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FAAC: FG, states, LGs share N1.19trn for Aug, Sept Page 6

Why we took to kidnapping as trade, suspects confess

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Pages 10 6 >>Page

. . . Pu ttin g th e people first Vol. 3 No. 60


THUL HAJJ 7-8, 1434 AH


How I survived 20 years on throne – Suleja Emir ‘Our regrets for ceding Suleja to FCT’

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Eid-el-Kabir: Cost of rams up in Abuja, Kaduna, down in Kano Page 9

Counting the cost of Boko Haram crisis

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*Over 3,000 lives lost *FG spends N1.5trn *Emergency states blow 3.1bn

e n i z a g a M end Week ment Entertain

s Beauty Tip


d Kannywoo



Customers at the Pantami livestock market in Gombe metropolis in preparation for Eid-el-Kabir celebration ...yesterday

villain lai ain in – SK

Eedris Abdulkareem steps up fight with Don Jazz >>P34

Kannywoo d’s Fati lands role in Chinese mov ie

Talent without money e is waste by Studio >>P37


Meet the paralysed woman who lives inside tube for 61 years

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Interview National dialogue is mere deceit, a distraction, says PDM Chairman


DM was seen as a pressure group within the PDP, why did you decide to move out from the PDP and form this political party? Many of you know that from 2003 to date, there have been internal struggles within the PDP for the last ten years between people who believed in Democracy, in the rule of law in giving members of their choice and those who believed in imposition, this struggle has been going on for the last ten years and we are not going anywhere, we are not making progress. So we realized that if we had used these 10 years of constant struggle within the party in building our party, the party that believes in internal democracy which is the reason why PDM came into PDP in the first place. If we had done this in these last ten years PDM would have taken over the leadership of this country a long time ago. Those that believed in the internal party democracy and those that don’t believe in it cannot continue to co-exist in the same party and that is the reason why we thought we should pull out and register our own party. PDM has been the most powerful and the most influential segment of the PDP. We decided to pull out and register as a political party in order to launch those things that we believed in, and to take power away from the PDP. What is the role of Atiku Abubakar in the PDM? The question you asked is not for me, it is for Atiku Abubakar but I will tell you a little bit about what I know. Everybody knows that Atiku Abubakar was a founding member of PDM when it was founded in 1987 and transformed into PDM today as we know in 1994. But there are many members of PDM, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who was also a founding member but he is now in another political party. As we speak today Atiku is in PDP that is his choice. I think Nigerians should respect his choice. I don’t know why people continue to ask the same question. To be more candid about this, what is wrong with any Nigerian belonging to any political party of his choice? Why are people worried that Atiku is still a member of PDP and not a member of PDM? I think that should be the question you should be asking him because we want him to leave the PDP and come and join us. The reason why we left the PDP is probably the reason why there are crisis in PDP. So they have probably seen what we have seen but probably it’s late. We believe it’s better late than never. So if they are thinking of leaving the PDP, I think that is the best option for them. We have already left, let them come and join us. What do you think about the National Conference? We have never expressed a view on the National conference because

The Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) is against the National Dialogue because the members see it as a political gimmick that President Goodluck Jonathan wants to use to distract people from focusing on his bad government. PDM also believes the President wants to use the conference to elicit ethnic, religious and other base sentiments, according its chairman, Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim. He spoke with Ahmed Kaigama, Peoples Daily Weekend Correspondent in Bauchi. Excerpts….

to a fake one and this is what PDP is good at. We on our part have demonstrated that it is possible to us to register members of our political party by use of technology to register voters. It is the same technology that you can to vote. So why are they stopping us from using electronic voting? And the other thing is the issue of Nigerians in Diaspora. The reason some Nigerians have left the country is bad governance. If our country is working well as it should be, most of those that have left the country would not have. For them to return, they must participate in enthroning good governance. The best way so for them to do this is to participate in voting for the people they believe in. That is only possible through the electronic voting which gives them the opportunity to vote wherever they may be in the world. So, unless this is done, our election process will continue to be manipulated. We are not saying that electronic voting cannot be manipulated, but the opportunity for manipulation substantially reduces when it is electronic voting, because people that have access to the system are fewer. So we completely support electronic voting and we call on INEC to do whatever it has to do in order to make sure that 2015 election is done electronically. Do you have confidence in INEC to conduct free, fair and credible elections? will not say I have confidence in INEC Chairman or even in INEC, until they improve on what they did in 2011. I was there in 2011 watching INEC on T.V. trying to process and announce elections and I saw members of political parties protesting that there are manipulations. They brought prove but they were shut out. Our system is totally unjust. People want a good system and if you can go to court and stay there for ten years, now justice delayed is justice denied, and what we want is for the system to be simpler, for the system to take care of people that are aggrieved. As long as you don’t have that, people will resort to violence and the only way to take care of this is to change the mindset of people by providing justice, employment opportunities and sound education system. What do you think is the solution to lack of internal democracy in party politics? Well, there is no contradiction, we have been saying we want to do it, just wait until we don’t do it. We will go through elections, hopefully, we are going through congresses very soon, may be in the next three months or so. PDM may be a new political organization, but we have been there for about 25 years and our record speaks for us. We have lack of internal democracy in PDP and that is why we pulled out and registered a new political party. So with this new political party our record speaks for us.

I Alhaji Atiku Abubakar they have not even arisen. It is an agitation by some Nigerians and they are entitled to agitate for what they believe is in the best interest of their country. But our position in PDM is that this national dialogue coming at this time is a distraction. The reason why we believe so is because this same President Jonathan had said last year that there is absolutely no reason why we should circumvent the constitutional process of making laws and create another process. e also said that whoever has any grouse with what is going on in the country should go to the National Assembly. That he did not believe in any National Conference. This same Jonathan now has suddenly brought the idea of a national dialogue. The truth of the matter is just semantic, what he wants is a National Conference and we can see through it. Why does Jonathan want a National Conference now? It is because his party is disintegrating under him and he sees the real chance of losing power in 2015. He wants to whip up ethnic, religious and sectional sentiments in order to grab that and ride again to power on the back of sentiment because he has no record to show


Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim

Jonathan…wants to whip up ethnic, religious and sectional sentiments in order to grab that and ride again to power on the back of sentiment because he has no record to show for his performance. So we totally reject this idea of a national dialogue and we endorsed the idea that any dialogue should be initiated by political parties.

for his performance. So we totally reject this idea of a national dialogue and we endorsed the idea that any dialogue should be initiated by political parties. The parties are in a best position to initiate dialogue because dialogue is a political process so government should be busy solving security challenges, providing power, resuscitate the education sector and the healthcare system. As you know ASUU has been on strike for more than three months, what is Jonathan’s business with national dialogue when he’s yet to solve the basic problems of the country? Which dialogue? Our dialogue is to try and resuscitate the educational system and the healthcare system,

provide security, provide electricity, if you do that, then, there will be no need for any dialogue. So we think the national dialogue that Jonathan has sprung on us is a total distraction. Do you support of electronic voting system? e totally support the idea of electronic voting because it is more difficult to manipulate. We believe free and fair election is best served through electronic voting. But as you know, the people that enjoy and benefit from rigging will never allow electronic voting to take place because it is easier to rig election when all you have to do is to substitute the authentic result sheet





Amaechi fears “Baga Massacre” in Rivers, Niger Delta


ivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi has petitioned the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, to investigate the “grave and deteriorating human rights situations” that he alleged were orchestrated by the state’s Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu. The petition, dated October 1 and addressed to the Chairman of NHRC, Chidi Odinkalu, compares the security situation in Rivers State to that of Baga, in Maidugiri, where scores of people were allegedly killed by soldiers pursuing members of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, last April. Mr. Amaechi, therefore called on the NHRC to replicate its “groundbreaking engagement” of the Baga massacre to investigate the security concerns in the state,

Premiumtimes stated. “I believe and assert that the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in Rivers State – if not urgently addressed – holds dire consequence – not just for the over 5 million citizens in the state but for the whole Niger Delta and indeed Nigeria as a whole.” The governor says the NHRC is the only legal authority available to hear his concerns as the Mbuled police in the state have become “antagonistic,” “inaccessible,” “ineffective” and “compromised.” Mr. Mbu fell out with the Governor soon after Mr. Amaechi and the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, had an altercation. Mr. Amaechi once claimed that police officers, under the instruction of Mr. Mbu, blocked the road to Rivers State’s government house,

forcing the governor to take an alternative route to the office. Mr. Mbu, however denied he was out to victimise the governor. He described him as a power-hungry dictator who hated him because he refused to be subservient to him. In his petition, Mr. Amaechi, asks the NHRC to use its “legal power and competencies” to salvage the strategic security formation infrastructures and networks in the state allegedly compromised by Mr. Mbu through his “pattern of actings and utterances.” “Mr. Mbu’s mode of exercising his duties – without recourse to necessary constitutional and legal standards – is creating an environment rife with fear, distrust of public operatives and public institutions, strife, impunity, criminal behaviours and

brigandage: factors which were all complicit in the build-up and the escalation of the pre-amnesty Niger Delta.” The governor says by refusing to acknowledge communication from his office, Mr. Mbu has “unilaterally and unlawfully” precluded his role as the chief security officer of the state. By his alleged undisguised antagonistic behaviours towards the office of the governor, Mr. Amaechi said that the police commissioner has “undermined inter-agency security collaborations, democratic activities of elected and appointed public officers and the operation of whole meeting of government.” “Currently, due principally to the subversive actions of Rivers State Police Commissioner, the regular meeting of the Security council of the State – made up of

the police, military and paramilitary formations within the state under the Chairmanship of the Governor as the Chief Security Officer no longer holds. By truncating the official platform for inter-agency collaboration, Mr. Mbu has contrived a law enforcement environment devoid of accountability and transparency with regards to the operation of various security agencies in the state. Already, there are disturbing new facts which support old trends generally recognised as factors in systematic abuses in human rights of defenceless residents in the hands of state security operatives.” Police authorities had ignored a Senate resolution that Mr. Mbu be redeployed in the interest of peace in the state.

C/River deputy gov’s father kidnapped


he Police in Cross River State yesterday confirmed the abduction of Etubom Essien Cobham, the father of the Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham, by gunmen at his country home in Creek Town, Premiumtimes reports. The Public Relations Officer of the Cross River State Police Command, Hogan Bassey, confirmed the development while speaking with journalists in Calabar. “For security reasons, I cannot tell you what we are doing to rescue him. “The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Kola Sodipo, and senior officers of the command have gone to Creek Town to see the building and the damage done,” Mr. Bassey said. Witnesses said the gunmen abducted the elder statesman at about 2 a.m. yesterday in his residence at Creek Town in the Odukpani Local Government Area of the state. Sources said that the deputy governor’s uncle, whose name was

not immediately ascertained, was also abducted by the gunmen. According to the sources in Creek Town, there was so much shooting while the operation lasted. Sources disclosed that the heavily armed abductors, accompanied by an Alsatian dog, came in through the Calabar creeks with two speed boats. The incident, according to witnesses, lasted for hours and took the community by surprise as the kidnappers fired gun shots indiscriminately to scare away any form of resistance before executing their act. On the number of persons abducted across the state, Mr. Bassey said: “For now we are talking of the father. In due course we will give you details.” On the incident at the residence of the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Ita Ekpenyong, the police spokesperson said the kidnappers could not gain access to Mr. Ekpenyong’s place. (NAN)

Sallah: Shettima doles out 540 bulls for less privileged From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


n the spirit of the forthcoming Eid El Kabir sallah celebrations, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has approved the distribution of 540 bulls for the less privileged, who cannot afford the ‘Eid Addah sacrifice’ in Maiduguri and Jere local government areas. This was contained in a press statement signed by the Commissioner of Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Mr. Inuwa Bwala and made available to newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday. Bwala said, in Shettima’s usual magnaminity, a committee has been set up comprising of religious leaders, traditional rulers and officials of the affected Local Government Areas, as well as representatives of the state

Government, in which, they have been mandated to work out modalities for the effective and efficient distribution of the bulls. The committee according to the commissioner, has since commenced work and will announce the venues for the collection of the bulls before the Sallah. He said, “Governor Shettima kindly urges residents and beneficiaries to conduct themselves orderly”. He however said, the committee advised those who can afford the sacrifice to please allow their brothers who cannot afford it to benefit from the gesture. Pointing out that each of the 15 wards in the metropolis and Jere respectively are to have 20 bulls to be slaughtered and shared to poor residents.

R-L: Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar wth the Spanish Ambassador tO Nigeria, Mr Alvaro Aguilar, at a reception to mark the Spanish National Day in Abuja on Thursday

Atiku queries timing of National Dialogue


ormer Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has expressed concern on the timing of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed national dialogue, for which an advisory committee to prepare its modality has been set up. Abubakar, who spoke to newsmen yesterday in Abuja on the sidelines of a reception organised by the Spanish Embassy in Nigeria to mark the country’s national day, said however, that he has no objection to the proposed National dialogue and will “consider’’ attending if invited. “My worry is about the timing of the national dialogue. It is too close to electioneering and I’m wondering

whether we have the capacity to manage very sensitive issues. “Electioneering in Nigeria can be a very sensitive and controversial issue and in addition to that you now have a national dialogue, otherwise I do not have any serious objection to it.’’ Abubakar suggested that the dialogue should consider the restructuring of the country, devolution of powers and increase revenue allocation to the state and local governments. “I will like to see more powers to the components of the country. “I will like to see the power at the centre considerably reduced a well as the responsibility and money

allocated to the centre,’’ he said. On the issue of the tenure for the president and governors, the former vice-president argued that the current two- term, provided for in the constitution, be maintained. He congratulated the government and people of Spain on the occasion of their National day. “I look forward to a more strengthened relationship between Spain and Nigeria and I believe that our relationship has been very good. “I will like to see more Spanish investment even though the country is going through very difficult economic times, we hope for more increased investment’’.



Special Report

Sarkin Zazzau regrets ceding parts of Suleja to FCT, celebrates 20 years on the throne By Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


uleja is a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, but located in Niger state in the North Central Nigeria. The custodian of its traditional ethics is Alhaji Mohammed Awwal Ibrahim, the 8th Emir of the thriving city, who celebrated his 20 years on the throne only recently. But the Emir is not a happy man. His state of mind could not be divorced from the politics of hatred perpetrated and perpetuated in the country by political actors. He is also concerned with the growing lack of respect for the traditional institutions in the country. The highly respected royal father also lamented the colossal neglect of his domain and his people by the Federal Government in spite of the great sacrifices by his people made by ceding significant portion of their land to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). An online publication gave an indication that his domain, the Suleja Emirate, is a Hausa emirate established in the early 19th century, formerly called Abuja, in what is now Niger State. In 1976 a large part of the emirate plus territory from other states became the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The emirate was renamed Suleja, based on the renamed town of Suleja which remained in Niger State. Awwal Ibrahim became the Emir, or Sarkin Zazzau, of Suleja in 1993.His accession to the throne resulted in rioting and destruction of property by opponents. Speaking during activities marking his two decades on the throne, His Eminence lamented that “I am concerned that the traditional institution does not earn the kind of respect and appreciation it deserves from the political leadership. We are only being utilized as fire brigades.” The Sarkin Zauzau, Suleja, who served as the first civilian governor of Niger state from October 1,1979 to December 31, 1983 during the Second Republic on the platform of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN) also decried unnecessary political tension in the country. Such tension isn’t new. As governor, there were attempts to impeach him. He was later removed from office after the coup that brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power. A military tribunal set up by the Buhari government convicted him of abuse of power and corruption in 1984. In 1986 he was barred for life from holding public office or participating in partisan politics.

Awwal Ibrahim became the Emir, or Sarkin Zazzau, of Suleja in 1993. His ascension resulted in rioting and destruction of property. He was deposed on 10 May 1994 by late General Sani Abacha. However, following the return to democratic rule, Awwal Ibrahim was restored to his title of Emir of Suleja on 17 January 2000. His restoration again caused a series of violent clashes, forcing the government to invite security outfits to quell the riots and also imposed a 20hour curfew on the town. So, the Emir knows what it is grapple with tension. Historically, the current Suleja emirate originally included four small Koro chiefdoms that paid tribute to the Hausa Zazzau Emirate. After warriors of the Fulani jihad (holy war) captured Zaria, Zazzau’s capital, 137 miles (220 km) north-northeast about 1804, Muhammadu Makau, sarki (king) of Zazzau, led many of the Hausa nobility to the Koro town of Zuba. Abu Ja (Jatau), his brother and successor as Sarkin Zazzau, founded Abuja town in 1828, began construction of its wall a year later, and proclaimed himself the first sarki of Abuja, while retaining the title Sarkin Zazzau’. Withstanding Zaria attacks, the Abuja emirate remained an independent Hausa refuge. Trade with the Fulani emirates of Bida (to the west) and Zaria began in Emir Abu Kwaka’s reign (1851– 77). In order to celebrate his ascension to the throne, activities were lined up for the anniversary which started from Friday, September 20, 2013 and end on Monday, September 23, 2013. Ibrahim was appointed emir of the historic emirate of Suleja on September 23, 1993 and he was eventually removed by a court judgment instituted by another contestant to the throne in 1994. He fought a legal battle for some years which resulted in a Supreme Court judgment that reinstated him as the validly appointed emir. The judgment was however defied until year 2000 when the then Niger State governor, Engr. Abdulkadir Kure restored Mallam Awwal Ibrahim to the throne of Zazzau Suleja Emirate. The four-day programme of events released by the committee started with special prayers in 100 Juma’at Mosques across the emirate. The celebrations also attracted very important personalities within and outside the state. According to the chairman of publicity sub-committee, Malam Jibril Aliyu Bisalla, the prayers are for unity, stability

Emir of Zazzau Suleja, Alhaji Mohammed Awwal Ibrahim and continued good health for the emir who clocked 72 years few days ago. The next day, Saturday, September 21, the activities continued with a public lecture entitled: “Suleja Emirate and Some Contemporary Challenges”, delivered at the palace hall by Professor Mustafa Zubairu. The forum was also used to launch a CD containing the history of the emirate. Later in the day, there was horse racing competition with participants drawn from other emirates. On the third day, the Emir hosted disabled persons to a lunch at the palace hall. The guests were served by his district, village heads and religious leaders. Prayers were said for the peaceful co-existence of the people during church services the following day. Later in the day, the Emir received traditional royal greetings, called Gaisuwa Pada, from district heads, village heads and other title holders of his emirate.

The grand finale of the fourday long celebrations took place on Monday, September 23, being the exact date marking the emir’s 20th anniversary on the throne of his forefathers. The emir was treated to a grand durbar by district heads, village heads and other title holders of his emirate. Bisalla added that expected guests at the occasion were the Niger State governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, former military president, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, ex-head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, traditional rulers across the country, especially the emir of Daura in Katsina State, Alhaji Umar Faruk, who along with the emir of Suleja remained the only two Hausa rulers whose domains were not conquered by the Fulani jihadists. Answering questions on his feelings after two decades on the throne, Alhaji Mohammadu Awwal Ibrahim thanked his

The southern part of this country has been far ahead in education, so we have to do the best we can. The question of whether we will ever catch up depends on our resolve and the preparedness of our governors to adequately ensure that the people are educated”.

creator for His grace and mercy over the years. He also had kind words for his people for their support, even as the Emir clocked 72 years in the universe. “Well, I can say Alhamdulillahi Rabil’alamin but I am not too happy. I am also sincerely grateful to my people, grateful to my government in the state also”. On his feelings and reactions when the military junta struck on December 31, 1983, thereby truncating his mandate as then elected governor of Niger state, the monarch responded, “it was a tragic moment for me but it set me on path to acquire some experiences in life which I wouldn’t have acquired. As usual, I accepted my fate and I prayed that the action of throwing us out of the government would be a better thing for the country. So, I resigned to my fate like I said. Alhamdulillahi, I always recall with some nostalgia my experiences in various Nigerian prisons that I was locked for a period of three years and two months. I don’t pray for any political leader in this country to go through such experience”. On his travails in the hands

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Special Report

...celebrates 20 years on the throne Contd from Page 4 of late General Sanni Abacha, who unceremoniously deposed him, the Emir took it in philosophical calmness, believing, “I am not too sure whether it was General Sani Abacha that deposed me. Because General Abacha was the head of state and probably you think he was responsible for my deposition. But I am sure that the Military Governor of my state at that time must have taken note of the crises going on and perhaps he listened to his advisers and eventually took the decision. But if you remember, before then, there was a court case. Let’s look at it from a proper perspective: initially when I was appointed, my cousin and some kingmakers challenged my appointment in the court of law. “During that time, of course, we have to be law-abiding and at the end, I lost the case but given the Nigeria’s legal system, I appealed the judgment of the lower court. At the Appeal Court, I won partially and we went to the Supreme Court, which is the apex court. The Supreme Court, in its wisdom, established my appointment legally. “While we were waiting for the execution of the judgment, the then military governor defied the judgment of the Supreme Court. He even banished me supposedly to a remote area of Niger State around Rijau. I was to start a new life altogether. I have a house in Kaduna, so I stayed there”. The highly educated Emir was not unmindful of disparity in the educational attainment between the South and the North of the country. He gave kudos to the present crop of leadership in the North, espousing the efforts of successive governments in the region to correct the imbalance, though, with a caveat that all hands must be on deck, if great success would be attained. “I think the governments of this part

Young boys taking part in the Dubar

of the country have been tackling the problem. When I was in the civil service as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education of the then new Niger State, we did the best we could to ensure the success of the Universal Primary Education, (UPE), policy and to build a foundation that will not only support the North educationally but to ensure we are able to make a very purposeful and meaningful in-roads in the overall educational development of Nigeria. But it was not going to be easy because like the saying in Hausa language that whoever goes to bed ahead of you will surely wake up first. The southern part of this country has been far ahead in education, so we have to do the best we can. The question of whether we will ever catch up depends on our resolve

and the preparedness of our governors to adequately ensure that the people are educated”. On the negative impact of the proximity of Suleja to Abuja, the FCT, the Emir said, “All the emirate can do is to advise both the state and local governments on how best they can tackle the problems of degradation of the environment, the population explosions, social life, cost of living and the rest of that. Ours is simply to observe and advise and we do participate in whatever measures adopted by the government to arrest some of the situations. “For example, if the government wants the people to behave in one way and we are told about it, we will summon our district and village heads to make sure the masses obey and we also try to ensure that government policies are well implemented. “We also play a great role in terms of the security of this nation. Some have themselves in some vigilante of some sort by going round the town at odd hours and we do enjoy some cooperation from law enforcement agents in arresting some of the social ills”. Lamenting the implication of ceding parts of its land to Abuja to emerge as a world class national capital city, his Eminence regretted, “I was involved in the early days of establishing a new Federal Capital Territory. I was then in the Cabinet Office and I was made the chief

Emir of Suleja, HRH Mallam Mohammed Awwal Ibrahim acknowledging cheers from his subjects during the durbar marking the 2oth Anniversary on the throne as Emir Zazzau Suleja

resettlement officer of Niger State. I was instructed to join other people like the late Bawa Bwari and Prof. Akin Mabogunje to ensure we were able to smoothen for the establishment of a new Federal Capital Territory. “We were also involved in taking the census of the people that initially were supposed to move out of the territory then to their states of origin. There was a change in policy because of the enormity of compensations the government has to pay these people”. “For them to be able to move out and settle in our domain here, we struggled for the payment of their compensations. At that time, compensations were basically based on economic trees. If we had had a better foresight, perhaps, our demands from the federal government would have been different. As the good people, we wanted to help the country establish a new capital city. I am aware that up to this day, the compensation due to our people has not yet got to them and I am also equally aware that our government, especially, in Niger State, is up and doing to ensure the federal government compensates our people”. On his regrets on the throne, 20 years after, the Emir responded, “well, as humans, we are bound to make mistakes but what do you do when you realised that? You have to regret certain actions. No human being is perfect. I cannot say I am blameless. I have my shortcomings and I take to correction whenever my attention is drawn to a wrong decision. Submitting his possible achievements in life, especially while on the throne, he simply said, “let my deeds speak for themselves. I know my interests have always been in the sectors of health and education. I contributed towards establishing schools, hospitals and so on. I was once a public servant. I held a political office and today I am here. I have to be with my people and mingle with them believing that one day I will account for my deeds”. The Emir is a sports man with particular interest in golf. He says golfing on Saturdays and Sundays exercises his body. “I also go and socialise with friends at IBB Golf Course in Abuja. Anywhere I go and there is golf course I go there. My day begins at 7am and I go to bed around 9pm. I hardly see my family and try to wake up very early to be with my Lord.” “I also take pleasure in going to the farm but these days I find it difficult. My golf is the secret behind my look. I just clock 72 few days ago and I don’t look like it. Alhamdulillahi!

Thousands of people at the Emir’s Palace, during the celebration marking the 2oth anniversary of Alhaji Awwal Ibrahim on the throne Photos: Justin Imo-Owo




FG, States, LGs share N1.19tr for Aug, Sept By Abdulwahab Isa Stanley Onyekwere



he Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) yesterday shared a total sum of N1.196 trillion among the three tiers of government for the months of August and September. According to the spread sheet made available to journalists at the end of the much awaited twin FAAC meeting for the months of August and September 2013, the Net Statutory disbursements to the federal government was N484, 429,000,000 which represents 52.68%; the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) N245, 708,000,000 representing 26.72%; and Local Governments N189, 431,000,000 representing 20.6%. To make up the N1.19 trillion windfall for the three tiers of government, the sum of N127,661,000,000 was distributed among the federal

… States kick over CBN’s 50% compulsory deposit government (N19,149,000,000); states (N63,831,000,000) and Local governments (N44,682,000,000) as proceeds of the Value Added Tax (VAT) for the two months. Also, N35, 549,000,000 was shared from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) by all the tiers of government and an additional N7, 617,000,000 from the continued monthly instalmental payment from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Furthermore, the sectorial breakdown of funds for distribution for the month of September shows that collections from both mineral and nonmineral sectors stood at N431.073 billion and N94.537 billion respectively exceeding the budgeted amount in the period under review. Of the net statutory revenue

of N501.930 billion shared in the month of September, the federal government got N236.154 billion which represents 52 %; the states shared N119.780 billion representing 26.72%, while the local governments got N92.346 billion representing 20.60%. The sum of N53.650 billion was allocated to the oil and gas producing states under the derivation principle which represents 13 % derivation. Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting of FAAC’s Technical Sub-Committee, the minister of state for finance and chairman of FAAC, Dr. Yerima Lawan Ngama said the committee approved the August and September accounts. Ngama said the month of September witnessed a drop in the amount of revenue which accrued into the federation account by N22.783 billion “due to the slight decline in crude oil production as a result of

Force Majeure declared at Brass Terminal, maintenance issues and theft.” As a result, only the actual accruals into the federation account was shared for the two months as earlier agreed by all the parties thus bringing to an end the culture of augmenting monthly allocations which fell short of the budgeted sum for the month. It was proposed that the sum of N18.383 billion transferred to Excess Crude Oil, PPT and Royalty proceeds Account be averted and added to the statutory distributable amount for sharing. However, the minister disclosed that the NNPC has so far made 27 monthly installment payment of N7.617 billion to FAAC as agreed as a result, the corporation has only six more installment payments to make to offset all that it owes FAAC.

Other matters discussed included the reports of revenue collection agencies and military pensions were read and adopted while that of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was noted, subject to clarification at plenary session. Also, the committee agreed that, indices submitted by Revenue Mobilization, Allocation & Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) would be implemented in the succeeding month. Therefore, the indices received in July, 2013 would be applied in arrears from August, 2013. Meanwhile, the state governments have expressed concern over the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) directive of 50 per cent compulsory public sector deposits to banks, saying that the states are not comfortable with the CBN’s directive.

17 travellers killed in Ilorin auto crash From Olanrewaju Lawal,Ilorin


the new chief judge of the FCT, justice Ibrahim Bukar (l), taking oath of office at the swearing-in ceremony in Abuja on friday

Confab committee member, Uranta dismisses MEND’s allegations From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


Member, of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference/Dialogue and Secretary General of the Nigerian National Summit Group (NNSG) , Mr. Tony Uranta has described as myopic and selfdestructive, the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) questioning of his integrity . In a statement made available to newsmen, Uranta said he had never been in touch with MEND or sought their support in his vocal pursuit of a Nigerian National Conference but has consistently aligned only with progressive-minded individuals and bodies that share the wish for a conference that will strengthen

the nation’s unity. The statement reads in part: “ One’s attention has been repeatedly drawn to the outlandish mendacities put out on Thursday under the pseudonym ‘MEND’, and with regard to my person. “‘MEND’ has lied outrageously in nearly every line of its putative statement! But, then, which ‘MEND’ is this: the anti-Jonathan ‘MEND’, the Boko Haram-sourced ‘MEND’, or the phantom-’MEND’ that the founders/commanders of MEND (who have since embraced President Yar’adua’s Amnesty offer, and ‘suspended’ the any activities by the real MEND...the enigmatic Tompolos, Boyloafs, Farahs et al) have long denied knowledge of? “I have never been in touch

with any of the above ‘ersatzMEND’, one of which must have put this bunch of ridiculous lies, and hereby, categorically, state that I never have, at any time, sought the upport of any such body in my vocal pursuit of a Nigerian National Conference; “that I have, consistently, aligned only with progressive-minded individuals and bodies that share the wish for a National Conference that will strengthen this nation’s unity, enthrone justice and equity, and fashion out a truly People’s Constitution. Nigeria shall survive! No demons can hold back the hands of time. This is Nigeria’s time for Re-birth. MEND had passed a vote of no-confidence on the National Dialogue , and identified Mr. Uranta as the committee’s contact

man, who it said described rejection from a South-South body like MEND as an embarrassment to the presidency. According to the statement, their grouse was that Uranta has been campaigning repeatedly that MEND seized to exist after the Niger Delta Amnesty programme and that he and Timi Alaibe do not represent the interests of the Niger Delta people. It also noted that millions of hard working Nigerians remain unemployed, the country’s education system is going down the drain with strikes, and the country is getting increasingly full of educated derelicts while the government shares out billions of Naira monthly on miscreants, criminals and con men who claim to have been freedom fighters.

bout 17 males among 40 passengers have been killed in a fatal accident along Ilorin-Jebba expressway, early yesterday morning. It was gathered that among the victims, 10 of the passengers sustained varying degrees of injuries in the auto crash involving a DAF Trailer truck with registration number XD 762 KNT and two Toyota Hummer buses with registration numbers TAK 113 XA and XC 185 NSK. Sources informed our correspondent that the incident happened at Peke Village, Kilometre 16 New Jebba Road, at exact spot where the dualisation of the expressway terminates, at about 3.30 am, when the truck rammed into the commercial buses. Some of the survivors of the accident told journalists that the Hummer buses, which carried 19 passengers each, were going to Katsina from Lagos, and that the truck was heading towards Lagos. While confirming the incident, the sector commander of the FRSC in Kwara state, Mrs. Mary Wakawa, said the corpses of the deceased had been deposited at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), adding that two victims with severe injuries had been taken to Sobi Specialist Hospital, while others with minor injuries were said to be receiving treatment at private hospitals. Wakawa, who blamed the accident on attitude of most drivers in the country, discouraged night travelling, saying it portends danger.




Counting the cost of Boko Haram crisis * 3,000 lives lost *FG spent N1.5trn

*Emergency gulps N2.1bn

In the fight against the Boko Haram sect, much has been heard about the casualty figures in men and material without commensurate information on expenditure on the war effort and its consequences. The piecex-rays the spendingson insecurity with findings that the Federal Government may have spent well over N1 trillion since 2009. News Editor, Abubakar Ibrahim and correspondents Joy Baba (Abuja), Mustapha Isa Kwaru (Maiduguri) and Umar Dankano (Yola) report.


resident Goodluck Jonathan, on May 14, declared a state of emergency in three states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno in a nationwide broadcast invoking Section 305, Sub section 1 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria. However, in this case, the governors of the three states remain in office. In his address, the president looked at “the recent spate of terrorist activities and protracted security challenges in some parts of the country, particularly in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and most recently Bayelsa, Taraba, Benue and Nasarawa states”. For this, President Jonathan had to cut short his visit to South Africa and aborted a planned state visit to Namibia, after receiving detailed briefings from security agencies. “These briefings indicate that what we are facing is not just militancy or criminality, but a rebellion and insurgency by terrorist groups which pose a very serious threat to national unity and territorial integrity. Already, some northern parts of Borno state have been taken over by groups whose allegiance is to different flags and ideologies”, he said. Jonathan added: “they have attacked government buildings and facilities. They have murdered innocent citizens and state officials. They have set houses ablaze, and taken women and children as hostages. These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten her territorial integrity. As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this”. This was the last straw after almost five years of protracted insurgency by the Jamaatu Ahlis Sunnah Liddaawati Wal Jihad since 2009. At the last count, almost 1,500 people have been killed by the Boko Haram sect, according to the statistical report called ‘START’ conducted by the University of Maryland for the American government on global terrorism in 2012 , in addition to the colossal loss of revenue and disinvest-

Boko Haram Leader, Abubakar Shekau

Soldiers deployed to an emergency states ment to the three affected states and the North at large. The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika put the figure much higher at not less than 3,000 people since 2009. However, there has not been clear-cut official revelation of expenditure by the Federal Government and the affected States. When contacted for official figures of expenditure on the insurgency, the Director of Defence Information, (DDI) Brig. Gen Chris Olukolade said the total amount spent since the emergency rule and the casualty figure can not be released to the public at the moment. He said that, all the necessary information would be given to the appropriate authority at the right time for passage to the media and the public. However, the latest report released in May this year, by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), based in Sweden, shows that in 2012, Nigeria ranked as the 6th highest spender on the military in Africa, with a staggering $2.327 billion (N372.3 billion) in 2012 alone. SI-

PRI ranked Nigeria among countries at war in Africa. The report showed that the country’s military spending is the sixth highest in Africa, and competed with the expenditures of countries like Libya ($2.9 billion), Morocco ($3.4 billion), Angola ($4.1 billion), South Africa ($4.4 billion) and Algeria ($9.3 billion). Countries with relatively lower expenditure among the top 10 spenders on military in Africa include Cote d’Ivoire ($407 million),

Namibia ($407 million), Tunisia ($709 million), Kenya ($798 million) and South Sudan ($964 million). According to the SIPRI report, Nigeria’s military spending, which may not include wages and salaries, but mainly military hardware purchases, has been on the increase since 2006, but it escalated from 2008, to coincide with the period when the military became involved in the fight against insurgency across the country.

However, there has not been clearcut official revelation of expenditure by the Federal Government and the affected States. When contacted for official figures of expenditure on the insurgency, the Director of Defence Information, (DDI) Brig. Gen Chris Olukolade said the total amount spent since the emergency rule and the casualty figure can not be released to the public at the moment.


or example, while government spent $1.067 billion in 2006, when there was relative peace, though the Niger Delta militancy had begun to take its toll on the country, by 2009 when the Boko Haram crisis erupted in the North-East, the expenditure rose to $1.825 billion( N233 billion). In 2010, a huge sum of $2.143 billion(N264 billion) was spent in procuring military hardware, and the figure rose to a staggering $2.386 billion(N348 billion) in 2011. Last year, when the military began massive procurement of security equipment to fight Boko Haram insurgency that had begun to spread from the North-East to North-West and some parts of the North-Central, the Federal Government spent some $2.327 billion. In 2012, the total budget for security was N921.91 billion, close to a record N 1 trillion, which attracted much criticisms from various segments of the society, especially

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Cover Contd from Page 7 when compared to the sum of N348 billion allocated to defence in 2011. As at 2012, the budget for security was the biggest, bigger than the allocation to education. Even in 2013, the trend continued, as the allocation to Defence hit N668.54 billion, ahead of what was allocated to Education, Health, Works and other infrastructure-related sectors. In its remarks about Nigeria’s spending, the institute wrote: “Domestic and regional stability are key concerns of Nigeria. It sits with the largest military in West Africa, supported by a budget that is only smaller than that of education. Spending on its military has been increasing over the last decade and by 2016 Nigeria could leapfrog several spots to sit in the top 3 positions. The country is keen to flex its muscle as a regional peacekeeper. But it also has to deal with internal problems, specifically militants in the Niger Delta and the Islamist group Boko Haram.” n January last year President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state-of-emergency in selected local governments in Plateau, Niger, Borno, and Yobe States. The deployment necessitated the deployment of troops to all the affected local government and put the military under intense pressure. Though military hardware purchases were not made public, there was a proportional huge expenditure in the procurement of weapons and the installation of Close Circuit Television camera in parts of the country, for which an estimated $7 billion contract may have been awarded to a Chinese company. In addition to the expenditure to deal with internal insurgency, the Federal Government sent troops to Northern Mali, which had been overrun by an Al-Qaeda group. It was suspected that Boko Haram fighters were trained in the chaotic region, and early this year, government decided to send those troops to join international forces to chase Al-Qaeda and possibly Boko Haram trainees from the region. At least 1,200 soldiers, according to the Defence Headquarters in Abuja, were scheduled to be sent to Mali in February this year. They included 900 combat soldiers and 300 Air Force personnel as part of the African-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA). An initial 162 soldiers were dispatched earlier in the year. In January, President Jonathan said some $34 million (N7 billion) would be spent toward the deployment of troops and logistics support to the Malian Crisis. He pledged to make an additional payment of $5 million in to assist the country. Despite the official budgets, funds are said to have been mobilised from other sources for the same purpose.

Counting the cost of Boko Haram crisis


Yobe state Gov. Alh. Ibrahim Geidam

President Goodluck Jonathan

Nevertheless, Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to the Yobe State governor, Abdullahi Bego, stated that N200 million is spent on monthly basis. “We have spent N6 billion so far since the insurgents attack heightened in the State in November 2011”.

Borno state Gov. Alh. Kashim Shettima

Besides that, since the state of emergency in May, the Federal Government seized the security votes to the governors of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, states as part of funds to combat the insurgency. Nevertheless, Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to the Yobe State governor, Abdullahi Bego, stated that N200 million is spent on monthly basis. “We have spent N6 billion so far since the insurgents attack heightened in the State in November 2011”. To support this claim, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State, last week, approved N133 million to support 300 victims of Boko Haram attacks whose conditions require medical treatment outside the state and to re-position the state’s health sector through renovation of hospitals and provision of equipment and drugs. The government, on the recommendations of the state medical board, would treat victims for injuries including kidney transplant, open heart surgery, cardiac catheterization, spinal cord surgery, knee and hip replacement therapy, and several orthopaedic and ophthalmology cases. A statement issued by Bego, stated that among the 300 patients, 18 were supported for knee and hip replacement therapy and other orthopaedic procedures to treat gunshot wounds sustained in various attacks by insurgents. The Borno state government however, could not comment for this story as the governor’s Special Adviser on Communication, Isa Gusau is away to Saudi Arabia on Hajj. The Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala was also out of the State and could not be reached on phone. But a source told Peoples Daily Weekend that expenditure in the State could be far higher than Yobe State as the challenges are stiffer with recurrent attacks, displacements and destruction of public property including the sustenance of thousands of troops in Borno State seen as the hot bed of the insurgency. “I believe Borno could be spending up to N300 million per month if Yobe spends N200 million”. “The newly built 200-bed capacity hospital in Damaturu will also be equipped to provide the specialist medical care that the government now supports some patients in difficult conditions to seek outside the state,” he added. In Adamawa State, our correspondent reports that the Director of Press declined comment on expenses describing it as a security matter he has no ready information about. But pundits believe that since the Adamawa crisis is less challenging than Yobe and Borno, its expenditure could be put at half the amount of Yobe.

Adamawa state Gov. Alh. Murtala Nyako



News Feature Eid-el-Kabir: Cost of rams up in Abuja, Kaduna; down in Kano During g the Eid el Kabir, the livestock market is usually y a beehive of activities as Muslim faithful troop p in to buy y their rams. As is always y the case, traditional livestock markets become busier. Peoples p Dailyy Weekend d takes a look at the market situation in Kano, Abuja and environs. Our reporters Mustapha j and Kaduna metropolis p p p Adamu (Kano)and Usman Shu’aibu (Abuja) j who visited major j livestock markets in the states report that while prices of rams have soared in Abuja and Kaduna, they are bit reasonable in Kano and environ.


arely a week to the Eid-elKabir, families have been making last minute efforts to buy rams for the festival. A market survey by Peoples Daily Weekend shows that while the cost of ram is low in Kano, it is howver relatively high in Abuja and Kaduna. Giving insight into the market situation, chairman of the Unguwa Uku Livestock Market, Yusuf Abubakar Hotoro, said the market has been bursting with increased activities as traders in full anticipation of likely huge patronage have decided to increase their stock with needed consumables, especially livestocks that are almost always in high demand. For this year, Yusuf says that they have decided to bring in adequate supply of ram enough to crash the price. Already, he says, “purchasers have experienced considerable drop in the prices of livestocks.” “The market this time around is running at full scale. Many traders have prepared to satisfy the needs of their customers. So, they brought enough livestocks. The result is that there are enough rams in the market which has subsequently forced the prices of livestocks to crash. “The rams and other livestocks are cheaper this year compared to last season and we are recording higher sales than we had last season. Before now, we had thought that the economic hardship in the country would affect patronage because there is no money in circulation, but faithful Muslims have defied this scarcity of money and have done whatever is possible to purchase rams for eid sacrifice. We thank God for that.” Speaking specifically on the prices of ram and cows in the market, Abubakar says that “Since the rams are cheaper now, the least price of a ram ranges from N17,000 to N20,000, while an average ram sells at the range of N25,000, N30,000 to N35,000. But the bigger ram sells at N40,000 to N60,000 and some may be up to even N80,000, but these are specially bred at homes. It would be recalled that this time last year the same size of ram; that is those now being sold between N60,000 and N80,000 were sold for between N80,000 and N100,000 respectively.” Even cattle prices have also crashed and is affordable by any with the means to purchase it especially those who prefer cattle to ram. According to the chairman, “the least price of a cow now goes for N70,000. However, the price of an average cow stands at N100,000, and may between N120,000 and N150,000 depending on the purchasing power of the buyer. The bigger cow sells at N200,000.” Asked whether the Central Bank of Nigeria’s newly introduced cashless policy was not having a negative impact on their sales, the

Rams on sale at the Unguwa Uku Livestock Market in Kano chairman said the policy was yet to have any effect on their business. “Our business deals with instant cash, people make payment in cash: Unless in few cases where considerable purchases are made, buyers rarely offer cheques. Of course, the people we buy livestock from are Fulani herdsmen, they don’t know about modern banking system. They only deal with physical cash. So it will be a difficult task to us to accept this policy.” A similar visit to another livestock market at Gandun Albasa area in the Kano metropolis also reveals that the market is not running up to speed with the Unguwa Uku. The traders have also stock their wares in preparation for increased patronage. ram seller, Mallam Habu, said “there is low turnout of buyers which I attribute to the economic hardship in the country as well as the high price of the livestock in the markets.” But he hopes the situation will improve as the Sallah Day approaches. The situation at Kofar Mazugal is similar to that of Unguwa uku as well. Many traders readily admitted that there have increased sales so far than what they had last season. And in terms of price of rams and cattle, there are slight drop from what obtained previously. In another development, Peoples Daily Weekend takes a look at the vegetables and other perishable fruits which are in high demand during the Eid festivities. At the Yan Kaba market in the Kano metropolis, a popular market known for vegetables and perishable fruits in the state, our reporter observed that traders were already in the mood for the festival. The Public Relation Officer, National Association of Vegetables Sellers, Kano chapter, Musa


Abdulkadir Zawaciki, said there is usually a boom in their business every eid el Kabir season and believes that this season will not be different. Zawaciki says they have large stock of goods because of good harvest this year. “There is usually boom in our business during every eid-el Kabir season because we have already harvested our farm produce like tomatoes, onion, pepper, lotus and other vegetables and perishable fruits. This also makes the prices cheaper for everyone. But the price becomes higher during the Eid-el fitr season because it is the beginning of rainy season and we don’t have the farm produce because then we are always preparing for the new ones. So, we usually travel to Benue, Niger Republic etc to make purchases, which of course affects the prices of the goods when we return.” Further, the PRO says that their commodities are sold in baskets and sacks, and explains that the price varies according to the season and whether one buys on the basket or sack. “The price of the commodities varies according to season and the commodities are priced based on basket and sacks. For instance, if a price of a basket of tomatoes is N10,000 during the season Eidel Fitr, it is now sold at N2,000

or N1,800 because it is its boom period. So my fellow Muslims will find it cheaper for Sallah feasts.” Rams sellers in major markets in the federal Capital Territory (FCT) have attributed the high cost in the prices of different categories of goats in the territory to the transportation fares being charged by the motorists. ome of them, who spoke to Peoples Daily Weekend at their various markets on Thursday, also attributed the cost to the failure by the government to control the prices of petrol. At Dei-Dei international livestock market, a major dealer of rams in the market, Alhaji Sa’ada Kusada, who is also the sarki, Zago, attributed the costs of rams to the security challenges facing the states in Nigeria, such as Maiduguri and Yobe, saying that many rams sellers purchase their rams from those states at cheaper rates. He further attributed the high cost of rams to the government officials who engaged the contractors to purchase rams for them outside the Federal Capital Territory. Another rams dealer at DeiDei international livestock market, Malam Abba Sa’adu, attributed the cost in the prices of rams to the money being spent by the owners of the animals in rearing them in the house.


At Dei-Dei international livestock market, a major dealer of rams in the market, Alhaji Sa’ada Kusada, who is also the sarki, Zago, attributed the costs of rams to the security challenges facing the states in Nigeria, such as Maiduguri and Yobe, saying that many rams sellers purchase their rams from those states at cheaper rates. At Dei-Dei international livestock market, a major dealer of rams in the market, Alhaji Sa’ada Kusada, who is also the sarki, Zago, attributed the costs of rams to the security challenges facing the states in Nigeria, such as Maiduguri and Yobe, saying that many rams sellers purchase their rams from those states at cheaper rates.

A rams seller at Gwagwalada, who identified himself as Yahaya Sani, however, said that the cost in the prize of rams is due to the revenue being paid by the sellers at the various gates when transporting rams to Abuja. At Dutse Alhaji, a ram seller, Tanko Abubakar, also said the cost in the price of rams is as a result of some people who engaged themselves in the retailing businesses during the festivities. On their reactions, some of the consumers interviewed said that they were not finding it easy as the prices of rams were high. It was observed that the prices of different categories of rams were sold at the rates of N100,000, N80,000, N60,000, N40,000, N35,000, N25,000 and N15,000 respectively. These are the Rams selling at the rates of N60,000 to N45,000 at Deidei International Livestock market Abuja. In Kaduna, the high cost of rams is scaring customers as a check at the Zango, Sardauna road and Tudun Wada markets in the city shows only a few customers attempting to make purchases. Some of the customers said the prices were too high compared to last year. The prices ranged between N25, 000 and N95, 000 this year as against N20, 000 to N85, 000 during the same period last year in all the markets visited. A customer, Mohammed Abdulkadir, who was met haggling over the price of a medium sized ram at Tudun Wada market, lamented over the high price, but hoped that the cost would crash before the commencement of the celebration. Another customer at Zango market, Ismail Sulaiman, said he was unable to buy any ram due to the high price and would wait until after the Eid prayers on Tuesday before buying. ani Manchi, a ram seller at Sardauna road market, blamed the rise in prices on the high cost of breeding livestock, rise in transport cost and the general economic hardship in the country. He said those breeding the rams also wanted to break even in order to get money to take care of other problems. Another ram dealer at Zango market, Kabiru Kailani, said: “We are not making much profit because of the cost of transporting the animals. “We also have to tend to the rams, feed and vaccinate them while waiting for customers.” Apart from the conventional markets, temporary ram markets have sprouted up on virtually all the major streets of Kaduna. There were also vendors who drive group of rams round the city in search of customers.




News FG deploys 800 soldiers to Darfur From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


ederal Government has again deployed 800 Officers and men of the Nigerian Army on a Peace Support Operation in Darfur Region of Sudan. The 800 soldiers drawn from the 342 Artillery Regiment, Owerri under 82 Division, Enugu are to leave Nigeria to Darfur tomorrow. This was disclosed at the graduation of the troop’s pre-deployment training at the Nigerian Army Peace Keeping Centre (NAPKC), Jaji, Kaduna State yesterday. Speaking at the occasion, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division Enugu, Major General Ashimiyu Olaniyi said, the four weeks pre-deployment training was to enable them protect themselves, United Nations equipment and the loyal citizens of their host nation. The GOC who was represented by Brigadier General Abubakar Alkali warned the peacekeepers to avoid being seen as a soft target due to carelessness or act of cowardice. Earlier, the Commandant of NAPKC, Major General Salihu Uba disclosed that, the troop was adequately trained to ensure effective performance in any Peace Support Operation, with particular emphasis on effective operations in Darfur region of Sudan. FCTA to construct N64b City Gate The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday said it will soon embark on the construction of a new city gate, to cost N64 billion. The Director, Public Building of the FCTA, Mr. Bernard Lot, who made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Abuja said the gate would serve as a symbol of cultural heritage for the nation’s capital. Lot said that the gate, to be located at Kuje Junction on airport road, would replace the existing one close to the National Stadium. He said the new gate which would be designed to have the Northern, Southern and Central axis of the country, was expected to be executed through Public Private Partnership. ``The Central axis will have pedestrian bridges; the Northern axis would have conference rooms, parade ground, botanical garden, five star hotel and hospital among others. ``The Northern axis would also serve as a place where a new president would be given key to enter the city. ``The Southern axis of the project, to be sited close to the Centenary City, will be used for commercial activities, such as shopping, amphitheatre, among others. Recall that the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, during his 2012 media tour, had said the project was meant to restore the city’s original master plan. The minister said the old city gate was wrongly located, adding that the project would also serve as a tourist attraction.

L-R: Late Chief Solomon Lar’s son-in-law, Dr Edward Ihejirika; former Minister of Interior, retired capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho and former Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bagudu Hirse, paying condolence visit to Chief Lar’s family in Abuja on Friday

How pilot ignored warnings that caused crash From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


xactly eight days after the crash of the Associated Airlines Embraer 120 along the international wing of the Murtala Muhammad Airport (MMA) road in Lagos, preliminary reports has shown that the right engine of the aircraft was bad. The crash, from which 15 of the 20 its passengers on board died, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said, had the preliminary readout and analysis of flight 361 flight recorder indicating that the right engine of the aircraft was faulty. The agency also stated that the captain- in- command of the illfated aircraft, Capt Abdulrahman Yakubu ignored the warning from the onboard computer voice. Commissioner for AIB, Capt Usman Muktar, while reading out the preliminary readout and analysis of flight 361’s flight recorders said in Abuja yesterday that the investigation was done in AIB laboratory in Abuja in conjunction with international flight recorder experts from Canada, who designed the laboratory.

Capt Mukthar said that the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) contains approximately 47 hours in solid state memory, while the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) contained 32 and half minutes of audio, which included internal conversation of two pilots, radio calls, and the overall aural environment in the cockpit Muktar said that Associated Airlines flight 361 was cleared for takeoff by the Air Traffic Controller on runway 18 left of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Lagos, adding that at the time, the wind was calm and weather was not considered a factor in the accident. He added that four seconds after engine power was advanced to commence take off roll, the crew received an automated warning from the onboard computer voice which consisted of three chimes followed by according to him, the word ‘Take off Flap, Take off Flap, Take off flap”. He stated that this configuration warning suggests that the flaps were not in the correct position for takeoff and there was evidence that the crew may have chosen not to use flaps for the

take off. According to him, “This warning did not appear to come as any surprise to the crew and they continued normally with the takeoff .This warning continues throughout the take off roll “ Capt Mukhtar added that AIB was in the process of verifying the accuracy of the flight data, adding that the agency has not been able to confirm the actual flap setting and that AIB is however expected to determine this in the fullness of time. The AIB commissioner added that the ‘set power’ call was made by the captain and the ‘power is set’ was confirmed by the First Officer as expected in the normal operations ,adding that approximately three seconds after the ‘power is set’ call, the First officer noted that the aircraft was moving slowly . Approximately seven seconds after the ‘power is set ‘call, the internal aircraft voice warning system could be heard stating ‘Take off Flap’, Auto Feather. He explained that auto feather refers to the pitch of the propeller blades, adding that in the feather position, the propeller does not produce any thrust. The Flight Data Recorder, he

said contains several engine related parameters, which the AIB is studying. “At this time, we can state that the right engine appears to be producing considerably less thrust than the left engine .the left engine appeared to be working normally .The aircraft automated voice contained to repeat ,Take off Flap, Auto Feather” Reading out the preliminary report, AIB said, that the “Standard ‘eighty knots’ call was made by the First Officer .The first evidence that the crew indicated that there was a problem with the take off roll was immediately following the ‘eighty knots’ call. The First Officer asked if the take off should be aborted approximately 12 seconds after the ‘eighty knots’ callout” AIB added that the Capt in response to the Flight Officer’s question to abort the take off, said that they should continue with the takeoff, adding that the crew did not make ‘V1 call which is the speed at which the decision to abort or continue a takeoff is made or the Vr’ call, which indicate the speed at which it is planned to rotate the aircraft.

Katsina imposes curfew on okada, tricycles From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


atsina State Government has announced a curfew on Okada motorcycles and the Keke NAPEP better known as commercial tricycles. The restriction on the operations of the commercial cycles

came into effect from yesterday starting from 9.30pm till 6.00am daily. Police Commissioner Mr. Muhammad Hurdi confirmed this while briefing Government House reporters on the outcome of the Security Council meeting. He added that the curfew which would affect all parts of the

state, would remain in force till further notice. Mr. Hurdi said the restriction would help to boost the security of the lives and property. The Police Commissioner enjoined people in the State to continue to support government policies and programmes and to live in peace with one another for

harmony and progress to reign. Mr. Hurdi promised that security agents in the State would continue to adopt proactive approaches to any threat that may arise . On preparations for the Sallah festival, the police boss charged motorists and other road users to respect traffic rules for a hitch-free Sallah celebration.



National Confab: Asaba monarch wants delegates chosen by people By Prince Edward, Asaba


nioma Congress, a sociopolitical pressure group in Delta North District has warned the Federal Government to refrain from the selecting delegates to the National Dialogue and merely gathering government apologists to do its bidding at the conference. Addressing journalists in his Palace in Asaba weekend, leader of the group and Asagba of Asaba, Obi Prof. Chike Edozien advised that rather than get involved in the selection process, the ethnic nationalities should be allowed to nominate their dependable representatives. “We must sound a note of warning on the mode of selection for the dialogue...Government

must not be involved in the selection process for conference on behalf of ethnic nationalities, in order to avoid the past mistakes of just gathering Government apologists to do the bidding of the establishment. Recognised ethnic nationalities, in consultation with their traditional institution, should be allowed to nominate their known and trusted representatives, to go and defend their position, without let or hindrance”, the first class traditional ruler, who has championed the creation of Anioma State and emergence of the successor to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan from Anioma extraction, stated. According to him, Anioma Congress is opposed to

government’s handpicked friends, who may not represent the position and interests of their people. “We are against a situation where Government officials pick their friends who may not be in tune with people, for such important conference, under the guise of having reached out to all ethnic nationalities. That accounted for the failure of the immediate past conference”, he noted. Prof. Edozien, a renowned professor of Medicine however, acknowledged that “Government can however nominate a few persons to represent whatsoever interest it may deem fit to project”, adding that the National Dialogue would provide the desired platform to ventilate

pressing issues militating the progress of the nation. “The Anioma nation believes that there is urgent need for Nigerians to genuinely discuss and agree on how we can live together without rancour and suspicion. Since the 1914 amalgamation which was forced on us, Nigerians have never sat genuinely, to discuss our corporate existence and how we can make best use of the union in which we found ourselves”, Anioma Congress emphasized. He hoped that the Anioma nation will use the opportunity of the forthcoming Dialogue to renew age long demand for the creation of our desired “Anioma State”, stressing that the Anioma people have all it takes to have a State of their own.

L-R : The Permanent Secretary FCT, Engr. John Chukwu, Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Akinjide and the Managing Director, Bank of Agriculture, Dr. Mohammed Kudu Santuraki. During a courtsey call to Minister of State for FCT on the collaboration with Federal Capital Territory Abuja. Photo: Justin

Commissioner defends Akpbio’s N70b supplementary budget. By Mike Etim, Uyo.


he Akwa Ibom state Finance Commissioner, Mr. Bassey Akpan has thrown his weight behind the N 70bn supplementary appropriation bill submitted to the House of Assembly for approval by Governor Akpabio, saying it was very appropriate. The commissioner, who spoke during the defense of the supplementary appropriation bill in the Uyo, said the bill was borne out of the state government’s

desire to complete some of the projects that were not captured in the 2013 budget. He said that the Supplementary Appropriation Bill when given approval by the House would enable the state government to intensify work on the on-going Eket- Ibeno road project, works on the Akwa Ibom state university (AKSU), College of Education Afaha Nsit and the 20th Century Hospital. The commissioner assured

that the state government will meet its deadline of 2014 for the completion of work on the Olympic size stadium, Uyo. He however noted that the on-going dualisation work on the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Federal Highway would not be completed this year but indicated that the state government would built a three-star hospitality center in Ikot Ekpene to complement the ones cited in Uyo the state capital. The Finance Commissioner also stated that arrears of

gratuities and pensions owed retired civil servants would be settled by the state government from the supplementary appropriation bill. With the introduction of the Bio-metric data capture machines, the commissioner said the state government would be able to determine the exact amount for payment as gratuities and pensions to primary school teachers, Local government workers and retired workers from the state government Parastatals.


CJN urges Bukar to reposition FCT judiciary By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar has charged Justice Ibrahim Mallam Bukar to reposition the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to restore public confidence in the judicial system of the country. The CJN gave the charge yesterday while swearing-in Justice Bukar as the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria. She congratulated Bukar for being found worthy to serve the Nigerian Judiciary and the people of Nigeria as a whole. “As I felicitate with you, let me also remind you that your appointment is coming at a time when the Nigerian Judiciary particularly the High Court of the FCT is on the heels of various challenges. I am of the firm belief that these challenges are not insurmountable”, she said. She charged the newly appointed Chief Judge to lead by example and to also strive to ensure that he carry out his functions without any dint of taint on his name. “Overall, the fact remains that the Judiciary plays a fundamental role in national development by efficaciously resolving disputes and upholding civil rights and the rule of law. “ it creates a stable environment that is indispensable to economic development and social cohesion”, she held. In the words of the CJN: “Justice must be rooted in confidence and that confidence is destroyed when right thinking members of the society doubt the neutrality of the Judge. “To achieve a positive selfimage, the Judiciary must naturally be above board and ensure that it plays a pivotal role in promoting the rule of the law in our country’s democratic system. “It is therefore imperative on you to discharge your responsibilities with all honesty, due diligence and integrity. “You must continue to act in accordance with the dictates of the Oath of Office which you have just taken as well as your good conscience”, the CJN added.

Photo Splash



Wheel barrow pushers on their way to Babangida market on Airport Road in Abuja on Friday

A ram dealer forcing the sallah ram into his client car boot yesterday in Garki ram market

Vehicle overloaded with goods going to Babangida market on Airport Road in Abuja on Friday

Governor of Niger State Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu inspecting the guard of honour, during the passing out parade of the Niger State Green Guards, at the trade fair complex, Minna recently

Cross section of 342 battalion graduands after their pre-deployment training, at the Nigerian army peacekeeping centre, Jaji in Kaduna on Friday Photo: Justin Imo-owo



News Yuguda offsets medical bill of Almajiri with eye cancer From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda has undertaken to offset the medical bill of one Adamu Ahmed, an almajiri with cancer of the eyes whose case was broadcast on the state owned television station, BATV. The Governor promptly released the sum of N1,000,000 to the Management of the Station to liaise with the guardian of the 15 years old Ahmed who has been wandering on the major streets of Bauchi metropolis in the last four years with no help coming from any direction. The governor , represented by Permanent Secretary, Government House, Bashir Uba Mashema while presenting

the money to the BATV Management at the Government House Thursday, explained that the governor was touched when he watched the story and immediately directed that the required amount be released for Ahmed’s medical attention in any hospital in the country. Mashema warned that the money be used solely purpose for giving the boy adequate medical attention declaring that government would closely monitor developments until it is satisfied that Ahmed was medically fit again. Responding, representative of the BATV Management, Ibrahim Sani thanked the Governor and assured that the money would be used judiciously.

Women Centre to open shop for students’ products By Gabriel Gwajime


he National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja, is set to open a shop that would sell items produced by students and graduates of its vocational training centre. Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the centre, Ms Onyeka Onwenu, disclosed this at the graduation of various vocational skills programmes which held at the Arts & Craft Hall (Gambo Sawaba Block) of the centre in Abuja. The Head of Training and Development of the centre, Princess Jummai Idonije said after three months, about 71 students graduated from the various vocational programmes which include: Cake Making, Bread and Pastries, Interior Decoration, Beads Making as well as Dying and Tying. Ms Onyeka who said she would enrol for Cake Making in the next batch of courses, advised the graduating students, not to look only at their certificates, but to raise a standard, establish their businesses and touch the lives of many in their communities: “You now have a certificate to show that you are qualified. Because you passed through this training and came out successfully, I have every confidence that you will make it.” While advising them to make

use of the wealth of the experiences of mentors like her, she added: “I look at you as future leaders of this country. You are future mothers of Nigeria. God has created you specially. Your position as a young woman is special, because if you don’t make it, Nigeria cannot make it.” The NCWD executive director also noted that by establishing their businesses, the graduating students could take off someone off the streets, as well as help someone who could have been trafficked. Ms Onyeka encouraged the graduating students that it may not be smooth sailing at the beginning. “If you look at some of us that have become famous today, you will think that we had it in a smooth way. But it was not like that. It may be rough today, but if you persist, you will get to your destinations. “When you earn money on a regular basis, it’s better. You should not stop learning, for learning is a life-long journey.” Speaking to the press after the ceremony, Ms Onyeka observed that with help, the centre would do more. “We are transforming Nigeria, one girl at a time. I am very proud of the graduands and their products. Their products can compete anywhere.” She advised outsiders to also avail themselves of the opportunities offered by the training programmes of the NCWD.

Kano state Governor, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (right) with Majed Al-Bugamy of Saudi Royal Protocol at Guest & Conference Palaces Shortly after Performing Lesser Hajj (Umrah) at Meccah on Thursday

Gombe: Police want residents to be law abiding during Sallah From David Hassan, Gombe


he Gombe state police command has advised residents in the area to remain law abiding during and after the sallah celebration. Speaking to our correspondent through telephone yesterday in Gombe, the Police Public Relations Officer Gombe state police com-

mand DSP Fwaje Atajiri said arrangement has been concluded to ensure the protection of lives and property of citizens during the Eidel Adha celebration in the state. He called on other security agents to come out en-mass and protect the interest of the people to enable them enjoy the occasion without hindrance. The police spokesman also

warned residents to stay away from criminal activities during the festivity, noting that the police would not spare anyone found wanting.. He said the command has deployed a good number of officers and men to ensure safety of lives and properties of good citizens of the state with a view to celebrate sallah peacefully.

Solomon Lar’s death painful —Kwankwaso From Edwin Olofu, Kano


overnor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state has described the death of one-time governor of old Plateau state, Chef Solomon Lar as a painful loss to Nigeria. In a statement signed by Kwankwaso’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye, the governor

described the late Chief Lar as a dogged politician, dynamic leader and well-regarded statesman. “Chief Lar was the pioneer national chairman and later chairman of the Board of Trustees of our great party, the PDP. His contributed immeasurably towards building the party and ensuring its success at all levels. We shall surely miss him”, the statement recalled.

“It is painful that we have lost such an icon at this point in time but we must be consoled by the fact that Chief Lar’s life was spent in the service of mankind”,it added. He therefore, prayed God to stand by the bereaved in this time of sorrow and to give Nigerians, particularly people of Plateau state the courage to bear the loss.



Crime Cycle Stanley Onyekwere 08138559513

90 NSCDC officers in court over wrongful termination of employment T

he National Industrial Court resumed hearing in a suit filed by 90 officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) against the corps’ wrongful termination of their employment. The claimants, led by Mr Entonou Oyigocho, joined the CommandantGeneral of NSCDC, the Ministers of Labour and Interior respectively, as third and fourth defendants in the suit. They are praying the court to declare that the withdrawal of their uniforms and appointment letters by the defendants as null and void and of no effect. The claimants are also seeking for an order directing the defendants to recall them and to release the original copies of their employment letters to them. They are also seeking for an order of the court directing the defendants to immediately pay them all the arrears of their salaries from July 2008 till date. It would be recalled that when the matter came up for hearing

in July, the claimants told the court that the defendants had not dismissed them. Oyigocho, under cross-examination, told the court that the second defendant (DG) ordered the withdrawal of their uniforms and appointment letters in July 2008. He told the court that the defendants stopped the payment of their salaries since then, but said that their pension contribution was still running. Oyigocho also said that they were still officers of the defendants because their pension accounts were being credited every month. The claimants’ counsel, Mr Ajugu Ataguba, informed the court that the claimants’ witness was ready to give evidence. Ataguba also informed the court that neither the defendants nor their counsel were in court, and urged the court to adjourn the matter in the interest of justice. The president of the court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, granted the request and adjourned the case to Oct. 28 for further hearing.

NSCDC Boss, Dr. Ol Abolurin

Man in court for allegedly robbing pedestrian of blackberry


25-year-old man, Victor Erusiafe, has appeared before an Apapa Senior Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, for allegedly robbing a pedestrian of his blackberry phone worth N95, 000. Erusiafe, of no fixed address, is facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and robbery. The Prosecutor, Cpl. Friday Inedu, said the accused committed the offences on October 6, at about 4:00 p.m. at 1st Gate Bus/Stop, on the Badagry Expressway, Lagos. Inedu said the accused, and others at large, robbed the complainant, MrEker Chris, of his blackberry phone worth N95, 000, while armed with a broken bottle. “Chris raised an alarm which attracted passersby, who helped to apprehend Erusiafe, and handed him over to the Police,” he said. The offences, he added, contravened Sections 295 and 409

of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty. The Senior Magistrate, MrAdeyemi Amos, granted the accused bail in the sum of N50, 000 with two sureties in like sum. In addition, Amos said the sureties, who should be civil servants, should show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos State Government. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused may be sentenced to a maximum of 21 years imprisonment for robbery, if found guilty. Further hearing in the case has been fixed for Nov. 6. (NAN) How Police nabbed notorious cult kingpin, 10 others in Enugu The police command in Enugu State said it had arrested MbaChukwuemeka, a suspected cult kingpin of the vikings confraternity alongside other nine other suspected members of the confraternity.

The Notice of the arrest, which was contained in a statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. EbereAmarizu in Enugu, added that the Police succeeded in arresting some other suspected members of the confraternity was made following the arrest of the kingpin. The statement noted that Chukwuemeka was arrested by operatives of the Special Antirobbery Squad (SARS) on Oct. 8. It listed the suspects as NdubisiAgu, UgochukwuNnadi, AniChigbo, OnahChukwuebuka, OnyekaOkeke, OkworAmaefuna, Orji Anayo and OforOgbonna. Similarly, the command said it had arrested one Uchola Godwin of ObaleIbaji, Kogi, in possession of firearm. The command said Godwin was arrested with a local pistol and three live cartridges at Okpuje, along Nsukka-Odol-Kogi Road on Sept. 9. (NAN)

IGP Mohammed Abubakar

23-year-old ex-convict returns to court over alleged theft


n ex-convict, Dada Emmanuel, 23, who was recently released from prison, was re-arraigned in an Ota Senior Magistrate Court, Ogun, for allegedly stealing a LCD Television valued at N350, 000, belonging to one Mr. AdekunleAdeshina. Emmanuel, of no fixed address, is facing a two-count charge of burglary and stealing. The prosecutor, Cpl. Rosemary

Brown told the court that the accused and others at large, committed the offence on Aug. 25, at about 2:30 a.m. at No. 7 Ijoko Street, IsheriOlofin, Ojodu-Abiodun, Ota, Ogun. Brown said the accused and others at large entered into the complainant’s house after breaking the door and carted away the LCD Television. She said that the accused was, however, apprehended by the

vigilante in the area and handed over to the police. According to the prosecutor, the offences contravene sections 390, 411 (1) and 516 of the Criminal Code Vol. 11 Revised Law of Ogun State, 2006. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. The Magistrate, MrAdenariwoSoneye, granted the accused bail in the sum of N300, 000 with two sureties in like sum.

Soneye said that one of the sureties should be a family member of the accused and must show evidence of one year tax payment to the Ogun State Government as part of the bail conditions. He also added that the surety should be resident within the court jurisdiction and the address should be verified by the police. The case was adjourned to Nov. 13 for continuation. (NAN)

CRIME NUGGET Survey shows 9% crime decrease in England and Wales Latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimate that there were 8.6 million crimes in England and Wales, based on interviews with a representative sample of households and resident adults in the year ending March 2013. This represents a 9% decrease compared with the previous year’s survey. This latest estimate is the lowest since the survey began in 1981 and is now less than half its peak level in 1995. The CSEW also estimated that there were an additional 0.8 million crimes against children aged 10 to 15 resident in the household population. The police recorded 3.7 million offences in the year ending March 2013, a decrease of 7% compared with the previous year. This is the lowest level since 2002/03 when the last major change in police recording practice was introduced. Victim-based crime accounted for 83% of all police recorded crime (3.1 million offences) and fell by 9% in the year ending March 2013 compared with the previous year. The volume of offences recorded in this category is equivalent to 55 recorded offences per 1,000 population. Other crimes against society recorded by the police (402,615 offences) showed a decrease of 10% compared with the previous year. In the year ending March 2013, 229,018 fraud offences were recorded by the police. This represents a volume increase of 27% compared with the previous year and should be seen in the context of a move to centralised recording of fraud. Within victim-based crime there were decreases across all the main categories of recorded crime compared with the previous year, except for theft from the person (up 9%) and sexual offences (1% increase). The latter increase is thought to be partly a ‘Yewtree effect’, whereby greater numbers of victims of sexual offences have come forward to report historical offences to the police. There were an additional 1.0 million offences dealt with by the courts in the year ending December 2012 (the latest period for which data are available), which are not included in the police recorded crime figures. These cover less serious crimes, such as speeding offences, which are dealt with no higher than magistrates courts. Culled from uk




Lar: An apostle of developmental politics By




f encomiums and adulations pouring out after the death of the first executive governor of old Plateau state and the pioneer National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Solomon Deushep Lar, are anything to go by, then the nation must have lost a rare political gem. Although, it is typical of Africans, especially Nigerians, to appreciate their own only after their demise, tributes paid by highly placed Nigerians at the death of this illustrious champion of the masses and grass-root mobilizer must be unflattering. Lar, who lived and died a developmental politician, having been able to set the pace in infrastructural development of the old Plateau state in the north central region of the country, was, no doubt, an accomplished politician with an enviable pedigree. Having climbed the rung from a humble background and trained as a teacher and a lawyer, Lar has been able to prove to the world the limitless human capacity to brace the odds and get to the pinnacle of his career without having to cut corners. The late politician and nationalist worked tirelessly for the unity of the country and the emancipation of the downtrodden. At a time the nation was growning under the weight of military dictatorship, Lar, in concert with his peers of like minds, rose to the occasion and extricated the country from mis-governance and administrative ineptitude which characterized the military years. This position was adumbrated by the incumbent National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, when on his condolence visit to the deceased family, he described late Lar as one of the founding father of the PDP who labored hard to build a strong pedestal upon which the party currently stands. Tukur described late Lar, who was the first National Chairman of the PDP, as a detribalised man and a leader who built a virile party with forthright leadership based on peace and justice for others to emulate. Late Lar played pivotal roles in the determination of political identity for the Middle Belt region of the country. His tenacity and insistence were instrumental to the formal unofficial delimitation of the country into six geo political zones where his area, the North Central got some level of political autonomy as a bloc for political

Chief Solomon Lar negotiations in the nation’s polity. Pundits are unanimous in their conclusions that most projects in the present day Plateau state including the Plateau Radio and Television (PRTV), intercity link roads, Jos Central Markets, amongst other developmental infrastructures in the state were initiated and delivered under Lar’s leadership Responding to the demise of the pioneer National Chairman of the PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan described late Lar as a much beloved, charismatic and inspirational leader. Commenting on Lar’s death, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said “With over 50 years of participation in Nigerian politics, Chief Lar’s knowledge, experience, wisdom and foresight set the foundations for the success that our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, enjoys today. “For several decades, Chief Lar contributed to the development of the Nigerian state while serving in various capacities. In 1999, he made significant contributions to the re-establishment of democracy in Nigeria. “Chief Lar was a noble statesman, a lover of peace, a firm

believer in the Nigerian project. His place will be very difficult to fill within his community, the state, the party and the nation.” Senate President, David Mark, lamented the demise of Lar. He described him as a rare Nigerian who propagated the tenets of democracy and lived to see the actualisation of the people’s will. Mark noted that Lar would be remembered for fighting for democracy and enthronement of the people’s mandate against all odds. He recalled that it was Lar who led the group of G-34 which later metamorphosed into today’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Mark said “We owe him a great deal of gratitude. He surely has a place of pride in the political history of Nigeria. Lar was a different kind of leader. He put the people and the nation first before self. “He was an easygoing man. He was a calculative, gentle and resultoriented leader. Regrettably, the nation has lost one of her shinning stars. We shall miss his robust contributions to national issues. We shall miss his humour.” The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, remarked that Lar

Late Lar played pivotal roles in the determination of political identity for the Middle Belt region of the country. His tenacity and insistence were instrumental to the formal unofficial delimitation of the country into six geo political zones ...

would always be remembered as a man of integrity whose forthrightness and wisdom stood him out among his peers. The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said “We have lost one of the finest political figures of our time and a hero of our current democratic dispensation. His death marks the end of an era.” Senator Ali Ndume (PDP, Borno South) described him as a frontline politician, detribalised and generous progressive, who laid solid foundation for the party. Kano-based politician, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, described Lar as one of the fair-minded leaders from the northern part of Nigeria. Mohammed, who recalled how Lar played an active role as one of the leaders from the Middle Belt in the First Republic and one of the nine progressive governors in the Second Republic, said the late politician worked assiduously to keep the peace in his domain. A leader of the PDP, Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, described his death as a monumental loss not only to his family, Plateau State, but the nation at large. According to him, “he was a very generous man and a committed middle belter. His personality was very typical. He had been a politician from youth and consistent also. His role when he was the National Chairman of PDP was something to be admired. I am sure he wasn’t himself when PDP started failing. We will miss him in the political arena of this country.” In his own reaction, former governor of Plateau State, Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, said “We lost a political giant, particularly in the Middle Belt. It is unfortunate. A big loss in the

country. He was the mother hen who usually covered us. We thank God for his life, and we want to pray to God for the repose of his soul.” His simplicity and generosity was further underscored with the statement made by his Senior Personal Assistant, Ambassador Danladi Wuyep, who received members of he PDP National Working Committee (NWC) on behalf of the family, at the deceased Abuja residence, when he disclosed that the Maitama, Abuja residence of the late Lar was actually a rented apartment. He said Lar was a nationalist who never discriminated against anyone as he helped Nigerians, regardless of creed and tribe. According to him “Baba (Lar) never discriminated against anyone on the ground of tribe or religious affiliations. When he was alive, here in his house you find Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, Igbo and all other tribes in Nigeria living with him here. “He was selfless and all his money was spent on helping the people. Sometimes, when we don’t have money, Baba would use his land documents as collateral for loans in banks and share to the people. We find a way of paying back whenever there is money,” Wuyep said. Equally commenting on Lar’s generosity, billionaire Prince Arthur Eze said the former Plateau state governor made him what he is today. Expressing surprise that Lar lived and died in a rented apartment, Eze promised to ensure that he gets a house for him even after death. Lar, according to his admirers, was a core party man who even at the point of death kept asking after the welfare of the PDP. Senator Ibrahim Mantu, a compatriot and former Deputy Senate President, has this to say about Lar: “Death has snatched from the political class the greatest leader of our time. Chief Solomom Lar was a committed democrat; a politicians’ politician; an exemplary leader and above all, a practical Christian. He lived for the people and died for the people.” Lar, who was born in April 1933, was a Nigerian politician who held various offices at the national level for over 50 years. He was a member of the first national parliament when Nigeria gained independence in 1960. He was elected governor of Plateau State on the Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) platform during the Nigerian Second Republic, holding office from October 1979 until the military coup of December 31, 1983 that brought Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to power.




Lar had no house in Abuja, says aide By Lawrence Olaoye


ational Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, members of his National Working Committee and other prominent sympathies in the party were yesterday jolted yesterday when an aide to late Solomon Lar disclosed that he had no personal house in Abuja. His Senior Personal Assistant, Ambassador Danladi Wuyep, disclosed this when Tukur led members of the NWC on condolence visit to Lar family in Abuja. But in swift reaction, Anambra born business mogul and a financier of the ruling party, Prince Arthur Eze, promised to ensure that the rented house in Maitama, Abuja is bought in honour of the late pioneer National Chairman of the ruling

…as Arthur Eze promises to buy apartment for family party. Wuyep told the PDP executive that the late politician was already having difficulties paying for the apartment before his death and that they were making moves to approach he party leadership for help. Responding to the disclosure, Chief Eze declared that Lar made him what he is today by assisting him several years back when he was the governor of Plateau state. He described Lar as a detribalized Nigerian who was every willing to offer a hand to uplift the down trodden. “I came to him from Enugu, he never knew me before and he gave me the contract for the bulding of a television station. The first money

that touched my hand came from him. He is a different human being”. Asked what he was going to do over the issue of the rented apartment Lar has been occupying for more than a decade, Chief Eze said he will foot the bill for the payment of the house. “I am paying for the house, don’t border yourself”, he said. Speaking earlier the PDP chairman, Dr. Tukur who said he received with shock the news of the death of Lar, described him as one of Nigeria’s greatest nationalist. “It is with shock that I received the shattering news of the passage of one of Nigerian’s greatest nationalist Chief Dr Solomon Lar. “Chief Solomon Lar has been a close friend and an associate, to me

Senatorial by-election, a litmus test for 2015 – Akume By Jamila Musa


enate Minority Leader, Dr. George Akume, has described the Delta-Central Senatorial byeelection holding today as a measure of the preparedness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct free, fair and transparent elections and, hence, a litmus test for 2015. In a statement issued in Abuja by his Media Assistant, Mrs. Beckie Orpin, Akume said in the light of the

massive irregularities that marred the 2011 polls, it was imperative for INEC to get its acts right this time around so as to rekindle confidence in the nation’s electoral system. The former Benue state governor said the conduct of credible polls was a democratic emergency, particularly as Nigerians and petitioners have come to the painful conclusion that the courts and tribunals cannot be relied upon to redress matters of electoral fraud perpetrated during elections.

Senator George Akume

He, therefore called on INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to rise above board, and prove that the “Giant of Africa does not have clay feet when it comes to electoral matters or that Africa’s largest democracy is incapable of meeting the minimum standards of credible elections.” “The much-talked about Transformation Agenda must also transform INEC and the reforms being trumpeted in government circles must reach Attahiru-Jega’s INEC, and evidently so. Let votes count. “INEC must move from rhetoric to performance. INEC must take a cue from smaller countries like Mali, Ghana, Sierra Leone as well as South Africa, and begin to discharge its mandate as an impartial umpire. It is less than wonderful that after every election, INEC engages in selfcongratulations while other parties, save the supposed winners, head to court. “And the Federal Government should also know that the acceptability of an electoral process or the stability of the polity does not lie in the intensity of the official propaganda or in militarization of the polity before and after elections; they depend on the free, fair, transparent and credible conduct of the exercise itself. Today’s exercise offers us that possibility!”

politically for a long time now, he was open minded, fearless, dogged and a resolute fighter for the right of the oppressed and the less privileged. “A great family man and disciplinarian, Lar was a dependable husband to his spouse and a loving father who cherished his children. “He did not spare anything in given his children the best training and education”. Tukur also noted that Chief Lar was one of those who challenge certain policies of the military regime at that time despite the dangers to their life and property which such divergent views posed. “Chief Lar stood to be counted among other nationalists and brave statesmen who refused to

keep quiet while the nation was getting close the precipitate. It was his group which midwived the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lar was one of the founding fathers of PDP and our pioneer Chairman. “He also led the PDP to electoral victories in 1999. In a sense, Chief Lar laid the foundation for the strong resilient and vibrant political party which the PDP is today”. In her response the daughter of Lar and member of the House of Representatives, Hon Beni Lar said the father lived for the peace and unity of the country and charged the PDP leaders to carry on with this legacy, even within the PDP family.

2014 Poll: Ekiti group warns police against bias


Political Pressure group in Ekiti State, Ekiti Justice Group (EJG) has cautioned leadership of the State Police Command against exhibiting bias against any political organisation or individual in the State ahead of the 2014 governorship election. EJG, which decried the recent arrest and prosecution of supporters of the Ekiti Bibiire Coalition, said it was ironical that the same police that accused the Bibiire Coalition of contravening the Electoral Act allowed youths of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to hold a campaign rally in AdoEkiti, the State capital yesterday. In a release issued today and signed by its Coordinator, Comrade Ebenezer Olaleye and Secretary, Mr. Gbenga Babawibe, EJG said it was still awaiting the arrest and prosecution of the thugs that caused mayhem on Thursday, September 19, 2013. “The question that we wish to ask the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Mr Sotonye Wakama is that; didn’t the APC youth rally also contravened Section 99 of the Electoral Act 2011 (as amended), which stipulated that campaign rallies could only take place 90 days to any election? “If the police had to disrupt the

Gov. of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi launching of Ekiti Bibiire Coalition, which is not a political party, because it purportedly contravened the Electoral Act, why then was the APC youth rally that was held in Ado-Ekiti today not disrupted?

INEC Verdict: PDP extends olive branch to Baraje, G7 Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


ollowing the upholding of the leadership of the PDP under the the National Chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has extended an olive branch to the Abubakar Baraje-led breakaway group following INEC’s affirmation of Bamanga’s leadership of the party. “The position of INEC in af-

firming the leadership of the PDP under the National Chairmanship of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and rejecting the demand for recognition by our aggrieved brothers has indeed laid to rest all contentions regarding the authentic leadership of our great party,” to a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh “However, we wish to state categorically that this is not a time for us to gloat or preen ourselves over

victory. We must use this window of opportunity to engender true reconciliations, put all the issues behind us and move ahead as one big united family that we are. “We call on all our aggrieved brothers to relegate all personal interests and return to the fold so that we can ward off all external aggressions and forge a common formidable political front. We wish to assure that the PDP as the only true national party is large enough to accom-

modate all interests and persons as we remain loyal to the provisions of our constitution as a party. “We must at this time close ranks and rally around President Goodluck Jonathan and our leaders at all levels so that collectively, we will ensure that our great party delivered on its mandate and promises as enshrined in the PDP manifesto, the ideals of our founding fathers and the Transformation Agenda of the PDP-led government

for the overall good of our people. “The challenges of the last few months, rather than detract, have proven that the PDP remains the pre-eminent party that will continue to win elections at all levels in the country,” the release said. The statement urged all party leaders, elders and indeed all members of the PDP across the board to continue to support President Goodluck Jonathan and his Transformation Agenda.




Ban on tokunbo cars: Placing the cart before the horse?

Used cars on display By Patrick Andrew


he Federal Executive Council (FEC) last week approved a new Automotive Industrial Development plan aimed at boosting or rather reviving the nation’s automotive industry. In principle, the new initiative is a deliberate effort to re-jig local automotive industries as well as gradual phase out of used cars- ‘tokunbo’- through the instrumentality of high tariff regime that would force their prices out of the reach of ordinary folks and probably their importers out of business. Nigerians, according to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, expended N445 billion on importation of tokunbo between 2010 and 2012, while also causing the loss of jobs to thousands of Nigerians because the local assembly plants had been forced to close shops. Experts say the amount though is solely for passenger cars and that the sum would rise if trucks and other vehicles imported into the country are aggregated the amount will be running to N600 billion annually. The minister says that the new plan will not only lead to the revival of Nigeria’s automotive industries but will generate as much 700,000 jobs. Many though are skeptical not necessarily for being pessimists but largely because previous pronouncements had been a mirage. Aganga was quick to admit past failure but stoutly defended this new initiative because, according to him, government wants to take the bull by the horns by doing just the needful through imposition of high tariff to discourage importation. “Council took cognizance of the factors that contributed to the failure of similar policies in the past before approving the new plan and is determined to revive the automotive industry to create jobs for Nigerians and set us in the path of development”. True, there have been similar pronouncements. President Olusegun Obasanjo had been

vocal on the necessity of manufacturing vehicles in Nigeria. Under his administration, the National Automotive Council (NAC) had some steam. Already, the Council has set aside the sum of N3.5billion as seed money for a fund to be accessed at single digit interest rate to those who purchase locally assembled vehicles. The objective is to encourage Nigerians to buy made-in-Nigeria vehicles, according to its Director-General, Mr. Aminu Jalal, who has consistently insisted the country must not give up on the pursuit of its automotive agenda. Perhaps, his call did not fell on deaf ears. Some two years ago, President Goodluck Jonathan had commissioned the privately owned vehicle manufacturing firm, Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company Limited (IVM) based in Nnewi. The president had been delighted that it was not an assembly plant like the other so-called vehicle manufacturing companies which were merely workshops where passenger cars and other vehicles were being assembled. Jonathan may have had in mind the fact that the automotive technology is over a hundred years old and that since the first car hit the Nigerian road in the 1920s, the country has remained a veritable market for all kinds of automobiles, ranging from cars to vans and trucks. But attempts by the previous governments to launch Nigeria into the vehicle manufacturing league have so far yielded little or no dividends. For instance, six vehicle assembly plants were es-

tablished in Nigeria between 1970 and 1980 but most of the plants became moribund due to heavy reliance on foreign input and the collapsed of local markets, among other factors. In spite of that, Nigerians’ need for vehicles, especially passenger cars, continue to grow such that about 50,000 new and 150,000 used vehicles are said to be imported into Nigeria annually. However, after five decades of existence Nigeria’s automotive industry remains a mirage largely because of neglect and government’s lack of political will to enforce its laws on the importation of vehicles. Interestingly, Mr. Samuel Ortom, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, while speaking on the importance of the automotive industry to the national economy had said: “It is a vital industry in a developing economy like Nigeria. The industry provides an opportunity to diversify into sophisticated, technically demanding activities that support higher rates of economic growth.” Ortom had spoken on the imperative of reviving the industry and argued that it ought to have been seen as the nucleus for building a self-sustaining economy, job creation and upgrading the standard of living of Nigerians. That this was not lost on past government could be seen in the establishment of some vehicle assembly plants which included Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Ltd. (PAN), Leyland Nigeria Ltd., Volkswagen of Nigeria (VON), Anambra Motor

Even at their peak, these plants only assembled vehicles with old mechanical and carburetor system. That remains so because modern vehicles, including trucks, are built with a new technology and they also require specially trained experts and tools for their handling. These it appears are lacking in these plants.

Manufacturing Company (ANAMCO) and Steyr Nigeria Ltd. Sadly, even at their peak, these plants only assembled vehicles with old mechanical and carburetor system. That remains so because modern vehicles, including trucks, are built with a new technology and they also require specially trained experts and tools for their handling. These it appears are lacking in these plants. According to the NAC DG, the problem has always been how government and its agencies can address the multi-faceted problems facing the automotive industry and then accelerate the technological development of Nigeria by using local human and material recourses. The government seems to have taken note of that and has addressed that by the new policy according to Aganga, who disclosed that three automotive clusters would be established in Lagos/ Ogun; Kaduna/Kano; and Anambra/Enugu states to share resources and reduce cost of investments. To ensure availability of the needed manpower, the minister said the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) is working with car-maker, Cena of Brazil, to open automotive training centres in Nigeria while two Nigerian universities have also agreed to run degree programmes in auto-mechanical engineering. “A transformed automotive industry will realize its potential as a major driver of economic growth and diversification, job creation, local value addition and technology acquisition. These recommendations were adopted at various fora, conferences and consultations with stakeholders, to protect the local industry and encourage patronage. For instance, though successive governments, both state and federal have pontificated on support for local industry to manufacture cars, but they have always betrayed Contd on Page 18



Feature Transforming agriculture via the NGOs

By Dada Ahmed, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)


usa Aliyu, 55, regrets that although he has been farming all his life, he has remained a poor farmer. He is among many rural farmers in Kogi who moved to neighbouring Edo to form cluster-farming communities with a view to benefitting from modern agronomic practices and access to farm inputs. Aliyu attributes his plight to lukewarm attitude of some stakeholders towards modern agricultural methodology which, he says, hinders ability of rural farmers to access fertilisers and other inputs. Analysts note that Aliyu’s case typifies the experience of many rural farmers who take farming as a way of life, but cannot be helped to become commercial agriculturists. Mr Michael Onotu, a retired civil servant who manages a small farm in Okene, notes that Nigeria is blessed with resources to develop agriculture, but lacks capacity for modern farming. Analysts agree that the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda is aimed at revolutionising agriculture and reinvigorating the morale of farmers to meet the nation’s food needs. They say that the agenda may not achieve its targets if it is not supported by various stakeholders, especially non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the sector. They note that NGOs are private outfits whose structure and activities are based on the initiative of individuals or institutions to complement government’s effort in good governance. Mr Albert Alabi, an Abuja resident, says involving NGOs in the agriculture transformation programme will enhance government’s initiatives. ``Involvement of NGOs is necessary because they realise that no government can provide all the necessities of life for the wellbeing of its citizens,’’ he said. In the same vein, Mr Ibrahim Anas, Executive Director of LOGADEF, an NGO, wants

similar organisations and youths to assist government in transforming agriculture for food security. LOGADEF recently organised the ``All Nigerian States and Local Government Agricultural Development and Rural Transformation Trade Fair 2013’’ in Abuja. ``It was organised in collaboration with the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and supported by the Federal Government. It featured many farmers from many states and local government areas,’’ Anas said. According to him, produce exhibited at the fair included yams, cassava, legumes, poultry products and agro-allied chemicals, among other agricultural equipment. The Minister of State for FCT, Chief Ola-

jumoke Akinjide, expresses optimism that the efforts of NGOs will go a long way in complementing federal government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda. But critics have noted that besides organising agricultural fairs and shows, non-governmental organisations in the sector can do much more in the agriculture transformation agenda. Mr Mohammed Abdulkadir, a farmer who exhibited produce at the fair, commended the role of NGOs, but urged them to further complement government’s efforts. Dr Tunde Arosanyin, Financial Secretary of All Nigeria Framers Association (AFAN), says that NGOs can do better by going beyond organising trade fairs. According to him, AFAN has taken steps to identify genuine farmers in various towns and villages, as

well as collated reliable data on farmers across the country. Arosanyin says that the association has helped government agencies to achieve success in data capturing of farmers through its farmer registration exercise. He notes that registration of farmers and agroallied produce dealers is a veritable way of assisting transformation in agriculture. According to him, NGOs should serve as a link between government and farmers to ensure effective delivery of farm inputs and popularising new farm techniques and methodologies. ``When the value of agricultural produce is enhanced, the quality improves, patronage will increase; this will affect the price value and farmers will smile. ``It is only when these roles are played effectively that the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the federal government will be meaningful to the life of poor farmers, and add value to national economy,’’ he said. Experts in agriculture are of the view that Nigerian youths can be encouraged to organise themselves into community-based organisations to educate farmers on need areas and methodologies if they are trained. They also agree that NGOs can be useful to farming communities through establishing more rural agricultural cooperative societies to provide access to loans without collateral for poor farmers. Mr Mathew Ochu, a retired agriculture officer in Lokoja, thinks that such cooperatives will ensure that poor farmers also have access to other inputs that can enhance food production. ``I want to see many NGOs complementing government’s efforts in reviving agriculture extension services by going to rural farming communities to teach farmers modern techniques of farming, fertiliser application and food storage,’’ he said. However, analysts hold the belief that farmers are among the most productive segment of the Nigerian population who deserve necessary assistance from government and non-governmental organisations to sustain food production and fight hunger. (NANFeatures)

... Placing the cart before the horse? Contd from Page 17 their insincerity by importing cars for their uses. Besides, some policies of government have had profound negative impact on the industry like the lowering of import duty on truck tyres in 2005 which crippled the tyre industry. This was after the government, through the NAC, had extended support to over 20 component manufacturers including Dunlop, which received over N1.4 billion to establish its Radial Steel Truck tyres. All this contributed to the sharp drop in performance of the automotive industry such that the overall capacity utilisation of the automotive industry dropped to about 10 per cent for vehicle assembly and 30 per cent for vehicle components’ manufacture. Prof. Peter Onwualu, the DirectorGeneral, Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), bemoaned the poor performance of the country’s automotive industry. “Government established the plants with the hope that they would reduce foreign exchange expenditure on vehicles; create many downstream industries and acquire technology. This is beside the anticipated creation of employment for skilled and unskilled workers,’’ he said. But has the government addressed some of the teething problems such as power, availability of necessary raw materials as well as creation of environment conducive for smooth operations? One doubts that. Indeed, it’s a reason many have doubted the sincerity of the government even as some think the

present initiative is comparable to placing the cart before the horse. According to Musa Hamsa, the new initiative on the surface is encouraging but in actuality punitive because it will further impoverished the people especially the middle class who are merely managing to survive. “The new policy is punitive because it will surely nail the coffin on the almost fast disappearing middle class.” Mr David Usman, a banker believes instead of banning the importation of fairly used vehicles the government should have improved on the transport system by reviving the railways transport, work on water ways so that many would have alternative means of transporting themselves to and fro work and for general movement. Mr Emmanuel Ekpo, who worked in a car sales company for years, believes the policy, when fully implemented, would fast-track the growth of Nigeria’s automotive industry, in addition to creating jobs and generating wealth for the country. He stressed the need for all to cooperate with the government’s concerted efforts to save the country’s automotive industry from collapse. “The Nigerian vehicle market is flooded with Japanese cars. Besides, most Chinese auto components imported into the country are below the European standards. Yet, our people patronize them because they don’t have affordable local alternatives. “But there are some efforts. Nnewi, for example, has become the hub of some sort for manufacturing of all spare parts. You can easily find a cluster of automotive industries producing various vehicle components and they suffer lack

of patronage because of our people’s mentality.’’ That’s right. Perhaps, the government should have first consider building a plant and experimenting on it to observe its workability before attempting to control the in-flow of used cars into the country. In the opinion of many, failure to do this needful makes the policy to be long on goals and intentions, but actually short on execution. Little wonder Mufutau Egberongbe, a member of the Lagos House of Assembly have argued that tokunbo cars have become fashionable because, “in a country where the government has failed to provide mass transit scheme, cheap rail and water transportation, the people would create alternatives for

themselves and this why they get the tokunbo cars that are even not for the masses.” The lawmaker is right. In countries like Japan, Germany, Britain and others where train services work, commuters prefer these services. Even ownership of personal cars isn’t quite fashionable because anybody could practically embark on a journey comfortably without relying on personal cars. Besides, many also wonder how conducive is the environment? That’s because the government has yet to create an atmosphere that allows for an automobile plant thrive much less three at once. Bamidele Aturu believes the environment isn’t ripe enough. “If you are to ask people to come and in-

vest in the automobile industry, what is your environment like? This whole thing sounds like a joke.” The cynicism of many is understandable. The policy isn’t new. It began 30 years when the government planned to produce the first indigenous car manufacturing outfit came afloat. But it has remained largely on the drawing board. That was what gave birth to the six assembly plants. Obasanjo attempted to resuscitate the effort to no avail in 2002 when he audaciously banned importation of used cars. That ban was a joke and public outcry ensured it was lifted almost immediately. The present initiative is most likely to follow the same beaten path.




How Nigeria can gain from tourism – DG By Miriam Humbe


ll over the world, World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27, every

year. The September 27 date was chosen because it was exactly on that day in 1970, that the Statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) were adopted. Since then, affiliate nations of UNWTO have religiously observed the celebration in commemoration and this has led to concerted global efforts at celebrating the day in grand style with country specific activities that reflect the annual global theme. At a recent forum organized by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, for stakeholders in Nigeria’s tourism industry, the DG, Mrs Sally Mbanefo delivered a paper titled: Rebuilding the NTDC and growing the tourism value chain for revenue generation and job creation. This paper couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time as we celebrate the world tourism day come September 27. Adopting these Statutes has been generally considered a milestone in global tourism, especially with the attendant lessons and opportunity to showcase tourism potentialities and its implications as agents of peace, employment, recreation and education. It has been suggested that the purpose of marking the day were primarily to raise awareness on the positive role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how tourism affects the global social, cultural, political and economic values. Due to the multi-dimensional perspective of tourism, it has transcended generic definition to cover areas such as eco-tourism, medical-tourism, scientific-tourism, and academic-tourism, among others. In view of the above, advanced countries have earned several millions of dollars annually through tourism related activities in all aspects of human endeavour. In 2010 for instance, there were over 940 million international tourist arrivals in different parts of the world, with a growth of 6.6% as compared to the figure in 2009. International tourism receipts grew to US$919 billion (euro 693 billion) in 2010. Similarly, statistics have equally indicated that international tourist arrivals in Africa grew from 15 million in 1990 to 52 million in 2012; while exports from international tourism reached US$34 billion in 2012 from a mere USD$6 billion in 1990 and it is estimated that by 2030, international tourist arrivals to Africa will reach 134 million; almost three times the current figure. Revenue generation from tourism activities are quite substantial leveraging up to $5 million annu-

ally from all sectors of the tourism industry. However, with the threepronged agenda recently unveiled by the Director-General of the NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, the corporation is set to totally revitalize the nation’s almost comatose tourism industry. Mbanefo’s focus is on Growing the Tourism Value Chain for Revenues and Jobs. At a stakeholders meeting held recently in Victoria Island, Lagos, which attracted the crème de la crème in the tourism industry, Mrs. Mbanefo emphatically said she was poised to rebuilding the NTDC, Growing the Tourism Value Chain and Reinventing the nation’s Tourism Sector. Already, a rebranded activityled logo of the NTDC: ‘Fascinating Nigeria’ is a sure motivating drive to re-vitalizing the entire process. Already the Director-General has successfully sought and obtained ministerial approval for improved conditions of service for the NTDC staff; embarking of rehabilitation of critical infrastructure needed to carry out the assignment; carried out holistic promotion of staff in backlog of arrears of ten years without promotion, set up relevant establishment committees which were hitherto non-existent in NTDC and also embarked on aggressive reorganization of the entire office in addition to other staff morale programs being carried out. The memorandum of understanding, MOU, with stakeholders on the development of domestic tourism was signed with Heritage Bank, Visa Incorporated, ABC Transport Ltd, Arik Air and the Movie industry. he signing ceremony held in Lagos, aimed at promoting Nigeria’s tourism to become the main source of revenue generation and job creation. The Director General of NTDC Mrs. Sally Mbanefo says her main target is to rebuild domestic tourism. “I plan to commence site visits to all the geo-political zones starting with Taraba State, so that we can start showcasing Nigeria’s tourism assets and potentials while taking stock of the challenges,” Mrs Mbanefo explained. At the global level, the 2013 World Tourism Day (WTD) was celebrated at Maldives. Its central focus is on the theme “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”. The UNWTO in choosing this theme seeks to highlight the tourism sector leadership role and contribution in facing the global water challenge. It is also seen as a process of addressing the problems of global warming and attendant flooding in parts of the world, including Nigeria. At the domestic level, Bayelsa State hosted the 2013 national World Tourism Day (WTD) Celebration by the Federal Ministry of


Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, DG NTDC Culture Tourism and National Orientation on September 27th. Mr. Johnson Odekina, Director of Tourism in the ministry announced Bayelsa as this year’s host at the NTDC Tourism Stakeholders Forum recently organized at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island in Lagos. At the occasion, NTDC and other stakeholders x-rayed the nation’s tourism potentials so as to find out where the country stands in the global tourism map, proffer ideas for arriving at the expected destination and putting in place action programs at achieving set targets, including the measurement and evaluation indices. Mbanefo remarked: “Whereas Nigeria’s economy is fast integrating with the Global economy, it does so majorly through Crude Oil exports, luckily the downside risks

from the volatility of commodity prices is appreciated by our Policy Makers. This explains the renewed focus of the present Administration on re-energizing Nigeria’s Tourism Brand Campaign - Fascinating Nigeria! - as a Strategic Policy thrust to diversify the economy away from Oil Earnings and create a ‘Job-full’ economic growth through Tourism.” he DG went ahead to provide some insights into the potentials of the domestic tourism market, hear Mbanefo speak, “The domestic tourism market has very high revenue and job creation potentials. If we assume that a low estimate of 20 million out of 160 million Nigerians travel locally for business, leisure, culture, religion or sports annually and they spend only 10 per cent of Nigeria’s per Capita income of USD 2,000 an-


At the occasion, NTDC and other stakeholders x-rayed the nation’s tourism potentials so as to find out where the country stands in the global tourism map, proffer ideas for arriving at the expected destination and putting in place action programs at achieving set targets, including the measurement and evaluation indices.

nually, we will have a USD 4 billion dollar domestic tourism market and hence the focus of the NTDC on developing domestic tourism as the foundation for attracting international tourists” The project is nick named Project Fundamentals. NTDC has already commenced collaborations with CBN and frontline agencies to fast track this project. In particular, NTDC plans to establish Tourism Service Desks at major airports and travel hubs. NTDC is also working assiduously to obtain government approval to allow for the issuance of a locally and globally acceptable Nigeria Travel Card through our embassies and partner financial institutions so as to provide payment discounts for fast track services, tours, hotels, tickets, food and beverages from partner brands and subscribing operators. It is with respect to the Nigeria Travel Card that the NTDC signed an MOU with VISA Incorporated recently. Sally Mbanefo speaks on her vision for a green city, “The NTDC has also designed Green City initiative as a differentiating platform for Nigeria’s Eco-tourism credentials with the potential to have in place Bio-fuel Refinery for the conversion of Waste to Wealth, Demonstration Farms, Botanical Gardens, Hotels, Housing Estate, Sports Facilities, Industrial Parks, Solar Farms, Water Parks and Health Malls.” Adding, “This Green City project when fully developed will create 20,000 jobs in two years and bolster Nigeria as a preferred destination for the growing eco-tourism market. We also plan to create Travel Hub in each of the 774 local government areas in the country. “The initiatives unveiled by the DG, NTDC to grow the Tourism Value Chain are designed to create over 400,000 jobs and grow the revenue base of the latent domestic market from USD4 billion to over USD12 billion within a decade.” Towards this end, the collaboration of the National Assembly with its budgeting and legal reforms is necessary. The support of the CBN is also quite vital. Aside from the CBN, the contributions of the World Bank, Africa Development Bank, IFC, EU, DFID and the AFC for seeding the Tourism Development Fund and grants to support Institutional Rebuilding efforts and Infrastructure Development under the policy direction of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture will suffice. he Ministry of Aviation will be crucial as they support in creating a fascinating user experience for all tourists at the entry points. The support of the various MDA’s and the media partners to evolve a better working relationship will be a positive contribution no doubt.





Home decoration isn’t perfect without wall mirrors F

ramed mirrors are as necessary to your home décor as that new pair of shoes is to your wardrobe. Whether it’s your bathroom, living room, hall, or baby’s room a mirror adds spacious beauty to the room. When you hang your mirror, make sure the reflection is one worth sharing. Let’s say you hang a mirror in your bathroom but the reflection is that of your toilet. Appealing? No! But let’s say it reflects the beautiful outdoors giving an illusion of another window. Appealing? Absolutely! Bathroom Over the sink is always a popular place for a bathroom mirror. Putting your makeup on or shaving is a lot easier with a nice large mirror and a framed one adds a real touch to the décor! If you have room, add an additional mirror that’s on a swivel arm. It’s great for that close up moments and you can also see the back of your head to take care of any bad hair days before they get rolling. If your bathroom is really small and you want to make it appear bigger, hang a framed mirror over the bathtub. It will instantly make your room feel much better. Master Bedroom If you have an open wall, buy a framed wall mirror. You’ll get the functionality you need and add to your wall decor. If you don’t have an available wall, then use the back of the door or the closet door. Not nearly as effective for the décor but at least you get the functionality you need. After all you don’t want to leave the house with your shirt tail or slip hanging out. Office A desk facing a wall isn’t good for the energy flow of the room but you can compensate by hanging a large mirror on the wall. And it will also make your room feel larger and you more comfortable because no one will be sneaking up behind you. Foyer/Entrance There’s nothing like the touch of a large mirror at the entrance. And if your foyer is large enough place a small tea table with the mirror above it. It

not only looks great; it also gives you the chance to do that last minute check before you rush out the door. And the tables handy for dropping those necessaries like your keys. Living Room If you have a fireplace in your living room then you’ve just got to add a mirror above it. It’s dramatic and it adds warmth to the room making it inviting and relaxing. It reflects the room activities. If there is no fireplace then consider using a blank wall as a feature wall. Perhaps add a candle on each side. Now don’t just place the candles there, use them. The wonderful glow and the flicker of the candles in the mirror is so relaxing. Child’s Room Children love to look at themselves so what better way than to put a mirror in their room. And babys love to entertain themselves with their own reflection so hang a mirror on the wall near the crib or change table or place it in a mobile. Remember to adjust for your child’s eye level. It is functional and it will look great too especially if you add a bit of a child’s touch. For baby’s room, choose a nursery mirror or continue your existing theme. For children’s room, let them choose. Kid’s all love having their favorite characters or themes. Let them have some fun. Dining Room A mirror over your buffet is a beautiful touch. If you have a small room, a mirror can also make your dining room feel much bigger. But make sure that it doesn’t reflect the dirty dishes at the sink. Hallway Hallways are usually long and narrow so the illusion of spaciousness can be achieved by using mirrors especially if the light reflects correctly on the mirror. Framed mirrors are a great way to add those finishing touches to your décor. And with so many choices available in the market, you’re certain to find the perfect one!

Over the sink is ideal place for a bathroom mirror

Place mirror in dining room to add illusion

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News Extra

The woman who lived inside a tube for 61 years

• Martha Mason had become paralysed at just 11 years old after suffering polio • She lay in the 7ft long, 800lb cylinder that encased all but her head • Dubbed the iron lung, it worked as a type of ventilator, increasing and decreasing the air pressure to expand and contract her lungs

By Anna Hodgekiss


n American woman spent 61 years of her life living in an iron tube that breathed for her after polio left her paralysed. Martha Mason lay immobile in the tube - dubbed the iron lung - that worked as a type of ventilator, increasing and decreasing the air pressure to expand and contract her lungs because her own muscles were too weak. She lay horizontal the 7-foot-long, 800-pound iron cylinder that encased all but her head. Scroll down for video Ms Mason had had become paralysed at just 11 years old after suffering polio – very shortly after the disease had killed her brother Gaston, Oddity Central reports. After her brother had been buried, it is said that she realised that she too had the symptoms but kept her fears to herself to avoid upsetting her parents. In a book she wrote, “Breath: Life in the Rhythm of an Iron Lung (thanks to the introduction of voice recognition software), she said: ‘I knew that I had polio. I didn’t want anyone else to know. ‘The day before I had heard Mother talking to a friend about the iron lung Gaston had been in. I knew I wouldn’t have that difficulty because I had excellent lungs. ’In a video recorded before her death in 2009, Ms Mason said: ‘‘I often wonder in retrospect how my parents felt when I became ill – they just buried their only son [when this happened to me]. ‘It was assumed by people in general and me too that both of my parents would outlive me. Doctors said I would live a year, at most, but here I am a long time later [thanks to the iron lung]. Those who have written about her life say her curiosity and desire to live as normal life as possible were the key to her longevity. Despite her being in a situation most people would consider horrific, Ms Mason, who was born in 1937 and lived in Lattimore, North Carolina, graduated from high school with the highest hours and hosted dinner parties. In the video, she said: ‘It [living like this] has become such a normal thing for me – I don’t even think about it – I really never give it a lot of thought. The machine takes over from my diaphragm like a big bag of air. ‘There are other methods of ventilation , but

Martha Mason lay immobile in the tube - dubbed the iron lung - that worked as a type of ventilator, increasing and decreasing the air pressure to expand and contract her lungs because her own muscles were too weak

Ginger Justice, Ms Mason's carer, brushing her hair. She cared for her for 25 years before her death in 2009. Ms Mason lay horizontal the 7-foot-long, 800-pound iron cylinder that encased all but her head

I have chosen not to do that.’ Despite being permanently horizontal, she chose to remain in the machine, as she says it gave her freedom. The iron lung let her breathe without tubes or incisions in her throat, or the need for hospital stays. It also let her remain at home, living with the help of two aides. Even when her mother’s health deteriorated in the years before her own

Speaking before her death, Ms Mason said: ‘Living like this has become such a normal thing for me’. I don’t even think about it , I really never give it a lot of thought’

death, Ms Mason insisted she stayed at home, and ran the household from the iron lung. Paying tribute to her friend after her death, Mary Dalton said: ‘She lived in this life-saving machine longer than anyone else in the world. ‘At first the image and sound of the iron lung were distracting if not shocking, but soon after talking with Martha, the massive, metal cylinder

became inconsequential because it was so greatly exceeded by her spirit. ‘She told me that she survived for so many years – while so many others with the same disease died – because of the exceptional care she received from her parents and community, and because she has always been driven to learn.’ Source:



World Kiddies

With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.



Ganvie —The Venice of Africa in Benin


he history of Ganvie in Benin Republic merges with its first inhabitants, who are also known as ‘men of water’ or Toffinous, originating from Togo (the Adjakedos) and Tado in southern Benin. Following tribal warfare, the men came with Agbogdobé their king in 1717 CE. There is a tale that goes that this king, mighty in Vaudoun, morphed into a hawk, flew over the lagoon, and discovered the island of Ganvie. Ganvie is a unique village built on Lake Nokoué, just an hour north of the administrative capital and Benin’s largest city, Cotonou. About 20,000 people live in Ganvie. It’s commonly believed that the Tofinu people settled here around 400 years ago and built their lake village to escape slavers who came from the Fon tribe and were not allowed to fight in water for traditional reasons (or perhaps could not swim). Hence the Tofinu were safe to build their homes on the water. Ganvie is marked as the “Venice of Africa,” but that may be raising expectations a little high. The community of Ganvie is very hierarchical. The legacy is passed from father to son, and practices related to lineage is retained until today and they have coexisted with their individualistic and community trends. Fishing communities use a variety of techniques and gear. Visiting the lakeside village is reminiscing of the Uros Indians who had taken refuge on floating islands in tortora reeds on Lake Titicaca in Peru, to escape the domination of the Collas and later the Incas. Living in huts built on stilts in a shallow lake, preserved the original inhabitants of the Fon warriors’ taboos and prevented them from venturing on the water. There are other villages like this on Lake

Nokoué in Benin but Ganvie is the largest and most visited destination in the country. Exploring the wonders of the town, tourists depart from AbomeyCalavi, the main town in the area and a lively location frequented by women, children, young people who carry out profitable/fun activities. Known as the “Venice of Africa”, the village of Ganvie is a picturesque town with. It has no buildings or trees, but houses built of bamboo and covered with straw or sheets and those built on stilts above Lake Nokoué. The trip to the lakeside village of Ganvie, located 8 km from the pier takes about fifteen minutes. Generally, travellers prefer motorized boat, even when the fare is certainly more expensive. But this means of transport guarantees comfort, speed and safety. Throughout the trip, children hold fishing parties, commonly called “Akadja.” The boat also crosses ladies going about their daily business activities, youths returning from Nigeria, heavily laden with cans of gasoline and/or oil. The people of Ganvie live and conduct their daily activities in thier houses. Outside their particular architecture, Ganvie also has a floating market where the ladies of the village display their wares. All this is provided in a canoe. They sell all kinds of products: fish, condiments sauces, bread, and milk, among others. Yet in Ganvie, there are also bars, restaurants and inns to allow tourists unwind, and socio-community centers, including schools, churches and health centers. Plan a trip to Ganvie in the morning as it gets hot and humid out on the lagoon by early afternoon. Also, take care to ask permission before you take photos of people.



Cinderella and the Prince


Tom and Jerry



Kiddies World

With Nami Hassan Kadir 08130693795.


How to make Matchbox Locket

Fill this treasure box with trinkets, photos, or anything else your child wants to keep near (and dear!) to her heart. What you’ll need -Ruler -Decorative paper -Small, empty matchbox -Craft glue -Thumbtack -Wooden skewer -Large-eyed needle

-Narrow ribbon How to make it: 1. Measure and cut a piece of paper to wrap around the box, then cut two more pieces to cover the ends of the drawer. Glue the paper to the box and let it dry completely. 2. Remove the drawer and use the thumbtack to punch two holes, side-by-side, in the side of the box. Use the pointed end of the skewer



to slightly enlarge the holes. 3. Use the needle to thread the ribbon down through one hole and up through the other, then knot the ribbon against the outside of the box. 4. Line the drawer with matching paper, then slide it back in place. Decorate the outside of the box with a shape cut from coordinating paper. Have your child fill the box with treasures.

AFRICAN TALES The Disobedient Daughter who Married a Skull


ffiong Edem was a native of Cobham Town. He had a very fine daughter, whose name was Affiong. All the young men in the country wanted to marry her on account of her beauty. But she refused all offers of marriage in spite of repeated entreaties from her parents. She was very vain and insisted she would only marry the best-looking man in the country, who would have to be young and strong and capable of loving her properly. However, most of the men her parents wanted her to marry although rich were old men and ugly. So the girl continued to disobey her parents, at which they were very much grieved. The skull, who lived in the spirit land heard of the beauty of this Calabar virgin, and thought he would like to possess her. So he went about amongst his friends and loaned the best of the different parts of the body from them. From one he got a good head, another lent him a body, a third gave him strong arms, and a fourth lent him a fine pair of legs. At last he was complete, and was a very perfect specimen of manhood. He then left the spirit land and went to Cobham market, where he saw Affiong, and admired her very much. About this time Affiong heard that a very fine man had been seen in the market, who was better-looking than any of the natives. She, therefore went to the market at once. Immediately she saw the Skull in his borrowed beauty, she fell in love with him, and invited him to her house.

The Skull was delighted, and went home with her. On his arrival, he was introduced by the girl to her parents, and he immediately asked their consent to marry their daughter. At first they refused, as they did not wish her to marry a stranger, but at last they agreed. He lived with Affiong for two days in her parents’ house, and then said he wished to take his wife back to his country, which was far off. To this the girl readily agreed, as he was such a fine man, but her parents tried to persuade her not to go without success. However, being very headstrong, she made up her mind to go, and they started off together. After they had been gone a few days the father consulted his Ju Ju man, who by casting lots very soon discovered that his daughter’s husband belonged to the spirit land, and that she would surely be killed. They, therefore, all mourned her as dead.

After walking for several days, Afiong and the Skull crossed the border between the spirit land and the human country. Directly, they set foot in the spirit land, first of all one man came to the Skull and demanded his legs, then another his head, and the next his body, and so on, until in a few minutes the skull was left by itself in all its natural ugliness. At this the girl was very frightened, and wanted to return home, but the skull would not allow this, and ordered her to go with him. When they arrived at the skull’s house they found his mother, who was a very old woman quite incapable of doing any work, who could only creep about. Afiong tried her best to help her, and cooked her food, and brought water and firewood for the old woman. The old creature was very grateful for these attentions, and soon became quite fond of Affiong.

Miss Esther Omojowolo

ACTIVITIES Using the right colours, shade the image below. Describe the action and show your work to your teacher for correction. Cheers!







s p i T y t u a Be


Eat your way to wrinkle free: Foods for healthier skin T

he quest for great skin often takes some unexpected turns. Whether it’s trying the latest fad in moisturizers (caviar, bee pollen, and algae to name a few) or test-driving the newest diamond encrusted microdermabrasion, chemical fillers, and enzyme peels, there’s not a lot women won’t try for wrinkle-free skin. There are so many good super-foods that benefit the skin. Some of the best are: Fish: Wild salmon and other cold water fish (sardines, herring, trout, etc…) are great sources of protein, necessary to maintain and repair the body, including the skin, on a cellular level. They are rich in antiinflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, which keeps skin radiant, supple and wrinkle free. Wild salmon’s pink or red color, owes its pigment to astaxanthin, a super carotenoid anti-oxidant with potent anti-inflammatory properties. What does that mean for your skin? Astaxanthin improves the elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines. Olives and olive oils: We need a source of good fats in our diet to help us absorb nutrients from our vegetables and fruits, keep our cells supple, our skin glowing and wrinkle-free, our brains sharp, and our mood upbeat. We also need fat to burn fat. Extra virgin olive oil contains oleic acid, which helps us to absorb the omega-3s and other vitamins and nutrients from our foods. Watercress: Watercress has

high potassium content and therefore it is considered useful in treating acidity and purifying the blood. By cleansing the blood, watercress has been useful in treating skin eruptions, eczema, acne, rashes, and other skin infections. Turmeric: is a superb antiinflammatory thanks to its superior antioxidant properties and its high levels of the super antioxidant curcumin. It also increases blood levels of the enzyme glutathione S-transferase, an important antioxidant and vital in the body’s detoxification system, to keep skin clear, firm, toned, and radiant. Blueberries: Like all of the foods on this list, blueberries are an outstanding source of many phytochemicals including the anthocyanins that act as antioxidants (in addition to many other benefits). They work around the clock to protect skin from premature aging and damage and protect the cell from DNA damage. Blueberries also have great anti-inflammatory properties— remember inflammation is not just linked to disease—it is a major cause of wrinkling and sagging in the skin. Dark Chocolate: A chemical from cocoa protects skin from the damaging effects of sun exposure and prevents the skin from aging. Go for extra dark chocolate—at least 70 to 85% cocoa content. By weight, cocoa has more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, and red wine! Chocolate and

Coconut strengthens skin’s tissues

cocoa protect the cardiovascular system, significantly reducing the incidence of atherosclerosis. Cantaloupe: Vitamin C, betacarotene and other carotenoids, and vitamin A have all been shown to prevent sun damage and to improve skin quality. Cantaloupe is also wonderfully hydrating to the skin. Coconut: They help strengthen the skin’s connective tissues to help keep skin soft, smooth and supple. Both coconut oil and coconut water increase skin radiance and antioxidant protection to prevent infection and fight off free radical. Avocados: Avocados are antioxidant powerhouses— but as you will discover, they have truly unique regenerative properties. Avocados contain oleic acid, the chief fatty acid in olive oil, which has been shown to dramatically cut the levels of a gene involved in the development of breast cancer. Foods that are high in sugar or saturated fats can cause inflammation, which will only accelerate aging. Those foods include: bacon (except turkey bacon), bagels, breads, candy, cereals (except slow-cooking oatmeal), cornstarch, corn syrup, doughnuts, fast food, flour, fried foods, hot dogs, ice cream, frozen yogurt, jam and jelly, margarine, molasses, muffins, noodles, pancakes, pasta, pita break, popcorn, potatoes, relish, rice, soda, white sugar.

Fruits and veggies are superior anti-oxidants

Avocado pear is a strong anti-oxidant




Abaya:Perfect for informal wear A

bayas are very well known among Muslim women and girls. There are so many fashion designers who are doing good work on different kinds of Abayas which are worn mostly by Muslim women and girls. Here, are some elegant and wonderful creations of Abayas. These printed and embroidered Abayas can be worn as casual wears and for events as well. The Abaya can be used for outing, shopping, visiting or traveling. Formerly, these were designed in specific black color but in the modern days the color range has been increased to suit the latest global fashion trends. Different fabrics of the finest quality are used for these Abaya which are appealing with wonderful and ideal designing, innovative stitching. Today, most fashion lovers who want to appear lovely and decent are making the Abaya their most ideal clothing.



Pots & Pans


Homemade almond milk

With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi


omemade almond milk is fabulous. Making your own almond nut milk is a great way to decrease your waste in the kitchen. A typical recipe calls for 1 cup almonds to 3 or 4 cups of water but you can use a lot more water. Ingredients 1 cup raw, organic almonds 7 cups filtered water 1 teaspoon vanilla flavour Preparation: Soak almonds in filtered water for 1020 hours, or just over night. When the almonds have been properly soaked, drain and rinse with filtered water To your blender add almonds, 7 cups water, and vanilla Blend on high for 60 seconds After blending, let the milk sit in the blender for about 5 minutes. This gives the milk time to settle and the foam to gather on the top. After the 5 minutes, scoop off all the foam. After removing the foam, your original 7 cups remain. After you scoop off the foam, strain the milk through a nut milk bag. Transfer to glass pitcher with lid and store in the fridge for up to 4 days

Porridge Yam


f you follow this process you will most likely end up with a delicious pot of yam, just like the image you are seeing above. So what is so special about this recipe? Just proceed the usual way. Peel off the bark of the yam, slice to serve-able sizes, wash and set aside. Also slice or grind the tomatoes, fresh pepper and a cup of crayfish and large sized onions. Parboil the chicken for about fifteen minutes, allow to simmer then remove the bones and scat-

ter with a spoon (not really mashing). The orobo chicken breed is very soft and can easily get scattered while you are turning the porridge yam with no extra effort. Pour about ten tablespoons of palm oil into a cooking pot, allow to heat and bleach a little (about two minutes). Fry the ground tomatoes/pepper for five to ten minutes, add water and transfer the yam. You can use palm oil to fry the tomatoes while making por-

ridge yam. Add water so that the yam pieces are almost submerged in water (but not completely submerged). Allow to boil then add the chicken, crayfish, a cube of Maggi and salt then allow to cook for the next ten to fifteen minutes You can pierce with a cooking fork to know if the yam is soft enough for consumption. You can add vegetable; it is very nice for porridge yam. Cook for another three to five minutes. Remove from fire and serve hot.




8 Ways to Strengthen Your Relationship L ove is perhaps our most powerful emotion, and the need to be in a loving relationship may be one of the strongest needs we have. Being in an intimate relationship makes us feel connected, not only to our partner, but also to the world at large. When our hearts are filled with love, we feel profoundly content and satisfied. We become more patient, more empathetic, kinder, gentler. But personal intimacy doesn’t merely affect our emotional wellbeing. According to numerous scientific studies, the power of love directly affects our physical health, too, by boosting our immune system, improving our cardiovascular functioning, and increasing our life expectancy. “Love and intimacy are at the root of what makes us sick and what makes us well,” says Dean Ornish, M.D., who explores the connections between love and health in his book Love & Survival (HarperCollins). “When you look at the scientific data, the need for love and intimacy is as important and basic as eating, breathing, and sleeping.” On Valentine’s Day, we celebrate our love for each other over candlelit dinners or through exchanges of chocolates,

flowers, and slinky lingerie. But a box of bon-bons only lasts so long. Experts agree that the key to a vitalized, long-lasting relationship is what you and your partner do the other 364 days of the year. Indeed, keeping your love alive requires continual time and effort. Following are eight steps you can take to keep the flame burning. 1. Be Friends Any healthy relationship must be based on a solid underlying friendship. Remember to treat your partner with the same kindness, respect, and appreciation as you would a close friend. Support, listen to, and laugh with each other. Don’t allow yourselves to be rude or disrespectful. 2. Stay Connected “Couples need to spend a lot of time with each other,” advises David Kaplan, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation programs at Emporia State University in Emporia, Kansas. “There is no substitute for quantity of time.” Kaplan encourages couples to take a half-day a week to go out on a date. In addition, devote at least 15 minutes of your day to meaningful, one-on-one

conversation — no television or kids allowed. 3. Get Physical Physical intimacy is a natural, and healthy, extension of a relationship. Our best sexual intentions are often put to rest, however, as we collapse into an exhausted heap at the end of the day. Instead, you and your partner need to consciously commit to turning up the heat. Leave the dishes in the sink, turn the laptop off, and just do it! Set the mood with the sensual music, and light some calming aromatherapy candles or incense. Learn to communicate your loving energy through touch. 4. Celebrate Each Other Saying something kind and affectionate to your partner should be a daily habit. The expression of loving thoughts nourishes your relationship by helping you both remember what it is you treasure about each other. Let your partner know how much you appreciate him or her, and be generous with compliments and expressions of affection. 5. Fight Well Since disagreements and

arguments are inevitable, what’s important is not whether you fight but how you fight. When disagreements surface, keep them short. “No more than 10 minutes,” says Kaplan. “After 10 minutes, it gets nasty and repetitive.” Also, keep boundaries on the subject matter. Don’t dredge up issues from last week or last monthkeep your dispute focused on the matter at hand. 6. Take a Class Feeling like your relationship could benefit from professional advice? Why not take a class on communications skills, attend a seminar on loving kindness, or read a book on relationship-building together? Your efforts will likely spark important discussions about your relationship and, ultimately, enhance it. A good starting point is Phillip McGraw, Ph.D.’s straight-talking tome Relationship Rescue (Hyperion, 2000). 7. Listen Carefully Being an attentive listener lets your partner know that his or her thoughts and feelings are important to you. Moreover, good listening encourages

partners “to open up and be willing to share,” say Richard and Kristine Carlson, authors of Don’t Sweat the Small Things in Love (Hyperion, 1999). The secret, say the Carlsons, is not just to “hear” what your partner is saying, but to be truly “present,” having a heartfelt desire to understand what is being said and listening without being judgmental. 8. Maintain Your Sense of Self Partners must learn to balance their needs as individuals with their needs as a couple. “On one hand, you don’t want people to be too far apart emotionally. If you don’t spend time together, you become disengaged emotionally,” says Kaplan. “The other end of the spectrum is couples that become too dependent on each other and their individual identity gets lost.” Ideally, the two of you should be close enough to have intimacy, yet “far enough away to have individual identity,” says Kaplan. Don’t be afraid to develop some friendships and interests separate from your partner.




“I must marry,” says Charly Boy W

anting so badly to get hooked is something many people seem to take far too lightly and for granted these days. Something some of them feel they should do to win acceptance from people and society. These days’ people look at the package and never the content, forgetting that marriage should be a life time commitment of two strangers. In some cases the marriage may workout, like, Charles and Diane, Tunde and Wummie. But most of the time it falls like a park of cards, because as people are rushing to get in, people are rushing to get out, at an alarming rate. Kai!! These days break ups and divorce has become the trend as soon as the honey Moon is over. People use to think that divorce rate is only high amongst celebrities, but now, across board, couples are falling asunder, going under the pressure of a very bad decision , just because they Must Marry. In these hard times, people are blowing and burning pots of money on very fancy weddings that really don’t last after the honey moon. In this age, some parents still pressure their daughters in getting married early. It’s like, once your girl crosses the 30yrs bracket, they start to panic, getting anxious and putting pressure on their girl to get married, like it is that easy. She just can’t go to the market and buy a husband, or can she? When the poor girl insists on finding her dream man, she is accused of being unserious. Parents please learn to back off joor, it’s not by force. After all, are they the ones who will leave with the spouse? There is nothing wrong with waiting for the right person, because if it is the razzmatazz of the wedding things that you enjoy, go ahead and throw yourself a big nonstop party for a whole week. After all, weddings are just one day event, but a marriage is supposed to be a life time thing. I know that weddings are fun, romantic and you can finally tell your girlfriends, boyfriends or your sugar daddy’s that you have finally captured your own ‘mugu’. But has this guy been tried and tested? Dating and courting is a different matter from ‘Till Death Do You Part’. Living with one human being for the rest of your life. My sister look the thing well oooo. Bebe, do you have an idea how your guy functions in rough weather? When reality bites, is he calm or does he freak out? Do you share the same interest in some things? Bebe, before you rush into this marriage, it is important to learn where your partner stands on the bigger issues of your life together. Do you have the same values? Sit him down and have a long

talk about these and other issues that are of importance to you, you may discover that chances of a long lasting marriage could be slimmer; women are intuitively wired to pick up these things. Are you a learner? For me, I got hooked up with a woman I never saw coming and a woman I will never let go. When I met my wife, she was not even a girlfriend or a lover.

I liked her physically, because she had and still have curves that men would die for, but she was never my idea of a wife. She kept hanging around like other beautiful women around me; it was more or less a platonic relationship. All the time I didn’t know I was under the microscope of the FBI and the CIA. She was to tell me all this after our marriage.

Even though we dated for about 3yrs, in my wildest dream I never saw her coming till one morning after sleeping over, she woke me up, looked me straight into my sleepy eyes and demanded that I marry her in the next few days or she will leave me. Wow! Before then, no one ever threatened me like that, no one ever gave me ultimatums. Who born them? Me CharlyBoy?

All the time I didn’t know I was under the microscope of the FBI and the CIA. She was to tell me all this after our marriage. Even though we dated for about 3yrs, in my wildest dream I never saw her coming till one morning after sleeping over, she woke me up, looked me straight into my sleepy eyes and demanded that I marry her in the next few days or she will leave me.

Little did I know that this woman for years has been doing research on me, this woman has seen me ‘finish’, figured out how to arrest and deal with me. When I was much younger, I had a very violent temper, I was obnoxious. And she had witnessed me a few times in my rage with other women. “Ain’t you afraid that I will hurt or harm you” to that she answered, “you can never hurt or harm me because I will never give you a reason to” hummmmmm!!! Oh! See finish. Bebe, it’s easy to know what you are getting into. If in doubt, investigate, set exams for the guy. I believe women are emotionally smarter than men. You must know who you want to marry, it’s important for your happiness. You don’t deserve scrap especially if you are hardworking, intelligent, progressive and forward looking. Investigate him from all angles, don’t be in a rush joor. You don’t deserve that heartache because the way marriages are crashing, it’s making me catch cold. With the way things are going, very soon we will be throwing divorce parties and inviting friends and well-wishers to celebrate divorce anniversaries. They will choose asoebe, hire a big hall, with Dbanj as the entertainer and Julius Agu as the MC. Even questions like, “when are you getting your divorce” will be the buzz. So if you know you can’t handle the pressure, remain single. If the man is still under investigation, please take your time, don’t rush. If you know that you are too horny to be faithful, biko remain single and have a ball. If you can’t endure bad weather from time to time, stay in your father’s house joor. Never get married out of desperation or because other people are getting married. If you want a beautiful home, like mine, examine your choice of a life partner, there are a lot of gigolos out there preying on desperate babes like you. But show them say you pass them. No be you?




Couldn’t take my eyes off him (II)

“Strange, same here.” He waved his arms towards the shelves. “But look where it’s got me.” “I’d hate to be without books. They’re ... friends.” “That sounds like lonely,” said Malcolm. I turned and pulled out a book. “Are you?” “Am I what?” “Lonely?” I shrugged. “Not really.” “Not really but what?” My voice came from a distance as I tried to answer him. “I’m choosy about my friends. Don’t have a great many.” “I’m listening,” said Malcolm and sat down, indicating the armchair opposite him. “My childhood was ... I mean, my mother loved moving around. She had no trouble putting down roots all over the place. I hated it! Books were the constant things, so I buried myself in them.” “Hell, sounds familiar.” I sat down in the armchair. “I had very academic parents,” said Malcolm. “Was an afterthought, perhaps a mistake even. They loved me in their vague intellectual way but left me alone to get on with growing up. Hence the books”. “That’s lonely, too,” I said. When I left, I took along a couple of Malcolm’s books. My friendship with Malcolm grew but my curiosity remained. Who did I remind him of? My mother? If so, could he be my father? Although Mom had never bothered with books,

our physical similarities, apart from my tallness, were undeniable. She had never told me much about the man who had fathered me. Clever, was all she had usually said. Once though, when I had been ill with chicken pox, and hot and scratchy, she had relented. “What was he like?” “Skinniest man you ever saw.” “Where’d you meet him?” “In a park. I was catching a suntan and these papers started blowing in my face. I was a bit cheesed off at them blowing all over me and then this man comes running. He grabbed and grabbed but couldn’t catch them all. So he just stood still, a helpless look on his face. It was so funny, I started laughing.” “And then?” “I helped and we chased all over the place after them papers. When we sat down to get our breath back, he told me he was a student. He was ever so clever. Can’t re-member what the devil it was he was studying. Something I’d never heard of then or since.” “Why didn’t you marry him?” “Marry him? Good Lord, Leanna, I wasn’t ready to marry and he wasn’t the type I’d have wanted to marry by a long shot.” “What else did he look like, Mom?” “Lord, stop the questions, child. Get some sleep.” She saw my disappointment however, and said she would write it all down for me. Put it in an envelope to open when she was dead and gone. I was happy with that. On a

Okay,” I said. “Tell you sometime seeing we’re friends.” Then I smiled. And my smile was as wide and warm as the one he smiled in return.

wet, slick highway, driving to France for a weekend, she was involved in an accident and died instantly. I was twenty-three then and on my own feet but as I sorted through and packed up the belongings in her flat, I felt like a child again. I looked for the envelope but didn’t find one. For a long time after, my mother’s death and not knowing who my father was, made me feel as though I was drifting on a sea without horizons. One lunchtime I just decided to brave it and ask Malcolm who I reminded him of. “Met her while I was a student,” he said. “Was she studying too?” “Oh, heavens, no. That was what attracted me to her. She was ... so different.” “What were you like?” I asked.

“Like? Much as I am now. Nose in books, bit of a loner. Not very interesting. Not for a live wire like she was.” “Go on,” I said. “She fell pregnant. I was very happy until she told me she didn’t want my help. Thought she’d change her mind, though, as the pregnancy advanced but when I attempted to see her, she told me to leave her be. I was very hurt but accepted her refusal to involve me. A few months later, I took a job I’d been offered in New York. Salary was dreadful but I thought it would be for the best.” “Was it?” I asked. “No. When I returned, they’d moved. Left no forwarding address.” “So you never knew whether it was a boy or ...?” “A girl?” asked Malcolm.

I nodded. “A boy,” he said. “Had the approximate date and went to the Registry of Births to look it up.” I sat there, trying to take in what Malcom had said. I felt as though I’d been flattened by a truck. “Somewhere out there I have a child I know nothing about,” Malcom continued. “I was stupid. Rushed off instead of staying to have a share in my son’s life.” “I thought perhaps it was a daughter.” “Beg your pardon?” “A daughter. Me.” “You thought I was ... your father?” “Books, curry, I’m tall. We ... we like the same things.” “We definitely have things in common but I’m not your father.” He looked at me. “I’m so sorry to disappoint you, Leanna.” I tried to smile. “We’re not related but we can be something else.” “What?” “Can’t you think of anything?” “Uh uh.” “Friends.” “Friends?” “It’s been staring you in the face for weeks.” Malcolm’s use of that phrase made me burst out laughing. “Let me in on the joke sometime,” he said. “Okay,” I said. “Tell you sometime seeing we’re friends.” Then I smiled. And my smile was as wide and warm as the one he smiled in return.


Nollywood No


Iyanya won’t end well if Yvonne Nelson spits venom


hen the debut winner of MTNsponsored music talent show, Project Fame West Africa, IyanyaMbuk, sang the song, ‘Yvonne Nelson, I love your medicine, all I want is your waist’, many were not too sure if the ‘Kukere’ master was actually dating the Ghanaian star or not. Before their affair packed up, both reportedly denied any romantic relationship between them. This continued even when a picture taken by the two stars at a beach flooded the internet, which further fuelled their rumoured sizzling romance, Iyanya still denied it. It was surprising to many ardent followers of both ex-lovers when Yvonne Nelson posted a series of emotional tweets on her twitter page indicating heartbreak by her handsome Iyanya. Soon, the blogosphere was bubbling again with the story, but Iyanya still denied dating the Ghanaian movie actress, insisting that his name wasn’t mentioned in the purported tweets by the embittered lover girl Yvonne Nelson. But pouring out her mind in an interview, Yvonne Nelson confirmed that she dated the Nigerian music star for seven to eight months before they broke up. When asked what she still feels about Iyanya, she said, “Iyanya is such an amazing person, but I just feel he needs to be more honest and be a man of his words.” Dropping the bombshell, the fairskinned screen queen said, “It’s not good if he takes advantage of women,” adding that, “My mum always says any man who takes advantage of women won’t end up well. It’s Karma, it’s going to come back to you.” She advised the wave-making music star to “treat women fairly and he should be an honest person.” She added that, “it’s been a while though, I haven’t seen him. He is doing amazing things in his career and I wish him luck.”

May D says he feels safe in US than in Nigeria


onfam Entertainment star, May Dis in U.S.A, who is currently in the US has claimed that the States is safer than Nigeria. The singer posted a picture on Instagramfeeling ‘free’ on the streets of New York, something he says, he couldn’t do in Nigeria. May D is spotted wearing a white sweater with ‘divided,’ boldly pasted on it, some print pants, purple kicks and his signature dark shades as well as a couple of blings

Yvon Nelson and Inyanya

May D

EedrisAbdulkareem steps up fight with Don Jazzy

N has reported that the dust raised by the new song of EedrisAbdulkareem, ‘I Go Wooz You’targeted at MavinRecords owner, DonJazzy, is yet to die down, yet the rapper has started another fight with the talented producer. This time, he has come out solidifying his stance by calling DonJazzy ‘stupid’ for saying that rappers are disrespected by even their parents. In an interview on YouTube, Abdulkareem took out time and explained why he believedDonJazzy is stupid and a sell-out. EedrisAbdulkareem and Don Jazee



B ol ollywood/Hollywood

Busan: Why the 2013 Fest Snubbed Hollywood W

hen the organizers of this year’s Busan International Film Festival announced that Asia’s biggest film event would open with an obscure drama from the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, insiders were quick to grasp the underlying message. The film, Vara: A Blessing, directed by a Buddhist monk, KhyentseNorbu, not only demonstrates Busan’s role as a showcase for Asian cinema, it also underscores the growing importance of Asian cinema but on the global film scene. Indeed, while most international festivals bend over backward to open with a splashy Hollywood tentpole, Busan’s decision to open with Vara underscores the new normal in global cinema:

Asia doesn’t need Hollywood as much as it used to. “We’ve made it a policy to choose Asian films as the opener and closer,” says festival director Lee Yong-kwan. “In the past, we chose mainstream works, but we felt it was more important to showcase the diversity of Asian cinema this year.” “It’s been a regular complaint among filmmakers in the region over the years that their domestic industries are at risk of being overrun by Hollywood movies, but the reality is that in many parts of Asia, local releases are doing very well.” Korean movies have performed especially well against the Hollywood juggernaut. So far this year, Korean releases have dominated the local box

office at a 58.9 percent clip, while U.S. films account for 36.8 percent. Late September, Korean films accounted for more than 70 percent of the take, and eight out of the top 10 highest-grossing films this year are Korean -- with all eight of them bringing in more than 5.5 million admissions. The domestic drama Miracle in Cell No. 7 -- which screened in 2012 in Busan -- became one of the highest-grossing local releases of all time with 12.8 million admissions. The only two Hollywood films on the list are Iron Man 3 (third place with 9 million admissions) and World War Z (10th with 5.2 million admissions). It is similar in other markets in the region.Suh Young-joo, CEO of influential

Korean sales banner Finecut, says “we are showcasing eight films at the Busan market this year, and all of them are making their market debuts.” Some 94 films in the lineup are to debut or follow-up features. Busan’s refusal to cater to Hollywood also can be seen in the talent on hand this year. Aside from Irish director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) and Japanese actor Ken Watanabe (Inception), few VIP guests are likely to be recognizable to Western audiences. Fest director Lee believes that Asia’s growing importance to the global film sector is real and sees Busan playing a key role in providing a platform for local talent. But will Hollywood notice? Lee is diplomatic, but he clearly is not going to hold his breath.

Hong Kong Disneyland to open ‘Iron Man’ experience in 2016


isney has signed up box office sensation ‘Iron Man’ for a new themed area at Hong Kong Disneyland, with the Marvel character set to take to the skies over the city in 2016, said TomStaggs, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The centerpiece of the new area is the Iron Man Experience, which will feature a storyline involving the blockbuster Marvel character fighting alien invaders in the skies and streets of Hong Kong. The area, which also includes a photo-taking corner with Iron Man and a Marvel merchandise space, is set to open in late 2016. “Combined with Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point, this new themed area underscores commitment to and confidence in the continued growth of Hong Kong Disneyland,” Staggs said. The new areas have boosted the size of Hong Kong Disneyland by 25 percent. The popularity of Tony Stark and his alter ego has been proven in Hong Kong, with the third installment of the IronMan franchise raking in over $12.9 million (HK$100 million) early this year, making it the highest-grossing film of all time in the territory behind James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic. The Iron Man factor is set to prove a hit with mainland Chinese visitors to the park. Iron Man 3 took more than $160 million in China. The Hong Kong Iron Man area will be situated in Tomorrow land, where the iron suits and other Stark innovations will be displayed. An Iron Man exhibit, “Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries,” opened at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and an Iron Man monorail was launched in Walt Disney World in Orlando in early 2013.




Why I always play the villain, says SK


ani Garba, aka S K, has carved a niche for himself in Kannywood. That’s true, especially having been around for 21 years. In this interview, the popular comedian and villain actor, says he went into drama just to enlighten people about Hausa culture. He spoke with Mustapha Adamu on several other issues.

Can you tell us about yourself? I am Sani Garba, popularly known as S.K. I was born in Dan Dago Quarters in Kano metropolis where I also attended both my primary and secondary schools. I was a civil servant but I later resigned to concentrate on my movie carrer. Why are you nicknamed S.K.? The initials S.K simply means Sani Kano. It was given to me by my friends during my secondary school days. Are you married? Yes, I have been married for about 21 years now and I have two children. What motivated you to join kannywood? I developed passion for acting through drama right from my schools days. I like entertaining people and also there are aspects of the Hausa culture that impress me. I just wanted to use entertainment to enlighten people about the Hausa culture. You see, drama is a tool that you can use to entertain as well as educate and unite people. I wanted to portray the Hausa culture in good light. I also wanted to portray the social life of Hausa people through drama. How long have you been in Kannywood? Since its inception, when the home video became the vogue. I have been in this industry for about 22 years. Have many movies have you featured in? I can’t tell you specifically the number of movies that I have featured in because when I attempted to count them I could not recollect the number. Maybe , I can hazard a guess by saying that there are more than 2000. At least, it’s just an estimation but I believe they are much more than that. Can you mention some of them? Yes, there is a film titled “Dan dugaji”, “ Badali”, “ Dabi’a”, “Doctor Gulam”, etc. These are my most popular films, those that made me famous in Kannywood. Apart from these films, there are the recent ones like “ Babban Zaure”, and “Sarauta” etc. Which is your first movie? My first movie was “ Dan dugaji”. It was produced by our company, Alheri Film Pro-

Sani Garba duction in 1991. What aspect of home video do you feature in mostly? I have featured more in comedy. So l am a comedian. But sometimes, I like to play the role of a villain which is instructive because it allows people to see that being villain does not lead to good no matter the pretense to the contrary. What is the major problem in your career? Problem is inevitable in life. So, I have always expected problems. My major problem however with viewers who see the role we play

in movies as real. Some have hated us for this role. Some viewers do not know that we are only depicting a scene in the society and that it is not our real character. We only portray reality. With regard to my relationship with colleagues in the Kannywood industry, I will say, we have a healthy and cordial relationship with one another. There is good understanding between us because I just take it as a job and fun. Why did you opt for comedy and the role of villain which you say make many to view you with contempt? In most cases, an actor doesn’t choose a

desired role to play in a movie. It is the producer or director that would find a suitable character for the actor. He may realise that an individual could play the role more perfectly than another or because the actor had played the role perfectly in previous movies or scenes and, therefore, seems the most suitable. Have you begun producing films on your own? Yes, I began producing film since joining the industry. Who is your favourite artist in Kannywood? Everybody in the industry is my favourite provided you play your role well. I don’t have a single favourite. So what do you do for a living apart from acting? I don’t do anything apart from film making. Some actors in the industry feature their children in movies; do your own children feature in movies? Since the beginning of my movie career, I featured my children in movies. This is because I consider it as a profession and it is a good thing. If it is bad, I wouldn’t have done it. How do you find life in Kannnywood compared to your life before joining the industry? My life has changed positively. I am living a peaceful life with my colleagues and I have become famous and popular. People show me respect and favour everywhere I go. I am allowed to enter some restricted places because the guards know who I am. I get things easily because of this profession and I thank God for that. Why has your figure changed, you seem to have lost weight, what’s the magic? Nothing special. It is as a result of my age. I am becoming older by the day. So I decided to engage in exercises in order to prevent myself from diseases that may be caused by old age and excess fat in my body. Which message do you have for others in the industry? Arewa Film Makers Association (AFMAN) has now come up with strategies for the development of our industry. Therefore, we call on members of the industry to give maximum cooperation for the development of the industry.

Fati lands role in Chinese language movie P From Mustapha Adamu, Kano

opular Kannywood actress, Fati Musa, was among actors and actress of Northern extraction who were taken to China to feature in a movie recording in Hausa language. The movie, titled ‘Beijing Love Story’, was originally shot in China in the Chinese language. But the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, apparently determined to promote its culture in Nigeria, arranged to have the movie recorded in Hausa language. The movie is now set to be shown to Nigerians through the Nigeria Television Authority. The Embassy sponsored a Kannywood, Hausa movie actress and Hausa language radio presenters to China for the recording. Fati Musa, popularly known as Macijiya, completes the list. When asked how she was chosen for the project, Fati said one of the embassy officials visited her and told her they are willing to take her to China for a film project. “They said they have been monitoring my acting skills in the Kannywood and believe I will do well in the project. And that is how I was chosen for the production,” she said. “I was the only Kannywood actress that was selected; all the others that were taken are Hausa radio broadcasters.” Fati said she thoroughly enjoyed her role and yearn to see the movie go public. The experience is astonishing and a memorable one,” she added. She said the project took about two months to complete and described it as a good development for her career. The movie was first recorded in English before the Nigerians were asked to do the voice recording in Hausa language. According to her the project should boost not just bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria but cooperation between actors and actresses of Northern extraction and their Chinese counterparts. The NTA has already began advertising the movie, which was launched by the Chinese Embassy last week. Fati has featured in such movies as ‘MACIJIYA’ which means the snake girl, and “Da Kishiyar gida” which means I won’t have a second wife, among others. She also featured in the yet-to-be released science fiction movie, ADUNIYA”, which means on the world.

Fati Musa



Entertainment Flakes


Another Julius Agwu junior hit the scene

Talent without money is a waste, says Studio A

ce Comedian, Julius Agwu, was last Sunday night blessed with a bouncing baby boy. The bundle of joy arrived in the family few days after his daughter celebrated her birthday in grand style. The mother and child are said to be in good condition. Since the birth of the


In terms of followership, how do ebose Ajo Ijeih from Issele-Uku in you rate yourself? Analecha Local Government Area At present, I am still trying to build of Delta state, is popularly called my fan base. Remember, Rome was not STUDIO, in this interview with Akinleye built in a day. But I will get there soonest. Olusegun and Ann Aloh, the Dancehall, I have a twitter handle, people can also Afro pop, songwriter said talent without like me on facebook. I'm really trying to money has robbed a lot of young make the most of the social media. My talents in the country of opportwitter handle is @Jebo studio while my tunity for fame and wealth. t offi How did you come about the o cial website is In five years where do you want stage name? to Well, I actually wanted to be creat see yourself? WOW! That's a good questive and I felt that to do that I tion. Happy and Satisfied had to come up with somet with a lot of awards and thing that will be enduring. w international As you know, studio is i collaboration. a place where music is Are you involved produced. in How did you get i any project at the moment? into music? m Yes, my debut My passion and single is making waves drive for music started as a young s on boy and got intense with the years. o radio and television and the title of the Actually, I started with the drums s track is at age six; making me the youngest t 24/7. drummer in the church at that time. What is your Then I moved ahead and joined a source of inspiragroup of five boys in high school called tion? OMEN where I composed and wrote Passion. The passion most of the songs they performed at the I have for music drives time. After experimenting with lots of me on. It makes me happy and if genres, I decided my best form of musical Peter one has passion for anything, then the sky expression would be reggae fusion and will surely be the beginning. afro-pop. Are there any challenges you Are there any hobbies aside from have faced? music? The challenging aspect is that of I'm into designing. I design artworks financing. Talent without back up is like a and I love hanging out with friendswaste. You have the lounging. voice, you have the talent but who will Which producer would you like finance you? That's the only challenge at to work with? the moment. I will like to work with Don Jazzy and How would you rate the Nigerian Master Craft. music industry? What advice do you have for upThe industry has witnessed growth. coming artistes? It has really improved a lot and this is That's simple. Work hard and work so encouraging upcoming artistes. The hard and they should believe in themvideo aspect, the quality of music, I can selves. say everything is on the rise.


Olamide to release new album Oct 14

Caroline Ekanem Danjuma to open perfume range


child, Agwu has been receiving congratulatory messages from family, friends and fans across the country. A close source, however, said details of the baby christening will be announced shortly because there are all indications that Agwu may declare a big celebration in honor of his first son.

Kacee acquires latest Bentley


impopo Crooner and MTN Ambassador, Kacee, has just added a new brand car to his garage. The pop star singer, from what we hear, has taken delivery of the white Bentley GT Continental, which we learnt has set him

back to several millions of naira. Aside his latest acquisition, we were told Kacee, is putting finishing touches to his album titled Niagara. The album, sources said will hit the airwaves before December.

Peter of PSquare picks Nov. 17th for traditional wedding


eter Okoye, one of the two brothers of Psquare fame, has picked November 17th for his traditional wedding. Peter, who has finally decided to settle down and ‘be responsible’ in the Nigeria’s parlance, will walk the aisle with his lover of many years, Lola Omotayo.

The expected star-studded wedding will hold at the Arc Events Centre in Victoria-Island, Lagos. The white wedding, according to informed sources, will be held next year. Omotayo, who is the mother of two children, is said to be happy at the moment over the latest development.

Daniel Wilson, wife, Yetunde welcome baby girl


igerian music icon, Daniel Wilson otherwise known as 'Mr Ragamufin', has added a member to the family. The Wilsons were blessed with a bouncing baby girl, six years after their son arrived in the scene. His wife, Yetunde, delivered the bundle of joy on Wednesday, October 2. The mother and child, who have been discharged from hospital are said to be in good condition. The veteran singer and his beautiful wife tied the nuptial knots December last year.


igeria rap star, Olamide, has concluded arrangement to release his new album to the

public. The much anticipated album, titled 'Baddest Guy Ever Liveth' will be put

he vogue is catching up with top Nollywood actresses. The latest to catch the bug is Nollywood former actress and wife of a young billionaire, Musa Danjuma. Peoples Daily Weekend learnt the beautiful lady has enlisted in the illustrious club of perfume range owners. Already, she has concluded plans to open her own exclusive perfume range. The beautiful thespian, who at a time had set up the now rested Guepard Productioins/Records Company, is said to have been

for public consumption on Monday, October 14, a day before the Eid el Kabir. The album, according to those that have listened to it, promises to be a grand one.

working on her new project secretly for a while now. According to close sources, research and production of the fragrance is being done in Paris, France. A very dependable source close to the Parkview Estate based former actress said the perfume is supposed to have been out some months ago, but Ekanem has been finicky about how the product would likely be perceived and received by the consumers.

Caroline Danjum




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Kogi APC deep in crises from the start By CalebAliu


ogi State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) is already enmeshed in leadership crises barely months after it debuted on the scene. The two populous senatorial districts, Kogi East and Kogi Central are again at their usual intrigues which had in the past led to serious leadership tussles. In the East, former Governor Audu is slugging it out fiercely with Barr. Ocholi (SAN). With Audu’s enormous wealth, he believes he is the anointed and automatic leader in the entire State, while seeing Ocholi’s emergence as an affront. This assumption is being challenged and viciously contested in his senatorial district and the result is that his ego is being bruised. These two contenders have their allies in the other two districts thereby making the squabbles spread rapidly across the whole State. This in-fighting has hindered a peaceful take-off of APC in Kogi State. While this chaotic situation enmeshes Kogi East, the Central Zone is equally going through power struggle between erstwhile chairman of the defunct ACN, Mr. HaddyAmetuo and his former party loyalists. These former loyalists had gone through excruciating circumstances during HaddyAmetuo’s tenure as the chairman of ACN. In fact, a careful x-ray of his tenure is just enough to reject him. The crux of the matter in the Central senatorial district is almost the same with the East except for a little difference. In the Central, the common enemy, is Ametuo, who

By Emeka Utasi


hile it is true that Gwarimpa Housing Estate is a sprawling estate and perhaps one of the biggest in the country, it is by no means the only housing estate in the FCT. There are others including the FHA Lugbe, which unfortunately perpetually wears a forlorn look on account of neglect. FHA, Lugbe is located along the airport road. There are at least three other estates along the airport road, also. Though not as big as Gwarimpa, the Lugbe estate accounts for a sizable population of Abuja residents and definitely is closer to the metropolis than even Gwarimpa. Because of its proximity to the city and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, FHA, Lugbe is home to many. Sadly, the estate must


Peoples Daily Weekend welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: is receiving massive support from ex-governor Audu to the detriment of the majority members of the party. Audu’s support has actually aggravated the situation. Worse still, Haddy, having Audu’s financial backing and influence, has pitched him against his kinsmen; especially since his declaration that his mentor-Audu- is unchallengeable. The worst senario is the position of former PDP stalwart, Senator Mohammed S. Ohiare, who has declared for APC but who appears to be pitching his tent with Audu. Now, there are four factions in the Central District. The first comprises Haddy and his

supporters. The second is led by the duo of Mr. Benson and Maj. Abdullahi (retd) and the third comprises former ACN executives and their supporters in all the five local governments that make up the Central senatorial district. Haddy’s problems are many. It seems many have lots of reservation about him. Besides, many alleged that his level of education is suspect. They say he finds difficulty to either express himself or contribute to debates, a disadvantage they say may not be tolerated. The fourth group under the leadership of a renowned professor from ABU, Zaria, Prof Y. O. Aliu, is seen as a mediator group with the professor

as the only leader that can solve the problem of Kogi Central. But there are many antogonists. They are not ready to shift grounds to allow for fresh ideas on how to resolve issues in the interest of the zone. Not a few believe they would rather be subservient to the two groups in Kogi East than concede grounds for innovative ideas. Barr. Ocholi is not helping the situation as he uses his position as a member of the Interim National Committee to favour his loyalists and to frustrate the peace moves. He is trying hard to edge out Haddy and Professor Aliu from the scheme of things at the national level. All these intrigues do not augur well for the party and clearly should it continue this way then failure is imminent. Professor Aliu’s albatross, according to Ocholi, is his fraternity with Audu. National leaders, especially General Buhari and Chief BisiAkande, are advised not to tarry; they should quickly normalize the situation in Kogi State. If they allow the central district, which has the bulk of the electorates to slip-off the hands of the APC, then the party will be doomed. Professor Aliu’s fatherly and mediatory role should be accorded the recognition it deserves. This is the opportunity for APC to wrest power from the inept administration of PDP in Kogi State. The citizens are tired of infrastructural decay, corruption and disobedience of the rule of Law. Time will surely tell but a stitch in time saves nine. Aliyu wrote in from Abuja

Sen. Bala FHA, Lugbe needs attention rank as one of the most neglected in Abuja. It is notorious in its lack of social amenities. The whole of the estate is accessed through one entrance and exit. The only entrance from the City Gate axis was only constructed during the ongoing expansion of the Airport Road, and even a flyover has been added to facilitate exit from the estate. The exit, however, is after the famous Solid Rock School. But that road can compete favourable with any bumpy bush-track in the interior villages. In fact, it would be an understatement to describe the road as deplorable. There has never been one. The many gullies within the road can safely swallow a gulf car as even motorcycles have hectic time bumping in and out of the erosion-laden uneven

track. The gridlock that is the daily experience of residents and visitors alike as they enter and exit the estate is nauseating. Within the estate itself, there is no road. In fact, the only tarred road was constructed by the Central Bank of Nigeria and it leads to its staff quarters. What was meant to a be U-shape road leading into and out of the estate has long broken such that cars barely manage to bump up and down in what ordinarily would have been a simple pleasure trip. Yet, it is a federal housing estate! What manner of estate is it that can’t boast of pipe borne water and no single good road? Here is calling on Senator Bala Mohammed, the FCT Minister to come to the aid of the residents.

We know the minister has never visited the FHA, Lugbe in his official capacity for whatever reason, but we believe we are part and parcel of Abuja. The residents of the estate are not asking for much, except a little government presence by way of passable internal network of roads. If asking for pipe borne water is too much, the residents would make do with some medical facilities. It is a shame that there is no single government hospital in Lugbe. Even the so-called AMAC market is a mockery of what a local council market should look like. Emeka wrote in from FHA Lugbe



Opinion How to improve your life by inspiring others (II) Arianna Huffington


2011 Johns Hopkins study found that volunteering seniors were more likely to engage in brain-building activities, which lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Regaining a sense of purpose among older people who had suffered the loss of their defining roles as parents or wage earners is another advantage of volunteering. Studies of the effects of giving in the workplace are equally dramatic and show that the way to a more productive business and a healthier, more creative and collaborative workforce is not by continuing our culture’s dangerous devotion to burnout and overwork. For instance,a 2013 study by United Health Group found that employee volunteer programmes increased engagement and productivity. The same study showed that: Over 75 percent of the employees who had volunteered said they felt healthier. Over 90 percent said their volunteering had put them in a better mood. Over 75 percent reported experiencing less stress. Ninety-six percent said that volunteering enriched their sense of purpose in life (which in turn has been found to strengthen our immune function). Employees who volunteered also reported improved timemanagement skills and enhanced ability to connect with peers. Another 2013 study, this one by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, found that employees who give back are more likely to assist their colleagues, more

committed to their work and less likely to quit. “Our findings make a simple but profound point about altruism: helping others makes us happier,” says Donald Moynihan, one of the study’s authors. “Altruism is not a form of martyrdom, but operates for many as part of a healthy psychological reward system.” And one that should also be incorporated into how we think about health care. “[I]f you want to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, take all the usual precautions that your doctor recommends,” says Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan, “and then... get out there and share your time with those who need it. That’s the caring cure.” So given the unmistakable health benefits of empathy and specifically putting empathy into action, how do we strengthen it? And how do we pass it on? Parents put a lot of time into thinking about how to pass on a better material life to their children, but it’s just as important to focus on passing down a rich capacity for compassion. This is especially true in our modern world, in which our deep, hardwired need to connect with others is beset on all sides by distractions and technology and the lure of ersatz connections. One 2010 San Diego State University study found a fivefold increase in depression among children since the Great Depression. Another, commissioned by the American Psychological Association, found that millennials were the most stressed demographic in the country last year. However, the news is not all bleak. John Bridgeland, a leader

of the national service movement, believes millennials could “rescue the civic health of our nation after decades of decline.” Recent studies corroborate his sentiments. A 2009 report by the National Conference on Citizenship shows that millennials “lead the way in volunteering,” with 43 percent engaging in service. According to a Harvard Institute of Politics study, the numbers are even higher for college students, with 53 percent saying they had volunteered in the past year, over 40 percent of whom volunteer multiple times per month. So what can parents do to enhance their children’s sense of empathy? Health journalist Maia Szalavitz and child psychiatrist Bruce Perry are the authors of Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential -- and Endangered. According to the authors, parents can nurture empathy the same way they help their children start talking. “[E] mpathy is a natural human quality like language -- one that relies on specific early experiences to develop

properly,” they write. “When these experiences of nurture and human contact are present for children, families, cultures and economies tend to flourish.” Back in the HuffPost office, during our empathy teach-in, Mary Gordon echoed this point. “We need to show children a picture of love as we raise them,” she said. “Learning is relational, and empathy is constructed, not instructed.” So it’s not enough to tell your children about empathy or to think of how someone else feels. We have to show them. Which means, of course, that we have to do it ourselves. “The baby reflects the emotional state of the parents,” Mary told us. And this makes the positive emotional effects of putting our empathy into action all the more essential. At one point, one of our editors asked whether the effects of a childhood not rich in empathy could be reversed. Yes, Mary replied, it’s never too late. So the good news is that we can transcend our childhoods, and that any entry

Parents put a lot of time into thinking about how to pass on a better material life to their children, but it’s just as important to focus on passing down a rich capacity for compassion.

point of giving and service can lead to benefits for our well-being -- and of course, our community. That’s good to hear since, as Bill Drayton emphasized to us, empathy is increasingly becoming our primary resource for dealing with the exponential rate of change the world is going through. “The speed at which the future comes upon us -- faster and faster -- the kaleidoscope of constantly changing contexts,” he told us, “requires the foundational skill of cognitive empathy.” And the best way to build that internal foundational skill is to reach outward. And compassion and giving don’t have to include getting on a plane to build houses or teach school in a remote part of the world. It may simply involve helping people across town. And it doesn’t just involve giving money. As Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen put it in her book Giving 2.0, it may involve helping “business professionals donate skills in areas such as strategic planning, management, human resources, marketing, design, or IT to nonprofits in need of those skills,” as the Taproot Foundation does. Technology has made it possible to be in a self-contained, disconnected bubble 24 hours a day, even while walking down the street. Our devices might seem like they’re connecting us, but they’re really disconnecting us from other people, without whom it’s hard to activate our hard-wired need for empathy. Arianna is the President and Editor-in-Chief at The Huffington Post Media Group

Factoring ASUU-FGN into the value system devaluation By Prof. R.A. Ipinyomi


he Academic Staff of Universities Union (ASUU) of Nigeria embarked on industrial strike in most government owned universities in Nigeria since July 1, 2013. ASUU did so because the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), and their employers, signed some working condition with them after a similar industrial dispute in 2009 but which FGN had failed to implement. ASUU sees no other options but to embark on strike to awaken the sleeping FGN. May be FGN is too busy or has only little interest on the youths and their development in the first place. If they do, probably the whole education system, classroom conditions, number of students that could be allowed to certain class room size, the level of admission criteria, condition of service for its workers and ASUU, all would have been on front burners. After all Nigeria’s future, in technological sciences or arts, political sciences or finance, exploration or experimentation, are all in the hands of our youths. Parents must look for the best environment, teachers and administrators to manage their children the best possible at all levels. Meanwhile ASUU has a right to make demand for what it sees best

for the system improvement because we are all stakeholders. My children all passed through Nigeria University system before they ventured out. Similarly families of Nigeria University workers have benefitted immensely from the system in all areas including the added opportunity to get easy admissions for self, children, wards and friends. It is therefore in ASUU’s best interest for the system to keep running and never shut down for any reason. The problem with ASUU, (my own colleagues), is the hangover of extreme left political ideas in the head that has no proof in behaviours and actions. We are in a democratic process and numbers should matter; it didn’t matter in Unilorin in 2001 when ASUU National kicked out Unilorin Chapter of ASUU from their ranks. ASUU won the war but not the peace nor commonality of association. Another problem is the fact that ASUU always over estimates the government officials thinking, ability, conceptuality, and general attitude to education or their devotion to duty. Very few Nigerians are loyal to Nigeria, even including ASUU members. Nigeria is a vague concept that requires a revolution to cement us together; Nigeria is still a loose association of nationalities. Nevertheless strikes as a single

force, used too often and for a prolonged time has the ability to lose its usefulness; not when we have some politicians who want their own percentages in any negotiations of budgets, contracts, any allocation of money, materials or vacancies. To compound the issue we must examine the level and calibres of people elected or appointed to positions in the system. Over the years the high calibres have been disappearing globally but the disappearances are worst in Africa. For example the ongoing government shutdown in USA couldn’t have happened if excellent individuals have filled the houses of power. Similarly here in Nigeria the level of people representing us is terribly

very low compared to the best we have. They are people of the 30 to 40 percentile levels in morality, IQ, exposure, commitment to national interests or vision. People today simply want to get their money back in multiples as the only objective for running for government. They just occupy the positions and everything around them may go ablaze to give way to their perceived desires. Nigerians should be educated to imbibe a proper valued system in their life as the only option. Over emphasizing your own religion over others, making money from the system and yet doing nothing, or thinking that only the small budgets should be passed would only lead us far into the jungle of backwardness,

Nevertheless strikes as a single force, used too often and for a prolonged time has the ability to lose its usefulness; not when we have some politicians who want their own percentages in any negotiations of budgets, contracts, any allocation of money, materials or vacancies.

disagreement and more strikes. ASUU has a stake in the political arena by being a major stakeholder by participation and publicly condemning our colleagues in politics if they fail, and many of them do. A new value system is required at all levels in Nigeria. We charge ASUU/FGN to institute a commission to calculate the losses since July 1, 2013 individually and nationally. It is possible to run a semester in 15 weeks all of which have been lost to a single strike that is yet to end. FGN is not saving the over two months salaries of university workers it refuses to pay; whereas the same FGN is unwilling to implement agreements it had signed it had been quick to pull out a gun on no-work-no-pay. Our government looks unserious and unrealistic. The situations on our campuses are getting out of hand, from cultism, sexual harassment, lack of laboratories or poorly equipped ones, lack of standard lecturers or their low numbers, low quality of university administrators and council members, over population of students, and the like. Someone must pay for all these and I think Nigerians have the solutions to solve our problems. or/ and ng



Comments Incessant strikes: Who suffers? By Labaran Saleh


s things presently stand, strike actions by labour unions across different sectors of the economy appears to be the most topical issue in Nigeria today. Regrettably, as efforts are daily been redoubled to end ongoing strike actions over unresolved union disputes, other workers union are equally threatening fire and brimstone to begin theirs. It appears all labour unions had met and unanimously agreed to down tools almost at the same period. Undeniably, this development should bother anyone who wishes the country well. Aside economic, social and other loses that comes with strike actions; they are capable of inflicting incalculable damages on a nation’s quest for greatness. Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan recently promised to end the doctors’ and university teachers’ strike. While receiving leaders of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the Villa, he promised to do his all to resolve all issues that caused disputes. He said the government attached great importance to the medical and educational sectors. Without doubts, 2013 will go in history as the year that Nigeria recorded its highest number of industrial disputes which later culminated into full blown strike actions. Some of the strike actions have spanned three-six months in some instances. The situation appears more worrisome across some states where government and

Primary and Secondary teachers are always engaging themselves over issues of owed salaries, unpaid allowances and welfare of teachers. In some states, strikes by teachers in public primary and secondary schools have become so regular that parents have no choice but to transfer their wards to private schools, not minding the huge cost. The situation isn’t any different at the Federal level as labour unions and their affiliates have embarked on a number of strikes in the last five months. The current system has indeed battled with such actions and is still facing a few of them even now. Long before the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began its strike action July 1, 2013, its counterpart in the Polytechnics, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Polytechnics lecturers are also on strike due to alleged non-implementation of agreements and lack of infrastructure in their institutions. The ASUP strike which lasted for more than two months took the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians for it to be called off. Expectedly, the action had far reaching negative effects on both students and their lecturers. It appears the ongoing strike by lecturers in public universities has defied all solutions so far proffered. Since the strike action commenced, both the Federal Government and ASUU teams have had a number of meetings which have failed to yield positive result. Nigerians are

indeed worried that both parties are yet to find a common ground on the issue. Recently, in its bid to ensure quick resolution of the face-off, the FG detailed Vice President Mohammad Namadi Sambo to lead its team to dialogue with ASUU. As efforts are on to end the ASUU strike, a number of unions in the education sector have equally threatened to embark on what they described as ‘solidarity strike’ with their counterparts in ASUU. The National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) also declared an indefinite nationwide and total strike effect over the Federal Government’s failure to implement their agreement on Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System. From the forgoing analysis on strike actions in the country in the last six months, one thing is very clear. Each time government and labour unions

clash over unresolved issues, it is the common man who suffers. It is usually the common who strives daily to make ends meet that suffers. The situation can be likened to the proverbial tussle between two overfed elephants whereby it is the grass that suffers. It is rather sad that both the government and labour unions don’t put the common man into consideration each time they plan to disagree. Both parties have failed to understand that their actions usually inflict incalculable damages on those they claim to represent and are fighting their cause. For instance, what would a Medical Doctor who chose to abandon a dying patient in his care tell relatives of the patient should he or she dies owing to doctors resolve to down tools? Or what explanation would university authorities or striking lecturers offer undergraduates who have been made to spend extra years in school owing to

Each time government and labour unions clash over unresolved issues, it is the common man who suffers. It is usually the common who strives daily to make ends meet that suffers. The situation can be likened to the proverbial tussle between two overfed elephants whereby it is the grass that suffers.

incessant strike actions? Without doubts, strike has done more harm than good to Nigeria and its people. While it remains a potent for drawing government and corporation’s attention to welfare conditions of workers the world over, it appears we see it as tool for slowing down development. We cannot continue in this direction. Government, workers unions and the masses stand to gain nothing should the economy is grinded to a halt. So, why do we make haste to down tools even when we have the opportunity of engaging each other in healthy dialogue on contentious issues? We must have a change of heart. We cannot afford to continue in this direction as if the labour union are members of the opposition parties. As the President disclosed in his interaction with leaders of NMA, the government should manage all critical sectors in such a way that nobody will think of going on strike again. The government should proactively evolve measures that will help to permanently overcome the problems that lead to strikes by health workers, education professionals and other labour organisations. The earlier we realized that incessant strike actions are inimical to our nation’s economy, the better for us. It is our dear country that usually suffers each time workers down their tools. Labaran Saleh

National Conference will rather concretise our union By Ada Stella Apiafi


ince the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential elections, many Nigerians have clamoured for the convocation of a sovereign national conference to really determine the direction of our federation. This calls have persisted despite the return of the country to democracy since 1999 as a lot of our people think that since the truncation of the first Republic in 1966, the county has never actually returned to a federation. At a point, President Olusegun Obasanjo tried to organise one that eventually failed woefully because of the suspicion that it was being used to actualise the infamous third term agenda. The call persisted through the couple of years that late President Umar Yar’Adua was effectively in office. And then Yar’Adua died and the controversy was whether his deputy, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was eligible to contest election in view of the delicate nature of the polity. Northern politicians insisted that since the south,

through Chief Obasanjo had eight years of the presidency, Jonathan ought to step down and allow northerners to solely contest among themselves so that one of them would emerge president after the 2011 elections. Over the years and with increasing frustration at the slow pace of development that the country has witnessed, it is becoming increasing clear that many Nigerians thinks that the national conference will be the cure-all of the ills inherent in our dear country. Finally in his Independence Day broadcast on October 1, 2013, President Jonathan surprised all by announcing his decision to set up a planning committee to work out modalities for the much talked about conference. While majority of those advocating for the conference insist that it must be sovereign in nature so that decisions arrived at by conferees will not be tampered with by either the President or members of the National Assembly, others say that because a National Assembly and a President are

already in place, another set of individuals cannot assume sovereignty on behalf of the Nigerians people. Even as President Jonathan has inaugurated the committee led by Senator Femi Okunronmu and charged them to determine how and when the Conference will hold, we at I-Nigerian Renaissance Initiative notice the discordant tunes still accompanying comments concerning the Conference. Many still believe that the Conference is meant to dismember the federation that was welded together in 1914. As a nation reputed to consist of over 200 ethnic nationalities brought together in a federation without their consent, there is need for them at a point in time to sit together and determine the terms of their unity. Ninety nine (99) years after amalgamation, Nigerian has not emerged as a nation and so, there is a need to sit together and find out what are the causes of distrust among the nationalities making up the country.

We note that following the unfortunate truncation of the First republic, it has been difficult for major ethnic groups to come to terms with the way that the coup and counter coup were executed and it is time for each of the tribes to come clean with each other and trash the suspicions once and for all. Since the end of the civil war in 1970, the Igbos have continued to feel a sense of ostracism from the Federation because of a certain belief that even though there was a declaration of “no victor, no vanquished”, there appear to be a conspiracy that Igbos will never be allowed to occupy certain positions in the country. With the manner in which each of the different sections of the country emerged and evolved pre and post colonialism, there is the necessity for Nigeria to truly become a Federation in the true sense of it so that each section will not be pulled back from development because other sections are not ready to move with the same pace. Overall, we are unshakable

in our belief that after the Conference- which will be explosive because for decades groups have bottled up their emotions and an opportunity for open ventilation of emotions will be fully exploredeverybody will come to realise that there is strength in numbers. We will also come to the reality that the divergent nature of our country is an opportunity for development as each of the zones and areas have unique attributes that we all need for explore for progress. For instance, the north is blessed with vast land mass full of farming opportunities and bubbling with mineral resources. Again, even though Igbos are full of talent, they are a people that cannot be contained within a particular confine and so, need the diversity of Nigeria to express themselves. Ada Stella Apiafi National Cordinator, I-Nigerian Renaissance Initiative Abuja


FAAC remittances: Progressive Govs query NNPC

Tubonimi says: It is a SHAME that education in Nigeria has finally been killed and buried in this administration in the midst of trillion of trillion dollars. It is also very SHAMEFULL that after 103 days of ASUU Strike, the second graduate president of Nigeria and all national, state and local government officials, including traditional rulers, religious leaders are watching as our children as forced into social vices such as prostitution, armed Robbery, kidnapping, Boko Harams, oil theft because of idleness. Yet, trillions of naira are shared just among few so-called Nigerian leaders. God knows why he allows all this, but 2015, God keeping us alive, we will know.

PDP to Baraje group: You lack institutional memory to call for Tukur’s resignation Mudi Bilbis says: It is true that the reconciliation committee headed by Dr. Alex Ekweme gave waivers to some party members, but they have to follow a process from their wards, local govt, states and the national level. Can Tukur show any record that he followed the process as set by the committee?

Anambra guber poll: APC inaugurates 25-man campaign committee

Dr. Chris Ngige


Online Comments

Nwachi says: Ngige is a God sent. We all are behind you. How the West helps its African allies to lose elections Fatima Ibrahim Haruna says: This is a well written article, which depicts the unfortunate story of leadership in Nigeria. A president, who lacks the wherewithal to handle issues as a leader and talks in a lackadaisical manner, needs a good lesson on what leadership entails.

Collapsed bridges: Senator donates N500,000 to communities Barka says: The statement made by this senator is a campaign statement not that he truly has feelings for the people of his constituency. Go to the streets and interview a neutral person about the senator. That’s only when you will be in a better position to assess his intentions and his rating before the people. He is just play-acting.

Nigeria and the leadership question Yusuf Abdullahi Umar says: This is very true, the major problem here in Nigeria is total collapse or absence of quality leadership, and a good quality frame work for service delivery. It is a shame that our leadership is non-productive one, and also it is a slap on the face of good leadership that Nigeria had in the past. It is really sad and disheartening. Ochidi says: Quite an enlightening piece. Can INEC use these measures as criteria for elective leadership? Please get me connected to Jega, he needs to read this. Mustapha Isah says A very good piece Maryam How I wish all our present and past

leaders have these characteristics. Nigeria would have been better off by now.. Yusuf says: Your essay is another piece on the entity called Nigeria.Without a ready statistics on the number of such essays, I want to commend you on your effort. My initial reaction was to wait for your solution in your part 2, but I have the feeling that your solution will lie in how to develop an efficient leader in Nigeria. I have a strong contrary view about Nigeria problem hence I became impatient for your part 2. It is a well known saying that the type of leadership bestowed on nation depends on the followership. What do you think? I will wait to read your part 2. Jumai Abdu Ali says: Nicely written, Maryam. It is always encouraging when we scrutinize ourselves, as Nigerians. That we are starting a dialogue means there is hope. Leadership in Nigeria clearly is the big elephant in the room. How we tackle that, is left to be seen. A good place to start is exercising our political voices by voting for a qualified individual that has the discipline and vision to represent us on the global stage. Anybody who has watched the recent UN meeting between Jonathan and Obama will know that we certainly need someone that acknowledges the importance of the office of the President. That meeting was a cringeinducing video clip I never want to watch again. Obama had a ‘sorry feeling’ smirk on his face that really should make all of us go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get rid of this guy!

Air crash: We saw it coming – Agagu’s

kinsmen Ibrahim Gwamna Mshelizza says: Kudos to Peoples Daily because your reports were very up to date. Bolaji Ayodele says: Dear Editor, I think you have to employ people to report for you in the South West and also ensure that your newspapers are well circulated in all the South West states. kindly do that urgently because it will enhance your reputation and efficiency. Your paper can compete favourably with other national dailies in Nigeria

Reconciliation: Tukur, Baraje’s groups disagree over Oct. 7th parley Mahmud Sanda Adamu says:

Alh. Abubakar Kawu Baraje

If it is true that most of the new PDP members will be out of the country for the Hajj, the president should allow all of them to return to the country to attend the meeting. One thinks that whatever is agreed upon will be acceptable to all.

A disabled president and his bootlickers ESDEE says: You read the man out. Your description of him is so accurate. He’s so power-drunk he doesn’t even perceive the fact that his kingdom is on fire. Emperor Nero will look like a beginner-compared to Oga. Ahiara says: President Jonathan is a weak leader, he has bootlicking cabinet members. Ismail Aliyu Imam Ibeto says: Nigeria president is a poor leader.


News Extra


Gory tales of kidnap victims: Who is to blame? Adesoji Oyinlola, Mathew Aramude, Ayo Samuel and Mathew Irinoye, Lagos


ecently, the House of Representatives Committee on Police Affairs led by its Chairman Hon. Mako was at the Lagos State Police Command to have firsthand information of the workings of the command. The visit turned out to provide insight perhaps never imagined. Well. The Command opted to bring out some of the notable suspects under their watch. Those brought out included the notorious Godogodo, whose arrest a couple of weeks earlier, had made news headlines as well as provoked backslapping and rapturous celebration among police officers in the command. The scene was truly an interactive session as some the suspects regaled the committee members with their activities. They equally adduced reasons why they took to crimes and what should be done to curb criminal activities. Of course, trust the suspects as they talked and squarely put the blame where it should and interestingly never denied their share of the blame. Essentially though their arguments bothered on the society which they say has lost its core moral values. They also blamed poor leadership and asserted that the leaders have repeatedly failed to provide qualitative leadership that would have inspired true sense of patriotism and industriousness among the citizenry. The suspects told the committee members that they as leaders do not have any moral rectitude inspire good deeds or even correct appropriately. The lawmakers were called hypocrites because the suspects think that the difference between the lawmakers and themselves is their modus operandi. “We are all the same. Often it is the case of the pot calling the kettle black. Lawmakers steal in billions, some of us struggle to make do with few thousands, yet we are punished while you walk the streets free.” “You are called ‘Honourable’ instead of Horrorable. We are called criminals instead mere petty thieves. You flaunt your ill-gotten wealth, some of suspects can’t and yet we are doing just the same business.” Godogodo and his team of bandits flagrantly told the visiting lawmakers that lack of good leadership had pushed them into the criminal trade. They say, some of them saw in kidnapping a way to get their own national cake which the members of the NASS are having at the expense of the majority without nagging conscience. Peoples Daily Weekend sought to hear from victims of kidnap cases. The Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Kehinde Bamigbetan, had his bitter experience in the hand of some daring young men who kidnapped him. Bamigbetan is just one among many victims that own up that a ransom was paid to get his freedom from his abductors Narrating his gory experience, He said when he was about to be released by his captors, they asked if he could drive, and he replied in the affirmative. They took him out, blindfolded and drove him for four hours before he was dropped at the Badagry checkpoint, where a car was provided and he drove himself home. He breathed the air of freedom at exactly 9pm when he took control of a manual sa-

Mike Ozekhome loon car and navigated his way home. He narrated further “They asked me who i am and I said I work with Fashola and I am a journalist. I didn’t know they took my bag containing my laptop. They asked for my password, opened my laptop and started checking my details. They said you are a local government chairman; you are the one stealing our money. I told them I didn’t steal money and I started elucidating my programmes of free meal and uniforms for children in schools, free drugs for everybody in our PHCs and several skills acquisition initiatives.” “When I told them I don’t have the kind of money they were demanding, which is $1 million, they went brutal. They tied me to a chair and gave me serious beating, with blood flowing through my nostrils. I now discovered that the idea of we don’t have money would not work here, I needed to engage them. I told them I had friends who could render assistance and I should be allowed to contact them.” “We were on that when media reports

Kehinde Bamigbetan starting rolling in. They even showed me a newspaper report that all the local government chairmen had contributed money to pay the ransom. Later, they said someone who wanted my position had paid N35 million. “I laughed. They asked why, I said am not saying what you said is not true but N35 million is too much a price to pay on my head. We came to an understanding and they came back later to say they were not satisfied with the negotiated sum; that they needed more.” “At that point, I started praying because it was from there I remembered the strong premonition I had the morning I was captured. I was not sure where the trouble would come, but I knew I was in danger. I just started praying for mercy and Divine intervention while reciting my favourite Psalm.” “Suddenly, at some point, they started treating me nicely, asking what I wanted to eat. They washed my clothes, prepared food and fruits for me. Took me from the carpet to a room with mattress and switched on the AC and encouraged me to sleep.

Let no one be deceived that we are dealing with toy gun carriers because their phone cannot be tracked. One of them said that they do not originate their calls in the state their captives are.

“They told me they came to the council the second day and listened to what people were saying and they found out that everybody said I was good. They said they believed I could be of help to them in the future. Their perception of me changed when they saw the newspaper reports of the kidnap.” ommenting on the recent wave of kidnappings, Bamigbetan doubted that the nation’s security apparatus could manage the level of sophistication of the criminal gangs. “Imagine them sending people to the council to find out things for themselves the day after I was captured; that shows you that they know what they are doing.” “We don’t have the capacity because ordinarily, when they were making the calls, the nearest cell sites should have detected our location. We were in a place for five days and nobody had an inkling of where we were, but I know that it is God’s intervention that made my release possible. It is not about the ransom. “This is why I thank everybody who offered prayers for us. When you looked at what happened to Dr. Nwike, former Anambra State deputy governor, his ransom was paid yet he was killed.” “The way I have approached politics here, trying to assist and cultivate people paid off. They could see through my sincerity. There were other people held captive in the room. Our eyes were blindfolded and we were not allowed to talk to one another. “To engage in a conversation with our captors, we were told not to open our eyes even with the blindfold. Once you attempt to see them, they would fire. We had been strictly warned because they don’t want to be


Contd on Page 43



News Extra

Why we took to kidnapping as trade —Suspects Contd from Page 42 identified. More so, the blindfold was so tight that you can’t even open or move eyeball.” When narrating his ordeal with the newsmen in his Lagos resident at No 21, Mike Ozehome lane Igando area, Lagos. The human rights activist lawyer said that he was left alone with twelve others in a single dark room, keeping the company of battalions of mosquito at a slide opening of window. According to him, the senior advocate said he was not the target but a victim on that fateful day. Further, he said that none of his abductors knows his profile until published in the daily newspaper the following day. Ozekhome who regained his freedom after 21days detention from his abductors said that, the kidnappers are not riff-raffs but sophisticated and frustrated unemployed youth in the country. The senior lawyer said “let no one be deceived that we are dealing with toy gun carriers because their phone cannot be tracked. One of them said that they do not originate their calls in the state their captives are.” ccording to him, the kidnappers said they usually make calls in five states away from their residence state, and that the calls are usually on the high speed. These guys are highly sophisticated” he stressed. Ozekhome said that his abductors are aggrieved Nigerians youths who through joblessness had turned them to gunmen. “They complain that vast wealth of the country has been cornered to1% of Nigerians. One of them said he had graduated six years ago but with no job. “The bad news is that the kidnappers do not know gender, nationality, religion, the rich or poor people, politicians or government officials, the common man or noble, a farmer or market woman, white skin or black, young or old; anybody could be a victim, the problem is so elegiac” “We were psychological tortured; we suffer from physical and mental stress, death sentence was always on us because we were under watch for 24 hours. They were ready to silence anyone who would not comply with the instructions given” he stressed. Ozekhome said the problem is complex not flexible as many may think. He said most of those involved in the crime are sophisticated youth and who must have carefully planned their scheme and often carry them out with elegance. Therefore, he called on the federal government to adopt better measures to curb and treat the kidnappers. The SAN said further, “the net-working of the kidnappers is very wide across the nation. The culprits have grown so big to the extent that they even have their connections in high places. Am afraid what this country would turn out to be if urgent and very serious actions are not taken to curb the menace,” he stressed. Also, Ozekhome appealed to the federal government to give serious consideration to the call for National Conference where every tribe, ethnic group, religious leaders and unions of professionals would


come to a round table for discussions on the way forward for the nation. “I must be sincere with you that Nigeria is not one nation as we pretend it is, we have our tribal indifferences, we have different goals and we have different interests towards the development of Nigeria,” he said stressing that it seems certain happenings in the society may forced ordinary citizens into criminal acts. In this perhaps he echoed the thoughts of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, the pioneer President of Ghana, who was quoted to have said that “no man is born a criminal but that the society makes him one” To some extent, crime and criminality as being perpetrated today could safely be said to be a byproduct of the society and not just an individual tendency per say. Most Reverend Ignatius Cosby Ogboin Kattey, who also related his experience, said his kidnappers were smart elements. He dismissed claims made by the Rivers state Police Command that they rescued him. “The Police did not rescue me. They were not the ones who rescued my wife, Beatrice. I saw the Police for the time two days ago since the incident. I have heard the statements made by the Rivers PPRO. The police are telling lies. If you cannot trust the police again, then who can you trust? I told the Commissioner of Police and he has apologized. “I know they made efforts but they did not rescue me and my wife. A helicopter flew over the area more than five hundred times, but the boys (kidnappers) were smarter. They held me with them in a thick forest and no one could see me there. “On the day of my release (Saturday 14th), they moved me and we trekked a number of kilometres till we got to a road. Then they gave me N200 and ordered me to work to the direction where I could get a bike. We thank God for his mercies because I wouldn’t even wish my enemy to go through that experience. “I was not tortured. They fed me on fast food once a day, sometimes on bole (roast plantain). They tied and chained my legs, but one of them said you can’t chain this man. I lay down on the ground, beaten by rain and mosquito like them for up to seven days. An old man of 65 years; I had no choice than to stay and swim in the forest with them.” The Rivers Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mathew Mbu has since apologised to him in what appears an obvious admittance of incompetence of the command. One recalls that last December, the mother of the Finance Minister Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was abducted by kidnappers. It remains uncertain whether any ransom was paid. Here also the police were helpless

Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey

Prof. Kanene Okonjo as the victim was said to have been released on the volition of her captors. She too related the sophistication of the kidnappers: their intelligence, organisation and obvious expertise in network operation. Something regrettably the police lack. The southern oil-producing Niger Delta region is one of the most active kidnapping hotspots in the world, with reports of more than 300 kidnappings in the region since 2006. Nigerian authorities have made concerted efforts over recent years to improve security and reduce the number of incidents; however, the on-going instability and political volatility in the Delta fuel kidnappings in the region and as result, the insurance and security costs for businesses operating in this region, will only keep rising. ike the Chairman of Ejigbo said, today in Nigeria, criminality activities have degenerated to a horrifying level such a day hardly passes without report of kidnapping or one acts of insurgency or the other. Name it. From petty thief of cash and food crops carried out in the neighbourhood of the various local government area coun-


cils to the sophisticated incidents of armed robbery, kidnapping, rape, child and human trafficking to the now recent events of arm insurgency perpetrated in all the six geopolitical zones. Considering their regularity and ubiquitous occurrences, then it could altruism that the society, according to that great Pan-Africanist Nkrumah, should be blamed. Often times suspects when faced with the wrath of the law make bold to say that they are into crime and criminality because they see these leaders who prior to entering into public office were mere paupers, but as soon as they are elected within some months become so rich that they even have the temerity to flaunt such wealth acquired from pilfering the commonwealth of the people. They also claim that since the society revered such pilfers of the commonwealth of the people that they reward them for such shameful acts with chieftaincy titles with the Government also crowing their “efforts” with national awards; they have no option than to also acquire wealth not minding the method(s) employed to attract such recognition from the society and the government.

We were psychologically tortured; we suffered from physical and mental stress, death sentence was always on us because we were under watch for 24 hours. They were ready to silence anyone who would not comply with the instructions given” he stressed.




Some memorable sites in Paris Avenue des Champs Élysées The broad, tree-lined Avenue des Champs Élysées occupies a central role in many French national celebrations, including the Tour de France cycle race, Bastille Day, and Armistice Day. Originally laid out as a garden (Champs Élysées means “Elysian Fields”), the Avenue des Champs Élysées was constructed in the 1660s and enhanced in the late 18th century. The avenue begins in the beautiful Place de la Concorde gardens and runs northwest to Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly Place de l’Étoile), site of the Arc de Triomphe. Will and Deni McIntyre/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Élysée Palace, Paris The Élysée Palace in Paris has been the residence of presidents of the French Republic since 1873. The president of France, who is chief of state, is elected by popular vote every five years. The palace was designed in the 18th century by French architect Armand Claude Mollet. JACKY NAEGELEN/REUTERS

I. M. Pei Pyramid in Paris The glass pyramid in front of the Louvre was commissioned by President François Mitterrand in 1983 as part of a plan to modernize the famous Paris museum. This bold and imaginative structure was designed by Chinese American architect I. M. Pei. The space beneath the pyramid is now the official entrance to the museum. John Lawrence/Tony Stone Images

Arc de Triomphe One of the most remarkable landmarks in Paris is the colossal Arc de Triomphe. This great stone arch rises 50 meters (164 feet) at the western end of the city’s famous boulevard, the Avenue des Champs Élysées. Construction on the arch began in 1806 and was finally completed 30 years later. Built by Napoleon to celebrate his military successes, it is inscribed with the names of 386 of his generals and 96 of his victories. After World War I, France buried its unknown soldier beneath the arch. Bertrand/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Summer Afternoon in Paris A lively sidewalk café and the bright summer sun entice Parisians and tourists alike to enjoy an apéritif or café au lait. Local cafés, where people may socialize or linger over a good book, are popular gathering spots in France. Francois Gohier/Photo Researchers, Inc.

Paris Under Veil of Smog A surveillance network of 62 stations measures the impact of 5 million vehicles traveling in and around Paris, France. To diminish environmental damage, the government has set up antismog procedures. For example, it restricts the number of cars allowed to drive on very hot days when pollution levels reach a critical threshold. Nicholas de Vore III/Bruce Coleman, Inc.

Pompidou Center, Paris The Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, better known in English as the Pompidou Center, is a celebrated modernist structure in steel and glass designed by British architect Richard Rogers and Italian architect Renzo Piano. The building, which opened in 1977, houses a modern art museum, an industrial design center, and a public library with an extensive audio-visual collection. Derek Croucher/Corbis

Great Speeches



Buhari’s first speech as Head of State Delivered on January 1, 1984


n pursuance of the primary objective of saving our great nation from total collapse, I, MajorGeneral Muhammadu Buhari of the Nigerian army have, after due consultation amongst the services of the armed forces, been formally invested with the authority of the Head of the Federal Military Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is with humility and a deep sense of responsibility that I accept this challenge and call to national duty. As you must have heard in the previous announcement, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1979) has been suspended, except those sections of it which are exempted in the constitution. The change became necessary in order to put an end to the serious economic predicament and the crisis of confidence now afflicting our nation. Consequently, the Nigerian armed forces have constituted themselves into a Federal Military Government comprising of a Supreme Military Council, a National Council of States, a Federal Executive Council at the centre and State Executive Councils to be presided over by military governors in each of the states of the federation. Members of these councils will be announced soon.The last Federal Military Government drew up a programme with the aim of handing over political power to the civilians in 1979. This programme as you all know, was implemented to the letter. The 1979 constitution was promulgated. However, little did the military realise that the political leadership of the second republic will circumvent most of the checks and balances in the constitution and bring the present state of general insecurity. The premium on political power became so exceedingly high that political contestants regarded victory at elections as a matter of life and death struggle and were determined to capture or retain power by all means. It is true that there is a worldwide economic recession. However, in the case of Nigeria, its impact was aggravated by mismanagement. We believe the appropriate government agencies have good advice but the leadership disregarded their advice. The situation could have been avoided if the legislators were alive to their constitutional responsibilities; Instead, the legislators were preoccupied with determining their salary scales, fringe benefit and unnecessary foreign travels, et al, which took no account of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people they represented. As a result of our inability to cultivate financial discipline and prudent management of the economy, we have come to depend largely on internal and external borrowing to execute government projects with attendant domestic pressure and soaring external debts, thus aggravating the propensity of the outgoing civilian administration to mismanage our financial resources. Nigeria was already condemned perpetually with the twin problem of heavy budget deficits and weak bal-

Buhari inspecting guard of honour as Head of State ance of payments position, with the prospect of building a virile and viable economy. The last general election was anything but free and fair. The only political parties that could complain of election rigging are those parties that lacked the resources to rig. There is ample evidence that rigging and thuggery were relative to the resources available to the parties. This conclusively proved to us that the parties have not developed confidence in the presidential system of government on which the nation invested so much material and human resources.While corruption and indiscipline have been associated with our state of under-development, these two evils in our body politic have attained unprecedented height in the past few years. The corrupt, inept and insensitive leadership in the last four years has been the source of immorality and impropriety in our society. Since what happens in any society is largely a reflection of the leadership of that society, we deplore corruption in all its facets. This government will not tolerate kick-backs, inflation of contracts and over-invoicing of imports etc. Nor will it condone forgery, fraud, embezzlement, misuse and abuse of office and illegal dealings in foreign exchange and smuggling. Arson has been used to cover up fraudulent acts in public institutions. I am referring to the fire incidents that gutted the P&T buildings in Lagos, the Anambra State Broadcasting Corporation, the Republic Building at Marina, the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Capital Development Authority Accounts at Abuja and the NET Building. Most of these fire incidents occurred at a time when Nigerians were being apprehensive of the frequency of fraud scandals and the government incapacity to deal with them. Corruption has become so pervasive and intractable that a whole ministry has been created to stem it. Fellow Nigerians, this indeed is the moment of truth. My colleagues and I – the Supreme Military Council, must be frank enough to acknowledge the fact that at the moment, an accurate picture of the financial position is yet to be determined. We have no doubt that

the situation is bad enough. In spite of all this, every effort will be made to ensure that the difficult and degrading conditions under which we are living are eliminated. Let no one however be deceived that workers who have not received their salaries in the past eight or so months will receive such salaries within today or tomorrow or that hospitals which have been without drugs for months will be provided with enough immediately.We are determined that with the help of God we shall do our best to settle genuine payments to which government is committed, including backlog of workers’ salaries after scrutiny. We are confident and we assure you that even in the face of the global recession, and the seemingly gloomy financial future, given prudent management of Nigeria’s existing financial resources and our determination to substantially reduce and eventually nail down rises in budgetary deficits and weak balance of payments position.The Federal Military Government will reappraise policies with a view to paying greater attention to the following areas: • The economy will be given a new impetus and better sense of direction. • Corrupt officials and their agents will be brought to book. • In view of the drought that affected most parts of the country, the federal government will, with the available resources, import food stuffs to supplement the shortfalls suffered in the last harvest. Our foreign policy will both be dynamic and realistic. Africa will of course continue to be the centre piece of our foreign policy. The morale and combat readiness of the armed forces will be given high priority. Officers and men with high personal and professional integrity will have nothing to fear. The Chief Justice of Nigeria and all other holders of judiciary appointments within the federation can continue in their appointments and the judiciary shall continue to function under existing laws subject to such exceptions as may e decreed from time to time by the Federal Military Government. All holders of appointments in the civil service, the police

General Buhari and the National Security Organisation shall continue to exercise their functions in the normal way subject to changes that may be introduced by the Federal Military Government. All those chairmen and members of statutory corporations, parastatals and other executive departments are hereby relieved of their appointments with immediate effect. The Federal Military Government will maintain and strengthen existing diplomatic relations with other states and with international organisations and institutions such as the Organisation of African Unity, the United Nations and its organs, Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, ECOWAS and the Commonwealth etc. The Federal Military Government will honour and respect all treaties and obligations entered into by the previous government and we hope that such nations and bodies will reciprocate this gesture by respecting our country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Fellow Nigerians, finally, we have dutifully intervened to save this nation from imminent collapse. We therefore expect all Nigerians, including those who participated directly or indirectly in bringing the nation to this present predicament, to cooperate with us. This generation of Nigerians, and indeed future generations, have no country other than Nigeria. We shall remain here and salvage it together. May God bless us all. Good morning.




Who is Anas al-Liby? By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


efore last week’s U.S raids by U.S. Army “Delta Force” operators in Tripoli, very few people had probably heard the name Anas al- Liby before. Nazih Abdul-HamedNabih al-Ruqai’i, better known by the alias Abu Anas al-Liby, an ethnic Libyan, was born in Tripoli on 30 March 1964. Al-Libyworked as a computer specialist for al-Qaeda and is believed to have been tied to the group since its 1994 roots in Sudan. He speaks both Arabic and English. His tall nature made him bear a resemblance to Osama bin Laden, he was therefore many times used as a Bin Laden double whenever the al- Qaeda leader travelled. Al-Liby was a trusted al Qaeda soldier who spent time with bin Laden when he was based in Sudan and then Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. According to Jamal al-Fadl, the first al Qaeda informant to become a protected U.S. government witness, al-Libywas considered the group’s computer expert. He was also a scout and planner for the terrorist organization’s worst attack on America before 9/11. Al-Liby was among a trio who conducted surveillance as early as 1993 on the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. They set up a makeshift dark room in the apartment of L’HoussaineKherchtou, a Moroccan al-Qaeda member who served as bin Laden’s pilot and flew fighters to fight UN-led forces in Somalia. “They took that sitting room and they closed it with blankets, closed the windows, and they were using it to develop pictures,” later testified Kherchtou, who became a cooperating U.S. government witness in the embassy bombings case. He said he once saw al-Liby carrying a camera on Moi Avenue, a street in downtown Nairobi where the embassy sat. Five years after the surveillance, an al Qaeda truck bomb detonated at the embassy and killed 213 people, including 12 Americans, and injured several others on the morning of August 7, 1998. A twin truck bomb 10 minutes later detonated at the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 11 people. By then, al-Liby was on the run. Living under the alias Nazih Al-Raghie, he had relocated to England in 1995, gaining entry under a political asylum claim that he was persecuted under the regime of Muammar Gaddaffi. Al-Liby was granted political asylum in the United Kingdom, after a failed Al Qaeda plot to assassinate Hosni Mubarak, then president of Egypt. An Egyptian request for extradition was declined on the grounds that al-Liby would not re-


Anas al-Liby ceive a fair trial. One story many don’t know is thatin 1996, the U.K’s M.I 6 is alleged to have paid a Libyan Al Qaeda cell to kill Colonel Gaddafi, alLiby being allowed to stay in return for aiding the alleged plot, which was unsuccessful. In 1999, al-Liby was arrested by Scotland Yard and interrogated,he was however released because he had cleared his hard drive of any evidence to be used against him. In May 2000, his flat in Manchester, where he was a student, was raided and searched by police, who discovered a 180-page handwritten manual for Al Qaeda followers, translated from Arabic to English, which became known as the ‘Terror Manual’, or the ‘Manchester manual’. The manual covered terror tradecraft from forging documents, writing in code, establishing a safe house to assassinations with a knife, a blunt object, rope, bare hands, or poison. “The substance Ricin, an extract from Castor beans, is considered one of the most deadly,” the manual said in one excerpt, suggesting an injection. By the time his flat was raided, al-Liby had already fled abroad.

the Sudanese government and was being held in a prison in Khartoum. However U.S. officials soon denied those reports and al-Liby was still on the loose. On June 6, 2007, al-Liby was listed as a possible CIA “Secret Prisoner” by Amnesty International, without giving any reason or evidence, and despite the fact he remained on the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists list as of the published date (6 June 2007). In September 2012, CNN reported that al-Liby returned to Libya after hiding in Iran for almost a decade.Other reports suggest that he was imprisoned in Iran for seven years. Al-Liby is not the first notable al Qaeda fugitive captured or killed in Africa. In June 2011, the operational leader of the Kenya embassy bombing, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (aka.Harun) was killed in Somalia. A federal jury in New York convicted four men in the first embassy bombings trial that ended in August 2001. All four men are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole in a Colorado prison. Al-Liby could be the second man wanted originally in the case captured post-9/11 to face a civilian trial. The first was Ahmed KhalfanGhaliani, who was convicted in 2009 after being the one and only Guantanamo prisoner ever transferred to the mainland for trial and is now serving a life sentence. ast year, two embassy bombing defendants held 13 years in UK custody, Khaled alFawazz and Adel Abdel Bary, were finally extradited to the U.S. and are awaiting trial in New York. Another notable al-Qaeda suspect awaiting trial in federal court is Sulaiman Abu Ghayth, a former bin Laden spokesman and son-inlaw, who was brought to New York in March and faces terrorism conspiracy charges. If al-Liby faces a criminal trial, it is possible America would seek to put al-Liby, Abu-Ghayth, AlFawazz, and Abdel Bary on trial together, as all are part of the same evolving indictment in the Southern District of New York. Al-Liby was captured in Tripoli, Libya on 5 October 2013 by U.S. Army “Delta Force” operators, with the assistance of U.S. FBIand CIA agents. He was seized in broad daylight and removed from Libya. U.S. Navy SEALs conducted a simultaneous raid in Somalia targeting the alleged mastermind of the Westgate shopping mall shooting in Kenya, possibly to avoid either action sending the other target into hiding. A day after Al-Liby was captured, he was in military custody on the ship USS San Antonio in the Mediterranean Sea. He has since been interrogated and is planned to be sent to New York City for criminal prosecution.

He evaded a team that was sent to follow him and after going underground was not seen for years afterwards. l-Libybecame one of nearly two dozen men indicted in the embassy bombings case whose list of defendants once included bin Laden and still includes his trusted comradeAyman alZawahiri. Trials, killings, and captures caused the list to dwindle, but for 14 years Al-Liby evaded his fate. The FBI placed him on the Most Wanted Terrorists list when it was created one month after the 9/11 attacks on the World trade


centre. The black and white image circulated by the U.S. government (and used in this article) is a passport photograph recovered during the raid of his Manchester flat. The U.S Department of State, through the Rewards for Justice Program, offered up to US$5,000,000 (formerly $25,000,000) for information about the location of Abu Anas al-Liby. In January 2002, news reports stated that al-Liby had been captured by American forces in Afghanistan. Following this, in March 2002 news reports stated that al-Liby had been arrested by

Al-Liby is not the first notable al Qaeda fugitive captured or killed in Africa. In June 2011, the operational leader of the Kenya embassy bombing, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed (aka. Harun) was killed in Somalia.






PHCN handover: What hope for consumers?

By Etuka Sunday


he long awaited handover of 15 generation and distribution companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to successors, finally pull through on last Monday as the Federal Government issued certificates and licences of the companies to the preferred owners in Abuja. The 15 PHCN investors, who got legal documents from President Goodluck Jonathan, include Mainstream Energy for Kainji and Jebba Generation Company, North South for Shiroro, Amperion for Geregu, Transcorp/Woodrock for Ughelli and NEDC/KEPCO for Egbin. Others are Kann Consortium for Abuja Distribution Company, Virgeo for Benin, West Power and Gas for Eko, NEDC/KEPCO for Ikeja, Sahelian for Kano, Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company for both Ibadan and Yola, 4Power Consortium for Port Harcourt, Interstate for Enugu and Aura Energy for Jos Distribution Company. President Jonathan accompanied by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, and Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), Benjamin Dikki, issued the certificates and licences at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, where he assured Nigerians of stable power supply in the country soonest. “Going forward, this administration is committed to providing all elements that are necessary for our private sector partners to succeed in providing Nigerians with uninterrupted power supply. To start with, the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), the off-taker has been provided with a capitalisation of over $750 million, positioning it to carry out its mandate without financial constraints. “We do not expect the sector to be revitalised overnight but we can all look forward to a better time very soon as we have seen in the telecommunication and banking sectors. I am confident that the power sector will promise no less, knowing the calibre of those who are taking over,” Jonathan said. Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said that the physical takeover of the power assets would be completed this October when the government and assured that the payment of severance benefits to the workers of PHCN would equally be completed then. “Let me restate that today’s ceremony is only a formal handover of all needed ownership certificates and licences. However, physical takeover of assets will be effected later in course of the month of October as we fully discharge our responsibilities to the remaining workers of PHCN,” Nebo said. Notwithstanding, at about the same time the certificate presentation was going on, hundreds of employees and pensioners of the former Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) suspended activities at power facilities and offices across the country to protest against the ceremonial handover without full payment of their entitlements. According to them, the protests was to serve as a warning of an impending shutdown of electricity facilities that could result in a nationwide blackout, once their grievances were not addressed by the Federal Government before October 2. The workers and pensioners accused the government of “deception” and misleading the public with the claims that it had settled their entitlements. In the meantime, the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) asked its members to withdraw their services from all PHCN installations immediately after independence celebration. The Union said, “We are set to take our destiny in our hands, but because of Independence Day ceremonies, we would be patient to allow for full celebrations. We hereby urge Nigerians to bear with us if after October 2, the government goes ahead with her illicit handover to the investors and forceful takeover; the implication would be that the

Vice President Namadi Sambo workers have technically been asked to withdraw their services and we may not be able to guarantee smooth operations. Consequently, if after October 2, the Office of the Vice-President fails to correct this misleading information, we shall not guarantee supply of electricity in the country,” the union threatened. Nevertheless, millions of Nigerians got a sigh of relief on Wednesday when the nationwide strike embarked upon in the earlier hours of the day by the disengaged workers of the now privatised PHCN was suspended. lectricity was restored to most of the affected areas by Wednesday evening following the suspension of the action after the federal government agreed to pay over 38, 000 of the disengaged workers before the end of the week. The resolution followed a meeting between the workers’ union and the power sector reform implementation committee. The Permanent Secretary, Power Ministry, Dr. Igali after the resolution commended the union the for show of patriotism, just as he said that of the 47,000 staff so far, 45, 366 persons had been captured and promised that the remaining persons would be


Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Minister of Power done after the Office of the Accountant General finalise its processes. However, now that the dust has settled, the federal government must ensure that the stable power supply promised Nigerians is achieved. It must also ensure that the framework for monitoring and enforcement of transaction agreements and the formalization of contracts pertaining to transmission, power purchase agreements, vesting contracts and gas supply agreements are honoured. No doubt, a lot had been achieved. By way of removing obstacles to private sector investment, efforts were made in the establishment of the cost reflective tariff, establishment and operation of the Nigeria bulk electricity trading company, a provision of federal government to enhance credit to the bulk trader. This essentially is to make functional the Nigeria electricity liability Management Company of Nigeria and strengthen the licensing regime of the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) making sure that the commission is well equipped to act and ensure that the power sector reform was fully operational. As a follow up to the divestiture of the PHCN

“We do not expect the sector to be revitalised overnight but we can all look forward to a better time very soon as we have seen in the telecommunication and banking sectors. I am confident that the power sector will promise no less, knowing the calibre of those who are taking over,” Jonathan said.

successor companies, the management of TCN was appointed, the Canadian Manitoba Hydro, was also appointed and these appear to have instilled a lot of confidence on those who purchase the Gencos and Discos. The TCN was able to resolve labour issues and payment were made adequately as signed with the federal government. So far, power generation has witnessed a boost from less than 3000MW to about 4200MW as at last week, thus ensuring improved and predictable supply which is twice the level it was in August 2012. By the end of December this year, the generating capacity has been predicted to hit between 8000 to 10000MW. To sustain whatever gains would be recorded soonest, the federal government must also ensure that the N16bn approved for rural electrification projects across the country is made available. This done, the targeted 75 percent dwellers access to rural electrification by 2020 may be realized. xperts had described as appalling the 0.9% electricity growth in the rural areas, stating that such was incapable of stimulating development in Africa. According to reports, out of about 56% average electricity access, only 20% of grid electricity is being accessed in the rural areas where over half of the nation’s population resides. The unbundling to truly have impact, the power and energy sector reforms should be able to bridge the gap. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) must ensure that all the electricity consumers are metered and charged based on their utilities. It must keep to its earlier promise of ensuring fair play in the industry, as the new owners take over the companies. “We do not expect the sector to be revitalised overnight but we can all look forward to a better time very soon as we have seen in the telecommunication and banking sectors. I am confident that the power sector will promise no less, knowing the calibre of those who are taking over,” Jonathan said.


Business Binta Sarki Muktar: A bold step in broadcasting entrepreneurship


By Jamila Nuhu Musa


emale entrepreneurs in Nigeria are often hindered by cultural barriers such as male /female role definitions that make women believe they are inherently unqualified to take up some ventures that are supposedly exclusive preserve of men. In the north, where there is less participation of women in many sectors, it also means their role in reshaping the values of the society in which they live is limited. But, not for Hajiya Binta Sarki Muktar, a northern woman, who is wife of Major General Abdullahi Sarki Muktar, rtd and also former NSO to late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua. Despite the incessant incidents of rape, violence, hawking, unemployment, drug addiction, corrupt practices and other vices that have become the bane of the development of the north, Binta was resolute in contributing her own quota to sanitising her society. And what better way to do this than establish a radio station? That was exactly what she did after consulting with members of her family, who gave her their support. She established Radio Rahma, two years ago, in the ancient city of Kano, taking the residents by surprise. Many wondered what she was up to with such business initiative. Then tongues started wagging. “What does this woman want after being First Lady of Kaduna state, when her husband, Abdullahi Sarki Muktar served as Governor in 19989 to 1990? Does she not know that “a kasar Hausa”, the radio industry can only be handled by men? Suffice it to say that women made the most noise about this bold step by Binta. The issue was discussed at naming ceremonies, wedding receptions and other gathering of women but Binta and those, who supported her, knew it was nothing to worry about since the barriers to women development are caused by women themselves. Looking back, Hajiya Binta Sarki Muktar said “There was nothing they did not say when we came on board. People said we would not go far, they said so many things to discourage me but I never gave up on my dream”. Her understanding perhaps was based on the fact that it does not matter who runs a venture, but how such a person can use it positively to impact the society. However, one thing is certain; many fears can get in the way of taking such big leap, including rational financial considerations, lack of friends and family support or even the fear of failing. The actions taken by Binta however have been worthwhile because she kept her dream alive. What she needed to do was to work hard to meet the challenges that may militate against her goals, after all everyone who is successful today had to face some fears. A radio station is a money spinner in the sense that it brings in a lot of money for its owner when it allows politicians and government to use it for propaganda purposes. It

also brings in money through commercial businesses like advertising. The former First lady said her reasons for establishing Rahma radio transcends all these. In her words, during the 2nd Year Anniversary of the radio station recently in Kano, she said, “I established the station not for material gains but for the interest of my people. So many ills are happening in the society ranging from lack of discipline as children no longer listen to elders, corruption is common place and so on so I sat down and thought about how to contribute my own quota to improving my society and then came up with the idea of a radio station. I discussed the matter with my relations and they gave me their support”. Why then did she choose the name Rahma? “It is based on the doctrine of Islam and belief in the north. “My people say “Suna linzami ne”, translated to mean good names beget good things. “We have been enjoined in the Qur’an to give names that will portray what you aim for in life, in all circumstances. Even in naming a child, we are instructed to give our children good names. So I chose Rahma, it means blessing; I meant it to be a blessing to my people. Also it is a simple name to pronounce. Anyone can pronounce it”. When Rahma came on board, its ownership was in contention, at least in the minds of the people. Hajiya Binta clears the air on this. “I own the radio station. It is my idea which my relations supported after they realised my intention. Like I said it is not for monetary gains but for my people. It is for the benefit of men, women and children, to promote welfare of the citizens of Kano, enhance empowerment of youths and sanitise the society. That is why we teach the religion of Islam through Rahma radio and broadcast such programmes that would benefit them. It is not a station for castigating people”, stated Binta. he disclosed that she was critisised on the quality of staff of Radio Rahma when it started transmission. She stated however, that so far she has not been disappointed with her personnel. Because one of her aims is to empower her people, the reason she employed Kano people to man the station. “That is the reason why I did not employ staff from anywhere and they are doing very well. People said they were not professionals but experience has shown that professionals start from somewhere before they become professionals and Alhamdulillah, my staff has proved that they are capable and I am proud of them”. The mission of Rahma radio is to serve the listening public with programmes and service of international standard and establish a strong foot-hold in the promotion of commerce, business entrepreneurship and social reorientation of society in a pleasing and excellent manner. Its programmes include, Akushi da rufi, a 30 minutes program aimed at motivating the populace to become conversant with simple nutritious



Hajiya Binta Sarki Muktar food available within their locality. It also teaches methods of cooking so that the nutrients are not lost by being over-cooked. Mu koma gona, is a program on agriculture with analysis on current methods, new agricultural implements and fertilisers, geared towards better yields. The aim is to draw, especially the ru-

ral populace, back to the farm, thus reducing unemployment and ruralurban drift. Iyayen giji, deals generally on marital issues that concern women (child upgrading, issues of divorce e.t.c). Daga bakin talaka focuses on the views of the masses, concerning the performance of their elective representatives.

Looking back, Hajiya Binta Sarki Muktar said “There was nothing they did not say when we came on board. People said we would not go far, they said so many things to discourage me but I never gave up on my dream


thers are Kuri’arka yancinka, a political program aimed at sensitising and creating awareness for the general public on how to vote credible leaders. Abincinka maganinka, a phone in program, talks on issues of various natural supplies popularly known to the people, Lafiya babbar ni’ima, is a health program while Wani zomo a sabara kan barshi, is to educate people with special needs, and their parents or guardians on the proper ways to treat them. Most times it features Dr. Jibril Isah of the Bayero University Kano, (BUK), who is blind, so as to encourage the disabled in the society. It also serves to build confidence in them and to show them that they need not be on the streets begging. Meanwhile contemporary issues are not left untouched. Emotion, is another of Rahma programs that discusses emotional affairs of residents.



Side Talk The incorrigible Lady D By Jecinta David


his week’s side talk tries yet again to analyse the life of some of Nigeria’s finest ladies, or better still, some of Nigeria’s incorrigible personalities. Top on the list is her very first in the rank of ladies. The popular patient lady who bags an honorary doctorate degree has securely established for herself, as some publications aptly describe; “A well-deserved notoriety for herself as someone who is compulsively incapable of stringing together a single sentence that is not a comical ridicule of the English language”. There is probably no public figure in Nigeria’s recent history who has publicly and mindlessly murdered basic English syntax with as much recklessness and regularity as lady D, whose middle name is now “umblera” on account of her widely publicized, laughably consistent mispronunciation of “umbrella” (the People's Democratic Party’s icon).

This is why I almost choked with laughter at our dramatic educational system when I learnt that lady “D” has to her credit a National Certificate in Education (NCE) from a South South College of Arts and Science in 1989 and a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology also from a South South institution in 1994. Most laughable of all is the fact that this Lady “D” was a teacher for many years. Wow! What did she teach? And in what language? Our source rightly asks: as if that is not enough, she now goes about flaunting an honorary doctorate Degree, but causing Nigeria a lot of embarrassment at public functions. Below are some of her grammatical blunders: 1. My husband and Sambo is a good people. 2. The President was once a child and the Senators were once a children. 3. My fellow widows. 4. A good mother takes care of his children.

5. The people sitting before you were once a children. 6. Yes we are all happy for the effort, it is not easy to carry second in an International competition like this one..(addressing press men after Female Under-19 FIFA World Cup). 7. The bombers who born them? Wasn’t it not a woman? They were once a children now a adult now they are bombing women and children making some children a widow. 8. My heart feels sorry for these children who have become widows for losing their parents for one reason or another. 9. We should have love for our fellow Nigerians irrespective of their NATIONALITY. 10. Thank God the doctors and nurses are responding to treatment. 11. I would rather kill myself instead of committing suicide. 12. Ojukwu is a great man, he died but his manhood lives on.

Educating girls could prevent two-thirds of child marriages


n the International Day of the Girl Child (Friday 11 October), UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report releases figures showing that if all girls went to primary school, one-sixth of child marriages could be prevented among girls aged under 15 years in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. If all girls got the chance to go to secondary school, child marriages could be reduced by twothirds in these regions, saving almost two million girls from becoming child brides. Mariam Khalique, Malala’s teacher from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, and spokesperson for the EFA Global Monitoring Report said: “Every hour counts– we must educate girls to help bring about changes quickly in our society. Education gives girls dignity. How can you change your life if you don’t know how? If girls and women are empowered they can take control of their own lives and their bodies. That is why education is priceless and important for

girls and women not only in Pakistan but all around the world.” The new EFA GMR analysis, ‘Education Transforms’, shows that one in eight girls is married by the age of 15 years

in subSaharan Africa and South and West Asia. It shows how education can empower girls to find greater confidence and freedom to make decisions that affect their own lives. In Ethiopia, for example, 32% of girls with less than primary education were married before the age of 15 years, compared with less than 9% of those with a secondary education. “Educating girls is one of the best investments we can make”, said Pauline Rose, director of the

EFA Global Monitoring Report, “and yet 31 million girls of primary school age out of school, and 17 million are expected never to enter school at all. This situation desperately needs addressing.” In addition to preventing child marriages, the EFA GMR’s new analysis shows that educating girls can also prevent them from becoming mothers themselves when just children, risking their own, and their babies’ health in early childbirth. ‘Education transforms’ shows that one in seven girls has given birth by the age of 17 years in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. Yet 10% fewer girls would become pregnant at an age when they should be in school if they had a primary education. There would be 59% fewer pregnancies among girls under 17 years if all girls had a secondary education. The release is accompanied by a campaign action calling for world leaders to prioritize good quality and equal education in the new development agenda after 2015. Already, campaigners from almost 90 countries have shown their support.

Vote UMBLERRA and press your finger for UMBLERRA Among the things certain about this Lady from the above statements are: that she has clearly no sense of subject-verb agreement. She doesn’t know the difference between “child” and “children.” She evidently never listened when her teacher taught “singular and plural” in her primary school. Three, she obviously has no clue that “fellow” is used to refer to people who have certain traits in common. So she doesn’t realize that by calling the widows “my fellow widows” she means that her husband is dead, too. Four, she has not the vaguest idea that “widow” is not an all-purpose word for people who have lost their loved ones. That’s why she (correctly) uses it for women whose husbands are dead and (incorrectly) for orphans, i.e., children whose parents are dead. Five; that Lady D does not have a clear understanding of what the word “manhood” means.

The Don and Baba


ast week we brought you the story of a famous hair dresser and politician. What we did not tell you however was that the famous Don has been described by an international network as the instrument of interest to the former president of Nigeria who hails from the west. Cable to Washington, Lisa Piascik, the Network in charge of the Affairs of the US embassy in Nigeria, stated that both politicians were sweethearts. Little wonder the former major player in Nigeria’s lower house was not over bruised during a controversial appropriation of certain funds during her tenure.

Epitaph for the man after God’s heart


he next in-corrigible personality in Nigeria whose focus we have on side talk today is a Male folk whose name also starts with a resounding “D”. The man after God’s heart in the Bible shares the same name with this man. His offence is that he called a mass of media people to condemn the action of the social media which he noted was becoming more worrisome with stories targeted towards ridiculing their personality. Analysing this report, I wondered for heaven’s sake where the man got it that he could curtail the excesses of the social media. As expected they responded with a detailed analysis of his biography. They exposed both the positive as well as the negative sides of the law man according to evidence provided by his number five wife; VP, who exposed some of his hidden investments According to the report: “Mr “D” is a lucky chap. Not even one of the 400,000 people of his other country, will nominate him to be a janitor for their assembly. Even though he believes that a sergeant in the army is better than a university graduate in Nigeria, nobody knows if Mr “D” can thinking out of the box. But we know

that he can open offshore accounts in New Jersey and the Cayman islands. We know that is the place he hid most of the oil loot for himself and his boss;” (this was Nigeria’s Mara D. in politics). The report continued: “We know that is where he hid proceeds from NITEL deals he cooked up as Minister when he famously said that poor people had no need for phones and as such he siphoned the money allocated to his ministry. We know that he spent about six million British pounds sterling to purchase significant interest in a famous Golf Club in Europe. We know he owns a 2.5 million British pounds sterling home in a choice area in London. We know he has millions and millions of pounds sterling in trust for his numerous children and wives. We know this because his nasty divorce from wife number five, exposed some of his hidden investments”. I wondered what this man said to deserve this mass of insults but more of my imagination focused on the reality of the fact that the information was provided by his number five wife; which makes me wonder about his creed. Some of our leaders certainly do have a habit, you may say.



Sports C

ote d’Ivoire and Senegal will resume what is a long standing West African rivalry in their 2014 FIFA World Cup final round qualifier starting in Abidjan today. The pair has been squaring off for almost 50 years, but few matches have been quite as important as this tie to decide which of them will go to Brazil. If their most recent battles are anything to go by then it will be a feisty affair, with the Ivorians

Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal renew rivalry having disposed of Senegal 6-2 on aggregate in the qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations this time last year. It was during the second leg of that tie that Senegalese fans went on a riot, leading to a yearlong ban from playing matches at home in front of their own supporters. Cote d’Ivoire coach Sabri

Lamouchi has made a number of changes to his squad for the first leg. Liverpool’s Kolo Toure has earned a recall for the first time in nine months after he was dropped from the team following their disappointing stint at the Nations Cup in 2013. Also back for the Elephants is Saint Etienne’s Max Gradel, who returns from a long lay-off. The

versatile player has been a regular in the starting eleven following his impressive performances in 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Senegal coach Alain Giresse controversially left out striker Demba Ba was his squad, something that has pleased Lamouchi. It was harder for Senegal, who

had to avoid defeat in their final pool phase match against Uganda to advance, and managed to win 1-0. These two sides have met on 16 previous occasions in official FIFA matches, with the Ivorians leading the head-to-head 10-4 and just two matches drawn. Senegal’s last victory came in a 1-0 success in Tours in 2006.

World Cup 2014: Super Eagles, Ethiopia seek bragging rights

Super Eagles celebrating Nations Cup victory over the Stallions of Burkina Faso. Will they do same against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia? By Patrick Andrew


fter failing to impress at the last World Cup finals in South Africa, the Super Eagles will hoping to return to the global stage with intimidating credentials: First, as African champions, and second, as one of the teams that sealed its qualification for the World Cup finals unblemished. To secure this seamless credential, the Eagles must scale over the hurdle that is Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia. The clash with the lanky players from East Africa comes up tomorrow in high altitude Addis Ababa. On paper the Eagles are well above their hosts. They are African champions, ranked better than their

opponents both on FIFA and CAF ratings. They have intimidating pedigree and boast of players some of whom are household names across Africa and Europe. All but five Eagles are Europe-based players. The Eagles and the Walyas have clashed seven times, previously. Except for the famous win in the first leg of the 1984 Nations Cup qualifier, the East Africans have never have the bragging rights over Nigeria. The famous 1-0 win in Addis Ababa was rubbished in the return leg by the rampaging Eagles who trounced them 6-0 with the magical performance spearheaded by late gangling Rasheed Yekini. The 2-0 in South Africa en route the capture

of the continental diadem this year makes Nigeria’s fourth victory over Ethiopia, while two others ended on even note. However, the Walya Antelopes showed clearly that they are the team of promise. Why? The Eagles at the Nations Cup final struggled against them, managing to conquer them after the East Africans were a man down. Victor Moses launched himself into the CAF reckoning by scoring two goals in that game. Now, Moses and the rest of the squad have become more compact, mobile and well blended. That means, the Eagles have improved in flair, experience and perception and could therefore be counted on to exhibit better

co-ordinated rhythm in plot and execution of same against their rugged opponents. Robust play alone, the Walya Antelopes are a slick passing and high pressing game playing team, physical and dogged. They have a never-say-die attitude and must be determined knowing that a win could offer them 2014 World Cup finals possibilities. The possibilities are high considering Eagles’ less than sterner stuff performances against seemingly inferior oppositions like Malawi, Kenya and Namibia, all of whom they struggled against before they could eked out victories. But that was during the group phase qualifiers. This stage is a

different ball game. The World Cup ticket is only 180 minutes away and a slip could be irredeemable. The players know this and have vowed to trade cautiously to avoid any untoward result. But there are not alone. The Ethiopians also fancy their chances. Ethiopians are in a different spirit. They have shown gut, creativity as evident in their qualifying campaigns. They secured four victories including one over South Africa at home. That was a statement. Were it not for fielding an ineligible player, they would have qualified for the final round before the group stage was completed. The disqualified Teshome has served out his suspension and sure is available for selection. The sleek player will feature in a team includes four overseas based players. Star striker Saladin Said will be the man expected to do most of the damage against Nigeria. The Eagles have some of blend in the defence line where only Kenneth Omeruo is unavailable after undergoing a surgery to correct a nagging injury. With Emmanuel Emenike and soulmate Brown Ideye, Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa, the Eagles is a familiar force. However, the presence of bullish Shola Ameobi offers Stephen Keshi options as would the presence of Sunday Mba, Onazi Ogenyi, Mikel Obi, John Ogu, Nosa Igiebor and fast growing in confidence Nnamdi Oduamadi in the engine room. Turkey-based Godfrey Oboabona and Efe Ambrose, Azubuike Egwuekwe and Elderson Echijile have grown into a formidable quartet and even the addition of James Okwuosa in the mix means the team is glutted with defensive talents. But football is not mathematics. It’s happenings on the pitch within the 90 minutes that determines who wins. The Eagles will continue to soar if they do not allow themselves to be intimidated by the vociferous Ethiopian crowds.




Mosop, Mutai go to race war in Chicago Sunday


xecutive race director, Carey Pinkowski, expects nothing less than speed which is always the key element of this fast running through the streets of Chicago on SundayIAAF Gold Label Road Race when the its holds this Sunday in Chicago. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is USA’s fastest legal Marathon course. It holds the US all-comers’ records for both men (Tsegaye Kebede’s 2:04:38) and women (Paula Radcliffe’s 2:17:18). Pinkowski has loaded his field with some of the sport’s top Africans, including five men who have run sub-2:06 and seven women who have run under 2:24. With the help of 10 pacemakers, he expects the race to be both fast and closely-contested. Leading the men’s entry list is Kenya’s Moses Mosop, who won here in 2011 despite being at only “85% fitness” due to an achilles injury he had suffered the summer before. His 2:03:06 personal best from Boston in the same year is the fastest in the field, and he ran 2:05:37 when he won here, a time which broke the late Sammy Wanjiru’s course record. Mosop said at the time he could definitely have run faster. His biggest challengers are compatriots Dennis Kimetto, the 2013 Tokyo Marathon champion who recorded the fastest ever debut with 2:04:16 in Berlin last year, and Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40), the 2009 World silver medallist who set his 2:04:40 PB when winning the 2011 London

Moses Mosop and Geofrey Mutai Marathon. Pinkowski likes that mix of athletes. “If you look at Emmanuel Mutai, these guys are at different points in their career,” said Pinkowski. “I think they’re going to complement each other. I think we’re going to have a great run,” he said further. Others hoping to cross the finish line in Grant Park in the top three include Ethiopia’s Ayele

Abshero, who set a PB of 2:04:23 year, Sammy Kitwara just missed on his debut in Dubai last year, out on the top three. He will aim and Tariku Jufar, who won in to improve on that this year and Houston last year with a PB of will be joined by fellow Kenyans 2:06:51. Mike Kigen and Micah Kogo, both Despite CHANGE OF NAME dipping below 2:06 I FORMERLY KNOWN AND ADDRESSED AS SAGIR on his IBRAHIM NOW WISHES TO BE KNOWN AND ADDRESSED AS AMINU BABANIYA. ALL FORMER M a r a t h o n DOCUMENTS REMAIN VALID, ITAS GADAU L.G debut in BAUCHI AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC SHOULD Chicago last PLEASE TAKE NOTE

of whom will be competing in their second Marathons after making their debuts earlier this year with respective times of 2:08:24 and 2:10:27. Five-time World Halfmarathon champion Zersenay Tadese and fellow Half-marathon specialist Atsedu Tsegay of Ethiopia are also in the field. For the home country, Olympians Dathan Ritzenhein and Matt Tegenkamp will lead the charge. Ritzenhein ran here last year, setting a career best of 2:07:47, easily toppling the personal best of his coach, Alberto Salazar (2:08:51, Boston, 1982). He ran a smart race last year, moving up eight positions in the second half to finish ninth, becoming the third-fastest US marathon runner in history. Tegenkamp, a five-time US champion, will make his Marathon debut. He said two days ago on his Twitter account that his goal was to run “as far below 2:10 as possible”, which could put him under Alan Culpepper’s US debut record of 2:09:41 set here in 2002. Top two women from last year return Ethiopia’s Atsede Baysa and Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo finished first and second here last year, separated by only one second in a sprint finish. Running 2:22:03 and 2:22:04 respectively, both women set PBs and have decided to race here again this year.







Djokovic beats Monfils, set up s/final vs Tsonga N

ovak Djokovic stayed on course for a fourth final meeting of the season with new world number one Rafael Nadal after overcoming Gael Monfils 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 6-4 in the Shanghai Masters last eight. Djokovic, 26, lost a gruelling first set on a tie break, but fought back as Monfils, who beat Roger Federer on Friday, argued over a time violation. The Serb will face another

Frenchman, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, in the semi-finals. Nadal saw off three set points to beat Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (12-10) 6-1. Switzerland’s Wawrinka had lost his previous 22 sets against Nadal, but had the Spaniard on the ropes in the opener, before he was finally edged out by the deftest of drop-shots. Wawrinka continued his resistance into the first game of

the second set, however Nadal proved too strong and cantered to victory having successfully defended all four break points he faced in the match. After Tsonga had moved into the final qualifying spot for November’s ATP World Tour Finals with a 6-2 6-3 victory over Germany’s Florian Mayer, Juan Martin del Potro booked his meeting with Nadal courtesy of a 6-3 6-3 win over Nicolas Almagro.

Djokovic, who trails potential final opponent Nadal 22-16 in their career head-to-head record, insisted that he remained confident of progressing despite losing the opening set against Monfils. Monfils, who reacted angrily after being warned over slow play following a slip, said that injury to his stomach muscles had put paid to his chances of claiming a first win in nine meetings with Djokovic.

Word Cup 2014 qualifying results Wales 1 Macedonia 0 Germany 3 Rep. Ireland 0 Azerbaijan 2 N/Ireland 0 England 4 Montenegro 1 Croatia 1 Belgium 2 Armenia 2 Bulgaria 1 Malta 1 Czech Rep. 4 Denmark 2 Italy 2 Faroe Islands 1 Kazakhstan 1 Sweden 2 Austria 1 Andorra 0 Romania 4 Estinia 0 Turkey 2 Portugal 1 Israel 1 African matches Ghana vs Egypt B/Faso vs Algeria CIV vs Senegal Tunisia vs Cameroon Ethiopia vs Nigeria



Weekend Digest Why we let friends get away with murder J udging the behaviour of our friends accurately is impossible because we attribute positive qualities to people we like, according to a new report yesterday. According to a new study, people evaluate their friends’ behaviour more positively than they do strangers - regardless of actual performance on a series of tasks. Researchers said that we should then think twice before allowing people who know each other to be in positions to judge each other - from job interviews to legal settings. 'In judging people we already know, we are more or less unable to ignore our previously established images of those people,' says Daniel Leising of Dresden University of Technology in Germany. The new study, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, examined how people evaluate the behaviour of themselves, their friends, and strangers. 'This is one of the few studies that investigated judgments of people’s actual behaviour,' Leising said. Leising and colleagues recruited pairs of friends for the study, asking them first to describe each others’ personalities and then several days later, videotaped them participating in challenging situations in the lab. The tasks ranged from answering general knowledge questions, such as 'How high is Mount Everest?', to a role-playing exercise in which participants had to call a 'neighbour' (played by an actor) and demand that she turn down the volume on her stereo,

• Study found that it is 'impossible' for people to be objective when judging the behaviour of friends because we have a natural bias toward them • Researchers said we should think twice before allowing people who know each other to be in positions to judge each other such as job interviews

The study said that we should think twice before allowing people who know each other to be in positions to judge each other - from job interviews to legal settings

to telling a joke of his or her own choice. The participants, their friends, and strangers then evaluated the videotapes, each about 90 seconds long. 'This way, we could compare different views on the exact same behaviours with one another,' Leising said. 'If different people watch the exact same videotapes but inter-

pret them differently, then the different interpretations may not be rooted in what they just saw, but must be explained in terms of something else.' The research team found that they could predict how participants would judge their friends’ behavior based on what they thought of them in advance, even before watching their videotaped behavior.

'By statistically controlling for strangers’ ratings of the same behaviour, we could show that there are two kinds of systematic bias in such behavior judgments,' Leising said. 'First, we judge the behavior of people we know in ways that are consistent with our general attitude toward them, so we attribute positive qualities to the behaviour of people we like.

'Also, we judge people we know to match our specific impressions of them: For example, if we think of someone as being generally talkative, we will judge that person to be more talkative in specific situations beyond what a stranger would see in the very same behaviour. 'We really like to have our images of persons be consistent,' Leising added. 'This is probably beneficial in terms of arriving at an overall image that is representative - for example, if the person’s behaviour in a situation is very atypical, we could discount it as an exception and not let it influence our overall image of the person much. 'That representative image then allows us to predict people’s future behaviour. Additionally, he said that the tendency to idealise our friends might serve as a 'social glue' that increases social cohesion. 'In our evolutionary past, that probably constituted a major advantage in terms of survival.' But the flip side, Leising said, is that in specific situations, we are not able to objectively evaluate people we know, which could be problematic, say, in a classroom. 'For example, a professor who considers his student to be highly intelligent will probably tend to overestimate that student’s performance in an oral exam,' he says. 'As long as all students are treated that way, it will be OK. 'But the more likely case is that the professor will not have identical images of all of his students and judge them accordingly.' Source:

Apes choose their friends based on similar personality traits • Scientists from Zurich and Vienna studied almost 40 chimpanzees • Results mirror the 'similarity effect' which attracts humans to one another By Steve Nolan


hey are said to be the closest living species to us humans and share many of our behavioral traits. And it seems that chimpanzees chose their friends in the same way as us too. Scientists from universities in Zurich and Vienna found that, like us, chimpanzees tend to partner up those they have the most in common with. The researchers findings, published in the scientific journal Evolution and Human Behaviour, reveal that chimps choose their friends based on their behavioural and emotional states. The scientists observed almost 40 primates in two zoos, monitoring who they formed bonds with, who they tended to

sit with and what sort of personalities they had. The results suggest that more outgoing friendly chimps tended to make friends with similarly outgoing chimps, while less sociable chimps tended to stick together. The finding mirrors the known 'similarity effect' in humans. Jorg Massen, from the University of Vienna, said: 'We found that, especially among unrelated friends, the most sociable and bold individuals preferred the company of other highly sociable and bold individuals, whereas shy and less sociable ones spent time with other similarly aloof and shy chimpanzees.' Sonja Koski of the University of Zurich told Discovery News: 'The groups consisted of

many males and females, and individuals formed cooperative friendships. 'Our results suggest that the preference to form these friendships with individuals much like oneself was present in the ancestor of chimpanzees and humans.' Previous studies on other primates such as baboons saw similar results. Earlier this year, scientists discovered more about why chimpanzees strike up such close, yet non-sexual, bonds with other non-related chimps. The team of international researchers found that increased levels of the hormone oxytocin played an intrinsic role in non-kin co-operation. Source:

Best of friends: The results suggest that more outgoing friendly chimps tended to make friends with similarly outgoing chimps, while less sociable chimps tended to stick together.




Healthy Living

Diabetes and depression

With Isaac Yakubu Akogu, 08176179496,

of anxiety such as fear of amputation, blindness and impotence are important. Sleep disorders are mostly evident


ear readers, I like to welcome you to an interesting weekend with me on wellness column. Thank you for the contribution and comments that arose from the article of last week on Diabetes and Marriage. This week, we shall look at an important issue that many people living with diabetes are going through on a daily basis with or without their knowledge; Diabetes and Depression. Adults, who are diabetic, suffer depression and anxiety, are about twice as high as in the general population. The highest rates are recorded in hospitalized patients, especially those with chronic foot ulceration, macrovascular disease, and proliferative retinopathy. Females are more susceptible than men. Depressed diabetics tend to have greater cognitive impairment relative to healthy controls. Three quarters of diabetic patients who recover from an episode of depression suffer a relapse within five years and average four episodes of depression over this period (Lustman et al 1996). Depression is a whole-body illness, one that affects the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts and behavior. It affects the way you eat, sleep and even the way you feel about yourself as well as the way you react or think about people and things around you. It is important that health care professionals make appropriate differentiation between symptoms of depression and diabetes acute complication like hypoglycaemia. In clinic settings, most cases are often missed due to the busy schedule of diabetes clinic especially in most developing Countries. Depression can be classified into two broad groups: Unipolar and bipolar. Unipolar disorders are characterized by depressive episodes that recur at least several times in the course of a persons’s life. Bipolar disorders usually begin as depression but as it progress it involves alternating episodes of depression and mania.

gain and have some cardiotoxicity and anti-cholinergic side effects such as dry mouth, blurred vision, urinary retention. Tricyclics like imipramine, nortryptiline have weaker sedative properties while amitryptiline a tricyclic is sedative and is suitable for agitated or anxious patients. Depression and anxiety is more common in people with diabetes. Stress adversely affects diabetes control. Psychological intervention can positively impact depression and anxiety in diabetics. Primary care providers can provide effective psychological interventions. Early identification and referral is key. n non drugs measures of treatment, a good support system from friends and family members is often crucial in getting a depressed person to seek help for his or her illness. The following non drug measures are helpful: a. Keep your mind active and get plenty of rest and regular exercise. Studies have shown that exercise like walking, swimming, cycling or any activity that you enjoy can help with all types of depression. b. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and processed foods to help relieve the symptoms of depression. c. Eat a diet containing plenty of raw fruits, vegetables, soybeans or soy products, whole grains, brown rice, millet and legumes. A diet too low in complex carbohydrates can cause serotonin depletion and depression. d. Music can have powerful effects on mood and may be useful in alleviating depression. Until I come your way next week, I urge you to ensure you consult with your doctor if you are manifesting any of the signs of depression for quick attention. Stay Blessed.


Depression can lead to severe complications if unchecked.

It is important to note that depression symptoms must be present for at least two weeks to make effective diagnosis. Symptoms: Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day. Loss of interest Decreased appetite and weight loss. Loss of Libido Sleep disturbances (Insomnia or excessive sleeping) Fatigue or loss of energy Psychomotor retardation Poor Concentration Reduced self esteem and confidence Thoughts of Hopelessness, worthlessness or guilt Suicidal attempts or ideas. Anxiety is also frequent in persons living with diabetes. Some of the symptoms are often confused with symptoms of hypoglycaemia example sweating, tremor, palpitation, nausea and headache. Common fears in diabetics include: Fear of Needles

Fear of Hypoglycaemia Fear of Diabetic complications Day to day life adjustments Social tension from caring families. Daily meal choices. Treatment: epression treatment could be broadly categorized as drug and nondrug measures. In non-drug measure, general approach such as sympathetic discussion is a more appropriate way to begin. Advice on useful ways to manage blood glucose and giving attention to specific causes



but could be sorted out by taking regular exercise, and avoiding daytime naps, large meals, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine containing drinks in the evening. Anti-depressant drugs are comparatively effective in diabetes but selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors example fluoxetine, sertraline have advantages of low cardiotoxicity(heart problems), greater safety in overdose, less sedation, lack of weight gain and lack of anticholinergic side effects. Tricyclic anti-depressants can raise blood glucose levels, induce sedation and weight

Depression is a whole-body illness, one that affects the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts and behavior. It affects the way you eat, sleep and even the way you feel about yourself as well as the way you react or think about people and things around you.



FROM THE PULPIT When everything seems to GREEN PASTURES be going against you (I) “As they emptied out the sacks, there at the top of each one was the bag of money paid for the grain. Terror gripped them, as it did their father. Jacob exclaimed, ‘You have deprived me of my children! Joseph has disappeared, Simeon is gone, and now you want to take Benjamin, too. Everything is going against me!’ “Then Reuben said to his father, ‘You may kill my two sons if I don’t bring Benjamin back to you. I’ll be responsible for him.’ But Jacob replied, ‘My son will not go down with you, for his brother Joseph is dead, and he alone is left of his mother’s children. If anything should happen to him, you would bring my gray head down to the grave in deep sorrow.’” (Gen 42:3538 NLT) It had been over thirteen years that Joseph was sold into slavery and his father, Jacob had been mourning because of the wrong impression that he had been killed by a wild animal. His brother who conspired against him to sell him had brought home his cloth soaked in blood. Jacob then vowed to mourn till he would go to the grave. “Their father recognized it at once. ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘it is my son’s robe. A wild animal has attacked and eaten him. Surely Joseph has been torn in pieces!’ Then Jacob tore his clothes and put on sackcloth. He mourned deeply for his son for many days. His family all tried to comfort him, but it was no use. ‘I will die in mourning for my son,’ he would say, and then begin to weep.” (Gen 37:33-35 NLT) Here in Gen 47:35, Jacob was giving a catalogue of the things that were against him. There are times in one’s life when it seems that everything is going against one. It will appear as if everything, everybody, has conspired against one despite living

a holy, prayerful, obedient, faithfilled life. It may even seem as if God is against one. One is overwhelmed. Nothing seems to be working; no ray of hope. Paul and his team appeared to be in such a precarious situation in Asia when they nearly lost hope but God came to their rescue. Hear him: “I think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and completely overwhelmed, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. “But as a result, we learned not to rely on ourselves, but on God who can raise the dead. And he did deliver us from mortal danger. And we are confident that he will continue to deliver us. He will rescue us because you are helping by praying for us. As a result, many will give thanks to God because so many people’s prayers for our safety have been answered.” (2 Cor 1:8-11 NLT) The God that delivered Paul and his team will deliver you from every hostile situation you may be in now. As a child of God, you should not be discouraged. You must have faith in God and know that God is on your side. Don’t be moved by what you see, be moved by the Word of God. It is true things may not be working out the way you planned it. The devil may even be at work attacking you – your health, your finances, your business, your family etc. – but know that the devil’s power is not superior to that of God. Satan’s power is under God’s control! He can’t do beyond what God permits. Job 2:6 says, “‘All right, do with him as you please,’ the LORD said to Satan. ‘But spare his life.’” (NLT) That’s talking about satan’s attack on Job’s health. God

only permitted satan to attack his body with boils but he could never kill him because God never gave him permission to do that. The devil may clear a site in your life to build but he doesn’t have the final say what will eventually be built on it! God will take over the site from the devil and build something beautiful out of your life, out of that misfortune, out of that disappointment, out of that failure. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” (Rom 8:28-30 NKJV) Jacob said everything was going against him but God was at work. At the time he made that statement, God was just about to turn things around for him. The son he had thought was dead and he had been mourning over for over thirteen years was not dead after all. He was already a prime minister in Egypt.

BY PASTOR T.O. BANSO GSM: 08033113523 God was just about to reconnect the father with his ‘dead’ son. There may be some things happening in your life that, practically speaking, are not cheerful – they are not good news. They may have been happening one after the other. It’s possible that it’s been a long time since you had a testimony to share. But child of God, do you know that in the midst of everything that seems to be working against you, God is at work? He is working out a beautiful end for you. Out of the eater shall come food for you and out of the strong shall come something sweet. (Judges 14:14) You may be thinking that child that is missing is dead. You may have concluded that property you lost can never be recovered. You may be thinking that money your debtor has refused to repay is now a bad debt. You may have thought that your husband who abandoned you with the children will never come back. But I tell you: God is at

The devil may clear a site in your life to build but he doesn’t have the final say what will eventually be built on it! God will take over the site from the devil and build something beautiful out of your life, out of that misfortune, out of that disappointment, out of that failure.

work in your life. Don’t lose hope. “If a tree is cut down, there is hope that it will sprout again and grow new branches. Though its roots have grown old in the earth and its stump decays, at the scent of water it may bud and sprout again like a new seedling.” (Job 14:7-9 NLT) I believe God has encouraged your heart with these few words. God is in control! I will stop here today and continue this message next week. You are blessed. TAKE ACTION! If you are not born again, kindly say this prayer now: “0 Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and surrender my life to him today. I invite Jesus into my heart today. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me a child of God” I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible believing, Bible teaching church in your area where you will be taught how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May the Lord make you a Cedar Christian. May you grow into Christ in all things becoming all God wants you to be.

Christ’s promise for seeking God by prayer Matthew 7:7-11


hrist’s statements in our text are simple and sublime. These are not words to hurriedly read through and forget. They are words that open our eyes to heaven’s provision and they disclose the great storehouse from which all our needs for spirit, soul and body are supplied. Learning from the Lord on prayer as declared in these verses, living as He has taught and practising the precepts without turning to the right or left hand will bring the supernatural into our natural lives and open both the windows and gate of heaven to us. These verses will make the present and the future much brighter than the past, however bright the past has been. Praying to God has been a common practice since the creation of man. Both saints and sinners have always prayed. However, prayer had become a ritual among the heathen

and a religious duty among the Israelites (Matthew 6:5-8). Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, the Light of the world, now throws light on the great privilege of praying. He clears the way to the Father and removes all misconceptions concerning prayer. He lifts us up from the dark lane of beggars pleading for crumbs to the blessed presence of the Father, confidently asking for promised blessings. He has taken away the seat and place of an intermediary and He beckons us to come directly to the Father. He gives each of us a special place in the family and now we can all ask, seek and knock. 1. ALL-EMBRACING PROMISES TO SEEKERS OF GOD WHO PRAY Matthew 7:7,8; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 29:11-13; Ezra 8:21-23; 2 Chronicles20:1-4, 14-24; Daniel 9:3,4,20-22; Psalms 34:10-19; 69:3236; 77:1-12; Zechariah 8:21-23.

BY PASTOR W.F KUMUYI “Seek, and ye shall find. He that seeketh findeth.” Seeking is used in the sense of praying, as the scriptures quoted above show. Praying in ignorance is like seeking for a precious object hidden in the dark. We must turn on the light so we can see clearly while we seek diligently (Luke 15:8,9). Ignorance of the promises of God, the Fatherhood of the merciful and loving God, the faithfulness of God as Father, the relationship of sonship to the heavenly Father,

keep us from seeking with faith that cannot be denied (Romans 9:31,32). God’s promises for all true children of God who pray to Him and seek His face, are all-encompassing. The promises are many and varied; they provide for both our natural and spiritual needs. Our common needs as well as special or peculiar needs are all provided for. Early in life or late in life, when we are young or when we are growing old, even at death when changing our earthly address to an eternal

residence, appropriate promises abound. In company of people or in solitude, in the family or in widowhood, while sick or healthy, weak or strong, in adversity or prosperity, in all situations or circumstances, God’s promises are ours to experience. Circumstances should not embitter our lives when God is our Father as He has thought of all things we would ever need in our pilgrimage until we see Him face to face in heaven. Read the Bible and see the promises. Note the conditions attached to the promises. Keep those conditions as patients keep to the doctor’s prescription. Believe God as much as you believe a loving and faithful earthly father. In fact, you ought to believe God more than any human friend or father. Trust God implicitly without any shadow of doubt. Seek and you will find; pray and God will answer.

BIG PUNCH “For count three (armed robbery), I hereby sentence the accused persons for execution by hanging on the neck until they be dead. May God have mercy on their soul.” -Asaba Hight Court judgement against convicted kidnappers


The case for the Millennium Goals


he Kofi Anan’s Report to the United Nations is set in the context of globalization – a new context for, in the words of former Secretary General of the world body, and a new connectivity among economic actors and activities throughout the world – which, thanks to its progressive dismantling of barriers to trade and capital mobility, together with fundamental technological advances and steadily declining costs of transportation, communication and computing which it has brought about, has created the New World in which humanity lives. Globalization performs wonders, it places at the disposal of the human race unimaginable powers and opportunities and possibilities. A recent transnational telecommunications takeover created a firm whose market value exceeds the GDP of nearly half of all United Nations Members, though it ranks only as the world’s fourth most valuable company, Kofi Anan gives one example.Today, he adds, rushed General Assembly delegates can cross the Atlantic in less than four hours— and, if they so wish, conduct affairs of state on the Internet or telephone all the way. But that was fifteen years ago. The world has since moved farther ahead, and things have become ever more faster, ever more complex, ever more wondrous as globalization forges ahead. ‘Its integrative logic seems inexorable, its momentum irresistible,’ Kofi Anan maintains. ‘The benefits of globalization are plain to see: faster economic growth, higher living standards, accelerated innovation and diffusion of technology and management skills, new economic opportunities for individuals and countries alike.’ Yet the great benefits that globalization offers are very unevenly distributed while its costs, sometimes very painful, are borne by all. ‘Thus the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world’s people, instead of leaving billions of them behind in squalor,’ Anan emphasizes further. ‘Inclusive globalization must be built on the great enabling force of the market, but market forces alone will not achieve it. It requires a broader effort to create a shared future, based upon our common humanity in all its diversity.’ Sub-Sahran Africa is one region, most of all, that has been

left in squalor by globalization. It is the poorest region in the world, which endures the greatest human suffering. Anan’s Report goes on to say that: sub-Saharan Africa has the largest proportion of people who live on less than $1 a day; grows more slowly than any other group of middleor low-income countries; private capital flows to Africa amount to only a tiny fraction of global flows, capital flight in some of the countries is several times their GDP; total outstanding external debts often exceed the entire gross national product, debt servicing requirements quite often exceed 25 per cent of export earnings; since the region’s economy is dominated by extractive industries its resources are being depleted at an alarming rate; electrical power consumption, access to internet and infrastructure in general are the lowest in the world. Agriculture is perhaps the ultimate savior for the region and Africa south of the Sahara as a whole, but it has so far failed to reach the scale of Green Revolution, so unlike the rest of the world, yields of basic food commodities have not increased significantly, agricultural technologies developed in other climatic and ecological zones have not transferred well and, above all, inadequate human and technical capital has prevented agriculture from fueling an industrial revolution as it has done in other parts of the world. Part of the consequences of these monumental inadequacies is extreme poverty – an affront on our common humanity, a problem which makes other problems worse – generates conflicts, pain, powerlessness, despair and lack of fundamental freedom—all of which, in turn, perpetuate poverty. et there persists an enduring hope in Africa by a respectable portion of humanity, the feeling that Africa deserves better in terms of overall human development, quality of life and human happiness, that Africa will, on the long run discover itself, that Africa does not deserve the squalor it occupies at the moment. This perhaps explains the choice of Africa as the venue for the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002, as a follow up to the Millennium Summit. The motto of the Summit is ‘From our origins to the future’, signifying that the journey



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Ibraheem Sulaiman

which provides an account of the journey so far. The Report acknowledges first of all that Nigeria is a ‘highly deficient state’, perhaps to explain the difficulties inherent in any efforts to do the right things. The principal objective of Nigeria’s economic development, according to the report, has been to achieve stability, material prosperity, peace and social progress: ‘Nevertheless, a variety of problems have persisted, slowing the country’s growth and attainment of development objectives. These include inadequate human development, inefficient agricultural systems, weak infrastructure, lackluster growth in the manufacturing sector, a poor policy and regulatory environment, and mismanagement and misuse of resources. hile growth has improved significantly in the last seven years, on average by about 6 per cent, this growth has often not improved everyday livelihoods,’ the Report says. ‘Furthermore, the country is among those with the highest levels of inequality in the world. This inequality reflects widening gaps in income and gender access to economic and social opportunities; growing inequality between and within rural and urban populations; and widening gaps between economies in different parts of the federation.’ So while Nigeria fully integrates the MDGs into each of its national development strategies, the impediments to success under the prevailing circumstances are almost impossible to overcome. ‘Nigeria is making real progress,’ the Report asserts, in a finely crafted admission of failure. ‘Whilst no goal is certain to be achieved, there is good news on each.’ Failure of this magnitude may be partly attributable to what Anan’s Report calls political obstacles to economic progress in Africa. ‘They boil down to a “winner-takes-all” attitude to political competition, the control of society’s wealth and resources, and to the power of patronage and the prerogatives of office,’ the Report asserts. ‘It is coupled in too many instances with appalling violations of fundamental rights and a readiness to resort to force to resolve disputes or hold on to power.’ Yet, Nigeria must not be a country where the Millennium Development Goals [MDG’s] should fail.


AU Chairman, Yayi Boni

to the future of Humanity must begin from the origin of humanity. ‘From this continent, the cradle of humanity,’ the Summit declaration says, ‘We, the representatives of the peoples of the world, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life and to our children...[we] are united and moved by a deeply felt sense that we urgently need to create a new and brighter world of hope. From the African continent, the cradle of humankind,’ it says further, ‘we solemnly pledge to the peoples of the world and the generations that will surely inherit this Earth that we are determined to ensure that our collective hope for sustainable development is realized.’ The goal of the Summit is to produce practical and visible plan to bring about poverty eradication and human development, to save the planet, and put in place mechanism for its realization. The Summit recognizes that eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today; that the deep

fault line that divides human society between the rich and the poor and the ever-increasing gap between the developed and developing worlds pose a major threat to global prosperity, security and stability; that the global environment continues to suffer, from loss of biodiversity, depletion of natural resources , desertification, climate change, natural disasters, air, water and marine pollution — all of which continue to rob millions of a decent life; that if the benefits of globalization continue to be unevenly distributed the poor of the world may lose confidence in their representatives – seeing them as no more than sounding brass or tinkling cymbals – and the democratic systems as a whole; that, above all, the reality is that global society has the means and is endowed with the resources to eradicate poverty and achieve universal prosperity. he Federal Government published the 2010 Nigerian Millennium Development Goals Report


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Saturday 12th October, 2013 Weekend Edition  

Saturday 12th October, 2013 Weekend Edition

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