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Vol. 11 No. 61

Monday, August 12, 2013

‘NHIS covers only 4% of Nigerians’ >> Pg 5

. . . putting the people first

STF, SSS stop PDP meeting in Plateau >> Pg 9

Shawwal 5, 1434 AH


Reps to probe Jonathan’s China visit deals >> Pg 3

2015: I’m qualified to run, says Jonathan



L-R; Benue state Governor, Gabriel Suswam, his Akwa Ibom state counterpart, Godswill Akpabio, and Sole Administrator of Jonah Jang faction of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Mr. Osaro Onaiwu, during the meeting of the faction, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Again, pro-Amaechi govs snub Jang By Lawrence Olaoye


overnors believed to be loyal to the Rotimi Amaechi leadership of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) were

yesterday conspicuously absent at the meeting called by the factional NGF under the leadership of the Plateau state governor, Jonah David Jang. Jang, who called for the

emergency meeting of the Forum for deliberation on some burning national issues including the governors input into the Constitution amendment, reportedly extended invitations

to governors who had openly declared their opposition to his leadership of the NGF, including Governor Ameachi. The Plateau state governor has been dismissed as an impostor by

the Rivers state governor, who is claiming to be the authentic chairman of the body. Our reporter gathered last night that apart from deliberations Contd. on Page 2

Kano flood kills one, destroys 434 houses




CONTENTS News 2-10 Editorial 12 Op.Ed 13 Letters 14 Opinion 15 Metro 16-18 Business 19-22 Stockwatch 23 S/Report 24-25 Law 26 Education 28 Health 29-30

International Youth Day: Plights of Nigerian youth, Page 4

Int’l 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest 36 Politics 37-38 News 39 Leisure 40 Sports 41-45 Columnist 48

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2015: I’m qualified to run, says Jonathan By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


resident Goodluck Jonathan may have inadvertently confirmed to millions of Nigerians that he is interested in running in the 2015 presidential election, when he argued vehemently yesterday that Section 137 of the 1999 Constitution as amended has made him eligible to run for another term in office. The president has said repeatedly that he was yet to decide whether or not to run for another term in office, even as keen observers say his body language indicates his heart was already in the 2015 ring. Only penultimate week, presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati reiterated on a radio programme that President Jonathan was still to make his position known on the 2015 presidential poll. “To the best of my knowledge, the President has never at any time discussed 2015. He has never at any time said this is his position on 2015”, Abati said on the Ray Power FM programme, Fact File. Yesterday, however, while reacting to statements credited to the interim National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, Jonathan emphasized that he has been elected president only once and therefore, “not statutebarred from running” again in 2015. Some Nigerians are questioning this claim by the president, insisting that he has taken the oath of office twice, the first after President Umaru Yar’adua’s demise, and secondly, after the 2011 elections. But a statement issued by Abati yesterday, which described Akande’s pronouncement as “unguarded” and “intemperate” outburst, which maintained that: “President Goodluck Jonathan has been elected into office on only one previous

occasion and is therefore not statutebarred from running”. The special adviser to the president on media and publicity, also alleged that from the APC’s body language, it does not seem to have an electable presidential material. “If this is the winning strategy of the APC, Chief Akande has every reason to panic because the issue of eligibility for election into the Office of the President has been settled by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended. “The interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, sank to a new low in this regard yesterday when he rudely and falsely described President Jonathan as a ‘kindergarten’ leader who treats national issues with levity. “Chief Bisi Akande has every right to embark on a flight of fancy about the APC beating the PDP in the 2015 general elections but he does no justice to his age and status when he resorts to propagating falsehood, willfully insulting the president of his country, impugning his integrity and desecrating the very office which his

party wishes to take over in 2015 by fair or foul means. “Nothing else but gross ignorance and lack of consideration could have led Chief Akande to refer to a president who, having served as deputy governor, governor, vice president and president, has far more experience of governance at the highest level than him and his preferred candidates, as a kindergarten leader”, Abati’s statement said. “We urge Chief Akande and his fellow-travelers to remember that there are laws against libel and defamation of character in this country even if there are no legal impediments to indecorous, hypocritical and unpatriotic vituperations. “It is certainly rude, illmannered, uncharitable and hypocritical for Chief Akande to falsely and cavalierly allege that a president, who toils tirelessly every day of the week, evolving and implementing workable solutions to Nigeria’s problems, is handling national issues with levity. “By his very unguarded and intemperate outburst yesterday,

President Goodluck Jonathan

Chief Bisi Akande

Chief Akande exhibited not only an unbecoming lack of respect for the person and office of the president of his country, but also a complete disregard for the patriotic feelings of the millions of Nigerians who voted for President Jonathan and who continue to appreciate his sincere efforts to positively transform the nation. “It is very sad and unfortunate that unbridled ambition for the office they constantly impugn and denigrate has blinded Chief Akande and his ilk to the visible accomplishments of the Jonathan Presidency. “Certainly, nothing else but a manic and unscrupulous quest for power could have led them to make such accusations against a President who, who amongst other significant achievements, has been praised for his handling of the insurgency in some parts of Northern Nigeria where he has used a combination of diplomacy and targeted military force to contain the security threat. “Chief Bisi Akande has every right to embark on a flight of fancy about the APC beating the PDP in the 2015 general elections but he does no justice to his age and status when he resorts to propagating falsehood, willfully insulting the president of his country, impugning his integrity and desecrating the very office which his party wishes to take over in 2015 by fair or foul means. “Our advice to the APC is this: treat your party like a democratic association and do not mistake it for the Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) that someone used to force his way to power”, it stressed. Chief Akande reportedly said President Jonathan’s leadership qualities are appalling; while describing the latter as running a government that was reactionary rather than visionary and proactive. “What the country needs is a thinking leader not a kindergarten president with no solution to the myriad of problems plaguing the nation”, he said, referring to Jonathan.

Again, pro-Amaechi govs snub Jang

Contd. from Front Page on other national issues, the Jangled NGF was to use the meeting to show to the world that it is actually in control of majority of the 36 state governors in Nigeria, more so when only 15 of them had attended the maiden meeting convened by the Amaechi faction. But, even yesterday, only 10 of the nation’s 36 governors of the federation honoured Jang’s invitation, while five others sent their deputies to represent them. Worse still, among governors traditionally regarded as belonging to the Plateau governor’s camp two were conspicuously absent, and were not represented at the meeting. These were Governor Sullivan Chime of Enugu state and his Bauchi state counterpart, Alhaji Isa Yuguda. Those present at the Jangled faction’s meeting include the factional chairman, governors of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, Katsina, Ondo and

Taraba. Those of Anambra, Cross River, Gombe, Kaduna and Kogi were represented by their deputies. Four governors that could be adjudged to be neutral in the matter by not identifying with either faction since the NGF election was won with Amaechi by 19 to Jang’s 16 votes include those of Borno, Kebbi, Kwara, and Yobe states. Speaking further on the reason for the emergency meeting ahead of commencement of yesterday’s meeting, Akwa-Ibom state governor and the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Chief Godswill Akpabio, told newsmen that part of the agenda of the meeting was to deliberate on how to harmonize the two NGF factions, with a view to moving the nation forward. He said: “We believe in bringing all the governors back to the fold so that we will continue to impact positively on Nigerians”. He also said the meeting would discuss peer review, the

forthcoming National Convention of the PDP and the November, 2013 governorship election in Anambra state. Also speaking, Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shema, said that the meeting would also discuss the ongoing Constitution review process. Challenges of oil theft and the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were part of the issues discussed by the Jang faction of the NGF yesterday. The Forum had also set up a five-man committee chaired by Governor Shema, to streamline the proposed amendments, if the Constitution is eventually passed by the National Assembly. Other members of the Constitution amendment committee include GovernorT. A. Orji of Abia, Delta’s Emmanuel Uduaghan, Henry Seriake-Dickson of Bayelsa, and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state.

The faction, after deliberations, commended the Presidential committee on Needs of Nigerian universities chaired by the Benue state governor, Gabriel Suswam, and encouraged him to continue the interface with the striking lecturers. The group, in a communique read by its Vice Chairman, Governor Mimiko, said: “The forum also appealed to ASUU members to show understanding and cooperate with committee with a view to ending the strike in the interest of the nation.” It added: “The Forum was briefed by Governor of Delta state, Emmanuel Uduaghan, on the issue of oil theft which has adversely affected the revenue earnings of the federation. The forum commended the committee for the job done so far.” He said the faction also commiserated with the Lagos state governor, Raji Fashola over the death of his father.




Reps to probe Jonathan’s China visit deals By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives is to commence investigation into the various bilateral agreements Nigeria signed with China during the recent state visit by President Goodluck Jonathan to that country. Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nnenna Ukeje, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen at the weekend in Abuja. She said the investigation was borne out of the need to ensure that Nigerians were not shortchanged as pervious experiences had shown. “The case in point is the

Brazilian economy where they insisted that everybody on the oil rig must be Brazilian and that created 80,000 jobs and Brazil now has a 5.6 per cent unemployment rate as compared to Nigeria’s 23 per cent. “The lesson is that we must look at, aside the issue of reciprocity which is a part of international diplomacy, we must start to take a critical look at the agreements and the fact that Nigerian jobs are protected as well as tighten our immigration laws”, she stressed. According to the lawmaker, previous experiences have shown that most bilateral agreements signed by Nigeria do not give priority to the interests of Nigerians.

Rep Ukeje insisted that her committee will begin the probe into the various agreements as soon as the lawmakers return from recess. She also spoke on the controversy surrounding the Nigerian House in New York, United States of America (USA), explaining why it was categorized. As she puts it: “Of course there was a judgment in Britain that once a sovereign state becomes a commercial venture, it must be treated as such and no more exempted from paying taxes, no more immunity. “So, we are trying to look at reciprocity, as regards other countries’ ventures and their

property in the country. “We do not have the Sovereign Immunity Act as a law in Nigeria for now; so we are looking at bringing it on. “The bill is about to be on gazette. And once that is done, we go from there full blast”, she stressed. She equally said the committee was also concerned about desecration of Nigerian symbols that carry no penalties as contained in the country’s laws. The lawmaker said, the House was skeptical about the investigation of leaders of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram, by the International Criminal Court (ICC). “The ICC pronouncement on the

trial of Boko Haram as committing crimes against humanity, we are going to be watching that space very closely to see what they propose to do, considering that Nigeria has acted very responsibly. “Last year, the US declared the group as committing crimes against humanity and Nigeria has done as much by declaring it a terrorist group. “So, we are going to be looking at what they propose to do. As we know in the committee that there is a complimentary principle that the ICC would only investigate and take over a case if the court of law of that country trying them is incompetent and no one can say our courts are incompetent”, she stressed.

2015: Southern Kaduna insists on producing next gov


head of the 2015 general election, natives of southern part of Kaduna state are insisting that the zone should produce the next governor for what they described as equity and fairness. At a forum in Kafanchan, participants argued that they have been marginalised politically and economically for a long time, adding that only a balanced rotation of power would address the issue. They also called on the Federal Government to make haste and situate a military barracks in the area which they believe will go a long way in forestalling the spate of attacks, which has overtime left hundreds of lives lost, and properties destroyed.

L-R: Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta state and his Katsina state counterpart, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema, during the factional NGF meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Flood kills one, destroys 434 houses in Kano From Edwin Olofu,Kano


ne person was killed while 434 houses were destroyed by flood following a heavy rainfall in Kano metropolis on Friday. The Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation Agency (SERERA), Alhaji Ali Bashir confirmed the incident shortly after assessing the situation in Kano on Saturday. He said the deceased died on Friday night after he fell in the

Katsaiki river at Darmanawa in Kumbotso local Government area of the state. He said out of the number of affected houses, 408 were destroyed in Kano metropolis while the remaining 26 houses were located in Dawakin-Tofa local government area of the state. It would be recalled that seven hour a heavy downpour hindered Sallah celebrations in the city on Friday. He said the state Deputy Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje

had directed the agency to take all the pictures of the affected houses and assess the extent of damage caused to property and forward same to his office for immediate assistance to the victims of the disaster. He however called on the people of the state to clear their drainages in their respective houses to prevent future reoccurrence. Peoples Daily gathered that a total of 20 corpses were unearthed by the flood at Yan’ Kaba cemetery in Kano metropolis on Friday.

Expect improved power supply by 2014 - Presidency By Lawrence Olaoye


resident Goodluck Jonathan has assured Nigerians of improved power supply by next year. Commenting on the recent ratings of his administration indicating an improvement in power supply in some parts of the country by NOI polls, Jonathan’s Senior

Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, stated that the transparent manner with which the power reforms were handled has begun to yield positive results. He however lamented lack of adequate awareness among the public of the efforts geared towards repositioning the sector through the reform effots even when international organisations have

been given kudos to the efforts. Okupe stated that, “the organisation’s findings which have been published by a few media outfits indicate that more respondents from the North Central, North East, South East and South South geopolitical zones experienced varying degrees of improvement in power supply compared to what obtained in previous months.

The President of the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU), Dr. Ephraim Goje, said the region has contributed a lot to the success story of democracy in the state and the country at large but lamented the lack of government presence. In a swift reaction, Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Ramalan Mukhtar Yero, represented by Aminu Yahaya said the security challenges are not peculiar to the area alone adding that hands must be on deck towards security of lives and property in the zone. He also advised aggrieved persons to always explore the dialogue option instead of revenge.

Shettima donates N19m to families of slain JTF operatives, police From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state at the weekend donated the sum of N1 million to each of the families of 19 operatives of the Join Military Task Force (JTF) killed recently by suspected Boko Haram insurgents. The slain JTF personnel comprising of 12 soldiers and seven policemen were killed in Bama and Malam Fatori towns of the state when insurgents launched multiple attacks on security formations a week ago. However, at that time the task force had issued a statement putting the casualty figures recorded on its personnel at only a policeman and two soldiers, while 32 insurgents killed. Shettima made the donation while condoling familes and relations of the slain security forces at the JTF headquarters in Maiduguri metropolis, saying the gesture was aimed at cushioning the sufferings of the families of the deceased. The Governor who described the killed security agents as heroes

who gallantly sacrificed their lives in the lines of duties, disclosed that no amount of money or words can be enough to express government appreciation to their families. “We are here to condole with the JTF, Nigerian Army and families of the gallant personnel who lost their lives while protecting the citizens. “Government really commends the entire security personnel for their selfless services towards safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens and we are much ready to offer more support towards actualizing maximum security in the state and coyntry at large”, Shettima further disclosed. In his remarks, JTF Commander, Major-Gen. Jah Ewansha, thanked the Governor for the gesture, saying that the 12 soldiers and seven policemen lost their lives in an encounter with Boko Haram members. According to Major-General Ewansha, though the JTF lost some operatives in the incident, it personnel had suceeded in repelling the attacks and killed several insurgents.


Page 4 Report


International Youth Day: Plights of Nigerian youth

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has a young population, with the youth covering up to 70 percent of the estimated 167 million people, however, they are currently grappling with the challenges of illegal migration among others. Ayodele Samuel writes on the significance of today’s United nations (UN) International Youth Day in addressing these challenges .


s young people around the world celebrate International Youth Day today, with the theme: “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”, the dream of many average young persons in Nigeria is relocating to other developed countries; even few developing countries are now becoming attractive to Nigerian youths. Young people across Nigeria are facing increasingly tough times; youth unemployment is at an all-time high and opportunities are scarce, especially for those who have not pursued a highlevel education, which is a major reason millions of the nation’s young population are anxious to leave the country in search of a better future. According to the National Population Council, there were 167 million Nigerians as of July 2012 and that 70 percent are between the ages of 18 and 35, a vital reason the governments at all levels should give priority to youth development in the country, analyst says. In the last few decades, different administrations have attempted to solve the problems facing the young population in the nation, with a view to reduce the migration of youngsters through various schemes and development programmes but none has yielded any quantifiable result. Nigeria youths are faced with the strenuous processes of migrating from the country, with fraudsters smiling to the banks after duping unsuspected victims who are always willing to pay any amount to secure a visa. Some of them are however involved in an arduous journey in crossing the Sahara Desert through a desolate and dangerous environment to their destination and transit countries of North Africa. Many of them have died in the process. Early this year, 65 Nigerians, mostly youths arrived the country after

they were deported from various countries in Europe following a range of alleged offences. Also in June, 52 Nigerians were arrested in Malaysia during a midnight raid by the Malaysia Immigration police. They were put in custody awaiting deportation from the country. Young Nigerians outside the country are also are faced with the threat of collective deportation, discrimination, harassment and abandonment in the desert. In 2010, the Federal Government estimated that there were at least 59,000 Nigerian citizens without valid documentation temporarily resident in Maghreb countries and countries along the West African coast literally awaiting onward transit to Europe. Regional Coordinator of the Young People Africa ,Ola Abraham Emmanuel

Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdulkadir said millions of Nigerian among others, to leave youths, while in search of the country due to the greener pastures, engage poor economic condition. in illegal means such ‘However, most of them as forgery of travelling end up in various prisons documents, marriage under abroad, either deported or false pretenses, claims for killed, making the country asylum, human trafficking to lose of their talents and

knowledge”, he added. He said young Nigerians are always willing to leave the country due unemployment, blaming the government for not creating a conducive environment for youths development in the country. “We have millions of graduates who are unemployed on our street; they can’t afford the cost of processing visa, while few are not meeting the requirement needed to legally leave the country, so they opt for other means of getting to those economical advanced countries”, he stated. He said governments at all levels must create jobs, engage its young population and make them see reasons why they should stay “but unfortunately, the country is so corrupt that no youth would want to invest his hope in such.” The Chief Executive of Reel Production Global, Mr. Charles Danson, on his part opined that insecurity and unemployment challenges in the country are responsible for young people leaving the country, saying, “If there are stable jobs for our youths after school, I think they will not be travelling to other countries in search of greener pasture. “Nigeria is our home; there are abundant human and natural resources in this country. Our youth are very talented, except that

Nigeria youths are faced with the strenuous processes of migrating from the country, with fraudsters smiling to the banks after duping unsuspected victims who are always willing to pay any amount to secure a visa.

we don’t enough facilities to help them explore their talents. I watched Nigerians in the Diaspora on television recently, as they were complaining about lack of infrastructure in Nigeria, especially power. I believe that if the government provides the basic amenities our youth will lose interest in travelling to overseas, where they are treated as slaves”, he stated. The National Coordinator, Nigerian Youth Leadership Advocacy Group (NYLAG), Onyekachi Eze said the Africa Economic Outlook 2012 estimates that Nigeria’s youth unemployment rate is 37.7%. In reality, he says “the rate is probably higher; so, little surprise that young Nigerians are angry and hungry when 31 million of them are jobless, this alone, is enough to make any young Nigerian demoralised and desperate to leave the country in search of greener pasture”. Eze said the establishment of a Ministry of Youth Development in 2007, with the sole aim of promoting the physical, mental and socioeconomic development of Nigerian youth through the advancement and protection of their rights within the Nigerian state, the promotion of their welfare and provision of opportunities for their selfactualization has not yielded any positive result. Eze said impact of other the recent initiatives under President Goodluck Jonathan administration, like the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN) and the agricultural transformation agenda as both targeted at job creation and youth empowerment is felt by only small percentage of the youth population. He said the Ministry of Youth Development committed a sum of N78.09 billion to the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), out of a total budget of 85.42 billion devoted to the Ministry in 2013 fiscal year. “This amount voted for the NYSC represents a whopping 91.4% of the total Ministry of Youth development’s budget. The trouble with this prioritisation is that excessive emphasis is placed on the NYSC scheme even though there are many youths who do not participate in the scheme and even youths, who have completed the service still require policy attention”, he further stated.


Porous borders in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara aid smugglers From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


mugglers have upped their activities at the extreme boarder end of Sokoto state, Kebbi and Zamfara which shared a link with Niger Republic, Peoples Daily investigation has revealed. The porous borders linking these states with Niger Republic have become good sources for

smuggling of rice Oil, cosmetics, sugar including small arms to the country. A middle aged local told our correspondent that the situation was worsened by the disbandment of community vigilante group raised by the former Controller of Customs in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara state Alhaji Hussaini Abdulkarim to address such illegal activities of smuggling in the area. Aliyu Ahmadu, a trader residing

along the border area of Niger told peoples Daily that the activities of smuggling at the border has gone beyond officials of the Nigeria Custom Services (NCS) calling for the restoration of community group to address it. “For us living in this area, our life is in danger considering the way and manner suspicious people are using the terrain for dubious activities. We see things but we can’t talk. How do you approach them when there are

no security operatives is closer to you”, he laments. Of recent, a female native of the area lost her live during an ambush between Custom Officers and smugglers. Effort by Peoples Daily to get the response of the newly Comptroller in charge Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara state was futile as Public Relation Officer of the Command Musa Muhammad said Comptroller was not on seat.

L-R: Picture shows Nasarawa state governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura receiving a bunch of kola nuts from the Emir of Lafia, Alhaji Isa Mustapha Agwai I, when the emir led traditional rulers from across the state on Sallah homage to the governor, at the weekend.

NHIS covers only 4% of Nigerians, says physician


medical doctor, Kayode Obembe, has said on Friday that only four per cent of Nigerians were covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Obembe stated this in Ibadan while delivering a lecture entitled, ‘‘The National Health Insurance Scheme – The Way Forward.’’ The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organized by the Oyo State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) as part of a one-day continuous medical education

initiative. Obembe, who operates a Health Management Organisation (HMO), called on the Federal Government to expand the scheme’s coverage through the improvement of the CommunityBased Social Health Insurance Scheme. He said that this would improve health coverage in the country while ensuring quality and affordable health care delivery for all. “NHIS is not as elitist as people think because it is actually meant for the community. “That is where there is 70 per cent

of the Nigerian population. “Until we get these 70 per cent into the scheme, we would still be trailing behind in comparison to other countries in the world,’’ Obembe said. He added that the fiscal capacity for health, which was 15 percent of the national budget, had not been exhausted. “If we roll that out to the community level, we can reach that 100 per cent coverage target by 2015,’’ he said. Obembe said that most of the beneficiaries presently included 99 per cent of government employees

He, however, said that any potential enrollee, not part of the formal sector, could still benefit through the Voluntary Contributor Health Insurance Service. Obembe also commended the Federal Government for its support to the NHIS since its inception. “The implementation has been excellent. “The accounts of the HMOs are audited regularly while the capitation to health providers has been paid on a monthly basis without default,’’ he said.(NAN)

to all Nigerians” and has the inscription-Courtesy of Concern Youth. One of the young men seen pasting the posters along Katuru Road, Kaduna, said he was given the posters by one of his benefactors to paste, adding that he was not paid to do so. “I voluntarily want to paste it because I like the man Ribadu and wishing the people of Kaduna happy Sallah is some thing good from him,” he said. According to PREMIUM TIMES,

Similar posters were seen in Zaria and Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State. Mr. Ribadu, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had in a Sallah message issued by his media aide, Abdulaziz Abdulaziz, Wednesday in Abuja, called on Nigerians to imbibe the lessons of piety, compassion, and tolerance learnt from the month-long Ramadan fast. He also urged Muslims not to discard the lofty ideals imbibed during Ramadan. According to him, the essence of

the Ramadan fast was to cleanse both body and soul, maintaining that leaving behind the teachings of Ramadan once the worship is over, defeats the purpose of the worship. Mr. Ribadu further charged Muslims to translate the virtues of piety and tolerance from Ramadan to the larger Nigerian society so as to deepen religious tolerance, understanding and charity for the needy. He called on Nigerians to use the occasion of the Eid-el fitr to pray for the country to overcome security and other challenges currently facing it.

Ribadu’s posters adorn Kaduna, other major cities


osters of the presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the 2011 presidential election, Nuhu Ribadu, dotted major streets of Kaduna during the Eid-el Fitr celebrations. Although the posters have the logo of the newly registered All Progressives Congress, APC, the message was apolitical, wishing residents a peaceful Sallah celebration. The statement on one of the posters reads: “Barka da Sallah, ga duk yan Nijeriya” which literally means “Happy Sallah

News PAGE 5

Jonathan playing ethnic, politics says elRufai ...He’s a serial liar–Presidency


ormer Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, on Saturday allegedthatPresidentGoodluckJonathan was shielding the country’s oil thieves. El-Rufai also accused the President of playing sentimental politics in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Speaking as guest of the week on a radio programmed monitored on Liberty FM, a Kaduna based radio station, the one-time Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), dared Jonathan to go after those stealing the country’s major source of income. On speculations that some persons were arming Ijaw youth for the purpose of instigating violence in 2015, he said: “This country has gone through one civil war and I don’t know if any country has survived two civil wars. And those that are stealing crude oil and buying arms and stockpiling should know that its not the number of arms that determines who defeats a war. So they should think deeply and learn from history. One who doesn’t learn from history will be a victim of it. “Unfortunately, Jonathan’s political handlers thought that if they introduce religion, they will be able to divide the north and take the Christian part of the north to vote for Jonathan. “And if they introduce ethnicity, they will get the whole of the South. “That’s their winning strategy and now they are surprised that after dividing the country, they are finding it difficult to get the cooperation of everyone. But reacting yesterday in a statement, the Presidency described el-Rufai as a serial liar arguing that, “since el-Rufai has a history of saying the truth privately and the lie publicly, it suffices to warn his current fellow co-travelers that a man who can betray those who brought him up in politics is capable of anything.” The statement signed by presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, also warned that, “Nigerians should consequently take his words with not just a pinch of salt, but a spoonful because a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” According to the statement, “this most recent interview, like others he gave in the past only shows that el-Rufai is a serial liar and the facts of history bear me witness. “In the history of the existence of Nigeria as a nation, no leader has spent the quantum of funds that President Jonathan has spent on education specifically tailored for Islamic itinerant scholars known as the Almajirai. “In the composition of his cabinet, the President has appointed Muslims into sensitive positions and ensured a balance that has been commended by many in the Islamic fold. “It is only a measure of his inconsistency that El-Rufai is today accusing the Presidency of being afraid of General Muhammadu Buhari whom the same El-Rufai said was “perpetually unelectable”. “In fact, the accusation El-Rufai is now making against the President is precisely the same accusation he made against General Muhammadu Buhari on October 4 2010 when he said Buhari’s ‘insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well-known’.




Give peace a chance, group tells PDP warring factions in Adamawa From Umar Dankano, Yola


group known as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fan club (Worldwide) in Adamawa State has called on the two factions of the party in the state to embrace dialogue and resolve their differences in the interest of the party and the state. Addressing Journalists at a press conference in Yola, the coordinator of the group, Mr. Dennis Kakaba noted that the PDP fan club has promoted supported the party’s manifesto and will ensure the implementation of PDP plans and policies at all level to the benefit of the people of the state. Mr. Kakaba regretted the recent development within the party family in Adamawa where, “it has turned against itself at a time the good people of the state yearn for more development”. He added that digging into what led to the crisis will not help in resolving the crisis but rather called on the two factions and their followers to come to the round table for dialogue. The coordinator who said the fan club is not holding brief for any side in the present crises said, its concern is to seek for amicable resolution of the crises bedeviling the party in Adamawa which according to him is the panacea for progress and development in the state. “It is a known fact that Adamawa State Government from 2003 till date has spent more time managing party crises than in meeting the development aspiration of the good people of Adamawa. “This unfortunate phenomenon is fast becoming a cycle in our politics” he said. He also called on the Gov. Henry Seriake Dickson’s led 30man reconciliation committee to focus and give attention to Adamawa State.

L-R Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, Mother of President Jonathan, Mrs Ayi Eunice Afeni Jonathan, Bayelsa state Governor, Seriake Dickson, President Goodluck Jonathan, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Otuoke, Prof Mobolaji Aluko, and Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Peter Orubebe, at the commissioning of two buildings of twenty self contained flats donated by the mother of the President to the newly established Federal University in Otuoke on Friday.

Wamakko confirms oil discovery in Sokoto G From Mahmud Muhammad, Sokkoto overnor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko of Sokoto State has said that the oil reportedly found in his state was real and that all documents towards exploring it have been completed and forwarded to the Federal Government for necessary action. The governor, who did not give details account how soon government would mobilize to site for exploration,

recalled that, towards end Ramadan last year, he announced the discovery of the substance in commercial quantity at few Local Government Areas of the state. In a chat with newsmen, Wamakko said the state was not excited about being an oil producing state because, according to him, oil could make people become lazy. “I want to tell you gentlemen that there is oil. Sure, there is oil and I want to inform you that we have completed the nitty-gritty of the

processes and submitted same to the Federal Government for approval. “We have done all what is expected of us and we are waiting for Federal Government’s approval,” the governor said. When asked how excited he was over his state joining the league of oil producing states. According to the governor, “what we are eager to do is to energize our people towards farming because oil makes people lazy. Before you know it, they will pass one law or the other and start to fight among themselves.

“But for agriculture, whatever money you make from it, you buy food with it. I want to produce more food. I want to generate more employment and not cheap money from oil”, he added. On job creation, Wamakko said he was, “working with partners to provide jobs because we believe our youths must be gainfully employed. For youth employment, we are doing three things at once, giving employment, fighting crime, drug abuse and rural-urban drift”.

No development comes without cost, says Al-makura From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia

overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has appealed to the people of the state, particularly those affected by the ongoing physical development projects across the state to understand with his administration, saying, “No development comes without a cost.” The governor who made the appeal when members of the Lafia Progressive Association (LAPA), paid him a Sallah

homage in Lafia, urged members of the association to assist him by appealing to community leaders to understand with his administration regarding the payment of compensation and called on the people to cooperate with the state government. Al-makura said the ongoing development projects in Lafia, the state capital, is as a result of the backlog of projects abandoned by previous administration, which his administration has embarked upon in

order to give the state capital a befitting status. Regarding the conduct of the local government elections, the governor assured that the exercise would take place before the end of this year, stressing that the 90 days’ notice as stipulated by the state electoral laws, would be dully observed. Earlier in an opening remark by the LAPA president, Abdullahi Isa Mohammad commiserated with the government and people of the state

over the killing of security operatives in Alakyo village, describing the incidence as “barbaric and unacceptable”, and urged the state government to bring the perpetrators to book. “We wish to appeal to your administration to hasten the process of putting in place sound machinery for the conduct of local government elections in order to have a full structure of local government administration”, the group appealed to the governor through its president.

with the fear of Allah (God), while paying Sallah homage on Governor Murtala Nyako, at the government House, Yola at the weekend. The traditional ruler stressed that, the electorates are expecting much from the elites that are controlling the political atmosphere and cautioned politicians not to promote violence as according to him, “because of the vantage position they find themselves in the society, the elites should assists in salvaging the state.

“Lest we forget that, no matter the level of protection one enjoys, the same violent he sponsored would still consume him. Crisis is not good especially if promoted by the leadership, because at the end of it, it will consume the leader, no matter the level of protection he enjoys”, the royal father admonished. Also speaking during the homage, Emir of Mubi, Alhaji Abubakar Isah Ahmadu, decried that staff strength at Mubi General

Hospital is grossly inadequate as according to him, the hospital lacks enough doctors. “As I am talking to you now, we have only two doctors including the PMO, we are therefore appealing for more, to cater for the teeming population,’’ he said and assured that, he will partner with Nyako’s administration to consolidate in the developmental strike he embarked upon in the state. While responding, Governor

Nyako called on the people to be more vigilant by reporting any suspicious elements for peace to reign, adding that, “You should not hesitate to report any strange person or sinister moves; this will assist in fishing out undesirable elements plaguing our society”. He also called on the people to increase their vigilance to avert further crisis in the state, saying that effort must be made to send people with questionable character out of the state.


Lamido asks Adamawa elites to fear Allah From Umar DankanoYola


he Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Mustapha has observed that, the lingering crisis rocking the political arena in the State (Adamawa), is the major cause of the differences among political elites, which is responsible for the woes being experienced in the state. The monarch advised politicians in the country to guide their conscience



Umar commiserates with First Lady over death of foster mother From YushaA’u Jalingo.



he First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has described Taraba state as her second home. She made the declaration when stakeholders from the state led by the state Acting governor, Garaba Umar paid her a condolence visit at the presidential Villa over the death of her mother, Charity Oba. Mrs Jonathan expressed happiness with the caliber of the elders who commensurate with her on the death of her mother saying she would have loved her husband, Jonathan to receive the delegation from Taraba himself but regretted his absence due to official engagement else where and prayed God to further strengthen the relationship between the presidency and Taraba state. She prayed for full recovery and return of Governor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai to the country and also wished the Acting Governor well in the discharge of his responsibilities. The acting governor said they were in the presidency to show their concern over the demise of the first lady’s mother, Charity Oba in crsh. The acting governor was accompanied by traditional rulers, members of the National Assembly from the state and the Speaker, Taraba state House of Assembly, Haruna Tsokwa. In another development Traditional rulers in Taraba state have been enjoined to liaise with religious leaders to ensure that the massage of peaceful coexistence is preachsd in their communities. Garba Umar made the call when members of the traditional council led by the Chairman of the council of chiefs, AkuUka, Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi paid him Sallah Homage at the Government House Jalingo. Umar appreciates the efforts of the royal fathers and the two major religions Christianity and Islam for ensuring peace during and after the Ramadan fast. He said lessons of the Ramadan, which include sacrifice, perseverance, submission to the will of Allah and love for one another should be observed, adding that Tarabans were still united, despite the public unrest that engulfed some parts of the state. Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Chairman Taraba state council of chiefs, Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi said they were at Government House to pay homage to the Acting Governor for a successful Ramadan and peaceful Sallah celebration in the state. The royal father advised the Acting Governor to always over look negative utterance by


5 killed in Katsina auto crash From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ragedy struck during Eidel Fitr celebrations at the weekend in Katsina state as five persons perished in an accident involving two private cars along the Katsina- Dutsin-ma road in the state. The sector commander of the

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) in Katsina, Alhaji Habu Dauda, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said the tragic accident occurred on Saturday in Tsanni village, close to an NTA booster station. He disclosed that the accident

involving a Peugeot 406 with registration number EW 527 ABC and a Peugeot 307 with registration number FL121 Rep, resulted from dangerous overtaking by the driver of one of the two vehicles. Dauda disclosed further that there were eight occupants in the two vehicles, adding that three

males and two females died on the spot while three others sustained various degrees of injury. The FRSC commander said his men quickly mobilized to the scene to rescue those still alive and moved them to the Genaral Hospital in Katsina for further treatment.

Lagos state governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN (right),acknowledging greetings from worshipers Eid-el Fitri prayers at Dodan Barracks praying ground, Obalende, Ikoyi Lagos, on Thursday,.

during the

NEMA donates relief materials to Gombe flood victims From David Hassan, Gombe


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Gombe operation office has donated relief materials to flood victims at Burari village Dukku local government area of Gombe state. The relief materials which include food and other household items according to the head of operation, NEMA office in Gombe Mr. Jediel Apollos who was represented by the assistant Head of operation Hajiya Zainab

Umar Aliyu said the donation of the relief materials by the agency was to alleviate the suffering of the victims in the area. While donating the relief materials yesterday in Dukku, Mr. Apollos said that the relief materials were meant for the victims who were affected by the flood. Receiving the relief materials on behalf of the victims, the chairman, Dukku local government area Alhaji Umar Ladan who was represented by the secretary of the council Alhaji Mohammed Bello

Bayu expressed his gratitude to NEMA their intervention during the flood disaster. He also thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for his effort to assist the victims with the relief material in order to alleviate their suffering and assure that the relief material would be distributed to every one. According to him, the local government council were able to assist the victims with medication at the camp, adding that N1.5million was earmark by the council to purchased relief

materials for the victims noting that no fewer than 63 household were destroyed during the disaster living about 263 homeless. He said that the council has set up a monitoring committee that would monitor the distribution of the relief materials in the area. In his vote of thanks, the ward head of Burari, Alhaji Manu Burari thanked the federal and state governments for assisting them with the relief materials, adding that Burari community would never forget the gesture rendered to them.

Ex-Bauchi deputy governor heads to Supreme Court From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


ormer Bauchi state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Garba Gadi, has declared his intention to approach the Supreme Court to appeal the judgment of the Court of

Appeal which set aside a Bauchi state High Court judgment that reinstated him as deputy governor of the state. Garba Gadi was elected deputy governor on the same ticket with Governor Isa Yuguda in 2007, but was impeached by the state House of Assembly.

He challenged his impeachment was at the High Court, which ordered his reinstatement. But the court of appeal set aside the judgment of the lower court last week. Counsel to the former deputy governor, Abubakar Malami (SAN), disclosed in a telephone

interview with our correspondent in Bauchi that, “though we have three months to appeal to the Supreme Court, we are compiling our papers and facts and Insha Allah we will file our appeal against the court of appeal judgment in order to get justice”.

Photo Splash


A suya roaster doing his work at the Millenium Park in Abuja on Sallah day. Photo Joe Oroye.


Children’s happy moment at the Millenium Park in Abuja on Sallah day. Photo Joe Oroye.

National Choir performing during a dinner at the State House Abuja, recently.

Viewing some shorts taken at the Millenium Park in Abuja on Sallah day. Photo Joe Oroye.

Photo Joe Oroye.

Balloon hawkers at the Millenium Park in Abuja on Sallah day. Photo Joe Oroye.




STF, SSS halt PDP Al-makura pays N30bn debt inherited from Doma meeting in Plateau

From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


side its various interventions to improve the living standards of people in Nasarwa state, the Umaru Tanko Almakura administration has offset outstanding debt of N30 billion it inherited from the administration of Aliyu Akwe Doma. The Nasarawa state Commissioner for Works, Wada Muhammad, who disclosed this at the weekend, said the government is also building 80 kilometres of asphalt roads in various parts of the state at the cost of N11. 5 billion.

Wada disclosed these in a goodwill message at a reception organized for students from across the state by the newly appointed Special Adviser to the governor on Students Affairs, Comrade Kassim Mohammed Kassim, at the weekend in Akwanga. “Al-makura did all these projects; the roads, water supply, hospitals, schools, etc, without borrowing a single kobo. And if we can build these roads alone at the cost of N11.5 billion, you can imagine what we could do with N30 billion had it being the money is still there”, Wada said. The commissioner said that

since its inception in 1996, the state had not had a single metre of asphalt road but that the Al-makura administration has embarked on the construction of 80 kilometres of such roads and drainages across the state. Engr. Wada, said administration is not only transparent, prudent but is poised to better the lot of the people by accounting for every kobo accruing to the state. The works commissioner stated that in his quest to bring health care facilities closer to the people, Governor Al-makura recently approved the building of three new specialists hospitals across the state, with one to be located in Akwanga.


he Special Taskforce (STF) and the State Security Service (SSS) have halted a stakeholders meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Bokkos local government area of Plateau state. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports in Jos yesterday that the meeting was shifted to Jos following the resistance of the STF and the SSS. The security operatives cited the security challenges as reasons for the stoppage and asked them to change the venue outside the council. The Commissioner for Housing and Urban Develop-

Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo (second right) condoling the ASD’s family during his condolence visit to Kaduna on the death of wife of the Chairman, ASD Group of Companies Alhaji Sani Dauda on Saturday.

Midwife, 52, gives birth after 19-year marriage in Bayelsa


rs Kate Fezigha, a 52-year-old midwife at the General Hospital, Sagbama, Bayelsa, said she gave birth to a baby girl on June 3 to end 19-year barrenness. Fezigha gave the testimony at the Child Dedication and Thanksgiving Service of the baby christened Prudent, in Yenagoa on Sunday. She said she got married in 1994 and had supervised the delivery of many children and witnessed the joy and feeling of many mothers during labour and child birth. According to her, an attempt to adopt a child from a Bayelsa-based Orphanage was fruitless as she was swindled by the purported coordinator of the home. She said that her chances of conception were further reduced on attainment of menopause when

she ceased to observe her monthly menstrual cycle. She said that the arrival of Prudent changed her story and brought joy and consolation to the family. The elated mother said that the conception and delivery of the miracle baby was ``the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in His sight’’. Fezigha said the pressure became unbearable during the 19-years waiting, and she took stock of her service as a midwife but she managed to remain steadfast in her trust in God. ``It was not an easy experience to see others through the child bearing process and not to have your own child. ``And it is particularly touching when I have had a very successful professional practice as a midwife. ``I have not lost any baby or

mother under my care as a midwife under the Bayelsa Government,’’ she recalled. She continued: ``I was worried that many of the children I had taken delivery of during service were now parents. ``I even reflected and wondered why is it that that despite the fact that no child had died in my hand during delivery as midwife, why can’t I have my own, but a voice kept telling me to redouble my effort and I shall be blessed. ``But the mysterious voice started reducing in my head as I was losing hope. ``I decided to adopt a baby from an orphanage and I was duped. At this stage, I deliberately killed the voice and hand it all to God. ``I asked him that I will not disturb him any longer. And if he decides to give me a child, so be it,’’

Fezigha said in her testimony. Narrating her experience with childlessness Fezigha, explained that a stage in her life, her mysterious sickness led her to take a scan and it was diagnosed to be either a ‘fibroid or Cyst’. According to her, another scan later revealed that she was pregnant. I had mixed feelings after the second scan. ``I even told my husband that it is false pregnancy. When my husband asked me what that meant, I became his lecturer telling him what he meant and saw the expectation of a pregnancy in his eyes. ``Few months later, I started seeing some changes in my body. Throughout this period, I could not go to work and had to be hospitalised twice before I delivered”. (NAN)

ment, Mr Solomon Maren, told NAN that there was more to the reason advanced by the security agencies. ``The PDP family in Bokkos was made of people of integrity; hence they will not do anything that will be detrimental to the well being of their people and council. ``After all, we wrote and obtained permission from the police, who promised to provide us with adequate security as was the usual practice, but the STF and SSS objected to it. Mr Titus Alams, the member representing Bokkos Constituency in the House of Assembly, described the stoppage as ``very unfortunate and sad’’, but that they would not be deterred by the stoppage. The STF Media Officer, Capt. Salisu Mustapha, when contacted, said he was not aware of the stop of the PDP stakeholders’ meeting in the area. Mustapha said that it could be the Task Force Unit Commander in Bokkos, who took the decision even though he said he was not aware of any security challenge in Bokkos lately. ``As we speak, I am not aware of any security challenge in Bokkos or the neighbouring Barkin-Ladi Local Government of late, but I think it could be the decision of our unit commander in the area,’’ he said. He called on the people of Bokkos, especially the PDP stakeholders, not to be aggrieved over the stoppage, saying that the issue of security was paramount and should be taken serious by all and sundry. (NAN)

Retired Army officer urges Muslims, Christians to embrace peace By Usman Shuaibu


retired Army officer in Dakwa, Tafa local government area of Niger state, Mallam Abdullahi Dabo has urged the Muslims faithful as well as Christians to live in peace with one another, irrespective of their tribal and religious inclinations. Dabo, who made the appeal while speaking to Peoples Daily during the Sallah celebration in Dakwa, said that without peace, Nigeria would not move forward. He urged the Muslims and nonMuslims alike to continue to pray for the progress of the country and noted that prayers were the only answer to every problem faced by any society. He further warned Muslims to continue to desist from those things that God has forbidden during and after the month of Ramadan. Dabo called on the government of the day to place emphasis on the welfare of Nigerian children, so as to deter them from social vices militating against the society.




Constitution: NASS to revisit proposed LG autonomy By Umar Muhammad Puma


lawmaker in the House of Representatives, Emmanuel Jime (PDP Benue), has assured Nigerians that the Senate and the House of Representatives would harmonize and pass the controversial Local Governments Autonomy when they resume next month. Speaking at the weekend while addressing journalists on his award of 934 scholarships to students in all Local

Senate, Reps will harmonise on positions - Rep Governments in his State. Jime noted that though the Senate voted earlier against granting the Local tier of government autonomy, the two chambers of the National Assembly will certainly fall on the same page on resumption in September. His words: “To my mind, and I think I can say with all sense of responsibility that the Senate would harmonise with the House

on the issue of Local Government autonomy”. Jime who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Federal Capital Territory(FCT), said voting for autonomy for Local Governments by the House, was a commendable thing to do, as he sought the support of the State Houses of Assembly for the idea. The Senate had voted against autonomy for Local Governments while considering over 70

items in the 1999 Constitution, but the House however voted overwhelmingly for the independence of the third tier of government from the States last month. He also appealed to the Nigeria Union of Teachers(NUT) and other bodies opposed to the idea of financial and administrative freedom for the third tier of government to rethink their position. “A vote for autonomy for the tier would entrench a bottom-totop approach to development in Nigeria, and ensure a rapid and healthier growth of democracy in the country”. The lawmaker warned against granting presidential pardon to people who are convicted on corruption charges. The lawmaker who is the

sponsor of a Bill that seeks to amend the Constitution to deny ex-convicts in that category pardon, said granting them such State leniency, would encourage and worsen corruption in the Country. The lawmaker who has sponsored several topical Bills including a Bill to amend Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution which guarantees fundamental rights for Nigerians, told journalists that to guarantee free education and other rights to Nigerians, the Chapter must be reviewed to give Nigerians the leeway to sue government or hold it accountable to the people. He explained that until the Chapter 2 is “justiciable”, no Nigerian would be able to hold government accountable for its breach.

Ekiti guber: Don threatens to sue Adeyeye over alleged libelous publications By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Members of Ijomu Anglican Church in Akure Ondo state dancing during the 2013 International Youth Day thanksgiving service held by the Anglican Youth Fellowship All Saints yesterday.

Katsina flood: NEMA donates materials From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA has donated relief materials worth millions of naira to victims of the recent flood disaster in five local governments across Katsina state. Presenting the materials to the state government, the DirectorGeneral of the agency, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi noted that the victims were affected by the effects of the collapse Kankia dam. The DG who was represented by the North-West Coordinator of the agency, Alhaji Musa Illallah,

noted that the donation of the relief materials was in line with the agency’s policy to always assist flood victims. He similarly called on people to avoid erecting buildings or other structures on waterways, advocating for synergy between the agency, state governments and other stakeholders towards effective disaster management in the country. The items donated by NEMA include 600 bags of cement, 100 bundles of roofing sheets, 200 packets of roofing sheet nails, 200 packets of 3” nails, 300 pieces of

planks, 300 bags of rice, 100 bags each of maize, guinea corn and millet. Other items include, 50 bags of sugar, 50 cartoons of milk and milo, 100 cartons of indomie, 50 cartons of soap, 500 bundles of guinea brocade and wrappers, 500 pieces of blankets, nylon mats and mosquito nets. The rest include 200 pieces of matrasses, 200 plastic spoons, plates and cups, 100 of plastic buckets, all to be distributed to flood victims in Kankia, Charanchi, Mashi, Daura and Zango local governments.

Monarch urges relocation of Bauchi prison From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi Emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Rilwanu Suleimanu Adamu, has appealed to the Federal Government to relocate the Bauchi Central Prison, which is very closed to his palace as its poses security threat. Rilwanu Adamu made the call yesterday during a traditional Sallah homage to Governor Isa Yuguda as well as a durbar

(Hawan Daushe) at the Bauchi Government House. He said the need for the relocation of the Bauchi Federal Prison near the emir’s palace becomes necessary because of blockade in the area by security operatives, which hinders people’s easy access to the palace and the Bauchi Central Mosque to worship. Meanwhile, Emir Rilwanu Adamu has commended the state government for its efforts

to establish a state university, which is under construction along the Alkaleri–Ningi-Burra road. He appealed to the government to construct more hospitals and roads in various areas of need. Governor Yuguda, who was represented by his deputy, Sagir Aminu Saleh, pledged to convey the emir’s request for the relocation of the prison yard to the federal government.

Professor of political science, Professor Abubakar Momoh has threatened a legal action against Prince Dayo Adeyeye over an alleged publication of libelous publications credited to him in some national dailies. The threat, contained in a strongly worded letter titled: “Your libelous comments and publication concerning and in relation to professor Abubakar Momoh in some national newspapers of 5th August 2013”, and addressed to Prince Adeyeye, the University Don said he will not hesitate to sue Adeyeye should he fail to retract the libelous statements on, or before 26th of August, 2013. The letter written on his behalf by his counsel, Bamidele Aturu (SAN) said, “we have our client’s instructions to demand that you cause to be written and circulated in conspicuous segments of the Vanguard, Nigerian Compass and the Nigerian Tribune, three newspapers circulating all over Nigeria a retraction of the malicious allegations and an unqualified apology within 14 days of your receiving this letter”. Momoh is alleging that Adeyeye, in the said publications, with the caption, “PDP Chieftain Alleges APC’s Infiltration of INEC”, said he, (Momoh) was one of the partisan elements disguised as election observers during the Ekiti State governorship rerun election in 2009, who were caught in Oye and Ifaki-Ekiti, with electoral materials. “Momoh was caught alongside one ACN chieftain in Lagos State, who was then a Commissioner in the Lagos State Civil Service Commission, Fuad Oki and other chieftains of the party. When they were caught, already prepared election results were found on them with telephone contacts of top leaders of the defunct ACN. “Prof. Momoh was also one of the witnesses of the ACN candidate, Dr.

Kayode Fayemi, current governor of Ekiti State at the election tribunal. “He (Momoh) had also served on the Board of Governor Fayemi’s Non-Governmental Organisation, the Centre for Democracy and Development, CDD. “Therefore, with such a personality now given a prominent position in INEC, his disposition and extent of the compromising capability in any electoral contest, especially the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti and Osun states, involving the opposition parties, can better be imagined”, the publication stated. According to the letter, “These words which you wrote concerning our client meant and were understood to mean that our client is a dishonest person who pretends to be non-partisan as a leading and key scholar and public intellectual in Nigeria whereas he is blatant partisan and that he was a member of the defunct ACN. “Your deliberate choice of words was therefore intended to portray our client as a liar or as an ignoble, dishonest, unreliable and irresponsible person who gave an impression that he was opposed to the rigging of elections in Nigeria but was nevertheless one of the perpetrators of electoral infamy. “Perhaps more devastating to our client’s solid reputation is the imputation in your statement that he is being positioned to compromise the forthcoming elections in Ekiti and Osun States in 2014. “The innuendo that our client is an ignoble criminal and violator of the will of the people who is unworthy of occupying a public office is inescapable upon a deep reading of the phrase his disposition and extent of the compromising capability in any electoral contest and such words or phrases contained in the newspapers which were used in relation to our client”, Aturu stated in the letter dated 8th August 2013.


Money Sense PAGE 11

Paying rent without stress: 4 tips on what you should do now


e all have lots of bills to pay, but if you have to pay rent that is probably the most important. Even if you are just a couple weeks late on rent, there is the possibility of finding yourself homeless. To most of us, the thought of being homeless is so far-fetched we don’t think about it, but it can happen to the best of us. If you can’t pay your rent, here are some steps to take to avoid this dire situation. Read your lease: If you find that you are unable to pay rent on time, the first thing you should do is read your lease front to back, and then do it again. Make sure you are clear on how many days late you can be on rent without consequence, and what the consequences are if you go past that date. One thing to pay particular attention to is the mention of late fees, or the lack thereof. If a landlord tries to charge you a late fee and there is no mention of a late fee in the lease, this is illegal and you don’t have to pay it. Be honest: Don’t try to hide from your landlord starting the day rent is due. Try to set up a meeting with them to explain your situation. If this isn’t possible, write them a letter or an email.

Don’t exaggerate your situation or throw a pity party. Simply tell them how it is and request an extension. Try not to ask for more than a few days though, as they are much less likely to agree to this. If this situation is an anomaly for you, be sure to make that clear. Tell them the reasons why it happened this month and the reasons why it is not going to happen again. Pay as much as you can: Something is better than nothing, right? If you are able to pay a portion of the rent on time, do it. Negotiate a specific date with your landlord to pay the rest of it, and stick to it. If you are late on the late portion, it is not going to look good. When you agree on a date, be one hundred percent sure that you will have the money by then. Take care of yourself: If you stress all night about paying rent, you won’t sleep. If you don’t sleep, you will look shabby. If you look shabby, it will appear that you don’t have your life together. If your landlord notices this, he or she will be much less likely to believe you that this situation won’t happen again. Look as presentable and put together as possible when confronting them. Having confidence in yourself will help them have confidence in you.

Also…Tricks and tips tenants should learn Money Tip


ood tenants deserve good landlords in return. Here are some ways to ensure your landlord doesn’t get the better of you. When my daughter, Alex, moved into her first rental in her second year of university, it came with some surprises. First there was the willow tree that fell down and wiped out the electricity for four days. Next there was the leaky bathroom. Then there were the bats that scare her every night she wants to sleep. Alex quickly became a disgruntled tenant. But locations close to school are tough to come by. And with the high cost of rent and dilapidated building surrounding most cities where schools are located, many tenants are experiencing “beggars can’t be choosers” syndrome. As a renter, finding an affordable home in decent condition with a landlord who isn’t apathetic can be a tough haul. And once you’ve signed that required one-year lease, you’re stuck. Landlords and house agents often ask for, and receive, post-dated cheques and security deposits of not less than two years, both of which may be illegal. Trying to know her rights: Ticked-off-Alex decided to do some research into tenant rights after her bat incident, Alex’s house agent asked for the security deposit and postdated cheques which are illegal and she’s holding the threat of reporting in her pocket for the next time the house needs some fast attention or repair. Every

state is different, so do your homework. Apply the rule that guide the state you are in. There’s strength in numbers: While we all like to think that discrimination doesn’t happen, it does. Taking along a friend while you’re meeting with a prospective landlord will significantly lower the risk of discrimination and provide you with a witness to anything your landlord says and later reneges on. Never pay with cash: Make your initial deposit by cheques so you have a paper trail. If you must use cash, get a receipt that clearly spells out what the

payment was for. And never, ever, send money to a landlord you’ve met online or through phone calls or unregistered agents. Those may be scams and you may be their next sucker. Get it in writing: Whatever promises a landlord makes may go up in smoke if you haven’t gotten it in writing. That promise to fix the kitchen tap took Alex’s landlord a year to implement. When you have to ask for repairs to be done, do it in writing and keep the landlord’s responses in a file just in case you have to take him to court and need proof of your communications.

Do an inspection: Pretend you’re someone else and walk around that property with a critical eye and a pad and pen, taking note of repair issues, cleanliness of the property and the general upkeep of the home. Take pictures of anything you could later be blamed for to show they existed prior to you moving in. Be ready to jump on a place: In tight rental markets even a one-day delay may mean a perfectly good place is gone. Have your payment ready, bring references, and be ready to accept a good place as soon as you find one.

Reason why you may need a loan There are many reasons that you may want to borrow some money quickly. Some of the most common reasons include car issues and unexpected health bills or medical expenses. But there are plenty of other reasons that you may need to get some extra cash. It could be an upcoming event like a child’s birthday or graduation or maybe you need some extra cash for your business. A lot of small business owners need quick short term loans fast. It could be something like a machine breaking down that is essential to operations. For instance if you are a contractor and a certain tool that you use every day becomes faulty and you have work lined up but your cash flow isn’t going to catch up until the end of the month then you need a short term loan so you can continue to work and not lose out on that end of the month revenue. Lastly you may need money for any type of reason that we may not even think of. The most important thing is to remember to be responsible with any loan that you get and avoid creating a financial hole for yourself. It takes money to make money so be smart with your naira and send them out to bring in more naira.


In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product and profits. Unless you’ve got a good team, you can’t do much with the other two. -Lee Iacocca




No to ethnic militias in Kano shock absorber needed to restore public confidence. Also, leaders of the Igbo, Yoruba and other ethnic communities in Kano, under the auspices of Ethnic Traditional Leaders Forum, have resolved after several consultations, to educate their members that the incessant bomb attacks have nothing to do with religion or tribe. Rather, they are the handiwork of enemies of peaceful coexistence. The leaders also appealed to their


he latest bomb attack on Kano by insurgent groups was as dastardly, condemnable and repulsive as the previous ones. Just after weeks of a respite from the activities of the terror groups that have been visiting agony and fear on law abiding citizens of the commercial city of Kano, the unscrupulous elements, intent upon sustaining their campaign of socio-economic dislocation, once again, on Monday, July 29, detonated bombs in its Sabon Gari area, leading to the death of no fewer than twelve persons and injuring several others. There is a conspiracy theory that those behind the continual bomb attacks on Kano want to spark religious or ethnic crises. But there is also the economic perspective. Clearly, the aim of the persistent attacks on Kano is to destroy the economy of the North by targeting key cities serving as the hub of economic and commercial activities in the region. However, it is heart warming that the Kano state government, the security agencies and ethnic nationalities resident in Kano have joined hands to defy the agents of destabilization. Specifically, the unscheduled visit by the Kano state governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, to the scene of the attack on Tuesday, July 30, provided the

We reject that proposal as not only extreme but utterly unnecessary and dangerous members against any reprisals. The statement by the Kano state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ransome Bello, is also instructive: “We condemn the attack. We have no problem with the Muslim community in Kano state. My view is that both of us, the Christian community and the genuine Islamic community in Kano are faced with the same enemy. I do not see it culminating in any religious disharmony between Christians and Muslims in Kano state. We pray that God will give us victory over wickedness of these

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”

people.” These moves are, indeed, commendable. They, perhaps, explain why barely twelve hours after the dastardly act, it became business as usual for residents. This synergy is a welcome development as it will usher in a regime of social awareness that will expectedly expose trouble makers and their sponsors. However, the call by the Ohanaeze Ndigbo for a local vigilante group to watch over worship places in Kano could jeopardize the current peace efforts by stakeholders. It would be recalled that Chief Tobias Idika, the chairman of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Kano had said the Igbos would not carry out a reprisal, but take measures to ensure their personal security, including establishing vigilante groups. We reject that proposal as not only extreme but utterly unnecessary and dangerous. While it is right for individuals to take measures for personal security within the ambit of the law, allowing ethnic militias in a heterogeneous and cosmopolitan society like Kano that is already grappling with violent crime would worsen an already bad security situation. We urge Ohanaeze to instead support the state government and the security forces to improve the security situation in Kano for the good of all.



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Opinion The tragic death of 3 NUJ officials

By Michael Jegede


n the first Friday of August 2013, three officials of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) went the way of all flesh from a fatal auto crash. The road mishap that claimed the lives of the three journalists and left ten others injured, occurred along IleshaIbadan expressway, where one of the rear tyres of the bus conveying them to Ibadan and Lagos burst, causing it to veer off the road and somersaulted several times before crashing into the bush. The incident came as a great shock to Nigerians, as the media practitioners were returning home from Abuja to reunite with their different families, after attending a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NUJ, where issues bordering on the welfare of journalists formed the thrust of their discussions. For the three newsmen that unfortunately met their untimely death from the crash, it was clearly a case of dying in active service to humanity. They died while fighting the cause of their colleagues in the pen profession. As a matter of fact, they wanted an improved working condition for Nigerian journalists. But alas! In the process of the struggle, they died! This is why the three of them (Adolphus Okonkwo, Olatunde Oluwanike and Kafayat Odunsi) must never be forgotten and the cause for which they died must continually be pursued with every vigour and vehemence. The torrents of reactions and condolence messages that poured in from prominent Nigerians and various groups in the country evidently showed how painful the incident was to all and sundry. Senate President, Senator David Mark, for instance, in a condolence message to the President of NUJ, Mallam Mohammed Garba, signed by his Chief Press Secretary,

Paul Mumeh, lamented that the affected journalists were cut down in their prime. Noting that the deceased journalists departed in a very painful way when their services were most needed to help propagate and strengthen the country’s democracy, the number-one lawmaker in the country said: “I received with shock and sadness the death of your colleagues through a ghastly motor accident in Ilesa, Osun state. This is unfortunate. I share in this pain and earnestly identify with you in this moment of grief. Please accept my condolence on behalf the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The best way to immortalize your dead colleagues is to constantly uphold the sanctity of truth, fairness and objectivity in your trade and contribute towards promoting good governance, rule of law and human rights.” He told press men and women not to be deterred by the twist of events but to be strengthened and uphold the virtue of patriotism and commitment to the ideals of nationhood, which their late colleagues stood for. The Senate President also urged the bereaved families to take solace in the fact that the departed media practitioners died in active service and left positive footprints on the sand of time. On his part, Vice Chairman Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Nurudeen Abatemi-Usman, while commending the national leadership of the NUJ for deeming it fit to declare a seven-day period of mourning for the deceased, stated that the vacuum created by the demise of the three media experts will be difficult to fill. The senator, who was in Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj when the terrible incident happened, said he received the news with great astonishment. All Progressives Congress

(APC) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said one of the best ways to ensure that the committed Journalists did not die in vain is for their colleagues to mount a sustained campaign for measures that can help reduce the rate of road accidents in the country. The party noted that, “Road accidents are among the top 10 leading causes of death in the world, claiming nearly 3,500 lives per day in 2011, according to the latest figures by the World Health Organization (WHO). No country is free from these untimely deaths. “Journalists are among those who face the highest risk of death and Injury from road accidents, because their job requires them to be on the move constantly. This is why they must be in the vanguard of efforts to curtail road accidents. We also urge the authorities to ensure that the nation’s roads are in good condition, and road safety officials should ensure strict compliance with measures that will enhance safety on the roads.” In his reaction to the ugly

incident posted on the facebook, Hon. Onadeko Onamusi said: “May their souls rest in perfect peace. My greatest concern is that these are deaths that can be avoidable if we do the right thing. Accidents are human error and if we take the right approach we would reduce such accident and death of our loved ones. Only recently a good friend and hard-working Chief of Abeokuta died in an accident. I feel very bad to hear this kind of news that our collective action would have avoided. This type of accident will hardly occur in UK where standard are set. Since 2010, I have held conferences and visited the 36 states of the Federation to introduce SKILL, ATTITUDE AND KNOWLEDGE into driving with the view to reducing accident rate. The shocking revelation is the fact that those concerned FRSC and VIO do not know how to go about it and would not allow private individuals with the initiative to help them for fear that they may hijack their job while Nigerians are dying. Some journalists lamenting the death of their comrades today

There is no denying that Nigerian roads are death traps. Out of 193 countries ranked by World Health Organisation (WHO) in its research, Nigeria came 192, making it the second worst country globally in terms of number of deaths triggered off by road accidents. This was as quoted by the Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Osita Chidoka from a report of the WHO.

are aware of the project but were expecting me to give them money before they could do this public enlightenment.” There is no denying that Nigerian roads are death traps. Out of 193 countries ranked by World Health Organisation (WHO) in its research, Nigeria came 192, making it the second worst country globally in terms of number of deaths triggered off by road accidents. This was as quoted by the Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr. Osita Chidoka from a report of the WHO. Official statistics from the FRSC equally showed that an average of 11 people were killed daily in road accidents across Nigeria in 2012, and this translates to over 4,000 deaths. A total of 20, 752 people were also reported to have sustained different degrees of injuries, an indication that an average of 56 people, were being injured in road accidents on a daily basis last year. Having directly felt the bite of road accidents, I think something quite radical has to be done to reduce the rate at which precious lives are being lost via preventable auto crash. Motorists must equally learn to be very cautious - observing all traffic rules, taking proper note of every road sign and mindful of other road users while driving. Twenty-four years ago at a tender age and in 2011, I lost my beloved father and uncle respectively to motor mishap. Less than a week before the accident that took the lives of these three fellow journalists, God had saved my life from a similar incident around the same Ilesha-Ibadan highway, where one of the back tires of the car I was in with my neighbour inside blew out and the vehicle almost somersaulted. Michael Jegede is a media expert and public affairs commentator

Re: A word to Yarima and paedophiles in power (1) By Abubakar M. S. Nagogo


emi Fani-Kayode, the writer of the above article quoted the respected Islamic scholar Professor Ishaq Akintola: “There is no age restriction in Islamic marriage. Most Muslims would disagree with this because childmarriage is specifically banned by the laws and constitutions of ninety per cent of Muslim countries in the world.” First of all let me start by asking: “Are these so called Muslim countries using Sharia law? Because if at all they are, then they should know that there is no age limit as far as marriage in Islam is concern. What Islam mostly takes into account is the physical structure and the sexual desire of the parties concern. Again, people need to understand that in Islam there only two primary sources of law and that is Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet (Muhammad S.A.W.) from which any other source must trace its’ validity and must not be contradicted by such other sources. This is because Allah said in Quran chapter5 verse3 “This day I have perfected your religion for you and have fulfilled my favours upon you and have chosen for you Islam as (your) religion” and

nothing, absolutely nothing, that is contradictory to its’ principles can be accepted. Let’s leave religion aside for now and look at some western countries’ age limist for marriage. Let’s start with the almighty America in the state of Bolivia, the age limit for female to get married is 14; In Scotland of the United Kingdom, the marriage age is 16; In the Vatican City 18 is the age of majority, and in the case of minor not below 14 years, with parental or judicial consent per code of canon law. In Asia, taking Thailand as an example, 17 is the marriage age for females, but under age (below 17 years) is allowed to marry under certain circumstances with judicial permission. When you (Mr Femi) mentioned Muslim countries, what do you mean? Do you mean a country that uses man made law in disguise as its’ Qur’anic coded constitution which is apparently in clear contradiction of its’ claimed source (Qur’an & Sunnah)? Do you mean country that speaks Arabic language? Or a country that sticks to the fundamental teachings of Islam? Here, I will like to draw Mr Femi’s attention to one very important principle of Islamic law which is “No amount

of practice today by whomsoever of anything that is made legal or illegal, rewardable or sinful by these two primary sources that can make such thing illegal or legal, sinful or rewardable except with the approval of Allah through His prophet (Muhammad S.A.W.)” Islam is much more than what is just being practiced by any country or anybody and this is because of human inclination toward wrong doings. In Islam, Islam is one thing and its’ purported followers is another. They became one and the same thing when and only when the purported followers became true adherents to its’ teachings! Then and only then their actions can said to be Islamic worthy of being making reference to. That is to say should the Imam of the Prophet’s Mosque or that of the Ka’aba should say or perform something that is not in line with what our beloved Prophet has instructed, it will be regarded as null and void. This is because the prophet in one of his Ahadith says “whosoever introduces something in this matter or affairs of ours (i.e. into Islam) something that does not belong to it is to be rejected.” In another narration, he says “whosoever does an act which has for it no command of ours is

totally rejected.” This Hadith was reported by the mother of the believers Ummuna Aisha whom got married to the prophet at the age of 9 but yet she is the fourth person who reported the highest number of prophet Ahadith. Here you can clearly see that out of all the thousands of the prophet’s companions, including his other wives that were elderly than Ummuna Aisha, she outnumbered them as the fourth person who contributed to the knowledge of Islam. Where is the justification that says if girls got marry before 18 they will not make meaningful contributions to knowledge? Mr. Femi also said “that Nigeria is not a Muslim state” and I wish to say that neither is it a Christian state. We need no one to remind us that Nigeria is a secular state and it is governed by secular laws. Religious laws have little or no place in our land or constitution. Our constitution is a secular document which specifically says in its’ section 10 of the 1999 Constitution that: “The Government of the Federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.” Coming to the provisions of section 38 of the above quoted constitution and Article 18 of the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with due respect sir, I think you do not have a clear glimpsed of its’ provisions. The section provides: “Every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom (either alone or in community with others, and in public or in private) to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.” The Right to Freedom of Islamic Religion can best be practiced only through Sharia law applicable to Muslims only. Sharia is a Code of Conduct and Religious law incumbent upon all Muslims by virtue of their religious faith. The preposition that the practice of Sharia is only a matter of personal status negates the very essence of Muslims Religious life on earth and which in turn renders almost useless the provisions regarding Right to Freedom of Religion. Abubakar S.M Nagoggo is the Deputy Ameer (Deputy Coordinator), Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria (MCAN), Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC)



Opinion APC: Waiting on a Messiah By Muheez Busari


have been away on what I term a spiritual rehab, as I believe that man should at some point in his life have a time when he meets exclusively with his creator, and during this absence a new political ‘mega’ party was ‘officially’ registered in Nigeria. All Progressives Congress (APC) is now ‘trending’ on social and news media platforms home and abroad. Congratulatory messages abound. Personal identification, endorsements and numerous association with the new ‘political bride’ have ensued from all and sundry; except of course, from members of the ‘largest’ party in Africa (People’s Democratic PartyPDP), and other ‘weightless’ parties who didn’t get an invite to the ‘marriage’. Words in the wind inform that there have been multiple ‘smaller’ party mergers before this party came to be, hence the qualifying word: mega. Nevertheless I’m waiting to see/hear the next move from the officials of this new mega party in the next couple of weeks, perhaps months. I am very much interested in the nature of the elements that have come together to form this ‘mega’ party, their short and long term visions. Suffice this to say, I am waiting for the party’s almighty manifesto. For the believers in faith, after the creation of the world, the

Supreme Being and strong gave the holy book political parties for the guidance serving as ‘a and preservation check and Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, of man throughout balance’ in the text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written his existence on democratic contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters earth. And from system, thus time immemorial, giving the - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your believers refer to nation the name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be these scriptures. opportunity addressed to: The manifesto of of credible any political party but different should play a notideological The Editor, too-dissimilar role. points of Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, This manifesto, view, towards 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. pardon my charting a Email: French, is the positive course Qur’an/Bible that for the nation. SMS: 08134607052 sheds light and But this can gives the ordinary only manifest citizen insights into the essence, will be buried in the next elections if, and only if, there is a genuine aims, objectives, modus operandi from some quarters. This I think political agenda with the launch of and enduring stature/character of is rather premature. APC is at its this new mega party, which aims the party. All of these inform of the teething stage, as I would still like to wrest power from the ruling political party’s ability, readiness to maintain that I don’t know the party in the country. I hope to see and commitment to deliver on its officials yet, and such political a manifesto that’s development goals and vision for itself and the bragging, veritable reminders of and growth driven - patriotic, citizens of a nation. This enables the politics of old which has made transparent and visionary. potential members and voters Nigeria a ‘nation of Babel’ today, This document is key to the find out if the party’s ideological shouldn’t be adopted. Laudable and stability of a political party and leanings and aspirations align with randomly verifiable statistics on members should be bound to their wants and needs. A citizen is national development and growth, ABIDE by it, in action and in able to decipher, to a large extent, the kind that citizens can attest deeds. I dare say that the nonif this is the party to mortgage his to with a hearty smile, should be implementation of this same future, and possibly that of his off credible points of political accominstrument of guidance and springs. Would this be the nation’s plishments. APC should beware operation by the incumbent party political ‘air plane’ to the proverbial of this early pitfall, lest it perishes has continually set ‘cats among ‘Canaan’? before its teeth grow. its pigeons’. This has doggedly On some social platforms, Being an optimist, I think the stifled all forms of visionary and threats and boasts are beginning new mega party could be a blessing progressive leadership. Internal to criss-cross alluding to how PDP for the country. Enter, two large wrangles and shenanigans are


the order of the day. The duties of national governance and House debates have been abandoned for personal vendettas and aggrandizement. Now, the polity is ever so corrupt and the country is almost moribund. The people are disenchanted yet lethargic. Never, since the Civil War I believe, has the need been so great and the time so ripe for a fresh class of well-meaning, genuine citizens to seriously aspire to revamp the nation in the real sense of the word. Beware the ides of our clime! The nation needs no regional party, myopic characters, mendicants foraging for daily bread, usurpers and vendetta boys brigade, old men parading as youth leaders, intellectually bankrupt messiah, re-cycled politicians and a host of other political highway men. May I remind you, lest you have forgotten, that the faithful works/walks by faith, and submits to the will of the invisible Being. In the current rift and distrust in the political climate, provide citizens with inches of solid, reasonable manifesto and you will assemble yards of believers. With a well-nurtured party leader/ follower relationship, a harvest of political power for ‘true’ national development is not impossible. A blessed ‘marriage’ is blissful in a united accord, stands the test of time and surely bears fruits, for the good of all. Muheez Busari is a postgraduate scholar in postcolonial studies, and shuttles between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Snowden, Nigeria and falsehood By Adeolu Ademoyo


dward Snowden was a security contractor with the American National Security Agency (NSA), who contrary to this oath of office as an employee and against the law, publicly disclosed America’s surveillance programme. The occasion of his public disclosure of American surveillance programme produced public knowledge about America’s surveillance program, and this has been used by spokespersons of the Nigerian government to defend the secret contracting of Nigeria’s surveillance programme to an Israeli private company, Elbit Security Systems. Government spokespersons that rely on the American example are trying to draw an analogy between what the American state has done legally through its parliament and what Nigeria is secretly trying to do without any law, through the backdoor. Thus the question is: are the two cases analogical? Mr. Snowden’s public disclosure has met with criticism and defence of the American government. The American government has defended its surveillance programme on the basis that it is a pro-active preventive defence mechanism against terrorism. No one can deny the evil nature of terrorism of any type. But the critics of the American state have raised the question of legality and ethics. In other words,

is the American surveillance program lawful? Is it ethical? These questions therefore have salience for the decision of the Nigerian government to hire a foreign company, an Israeli company, Elbit, to monitor the Internet activities of Nigerians. The Nigerian government has defended its decision on same ground as the American government. Even when the Nigerian parliament has objected to the Nigerian government’s decision after it accidentally knew of the government decision, given the secret nature of the contract to the Israeli company, we are not sure if the government of President Jonathan has complied with the Nigerian parliament’s directive that the contract be stopped. Mr. Snowden’s action in the middle of the Elbit contract saga has emboldened the defenders of President Jonathan’s decision to farm out our security to a foreign company. Some reinvigorated defenders of his and the Presidency itself have argued that if the American government had a surveillance programme Nigeria should have one too. In the light of the Snowden case, some spokespersons in the Nigerian presidency have even pointed to how “unenlightened” the Nigerian critics of the Nigerian-Elbit Security contract are. But are the Nigerian and American cases the same? In other words, are they analogical? The American and Nigerian cases are not analogical. So

the Nigerian government is being deceptive in its use of the American case to justify its illegality and secrecy driven by corrupt calculations of the Nigerian presidency. Nigerian government spokespersons have only drawn what we call a false analogy to justify its own illegality, secrecy and an unethical deal with a foreign company. This is because two cases are only analogical if the two have exactly the same features. To produce a dis-analogy in a so-called analogical claim (which defenders of the Nigerian presidency rely on) and show its falsity, one only need to produce the differences between the two — one difference might be sufficient. The false analogy which the defenders of the Nigerian-Elbit Security Surveillance programme draw with the American surveillance programme, is one of the basic lies we usually tell and revel in in telling the Nigerian story. But what are involved in any surveillance programme are rationality, law and ethics. The rationality question is: is it rational to have some surveillance programme when one is facing difficult enemies and an evil such as terrorism? The law question is: Is it lawful even if it is rational? The question about ethics is: Even if it is lawful and rational is it ethical? In secretly contracting our security to a foreign company, President Jonathan and his government never asked those questions –at least in and with the Nigerian

public. Therefore the Nigerian government can never answer the questions it did not ask. In the American surveillance programme, a law was properly passed. Second, the Americans did not hand over their security to a foreign country or foreign company. Third, President Obama has publicly had conversation with the American public on this; President Jonathan has again kept complete sealed lips on the Nigeria-Elbit Security deal. Fourth, unlike Nigerian government which is paying $40m to Elbit Security systems but has allegedly budgeted about $62m leaving an un-explained $22m, American government did not give two costs, it is not corrupt nor does it try to steal public money from its budget on its surveillance programme because this budget must go to the American citizens through their parliament. The American Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court takes on cases of abuse and review of surveillance actions of the American state. The court may be imperfect but there is one. Based on what Americans call their values, the surveillance law, which is the Patriot Act, sets the limits to the surveillance. This is why Americans can talk about a violation of their values –a fact President Obama alluded to in his attempt to resolve abuses of the Patriot Act-and press action. President Jonathan did not engage Nigerians on rationality,

law, ethics and our national “values” if we have any when he signed out our security to a foreign company. We heard about Nigeria’s surveillance programme from a foreign company. We do not have a court to check abuses. Like all Nigerian stories, we are essentially dealing with arbitrariness in the Nigerian- Elbit Security contract issue. This is why we are not sure if today President Jonathan is not going on with the contract despite the opposition from the public and the parliament. President Jonathan and his security advisers must answer the following questions:-Is the Nigerian Elbit Security contract still on? Was there a bid for this contract in the first place no matter how “legally” secretive the bid is? Who introduced Elbit Security to Nigeria and President Jonathan’s security team? We need to know this in view of the strange donations we have witnessed in recent times in the country. Is the cost of the contract $40m as officially claimed or $60m or $62m as reported? If it is $60m or $62m how did the Presidency hope to explain the difference of $20m or $22m? In huge surveillance security such as this and which is being awarded to a foreign company what are the legal mechanisms put in place to protect Nigerian “values” if we have any. Is there a law to back this action and a court to check abuses? Adeolu Ademoyo is reachable on aaa54@cornell. edu



have searched my limited vocabulary to find a better description of military rule – all in vain. I am thus stuck with the commonplace one which says ‘military rule is an aberration’. Nothing proves me more right than our recent history. In 1984, the military shot themselves into power and one of the most aberrant tendencies they demonstrated was the reversal of Nigeria’s principle of judicial administration. Under Nigerian law, every man or woman is innocent till proved guilty. To the military, then led by General Muhammadu Buhari, every Nigerian politician and or political office holder was guilty until he proved his innocence. Politicians were told to report to the police and from there were herded into prisons on a massive scale. Special Military Tribunals (SMTs) were set up where the politicians were expected to prove their innocence. As a young reporter then, I had the unenviable task of covering the SMT in Kaduna. Naval Captain Elegbede was chairman.That was a tricky beat. First, the proceedings of the military courts were held in camera; then we the reporters were called in on the judgment day to cover the event as the chairman read out the courts verdict. There was Aper Aku with his trade mark baldhead, looking dazed as he was sentenced to 21 years for borrowing N50,000, yes, fifty thousand Naira from Benue Breweries, a company established and run by his government; there was the lanky governor of Niger state, Awwal Ibrahim, his beard suddenly grey, staring into empty space as he also bagged over twenty years on issues of security vote expenditures – expenditures that by law are carried out without audit and explanation. The star performers who


Back to IBB enlivened the court were from Kano – Abubakar Rimi and Sabo Bakin Zuwo. A minute given to these two men to plead for leniency was enough for any of them to set the court on fire. Rimi was a fiery orator and he ceased on the slightest opportunity to unleash tirades against the Tribunal and the military government. “There shall be three judgements after your judgement,” he screamed at Elegbede one day. “Judgement by the people, judgement by posterity and judgement by God.” Elegbede would not have more of it: “Shut up there. Abubakar Rimi, I say shut up”, he bellowed. “I will not shut up. Your government is talking about Apartheid and injustice in South Africa and you are doing this thing to me in Nigeria and you call it justice!” Security men promptly stepped in to truncate what could have turned out to be a Nigerian version of Nelson Mandela’s sermon from the dock. Our main man in the court

Emmanuel Yawe 08024565402 was Alhaji Bakin Zuwo, Senator and later Governor of Kano in the second republic. His native wit and gallous humour often sent many of us roaring in laughter. His sense of humour traversed sports, religion, politics and whatever caught his fancy. When his sentences reached 100 years in jail, he told the court that Nigeria was now under judicial hara-kiri (whatever he meant by that)and he was praying for God to give his traducers the years of


Methuselah so that they will be there alive when he finished serving the term they slapped on him. On the day he gathered 200 years jail term, he took solace in sports: “This 1984 is year of Olympics and I’am competing with my good friend Jim Nwobodo”, he said referring to similar travails of the former Anambara State governor who was also assembling endless jail sentences elsewhere. All that became history in August 1985 - the SMT’s were disbanded, their grotesque sentences voided and the politicians regained their freedom even as Buhari was clamped into detention. The policy reversals were so sharp that it is often said that Buhari and Babangida did not only part ways in 1985 but are sworn political enemies. Then came Babangida’s time to also try his hands on some aberrations. All over world, it is political parties that form a government. With Babangida, it was the other way round; his government formed and decreed

Today, the two strong personalities in the newly merged APC are General Buhari and Bola Tinubu. The political contraption they have managed to put in place has virtually redefined Nigeria’s political landscape. Effectively, the APC has turned Nigeria into a two party state. Are we back to SDP/ NRC? I find it quite significant that barely 24 hours after the registration of the new platform, its stalwarts stormed the residence of former President Babangida where they entered into a closed door meeting that lasted about two hours.

two political parties SDP and NRC. Then we had option A4, banning and unbanning and many other political acrobatics that eventually led us to the tragedy of June 12. The annulment of the elections held on June 12, 1993 led to a political storm. Those insisting on the validation of the results which showed that Chief MKO Abiola was the winner formed civil society organizations to press their cause. The strongest and most vocal of them all was known as NADECO. The activities of the group threatened the survival of Babangida’s government and even the survival of the country itself. In NADECO, Senator Bola Tinubu was one of the strongest voices at the time. Today, the two strong personalities in the newly merged APC are General Buhari and Bola Tinubu. The political contraption they have managed to put in place has virtually redefined Nigeria’s political landscape. Effectively, the APC has turned Nigeria into a two party state. Are we back to SDP/ NRC? I find it quite significant that barely 24 hours after the registration of the new platform, its stalwarts stormed the residence of former President Babangida where they entered into a closed door meeting that lasted about two hours. I doubt if these stalwarts were on a frolic of their own and their pilgrimage to Minna was without the blessings of Buhari and Tinubu. So, these two men whom we all thought have parted ways with IBB have gone back to him? I interpreted the visit in one of these two ways or both: In the slippery field of Nigerian politics, there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies. There is also one man on the slippery field who has mastered the delicate terrain. Call him Maradona if you care.

Why bother with loot recovery? By Chiechefulam Ikebuiro


had wanted to make my displeasure known as regards Mr. Femi Fani Kayode’s recent gaffe in his recent piece, “The Bitter Truth about the Igbos.” Then again I thought it will be a waste of time. There are far too many important things to talk about. I mean I do not think someone who is part of those that have kept Nigeria where she is today is worth taking seriously. When someone in his right senses (?) refers to the Woolwich killing, where a British citizen killed and (almost) cut off the head of a British soldier as “some kind of State-sponsored Illuminati-style human sacrifice” , you begin to question that person’s state of mind. At a time when everybody is trying all they can to co-exist and live peacefully one guy is trying to incite ethnic and tribal hatred. To think he was once a former minister makes me sick. Governor Fashola in my opinion made a mistake-one which I expect him to learn from. Everybody make mistakes. He still is one of the best things that happened to governance in Nigeria. We recently heard about the recovery of some of our money

from late General Sani Abacha’s family which made headlines and I wondered what the fuss was about. This Abacha loot thing has been going on for a while that I ask if it was only General Sani Abacha that looted this country. We would not be where we are today if it were only Abacha who stole from Nigeria. This country is where she is today because of the looting activities of so many of our leaders. There is so much looted money that needs to be recovered, not just the Abacha loot. It will be news to me when one day we hear that stolen money (stashed away in foreign banks) of most of our leaders, both serving and retired has been located and recovered. But then again I am thinking of what use

that money will be to the ordinary Nigerian. We have been here before have we not? We have had celebrated cases where some public office holders were prosecuted for engaging in corrupt practices. These too were stolen monies. Where is the money they looted? There was a time last year when the government claimed urgent action was being taken to repatriate the DSP Alamieyesigha loot. That was the last we heard before he was granted pardon. Has the loot landed? If it has,then where is it? If it has not, why? We at least deserve some explanations. It was reported that some billions was recovered from Tafa Balogun, the former IGP. What happened to the loot? Where did the money

go? How about the Ibori loot, Igbenedion loot, Ehindero loot and all the other loots? Are there efforts to recover them or have they been recovered and re-looted? There is plenty of our money out there looted by the corrupt elements in our system that needs to be recovered, but when you think of how the money, if recovered, will impact the ordinary man, you are wont to ask if it is even necessary to recover the loot in the first place. What happened to the previous loot recovered from Abacha? What impact did it have on the ordinary man? What was it used for? I am very certain it was re-looted. Why recover looted money only to end up re-looting same? Looting in this clime is like a culture.

We recently heard about the recovery of some of our money from late General Sani Abacha’s family which made headlines and I wondered what the fuss was about. This Abacha loot thing has been going on for a while that I ask if it was only General Sani Abacha that looted this country. We would not be where we are today if it were only Abacha who stole from Nigeria. This country is where she is today because of the looting activities of so many of our leaders.

One morning I stumbled on an article written by one Micheal Burleigh shared by Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili on Twitter. He, in the article, was wondering why the British government was still giving Nigeria aids when the money will “only be recycled into bank accounts in Switzerland”. Since independence according to him, Nigeria has received up to 400 billion dollars in aid. I did not even know we received aids. Where in the world has the money been going? Why am I even asking? This is a nation that is ranked 172 out of 215 nations surveyed by Transparency International on financial corruption. I think this whole noise about loot recovery is still in the interest of the corrupt few. It has never been in the interest of the ordinary man, so why bother recover the loot to re-loot? Why make it sound like we are being done a favour when in the real sense the recovered loot is used to line their pockets? My take is that these guys should stop deceiving and distracting us with the loot recovery noise and focus on making life better for the ordinary man. Chiechefulam Ikebuiro via




Fun seekers miss Wonderland Amusement Park, commend FG’s fight against terrorism


he Wonderland Amusement Park, one of the popular recreation centres in Abuja, was on Friday devoid of fun seekers who usually thronged the place to unwind during festive periods. A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) who visited the park reports that absence of fun seekers at the park was due to its closure by the Federal Government. The park used to be a beehive of activities for both fun seekers and traders who took advantage of the crowd to make brisk business during festive periods. NAN reports that heavy security operatives were seen guarding the

centre. The situation was however, different at the Millennium Park as a lot of people were seen spending time with their loved ones. Some of them said they would have preferred the Wonderland Amusement Park to the Millennium Park because of the facilities. Fun seekers, Sadiq Abdullahi, student of Kaduna State Polytechnic, told NAN that he was not aware that the Wonderland had closed, adding that he was preparing to go there with his friends. Abdullahi said he had been to the park on several occasions and that he used to enjoy the facilities at the park

and expressed shock at the closure. ``Seriously, I did not know the place has been closed down; my intention was to go to the mosque to pray, and then go to Wonderland to catch fun with friends. ``I will probably go elsewhere, then go home,” he said. Another fun seeker, Austin Auta, a photographer, who usually visited Wonderland, also expressed displeasure over the closure of the park. Auta claimed to be ignorant of the reason behind the closure, adding ``this Sallah is the worst for me because unlike in Wonderland, I do not have many customers in

Millennium Park.” The photographer called on the Federal Government to establish well equipped recreational centres in Abuja following the closure of Wonderland. He stated that people used to throng the park because it was properly organised. Samy Okposo, another photographer, however, said he was aware of the closure of the park. Okposo said business was not favourable during this year’s Ed-elFitri celebration, due to the closure of the park. He, however, commended the government for the closure of the

park, adding that it was marking effort to fight terrorism. ``Wonderland did not open and I am sure it is due to their alleged involvement in some terrorist activities. I miss the place but I am very happy over its closure. ``For someone to open an amusement park, he should have feelings for the lives of people, particularly children,” he said. NAN reports that the park and Amigo Supermarket were closed down following the discovery of a cache of arms and ammunition in Kano belonging to three Lebanese men linked to terrorism activities in the country. (NAN)

Land swap to fast track development in FCT, says Minister By Adeola Tukuru


CT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has reiterated that the Abuja Land Swap Model is a practical innovation of his Administration to fast track the development of the Federal Capital Territory. The Minister stated this while hosting Abuja stakeholders in Gwarinpa I District of the city after FCT Muslim Community paid Sallah Homage on President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Sallah day. According to him, “we have brought innovation to leave landmark and fast track development of the entire 8,000 square kilometer of the Federal Capital Territory”. He further called for peaceful co-existence amongst all residents of the Territory irrespective of religious or political inclination, promised to respect the sensibility of all. The Minister expressed gratitude for the support his Administration has been enjoying from the residents of the Territory and further assured that all actions taken by the government are taken for public good. He sought for forgiveness if anyone was wronged by any step taken in repositioning the wheel of governance in the Territory and also said that whoever has offended them are also forgiven in the spirit of the season.

A Luxury bus overloaded with goods setting out for long journey yesterday at jabi park,, Abuja.

Photo: Justin mo-Owo

Empowerment: 15,000 women to rally in Abuja By Adeola Tukuru


ver 15,000 Nigerian women cutting across diverse socio-economic backgrounds will converge in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on August 15th, 2013 for a mega rally and award ceremony to advance the cause of peace and women empowerment in the country. The epoch-making event is

being organized by the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) in collaboration with the office of the First Lady of the Federation. The mass rally and carnival would take stock of the gains recorded so far in the empowerment of Nigerian women and the quest for peace in the country. The National President of the NCWS, Mrs. Nkechi Mba told in

Abuja on Sunday that the event, which has the theme: “Celebration of Nigerian Women for Peace and Empowerment,” would go down as the first of its kind in the country. The colourful event, according to the NCWS President, would feature performances by popular artistes, including Onyeka Onwenu, Yinka Ayefele, Iyanya and Sani Danja. Those expected

to be conferred with awards are eminent public officers who have contributed to empowerment of women and peace enhancement. In view of that, Mrs. Mba enjoined Nigerian women to come out “en-masse to take stock, celebrate and honour those who have demonstrated commitment to our cause as women as agents of peace, unity and development in the country.

Leader urges Gwagwalada chairman to carry Yoruba along By Usman Shuaibu


he Yoruba leader in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Wasiu Tunwase, has appealed on the chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Abubakar JibrinGiri to carry

the Yoruba people along in the scheme of things in the area Tunwase, who made the call in an interview with People Daily during the Eid-dilFitir celebration in Zuba, urged the government to fight corruption that had eaten deep into the fabric of our nation.

He also urged Nigerian leaders to give necessary support to the security agencies to fight terrorists in Nigeria, noted that the security was one of the challenges faced by Nigerians forsolong now. He further called on the government to provide jobs for

the youths in order to reduce poverty among them in the society where they live. He pleaded with both Muslims and Christians to continue to tolerate each other for overall development of the country, saying thatboth

Muslims and Christianswere serving one God. He advised the Yoruba people to continue to live in peace with one another irrespective of their differences, emphasized that Yoruba were known for peace loving people.



Tragedy: Trailer crushes woman to death, others injured in Kubwa By Adeola Tukuru


“One Nigeria” cameraman entertaining at the Millenium Park in Abuja on Sallah day.

Photo: Joe Oroye

120 out of 1,000 children born in FCT die at birth- FCTA By Adeola Tukuru


statistic released by the Federal Capital Territory Administration revealed that 120 out of every 1,000 children born in the FCT die at birth. Out of 100,000 women that give birth in the territory, 425 loose their lives in the process of delivery, the Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat of the FCT administration, Dr Demola Onakomaiya further revealed. Dr Onakomaiya, who doubles as the Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Rejuvenating Primary HealthCare System in the FCT, divulged the information at the inauguration of the committee by the Minister of State for the FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide on Tuesday. This development, which is fallout of the failure of the primary health facilities in the territory, has prompted the FCTA to declare a state of emergency on the sector. It would be recalled that in August 28, 2012, the minister constituted a committee charged with the mandate to undertake a detailed evaluation of the

functionality of the Primary Health Care facilities in the FCT. This was with a view to reinvigorate and to harmonize the operations of the various health facilities built by FCTA, Millennium Development Goals(MDGs) centre, area councils and other public agencies in the FCT. According to the minister, the committee, which was headed by the Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board, Dr Rilwan Mohammed was required to provide and recommend solutions for the declining standard of services at various health facilities in the six area councils. “This initiative was born out of our passion to improve health care service delivery at the FCT grassroots. It was also designed to show in real term, the perceived gaps in primary health care facilities. “The administration is concerned that inspite of the huge expenditures on PHC infrastructure and personnel, the subsector still appeared moribund. Also worthy of note, is the direct association of a poor PHC system to the MDGs health targets 4, 5 and 6,” she emphasised.

Meanwhile, the highlight of the commitee’s report indicates that there are 215 PHC facilities in the FCT built by the administration and other agencies in the health care development system in the FCT. Out of the 215 PHC facilities, the report said only 202 are staffed with skeletal healthcare services, while the remaining 13 are without staff. It further showed that out of the 202 PHC facilities that are running minimum services, only 27 have facilities to provide minimum Ward Health Care Package. Of the 202 PHC facilities with staff and providing skeletal services, only 60 are in good condition requiring minor repairs, 63 will require moderate to major repairs while 79 will require reconstruction or rebuilding because of their terrible state of disrepair. Furthermore, sixty out of the 202 PHC. facilities have no toilet, while the remaining 142 have inadequate and only 15 have portable water supply while 140 have no portable water supply and no electricity. Akinjide described the situation as unacceptable for a capital that aspires to provide

world class infrastructure saying, “I have consequently given a directive for the suspension of construction of new PHC facilities until issues of staffing and renovations of existing structures have been resolved”. She therefore, charged the committee chaired by the Health Secretary, Dr Onakomaiya to bring their wealth of experience and track records to bear on the performance of the task. The 17-member committee which has three weeks to submit its report has among others as its terms of reference, to identify all public PHC facilities that require minor and major repairs including reconstrcution and all ongoing uncompleted/ abandoned PHC facilities in the FCT area councils as well as other consideration that will deepen the recommendation towards revitalising the PHCN system in the FCT. In his remark after the inauguration on behalf of members of the committee, Dr Onakomaiya, commended the minister for her efforts towards improving health care delivery to rural dwellers in the FCT. He pledged that the committee will be very objective and not bias in delivering the mandate.

t was a gory sight on Saturday at about 12.00 noon in Byazhin road, Kubwa, FCT when a woman was crushed to death by a heavy-duty trailer loaded with beer, while many others were injured in the area. The accident, which involved six cars, includes; a Toyota Carina 11, Gulf 3, Saloon Jeta, Mercedes Benz (230), Nissan Sunny and a Toyota Rav 4 were all damaged beyond repairs. The vehicles were parked along the road while the owners were said to have been relaxing at a beer joint nearby. The truck was attributed to have lost control due to brake failure which made the driver to have rammed into a woman who was about to climb a motorcycle known as (Okada) and killed her on the spot while many others sustained severe injuries. An eyewitness who pleaded for anonymity said that the truck hit the woman and scattered her body parts on the scene of the accident. According to the eye witness, the truck was coming from Byazhin to Kubwa Village and was loaded with beer but if not because of these bumps (speed breakers) the truck would have rammed into the residential building and killed many people. Peoples Daily observed that a Toyota Carina and Saloon Jeta were still trapped under the truck as large numbers of onlookers gathered at the scene. Officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Nigeria Police Force were seen at the scene of the accident collating necessary information on how the accident occurred. The Kubwa-Byazhin road has become a death trap in the recent times as many people have met their untimely death as a result of incessant crashes of vehicles and motorcycles. Residents of this area have made several appeals to the Bwari Area Council and the authorities of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to come to their aid to no avail.




Three men arraigned for selling Indian hemp


he police arraigned three men on Wednesday in a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba, Nasarawa State for selling Indian Hemp and belonging to a gang of thieves. Those arraigned are Mohammed Maikasuwa, 24, of Angwan Gwari, Mararaba, Felix Silas, 23, of same address and Johnson Jimoh, 24, of Aso Pada road, Mararaba. The prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa

Maigida told the court a police detective, Sgt. Lawal Usman attached to the ‘A’ Division Police Station, arrested the three men on July 22. Maigida alleged that the accused persons were arrested at Anwan Gwari, Mararaba with some quantity of Indian hemp for sale. He said that investigations also revealed that they belonged to a gang of thieves, who terrorise people

in Mararaba. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened provisions of sections 97, 306 and 361 of the Penal Code. If convicted, they could face up to 12 years in prison or given an option to pay a fine or both. The accused persons pleaded not guilty. The presiding judge, Mr Albert Maga admitted the accused persons

Gamblers trying their lucks at the Millenium Park in Abuja on Sallah day.

to bail in the sum of N100, 000 and one surety each in like sum. Maga ordered that the surety must be responsible, possess a landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He ordered the sureties to write an undertaking promising the court that the accused would not commit similar offence. The judge adjourned the case to Sept. 5, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Photo: Joe Oroye

Housewife in court for alleged cheating


he police on has arraigned a 39-year-old housewife, Zainab Dan-Musa, in a Grade 2 Area Court, Kado, FCT, for cheating. The police arraigned Dan-Musa before the presiding judge, Malam Ahmed Ado, on a twocount charge of criminal breach of trust and cheating. He told the court that the complainant sometime in April, entrusted the sum of N500,000 to Dan-Musa to enable him secure a selfcontained-room in her boys quarters. Ibrahim said that the accused led the

complainant to believe that the said room was vacant based on the advert she placed on the gate of her flat. He said that the after collecting the money from the complainant, the accused refused him access to the room and went as far as avoiding his calls. The prosecutor further said that the accused went into hiding when she discovered that the case had been reported at the police station, until she was seen and arrested for prosecution. He said that the offence is punishable under the provision of sections 312 and 322 of the

Penal Code. The accused, however, denies the allegation filed against her in court. The judge, then, admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N200,000 and two reliable sureties in like sum. The judge ordered that one of the sureties must be a federal civil servant not below grade level 14 and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. Ado adjourned the case to Oct. 7, 2013 for continuation of hearing and presentation of witnesses by the prosecution. (NAN)


2 men charged for alleged criminal conspiracy, theft


he police on Wednesday arraigned two men in a Karu Upper Area Court, Abuja, for theft and criminal conspiracy. Those arraigned are Mohammed Mohammed, 26, of FHA, Asokoro, Abuja and Emmanuel Jaliya, 20, of Aku village, Maraba, Nasarawa state. The prosecutor, Insp. Philips Akogwu told the court that one Franklin Atamu of Kubwa, Abuja reported the matter at the Asokoro Police Division on July 30. He said that the accused persons pretended to be assisting the complainant who was sick and needed help to get to the Asokoro District General Hospital on July 29 and in the process, stole from him. Akogwu alleged that Mohammed and Jaliya, took the helpless situation the complainant found himself to steal his Laptop computer, valued at N120,000, wallet containing the sum of 1000 U.S. dollars and N19,750 cash. He told the court that the accused persons also stole one Techno cell phone and two files containing vital information. He said that in the course of investigation, the Techno mobile phone was recovered from the two accused. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened sections 97 and 287 of the Penal Code. He said that ff convicted, they would be punished with imprisonment for a term which might extend to five years or be fined or both. They pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, admitted the accused persons to bail in the sum of N150, 000 each and one surety each. Kagarko ordered that the sureties must be responsible and reside within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case to Sept. 25,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

2 students docked for allegedly stealing from church


wo students have been arraigned before a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba in Nasarawa, for alleged criminal conspiracy, trespass on place of worship and theft. The accused persons Freeman Michael, student, 18 of Base 1, Aku village, Mararaba and 17-year-old student, of Aba Gana st., Mararaba.

The police prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa Maigida told the court that the matter was reported at the ‘A’ Division Police Station, Mararaba by Benjamin Chikodiri of Base 1, Aku village on July 26. ``On July 26 at about 1.30 a.m., the two accused conspired and broke into the Divine Favour Ministry Church located at Aku village, Mararaba.

``They stole 1 music mixer valued N47, 000, 1 microphone receiver valued N18, 000 and 1 DVD player valued N4, 000. ``After the crime, the accused escape to an unknown destination, but were later arrested in Mararaba,” he alleged. Maigida said the offence contravened provisions of sections 97, 213, 347 and 288 of

the penal code. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused are liable to ten years in prison if convicted on the charges. The accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The presiding judge, Mr Albert Maga admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N200, 000 each and two sureties each in like sum.

Maga said that one of the sureties must be a traditional title holder with landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He also ordered the sureties to write an undertaking promising the court that the accused would not commit similar crime. Maga adjourned the case to Sept. 5,2013 for hearing. (NAN)




Aganga in the eye of a storm, 08033045613

- Pg 22

IFC to launch $1bn Naira OPEC to reduce exports by 740,000bpd bond

L-R Anambra state Governor,Peter Obi; Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman; Director General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)Arunma Oteh; Minister of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, and Director General, Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP),Chief Emeka Eze, during the National Economic Management Team’s meeting at the State House, Abuja, recently.


unday Etuka with agency report The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will cut shipments by the most since December as refiners in the U.S. and Europe conduct seasonal maintenance, tankertracker, Oil Movements, said. The group, which supplies about 40 per cent of the world’s oil, will cut exports by 740,000 barrels a day, or three per cent, to about 23.7 million barrels a day in the four weeks to August 24 from the period to July 27, the Researcher said yesterday in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador. “There is a fall under way and it’s a serious one,” Roy Mason, the

company’s founder said yesterday by phone from Halifax, England. He continued: “In the crude market, the summer is over. What’s going down very visibly is westbound sailings from the Gulf.” Refiners typically trim imports at the start of the third quarter while performing maintenance, as summer demand for gasoline and diesel ebb. Brent crude declined for a fifth day on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, trading 0.9 per cent lower at $106.46 a barrel. Middle Eastern shipments will drop by four per cent to about 17.4 million barrels a day to August 24, compared with about 18.1 million in the month to July 27, according to Oil Movements. That figure includes non-OPEC nations, Oman

and Yemen. Crude on board tankers will decline 3.6 per cent to 483.9 million barrels, data from Oil Movements showed. The Researcher calculates volumes by tallying tanker bookings, and excludes crude held on vessels for storage. OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. It will next meet in Vienna on December 4. Meanwhile, offers for the Nigerian benchmark grade slid lower yesterday as a dearth of buying interest created a supply overhang for September, despite supply problems for rival Libyan grades. Traders said less than 10

NUBAM: AGF threatens recalcitrant MDAs with salary forfeiture By Abdulwahab Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) has warned that Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government yet to comply with the Central Bank’s Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) risk forfeiting their monthly salaries. The CBN’s NUBAN policy became effective July1, 2013, but there are indications that many MDAs are yet to comply, a situation said to be causing a hitch in staff salary payment by some MDAs. A statement over the weekend by AGF spokesperson, Nwodo Charles warned recalcitrant saying

“failure to comply may result in the delay of the payment of salaries henceforth. However, if any staff experiences any delay in the payment of his/her salary he/she should confirm that the banking details have been accordingly updated and forwarded to IPPIS”. The CBN released the guidelines on NUBAN scheme in August 2010 to achieve uniform numbering structure among all Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria within nine months. NUBAN, according to CBN, “has great potentials to resolve the observed problems with electronic payments in Nigeria, as many of them are related to specification of wrong beneficiary account numbers.” The initial deadline was June

1, 2011. This was extended by CBN to June 1, 2012, at the expiration of which it was further extended to July 1, 2013. Consequently, NUBAN became fully operational on July 1, 2013 and all staff are supposed to have complied with it. This may lead to none crediting of some Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS) based civil servants’ salaries. Prior to this date MDAs on IPPIS were adequately notified and requested to obtain the NUBAN from their staff and forward same to IPPIS before the deadline. This request may not have been fully complied with by some MDAs and may consequently lead to unnecessary hiccups in the payment of salaries.

Nigerian cargoes remain unsold for the September programme, with three of them reported to be Qua Iboe cargoes. “It may ease a bit more as some barrels are still available. It seems the buyers are in hiding,” said a West African oil trader. Still, traders said ongoing supply disruptions in Libya would likely limit losses. Libyan production is set to drop further as workers at the country’s Arabian Gulf Oil Company plan to reduce output progressively in protest over management changes and the company’s structure. Other Nigerian grades were selling more swiftly and two cargoes were placed as part of an Indian buy tender for October loading. Traders said there was still a handful of an Angolan cargo available for September (Reuters)

- Pg 21 CBN

Exchange Rates

as at 7th August, 2013 Buying Selling












Parallel Rates Buying












Learn how to lead in a crisis

hen you are leading in a time-pressured, make-orbreak situation, you might wonder if you should take charge and command action or take the time to enable the innovation of others. You can do both. Here are three things to do in a crisis that are both directive and empowering: Set a vision that instills both realism and hope. Assess the current situation and how it’s likely to evolve. At the same time, articulate the possibility of succeeding against all odds.

Bring people in. Set clear boundaries for who is on and off the core team, but invite in helpful collaborators as well. People may have to work in fluid, shifting arrangements, rotating in and out of teams as the demands of the situation evolve. Engage. Dive in and start doing the work. Lead a disciplined, coordinated execution while also encouraging innovation through experimentation and learning along the way.

Money market PAGE 20

Company News

Livestock farmers oppose registration bill The Association of Livestock Owners and Input Suppliers in Oyo State has called for the review of animal farm, hatchery and feed mill registration laws to protect the livestock subsector of agriculture. The association, comprising the Poultry Association of Nigeria, Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria, Pig Farmers Association of Nigeria and Animal Scientists Association of…


Zenith Bank: Amuchie assumes CFO as Emmanuel bows out FROM NGOZI ONYEAKUSI, LAGOS


he Board and management of Zenith Bank Plc has announced Mr. Stanley Amuchie as the new Chief Finance Officer (CFO). He took over from former Executive Director, Mr. Udom EmmanueL, who has been appointed Secretary to the State Government of Akwa Ibom State.

In line with the Bank’s succession Plan, Stanley Amuchie has been appointed the CFO Stanley Amuchie holds a First Class Honours (Industrial Chemistry) degree from the University of Benin, where he was a University Scholar during his years of study and graduated as the best graduating Industrial Chemistry student in 1993. He is a Fellow (FCA) of the Institute of Chartered Accountants

of Nigeria (ICAN) and an Honorary Senior Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (HCIB). He has about two decades post-graduation experience spanning Quality Control, Audit, Consulting and Banking, 18 of which has been in the Financial Services industry. He started his financial services career in the Financial Sector of the Audit and Business Advisory Group of the Lagos Office of Arthur Andersen (now KPMG

Professional Services) in 1995, where he worked on various Audit and Business advisory assignments for various Banks and Financial Services Operators in Nigeria and other West African Countries. He joined the Financial Control and Strategic Planning Department of Zenith Bank Plc in 2000 and has been the Financial Controller of the Zenith Bank Group since 2008. He also coordinated the Bank’s Foreign Subsidiaries’ Operations.

NCC, NBC to cooperate towards industry transformation The Nigerian Communications Commission and the National Broadcasting Commission, which are government parastatals, have pledged to work more closely together in order to deliver the dividends of modern technology to the Nigerian people. This stand was indicated in a statement by the NCC on Friday. The NCC regulates the communications industry while the NBC superintends… [Read More...]

Article dealers reposition market to boost economy The Article Dealers Association has restated its commitment towards repositioning the articles market to boost the nation’s economy. In a statement by the association, its President, Mr. Mike Enendu, was quoted as saying that this would go a long way towards attracting increased investment into the country. Enendu, who was speaking during the unveiling of…

PPMC concludes work on vandalised Escravos-Warri pipeline Pipelines and Products Marketing Company Limited in Warri, Delta State, has concluded major repairs on the 30 damaged points along the Escravos–Warri (system 2C) crude-line. The PPMC said prior to the repairs, the route was used as locations for illegal refineries by pipeline vandals in Kokologbene community close to Bennet Island in Warri South-West Local… [Read More...]

L-R: National President, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Michael Alogba with the Managing Director, Capital Express Assurance Limited, Mrs. Bola Odukale, during the insurance boss, meeting with NUT executives, recently in Abuja. Photo: Justin

Diamond Bank partners WWB for financial inclusion advancement FROM NGOZI ONYEAKUSI, LAGOS


iamond Bank Plc has affirmed its plans to partner with Women’s World Banking, (WWB) aimed at deepening its financial inclusion program in the country. This is in line with the bank’s plan to take banking services to the unbanked and underbanked segments of the Nigerian population,

Executive Director, Diamond Bank Plc, Uzoma Dozie said while addressing a press conference after a meeting with officials of WWB. “For us in Diamond Bank, we are constantly looking at changing the way banking is done to take the frontiers of banking beyond just saving money to empowering our customers. We are also interested in ensuring that the unbanked and underbanked segments of the society,

who are not properly serviced, are adequately catered for and there is no better way to do this than to partner with Women’s World Banking that has done this successfully in a number of countries.” Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President/CEO, Women’s WWB, said it was an exciting development to include Nigeria to the 28 developing countries where the organisations work in providing access to finance to

low-income earners, especially women. “We work around the world with financial institutions that see the financial and social value in delivering products for low income earners, particularly women. Diamond Bank with its strong human resources and technological capabilities is an excellent partner to help us reach the population, who are unbanked and under-banked,” she said

Presidency faults AfDB’s assessment of Nigeria on poverty


he Presidency has faulted the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s report on Nigeria’s poverty reduction efforts. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said that the report was ``devoid of truth and political’’. Abati said that it was

inconceivable that AfDB’s report came barely a month after the UN gave an award to Nigeria for its efforts at reducing poverty significantly in the country. He recalled that the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), a UN body, at its 38th Session in Rome in late June gave an award

to Nigeria as one of the nations that made significant progress in reducing hunger. The Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, represented President Goodluck Jonathan in receiving the award on behalf of the government, he stated.

Adeshina presented the award to the president during a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting. Abati said that such a negative report from the AfDB some weeks after the FAO award was ``suspicious and laced with falsehood and political’’. (NAN)


Capital market PAGE 21

Asset-backed financing, healthy for market stability, says expert FROM NGOZI ONYEAKUSI, LAGOS


he Managing Partner, Perchstone and Graeys, Mr. Osaro Eghobamien, has advocated the introduction of asset-backed financing as a veritable means of facilitating market growth and stability. According to him, to deepen the nation’s capital market and ensure financial stability in the country, there is the need to introduce asset-backed financing on a large scale. Eghobamien, explained that introduction of asset-backed financing and, consequently, as asset-backed bonds, which have minimal risk, can prevent

the current situation where the Central Bank of Nigeria, in a bid to reduce liquidity in the economy, fixed interest rate on treasury bills between 11 and 12 per cent. Speaking on the topic, ‘Legal issues on financing infrastructure through the capital market’ at a infrastructure roundtable organised by the Securities and Exchange Commission in Lagos, Eghobamien, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, opined that asset-backed financing involved raising debt capital against a specific portfolio of assets in a manner, which seeks to insulate the investor in the debt securities from risks other than the risk of the assets financed but not performing in the manner anticipated. He added that this meant that

repayment of the debt would be determined by the performance of the relevant assets of the transaction. Eghobamien, who said the capital market had been identified as an appropriate platform for funding infrastructural projects, noted that in countries like United Kingdom and the US, major projects had been primarily funded through the capital market using asset-backed financing. He said considering that recent research had shown that about $15bn was required annually to fund Nigeria’s infrastructural deficit and the fact that the budget was unlikely to accommodate that in any given year, there was the need to adopt the same approach. He, however, expressed concern

Buying and selling of items at the Millennium park during the Sallah holiday, recently in Abuja.

Mortgage creation, panacea to FROM NGOZI ONYEAKUSI, LAGOS

The Managing Director/CEO of Resort Savings and Loans plc, Mr Abimbola Olayinka has stated that creation of mortgages for all Nigerians would help to reduce the nation’s huge housing deficit. Olayinka made this known in Lagos while addressing brokers during the firms ‘facts behind the figures’ presentation on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE). ‘’I disagree that the mortgage sector is not performing, but rather, the sector will be successful and thriving if mortgage institutions are well capitalized. The mortgage sector needs adequate finance to make the sector work and drive the economy. The subsector currently contributes considerably to the nation’s

GDP” ,Olayinka argued. The company recently concluded plans to raise N3.5billion from the stock market through a combination of rights and public offerings, subject to the approval of the regulatory authorities. On how the net proceeds of the offer will be utilized, Olayinka said the money would be used to further deepen the core business of the bank in the provision of affordable housing through the creation of mortgages for all Nigerians. He also said that part of the funds would be deployed towards implementation of the bank’s strategic expansion plans, among others. The Management team of the Exchange, which was led by the Chief Executive Officer, Mr.Oscar Onyema commended Resorts and Loans for its leadership role in mortgage

that while there was a framework that allowed the purchase of nonperforming assets (through the Asset Management Company of Nigeria), the framework to purchase performing assets had yet to be put in place. He said, “In the AMCON structure, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance technically financed the purchase of the non-performing loans from the banks with the aid of AMCON. “In a traditional structure, performing loans or assets will be sold to a special purpose vehicle. Ironically, there is now a solid framework for non-performing assets while there is no structure for performing assets.”

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

housing deficit– Olayinka

financing in the country. “We commend you on the decision of your Board and Management to raise N3.5 billion from the stock market this month through a combination of Rights and Public offerings in order to meet the CBN’s minimum capital requirement, and in order to carry on business as a national Primary Mortgage Bank (PMB). We sincerely hope your expectations will be met “Since Resort Savings & Loans Plc was listed on The Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2009, it has continued to be a leading force in the Mortgage Carriers, Brokers & Services subsector of our market and has remained a worthy example of good Corporate Governance by ensuring ongoing compliance with the post-listing requirements of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Onyema said.

The NSE helmsman stressed that the Exchange has placed corporate governance on the front burner as one of the basic elements for ensuring a sound investment environment and maximizing shareholders returns, adding that he would like to use the opportunity of the occasion to appeal to all quoted companies to replicate Resort Savings’ example, by continuing to abide by the postlisting requirements. “The NSE will continue to consistently enforce its rules on Corporate Governance in a firm and fair manner in order to build a strong investment climate for market participants. As the company continues to expand its presence, we challenge you to strive to improve your high standards of corporate governance, accountability and disclosure,’’ Onyema concluded.

IFC to launch $1bn Naira bond FROM NGOZI ONYEAKUSI, LAGOS


he international Finance Corporation (IFC), the lending arm of the World Bank Group, said it is working with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria to launch the first long-term, localcurrency bond program in the country. The program will allow IFC to issue a series of local-currency bonds totaling up to $1 billion, to deepen domestic capital markets and support private sector development in Nigeria. Nigeria is a leader in the implementation of the IFC Pan African Domestic Medium Term Note Programme. The program enables IFC to raise long-term, local-currency funding for private sector development in the region. “SEC has spearheaded a number of reforms to accelerate the development of Nigeria’s domestic capital markets, and the IFC program is an important contribution to these efforts,” said Arunma Oteh, Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “It will enable regular domestic issuances by an international, triple-A rated issuer, expanding the opportunities for investors and increasing access to localcurrency finance for Nigerian businesses.” In February 2013, IFC issued the first local-currency bond by a nonresident issuer in Nigeria, raising 12 billion naira ($76.3 million). IFC issues bonds as part of its regular program of raising funds for private sector development, and to support the development of domestic capital markets. In many cases IFC is the first, or among the first non-resident issuers. IFC Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua said: “A vibrant, local-currency capital market is essential for any country to achieve its full economic potential, and a cornerstone of our strategy to help countries achieve sustainable growth. Our desire to put in place a program for regular naira-denominated issuances reflects IFC’s commitment to the domestic capital markets in Nigeria, and our growing investment to support private sector development in the country.” IFC’s strategy in Nigeria prioritizes infrastructure, especially power, which was identified as the key constraint to private sector development; agribusiness, the largest single contributor to GDP and the largest employer, especially within the rural poor; the development of small and medium enterprises, the country’s largest formal and informal employer, including for youth; and housing. These strategic areas are also in line with the Government of Nigeria’s key priorities. IFC’s committed portfolio in Nigeria stands at $1.5 billion, the largest country portfolio in Africa and the eighth-largest globally.



Analysis Aganga in the eye of a storm

For Olusegun Aganga, figures don’t lie. A cabinet minister that measured all his achievements in figures, he regaled his audience with statistics to back his achievements. But just as he was getting the adoration at the presentation of his mid-term report at Radio House, his ministry was “boiling” as staff trooped out calling for his sack for “non-performance.” A’isha Biola Raji in this analysis X-rays his performances vis-a-vis an expert’s observation as well as comments of staff of the ministry.


t couldn’t have been acoincidence.Two important events happened simultaneously recently and each carried a vibe of recognition. Within the precinct of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria(FRCN) premises in Abuja , Olusegun Aganga , Nigeria’s minister of Trade and Investment had taken his turn for the ministerial press briefing, to present his score

there had been significant improvement in balance of trade with reduced importation and increased export value. “There has been reduction in dependence on oil and gas for export earnings. “In 2013, nonoil exports accounted for N305 billion.” He said the country had been able to record a 43 per cent drop in imports in-between 2011-2012, resulting in savings of about N4.2 trillion in foreign

of activities. As Angaga’s mid-term report was in progress at the Radio house, staff of his ministry embarked on the protest rubbishing his so called achievements. The venue was the front of the ministry’s head office at the old federal secretariat, Area 1, Abuja. With placards carrying various dimming inscriptions, they demanded the sack

must Go”, “Mr and Mrs Kigbu must Go,” “Poor Funding of ministry,” “Aganga lives in BOI Bank of Industry,” “Trade and Investment is dead.” The workers said they had suffered untold hardship under the administration of Aganga, and unequivocally submitted he (minister) is no longer capable to head the ministry for what they described as poor performance and gross incompetence.

LEFT: Staff of the Ministry of Trade and Investment carrying placards calling for the resignation of the minister, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, during a peaceful protest. RIGHT: Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga (middle) shouting ole, ole (thief, thief) in retaliation to the ministry’s staff, who were also calling him ole, ole, during a peaceful protest against the minister, recently in Abuja. With him are Minister State for Trade and Investment, Mr. Samuel Ortom (left), and the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Dauda Kigbu (2nd right). Photos: Mahmud Isa card of achievements before array of journalists. In his usual candor, Aganga on the podium was regaling journalists with impressive performances recorded by his Ministry. With figures to back his claim, he said, “We’ve have revived Business and Competitiveness Committee, Investor-Care Committee; developed the Nigerian Policy framework; repositioned and strengthened the One Stop investment center etc.” He continued, “In terms of Foreign Direct Investment, Nigeria is the number one destination for FDI in Africa for the second consecutive year. “A FDI net inflow into Nigeria in 2012 was the highest in Africa at $7.03 billion, while Nigeria was ranked fourth in FDI rate of returns. Describing his achievement in the area of trade, he said

exchange. “In 2013, industry contributed 66.9 per cent of the federal government of Nigeria’s non-oil earnings. “Import as a percentage of total trade fell from 35.7 per cent in 2011 to 20 per cent in 2012.” Listing other achievements in terms of policy framework by his ministry, Aganga said: “We have established Trade and Investment desks at embassies and strengthened the use of free trade zones (FTZ) in a more strategic manner, when Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) regulations are amended; there will be potential annual savings of N1billion to investors.” While Aganga was at Radio house podium getting all the applauses and adulation for thousands of employments his ministry’s intervention created; his office at the ministry had become a beehive

of Olusegun Aganga; the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dauda Kigbu; and his wife, Salma Kigbu, who is the ministry’s Director of Commercial Law Department. Some of the placards carried by the protesters read: “Aganga

A Commercial Officer who spoke for the workers, Mr. Okonkwo Onwuyan, said poor funding, poor welfare packages, dirty environment, dilapidated structures and lack of infrastructure have been the hallmark of the ministry.

There is nothing on ground as far as I am concerned; the minister should build industries where jobs can be made available to youths. What we are seeing now is portfolio investments, they invest in stock market and when it collapses, they pick up their portfolio and walk away

According to him, workers in the Ministry had suffered untold hardship since the Minister assumed office, adding that all efforts to make the minister address the situation were rebuffed. Onwuyan also alleged that the minister hardly stays in the ministry to oversee its affairs, adding that the workers had nicknamed him “the flying minister”, which he said had translated into inaction in the ministry. He said Aganga approved N10 million for staff to celebrate Sallah, which he said negates what the union agreed with him. According to him, by the time each staff got his own share of the N10m, each went home with N2,000 to about N3,000, which he said was unacceptable. “In the sister ministry, one person went home with N20, 000 to N30,000. “are we cursed here?” Onwuyan said. “Every festival the minister gives us N2, 500 and there is no single training for any of the staff,” she said. The workers accused the minister and his wife of running the ministry aground, stating that such impunity would no longer be tolerated. Speaking with Peoples Daily last week on phone, the Director General, West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, a former Vice-Chancellor University of Uyo and one time board member of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) described the so –called growth a ‘mere paper growth’ that lacks physical development. Prof Ekpo advised the minster to drift away from stock market investments and creation of portfolio jobs but rather advised him to move into creation of industries which will in turn create employment opportunities for teaming Nigerian graduates. “There is nothing on ground as far as I am concerned; the minister should build industries where jobs can be made available to youths. What we are seeing now is portfolio investments, they invest in stock market and when it collapses, they pick up their portfolio and walk away.” The WAIFEM boss said there is no gainsaying the fact that the current leadership of trade and industry ministry is into paper investments. “The unemployment rate is high especially among youths. “It would do more good if physical investments are put on ground,” he advised.




Special Report

Backlash against Boko Haram spurs risky vigilante war A

n ironworker, Ba Kaka initially felt sympathy for Boko Haram’s violent uprising against a state he and many others saw as corrupt, un-Islamic and kowtowing to Western ideology. But as deaths mounted in the Islamist sect’s bloody campaign against state institutions, security services, Christians and even school children in North-East Nigeria, he began to see them as a threat to his life and livelihood. “We thought they were doing God’s work at the beginning, but over time, we realized they were just a cult,” said Kaka, who was forced to close his shop in the NorthEast’s main city of Maiduguri

after a spate of Boko Haram attacks in his area. Kaka is part of a popular backlash against the Islamists - a member of one of a number of governmentapproved vigilante groups that have become a weapon in a military offensive that has dismantled Boko Haram networks and squeezed its fighters into a mountainous area by the Cameroon border. Though the sect remains the gravest threat to Africa’s most populous country and top oil producer, it is weaker than it has been for years. Yet, the decision to give these gangs of largely unemployed youths the goahead to hunt down militants risks dragging civilians further into the North’s

conflict. Reprisals are already a problem, and security troubles could emerge further down the line, as has happened in the past with youth gangs. Though the state is not giving them guns, a few have acquired them anyway. Kaka himself uses his iron-working skills to fashion-bladed weapons like machetes for the

militias. “With all the death around us, we have gone beyond being afraid of them,” he said, gesturing to a dusty street in his area where a local politician was gunned down by the militants. Since an uprising by Boko Haram was put down by the security forces in a 2009 offensive that killed

If people had given us this type of cooperation earlier, we could have done better in tackling the insurgency,” northeast military spokesman LieutenantColonel Sagir Musa says

Some suspected captured insurgents arrested by the military Joint Task Force in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.

800 people, the group has enjoyed mixed supportfrom a population caught between it and a military and police often accused of using indiscriminate force. That support or acquiescence - appears to be waning. “Unprecedented mass popular action against the group is the most serious setback to its armed campaign against the Nigerian state ... since the military crackdown in July 2009,” said Adam Higazi, an Oxford Analytica researcher based in the North. Boko Haram, which seeks an Islamic state in religiously-mixed Nigeria and who rarely contact the media beyond Internet videos uploaded by leader Abubakar Shekau, could not be reached

Vigilante groups have formed in the city of Maiduguri to fight the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, a move welcomed by the military as it battles to quell the insurgency. for comment. In Maiduguri, a city of tall trees and mosques ringed by tin-roofed slums at the edge of a semi-desert, youths armed with sticks man checkpoints. One group examines car boots and bags for bombs. The military has arrested hundreds of Boko Haram suspects since President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in three states in North-East Nigeria in May, and it has praised local vigilante groups for helping identify and denounce them. “If people had given us this type of cooperation earlier, we could have done better in tackling the insurgency,” northeast military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Sagir Musa says. A number of vigilantes interviewed by Reuters said they were fed up with being caught between the two sides. “Unless something was done all of us would be killed sooner or later by either the Boko Haram or the security operatives who were suspicious of every youth,” said Ba-Lawan, 25, founder of a vigilante group in Maiduguri. “It was to save ourselves.” Mohammed Kawa, 28, said he feared Boko Haram would “turn all of us into their slaves” if nothing was done to stop them.

Before May, Boko Haram had seemed close to setting up a de facto Islamic state in the lawless border areas around Lake Chad, where Nigeria meets Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Local council officials had fled and police stations were empty, especially in Borno state, relic of an old Islamic caliphate. The military crackdown has re-established sovereignty over these areas. Military officials say senior Boko Haram commanders have also been killed or arrested though they decline to name names - which could mean a succession crisis if Shekau is caught. At a desk in the capital Abuja, surrounded by folders marked “confidential”, a top Nigerian security official, who declined to be named, watches recently-seized Boko Haram recruitment videos and scans satellite images of the Gwoza hills, next to Cameroon, where he says Shekau is suspected to be hiding. Alongside videos of Boko Haram members demonstrating how to stitch a suicide vest - “here’s one I made earlier,” says one in the northern Hausa language, as if baking a cake for daytime TV - there is also one of

“traitors” being executed. Two suspected state informants are beheaded in a field by masked menwielding Ak47s to creepy music praising jihad. Since the vigilantes rose up, Boko Haram, whose name roughly translates to “Western education is forbidden”, has turned on civilians. Fighters killed dozens of people in assaults on Western-style schools, which Islamists suspect harbor youths who are informants. “Boko Haram can intimidate the (vigilantes) by targeting their family members and villages where they are strong,” said Jacob Zenn of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation. This will in turn lead to paranoia and over-reaction by the vigilantes when they hunt homes for militants, he said. President of Nigeria’s Civil Rights Congress, Shehu Sani, says there have been cases of summary executions and burning down the houses of suspects by the vigilantes the sort of abuses Nigeria’s military had been accused of in the past. “The army is starting to use them to perpetrate things they don’t want to be seen to be doing themselves,” he said. Nigeria’s history is riddled with examples of

angry, destitute youths who formed groups backed by politicians for a particular purpose, which then grew out of control. Indeed, many describe Boko Haram itself as one such group - author Wole Soyinka last year said some northern politicians had “conjured up a Frankenstein” with their initial backing for it.

Militants who besieged the oil industry in the southern Niger Delta last decade were politically sponsored at first. And the underlying drivers of violence and instability in Nigeria - corruption, extremes of wealth and poverty, lack of economic opportunities for the young - remain in place. Underscoring the risks, rival vigilante groups have

clashed in recent days over control of the town of Biu in Borno. Five people allegedly died in clashes at the weekend. That presents the military with a dilemma: back off from supporting the vigilantes and leave them to be killed by Boko Haram, or sustain a movement that could later turn against the state. (Reuters)

A soldier walks past a burnt vehicle during a military patrol in Hausari ward of Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.




Why Lagos Appeal Court set Al-Mustapha, Shofolahan free The decision of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division that upturned the death sentence passed on Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha over the role he played in the murder of Chief Kudirat Abiola, wife to the acclaimed winner of June 1993 presidential elections, Chief M.K.O Abiola came to many as a surprise. Sunday Ejike Benjamin examines the rationale behind the decision of the appellate court.


riday, the 12th day of July 2013 will ever remain a remarkable day in the lives of Major Hamza AlMustapha and his family.It was the day he (Al-Mustapha) was let off the hook in the death sentence passed on him by the High Court of Lagos over the death Chief Kudirat Abiola. The Court of Appeal, Lagos quashed the death sentence, which Justice Mojisola Dada of the Lagos High Court handed Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Alhaji Lateef Shofolahan over the death of Alhaja Kudirat Abiola. The appellate court said that the court below convicted the duo at all cost despite the prosecution’s failure to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Rita Pemu, the Justices of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal upturned the death sentence handed down to Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Gen. Sani Abacha, and Lateef Shofolahan, former aide to late Chief MKO Abiola by a Lagos High Court over the murder of Chief Kudirat Abiola. The appellate court set aside the judgment of the lower court and held that the prosecution in totality failed to establish the charge of conspiracy and murder against AlMustapha and Shofolahan. In her lead judgment, which made Al-Mustapha and his fellow accused person breath the air of freedom, Justice Pemu said it was foolhardy and unreasonable for the lower court to have so swiftly convicted the appellants when it was very evident that the Lagos state government, the prosecution in the matter had a bad case. The panel of justices of the appellate court held that there existed a huge shadow of doubt in the case of the prosecution, which ought to be resolved in favour of Al-Mustapha and Shofolahan. In the words of Justice Pemu, who delivered the lead judgement: “In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is beyond reasonable doubt and this is a chain that cannot be broken. The prosecution listed four witnesses PW 9, 10, 11 and 12 as witnesses, which it intended to call in the trial, but never called any of them. “PW 1 (Dr. Ore Falomo) testified before the lower court that the bullet extracted from the forehead of the deceased was white and of a special kind, but the prosecution failed to tender the bullet as exhibit and this is fatal to their case. “The prosecution also called PW 4 (Investigating Police Officer

(IPO), who investigated the death of the deceased, but this witness was never produced for crossexamination by the defence, as he never showed up in court. “This renders the evidence of the police officer inconclusive, as it denied the defendants their right to fair hearing, and no reasonable court can safely make a conviction on such inconclusive testimony”, she held and added that, “PW 2 (Sgt. Barnabas Jabila, aka Sgt. Rogers) and PW 3 (Mohammed Abdul), in their confessional statements to the police said they were enjoined by the first appellant to murder Kudirat, but this statement was later retracted by them in court. “PW 2 and 3 retracted their earlier statement to the police and told the court that they were cajoled by the prosecution to indict the appellant, with a promise to give them monetary compensation. “This is a contradiction in the testimonies of the witness. It raises doubt in the case of the prosecution, and it is unimaginable that the lower court did not expunge this evidence. “For an offence like murder, I wonder why the Nigerian Police did not do a proper investigation. Jabila, who was initially arrested as a co-defendant, was later called prosecution witness. Witnesses who ought to be called were never called. The bullet extracted was never tendered before the court. “Once there is doubt in the case of the prosecution, as in the instant case, it must be resolved in favour of the accused, and this doubt is accordingly resolved in favour of the appellants and one thing is clear, Kudirat was shot, but the big question is who pulled the trigger? I find nothing in this case, which sufficiently links the appellants with the commission of the offence. “It is preposterous that in a 326page judgment, the lower court (the High Court of Lagos state) was only concerned with securing a conviction at all cost. Just as God is no respecter of person, so also is this court. “I hereby order that the appellants be discharged and acquitted, while the conviction and sentence of the lower court is hereby discharged. For someone who has been incarcerated since 1998 on a baseless indictment, it is so unfortunate,” Pemu ruled. Two other Justices- Justice Amina Augie and Justice Fatima Akinbami- consented to the lead judgment as amicably delivered by Justice Pemu. It would be recalled that AlMustapha and Shofolahan were arraigned in October 1999 on a

four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and their alleged involvement in the 1996 murder of the Chief Kudirat Abiola along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway. Justice Mojisola Dada, of a Lagos High Court had found them guilty of the offence and had, accordingly convicted and sentenced them to death by hanging. Counsel to the appellants, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), and Mr. Olalekan Ojo however, challenged the judgment at the higher court 24-hours after the sentence of the convicts. In their appeals, the appellants contended that the death sentence passed on them by the lower court was unwarranted, unreasonable and a manifest miscarriage of justice, arguing that the trial Judge erred in law by arriving at the conclusion that they conspired to kill Alhaja Kudirat Abiola on June 4, 1996. The appellants, through their counsel, faulted the Judge’s treatment of the contradictory statements of Jabila and Abdul, as well as the reliance on the testimony of Falomo on the bullet extracted from late Kudirat. Daudu told the court that the evidence of PW2 and PW3 contradicted each other and the evidence of the prosecution did not support the charge brought against the appellant. Responding, counsel to the respondent (Lagos state), Lawal Pedro (SAN), told the court that there was evidence, especially under cross-examination, tendered at the lower court linking the convicts with the crime. In the respondent’s brief of argument, dated May 30, this year, Pedro urged the court to dismiss the appeal, adding that the Judge, whom the appellant accused of being bias, did not even allow his (Pedro’s) witness to conclude before closing the case. Following Pedro’s argument that his witness did not conclude, counsel to Shofolahan, Ojo, argued that the prosecution’s failure to call vital witnesses was tantamount to losing the case, adding that, “It is not permitted for any Judge to reprobate and probate at the same time. The Judge treated the evidence of PW2 and PW3 as corroboration for PW1. There is a catalogue of errors”. Citing the case of Ojutola vs. Mabogunje, reported in 2013 (7) NWLR, he said Justice Dada did not behave like a referee in arriving at his decision in the matter and noted that the bullet said to have been used by the appellants was not tendered at the lower court and the

Major Hamza Al-Mustapha Judge’s statement regarding PW2 and PW3 over issue of witness was contradictory. It is worthy of mention that one of the Justice on the panel, Justice Ibrahim Saulawa had earlier declined to be among the panel to hear the appeal based on personal reasons. Meanwhile, reactions to the freedom of Al-Mustapha and others were mixed with Kudirat’s son, Abdul, calling the judgment “a stab in my heart,” while the founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, and former Police Commissioner in Lagos, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, described it as justice at long last. According to Kudirat’s son: “This judgment is like a stab in my heart. This is an injustice in our system and I pray that our leaders should do the right thing”. In his reaction, retired Anglican Bishop of Akure Diocese, the Right Reverend Bolanle Gbonigi, urged restraint and advised Nigerians to examine the judgment carefully before passing comments. His words: “The judges must have examined the arguments of both parties and looked into documents presented by the parties before passing their judgment. Judgments should not be based on sentiments. Though if you consider the terrible roles he played, you would want to fault the judgment. But judges don’t base their verdicts on sentiments.” Founder of the OPC, Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, said the judgment was in order and should be commended, pointing out that, “Nigeria is emerging from the forest of lies and falsehood. The attribute that has kept a Nigerian in captivity for 14 years without charges has been broken.” Al-Mustapha’s elder brother, Bashiru Hamzat, said: “We have long seen the lapses and still do not know why the lower court entered that judgment. My brother has been incarcerated for 15 years, a lot of injustice has been done to him and our

family, but we thank God some of us are alive today to witness this day. Alhaji Tsav was happy at the judgment saying: “Justice has taken its course. The man has suffered enough. The ruling is the right judgment that you should expect. The man who pulled the trigger is not standing trial, so what do you want to prove by prosecuting the wrong man.” Mr. Yinka Odumakin, spokesman for the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), described the judgment as a big blow to criminal justice in Nigeria. “After Al-Mustapha was duly convicted by a lower court, it is so painful that he has been acquitted,” Odumakin said. The state Chairman of the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), Mr. Ehi Omokhuale, also described the judgment as unfortunate, while the president of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima hailed it, saying it had renewed his hope and faith in Nigeria. Meanwhile, the Lagos state government insisted that it would appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, setting Al-Mustapha free, if it finds it necessary.The decision, the government said, would be based on the outcome of its study of the judgment. The state Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro (SAN), who spoke on behalf of the government, the verdict would be critically looked at and appropriate action taken and stressed that an appeal against the Appeal Court verdict would strictly be based on the conviction that the judgment was wrong. He said the state government is not a persecutor but prosecutor with integrity. He said, “Crime is crime; whether one steals N1 or N1billion, they are all offences. Whether one kills an old man or kills a baby, it is still murder. So, the way I will probe the person who murders a roadside mechanic, is the same way I will prove the case of a billionaire that was murdered. But if we have a good reason, definitely, we are going to appeal the judgment.




US shale oil output causes angst for African oil producers


he US shale oil revolution has increased production and helped keep oil prices from rising sharply, despite supply disruptions from other parts of the world. But the North American shale success story isn’t good news for some African members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), especially Nigeria, Angola, and Algeria, and nonOPEC members such as Ghana and South Sudan. The US, which a few years ago was the largest oil importer in the world, has drastically reduced its oil imports. The US posted the biggest increase in oil production in the world and the largest in US history in 2012 when production reached 8.9 million barrels per day (b/d), up 13.9% from 2011, according to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. US output, adding to the world’s oil supply, has contributed to keeping oil prices from rising sharply in spite of supply disruptions from Nigeria, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, and other key producers. But Nigeria and Algeria, which produce light sweet crudes that are low in sulfur content and simple to refine, are already feeling the impact of the US oil boom. They are the most impacted in terms of reduced oil exports to the US and lower oil prices in the past year. These and other countries need high oil prices to support local spending. US imports from Nigeria were more than halved to 403,000 b/d in March 2013, from 913,000 in March 2011, according to US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Also, the EIA said exports from Angola to the US from April 2011 to April 2012 dropped 38% to 4.8 m bbl. OPEC said, in its annual report released in the first week of July that the price benchmark oil from some OPEC members fell in the past year because of the unexpected energy boom in the US, which is causing a revolution in global oil trade. The average price of Algeria’s Saharan Blend on the spot market fell by 1.3% in 2012 to $111.49 a barrel, while Nigeria’s Bonny Light slipped 0.4% to average $113.66 a barrel, the report said. “Shale oil has been identified as one of the most serious threats for African producers,” Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources Diezani Alison-Madueke said, adding that African producers could lose 25% of their oil revenue as they are edged out of the US market. Nigeria and Algeria are suffering the worst effects from the North American oil boom since they produce a grade similar to shale oil, she said, stressing that shale oil is a “grave concern.” “We risk a situation where, in the first place, we lose our oil market in America. But beyond that, we also risk a situation where America, having satisfied itself with what it has, will also want to find a market outside. And that market may be a market that Nigeria is selling to,” said Omar Farouk, General Manager, media relations at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Commenting on US shale oil on July

8, 2013 in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), President Goodluck Jonathan said, “Nigeria is known for oil. But today, many countries around the world have found oil. The recent discovery of shale oil and gas means that we can no longer depend solely on oil to drive the economy.” During a five-day state visit to China at the beginning of July 2013, Jonathan met executives from SINOPEC, which is China’s largest refiner, according to a statement from his office in Abuja. But it was not clear whether the president succeeded in getting China to increase its oil imports from Nigeria. Nigeria and other African producers that produce light sweet crude may not have big market in Asia, because several Asian refiners process heavy crude produced by OPEC members in the Persian Gulf, said an oil expert in Lagos. Angola, which produces around 1.72 million b/d of oil, is already looking for new

Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke

“We risk a situation where, in the first place, we lose our oil market in America. But beyond that, we also risk a situation where America, having satisfied itself with what it has, will also want to find a market outside. And that market may be a market that Nigeria is selling to,” markets for oil, according to its Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos. Rising hydrocarbons production in the US, Angola’s second main export market after China, also poses a threat to Angola, where the oil sector accounts for 45% of GDP, 75% of government revenue and more than 90% of total exports. Algeria produced about 1.87 m b/d of oil in 2012 and the vast majority of Algerian oil exports, roughly 85%, are sent to North America and Europe. The US is the single largest destination; however, US imports of Algerian crude have declined over the last five years. The value of Algeria’s oil and gas exports

fell by 9% in the first four months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 due to lower global crude oil prices, according to government figures published in a report by the country’s APS news agency. Algeria’s Finance Minister, Karim Djoudi said lower oil revenue, due to the US shale oil revolution, could force the government to cut domestic spending and delay some projects if crude oil prices keep falling. “Emerging markets like India and China have been growing, and they have absorbed a large part of Angolan exports,” said Botelho de Vasconcelos. Rising US oil production would have

Shale oil production like this in the US poses a threat to OPEC members

negative impacts on several African countries, especially if oil prices keep falling. These countries include Liberia, Uganda, and Kenya, which have discovered oil but have not started production. Oil investors in these countries may be discouraged. Exploration may slow down, pushing forward production time. Moreover, oil revenues expected by these countries may be lower than earlier expected, affecting their development programs. Oil revenue earnings of OPEC and nonOPEC African oil producers and several other oil producers may be impacted further if China is successful in making the needed technological advances to tap its shale oil deposits, pumping more oil into the global market. OPEC has promised to launch a study of the impact US shale oil production is having on its members, OPEC’s Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said. But ultimately it is up to OPEC members affected by shale oil output to seek out new markets on their own, ElBadri added. The EIA has predicted the US will pump 11.1 mmb/d by 2020, surpassing Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter. (Source: E&P Magazine)



Education, 08050639900

AUN unveils MBA, PGDM programs at Open House

…Varsities bursars association visits Commission


he School of Graduate Studies at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) recently hosted an Open House to introduce two new programs, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and PostGraduate Diploma in Management (PGDM). A statement issued by the University stated that the MBA degree is known globally as a career booster and a money degree. It added that the MBA programme at AUN is designed to equip aspiring decision makers with an American-style education that combines modern academic concepts with cuttingedge technology. “The program targets professionals who are interested in careers related to government processes and functions, entrepreneurship, banking, and insurance”, it said. According to the statement, classes are scheduled to begin on August 23rd. The school also offers two other graduate degree programs, an Executive Master in Information Technology and an Executive Master in Telecommunications and that the IT Executive Master’s Program has 35 students who are expected to graduate in May 2014. It said MBA students will be required to complete two fall and spring semesters and four summer semesters, The MBA includes 12 modules per semester, while 30 credit hours are required for the one-year PGDM. Once course-work is successfully completed, students defend a 6-hour thesis (MBA) or a research project (PGDM). “We took our time to carefully plan this program,” said Dr. Samuel Akanno, the director of the MBA program. “We are leveraging our state-ofthe-art, 24-7 impressive e-learning capabilities at AUN. This is a specially crafted two-year MBA program that will broaden the horizon of future global business leaders. After graduation, AUN students will benefit from job updates, business consultation services, and career counseling.”


L-R Minister of Education, Prof.Ruqqayatu Rufa’I Ahmed; Minister of State Finance, Dr Yarima Ngama; Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, and Minister of Petroleum Mrs. Diezani Alison Madueke, during their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja, recently. Photo Joe Oroye.

NUC declares Winneba

affiliate progs in Nigeria illegal Stories by Maryam Garba Hassan he Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, has faulted the affiliation of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) with Hallmark Educational Bureau, Nigeria Ltd, describing the latter as an illegal and fraudulent organisation. Okojie made the disclosure during a courtesy visit by a threeman delegation from the University to the Commission. He informed the delegation that the University had been flouting laid-down regulations on establishing affiliations with Nigerian universities, adding that the certificates of products of the affiliation were not recognised in Nigeria. In a review of correspondences between UEW and Hallmark Educational Bureau, it was discovered that the ‘Bureau’ had claimed to be in touch with the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria and had falsified documents to buttress its claims, he said. The NUC Secretary further explained that Bureau had also sent correspondences to the Commission with forged letterheads of UEW, claiming to want to do legitimate business in Nigeria.


He said the Commissions as a regulatory agency for university education in Nigeria, had a bird’s eye view of university education in West Africa adding that the Commission was aware of the University’s illegal affiliation with the ‘degree mill’ in the country and had been on the tail of its affiliate institution for a while. He said NUC had the power to withdraw degrees already awarded or close down any university which contravened laid down regulations. He noted that Ghana had only four recognised universities with the rest being affiliate institutions and that the recognition of a university in Ghana did not necessarily mean it was good enough for Nigerian students. The same could be said for Nigerian universities and Ghanaian students, he said. The Executive Secretary assured the visitors that the Commission had no issues with the University of Education, Winneba, which it recognised as an approved institution, but rather, was concerned about its affiliation with institutions in Nigeria, adding that NUC had a responsibility to protect the system. He said that, while the Commission encouraged staff and students exchange between countries, it had to be done right and according to laid down guidelines and informed the delegation that residency requirements

for affiliation stated that for a student to earn the degree of an institution, he must have lived in the country where the institution was located for a minimum of four semesters, for undergraduate programmes and three semesters for postgraduate programmes. He said this will enable the students to have an allencompassing experience. The NUC scribe faulted the UEW management for not seeking proper guidance from the Commission prior to signing the agreement with Hallmark Educational Bureau. To redeem its image, UEW, it said, must publicly disassociate itself from the fraudulent organisation and publish disclaimers to that effect in national dailies, in Ghana. The Commission would, on its part, also publish the activities of Hallmark Educational Bureau in Nigerian dailies. UEW was also required to furnish NUC with details of students who had been issued degrees of the University from the affiliation as well as what degrees they had been awarded. Only when all this was done, could the Institution, under the guidance of NUC, enter into any affiliation with any Nigerian university. He warned them to be wary of promoters of illegal degreeawarding institutions and advised them to alert their counterparts in Ghana as

well. The leader of the delegation and ProVice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Emmanuel Nicholas Akabah, said the University’s management had observed that the institution had been blacklisted by the Commission, which was why the management decided to send a delegation to ascertain what it had done wrong with regard to its affiliation programmes and, if necessary, discuss measures to take, to resolve the issues and restore the University’s image. Prof. Akabah said the University, which was 21 years old, had an understanding with Hallmark Educational Bureau since 2008, and that under the affiliation, Hallmark was licenced to award degrees of the University of Education, Winneba to its students. He said the supposed institution, which had provided Certificates of Incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) had claimed to have been operating with the Commission’s approval but had failed to furnish them with evidence of its approval and the accreditation of its programmes. Following this, he said, UEW had asked Hallmark to stop awarding degrees of the University until it provided details of approval and accreditation.

he Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities has paid a courtesy call on the National Universities Commission (NUC), to introduce the newly-elected executive members. Welcoming the team, the Executive Secretary of NUC Prof. Julius Okojie, said that bursars were critical to the smooth-running of the Nigerian University System (NUS) with respect to funding, as they were the custodians of universities’ financial records. He expressed regret that the body had not adequately played its role in implementing financial policies with regards to ‘no-workno-pay’ policy, adding that that the administrative autonomy, which universities currently enjoyed, should come with some financial responsibility and that university academics should be accountable to government, in order to continue to enjoy its financial support. Okojie said that it was wrong for universities to continue to refuse the staff and students’ Audit exercise, which the NUC was carrying out and yet make demands on government. He maintained that time had come for universities to disclose their staff and student data, to enable government to plan adequately. He however expressed worry that some universities’ management staff were also participating in strikes, when they were actually expected to be driving the system, through policy formulation and implementation. The Executive Secretary decried how some universitybased unions had resorted to cheap blackmail and falsehood to incite the public against the Commission, saying that the allegation by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) that the Commission had been given N100 billion as Stabilisation Fund by Government was untrue. He advised ASUU to verify its records before making such a weighty allegation and explained that the Commission had a comprehensive record of all allocations and expenditures, saying that no matter how far a lie travelled, truth would always overtake it. Okojie advised universities to encourage responsible unionism, so as not to set the system back and urged them to carry out their duties with integrity. Earlier, the leader of the delegation and Bursar, Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Yahaya Hassan, said the visit was aimed at introducing the new executive members, felicitating and partnering with the Commission on her 51st anniversary as well as highlighting some of the association’s challenges. He requested that the appointment of Bursars should be done alongside other principal officers like the Vice-Chancellors and Registrars. Hassan said the association was working on providing a database on Bursars, noting that the introduction of the Uniform Accounting System had been beneficial to the system. He said the body needed a secretariat, to enable it to function effectively.



Healthy Living

‘Children with cleft defection’s self-concept similar to peers without it’

A little girl with a cleft lip


left lip (cheiloschisis) and cleft palate (palatoschisis), which can also occur together as cleft lip and palate, are variations of a type of clefting congenital deformity caused by abnormal facial development during gestation. A cleft is a fissure or opening—a gap. It is the nonfusion of the body’s natural structures that form before birth. Approximately 1 in 700 children born have a cleft lip or a cleft palate or both. In decades past, the condition was sometimes referred to as harelip, based on the similarity to the cleft in the lip of a hare, but that term is now generally considered to be offensive. Clefts can also affect other parts of the face, such s the eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, and forehead. In 1976, Paul Tessier described fifteen lines of cleft. Most of these craniofacial clefts are even rarer and are frequently described as Tessier clefts using the numerical locator devised by Tessier. Cleft Lip -The lip forms between the fourth and seventh weeks of pregnancy. A cleft lip happens if the tissue that makes up the lip does not join completely before birth. This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip or in the middle of the lip, which occurs very rarely. Children with a cleft lip also can have a cleft palate. Cleft Palate-The roof of the mouth is called the “palate.” It is formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy. A cleft palate happens if the tissue that makes up the roof of the mouth

Little girl with repaired cleft lip defection By Abbas Aminu Bamalli does not join correctly. Among some babies, both the front and back parts of the palate are open. Among other babies, only part of the palate is open. Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly. Together, these birth defects commonly are called “orofacial clefts”. These birth defects happen early during pregnancy. A baby can have a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or both. A cleft lip or palate can be successfully treated with surgery, especially so if conducted soon after birth or in early childhood. A Consultant, Maxillofacial Surgeon, and a Director of Cleft Care Foundation Nigeria, Dr. Seidu Bello has explained more on both the Cleft lip and the Cleft Palate, in an interview in Abuja. Dr. Seidu said children with a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate or a cleft palate alone often have problems with feeding and talking. They also might have ear infections, hearing, loss, and problems with their teeth, adding that most children who have their clefts repaired early enough are able to have a happy youth and social life. Having a cleft palate/ lip does not inevitably lead to a psychosocial problem. He added that when cleft palate occurs, the uvula is usually split. It occurs due to the failure of fusion of the lateral palatine processes, the nasal septum, and/or the median palatine processes (formation of the secondary palate), which the hole in the roof of the mouth caused by a cleft connects the mouth directly to the nasal cavity.

An elderly man with cleft defection

The Maxillofacial Surgeon also said the causes of orofacial clefts among most infants are unknown, however, saying some children have a cleft lip or cleft palate because of changes in their genes. “Cleft lip and cleft palate are thought to be caused by a combination of genes and other factors, such as exposures in the environment, maternal diet, and medication use” he said. Dr. Bello said treatment for children with orofacial clefts can vary depending on the severity of the cleft, because of the presence of associated syndromes or other birth defects, or both; and the child’s age and needs. “Surgery to repair a cleft lip usually occurs in the first few months of life. That is from three months upward and is recommended within the first 12 months of life, as many children will need additional surgeries as they get older”, he stated. Although surgical repair can improve the look and appearance of a child’s face, it also may improve breathing, hearing, speech, and language. Children born with orofacial clefts also might need different types of treatments and services, such as special dental or orthodontic care or speech therapy. He pointed out that women can take steps before and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of having a baby born with birth defects, such steps include taking a daily multivitamin with folic acid (400 micrograms), not smoking, and not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The Dr. also said, “no any grown person can develop a cleft problem except if that person was born with it and grown up with it as a result of ignorance or poverty, which as a result of such situation, he initiated a Cleft

After cleft defection is repaired

Dr. Seidu Bello, Director, Cleft Care Foundation Nigeria Care Foundation in other to treat the less privileged ones free, adding that so far the foundation has treated 290 patients within and outside the FCT. Research has shown that during the early preschool years (ages 3–5), children with cleft lip and or cleft palate tend to have a self-concept that is similar to their peers without a cleft. However, as they grow older and their social interactions increase, children with clefts tend to report more dissatisfaction with peer relationships and higher levels of social anxiety. Experts conclude that this is probably due to the associated stigma of visible deformities and possible speech impediments.

Children who are judged as attractive tend to be perceived as more intelligent, exhibit more positive social behaviors, and are treated more positively than children with cleft lip and or cleft palate. Children with clefts tend to report feelings of anger, sadness, fear, and alienation from their peers, but these children were similar to their peers in regard to “how well they liked themselves.” “Surgery to repair a cleft lip usually occurs in the first few months of life. That is from three months upward and is recommended within the first 12 months of life, as many children will need additional surgeries as they get older”, he stated.



Healthy Living

Health & nutrition benefits of eating sugarcane Stories by Abbas Aminu Bamalli


ugarcane, being low on glycemic index, helps keep the body fit and healthy. • Sugarcane juice has been found to be very beneficial for preventing as well as treating sore throat, cold and flu. • Since sugarcane has no simple sugar, it can be enjoyed by diabetics without any fear. However, they intake should still be limited for people suffering from type-2 diabetes. • Being alkaline in nature, sugarcane juice

helps the body in fighting against cancer, especially prostate and breast cancer. • Sugarcane provides glucose to the body, which is stored as glycogen and burned by the muscles, whenever they require energy. Therefore, it is considered to be one of the best sources of energy. • If you have been exposed to heat and physical activity for too long, drink sugarcane juice. It will help hydrate the body quickly. • Sugarcane is believed to strengthen stomach, kidneys, heart, eyes, brain, and sex organs. • Sugarcane juice is an

excellent substitute for aerated drinks and cola. • Sugarcane clears the urinary flow and also helps the kidney to perform its functions smoothly. • Sugarcane juice has been found to be good for those who are suffering from febrile disorders. Febrile disorders are responsible for causing fevers, which can result in a great amount of protein loss from the body. Liberal consumption of sugar cane juice provides the necessary protein and other food elements to the body. • Sugarcane is

Long-term use of popular blood pressure drug may raise breast cancer


omen taking a common class of drugs to control hypertension—called calcium channel blockers— may more than double their risk for breast cancer if they continue the medication for longer than a decade. That alarming finding, published Monday in the journal Jama International Medicine, is the first time these drugs—which include verapamil, gallopamil, and fendiline, have been linked to excess breast cancer, but the researchers emphasized that it needs to be verified by other studies before any action is taken to avoid these drugs. “We would not recommend changes in adherence to medication based on this report,” said study co-author Kathleen E. Malone, an epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “We need replication from studies using larger populations and then it may be worth discussing.” B o s t o n - a r e a researchers agreed. “The

finding raises a hypothesis that should be further studied, but we’re not at the level that people should be panicking if they’re taking calcium channel blockers and getting effective management of hypertension from them,” said Patricia Coogan, a research professor of epidemiology at Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center. In the study, Malone and her colleagues interviewed more than 1900 Seattle-area women diagnosed with breast cancer to determine which medications they were taking to manage chronic conditions; when compared to a control group of women who didn’t have breast cancer, the researchers found that women who were on calcium channel blockers and had been taking them for at least 10 years were more than twice as likely to have been diagnosed with breast cancer compared to the control group. Those taking other blood pressure medications like ACE inhibitors, beta

blockers, or diuretics didn’t have any increased risk of breast cancer—nor did those taking calcium channel blockers for less than a decade. Hormone replacement therapy is one of the few drugs that have been associated with an increased breast cancer risk, said Dr. Michael Hassett, a breast oncologist at DanaFarber Cancer Institute. While the evidence was strong enough to curtail prescribing practices for postmenopausal women, the situation is quite different for calcium channel blockers. Unlike with HRT, “there’s a clear survival benefit to being on blood pressure medications,” Hassett said, “and some women who do well with calcium channel blockers” may have worse side effects, like dizziness or nausea, on other medications. Others may have inadequate management of their hypertension since various categories of drugs work differently to lower blood pressure.

beneficial for micturation, caused due to high acidity, along with genorrhoea, enlarged prostate, cyctitis and nepthritis. Mixing sugarcane juice with lime juice, ginger juice and coconut water will give better results. • Sugarcane juice

is said to speed up the recovery process after jaundice. • As sugarcane consists of carbohydrates, in good quantities, it serves to refresh and energize the body. It supplies instant energy to working muscles

and for this reason, it is also known to maximize performance in sports and endurance. • Sugarcane is also good for digestion, as it can effectively work as a mild laxative because of its high potassium content.

How to make a liver cleansing Detox juice


he liver is considered one of the strongest organs in the human body. There is a common saying, ‘the liver doesn’t break easily and when it does, it doesn’t heal easily’. In today’s fast-paced world, we are forced to lead unhealthy lives which end up in various health problems and toxic buildup in the body. Without the effective unification of natural remedies like fruits, broccoli, lemons etc.., into our lifestyles, we are at a high risk of being defeated by our metabolism. It’s easy to detoxify your body with healing foods and juices. There are many juices and herbs that can be added to your daily diet for healthful body cleansing and extra vitality. Juices like apple-celery, grapes, beets, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and papayas, help a lot in improving the liver’s defense system. Liver Cleanse Grape Juice Ingredients Water - 500 ml (boiled and cooled) Fresh lemons - 6 Ginger root - 4 to 5 inches Grapefruits - 3 Flaxseed oil - 3 tbsp Garlic cloves - 4 Cumin powder - 3 to 4 pinches Fresh Mint - 3 to 4 leaves (optional) Directions Extract the lemon juice and grape fruit juice

and keep them aside. In a blender, add some water and grated ginger and garlic pieces. Blend well and filter the juice into a container. Combine the two juices with water and blend this mixture with the flaxseed oil and cumin powder for 40 to 45 seconds. Pour the juice in a glass, garnish with mint leaves and serve. Benefits This recipe comprises no preservatives and only fresh fruits, vegetables, and a small quantity of flaxseed oil and cumin powder which supply the liver with much-needed vitamins and cleansing agents that help flush out toxins from the liver. Liver Detoxification Vegetable Juice Ingredients Fresh cabbage - 125 g Fresh lemon - 1 Celery - 25 g Fresh pear - 250 g Ginger root - 1 inch Filtered Water - 500 ml Fresh Mint - 4 to 5 leaves Directions Chop the pear, cabbage, celery and ginger into small pieces and put in a blender along with a cup of water; blend well for 1 minute. Add the fresh lemon juice to the blended juice. Pour the juice in a glass and serve chilled with mint leaves. Benefits This recipe is the mixture of fresh fruits and vegetables that taste unique and help flush toxins from the body. Cabbages, pears

and celery are the best liver detoxification agents that serve by facilitating the liver in functioning properly by inhibiting aggregation of fluid and toxins in the liver. Ultimate Liver Cleanser Ingredients Distilled water - 300 ml Large grapefruits - 2 Udo’s Choice (or cold pressed flax oil) - 2 tbsp Lemons - 4 Fresh root ginger - 2 inches Fresh garlic - 1 to 2 cloves Acidophilus - 1 tsp A dash of cayenne pepper (optional) Directions Extract the grape fruit juice and lemon juice and put in a blender. Grate the ginger and garlic and squeeze their juices into the blender. Add water, Udo’s and acidophilus powder and blend for 35 to 40 seconds. Pour the juice in a glass and serve with a dash of cayenne pepper. Benefits This juice comprises all potent liver cleansing ingredients that give the liver a gentle flush and the opportunity to heal itself. These liver detox juice recipes provide essential enzymes and nutrients which help in the detoxification of the body. They help in keeping the liver in shape and maintaining the natural detoxifying mechanism of the body. Daily Health Tips




The African Union versus Egypt ANALYSIS

By Solomon Dersso


wo days after the Egyptian army overthrew President Mohamed Mursi, the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) suspended Egypt from AU participation. They issued a memo after its session on the situation in Egypt held on July 5, 2013, deciding that the “overthrow of a democratically elected president does not conform to the relevant provisions of the Egyptian Constitution and, therefore, falls under the definition of an unconstitutional change of Government”. The PSC accordingly suspended Egypt from participation in the affairs of the AU until constitutional order is restored. This is the first time the AU has applied its policies on military coups against a member of the AU’s “big five” countries. The big five - Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria and South Africa - each contribute 15 percent of the African portion of the AU’s budget. While Egypt’s suspension signifies that all member states, regardless of their importance, are subject to the same rules and regulations, the decision was not unanimous. Uganda and Djibouti (two of the 15 PSC members) expressed their reservation about the decision. The AU was forced to suspend Egypt due to the region’s political context. First, the AU’s legitimacy in enforcing its own policies was on the line. Remember, Mursi’s government was democratically elected; if the AU embraced the overthrow of an elected government as acceptable, its other members, and particularly smaller ones, would have accused it of unfairness for failing to enforce its norms on big countries. Second, failing to condemn such developments would set a disastrous precedent for other African countries. As an editorial of South Africa’s Business Day newspaper put it (albeit rather harshly), “the last thing the continent needs is for the tyranny of the Big Man to be replaced by the tyranny of the mob”. Similarly, there is a risk that other countries would encourage large-scale demonstrations as a pretext for ousting governments. Third, failing to suspend Egypt undermines the continent’s dedication towards achieving democratic governance. In a statement the PSC circulated after its decision, Nigeria noted that the overthrow of Mursi “constitutes a serious setback of the remarkable progress which Africa has made in fostering the culture of democratic governance in the continent”. In applying punitive measures against Egypt in accordance with AU law, the international body has broken ranks from much of the international community by a showing a usual, yet firm consistency to its positions. This sends a clear message that there is zero tolerance

This marks the first time that the African Union has suspended one of its key member states to changing governments through unconstitutional means, particularly when such governments came to power through free and fair elections. Ramifications and reactions At face value, the decision seems to have no apparent bearing on Egypt; a close analysis reveals quite the opposite - the decision has serious ramifications for Egypt. With respect to the internal dynamics in Egypt, this decision, despite its limited material impact, undermines the standing of the new authorities while lending some legitimacy to those protesting against the deposing of Mursi. Regionally and globally, it also does not reflect well on Egypt’s political and diplomatic standing in Africa and the world as a whole. Within the AU, Egypt no longer has any say in policy decisions until their reinstatement. Similarly, like other countries suspended from the AU - such as Madagascar and the Central African Republic - Egypt is not eligible to be elected to any of the policy-making organs of the AU. The sit uat ion a ffe cts no t only the relationship of the interim administration within the AU, but also Cairo’s

relations with individual African countries. According to Egyptian diplomats, Cairo feels dismayed by the PSC members who called for suspending them. Egypt angrily criticised countries that treated the July 3 event as a coup. The army-backed new administration in Cairo flatly rejected the suspension. Although angered by the decision, Cairo’s initial response appeared to brush it off as inconsequential. In an apparent reminder of its status as one of the five major contributors to the budget of the continental body, it even went as far as threatening to withdraw from the organisation. But this was merely an empty threat. Egypt’s tie to Africa, apart from its long history, is chiefly a result of the dictate of geography. The country’s civilisation and existence is dependent on Equatorial Africa - where the source of the Nile is located. Even if we ignore everything else that binds Egypt with Africa, this geographic blessing is a natural fact from which Egypt is not willing and able to extricate itself. And, this alone is enough for Egypt to

maintain and even strengthen its membership in the AU. That Egypt values its role and membership in the AU was on display in a diplomatic offensive that Cairo launched i n t h e w e e k s a f t e r t h e A U ’s decision. The new authorities in Cairo took offence to the suspension, but rather than shrugging it off, they took a robust step by sending special envoys of the interim president to AU member states. One such delegation visited Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the AU, from July 22-24, 2013. The interim administration expressed a firm view that the AU’s decision should be reversed. During a visit to Sierra Leone, Egyptian presidential envoy Raouf Saad stated, “We have officially rejected the AU’s decision in form and content because it was based on unjustified consideration, and we want it reversed.” He further added, “No criteria of a coup d’etat was applied in our situation.” Will Egypt’s aggressive campaign be successful? There’s a large on-going media campaign brewing between both AU and Egypt supporters. On a few occasions, President Konare has allegedly suggested that “the AU

One such delegation visited Addis Ababa, the headquarters of the AU, from July 22-24, 2013. The interim administration expressed a firm view that the AU’s decision should be reversed.

needs to reconsider its suspension of Egypt”. This has been strongly denied by AU officials. Egypt’s campaign is premised on the firm belief that what happened on July 3 does not constitute an unconstitutional change - and as a result, does not warrant a suspension. For the interim administration in Cairo, what happened on that day was the “will of the people of Egypt”. According to this view, the AU misinterpreted events and should reverse the suspension. While there is no doubt that there is sympathy to this view, the fact that millions of people supported the overthrow does not make it legitimate - particularly if there is a significant population that opposes the deposal. Despite its diplomatic campaign and the sympathy it has attracted, Egypt’s volatile situation since the AU’s decision does not bode well for the interim administration’s arguments. The significant percentages of the Egyptian public that oppose the removal of Mursi vindicate and strengthen the position taken by the AU. According to the PSC brief, Egypt is barred from participating in AU affairs “until constitutional order is restored”. Although the new administration is counting on the precedent set by the AU when it reinstated Mali, it appears that the AU will uphold the suspension of Egypt until a new government is formed through free and fair elections. During the press briefing after the July 5 PSC meeting, AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said: “Nobody will sit behind the (Egyptian) flag - neither the previous government nor the present interim government - until there is an election.” Similarly, the Director of AU’s Department of Peace and Security El Ghassim Wane stated that returning Egypt to constitutional order “has to happen through elections that are free and fair. This has to happen without delay and through a consultation process”. In a statement it issued on July 29, after reviewing the situation in Egypt, the PSC called on “all Egyptian stakeholders to work together, in a spirit of mutual tolerance and compromise, towards an inclusive transition that would lead to the early return to constitutional order in the country”. Clearly, an inclusive transition is a pre-requisite for return to constitutional order. Despite the interim administration’s diplomatic efforts, there is little hope of reversing Egypt’s suspension before constitutional order is restored. With no inclusive process on the horizon, the interim government faces the near-certain possibility of remaining outside of AU’s processes for many months to come. The way things are looking now, it is a bleak prospect that anything will change in the coming weeks - or even months. Source: Al jazeera




By Hassan Haruna Ginsau, with agency reports


alians voted in a high stakes presidential runoff yesterday with former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita tipped to claim the difficult job of stabilizing the West African nation after more than a year of turmoil, war and an army coup. Polls opened at 8am in a run-off that pits Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, 63, a former prime minister, against Soumaila Cisse, ex-finance minister. Almost seven million voters took part in yesterday’s election that will see the new president leading Mali’s recovery following a military coup that led to an armed uprising and a Frenchled military intervention. “Whatever the decision of the ballot box, Mali has already won,” Keita, 68, told reporters after voting in the capital Bamako. An announcement of final results is expected in two or three days, and the constitutional court has until Friday to certify them. The vote favours Keita as Twenty-two of the 25 losing firstround candidates have thrown their weight behind Keita, known as IBK, a man who earned a reputation for firmness in crushing student protests and strikes when he was prime minister in the 1990s. The two running candidates declared themselves confident of victory in the run-off, called after none of the 27 candidates in the first round on July 28 achieved an outright majority. Keita has captured the popular mood by avoiding outspoken criticism of the coup leaders who toppled Toure, earning the tacit blessing of the military.

Keita tipped as favourite for Mali runoff Nairobi police questioned over looting during airport fire


Keita talking to reporters in the run-up to the run- off elections. He has also successfully courted Mali’s powerful Islamic clerics, some of whom have endorsed him. Critics say Cisse, who condemned the coup, supports the corrupt political class, but he rejects the claim, saying he is a defender of democracy. After challenging the result of the

July 28 election, alleging fraud, he promised to accept the second round’s outcome. The days leading up to the vote have been largely uneventful, with cities and towns deserted as Malians - over 90 percent of whom are Muslim - stayed at home to celebrate the Eid

al-Fitr festival marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Keita and Soumaila have faced off before, losing the 2002 presidential election to Amadou Toumani Toure, who was overthrown by a military junta in March 2012 as he was preparing to end his final term in office.

said. More than 20,000 houses have been destroyed or badly damaged after heavy rains pounded suburbs

of the capital Khartoum. Thousands of people have also been displaced in a north Ugandan border town of Elegu after floods washed away their homes. Uganda shares a border with South Sudan, which is Sudan’s neighbour to the south. The floods struck after a nearby river overflowed its banks following hours of torrential rains. Elegu is a vibrant border town with businesses from local bars to lodges, and markets with crossborder trade between Uganda and South Sudan. Moses Okello, who owned rental houses in the town, said they had been destroyed with nothing to salvage. “There is no way now. We are stuck. We have nowhere to start,” he said.

S arah Ni nsi i ma, a nother victim whose bar and lodges got submerged, said she had no roof over her head and wondered what she would do next. “That day I wanted to go to another place, we were told this place usually floods during rainy season. I heard people screaming that the floods were coming, only to realize the water was knee high and it was on the beds,” said Ninsiima. The floods have heightened fears of a cholera outbreak as locals say all the pit latrines were washed away and people have to use bushes as toilets. The Ugandan Red Cross has so far delivered a few essentials like blankets and food, but many people remain homeless. Weather experts say more rains are expected until October.

told state broadcaster SABC on Friday that her father’s health was improving daily and he was able to sit up for minutes at a time. Mandela became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in all-race elections in 1994 that marked the end of the apartheid system. Mandela spent 27 years in prison under white minority rule, including 18 years at the notorious Robben Island penal colony. His lung infection dates back to his time on the windswept island, where he and other prisoners were forced to work in a limestone quarry.


Many dead in Sudan floods


loods in Sudan have killed at least 15 people in the past two weeks and left almost 100,000 more homeless, officials

A Khartoum suburb that was submerged by the floods.

Mandela making ‘slow but steady’ improvement - government


ormer South African President Nelson Mandela’s health is slowly recovering but he remains in a critical condition, the government said yesterday, in its first update on his health in nearly two weeks. The 95-year-old anti-apartheid leader has been in a Pretoria hospital for two months for treatment of a recurrent lung infection. “The former president is making a slow but steady improvement,” South Africa’s Presidency said in a statement, adding Mandela still remained in a critical condition. Mandela’s youngest daughter

olice officers and airport workers are being questioned over suspected acts of looting during this week’s fire at an airport in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Investigators said some of the acts had been caught on security cameras. Items stolen included cash and alcohol. The cause of Wednesday’s fire at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has not yet been determined. President Uhuru Kenyatta has ruled out terrorism but warned those responsible would be punished. Seven police officers, including an inspector, are being questioned over suspected looting. One investigator told the AFP news agency: “It is embarrassing because some of them concentrated on looting instead of raising alarms. “We’re questioning all of them. Police officers, immigration staff, civilians who work in other areas and even taxi drivers.” The suspects could appear in court today, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reported. The fire took about four hours to bring under control, by which time the arrivals hall had been gutted. The airport is a regional hub, serving more than 16,000 passengers daily, and its closure caused widespread disruption. President Kenyatta said on Friday: “There was no element of terror, no evidence of explosions or improvised explosive devices in this incident,” adding that “those responsible for negligence will have to be punished”. Operations have now resumed at the airport, with both domestic and international flights running.




Israel backs new Jewish settlement homes


he Israeli government has approved the construction of nearly 1,200 new homes in Jewish settlements in occupied Palestinian areas. Construction Minister Uri Ariel said they would be built in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to meet the needs of Israeli citizens. It comes three days before peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are due to resume in Jerusalem. The issue of settlement-

building halted the last direct talks.These collapsed in September 2010. In order to get the Palestinians to agree to the talks, Israel approved the release of more than 100 Palestinian prisoners. The first group is due to be freed on 13 August. Kevin Connolly in Jerusalem says that announcing the settlement construction at the same time may be intended as a sop to right-wing supporters of

the government who oppose those prisoner releases. About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians want to establish their state in those areas, as well as the Gaza Strip. Mr Ariel said 793 apartments would be built in east Jerusalem and 394 in several large West Bank settlements. Plots are to be offered in

A jewish settlement on occupied Palestinian territory.

Har Homa and Gilo, on East Jerusalem’s southern outskirts, and in Pisgat Zeev, on the city’s northern edge. Tenders will also be invited for homes in Ariel, in the northern West Bank, in Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, and in Efrata and Beitar Ilit, around Bethlehem. A housing ministry spokesman said that construction would begin in one to two years’ time. Mr Ariel said in a statement: “No country in the world takes orders from other countries [about] where it can build and where it can’t. “We will continue to market housing and build in the entire country... This is the right thing at the present time, for Zionism and for the economy.’’ Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had previously insisted he would not resume talks without an Israeli settlement f re e ze , b u t re l e n t e d d u ri ng mediation by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this. PLO executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi condemned the Israeli announcement. “This is an extremely dangerous policy, and if left unchecked it certainly would lead to greater conflict and the destruction of all chances of peace.”

Buddhist mob attacks Sri Lankan mosque, 12 injured


Buddhist mob attacked a mosque in Sri Lanka’s capital and at least 12 people were injured, the latest in a series of attacks on the minority Muslim community by members of the Buddhist majority. A mob of Buddhists, who are mainly ethnic Sinhalese in Sri Lanka, threw stones at a threestorey mosque and nearby houses in a central Colombo neighborhood during evening prayers on Saturday, residents told Reuters. Later, hundreds of Muslim

residents took to the streets, some clutching sticks, to prevent any further attacks on their community, witnesses said. Police reinforcements were sent and authorities imposed a curfew until Sunday morning. A senior member of staff at one of the city’s main hospitals said 12 injured people, including two police officers, had been brought in. Three people were still in hospital on Sunday. Police appealed for calm and imposed a night-time curfew in

the area. “Support the police to maintain the law and order,” Inspector General of Police N.K. Ilangakoon told state media. There has been increasing violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka since last year, mirroring events in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which has also seen a surge of attacks by members of the majority community against Muslims. In Sri Lanka, a group known as Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or the

“Buddhist power force”, has been trying to win over Buddhists to their campaign against Muslims. A spokesman for the BBS, Dilantha Vithanage, denied any involvement by his organization in the latest mosque attack. Buddhists make up about 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s 20.3 million population. Muslims make up about 9 percent. N. M. Ameen, president of Sri Lanka Muslim Council, said more than 20 mosques had been attacked since last year.

Saturday The latest violence comes just weeks after brazen assaults, claimed by an al-Qaeda front group, on prisons near Baghdad that freed hundreds of fighters and which analysts warn could boost armed groups. Overall, 17 car bombs and a series of shootings and other blasts killed at least 91 people and wounded over 300 across the country Saturday, security and medical officials said, as Iraqis celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holidays which follow the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The blasts hit public markets, cafes, and restaurants, while violence earlier on Saturday killed two others in the capital, according to security and medical officials. Also on Saturday, a suicide bomber detonated an explosivesrigged vehicle near a police

checkpoint in Tuz Khurmatu, north of the capital, killing nine people. A car bomb in Kirkuk, also north of Baghdad, killed an

engineer. Two car bombs in the southern city of Nasiriyah killed four, while a car bomb in the shrine city of Karbala left five others dead.

Dozens killed as Iraqi violence escalates


t least seven more people have been killed in shootings and bombings in Iraq, a day after a wave of deadly bombings left 91 people dead. Gunmen on Sunday opened fire at a checkpoint manned by Sunni militia, killing two and wounding two in the town of Buhriz, about 60km northeast of Baghdad, police said. Further north, gunmen attacked a busy park in the town of Balad, killing two and wounding three, police said. Three anti-terrorism squad officers were killed and nine wounded by a roadside bomb in the town of Mahaweel, according to police sources. Meanwhile, at least 91 people were killed and hundreds injured in a series of car bombs that rocked Baghdad and other Iraqi cities amid Eid al-Fitr celebrations on

Scenes at a neighbourhood hit by the bombs.

Asia & Middle East

India, Pakistan exchange more gunfire


ndia and Pakistan exchanged more gunfire across the disputed border in Kashmir on Sunday, Indian border guards said, as a 10-year ceasefire frays over accusations of killings of soldiers deployed on the frontline. One Indian border guard was wounded after Pakistan Rangers opened fire on a post in Kanachak, some 40 km (25 miles) southwest of Jammu, the winter capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, the Border Security Force said. “It was an unprovoked firing on an International Border post from the other side. However, we responded with utmost restraint,” a spokesman of the Border Security Force said. There was no immediate comment from Islamabad. Tensions along the 740-km Line of Control that divides Kashmir rose on Tuesday when an Indian army patrol was ambu she d and f ive soldie rs killed in the Poonch region. New Delhi blamed the attack on the Pakistan army. Islamabad denied involvement. The two armies also exchanged heavy fire on Friday in the Poonch region, Indian authorities said, straining the ceasefire that has largely held on the border since November 2003. India has linked the ceasefire violations to attempts by Pakistan to push through militants into its side of Kashmir to revive a decades-old revolt there. Islamabad denies any help and instead has called for talks to resolve the disputes between the neighbors including the longrunning row over Kashmir. Underscoring Indian worries over renewed unrest in Kashmir, clashes in the Jammu region erupted after a large group of stone pelting protesters unfurled a Pakistani flag, shouting proIslam, pro-independence slogans after offering Eid prayers. Three people were killed in the violence on Friday and the situation remained tense with a curfew imposed in six out of 10 districts of Jammu, state officials said. India has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers in Kashmir to put down an armed revolt that began in 1989. In recent years militant violence has ebbed, but there has been little movement on a political settlement of the dispute. On Sunday, army troops patrolled the streets of the violence-hit districts and the local administration blocked mobile data services to stop the spreading of rumors, it said.




US embassies reopen after alert


ighteen of the 19 US embassies closed this month due to worries about potential attacks reopened on Sunday, the US state department said. The US embassy in the Yemeni capital, however, would remain closed, a state department spokeswoman said. “Our embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, will remain closed because of

ongoing concerns about a threat stream indicating the potential for terrorist attacks emanating from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” state Jen Psaki said. The US will also keep its consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, shuttered, Psaki said, adding it closed on Thursday due to a “separate credible threat”. On August 2, the US shut the 19 embassies in the Middle East and North Africa, saying it had picked

up information through surveillance and other means about unspecified threats. A worldwide alert said that alQaeda could be planning attacks in the Middle East and North Africa. Meanwhile, the US government this week warned its citizens to avoid traveling to Pakistan, while some US diplomats from Yemen were evacuated and US nationals were told to leave the country

immediately. President Barack Obama, during a White House press conference, declined to comment on reports of drone strikes in Pakistan that targeted suspected fighters in that country. The state department did not indicate when its facilities in Sanaa and Lahore might reopen, saying it will continue to evaluate the “threats”.

Obama spy scheme reform victory for Snowden- Assange


ikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called President Barack Obama’s announcement of plans to limit sweeping US government surveillance programmes a “victory of sorts” for fugitive former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. “Today, the President of the United States validated Edward Snowden’s role as a whistleblower by announcing plans to reform America’s global surveillance program,” Assange said in a statement on Saturday referring to Obama’s announcement a day earlier. “Today was a victory of sorts for Edward Snowden and his many supporters,” Assange said in the statement, which was posted on the WikiLeaks website. “As Snowden has stated, his biggest concern was if he blew the whistle and change did not occur. Well reforms are taking shape, and for that, the President and people

of the United States and around the world owe Edward Snowden a debt of gratitude.” Assange, who has been holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London for more than a year, fearing extradition to the US for publishing classified US documents, rejected Obama’s assertion that his reforms were planned before Snowden’s disclosures about US surveillance activities. “The simple fact is that without Snowden’s disclosures, no one would know about the programmes and no reforms could take place,” he said. Assange accused the US government of “stunning” hypocrisy in its treatment of Snowden while it gave asylum to thousands of dissidents, whistleblowers and political refugees from countries like Russia and Venezuela. Assange charged that the Obama administration had prosecuted “twice as many” whistleblowers as all other US

Assange administrations combined, in spite of the president’s 2008 campaign pledge to champion transparency and those who fought for it. He said it was fortunate for the world that Snowden and others “of good conscience,” like Bradley Manning - who was convicted last month of leaking classified data

to WikiLeaks - had chosen not to remain silent. In announcing his reform plans on Friday, Obama vowed to improve oversight of surveillance and restore public trust in the government’s programmes, saying the United States “can and must be more transparent.”

percentage points, according to the Datafolha opinion poll published in local newspaper Folha de S. Paulo. Thirty-six percent of Brazilians considered Rousseff’s administration “great” or “good,” up from 30 percent in late June. The recovery, though still far below the 65 percent approval rate she had in March, reflects slightly more confidence in Brazil’s economy as concerns about inflation ease. Rousseff once had one of the highest approval ratings of any leaders in the Western hemisphere. Rousseff now has 35 percent of voting intentions, up from 30 percent in the previous poll, according to Datafolha, which concluded she would not win in a first round vote. In a similar survey conducted in December, Rousseff had 54 percent of voting intentions. Former Environment Minister Marina Silva appears to be gaining

ground with voters, rising to 26 percent of intended votes from 23 percent. Minas Gerais Senator Aecio Neves had 13 percent of votes compared with 17 percent in June. The poll also showed Brazilians are less supportive of the mass protests that drew 1 million to the streets at their peak in mid-June. The number of Brazilians who said the protests had resulted in positive changes fell to 49 percent from 65 percent in Datafolha’s last poll. The demonstrations dealt with a range of issues including corruption, poor transportation and the amount of money being spent to host the 2014 soccer World Cup. Some say they lacked focus. The 27 percentage point drop in Rousseff’s approval in just three weeks that Datafolha reported on June 29, after the protests, was the sharpest suffered by a Brazilian leader since 1990.

Brazilian president’s approval up after protest slump


razilian President Dilma Rousseff’s approval rating gained six percentage points since hitting an all-time low in late June after massive nationwide


protests, a poll published on Saturday showed. The number of respondents who said they intended to vote for her in next year’s election also rose by five

Europe and Americas

Argentine president faces election test


rgentine President Cristina Fernandez faces a mid-term primary election test on Sunday that will show whether she has enough popular support to push for a constitutional change allowing her to run for a third term in 2015. Candidates for legislative elections in October will be chosen in Sunday’s open primary but, with no competition among candidates on the lists presented by each party, it serves more as a survey on Fernandez’s six years in power. The left-wing leader has delivered steady economic growth and was easily re-elected two years ago. But heavy government spending has fueled annual inflation to over 20 percent, and her combative style has upset investors and many voters in Latin America’s third-biggest economy. F e rn a n d e z, 60 , sa y s s he is not thinking about a possible third term but talk persists that her congressional allies want the constitution changed to allow her to run again. For that to happen, Fernandez would have to increase her control of Congress in October, when half the seats in the lower house will be up for grabs along with a third of the Senate. Fernandez’s allies would need a two-thirds majority in both chambers to get debate started on permitting a third term. Investors in government bonds and in Argentina’s vast agricultural and shale oil resources are watching the primary vote for signs of whether voters are tiring of Fernandez’s interventionist policies and might be ready for a market-friendly leader in 2015. An overvalued currency, heavyhanded import and foreign exchange controls and Fernandez’s decision to nationalize Argentina’s private pension system, its main airline and top energy company YPF have all upset investors and trade partners.




Strange World

Real-life tarzans found in Vietnam’s forests


0 years ago, during the Vietnam War, Ho Van Thanh was seen running into the woods with his then-infant son Ho Van Lang. They hadn’t been seen since, until a few days ago when two villagers accidentally stumbled upon their bamboo hut deep in the forests of Vietnam’s Quang Ngai province. No one imagined Ho Van Tranh could have survived for 40 years, after he disappeared into the jungle in 1973. A bomb exploded in his home during the war with the United States, killing his wife and two other children, and eye-witnesses reported seeing him grab his two-year-old sun Ho Van Lang and running into the forest. But just a few days ago, the impossible happened. Two villagers from the Tay Tra district who had ventured 40 kilometers into the lush jungle looking for firewood noticed a strange bird-nest-like hut built in a small clearing, near a stream. Curious about its origin they decided to investigate and found two men living inside. The weak 82-year-old man could communicate in the in the Cor ethnic minority language, but his 41-year-old son, who was wearing a loin cloth made from tree bark, only

spoke a few words. The villagers alerted the authorities who later confirmed the two mysterious jungle

dwellers were indeed Ho Van Tranh and Ho Van Lang. According to Thanh Nien News, Ho Van Tri, Tranh’s

41 year old Ho Van Lang (middle) has been living in the forest since he was 2 years old.

Tokyo’s amazing underground bicycle storage system


okyo is such a crowded place that even finding a place to park your bicycle can be a daunting task. But leave it to the Japanese to find a genius solution to this growing space problem. The ECO-Cycle Park is an automated bicycle storage system buried 11 meters under the city streets that can hold up to 200 bikes. Although Japan is one of the world’s leading car manufacturers and its public transportation system is probably the most advanced on the planet, the bicycle is still a very popular means of getting around in the busy traffic.

youngest son, who was left behind on that fateful day in 1973 and rescued by relatives, first found his father and

Unfortunately parking spaces are at a premium, and owners are often forced to leave them on the sidewalk where they become obstacles for pedestrians. To solve this problem, Japanese company Giken Seisakusho, which specializes in tidal and flood protection systems, created ECOCycle, a series of five underground storage bicycle storage facilities where owners can safely “park” their bikes in just 8 seconds. The buried cylindrical structures are only seven meters wide, but deep enough to safely store up to 200 two-wheel vehicles each. Bicycle riders have to pay a

monthly subscription to gain access to ECO-Cycle, and they are issued a personal card. Whenever they want to park their bikes, all they have to do is position them in front of one of the above-ground booths and swipe their card through a reader. A mechanical arm clamps it in place, the booth door opens and the bike disappears underground. The whole process takes just 8 seconds, and retrieving the vehicle is just as fast. Ever since the solution was implemented in Konan Hoshi No Koen Park, in 2010, illegally parked bicycles have mostly disappeared from the area.

brother 20 years ago, but he couldn’t persuade them to come home. He brought them salt and oil every year after that, but they never accepted him, and whenever he came with other villagers to convince them to come home, they ran into hiding. Their daily diet included cassava, corn, and wild leaves, but the villagers also found a one hectare field planted with sugar cane, near their six-meter high wooden hut. The two reallife Tarzans also made their own knives, axes and arrows for hunting. Ho Van Thanh and his son have been taken to the Tra Kem Village, where his other son is taking care of them. However, Tranh’s nephew, Ho Ven Bien, told the local press they are very sad and clearly want to go back to their forest home. ”My uncle doesn’t understand much of what is said to him, and he doesn’t want to eat or even drink water. We know he wants to escape my house to go back to the forest, so we have to keep an eye on him now,” Bien said. The two men have had very little contact with the outside world during the last 40 years, and they’ve both forgotten the mainstream Kinh language. Efforts will now be made to slowly reintegrate them in society.

Man converts dumpster into holiday home

Kloehn escapes a rain shower in his ‘dumpster home’


The storage system holds up to 200 bikes inderground.

f you called this man’s house a dump you wouldn’t be ridiculing him, you’d just be stating fact – he lives in a converted bin. Gregory Kloehn’s holiday home in Brooklyn, New York City, is different to most others in that it is not located in a tropical location and it isn’t actually a house. Instead the California designer has decided to covert a $2,000 (£1,300) dumpster into a fully-functioning home that has everything you need to live in, including a bathroom and kitchen. ‘It just hit me,’ Mr Kloehn told

the HGTV show You Live in What? ‘I thought, “hey, this is the perfect shape for a home”.’ Among other changes he made to the bin was to install wheels so it could be moved more easily and to add a water tank to the roof, which is used for the toilet and outdoor shower. There’s also a fancy retractable roof that, when pulled back, allows extra light to be let in. ‘I think [passers-by] are just surprised that someone would take something like this and spend enough time to make it a home,’ he added.




The callous men who manhandled a dying dolphin


or the majority of travellers, just catching a glimpse of a dolphin is thrill enough. But it would seem that not everyone agrees. When a dolphin was hit by a boat and washed towards the shore in the Hainan province of China, far from attempting to help the stricken animal, a group of tourists decided to pose with it instead. The dying creature was lifted up and manhandled, while the male travellers pulled muscleman poses around it. When it finally died, reports in the local Shanghai Daily revealed that it had perished from ‘excessive bleeding’ - not helped by the antics of the men. The photos of the incident, which took place in June, were then p o ste d o n th e C h i ne s e social networking site, SinaWeibo, and caused fury among other users. ‘When even the basic respect of life is lost, I just want to say, how can I be proud of you, China?’ one user said. ‘Dolphins, as highly evolved mammals, have an IQ only a little lower than humans. But those people in the pictures are worse than pigs,’ wrote another. Called form: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Fury: The shocking pictures caused outrage when they were posted on a Chinese social networking site



APC’ll take Nigeria to the promised land, says Rep Makinde From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


member of the House of Representatives,Hon.Rotimi Makinde, representing Ife federal constituency, Osun State, has described the birth of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as a timely intervention for the injection of virile, dynamic leadership that would salvage the Nigerian polity from the dormancy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the past 14 years. In a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos, Makinde lamented the inactivity of the PDPled government since the advent of the Fourth Republic, saying that the party has continued to plunge the

country and her citizens into oceans of poverty, massive corruption, insecurity and economic woes. The statement read in part “Nigerians have suffered enough in the hands of PDP since 1999. Virtually every sector of the economy is dead. It is pathetic that rather than keeping pace with emerging economies of the world, Nigeria’s progress is being retarded by visionless and clueless political leaders under the PDP platform. “It is a shame that billions of naira was sunk into the energy sector without yielding the desired results. Small Scale Enterprises, SMEs, factories, industries, among several others have folded up because of the crippling power sector as the

cost of running such enterprises on alternative sources of power comes at a very huge cost to manufacturers.” Harping on the rescue mission of the merging parties, Makinde noted that the synergy of progressives from the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC; and a faction of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, to form the APC, will no doubt take Nigeria to her promised land come 2015. “Out of a purposeful rescue mission, APC has come up with a clear vision and blueprint on how to salvage the nation from its present quagmire. Its manifesto dwells essentially on solving critical and

challenging problems facing the nation,” he said. Giving a compass of what the new party may do differently to end PDP’s grip at the centre, the House Committee Deputy Chairman on Human Rights said, “All what the APC and its leaders need to do is to remain focused, united, prepared to sacrifice and shove aside pride and egos in order to field credible candidate that will be acceptable to the people. Makinde added: “A paradigm shift is necessary and the time is now. A young, detribalized, dynamic and vibrant politician with integrity is all we need to counter PDP come 2015. It shall be well with our fatherland.”

Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, signing the condolence register when he visited Governor Babatunde Fashola over the death of his father, Pa Ibrahim Ademola Fashola at Marina House in Lagos yesterday.

CNPP decries high level of corruption in Nigeria


he Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) at the weekend expressed concerns over the high level of corruption in the country. CNPP’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Osita Okechukwu, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.Okechukwu who noted that ``corruption had eaten deep into the fabrics of the society called for all hands to be on deck to tackle the menace. ``For there to be any meaningful development, corruption has to be tackled first, it is the main problem bedeviling the country. ``When a road contract is awarded, and year in year out you continue to budget for the same contract which is not executed, the outcome of course is corrupt practise. He said with the excess crude account and the annual budget there was the need to ensure that contractors were paid and that projects completed within the

specified period. Okechukwu noted that ``when transparent leadership is enthroned in the country, then Nigeria will advance in all facets.” ``The corrupt officials in Nigeria do not remember religion; if you go through the ring leaders of the pension scam they have all the federal character, so there is no

crisis there. ``The impact of that pension scam is that it led to the death of some of the pensioners because they could not get their pension. ``The result also is that it had made those in service to start stealing from government coffers because the scam is a pointer that they might not get anything when they retire,” he

said. Okechukwu, a chieftain of APC and former member Joint Merger Committee of the APC, said that ``a government might come up in 2015 which could help the country to tackle corruption”. He however called for accountability in running the affairs of government at all levels. (NAN)

Gov. Nyako disassociates self from 2015 presidential posters


ov. Murtala Nyako of Adamawa has disassociated himself from campaign posters across the state announcing his presidential ambition come 2015. A statement signed by his Director Press and Public Affairs, Malam Ahmad Sajoh, said the development was the handiwork of mischief makers. ``The attention of Adamawa state Government has been drawn to activities of some unscrupulous mischief makers who have printed posters of Gov. Murtala Nyako. ``These posters purporting to announce Gov. Nyako’s Presidential ambition are false, malicious and the handiwork of demented minds bent on tarnishing the name and image of the governor,’’ the statement said. It added that it was also ``to create further distraction from his focused and principled leadership”. It said it was unfortunate that some enemies of the state had continued to malign the governor at any given opportunity since he assumed duty. The statement noted that ``Nyako is a courageous individual who will not hide under any faceless posters to announce his ambition to any office in the land.’’ The statement also said that those behind the posters were also planning to paste same in Abuja and Niger Delta states. ``We are also aware that these groups of mischief makers intend to paste these posters in Abuja and the Niger Delta in order to create disharmony between Gov. Nyako and President Goodluck Jonathan. ``Security agencies have been alerted to apprehend anyone responsible for such unwholesome activity. ``The governor remains resolute in discharging his mandate and no amount of mischief will derail his resolve to continue his service to the people of Adamawa.” the statement said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the said posters have been removed. (NAN)

Adeyeye slams Fayemi over claim on scholarship award From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


he campaign organisation of Afenifere Chieftain and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Ekiti state, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye, Prince Adedayo Adeyeye Movement (PAAM), has described claim by the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi that he gave scholarship to six Ekiti

students to study abroad as “cheap, childish and a propaganda that can only emanate from the stable of a government that is in desperate search for its lost image and credibility.” PAAM said it was ridiculous for Fayemi to have claimed that he was funding the education of the six students from his own purse, asking “how can a governor whose

monthly salary is less than N700,000 claim that he is funding close to N50 million donation from his personal pocket?” In a statement signed by the Director General of PAAM, Hon. Bisi Kolawole, the governor was asked to list the number of Ekiti students that he helped with as cheap as payment for JAMB form between 2005 and 2010. The statement read: “To

us in the PDP, we recognise that one of the ways to develop a society is to fund education of brilliant but indigent students through award of scholarship. “That was the reason the immediate past PDP government of Engr. Segun Oni gave scholarship to over 3,000 indigent but brilliant Ekiti students, through the State Scholarship Board that the government established.

“Then, students doing PhD in Nigeria got N500,000 while those in foreign universities received N1 million. Those doing their Masters in Nigeria were given N300,000 while those in foreign universities were given N500,000. Four Marine Engineering students were sent to Egypt to study with the government spending N36 million on them.



Politics Taraba PDP: Nyame and his turbulent return to prominence


he return of Former Taraba state Governor, Reverend Jolly Nyame has continued to upset some politicians, Ayodele Samuel and Yusha’u Alhassan write on his second coming to the PDP These are not best of times for Reverend Jolly Tavoro Nyame, former governor of Taraba State as his quest to returns to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met serious oppositions within the state chapter of the party. Nyame, a two-time governor of the state and a founding member of PDP, had earlier defected to the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and contested for Senate in 2011 but lost to Sen. Aisha Alhassan (PDP Taraba North Senatorial District). Nyame after reviewing his political misfortune from the 2011 election began quest to return to his first love but he is not having a soft landing in the party at the state level. But his Taraba State PDP chairman, Victor Bala Kona, said that the party is not aware that the former governor has returned to his fold , after he was loudly received by the PDP Ward Chairman in Zing, Ismaila Mijinyawa, and some other prominent political associates and hundreds of supporters from across the state. Nyame said he,alongside others, was encouraged to return to the party because he believed in the promise by the incumbent national leadership to do justice to all the party members and right the wrongs of the past. Giving reasons for dumping the party in 2011, Nyame said he decided to step aside from the PDP due to what he described as pressure which he would not want to contend with at that time. “Politically, everybody knows in Taraba state that I have

Reverend Jolly Nyame been part and parcel of putting the PDP in place. God, in His infinite mercy, has decided that today is the right time to come back to the party. I have toiled for the party I have worked for”, he added. He said his decision to return to the party was not to witch hunt anybody but in the interest of the party and the good people of the state, whom he said he has at heart. But some politicians in the state however are not comfortable with the second coming of the former governor. Some of the issues hunting Nyame’s return include his ambition to contest the Senate seat

in the 2015 election and his desire for a new congress in the state PDP to accommodate his follower within the party structure. Nyame has also pitched his tent with Senator Alhassan whohas been having a running political battle with Governor Dambaba Suntai and she is perceived as the government’s enemy. Aside from being a major critic of Suntai, she has formed a strong opposition camp against the present leadership of the party at the state level. Aggrieved persons presently calling for the heads of the party executives in the state include the immediate past state chairman

of the party, Dr. Abdulmumuni Vaki, the two senators representing Taraba North and Central, the former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Babangida Nguroje and host of other PDP stakeholders from the state. Senator Asia in a text message to our correspondent said she welcomed the return of the former governor to the party and does not feel threaten with his interest in her present position. Nyame newly found political romance with Senator Asia who is said to eyeing the governorship seat of the state is a boost to the cliché that ‘there is no permanent friend, but permanent interest in politics.’ Political pundits said Nyame returns to the PDP would boast Senator Aisha’s popularity in some quarters where she lacks electoral values to become the state governor. “I am not threatened, why should I be? It is God that gives power to whoever He wants and not man,” she said. Stakeholders also feel that Nyame’s return to the PDP is to seize the party structures from the camp of ailing governor of the state, Suntai, who was involved in a plane crash. A member of the PDP in the state told our correspondents that Nyame’s return would be the beginning of an end for Governor Suntai’s loyalists who forced him to quit the party in 2010. “Nyame return is a dangerous signal for those in the camp of Danbaba because the governor pushed him out of a system he built and his return could be vengeful, more importantly as there is a silent plan to make the Acting Governor a substantive governor in the state. Nyame’s returns might be another strategy from the anti - camps,” he

said. Though, Nyama said there was no reason paying back evil for good done for someone, Senator Kona observed that Nyame did not follow due process in returning to the party he left in 2011. Kona who addressed some members of the party from Zing A (1) ward where the former Governor hails from at the party secretariat in Jalingo said the occasion which Nyame claimed to have returned to the fold of the party was a Ramadan breaking of Fast and is not an avenue to gain registration with PDP. “We are not against the return of Nyame to PDP because our door are always opened to all those interested in our party; but due process must be followed. Nyame has offended his party members right from the ward level to the state level, by agitating for their removal while he was still a member of the ACN. “Nyame is not a small personality and therefore his return should be a pride to us and be heralded by a big ceremony like is done to other VIP returnees; we wonder why the former governor prefers to smuggle himself in to the party through the back door” Kona added. He said both the PDP Chairman of Nyame’s ward, Malam Mijinyawa Ismaila, and his Secretary, Alexander Thomas both also denied registering the former governor, adding that they could not register a new entrant at his private residence instead of the party office. However Mohammed Auwal Jibrin, a youth leader in the state, said the state PDP needs the former governor to keep the house intact as part of the reconciliation efforts of the BamangaTukur led national executive to retain the state in the 2015 general election.

Const. Review: Politicians hail approval of independent candidacy by Reps


ormer Gov. Donald Duke of Cross River and some other politicians at the weekend in Lagos hailed the House of Representatives’ approval of independent candidature for future elections. The politicians told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in interviews that the approval would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy and promote the right of an individual to vote and be voted for. NAN reports that the House of Representatives approved independent candidacy on July 24 during a clause by clause voting on the report of its Ad-hoc Committee on Amendment of the 1999 Constitution. Duke described the lawmakers’ decision as a step in the right direction. He said that America was doing same, and that Nigeria needed to take any steps that would deepen its democracy. ``It will be a good development if we should have it; if a candidate goes for an election and loses, he or she will

have to go and rest,’’ he told NAN. The former governor, however, advised that the initiative should be properly implemented to make it a success. ``Before you qualify for election, you must have a certain number of people to endorse your candidature. ``Otherwise, you find out that there are 200 people contesting an election,’’ the former governor said.

A former Commissioner for Local Governments and Chieftaincy Affairs in Lagos State, Mr. Rotimi Adesoye, said that independent candidature would make Nigeria’s democracy more interesting. He, however, expressed doubts that Nigeria’s democracy was ripe for it. The Chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Mr Ayodele Adewale, said that independent

candidature would strengthen Nigeria’s democracy. Adewale said that independent candidature would enhance the credibility of Nigeria’s elections. ``However, you must not forget the fact that you need to network even though you are an independent candidate,’’ he advised. Sen. Babafemi Ojudu, who represents Ekiti Central Senatorial

District, also told NAN that independent candidature would impact positively on Nigeria’s democracy. ``So if it passes through the Senate and becomes a law, it will be good. ``For now, it cannot become a law because it is only passed by one leg of the National Assembly, ‘’ he said. (NAN)

APGA is back on track – Ilozumba


he All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) is back to the mainstream of Nigerian politics after a long legal battle over its leadership, the Anambra Commissioner for Works, Mr Calistus Ilozumba, has said. Ilozumba made the declaration in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. APGA was enmeshed in a legal tussle at the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu, between Chief Victor Umeh

and Mr Maxi Okwu, over the leadership of the party. The case was resolved in favour of Umeh on July 15. Ilozumba said that the party, after surmounting its crisis, was strategising to face the forthcoming local government and gubernatorial elections in Anambra. He said that the party would remain focused after the elections to face the challenges of subsequent elections in

the country. The commissioner said that the incumbent governor had performed well and could be rated as one of the best governors in the country. ``The people of Anambra are yearning for a competent individual to replace the incumbent Gov. Peter Obi. ``Left for us, there would have been no election because people want him to continue in office; but unfortunately the constitution does not allow for a third

term,” he said. He, however, advised those interested in the governorship race not to dissipate energy, waste their time and resources because they would be disappointed at the end of the day. Ilozumba said that Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo was suspended from the party because he went outside the party’s instructions and constitution to involve himself in anti-party activities. (NAN)



Benue legislator frowns at frosty Kuteb –Tiv relationship

From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


member of the Benue State House of Assembly representing Katsina-Ala west Hon. Iana Jato, has expressed worry over alleged non-refusal of the Taraba state people to accommodate their Tiv brothers after the recent crisis between the Kuteb and Tiv farmers. Jato who said spoke with newsmen in Makurdi admitted that during a level of normalcy has been restored in the area but regretted that Kaowo village in Yantun Special Development Area which is near to Takum has been taken over by the Kuteb and allegedly refusing the Tiv entry into the area. According to him, a certain camp at Ugbemge, another settlement of the Tiv, has remained desolate as the people had fled the area for fear of being attacked by the Taraba people. The legislator, who is a member of the Joint Committee constituted by Benue/Taraba states to look into the immediate and remote causes of the crisis, noted that the committee has concluded its assignment. Jato said that the committee recommended that the Federal Government should take steps to curtail the activities of Fulani cattle rearers. He further said the committee frowned at the involvement of the military formation in Takum in the crisis and urged the Chief of Army Staff to make it a deliberate policy not to use the military to molest civilians. As he put it, “the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees freedom of movement and settlement. “I know prominent Taraba people who reside here and even have huge investment. “So why should they deny the Tiv who are original inhabitants of the area, freedom to live there?”


Alakyo killings: Aide defends Ewuga From Maa’ji Dandaura, Lafia


former coordinator of the Peace Corps in Nasarawa state and aide to Senator Solomon Ewuga, Mr. Haruna Mohammed Ubandoma, has decried a recent report in which one Bala Dan Alkali from Awe town accused Senator Solomon Ewuga of supporting the activities of the Ombatse militia in the state. Ubandoma told our corre-

spondent that the report may not be unconnected with activities of a group using a pseudonym to discredit the integrity of Ewuga. He described Senator Solomon Ewuga as a man of integrity and somebody that always assist the less privileged, adding that he don’t believe that Senator Solomon Ewuga would bring himself so low to support the activities of ombatse militia in the state. “Senator Solomon Ewuga is a

lawyer who knows what is right and wrong and sees no reason why people should blackmail him. Ubandoma commended Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura for embarking on meaningful projects in the state which impact on lives of the people. He also enjoined the Governor to ensure that the new Lafia market becomes functional as soon as possible as all the stores have already been allocated to traders

by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. He said there was the need for Lafia town to have general hospital which he said would go a long way in reducing congestion at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital. He also stressed the need for the Nasarawa State government to upgrade the status of Sarki Shabu, Arikya, Ekye and others to first class status.

President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) flanked by Vice President Nnamdi Sambo (2nd right, FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed (right), FCT Minister of state, Olajumoke Akinjide (left) and FCT senator, Phillip Tanimu Aduda (2nd left) during a Sallah humage to the President on Tuesday Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

UK is expensive for Nigeria immigrants, says British volunteer From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


British citizen and member of Volunteer Service Overseas, Mr. Michael Young, has urged Nigeria’s youth to remain at home and contribute to the development of the country instead of risking their lives in search of ‘unreal’ greener pasture. Young stated this along his counterpart, Miss Samuel Joy Ben, during a press conference in Ilorin to mark the beginning of International Youth Day celebration in collaboration with National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN). According to him, “immigrants could make it in their countries without embarking on dangerous journey.” Narrating his experience with Nigerian immigrants in the United Kingdom (UK), Young disclosed that his contact with a Nigerian in Britain was not palatable. According to Young, “I met him in the toilet and he told me

he has a wife and children who he had to cater for. “He told me he has to work for 15 hours washing toilets in different places. “The question is, why can’t they stay in Nigeria? You can’t make it in this country because life in the UK is too expensive.

The youth can be in Nigeria and contribute to the development of the country.” The volunteer who appealed to government to ensure good policies on education said it was through a policy of compulsory education for children between six to 18 years that help UK to re-

duce poverty and youth unrest. Young cautioned Nigerian youth and immigrants to be sure of where they are going if at all they want to travel abroad stressing that the risks foreigners face are too challenging. His counterpart, Miss Ben ad-

vised Nigerian youth to change their attitude towards acquisition of money stressing that there are many ways they can contribute meaningfully to the society. The NYCN Chairman, Comrade Kazeem Adekanye, noted that the quest for greener pasture lure Nigerians abroad. (NAN)

Borno to establish additional anti-retroviral treatment centres


he Borno state government says it intends establishing additional Anti Retroviral Treatment Centres across the state to make it easy for People Living Positive to manage their condition. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salma Kolo, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Maiduguri on Thursday. Kol said that no fewer than 16, 396 persons living with HIV and AIDS had been placed on free Anti Ret-

roviral Treatment (ART) in 13 healthcare centres in the state. According to her, the gesture was aimed at providing succour to the beneficiaries to enable them live normal life. She said that the state government had also introduced measures to check the spread of the deadly HIV virus. “Government has overhauled the Borno State Action Committee on AIDS (BOSACA) to make it more effective. “We are also collaborat-

ing with the National Action Committee on AIDS (NACA) and other stakeholders, to reduce the HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in the state,” Kolo said. The Commissioner further stated that the problem of stigmatisation and discrimination against persons living positive, had reduced significantly in the state, by almost 80 per cent. Speaking on other diseases, Kolo said that government had successfully eradicated Guinea worm disease from the state after adopting

numerous measures. “I am happy to say that Borno state has been free from Guinea worm disease since 2011 due to concerted efforts by the state government and its partners. “We were also able to prevent Cholera and Cerebrospinal meningitis outbreak in the last two years,’’ she added. Kolo also said about 158 persons discovered with leprosy disease last year, were being treated to prevent the spread of the disease to other people.




Some Interesting Facts


he sound of E.T. walking was made by someone squishing her hands in Jello. •The term “the whole 9 yards” came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got “the whole 9 yards.” •The term skyscraper was first used way back in 1888 to describe an 11-story building. •The term, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye” is from Ancient Rome. The only rule during wrestling matches was, “No eye gouging.” Everything else was allowed, but the only way to be disqualified is to poke someone’s eye out. •The three best-known western names in China: Jesus Christ, Richard Nixon, and Elvis Presley. •The United States has never lost a war in which mules were used. •The verb “cleave” is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate. •The very first bomb dropped by the Allies on Berlin during World War II killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo. •The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian


phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the king is dead”. •The word “four” is the only number-word that has the same amount of letters as its numerical value. •The word “samba” means “to rub navels together.” •The world population of chickens is about equal to the number of people. •The world’s greatest lover was King Mongut of Siam. He had 9,000 wives. Before dying of syphilis, he was quoted in saying he only loved the first 700. •The world’s youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910. •The youngest pope was 11 years old. •There are 293 ways to make

a change for a dollar. •There are more collect calls on Father’s Day than any other day of the year. •There are more plastic flamingos in America than real ones. [And most of them are in Parma!] •There are twice as many kangaroos in Australia as there are people. The kangaroo population is estimated at about 40 million. •There are two credit cards for every person in the United States. •There is a town in Newfoundland, Canada called Dildo. •They have square watermelons in Japan... they stack better. •Thomas Edison was afraid of the dark.

•Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on roads in Sweden. The conversion to righthand was done on a weekday at 5pm. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. This time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realize *this* was the day of the changeover. •Walter Cavanaugh, “Mr. Plastic Fantastic,” has 1,196 different valid credit cards. •Watch out for flying hockey pucks - they travel at up to 100 mph. •What color was Christopher Columbus’s hair? Blonde. •When Bugs Bunny first appeared in 1935, he was called Happy Rabbit.

Say what?


The power of the Criollo: The power of the Criollo horses at the CabanhaIpu located in Paran, Brazil. The Criollo is the native horse of Uruguay (1910), Argentina (1918), Brazil (1932) and Paraguay. It may have the best endurance of any horse breed in the world next to the Arabian. Photo by Chris Schmid


FCT coaches positive on youths engagement Stories by Albert Akota


he Chairman, Nigeria Football Coaches Association (NFCA), FCT Chapter Godwin Bamigboye said the aim of organising the FCT Coaches Vacation Clinic and Competition was to positively engage the youths. The chairman, who told Peoples Daily Sports in Bwari over the weekend during the flag-off of the clinic in Abuja, said that the association would take the advantage of the long vacation to train the youths and coaches in the FCT. He said that the association decided to put the event together in order to also discover talented players. He said that the players and coaches would be tutored on the need to be investment conscious and groomed to prepare for life after retirement from active footballing. “It is an opportunity to inculcate in the youth the spirit of patriotism, love and unity,’’ he said. The coaching clinic was anchored by seasoned Football coaches and referees. They include Samuel Abimbola, CAF ‘B’ licensed coach; Gidado Usman, CAF ‘B’ licensed coach; Donald Paris, UEFA Pro licensed coach and Jamila Bello, first female FIFA badge referee in Nigeria. Meanwhile, minister of FCT Senator Bala Mohammed, who was represented by the FCT FA secretary Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi said that no fewer than 1,000 youths and 200 coaches attended the maiden edition of the FCT grassroots football coaching clinic and competition at Bwari town in Bwari Area Council. Peoples Daily Sports gathered that the event which was organised under the auspices of the NFCA, FCT Chapter was boycott by the Chairman of Bwari Area Council, Hon. Peter Ushafa, at the Bwari Township Stadium. The coaching clinic and competition would also be organised in the other Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory, according to Abdulllahi.


NFF praises minister as he celebrates birthday today


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has congratulated the Minister of Sports/Chairman of National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi as the latter celebrates his birthday today. NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, admitted at the weekend that Abdullahi’s masterstroke of forging peace within the Nigeria football family and giving ample support to the NFF to adequately prepare Nigeria’s national teams for major matches and championships have contributed immensely to the new heights that our football is scaling. “The minister deserves all the plaudits that we can offer. He is a

dynamic person with plenty of ideas and also very pragmatic. “There is absolutely no doubt that he is one man energetically working to give meaning and essence to the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration”, Maigari stated. Nigeria football has find its rudder on the back of a carefullynegotiated peace resolution and Abdullahi, against the preferred posture of his predecessors, opted to work harmoniously with the Nigeria Football Federation to drive the country’s game to heights previously considered too high. In Abdullahi’s 20 months in

Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi charge of the commission, Nigeria has achieved a first Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 19 years, a firstever participation in the real FIFA Confederations Cup tournament, first-ever qualification for the African Nations Championship, a first-ever Football House for the NFF and motivated the football body to put together the youngest and most promising U-17 team ever. Both Abdullahi and NFF are presently working assiduously to reach another milestone – Super

Eagles’ qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil. The Golden Eaglets are also looking to lift the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates later in the year. Maigari added: “The NFF and Nigeria football family are very happy with the Honourable Minister and we pray that God will continue to give him the strength of character and wisdom to push through all his brilliant ideas of setting Nigeria sports on the right path.

Sports performance stirred by Jonathan’s support, says Gaiya


he Chairman House Committee on Sports Godfrey Gaiya, has said Nigeria’s improved performance in international competitions could have been stirred by the resolve of President Goodluck Jonathan to reward excellence. Gaiya who made this assertion over the weekend in Abuja, said lauded Mr. President for his stewardship towards sports. “It’s a departure from the past where promises were made and were never redeemed but we thank God for President Jonathan who believes that the sacrifices of these athletes must not go in vain. “I believe President Jonathan

means well for those who have distinguished themselves to represent this country. “Nigeria is such a wonderful country that if you do well, the country will not forget you and I think that is the most important message that has been lacking. “Now we have seen that message put to effective implementation will do well for the country and nobody will forget you.’’ Gaya also attributed the successes of Nigeria to the committee’s commitment to sports development.

“The committee was challenged to perform its oversight functions considering the importance of sports to the wellbeing of the country. “It is the seriousness the committee attached to sports development in the country that paved the way for the success the country recorded at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa. “Sport has become so critical to the wellbeing of Nigeria that anybody that wants to excel in this country should never overlook it, it’s an important unifying factor that any government must key into to bring a better

understanding that this country desires. He said that the committee had gone round the country to ensure that facilities were in place for potential athletes and sportsmen. Gaya said that this would ensure that established facilities were not allowed to rot because if they did, it simply meant that athletes had no place to go. “So, I am always very happy whenever they call me committee chairman on sports because I know that if Nigeria is doing well today in sports nobody talks about religion, origin or tribe,’’ Gaiya said

Work permit stops Mba’s Stoke City move


toke City will not consider a move for Sunday Mba as he did not play enough games for Nigeria to be granted a work permit. Netherlands-based agent Richard Umejei said that a proposed move to the EPL for Mba fell through because in the last two years, the player has only played 10 of the 20 internationals involving Nigeria. Umejei: “It’s a pity Mba can no longer go to Stoke City because of work permit issues. “He played 10 matches out of 20 matches, which is far below the 75% required for him to be granted a work permit. Had he played another five

matches, he would have been good to go. “Both the Stoke chief scout, Kevin Cruickshank, and director of football, Mark Cartwright, were keen to invite him before they researched that his international appearances fall short of minimum required for a work permit. Kevin Cruickshank told Umejei, “I’ve been looking into his playing record for Nigeria and I’m not sure he qualifies for a work permit. He has only played 10 of the last 20 competitive games (50%) for his county in the last 2 years.” Among the games he missed were 2013 AFCON group matches against Zambia and Burkina Faso as well as qualifiers against Liberia both home and

away as well as the home game versus Rwanda in Calabar. Director of football Cartwright said Mba as a talented player.


“Having now watched his last three games while he does look a talented player, he has been played in midfield,” he remarked.


Sports Federation set to unveil new National Open Boxing Championship


he Nigeria Boxing Federation (NBF) has initiated a new National championship, the National Open Championship. The event will run from Aug 16 to Aug 24, in Lagos. Addressing a news conference in Lago over the weekend, NBF board member, Azania Omo-Agege, said it was the resolve of the board that boxing would no longer be inactive as there was an urgent need to keep boxers in form for competitions. According to him, the President of the federation, Maj-Gen. Kenneth Minimah, is out to revolutionise the sport for better performance. He noted that federation also decided to introduce the championship because the country did not have boxers to represent it at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Youth Olympic Games. “We also have the 18th African Elite Boxing Championship coming up in Mauritius and the AIBA Youth Women Boxing Championship in Belgium,” Omo-Agege said. He added that the event, as well as other programmes by the federation, would help to revamp the sport. These, he explained, included the Referees seminar, which would essentially help to improve the skills of technical officials and invariably reposition the boxers for the future. The boxing had been redundant since the past one year because of lack of championships. Another member of the board representing the South-East, Ogbu Osundu, noted that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) now had some new rules and new scoring methods that stakeholders needed to be aware of. He announced that there would be a referee’s workshop to be held from Aug. 13 to Aug. 15 in Lagos. According to him, the workshop will be used to acquaint referees with the new rules. The Secretary, NBF, Tunde Luguda, said the 8-day open championship would be used to identify boxers that would form the nucleus of the new National team. `”We have communicated this to all the state associations to present at least a boxer in each of the 10 categories to be competed for.


Hamilton urges NFF to appoint substantive coach for Falcons

Stories by Albert Akota


former Super Falcons Head Coach, Paul Hamilton, yesterday urged the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to appoint a substantive coach for the team. He said that Falcons needed a permanent coach and not a temporary one. The NFF recently directed


a former Coach of Nigeria’s Under-20 women team, the Falconets - Edwin Okon - to take charge of the Falcons for two friendly matches against Japan’s women national team. The assignment was given to Okon pending the appointment of a substantive coach for the team. “All I can see here is people running round in circles over this issue, and making it hard for the team

to progress. It has been on for too long. “They should appoint a permanent coach for the Falcons so they can move forward, If they want to appoint Edwin Okon, they should not make it temporary. “Progress is all we are concerned about; so, let’s just hope for the best,’’ he said. The Falcons are slated to lock horns with their Japanese counterparts in Sept. 22 and Sept. 26 in Osaka, Japan.

invite 15 home-based players to the camp, who would later be joined by their foreign-based counterparts. “The federation has resolved to modify the training camp and tournament dates for the invited players to enable them to work around their school and club programmes. “This was achieved after much consultation with coaches and academic advisers of the national team players, especially in the U.S., who were invited to the Abuja

camp. ``The modified schedules are likely to see the international players reporting to camp in September,’’ the statement said. It also said that six home-based have been short-listed for the newly scheduled camping in Abuja. They are Nkechi Akashili, Evelyn Akhator and Amaka Nwakama. Others are Nkem Akarawe, Nkoyo George and Upe Atosu-all from the Zenith Bank Women League.

President NOC, Sani Ndanusa

Cup qualifiers coming up soon,” Mikel said He played a pivotal role when Nigeria won a third AFCON title in South Africa in February. Meanwhile, Elderson Echiejile was one of the early birds in South Africa ahead of this Mandela Challenge match as he flew into the country on Sunday morning. The Sporting Braga of Portugal star said on his official website that

Wednesday’s match venue Durban reminds him of his first goal for the Eagles against Mali in the semifinal of the AFCON. He also said he remembers the beautiful 85,000-capacity Moses Mbhida Stadium as well as the energetic Zulu dance that preceded the match against Mali in February. The bulk of the Eagles squad is due in South Africa today morning. Wednesday’s friendly will kick off at 6.30 pm Nigerian time.

NBBF puts D’Tigress training camp on hold

he Nigerian Olympic Committee has endorsed the Nigerian Sports Award as a credible award for recognising and rewarding outstanding Nigerian sportsmen. General Manager of Unmissable Incentives Limited, Mr. Kayode Idowu, organizer of the award, said the NOC has concluded arrangement to host the IOC Annual Trophy with the Nigerian Sports Award. The IOC Trophy is an award given every year for various member countries to confer on deserving persons, clubs, institutions, athletes, coaches, sponsors and administrators who have contributed to the promotion of Olympism and left a legacy in their respective domain . Idowu said the IOC award comes with different themes every year and the 2013 edition would be in honour of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics in celebration of the 150th anniversary of his birth Idowu said the NOC had been supportive to the Nigerian Sports Award. NOC Secretary General, Tunde Popoola, applauded the organizers and the credibility of the award panel.

Basketball players


he Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has put on hold the planned to resumed training camp for the national women’s team, D’Tigress, in Abuja today. In a statement signed by its media officer, Patrick Omorodion, the NBBF said that the suspended training was in preparation for the Afro Basket Women’s Championship scheduled for Mozambique. The federation had planned to

Mandela challenge: Mikel arrives South Africa tomorrow



Nigerian Sports Award gets thumbs up

helsea star Mikel Obi will join the Super Eagles tomorrow ahead of a friendly against hosts South Africa in Durban. Mikel, who has been busy with his club’s pre-season build-up in the USA, said he will leave London for South Africa tonight. “I will be in South Africa on Tuesday morning because I will leave London Monday night. It will be an interesting game for both sides as we have World



Fabregas doubt for Barcelona opener


escFabregas is a doubt for the start of the new La Liga season after spraining his ankle in a 3-1 friendly win against a Malaysia XI in Kuala Lumpur, his club Barcelona said yesterday. The 26-year-old, who was courted by Manchester United this summer before opting to remain at the Nou Camp, will miss Spain’s

midweek friendly against Ecuador but could also skip the start of the new season next weekend. “The tests conducted have confirmed that the player has sprained ligaments on the outside of his right ankle,” said Barca in a statement. Barcelona said they have contacted the Spanish Football

Federation with the hope that Fabregas can undergo treatment in the Catalan capital rather than joining up with the national squad, who play Ecuador in Guayaquil on Wednesday. The club did not reveal how long Fabregas will be out for but local press says he will miss the champions’ La Liga clash with Levante next Sunday.



Robin van Persie

Cardiff sign Medel on club record deal

ardiff City, newly promoted to the English Premier League, on Saturday confirmed a club record signing of Chilean international midfielder Gary Medel from Sevilla FC on a four-year deal. The Welsh outfit said the deal, reported in Spain as being €13 million for a player who is closing on 60 Chilean caps, was still subject to a work permit. Medel, 26, who made three appearances for Chile at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, earlier completed his medical. Cardiff coach Malky Mackay told the club website: “We’re delighted to have secured the services of Gary - a tenacious and intelligent international midfielder.

RVP double gives Moyes first trophy obin van Persie struck twice to earn Manchester United a 2-0 wins over Wigan Athletic in the English season’s curtain-raising Community Shield at a sun-drenched Wembley yesterday. The prolific Dutch striker scored in each half for the Premier League champions who outclassed the surprise FA Cup winners to give their new manager David Moyes an early trophy in his reign at Old Trafford. Van Persie powered home an angled header after six minutes and fired in a deflected shot just before the hour to see off Championship side Wigan who stunned Manchester City to win the Cup before being relegated last season. Young United winger WilfriedZaha showed touches of quality on his debut alongside 39-year-old Ryan Giggs who made his 21st Wembley appearance for the club and the first without Alex Ferguson as his manager.



Chelsea rally for win over Roma


econd-half goals from Frank Lampard and RomeluLukaku lifted Chelsea to a 2-1 win over Roma over the weekend in a friendly football match at RFK Stadium in Washington. Lukaku scored in the 88th minute to give Chelsea the victory in their final friendly before opening English Premier League play next weekend. Veteran midfielder Lampard had equalized for the Blues in the 60th, after Roma went ahead in the 20th through Eric Lamela. Chelsea was quick off the mark, and Roma goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis had to jump in the second minute to deny a volley from Michael Essien. But the Italian side drew first blood in the 20th minute, with the aid of a blunder by Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. The Australian mishandled

a back pass, allowing the ball to bounce off his post toward Eric Lamela, who knocked the ball home from a couple of yards out. Pablo Osvaldo almost doubled the lead for Roma when he created space inside the area, cutting inside Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz and shooting low, but Schwarzer dipped left for the save. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made six substitutions at halftime and the move paid dividends as the English side stepped up the pressure on the Roma goal. In the 60th, Demba Ba’s found Lampard, who made no mistake with a wide open shot from the top of the arc, firing a low drive into the near corner to make it 1-1. The Blues found the winner in the 88th. Eden Hazard threaded through the Roma defense, pulling the ball back for Ba who found Lukaku.

Lukaku fired from close range, his deflected shot finding the back of the net. With the victory Chelsea capped a four-match US pre-season tour. They beat both AC Milan and Inter Milan by 2-0, and fell 3-1 to Real Madrid on Wednesday, when the final of the International Champions Cup friendly tournament in Miami offered Mourinho a chance to take on the

club he departed amid acrimony in June. It is Mourinho’s second spell with Chelsea, the team he guided to Premier League triumphs in 2005 and 2006. Roma, who open their Serie A campaign on August 25, were playing a third stateside warm-up match. They beat the Major League Soccer All-Stars 3-1 and MLS outfit Toronto FC 4-1 on Wednesday.

Gary Medel

Falcao scores on Monaco league debut

(L) RadamelFalcao

R Romelu Lukaku celebrates with team mates

adamelFalcao scored on his Ligue 1 debut as Monaco left it late to record a 2-0 win in Bordeaux. The 27-year-old Colombia striker - who moved from Atletico Madrid this summer in a deal reportedly worth £50m - pounced

on a loose ball to slide in his expensively assembled side’s second. Backed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Monaco’s exChelsea manager Claudio Ranieri was able to select summer signings including James Rodriguez,

Ricardo Carvalho, Eric Abidal and Jeremy Toulalan at StadeChabanDelmas. Despite the money lavished on them, the principality side seemed to be headed towards a draw before Emmanuel Riviere and Falcao scrambled home in the final stages.



Sports Fans, journalists gave me big boss, says Keshi •••reveal AFCON secret Stephen Keshi has gradually turned the Super Eagles into a formidable force. He took the reins from former international, Samson Siasia, who was eased out following his failure to steer the Super Eagles to a place in the finals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. In less than 16 months, Keshi led the new-look Super Eagles to victory at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Cup in South Africa against all odds. The ‘Big Boss’ is now flavour of the month in Nigeria and he sat down with for a very candid chat.


ongrats coach on your good work so far with the Super Eagles. Thank you very much. Let’s begin on an unconventional note; a lot of people do not understand why you are referred to as the “Big Boss.” Mind telling us how you got that nickname? Do I have an explanation for that? (Laughs) I came in to play for Nigeria in 1991. It was a Nations Cup qualifier against Algeria. During the game at the stadium, National Stadium, Surulere, the journalists and the fans started screaming and singing, ‘Give us Big Boss; give us Big Boss.’ I tried to find out but I couldn’t. I think it has to do with the fact that when I’m on the pitch, I’m always directing and dishing out instructions to my teammates. I always ensured that we want to win at all costs. That is me and I guess that is why I am known as the Big Boss. Who is the current Big Boss in the Super Eagles now? It is not easy to attain such heights as a player where you command the respect of your fellow players and even your coaches. It takes great discipline and charisma. Humility and commitment are important factors too. Right now, we don’t really have a player like that if I am to be honest. I am still looking for the Big Boss and I am sure very soon such a player will emerge. Samson Siasia, the man you replaced once told me that coaching the Super Eagles can be likened to a “pressure cooker environment.” How have you dealt with the pressure since taking the job? Well, you just try to stay focused on the job. Every Nigerian is a football coach and probably an expert in the game. They all have their own opinions and most of them believe they are always right. You listen to them and if there’s anything to make out from whatever they are telling you, you do it, but if there is none, you just let it fall aside. The most important thing is to remain focused and know where you are going. That is the essential element that I need to have, and that’s what I’ve been

Stephen Keshi doing. There has been conflicting reports about the bonus row that almost stopped the Super Eagles from competing at the 2013 Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil. What exactly happened? The players were asking for their normal winning bonus which wasn’t there. The disagreements started from Kenya (where the Super Eagles defeated the Harambee Stars 1-0 on June 5). After winning in Kenya and after the game in Namibia, they wanted to know what was going on with their bonuses and also get things clarified. Two players represented the team, in the meeting to get things sorted out. They were not that satisfied (with the explanations of the officials of the Nigeria Football Federation). So after the game against Namibia, they said they were not going to Brazil. It took us all by surprise because after the game, the Ambassador in Namibia gave us a wonderful dinner, everybody was happy and after that the boys said ‘we are not travelling tomorrow if this thing is not resolved’ and that made us to miss our flight. We had to stay for another one, two days in Namibia before leaving for Brazil. You recently attended a meeting recently with the sports minister in relation

to the bonus row. What did the minister say to you at the meeting? Nothing much, he just wanted to know what happened. He also wanted to know first-hand, the performance of the team at the Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil. The Flying Eagles coach, John Obuh was also present at the meeting. The minister meant well. He wanted us to project a way forward to make us to qualify for the next World Cup and stay up there among the elite of countries in football. There is a huge clamour for you to recall Peter Odemwingie back to the squad. Will you? I have spoken severally on this subject and I am now sounding like a broken record now. I need to have players that want to play for the country, that want to give everything for the country and that’s it, so it’s not about saying I want to come, but how committed are you and how are you ready to go along with the other players? Peter is somebody that I admired a long time ago even when I was not a national team coach from far wherever I’m watching the Super Eagles play. He is a very good player and is still going to have his opportunity to come back. That’s for sure. He will have his opportunity to show Nigerians that he is here to serve his fatherland.

Victor Anichebe has been in great form for Everton. Any hopes of seeing him back in the national team any time soon? Victor Anichebe is just like any other Nigerian player that we want to see. I want to see him play for Nigeria, but everything depends on him. We made several requests of him. We sent e-mails to the club and the club promised us they will forward it to him. There was never a response to that we tried to contact him in person, but it was very difficult. If he will like to play for Nigeria again then I can come over and talk. I discussed this with John Mikel Obi at the Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil but I’ve not heard anything yet from Mikel; we’ll see how it goes. Joseph Yobo is closing in on 100 international caps but has not played for the Super Eagles since the Afcon in February. Is his national team career over? He is still our captain. I can’t feature him right now, because I don’t want to bring him in and keep him on the bench. He has done so well for this country that I will bring him in and put him on the bench, I want to bring him in and start games. I have these young fellows (Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona) that are doing so well I cannot bring him back at this moment.

Yobo is going to come back to the team. I want to make sure that he gets his hundredth caps. He’s a very good kid of mine. I made him captain in Namibia about 12 years ago, so he is my friend, he’s part of me. What can you report about Inter Milan midfielder, Joel Obi. He hardly played last season as a result of injuries. Joel Obi knows the team in and out. It’s just unfortunate that he’s struggled so much with injuries. The last time we spoke he told me he was going through rehabilitation and all those stuff. He’s a player that I wanted to pick for the Nations Cup. He’s a very hardworking kid; very disciplined too but he’s been injured and can’t make it to the team just yet. Hopefully, before November he might still play one or two games. Your project with domestically-based talent continues at pace. What informed your decision to put your faith in homebased players when your predecessors refused to do same? I started in the home league and most of the stars today also started in the home front as well. I recall that one of the home-based players, Gambo Mohammed of Kano Pillars missed a goalscoring opportunity against world champions Spain at the Fifa Confederations Cup and was criticised. It sounded strange to me because great players miss chances too. It is by giving players such opportunities that they improve and gain experience. Should the Super Eagles lose to Malawi in September, it will mean failure to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil. Will you quit if that happens? If it’s going to make Nigeria to do better, if I leave, why not, Nigeria is not the end of the world to coach or to work as there are a lot of countries out there that looking for coaches so leaving the Nigeria job is not a big deal. I came from somewhere so it’s not like I’m going to be here all my life. It’s a privilege that I’m coaching Nigeria, it does not mean that, If I don’t coach Nigeria anymore, then that’s the end of me, no.







1.Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, known as O Galo (The Rooster) have reached new heights with 2013 Copa Libertadores triumph, heralding their regional dominance in the Minas Gerais state championships. 2.England Women’s defence of the Nations Cup in Colorado ended with a 27-13 defeat in the final against Canada. 3. Players don’t just change clubs for money or fame. Often, the man on the sideline matters more, James Horncastle believed. 4. Rafael Nadal moved into the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal after beating world number one and top seed Novak Djokovic 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2). 5. Usain Bolt targets the world 100m title after Great Britain’s Christine Ohuruogu runs in the 400m semi-final in Moscow.




. . . putting the people first



Nadal beats Djokovic to reach Rogers Cup final


afael Nadal moved into the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal after beating world number one and top seed Novak Djokovic 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7-2). It was Nadal’s second victory in three meetings with the Serb this year and his 21st win in 36 matches overall. The Spaniard built a 6-0 led in the deciding tie-break and went on to wrap up victory in two hours and 20 minutes. In the other semi-final, Milos Raonic beat his fellow Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7-4). Nadal, who lost in the first round to Steve Darcis at Wimbledon, has won 47 of his 50 matches this year, including a five-set French Open semi-final triumph against Djokovic, and will rise to number three in the world rankings regardless of whether he wins yesterday’s final. The defeat ended a 13-match winning run in Canada for Djokovic, who also won the title in 2007 before his back-to-back successes in 2011 and 2012. Djokovic, 26, took the match into a deciding set after he came from 40-0 down to break serve in the eighth game of the second. But 27-year-old Nadal, winner of eight titles this year, reached his 10th final of 2013 on his third match point when Djokovic sent a return long. Nadal has won all three of his previous meetings with Raonic, two of which have been on hard courts similar to those in Montreal. Meanwhile Wimbledon champion Andy Murray reached the final of the doubles with fellow Scot Colin Fleming, defeating sixth seeds Robert Lindstedt and Daniel Nestor 6-3 6-0.

Rafael Nadal

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QUOTABLE QUOTE My boss is fine. When I visited him we shook hands and he thanked me for my visit...I haven’t contacted his doctors so I won’t give a date for his return. — Acting governor of Taraba state, Alhaji Garba Umar on the health of Gov. Dantaba Suntai, receiving treatment in the United States

Abati and the ‘Seeds of Discord’


ast Tuesday, this paper reported exclusively that President Jonathan had sought to break fast with former military President General Ibrahim Babangida in his Hill top residence. Quite wisely, the latter turned down the request of the former at the eleventh hour, citing certain protocol breaches as an excuse. Key among them was the absence of the governor of the state, Babangida Aliyu. Any sensible person with considerable political clout in Babangida’s position would do just that. A private visit by Jonathan at this time when his rating is at an all time low is like the kiss of death. It is terminally contagious. Except for the heavily immunized against the political virus afflicting the president like Chief Obasanjo, I dread the aftermath. Understandably, an ordinarily amiable Reuben Abati, the president’s mouthpiece and possibly sidekick was livid with rage. He dismissed the story, in a strongly worded rebuttal, as the editors’ fiction, possibly fabricated in a drunken stupor. He didn’t stop at that. He called it “arrant falsehood” and “a further manifestation of a continuing effort to sow the seeds of discord in the polity.” At this precise point, I became alarmed that the job of polishing bronze to shine like gold has taken its toll on the man. Educate me, please. How could the news of a former leader shutting his door to a current leader amount to sowing ‘‘the seeds of discord”? Juxtapose the measured language and finesse in the rebuttal of the same story by the IBB camp, you could not but agree with Soyinka about “taking the hippopotamus away from the swamp and not taking the swamp out of the hippopotamus”. The difference is as clear as between daylight and nightfall. Almost every day, aggrieved interests challenge and refute stories published by newspapers. None accuses the papers of ‘sowing the seeds of discord’. Among the severally and repeatedly maligned interests is Atiku Abubakar. Few political leaders in the current Republic have been so misrepresented and maligned as the former Vice President. But his media handlers have always had the grace to be graceful in rebutting or refuting the ‘misleading’ story. Not so the Jonathan people. It is always ‘combat’. Could it be that Abati has lost his swagger as the urbane columnist that told truth to power and has become just another grumpy aide angling for the king’s recognition? Given the history of this government, “sowing the seeds

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Ali M. Ali

Reuben Abati of discord” is natural to it. Pray tell, what is the difference between Obasanjo and IBB? Both are retired generals. Both live on hilltops. Both are former presidents. Both are patriots, no doubt. They have their civil war scars to show for their undiluted love for country. So what is the difference? SHAME, if you asked me. By selfadmission, Obasanjo shocked not a few that he is lacking in shame, that nothing embarrasses him. Babangida is yet to get there. May he never get there! I would be pretty ashamed as a patriot who fought a civil war to host a sectional president like Jonathan. In actions and thoughts, he has severally betrayed condemnable traits of sectionalism. In 2010, for instance, he stoutly defended MEND for the murderous action of detonating bombs on Independence Day. The group claimed responsibility for

their terror act but the president dismissed it with a strut, insisting that MEND were his ‘people’ and that they were not ‘terrorists’. Henry Okah, the mastermind, is presently cooling his feet in a South African jail for his role. He made damning claims linking top shots in the presidency to the scheming to blame certain people for the tragic blasts. Curiously all of them were from the North. Fast-forward to January 2012. The president chose a church to announce that elements of Boko Haram have infiltrated his government. We were astounded. How could the president have made such a weighty declaration in a place of worship and not at a security meeting where all his top military commanders would be in attendance? Not to worry. Our president is a ‘transformative’ leader. At once, elements who do not go to church including military and police commanders became suspects. Currently, there is no love lost between Jonathan and Aliyu. Disregard any public pretensions to the contrary. The feud is real. It is wholly or partly about 2015. As chair of the Northern State Governors’ Forum (NSGF), the loquacious chief servant of Niger state was the one that let the cat out of the bag that the governors agreed to a deal that Jonathan would serve only one term. With this understanding they supported him in 2011. Some of them didn’t reckon that the president could defile the office he occupies with grand perfidy. President and governor

Could it be that Abati has lost his swagger as the urbane columnist that told truth to power and has become just another grumpy aide angling for the king’s recognition? Given the history of this government, “sowing the seeds of discord” is natural to it.

are currently engaged in shadow boxing. A kind of battle of wits. Most northern governors except Jang, Suswam, Shema and Yuguda are solidly behind Aliyu. Most PDP governors are shakily behind the president. The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) election has seared the body to the bottom with 16 votes greater than 19.Who planted the ‘seeds of discord’? Jonathan might not have personally said it, but his body language is speaking loudly about this blinding obsession to run for the nation’s plum job in 2015. Concession and engagement with all the critical groups got him the job in 2010 and 2011.This time, threats of Armageddon unless elected are driving the ambition. It is truly baffling. The tail is wagging the dog. All his known foot soldiers have been set loose to that effect. They are a mixed breed. And expectedly from the president’s backyard. Check them out. Old man Clark leads the pack. Kindergarten soldier Dokubo leads the militant wing. Presidential adviser Kuku leads the ‘urbane’ group. The agitation by the Ijaw ‘nation’ to keep their son willynilly in the cozy chambers of power beyond the next general polls is gender sensitive. That is why Ankio Briggs is also running from pillar to post literally ‘smoking’ that unless Jonathan returns, the region would hoard its oil resource and the rest of the country can go jump into the lagoon of penury. We, not blessed with oil and lacking in revenue sources, may as well starve for all she cares. Seated at this table of debauchery, encouraged by a sickeningly divisive president, are destitute elements outside Jonathan’s enclave seeking crumbs and political relevance. One recent example is Abba Gana, former FCT minister. A couple of days ago, he played Dokubo. He pointedly told the most restive anti-Jonathan 2015 to ‘forget’ it. His contention is that the North is not ‘prepared’. Others are Onoja, Birmah. Gulak. Enough of the roll call to the hall of infamy. I could go on and on. The list of Jonathan-must-continue orchestra is as long as the treachery of his kitchen cabinet. An educated guess can explain why otherwise men in full control of their thinking faculties would choose the path of political odium. They are broke or seeking political cover to escape or get even with some local political enmity. Factual reportage is sacrosanct. In this paper, we don’t just go to town unless we are certain the story is real. We don’t ascribe our failings to others. “Sowing the seeds of discord” is not our mantra. Abati had better look inwards for the sower!

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 12, August, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 12, August, 2013 Edition

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