not safe in the Philippines, as a month-long row between the two nations over rival claims in the South China Sea threatened to spill out of control. Chinese travel agencies yesterday said they had suspended tours to the Philippines, under government orders, while the Chinese embassy in Manila advised its nationals already in the country to stay indoors ahead of planned protests. "Avoid going out at all if possible, and if not, avoid going out alone. If you come across any demonstrations, leave the area, do not stay to watch," the embassy's advisory said.

the scene said medical workers were collecting human remains from the streets and that heavily damaged cars and pickup trucks stood smoldering in the area after the explosions. The outer wall of the nine-storey headquarters collapsed, although the structure inside appeared intact. Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from neighbouring Lebanon, said the explosions had been heard all over the city. "Damascus residents from different parts of town all heard the explosions. People were really shaken by the power of these blasts. These attacks - every day - become more efficient and more deadly." Fawaz Gerges of the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics discusses the crisis in Syria Syrian TV showed dozens of mangled, burnt and smoldering vehicles, some containing incinerated human remains. A large crater could be seen in the road and at least one lorry had been overturned. One resident, who said he got within 100 metres of one of the blasts before being turned back by security forces, told Reuters news agency he saw broken glass on the street and women crying. Nearby schools had sent children home for the day. Major General Robert Mood, chief of a UN observer mission in Syria, rushed to the site of the blasts shortly after they took place to survey the damage, an AFP correspondent reported. "This is yet another example of the suffering brought upon the people of Syria from acts of violence," the Norwegian general said as he visited the site of one of the blasts. "We, the world community, are here with the Syrian people and I call on everyone within and outside Syria to help stop this violence," he said. The attacks came a day after the general Mood escaped unharmed when a roadside bomb exploded as he led a team of UN observers into the southern flash point city of Deraa. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based rights group, has said that almost 12,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria since the revolt, inspired by Arab Spring uprisings, broke out in March last year. About 800 of them have died since a UN-backed truce was supposed to have taken effect on April 12.

Red Cross suspends operations in Pakistan


he International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has suspended humanitarian activities in two of Pakistan's largest cities, Peshawar and Karachi. The move follows the killing of Khalil Dale, a British nurse working for the group. His beheaded body was found on 29 April, after he was abducted four months ago. Humanitarian groups say they are reviewing their presence in Pakistan because of increased attacks on staff. "The recent attack against the

ICRC compels us to completely reassess the balance between the humanitarian impact of our activities and the risks faced by our staff," said Jacques de Maio, ICRC's head of operations for South Asia. Paul Castella, head of the ICRC delegation in Pakistan, said that in the coming weeks the organisation would announce a decision on its future presence in Pakistan. The organisation has already stopped its activities in the southwestern province of Balochistan

and its capital, Quetta, where Mr Dale's body was found. A note found beside the body blamed the organisation for failing to pay a ransom. Thursday's announcement means the ICRC is not currently operating in three of Pakistan's four provinces. On Wednesday, a statement from the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) - an umbrella group of nearly 50 charities - warned that recent murders and kidnappings of international aid workers would further impede

efforts to help the most vulnerable in Pakistan's conflict areas. According to PHF, at least 19 aid workers have been murdered across Pakistan since 2009. More than 20 were abducted by militants and criminals. It has warned that "this trend of increased targeting of humanitarian aid organisations and personnel will further impede the ability of humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving and lifeenhancing support to the most vulnerable population".



Sleeping with a blow-dryer and eating toilet paper: Reality show exposes strange addictions


magine not being able to sleep unless your hair-dryer was in bed with you. Or having an addiction to eating not chocolate or cheese, but toilet paper. As bizarre as it seems, this is the case for some people who are being highlighted in new American reality TV series, My Strange Addiction. Lori Broady's strange obsession began at the age of eight when she took her hair dryer to bed with her

Blown off: The single mother says her obsession with her hair-dryer has also cost her romantic relationships with some men finding her behaviour odd

and slept with it running. The 31-year-old said she finds the warm air and the humming of the dryer comforting, but it has also been dangerous. Miss Broady has woken up with burns on her arms and chest from the direct heat of the dryer. A fire recently started in her home when her dryer fell to the ground and caught ablaze. Her young daughter has also now picked up on the habit and likes to sleep in her mother's bed - on the hair-dryer side. 'My older sister was kind of the one who introduced me to the hair dyer. I just had a hard time sleeping at night when I was a kid', she added. Despite the mishaps with her bizarre nocturnal activities, Ms Broady said: 'To me that is insignificant to the comfort that it gives me'. Another subject on the show has an addiction to eating rolls and rolls of toilet paper. Keisha explained her bizarre ritual: 'I love the way the toilet paper feels on my tongue. When I'm in my car I keep a roll in my glove compartment box. '[My mum] doesn't understand

that I've tried and I can't stop'. Another woman on the show, April Brucker, chose her ventriloquist dummies over her fiancĂŠ. The New York resident has also had issues holding down a regular job because of her addiction to the dummies, but denies that the obsession has taken over her life. 'I have actually used my strange

addiction to my benefit; actually making a living out of being a professional ventriloquist', she insisted. 'So it's served me well. Right May?', she asked her constant companion. 'Absolutely', the puppet agreed. Obsession specialist Michael Dow said that when habits, like the ones featured in the new 12-part

reality series, affect personal and romantic relationships then help should be sought. Mr Dow said that Ms Bruker's ventriloquist dummies may, 'provide her with steady companionship' and it's more than likely that her puppets 'give her a voice to say things by proxy that she might feel comfortable saying herself'.

Obsessed: Lori Broady cannot sleep without having her hair-dryer running in bed next to her.

Between terrorism and corruption (II) Contd. from Back Page three other fakes - sponsored by the government, politicians and criminal groups - that use the brand to advance their own selfcentered agendas. Many in the North see the patent inaction of the authorities as the advancement of a sinister agenda to destroy an already near prostate northern economy through occupation, militarization and disruption of socio-economic activities. The federal government has done nothing to deny these or indicate otherwise, and the state governments have acquiesced to the cavalier attitude of the Villa. Terrorism and corruption are big issues with no easy solutions. There are no silver bullets and no country has been able to eradicate corruption or be totally immune from domestic terrorism. I will make some suggestions here as a basis for discussion and way forward. I do not think our anticorruption strategy attacks the roots of corruption. In addition to the unsuccessful 'arrest-andcharge' approach that we have focused on, I believe we must reduce cash transactions to the barest minimum. If all transactions are electronic, it will be harder for untraceable, illicit payments to be made. If CBN's push towards cashless banking is complemented with a national ID system that can identify, monitor and audit every resident, and his or her financial transactions when a court order is obtained, it will be harder to take bribes and launder the money.

We also need to strengthen institutions by appointing decent people to head them, respect their tenures and appoint successors from within rather than bring in political hacks to do jobs that they are neither qualified nor trained to do. Our judiciary needs revamping. Terrorism is a harder nut to crack. I am of the view that a multi-track approach is necessary to increase the chances of its success. First, the prevailing narrative in the Jonathan camp must be discarded. This narrative is what the national security adviser tried to communicate at the Asaba summit of south-south leaders, but was misunderstood by the media. Jonathan and his inner circle believe that Boko Haram is a northern conspiracy to prevent Jonathan enjoying his presidency. This narrative is believed by most Niger Delta leaders because of their own experience in organizing, training and arming the militants and providing funding for MEND during the period of ‘resource control’ agitations of the Obasanjo administration. Because theirs was a conspiracy of the political elite, they think the North must have done the same. They also feel that Boko Haram largely kills northerners or "parasites" as one Jonathan aide Reno Omokri once tweeted; so the more they are killed, the lesser the burden on the 'oil-rich hosts'. With this narrative wired in the brains of Jonathan's inner circle, they spent their first year trying to link some of us in opposition to Boko Haram instead

of honestly facing the real culprits. While wasting time on us, the sect grew stronger, bolder and better trained. The first step therefore is to unwind this narrative and honestly ask the right questions. It is of course disingenuous to believe the narrative, but I assure you that they believe it. Boko Haram's first bloody confrontation with the authorities was under a northern, Muslim president in 2009. And Obasanjo is not a northerner and a muslim but governed without Boko Haram. Anyone can see that it is indeed northerners and Muslims that constitute the bulk of the victims of the insurgency. And I think the insurgency escalated not because Jonathan became president by whatever means, but because the government did not care to address it early enough. Now things have spiraled out of control. Secondly, I believe the fundamental roots of the insurgency challenge - rewarding those who take up arms against the state with the cash hand-outs called amnesty program has to be reviewed. Any society that rewards bad behavior with cash creates a moral hazard that may consume that society. Those giving out the cash should know that they are doing no favors to anyone. Indeed, they are fostering an entitlement culture that would ultimately be the undoing of that part of the country. Boko Haram does not appear to be motivated by money, so those thinking of an amnesty-like program may need to go back to the drawing board. Thirdly, the corruption,

inequality, poverty and unemployment cocktail that gave birth to violent crimes and terrorism need to be addressed through well-thought out and targeted programs of investment in education, healthcare, skills development and training, and infrastructure building that will provide employment opportunities in various communities. In addition, the authorities must criminalize the existence of political thugs by whatever name and of whatever description, and ensure elections are free, fair and credible. The political parties need reforms, leadership selection be guided largely by merit, while the electoral institutions need to be alive to their responsibilities. Fourthly, as a medium term, structural measure, we must work to restore our federalism to the broad outlines embedded in the 1963 republican constitution, devolving more powers and responsibilities to the states and making the federal government less of a busy body. This would require that states like Bauchi whose annual internallygenerated revenue is N7 billion should not run a government costing N58 billion because of monthly hand-outs from Abuja. Each state should learn to live within its means and seek to actively develop its comparative endowments. State governors will then be compelled to use their resources better and not point fingers at the federal government. Finally, in addition to reviewing the failed military strategy now in place and scaling back what has become the

militarization of the north, the government must work with community leaders in Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Kano and Kaduna States to identify interlocutors that would enable honest discussions with Boko Haram to establish what they REALLY want. The arrest and prosecution of those that murdered their leaders would certainly be one demand, but there may be others that the government knows but would not want us to know. The Maitatsine sect was easily defeated in the 1980s because the surrounding communities despised them and their methods. The current situation in Kano and Borno States is one in which the military occupiers are killing more innocent people than Boko Haram, which injustice is creating resentment against the Army. Unless the reckless killings of unarmed men, women and children stop, these communities would revolt sooner or later. There is nowhere in the world where insurgencies like Boko Haram have been defeated purely through military force and occupation - ask the Americans about Afghanistan and Iraq, or the British about Northern Ireland. Those saying "crush them" should know that recent history of the war on terror is not on their side. We want a country that works for everyone, and this senseless loss of lives must end soon. The government that has the responsibility for our security must bend over backwards to deliver it. If they continue to fail in this regard, they will not be in government for too long.



Being motivated and having a goal in life ‘can stave off effects of Alzheimer’s’ R

esearchers have found that a greater sense of purpose in life may help stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s. Study leader Doctor Patricia Boyle, of Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, said: ‘Our study showed that people who reported greater purpose in life exhibited better cognition than those with less purpose in life even as plaques and tangles accumulated in their brains. ‘These findings suggest that purpose in life protects against the harmful effects of plaques and tangles on memory and other thinking abilities.

‘This is encouraging and suggests that engaging in meaningful and purposeful activities promotes cognitive health in old age.’ Dr Boyle and her colleagues studied 246 people who did not have dementia and who subsequently died and underwent brain autopsy. They received an annual clinical evaluation for up to 10 years, which included detailed cognitive testing and neurological exams. The people taking part also answered questions about purpose in life, the degree to which one

Hope: New evidence could help find strategies to help minimise the impact of the disease on suffers and their families in the future

Agony: Alzheimer's can have a devastating effect on people's lives but scientists have discovered a link between how much purpose people believe they have in life and improved cognitive function.

derives meaning from life’s experiences and is focused and intentional. Brain plaques and tangles were quantified after death. The research team then examined whether purpose in life slowed the rate of cognitive decline even as older people accumulated plaques and tangles. While plaques and tangles are very common among people who develop Alzheimer’s dementia characterised by prominent memory loss and changes in other thinking abilities - recent data suggest that plaques and tangles accumulate in most older people,

even those without dementia. Plaques and tangles disrupt memory and other cognitive functions. Dr Boyle’s team noted that much of the Alzheimer’s research that is ongoing seeks to identify ways to prevent or limit the accumulation of plaques and tangles in the brain, a task that has proven quite difficult. Studies such as the current one are needed because, until effective preventive therapies are discovered, strategies that minimise the impact of plaques and tangles on cognition are urgently needed.

She added: ‘These studies are challenging because many factors influence cognition and research studies often lack the brain specimen data needed to quantify Alzheimer’s changes in the brain. ‘Identifying factors that promote cognitive health even as plaques and tangles accumulate will help combat the already large and rapidly increasing public health challenge posed by Alzheimer’s disease.’ The study was published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry. Source:

One in six cancers are caused by preventable infections


ne in six cancers are caused by preventable infections, research shows. Infections cause around two million cancer cases a year, with 80 per cent of these effecting the developing world. Of 7.5 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2008, 1.5 million were down to treatable or preventable infections, reports the Lancet Oncology. Catherine de Martel and Martyn Plummer from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France said: ‘Infections with certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites are one of the biggest and preventable causes of cancer worldwide. ‘Application of existing publichealth methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice, or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on future burden of cancer worldwide.’ For the study the team estimated the proportion of cancers that could be attributed to infection globally and in eight regions by calculating the population attributable fractions

(PAF) - the proportion of new cancers in a population that could have been prevented by an intervention. They calculated that around 16 per cent of all cancers worldwide in 2008 were infectionrelated, with the fraction of cancers related to infection about

Since September 2008 there has been a national programme to vaccinate girls aged 12 to 13 against the human papilloma virus.

Two types of the human papilloma virus (HPV) cause around 70 per cent of all cervical cancers

three times higher in developing than in developed countries. The fraction of infection-related cancers varied widely between regions, from 3.3 per cent in Australia and New Zealand to 32.7 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr de Martel said: ‘Many infection-related cancers are

preventable, particularly those associated with human papillomaviruses (HPV), Helicobacter pylori, and hepatitis B (HBV) and C viruses (HCV).’ Cervical cancer accounted for around half of the infection-related burden of cancer in women, and in men liver and gastric cancers

accounted for more than 80 per cent. Dr de Martel concluded: ‘The 2011 UN high-level meeting on non-communicable diseases highlighted the growing global agenda for prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. ‘But although cancer is considered a major noncommunicable disease, a sizable proportion of its causation is infectious and simple noncommunicable disease paradigms will not be sufficient.’ In an accompanying Comment, Goodarz Danaei from Harvard School of Public Medicine, Boston, said: ‘Their estimates show the potential for preventive and therapeutic programmes in less developed countries to significantly reduce the global burden of cancer and the vast disparities across regions and countries. ‘Since effective and relatively low-cost vaccines for HPV and HBV are available, increasing coverage should be a priority for health systems in high-burden countries.’ Source:



CPC government in Nasarawa lacks vision to transform the state, says PDP chairman ANALYSIS Recently, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa state inaugurated two committees, one to reconcile aggrieved party members and another on strategic planning, to produce a working document to reposition the party to do better in subsequent elections. Chief Yunana Iliya, state Party Chairman, in this interview with our Nasarawa state correspondent, Ali Abare Abubakar, opened up on how the PDP has been faring since losing the governorship election a year ago and other matters. Excerpts:


n a few weeks, it will be one year since your party lost the governorship of the state. Considering that the PDP has been in power in the state since 1999, how has the party been managing its affairs now that it is not in power? Like you rightly said, PDP in Nasarawa state, just like in Nigeria, is clocking 13 years in a few days’ time. The party has fared well before the advent of the party that is called the CPC today. The party in Nasarawa state, up till now, remains the party to beat. It is a strong party in the state; a strong party in all the local government areas and also the strongest party in the electoral wards. And so, because of the followers and the fellowship that we have with one another the party is faring very well. Your recent emergence as Chairman of the party in the state, as well as other members of the exco, has been trailed by controversy, with a section of your members alleging that you manipulated the state congress to your advantage. How do you react to that? Well, anybody who has the evidence of manipulation can always present it. You know that congresses are not conducted by state chapters of the party. Congresses are the prerogative of the National Secretariat of the party. The exercise, just like in any other state, was conducted in an atmosphere that was free and fair and very peaceful. I want to say without mincing words that the congress that brought us to office for the second time was the freest and fairest. I witnessed the congress of 2004, where nobody bought forms, where no elections took place. I also witnessed the congress that brought me into power in 2008, there were a lot of negotiations, agreements here and there, consensus and we came about a leadership that worked between 2008 and 2012. The congresses of 2012 appears to be the real

congress; because it was a free and fair election; people contested and voted, right from the wards, local governments and the state. So, for anybody to say that elections were manipulated, I think such a person is only being mean with the truth. Is there any deliberate attempt on your side to reconcile with the aggrieved party members? As a party chairman, even the day that I was inaugurated, my acceptance speech was centred on reconciliation. One, if not for those that felt disenchanted and left but for the fact that today, we do not have a government at hand. We have our members that were lost in the dwindling political scene across the state and because of that we have to look for them, to fulfil the biblical injunction that if a man who owns one hundred cows and one got missing, such a person must leave the remaining 99 to go in search of the missing cow. So, we are making deliberate attempt to reconcile ourselves. In a short while, I will be constituting two committees, one of which is a Reconciliation Committee and then a Strategy and Planning committee. The reconciliation committee will centre on reconciling all aggrieved party members. There are people who felt dissatisfied with my previous administration; I want to appeal to them to come back. It is a known fact that most political office holders in the state, even the governor, were originally PDP members before defecting to the CPC. Is there any move by the party to reconcile these groups? This group of people has chosen what to be, it is just like preaching the gospel to someone who has already converted. We are a strongly religious people, Christianity believes it is the safest religion that can safe human kind, Islam also believes it is the religion that can save people. Even traditionalists have

Chief Yunana Iliya their beliefs. Now everybody belongs to his party but if anyone has any reason to come back, we are still on ground to receive them but we will not go back to say, we want you to leave your party and come back and join us. Now looking back at the past one year, how can you rate the activities of the present CPC administration in the state so far? Well the administration of CPC in Nasarawa state, as it has to do with governance is very poor. This is because like they promised, that in three months, the entire state will wear a new look, we are now getting to a year and we are yet to see any change. We have not seen any change. If you are comparing administrations between 2008 and 2011, Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma commissioned projects in one year. He went round the entire state to flagged off projects, roads constructions, which of course today remained an eye openers as well as opening up rural areas and linking them with urban centres. These projects are empirical, they are there for everyone to go and see. We have Doma-Agbashi road,

Nasarawa-Eggon-Mada Station road, with the road in use, you can go there and see. We also have Kokona Junction-Agwada road, Gitata-Panda- Karu road, we have Umaisha-Toto road, all these roads are there for all to see. These projects were flagged off in his first year in office and he was able to complete them. Some because of the lack of funds were not completed. So if you are asking me to assess the government of today, I will say, that the CPC government in one year is characterised by sacking of government workers, Permanent Secretaries, sack this, sack that. I think that is the only visible work that the CPC has so far been able to do. Instead of empowering people, instead of harnessing the human resources that we have in the state, so that we can reposition the state, the way they were saying initially, he has succeeded in worsening the situation in Nasarawa state. People talk about the about 4 or 5 km of roads that he has done in Lafia, as something to write home about. This type of roads could not cost more than N500m because in the first place, there is no bridge to be built. If you are constructing a road without a


The people of Nasarawa state should open their eyes; nobody should be deceived by the way and manner our government officials climb motorcycles, jumping from one motorcycle to another, thinking they are bringing themselves low before the people

bridge, it is just like cementing your house or landscaping your house. Try constructing a road with a bridge and see how much it will cost you. This thing is not up to 5 km in Lafia that has been done, we have not seen similar thing in Akwanga, we have not seen similar thing in NasarawaEggon, in Doma, Awe and Toto. So what happens to the other parts of the state? People go about saying there are buses plying the roads all in the name of CPC government. I want to say that these buses were procured, brought to Lafia even before the general elections of 2011. The documents are there for everyone to verify. 30 transformers were bought some time ago and it became a singsong, everywhere you go, transformers, as if these will translate to light instantly. 30 Transformers are insufficient. A member of the State Assembly, Philip Gyunka, bought 15 transformers in Akwanga and I went and commissioned them, he bought them using his personal money. If an individual could buy 15 transformers, what is 30 for a state government, that it should be a song? Moreover, the kind of light we are having now is epileptic; nobody gets light. All the talk that they will reshape the state in three months, we have not seen anything resembling development so far. If you say you are practicing a populist government, it should go with action. People should not be deceived by the way and manner government is being run in Nasarawa state. Government is being run to witch hunt, if you are seen in the civil service as someone who was close to the previous administration, you get the sacked. If you are being close to anybody in the party here, you are hunted down. That is not what government is all about. Moreover, before Al-makura became the governor of this state, we were made to understand that he was set to donate N20 billion to the state. I want to ask, where is that N20 billion he promised the state? I want to ask, the money coming from the federal allocation, where is it? Are we saying that the few roads being constructed in Lafia along have consumed the billions of naira meant for the state? The people of Nasarawa state should open their eyes; nobody should be deceived by the way and manner our government officials climb motorcycles, jumping from one motorcycle to another, thinking they are bringing themselves low before the people. We have gone beyond that.



Governors vow to tackle insecurity By Lawrence Olaoye


tate governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) yesterday have vowed to tackle the spate of insecurity in the country. This is coming as the governors pleaded with the people to show understanding with the government at various levels on the level of insecurity in the country even as the

Forum assured that plans were underway to confront the challenge. This was contained in the communiqué issued at the wee hour yesterday after a protracted meeting and read by the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state. According to him, governors would hold a brainstorming session in next month with a view to

addressing the nation’s security challenge which he said had become a national embarrassment. The communiqué stated that the governors have “ resolved to channel more resources toward the empowerment of youths, women and the vulnerable in the country’’. It added that the governors had also resolved to create enabling environment for economic development as efforts

to mitigate the lingering security challenges in the country. The Forum equally expressed concern at the low level of commitment in eradicating polio and promised to hold council chairmen and relevant stakeholders accountable. It also reiterated its earlier decision that Deputy Governors should take charge of the state task force on polio eradication

while state governors‘ wives should assist in the day-to-day interventions in the fight against polio where necessary. The meeting was attended by governors of Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kogi, Abia, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Nasarawa, Katsina and Sokoto states among others. The deputy governors of Bauchi, Lagos and Zamfara, states represented their governors at the meeting.

ACN calls for rehabilitation of cultists


Participants at a public hearing on a bill seeking to establish a Senior Secondary Schools Board, on Wednesday, in Rivers State House of Assembly. Photo: NAN

CPC dismisses Lado, Danmusa, others From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he interim Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC), Katsina state, Alhaji Faruq Adamu Aliyu has announced the dismissal of some key members of the party in the state. Briefing newsmen, yesterday at the party secretariat in Katsina, Aliyu disclosed that those dismissed include, Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke, former chairman of the elder’s committee of the party in the state, Alhaji Mamman Abubakar Danmusa, Dr. Bashir Kurfi, Alhaji Tijjani Zango. The rest, according to him are, Senator Abdu ‘Yandoma, Senator Ahmad Sani Stores and a member representing Batsari-DanmusaSafana at the House of Representatives, Alhaji Gambo Musa Danmusa. He noted that the party took the decision to dismiss these key members after series of discussions with the ‘warring’ parties over the problems bedeviling the progress of the party in the state. Aliyu stressed that the members were specifically dismissed for committing antiparty activities by assisting the PDP during the conduct of the 2011 general election in the state.

Similarly, the interim chairman alleged that even though the members knew that the party kicked against unity government arrangement at all levels, they went ahead to pick appointments with the PDP state government. On the fate of the former chairman of the party, Dr. Yusha’u Armaya’u, Aliyu noted that the party would not take any stand on him for now since he said he has gone to court to challenge his sack as the chairman of the party in the state.

He however disclosed that the CPC in Katsina state would soon initiate the recall of the dismissed member of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Gambo Musa Danmusa, adding “we will initiate his recall since he is sitting on our party’s ticket”. Aliyu also announced the dissolution of the party’s executives in Kurfi, Batsari, Sandamu, Bakori and Danja, disclosing that a caretaker committee has been formed to oversee the affairs of these five dissolved local government

executives. On the formation of local government councils caretaker committees by the state government, the chairman described the process as naked impunity and an unconstitutional act. He therefore gave the state government one week to reverse the process or face legal action from the party, stressing “what the assembly and the government did was illegal as the constitution of the land has no provision for any caretaker arrangement”.

Group slams Fashola, ACN over doctors sack From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


Non-Governmental Organisation, the Society for Rule of Law in Nigeria (SRLN) has described the sack of 788 striking doctors by the State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola as wicked, inhuman and tyrannical, adding that; “By that action, Governor Fashola and his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have shown that they are worse than military dictators.” In a release signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Chima Ubeku, SRLN said ACN’s

justification of the arbitrary sack was to say the least, criminal, saying; “the ACN has by its justification of the sack demonstrated that it is against the masses of Nigeria and their welfare. “It is alarming that Lagos State government gets average of N30 billion per month cannot honour its agreement with doctors, whose duties are essential to the well-being and continous existence of Lagosians. “We are even more worried that with the huge resources accruable to Lagos state government, Lagosians are still the ones responsible for their own welfare. There is no water, no good roads,

public schools are collapsing and now Lagosians can no longer get treatment for their ailments in public hospitals. The question then is; what does the government use the N30 billion that it gets monthly for?” While berating human rights in the country for keeping silent on the doctors sack, SRLN said; “Those who regard human rights activists in Nigeria as people that are fighting for the rights and welfare of the masses should know by now that it is only when Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does something that it is wrong? When the same is done by the ACN hypocrites, it is right.”

he National Secretary, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Sen. Lawal Shuaibu, yesterday called for the rehabilitation of cultists as a way to curb the menace in the country. Shuaibu, who said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, was reacting to the Secret Cult Societies and Similar Activities Prohibition Bill 2012 recently passed by Bayelsa State Government. He said the bill was repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and therefore null and void. “There are so many issues involved with cultism; once you resolve to arrest you have deal with the psych. “You have to work on people’s reorientation the same way you subject drug addicts to rehabilitation and there are experts in that reorientation and rehabilitation to bring back the person to the normal way of thinking and socialising,’’ he said. Shuaibu also added that renounced cultists could assist the state government to curb the menace of cultism. Reacting to another bill signed by the state government which stated that career civil servants should be signatories to all cheques from local government, Shuaibu said the civil services were made up of regulations and not laws. “You don’t legislate on who signs a cheque, it is not law but regulation. The regulation on who signs a cheque is contained in civil service regulation not in any law. “Even if it is a law and you amend that law nobody will follow it, even the local government joint account as passed by National Assembly a few years ago which gave the governance direct access to local government funds, in the face of the law it is perfect but people abuse it,’’ he said. Shuaibu said to improve the performance of local governments there should be a level of qualification and experience for council chairmen to be considered. “The age should be considered also and when that is done, more should be given to local government and less money to state. “Let there be grass roots development directly by the local government, they know what they need,’’ he said. (NAN)



2015: Nasarawa PDP inaugurates committees to reposition party From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa state has inaugurated two committees that will help the party regain its lost glory by ensuring that the party emerges victorious in the 2015 general elections. Inaugurating the Reconciliation and Strategic and Planning committees at the secretariat of the party yesterday, Yunana Iliya, state chairman, charged members of the committees comprising seasoned politicians and technocrats, to evolve a blueprint that will bring back the party to its former glory. He recalled in his acceptance speech that while being recently inaugurated as Party Chairman, he categorically pointed out that the new state exco may not succeed in its responsibilities without reconciling aggrieved members of the party, stressing that it was for that reason that a committee to reconcile differences among members across the state was being inaugurated, to be headed by Engr. Tanko Baba Abdullahi. Iliya also explained that the Strategic and Planning committee, headed by Dr. Bala Ahmed Tafida, have been charged with the task of producing a working document that will point the way forward for the party to regain its lost glory. Responding on behalf of the appointees, Dr. Bala Ahmed Tafida, thanked the party for finding them worthy of appointment as members of the committees, assuring the chairman that they will carry out their duties earnestly, as well as ensure that individuals and groups within the party are reconciled. “The most important thing is to accept that something was wrong and there are challenges and to sincerely address these challenges. PDP has made a mistake and having realised this, we are now poised to correct this and reclaim what belongs to us.” Tafida stated. Members of the reconciliation committee includes; Abdullahi Tanko Zubairu, Alh. Halilu Envulanza, Alh. Sule Nasidi, Suleiman Ubam, Mrs. Hadiza Victor, Hajiya Halima Jabiru, and Chief Philip Dada, who doubles as secretary, while those of the strategic and planning committee includes; Dr. (Mrs.) Mary Nghargbu, Kasimu Bakyano, Nasiru Kwarra, Musa Adamu Saidu, Alhaji Jibrin Sabo Keana and Barr. Musa Aloko.

L-R: Chairman of Nigerian Governors' Forum (NGF) and Rivers state Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, with Katsina state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, during the NGF meeting on national Security, Economic Challenges, and Polio, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Edo Guber: PDP guber candidate grieves over neglect of Ijaw

By Lawrence Olaoye


do State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd.), expressed great shock when he was confronted with what he called ‘the criminal neglect” of the Ijaw dominated riverine areas of Edo state. Airhiavbere, in continuation of his state wide tour prelude to the formal launch of his governorship campaign for the July 14 election in Edo state, slammed the government of the day for abandoning the Ijaw people in abject poverty. He described the socioeconomic situation of the Ijaw people in Edo state as “evidence of the extent of neglects” of the people by the government. Airhiavbere was in company with his wife, Yetunde, and a host of PDP chieftains including Sen. Rowland Owie, Hon. Christopher Adesotu, Mr. Lucky Imasuen and Eghe Tesorae, during the visit. He

said at Ajakurama in Ofunama ward of Ovia South West Local Government of the state that the level of poverty in the area was due to leadership failure. Spokesperson of Ofunama ward, Mr. Soweibibor Kimbor, in his address, said the incumbent government led by Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had failed to fulfill promises made to them. He said “till date the Ijaw people in the state do not have access to potable water, health care service and schools, among others, as the ones built years back have become dilapidated. Kimbor stated “the people continuously experience high rate of maternal mortality due to lack of health care facilities in the area as pregnant women have to go to the local government headquarters (Iguobazuwa) and environs for health services.” He explained that it is hectic for the people to always travel the over 80 kilometres distance to the Local Government

headquarters, lamenting that “at times they (pregnant women) die on the way or develop complications.” The spokesperson told the PDP candidate and his entourage that the last time Governor Adams Oshiomhole visited the area was shortly after he emerged in 2008, pointing out that he came via a helicopter because the road (Udo Ajakurama Road) leading to Ofunama was completely in bad shape. According to Kimbor, “Because we know, you are the one we can trust, the entire youths, women, men, and the elders of Ofunama ward are waiting earnestly to give our votes to Airhiavbere of the PDP on July 14, 2012.” Airhiavbere, who caved in to emotions, said while dabbing his eyes with an handkerchief, that provision of basic amenities by governments all over the world was not subject to request but a statutory responsibility of every accountable government.

Abati is a liar, says CPC By Ikechukwu Okaforad


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) has noted with dismay the statement credited to the Special Presidential Adviser on Media, Reuben Abati, claiming that President Goodluck Jonathan, that his principal has fulfilled all his election promises, saying he indulges in deliberate deception. In a statement issued yesterday by its publicity secretary, Rotimi Fashakin, the party said "Nothing

is more mendacious as this Presidential aide has only succeeded in exposing the Jonathan regime as only interested in using public office for grandstanding rather than selfless service to the Nigerian people." It lamented that Abati has embarked on the self-destructive voyage of self-delusion and unconscionable self-deception by his clams. "The provision of stable Electricity to the Nigerian people was the cornerstone of the electoral

promises of Good-luck Jonathan. The recent admission by the President that planning defect (by his government) for the Independent Power Project (IPP) has accounted for the bungling of the schedule of the delivery of power to the Nigerian People, is enough to vitiate the unfortunate statement by Dr Abati." The statement read in part. CPC further expressed concern that the metaphor of "I had no shoes" by the President during the electioneering campaign has not

According to him, “When elected on July 14, I assure you that my administration will, in earnest, after our swearing-in, first and foremost, tackle the recurrent sufferings of the people especially the problem of lack of health care facilities and services. “My administration will commit itself to rapid building of schools and roads linking the communities. Teachers that will be employed in the schools must be qualified indigenes from the areas as well as medical personnel must be qualified Ijaws. We willl ensure medical treatment is free for pregnant women and the elderly of 70 and above.” Airhiavbere said further, “I’m aware that most youths, particularly in this part of the state, are unemployed. Therefore, for those that can’t be fit for white collar jobs, such youths will be exposed to artisan skills such as making of boats, clothes and other entrepreneurial skills associated to those in the area.” engendered concomitant empathetic feeling from the President towards ensuring better living for the many indigent Nigerian students. It pointed out that Nigerian roads are in more parlous state than the situation two years ago, adding that the poverty level in Nigeria has become worsened to the extent that millions of Nigerians are still living below one dollar ($1) per day. "Under Jonathan's watch, there was an impeachable breach of the 2011 appropriation act in unilateral overshoot of the appropriated N240 Billion for fuel subsidy to N2.67 Trillion." CPC bemoaned.



My case different from that of Sylva, Echocho tells court T T

PAC backs Bayelsa govt on cult activity

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

he winner of the January 2011 governorship primary election in Kogi state, Jibrin Isah Echocho yesterday told a Federal High Court, Abuja that his own case before it was different from that of the former governor of Bayelsa state, Timpriye Sylva which was earlier dismissed by the Supreme Court. At the resumed hearing of his suit seeking to unseat Governor Idris Wada as the governor of Kogi state before Justice Abdul Kafarati, counsel to the plaintiff, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), argued that the case of Sylva which the defendants are relying upon was not related to the instant case. He added that the judgment of the apex court in Sylva’s case was not an issue in this present suit as the court did not set aside the judgement on tenure elongation which is the basis for the present suit. Olanipekun further argued that in the case of Bayelsa, it was Sylva who went to court to invalidate the primary which he won but Echocho had not gone to court on his own, rather his cause of action arose at the instance of the Supreme Court judgement on tenure elongation. Earlier, counsel to Wada, Chris Uche (SAN) argued that it was not in dispute that there were two primary elections both in January and September, 2011 and the plaintiff participated in the two primary elections. He also argued that every claim of the plaintiff is as to the effect of the April 2011 election and as long as the said election was cancelled, every other election relating to it is automatically canceled adding that the suit before the court is an internal affair of the party. He further submitted that the case of Sylva which was dismissed by the Supreme Court had finally halted the suit of the plaintiff and urged the

court to rely on the judgement of the Supreme Court to dismiss the instant suit. Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN) submitted that the court do not have jurisdiction to entertain the matter because the plaintiff is asking the court to interpret the judgment of the Supreme Court on tenure elongation and also asking it to give a consequential order. He further submitted that by Section 251(1) (q) (r) (s) of the 1999 Constitution did not permit the court to do such a thing adding that the court has no power or right to interpret what the constitution will imply in the judgement of the Supreme Court.

Awomolo further argued that the reliefs sought by the plaintiff are available at the election petition tribunal and not a Federal High Court because such reliefs are post election issues and prayed the court to dismiss the originating summon. In his own submission, counsel to the PDP, Olusola Oke argued that with reliefs sought by the plaintiff, especially 3-8, is seeking to nullify the election which the party won adding that by the authority in Rotimi Amaechi, it is the party who won the election and not an individual. He added that the judgement of the Supreme Court on tenure elongation has nothing to do with the election in Kogi state stating that court did not give any express statement on it.

Oke further argued that a political party is justified to conduct a fresh primary election when one election is cancelled and urged the court to dismiss the suit of the plaintiff. After listening to all the parties in the suit, the presiding judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati adjourned till June 29 for judgment. It will be recalled that the court had fixed today for hearing of the suit after the case was re-assigned by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta to Justice Abdul Kafarati. The re-assignment was at the instance of the Wada who through his counsel told the Court of Appeal that he wanted the matter taken away from Justice Donatus Okorowo and be re-assigned to another judge.

L-R: Deputy House Leader, Hon. Leo Ugor, US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Terence McCulley, Speaker, House of Representative, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal ,and Political and Labour Officer of US Embassy, Mr. Paul Stevenson, during the US ambassador visit to the speaker, yesterday at the National Assembly, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Nyako, Adamawa PDP host Bamanga Tukur From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


s part of programmes slated for the grand reception of Adamawa born National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Governor Murtala Nyako in conjunction with state chapter of the party played host to him yesterday. Ambassador Idris Waziri, former Minister of Commerce,

who is Chairman of the Action Committee of the grand reception, told journalists in Yola that the north-east PDP caucus was organising the event to show solidarity and full acceptance of Bamanga as the National Chairman of the PDP. “Leaders and members of the PDP in the North East zone have decided to organize a grand reception in honour of the election of our elder statesman

Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the PDP National Chairman” Waziri stated. Waziri disclosed that the grand reception would take place on Saturday 12 May 2012, at Tukur’s home town of Mayo Kalaye, in Jada council area of Adamawa state. Waziri therefore appealed to citizens of the zone to come out en masse to throw their weight behind the actualisation of the programme as well as galvanize

support for the National Chairman. Peoples Daily learnt President Goodluck Jonathan would serve as the Special Guest of Honour just as Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, all PDP Governors, members of the National Assembly and other PDP bigwigs are expected to be in attendance.

Dakingari pledges support for community policing in Kebbi


ov. Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi state has pledged to support the Police in the state to entrench community policing and curtail crime. The governor made the pledge in Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday while receiving the new Commissioner of Police,

Mr. Adisa Bolanta in his office. He said the state was proud of the enviable role played by security agencies in facing security challenges that had reduced crime to the lowest level in the state. Dakingari said that the state government’s support to security agencies would be

sustained. He appealed to residents in the state to support security agencies by providing timely information that would assist in crime control. Bolantahad earlier told the governor that the command would place emphasis on professionalism, pro-active

policing and service delivery to maintain the low crime rate in the state. The commissioner said the delay in his official courtesy visit to the governor was due to his posting on the eve of the governorship re-run election on March 31.

he Progressive Action Congress (PAC) yesterday commended the Bayelsa state Government for enacting a law that attracted 10- year jail term for involvement in cult activities. NAN recalled that Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa signed the Bill prohibiting secret cults into law last Thursday. The National Chairman, Chief Charles Nwodo, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Nwodo said it was a welcome development for Bayelsa, bearing in mind the gravity of cultism, political violence, thuggery and kidnapping that led to the destruction of properties and loss of many lives. He said democracy did not contain violence, as the sovereignty of the people was the almighty formula in the struggle for leadership in democracy. “ It is unfortunate that cultism has even extended to traditional leadership tussle, schools and motor parks resulting to bloodletting in the name of leadership. “ The National Orientation Agency should as a matter of urgency, intensify efforts in creating awareness about the establishment of social centres in the society to enlighten the people on the dangers of cultism,” he said He said that efforts should also be geared toward reconciling the community action with peace for the development of their various communities. He added that the use of law enforcement agencies in addressing cultism must be in accordance with the laws of the land in order to avoid victimisation of the innocent. Meanwhile, the party has also faulted the decision of the Bayelsa State Government to sign into law a bill retaining only career civil servants as signatory to council accounts. Dickson signed the Bill into law last Thursday in Bayelsa. The National Chairman, Chief Charles Nwodo, made the remarks in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Nwodo said it was not possible to divorce the signatory of the chief executive officer of any organisation from its accounting system, especially in the implementation of major projects. He said that there should be collaboration with the chief executives and the career civil servants in the signatory in the event of contracts and other activities in any council. “ The danger of removing the chief executives’ hands from the signatory is that he can manipulate any approval and ask the career civil servants to sign and at the end he gets away with it. “ The implication further is that the career civil servants can raise a cheque at their own free will without the consent of the chief executive officer who oversees the affairs of the council,” he said He said the accusation in the oil industry of people recycling vouchers of payments 100 times could be rampant at the council level.



Logistics put ECOWAS Games on hold L ogistics inadequacies have compelled organisers of the second edition of the ECOWAS U-23 Games scheduled for June 2 through 8 in Accra, Ghana, to be put on hold. Organisers say the competition, which is meant to unite West African players as well as provide needed ambience to generate and grow senior players for the respective countries of the region, will now take place from June 16 through 22. The new dates were revealed when the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr. Adrienne Diop visited the hosts, Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Honourable Clement Kofi Humado, where he

disclosed the challenges they are working to address before the fiesta holds. The Minister, who expressed Ghana’s appreciation to ECOWAS for accepting the new dates and acknowledged the country’s commitment to a successful hosting of the biennial sporting competition, reiterated that it will feature athletics, handball, volleyball, traditional wrestling and boxing. Dr. Diop expressed confidence in Ghana’s ability to host the Games, noting that this would contribute to the attainment of regional integration objectives. She assured the minister of ECOWAS’ readiness to assist Ghana to host successful games. Nigeria hosted the inaugural edition of the U-23 regional

Keshi gives Mikel condition for Eagles return By Patrick Andrew


ikel Obi will only be a factor in Stephen Keshi’s plans for the Super Eagles if he promises to honour invitation to the national camp as well as show commitment and dedication expected from every member of the team. Coach Keshi gave the condition while chatting with Peoples Daily Sports and noted that Mikel’s improvement in recent times were worthy of note but added that he must be ready to show same commitment to the Eagles as he had been known to demonstrate for

Mikel Obi

Games in 2010, with competitions in four sports, athletics, handball, volleyball and traditional wrestling. The Games are expected to promote and enhance sports as a means of uniting and encouraging the youth in West Africa to progress through balanced development. The competition also provides a forum for interaction among West African youths strengthens sporting and economic ties between Member States and promotes a sense of belonging among participants. In addition, this year’s Games would serve as a good platform for West African sports men and women to prepare for the London Olympic Games taking place later in the year.

Chelsea. “Mikel Obi has improved tremendously in recent times. He is a factor in my books provided he meets certain conditions which are not different from what I expect from others. “I am looking for players who are committed, dedicated and ready to respond to national call unselfishly. So, for the month of June, I will give those ready to serve opportunity and like every other player I have been monitoring,Mikel will have his chance,” he said. Meanwhile, the Chelsea defensive midfielder, has said he has recovered from an

British boxing authority threatens to sanction Haye, Chisora, others

S David Haye

For the avoidance of doubt, any member of the British Boxing Board of Control who participates in anyway in such a promotion will be deemed to have terminated his/her membership of the British Boxing Board of Control and his/her licence therewith.

service from his base, Mikel said it was a slight knock on his ankle and he could even have played against Liverpool, but manager preferred not to take any risks. “I missed the Liverpool game due a slight knock on my ankle. It is not something to worry about, in fact I would have played the game but the manager decided to rest me so as not to aggravate the injury. “I am fit for this weekend game but my playing will depend on the coach, who picks the team. But if it is fitness, I am good and as fit as fiddle. May 19 is on my mind,” he said.

Players hail officiating at CBN tennis tourney


he British Boxing Board of Control has threatened to sanction anyone that would be involved in the proposed bout between Dereck Chisora and David Haye. The board reiterated yesterday the licence of Chosora remained suspended indefinitely and as such he would not be allowed to fight anywhere the United Kingdom. It would be recalled that the Luxembourg Boxing Federation was said to have approved the fight and scheduled same to take place at West Ham Football Club’s Upton Park stadium in London on July 14. Chisora’s licence to box was withdrawn “indefinitely” in March after a brawl during a media conference following Haye’s defeat against heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in Munich. Haye does not hold a valid licence to box in Britain after announcing his retirement last year following his defeat by Wladimir Klitschko. The so-called grudge match between the British boxers according to Chisora’s promoter Frank Warren has insisted he is not trying to undermine the board but top board members are adamantly opposed to the contest. Although the board’s threat is unlikely to mean much to either Haye or Chisora, who are both without a licence, if followed through it could have implications for Warren, one of the leading promoters in the UK. The board said in a statement on Wednesday: “Those behind this proposal are not concerned with the interests of the sport of professional boxing. “Any member who participates in such a promotion would bring the sport of boxing into disrepute and would wholly undermine the authority of the British Boxing Board of Control. “For the avoidance of doubt, any member of the British Boxing Board of Control who participates in any way in such a promotion will be deemed to have terminated his/her membership of the British Boxing Board of Control and his/her licence therewith. “This is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the decision of the stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control, in respect of Dereck Chisora, for monetary gain,” the board said in the statement. Haye and Chisora’s camps were separated by a 2m fence at a press conference to announce the bout on Tuesday.

ankle injury and will be available for this weekend’s tie against Blackburn Rovers. Mikel, who is yet to play for Nigeria since Stephen Keshi assumed the leadership of the Super Eagles’ technical crew, said he has recovered fully from the injury that sidelined him from the English Premier League game on Tuesday against Liverpool at Anfield. According to him, the injury was not severe adding that he is back on his feet and ready for Chelsea’s final game of the 2011/2012 season against Blackburn on Saturday. Speaking with a wire

Dereck Chosira

ome participants in the ongoing Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Senior Tennis Tournament in Lagos have applauded the umpires for their good officiating. The participants awarded the umpires high marks in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the National Stadium, Surulere. Fourth seed Lawal Shehu described the standard of officiating at the championships as commendable, adding that there was no need for argument with the umpires. “I am impressed with the officiating of my matches and others that I have witnessed over time, and I have found out that the umpires’ decisions are always right,” Shehu said. Destiny Da-Silva, the 15th seeded player, said umpires at the tournament had a firm grip on the games and hailed them for their efforts. “I give kudos to the umpires and the way they handle the situations while officiating matches, knowing full well that officiating is a vital part of the game which requires correct interpretation. “ Although, I am out of the male singles, but still in the males doubles, the officiating was just perfect,” Da-Silva said. Number two seed, Abdul-Mumuni Babalola, described the standard of officiating at the championships as encouraging. “This year’s officiating is better when compared to the previous year’s.’’ Fatima Abinu, seeded number one in the females category, said: “I have no cause to worry about the umpire’s judgement in match officiating since the start of the tournament. I believe they are worthy of our praise”. Unseeded Sarah Adegoke said the umpires had done a good job with regard to officiating. “I would say that the decisions of the umpires are very factual and correct without mincing words,’’ Adegoke said.



Veronica Campbell-Brown

Samsung Diamond League

Okagbare dares American, Jamaican speedsters in Doha By Patrick Andrew

But for the entry of Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare, today’s Samsung Diamond League 100m and 200m would have been exclusive to the American and Jamaican speedsters.

Allyson Felix

Shelly-Ann Fraser

Blessing Okagbare


he Nigerian, who won an Olympic long jump bronze in 2008 and the 100m-long jump double at the African championships in 2010, wants to make a statement preparatory for an historic London 2012 Olympics which is less than three months from today. Okagbare, who wants to concentrate on the long jump and 100m and perhaps the 4x 100m relay events in London, will be on the blocks against Veronica Campbell-Brownthe double Olympic and reigning world 200m champion and who won the world 100m title in 2007. The Jamaican also has to her credit this year’s world indoor 60m crown that she won in Istanbul and makes her 2012 outdoor debut with her sights set on more Olympic glory in London. Then throw this into the mix: Take all three Olympic medalists, add a woman with three Olympic and two world titles to her name, and throw in Allyson Felix, a woman who has won nine times, in Doha and you have quite a delectable prospect in the women’s races. Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and the two women she beat to take Beijing gold, Sherone Simpson and Kerone Stewart, and then Allyson Felix who would want nothing but to remain invincible in her speacialty400m, then you have must watch races. Fraser-Pryce notched up a 22.53 200m in Kingston, while Felix – an impressive winner of the 400m here last year – who though may need to improve on her 11.22seconds in Daegu in Japan few weeks ago to get close to the meeting record of 10.93 she shares with Stewart. Two friends, compatriots and yet rivals Janeth Jepkosgei and Pamela Jelimo will be on the marks for the 800m gold medal. Jelimo enshrined her name in gold at the Beijing Games in 2008 by beating her fellow Kenyan. It will be their 16th meeting but Pamela leads the headto-head count by nine wins to six, and has the faster Personal Best of 1:54.01 to 1:56.04. However, Jepkosgei has won the last six, a feat she may not want to relinquish. Also, Jelimo has set two national indoor records on route to winning the world indoor title this winter and will be looking for a winning start to her Olympic campaign. But Janeth has a record to defend. With a gold won five years ago, Olympic silver and world silver and bronze, Janeth yearns for nothing but to rekindle the 2007 spirit when burst onto the 800m stage at the World Championship with the gold medal dangling from her neck. Though there are several serious contenders like Indian record holder Luka Tintu,who holds Asian Games medalist in 2010, American Molly Beckwith, an Australian Tamsyn Manou, who won the world indoor title in 2008, and Britain’s Emma Jackson, all of whom have sub-2 minute PBs, including two other Kenyans, it appears the main threat to the two principles could be Fantu Magiso, the 19-year-old Ethiopian record holder who was fourth at the world indoors. Albeit, the form of Janeth and Pamela may be a little suspect, it seems all right to say that the world record 1.53.28 seconds set by Jarmila Kratochvilova in Munich, Germany in 1983 and Meeting record by Jolanda Ceplak in 2001will be seriously threatened. The hurdles races will

Pamela Jelimo

Two friends, compatriots and yet rivals Janeth Jepkosgei and Pamela Jelimo will be on the marks for the 800m gold medal. Jelimo enshrined her name in gold at the Beijing Games in 2008 by beating her fellow Kenyan.

equally throw up exciting contests particularly in the 400m where Olympic champion Melaine Walker leads three Jamaicans against British rising star Perri Shakes-Drayton. Walker got stunned by Lashinda Demus of United States in Daegu losing the world record and should be working to reposition herself as she sets out to defend her Olympic crown in London. Walker clocked an 55.28 in Kingston, Jamaica few weeks ago. Shakes-Drayton though is in the mix and could pose a challenge. The Briton Janeth Jepkosgei capped her European bronze in 2010 with wins in the 400m and 400 hurdles double at her national championships last summer. Four years ago, Cameroon athlete Francoise Mbango made history as the first African to win the women triple jump event back-back. Then she went into oblivion. However, she has resurfaced but not as a Cameroonian but French, and now wants to be the first women to win the event for three consecutive times under two different nationalities. Francoise, who now has Etone in her name will begin the quest to stop former world champion Tatyana Lebedeva whom she beat to the Olympic title four years ago and hopes to sustain her usually form of peaking at major championships for incredible results. The favourite here could be world silver medalist Olga Rypakova, who opens her outdoor season here after finishing second in the world indoors earlier this year. Others on queue are Marija Sestak, the Slovenian record who jumped beyond 15 metres in 2008, Polish record holder Malgorzata Trybanska, and Slovak record holder and world indoor finalist Dana Veldakova. Brazilian Keila Costa is the South American record holder and threetimes a South American champion, while Chinese record holder Xie Limei is a former Asian Games champion. Yelena Isinbayeva has been in and out of form. But she remains a threat. Though not exactly against her peers, the Russian though will be confronted by three compatriots, French record holder Vanessa Boslak, second at the world indoors, and Poland’s two-times world silver medalist Monika Pyrek. However, women Pole Vault bluffs believe her main threat lies in Yuliya Golubchikova, the 2009 European indoor champion who was fourth at the Beijing Olympics. Even then, Silke Spiegelburg, who set the meeting record two years ago, can’t be dismissed with relative ease. The German indoor record holder will be keen to get her outdoor campaign underway in similar fashion after finishing fourth at the world indoors in March. Six years ago, Nigeria’s Olusoji Fasuba set the meet record in 100m. He clocked 9.85 seconds to stun awed world. Sadly, Nigeria’s glowing flame has since been extinguished for not lack of talents than the nurturing of prococious talents. Nonetheless, today, in Doha, Asafa Powell, winner in 2010 with 9.81 seconds, 2004 Olympics 100m gold medalist, Justin Gatlin return to the stage to challenge for the gold. The American regained the world indoor 60m title in March and has run 20.11 for 200m this season. Lerone Clarke, who clocked 10.03 in Kingston, Nesta Carter, the world and Olympic relay champion who picked up world indoor silver behind Gatlin in Istanbul; and Jaques Harvey, the 2011 World University Games champion are also poise for the Doha Francoise Mbango challenge.




t was only two months ago that Chelsea handed their head reins to Roberto Di Matteo on an interim basis following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. The latter had come under mounting pressure as the Blues entered the final stretch of the season in less-than-the desired form. After only eight months in charge, overseeing what threatened to be the worst season since owner Roman Abramovich bought the club nine years ago, they turned to Di Matteo to revive their fortunes. A former Chelsea midfielder himself, the Italian has overseen one of the most thrilling turnarounds in Europe this season, with the side suffering just two defeats in his 17 matches in charge thus far. Di Matteo assumed control of a club slipping in the Premier League standings and hanging by a thread in the UEFA Champions League. And while he has conceded that a top-four finish in the league is likely unattainable, he has already guided Chelsea to a fourth FA Cup in six seasons with a 2-1 win over Liverpool at the weekend, and is within reach of making history in the UEFA Champions League. En route to booking a final against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena on 19 May, Chelsea pulled off a shock victory over heavy favourites Barcelona in the semis largely thanks to Di Matteo’s defensive tactics. Now, while Chelsea near achieving unprecedented glory in Europe’s mostprestigious club competition, Di Matteo is on the brink of success few interim managers have matched in history. Hiddink previews Di Matteo While temporarily steering a club to success can often prove too daunting a task, just as in Di Matteo’s case only a select few have been able to defy the odds. In fact, preceding Chelsea’s latest revival under Di Matteo, the club underwent a similar managerial change in the 2008/09 season. After a string of poor results, the Blues dismissed Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari, opting for then Russia coach Guus Hiddink. Taking Chelsea to the semi-finals of the Champions League, where they were knocked out in dramatic fashion by eventual winners Barcelona, the Stamford Bridge faithful pleaded for the Dutchman’s permanent appointment, but he instead chose to leave the club on a high note. During his three months in charge, Hiddink lost only one match, and in his last match in charge helped Chelsea to an FA Cup final victory over Everton. Although Hiddink came up just short of reaching the final hurdle in the Champions League, caretaker Aston Villa manager Tony Barton led Aston Villa to a shock European Cup success over Bayern Munich in 1982. Although the triumph largely underwhelmed the greater European public, it marked an extraordinary achievement for a club competing in the tournament for the first time. Germany’s interim trio Meanwhile, in 1986, just a few years after Barton’s reign at Villa came to an end, a

Guus Hiddink Franz Beckenbauer

Roberto Di Matteo joins interim elite relegation-threatened Cologne side parted ways with coach Georg Kessler and opted to appoint assistant coach Christoph Daum. With intentions to keep the young coach in charge only until the end of the season, Daum exceeded expectations by avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga, and went on to enjoy a permanent three-year stint with the club. Current Germany boss Joachim Low is also among the Bundesliga coaching elite as he was named interim coach of Stuttgart just two days prior to the 1996/97 season’s start. Low began his campaign with Die Roten with an impressive five straight victories, and soon became renowned for producing the most attractive football in the Bundesliga that season. With a trio of stars in Krasimir Balakov, Giovane Elber, and Fredi Bobic contributing to the team’s appeal, Stuttgart ended up winning the DFBPokal and reaching the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final in 1998 on Low’s watch. Daum and Low don’t hold all the interim laurels in Germany, though, with 1974 FIFA World Cup-winner Franz Beckenbauer enjoying two temporary spells as Bayern Munich coach. In 1994, Beckenbauer led

the Bavarian outfit to the Bundesliga title, while in 1996 he famously took the reins from Otto Rehhagel just three weeks ahead of the UEFA Cup final - a tie in which they ending up defeating Bordeaux in convincing fashion. In Scotland, meanwhile, former Celtic midfielder Neil Lennon returned to his old stomping ground for his first managerial gig in 2008 as manager of the club’s reserves. The Northern Irishman had his sights set on the first-team job, though, and following Tony Mowbray’s departure in 2010 was appointed interim boss. Lennon won all the remaining league matches with Celtic that season, which included a defeat of bitter rivals Rangers, and was finally named head coach on a permanent basis. In Norway in 2006, Knut Torum took over for Per-Mathias Hogmo at Rosenborg, and ultimately guided the club from ten points off the place to the title. Highs to lows However, while all these managers have bagged a trophy or two during their stints in charge, some interim-turned-permanent coaches have suffered ill fates. Turning to Argentina, both Sergio Batista and Juan

The Italian has overseen one of the most thrilling turnarounds in Europe this season, with the side suffering just two defeats in his 17 matches in charge thus far. Di Matteo assumed control of a club slipping in the Premier League standings and hanging by a thread in the UEFA Champions League. Now they are 90 minutes away from glory

Joachim Low

Neil Lennon

Jose Lopez can attest to temporary spells gone wrong. Batista, who guided the Argentina U-20 team to gold at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008, took over the senior side from the out-ofcontract Diego Maradona. Batista began his interim role in fine fashion, with a 4-1 victory over Spain and was soon appointed full-time boss. However, his success was short-lived. In his first competitive test, the Argentinians were shockingly eliminated in the Copa America 2011 quarter-finals by Uruguay and Batista was subsequently sacked. Also in Argentina, River Plate interim coach Juan Jose Lopez endured one of the cruelest fortunes of all. After a promising start to his campaign with River, securing a fourth-place finish in the Torneo Apertura, Lopez oversaw the Buenos Aires giants’ drop to the second division for the first time in the club’s history after a string of poor form in the proceeding Clausura saw them mired in a fight for survival. But, even though Batista and Lopez were certainly left to rue their misfortunes, only time will tell where Di Matteo’s interim legacy will end on a high or on a low.





Seeking alternative measures to curb WATCH DOG recurrent domestic league violence


ew would have thought it quite odd that Nigerian premier league clubs were acting out of character had there not been incidences of hooliganism and violence, especially as the season peters to its end. Well not all the clubs. But the majority, whether in the premier or even the nationwide and national league divisions, most have one thing in common: propensity for illicit wins. Of course, these dastardly acts are often instigated by club officials, mostly errand boys of politicians who got the job for reasons other than professional competence in football administration. Well, they are competent but in a different field: playing man Friday, creating unnecessary altercation, gingering fear and causing havoc at match venues. Their reasons aren’t far fetch when one considers the fabulous amount state governments do dole out for them to administer the clubs with.

No, we know the story, the bulk of the huge sums almost always end up in their private vault while the clubs suffer financial kwashiorkor. Ironically, clubs officials – that is a good number- are known to have developed distended bellies, rosy cheeks while the players walk about ravaged by hunger and their clubs perpetually at the precipice of relegation. Players are owed, basic training paraphernalia are denied them, where they exist, they are deliberately plundered and whatever accommodation may have been provided the players are left bare and in near uninhabitable state. And yet the players are expected to do miracles. But nobody achieves meaningful success in a physically demanding game when subjected to mental and physical torture which is what it amounts to when players are left to go without their monthly entitlements for several months. Little wonder at times like this, when the chicken


t’s 78 days to go. And the the countdown to the London Olympics began with the kindling of the Games torch by the sun’s rays in ancient Olympia. It sparked a relay that will culminate with the lighting of the Olympic stadium’s cauldron at the opening ceremony on July 27. And with Olympic, London and Greek officials along with some 5,000 spectators watching inside the stadium where the ancient Games were held, Ino Menegaki was the high priestess that appealed to the sun god Apollo who responded only after few seconds igniting the torch at the ruins of the Temple of Hera with

Jacque Rogge, President of IOC

gradually comes to roost desperate measures are always adopted to have an alibi for failure. Team managers deliberately incite irate fans against referees fully aware of the likely consequences of such actions. Yes, they look for excuses aplenty; create them and do dastardly things that take one back to the primitive era of football. Ironically, the same elements that do blared the air waves with complaints of non-release of funds by the state government or lack of same from the same sponsors would fall upon themselves to pay fines and other such financial sanctions that may imposed upon them for breach of fair-play rules. Few weeks ago, when violence resurfaced in our domestic league with voracious appetite this column had suggested that something drastic be done. Well, there is always a semblance of drastic measures. None has worked and will ever given Nigeria’s peculiar circumstances.

Olympia torch begins race for London Hera the help of a parabolic mirror. The relay’s first torchbearer, Spyros Gianniotis, a Liverpool-born Greek swimmer who won the gold medal in the 10-km open water event at the 2011 world championships, started the sevenday Greek leg of the relay before the flame is handed over to London organizers on May 17 and flown to Britain a day later. The second torchbearer was 19-year-old Alexander Loukos, a

With this ceremony we begin the final countdown to a dream that came to life seven years ago in Singapore, when London was selected to host the 2012 Games,” said International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge in a brief speech.

Briton of Greek origin. London becomes the only city to have received the Olympic flame twice - the first time being for the 1948 Games. The London Games chief Sebastian Coe was also in attendance and relished the experience. Coe, twice a 1,500 meters Olympic gold medalist, visited Olympia in 1975 as an 18-year tourist, hardly expecting to be back in 37 years to watch the


he Abuja Guard Polo Clubwill hold the Unity Polo Tournament from May 15 through 20 in celebration of Nigeria’s Democracy Day. Ben Garba, a representative of the sponsors revealed that the club will use the opportunity to reach out to some orphanages located within the North Central states. In respect of the polo tournament, Garba said that

players from England, South Africa and Argentina will feature adding that matches will be played at the Guard Bridge Polo Club which is opposite the IBB Golf Club. “We are organizing the annual unity tournament to join Nigerians in celebrating the uninterrupted democracy day, here in Abuja at guard bridge polo club opposite IBB Golf Club. “We are inviting some foreign players from England, South Africa and Argentina to join us in

torch being lit for an Olympics hosted by Britain. Britain’s capital also hosted the 1908 Games, but the torch-lighting ceremony and relay were introduced for the first time for the 1936 Berlin Olympics as part of Nazi propaganda. The 70-day British leg of the relay will use 8,000 torchbearers and travel 12,800 km around the country, taking in 1,018 communities and the 1,085-metre

At last NFF confirms Calabar for Eagles’ matches


he Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar as the venue for the Super Eagles next month’s 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying matches. NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari confirmed yesterday following a meeting the previous day with the Director General of the National Sports Commission, Chief Patrick Ekeji where it was agreed that Calabar should host

Abuja Guard Polo Club hosts unity tourney the transition day commemorate Democracy Day celebrating through polo competition,” he By Albert Akota

By Patrick Andrew

The recent responses of clubs officials to imposition of fines by the NPL clearly tell the story: such sanctions are effeminate, alleged culprits walked about professional persons to bear therefore bereft of the force free as men, perhaps giving the responsibility of needed to instill discipline and fillip and alacrity to bad managing the leagues, as is ensure sound morality in the elements to commit more the case with advanced game and the way it’s run in dastardly acts to the leagues. the country. detriment of the league. Isn’t it high time the Someone has suggested that Unfortunately, it seems far government left sponsorship stiffer penalties like jailing fetch because unlike the of clubs to private individuals anyone found to have been English Premiership League and private corporations so involved in hooliganism, caused where officials clearly that business interest rather havoc at match venues and established a demarcation than the fading social where culpability is established between self interest and interest would take premium? involving clubs officials such entrepreneurial concern- in The game has gone beyond should be made to face the this case the institution that being feeble political tool wrath of the law at the civil is the league, its corporate usually deployed by insincere court. One thinks it’s the only image, interest and national persons to swindle the state. to deter these wicked persons prestige- the opposite is the It’s a huge business and from further inflicting pains on situation among so-called caters for millions of persons. our hearts and wrecking the clubs officials in Nigeria. A functional sports industry beautiful game. For the sake of the game, especially football will employ Here one totally supports both the NPL and the NFF more persons than the the call by the NFF Appeal should stop this lip service and number that all states are committee that the police enforce discipline. presently employing. should step in in the matchThis brings to the fore the For reference please ask fixing case involving certain inevitability of excluding sowhat the major industry elements. Sadly, till date called clubs owners from the (employment wise) in Spain, nothing concrete has been boards of the leagues for the Portugal, Belgium, Holland heard from the police while the purpose of allowing and Britain.

said. Also speaking, the Vice Chairman of the club, Mubarak Shehu Isah, who represented the Chairman, Hadi Sirika, appealed to polo fans to turn up to cheer the teams during the tournament. The unity tournament is categories into Four trophies namely Legislative Shield, President Cup, the Guards Challenge Cup and Guards Bridge trophy will be at stake during the five days fiesta.

the matches against Namibia and Rwanda respectively. “It is settled. Together with the Director General, Chief (Dr) Ekeji, we looked at all the options available to us and we decided Calabar is the best choice for now. Although work has started on the pitch of the National Stadium, Abuja, it will not be ready to host the match, especially with FIFA wanting us to confirm a venue by Friday (today),” said Maigari. Nigeria will take on Namibia on the opening day of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying race on Sunday, June 3 before flying to Blantyre for a Day 2 match in the series against the Flames of Malawi on Saturday, June 9. The Eagles return to Nigeria to clash with the Amavubi of Rwanda in the return leg of a 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying fixture on Sunday, June 17. Meanwhile, the NFF has also confirmed that the Eagles, presently in camp in Abuja, will fly to Lima aboard an Iberia Airline flight on May 19, for an international friendly against Peru on May 23. The team will return to Nigeria on May 26 and head straight to Calabar.

summit of Snowdon, before ending inside the Olympic stadium on the opening day of the Games. The relay will also take in landmarks around Britain with the flame travelling by canal boat, cable car, tram, steam train, hot air balloon and even motorcycle sidecar on the Isle of Man TT course. A strong police presence around the ancient site, and in the town of Olympia, made sure the event went off without a hitch. Four years ago human rights activists briefly disrupted the Beijing Olympics ceremony.

Namibia line up Mozambique for Eagles


amibia will train in Germany and play a warm-up game against Mozambique ahead of next month’s 2014 World Cup qualifier in Nigeria. The Super Eagles host the Brave Warriors on June 3 in an opening game of a qualifying section that also has Malawi and Kenya. Namibia, led by German technical director Klaus Stark, will set up a training camp in Kaiserau, Germany, from May 21. During their 10-day stint in Germany, they will test their readiness with warm-up games with Mozambique as well as German lower league sides. The Brave warriors have called up 23 players mostly drawn from the country’s league as well as from neighbouring South Africa. Among the call-ups are South Africa-based strikers Lazarus Kaimbi (Jomo Cosmos), Tangeni Shipahu (Amazulu), Rudolf Bester (Orlando Pirates) and Henrico Botes (Platinum Stars). Midfielder Manfred Stark from German club Hansa Rostock is the only Europe-based player on the squad.

. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012


LA TEST LATEST Portuguese police to question Man United over Bébé transfer


olice in Portugal are planning to question Manchester United about the club's •9m (£7.2m) signing of the striker Bébé from the Portuguese club Vitória Guimarães, as part of their criminal investigation into the deal. The judicial police national unit for combating corruption, part of the Justice Ministry based in Lisbon, is investigating the 11 August, 2010 transfer, by which United paid that fee for a player whose only competitive experience was a single season in the Portuguese third division. Bébé's agent, appointed days before he moved to United, was Jorge Mendes, also agent to Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson, who moved from Portuguese clubs to Old Trafford in previous seasons. Of the •9m United paid to Vitória for Bébé, Mendes was paid 40%, •3.6m (£2.89m). It was reported in Vitória's subsequent general meeting that Mendes's •3.6m comprised a 10% agent's commission, •900,000, and the further •2.7m because Mendes had also just acquired 30% of Bébé's "economic rights", part-ownership of the player. Sir Alex Ferguson said at the time that Bébé was the only player he had signed in his long managerial career without having watched him at all first, even on video. United said Bébé had been recommended by Carlos Queiroz, coach of the Portugal national team, formerly Ferguson's assistant at Old Trafford. On 10 April, the police anticorruption unit in Lisbon wrote to Bébé's former agent, Gonçalo Reis, asking him to attend at their headquarters and as a witness to provide his account of what happened in the deal.



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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE A diplomat... is a person who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip — Caskie Stinnett

Between terrorism and corruption (II)


nemployment is the primary target of every sensible nation's economic policy, but our policy makers seem quite content trumpeting and celebrating our jobless growth. Nationally, at least two in every five able-bodied Nigerians willing and able to work has no job. Income inequality is another serious problem. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in 2010, 65% of Nigeria's wealth is owned by just 20% of the population. This effectively means that 80% of the population share between them only about one third of the nation's wealth. This income inequality manifests itself in conspicuous consumption by a few side by side with abject poverty experienced by the many. Income inequality, unemployment and poverty have been shown to correlate strongly with increases in violent crimes in societies. This cocktail is what US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, referred to when he stated that Nigeria's Boko Haram was capitalizing on popular discontent with bad governance in Nigeria in general and the North in particular. The fact that virtually all indices of development and progress have been deteriorating from 2007 in spite of being a period of high oil prices and production should make every thoughtful person to question what is happening. The Yar’adua-Jonathan administration inherited about US $50 billion in foreign reserves, USD $27 billion in the excess crude account, and only USD $3 billion in foreign debt. Yar’aduaJonathan inherited a country that was liquid and had a strong balance sheet, with BB- sovereign credit rating by rating agencies. The economic prospects were bright if the political economy was managed well. The twin deficits of electricity and rail transport were being addressed through the award of contracts to build seven new power stations and the LagosKano dual-track, standard gauge railway line. Over the ensuing four years, the federation earned another USD $180 billion from oil and gas, import duties and taxes. By 2011, all these resources had been wasted with little to show for it. The excess crude account had been run down to less than USD $1 billion, the reserves drawn down to about USD $35 billion and none of the rail and power

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Labour Minister, Emeka Wogu infrastructure projects completed. What is significant is that since February 2010 when he became acting president, Mr. Jonathan has been borrowing an average of USD $1 billion monthly, mostly by issuing bonds, thereby doubling our total debt levels to nearly USD $42 billion and counting. The federal government is fast accelerating towards insolvency! In April 2007, Sheikh Jaafar was murdered in cold blood while praying in his mosque in Kano by assailants that years later turned out to be suspected members of a sect to be known as Boko Haram, operating out of Bauchi State. However at the time the Sheikh was killed, an attempt was made

to link the murder to the state governor Ibrahim Shekarau. This as we shall see, became a recurring pattern of behaviour by the security agencies in cases of this nature - the politicization of terrorism. In July 2009, Yar’adua deployed the Nigerian Army to ‘crush’ Boko Haram. The leaders of the sect were captured alive, or arrested from their homes and extra-judicially executed by the Nigerian Police. The sect believes that Ali Modu Sheriff, then governor of Borno State and the Commissioner of Police took the decision to wipe out its leadership. They regrouped and went on what was essentially a revenge mission targeting the Police, the Borno State Government and other uniformed services of the Federal Government. That is how Boko Haram evolved from a largely peaceful, fringe Islamic organization to a vengeful sect and currently an anarchist threat to the Nigerian nation. Initially, Boko Haram’s targets were symbols of authority (Police, Borno state government, etc.) and limited geographically (Borno State) in coverage. The attitude of authorities to the sect's activities (e.g. Northerners are killing one another, so we do not care,

Income inequality, unemployment and poverty have been shown to correlate strongly with increases in violent crimes in societies. This cocktail is what US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, referred to when he stated that Nigeria's Boko Haram was capitalizing on popular discontent with bad governance in Nigeria in general and the North in particular

etc.)emboldened them, and when the first bomb was exploded by MEND in Abuja on October 1, 2010, the sect learnt a thing or two about how to grab national attention. As the media gave the sect attention, it mainstreamed its activities to first attack Yobe State then the Federal Capital Territory. The watershed in the sect's activities was the June 2011 bombing of the Police Headquarters and the August 2011 attack on the UN Headquarters. By these actions the sect established the capacity to operate in the nation's capital, outside its original geographic location thus attracting national and global attention. Sadly, between 2009 and 2012, more than 1,000 people have lost their lives as a result of Boko Haram's attacks in Maiduguri, Potiskum, Damaturu, Jos, Kano, Gombe, Kaduna and Abuja. In 2011 alone, Boko Haram attacked 115 times with 550 deaths resulting. According to the World Investment Report of UNCTAD, the Nigerian economy recorded a reduction in foreign direct investment from USD $8.65 billion in 2009 to USD $6.1 billion in 2010 due to the fear of Boko Haram. The Nigerian tourism sector which is worth some N80 billion annually has lost more than half of its value due to fear of terrorist attacks. The domestic aviation industry which generates some N3 billion annually has been hard hit by flight cancellations to destinations in the north, with nearly half of the revenues lost. In Borno state, schools have been closed. In other affected parts of the north, normal social life is unlikely to return soon. In places like Jos, the city is so neatly divided along ethnic lines that the vibrancy and inclusion that has been its heartbeat has been lost for a long time to come. The recent attack on media houses and Bayero University has opened new areas and targets of the sect that should worry the authorities. The North has been the hardest hit with the leading commercial centre, Kano being under military occupation since January 2012. Kaduna, a leading industrial centre has also been repeatedly attacked by the various shades of what is known as Boko Haram. Many of us believe that there are at least four variants of Boko Haram - the real BH and Contd. on Page 35

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, May 11, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, May 11, 2012 Edition