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Vol. 11 No. 39

Thursday, July 11, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Ramadan Timings Zambia charges for Abuja MTN, Airtel for MAGRIB


6.56 p.m.

5.01 a.m.

neglect >> 21

Ramadan 2, 1434 AH


2015: CSO warns against use of vigilantes >>37

Reps take over Rivers Assembly zCommotion, anxiety in Port Harcourt zACN blames Jonathan, wants him impeached By Lawrence Olaoye, Umar Muhammad Puma, Abuja & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


equel to the violence that occurred at the Rivers state House of Assembly on Tuesday, the House of Representatives

after intensive debate and approval of a motion, based on Section 11, sub section 4 of the 1999 Constitution, has taken over the functions of the Rivers Assembly. The House also directed the Inspector General of Police to immediately redeploy the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr.

Security men erecting barricades against protesting youth over the Rivers state House of Assembly crisis, yesterday in Port Harcourt.

Joseph Mbu, who has been accused of taking sides in the matter. It said, Mbu did not live up to his responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of people in the state. Section 11(4) of the Constitution states that: “At any time when any House of

Assembly of a state is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in the state, the National Assembly may make such Laws for the peace, order and good government of that state with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may Contd. on Page 2

Another group of youth protesting over the Rivers Assembly crisis on Azikiwe road. Photos: NAN

...Chaos in Senate over CP’s redeployment By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he Senate chambers was yesterday engulfed in commotion over a perceived

attempt by the Senate President, David Mark, to thwart a controversial resolution which favoured senators seen to be sympathetic to Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Chibuike

Amaechi. As a fallout of Tuesday’s standoff in the Rivers state House of Assembly, the Senate had to debate a motion on whether or

not the Police High Command should redeploy the Rivers state Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, who has been at loggerheads with Governor Amaechi.

Majority of the senators at yesterday’s sitting, including those from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), appear to favour a resolution Contd. on Page 2

Polytechnics lecturers agree to end strike

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Rivers Assembly crisis: Taming the bull in a China shop? Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest












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Reps take over Rivers Assembly Contd. from Front Page make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the state.” Leading the debate on the matter, Rep. Sam Tsokwa, (PDP Taraba state), who moved the motion said the situation in Rivers state, if not checked, had the potential of jeopardizing and endangering the nation’s “hardearned” democracy. Contributing, Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN, Lagos), described the attempt by the five members of the Rivers House of Assembly to impeach the Speaker, as “a treasonable felony and democratic coup”. Also contributing, Rep Aminu Suleiman (PDP, Kano), said that “The chief culprit in the Rivers’ crisis is the Commissioner of Police. As a public servant, he is a threat to our democracy and should be called to order as he rendered the state House of Assembly nonfunctional.” Rep Ali Sani Madaki, (PDP, Kano), blamed the situation on the reckless behaviours of some politicians and called for the invocation of the relevant section of the Constitution. Speaking against the motion, Rep Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), argued that the Rivers state House of Assembly sat on the same day and therefore the situation did not warrant the federal House’ action, adding that the House must take

its decision on the issue based on facts. “I would have taken the same position, but we don’t have the facts. My brother who is one of the five lawmakers is still in comma.” Meanwhile, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammed (PDP, Kwara), explained that the House took over the Rivers state House of Assembly in the best interest of democracy and the country. Addressing newsmen yesterday, Mohammed maintained that “It is obvious that the Rivers state House of Assembly can no longer sit, and as a responsible House, we had to intervention in accordance with the provision of the constitution.” It would be recalled that crisis engulfed the Rivers state House of Assembly on Tuesday when five members out of 32 attempted to impeach the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree. The confusion that followed led to violence among the state lawmakers. According to news report posted on, there was confusion yesterday in some parts of Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, amid claims of gunshots in the city earlier in the day. An eye witness in Government House said that canisters of teargas were thrown into Government House. “I’m a witness to this now, I am still coughing as I am talking to you(Coughs). It is a bad situation,” said a source in Government House at about 1.10pm yesterday. He alleged that the “boys doing this were being escorted by the police.” But a Rivers state government

tweet later alleged that it was actually the police that fired tear gas into Government House thus: “@riversstategov: SOS Police are shooting teargas into Government House, Port Harcourt.” Also, a source said: “Soldiers attached to Gov Amaechi of Rivers have been recalled and detained by Brigade commander. Plans are to move the APC protecting Government House”.These are clearly troubling times, observers said. But Rivers state Police spokesperson, DSP Angela Agabe denied that the police shot teargas into Government House“No, it’s not true. “Police personnel deployed to stop protesting youths did not fire tear gas into the Government House. “Tear gas was used to disperse youths who attempted to enter the state House of Assembly and others who also took over some streets. Earlier in the day, reports said the premises of Rivers state House of Assembly in Port Harcourt was sealed up. Some lawmakers numbering more than 20 who went there, met a brick wall. Some lawmakers, were said to be holding a press briefing in Government House ostensibly to pledge their loyalty to the Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree and Governor Rotimi Amaechi. IG to investigate fracas The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Muhammad Dahiru Abubakar rose from a closed door meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo and Minister of Police Affairs, Captain Caleb

Olubolade (Rtd) yesterday with a resolution to investigate the crisis by sending a team of investigators led by a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Operations to the state. Abubakar, who cautioned that any police officer found wanting in the crisis would be punished, told State House correspondents at the close of the meeting that he was unaware of the police supporting the thugs who stormed the Assembly complex. “I am not aware. You see, the police have a responsibility to protect the citizen of this country but remember, we saw the video clip and you saw those who went to the Assembly. I think you should be asking who were those who went to the Assembly and why they went to the Assembly? We are investigating that matter and whoever is found wanting will be sanctioned,” he said. He also denied policemen fired tear-gas into Government House yesterday, saying: “That is not true; no reasonable commissioner of police will go and tear gas Government House; it is not true.” Olubolade on his part said: “The police is an institution, the police have a duty to perform and they will always play their role. If certain things happened there and there, there must be a reason.” “If somebody has erred in his duty, he will be held responsible... So when you look at what happened in that Assembly, don’t take it as you see the photograph because somebody has a duty to perform whichever side because both sides have security men attached to them. We must be careful in jumping into Contd. on Page 3

...Chaos in Senate over CP’s redeployment Contd. from Front Page that will direct the Inspector General of Police to redeploy the embattled Rivers police commissioner, whom the Amaechi camp accused of being President Goodluck Jonathan’s hatchet man against Amaechi. The pro-Amaechi senators tenaciously held that removal of the controversial state police commissioner would be the starting point towards resolving the political crisis in Rivers state. However, contrary to their expectation, after a closed door session that lasted for about two hours, the Senate President ruled thus: “That Senate urges the Inspector General of Police to take immediate step to address the broken relationship between the governor of Rivers state and the Rivers state commissioner of police”. The motion as proposed by Mark was against the expectation of the pro-Amaechi senators for a directive on the IGP to redeploy the CP. As arguments and protests heightened on the floor of the Senate, Mark made frantic efforts to calm the already furious senators down, explaining that the Senate should refrain from passing a resolution which will be difficult for the Inspector General of Police to implement, considering his

operational capacity. When the resolution was read again without any amendment, the lawmakers defied his explanations, as majority of them voted again that further amendments be made to the resolution to enable the Senate prevail on the IGP to redeploy the embattled Rivers police commissioner to another state. In the ensuing confusion, the Senate President made few further explanations, repeated the resolution, and ruled in favour of those perceived as the minority, who wanted the commissioner retained. In a rare display, an opposition Senator, Babajide Omoworare (ACN Osun), challenged the Senate President through Order 73 of the Senate Standing Orders, demanding that the lawmakers go into division to enable the senators stand up and vote one by one as against the usual voice vote, so as to have perfect result. Mark granted this request in line with Order 73, and the Senate went for division, which resulted in 50 senators voting that the commissioner be retained, while 43 voted against. Seven senators were absent while three did not vote. Meanwhile, after the individual voting which saw the pro-Jonathan lawmakers winning with a narrow margin, the opposition lawmakers

protested against the result, alleging that the voting process was manipulated by the Clark of the Senate, who functioned as the returning officer. Speaking earlier when Senator Magnus Abe (PDP Rivers), through an Order of Personal Explanation, formally notified the Senate about the crisis in the Rivers House of Assembly, the Senate President described the fracas as an embarrassment to legislature as an arm of government. According to Mark: “Clearly, what is happening in Rivers state is an embarrassment to legislators across the length and breadth of this country. And it is in the interest of state Assemblies not to do anything that would portray legislators as irresponsible because, that is not what we are. “It must be condemned in the strongest possible terms in its entirety, irrespective of who is directly involved or who is behind it. It is not a situation that we expect and we will not want it to continue beyond this point where it has reached”, Mark added. He explained that because of the urgency of the matter, the Senate must take immediate steps to protect democracy and the country, and ensure that democracy continues to grow and improve in

the country. “In order for us to be able to get the facts so that we are properly briefed, and that we are not operating just by the things that we hear and see from the media only, I think it is appropriate that we send our committee to go and investigate for us. “In the meantime, while that is going on, I want to appeal to all the parties involved that they sheath their swords until we are able to get a feedback from our committee and we are able to take a resolution. “Let me also state here in very clear terms, that this Senate will do everything possible, even if it means sacrificing our blood to uphold the Constitution”, he said. Introducing the controversy to the Senate through an Order of Personal Explanation, Magnus Abe recalled that the Rivers House of Assembly had not sat for sixty three days since the police withdrew security from the Assembly Complex in Port Harcourt, adding that the police in Rivers have shown clear lack of capacity to provide security in the state. He also alleged that the police yesterday threw teargas into the Rivers Government House in Port Harcourt, and warned that the entire state capital was still in chaos as at the time of his presentation.



Yobe school attack: Boko Haram denies responsibility


he leadership of the Boko Haram sect has reportedly in private discussions with the Presidential Amnesty Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North denied being responsible for the recent killing of dozens of secondary school students in Yobe state. This was disclosed by the Chairman of committee, Tanimu Turaki. Turaki, whose committee recently announced a ceasefire with the outlawed group, spoke yesterday while addressing journalists at the State House, Abuja. He, however, said security agencies would have to investigate the sect’s claim.

“As far as the commission of crime is concerned, security agencies anywhere will not rely on the confessions or denial of supposed suspect as the basis for their investigation. “I am sure Nigerian security agencies are very competent and they will look at all the facts and circumstances and then they will be able to carry out their investigation without bias, and then arrive at the final decision of who really was behind that unfortunate act (students killing). “But Boko Haram denied the killing and for us it is left or the security agencies to determine that they were not responsible” he said. About 28 students and one

teacher at the Government Secondary School in Mamudo, Yobe, were killed on Saturday when gunmen stormed the school. Most of the victims were burnt alive, witnesses said. The attack has been condemned by President Goodluck Jonathan, the ruling party, the opposition, and other Nigerians. Turaki who is also the Minister of Special Duties, said his committee was able to achieve a ceasefire with the group because trust was established between the sect and the committee. Hesaid his committee was yet to meet or discuss with the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, but was meeting with his deputy.

‘No more delay in action against errring police’ By Lambert Tyem


hairman of the Police Service Commission and former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, yesterday stated that any disciplinary measure taken lodge against any servicing Police officer must be decided on or before three months. Okiro, speaking at the

constituted board of the Commission said delays in deciding cases of erring personal of the Force has hamper development in getting men and women of proven integrity in the profession. According to the Chairman, he said “Henceforth, all pending disciplinary matters in the Nigeria Police Force should be treated within three months, as prolonged

disciplinary matters may deprive innocent officers of the force of their promotions and prolong the service of officers who deserved to be shown the way out of the force”. He added that he has set his targets to ensure effectiveness in the Police and to make sure that the Police succeed in the task of securing lives and property, and to serve Nigeria.

Reps take over Rivers Assembly Contd. from Page 2 conclusion”, he stated. Meanwhile, attention and discussions of ministers were yesterday also centred on the Rivers state Assembly crisis prior to the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President Sambo. They all focused their attention on the video clips of the fracas played on the giant screen inside the Council Chambers. When some ministers drew the attention of the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike to the video, he said it was all part of politics and denied being behind the incident. He said to his colleagues: “I was not there, did you see me there?” Some of the Ministers engaged in the discussions yesterday included Bala Mohammed (FCT), Sarah Ochekpe (Water Resources), Zainab Kuchi (Minister of State for Power), Abba Moro (Interior) and Special Adviser to the President on Performance Evaluation and Monitoring, Professor Sylvester Monye. Reacting on the matter, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) yesterday heaped the blame for the ongoing crisis in Rivers state on President Goodluck Jonathan and asked the National Assembly to immediately commence impeachment proceedings against him, for failing to live up to his Oath of Office to uphold Nigeria’s Constitution. In a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party

said by his abhorrence of the rule of law and majority rule, the latest indication of which is his unmistakable support for a group of renegade lawmakers who are fomenting trouble in Rivers state, the President has become a clear and present danger to the country’s democracy. ‘’Under President Jonathan’s watch and with his tacit support, a few lawmakers dictated to majority of the members of the Ogun State House of Assembly, which was locked for a long time. Under President Jonathan’s watch, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum was sabotaged by his minions who declared a Governor with 16 votes a winner over the one who scored 19 votes, in an injurious blow to the concept of democracy. “And under his watch, five lawmakers - out of 32 - have become the majority and, simply because they have the backing of the Presidency, are now being given police protection to disrupt the proceedings of the House. As we write, Rivers state has been taken over by current and former militants who have been unleashed to destabilise the state and cause a breakdown of law and order, to pave the way for the imposition of a State of Emergency. “This cannot and must not be allowed to continue, hence our call on the National Assembly to move quickly to remove the source of the crisis. Since this is no longer an intra-party dispute and because of its potentials to set the country on fire, we also call on civil society groups, professional bodies and ordinary Nigerians

to rise up and defend the rule of law and the supremacy of the Constitution over arbitrariness,’’ the ACN said. It added that, “the State Commissioner of Police has turned himself into a politician and abandoned his constitutional role. “Instead of providing security for the entire House to sit, he chose to back the renegades and their thugs to unleash mayhem on their colleagues. This is what you get when a leader dons the garb of a partisan instead of being a statesman. All sorts of minions simply follow suit,’’ it said. Ignore ACN’s call, Presidency urges NASS The Presidency yesterday urged the National Assembly to ignore the call made for the impeachment of President Jonathan by the opposition ACN over his alleged involvement in the crisis rocking the Rivers state House of Assembly. This call was made through his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe. The Presidency described the ACN position as another condemnable and extremist position. It stated: “For the avoidance of doubt and at the risk of repetitiveness, we wish to state categorically that in spite of what the ACN will want the Nigerian people to believe, President Goodluck Jonathan is absolutely unconnected and definitely not involved in the political crisis that seemed to have engulfed Rivers State in recent times.”

News Ramadan Timing Day 2 TOWNS Aba Abakaliki Abeokuta Abuja Akure Argungu Ankpa Auchi Azare Bama Bauchi Benin Bichi Bida Birnin Gwari Birnin Kebbi Biu Calabar Damaturu Daura Dutse Enugu Funtua Gombe Gwoza Gumi Gusau Gwadabawa Hadejia ` Ibadan Ife Ilorin Jalingo Jere Jos Kabba Kafanchan Keffi/Nasarawa Kaduna Kano Katsina Kontagora Lafia Lagos Lokoja Maiduguri Makurdi Malumfashi Minna Port Harcourt Ringim Shagamu Sokoto Warri Yola Zaria Cotonnou-Benin Ndjamena-Chad Niamey-Niger Younde-Cameroun

MAGRIB 6.52 6.50 7.09 6.56 7.01 7.10 6.49 6.57 5.48 6.33 6.47 6.58 6.56 7.01 6.59 7.13 6.36 6.46 6.41 6.57 6.52 6.51 6. 00 6.41 6.34 7.08 7.01 7.10 6.50 7.06 7.05 7.06 6.39 6.55 5.50 6.59 6.53 6.56 6.57 6.55 7.01 7.04 6.49 7.07 6.56 6.34 6.49 7.01 7.00 6.51 6.52 7.07 7.10 6.57 6.35 6.56 7.10 7.25 7.23 6.31

ALFIJR 5.01 5.03 5.20 5.01 5.12 5.00 5.02 5.08 4.32 4.30 4.49 5.13 4.50 5.06 5.01 5.06 4.31 5.04 4.36 4.47 4.48 5.04 4.56 4.43 4.32 5.03 4.56 5.00 4.42 5.17 5.14 5.15 4.44 4.57 4.52 5.08 4.56 4.51 4.57 4.50 4.51 5.06 4.56 5.20 5.20 4.31 4.58 4.50 5.03 5.09 4.48 5.18 5.00 5.13 4.40 4.55 5.25 4.24 5.13 4.53

Source: Society for Propagation of Islam Kaduna)


The Page 4 Report

Rivers Assembly crisis: Taming the bull in a China shop? T By Lawrence Olaoye

he crisis rocking Rivers state has taken a life of its own. That the governor is facing series of distractions that may detract from his zeal to deliver democracy dividends is an understatement. Amaechi is currently fighting a bitter battle for his political relevance, nay survival, not only as governor of Rivers state but also as a free citizen of the nation in general. The Rivers state governor has been variously harangued ostensibly for having the temerity to privately show interest in becoming the Vice President with the postulation that a Presidential candidate would emerge from the northern parts of the country within the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP). His ambition is generally viewed to be at variance to that of his compatriot and the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan. With the declaration of his political ambition ahead of the 2015Presidential election, the stage had been set for an epic political rivalry with the President who, though has yet to declare his intention for a return in 2015 but has not failed to impress same with his body language. In the first test of strength, governors loyal to the President labored hard to stop Amaechi’s return as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) by trying to sway votes in favour of the Plateau state governor, David Jonah Jang. The plot failed as the Rivers state governor scored 19 against Jang 16 votes. Not satisfied, the NGF was factionalized with Jang leading the alternate NGF with 16 members. Prior to the NGF controversial election, the hierarchy of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had earlier formed the PDP Governors Forum (PDPGF) chaired by the Akwa-Ibom state governor, Barr. Godswill Akpabio with the sole mandate to whittle down the influence of the larger NGF, even though they are unwilling to admit this. Amaechi’s tribulation moved to his state when a court dethroned the Rivers PDP leadership suspected to be loyal to him and replaced same with those suspected to be loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike. The Minister is generally regarded as the political arrowhead of the Presidency against the Rivers state governor. The council members of Obio/Akpor Local Government in Rivers state were suspended by the Assembly ostensibly on allegation of corruption and this elicited immediate reactions from the new Exco under Chief Felix Obuh who is suspected

Goodluck Jonathan

Rotimi Amaechi

to be anti Amaechi. The PDP National Working Committee (NWC) under the Chairmanship of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, acting based on the petition forwarded to it by the state Obuh led Exco, suspended Amaechi for refusing to reverse the decision taken by the Assembly. Reacting, the Rivers state governor alleged witch-hunt and averred that he was not allowed to defend himself before the NWC’s hammer was let loose. He equally demonstrated an understanding of the working of democracy when he told his traducers that he had no power to reverse any decision taken by the Assembly with executive fiat. This explanation fell into deaf ears. At the state level, 27 of the 32member Rivers Assembly suspected to be loyal to Amaechi were pronounced suspended by the Obuh led Exco and this led to the suspension of plenary. The suspension of the state lawmakers

by the PDP Exco has been interpreted to be the precursor for contrived constitutional crisis in the state which was being variously suspected a ploy to create confusion as an alibi for the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the state. The remaining five lawmakers who are anti Amaechi curiously met and resolved to impeach the Assembly Speaker, Otelemaba Amachree, replacing him with one of their own, Honourable Evan Bipi. But for the immediate intervention of the governor who led security officials to thwart the plan, a constitutional crisis would have be ignited in the state with two lawmakers laying claims to the leadership of the Assembly. The ultimate goal of the contrived crisis, analysts hold, is to create an atmosphere of confusion and engender the breakdown of law and order for the Presidency to move in by declaration of state of emergency

The ultimate goal of the contrived crisis, analysts hold, is to create an atmosphere of confusion and engender the breakdown of law and order for the Presidency to move in by declaration of state of emergency in order to ease Amaechi out.

in order to ease Amaechi out. Already, Amaechi has been having a running battle with the state Commissioner of Police, Mbu Joseph Mbu, with the governor alleging that he is being disloyal and that he constitutes a security threat to him in the state. He made several calls on the Police Inspector General, M.D. Yusuf, to redeploy Mbu to no avail. This reluctance by the Police Inspector General to harken to the River state governor’s plea for Mbu’s removal has been interpreted to mean, in certain political circles, that the Police Commissioner is on a specific instruction from the power that be to bring the governor down at all cost. This is even more so when Amaechi, out of frustration threatened to lead a street protest against the Police on the matter. In order to address the situation and redeem the already battered image of the Police, the Inspector General yesterday resolved to investigate the crisis in Rivers state after having consulted with the Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, at the Presidential Villa. The House of Reprsentatives has however mandated the police boss to immediately redeploy the Rivers state Police Commissioner who had demonstrated that he is part of the problem in the state. Although, President Jonathan has drummed it hard that he was not in any way involved in the local politics of Rivers state, critics are of the opinion that he ought not to have allowed the crisis degenerate to a level of lawlessness before his intervention. The perceived involvement of the PDP NWC with the suspension of the

governor without listening to his own side of the story is also being cited as an avoidable destructive meddlesomeness in the politics of the state. Commenting, Nobel Laureate Prossor Wole Soyinka described the situation in Rivers as pettiness and witch hunting of Amaechi by the Federal Government. Nevertheless, in order to further douse the building tension, the House of Representatives resolved to take over the legislative functions of Rivers state in similar way it did in Ogun state under former governor Gbenga Daniel. With this intervention, analysts aver, Amaechi would have a little respite and would not lose any sleep on his possible impeachment by the ravaging opposition who are curiously within his party. They are also unanimous in their opinions that the case of insubordination exhibited by the Rivers Police Commissioner has again brought to the fore arguments for the desirability of state police. To some observers, the centrality in the control of the nation’s police is at the heart of the culture of impunity and brigandage, especially amongst the politicians in the country. Several stakeholders in the polity have raised the fears that incidences like the Rivers Assembly crises could derail the nation’s democracy even as they clamor for an end to the era of impunity in the polity. FormerVice President Atiku Abubakar was poignant in his reaction to the incidence when he warned that the sanctity of the constitution must be upheld at all times and culprits in such situations be made to face the law. Atiku in a statement from his Media Office stated “the constitution of Nigeria was not written on sand so that anybody could breach it as he or she pleases to achieve private motives, rather than the public interest. Any wanton disregard for the sanctity of the constitution or due process in the removal of elected public office holders would seriously harm our democratic order.” Atiku, while regretting that some people are waging war against democracy in the country, submitted that the failure to punish similar crude attempts in the past such as the Ngige saga in Anambra State in July of 2004 had encouraged impunity among those seeking to impeach elected leaders by means other than what is enshrined in the constitution. “It is sad that those who are seeking to subvert our nascent democracy are some of those who never fought for what that many laid down their lives for. These persons are advised to take heed to the festering crisis in Egypt, following a forced change of leadership in that country,” Atiku warned.




$15m Ibori bribe: Court decides ownership Sept. 20 By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday slated September 20, 2013 to decide the ownership of the $15 million (about N4.6 billion) allegedly offered as bribe to former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu by the former Delta State governor, Chief James Ibori to stop the commission from investigating him over his alleged involvement in the looting of the state’s fund while he was governor of the state. The trial Judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole fixed the date to decide the fate of the Delta state government, which filed a suit seeking the ownership of the alleged bribe money abandoned since 2007, after the adoption of written addresses by parties in the matter. While adopting his addresses, counsel to the Delta state government, Chief Charles Ajuyah (SAN) argued that the money be returned to the state

on the strength of an affidavit, deposed to by EFCC top officials that Ibori offered the money as bribe to the anti-graft agency while he was the state governor. Ajuyah, who is the Delta state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, informed the court that the affidavit evidence by Mr. Ibrahim Lamode, now EFCC chairman had proved beyond doubt that the money belong to Delta state government, having been offered while Ibori was in office. The counsel also drew the attention of the court to a statement by Dr. Andy Uba, now a Senator that Ibori used his residence in Asokoro to channel the money to EFCC which was later kept in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Ajuyah contended that so far, no individual, group or organisation had laid claim to the ownership of the money outside Delta state government, as all documents in possession of EFCC and the court indicated that the money came through Ibori. He said Delta state

government could not lay claim to the money since 2007 because of the so many cases against the former governor and the fear that money might be used as evidence in court. “Delta State came out at

the appropriate time to claim the money because the cases against Ibori had been effectively completed and the fact that the federal government and EFCC had in July last year asked through newspaper publication

that anybody interested in the ownership of the money should come forward”, he said and argued that senior citizens of the state, led by chief Edwin Clark had earlier asked that the money be returned to the treasury of Delta State.

Oritsejafor re-elected CAN President


astor Ayo Oritsejafor has been re-elected President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) at its recently held elections in Abuja despite fierce criticisms. Elected as CAN’s first ever evangelical minister, Oritsejafor has come under a lot of criticisms over alleged “cosy relationship” he has with President Goodluck Jonathan and his ruling People’s Democratic Party. Despite all this, however, Oritsejafor was re-elected with

a landslide margin, polling 80 votes, while his only opponent, Reverend Oyekunle got four votes. Delegates opted for an open ballot vote in which elections were conducted by a show of hands in an attempt to ensure the process was transparent. In what appeared to be an acceptance speech, Oritsejafor thanked members of the national executive committee who gave another mandate to pilot the affairs of CAN for another term.

BPE warns NASS on PIB By Abdulwahab Isa


irector-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Benjamin Dikki has cautioned members of the National Assembly to be circumspect on some of the clauses contained in Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which if passed could spell doom for oil and gas sector fortune. Dikki who received members of the Senate Committee on privatisation and commercialisation led by its Chairman, Olugbenga Obadara, picked holes in regulatory powers the Bill confers on the Petroleum ministry , Department of Petroleum Resources and other oil and gas agencies. The BPE boss explained that the seven Bills will cover all facet of transport, which includes , Bill on railway, inland waterway, ports and harbor . The Bill, he explained is with the National Council on Privertisation (NCP) for review before its referral to both Attorney General of Federation(AGF) and Ministry of Finance for their inputs and thereafter, send to Federal Executive Council for onward submission to National

Assembly for consideration. Giving further insight on the proposed transport sector Bill, Dikki said the present monopoly enjoyed by the Nigeria Railway Corporation precludes private investor from investing in rail track, a correction the proposed amended Bill seeks. He said the Bill also seeks for the establishment of a regulatory agency that will oversee and regulate various transport agencies. On the power sector, he told the visiting senators that the power sector reform is nearing completion as investors are expected to pay up their 75 per cent balance payment by September and take full control of ownership. He said labour issue has been addressed as 85 % of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) staff who received their pay slip advice endorsed it without complaint while the few that raised issue with it are being sorted out. In his remarks, Obadara pledged the Committee’s assistance in all areas requested in order to achieve success in the privatisation exercise.

Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam (middle), Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade (left), Major-General Collins Ariahu (2nd left), the state Deputy Governor, Engineer Abubakar Ali (1st right), and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Alhaji Saleh Abubakar, during a visit by the Defence Headquarters’ Team to the governor, yesterday at the Government House, in Damaturu.

Insurgency: Don advocates truth and reconciliation commission By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Provost of London Graduate School and Deputy Chancellor of Commonwealth University, Belize, Prof. Bruce Duncan, yesterday advocated the setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission to contend with the rising spate of insurgency in the country. The university don made the suggestion in a paper he presented during the 15th year anniversary/ founder’s day public lecture of the Peace Corps of Nigeria held in Abuja. In his paper, entitled, “Rethinking patriotism and nation

building: Peace Corps of Nigeria’s perspective,” Duncan said the introduction of such commission would help in addressing religious, ethnic and political crises currently facing the country. The don, who was the Guest Speaker at the occasion said, peace seems to have eluded Nigeria because the country has “not ostracised the ghost of the past, which is causing it to tremble.” The lecturer noted, with regret, that Africa has been marred by twenty civil wars since 1960, adding that, “peace is a bridge which brings sensible people to sensible action.” He called on leaders to be

sensitive to the plight of the ordinary people and lamented that, “we have a government today that is of the people, by the people, but not for the people.” In his Keynote address at the occasion, a former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, warned that “any society that does not raise a new generation of leaders is doomed.” Gana, who tagged his paper as: “Raising high quality leaders through youth organisations”, maintained that good leaders inspire followers to take positive actions that will be in the interest of the country.

Group condemns Rivers Assembly crisis By Lawrence Olaoye


ivil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and the Environment Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) yesterday condemned the crisis in the Rivers state House of Assembly over the undemocratic attempt to change its leadership. The group described the action as an embarrassment to the country and an insult to national psyche. They described

as unconstitutional the attempt by five lawmakers in theAssembly to impeach the Speaker. The group stated that, “this act, which is a flagrant disregard of all laid down rules of the House and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not only illegal, unlawful and undemocratic, it is also immoral, retrogressive and a threat to our hard earned democracy.” The group expressed worry at the roles played by some political

parties which they maintained should ordinarily ply mediatory roles and provide a level plying ground for their members. While calling on the Inspector General of Police to Mayotte immediate investigations into the matter, the group urged all the civil society groups, media and all citizens of the country to be vigilant ensure that selfish and desperate politicians do not succeed in truncating the nation’s march to democracy.




Polytechnics lecturers agree to end strike T By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

he Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has agreed to end its eight weeks strike following certain decisions taken at a meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja, which was organized by the Joint Committee on Education of the National Assembly. Speaking to newsmen at the end of the meeting, the President of ASUP, Chibuzor Asomugha assured that the

polytechnic lecturers would do all within their powers to call off the strike as soon as possible. According to him: “Our meeting with the Senate Committee on Education was successful. There was an agreement to meet our demands in the next two weeks as the request will be presented to President Goodluck Jonathan for his approval.” Although the union had insisted it will not back down until its demands were met,

the ASUP president said the Senate had pleaded with the union to call off the strike and give it some time to convey the lecturers’ demands to the President. Mr Asumogba, who said he could not unilaterally call off the strike based on the assurance he got, said: “We will determine when to call off our industrial action after our NEC meeting slated in two weeks.” According to him, the ASUP demands awaiting presidential approval include

implementation of the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure, the Consolidated Polytechnic and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS), package, the appointment of the governing council and the issuance of the White Paper on same. The joint committee organized the meeting to resolve the faceoff between the Federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of

Universities (ASUU), and ASUP. According to our reporter, in attendance at the meeting were Minister of Education, Professor Ruquayyatu Rufai and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chukwuemeka Nwogu. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, who chaired the joint sitting, asked the unions to end the lingering industrial action which has paralysed polytechnics across the country.

FG commits N72.7bn for power plan By Abdulwahab Isa


L-R: Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole and Chairman, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Patrick Ikosimi, during a meeting between the NUT and the state government on the teachers’ special allowance, yesterday in Benin.

FG orders payment of salaries to MDAs


he Federal Government has ordered the immediate payment of all outstanding salaries to its workers in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Minister of the Interior, Abba Moro, who briefed State House correspondents at the end of yesterday’s Federal Excutive Council (FEC) said that

government directed the Ministry of Finance to ensure prompt payment of the salaries to the affected staff, across the country. Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo presided over the meeting. The Minister said the FEC also urged ASUU to call of its industrial action and return to work. “On issues of national concern,

the current impasse between the Academic Union of Nigerian Universities and the Federal Government was considered with some concerns by the Federal Executive Council. According to him, government is not unmindful of the challenges in the education sector which have seen students seeking admission in foreign educational institutions,

including neighbouring Benin Republic. On President Goodluck Jonathan’s trip to China, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Viola Onwuliri, noted that government will continue to engage other nations in efforts to grow the Nigerian economy and foster good relations with global players.

FCT SURE–P: FG to pay outstanding N60m arrears to beneficiaries By Stanley Onyekwere


ll arrangements have been concluded to pay a total sum of N60 million as two months arrears of stipends to 3,000 participants of the Community Service Women and Youth Employment (CSWYE) project, a component of Federal

Government’s Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). This was disclosed yesterday by the Vice Chairman Sure-P State Implementation Committee and Coordinator NDE-FCT, Romiluyi Oludare Newton. Newton said formal approval

had been received from the Ministry of Labour to pay participants who were earlier bio-metrically captured by the participating bank directly into their personal accounts the sum of N10,000 monthly covering April and May 2013 after they fulfilled all the laid down conditions of participation , for transparency and accountability . Speaking on behalf of the FCT (CSWYE) Sure-P Chairman Alhaji

Yahaya Yunusa Suleiman who is also the PDP Chairman in the territory, said the participants were recruited in February under the CSWYE from the six area councils of the FCT. He explained that the participants were being utilised in their areas of domicile in the six area councils for community services in health, education, traffic control, sanitation, infrastructure, construction and social services.

he Federal Government yesterday disclosed that it had so far within this year paid a total of N72.7 billion to the Federal Ministry of Power to cover various items in line with the implementation of the Power Roadmap. The amount includes the sum of N45 billion paid to PHCN workers as part of the power privatization programme including monies released under the Multi Year Tariff Order. The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, stated this yesterday in a statement on her behalf by her Media Assistant, Paul Nwabiuku, to rebut a piece of information in the media credited to the Chairman of the House Committee on Power, Patrick Ikhariale. The Minister faulted Ikhariale’s position which it describes not only “completely wrong but tends to personalise an important national issue.” Giving a breakdown of amount advanced towards funding the power sector, the Minister said N8.27 billion was specifically released last week to the Federal Ministry of Power for the distribution companies (DISCOs) and generating companies (GENCOs) following approval by President Goodluck Jonathan. “Also, as stated in a news release issued by the Ministry on May 23, the Federal Ministry of Finance has paid a total of N72.7 billion to the Federal Ministry of Power so far this year to cover various items in line with the implementation of the Power Roadmap. “The amount includes the sum of N45 billion paid to PHCN workers as part of the power privatization programme. It also includes monies released under the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO)”. Other beneficiaries listed in the amount advanced include, the Power Ministry headquarters, Power Holding Company of Nigeria, National Rural Electrification Agency, National Electricity Regulatory Commission, National Power Training Institute, National Electricity Liability Management Limited/GTE (NELMCO) and Bulk Trader.




Nigeria, China sign agreement on financial cooperation


resident Goodluck Jonathan and President Xi Jinping of China yesterday in Beijing presided over the signing of five agreements to boost financial, trade, economic, technical and cultural relations between Nigeria and China. The agreements which were signed after bilateral talks between the two leaders and their delegations include the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Financial Cooperation In Support of Nigeria’s Economic Development and a Preferential Buyer Credit Agreement for Nigeria’s Four Airports Expansion Project. The others are a new Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between Nigeria and China, an Agreement on Mutual Visa Exemption for holders of diplomatic and official passports from both countries and an Agreement for the Prevention of the Theft, Illicit Import and Export of Cultural Property. A press statement by presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben

Abati, explained that, before the commencement of the talks, President Jonathan thanked President Jinping and the people of China for the warm reception accorded him and the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan since their arrival in Beijing. “The President assured President Jinping that the Federal Government is fully committed to sustaining and developing the

strategic partnership between Nigeria and China for the mutual benefit of the two countries and their people. “He said that in spite of the many positive developments in bilateral relations between the countries in recent years, there was still ample scope for increased trade and direct investment from China in Nigeria. “Earlier in the day, President

Jonathan met and invited senior executives of several Chinese conglomerates to initiate fresh investments in Nigeria or increase existing ones, saying that the Federal Government was committed to doing all within its powers to expand Nigeria’s domestic manufacturing capacity. “At a breakfast meeting with African Ambassadors to China, President Jonathan reaffirmed

Gunmen sack Katsina village, kill two From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


o fewer that 200 residents of Unguwar Doka village in Faskari local government area of Katsina state are now seeking refuge at a primary school in Faskari town after an attack on the village by unknown gunmen. A resident of Faskari, Malam Jamilu Umar, who spoke to Our correspondent noted that the armed bandits who attacked the village at the weekend started by

slaughtering a Fulani boy there. Umar noted that after slaughtering the boy, the attackers equally shot a middle aged man who died a few hours later due to excessive loss of blood. He added that the attack scared women and children in Unguwar Doka who fled the town. Chairman of Faskari local government council, Isiyaku Ahmad Faskari, who confirmed the attack noted that, “the people of the village fled to Faskari where we are presently accommodating them in two

classrooms and some houses. “Since the incident, we have been taking good care of their needs in terms of food provision, sleeping materials and water supply. “We are also strategising to make sure they return back home.” Similarly, a member of the house of representing the Sabuw/ Faskari/Kankara, Abbas Abdullahi Machika, noted that he has supported the refugees with 20 bags of rice, 10 bags of maize, 10 bags of millet and N50, 000 for buying other cooking ingredients.

his conviction that African countries needed to strengthen their institutions of democratic governance to guarantee political stability and sustained development. “He said that democratic governance ought to be nurtured and encouraged until it takes firmer root across the continent, adding that the African Union must continue to stand against unconstitutional changes of government in member-states. “The President regretted recent political developments in Egypt and called for a speedy return by the country to constitutional order and governance.” Jonathan is expected to meet with Premier Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples Congress, Mr. Zhang Dejiang tomorrow for further bilateral talks. He will also address Chinese investors and their Nigerian counterparts at a business forum in the China World Trade Centre in continuation of his state visit to the country.

Alleged $620,000 bribe: Court refuses Lawan, Emenalo’s application By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


L-R: Director, Strategy, Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Mr. Jackson Ude; Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Zaharadeen; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, during a press briefing on the Rivers state House Assembly crisis, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Boko Haram cease fire: Emergency rule still in force, says Turaki


inister for Special Duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, said yesterday that the state of emergency imposed on three states in the north will continue until security agencies operating there confirm a return to normalcy. Turaki who is also Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts in Northern Nigeria told State House correspondents that, “I think it is the situation that will begin to unfold themselves. “Henceforth that will determine whether the security agencies on ground will relax the period of the curfew and then ultimately they will advise the appropriate

authorities whether the need has arisen for the state of emergency to be removed. “But I think that is not for the committee to decide.” he also spoke on the reported decision of the Boko haram leadership to sheath their sword. AsTuraki put it, “it was in response to series of painstaking discussions we have been having with the leadership of Boko Haram. “They also took not account the fasting of the month of Ramadan which is on and felt that they should give peace a chance so that our Muslim sisters and brothers will be able to perform their religious obligation this month with-

out any harassment, without any fear of any bomb exploding and any firing at them while they are in their place of worship. “We are still working on the framework where we will sign an agreement and we will make that public where ever and whenever we agree on the time and place. “All Nigerians will be privy to it, it is something that will be done openly and in a transparent form for everybody to know that indeed that not only have we been speaking with the proper people but that there has been a lot of good faith on both sides of the divide.” “When a minister of the Federal Government speaks on behalf of government you wouldn’t say that

you must see the President or the Vice President there. “We have spoken with somebody who is second in command as far as Boko Haram is concerned and he has informed the media that he has been discussing with us with full knowledge and authority of Imam Abubakar Shekau and so we have no cause to doubt him. “We have done checks on him, just as they have done checks on us also and we have realised that yes we are dealing with the proper people.” He said the committee was still working on ways to engage the Boko Haram factions including the Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladil Sudan.”

n Abuja High Court yesterday refused to stay proceedings in the trial of former Chairman, House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on Subsidy Probe, Farouk Lawan and the committee’s Secretary, Boniface Emenalo. The duo had applied to the court to stay proceedings in their trials pending the outcome of their appeal before the Court of Appeal where-in they challenged the decision of the trial court that they have a case to answer in the alleged $620,000 bribery charge. The trial Judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, in his ruling, dismissed the application for lacking in merit and that, staying proceedings in the trial, will lead to delay in de determination of the suit. He said if the proceeding is stalled, the subject matter of the case might be affected. Lawan and Emenalo had appealed against the decision of the trial court which held that they have a case to answer in the criminal charges preferred against them by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). They are being prosecuted by anti-graft agency for allegedly receiving $620,000 from a Lagos based oil magnet, Mr. Femi Otedola to influence the report of the committee in favour of Zenon Oil and Gas Limited. The court then fixed October 23, 2013 to commence the trial of the accused persons.



Photos Splash

L-R: Bayelsa state Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, in handshake with Executive Director/CEO, NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, during an advocacy visit by the NPHCDA to the governor, recently at the Government House, in Yenagoa.

L-R: Director, Institute of Security Studies, Mr. Lekan Odugbemi and Minister of State for Education, Barr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, during a lecture on Intelligence Management Course, on Monday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Prisons van convening inmates broke down at the Magistrate Court Wuse II, yesterday in Abuja.

Oyo state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Lowo Obisesan (middle), GOC, 2 Div., Major-General Ahmed Jibrin (3rd right), and other dignitaries during the hand-over of rehabilitated remembrance arcade by the state government, yesterday at Dugbe area of Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Pupils during the launch of unity in diversity programme for primary schools in Plateau at St. Theresa’s Boys Primary School, yesterday in Jos. Photo: NAN




Group wants NASS to reduce age for contesting elective offices By Umar Muhammad Puma


L-R: First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, President Goodluck Jonathan, President Xi Jinping of China, and his wife, Madam Peng Liyuan, during the official welcoming ceremony of President Jonathan, yesterday in Beijin, China.

Insecurity: Kogi lawmaker wants military base at Ejule From Omale Adama, Lokoja


he Majority Leader of Kogi state House of Assembly who represents Ofu local government constituency, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa, has called for establishment of a joint military base in the notrious Ejule town known for enduring volatile political activities to curb the endemic violent thuggery that have permeated their political culture. Yunusa who made the call in an interview with journalists in Lokoja said that the entrenched thuggery and violent crimes in the area

had gone beyond the scope of both the local and state governments to handle. “My appeal through the Governor to Mr. President is to have a joint military station at Ejule because the gangs have been evading security agencies in the state and criminals from other places are now using Ejule as their buffer zone to perpetrate their heinous crimes, he said. Yunusa lamented that some criminals dislodged from Dekina and parts of Niger Delta are now domiciled in Ejule using their criminal contacts to cause havoc

on innocent people both local and visitors, adding that it is a combined military base in the area that will remedy the growing trend. While commending the Governor for the excellent job he has done in stamping out thuggery, Yunusa said that it was alarming that the recalcitrant thugs in Ejule have continued to operate flagrantly. “But when Wada emerged as governor, the first area he tackled was that of thuggery in virtually all the 21 local government areas and brought some degree of sanity.

“The only troublesome area now is my local government and of the 11 wards, Ejule is the most troublesome in Ofu and the entire state where a monarch was recently kidnapped.” The Majority Leader expressed hope that with the recent kidnap, torture and rescue of Onu Ejule, Chief Simon Shaibu, the entire community would wake up and offer information to assist security agents in arresting the hoodlums. “Even some of the mornarchs have always frustrated government efforts at redressing the thuggery problem in Ejule.”

Sharia Commission wants legislation on Zakkat From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state Sharia Commission has appealed to wealthy people in the state to give Zakkat ( religious obligatory charity) to the less privileged persons in the state, just as it wants the Bauchi state House of Assembly to enact a law that will compel wealthy individuals to give out Zakkat The Commission’s Chairman, Mallam Mustapha Ilelah, who made the appeal yesterday while briefing newsmen on the achievements of the Commission at the

state secretariat in Bauchi, lamented that some wealthy people in the state have neglected this vital aspect of the Islam religion by not giving their Zakkat to cater for the poor. He said, “the Commission has observed that some wealthy people do not fulfill this compulsory aspect of their religion by giving charity from what God has blessed them with within a year. “Giving of Zakkat should be given either through the Sharia Commission in the state or directly to the less privileged people and

not to Imams. “When Zakkat is given to the Commission, we ensure that it is equally distributed to the poor but we have observed that some wealthy people do not have clean sources of money, so, the Commission receives Zakkat from people who have legitimate ways of making money and have integrity.” He disclosed that the Commission gave out 200 letters to commissioners and lawmakers in the state to compel them to pay their Zakkat.

The Chairman further disclosed that the commission arrested 21 criminals taking refuge in small hotels and brothels in the state and assured of its commitment to partner with security agencies to rid the state of crime. He further said the commission in partnership with Bauchi state Agency for the control of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,(BACATMA) has trained two of its staff on HIV/AIDS testing, adding that eight females tested positive to the virus out of the 21 persons screened.

Ramadan: Etsu Nupe urges Muslims to pray for Nigeria


he Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, on Tuesday urged Muslims in the country to use the fasting period to pray for national peace and progress. Abubakar, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bida, Niger, also called on the Muslims to pray for sustained unity of the country. ``Fasting is not only for ab-

staining from drinking and eating but also a time to emulate what Prophet Muhammad was sent by Almighty Allah to come and do, as well as preach.’’ The royal father added that the month should be used to adhere strictly to the teachings and ways of Prophet Muhammad in terms of honesty, peace and love for one another.

He noted that the two major religions in the country preached peace, unity and love for one another, saying ``we should always strive to maintain these at all times.’’ The Etsu Nupe said that without peace and unity, ``socio-economic development will continue to elude any society’’. He also appealed to Muslim

parents to give priority to both the Islamic and Western education of their children, pointing out that it was the only legacy worthy of bequeathing to the children. He also appealed to religious clerics in the country to desist from the use of provocative utterances which could led to the breakdown of law and order. (NAN)

roup Youth Alliance on Constitution and Electoral Reform (YACORE) has called on the National Assembly to reduce the age qualification for contesting elective offices in the on-going Constitution amendment. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, the National Coordinator of the Alliance, Itodo Samson, said it had became necessary for the National Assembly to give special attention to youth issues in the review process, especially, the inclusion of a youth definition clause in the Constitution. “We want to restate that the outcome of the Constitution review process should reflect the demands and aspirations of all Nigerians irrespective of age, gender, tribe, religion or disability,’’ Itodo said. He said that the electoral reform process should pay attention to how electoral laws would enhance participation and politics of inclusive.

Ramadan: Ansar-ud-deen urges Muslims to pray against insecurity, disasters


he Ansar-ud-deen Society of Nigeria (ADS) on Wednesday urged Muslims nationwide to pray against insecurity and natural disasters. The group in a release issued in Ibadan by its Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muibi Adebanjo, said that Ramadan should be observed with sober reflections. ``Muslims nationwide should observe the holy month of Ramadan with sober reflections in line with the teachings of the holy Prophet,’’ the society said. The Islamic organisation said that fasting was a divine prescription for sound health for both body and soul, adding that it was a divine weapon for victory over Satan. The group, however, condemned the recent massacre of innocent school children at Ansarud-deen Secondary School in Maiduguri. It said that it was a clear indication that the issue of Boko Haram was neither religious nor ethnic. The body sympathised with the parents of the victims and urged government to consolidate on its security efforts to avert future occurrence. (NAN)



News 2015: Anambra wants automatic ticket for Jonathan

By Lawrence Olaoye


he Anambra state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday called for the amendment of the party’s constitution during the forthcoming mini National Convention of the party to grant automatic ticket President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election. This is coming as the chapter threw its weight behind former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh to be returned to the post as an unopposed candidate from Anambra state to which the post is zoned. Similarly, it has passed a vote of confidence on Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the national chairman of the PDP. These formed part of the resolutions reached at an extra-ordinary meeting by the leaderships of the 326 wards, local governments and the State Executive Committee of the party which was presented to the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) at the national secretariat of the party yesterday. Briefing newsmen after the presentation which was received on behalf of the NWC by the acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Tony, Caesar, Anambra State chairman of PDP, Ken Emeakayi, declared the party’s position to adopt President Jonathan for the 2015 presidential race. The party also wanted automatic ticket for “performing” PDP governors, members of the National and State Assemblies as a way to reduce friction in the run up to the elections. Emeakayi said that the state chapter has resolved “that we urge President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, to accept to run for a second term and we hereby adopt him as our candidate for the 2015 presidential elections. “That we recommend the further amendment of the PDP Constitution 2012 (as amended) in the forthcoming PDP National Convention to allow for the right of first refusal (automatic ticket) as PDP candidates, to serving and performing PDP, president, governors, national and state assembly members, to reduce infighting associated with our party primary elections.”

R-L: Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Captain Caleb Olubolade, and Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar, jointly briefing journalists after their meeting with Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo on the police reform, yesterday at the State House in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Elewere lands in Kuje prison over N14m fraud scam By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


former Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Timothy Elewere is being detained in Kuje prisons’ on the orders of am Abuja High court judge. Elewere, along with the FCT Secretary under his leadership, Adegbuyi Ayodele were arraigned before the court on Tuesday by the Economic and

Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding some journalists of N14 million The anti-graft agency slammed the two accused persons with a five-count charge, bordering on criminal breach of trust and dishonest conversion of the sum of N14, 145,000. 00. belonging to NUJ Correspondents’ chapel, Abuja. The count charges against the suspectswere read out to all at the hearing and part of it stated that the two former officials of the Abuja Correspondents’ Chapel

of the NUJ were also accused of converting the sum of N4, 140, 000. 00, belonging to the chapel to their personal use, thereby violating section 311 of the Penal Code. According to the charge, Elewere and Ayodele, between January and December 2008, dishonestly converted to their personal use, the sum of N6, 491, 000. 00, belonging to the chapel and in 2009, they were also accused of spending another N665, 000.00 belonging to the NUJ Correspondents chapel,

Abuja between January and December, 2009. The two accused persons pleaded not guilty to the fivecount charges when it was read to them in court, and the prosecution counsel, Joseph Uzor prayed the court for an adjournment to commence their trial. The trial judge, Justice Suleiman Belgore, who adjourned the matter to July 25, 2013 when arguments on their bail application can be heard, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody.

Keji had contended that the state government and the king makers of the town erred in law by setting aside the monarchical rotation principle

to favour the incumbent, asking the court to install him. In its judgment on July, 20, 2012, the lower court refused the prayers of the appellant on ground that the case was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Appeal Court dethrones Olofa of Offa From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division on Tuesday, set aside the judgment of the Ilorin High Court that upheld the appointment of Oba Muftau Gbadamosi, as the Olofa of Offa. Justice Obande Ogbuinya, in his judgment said that the lower court erred in its setting aside of the 1969 Sawyerr Commission of Inquiry set up by the then military government of Kwara which recognised two ruling houses for the Olofa stool on rotational basis. Ogbuinya said that the 1970 gazette on the issue was explicit on the rotation of the stool between the Olugbense and Anilelerin ruling houses. Ogbuinya said the appellant’s case was meritorious and granted its prayer for the rotation of the stool. He ruled that the respondent had right of appeal. Alhaji Rauf Keji of the

Olugebense Ruling House had prayed the lower court to void the ascension of the incumbent monarch on the ground that it was illegal.

Bauchi moves to tackle C of O From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


n its efforts to address land certificates forgery, the Bauchi state government is set to commission it’s Geographical Information System (GIS) information. The Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Alhaji Aminu Hammayo, who disclosed this Tuesday during a ministerial briefing at the state secretariat in Bauchi said that the ministry has trained 15 staff in data entry and scanning information system while 17 others have received training in vectorised data entry specialist, preparatory to the commissioning of the (GIS). Hammayo said the gesture is aimed at resolving conflicts with problems of multiple ownership of land and to ensure that

people follow due process before acquiring land in the state. He explained that the ministry has obtained the latest version of Geographical Information Software and scanning of manual records toenable residents of the state gain access to updated and correct information regarding issues of land. He said, “presently the ministry is considered by the Bauchi State House of Assembly as one of the ministries in the state that has thehighest improved revenue generating capacity and over 100% targetsachieved . “The revenue target achieved in 2011 is N75.6m as against budget of N71 million and N233 million as against the budget of N205 million in the year2012. This figure however is

expected to be improved upon with the commissioning of the Bauchi state Geographical information System.” The Commissioner disclosed that the ministry has also produced Bauchi Township maps, military intelligence map for the north east, pastoral corridor and the Yankari Game Reserve maps, adding that with theinsecurity challenge experience in the region, the use of maps cannot be neglected. He stated that as a result of improved services, the ministry has registered a total number of 3,816 instruments, which include 2,451 Certificates of occupancy, 761 deeds of assignment, 133 mortgages, 184 deeds of surrender, 117 deeds of release and 170 powers of attorney.



Money Sense

Building your way to financial freedom


obody walks into wealth without working for it; otherwise it will not be sustainable. Now laying the foundation for wealth is putting strategies in place for financial freedom, meaning that you must be prepared to make sacrifices, denying yourself of immediate pleasures and being focused on your goal. We judge people by their appearances far too often including the financial health of a person. The reality is that a rich person might drive a crappy car while your neighbour with the brand new KIA might be broke. We need to focus much more on investing our money into assets instead of pouring it into shiny consumer products. We need to chase long-term returns and a portfolio of assets versus shortterm emotional highs by showing off our latest gadgets, cars, phones, clothes, watches, house, or you name it. We need to chase financial freedom, not fancy things. Debt allows people to buy more than they should. Unfortunately, our society is occupied with debt. The biggest reason debt is destructive is that it allows you

Money Tip: Ways to save money Do DIY We’re a nation of obsessive DIYers and for around N25,000 you can take a course at your local adult education college to improve the skills needed to tackle most household repairs. If the college runs plumbing courses you could soon be on track to wiping out costly call-out charges and extra insurance policies once and for all. 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. Link: - find a book and check if it’s available at your local library. 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 “It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives that life throws at us. Focus on the positive - and everything comes good!” Taken from ‘Life: Your Inside Guide’

to buy more than you can afford. Debt allows you to break free of the restriction of living within your means. Never mind the interest payment which kills your pursuit of wealth. Just the simple act of buying more stuff than you should

is a major reason people don’t become well-to-do. For the records, this concept applies to a home as well. For far too long, mortgage debt has been labelled “good debt” and buying a huge house that you

can’t afford has been labelled a “smart investment.” Housing is an expense and debt is debt. We allocate too much money into depreciating assets. Tell me, how much of your money is going into depreciating assets

and how much of it is going into appreciating assets? This is an important question to ask yourself. Sure, it’s fun to drive a nice car, but far too many of us put more money than we should into depreciating assets such as a car. A simple rule of personal finance is to allocate as much money as you can into assets that will earn a return or grow in value and as little money as possible into things that will lose value. The more extreme you take this concept, the wealthier you’re likely to become… Nigerians need to become more entrepreneurial focused. Financial freedom is often found in the realm of entrepreneurship, but succeeding in this realm has some prerequisites. These prerequisites are often talent, hard work, and capital (savings). If you’re not ready to start your own business, that is completely normal, but make sure you’re doing things now to get you to that level of readiness such as putting money away and learning the necessary skills. (Source:

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ama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), the respectable voice of the majority Muslim community in the North, expectedly, has condemned the killings, last Saturday, in a boarding secondary school in Yobe state, one of three states under emergency rule since May 14, this year. Though it has not admitted it, the Boko Haram sect that has been waging a campaign of violence in largely the North-east part of the country, is widely believed to have been responsible. In condemning the killings, JNI described the perpetrators as “devilish criminals”. But it went further to request that government remove the ban placed on the use of GSM phones in the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe that are the epicenter of the sect’s insurgency. “We call on government at all levels to do everything possible, as a matter of urgency, to stop these evil acts of terror now and restore the use of GSM in the affected states to facilitate security alert in a situation where insecurity has wreaked unprecedented havoc against innocent citizens,” a JNI statement signed by Secretary General Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said on Monday. Before that, a lawmaker from Yobe had observed that the GSM ban meant the school authorities could not call for help from outside, and the assailants had all the time to awaken the students in their dormitories

and head them into a single room before setting it on fire. In all, some 30 students and a teacher were massacred in that dawn attack. Governor Ibrahim Gaidam yesterday lent his voice to the call for lifting the GSM ban when a military delegation from Defence headquarters, Abuja, visited him in Damaturu. The GSM suspension was announced


Yobe school killings: Reconsider GSM ban

GSM ban is hurting ordinary people more than the sect.... Besides, that attacks and killings by the sect have not ceased even with the ban shows it is not working last June by the military Joint Task Force (JTF) that is prosecuting the anti-insurgency campaign in the three states. It was swiftly followed by a ban on Thuraya phones believed to be used by Boko Haram to coordinate its murderous attacks. At the time, people were too numbed by the sheer scale of the insurgency to complain. In any case, most of the GM networks, if not all, had been forced to suspend operations, in Borno state particularly, by the sect’s attacks on their facilities. In Adamawa and Yobe, however, the networks are

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”

still in business. In the light of the Yobe school killings, we support calls for lifting the ban on GSM communication. It is believed that if any of the students or the teacher killed had cell phones they would have called parents, on sensing trouble, to send SOS to the security forces. Whether the latter would have responded to save the ugly situation was another matter. But, at least, the outside world would have known what was happening in the school. As it was, nobody knew anything until after the killers had done their dirty work and left. Besides, we have come to realize that the GSM ban is hurting ordinary people more than the sect. If it thought it needed them it would not be attacking the facilities of the network providers. Besides, that attacks and killings by the sect have not ceased even with the ban shows it is not working. Indeed, the JTF realized only too late that the insurgents relied more on non-GSM mode of communication like the Thuraya phone to “coordinate their attacks”. This is because it is satellite technology-based, which means the signal can navigate all physical obstructions like mountains and water bodies that mobile communication can’t. This is why this type of phone is expensive and affordable only to the very rich. Boko Haram can afford it because it is believed to receive funding from outside.











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Opinion Debating government-media relations By Yushau A. Shuaib


he debate over whether the government and the media are friends or foes was rekindled at a recent interactive seminar on Responsibility to Report (R2R) organised by the Development Research and Project Centre with funding from the Dutch Government in Abuja.The seminar was similar to the recently concluded National Civil-Military Dialogue, where the National Security Adviser, SamboDasuki sought the cooperation and understanding of Nigerians on the ongoing military’s intervention in fighting insurgency in the country. Unlike the military-civilian set-up where former heads of state and top public functionaries were in attendance, participants at Responsibility to Report were mostly spokespersons from emergency response agencies like the military, police, NEMA and volunteers. The media too were adequately represented with editors, producers and bloggers in attendance. I had the privilege to be one of the facilitators that included Abdul Raufu Mustapha of Oxford University, and Ms. Femke Van Zeiji from The Netherlands. Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, the respected mass communication scholar, was the Keynote Speaker who dropped the bombshell that triggered a lively interaction throughout the programme. While attempting to be neutral in his assessment of the relationship between the government and the media, the academic dwelt on the power of the media, its influence in the society and the inherent loophole in the

freedom of information law among others. The Editor-in-Chief of Premium Times, DapoOlorunyomi, also a facilitator, agreed with most of the arguments raised by the Professor and further echoed nontransparent nature of government and the alleged shabbiness in the implementation of freedom of information law in Nigeria. They both reinforced the general belief that the media is powerful as the Fourth Estate of the Realm, while I also responded that the government seems to be more powerful because all the other Estates: the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary are within its realm (government.). While the two argued that government and the Media cannot be permanent Friends but LOYAL OPPONENTS, I advanced the view that the

spokespersons in government can be friends with the media on behalf of their organisations through mutual respect and dignified reciprocal relationship. Akinfeleye emphatically supported the submission of former America President, Thomas Jefferson who said that if he was to choose between a Government without a Press, or a Press without a Government, he would not hesitate to choose the latter! This submission I argued, cannot hold if every person is investigating and probing into one another as a reporter, without a law by legislators to protect the people, and the existence of the judiciary to adjudicate over disputes and the executive arm to check excesses and unethical practices. Such a society, I pointed out can only exist in a jungle, where there are no rules

There is no problem with any government. Antics of some characters in government create the negative perceptions about public institutions. Added to the unbecoming and petty behaviours of some officials in government is the reality that public information management is very weak largely due to unskilled manpower, ill-equipped departments and political interference where seeming straightforward and truthful information is deliberately distorted to oil the egos of principals.

of law but animalistic interpersonal relationship. There is no problem with any government. Antics of some characters in government create the negative perceptions about public institutions. Added to the unbecoming and petty behaviours of some officials in government is the reality that public information management is very weak largely due to unskilled manpower, ill-equipped departments and political interference where seeming straightforward and truthful information is deliberately distorted to oil the egos of principals. The Freedom of Information Act (FOI) would not have been needed if public information officers had been allowed to discharge their roles responsibly and professionally. A study and adherence to basic principles of Public Relations could be a clear guide for spokespersons rather than the fire brigade approach and combatant posture of such image managers to simple issue management. Therefore, spokespersons, as the intermediaries between the government and the media, should not only rely on prerequisite and relevant qualifications and experiences but should have humane temperaments and friendly dispositions while discharging their responsibilities. While a well-trained and wellbehaved public officer can easily court friendship of the media and earn the respect of the public, journalists too should imbibe the PR instinct and principle by initiating cordial relationships with officers in government to minimise mutual suspicions

and misgivings.At the end of the seminar, participants issued Guidelines for Communication in Times of Conflict for Government, Media and Civil Society in which they recommended that the media should always separate facts from opinion while urging journalists to be mindful of public and national interest in providing honest, factual and accurate information at all times. While participants agreed that there are presently neither laws nor regulatory bodies to monitor and check online and social media in Nigeria, they strongly recommended capacity building and training on the use of latest technology for effective communication by those in government and the media. Public officers and spokespersons were advised to establish and sustain a mutually respectful relationship with the media, which should be professional and transparent. On the other hand, media owners were urged to improve the working conditions of their employees, while journalists were cautioned that “regardless of the circumstances, they should not expect, accept or offer inducements to publish reports.”The interactive session was not only lively, the active participation of the of Director Defence Information, Brig-General Chris Olukolade and Police Public Relations Officer Frank E. Mbain the event created the enablement for frank discussions. One message is clear: whether in government or out of it, we must protect and promote national economic growth. Yushau A. Shuaib via

Yobe’s killing field and a father’s mindset By Joe Igbokwe


have been imagining the state of mind of the parents and the siblings of the 29 students massacred in Government Secondary School, Mamudo, Potiskum, Yobe state, last week. I have had difficulty figuring out what was on the minds of those who on June 17 killed 9 pupils sitting for the National Examination Council Examination, NECO, at Ansarudeen Primary/ Secondary School in Jajeri ward Maiduguri in Borno state. As a father, I have found it difficult to close my eyes to sleep while trying to imagine how these children died for no just cause. I am totally devastated that because we have failed to do our duties as fathers, our children who will take care of us in our old age are being slaughtered like goats in front of our own eyes. Oh! Elders have gone to sleep and the nation is going under! The Bible puts enormous responsibility of protecting children on the shoulders of fathers - from Genesis to Revelation. It is an order, a call, position, responsibility, treasure, unique, honourable, dignity, special, sacred,

cross, crown and blessing. Whether we like it or not, a civil war has been going on in Nigeria and thousands have been killed. The president of the United States, Barack Obama says we have killed more people in Nigeria in the past two years than deaths recorded in Europe and America via crimes. I guess these Boko Haram insurgents mean business in stopping education in the North and this portends grave danger. The governor of Yobe state, Ibrahim Gaidam has ordered all schools in the state be shut down. Oh God, these mass murderers are winning the war! Nigeria, especially the North, is losing the war and the economy. How can

a society, a tribe, religion, culture survive without education in the 21st century? How can a region as important as the northern part of Nigeria continue to stomach this nonsense? How did we get to this sorry pass? Where are the leaders of the North? Who will protect the innocent children in the northern schools, churches and mosques? Are the soldiers in Yobe not proactive? Where is this failure coming from? What do we do to save the North and Nigeria? We down South may be relaxing, thinking that it does not concern us. The 10 traders from Ibadan, Oyo state killed by Boko Haram were not Northerners. The

hundreds of dead bodies we have buried in the East in the past two years were not northerners. A wind storm from the Atlantic Ocean may hit the Lagos coast first but there is no guarantee that Owerri, Enugu or Bauchi will not feel its impact. What has befallen Nigeria in the past two years should be compared to the civil war in the early 70sfrom which the nation is yet to recover. Once again, the blood of bread winners, mothers and children has been flowing in the past two years and there is no end in sight. We must stop this madness, we must stop this bloodshed, we must stop this brigandage, we must stop this arson and wanton destruction of property,

We down South may be relaxing, thinking that it does not concern us. The 10 traders from Ibadan, Oyo state killed by Boko Haram were not Northerners. The hundreds of dead bodies we have buried in the East in the past two years were not northerners. A wind storm from the Atlantic Ocean may hit the Lagos coast first but there is no guarantee that Owerri, Enugu or Bauchi will not feel its impact. What has befallen Nigeria in the past two years should be compared to the civil war in the early 70s from which the nation is yet to recover.

and we must say enough is enough. I want our security agencies to find out whether the people perpetrating these evil deeds are really Nigerians. I am not persuaded that they are Nigerians killing Nigerians. No sensible person born of a woman will throw stones or bombs into a market place because his people may be there. I cannot by any stretch of my imagination believe that Nigerians can do this damage to young Nigerians growing up to serve their fatherland. Children are a special gift from God and whoever touches these ones is fighting God and this is the road to destruction. Even in war situations, children and mothers are protected; not so for Boko Haram. They kill children, mothers, nurses, doctors, teachers, youth corpers, elderly persons, foreigners, police and army. They bomb, burn and destroy houses, schools, offices etc. I am begging our leaders and other concerned Nigerians to give us back our stolen country. This bloodshed must cease. This impunity must stop. This illegality must stop. This brutality must cease. Joe Igbokwe, a public policy analyst wrote in from Lagos



Letters & Opinion The state of the nation By Seyi Gambo


dare say we have all failed as citizens of Nigeria. Let’s begin with the Nigerian elite. This class of people constitutes the eyes and brains of the nation. They are expected to see into the future, to set the agenda, and coordinate implementation of policies which ought to have positive impact on the lives of all Nigerians and the country’s image. However, what we have – or rather who we are – is a bunch of self-centred, undisciplined, corrupt, “elite.” There’s also the failure of both the public and private sectors, the two legs of the nation’s political economy. These two legs have been crippled by the Nigerian elite. Where were we when the groundnut pyramids disappeared? Where were we when the northern elite was plundering the region by relocating federal allocations for community development to their private bank accounts? We did not say a thing as the north slid into abject poverty, and as millions of its youth became idle and disillusioned like their Niger Delta counterparts who took up arms against the state.

Just as the some African northern elite states under the saw nothing very noses of our wrong in the corrupt security Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, killing of social agencies. Former text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written crusaders like Libyan ruler, Ken Saro-Wiwa Muamar Gaddafi, contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters knew what he and Isaac Boro, - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your was saying when which gave birth name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be he predicted the to Niger Delta addressed to: disintegration militancy, the of Nigeria southern elite because he and saw nothing The Editor, others like him wrong in Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, trained, armed the army of 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. and financed children known the Boko Haram as almajirai. Email: sect. The deprived SMS: 08134607052 Today, no children, single region or who eat from ethnic group can survive outside dustbins, have now grown to looked downwards and tapped into Nigeria. The political undercurrent become willing tools in the hands of the lucrative business of stealing in the east, the class struggle, a fanatical group – Boko Haram. and exporting crude oil. They which destroyed Anambra and Politicians armed jobless metamorphosed into mega-rich oil other south-eastern states, is very street gangs to unleash violence buccaneers. much there. The Yoruba have not against their political opponents Nobody took notice of the fared any better. The contending in the Niger Delta region. In the mayhem in Maiduguri. We did influences of the “wild, wild west” not condemn the bombings and same way, Governor Sheriff of of the 1960s and the “wetie” of the shootings then, because it was Borno and others used Boko 1980s, which broke the back of the only members of the armed forces Haram to silence opponents up first two democratic experiments, and Muslim clerics that were at north. When the politicians could are very much alive. The north has the receiving end. Now these boys not meet the aspirations of their since lost its monolithic status as have received military training in street “soldiers,” the armed youth


God is not an ATM By BamideleAdemola-Olateju


n June 30, my mother and sister got marooned along with thousands of travellers on the religious highway – the stretch of Lagos – Ibadan expressway - between Mountain of Fire Ministries and The Redeemed Camp for 9hours.Their traumatic experience in the traffic jam forced me to sit up one more time and take notice. Impunity cuts across every facet of our national life even in places of worship. That is why the Redeemed Christian Church of God and, to some extent, the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries hierarchies despite their reach, power and influence pretend not to notice the pain they inflict on travellers at their frequent gatherings.The teachings of Christ have been perverted. Transactional theology and feel-good Christianity has fed into the slothful narrative of who we have become. It is the reason why millions throng the “camps” looking for their own miracles. Growing up a Methodist; I was fed on a Christian tradition obsessed with sin and suffering, the death of Jesus on the cross as the only salvation for a wicked race yoked by the infernal original sin.That was the nature of Christianity until American-style Pentecostalism filtered in.Before the Pentecostal invasion, Christians in Nigeria were developing their own Protestant Ethic of faith, work and reward. Like all things new, we barely understood the long term implications of the “Amen” churches; we lost sight of its appeal to the majority until the country was overtaken and its moral foundation shaken. As Methodists, Anglicans, Apostolics, we liked the idea of talk no sin, focus on the positive

message of God’s love doctrine as alternatives and powerful antidotes to the vengeful God.Little did we know that the bodacious pastors’ feel-good message of God of infinite promises is as antipodal to Christianity as the angry and punitive God of the Evangelicals. We loved cool stuff, the bombast and oratory of the pastors sucked us in.Pentecostalism spread like bush fire poaching Evangelicals and Catholics almost into extinction. Each time I try to understand how we got to this dark place we are in, I conclude that Nigeria’s emergence as a nation seemed fated like the famed Titanic ocean liner. In Nigeria, oil, population, religion, diversity, culture, history etc converged negatively to get us where we are today. Religion has become our albatross in just a generation. Our pulpits are long on swagger and ostentation but short on activist clergies who are incorruptible, ascetic and unaffected by material possessions. Other than priests of the Catholic Church in the mould of Cardinal Okogie, Bishop Kukahetc, what we have are leaders of occults, esoteric con-artists and entertainer pastors preaching the gospel of miracles, healing and prosperity.

It is true that the Jesus of miracles does exist but he did say in Mathew 16:4 that ” An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign”. Nowhere in the Gospel did I find the banker Jesus or the Jesus of Lexus Jeeps and private jets. I appreciate the business sense of hanging out with the banker Jesus instead of the angry Jesus but their banker Jesus is very disdainful of the self regulating ethics of free enterprise and corporate responsibility.The banker Jesus is what you get when the poor fund the Christian Universities for the rich to attend. When they pay tithes for the pastors wife to wear diamond necklaces. The rot in our polity festers, the body of Christ in Nigeria has lost it’s way, there is no rectitude. Church service is now a social gathering of songs, networking and high fashion and less of Bible reading, exegesis and ever fewer calls for repentance and salvation. Who will reorient Christianity back to the scripture? Who will stop our New Age pastors, prosperity preachers, miracle peddlers and healers from advancing a vision of God that is transactional? No one will.Quality education, equal opportunity for citizens and

government accountability and responsibility is the answer. Belief in the transactional God is ruining Nigeria. We have become a religious nation without a glimmer of righteousness, a nation tethered to the ATM God - the God that does this if you do that. The God that responds to each individual according to their prayers because the Bible says so.The God of redemption has been demoted in favor of the ATM God. This is not what religion is and certainly not what faith is about.Mounting several night vigils with prayer to get what you want, believing really hard in the miracle of getting, are not true to the Christian story – it is illogical. To imagine that the universal God bows to the whim of every he, she or I is to believe in magic. The transactional God does not exist, He is a phantom, a creation of jeunjeun (chop-I-chop) pastors; it is a theological falsehood. The concept runs contra to the experience of faithful Christians the world over.From the beginning of time and into the future, many people of faith will die from incurable diseases, will be childless, will be poor until death overtakes them and many will be visited

In Nigeria, oil, population, religion, diversity, culture, history etc converged negatively to get us where we are today. Religion has become our albatross in just a generation. Our pulpits are long on swagger and ostentation but short on activist clergies who are incorruptible, ascetic and unaffected by material possessions. Other than priests of the Catholic Church in the mould of Cardinal Okogie, Bishop Kukahetc, what we have are leaders of occults, esoteric con-artists and entertainer pastors preaching the gospel of miracles, healing and prosperity.

“one northern Nigeria.” There is now a vital Middle Belt identity. No one needs to be told of the religious tensions in the north where the population is almost evenly divided among Muslims and Christians in Kaduna, Gombe, Bornu, Niger, Adamawa and Taraba. The only practicable way to arrest this free-fall is to ensure fiscal discipline – because our problem is not religion. Let us put these millions of idle, unemployed youths to work. Let’s offer them gainful employment and training – and they will be drawn less and less to violence and other forms of crime. Let us hold our politicians and administrators in the three tiers of government accountable for every kobo entrusted to them. Who does not know that the statutory revenue from the Federal Government to local governments is not what local government chairmen sign for and receive from their respective state governors? How come Boko Haram’s propaganda machinery is more effective than the enlightenment programs of state governments in the North? How come youths are falling for Boko Haram’s propaganda? The answer is still corruption, insincerity of purpose. Finally, we must all realize that “talk is cheap.” Seyi Gambo is on LinkedIn with afflictions of varying degrees despite their faith in God through a lifetime.If it is not your portion, whose portion is it? It is the nature of things and the nature of life; life and its many variables are random. The cards are drawn at random and you play the cards you are dealt. Many people have been plunged into crisis of faith because their pastors told them if they only had enough faith, their problems would be taken care of. They wonder how much faith must they have to push their transactions through. My favourite question for these pastors is: “what sin did John the Baptist commit to justify his beheading?” And a follow up, “Had he no faith?” Unfortunately Christianity has gotten enveloped by the powers and principalities of materialism, primitive wealth acquisitions and individualism. If the issue of sin is ever discussed, emphasis is laid more on communal and structural sins than individual morality and redemption. You want a house? Pray, no mention of work. You want money? Pay your tithe, have faith and God will give it to you.The leash of religion on money and temporal things is broken. General Overseers give religious sanction to get rich, be powerful by every means possible ignoring the example of a life of humility, simplicity and modesty lived by Christ.Jesus didn’t preach wealth, possessions, or prestige; his teachings shun the trappings of worldly things, and his life was lived in poverty. His life was lived in faith, in concord with God’s will leading to his painful death on the cross.Why should we imagine God will give us what we want by saying a few words of prayer when we have only a fraction of Christ’s faith? Did Christ not pray enough or was his faith too little?Faith only makes life a lot easier to live. God is not transactional, He is not an ATM. BamideleAdemola-Olateju on Twitter @olufunmilayo




Structural impediments to budgeting in Nigeria By Boniface Chizea


t is a crying shame that all the celebrations and gloating that attended the early presentation of the details of the 2013 federal budget to the National Assembly have come unstuck. Now no concerted attempt or effort is being made to prioritize national interest and by extension the interest of the citizenry in the resolution of this imbroglio. And the reason lies in the procedure the country has adopted with the preparation of the budget. It is time for something to give; it is time to tell ourselves some home truths. A few critical landmarks on the road to the preparation of Budget 2013: the President submitted the budget estimates to the National Assembly in September, 2012 while the Assembly made history when we were told that work on the budget was concluded in December, 2012 which was received with resounding applause. But for some inexplicable reason the budget was not transmitted to the Executive until after a whole one month! It is about time that a consensus crystallized regarding the delineation of responsibilities in the preparation and approval of the annual budget. What is happening now and from recent revelations whereby almost every budget head submitted by the Executive has been almost whimsically tampered with, raises the question regarding

the actual location of authority for the preparation of the national budget. And we are talking of a situation where the party of the Executive has overwhelming majority at the National Assembly. Please spare a thought regarding what the situation could have been like if the revise was the case! Ordinarily the responsibility for preparing the budget is not an issue that is contentious. As with an Organization as with the Country someone occupies the leadership position and I should suppose that it goes without saying that the leadership of government or for that matter a company has responsibility for the preparation of the budget if the budget must be seen and treated as a blue print for managing the country. A situation whereby each budget estimate presented by the Executive is hiked by the legislature is problematic. I recall Professor Ben Nwabueze, that eminent and respected constitutional lawyer several years ago when he weighed in on this debate did aver that the legislature can reduce but not increase the budget estimates presented by the Executive. We might not appreciate the legal dimensions underpinning this opinion but it resonates with common sense to note that when the legislature reduces the budget it creates a position of surplus while the converse leads to a situation of scarcity and obviously it is eminently easier to manage surplus

than to accommodate scarcity as is currently playing out. But this issue should be tackled frontally by driving a consensus on the matter even if we should have resort to legal opinion or if you like we should benchmark practices in other countries both within and outside the sub-region. But there is need for an agreement to be reached on this matter sooner than later in the greater interest of the rapid growth and development of this potentially great country. Recently there was a debate regarding the recommendation to move the Budget Office from the Ministry of Finance to National Planning. The budget is an annual plan and the only available channel for the implementation of the plan. And therefore it makes eminent sense for Planning and budgeting to be domiciled in the same Ministry otherwise we would continue to have this disconnect which is now the order of the day whereby the budget is prepared without taking its bearing from the plan. We should be pragmatic; this recommended relocation of Budget Office to Planning has merit. If for nothing let us try something different from what it has been all these years which has not proved successful. there must be countries where this is the arrangement and it would help for us to leverage their experience.There was a time in this country when we adopted the three year rolling plan approach

to the preparation of the annual budget. You would observe from the debates that now and again come up that experientially that some of these recommendations have established their relevance. It was recently reported that the House of Representatives was against the practice of returning unspent funds to the Treasury at the end of the fiscal year as that would seem to account for the incidences of abandoned projects across the length and breadth of the country. Where the rolling plan approach is adopted it automatically ensures continuity and therefore this unique practice of ours of celebrating the return of unspent funds to the Treasury will be uncalled for. It is strongly recommended here that we should consider seriously resorting to the rolling plan approach to the preparation of the annual budget to facilitate the budget taking its bearing from the rolling plan. The extant practice whereby each MDA will troupe to the National Assembly to defend its budget is unnecessary. The budget details were transmitted to the National Assembly by the Budget office and therefore logically and in keeping with best practice any issues arising from the budget on the part of the National Assembly should be taken up with the Budget Office that has a bird’s eye view of the composite budget of the federation. When each MDA goes to the

Egypt’s fire this time By Semiu Ayoubami Akanmu


doubt if critical objective analysis still exists in our intellectual domain. Those who are supporting Morsi or opposing him simply because of his religious affiliation and his party (Muslim Brotherhood) are the minds responsible for the perpetual suffering of the masses. They continue to allow the flawed Marx’s saying: ‘Religion is the opium of the masses’ to pass ingenuity test. It is unknown to them that these faith-based political parties do not in any manner represent the interest of the suffering masses. Instead, they water the hoggish but sadistic propensity of a class of the capitalists and feudalists. They are just exploiting ‘RELIGION’ as a means to their self-cantered ends. For the purpose of modesty, I will not mention names of some of these players in the Nigeria’s religiouspolitical field. I only wish the gullible can see beyond their noses!! The sincere ones among my Muslims brethren must not be allowed to be choked by the overwhelming staring ill-treatment. Taking through Democracy will never bring the desire. Apart from the fact that both the means and the ends must be in conformity with Islamic tenet, history has

taught us that Democracy’s proprietor are watching their structure so keenly. They will deploy all apparatuses to crush any hijack. The death toll in Egypt now is an evidence in this direction. Lest not forget the power tussle in Syria has done none of the sides any good. Contemporary political Islam needs to be jettisoned. Yes, I abhor the contemporary political Islam. You must not be jaundiced not to see the word ‘CONTEMPORARY’. The sincerity of the players always fails when subjected to authenticity test. Apart from being a Muslim, having studied the world adoptable economic models, it is arguable that Islamic models for economic sustenance remain the most infallible and plausible. Those who want to contend with this can through up an intellectual debate. The contemporary political Islamists are Neo-Liberalists. In Malaysia, an Islamic party pitched its tent with a Buddhist party in the country’s last general election, because they want to wrestle power from the sitting government. You need to ask the interception of the both religions. The Indonesia’s counterpart is facially telling people there is no Hudud in their manifestos. However, as a student of politics of power, all are power-

mongers, using convenient way to exploit the masses’ votes. In the Philippines, the Moro Islamic front was endorsed by the US because they agreed on economic inter-relationship. In this case, their secession struggle was endorsed and they will be leaving Philippine to form Moro Republic. You should ask also why the so-called Anti-West campaigners suddenly became an ally of the same nation.The occasional ‘Weno-go-gree’ Islamists are chess used in playing the game of politics. Those who have read about the Islamic Salvation Front of Algeria and Hamaz of Palestine will agree with me that the recent happening in Egypt is a further validation of the incompatibility of Islam and Democracy. The local ones in Nigeria have tested their sheer ignorance. I wish they invest in a venture that will be rewarding. Investing in Democracy will only assured you of LIQUIDATION of spirituality, lives and property!!At such a point in our journey in life, we are faced with many difficulties, teeming challenges, intricacies and technicalities. There comes a question: What is the way out? I have once received a question: ‘You have bashed the violent way of AlShabab and Boko Haram, you also

condemned the methodology of Al-Qaeda, now you are saying those who took to power via ballot are kidding, then what can we do? It must be noted that the complexity of our problem is beyond a binary answer (yes or no); it is even not that of probability theory. I only hope fuzzy logic will solve this. Fuzzy logic gives us the opportunity of varying points of accuracy as the situations agree with. First, we need to understand that: if we are driven by the textual evidence that Sharee’a will till rule the world, we must know it is a matter of 80% faith, and 20% of our work. This will avoid us the temptation of not verifying our methodology. Since we believe more in our faith than our work, we will ensure that the work is strictly in conformity with Islam. We will not be too zealous and emotional. If we hardly believe the little that Islam-compliant work can do, then our belief that Hell and Heaven exist is a lip service. If we hardly believe Democracy and Terrorism cannot give us Sharee’a after all this logical chain of happenings and histories staring at our faces, then that we believe in Angel is utter hypocrisy. Then, what is the work?It would have been better if I were not addressing the Third world’s majority

National Assembly and manages to negotiate higher allocation, it creates as unacceptable distortion and must be discontinued if we have to eliminate opportunities for rent seeking behavior in the preparation of the budget. Also one expects that before the budget of any agency is included in the National budget that there must have been prior defense of its details with the Budget Office. And therefore another round of defence is unnecessary duplication which from experience only provides a veritable opportunity for aggrandizement. Often, budgets are not implemented because a plan has ot been envisaged during preparation. We have heard that the National Assembly is asking for quarterly briefing regarding progress with implementation. That is in the right direction but the quarterly presentations should be from the implementing bodies to the Budget Office and may be the Minister and not the President can make a half yearly presentation of the state of budget implementation to the National Assembly. What is worrisome is that there is nothing which I have canvassed here which we have not practiced before in this country. But in the greater interest of this country it can no longer be business as usual with budgeting. Dr. Boniface Chizea is a financial/management consultant based and in Lagos. Muslims, specifically Nigeria Muslims. The division caused by sectarianism, ethnocentrism and organization-centrism is a potent killer of this initiative. It had killed many previous attempts to adopt this approach, and it will continue till we grow emotionally mature. The retrogression fuelled by the class of Muslim aristocrats, a sub-set of the capitalist class, is also evident. This set of people has expropriated previous struggles and attempts to launch this initiative as a vehicle to drive home their economic gains. We pray Allah change them, because it will not be easy on the day of Qiyamat if they die on this. However, till that anti-progress virus is exterminated, and the parasitic elitist army in our fold turns a new leaf, incubating this idea and its support at the individual’s capacity is the only option we are left with. We must not forget that the individual’s soul is the first point of call before that of the family or community. After the call to Allah and His Prophet (SAW) forms the crux of our Da’wah, our work will be creating all institutions that will allow us to live relatively comfortably without any interference of the ‘outside world’, and participation in its institutional mechanisms. This is more of action than talk or expression of ‘verbs’. Semiu Ayoubami Akanmu wrote in from Universiti Utara, Malaysia.



Minister to introduce city marathon in Abuja By Adeola Tukuru


rrangements have been concluded by the FCT Administration to introduce a city marathon for Abuja beginning from 2013. FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed explained that this initiative is aimed at rapidly rejuvenating sports development in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in tune with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government. Senator Mohammed recalled that in 2012, his Administration under sports tourism equally introduced an FCT PRO-AM Golf Championship, which has remained the highest-prized Golf tournament in the country. The Minister reiterated that plans are underway by the FCT Administration to expand the scope of the championship, especially by attaching prizes that would attract professional players from abroad. “Accordingly, the FCT Administration has resuscitated the FCT Minister’s Under-17 Football competition and well over 8,280 students, cutting across the over 760 public and private secondary schools within the FCT competed for the championship since its revival in 2010,” he stressed. He emphasised that the outcome of these competitions, especially the Under-13 Primary School competition recently culminated in FCT winning the National Under-13 Football Competition early this year. His words: “Approval has been granted for the team to represent the country at an International championship in Europe later this year, based on the invitation extended by the Nigeria Football Federation”. The Minister noted the pro-activeness and renewed approach of the Sports Department of the FCT Social Development Secretariat to also introduce an interorganizational tournaments amongst different public and private institutions as well as establishments including the military, para-military, educational institutions and clubs, to replace the hitherto FCT Sports Festival. Senator Mohammed revealed that the initiative would no doubt widen the scope of the competitor in preparation for National Sports Festival. “To this end, the six Area Councils of the Federal Capital Territory will now compete along with the organisations for the best representative to be selected for the Elite Games to be introduced soon,” he added.

Mad woman attempts kidnapping two children By Usman Shuaibu


mild drama played out in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT as a middle-aged woman (name withheld), claiming to be mad, attempted to kidnap two children at Sabon-Gari in the area. An eye witness who pleaded anonymity, recounted to Peoples Daily that the mad woman who has been living in Gwagwalada for six months now, took the children when they were playing outside in the nearby neighbouring houses. She further explained that when the woman kidnapped the children, she started making a phone

call, saying that she has gotten two children. It was gathered that the mentally-deranged woman was beaten by the youths mercilessly when she tried to escape with the children. Reacting to the incident, the Village head of Sabon Gari in Gwagwalada Area Council, Alhaji Yunusa Aliyu confirmed the story and appealed to parents not to allow their children to roam about without guides. The village head further advised the parents to monitor the activities of their children always and called on them to look for their children whenever they were not found at home.

On his part, one of the fathers of the kidnapped children, Mr. Yusuf Magaji, who is a police corporal serving at the Maitama police command, expressed delight for recovering his child. Some of the residents who spoke to Peoples Daily accused the parents and guardians of leaving their children carelessly in the area, saying that this would serve as a big lesson to the generality of Nigerians. However, efforts made to reach the Police Command in Gwagwalada for comments proved abortive, but an impeccable source told our reporter that the mad woman has been remanded in Suleja prison for further investigation.

NYSC pledge to sustain sanitation activities in FCT schools By Adeola Tukuru


he National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has reiterated its commitment to sustaining its sanitation activities in secondary and primary schools in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). A corps member and president of NYSC sanitation group, Mr Isaac Olukomogbon, said that the action would boost sanitary activities in public schools. He said the corps’ Community Development Service (CDS) sanitation group had visited schools such as the Area 1 Primary School, Government Secondary School in Area 10 and Festival Road Primary School, Area 10. He said the group educated and sensitised students and teachers on the importance of environmental sanitation and

personal hygiene. Olukomogbon said the group donated items such as brooms, dustbins and cobweb brushes, as well and made posters on impact of proper hygiene to create awareness and illustrate its message. He said the items were donated to motivate them to maintain proper hygiene in their schools. ‘’We provided the schools we visited with sanitation items like brooms, dustbins, cobwebs brushes and made posters, to enlighten them on environmental and personal hygiene,’’ he said. According to him, lack of funds has been a major constraint as members of the group contribute N200 monthly to actualise most of their plans. ``Inadequate funding is the major challenge we face in this group; we normally contribute N200 every month per corps

member for our projects. “There is this project we have at hand, which is to provide major public areas like motor parks and markets in the metropolis with toilet facilities. “We shall also provide waste baskets, brooms, buckets, to enable a clean environment, but there is no money,” he said. He said that before the group’s passing out in October, it would visit a Motherless Babies home and donate a washing machine to the home. He also said that the group was trying to collaborate with Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) and National Environmental Standard and Regulations Enforcement Agency to alleviate environmental challenges in the FCT. Reiterating the issue of lack of fund, Mrs BusayoYusuf, the

Men and women taking a ride behind a truck, yesterday at Garki, in Abuja.

supervisor of the sanitation group said that funding was a huge challenge. Yusuf said the group needed N1 million to handle the erosion problem in Government Secondary School, Lugbe. She called for sponsorship to enable it implement the group’s projects in the various schools, adding it was also seeking collaboration with Abuja Environmental Protection Board. “Government Secondary School, Lugbe, has been eaten up by erosion; it is an environmental issue, and it is a project that the (CDS) group is looking into, but funding is a challenge. “The amount cannot be raised by the corps members; so, we are looking for sponsors to help in solving the sanitation challenges faced by these schools,’’ she said.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo



Metro Fadama association tasks stakeholders on project sustainability By Adeola Tukuru


GSM Subscribers whose SIM cards were blocked queuing for registration, on Tuesday at a BEFs Plaza, in Utako, Abuja.

Photo: Emma Eko

New Transport Policy: Minister sets up c’ttee to increase mega buses By Adeola Tukuru


n his determination to fine tune the New Transport Policy in the Federal Capital Territory, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has set up a Committee to work out modalities to increase the number of high capacity buses plying the territory’s major roads. He announced that the committee will review the implementation of the new transport policy especially against the backdrop of calls by commuters for injection of more buses on the routes. The Committee has the Transport

Secretary, Engr. Jonathan Ivoke Achara was made the Chairman of the committee and the Director, Public Transportation, Engr. Kola Garba as Secretary. The Committee which was given two weeks within which to submit its reports. The Minister charged the Committee to look at all pending proposals from intending operators of high capacity bus mass transit in the FCT with a view to expanding the frontiers for increased participation. He particularly tasked the panel with the assignment of getting more buses on the road in order to alleviate the pains

of commuters. He also charged them to recommend ways of ensuring that only buses that are of high standard are introduced on the FCT roads. Other members of the Committee include the Director, Economic Planning, Research and Statistics, Mohammed Isa Ary, the Managing Director of Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company, Mr. Abdulrazaq Oniyangi, the Special Assistant on Transport to the FCT Minister, Mrs Mariam Ogundepo, the Director of Establishment and Training, Mallam Nuhu Ahmed and the representative of Abuja Investment Company Limited.

Development Residents decry traders, beggars’ Control pulls down take-over of pedestrian bridges ome residents in the structures provided for common without minding the fast moving ALGON office By Adeola Tukuru


he Association of Local Government of Nigeria,ALGON National Headquarters currently under construction in Eller crescent, Maitama Abuja was yesterday pulled down by the Development Control Unit of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The structure, a three storey building according to the District Officer in charge of the area, Isah Aliyu was said to be erected on a crescent that is a pathway in a close in the area. He said several quit notices have been served on the structure right from the foundation stage but the owner of the structure failed to show up at the development control unit to prove the legality or otherwise of the plot. Aliyu said several attempts made to compel the security man found on the structure to receive copies of the papers served proved abortive. But the Public Relations Officer of ALGON, Danladi Etsu while condemning the exercise said ALGON may seek legal action as they have all the necessary docuents to back up the legality of the construction in court.


Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have decried the conversion of pedestrian bridges to shops by some traders. In separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Monday, the residents expressed surprises over the use of the bridges for trading. A lawyer, Mr Ayo Ojo, said he was shocked when he saw that traders and beggars had converted Gwarinpa pedestrian bridge to their use. “Abuja is definitely not a village square where trading could be done anywhere, residents should know that this city is transforming into a modern city. “It does not say well of us if we deface our environment with all manner of nauseating activities, ranging from street trading to begging; it is lack of discipline. “We should take care of our environment and avoid abusing

use; the authority in-charge should take stricter action on this abuse,’’ Ojo said. Another resident, Mrs Bimbo Brown, said that some bridges had been turned to rest places by some people thereby making the environment untidy. “I must confess, those incharge of environment within the city of Abuja should be commended for their effort. “They still need to put a little more effort, as some of us need drastic measures to appreciate what is beautiful. “If you move around some bridges in the city, especially the ones along the Nyanya axis, you see people sleeping under the bridges. That should not be because that is not the right place to do that. “Pedestrian bridges are made for crossing roads with heavy traffic. “The one at Mogadishu Barracks has been abandoned by passersby who prefer to cross

vehicles along that road, “ Brown said. NAN reports that traders carry out their businesses at Gwarinpa and Lugbe pedestrian bridges, where beggars operate as well. The Acting Director of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Hajia Aishatu Adebayo, had promised the new measures would be introduced to tackle environmental challenges of the city. She also warned that hawkers, beggars, sex workers and artisans would not find life easy in the territory. Similarly, Hajia Meumunatu Abubakar, the Head of Environment at Abuja Municipal Area Council,, said new measures would be put in place to protect the environment and keep it clean. She urged residents to take the issue of environment serious and imbibe the culture of cleanliness. (NAN)

CT Federated Fadama Community Association (FFCA) yesterday called for concerted efforts among stakeholders in Fadama III Project in FCT to ensure sustainability. The FCT chairman of the association, Mr Williams Ngwakwe, stated this in Gwagwalada at the opening ceremony of a training workshop with the theme; “Synergies for Sustainability” organised by FFCA in FCT. He said the workshop was to brainstorm on modalities to ensure suitability of the project in FCT among stakeholders particularly facilitators, Fadama Community Association chairmen and financial institutions. According to him, the synergy will no doubt resolve the fear of suitability of the project among the various Fadama Users Groups and Community Associations. He pledged the commitment of FFCA in FCT to ensure that conflict which was a major challenge among various community associations was resolved to ensure that members were carried along. Ngwakwe said the involvement of financial institutions in the workshop was to ensure that loans were made available to Fadama associations so as to ensure that the project was sustained. In his remark, Mr Iiyasu Husseini, Community Development Officer (CDO), FCT Fadama III Coordination Office commended the leadership on FFCA in FCT for organizing the workshop. Husseini said the workshop was timely in view of the fact that several efforts were being made to ensure the sustainability of the project since its inception in 2010. He called for unity among the various associations benefiting from the project adding that the synergy being created would guarantee sustainability of the project. The CDO commended the project facilitators for their efforts in mobilsing rural communities for the project adding that 70 per cent of the successes recorded by the project was due to the efforts of the facilitators.





Court to sentence man for impersonating police officer


n Abuja Upper Area Court has reserved July 18th, 2013 for sentencing Philip Bala, 30, who claimed to be the husband of a police corporal, after he pleaded guilty to impersonation. Bala of Nyanya, FCT, was arraigned by the police on a three-count charge of criminal conspiracy, impersonation and unlawful possession of suspected stolen security items. The presiding judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, ordered that

Bala be remanded in Keffi prison custody until the adjourned date. The prosecutor, Insp. Adams Peter, had told the court that the accused was arrested on June 6, by men of the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) led by Mr Damina Yakubu. Peter said the accused was arrested around Nyanya Market while parading himself as a serving police sergeant with a fake identity card bearing his name and fake police number. He told the court that

investigation into the matter revealed that the accused was living with a serving female police corporal whom he claimed was his wife. The prosecutor said that the police conducted a search in the said house and incriminating items were discovered in his possession. He said items such as a complete police uniform with badges, an army uniform and his fake number, 154066, were found.

``The accused could not give a satisfactory account of how he got the items, and investigation continues on his involvement with the said female police corporal,” he said. The prosecutor asked the court to reserve sentencing of the accused until the police were able to establish the type of link the accused had with the police woman. ``The female corporal, whom he claimed to be his wife and with whom he stays, is under

investigation in the office to know if she has any information about his offence,’’ he told the court. Kagarko, therefore, adjourned the case to July 18, and gave the police two weeks within which to conclude the investigation. Kagarko, who also noticed that the accused had a gunshot injury on his leg, ordered the prison wardens to make sure the injury was properly treated before the adjourned date. (NAN)

Driver bags 2 months imprisonment for criminal breach of trust


A scavenger fills up his truck with valuables in Mararaba Nasarawa state.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Court remands theft suspect in prison custody


n Area Court in Kuje in the FCT on Monday ordered that a businessman, Ishaku Abubakar, 35, be remanded in prison custody for alleged theft of a motorcycle. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused was arraigned on a two-count charge of criminal trespass and theft. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Ocheche Samuel, had told the court that a written complaint

was lodged against Abubakar at the Kuje Police Station. ``Usman Adamu of Anguwan Gade, Kuje, lodged the report on July 8,’’ he said. Samuel said the accused, of no fixed address, entered the complainant’s compound and stole his Bajaj motorcycle with registration number FST 802 Q8 valued at N95,000. He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 324 and 287 of the Penal

Code and punishable under sections 327 and 286 of the Criminal Procedure. The prosecutor said that during interrogation the accused was not able to give a satisfactory account of his whereabouts. Abubakar pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against him. The presiding judge, Mr Nuhu Ibrahim, ordered the accused to be remanded in Kuje Prison and adjourned the case to July 11, 2013 for judgment. (NAN)

Businessman arraigned for alleged criminal breach of trust, cheating


businessman, Frank Olaoluwa, 30, was arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for alleged criminal breach of trust and cheating. Police prosecutor Monday Akor alleged that the accused, who resides at plot 696, Ubiaja Crescent, Garki, Abuja, committed the offence sometime in January this year. He told the court that Osazee Bazuaye of No.11, Nene Street,

Maitama, Abuja, reported the case at Maitama Police Station. Akor said the complainant alleged that the accused was entrusted with one boy’s quarter room located at No. 11, Nene Street, Abua, to be rented out. He said the accused rented out the room to one Emmanuel for N300,000, and converted the money to his personal use. Akor said the offence contravened the Provisions of

Sections 312 and 322 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty and denied the allegation. Senior Magistrate Chukwueneka Ubani granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety. Ubani said the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court with a verifiable address. He adjourned the case to July 29, 2013. (NAN)

n Abuja Grade 2 Area Court in Kado on Monday sentenced a driver, Mohammed Sani, 45, to two months imprisonment for criminal breach of trust. He was, however, given an option of three thousand naira fine. The Police Prosecutor, Sgt. Abdul Allhassan, told the court that on May 19, one Charles Omeniyi of Ipent V Estate Lokogoma, Abuja, reported the matter to the Mabuchi Police Station. Alhassan said that the complainant reported that sometime in 2009 when he was travelling for treatment in Enugu, he put Sani in charge of his one room apartment, located in NEPA Quarters in Kadokuchi area of Abuja. He quoted Omeniyi as saying that the one room apartment contained both his house hold items and working materials, including drilling machine, milling machine aluminium and a sun breaker, valued at N60,000.

The complainant said that he entrusted the materials to the accused, pending his return. He said that Sani, dishonestly sold the room together with the property to some people without his consent. The police prosecutor said that during police investigation, Sani confessed to the crime by admitting to the sale of the room but denied selling the property therin. He said the offence contravened the provisions of Section 312 of the Penal Code, punishable with a term which may extend to seven years or with a fine, or with both. The convict pleaded guilty to the charge. The Presiding Judge, Mr Ahmed Ado, therefore, sentenced Sani to two months imprisonment, or to pay a fine of three thousand naira. The judge ordered that a compensation of N60,000 should be paid by the convict to the complainant on or before July 27,2013. (NAN)

Student, 20, in court for alleged criminal breach of trust, cheating


he police on Tuesday arraigned a 20-year-old student, Baba Jeremiah of Byazhim in Kubwa, Abuja, in a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court, for alleged criminal breach of trust and cheating. The police prosecutor, Insp. Danjuma Etubi, told the court that on Sept. 17, 2012, one Steven Amadi of Angwa Hausa in Jiwa, Abuja, reported the accused to the police. He said Amadi reported the accused through a petition to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Abuja. According to Etubi, in Oct. 2010, the accused deceitfully collected N859,400 from Amadi under the pretence of helping him to process a visa to the U.S.

He also alleged that Jeremiah promised to facilitate the process for Amadi to secure admission to study in the U.S. Etubi told the court that the accused did not deliver on any of the promises he made and converted the money to his personal use, but the accused pleaded not guilty. The Senior Magistrate, Mrs Folashade Oyekan, granted him bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum. She said the sureties must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and that one of them must be a civil servant on GL 7 and above. Oyekan adjourned the case to Aug. 26, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)




CBN to roll out cash-less policy nationwide Jan. 2014 From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


arring any unforeseen development, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is set to roll out the cash-less policy nationwide by January, 2014. The policy was, early in the month, extended to Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Rivers states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), after the Lagos pilot project, which was introduced in January 2012. The deputy governor, Operations, CBN, Mr. Tunde

Lemo, who gave an indication while fielding questions from newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday, said with the level of attention given to the challenges facing the scheme by the stakeholders, it would be feasible to embark on nationwide roll-out in the next six months. He said the apex bank and its partners would monitor the developments in the five states and FCT where the policy had just been introduced, stating that there was a strong tendency that the proximity of the other states would ensure smooth take-off.

He noted that there were constraints facing the policy, stressing that the identified ones were assisting the apex bank to know the area to deploy technology and give necessary attention. “We acknowledge those constraints, we are dealing with them and, of course, within the next six months or so, it might be convenient for us also to roll out to the entire country, because we are quite aware that it is possible for people to arbitrage by moving cash around states that are very close to areas where we are

implementing cashless. “Although we are yet to confirm, but we hope that within six months post-implementation in the five states and the FCT, we should be able to go to other parts of Nigeria,” he said. The cash-less policy, first introduced in Lagos on January 1, 2012, is migration from cashbased economy to electronic payment channels. It principally includes e-payment, using cheques, Point of Sale (PoS) and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and mobile money, among others.

BOI, Kano signs 2bn loan for - Pg 20 MSMEs

Zambia charges MTN, Airtel for neglect

- Pg 21


Ag. President, Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Z. A. Bulkachuwa delivering her welcome address at the NDIC Sensitisation Seminar for Appeal Court Judges on “The Challenges to Deposit Insurance Law and Practice in Nigeria”, while the MD/CEO, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alh. Umaru Ibrahim listens.

First Bank signs N16bn SME facility agreement with China Bank By Abdulwahab Isa


n its bid to boost lending to small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria, and also stimulate economic growth in the country, Nigeria’s Best Banking Brand, First Bank of Nigeria Limited on Tuesday signed a $100m (N1bn) facility agreement with China Development Bank (CDB), a leading bank in the Peoples’ Republic of China. This is coming on the heels of the First Bank’s extension of a single digit credit facility to Nigerian entrepreneurs in partnership with the Nigeria Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI). The signing of the landmark agreement, witnessed by President Goodluck Jonathan, who is on a State visit to China;

and his host, President Xi Jinping of China, reinforces the Bank’s leadership position as a National Icon and Global Player. The First Bank Group Managing Director, Bisi Onasanya is a member of the Presidential delegation, which also includes 4 state governors and 10 cabinet ministers. According to the document signed by the management of the two banks, the two institutions will work together to further strengthen the business cooperation between both parties within the framework of each party’s respective articles and memorandum of association and applicable laws and regulations in Nigeria and China. Specifically, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) provides for a comprehensive cooperation between First Bank and

China Development Bank in the On-lending facility of US$100m to Small and Medium Enterprises in Nigeria, while also touching areas like Credit Lines, Trade Finance, Syndication and Project Finance, Consultancy Services, Sharing of Business Experience and Foreign Exchange Transactions. Commenting on the MoU, First Bank’s Group Managing Director/CEO, Mr. Bisi Onasanya said the partnership with CDB is in line with the First Bank’s strategic focus on financial inclusion as it would address the challenges of credit delivery to the unbanked market’s segment in Nigeria through mobilized funds that will avail credit facilities to registered SME operators at concessionary rate. He said in addition to disbursing funds, the Bank would support SMEs through business advisory

services, capacity building and development of relevant IT infrastructure.

Exchange Rates

as at 10th July, 2013 Selling Buying












Parallel Rates Buying














Train your tired brain


f you’re stressed out and tired, it’s hard to learn new things. Exercise, sleep, and a good diet are all essential for keeping your brain in peak condition, but you can also do the following to perform at your cognitive and creative best: Change perspectives. Improve mental flexibility by rapidly trying on new points of view. This exercises your mind. For example, what would a potential customer think about this idea? Your boss? Your competitors?

Reboot. Take a break from work every hour, or more often if you’re already frazzled. Get out of your chair, water a plant, or just let your mind wander. These breaks recharge your brain. Summon a positive thought. Negative emotions impair thinking, memory, creativity, and strategic thinking. Try to crowd out unconstructive thoughts with positive ones, which improve these capabilities. Source: Business Review



Commerce&Industry Company News

Honeywell Flour Mills Plc


oneywell Flour Mills Plc has successfully completed its expansion projects with addition of two mills to its existing plant in its Apapa, Lagos factory. The state-of-the-art facilities designed, produced and installed by BUHLER, the best milling equipment supplier in the world, is estimated at over N10billion. The Executive vicechairman, Honeywell Flour Mills said with the expansion, the company has increased its production capacity by about 62percent to be able to meet the increasing demand for its products.


BOI, Kano sign 2bn loan for MSMEs T

CBN tasks SMEs on N200 billion finance scheme

Stories from Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Bank of Industry (BoI)’s relationship with Kano state government has further deepened, with the signing of two billion Naira Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund’s state matching Fund Scheme. With this move, the state government joined the league of

state with Enterprise Development partnership with the BOI. The State’s Commissioner for commerce, Alhaji Abubakar Nuhu Danburan said, taking cognisance of the present administration’s development initiative targeted for youths and women at the grassroots, “the Fund will concentrate on financing industrial development, through the establishment of resourcebased enterprise clusters; provide support for co-operative lending and other related development

initiatives of the Government. “Again, the Fund would establish Industrial Parks to cluster the entrepreneurs currently being created in the state as well as those to be promoted by MSME Development Fund”, he added. The state government had earlier approved the establishment of N2billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund, in partnership with Bank of Industry (BOI) as well as counterpart contribution of N1billion.

Julius Berger Nigeria Plc


ulius Berger Nigeria Plc has noted that the reconstruction and expansion of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which the Federal Government flagged off at the weekend will generate several thousands of jobs for Nigerians. Managing Director of the company, Mr. Wolfgang Goetsch, who made this known in Abuja, said his firm had estimated approximately 1,200,000 cubic metres of earthworks and the laying of more than 2,000metres of pipe culverts. The scope of works to be executed under section 1 of the expressway, which is between Lagos Old Toll Gate and Shagamu Interchange, includes reconstruction of the existing two lane carriageway in each direction and addition of a third lane to make three lanes in each direction.

Bank of Industry


he Bank of Industry (BOI) has financed to the tune of N1.5 billion equipment purchase for a garment factory, Messrs Sam and Sarah in Osogbo. The garment factory due to take off in August is designed to produce 100,000 dresses per day while no fewer than 3,000 fresh employment opportunities are on the way for people. The company when fully operational will boost the sewing of school uniforms for public primary and secondary schools across the state’s 30 Local Governments.

L-R: Managing Director, Sarsoli Colours, Jai Changrani, representative of German Consulate-General, Sophia Stephan, representative of Masse Dusseldorf, Trade Fair Services Ltd, Akhigbe Ituah, official of German Consulate, Judith Eigelt, and Managing Director, Poly Products Nigeria, Nari Gwalani, during a meeting on the forthcoming 2013 International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber Worldwide, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: Olawale Rotimi

Nigeria’s business environment improving - LCCI Business Confidence Index


he Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)’s 2013 aggregate Business Confidence Index (BCI) has shown an improvement in the Nigerian business environment in the first half of the year. According to the index, the business environment recorded a significant positive improvement as a result of the take-off of budget implementation across the country, ongoing security intervention in some parts of the North, impressive corporate results in most sectors and stable macroeconomic prices, especially in exchange and inflation rate. Specifically, the indicators showed that apart from the recurrent factors such as poor access to credit, security situation and the dwindling public power supply, the index posted impressive confidence across most business and economic indicators.

In the Q3 report, the BCI showed a sustained positive improvement of 24 percent from the 16.5 percent and 10.5 percent it achieved in Q2 and Q1 respectively. According to LCCI, the improvement represents 13.5 percent point movement of the index along a positive trajectory since the beginning of this year. A review of activities within the sectors showed that all the sectors recorded positive confidence. For instance, the financial sector recorded the highest confidence of 35 percent closely followed by hotel and restaurant and telecoms and postal sectors 29 percent and 27 per cent confidence levels respectively. The report furthermore stated that the agricultural sector was impressive, at 18 percent, but the manufacturing sector remains disappointing at 5 per cent business confidence level.

This implies that expansion and new investment in the Nigerian manufacturing sector remains largely held down by the lingering challenges confronting business environment in the country. For the specific regions of the country, the index showed that the confidence level of businesses located in the South-West Nigeria inched to a new high of 44 percent from 38 per cent and 30 percent in Q2 and Q1 respectively. Companies operating in the South-East and South-South with BCI score of 31 percent and 21 percent respectively followed this. For businesses located in the North, the confidence level of businesses located in the NorthCentral which dropped to zero in Q2 improved dramatically with BCI score of 11 percent. Also, North-East and North-West continue to trail between the negative and neutral confidence trajectories.

he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reiterated its support towards the development of the real sector, especially the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), urging them to embrace the N200 billion SMEs Guarantee Scheme Fund. CBN’s Head of SMEs Finance, Dr. J. Abba, who disclosed this in Lagos at the weekend, said the Apex bank has positioned itself to bridge the gap in access to finance among growing enterprises. Abba informed that the CBN has intervened significantly in the real sector to the tunes of several billions of naira, which were aimed at jump starting the Nigerian economy and making it competitive globally. Already, the CBN’s Head of SMEs Finance said there is a N200 billion fund at seven per cent interest rate and 15-year tenure, which was introduced into the market about four years ago, stressing that the scheme is still accessible. Abba said from the N200 billion, 535 companies have benefitted, 86 per cent of which were from the South West. He disclosed that the CBN has introduced another N200 billion SMEs Guarantee Scheme Fund, stressing that this initiative provides 80 per cent cover for startups enterprises. “This new scheme is a gender friendly fund, 60 per cent of which are directed to women. However, any project that must attract this fund must be a bankable project. This is a call to bourgeoning entrepreneurs to show interest and embrace this scheme”, he stated. The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, who was also present, noted that there is huge gap in SMEs financing, despite the skills and great human capital the country is blessed with. Oteh, who canvassed more support towards enterprise development, said government would continue to support the growth of the real sector. For the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the economy, Mrs. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, the Federal Government is out to support the growth of SMEs in the country, reason for the launch of several initiatives. Okonjo-Iweala said as part of the development going forward, the government through the Communications Technology ministry provided $15 million through venture capital initiative to support startups in the software sub-sector of the economy. She said the SEC would review the rules that will ensure more listing of firms on the exchange, stressing that plans are on to revamp the alternative security market structure for SMEs listing on the exchange. “SME is a key factor for the growth of the economy. Nigeria must build a right institution that will strengthen the economy”, she stated.



Bix Extra Disasters are bad for business By William Watson, Ottawa Citizen


f you’re like me, until this weekend you’d never heard of either the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway or Asiana Airlines. Now everyone knows about them, MMA because of the awful “ghost train” tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Que., and Asiana because of the bizarre and deadly crash-landing of one of its planes in San Francisco Saturday. You can bet both companies hate their new-found notoriety. There were two obvious storylines in both accidents: first, the sheer horror of what happened. Anyone who’s been on an airplane or stood next to the tracks as a train rumbled by — which basically means all of us — has wondered what it would be like if something went wrong. Now we know in graphic, heartrending detail. You’re sitting on a bistro patio on a beautiful July night and all of a sudden Dante’s Inferno erupts across the street. Or the plane you’re on literally hits a wall at over a hundred miles an hour with a force that breaks it up and shoots wall bits several hundred feet down the runway. It’s impossible, hearing Clean up continues Tuesday at the scene of the runaway train derailment and explosion last weekend in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, these stories, not to shudder. Photograph by: Ryan Remiorz , The Canadian Press The second main storyline Canada. is why the accidents happened land weren’t themselves injured gruesome deaths of dozens of within railway circles. But now consequences from crashes: If and how they could have been in the crash but, assuming it people. How does that not cause he’s being heard on air and read you’re the Canadian oil industry, prevented. A basic assumption comes down to pilot error, are you serious anguish? about by tens of millions of peo- the Lac-Mégantic disaster is poseems to be that businesses have likely to have been psychologiIf you don’t buy that execu- ple, a good percentage of whom tentially disastrous for your longlittle interest in safety and pay cally damaged, probably per- tives are people too, you can at likely regard him with loath- term sustainability: If the public satisfactory attention to it only manently. That’s quite apart least bet that the Alpha males ing and contempt. If you slack rejects the whole idea of shipping when closely regulated. (A cor- from the effects on their careers, and females at the top of these on safety, you risk becoming a oil by rail, as now seems to be ollary is that governments that which may be effectively over. organizations are not enjoying social pariah. (Think Bhopal, in the air, that will strand even spend even a dollar less on regu- The people running Asiana must their 15 minutes, more likely India, and Dow Chemical.) Few more of your petroleum reserves lation than the most pro-regu- also feel terrible. Those at the days, of being famous for all people enjoy being pariahs. and hit your bottom line hard. lation institute, lobby or labour top of MMA, too. Your organi- the wrong reasons. The head of But even supposing execuA final reason to worry about union has ever recommended zation has been involved in the MMA may have been well known tives really do only care about safety is insurance. To help seare complicit in any tragedy that the bottom line, disasters are cure access to capital, businesses results. Message to NDP Leader generally terrible for business. generally will want to insure Thomas Mulcair: simple decenDoes an airline really want to their operations. To buy insurcy says don’t do politics when as develop a reputation for crash- ance they’ve got to persuade an many as 50 people are lying dead ing its planes? If you’re the only insurance company they’re sein the rubble, not even if you airline around — as Aeroflot was rious about safety. If not, their hedge your partisanship with a in the old Soviet Union — maybe premiums will go up and their lawyerly escape clause that final you don’t care, though frequent bottom line down. judgments must of course await It’s true: Like most people, plane crashes surely will perinvestigators’ reports.) suade more people to take the business executives probably valDo businesses really bus. But if you’re in a competitive ue other people’s lives less than skimp on safety unless business and flyers can choose their own. So the only way to forced by governments to among different airlines, doubts truly guarantee safety would be spend on it? about your commitment to safety capital punishment for the bossBusinesses are just collecwill evaporate your bottom line, es of firms that cause industrial tions of people and most peoassuming you stay in business deaths. But short of that there ple, even business people, even, at all. “Fly us: Our planes arrive are lots of ways businesses are despite the Hollywood stereomost of the time” isn’t going to hurt by accidents and therefore type, corporate executives, have make it in the air travel business. many reasons why they want to human feelings. The pilot and Cargo trains don’t have retail avoid them. three other captains of the AsiWilliam Watson teaches customers but companies want ana plane who were on board to know their goods will arrive economics at McGill Uniand in fact may all have been in safely and on time. And they versity, Canada. (Source: the cockpit as the plane tried to themselves can suffer serious Ottawa Citizen)

But even supposing executives really do only care about the bottom line, disasters are generally terrible for business.

Zambia charges MTN, Airtel for neglect C riminal charges have been laid against the Zambian operations of MTN and Airtel for neglecting to meet “minimum standards of quality service” in the East African country. This was disclosed late on Monday by Zambia’s Information and Communications Technology

Authority (Zicta). Zicta said it had also laid criminal charges against Zambia’s Telecoms Company, raising the total number of culprits facing charges to three. It said the two charges that have been laid are those of failure to comply with “minimum standards” of excellence of service.

According to Zicta, the other one charge is the one of “failure” to comply with a “provision in the quality of service guidelines.” It was resolved in June 4 this year that the three cellphone companies be indicted for proffering inadequate service in the country. “We have decided to take re-

medial measure relating to the enforcement of quality of service in order to protect public interest,” Zicta said in a statement on Monday, adding the dipping quality of service levels has led to problematic communication in Zambia. This has caused a public uproar and has had an undesirable impact

on business in the country. “Under the published quality of service guidelines, Zicta has an option to invoke either administrative or criminal sanctions arising from the failure to adhere to the set parameters relating to quality of service,” it said. (Source: Ventures Africa )




CPC inspects KIA Motors facilities, lauds coy for innovation in product haulage

PTDF trains 70 Nigerian youths on oil and gas

By Etuka Sunday

By Etuka Sunday


he Consumer Protection Council (CPC) on Monday carried out an inspection tour of the facilities of Dana Motors, the marketers of KIA vehicles in the country, following consumers’ complaints on its after-sales services. In a statement by its Deputy Director, Public Relations, Abiodun Obimuyiwa, the Council’s inspection was informed by a recent reported protest of KIA

owners in Kano, and complaints received by it from consumers bordering on the company’s aftersales services and spare parts. The Council’s team inspected the company’s central parts department, which houses 25,000 lines of spare parts for the servicing of its 52,000 KIA customers across the country, the main workshop and its training centre. Explaining Dana’s commitment to the welfare of KIA owners nationwide, the Chief

Operating Officer of Dana Motors, Mr. Yagnik Gitesh said the company has more than enough spare parts for all its vehicles across the nation, assuring that demands for spare parts from its dealers in far distances have never been delayed. He also disclosed that, besides the company’s mobile service centres taking care of the interests of the users of KIA vehicles in far and remote parts of the country, Dana Motors has five service centres, comprising of two in

Lagos, one each in Abuja, Kano and Port-Harcourt respectively, and a total of 23 dealers across the country. Gitesh also pointed out that the company’s service centre visited a KIA Plaza I in Ijesha, along Oshodi - Mile 2 Expressway in Lagos daily takes care of between 50 and 70 cars per day and that the time for full service for each vehicle is 90 minutes, even though the company’s target is 60 minutes.

TCN lauds staff on system collapse prevention By Etuka Sunday


he Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), through its Chief Executive Officer, Don Priestman yesterday applauded ten staff of System Operations Sector of TCN, who through their initiative prevented an imminent system collapse on Sunday, which could have caused great national economic loss. According to him, the management has introduced a reward package for diligent, resourceful and dedicated staff, who help in the achievement of set corporate goals. The commended staff are Messrs L.O. Kanwi, P.E. Attah, A. Ogunleye, J.B. Ishaniyi from the National Control Centre (NCC) Osogbo; Mr. I.D. Abubakar from Area Control Center Osogbo; Messrs A.Y. Kure and A. Odihi from Kaduna Transmission Station as well as Messrs R.F. Olaleye, T.A. Oke, and K.O. Ambali from IkejaWest transmission station. A statement signed by the General Manager (Public Affairs) of TCN, Mr. Dave Ifabiyi, stated that the CEO, Mr. Don Priestman, at the commendation ceremony, said that with the takeover of TCN Management by Manitoba Hydro International management contractor, a new phase in power sector has begun which will place more emphasis on transfer of skill, staff training and adequate reward for outstanding performance. The statement further stated that while the CEO identified inadequate funding, obsolete

equipment and other daunting challenges as factors militating against the smooth operation of the Transmission Company, he urged the staff to remain dedicated to duty, resourceful and innovative in the discharge of the assigned duties in order to enhance good service delivery. He assured that all will be done to achieve the mandate of the Federal Government in delivering

reliable power supply to Nigerians. Also at the occasion, the Executive Directors, Transmission Service Provider and System Operations, Messrs Ron Verraneault and Jonathan Ndiagwalukwe in their addresses commended the System Operations staff for their dedication to duty and assured them of management’s support to improve their working

conditions. Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Mr. Ogunleye Adetelanbi of the National Control Center, Osogbo, expressed gratitude to the management for inviting them to Corporate Headquarters for the commendation, which he described as unprecedented and highly motivating and pledged their total commitment to duty.

Participants at a sensitisation workshop on the rights, roles and obligations toward an approved tax compliance culture for professionals, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN


etroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), through its Industry Collaboration Unit, has concluded plans for 70 selected youths to undergo oil and gas related courses at the Guangdong University of Petrochemical in China. The youths who were selected from the six geo-political zones of the country are expected to spend not less than 4 years in the University and could not be extended by reason of failures or indiscipline. The scholarship does not also guarantee direct employment by PTDF after the studies but includes three months allowance which would be paid before departure. Speaking at the one day orientation/induction programme in Abuja, yesterday, the Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr. Oluwoye said based on the huge successes recorded in the training of scholars at MSc and PhD levels over the years, the Fund decided that it would also be beneficial to Nigeria if youths are given the opportunity to explore various undergraduate programmes as designed by the Federal Government. “The Federal Government has designed various programmes to engage our youths in a way that they will contribute meaningfully to national development and steer them away from militancy and mischief making,” he added. Oluwoye, who was represented by the PTDF’s General Manager, Legal and Secretariat Services, Balarabe Ahmad, admonished the youths not to be carried away by the euphoria of the success in their selection, so as not to lose focus of the reason why they would be travelling. He advised them to rather count themselves lucky that out of about 150 million Nigerians, they were found worthy to be selected to participate in the undergraduate programmes outside the shores of the country and therefore asked them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria in China.

Unregistered SIMs: Subscribers to lose numbers in September By Chris Alu


elecommunications subscribers whose numbers were disconnected after the expiration of the June 30 deadline for Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card registration will forfeit the numbers in 90 days if they do not report to their network operators for full registration. The Director, Public Affairs,

Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, disclosed this to our correspondent yesterday said that SIM cards already barred will be permanently disconnected on September 28, 2013 if their owners do not register them with the operators. Speaking on the disconnected SIMs, he said, “As long as they are not registered, they can’t be reconnected. If after 90 days and there are no activities on the

SIMs, the operator can recover the numbers. “If the subscribers register their disconnected SIMs, they will be reconnected. We are doing this because these numbers are like resources.” Some telecommunications subscribers were shocked on Friday, as their mobile lines were finally disconnected from the operators’ network because their SIM cards were not registered.

Those affected were not able to use their phones to make calls or send text messages. But BlackBerry services were operational on the affected lines. Some aggrieved subscribers stormed the operators’ service centres, with most of them claiming to have registered their SIM cards. Our correspondent gathered that the affected subscribers were issued application forms at the

service centres, which they were expected to fill before being readmitted into the networks, and were also expected to provide their bio-metric data. Such subscribers are expected to be readmitted into the network within hours after the process has been completed. From all indications, the actual disconnection of unregistered SIMs took effect five days after the June 30 deadline set by the NCC.



Stock Watch

Report as at Wednesday, July 10, 2013




Special Reports

Corruption translates to global anger Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer shows that half of survey respondents around the world believe corruption is worse now than two years ago.


he world is becoming increasingly intolerant to silence on global corruption and the impact of discontent is being felt from Egypt to Turkey to Brazil, new research by Transparency International

indicates. Nearly half of the 114,000 people surveyed in 107 nations believe dishonesty is worse now than it was two years ago, according to the civil society organization’s annual Global Corruption

Barometer, released Tuesday. One in four surveyed reported they have been forced to pay a bribe when dealing with public officials or organizations in the past year.

Sierra Leone and Liberia were among the worst countries for the frequency of illegal payouts, while Canada, Croatia and Australia were among the best. Data from some countries,

including Russia, China and Brazil, were not included in the bribery report. Financial dishonesty and government abuse touches many — from the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh that killed 1,129 people, to women in Zimbabwe hospitals who are forced to pay $5 every time they scream while giving birth, the report said. For the world’s poor, paying bribes to corrupt officials infringes on their

basic rights and can mean the difference between health and hunger, school fees or shoes. But people are tired from years of secrecy and dishonesty from businesses, government, police and the media, and they are increasingly standing up to support their rights, said Janet Keeping, president of Transparency International Canada. She pointed to recent anti-government protests in Brazil, Turkey

and Egypt. “People are freaking fed up. I think that is a good sign,” Keeping said from Calgary. “While I don’t like to see violence, I think it (protest) is a natural accompaniment to a stronger sense of human rights. People are feeling empowered as citizens are thinking, ‘You shouldn’t be allowed to do that to me.’ “People are beginning to understand they have human rights, that they should have stronger rights as citizens,

that people in government and public institutions who are corrupt are ripping them off.” Citizen action can lead to the exposure of corrupt acts, the sanctioning of officials and action from governments, noted the report. For example, public outrage has led to stronger transparency laws concerning the actions of oil and natural resource companies, said Charmian Gooch, a founding

director of the advocacy group Global Witness. Gooch spoke last month at the TED Global Conference in Edinburgh. In 1999, Gooch recalled, Global Witness began pushing to make public the backroom deals or cash payouts made by oil and resource companies to government officials. She said they were laughed at and called naive. Now, transparency laws are fast becoming “the norm

and the law,” she said. However, there is still a long way to go. Anonymous shell companies and secrecy in the international financial system and in the oil, gas and mining sector continues to cost developing nations billions of dollars every year, she said. Shell companies are used to “steal” huge sums of money from poor countries and it is sometimes impossible to find out who is really behind the

deals, she said in Edinburgh. A recent World Bank study looked at 200 cases of corruption and found that in 70 per cent of those cases, shell companies were used, with a price tag of $56 billion. Many of these companies are in the United States and the United Kingdom. “This isn’t just an offshore problem. It is an onshore problem, too,” she said. Culled from Toronto Star

... getting worse in Africa, says poll


ne person in four has paid a bribe to a public body in the last year, according to a survey carried out in 95 countries by Transparency International. The poor record of some African nations on bribery stands out. Sierra Leone has the highest number of respondents admitting to having paid a bribe - 84% - and seven out of nine of the countries with the highest

reported bribery rate are in sub-Saharan Africa. See the list below. The countries with the lowest reported bribery rate are Denmark, Finland, Japan and Australia, they all have a bribery rate of 1%. Across 105 nations politicians, judges and the police head the list of those public institutions people see as the most corrupt. In nearly half of those countries surveyed

Sierra Leone President, Ernest Bia Koroma

politicians were singled out as appearing the least trustworthy. Religious bodies and businesses had the lowest corruption rating. Source: Transparency International, Global Corruption Barometer, 2013 Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer gathered data from 95 countries on bribery. For a small number of them, including Brazil and Russia, data on particular

questions has been excluded because of concerns about validity and reliability. For the question on corrupt institutions 105 countries were covered. The margin of error for each country is 3%. The typical sample size is 1,000 people. Four countries - Cyprus, Luxembourg, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands have a sample size of 500 people and a margin of error of 4%. Source:

Have you paid a bribe?

Kenya President, Uhuru Kenyatta

27% world average Top countries: 1. Sierra Leone 84% 2. Liberia 75% 3. Yemen 74% 4. Kenya 70% Yemen President, Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

President Goodluck Jonathan

Country Spain Afghanistan Algeria Argentina Armenia Bangladesh Belgium Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Cambodia Cameroon Canada Chile Colombia Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic DR Congo Egypt El Salvador Estonia Ethiopia Georgia Ghana Greece Hungary India Indonesia Iraq Israel Italy Jamaica Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Latvia Liberia Libya Lithuania Macedonia Madagascar Malaysia Maldives Mexico

Percentage 2 46 41 13 18 39 4 36 28 8 57 62 3 10 22 4 19 15 46 36 12 6 44 4 54 22 12 54 36 29 12 5 12 37 34 70 16 45 19 75 62 26 17 28 3 3 33

Moldova Mongolia Morocco Mozambique Nepal New Zealand Nigeria Norway Pakistan Palestine Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Portugal Romania Rwanda Senegal Serbia Sierra Leone Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands South Africa South Korea South Sudan Sri Lanka Sudan Switzerland Taiwan Tanzania Thailand Tunisia Turkey Uganda UK Ukraine Uruguay US Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Yemen Zimbabwe Australia Denmark Finland Japan

29 45 49 62 31 3 44 3 34 12 27 25 20 12 3 17 13 57 26 84 21 6 34 47 3 39 19 17 7 36 56 18 18 21 61 5 37 3 7 13 27 30 74 62 1 1 1 1



Mother Earth Ambrose Inusa Sule, mnes ENVIRONMENT WATCH 0703-441-4410 (sms only)

The need for national conference on grazing


o say that clashes between farmers and pastoralists over grazing fields are on the rise throughout the country is to say the obvious, as pastureland shrinks, obviously due to the iniquities of climate change. In recent time, conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and farming communities have grown intense, mainly due to lack of efficient communication among disputants, and nonavailability of rangelands across the country. Oftentimes, such conflicts leave behind ruins of unimaginable magnitude creating internal refugees. These recurring clashes constitute a major security challenge, with the attendant loss of lives and property. There is no week you will not read in the newspapers about these unending conflicts. And each time it happens, it’s as if both the state and federal government look the other way. To date thousands have lost their lives and properties worth billions have equally been destroyed in such conflicts. The communal conflicts between the Fulani herdsmen, who sweat day by day to graze their cattle and some communities, could be partly attributed to the apparent rise in intolerance for the nomadic herdsmen by the host communities. These conflicts have come to be regarded as a time bomb if governments at various levels failed to address the issue as quickly as possible. The fact is that in the northern part of Nigeria, amidst them, livestock husbandry is one of the major agricultural practices, and crop cultivation is equally practiced during the short rainy season. And one of the principal functions or activities of animal

Absent of grazing facility in Nigeria has forced pastoralists into farmelands

husbandry is mainly grazing, which is generally carried out amidst other land leading agricultural groups with resultant encroachment into other land users and farming practices. It is unarguable that conflicts have always remain part of the human nature; seeking to resolve rather than contain conflict situations have proved useful in managing real and legitimate differences between people before they snowball into unending crisis. It is instructive to point out that these clashes between nomadic Fulani herdsmen and

indigenous communities in various states of the federation could snowball into something else; the end which could be unpredictable. It therefore remains that proactive conflict resolution measure is the best approach to minimizing such clashes. To resolve this cultured-based conflict such as the unending clashes between Fulani nomads and farming communities calls for an urgent national conference on grazing to find a lasting solution to these avoidable conflicts. There is the urgent need for the federal government to organize with all the states and

local governments participating fully, cross-fertilizing ideas on how these clashes could be stopped, and also to ensure that royal fathers participate in the national conference as they are more respected and closer to the people. It should be noted that the only conscious effort by government so far is the fadama used for dry season grazing, but due to high competitiveness of fadama it has also often leads to clashes. It is expected that livestock department of the agriculture ministry should have created daily radio public awareness program, using vernacular to foster brotherhood amongst

the herdsmen and their host communities. The recent peace agreement between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Doma, Nasarawa State witnessed by the police and traditional rulers from the area to avoid the possibility of crisis in future should beencouraged throughout the federation. The agreement warned that nobody should take the law into his hands, and that any issue that would lead to the breach of the existing peace should be reported to the appropriate authority. It is an understatement to say that no positive development can take place without peace.

Flood: Goni advocates ban on use of plastic bags

By Mohammed Kandi


ollowing the devastating impacts of the 2012 floods on vulnerable communities in the country and the recent prediction of anticipatedheavy rain by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), the Permanent Secretary of the Ecological Fund Office (EFO) Alhaji Sheikh Goni, has called for a ban on use of plastic bags in Nigeria. Goni, who made the call

in a statement signed by Mr Tolu Makinde, the Press Deputy Director in the office in Abuja, said that, “non-biodegradable plastic materials, especially, polythene bags constituted the greatest man-made cause of flooding in Nigeria”. According to the statement, Goni made the call when Dr Mike Omeri, the Director-General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), paid him a courtesy visit. The Permanent Secretary

also said that only sustainable efforts to inculcate the habit of a healthy environment, would lead to the desired attitudinal change, adding “the EFO, in partnership with the rivate sector and some state governments, had already put in place an integrated waste disposal programme.” He added: “Efforts are being intensified to fast track the partnership because of its potential to provide employment, generate income and sanitise the

nation’s poor waste disposal practices.’’ Earlier in his remarks, the NOA Director-General, Mike Omeri had solicited the assistance and partnership of the EFO in the implementation of its solid waste management programme. Omeri said that environmental orientation and community prevention plan, under the catch phrase “Do the right thing: Avoid dirt. Be

clean”, had reached an advanced stage. He also canvassed for EFO participation during the national launch of the programme, alongside other stakeholders. He solicited for financial assistance in funding specific elements of the project, saying, ``NOA has designed this project around an eco-friendly interactive communication called the `Word Waste Bin’ (WWB).



Mother Earth Red Cross braces for flooding in Nigeria


hen floods hit Nigeria in 2012, communities in several states were caught unprepared. It was the worst flooding the country had experienced in 40 years, affecting 7 million people. They simply did not know how to cope. The Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), with support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), has spent the past eight months working with communities to ensure they are better prepared should the 2013 rainy season result in the same kind of flooding. Javier Barrera, IFRC country representative in Nigeria said: “We have achieved a lot over the past nine months, helping families get back on their feet,” adding “However, there is still work to do and people remain vulnerable as they have not fully recovered. With the 2013 rainy season now underway, the situation could quickly deteriorate.” To keep that from happening, the Red Cross has pre-positioned emergency stocks in two warehouses to support 750 families. Staff and volunteers are working with communities to identify hazards and etermine together how best to mitigate them. And 100 households in three communities in Kogi State are being assisted in the rebuilding of their homes. “We are using construction techniques that are familiar to the local population, which means they will be able to maintain them,” said Nwakpa O. Nwakpa, NRCS

spokesperson. “However, we have improved on these local techniques, and the end result will be housing that is stronger and more resilient to the forces of nature. We hope to be able to replicate these techniques

support 50,000 people through the end of 2013. Aside from the provision of emergency relief items, 140 Red Cross volunteers were trained in health and hygiene promotion.

10 states,” said Umar Abdu Mairiga, NRCS head of programmes. “This was followed up with health and hygiene promotion messages to more than 22,000

NRCS head of health and care. The Nigerian Red Cross Society, with its network of communitybased volunteers, was the first to respond when the floods first took hold, and it will be the last

people on a range of issues, including the prevention of malaria and diarrhoea, oral rehydration, maintenance of water sources and latrines, and the importance of hand washing,” said Dr Uche Ogba,

to leave. Today, with the support of the IFRC, it remains the only humanitarian agency still in the field assisting those affected by the 2012 floods Source: allAfrica

Houses submerged by floog, last year in Lokoja, Kogi State in other states across the country.” Last year’s flooding sent thousands of families running for the safety of higher ground. The Red Cross launched an appeal, and recently revised that appeal to

“Knowing the health hazards associated with flooding of this nature, we distributed more than 131,000 water purification tablets to improve households’ access to clean and safe drinking water in

FOA to assist Nigeria MDAs on environment, disaster mgt. By Mohammed Kandi


ood and Agriculture Organisation (FOA) has expressed its enthusiasm to partner with some key Nigerian Ministries, Departments, Agencies including other relevant

Non-government Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on improved Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) and emergency management. This is contend in a memorandum submitted at the 40th meeting of the National

Arewa council earmarks N16m for 2 bore holes in Kebbi


he Arewa Local Government Area in Kebbi State has earmarked N16 million for the drilling of two motorised bore holes in the area, the Chairman, Alhaji Ahmed Tanko, has said. Tanko told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Birnin Kebbi, the Kebbi state capital that the bore holes would be sited in Kangiwa and Gumundai. He said each bore hole would cost N8 million, including the cost of drilling, generating plant and construction of 5, 000 litre tank. According to him, the project would be completed in August and is meant to provide clean, hygienic and safe drinking water to the residents.

The chairman added that the council had spent N7 million to renovate the Kangiwa town hall and equipped it with computers, television sets and Internet facilities. On agriculture, Tanko said that the local government had procured 50 tonnes of fertiliser for sale to farmers at the subsidised cost of N1, 700 per bag. He assured that the council would closely monitor the distribution of the commodity at the polling units to guard against diversion. The chairman commended the state government for the prompt release of money to the council for the execution of projects that would touch the lives of the populace. (NAN)

Council on Agriculture and Rural Development in Abeokuta, Ogun State, recently, which is apprising Council of the articulation of the FAO-Nigeria Country Programme Framework (CPF) for implementation from 2013-2017. The CPF, the document stated, is to “work in Nigeria through partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR), Federal Ministry of Environment (FMEnv), National Planning Commission (NPC)

and other relevant stakeholders that included State Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SMANR), Non-government Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and prominent Development Partners.” The document included as part of FOA’s support as sustainable management of natural resources and mitigating effects of climatechange in the country. “This intends to enhance the capacities of national institutions and communities in selected

States in sustainable and integrated management practices and the use of natural resources— land, water, forestry,” it stressed. There is the need for “promotion of appropriate practices, guidelines, tools and methodologies; development and implementation of policies and regulatory frameworks; undertaking of community based forest management programmes; provision of support for updating land use classification and maps; and the development of monitoring and reporting system for forest resources.”

Continental forum looks at wetlands mgt in Rwanda By Mohammed Kandi, with agency report


he Rwandan ministry of natural resources together with the Ramsar convention, an intergovernmental treaty for wetland management, is holding a 5-day international forum on wetlands management with a theme “Wise use, smart plans.” The forum, which is ongoing in the country, has brought together environment experts from around Africa to discuss and explore ways for better wetland management in the face of human needs for development, food and water security. Rwanda’s minister of Natural

Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, indicated that the forum, which started on Monday and ends on Friday, “will be an opportunity to exchange ideas on how to overcome challenges to biodiversity.” Kenneth Ervine, Professor of aquatic systems at UNESCO’s Institute of Water Education, said that wetlands are facing management problems and are under degradation and urged people to use them sustainably. “Globally, wetlands are in decline while they are of huge importance,” he said. Ervine observed that challenges including poor management, overfishing, drainage mainly for food purposes, and stressed the importance

of striking a balance between food production and long-term opportunities offered by the presence of wetlands. He also mentioned that one of the hindrances on effective wetland management is non-observation of international conventions by some African countries. “We need to have a change of mind and create means for implementation of policies,” he said. Emphasizing the importance of wetlands, Anada Tiega, the secretary general of Ramsar convention, said that they are a natural infrastructure and constitute an asset for life thanks to their capacity of water conservation and food production.



Emergency Update

Sustaining civil-military relationship against terrorism

Director-General of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi presenting a document containing inventory of relief items to the Gombe State Governor, Ibrahim Hassan DanKwambo at the Government House recently By Ola Lookman


olice have been brutally massacred, military personnel ambushed and butchered while rescue workers are either intimidated or attacked, yet not many Nigerians could appreciate the risk and agony our security personnel face tirelessly in their fight against terrorism. From MEND, to MASSOB and to now mother of all militants, Boko Haram, Nigeria has continued to wage wars against undesirable elements that give us sleepless night. Concern about the rate of terrorism and other criminalities in the country, President Goodluck Jonathan at the 150th Nigerian Army Day Celebration, commended the effort and commitment of military in their fight against insurgency adding that they have remained focused in the task of building peace, promoting unity and defending our sovereignty.

He therefore urged Nigerians to appreciate their sacrifice and contribution to the development of our fatherland. He disclosed that reports made available to him, shows that the state of emergency he declared in three North-eastern states was yielding results, which majority of Nigerians have attested to. “Terrorism is anti-people, it is anti-progress and we must stamp it out of our nation. This administration with stern resolve to do everything within our constitutional powers to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding citizens, it is a commitment

that we have made and kept with great dedication and we will continue to keep it. “We recall the circumstances that led to the declaration of the current state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states some seven weeks ago, which falls within our comprehensive counterterrorism strategy, and became impending following the increasing destabilising activities by terror groups. The National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki recently echoed the need for an improved relationship between the military and civilian towards better understanding of necessity

of security operation in the fight against terrorism. He therefore called for support for the military to enable its personnel tackle the multifarious security challenges facing the country. According to him, the military alone cannot singlehandedly suppress the security challenges in the country, including terrorism, without the support of the civil populace. Dasuki, speaking at a session of the National Civil-Military Dialogue in Abuja, stated that it would be difficult for the military to evenly take on the security challenges of the country

The National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki recently echoed the need for an improved relationship between the military and civilian towards better understanding of necessity of security operation in the fight against terrorism.

without the trust, will and cooperation of other Nigerians. He explained that the past one decade had witnessed various forms of crime, including armed robbery, kidnapping, electoral, communal and ethnoreligious violence as well as terrorism, all of which have made the presence of the military within Nigerian communities a routine. It is undeniable the fact that Nigeria’s continued fight against men of the Boko Haram Islamist sect and perpetrators of other acts of terrorism has placed a heavier burden on the Military. The increased security concerns in the country, he noted are responsible for the joint operations between the Military and other paramilitary groups currently ongoing in 28 states. We all agree that while it is the function of the Military to assist civilian authority to handle civil disobedience, it is assumed that such rules would be carried out only when the capacity of the Police is overwhelmed. Though policing the domestic arena is not the duty of the Military, whose training is directed against external enemies of the state but with the aggressive strategies of terrorist we have no option than to engage all the security apparatuses to deal with the menace. With several states having visible military presence, especially in the form of road blocks for the screening of vehicular and human movement, the public, especially the citizens should support the process by always providing useful information. We must appreciate our security services for their patriotism, dedication, sacrifice and continued engagement to maintain peace and security across our country at very difficult time. They deserve our ympathy for rising up to the challenge of insecurity in the country. Ola Lookman is of the Emergency Volunteer Group, Abuja.


Emergency Update


Emergency rule: NEMA assists affected states with relief items Stories by Mohammed Kandi


ollowing difficulties faced by residents of the states under emergency rule, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has provided relief materials worth millions of Naira to assist the Internally Displaced Person (IDPs) residing at various camps of Gombe, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States. The Director General of NEMA, Muhammad SaniSidi, while presenting the relief items to the Governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan DanKwambo, in Gombe, said the items “were meant to cater for the large number of IDPs in the state due to the current challenges faced in other neighbouring states.” In a statement issued by Sani Datti, NEMA’s Information Officer said Sani-Sidi also commended the state governments for the support and collaboration given to his agency, especially for allocating a befitting accommodation and storage facility to NEMA’s operations office in the state. The D-G, who assured that more equipment would

NEMA Officials delivering some relief items to the Internally Displaced Persons in Langtang, Plateau State recently

be deployed to enhance the operational capability of the agency, appealed to the state governments to take disaster risk reduction campaign of NEMA

seriously, considering this year’s annual rainfall prediction by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and its implications forflooding.

Receiving the relief assistance, Dankwanbo thanked the federal government for its promptness in responding to the plight of the IDPs who were residing in

the state. Also speaking, the NorthEast Zonal Information Officer of NEMA, Abdulkadir Ibrahim said that the agency had begun the distribution of food items to communities affected by the current emergency rule. Ibrahim said the gesture was part of the agency’s mandate of assisting the IDPs in the country, adding that “this is in continuation of the agency’s mandate of providing succour to IDPs in areas affected by the declaration of the state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.” Ibrahim said the items distributed Include rice, millet, guinea corn, noodles, sugar, salt, milk, vegetable and palm oil, saying the distribution of the assistance including potable drinking water to affected communities would be a continuous exercise. He said: “The distribution began in Marte on May 23rd by the Zonal Coordinator, Alhaji Muhammed Kanar, in New Marte. NEMA team has been received warmly by the locals in all the locations visited while their leaders expressed appreciation to the agency for providing the food items at the time of their need.”

Agency plans to establish …Delivers relief to IDPs in Plateau ERTs in LGs across Nigeria


ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is making arrangements to establish across the country’s 774 Local Government Councils an organised Emergency Response Teams (ETRs), to enable it respond effectively to emergency situations whenever they occur. The South-West Zonal Coordinator for NEMA, Mr. Iyiola Akande, who disclosed the plans in a statement made available to Peoples Daily, said members of the grassroots ETRs would include stakeholders such as community leaders, NonGovernmental Organisations (NGOs), members of voluntary organisations, political leaders, and traders. Akande, who spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at a workshop tagged “Straightening Mechanism for Response to Emergencies”, organised by the agency for various stakeholders in the state, added that the workshop was important given the 2013 seasonal rainfall prediction above normal level for Akure and Ondo towns and other communities in the South-

western states. Represented by the Assistant Training Officer in the agency, Mr. Kadiri Olanrewaju, Akande said, “no matter the type of disaster, proper emergency response could protect family members and even save lives if carried out by relevant response agencies and communities.” He said that NEMA had always emphasised the mobilisation of the grassroots ETRs due tom the strategic roles they could play in response to emergencies. “NEMA appreciates the roles of grassroots in response to emergencies, adding that by having appropriate and correct information, the agency and various responders would know the appropriate action and tools to take along during disasters. These details would enable the emergency workers have an idea of what types of equipment, personnel or stakeholders to mobilise before getting to the scene,” he said. The coordinator enjoined state governments not only to establish State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), but to fund the agency so that they could response to calls during emergencies.


ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has delivered relief assistance to provide immediate succor to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Langtang South Local Government Area, in Plateau State. This followed the communal conflicts that affected several communities and destroyed lives and property worth millions of Naira in the area. Delivering the items to the IDPs at the Pilot Central Primary School IDPs camp, Mabudi, the headquarters of Langtang Local Government Council, DirectorGeneral of NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi said the Federal Government was concerned about the condition of the IDPs all over the country. The D-G, who was represented

by the agency’s Director of Search and Rescue Operations, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, said the Federal Government was committed to supporting the IDPs with necessary humanitarian assistance to return to their normal activities. Manzo Ezekiel, NEMA’s Press Officer said in a statement that, NEMA’s boss also assured the agency’s readiness to undertake detail assessment to identify further necessary support for the IDPs in addition to the initial relief assistance. Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives from the area, Mrs Beni Lar, who witnessed the distribution of the relief assistance, appreciated the Federal Government for the prompt response by NEMA in providing succour to the displaced persons in

her constituency. She, however, requested for more supports to enable early recovery of the IDPs, urging the government to expedite action in resolving conflicts between farmers and nomadic herdsmen in the country. Mrs Lar also urged the NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs) in the state to complement the humanitarian gesture of the government by providing assistance to the displaced persons in Langtang and the other affected local government areas. Responding on behalf of the IDPs, the Galadiman Mabudi, Mr Gambo Jonah, thanked the Federal Government for the relief materials provided to the IDPs. The relief materials distributed are food and non-food items including bags of rice, blankets, sanitary materials and mattresses.

NEMA set to tackle anticipated flooding in South-East


ational Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has assured residents of the South-East zone of the agency’s preparedness to respond to any emergency on flooding in the zone. The Co-ordinator of NEMA in the zone, Dr Onimode Bandele, said that the agency had been carrying out awareness campaigns in riverine and low land communities in the zone in the past three months. He said: “The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had predicted that two states in the zone – Anambra and Imo – are likely to experience flooding in 2013 due to increased volume of water in rivers and their tributaries occasioned

by ocean surges and global warming.” Bandele said that the agency had already stockpiled relief materials and other necessities to meet the challenge of the NIMET prediction, adding that “we have done our own homework; and we have gotten ourselves ready stockpiling relief materials and whatever, but the states should take pro-active measures too before the rains get to its peak.” “Yes, the message for both individual and corporate citizens around floodable area is that they should please listen to weather forecast, jingoes or announcements that may come on radio or TV from time to time. And take pro-active

measures to evacuate floodable areas when the time comes,” he explained. The co-ordinator said that NEMA had been working in close collaboration with the various State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs). He said that NEMA had transferred a lot of expertise and best practice to the SEMAs through regular interactions and workshops organised by the national agency to build-up the capacity of the state agencies. Bandele said that the zonal office of the agency received feedback from the Anambra State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) on the gradual increase of the volume of water in the River Niger.




Green tea effective against tumours, genetic diseases By Theodora Ekah


reen tea is a product made from the Camellia sinensis plant. It can be prepared as a beverage, which can have some health effects. Or an “extract” can be made from the leaves to use as medicine. Green tea is noted to improve mental alertness and thinking. It is also used for weight loss and to treat stomach disorders, vomiting, diarrhoea, headaches, bone loss (osteoporosis), and solid tumour cancers. Some people use green tea to prevent various cancers, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, lung cancer, solid tumour cancers and skin cancer related to exposure to sunlight. Some women use green tea to fight human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause genital warts, the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix (cervical dysplasia), and cervical cancer. Tea is the most popular beverage in the world and many people drink it for its pleasant taste, comfort, and general health benefits. Butgreen tea can do much more. It can save lives. Research has discovered that two compounds found in green tea show great promise in the treatment of two types of tumours and a deadly congenital disease. The two compounds are epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechingallate (ECG). Both are found in naturally in green tea. The researchers found that they are able to compensate for a genetic disorder called hyperinsulinism/hyperammonemia (HHS). In this disorder, patients (typically children) over-secrete insulin when they eat protein. As a result they can become severally hypoglycemic, and this can often lead to death. The condition is caused by a failure of the system that regulates the digestion of amino acids. EGCG and ECG were found to be effective by turning off glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH), an enzyme responsible for the digestion of amino acids. Two other research groups have validated and extended these findings in cell (in vitro) models to demonstrate that blocking GDH with green tea is very effective at killing two different kinds of tumors: glioblastomas, an aggressive type

of brain tumor, and tuberous sclerosis complex disorder, a genetic disease that causes non-malignant tumors to grow on a number of organs. Green tea has become increasingly popular among Americans and can be found on most supermarket shelves in the form of tea bags and loose tea as well as commercially produced iced teas and other fruit drinks. Green tea is one of the three main categories of tea, the other two being black and oolong. Green tea is the least processed of the three and is steamed but, unlike

black and oolong, is not fermented. The caffeine content of green tea is about half that of coffee and it’s also available in decaffeinated versions. Studies have associated green tea or the compounds in it with all of the following with possible effectiveness of: • Prevention of atherosclerosis • Protection against cancer • Prevention of liver disease • Improved weight loss • Reduced risk of dying from all causes • Protection against cancer

An avocado a day nutritions for your body


f you ask your friends if an avocado is a fruit or vegetable they may not know, but they’ll probably be able to tell you that avocados are high in fat. This fact about the mild-flavored green fruit (yes, avocados are fruits, or more specifically large berries) has given avocados a bad rap as a contributor to obesity, but is this really the case? Avocados are a very healthy and nutritious food. They are rich in 13 vitamins (A, C, D, E, K, E and 8 types of B vitamins including

B-6, B-12 and folate), and are packed full of other nutrients such as potassium, lutein, monosaturated fats and antioxidants. And since avocados can be eaten raw, baked, made into delicious dips and soups, or even blended into your morning green smoothie, avocados really are a tasty and versatile way to boost your health. Avocados also contain the enzyme lipase, which is complimentary toweight lossbecause it breaks down fat that is already stored in the body.

Here is a short list of just some of the benefits of regularly including avocados in your diet: • The abundance of monounsaturated fats in avocados help lower cholesterol. This is the ‘good kind of fat.’ • With 30% more potassium than bananas, avocados help regulate blood pressure and prevent circulatory disease. • Avocadoes are high in fluorine, which is used by the body to create hard surfaces onteeth and in bones. Fluorine also helps protect the body from viruses and germs. • Avocados are effective in stopping bad breath! • Rich in antioxidants such as glutathione, avocadoes encourage a healthy nervous system and boost the immune support system. • The nutrients and enzymes of avocados ease digestion issues by soothing the lining of the stomach and small intestines, and thus allowing the body to absorb carotenoids and nutrients from our food. • Avocado is a yin fruit. It helps build red-blood cells as it is rich in copper. It also harmonizes several organs, including the liver, lungs and intestines.

• Reduced heart disease deaths • Lower blood pressure • Lower risk of gallstones • Prevention of Type 2 diabetes • Lower risk of bone fractures • Protection against Alzheimer’s disease • Preventing bladder, esophageal, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Women who regularly drink tea, including green tea or black tea, appear to have a significantly lower risk of developing ovarian cancer compared to women who never or seldom drink tea. In one study, women who drank 2 or more cups of green tea each day had a 46% lower risk of getting ovarian cancer than women who didn’t drink green tea. • Low blood pressure. Green tea might help in elderly people who have low blood pressure after eating. • Decreasing high levels of fat, like cholesterol and triglycerides, in the blood (hyperlipidaemia). • Reducing abnormal development and growth of cells of the cervix (cervical dysplasia) caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. It is amazingly reported that green tea has a secret ingredient in creating a frozen beverage that allows players to recover more quickly from dehydration and nutrient loss. Even professional athletes are beginning to recognize the power of green tea. Too much green tea — more than five cups per day, for example — is possibly unsafe. It can cause side effects because of the caffeine. These side effects can range from mild to serious and include headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, irritability, irregular heartbeat, tremor, heartburn, dizziness, ringing in the ears, convulsions, and confusion. Green tea seems to reduce the absorption of iron from food. Drinking very high doses of green tea can actually be fatal. The fatal dose of caffeine in green tea is estimated to be 10-14 grams (150-200 mg per kilogram). Serious toxicity can occur at lower doses.




The myth of the 1,400 year Sunni-Shia war ANALYSIS

By Murtaza Hussain


uring the period of European rule over Rwanda, the Belgian colonial administrators of the territory accomplished an extraordinary feat in their subjugation of the local population - the deliberate manufacture of new ethnic divisions. By formulating ethnic categorisations based on subjective judgments of Rwandans’ height and skin colour, the Belgians sought to keep the Rwandan people at odds with one another and subservient to them. Entirely fabricated histories and genealogies were concocted for the “Hutu” and “Tutsi” peoples, although these terms themselves had been taken from the dustbin of Rwandan history and had had little effective meaning for hundreds of years. This strategy of divide-andconquer eventually resulted in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, a bloodbath which shocked the conscience of the world and claimed the lives of roughly 800,000 people. Hutus and Tutsis, themselves only recently fabricated identities, had come to believe in a false narrative in which they had been in opposition to one another since the dawn of time. Today it is increasingly common to hear talk of the existence of a “1,400 Year War” between Sunni and Shia Muslims. In this narrative, the sectarian violence of today is simply the continuation of an ancient religious conflict rooted in events which transpired in the 7th century. While some Muslims themselves have recently bought into this worldview, it would suffice to say that such beliefs represent not only a misreading of history but a complete and utter fabrication of it. While there are distinct theological differences between Sunnis and Shias, the claim that these two groups have been in a perpetual state of war and animosity throughout their existence is an absurd falsehood. The conflict now brewing between certain Sunni and Shia political factions in the Middle East today has little or nothing to do with religious differences and everything to do with modern identity politics. Just as in Rwanda, Western powers and their local allies have sought to exacerbate these false divisions in order to perpetuate conflict and maintain a Middle East which is at once thoroughly divided and incapable of asserting itself. Analyses of the roots of sectarian conflict in the Middle East tend to look at the historical schism between Sunnis and Shias as the original driving factor behind present-day tensions. In this reading of events, the 680AD Battle of Karbala in which the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (who are particularly revered by Shia Muslims) were killed was merely the first battle in a long and continuous sectarian conflict which today is being played out in Syria, Lebanon and other countries throughout the Middle East. As described by the Saudi writer Abdullah Hamiddadin, this explanation of contemporary events is as absurd as explaining modern tensions between Turkey and the

In Bahrain (circa March 2011), both Shia and Sunni opposition leaders come together, holding a sign reading “No Sunni, No Shia: One unified nation.” [AP] EU as being rooted in the ancient conflict between King Charles and the Empress of Byzantium. Positing that present-day political rivalries can be explained by examining ninth-century conflicts between European powers is transparent nonsense. However, the same logic is readily applied to conflicts within the Muslim world. Indeed, while modern political factions often make reference to theological differences, the usage of symbolism and rhetoric which draws upon the distant past (a tactic employed by political opportunists around the world) is very different than the existence of an actual continuity between ancient history and the present. However, thanks to the efforts of well-funded religious demagogues themselves either ignorant of history or cynical manipulators of it - this patently ridiculous explanation of world events is gaining some purchase even among Muslims themselves. For those who would seek to shamelessly fabricate a historical narrative in order to serve their venal political interests, it is worth restating some basic realities about the nature of sectarian relationships in the Middle East. While over a millennium of cohabitation the various religious communities of the region have experienced identifiable ups-anddowns in their relations, the overall narrative between them is vastly more of pluralism, tolerance and accommodation than of hard-wired conflict and animosity. For centuries, Sunnis and Shias

(as well as Christians, Jews and other religious groups) have lived closely intertwined with one another to a degree without parallel elsewhere in the world. Even where they have exerted power through distinct political structures, the argument that this has equated to conflict does not stand up to even a cursory analysis. While the Sunni Ottoman Empire and Shia Safavid Empire experienced their share of conflict, they also lived peaceably alongside one another for hundreds of years, even considering it shameful to engage in conflict with one another as Muslim powers. Furthermore, despite seething protestations to the contrary from zealots of all types, “sects” have hardly been separately self-contained entities over history. Shia and Sunni Muslim scholars have long engaged in dialogue and influenced the religious thought of one another for centuries, blurring the already largely superficial distinctions between the two communities. As a legacy of this, today the greatest seat of learning in Sunni Islam also teaches Shia theology as an integrated school of thought. The contrast between this history and the unconscionably brutal wars of religion which for centuries ravaged Europe could not be starker. When describing tensions between factions in the Middle East today, Western analysts (and increasingly, many Muslims) tend to view events through a historical lens which is derived from a distinctly Western experience of intractable religious conflict. Indeed,

far from being ancient history, Europe’s dark obsession with religious hatred reached its nadir mere decades ago in the form of the Holocaust - perhaps the ultimate religious “pogrom” against the long-oppressed Jewish population of the continent. In recent decades however this dynamic has been largely reversed. Europe has taken great strides in enshrining tolerance, while the Middle East’s once unrivalled religious pluralism has degraded to the point where even co-religionists of marginally-different sects are now often violently at odds with one another. European leaders now regularly lecture their counterparts in the Middle East on the need to protect the rights of minorities; something which may be tolerable today but which would have been thought unconscionable throughout most of history. While contemporary Muslim societies have regressed to the point where Europeans can now claim moral authority to lecture them on religious diversity, looking at history it should be noted that the periods of greatest religious tolerance within Islam have historically corresponded with the peaks of political power among Muslim empires. The lesson contained herein is something which modern leaders and religious figures - many of whom are disdainful at best towards minorities - ignore at their great peril. Source: Al Jazeera. Those who ignorantly claim that progress can be attained through

Furthermore, despite seething protestations to the contrary from zealots of all types, “sects” have hardly been separately self-contained entities over history.

the enforcement of strict ideological purity should take heed of the past and resist the temptation towards religious chauvinism. The conflict which some claim exists today between Sunni and Shia Muslims is a product of very recent global events; blowback from the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the petro-dollar fuelled global rise of Wahhabi reactionaries. It is decidedly not the continuation of any “1,400 year war” between Sunnis and Shias but is driven instead by the very modern phenomena of identity politics. Factions on both sides have created false histories for their own political benefit and have manufactured symbols and rituals which draw upon ancient history but are in fact entirely modern creations. Furthermore, Western military powers have sought to amplify these divisions to generate internecine conflicts within Muslim societies and engineer a bloodbath which will be to their own benefit. While neoconservatives practically salivate in anticipation of Muslims committing mass-fratricide against one another, away from the political sphere ordinary people continue to live with the deeply engrained sense of tolerance that has traditionally characterised the once-global civilisation of Islam. For every sectarian terrorist group or militia, there are countless ordinary Shia and Sunni Muslims around the world who haverisked their lives to protect their coreligionists as well as the religious minorities within their societies. For every story which discards the nuances of todays’ conflicts and casts them as part of a narrative of spiralling sectarian violence, there are others which point resolutely in the opposite direction. In the words of an 80-year old Pakistani farmer, a man older than his own country: “I’ve witnessed this Shia-Sunni brotherhood from my childhood, you can say from the day I was born.” In Rwanda a people who came to believe a false history about themselves ended up being driven towards madness and selfdestruction. Today, the Rwandan government has done away with the artificial colonial categorisations of “Hutu” and “Tutsi” and has formally recognised all Rwandan citizens as being of one ethnicity. Similarly, it is incumbent upon Muslims to reject crude myths about a 1,400 year sectarian war between themselves and to recognise the dangerous folly of such beliefs. Indeed, the simple truth is that if such a war existed Sunnis and Shias would not have been intermarrying and living in the same neighbourhoods up to the 21st century. Furthermore, were they truly enemies, millions of people of both sects would have stopped peacefully converging on the annual Hajj pilgrimage many centuries ago. If Islam is to continue as a constructive social phenomenon it is important that these traditional relationships and ways of life are not destroyed by modern ideologies masquerading as historical truths. Source: Al-Jazeera




Zuma sacks three ministers in reshuffle



outh African President Jacob Zuma has reshuffled his cabinet for a fourth time, sacking three ministers, including a former anti-apartheid activist and a critic of his administration. Tokyo Sexwale, who has been human settlement minister, was fired along with embattled communications minister Dina Pule and the minister of traditional affairs, Richard Baloyi. The reshuffle, announced less

ineffectual leadership among other long-term risks. One of the dismissed ministers has been facing allegations of being involved in shady deals. Pule stands accused of giving preferential treatment to a firm run by her then-boyfriend - a charge she denies. The ministers of energy and transport swapped portfolios while the much-maligned basic education minister, Angie Motshekga, at the centre of scandal in which textbooks went undelivered for months to a province, kept her post. Many ANC veterans feel Zuma has steered Mandela’s former liberation movement away from its idealistic beginnings and into a morass of graft, cronyism and a culture of self-enrichment. South Africa was mired in recession when Zuma came to power, but since then has struggled to pick up to pre-2008 growth rates of around 5 percent. Since the ANC assumed power after the end of apartheid in 1994, the government has built hundreds of thousands of houses and provided basic service to millions of poor blacks left by the wayside during white-minority rule. But festering labour strife in the mining sector, a poor education system and a rigid jobs market have been eroding South Africa’s economic competitiveness.

than a year before Zuma seeks reelection for another five-year term, followed Sexwale’s criticism of the president’s stewardship of the economy, Africa’s largest. Sexwale, a wealthy businessman, was jailed on the Robben Island like Nelson Mandela, the country’s first black president and an anti-apartheid icon. The businessman was among a group of senior African National

Congress (ANC) members looking to replace Zuma last year. However, Zuma is almost assured of being the party’s presidential candidate in 2014 after winning an ANC leadership contest in December. Analysts say he has high chances of winning the 2014 election given his ruling ANC’s stranglehold over politics but international credit agencies have downgraded South Africa in the last year, citing his

grandson of Nelson Mandela hassaidtheailinganti-apartheid iconandformerpresidentisvery much alive, while the South African government announced he remains in a critical but stable condition. Ndaba Mandela, whose father Magkatho was Mandela’s second son with first wife Evelyn Mase, urged well-wishers to celebrate the life of the 94-year-old statesman ahead of his 95th birthday. Mandela became South Africa’s

first democratically elected president after spending 27 years in prison for his fight against racist white rule. “With less than two weeks to go before the old man’s birthday, it’s time to celebrate his life,” Ndaba Mandela said in Pretoria. “The old man is very much alive.” Ndaba Mandela said his grandfather responds when spoken to, mirroring comments made last week by fellow prisoner and lifelong friend Ahmed Kathrada.

“WhenIspeaktohim,heresponds,” Ndaba Mandela said. “Let us not be in a spirit of sadness but a spirit of celebration because the old man is still with us today.” Meanwhile, The Presidency said on Tuesday that Mandela was still in a critical but stable condition at the Pretoria hospital where he is receiving treatmentforarecurringlunginfection. Courtdocumentsrevealedlastweek that he was breathing with the help of a ventilator.

President Jacob Zuma thanked the publicforthecontinuedshowofsupport outside the hospital. “The prayer services around the country are also appreciated,” Zuma said in a statement. “We thank the international community as well for ongoingmessagesofsupporttoMadiba and his family.” Well-wishers from around the world continue to stop outside his Johannesburg home and the Pretoria hospital.


Democratic Front (EPRDF). It has only one opposition MP. “A lot of messages in the news about me going into politics,” Mr

Haile said on Twitter. “Yes, I want to be in the parliament in 2015 to help my country to move forward.”

Mr Haile is a four-time world 10,000m champion and won gold at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. He officially announced his retirement in 2010 but then went on to compete in races after recovering from a knee injury. In April, he won his third consecutive Vienna half marathon and also took part in the Boston marathon, which was hit by a double bomb attack that killed three people. The EPRDF is accused by rights groups of leading a highly repressive regime, using antiterrorism law as a pretext to imprison opposition activists and journalists.

Mandela ‘very much alive’ –Grandson


Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie to run for parliament thiopian athletics star Haile Gebrselassie says he is entering politics with the aim of winning a parliamentary seat in the 2015 election. The 40-year-old’s announcement follows longstanding rumours that his athletics career is drawing to a close. Mr Haile, a two-time Olympic 10,000m champion, is regarded as a national icon by most Ethiopians. He has not said under which party’s banner he will contest the election. Ethiopia’s parliament is dominated by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary


Key Morocco party quits government


he secular centre-right Istiqlal party said five of its six ministers had resigned. It is not clear if Education Minister Mohammed elOuafa has done so. Istiqlalisthesecond-largestpartyin parliament after the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), which won elections held in late 2011. ThePJDwillnowhavetofindanew coalition partner or call elections. Analysts say the first option is more likely. Announcing its withdrawal from the government, Istiqlal spokesman AdilBenhamzaaccusedPrimeMinister AbdelilahBenkirane of “acting like the head of a political party rather than the head of a government that represents the people”, Reuters news agency reports. Istiqlal,whichcontrolledthefinance ministry,hascriticisedthegovernment’s plan to cut by about 20% subsidies of basic goods, which cost about $6.16bn (£4.14bn), or 6.4% of GDP. The cuts are due to take effect at the end of the IslamicholymonthofRamadan,which begins on Wednesday. Thestatehasraisedwages,pensions and spent more on subsidies every year since Morocco - ruled by the Arab world’s longest-serving dynasty - saw protestsoverunemploymentandliving costsinspiredbytheArabSpringrevolts of 2011. However, the government has recently been put under pressure to rein in spending and reduce its budget deficit from 7.1% to 3% by 2017 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has granted it a $6.2bn credit line. “The PJD wants to raise prices and hit the poorest, while we prefer to pick upsomebillionswhichareinthehands of speculators by controlling imports,” MrBenhamza told Reuters. The PJD has accused Istiqlal of trying to sabotage reforms, the Associated Press news agency reports. Morocco imports all of its oil, gas and coal, and relies on sugar and wheat shipments to meet domestic needs. MrBenkirane has said the IMF criticisedthegovernmentlastmonthfor acting too hesitantly in implementing the financial reforms.

Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane


WikiLeaks hints at Snowden’s next flight


s speculation grows over Edward Snowden’s path to freedom, WikiLeaks teased that his “flight of liberty” campaign starts Wednesday, promising further details. But so far, WikiLeaks has not lived up to the Twitter promise to provide more details. And the questions are piling up. Is the future of the U.S. intelligence leaker, grounded at Moscow’s airport for more than two weeks, no longer up in the air? Not so fast. It’s unclear whether Snowden has accepted anyone’s offer of asylum. And if he has, how does he intend to get there? Speculation centers on Venezuela, which was the first to offer asylum. With both sides expressing interest, it only appeared to be a matter of time before it is confirmed. Venezuela extended the asylum offer to Snowden last week, and on Monday President Nicolas Maduro received a formal asylum request from Snowden. There were flurries of information Tuesday after a tweet by a Russia lawmaker announced that Snowden had accepted Venezuela’s offer of asylum. But the lawmaker who sent the tweet, Russian parliamentary spokesman Alexei Pushkov, deleted the message. WikiLeaks, which has been assisting Snowden in his asylum bid, denied the report in a Twitter post. “The states concerned will make the announcement if and when the appropriate time comes,” WikiLeaks said. “The announcement will then be confirmed by us.” If Snowden does accept, it resolves one issue in the saga, but sets the stage for the next chapter: How will he get from Moscow to Caracas? The trick would seem to be avoiding U.S. airspace or the airspace of nations friendly to the United States. Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who faces espionage charges, would be wise to take a chartered jet on a route that goes over water the entire time, former CIA analyst Allen Thomson told Foreign Policy. “Leave Moscow,” he told the ForeignPolicy.“FlynorthtotheBarents Sea, thence over to and through the Denmark Strait. Continue south, steering clear of Newfoundland until getting to the east of the Windward Islands. Fly through some convenient gap between islands and continue on to Caracas.”


International Asia & Koreas discuss Middle East restarting Kaesong complex N

orth and South Korean government officials are meeting to discuss how to restart a factory complex they jointly ran until it was shut down in April amid nuclear tensions. The officials were meeting on Wednesday in a North Korean border town, the Associated Press news agency said. The shutdown at the park just over the heavily armed border came during high tensions that followed Pyongyang’s February nuclear test. North and South Korea agreed over the weekend on a desire to restart work there and are now discussing details about how to do that. The Kaesong breakthrough follows talks that lasted more than 16 hours on Sunday, where the two sides pledged to revive operations at the jointly run zone. The complex at Kaesong combines South Korean knowhow and cheap North Korean labour. It was the countries’ last remaining major cooperation project. Representatives of South Korean factories at Kaesong also went to the complex Wednesday

to inspect factory equipment during the rainy season. A previous attempt at dialogue a month ago collapsed in acrimony amid arguments over protocol.

The Kaesong complex began operations in 2004 and has become a source of hard currency for the impoverished North. Normally, 53,000 North

Koreans work at factories owned by some 120 South Korean firms in Kaesong, which has in the past remained largely immune to strains in inter-Korean relations.

Suh Ho, the head of South Korea’s working-level delegation (L) shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Park Chol-Su.

Amnesty accuses Israel of “judicial bullying”


wo female Palestinian activists have gone on trial in an Israeli military court over their involvementinweeklydemonstrations against an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank. Rightsgroupsandactivistssaidthat

the prosecution of NarimanTamimi and RanaHamadeh coincided with a rise in Israeli arrests of Palestinian protest organisers in recent weeks. The decision to put the two women on trial was unusual because charges against them focused on their entry

Philip Luther

to a “closed military zone” during a protest in the village of NabiSaleh on June 28, an offence that rarely leads to prosecution in court. It is also rare for Israel to prosecute Palestinian women protesters. Amnesty International issued a written statement earlier that urged Israeli authorities to stop the “judicial bullying” of Palestinian activists. “They have been denied the basic human right to peacefully protest over land illegally seized by Israeli settlers, and the Israeli judiciary has used spurious legal tools to punish them,” the UK-based human rights watchdog said of the women. Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme director, said in a written statement after the arrests that there had been an unrelenting campaign of harassment, “the latest in a litany of human rights violations against NarimanTamimi, her family,

and her fellow villagers”. “These arbitrary restrictions should be lifted immediately and the charges should be dropped,” Luther said. Villagers began organising protests every Friday after Israelis from the Halamish settlement took control of a spring between the two communities in 2009, which they say deprived them of a source of irrigation. The protests typically involve flag-waving and stone-throwing by the Palestinian side, which is met by tear gas, rubber bullets and even live ammunition by the army. Two Palestinians have been shot dead by soldiers since the protests began, including Nariman’s brother Rushdi, in November. Israel arrested two other prominent ativists in the past week in the West Bank villages of Bil’in and BeitUmmar.

forward on reconciliation if the Taliban wishes to do so,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “We’ll continue to support and reiterate our call for that process to move forward.” The latest setback came as Afghan officials said a Taliban-planted bomb in the western province of Herat killed 17 civilians, and an Afghan soldier shot dead a Slovakian soldier at Kandahar airfield.

The New York Times also reported that the US was seriously considering speeding up the withdrawal of its forces because of frustration with Karzai. The US President, Barack Obama, is committed to ending the US military involvement in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, though his administration has been negotiating with Kabul about leaving behind a “residual force”.

Taliban shuts Doha HQ over ‘broken promises’


he Taliban has temporarily closed its office in Qatar, where it was hoped peace talks would begin with the US and Afghanistan, blaming “broken promises”. The office opened on June 18 as the first move towards a possible peace deal after 12-years of fighting, but it enraged Afghan President Hamid Karzai by styling itself as an unofficial embassy for a government-in-exile.

“We have temporarily closed the Qatar office due to broken promises,” a Pakistan-based Taliban official, said on Tuesday. “We are not happy with the Americans, the Kabul government and all parties who have not been honest with us,” he said. Karzai broke off bilateral talks with the Americans and threatened to boycott any peace process altogether after the Taliban opened the

offices with a flag-raising ceremony for the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” - the name of the country under Taliban rule. The US State Department said that the closure of the office should not disrupt what it called a “challenging process”. “We believe that misunderstandings that arose in the context of the opening [of the office] should not stand in the way of moving




Czech president swears in cabinet in showdown with parliament C zech President Milos Zeman swore in a cabinet led by a longtime ally on Wednesday that faces almost certain rejection by parties in parliament, raising the prospect of prolonged political uncertainty in the central European nation. The leftist president confirmed economist Jiri Rusnok as prime minister, hoping that he can pull the Czech economy out of a recession now into its second year and lead the country into an election due next year. But the cabinet is likely to lose a vote of confidence, due within 30 days, as Rusnok’s appointment has infuriated both the three parties of the outgoing center-right coalition and the leftist opposition, who all view it as a power grab by Zeman. Rusnok, who served as finance minister in a Zeman-led cabinet a decade ago, replaces PetrNecas, who resigned last month after a close aide was charged with bribery and abuse

2009-10. The Czech budget deficit is set to fall below the EU-prescribed limit of 3 percent of economic output this year. But the budget-cutting drive of the center-right coalition in power

from 2010 until last month has pushed the Czech economy into its longest recession in two decades. Fischer and Rusnok have said that returning the country to growth is a top priority for the new government.

of office. Prosecutors have asked parliament to lift the center-right former premier’s parliamentary immunity. If Rusnok loses the parliamentary vote of confidence, Zeman is meant to appoint another prime minister. But there are no time limits and politicians fear Zeman could drag out the process, leaving Rusnok’s team in place for many months to carry out the president’s wishes. Such a course would increase the risk of gridlock in policymaking which could hold up a 2014 budget plan and rattle investors, who have long viewed the Czech Republic as a safe haven among emerging economies. Rusnok’s new cabinet includes several people who have worked as advisers to Zeman and former members of the opposition Social Democratic party, which Zeman led until 2002. For finance minister, Rusnok picked Jan Fischer, a former prime minister in a technocrat cabinet in

President Zeman

peace talks between the FARC and the government. The landmark negotiations, aimed at ending five decades of violence, are taking place in Cuba. The two sides have been discussing political participation for Colombia’s largest guerrilla group if a peace deal gets signed. The Patriotic Union (UP) was established during the 1985 peace talks with the government of then President Belisario Betancourt. But the UP lost its legal status when it did not put forward

candidates to the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2002. In Tuesday’s ruling, however, the State Court recognised there were mitigating circumstances for the UP not complying with Colombian electoral law, says Arturo Wallace in Bogota. About 3,000 of its members, including several presidential candidates, were murdered by right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers with the complicity of the government. Analysts say this convinced the

FARC rebels that the political route was closed to them, instead resorting to military action. Some 600,000 people have been killed since the conflict began in the 1960s, and more than three million internally displaced by the fighting, according to official estimates. The FARC is thought to have some 8,000 fighters, down from about 16,000 in 2001. Last year they renounced kidnapping for ransom, a policy which had made Colombia one of the countries with the highest kidnapping rate in the world.

date has been agreed. According to the tape obtained by the Exaro investigative website and released by Channel 4 television last week, Murdoch said his USbased News Corporation made a “mistake” in handing over so much information to police. “It’s a disgrace. Here we are, two years later, and the cops are totally

incompetent,” he said. He suggested the industry had relied on such tactics for decades, according to Reuters news agency Murdoch was speaking in March at a meeting with journalists at his top-selling British tabloid The Sun, where he also appears to suggest that reporters jailed as a result of the probe could return to their jobs. Murdoch shut down his topselling News of the World tabloid in July 2011 after it emerged the weekly had illegally accessed the voicemails of hundreds of public figures, including a murdered teenager. In his first appearance before the committee later that same month, alongside his son James, Rupert Murdoch apologised and said “this is the most humble day of my life”. During the same evidence session a protester attacked him with a foam pie, upon which his wife Wendi Deng, whom he is now divorcing, leapt to his defence. The committee published a scathing report in May 2012 saying Murdoch was unfit to lead a major global company.

FARC’s political party regains legal status


he political party linked to Colombia’s left-wing FARC rebels has regained its legal status, meaning it can contest elections due next year. Founded in 1985, the Patriotic Union was barred after it failed to present candidates to elections in 2002. But the top administrative court has now ruled the party had been targeted by state-sponsored death squads, and decided to re-instate its status. The news comes amid ongoing

UK lawmakers recall Murdoch to testify



ritish lawmakers have recalled Rupert Murdoch to testify after a tape recording emerged of the media tycoon slamming the police investigation into alleged phone hacking and bribery by his journalists. The Australian-born 82-year-old last appeared before parliament’s Culture, Media and

Sport Committee two years ago at the height of the hacking scandal that closed the News of the World tabloid. A spokeswoman for the scrutiny panel confirmed that it would ask Murdoch to appear again to discuss his comments on the police probe, adding that it was expected to happen in the autumn although no

Europe and Americas Boston bombings suspect to appear in court Boston bombing suspect DzhokharTsarnaev is to appear in a federal court in the city for his first public court appearance since the April 15 attacks. Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in the bombings that killed three people and wounded more than 260. The defendant and his elder brother Tamerlan allegedly detonated two pressure cooker bombs along the closing stages of the marathon route on April 15. A police officer was shot dead as the Tsarnaev brothers went on the run in the days following the attack. Tamerlan was killed following a shoot-out with law enforcement officers on April 18. A seriously wounded Dzhokhar was found hiding in a boat on a suburban Boston driveway the following day. After initially being confined at a city hospital, he was moved to a prison west of Boston. The teenager is said to have scrawled his motives for the attacks on an interior wall of the boat. According to court papers, he wrote: “The US government is killing our innocent civilians, we Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all. “Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said it is allowed.” If the Obama administration tries for the death penalty against Tsarnaev, it could face a long, difficult legal battle in a US state that has not seen an execution in nearly 70 years. Massachusetts abolished its own death penalty in 1984, but Tsarnaev is being prosecuted in a federal court. The Tsarnaev brothers had lived in the Boston area for about 10 years before launching their attacks, apparently without any assistance from an outside group. During a recent conversation with his mother in Dagestan, Tsarnaev, a US national of Chechen origin, appeared to be in good spirits, telling her “everything was fine.” In a recording of the call, Tsarnaev also said he was receiving thousands of dollars in donations from people offering support.




Strange World

$320,000 lab-grown burger due for tasting A fter years of stem-cell cookery, University of Maastricht researcher Mark Post is finally ready to serve up a $320,000 hamburger made from meat grown in a culture dish. The tasting will be conducted in front of an

invited audience in London on Aug. 5, Ogilvy Public Relations announced in a media alert. “The event will include a brief explanation of the science behind the burger before it is cooked and tasted,” the advisory read. The public

relations agency told NBC News that it could provide no further information until later. Post and his Dutch colleagues have been working on ways to create palatable lab-grown beef by growing bovine stem cells in a vat,

Dutch scientist Mark Post displays samples of in-vitro meat, or cultured meat grown in a laboratory, at the University of Maastricht in 2011.

turning them into tens of thousands of thin strips of beef muscle cells, mincing them into tiny pieces, then putting them together with lab-grown animal fat to create a lump of “meat.” In May, Post told The New York Times that the meat

tasted “reasonably good” in preliminary tests, even before the fat was added. An anonymous benefactor reportedly donated €250,000 ($320,000) to fund the experiment. Part of the deal is that the benefactor would taste the first official lab-burger. Ogilvy Public Relations’ Anya Du Sauzay declined to identify the donor, but said the identity would be revealed in advance of August’s cookout. The aim of the research is to bring the day closer when meat can be produced without having to raise and kill livestock — a costly enterprise that is abhorrent to some people. Meat production takes up more than half of the world’s estimated agricultural capacity, and that proportion is expected to grow due to rising affluence in China and other areas of the world. Last year, Post told reporters that growing meat in the lab rather than on the farm could reduce the required energy expenditure by 40 percent. But it’s taken almost a decade of trial and error to get this far on the meat frontier, and it’s likely to take at least that much longer to make lab-grown beef commercially viable. The good news is that Post says the second labburger should go for less than the first: €200,000, or $257,000.

Amputee builds prosthetic Man robs bank in hope of jail time leg entirely out of legos


n January of this year, occupational therapist Christina Stevens of St. Louis had an awful accident while changing the brakes on her car. She sustained so many “crush” injuries in her foot that she made the difficult decision to get a below-knee amputation. “What’s really interesting about this whole ordeal is that I’m an occupational therapist. I have done a lot of research and work with amputees and also with wheelchair users and so I think that I have a unique perspective going into this whole thing because I’ve been on both sides of the therapeutic relationship…I think that puts me in

Christina showing the prosthetic leg made out of lego.

a unique situation to perhaps offer some different insights for people who might be going through the same or similar things to me,” said Christina, who goes by the name AmputeeOT, in her introduction video. Her insights have been unique indeed. Since receiving her amputation, Christina has been sharing videos on YouTube documentingherpathtorehabilitation and answering questions about her condition, like what the deal is with phantom limb pain, how it feels to walk with a prosthetic leg or and how to take off a prosthetic leg and put it back on. There’s even a video of her getting an amputee tattoo.


olice in one Alabama city didn’t have to go far to find a man suspected of robbing a bank: He was sitting on a bench in the shade of the bank’s awning. The man fearedlosinghisjob because of a severe leg injury and wanted to avoid homelessness by going to jail, authorities said. “He was adamant his whole deal was he’d have a place to live and a place to eat,” Moulton Police Chief Lyndon McWhorter said. Police arrested Gardner on bench in the shade of the bank’s awning. 49-year-old Rickie Lawrence Gardner in a bag, McWhorter said. Then he was going to lose his job, McWhorter on charges of first-degree robbery and walked out of the bank with more than said The chief said Gardner mentioned first-degree theft. He was in the county $4,000.Hegotinhiscar,putthebagon jail Tuesday and did not yet have an the passenger seat, got out and locked theweaponinthenote–eventhoughhe didn’t have one – because he thought it attorney. the car. The police chief said Gardner He strolled over to the bench, sat would get him a longer sentence. McWhorter said a relative of walked into Bank Independent on down and waited on police, the chief Gardner told police that the man may Monday morning and handed a teller said. a note saying, “I have a weapon. Give Gardner told officers that his leg have been off medication he had been me your money.” had been badly injured in an all-terrain taking since the accident, which could He told the teller to put the money vehicle accident and he was afraid he have affected his mental state.




Late nights ‘sap children’s brain power’ By Michelle Roberts


ate nights and lax bedtime routines can blunt young children’s minds, research suggests. The findings on sleep patterns and brain power come from a UK study of more than 11,000 sevenyear-olds. Youngsters who had no regular bedtime or who went to bed later than 21:00 had lower scores for reading and maths. Lack of sleep may disrupt natural body rhythms and impair how well the brain learns new information say the study authors. They gathered data on the children at the ages of three, five and then seven to find out how well they were doing with their learning and whether this might be related to their sleeping habits. Erratic bedtimes were most common at the age of three, when around one in five of the children went to bed at varying times. By the age of seven, more than half the children had a regular bedtime of between 19:30 and 20:30. Overall, children who had never had regular bedtimes tended to fare worse than their peers in terms of test scores for reading, maths and spatial awareness. The impact was more obvious throughout early childhood in girls than in boys and appeared to be cumulative. The researchers, led by Prof Amanda Sacker from University College London, said it was possible that inconsistent bedtimes were a reflection of chaotic family settings

Late nights may have knock-on effects and it was this, rather than disrupted sleep, that had an impact on cognitive performance in children. “We tried to take these things into account,” said Prof Sacker. The children with late and erratic bedtimes came from more socially disadvantaged backgrounds and were less likely to be read to each night and, generally, watched more TV - often on a set in their own bedroom.

After controlling for such factors, the link between poorer mental performance and lax bedtimes remained. The findings are published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Prof Sacker said: “The takehome message is really that routines really do seem to be important for children. “Establishing a good bedtime

routine early in childhood is probably best, but it’s never too late.” She said there was no evidence that putting children to bed much earlier than 19:30 added anything in terms of brain power. Dr Robert Scott-Jupp of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said: “At first glance, this research might seem to suggest that less sleep makes children less

intelligent, however, it is clearly more complicated than that. “While it’s likely that social and biological brain development factors are inter-related in a complex way, in my opinion, for schoolchildren to perform their best, they should all, whatever their background, get a good night’s sleep.” Source:

Why deaf people sneeze silently By Emma Tracey


hearticlebypartiallydeafjournalist Charlie Swinbourne got readers talking - and the cogs started turning at Ouch too. Swinbourne observes that deaf people don’t make the “achoo!” sound


when they sneeze, while hearing people seem to do it all the time - in fact, he put it in his humorous list, The Top 10 Annoying Habits of Hearing People. Nor is “achoo” universal - it’s what English-speaking sneezers say. The French sneeze “atchoum”. In Japan, it’s “hakashun” and in the Philippines, they

say “ha-ching”. Inserting words into sneezes - and our responses such as “bless you” - are cultural habits we pick up along the way. So it’s not surprising that British deaf people, particularly users of sign language, don’t think to add the English word “achoo” to this most natural of

An online magazine for the deaf community, Limping Chicken, recently ran an item on how deaf and hearing people sneeze differently.

actions. For deaf people, “a sneeze is what it shouldbe...somethingthatjusthappens”, says Swinbourne in his article. He even attempts to describe what an achoo-free deaf sneeze sounds like: “[Thereis]aheavybreathasthedeeppresneeze breath is taken, then a sharper, faster sound of air being released.” Very little deaf-sneeze research exists, but a study has been done on deaf people and their laughter. So do deaf laughs sound different to hearing ones? In a paper called Laughter Among Deaf Signers, the deaf guffaw or titter is described as “obvious and easily identified” but “more varied than the

typical laughter of hearing people”. Speaking to Ouch, Prof BencieWoll, director of the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre at University College London, calls actions like these “vegetative sounds”. She says we can modify the noise, but we can’t stop it. “When we laugh, we are not trying to go ‘ha ha’. That’s just the sound that comes out as a result of the changes we make in our throat. The influence we have over our sneezing and laughter allowsustostiflethemorputmorepower behind them, depending on what feels socially appropriate.” Source:



Foundation warns against involvement of vigilante groups in 2015 election By Adeola Tukuru


non-governmental organization, (NGO), CLEEN Foundation, has expressed concerns that several indigenous vigilante groups are planning to be involved in security related activities

in he 2015 general elections. This according to the foundation could be a threat to the nation’s security at the polls. Program Manager of the foundation, Mr. Chinedu Nwagwu, stated this yesterday during the release of the First Security Threat

Assessment report, as part of the group’s contributions to ensure a free and fair 2015 general elections. According to him, in the North Central Zone, the spate of violence and the rise and dominance of armed non-state actors that are increasingly challenging state capacity, have

become serious threat to security. “For instance, the emergence of a group-the Ombatse (meaning) time has come), which was responsible for the massacre of over 60 security personnel in Nasarawa State is an issue of security concern,” he warned. Nwagwu said that the activities

Rivers crisis serious threat to democracy -Tsav From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


rstwhile Lagos State Police Commissioner Alh. Abubakar Tsav has condemned the crisis rocking Rivers State House of Assembly as a serious threat to the nation’s security and democracy. Alh. Tsav who made the condemnation in a text message to this reporter yesterday, regretted that the police who are supposed to be neutral and unbiased in the issue have compromised by neglecting fair play and allowing themselves to be used the President and his wife. “Even a child knows that what is happening in Rivers State Assembly is caused by the President, his wife Dame Patience Jonathan and the Rivers State Commissioner of Police Mbuh. These people due to their inordinate ambition and desperation want to plunge the nation into another crisis. Ironically, none of them fought the civil war to appreciate the sacrifice and risk our soldiers faced to keep the nation as one”, Tsav fumed. He particularly frowned at the manner Dame Patience Jonathan humiliated and castigated Governor Rotimi Amaechi during a visit to the State to attend a wedding occasion, noting that the way she snatched microphone from the governor while he was speaking left a lot to be desired. “Would she do such a thing to her husband? Haba enough of this madness”, he urged. Okenyodo further explained that the review of the conduct of the 2011 general elections in July 2011 was organized by CLEEN Foundation in partnership with the Justice4 all a program of UK department for International Development. Some of the mitigating factors and recommendations highlighted from the Security Threat Assessment was that elected related stakeholders, including security agencies, INEC, political parties and civil society groups must commence preparation for the 2015 election and mainstream conflict management in their plans. The assessment also emphasized the need to train journalist on conflict sensitive reporting stating” The manner the media has been reporting and is likely to report political conflicts has implications for violence. A cursory examination of newspapers reveal high levels of sensationalism which, if left un-moderated, will contribute to violence, amongst others.”

L-R: Programme Manager, CLEEN Foundation, Mr. Chinedu Nwagu, Africa Director, MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, and Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation, Kemi Okenyodo, during the presentation of Security Threat Assessment Toward 2015 Elections by the foundations, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

of various violent political gangs, disguised as security outfits across the South West states, also called for concerned. ``The Odua People’s Congress (OPC), especially in Lagos State, Operation Burst in Oyo State, among others constitute serious security threats,’’ he pointed out. Nwagwu further called on the Federal Government to be proactive in addressing unemployment, adding that high level of youth unemployment had created a ready pool of youths, who politicians could mobilise to achieve political power. Earlier, the Executive Director of Cleen, Kemi Okenyodo explained that during the build up to the 2011 general elections, CLEEN Foundation contributed to the process by technical assistance to the Police Service Commission in the review of the guidelines for the conduct of security official on electoral duties, conducting election security assessments and issuing policy briefs on them. She said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies, civil society groups and donor partners found the election security briefs particularly useful. “The security briefs provided them with rich but concise information about the political history of focal states in relation to electoral contestation and violence, incisive analysis of level of preparations by key role players and likely impact on peaceful conduct of elections,” she said.

Gov Ahmed invites ethnic groups, parties to join his administration From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has called on the people of the state, irrespective of their ethnic and political affiliations, to partner with his administration for the socio-economic development of the state. The governor made the call when the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Olugbenga Oloyede, led other

high chiefs of the community on a courtesy call on the Governor at the Government House, Ilorin. The governor, who urged the people of the state not mix politics with governance noted that elections are only processes of transferring mandate of leadership to those elected while governance are process of improving the well-being of the people. Ahmed also urged the political class in the state to embrace the culture

of constructive criticism that could deepen the process of development in the state rather than playing to the gallery in the bid to score cheap political gains. He promised even distribution of infrastructure to communities irrespective of political sympathy. Early, the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin expressed the appreciation of his community to the state government for improving healthcare services in the

area. Oba Oloyede said the hospitals in the area now offer referral services due to the high quality equipment and personnel, including medical doctors, in the hospital. He urged the state government to also capture the hospital in the list of hospitals scheduled for renovation. The traditional ruler also prayed that the government to extend the construction of Oke-Onigbin, Ijara road to Isanlu-Isin.

PDP will reclaim Anambra state, says aspirant By Lawrence Olaoye


n aspirant to the position of the National Publicity Secretary at the proposed Special National Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Snamgra state, Chidi Samuel Chidebe, yesterday assured that the party would win the forthcoming Anambra governorship election. Chidebe, who gave the assurance while submitting his nomination form to the party insisted that notwithstanding the crises rocking

the PDP in Anambra state, majority of the people still belong to the PDP in the state. He said “We have great chances in the Anambra election. PDP has great chances; the PDP is the dominant party in Anambra state. During the 2011 elections, nobody knew the PDP will win as much as two Senatorial seats; six members of House of Representatives. But be that as it may, the crisis, yes is affecting us, the crisis by the help of God and the National Working Committee (NWC) and national leadership, I

think if things are properly done, I know and I am convince that PDP will reclaim Anambra in 2014.” Reacting to report that PDP in Anambra state has officially adopted Chief Olisa Metuh, the former National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chidebe said “I am not aware of such decision by any leadership of the party at the state level and also I want to remind you that the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee (NEC) are yet to make pronouncement concerning who is the right executive or right

chairman of PDP in Anambra state, hence whatever anybody is saying, is his own personal opinion.” He added that if he eventually gets the position, he would use his experience to bring in new structure that would by extension enhance the image of the party. “I know with my experience and background if I come in as National Publicity Secretary, there will be introduction of new structures, structures that will enhance the publicity apparatus or channels of this wonderful party.



News Extra

Al-makura replaces police vehicles burnt in Alakio From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has presented 11 brand new Hilux vans to the police authorities in the state, which he said were to replace those destroyed in Alakio where scores of security operatives lost their lives. Presenting the keys of the vehicles to the Nasarawa state Police Commissioner, Mr. Umar Shehu, yesterday at the Government House, Al-makura stated that as a responsible government, his administration will continue to support the security agencies operating in the state morally, financially and logistically. He noted that it had become necessary to replenish the command’s stock of vehicles,

especially those that have been destroyed in Alakio, adding that a total of 11 vehicles that have been burnt and destroyed are now being replaced by 11 brand new ones. He said, “considering that the security agencies have brought along their sense of duty, expertise and patriotism to bear on the state, making it safe and comfortable for the citizens.” He asked them not to be discouraged as his administration will continue to support the agencies enable them effectively carry out their responsibilities. Responding Shehu noted that the Nasarawa state government has done a lot for the command, stressing that the morale of his officers and men have improved tremendously, enabling the command to ensure the safety of

live and property of residents. Nine of the vehicles were given to the police while the Department of Security Services (DSS) got two. Meanwhile, Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura has taken a swipe at the state leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), berating the state chairman of the party Chief Yunana Iliya, for his apparent ignorance of the operation of the MDGs. Al-makura made his feelings known when newly appointed Senior Special Advisers paid him a thanked you visit at the Government House, shortly after he presented the 11 vehicles to the police. While observing that the opposition, having failed in the past 12 years to carry out development projects as being

presently executed by the CPC government, resort to cheap blackmail and conspiracy in order to tarnish the image of his administration. He blamed the failure of the previous administration on the antics of selfish individuals who he said lacked the uprightness to advice the past PDP governments to the things the CPC government is now handling, building the roads in the cities, townships and rural areas. “They did not advise the PDP administration to renovate schools and participate in the collaboration with UBEC; they did not even care about MDGs. “That is why they do not know anything about MDGs, anything they see government is doing, they say it is MDGs”, the governor stated.

R-L: Nasarawa state governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Almakura, handing over keys of vehicles to the state commissioner of police, Mr Umar Shehu, during the donation of operational vehicles to security agencies in the state, yesterday in Lafia. Photo: NAN

NLC shuts down Diamond Bank in Bauchi over sack of staff From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Bauchi state chapter on Tuesday closed down the services of Diamond Bank in the state, over the sack of over 200 staff of the bank. The NLC in collaboration with the National Union of Banks and Financial Institutions Employees (NUBIFE) had stormed the bank, protesting the sack of over 200 of its workers and their colleagues, and the inability of the bank to re instate them. The unions closed down the gate of the banks refused to allow customers and Bank workers to enter said the decision of the unions became necessary because of the inability of the management of the bank to return the sacked workers

despite several amicable moves by the unions to resolve the disputes. Chairman of the Bauchi state NLC, Comrade Hashimu Mohammed Gital, said, “NLC joined NUBIFE nationwide in order to compel the management to do the right thing and re instate the sacked workers.” Gital maintained that they

will continue to protest for three days to see if the management will agree and rescind their decision by re instating the sacked workers of the bank in the best interest of both the management and the workers. Also the Chairman stressed that the union will take necessary steps against the Branch Chairman because of his comments that

angered the labour leaders. All effort by the Branch Manager of the bank to persuade the labour leaders to leave the bank premises that there was a court order that stopped the labour unions from picketing the bank failed, they told him that they were receiving directives from the National headquarters of NLC in Abuja.

Ramadan: Yero tasks Muslims on tolerance, unity From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


s Muslims all over the world yesterday commenced the obligatory fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, Governor of Kaduna state, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, has called on Muslims in the state to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and unity in order to peacefully coexist with adherents of other faiths. The Governor in a Ramadan message signed by his spokesperson, Ahmed Maiyaki, said, “the time has come for us to unite and to embrace one another as brothers and sisters created by God to exist in peace and harmony in Kaduna state.” He said Muslims should use the period of Ramadan to seek for forgiveness from others and also forgive those that have offended them in order to gain from the salvation of the Almighty Allah. “As Muslims we are all aware of the importance of Ramadan as a holy month when Allah forgives his servants of their shortcomings. “I call on all Muslims and indeed all citizens of Kaduna state to use this period to also forgive one another of all misgivings that happened in the past. “Let us use this period to come together in warm embrace of genuine reconciliation, peace and love. It is time to join hands in building a truly united and peaceful Kaduna State that will ultimately evolve as one of the most modern industrially developed states in Nigeria”, he said. The Governor also called on Muslims to use the fasting period to pray for peace and economic development of the State and the country at large adding that “Allah answers all prayers in this holy month, I therefore call on all Muslims to pray for peace and economic growth of our country.” While expressing delight at recent development towards sustainable peace in the State, Governor Yero said “We are already seeing light at the end of the tunnel, peace will soon return to all parts of the country. “He urged Islamic scholars to take advantage of the holy month to preach the true meaning of Islam to the people and to also provide them with knowledge on how best to worship the Almighty Allah.”

Edo teachers suspend strike From Osaigbovo Igobaro, Benin


eachers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Edo state chapter have called off the its strike action after a closed door meeting with Governor, Adams Oshiomhole yesterday.

The teachers had embarked on an indefinite strike on June 1, in response to the demand for full implementation of the 27.5 per cent Teacher Special Allowance (TSA), The NUT Chairman in the state, Comrade Patrick Ikosimi, who disclosed this to newsmen,

said government had reached an agreement with the national body of NUT on the welfare package and called off the strike. Speaking on the occasion, Oshiomhole thanked the Union for suspending the strike, adding that government recognizes the

legitimacy of strike actions. According to the Governor, “I remain convinced about the merit of paying teachers better than the rest of the civil servants, which was why Edo state one of the first to implement the teachers Special Allowance of 27.5 per cent.”



Politics Why National Assembly is not independent of executive By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


he hallmark of every democracy is invariably anchored on effective separation of powers between the three distinct arms of government. This doctrine of power separation is enshrined in every civil government to ensure that executive excesses are trimmed to the barest minimum; that is, maintenance of checks and balances among the power players in a popular government. However, in the Nigeria’s peculiar democracy, the executive usually assumes enormous powers, by which it makes the other arms, which ordinarily should be absolute and independent, feel subordinate and inferior. The influence of the President on the judiciary is more understandable due to the strategic powers which the constitution allows him in appointing the Chief Justice of Nigeria, unlike in the legislature. The case of the legislature, on the other hand, is an aberration which only conscious efforts by the lawmakers can redeem. This is more so as they are elected on equal capacity with the President to perform unique functions and neither does he have powers to interfere in their choice of their leadership and decisions. Many political scholars have attempted to adduce reasons why this trend has persisted in countries of African region as against the practice in the western world. There are views that powers to resource allocation remains at the epicentre of this bad omen, while others argue that the power of the President to interfere in the leadership of the National Assembly through lobbying of members have greatly impeded their independence. A study of Nigerian system reveals that this trend of executive overbearing influence is much domiciled in our political culture. Often times, the executive dictates the pace of governance with little or no input by other arms of government. This practise has progressed over time, such that the other arms apparently do no longer effectively understand what role the constitution carves out for them, thus tend to relent their political fate to the dictates of the executive class. Legislature, without doubt, is an indispensable engine-room that drives democracy. However, where the independence of this arm of government cannot be assured, either due to executive interference or subservience by the legislators, then democracy in such environment will definitely be in shambles. Over the years, this experience

Senate President Mark have for some clear reasons, infested the growth of Nigerian democracy with redundancy. Before the present dispensation of leadership in the National Assembly, instability had been the trademark of the Senate President and Speaker offices. There were series of impeachments, mostly arising from trivial reasons and setups, otherwise known as ‘banana peels’. These proverbial ‘banana peels’ have consumed several past leadership of the National Assembly, including Senators Evans Ewerem, Chuba Okadigbo and Adolphus Wabara. In the House of Representatives, Hons Salisu Buhari and Patricia Etteh were the casualties. Political observers have pointed out that majority of these impeachments of leaders of the legislature were predominantly due to power quest, while others were muted and implemented by the executive to enable it have its way on contentious issues. In the Senate presently, there are deliberate efforts by the Senate President to tactically avoid consensus that would result in clash with the executive, except when it has become absolutely unavoidable. This again played out at the recent debate on President’s rejection of the State of the Nation Address Bill, during which majority of the Senators wanted the President to be vetoed. But the Senate President unceremoniously suspended the debate against the wishes of his colleagues, having sensed that President Jonathan risked being vetoed. Issues arising from budget

Speaker Tambuwal is another clear example of cases where the executive, like a military government, lords it over the legislature. In line with the constitution of the country, the process of budgeting commences with the executive, while the parliament reviews and gives a finishing inputs before it is finally passed into law. However, at the height of 2012 budget impasse, President Jonathan boldly accused the National Assembly of undermining his administration, simply because they were fulfilling their constitution and political mandates. The argument which the President gave was that he has the responsibility of planing the economy to progress at a rate reflected in the budget indexes. He said the lawmakers distort the budget after the executive has planned it to engender economic transformation. He also insisted that its is the duty of the President to manage the economy for the benefit of

Nigerians, and not the legislature. In another similar occasion, the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, had also accused the National Assembly of padding the budget with extraneous materials for selfish reasons. Unfortunately, the prevalence of this notion among the President and his cabinet members explains why there is always budget impasse between the executive and the legislature every fiscal year. However, one can understand that there is never a time the executive anticipated any input from the legislature in the budget, even as the constitution has adequately given them the latitude to do so. By extension, this explains why the executive, at whatever level, does not tolerate any kind of challenge or attack against its policies by the lawmakers. In view of the 2013 budget impasse, the thirty-day constitutional provision, after which the legislature was expected

Political observers have pointed out that majority of these impeachments of leaders of the legislature were predominantly due to power quest, while others were muted and implemented by the executive to enable it have its way on contentious issues

to veto the President and pass the budget elapsed, yet the lawmakers could not mobilise itself for the veto. Most observers said overriding the President was not in the options being considered by the lawmakers, particularly as they were not even sure of themselves and what they wanted. For a sitting President to be vetoed in Nigeria, the legislature must first put its house in order, lest the hunter suddenly become the hunted. But the puzzle is what does the lawmakers need to do to put their house in order. The Senate has a track record of members betraying unionism, either for the quest of becoming the Senate President or for financial gains. Antecedent has shown that anybody leading the senate, and wishes to have a long reign, must tread softly and with utmost caution, to avoid betrayal by colleagues. There is no doubt that if the lawmakers can sincerely unite against the executive on issues of their conviction, the later would better understand the import of separation of power in democracy, and appreciate the legislature as a partner in governance other than an appendage. Another feature which has hampered the independence of the legislature is sectionalism. Most often, lawmakers play devils advocate just for tribal, religious and ethnic consideration. Such persons turn deaf ears to merit and objectivity. A case in question is the Petroleum Industry Bill, which was recently debated in the Senate. During the debate, most of the Senators threw cautions to the winds and highlighted regional agenda. It is feared that the lawmakers would play along this line if any disagreement between the executive and the legislature is allowed to linger by the Senate leadership, which may be why the current Senate President, David Mark, is reluctant to lead his colleagues to confront President Goodluck Jonathan. Aside this spirit of unionism which appears lacking among the lawmakers, there are tales of cases where the lawmakers signed out their rights and authority for money. For example, there were unconfirmed reports of shoddy deals during the 2013 budget imbroglio which allegedly resulted into money exchanging hands before it was controversially passed. These practises, without much argument, impedes effectiveness and independence of the legislature. Moreover, if this negative trend is not checked, the executive would continue to muzzle the legislative arm in Nigerian government.



News Extra

Code of Conduct tribunal appoints new directors


he Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Yakub Umar, has confirmed the appointment of three directors and six Deputy Directors as well as seven assistant directors. A press statement signed by Umar explained that the officers were confirmed following their promotions which received the endorsement of Office of the Head

of Service of the Federation. The statement said that some of them had stagnated in one position for well over eight years. According to Umar, “this exercise not only reflected the federal character principle but also officers merited their new positions going by their records of service and dedication to duty.” The Directors are Ehigie

Thompson E. from Edo state who heads Planning Research and Statitistics, Abudulmalik Shuaibu, also from Edo state who heads the Litigation Department and AbdulAzeez Badisha from Adamawa state who is now in charge of Administration. The statement noted that the Tribunal recently approved the participation of four senior staff,

with recourse to gender equality, to attend the upcoming International Bar Association Conference (IBA), coming up in October 2013 in Boston, United States of America while lawyers of the agency will attend the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference, coming up on 25th August, 2013, in Tinapa, Cross River state.

Kebbi gets two new commissioners From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


ollowing the death of the Former Commissioner of Information in Kebbi state, Alhaji Sani Kangiwa, Governor Usman Saidu Dakingari has sworn-in two new commissioners in and charged them to be dedicated to their duties. He made this statement yesterday at the Presidential Hall, adding that coming of the two new commissioners to the state Executive Council will promote democracy and bring unity in the state. The two commissioners are Alhaji Ismaila Kamba and Issa Mohammed Mera all from Arugungu emirate. Dakingari said that Kamba has been posted to the Ministry of Education while Mera will serve in the Ministry of Agriculture and the commissioner of Agriculture has been redeployed to the Ministry of Information. During the ceremony, the Governor charged the new Commissioner for Education to sack any principal of secondary school found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties.

ALGON donates vehicles to Kaduna police From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Kaduna state chapter of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) on Tuesday donated 23 Toyota Hillux vehicles to the state Police Command. Speaking during the handing over of the vehicles at the Government House, Chairman of ALGON, Danjuma Akussu, said the gesture was to enhance the operation of the police in all the local government areas. According to him, “we know that security is paramount to the agenda of the government and as stakeholders, we share in this vision of our Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero. As a way of our contribution to peace and security in the state we chose to purchase the patrol vehicles for the police because if the 23 local government areas are peaceful, Kaduna state will be peaceful and everybody can go to sleep with the two eye closed.

Briefs Zungeru Hydro project: Resettlement on course, says Minister


inister of state for Power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, on Tuesday reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to adhere to the implementation plans of the Zungeru Hydro project to ensure its completion in record time. In a statement by the Ministry’s Deputy Director/Head of Press, Timothy Oyedeji, Kuchi debunked the insinuation that there are unresolved issues on the project with the Niger state government and the communities in the area. She said that all the parties were working together to make a success of the project. The statement said that a report had identified about 90 villages and communities that would be affected by the project. By Etuka Sunday

I’ m returning to classroom - Fashola

L L-R: General Secretary, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Phillip Asake, Anglican Bishop, Reverend Emmanuel Chukwuma, CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, former National President, Youth Wing of CAN, Pastor Henry Sado, during the opening of 9th Assembly of CAN, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Agwara 10km road ready for commissioning By Evelyn Okakwu


he 10-kilometre road at Agwara local government area of Niger state is ready for commissioning by Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu. Managing Director Messrs Kamsay Nigeria Limited, the construction firm handling the project, Ibrahim Kabo, said that his company was equipped with the desired and qualified manpower to handle any construction work in the state.

Kabo spoke with officials of Monitoring and Evaluation team while on inspection tour of the area. He urged the people of Niger state to give Aliyu’s administration the much desired cooperation and support to enable him deliver more dividends of democracy to them. Also commenting on the quality of the work done, the community leader, Alhaji Mu’azuJikan Kwandara, thanked the government over the road that was hitherto un-motorable.

According to him, “since the construction and completion of the road, the entire people of Agwara have started witnessing rapid socio-economic development.” The project engineer, Isyaku Marta, commended the community for engaging the youth of the area during the construction work of the road and enjoined other companies to emulate them. He noted that the gesture will go a long way in reducing youth employment and restiveness in the state.

Striking teachers: Zamfara insists on ‘no work, no pay’ From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


overnor Abdul’azeez Yari Abubakar of Zamfara state has re-affirmed that his administration would not to pay any striking or unqualified teachers the proposed N18,000 minimum wage. Yari, who spoke on an NTA Gusau programme said that, “left

to me, teachers in Zamfara state are fighting a battle of no-success. “I was not briefed by the state chapter of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) on why teachers in Zamfara embarked on a strike action. He also challenged the NUT to clarify if teachers are supposed to pay allegiance to the state

government being their employer or the national headquarters of the union. “Unless they are ready to offer that clarification, people of Zamfara will continue to hold them responsible for whatever educational inconveniences they might have caused their children,” he said.

agos state Governor, Babatunde Fashola, hinted on Tuesday that after completing his tenure, he wants to continue life as a teacher. Fashola who dropped the hint during a courtesy visit by the pupils and teachers of Corona schools to the State House, tasked them to be security conscious always. According to him, “also avoid talking to or accepting gifts from strangers whenever your parents or guardians are not around you. “You have to listen attentively to your teachers and parents always and study hard in order to be successful in life.” From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

Ramadan: Zamfara distributes grains


he Zamfara state government has concluded arrangement for the distribution of 308 trailers of assorted grains to the across the 14 local government areas of the state as Ramadan gift. Speaking with newsmen shortly after inauguration of the Ramadan Feeding Committee on Tuesday, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and the Chairman of the committee, Sunusi Garba Rikiji, said 22 trailers of assorted grains have been scheduled to depart stores for the local government areas for the distribution exercise. Rikiji noted two and a half trailers from the allocation of each local government are loaded with bundles of brocades and wrappers aimed for beneficiaries to celebrate Sallah. From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau



MRI test compulsory for Eaglets, says Ugbade


oth old and new members of the Golden Eaglets are to be subjected to the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test, in line with FIFA’s rules. Nduka Ugbade, Assistant Coach of the Eaglets said yesterday that in spite of having been previously tested, the older members of the UAE-bound team along with those to be selected after the on-going screening exercise will undergo a compulsory MRI test. The screening exercise, which began on Monday at the FIFA Goal Project site in Abuja, is meant to select players to fill areas where deficiencies were observed in the team during the CAN Championship in Morocco. At the end of the exercise, the team will begin the final phase of its preparations for the FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled for the United Arab Emirate (UAE). Already, he confirmed that the

30 players discovered during the team’s closed camp are to be complemented by the more than 70 other players. “Many young and skillful players are already in camp and are undergoing the two-week programme to select the very best that would make the Golden Eaglets team. “We do not have a specific number yet on those that would be selected but I promise that the very best of them would be selected. “The MRI test is used to check their bone components and the state that they are, and to also ascertain their ages, in order to avoid age cheats,’’ he said. Ugbade, who won the maiden edition of the U-17 World Cup in China in 1985, added that the players were happy and in high spirits for the opportunity being given to them.

FIFA U-20: Ghana crash out


he Satellites of Ghana, the sole remaining African representatives at the FIFA U-20 World Championship crashed out in the semi-final yesterday after losing 1-2 to their France counterparts. A brace from Florian Thauvin put the match beyond a valiant Ghana side to ensure France reach final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in their history. Goals in either half from the hard-working midfielder saw Pierre Mankowski’s side beyond the Black Satellites, after Ebenezer Assifuah had drawn the African

side level just after halftime, despite the Colombia 2011 semifinalists finishing with ten men after Samuel Umtiti was dismissed. Assifuah had a gilt-edged chance to give Ghana the lead, only making minimal contact on a dangerous Acheampong cross, and they were made to pay when Thauvin struck again soon after. Areola had to save well from Assifuah to maintain that lead and a second yellow card for Samuel Umtiti made for a nervy final ten minutes for France. A final save from Areola, tipping over from Assifuah, saw them into the final.

RESULT Iraq 1 Vs Uruguay 1 Pt. 7 8

The Golden Eaglets who won silver at the last CAN in Morocco

Nigeria, 119 countries to watch live broadcast of World Championships


he International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday concluded plans to broadcast the IAAF World Championships (Moscow 2013), in not less than 200 territories worldwide. Lamine Diack, the President of IAAF, made this known in a statement made available to the media by the Information and Communications Department of the IAAF. The statement expressed the delight of the organisers of the 14th edition of the IAAF World Athletics Series noting that it has extended its global reach for the live broadcast of the championships scheduled for August 10 through to August 18 to 200 ter-

ritories. “Broadcasting agreements are in place covering more territories than ever before, in the history of the IAAF World Championships, that will ensure coverage of Moscow 2013 in over 200 territories worldwide. The organisers anticipate a cumulative audience of more than five billion TV viewers for the championships which is its 3o years since the first championships were held in Helsinki. “Since those first championships, the IAAF’s premier competition has rapidly grown, making it the biggest single-sport event in the world in 2013, with 2,000 athletes representing national teams

from more than 200 IAAF Member Federations. ``That the IAAF World Championships has extended its global reach, offering fans worldwide the opportunity to watch Moscow 2013, is marvelous news for Athletics and the profile of its greatest stars,’’ Diack said. ``We eagerly await nine days of scintillating action during which the cream of Russian athletics, names like Yelena Isinbayeva, Anna Chicherova and Ivan Ukhov, will compete in front of their home fans, alongside world stars of the calibre of Usain Bolt, Alyson Felix and Tyson Gay of U.S.A. It is any true sports fan’s dream,’’ it added.

Gambo still eligible for CHAN

Kano Pillars announced this week that the striker had agreed a deal to join Tunisian side Club Africaine on a three-year deal. It meant Gambo, who opened the scoring against the Ivoriens in the 4-1 routing of the visitors at the Ahmadu Stadium kaduna during the first leg, would have been disqualified from taking part in the second leg. But Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi

says the player has assured him that the contract has not been signed yet. “I have just spoken to Gambo and he has said he has not penned any deal with a Tunisian club or any club outside the country for that matter and that is why he will still be eligible for the return leg against Cote d’ Ivoire,” Keshi said. The Super Eagles return to camp on July 15 in preparation for the second leg.

Mohammed Gambo remains eligible for the second leg of Nigeria’s African Nations Championship qualifier against Côte d’Ivoire.

ANOCA elective General Assembly begins in Cote d’ Ivoire


he 15th Ordinary Session of the General Assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) began yesterday in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital, a top official has said. The President of ANOCA, Gen. Lassana Palenfo, said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) via email that the session began with the Executive Committee meeting. He said the meeting would be the last for the quadrennial -- 2009 - 2012 -- while the Elective General Assembly would hold on July 12. Palenfo said that all 54 member-nations

of the African Olympic Movement were invited to be part of the crucial meeting that would eventually usher in a new executive committee. According to him, the outgoing President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr Jacques Rogge and the President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, would be in attendance. Also, the Bid Committees for various Games, as well as aspiring candidates to replace Rogge at the IOC, would be expected to mount lobbies for votes at the expiration

of the tenure of the IOC helmsman. Nigeria’s Ambassador to the IOC, Habu Ahmed Gumel; an IOC member would be seeking re-election as Treasurer-General of ANOCA. The Abidjan General Assembly would also usher in the 2013-2016 Olympiad, as well as the elective session, in line with the provisions of Article 8.3 of the ANOCA Constitution. The ANOCA Website also said that the election of the ANOCA zonal representative for the 2013-2016 quadrennial would be ratified at the session. The meeting would also provide an av-

enue for the Treasurer-General’s Report; the 2011-2012 Audit Report by the Auditor, Price Water House and the adoption of the 2013-2016 Budgets, as well as reports by the ANOCA Commissions. The Assembly would also be used to unveil the partners and host cities of some Games, like the All Africa Games and the ANOCA Youth Games, the renewal of the Terms of Office of the Auditors, as well as the appointment of new ones. Nigeria had been hosting the permanent secretariat of the 54-member association in Abuja, since it was moved from the Cameroon in 2005.




of Golf from 2014 NSF: Delta working Exclusion U-17 Youth Games not surprising, says Emehelu to retain top position S C

Delta State athlete Ugeh wraps the national flag around herself after winning one of the events during the maiden continental youth fiesta in Warri.

oach Michael Itinagbedia of the Delta Female Hockey team, yesterday assured that the state would retain its overall medals title at the 19th National Sports Festival (NSF), scheduled for next year in Calabar. It would be recalled that Delta topped the last festival with a total of 288 medals, comprising 114 gold, 99 silver and 75 bronze, while Rivers was second and hosts Lagos, third. Itinagbedia said that the state was able to achieve success at the last festival and other national competitions because of the efforts by Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan. ``I can assure you of the successful defence of our overall medals table title at Eko 2012 at the Paradise Games in 2014 in Calabar, Cross River State. ``Ever since the governor assumed office in 2007, the state of sports in the state had changed for the better. ``The governor has been the secret behind our successes in sports and the NSF. He has supported the athletes and coaches by sponsoring training programmes and competitions in the state. ``It is because of his generous contributions to the development of sports in the state that will always make us a force to reckon with at any national competition,” he said. The coach added that the state would also retain its 2012 hockey title at the next festival in Calabar. ``As defending champions in female hockey, the team is ready to give its best to ensure that it retains its title as number one in the game. According to the coach, the hockey team will make use of older and more experienced players, to further season its efforts since the festival has been thrown open. ``We have some good hands in the game that have retired from participating at the NSF but now that it is open, we will call them back,” he added.

aniel Shashere, Niger Commissioner for Sports, says the state intends to use the forthcoming U-17 National Games to regenerate its athletes for the 2014 National Sports Festival and thus hope for better performances subsequently. Shashere said in Lagos yesterday that necessary arrangement had been put in place to ensure steady flow of grassroots talents. “We have a developmental plan for Calabar 2014, and in sports that we have one relative advantage over. Also, we are training for good performance since we have about a year to go. “The development that the sports commission has brought

anymore. We will always have athletes that will replace the aging ones; so, generally, we are on course. ``You are aware that Niger State is such a state that is known for its performance in sports. And since we don’t discriminate, we don’t have anyone that is neither an indigene nor non indigene, so anyone that is here performs to the glory of Niger State. ``That is also towards achieving our vision 2020, this is on course and we will continue to pursue that course to its legitimate end.’’ The Youths Games is scheduled to commence Sept. 19 to Sept. 29 in Abuja.

... Commissioner says Niger also dreaming big D up in respect of the U-17 is a welcome development because it was an event that has been in the calendar. That is the U-17, and the essence of that was to replace aging athletes. ``Somewhere along the line, we jettisoned that and therefore it is a welcome development that we are bringing it back on board.’’ The commissioner said that the reintroduction of the Youth Games would serve as an avenue to expose budding and potential future stars to the rigours and intrigues of competitions. ``We are bringing it back on board; we expect that we will not have a dearth of athletes

amuel Emehelu, a Golf consultant, disclosed yesterday that the exclusion of golf from the U-17 National Youth Games was not a surprise to keen golf enthusiasts. According to him, the game was gradually sliding into a complete state of inactivity adding that the National Sports Commission has failed to develop it at the grassroots level. The game was excluded from disciplines to be featured at the Games, the same way it was excluded from the 2012 National Sports Festival (NSF) in Lagos. It would be recalled that the 2011 NSF, tagged ``Garden City Games,’’ was the last time the sport was featured at the national sports fiesta.

``I was not surprised that golf was not included again at the amateur level; things are not moving as they should. ``They have not been having competitions; players are not encour a g e d t o t r a i n a n d get better, so I think the National Sports Commission (NSC’s) decision was justifiable. ``I hope that things will change because their exclusion from major competitions is beginning to disturb we stakeholders. It should be a collective effort, so we need to put our house in order,’’ Emehelu said. The Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF) is currently being reshuffled for better performance. Emehelu was a member of the immediate-past NGF board.

Heartland management probes poor performance


he Management of Heartland FC of Owerri yesterday inaugurated a committee to investigate the club’s poor outing in the Globacom Premier League. Also, the management formally announced the suspension of two officials of the club, Tonex Chukwu, the Head of Protocol and Ramson Madu, Assistant Coach, for indiscipline. Club chairman, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, said this while inaugurating the committee in Owerri that the committee would investigate whether the recent matches lost by the club were either compromised or sold. ``There is a wide rumour in Imo that most of the matches lost by Heartland FC were sold by some team officials and players,’’ he alleged. The chairman expressed concern over the possibility of the club being relegated this season, if the situation was not arrested. According to him, the players are well motivated as the state government recently paid N60 million into the club’s coffers for their welfare. He said the management had also attracted N7.9 million from Globacom telecommunications sponsorship and received N10.5 million from the Nigerian League Management Committee. Ndubuoke wondered why such sudden decline in performance would occur now that the players’ welfare was being improved. He said the committee would also probe the activities of security agencies during home matches of the club, adding that officials and players would not be left out in the probe. Ndubuoke said the management would consider

sacking the coaches if they failed to win four of their next five matches. He said that the contracts of the coaches would not be renewed till the problems were over. ``We are not going to renew coaches contracts; we have also stopped any further frivolous travels by either the coaches or players,” he said. Heartland topped the league table at the beginning of the season and finished the first phase in the fourth position. The club had, since the beginning of the league’s second phase, lost five matches in a row out of six which made it move down to the 13th position on the table. Also, Heartland players recently boycotted training for two days over delay in the payment of their sign-on fees. The committee’s Chairman, Macdonald Amadi, promised to submit an unbiased report that would help to turn the fortunes of the club around within two weeks.

Ndubuisi Nduka, Heartland Head Coach




EPL still awaiting big name purchase


he 20 Premier League clubs have already bought some 52 players. Thirtysix of them have come direct from abroad. A further four are foreign players transferred between two English sides. In this way, almost 80 percent of transfer activity in the past six weeks has involved imported talent. And yet, so the theory goes, not one of those players can be considered an elite name, the sort of signing that captures the imagination of a club’s fans and strikes fear into the hearts of their rivals. All of the biggest stars have eschewed England’s advances: Falcao, of course, moved to Monaco. Edinson Cavani seems set to opt for Paris Saint-Germain. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Jurgen Klopp have both confirmed that Robert Lewandowski is so desperate to play for Bayern Munich that he will wait an entire year to fulfill his dream. David Villa, the subject of long-standing interest from Arsenal and a late push from Tottenham, has gone to Atletico Madrid. In their stead, a phalanx of players from the second tier remain: Early last month following the arrivals in town of Razvan Rat, Ricky van Wolfswinkel, Jesus Navas, Modibo Diakite, Guillermo Varela, Aleksandar Tonev, Jose Canas and Fernandinho” -- it was widely mocked for its little Englander isolationism. Navas has won the World Cup, for a start. Fernandinho and Rat were stars of the wonderful Shakhtar Donetsk team that qualified ahead of Chelsea in last season’s Champions League; van Wolfswinkel is a Dutch international. They are not exactly nobodies. But, amid the derision, the

Liverpool grabbed Lago Aspas.

central tenet of the argument stood up to scrutiny. Navas apart, the Premier League has singularly failed so far this summer -- and it might change, of course -- to attract a showstopper. By that measure, it is fair to conclude -- as that piece did -- that the Premier League has lost its luster. Perception, though, is not the same as reality. For that theory to be correct, the Premier League must have been the first-choice destination for the world’s best players at some point in the past. That has never been the case. Even as it has become ever more saturated with wealth, England’s top flight has always created stars. It has rarely bought them. Of the myriad foreign players who have illuminated the Premier League in the past 20 years, only four -- by my reckoning -- have arrived as genuine stars: Hernan Crespo, Andriy Shevchenko, Juan Sebastian Veron and Marc Overmars. Only the latter could be considered an outright success. All the others fall, broadly, into three categories: young hopefuls (Cristiano Ronaldo, Cesc Fabregas); players from secondtier clubs or second-tier leagues with something to prove (Juan Mata, David Silva, Fernando Torres, Sergio Aguero, Ruud van

Nistelrooy, Eric Cantona); and those deemed failures in other countries (Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp). This summer has simply conformed to that pattern; maybe Varela, Iago Aspas and Andre Schurrle did not arrive as stars. That might well change by the time they leave. But that is not to say what has happened in the past few weeks is not significant. It is, inordinately so. The decisions made by Cavani and Falcao bear testament to France’s newfound status as the game’s financial powerhouse. Chelsea’s refusal to pay the asking price for either player shows how seriously England’s clubs are taking Financial Fair Play. Lewandowski’s desire to stay in Germany is proof of the appeal of the Bundesliga. And, away from the glamorous names, intrigue, too: The productive summers enjoyed by the likes of Norwich and Swansea suggest that the new television deal will have a more dramatic impact on the midtable clubs than on the elite. That might make the Premier League a more egalitarian place, and all the better for it. That they are investing abroad is important, too. It is easy to bemoan the acquisition of cheap

There is no fear more potent in football than the idea of the Barclays Premier League being overrun by foreign players, that our obsession with imported talent is irreparably damaging the English national side.

Andre Schurrle, Chelsea’s big star signing so far.

Jesus Navas, signed by Man City. foreign labor. But it is much more difficult to ask whether, perhaps, England’s clubs are serious about generating English talent. Someone needs to do something about the absurd English Tax which forces teams to look at other markets. Until buying home grown makes economic sense, clubs will try to avoid it. The perception is that there is an obsession with the exotic. The reality is rather different. There is no fear more potent in football than the idea of the

Barclays Premier League being overrun by foreign players, that our obsession with imported talent is irreparably damaging the English national side. Here, the figures match the theory: Just 38 percent of the players in England’s top flight are eligible to play for Roy Hodgson’s brave squadron of magicians and sorcerers. Next season, that figure might be even lower, judging by the events of the transfer window thus far. Culled from Goal

Guillermo Varela, Man United’s new man.




Serie A is a breeding ground for young players, says Onazi Ogenyi Onazi Ogenyi has flourished as player since he announced his arrival when he featured for Nigeria in the U17 World cup where they finished as runners-up to finally earning a place with Super Eagles. Following his impeccable performance at AFCON where Nigeria emerged eventual winners, the midfielder has been synonymous with most bookmakers, hence, engaged him while he was on holiday before the Serie A resumes. Tell us who Onazi is? was born in Jos and come from a family that has three brothers and I’m the last born in the family. I pretty much grew up in Jos and that is where my career started. How has the experience been so far in the green and white shirt? It’s a great opportunity and great experience that every footballer wants to get and I always give thanks to God for giving grace that has seen me manage to secure a chance to feature in this level for my country. You were focal in AFCON which saw your team win the title, was that your greatest achievement as a player? It is certainly one of my greatest achievements since I started playing football and I’m happy I got the opportunity through God’s grace to feature in the greatest competition in the continent. The country was in search of the title that evaded them for a while and we managed to bring it back home. Well, every player has a role model out there, who makes you tick and why? I can’t single out any individual. There are great people out there who inspire me and I manage to pick certain aspects from all of them. You missed out on Confederations cup, what’s the extent of your injury? I suffered a knee injury and it wasn’t that terrible and by grace of God I’ll be going back to club since I’ve recovered. As a young Nigerian footballer, what do you think of the upcoming players’ should do in their bid to thrive?


Ogenyi Onazi (jersey No. 17) celebrating with colleagues after the Eagles scored during one of the AFCON finals matches Most important thing they should value is hard work, discipline and pray to God and they should as well play as if

everything is dependent on them on the field of play. How has Serie A treated you so far?

AFCON victory…. is certainly one of my greatest achievements since I started playing football and I’m happy I got the opportunity through God’s grace to feature in the greatest competition in the continent. The country was in search of the title that evaded them for a while and we managed to bring it back home.

It’s been a perfect experience for me and it’s a good platform for young players to learn with every chance given to prove your worth because if you fluff your chance you lose your opportunity. What do you do when not playing football? I’m a good gospel musician and I play instruments. These is one of the things that make me stay indoors, I love music. What do you make of Nigeria’s World Cup chances?

We are not there yet, all I can say for now since we are in the campaign, God’s grace will see us excel and go through to the tournament. What do you make of African football? African football is really progressing and I was surprised that Cape Verde eliminated Cameroon to qualify for AFCON. Other countries also played well like Burkina Faso and that highlights how greater they climb up in terms of level of play.

mind was no longer here. To move forward, the whole team needs to be committed,” he said. The Belgian tactician said he was satisfied with the progress they have made in the league and Federation Cup, and that they would do their best to make an impact in both competitions. “We’ll do our best in both the league and Federation Cup, but in football there are no miracles,” he told supersport. com. “Kano Pillars have a huge advantage over the other teams, and there is a strong challenge

coming from a host of others such as Kwara United, Enyimba and Warri Wolves. “There’s hope in the Federation Cup, but we have to play FC Taraba first. It would be tough, but I’m encouraged by the dedication of my players to our cause. Those who are still here are giving their best and want to play.” Gombe United are eighth in the Glo Premier League with 31 points from 21 matches, and have reached the round of 32 in the Federation Cup, where they face FC Taraba.

Cooreman admits difficult task ahead M aurice Cooreman admits Gombe United would face a tougher task in the second round of the Glo Premier League following the departure of some key players, including leading scorer, Bishop Onyeudo during the mid-season transfer window. Cooreman said he had set out to build a strong and vibrant squad, but that his efforts had been cut short due to lack of funds. However, he is happy with the spirit and determination of his depleted squad, and added

that he had no other choice but to manage the limited resources at his disposal with the hope of bringing out the best in them. “It has not been an easy start to the second round of the league because four players I expected to play a crucial role in my team have left,” he said. “We had built this team from the start of the season, so it is a bit disappointing the way things have turned out. We are working hard with the players we have and I’ll do my best to manage the situation. “In our last game, our

opponents, 3SC, played very well, but we fought hard to overcome them. This sort of spirit is good for the team. “However, when there is no money then there would be problems. Four of my regular players have quit the team because there is no money.” He was particularly irked at Onyeudo’s decision to leave. “How can a striker score eight goals in the first round and yet he doesn’t want to play for us again? “Of course we’ll miss him, but football is a team game. It is better he has gone because his





1. England has been dismissed for 215 at Trent Bridge yesterday as Peter Siddle led the way for Australia by taking five wickets on the opening day for the second successive series. 2. Former world champion David Haye will fight British heavyweight rival Tyson Fury on 28 September at the Manchester Arena. 3. Captain Sam Warburton has described his British and Irish Lions team-mates as a “prestigious group” following their series win in Australia.


4. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed that Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola had wanted to bring Neymar to the club but was instead persuaded to opt for Dortmund midfielder Mario Gotze.

2 3


5.A perception that foreigners are overrunning the Premier League is skewed because the imports aren’t processed, writes Rory Smith.




Some Interesting Facts


ther than the Earth, the moon is the only other known natural astrological object ever walked on. • Scientists voiced concern in 2012 about how radiation may be affecting humans after a recent finding of mutant butterflies in Japan with abnormal legs, eyes, wings and other mutations were discovered. The mutations were caused by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident which was triggered by a major tsunami in March 2011. The tsunami was a direct effect of an earthquake. • Humans and giraffes both have seven vertebrae bones in the neck. It’s not unusual for a mammal to have 7 vertebra bones in the neck but it’s interesting that the long neck of a full grown giraffe has the same amount. • The active ingredient in most toothpastes is called sodium fluoride. Sodium fluoride can be lethal, young children using regular toothpaste with this ingredient should be monitored. Even swallowing small amounts can cause stomach problems or worse. • Over 3 million people globally every month search for something online with the words interesting facts in it according to the most popular search engine. • There are no land snakes in New Zealand. It’s part of

New Zealand’s bio security to keep all snakes out and if a person is aware of a snake, by law it must be reported. • New Zealand is free of heartworm disease and rabies. • Buttermilk does not contain any butter. • Did you know Disneyland does not sell chewing gum? Walt Disney did not want guests inconvenienced by stepping on gum purchased in the park. • Each year Disneyland uses over 5,000 gallons of paint to maintain the clean appearance of the park. • George Washington died on December 14, 1799. • Giraffes can go without


water longer than a camel. That’s wild! • The person reading this is intelligent, interesting and unique. Flattery is alright as long as we don’t inhale! • January 30, 1933 was the day the words Hi yo silver! Away! were first heard as the lone ranger debuts on radio channel WXYZ of Detroit. • Many people who read the word yawn or yawning begin to feel the urge to yawn. • The 2nd president of the United States (John Adams) and 3rd president of the United States (Thomas Jefferson) both died within just a few hours apart of each other on the same exact day of July 4th 1826. They are

the only two presidents to die on the same day of the same year. It’s true! • When the Titanic departed from port it was documented to have carried approximately 1000 loaves of bread, 86,000 pounds of meat, 40,000 eggs and 36,000 apples to feed the passengers and crew on the 7 day voyage. Now those are some interesting facts! • Dogs can have a fatal reaction to eating chocolate. Chocolate contains a bitter alkaloid called Theobromine also known as Xantheose and that’s the active ingredient that’s bad for the dog. If you’ve read all the interesting facts to this point you’re awesome!

Say what?



Door to Hell: Standing at the edge of the Darvaza Crater in Turkmenistan. Known as the Door to Hell, this flaming crater has been burning for decades, fueled by the rich natural gas reserves found below the surface. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Italian clubs face point’s deduction over match-fixing


talian clubs Lazio, Genoa and Lecce could be deducted points for match-fixing in a scandal where players allegedly offered £500,000 in bribes. The trio of clubs and eight players, including Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri, are accused of “sporting fraud” by the Italian football federation. The matches under investigation are Lazio’s final two games of the 2010-11 season when they beat Genoa 4-2 at home and Lecce by the same score away. The other players charged were Omar Milanetto, who was at Genoa, and Lecce’s Massimiliano Benassi, Stefano Ferrario and Antonio Rosati. Mauri and Milanetto were both detained for one week last year by prosecutors investigating the case. Cassano and Zamperini are already serving five-year bans imposed last year over different cases.

QUOTABLE QUOTE After three unsuccessful attempts, I refused to give up. I tried to, but my supporters wouldn’t support my throwing in the towel. So I intend to fight on in spite of the challenges. — Former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari

A country at the last minute My heart has been grieving for most of this year as BH morphed into kidnappers and killers of teachers and school children. On the day the State of Emergency (#SOE) was imposed, May 14, Borno state officials revealed that over 50 schools had been destroyed, putting some 15,000 children out of school since February 2013. BH had been torching empty schools at night for weeks but on March 18, some ten days after President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Borno and Yobe, they suddenly attacked four schools in broad daylight. Thus began a killing spree taking the lives of students and teachers even in their homes. I have often reflected on President Jonathan’s famous visit

CARTELOPIA With Aisha Yolah 08086296783 (text only please)

were unable to call for help as children were burnt alive in their beds or shot as they tried to flee. It is now that they are questioning how security personnel are to be called upon when needed. Incredible. At least, 3 years - and hundreds of arrests, killings and torture later- we finally have a our 1st

Her clearly outgoing nature has imbued her with a more than average understanding of our country. Unlike the usual expressions of exasperation from foreigners (and locals) this gracious lady preferred to give our ‘wonderful’ shortcomings a positive spin: It all comes right in the end.

Transfer window gets additional 2 days


he Premier League has confirmed that the summer transfer window will be extended to Monday, September 2, this year, as August 31 falls on a Saturday. As yet there is no decision on what time the window will close in England, with the cutoff time in the past being at close-of-business of 5pm and on other occasion’s right through to midnight. Earlier this summer, Italian football authorities also confirmed they would extend the deadline to Monday at 11pm local time. The French Ligue 1 and the Spanish La Liga are also expected to allow transfers to happen through to the end of the day. But the Bundesliga is presently planning on closing its window at 6pm, meaning German clubs will only be able to sell internationally on Monday evening and not sign players. It means it is likely to be a frantic day for many players as they try to rush through moves on the same day they are due to link up with their national sides ahead of a crucial round of World Cup qualifiers on the Friday.


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Block of classrooms at Government Secondary School, Mamudo, in Yobe state destroyed by gunmen on Saturday. Photo: NAN where he declared government will not talk to ‘ghosts’. That March 8-9 2013 visit was devoid of any offer of sympathy. He even refused to provide reconstruction or aid to homes, schools and lives until things had returned to ‘normal’. I watched him talk, live. This relentless savagery is reflected even in the kinds of solutions that we ‘hail’ like the socalled #SOE. As usual, despite a single lawsuit, Nigerians have been too paralyzed (with fear) to question a blanket and indiscriminate ban on GSM telecommunications in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. That is- until last weekend’s killing of no less than 29 children in a Yobe boarding school, Government Secondary School Mamudo. On Monday a member of Nigeria’s House of Assembly moved a motion against this inhuman, illogical and strange policy because school authorities

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7458 1765 9046 1969 0344

terrorism conviction as aptly reported by Wednesday’s Peoples Daily cover. Yet Nigerians still have no idea who is financing and directing this mindless programme of destruction against parts of the North. It is a matter of time, we in Cartelopia, are sure, even at the last minute- we will know. We change tone, a little this week with a slightly humorous, repeat edition first published on May 9, 2013, days before the SOE, it is edited. Wishing readers a fulfilling Ramadan.


his country is a wonder … everything works at the last minute! These were the breathless but exultant words of the songstress wife of a former German ambassador to our country. It was funny. She was speaking at the end of a concert held in Abuja shortly before she and her husband’s departure.

After some reflection, you realise that she may indeed be right. You think over what she may be referring to … a music school that she is confident will be established despite the obstacles, just as the concert she has just been a part of was a roaring success - in the end. Her diplomatic credentials did not let her dwell on the problems but you can imagine them: rehearsals that were never held on time or with everyone present; sound equipment that threatened to cease working with power fluctuations, singers who missed flights or faced road hold-ups, dresses delivered to the wrong address or instruments stolen by robbers… you name it. The more you think about it, you know that ‘at the last minute’ is how we do things if at all, not because we don’t know what we want or what is required. We know very well that prompt rehearsals are important, but how

is it possible to be prompt? You could not sleep because there was no electricity and the infernal, oppressive noise of your neighbour’s generator had you silently screaming by morning. You are screaming but you do not know it, your nerves are on edge, your temper fraying and you just don’t know why... And that is just your story for a day. I suppose the lessons for me (yet again) are that our country operates differently. There are a different set of rules, even an entirely different communications system- where there are no land lines, no emergency lines and no common sense. I mean for instance – where else but in President Jonathan’s Nigeria can a serving minister confidently confirm the existence of a (secret) contract given to an Israeli company to spy on at least 45 million Nigerians known to currently use the internet? How else can this happen at this time in our nation’s history? O what another challenging week it is promising to be. By the time you read this it will be Thursday. One prays fervently that while the President is feted in South Africa, enroute Namibia, he will spare a thought for his bleeding country. He might even express (fake ) happiness at the fact that a 92 year-old man who has served at the highest levels of government , Dr. Shettima Ali Monguno has been released by kidnappers. Better late than never eh? But I personally think such a message will never come.. Word on the streets is that it will probably not yield much by way of spying - In much the same way as all the trillions being spent on security since 2010 have not yielded much. Announcing crimes in advance The last minute realisation that a government cannot continue to condone extra-judicial killings (of whoever) is yet to come also.. Instead security leaks are telling us half our North is now under BH occupation while bona fide military spokesmen are now giving us news of criminal activities in advance! They tell us there is no government somewhere and the next thing, that place goes up in flames, blood and death. To say nothing of this sudden kidnapping expertise of the BH. It may be immaterial to point out that security forces are supposed to prevent such horrors, not announce them in advance. We have no choice but to hope it will all come right in the end. Despite this government.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

People's Daily Newspaper, Thursday 11, July, 2013  

People's Daily Newspaper, Thursday 11, July, 2013

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