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Vol. 11 No. 17

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Kano arms cache: Court orders SSS, IGP to produce suspects >>3

Sha’aban 3, 1434 AH


David Shikfu Parradang is new Immigration CG >>3

Poverty, unemployment crippling Nigeria — FG NEITI accuses govt of interference By Abdulwahab Isa & Etuka Sunday


he Federal Government through the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has admitted that

the issues of unemployment and poverty constitute a bottleneck to economic mileages recorded by the present administration . The prevalent incidence of poverty and unemployment, the Minister also admitted pose serious threat to stable and strong

economy. She spoke yesterday in Abuja at a Ministerial press briefing that focused on the score card of performance of the Minsitry of Finance. Nevertheless, she expressed optimism that the government is

using several prong measures to tackle the problem of poverty and unemployment in the country. She put the total releases for the 2013 budget at N700 billion representing N400 billion being capital vote for the first quarter and N300 billion for the second quarter.

Speaking on the impasse that has characterized 2013 Budget, she said it was prepared earlier than ever before and passed early by the National Assembly but some grey areas needed to be thrashed out by concerned arms for full Contd. on Page 2

Lagos residents can now burn their dead From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


agos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday signed three new bills into laws to establish the State Christian and Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, the Ibile Oil and Gas Corporation and another to provide for voluntary cremation of corpses and unclaimed corpses. The Governor who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja added that the law for voluntary cremation of corpses and unclaimed corpses in the state and for connected purposes will only apply to those who chose to use that kind of service. “The new law tells the story of a full consciousness of how global Lagos state has become in the affairs of things. “If people migrate here, choose a home here, set up businesses here and believe from where they come that cremation is the best way in which they want to be treated. “I think we should as a global city provide those standard practices as it is done in many other cities in the world and it is for those who choose to use that kind of service. Contd. on Page 2

L-R: Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, receiving relief materials from former Borno state Governor, Alhaji Asheikh Jarma on behalf of Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation, for victims of recent crisis in Baga and Bama towns, yesterday in Maiduguri.

Death sentence: Court fails to rule on Al-Mustapha’s appeal





Death sentence: Court fails to rule on Al-Mustapha’s appeal From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos

























AGF crisis and collateral damages to Northern governors’ unity, Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest










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he Court of Appeal sitting in Igbosere, presided over by Justice Amina Augie yesterday reserved judgment in an appeal filed by Major Hamza Al Mustapha and Lateef Shofolahan, challenging a death sentence handed them by a Lagos High Court. Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer to late General Sanni Abacha, and Shofolahan former Personal Assistant to Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, were sentenced to death on January 30, 2012, by Justice Mojisola Dada. The judge convicted and sentenced them on grounds of conspiracy in master minding the murder of late Kudirat Abiola. During the proceedings, Almustapha’s lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN), while adopting his address, prayed the court to allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the Lagos High Court which convicted his client.

The senior lawyer also insisted that the trial judge erred in law when she hinged her judgement on the testimonies of Sergeant Banabas Msheila (Rogers) and Mohammed Abdul (Katako) which were contradictory. According to Daudu (SAN), “the testimonies of PW1 and 2 were inconclusive and contradictory. The court drew inferences from these contradictory statements, to establish the guilty of the Appellants. “It is my submission that those inferences upon which the court based its judgment, are merely political evidence formulated by the respondent, and which the trial court ought not to have considered. “I therefore urge the court to allow this appeal, and quash the judgment of the lower court.” Olalekan Ojo, counsel to Alhaji Shofolahan aligned himself to the submission of Daudu (SAN). However, lawyer to the Lagos State government, Lawal Pedro (SAN) on his part charged the

appellate court to dismiss the appeal and uphold the judgment of the lower court. The prosecution lawyer also maintained that apart from the evidences of Rogers and Katako, there were other evidence from the defendants themselves, which supports the counts of conspiracy and murder. Pedro,prayed the court to dismiss the appeal for lack of merit. It would be recalled that the convicts were arraigned in October 1999 on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and their involvement in the 1996 Murder of the deceased, along the Lagos/ Ibadan expressway. Justice Mojisola Dada had found them guilty of the offence, and accordingly convicted and sentenced them to death by hanging. Counsel to the appellants had however, appealed to the court of appeal, 24-hours after the sentence of the convicts challenging the judgment.

In the notice of appeal, the appellants contends that the death sentence handed by the lower court was unwarranted, unreasonable and a manifest miscarriage of justice. They contend that the trial judge erred in law by arriving at the conclusion that they conspired to kill Alhaja Kudirat on June 4, 1996. The appellants faulted the Judge’s treatment of the contradictory statements of Barnabas Jabila (a.k.a Sgt. Rogers) and Mohmamed Abdul. They also faulted the court’s reliance on the testimony of Dr. Ore Falomo on the bullet extracted from late Kudirat. According to the appellants, the court’s rejection of portions of Jabila’s testimony which favored them and applying only areas which did not favor them, was a gross miscarriage of justice. The appellants are therefore praying the Court of Appeal to entertain the appeal, set aside the judgment, and discharge them of the charges of conspiracy and murder.

Poverty, unemployment crippling Nigeria Contd. from Front Page implementation to take place. Okonjo-Iweala said government had prioritized some projects making it possible to reduce the total recurrent expenditure to 68 per cent in 2013. According to her: “and let me start with something that we said during the midterm report. “The first is on the macroeconomy. I want to report that the economy is strong and stable. “But of course, we are facing challenges of inequality and inclusion- meaning that even though the economy is strong, we have problems with jobs and unemployment. “We have problems with wanting to eradicate poverty. We need to move faster in order to tackle these problems. “So, we are not saying that everything is solved but we know that the stability provides a platform on which we can use to solve the other problems.” The Minister also noted steady rise in external reserves from $32.08 billion in May 2011 to $48.4 billion as at May 2013 was indicative of stable economy. Other indices of economy

growth as pointed by the Minister include, Excess Crude Account (ECA) which has risen from about $4 billion in May 2011 to around $9 billion at the end of 2012, but now about $6 billion in May 2013. Meanwhile, the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has lamented its treatment by the Federal Government, saying the government is, by its actions, cripples the agency’s activities. The agency, which has won local and international commendations for its audit of the oil and gas industry as well as other industries in the extractive sector, said that between 2011 and 2013, the government slashed its budget by 50 per cent. This was disclosed by the chairman of the NEITI governing board, Ledum Mitee, while speaking to journalists after a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa. “NEITI’s budgetary provisions have continued to dwindle whilst its activities remain on steady expansion and the situation has worsened to the extent that it threatens the agency’s continued performance of its core function.

“By the current funding profile it will be impossible for NEITI to even support some its statutory audits for the current year, if nothing is done to ameliorate the situation,” he said. The chairman said they were at the Villa, “to present to the President a report of what we have been doing so far, the fact that we won an international award at the Sydney global EITI conference held last Month; Nigeria was adjured the best. “What we have tried to identify is that between 2011 and 2013, there has been some 50 per cent reduction in our budgetary allocation which we thought was threatening the smooth operation of our work. “Our responsibility is to identify gaps. The key issue which good out of the meeting was that we have to close the gap between what NEITI is doing and what the economic team is doing. We all acknowledge that there has been some gap because NEITI should be seen as part of the larger economic management team. “We are not just out to find faults, we are there to help government to even raise revenue and identify gaps so that they can be remedied

and that should be seen within the larger frame work of the reforms we all pray for. “Out of the 39 countries that are implementing EITI, Nigeria’s mode of implementation has been rated the best,” he added. NEITI, whose reports have in the past indicted major agencies in the petroleum ministry supervised by petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, had lamented the non-implementation of its report by the presidency, a claim that has never been denied. Mr. Mitee also said the situation of no funds to even support the committees and meetings of the board threatens the EITI’s compliant status. He urged the President to also address the issue of paltry allowances and welfare of its members. “This will in no small measure help to incentivize members in carrying out this sensitive and important national and international assignment”. He said so far NEITI had recovered the sum of N314 billion ($2 billion) out of the N1.534 trillion ($9.8 billion) potential revenue loss to the federation account.

Lagos residents can now burn their dead Contd. from Front Page “Let it not be said that we missed an investment opportunity because we were not responsive to a particular need or we lost interaction because we were insensitive to other people’s belief and this sits well with a report that was brought to my attention yesterday to the effect that Lagos is now just behind Johannesburg as perhaps the most visited African city on the continent.” He reiterated that the state must as expected take her role and provide as many services as possible so that people who come here will know that they have come to an international city where they can make choices. Earlier, while providing insight

into the new laws, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaiye, said the bill on voluntary cremation of corpses and unclaimed corpses in Lagos and for connected purposes is a private member bill that takes into consideration the need to have formal legal structure for the cremation of deceased persons within the state. He added that the bill establishes crematoriums for the state and that there can be no cremations except in crematoriums duly recognized, established and managed according to the law, adding that the new law is a clear attempt to strictly regulate the manner in which cremations will be carried out in Lagos state.

“The law also empowers the Commissioner for Health to appoint a registered medical practitioner with at least 5 years experience as the medical officer in charge of the crematorium office and would work with two deputies with specified duties. While proffering answers on who may be cremated, Ipaiye said there would be no cremation unless there had been an application for cremation made in accordance with section 9 of the law. “It must be the deceased that provides for it in his will or the families of the deceased who could agree to make the application but before it is considered there must be a death certificate issued. “There must also be a certified

true copy of the entry of the deceased death in the relevant registers and there must be a medical certificate and confirmed medical certificate which must certify the cause of the death”. “Section nine provides that where a will is silent, the near relative who may apply must have attained the age of 18. “It also provides that a medical officer can apply for cremation for abandoned corpses which are not claimed after considerable period of time. “The law also talks about the aftermath of unclaimed corpses, as 14 days notice is given after cremation and if nobody claims the ashes, the office can dispose of it,” he explained.




Senate passed 17 bills in last session — Enang Dismisses House resolution on emergency rule By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Chairman of the Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Itah Enang, yesterday disclosed that the Senate has passed a total of 17 bills in the last session, even as he failed to disclose whether or not the passed Bills have been assented to by President Goodluck Jonathan. Briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja, Enang said the Senate

only has knowledge of the number of bills it has passed, but could not say the number which the executive has signed. He also disclosed that a total number of one hundred and sixty bills have been introduced on the Senate floor, including sixteen executive bills, adding that they are at various stages of legislative processes. “Between June 6th and now, the Red Chamber has received

a total number of 24 petitions bordering on wrongful termination of appointments and were referred to its committee on ethic, privilege and petition for further legislative action”, he said. The lawmaker who noted that the state of the Nation address Bill is still pending on the table of the President for assent, also said the Senate is yet to receive a letter from Jonathan on the alleged reversal of his decision to rename University of

Lagos Moshood as Abiola University. In a related development, the lawmaker insisted that the conference committee report adopted by both chambers still stands, arguing that the House of Representatives cannot alter the resolution of both chambers independently. He explained that if any change is to come on the joint resolution of the Conference Committee set up by both Chambers, each chamber must

be carried along. Reacting to the reported resolution of the House which barred Jonathan from accessing the funds of the three states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, where state of emergency was declared, Enang said, “the Senate and the House passed resolutions on the state of emergency and approved the request of Mr. President as contained on the proclamation of state of emergency. “There were differences between what the House passed and what the Senate passed. both houses set up committees and the conference committee arrived at a harmonized position. “This harmonized position was adopted by the house as a result of the conference committee and adopted by the Senate as a result of its own conference committee. Now that is as much as I know, the position on the matter as coming from the National Assembly as yet. “Yes, I am informed that there were considerations by the House of some aspects of it.”

Immigration gets new CG By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

T L-R: Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, Director General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ezekiel Olaniyi Oladeji, Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, Chief of Naval Staff , Vice-Admiral Dele Ezeoba, after a security meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the State House, Abuja. Photo:

he Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), yesterday got a new Comptroller General (CG), David Shikfu Parradang. The Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, made this known yesterday. He said that Parradang is to take over immediately from the acting CG, Rilwanu Bala Musa. Parradang, who is an indigene of Plateau state, was said to be a surprised confirmation following recent crisis that rocked the service over succession.

Kano arms cache: Court orders SSS, IGP, AGF to produce detained suspects By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday ordered the State Security Service (SSS), the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to produce the owner of Amigo Supermarket, Mustapha Fawaz and two other Lebanese suspected to have imported arms cache into the country for alleged terrorist activities. Other suspects currently in detention are Abdallah Tahini and Tala Ahmed Roda. The trial Judge, Justice Adeniyi Ademola’s order that the three Defendants in the matter produce the suspects before it on June 13, 2013, followed an ex-parte application by counsel to the suspects, including Chief Robert Clarke (SAN), Ahmed Raja (SAN)

with 12 others. The suspects had sued the three Defendants challenging their arrest and continued detention. Following the ex-parte motion, the Judge made an order, “directing the respondents, particularly the 1st and 2nd respondents to produce the applicants in court on June 13, 2013. “That it is further ordered that the applicants Motion on Notice dated the 3rd day of June, 2013 already served on the respondents is fixed for June 13 for hearing”, Justice Ademola added. Out of the four prayers before the court, the trial Judge only granted the request of the counsel to produce the suspects on June 13. The ex-parte application read in part, “upon the Motion Exparte dated and filed on the 3rd day of June 2013, praying for

the following: An interim order granting bail to the applicants forthwith conditionally or unconditionally, pending the determination of the substantive Motion on Notice in this matter. “An interim order restraining the respondents from continued arrest, detention, harassment and intimidation of the applicants, their families, relations and/or business interests pending the determination of the substantive Motion on Notice in this matter. It would be recalled that the co-owner of Amigo Supermarket, Mustapha Fawaz, and three others arrested in connection with the armoury and Hezbolla terror cell in Bompai, Kano State, have filed a suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja, where-in they are demanding N50 billion as compensation from the SSS and

its Director-General, Ekpeyong Ita, and the AGF, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) for their unlawful arrest and detention without trial. They have also asked the court to stop the respondents from extraditing them except by a procedure permitted by law. In the application for the enforcement of their fundamental rights, the applicants asked the court to declare their arrest and continued detention without trial by the SSS as, “illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.” They prayed the court for an order directing their release and a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents whether by themselves or their agents from arresting or detaining them except by a procedure permitted by law. A few days after the arrest

of the suspects in Kano, the SSS sealed Amigo Supermarket and Wonderland Amusement Park, but the applicants have asked the court to declare that the action, “was arbitrary and a wanton violation of the right of Fawaz to own property and participate in the minor sector of the economy as guaranteed respectively by Sections 44 and 16(1) of the 1999 Constitution and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights”. The applicants also demanded a public apology by the respondents in three national newspapers for the violation of their rights. Their lawyer, Bamidele Aturu (SAN), in letter to the SSS Director-General, dated June 3, 2013 had complained that his clients had been in detention without trial in violation of the constitution.


The Page 4 Report NGF crisis and collateral damages to Northern governors’ unity By Lawrence Olaoye


he controversial election held in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) with its reverberating consequences on the nation’s political firmament has yet to be fully appreciated. Though originally a mere peer group where notes among the governors are supposed to be collated and compared and comparative advantages exploited, the NGF has since assumed a life of its own, controlling the political compass of the country. Bayelsa state governor, Henry SeriakeDickson, aptly described the present NGF while expressing optimism that the crisis in the body would be resolved for the emergence of a new NGFwhen he said “ But the NGF that will be back, I’m sure is an NGF that would have learnt its lessonan NGF that would have learnt to stick to the founding principle of that organization , which is a peer review mechanism; not a trade union; not a platform for personal political aggrandizement, not a platform for playing partisan politics.” Explaining the reason for the formation of the body, Seriake-Dickson continued, “ We are there actually to compare notes and also to be a platform for collaboration. It is not a political organization; it is not a partisan organization. It is a bi-partisan or multi-partisan organization that enables us to focus on what is the best, how we can deepen democracy and collaborate with the Federal Government on challenges of development, challenges of national security and so on.” But events in the nation have shown that the NGF has transmuted into an influential power bloc pontificating government policies, and, at times, constituting opposition to any of the policies they find objectionable. Ordinarily, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party ((PDP), which boasts of absolute majority in the club, ought to provide the pedestal for support to government policies, but that was not to the case under the leadership of the Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi. The NGF under Amaechi played the most vitriolic opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration especially by publicly rejecting the Sovereign Wealth Fund and rejecting the operation of Excess Crude Accounts, to mention a few. This action, some of the governors, including Seriake-Dickson, believed has over-reached the real purpose of the creation of the NGF and with the support of the Presidency, it’s leadership must change. The Presidency has never hidden its preference for any other person apart from Amaechi to chair the body but the Rivers state governor insisted that he would run for the second term. With his insistence on election, contrary to the NGF tradition of consensus, the stage was set for crisis which is now plaguing not only the main body, but the NorthernState Governors’ Forum (NSGF) under the leadership of the Niger state governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu. Although the election was contested and won by the incumbent, the fallout of the controversies generated therefrom is threatening to tear the usual camaraderie and communion among the governors apart. The collateral damage the election

Gov. Babangida Aliyu into an office, which ordinarily should not attract attention because of its nonpartisanship has done to the ranks of the northern governors is unfathomable. Bauchi state governor, Isa Yuguda, who felt betrayed by the decision of some of his colleagues in the NSGF to renege on their earlier resolve to present the Plateau state governor as their consensus candidate, raised a moral question currently threatening to impact negatively on the leadership of the Niger state governor. Yuguda said “There must be integrity in governance because we governors should be of integrity. We should be role models and we should not play evil politics as far as I am concerned because most people associate politics with evil. If you don’t know how to tell lies; if you don’t know how to betray; if you don’t know how to have double face; you are not a good politician. But me, I am not carved out for that. I am a professional chartered banker. I was MD (Managing Director) of two banks and I served this country as minister twice and as governor twice. My word should be my bond. He continued “And if I sat down with 18 of my colleagues and we agreed on something, I should see the chairman of that Forum as the integrity of the NSGF and, by extension, the NGF. That’s is why I said all the crises and all the unfortunate comments made about the governors today, the fault should be traced to the NSGF because we are the culprits and that is why I say on his honour, let the chairman of the NSGF come out and tell Nigerians that either of the two – we, the 19 Northern governors did not come out with Jang as the consensus candidate, or we decided and picked Jang as our consensus candidate. “So, if that had been done, all these things that we see wouldn’t have happened. That is why I say as far as I am concerned, if I will sit with my colleagues and we take a decision and you go and do a different thing. I’m not part of those

Gov. Jonah Jang

If you don’t know how to tell lies; if you don’t know how to betray; if you don’t know how to have double face; you are not a good politician. kind of things and me, as a person, will not attend the meeting, but my deputy governor can attend on behalf of the people and government of Bauchi State. But, as a person, I will not. That has always been my position. “But let me assure you that if there is no such code of conduct and ethics on the office of a governor, I am telling you, very soon, nobody will want to be a governor. Go and sleep and think over that and you will confirm that I am right. There is honour in leadership and God sanctions leadership. If God has sanctioned leadership in our books of faith, I can’t see evil associated with leadership. So, any person associating evil with leadership and he wants to play in the evil, I am not part of it.” Bauchi state governor’s comments set the tone for the division in the ranks of the northern state governors with its concomitant negative effects on the unity of leaders in the region. Although those in support of the role played by the NSGF Chairman in the whole saga argue that since the nation is under democracy, its tenets must be tried and tested. To them those northern governors who rejected Jang at the poll merely used their democratic power and, as such, should not be crucified. But this goes beyond mere expression of

democratic license because there are fears that the leadership of the north may have unwittingly played into the hands of its political detractors. This is more so when the region is clamouring for return of the Presidency to it by 2015. This clamor obviously would not be delivered in an atmosphere of divisiveness and internal bickering among the leaders of the region. The north needs to be united now than ever. Political watchers are of the opinion that the NSGF’s leadership must work extra hard to ensure cohesion in its ranks ahead of 2015 as division of any nature would only make the region vulnerable for incursion. The bitterness with which Yuguda criticized the leadership of the NSGF and his resolve never to attend its meeting again until its Chairman explains what actually happened that led to the loss of one of their own at the NGF election, signifies the presence of bad blood in the group. This was even made more manifest when only five state governors from the region were present at a recent meeting of the NSGF in Kaduna while seven others were represented at the meeting. Those in attendance included Niger State Governor Dr. Babangia Aliyu, Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, Governor Dankwambo of Gombe State and Nasarawa State Governor, Al-makura. States that were represented by the deputy governors are Kano, Kwara, Kogi, Borno, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto while other states like Benue and Plateau sent their Secretaries to State Governments. Adamawa, Katsina, Yobe and Bauchi shunned the meeting; hey neither sent representatives nor apologies. The danger of continuing in this path, critical analysts posit, is that the much needed unity of purpose for the region to prosecute its political agenda in 2015 would be lacking more so when its leaders would most likely be challenging the status quo for the Presidency.




Birnin Gwari attack: 3,000 villagers displaced as NEMA gives relief materials From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


L-R: Chairman, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Mr. Ledum Mitee, presenting the EITI Best Award won by his organisation to President Goodluck Jonathan, during a visit by NEITI team, yesterday to the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

We lost 21 persons in Jaji bomb blast - Commandant


he Commandant of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCS), Jaji, in Kaduna state, Air Vice Marshal Eko Effiom Osim has said that the Jaji Military Cantonment lost a total of 21 persons, including officers, men and children to bomb attack. The Commandant also disclosed that about 48 other victims of the attack were still receiving treatment at the

expense of the college after eight months after. Osim disclosed this while briefing members of the House of Representatives Committee on Defence, who were on an oversight visit to the college yesterday He said due to the sad incident of the bomb blast, that the military cantonment saw the need to relocate the communities that have sandwiched the military cantonment.

“The communities have grown so big that they have become like a cancer to the military cantonment, making it possible for all kinds of people to infiltrate the military community” The Commandant also told the committee that though efforts were on to relocate the communities by the Kaduna State government, AFCS has taken measures to engage leaders of the communities and seek

their understanding in respect of security of the military base. According to him, some of the community leaders are now on the payroll of the college and have been assisting greatly to Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Defence, Hon. Bashir Adamu Kazaure, said they were at the college to monitor the implementation of the college’s budget for 2012 and the first quarter of the 2013 budget year.

PDP NWC: Adeyanju’s application stalls hearing By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


n Abuja High Court yesterday could not hear the suit seeking to sack the Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Sam Jaja and 17 other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), because of an application for substitution filed by the party’s National Auditor, Mr. Fatai Adeyanju. Three members of the ruling party, Abba K. Yale, Yahaya Aruwa Sale and Bashir Maigudu had approached the court for an order nullifying the election of Jaja and 17 others and to also declare their positions vacant. Apart from Jaja, other NWC members, who are battling to keep their jobs are, Bala Bawa Ka’oje (National Treasurer), Solomon Onwe (Deputy National Secretary), Umar Tsauri (Deputy National Auditor), Olisa Metuh (National Publicity Secretary) and Bode Mustapha. The others are, Dr. Kema Chikwe (Women Leader), Victor Kwon (National Legal Adviser)

and Anunakar Mustapha (National Organizing Secretary). The plaintiffs predicated their suit on the basis that the affected NWC members were not nominated and elected in accordance with the constitution and guidelines of PDP) and as such should not continue to hold office. The matter which was slated for hearing (pending applications

preliminary objections and counteraffidavits in reply to originating summons), could not go on owing to the application for substitution brought by the party’s National Auditor. Counsel to the applicant, Oluyede Ajibola, had moved the application praying the court to substitute the name of the 3rd defendant and former Auditor, Hon. Bode Akin

Mustapha with his. Oluyede argued that since he is now the national auditor, it was only proper for him to have been listed as a co-defendant rather than Mustapha, whom he said was removed from the office, consequent upon an order by the Federal High Court in Lagos. The trial judge, Justice Suleiman Belgore, adjourned the matter till July 4, 2013 for ruling on the motion.

World Bank predicts climate change as barrier be applied to key economic sectors, to Nigeria vision 20:2020 including agriculture and land use, By Etuka Sunday


he World Bank yesterday submitted through its reports that Climate Resilience and Low-Carbon Growth was critical for Nigeria’s Economic Future, but advised that if the challenges posed by climate change in Nigeria is not properly addressed, it could hamper Nigeria’s ability to achieve its ambition -set out in Vision 20: 2020- of becoming one of the world’s 20 largest economies by year 2020.

In the Nigeria Climate Change Report Launch & Press Conference held in Abuja, the two new World Bank reports argued that Nigeria’s economy could be made more climate-resilient and less carbon-intensive without foregoing growth. The studies are the fruit of a two-year long collaboration between the World Bank and the Government of Nigeria to address the challenges posed by climate change to Nigeria. The reports identify specific technologies and management practices that could

water resources, oil and gas, power, and transport. Speaking the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Federal Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said “the 2012 floods in Nigeria were a stark reminder of the vulnerability of our communities, infrastructure and economy to climate-induced natural disasters. These studies will help inform decision-making across key sectors and levels of governments so that the economy becomes not only more productive but also more climate-resilient.”

ore facts emanated from the last Saturday’s robbery attack in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State as theNationalEmergencyManagement Authority (NEMA) confirmed that about 3,000 villagers were displaced from their homes following the attack that killed four people in the area. Officials of NEMA North WestZone who distributed relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) said most of the victims have taken refuge at Doka primary school in the nearby village. It was gathered that after a rapid assessment, the agency confirmed four persons killed, two injured while no fewer than 3,000 persons are displaced, taking solace at Doka Primary school. It was also gathered that 18 out patients, among them 7 children, are receiving treatment at the Primary Health Care (PHC) in Doka. According to NEMA, among communities affected are Goron Dutse, Anguwar Baushe, Kanon Haki, Kuiga, Mai-Gatari, Angwar Idi, Kumuna, Mai-Dorayi & others. NEMA’s coordinator who was represented by the Head of Administration, Hajiya Amina Ahman,handedoverthereliefitemsto the district heads of Goron Dutse and Gayan on behalf of the IDP’s who fled their communities.

Money laundering: Lagos Speaker to be rearraigned June 24 From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


ustice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, yesterday further adjourned the plannedre-arraignmentoftheSpeaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji and his Personal Assistant (PA), Oyebode Alade Atoyebi to June 24, 2013. The adjournment became necessary due to the failure of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to effect service on the speaker. The anti-graft agency had accused the speaker of involvement in money laundering on an amended 56-count charge. According to the amended charge dated June 4, 2013, the Speaker and his aide were accused of conspiracy between April 2010 and August 2011 to carry out illegal act to wit; accepting various cash payments to the tune of N673million from the State House of Assembly without going through a financialinstitutiontherebycommitting anoffencecontrarytosections18aofthe money laundering act 2011. During proceedings, counsel to the Speaker, Tayo Oyetibo, (SAN), told the judge that his clients were not served withthecourtprocesses,letalonebeing informed about the re-arraignment. The former trial judge, retired Justice Okechukwu Okeke had onApril24,2013adjournedthetrial indefinitely, blaming the prosecution for the indefinite adjournment.


Briefly Court remands lover boy for bathing girlfriend with acid


n Ikpoba-Okha Area Magistrate Court sitting in BeninCity yesterday remanded 22-year-old Cyril Okosun in prison for bathing his girlfriend, Blessing Ikhumuhi, with acid. The accused was alleged to have on 9th April, 2013 at Dumez road poured acid on the face and body of the girl after she allegedly terminated their relationship. Counsel to the accused, Fidelis Oriafo’s plea for bail was objected to by the prosecutor, Inspector Victor Ehiorobo, on the grounds that the victim was still in a critical condition at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) in Benin-City. By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin



Ribadu is an ethically challenged hypocrite – Presidency By Udenna Orji


he battle for 2015 took a new dimension yesterday with a no-holds-barred response by the Presidency to All Progressive Congress (APC) Chieftain, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu’s description of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government as a “sinking ship.” Dr. Reuben Abati, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Media and Publicity, in a statement yesterday said, “the Presidency totally rejects the false, hypocritical and self-serving claim by Mallam Nuhu Ribadu at a lecture in Kaduna on Saturday that Nigeria under President Goodluck Jonathan is a “sinking ship” in which the yearnings of the masses are being neglected by a tyrannical leadership. “We find it very sad and utterly

deplorable that Nuhu Ribadu has resorted to shameless wolf-crying, the peddling of arrant falsehood and the denigration of the elected government of his fatherland in furtherance of his selfish quest for continued national political relevance after his wholesale rejection by Nigerian voters in 2011.” The Presidency noted that, “it is very unfortunate indeed that the once highly respected former EFCC Chairman has now taken to political prostitution and developed a penchant for irresponsible and reckless utterances aimed at improving the electoral fortunes of his new friends and “leader”, who he once famously denounced as a crook who is “not fit to hold public office. “There can be no doubt that nothing else but blind ambition for an office for which he is clearly unfit is driving Ribadu to

infer that an Administration led by a President who welcomed him back to the country after his self-imposed exile, restored his rank in the Nigeria Police to save him from the shame of demotion and converted his dismissal from service to retirement has now become tyrannical and anti-people. “If Nuhu Ribadu wants to talk of tyranny then he should talk of the days when he orchestrated the impeachment of governors with an illegitimate quorum of legislators who had been threatened by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under his watch. “It beats the imagination that Nuhu Ribadu, a man who once presided over an EFCC which in 2007 compiled a list of disqualified politicians aspiring for office without a court order or legal backing now has the guts to accuse

the man under whom Nigeria has had the most credible elections in this Fourth Republic of being the leader of a “sinking ship.” “Nothing else but misguided ambition could have driven Ribadu to urge Nigerian youth to rise up and save the country from an administration which he willingly served recently, but which he now duplicitously and insincerely claims is “imposing private interests on the majority. “It is certainly the height of hypocrisy for Ribadu who built his entire reputation as an anticorruption crusader by completely disregarding the rule of law and recklessly trampling on the rights of perceived enemies of the government of the day, to now accuse an administration that has consistently upheld the rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights of being tyrannical.”

“Nigeria set to emerge Africa’s biggest economy”


nformation Minister, Labaran Maku, yesterday declared open this week’s Ministerial Platform session by saying that “Nigeria is poised to leapfrog South Africa and become Africa’s largest economy in the next decade.” Maku made this known in a session at the National Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja. According to him, “Nigeria’s economy is now one of the fastest growing in the world. In the next decade, the Nigerian economy will become the largest in the continent.” By Emmanuel Eko

Abandoned contracts: Reps summon Water Resources, River Basin officials


he House of Representatives has summoned top officials of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and their counterparts in the River Basin Authorities to explain the abandonment of myriads of projects across the country. Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Rep Solomon Adeola, made the disclosure yesterday when the Management team of the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority, Yola, led by its Managing Director, Engr. Suleiman Naibi Musa appeared before it on the queries raised against it by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation which bordered on three different contracts totaling over N767.7m. Adeola lamented that most of the River Basin Development Authorities in the Country had several queries against them dated back to 2003 financial year running to several billions of naira which bordered on contracts abandonment and diversions which they had refused to defend till date. By Lawrence Olaoye

L-R: Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam, Commissioner for Housing, Malam Muhammad Ago Dala, during the governor’s inspection visit to the 300-bedroom red Bricks housing estate, yesterday in Damaturu.

ACN supports insurgency, PDP alleges By Lawrence Olaoye


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday accused the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) of trying to use the press as a subterfuge to hide its support for insurgents and to whittle the current efforts by the Federal Government to end acts of terrorism in the country. The ruling party which threw its weight behind President Goodluck Jonathan said contrary to the claims by the ACN, no part of the Presidential Order proscribing terrorist groups, directly or indirectly violated any

provision of the constitution or impinged on the freedom of the press in the country. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement made available to newsmen described the allegation by the ACN, that the Order was aimed at gagging the press, as despicable and a clear indication of how far the opposition party can go to distort facts to support violence and cause disaffection among Nigerians. “Our attention has been drawn to a statement sponsored by opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in which, in its usual homage to falsehood, de-

ceit and distortion of facts, tried to suggest that the recent Order by President Goodluck Jonathan proscribing groups engaged in acts of terrorism violates the constitution and (is) aimed at stifling the press. “This deliberate distortion of facts clearly betrays ACN’s support for such groups as well as the heinous attempt to whittle efforts by the Federal Government and well-meaning Nigerians to end insurgency in the country”, the statement said. “For the avoidance of doubt, no section of the Order stifled the press; violated or seeks to violate any provision of the con-

stitution. Instead, the Order reinforced the provisions of the constitution guaranteeing the security and welfare of all Nigerians. “Section 5 (1), of the Order which the ACN is kicking against prescribes a term of imprisonment of not less than 20 years ‘’for any person who knowingly, in any manner, directly or indirectly, solicits or renders support for the commission of an act of terrorism or to a terrorist group. “The ACN is feverish because the Order defined “support” to include ‘’incitement to commit a terrorist act through the

JUNE 12: Democracy colloquium holds at Abiola’s residence From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


minent Nigerians and leaders of thought from all walks of life will gather at the residence of the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections,

late Bashorun MKO Abiola in Ikeja, Lagos to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the June 12 Democratic Movement of Nigeria. The event is being organized by the June 12 Movement in collaboration with Kudirat Initiative for Democ-

racy (KIND), led by Abiola’s daughter; Hafsat. In a statement issued on behalf of organizers by Mr Olubori Obafemi, this year’s solemn assembly tagged: “June 12 and the way out of Nigeria’s instability” is designed to be an

agenda-setting breakfast national democracy colloquium, where eminent political leaders in the country are expected to pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice of MKO Abiola to the actualization of the current democratic dispensation in Nigeria



Money Sense

Making financial resolutions in difficult times


any folks are happy to see last year fade into the distance. Between the rollercoaster stock market, tightening credit availability and falling home values, most of us have taken a financial beating. With a new year already running to the mid and plenty of opportunities to learn from past mistakes, here are a few financial resolutions that make sense for these troubled times: Trim expenses. Many people have gotten out of the habit of watching their spending. A few relatively painless ways to save hundreds – or thousands – of dollars a year include: • Regularly balance your checking account to avoid bounced check and overdraft charges. And try not to use ATMs outside your bank’s network. • If your employer offers them, use flexible spending accounts to pay for health and dependent

Money Tip:

Ways to save money Cancel your gym membership If you pay your N20, 000 a month by direct debit and you use the gym three times a week, great. If not, cancel your membership immediately. You’ll soon save enough to buy your own bike and, if you’re so inclined, a rowing machine. Consider running home from work three times a week. It’s free. Use your library The local library is a Mecca for the money saver. You’ll never need to buy another cookbook, guidebook or lifestyle manual again and if you can bear to wait a few weeks in the queue for the latest blockbuster, you never need to buy books again. CDs and videos are great value too. The three-for-two trick Now, there’s a lot to be said for buy-one-get-one-free deals, especially if they pass the ‘Do I really need this?’ test. Then there’s three-for-twos; a particularly cynical way of stores to entice shoppers to buy an extra item they would not otherwise buy. The ‘offer’ is always priced into the deal so do your sums and shop around.

Quote Real success is not on the stage, but off the stage is a human being, and how you get along with your fellow men. -Sammy Davis, Jr.

care expenses with pretax dollars. If you’re in the 25 percent federal tax bracket, that means expenses you’d have paid for anyway will cost 25 percent less. • Reduce energy bills by turning down the thermostat, weatherproofing your home, turning off “energy vampire” appliances when not in use and buying energy-efficient appliances. • Cut back on restaurant meals and to-go coffee and brown bag your lunch to work. • Raise insurance deductibles; and while you’re at it, shop around for better rates. Track your credit. A bad credit rating can disqualify you for a mortgage, car loan and credit cards, or raise your existing interest rates; plus it may prevent you from renting an apartment or getting a job. Review your credit reports for errors or fraudulent activity and report any you find to the bureaus immediately. Use credit cards wisely. Some banks and retailers have begun tightening eligibility requirements and lowering credit limits for their credit cards, so it’s important to use your existing accounts wisely. A few tips: • Always pay at least the minimum amount due and never miss payments or due dates. Any of those actions could generate fees or raise interest rates. • Don’t overburden any particular card or use more than

30 percent of its available credit – that can ding your credit score. • If you’ve got outstanding balances on multiple cards, try to pay off the ones with higher interest rates first – that can save you hundreds of dollars over the long term. Stick to your budget. Spending more than you bring in is a recipe for disaster. Plus, you should have several months’ living expenses set aside in case you should lose your

job, have a medical emergency or experience other unplanned events. Visa Inc.’s free personal financial management site, Practical Money Skills for Life, features an easy-to-use, downloadable tool called My Budget Planner that can help you track income and expenses and make spending adjustments where necessary. Prepare for the worst. If something terrible happened

to you, would your family be protected financially? Make sure you have a valid will, durable power of attorney, health care proxy and a living will, along with adequate disability and life insurance. No one can accurately predict when our economy will turn around. So take a few steps now to protect your family’s financial security in the meantime.

Don’t wait for pension money… begin early retirement planning

In a very simple term, retirement is the point where a person stops employment completely. Many people choose to retire when they are eligible for private or public pension benefits, although some are forced to retire when physical conditions no longer allows the person to work anymore (by illness or accident) or as a result of legislation concerning their position. Nowadays, most developed countries have systems to provide pensions on retirement in old age, which may be sponsored by employers and/or the state. While

conventional wisdom has it that one can retire and enjoy more from his investments year after year, this would not have worked very often in the past. This is because when one makes periodic inflation-adjusted withdrawals from his retirement savings, he makes meaningless many assumptions that are based on long term average investment returns. According to Julie Ewald, a personal finance expert, “In an ideal world, we would start contributing to our retirement savings accounts the moment we receive our first paycheck from

our first job. With the rumour mill of declining social security benefits, you can no longer rely on this form of funding in retirement. In this time of fiscal uncertainty, there are many financial decisions that can make or break you during your formative years.” She believes that there are worst financial decisions you can make in retirement which must be avoided. Some of them include: assuming you will retire at a specific age. Ewald added: “There are many factors that can influence the age at which you retire, some of which are not in your control. An

unfortunate lay-off, forced early retirement or unseen health issues can cause you to retire earlier than expected. If you are counting on the last few years of savings to set everything in order, you may find yourself with a lack of income in a tough job market. This is why it is absolutely imperative that you begin your retirement planning as soon as you can.” She went further to identifying another worst financial decision during retirement to include people’s reliance on the advice of friends and family instead of a professional. According to her, “Everyone has a friend or family member who is a self-proclaimed financial genius. They may even provide great tips for saving, but it is still best to sit down with a professional who can directly assess your finances. Your friend may have done a great job with his or her own retirement, but this doesn’t mean he or she understands your specific needs. In a worst-case scenario, he or she knows even less than you do. “You don’t need to be wealthy to sit down with a financial planner or retirement specialist. The earlier you begin creating a retirement plan, the easier it will be to manage in the future. The value of a professional who can integrate all of your income and savings into a cohesive plan cannot be understated,” Ewald added.




Nigeria’s power nightmare give of its widow’s mite to help a part of Nigeria that is today ravaged by a sectarian insurgency. An outpouring of refugees from Borno will put an enormous strain on Niger’s already weak economy. However, it is a big shame that with all its oil wealth and several other energy sources, Nigeria’s


everal national newspapers tucked away in their inside pages a 5-inch deep story about Borno state government paying neighbouring Niger Republic to supply power to the state’s border communities that are not connected to the national grid. A 33kv transmission line built at Mallamfatori will tap electricity from Bosso in Niger. Commissioner of Housing and Rural Electrification, Alhaji Sugun Mai Mele, didn’t reveal the cost of the pact when he spoke recently with journalists in the state capital, Maiduguri. But he was convinced the border communities would, for the first time, “enjoy uninterrupted” electricity. The Borno story, in spite of the scant press mention it received, put in sharp relief what the minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, agrees is an embarrassing “nightmare caused by human beings led by evil forces”. There are two ironies in the story. Here you have a tiny nation giving to its big southern neighbour that shouldn’t be in want; and secondly, it is taking from its dedicated power line in Nigeria, donated by the federal government. We, at Peoples Daily, commend the Nigerien government for coming to the aid of a needy ‘big’ brother. We know that it is in Niger’s enlightened self interest to

Another reason is that the slow pace of the government’s privatization of the power sector was “not anticipated”. Unbelievable! national grid has been unable to guarantee sustained power supply. The World Bank only last week ranked Nigeria next to India as the country with the poorest power accessibility. The two ministers of power immediately afterwards confirmed that only 20% of Nigerians have access to electricity which is erratic at best. “We’ve 160 million Nigerians, but we’re giving power to only 40 million. What this means is that there are about 120 million without power”, admitted

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

Minister of state, Mrs. Zainab Kuchi. Her senior minister, Nebo, described the power challenge as “a nightmare”. If the situation is nightmarish, Nebo’s explanation of the drop in power distribution from 4, 000 mega watts to 3,200 is confounding. According to him, the reduction is a result of inadequate budgetary allocation for maintaining equipment in the previous year (2012). Another reason is that the slow pace of the government’s privatization of the power sector was “not anticipated”. Unbelievable! The mess in the privatization programme has been piling since the Obasanjo years. To say the loss in momentum was not expected is to be economical with the truth. The third reason Nebo gave was that this year’s rains have so far destroyed 4 transmission lines. Why didn’t his ministry foresee this after NIMET had warned of heavier rainfall this year than last year’s which led to the country’s worst ever flood disaster for decades? With officials who are not ready to admit government’s failings the power tunnel will get darker in the coming months and even years. Even the 10, 000 mega watts promised at the end of 2014 will be a mirage for as long as there are “human beings” like these willing to be “used by evil forces”.











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Opinion If Gani Fawehinmi were on Twitter By ‘Sola Fagorusi


he name Gani means activism, it means distaste for oppression. Any child who was vocal and fearless was always dashed the soubriquet, Gani. Now that Gani’s name has been thrown up in Nigeria’s public space side by side the issue of social media deployment for social justice, it is perhaps important to imagine how Gani would have deployed the Jack Dorsey invention for use and the Mark Zukerberg brainchild for voicing his opinion. Gani’s chamber was one of the first digital chambers in the country. Gani was an early adopter and a pacesetter. Concord Newspaper, now defunct, had done an extensive feature severally on how the late chief’s office had a number of decent IBM computers several years before desktop computers became the norm in the country. His 46 years old chambers which was shut in January, 2011 was one of the most digital compliant legal firms in the country. It was reportedly the largest law chamber in the country with about 290,000 law related books. The chamber was a factory of sort producing several By Ogwochukwu Ogwanyi


he other day, a rumpus ensued in a banking hall where a customer accused the bank in question of deliberate attempt to defraud him. What was behind this allegation? He used the bank’s Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to recharge his phone with N2,400 worth of airtime, but there was nary an airtime on his phone yet the amount was deducted from his balance. The aggrieved customer said he had complained repeatedly to the bank for which they always gave him a complaint form to fill that he dutifully filled yet the sham wasn’t rectified. This, he maintained, has lasted for five weeks hence his resolve to come hard on the bank. Don’t lose focus, what you are expected to glean from that is the failure of ATMs! Cases like the above must have necessitated the investigation launched by the House of Representatives and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) into allegations of indiscriminate seizure of customers’ money by the malfunctioning Automated Teller Machines of banks. But it doesn’t stop at the seizure of customers’ money. What have become of ATMs and what has been made of that machine are multifarious. There was this instance in Lagos where a customer who withdrew money from an old generation bank went to another bank few metres away to deposit part of the money only to be told by the cashier that some of the N1000 notes were faked. Efforts to explain the source of the money were rebuffed as the cashier and other customers in that bank confirmed that the development was not strange but was now becoming

other legal luminaries that now inhabit Nigeria’s legal firmament. His chamber’s production of the Nigerian Law Weekly Reports which he founded and edited may have been helped by this digital embrace. No legal titan in Nigeria arguably patronised and was loved by the press like Gani. Cover stories were run from interviews with him. Opinions were written about his thought on national issues. Editorials were offered on several instances on why he should be set free on several occasions when he was arrested. Tell Magazine unprecedently ran a cover on him three times. It is not in contest that Gani Fawehinmi would have had one of the largest followership on twitter if he was alive today. The occupy Nigeria protest would also have been another outlet for him to vent his spleen on antipeople governance. Even in death, Nigerians gravitated towards him and little wonder it was the Gani Fawehinmi Garden with his statue that Lagosians rallied to as meeting point for the #OccupyNigeria protest. Gani’s protests and legal backings kept several student activists in school. The Senior

Advocate of the Masses protests and that of others was part of what forced Gen. Babangida to step aside. It also forced opening of the political space for more parties. Twitter, according to Jack Dorsey - one of the co-founders of twitter, is that short burst of inconsequential information. In 140 characters, Gani would have made his trademark scathing remarks on national issues. He would have upbraided the government during the fuel subsidy issue. He would have told us his view about the renaming of the University of Lagos. On twitter, Gani would have told us his opinion about the amnesty that was recently offered to the Boko Haram sect by the Federal Government. On twitter, Gani would have offered priceless thoughts on the now embarrassing election by the Nigeria Governors Forum. Gani would undoubtedly have become owner of his own content – reaching the people in a timely and coherent manner. The Gani we know however would have ensured a convergence of the new media and the traditional media even as his views would continue to unsettle any mindless policy.

Even in death, Gani’s name is revered. Currently there are about 13 pages and groups laying claim to the name on Facebook. A page where he is described as the peoples’ Field Marshall and with news items and post that don’t sound Gani-like stands outs with 4,508 likes. The page was registered September 8, 2009; 3 days after Gani’s demise. Alive, Gani’s page would have been a must for journalists covering the law beat before going to press. There is no noticeable twitter handle in his name. Winner of several local and international awards including his highly esteemed membership on the Ghandi Foundation in 1971. His non-violent rallies earned him prison terms on irregular occasions. From Panti Police Station to CID Alagbon up to Gombe Prison, Gani saw the colour of their inner walls. Named man of the year several times by Nigerian newspapers, including the Punch Newspaper in 1997, Gani rejected the Order of the Federal Republic Award in 2008. Lawyers, especially those with the activism tilt may need to do more using this social media

tools and drive policy issues in this country with frenzy in the way Gani possibly would have. It is not about enlisting alone but also about regular use of these platforms. Olisa Agbakoba seems to have a decent social media live with even a blog to complement. Femi Falana also has a Facebook presence. None of the about 7 handles on twitter bears his signature. Bamidele Aturu, one of Gani’s protégés has a decent following on Facebook as well but with 726 followers on twitter. Shehu Sani’s use of Facebook for socio-political commentary however blazes the trail, always offering passionate thoughts on contemporary national issues. But for the cancer which took Gani’s life on September 5 2009, Gani most definitely would by now have taken the Federal Government to court on its contract plans with Elbits System to spy on Nigerians communications. It is two days to June 12. Was Gani alive, he would have offered those with feeble memory a treatise on the fairness of the June 12 presidential election using newspaper interviews, rallies, status updates and tweets. ‘Sola Fagorusi@SolaFagro on Twitter

Banks, ATMs and our money rampant. Similarly, another victim who withdrew some amount of money from an ATM in Ibadan was stunned when he was told by a cashier in his office, as he was making some deposit, that two of the one thousand naira notes were faked. Electronic transactions through ATMs have been bedeviled by other inefficiencies that are impinging on its wide adoption and reliability. There are times when the machine will swallow customers’ card outright while at other times it will keep customers longer than should be before their money and cards are ejected. Many are already developing phobia for the machines to the extent that but for the policy that specifies the least amount that should be paid across the counter, they wouldn’t mind opting for the old school! At least, through that means the fear of being giving ersatz note wouldn’t surface. Suppositions are rife that the seizure of customers’ funds in the guise of malfunctioning ATMs are calculated attempts by banks aimed

at using unsuspecting customers’ money to ease the financial pressure on them. This is as an elephantine sum would have been realised by the banks when they aggregate the funds realised from the purported incidences. We will indeed be talking about millions of naira being deliberately denied customers while the banks are feeding fat on same. Is it a wonder that it was confirmed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that as at the first quarter of this year, banks in Nigeria have defrauded unsuspecting customers to the tune of N8.6bn aside the fraud perpetrated through ATMs. Now we know how they come through with those huge profits they flaunt before us year in, year out. Industry players are always quick to attribute this anomaly to their ATMs not being in good condition. But how can they be in good condition when most of them have become antiquated? And how come with all the money the banks are ripping of customers they can’t provide modern machines that are flawless? All these reek of an

intended gambit. Internet failure has also been adduced as to why the current situation persists. But with the innovations that go with the internet phenomenon, no serious-minded organisation would in this age allow internet failure to hamper its operations or give it a negative toga. If we don’t hear of this in other climes, why should our banks tell us this tale? The banks that seem so handicapped on ATMs withholding customers’ funds will never tolerate a customer’s default on the repayment of loan even for a day without sanction. In such an instance, we don’t even hear of internet failure affecting what they know of the loan. The probe already instituted by the lawmakers and CPC is a welcome development as the banks would continue to indulge in this if no searchlight is beamed on them. The racket must have persisted because there has been no sanction to make banks responsible by ensuring that their ATMs are always in a good condition and that they don’t hide under the lapses of electronic

The banks that seem so handicapped on ATMs withholding customers’ funds will never tolerate a customer’s default on the repayment of loan even for a day without sanction. In such an instance, we don’t even hear of internet failure affecting what they know of the loan. The probe already instituted by the lawmakers and CPC is a welcome development as the banks would continue to indulge in this if no searchlight is beamed on them

transactions to undo customers. The investigations should therefore be thorough not excluding the cases of the machines dispensing fake currency note. This cannot be attributed to the failure of ATMs as it is a clear case of human element. As such the scrutiny should be targeted at unearthing these unwholesome acts. It shouldn’t end with the investigation, neither should the probe be conceived as another scarecrow. The banks that would be revealed as culpable should be appropriately sanctioned. At least let a fall guy be made out of one of them then the rest will fall in line. The banking industry should take measures to rid itself of this smirch that is denting on its image. There is the need for them to take extra vigilance on those uploading money into the ATMs and double-check bundle of currency notes being put in the vaults. If they can’t get a handle on the supposed machine factor, let them not less than control the human element. With the much puffed cashless policy of the CBN, we are in for a chimera if we allow this to continue. For there is no way the economy can go cashless when people don’t have confidence on the conduit through which this can be achieved and the apparatus for the policy are skewed to defraud users. But if we are carefree enough to allow these go unchecked, then should we know that we would only have succeeded in making people have less of their cash in the stead of empowering them to make the most of a cashless economy. Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi is on LinkedIn.


Letters & Opinion


Cyber espionage: How safe is our cyber space? By Edwin Ekene Uhara


any Nigerian businesses have gone online! From internet banking to virtual world connection, our lives have been made easier via the World Wide Web. Like the advantage of a fast air travel with the disadvantage of a dangerous air crash, the information super high way has enhanced knowledge, facilitate business transactions and put more money in to people’s pockets, especially the ICT tycoons in the Silicon Valley. But terms like cyber war, cyber attacks and cyber espionage are making our cyber lives debilitating! According to Wikipedia, cyber espionage is the act or practice of obtaining secret information without the permission of the holder. This was the case when the United States Defense Department accused the Peoples Republic of China’s Liberation Army of backing cyber attacks against the United States Defense Networks so as to map out areas of vulnerabilities that could be exploited during crisis times. According to the VOA news report, China’s primary goal in the cyber attacks is to steal America’s industrial technology. The report also adduced that China will deploy several aircraft carriers over the next 15 years. But, reacting to the claims by the US, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said, the US Defense Department has released this type of report year after year to justify a defense build

up and hype most popular the so-called methods among China Military these “yahoo threat. The yahoo boys” Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, report ended now is the use text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written by saying of extractor to that the obtain people’s contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters United States e-mail addresses - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your Government where they send name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be is spending unsolicited addressed to: billions mails known as of dollars spam mails to developing people. Before The Editor, cyber defense now, some Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, and cyber professional 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. weapon fraudsters had capabilities, used Distributed Email: saying “13 Denial-ofSMS: 08134607052 cyber war fare Service (DDoS) teams would to disrupt and be ready by 2015 to focus on “Taking a business model from deny people, banks and other offensive responses if the United the US and bringing it unchanged institutions network services. States is attacked in cyber space”. to China doesn’t usually work”. Sometimes, those fraudsters will In 2009, Google threatened What is in the country is build a prototype website of a to leave China, claiming that the hacking, where internet fraudsters popular establishment and they e-mail accounts of its Chinese popularly known as “Yahoo yahoo will be using it to send spam mails users and activists have been boys” hack in to peoples accounts to people, asking them to upgrade hacked among other claims that where they obtain personal their accounts. This is the type I were reported! The development information and use it to defraud get every day! led to a diplomatic row between their “Maga”, a language they use When any one makes a the United States Government in describing their victims. In fact, mistake by entering his or her and the Chinese Government. vital personal information and a particular state governor in the But, in an article entitled: other data demanded, the person country was compelled to change “Google’s Act of War against will deeply regret his or her one of his GSM numbers because, China”, which appeared in the decision. Sometimes I forward the particular number was Forbes Magazine in January those spam mails to relevant cloned by those fraudsters who 2010. The author of the piece, government agencies and some got the backing of the governor’s Shaun Rein, claimed that Google affected companies demanding political enemies, and they were is using state censorship as a for feedback or collaboration using the cloned number to on how to expose and catch the guise to leave China because it send threatening messages to people behind such disingenuous could not compete with “Baidu”, prominent people in the country, practices, but, because we live in China’s largest search engine! with the aim of incriminating a country where one must occupy While warning against copycat the governor, but the governor a particular office before you are business scenario, Mr. Rein said: in question acted smartly. The


hypocritically attended to, they usually ignore them. Sometimes, I doubt if those agencies ever read their mails. Let me not talk of the non-existing mails or non-functional e-mails some of these agencies advertise to create the impression that their public relations departments are up to the task, whereas all is a ruse! The need to secure our cyber lives is more needed now than ever before. According to reports, there are about 48,366,179 internet users in Nigeria. Facebook users are 6,630,200. Our, 3.9 percent Facebook penetration is very little compared to major countries in Africa. For example, South Africa has a population of about 48,810,427 people, but Facebook users in the country are 6,269,600 with Facebook penetration rate of 12.8 percent, while Egypt’s population of about 83,688,164 has Facebook users of 12,173,540 and penetration rate of about 14.5 percent. As our internet usage is growing, relevant agencies must be pro-active. They should stop advertising non-functional e-mails. Large Corporations should not depend on one server alone; they should have their websites hosted on different servers so that, when one server is attacked, others will be safe. Telecommunications Companies should strictly monitor their staffs to avoid any unethical practices! Comrade Edwin Ekene Uhara is on edwinuhara@

Failed extortion attempt and Abuja plot saga By Ibrahim Sarkin Yaki


he interview granted by Alhaji Tukur Mamu, the publisher of a controversial Kaduna-based weekly magazine raises some posers. I think the central issue is whether or not he requested for a N15 million bribe from the FCTA through Nosike Ogbuenyi, the S.A., Media to the FCT minister so that he would discard his so-called book on his imaginary rot in the FCTA. I found his denial unconvincing for the following reasons. One, he did not state when he made a proposal for the media consultancy he spoke about that necessitated his sending an sms requesting for payment of N15 million, as well as forwarding his account number to the media aide. If he were not telling a lie, he should have stated how the proposal was done and approved. How was it submitted and on what date did he make the submission in the minister’s office? Why didn’t he tender his acknowledgement copy upon submission of the proposal? On what basis was the proposal made? It is strange for Mamu to just claim that a contract was proposed, negotiated and awarded via telephone. I think the publisher cum author needs to tell Nigerians more. Otherwise, he stands guilty of soliciting for bribe. Again, I find laughable his attempt to introduce

ethnic and religious coloration into the matter rather than address the issues raised. As a Muslim, I can attest that this matter has nothing to do with religion, ethnicity or the structure of the management of FCT. Abuja is the centre of unity of Nigeria and a place that is supposed to reflect the diversity of the Nigerian nation. Therefore, if there are Igbos, Hausas, Yorubas, Ijaws, Igalas, Nupes and Kanuris working under the FCT minister, there is nothing abnormal about that. Nosike is a detribalized Nigerian who is known to have worked in five states of this country with people of diverse ethno-religious backgrounds. For

instance, he served under Engr. Muhammed Abba Gana, former Minister of FCT about 11 years ago. Nosike has friends and associates that cut across the religious, geographical, cultural and ethnic divides of the country. An NGO, Unity and Tolerance Initiative, he co-founded with 10 like-minded Nigerians from Borno, Katsina, Kogi, Plateau, Rivers, Ogun and Akwa Ibom states, is today in the forefront of promoting national unity, peaceful co-existence and tolerance among all Nigerians. He remains the pioneer national coordinator of the NGO. One can deduce what looks like the antics of a drowning man on the part of Mamu trying to hold on

One finds curious Mamu’s persistent preoccupation with the Director of Treasury of FCT, Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai. There is a feeling here that when you create fear or when you harass the man in charge of the treasury, the traducer may be in a better position to achieve his aim of extorting money from the system. But I think in this case, the opposite has turned out to be the case as the FCTA authorities have simply refused to pay an unmerited amount of N15million to Mamu

to straws like the NUJ Chairman. He manifested this in his attempt to blackmail the NUJ Chairman in the FCT, Comrade Chuks Ehirim. Mamu forgot that Abuja is a cosmopolitan city made up of journalists from all backgrounds. For these journalists to have found Ehirim worthy to represent them as their chairman means that he represents all shades of journalists in Abuja. Therefore, it is very unfair for the Desert Herald publisher to attempt to box him into a particular ethnic corner. One finds curious Mamu’s persistent preoccupation with the Director of Treasury of FCT, Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai. There is a feeling here that when you create fear or when you harass the man in charge of the treasury, the traducer may be in a better position to achieve his aim of extorting money from the system. But I think in this case, the opposite has turned out to be the case as the FCTA authorities have simply refused to pay an unmerited amount of N15million to Mamu. Again, here it suffices to challenge the publisher to prove to the world the wrong that Bomai has done to warrant the kind of distraction and attack he has been getting from his so-called kinsman. The other question is why Mamu opted to send his company’s account number with the First Bank to the SA, Media. Furthermore, what evidence has

he to conclude that the Director of Treasury was a billionaire or that he was corrupt? The answer obviously is none. If he truly wished to find out how the funds of the FCTA have been utilized, the right places for him to go should be the offices of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Auditor General of the Federation. In the case of FCTA, I’m aware that its accounts have been audited for the 2012 fiscal year and that all the accounts were found to be in order. Why is one person in charge of the treasury of FCTA always singled out for intimidation and blackmail by Mamu and his cohorts? I think there must be something of interest here and that nectar cannot be anything but money. At any rate, both the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, and the Director of Treasury, Alhaji Bomai remain transparent public officer and civil servant respectively. They have nothing to hide at all and therefore do not entertain any fear concerning any story or book by Mamu and his gang. The only caveat is for them to be cock-sure of their facts in their so-called book because any form of falsehood or libel in it would be visited with a ferocious legal challenge in the law courts. Ibrahim Sarkin Yaki contributed this piece from Garki, Abuja.


By Ose Oyamendan


very few months I text my friends who once flew the countries’ flag proudly, some with funny demands and almost all of them with funny American accents. Some of them have done surprisingly well at big meets and some have choked spectacularly. But, they all have one thing in common – a passion for everything Nigerian sports. I always wonder loudly why they waited for their glory days to roll by before they lit the fire to their nationalistic passion. They all assure me that the fire was always there but “Naija no serious”. Anytime I text any of them, I normally get a long return call. I listen to them because you can’t doubt their love for Nigeria. And, when you love Nigeria you gotta cry for a country of almost 200 million people that went to an Olympics and came back empty handed. In some countries with some maverick leaders, all the sports leaders will be cleaning their nails in jail. But, in Nigeria, the leaders build new mansions. You could make a great comedy show about the chiefs of Nigerian sports. You think politics is bad, try sports. There was this new sports chief who identified the biggest problem in sports development in Nigeria and made it a crusade to remove him from his exalted office. The great thing was he’d heard the brash president proclaim the man a thief. So, he thought he had an ally in his boss. One day, he got a call. The boss was removing him. The subordinate whose head he’d put on the chopping block was not only staying, he was spotted grinning By Ifeanyi Uddin


t is official! “As at now, our external indebtedness is as low as US$6.67 billion or about 3 percent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP.” Thus the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, putting value to a concept that only recently began to cause consternation amongst local commentators on the state of the economy. The latter’s position, arguably deploying much larger values for the country’s gross external debt than the minister has so kindly obliged, has been essentially that we are headed into a “debt peonage” every inch as familiar and harmful as that which we allowed to build up in the 1970s and 1980s. The minister demurs. Not just is the final tally of our external debt (to date) much smaller than the doomsayers have indicated. Relative to our domestic output, it is piffling. Indeed, the cost alone of servicing our previous debt burden, before we so graciously exited the trap, was in multiples of the current total external debt count — US$8 billion in 2006 and US$10.1 billion in 2005. And we owe this new debt, contracted on concessional terms, “to foreign creditors such as multilateral agencies [like the Africa Development Bank, World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank], as well as other bilateral sources [including the China Exim Bank, the French Development



Why Naija isn’t serious with the president not long after. Money talks, ideas die. Then there was the new sports chief that showed up with a revolutionary broom. Everyone expected him to sweep away the big cogs slowing Nigerian sports down. The biggest cog gathers his fellow directors, writes a big, fat check and visited the new chief. They shook the chief’s hand and he laughed all the way to the bank. Ideas die, money talk. But, this weekend we were not talking about sports chiefs. We were talking about wasted opportunities. The occasion was the collegiate athletic championship in Oregon, America. The field was packed with the best talents in American college sports, quite a number of who were Nigerians. The strange thing was that many of the foreign

collegians wore their national flags on their sleeves. The East Africans wore their national bracelets. The Europeans brandished their national wristbands and tattoos. The Asians were absent because this was track and field after all, not what Alex Akinyele in his time at the helm of sports called “take one and do”. But, the way you knew the Nigerians was by their very Nigerian names. I was torn between hurt and anger. “Abeg, go siddon, Naija no serious – how will they know what to do when their own country doesn’t guide them?” a former Olympian told me. That struck me as strange because after the laughable outing at the Olympics, Nigerian sport chiefs told the nation they would start preparing for the next Olympics, just like

the failed chiefs before them had done. You will assume preparations include scouting talent. But, in Nigeria sports when there’s no dough to be made no one cares. Nigeria would be a secondtier sports power if only it does the simple thing of scouting for Nigerian-born talent properly. Just from this weekend field alone, Nigeria can groom a medal or two. Representing your school at these finals are as tough as qualifying for the Olympic finals. Giving these kids some love and support for the next three years may just mean glory. Most of the serious nations had scouts all over the meet. You can bet the “ogas on top” were busy at some party or giving lip service to sports department. In three years they will roll out the same speech of starting preparations

Nigeria would be a second-tier sports power if only it does the simple thing of scouting for Nigerian-born talent properly. Just from this weekend field alone, Nigeria can groom a medal or two. Representing your school at these finals are as tough as qualifying for the Olympic finals. Giving these kids some love and support for the next three years may just mean glory. Most of the serious nations had scouts all over the meet. You can bet the “ogas on top” were busy at some party or giving lip service to sports department. In three years they will roll out the same speech of starting preparations right away again

right away again. When the coaches submit a program, the chiefs hand them to the groundnut sellers by the roadside. It is not only track and field. Nigeria-born future stars are everywhere you look - boxing, football, swimming, tennis and most other sports. A couple of years ago, I was in England at my favorite team. I have more than a sporting interest in the team so I asked for and got a tour of the facility. I met a Nigerian kid in the youth team set up. He was surprised I was getting a tour. I was surprised he has never considered representing Nigeria even though his father was once a local star in Nigeria. Kid tells me he knows little about Nigeria. All he knows are from the foreign press – 419, kidnapping, corruption and the other good stuff. His teammates with roots in the Caribbean or some of the African countries sometimes get invitations from the embassies. But, not him or kids from Nigerian like him. Sad thing is, England and these foreign countries will cap kids like these in a meaningless friendly and dump then. Then they will regret not giving Nigeria a look. But, it would be too late. Just like it is always late for Nigeria, our dear country, who starts preparing for the next Olympics on the day of the past failure. Only that we all know that preparation is not in talent. It’s in making the chiefs’ account fat. Ose Oyamendan is a Los Angeles-based Nigerian filmmaker.

Why do we still borrow? Bank or the Japanese Aid Agency], or to private creditors such as investors in our Eurobonds”. What has changed? The French critic, journalist, and novelist, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr writing in 1849 (admittedly about matters quite different) put the problem we confront on our external debt pithily: “the more things change, the more they stay the same”! Those who worry about our “rising debt profile” appear to have forgotten the least and learnt the most. When in October 2005, the Paris Club of Creditor countries

announced that it had reached agreement on a comprehensive treatment of Nigeria’s debt the following members of the Paris Club participated: representatives of the governments of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. In addition, representatives of the governments of Australia, Canada and Norway as well as the International Monetary Fund,

Experience does, however, teach that in Nigeria, the road from “under-borrowed and well able to meet debt service obligations” to “a debt trap and the regular capitalisation of due payments” takes a fork in the road where oil prices reach much lower than our domestic planners expected. There is strong reason to believe that we are nearing this junction. Therefore, despite the finance minister’s panglossian take on the subject, we do well to be very concerned

the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Secretariat of the U.N.C.T.A.D. were observers to the negotiations. Technically, therefore, in terms of the character of our creditors, not much has changed since 1970. Nor has much changed in terms of the conditions of the credit. We have nearly always borrowed from bilateral and multilateral sources on concessional terms. In those days too, creditors included gallingly seductive moratoria on initial service and repayment (often as long as 10 years) to sweeten the loan deals. And anyone who remembers the atmosphere in the 1970s, when higher oil prices meant a higher revenue take at the federal level will recall that most foreign “experts’ on our economy then did argue that we were under-borrowed. As indeed, the Honourable Minister of Finance may be suggesting in our new circumstance. Experience does, however, teach that in Nigeria, the road from “under-borrowed and well able to meet debt service obligations” to “a debt trap and the regular capitalisation of due payments” takes a fork in the road where oil prices reach much lower than

our domestic planners expected. There is strong reason to believe that we are nearing this junction. Therefore, despite the finance minister’s panglossian take on the subject, we do well to be very concerned. Part of our problem is that we have failed to take advantage of relatively strong oil prices since 2004 to address structural imbalances in the economy, including our continued dependence on oil revenues for most of our spending, a huge and growing domestic debt burden, decrepit physical and social infrastructure, the dead hand of the public sector on the economy, etc. Essentially then, the economy is not much changed from 2004, just before the epic debt write-off. I have heard arguments to the effect that similar to 2004 though it may be, the economy is different from what it was in the 1970s and 1980s. There have been changes, true, but, largely all at the margins. All of which (at present) is reversible, at any point, going forward. Thus, if we must borrow, it should be to change the structure of the economy in a way that supports its resilience and long-term growth prospects. Ifeany Uddin’s professional profile is on LinkedIn



BRT: FCTA gives transporter 6 months to withdraw ‘one-door buses’


he FCT administration through its Transport Secretariat has given Shaansi Ltd., one of the intra-city high-capacity bus mass transit operators in the territory, six months to withdraw its one-door green buses from the roads. According to Secretary of the Secretariat, Mr Jonathan Ivoke, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday, said the marching order followed the rejection of use

of one-door buses for Bus Rapid Transit operation. He said:“I have instructed them (Shaansi) to clear them, we have written to them and given them six months; we have shortage (of buses) that is why we allowed them; as we do not use one- door bus for mass transit.” Ivoke however maintained that the FCT had not commenced the operations of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) scheme. He said that was because the

roads had not been demarcated adding that ``what we are doing now is big bus capacity transit.’’ When contacted on the safety implication of the onedoor bus, the FCT Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Kayode Fanola, told the news agency that it was too early to comment on it. Kayode, however, said that the commission would observe the new mass transit system

Stranded Luthansa passengers, on Sunday at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

for a while to be able to advise the administration on safety implications, particularly on the one- door bus. It would be recalled that the FCT administration began a new mass transit system of high capacity buses in the territory on June 3. The new system put an end to the operations of mini buses shuttle across the city centre and restricted them to satellite towns and area councils.(NAN)

Agony as water scarcity hits Gwagwalada residents By Usman Shuaibu


he residents of Gwagwalada Area Council in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been hit by acute water scarcity in the area. It was observed that the rainfall that turned drinking water to muddy colour contributed to the scarcity of water. A water vendor Mr. Yahaya Ali, said that he had increased the price of the water to make up for the long journey he had to go, in search of water in the area. According to Ali, water vendors in the area now spend averagely two to three hours to get the product at the water board because of the long queue Another water vendor, Mr. saleh Lawal, also said that they used to sell 6 to 7 trucks a day, “but now one would hardly sell three or four trucks because of the number of people waiting to get the commodity from the water board.” On his part, a resident, Mr. John Peter who told Peoples Daily, said for the three days he had to endure the hardship of going to some streets to get water from the vendors at a very high cost. “My problem is not the cost of the water, but getting the product when you need it; and though the water vendors are selling one jerrican of water for N30, as we do not bother because we want the product for domestic uses”, he stressed. When Peoples Daily visited the water board in the area, one of the officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the leadership of water board was undertaking some repairs at the water board, while assuring the current water scarcity would be over this week.

Photo: NAN

Constitution Review: FCT indigenes hail inclusion of ‘Mayoralty’ system By Stanley Onyekwere


n indigenous group in the Federal Capital Territory, Original Inhabitants Development Association of Abuja (OIDA) has commended the Senate Committee on Review of the 1999 Constitution for adding breath to their aspirations through the inclusion of a mayoralty system of governance for the nation’s capital, in its recommendations. The group said the development gives credence to the indigenous people’s quest for democratization of governance in the territory,

as contained in its memoranda submitted to the National Assembly and as earlier proposed by the Barrister Solomon Ewuga-led ministerial committee on FCT Indigeneship, Land and Political Administration in Year 2000. In a statement yesterday, jointly signed by the President of the group Pastor Danladi Jeji and Mr. Emma Ezeazu of the Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE), OIDA noted that the recommendations of the Senator Ike Ekweremadu-led Committee is in tandem with the people’s desire for a democratic system that allows Abuja indigenes and other Nigerians

resident in the city to freely elect leaders that can be directly held responsible by them. “If passed into law, it would pave way for a democratically elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor, which will aid good governance and accountability to the FCT electorate unlike the present ministerial system that lacks transparency and accountability to the people. “It will also put Nigeria on the global map as one of the nations with an elected mayor that runs the capital city in accordance with the aspiration of its residents and the nation”,

statement maintained. While urging the House of Representatives to make public the results of the Peoples Public Session conducted in the two constituencies of the territory, the group called on the green chambers endeavour to tow the line of the Senate committee, in order to “dismantle the military contraption that presently serves as administrative system in the nation’s capital.” It however expressed hope that both arms of the Federal legislators will pass the bill as proposed, while calling on the 36 states Houses of Assembly

to expressly vote for the amendment when presented to them. Furthermore, it called for two additional Senatorial districts and four more House of Representatives constituencies to be created, as “the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and National Assembly prepares for constituency delineation across the country.” “Because of population explosion in Abuja, in addition to more legislative seats in the National Assembly, we also want ten additional local government areas created in FCT”, OIDA emphasized.

… As ALGON scribe applauds inclusion of LG autonomy


he National Publicity Secretary of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Mr. Danladi Zhin, has applauded the inclusion of local government autonomy as part of recommendations in the ongoing constitutional review process.

The ALGON scribe, who made this point in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, described the inclusion as a move in the right direction, which would bring the government closer to the residents of the FCT. In his words: “For a long time,

we have been asking that local governments be given full autonomy to operate just like state governments; which commend the committee for. “When the bill is passed into law, residents of FCT will have the opportunity to exercise their civic right by voting their leaders.

“The powers of the local government chairmen and councillors will be exercised to the fullest when given the autonomy to operate; and dividends of democracy will be felt by the people when the government is closer to them.” The Senate Committee on Constitution Review has been

commended for including local government autonomy in its recommendations. Mr Danladi Zhin, Zhin said the inclusion was a move in the right direction as it would bring the government closer to the residents of the Territory. (NAN)




Police arraign Cashier gets 3 months man over alleged cheating imprisonment for stealing N2.9m T O ne 34-year-old cashier, Iseye Adeshina, was sentenced to three months imprisonment by an Abuja Grade 2 Area Court in Kado, for stealing the sum of N2, 910, 215. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Simeon Ibrahim, told the court that Adeshina, a cashier with Xeron Company, Abuja, collected the sum and diverted it to his personal use. Ibrahim said one Tunde Oyemiyi, a representative of the company, reported the case which bordered on criminal misappropriation to the Utako police station on March 26. He said that N20, 000 was

recovered from the convict during police investigation. The prosecutor said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 309 of the Penal Code punishable with two years’ imprisonment or fine. The convict, who had pleaded guilty, asked the court to tamper justice with mercy. Ibrahim said the company representative told the police that the cashier usually deposited the proceed from the company in the bank. He said that unknown to the company; the convict would deposit the thousands and divert the hundreds into his personal

use. He said the auditors of Xeron Company discovered that the cashier had not been depositing the ‘hundreds’ in the account. The representative said that when the convict was questioned by the company, he admitted to having committed the crime which he had been doing for the past four years. He told the company that he was ready to pay back using his land and car document as collateral pending when he would get a buyer. The convict, however, submitted the said documents to the company and was sacked and

arrested, he added. The Presiding Officer, Ahmed Ado, sentenced the convict to three months imprisonment with an option to pay a N4,000 fine. Ado said the court would write to the company asking for the release of the documents to enable the convict get a buyer so that he could pay back the lost amount. He asked the convict to write an undertaking with the court and the company stating when the money would be paid back. The presiding officer however warned Adeshina not to fail or he should be ready to face the wrath of the law. (NAN)

he police have arraigned one Ojo Hassan before a Karu Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja, for allegedly cheating one Idowu Akanbi of N402,000. However, Hassan, of Gurudu Village, Abuja, denied the one-count charge of cheating preferred against him under Section 322 of the Penal Code. The prosecutor, Sgt. Mohammed Garba, told the court that the accused collected the money claiming to be an herbalist. “The complainant needed some medication for his mother who suffered a stroke. “The accused promised to help Akanbi and collected the said amount from him but failed to honour his side of the agreement, but instead, he converted the money to his personal use without considering the health condition of Akambi’s mother”, he said. He said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 322 of the Penal Code. Chief Magistrate Hadiza Dodo granted the accused bail in the sum of N500, 000 and a surety, who must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court. She adjourned the case to July 15 for further hearing. (NAN)

Four held over kidnap of 3-month- old baby

Hawkers on the street of Mararaba, yesterday.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Impersonation: Driver jailed four years


Senior Magistrates’ Court in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, has sentenced one driver, Peter Audu, 23, to four years imprisonment for impersonating as a naval officer Audu of Ado Life Camp, Abuja, was also charged with being in possession of property suspected to have been stolen. The convict had pleaded guilty to the charge and the prosecutor asked that he be summarily convicted under Section 127 of the

Penal Code. The Magistrate, Mr H.A. Abundaga, sentenced the convict to two years imprisonment for being in possession of property suspected to have been stolen and two years for impersonation. The prosecutor, Joseph Ahawa, had told the court that one Solomon Dala of the Department of Social Service (DSS), Karu Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, lodged the complaint on June 6.

Ahawa said the operatives of the DSS National Headquarters, Abuja, led by A.D. Suru, arrested the convict opposite Royal Dream Hotel, Mararaba, on April 24. He said one Diploma Examination Result slip 2005/2006 bearing Igwi Modestus .O. from Enugu State University of Science and Technology was recovered from the convict. One student identity (ID) card of National Association

of Business Administration and Management, Dorben Polytechnic, and one Nigeria Navy ID card, both bearing Ruth Awute, were also found on him. He said the convict removed the passport of the actual owner of the ID card, a naval officer, and affixed his own on it. The prosecutor said the offence contravened sections 319 (A) and 132 of the Penal Code. (NAN)

Man remanded in prison over possession of dangerous weapon


Mararaba Upper Area Court sitting in Nasarawa State has ordered for the remand of Isah Adamu of Shopping Centre in Mararaba, in prison for allegedly possessing a dangerous weapon. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Joseph Ahwa, told the court that

one Aminu Usman of Mararaba lodged a report about Adamu at the `A’ Division Police Station on June 5. “On that day, Adamu went to an apartment belonging to a group, known as the United Hunters Association, of which he is a member, but, according

to the complainant, the accused trespassed. “While he (Usman) was trying to use his torchlight to see who it was, Adamu held him and threatened to injure him with a sword,’’ Ahwa said. He said the offence contravened the provisions of

sections 348, 397, 265 and 95 of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The judge, Mr Vincent Gwahemba, ordered that Adamu be remanded in prison custody, and adjourned the case to July 8 for hearing. (NAN)


our persons have been remanded in prison, for allegedly kidnapping a three-month old baby, following an order of an Upper Area Court in Mararaba. They are Salom Zakariya,Cleteus Gabriel, Destiny Chimezie and Shamsiya Tijani, all of Mararaba. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Steven Kwaza, told the court that one Innocent Mgbado reported the matter at the Sani Abacha Road Police Station on May 24. He said: “The four accused persons conspired and aided one Melody, whose surname is still unknown; to kidnap a baby girl named Wonderful Innocent, belonging to the complainant.” The police prosecutor added that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 97, 85 and 273 of the Penal Code, but the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding judge, Mr Vincent Gwahemba, ordered them to be remanded in prison, and adjourned the case to June 19 for hearing. (NAN)




NERC and its moves to resolve electricity issues in Kano - Pg 20

Etisalat to invest over $500m on network upgrade - Pg 21

L-R: Director, Special Insurance Institution Department, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Mr. Bashir Dada Umar, Managing Director, NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, Executive Director, Operations of NDIC, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa, and Director, Research Policy and Internal Relations of NDIC, Dr. Jacob Afolabi, during a workshop for operators in micro-finance banking sub-sector, organised by NDIC, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

SaGas Energy begins conversion of Nigerian vehicles for gas use as auto fuel From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


major leap in the on-going efforts at providing gas as alternative automobile fuel was taken yesterday, when Sagas Energy Company Limited, a subsidiary of Dangote Group and the pivot of the new technology in Africa began the conversion of heavy-duty trucks for use of gas as fuel. The conversion ceremony, which held in Lagos yesterday and witnessed by top officials of Sagas, Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) and the partnering Prins Autogas West Africa Limited, was in furtherance of the execution of a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) signed three months ago between Sagas and the NGC. Of the 5,000 trucks belonging to the haulage arm of the Group, Dantrans, which were scheduled for conversion as at the time of this report, about 200 has been successfully converted to the new system and now, the trucks are able to run on both Gas and Diesel (dual fuel usage). Under the arrangement, the NGC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is to exclusively supply Sagas with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for 20 years while Sagas converts PMS (petrol) and diesel engine vehicles in Nigeria with kits to

…NGC commends initiative adapt the engines to the use of gas as obtained elsewhere outside the African continent. Journalists and guests were conducted round the conversion centre at Ikeja where the conversion process was going on. Chief Operating Officer of Prins Autogas, Henry Van Tienen, rode on an already converted truck test-driven to the admiration of all present. Tienen explained that the conversion was a novel technology in Africa and that the use of gas either as alternative fuel or a mix blend with diesel has advantages over any other fuel currently in use. According to him, with the kickoff of the conversion, Nigerians are in for a new technology that would help in conserving fuel, and could deploy the abundant natural gas into good use with a cleaner environment. He disclosed that conversion centers would be established at various points across the federation while the gas filing stations would located at the fuel filing stations through accredited dealers scattered across the country. Tienen said the use of the new technology is safe, convenient, cheaper and more efficient and that as time goes on most Nigerians would prefer the

technology to the traditional fuel. Speaking at the ceremony, Chairman of Sagas, Sani Dangote, expressed happiness at the commencement of the vehicle conversion soon after the agreement was signed with the NGC, saying the ceremony was meant to demonstrate to the public the capability of Sagas to deliver as promised during the agreement signing. The Sagas boss disclosed that 5,000 trucks would be converted within a year and that the kit to convert 1000 are already on ground and advised commercial vehicle owners as well as in industrial and private owners to avail themselves of the benefits of the new technology. He stated that the Sagas would source gas from the NGC, through its vast network of pipelines and compress it to a cheaper, cleaner and sustainable alternative fuel or dual fuel for profitable business. In his remark, the Managing Director of NGC, Engr. Saidu Mohammed described the agreement as part of the gas revolution agenda of the government saying the nation has enough gas and that it was a good thing that the gas is being domesticated for commercial use. Engr. Mohammed said he was overwhelmed by what he saw and that going at the present

level, not less than half of the vehicles on Nigerian road would have been converted as it would have been established that the new system is cost-effective and would certainly reduce the cost of vehicles maintenance. He stated that NGC with a network of about 1,500 km gas pipeline, Nigerians would be able to get affordable gas as fuel, safe and devoid of environmental pollution. He however advised that the system should be domesticated as soon as possible so that the conversion kits and the cylinders would be manufactured locally in order for the employment generation aspect to felt quickly.

CBN engages stakeholders on publicity of cashless policy

- Pg 22


Communicate what you’ll accomplish in your first 90 days


s a new hire, you’ll have 90 days to make an impact. So it’s not surprising that many interviewers ask the question: “What do you hope to achieve in your first three months?” Have a thoughtful answer ready — one that helps people envision how you’ll work with your team, present to your boss, and talk to customers. Start by describing the role in big-picture terms. Say briefly how you think the position fits into the larger organization. Then define the

challenges you would face. Draw on perspectives from outside the organization, like what industry experts say, or how you’ve seen similar challenges dealt with at other companies. Lastly, offer clear recommendations. Avoid giving a bland, predictable answer like: “I wouldn’t make any changes before learning more.” But don’t promise more than you can deliver either. Source: Harvard Business



Energy Company News



laxoSmithKline Consumer Plc have said that the company is committed to making sure that oral hygiene of Nigerians is been secured and guaranteed especially the kids in an annual Macleans Milk Teeth Children’s Party held at the Ikeja City Mall. The Macleans Milk Teeth Children’s Party is a yearly organised by GlaxoSmithKline, and it has continued relentlessly to use it as a medium to minister to parents on the usefulness of the Macleans Milk Teeth tooth paste the only locally manufactured kid’s tooth paste in Nigeria in our portfolio. Macleans milk teeth toothpaste in Nigeria is the only locally manufactured kiddies tooth paste in Nigeria.

Revelations Water Technologies Inc.


n American-based company, Revelations Water Technologies Inc, has preferred to do business in Nigeria instead of Mexico as earlier planned as Nigeria has continued to be the toast of foreign investors. The firm introduced potable water filter called Primeau into the Nigerian market with the primary objective of helping people get safe drinking water in a consistent and affordable manner. From the demonstration of the system at the unveiling of the four litre capacity product which has backwash capability, in Lagos last week, the machine was able to filter mixture of water and ink to pure drinking water.

Consolidated Discounts Ltd


etails of financial statements presented to shareholders of Consolidated Discounts Limited (CDL) at the company’s 17th AGM held in Lagos showed that its total assets grew by 26.6 percent to N96.26billion from N76.05billion in the preceding year. The company achieved a significant milestone in 2012 as total equity position (shareholders funds) of the firm crossed the N25billion market. Total equity position of CDL stood at N26.15billion, up 22.7 percent from N22.63billion in the preceding financial year. Consolidated Discounts Limited is owned by Union Bank, Mainstreet Bank, Skye Bank, First Bank, and Williams Street Trustees.

NERC and its moves to resolve electricity issues in Kano


Last week, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) launched its Kano Forum Office as part of its complaint redress mechanism to handle all complaints by consumers of electricity in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states respectively, writes Etuka Sunday

he NERC, under the leadership of Dr. Sam Amadi, is one parastatals under the Ministry of Power that has been very consistent in ensuring that Nigerians have optimal access to electricity services and are provided with adequate supply that is affordable, reliable, and safe as well as ensure that there is fairness in regulation for all stakeholders, in accordance with the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (EPSR) 2005. As an independent watchdog and regulatory body for the power industry, NERC has taken several customer protection measures, like the ‘Customer complaints handling standards and procedures; connections and disconnection procedures for electricity services; customer service standards for distribution companies and meter reading; cash collection and credit management for electricity supply’, amongst others. As part of its efforts to meet the customers’ needs, especially in the areas of metering and billing practices, NERC introduced a new metering scheme called Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) and mandated the electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) to immediately commence the implementation. CAPMI provides a platform for willing customers to pay the cost of the meter into a designated account jointly managed by the DISCOs and meter vendor/ installer. Once payment has been effected, the customer will have their meter installed within 45 days, by a NERC accredited vendor/installer. That was not all; NERC also introduced a customer complaint redress mechanism where they are advised to lodge their complaints. Customer complains to Customer Complaints Unit (CCU). But where the CCUs fail, customers can take their complaints to the NERC Forum Offices which will be operational in all electricity distribution offices nationwide. In line with that plan, Kano Forum Office for electricity complaints was commissioned last week Tuesday at No. 2, Miller Road, Bompai, Nasarawa G.R.A, Kano and charged by the Commission to hear and resolve customer complaints on appeal in the operational area of every Distribution Licensee. Complaints that may came to the Forum are complaints not settle at the Customer Care Unit (CCU) situated in the Distribution Company.

With that, an electricity customer must first report any grievance to the Customer Complaint Unit (CCU) of the Distribution Company before bringing such unresolved complaint to the Forum. Where the aggrieved party is not satisfied with the resolution at the Forum, an appeal can be forwarded to the Commission for consideration, after which a hearing is constituted to resolve the complaint. The Forum which was commissioned by Hon. Mohammed Ali Wudil, Member House Committee on Power was to handle all complaints by consumers of electricity in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states respectively. As a complaint redress mechanism, the Forum is also expected to resolve customer complaints that are not resolved at the DISCO level. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the Secretary to the Kano state government, Dr. Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, who represented the Executive Governor of the state, Gov. Rabiu Kwankwaso said, “Kano is one of the most populous states in the nation. It is also the second most industrialised state in the nation apart from Lagos. But we however observed that the distribution of power is in favour of Lagos; therefore, the Forum should look into it while the state government meets with the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo to ensure that the issue is addressed fully,” he said. The Governor lamented the closure of many industries in the state due to lack of electricity, which he said has increased the rate of unemployment but disclosed that the Kano state government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with German company to generate 15MW of solar energy in the state. “Another 35MW is to be generated from Shalawa and Tiga Dams. With these on board, and also what we hope to get from Kano DISCO, we are sure that many industries will function again,” he affirmed. He pledged the support of the Kano State Government in providing the enabling environment that would see the Forum succeeds in its task. In a goodwill message, a member, House Committee on Power, Hon. Mohammed Ali Wudil said that the inauguration of the Forum was necessitated by numerous complaints from the electricity consumers, adding that plans are on the way to make

D-G NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi the unit more efficient. According to him, it was a call for National Assignment, therefore the Forum members were chosen based on their qualities, integrity and experiences, which he said would be brought to bear in the responsibility allotted to them. Hon. Wudil called on the electricity consumers in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states to make good use of the Forum as a court, promising to remain resolute in ensuring that the Road Map on Power Reform, passed in 2010, is achieved. Earlier in his welcome address, the representative of the Chairman/CEO, NERC, Dr. Abba Ibrahim Armaya’u said that “NERC has been active in the discharge of its statutory duties. One of it is to safeguard the interest of its customers while at the same time ensuring that the service providers rights are not comprised,” he stated. Dr. Ibrahim added that “the well-being of our customers is sine qua non to our viability and sustainability in business, therefore, this Forum office has been established to handle all unresolved electrical disputes between this company and aggrieved customers in the three States of Kano, Jigawa and Katsina. It is a step further in providing the consumers the opportunity to appeal so that all complaints are resolved timely and satisfactorily.” He disclosed that “between January and April, 2013, we have been able to address (278)

customer complaints in Kano, Jigawa and Katsina, which would have given a negative consequences in our efficiency because all the complaints were technically related. We urge our customers to join us in fighting corruption by reporting all cases of extortion to customer unit,” he frowned. He further revealed that a total number of 269, 524 Kano residences has been metered, while 204 were given as unmetered maximum demand customers, adding that a total sum of seven billion Naira (N7bn) was required to bridge the metering gap in Kano. The Forum Members are: Ali Safiyanu Madugu, from Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Naseer Kura Ja’afaru, Non-Governmental Organisations, Suleiman Bello, from Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mining and Agriculture, Abubakar Ahmed, from Consumer Protection Council, and Idris Ibrahim Daho, from the Nigerian Society of Engineers. One of the major functions of NERC is to ensure electricity companies provide the Nigerian consumer with steady power supply and efficient customer service. With the Forum Office now commissioned in Kano, undue charges to an aggrieved party would be reversed, unfair business practices would be prevented and hazardous electrical services being offered would be withdrawn through its directives.




Etisalat to invest over $500m on network upgrade Stories by Chris Alu


he Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria , Steve Evans has said that the telecoms company has gotten approval from its shareholders to invest $500 million to upgrade its network to ensure good service delivery. He said part of the investment will be channel toward providing

3G services as demand for data is rising in the telecom space. He expressed the readiness of Etisalat for the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) recently launched by Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). According to him, “Etisalat launched its MNP campaign on June 3, six weeks after the system

was launched by NCC, because we are preparing our network for quality service delivery as well as to ensure that the porting process is smooth with operators playing by the stipulated guideline of the system. We are now going to spend more money, because the process is smooth and we are comfortable with it”. He noted that the quality of

service on Etisalat network has significantly improved, which ensures worthwhile experience by their subscribers. Evans added that as at May 31st, Etisalat recorded a high performance in NCC’s key performance indicator audit report, where it scored 98% in the Call Success Set-up Rate (CSSR), less than 1% in the drop call

rate, and 0.3% on the Signaling Congestion, with NCC’s approved target at 1%. The company’s boss however, disclosed that several thousand telecom subscribers have ported into Etisalat, more than the number that have left the network, adding that Etisalat runs promo in a responsible manner that does not adversely affect its network.

Airtel rated ‘Best Brand’ on Facebook - Social Bakers Slot Systems


ocial Bakers, an analytic tools, statistics and metrics for Facebook has rated leading Telecommunications Services Provider, Airtel Nigeria, as the ‘Best Brand’ in Facebook Engagement Rate. The global social media analytics company also revealed that Airtel has crossed the 500,000 fans mark on the popular social media platform. Facebook Engagement Rate measures how well fans interact

with the content an organization or brand posts on the popular, social media platform. It also takes into account Likes, Comments and Shares of a post of a particular brand to the total number of fans of the brand at the time it was posted. According to Social Bakers, Airtel currently has the most engaging page in Nigeria on Facebook and is the third most popular Facebook page in the country.

In the report published on-line on the Social Bakers Corporate Website, Airtel Nigeria scored the highest engagement rate in the country with a 78% engagement rate and also recorded a large fan base of 512,566.00. The report focused on top 10 Nigerian brands on Facebook namely GTBank, MTN, Airtel Nigeria, Nokia Nigeria, Etisalat Nigeria, The First Group, Heineken, Always Nigeria,

Samsung Mobile Nigeria and According to Emeka Oparah, vice-president, Corporate Communications & CSR of Airtel Nigeria, , the report is a confirmation of the company’s commitment to realizing its vision of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians. Mr. Oparah assured that Airtel would keep exploring various platforms to excite and engage telecoms consumers.

L-R: Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, Director, Finance and Account of NAFDAC, Mr. Ademola Mogbojuri, and Head, Inspectorate of National Drugs Authority of Uganda, Mr.David Nahamya, during the press conference on the seizures of various counterfeit drugs, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Google lauds Nigeria’s Internet users


oogle said it believes that the internet presents huge opportunities for Nigeria’s creative and content production industry, as it hosted industry experts from the business, content creation and entertainment communities to its SYNC Nigeria 2013 conference. The 3-day conference, which brought together entrepreneurs, content creators and journalists was aimed at enabling content creators to embrace the power of the web to grow locally relevant content online and drive monetization. Delivering the keynote address at the event, country manager,

Google (Nigeria), Juliet EhimuanChiazor said the sessions are being held with a view to helping individuals from key communities better understand how to take advantage of the internet to boost content distribution.” “The Internet presents huge opportunities for Nigeria’s creative and content production industry. We intend to work with this community as well as others to fully harness internet tools that have proven to be very successful across the world” she added. Some of the notable highlights of the first day of the conference included the launch of the ‘Impact of Internet’ study, which examines

the Internet’s impact on, and potential contribution to, social and economic development in Nigeria. The launch event, which was held at the Transcorp Hilton in Abuja had Mrs. Omobola Johnson, Minister of Communication Technology as keynote speaker. Other highlights included a first of its kind 12-hour online musical concert via Google+ Hangouts called: “Music Out of Africa”. The on-line concert, which hosted an array of top Nigerian musical acts like Dr Sid, Dipo, Emma Nyra, Pryse, Yemi Alade, Blink, Show Dem Camp, Endia 48, Temi Dollface, Nosa amongst others afforded the musicians an

opportunity to bond with their fans from different parts of the world. Speaking about the on-line concert, Communications and Public Affairs manager Anglophone West Africa, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade said, “We are excited to see our local artists engaging and socializing via Google. The level of excitement generated is further proof that there is a global community of Nigerian content consumers who are constantly looking for fresh and entertaining content on-line. Our hope is that this session will further inspire our entertainers and content creator to create and share a lot more content on-line.

organises campaign on mobile devices warranty


lot Systems Limited, a household name for affordable and durable mobile phones for all levels/ classes of people in Nigeria, in pursuant of its customers welfare has organised awareness campaign to enable consumers maximize benefits of mobile devices warranties. Speaking at the conference , Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Slot Systems Limited, Engineer Nnamdi Ezeigbo said although consumers in Nigeria, especially mobile devices consumers, now know their rights and appreciate quality products, there are still a greater percentage who are yet to understand the rudiments in warranty and therefore fail to maximize opportunities attached or abuse the process. Ezeigbo explained that warranty could become effective based on either factory or user’s faults, adding that factory faults are replaceable, “if the devices come being within the specified warranty period without physical damages or any evidence of having being dropped, shock or liquid penetration. He said there are two categories of factory faults: hardware and software.“User’s fault occurs when devices are subjected to any of the conditions mentioned above. In such cases the user is expected to pay for the replacement of the faulty parts. This applies to devices that are still within the specified warranty period”, he stated. He said there was no better time to educate consumers in Nigeria then now, particularly with the growing number of mobile devices in the market and users. The Slot boss added that his company finds it imperative and has partnered with the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like BlackBerry, Samsung, Nokia, etc., and the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) to lead the awareness campaign. The Slot’s MD disclosed that the company plans to open customer care units in its over 30 experience centres across the country.




FG-Turkey Chamber to focus on non-oil sector By Etuka Sunday


he newly inaugurated Nigeria-Turkey Chamber of Commerce (NTCC) has promised to focus its attention on the development of non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy with a view to addressing problem of unemployment in the country. Some leaders and members of the NTCC governing board, who spoke at the launching ceremony in Abuja, urged the chamber to woo investors to the industrial and agricultural sectors of the nation’s

economy. According to the Executive Chairman of the chamber, Dr. Eze Eche Hyacinth, the Chamber was founded for the development of Nigeria’s non-oil sector and serves the business communities of both countries. Hyacinth, who disclosed that the NTCC’s membership has reached 350, said a delegation of the chamber would visit Turkey in July to exchange ideas and explore the areas of comparative advantages for the benefits of the two nations.

In an address, the President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Dr. Hubert Ademola Ajayi, said special focus on the non-oil sector would open up opportunities and enhance the nation’s economic growth and trade relationship with other countries. Ajayi particularly noted that the launching of NTCC would improve trade volume and relationship between Nigeria and Turkey on the one hand and the other countries, especially with

the D-8. Former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Adetokunbo Kayode, said at the event that NTCC would serve as a platform to improve the nation’s economy by reducing its level of importation from Turkey and other countries. Kayode emphasised that the chamber would also enhance transfer of technology between the two countries and their trade relationship. Grand patron of NTCC in the North, Gen. I.B. M. Haruna (rtd),

had informed that the scientific, educational and cultural MoU he signed on behalf of Nigeria with Turkey as the Federal Commissioner for Commerce in 1976 was a strong knot that had enhanced relationships between the countries. In his remarks, former Governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chris Ngige, urged the chamber to focus more on exportation of Nigerian products to Turkish rather than importation as well as exploring the technology used educational development in Turkey.

CBN engages stakeholders on publicity of cashless policy


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday in Lagos said it had commenced direct stakeholders engagement to enhance public awareness about its cashless policy. Head of Corporate Communications of the CBN, Mr. Okoroafor Ugochukwu said that the apex bank would also embark on further sensitisation to the cashless policy in Abuja and five other states in July. He told the News Agency

of Nigeria (NAN) that the CBN’s latest strategies were to ensure that the cashless initiative for Nigeria was entrenched. It could be recalled that the CBN Deputy Governor for Operations, Mr. Tunde Lemo, had at a meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund disclosed plans to introduce the cashless policy to five more states. At the meeting which held in the U.S. in February, Lemo said that the CBN planned to publicise the

policy in Ogun, Anambra, Abia, Kano and Rivers States. “We have started direct stakeholders engagement on the cashless policy to further make the public more aware of it. The CBN had been organising programmes and also engaging the media to sensitise people to the policy. “Even banks and other financial institutions are on board our new drive to make Nigeria a cashless society,`` he said.

Ugochukwu, however, said that it was the job of the CBN to provide the infrastructure for an accelerated attainment of the policy ideals. “The task of the apex bank is getting the policy

out and ensuring that people take an advantage of it,`` he said. He said although the takeoff of the implementation of the policy in Lagos faced some challenges, the apex bank

would not be deterred to make the country a cashless system. “For the fact that there were hitches in Lagos does not mean that the CBN should not push ahead,” he said. (NAN)

Unity Bank wins BusinessDay banking award

Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state (left) presents the BusinessDay special recognition award to Mr. Lanre Fagbohun, Executive Director-South, Unity Bank Plc at the Maiden BusinessDay Banking awards in Lagos. With him is Mrs. Aisha Abraham, the Divisional Head, Secretariat and Quality Management of the bank. From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


n recognition of its unwavering “Excellence in banking” and unmatched commitment to the economic development of Nigeria, particularly Northern states, Unity Bank Plc has received the Special Recognition award from Business Day newspaper at the just-concluded maiden BusinessDay Banking Awards, which held in Lagos at the weekend. According to BusinessDay, the awards were instituted to “… recognise Nigerian banks that have been outstanding in supporting economic growth in Nigeria. They have been instituted as a credible way of rewarding banks that are supporting economic growth in Nigeria without putting at risk the financial system.” The award was presented at a ceremony

held at the Orchid Hall of the Eko Hotels and Suites by Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state to Mr. Lanre Elisha Fagbohun, Executive Director, Lagos and West of Unity Bank, and was in recognition of the bank’s position as one of Nigeria’s leading retail banks and based on its nomination as Nigeria’s ‘most Exceptional and Supportive Bank to the Development of the Northern Economy’. The newspaper also said the categories and the criteria were carefully considered to support real banking and recognise banks that have adopted best practices in banking service delivery. In many states of the North, Unity Bank has continued to play an active role in socioeconomic development through public/private sector partnerships. The sum of 7.75billion

was recently provided by the bank to Kaduna State government in financing the agricultural sector covering the state’s poultry production and agricultural products processing programs. In the same vein, the power sector in Kano state, has currently signed a partnership agreement with Unity Bank to the tune of $16m. Unity Bank, which has a national banking license, has over the years been involved in multibillion naira infrastructure development finance programs in Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States. Unity Bank’s business offices are spread across Nigeria’s geo political zones, offering online and real time corporate, commercial and retail services, while supporting and giving back to the communities where it operates.



Stock Watch

Report as at Monday, June 10, 2013




Special Report

As JTF closes in on Boko Haram insurgents... many people ever stayed on the site. An initial security briefing said there was no fight for the camp - Boko Haram members set fire to the vehicles they could not move and fled before the military moved into the area. Journalists were later told the militants were preparing to leave when the air force and ground troops struck. “Some of them have been able to withdraw to Chad and we are making efforts to pursue them,” said Lt Col Danladi Hassan who was the commander in charge of the operation to retake the camps. Was he surprised that

By Will Ross

“It was like a military coup here two months ago when all the government officials ran away,” said a white-bearded elder in Kirenowa, as he described how his village in northerneastern Nigeria came under the control of the Islamist group known as Boko Haram. “We were in real difficulty when Boko Haram were here; life was terrible - they extorted our money,” he told the BBC in the village which lies just 40km (24 miles) from the porous border with Cameroon. “They were moving around in the village with their cars - they went to [nearby] places like Chikunguldo and Wulgo as well as inside Chad.” A short distance along the sandy road within the district of Marte there are the hallmarks of the militants; the burnt-out church and the remains of the village police station which was also gutted by fire. In front of the roofless, blackened building is the carcass of a burnt car. The Nigerian military offered to take journalists in a protected convoy to these areas of Borno state in an effort to highlight what it describes as key gains in the fight against Boko Haram. Just over three weeks ago President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the north-east. He announced a renewed military offensive after making the somewhat

they had managed to establish bases? It seems not. “We’ve been hearing about the camp for some time and we’ve been planning for it,” said Lt Col Hassan. “And that’s why we came in and ensured they were dislodged.” You might wonder why, if the army knew about the Boko Haram camps, they took time before targeting them, seeing as the nearby villages were steadily sliding out of the government’s hands and the Islamist militants were starting to hold territory. A teacher in Marte who did not want his name revealed said they were forcing changes on the

You might wonder why, if the army knew about the Boko Haram camps, they took time before targeting them, seeing as the nearby villages were steadily sliding out of the government’s hands and the Islamist militants were starting to hold territory

village back in January. “Boko Haram are the ones who told us to close the school because they don’t want to see any western education,” he said. “We are now preparing to re-open the school with the arrival of the army and we are now free.” When we visited Kirenowa with the army, the entire village had gathered and applauded on cue as the Nigerian military was lauded - it may have felt like a publicity stunt but people I spoke to said they were glad the military operation had dislodged Boko Haram. But dislodging is not the same as defeating and

so far there has been little evidence to suggest many fighters have been killed in the offensive - they have been disorganised and dispersed. “The next stage is to consolidate and ensure miscreants and troublemakers in the form of terrorists don’t have access to civilian areas where they can cause problems,” says military spokesman Brigadier General Chris Olukolade. Members of the Islamist group are known to live among the civilian population so the military faces a tough challenge. “Do you think there

Fact file • • • • • • • • •

2002: Founded 2009: Hundreds killed when Maiduguri police stations were stormed; leader Mohammed Yusuf captured and killed Dec 2010: Bombed Jos, killing 80 people; blamed for New Year’s Eve attack on Abuja barracks Jun-Aug 2011: Bomb attacks on Abuja police HQ and UN building Dec 2011: Multiple bomb attacks on Christmas Day kill dozens Jan 2012: Wave of violence across north-east Nigeria April 2012: Deadly Easter church attack in Kaduna; ThisDay newspaper offices bombed February 2013: French family kidnapped in Cameroon May 2013: Heavily armed incursion into Bama town

Kirenowa villagers gathered to welcome the visiting military delegation

surprising announcement that Nigerian territory had been seized by Boko Haram. Earlier this year Boko Haram’s black flag replaced Nigeria’s green and white one in several villages of

Borno state, including Marte - a sign that the insurgents were under little pressure from the Nigerian armed forces. These areas close to the shrinking shores of Lake

The Nigerian flag is flying again in villages which Boko Haram has fled

Chad are extremely remote and poor. Travelling by road northeast from the state capital, Maiduguri, the crumbling infrastructure is evident. Sections of the tarmac

Abubakar Shekau

road look as though they have been hit by an earthquake and drivers are forced to take to the sand which is steadily swallowing the concrete, cable-less electricity poles.

It is no surprise that decades of neglect by successive governments and the biting poverty played into the hands of the jihadists looking for recruits. “Some of them join because they are interested in handling guns because that’s new to them, and some are aware that it is a way of getting some money,” said a young man in his early 20s, who pointed to the lack of job opportunities in the area. “All we do is fishing and farming, although some of us engage in the black market selling fuel or petty trading.” We were driven to a former Boko Haram camp north of the village of Kirenowa. The presence of items such as medical gloves suggest there may have been a small clinic there, although it is impossible to know how

could be any Boko Haram members amongst the assembled villagers here?” I asked one man sitting on the ground. “No, I’m not aware of any,” he replied in a whisper. The Nigerian army tried to crush the Islamist militants in 2009 but the group came back stronger with more deadly attacks. So do people think Boko Haram can return to the area? “We don’t know,” a man in Marte tells me. “We are in the hands of God. We don’t know what is going to happen. Only God knows.” Source: BBCNews. com

Residents of Baga picking through the rubbles after exchange of fire between JTF and Boko Haram insurgents recently.



Agriculture Good governance and Nigeria’s agriculture By Salisu Na’inna Dambatta


here is a consensus among analysts, statisticians, experts and watchers of the Nigerian economy, that the agriculture sector in Nigeria is the single largest employer of labour. This fact was recently accentuated by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku while speaking on the Saturday, May 25, 2013 edition of Radio Link, the FRCN network live phone-in programme. The Minister of Information said that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has reported the creation of about 2, 000, 000 jobs from May 2011 to date, through its activities, specifically the development of the value chains of several crops. The sector is also the largest single contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at 44.7 per cent, by far dwarfing the much-hyped Oil and Gas sector’s less than 20 per cent. Central Bank of Nigeria data has consistently shown that the agricultural sector is the second largest earner of foreign exchange for the country through the export of commodities, second only to the Oil and Gas sector The sector will generate even more foreign exchange for the country when the export of perishable commodities takes-off through the special cargo terminals planned by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. Although there is a lot of outcry on the country’s habit of importing foodstuff that we can grow locally, the truth is that Nigeria is among a clutch of countries which are selfsufficient in the production of several crops on which the bulk of the population depend for their daily energy intake. The Minister of Information alluded to this in the course of the live radio programme when he referred to the massive local rice and wheat production he saw during his Good Governance Tour to some states in the NorthWest of Nigeria. He was so impressed that he participated in the threshing of paddy rice on a rice farm that was being harvested. Just like what the Minister of Information witnessed, I can say based on what I know cumulatively from watching and reporting the Nigerian Agricultural sector in my journalism career from 1979 to date, that successive Managements of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have always maintained that Nigeria is self-sufficient in the main staple crops. These most important crops include Millet,

Reminiscing the great groundnut pyramid of Northern Nigeria Sorghum, Cassava, Sweet Potatoes, Coco yam, Irish Potatoes, Fresh tomatoes and pepper as well as several other horticultural crops such as Onions, and fruits like citrus, mangoes, pawpaw, pineapples and coconuts. Even in the case of rice, Nigeria was self-sufficient, but started recording deficit, not because production was declining, but simply because rice transited from an occasional food treat to a common, ordinary food in more households, and of course, higher population and urbanisation. Thus, despite boosting its local production, the farmers were unable to bridge the gap between demand and supply. This led the country to import more of it: from around 300, 000 MT per annum in the 1980s, to around 650, 000 MT nowadays. Statistics garnered from various sources indicate that Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of sorghum for human consumption. It is grown in the country’s savannah ecological zones and in the area some environmentalists regard as the emerging desert land to the Northern ends of Borno, Katsina, Yobe, Kebbi, Sokoto and Jigawa states. Nigeria is world’s largest producer of sorghum, at 8,000,000 metric tons per annum. That is slightly more than 10% of world’s total sorghum output, which is 60 million metric tons every year. With government’s intention to transform its Value Chain, Nigeria’s status as the number

The sector will generate even more foreign exchange for the country when the export of perishable commodities takes-off through the special cargo terminals planned by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. one sorghum producer will be deepened and sustained. A 2011 USAID report on sorghum production in Nigeria says: “Sorghum is the primary food crop in virtually all parts of northern Nigeria. Sorghum also is used extensively in brewing, and industrial demand for sorghum is rising steadily. Nigeria does not import any sorghum at the moment. However, minimal amounts are exported informally to neighbouring countries.” As for Cassava, Nigeria is the largest producer. It produces around 40 million metric tons per annum. A report by the Root and Tubers Expansion Unit in the Federal

Ministry of Agriculture reported in 2008 that 54% of all Nigerians get their energy intake from various cassava food derivatives. It is one of the very few crops that are widely grown in all the ecological zones of the country. Its foreign exchange earning potential for Nigeria has been proven when dry cassava chips worth US$118 million dollars were exported to China last year. This is not surprising as cassava has more than 360 actual applications. It is one of the few crops that are 100% useful, without any waste. As we celebrate the year 2013 Democracy Day and the delivery of democracy

dividend under the current dispensation, readers and indeed all Nigerians should be proud of the fact that as climate change and other elements take their tolls on global food security, the situation in Nigeria is a bit different. Despite excessive leakages to our neighbours, Nigeria is food liquid. This is rare among developing countries. Although the National Emergency Management Agency has reported a loss of over N2.6 trillion as a result of the flood that ravaged parts of Nigeria in 2012, the country was able to survive the crisis and there was no noticeable food shortage in the country. The government released food from its national reserve. Although the official national reserves have always been shallow due to inadequate storage facilities, what was available served its purpose at the time. Now that the rainy season is coming up all over the country, farmers should brace up to do what they always do best: producing more affordable food for the people and saving the country from importing rice, wheat and tomato paste. While talking agriculture, it is important for readers to appreciate that most of the factories that are manufacturing on sustainable basis in Nigeria are in the agroallied sector. This is a food for thought for those who want to have an accurate overview of the Nigerian economy. Dambatta is a Director in the Federal Ministry of Information



500,000 farmers to benefit from FG, WCF partnership By Mohammed Kandi he World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announce $1.2 million in new funding to provide assistance to 70,000 cocoa farming households in at least, 10 Nigerian states by 2015. A statement issued by one of the minister’s media aide, Dr. Oyeleye Olukayode, said, “the programme will focus on business skills trainings and support for diversification of rural economies in order to increase cocoa farm household incomes.” The programme, he said, is expected to generate benefits for more than 480,000 Nigerians and help double household incomes within the next five to six years. According to him, ”Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Ako Adesina, made the announcement recently at WCF’s 23rd Annual Partnership Meeting in Washington, D.C.” Commenting on the partnership, WCF President Bill Guyton said, “The World Cocoa Foundation and our company members are grateful for the confidence placed in us by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, state governments and non-government institutions and are excited about this opportunity to expand services to thousands of small scale farmers in the cocoaproducing states of Nigeria.” The Nigerian partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and WCF builds upon the foundation of the WCF Cocoa Livelihoods Program (CLP), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and WCF member companies with partners from the German Development Agency GIZ and SOCODEVI. This partnership will ensure that the Nigerian program benefits from lessons already learned through CLP’s engagement in other West African cocoa-producing countries. “Nigeria has a history of a prosperous, viable and vibrant cocoa industry in the past. The cocoa industry provided us with foreign exchange and revenue, which built for us our enduring infrastructure, institutions and edifices,” Minister Adesina noted. “In carrying out the program activities, WCF will closely collaborate with Nigerian federal and state institutions, with active involvement of the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture’s Cocoa Division, its Cocoa Transformation Agenda Team, and other local institutions. The Cocoa Transformation Team will lead and provide guidance and oversight on the overall program coordination, and will assist implementing partners with advice on specific technical issues, identification of innovative technologies, and leveraging other complementary programs,” he explained. “The federal government is developing partnerships with countries and investors that are ready to invest in Nigeria. We are adopting the value chain approach from input supply to support onfarm production to value addition, local consumption and export of produce and products. Our goal is to eventually account for at least 25 per cent of the world market, with an output of 500,000 MT by 2015, as we aim at the 1.0 million MT mark,” Minister Adesina continued,” the minister stated.



Shema reiterates commitment to agric development By Mohammed agency report




overnor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has reiterated his administration’s commitment towards the development of the agriculture sector, to ensure maximum food security for the people. Shema made the pledge while launching the Gross Enhancement Support (GES) scheme in Musawa Local Government Area of the state recently. He pledged that the government would provide counterpart funds to ensure the success of the programme and enjoined beneficiaries to adhere to modern farming techniques.

Shema, who was represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Musa Adamu-Funtua, said that about 90,000 small-scale farmers had been registered in the state for the programme. He said his administration would encourage increased agricultural production through best practices and the provision of inputs for all categories of farmers. He said that the government had sold 340 tractors to farmers at subsidised rates, disbursed interest-free loans to all categories of farmers and provided chemicals and working tools. The governor said

government-owned farms had been cleared and improved seedlings distributed to farmers. According to him, each bag of Urea fertiliser will be sold at N2,750 ahile a bag of NPK will go for N2,250. He further said that other seedlings and herbicides would be distributed free to the beneficiaries. Also speaking, Alhaji Sani Danjari, who represented the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), said that each benefitting farmer would pay half the market value of the fertiliser, while the Federal Government would pay the remainder. Danjari commended the Katsina Government for drilling

boreholes along with the provision of 4,400 water pumping machines for irrigation farmers across the state. He urged the people to make maximum use of the opportunity provided by the scheme as well as other agricultural support programme designed by the federal and state governments. The Chairman, Caretaker Committee of Musawa Local Government, Alhaji Tanimu Kira, expressed optimism that the programme would engender best farming practice and aid poverty reduction. Kira urged the people to reciprocate the efforts through proper investments and to adopt modern farming techniques to achieve the desired results. The occasion was attended by District Head of Musawa Alhaji Muhammadu Godado, Transition local government chairmen, members of National Cotton Farmers Association of Nigeria. Also represented were Cassava farmers Association and representatives of Katsina State Agricultural Development Authority.

Edo trains 40 facilitators on fadama Implementation

T Woman making effort towards revitalizing the Cocoa industry in Nigeria

Butchers solicit FG, FCTA support


hairman of the Butchers Association of Nigeria, FCT branch, Alhaji Usman Datti, has solicited for soft loans from the Federal Government to boost their business. Datti told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Abuja that the support would help reduce the cost of meat in the country. According to him, their members usually import animals from Niger and Chad due to scarcity of livestock in Nigeria. He explained that livestock merchants in those countries were able to export their animals because of the support they received from their various governments. “Those countries have been able to develop their grazing reserves; that is what we have not done in this country, yet we have enough resources to develop what we have and even export cows. “Our association is not receiving any support from the FCTA and this is becoming a

source of worry for us because we know the kind of support our counterparts in other states are receiving. “For example in Kano State, we heard that the government gave the butchers a free start-up capital of N88 million to about 4,400 butchers. “Each butcher received N20,000 after their training on expert management of meat processing and retailing and they also received a free aluminium glass meat display boxes, lab coats and caps. “It will go a long way in making our business to grow if we can receive this kind of support from the FCTA or even the Federal Government,” Datti explained. Datti, a livestock dealer at the Dei-Dei International Livestock Market, said that so far the development in the market was done by their individual efforts. He said their members had contributed money to build a fence and ``we have been drawing the attention of the FCTA to our plight for years.’’

The official said that members had no designated places to sell their meats, adding that, ``It is not only in this market, the problem is the same all over the FCT.’’ On the veterinary aspect of their business the chief butcher told NAN that the FCTA had been sending some veterinary doctors to certify their animals fit before slaughtering them. “But, we are not happy with the calibre of vet doctors they send to us; they send inexperienced professionals to us because they think we are not educated. “Well, we have found a way of addressing our challenges in this regard because some of us are born into this business so we know when an animal is sick; “We either treat it ourselves or condemn it if it is a serious case. We have where we keep our sick animals so that they will not infect others and we have also established a vet shop where we keep all sorts of drugs for our animals including herbals medicines,’’ he said.

he Edo State Coordinator of Fadama III, Mrs Judith Momodu, has said that more than 40 facilitators were trained on project implementation in the southern part of the state. Momodu told the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Benin that the training was to review the progress reports from different facilitators, among others. She said that the programme was also designed to identify problems, challenges and other sensitive issues encountered by the facilitators on the field. “The main essence of the training is to review the progress report and identify the problems and challenges with a view to addressing them. “Monthly and quarterly, our facilitators give progress report of their activities in their various Fadama community associations which they supervised. “During the training, the reports are examined and problems and challenges are highlighted with a view to addressing them.’’ According to her, the effort is also to train the facilitators properly on the implementation of Fadama projects in the rural areas, get feedback and give them instructions. Momodu, however, noted that plans were underway to disburse substantial grants to farmers to enable them to execute their projects and cultivate their crops. She also explained that the office stopped registering farmers to allow them to fund the existing Fadama community associations. (NAN)




Curbing prevalence of cervical cancer via affordable therapy By Ifeanyi Nwoko


y most accounts, cervical cancer is one of the most dreaded forms of cancer afflicting women. Medical experts say that cancer of the cervix is the third most common type of cancer in women, which usually develops slowly. The experts describe cervical cancer as a malignant neoplasm arising from cells originating in the cervix. One of the most common symptoms of cervical cancer is abnormal vaginal bleeding but in some cases, there may be no obvious symptoms until the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage. The treatment of cervical cancer usually consists of surgery (including local excision) in early stages, and chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in more advanced stages of the disease. Medical experts, however, also observe that women’s sexual habits and patterns can increase their risk of developing cervical cancer, which has been on the increase in recent times. A report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicates that in Nigeria, for instance, about 14,000 new cases of cervical cancer occur every year, resulting in the death of not less than 9,000 women. In more specific terms, the WHO report says that in 2008, 529,409 new cases of cervical cancer and 274,883 cervical cancer-induced deaths were recorded in developing countries. Apart from woman’s sexual habits and patterns, which experts say can cause the ailment, Dr Yinka Olaniyan, a gynaecologist, says that Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is usually transmitted by men, is the primary causative agent. ``Cervical cancer affects the cervix which is the entrance to the uterus (womb); men usually contract HPV but the virus has no known effects on them. However, the men transmit this virus to women during sexual intercourse,’’ he says. Olaniyan claims that HPV, which is associated with virtually all cases of cervical cancer, is the most common of all sexually transmitted diseases. However, the gynaecologist concedes that family history of cervical cancer; age, as well as sexual and reproductive history, among other factors, could predispose women to cancer of the cervix. Olaniyan stresses that the victim’s survival is largely determined via appropriate and prompt diagnosis which, he adds, is deficient in the management of the ailment. However, some groups have been striving to stimulate increased public awareness of cervical cancer and its management in the country. For instance, the Vision of Hope International (VOH), a non-governmental organisation, recently organised a free integrated health outreach, in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom Government, to provide cervical cancer-therapy and allied services to the people. Dr Nwanneka Chuka, the founder of VOH, says that the organisation intends to popularise the first-ever community-based cervical cancer management programme -- The See-and-Treat programme -- in Nigeria.

Thirty-three thousand women die each year of preventable cervical cancer, caused by a virus She says that the therapy involves the use of cryotherapy; a therapeutic procedure which involves cooling the body, particularly via the application of ice packs on the victims. ``Cryotherapy destroys the abnormal tissue on the cervix during the therapy, very cold liquid carbon dioxide is released to freeze the abnormal tissue for some minutes, thereby destroying it,’’ she adds. Chuka recalls that out of the 88 women who were screened for cervical cancer during the integrated health outreach in Akwa Ibom, 17 women tested positive, while cancerous lesions were discovered in six out of the positive women who underwent treated. She, therefore, underscores the need for early detection of the medical condition, insisting that the women, who were diagnosed with varying cancerous lesions during the outreach, were not even aware of their condition. Chuka stresses that just like most women in Nigeria, if those women were not screened, they would later be aware of their condition, perhaps at a deadly stage. ``At that point, it is usually too late to manage their condition because in most cases, the cancer would have spread to other parts of the body,’’ she said. Chuka is optimistic that at the end of the outreach, which still has other phases, several women in Akwa Ibom would be saved, to some extent, from the menace of cervical cancer. She emphasises that her organisation has donated cryotheraphy equipment to

Akwa Ibom, while setting up a cervical cancer unit at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital. Besides, Chuka says that prior to the cancer screening outreach, a training programme on cervical cancer was organised for nurses and midwives from all primary health centres in the state. ``The training was particularly aimed at enhancing the capacity of these frontline health care providers in the diagnosis and treatment of pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix. ``They were also trained on the management of common side-effects and complications arising from the infection,’’ she said. Dr Bashir Abdulazeez of the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, says that the overall aim of the outreach is to curb the prevalence of cervical cancer in the country. He says that the outreach would proffer an alternative and cheaper method of cervical cancer diagnosis for women since the normal Pap smear test is somewhat expensive and only available in big hospitals. He also says that with the new diagnosis method, women do not need the assistance of doctors in carrying out the procedure, while electricity is not also required. Abdulazeez, who was involved in the last phase of the outreach, notes that a lot of women have died of cervical cancer, while several other women are struggling to cope with it. ``Most of the women in Akwa Ibom

were ignorant about cervical cancer; even those who aware of the medical condition did not know where to get screened or lacked the means to do so. ``The burden of the cancer of the cervix in Nigeria is the main problem that led us to Akwa Ibom; it is a significant cause of death among women of productive age. ``The outreach in Akwa Ibom was an eye-opener; it made us to be more aware of the dangers posed by cancer of the cervix in the community, the state and the nation,’’ he says. Abdulazeez, however, insists that regular medical checkup is cardinal in efforts to curtail the prevalence of cervical cancer, arguing that women should not wait for the manifestation of the illness before undergoing tests. All the same, Dr Fred Achem, the President of the Society of Gynaecologist and Obstetricians of Nigeria, calls on parents to ensure that their daughters were vaccinated early enough against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Prof. Akin Osibogun, the Chief Medical Director of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), also advises young girls to refrain from early sex to guard against catching the disease. Observers, however, note that since the regular screening method of Pap smear is too expensive, visual inspection strategies, which entail the use of acetic acid, should be encouraged for the benefit of all women. Source: NAN



By Jason Hickel


ast April, 1,127 workers were killed when Rana Plaza, a garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh, collapsed. To put this in perspective, that’s more than twice the number of Americans that have been killed in mass shootings since 1983. This unfathomable tragedy reached us around the world in the form of images troubling enough to make even the most calloused consumers think twice about where their clothes come from. Surely, we all thought, the companies that source from Bangladesh would do something to address the pervasive problems with the industry. What we have so far is a new Accord on Factory Safety in Bangladesh, which 38 companies around the world have agreed to sign. The Accord does have serious shortcomings, of course: it’s voluntary, temporary, and it doesn’t include most major US firms such as Gap, Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, Sears, JCPenney, Nordstrom, and so on (who have initiated a separate agreement that analysts have already denounced as a “sham”). Still, it represents an important step toward better global labour standards. But the singular focus on safety that has come to dominate the debate about Rana Plaza obscures the far more serious, systemic problems that are ultimately to blame for this tragedy. Even if the Accord were mandatory, permanent, and universal, it would still leave these deeper issues untouched. Indeed, the companies that have signed the Accord have likely done so in hope of putting an end to the public outcry before it generates pressure for the more substantive reforms they know need to take place. The real problem has to do with the way the global labour market works. Because of neoliberal economic policiesimposed over the past few decades, companies now have the power to rove the globe in search of what CEOs refer to as the “best investment conditions”. Poor countries like Bangladesh have to compete with other poor countries to attract much-needed foreign capital by offering the lowest minimum wages, the flimsiest safety standards, the cheapest taxes, and so on. Most economists justify this destructive “race to the bottom” under the banner of “comparative advantage”. As part of this deal, companies no longer have to bargain with local workers - they can opt out of the social contract whenever it suits them. If workers in Savar, say, got together to demand better wages or safety standards, the companies that use them would just start sourcing from somewhere else, leaving them unemployed. Such a move wouldn’t take more than a mouse-click at the headquarters of Gap or Wal-Mart. So workers are made to face a stark choice: accept dangerous conditions and minimum wages of $0.21 per hour, or lose their jobs. The constant threat of replacement keeps workers cheap and docile, to the tremendous benefit of corporate profits. Historically, unions have played a crucial role in helping workers bargain for a better deal: the end of



It’s time for a global minimum wage

Bangladesh competes for capital with other poor countries by offering low minimum wages [Al Jazeera] child labour, the 40-hour work week, safety standards, and so on. But today the hyper-mobility of capital renders unions powerless. In their absence, we’re witnessing a rapid descent back to 19th-century labour conditions - the sort immortalised in classic books like Oliver Twist and The Jungle. Wages in many sectors are falling as desperate people the world over compete to sell their labour for less than the next person, even as worker productivity increases and corporate profits reach record highs. To put it bluntly, the global labour market is rigged in the interest of multinational companies; it is designed to allow them to pump value out of human bodies - mostly poor, brown, female bodies - as efficiently as possible. Those bodies generate the enormous wealth that flows into corporate coffers, but only a fraction of it goes back to them in wages - the vast majority gets pocketed as profits and CEO bonuses. This process of appropriation or theft, really - helps explain the shocking trends in global inequality that we have seen over the past few decades, to the point where the richest 200 people now have more wealth than the poorest 3.5 billion - more than half of the world’s population. In a context of globalisation, it’s clear that country-by-country fixes just won’t do. If we improve

labour standards in one poor country - as with the Bangladesh Accord then companies are likely to move somewhere else, wiping out local jobs and slashing much-needed GDP. The upshot is that local policymakers have a perverse incentive to not improve things too much, for fear of causing more harm than good. Even if they wanted to, they often can’t: most free trade agreements - like NAFTA and the forthcoming TPP - empower foreign corporations to sue sovereign governments for regulatory legislation that reduces their profits. If we’re going to have a global labour market, it stands to reason that we need a global system of labour standards, something that will put a floor on the race to the bottom and guarantee a baseline level of human fairness. The single most important component of such a system would be a global minimum wage. Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, recently proposed a plan along these lines, arguing for a wage floor of $0.50 per hour. I’m thrilled that Yunus is bringing publicity to this cause, but his plan isn’t quite good enough: the wage floor would apply only to the garment industry, and it would be left up to corporations to take action - something we already know they won’t do. For Yunus, this would be a matter of “corporate

social responsibility” - and brand enhancement - rather than a matter of basic justice. A bigger problem with Yunus’ plan, however, is that a fixed minimum wage would be little use to people who live in countries where it’s impossible to survive on even $0.50 an hour. That, and it would unfairly hurt the poorest, lowestwage countries by eliminating their comparative advantage. A better idea would be to set the global minimum wage at a fixed percent - economist Thomas Palley recommends50 percent of each country’s median wage, so it would be tailored to local economic conditions, costs of living, and purchasing power. As wages increase across the spectrum, the floor would move up automatically, so we wouldn’t have to constantly pressure politicians to raise the minimum to keep up with inflation. All countries would be treated equally, and countries that presently enjoy a comparative advantage through cheap labour would retain that advantage. Of course, in some countries wages are so low across the spectrum that 50 percent of the median would still leave workers in poverty. So the global minimum would need a second safeguard: wages in each country must be above the national poverty line. This system would go a long way towards helping to eliminate

The problem with globalisation is that capital has been globalised while the rules that protect people from it have not. It’s time to take the next logical step. Not only is it now conceivable to have a global minimum wage system

poverty, and would help reduce inequality within countries - indeed, for this reason the UN would be wise to adopt a global minimum wage as a key strategy toward realising the post-Millenium Development Goals development agenda. Raising wages also has positive economic benefits: it stimulates demand and thus facilitates local economic growth, and it does so in a way that doesn’t depend on debt. Sceptics who worry that a minimum wage system might negatively affect employment can take comfort in the nowoverwhelming evidence to the contrary (also see here). What would a global minimum wage mean for consumers? Not much, it turns out. Economist Robert Pollin has found that doubling the wages of sweatshop workers in Mexico would raise the price of clothes sold in the US by only 1.8 percent. In fact, you could raise sweatshop wages by a factor of ten and consumers in rich countries still wouldn’t be fazed: a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that people are willing to pay 15 percent more on a $100 item - and 28 percent more on a $10 item - if it is made under “good working conditions”. A global minimum wage would go a lot further than the “fair trade” fad that has become popular among many Western consumers. Every time I walk into a store and see items labeled fair trade, I’m always struck by what their presence implies: that the rest of the “normal” products are unfair. We shouldn’t be presented with a choice between fair trade goods and oppression goods oppression goods shouldn’t exist in the first place. When we buy the things that we need to sustain and enjoy our lives, we should be able to be confident that we are not colluding in the exploitation of other human beings who toil in nearslavery conditions. The problem with globalisation is that capital has been globalised while the rules that protect people from it have not. It’s time to take the next logical step. Not only is it now conceivable to have a global minimum wage system, it’s also for the first time in history - quite doable. The UN’s International Labour Organization has already proven that it has the will and the capacity to govern such a system. Imagine if we put this idea to popular referendum. Imagine the landslide support it would receive from people across the world. “The arc of history bends toward justice,” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr told us. Yet this is true only when we summon the courage to bend it thus. What we need now is to mobilise the popular pressure to make it happen, to grip and bend the arc of history, recognising that “power concedes nothing without a demand”, as Frederick Douglass once put it: “It never has, and it never will.” Source: Al Jazeera




UN commends Nigeria on security, warns of human right abuse By Abdulkadir Isa


he United Nations has commended Nigeria for the role it is playing to check insecurity, protection of lives and property and promoting peace within the West African sub region. This commendation came when the UN Secretary General for West Africa and Chairman Nigeria/Cameroon mixed commission; Mr Said Djinnit paid a courtesy call to the minister of foreign affairs yesterday in Abuja. Mr Djinnit applauded the role of the Nigerian armed forces, particularly in peace keeping missions it had successfully carried out in the past in Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia and even Mali. The UN envoy said the United Nations was behind Nigeria in its quest for peace within and outside its shores as it has sent delegations on counter terrorism to help the nation strengthen its’ security capacity. Commending the efforts of the Nigerian Navy in curbing piracy around the gulf of Guinea, Mr Djinnit said, “What is being done

U.N. mediator sees breakthrough in Guinea election talks

T Minister of Foreign affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru (2nd right) with the visiting UN Sec-Gen for West Africa, Mr Said Djinnit (3rd left).

at the seaside should be extended to the mainland”. However the visiting envoy emphasized that, the Nigerian armed forces should be wary of human rights as they battle to restore peace in the North Eastern part of the country where state of emergency have been declared,

adding that Nigeria must reactivate regional integration to support the military effort. In his vote of thanks, the host minister – Olugbenga Ashiru said the Nigerian armed forces have learnt their lessons and will not trample on innocent civilians as earlier promised

before commencement of the campaign. He added that the federal government is ready to take the military men off the streets of the affected states as soon as normalcy returns to leave behind fever personnel in case of bounce back from the insurgents.

Libyan army chief quits after deadly clashes


ibya’s army chief of staff has resigned after clashes in the eastern city of Benghazi killed 31 people, according to members of the national assembly. Yussef al-Mangoush told the General National Congress, Libya’s highest political body, that he would no longer continue in the job and the assembly accepted the resignation, members present at Sunday’s closed-door session said. Fighting erupted on Saturday after dozens of demonstrators stormed a base belonging to the Libya Shield brigade, a group of militias with roots in the rebel groups that fought in the country’s 2011 civil war. They are tasked with maintaining security and aligned with the Defence Ministry. The congress picked Salem

al-Gnaidy, Mangoush’s deputy, to fill the position until a new army chief is picked, Reuters news agency reported citing a member of the assembly. The protesters were demanding that militias leave their camp and submit to the full authority of Libya’s security forces. Mohamed Belied, director of Benghazi’s al-Jala hospital, said on Sunday that the deaths were caused by gunshots and explosive fragments. Hospital officials also said that protesters made up most of the casualties. Adel Tarhuni, spokesman for the Libya Shield, said one member of the brigade had died and another seven were wounded. He said there was a peaceful demonstration in front of the brigade’s headquarters, before armed men infiltrated it.

In a statement on Sunday, Prime Minister Ali Zidan described the events as “sad and painful” and urged people to be cautious and exercise selfrestraint. Zidan said the protesters demanded that a checkpoint at the entrance of the town be removed and that members of the Libya Shield leave the camp so that the police and army could take over. He said full details would be announced when investigations were completed. Ahmed Belashahr, a local activist, said: “People protested because they believe militias go against Libya’s stability, which can only be achieved through a proper army and police.” Witnesses said some of the protesters came armed. The camp was believed to house dozens of Libya Shield

militiamen, while the protesters who attacked their camp were estimated to number several hundreds. Members of the Libya Shield abandoned the camp following the attack in a move designed to defuse tension, witnesses said. The fighting was the latest episode of lawlessness to hit the North African country, which is going through a rocky transition after its bloody 2011 civil war. Security remains elusive in the country, still abundant with weapons from the war and prone to outbreaks of violence over private and political affairs. Last September, shortly after an attack on the US mission in Benghazi in which the American ambassador and three others were killed, the city saw a huge outpouring of public anger at the militias.

South Sudan says Sudan troops enter Upper Nile state


outh Sudan has accused Sudanese troops of crossing into its territory, as tension between the two states rises. The troops moved about 10km (six miles) into Upper Nile state, Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said. On Saturday, Sudan said it would block oil exports from the South after accusing it of backing rebels fighting President Omar alBashir’s government. But Sudanese officials now say

the ban will take effect in 60 days. Oil is vital to the economies of both states. South Sudan became independent in 2011 after decades of conflict with Khartoum and the two neighbours still disagree on several issues. South Sudan, which gets 98% of its revenues from oil, has massive deposits but is landlocked and reliant on Sudan’s ports for export. The two countries have long

disputed how much the South should pay to use Sudan’s pipelines. Mr Benjamin said South Sudan would protest to the African Union (AU) and the United Nations about Sudan’s actions. “They always violate agreements.... Sudan must be brought to book,” he told the BBC’s Newsday programme. On Sunday, Sudan’s intelligence chief Mohammed Atta said South Sudan had failed to stop supporting rebels operating

in Darfur and two border states. “They [rebels] get supplied with weapons, ammunition, petrol, spare parts for cars, food... They send their wounded to hospitals in the south. Tens of wounded [rebels] are now being treated in the South,” he said at a press conference in Khartoum, Reuters news agency reports. Sudan’s Information Minister Ahmed Belal Osman said Sudan planned to close the oil pipelines within 60 days.

he Guinean government and opposition parties in the West African nation have made a breakthrough during talks on Sunday that could end a violent political impasse and pave the way for legislative elections, a United Nations envoy said. President Alpha Conde’s government and Guinea’s opposition parties are locked in a United Nations-mediated talk over the organization of a long-delayed legislative election. More than 50 people have been killed in three months of rallies by activists who accuse Conde of preparing to rig the poll, scheduled for June 30, in the world’s largest bauxite exporter. Said Djinnit, a U.N. envoy mediating the talks between government and opposition in the coastal capital of Conakry, said the parties have made significant progress over their demands and there were reasons for hope. Djinnit said in return for some guarantees, Guinea’s opposition parties have agreed to rejoin the electoral process, dropping a demand that South African company Waymark, charged with updating the voter register, be replaced. The opposition accused the company of stuffing the electoral roll with the names of Conde’s ethnic Malinke supporters, charges the company denied. The opposition had also called for Guineans living overseas to be allowed to vote. “Regarding the vote of Guineans abroad, the presidential camp, which had reservations on the issue, have lifted their opposition. It was agreed that Guineans living abroad could participate in elections,” Djinnit said. Decisions from the talks, if concluded, could affect the date of the election, he said. Guinea’s government was not immediately available for comment, but a spokesman for the opposition told Reuters that a minimum consensus had been reached and they were waiting for concrete actions from the government and Guinea’s electoral commission. “We have reasons to be cautiously optimistic,” said opposition spokesman Aboubacar Sylla. Political instability in Guinea following a military coup in December 2008 has deterred some investors, despite the country’s large deposits of iron ore, bauxite, gold and other minerals.


Asia & Middle East


orth and South Korea have agreed to hold senior-level talks this week in Seoul following marathon talks aimed at rebuilding trust after months of soaring tension and threats of nuclear war. In a sign of the trust deficit that remains six decades after the armistice agreement, the talks between lower-level officials of each nation dragged on deep into Monday morning as the two sides struggled to agree a framework for a more substantive dialogue. The two-day meeting starting Wednesday will focus on stalled cooperation projects, including the resumption of operations at a jointly-run factory park near the border in North Korea that was the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement. The agreement to hold the talks was announced in a



Two Koreas to hold senior-level talks statement early on Monday by South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which is responsible for North Korea matters. North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, also reported the agreement. It’s still unclear who will represent each side in what will likely be the highest-level talks between the Koreas in years. But dialogue at any level marks an improvement in the countries’ abysmal ties. The last several years have seen North Korean nuclear tests, long-range rocket launches and attacks blamed on the North that killed 50 South Koreans in 2010. The meeting will also include discussions on resuming South Korean tours to a North Korean mountain resort, the reunion of separated families and other humanitarian issues, officials said.

Officials of both North and South Korea.

China’s latest manned space mission to launch June 11


hina will launch its next manned space flight on Tuesday, carrying three astronauts on a 15-day mission to an experimental space lab, the National Space Administration said, in the latest step towards the development of a space station. The Shenzhou 10 spacecraft will launch from a remote site in the Gobi desert in China’s far west at 5:38 p.m. (0938 GMT), Wu Ping, spokeswoman for

Car bombs hit Iraq market, kills 13


spate of car bombings have hit a market in central Iraq killing at least 13 civilians and wounding 30 others, officials say. A police officer said three parked car bombs exploded virtually simultaneously early on Monday, tearing through a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in the town of Jadidat al-Shatt in Diala province, just outside the provincial capital of Baquba some 60km northeast of Baghdad. The officer added that the death toll could rise. No group claimed the attack, but Iraq is facing a surge in sectarian violence that officials blame on Sunni insurgents determined to drag the country into a civil war. Violence has spiked in Iraq in recent weeks, raising fears of a return to widespread sectarian bloodshed. According to the United Nations, at least 1,045 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed in May. The tally surpassed April’s 712 killed.

China’s manned space program, told a televised briefing on Monday. Once in orbit, the craft will dock with the Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) 1, a trial space laboratory module, and the two male and one female astronauts will carry out various experiments and test the module’s systems. They will also give a lecture to students back on earth, Wu said. China is still far from catching up with the established space superpowers, the United States and Russia. But the Shenzhou 10 mission will be the latest show of China’s growing prowess in space and comes while budget restraints and shifting priorities have held back U.S. manned space launches. It will be China’s fifth manned space mission since 2003. China also plans an unmanned moon landing and deployment of a moon rover. Scientists have raised the possibility of sending a man to the moon, but not before 2020.

China’s new manned Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and its carrier Long March 2-F rocket are seen as they are transferred to their launching site.

Syria troops ‘preparing for Aleppo assault’


yrian government forces are reported to be preparing for a major offensive on rebel-held parts of the northern city of Aleppo and its surroundings. A security source said it would start “in the coming hours or days”, echoing a pro-government newspaper article saying troops were “deploying heavily”. Activists said there were no signs yet of a renewed push on the Aleppo. The development comes only days after government forces backed by Hezbollah fighters recaptured the town of Qusair. On Sunday, they retook the last remaining rebel-held villages in the strategically important area, which lies between the Lebanese border and

the central city of Homs. Much of northern Syria has been controlled by rebel groups since last year and the frontlines inside Aleppo have been largely static for months. However, the fall of Qusair on Wednesday to troops and militants from Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia Islamist movement, has reportedly been seized on by the military’s leadership as a decisive victory. An article in the pro-government Syrian newspaper, al-Watan, said the army was now “deploying heavily in the countryside near Aleppo in preparation for a battle that will be fought inside the city and on its outskirts”. “Besieged areas will be freed in the first stages and troops which have

been on the defensive will go on the offensive.” It added: “The Syrian army will take advantage of its experience in Qusair and Eastern Ghouta [near Damascus] to advance in the provinces of Hama and Homs.” A security source also said the government’s next target was Aleppo. “It is likely the battle for Aleppo will start in the coming hours or days, and its aim is to reclaim the towns and villages in the province,” the source told the AFP news agency. The planned offensive is reportedly named “Operation Northern Storm”. Opposition activists said they had not seen any significant troop build-up outside Aleppo, but fierce

fighting was reported on Sunday in Nubbul and Zahra, two villages on the outskirts of the city that are predominantly Shia Muslim. A rebel commander and former senior military officer, Brig Gen Mustafa al-Sheikh, said the government had been using helicopters to reinforce its positions with loyalists, including Hezbollah fighters and Shia from Iraq. “The [army’s] aim is to use the two villages as forward bases to make advances in Aleppo and its countryside,” he told the Reuters news agency. “The regime considers that it has received a shot in the arm after the Qusair battle, but they will find that it will not be easy to advance in Aleppo.”




Thousands flee as German dam bursts


housands of people have been evacuated to safety in eastern Germany after a dam burst on the swollen River Elbe and farmland was flooded in an attempt to spare towns, with meteorologists forecasting more rain. In Magdeburg, one of the oldest cities in eastern Germany and a regional capital, some 23,000 people were asked to leave on Monday as water levels in the Elbe rose to a record 7.48 metres about 5 metres above normal and surpassing the level reached during devastating floods in 2002. There have been at least a dozen deaths as a result of floods that have hit Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic over the past week. Officials said more than 8,000 people were evacuated from towns and villages around Aken, south of Magdeburg. A dam at the confluence of the River Elbe and the River Saale south of Magdeburg burst despite attempts to stabilise it. A dyke was also breached, and a crisis unit said the high waters were likely to put further pressure on dykes in coming days. In total, more than 36,000 people have been evacuated from

Brazil ‘on alert’ over an oil spill from Ecuador

Residents of Magdeburg, eastern Germany being evacuated.

their homes in Saxony-Anhalt. Some residents were also moved from Brandenburg, a largely rural state that surrounds the capital Berlin, and flooding of uninhabited areas was planned. In Hungary, dykes had been strengthened at critical points to protect the capital Budapest from flooding as the Danube rose

alarmingly. The deluge reached Hungary on Friday but so far authorities, soldiers and thousands of volunteers have managed to defend the villages and towns along the river, piling more than three million sandbags beside its dykes. Back in Germany, officials have estimated that the damage from the

floods could amount to $8bn. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised $130m in aid for flooded areas. “We’ll do everything humanly possible when it comes to reconstruction. Germany is sticking together in an admirable way at the moment and it should stay like that,” she said.

Ex-CIA man revealed as US spy leak source, defends action


former CIA worker has revealed himself as the source of leaked information on a secret US spy programme that harvests internet and phone records of US citizens and foreigners. Edward Snowden, a current employee of defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, said he leaked information on the Prism programme to protect “basic liberties for people around the world”. “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.” In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, the 29-yearold said he had no intention of hiding “because I have done nothing wrong”, but was aware that his actions had made him a target for US agencies. Snowden leaked a presentation on the Prism surveillance system, which allows the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the FBI direct access to the servers of US internet firms such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL. It scooped emails, video chats,

Edward Snowden

instant messages and more to track foreign suspects. The NSA is also collecting the telephone records of millions of US citizens, but not actual conversations. Snowden told the Guardian that he worked in IT security for the CIA and by 2007 was stationed with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland, where he had access to a range of classified documents. “Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world,” he said. “I realised that I was part

of something that was doing far more harm than good.” He left in 2009 and later began working for Booz Allen Hamilton, a contractor for the NSA, in Hawaii. It was there, three weeks ago, that he decided to leak the information on Prism. “I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in,” he told the Guardian. “I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people

around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.” Booz Allen confirmed on Sunday that Snowden was an employee of the company. It added that it would cooperate with any investigations. Snowden spoke in Hong Kong, where he believes there will be an attempt by the US government to have him extradited. Any extradition request could be hampered if Snowden can show Chinese authorities he could face abuse, torture or unfair treatment in the US. The leaks have reopened the debate about privacy concerns versus heightened measure to protect against attacks, and led NSA to ask the Justice Department to conduct a criminal investigation. The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has condemned the revelation of the intelligence-gathering programmes as reckless, and in the past days had taken the rare step of declassifying some details about them to respond to media reports about counterterrorism techniques employed by the government.

Two guards killed, nine inmates escape in Mexico jailbreak


t least two guards have been killed and nine prisoners have escaped during a jailbreak in southern Mexico, officials say. A prison warden and a prisoner were also injured when a group of men stormed the prison and opened fire. The attack happened in the

Europe and Americas

early hours of Sunday in the town of La Union, in the southwestern state of Guerrero. Correspondents say jailbreaks are common in Mexico’s overcrowded prisons, which house inmates from rival gangs. Guerrero’s Public Security Secretariat said a “group of men

armed with rifles and guns” stormed the building at 05:00 local time (10:00 GMT), killing the guards and freeing the inmates. In a statement, it said that federal and state police were using helicopters to find the escaped prisoners. It added that the whereabouts

of the prison’s director, Manuel Chavarria, was unknown; local media say he fled the attack. Guerrero is one of the states most affected by fighting between organised criminal groups and by a military offensive against drug cartels that has left an estimated 70,000 people dead nationwide in the past six years.


razil is “on alert” over an oil spill that originated in Ecuador and is travelling downstream towards the Brazilian Amazon. In a statement, the Brazilian foreign ministry said the navy and other agencies had been informed, and help was offered to Ecuador and Peru. Last month, an estimated 11,480 barrels of oil leaked from a damaged pipeline into the River Coca in Ecuador. The spill has already reached the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto. “Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment), Brazil’s navy and ANP (National Petroleum Agency) are on alert in the event that the oil slick reaches the country,” Brazil’s foreign ministry said. “Brazil has offered aid to Ecuador and Peru to support the work of containment and dispersion of the oil slick in the two countries.” On 31 May, a landslide damaged the trans-Ecuador pipeline, causing a spill of some 420,000 gallons (1.6m litres) of crude oil. Some entered the Coca river, a tributary of the Amazon that also flows through Peru and Brazil. As it travelled downstream, the slick polluted drinking water in Coca, an urban area of about 80,000 people at the confluence of the Coca and Napo rivers in Ecuador. Days later, on 4 June, the authorities in Peru said the spill had reached the Loreto region. The Peruvian Environment Minister, Manuel Pulgar Vidal, called it a “very serious problem” and said Peru could seek compensation. “If there is a serious level of affected areas, international law always gives you the possibility to establish a compensation issue. “But... first we have to look at the extent of the problem,” he told Peru’s Canal N television. On Saturday, President Rafael Correa of Ecuador offered an apology to Peru “for the problems we have caused”. He added that the Peruvian navy were helping Ecuador to clean up the spill. Ecuador’s state oil company, Petroecuador, has said it has



Strange World Man stole lobsters, crab legs to impress date - cops


3 8 - y e a r - o l d Middletown, Conn., man wanted to impress his date so badly that he stole lobsters and crab legs from a local supermarket, according to police. Abdul Gonzalez ordered a bag of lobsters and a bag of snow crab legs at Stop & Shop on East Main Street in Middletown on Thursday afternoon, according to police. After picking up some additional items, he went to a self-scan register. When he rang up the bags of seafood, they appeared as “yesterday’s sweets” for a grand total of $1.25, when they should have come up to $22.88, according to police.

Gonzalez paid $5.08 for his whole order and left the store, police said. Gonzalez is accused of stealing $44.87 and later admitted to police that he stole the seafood because he had a date on Thursday night and wanted to impress the woman, according to the arraignment report. The idea apparently came from one of Gonzalez’s friends who told him to buy something inexpensive, use that bar code on a more expensive item and then use the self-checkout register, according to police. Gonzalez was issued a misdemeanor summons for sixth-degree larceny, signed a summons and is due in court on June 19.

Police said a Middletown man is accused of stealing lobster and crab legs from a local supermarket to impress a date.

Swedish train conductors wear skirts to fight shorts ban


fter their company decided to ban shorts during work hours, thirteen Swedish train conductors decided to wear skirts during the hot summer months. They’ve become the talk of the internet after photos of them dressed in female attire went viral. “Of course people stare at you a little when you are on the platform, but you just

have to put up with it,” Martin Åkersten, one of the bold conductors, told Swedish newspaper, Mitti. It can get pretty hot in a train cabin during the summer, with temperatures reaching 35 to 40 degrees Celsius, but the Arriva company’s uniform regulations state skirt or long trousers. Faced with a choice, some of its male employees have opted for the skirts as a

way to cool off. Åkersten and some of his colleagues got the green light from their manager a couple of weeks ago, and since then others have joined in the protest, while others have gone back to their usual uniforms. Mainly it’s the train conductors who don skirts, but a few members from the passenger car staff have also oped for them. Arriva, which operates

Stockholm’s Roslagsbanan train services approves of its employees choice, and says the skirts look more presentable than shorts. “Our thinking is that one should look decent and proper when representing Arriva and the present uniforms do that. If the man only wants [to wear] a skirt then that is OK. To tell them to do something else would be discrimination,”

Doritos drags wild deer to deputies


lorida deputies spotted an endangered Key Deer with a bag of Doritos over its head early Sunday. Deputy Joshua Gordon removed the bag from the deer’s head and snapped a photo of it, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said. Two deputies on patrol saw the deer in the Port Pine Heights

Subdivision on No Name Road on Big Pine Key just after midnight, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Becky Herrin. “It must have wanted that last chip in the bottom of the bag,” Herrin was quoted as saying by theSouth Florida Sun Sentinel. Herrin added that the deer was calm as it waited for the deputies

The deer had its head covered in a Doritos bag.

to come to it, and once the bag was taken off its head, it left. The Key Deer can only be found in the Florida Keys and southern Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A study conducted in 2000 found the population to be between 700 to 800, with most of them living on Big Pine Key.

Photo: Martin Åkersten

company communications manager Tomas Hedenius told reporters. Despite claims that shorts make employees look overly relaxed on the job, Arriva has announced the issue of uniforms will be back on the agenda at an upcoming company meeting scheduled for September. Source: Al Jazeera




Children are responsible for the spread of winter bugs By Nick Mcdermott, Science Reporter


voiding public transport during the flu season in a bid to stay healthy is a waste of time. Instead, it is your children you should be wary of, with the spread of seasonal infections most likely to come from the playground, according to scientists. And with women still responsible for the lion’s share of childcare, it goes some way to explaining why more women than men reported feeling unwell during the winter months. Almost half of women reported flu-like symptoms at some point

during the study, compared to a third of men. And on an average week, 6.9 per cent of women were unwell, compared to just 4.6 per cent of men - ending the myth of man flu. Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) asked almost 6,000 people to record whether or not they felt unwell every seven days during a 22-week period from November to April. Their answers were then compared to their lifestyle and background. The research will go some way to reassuring commuters that public transport is not a source of cold and flus, as those who travelled by bus or train were

actually nine per cent less likely to report an illness. The survey found a peak of reported flu-like symptoms in children just before the Christmas break, with a quarter feeling unwell. But by the following week - when the schools were closed - the rate of infection had more than halved, falling to 12 per cent. But with the highest levels of illness in adults coming just a week after children were found to be most unwell, there is clear link between bugs travelling from school to the family home. Dr Alma Adler, a research fellow at LSHTM, said: ‘It shows that schools really are a hotbed of transmission. If there is a

Avoiding public transport during the flu season is a waste of time - people who travel by bus or train are actually nine per cent less likely to report an illness

People are most likely to get flu from their children who pick up bugs in the playground - this could explain why women are more likely to get flu than men as they tend to care for ill children public health message from this research, it is to keep your children out of school as soon as they start feeling ill to prevent them spreading their bug to their schoolmates.’ She said there was no significant d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e prevalence of flu for people who used public transport, and those that did not. Speaking at the Cheltenham Science Festival she said: ‘You can completely discount the age old myth that taking public transport leaves you exposed to a whole host of infectious illnesses. The findings will no doubt come as a huge surprise to the many workers who blame being under the weather on their daily commute. ‘If you are on the train or on public transport, it is not very likely that another commuter will sneeze in your face. For a disease to be spread, being in an ill person’s presence is not

enough. Ideally there needs to be close contact and some sort of exchange of fluids.’ Over the entire survey, the average incidence of illness was six per cent on an average week, and around 46 per cent of the participants had flulike symptoms at least once during the duration of the research. But London had a 15 per cent lower than average number of cases. Considering many in the capital use public transport on a daily basis, the results suggest illnesses such as flu and colds are not spread this way. ‘If public transport helped spread infection, you would expect a city like London to have a much higher rate of flu. Instead we found that rates were similar in both urban and rural areas, and that is replicated in European research as well.’ Source:

Arc protein ‘could be key to memory loss’, says study


cientists have discovered more about the role of an important brain protein which is instrumental in translating learning into longterm memories. Writing in Nature Neuroscience, they said further research into the Arc protein’s role could help in finding new ways to fight neurological diseases. The same protein may also be a factor in autism, the study said. Recent research found Arc lacking in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Dr Steve Finkbeiner, professor of neurology and physiology at the University of California, who led the research at Gladstone Institutes, said lab work showed that the role of the Arc protein was crucial. “Scientists knew that Arc was involved in long-term memory,

because mice lacking the Arc protein could learn new tasks, but failed to remember them the next day,” he said. Further experiments revealed that Arc acted as a “master regulator” of the neurons during the process of long-term memory formation. The study explained that during memory formation, certain genes must be switched on and off at very specific times in order to generate proteins that help neurons lay down new memories. The authors found that it was Arc that directed this process, from inside the nucleus. Dr Finkbeiner said people who lack the protein could have memory problems. “Scientists recently discovered that Arc is depleted in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre, in Alzheimer’s disease

patients. “It’s possible that disruptions to the homeostatic scaling process may contributeto the learning and memory deficits seen in Alzheimer’s.” The study says that dysfunctions in Arc production and transport could also be a vital player in autism. The genetic disorder Fragile X syndrome, for example, which is a common cause of both mental disabilities and autism, directly affects the production of Arc in neurons. The Californian research team said they hoped further research into the Arc protein’s role in human health and disease would provide even deeper insights into these disorders and lay the groundwork for new therapeutic strategies to fight them. Source:

The hippocampus part of the brain plays an important role in long-term memory and spatial memory



Counsellor blames human trafficking on lack of education


counsellor, Rev. Sr. Laurencia Daniel, said yesterday that the quest for riches and the lack of education had contributed greatly to trafficking in women and children. Human trafficking involves the use of force or fraud to exploit human beings for some type of labour or commercial sex purpose. Daniel, who works with St Louis Ville Girls’ Secondary School, Gwagwalada, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that if everyone was educated, they would know the right thing to do at every given period. She said that without education, one would be vulnerable to anything, including prostitution. “The danger is that it takes away the human dignity; you become vulnerable to diseases, especially HIV,” she explained. Daniel stressed that trading in persons was wrong; noting that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and should be protected. “Human trafficking can only stop if people are contented, avoid being over ambitious and also by ensuring that everyone is educated. “Sometimes it is quest for riches that lures people into crime and things like trafficking. “Riches are not only measured in monetary terms, everyone should endeavour to identify one’s potential and harness them.’’ The nun said that human trafficking made the affected persons to lose hope in life and live just to survive. “They find it very difficult to associate with others because they feel ashamed and embarrassed,” she said. She said the victims usually experienced humiliation and faced hazards on the way to trafficked destination. “Some of them do not reach their target, as a result they die in desert,” she said. Daniel said that trafficking business was a network and the agents involved were strategically positioned. She said that those involved in the campaign had come up with a counter networking strategy to ensure that it stopped. Daniel said human trafficking was a crime against humanity and encouraged everyone to be part of the campaign against it. Daniel urged parents to stop giving out their children as servants, adding that no one could take care of children better than their biological parents. She, however, appealed to governments at all levels to make education accessible to all, especially for the rural dwellers. (NAN)

L-R: Hajiya Bola Shagaya, PDP National Chairman and husband of the celebrant, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, celebrant, Hajiya Fatima Tukur, First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, and wife of Vice-President, Hajiya Aminat Namadi-Sambo, during the 50th birthday of Hajiya Fatima, on Sunday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Assembly orders SUBEB chairman to refund N747.2m


he Zamfara House of Assembly has ordered Alhaji Murtala Jangebe, the Chairman of the state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), to refund N747.2million to the board’s accounts. The order was contained in a report presented to the House on Monday by a special committee set up to investigate the operation and financial activities of SUBEB. The committee said the amount was allegedly misappropriated from the SUBEC account by the chairman. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the committee was set up in the wake of allegations of high profile fraud that rocked the board in the last two years. The committee further recommended the prosecution of Jangebe and all those found guilty in

the scam for what it called ``criminal disregard for laid down financial regulations``. The report, a copy of which was made available to NAN, was unanimously adopted by the House. The committee, led by Alhaji Aliyu Kagara, representing Mafara 11 constituency, told the House that after investigations, it was discovered that the board, under the leadership of Jangebe, had been operating 15 separate accounts with different banks. He said the committee audited seven out of the 15 accounts with the assistance of the state auditor general as a co-opted member in order to give its findings a professional touch. It added that under the ``pensions account`` operated by the board in Eco Bank, the chairman allegedly made illegal expenditure of

N148.6million without the consent of the board or approval of the Governor. ``The chairman also deliberately went ahead, without the resolution of the board’s permanent members and approval of Governor, to divert N100million out of pensions funds to a fixed account. ``This is indeed a serious financial misuse of public funds as stated by pension reform act of 2004,’’ the report said. The committee further revealed that under the ``salary account` of the board operated with the UBA, it discovered illegal expenditure of N65.7million. An example of such payments, the committee added, was the N8.6million paid to one Sani Mailafiya as “miscellaneous expenditure” without any supportive document.

``These expenditures covered payments made without vouchers and other necessary supportive documents,’’ it said. The report said the chairman also furnished the committee with an inflated monthly salary expenditure of education authorities in 14 local government areas as N284.4million. ``After scrutiny by our committee, it was discovered that the actual monthly salary payments to all 14 local government LEA staff is N264.6million, leaving a difference of N19.7million,’’ it stated. ``It was discovered that after auditing all teaching and nonteaching staff under SUBEB in October 2011, the sum of N14.9million was recovered as left over but the amount was diverted for personal use by the chairman.” (NAN)

Lawmaker urges journalists to uphold ethics of profession


en. Magus Abe yesterday urged journalists to uphold the ethics of their profession in the discharge of their duties. Abe (PDP-Rivers South-East) made the call while presenting some voice recorders to journalists from the zone in Port Harcourt. He said the gesture was a fulfilment of a promise to the journalists to promote true professionalism among them. The senator also announced the award of scholarship to nine journalists from the zone to do

post graduate studies in higher institutions. “Nine deserving journalists selected from the seven local government councils that make up the senatorial zone had been awarded scholarships for Post Graduate Diploma studies at the International Institute of Journalism,” Abe said. Abe said journalism had encouraged growth of the nation’s democracy, and decried recent incidents of unprofessional conducts by

impersonators. He advised the beneficiaries of the voice recorders and the scholarships to take advantage of the gesture to improve themselves in their chosen field. Mr Opaka Dokubo, Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Rivers, thanked Abe for the gift and his close relationship with the press. He said the senator had not only shown his interest in enhancing best practise for the press but that he had also built

democracy. “When you build the press, you have indeed built democracy,” he said. The chairman said the gesture would always be remembered, and urged every politician to look inwards on what he could offer to further entrench democracy in the country. Mr Barivole Akpo, on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked the senator for his synergy with journalists and promised to make good use of the gifts.(NAN)




Group faults Wamakko’s suspension By Umar Muhammad Puma


Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South- West Women in a group photograph with Chief Edwin Clark (3rd left), during their visit to Chief Clark, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

NGF crisis: PDP stakeholder calls for unity By Chris Alu


he national patron of Peoples Democratic Party Transformation Youth Forum, Felicia Sani, who doubles as the National President of Market Women Association of Nigeria, has called on the warring factions of the party to bury their differences and adopt a common policy frame work that will move the party forward. Sani, who made this call at the inauguration of the National executive council of the PDP

Transformation Youth Forum for the six geo-political zones in Abuja, pointed out that as human beings, differences must occur but said the ability to overcome it is what matters. She said the party has produced successive Presidents of Nigeria, arguing that any internal difference should be handled within the party, rather than making it a matter for public consumption. Therefore, she explained that, collaboration with market

women, will rally support for the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that the agenda has helped the market women to improve in there businesses. In his address of welcome, Comrade Joseph Opuama, who is the National Coordinator of the Forum, said the essence of the gathering was to inform the people that even though Jonathan has not come out to tell the people that he is contesting for a second term, the youths are pleased with his transformation

agenda and are therefore ready to vote him again for a second term. According to him, the President had earlier explained that the transformation programme will bring about economic adjustments which will portent hardship to people, but which at the end will be beneficial to the people. He called on Nigerians to support the present administration in its transformation agenda, in order to get things right, adding that things will start getting better very soon.

Rep says he executed constituency projects worth N120m in two years


on Olayemi Busari, a member of the House of Representative on the platform of Accord Party (AP), says he has executed constituency projects worth over N120 million between 2011 and 2013. Busari told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview in Ibadan that the money was spent to improve the standard of living of the people in his constituency. He said that he constructed a three classroom blocks each at Bioku and Aladun Communities in Ona-Ara and another one at Olosan in Egbeda Local Government area of the state. “Through my poverty alleviation programme, I have given to people of the constituency 100 motorcycles, 50 sewing machines, 30 deep freezers and cash gift of N40,000 to 200 beneficiaries. Busari said he had also

provided 16 boreholes in the two local governments and at the same time sunk two drilled well in each of the 22 wards that make up the constituency, bringing the number to 44 wells. He also said that he had facilitated the rehabilitation and refurbishment of PHCN office at Olorunsogo which was burnt down during the protest against

the removal of petrol subsidy in January 2012. “I have tried within my capacity to secure appointments at the federal level for graduates in my constituency. “At least, 235 graduates have secured appointment in the federal civil service, Immigration Service, Nigeria Police, Civil Defence, Federal Road Safety

Commission and Military, to mention but a few.” He said that N50 million had been budgeted for the execution of many projects in his constituency in 2013. Busari, however, said he was able to do all these programmes with total support from both Federal and state Governments. (NAN)

UPN registration: Fasheun explains delay


he proposed Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) said it would take a longer period for it to meet the registration requirements of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), The Founder of the UPN, Dr Frederick Fasheun, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos while reacting to the delay by INEC in the registration of the party.

“The UPN is very much on ground. If INEC was not going to register the party, it would not have collected one million naira from us. “All we need to do now is to fulfil their conditions and you cannot fulfil those conditions in just one hour,” Fasheun said. He added that if the group was eventually registered, it would introduce `pervasive democracy’ to the people.

“We don’t want to introduce Lagos or Abuja democracy to the people, but a pervasive democracy that takes time,’’ Fasheun said. The party leader said the new UPN believed in the four cardinal points, as enunciated by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, ``and as a dynamic platform, it will seek to improve upon them, to enable Nigerians to cope adequately with the challenges of today’’. (NAN)

coalition of civil society organisations, has condemned the suspension of Gov. Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A statement issued yesterday in Abuja and signed by the Executive Director, Centre for Policy Advocacy and Leadership Development (CPALD), Mr Joe Mesele, described the action of the party as unfortunate and called on Nigerians to condemn in its entirety. According to the statement, the governor has laboured so much to ensure victory for the party at all levels since he came on board. Allegations that the governor did not pick the call of the party’s chairman, shows the rising wave of pull-down syndrome in the polity”, he said. “We have found out that the allegation making round over the suspension of the governor is meant to ridicule and cow him”. The coalition, however, urged Wamako not to be distracted by the antics of desperate politicians, adding that he should concentrate on consolidating dividends of democracy to the people. The statement also called on the leadership of the party to as a matter of urgency to rescind in its earlier decision to suspen the governor considering his role in the North-west politics. The PDP National Working Committee had, on June 5, suspended Wamakko for alleged insubordination.

Ogoni: Senator urges speedy implementation of UNEP report


en. Magnus Abe (PDP- Rivers South-East) yesterday urged the Federal Government to speed up the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni oil pollution. The report, which was submitted to the Federal Government in 2010, observed massive oil pollution in different sites of Ogoni land as a result of years of oil exploration activities in the area and called for urgent clean up of the polluted sites. Abe told newsmen in Port Harcourt that there was urgent need to implement the report to save the Ogoni people from contracting diseases caused by oil pollution. ‘’So, I want to appeal to all leaders of our party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to say that this programme (UNEP report) is a PDP programme and what we have today in Nigeria is a PDP government. “How many years did it take us before the document. So, if we fought that long to get the document, is it now that we have the document that somebody will throw it away and we will keep quiet?; it will happen. (NAN)



News Extra

Bank of Industry intervention funds hit N1.6trn – MD From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ontrary to public perception, the Chief Executive Office and Managing Director of Bank of Industry (BOI), Mrs. Evelyn Oputu, said Nigerians do not need to know anybody in government to access any loan from the bank. Oputu who spoke at training

programme for journalists at the weekend in Lagos noted that its managed funds had increased considerably to more than N1.6 trillion. She said that the bank was doing everything possible to ensure that it approves loans for those with bankable projects, adding that SMEs operators do not have to know anybody before loans are approved

for them. “You do not need insider connection, rather, the entrepreneur should have a well-packaged bankable proposal before seeking funding support from the bank, we insists on collateral for big loans because the money is not mine. According to her, the bank has disbursed loans worth N238 billion to Small and Medium scale

Enterprises (SMEs) since inception and has created more than 1,300,000 cumulative jobs through the loans. She said that the bank’s investment portfolio has been expanded mainly in favour of micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in view of their higher multiplier effects per unit of investment.

Oputu said the bank had witnessed unprecedented expansion in its credit operations without compromising the quality of its investments and posted impressive financial results. She said the cumulative value of fresh loans and investments rose by 1.91 per cent from N9.8 billion to N202.3 billion between 2005 and mid 2012.

Farmers identify lapses in FG subsidy programme implementation


L-R: Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga, receiving a plaque from Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, AVM E. E. Osim, during the latter’s visit to the deputy governor, recently in Kaduna.

Federal Character Commission vows to prosecute erring agencies over non-compliance By Umar Muhammad Puma


hairman of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Prof. Shuaibu Oba Abdulraheem, has warned Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to comply strictly with the rules and principles of the commission or face severe sanctions.

Abdulraheem spoke yesterday in Abuja while addressing participants at a two day sensitization workshop for MDA’s on online submission of nominal rolls. According to him, “we have been taking proactive measures in the past, we have been persuading but now, we will begin to wield the big stick by getting agencies that are not

complying prosecuted. “The ultimate goal is not to punish anybody or to show that we just want to humiliate somebody, we just want to get people to get used to compliance and obeying the law. “As I speak now, a whole management and chief executive of a major Federal Government

parastatal has been issued with a bench warrant for arrest and detention pending appearance in court.” He noted that the commission has integrated its website with a robust and dynamic portal which will facilitate real time, on-line data collection for the processing of manpower statistics.

Court cautions judicial council against further action on Gummi By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday cautioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) against taking further steps on the probe of the immediate past Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi. The Court sitting before Justice Adamu Bello said parties in the suit by a former FCT CJ, challenging the legality of the probe panel, should respect the principle of les pendis (pending matter before the court), as anything or decision reached during the pendency of the suit can be reversed or quashed as it will amount to sub-judice. “I remind parties in this suit to respect the principles of les pendis,

as the court has powers to reverse and quash any decision taken during the pendency of the case,” the Judge held. Bello’s pronouncement followed a complaint by counsel representing the former Chief Judge, Okunade Olorundare (SAN) with Sam Ologunorisa (SAN) that Justice Gummi, now the Emir of Gummi in Zamfara state, was still being summoned to appear before NJC probe panel, in spite of his pending court action against the council. Olorundare had sought to move a motion for interlocutory injunction to restrain the probe panel from taking further actions on the matter. The move was opposed by counsel to the NJC and other defendants who maintained that the motion for interlocutory injunction

was not ripe for hearing. Chief Jimoh Lasisi (SAN), lead counsel to the NJC, while opposing the motion, said that he that he needed time to file a counter motion. Bello in his ruling agreed that the motion was not ripe for hearing, since it was not filed along with the originating summons. The Judge however cautioned parties in the suit to take cognizance of the fact that the matter is before the court and that they should not take further steps in the probe. Gummi had sued NJC and six others challenging the competence of the NJC to subject him to probe, having seized to be a serving judicial officer by reason of his letter of voluntary retirement dated May 13, 2013 and the payment of three months salary in lieu of notice.

Joined as Defendants in the case, alpng with the NJC are, Justice Pius Olayiwola Aderemi (Chairman of the probe panel), Justice V. N Nebo, Justice Olatokunbo Olapade, Nestello Gateway group, and Secretary of the NJC. The former FCT CJ sought court order to declare that the NJC lacked the power or jurisdiction to probe him since the subject matter of the case was pending before an Abuja High Court. He also sought order of the court to set aside anything done or purported to be done by the NJC and the probe panel on the ground that he was no longer a judicial officer. Bello adjourned the matter to July 2, 2013 to hear the interlocutory motion.

he All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has urged the Federal Government to address some of the challenges impacting negatively on the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme implementation, to avoid farmers’ apathy. Dr. Tunde Arosanyin, the Secretary of AFAN made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday. NAN reports that the GES scheme is a Federal Government initiative under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda aimed at subsidizing the cost of major agricultural input such as fertilizer and seeds. Under the initiative, farmers access inputs through an electronic distribution channel known as the e-Wallet. The condition of the e-Wallet scheme stipulates that a farmer registered under the scheme pays 50 per cent of the cost of farm input while the federal and state governments pay 25 per cent each. One of the requirements for the scheme is the national farmers’ registration exercise where farmers’ data are captured into the ministry’s central data bank. According to him, the government has not been able to address some of the challenges experienced in 2012. He recalled that the association met with the team from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in March with a view to identifying and addressing some of the challenges. ``We believed then we had enough time to sort out some of these challenges but I am surprised we are still experiencing it this year. ``Those that are involved in the value chain; whether at federal or state level should be more committed to the success of this scheme.’’ He observed that the 2013 distribution of farm inputs had been a little bit slow. He explained that the association received reports of inadequate fertilizers and seeds from some places within the FCT, Niger, Kogi and Kwara. He added that the association had also received complaints of farmers whose names were omitted from the farmers’ data list. (NAN)



News Extra BRIEFS

Ilorin varsity gets 1,000-room hostel


private developer, AlphaMorgan Capital, has pledged to complete the construction of a 1000-room hostel facility at the University of Ilorin by August 2014. The company’s Managing Director, Mr. Ade Buraimoh, who confirmed this during the firm visit to the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Abduganeey Ambali, disclosed that the management of the firm has decided to speed up work on the project. Buraimoh, who was briefing the University management on the progress made on the project, said that the company had decided to scale up the initial plan of 300 rooms to 3,000 rooms, which would be completed in three phases. From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

Coal can solve Nigeria’s power problem - Expert


udicious use of coal can solve the nation’s epileptic of power supply, a former Managing Director of Ajaokuta Steel Company, Ibrahim Sabo Sodangi, has affirmed. Sodangi spoke in a paper titled “Coal and its uses: Prospects and Opportunities in Nigeria,” which he delivered at the annual lecture of the “Mining Engineer” held in Kaduna. He described coal as one of the three most important fossilized energy resources formed several millions of years. “Coal can solve the power problem in Nigeria and can be converted into petrol and gas, substituted to fire wood and it can also be used to produce chemicals and if properly harnessed, Nigeria can be the biggest exporter of coal apart from domestic uses. From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

Court remands pastor, doctor in prison custody for murder


akurdi Chief Magistrate Court yesterday remanded a Pastor, Matthew Ekele, and a doctor, Paul Okpeh, both of Ai-Odu village in Ogbadibo local government area of Benue state in prison custody for alleged conspiracy and murder of one Matthew Abah. Prosecuting police officer, Sgt. Gabriel Ebonyi, said that one Joseph Onyeke had reported at Otukpa Police station that Ekele conspired with one Indian Igwe and beat up the deceased. He also stated that the pastor asked Okpeh to perform a surgical operation on the deceased and during the process he died. The Chief Magistrate, Mr. Dan Ogoh, adjourned the matter to June 26, 2013. From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwabiala, and Ministry Director of Procurement, Malam Shehu Aliyu, during minister’s meeting with contractors handling Federal Government Almajiri school projects, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

NAFDAC nabs suspected fake drug traffickers By A’isha Biola Raji


fficials of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) have apprehended one Emeka Ekeby for allegedly importing two large packages of 20,000 units of fake NGC Codeine bottle caps worth N5 million. According to the NAFDAC Director General, Dr. Paul Orhii, the packaging material, was seized by the officers at the Murtala

Mohammed International Airport. He said the packaging which was imported by Kaba and Kachi, cleared by Gojeb Global Resources, as an analgesic product with the aim of faking codeine syrup. Orhii said the counterfeiters have devised another means of counterfeiting drugs by importing unfinished fake materials. According to him, “they have shifted from shipment of container loads of counterfeit

drugs through the seaports to clandestine importation of small and portable packages of counterfeit drugs at airports so they can easily evade the eagle eyes of law enforcement agencies. “Landlords of warehouses used to conceal fake drugs and packaging will also be arrested and prosecuted.” NAFDAC paraded the suspect who denied the allegation. According to him, the seized goods were given him by some strange men few minutes before

he was arrested. Also arrested is one Osita Mbakwe who allegedly imported four packages of materials for production of fake Sure White Lightening Shower Cream estimated at N1 million. The Agency also the seizure of 47,091 packs of Rabies and Tetanus vaccine injection, worth N3, 000,000 which were stored at high temperature. This according to the Orhii could have affected the potency of the vaccine.

NGO doles out cash to small scale entrepreneurs in Kaduna From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) under the aegis of Human Trust Foundation has donated cash to small scale entrepreneurs in Kaduna state. The NGO said that the money was to assist the 100 entrepreneurs in their businesses. Speaking during the

ceremony of the Capital Enhancement Project for small scale Entrepreneurs sponsored by a United Kingdom based business man, Alhaji Mohmud Dahiru Modibbo, the group’s state Coordinator, Malam Jibril Sulaiman Zakirai, said the project was poverty reduction strategy. According to him, “it was due to the pathetic situation of our people, particularly women and youth who are covered with

poverty that our donor, Alhaji Mahmud Dahiru Modibo, sent in the money for the Foundation to assist the people. “We are not giving the money to those who are not doing any business. The money is meant for those small scale entrepreneurs as a way of enhancing their capital. “The beneficiaries are mostly tailors, bakers, women who are into zobo drinks and pure water sellers.”

He explained that it was the second time the Foundation was giving out money to women who are badly in need of capital enhancement. In his remarks, Director SalSabil Plastics in Kaduna, Alhaji Alhaji Mohammad Sani Ishehu, told the beneficiaries that, “you have to be committed in whatever you are doing, but above all you must be trustworthy if you want to succeed in your business.”

Baga: Sardauna Foundation donates relief materials to victims From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation yesterday donated assorted materials to some communities of Baga and Bama towns in Borno state who were affected by the recent Boko Haram violence. Items donated comprised of 1000 bags of semovita, 500 pieces of women wax fabrics, 500 pieces of mats and 280 pieces of mattresses, among others. Member, Board of Trustee of the Foundation, Alhajj Asheikh Jarma,

presented the materials to Governor Kashin Shettima at the Government House in Maiduguri. He said that the gesture was aimed at minimizing the suffering of the victims. Jarma who was a former governor of the state added that the Foundation was concerned over what he termed “catastrophic”’ loss of lives and property occasioned by the lingering crisis confronting the state. He noted that the token relief materials would not adequately meet the high demand of the victims and expressed the need for the people of

the north and other well-meaning Nigerians to come forward and assist those devastated by the tragedy. According to him, “we also call on the Federal Government to do all it can to come to the aid of the millions of innocent civilians entrapped in the vortex of violence. “We strongly feel that there should be adequate provision of humanitarian services to avert any humanitarian crisis.” Jarma said that the Foundation also planned to conduct a one month entrepreneurship development training for 100 youth for effective skills acquisition knowledge and link

them with micro-finance firms. He pointed out that the Foundation will award scholarships for 10 Borno indigenes to undergo Higher National Diploma (HND) studies in any public institution across the country. In his remarks, Governor Shettima, thanked the Foundation for the donation which he said would complement governnent efforts in tackling the plight of the victims. Shettima sought the permission of the Foundation to include communities of Marte local government area among the beneficiaries of the donation.



Brave Warriors will shoot down Super Eagles, interim coach boasts Stories by Patrick Andrew


rave Warriors’ interim coach, Ricardo Mannetti, has boasted that his charges would cause an upset against AFCON champions the Super Eagles of Nigeria in tomorrow’s 2014 World Cup qualifier in Windhoek, Namibia. Mannetti, who took over as interim head coach just two days ago following the sudden resignation of former manager Roger Palmgren, held his first training session with the players

Govt won’t sponsor Bash Ali’s proposed boxing fight, says Minister


he National Sports Commission has rejected Bash Ali’s appeal for the federal government to sponsor his proposed world title fight. Ali, who claims to be the oldest boxer in the world, had persistently sought to convince the government to fund the cruiserweight contest between him and an American opponent- Gunn Bobby. He had appealed for Presidential intervention, practically occupied the PDP secretariat, only last week at the launch of the Rhythm n play, he staged a mild protest before President Goodluck Jonathan, who directed that he be listened to. Ali later exchanged harsh words with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke. His insistence ensured the demand reappeared at the Midterm briefing yesterday where he sought to actualise his quest to enlist in the “Guinness Book of World Records’’, but was rebluffed by Abdullahi. Speaking on the subject, Abdullahi dismissed Ali’s several entreaties for government to bankroll the fight stressing that it was a professional fight that should attract sponsorship from sources outside of the state. Further, he wondered how the government would commit huge public resources into a private endeavour which would no bearing to the corporate interest of the commonweal. The minister was hard put understanding why he wants to promote his own fight instead allowing big-time promoters to do so. Ali, 57, has repeatedly said the fight, if it eventually held, would him one of the oldest fighters in the cruiser weight category in the world even as he desires to establish six sports academies in the country to improve the nation’s sports fortunes. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that he had made several attempts to set up a Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the fight in 2006 but to no avail because of lack of funds.

yesterday morning and reckoned that the mood in the camp was positive as his players step up preparations to confront the West Africans. “The situation remains the same. We are playing Nigeria and the players are aware of that. I played for this team before and I know what is at stake and have spoken to the players as well,” he said. “First of all, it is pride you play for, secondly you play for the national team jersey, your family and the nation and that will be at the forefront of their thoughts. “Coaches come and go but the national team remains and the players are committed to running out there (on Wednesday night) and performing to the best of their abilities, “ he said and called on the nation to remain positive and rally behind the team. “We need the support from the nation as we go into this crucial game. The only thing that has changed is Roger (Palmgren) leaving, but the situation remains the same, we have to win this game and for that we need all the support we can get,” he said. Mannetti emphasised that he is ready for the Wednesday night game against Nigeria and is sticking to the game plan. “We have been working with these players for about two weeks now and there is no need to introduce any new ideas that can confuse players, we are sticking

to our plan to get victory against Nigeria,” he said. Nigeria lead Group F on eight points followed by Malawi on six, Namibia on four and Kenya on two points. Meanwhile, Namibia could be

without midfielders Oliver Risser and Manfred Starke for the match the Aldershot Town in England knee injury during training. Also, Starke, 22, who features for Hansa Rostock in Germany, is being assessed by the doctor to determine the severity of

his flu. The Brave Warriors have to win their final two games, starting with Nigeria on 12 June and then at Kenya on September 9 to have a chance of making it through to the final round of Africa’s qualification to Brazil.

Members of the Super Eagles celebrating after scoring during one of the AFCON qualifiers. They hope for a repeat celebration tomorrow against Brave Warriors.

FG plans Special Unit in EFCC to check Match-fixing, other sports crimes


rrangements are in top gear to set up a Special Unit in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) exclusively to checkmate incidences of financial and other crimes in sports. This was disclosed yesterday by Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, who also revealed that talks are ongoing between the commission and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation over measures that would effect the arrest of immorality in sports. Specifically, Abdullahi mentioned match-fixing, misappropriation, and other such ugly incidences which could have adverse effect on the integrity of sports administration. “We are working with the office of the Attorney General to set up a special squad within the EFCC to monitor games. ``Once we find anyone who has taken part or who has colluded to fix any game or throw any game, we are going to ensure that it is treated as a criminal offence and the law will take its due course,” he said.

He frowned at abused of resources allocated for sports funding adding that such act was criminal and must so treated. Further, he thumbed up the commission’s recent supervision of elections into sports federations noting that the hitherto electoral malpractices which usually lead to avalanche of court cases were eliminated in the last exercise. In the area of the domestic

professional league, he said efforts were being made to restore confidence in the league particularly with the institution of the League Management Company which has ensured that the win-at-home syndrome has been eliminated, fair officiating at games are now the order of the day as well as other international best practices introduced into the league.

Bolaji Abdullahi, Sports Minister

Ibrahim Lamorde, Chairman of EFCC

``Anybody watching the Nigerian League now can see that there is greater commitment, there is greater passion, and the quality of football has improved. The quality of officiating has improved and there is greater private sector confidence returning to the Nigerian league. ``We believe that with the work that we have started, very soon the Nigerian league is going to compete favourably with one of the best football leagues in the world. In the past, it will be difficult to find a team winning away games. ``If you look at the result of last season almost all the home games were won by the hosting teams and almost all the away games were lost by the visiting teams but under the current season, we are glad to say that so many teams are recording away wins that means that the quality of officiating is improving. According to him innovations brought about by his administration would not only restore investors’ confidence in the sports sector, especially in football, but fresh breathe to sports administration adding that modalities for the kind of personnel needed to manage sports were being evolved.



Sports Senior men’s cricket team to undergo UK training tour July


he national senior male cricket team will undergo a training tour of the UK from July 6 through July 18, according to a statement from the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF) yesterday. The federation’s Media Co-ordinator, Kayode Adeniyi, said that the tour would be ahead of the team’s participation at the World Cricket League Six Tournament in Jersey, UK. He said the team had already commenced preparations for the training tour and participation in the tournament by camping in Abuja and playing some practice matches. The NCF board member said the camp of 14 homebased players and officials begin training at the cricket playing ground of the Abuja National Stadium’s Package B on Saturday morning. The federation spokesman said the team also, as part of its preparations, played a warm-up match against the Asian Eleven at the Abuja National Stadium on Sunday morning. The tournament will be held from July 21 to July 28, with Argentina, Bahrain, Kuwait and Vanuotu grouped alongside Nigeria.

... As team beat Abuja side in friendly


igeria’s senior men’s cricket team (NCF XI) over the weekend beat the Cricket Club of Abuja (CCA) by 153 runs in a friendly encounter at the Abuja National Stadium. The national side scored 201 runs in 30 overs for the loss of five wickets, while their opponents scored 48 runs in 17.3 overs in the game played at the stadium’s Package B. The match was organised as part of the team’s preparations for the World Cricket League Six Tournament in Jersey, UK from July 21 to July 28. Segun Olayinka, Kunle Adegbola and Jide Bejide scored 63, 40 and 37 runs respectively for the national side, while Taruh scored 21 runs for the CCA. Seye Olimpio of CCA took out four wickets, while teammate Matthias took out three in the game watched by Sports Minister Bolaji Abdullahi. Two board members of the Nigeria Cricket Federation (NCF), including Mr Emeka Onyeama who is the president, also watched the match.

Fear grips NFA as coach resigns 3 days before clash with Eagles N amibia Football Association is worried stiff following the resignation of Brave Warriors’ coach Roger Palmgren less than 72 hours before a crucial clash with group leaders the Super Eagles of Nigeria. John Muinjo, President of the Namibia Football Association (NFA), who announced the departure of the coach Sunday evening, said the resignation was a shocker stressing that the team would rather do with no distraction before an all-important game against AFCON champions. The coach, whose technical savvy in just two games since he assumed the post, has seen the Brave Warriors grow in status, opted to part ways with Namibia suddenly over alleged threat to his life and

that of his immediate family. The Swedish coach, who was appointed in May and helped his team to a 0-0 draw away to Malawi six days ago, had looked forward to directing procedures for the Warriors against Stephen Keshi-led Eagles. However, that will no longer take palce. In his stead though, the NFA announced Ricardo Mannetti as stand-in coach to be assisted by Ronnie Kanalelo. Other than the resignation of their coach, Namibia are still without the injured Rudolf Bester, Henrico Botes, Heinrich Isaacks and Ronald Ketjijere, but Oliver Risser has resumed training and is in contention for a starting berth. The Eagles are in Windhoek after their morale-boosting 1-0 win over the Harambee Stars of Kenya last week.

Floods force Flying Eagles to change camp

Irabor warns club officials over unguarded utterances


he floods ravaging Germany have forced the Flying Eagles to change their training camp from Germany to Ebbs Bei Kufstein/ Tirol in Austria, an official has said. The team’s Media Officer, Samm Audu, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday from the national U-20 team’s camp in Germany. ``The team was originally scheduled to set up a second training base in Germany on their return from the Toulon International Tournament in France on Sunday. ``But the situation made this not to be possible, and we have now made changes,’’ he said. Audu said the situation forced the team to train on an open field on Monday morning and would train at the Tirol Stadium later in the day. The team is in Europe preparing for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup scheduled to hold in Turkey from June 21 to July 13. The Flying Eagles are expected to fly to Turkey on June 17 from Frankfurt, Germany and play their first match at the U-20 FIFA World Cup on June 21 in Kayseri. Their other first round games are against Cuba in Kayseri and South Korea in Istanbul.


he League Management Company (LMC) has warned that it will no longer tolerate misguided statements from club officials as unguarded utterances can ruin the integrity of the league. The LMC’s Chairman, Nduka Irabor, handed down the warning yesterday in Lagos stressing that the body would create stiffer rules against untrue and offensive utterance. He explained that lately some club officials had accused referees of bad calls during league matches, some of which appeared instigating.

Rudolf Bester, injured Brave Warriors player is out of tomorrow’s clash

Victor Moses, will miss the game in Windhoek because of injury

The match is scheduled for the Sam Nujoma Stadium tomorrow. In the first leg last June,

the Super Eagles ran away with a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Ikechukwu Uche goal scored in the 80th minute.

Irabor urged club officials to be mindful that the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) had values that needed to be held in high esteem. “Referees are constantly being reminded to be fair, firm and impartial. We would never stop drumming up that message. ``However, it does not then mean that every complain you hear is a well founded complain. There is a procedure, a process and a platform for lodging such complain by club officials. ``They must be mindful that

there is a value to this league that they unwittingly erode by their act of omission or commission. “Definitely, there are existing rules to deal with this but we’ve already commissioned our lawyers to find sterner acceptable ways to handle this. We are going to begin to implement some of these things. It does not need to be rowdiness; even utterances are going to be punishable.” He advised club officials to uphold the virtues of professionalism in order to improve on the league to meet global standards.

Kalu signs 4-year contract with Turkish side Rizespor


ormer Enyimba striker, Uche Kalu has finally joined Turkish side Rizespor by signing a

Uche Kalu

permanent four year contract. Uche played for the team on a year loan deal and scored nine goals before injury forced him out of the game. Kalu, who missed out of the Super Eagles team to the Africa Cup of Nations due to injury, now have the chance to legalise his stay and thus settle down to render more useful services to them. The striker will join the team that gained promotion to the elite division of the Turkish league next month for pre-season tour before the league starts. A close confidant and lawyer, Chike Onyeacho

confirmed to a wire service that everything has been sorted out for Uche to join the team for four years. “Uche Kalu has joined the team for another four years. The club felt he did well with them before injury forced him out at the beginning of the year and decided that they will give him a four year contract. “He played for one season on loan from Enyimba, but he is no longer a player of Enyimba since they have agreed for him to move to Turkey. “This is a new phase in his career and he has since started training after he recovered from the injury some months ago. He is eager to start playing football again,” Onyeacho said.




Lemaitre beats Gatlin in Rabat


uropean champion Christophe Lemaitre claimed a notable scalp on Sunday as he beat American Justin Gatlin over 100-metres in Rabat. The Frenchman recorded a winning time of 9.98sec with a strong tailwind of 2.9m/s with Gatlin coming home in 10.02.

The exploit is all the more impressive as 2004 Olympic champion Gatlin, who subsequently served a four-year dopping ban, beat Usain Bolt in Rome on Thursday. Gatlin beat the Jamaican superstar, who won 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay gold medals at the last two Olympics, in a time

of 9.94 in the Italian capital, with Bolt clocking 9.95. Lemaitre was slow out of the blocks in Morocco but surged through to gallop past Gatlin in the final few strides. It was the 22-year-old’s first outing under 10-seconds this season. His French record is 9.92 set two years ago.

First Deep Water dream Zenith B’ball final, says coach

C Justin Gatlin

Christophe Lemaitre

Coach says CRS can dominate in national swimming tourneys


oses Agbor, a swimming coach in Cross River, says the state will soon dominate in the sport, following the brilliant performanceoftheObubracontingent at a local competition. The contingent from Obubra Local Government Area came first with 17 Gold, seven Silver and seven Bronze medals in the primary school’s category at the fourth PrimarySecondary Schools Athletics and Swimming Championship. In the secondary school category of the meet, they won five gold, one silver and a bronze medal to lead other participants in the sport. Participants from 18 council areas participated in the competition, organised in line with the state’s Comprehensive Sports Development programme. The thrust of the programme is to discover and nurture budding talents

to stardom. Agbor said that the Obubra contingent had been dominating in swimming since the inception of the championship in 2010, and were expected to spearhead the state’s assault in future national competitions. He attributed the successes of Team Obubra at the state’s swimming championship to the enabling environment provided at the council and the state’s sports administrators. ``These youths reside by the River bank in Obubra and the water there is helpful. Some us were discovered there in the 70’s and parents encourage their young to take to the water early. ``There is no doubt that these youths regard some of us as role models in the sports and are trying on their own to sustain the leadership,’’ Agbor said.

oach Lateef Erinfolami of First Deep Water of Lagos is confident his team have the depth to reach a fourth consecutive final of the annual Zenith Bank Women Basketball playoffs. Erinfolami disclosed this after his team defeated Plateau Rocks of Jos 88-50, at the ongoing 2012/2013 edition of the competition. The win was their second in the competition holding at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. Erinfolami said he was happy at the way his girls played, adding that he was hardly stressed watching from the bench whenever the girls played. “I am happy the way my girls played as a team, they easily gel and have a good ball sense; they take to instructions and have the will to listen,’’ Erinfolami said. Coach Chris Wesley of Plateau, however, said his young players met

a tougher opposition, which was also well coordinated and tutored. ``We met a tougher opposition, they are very mobile and play good basketball, they have been together for some time and they are certainly the best team. ``However, losing our two games does not diminish our potential, we are a young team and

gradually gathering the necessary experience that matters,’’ Wesley said. In other matches played, First Bank of Lagos whitewashed FCT Angels 71-45, Dolphins of Lagos spanked Nigeria Customs 83-62, while Sunshine Angels of Akure defeated IGP Queens of Lagos 55-47.

Hewitt ends losing streak


leyton Hewitt ended his losing streak with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory over America’s Michael Russell in the first round at Queen’s Club, a grass court tournament yesterday. Hewitt is a four-time champion at the pre-Wimbledon warm-up event, but thoughts of a record fifth crown were some way from the former world No 1’s thoughts as he arrived in west London.

The 32-year-old is well into the twilight of his career and his lowly 82nd position in the world rankings reflects that diminished status. Hewitt’s first round defeat at the French Open, when he squandered a two-set lead against Gilles Simon, was his fourth successive defeat and he hadn’t tasted victory since the first round of the Miami Masters back in March.

Diogu, Oyedeji lead 13 D’ Tigres for Stankovich Cup tourney

Deaflympic Games-bound athlete pays tribute to sports


uru Badmus, a deaf athlete who won a gold medal at the 2012 National Sports Festival (NSF), on Sunday urged his colleagues to engage in sporting activities, instead of begging for alms. Badmus , who appealed to deaf persons with interest in skills, said sports could provide them the needed springboard to showcase their talents, make living and excel in life. ``I am appealing to deaf people and other special people to engage in sports. Sports will make them more relevant in our society of today. ``It was through my involvement in sporting activities that I am training my two children educationally. I

chose sports, instead of begging for alms in the streets. ``Through sports, I am making a name for myself because I choose to look beyond my disability and made use of my passion,” he said. Badmus, who is currently preparing to represent the country at the upcoming Deaflympic Games in Sophia, Bulgaria, assured that he and others would not disappoint the country. The Games holds from July 24 to August 4. ``I have been training very hard for this. I will try my best for my country to ensure that our flag is hoisted high. There is hope for me in sports, besides the monetary gain, sports makes one to be fit,” he added.

D’ Tigres during a game against Litunia


he Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), has called up15 players for the Stankovich Continental Cup holding from June 26 to July 10 in two Chinese cities, Lanzhou and Guanzhou. Patrick Omorodion, NBBF’s Head of Media Unit, said in a statement that the team would be co-captained by Ike Diogu and Olumide Oyedeji. The other players, according

to the statement, include Ben Uzoh, Mike Ohiero, Richard Oruche, Deji Egbeyemi, Stan Okoye, Abubakar Usman, Stanley Gumut and Yahaya Abdul. The rest, the statement added, are Solomon Alabi, Nkem Ojougboh, Kingsley Oguchi, Kelechi Anuna and Ehimen Orukpe. The statement said that Nigeria’s participation at the tournament would further

prepare it for the ``2013 Afrobasket Men’’ slated for Aug. 20 to Aug. 31 in Cote d’Ivoire. According to the statement, a number of players would later join the team for the Afrobasket event, after the Stankovich Cup. The statement said this was to enable the players conclude injury rehabilitation, among other issues, before the Afrobasket event.




Oyedeji pledges to facilitate basketball development


lumide Oyedeji, Captain of the D’Tigers, on Saturday said that his appointment as athletes’ representative on the board of the Nigerian Basketball Federations (NBBF) was for the development of the sport. Oyedeji, who said in Lagos

Cameroon FA boss arrested


he president of Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) Iya Mohamed was arrested by the police yesterday at the airport on his return from Togo where he had accompanied the Indomitable Lions for a World Cup qualifier against the Sparrow Hawks in Lome on Sunday. No reasons were given for his arrest but reports in Yaounde suggest it is not unconnected with Iya’s troubles at the stateowned cotton firm Sodecoton, which he has been heading for years. A court in the central African country, which investigated the company’s financial records, earlier found him guilty of mismanagement and banned him from heading any public company for a period of five years. His arrest comes a day to general elections at the Fecafoot that will elect a new president and members of the executive committee.

that he was not the choice of the Basketball Players Association of Nigeria (BAPAN), however noted that a stakeholder and chairman of the Osun State Basketball Association, he was qualified to serve in the board. ``I have the honour to represent basketball athletes, both female and male, foreign and home-based and not BAPAN. I am also a stakeholder in Nigerian basketball as the Chairman of the Osun Basketball Association, and this goes with a lot of experience.

``I have a basketball academy which has been around for the past 13 years, and I have personally overseen the transition of over 100 young players to become professional players, overseas. ``I am here for the development of the game and not for the interest of myself or some individuals,’’ he said. Also, Oyedeji said that he had always meant well for the growth of the game in the country, and would continue to serve in that capacity whenever he was called upon.

``We want to create an environment where basketball can grow in the country, where the athletes, domestic and foreign-based, can have a sense of belonging. We will not move forward if we turn political and fight amongst ourselves on who should lead. ``If anybody or group have an idea on how things should be done, they should come out and contribute and not stay behind and back stab. I urge members of BAPAN to come forward and let us work in the interest of the

adhyyat Usman of Nana Aishat Memorial College of Education, Ilorin, on Saturday emerged as champion of the maiden Maigida Inter-Tertiary Institution Chess Championships in Kwara. Usman scored 61/2 points, beating Sunday Bilubaje of the University of Ilorin to second place with a six point’s score; while Aremu Abdulwahab of the Kwara Polytechnic came third. In his address at the closing ceremony, the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, congratulated the organisers for the successful hosting of the intellectual game. Gold used the medium to express the Kwara government’s

desire to engage youths through sporting activities. He noted that no other platform could engage a large number of youths like sports, adding that government had planned to expand facilities for all sports to accommodate every sports-loving individual. Earlier, the Chairman, Kwara Sports Council, Mr Lanre Giwa, noted that the competition had brought life into the game of chess in the state, just as he promised that the tournament had come to stay. Also speaking, Prof. Sulyman Omotosho, Chairman Kwara State Chess Association, said he was not disappointed with the standard of the competition and added that

other competitions would come on board in the not too distant future. Omotosho commended the participants for taking part in the competition, without placing too much attachment to monetary rewards. Meanwhile, the winner, Radhyyat Usman, lauded the organisers for providing them with the platform to exhibit their talents, which she said would provide them the impetus to prepare for future competitions. The tournament was organised by Veras Ltd and sponsored by the Office of the Special Assistant on Students’ Affairs to Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed, Lamidi Akanbi.

assaulted the referee which led to his refusal to continue with the game after the first half. The LMC’s Chairman, Nduka Irabor, who confirmed this yesterday, said the body would meet to deliberate on submissions from officials and teams about the incidence and added that stern measures would be taken to sanction

any found to have been responsible for the referee’s refusal to carry on with the match. The midweek encounter between the two sides was abandoned midway, when Henry Ogunyanmodi was allegedly attacked by some fans, while Akwa United were leading 2-0. Irabor described the incident,

which was shown live on satellite television, as a disgrace and a commercial disaster for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL). ``We shall apply the rules strictly. The incident in Uyo is a national disgrace and a commercial disaster to our league. There are values to this league that must be respected. ``We’ve told all the match commissioners and referees to speed up their reports and we’re not going to wait for too long to take action. ``In fact, we shall have criminal proceedings brought against some people if we are able to verify some of the things we have heard,” he said. Meanwhile, the LMC has rejected an appeal by Rangers International of Enugu to lift the six match closeddoor sanction imposed on its fans. Fans of Rangers were banned in April, after an alleged assault on a referee in their encounter against Warri Wolves at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu. Irabor disclosed that Rangers, who had seen out five of the six match closed-door sanction, will play its next home game against Heartland FC of Owerri in an empty stadium on Sunday.

UniCem Nana Aishat COE wins maiden Maigida Rovers Chess Championships in Kwara target promotion, R seek more funding

LMC to decide on alleged referee’s assault in Uyo today T

he League Management Company (LMC) has resolve to rule on the controversy surrounding the abandoned match between Akwa United and Warri Wolves at the Uyo Township Stadium following the alleged assault of the centre referee today. Also, the LMC has vowed to punish those found to have

game and not politicise issues,’’ he said. On the chances of D’Tigers at the upcoming 2013 Afro Basket Nations Cup billed for Abidjan, Cote D Ivoire, Oyedeji said that the country stands the chance of performing well. ``I have faith in the Coach Ayo Bakare led team, I played under him for several years and also at the last summer Olympics in London,’’ he added.

Warri Wolves players in action during a premiership encounter


niCem Rovers FC of Calabar, a Nigerian National League side, on Friday said it was targeting promotion to the Nigerian Premier League, next season. The Chairman of the club, Mr Ansa Henshaw, disclosed this in Calabar, while presenting the 2013 State FA Cup to Olivier Lenoir, the Managing Director of UniCem. Accord i n g t o H e n s h a w , the team is currently at the top of the NNL, a feat which will ginger the club and eventually shoot it to the premier league. He, therefore, pleaded with the management of the company to sufficiently fund the club. Henshaw said the team would be playing more competitions than were originally budgeted for. ``At the National League level, we are currently at the top in the league table. Recall that we had presented a strategic plan to move up to the Premier League by the end of the 2013 league season. `` We have, through the strategy and your support, improved in our performance, resulting to our current position in the table. We are confident that we will sustain the current tempo and ultimately get promoted to the premiership. ``We are currently in week 23 of the season and still have many matches to play, but we are constrained by limited resources. It is our hope that we will keep the momentum, with additional support,’’ he said. In his response, Lenoir said he was delighted with the success story of the club and urged it to continue to work as a team. Lenoir said UniCem would not stop supporting the club financially, noting that the funds so far released had been well utilised.


Some Interesting Facts The guy at the end of this video exists. If you say “my cocaine” you sound like Michael Caine saying his own name. Male puppies, when playing with female puppies, will intentionally let the female win. The next Star Wars will not be directed by George Lucas. It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown. The kingdom of Bhutan use ‘gross national happiness’ as a key national indicator. The majority of European children born in 2013 will live to see the year 2100. Cows have best friends. Neurologically speaking, seeing somebody else smile actually makes you happier. Every human being spent about half an hour as a single cell. There are people, ombrophiles, who have a passionate love for rain. Once your brain realizes that you’re dying, it releases DMT, one of the most powerful known psychedelics. This dilates your perception of time and allowing you to live inside your own mind for hours or even days. No matter how long you live there will always be an


Leisure amazing new food for you try. A group of porcupines is called a prickle. Aside from a sample in a lab, Smallpox is completely extinct. No one else will ever die from it again. A pig’s orgasms last thirty minutes. We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. Sloths only leave their tree once a week, to pee and poo. Spinner dolphins sleep in pairs, one with the left hemisphere asleep, the other with the right. They each keep watch with one eye and half a brain. They are known to

sleep-mate for life. At the time of your birth, you were, for a few seconds, the youngest person on the planet. Cows produce the most milk when listening to the song Everybody Hurts by REM. Somewhere, someone is losing their virginity right now. If you spell out numbers in order, the first time you get to the letter “a” is at onethousand. We’ve all been here forever. Every bit of matter we see has been here since the beginning of time and it always will be.

A m o n k e y w a s once tried and convicted for smoking a cigarette in South Bend, Indiana. Happiness is a skill. You can learn it and it’s not hard. Except when breeding, the Common Swift spend their entire lives in the air, living on the insects they catch in flight. They drink, feed, and often mate and sleep on the wing Baby rabbits are called kittens. Baby puffins are called pufflings. 56. Costa Rica is statistically the happiest nation on Earth. Worms communicate by snuggling. 2013 is the first year since 1987 that consists for four different digits.

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This spectacular iceberg in the Jokulsarlon lagoon, Iceland, looks like it has had stripes dyed into it, but they are a completely natural phenomenon. Source:

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 11, June, 2013  
Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 11, June, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 11, June, 2013