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Vol. 8 No. 80

Friday, July 13, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Shaaban 23, 1433 AH

N150

Fuel tanker fire:

Over 100 killed, 50 injured By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

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ore than 100 people who went to scoop up oil from an overturned oil tanker were burned to death yesterday after the vehicle caught fire, Rivers state's Commissioner of Information, Ibim Sementari, said. The tragedy happened at Okobe in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers state. “More than 100 people were killed in the inferno from the petrol tanker, while around 50 with severe burns have been hospitalised," he told AFP. The tanker swerved as it was trying to avoid a collision with three oncoming vehicles including a bus, said Kayode Olagunju, sector commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission in the state. Residents said shortly after the collision hundreds of locals flocked to the site to collect the spilling fuel. “Then there was an explosion followed by fire," Olagunju said. “Ninety-three were burned to death on the spot. Two died later in the hospital (and) 18 people

Hundreds of people crowded around as bodies are lifted into ambulances and police trucks.

Photo: NAN

Contd on Page 2

Engine failure caused DANA plane crash, says preliminary report From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

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he preliminary report of the inquiry into the cause of the crash last

Nigeria will not collapse, US recants >> PAGE 2

month of DANA Air’s Boeing MD 83 plane, in Lagos, disclosed that the two engines of the aircraft suddenly shut down as the pilot attempted to

negotiate landing at runway 18R of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammad Airport in Ikeja. The report which is the first

in a series to be released by the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, gave information that was analysed from the transcription of voice

$620,000 bribe: Berom youth accuse Jagaba threatens Jonathan of to sue Lawan endorsing massacre >> PAGE 4

>> PAGE 5

communication on flight 992 between first officer and captain of the flight from the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) Contd on Page 2

Miyetti Allah scribe arrested in Plateau >> PAGE 7


PAGE 2

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

CONTENTS

Nigeria will not collapse, US recants

News

By Sultan Luqman

2-11

Editorial

12

Op.Ed

13

Letters

14

Opinion

15

Metro

16-17

Business

19-22

S/Exchange

23

S/Report

24

Religion

26

Feature

27

Newsxtra

29

Abubakar confirmed IGP, vows to get tough on crime, Page 4

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest

36

Politics

37-40

Sports

41-47

Columnist

48

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU The Peoples Daily wants to hear from you with any news and pictures you think we should publish. You can send your news and pictures to: letters@peoplesdaily-online.com pictures@peoplesdaily-online.com contact@peoplesdaily-online.com

Phones for News: 070-37756364 09-8734478

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s the world’s sole super power, the words of the United States (US) carry a lot of weight. So, when the US, not too long ago, stated that Nigeria, the world’s most populous black nation, would disintegrate by the year 2015, the whole world took notice, and probably started a solemn, silent countdown to the gloomy prognosis. On Tuesday, however, the US took another look at its crystal ball and saw a sliver of hope – the slumbering “Giant of Africa” would well survive! “Nigeria faces significant challenges. But it is not going to collapse, implode or go away”, said Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson on Tuesday. “I believe that the forces holding Nigeria together are much stronger than those that might seek to pull it apart.” With these words, the US, through Carson, made a volteface on the fate of Nigeria, affirming that the country would indeed continue to exist as a corporate entity far beyond the 2015 apocalyptic year the American government picked for its disintegration. Carson spoke at a hearing organized by the US House Foreign Affairs Committee

chaired by Representative Christopher Smith (Republican from New Jersey), which examined the political, economic and social problems plaguing Nigeria. In his testimony, Carson affirmed the US’ support for “a stable and prosperous Nigeria” while acknowledging significant remaining challenges to its peace and economic development. Nigeria is well placed to achieve great economic growth, Carson said, with its large and talented professional class, an abundance of natural resources and a strategic location along the West African coast, but it must first begin to resolve the host of obstacles in its way. Though Nigeria’s economy is the largest in West Africa, contributing more than 50 percent of the region’s gross domestic product, almost 100 million Nigerians live on less than $1 a day, Carson said. Governmental neglect over the decades has stunted the development of health, education and transportation infrastructure, leaving Nigerians without widespread access to care facilities and transportation. Nearly a million Nigerian children die before their fifth birthday, and only about half of the population has access to electricity, he added.

The US assistant secretary stated that Nigeria’s lack of social services not only makes life difficult for the ordinary citizens, but also feeds the public perception that Nigeria’s poverty is a consequence of governmental corruption and abuse. “The inability of the government to address the needs of the people, to grow the economy and to generate jobs has generated a sense of

hopelessness among many,” Carson said. “It also helps feed a popular narrative among some that the government simply does not care,” he stressed. Frustrations with the government are ample fodder for Boko Haram, a radical Islamist group that has claimed responsibility for numerous violent attacks on Westerners, the government and Nigerian civilians in the past year.

JTF arrests 10 robbery suspects in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

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10-man gang of suspected armed robbers, who have been terrorising residents of Maiduguri and environs in Borno state, were yesterday arrested by the operatives of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF). Spokesman of the JTF, Lt- Col. Sagir Musa told newsmen that the suspected hoodlums, whose ages range between 16 and 22 years, were nabbed in two separate locations of Maiduguri, the state capital, following a tip off. According to Lt- Col. Musa, JTF received an intelligence clue on the presence of the criminals, as a team of soldiers raided their hide-outs in Muna, a suburb of the capital city where eight suspects were arrested, while others were

also apprehend at GRA area. Meanwhile, the JTF yesterday handed over two stolen vehicles to their owners. One of the vehicles, a silver- coloured Toyota Highlander Jeep was reportedly snatched at gunpoint at Pompomari area in Maiduguri. According to the task force image marker, the second vehicle, a Honda with registration number AL 394 JMT was recovered at one of the JTF roadblocks along Damboa road in Maiduguri-Damboa highway. Itwas gathered that the vehicle was taken from the premises of a bank in Gulak, Adamawa state after some suspected armed robbers raided the bank and stole unspecified amounts of money last month.

Fuel tanker fire: Over 100 killed, 50 injured Contd from Page 1 were seriously injured." In a statement, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) gave the same figures. The FRSC said 87 bodies burnt beyond recognition were given a mass burial at the scene of the accident but six were released to relations. An AFP photographer at the scene said many of those killed were motorcycle taxi operators, known locally as "Okada", who raced to fill up their tanks after learning of the crash. Olagunju said at least 34

motorcycles were destroyed in the blaze. The accident happened in an area called Ahoada near the oil hub of Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital. Motorcycle taxi driver Kingsley Jafure said the vehicle collision occurred at roughly 6:00 am, and the spilled petrol caught fire about 90 minutes later, but that time sequence could not be immediately confirmed by officials. "At about 7:30 while I was inside trying to decide whether to go (scoop fuel) or not. "That is when I saw that the tanker exploded," Jafure said.

The area had been cordoned off by security forces and a large number of rescue officials were on the ground, said an AFP correspondent. The NEMA statement said "rescue workers from the police, road safety, fire service, civil defence and NEMA were at the scene to evacuate victims and control the traffic." This is the third major tragedy to hit the country in less than a month. Late month, close to 160 people were killed when a Dana Air plane crashed into a densely populated part of Lagos.

Barely a week ago, an attack on a funeral near Jos, the Plateau state capital, killed over 100 mourners including a senator and a member of the state House of Assembly. It was the latest in a series of sectarian clashes that have taken place in the state since 2008. Sources told Peoples Daily last night the tragedy on the Niger Delta region's east-west road was waiting to happen. The road has been scheduled for repairs for almost a decade and money is allocated for it in the budget each year, we gathered.

Engine failure caused DANA plane crash, says preliminary report Contd from Page 1 and the flight data recorder (FDR), a discussion which only took 31 minutes as captured by the instrument. According to the report made available by the office of Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, there was no report of any malfunctioning of any part of the plane until the moment when the aircraft was about to land. The document, however, said both cockpit operators were engaged in discussion described as a “non-normal condition regarding the correlation between the engine throttle

setting and an engine power indication but did not voice concerns then that the condition would affect the continuation of the flight.” It said the flight crew “continued to monitor the condition and became increasingly concerned as the flight transition through the initial descent from cruise altitude at 1522 and the subsequent approach phase. “The airplane was on the fourth flight segment of the day, consisting of two round-trips between Lagos and Abuja before the fatal accident occurred

during the return leg of the second trip.” It said “DAN 992 reported passing through 18,100 and 7,700 ft, respectively, at 1530 and 1540 hours. At 15:41:16 the first officer (FO) inquired, “Both engines coming up?” and the captain (Capt) replied “negative. “The flight crew subsequently discussed and agreed to declare an emergency and at 1542:10, DANA 992 radioed an emergency distress call indicating “dual engine failure . . . negative response from throttle.” It disclosed that at 1542:35, the flight crew lowered the flaps

and continued with the approach and discussed landing alternatively on runway 18L. “At exactly 1542:45, the Capt reported the runway in sight and instructed the FO to raise the flaps up and 4 seconds later to raise the landing gear. However it said “by 1543:27 hours, the Capt informed the FO that ‘we just lost everything, we lost an engine. I lost both engines’. “During the next 25 seconds until the end of the CVR recording, the flight crew was attempting to restart the engines.”


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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National Council of State discusses insecurity, 2012 honours list By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

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L-R: Former President, Alhaji Shehu Aliyu Shagari, former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Head of defunct Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, and President Goodluck Jonathan, after the Council of State meeting, yesterday at the State House, Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

he National Council of States yesterday held a meeting at the State House, Abuja to discuss the security situation in the country and the 2012 National Honours List. The Council of State which is made up of former Heads of State and Presidents, governors, former Chief Justices of the Federation as well as the leadership of the National Assembly, is the highest National Advisory body to the Federal Government. There was no official briefing on proceedings after the threehour meeting but sources said the Council was briefed on major security issues especially the situation in Plateau state by the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd). According to the sources, the NSA also briefed the Council on

consultants for the project. The committee currently probing the application of ecological funds in the development of tree nurseries and seedling in the 36 states of the federation stated that as at 2010 over N2 billion has been paid to contractors out of the N3 billion approved for the project. In her welcome address, Ekwunife stated that the committee on environment has visited several sites of the project to assess the level of

implementation. “We were shocked by scores of abandoned and uncompleted projects, with most below 15 percent implementation rate.” According to her, “Nigerians are interested in knowing why these projects are abandoned or uncompleted even though money has been paid for them. I believe that the Ministry of Environment, the Ecological Funds Office and all wellmeaning Nigerians will be interested in the efficient management of the ecological funds.

“To enhance quality deliberation and also to get to the root of the matter, the committee has invited the ministry, the ecological funds office, all the projects consultants and contractors in the 36 states and FCT", she stated. Responding, the Minister of Environment, Hajiya Hadiza Mailafia, said: "We cannot say the project is a total failure. Though there are gaps in the project, there is no way the states of the federation will say that they are not being carried along on the project."

The House also condemned the attacks in the state even as it planned to send a fact-finding team to the Plateau with a view to proffering solutions to the problem. This resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved under point of order by Simon Mwadkon who was with late Senator Gyang Dantong when he died during a deadly attack on mourners last Sunday in Plateau State. Giving the account of the

attack, Mwadkon said armed men numbering about 400 attacked and burnt over 10 villages, causing the death of over 170 people. The lawmaker faulted the government’s approach to the Plateau crisis, warning that with what he had witnessed in the state, " nobody is safe, even none of us here can claim to be safe.” Deputy Speaker of the House, Emeka Ihedioha, who led yesterday’s session, declined to

allow members to debate the motion, saying that he was aware that steps were being taken towards addressing the Plateau crisis. He also noted that there was nothing harmful to anyone in the motion, which was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers. The House also asked the National Emergency Maintenance Agency (NEMA) to, as a matter of urgency, provide relief materials to the victims of the Plateau crisis.

the situation in Mali and its implications on Nigeria’s national security. Mali, hitherto one of West Africa's most stable democracies, plunged into crisis earlier this year following a coup d'etat which opened the way for armed groups to seize the vast north. Our sources also intimated that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore, who was the chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Review of outstanding constitutional issues, also briefed the Council on the report submitted by his committee to the President on Tuesday. The Council also received briefing on the 2013 National Honours Lists. Yesterday's meeting was attended by only three former Heads of State, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen Abdusalami Abubakar (rtd). Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and Gen Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) were absent.

Reps allege N2bn fraud Ado Bayero’s son debunks in Environment Ministry father’s By Lawrence Olaoye

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he House of Representatives yesterday uncovered an alleged fraud of N2,060,739.60 being the money paid to contractors by the Ministry of Environment for the purpose of developing tree nurseries and seedlings in the 36 states of the federation. The sum, according to Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Uche Ekwunife, was paid to 38 contractors and 14

…urge Jonathan to rejig security system

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he House of Representatives yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to swiftly reappraise the nation’s security challenges particularly in Plateau state. Following the incessant attacks on innocent people in Plateau state, the lawmakers urged the President to grant more powers and resources to the state Governor, Jonah Jang, being the chief security officer of the state.

Falana, Rotimi Jacobs, 23 others bag SAN awards By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

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he Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC) yesterday approved the appointment of twenty-three legal practitioners and two academics for the conferment of the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Practitioners’ Act 2004. The body charged with the

responsibility of appointing SANs, led by the out-going Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, gave its approval of the new silks during its meeting yesterday in Abuja. Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Sunday Olorundahunsi, told Journalists that the process of selection of the new SANs was void of any form of rancour. Olorundahunsi said the

swearing-in date for the newly appointed SANs would be announced after the Supreme Court resumes from its vacation in September. The new silks are Prof. Yemi Akinseye-George (Academic), Prof. Daka Clement James Dakas (Academic), Mrs. Joy Okungbowa Adesina, Mrs. Connie-Jean Aremu, Mahmud Abubakar Magaji, Ogwu James Onoja, Garuba Usman Tetengi, Henry

Oghogho, Selekeowei Larry and Abenny O. Mohammed. Others are Charles Nwanne Obishai, Luke Chukwudi Illogu, Francis Chuka Agbu, Paul C. Ananaba, Akinlaja Dayo Moses, Ahmed Raji, Adekunle Theophilus Oyesanya, Femi Falana, Rotimi Oluseyi Oguneso, Oluseye Samuel Opasanya, Aduroja Claudius Olumuyiwa, Aliyu Umar, Illo Katune Sanusi, Rotimi Jacobs and Ndukwe A. Nnnawuchi.

death rumour

From Edwin Olofu, Kano

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he District Head of Dala, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero (Sarkin Tsakar Gida) has described as untrue the rumoured death of his father the Emir of Kano Alhaji Ado Bayero. Aminu, who spoke with reporters at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport where a large crowd gathered to welcome the revered monarch back to the city, said his father only went out of the country for a routine medical check up. Last week, the social media was awash with the rumour that the Emir had passed on. Aminu cautioned the public against spreading rumours, stressing that the passage of such a personality should be confirmed before people go about spreading it. He said: “I received the news like any other person. My reaction is that everybody will die, but people should try and confirm it before spreading what they are not sure of. Whatever you say happens to the Emir affects many people and not only his immediate family. He went out for a normal check up and we thank God he is back. People should be sure of what they say.” The emir was received at the Aminu Kano Airport at about 7.20 pm yesterday from London, where he had gone for medical check-up.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 4

Strike paralyses businesses in Kebbi From Ahmed Idris, Brinin Kebbi

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ollowing the on-going strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Kebbi state branch, business activities in the state have been paralysed. Our correspondent went round the state and gathered that markets, banks, ministries and other agencies have been closed down as a result of the strike embarked upon by the state’s workers over the N18,000 minimum wage reversed by the state government. Offices were shut, while the Brinin Kebbi Central Market ran skeletal services. It would be recalled that last week, the state’s NLC issued an ultimatum to the state government over non implementation of the minimum wage.

Abubakar confirmed IGP, vows to get tough on crime By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem asking in the euphoria of his confirmation as the substantive Inspector General of Police (IGP) by the Nigeria Police Council, Mohammed Dahiru Abubakar has pledged to get tougher in the fight against crime and work hard to improve the security situation in the country. The decision was taken at the Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan. The meeting was attended by Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Chief Parry Osayande; the 36 state governors and the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed. Abubakar was appointed in acting capacity by the President on Jan. 25, following the compulsory retirement of his predecessor, Hafiz Ringim and six Deputy Inspectors General of Police. Addressing State House correspondents after his confirmation, the IGP thanked Jonathan and the Council for the confidence reposed in him and assured of improvement in security management in the country. Abubakar said the welfare of officers and men was of paramount importance to him, adding that his administration would continue to give priority attention to issues of remunerations, barracks and office accommodation, and transportation of the officers and men. He said the high profile cases of corruption being investigated by the police would be followed to conclusion. Abubakar said the Police would provide adequate security to ensure the conduct of free, fair and credible elections during the Edo governorship poll coming up on Saturday.

$620,000 subsidy bribe: Jagaba threatens to sue Lawan C By Lawrence Olaoye

hairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Rep Adams Jagaba, yesterday, threatened to sue the embattled former chairman of House of Representatives’ ad-hoc committee on the management of petroleum subsidy regime, Rep Farouk Lawan, for claiming to have given him the $620,000 he allegedly took as bribe from the chairman of Zenon Oil Nig. Ltd., Mr. Femi Otedola. Jagaba who addressed the press for the first time since the news of the bribery allegation broke out, said he neither received a letter nor money from Lawan as he claimed in his statement to the press and the police. The lawmaker described Lawan’s claim that he gave

$500,000 of the bribe money to him as ‘callous and untrue’. He said: “I hereby make the following conclusions that the embattled Hon. Farouk Lawan was rather rattled by the revelation of the bribery scandal, hence, in his confused and highly tensed state, picked up his pen and paper at an un-godly hour of 03:47am, wrote a letter (or so he claimed), as an after-thought, to the effect that he forgot to deliver the letter to the intended recipient, but rather chose to give it to a newspaper reporter and the Police Special Task Force (STF). “I have since told the police this, and I’m telling you people now and all Nigerians in unequivocal terms that there was never a time I was in possession of the sum of USD500,000 or any other exhibits (in my personal capacity or official capacity as Chairman

House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes) relating to the subject matter in the investigation. “Until and unless Hon. Farouk Lawan produces an authentic acknowledged copy of his letter, he should stop dragging my name in the mud. “Farouk Lawan should stop this blackmail forthwith or else, I will have no option than take the appropriate legal action against him and to seek compensation befitting my status. Enough is enough!” Jagaba also told newsmen of his encounter with the Police on the matter and hinted that Lawan and himself were made to sit facing each other to answer questions. Meanwhile, the lawmaker was yesterday invited and questioned behind closed doors by the Gambo Dan-Musa-led House

Committee on Ethics and Privileges. Commenting on his encounter with the Dan-Musa led committee “I was also invited by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges today being 12th July 2012 at 1:00 pm, and I went and I asserted that, I have not been given any letter or money as claimed by Hon. Farouk Lawan. I have no knowledge of such transactions and I am not in custody of any money or any other exhibit given to me by Farouk or any other person.” Jagaba warned Lawan to desist from mentioning his name in the matter as doing so would tarnish his hard earned reputation as an incorruptible lawmaker who in 2001, out of patriotism, displayed N4.5 million bribe money when he was the Chairman of the House Anticorruption committee.

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Katsina state Governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shema presenting a book written in his honour by the Faculty of Law, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, titled “Legal Prisms: Directions in Nigerian Law Practice”, yesterday in Abuja. Behind him is the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk Umar. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Katsina Emir lauds Shema’s leadership By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

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he Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, yesterday, attributed the peaceful coexistence between the Muslims

and the Christians in Katsina state to the astute leadership quality of the state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema. Speaking in Abuja at the public presentation and launching of a book, “Legal Prisms: Directions in

Nigerian Law and Practice”, published by the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto in honour of the Katsina state governor, the Emir said the Shema-led administration has been able accommodate all tribes in the

commissioned the 15 cars bought by the monarch for the Oyomesis (Alaafin-in-Council). The monarch maintained that tolerance is inevitable for the progress and unity of this country saying insecurity goes beyond nailing tribe or particular religion but emphasis must be placed on tolerance. The Alaafin intimated the governor with the menace of

Fulani herdsmen in rural communities, a development which he said had resulted in the death of some farmers while several others had fled their farms. In his remarks, Governor Ajimobi acknowledged the royal father’s unflinching support for his administration, pledging that he would also reciprocate by attending to the welfare of the monarch and his subjects.

…As Alaafin calls for religious, ethnic harmony From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

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he Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has called for religious and ethnic tranquility as a panacea for current security challenges confronting the nation. The Yoruba paramount traditional ruler stated this while receiving Governor Abiola Ajimobi in his palace where he

state, irrespective of religion and other differences. “We operate an open door policy which made it possible for us to live harmoniously with one another in the state. We have the Igbos, Katafs and other tribes living in Katsina, some have buildings and are raising families in the state”, the royal father stated. He commended the Law faculty of the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto for publishing the book in recognition of the good works Shema is doing in fostering unity and peaceful coexistence in Katsina state. In his paper titled: “National Unity and National Development”, the Danmasanin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule, blamed the security challenges in the country on poor leadership.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Berom youth accuse Jonathan of endorsing massacre From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos

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he Berom Youth Movement (BYM) yesterday said that if the killing of Beroms continues unabated, they will be left with no other option than to accuse President Goodluck Jonathan of endorsing what they described as genocide against the tribe. BYM said the genocide against the ethnic group was an indictment on the Federal Government as the safety of all citizens was its sole responsibility. The group in a letter addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan dated July12, 2012 and signed by BYM national president, Mr. Francis D Jamang, and made available to newsmen in the state, called on the President to immediately halt the killing of his people. According to the letter, the killings have been happening in the full glare of President Jonathan's Special Task Force sent to stop the violence as if the STF was sent to merely supervise the extermination of the Berom race.

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Ex-pension director, Al Haleel bags 15 years in jail By Lambert Tyem

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ustice M. L. Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Kaduna, yesterday sentenced a bribe taker, Muhammad El Ameen Al Haleel, who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), to three years imprisonment each on five of the seven count charge bordering on fraudulent dealings and obtaining

the sum of N60 million under false pretences. According to EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, Al Haleel was arraigned on November 16, 2011 for defrauding one Dr. Shuaibu Sani Teidi, a governorship aspirant in Kogi state of the sum of N60 million with a promise to facilitate a meeting between him and the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammad

Namadi Sambo, to ensure that he, Teidi, got nominated as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kogi state. EFCC said Al-Haleel also promised to use part of the money to get clearance for Shuaibu from the EFCC to enable him stand for the 2011 election. Dr. Sani Teidi Shuaibu is a former Director, Pension

Borno gov’s wife lauds appointment of female CJN Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri

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MDGs Office plans project expansion in states, LGs By Mohammed Kandi

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ffice of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs has finalised plans to scale up investments on MDGs related projects at the states and local Governments levels. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr Precious Kalamba Gbeneol made this declaration in Lafia, Nassarawa State, while on advocacy, sensitisation and projects assessment tour in the state. Speaking at the Nasarawa State government house, Gbeneol disclosed that her office was planning conditional grants scheme, CGS for Local Government Areas and consequently requested the governor to begin preparations to build capacity and aval some funds as counterpart contribution for the additional LGAs to be taken on in the next phase of its programme. According to her, MDGs has spent over N1.2 billion in providing social basic needs for the people of the Nasarawa state in 2011. Gbeneol, in a statement issued to journalists yesterday in Abuja, noted that in the current phase of the programme, three local governments areas, namely: Toto, Akwanga and Obi are currently benefiting from the CGS to the tune of N100 million each yearly.

Administration in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation who is also being prosecuted by the EFCC alongside 39 other accused persons over a N4.56 billion Pension scam. In his judgment, Justice Shuaibu said he was lenient on the accused because he was a first time offender. It would be recalled that the complainant, Dr Sani Teidi, on February 8, 2012, testified before the court that Al Haleel, collected N60 million from him over his political ambition.

L-R: Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon.Emeka Ihedioha welcoming President, Rotary International, Mr. Sakuji Tanaka, during the latter's visit to the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

he wife of the governor of Borno state, Hajiya Nana Shettima has commended President Goodluck Jonathan on the appointment of Justice Maryam Aloma Muktar to the exalted office of the Chief Justice of the Federation. Hajiya Shettima described the appointment and subsequent confirmation of Justice Mukhtar as a clear indication and affirmation that her sterling qualities and reputation are not only appreciated, but rewarded with the highest responsibility in the dispensation of justice in Nigeria. Mrs. Shettima described the new CJN as the pride of not only women in Nigeria but indeed a pride to all African women. “With this appointment she noted, Nigerian Women can stand tall anywhere to prove their worth as we pray to see the actualisation of female President Nigeria in no distant feature”, she said.

Jigawa police cautions banks on security From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse

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he Jigawa state Police Commissioner, Mr. Kayaode Theophilus has cautioned commercial banks operating in the State to remain alert against attacks. The warning is coming against the backdrop that suspected armed gangs who attempted to rob a businessman in Dutse metropolis a fortnight earlier had commenced their operation by attempting to

detach the plate number plate of a car at the parking lot of one of the banks. The commissioner who stated this during a meeting with the bankers in the State explained that the robbery suspects wanted to use the plate number to carry out their criminal activities before they were scared away by the bank’s security. “One of the armed robbers was however apprehended same day when they attempted to rob a businessman at gunpoint,” he

added. He pointed out that though Jigawa is a peaceful state, it was however not enough reason to be careless. Theophilus therefore directed all the banks to increase the lighting system in their premises adding that with sufficient illumination, it would be difficult for the criminals to operate. He gave all the bank managers one week within which they should comply threatening that he

would go round to ensure every bank complied with the directive. The commissioner also indicated that the command was going to embark on a workshop for private guards under the employ of the banks so that they could work in synergy with the police. He also cautioned Bank managers to take care of the private guards through good remuneration as they can be willing tools in the hands of criminals by acting as informants.

Minister orders funding of PDG staff, student audit By Maryam Garba Hassan

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inister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, has instructed the National Universities Commission (NUC) to source for funds from the Education Trust Fund (ETF) for the auditing of postgraduate diploma staff and students in all the universities in the country. The minister gave the order yesterday at a workshop on the formal presentation and

distribution of postgraduate benchmark minimum academic standards (PGBMAS) to Nigerian universities. Responding to the keynote address by the Secretary General of the Association of ViceChancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), that in the last five years, Nigerian universities offering postgraduates programme could not audit its staff and students due to lack of funds, the minister said

a well developed PG system will solve the problem of inbreeding and build a critical mass of researchers and teachers in the country. She said the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) which would be formally presented and distributed to Nigerian Universities for implementation were minimum requirements but universities are at liberty to maintain them or go beyond the standards adding that

anything below the standard was not acceptable. According to her, knowledge society was characterized by the production and dissemination of new knowledge which she said was precisely the mission of postgraduate education adding that for more competitiveness, post graduate education in Nigeria must meet the need of the knowledge and information society and demand for the global market.


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Lagos opens inquest into Dana air crash From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos

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he Lagos state government yesterday launched a coroner's inquest into the June 2, 2012 air mishap involving Dana Air at Iju-Ishaga. However, officials of the airlines were absent from the inaugural sitting of the inquest, a development that did not go down well with head of the panel, Magistrate Oyetade Komolafe. Komolafe confirmed that the inquest's Sheriff had served summons on the airline officials and threatened to issue a warrant of arrest for the summoned Dana officials if they failed to show up at the inquest. Komolafe said: "I do not think Dana Air is represented. If you are summoned and you are not here you can be arrested. A publication has been made in a daily; they should be aware."

...Airline absent, magistrate kicks

The magistrate urged members of the public not to shy away from appearing before the inquest, saying: "Don't sit down and criticise. Come forward if you have anything that will help." At the start of the proceedings, arguments broke out among counsel to the interested parties on what procedures the inquest should adopt.

But the coroner, after listening to the arguments, said counsel could file written disposition on behalf of their clients through the panel's sheriff. He added that oral testimonies and evidence on oath would also be accepted by the court. Magistrate Komolafe said: "The strict rules of Law of Evidence are not applicable. We are here

for fact-finding. There was a crash, some people were responsible. It was alleged that the aircraft was not airworthy....We are not going on a voyage of discovery that has no end. Let us avoid arguments on the Rule of Evidence." About twenty-four interested parties were at yesterday's proceedings present. Some were represented by their layers while others appeared in person.

‘STIs cause 70 percent of infertility in men’

Sexagenarian in court over alleged jewellery theft

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new patrol vans for the state security outfit codenamed "Operation Burst'' to strengthen it for optimum performance. The governor also hinted that arrangements had been concluded for the launch of the state Security Trust Fund on Thursday, July 19. He stressed that the initiative would create a pool of funds that would be channelled towards enhancing security of lives and property in the state. He said that the patrol vans, which had been equipped with modern communication gadgets, would be handed over to the security outfit during the launch of the Fund. Governor Ajimobi also disclosed that some of the 20,000 youths engaged by the state

government under its Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES-O) had been offered permanent employment, assuring that other cadets would also be employed permanently as positions become vacant in the civil service. Although he admitted that the YES-O scheme was marred by some initial challenges, Ajimobi said the hitches had been fixed. He also stated that about 199 roads had been rehabilitated or reconstructed in the last one year. Ajimobi said that the OwodeAafin Road in Oyo, currently undergoing reconstruction, would soon be dualised while the contract for the reconstruction of Adesina-Adikuta-Idi Ape Road, also in the town, had been awarded.

consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdulgafar Jimoh, has said 70 per cent of infertility in men is caused by Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that infertility problem among couples was preventable if given proper medical attention. His words: "Most of the defects of production are post infections and that forms the majority of infertility cases. "More than 70 per cent of infertility in men is caused by STIs." Jimoh, who is also a fertility specialist and Minimal Access Surgeon, said diabetes and hypertension could also lead to infertility in men. The gynaecologist said that sexual perversity and promiscuity were generally responsible for the spread of chronic disease that could lead to infertility. He also blamed the life style of some young women for their inability to ovulate, fertilise and procreate. "Today, a lot of young women are having ovary problem because of what they eat, drink and smoke and all these are impacting seriously on their inability to fertilise, ovulate and procreate'', he said.

He said that strategies had not only been put in place to ensure free, fair and credible polls, but also to ensure safety of the electorate. While blaming politicians' reckless statements for the palpable tension in the state, the commissioner urged the citizenry not to nurse any fear, but to come out to exercise their franchise. Adenaike said: "We have mapped out strategies to ensure a violence-free and credible election

in Edo. There will be police officers in every polling booth in the state. We will also have officers stationed in strategic locations of the state. In addition, marine officers will be available for the election. They are to man waterways in the state. "We are doing this because we understand that some politicians are planning to import thugs to cause violence

during the election.'" “He added that "though I have been deployed here as commissioner for the purpose of the election, I will say that am not new here. “And since I came on Wednesday, I have been doing a lot of braining-storming with officers on ground. “We are going to make this election a one-man, one-vote affair." (NAN)

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61-year-old man who allegedly stole jewellery valued at N792,500, was yesterday in Lagos charged before an Apapa Chief Magistrates' Court. The accused, Suleiman Abdul, who lives in Festac Town, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor, Inspector Clara Olagbayi, said the accused had on February 12 at 21 Road, Festac Town, received the stolen items from one Raymond Mbadugha. She told the court that Mbadugha stole the jewellery from one Mrs Onwuyali Ify, a businesswoman, and later sold it to Abdul at a giveaway price. Olagbayi said the offence contravened Section 326 (1) of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Oluyemisi Adelaja, granted the accused bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety in like sum. She said the surety should show evidence of tax payment to the Lagos state government. (NAN)

Captain Tito Omaghoni, a former pilot with 35 years experience, told the inquest that he was interested in the matter since as an experienced pilot he knew what could cause the crash. Also, Mr. Dafe Sama, a former employee of the defunct Nigerian Airways, said he missed the illfated flight by an hour but lost his wife and a cousin in the Dana crash. He also informed the court that he lost a brother in the ADC air crash of 1996. Sama said his interest was in the area of search and rescue "as most people in the crashed plane died of suffocation."

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Dr. Ben Ibeh, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i and the Venezuela Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Enrique Fernando James, after the envoy's meeting with the minister, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-owo

Ajimobi pledges to create LCDAs From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

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overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has reiterated his commitment to creating local council development areas (LCDAs) before the end of his four-year term. Ajimobi disclosed this while fielding questions from the residents of the four local government areas that make up Oyo town during a Town Hall Meeting at Durbar Stadium, Oyo on Wednesday. He stated that all local governments in the state were long overdue for LCDAs, considering that the state is the second biggest in the country. Ajimobi also disclosed that the state government has acquired 66

Marine police to be deployed for Edo poll

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he Edo Commissioner of Police, Mr Olufemi Adenaike, has warned politicians who plan to use waterways to carryout electoral fraud to think twice as Marine policemen would be deployed on the waterways for the election. Adenaike, who has been specially designated as the Commissioner of Police for the election issued the warning yesterday in Benin, while briefing

newsmen on police preparedness for the polls. He also said that restriction of movement, especially among the politicians and prominent individuals would be strictly enforced. The commissioner, who declined to give the figure of police officers deployed to the state for the election, said the law enforcement agency was set for the election.


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Governors threaten legal action against FG over subsidy deduction By Lawrence Olaoye

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he 36 state governors of the federation under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), have threatened to drag the Federal Government to court for continued deductions of subsidy funds from the Federation Account. This was part of resolutions the group reached at its meeting which ended yesterday morning in Abuja. The NGF chairman and governor of Rivers state, Rotimi Amaechi in the communiqué issued after the meeting and made available to newsmen, said the group arrived at the decision after long deliberations. He said: “The forum deliberated extensively on the continuing illegal deductions from the Federation Account towards offsetting oil subsidy, excess crude by the Federal Government and unanimously resolved to go to court to seek legal redress”. The forum sympathised particularly with the

Edo 2012: INEC receives sensitive materials amidst tight security From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

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he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, received sensitive materials from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ahead of the state governorship election scheduled for Saturday, July 14, 2012, amid tight security. The materials arrived INEC Headquarters in Benin exactly 4.00PM with two representatives each from the contesting political parties. The materials on arrival at the INEC office was verified by both the INEC officials, CBN officials and the representatives of the contesting political parties amid heavy security presence in and around the INEC premises at Ikpoba Hill, Benin City. Resident Commissioner Barr Kassim Gaiddam who took delivery of the materials told newsmen that the arrival of materials signifies that the electioneering process has commenced. “All the sensitive materials contained all the related materials needed for the exercise and they are all intact. As you can see, the presence of the CBN, INEC officials and agents of all the political parties have come to agreement that the election has begun’’.

government of Plateau state on the recent loss of lives and property in the state and condemned the recurring insecurity in the country. It appealed to the Federal Government to urgently commence the recruitment, intensive training and proper deployment of security agents across the country. The forum also called on customs and immigration services to tighten security at

the borders to prevent hoodlums from gaining entry into the country. The group further resolved to constitute an economic and security intervention committee with membership from Rivers, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Abia, Plateau, Adamawa and Zamfara states. It also expressed a willingness to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan on emergency intervention plan focusing

initially on agriculture and other economic generating programmes for employment generation in northern states. The meeting was attended by governors of Ekiti, Ondo, Anambra, Kogi, Lagos, Katsina, Gombe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Taraba, Enugu, Rivers, Jigawa, Delta, Plateau, Ondo, Abia, Eboyin and Bayelsa, Benue and Borno while Kano, Nassarawa, Niger, Kwara, Yobe and Ogun, were represented by their deputies.

Judiciary essential to democracy – Atiku

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ormer Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged the newly confirmed Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mariam Aloma Muktar to build a stronger, independent, assertive and politically neutral judiciary. The former Vice President, in a statement by his media office in Abuja, congratulated the firstever woman Chief Justice of Nigeria adding that the judiciary is the citadel for the defence of everything democracy stands for. According to him, the success or failure of the democratic system depends significantly on a vibrant judiciary and its capacity to protect all interests without fear of favour. While wishing her success in her new challenging job, Atiku urged her to make the judiciary truly the last hope of not only the common man but every victim of injustice in the society.

Group urges Okorocha to obey court order on dissolved LGAs By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

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L-R: Chairman, Kogi state chapter, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Archbishop of Lokoja Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu, with Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mr. Mike Omeri, during a NOA peace parley with stakeholders, yesterday in Lokoja.

Opposition makes u-turn over debate on troops deployment for Edo poll By Lawrence Olaoye

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rrowhead of the opposition in the House of Representatives, Minority Leader, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, yesterday backed down from his insistence that the House be divided in plenary over the deployment of 3,500 soldiers for the conduct of Edo state governorship election slated for tomorrow. Gbajabiamila had challenged Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal on his ruling on the matter on Wednesday insisting

that the House be divided to determine the level of support for the motion on the deployment of soldiers raised by Rep Bimbo Daramola (ACN Ekiti). Tambuwal who had earlier overruled Daramola on the matter rescinded his decision when Gbajabiamila alluded to the provisions of Order 11 (77) when he pointed out that the outcome of the voice vote was unclear. The Minority Leader who raised a point of order on personal explanation moved to step down the application of the order calling for division.

He said his position was informed by the unity of the House as well as the critical phase the country was currently going through just as he added that the voice vote should rather be taken again to let the conclusions swing in favour of the majority. At this point voices rose from the opposition camp that were ready for the division to be called and it took a while before the presiding officer, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha wielded his power by disallowing further debate on the matter.

Miyetti Allah scribe arrested in Plateau From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos

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lhaji Saleh Bayeri, the national secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), was yesterday reportedly arrested by security agents in Jos, Plateau state. A reliable source confirmed to Peoples Daily that Bayeri, who responded to an invitation by the Commander of the Special Task

Force (STF), Major General Henry Ayoola, was arrested and handed over to the State Security Service (SSS) on Wednesday evening. According to the source Bayeri and a friend had willingly gone to the STF office when they received the letter of invitation by the STF commander but the duo have not been seen since then. However, the Media and Information Officer of the STF,

Captain Salisu Mustapha, confirmed that Bayeri reported at the STF headquarters for routine questioning on Wednesday and was later handed over to the SSS for further questioning. On why Bayeri was invited for questioning, Captain Mustapha said: “It’s not my job but I know he was invited for questioning and was later handed over to the SSS”.

he Imo Coalition for Change Initiative, yesterday in Abuja called on Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state to implement the July 5, 2012 judgment of the Court of Appeal which reversed his dissolution of the 27 local government councils in the state. Justice Uwani Musa AbbaAji, leading two other justices in a judgement, held that Okorocha had no power to dissolve democratically elected local government councils in Imo state in which the claimants are chairmen. The local government councils were dissolved by Okoroccha in his maiden broadcast to Imo people on June 6, 2011. Addressing a press conference at the Nigerian Union of Journalists Press Centre, Abuja on the alleged disobedience to the court judgment, Dr Fabian Ihekweme, Director-General of the group, said that it is in the best interest of justice that the judgment should be obeyed by the governor. Ihekweme said the group has watched with keen interest, the retrogression of Imo state into lawlessness and executive recklessness and appealed to Governor Okorocha to learn how to respect the law. “The deliberate refusal of Gov. Okorocha to obey the Court of Appeal’s ruling is only a tip of the iceberg in the rule of executive recklessness which the administration of Gov. Okorocha has imposed on Imo state.


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govt NYSC DG implores corps members Bauchi to conduct of to impact on host communities census disabled From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

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he Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General Nnamdi Okorie-Affia, has charged corps members on the need to impact positively on their host communities while the culture and norms of the people should also be respected. Okorie-Affia said this during a visit to the 2012 Batch ‘B’ Corp members at the ongoing orientation course at the temporary

orientation camp, Government College Jalingo, Taraba state. The DG encouraged corps members posted to Taraba to make the best out of their stay by improving the lives of the people of the state, stating that the security of corps members is paramount to the government and the management of NYSC. “Your security is priority to the government, Taraba is a secured and peaceful place but be security conscious, always follow the tips provided in the security tips we

have given to you.” He said the introduction of martial art training during orientation course is to enable corps members defend themselves during emergency. Brig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia added that a distress call centre has been put in place to address emergency cases from corps members nationwide. He urged corps members to be careful in their mode of dressing, advising them to be modest. He also mentioned that the

introduction of the War against Poverty initiative via small scale business and skill acquisitions training is aimed at developing corps members’ entrepreneurial skills and self-reliance spirit. Speaking earlier the State Coordinator NYSC, Taraba state, Hajiya Zainab Isah, commended the effort of the DG in visiting and inspecting the orientation camp. She said a total of 1,968 corps members comprising 1,042 males and 820 females were registered at the camp.

Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-Gen. Nnamdi Okorie-Affia (right), receiving a salute from Camp RSM Leo Bakut (middle), during the DG’s visit to 2012 Batch "B" corps members, on Wednesday at orientation camp in Government College, Jalingo, Taraba state. With him are the state NYSC Coordinator, Hajiya Zainab Isah (left), and other camp officials.

Reps want NEMA to provide succour to latest Plateau crisis victims By Umar Mohammed Puma

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oncerned by the untold hardship being experienced by the people of Riyom, Barikin Ladi local government areas of Plateau state as a result of last Sunday's tragic event that led

to loss of lives and properties the House of Representatives, yesterday, mandated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the communities that were affected by the mayhem. A motion read by Hon. Simon

Mwadkon (PDP Plateau state), noted that this has become necessary in view of the fact that there are thousands of villagers who are displaced from their houses and are taking refuge at the local government headquarters, and are in a dire need of relief materials.

Mwadkon, who was with the late Senator Datong and the state Minority Leader during the incident, called on President Jonathan to grant more power to the governor of the state in order to tackle the security challenges facing the state. He further urged the House to set up a fact finding committee that will look into the lingering Plateau crisis, with the aim of finding lasting solutions to the crisis.

NABDA ready to assist Nigerians to grow mushrooms

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he Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Bamidele Solomon, has said the agency is ready to assist interested Nigerians in growing edible mushrooms. Solomon told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the agency would be willing to have many Nigerians involved in cultivating mushroom at different levels. He said that so many opportunities abound in the growth of mushroom as many hospitality industries in the country still imports the product to add to their meals.

The director-general said, “many of our hospitality industries, particularly hotels have mushroom in their menu, but this mushroom comes from abroad. “There is opportunity to export, once you produce good quality mushroom that can be exported to Europe and America. “This can be done under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA); this is one of the things we can easily upload. “In Asia, particularly South East Asia, there are a lot of women organisations that are engaged in mushroom farming and they are able to export their products”.

Solomon explained that growing mushroom locally would complement government’s efforts to turn waste to wealth, including the production of something that could be highly nutritious. He said: “What is involved in mushroom production is the use of agricultural waste, such as rice, straw, grasses, sawdust. “We just mixed them up with other nutrient that will support the growth of different species of mushroom.'' Solomon said that the agency had assisted some farms including, Obasanjo Farm in Ogun, and Baro Farm in Akure, among others and that they were now producing

mushrooms. He said that the agency had some bio-resource centres that would assist in providing necessary facilities, such as log and sponge needed for the growing of mushrooms for those interested, but lacked access to them. “We have this group of young micro-biologists manning the operations at our bio-resource centre in Ife, they are now ready to supply anybody who want to use sponge. “In Ogbomoso, our bioresources centre has been built and I believe that in another one month mushroom production can start there,’’ he said. (NAN)

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

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he Bauchi state Agency for People Living with Disabilities is to conduct a state census of disabled persons just as it has approved allowances of N20, 000 per month for disabled chiefs in all 20 local government areas in the state. The state chairman of the Agency, Malam Ayuba Galmi, disclosed this while addressing pressmen in Bauchi at the state secretariat. He explained that the importance of the census was to capture the actual number of disabled persons in the state with a view of meeting their needs. According to the chairman, the agency has already written a memo to the state governor in respect of the census, which has already been approved. The chairman who noted that the agency was carved out of the Ministry of Social Development in the state, said it intends to establish special schools for disabled persons in all the 20 local government areas of the state. He said: “The agency intends to set up skill acquisition programmes for beggars and people living with various forms of disabilities in the state. This skill acquisition programmes is intended to make them independent and self-reliant.”

Gombe govt to construct 1,000 low cost houses From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe

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n its effort to tackle the problem of accommodation facing by the state civil servants and other low income earners, the Gombe state government is to construct 1,000 housing units. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo disclosed this while inspecting the ongoing construction of 450 housing units to mark his delivery on the promise of accommodation. The governor further hinted that the housing projects would be staggered across the state to enable the people have a choice. Conducting the governor round the project, Managing Director of the State Investment Company, Mr. Danjuma Mele, said the 450 Housing Project was made possible because the governor increased the share capital of the company from N500 million to N2 billion within his first 65 days in office. At the School of Basic and Remedial Studies, Kumo, Governor Dankwambo expressed happiness with the quality and pace of work, saying at least 90 classrooms and other structures would be constructed.


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Reps query NICON over N12.3bn unpaid claims to FG By Lawrence Olaoye

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he House of Representatives has queried the management of NICON Insurance over its nonpayment of N12.3 billion claims due to the Federal Government. The House Committee on Finance, chaired by Rep Abdulmumini Jubril, currently investigating government

expenditures in insurance of its assets also grilled some insurance managing directors over allegation of $317 million inflated premium and unwholesome practices in the appointment of underwriters. The lawmakers equally expressed concern over the delay in the payment of insurance claims owed by most of the insurance companies handling government

assets and property. While responding to questions on the NNPC insurance account, Oye Odukale, Managing Director of Leadway Assurance Ltd stated that NNPC assets increased from $23 billion to $46 billion offshore. He disclosed that NNPC has $70 million claims delayed by slow documentation and additional $100 million that it has not been fully advised on. Odukale

explained that the company has been very diligent in the management of the NNPC insurance policy. On his part, Bayo Samuel, Executive Director of NICON Insurance however bemoaned the nonpayment of premium worth N1.3 billion by the affected agencies. He noted that the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) suspended the company

without fair hearing. Other stakeholders also called for upward review of the vehicle Third Party Insurance cover just as they stressed the need for government to enforce the Insurance Act. They had earlier canvassed for direct involvement in the decision making process of government especially in the budget preparation as well as other socio-economic policies.

Lagos is the orphan of Nigeria – Fashola From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos

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he Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has asserted that if the nation must make a success of the privatisation exercise in the power sector, it must start from Lagos. He also called on the Federal Government to refund the N16 billion deducted from its allocation from the Federation Account over its investment in power. Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Lagos House, Alausa, while playing host to the Senate Committee on Privatisation which paid him a courtesy visit, stated that the state has been unjustly treated in the ongoing privatisation exercise with the deduction of N16 billion from its allocation. The governor told the committee led by its chairman, Senator Gbenga Obadara, that Lagos state has been unjustly treated especially when it comes to privatisation of assets. “We have been given the short end of the stick consistently. Given our contribution to the national economy, there has been no reciprocity. “Our assets and our lands have been servicing the nation; these lands were there before they were

acquired by the Federal Government for government business and we are saying, if they are no longer serving government business we are supposed to take our lands back. “Lagos state has been “the orphan of the entire federation,” because the Federal Government took the state’s assets and gave nothing in return in spite of the fact that the state contributes the highest quota to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country,” he added. Explaining the genesis of the N16 billion illegal deductions, Governor Fashola noted that the state invested in Power Plant but the power was not dedicated to Lagos yet the Federal Government deducted about N16 billion from the state allocation in spite of court orders. “Now, we get punished for taking the initiative. “There is a standing liability to us by the PHCN, the illegal deductions of N16 billion for power that we did not get, for the power that other states used. Now, those are issues of social and economic injustice that must be resolved before we can even have a successful privatisation exercise…” he said.

Reps to investigate Orient Plc operations in Kogi By Umar Mohammed Puma

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he House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Special Duties to investigate the operations of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc in some parts of Ibaji local government area of Kogi state. The committee is also mandated to look into the encroachment of Anambra state into parts of the Ibaji local government area. The committee is expected to report back to the House within four weeks. In a motion filed by Rep. Ismail Hussain (PDP - Kogi), which was unanimously adopted by the House entitled: “Need to investigate the activities of Oil Companies and the Encroachment of Anambra state into some parts of Ibaji local government council of Kogi”, Hon. Hussain noted that the activities of Orient include surveying, drilling, seismic data recording and laying of pipes, which occupied sizable portions of

some communities’ farm lands and ancestral places of worship. He said the activities of Orient led to the discovery of four oil wells within the communities of Ibaji local government area, and that three out of the four oil wells fall within Kogi territory, while the fourth well lies within Odeke communities which shares boundary with Enugu state. He further expressed worry that Anambra state was laying claim to the entire area where the activities were taking place. The lawmaker said Kogi state did not share boundary with Anambra in the area affected “but with Enugu state within Odeke axis of Ibaji local government area”. According to Hussain, the people of Enugu – Otu in Anambra are laying claim to some exploration site in Odeke in Kogi. He said the said location (Odeke) in Kogi shared boundaries with Enugu state in Imabolo River and not the Enugu – Otu people in Anambra. The motion was referred to the relevant committees for further legislative inputs.

Borno state Commissioner for Education, Hon. Inuwa Kubo (left), explaining some points of interest to the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima (right), who paid an unscheduled visit to Government College, Maiduguri on Wednesday.

NPC warns Nigerians against large families T

he Federal Commissioner of National Population Commission (NPC) in Rivers state, Mr. Charles Nwaokoma, has advised Nigerians to plan the size of their families to avoid future problems. Nwaokoma gave the advice in Port Harcourt on Wednesday at the World Population Day commemoration, saying that small family was the trend in the world.

He said Nigeria could not afford to lag behind when other countries had started planning for small families based on economic considerations. Nwaokoma said the use of contraceptives in Nigeria was only 10 percent and described the figure as low. He explained that large families and increased population had both social and economic implications, especially if the

population was not trained. The commissioner also said that the emergence of militancy and other crimes in the society was as a result of large families because some parents could not train their children. “The inability by some parents not to train their children leads to crimes; it is difficult to walk freely in Port Harcourt at night because of insecurity. (NAN)

Experts trace rot in aviation sector From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

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fforts to trace the rot in the aviation industry and how to find solution to them has again been emphasised by an industry think tank group – Aviation Round Table (ART) when the group traced the current defects in both administration and management capability to a relapse in oversight by the appropriate authorities over a period of time.

The group observed that the country took for granted much of the remedies proffered by various committees set up by the government at one time or the other after some disastrous accidents occurred in 2005 and 2006, when Nigeria witnessed three plane crash almost simultaneously. According to ART, the country went to sleep for more than four decades without a Civil Aviation Act while other nations were

undergoing various phases of transformation hence the challenges being faced. Addressing reporters in Lagos, President of the group Director of Operations in the Presidential Fleet, Captain Dele Ore, posited that Nigeria began to witness a decline in technical manpower immediately after the country obtained permission to fly directly into continental United States of America otherwise referred to as Category One in 2010.


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Shema’s aide sues man over defamation From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

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R-L: Minister for Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpa, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ambassador Godknows Igali, and Director, River Basins Operations and Inspectorate, Prince Nelson Nwosu, during the opening of the three-day meeting between Federal and state government officials on strategies for completion of on-going and abandoned water projects, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

ACN sues for peaceful Edo guber election From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

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head of Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on all concerned to ensure that the election is peaceful, free, fair and transparent in the interest of the nation’s democracy. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party particularly urged the PDPcontrolled federal government

not to use the security forces, which it controls, to thwart the will of the people just to satisfy the yearnings of some antidemocratic forces. “The good people of Edo should be allowed to exercise their franchise in a conducive environment devoid of harassment and violence, just as they should be allowed to protect their votes from ballot thieves. Once this is done, the results will be agreeable to all and the country’s democracy would be the best for it. “The PDP, which has already

started pre-election manipulation in the name of a bogus opinion poll that gave the party an overwhelming victory in the election, should stop all its evil machinations and play by the rules, if only for once. Rather than relying on the concocted opinion of paid hackers, the PDP should strut its stuff at the polling booths on Saturday and let the people’s opinion count!” it said. The ACN appealed to the soldiers who have been deployed for the polls not to mortgage their professional ethics to satisfy

the whims of a dinosaurian selfacclaimed fixer, who has nothing but contempt for sanctity of the ballot box. “We are confident that the soldiers and other security agents will not forget that their allegiance is to the nation, rather than to individuals, no matter how powerful such individuals may be. We urge them not to prevent people from exercising their rights, which include staying behind to ensure that their votes are not only counted, but are made to count,” the party said.

FRSC, VIO battle over number plates, driving licence in Kebbi From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi

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he Zonal Sector Commander in charge of Zone ten comprising Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Mr. E.O Adeboye has promised to partner with the Kebbi state government to generate revenue and ensure the safety of lives just as it still

has axe to grind with the state’s Vehicle Inspection Officers. Adeboye stated this yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to the Governor Saidu Usman Dakingari adding that already, the FRSC has printed enough number plates and the driving licences for motorists in “three states

after the national assembly lifted the embargo they imposed on us’’ He added that FRSC would join other stakeholders in the state like VIO and the Kebbi state board of internal revenue in selling the new number plate and driving licenses for revenue. The zonal commander

Yam sellers in Lagos seek help over new levy at Mile 12 market

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am sellers in Lagos yesterday called on the Lagos state government to take urgent steps to waive the new levy being imposed on them at the the Mile 12 market, Ketu. The yam sellers said that the wholesalers at Mile 12 had engaged the services of middlemen who sell their produce to the buyers and collect a levy of N1, 300 per transaction. They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the state government’s intervention was now necessary to save the

good image of the market and reduce the cost of yams in Lagos metropolis. Prospective buyers at the market now pay a certain amount called “Lada fee,’’ which depends on the size of each purchase, to bribe middlemen before they are allowed to take their yams out of the market. Mrs. Olamide Ayeni, a buyer, said that the development was making the yam business in Lagos unattractive. Ayeni, who sells yams at the Oja-Oba market, Abule-Egba,

Lagos, said that the situation had caused the prices of yam in the metropolis to soar. “The objective of a business is generally to make profit and since most yam sellers are unable to sell below their cost price, they may be compelled to pass on such charges to their customers,” Ayeni said. A 45-year-old buyer, Mrs. Busayo Alao, said that it was inhuman for the middlemen to attempt “to eat from both sides” by collecting service charge from both buyers and sellers.

however revealed that though arrangements have been concluded to commence the sale in Kebbi, the officials of VIO in the state has scuttled the efforts by not endorsing the agreement. He therefore implored the Governor to intervene in the matter so that the partnership yields positive result. Alao, who claimed to have been in the business for the past 15 years, said that there was no reason whatsoever for paying the newly-introduced service charge to the middlemen at the market. Mr Sunday Umoh, a buyer, appealed to the government to wade into the situation and save the market from another crisis.Umoh said that the yam section of the market was thrown into some disorder last month, bringing commercial activities to a halt, as some buyers refused to pay the “Lada money”. According to Umoh, “Lada money’’ was the service charge now being levied by the middlemen for allowing prospective buyers to carry their commodities out of the market.

he special adviser on high education to Katsina Governor, Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu has sued one Alhaji Isa Usman Mazoji over alleged defamation of character. Arraigning the suspect before Chief Magistrate Court 1, yesterday in Katsina, the prosecutor, Inspector Hashimu Musa noted that the suspect was alleged to have sent offensive text messages to the complainant through mobile phone. The prosecutor noted that by the alleged act, the culprit had committed offence of intentional insult, criminal imtimidation and defamation of character. Inspector Musa noted that the offence was contrary to sections 392, 266 and 397 of the penal code law. However the accused, Alhaji Isa Mazoji has denied the allegation made against him while his counsel Barrister Anjov Teryange said they have no objection to continued hearing on the case. The presiding Magistrate, Ashiru Sani adjourned the case till July 26 for definite hearing in the case where the prosecutor is expected to present all his witnesses before the court.

SUBEB constructs N1bn classrooms in Bauchi From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

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ver N1 billion has been expended on construction of 188 blocks of two and three classrooms with offices and stores by the Bauchi state Universal Basic Education Board with 80 percent completion rate. A Permanent Commissioner in the Board, Alhaji Mohammed Isa Narabi disclosed this at the state MDAs press briefing in Bauchi saying that the Board has also renovated 189 blocks of two and three classrooms at the cost of N461 million with work reaching 85 percent point. According to him, about 101 toilets are currently being constructed at the cost of N110 million. These achievements of the board, Narabi said, included the construction of 558 ECCDE furniture at a cost of N13.4 million which has been 100% completed, and 14, 724 twin desks for primary schools at the cost of N139.8 million at 60% completion. Narabi also revealed that SUBEB in Bauchi is constructing 6, 572 twin desks for junior secondary schools at a cost of N69 million reaching 80% completion, as teachers table and chairs gulped over N11 million.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

govt NYSC DG implores corps members Bauchi to conduct of to impact on host communities census disabled From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

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he Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General Nnamdi Okorie-Affia, has charged corps members on the need to impact positively on their host communities while the culture and norms of the people should also be respected. Okorie-Affia said this during a visit to the 2012 Batch ‘B’ Corp members at the ongoing orientation course at the temporary

orientation camp, Government College Jalingo, Taraba state. The DG encouraged corps members posted to Taraba to make the best out of their stay by improving the lives of the people of the state, stating that the security of corps members is paramount to the government and the management of NYSC. “Your security is priority to the government, Taraba is a secured and peaceful place but be security conscious, always follow the tips provided in the security tips we

have given to you.” He said the introduction of martial art training during orientation course is to enable corps members defend themselves during emergency. Brig-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia added that a distress call centre has been put in place to address emergency cases from corps members nationwide. He urged corps members to be careful in their mode of dressing, advising them to be modest. He also mentioned that the

introduction of the War against Poverty initiative via small scale business and skill acquisitions training is aimed at developing corps members’ entrepreneurial skills and self-reliance spirit. Speaking earlier the State Coordinator NYSC, Taraba state, Hajiya Zainab Isah, commended the effort of the DG in visiting and inspecting the orientation camp. She said a total of 1,968 corps members comprising 1,042 males and 820 females were registered at the camp.

Director-General, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brigadier-Gen. Nnamdi Okorie-Affia (right), receiving a salute from Camp RSM Leo Bakut (middle), during the DG’s visit to 2012 Batch "B" corps members, on Wednesday at orientation camp in Government College, Jalingo, Taraba state. With him are the state NYSC Coordinator, Hajiya Zainab Isah (left), and other camp officials.

Reps want NEMA to provide succour to latest Plateau crisis victims By Umar Mohammed Puma

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oncerned by the untold hardship being experienced by the people of Riyom, Barikin Ladi local government areas of Plateau state as a result of last Sunday's tragic event that led

to loss of lives and properties the House of Representatives, yesterday, mandated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the communities that were affected by the mayhem. A motion read by Hon. Simon

Mwadkon (PDP Plateau state), noted that this has become necessary in view of the fact that there are thousands of villagers who are displaced from their houses and are taking refuge at the local government headquarters, and are in a dire need of relief materials.

Mwadkon, who was with the late Senator Datong and the state Minority Leader during the incident, called on President Jonathan to grant more power to the governor of the state in order to tackle the security challenges facing the state. He further urged the House to set up a fact finding committee that will look into the lingering Plateau crisis, with the aim of finding lasting solutions to the crisis.

NABDA ready to assist Nigerians to grow mushrooms

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he Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Bamidele Solomon, has said the agency is ready to assist interested Nigerians in growing edible mushrooms. Solomon told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the agency would be willing to have many Nigerians involved in cultivating mushroom at different levels. He said that so many opportunities abound in the growth of mushroom as many hospitality industries in the country still imports the product to add to their meals.

The director-general said, “many of our hospitality industries, particularly hotels have mushroom in their menu, but this mushroom comes from abroad. “There is opportunity to export, once you produce good quality mushroom that can be exported to Europe and America. “This can be done under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA); this is one of the things we can easily upload. “In Asia, particularly South East Asia, there are a lot of women organisations that are engaged in mushroom farming and they are able to export their products”.

Solomon explained that growing mushroom locally would complement government’s efforts to turn waste to wealth, including the production of something that could be highly nutritious. He said: “What is involved in mushroom production is the use of agricultural waste, such as rice, straw, grasses, sawdust. “We just mixed them up with other nutrient that will support the growth of different species of mushroom.'' Solomon said that the agency had assisted some farms including, Obasanjo Farm in Ogun, and Baro Farm in Akure, among others and that they were now producing

mushrooms. He said that the agency had some bio-resource centres that would assist in providing necessary facilities, such as log and sponge needed for the growing of mushrooms for those interested, but lacked access to them. “We have this group of young micro-biologists manning the operations at our bio-resource centre in Ife, they are now ready to supply anybody who want to use sponge. “In Ogbomoso, our bioresources centre has been built and I believe that in another one month mushroom production can start there,’’ he said. (NAN)

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

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he Bauchi state Agency for People Living with Disabilities is to conduct a state census of disabled persons just as it has approved allowances of N20, 000 per month for disabled chiefs in all 20 local government areas in the state. The state chairman of the Agency, Malam Ayuba Galmi, disclosed this while addressing pressmen in Bauchi at the state secretariat. He explained that the importance of the census was to capture the actual number of disabled persons in the state with a view of meeting their needs. According to the chairman, the agency has already written a memo to the state governor in respect of the census, which has already been approved. The chairman who noted that the agency was carved out of the Ministry of Social Development in the state, said it intends to establish special schools for disabled persons in all the 20 local government areas of the state. He said: “The agency intends to set up skill acquisition programmes for beggars and people living with various forms of disabilities in the state. This skill acquisition programmes is intended to make them independent and self-reliant.”

Gombe govt to construct 1,000 low cost houses From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe

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n its effort to tackle the problem of accommodation facing by the state civil servants and other low income earners, the Gombe state government is to construct 1,000 housing units. Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo disclosed this while inspecting the ongoing construction of 450 housing units to mark his delivery on the promise of accommodation. The governor further hinted that the housing projects would be staggered across the state to enable the people have a choice. Conducting the governor round the project, Managing Director of the State Investment Company, Mr. Danjuma Mele, said the 450 Housing Project was made possible because the governor increased the share capital of the company from N500 million to N2 billion within his first 65 days in office. At the School of Basic and Remedial Studies, Kumo, Governor Dankwambo expressed happiness with the quality and pace of work, saying at least 90 classrooms and other structures would be constructed.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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Reps query NICON over N12.3bn unpaid claims to FG By Lawrence Olaoye

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he House of Representatives has queried the management of NICON Insurance over its nonpayment of N12.3 billion claims due to the Federal Government. The House Committee on Finance, chaired by Rep Abdulmumini Jubril, currently investigating government

expenditures in insurance of its assets also grilled some insurance managing directors over allegation of $317 million inflated premium and unwholesome practices in the appointment of underwriters. The lawmakers equally expressed concern over the delay in the payment of insurance claims owed by most of the insurance companies handling government

assets and property. While responding to questions on the NNPC insurance account, Oye Odukale, Managing Director of Leadway Assurance Ltd stated that NNPC assets increased from $23 billion to $46 billion offshore. He disclosed that NNPC has $70 million claims delayed by slow documentation and additional $100 million that it has not been fully advised on. Odukale

explained that the company has been very diligent in the management of the NNPC insurance policy. On his part, Bayo Samuel, Executive Director of NICON Insurance however bemoaned the nonpayment of premium worth N1.3 billion by the affected agencies. He noted that the Nigerian Insurance Association (NIA) suspended the company

without fair hearing. Other stakeholders also called for upward review of the vehicle Third Party Insurance cover just as they stressed the need for government to enforce the Insurance Act. They had earlier canvassed for direct involvement in the decision making process of government especially in the budget preparation as well as other socio-economic policies.

Lagos is the orphan of Nigeria – Fashola From Ojebola Matthew, Lagos

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he Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has asserted that if the nation must make a success of the privatisation exercise in the power sector, it must start from Lagos. He also called on the Federal Government to refund the N16 billion deducted from its allocation from the Federation Account over its investment in power. Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Lagos House, Alausa, while playing host to the Senate Committee on Privatisation which paid him a courtesy visit, stated that the state has been unjustly treated in the ongoing privatisation exercise with the deduction of N16 billion from its allocation. The governor told the committee led by its chairman, Senator Gbenga Obadara, that Lagos state has been unjustly treated especially when it comes to privatisation of assets. “We have been given the short end of the stick consistently. Given our contribution to the national economy, there has been no reciprocity. “Our assets and our lands have been servicing the nation; these lands were there before they were

acquired by the Federal Government for government business and we are saying, if they are no longer serving government business we are supposed to take our lands back. “Lagos state has been “the orphan of the entire federation,” because the Federal Government took the state’s assets and gave nothing in return in spite of the fact that the state contributes the highest quota to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country,” he added. Explaining the genesis of the N16 billion illegal deductions, Governor Fashola noted that the state invested in Power Plant but the power was not dedicated to Lagos yet the Federal Government deducted about N16 billion from the state allocation in spite of court orders. “Now, we get punished for taking the initiative. “There is a standing liability to us by the PHCN, the illegal deductions of N16 billion for power that we did not get, for the power that other states used. Now, those are issues of social and economic injustice that must be resolved before we can even have a successful privatisation exercise…” he said.

Reps to investigate Orient Plc operations in Kogi By Umar Mohammed Puma

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he House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Special Duties to investigate the operations of Orient Petroleum Resources Plc in some parts of Ibaji local government area of Kogi state. The committee is also mandated to look into the encroachment of Anambra state into parts of the Ibaji local government area. The committee is expected to report back to the House within four weeks. In a motion filed by Rep. Ismail Hussain (PDP - Kogi), which was unanimously adopted by the House entitled: “Need to investigate the activities of Oil Companies and the Encroachment of Anambra state into some parts of Ibaji local government council of Kogi”, Hon. Hussain noted that the activities of Orient include surveying, drilling, seismic data recording and laying of pipes, which occupied sizable portions of

some communities’ farm lands and ancestral places of worship. He said the activities of Orient led to the discovery of four oil wells within the communities of Ibaji local government area, and that three out of the four oil wells fall within Kogi territory, while the fourth well lies within Odeke communities which shares boundary with Enugu state. He further expressed worry that Anambra state was laying claim to the entire area where the activities were taking place. The lawmaker said Kogi state did not share boundary with Anambra in the area affected “but with Enugu state within Odeke axis of Ibaji local government area”. According to Hussain, the people of Enugu – Otu in Anambra are laying claim to some exploration site in Odeke in Kogi. He said the said location (Odeke) in Kogi shared boundaries with Enugu state in Imabolo River and not the Enugu – Otu people in Anambra. The motion was referred to the relevant committees for further legislative inputs.

Borno state Commissioner for Education, Hon. Inuwa Kubo (left), explaining some points of interest to the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima (right), who paid an unscheduled visit to Government College, Maiduguri on Wednesday.

NPC warns Nigerians against large families T

he Federal Commissioner of National Population Commission (NPC) in Rivers state, Mr. Charles Nwaokoma, has advised Nigerians to plan the size of their families to avoid future problems. Nwaokoma gave the advice in Port Harcourt on Wednesday at the World Population Day commemoration, saying that small family was the trend in the world.

He said Nigeria could not afford to lag behind when other countries had started planning for small families based on economic considerations. Nwaokoma said the use of contraceptives in Nigeria was only 10 percent and described the figure as low. He explained that large families and increased population had both social and economic implications, especially if the

population was not trained. The commissioner also said that the emergence of militancy and other crimes in the society was as a result of large families because some parents could not train their children. “The inability by some parents not to train their children leads to crimes; it is difficult to walk freely in Port Harcourt at night because of insecurity. (NAN)

Experts trace rot in aviation sector From Suleiman Idris, Lagos

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fforts to trace the rot in the aviation industry and how to find solution to them has again been emphasised by an industry think tank group – Aviation Round Table (ART) when the group traced the current defects in both administration and management capability to a relapse in oversight by the appropriate authorities over a period of time.

The group observed that the country took for granted much of the remedies proffered by various committees set up by the government at one time or the other after some disastrous accidents occurred in 2005 and 2006, when Nigeria witnessed three plane crash almost simultaneously. According to ART, the country went to sleep for more than four decades without a Civil Aviation Act while other nations were

undergoing various phases of transformation hence the challenges being faced. Addressing reporters in Lagos, President of the group Director of Operations in the Presidential Fleet, Captain Dele Ore, posited that Nigeria began to witness a decline in technical manpower immediately after the country obtained permission to fly directly into continental United States of America otherwise referred to as Category One in 2010.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 12

EDIT ORIAL EDITORIAL

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You should give a damn, Mr. President

hen asked during his last media chat last month, why he would not make public his asset declaration, President Jonathan was emphatic that he would not do so. It was not necessary, and his doing so might have the effect of forcing other public officials to do so against their will, he said. He said he had nothing to hide, and that those up to it could search him from head to toe. “I don’t give a damn about it”, he said. It is a statutory requirement, in our 1999 Constitution, for certain categories of public officials to declare their assets both when taking and vacating office. This requirement is part of the efforts to ensure probity and transparency in the conduct of the nation’s affairs by high public officials. It is intended to give life to the other provisions of the Constitution and laws that seek to check the abuse of public trust by demanding from officials high standards of conduct in public life and giving the public itself an opportunity to check if its trust has been abused by officials. For, the law allows members of the public to check the asset declarations of public offers at the Code of Conduct Bureau. However, no law and nothing in our Statutes makes it compulsory for public officials to make public or publish their asset declarations. This is purely discretionary. The late President Yar’adua, both as a state governor and president, chose to exercise this discretion in favour of publishing his asset declarations. And, by this, he showed leadership and set, for himself and others, a high standard of conduct in public life. He showed the world that he had nothing to hide, and dared his doubters to prove him wrong. When, as Yar’adua’s vice president in 2007, Jonathan published his asset declaration it was only because his boss did it and pressure was mounted on him to follow suit. Now, as the boss himself,

Jonathan is vehemently against either publishing his or allowing other public officials to follow his example and publish theirs. In this, President Jonathan has contravened no law. But his refusal speaks volumes about him as a person and as a leader. It shows him in very bad light and puts to question his judgement as a leader, especially when the refusal is viewed against the backdrop of the example set by his

President Jonathan has contravened no law. But his refusal speaks volumes about him as a person and as a leader. It shows him in very bad light and puts to question his judgement as a leader, especially when the refusal is viewed against the backdrop of the example set by his predecessor predecessor. He may or not have anything to hide. But the signal flashed across the country, and the rest of the world, by his refusal to publish his asset declaration is that he really has something to hide. If not, why not? Just what is the president afraid of in going public with his assets? More important, the refusal does not show a leader with a willingness and a resolve to tackle the country’s biggest problem: high level of corruption in public life. One of the biggest problems facing us as a people and as a country is the almost total lack of high standards of conduct in public. This, and the absence of strong institutions

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

through which the public can enforce accountability on the leaders, are the main reasons for our slow progress as a nation. Long years of military rule have certainly helped to delay the establishment of such standards and institutions. But this puts the challenge on civilian leaders. Laws, and their strict observance by public officials, are important in establishing standards of conduct in public life. But no less important are the ways and manner in which public officials conduct themselves in both official and unofficial transactions and interactions. The way the leader behaviours, their altitudinal dispositions, the nods and winks they give or not give to the actions of subordinates and happenings in society, and the subtleties and nuances in official engagements are, together with laws, the stuff by which standards are established. The late Yar’adua, by his conduct and example, set a standard and an example. His public declaration of his assets was both a symbolic gesture and a practical demonstration of his commitment to probity and accountability in public office. Jonathan has now jettisoned that example and lowered that standard, and, by so doing, taken us back many years. A real pity this is. Jonathan may call to his defence the fact that the law allows those interested to go to the Conduct of Conduct Bureau office to check, if they so wish, the asset declaration of any public official. Nonsense. How many Nigerians know of this right, and how many of those who know it are in a position to exercise it? The only means by which the public can get to know about the assets of public officials is by the publication by such officials of their declarations. It they refuse, as Jonathan has done, to publish the declarations, then we must assume that they have things to hide. And officials with things to hide have forfeited our trust, and have, therefore, no real claim to leadership.

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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 13

Dehumanization of our humanity By Hannatu Musawa

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have watched many crime shows and horror movies, mostly because I struggle to understand what could possibly possess someone to commit atrocities against another human being. The trail of death and violence that has characterised several communities in the north is so shockingly unimaginable one is almost lost for thought when trying to contemplate what could possibly be running through the minds of people who decide to slaughter others so brazenly. The memorials of the slain that now sully several Northern towns and villages provide only small glimpses into the collective insanity that has gripped the society. It deeply saddens one to think of the horror and pain the victims and the families of these spates of violence have gone through. As for the people who can easily take another’s life, and be so pompous to think that that life had no value or light in this world, and that their existence was worth destroying are an abomination of our species. From murder of sleeping families in their homes, to bombing parishioners, to reprisal mass extermination of innocent people, to eating the flesh of those murdered, to extrajudicial slaughter, to decapitation, it is almost impossible to imagine how so many Nigerians could have By Charles Ofoji

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he Lawan-Otedollar show took a humiliating dimension for the House committee on ethics and privileges last week Tuesday when oil Baron, Femi Otedola made a nonsense of its investigation in the Faroukgate as he refused to testify. A cool Otedola, who obviously was enjoying the show provided by the briber saga, “arrogantly” told the members of the committee that he was not going to testify in camera, but in public. All further entreaties made to the oil magnate at the centre of the corruption allegation against Lawan to change his stance was coolly and steely rebuffed. Thereupon, the committee Chairman, Gambo Dan-Musa descended on the arena and poured vituperations on the person of Otedola. He even called him a fool and an imbecile. This was an interesting piece in the ongoing Lawan-Otedollar opus. As I said in an article last month, Farouk or Lawangate will surely go the way of other major scandals in the history of Nigerian democracy. I, like majority of Nigerians, do not seriously expect any result. However, beyond the conundrum of the LawanOtedollar soap opera lies the sadness that, after all, due to

turned into coldblooded butchers. There is no doubt that a fragment of our society has completely lost its humanity. That loss happened the moment we stopped fighting for each other and started fighting with each other. And within that fight, came the madness that we see unfolding before our very eyes. Yes, our reality is as simple as that! You see, the simplicity of madness is this; There is good in the world and there is evil. There is light and there is darkness. There is hope and there is despair. And we all get to decide where to stand. The barbarians within us that tread the road of malevolence and wickedness choose to stand on the side of evil, darkness and despair. They choose to slaughter and main other people’s children, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers despite the fact that they have children, wives, husbands, fathers and mothers of their own that they wish to keep safe. They choose to indict reasonable minded, objective and innocent people in the community because of the association of guilt that Nigerian ignorance attaches to tribe, ethnicity and religion. The barbarians chose the dark side and as a result dehumanize our humanity. From neighbourhood communities, to social networks, to communal gathering, our lives have become ravaged by crimes against humanity, overtaken by fighting against the evil chain of hatred. We don’t all have to stand exactly the

violence enacted against fellow Nigerians, as long as they are part of keeping the chain of hatred strong, then they are part of the problem, because hatred is where it all starts. In the movie ‘Star-Wars’, one of the characters, Yoda, in advising his pupil against fear, anger and hatred said, “Fear leads to anger, Anger leads to hate, Hate leads to Suffering”. He was correct because when one has fear,

vicious circle within which the barbarians within our society exist. That’s the vicious circle that those within us will find ourselves as long as we continue to nurse hatred against each other. So long as we have a desire to salvage what little strain of humanity we have left, the choice of the overwhelming majority must be one where we break the hatred chain and stand together against the

dehumanisation of our humanity. What is happening today in Nigeria is indicative of the fact that we have lost control of our lives and we have traded on the road of self-destruction. As the cost of living in Nigeria continues to rise to something that is beyond the reach of the ordinary Nigerian, the cost of life plummets to absolutely nothing. The mass death of our neighbours and kin is now such a daily occurrence; it has become the natural order of our present existence. And as the insane and barbaric murderers continue to be guilty of mass murder, let the rest of us not be guilty of murdering rationality, liberty, equality, morality, natural justice, understanding and purpose. We must give way for our conscience and mortality to get back that purpose of humanity that we were all created with. The leaders in the affected communities and the government have to provide a common ground where all identifiable factions of any communal clash can share their opinions and needs in a civil exchange that can ultimately lead to an acceptable outcome for all. We each have a duty not to allow ourselves to be part of the vicious circle that leads to the dehumanisation of our humanity. Hannatu Musawa is reachable on Twitter@hanneymusawa

lawanic greed, the oil thieves, who stole over $6.8billion US dollars and made Nigerians to forfeit enjoyment of oil subsidy as citizens of a major oil producing nation, will ultimately go unpunished never mind the ranting in some official quarters. Sometimes, the intellect and judgment of those who are in charge of governance in this country amaze me. But then again, you remember that those in government were godfathered into positions. How could sane people think that they could rely on a report when the chairman of the house committee, who presided over the investigation and emergence of that report, is persuasively accused of having compromised the contents of the same report? Right thinking Nigerians expect the House to order a new investigation, instead of holding on to a report that is already dead when Lawan got messed up with a credible bribery allegation. Nevertheless, I was bemused over the emotional reactions of Dan-Musa. He took the thing personal. I had expected a sentimental detachment from the work he has on his hands, which is to investigate a fellow

colleague who is accused of vice. His outbursts are unbecoming of a man of his status and it is also disproportional. Like Otedola or hate him, he only demanded the enforcement of his right to testify only in public. He never said that he will not testify. And if Dan-Musa cares to know, Otedola’s fundamental human rights, entrenched in the constitution, override whatever investigative powers his embarrassed committee has. Yes, they embarrassed themselves. Before he could have subjected Lawan and Otedola to a hearing in camera, it would have been wise if he first sought and got their consent to such a hearing. Nigeria is certainly a joke of a country. Why should the EFCC and police even wait for the House to investigate first the oil subsidy scam and the bribery scandal before it swooped into action? In USA for instance, when such crimes are committed, the FBI pounces on the culprits immediately, irrespective of what congress wants to do. The EFCC and police have enough powers to instigate these scandals and prosecute if need be. I have also heard nonsensical

talks that the police lack evidence to prosecute Lawan. Yes, it could have been easier if the security personnel, who witnessed the handing over of the dollars to Lawan, arrested him in the art. However, it might interest those propagating this view to know that you do not only secure a conviction with direct evidence. Circumstantial evidence suffices, if it irresistibly points to only one direction or conclusion. Is it not a shaggy dog story that, in spite of the fact that Otedola has admitted he gave bribe and Lawan came clean that he took the money (not minding his cock and bull story as to why he took the money), the police cannot compel him to surrender the money? I expect that Otedola will be arrested. At least, he confessed that he gave bribe. That he videoed the giving and invited some of his friends in the SSS to witness the act does not put official legitimacy to his action. Why did his friends in the SSS fail to arrest the culprit, if their assignment were official? Besides, the right authority to inform and work with for such operation is the police and not the SSS. One does not need to consult

an Ouija to know that both Lawan and Otedola are not telling the truth. Both criminally conspired to give and take bribe. And my senses tell me that Otedola rushed to the press when there was a break down somewhere. This cannot be hard for the police to decode and send both men to where they deserve to be at the moment. What is actually going on in this country? How could someone who committed a crime be again given the stage to make a show out of it? Is it because the president has publicly acknowledged that Otedola is his friend? – Even when he should actually have distanced himself from such a man under scrutiny. The ongoing Otedollar soap opera is depraved mockery of the Nigerian state and an insult to the citizens who are eagerly waiting for the high and mighty to be subjected to the same law as the common criminal who steals N2000 and languishes in one state facility. I expect the Inspector General of Police to do his job and spare us this offensive soap. I, like majority of Nigerians, demand that he puts Otedola is cuffs now to reassure us that we are not living in a banana republic.

same. We can stand in different ways, with varying opinions. But we should stand against the hatred that is ripping our societies apart. At this point, Nigerians no longer have a choice but to take that stance so we can show the barbarians within us where the majority of us stand. Even for those who do not ascribe themselves to the

there’s the instinct of fight or flight. When they choose to fight, it manifests itself in a form of anger; Anger then leads to hate in some form. Hate turns to suffering very quickly and when one has all these emotions running high, they suffer or strive to make someone else suffer. Hating one thing could easily turn into hating many other things and that’s the

When they choose to fight, it manifests itself in a form of anger; Anger then leads to hate in some form. Hate turns to suffering very quickly and when one has all these emotions running high, they suffer or strive to make someone else suffer. Hating one thing could easily turn into hating many other things and that’s the vicious circle within which the barbarians within our society exist

The Otedollar show


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By Bamidele Aturu Esq

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he position of the Honourable Minister for Youths Development overruling the Directorate of the National Youth Service Corps’ decision not to post or deploy young graduates as corps members to volatile parts of the country is extremely insensitive, unfeeling and demonstrates with the greatest respect an inscrutable lack of appreciation of the tragic security situation in those parts where people are being daily mowed down in their hundreds while the government of which the Minister is part watches helplessly and laments routinely. Is this a case of sadism or unguarded pretense on the part of a Minister? Time will tell. One probably would have ignored the statement credited to the Honourable Minister if he had not sought justification for his specious and indefensible position in the Constitution. He has completely stood the Constitution on its head and he must not be allowed to get away with it. First, while it is true that the National Youth Service Corps Act is one of the laws entrenched in the Constitution by virtue of section 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, that entrenchment simply says that

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Why Youths Development minister is wrong on NYSC deployment nothing in the Constitution shall are assigned to jobs in states other determine the place and time each person qualified to be invalidate the NYSC Act and no than their states of origin’ more. Now, no one is saying that The implication of this is that registered under the provisions the NYSC Act is invalidated. The even corps members from the of this Act shall be deployed’ Furthermore, section 9(5) of position of parents and most volatile states cannot be posted to Nigerians even in the troubled their states. That section would the Act says unambiguously parts of our country is that it is be complied with simply by thus: ‘in the discharge of its not safe at this time to post or posting the corps members to any functions under deploy corps this section (that members to is deployment or those parts of posting of corps the country members), the witnessing Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text Directorate shall daily massacre messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written not be compelled at the moment. contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 in any manner Second, and words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and whatsoever to this is crucial, a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed deploy a t h e to: member of the Honourable service to any M i n i s t e r The Editor, particular should be told undertaking or plainly that Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, project’ the provisions 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. It is thus clear of the NYSC Act Email: let ters@peoplesdaily-online.com that it is the preserved or SMS: 07037756364 Honourable entrenched by Minister that is t h e Constitution is clkearly and state other than theirs and other violating a law entrenched in manifestly against his narrow than the volatile state. But that the Constitution by purportedly overruling the NYSC and extremely unsound is not all. interpretation. Section 1(4) (b) of Section 991) makes it Directorate. It is his decision that is unconstitutional, indefensible, the Act provides clearly that: ‘as abundantly clear that: unpopular, far as possible, Nigerian youths ‘The Directorate shall unsupportable,

WRITE TO US

unjustifiable, insensitive, unfeeling, and uncaring. Happily, he has now provided parents who would have wanted a cause of action to sue him and his ministry for violating the NYSC Act in reposting their children and wards contrary to the NYSC Act. For the purpose of completeness, the Minister needs to be told that what Nigerians are saying is not that the NYSC should be invalidated but rather that at this time the government is unable to guarantee the lives of the corps members in those volatile parts of the country and that is evident. It would amount to a violation of the right of Nigerians to life to post young men and women to places from where even the indigenes in some cases are relocating. That sounds even more like a crime against humanity, particularly when it is coming from someone who should act in loco parentis to the young corps members. May God save Nigeria! Bamidele Aturu, a Human Rights activist, wrote from Lagos.

Damn it! Ours is a damnless society By Olagunju Olayinka “I don’t give a damn”. If I declare my assets, will it stop Book haram? That’s was Goodluck Jonathan response when asked about his asset declaration by a journalist in a media chat he held presently. Well, Nigerians know he doesn’t give a damn, they just didn’t know he had summon enough courage to boldly tell them to their faces that he doesn’t give a damn about accountability, transparency, fight against corruption and good governance(because that is what his asset declaration signifies). It is no more news that he declared it once and it was false. In 2006, Goodluck Jonathan was indicted for false declaration of assets by a Joint Task Force (JTF) on corruption that was set up by Obasanjo’s government. That powerful panel was headed by Nuhu Ribadu then as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC). The Joint task Force said Mr Jonathan was in possession of illegally-acquired property such as homes and exotic cars he could not explain within his legitimate income. While he was invited for hearing, he claimed he bought them from his “savings”. A lecturer’s savings! Some of the properties involved were listed as: a seven bedroom duplex worth N18million at Otuoke Ogbia LGA acquired in 2001; a four bedroom duplex, valued at N15million at Goodluck Jonathan Street, Yenegoa acquired in 2003; and a five bedroom dulex at Citec Villas, Gwarimpa II- Abuja, valued at

N25million, also acquired in 2003. There were also two cars: a Lexus jeep valued at N18million; and a BMW 7351 Series worth N5.5million. A look at the dates those purchase were made shows that it started from 2001, just two years after becoming a deputy to a criminal governor convicted for fleecing Bayelsa state. Goodluck Jonathan lied about his assets once so won’t he lie again? The problem is that: Mr Jonathan wants to enjoy all the previledges that his predecessors enjoyed and even more while on the contrary Nigerians voted for him because they desire change. They voted for him because they believed he would not spend a million naira on feeding like his predecessors etc. Tired of our complaints about his assets; he told Nigerians in his last media chat: that asset declaration isn’t in the least of problem battling us a nation now, he reminded us that we should be more concerned about Boko Haram and not his asset, he told us that asset declaration is a thing of principle. He even said he was forced by late President Umar M. Yara’dua to declare his asset against his wish something which left to him is highly unnecessary and ordinarily he wouldn’t have done. He then told Nigerians that he has declared his asset once and it’s of no use to do that again. He went further to say that even if he declares his asset now and he decides to lie (give a false declaration) nobody would know and that even if we know there’s nothing we can do about it (Wow! Brilliant). He needed to prove to Nigerians that he’s indeed tough and he’s no more the small shoeless

Jona of yesterday. That he has only just been playing a sucker to catch a sucker all along. I respect this man because he has over the years successfully transformed his weakness into power. He always seem dumber than his mark so they had never suspect that he has ulterior motives and he made all his accomplishments seem effortless. Though, he prefers to appear and act weak. He’s a tough guy with tactical thinking and he doesn’t give a damn. Why blame Mr Jonathan, afterall he’s only a product of our damnless society a perfect friend of mine told me. Mr president seems to have taken a stand. The issue of his asset declaration to him is done and dusted. He understands that power is a social game. That to learn and master it, you must develop the ability to study and understand the people you lead. Haven studied Nigerians, Mr President now beliefs that he has to appear tough and bold at all times to open endless possibilities of deception and manipulation. In case you don’t know, Mr. President is an apostle of Machiavelli and he is surrounded by democratic yet devious powerful men. They alone decide the fate of this country. When the chameleon brings forth a child isn’t that child expected to dance? These powerful men have masterminded the laws of power and belief it or not, they live by the laws. Before the media chat, the ill fated avoidable Dana air crash has just happened. Boko-haram had been killing for fun in the North and they were reprisal attacks by Christian youths. Mr President was heavily criticized by Nigerians for

leaving the country for an earth summit in far away Brazil while the country boils. He went with 140 delegates at the expense of the country’s tax payers, he was also accused of not doing enough to fight the corruption war. By the time is he came back from his once in a life time trip, Nigeria’s social media was already agog with anti-Jonathan tweets and status update hence the need to quickly re-assure Nigerians that he’s still in charge by staging a superficial organised Presidential media chat. The idea as advised by his masters was to appear and talk tough throughout the duration of the chat, he has to prove to Nigerians that he is not a weakling, that he didn’t become the president of Africa’s most populous nation by luck but by masterminding the laws of the game. A reason he sticked with Law 28 during the interview. The law says- ENTER ACTION WITH BOLDNESS. “Timidity is dangerous. Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the bold, no one honors the timid”. Yes, his principals (I call them his principals because judging from his actions/policies over the last one year they made him president not you. To declare his asset would have meant playing into our hands, he knew he was fighting a civilised war so he entered the interview with boldness, he made sure he was asked and made to answer all the questions bothering on the present state of the economy. He answered with the sweetest of

smile on his face to give doubting Nigerians the impression that he’s not as clueless as suggested in some quarters, by the time the interview ended its was mission accomplished for him. He has suceeded in leaving more Nigerians confused. He has successfully twisted their brains and sent the signal that his government is performing but he’s only been haunting by his detractors, he even told Nigerians that the social media is solely responsible for misinforming Nigerians all the while. Many even reasoned with him that the issue of his asset declaration is not necessary at all, as we have more endangering problem in BokoHaram. He disguised his cunnings and he told Nigerians what they wanted to hear. He said: he needed to travel to prove a point to Boko-Haram and assure the intermational community that government is still functioning and no terrorist organisation can stop government from functioning. After his staged media chat, the same Nigerians that rebuked him earlier applauded this smart man. He was admired by majority, only some minority few would not be carried away. They questioned his response but the deed has already been done. He has succeeded in winning more followers (souls) into his kingdom of deception. “I don’t give a damn” he said and he sure doesn’t. He just needed to use that gutter language to remind us that: though he’s now the President of a backward moving nation, He’s Continued on page 15


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

By Prince Charles Dickson

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will start this weekend’s admonition by a tale told by an unknown author. It is originally called the pebble and the ripples. A man was sitting by a lake. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. A young boy happened to cross by. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so, the man would toss a pebble into the lake. The boy went up to the man and said, “Good pastime, this stone throwing, he?” “Hmmm, said the man. He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed. Sometime later, the man said softly, “Look at the water, it is absolutely still.” The boy said, “Yeah, it is.” The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued, only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?” Yeah, said the boy, “they spread further and further.” “And soon, the water is still again, offered” the man. The boy said. “Sure, it becomes quiet, after a while.” The man continued, “What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. Let’s take the stone out. Go ahead and look for it.” The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out. But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He was able to take the stone out, but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before. The wise man said, “It is not possible to stop the movement of

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Throwing big stones at the Nigerian project the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place, the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too, it is with our minds. If a thought enters into it, it creates ripples. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance. If a disturbance has entered into the mind, it will take its own time to die down. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind. Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind, put it through the triple filter test of authenticity, goodness and value. Only few years back, to go through the University, it cost a few hundreds, gradually it was just a few thousand and one got a qualitative education from w world class universities that they once were. But what happened, we threw pebbles into that water. Libraries have given way to Google, sadly in the ivory towers, students become graduates

without visiting a library except for the flimsy excuse of bind a pirated and plagiarized copy of their terminal paper called project. This same nation that is battling unemployment without even a proper statistical data of how many that were unemployed, whether half-baked, unbaked or over-baked was once the same that offered holiday jobs for University students, same nation that left you with a choice of job after your first leaving school certificate. In those days before you and I threw pebbles into the water, after Primary 6 then, you picked from the old Nigerian Railway, P&T, ECN and such. There was corruption, but how much of it, the slide may have begun, because we were throwing pebbles already, but we stole less, there were few Fraouks and Otedolas and the theft were in few thousands, but today we steal in billions and in a nation with all the poor, a few Nigerians can afford a Bugatti Vyeron, world’s most expensive and fastest car at N400milion in Nigeria... a car that has only 300 units in the world. Honesty was still a virtue, shares were not over-subscribed and banks did not just collapse, few banks and , bankers, both

chartered and tattered, but depositors monies did not just disappear like these days of ATMs and mega profits and sacking of same bankers who supposedly make the profits by selling their bodies. Many of us reading this, spent, one naira, fifty kobo, ten kobo, I have left out those that even spent the shillings. Today after throwing pebbles into the Nigerian waters of progress, economically, politically, and otherwise, I know for a fact that our children will see these denominations in the few museums that are still functionally, they will never spend it, even as we seek to introduce more worthless higher currencies. We are almost done mourning the Dana plane crash but have quickly forgotten how our pebbles at old reliable Nigerian airways turned it into death airways before it was liquidated. It was a lovely nation with good memories, we wrote essays of “how we spent our last holidays”, were taught how to write in formal and informal ways, and all that mathematics some of us found hard to understand but was fun, today the ripples of our pebbles is one that has seen us embrace

technology without caution and progress. Okay became kk or just k, love, became luv, or lv, we know lol...laugh out loud at our collective amnesia. There was this friend of ours, served in Sokoto, he married an Hausa girl from Sokoto during the NYSC program, he was not only given a cow but the wedding was sponsored by the State government. Then, you were posted to ‘angeligidi, in munafirchi state and you went, taught in an Local Education Authority Primary School, and left with life experiences, but now our pebbles only show how no one really wants to serve in those places we know, and how some serve in their father’s house. Our pebbles birthed Boko Haram, the political ones in GEJ’s government, the criminal ones, the terrorists that have redefined our lives and collective brotherly way of living...Now we are like Afghanistan like ‘Nigerianstan’, in some parts and like Somali like ‘kidnapli or is it Nigeriali’. Fact is that, we need ask, is there a Nigerian project, and with not just the pebbles but stones we are hauling at the project, what becomes of it, only time will tell. Prince Charles Dickson is the Editor, burningpot.com

be bold enough to tell Mr President that we know he doesn’t give a damn all along but that: this isn’t about him, its about us and the future of Nigeria. Civil society groups must do enough to help us seek information about the Presidents asset between May 2007 till date. They should write the office of the president about the subject matter. They should be at the fore front of GEJ’s assets declaration for government’s accountability. If we still cannot get the information about his asset even after the civil society groups persistence then we must also get involved. We must understand that we are in a democratic society. Inasmuch, as he has the right to freedom of speech, we also have a right to be heard. A peaceful demonstration(protest) will help us achieve just that. We must all speak in unison, carry our placards and head to Abuja, to the national Assembly. We can pass our message to him via the national assembly, we must demand that he declare his asset for transparency and accountability sake. We must beg him to please lead us by example. If he’s really serious about fighting corruption then his asset declaration shouldn’t be a subject of public debate. We must walk the walk to Abuja and talk the talk if we really do give a damn! It’s a sacrifice we must make. The president being the

father of the nation must show leadership by example. To remain silent is to make light of corruption in the land. It is our duty as citizensa divine duty we owe our country to demand accountability and good governance. The president’s declaration of his asset is a constitutional requirement, it is not a matter of principle. A man cannot be wiser than an entire nation. Its high time we as followers started giving a damn! The city of Jos has known no peace for some years now. Year in, year out, it has always been the same story. Beroms killing Fulanis and then reprisal attacks by Fulanis. Thousands of lives have been lost and thousands more might be lost because the federal government does not give a damn and nobody seems to give a damn either. Barely few days ago, two top politicians were killed by gunmen as they attended a burial ceremony for numerous victims of a mass slaughter. Our planes continue to crash, our airspace is not safe because nobody gives a damn! Boko-Haram have been killing for sport too. They have killed thousands, a thousands more have been injured and they leave behind sorrow, tears and fear in the land. The Minister of Youth Development, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir, recently said that corpers will be posted to BokoHaram troubled states for the

National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He said “his position is that of the law.The fundamental thing is that the NYSC is a constitutional issue; the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which is supreme. In that regard, posting of corps members to states, apart from their own, except in some special circumstances, is governed by the law and must be adhered to”. Like Goodluck Jonathan like Inuwa Abdukadir; he also clearly doesn’t give a damn as long as none of his family members is posted to those state. Just last week, the Ethics and Previledges committee Chairman, Gambo Dan-Musa poured vituperations on the person of Otedola on national television because he(Otedola) arrogantly told the members of the committee that he was not going to testify in camera, but in public. An angry Mr Gambo demonstrated the appropriate ethical behaviour in the execution of his assigned duty by calling Otedola “Stupid”. He even called him a fool and an imbecile. Of course, Mr Gambo Dan-Musa too doesn’t give a damn! This morning we woke up to the news that the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan has been appointed permanent secretary by the Bayelsa State government. Here is a lady who left the service of Bayelsa State in 1999. Now she has been elevated to the position of

permanent secretary because her husband is the president of a damnless country. She now has two jobs, while we are struggling to have millions of youths looking for just one job. Read their lips; Mr Jonathan and his cohorts don’t give a damn. “All is well” is now our national chorus. As long as there is food on our table, just anything eatable to keep us alive, many Nigerians too seems not to give a damn. Many are only just living to eat. The problem with Nigeria is that leaders don’t give a damn and followers are too damn busy to damn to their leaders. If care isn’t taken, we would all soon get damn! Nigeria is in confusion and needs urgent and drastic arrest. When the head of a household dies, the entire household becomes an empty shell. But we have Goodluck Jonathan as our head and with him, his ministers; yet we do not know whether to thank the gods that He is with us, or to look elsewhere for hope. Nigerians must begin to think of how to take their destiny in their own hands. When rain falls on the leopard, does it wash off its spots? Has the richness of presidential life washed off the love of our once shoeless president for his people? Nigerians have suffered long in silence. How long must feverish birds tremble in silence before their keepers?

Damn it! Ours is a damnless society Continued from page 14

still a street boy and will always be. His orientation is intact and he understands the street laws. Since, he became President he has shown more signs that he truly doesn’t give a damn. At some point, he told Nigerians that they would have to live with the terror of Boko-Haram. He choose to impoverish more Nigerians by increasing fuel price from N65 to N97 knowing full well that our economy is fuel dependant. In January of this year alone the inflation index has increased by 200 points and it doubled in February as a result of the subsidy removal etc. Mr President is a professional footballer and a good dribbler at that. If you call IBB “Maradona” then GEJ is a combination of “Messi and Pele”. He understands the game better than most of us and he’s always ever ready to display his mastery of the game. Bring it on he says. He is always wearing a mask of innocence and pretense hence making it difficult for you to predict his next move. He preaches the need for change but he never reform at all. Now, that he has told you loud and clear that he doesn’t give a damn! Pls, what are you going to do about it? Well, since he doesn’t give a damn and for those of us that gives a damn. Here’s what we must do: We must be insistence, we should


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Guard seduces 15-year-old house maid

FCTA condemns NESREA for sealing Julius Berger company, others

By Kerem Kurugh

By Adeola Tukuru

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) yesterday condemned the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for sealing off some construction companies in Abuja, describing the action as “absolutely wrong”. The Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Isa Shuaibu, who addressed a press conference, said

30-year-old security man, Benjamin Nnbuifa has been arraigned at the Abuja Magistrate’s Court for sexually abusing a teenager. The Police Prosecutor, Christopher Roko told the court that the case was reported at Utako Police Station by one Mrs. Beatrice Onyebuchi Ugoala of Dansuleman Street Utako Abuja on June, 6 2012. According to the prosecutor, the complainant reported to the police that sometimes in the month of March 2012, the accused, who is her guard, induced her housemaid, Victoria Adindu, 15-year-old and had her illicit sexual intercourse with her. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Azubuike Okeagu granted the accused bail in the sum of N500, 000.00 and two reliable sureties in like sum, who must be citizen of the country and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He adjourned the case to August, 8, 2012 for hearing.

Kwali chair restates commitment to human, material devt By Adeola Tukuru

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he Chairman of Kwali Area council, Hon. Joseph Kwali Shazin has reiterated his commitment towards ensuring human and material development of the council, saying that the best legacy a leader can bestow on the electorate is development. Shazin said his aim for vying into politics was not to make money for himself; rather it was to add value to his subjects and enhance their socio-economic development. He gave this assurance during a courtesy visit by senior officials staff of the Social Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to the council.

•••Threatens court action NESREA has over-reached itself through the closure of Julius Berger headquarters and Arab Contractors Company in Abuja, upon which it demanded for payment before re-opening them. Isa said the issue for which NESREA has encroached on AEPB function has been receiving the attention of the FCT administration, on behalf of which he spoke and remediation works have begun on them. He therefore, wondered why NESREA would take such an action without consulting with

the AEPB under whose purview the companies operate. “Certainly, I think there are national issues that they should address like policies rather specific issues that affect state and I think it is absolutely wrong,” the director said. Also, the Head of the Legal Unit, Ahmed Ismaila, said the challenge the board has been having with NESREA is that they seem to miss the point that the FCT is constitutionally regarded as state and the environment is a function of the state and the area

A goat feeding on a flower plant at Access Bank at Garki II, Abuja.

councils. ”We may have to look at the constitution and what constitutes the Act of the federation and then come to an understanding with them or we may have to go to court to get interpretations”. It would be recalled that NESREA had on Wednesday closed down the headquarters of Julius Berger and Arab Contractors for alleged gross violation of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) standards, by building construction yards in various locations that were capable of causing environmental degradation.

Photo: Justine Imo-Owo

Two arraigned for car theft By Kerem Kurugh

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wo residents of Kabusa village in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Friday Odoh 28 and Mutiu Olalere 38 have been arraigned at an Abuja Magistrate’s Court for allegedly stealing a car. The duo were alleged to have

stolen the car and N 200,000.00, belonging to one Babatunde Ajibuwa of Dutse, Abuja. Police Prosecutor, Christopher Roko told the court that the case was reported at the Utako Police Station by the complainant on June, 26, 2012. Ajibuwa was said to have on the June, 29, 2012 reported that both accused persons stopped

him at the Berger roundabout and claimed to be officials of National Union of Road Transport Workers collecting registration fees. In the process, they allegedly, collected his car key and N200, 000.00, and drove the vehicle to an unknown place after bashing the car beyond repairs. He added that during police

investigation they both confessed committing the offence. The accused persons however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate Fatima Malo granted them bail in the sum of N50, 000.00 each and one reliable surety in like sum. She adjourned the case of July, 24, 2012.

70 per cent secondary schools in FCT establish voters education clubs

T

he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has said that 70 per cent of secondary schools in the territory have complied with the establishment of voters’ education clubs. Head of Department, Public Affairs and Political Party

Monitoring and Liaison of INEC, Mr Okezie Nwankwo told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja in an interview that: “The aim of voters’ education clubs is to catch them young by internalising the spirit and principles of democracy in the students’’. Nwankwo said that the establishment of the clubs was an

opportunity for the revolution that would change peoples’ orientation about elections. “The students need to know that there must be losers and winners in any election, and that if they don’t win today, they can win tomorrow,” he added. He said that commission had

met with the FCT chapter of All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), on the voters’ education clubs with relevant materials. He said that the clubs had coordinators who worked with the electoral officers in the council areas and usually gave feedback to the commission. (NAN)


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Kwali council laments failure of FG’s fertiliser scheme By Adeola Tukuru

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wali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has rejected the new method of fertiliser distribution by the Federal Government, saying the system does not make fertiliser affordable to farmers at the grassroots. The Head of Agricultural Department, Alhaji Musa Ibrahim said that the government through the Agriculture Department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) had deliberately refused to subsidize the fertilizers distribution as they used to in

the past years. He said instead of the normal subsidised rate of N1,000 per bag of fertiliser, the government was finetuning policies that would increase the amount to N3,000 per bag which most farmers in the rural areas cannot afford. Ibrahim disclosed that effort made by the FCTA to convince them about the workability of the new fertilizer scheme have proved abortive as most of the farmers at the grass root level told them about the negative implication of the new scheme, adding that such could bring about low food production in the territory. ”We clearly told them that the new

scheme would not work because an average farmer in the city make about thirty to forty thousand naira per annum including the money for his or her daily needs and that of the family”, he emphasised. He said the six area councils have decided to wait to see if the FCT administration would revert to the former formula where fertilizers were sold at a cheaper rate to farmers. Meanwhile, the head of department of agric also blamed the low harvest yield experienced so in this season to the late distribution of farm inputs by the Federal Government.

Sympathisers putting out fire from a burning vehicle at Katampe, on Wednesday, in Abuja.

Photo: NAN

Father of three arraigned for alleged criminal intimidation

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ne John Emouson, 40, of Water Park Road, Kado Phase 2, Abuja, was on Wednesday arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrate’s Court for alleged criminal intimidation. Police Prosecutor, Abdullahi Hassan told the court that Osita Nnabogu of Jabi Park, Abuja, reported at the Utako Police Station on July 8, 2012 that he was in custody of the children of the accused. “Emouson vowed to deal with

Nnabogu for taking custody of his three children namely; Ugo, Ekene and Junior,’’ he said. Hassan said the accused person had abandoned the children since 2009 in the custody of Nnabogu. The prosecutor urged the court to order the accused to take back his children because the complainant was tired of taking care of them. Emouson pleaded not guilty to the charge, saying “I was not the one who gave my children to him’’.

Senior Magistrate, Vera Tom Tukura said the prosecutor did not have any facts to seek such an order from the court. She granted Emouson bail in the sum of N10,000 with a surety in the like sum. Tukura said the surety must have a visible means of livelihood and must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She adjourned the case to July 17, 2012 for accelerated hearing. (NAN)

Motorists blame traffic congestion on street hawking

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cross-section of motorists and other residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have attributed traffic congestion in the city to the menace of street hawking. According to them, efforts by the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to stem the menace were not enough to stem the hawkers. A trader at Karu market, Mr Sanusi Sule, said that though members of the AEPB task force usually raided the hawkers, they always returned soon after. “The hawkers return to the roadside the moment the Enforcement Squad leaves the market premises; they have deliberately refused to go into the market to sell their goods. These people normally prefer to sell by the roadside and cause traffic hold up,’’ he said. A motorist, Mrs Salome Oke, also complained of the stress motorists passed through due to traffic hold up caused by street trading. “Sometimes last year, somebody was killed by a truck on the Karu-Jikwoyi road, few hours later the corpse was removed and the hawkers resumed business on the same spot, that is really bad,’’ she said. On her part, a tomato hawker, Mrs Habiba Sani, said the cost of renting a shop in the markets was too high, maintaining that many traders could not afford it. She appealed to the government to reduce the cost of leasing out shops to enable traders rent them, adding that would reduce street trading to the barest minimum in the FCT. In Wuse market, a trader in textile, Mrs Tolu Oga, said the hawkers on the road as well as commercial vehicle operators were the cause of traffic jams. “Those who hawk on the road and commercial drivers are the cause of this obstruction which we are talking about. They need to be checked in order to restore sanity,” she said. A resident of Kubwa, Mr Silas John, urged relevant authorities in the FCT to address the problem of street trading, noting, “it disturbs the smooth movement of traffic”. According to him, people need to be told that these obstructions will lead to many ugly activities such as ‘pick-pocket’, stampede and even loss of life. Reacting to the issue, the Head, Monitoring and Enforcement Unit of the AEBP, Mr Uche Agbanusi, urged journalists to sensitise residents of the territory on the dangers posed by streets hawking . “All efforts made towards keeping the road free do not work, for as soon as the task force leaves those places, traders will go back. This hawking outside market roads can also expose those hawkers to the dangers of accidents and their safety is also important. “Our enforcement squad has been going out from time to time to move people away from such areas that obstruct movement but people refused to imbibe the culture of decency,” he said. (NAN)

Consultants, medical officers charged to maintain cordial relations By Josephine Ella

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he Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has been charged to ensure a cordial relationship with medical officers in order to improve productivity for the good of Abuja residents. The Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Dr. Demola Onakomaiya gave the charge during at courtesy visit by the association to the secretariat. Speaking against the backdrop of the

conflict that often emanate between medical personnel, he encouraged the consultants “to see themselves as team players and respect other doctors particularly the medical officers because we are really two points in a professional continuum”. Dr. Demola told the team that as an advocate of quality health care services, equity and sustainability, his goal is to ensure that members of the society are able to access quality health care anywhere in FCT. He emphasised that his dream is to replicate what is obtained in the health

sector of advance countries in FCT. In his response to the demand of the association for improve welfare; the secretary reiterated the commitment of the FCT administration towards ensuring welfare of its staff. This he said is reflected in the recent development, where the FCT was the first to pay Consolidated Medical Salary Scheme(CONMESS) in the federation. Earlier, the chairman of the association, Dr Dudu Yemi, appreciated the Secretary for the efforts to improve health care services in the FCT. He explained that MDCAN is a

professional association which aims at making health care delivery in FCT the best in the federation. The association also tasked the members to ensure professionalism and also monitor the practice of members to ensure compliance to highest possible standard. On the issue of respect for the medical officers, he said the problem arises from the refusal of medical officers to receive correction and their perception that they were in the system before the consultants came in. This was as he promised to continue to strive to ensure that the frictions are overcome.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 17

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2 3 1. Boys Scout performing at a public function, recently in Garki, Abuja. 2. A meat seller waiting for customers, yesterday at Karu market, in Abuja. 3. Technicians repairing electric generating sets, yesterday in Garki, Abuja.

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4. A man urinating in public, yesterday in Jabi, Abuja. Photos: Justin Imo-owo


BUSINESS

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Email: amunuimam@yahoo.co.uk

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INSIDE

- Pg 20

UBA , Access, Sterling lead bank stocks in 6 months

Mob: 08033644990

Unity Bank rewards customer with brand new Hyundai Verna car By Abdulwahab Isa

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Headquatres, Abuja

88,622 POS supplied to enhance cashless transaction - CBN From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that 88,622 Point of Sales Terminal (POS) have been made available for the effective operation of the cashless Lagos programme. The Assistant Director, Banking Supervision, Marcus Zakaria made this known on Tuesday, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Bankers Committee meeting in Abuja. He said that in spite of the initial hiccups, appreciable progress had been made in the programme. Zakaria noted that about 6,000 POS were made available in January. “Today, we have about 88,622 POS and we have registered over 151 merchants. “All mobile payment operators are now fully integrated with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), and 21 banks are currently registered on NIBSS EXCHANGE RATES

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CBN CFA • £ RIYAL $

SELLING 0.2904 189.9432 240.8192 41.5631 155.87

BUYING 207 258 40 165

SELLING 209 260 42 169

consumer protection department to allow consumers to lodge complaints, adding that “such complaints are not taken lightly by regulators”. “Indeed, they refer them to the subcommittee of the bankers committee on ethics and the issues are thoroughly investigated and the banks are penalised when found culpable. “The regulators are not taking it lightly when banks are indulging in arbitrary over charging of customers,’’ Zakaria added. He noted that an exposures draft was being reviewed on guide to bank charges, adding that when ready, it would serve as a standard document for charging customers. Mrs Sola David, the Chief Executive Officer of Stabic IBTC Bank, said that discussions were ongoing on strengthening consumer protection framework. This, she said, would ensure that customer dispute and complaints are promptly handled in the various banks.

“The Central Bank, together with the banks, is committed to strengthening our existing consumer protection processes so that our clients will understand that we are interested in protecting their interests.’’ On the SME fund, Mr Oti Ikomi, the Chief Executive Officer, Key Stone Bank, said that women would be given more opportunity in the disbursement of funds. “At this point, we are seeking input from a wide variety of stakeholders from micro finance banks and are looking at how to integrate some of the work with cashless Lagos.

DMO to auction N75bn bonds

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he Debt Management Office (DMO) yesterday said it plans to raise N75 billion ($466.30 million) through sovereign bonds ranging between 5 and 10 years at its regular auction on July 18. The debt office said it would

Management Tip of the Day

12th July, 2012 BUYING 0.2704 188.7246 239.2742 41.2965 154.87

PARALLEL RATES • £ RIYAL $

Interbank Payment (NIP),’’ he said. He said the banks were collaborating to come up with alternative channel of delivery on mobile banking, Internet banking, and electronic fund transfer, among others. Zakaria said that campaigns on ways to improve on the programme were ongoing, adding that efforts were being made to ensure that people accept the programme. “It is our belief that by the end of the year we would have attained at least a 150,000 POS in Lagos alone,’’ he said. The CBN kicked off the Cashless Lagos Policy in January as a pilot scheme. The bank is expected to roll out the operations nationwide in 2013. 0n bank charges, Zakaria said that banks were being charged to refund customers when they over charge them, and penalised them when they contravene laid down rules. He said the CBN had set up a

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Help your team embrace change

ometimes getting people on board with a change is harder than implementing the change itself. Next time your team balks at something new, do the following:· Encourage openness. Create an environment where

people feel free to express their thoughts and feelings about the change. Actively ask employees about their concerns.· Bring people together. Once you understand their hesitations, bring people together to discuss the

verwhelmed by the reality of being a proud owner of a brand new Hyundai Verna car, courtesy of Unity Bank Plc's Aim, Save &Win promo Mrs. Bikudaimai Jouro, a civil servant with information ministry in Maiduguri has urged Nigerians to open an account with Unity Bank Plc. Jouro had emerged a winner of one of the star prize, a brand new Hyundai Verna cars at the first national draw that held on June 30th 2012, but was unable to show up for her star prize due to pressing commitments. At a brief ceremony yesterday in Abuja to take possession of the car, Madam Jouro expressed shock on her emergence which she described as miraculous. Though she said her relationship with the bank dated over twenty years ago when it was branded Bank of the North; she said the fulfillment and satisfaction offer by Unity Bank remain unmatched by any other bank. She expressed gratitude to the board, management and staff of the bank for their unwavering commitment to constantly reward customers. In a brief remark, Managing Director of Unity bank plc, Ado Y. Wanka said the occasion represents a happy moment in the annals of the bank. As a bank that nurtures and pride retail banking as a tool to cater for grass root Nigerians, Wanka said the bank would constantly seek ways to encourage its customers to create wealth in the spirit of transformation agenda of the current administration.

perceived problems. If people feel that they’ve been heard, they are more likely to support the final decision.·Be Direct. Address all concerns head-on and provide as much information as possible. Source: Harvard Business Review

sell 25 billion naira each in the 5-, 7- and 10-year paper with term-to-maturity of four years and eight months, six years and 10 months, and nine years and five months respectively. The bonds are re-openings of previous issues. “The DMO reserves the right to alter the amount allotted in response to market conditions,” the debt office said in a statement sent to Reuters by email. Nigeria, Africa’s secondbiggest economy after South Africa, issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit. (Reuters)


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 20

SON, market leaders collaborate GSMA wants talk tax, SIM import tax on substandard products COMPANY NEWS

removed

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he GSMA, the organisation that represents the interest of mobile telecom operators worldwide, has called for the removal of specific mobile related taxes such as the communications service tax (CST) and the import tax on SIM cards.

CCNN‘s profit down by 48 percent on huge energy costs, competition

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ement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc a cement manufacturing and marketing company has made public its Q1 numbers for the period ended March 31, 2012, revealing a marginal 1.4 percent increase to N3.147 billion from N3.104 billion the previous year.

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

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eaders of the 65 registered markets within Lagos Island have resolved to join hands with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in its campaign of zero-tolerance to sub-standard products to flush out all non-conforming, life endangering and fake products. This resolution was the outcome of a market sensitization programme organised for the Market Leaders in Lagos, in conjunction with the Coordinator of the Markets on the Island, Alhaja Raliat Adetayo. Addressing the Market

Leaders on behalf of the DirectorGeneral of the SON, Dr. Joseph I. Odumodu, SON’s Regional Coordinator for South-West, Mr. Adebayo Adegun stated that the forum was aimed at informing, educating and enlightening the Market Leaders on the imperative of standards and the dangers posed to the nation and its people by the manufacture, importation and distribution of sub-standard products. According to him, SON ‘s approach was to encourage self regulation among the Marketers through regular interactions before invoking its powers under the law to enter any premises in Nigeria where products are being produced,

stored or sold to remove all substandard products and raw materials for their production. Dr. Odumodu informed the market leaders of the various initiatives by the Government through SON including the opening of help desks in major markets in the country to provide assistance to Consumers in products purchase and receive complaints with a view to monitoring products performance. Such help desks, he said have become operational at the Alaba International Market and the Computer Village in Lagos. The SON Director-General stated that a survey of markets have been carried out to identify

where sub-standard products are prevalent and urged the market leaders to do a soul searching with a view to avoiding the negative consequences of standards enforcement in their markets and warehouses. Dr. Odumodu then gave tips to the market leaders on how to avoid dealing in substandard products including patronage of certified made-in-Nigeria products with the mark of quality, checking labeling, manufacturers’ claims, warranty, conformity certificates etc. and urged them to remove all substandard products in their various markets within two weeks.

UBA , Access, Sterling lead bank stocks in 6 months

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hree banks stocks –namely United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Access Bank Plc, and Sterling Bank Plc, gained more than others in the banking subsector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), investigations have showed. In a six-month trend (January 4, 2012 to July 4, 2012), United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc stock rose most, by 61.54 percent, from N2.47kobo to N3.99kobo in the period under review. This was followed by Access Bank Plc stock which rose by 41.95 percent from N5.03kobo to N7.14kobo. Sterling Bank Plc was the third best performer, also in terms of stock price movement, after rising by 24.46 percent to N1.17kobo from N0.94kobo. First Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc stocks occupied the fourth position, according to our trendwatch. While First Bank rose by 22.22 percent, to N11 on July 4 from the January 4 level of N9; Zenith Bank Plc also rose by 22.22percent, from N12.15kobo to N14.85kobo in the same period under review.

FIIRO partners Honeywell on commercialization of research products

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he Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos, a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, has concluded discussions with Honeywell Group on the commercialization of some food-based research and development products developed by the institute.

Shareholders of Managing Director, Unity Bank Plc, Alhaji Ado Wanka, presenting a car key to the winner of AIM and Dangote Group L-R: WIN Savings Promo, Mrs. Bikudaima Joura, during the presentation of the star prize, yesterday at the bank’s headquarters, Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa received N59 bn dividend in AfDB hosts African Women 76 oil wells: Cross River 2011 communities threaten Economic Summit in Nigeria angote Flour Mills, at its Annual General founder of New Faces New to move to Cameroun From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos

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Meeting, announced a dividend pay-out of N500 million for the financial year ended December 31, 2011.

Firm to import new buses to boost mass transit in Nigeria

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new range of mass transit buses are to be introduced into the nation’s automobile market courtesy of a bi-lateral relationship between a Nigerian firm and a Chinese bus manufacturing company.

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n partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB), New Faces New Voices (NFNV) is hosting its second African Women Economic Summit (AWES) from 12-14 July 2012 in Lagos, Nigeria. African government, regulators, research and academic institutions, nongovernmental organisation, big business and civil society came together to discuss topics around the development of women in finance. Speakers at the conference include president of the African Development Bank Dr. Donald Kaberuka,; Graca Machel,

Voices; Evelyn Oputu, managing director of Bank of Industry, Nigeria; Nomsa Daniels, executive director at New Faces New Voices; Others include Dr. Nambura Koigi, managing director at Post Office Savings Bank, Kenya; Audrey Mothupi, director: Inclusive Banking, Standard Bank South Africa; Ginette Yoman, manager: Gender Division, African Development Bank and Toyin Adeniji, head: Women in Business Program, IFC. Panels focussed on understanding what regulators and business in Africa are doing to promote women.

By Muhammad Nasir

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ome groups in Cross River state have threatened to move to Bakassi in neighbouring Cameroun Republic over what they described as an unfair judgement by the Supreme Court which finally ruled in favour of Akwa Ibom state in a legal battle over the ownership of 76 oil wells located in the Atlantic Ocean between Akwa Ibom and Cross River states. In a unanimous decision, the court held that the claims of ownership of the disputed oil wells by Cross River state was lacking in merit and substance and maintained that the ceding of the Bakassi Peninsula to Cameroun by

the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo terminated the access of Cross River to the Atlantic. The court insisted that the maritime territory where the disputed oil wells were located belong to Akwa Ibom State which it ordered to continue to enjoy the benefits revenue accruals from the oil wells as determined by the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Allocation Committee (RMAFC) and National Boundary Commission. While the suit was filed by Cross River, the state would remain the only state in the South-South that would receive lesser monthly revenue from the Federation Account.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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Victory for FIRS at tax appeal tribunal By Muhammad Nasir

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or 10 years, the Tax Appeal Tribunal (TAT) s a t on a litigation which sought to invalidate sections of the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) Establishment Act which has to do with the creation and constitution of the TAT. That case, a Preliminary Objection, raised by a Lagos telecoms firm, General Telecom Plc, sought to disband the TAT or stop the TAT from having jurisdiction on any matter involving FIRS. The FIRS, in 2002 took General Telecom Plc to TAT (then Body of Appeal Commissioners) over the latter's refusal to pay taxes worth about N15.6 million. But General Telecom Plc filed a Preliminary Objection claiming that TAT does not have the jurisdiction to determine the case on taxation involving FIRS on alleged ground that the TAT, as it was constituted was responsible to FIRS and that it would amount to the violation of the rules of bias, 'nemo judex in causa sua, meaning "no man shall be a judge in his own case" if the TAT should adjudicate on FIRS cases. But FIRS submitted that the TAT was an independent umpire which was responsible to the Federal Ministry of Finance, not FIRS. Between 2002 and 2012, the matter was in contention. But victory and well deserved justice came the way of FIRS on Wednesday, July 4th 2012, when the TAT, Lagos ruled that "the Tribunal's empanelling does not offend the rules against bias and can decide constitutional and legal questions arising from ordinary course of its business'', and that rested the case at the TAT. Ruling on the matter, the Chairman of TAT, Lagos Zone, Chief Kayode Sofola (SAN), ruled that the tribunal has powers under the nation's constitution to determine the case. Sofola said, having carefully studied and analysed the submissions of both parties on the several questions raised, the court thereby dismissed the Preliminary Objection for lack of merit. "The tax appeal tribunal in it's capacity as an administrative tribunal, has the jurisdiction to entertain this matter and similar cases brought before it for determination and this jurisdiction does not violate Section 251(1) (a) or (b) of the Constitution. "The tribunal's empanelling does not offend the rules against bias and can

FIRS Ag Chairman, Alhaji Kabiru Mashi decide constitutional and legal questions arising from ordinary course of its business'', the tribunal chairman said. Sofola said that the tribunal could determine its jurisdiction and that the TAT is not a court of law within the limits of section 6, Chapter 7 as well as Section 251 of the constitution. The Chairman equally ruled that there was no need to join the Attorney- General and Minister of Justice, the National Assembly or any other authority or persons in the matter. On the empanelling of the TAT, which was central to the General Telecoms claims, the honourable court ruled as follows: "The respondent, General Telecom submits that the Appellant FIRS is both Appellant and judge, thus characterizing this Tribunal as part and parcel of the Appellant FIRS. In support, the respondent points out that it was the FIRS Act that set up the Tribunal, with power to the Minister of Finance to appoint the Commissioners. The Appellant FIRS says the respondent, is under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance. The respondent concludes that members of the Tribunal, being appointed by the Minister of Finance, are by extension, appointed by the Appellant FIRS. "The respondent, General Telecom's conclusion on nemo judex is seriously deficient in legal logic. The Tribunal's

members have not been appointed by the Appellant FIRS, and even the respondent is not saying so. The Minister of Finance is responsible for the Appellant among other agencies and duties. Her being the appointing authority for the membership of the Tribunal as well as the responsible Minister for the Appellant FIRS cannot, 'by extension', mean that the Commissioners have been appointed by the FIRS. The Respondent's desperate grasping of the overreaching phrase, 'by extension', evinces the respondent's own awareness of the vacuity of this ground. "Besides, the respondent, General Telecoms does not argue, let alone offer any support for the allegation as is required by the pertinent jurisprudence, that there is real likelihood of bias. The respondent does not say that a reasonable person observing the proceedings in this case would go away, thinking that they are unfair by reason of bias or likelihood of bias. The respondent paid little heed to the jurisprudence on bias. "By their very definition, administrative tribunals are appointed by the Ministry, Department or Agency of the Executive branch (the Administration) that needs them to facilitate statute administration. Often, the members are appointed from within the relevant department, without this violating the nemo judex dogma. In the case of the Tax

Appeal Tribunal, the Minister of Finance went the extra mile to secure the independence and impartiality as required by the Constitution by inviting applications from the general public of lawyers, accountants and tax experts for the positions of Tax Appeal Commissioners. None of the Commissioners is a member of staff of the Appellant FIRS or the Ministry of Finance. All the Commissioners are independent professionals with vast business experience, more likely, if anything, to be sympathetic to the private entrepreneurial taxpayer than the Federal Government. The appointment itself is impersonal. The Minister of Finance makes the appointments on documents submitted, without personal acquaintance with the candidates. To further boost independence and impartiality as required by Section 36(1) of the Constitution, the Tribunal consists of five members per zone, the idea being to minimize the influence of one or two members over the panel's deliberations. Section 36 (1) of the Constitution is not concerned about who appoints, but on who is appointed and how. It requires all empanelling authorities to exercise their appointing functions in a manner calculated to secure independence and impartiality of the body being set up. The respondent, General Telecom's submission that the appointment and composition of the Tribunal is in breach of the principle of 'nemo judex in causa sua' is utterly baseless. The Respondent has not supplied any information or particulars about the manner of appointment or the composition (the individuals appointed, any relationship they might have with the Appellant FIRS etc.) to enable the Tribunal determine whether any shred of viability could be salvaged for this tenuous and tendentious ground of objection. The respondent has not alleged that Tribunal's appointment and composition is rigged against the Respondent General Telecom. The respondent's bias complaint is not that the Tribunal would be inclined to decide adversely against the Respondent specifically. It is a generalized unease the respondent feels 'on behalf' of all parties who appear in this Tribunal against the Appellant FIRS, and it is at least doubtful whether a bias claim

is maintainable without particular significance to the complainant", the court said. Relying on the interpretations of the foregoing provisions of the Constitution, and analysis of the submissions of both parties (FIRS and General Telecom), the TAT, in a 30-page ruling, concluded as follows: "Having carefully studied and analysed the submissions of both parties on the several questions raised, we dismiss the preliminary objection and make the following determinations: 1. The Tax Appeal Tribunal in its capacity as an administrative tribunal, has the jurisdiction to entertain this and similar cases. This jurisdiction does not violate Section 251(1) (a) or (b) of the Constitution. 2. The Tribunal's empanelling does not offend the rules against bias. 3. The Tribunal can decide constitutional and legal questions arising from ordinary course of its business. 4. The Tribunal can, subject to constitutive and enabling statutes and instruments, determine its jurisdiction. 5. The TAT is not a court of law within the limit of Section 6 and Chapter Vii of the Constitution and it is not contemplated by Section 251 of the Constitution. 6. There is no need to join the Attorney General, the National Assembly or any other authority or person to this case. The Implication of the ruling. This ruling is considered a landmark ruling because it was not only a victory for FIRS over the General Telecom but also victory for FIRS, the TAT , the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all Nigerians and in fact, victory for justice over future cases that would question the composition of the TAT or its empanelling and constitutional jurisdiction. If the General Telecom Preliminary Objection had stood, Sections of the FIRS Act and Nigeria's Constitution which supported the creation and empanelling of the TAT would have been subjected to further tinkering in order to accommodate the ruling of the court. That could lead to disbanding the TAT or removing their jurisdiction over any case involving FIRS.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Chevron ignored employees’ pleas before Nigeria platform fire, workers testify

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L-R: Secretary to Lagos state government, Mrs Idiat Adebule, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Oworu, the state governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, and the Deputy, Mrs Joke Orelope-Adefulire, during the artisans/tradesmen's day, on Wednesday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

FG, NASME to organise int’l trade fair for SMEs By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem

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he Federal Government has announced plans to organise a small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) international trade fair in October, 2012 in conjunction with the National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME). The Minister of state for Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom, who hosted

Executive members of NASME in Abuja yesterday reiterated government’s determination to develop the SMEs sub sector as a way of improving the economy’s ability to employ more Nigerians and create wealth. “There is no successful country today which has not developed its SMEs since the sub sector contribute more significantly to the growth of any economy than the big businesses.”

He continued: “If we can even double the estimated 17 million SMEs we have in the country, our economy will be better for it. We are committed to that.” The Minister also told the visitors that his ministry will, in conjunction with the concerned agencies under it, give all the logistic and financial support to the proposed trade fair. Speaking earlier, NASME national president, Ibrahim

Garba Gusau said the proposed trade fair will among other advantages, “encourage business networking and fraternization of ideas, create markets for local goods and services and encourage information sharing for made in Nigeria products.” The NASME president also announced that a planning committee will be put in place to make sure the trade fair, which is expected to last for 6 days, achieves set objectives.

privatisation holistically. It will bring prosperity.” On the workers’ agitation that the calculation of their severance benefits should not be guided by the Pension Act of 2004, a member of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Adamu Gumba, urged them to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the law. “”The fear of leaving should not be there. You are the custodians of experience. “Those that will leave will have a smooth exit. On the other hand, there is a legal provision governing pension in the country. Take another look at it. I advise you to negotiate with your pension administrator to pay you a certain percentage as lump sum,” said Gumba, who is also a member of the Senate Committee on Labour. “Unless you change the law, what you are asking for is not possible. Whennegotiating, make sure you go with existing laws in the country. BPE must work in accordance with the law.”

In his remarks, the Chief Executive of Egbin Power Plc, Mr. Mike Uzoigwe, lamented the paucity of funds to address the challenges of the plant. He informed that five of the six turbines of the plant

areoperating. “We are not liquid. That is the bedrock of our problem. To overhaul a turbine, one will need about N5 billion, yet our annual budget is about N1 billion”, he observed.

Senate to partner with BPE to hasten privatization of PHCN successor firms By Abdulwahab Isa

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hairman, Senate Committee on privatization, Senator Olugbenga Obadara, has pledged that the senate will work with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to ensure the successful conclusion of the privatisation of the successor companies created from the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria in the last quarter of 2012. He made the observation when the Committee paid an oversight visit to Egbin Power Plc in Lagos, a statement by BPE Head, Public Communications, Chuckuma Nwokoh said. Obadara allayed the fears of the workers that they would be shortchanged in the privatisation exercise saying “Your entitlements will be paid. Privatisation is not to witch-hunt or shortchanges theworkers. When the investors buy the companies, we will make sure you smile to your homes. We are also looking at

Lucky winners emerge in First Bank save &win promo draw By Abdulwahab Isa

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hree customers of First Bank Nigeria Plc have emerged winners in the bank’s on-going Save and Excel promo draw taking home, a princely star prize of Peugeot 307 each. The winners are Tofa Samuel Adu, a customer of Lantanag branch in Plateau state, Roselin Ekpo of calabar branch and Mr. Osadebeh of Benin City branch. Besides, another 181 customers across the six zones of Nigeria won various category of prizes ranging from mentrary cash reward of N50, 000 , 10 others won flight ticket

with all expensed to be paid by the bank to watch 2012 Olympics; 12 customers from each zone won 21 inches plasma TV, deep freezer refrigerators, and home theater electronics. In a remark yesterday in Abuja, venue of promo draw, First Bank plc Business Development Manager (Abuja Main branch) Mr. Chukka Eze said for a customer to qualify for Peugeot 307 category, he/she must maintain a minimum saving deposit of N20, 000 for consecutive duration of three months while customer that maintains minimum saving of N20, 000 a month without withdrawal is qualified for other consolation prizes.

hevron left workers pleading to be evacuated from a gas exploration platform off Nigeria which kept drilling while smoke poured from a borehole until an explosion killed two people as the rig became engulfed in flames, according to accounts from four of the platform’s workers. Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, said it did not receive requests to evacuate the KS Endeavour rig and that staff on board had the right to call a halt to work if they believed conditions were unsafe. “There were no evacuation requests received before the KS Endeavour incident occurred,” the U.S. energy company said in an emailed response to questions from Reuters. Testimony from some of the 154 workers who were present alleges that, instead of addressing fears that equipment failures and smoke presaged disaster, Chevron flew extra staff to the platform just before the Jan. 16, 2012, blowout. Chevron says a nationwide Nigerian strike that included staff at airports had disrupted its normal crew changes but that at no time were approved safe manning levels exceeded. The fire that followed the blast burned on the rig for 46 days until March 2. Chevron drilled a relief well to stem the gas leak, sealing it on June 18. It said in an email to Reuters that an investigation with the Nigerian authorities had concluded that an entry of high pressure gas in the wellbore had caused the failure of equipment and fire. Chevron acknowledged that the first exploration well was abandoned but denied it was because of a gas leak. The second well, drilled 300 meters from the first, at a depth of 12,945 feet, soon began to lose pressure integrity, the French witness said. Chevron said its rules required that lifeboats should be kept ready at all times and the crew held weekly drills, one of which was scheduled by the Offshore Installation Manager (OIM) Bruno Marce for the morning of the day before the blowout happened. (Source: San Jose Mercury News)

GTBank gets recognition as the best bank in Nigeria

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uromoney Magazine has recognize Guaranty Trust Bank Plc (GTBank) as the 2012 best bank in Nigeria. GTBank has won this award fro the last four years. Euromoney awards for excellence is done every year to honour financial institutions worldwide.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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Africa: The global war on terror’s last frontier The US government’s heightened preoccupation with “terrorists” is out of proportion with the threat these groups actually pose to the United States. So what exactly are America’s military adventures in Africa about? asks Michael Brenner.

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merica’s “war on terror” now has brought us deep into tropical Africa and the Sahel. We learned last week that Washington is engaged in an expansive project to hunt down an array of local “terrorists”, could-be “terrorists” and mayhem makers in general. Nearly all of the numerous groups cited are no more than loose bands incapable of threatening the United States. Most have parochial interests whose focus and attention span fluctuates; they are driven by personal ambitions, tribal animosities, avarice and an appetite for raw power. To suppress them means establishing political order and the rule of law over vast territories, which have known little of either. Yet this is the implied burden the United States has assumed under plans drawn and executed by the three year old United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM). The Army is in charge with the CIA Operations Division as an auxiliary. The State Department is derogated to a supporting role that involves local public relations and serving up the diplomatic refreshments. A good portion of the work, and the money, is assigned to the mercenary companies of Iraq/Afghanistan fame. The blanket justification is that al-Qaida in the Maghreb (AQM) and alQaeda in the Horn of Africa (AQHA) are out there plotting against us. These outfits are declared an ideological and political cancer that could spread to other locations. AQM in fact is shorthanded for a ramshackle bunch of loosely connected groups in and around the Sahara who are of no danger to American interests. The latter is code for the fundamentalist alShabaab (Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin, to give it its full name) in Somalia, which has been fighting a civil war for a decade or more. It has sought to inflate its importance by rebranding

itself as an al-Qaeda affiliate. Al-Shabaab officially signed a franchise contract with the al-Qaeda family of enterprises only in February of this year. In the local mix may be a few of the people allegedly involved in the U.S. embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania more than a decade ago. Also highlighted by Washington are the eleven American citizens who, it is claimed, have gone over to take part in the tribal wars – although

it is unclear why Washington considers that a matter of great consequence. The COIN reaction to those two insurgencies is the pivot of “Operation Africa.” The heightened importance accorded AQM and AQHA is disproportionate to the danger they pose to the United States. To date, they have not caused the death of a single American. We have killed hundreds of them. Still, the United States has orchestrated a multi-party

intervention in Somalia by a half dozen countries including Christian Ethiopia (for the second time). There, as in the Sahel too, the Pentagon provides intelligence, logistical support and training, and the occasional helping hand on the ground. Those programs now have been extended to parts of nonMuslim Africa – the prominent example being the dispatch of a Special Forces team to the eastern Congo to track down Joseph Kony, head of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army – a bandit gang responsible for numerous atrocities. Kony is a nasty piece of work, but why the United States should be operating a string of forward bases in the heart of moral darkness to liquidate him is another matter. Somalia in particular has made steady progress moving up the ladder of terrorist worry spots. It is now right up there with Afghanistan

President Goodluck Jonathan has rejected a move by US congress to list Boko Haram as an international terrorist group

and Yemen – surpassing long forgotten Iraq with its still active al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. The latter is more potent than any African group: it killed hundreds of Americans, we spent billions trying to crush it, and it is more critically located than the rest. Yet, it is no longer in vogue within Washington counterterrorism circles. It is barely mentioned, and – in the ultimate disparagement – few if any of its leaders have prices on their heads. One reason for this neglect is that we can do absolutely nothing about them since we have been shown the door by Maliki and had it slammed shut behind us. This thinking amounts to looking for a lost object only under the lamppost because that is where the light is. Compare to Somalia. There, as a sign of alShabaab’s new-found prominence, the State Department this week offered

$7 million for information leading to the capture of its founder and commander Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed, through its Rewards for Justice bounty program. In contrast, the U.S. had offered only $1 million for Abu Yahya al-Libi, who was killed in a U.S. strike in Pakistan last week and was described by U.S. officials as a bin Laden confidante and al-Qaeda’s second-in-command. Either State suddenly finds itself flush with money or the New al-Qaedas are now valued more highly than Original alQaeda for reasons that are a mystery. The scope of this entire daunting enterprise, as reported in the Washington Post, is breath-takingly broad. Not just in geographical range. It encompasses four categories of activity. One is the training and supply of local forces deemed politically reliable and potentially competent to undertake counter insurgency. There is

the ulterior objective of knitting ties with military officers who could be a proAmerican political force were their time to come. Egypt is a model; Iraq is not. The second activity is engagement in military operations in the field. Special Forces already have been trekking around the fringes of the Sahara in the company of local constabulary for some time. So too in Somalia and now Yemen – as Obama admitted last Friday. A new wrinkle is the building of a small galaxy of airfields in the bush from which single engine prop planes can undertake surveillance of “enemy” movements. Their value in the age of drones and satellite electronic imaging is unexplained. Perhaps, political conditions are not yet ripe for installation of the necessary high tech support structure. Obviously, though, this crop duster squadron will be manned mainly by mercenary companies. There is intelligence gathering. This goes beyond operational intelligence or the identifying of bad guy networks. Rather, it covers the political mapping of entire countries, which USAFRICOM visualizes as the basis for long-term American strategy aimed at winning friends and influencing people. Such activities normally fall in the purview of the State Department; this is yet another sign of State being eclipsed by the Pentagon/ Intelligence powerhouse that rules American foreign policy nowadays. Finally, there is the element of people to people confidence building ties between Americans and the locals. It is a tactic that carries over from our vain efforts along these lines elsewhere. Never say “basta!” The budget is classified; the project’s duration is as far as the mind can imagine. There is one thing that we can be sure of. Operation Africa is self-perpetuating since there will be a steady supply of murderers, extortionists and Islamic radicals in this tormented environment that we never will be able to suppress. Our efforts, moreover, will generate the inevitable anti-Americanism and retaliation such ventures spawn – as in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. So why launch this latest enterprise of dubious value? Well, when you have created an USAFRICOM, when you have staffed it with a few

President Barack Obama of United States

thousand personnel, when you have a Special Forces corps numbering 60,000, when you have a vastly expanded CIA Operations Division, and when American strategic thinking is still locked in the auto-pilot mode set in September 2001 – when all these forces are at work, there will be action. Trained to rumble people will not be content doing pushups while watching the Military Channel. Their superiors will not be content thumbing through Jeune Afrique - and thinking about what they read. As an updated Paladin calling card

might read: Have Gun Will Travel; E-mail: USAFRICOM@US.Gov Add to the above politicians who live in dread of being accused of being soft on terrorists or on anyone else who dislikes America. Most of this, of course, has been classified ultra secret. Secret from whom is unclear. After all, the parties in on the secret include: leadership of AQLM and AQHA; the governments of the countries involved – or, at least, their militaries; the African Union “peacekeeping” force in Somalia; UN officials in the region; humanitarian

organizations and coffee shop habitués from Ouagadougou to Mombasa. As for Mr. John Q. Public here at home, it looks like he is the only one who cannot be trusted with this ultra secret information. Japanese spiritual culture is filled with various supernatural demi-gods. Shoki, the demon-slayer, is a favourite. He is depicted in human form with a wild countenance, flying hair and armed with a powerful broadsword. His fierce dedication to purging an array of malevolent creatures is manifest. He is high-spirited and exults in his

good works. He is a theatrical figure. Shoki is fabled as returning from Hell with a mission to cleanse the world of Evil – especially as embodied by malign spirits and ghosts. They are legion; indeed, their number seems to grow to meet the demand for ever-more marvellous feats by the fiery protector of the good and virtuous. He is at once guardian and existential reassurance against the menacing forces that surround us. An emotional security blanket. Shoki is here – and there, and everywhere. So rest assured – go shopping. Source: Pambazuka News


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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Berlin gripped by family feud over sausages

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all it the battle of the bangers. A family feud over sausage succession rights is adding some spice to Berlin's summer. This week, after months of bitter legal wrangling with his mother, Mario Ziervogel opened a fast-food outlet serving Berlin's famous dish,

the currywurst - fried pork sausage sliced up and smothered in ketchup and curry powder. His shop is just a few blocks away from his family's restaurant, Konnopke's Imbiss, one of the city's most famous eateries because it was the first to introduce the currywurst to

then-communist East Berlin in 1960. Hungry Berliners would queue for up to an hour to buy the spicy sausage in communist times and Konnopke's remains a popular tourist destination to this day. Ziervogel's mother Waltraud, 76, has sued him for

A local resident buries himself in an ash deposit during a protest at Coronel town south of Santiago, June 25, 2012. Locals have been protesting against a thermo-electric plant of Spanish company Endesa that is contaminating their land and waters and covering their town with heavy pollution, according to local media. Photo: REUTERS

wanting to name his new outlet "Ziervogel's Cult Curry - since 1960". Her lawyer Fabian Tietz argued that the son, 48, was not even born in 1960, let alone serving sausages. The local court ruled on Tuesday that Ziervogel could keep the name for his new restaurant but must drop the year. "In this regard, Ziervogel was anti-competitive," Tietz told Reuters. "We are glad that we won." The son's lawyer, Christian Weizberg, also claimed victory, saying the mother had also wanted to prevent him naming his shop Ziervogel's Cult Curry. At the court hearing, Waltraud Ziervogel revoked her son's inheritance rights and said she would hand over the reins of the family business instead to her daughter. "In the end, it will be for the clients to decide whose currywurst tastes better," said Weizberg. On Thursday, under the headline "The new currywurst invasion", Germany's bestselling daily Bild said four new outlets serving the snack, including Ziervogel's, had opened in Berlin in the past week alone. The dish is said to have been invented by the late Herta Heuwer in 1949 after she obtained ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers based in West Berlin.

Zamfara’s ambivalent budget of hope Contd. from Back Page The religious affairs budget covers the Hisbah Commission, Hajj, and Religious Preaching Commission are to receive about N1.7bn for recurrent expenditures. While in terms of capital expenditure, Qur’anic school sensitization, Qur’anic memorization centers and the like are to receive about N190 million. A monstrous N2bn is dedicated for Sallah activities for 2012. These are not only misplaced spending priorities, but perhaps violations of the Constitution as public funds ought not be spent on religious activities in a nation that recognizes no state religion. The education sector receives about N5.7bn (5% of the budget) despite the fact that education in the state is a far cry from what it ought to be. According to the Universal Basic Education Commission’s (UBEC) 2010 education profile, Zamfara has the least number of Primary Schools (1,311) in the North West Zone and

about a third of the number in Kano (4,756). Net enrollment in Primary schools is 367,823 (55%); higher than Enugu 231,401(42%) which ranks closely in terms of population. Net enrollment in Junior Secondary School is 112,026 (42%), making the state rank average in the zone. In the 2011 UTME, only 44.2% of Zamfara students scored 180 and above while Akwa Ibom for instance had a 70.8% pass rate! Health is allocated N3.5bn (3%). The figure clearly indicates the low priority accorded this sector. The state at the moment records the highest number of child mortality due to the lead poisoning crisis in the state. This incident alone has led to the deaths of over 400 children in the past two years according to reports from Human Rights Watch. Beyond this, over 4,000 more have been contaminated, may grow up with disabilities and in need of medical intervention. It is doubtful that the health facilities in the state are well equipped to handle the situation. It is therefore

pertinent that the state government takes proactive measures in finding lasting solutions to illegal mining in the state irrespective of whether it falls under the exclusive list in the constitution. Agriculture which ought to be the mainstay of Zamfara’s economy receives a capital allocation of about N10.5bn (9%). Although the government has put in notable efforts in the sector, much revolved around supplying subsidized fertilizer at N1,000 per bag, and seedlings to the farmers. More has to be done in terms of providing infrastructure, storage, extension services and improved market access to create jobs and generate revenues for the state. More of such interventions and incentives in the sector will also lure many of the unemployed youths into agriculture who otherwise would engage in activities that may be detrimental to both the state and the nation. On a brighter note, Zamfara is the 15th easiest state to start a business according to the World

Bank in 2010. Unfortunately, the government has only allocated N35m (less than 1% of the budget) for youth mobilization and job creation, N280m for skill acquisition and N100m for an agro-based centre. This is one area which needs creativity to engage the army of young people. Rather than leave them frustrated, innovative engagement would empower them to be gainfully employed and occupied so much that they have no time or energy to be used negatively or as agents for distorted political agendas. The overall picture in Zamfara is gloomy. Almost all sectors are in dire need of improvement. If the state is to ever move forward, it would require a shift from the outlook of instant gratification with little thought for future development to more realistic long-term programs that would secure the future of its citizens. Governor Yari is trying hard to outgrow the legacy of huge debt, parasitic religious elite and over stretched resources. He has little choice but to try harder.

Funeral home to offer Starbucks coffee

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funeral home in northwestern South Carolina will be offering what it calls the Starbucks experience to those needing comfort, or just a cup of coffee. Robinson Funeral Home in Easley is building a coffee shop attached to the funeral home. The Coffee Corner will feature Starbucks coffee and food and also will be open to those who don't need services from the funeral home. Chris Robinson says the Coffee Corner will include a fireplace, TV and WiFi. Starbucks employees will train employees at the funeral home later this month before the shop opens. Robinson says there's nothing like food or coffee to help comfort those who've experienced a loss.

Brazilian club asks fans to give blood

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razilian football club Vitoria has removed its trademark red hoops from its shirt and told supporters it will add the color back gradually as fans donate blood. The campaign, entitled "My Blood is Red and Black", is named after the club's traditional colors and comes amid a nationwide drive to get more Brazilians to give blood for transfusions. "We wanted to do more than just ask fans to give blood," said Vitoria's president Alexi Portela Junior. "With this initiative, fans of the red and black can participate more actively in the campaign and they will see the importance of a gesture like this that can help save countless lives." The club normally plays in a red-and-black hooped shirt, with white shorts and red-and-black socks. At its most recent game, players wearing black-and-white hooped shirts carried a banner onto the field reading: "Vitoria has always given its blood for you. It's time for you to give yours." Portela Junior said the club plans to add a red hoop back after each game, starting with next weekend's match. The club has four red and four black hoops on its jersey. "In this novel way we are making our fans aware of the importance of giving blood," Portela Junior said. The campaign comes just a few weeks after Sao Paulo, one of Brazil's biggest clubs, put the slogan "Give Blood" on its shirts for a game.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Burden of security on the houses of Allah Allah says: “When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, They divulge it. if They had only referred it to the Messenger, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have tested it from them (direct). were it not for the Grace and Mercy of Allah unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan.” [anNisa’i: 83]

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n the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. Recently, the Inspector General of police called upon all religious institutions in the country to provide their own security arrangement for their congregations during the Fridays and Sundays services. This announcement came as a result of the over stretching the capability and capacity of the police by the insistent violence which engulf, the North Eastern and Central states, in presently. The call went further to give the Mosques and the churches the leverage to make independent security arrangement in order to give their faithful the needed succour and serenity during their worships. Many public commentators saw this call as a clear indication of incapacitation of the Nigeria Police in discharging their constitutional duty, hence the need to review their wages downwards! But the truth is that police, like all of us, are also human beigns with limitations and restrictions. Personally, what I understand with the announcement, was that it was simply a frantic call, which really came a little bit late. Many security conscious Nigerians, though, do not see anything wrong with both the context and timing of the announcement. Their only lamentation is the extension and expansion of the violence to the House of God by the unknown assailants! Ordinarily, Mosques and churches should be abodes for not only security, but also tranquility and comfort. In Islam, there are basically two purposes of establishing a Mosque; to serve as place for occaisional assembly and security. Allah says: “Remember we made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the station of Abraham As a place of prayer; and we covenanted with Abraham and Isma'il, that They should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it As a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein In prayer).” [alBaqara: 125] On July 3, 2012 I priviledged to gave a talk on the invitation of the Abuja Area Command and Divisional Police Officer, Maitama District in collaboration with the

Chairman Police Community apprehension and diffidence have Relation committee (PCRC) become daily feelings of Maitama District, Abuja on the congregants in the middle of those “New Strategic Approach to Inter- he or she knows and was familiar Denominational Securi.” My with! This is very regrettable that audience comprised of serving and churches and mosques, which are retired Police officers, Imams and Reverend Fathers, as well as community leaders drawn from the M a i t a m a By Husain Zakariyya District's Yawale Mosques and Churches. The following text is +234-8052952900 (sms only) the summery of islamexplained35@yahoo.com the talk: Security, they said is everybody's concern! divinely regarded as safe havens Though this saying goes well to and sanctuaries have come under include everybody to consider relentless terrorist attacks in recent safety measures and protection, times, particularly in certain parts yet it requires specializations and in the north. They are blessed and trainings in handling, provision sacred places and so should be and administration of security immune and unsusceptible from procedure. In every civilized the troubles, commotion, conflicts society, security tops all priority and violence of the world, functions of their governments. including wars. Unfortunately, recent events This necessitated the establishment and founding of in some parts of the world, specialized branches and precipitated springing up of cells of departments to handle and plan for different types of security and insecurity situations. In United States of America and Great Britain, security is a very serious business that is non-compromising and non-negotiable! Anyone and anything cannot be spared in their match to securing their boundaries and their citizens. They can go to any length as far as security palaver is concerned. In fact no amount is too much for security operation! Islam, in view of both its significance and specialization, over 1400 years ago, already gave a divinely framework in attainment and handling of security properly for all. Allah says: “When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, They divulge it. if They had only referred it to the Messenger, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper terrorists who in turn carry out investigators would have tested it serial attacks on Churches and from them (direct). Were it not for Mosques in northern parts of the appear to have the Grace and Mercy of Allah unto country, you, all but a few of you would have fundamentally tainted the agefallen into the clutches of Satan.” [an- long cordial rapport which existed between Muslims and Christians. Nisa’i: 83] This ayah or verse has gone Thus, if there is any lesson to drive much faster than we ever think to home from such happenings, is the guide us to refrain from unreeling of the associated which usher the dissemination of rumours and tumults unverified stories. That we must beginning of the end of time! The clarion call of the inspector as matter of importance rest all our information to the experts who General of police has conceded to are paid by the government of the the fact that absolute security is day. Indeed, rumour mongering unfeasible, but, believed that with has never been so fast like these adequate advance planning and days of SMS, Facebook, Twitter, E- systematic potentiating amongst mails, etc, etc, resulting into the religious leaders of the Mosques unquantifiable quantum of losses and churches, the congregation, of lives and properties within a community and the various arms glimpse of a moment. Similarly, security operatives and the law in another chapter Allah warns us enforcement agencies, the fear and again on gossip spreading. He says: tribulations of the unexpected that “O ye who believe! if a wicked engulf places of worship could be person comes to you with any news, reduced almost to the minimum ascertain the truth, Lest ye harm level. This new position of involving people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what religious officials in the provision of security measures for their ye have done.” [al-Hujraat: 6] The Apostle of Allah shades faithful may be of double edge more light on the sinning of effect; the good and the bad. To spreading any falsehood, he said, grant unchecked permission to “Whoever narrates a story while religious institutions to provide knowing it is false, then he is one of themselves with adequate and standard security and safety the two liars.” Today insecurity, fear, measures, can mean preparation

ISLAM EXPLAINED

for war between the major religious groups, or internal scuffle can ensue into big catastrophes easily. This fear is not far-fetched as long as volunteers are the ones to be conscripted devoid of security clearance. Thus, to avoid this time bomb, the IGP professionally said, ''the volunteers must be with impeccable background and a passion for safety and security. Proper vetting and background checks must be carried out on all prospective members to avoid infiltration by enemies.'' In order to avoid both inter and intra religious violence with weapons approved by the government, the religious institutions should work closely with the local police authority and other relevant security agencies in formulating appropriate security measures. The Mosques and churches therefore, have no option than request for constant

trainings, workshops and seminars for members on security committee. In addition to the volunteers' training, the "Churches and Mosques may consider erecting barriers to keep human and vehicular traffic away from designated areas. This can cause untold hardship to motorists who may be unaware with road blockades causing negative impact on economic activities in every major city. It can also become a challenging security option. Even though one of the most effective ways of preventing suicide bombing is to isolate the suicide bomber to himself and prevent him from reaching his targeted audience, such execution must be professionally handled. Subsequently, Mosques and Churches must not isolate themselves from the public or their host community in all their religious ceremonies. So also Mosques and Churches should not be erected in remote plots, away from the involvement of the locality in which they are meant to serve. They should rather be encouraged to go into the society and play positive roles in solving the problems of the community and changing the society for good. Religious institution must build

bridges and build bonds. Saudi Arabia was the first country to be faced with terrorists taking over their Mosques. In fact the first time the Kingdom dealt with terrorism was during the 1979 occupation of the Grand Mosque by Juhaiman bin Saif AlOtaibi and his group of militants. Since then, the Kingdom has felt the ever-looming danger from terrorism against religion and the law and has thus waged a relentless campaign that began with a confrontation against those embracing deviant thought and ended in their capture in cities all over the Kingdom. The issue of parking worshippers vehicles can also create another tension if all Nigerians will be security conscious, as nobody would allow unknown cars to be parked around their residence. The fear of the unexpected, looms and dings! That means the government must provide designated parking lots for every Mosque and church in every city. But is that feasible? It is very unfortunate that soon our Mosques and Churches will become like airports needing huge investment on modern security gadgets such as CCTV cameras, scanners, etc. In view of what is happening, It would be foolhardy to say that Abuja is safer than jos, Kano, Maiduguri or Kaduna. Just because incidents don't happen. In fact some things do happen that go unreported and are kept out of public domain does not make a city safer. The police force should never be under the illusion that the chances of a terror attack cannot happen. There are too many social and economic faultiness in the country, and also at an international level, for there to be enough reason to never sit on our haunches without taking necessary measures promptly. The best way to control terror is to prevent it. We Muslim clerics will work towards intelligencedriven operations and develop the wherewithal to help you control terror. But that won't succeed until you draw on superior knowledge of other specialized agencies in the country that are working towards combating terror and build good liaisons with them. Cooperation is key towards fighting terror. There must be the return of security operatives sharing of intelligence on daily and weekly basis in order to achieve remarkable turnaround of peace and security. In an apparent bid to wean away militants from deviant ideology and bring them to the social mainstream, we recommend the establishment of Center for Counseling and Care to cater for the rehabilitation of exterrorists by exposing the falsehood of their beliefs and extreme ideologies and showing that Islam and humanity is free of such extremism. There is need to realize and encourage the role of Imams and Pastors in fighting terror. The government must extend its hand of benevolence and cooperation to Mosques and Churches for effective implementation of all the security measures to be viable. The needed equipment must be provided, installed, operated and maintained by the government since the security is government primary role!


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Boosting small-scale enterprises through efficient power supply By Francis Onyeukwu

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hristopher Okezie established a welding business in Umuahia in 1972 and his business then thrived considerably because of constant power supply in the neighbourhood. With the proceeds for the welding business, 68-year-old Okezie has been able to train all his 11 children, while making some investments in real estate. But Okezie is now complaining of hard times; thanks to the poor electricity supply in Umuahia and its environs. “At the time I established this business, welding was a gold mine and that was because power supply in Umuahia was superb. “I built a house in EzeobaUmuahia, got married and recorded many other achievements because the patronage was quite high. “By all means, I am a fulfilled man as a welder because most of my children are doing well in their chosen careers; I have been able to cope with all the challenges of life with my income,’’ he says. However, Okezie laments that his business started nosediving since 1991; shortly Abia State was carved out from Imo State. “After the creation of Abia, Umuahia, the new state capital, witnessed a big population explosion, while the existing infrastructure, including power, were obviously overstretched,’’ he moans. Okezie grumbles that the power situation in Umuahia has since continued to worsen, saying: “In some areas where you have electricity, it will not be enough to power your electrical appliances and generators are very expensive to maintain.’’ Okezie’s lamentation is quite justifiable, as Mr Jude Umeh, PHCN’s Business Manager (Umuahia Unit) concedes that for a long time, the power supply situation in Umuahia has not been encouraging. He notes that Umuahia and its adjacent communities are serviced via a long 33KV line from Aba, which was constructed over 50 years ago. Umeh stresses that due to the obsolete state of the facility, electricity supply to consumers in Umuahia and its environs became somewhat poor. However, the cheering news is that electricity consumers in Umuahia and neighbouring communities will soon have a cause to smile, as a new transmission line has just been installed. The 2x40 MVA 132/133KV transmission substation and 132KV DC transmission line, constructed at Ohiya, Umuahia,

Scene of the recent bomb-damaged Shalom Church in Kaduna state.

were recently inaugurated by the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji. The project was jointly financed by the Federal Government and the Abia State Government. Nnaji, who gave a brief history of the Ohiya substation, recalled that the contract for the project was awarded in 2001. The minister stressed that with the completion of the project, economic activities in Umuahia and its environs would soon experience a remarkable boost. He noted that the long 33KV line from Aba, was primarily designed to deliver about five megawatts of power, adding, however, that out of the figure, about two megawatts were lost during transmission. Nnaji said that the new substation would serve as a hub for four other downstream 40MVA 132/33KV transmission substations in Okigwe, Mbalano, Ohafia and Arochukwu; all set up to achieve improved power supply in Abia State. “With the completion of Ohiya substation, a transformer capacity of 80MVA, two 132KV lines and six 33KV outgoing feeders have been achieved by government,’’ he said. Nnaji, nonetheless, appealed to Abia communities to ensure the maximum protection of all PHCN facilities so as to enable them to benefit maximally from the power sector’s transformation programme. Gov. Theodore Orji expressed

happiness that the 11-year-old project was completed during his administration. He thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for fasttracking the project’s execution, pledging that his administration would continue to cooperate with the Federal Government in efforts to improve the people’s living standards. Orji, however, expressed optimism that the power situation in the state would further improve whenever the Geometric Power Plant and the Federal Government’s Integrated Power Plant at Alaoji, near Aba, started functioning. Mr Olusola Akinniranye, the Chief Executive Officer, Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), gave the assurance that electricity consumers in Umuahia and its environs would soon start enjoying constant power supply. He commended the governor for resolving contentious issues regarding the right of way for the construction of 33KV feeders, as well as the provision of other logistics for the entire projects. Mr Ugochukwu Emezue, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Orji, said that the completion of Ohiya substation was one of the dividends of democracy jointly provided by the Federal Government and the Abia State Government for the people of the state. He noted that the economic activities in the affected areas had started to pick up, adding

that the state government invested over N1.5 billion in the project to complement the Federal Government’s investments. “Before now, people spent a lot of money in powering their generators in offices and at home; with the inauguration of the Ohiya station, however, all these monies will be channelled into other ventures. “Firms spent huge amount of money to procure diesel for their generators but with the inauguration of Ohiya station, the story has inevitably changed. “Many people have sent congratulatory messages to Gov. Orji for his efforts towards the completion of the Ohiya project,’’ he said. Emezue, nonetheless, attributed the project’s completion, more than a decade after the award of its contract, to a robust working relationship between the Abia State Government and the Federal Government. He, however, appealed to artisans, traders and entrepreneurs, who hitherto relied on using generators for their various businesses, to reduce their prices of their wares due to the decrease in production costs engendered by improved power supply. He conceded that since the inauguration of the Ohiya substation, his expenses on buying diesel for his generator had drastically reduced due to the enhanced power supply. Besides, Emezue said that

electricity transformers would soon be distributed to communities, including those in the rural areas, noting, however, that that some communities had refused to install the transformers they collected from government. He appealed to the people of the state to guard all the public projects sited in their areas. He, however, urged the government to prevail on PHCN to install pre-paid meters across the state so as to enable consumers to have value for their money. Okezie succinctly underscored the need for the prepaid meters, saying that many people had been complaining of outrageous and inconsistent energy bills because PHCN officials “don’t often come around to read the meters’’. However, observers say that there has been a remarkable improvement in power supply to Abia communities since the inauguration of the Ohiya substation. Commending the government for the project, the observers, nonetheless, urge the government to press PHCN to install pre-paid meters across the state to foster hitch-free electricity distribution to the people. They also want other states to emulate the partnership between the Federal Government and Abia State Government which resulted in the successful completion of Ohiya power project. Source: NAN


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

W

hen your parents are the world’s tallest married couple, there’s a strong chance you too are going to stand out from the crowd. And Keisha and Wilco Van KleefBolton’s latest arrival is no exception. Weighing in at 9.2lb, baby Jonah already seems to be following in his father’s giant size 15 footsteps. Jonah measured an impressive 56cm when he was born, hitting the 98th percentile of baby lengths. The couple - he’s 7ft and she’s 6ft 5in - also have a son, Lucas, six, who is already 4ft 5.5in, the height of an 11-year-old, and daughter Eva, four, who is 3ft 7in, the typical height of a five-year-old. Jonah, who was born in June, is set to add to the Van Kleef-Boltons’ combined height of 21ft - which is almost four feet taller than an average couple with children the same age. Keisha and Wilco, from Dagenham, Essex, currently hold a Guinness World Record for being the world’s tallest couple. Keisha, 32, said: ‘I love being a mum and I love watching my children grow up tall like their parents. ‘We would love to be the world’s tallest family - but we’ve a way to go yet. ‘If Jonah is anything like Wilco and Lucas, he will break every height marker for his age. ‘We’re already investing in

PAGE 29

World’s tallest married couple welcome huge 9.2lb son clothes for three-year-olds and only buying a few outfits for very new babies because our kids grow so fast. ‘Because I’m used to having tall kids, Jonah seems extra tiny at the moment. But at 9lb 2oz, he was a big baby and he’s already gone up to more than 10lb. ‘I’m a very protective mother and being so tall means I can keep an eye on where my kids are at all times.’ Keisha, who wore men’s clothes when she was pregnant because there weren’t any maternity outfits big enough, said the couple would like another child. She said: ‘Four is a nice number, but we have enough on our hands for the time being. ‘We’ll have to wait until Lucas and Eva are bigger - which by the looks of things isn’t going to be long.’ Keisha met school security guard Wilco, 31, after putting an ad out through the Tall Persons Club UK looking for a dance partner. When the couple married in 2001, they raised the doorframes in their home to stop them clipping their heads. The couple - he's 7ft and she's 6ft 5in - also have a son, Lucas, six, who is already 4ft 5.5in, the height of an 11-year-old, and daughter Eva, four, who is 3ft 7in, the typical height of a five-year-old. The couple still have a bedroom that is only big enough for a standard double bed, forcing them to sleep with their feet hanging out. Wilco, who has 40-inch legs, stood at 5ft 10in by the time he was

Keisha and Wilco Van Kleef-Bolton - the world's tallest married couple - with their latest arrival. Weighing in at 9.2lb, baby Jonah already seems to be following in his father's giant size 15 footsteps.

for her 38in legs - despite being a size 12. She said: ‘I use normal women’s dresses as shirts because they come up so short. I can never find things I like in my size.

‘Flying on budget airlines with no legroom is a problem too. ‘But there are perks - I never have to use a stepladder to reach the top shelf.’ Source: Dailymail.co.uk

just ten. His wife said she suffered from jokes at school about her height and had to stop wearing high heels when she was 18 and her shoe size went past an eight. Wilco said: ‘Jonah is a fantastic addition to our family and Lucas and Eva are crazy about him. ‘The biggest problem at the moment is teaching our kids to ride their bikes because being so tall we have to bend over constantly, which is quite painful for our backs. ‘Lucas has already grown out of his school uniform this year so we’ll have to get him trousers for 10-year-olds next. ‘They both go through about three pairs of shoes per year.’ Dutch-born Wilco buys his clothes from specialist websites that normally supply size 15 shoes to American basketball players. And Keisha struggles to find Jonah, who was born in June, is set to add to the Van Kleef-Boltons' combined outlets which supply height of 21ft - which is almost four feet taller than an average couple with clothes which cater children the same age.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Woman scarred by acid attack joins protest march after Afghan woman was executed by Taliban for ‘adultery’ M

umtaz Bibi, a 16-yearold woman disfigured in a callous acid attack, led dozens of women in a street protest in Kabul today - sparked by the recent public gunning down of an Afghan woman accused of adultery. The teenager’s brave decision to join the march - despite herself being the victim of a vicious attack that has scarred her for life, at the hands of a man she refused to marry - served as a bold demonstration that women are desperate for change in a country rated among the worst for women’s rights. Gruesome video of the execution surfaced on July 8, showing the woman being shot multiple times by a man wielding an AK-47 in Parwan province, north of the Afghan capital. The gunman was encouraged by people who stood nearby, smiling and cheering. Police in Parwan said the Taliban were behind the killing, but the insurgents have denied they ordered or carried out the slaying. The death of the woman, said to be 22-year-old named Najiba, set off a storm of international condemnation.

Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, the U.S. Embassy, the top Nato military commander in Afghanistan and activist groups around the world joined in to denounce the killing. Today’s protest was a reminder that girls and women still suffer shocking abuse in Afghanistan, but the protest also indicated that people’s views on women’s rights in the country could be slowly changing. And in a clear message to those responsible for the killing and an Afghan government struggling to control the lawlessness of the country - many of the protesters’ banners were in English to reach a worldwide audience. Zuhra Alamyar, a woman activist who was at the Kabul rally, said: ‘We want the government to take action on behalf of these women... who are victims of violence and who are being killed. We want the government to take serious action and stop them.’ The crowd of about 50 demonstrators - mostly women but with some men too - carried large white sheets that said ‘International community: Where is the protection and justice for Afghan women?’

Demands for justice: The protest was sparked by the recent execution of an Afghan woman in Parwan province. But women's groups are calling on the Afghan government to do more for equal rights.

Peaceful protest: The march, from the Afghan Ministry of Women's Affairs to a traffic circle near a U.N. compound, was guarded by a large cordon of Afghan police.

Looking to the world: Mumtaz Bibi, 16, was disfigured in an acid attack by a man she refused to marry. Today, in Kabul, she epitomised the struggle for women's rights in the country.

English banners: Choosing an international language to voice their protest, the banner reads, 'International community! Where is the protection and justice for Afghan women?' They marched from the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs to a traffic circle near a U.N. compound, and some shouted: ‘Death to those who did this act!’ There have been reports that the two Taliban commanders who executed Najiba - because ‘they could not decide who could have her’ - have themselves been put to death. Despite guaranteed rights and progressive new laws, the U.N. Development Program still ranks Afghanistan as one of the world’s worst countries when it comes to equal rights for women. Afghan advocates say attitudes have subtly shifted over the years, in part thanks to the dozens of women’s groups that have sprung

up.

Still, ending abuse of women is a huge challenge in a patriarchal society where traditional practices include child marriage, giving girls away to settle debts or pay for their relatives’ crimes, and so-called honour killings of girls seen as disgracing their families. Women activists worry that gains made in recent years could erode as the international presence in Afghanistan wanes and the government seeks to negotiate a settlement with the hardline Islamic Taliban insurgents. During the Taliban regime, women were banned from working and going to school, or

even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a head-to-toe burqa veil, which covers even the face with a mesh panel. The video surfaced just before donor nations met this weekend in Tokyo and pledged $16 billion in aid for Afghanistan. The donors expressed strong concerns over how the money will be handled and also called on Kabul to improve human rights, especially women’s rights. Afghan woman’s rights activist Simi Samar said: ‘We want from the government to follow the killing of the women in Afghanistan and hand over those responsible to face justice.’ Source: Dailymail.co.uk


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

ANALYSIS Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan never saw it coming.

H

e knew he was in trouble when the Pentagon leaked that the Turkish Phantom RF-4E shot down last week by Syrian anti-aircraft artillery happened off the Syrian coastline, directly contradicting Erdogan's account, who claimed it happened in international air space. And it got worse; Moscow, via Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, offered "objective radar data" as proof. There was not much to do except change the subject. That's when Ankara introduced a de facto buffer zone of four miles (6.4km) along the Syrian-Turkish border - now enforced by F-16s taking off from NATO's Incirlik base at regular intervals. Ankara also dispatched tanks, missile batteries and heavy artillery to the 500 mile (800km) border, right after Erdogan effectively branded Syria "a hostile state". What next? Shock and awe? Hold your (neo-Ottoman) horses. Lord Balfour, I presume? The immediate future of Syria was designed in Geneva recently, in one more of those absurdist "international community" plays when the US, Britain, France, Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council's Qatar and Kuwait sat down to devise a "peaceful solution" for the Syrian drama, even though most of them are reportedly weaponising the opposition to Damascus. One would be excused to believe it was all back to the Balfour Declaration days, when foreign powers would decide the fate of a country without the merest consultation of its people, who, by the way, never asked them to do it on their behalf. Anyway, in a nutshell: there won't be a NATO war on Syria - at least for now. Beyond the fact that Lavrov routinely eats US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for breakfast, Russia wins - for now. Predictably, Moscow won't force regime change on Assad; it fears the follow-up to be the absolute collapse of Syrian state machinery, with cataclysmic consequences. Washington's position boils down to accepting a very weak, but not necessarily out, Assad. The problem is the interpretation of "mutual consent", on which a "transitional government" in Syria would be based - the vague formulation that emerged in Geneva. For the Obama administration, this means Assad has to go. For Moscow - and, crucially, for Beijing - this means the transition must include Assad. Expect major fireworks dancing around the interpretation. Because a case can be made that the new "no-fly zone" over Libya - turned by NATO into a 30,000-sortie bombing campaign - will become Syria's "transitional government", based on "mutual consent". One thing is certain: nothing happens before the US presidential election in November. This means that for the next five months or so Moscow will be trying to extract some sort of "transitional government" from the bickering Syrian players. Afterwards, all bets are off. A Washington under Mitt Romney may well order NATO to

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Why Turkey won’t go to war with Syria

Erdogan effectively branded Syria 'a hostile state' after it shot down a Turkish jet

attack in early 2013. A case can be made that a PutinObama or US-Russia deal may have been reached even before Geneva. Russia has eased up on NATO in Afghanistan. Then there was the highly choreographed move of the US offering a formal apology and Pakistan duly accepting it - thus reopening NATO's supply routes to Afghanistan. It's crucial to keep in mind that Pakistan is an observer and inevitable future full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) - run by China and Russia, both BRICS members highly interested in seeing the US and NATO out of Afghanistan for good. The "price" paid by Washington is, of course, to go easy on Damascus - at least for now. There is not much Erdogan can do about it; he really was not in the loop. So here's the perverse essence of Geneva: the (foreign) players agreed to disagree - and to hell with Syrian civilians caught in the civil war crossfire. In the absence of a NATO attack, the question is how the Assad system may be able to contain or win what is, by all practical purposes, a foreign-sponsored civil war. Yes, because the division of labour will remain intact. Turkey will keep offering the logistical base for mercenaries coming from "liberated" Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Lebanon. The House of Saud

will keep coming up with the cash to weaponise them. And Washington, London and Paris will keep fine-tuning the tactics in what remains the long, simmering foreplay for a NATO attack on Damascus. Even though the armed Syrian opposition does not control anything remotely significant inside Syria, expect the mercenaries reportedly weaponised by the House of Saud and Qatar to become even more ruthless. Expect the not-exactlyFree Syrian Army to keep mounting operations for months, if not years. A key point is whether enough supply lines will remain in place - if not from Jordan, certainly from Turkey and Lebanon. Damascus may not have the power to strike the top Western actors in this drama. But it can certainly wreak havoc among the supporting actors - as in Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and, of course, Turkey. Jordan, the weak link, a wobbly regime at best, has already closed off supply lines. Hezbollah sooner or later will do something about the Lebanese routes. Erdogan sooner or later will have to get real about what was decided in Geneva. Moreover, one can't forget that Saudi Arabia would be willing to fight only to the last dead American; it won't risk Saudis to fight Syrians. As for red alerts about Saudi troops getting closer to southern Syria through Jordan, that's a joke. The House of Saud military couldn't

“

even defeat the ragtag Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen. A final juicy point. The Russian naval base at Tartus approximately a mere 55 miles (90km) away from where the Panthom RF-4E was shot down now has its radar on 24/7. And it takes just a single Russian warship anchored in Syrian waters to send the message; if anyone comes up with funny ideas, just look at what happened to Georgia in 2008. Erdogan has very few cards left to play, if any. Assad, in an interview with Turkey's Cumhuriyet newspaper, regretted "100 per cent" the downing of the RF-4E, and argued, "the plane was flying in an area previously used by Israel's air force". The fact remains that impulsive Erdogan got an apology from wily Assad. By contrast, after the Mavi Marmara disaster, Erdogan didn't even get an unpeeled banana from Israel. The real suicidal scenario would be for Erdogan to order another F4style provocation and then declare war on Damascus on behalf of the not-exactly-Free Syrian Army. It won't happen. Damascus has already proved it is deploying a decent air defence network. Every self-respecting military analyst knows that war on Syria will be light years away from previous "piece of cake" Iraq and Libya operations. NATO commanders, for all their ineptitude, know they could easily

The fact remains that impulsive Erdogan got an apology from wily Assad. By contrast, after the Mavi Marmara disaster, Erdogan didn't even get an unpeeled banana from Israel.

collect full armouries of bloody noses. As for the Turkish military, their supreme obsession is the Kurds in Anatolia, not Assad. They do receive some US military assistance. But what they really crave is an army of US drones to be unleashed over Anatolia. Turkey routinely crosses into Northern Iraq targeting Kurdish PKK guerrillas accused of killing Turkish security forces. Now, guerrillas based in Turkey are reportedly crossing the border into Syria and killing Syrian security forces, and even civilians. It would be too much to force Ankara to admit its hypocrisy. Erdogan, anyway, should proceed with extreme caution. His rough tactics are isolating him; more than two-thirds of Turkish public opinion is against an attack on Syria. It's come to the point that Turkish magazine Radikal asked their readers whether Turkey should be a model for the new Middle East. Turkey used to be "the sick man of Europe"; now Turkey is "becoming the lonely man of the Middle East", says the article. Most of all, Erdogan simply cannot afford to antagonise Russia. There are at least 100,000 Russians in Syria - doing everything from building dams to advising on the operation of those defence systems. And then there's the inescapable Pipelineistan angle. Turkey happens to be Gazprom's second-largest customer. Erdogan can't afford to antagonise Gazprom. The whole Turkish energy security architecture depends on gas from Russia - and Iran. Crucially, one year ago a $10bn Pipelineistan deal was clinched between Iran, Iraq and Syria for a natural gas pipeline from Iran's giant South Pars field to Iraq, Syria and further on towards Turkey and eventually connecting to Europe. During the past 12 months, with Syria plunging into civil war, key players stopped talking about it. Not anymore. Any selfrespecting analyst in Brussels admits that the EU's supreme paranoia is to be a hostage of Gazprom. The Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline would be essential to diversify Europe's energy supplies away from Russia. For the US and the EU, this is the real game, and if it takes two or more years of Assad in power, so be it. And it must be done in a way that does not fully antagonise Russia. That's where reassurances in Geneva to Russia keeping its interests intact in a post-Assad Syria come in. No eyebrows should be raised. This is how ultra-hardcore geopolitics is played behind closed doors. It remains to be seen whether Erdogan will get the message. Source: Aljazeera. Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His latest book is named Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 32

UN guards Congo town against M23 onslaught Aid agencies make appeal for Kenya’s Dadaab camp

A

id agencies working in the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya say they are running out of funds, putting tens of thousands of lives at risk. Eight organisations, including Oxfam and Save the Children, say they are facing a shortfall of $25m (ÂŁ16m), but that the need is greater than ever. The population in Dadaab, which lies near the Somali border, has increased by a third over the past year. It is now home to almost half a million people, mostly from Somalia. Last year, tens of thousands of people flooded into the camp to flee poverty and violence in Somalia, made worse by the region's most severe drought in 60 years, with famine declared in some areas. The UK appeal raised ÂŁ79m ($122m) - more than for any other food crisis. BBC world affairs correspondent Mike Wooldridge says that, according to the aid agencies, many refugees are still in tents that are quickly destroyed in the harsh climate. The aid agencies say that 30,000 new shelters are needed, but that funding is available for only 4,000. Also at risk is the provision of water supplies and sanitation for some 50,000 refugees, leaving them at risk from cholera, they say.

Military plane crash in Mauritania kills 7

A

n aviation official in Mauritania says seven people were killed in the crash of a military plane chartered by a Canadian mining company. The official said the plane caught fire shortly after taking off on Thursday from an airstrip in Nouakchott, the West African nation's capital. The pilot attempted to return to the runway but failed to reach it. Three military crew members, two custom officials and two civilian passengers aboard died on the spot. The official affiliated with Mauritania's flight control agency, who declined to be named in line with department policy, said the civilian victims' identities were not immediately clear. He said the plane was bound for the Tasiast gold mine some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of the capital. It is owned by Canada's Kinross Gold Corporation.

UN Peacekeeping troops wait for the M23 rebel advance in positions around Kibumba to the north of Goma. The UN has moved artillery and armored vehicles into position to help defend the city.

U

N peacekeepers in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo have stationed tanks around the key city of Goma to try to head off a possible attack by M23 rebels. The deployment came yesterday as Ban Ki-moon, the UN chief, urged the presidents of

DR Congo and its rival Rwanda to "defuse tensions" over the rebellion. An AFP photographer said about a dozen UN tanks were stationed around 25km north of Goma, the capital of North Kivu province, on a road linking the city to Rutshuru which the

rebels seized briefly at the weekend. At least two Congolese army tanks were also seen on the road. The rebels, who have seized a number of towns along the Ugandan border, denied plans to advance on Goma, the AFP news agency reported.

Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, DRC's ambassador to Britain, told Al Jazeera that his country was trying to "give peace a chance" and that an emergency meeting bringing together foreign and defence ministers from the Great Lakes region had been called by Uganda to resolve the crisis. The Great Lakes region is made up of Burundi, DRC, Rwanda and Uganda. Karubi insisted Rwanda was backing M23 rebels, who take their name from the March 23 2009 peace agreement they signed with the Congolese government, paving the way for them to be integrated in the national army. They had previously belonged to the National Congress for the Defence of People, or CNDP. "The United Nations group of experts came up with a report saying there's no rebellion in eastern Congo. It's ... Rwanda which attacked the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rather than focus on M23, let's talk about CNDP which was integrated in the political system [and] in the army," he said.

Mali to seek ICC probe into rebel crimes in north

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ali plans to ask the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate killings, rapes, torture, and attacks on cultural sites in its rebelcontrolled north, the country's justice minister said yesterday. Justice Minister Malick Coulibaly did not say when the request would be lodged, but RFI, the French radio station that interviewed him, said a Malian government delegation would go to The Hague-based court to file the request in the coming days. "Given that the north of Mali is not under the control of the legitimate authorities, we think it is right to submit the case to the court in order to avoid impunity,"

Coulibaly said in the interview. A mixture of local and foreign Islamists, including some fighters linked to al Qaeda, have hijacked a rebellion initially launched in January by secular Tuareg separatist rebels, creating a security threat that regional and Western governments have compared to Afghanistan. After chasing the secular MNLA rebels from their positions, Islamist fighters have consolidated their grip and carried out a wave of attacks on ancient Sufi shrines, some of which were classified world heritage sites by UNESCO. A spokeswoman for the ICC prosecutor's office was unable to confirm whether it had received a

communication from the government of Mali. In April, the ICC said it was considering investigating rapes and killings that had been committed since fighting erupted in Mali's desert north in January. Coulibaly said Mali would call for an investigation into crimes committed by the MNLA separatists, Islamist groups Ansar Dine and MUJWA and other fighters dating back to January. He confirmed that the destruction of cultural sites, which has mainly occurred in the ancient city of Timbuktu and drawn widespread international criticism, would form part of the request. There is no accurate toll for the

fighting, but over 300,000 people have been forced from their homes. After months of sporadic clashes in mostly remote desert, the rebels swiftly seized Mali's three northern regions after a March 22 coup extinguished the army's resistance. But after a brief and awkward alliance, the separatists and Islamists fell out, with the latter, enjoying support from regional al Qaeda fighters, coming out on top. West African leaders are still struggling to get Mali's squabbling politicians to form a national unity government that would then request U.N. backing for troops from the ECOWAS regional bloc in order to help in the fight against groups occupying the north.

the country spread to include a crosssection of people around the capital and in other parts of Sudan. Protesters are also calling for an end to Bashir's 23-year regime. Bashir has played down the demonstrations as small-scale and not comparable to the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and elsewhere, maintaining that he himself remains popular. He dismissed opposition calls for a popular uprising in the African country, saying only "a burning hot summer" awaits his enemies. "They talk of an Arab Spring, let me tell them that in Sudan we have a hot summer, a burning hot summer that burns its enemies," Bashir said in a live address on Wednesday while inaugurating a sugar factory in central Sudan.

In his speech, Bashir said that any company from a country boycotting Sudan should be denied contracts, be it in the public or private sector. "Why should we allow them to

make a profit?" he said in a live broadcast on state radio. "There shall be no dealing with any company whose country boycotts the Sudan."

Student protest turns violent in Sudan

S

ecurity forces have used tear gas to disperse a crowd of university students in Khartoum protesting high food prices. Sudanese university students armed with sticks and stones on Wednesday staged perhaps their largest protest since unrest sparked by inflation began nearly a month ago. "Compared to other demonstrations it's... bigger," said a witness who asked not to be identified. With protesters scattered around the central campus, it was hard to determine their numbers, the witness said. "I think it's more than 100,"he added. After President Omar al-Bashir announced austerity measures, including tax hikes and an end to cheap fuel, scattered protests across

Bashir announced austerity measures after South Sudan secession caused lost oil revenue and inflation


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

S

yria's ambassador to Iraq defected on Wednesday in protest over President Bashar Assad's violent suppression of a 16month uprising as the UN Security Council remained deadlocked over the next steps in the crisis. "I declare that I have joined, from this moment, the ranks of the revolution of the Syrian people," Nawah Al-Fares said in a video statement posted on Facebook. He did not elaborate or say from where he had posted the statement. "I ask ... the members of the military to join the revolution and to defend the country and the citizens. Turn your guns toward the criminals from this regime," Fares said. "Every Syrian man has to join the revolution to remove this nightmare and this gang which has reeked corruption across Syria and destroyed the state and society over the last 40 years, and to guarantee a bright future for the

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Syria hit by diplomatic defection as UN battles divisions

coming generations." Fares, who has close ties to Syrian security, was the first senior diplomat to quit the embattled government. He did not spell out his reasons for defecting, but repeatedly said government forces have been killing civilians. There has been no comment

from Damascus or Baghdad and the White House said it was unable to confirm the defection, hailed by Assad's opponents as a sign of crumbling support. Assad's chief backer on the UN Security Council, Russia, remained firmly in the Syrian leader's camp. And the 15-member council made little headway after

international mediator Kofi Annan asked it to agree on "clear consequences" if the government or opposition fail to comply with his faltering plan for a political solution to the crisis. Fares, a Sunni Muslim and who had held senior positions under the late president Hafez Assad, is from Deir Al-Zor, the eastern city on the

Egypt’s new president visits Saudi for security talks

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ohamed Morsi, Egypt's new president has said he and Saudi's King Abdullah have held "fruitful" talks focused on regional stability, according to SPA news agency. The state-run media said yesterday the talks were held after a late night meeting between the two leaders. "Our discussions were fruitful and constructive and in the interest of Egypt, of Saudi Arabia and of the people of the region," Morsi told reporters in Saudi's southern port city of Jeddah at the end of Wednesday night's meeting. "Everything [King Abdullah] said was in the interest of the future, of the region and of Egypt," he said, adding that the king spoke with "wisdom and knowledge and love for the Egyptian people". Morsi arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday for his first foreign trip since taking office and met first with King Abdullah and then with Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who had greeted him on his arrival. Few details were given on the talks between Morsi and Abdullah, though the Egyptian president said regional stability was a key focus of their discussions. "The stability of the region depends on the stability of Egypt and the Gulf, at the head of which stands Saudi Arabia," he said. Morsi said he chose Saudi Arabia for his first official visit due to the "deep rooted and historical relationship shared between the two countries." Tensions have long existed between the Gulf kingdom, where the strict Wahhabi doctrine of Sunni Islam applies, and Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, moderate Islamists who were thrust to power by the Arab Spring revolt that swept the country last year. Under Morsi's predecessor, the ousted Hosni Mubarak, Egypt and Saudi Arabia enjoyed close relations.

road to Iraq which has been the scene of a ferocious military onslaught by Assad's forces. "This is just the beginning of a series of defections on the diplomatic level. We are in touch with several ambassadors," said Mohamed Sermini, a member of the main opposition umbrella group, the Syrian National Council.

Malaysia repeals colonial-era free speech law

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Syria's ambassador to Iraq Nawah alFares, at an undisclosed location on Wednesday, announces his decision to join the opposition forces against President Bashar Assad.

Saudi Arabian Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz greets Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Jeddah

Critics of the move have warned the PM's reform efforts have not improved the country's human rights record

alaysia's prime minister has announced plans to repeal a colonial-era law that has been used over the years to crack down on dissent and the opposition. Najib Razak announced the move late on Wednesday amid growing public demand for public and social reforms ahead of an election due by early next year. "The Sedition Act represents a bygone era in our country and with today's announcement we mark another step forward in Malaysia's development," Najib said in a speech on Wednesday night. The law would be replaced by a new National Harmony Act, which Najib said would "balance the right of freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution, while at the same time ensuring that all races and religions are protected". Najib has rolled back several colonial-era security laws since last year, hailing it as the biggest shake-up of the Malaysian political system since independence from Britain. A draconian security law allowing detention without trial was scrapped earlier this year and eased public assembly rules, although critics said the reforms were a sham as the laws were replaced with legislation that is just as repressive. Opposition leaders claim the reforms are a ploy to gain public support ahead of next year's elections. Phil Robertson, Asia deputy director for Human Rights Watch, said the reforms should not be cosmetic. "The government should realise that change for change's sake is not enough," he said. "The replacement legislation has been as bad or worse from a rights perspective." Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of opposition-ruled Penang state, said the sedition law had long been used as a convenient political tool to silence opposition voices. Lim himself was jailed for 18 months under the law in 1998 for allegedly making seditious remarks in his defence of a rape victim.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

War monster Mladic rushed to hospital T

he genocide trial of Ratko Mladic was has been broken off after the Bosnian Serb general was taken to hospital for medical checks, a court spokeswoman has said. "He [Mladic] complained he was feeling unwell during the

hearing, so the hearing was adjourned," Nerma Jelacic, spokeswoman for the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, told the Reuters news agency on Thursday. Mladic, 70, was already in poor health when he was arrested in

Annan urges UN to ‘reunite’ on Syria plan

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nternational envoy Kofi Annan has urged the UN Security Council to send a message to the Syrian government and the opposition that there will be "consequences" if they don't comply with demands for an immediate cease-fire. "We had not been successful so far in ending the violence - this is still a fact today," said Annan during a press briefing on Wednesday. "If we reunite, if the council speaks with one voice, that one voice will be much more powerful." Russia and China, key allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and veto-wielding council members, have blocked repeated attempts by the United States and its European allies to even threaten "consequences" - a diplomatic code word for sanctions. However, Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian ambassador to the UN said any party calling for sanctions is " not genuinely supportive of the mission of Mr. Kofi Annan". A UN diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because Annan's videoconference briefing from Geneva was at a closed session, said that the council should insist on implementation of its resolutions including Annan's six-point peace plan. That plan calls for an immediate cease-fire and withdrawal of heavy weapons from populated areas by the Syrian government to be followed by an opposition cessation of hostilities. Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from the UN in New York, said there is also talk of a "bottom up" approach. "That is, work on the grassroots level politically to set up some kind of infrastructure, so that when peace talks do eventually come into play, they have that infrastructure there so they can start negotiating," said Heidler. The UN sent a 300-strong unarmed observer mission for 90 days to oversee the cessation of violence and monitor implementation of the Annan plan. It was forced to withdraw from key conflict areas because of the escalating fighting and the council must decide what to do about extending its mandate which expires on July 20. Meanwhile, Syria's opposition failed on Wednesday to persuade Russiato drop ally Assad and warned that this will only prolong the violence. Russia put forth its own draft resolution on Tuesday, asking that the existing mandate for the observer mission be extended with few changes, while another draft resolution - this one by the P3 (the US, UK and France) - is also expected to be delivered to the UN by

tomorrow. Our correspondent said the P3 plan will likely have more "teeth" probably in the form of sanctions. "They are saying that yes, we need to have this observer mission in Syria to see if the six points of Kofi Annan's plan are being adhered to, but there needs to be a stick along with that, there has to be teeth to this resolution, probably along the lines of sanctions," said Heidler. But as fresh clashes across the country challenged Assad's beleaguered regime, Russia refused to shift its stand on the conflict, the Syrian National Council (SNC) said after talks in Moscow with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Serbia last year after 16 years on the run. Prosecutors and relatives of victims fear that he could die without facing justice, as happened with former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic, who died before he could be sentenced. Mladic is accused of genocide for

his role in the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and for orchestrating the 1995 Srebrenica massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys, Europe's worst massacre since World War Two. He has said on several occasions that he is too ill to stand trial,

complaining that he suffers from the effects of a stroke, has problems with his teeth and has been admitted to hospital with pneumonia. The court said the hearing would resume on Friday if Mladic is able to attend.

The monster, Mladic has complained on several occasions that he is too ill to stand trial

Pakistan judges order new PM to reopen graft cases, risking conflict

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akistan's Supreme Court yesterday ordered Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to re-open corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari, the latest twist in a longrunning confrontation between the judiciary and the government. Pakistan's previous prime minister, Yusuf Raza Gilani, was disqualified from his job by the Supreme Court last month after he was convicted of contempt of court for failing to restart work on the cases against the president, who also heads the ruling Pakistan

People's Party (PPP). The Supreme Court asked Ashraf, who replaced Gilani, to submit a report on compliance with its orders by July 25. "Failing which, the court may initiate any appropriate action in accordance with the law," Justice Asif Khosa said, reading out the court's order. Another showdown between judges and politicians could lead to further instability in Pakistan, which can ill afford more crises in the face of myriad challenges including a Taliban insurgency, a struggling

economy, and widespread poverty. Thousands of corruption cases were thrown out in 2007 under an amnesty law passed by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, paving the way for a return to civilian rule. Two years later, the Supreme Court ruled that agreement illegal, and ordered the re-opening of money laundering cases against Zardari. The government has refused to obey that order, arguing that Zardari has immunity as the

head of state. Zardari denies any wrongdoing, and says the cases were politically motivated. Earlier on Thursday, hours before the Supreme Court was due to resume proceedings in the case, Zardari signed into law a controversial bill exempting senior officials from contempt of court charges, in an apparent attempt to shield Prime Minister Ashraf from the charges faced by his predecessor. Opposition parties have threatened to challenge the new law, saying it is against the spirit of the constitution.

in 2009. New Jersey prosecutors said Rosenbaum, an Israeli living in Brooklyn, used newspaper adverts in his homeland to find donors willing to give up a kidney in return for cash. He was alleged to have paid as little as $10,000 to secure a donor organ. He then helped set up blood test and services to ensure a proper match was arranged for those in need of a transplant in the US. Although at least one recipient of a kidney spoke up in defence during Rosenbaum's sentencing hearing, one other said they had

felt exploited. "It was wrong, but I thought the cause was good," Rosenbaum, 61, told the court. "I can assure this court I will never do this again." Prosecutor Paul Fishman said Rosenbaum was motivated by profit, not by a desire to heal the sick. "A black market where the moneyed sick can buy replacement parts from the less fortunate is not only grim, it apportions lifesaving treatments unfairly, insults donor dignity, and violates the law," he said in a statement.

French Alps avalanche

Israeli jailed for illegal US kidney transplants Nine killed in

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n Israeli convicted of arranging US kidney transplants for profit has been given a two-and-a-half-year sentence. Levy Izhak Rosenbaum admitted brokering kidney transplants for profit, becoming the first person convicted over illegal organ sales in the US, prosecutors say. He was alleged to have charged between $120,000 (ÂŁ77,400) and $160,000 to arrange kidneys for three people. He was caught trying to arrange fourth operation when the FBI launched a sting operation

Afghan president calls on Taliban to drop weapons

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fghanistan's president called on the Taliban yesterday to relinquish their weapons, saying that the group and its leader should join the political process. The call by Hamid Karzai was the latest peace appeal to the Taliban and Mullah Mohammed Omar. All past requests have been ignored by the insurgency - which refuses to directly engage the government.

"Mullah Mohammad Omar can come to any part of Afghanistan he wants to. He can open political office for himself but he should drop the gun," Karzai said at a nationally televised news conference held at the presidential palace. Mullah Omar has been on the run since the U.S. invasion in late 2001, and his Taliban have been fighting the U.S.-led coalition and Afghan

government for more than a decade. The militant group has refused peace talks with Karzai, calling him a puppet of the United States. Instead, they have held talks directly with American officials. They broke off talks earlier this year, saying the U.S. reneged on a promise to release Afghan prisoners from Guantanamo Bay. The talks have so far shown no signs of restarting.

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wo Spaniards, one German and one Swiss national were among the victims, the Haute-Savoie prefecture told the BBC. Two others have not been identified. The bodies of three more people - said to be Britons - have also been found. At least four people are still missing. The alarm was sounded by one of the injured on the slopes of Mont Maudit. The route is popular with summer tourists heading for the summit of Mont Blanc. In all, 28 climbers were roped together in several groups yesterday morning. They are believed to have reached 4,000m (13,120 ft) when the avalanche struck. Rescuers were alerted about the avalanche at 05:25 local time (03:25 GMT) by one of the injured. A spokeswoman at the HauteSavoie prefecture told the BBC initially that six bodies had been found.


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thousand stroke patients die unnecessarily or suffer serious disability each year because they fall ill at the weekend, a study has revealed. This is because patients who are admitted to hospital on a Saturday or Sunday are less likely to receive urgent treatments, research from Imperial College London and the National Audit Office found. Study author William Palmer led a study of patients admitted to hospitals with stroke from April 2009 through March 2010, accounting for nearly 100,000 admissions. They found performance across five of six measures was lower on weekends, with 43.1 per cent of patients receiving sameday brain scans compared with 47.6 per cent on weekdays. The results also revealed that the rate of seven-day, in-hospital mortality for Sunday admissions was 11 per cent compared with a mean (average) of 8.9 per cent for weekday admissions. Writing in the Archives of Neurology, the authors said: ‘We calculated that approximately 350 potentially avoidable inhospital deaths occur within seven days each year and that an additional 650 people could be discharged to their usual place of residence within 56 days if the performance seen on weekdays was replicated on weekends.’ The results are particularly significant because stroke is the largest cause of disability in

PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Why a stroke is more likely to kill you at the weekend England, costing the NHS £3billion a year in direct care. One solution could be to concentrate stroke services in fewer hospitals, according to the researchers. It is not the first time concerns have been raised about poorer NHS care at weekends. In February this year a study of over 14million NHS admissions found that Sunday patients were 16 per cent more likely to die within the next 30 days than those brought in on a Wednesday. Chances of recovery were found to be jeopardised because senior doctors were absent and tests and scans were not immediately available. In response Health Secretary Andrew Lansley ordered a ‘fundamental rethink’ of how hospitals are run at weekends. He said: ‘It is unacceptable that patients admitted to hospital on a Saturday or Sunday stay longer and have worse results. ‘Much of the rest of the country continues to be open for the public’s needs at weekends – an NHS that revolves around patients should be the same.’ Source: Dailymail.co.uk

A patient undergoes a CT scan: The X-ray test helps determine the cause of a suspected stroke, but patients are less likely to receive one at the weekend (posed).

How wearing stockings could stop you snoring

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earing tight stockings during the day may be a new way to tackle snoring at night. Compression stockings are widely used to treat varicose veins and prevent blood clots in the legs after surgery and during longhaul flights. They are now being given to people with sleep apnoea, a major cause of snoring. This occurs when the soft tissue in the throat collapses repeatedly at night, blocking air flow into the lungs. It’s thought the knee-length stockings will help reduce this tissue collapse by tackling fluid build-up in the body — a small study of 12 patients has shown the stockings reduce symptoms by a third. Sleep apnoea affects an estimated one in 25 adults. It triggers a pause in breathing for ten seconds or more before the brain prompts the muscles to reopen the airway. This process is accompanied by a loud snore that is then followed by a gasping and spluttering sound. The condition increases the risk of heart failure, stroke and diabetes. Risk factors include being overweight, having a large neck, being menopausal (hormonal changes can lead to throat muscles relaxing) and taking medication such as sleeping pills. The main treatment is a type of mask called a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device that delivers a supply of

compressed air during sleep to prevent the airway closing. While these devices can be highly effective, many people find them uncomfortable to wear, and it is estimated around 46 per cent of people given them do not continue to use them. The idea behind the stockings is that they prevent tissue fluid — a clear liquid that is a constitute of blood — pooling in the legs during the day. Normally, the leg muscles help pump fluid back up to the body, but this flow is hampered

in those with poor circulation or who are largely sedentary. Experts believe an accumulation of this fluid can flow back towards the head when the patient lies down at night. The fluid then collects around the throat, squeezing the tissue and triggering sleep apnoea. The theory is that wearing the stockings during the day will squeeze the veins and help the muscles push the fluid back up to the rest of the body. In a new trial at Toronto University in Canada involving

50 patients, half will wear kneelength stockings during the day for two weeks and the other half will not. Doctors will evaluate the overnight change in leg and neck fluid volumes, levels of daytime sleepiness and alertness, plus overall quality of life. Commenting on the research, Andrew Mc-Combe, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, said: ‘This is an interesting idea and the hypothesis seems sensible, too. ‘Of course, a lot of people with

Sleep apnoea triggers a pause in breathing for ten seconds or more before the brain prompts the muscles to reopen the airway.

significant apnoea are overweight and not very mobile, so fluid accumulation through the day is more likely in this group. ‘Whether the fluid moves to the neck at night when they are asleep is not known for sure, and clearly this idea is untested, hence the need for this study. I would be interested to see the outcome. ‘If it is successful, then it is a simple manoeuvre to implement.’ Meanwhile, scientists have revealed that sleep apnoea increases cravings for carbohydrates. U.S. researchers studied 55 patients and found cravings for carbs such as biscuits and bread were twice as likely among those with the condition. Half of the patients had type 2 diabetes, and the research showed that those with diabetes and sleep apnoea have an even greater risk of carb cravings. Previous research suggested that type 2 sufferers often crave carbs and the scientists wanted to investigate whether this was linked to the sleep condition. The findings, presented at a recent conference hosted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, suggests a link. The researchers were unclear why sleep apnoea would trigger these cravings, but one theory is that waking repeatedly, a characteristic symptom of the condition, can disrupt levels of hormones that regulate hunger. This could lead to the body craving food that will give a high energy boost, such as bread, sweets and pasta. Source: Dailymail.co.uk


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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My agenda for Borno state, Gov. Shettima (II) INTERVIEW In spite of the enormous security challenges facing Borno state, its Governor, Kashim Shettima says he remains undaunted . In this interview with a team of Peoples Daily Editors, he sets act how he intends to go about the taugh task of transforming the state. Contiuned from yesterday

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e went round and saw some of the projects your government has embarked; hospitals, schools, being rehabilitated, roads being constructed and so on and so forth. What resources are you doing these? Is it that internally generated revenue has been boosted? Or you have gone to the capital market to source for funds? Where there is will, there is always the way. When we inherited a modest fund from the previous administration and taking into cognizance the monumental challenges facing us as a people and as a state, we felt duty bound to invest those resources in the right directions. The state resources were heavily invested in schools, in hospitals and in infrastructural development and of course in the area of agriculture. As I said, we are importing 500 pieces of rice processing mills from Thailand, we are buying a lot of agricultural machineries from Egypt, and we are buying road construction equipment from China. We are investing heavily in the training of youths we are sending our youths to Songhai farm in Cotonou and to Thailand for training in the latest advance agricultural practices. What we intend to do in the next 12 months, Insha-Allah, is, as I said earlier, to invest heavily in agriculture. Can you believe that Maiduguri, with a population of over two million people, gets only five megawatts of electricity per day? So all the industries in Maiduguri are in a comatose condition. It is out these five megawatts that we dedicate a line to Niger Republic. So, we are investing in an alternative energy sources. We are about to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a German company towards setting up a twenty megawatts solar powered plant in Maiduguri. We want to invest in the poultry business. At the

moment, there is no single poultry farm in Maiduguri with one thousands layers, and we have a plan of providing an egg per day to every primary pupil in the state, but where are the eggs. So definitely our hands are full, we will use the resources at hands to see that we have added value to our people. And InshaAllah, I’m optimistic that this insurgency will be a thing of the past very soon and Maiduguri will really come back to life. Is it true that you inherited over N60bn? I actually inherited N63bn out which nearly 70 percent belong to the local governments. I do not have the right to temper with local governments’ funds. As for the state funds, I have already exhausted them because we have awarded N28bn contract for the construction of roads, schools and hospitals. We have already commissioned five hospitals and we are currently constructing additional five or six. We are reconstructing additional 14 secondary schools as well as skills acquisition centers all over the state. We are investing heavily; we are investing in agriculture, in infrastructures and so on. Some of these things we do in partnership with local governments in a very, very transparent matter. We want have a poultry farm in every local government. We also want invest in fish production as some parts of the state comprising of Diwaka, Ngala, Marte and Kala Balge, have the kind of soil high in water retention capacity and therefore a natural habitat for fish farming. We can generate as much as 100,000 jobs and believe me, if you can generate 100,000 jobs in this part of the world, Boko Haram will be a thing of the past. Recently there was a rumor that you were planning to dump the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and defect to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). For the record sir, could you explain the genesis of that and what your true position is? Governor Wamako of Sokoto

Governor Kashim Shettima state is the chairman of northern governors’ sub- committee on insecurity and he came to Borno to commiserate with us over the tragic loss of lives we have been experiencing for the past one year. There is a historical linkage between Sokoto caliphate and Borno caliphate. They actually came to reawaken the age-long relationship; a very healthy rivalry borne out of mutual respect, which has nothing to do with politics. Because I think it is foolhardy for one, with all the challenges we are facing, to start talking about decamping to another political party. Honestly, it is only a mad man, somebody in the lunatic fringes than will think about moving to another party. And in any case, politics, in my perception, is essential a local affair. The most important work for one is to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people, make their lives worth living, let them have a stake in the system and believe me, you can contest under the Likud party platform and still win an election. There is the fear that because of the rising insurgency and flashes of violence across the nation, the corporate unity of this country may not endure. In fact the senate president commented on this recently. Now, being the incurable optimist you claim and looking at the indices, are you still optimistic that Nigeria will not break up? I’m not only optimistic, but

also a realist. Some 15 or 20 years ago, the defunct Citizens Magazine held a seminar on dialogue and the late Bala Usman made some statement that is fresh in my mind. He said fairy tales may entertain and may even be educative, but they are still tales and fictions. He said no country could hope to survive and prosper if there is a misconception of what it is and how it has came into being. His own paper presentation was titled ‘Beyond Fairy tales’. So Nigeria is a very complex nation. Along what lines is Nigeria going to divide; is it along religious lines, even this issue of Muslims north and Christians south is a non starter to me. Of the six South Western state governors, four are Muslims, are they going to be thrown into the Atlantic Ocean? The governor of Lagos state is a Muslim, as are those of Osun, Ogun and Oyo states. My own senator here representing south, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume is a very devoted Muslim who fasts every Monday and Thursday, but his mother is a practicing and devoted Christian. A lot of families among the Babur-Bura and other 101 ethnic personalities in the north are of mixed religions. Is itnalong ethnic lines? The Fulanis are found as far away as Enugu; how are you going to handle them. The Kanuris are found not only in Borno and Yobe states, there is a substantial Pagan population in Jigawa, Gombe, Kano and Nassarawa states as well as in Girei town of Adamawa state, in Mani town of Katsina state and Jega town in Kebbi

state. The likes of Attahiru Jega, Mahmud Jega are all of Kanuri extraction. So the truth of the matter is that we should learn how to understand our problems because we are going to make a new mistake of what happened in Yugoslavia. The level of ethnic integration is so advanced that it is very difficult. It there any state in the north that does not have a substantial Christian population? Is there any sub region, even in the North-West, we have substantial Christian population among the Zuru in Kebbi state. We still have Maguzawa in Kano. Even if the percentage of a minority ethnic or religious group is 10 percent, that 10 percent is substantial number. The most important thing is how we should tolerate one another. Adams Oshiomhole is the Governor of Edo state but is from a Muslim family. A substantial population of Igbos are worshipers of traditional religions; so how are you going to handle them? Nigeria is the hope of the black man and we should make it work, that is my belief. And when you look at it from a scientific perspective, the survival of this nation and even the sustenance of democracy have more to do with economy, rather than religious or ethnic disparities. South-south and Southwest regions seem to be coming together to form regional blocs, but this is not happening in this part of the country. Don’t you see that this will hamper our competitiveness in the north? Governors of the north are making conscious efforts to see that we address the problem of our underdevelopment, but first of all we have to address the issue of the security challenges we are facing. Without peace there can never be development. We used to be one and insha-Allah we shall remain one, in spite of all our challenges and differences in the north. But let it be known that there is life beyond oil and every Kuwait has its own Iraq, every Bayelsa has its own Anambra, every Akwa Ibom has its own Cross River. We should learn how to accommodate each other. What tiny Bayelsa with a population of not more than Dala local government in Kano state gets in one month is what all the six states in the north east put togather with a combined population of over 20 million get in three months. There has to be some equity, some fairness so that people will have a sense of belonging, else we might end up

Contiuned on page 38


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Continued on page 37 having two nations, if the federal government should fail to make conscious efforts to develop the north. Some sorts of a marshal plan of action should be conceived and executed because as far back as 1959, one social scientist, Martins, posited of a direct correlation between the survival of a democracy and economic well being of the people. Our democracy is threatened basically because of endemic poverty in the north, not because anybody is opposed to a Jonathan being president. Two scientists, Adams Paswol and Yunange Rinange took even a step further; they studied all the countries in the world between 1950 and 1991 and they discovered that almost all the nations that have a per capital income of less than $1,500 have a survival rate of only eight years. For those countries with $1,500 to $3,000 per capital survive for only sixteen years. Of the 32 democratic countries that they studied, they have a combined survival rate of 736 years. Of the 69 democracies that were adjudged poorer, they have casualty rate of 56 percent, so we should really thank God, we should thank the Nigerian people, we should thank the Nigerian legislature for surviving this far. There has been so much talk on the oil exploration in the Chad Basin; do you have any information on how far has this gone? At a point in time they were here during exploration activities, and the last time they did exploration activities in the Lake Chad Basin some 20 years ago, they stumbled on the gas using truly seismic survey. The latest technology is 3G and we share the same plan with Niger, Chad and Cameroon. They were able to get oil in Chad, they were able to get oil in Cameroon, and they struck oil in Niger. I see no reason why as we cannot get oil in the Lake Chad. Getting oil in the north will contribute a lot to the stability of the country especially for those who see us as parasites. Why can’t you use the platform Northern Governors’ Forum to push for that? We are doing that. Honestly, northern governors are supportive of it, but do you know how much they budgeted for it in this year’s budget? They budgeted N300m and you know oil exploration is an is a very, very capital intensive business, otherwise I won’t mind deploying all my resources to prospect for oil in the Lake Chad. But honestly there is need for us to look beyond oil. Believe me, oil will become like coal in the next 50 years. The land is the most precious of all commodities and God has blessed us with abundant land in Northern Nigeria, which when properly harnessed, can provide jobs for the jobless. Oil cannot provide jobs. Borno constitutes 17th of the total land mass of Nigeria, Borno is 14 times the size of Abia state, three times the size of the South-west. You do not need much to clear the land in Borno; it is a flat and very rich land. So honestly I don’t even want to ask the Northern Nigeria to dwell on oil. Nigeria spends $24bn every year importing food; wheat from US and Brazil, rice from Thailand, toothpaste from Canada, cabbage and lettuce produced in America packaged in Dubai and exported to Nigeria. We are literally the dumping ground of the world; all sorts of nonsense, all sorts of rubbish are being dumped on us. So even if we can fill in the food needs of this country is more than enough for us to hold our heads. As I said how much is Sudan

My agenda for Borno state, Gov. Shettima (II)

Governor Kashim Shettima generating from gum Arabic? The federal government has introduced certain agricultural policies that are clearly inimical to the growth of agricultural in the north, like the policy of cassava growth rather than wheat production. But I didn’t see the northern governors’ forum fighting this clearly, very partisan and inimical policy. Well, the fault lines in north do exist but, believe me, they are heavily exaggerated. I’m of the ANPP, I’m from the far north, but I am on the best of terms with the Niger state governor who is from the North Central and of the PDP extraction. My best friend is Gabriel Suswam of Benue state and the Kwara state Governor Andulfatah and, of course, my younger brother in Zamfara. So I believe there is a very great deal of rapport. Even the much hated and demonize Jonah Jang sponsors a high number of Muslim to Hajj more than some of the Muslim governors in the north. He may have his own shortcomings as a

human being and as a leader, but believe me he is not the devil that people are painting him out to be. He really means well for the north and he has been attending our meetings. Magatakarda Wammako is very passionate about the north and Murtala Nyako once shed tears at a meeting we had. Believe me, the northern governors are making efforts to really come together. We were together with governor of Kano state in Washington; he was very passionate and interested about the fate of the north. We have to be very, very fair to people; we have to move beyond politics and sentiment. The present crop of northern governors is very much interested in the development of the north and in fact some of them have to be very frank, some of them that seem to be on the marginal side of things are more committed to the northern project than the so called northerners like myself and the rest, honestly. When the ACF was holding a seminar on the unity of Arewa, Gabriel Suswam donated N20m; there is a

Let it be known that there is life beyond oil and every Kuwait has its own Iraq, every Bayelsa has its own Anambra, every Akwa Ibom has its own Cross River. We should learn how to accommodate each other. What tiny Bayelsa with a population of not more than Dala local government in Kano state gets in one month is what all the six states in the north east put togather with a combined population of over 20 million get in three months. There has to be some equity, some fairness so that people will have a sense of belonging, else we might end up having two nations, if the federal government should fail to make conscious efforts to develop the north

governor in the North-West, whose name I will not mention, that gave N2m. On the issue of cassava production and wheat production, we have very little to complain, our people had the opportunity on this for several decades, they did not seize that opportunity. So I will not be hostile to somebody for promoting the interest of his community. But be that as it may, for instance even in cassava production, we are the number one cassava producing state in the federation, we produce better cassava than in the South-west and South-east; ours has a very low snide content. I believe the northern governors are in a better position to champion wheat production; we can produce wheat right from Borno down to Sokoto during the harmatan season, so we are making efforts. But if we can get Lake Chad by the federal government is much more important than any other thing because water is fundamental to agricultural production and the Lake Chad has shrunk from 25,000 hectares to less than 2,500 hectares. If the federal government can assist us to play a very pivotal role in recharging the Lake Chad, water will start moving west ward; will restart recharging the Hadejia Basin, will start recharging other basins in the north. So water is very essential and with water, insha-Allah, we shall free our people from bondage, but most importantly there has to be the political will. We have to improve on the quality of governance and we have to believe in ourselves and in our people. What call do you want make on the people of Borno and Nigerians? My call is basically to our brothers and sisters in the Jama’atu Ahlis-Sunnah Lidda’awaiti Wal Jihad; let them embrace the path of peace, the path of dialogue, they are not from moon, believe me they are not from Jupiter or mars, they are not from Bolivia, they are not Venezuelans, they are our sons and daughters in this part of the world and they have succeeded in turning back the hands of the clock by as much as 50 to 100 years. They have done more harm to the religion of Islam that it will take Muslims 50 if not hundreds of 100 years to redeem. We lost ground, so let them embrace the path of peace and lay down their arms because killings of others will never advance the cause of our people and the cause of Islam. Without peace there can never be any meaningful development; peace is a sine qua non for any meaningful development in any polity. I want to appeal to them to lay down their arms. I want appeal to Nigerians for patience, understanding and empathy and not demonisation of the people of the north. When this crisis started, I was repeatedly warning if not contained, if not properly addressed, it can snowball into a conflagration that might even consume the whole north, and sadly, this is what is happening. But it is never too late; let them stop bombing churches, let them stop killing innocent souls, we are willing to embrace them, we are ever ready to rehabilitate them, this is my message. And I want Nigerians to believe in Nigeria, and it is foolhardy to have the illusion that this country will break into pieces. It won’t, by the grace of Allah!


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

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Atiku tasks new CJN on neutrality of judiciary By Lawrence Olaoye

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ormer Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday urged the newly appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Aloma Mariam Muktar to uphold the neutrality of the judiciary as well as build a stronger, independent and assertive third arm of government. Atiku in a statement by his

media office in Abuja congratulating the first-ever woman Chief Justice of Nigeria on her confirmation, said the judiciary is the citadel of the defence of everything democracy stands for. According to him, the success or failure of the democratic system depends significantly on a vibrant judiciary and its capacity to protect all interests

without fear of favour. He said the enforcement of the rule of law and the challenges of checking the abuse of power or the tendency towards imperial dictatorship underscore the critical role of the judiciary in democracy. The former Vice President noted that despite the recent controversies surrounding the image of the judiciary,

members of the bench rose to the occasion many times in the past to protect our democracy from abuses of power. He, however, noted that constitutional provisions alone are not enough to make the judiciary independent unless the Judges themselves demonstrate the courage to do their jobs according to their consciences and the law. In commending her confirmation as the first-ever woman Chief Justice of Nigeria, the former Vice President said Mariam Aloma Muktar has shattered a major glass ceiling that has for several years stood in the way of women. While wishing her success in her new challenging job, the Turaki Adamawa urged her to make the judiciary truly the last hope of not only the common man but every victim of injustice in the society. Meanwhile, the former Vice

President has also congratulated the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, on his confirmation by the Police Service Commission as the new IGP. He urged the new IGP to work hard towards restoring confidence in the Nigerian Police, which has for years battled with perception problems. He also urged Government to modernize the police force by equipping it with anti-riot gears and other necessary tools instead of brandishing rifles when confronting unarmed civilians. Atiku Abubakar advised the force to be more creative, proactive, vigilant and genuinely people - friendly. According to him, apart from the current security challenges, one of the biggest tasks before the new IGP is building a credible Police force capable of commanding respect and confidence.

Oshiomhole is incapable of certain responsibilities-Anenih

A Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, campaigns ahead of tomorrow’s guber election at Ososo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the state.

We must unite to fight insecurity, says PDP Chair •••ACN has printed fake voter’s cards, party alleges By Lawrence Olaoye

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he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday called on all Nigerian s to rise up and fight the menace of insecurity and terrorism currently facing the country. The PDP chairman in an interaction with the newsmen said the matter should not be seen as the preserve of the Police and other security agencies in the country but a collective challenge. Tukur challenged all leaders to pool their ideas together to proffer solution to the national challenge. He said the ruling party would not relent in its efforts to ensure that peace and responsible governance at all levels reign in the country. He said "We are responsible; we can't leave it to the Police. We gave our representatives at all levels the power and therefore we must support the governors, National Assembly, and other democratically elected representatives in the fight against insecurity in the country." Meanwhile, the party has called on the electorates in Edo state to come out en-masse to vote for its candidate, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere at the weekend governorship election in the state. The PDP in a statement signed

by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, alleged "It has come to our knowledge that there are devious plans by the ACN to massively influence the outcome of the election, using unwholesome methods. "We have received reports that the ACN has printed fake voters' cards and imported thugs from neighbouring states to terrorise voters and precipitate violence on the election day. We urge our supporters to remain vigilant and bring to the notice of law enforcement agencies any suspicious activity. "Governor Oshiomole's desperation must be informed by the signs of his total rejection by the people of Edo State. The people of Edo have noted with great disappointment that it has been

a tenure of more talk, less action. It is time to end this tenure of deceit and dashed hopes that has been the hallmark of the outgoing ACN administration in the state. "We appeal to all voters to be peaceful, orderly, vigilant and law abiding. We also appeal to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to once more showcase its neutrality and ensure that the will of the people prevails in this election. We call on all observers and the press to perform their roles in an unbiased manner in order to engender the confidence of the electorate in the process. We are convinced beyond any doubt that the PDP will emerge victorious in a free and fair election, come Saturday."

s the Saturday governorship election inches near, former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, has said the governor of Edo state and the flagbearer of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, is incapable of governing the state. Anenih made the comments recently at the PDP rally in Okada. Anenih at the rally noted that they have adopted Airhiavbere in Esanland as their son, adding that, “three days ago, I was at Akoko Edo, and the Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada was also at Akoko Edo to talk with his people who are resident in Edo State to support and vote Airhiavbere. I want to say that the people of Kogi, the people of Akoko-Edo, Owan and Etsako have adopted Charles.” Anenih again knocked Governor Adams Oshiomhole whom he described as “incapable of carrying certain responsibilities.” He continued “It’s equally true that when you have children, there are the ones you give certain responsibilities. There are children who cannot carry certain responsibilities; then you give them less responsibilities. Unfortunately, Adams Oshiomhole is one of those who

cannot carry responsibilities. “We have a candidate who will deliver, a candidate who will give you qualitative health care, a candidate that will give you pipe borne water, a candidate that will look after our children.” He also debunked the rumour making the round that the PDP governorship flagbearer, Airhiavbere called students of Ambrose Ali University (AAU) armed robbers during one of the governorship debates held recently which was televised live on AIT. He posited that Airhiavbere had only insisted that the institution lacks the prerequisite facilities needed to compete with other institution across the country. He pointed out that it was the handiwork of detractors in the ruling ACN. Present at the rally were the former Board of Trustees Chairman of the party, Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion, Vice Chairman of PDP, South-South, Dr. Steve Oru, Governor of Cross River state, Mr. Liyel Imoke. Also at the rally were former Chief Whip of Senate, Senator Rowland Owie, the Publicity Secretary of PDP in the state, Pharm. Matthew Urhoghide, Prof. Mercy Obamogie and Pascal Ogbemhe, among others.

Gov. Yakowa, Kaduna Speaker condole with lawmaker’s family

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ov. Patrick Yakowa has described the death of Alhaji Mustapha Bawa, the member for Zaria Constituency in Kaduna State House of Assembly, as a big loss. The governor made the statement when he paid a condolence visit to the family in Zaria on Wednesday. He described Bawa as gentle, kind and calm and prayed God to

give him eternal rest. He urged the family to take his transition as an act of God. ”When the election was over, I told all those that won to keep aside party differences and let us work collectively for the good of Kaduna State. “Eventually, Hon. Mustapha Bawa heeded this advice and we worked closely and peacefully with him irrespective of party

affiliations for the growth and development of Kaduna State. “May his soul rest in perfect peace. I pray God Almighty to give the family fortitude to bear the irreparable loss,” the governor said. AlhajiMu’azu UsmanGangara, the Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, described the deceased as a colleague who members of the house would never forget.

He urged the family to take what happened as the will of “God Almighty who gives and takes life from anybody whenever He pleases. “The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Bawa, who died in his residence in Kaduna after a brief illness, left behind three wives and 12 children. The remains were buried in Zaria on Wednesday according to Islamic rites.


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Commissioner tasks Nigerians on corruption, indiscipline

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L-R: Chairperson, House Committee on Women Affairs and Youth Development, Hon. Christiana Allaghga, her Senate counterpart, Senator. Hellen Esuene, and Leader of Namibian Parliamentary delegation, Deputy Minister, Veterans Affairs and Vice Chairperson of Namibian Parliament Women Caucus, Hon. Hilma Ndinelago Nicanor, during an interactive, on Wednesday at the National Assembly, Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Jega orders Oshiomhole to remove posters from voting centres From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

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hairman of Independent National electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, has ordered Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to immediately ensure the removal of all campaign posters from voting centres ahead of Sturday’s governorship election. Jega who asserted that INEC will not spend its resources on removing campaign posters of any political party insisted that a disregard of the order would amount to violation of the 2010 electoral law as amended. The INEC boss hinted that bill

boards indicating initiators of projects are not exempted. “It’s the duty of those who erected the to remove them”, he said. He threatened to prosecute voter card racketeering and prosecute anyone that is caught inducing the electorates to vote for a particular political party. He warned that the Commission will not handle information with kidgloves provided they are not frivolous. ‘What has happened in Ekiti won’t happen again, we’re learning from our past mistakes He also maintained his earlier position that INEC will not be cajoled to change its position on unaccredited Non Governmental Organisations and Civil Society

groups who failed to meet its guidelines. Oshiomhole, who is seeking reelection the platform of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), aligned with INEC for deployment of armed military personnel to prosecute the governorship poll. But, he described as unacceptable alleged use of federal might by a political party to force victory from the jaw of the oppressed to win through hook or crook. “The Army should not wait for the Police to invite them. If you see a crime being committed with arms, do you need to use ordinary mouth to confront them?. Therefore, I prefer that the Army should therefore be involved,” Oshiomhole said.

Kaduna House shelves plenary to honour dead colleague

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embers of the Kaduna State House of A s s e m b l y yesterday shelved its plenary activities in honour of their departed colleague, Alhaji Mustapha Bawa. The House said in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna that normal legislative events had been rescheduled for July 17. The statement, signed by Malam Shu’aibu Abdullahi, for the Clerk of the House, Hajiya Umma Hikima, explained that the break was to enable the lawmakers mourn their colleaque.

Bawa (CPC-Zaria City) died on July 9, during a brief illness. He was at different times Chairman of the House Committees on Health, InterGovernmental and Science and Technology. The deceased, who is survived by wives and children, was buried at the Zaria City cemetery according to Islamic rites. Commenting on the development, the House Committee Chairman on Information, Mr Yusuf Yakubu, told NAN that the legislators would miss the “valuable and quality contributions” of Bawa. Yakubu (CPC-Zaria Kewaye) said that Bawa was behind the

recent focus on the development of science and technical education in the state. He said that Bawa was also behind the probe into the delay of the completion of the multi-billion Naira Zaria water project. He described the late legislator as a team player and an amiable person. Yakubu urged government to implement recommendations of the House on boosting science and technical education and complete all water supply projects across the state in respect of Bawa’s valuable contributions. He also prayed God to grant Bawa eternal rest and the bereaved family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Benue speaker assures wives of assemblymen of jobs

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he Speaker of Benue House of Assembly, Mr David Iorhemba, has assured the wives of the Benue legislators of employment in the state civil service. Iorhemba made the pledge in Makurdi on Wednesday when the

Forum of Wives of the Benue Assembly members paid him a courtesy visit in his office. He pledged to assist them achieve the objectives of the forum and urged them to be united in all their dealings in order to achieve their goals.

The speaker also appealed to the women support to their husbands to succeed in their job of law making. . Earlier, Mrs Rachel Iorhemba, wife of the Speaker, said the visit was to identify with their husbands for the good work they were doing for the state.

he Nasarawa State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mohammed Musa-Dan’Azimi, said for the country to move forward, there was the need to eradicate corruption and indiscipline. The commissioner gave the counsel during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lafia on Thursday shortly after meeting with local government caretaker chairmen in the state. He said that if everybody was to do the right thing, the society would be a better place for all. Musa-Dan’Azimi also said that it was indiscipline that brought about so much corruption in the society. He advised leaders to be prudent and patriotic in the discharge of their responsibilities, saying that by so doing, the country would regain its lost glory. Musa-Dan’Azimi also said there was the need for the chairmen to uphold the twin values of transparency and accountability. “The Amakura CPC-led administration in the state has zero tolerance for financial misconduct. “He also advised the

chairmen to live above board in the discharge of their responsibilities. According to him, the chairmen are closer to the people at the grassroots and as such, they need to let them enjoy the muchneeded dividends of democracy. Musa-Dan’Azimi added that, the time for paying lip-service had passed and that, it was now time for the yearnings and aspirations of the people to be fulfilled. The commissioner said poverty and inadequate infrastructure knew no tribe, religion or political affiliations. He explained that the chairmen were constituted to enhance the living standard of the people, urging them not to let the state government down. Musa-Dan’Azimi urged them to explore all means to generate revenue internally, in order not to over-depend on both Federal and state Governments for monthly allocations. Speaking on behalf of others, the Chairman of NassarawaEggon Local Government Council, Habibu Musa-Sambu, assured that they would not fail the present administration in their duties.

Akpabio inaugurates 31 council chairmen

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ov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom in Uyo inaugurated the 31 local government chairmen in the state elected a month ago. Akpabio urged the chairmen to perform or be removed from office, stressing that they should see their position as a call to service. “The celebration should not cloud your sense of responsibility. Ensure to bring the dividends of democracy to the grassroots and the people that voted you into office,’’ Akpabio said. The governor warned the chairmen against unnecessary rancour with councillors and other stakeholders in their r areas. Akpabio advised the chairmen to make accountability their watch-word and to protect all projects sited in their areas, irrespective of whether they were

state or federal government projects. He urged them to keep the councils better than the they would meet them, stressing that good name is better than riches. He urged the council chairmen to channel their energy to improve on the projects on ground. One of the Chairmen, Mr Ephraim Akpan of MkpatEnin Local Government, said he would collaborate with state and federal government agencies to empower youths in the area. He also expressed a willingness to work with individuals and organisation s to enhance economic activities in the area. Akpan said he had created the Office of Senior Special Assistant of Empowerment and Human Capital Development to create jobs for the people.

NULGE urges Gombe govt to implement LG scheme of service The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has called on the Gombe state government to implement the 2006 Local Government Scheme of Service. Mr. Ibrahim Khaleel, National President of the Union, made the call at the official inauguration of the state NULGE Secretariat on Wednesday. He said most workers in the local government service in other states were already enjoying the scheme. “It is an instrument that was painstakingly produced for the enhancement of our career and the development of service,’’ he said. Khaleel also urged the governor to provide a housing

programme for local government workers in each council headquarters as applied to other state workers. He said the introduction of the housing programme would solve 90 per cent of housing challenges in the state. Mr. Ahmed Maisakala, the Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress in Gombe State, urged the governor to pay the arrears of N18, 000 Minimum Wage owed workers in the state. He said that Gombe state was among the first states that began the implementation of the Minimum Wage Act but had yet to pay the accumulated arrears from September, last year.


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Federation Cup: Gov Fashola procures new trophy

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he Nigeria Football Federation has lauded the Governor of lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for procuring a new, all-silver, giant-size trophy for the Federation Cup competition. Fashola’s gesture was revealed during a meeting between the NFF leadership and the Lagos State Football Association, led by its chairman

...FA boss declares Bauchi safe From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi

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auchi is safe and secured, according to the Chairman of the Bauchi state Football Association, Alhaji Yahuza Adamu Ningi. The chairman made the declaration against the backdrop of complaints by four clubs who are scheduled to play the group stage of the Federation Cup for two quarterfinals slots. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that early in the week, Warri Wolves had written a petition to the Nigeria Football Federation alleging insecurity in the centre. They had adduced that the activities of unknown gunmen that had resulted in the death of several persons in recent times constituted a serious threat to security. But in response yesterday, the chairman of the state FA, through the Media Chief of the club dismissed the allegation stressing that Warri Wolves were merely playing politics with the insecurity threat. According to him, Warri Wolves are not strangers to Bauchi state as they had played Wikki Tourist in the premier League and left the state without any danger to either their players or either. “It’s a mischief by the club to say that Bauchi is not safe to host the Federation Cup as we have done it before and we are ready

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rstwhile Super Eagles’ midfielder, Garba Lawal has categorically stated that the budding Golden Eaglets need encouragement rather than criticism ahead of their qualifiers for African Under-17 Youth Championship to be hosted by Morocco in 2013. Lawal, Team’s Coordinator when the Golden Eaglets were runners up at the 2009FIFA World Cup hosted by Nigeria but won by Switzerland, is miffed about the incessant discourse bothering on allegation of over aged players which according to him, could affect the overall psyche of the team. .”We need to commend the excellent manner they have selected the players and I think it’s only the mischief makers that have not seen anything good in what they are doing. “I think this is the team all Nigerians need to rally behind and offer constructive criticism if need be rather than destroy the good job being done by the coaching crew,” added Lawal. Nigeria failed to qualify for the last two editions of the African

to host it now. Don’t forget that we have all the experience to host matches as we hosted FIFA organized matches peacefully in Bauchi and by God grace we are going to host these matches peacefully” Alhaji Yahuza assured that they were leaving no stone unturned to ensure hitch free competitions, adding that the state government was committed to security and has provided the necessary logistics to that effect.

Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi and his deputy, Alhaji Tade Azeez, peunultimate day. “Governor Fashola will present the new trophy to the NFF President and his team inside the Council Chambers of Lagos State Government House on Monday, July 16,” stated Barrister Akinwunmi. Responding, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, expressed the football federation’s joy for the gesture and thanked the Governor profoundly for doing so. “Governor Fashola is a man of class and standard, and he has always been ready to show how much he loves sports, particularly football. We praise for the gesture of a new trophy for the Federation Cup competition and will certainly be there to receive the trophy from him. “The NFF is also enamoured by the several football development programmes that Governor Fashola is championing in Lagos State, such as the Eko Football Future Stars and the upcoming Soccerex Lagos event. The NFF is fully in support of these programmes.” Lagos State will host the grand finale of this year’s Federation Cup, in line with a four-year agreement signed with the NFF in 2010. Meanwhile, the grand finale of this year’s competition has now been fixed for Sunday, August 26 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos. Lagos is also one of the four centres for the group stage competition starting on Monday, July 26.

Odegbami declares MRI test on Eaglets, Flying Eagles a scam

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he Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan, a socalled bone test, carried out on would-be members of the Golden Eaglets to determine the ages of players is a scam, according to former Nigerian international, Segun Odegbami. Odegbami, who discountenanced the test conducted on the Manu Garbaled Eaglets as well as the John Obuh’s Flying Eagles, seems to have issues with the veracity of the test and invariably the result, said the MRI practice in Nigeria has only worsened the recurring age cheat in the age cadre teams.

“Our own MRI here is a scam because I remember during the Under17 championship in Nigeria they said all the players would be subjected to MRI. “Nothing like that took place. Go and find out the details about MRI and you’ll understand that it’s not for those under the age of 17. We’ve checked it, it can confirm certain things but it can’t confirm that you’re under the age of 17,” said Odegbami. The former Green Eagles’ captain said the school system remains the surest approach to get genuine Under17 players. “What we need in this

...Lawal lashes out at Eaglets’ critics Under-17 Championship hosted by Algeria and Rwanda in 2009 and 2011 respectively. But the team has been undergoing a rebuilding process since February when a screening exercise began, some 40 players were later camped for one month in Calabar in May and are to reconvene soon for the First Round game against Niger Republic in September. “The Golden Eaglets should serve as the bedrock of other levels of the nationals teams consequently we

need to support the genuine efforts of the NFF at ensuring that the right players are picked for this category,” who is a member of the NTT technical committee. The Nigerian Under-17 team have been drawn against neighbouring Niger in one of the First Round matches towards the 10th African U-17 Championship with their First Leg match scheduled for Niamey during the weekend of September 7-9 and the reverse fixture at home on the weekend of September 21-23. Golden Eaglets celebrating after scoring during the Nigeria ’09 fiesta

Segun Odegbami environment, it may not be foolproof, but if our law says you must have basic literacy. Every child must have access to basic education then it’s in the school you find the correct data about our children. “Those that tell you when you’re in school as an Under17 you can’t be strong enough to kick ball are liars. Come to my school you’ll find 17-year old who are big and strong. They are genuine Under17. “It has to do with diet, kind of training they get. It has nothing to do with age. Definitely, you can get genuine Under17 who can play football. We must ensure that opportunities opened to our children are not wasted or taken over by those who are cheating because that is what we’re doing,” he said. Odegbami said we must not insist on winning at every competition. “This country is in bad shape in every single way, why can’t we be honest and sincere, winning is not everything particularly at the age grade cadre,” he admonished.

Amir Khan

WBA title: Khan reinstated, stakes title against Garcia tomorrow

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mir Khan has had his WBA light-welterweight belt reinstated by the governing body and will put it on the line when he fights WBC champion Danny Garcia in Las Vegas on Saturday. The Briton lost his WBA and IBF belts to Lamont Peterson in December in controversial circumstances. A rematch was cancelled when Peterson failed a drugs test. “Justice has been done,” Khan said. “It means this fight (against Garcia) will show who is the best in the division.” Khan appealed following the points defeat against Peterson, with the WBA saying there were ”multiple irregularities” in the fight. The Bolton-born boxer said: “I’m glad the WBA are reinstating me as champion; it means I walk into this fight as world champion. “There is a chance to win the WBC belt as well but, not only that, the Ring magazine title will be on the line. There are five main belts in this division and I will have won four of them if I win this fight. “The only one I have not won is the WBO one, but I tried to fight Tim Bradley for that and he turned me down. If I win against Garcia, it means I have done everything I want to do in this division.” With the WBA title now on the line, the light-welterweight title fight against Garcia gains added significance. Khan claims his contest easily eclipses David Haye’s heavyweight clash with Dereck Chisora in London on the same night. The Haye-Chisora bout has attracted a lot of interest following their much-publicised brawl in Munich in February. Former WBA world heavyweight champion Haye has come out of retirement to fight Chisora at Upton Park in a meeting arranged after the pair brawled in a media conference following Chisora’s loss to WBC champion Vitali Kitchsko. Chisora was subsequently suspended by British boxing authorities and the feud continued to attracted attention when the British Boxing Board of Control refused to sanction the fight. The contest is expected to attract a crowd of more than 28,000, but Khan has played down its significance.


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NOC confirms Nigeria to feature in 8 sports Olympics BUK ollowing the qualification of D’Tigers on July 8, the events in which the country would are participate at the 2012 London Games had now been increased from seven to eight. The Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) confirmed NUGA to yesterday that the last minute inclusion of basketball among sports Nigeria would compete for medals raised the number to eight. Futsal The ceremonial hand over of the contingent to the committee, only seven sports were handed over to basketball placed on standby. champions NOCTheonfinalJulylists5, ofwithsports for the Games are Athletics,

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n official of the B a y e r o University Kano (BUK), on Wednesday expressed satisfaction at the emergence of the institution as the maiden Nigerian Universities Games Association (NUGA) Futsal champions. Yakasai Garuba, the Director of Sports of the university, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that he knew the team would win the championship since it started. Garuba said he was confident that the team would improve on its performance at the next edition of the competition. “I am very happy that my team won because this is the first time we are participating in this tournament. Some of my players are not conversant with the rules of the sport, but we will work on it before the next NUGA coming up in Ile-Ife, “ he said. President of the Nigeria Referees’ Association (NRA) Ahmed Maude, another BUK official, also expressed his excitement at the outcome of the competition. Maude commended the organisers over the standard of the tournament, saying that Five-A-Side is gradually becoming popular. “I believe with time, Futsal will become very popular in Nigeria. Am grateful to the organisers,” he said. BUK won Gold, while Adekunle Ajasin University, AkungbaAkoko, got silver while the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), won bronze. The two-day championship which started on July 10, took place at the National Institute for Sports (NISports), National Stadium, Surulere.

Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Canoeing (kayak) and Basketball. While the Athletic team had since moved to Surrey, England for closed camping, Taekwondo headed for South Korea. Boxing, Table Tennis, Canoeing (Kayak) and weightlifting were moved to Germany from where they would proceed to the Games Village in London. The Games have been scheduled to run from July 27 to August, 12 in London.

Uche Chukwumerije, Nigeria’s hope in taekwondo at the Olympic Games

100 swimmers to participate in CNS Open Swimming Championships

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o fewer than 100 swimmers are to participate in the Fourth Chief of Naval Staff Open Swimming Competition in Calabar, the Main Organising Committee, has said. Addressing a news conference on Wednesday in Calabar, Commodore Babalola Egbedina, the

Chairman of the Committee, said the championships would hold from July 11 to July 14. Egbedina said that outstanding swimmers at the tourney would be selected to represent Nigeria at the 11 th Senior S w i m m i n g Championship in

Nairobi, Kenya in September. The chairman said that 10 top-ranking swimmers at the event would also represent the country in other i n t e r n a t i o n a l competitions in 2012. He said that the competition was jointly organised by the

Nigerian swimmers on the marks

Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Swimming Federation (NSF) and the Cross River State Government. “We are here to put the seal of continuity into the development of swimming in Nigeria. “The swimmers will arrive today for the event which will begin tomorrow; they are expected to depart Calabar on July 14,’’ the chairman said. He said that the swimmers would participate in 32 events, consisting of 16 male events and an equal number in the female category. The fixture shows that 28 individual events and four relay races will be competed for at the swimming pool of the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar. He said participants were expected from state teams, the armed forces, police and some tertiary institutions with active

swimming cells, adding that competition was open to all age categories. Egbedina said there would be cash prices for best male and female swimmers, trophies for overall teams and certificates to participants and winners. Also speaking at the occasion, Mr Babatunde Fatayi-Williams, President of the NSF, thanked the CNS, the Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command and the Cross River Government for providing enabling environment for the championship. He also called for media support for the championships to succeed just as Dr Jude Amadi, the Cross River State Director of Sports, assured that the State Government would ensure a successful championship as had been the case in the past. Amadi said that in the recent past, the state had successfully hosted the Super Eagles as well as trials for the London Olympics and was poised to host the 2014 National Sports Festival.

44 clubs to participate in 2012 FCT FA League

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brahim Abubakar, the Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Football Association (FA), has said that 44 teams would

participate in forthcoming 2012 League scheduled to on Saturday. Abubakar yesterday in Abuja,

the FCT start said that

the winner would be promoted to the Nigeria Nation Wide League (NNWL) Division 3 to represent the FCT. Abubakar said the teams

Coach laments shortage of table tennis equipment in Ogun

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oach Risikat Ramon of the Ogun TableTennis Association on Wednesday in Abeokuta lamented the dearth of table-tennis equipment at the state’s sports council. Ramon told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the ongoing Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria

(PASAN) Games that the substandard equipment could hinder the development of the sport in the state. “The tables are not up to the international standard and it will be difficult for the players to compete with their counterparts from other states,” she said.

Ramon advised the Ogun Government to upgrade the equipment on ground to bring out the best in the players at the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF). She commended the standard of the competition and the skills displayed by the athletes in the table tennis events.

have been divided into eight groups, with some consisting of five teams while others have six teams. He added that the competition is grassroots based competition; and would feature 100 matches in the first round of the competition. The league’s opening match would be between Team Initiative and FC Maracana on Saturday, at the FCT Sports Complex, Area 10. “ The plan is to group them and we have eight groups that would play in round roving form. The first stage would be a round robin format that would be based on total number of points gotten by each team.

“If you lose, you lose three points but if you draw, you and your opponent would have one point each’’, he said. Abubakar said that 16 teams would emerge after the first round, and they would have to play knockout matches to arrive at eight teams. He disclosed that after the knockout stage, the best four teams would emerge to play the finals and semi-finals of the competition. The competition will be sponsored by the Kanu Youth Foundation, the overall winner would go home with a trophy and an undisclosed amount of prize money.


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Demba’s hands on exit clause

Transfer

The season is over. Clubs are counting their blessing as well as losses and would like to make amends and even beef up their squads where noticeable lapses exist. And the transfer market is agog barely 24 hours after major European leagues dropped the curtain. And so to keep abreast with latest rumours, we begin daily doses of movements within the market both for players and coaches like.

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he spirited Senegalese striker, who was the most celebrated forward last season held talks with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and may likely ignite his £7million getout expires this month. The clause expires this month and the Senegalese has demanded more playing time, something he’s likely to enjoy in Liverpool or Spurs, the leading clubs in pursuit of his signature. Galatasaray are also in the race. Demba Ba was squeezed out of position by Papiss Cisse and he

Newell’s Old Demba Ba Boys seals Yakubu vows to lift Chinese club Maxi deal igeria international striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has promised to

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axi Rodriguez looks set to leave Liverpool this summer after Newell’s Old Boys revealed they have agreed a deal to bring the forward back to Argentina. Rodriguez began his career at the club before joining Espanyol in 2002 and made just 12 Premier League appearances for Liverpool last season. Club secretary Pablo Morosano confirmed they were in regular contact with Rodriguez and were waiting for confirmation from Anfield. “We are waiting for official news about the end of Maxi’s link (with Liverpool). There is ongoing contact and we have a contract agreed with him,” Morosano told Ole. “But as long as his exit from Liverpool has not been settled, we cannot announce it.”

Laudrup denies Liverpool’s bid for Allen

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ew Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has played down rumours that Liverpool could move for Joe Allen. Allen, 22, enjoyed an impressive season at Swansea last term, scoring four goals from midfield in 35 Premier League appearances. It has been suggested Liverpool, where ex-Swans boss Brendan Rodgers is now in charge, are keen on the midfielder, but Laudrup has insisted no bid has been received. Laudrup said in the Daily Star: “I want Joe to stay here because he is very important for the team. As far as I know, we have heard nothing from Liverpool. “If it is more than just rumours then I’m sure the chairman will talk to me about it.” He continued: “It is normal to have interest when people are doing well. Swansea did well in their first season in the Premier League and some of the players were not well-known at the highest level before. “Of course we want to keep our most important players and I would not welcome any interest in my best players. But it is a part of the game.” Rodgers has a clause in his contract that states he cannot make an approach for any Swansea player during the first 12 months of his time in charge of Liverpool, unless a rival bid is made for the target in question.

wants that fixed. Pardew is was learnt has agreed to offer the Senegal star the more central attacking position that he craves. Nonetheless, the forward may yet opt to consider the several offers especially with clubs with better prospects for continental campaigns. His blistering early season form, which netted 16 goals, tailed off once Papiss Cisse arrived in January and he was told to play a less attacking role for the team, as Cisse took on the

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lift his Chinese club Guangzhou R&F after he was presented to the media. The former Everton, Blackburn Rovers will wear jersey number 25 “I want to do well and lift any team I play for. That is the same target on my mind with Guangzhou R&F. I want to score as many goals as possible to help my team finish well and get more respect in China,” said Yakubu, whose new team are sixth on the table with 24 points. Former Blackburn Rovers striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni could now make his debut in the Guangzhou derby Sunday when his team visit defending champions and leaders, Guangzhou Evergrande, who have recorded 36 points from 15 matches. “When it comes to derby, I have witnessed it in every country I have played and I recorded successes as well,” he said. “I am looking forward to kick start my career here with the derby. I am very much hopeful to make my debut in the weekend’s derby. “I have been training with the team for over a week, I may not be 100% yet, but I am fully ready to debut. The training has been good and I believe in myself. However, the final decision on whether I will play rests with the coach.”

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rendan Rodgers decision that Andy Carroll might be surplus to requirement has suddenly ignited sundry interests in the England striker, whose scored only nine goals in 42 matches for the Liverpool. Already, the likes of Newcastle, Carroll’s former club are willing to offer £10m to bring him back on loan, West Ham United and Fulham emerged as possible contenders for Carroll’s services as at Thursday morning, with Sam Allardyce keen to take the player on loan with a view to a £15m deal and Fulham ready to offer Clint Dempsey plus cash, according to reports. But the player’s £80,000-aweek Anfield wages will be a severe obstacle to such clubs, even though the prospect of reuniting with his friend Kevin Nolan at West Ham would appeal to Carroll. Liverpool may consider Newcastle’s £10m offer particularly if Demba Ba triggers the release clause in his own contract at St James’ Park as the Reds are likely to push for Ba in whom they have had a long-standing interest.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni

Offers poured in for Carroll

The Reds’ losing more than 50 per cent of the £35m they paid to Newcastle 18 months ago would be punishing for them. It is possible that Carroll may be left in a state of limbo by Rodgers and could face another difficult season at Anfield. Though Milan are willing to take Carroll on loan, but Newcastle’s interest have deepened because their pursuit of the FC Twente striker Luuk de Jong has fizzled out, with the Dutchman having confirmed Borussia Mönchengladbach as his destination of choice. A Dempsey-plus-cash deal may appeal to Rodgers, who is looking for a player to carry out the attacking role from midfield that only Steven Gerrard in the current squad is capable of. However, there been no formal approach to Fulham for Dempsey and no movement seems imminent on that front

Rodgers wants to seal two signings this week and may opt to give Carroll the chance to prove his mettlles during Liverpool’s pre-season tour. Meanwhile, Rodgers is sure the trio of Liuz Suarz, Martins Skrtel and Daniel Agger will stay especially following answers to Skrtel’s questions about the club’s ambitions.

Andy Carroll

PSG cool interest in van Persie, Pirlo

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aris Saint Germain, the novella-rich French club are no longer in terested in the services of Arsenal’s Robin van Persie and Juventus’ Andrea Pirlo. Speculations had been rife that they were interested in the duo particularly the Gunners captain, who will be quitting Arsenals this summer, having refused to extend his contract which expires in 12 months’ time. Manchester City were

believed to be leading the race for the striker, although Roberto Mancini’s interest reportedly cooled and Italian club Juventus looked favourites. Alongside those two are a whole other host of clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. PSG were also thought to be in the race but Ancelotti’s latest comments have ruled the French club out, despite the player’s apparent availability.

“Robin van Persie is not our target but I think there are a number of other clubs who are interested in him,” Ancelotti told a press conference. The Italian also dismissed any idea that he would be looking to work with Andrea Pirlo again, who he managed at AC Milan. He added: “Pirlo is an interesting player for any club, but I have had the chance to coach him for eight years and that is enough.”

scoring duties. But Pardew has told Ba he will be used in a more central attacking position for more games including a huge increase in work load caused by the Europa League and that he is searching for a way of getting the best out of his talents. Pardew faced questions for the first time after the summer break yesterday and sent a strong message to rivals considering plundering his fifth places finishers that “inflated” prices will be forced on any buyer. On the Ba saga he admitted: “I just think the whole thing with Demba has been constant and whether that changes now I don’t know. I’ve not seen any sign from Demba since he came back that suggests he wants to find another club. I don’t sense that at all.” Newcastle have an interest in Blackburn free agent Junior Hoilett and they expect the player’s answer “imminently”. United hope to bring in three new players - with the third likely a striker. They are hoping the price for Luuk De Jong drops from the £16 million quoted by FC Twente, and know nothing of reports that long standing target right back Mathieu Debuchy has extended his contract at Lille. Pardew refused to kill off the chance of a return for Andy Carroll. He wants a new striker in, and said: “Yeah possibly there will always be that link between Andy and Newcastle. I’m not going to deny that, yeah.”

Espanyol unveiled Wakaso

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spanyol have unveiled their latest acquisition at the Peralada. The club unveiled Ghana’s Mubarak Wakaso is intended to help them claw back to the good days of two seasons past. Coach Mauricio Pochettino got the Ghanaian on a deal for the next four seasons and he revealed his pleasure. Wakaso featured in six La Liga games for Villareal last season and would be hoping to gain much playing time in the coming season at new club Espanyol. “Wakaso’s signing is good news to us as he is a good complement to our team and can play in many positions on the field. He is young with great energy and can play as a left-back and a midfielder,” Pochettino is quoted by FootyGhana as saying. The very pleased Argentine boss took the player from relegated side Villareal and has hailed his versatility. Wakaso successfully passed his medicals on Wednesday morning at the White Cross Clinic in Barcelona and for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around 300,000 Euros. The player first moved to Europe to sign for Spanish Segunda side Elche at age 18 before moving to Villareal three years later.


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PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

Akanbi, Hassan emerge champions at Ayo tourney

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ational male number one Ayo game player, Rashidi Akanbi, on Wednesday emerged the maiden champion of the first Prince Tajudeen Olusi Ayo Championships in Lagos. Folake Hassan, also emerged the female champion at the championships held at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba. Akanbi defeated Oluwaseun Ayedun 4-0 to emerge the male champion while Hassan defeated Elizabeth Omolara also 40 to emerge the female champion. Akanbi who won three gold medals for Lagos State at the 17th National Sports

Festival in Port Harcourt went home with N20,000, while Hassan took N15,000. Kehinde Ameachi took the male’s third place position after beating Olayide Olawunmi 4-1

while Tairat Oduyemi took the female third place through default. Oduyemi’s opponent in the female third place match, Kuburat Shokunbi, was disqualified after mistakenly mixed the Ayo

Ayo game in progreess

seeds together during the match. The male and female third and fourth place winners however got N10,000 each. Akanbi in a post match interview, promised to win all the gold medals at stake in Ayo game for Lagos State at the upcoming festival to be hosted by Lagos in November. The Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA) Jide Jimoh, the sponsor, said that he decided to sponsor the competition to promote traditional sports. “Traditional sports are suffering against their western sports counterparts. I could have sponsored any other western sports but thought it wise to sponsor a tradition sport to promote our culture. “I believe in anything sports because it is an

empowerment and also a capacity development for the youth. We must not allow our traditional sports to die and we will make sure it is promoted to an Olympic games,” he said. The chairman then urged individuals and corporate organisations to promote African sports to international level through sponsorship. Prince Olusi, the Baba Oba of Apa Kingdom, Lagos after whom the competition was named, appreciated the interest and effort made by the chairman to organise the competition in his honour. He said that Ayo game was designed by African grand fathers to keep the people busy and reduce stress adding that it keeps elders and young people alive. Olusi urged the competition to be an

Ping pong coach, Kasali plans academy

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former national table tennis coach, Kasali Lasisi, says he has concluded plans to establish an academy for the sport in Kwara. Lasisi, who spoke in Ilorin, said that his plan was to complement the efforts of the state governor, AbdulFatah Ahmed, to

develop sports at the grassroots. The former coach said that the establishment of the academy would further raise the profile of the sport in the state and the rest of the country. He urged the state government and individuals to contribute

their quota to the development and success of the academy. Lasisi regretted that the fortunes of table tennis had gone down in the country because it lacked government and individual support. The former coach claimed that government’s

focus on the growth of football had cost other sports dearly. He noted that it was this development that caused Nigeria to lose its number one position in table tennis in Africa. The coach called for adequate training and retraining of athletes in the

country to enhance their performance in international competitions. According to him, there is the need for the government to motivate and provide the necessary logistics for athletes in the other sports to enable them to overcome their challenges.

One of the athletes, KolawoleOgunleye, who resides in Ojota, near Lagos, said that before the rehabilitation he usually left home daily at 7 a.m. for training and by 7.45 a.m. would be at the National Stadium in Surulere. Ogunleye said, however, that since the

repair work on the bridge started, it was no longer the same as he was compelled to leave home earlier because of the traffic grid lock. He said the development had affected his training as he never got to the stadium until 10 a.m. when his morning training was supposed to

have been over. “‘I did not meet up with the training time on Monday and Tuesday but I was able to meet up today because I left home by 5.30 for the stadium,’’ he said. A boxer, Okechukwu Elochukwu from Oworonshoki,said that the situation had prompted commercial drivers to hike transport fares which had also made him to spend more. Elochukwu, who claimed that he trained at the stadium four times in a week, said he used to spend an average of N800 to and from the stadium before the development but now he spent N1, 200. “The situation is not palatable at all because I am spending above my budget which is biting hard on my pocket. I just hope things will get back to normal fast,’’ he said. Tochukwu Anyakora, a taekwondo coach, said that the repair work had affected the response of his

athletes to training as they had not been coming. Anyakora said that he resides in Surulere and had not been affected by the development, adding that the development would slow the training programme of his athletes. “Before now, my athletes from various areas come early for morning training which begins at 7 a.m. but now only few of them who reside within the stadium environment turn up,’’ he said.

Athletes lament closure of Third Mainland Bridge S

ome athletes yesterday in Lagos said that the ongoing rehabilitation of the Third Mainland Bridge was hampering their training schedules. It would be recalled that the bridge was partially closed on July 8 because of the rehabilitation, expected to last for five months.

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Congested 3 Mainland Bridge

Chief Patrick Ekeji DG, NSC

annual event to preserve African’s cultural values and also urged elders in every community and parents to educate young ones about traditional sports. The other games in traditional sports were Kokowa (traditional wrestling), Dambe (traditional boxing), Langa and Abula.

18th NSF: Lagos coach vows to win gold in Abula

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he Lagos State Abula coach, Muritala Babalola, has expressed optimism that his team to the National Sports Festival will regain the title lost at the Port Harcourt edition of the games. In an interview in Lagos on Wednesday, Babalola said that his team would wrestle the title from the Rivers team that won the event in Port Harcourt. “The Lagos Abula team is ready to redeem its image by bringing back gold medals in all the three categories of the sport. Abula is a traditional sport which was introduced in 1984 at Idi-Araba Secondary School, Lagos. “Therefore, we are going to make sure that we win gold in this forthcoming National Sports Festival,”he said. According to him, the championship title has eluded them for a while now but the team is ready to bring medals in the sport to Lagos. He disclosed that the team won silver and bronze in the last national festival in Port-Harcourt but said those medals were unsatisfactory. “We have promised the state government and the Honorable Commissioner for Sport that we are going to bring back the lost glory of the sport,” he said. Babalolaalso disclosed that the Lagos State Government had tried to introduce the game to the organisers of the All Africa Games but were unsuccessful. “We are appealing to the National Sports Commission to partner with us so that the game can be introduced at the All Africa Games,” he said. The 2012 National Sports Festival holds in Lagos between Nov. 27 and December, 9.


PEOPLES DAILY, FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

PAGE 45

Eagles’ big stars, where are they?

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uddenly, playing for the Super Eagles has become attractive again. Few months ago, not a few stars opted to distance themselves from the bunch that Stephen Keshi assembled. The collection of domestic league players, were termed ‘ragtagged’, ‘mere training materials’ and were unarguably the boots of rough jokes among the so-called big stars, in whose opinion they were inconsequential being from the backwater league, and therefore the flotsam and jetsam of their esteemed football. Gradually, with real struggle and efforts, the bunch took shape, began to exhibit some forms of cohesion, and raw technical brilliance albeit far from being a team with the resplendent character expected of Nigerian senior national squad. Well, the worst was expected from them, yet they trudged along, with each step a prospect until they arrived at the horizon and just a touching distance of the Nations Cup. Now, the rejected stone (team) has become the chief corner, drawing attention with magnetic allure. Of course, everyone is the friend of the successful and powerful, the ‘big stars’ of Eagles of yore are no exception. And they have hit the streets with blaring call for Keshi to ‘strengthen’ the

team by including them in the squad. As usual, the media are awashed with such blaring calls or else- the- heavens- will- fallclamor. Praise singers have sang their hoarse, have applied all means to arm-twist Keshi to kowtow to their demands and bring in their idols. Recently, Austin Okocha, yes, the same Okocha, the mercurial midfielder, trusted for his mesmerizing dribbling runs, the former skipper of the Eagles, joined the fray and insisted that certain players are inevitable, indeed indispensable if Nigeria must achieve anything in the game. Yet, anyone with a half a logical mind would be hard put digesting the basis for the insistence and could rightly asked Okocha where these so-

called big stars, experienced players were in the days of small beginning? And talking about pedigree, one would inquire again, weren’t these same players at the driving wheel when Samson Siasia was in charge? They dictated things, held the country to ransom, chose matches to play, when and where all in the guise of being the messiahs that Nigeria needed to win the World Cup. And yet, their presence was always nerves breaking, nauseating, disgusting, bowel retching albeit being paid fabulous bonuses often times to the tune of $10, 000, as was the case when they forced Tunisia to 2-2 draw at the National Stadium Abuja. Well, all this are just an aside. They are Nigerians and must

WATCH DOG

enjoy the rights and privileges due any Nigerian with the knack to deliver to the expectations. That, of course is the core, deliver to expectation, owoidoho_ng35@yahoo.com which they seldom do. The issue really is not throughout last season barely six seasons since he started Keshi’s insistence on leaving his static journey with the out some players as is in the a handful of Nigerians plying question of who these players their trades aboard received English club. And yet, he’s something close to passing abashed in media clamor are and where they are? headlines in Europe. despite his clear lackadaisical One is at a loss because all Yes, there was a certain attitude towards to the the ‘big stars’, and one uses national team. the ‘big stars’ with all sense of Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who scored pomposity in the assumption 17 times for Blackburn Rovers, At present aside Victor Moses, that is wanted by that indeed they are to be as did Osaze Odemwingie who Chelsea on the cheap side, no found somewhere, but where got something close to that are they? This seems a mirage also and Victor Moses, whose other so-called England-based because stars are known for slightly above half a dozen goals Nigerian player has had any offer placed on the table for sparkling, but unfortunately, made headlines in Nigeria. Interestingly, an acceptable his services. gauge to player’s performance Besides, tell me, who among is in the number of scouts that Yakubu, Odemwingie, Taye pamper him to append his Taiwo, who has been ‘off-load’ will attract gate fees of signature for a new club at as it were by QPR to AC Milan N200 for popular side and higher value during the midwho in turn will definitely put N300 for covered stands. season transfer or the new him on loan again, Emmanuel Obuh's wards take on season proper. Emenike, Obinna Nsofor, the Junior Taifa Stars of Pray! Has any team of value Chinedu Ogbuke has had Tanzania in Dar es Salaam priced these so-called big stars opportunity to impress Keshi on July 28 in the first leg that are enjoying the clamor but failed? of the 2013 African Youth for a place in the new-look So, who are the big stars, Championship qualifying Eagles of Keshi? Would anyone where are they or someone is fixture, with the return leg in all honesty consider just looking for an in Nigeria on August 11. transferring to China a sign of opportunity to reap where he The Beninoise will progression? did not sow? contend with 2009 world One player, for instance, Keshi should be left alone champions, Black who seems larger than life and to rebuild the Eagles using the Satellites of Ghana in plays for one of the top four services of players he finds their qualification clubs in the English delight in and who are docile fixture. Premiership, HAS NEVER been and capable to meet his priced by any club more than expectations. Period.

By Patrick Andrew

Flying Eagles tackle Benin Rep Sunday

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he Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos will host the international friendly match between the Flying Eagles of Nigeria and their counterparts from Benin Republic, this weekend. Officials confirmed yesterday that the match, meant to prepare both teams for upcoming 2013 African Youth Championship qualifiers and which was to played tomorrow has been

moved to Sunday. John Obuh, whose charges failed to defend their trophy at the 8nation tournament in South Africa two months ago, hopes to see what improvement the Flying Eagles have made since they were reassembled and some fresh pairs of legs added to the team. Already, Beninoise team were expected last night to allow them one day of grace to rest and prepare for the game that

Pharoahs will rise again, Aboutreika declares A

fter missing out on three consecutive m a j o r tournaments, Egypt need to use their recent CAF Africa Cup of Nations flop as an incentive to end a lengthy FIFA World Cup™ drought, veteran playmaker Mohamed Aboutreika insisted recently. “Of course our Nations Cup defeat was a big loss, but we still have to take advantage of the ordeal and turn it into a blessing in the World Cup qualifiers,” the Al Ahly man told FIFA.com. “We have a good chance to qualify for the World Cup, we just need to exert lots of effort during the coming period.” The positive attitude is perhaps not surprising given that the 33-year-old is known in Egypt as ‘The Saint’ for his mild

temperament, but there is no way to downplay the shock of the Pharaohs defeat in the continental qualifiers by Central African Republic. The 4-3 aggregate loss means the seven-time African champions will miss out on the 2013 AFCON to go along with their disappointing 2012 campaign as well as the pain of missing out on the first African World Cup. The defeat has also heaped pressure on Egypt’s American coach Bob Bradley, who had been winning rave reviews since replacing the highly successful

Hassan Shehata in November last year. Although some called for the coach to be sacked as Egyptdesperately try to reach their first FIFA World Cup since 1990, Aboutreika rejects the idea and says patience is a must as the country continues to deal with the aftermath of an uprising and ongoing security concerns. He said: “The political c i r c u m s t a n c e s in Egypt definitely affected the national team’s displays. Bradley should be credited for the work he has done so far and for the fact that he did not abandon the team in such

a difficult phase. He is working in exceptional circumstances, and I believe he should remain in charge of the national team.” Aboutreika has also defied his own doubters with some high-quality displays of late that showed his touch of magic remains as powerful as it used to be. Recently he has scored a hat-trick for Al Ahly to lift them to the CAF Champions League group stage, produced a dazzling performance in Egypt’s 20 win over Mozambique and netted twice in their 3-2 win over Guinea. The fine run of form has

Of course our Nations Cup defeat was a big loss, but we still have to take advantage of the ordeal and turn it into a blessing in the World Cup qualifiers

prompted Egypt’s Olympic team coach Hany Ramzy to include Aboutreika in his squad for the London Games as one of the three over-age players along with clubmates Ahmed Fathi and Emad Meteb. “It’s an honor for me to represent Egypt in such an important competition. I cannot turn down any invitation to play for the national team,” said the player, who has scored ten goals in 19 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in his career. Before London 2012, Aboutreika is due to line up with Ahly in an highly anticipated CAF Champions League battle against arch-rivals Zamalek on 22 July. Sixtime African champions Ahly claimed a last-gasp 21 victory over DR Congo’s TP Mazembe in their opening Group B game while Zamalek, in contrast, conceded a stoppage-time goal to lose 3-2 to Ghana’s Berekum Chelsea in Accra. Aboutreika had a hand in Ahly’s opener against

Mohammed Aboutreika

Bob Bradley, Egypt’s Coach

Hassan Shehata, who led the Pharoahs to three consecutive Nations Cup wins

We have a good chance to qualify for the World Cup, we just need to exert lots of effort during the coming period

Mazembe, his deft pass down the left releasing winger Walid Soliman, who pulled the ball back for Meteb to finish. “We’ve made a very good start especially that we overcame one of the title favorites. We played much better than many people expected, given the exceptional circumstances the Egyptian football is going through,” the classy playmaker said referencing the fact that all domestic soccer in the country has been suspended since the Port Said tragedy in February. “Actually it’s the best start we have made to the group stage in three years. In 2009, we did not qualify for the group stage, in 2010 we drew 1-1 with Nigeria’s Heartland in the first game and in 2011 we were held to a 3-3 draw at home to Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca. “Such a start will motivate us to continue with the same spirit that we are using to compensate for the absence of our fans. I was very sad with Zamalek’s defeat, but I’m sure both clubs can go far in the tournament if the fans are allowed back to the stands. A triumph for either club will be a great achievement to Egyptian football in such a difficult phase.”


www.peoplesdaily-online.com

FRIDAY, JULY 13, 2012

SPORTS LA TEST LATEST

Two females to represent Saudi Arabia in Olympics

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wo female Saudi Arabian athletes will take part in the London 2012 Games, the International Olympic Committee confirms. Sarah Attar will compete in the 800m while Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani will take part in the judo competition. The confirmation comes few weeks after the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia announced that they would placed no hedges on the path of female athletics willing to compete at the Games. Also, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) last week approved the use of hijab by female players thereby throwing the open for Muslim women to participate in soccer tounaments which they had hitherto not been free to feature in because of the mode of dressing.

El-Kanemi Warriors aim for upset

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l-Kanemi Warriors will hit Lagos today for the Group B games of the 2012 Federation Cup. The Maiduguri-based side will vie for the two spots together with NPL title chasers, Kano Pillars, Kwara United and Crown. The NPL promoted side saw off Rising Stars and Abia Warriors in the preliminary rounds. El-Kanemi manager, Kelechi Emetole said, “We're ready for the challenges and we'll give it our best shot. I don't predict matches or opponents, we work very hard to achieve results. I know our opponents inside out having coached in the premier league. "We've set our target to go as far as we could, be rest assured that we won't add to the number but will give our fans something to cheer about," he said. The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale coach said his wards are coming to the elite league to contest for a place at the continent.

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. . . putting the people first

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Corruption is in every system of our society and I cannot pretend that it is not in the judiciary. What I intend to do to curb this is leading by example and pray that others will follow — Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar, incoming Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)

Zamfara’s ambivalent budget of hope F

rom the nine state budgets already analyzed, two trends have emerged. There are the few governments that are interested in making a mark and leaving their states better than they met them by appropriating state resources wisely and efficiently. They focus on making capital investments and placing solid physical structures and human capital on the ground. While there are others who have little to offer and are there for advancing the personal interests of a few. The latter have no strategy or plan for developing their states as can be seen from their budgets which, in these cases, were prepared haphazardly. Hopefully their errors have been highlighted to their voters who have the ultimate power to vote people into elective positions. Our focus this week is on the North-western state of Zamfara which like Nasarawa voted out a PDP government in the last election. Until 1996 when the Abacha administration created the state, it was part of Sokoto state. It became globally notorious as the first state to introduce Sharia in its criminal law in the year 2000. Zamfara has borders with Sokoto State and Niger Republic to the north, Katsina and Kaduna to the east and Niger and Kebbi to the south. In terms of population, Zamfara with a population of 3, 278,873 ( 2006 population census) ranks 21st among the 36 states and the FCT. In the present republic, there have been three governors of the state: Ahmad Sani Yerima who served two terms (1999-2007), Mahmud Shinkafi (2007-2011) and Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari the incumbent. Besides politics, not much is recorded about Governor Yari's past experience and endeavors. He was elected to represent Talata Mafara/Anka Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives in 1999. He was State chairman of the ANPP, and a member of the cabinet of former Governor Ahmad Sani. In November 2007, Yari was among Zamfara state officials accused of money laundering by the EFCC, but has since remained old newspaper headlines like many others cases. Zamfara is a predominantly agrarian state. Its slogan is "farming is our pride". Over 80 percent of the people are engaged in various forms of agriculture.

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NASIR EL-R UF AI EL-RUF UFAI ON FRID AY FRIDA elrufai@aol.com

Gov. Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar Major agricultural products include millet, guinea corn, maize, rice, groundnut, cotton, tobacco and beans. According to the Raw Materials Research and Development Council’s (RMRDC) report on non-metallic mineral endowments in Nigeria, 2010 the state possesses glass sand deposits which are not being exploited. Other resources believed to be in the state are gold, chromate, chamovite, granite, clay, limestone, quartz and kaolin. Until recently when the lead poisoning pandemic broke out in the state, many people were unaware of the occurrence of gold in the state. Illegal mining and exports of this gold have been ongoing for some time. One wonders what the state is doing towards pressurizing the Federal Government to organize the mining of this gold in commercial quantities for export purposes in the same way crude oil is being produced which would increase the revenue accruals to the state. According to the former commissioner of environment in the state, Zamfara could potentially rake in at least $200m (N32bn which is ten times its IGR) annually from the mining of copper alone. This alone would turn around the fortunes of the state and create jobs for the teeming youths. Despite the emergence of gold

mining as a major source of employment for the people who have abandoned their farmlands for this more lucrative business, unemployment in the state is 33.4%, the second highest in the country after Yobe State according to data from the NBS in 2010. Compare these figures to the best state Lagos (7.6%) and it is clear that job-creation strategies should be the main policy focus of the Zamfara State government. In the North-West zone, 67.4% of the population survive on less than a dollar a day, 51.8% are food poor while 70.6% are absolutely poor. It is the poorest region of the country across all the indices. Interestingly Zamfara state has a food poverty incidence of 44.4%, the second lowest in the region apart from Kaduna. Absolute poverty is 70.8% and 71.3 % cannot afford a dollar per day. There has been a 3.1% decrease in income inequality between 2004 and 2010 which is commendable, but it is not clear whether this was a fluke or the outcome of deliberate policies. Zamfara is one of the states which have shifted from singleyear budgeting to multi-year based budgeting. The government collaborates with some revenue consultants and the UK Department for International Development’s SPARC programme in preparing the budget estimates for 2012-2014. Judging from the state government’s proposals, it appears that the leadership has identified the state's problem areas and are poised to address the challenges. This explains why Governor Yari seems to enjoy the support of the ordinary people of the state. The 2012 budget of the state amounts to N120, 810,192,000. N75.5bn (63%) is capital budget while N45.27bn (37%) is the recurrent budget. Despite the fact that the state does not meet up to the 70% capital expenditure requirement, of all the states

analyzed on this column so far, it comes closest to the requirement after Akwa-Ibom (83.7% of its 2012 budget for capital expenditure). Zamfara's proportional capital allocation is better than those of Benue (48%), Bauchi and Lagos (53%), Kaduna (55%) and Nasarawa (60%). It is a step in the right direction if the state wants to meet up with the above mentioned states in terms of development given its backwardness in many areas. A closer look at the recurrent budget shows the state’s personnel cost is N16.8bn (14% of total budget), overhead costs is N12bn (10% of budget), consolidated revenue fund charges N4.4bn (4%) and a rather huge internal debt service provision of N9.1bn (8%). The debt service provision confirms that Governor Yari inherited significant amounts of short term debt approaching maturity including regular servicing. Between 2012 and 2014, the state intends to borrow at least N20bn annually. This debt build-up should keep Governor Yari awake at night. On the revenue side, recurrent revenue is N75.5bn while capital revenue is N45.3bn. The recurrent revenue is composed of Statutory Allocation of N40.1bn (34% of total budget), Federal Government grants of N32.6bn (27%) and a meager IGR of N3.2bn (3%). The IGR is 19% of the state’s personnel cost. This is totally pathetic. If the state was to survive without allocations from the FAAC, it is obvious that the state will cease to exist as an administrative entity. A look at the sectoral capital allocations shows that the economic sector made up of agriculture, manufacturing, commerce etc is allocated N39.7bn, the social sector (education, health, information, youth and social welfare) got N14.2bn, environmental development sector - N17.3bn and the government administration sector about N11.2bn. General services under the Head of Service’s office is allocated the unusually massive amount of N2.6bn. Comparing this provision to the capital allocation for power under the directorate of rural electrification (N1.6bn) raises some concerns about priorities. The sum of N7.7bn (6.4%) is for water supply which the state urgently needs in the face of the current lead poisoning disaster, N10bn is to be spent on roads construction within the state with another N50 million to go towards realizing the Gusau Airport. Contd. on Page 35

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, July 13, 2012