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Vol. 10 No. 11

Monday, January 14, 2013

. . . putting the people first

10 Katsina CPC lawmakers cry foul, to appeal court decision >> PAGE 2

Safar 28, 1434 AH


Attah Igala stool: NSCDC nabs Group urges Jonathan four-man job to intervene syndicate >> PAGE 5

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Armed Forces Day:

Nigeria ’ll endure despite challenges, by Jonathan By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has said that despite the challenges that threaten its unity, Nigeria will remain one united nation. He said only “a mad couple divorces after 100 years of marriage”, adding that “Nigeria is not a mad country.” The President made these remarks yesterday during an inter-denominational church service to mark the 2013 Armed Forces Remembrance Day at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. The service theme was "Peace and Unity." “Nigeria will not disintegrate. Anybody who is doing research in sociology, psychology or political science knows this; I know Nigeria will remain one,” the president said. “In 2014, we will celebrate our centenary, 100 years in existence. It will only take two mad people to stay in marriage for 100 years and say that is the time you will divorce and we are not mad. If there are issues that have been brewing over the period and we have been managing them, we will continue to manage. “We will not think about Contd on Page 2

L-R: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, wife of Deputy Senate President, Mrs. Nwanneka Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Senate President David Mark, President Goodluck Jonathan, and First Lady Patience Jonthan, during the inter-denominational church service for the 2013 Armed Forces Remebrance Day celebration, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

JTF arrests another top Boko Haram commander From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


arely a day after security forces arrested a suspected Boko Haram in Abuja, the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF)

in Borno state, said yesterday that it operatives have conducted a special operation and arrested one Mohammed Zangina, who it described a high profile commander of the sect and member of its Shura committee,

the apex decision-making body of the group. Zangina is among the top commanders of the sect, which were declared wanted by the JTF on 23 November, last year with a bounty of N25 million placed on

him. The JTF Zangina in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, said Zangina, also known as Mallam Abdullahi but often referred to as Alhaji Musa, had

coordinator most of the suicide attacks and bombings, carried out in several parts of the country comprising of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Jos and Potiskum. Contd on Page 2





10 Katsina CPC lawmakers cry foul, to appeal court decision



By Umar Muhammad Puma











S/Exchange S/Report Law

23 24-25 26





Addressing the shortage of seafarers in Nigeria, Page 40



Strange World 35 Politics








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The 10 Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) members of the National Assembly from Katsina state, sacked last Friday by Justice Gladys Olotu of the Federal High Court Abuja, have described the judgement as an aberration in the nation’s justice system and said they would appeal the ruling. The lawmakers said it was curious for a lower court to upturn the ruling of the nation’s apex court, the Supreme Court. Briefing newsmen at the Abuja CPC office yesterday, Senator Hadi Sirika said Justice Gladys Olotu gave judgement in a suit which she clearly did not have jurisdiction to entertain. Her judgement over-ruled the December 16, 2011 decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Garba Lado & Ors Vs CPC & Ors in suit no SC.157/2011. “The judgement of Justice Olotu is a direct confrontation with the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court… The question is whether the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Olotu is superior to the Supreme Court which had held that the plaintiffs (Sen. Abdul Yandoma and others) were never candidates sponsored by the CPC,” Sirika said. He described how his group emergence victors in the party’s primaries and congresses but their victories were contested by their opponents, leading to the conduct of their ‘own’ primaries.

“The election took place on that day (13th January, 2011) and Hon. Aminu Masari, Senator Sadiq Ya’radua , Senator Hadi Sirika and others vying for various National and State Assembly offices emerged victorious,” he explained. “On January 14th 2011, the CPC National Congresses Committee under Dr. Lanre Tejuosho submitted names of winners of the primary elections to INEC after ratification of the list by the NEC and Board of Trustees of the party. “However, having been roundly defeated in that primary election, Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke and others refused to accept defeat and therefore in concert with the Katsina State Chairman of

the CPC organised their “own” primary election on 15th January, 2011 and consequently on 16th January, 2011 declared themselves candidates of the CPC in Katsina State. In spite of the many representations they made to INEC, the Commission refused to accept the list they forwarded to it,” he said. The affected lawmakers include Senators Sadiq Yar’Adua (Katsina central), Hadi A Sirika (Katsina North), Reps Isa Lawal (Doro-Mani/Bindawa), Sani Bello (Mashi- Mashi/ Dutsi), Abbas Machika (Kankara/Faskari/ Sabuwa). Others are Dr. Mansur Abdulkadir (Funtua/ Dandume), Ahmed Usman Babba (Kankia/

Kusada/ Ingawa), Salisu Salisco (Kaita/ Jibiya), Shiek Umar Abubakar (Katsina Central) and Salisu Ado Daura (Daura/ Maiaduwa/Sandamu. Sirika told reporters at the party’s secretariat in Abuja that the Federal High Court’s decision judgement sacking them was misplaced. He added that having failed to convince INEC to accept their names as candidates for the 2011 Elections, Senator Danmarke and 43 others sued INEC, the CPC and the National Chairman of the CPC, Prince Tony Momoh at the Federal High Court, Abuja where Justice Abdul Kafarati declared them to be the candidates of CPC in the the elections. However, the ruling was upturned on April 20, 2011, by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja.

NSCDC nabs four-man job syndicate By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), yesterday paraded a four-man syndicate which specialises in defrauding members of the public promising them employment in the service. Parading three of the suspects; Wilfred Ahetuamen, Ikechukwu John and Grace Benedict, the Corps Public Relations Officer (CPRO), Emmanuel Okeh, said the forth member of the syndicate, Rachael Agirshi was still at large. He said the suspects who were arrested in various locations in

Abuja and Nassarawa state, used Transcorp Hilton Hotel and AMAC office to convince their victims that they were real employers of labour. On how they defrauded one victim, Bojor Bobori, from Rivers state, Okeh said the chief mastermind of the crime, Ahetuamen, claimed to be an aide to the Commandant General, an impression which he said convinced the victim to pay money to him. Speaking on how the business went awry, Bobori alleged that after paying the sum of N280,000 into the account of one Rachael, as

directed by the leader of the group, Ahetuamen whom he also said was his close friend, the complainant further said that the syndicate told him to wait for the Commandant General to sign the employment letter. “After a long time, I didn't hear from them. I became worried and asked questions whenever I see officers of the corps. On this particular day when I asked some of them when they were given appointment letters, they said in December. I now asked one officer and he said it was a fraud; that was when I reported the issue to the NSCDC", he said.

Nigeria ’ll endure despite challenges, by Jonathan Contd from Page 1 separation. I always say some nations have their own history; at times people question the unity of this country especially when they talk about the amalgamation of the north and south in 1914. “Some big countries have very ugly pasts. But it’s not for us to begin look at history; it is for us who are alive today to shift our focus and begin to talk about those things that will bring about unity, development. “I always say that Nigeria is great not because of our oil; we have people that produce more oil than us but we are appreciated and still reckoned with because of our size and diversity both as

human beings and our environment. These are areas we should exploit for unity and development.” “So, please, let us all stand up and condemn those who say otherwise about our unity, those who call for our disintegration or who make similar statements should be condemned by all Nigerians. “As a country made up of great citizens, when we work together, when government plays her role and the citizens also play their roles, surely we will get to where we want to go. If only the government or only the people are at work, and the other is not playing the required role and provide the enabling environment, of course, we will not

go anywhere. “But when we work together our children and children yet unborn will be happy.” Jonathan particularly commended the armed forces and other security services for their selflessness, saying that despite the number of criticisms that trail some of their actions or perceived inaction, they were doing all within their power to keep the nation one and in peace. “Let me especially thank the armed forces because today is their day and also the police and other services, we sleep because they stay awake. “In some cases where things happen people blame them

profusely but for those of us who get reports on daily happenings about such challenges, we know that these men and women have been doing very well. “I thank them for their gallantry, dedication to service, for the work they have been doing for us and we pray that God will see them through. “I use this unique opportunity to encourage them to continue to do what they have been doing and we believe this country will get through her various challenges. “As we remember the work the armed forces and other security outfits have been doing, I think the best gift we can give to them as a people is our prayer.”

JTF arrests another top Boko Haram commander Contd from Page 1 Musa said Zangina is the Boko Haram leader of North Central part of the country and was apprehended at about 12:30am in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) of Maiduguri, “Zangina is a key member of the Shura Committee of the Boko Haram terrorists; he was in Maiduguri, to plan several deadly attacks on civilians and security personnel any moment from the day of the arrest. He survived several security manhunts on his hideouts in

Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Jos and Potiskum. "The suspected top terrorists’ commander is currently undergoing interrogation”, the statement further declared. Zangina’s arrest is coming a little over a month after another high profile commander, also on the wanted list, one Abdulkarim Ibrahim and two others were gunned down on December, 2, 2012, in a joint operation conducted by JTF operatives, personnel of the Department of State Security,

(DSS) and the police in Maiduguri metropolis. On news filtered out that security forces arrested a suspected Boko Haram leader, Hassan Pagi Bukar in a house in Gwarimpa, Abuja belonging to a former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tijani Umara Kumalia. The security guard of the unnamed lawmaker, who was in the House between 2003 and 2007, was also arrested. The member was himself arrested, interrogated and later

released but he has since become a regular face at the security agency handling the matter. It was gathered that the suspect revealed that his duty with the sect was to dispossess members of the public of their cars, which were then used in executing suicide bomb attacks. Upon further interrogation, Bukar was said to have revealed that all cars used by the sect in their suicide bombing attacks were stolen, and that the exlawmaker also bought some of the stolen cars.



BRISIN project to kick off this January From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


Executive Director, United Nations Women, Ms. Michelle Bachelet (left), dancing with a Gbagyi cultural troupe during her visit to Ushafa pottery centre, Abuja, at the weekend. Photo: NAN

fter five years of stalemate, sources have confirmed that final arrangements are being concluded for the flag-off of the Basic Registry and Information System in Nigeria (BRISIN), a multi-billion naira data integrated project conceived to provide the fundamental infrastructure for information flow from the grassroots to the national level. Peoples Daily confirmed from several sources that the project is awaiting an order from the Minister for National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman to the contractor – Demo Impex - which is expected to be released this week. The commission is to release a N300 million take-off grant from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) ministry which was released to the National Planning

EFCC to arraign deputy speaker, LG boss over N17m scam T

he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says it is set to arraign Mato Dogara, the Deputy Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly today over an alleged N17 million scam.

This is contained in a statement by EFCC spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, yesterday in Lagos. It stated that Dogara would be arraigned before a Federal High Court, Kaduna.

Demolition: Man files N30m suit against FCT minister

Show $26.5m Halliburton plea bargain money, says ANPP

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin

ll Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), has express its concern over the refusal of Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, to fish out the missing $26.5million plea bargain money returned by Julius Berger to the Federal Government coffers with regard to the Halliburton bribery scandal as directed by the President. In a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Emma Eneukwu, the party said


hief Kanayo Chukwumezie has filed a N30 million suit against the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and three others before an Abuja High Court for allegedly demolishing Adigbas General Garden, Area 3, Abuja. Other defendants in the suit are FCT Development Control, Parks and Recreation Department and one Mr. Peter Sunday Adigbara. Chukwumezie, in a suit filed through his counsel, C.K. Eburuo of Eburuo Chigozie & Co, is claiming the sum of N30 million. He wants the court to order the 4th defendant, Peter Adigbara to pay him N3, 300, 805 being the amount he spent on the garden from 14th February 2009 till date. The plaintiff also prayed for: “An order mandating the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff N7, 320, 500 being the monetary worth of property of the plaintiff destroyed by the officials of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in collaboration with the 4th defendant; a directive to the defendants to pay the plaintiff N30 million being general damages for all the loss the plaintiff incurred by virtue of their actions.”

By Umar Muhammad Puma


The statement said that the suspect would be arraigned alongside two others. They are Kabiru Malali and Ahmed Yahaya, former chairman and treasurer of Lere local government of the state

the AGF has not embarked on any visible action to this effect, neither have Nigerians seen the money. This he said, calls into question the much vaunted fight against corruption by the PDP-led government. Eneukwu said when the Halliburton case was reopened the Federal Government requested the United States government to release the balance of the bribery money held up in a US bank; in response, the US government refused to release the money, saying while the USA prosecuted those who partook in the corruption

respectively. The statement said the suspects would be arraigned on a six-count charge, including contract over-invoicing and criminal diversion of funds. (NAN)

scam in the US and jailed them, the Nigerian government has been applying lip service to the matter. “Our great party has before now noted that the purpose of plea bargain under the Criminal Procedure Act and section 13(2) of the EFCC Act is mostly asset recovery; but the peculiar political atmosphere in Nigeria has made mockery of this legal procedure as serial criminals enmeshed in manifest raids of the peoples commonwealth use it to meander out of the net of justice…” he noted.

10 injured, 40 arrested in Katsina thugs siege From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


error was let loose in Katsina over the weekend, as thugs popularly called ‘Kauraye’ attacked residents of Kofar-Marusa quarters injuring 10 persons, while 40 suspected thugs were later arrested by the police. According to an eye witness in the area, the thugs carrying dangerous weapons and in large numbers, invaded the area around 8 pm Friday where they allegedly started attacking people

in the area. He added that when the situation became unbearable, the residents of the area started fleeing for their lives, while shops and business premises quickly closed. One of the victims, Babangida Salisu who is currently at the Federal Medical Centre Katsina receiving treatment, noted that the thugs inflicted deep wounds on his head and hands. He stated that like other residents of the area they were carrying out their lawful

businesses when the dreaded ‘Kauraye’ thugs invaded the area attacking indiscriminately any person on sight. According to him, three of the affected persons were brought to the medical centre for treatment, three other victims were taken to General Hospital Katsina while four others were treated and discharged. When contacted, Katsina Police Commissioner, Alhaji Abdullahi Magaji, confirmed that 40 of the suspected thugs were arrested and would soon be charged to court.

…Adamawa, Kano, Niger others get pilot status Commission (NPC) for the contractor in 2008. Speaking with a top official of Dermo Impex, BRISIN service providers simply said there has been action towards recommencing the project implementation, and that there have been communication between the NPC, Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Dermo Impex, which seems to have clarified the stalement on the project since 2008. Managing Director of Dermo Impex, BRISIN service providers, Dr. Antony Uwa said the project will create more than 200,000 jobs in 2013 and provide credible data of citizens in pilot states.

Oil spill: Akwa Ibom communities decry Mobil’s clean-up delay From Mike Etim, Uyo


il communities in Ibeno costal settlement in Esit Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom state have decried the delay and insensitivity of Mobil Nigeria Producing (MPN) in cleaning up the oil spill which occurred in the area recently. The communities who blamed Mobil operations in the area for the cause of the spill, said it has contaminated their waters – making them unable to fish and had further brought hardship to the people of the area. Reacting to the outcome, a resident and community leader of Iwuokpom in Ibeno, one of the affected communities, Mr. John Etim, told journalists that the tidal waves have been flushing the oil to other communities thus worsening the situation. He said the oil spill which occurred on December 19, 2012, emanated from the pipeline that caused an earlier spill on December 9, 2012, The community leader said: “We started seeing fresh oil deposits since December 16 and we reported to Mobil and they came to inspect and collected sample of the oil. “But up till now, they have not responded to clean it up. And the dynamic nature of the tide at this time of the year does not help matters”. In a statement made available to the public, Mobil Nigeria has however confirmed the reported spill within its operations at the Qua Iboe oil field in Akwa Ibom state and has pledged to clean up the impacted areas.


Aviation College: Kwara govt set to procure 15 aircraft From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


wara state government has disclosed that it would procure 15 aircraft for the International Aviation College in the state. In a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, the government stated that the procurement of additional 10 to 15 aircraft would be actualised in the next three months for the training of commercial pilots.

The statement quoted Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to have disclosed this in Ilorin during a media chat. He added that this was part of the Medium Term Strategy of the administration to promote socioeconomic development in the state and create high and medium level manpower. According to the governor, the 15 aircraft would enhance the capacity of the college to “a level where its impact would be felt in the state".


By Mohammed Kandi


ollowing the flood disasters which devastated most parts of the country last year, the Korean government has donated 20 rice milling machines worth over N30 million to Nigerians as part of its humanitarian effort to assist the affected communities. The donation, which was presented to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) last weekend in Abuja, came through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). While handing over the

Flood: Korea donates 20 rice milling machines to Bayelsa, others machines to NEMA, the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Jonghyun Choi, expressed optimism that the donation could help Nigerian farmers recuperate as fast as possible saying each unit of the rice milling machines has the capacity to process about 300 kg of rice per hour. “We hope that the donation will help Nigerian farmers overcome the distress caused by the flood and get back on track for their livelihoods”, he implored. “This support speaks volumes

about true friendship and partnership with Nigeria that Korea has been enjoying over the years and that Korean government is pleased to be part of the Nigerian government’s comprehensive rehabilitation efforts”, the Ambassador said. “A total of 20 rice millers will be handed over to the state governments of Bayelsa, Kogi and Benue. Five rice millers each will go to Bayelsa and Kogi while 10 machines are for Benue state”, Choi stated.

Boko Haram: Abdulsalami calls for review of security strategy From Illya Garba, Minna


orried by the incessant security threat facing the country, former Head of State and chairman, Governing Council for Peace and Sustainable Development, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has stressed the need to review the strategies adopted so far to address the current security challenges. He dropped the hint over the weekend at the first graduation ceremony of the institute held at auditorium of College of Education, Minna Niger state. General Abubakar called on governments at all levels, the people within the crisis zones, security personnel, sympathisers of the aggrieved parties and the aggrieved to, “for the sake of our future and that of our children, resort to dialogue”. Abubarkar said the cycle of blood-letting and the brutal termination of lives of innocent and defenseless Nigerians should not be tolerated. “No nation can experience rapid sustainable development without durable and sustainable peace,” he stated. He reminisced that lessons from the Nigeria civil war have shown that Nigeria is one indivisible nation therefore it is the collective responsibility of all to dispassionately understand the root causes of these problems and urgently search for lasting solutions. He disclosed that the institute in a peace forum held on the March 15, 2012, identified poverty, youth unemployment, dysfunctional education system, corruption and misappropriation of public funds among others are the issues that require urgent attention. He tasked the graduands of the institute to be a change agents wherever they find themselves and be objective, stating that a life of selfless service brings dignity and honour. “You must strive to take leadership in peace and development practice within our nation and beyond”. Earlier in his opening remarks, the Governor of Benue state and chairman of the occasion, Hon. Gabriel Suswam, warned leaders to be conscious of what they say in the society so that there won’t be a breach of peace that may result in problems.

R-L: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the celebrant, Mrs. Olabisi Amenze Osagie, her husband, Hon. Samson Osagie, Leader, House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Akande Adeola, and Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, during the birthday celebration of Mrs. Osagie at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Attah Igala stool: Group urges Jonathan to intervene From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


resident Goodluck Jonathan has been called upon to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in the lingering crisis rocking the selection of a new Attah Igala following the death of Dr. Aliyu Obaje last year. A group, Unyogba Igala Project (UIP), made this call in a statement made available to journalists in Lokoja at the weekend, saying President Jonathan should "please arrest the looming crisis before it snowballs into an uncontrollable situation". In a statement signed by the group’s spokespersons, Dr. Goodman Akwu and Prince Umoru Obaje, dated January 12, 2013, they enjoined the President to act fast in order to sustain the relative peace being enjoyed by the people of the area for decades, insisting that he should prevail on the Kogi state government to approve the recommendation of the Igala kingmakers on that subject to avoid a looming crisis in

the region. While the group wished Governor Idris Wada a quick recovery from December 28th 2012 auto crash, they urged President Jonathan, as an Attahbeaded chief, the Eju Atttah Igala (which means the eye of the Ata) to prevail upon him to give his nod to the recommendation of the Igala traditional kingmakers that are empowered by the law guiding the stool to that effect. UIP stressed that “the Attah Igala position is to Igalas what Sultan is to the caliphate and Queen to United Kingdom and the selection process of the occupants of these revered institutions is purely traditional, devoid of party politics or religion", adding that since democracy is about people’s rights/freedom and not subjection, the powers that be in the state should be made to respect the tradition and the people's wish. UIP maintained that the process of succession to the Attah stool remains as sacred as ever, saying that the 1963 order/rules

which emphasised that it is the direct son of the Attah that is the heir apparent of the throne and in the absence, the son of the Attah's brother becomes an alternative crown prince was logically and spiritually followed to the latter by the kingmakers in the present circumstances. The group wondered why the delay in action, warning that if the announcement is delayed further than this, the Igala race might be forced to believe the story making the rounds that a former governor of the state is behind the logjam. The statement noted that the last Attah's long reign on the throne kept the Igala kingmakers off duty for half a century, stressing that the information at the group's disposal shows the kingmakers have finished their role and the result ratified by the Igala Traditional Council, presided by HRH Yakubu Ahmodu, the Eje of Ankpa. It said the result has been presented to Governor Idris Wada on behalf of the Igala nation by the head of the custodian of this special

class, HRH Yusuf Ameadaji, the Achadu Attah Igala for "his accent, declaration and Installation since the 10th of December 2012". "It may interest you to note that the result of this exercise is kept in abeyance and the entire Igalas are left in the wilderness", the statement said. According to the group, 10 kingmakers participated in the selection process as usual and three candidates, Prince Idakwo Ameh Oboni from Aju-Ocholli DYNASTY; Chief Peter Adebo Opaluwa from Aju Ame Achor dynasty; Alh Isah Odoma from Aju Akogu dynasty were screened and voted for, adding that the state government should not be led into allegation of complicity in the air over a particular candidate by acting now. The position of Attah Igala became vacant as a result of the demise the legendary Dr. Aliyu Ocheja Obaje who joined his ancestors on the 17th of July 2012, after a 56-year reign for on the throne.



By Etuka Sunday


hief of Naval Staff, ViceAdmiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba, has said that the major challenge facing the Nigerian Navy in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is that of accommodation and improved welfare package. He therefore appealed to FCT Minister for help in that regard. Ezeoba made the appeal when the officers and men of the Nigerian Navy paid a courtesy visit to the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed in his office. He said in order to ensure an effective delivery on the mandate given by President Goodluck Jonathan in the area of transformation, there was need for

Accommodation is our major challenge in FCT - Naval Chief a befitting accommodation for men and officers of Nigerian Navy. He said that the Nigerian Navy is trying its best in the area of accommodation and welfare package, but there was need to seek the support of FCT Administration for adequate and befitting accommodation for its staff. He said the security of FCT is

the collective responsibility of everyone, assuring that the force would do all it can together with the Minister and other security apparatus in the FCT including the Police, to secure the territory. In response, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said in order to forestall future attack on the Federal Capital City like the

attack on the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force Abuja, the FCT Administration will redesign the buffer in that zone to provide some districts for the Armed Forces, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies. According to him, there are over 2,000 hectares of land that are unplanned along that Kurunduma area that are

vulnerable and can easily be penetrated for such attacks. The Minister announced the setting up of a committee under the Chairmanship of the Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC), Architect Reuben Okoya to assist in resolving all infrastructural problems in the area being developed in the Asokoro District by the Nigerian Navy.

Constant project supervision ensures quality - Wada From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


L-R: Ekiti state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, with elder statesman to the and President, Yoruba Council of Elders, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd), during the governor's visit elder statesman, at the weekend in Lagos.

Gboko LG chair denies loss of N15m due to closure of Dangote plant From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


hairman of Gboko local government council of Benue state, Hon. Nahan Zenda, has denied allegation that the council lost over N15 million in tax payment due to the closure of Dangote Cement Plant. Hon. Zenda who made the denial in an interview with newsmen at the weekend in Makurdi accused the Media Relations' Manager of

Dangote Plc Mr. Jubrin Abubakar of mischief and peddling false-hood. "I never granted interview concerning revenue from Dangote, as a matter of fact since I came on board taxes have been suspended. One Jibrin came to my office with journalists on an official visit, I thought they were coming to express their desire to find a way out of the problem but little did I know

that the visit was aimed at using my office as a cover for mischief", he frowned. The Chairman also regretted that Dangote Plc had reneged on its social corporate responsibility to the people, maintaining that with such attitude, there was no way they would have protested the closure of the company. When contacted Mr. Jubrin Abubakar, denied knowledge of any publication, adding that he is not involved in any mischief.

Addressing a press conference over the weekend in Kaduna, Chairman of the group, Dr. Halliru Musa also recommended that the cases pending in court be allowed to run their natural cause and parties be allowed free hand to ventilate the grievances. "Our investigation revealed that Hon. Yakasai was admitted to Barewa College Zaria in 1982 with school no. 6723 and he graduated in 1988 and sat for the May/June 1988 SSCE/GCE exams with center no. 12103 and exam no. 035. "Our findings revealed that the entire SSCE/GCE results of the

college for that year 1988 was cancelled by WAEC due to an unfortunate incident that occurred in the school that year and no result was sent to the school," he emphasized. He lamented that Yakasai is in possession of a Barewa College statement of result of 1988 which was cancelled and is presenting it to relevant authorities as the result issued by the college which is fake. "When we obtained a copy of the result, we discovered that even though it is purported to be the result sheet of Barewa College Zaria and bearing the name of Kawu A. Yakasai, the center

onstant supervision of ongoing projects in Kogi state by the present government is aimed at ensuring quality delivery of completed projects. The Kogi State Governor Capt. Idris Wada stated this during the inspection of some on-going projects in the state capital. Towards the preparation of the one year anniversary of the present administration in the State,the Governor who spoke through his Deputy,,said he was directed to monitor all on - going projects towards fast tracking their delivery before the celebration of the administration's One Year in office. The governor maintained that he is impressed with the pace,

Akpabio donates cash, toiletries to Abuja orphans


kwa Ibom state governor, Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio has donated some items to the children's homes in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in demonstration of his love and concern towards the less privileged in the society. The items, which included foodstuffs, beverages, toiletries and cash, were donated towards the upkeep of inmates of St. Fabian's Orphanage at Efab City Estate, Garki and Mother Theresa Children's Home at Gwarimpa within the city of Abuja. Special Representative of Akwa

Yero asked to suspend LG boss over forgery From Muhammad Kaduna



he governor of Kaduna state, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero has been called upon to suspend the embattled Chairman of Soba local government council, Honourable Kawu Ibrahim Yakasai, pending the determination of a criminal case of certificate forgery against him. The Soba Development Association urged the governor to ask Yakasai to step aside as Chairman pending the determination of a case in Kaduna Margistrate court.

quality and work done at the second phase of the State Secretariat Complex, Confluence Stadium and on the on-going road construction to Mount Patti. He however urged the contractor handling the Confluence Beach Hotel extension to double his efforts at completion and to ensure quality job delivery. Inspection of the projects underscores the high premium placed by the present administration on standard and value for money he said, assuring that it is a policy that will be sustained throughout the tenure of the present administration. Capt. Wada assured that all the projects inherited by his administration will not be abandoned while those initiated by the present administration would be completed on schedule.

no. is 12209 and his exam no. 035, which from our findings is fake. "We believe that due to the above fact and fact the Yakasia used same result in his affidavit in support of personal particulars of persons seeking for election which he submitted to the Kaduna state Electoral Commission (SIECOM) that made some people to take him to court," the Chairman observed. He maintained that he would not like to comment on the issue which is pending in court, adding that "it is clear that the entire people of Soba LG are being ridiculed by this certificate scandal."

Ibom State Government on InterGovernmental and National Assembly Relations in Abuja, Mrs. Mary Ekpenyong, who made the donation on behalf of the State Governor, said the visit, apart from giving the less privileged children a sense of belonging was to show that they were not forgotten. Speaking at Mother Theresa Children's Home, Mrs. Ekpenyong decried lack of social security policy in the country which would have taken adequate care for the elderly and the less privileged children. She said all children have the right to quality education, healthcare and protection but regretted that orphans and vulnerable children were denied of these rights. She called on policy makers, opinion leaders and development agencies to make the issue of care for the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children priority on their agenda in order to scale up the national response to their plight. "I do not only come here with entourage but I came with my children so that they can play with the less privileged ones. So that they would know what life is, so that they would know deep depth of life, so that they would also learn the act of giving to the needy", she said.



L-R: Former Anambra state Governor, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Imo state delegate, Chief Ezeogo Ezikpe, outgoing president Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Ralph Uwechue, Chief Chike Ebenibe, and chairman South-East Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, during Ohaneze Ndigbo 2013 NEC election, at the weekend in Enugu.

President, Hope Alive Family Foundation, Hajiya Jamila Shu’ara (left), presenting a grinding machine to a widow, Mrs Deborah Oladimeji (right), during an empowerment programme for widows, on Saturday in Abuja.

R-L: Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Ewah, with President, Akwa Ibom Community in Abuja, Engineer Ben Ukpong, unveiling of the bus donated by Akwa Ibom state Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio to the community, during the community get-together, yesterday in Abuja.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo (middle), President of Valparaiso University, Indiana, USA, Mark Heckler (right), and Nigerian Ambassador to U.S, Prof. Ade Adefuye, during the inauguration of newly established Africa Institute, on Saturday at Valparaiso University.

An accident caused by a tanker carrying fuel on Friday at Mbiama in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers state. Photos: Justin Imo-Owo, NAN



Corruption cause of insecurity, says Arabic college founder From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


ounder of Darul- Kitab College of Arabic studies, Ilorin, Dr Oba Abdulqadir Sholagberu has noted that corruption and government’s intransparency were the remote cause of insecurity in Nigeria. The educationist who stated this in Ilorin at the weekend said if the implementation of the 2013 budget recently passed by the National Assembly was full, it would make a lot of changes in the history of the country. The Islamic scholar who urged the federal government to give more attention to youth empowerment and job creation said for any nation to overcome security challenges , equality, transparency and accountability among other factors, must be given proper attention. “The remote cause of the prevailing insecurity as experienced in Nigeria was borne out of corruption. Let our government embark on policies capable of touching the lives of the masses and see whether there would be tremendous attitudinal change or not. “Our youths are highly productive and ever ready to effect positive change in the society. Therefore, let governments at all levels provide enabling environment for all and sundry to further promote harmonious working relationship different religions adherence in Nigeria.”

Ajaokuta steel not obsolete – Mgt From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


anagement of the Ajaokiuta Steel Company has said that

the Blast Furnace mode of steel production adopted by the company is the best source of steel making all over the world till date, putting to rest the issue of obsolete nature of the technology. The sole Administrator of the company, Engr. Joseph Isah who gave this assurance over the weekend, noted that over 74 percent of steel production globally was through the blast furnace, calling on Nigerians to disregard the insinuation in some quarters that the plant cannot function. He said the recent technical audit of the plant by the Ukrainians has shown that the steel plant was ready for operation, if the necessary funds were made available. He added that president Goodluick Jonathan was committed to the early completion and operation of the plant, hence the directive by the president for the speedy settlement of the arbitration against the company by Global Infrastructural Holdings Limited, (GIHL) an Indian firm.

R-L: Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, presenting an award to former President, General Ibrahim Babangida, during the first graduation ceremony of Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development, at the weekend in Minna, Niger state.

Use culture to counter negative perception, Hungarian don tasks Nigeria From Muhammad Adamu, Kaduna


Hungarian professor of educational psychology, Andreas Hejj, has urged Nigerian leaders to promote the country’s rich culture and rare natural animal resources so as to Europeans and other foreigners to counter the wrong perception they have about Nigerians. Hejj, a lecturer at the University of PECS, Hungary said this during his interaction with journalists recently when he was hosted to a lunch by the Government College Kaduna Old Boys Association in Kaduna. He said most Europeans would be impressed by the

colourful Sallah festival, the Argungu Fishing Festival, the Yankari Games Reserve, Nigerians’ prayerful attitude and other positive cultures endowed in Nigerians to help them erase the poor perception that Nigeria was all about violence and corruption. Speaking on his return to Nigeria after 40 years, the alumni of Government College, Kaduna, who left Nigeria in 1972, said he was impressed and happy on his return, to see a sprawling city in Abuja that was a bush when he left, to be in the midst of happy laughing Nigerians, to see beautiful and colourful scenery and to return to his alma mater.

“I have great feeling of freedom when I was in Government College. We have a general assembly where we all pray together, this served to unite us and bring us together across religious barrier. Then we don’t have to waste time on computer but depend on more human contact. The most prominent person I met then was the then head of state, Gen. Yakubu Gowon at the Argungu Festival, I could take a close picture shot of him because I was that close to him there was no issue of insecurity then,” Hejj, who came with his wife Eva Voros, said. The 56 year-old professor, who left Nigeria at 16, said there is need for Nigerians to be trained on

Task force displays arms seized from militia From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


he security task force set up by the Nasarawa state government in the wake of incessant communal skirmishes in some parts of the state, at the weekend, paraded dangerous weapons and charms seized from suspected militias who were arrested in the aftermath of the incidence in Barikin Abdullahi that led to the death of five Fulani herdsmen. Inspecting the arms at the Presidential Lodge in Lafia, Governor Umaru Tanko Almakura reiterated the commitment of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) administration toward ensuring peace across the state. Expressing his disgust over the proliferation of illegal weapons, which he said has the potential to exacerbate the security situation, Al-makura

noted that such excesses must be critically checked. The governor who suspected that members of the militia operate alongside experts on arms and ammunitions, charged members of the task force to investigate thoroughly

with a view to unmasking the sponsors of the dastardly act. He further directed the task force commander to station his men along all flashpoints engulfed in the ethnic clashes, especially the most recent in Ekye between Agatu/Fulani and

control and responsibility adding that the future depends on whether people are trained to be responsible adults and not for fear of punishment. Expressing his regrets about the coutry, he said, “ The North/ South division, I grew up here during the Ibo war, so that is not new to me. There is very high division, Nigeria is very rich because of its oil but the people are very poor. There should be good education which should not be against good tradition or culture. I am also angry when people say Nigeria is equal to corruption, corruption is everywhere not only in Nigeria but people should stand up to fight it.” that between Eggon and Fulani, in Ruwan Doma. Nine militiamen were arrested last Thursday in possession of dangerous weapons, charms and riding three Bajaj motorcycles, in Ruwan Doma/ Burum Burum, near Doma and are presently being interrogated by the task force.

Nigerian doctors want life imprisonment for quacks


resident of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Osahon Enabulele, yesterday proposed life imprisonment for quacks as means of stamping out quackery in the medical profession. Enabulele made the call in Abuja where he also said the issue of quackery was a challenge facing the NMA and particularly the growth of health care practice in the country. He advised governments at all levels to take the issue of quackery very seriously and

responsibly, saying it was endangering the lives of Nigerians. He also urged Nigerians to work closely with the NMA in its bid to put an end to quackery. ”With respect to the issue quackery, the NMA more than any other organisation has been challenging the people of Nigeria to partner with her to ensure that issues of quackery are seen as things consigned to the dustbin of the history of Nigeria. “In 2012, for the first time in recent times, a professional

organisation like the NMA disciplined its own member and made it known to the public as a way of letting the public know that we can no longer do things the old ways. “We call for things like life imprisonment for quacks, because they are doing untold harm and damage to the people of Nigeria. “So for anybody who plays with the lives of Nigerians, ultimately that person does not deserve any level of support”. (NAN)



Peace paramount fordevelopment- Al-makura By Umar Muhammad Puma


he Nasarawa state Governor, Umar Tanko Almakura has stressed the need for peace and stability in the state and the country at large for any meaningful development to take place. Speaking through his senior special assistant on media and press affairs Alhaji sani musa mairiga said the only way forward for any nation to develop and meet aspirations of the people is to foster peace and harmony. This is coming amidst reports of renewed secret killing of the Tivs by unknown gunmen in Akpata and Rukubi in Ekye development area of Nasarawa state. "There are many ways of seeking attention for whatever grievance to the authorities and not through the shedding of innocent blood of fellow citizens. It is only when there is peace that governments at all level can deliver dividends of democracy to the people”, he said. He added that Nasarawa state would continue to give prime attention to security and

“will never allow the happenings in recent times to rear its ugly heads in the state again". He called on the people to be vigilante and parley with the security agencies in the state in order to maintain peace. "I want to appeal to mischief makers to eschew from fanning the embers of crisis and disunity among the people of the state as government would deal decisively with anybody caught trying to ignite crisis no matter how highly place he might be." He stressed that the security of lives and property in Nasarawa state was paramount to his government and would not relent in that direction. On the security situation in the country, he said, "Nigeria of our dream can only be possible in a situation of religious and mutual coexistence and it requires every hand on deck to transform this country. We will not build this nation in a atmosphere of rancour and violence" The governor said the struggle by the founding fathers to liberate the nation would be in vain if we continue to shed innocent blood.

Kebbi to construct 400 housing units From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Kebbi State government has approved the release of N2.5 billion for the construction of 400 housing units in the state capital, Birnin Kebbi and Dakingari. This was disclosed yesterday by the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Alh. Hussaini Raha while addressing newsmen shortly after the state executive meeting . The houses are made of 150 three bedroom and 150 two bedroom flats to be constructed

along the Birnin Kebbi – Kalgo road. According to the Commissioner, the 100 units for Dakingari is made up of 50 each for three and two bedroom structures to support the take off of the newly established Kebbi State Polytechnic as staff quarters. The commissioner also said the executive council has approved the payment of land compensation for the continuation of township road dualization in Dakingari town in Zuru local government council.

Nasarawa set to reposition tertiary institutions From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has said his administration is set to reposition tertiary institutions owned by the state government for better performance. Al-makura stated this yesterday in a speech he delivered at the inauguration of the visitation panels constituted for all tertiary institutions in the state, at the Lafia Government House. The governor observed the necessity of training and capacity building for citizens in various fields of endeavour, making it mandatory for government to establish tertiary institutions. He maintained that government would commit huge resources to provide infrastructure, equipment, welfare, training and retraining

of personnel. Al-makura however lamented that instead of attaining the desired goal, tertiary institutions in the state have become a source of concern, with the state owned university, located in Keffi, rated among the best universities in the country, plummeting and gradually desolate. He decried the loss of accreditation for some courses run by the university, the bastardisation of the admission process, as well as brain drain that has become the bane of the institution. The governor charged members of the panels, who were selected based on their professionalism, expertise, experience and track record in their various fields of endeavour, to meet the expectations of the people.

Kogi state Governor Idris Wada (middle) with his security details departing after a medical check-up, on Friday, at Cedarcrest Hospital, Garki II, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Bauchi Assembly commends gov for prudence


he Bauchi State House of Assembly committee on budget and appropriation has commended the state government for prudent budget management and spending in the 2012 fiscal year. Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Abdulkadir Dewu, made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria. Dewu said that his committee had specifically commended the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) for the way it handled the security situation in the state and the relative peace enjoyed in 2012. The lawmaker noted that the state was relatively insulated from the violent crisis which enveloped parts of the North East zone in 2012. He specifically attributed the situation to the prudent management of the resources by the state government. · ’Even if the State Government spent the

appropriated money for the 2012 financial year to ensure the security of lives and property, it is not a loss to the state considering the peace and stability we have here in the state.’’ · On the 2013 appropraition bill, Dewu said that the bill would be passed by the assembly next week after the conclusion of the budget defence by the Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs). Gov. Isa Yuguda had in December, 2012 presented a budget of N137.34 billion to the assembly for the 2013 fiscal year. The Assembly began hearing of the budget defence by the MDA’s on January 3 with the ministries of Budget Planning, Finance and Special Duties. “We are right now compiling our reports as the defence by the different ministries continue. We’ve seen some of them and others are scheduled to come this week and next. As soon as we finish by next week on January 14, we shall submit our

recommendations to the whole House. As you know, the Speaker had promised a speedy passage of the bill.’’ Dewu, however, said that some ministries had been requested to re-present their proposals because of their failure to meet the requirements for the defence. He said that the assembly had requested all MDAs to ensure that their commissioners and Heads of departments are present as well as the submission of a comprehensive detail of the 2012 expenditure. Dewu said that those MDA’s that presented so far had not only met the requirements but had shown tremendous compliance to the state’s fiscal policy. “ There is a lot of observations but we are so far satisfied with the level of performance of the ministries that have come to us. If you look at what the Office of Secretary to the State Government (SSG) has done.(NAN)



7 tips for pitching investors for your start-up funding G

etting investors to take a look at your start-up and agree to part with their much coveted funding is about the most difficult work for startup entrepreneurs. 'My little experience' I got my best lesson till date as a start-up entrepreneur and cofounder sometime last year when one of the start-ups I co-founded was contacted by a US based investor. It appeared unreal as one was sure first hand of the rigours it takes to secure funding for an idea much more from a foreign investor. We piled up the business plan, sketches, documents etc to impress the investor who had already picked a date to meet in Lagos. We got to the venue late; thanks for taking the Lagos traffic for granted and had to do our pitch in a fast moving car on the way to Murtala Muhammed Airport. It was the most frenzied pitch I have done in my short entrepreneur life yet but surprisingly, it made for a totally different presentation from the one we had rehearsed. Being the Vice President, Business Development, I did much of the talking as the car swerved, braked and switched through traffic to the intermittent cursing of the American. We handed over the bulky business plan we had prepared that showed how we hoped to turn our idea into a winner if we get hold of the funds. He did not take even a glance before taking us through questions that we had not thought of. He dug in deep asking for data and facts that would prove that

we had a winner on our hands. While I may not go through the conversations on the Oshodi expressway on that day I learnt tons of lessons on what to focus on when talking to an investor for your business funding. If you ever find yourself in need of funds to actualise your dreams for a business idea you are passionate about the following tips will help you land the funding you need for that new idea. " Gets your start-up running no matter how small? The truth was before the meeting we had high hopes of landing some funding and while we had a beta web version of our idea running already the investor was interested on the promises of the mobile version. Our hopes for greater scaling were also hinged on mobile but we had absolutely nothing on ground as regards the mobile application. Our discussions became obviously limited as a result of the fact that there was nothing to demonstrate to the investor. To catch the interest of the investor make sure your business model is already running physically no matter how small. Investors like to see that something is already on ground before you come cap in hands to them for money. " Define what you want and how much Control you are willing to give up for it You are not going to leave anything to chance. If investors like your idea enough to want to invest they will want to know how much you want and what you are willing to give up for the particular sum you want. While

no money is never enough you still do not have to ask for too much money as it has a way of drawing back creativity and out-of-the box thinking. Much of what you will get depends on the investors' valuation of what your idea may be worth in a few years. If the startup has the potential to serve a juicy large enough market your bargaining power will be strengthened. " How to find prospective investors (trade events, niche blogs, business and tech sites) I must confess that when we got that call from the Investor we were thinking of how to raise capital but we were not yet

*Deadlines *Work in the public eye *Competitiveness *Physical demands *Environmental conditions *Possible hazards *Own life at risk *Life of another at risk *Meeting the public Using the above criteria, you might be able to pinpoint exactly why you think your job is so stressful (or perhaps why it's not). found that audiologist was the least stressful job, and airline pilot the most stressful. One of the closest jobs I could find to mine was technical writer, which has a fairly low stress score (mostly due to deadlines, I think). Is your job worth the trouble? Of course, most people don't need a scale to tell them that their jobs are stressful. If you are stressed out by your job, it might be worth considering why you are stressed out, and whether or not it is worth it. The job of air traffic controller is generally accepted

as a stressful job, but many people keep at it because it pays pretty well - especially considering you don't need a four-year degree to do it. When deciding whether or not your job is worth the trouble and stress, there are a few things to consider: *Pay: This is the biggest one. How much are you willing to stand if the pay is good? Another issue, of course, is how much you need the money. In some cases, people are trapped in stressful jobs that they hate because they don't have any place else to turn. It's important to look for ways to take control of your financial destiny if you ever want to get out of these situations. *Benefits: In some cases, a stressful job may come with mediocre pay, but great benefits. If you get great health coverage, an employer match for your retirement plan, and a good number of paid vacation days, it can be worth staying on. * Autonomy: Your work

actively seeking investors. One article in Techcrunch started an avalanche of things and one day we got a call. That was proof of the fact that your start-up gets the attention of investors when you can get it (knowingly or not) to be written about by any of the leading tech news sites and blogs around the world. These sites are where investors and venture capitalists go to know what new ground breaking ideas are springing up. However getting your start-up featured on these kinds of authoritative blogs and sites is a topic for another day (keep watching this space). Events and industry meet-ups are also a good

Is your job worth the stress? E

very job comes with a degree of stress. And, what may be stressful to one person may not be (stressful) to another. Only you can really determine whether or not you find your current job stressful. However, there are some considerations to take into account as you evaluate your job and whether or not it is worth the stress. recently released a jobs report that included the most stressful jobs. In order to rate these jobs, looked at 11 stress factors. These factors include: *Travel *Outlook/Growth potential

Quote Surviving a failure gives you more self-confidence. Failures are great learning tools... but they must be kept to a minimum - Jeffrey Immelt

environment and the autonomy that you get might be a consideration. I am very independent, and when I worked for someone else, I was frequently frustrated by micro managers. Even though I did pretty well, I was willing to take my chances as a freelancer if it meant more autonomy and flexibility. *Schedule: How often do you have to work, and what sort of work is involved? Do you wish that you didn't have to put in such long days? Do you wish that you had a set schedule? Or a more flexible schedule? In the end, you need to decide what makes a job worth it for you. There's nothing wrong with being glad that all you have to do is punch in for eight hours a day, and then go home and enjoy some time with your family without needing to think about your job. On the other hand, if you want more flexibility, and you look for something else in a job, you might be better off considering a career change.

way to try and get your idea in the face of investors but I have a preference for the media as a way to catch the attention of potential investors. Maybe it's the fairy tale angle that gets to me. " Knowing what investors want While it is a general truth that Investors invest to get returns sooner or later there are some other subtle reasons why funds get doled out to some startups while others get nothing even after pitching tens of venture capitalists. Investors want to feel good about their investment. Some of them want to invest in daring ideas and ride the risks for ultimate glory or failure. However some are more traditional and conservative in their approach and want to see some strong underlying principles and signs that you are building a viable company. More importantly investors want to appear smart and so may be swayed to invest on start-ups that look cool, already has several thousand users or visitors and gets reasonable mention by the media that matter. That way they can reassure themselves even when doubts set in. " Know what investors don't need from you You may be passionate about your idea and how it will change the world but you may have to keep that aside when meeting the investor. Their passion and yours may not meet. You need to come up with a convincing analysis backed by facts and figures. Expect issues like what is the estimate market size that your idea targets? Chances are your product or idea may not be another Facebook aiming at the world's billions of people so the earlier you get hold of the facts and the possible limitations of your idea offering the better you will look before an investor. " What to do when you get invited to pitch investors When you get the call or email setting up an appointment with a potential investor it is time to focus. More importantly get your figures and data organised. Your preparation will depend on a variety of factors; the location (can you do a PowerPoint presentation there?), time estimated for the meeting (if you are talking to a busy investor like I did you may have only a few minutes to hit home run), number of persons involved etc. Coming along with a 40 page business plan (Like we did) will bore everybody out and besides nobody will read that! A nice 5 minute presentation can do the magic if the major areas of concern to the investor such as exclusivity of idea, available market size and demography, competitive advantage, knowledge of competition and strategies to outsmart those, team members etc are well addressed. When that is done you can then get ready for the ensuing discussions and questions. Source:





Did Katsina's first lady do this?

ike a bolt from the blues, a shell shocked nation woke up few days ago to be confronted with a less than edifying news report: Hajia Fatima Ibrahim Shema, wife of the Katsina state governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, allegedly ordered the dismissal of a supervisory councilor in one of the state's LGAs for reasons that are as bizarre as her action is. The sordid affair began when the wife of the chairman of Matazu local council in the state, Hajiya Bilkisu Sani Haliru, allegedly assaulted the council's supervisory councillor for water and sanitation, Hajiya Hadiza Ibrahim. Reason ? The chairman's wife allegedly felt affronted that she was sidelined by the councilor in the compilation of the list of those to benefit from the government's poverty alleviation scheme. The poor councillor had to go for medical attention because of injuries inflected on her during the fracas. As if that show of shame was not enough, Governor Shema's wife was said to have jumped into the fray by allegedly ordering the councillor's sacking. Her lamentable order was conveyed to the local government council's in a letter with reference number GH/KTS/GWO/41/C. And, as happens in a banana republic or Nollywood movie, this helpless public official was sacked with "immediate effect". The incident, however, has been denied by the governor's spokesperson, even though the first lady's media aide confirmed the story to an Abuja-based daily. We, like other Nigerians, condemn

in the strongest term the alleged show of executive impunity in Katsina state. Irrespective of whatever may have spurred the governor's wife to embark on this rather infantile adventure, the fact remains that she has no constitutional authority to take such an act. In fact, being the spouse of an elected public office holder does not in any way confer one the license to indulge in executive rascality.

It bears repeating that no matter how aggrieved the Katsina first lady (or any other citizen for that matter) might have felt, resorting to self - help is not the best option The Katsina first lady probably took exception to the fact that a "common" councillor had the temerity to stand up to one of her "counterparts" at the council level. This, however, does not justify the reckless deployment of power as she allegedly did. Sacking the councillor without due process is, in our view, unconstitutional. What, if we may ask, is the council chairman's wife's business with the compilation of the list of beneficiaries of the poverty alleviation programme? If she felt slighted by the way Councillor Bilkisu

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handled the exercise, the civilized thing to do was for her to seek redress the proper way instead of resorting to "area boy" tactics. On her part, the first lady should have considered the matter dispassionately rather than allegedly taking sides in a manner that is less than edifying. It bears repeating that no matter how aggrieved the Katsina first lady (or any other citizen for that matter) might have felt, resorting to self help is not the best option. A culture of impunity is a political disaster waiting to happen in any society that winks at it. Put bluntly, the governor's wife ought to have known better than to take the law into her hands. Against this backdrop, we demand that the so-called dismissal be reversed without any delay. Furthermore, an unreserved apology should be tendered to the councilor for the embarrassment and violence inflicted on her in the line of duty. The impression must not be created that governance has degenerated to the extent that any member of a sitting governor's family could hijack the reins of power whenever it pleases them and act with reckless abandon. If, however, as the governor's spokesman, Lawal Mataza, subsequently claimed, some overzealous official had indeed acted on behalf of the first lady without her directive, the said official should face appropriate sanction. Either way, the fact remains that a public official has been undeservedly ridiculed and the earlier this is remedied, the better.









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Executive plane crashes & roadblocks By Babayola M. Toungo


y heart goes out to Dame Amina Elizabeth Yakowa on her irreplaceable lost – a lost felt by all and sundry in Kaduna State in particular and the country in general. But no one will feel this lost more than the Dame for she lost a husband, companion and possibly a father. I pray God will give you the fortitude to bear the loss and the forbearance to forge ahead. Sir Patrick Yakowa’s death was a lost to all, but while the state lost a bridgebuilder, the family lost a patriarch. We can all take solace in knowing that he did his best and wasn’t found wanting wherever he served throughout his public service career. Mrs Yakowa should be well assured that the encomiums pouring in after his tragic death are not the usual political crocodile tears which easily flow eyes that are touched with handkerchiefs soaked in Mentholatum. The tears were genuine and the encomiums authentic. May Sir Patrick Yakowa be with his Lord. Tragic as the chopper crash that snuff the late governor’s life, we may as well interrogate ourselves on the methods taken by the various states and the federal government as a means of safeguarding the lives and properties of the high and mighty. Today most cities in the north looks like conquered territories because of the high concentration of gun totting military personnel wherever one turns. Our society have been militarised, and if I can borrow Jerry By Max Gbanite


he very essence of non-interest banking principles, as stated in all the existing Holy Books (Torah, Bible, and Koran), can be traced as far back as 600 AD. And the earliest reference to the reorganization of this concept based on profit sharing, loss sharing and rather than interest, according to experts and records, are found in Anwar Quareshi (1946), Naiem Siddiqi (1948) and Mahmud Ahmad (1952) and other writers and periods; including up to the late 1960’s. However, in 1972 leading to 1975, a real attempt to modernize the concept was practiced in Egypt, and the success led to the establishment of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in 1975. The first modern Islamic Commercial Bank, Dubai Islamic Bank opened its doors in 1975. The concept of Islamic Bank has more than 300 institutions spread over 51 countries, including the United States, through companies such as the Michigan-based University Bank, as well as over 250 mutual funds that comply with Islamic principles around the world. It is estimated that over US$822 billion world-wide Sharia compliant assets are managed according to The Economist. And according to CIMB Group Holdings, Islamic finance is the fastest-growing segment of the Global Financial System and Sales of Islamic Bond may rise by 24 percent to US$25 billion in 2010. My dear CAN leader, this idea was abducted from the Catholic-owned Vatican Bank. Presently, the Vatican has put forward the idea that “the principles of Islamic Finance may represent a possible cure for ailing markets.” This postulation was made immediately after the US-led Global

Rawlings cliché, “violence have been democratised”, with a human life costing less than the cost of the bullet used to kill him. The soldiers deployed to our cities and highways have turned out to be worse than the Boko Haram fighters it is meant to protect the people from. The number of souls lost to the bullets of the soldiers may be higher than the number of those killed by the sect members. Much as the people have been calling on the authorities for the withdrawal of the soldiers, the authorities have turned deaf ears because they believe the people are their enemies and must therefore be shielded from by force of arms. All this may be a direct consequence of how our leaders emerged through fraudulent means. Apart from the daily lost of lives caused by the military, the humiliation our people suffer from the hands of these uncouth goons both in the cities and the highways are terrible, to say the least. I had the misfortune of travelling to Yola by road from Kaduna and the way commuters in public vehicles are humiliated and intimidated made me hate being a Nigerian. The military men manning the roadblocks behaves no different from occupation forces we see on our television sets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine. Passengers are asked to come down from their vehicles and open their luggage for a public display of their most personal items. At some roadblocks, passengers are ordered to face away from the vehicle while searches are conducted. I saw a woman forced to mow grasses for

daring to look at a soldier while he was searching their bus. The ‘rule’ is that all passengers are to turn their backs to their luggage while it being searched. Can’t be worse for Palestinians crossing into Israel. We ended up making a trip of eight hours in ten. For those in the towns, the experiences are far worse for those using motorcycles. You are forced to dismount at the pain of being flogged by the soldiers at the roadblocks. The harassments and humiliations apart, the stupendous amount of money that goes into maintaining these roadblocks are mind-boggling. The monies should have made a lot of difference in the lives of our longsuffering compatriots. With all the ubiquity of the roadblocks, the bombers – what they are purportedly created to stop – are continuing to have a field day. With the twin bombings in the heart of the military’s elitist Cantonment – Jaji – the uselessness of these roadblocks have been exposed. They are just useless money guzzlers and a tool for the humiliation of the poor who find it difficult to navigate the various fierce looking, gun-totting soldiers, to go looking what to eat. My point in this piece is for us to use Yakowa’s death to rethink our security strategies. Our government houses have been turned into fortresses and most government institutions and structures are looking like mini military cantonments all in an effort to protect our governors, lawmakers and other

public functionaries. But the architect of this draconian security policy – the late Owoye Azazi – died in a chopper crash. He was “attacked” by death where you can’t erect a roadblock. I do not claim to know much about the man Azazi but I know him from reputation as the man indicted for the crime of unprecedented movement of military hardware to Niger Delta militants when he was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 1 Mechanised Division, Kaduna. He went on to head the Army and retire as Chief of Defence Staff. He reinvented himself during the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as the National Security Adviser (NSA) with enormous powers and influence. He is no more but his legacies of roadblocks live with us. The continued attacks by faceless terror groups who, for all we know, are hiding behind the mask of Boko Haram to perpetrate mayhem in the north, is a testament to the failure of these death traps. They are there simply to degrade and intimidate poor daily road users who cannot afford sirens. Kaduna state has lost a rare gem. A man who overcame his prejudices to lead an ethnically and religiously fragmented state. It was universally agreed that Yakowa was a good man and tried his best for Kaduna and its people. I hope he is in the bosom of his Lord. As to Azazi, I am sure he was also eulogised by those he did his best to impress while alive; those he assisted in life even at

the expense of others. Though I may disagree with him and his worldview, he did his level best to make sure his people are visible in all spheres of our polity. Despite his concerted efforts to have the northern part of Nigeria labelled a ‘terrorists territory’ and despite failing to do so, the man served the country in his own ways. But the death of these two and the pilots and other passengers in the helicopter crash should ideally wake us up from the folly of thinking that we can mount roadblocks to ward off death. Injustice begets injustice and disenchantment that leads to frustrations, which in turn leads to the destructive spree we are witnessing. Living behind sandbags, high fences, attack dogs and fierce looking security operatives hasn’t solved the problem but actually exacerbated it. Governor Danbaba Danfulani of Taraba state is still in the hospital in Germany (I pray for his full recovery). No ‘terrorists’ attacked the plane he was piloting; Governor Idris Wada, a pilot, ironically was involved in fatal road accident, which claimed the life of his ADC. The best way to immortalise these gentlemen who lost their lives needlessly, is to find a lasting solution to the incessant insecurity in the country; to ensure that every Nigerian sleeps with both eyes and not this ad-hoc arrangement through which the authorities create more enemies than friends. Babayola M. Toungo is reachable on

Open Letter to CAN on Islamic Banking (II) economic collapse in 2009. The concept of ‘non-interest-banking’ is not new in Nigeria; however, this is the first time a governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is seen to be vigorously pursuing its implementation. Yes, the apex Bank should have sensitized the public more before embarking on the pronouncements. However, before the current governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi became governor in 2009, Islamic Banking/Non-Interest Banking was approved by the CBN during the tenure of Professor Chukwuma C. Soludo. And before Soludo, there is an established provision for non-interest banking in the BOFIA ACT 1991 as amended, Sections 9, 23 and 52 provided for the establishment of Islamic Banking in Nigeria, during IBB-era. As a result of this provision, the former Habib Bank, which became Bank PHB, and is now Keystone Bank, was given an approval in 1992 to operate a window of Islamic banking, which is still operational, except that the management never allowed it to prosper. Now enter Jaiz bank; a bank with both Christian and Muslim investors; whose Chairman is Alhaji Umaru Mutallab; former Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA) in the 90’s and Minister of Housing during the first coming of Obasanjo, in the 70’s; and the longest serving chairman of First Bank Plc; he initiated the greatest transformations the bank went through before finally bowing out in 2010. In 2002 or thereabout, Jaiz Bank applied for banking license to operate a national Bank under a non-interest-banking law as indicate under

BOFIA act of 1991. While the application was being processed, Dr. Joseph Sanusi was replaced with Prof. Chukwuma C. Soludo. Before the completion of the process, the then governor of CBN came out with the recapitalization – exercise; the banking license that was N2 billion, shot up to N25 billion. Jaiz bank was advised to either recapitalize or pursue other option. JAIZ bank started working to raise the N25 billion, however, an opportunity arose when Prof. Soludo created the Micro Finance Bank, Community Bank, and Regional Bank concepts. This gave Jaiz bank the opportunity to seek to become a regional bank, with the same ideology of ‘non-interest-banking’. On 21st of June 2011 CBN under Lamido Sanusi re-issued a guideline on non-Interest Financial Institutions (NIFI) which overrides the old one of 13th January 2011. The new guidelines recognizes two forms of NIFI’A’s based on the principles of Islamic commercial jurisprudence of ‘usury’; and another NIFIA’s based on any other established rules and principles. The latter was done to encourage members of CAN to equally do the same as Jaiz bank to move the nation’s real economic sector forward in tandem with President Goodluck Jonathan’s economic transformation policy. It is also imperative to mention that CBN in recognition of the diversified nature of our Constitution, replaced the CBN-ShariahCouncil(CSC) made up of only Muslims with a new one called “CBN Advisory Council of Experts A”, which includes Christians as regulators. We must also understand that

NIFIA is part of the BOFIA established since 1991; this model allows for (a) Commercial Banks, (b) Merchant Banks, and (c) specialized Banks. Therefore, Jaiz bank should not be faulted for electing to operate under (c); the same opportunity exists for CAN to explore. It is also important to note that under the same (c), specialized banking; micro-finance banks, mortgage banks, development banks (under section 66 of BOFIA) can also exist; and what a regional banking operator requires to get a license, is, 5 Billion Naira, payable to CBN; and JAIZ bank has complied. The quantum transformation will help President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. It means that a Nigerian, for instance: the MD of Innossons Motor Manufacturing Company, Ltd, based at Nnewi (though not a Muslim), can approach Jaiz Bank for a non-interest loan to expand his factory based on profit and loss equity; this enables him to employ more people, while expanding, without worrying about the interests accruing on a loan, because in this case, there is none. Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) leadership must see this ‘noninterest’ banking as a great opportunity to help church members, especially graduates, to become self employed by giving them seed-moneyloans to establish small-scale manufacturing, cooperative farming ventures, pharmaceutical stores, supermarkets, and all manners of businesses that comply with the teachings of their respective religions. I encourage some of our Bishops to sell off those aircrafts they own,

and use the proceeds to seek for a banking license from CBN. The cost of an average Gulf-Aircraft is 35million dollars which is equivalent to about 5billion naira, the same amount required by CBN for a ‘noninterest’ banking license. If CAN prefers, we might as well call ours a ‘Christian Bank’. After all, churches around the world are now investing heavily in establishing their own Universities, housing development for members, farm plantations, and are partners in manufacturing. In Enugu, there is a micro finance bank called ‘Nwa Chinemere’ owned by the Catholic Church, and they extend low interest loans to only Catholics. The law established by CBN on ‘non-interest’ banking does not allow for discrimination against a borrower because of gender or his/her religion. That, in my view, should be commended. The issue of non-interest bank (be it Islamic/Christian Banking), will indeed help the economy. Imagine if the commercial banks in Nigeria will consider the plight of the masses by creating non-interest banking windows, and dispense the SMEDAN funds to small and medium business with viable and bankable business proposals without interests being attached. This will indeed help to transform the economy of our great nation; therefore, Christians and Muslims must take advantage of this rare opportunity and stop bickering over mundane issues. Concluded Max Gbanite is a Strategic Security Consultant; he can be reached at



Gov Aliyu and ‘National Unity Award’ By Baba S. Mohammed


here are awards, and there are awards. Some awards are insignificant for sundry reasons while others are not only edifying but are critically acclaimed due to what they represent or embody or signify. Whenever awards that are ennobling pop up here or there, not only do we take note, we generally appreciate the brains behind it, even as we thumbs-up the recipients. It is against this backdrop that the ‘Champion of Good Governance Award’ held recently by the ‘Global Educators for All Initiative’(GEFAI) must be situated. As Dr. Raphael Ogar Oko, the international coordinator of GEFAI, announced on behalf of Millennium Development Ambassadors, the Champion of National Unity Award is notable not just for its global pedigree but for its integrity, universal appeal and remarkable track record. And it so happened that Niger State in general and the Chief Servant, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu in

particular, glittered at the environment for all and sundry, are exploited by certain award ceremony held recently irrespective of tribe and tongue, political forces cynically for at the National their selfish Merit Award interests every H o u s e , now and then. M i t a m a , To put the Abuja. As matter in Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text proclaimed by p e r s p e c t i v e, messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written the organizers, consider the contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 in the North fact that not a words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and Central Zone few states of the a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed category, federation to: Niger State have been e m e r g e d entangled in The Editor, undisputed the volatile winner “for indigenePeoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, c r e a t i n g settler duel 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. opportunities lately. In Email: let for other Plateau State, SMS: 07037756364 Nigerians to for instance, reside within that sticky the state without is no mean feat. This is more so issue has been at the root of the discrimination,” among other as ours happen to be a land where seemingly endless “wars” laudable qualities; qualities differences in tribe and tongue rocking the land. And in Abia enthroned in recent time under the watch of the Chief Servant. Normally, some may dismiss “creating opportunities for other Nigreians to reside within…” as nothing to crow about. But when our contemporary history is considered vis-à-vis the ethnic and religious tensions that have been holding sway across the land for so long, it becomes clear that creating an enabling


It is truly gratifying to note that since the advent of the Chief Servant, Niger State has been a shining example in terms of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and brotherhood

State, controversy is still raging over the expulsion of many indigenes of a neigbouring state for no other “sin” than they are not indigenes of Abia. Against this backdrop, it is truly gratifying to note that since the advent of the Chief Servant, Niger State has been a shining example in terms of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and brotherhood. So impressive has the Aliyu been remarkable in this regard that none other than the leadership of Christain Association of Nigeria (CAN) honoured him with an award for excellence recently. The latest award by Global Educators therefore, hardly comes as a surprise to discerning compatriots. As one of my colleagues here at Young Muslims Congress of Nigeria put it succinctly, “there is none who merits such honour than Governor Aliyu, a visionary leader in the true sense of the word.” I honestly cannot agree more. Mohammed, the Chairman, Benue state chapter of Young Muslims Congress of Nigeria, wrote in this piece through

Bukar Usman: Security czar at 70 By Obinna F. Nwachukwu


lfred Lord Tennyson once wrote: “The heights which great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upwards in the night”. This quotation graphically encapsulates the life and times of a great man of our time, Dr. Bukar Usman an illustrious son of Biu and distinguished gentleman and security wizard. Although Bukar as he is fondly called was not born with the proverbial silver spoon, through dint of hard work, he rose from obscurity to celebrity. This was a man whose life was hallmark of sterling qualities, excellent record of service, credibility and patriotism to both God and humanity. He clocked 70 years last December. Bukar could be described as a man who literally pulled himself up by his own boot straps in the grueling struggle of life; overcoming and surviving the sordid experiences of poverty, inadequate facilities and civil war which called forth all the survival instincts of every human being and challenged him to play those sterling roles which distinguish excellence from mediocrity, solid achievement from feeble performance, imaginative insight from visionless bungling, and creativity from idealism. Given his large heart and humanitarian posture, Dr. Usman could be described as Albert Einstein of our time. He never discriminated against any

one irrespective of tribe, religion or belief. His large heart made it possible for many families to find shelter in his house. Indeed, testimonies abound of people who trained their kids, built houses and acquired wealth with the help of Dr Usman and his family. Dr Bukar Usman was born on 10th December, 1942 and hails from Biu, Borno State. A security administrator and former Permanent Secretary, Special Services in The Presidency, Dr. Usman attended Biu Central Primary School from 1951 – 1954, Yerwa Senior Primary School (1955 – 1957), Borno Provincial Secondary School (1958 – 1963), King’s College, Lagos (1964 – 1965), and Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (1966 – 1969) respectively. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration as well as Doctorate Degree in Literature. Usman began work in the Federal Civil Service as 3rd Class Clerk on 17th December 1965 and rose through the ranks to become Federal Permanent Secretary on 24th May 1988. He retired in 1999 after a meritorious service spanning 34 years.

He has served Nigeria at different important and sensitive levels most especially on security matters here in Nigeria and abroad. Among these, Dr Usman was a Member/Secretary, Committee on Public Safety and National Security - 1972 to1999; Member, National Intelligence Agency Personnel Management Board -1984 to 1999; member, Department of State Security Services Personnel Management Board -1984 to 1999; Secretary, Committee on the Reorganization of former Nigeria Security Organization (NSO) which Resulted in the Formation of New Security Structure for the Country – 1986 ( SSS). He also represented Nigeria at the End of Course Ceremony for Special Security Intelligence Course Organized for Nigerian Officers in United Kingdom and the Negotiation of the Subsequent Holding of the Course in Nigeria in1988, Member, AVM Ibrahim Alfa Task Force on Implementation of AFRC Committee Report on Internal Security - April - May, 1989 as well as Member of the Presidential Panel on National

Given his large heart and humanitarian posture, Dr. Usman could be described as Albert Einstein of our time. He never discriminated against any one irrespective of tribe, religion or belief

Security - October 31, 2001, amongst other responsibilities. His tenure in the Special Services Office made it one of the most stable offices with efficient and effective small number of staff in the Presidency. In the past forty years, several Governments have relied on his humble, intelligence and reliable professional advice. He remains one of the longest serving officers in the Cabinet Office/Presidency and indeed the longest serving DirectorGeneral/ Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service at his time. While in the Presidency, Dr. Usman made his office, one of the first to be completely computerized.. He has written the highest number of security enlightenment publications in the country (by an individual) which have been found useful to both members of the security community and the general public. Among his books is “Voices in a Choir: Issues In Democratization and National Stability in Nigeria” published in 1999. A member of the Institute of Management Consultants, he holds the National honour Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). He is happily married with three children. At any point in time his esteemed presence graced the public arena, Usman did not hesitate to disseminate, with unusual candour and simplicity, his invaluable tutorials for grassroots leadership. Security lectures and community development. As a panacea for

positive transformation of self and society, he insists on the need for well-rounded development that comprises the following: total education, the maximal use of one’s intellectual capabilities and physical endowment, volunteerism, self employment, as well as the cultivation of a personal resolve to solve problems. As this native Biu marks another year on earth, the legacy he so faithfully espoused and lives by ought to be a lesson for many Nigerians of means. His lesson is this: in the face of corruption and underdevelopment, genuine leadership emerges when one steps out of the anonymity and apathy of one’s closet to advance the cause of his immediate environment through uncommon sacrifice. Indeed, in good and difficult times, in youth and age, Dr. Usman is quintessential. His life remains a source of inspiration to many people including men, women and youths many of whom have benefited from his humane disposition by way of scholarship awards, microcredits and economic empowerment. Given his immense contributions to mankind, we are optimistic that the good LORD who has kept him alive to this enviable age of seventy would keep and protect him as well as give him good health in the years ahead. Dr. Obinna F Nwachukwu is Group Executive Editor, Nigerian Pilot Newspapers Abuja:



cannot pretend that I am not a disinterested and detached commentator on the recent political squabble between Bamanga Tukur and Murtala Nyako. I spent the last three months of 1983 working as the chief media aide to Bamanga Tukur, then the governor of Gongola state. We just worked and worked and worked. On December 31, 1983, the soldiers staging the coup of that day in Yola, caught us at work. Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, our Chief of Staff, was manhandled and locked up. At the time we blamed the conduct of the marauding soldiers on drunkenness, not knowing it was a coup. Bamanga was in his 40s when he was elected governor in 1983. Before then, he was a civil servant, working through the ranks to reach the pinnacle of his career as the Chief Executive of the Nigerian Ports Authority. The governor's office offered him an opportunity to launch his political career which, given his youthful age, could hit the sky. He set targets and we tried to meet his impossible demands on our time and energy. He had a knack for talent and I think within the limits that the 1979 Constitution allowed, he tried to balance representation in the state without sacrificing competence and talent. There were people from outside Gongola and even outside Nigeria in his government. I believe he wanted to create a model out of Gongola which would make him a shining star among his peers. He called it 'politics of development.' The military coup of 1983 ended it all. Looking back to those days,


Bamanga vs Nyako one finds little to compare with wants a project executed or the government of Murtal Nyako funded - be he a Commissioner or today. The man retired from the contractor - must go cringing military at 50 in 1993 and went before him. The Nigerian Navy into large-scale farming. general has definitely conquered Strangely, when everybody the executive branch of thought he was doing well government and put it at the managing the farms, he plunged beck and call of his family. into politics. In 2007, he His tyrannical ways are also contested and won election into reflected in his stormy the Government House in Yola, relationship with the Adamawa Adamawa state. legislature. A friend who Disturbed by followed his his dictatorial campaign tours style, the state's reported back to House of me then that he Assembly in c o m m i t t e d 2008 initiated himself to no a n s p e c i f i c impeachment programmes for move against the state. At 70 him. Part of the Emmanuel Yawe today, age is not reason for the 08024565402 on his side, so he move which was signed by is definitely not in a hurry to 20 out of the 25 embark on projects that will members of the House of recommend him for higher Assembly was that he committed office. gross administrative and On winning the election in financial misconduct that 2007, he left no one in doubt drained the purse of the state to that he was going to run the the tune of several billions of government from his bedrooms. naira. Nyako has four wives. One of the The allegations were grave first things he did was to group and the governor was headed for the ministries in the state into the sack. The intervention of late four; each of the wives was given President Umaru Yar' adua responsibilities to run a group saved the day. But hostilities that was assigned to her with a resumed late in 2011 when the fat domestic allowance. Then he Speaker of the House of brought in his son, a serving Assembly, Mr. Sadiq Ibrahim naval officer at the time, Dasin, a known buddy of Nyako, impeached by an Commodore Abdul - Aziz Nyako, was as head of Special Projects Unit overwhelming decision of 24 out (SPU). The SPU is not recognized of the 25 members of the in law, but he is reported to wield Assembly. Infuriated by the change of so much power that whoever

leadership, Governor Nyako ordered the closure of the House which remained under lock for close to two months of last year, making it impossible for it to function. With the executive branch of government under his command, the legislature under lock and key, the Naval Commander sailed on to capture the judiciary. The opportunity came with the retirement of Justice B. S. Bansi as Chief Judge in July, 2011. Justice B. P. Lawi was appointed acting Chief Judge. But his tenure expired on October 20 and from that time until the end of December the Adamawa judiciary remained without a leader. In effect, there was no judiciary in Adamawa state as there was no Chief Judge to assign cases and the NBA in reaction boycotted the law courts. Today, the state judiciary is under its fourth Chief Judge to serve in acting capacity since the retirement of the substantive Chief Judge in 2011. Thus throughout the year 2012, Adamawa operated without a substantive Chief Judge. In continuously substituting and swearing in acting Chief Judges, Governor Murtala Nyako has defied Section 271 (4) of the amended 1999 constitution. He is even reported to be making attempts to appoint one of his wives the Chief Judge of the State in contravention of the provisions of the Constitution. The problem in Adamawa

been thought in school the next day, due to excess play and inability of the parent to engage them in extra moral lesson after closing hour which resorted to relaxation of the brain in term of education as it is said that ‘practice make perfect. As a parent or teacher you will often see a child who is disengaged, distracted, underachieving, exhausted or frustrated by the learning process. Research supports the connection between learning difficulties and early childhood development and shows that regular movement and physical activity can help develop neural pathways in the brain. By working on underlying barriers to learning, Extra Lesson can offer your child a second chance to learn without this struggle. Extra Lesson is a drug-free, non-invasive alternative for reading, maths and spelling difficulties. A typical Extra Lesson program involves a thorough assessment followed by weekly individual lessons tailored to each child’s needs. The Extra Lesson is a remediation program that incorporates movement, speech, drawing and painting exercises

“According to some of our student, all what they do every day after closing from school was to watch cartoon, play ball, and play all sort of game, engaging in all sort of social networking, eating, flirting and sleeping. There was no time to study; that is their parent or guardians did not encourage them to do so.” she added. It is a well-known fact that the best way of achieving excellent is by hard working. Most of the student that is doing well academically is by creating extra time to study or learn apart from what they learnt in school. Most parents complained of

today is not so much Nyako's pettiness, mediocrity and his bedroom democracy. It is Nyako's political party, the PDP, which has always supported him in his campaigns and court actions against the other parties that feel that he is a disaster for the state. The PDP has become a popular platform for unscrupulous politicians who use it to unleash terror on hapless and helpless citizens. The much vilified NPN, on whose platform Bamanga Tukur served, would not have allowed him to hijack government ministries and distribute same to his wives as Valentine Day gifts, seal up the legislature (itself an act of treason) or rape the judiciary serially. No state governor elected on the platform of the NPN would have dared humiliate his state chairman the way the current National Chairman of the PDP has been humiliated, talk less of a state governor taking on Chief Adisa Akinloye. The PDP has made a mockery of democracy in Nigeria by giving state governors unprecedented powers. They appoint - through fraudulent elections- local government councillors and chairmen, determine members of state and federal legislative houses, appoint state commissioners, appoint state permanent secretaries, recommend federal permanent secretaries, ministers, ambassadors and board members for federal boards and parastatals. As Jibril Aminu puts it, 'one with the governor is majority'. They have now formed a cartel that turns into an attack dog once one of them is touched.

Extra lesson as exra knowledge By Christiana Popoola and Zainab Kandi


xtra lesson is an assessment and intervention program for children, and adolescents with learning and behavioral difficulties. The word “extra” is a two syllable word which implies ‘outside or external’. Likewise “moral” which means ‘ethical or value of principle’. Extra moral lesson as the words implies can be define as the way of adding to knowledge outside what has been thought in school by the school teacher or lecturer within the period 8.00am 2.00pm or 4.00 at times. In other way round, adding to what has been learned or learning what has not been thought before at an assigned time and period The Extra Lesson program is based on the premise that learning difficulties are often due to disruptions in the academic activity of a child. This can result in poor spatial orientation and body awareness, sensory processing challenges, retained early movement patterns and co-ordination difficulties. A lot of children find it difficult to recall what have

to help individuals with difficulties in writing, reading and mathematics as well as behavioral difficulties. The premise is that difficulties in reading, writing, and math could be due to inadequate spatial orientation, poor body geography and to sensory integration challenges, including retained early movement patterns. An anonymous school teacher said they have been faced with this problem in their day to day job as a teacher. She stated that almost 50% of the students are having the problem of remembering what they have been taught.

It is a well-known fact that the best way of achieving excellent is by hard working. Most of the student that is doing well academically is by creating extra time to study or learn apart from what they learnt in school

lesson fees which stops them from putting their children in extra moral lesson while some distance and time. Extra moral teaching is not only done by the school teachers or home lesson teachers. It is done by everybody including the parent. In fact, some parents are good in teaching than a school teacher. He/she can create a time out of no time to teach their children a new topic or reverse what they learn in school in time of inability to employ a lesson teacher. In time of distance, extra moral lesson is not only done in schools. It can be at home or a place closer to the house. And at time; most of the parent claim to be always busy at work, forgetting that they are working because of their children. For them to become somebody in life and not just a figure head human being. Due to this, parent can employ home lesson teacher to be teaching their children either daily, trices in a week e t c. depend on the ability of the parent or the schedule of the teacher. Christiana Popoola and Zainab Kandi are on industrial attachment with this newspaper



Over 1,000 students get scholarships worth N13.2m in Abaji By Adeola Tukuru


Madawakin Hausawan Abuja with other Hausa-Fulani community leaders, during a courtesy visit he paid to the Fulani community in FCT

Gbagyi / Fulani fracas: FCT legislators stall peace efforts, by Community leader By Aminu Imam


he endless communal clash between the Gbagyi indigenes and the Fulani herdsmen in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has continued unresolved because the current legislators in the National Assembly are deliberately shunning all the efforts made by the FCT Minister to bring about a permanent peace between the two warring communities. The Madawakin Hausawa of Abuja, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Sa’idu stated this to journalists at the weekend, during a courtesy visit he paid to the displaced Fulani community who are temporarily camped at the premises of the University of Abuja in the FCT. It could be recalled that three week ago, two persons were killed during a clash between Gbagyis and the Fulani in Gwako village, locate in Gwagwalada Area Council of the FCT. Alhaji Sa’idu, who is also the

newly turbaned Sarkin-Samarin of Zazzau, while lamenting the current situation said, “ I recall that prior to the 2011 election, the current FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed invited all stakeholders including representatives of us Hausa-Fulani and the Gbagyis to a meeting with a view to resolving once and for all, the recurring ugly incidents between us and the Gbagyis. “During that meeting, while speaking on behalf of my people, I appealed to the minister to urgently allocate a portion of land where the Fulani herdsmen and their families in the FCT can finally be re-settled, in order to bring about lasting peace between the two clashing parties because this is the FCT which belongs to all Nigerians and all eyes are on us to finally end this recurring crisis. “The Minister thereafter directed that after the election the current members representing the Gbagyis in the Senate and House of Representatives, in the persons of

Zephaniah Jisalo and Phillip Aduda should come with us for another meeting in his office whereby that goal can be actualised but after the election the legislators have rebuffed all my attempts to reach across to them for us to go and meet with the minister to address the issue. Since that time, anytime I call them on their mobile phones they have refused to answer my calls so I stopped calling them”, he further explained. He said although the former minister of the FCT, Alh Abba Gana had during his tenure made efforts to allocate about four plots of land in the FCT where the Hausa-Fulani can be re-settled, however since he left no Hausa-Fulani leader has been allowed access to subsequent FCT ministers to follow up and finalise the land allocation, which according to him made it appear like the Gbagyis don’t want the Hausa-Fulani to have a voice in the FCT. All attempts by our reporter to contact the duo of Zephaniah Jisalo and Phillip Aduda to get their response to the allegation, did not

yield any positive result as they did not respond to calls and text messages sent to their mobile phones. He said that purpose of his visit to the displaced community was to commiserate with them over the unfortunate situation and also donate some relief materials to the community. Alhaji Mohamed Bello Sa’idu also cautioned his kinsmen to desist from unnecessary provocation of the Gbagyi farmers as, according to him, “It is not good thing that after the Gbagyi farmers have finished planting their crops in their farms only for the Fulani herdsmen to bring their cattle to graze in those farmlands without their consent”. He therefore enjoined his kinsmen in the FCT to always strive to live in peace with their Gbagyi counterparts so that there would be a lasting peace in the Federal Capital Territory, while appealing to the FCT minister to urgently allocate a portion of land where the Fulani herdsmen and their families in the FCT can finally be re-settled.

Drivers appeal to FCT minister to rescind decision on mini buses By Adeola Tukuru


buja drivers under the umbrella of Owners and Drivers of Mini-Buses Town Services in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have appealed to the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed against the ban of mini-buses operating within the FCT metropolis with effect from today January 14, 2013. The group at the weekend said irrespective of the fact that the government has not squared up to the unemployment nightmare in

the city which is its sole responsibility, they have never waited for the government but rather developed their own means of livelihood. “Then why the move to take food away from our mouth and throw us into the already overcrowded labour market”, they questioned. According to the secretary of the association, Prince Charles Ikwuegbu this insensitive and a historical policy has no precedents either in other mega cities of this country or in known major capital cities.

“In the nation today, the government is still grappling with the untractable issues of unemployment, corruption, crimes and insecurity which are the bane of economic activities and it appears the government has no solution to these hydra-headed socio-economic vices. “It is difficult to understand why the FCT Transport Department overlooks these situations and want to create more hardship and destroy families by imposing this faceless, iniquitous and obnoxious transport policy”, he said.

Ikwuegbu said that they have instituted a law suit at the FCT High Court against the FCT administration with suit No. CV/ 1341/12, challenging the new policy. He, however, urged the FCT minister to consider the socioeconomic consequences of the new policy on transportation, as allowing the anti-people decision to stand will surely pitch the people against government which may lead to total breakdown of law and order as the masses of FCT are poised to resist the policy.

he Chairman Abaji Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hon. Yahaya Musa Muhammad has flagged-off the disbursement of Thirteen Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N13.2m) scholarship to indigenous students in the council studying in various institution across the country. The Secretary of the scholarship committee, Barr Yusuf Saleh Ashafa told journalist that over one thousand students would benefit from the scheme as the council’s support to their education. He however, said only four out of the ten political ward of Abaji Area Council that fall under first batch have received the scholarship while others would receive their wind fall in 2 nd & 3 rd category respectively which would be paid by the end of the month. He explained that the committee considered higher amount to the law students, Medicine and Pharmacy because of the expenses involved in the courses. He further said the s u c c e s s f u l candidates names has been pasted on the notice board for the public and only the successful ones would enjoy the scheme. The chairman in his address call on student to make judicious use of the gesture, adding that plans are on ground to equip the new library constructed by the council with modern books, electronic library section, ICT and other important facilities for the use of indigenes and others . Muhammad further apologized to the students for the delay in the payment, saying his administration would leave no stone un turn to support the student to achieve their target goal. He said residents of Abaji are entitled to enjoy the scholarship so long as they are given birth to in Abaji Area Council irrespective of their tribe. Speaking on behalf of the benefiting students, Comrade Abdullahi Jibril Nuhu, who is the Vice President of Abaji Student Union thanked the council chairman for considering them and pleaded to other council chairmen to assist the students in their ward. He said they would make good use of the money in furtherance of their studies.


INSIDE FCT COURTS Five men held over alleged forgery, criminal trespass


he Police have arraigned five out of six accused persons before an Abuja Chief Magistrates Court for alleged joint act, forgery, criminal intimidation and trespass. The five are Bashir Yusuf, 26, Sani Suleman, 30, Bashir Ibrahim, 28, and Danladi Lawal, all of Maitama, Abuja and 53-year-old Suleman Bala, of Jabi, Abuja. The sixth accused person, Bello Sardauna, is still at-large. All the six accused are gardeners. Police Prosecutor, Mr Monday Akor told the court that, on November 26, 2012, one Peter Odany, of Efab Mall, Area 11, Garki, Abuja, reported the accused to the Maitama police station. Akor told the court that the accused had dishonestly forged a change of offer of statutory Right of Occupancy for Plot A06, located at Owena close, Maitama, Abuja. According to Akor, all the accused went ahead to carry-out illegal construction work on the said land. He informed the court that when the owner confronted them, they threatened to kill him. Akor said that the offence of joint act, forgery, criminal intimidation and trespass were contrary to Sections 79, 364, 379 and 348 of the Penal Code. Five of the accused, who were present in court, however, denied the charges against them. Their Counsel, Barr. Chioma Ugwu, applied to the court to grant her clients bail under Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution which presumes an accused innocent until proven otherwise. Presiding Chief Magistrate Anthony Ogboyi granted bail to the five accused in the sum of N200,000 each and a surety each in like sum. He added that the sureties must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and must each affix his passport photograph alongside that of the accused person he was standing bail for on the bail bond form. Ogboyi adjourned the case to January 23, 2013 for further hearing. (NAN)


Two men arraigned for alleged amputation T

wo men, Abubarkar Lawal, 20 and Adamu Ahmadu, 20, have been arraigned before an Abuja Senior Magistrates Court for joint act and causing grievous hurt.

Lawal and Ahmadu worked as security guards at the Central Bank of Nigeria Quarters, Lugbe, Abuja. The prosecutor, Mr Jeremiah Elijah told the court that one Silvanus Sylvester

A middle-aged women and her child waiting for alms in Nyanya.

reported the case at the Lugbe Police Station on January 6, 2013. Elijah said that at about 10:30 p.m. on January 5, Sylvester was on his way home when the two accused accosted

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

and beat him up. “During the process, Lawal, without any cause, used a machete to cut off Sylvester’s right hand and inflicted a deep cut on his head and neck,’’ Elijah said. The prosecutor said that Lawal confessed to the charge during investigations and that the offence contravene Sections 79 and 247 of the Penal Code. Lawal and Ahmadu however pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. The prosecutor objected to their bail, contending that the victim was still undergoing medical treatment at the Unity Hospital, Abuja. “The accused, knowing the gravity of their offence are likely to jump bail if granted and this will thereby hinder justice,’’ Elijah said. Magistrate Aliyu Shafa over ruled the application of the prosecutor, saying that bail was at the discretion of the court. “No evidence has been presented to the court on the status of the victim and refusing bail to the accused persons will not be in the interest of justice,’’ he said. Shafa therefore granted each of the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 and a surety each in like sum who must reside within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the case to January 28, 2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

Security man steals N2.4m property


n Abuja Senior Magistrates Court at the weekend sentenced a 27-year-old security guard, Monday Danlami, to one month imprisonment for stealing properties valued at N2.4 million. Senior Magistrate Idiayat Akanni, in her judgement, also directed the convict to compensate the complainant with the value of materials stolen. Akanni said that if the

convict failed to pay the amount, he would spend one year in the prison without option of fine. He said the cases of theft by security guards were becoming rampant and the punishment would serve as a deterrent to others. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Salisu Mohammed, had earlier told the court that, one Sutumari Sama’ila, of Gwarimpa Estate, reported the case to the Life Camp police station, on December 22, 2013. Mohammed said that the

complainant entrusted his house to the security guard when he was travelling, adding that he also handed over the key of his store to him. He said that when the complainant returned, he discovered that some of the building materials kept in the store had disappeared. The items stolen, according to him, include two generators valued at N490,000, distribution box, valued at N928,000 and a vibration

machine, valued at N75,000. Others are binding wires valued at N42,000, Iron rod, valued at N50,000, and rolls of electricity wires valued at N190,000. The prosecutor said that the convict ran away to Plateau after stealing the items. He further said that the action contravenes the Section 288 of the Panel Code. Danlami, who pleaded guilty to the charge, said “it was the devil’s hand work’’. (NAN)

Man, 27, arraigned for alleged employment scam


27-year-old man, Mike Joseph of Kurudimawa, Asokoro, Abuja has been arraigned at the Karu Senior Magistrates Court for alleged criminal conspiracy, impersonation and cheating. Police Prosecutor, Eze Okwuchuckwu told the court that among those who reported the matter at the Garki Police Station, were Christiana Yunana, Lydia Samuel, Simi Titus,

Samuel Yakubu, and Rebecca Yunana. Okwuchuckwu said that on December 24, 2012, Joseph, and Emmanuel Bala of no fix address and who is now at large, claimed to be officers of the National Assembly. “They conspired and collected the sum of N235,000 from the complainants on the pretence of securing jobs for them at the National Assembly. They failed

to secure the jobs for them, while all effort to recover the money from them, proved abortive,” he said. He said that the offence contravened the provisions of Sections 97, 132 and 323 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded guilty, but said that he only collected N5,500 from one of the complainants. “The remaining amount was collected by Bala,”

he said. When asked if he has any reason why the court should not convict him, he said “I came from a poor background. I knew Bala when he staying in my brother’s house. He took me once to his office at the National Assembly and this made me to believe that he was working there,” he added. The accused further said that Bala did not give him a dime from the money he collected “but he

sometimes buys me food and drinks, that is all’’. Senior Magistrate Bashiru Alkali, citing Section 157 (1) of the criminal procedure code on summary trial, convicted the accused, but reserved sentencing to January 24, 2013. He ordered that the convict to be remanded in police custody, and gave an order for Bala to be arrested and brought to court on January 24. (NAN)



Civil Defence Corps seals up 3 private guard companies for failure to meet guidelines


he Federal Capital Territory(FCT) Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, on Tuesday, sealed up three illegal private guard companies in the territory. They are Vault Security Company Ltd, Bright Star Security Ltd and E-Control Security Ltd. Mr Abdullahi Kofaroro, the FCT Commandant of the Corps, said the defaulting companies failed to honour several invitations requiring them to make amend. Kofaroro, who was represented by the command’s Officer-inCharge of private guard companies, Mrs Florence Akalawu, said the companies had been operating without meeting the requirements for setting up security companies. “We served them several letters asking them to obtain the necessary clearance, but they failed to meet the requirements, and so we have no option than to close them down. Kofaroro said that the defaulting companies were operating without obtaining the compulsory licence from the Corps and paying N500,000 registration fee. “Also, one of the directors of a security company must be a retired security officer, but this requirement was not complied with by the affected companies. ``So, we had to close them down as they posed security threats to the society,’’ he said. He explained that the inclusion of a retired officer in the management of a security company was to ensure that the necessary training was giving to security guards at all times. “The companies will remain sealed until they meet all the requirements. Any of them that re-opens its offices or removes the seal will be prosecuted,’’ Kofaroro said. All efforts by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to speak to the owners of the affected companies proved abortive as they could not be reached. The corps closed down 131 private guard companies nationwide between January 2011 and December 2012 for same reasons. (NAN)

Traders waiting for patronage, yesterday in Nyanya market.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Doctor recommends early scan of pregnancies to dictate abnormalities


medical doctor has advised all pregnant women to undertake an early scan of the foetus to enable experts detect possible abnormalities. Dr Angel-la Smart, the Medical Superintendent in charge of the Mararaba Medical Centre in Nasarawa state gave the advice in an interview with

the News Agency of Nigeria in Mararaba yesterday. She said that the advice become necessary after at a woman delivered a conjoined twins in the centre. Smart said the abnormalities were not detected during anti-natal because the scan was done at the 38th week of the

pregnancy. She said that early detection of abnomalities would enable the medical team and the family know what to do in such an eventuality. “At 36 weeks, it is very difficult to pick such diagnosis, so it’s advisable that the routine thing should be done, which means a woman should have at

least three scans in her pregnancy or four,” she said. Smart stated further that the scan was better done especially in the first and second trimesters when such diagnosis can actually be made. She also advised that women should be educated on the importance of scan during pregnancy.

Education board plans more toilets in FCT schools


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y ( F C T ) Universal Basic Education Board has said there are plans to increase sanitary and toilet facilities in FCT schools this year in line with global best practices. Mr Adamu Noma, the Board’s Director, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesday in Abuja. Noma said the board had undertaken various sensitisation campaigns on hand washing, personal hygiene and open defecation across schools in 2012. He said that the board’s focus for 2013 would be on the provision of toilet facilities, in line with the budgetary provisions for the year. “Those schools that don’t have boreholes, we want to make sure that within the ambient of the budget we will capture them and then those that don’t have toilet facilities it is our intention to make sure that we provide toilet

facilities to all schools that don’t have adequate toilet facilities within our budgetary provision. “If you look at the number of schools, we will not be able to provide all these facilities at the same time. We have about 125 primary schools, 127 junior secondary schools and 173 (ECCDE) Early Child Care Development Education Centers,” he said. Continuing, he added: “We have taken it upon ourselves to make sure that every school in the FCT is provided with toilet facilities because we don’t want to undermine the availability of toilet facilities, we know that is very important, and schools that don’t have toilet facilities, we are capturing them. We want to make sure that every school has adequate toilet facilities so that students and pupils do not go to the bush to defecate. He said it was very risky for

children to go to the bush to defecate as they could be beaten by reptiles or get themselves injured by sticks, by others things that are found there in the bush which are injurious to their health. He said the board had to replace traditional sanitary methods with modern trends of water facilitated systems to reduce attendant diseases and encourage hygienic techniques or personal hygiene. “In the school environment we make sure that the environment is properly kept very clean and we provide sanitary facilities for instance in classes we provide wash hand basins and towels plus soaps where whatever they go out and touch any dirty materials, when they come back to their classes, they wash their hands with clean water and then use the towels and clean them.

“In addition, we make sure that toilet facilities are provided in our schools, we provide toilet facilities for the pupils, we provide for boys and girls separately and we equally provide for staff, males and females separately,” the director said. While urging schools to adopt alternative measures of harvesting water for the dry season, Noma re-emphasised the use of toilets during the dry season in spite of the imminent water challenges. “We will advise our school pupils to patronize the toilet facilities that are provided. Like during the dry season, where we have some challenges, some taps during the dry season, you find out that in the rural communities, the borehole may not be functional at that point in time, and then the streams might have dried up so they will find it very difficult to access water,” he said.






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UK-Nigeria bilateral banking, finance and investment conference holds in London

Mob: 08033644990

World Bank’s agent, local allies sabotage Nigeria’s steel sector, says NIOMCO By Josephine Ella Ejeh


he Sole Administrator/ Chief Executive of the National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), Itakpe, Kogi state, Engineer Abubakar Yaro Ibrahim at the weekend said industrialised nations would continue to sabotage Nigeria’s effort to build a virile steel industry except the Federal Government demonstrate the will to complete and operate NIOMCO. Ibrahim, briefed journalists after conducting them round the Itakpe mining plant. He said issue of iron and steel production was one that impact on every Nigerian, hence any action that would jeopardise its production should be of concern for all Nigerians. He recalled that when Nigeria’s founding fathers wanted to embark on the establishment of the Nigerian Steel industry, they did not get the support of the West,

however, they persevered with the support of the then USSR and established NIOMCO and other steel companies. According to him, “the western countries see Nigeria as a huge market so they don’t want us to take-off in the real sense of the word because we have the biggest plant. That is why every now and then, they find their way through some government officials and when they are given consultancy jobs they start writing comments that we are not in the position to continue to produce but that is not true”. He revealed that Kogi state has a total of 257 million tonnes of reserve of iron ore at Itapke, 60 million tonnes in Ajabanoko, making a total of 317 million tonnes while only 3 million tonnes has been mined since inception to date. This was as he stressed that: “It is saddening that the West and their local supporters have not relented in their determined efforts to discourage and frustrate the

attainment of this noble dream of our founding fathers. “For example there were two written reports submitted by a World Bank dictated consultant(Hatch Associates Ltd of Canada) one in 1989 and another in 2001 both of which recommended the scrapping of Ajaokuta Steel Company. “Unless the government

demonstrate the will to complete NIOMCO and operate it sustainably, these subversive elements will continue to sabotage the effort of Nigeria to build a virile steel industry”. He explained that in line with the Federal Government’s policy on privatisation, NIOMCO had

been concessioned out to Messrs Global Infrastructure Nigeria limited(GINL) in 2005 for a period of 10 years. He further recalled that in the Vision 20:2020 Policy Document, NIOMCO was to be commissioned by 2011, while the first phase of Ajaokuta Steel Plant was to be commissioned in 2012.

Telecoms subscribers demand uniform tariff for SMS


obile telephone subscribers in Abuja, called for a uniform tariff for Short Message Service (SMS) from all telecommunications operators in the country. The subscribers made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Mr. David Amachree, who sells cosmetics, told NAN that it was unfair for the operators to be charging differently for SMS from one network to another. Amachree urged the telecom operators to slash the rate of SMS to other networks. “The SMS that we send cost N5 for same network and N15 for other networks. It should go down. It should be uniform for all networks. “They should cut it down to a maximum of N3 or N5 per SMS, it should go down. The population of this country is so large that every one Naira cumulatively turn into millions. “So they are cheating us honestly; the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC ) should sit up and be up to the task in their responsibility,’’ Amachree urged. Mrs. Victoria Onyebuchi, a primary school teacher, said that SMS should be free to subscribers to serve as value added services for being on a particular network. Onyebuchi also urged NCC to

compel the telecom operators to reduce and charge uniform tariffs for all networks in the country. “Why is it that whatever come to Nigeria is always different; they can’t do this in other developed countries. Our leaders are not helping us they should try and do something to compel these telecom operators tocime down. “Let free SMS be a kind of incentive for subscribers whom the operators make fortunes out of,’ ’ Onyebuchi said. Miss Halima Yakubu, a student at the University of Abuja, said that the present charge on SMS was hindering text communication betwen students using different networks. “For instance, a student in an emergency situation having just N5 credit in his or her phone cannot send an SMS to a friend using a different network; this is just unfair.”

L-R: Member of the Board of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Lawan Z. Gana, MD/ CE of NDIC, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, and Chairman of the Board, Ambassador Hassan Adamu, during the chairman and members visit to NDIC Zonal office, recently in Kano.

Oando, NNPC and 30 others get Q1 fuel import license By Muhammad Nasir with agency report


hirty-two companies have been issued permits to import fuel into the Country for the First Quarter of 2013 by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). This is a reduction from the initial 38 Companies that were involved in the importation of fuel in the Fourth Quarter of 2012. The companies include,Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aiteo Energy, Ascon Oil, Avidor Oil and Gas, A-Z Petroleum, Bovas,

Conoil Plc, Dee Jones Petroleum and Gas, Dozzy Oil and Gas, Folawiyo Energy, Fresh Synergy Ltd and Forte Oil Plc. Other companies that got approval include First Deepwater Discovery Ltd, Gulf Treasure Ltd, Heyden Petroleum, Ibafon Oil Ltd, Integrated Oil and Gas Industries, IPMAN Refining and Marketing Ltd, Mobil Oil Plc, MRS Oil & Gas Ltd, MRS Oil Nig. Plc, NIPCO Plc, Northwest Petroleum & Gas Ltd, Oando Plc, Obat Petroleum Ltd, RainOil Ltd, Rahamaniyya Oil Gas and Sahara Energy Ltd. Also making the list was Shorelink Oil, Swift Oil Ltd, Techno

Management Tip of the Day


hat’s the best way to use the last 10 minutes of your day? Take this short time to reflect on your workday: what invigorated you, what frustrated you, and what you plan to do next. Then write down 100 words about it. Depending on what you

Keep a work diary choose to write, the exercise may serve to motivate you as you keep a record of your “small wins,” incremental steps toward meaningful goals. Or it may help you to plan if you use it as a tool for drafting your next steps. You may find that writing fuels your personal growth.

The diary can also be a way of working through your difficult events, helping you gain new perspectives on them. On frustrating days, it can serve as a reminder that you’ve made it through days that (at the time) seemed even worse. Source: Harvard Business Review

Oil Ltd and Total Nigeria Plc. In a Statement over the approval, the Executive Secretary of the PPPRA Mr Reginald Stanley, confirmed that the number of marketers for the first quarter was reduced to 32. He declined to give information on the volumes allocated to each oil marketers, but rather spoke further on the fact that the 32 companies selected were given their permits because of their competence . Also the track record and buoyancy of the companies in financing the importation into the country, eased their clearance and approval. The PPPRA had been working tirelessly since 2011, to bring down the number of petroleum marketers importing fuel into the country. The PPPRA said that it was ruthlessly pursuing the goal of reducing the number of petrol importers in the country to 20, for efficiency, viability and quality service delivery. Some of the Companies denied license include Masters Energy, Matrix Energy, Spog Petrochemical and Capital Oil and Gas Industries. These Companies had their operations shut down because they were indebted to the Assets Management Company of Nigeria(AMCON).


COMPANY NEWS British Airways


ritish Airways has compiled its top 13 destinations to visit in 2013. If 2012 was about East London, then 2013 is about the Far East - as holidaymakers seek the natural unspoilt beauty, charm and good-value that Asia has to offer. In a recent poll on the airline’s Facebook page, over 2,660 users nominated the overseas destinations they most want to visit next year. New York topped the list (22 per cent), followed by Australia (eight per cent), Hong Kong (seven per cent), Rio de Janeiro (five per cent) and Dubai (three per cent). Compiled by a panel of experts and using company data, British Airways’ top 13 for 2013 features new destinations and popular favourites are Sri Lanka; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Seoul, Korea; Vietnam; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Derry, Northern Ireland; Las Vegas, U.S.A; Tbilisi, Georgia; San Diego, U.S.A; Cape Town, South Africa; Spanish Alicante and Dubai, UAE.



ne of Nigeria’s GSM service providers Etisalat, a part of the UAE Investment Consortium, has renewed a fresh agreement to provide high quality service network for its subscribers, with a view to courting more in the year 2013. Etisalat has been on the drive to becoming a major Telecommunications Company in a Country that has ‘The First Three’, MTN, Airtel and Globacom as the pace setters, having the chunk of the 100 million subscribers in the Nation. The Ceremony which took place at Etisalat’s Banana Island Head Office in Lagos, became the sixth phase of agreement signed in recent times, between the two companies since the Dubai based firm came into the GSM market in 2008.



he International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that traffic results for November 2012, which showed an improvement in both passenger and air freight demand stated that air travel was 4.6 per cent higher compared to November 2011, up on the October result of 2.9 per cent. According to IATA, airfreight volumes edged up to 1.6 per cent over the same period after declining 2.6 per cent in October, year to year. It added that passenger capacity rose 3.2 per cent and load factor improved one percentage point to 77.3 per cent compared to the year-ago period.


New rules out for microfinance banks By Abdulwahab Isa


new set of rules that will moderate the activities of microfinance banks (MFBs) operating in Nigeria and strengthen the banks in playing their poverty reduction and wealth creation roles has been released by the apex Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). According to local media reports Thursday, the new rules are captured under the ‘Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Micro-Finance Banks (MFBs)’. The revised guidelines show

that any of these institutions that attain total assets of N 20 million (US$1.25 million) or a total membership of 2,000 will be encouraged to transform to the relevant MFB. “Collaboration between CBN, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Insurance Commission Corporate Affairs Commission, National Association of Microfinance Banks, Associations of Non-Bank Micro-finance Institutions in Nigeria and other relevant agencies shall be promoted to reduce arbitrage in the practice

of micro-finance in the country,” the guidelines stated. Also, they show that the authorities have taken active measures to ensure efficient and effective micro-finance delivery through the development of the appropriate framework based on the particular features and associated risks. MFBs have been in a longdrawn battle with the CBN since the inception of the current banking reform agenda, with the apex bank insisting on removing anomalies and enforcing sanity in the sub-sector. The MFBs, like the deposit

money banks, have been enmeshed in issues of ethics, governance and exceeding of limits allowable in the enabling Acts governing their operations. The apex bank said a retrospective analysis of the operations of MFBs in the country in the last six years showed an urgent need for the revision of the guidelines. The CBN will this week take a decision on the recapitalisation of microfinance banks in the country. This is following the December 31, 2012 deadline for compliance with the Revised Microfinance Policy Framework.

CBN constitutes advisory council of experts By Abdulwahab Isa


he CBN Governor Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has inaugurated the Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts (FRACE). The Governor in his remarks said that the establishment of the FRACE was part of the provisions of the CBN Guidelines for the regulation and supervision of institutions offering non-interest financial services based on compliance to the principles of Islamic commercial jurisprudence. The establishment of the FRACE is to ensure that products and services offered by the noninterest financial institutions satisfy the requirements for compliance to the principles underpinning their mode of operation, so as to meet the expectation of their stakeholders which is a concern for regulators. It is also expected to prevent arbitrage opportunities for these institutions to the disadvantage of conventional ones, where the non-interest institutions would unfairly draw away customers and depositors from the market in the name of compliance with Islamic commercial jurisprudence while in the real sense they are offering the same interest-based products with different names under the guise of compliance.

The Governor, in his remarks highlighted some of the duties of the FRACE which include advising not only the CBN on matters referred to it, but also availing its expertise to other regulatory agencies in the Nigerian financial sector in the area of Islamic financial services if they choose to refer to it matters under the FRACE’s expertise. The members, whose appointment is on a part-time basis, are Sheikh Sheriff Ibrahim Saleh, as Chairman; Sheikh Adam Idoko; Dr. Ibrahim Jalo; Dr. Abdulrazaq Alaro; Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar; Dr. Mohammad Akram Laldin the Executive Director of the International Shariah Research Academy of the Bank Negara Malaysia; Dr. Ahmad Ali Abdallah, the SecretaryGeneral of the Shariah Supervisory Board of the Central Bank of Sudan. The Governor said that the appointment of the members was purely based on their expertise and experience in their field of specialization and called on them to bring this expertise and experience to bear on the discharge of their duties. He finally thanked the members and especially the Central Banks of Malaysia and Sudan for allowing their staff to serve in the FRACE and for availing it of the experience and

pioneering roles their local jurisdictions will bring to the FRACE. The Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms. Arunma Oteh, who was at the

inauguration commended the establishment of the FRACE and expressed the desire of the SEC to elicit the expertise of such an organ especially as the SEC has already made rules on Islamic fund management.

UK-Nigeria bilateral banking, finance and investment conference holds in London By Aminu Imam


high-level United Kingdom-Nigeria bilateral banking, finance and investment development conference is to hold in London on February 5, 2013. The event is slated to be held at the Bloomberg Auditorium, City Gate House, Moorgate, London. Bloomberg is one of the world’s leading global business and investment information media group. Supporting and partnering with BusinessinAfrica Events Limited to host the event are Nigeria High Commission, City of London, UK Trade and Investment, London Stock Exchange and Nigerians in the Square Mile. It is expected that officials of the Federal Government of Nigeria who will grace the conference will make policy and investment pronouncements that will reveal exciting business opportunities in Nigeria. Already, developments in the country point to a lot of business

Earnings Report for Banks Source:Pro-share Nigeria

opportunities in the country. These include the steadily higher returns on investment in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, consideration by leading Nigerian firms to list on the London Stock Exchange, the power sector reforms which is expected to place the private sector in the driver’s seat in the quest for improved power supply, the imminent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, the rising foreign reserves and the attendant favourable ratings for Nigeria’s economy by international rating agencies. A number of Nigerian officials are expected to speak at the oneday event. They include Dr (Mrs) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy; Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Segun Aganga; Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed. Others are governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Malam Lamido Sanusi; AMCON CEO, Mustafa Chike-Obi; Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Managing Director of the Central Securities Clearing System, Mr. Kyari Bukar and Ms Arunma Oteh, DG Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Also to speak at the event are the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Alderman Roger Gifford; CEO of Renaissance Capital West Africa, Yvonne Ike; Wale Shonibare CEO of UBA Capital; Peter Sullivan, Managing Director, Public Sector, Citigroup; and Sebastian SpioGarbrah, Managing Director/ Chief Analyst of African Frontier Markets. Christian Udechukwu, CEO of BusinessinAfrica Events stated that “delegates and investors will receive high level policy and investment briefings to enable them share in a very exciting new year of opportunities for business in Nigeria.



Breadth remains firm; ASI extends gains by +2.33% in week Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


igerian equities continued to hold the breadth firm, extending the weakly gains for the second period in a row despite increased market price volatility witnessed during the weak as short termist engaged in profiteering while investors maintained the ‘buy and hold’ approach towards equities as risk appetite remained healthy. Nigerian stocks extend bargain trend on Monday, extending gains by +1.57% to open the week on positive note as bargain hunters sustained active postures. Also, the key benchmark indices extend 2-days

gaining streak on Tuesday as market closed with moderate gains by 0.36% on the back of growing in speculative activities. However, market succumbed to speculative pressure as the key benchmark indices pulled back on Wednesday and Thursday by -0.46% and -0.90% respectively on the back strong profit-taking tendency. Notwithstanding, equities sustained healthy breadth on Friday as market traded above the line on the back of renewed bargain hunting throughout the session to end the week with aggregate gain of +2.33%. Further analysis on acquiring banks since transaction date showed that the share price of

Access Bank Plc has recorded +100.81% gains with FCMB recording +19.74% gain while Union Bank Plc leads the chart with +272.73% gains. However, Sterling Bank Plc recorded +69.29% gains while ETI closed negative with +1.11% loss recorded. See the tracking table below However, the All-Share Index in the week under review appreciated by +2.33% to close at 29,202.01 as against appreciation by +2.41recorded last week to close at 28,538.06. In the same vein, the market capitalization in the week appreciated by N218.22 billion (US$1.36 billion) to close at N9.22 trillion (US$58.37 billion) as

against appreciation by N214.63 billion (US$1.34 billion) recorded last week to close at N9.12 trillion (US$57.00 billion). The total volume traded in the week closed at 2.15 billion units valued at N16.99 billion (US$106.23 million) compared with 914.86 million units valued at N7.74 billion (US$48.39 million) exchanged in 12,899 deals last week. The volume transaction in the week when compared with the previous week data moved up by 136.05% as against decline by 29.25% recorded last week. Weekly value also went up by 119.52% as against negative position of -61.68% recorded last week.

UBA Capital/Prudential Registrars listing on NSE to boost business


he Group Chief Executive Officer, UBA Capital Plc, Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, has stated that the listing of UBA Capital/Prudential Registrars on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange would help to expand the company’s frontiers of investment opportunities in the nation’s capital market. Speaking while addressing shareholders at the twin listing of 4billion shares at N1.16 per share and 1billion ordinary shares of 50kobo each at N1.59 in the name of UBA Capital Plc and Africa Prudential Registrars Plc. According to him, the company has a strong significant potentials to drive the huge infrastructure financing opportunities and the influx of foreign investments to Nigeria, adding that “this would naturally

create a wide range of capital market and advisory deal opportunities”. He explained that UBA Capital Plc is a group of companies that comprises of five operating businesses with its focused on investing banking, asset management trusteeship, stockbroking and life assurance. “We are pleased to have the opportunity today of becoming a part of the NCM community by virtue of our company’s admission to the daily official list of the NSE. The listing today of two former member companies of UBA Plc represents a key mile stone for the capital market . “It is the first time in the Exchange’s recent history that two companies will be listed simultaneously from the same parent. Our experience across

Africa will strengthen our origination and distribution capacity.” According to him, UBA Capital comprises of the erstwhile noncommercial banking businesses of UBA Plc, its former parent company, even as UBA capital is currently held directly by individuals and institutional shareholders. Olaoluwa assured that the company would leverage on its strong, diversified platform to drive growth and enhance its profitability, in order to consistently deliver better returns to shareholders. Similarly, the Managing Director of Africa Prudential Registrars Plc, Mr Peter Ashade explained that the company is a leading share registration service provider in Nigeria, in terms of

automation and innovation among all corporate registrars in the country. He noted that the company has become a pacesetter in the infusion of technology to the conventional share registration business model. “We were the first outfit in our niche to deploy an e-stock soft ware application in Nigeria. We have also succeeded in compressing the time and space of doing our business through an appropriate blend of technological innovations. “For instance, since 2007, it became possible for shareholders, stockbrokers and our clients to interact with the systems, while monitoring their portfolios from remote location. We complement traditional share registration with e-share registration services. Currently, the company has 31 clients in its portfolio”, he said

Ecobank to sell shares, bonds to meet capital requirements


cobank Transnational Incorporated has disclosed that it will sell shares, and bonds in order to meet rising capital requirements in the African countries where it operates. Ecobank has operations in 33 African countries, and

many of these countries are asking their financial institutions to recapitalize in order to deepen their capacity. Ecobank, CEO Thierry Tanoh, 49, said, “We’re starting to see in a lot of countries requirements by central banks to raise

minimum capital requirements. If this continues quite aggressively we might have to look at raising additional resources.” The CEO who took over from Arnold Ekpe last year also said that the bank may consider listing its shares on an

Exchange outside Africa. Ecobank may sell shares through a private placement and sell bonds if it decides it needs additional funds, said Tanoh. “It could be a combination of both equity and tier-two capital,” he said.

Source:Pro-share Nigeria




he Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has raised the alarm over the activities of illegal fund managers whose operations have defrauded unsuspecting Nigerians of their hard earn money. The commission said the line of trade of the illegal fund managers, which are known as Ponzi scheme in the developed market, was usually tinted with promises of high returns on investors. It will be recalled that a total of N106.941 billion is trapped in Ponzi schemes otherwise known as ‘wonder banks’ across the country. According to the Head of Enforcement and Complaint at the commission, Mr Eric Elujkor, he said Nigerians must be sceptical of any scheme that requires new investors to pay existing investors.



he International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a Consultation Report on Financial Benchmarks, which seeks comments from the public on policy issues arising from the work of its Board Level Task Force on Financial Market Benchmarks. The Consultation Report discusses concerns regarding the potential inaccuracy or manipulation of Benchmarks and identifies Benchmarkrelated policy issues across securities and derivatives and other financial sectors including the appropriate level of regulatory oversight of the process of Benchmarking. The Consultation also considers issues that market participants might confront when seeking to make the transition to a new or different benchmark and that there should be sufficient data used to construct a credible benchmark.



gainst incessant losses recorded by investors in the agricultural sub sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Presco Plc has assured investors of improved performance in its activities in 2013, even as it said that more yield on investment is expected in the new year. The company, in 2012, saw the pricing of its shares record a growth of 46.8 per cent, from N8.67 at the opening of trading in the year to N16.60, last week Friday. Speaking at the company’s end-of-the-year party last week, the Managing Director, Mr Uday Pilani, said that with the support of all workers and a dynamic marketing strategy from the marketing team, there will be remarkable improvement.



Nigerians shop till they drop in London T

he UK capital's January sales is seeing throngs of dedicated shopaholics cram its countless department stores, quirky boutiques and market stalls, keen to get their hands on the latest fashion trends and product offers. But it's not just domestic spend that's keeping the tills ringing in London. While the vibrant city's high-end stores are no strangers to overseas visitors, with those from the Middle East typically spending the most, a surprising new contender has emerged in recent times as a big spender in the international market -- Nigeria. "Africa is growing from strength to strength and particularly in the last 12 to 18 months we've seen Nigeria come through incredibly strongly," explains Sue West, director of operations at up-market London department store Selfridges. "It is a very broad base so we still very much have a strong Chinese base, a strong Middle East base, Russia is there, the BRICs nations as you imagine, but Nigeria seems to be coming

through very strongly at the moment as well," she adds. The former British colony is Africa's most populous nation as well as the continent's top oil producer. According to African Economic Outlook (AEO), Nigeria's economic growth has averaged about 7.4% annually over the past decade, creating a wealthier Nigerian elite with a large spending power. At the same time, however, AEO says that robust economic growth has not reduced poverty in the country, with about two thirds of its population living on less than $1 per day. Home to a large African diaspora, the UK is a popular travel destination for Nigerians visiting friends and relatives, going on holidays or conducting business. Daily flights between Nigeria and the UK have increased in recent years, with airlines such as British Airways allowing Nigerian customers an additional 23kg of baggage free of charge. According to the UK's Office for National Statistics,

Shopping is a serious business in London whatever the season -- but it doesn't get much more serious than this time of year. some 142,000 Nigerians visited the UK in 2011,

spending an average ÂŁ107 ($172) per day. From January to September last year, Nigeria's tax-free spend in the UK grew by 11% year on year, according to tourism services provider Global Blue. The trend has not gone unnoticed by UK retailers, some of which have responded by tailoring their offerings to their growing Nigerian customer base. "More recently we're starting to introduce a lot more niche brands," says West. "We've worked in collaboration with some very popular Nigerian brands," she adds. "I think it's not only important to demonstrate we can bring the big brands such as Louis Vuiton and Chanel, but we can also really appeal to more of a niche market too." One such collaboration helping Selfridges further

engage with its growing number of Nigerian customers is its recent team-up with Style House Files. The Lagos-based fashion company has just opened an installation inside Selfridges, giving Nigerian designers a chance to widen their market and showcase their creations outside the West African country. Omoyemi Akerele, director of Style House Files, says that Nigeria is an emerging market, with Nigerians are among the five biggest spenders at the department store. Akerele argues the collaboration is a win-win situation for both parties. "This will give our designers a platform, an opportunity for their pieces to be in Selfridges, that's a dream come true," says

Akerele. "For Selfridges, on the other hand, it would endear their Nigerian customers -- and not just Nigerian customers, African in general -- more to the brand." Akerele says that although the reality in Nigeria is that most people live in poverty, the rise of sectors such as telecommunications and the diversification of the Nigerian economy beyond oil and gas has created an emerging middle class with bigger spending power. "Their earning capacity is increasing and they're spending on more things and not just the basic food and clothing," she explains. "They're getting on a plane and coming to London to buy things they cannot immediately find in Nigeria." (Source: CNN)

Domestic investors shore up confidence in equities market


omestic investors have increased their participation in the Nigerian Stock Exchange transactions to 40%, leaving only 60% for foreign investors. This development has signaled a boost of confidence among indigenous Nigerians and local institutions concerning the equities market. The NSE, in a recent report stated that "Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI),

which stood at 15% in 2007 consistently increased over the years, to stand at 67 percent in 2011. However, between January and November 2012, we observed that domestic investors increased their share of the market from 33.2% in 2011 to 40.1% in 2012. Domestic investors can be categorised into either institutional or retail investors." Analysts are

attributing the renewed confidence of investors to increased clarity on the operations of the NSE, the stock market forbearance package granted last year, and the return of market makers to the bourse. The President of the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) said, "It is a result of the fact that a lot more has been done to increase market confidence. This attracts investors to equities."




Doha paperless global conference on climate change persons camps globally. Scientists have claimed that between 2000–2011 carbon dioxide growth in the atmosphere was 20 percent of the total concentration growth since prehistoric level. The concentration of carbon dioxide in earth’s atmosphere has reached alarming level in 2012 versus the pre-industrial concentration, which was by far lesser and unsustainable going by the consensus of world climate scientists. It is widely acknowledged that scientific evidence currently points to a warming world that would adversely affect human health and agriculture. Global climate change regime evolved out of the Earth Summit of 1992, which gave birth to three conventions including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Since then, 195

By Yushau A. Shuaib


he United Nations Climate Change conference, which held between November and December 2012 in Doha, Qatar was a spectacular event even when terminologists, on such occasion buzzed the sessions with expected technical jargon of ‘average emission per capita tonnes’ Kyoto Protocol, “hot air” ‘unused carbon credits’, and ‘Kyoto and non-Kyoto countries ‘among other scary terms. The conference tagged COP18/CMP8 adopted a paperless system, which provided key information about the event in a sustainable way as officials, participants and even the residents used their computers, smart phones and other digital gadgets to track events and get access to designated venues. Dedicated websites and selected social media platforms provided all the details that anyone could require without the need for circulation of paper materials like books, journals and magazines at the conference. The paperless conference saved

countries have become parties to the Convention that was ratified in 1994. Parties to the Convention have met several times since its creation. Conferences and talks were held in Kyoto, Japan and Bali, Indonesia in 2007; Montreal, Canada 2005; Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009; Cancun, Mexico 2010 and Durban, South Africa 2011. More climate change talks were held in Bangkok, Thailand and Bonn, Germany before Doha, Qatar 2012. Marking the first time that UN climate change negotiations took place in the Middle East, the conference drew approximately 9,000 participants, including 4,356 government officials, 3,956 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organisations, civil society organisations, and 683 members of the media.

Wordings adopted by the conference incorporated for the first time, the concept of “loss and damage”, an agreement in principle that richer nations could be financially responsible to other nations for their failure to reduce carbon emissions. The concept also requires institutional mechanism to address loss and damage in developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The developed countries have always been urged to compensate poorer nations affected by loss and damage due to climate change. According to the Copenhagen Accord agreed to in 2009, developed countries are to start raising US$100 billion per year starting

President Goodluck Jonathan

hundred trees along with the associated chemicals and waste of printing literature. Every and anything that could be

Director General NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi

printed on papers like schedules of events, timetable, maps, proceedings, handouts, notebooks, press releases, product brochures, addendum and business cards were easily accessible on any internet enabled device. On the alternative, compact discs (CDs) and flash-drives were also used to download and save documents for offline access. With the latest technology, key information were accessible with the use of two-dimensional “Quick Response” (QR) barcodes that could be scanned by smart phones to gain access to relevant documents, maps and websites in a quick, simple and paper-free way. At the Qatar Sustainability Expo, which ran alongside the conference, exhibitors

were encouraged to display QR codes that link to PDF documents instead of handing out literature. The United Nations Climate Change conference is an annual multilateral meeting of governments held in cities across the globe and serves as a forum for countries to discuss climate change issues. The conferences addressed the threat of global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide. The summit was held at the end of a year full of extreme disastrous events caused by super storm Sandy in the USA, typhoon in Philippines and devastating flooding in Nigeria where many lives were lost, properties worth billions of dollars destroyed and millions of citizens driven to internally displaced

Flood submerged building

Nigerian Minister for Environment, Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia

2020 to help poorer nations curb their own emissions and to adapt to the effects of climate change. Developed countries are supposed to reach the US$100 billion target by gradually increasing on the US$30 billion supposedly raised each year from 20102012. One of the lessons learnt at the conference is that the Qatari government, the host of the programme, has succeeded in sending a message that for emission control, environmental sustainability must be encouraged in various ways. Registered participants not only watch the video or read the text of proceedings and presentation through their electronic gadgets;

they also participated in the robust debates on climate change through social media. While the paperless summit cut down on the use of papers

to save trees and budget cost, the Doha Global Conference on Climate Change was not only paper-free, fun-full but quite an exciting moment

Marking the first time that UN climate change negotiations took place in the Middle East, the conference drew approximately 9,000 participants, including 4,356 government officials, 3,956 representatives of UN bodies and agencies, intergovernmental organisations, civil society organisations, and 683 members of the media

in savouring the tranquility of the oil- rich and beautiful Arab city. Though the power of technologies was harnessed and utilized for real green purposes, the attempt to have an entirely paperless conference was partially defeated because tissue papers in the toilets could not go paperless or wireless. Most of the gadgets must also be recharged electronically to prolong the lifespan of the batteries to really fit into the online environment. Yushau A. Shuaib Head, Public Relations N a t i o n a l E m e r g e n c y Management Agency Abuja


PEOPLES DAILY, MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2013 08028402920

We are unserious with fight against corruption in Nigeria, says Barrister Ogar H ow did you feel when the Supreme Court recently discharged and acquitted one of your clients who was accused of been involvement in the shooting of former Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Dora Akunyili? Well, I’m happy that Jim Egwu, aka Agada, was discharged and acquitted by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2007, in an appeal arising from the decision of the Court of Appeal, which ordered Hon. Justice Ishaq Usman Bello of the FCT High Court to continue with the trial of charge number 28/ 2004, wherein JusticeBello discharged Judugu and six other accused persons on the bases of the FCT high court lacking jurisdiction to try people for criminal offences that took place in Anambra state. It was a very tough journey, innocent persons kept in custody for a long time, went through so much trouble but we thank God that at the end of the day Supreme Court saw the need to let these persons off the hook. So am happy just like my client, Judugu is also happy, so I look forward to other accused persons whose appeals are still pending to enjoy the same breath of fresh air which my client is enjoying now. In view of this, sir, what will you say about criminal justice administration in Nigeria? Well, criminal justice administration in this country is something that requires reform, because the system is slow; you find people 2, 3,4,5,6, 7, 8, 9 years in custody awaiting trial, which ought not to be so. There are people, who if tried and convicted for the offenses for which they are tried, will not spend up to two years in custody. But, you see them spending five years, five plus years awaiting trial, that's not good for our system. More so, the prison system in Nigeria is inconsistent with how a prison ought to be. Prisons ought to be institutions of reform or reformatory institution, but that’s not the case with our Nigerian prison system. So these are areas I feel, as Nigerians, as the governed and as government, we should put our heads together to make sure there is a speedy trial, to make sure people didn't stay in custody beyond expectation, to also make sure when people go to prison they don't come out worse than they were before they went to prison and am aware that the federal government through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation has put in place a

Barrister Max Ogar is an Abuja based legal practitioner. He has been in legal practice for about a decade now. In this interview with Sunday Ejike Benjamin, he bares his mind on the criminal justice administration in the country as well as the nation’s anti-corruption war. Excerpts: is elevated to the Supreme Court because when you restrict a judge to handling of criminal cases alone from the EFCC that means that Judge will not have experience in other areas. That then means that by the time you elevate the judge to the appellate court or the Supreme Court, what happens, you will a situation where the judge will have nothing to offer. Every judge should have his or her hand in every case.

committee for the reform of Nigerian prisons and that committee is headed by Hon. Justice Ishaq Usman Bello of FCT high court. I do hope that with the pro-activeness of Justice Bello, he will be able to bring his personal experiences as the head of criminal division of FCT high court to bare so as to come out with outstanding reforms that will help our criminal justice system. I will like to see a criminal justice system that will work like an election petition which has a time frame within which to be dispensed with. What is responsible for the delay in the trial of criminal matters in Nigerian courts? There are many reasons why criminal trials delay in Nigeria. One of it is from the point of view of the prosecution. If you go to states outside Abuja, it is the usual story; we are still awaiting DPP advice, the police can await an advice from DPP for as long as two years and above. That is one factor responsible for delay in criminal prosecution in Nigeria. Another is that, sometimes a Judge entertaining a matter is given another assignment and goes elsewhere and participates in an election tribunal. You know that once that judge is out, the case is delayed. Then another one is interlocutory applications here and there by defence counsel. Our prisons are also having the challenges of moving inmates to court. When you have a judge who is willing to do his job, you have a prosecuting counsel who is willing to do his work, you have a defence attorney who is willing to do his job, but the prison authorities are not able to move the awaiting trial inmates to court, then, the entire system will become frustrated. As a way of checking the delay, the immediate past chairman of the EFCC advocated the setting up of special courts to handle EFCC matters, what is your take on this? I do not subscribe to the school of thoughts that say we should have specialised courts to try criminal cases, particularly EFCC cases. Why am I taking this position? If you look at the delivery of justice Oyewole of the Lagos state high court; he is not assigned to take

Barr. Max Ogar EFCC again but for every case that goes before him, he treats it with dispatch. The personality of a judge handling a particular matter goes a long way to determine the input of the lawyers involved. If the judge handling a criminal matter is serious minded, lawyers will be careful with the kind of interlocutory application they make. They will ensure that that

they come up with application that has merit, applications that are not intended to cause delay. It stands so sweet to say, we should have special courts to handle EFCC cases, but at the end of the day, judges are been assessed by the National Judicial Council (NJC), are you going to assess a judge based on criminal cases alone? When that judge leaves the high court and

There are people, who if tried and convicted for the offenses for which they are tried, will not spend up to two years in custody. But, you see them spending five years, five plus years awaiting trial, that's not good for our system.

Do you see EFCC lawyers, in some cases, been diligent in the prosecution of some of their cases? At the risk of been inmodest, am yet to see an inhouse counsel of the EFCC who has truly impressed me. I think the reason is the manner in which they are being recruited. It is only those who are connected to one big man or the other that are recruited by the EFCC into their legal department and those are people who probably cannot stand the heat in private practice, and all of that. If we continue that way, we will not go far. I can count for you the number of cases wherein EFCC has secured conviction on a merit, and those cases are those that are prosecuted for and on behalf of EFCC by private legal practitioners who are given the fiat. I have been defending people involved in EFCC cases and am yet to be upstaged by any EFCC in-house counsel and that is the experience of every other lawyers. I can tell you authoritatively that some people in the operative department of the EFCC are conscious of the lawyers in EFCC legal department whom they want to prosecute cases they investigated, because it is frustrating if you put in your best as an investigator, you come out with a water tight case, then someone goes to court and spoils it, it is frustrating. Which way forward? I don't thing we are serious with the fight against corruption in this country, because the manner with which we recruit people into the EFCC is in itself corrupt, no merit. The manner at which we post those people recruited into the EFCC is in itself corrupt. These are all corrupt acts, so we must tell ourselves the truth as Nigerians, otherwise, what we are doing now is just a game of time wasting.



Gov. Yero tasks FCE, Zaria on credible, responsible graduates From Muhammed Adamu, Kaduna


ov. MukhtarYero of Kaduna state has directed the management of the Federal College of Education, Zaria, to graduate credible and responsible students. He gave the directive while receiving a delegation of the institution which was in Kaduna recently to commiserate with the governor over the death of his predecessor, Patrick Yakowa. According to the governor, the training of students is an arduous task which requires wisdom to accomplish. He however appealed to the management of the college to assist the government in ensuring peace in the state, adding that he would govern with fairness and justice. The Provost of the institution, Mukhtar Maccido, who led the institution’s delegation to the Governor congratulated him for his elevation to the position of a substantive governor. Maccido pledged that the college would contribute toward the realisation of the transformation agenda of the state government.

UniLorin to partner govt int’l vocational centre


he University of Ilorin will partner the governmentowned International Vocational Centre, Ajase-Ipo, when completed, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdul Ganiyu Ambali, has said. Ambali said this on Saturday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeri. Report has it that the N1.5 billion skill acquisition centre, which the foundation was laid on Sept. 2012 by Gov Abdul Fatah Hameed, is about 80 per cent completed. He said that the institution found the centre to be a formidable platform for partnership, especially on practical schemes. “The project with its present international standard, no doubt, is a good platform for engaging the youths productively to become entrepreneurs and self-reliant citizens of society. “It is also a veritable source for institutions that would impact meaningfully and academically on undergraduates’ skill acquisition and vocational practical learning experience.” Ambali said that the University was already working out the modalities for effective partnership with the centre and fully utilising its skill acquisition potentials by the students. Meanwhile, Alhaji Saka Onimago, the state Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, said that the vocational centre would become operational by September. Onimago, who gave the assurance while assessing the level of work at the centre, said that experts were already in the country to assist in bringing the centre up to international standards. NAN

R-L: President, Old Boys Association, Eko Boys High School Lagos, Chief Idowu Sofola, presenting the best Mathematics Student Award to Master Chibueze Iheanyi, during the Founders’ Day celebration of Eko Boys High School, on Saturday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Education-for-All requires support of all – Sambo From Muhammed Adamu, Kaduna


ice President Namadi Sambo on Saturday urged Nigerians to complement government efforts toward checking the dwindling standard of education in the country. Sambo made the call at the 20th anniversary and Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Zaria Education Development Association (ZEDA) in Zaria. The vice-president who was represented by Gov. Muktar Ramalan-Yero of Kaduna State, said the call became necessary in

view of the importance of education in the lives of the people. “Education is capital intensive and requires collective efforts. Therefore, education for all requires support from all,” he said. Sambo further called on the people of the area to change their attitude to education, job search and other related issues and commended the state government on its efforts toward capacity building and motivating teachers to reverse the falling standard of education in the nation. “The state is the first in Nigeria to establish Quality Assurance

Board. Essentially, the board was established to ensure efficient service delivery in line with best practice. “It is also worthy of commendation that Kaduna State Government has indicated readiness to ensure close monitoring and supervision in schools and institutions,” he said. In his speech, the Chairman of the occasion and former Head of State, Dr. Yakubu Gowon, who was represented by a former Chief Justice of the federation, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais, said ZEDA had been working closely with elders in the area and called

on them to sustain the tempo. He urged the association to reflect on the achievements recorded in the last 20 years and forge ahead for a brighter future. Former Nigerian Ambassador to UNESCO, Dr Yahaya Aliyu, advised ZEDA to adopt an alternative means of generating funds to establish a solid foundation to cater to the educational needs of more youths in the area. Alhaji Abdullah NuhuBamalli, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of ZEDA, solicited for more assistance to enable the association to actualise its goals.

in Zaria. The lecture was organised by the Zazzau (Zaria) Education Development Association (ZEDA). He said:“In fact, the entrepreneurship courses being run in the universities right now, function as key into a wider university-industry collaboration. “Countries, such as Korea, had active university-industry partnerships since late 1980s as reported by the World Bank.” He stressed the need for

governments at all levels to dedicate a certain percentage of funds for research and development activities in the universities. Rasheed called for constant review of the nation’s universities’ curricula to address skills gaps. He described a university as the main agent of change across the globe. The vice chancellor also lamented that some lecturers recycled lecture notes for more than 30 years, which, he said, was unhealthy for the growth and

development of education. Also speaking, AlhajiAbdullahiNuhu-Bamalli, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of ZEDA, observed that Nigeria was not bereft of ideas. Nuhu-Bamali said the problem with Nigeria was the lack of political will to get things going in the right direction. He noted the magic of Malaysia’s prosperity was political, hence the need for Nigeria to adopt the right approach to revamp its educational system. (NAN)

...Don advocates university-industry partnership


don has advocated a new policy to encourage university-industry partnership on a systematic and mutually beneficial basis, for Nigeria to overcome the challenges in the education sector. Prof. Abubakar Raheed, the ViceChancellor, Bayero University, Kano, suggested this while presenting a paper entitled:”Education, Petroleum Resource and Nigeria’s quest for Development,” at a public lecture

Gov Wamakko tasks education ministry on reform transformation


ov. Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto state on Thursday directed the state’s Ministry of Education and its agencies to explore more ways to transform the education sector. Wamakko spoke at the formal presentation of the Sokoto State 2009- 2010 Education Account Survey Report . The report is the outcome of the in-depth investigation into the utilisation of funds in the education sector between September 2009 and August 2010. He said the education sector had been receiving an allocation

of 27 percent of the state’s annual budget since 2008. The governor, however reiterated his administration’s commitment to deliver qualitative education to the people of the state. “I am pleased to know that the ministry could undertake very serious programmes such as this which are different from the regular official routines. “The efforts of the international Development partners, especially USAID through NEI in changing the focus of our ministries, departments and agencies are highly appreciated.

“I want to assure you that the gains already derived from the intervention will be followed vigorously and sustained for the development of education in the state in particular and the country in general. “He directed the ministry to explore other areas of concern and new innovations in the education sector for government’s attention, consideration and immidiate implementation. He also directed other ministries to borrow a leaf from the ministry of education and see how they could move their sectors

forward. Earlier, Education Commissioner in the state, Bello Danchadi, said the project developed the Teacher Education Management and Information System (TMIS). The TMIS provides all the information about each teacher without necessarily requiring for same from schools. Bello said that this would go a long way in checking truancy among the teachers and help in identifying those due for promotion and get promoted with minimum delay.NAN


Union urges measures to rescue education sector


aria Education Development Association (ZEDA) has called for collective efforts to complement government’s commitment toward rescuing the nation’s ailing education sector. Alhaji Abdullahi Nuhu-Bamalli, the Chairman, ZEDA Board of Trustees, made the call on Friday in Zaria, Kaduna State, during an exhibition organised by the association as part of activities to commemorate its 20th anniversary. Represented by Dr Isa Abbas, the association’s secretary, the chairman said the call became necessary in view of the vital role education played in societal and national transformation. Tracing the history of the association to 1992, Nuhu-Bamalli said a lot had been achieved in the areas of education and skills acquisition training for the youth, among others. The chairman of the occasion, Dr Ahmed Babajo, said the essence of the exhibition was to showcase what ZEDA trainees had produced, especially in the areas of carpentry/ wood work, knitting, sewing and soap making, among others. Babajo charged the youth to complement the association’s efforts by sustaining and making good use of the knowledge gained. (NAN)

Anambra SUBEB to deploy staff to check imbalance


he Anambra state Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) is to deploy its staff to rural areas to correct the personnel imbalance in the primary education sub-sector, an official has said. The Chairman of the board, Chief Nzemeka Olisa, told newsmen in Awka on Friday that each school would have a minimum of eight teachers irrespective of its location. Olisa explained that urban area councils where teachers were clustered like in Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Idemili North, Nnewi North and Awka South would be de- congested. He said that educationally disadvantaged local government areas of Anambra East, Anambra West, Awka North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru and Orumba North were left with little or no staff to teach the pupils. The chairman said this had forced some parents/teachers’ associations to recruit teachers to complement the few available ones. Olisa argued that the delivery of education at the foundation level must be given adequate attention to properly equip the pupil for the learning process. He urged teachers affected by the exercise to accept their posting in good faith. Olisa reminded the teachers that the state government had made a huge investment in the education sector and demanded for their hard work and dedication. He reminded the head teachers of their responsibilities of ensuring that member of staff posted to them were effectively deployed and warned that any act of indiscipline would not be tolerated. NAN


ASUU criticises new universities By Christiana popoola


resident, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Dr. Isa Fagge, has criticised Federal Government’s decision to establish three additional universities to be cited at Yobe, Zamfara and Kebbi states, describing it as “ill timed”. According to him, rather than the federal government establishing more universities, the existing ones should be strengthened to meet up the demands of the Nigerian students. He said that the nine new universities recently established were ill equipped and lacked the

required personnel to assist in ensuring that the institutions met their mandates. It would be recalled that the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the establishment of additional three federal universities in the country even as nine new ones were established last year. Fagge, said the establishment of more universities was not the solution to the challenges in the sector even as he said the union was in support of more Nigerians having access to quality education adding that the proliferation of universities will be an additional burden to personnel cost.

He said what government needs to do is to provide adequate funds to take care of the existing universities in order to achieve their goals and that the position of the union regarding the proliferation of universities in the country is clear. “In as much as we are interested in creating access to education for citizens, there is the need for us to also consider other factors that come with it.” He said government should have taken a survey of the needs of the existing ones, and the nine new ones and concentrate on them. The ASUU president said that government also needed a medium

and long term plan to see to the growth of the universities over a period of years and identified research funding as a critical area of the university system that over the years had been neglected by successive governments. He expressed optimism that if these challenges were addressed, it would boost the production of high level manpower needed for the advancement of the country. He lamented that most of the lecturers who lectures at the new universities serve as visiting or sabbatical staff, which he said negatively affect the already existing ones.

L-R: Principal, Barewa College, Zaria, Alhaji Mohammed Abbas-Aliyu, receiving a trophy from DirectorGeneral, National Teachers' Institute (NTI), Kaduna, Dr. Ladan Sharehu, on behalf of the school during the 20th anniversary of Zaria Education Development Association (ZEDA), at the weekend in Zaria. Photo: NAN

VC commends Kwara govt for scholarship scheme From Olanrenwaju Lawal, Illorin


he Vice-Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdul Ganiyu Ambali, on Friday commended the Kwara State Government for disbursing N32 million scholarship to 160 law students of the state origin in all Nigerian universities.

He said that the government had a good vision on its policy for excellent education for the youth adding that the gesture would enable the students to be more focused and committed to their studies. The vice chancellor, however, advised the government to extend the gesture to students in other

disciplines. “Students in other disciplines are quite talented too and should be given the same benefits, to make them reach their full potentials,” he said. Ambali said the university would partner with the government on skills acquisition programmes for the youth in the 16 local government areas in the

state adding that the university would lend its technical and entrepreneurial know-how to aid the government with the vocational centre at AjaseIpo, Irepodun Local Government Area. According to him, the students would use the centre to acquire the necessary skills related to their field of studies.

Gov Mu’azu flags off free education policy By ZainabYahaya Kandi


iger state governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has flagged-off the Free Education Policy of the state by distributing free educational materials to some schools in the state. A statement signed by the Malam Umar Muhammad Kwatachi, Focal Officer, Directorate of Strategies, Monitoring and Evaluation the state, stated that the governor launched the initiative during the period under review. It further stated that over N1.8 billion Naira has been expended by the Administration of the governor since his assumption of office in 2007 on the construction;

rehabilitation, supply of free educational materials, furniture and the payments of some inherited projects from the Ministry of Science and Technology. According to the statement, documents made available to the Directorate of Strategies; Monitoring and Evaluation by the Ministry of Education revealed that over N131 million, N67 million and 287 million was expended on the construction of schools, rehabilitation of some schools and supply of educational materials respectively. “On the inherited projects of the Ministry of Science and Technology, over N64 Million was paid to clear the outstanding contracts on renovations of Science

School and over N352 Million was paid for the supply of some furniture and learning materials and laboratory equipment”, it said. However, to justify the report submitted by the State Ministry of Education, the Monitoring and Evaluation Team visited some sites where it discovered that high block of classrooms were constructed at Day Secondary School Tunga Minna, a block of class rooms were renovated at Day Secondary School Mariga, construction of Administration block at Martins Sanda Girls Secondary School, Paiko. Other schools renovated were GSS Wushishi/Kaliko and Model School Suleja, where 3 classrooms and stores were constructed at the GSS Wushishi while Government

Girls College Tungan Magajiya and Women Day Secondary School Minna were all fenced and secured, the statement said. It however, lamented that the Monitoring and Evaluation Team under the leadership of Mallam Iliyasu Dhacko, observed that some schools are faced with challenges of over stretched facilities that are in-adequate, lack of fencing, sick bay and some basic amenities which is causing a great threat to the lives of the students and endangering them to many anti-social vices. The statement said the schools affected were Bahago Secondary School, Government Girls Secondary School Kafin-koro, Maryam Babangida Girls Science School and Kagara Science College.



NMA set to reposition medical profession, organizes 1st national health summit T

By A’isha Biola Raji

he Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has said, it will no longer lament the bad system of the health sector, as the body prepares for its 1stNational Health Summit. This declaration was made last Week in Abuja by Dr. Osahon Enabulele, PresidentNMA.

According to him, the summit which is the first of its kind will be held in Asaba, Delta state on 21st of January this year.

He said the aim of the summit is to bring aboutsynergy among health workers which will in turn translate to the development of

health system in the country. He said, “The summit will look at how intra-professional differences within the sector will

Poorly cooked food can cause poisoning, says expert


n expert has declared that, poorly cooked food can develop into what is described as food poisoning. A General Practitioner, Dr Tunde Adetunji, said at Lagos on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). According to him, food poisoning refers to a situation where a person gets an infection of the stomach and the digestive system from contaminated food or water. Dr. Tunde said, “In this environment, the commonest cause of food poisoning is when one eats poorly cooked food and example of this includes various types of salad. “You know that salad is mainly eaten raw, made from fresh vegetables and other condiment and “if in the process of handling this food item, proper hygienic methods are not followed, they can easily get contaminated. “If you see where these vegetables are grown, the type of manure used is of fermented faeces. “Maybe poultry waste, other animal waste or even grass that have been mixed with other heavily polluted materials like urine and so on.” Adetunji said that the typical symptoms of food poisoning include abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. He said that the symptoms could begin to manifest shortly after the consumption of the poisonous food or a few hours after. “In addition to vomiting and diarrhea, they may also cause cramps that are abdominal pain due to excessive contraction of intestinal muscles.” He suggested the regular washing of hand as the best way to prevent food poisoning. “From what I have described, you can see that the prevention is very simple, regular washing of hands with soap and water would have removed a lot of the bacteria on the hands of people who may be harbouring this agent. Also, “Covering food properly after preparation has been completed to make sure that dirty thing like flies don’t have access to it, would go a long way. The third method of prevention of course is proper storage.” NAN

be resolved.” Osahon stressed that, the challenges in the health care system has called for a productivebacking hence the rise by the current leadership of NMA to work in order to reverse the “uninspiring” statistics of Nigerian health system. The health summit,which will however be on for one week will be chaired by the Senate President, David Mark with President Goodluck Jonathan as special guest of honour while the minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu will be guest of honour and the host is Delta state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan. Important topics of discussion at the summit will be health related legislations, improving rural access to health and universal health coverage, future of medical/dental practice, clinical governance, public health financing options, review of health care system among others.

Immunization: FG distributes 33 million vaccines to states, local govts By A’ishaBiolaRaji


Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

Nigerian doctors want life imprisonment for quacks


he President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Osahon Enabulele, has proposed life imprisonment for quacks as means of stamping out quackery in the medical profession. Enabulele made the call on Sunday when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He said the issue of quackery is a challenge facing the NMA and particularly the growth of health care practice in the country. He advised governments at all levels to take the issue of quackery very seriously and responsibly, saying it is endangering the lives of Nigerians. He also urged Nigerians to work closely with NMA in its bid to put an end to quackery. He said, “With respect to the

issue quackery, the NMA more than any other organisation has been challenging the people of Nigeria to partner with her to ensure that issues of quackery are seen as things consigned to the dustbin of the history of Nigeria. “In 2012, for the first time in recent times, a professional organisation like the NMA disciplined its own member and made it known to the public as a way of letting the public know that we can no longer do things the old ways. “We call for things like life imprisonment for quacks, because they are doing untold harm and damage to the people of Nigeria. “So for anybody who plays with the lives of Nigerians, ultimately that person does not deserve any level of support.” Enebulele said although

efforts were made by the NMA through proposals sent to the Federal Government to tackle quackery, more is needed to be done. He recalled that quackery constrained the practice of medicine in 2012 and enjoined Nigerians to collaborate with NMA in its fight against quackery. He said, “I must confess that we had very challenging times in 2012, as some have said 2012 was a year of mixed opportunities, lost opportunities and a year of perhaps just moving around in the barber’s chair without any progress. “We hope that in 2013 with the experience that we had in 2012, we’ll be able to drive some new found realities and ensure that there is much more progress made in 2013.’’ NAN

he Federal Government has distributed over 33 million vaccines and 20 million consumables to 36 states for the immunization and treatment of Yellow fever, whopping cough, measles, hepatitis and poliomyelitis. Speaking at the event of the distributionlast week in Abuja, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad said the discharge of fund for obtainingthose commodities tallies with President Goodluck Jonathan’s commitment to reducing maternal and childmortality in the country. He said, “The delivery of the vaccines and consumables is a commitment by the present government for continuous routine immunization for improved maternal and child health.” He advised states and local governments to make adequate platform for accessibility of the vaccines in all health facilities in their states for vaccination of children. He said, “The Federal Government and the Governors’ Forum are working to stop polio transmission and ensure routine immunization in the country.” He however commended the Governors’ forum, traditional and religious institutions and international development partners for the inspiring support, they have given to the immunization campaign.



Cannabis: Young smokers likely to get hooked on cigarettes later in life By Anna Hodgekiss


oung people who smoke cannabis are more likely to become addicted to cigarettes, increasing their risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Exposure to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can increase the addictive properties of nicotine, a study shows. The research, published online in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, suggests previous cannabis use may make people more vulnerable to nicotine dependence and tobacco related diseases. Cigarettes are often considered a ‘gateway’ to other drugs, but there is now evidence to show the reverse can be true.The use of other drugs can lead to nicotine addiction. Dr. Steven Goldberg, of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues tested whether exposing rats to THC would make them more likely to selfadminister nicotine.

For three days, one group was given twice daily, injections of the chemical while another

received an equivalent dose of an inactive placebo. Beginning a week after their final jab, the rats were trained to work for intravenous injections of nicotine. Those previously given THC were far more likely to selfadminister nicotine than the others, the researchers found. In addition, the THCexposed rats were prepared to work much harder to obtain nicotine than the control group, suggesting the value of nicotine was far greater after THC exposure. Dr. Goldberg said, “This finding indicates THC-exposed rats placed a higher value on nicotine and devoted more time and energy to acquiring the drug.” Although there are many factors that may contribute to a progression from marijuana use to tobacco dependence, the research

suggests lasting effects of THC may make marijuana users more susceptible to the addictive effects of tobacco. Dr. Goldberg said, “Tobacco is considered a gateway drug because its use tends to precede the use of other drugs. “However, there is epidemiological evidence that cannabis use develops prior to tobacco use in a substantial number of cases, and cannabis use by teenagers increases the likelihood of developing tobacco dependence when they reach young adulthood.

“While there is also evidence genetic, social and environmental factors encourage the co-use of cannabis and tobacco, findings that cannabis use sometimes precedes regular tobacco use raise the possibility that, THC exposure might increase susceptibility to nicotine addiction.” He added, “It is estimated cigarette smoking will kill half of all lifetime users. In this context, an increased risk of tobacco dependence might be the most important health consequence of cannabis use.”

First test to detect Parkinson’s disease spots tell-tale signs in saliva glands By Anna Hodgekiss


cientists have developed the first diagnostic test to detect Parkinson’s disease. The new test is based on taking a tissue sample from the saliva glands found under the lower jaw. Currently, there are no tools to detect the devastating condition that mainly affects people aged over fifty. Instead doctors base a diagnosis on common symptoms, which include slowness, stiffness of muscles and tremors. Described as a ‘big step forward’ for treatment, scientists now suggest a portion of a person’s saliva gland can show up the illness. Dr. Charles Adler, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic, Arizona, said,”There is currently no diagnostic test for Parkinson’s disease. “We have previously shown in autopsies of Parkinson’s patients, the abnormal proteins associated with Parkinson’s are consistently found in the submandibular saliva glands, found under the lower jaw. “Making a diagnosis in living patients is a big step forward in our effort to understand and better treat patients.” Parkinson’s disease is a chronic neurological disorder. People with the condition don’t have enough of a chemical called dopamine because some nerve cells in their brain have

died. This affects the way the brain co-ordinates the movements of the muscles in different parts of the body. It is progressive to symptoms and get worse over time. Famous sufferers include former boxer Muhammad Ali and actor Michael J Fox. The latest study, which will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s annual meeting in San Diego in March, involved a group of elderly patients who had Parkinson’s for an average of twelve years. They had responded to medication and would not have known saliva gland disorders. Biopsies were taken of the submandibular and the minor saliva glands in the lower lip and the tissues tested for evidence of the abnormal Parkinson’s protein. Study co-author Dr. Thomas Beach, from the Banner Sun Health Research Institute in the US said,”This procedure will provide a much more accurate diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease than what is now available. “One of the greatest potential impacts of this finding is on clinical trials, as at the present time, some patients entered into Parkinson’s clinical trials do not necessarily have Parkinson’s disease and this is a big impediment to testing new therapies.” The abnormal Parkinson’s protein was detected in nine of

the eleven patients who had enough tissue to study. Although Parkinson’s cannot

be cured, medications may markedly improve symptoms. Commenting on the

Former boxer Muhammad Ali is one of world’s best-known people to suffer from Parkinson’s disease, for which is there is no diagnostic test

research, Dr. Kieran Breen, Director of Research and Innovation at Parkinson’s UK said,”Parkinson’s is a complex condition, meaning that it can sometimes take years to accurately diagnose it. “This new research suggests that a protein, commonly found when Parkinson’s develops in the brain, can also be found in the saliva glands of those with the condition. “The researchers suggest that a simple biopsy of these glands to check if the protein is present could quickly reveal if Parkinson’s is present. “Interestingly, this study was only carried out with a small number of people with Parkinson’s, and not all of those in the trial were found to have the protein, meaning that much more research is needed to be done to find out what had triggered this difference in results. “Although this is an interesting concept, it is far too soon to tell whether this potential new test could have a place in clinical practice. “Taking gland biopsies from lips is an invasive procedure for people to go through, making it difficult to understand how this could become a routine way of diagnosing Parkinson’s. “A much larger follow up study is needed to find out if this new test could ultimately become a reliable tool for diagnosing Parkinson’s.”



Kuwait tackles the humanitarian aspect of the Syrian conflict INTERVIEW By Charles Onunaiju


our Excellency, Kuwait's best known foreign policy practice has been to support humanitarian activities in many countries and you have announced that the 1st International Conference in support of Syrian refugees will be held soon. Would you like to elaborate on the significance of the conference and your country's commitment to ensure its successful outcome? Kuwait will host the 1st International Donors Conference in support of Syrian refugees and in confirmation of its continued effort in the field of charity and it demonstrates clearly its balanced position regarding the Syrian conflict. The initiative of Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Alsabah, the Emir of Kuwait to host the International Donors Conference reflects his human and moral obligation meant to reduce the sufferings of our brothers the 'Syrian people'. I would like to underline that Kuwait will do all, that is humanly possible to ensure the success of this event planned to hold by the end of this month in Kuwait. Let me recall that the United Nation itself believes that the State of Kuwait is the most suitable place to host this conference for its outstanding role in charity works, its support for the United Nations activities, its balanced stand regarding the situation in

As the State of Kuwait prepares to host the International donor conference under the care of the United Nations, the 1st of its kind in support of the Syrian refugees, its envoy to Nigeria, Mr Saad A Al-Asousi engaged the media on issues that informs his country's passionate involvement in charity and humanitarian work across the world and more specifically to the rising tide of Syrian refugees. People's Daily was at the briefing. Syria, its zeal to stop the violence with immediate effect and its continued call for the commencement of a political process that will meet the aspiration of the Syrian people and help sustain the unity and sovereignty of Syrian territory. In addition to that the n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l organizations like Kuwait Red Crescent Society and Kuwait International Charity Society are having continued to be present in the camps of Syrian refugees, be it in Turkey, Lebanon or Jordan. And more importantly, Kuwaiti financial aids have given to various international agencies headed by UNCFR and these efforts confirm Kuwait's readiness to give 'more humanitarian aids as it has always been a cardinal point in Kuwait foreign policy'. I am very much hopeful that the United Nation will be able to meet up with $1.5 billion it forecasted on December 19th, 2012 in its call that was launched in Geneva. I also hope that the donors will give more than what is expected, taking into consideration that between 40 to 50 donor countries will attend the conference. I also hope that those countries will announce their donations in support of the activities of the United Nations and its agencies as the situation of the Syrian refugees is deteriorating and there is the dire need for a positive move from the

Amir-Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. international community. I can assure you that the Emir of Kuwait shall declare the conference open which will be under the care of the UN and headed by its secretary general. Our expectation is that representation for this conference will be of highly placed personalities and my country Kuwait is committed to provide what is necessary to guarantee its success. What is the level of aid and assistance given to the Syrian refugees by your country? I wish to mention that

Kuwait donated 20 million Dollars in compliance with a resolution from the Kuwaiti cabinet of ministers and this donation is executed by both Kuwait Red Crescent Society and Kuwait Islamic Charity Society. Ten million out of this sum will be given to reputable organizations and competent international agencies of humanitarian aids. It is a known fact that Kuwait has always been supporting various humanitarian operations and never relented in her efforts to

give aid, it has donated last year million of Dollars to the UNCFR and has also organized a campaign in the media which resulted in $15 million Dollars of donations. What is the importance of holding this conference at this time and phase? As a matter of fact, this conference is coming at a time when all international efforts are focused on the political dimension of the Syrian conflict and not on the humanitarian aspect of it, which affects hundreds of thousands of Syrians who took refuge in the neighbouring countries and those internally displaced and their misery is almost forgotten. I wish to underline the importance of this conference as it throws more light on the humanitarian dimension of the Syrian crisis. I will like to state that the humanitarian aspect in Syria is worst and the last Human Rights Commission has stated that those killed in the conflict were more than sixty thousand and this is a frightening figure, confirming that the situation is dangerous. As matter of fact the number of the internally displaced persons is now more than two million and the number of refugees is six hundred thousand, living in the neighbouring countries such as (Jordan, Lebanon, turkey, Iraq and Egypt) and the number is unfortunately growing day by day particularly as the violence escalates.


I can assure you that the Emir of Kuwait shall declare the conference open which will be under the care of the UN and headed by its secretary general. Our expectation is that representation for this conference will be of highly placed personalities and my country Kuwait is committed to provide what is necessary to guarantee its success. Syrian refugees Lebanon



Anti-Morsi protesters attacked in Cairo Italian council to Libya attacked


n Italian consul has come under fire in his car in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi but was unhurt, the Italian Foreign Ministry said. "He is completely unharmed," said the spokesman on Saturday. "They shot at his car, but the car was armoured. He is fine, there are no injuries," a security source in Libya who declined to be named told the Retuers news agency. The consul, Guido de Sanctis, is based in Benghazi. Security for Westerners in Libya's second city has been an acute concern since the US ambassador was killedalong with three other US embassy staff in an assault on the US consulate in the city on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. A police source in Benghazi said the shots had been fired from a car passing De Sanctis's residence. A Reuters reporter saw two bullet holes in the building, which was surrounded by police. The Italian spokesman said security around officials in Benghazi was already high before Saturday's attack. The city was where the anti-Gaddafi uprising broke out in February 2011. But Libya's new elected rulers in Tripoli have struggled to impose their authority on a country where armed groups wield the real power, and Benghazi's multitude of armed factions now make it a hot spot for violence. In November, the city's police chief was shot dead. And last June, a convoy carrying the British ambassador was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade that injured two of his bodyguards. The offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the city were also attacked last year, as was a convoy carrying the United Nations' former special envoy to Libya.


t least 14 people have been injured when unknown assailants attacked opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi who were camping outside the presidential palace in Cairo, health officials said. Around 30 unmasked attackers on Saturday threw petrol bombs at the protesters' tents and fired pellets in the air outside the palace in the eastern Cairo quarter of Heliopolis, said witnesses. The injured included seven police officers who were on duty near the palace, the Interior Ministry said. The state-run newspaper alAhram, citing a security official, said police were intensifying efforts to identify and arrest the assailants. Morsi had left the palace before the attack, added al-Ahram, quoting a presidential source. The site was the scene of deadly violence between the president's backers and opponents in early December. The protesters have camped out near the palace for more than a month now, decrying a constitution drafted by a Muslim Brotherhooddominated constituent assembly and Morsi's insistence to put it up for a

referendum. The charter was approved late last month by nearly 64 per cent of those who cast their ballots, although only one third of the registered votes showed up. Saturday's violence comes almost

two weeks before mass rallies called by the opposition to mark the second anniversary of the eruption of an uprising that eventually deposed former President Hosni Mubarak. At least 10 people died in clashes outside the palace on 5 December that

broke out when supporters of Morsi attacked the sit-in. Some were reportedly killed by gunfire. On 31 December, gunmen shot and critically wounded a well-known activist at the site of another sit-in in downtown Cairo's Tahrir square.

Protesters have camped out near the palace for more than a month now, decrying the constitution.

French fighter jets pound Mali, kill 11 civilians


rance's air force have launched fresh strikes in northern Mali, targeting the city of Gao which had been controlled by the al-Qaeda offshoot MUJAO, destroying Islamist bases and forcing the insurgents to flee, residents told the AFP news agency.

"There were dozens of strikes in and around Gao. All Islamist bases have been destroyed," a resident told AFP by phone yesterday. In a separate attack on Sunday, the French airforce attacked the camp used by jihadist fighters and a weapons depot for the rebel group Ansar Dine,

French Mirage 3000 aircrafts in flight.

officials and residents have said. Witnesses said that French fighter jets struck a camp used by rebels in Lere, around 150km north of Konna, a key central town that government troops recaptured with French aerial backing on Friday. "The Lere camp, which was abandoned by the Malian army and had been used by the Islamists, was completely razed by air raids," a local official said, speaking from Mauritania where he took refuge. Mohammed Adow, reporting from the capital, Bamako, said authorities claimed to have halted the rebel advance but there had been civilian casualties. "The mayor of Kono said that at least of three of the dead were children who had jumped into a river, as they tried to escape the massive bombardment in the area," Adow said.

The first days of the battle against rebels holding Mali's north have left at least 11 civilians dead, including the three children. French air raids also struck weapons and ammunition depots used by Ansar Dine, a name that translates as Defenders of Faith, a group whose leaders are connected to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Security sources speaking on condition of anonymity said Sunday's air strikes also hit targets near Douentza and Nampala. France has intervened in Mali at Bamako's request following a new offensive towards the south by the rebels, who seized control of the country's north in June. Meanwhile, Togo has committed about 500 troops as part of an African force being deployed to Mali, a military source said on Sunday.

Julius Malema 'facing bankruptcy' in South Africa


r Malema is prepared to pay just a quarter of the R16m (ÂŁ1.14 million) in taxes and penalties owed to the South African Revenue Service, the weekly City Press newspaper reported. The embattled 31-year-old former politician, who has been charged with money laundering and racketeering, is accused of having used his political influence to win lucrative government tenders through companies linked to his family trust. There are reports that prosecutors will bring 50 more charges against him at his next court appearance in the city of Polokwane in April. Mr Malema told City Press that many of his friends and business

partners have shunned him. "I have lost a lot of friends," he said. "I am one person who believes that those who leave you during difficult moments were never with you even before." At an ANC leadership conference last month in Mangaung, Mr Malema's backers failed to win any key positions, while his former ally turned enemy Jacob Zuma was re-elected president of the party. Since leaving politics, Mr Malema has turned to farming, and claims to now spend his days tending a herd of cattle and growing cabbages and tomatoes on a farm near Polokwane in his home province of Limpopo. Mr Malema has refused to say whether he will re-enter politics. "Age is on my side," he told local

media recently. "I will just take a chill pill and become an ordinary person. I have never experienced life as an

ordinary person; this gives me an opportunity to experience what people see in politicians."

Julius Malema, the rabble-rousing former ANC youth league leader.


Asia and Middle East


ahinda Rajapaksa, the Sri Lankan president, has sacked the chief justice days after parliament voted overwhelmingly to impeach her. Rajapaksa dismissed Shirani Bandaranayake, the first woman to hold the office of top judge, after holding a closed-door meeting with other judges on Saturday, reported


Sri Lanka fires first female chief justice the AFP news agency, citing a presidential spokesman. The judge's impeachment is widely seen by jurists and rights activists as an attempt by the government to ensure a pliable judiciary. "The president this morning signed the letter removing Shirani Bandaranayake from the office of chief justice," Rajapaksa's spokesman Mohan Samaranayake said. "The letter was hand-delivered to

her by a secretary accompanied by presidential security staff." The impeachment had been annulled by the country's highest courts, which ruled that the process was unconstitutional. A spokesman for Bandaranayake confirmed that she received the letter sacking her, but declined comment. No replacement has been named by the government. Sri Lanka's Sunday Times newspaper said Rajapaksa had

offered to allow Bandaranayake to retire and so avoid impeachment during a meeting on Saturday with other supreme court judges, but a source close to her told AFP that she was not amenable. Rajapaksa's spokesman would not comment on what was discussed in Saturday's meeting. The ruling party initially brought 14 charges of financial, professional and personal misconduct

Israel evicts tent protesters at West Bank E1 settlement

Geneva talks on Syria end without solution


nternational envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has said that Russia seems as determined as the US to end Syria's conflict, but that he does not expect a political solution to emerge anytime soon. The comments of Brahimi, the joint UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, came as he met Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns at the UN headquarters in Geneva on Friday. "We all stressed the need for a speedy end to the bloodshed, to the destruction and all forms of violence in Syria. We stressed again that in our view, there was no military solution to this conflict,'' Brahimi told reporters after the meeting. But he acknowledged that "if you are asking me whether a solution is around the corner, I am not sure that is the case." "What I am certain of is that there is an absolute necessity for people to continue to work for such a peaceful solution, and that it is the wider international community, especially members of the Security Council, that can really create the opening that is necessary to start effectively solving the problem.'' At the Security Council, the most powerful arm of the UN, Russia has joined China in blocking several resolutions aimed at pressuring Syrian President Bashar Assad, but Moscow says it is not propping up his regime.


Shirani Bandaranayake (Middle).

Six men arrested in new Indian 'bus rape'


olice in India have arrested six men after they allegedly gangraped a woman on a bus, just weeks after a similar attack shocked the nation. The latest assault is said to have taken place in the northern state of Punjab. The police are searching for a seventh suspected attacker. Last month, a 23-year-old student died of her injuries after the being raped in the capital Delhi. Five men have been charged with her murder and are facing trial. If convicted, they face the death penalty. A sixth suspect, who is thought to be 17, will be tried separately in a youth court if it is confirmed he is a minor. The Delhi attack prompted mass protests which prompted the government to set up special fasttrack courts to exclusively deal with rape cases and also consider strengthening sexual assault laws, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder reports.

against Bandaranayake, but later cleared her of financial wrongdoing and convicted her only on three counts of misconduct. Legislators had found her guilty of tampering with a case involving a company from which her sister had bought an apartment. Other charges included her failure to declare dormant bank accounts, and of staying in office while her husband faced a bribery charge.

A Palestinian being whisked away by Israeli forces.

L-R: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Lakhdar Brahimi and US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns.

sraeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has pledged to move ahead with building a Jewish settlement in a strategic area of the West Bank, speaking just hours after Israeli troops dragged anti-settlement protesters from the site marked for construction. The planned settlement, known as E1, would deepen east Jerusalem's separation from the West Bank, both war-won areas the Palestinians want for their state. Netanyahu told Israel army radio Sunday that planning for E-1 is moving ahead and that "there will be construction." In a meeting with cabinet, Netanyahu said: "As soon as I was updated on the Palestinian gathering, I ordered the evacuation and it was indeed carried out last night in the best possible manner." About 200 Palestinian activists had set up the camp, named Bab alShams (Gate of the Sun in Arabic), on Friday in the controversial E1 area between Israeli annexed east Jerusalem and the illegal settlement of Maaleh Adumim. The protesters had defied Israeli orders to leave until police moved in at around 2.30 am (00:30 GMT) Sunday. "Hundreds of Israeli police came from all directions, surrounding all those who were in the tents and arresting them one by one," Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti said. But police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that no arrests had been made. "They were told they were trespassing and carefully escorted from the site one by one," he said. "Nobody was hurt on either side." About 500 police took part in the operation, he added. Protest organisers said that six people were hurt as they were carried away by police and vowed that the protest would not be the last of its kind. "This is not the end of the popular struggle and it will continue in its full strength," the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said in a statement. Several activists were detained during Sunday morning eviction, including Barghouti, Al Jazeera's Jane Ferguson, reporting from Jerusalem, said. Our correspondent also said the activists who were detained were driven to Qalandiya checkpoint and then released. "We also heard from medical sources that four people were admitted to hospital in Ramallah with injuries, but none serious."



Europe and Americas Turkey questions Hollande contacts with dead Kurdish activist

Georgia parliament approves prisoner amnesty


urkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on French President Francois Hollande to explain why he previously met one of the Kurdish activists shot dead in Paris on Thursday. One of the three women killed was Sakine Cansiz - a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a group proscribed by the European Union. Mr Hollande has said that he and other politicians had regularly met one of the women, without saying which one. Turkey has fought the PKK for 25 years. Some 40,000 people have died, but the Paris shootings came as Ankara sought peace talks with the group. Thousands demonstrated in central Paris on Saturday to demand action over the deaths of the activists who were found shot dead at the Kurdish information centre in Paris on Thursday. According to French media they had been shot in the head or neck. At a meeting in Istanbul, Mr Erdogan said Mr Hollande should "immediately disclose" why he met members of "this terrorist organisation, what was discussed, to what end he was in communication with these terrorists". "How can you routinely meet with members of an organisation labelled a terrorist group by the European Union and being sought by Interpol? What kind of politics is this?" he added. He said Turkey notified France as recently as November that Sakine Cansiz was in Paris, but French authorities had taken no action. Turkey has frequently complained that European countries have failed to co-operate in its fight against the PKK. It is regarded by Turkey, the US and European Union as a terrorist organisation, because of its attacks on Turkish security forces and civilians. Ms Cansiz, who was detained and tortured in Turkey in the 1980s, is said to be close to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. A second woman has been named as Fidan Dogan, 32, who worked in the information centre. She was also the Paris representative of the Brusselsbased Kurdistan National Congress. The third, named as Leyla Soylemez, was a young activist. The PKK took up arms in 1984, demanding greater autonomy for Turkey's Kurds, who are thought to comprise up to 20% of the population.

A prisoner abuse scandal last year sparked protests and helped lead to a change in government.


he Georgian parliament has approved the release of around 3,000 prisoners and shorter terms for thousands more. Georgia's previous government backed by President Mikheil Saakashvili - was hit by a scandal over prisoner abuse.

The new government of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a political opponent of the president, says many inmates were imprisoned unfairly. But Mr Saakashvili called the amnesty a "mass release of criminals", and warned of grave consequences.

The first prisoners are expected to be released later on Sunday. The BBC's Damien McGuinness in Tbilisi says some Georgians fear the move could mark a return to the crimeridden 1990s. Many Georgians worry that powerful mafia bosses, who fled the

country while the last government was in power, will come back if they think this new administration is soft on crime, our correspondent says. Georgia has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, but there are accusations that over the years zero-tolerance to crime tipped over into heavy-handed behaviour, he adds. Before October's election, videos broadcast on national television showed prison inmates being beaten and sexually abused by guards. The scandal sparked street protests and allowed the thenopposition leader Mr Ivanishvili to portray the government as highhanded. Recently there has been tension between the government of Mr Ivanishvili and Mr Saakashvili, who is meant to stay in office until presidential elections later on this year. Mr Saakashvili complained last month that members of his party were being victimised when several ministers under the previous government were arrested on suspicion of various offences. However, the new administration says it is simply trying to address abuses of power committed under the previous government.

Russians protest against anti-US adoption law


housands of demonstrators have taken to the streets in Moscow to protest against recent changes to Russian adoption laws and calling for the parliament that passed the law to be dissolved. Protesters have gathered on Sunday in an anti-Kremlin demonstration in central Moscow holding signs that read "shame", "march against the scum" among other anti-government slurs. Strengthened riot police units and trucks have been deployed on the streets along the route of the opposition march. "It is not possible to live like that. There's a feeling that we are sinking into the epoch of the Inquisition," said Eldar Ryazanov, a popular

Russian film director on the law which came into effect on January 1. President Putin signed a law last month banning Americans from adopting Russian children in response to a US human rights law flagging Russians involved in the death of an anti-corruption lawyer. Protesters say that the Russian orphans are victimised by the law and not Americans. "Without adoption, such children have no chance" said Dmitry Belkov, an organiser. "We can see that this law is a worse thing to do to those children than the treatment animals get in other countries." Russian legislators have said the

adoption ban was justified by the deaths of 19 Russian-born children adopted by American parents in the past decade.

They also pointed out that they perceive the treatment of those parents by US courts and police as "lenient".

At least 20,000 Russian opposition supporters rally.

Mass Paris rally against gay marriage in France


ens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Paris over plans to give gay couples in

Protesters on the streets of Paris.

France the right to marry and adopt children. Three big marches were converging on the Champs de

Mars, next to the Eiffel Tower. France's Socialist government is planning to change the law this year. But the demonstrators, backed by the Catholic Church and the right-wing opposition, argue it would undermine an essential building block of society. The organisers put the number of marchers at 500,000, with demonstrators pouring into Paris by train and bus, although one government minister said the turnout was lower than they had predicted. The "Demo for all" event was being led by a charismatic comedian known as Frigide Barjot, who tweeted that the "crowd is immense" and told French TV that gay marriage

"makes no sense" because a child should be born to a man and woman. Although France allows civil unions between same-sex couples, Francois Hollande made a pledge to extend their rights part of his presidential campaign. Centre-right UMP President Jean-Francois Cope said the rally would be a "test" for the president because there were "clearly millions of French people who are probably concerned by this reform". The far-right National Front is also opposed to the change, although its leader Marine Le Pen stayed away from the march, arguing the issue was a diversion by politicians from France's real problems.



Alligator-creature, "Mr. Teeth," used to guard drugs, dies T

here is a sad update to a pot bust that included a 5-foot alligator-like creature who was used by his owner to guard drugs in Castro Valley. Veterinarians at the Oakland Zoo reported on Thursday that "Mr. Teeth" died overnight. Dr. Karen Emanuelson said the animal, which looks like an alligator, was actually a dwarf caiman. And when he was came to the zoo Tuesday after an unusual drug bust, he was critically ill and non-responsive. Veterinary staff said they examined Mr. Teeth, took blood samples, and determined his prognosis was poor. Emanuelson confirmed Thursday that the animal died sometime in the night, but no one at the zoo would explain or discuss any more. It was not clear why the caiman, thought to be about 16 years old, died, or if guarding drugs at a man's house had any connection to his death. The odd story of the caiman came to light when Alameda County Sheriffs deputies walked into a house earlier this week on the 19000 block of Mount Jasper Drive in Castro Valley to do a routine probation check. The found the suspect, 32year-old Assif Mayar, and the drugs and the animal. Mayar apparently acquired the caiman in 1996 to commemorate the death of rapper Tupac Shakur, deputies said. The caiman was found in a

The Alameda County Sheriff's Department needed Fish and Game backup this week during a probation check in Castro Valley. The reason? A live 5-foot alligator was found during a routine probation check. Plexiglas tank in one of the bedrooms and was being used as a deterrent to would-be thieves. Sgt. J.D. Nelson said when deputies got to the bedroom they found Mr. Teeth "guarding" a 34-pound stash of dried processed marijuana worth about $100,000." When NBC Bay Area knocked on the door Wednesday night, the lights at Mayar's home were on and dogs were barking, but

no one answered. Neighbors told NBC Bay Area Mayar and his wife moved into the house about two years ago before their son was born. A mother of two who didn't want to be identified said she'd been inside that house before, but noticed and heard nothing out of the ordinary. "They're just family people like us and she has a little boy very cute, about 20 months, so of course you wouldn't

suspect or expect anything like this from this neighborhood," she said. Another neighbor who also did not want to be named added: "It doesn't belong in a neighborhood with little kids and there are lots of little kids. There's a school about a block away and if the thing got out, that could be really dangerous." Caimans are generally from South and Central America and

require a lot of care. They need a heat source, large pond with extra space, and fresh meat biweekly. Mayar was booked into the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on drug possession and sales charges. The department of Fish and Game is expected to recommend adding charges of animal cruelty. His bail was set at $20,000. Mayar is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

Vultures chewing on rubber car parts becoming more prevalent


ultures are being accused of developing a taste for the cars of visitors traveling to the Florida Everglades. Vultures, never popular with the public, are now being accused of developing a taste for the cars of visitors traveling to the Florida Everglades. Several videos uploaded onto YouTube capture what looks like a new addition to the food chain - rubber car parts, being chewed by vultures. Steven Hammer shot video of a family of vultures around an unlikely

dinner table - a gray truck - during his last trip to the Everglades about two years ago. "You see signs that say birds might rip up your car, that's just kind of strange," said Hammer, who is an assistant professor at Indian River State College. The problem has been affecting unsuspecting car owners in the Everglades for years, but the pesky behavior has become more prevalent, said Ron Magill of Zoo Miami.

"These vultures are learning from other vultures. I think some vultures kind of learned it," Magill said. "In the beginning they go 'hey, look at this, this is fun, hey,' and other vultures, 'hey, this is fun.'" Vultures who normally fly over the dead carcasses of animals appear to be making a buffet out of the rubber in cars, from sunroof seals to windshield wipers, in the videos. But they aren't actually eating the rubber parts at all. "They're perfecting a skill that

they need to survive," Magill said. He explained that the rubber is the same texture as a dead animal's skin. "The vulture needs to get into that skin to get into the innards, to the goodies, sort of speak," Magill said. But visitors aren't exactly volunteering their cars for dinner practice. Park rangers even tried effigies of dead vultures to scare them away. "It wasn't a great first image when you're coming to the national park,

and plus they start to develop an odor," Magill said. Officials at Everglades National Park have had some success with these anti-vulture kits - essentially blue tarp and bungee cords - used to deter the birds from munching on the windshield wipers. "Vultures are getting a little bit of a bad rap here, but the bottom line is they provide us with a huge service," Magill said. "They're cleaning up things that can in effect be transporters of disease."

Man accused of stabbing deaf man after confusing sign language with gang signs


A vulture on the 'dinning table'.

olice in North Carolina say a deaf man was stabbed several times after his sign language was mistaken for gang signs by another man. Burlington Police Sgt. Mark Yancey said 45-year-old Terrance Ervin Daniels was using sign language with another deaf man. He said a third person saw them, thought they were flashing gang signs and stabbed Daniels with a kitchen knife. A

neighbor saw the victim and called emergency personnel. Daniels is in stable condition at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill after Wednesday's incident. Police arrested 22-year Robert Jarell Neal and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and felony assault on a handicapped person. He's being held in the Alamance County jail. It's not known if Neal has an attorney.



The role of synergy in the return of peace to Yobe By Babagana Bukar


Qur'anic verse instructs us that for every hardship there is relief. All people of faith in Yobe and Borno states had taken solace in this eternal, divine assurance during the bitterest and most sanguinary moments of Boko Haram violence that saw the entire northeast region drenched with the blood of innocents. Their faith in Allah's instructive promise is bearing fruits. In more ways than one, the last few weeks have given a comforting materiality to thispromise of relief after every adversity. For the fourth straight month now, not a single gunshot has been heard in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, which for many months had been the theatre of Boko Haram's butcherly fury. The gradual return of peace and tranquilityin the capital has inspired renewed optimism among Damaturu residents that normalcy has been restored. Markets are now open, businesses are flourishing, schools are back up, and government is pushing ahead with developmental projects. For instance, full-scale construction of the Damaturu Regional Water Supply project is now in full swing.Schools that were burnt down by insurgents are now being rebuilt.Reports, for instance, say that of the 209 classrooms burnt down, 89 have been rebuilt so far and reconstruction work is continuing. The old, bubbly, peaceful, serene Damaturu that indigenes and residents alike had come to love is back-God willing for good. Other major metropolitan areas in the state that had been devilled by violence and bloodshed are picking up life and bouncing back to normality. There is cautious cheerfulness all over Yobe that the worst of the Boko Haram insurgency is over. Of course, as Thomas Jefferson, America's third president, is often quoted to have said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." The peace we are currently enjoying in Yobe shouldn't lull us into being insensitive to the imperative of eternal vigilanceand of the need to double the efforts that got us the peace. We can sustain the newly restored peace in our state only if we know what efforts produced it in the first place. The restoration of peace and harmony in Yobe is a consequence of the synergistic effects of many efforts. First, the battle against Boko Haram insurgents was "democratized." After many months of panic and uncertainty, citizens of Yobe State finally made a conscious decisionnot to leave the fight to the security agents alone. Now, the general public has joined the struggle to reclaim the peace and security that had been the hallmark of Yobe State for many years. In Damaturu, Potiskum, Gashu'a and Gaidam people now promptly report to the security agents when they catch sight of a Boko Haram militant. They use telephone numbers provided by the JTF to communicate to security agents the movement or whereabouts of criminals.As a result, the insurgents remain increasingly isolated and have been compelled to run to the bush where they sometimes die of thirst and hunger. The rise of citizen participation in bringing about peace in the state is informed by people's realization that Boko Haram's senseless and bloodstained campaign is an ill wind that blows nobody good. It isn't just a war on government; it's a declaration of hostilities against all. Most importantly, the Gaidam administration took care to build bridges of confidence and to inspire optimism among a large swath of Yobe citizens and, in the process, helped to mobilize popular sentiments in support of peace and security. The united, concerted, citizen vigilance against Boko Haram is one of the fruits of this effort. The government also invested-and continues to investenormous resources to equip security forces operating in the state in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents. Governor Gaidam continues to give sundry financial, logistical, and infrastructural assistance to the JTF. As a perceptive and knowledgeable commentator noted in an October 2012 article, Governor Gaidam has "donated more than 150 Hilux four-wheel drive vehicles to various security agencies operating in the state. In another remarkable show of support for the efforts of federal security agencies to reign in Boko Haram, the

Yobe State Governor

IBRAHIM GAIDAM governor has made available his campaign headquarters to serve as the operational base of the Joint Task Force (JTF). "Similarly, the governor made available a newly built boarding school at Kuka-Reta Village in Damaturu Local Government, to serve as the temporary headquarters for the newly established 233 Tank Battalion of the Nigerian Army until the federal government is able to build a befitting permanent barracks for the battalion. And, realizing that the police are chronically underpaid and, as a result, unmotivated to put their lives on the line in the protection of lives and property, the governor pays monthly cash-ration-allowance to policemen serving in the state in addition to whatever the federal government pays them." In addition, the Gaidam administration tackled-and continues to tackle-the violent insurgency that had enveloped the state from its very roots. The government's youth employment and empowerment programmes, which saw thousands of previously unemployed youth gainfully employed in the state's civil service and thousands more empowered with monthly social safety


Emirate councils in Damaturu, Fika, Bade, Potiskum and other places have cooperated with government and security forces to not only expose the hideouts of Boko Haram members but to also ensure that young, impressionable people don't fall prey to their ideology of hate and bloodthirstiness. For instance, the Damaturu emirate has introduced a system whereby youngsters who fled the city at the height of the crisis several months ago are made to register with the emirate when they return

allowances, has helped greatly in providing a sense of belonging to many hitherto distraught youth who are potential recruits into Boko Haram. The youngsters have now been given hope and saved from the dangerous and murderous lives of violent insurgents. Thankfully, Yobe's 2013 budget shows that government will sustain this tempo and employ even more youth this year. It is also remarkable that the Yobe government has concluded plans to set up a skill acquisition center in Damaturu this year to provide skill training to youth who have been in school or lack training for formal employment. The skills center will train them in carpentry, knitting, hair plaiting, welding, etc. In addition, according to government documents, the youth will be given free, no-strings-attached funds to set up their own businesses after training. This will sure promote self-reliance, sense of purpose, and a will to live among otherwise despondent youth.The government has promised thatit will continue to focus on education to track, attract and retain the attention of youth on useful, purposeful, meaningful activities. The emirate councils have also been playing significant and praiseworthy roles in reclaiming the peace and health of Yobe State from Boko Haram insurgency. Emirate councils in Damaturu, Fika, Bade, Potiskum and other places have cooperated with government and security forces to not only expose the hideouts of Boko Haram members but to also ensure that young, impressionable people don't fall prey to their ideology of hate and bloodthirstiness. For instance, the Damaturu emirate has introduced a system whereby youngsters who fled the city at the height of the crisis several months ago are made to register with the emirate when they return. This is to ensure that their presence is known, that they remain of good behavior, and are well-integrated into mainstream society. Being a deeply religious person, Governor Gaidam complemented his-and the people's individual and collective- efforts with prayers for divine intervention. He sent several learned and pious Sheikhs to Mecca to pray for the restoration of peace in the state and its environs.In sum, the Gaidam administration's decision to remain with the people and within the people coordinating the efforts to ensure peace and security has not only given members of the public a lot of confidence but has also inspired confidence that the peace the state currently enjoys will endure. If there is anything we have learned in this fight to dislodge the agents of evil and mass murder in Yobe State, it is that it is a collective fight. It isn't a fight just for the government. Nor is it a fight only for the JTF. It is a fight for all the good and peace-loving people of Yobe. So in order to sustain the defeat of the Boko Haram insurgents, we all need to heed the governor's exhortation that we not relent in our community surveillance and never fail to cooperate with security agencies and report any suspicious movements in our localities. In this way, Yobe will not only bounce back from the debilitating effects of recent violence, it will bounce back stronger. Its people will go forward jealously guarding their collective interests and fully conscious of the responsibilities of citizenship. This is what the robust return of business and commercial activities in the state capital points to. Babagana Bukar, a security analyst, writes from Ajari Ward, Damaturu Metropolis.



Adamawa PDP crisis: How Nyako was misled by his governor colleagues ANALYSIS By Umoru Adamu Jimeta


n 2007, Adamawa state was the only PDP State that gubernatorial primaries were not conducted to produce a legitimate governorship candidate. Admiral Murtala Nyako was selected and imposed on the party in the state. From that time, irregular and illegal interventions have characterized PDP processes in Adamawa state, such as deliberate attempt at de-registration of bona fide party members including several founding fathers, stakeholders and members considered “antagonistic” to the State Government. The situation led to the factionalization of the Party in the State into two main camps respectively led by Alhaji M. Kugama and Chief M. Teneke. By a letter dated July 9, 2010, PDP National leadership granted audience to a delegation of Adamawa PDP stakeholders who complained about problems of the Party in the State. On July 20, 2010, at a roundtable discussion with the National leadership of the Party held with 25 founding members of PDP from Adamawa state, including BOT, NWC, NEC and State Exco, former governors (civilian and military), senators, ministers, ambassadors, the latter complained about unease and division in the party in Adamawa, leading to defeats in two bye-elections, a systematic marginalization and exclusion of prominent Adamawa PDP stakeholders, including former gubernatorial aspirants. An agreement reached with Nyako to form an all-inclusive PDP government after he was elected, was not adhered to. The Adamawa Stakeholders made the following requests: Free and fair Congresses to be conducted at Ward, LGA and State levels in order to re-unite and re-energize the party and provide PDP in Adamawa State with opportunity for a new start and to accommodate several new members and decampees from other parties who are desirous to be registered; immediate dissolution of the State Working Committee of the two factions of the party in Adamawa state and a Caretaker Committee to be constituted to harmonize various positions in the party at the Ward, LGAs and State levels; and the harmonized State Working Committee of the Party shall proceed to conduct fresh Congresses in the State; The clamour for Party Congresses among PDP members in Adamawa State was the basis for a letter to the PDP National leadership and NWC by representatives of the

Governor Murtala Nyako party in South, Central and North Senatorial Zones of Adamawa State in September 2012. The petition drew attention to the practice in Adamawa State PDP of illegal Executives of the Party at Ward, LG and State conducting primaries for the selection of PDP candidates to stand for Local Government Council elections and warned that PDP risked litigations from its members as well as the opposition parties. It strongly accused the Adamawa State PDP of practising a policy of exclusion. It is on record that complaints about problems relating to PDP Party Congresses in Adamawa State have been received since the chairmanship of Vincent Ogbulafor and Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo. There is also evidence from INEC of dissatisfaction with the conduct of PDP primaries in Adamawa. Also, Adamawa PDP problems have been the subject of Presidential interventions during late Musa Ya’adua’s Presidency and the Presidency of Goodluck Jonathan. In a most recent intervention by the Presidency, stakeholders and Governor Nyako reached some agreement before the conduct of last governorship election in Adamawa State that gave the governor his second term of office. After the election, the agreement was ignored. The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Party acts

on behalf of the National Executive committee of the Party in the intervals between National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings; and the NWC and all State Working Committees of the party swore to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Party. Recently, the National Secretariat of PDP had cause to remind its Adamawa chapter of the need to secure its consent before conducting internal party primaries for choosing candidates to contest LG Council elections in the State, because Adamawa PDP State Working Committee evinced an intention to nominate candidates for the said elections in disregard of the NWC. By a letter dated October 3, 2012, the NWC intimated the Adamawa State Working Committee of the need for compliance with Section 50(1) of the Constitution of PDP 2012 (as amended) which provides amongst others, that the NWC shall be the final authority for formulating guidelines and regulations for the nomination of candidates for election into public offices at all levels, and conveying same to the Independent National Electoral Commission, or any other authority to whom it may concern; as well as confirming the names or list of names of candidates for the party in any elective public office in the Federation. At a meeting of the NWC and the Adamawa State

Working Committee held on 9th October, 2012 in Abuja, it was resolved that the State Working Committee would not conduct primaries for the said Local Government Council election, but are to await further instructions from the National Secretariat. Without obtaining any approval from the NWC as agreed, and, indeed, in total disregard of the apex organ of the party, the Adamawa PDP State Working Committee on 14th October, 2012 or thereabout, purported to have conducted party primaries for the said elections; and proceeded to forward names of the purported nominees to the Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission. All entreaties to get the state working committee to rescind and or reverse this constitutional breach, to which it was aware and of which its attention had been repeatedly drawn, proved abortive and futile. Announcing the dissolution of the Adamawa State working committee, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Barrister Olisa Metuh said the action of the NWC was in exercise of Articles 29(2b) and 31(2e) of the 2012 amended Constitution of PDP; and consequent upon serial disobedience to NWC decisions and repeated breaches of the Party Constitution by the Adamawa State Working Committee of the PDP. Metuh further noted that the Adamawa State Working committee conducted illegal Local Government primary elections and submitted a list of candidates for PDP to the state INEC without the approval of the NWC. He said their action was contrary to the provisions of Section 50(1) of the PDP 2012 amended Constitution, which among others, states that NEC, which NWC acts on behalf of in this respect, is the final authority for the formulation of guidelines and regulations for the nomination of candidates for election into public offices. The NWC frowned at such absurd and disagreeable trend and took action in the interest of restoring discipline and sanity in the party. Following the dissolution of the state working committee, the NWC appointed in its place an eightmember Caretaker Committee led by Ambassador Umar Damagun, to run the Party in Adamawa State, pending the election of another Working Committee. The Caretaker Committee was given 90 days to conclude its assignment. Governor Nyako, in reaction to this development, rallied his colleagues PDP governors to the danger it posed to their common interests. On their advice, he visited the party’s NWC to “plead and beg”; at the same time, that a court action was instituted in Adamawa to secure an injunction to stop the Caretaker Committee from operating. So it

was a deceitful peace move, which naturally had no positive impact. Relying on his colleagues to come to his rescue, PDP Governors, led by Governor Chibuike Amaechi, visited the NWC on the matter. The NWC was reminded during the visitation, that the Committee was brought in by the Governors and should serve at the pleasure of their principals, despite the fact that none of the governors would commit the kind of absurdity that has been committed all this time in Adamawa; and that the absence of democracy in the internal processes of the PDP cannot augur well for the growth of the party, which must compete for electoral fortunes with other political parties. How can a political party without justice and equity in its internal processes survive and navigate the difficult terrain of politics, if it lacks legitimacy and democratic credentials? Support for any party that carries on in this way will continue to dwindle as long as courage to draw a red line against this inhuman practice is allowed to continue. These concerns appear not to have been uppermost to the sabrerattling visitors. Their visit sowed the seed for the “dance of the theatre of the absurd” and the summersault witnessed later by some of the NWC members. In the Adamawa situation, we have a case where the State Working Committee of the Party was dissolved by the party for insubordination. A Caretaker Committee was put in its place, and preparations were made to conduct Party Congresses. Party members had bought forms with their money; deadlines had been given, and Governor Nyako sued for another round of peace talks intended to pressurize the NWC to allow him have his way, after he kept none of previous agreements reached with him before now; totally oblivious of the fact that people (Party members and opposition) can go to court to stop the acts of illegality that have been committed with his connivance. Where INEC, as a regulatory body, communicated its observations and advice in writing, a responsible party should take action to resolve the issues raised by the regulatory body. That was the decision the NWC made that warranted the resistance of PDP Governors, who visited the NWC on behalf of their Adamawa colleague and left the party with the impression that rather than change, they will use the might of their Forum to resist change when, throughout the breadth and length of Nigeria, the cries and voices of PDP members are so loud and clear, demanding reform in party processes. Umoru Adamu Jimeta is a Public affairs analyst and Commentator



NYCN decries Jigawa politicians’ attitude to youth From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) Jigawa state chapter has condemned the attitude of political office holders in the state towards the plight of the youth. This was contained in a press statement signed by the Council’s Public Relations Officer Malam Aminu and made available to Peoples Daily in Dutse yesterday.

The council stated in part “Our recent tour to some local government areas to sensitize the youth on their involvement for the emergence of good leaders in the subsequent elections in the state showed that the youth are not being carried along through the actual provision of enabling atmosphere to empower them; “The office holders both those elected and appointed do not care about the

development of the youth while some are not even accessible especially some local government chairmen; “The role of youth in any society can never be overemphasised, therefore; we are calling on them to change for a better Jigawa; “We have educated the youth that henceforth, only politicians that have impacted on their lives and that of common-man will be supported to achieve any

political office”. The council therefore urged them to live up to their responsibilities and empower the youth through various skill acquisition programmes for the progress of the state. “We commend the state governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, on his educational, empowerment, and infra structural developments in the state. The council has joined numerous Nigerian to call on Governor Lamido to contest for the 2015 presidential election

2015: Exminister wants parties trimmed to five By Augustine Aminu


ormer Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Bala Kaoje, has called on the Independent National Electoral; Commission (INEC) to trim down the number of political parties in the country to five so that there can be vibrant opposition to checkmate the excesses of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party )PDP). The former minister, who was also a two-term member of the House of Representative under the platform of PDP, also described the current structure of political party system in the country as unworkable to guarantee the emergence of the right kind of opposition that can get the government on course and move the country forward. Kaoje in a chat with our correspondence in Abuja expressed worry that the fact that most parties do not even have an office, talk less of filling a candidate or wining elections even at the ward or council levels in the country make nonsense of the whole political terrain, hence the need sanitize the polity by deregistering many of them. “Really we don’t need to have many parties in this country; it is not workable. But what is important is to have formidable opposition; if we can get a maximum of five political parties that can guarantee the right kind of opposition that can get the government on course and move the country forward, it’s better than having one million or a thousand sleeping and inactive parties. It does not make any sense at all”, he submitted. While commending the INEC for delisting some political parties recently, the former lawmaker berated the habit of some political parties who only turn to the INEC to ask for some allowances or funds whenever there is election without them actively participating in the polity.

L-R: Oyo state Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi , state Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Akin Oke, and Hon Bello Oladeji, during the first Senatorial meeting of the Oyo ACN, at the weekend in Ibadan.

S/West PDP berates Fayemi for calling Ekiti people rumour mongers, demands apology From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he People Democratic Party (PDP) in the SouthWest has described the comment credited to the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi that Ekiti was the number one rumour mill in Africa as uncharitable and an insult on the collective sensibilities of the people, insisting that the governor must retract the statement and apologise to the Ekiti people. Fayemi had reportedly said on Friday at the state secretariat of the ACN, Ado-Ekiti that Ekiti was the number one rumour mill in Africa, adding that rumour-peddling must be discouraged in order to give room for more development in the state. However, reacting to the statement, Zonal Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Kayode Babade, said it was the height of Fayemi’s arrogance and contempt for Ekiti people for him to have described them as rumour mongers. The party said rather than

blame Ekiti people for what he may regard as rumour about his administration, he should blame his party, which thrives on falsehood and propaganda; himself for running a cult-liked government and his information managers who are obviously not doing their jobs. The statement read “Our attention has been drawn to media reports credited to Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State describing Ekiti as the number one rumour mill in Africa. “In other words, Fayemi is saying that Ekiti people, including himself, are rumour mongers who do not deserve to be accorded any respect. “This to us is an insult on the collective sensibilities of Ekiti people who are highly educated and respected for their honesty and sincerity. “Most importantly, we wish to remind Fayemi and his ilk in the ACN that they should indeed be blamed for whatever rumour that is being peddled about the government because they actually

introduced lies and deceit to the politics of Ekiti. “Was Fayemi not among the ACN people who lied that incisions (gbere) were made on eggs that were being used to feed primary school pupils during the PDP administration of Segun Oni? “Was Fayemi not part of the ACN people who lied that N3 billion was carried to Ogere Toll Gate where the cash was changed to Dollars and used to bribe Tribunal judges? “So when Fayemi wanted to be governor at all cost then, in his estimation, it was not ridiculous that N3 billion cash could be changed to dollars at Ogere Toll Gate? Why is he now troubled about the so-called rumour about his government to the extent that he is now insulting Ekiti people by calling them rumour mongers? “To us, such a comment coming from a governor is to say the least unfortunate and it is our demand that he must apologise to Ekiti people for labeling them rumour mongers, which they are not.”

ACN is destroying public service in S/West, PDP alleges From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the SouthWest has accused the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) of deliberate destruction of the Civil Service in the region, saying; “the way and manner appointments are being made into the service is dangerous for the maintenance of the culture of seniority and professionalism in the service.” The party said laid down public service rules were being jettisoned with junior officers being promoted above their seniors, non-career civil servants being appointed Permanent Secretary and Directors General and attempt being made to appoint a serving judge in Lagos state as Chief Judge of another State. According to a statement issued by the PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, the party faulted Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State for appointing a civil servant who has 38 directors as his superiors and had only spent 16 years in service as Permanent Secretary, saying; “If these governors are not cautioned, we will soon get to a level where Clerical Officer will be appointed as Permanent Secretary and someone just appointed as judge appointed as Chief Judge.” “They started in Lagos state by appointing non-career civil servants like Mr. Segun Ayobolu, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Muri Okunola as Permanent Secretaries and Directors General. “Now they have imported their disregard for Public Service rules to others States. In Ekiti State for instance, Fayemi appointed his cousin, Mr Lekan Owolabi, a Local Government Treasurer as the State Accountant General; he appointed Mr. Dayo Apata, a Federal Civil Servant, who is also his cousin as Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General and a few days ago, he capped it up by appointing someone who has 38 Doctors as her seniors as Permanent Secretary. “In Osun State, Governor Rauf Aregbesola has tried albeit unsuccessfully to install Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, a judge who is number 12 in Lagos state as the Chief Judge of the State. “They are also sacking public servants because they were appointed or promoted by past governments pretending not to know that governance is a continuum. In Ekiti State, over 20 Permanent Secretaries have been sacked while 23 were forced to resign in Ogun State. “Apart from Permanent Secretaries, Accountant General, Auditor General, Local Government Directors of Administration and Treasurers were also sacked in Ekiti State. Junior staff are also not being spared by the ACN vindictive governors as over 7,000 have been sacked in Ekiti, over 3,000 sacked in Oyo and 2,500 sacked in Ogun. “All these are actions capable of destroying the Public Service and we urge the ACN governors to put a stop to them before they destroy governance in the South-West States,” Babade cautioned.



Adamawa crisis: Nyako sues for calm, commends Jonathan’s role

2015: ACN wants electronic voting system

From Umar Dankano,Yola

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


damawa state governor, Admiral Murtala Nyako has sued for peace assuring the peoples that the lingering crisis rocking the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state will soon be over. The governor who received heroic reception on arrival from Abuja at the weekend called on the aggrieved members of the party in the state to sheath their swords for the overall development of the state. Addressing the mammoth crowd at the Ribadu square, Nyako said the time for sheathing swords between party chieftains is ripe because according to him, “PDP is one big family and you cannot expect identical views.” The governor commended the presidency for constituting committee for the reconciliation of Adamawa crisis noting that the crisis has in other way help in resolving sundry issues that where hitherto not resolved. “The governors are disturbed by the crisis and therefore put head together to see the end of it all. I implore party members to come out en masse to present their memos that could assist in resolving the crisis,” Nyako urges. Also speaking, former factional leader of the party in the state, Chief Medan Teneke said there was no more faction in the state adding that “ It was all rhetoric for anyone to claim that there exist faction because I closed down the faction to stabilize the party,” he assured. The self acclaimed stabilizer noted with emphasis,” I had been a factional leader for the past four years but have now seen the need for the faction not to persist in the state.” According to him, intra party squabbles had been settled and that he has decided to join hands with Nyako’s backed Kugama Exco for the purpose of realizing the lofty dreams of the party and that of the PDP controlled government in Adamawa.


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said it is time for the country to embrace electronic voting in order to ensure the integrity of its elections and hand over the elections back to Nigerians instead of the judiciary. The party in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that “with electronic voting, the overall cost of elections will be far less; there will be stability in the polity, the atmosphere of war

usually associated with elections will disappear and the involvement of the security agencies will be de-emphasized.” It said though Section 52 subsection 2 of the Electoral Act bans the use of electronic voting ‘’for the time being’’, the party urged the National Assembly should move quickly to amend that part of the law, while the Federal Government should provide INEC with all the resources needed to make electronic voting a reality. “We assure INEC of our full support towards using electronic voting in 2015. We also appeal to

Adamawa state Governor, Murtala Nyako, being welcomed by party supporters, on Saturday at Yola Airport on arrival from Abuja, where he went for the resolution of the crisis rocking PDP in the state.

Zamfara PDP chieftain lauds FG over university By Abdulbasir Labaran


he former Secretary of the Zamfara state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Musa Zubairu, has commended the Federal Government for its decision to establish a federal university in the state, describing the move as a strategic boost to the quest for itssocio-economic development. Zubairu told a news conference in Kaduna at the weekend that the relegation of Zamfara state in the education sector had been a matter of regret and serious concerns among the people who regard it as a major impediment to progress and

all other political parties, Civil Society Organizations and indeed all Nigerians to join us in pushing for a system that will eliminate the role of thugs and sideline vote thieves during our elections, in addition to making our elections free, fair and credible. ‘’While electronic voting is not a magic wand, it is the surest way yet for Nigeria to join the league of countries that have wiped out electoral fraud, which is the worst form of corruption. It is also the best way to hand over Nigeria’s elections back to Nigerians, instead of having the judiciary determine

development, adding that the establishment of a federal university in the state is therefore a significant gesture from the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration towards meeting the aspirations of the people. He however expressed the hope that other aspects of the relegation of Zamfara state especially in federal appointments, citing of major federal projects as well as the allocation of federal intervention funds to address challenges facing it would also be redressed by the Jonathan administration’s acclaimed transformation agenda. The PD chieftain who was Chief of Staff in the immediate

past Shinkafi-led administration highlighted the worsening plight of the local lead miners in the state in particular and the inadequate federal involvement in the development of the huge solid minerals deposits across Zamfara State, as “worrying issues demanding urgent and bold response from the federal government. He urged the entire people of Zamfara state to complement government measures to promote development in the state by eschewing violence and intolerance and creating an enabling environment for peace and progress to thrive.

who wins what contest. Two years is a long enough time to achieve this,’’ ACN stressed. The party said even Ghana, which has organised perhaps the best elections in this part of the world, has realized it can no longer continue with manual voting, hence it did not wait for troubles associated with electoral malfeasance to break out before embracing electronic voting during its last general elections in December. ‘’It is not just enough for us to sit back in envy while the world hails our neighbor, Ghana for being a model in electoral rectitude and participatory democracy. Let us ask ourselves what we need to do differently to shed our toga of electoral fraud and brigandage; ‘’Yes, there were some hiccups during the last elections in Ghana, which were conducted with electronic voting. But Ghana quickly moved to correct whatever problems came up. The system also allowed Ghana to extend voting without fearing that ballot boxes will be hijacked or stuffed,’’ the opposition party stated. ACN said while it is true that Ghana’s last presidential election that was conducted with electronic voting is currently being challenged in court, ‘’to the best of our knowledge, that’s the only case being contested in court since the elections ended. Compare this with Nigeria, where many cases emanating from the 2011 elections are still in court, almost two years later! It is totally unacceptable and indeed an anomaly for a nation of 160 million people to hand over the determination of its elections to a few ‘wise’ men and women on the bench. One result of Nigeria’s successive failed elections is that it has brought corruption to the judiciary. It is time to free judges to do their duties and allow Nigerians to play more roles in determining who governs them,’’ it said.

No budget can capture all constituency projects, says Rep By Chris Alu


member representing Gokana/Khana federal constituency of Rivers state, Hon.Maurice Pronen, has said that no budget can capture all that one desires, specifically constituency projects, because it is not going to be possible. Speaking to journalists in Abuja, he said it is not every thing that lawmakers want that will be captured at a time in the budget disclosing that sometime it will be done in phases. He added “but I tell you, not even Mr.President can pride himself as capturing all he desires in

the budget.” The lawmakers explained that in the past, projects were delayed because budgets were not passed on time; but that this time, the budget was presented on time even though it has not been sent to the President for approval, but that there is hope for a change and that things will definitely improve. “So, it is certainly not my expectations that the budget will capture all that I desire for my constituency projects.” Pronen also said that within two years in office he has built primary schools; executed water projects and has supplied information technology equipments to his constituents.



Senator tasks Okorocha on performance By Richard Ihediwa


hairman Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs Senator Mathew Nwagwu has challenged the Governor Rochas Okorocha led government of Imo state to take emergency steps to address the problems facing the state especially in the areas of roads, electricity and youth empowerment especially in the

Okigwe zone. Nwagwu, who stated this at the weekend said the area has continued to witness long years of neglect and "snail speed political and economic development and urged the governor to address the problem. He insisted that Okigwe would need only God fearing leaders and quality representation to fast track real development in the zone even as he asked politicians to hold their

campaign promises as a'bond between them and the electorates'. Fulfilling part of his promises, the diplomat turned politician at an event in Amizu in Obowo local government area at the weekend distributed cash and items worth over N70million to indigent students, artisans , and persons with disabilities under his first ever massive empowerment scheme. Senator Nwagwu at the ceremony expressed concern over

the level of development in the zone, even as he called on the leaders to join hand to salvage the ancient Okigwe zone. He assured the people of the zone of quality representation in the Senate and thanked God and the people for giving him the opportunity to serve them in the upper house. A total cash and items including the popular okada worth over N70million were distributed

to over 500 persons at the event. Other categories are scholarship for students of higher learning, N50,000 cash for one physically challenged person from each of the 64 wards. A total of 64 motorbikes, 64 sewing Machines, 64 Grinding Machines, 30 Vulcanizing machines, 22 welding Machines, 30 KVA generator sets, 48 clippers, and 30 hair Dryers were also distributed.

Kogi Central decries marginalization By Umar Muhammad Puma


Senator Philip Aduda (right), addressing Fulanis, on Saturday at their camp site after fighting between Fulanis and Gbagyi residing in Gwako village, in Gwagwalada, Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Wamakko rejects NBC’s poverty rating on Sokoto By Lawrence Olaoye


okoto state governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko has dismissed reports credited to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) rating Sokoto state as one of the nation’s poorest states, describing the report as illogical, unrealistic and amusing. According to the governor, the report was a mere trump-up, coming from those he described as ill-informed especially against the background of an earlier report by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) rating Sokoto State second best in Nigeria with a good profile of Internally Generated Revenue in the country. Wamakko made this known weekend in a chat with newsmen in Abuja, stating that the NBC made a poor assessment of the Sokoto state by failing in its duty to conduct a proper survey, more so having failed to contact appropriate authorities for accurate statistics and detailed information. He said, “For us in Sokoto, the report by the CBN which has its structures on the ground in the state is most authentic and believable. The CBN based on empirical evidence rated Sokoto as

second among states with best Internally Generated Revenue in 2012, whereas the records of finances in the state supported the rating by the CBN” “An agency that failed to conduct proper survey on what we have been doing as government to mop up the rate of unemployment in the state should not attempt to misinform Nigerians and the rest of the world that Sokoto is the poorest State in Nigeria with 81.2 percent rate. Such rating is unthinkable, utterly incorrect and misinforming” Wamakko said he was not in anyway deterred by the poor rating of his state by NBC given the visible successes attained by his government in the promotion of women and youth empowerment, agriculture, industry, education, culture and the good attention civil servants in the state have been enjoying with prompt payment of their improved salaries by the government. The governor stressed “The civil servants and their dependents enjoy 18 percent minimum wage, car loans and car refurbishing loans and owner occupier houses, farmers in the state and their dependents enjoy the proceeds of exported goods; over 20,000 youth and their

dependents are beneficiary of state government poverty reduction programme; traders and their dependents are beneficiaries of 2billion naira interest free loan; the political class obviously live above poverty etc which makes NBS figure outrageously disgusting. Similarly, a Sokoto based group, Good Governance Project Initiative has described the low rating of Sokoto by NBS as untenable and illogical, contending that the facts presented by the agency contradicted the realities on ground in Sokoto state. The group in a statement signed by Innocent Okadigbo and Salleh Muhammed National President and secretary respectively said, “The people of Sokoto state are predominantly farmers. They produce enough food for themselves and other states as well as the neighbouring. That, in any case has removed them from poverty circle. “There are serious government incentives for farming. In both rural and urban areas, social amenities such as light, water, roads, shelter and recreational facilities are available. How can one say the state is poor with these facilities on ground?” the group queried.

he leaders of Kogi Central Senatorial Zone has strongly condemned what they called "wicked and ungodly" economic and political marginalization of the zone since the creation of the state 21 years ago. Spokesman for the leaders, Alhaji Salawu O. Mohammed, said 25 leaders from the five local government councils in the zone met under the auspices of Kogi Central Peace, Unity & Progress Forum, and resolved that they could no longer tolerate the internal colonialism in the state and vowed to use peaceful means to enthrone equity, fairness and justice in Kogi State. In a report commissioned by the Forum titled "The Marginalization of Kogi Central Senatorial Zone in Kogi State" which was unveiled at the meeting, Mohammed said the leaders agreed to work closely together to challenge the unjust situation in the state. The report started that the region accounts for 45% of the 3.3 million Kogi state population in the 2006 national census with Kogi West and Kogi Central making up the remaining 55% of the population of the state. According to him, successive governments from Abubakar Audu through Ibrahim Idris to Idris Wada have always used a sharing formula that varies between 70:30 to 80:20 ratio of state resources and political offices between the East and the remaining two senatorial districts, and yet the region

contributes the least internally generated revenue of 7% compared to 72% from Kogi Central and 21% from Kogi West. As much as 80% of all capital projects go to Kogi East while Kogi West gets 15% and Kogi Central gets a paltry 5%". He added that "Of the 28,000strong state civil service, Kogi East alone has 24,621 as at November 2012 while Kogi West has 6,519 and Kogi Central has 4,069". "The Idris Wada administration has been totally unapologetic about sustaining the internal colonialism in the state with political appointments thus far skewed against Kogi West and Central. Of his 19 commissioners, Kogi East has 10, Kogi West has five and Kogi Central has four". Mohammed further said that the administration of Wada has appointed 57 Special Advisers in addition to the commissioners with Kogi East getting 33 while Kogi West has 16 and Kogi Central has 8. Of the governor's 74 Senior Special Assistants, Kogi East has a whopping 60 while Kogi West has 10 and Kogi Central has four. There are 32 permanent secretaries out of which Kogi East has 24 while Kogi West and Kogi Central have four each. Of the 25 board chairmen recently appointed by the Wada administration, Kogi East has 14 while Kogi West has eight and Kogi Central has three. In addition, there are over 300 board directors with Kogi East getting more than 200 and Kogi West and Kogi Central having less than 100".

••• Assembly demands for inter-religious council From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


ogi State House of Assembly has called on the state government to establish a state version of the National Inter-Religious Council to provide an interface for ChristianMuslim partnership for peaceful coexistence. The call followed the adoption of a motion by Mr. Henry Ojuola (ACNYagba East) urging the establishment of the body at plenary on Friday in Lokoja. Ojuola said the council to be known as KOSIREC, like NIREC, would “discuss how best to achieve religious harmony, inter-religious peaceful co-existence and violent-free or riot-free religious practices in Nigeria.

“And of course to prevent and proffer solutions to any inter-religious upheavals anywhere in the state under the joint or co-chairmanship of the headships of the two major religious bodies. “We are witnesses to the efforts of this body at the national level since her establishment some few years ago”, he said and noted that a state version of the council was needed. Ojuola also advocated the replication of the council at all levels of government and urged that Local Government councils be directed to establish the council. The legal practitioner turned legislator pointed out that a similar body established in the state some years back was strangled to death by previous administrations as they failed to provide funds, staff and office accommodation for it.










Robin van Persie makes the differences in yesterday's Man United versus Liverpool clash


A rematch between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler is "very close" to being agreed for May at London's O2 Arena.


Highly-rated Sprinter Sacre is amongst 17 entries for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival on 13 March.


England batsman Kevin Pietersen signs a full central contract, having previously agreed a four-month deal for the India tour.


NovakDjokovic, world number one will begin the defence of his Australian Open title campaign as the tennis fiesta serves off today


Cristiano Ronaldo was again coy when given a chance to commit his future to Real Madrid after his hat-trick helped his side to a 4-0 win over Celta Vigo.



2013 Nations Cup finals

Ideye vows to repay Keshi for AFCON inclusion

D Ka’oje tips Eagles for glory By Augustine Aminu


arely six days to the kick off of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in Johannesburg, South Africa, former Sports Minister, Engr. Bala Kaoje, has tipped the Steven Keshi’s tutored Super Eagles to win the ultimate trophy at the Africa’s most prestigious soccer competition. The ex-minister gave Keshi a pass mark for dutifully rebuilding the Eagles and added that the good work he has done should speak volume for him at the fiesta in South Africa where the Eagles hope to take the podium honours. Further, Ka’oje said he was impressed by the quality of players that Keshi has called up for the tournament stressing that the disciline and perseverance he existed throughout the rebuilding processes would be well requited. “By taking all the pains to assemble quality players that make up the final squad shows he is ready to take storm South Africa by storm and to give effectively represent the nation,” he said in praise of Keshi’s rebuilding efforts. “Although the task won’t be an easy one but Herculean, I believe the Super Eagles under the leadership of Stephen Keshi will perform creditably well at 2013 tournament in South Africa. “We are praying for the Super Eagles to come home with the Nations Cup. That is our target; that is our dream, and I’m sure they are not going to disappoint us as they will put in their best at the tournament. We will be there to cheer them up right from the onset,” he expressed.

Brown Ideye

ynamo Kiev striker Brown Ideye, who was alleged a last minute inclussion in Head Coach Stephen Keshi’s 23-man AFCON list, has vowed to justify the coach’s trust by living up to the billing when the fiesta rolls off the ground this weekend in South Africa. Raheem Lawal was allegedly sacrificed for the forward and an appreciative Brown hopes to replicate his club form for Eagles at the AFCON to justify his selection. Ideye, 24, has scored 13 goals for Dynamo Kiev this season, but has struggled to be as prolific with Nigeria since he made his full international debut three years ago. He has represented Nigeria at U20 level and was a late replacement for injured Mikel Obi on the final squad to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. However, he did not get any minute of game time during the tournament. The former Sochaux striker said he will raise his game with the Eagles to justify his inclusion on the final AFCON squad. “I’m happy to be named in Eagles final team. It’s great to be in South Africa with Nigeria. That was my target at the early stage of the qualifiers, and all I have to do now is to do well in South Africa to justify my inclusion in the team. “I will have to work harder to be in the starting line-up and prove my worth. I want to get goals for Nigeria as I have been doing at my club. There are a lot of striking options for the coach, but I will definitely prove myself when called upon,” he said. Emmanuel Emenike and Ikechukwu Uche are ahead of Ideye in the top striker role.

Ethiopia declare self threat to Nigeria, Zambia


lbeit, they lack the pedigrees of their illustrious group opponents, the Walyas Antelopes of Ethiopia believe they are no push-over and are therefore a serious threat to Zambia and Nigeria’s ambition to retain and capture the trophy in South Africa. Also, though the Ethiopians are smaller than the Nigerians, tend to be slower than the Zambians and have fewer professional players than most rivals, as attested to by Arsene Wenger, who challenged anyone to name five top Ethiopian players, they are committed to excelling at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. It is the first time the Horn of Africa squad has qualified for the pan-African tournament in 31 years, and though the odds might be stacked against them, the Walyas Antelopes named after an endangered antelope endemic to Ethiopia’s northern mountains are confident they will defy expectations and proceed to the knock-out stage of the tournament. “We are going to face a lot of challenges and we have been away from the competition for a long time,” striker Adane Girma said over the weekend. “But we have good morale, a good mentality and we are very strong, so we can face any kind of challenge,” he added, sweat glistening on his forehead after practice at the national stadium in Addis Ababa. In a rare and unexpected feat, the Walyas beat Sudan 2-0 last October

in the Ethiopian capital, prompting thousands of jubilant fans to pour into the streets to celebrate. They are now preparing to face title holders Zambia on January 21 in South African city Nelspruit. Though Zambia is a stronger team, Girma said his squad is focused on beating them in order to move on to matches against twice champions Nigeria and perennial underachievers Burkina Faso in the same group. “We are just thinking about finishing that first game on top and then later think about Nigeria or Burkina Faso,” he said. Star striker Saladin Said added that he remains unfazed by the threat posed by stronger teams. “We are not bothered by the names, our only focus is to win,” he said. But coach Sewnet Bishaw said that despite the team’s confidence the Walias still lack international experience and boast few professional players. “Our players are young and they are less experienced with international matches like (the Cup of Nations),” he said. The team has only one international player Said, who plays for Wadi Degla in Egypt. Bishaw said his team’s strengths, however, are in their passing and strong defence, which helped them draw a friendly against 2004 champions Tunisia in Qatar this month, and make them formidable competitors at the Africa Cup. The draw against Tunisia was a “huge boost”, according to Girma.

And he is not prepared to stop there: he has his sights set on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. “We are leaders in the World Cup qualification group, and hopefully we are going to qualify for the World Cup,” he said. But if they do not come out on top, Bishaw said the tournament is an opportunity for Ethiopia a country better known for churning out world-class long distance runners than footballers to prove their clout on the football pitch.

Saladin Said

Uganda want to co-host AFCON with Kenya


he Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) have said they still hope to jointly host the Africa Cup of Nations with Kenya. FUFA vice president in charge of the league, Mujib Kasule, told a wire service that Uganda have already lobbied through the Cecafa members during the

2012 Cecafa Tusker Senior Challenge Cup they hosted. Kasule said it is possible to host the AFCON if Uganda and Kenya jointly launch a bid, noting that the chances are higher since jointly the two countries can meet the demands needed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

“We have the talent in the region and we have what it takes to host if we put in a joint bid,” said Kasule, who said Kenya was already in support of the plan. He said they have already tabled the proposal to the government because for any nation to bid for hosting rights, the respective government must

“The mood is 100% they want to show their talent and sell their personality to the world,” he said, adding that their participation in the Cup of Nations is a source of major national pride. “We have tried many times to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, we have tried many different types of coaches, including professionals from abroad but now we are all locals here, we made it, so it’s a great thing for our nation,” he said, breaking into a wide smile.

support usch a massive undertaking. Kasule said the government through the minister of sports Charles Bakkabulindi already told them it was a great idea, but they were waiting for a concrete answer to go ahead with this plan. Ethiopia and Sudan are the only countries in the region that

have hosted Africa’s biggest football showpiece since it began. Sudan staged the event in 1962 and 1970, while the Ethiopians played host in 1968 and 1976. The 2013 AFCON kicks off South Africa on Saturday, while the 2015 tournament has already been awarded to Morocco. The 2017 edition will be staged by Libya.



WBC title: Cabarca fails to dethrone Hernandez


drian Hernandez has retained his WBC junior flyweight belt by beating Dirceu Cabarca on points. The Mexican won the bout in Tuloca by unanimous decision 118-110, 118-108 and 119-112. Cabarca, a little-known Panamanian, put up a courageous challenge asgainst the hometown favourite but his record dropped to 13-7, with 5 knockouts. Hernandez was cut over his left eye and on his nose as a result of clashes of heads but improved his record to 26-2-1, including 16 knockouts. On the undercard, lightweight Luis Arceo beat Ricardo Dominquez 96-94 on each of the scorecards to move his record to 26-11-4; 17. Domínguez now stands at 37-9-2; 22. In a flyweight bout Felipe Salguero improved

to 17-4-1; 12 when he stopped Javier Romano (817-1; 5) in the fifth round. In Sante Fe, New Mexico, lightweight John Molina knocked out Dannie Williams in the fourth round to take his professional record to 252, with 20 knockouts. Williams now stands at 223; 18. Earlier, supermiddleweight Brandon Gonzales improved to 170-1; 10 when he beat Don Mouton Don Mouton (115-1; 9) over eight rounds. In Sunrise, Florida, Johan Perez beat former IBF junior lightweight champion Stevie Forbes on a majority decision over ten rounds. The scores were 95-95, 96-94 and 97-93. The Venezuelan improved to 16-1-1, with 12 knockouts and Forbes dropped to 35-12; 11. In Indio, California, featherweight

Croatia’s high jump star Vlasic delays return


roatia’s double high jump world champion Blanka Vlasic, absent from competition since September 2011 with a foot injury, said on Friday she had delayed her return. Vlasic, who was forced to skip the 2012 London Olympics, was planning to compete at the indoor meet in Split at the end of this month. But the 29-year-old told her personal website: “The latest trainings have shown that I need more time.” She now intends making a comeback at the start of the 2013 outdoor season. Vlasic underwent surgery on her left foot last April - two months after she had undergone surgery on an Achilles tendon. But she caught a bacteria that caused an infection and forced her to postpone the return. Vlasic is a double world indoor champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist.

Ronny Rios beat former WBA superbantamweight champion Rico Ramos 96-94, 97-93 and a surprising 100-90. Rios is still undefeated (20-0; 9) but Ramos dropped to 21-2; 11. Junior middleweight Daquan Arnett also remained unbeaten by beating Brandon Quarles over eight rounds. Arnett now stands at 10-0; 6 and Quarles at 10-1-1; 2. P h i t s a n u l o k , Thailand: Patomsuk Pathompothong (22-1-1; 13) beat Japan’s Takamori Akita (7-3-1; 5) over twelve rounds to claim the IBF Pan Pacific light-welterweight title. The scores were 117-111 on each of the cards. Buenos Aires: Argentine heavyweight Hector Alfredo Avila improved to 18-12-1, with 12 knockouts, when he stopped Emilio Ezequiel Zarate (15-9-3; 8) in the seventh round. Tokyo: Shino Ono moved to 14-5-2; 2 and won the vacant OPBF light-flyweight title when he beat Omari Kimweri (12-2; 4) on a split decision. Lightmiddleweight Akio Shibata (19-7-1; 8) stopped Takayuki Hosakawa (22-9-3; 7) in a bout for the Japanese lightmiddleweight title.

LASU to bid for 2014 University Games


Adrian Hernandez

Coach says Robles plans to sit out 2013


he coach of Dayron Robles says the 2008 Olympic 110-metre hurdles champion will sit out the entire year because he is upset with his treatment from Cuban sports officials. Robles’ coach, Santiago

Antunez, told the Associated Press on Saturday that Robles doesn’t want to go on. Antunez says he hasn’t been able to change his mind. Antunez says the dispute is not about

money, but rather about treatment on a “human, personal level.” Robles won the gold medal in Beijing, but pulled up midway through the gold-medal race in London clutching his right hamstring.

... As Kallur skips 2013 season to make babe


Blanka Vlasic

wedish 100-metre hurdler Susanna Kallur on Thursday disclosed she was expecting a baby, but still aimed for a comeback even though a stress fracture forced her to skip the 2013 season. “It is a good way to heal my body,” Kallur told broadcaster SVT. Kallur, 31, said the baby was due at the end of June and that she aimed for a comeback in 2014. The athlete said her rehab training was progressing, but she decided to skip the 2013 season as there was no likelihood she could be fit until earliest September. She would instead aim for a comeback at the 2014 indoor season and had her sights also on competing at the 2016

Olympics in Rio. “I will focus on being a mother and then a comeback,” Kallur said, adding that fellow athletes said who had become mothers during their active careers said it was “just positive” and they “became stronger”. Events she will miss out on in the 2013 season include the European indoor chamipionships in March in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the world championships in August in Moscow. The stress fracture in a shin has prevented her from competing in recent years, and she underwent an operation in August 2012. She won the 2006 European title in Gothenburg and was

fourth at the 2007 worlds in Osaka, Japan.

he Lagos State University (LASU) over the weekend said it would bid for the 2014 Nigerian University Games (NUGA). The University’s Sports Director, Dr Ademola Adeiatu, who disclosed this on Saturday in Lagos, said hosting the game would create avenue for further development of sporting facilities in the school. Though he admitted that the institution at the moment lacks the standard facilities needed to host the tournament, he was upbeat that such facilities would be provided if given the right to host. He said some premier universities in the country such as the University of Ibadan and Moshood Abiola University,the University of Ilorin among others got most of the standard facilities they current have today as a result of hosting the NUGA. “We don’t have tartan tracks, standard swimming pool and accommodation facilities in the school. These facilities will be provided”. He said that the University Governing Council had concluded plan to make formal request to the government for the right to host the game. He advised the federal and states government to focus more on developing sporting facilities in schools. “We cannot continue to talk of youth development without developing what will develop them.’’ NAN reports that the game was held at the University of Benin in 2012 and the 2013 edition will take place at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, in April.

Nasarawa state to organise mini-sports festival, says Director


athias Mamman, the Nasarawa State Acting Director of Sports, said on Saturday that the government is to organise a mini-sports festival to enhance sports development in the state. Mamman told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview in Lagos that the state was committed to empowering its youths through sports. “We have come to realise that sports is a profitable tool to meaningfully engage the youths and to also prevent them from restiveness.

“As a result of this, we shall be organising a state mini-sports festival later this year to discover budding talents that can represent the state in competitions,’’ he said. Mamman added that programmes had been laid down to nurture the talents to be discovered at the festival. “Strategies have been evolved for all the young talents that will be discovered at the festival, which is billed for later in the year. The will also be follow-up programmes to help to polish the discovered athletes, ahead of competitions,’’ he added.



Heartland are Super Four champions


ederation Cup C h a m p i o n s , Heartland FC of Owerri, on Saturday defeated Lobi stars of Makurdi, 2-0 to win the Super Four tournament in Kano. Though the first half of the entertaining encounter ended goalless Heartland stepped up their game plan to take the lead through substitute John Owoerri, who scored five minutes after being introduced in the 70th

CAF inspection team thumbs up Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium


he Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection team in Enugu on Friday expressed satisfaction with facilities at the Nnamdi Azikiwe National Stadium. Mr Fred Crentisil, the Ghana Football Association Vice President, who led the team, told newsmen after the inspection that he was satisfied with the facilities at the stadium. The team was made up of the vice president with two delegates from the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Mr Kat Ken Lawrence and Mr Siji lagunju. The facilities inspected included the security in place and the medical unit of the stadium. The team was earlier briefed by the Chairman of the Enugu State football Association,Mr Offor Okenwa.


he exclusion of Nigerian centre referees from the list of referees to officiate at the 29th African Cup of Nations has been put down to internal politics within the rank of CAF referees’ committee. Sunday Audu, the immediate past Secretary of Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), made the assertion in a swift reaction to the absent of Nigerian centre referees CAF’s list of the centre referees at the 2013

Red card to CAF

minute. And it was another substitute Emeka Ogbuh that put the tie beyond Lobi Stars when he scored on the dot of the 90th minute to hand the trophy to the Owerri-based team. Speaking after the game, Heartland handler, Ndubuisi Nduka, expressed happiness over the victory and commended his players for a brilliant performance. “I am pleased with the performance of the boys in general and I also commend Lobi players for a job well done,” he said. Meanwhile, Lobi Stars coach, Ernest Jupiter, has expressed satisfaction with the performance of his players in spite of losing the match. “We missed so many chances, but I am happy with the performance of the boys,” Jupiter said. In another encounter, Kano Pillars beat Enugu

C Heartland vs Kano Pillars Rangers 2-0 to claim the N750,000 price money for the third place. The pre-

season tournament was organised for the four clubs that will represent Nigeria

in African clubs competitions during the year.

Orji splashes cash award on 2012 paralympic medallists


ov. Theodore Orji of Abia on Friday doled out N1 million cash award to each of the three silver medalists and five officials who participated in the 2012 London Paralympics Games. Orji, who formally received the medalists and the officials at Government House in Umuahia, said he was redeeming his pledge to the athletes for doing the state and Nigeria proud at the Games. He commended them for being worthy ambassadors of the state in every international competition they participated in, and particularly noted that they had never engaged in unruly acts. “You have always represented Abia well in other international sporting competitions, even when you went to Dubai. “While athletes from other states were found engaging in acts of indiscipline, Abia athletes have always been

disciplined and hardworking and that is why God has continued to bless us,’’ he said. Orji noted that while the nation’s abled athletes that participated in the Olympic Games failed to win medals for the country, their physically challenged counterparts won medals at the games. “These are the real assets that we have,’’ he said, and expressed regret that they were being neglected in the society. The silver medalists included Ikechukwu Obichukwu (60 class; 175kg), Anthony Ulonnam (56 Class; 188kg) and Ifeanyi Nnajiofor (52 Class; 188kg). The governor was later conferred with a ‘’Sports image maker award’’ by the NSC’s representative at the ceremony. The ceremony was attended by the National Technical Director, Nigeria Paralympic Federation, Sam Ekeoma, among other government officials.

Nigerian referees are victim of CAF politics, says Audu African Cup of Nations, scheduled to begin in South Africa this weekend. Rather than incompetence as claimed in some quarters, Audu said the referees, having previously officiated at FIFA organised tournaments, had done enough to attest to their competence adding that

Omoruyi says motivation reason for first NNL win

their exclusion should not be regarded a statement of inadequacy on their part. “There is politics in CAF, so if you are not in the board you will be marginalised so that is it, most of the selected match officials are from the francophone countries. “For our referees to be in World Cup shows that we are no pushover, if we officiate at that level, it shows that we are good enough. It will be wrong for anybody to think less of our referees because we have what it takes,’’ he said. He, however, urged the country’s football authorities to do the right thing to have a foothold in CAF’s decision making process and influence issues in Nigeria’s favour. “A Nigerian cannot be canvassing for a Benin

Republic referee to be selected likewise a Beninoise;

so we need someone that will speak for us,’’ Audu said.

Beach soccer will get better in 2013, says Adamu


amson Adamu, the Managing Director of Kinetic Sports, organisers of the 2012 Copa Lagos Beach Tournament, said on Friday that the championship would be better organised in 2013. Adamu said in Lagos that Kinetic Sports will take advantage of the current level of awareness about Beach Soccer to enhance the profile of the tournament, and added that his organisation would strive to surpass the achievement of the tournament’s previous editions by increasing the number of the participating countries, to make it more

competitive. “We intend to work on the publicity because awareness is essential. That is what we have learnt over the years, and I believe that when we get this part together, we will begin to achieve more results. “And it is obvious that when we work on this, we will attract more sponsors, which is our objective and we are getting there with our plan for more awareness. “With more sponsors, we will be able to invite more countries to participate in COPA Lagos, which is our major objective,╙╙ Adamu added.

oach Loveday Omoruyi of TEAP FC, Abuja, on Saturday attributed their first win in the ongoing 2012/2013 Nigeria National League (NNL) to motivation. Omoruyi, who was delighted that TEAP defeated Jigawa Golden Stars, said that the players were promised match bonuses if they won the match. It would be recalled that the team had played three matches without victory before the last encounter. But a lone goal from Ikechukwu Uzor in the 12th minute of the game played at the Old parade Ground earned TEAP FC its first three points in the league. “Motivation from the management is part of what made the players perform the way they did. ‘’The management also said that if they win, all their training kits will arrive from Europe before the next game. I think that was what gave them the impetus. The former Zamfara United handler added that he expected a better performance from the team because the players had continued to improve since the first match. ‘’My players have stepped up their game compared to what they were playing before and I expect to see a better game when we play our next match next week. “I hope that before the next game, my number one striker will be available. We permitted him to leave because his wife had a miscarriage. By the time he is back and we are able to improve on our shooting, which helped us today, TEAP FC will be the team to beat in the NNL,’’ Omoruyi said. Meanwhile, officials of Jigawa Golden Stars refused to talk about the match. DSS of Kaduna will on Jan. 19 host TEAP FC in one of the week five matches.



United beat resurgent Liverpool in nervy finish


remier League leaders Manchester United sealed a needlessly nervy 2-1 home win over Liverpool yesterday after Robin van Persie and Patrice Evra put rival Luis

Suarez in the shade. United were dominant in the first half with Dutchman Van Persie, English football’s in-form striker along with Liverpool’s Suarez, grabbed a first-half opener

for United after Evra’s assist and the Frenchman’s header deflected in off teammate Nemanja Vidic to make it 2-0 after 54 minutes. Substitute Daniel Sturridge pulled one back for eighth-placed

Liverpool soon after and the visitors applied further pressure and dominant United all through but the league leaders barely held on until Howard Webb blew the final whistle.

Rodgers brought on Fabio Borini and Jordan Henderson to alter the complexion of the game and clearly points to the fact that Liverpool are close to hitting their top form again.

come back to bite them,” he said. However, he was shocked that the Eagles were reluctant to convert their chances, and quick to warn Keshi against sustaining such uncharacteristic display. “Your team plays physical and quick and then at times

they slow it down intentionally and before you know it they are all over you. I told my players to expect a challenge and we were not disappointed. Their quality is very good” he told The coach was full of praises

for Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi and defender Kenneth Omeruo, who paired in the centre of defence with Joseph Yobo. “The number 10 (JMO) is very good, creative and has good vision. As for Omeruo, he is superb aerially and supports the

keeper brilliantly. The Dutch coach also concluded his glowing endorsement by wishing the West Africans the best of luck in their bid to hoist the cup for a third time.

Only Super Eagles will stop themselves in South Africa S

uper Eagles have the depth to beat all comers to the Nations Cup trophy and would only fail to do so if they don’t convert the many chances they are likely to create with relative ease. Rotterdam’s coach Michel Vonk made the assertion after his barely survived the delectable offensive display of the Eagles in a friendly game played behind closed doors. The coach was especially impressed with the attacking style of Nigeria which he described as “swarming and relentless. Nigeria wasted a lot of chances. They must learn to convert them at AFCON or it will

Keshi admits ‘taking big risk’ on half-fit Reuben


tephen Keshi plans a tactical midfield combination that will see Mikel and Kano Pillars’ Reuben Gabriel with the latter playing as the holding midfielder. Accordingly, he has insisted on taking a half-fit Reuben to the

Reuben Gabriel


ormer Nigerian goalkeeper, Joe Erico, does not believe that the Super Eagles should be judged based on the results of their pre-AFCON games. Erico told that the tune-up matches before the Africa Cup of Nations should be viewed as “test games for the players.” The ex-Iwuanyanwu Nationale coach also believes

Nations Cup in the hope that the robust midfielder shall have fully recuperated before Nigeria’s first game against Burkina Faso. His recovery was also slowed down when he went down to chicken pox before the warm-up

game against Catalonia in Spain. “There was a big meeting over Reuben for the Nations Cup because he has not fully recovered from his groin injury. Right now he cannot deliver long passes because of the injury he can only make short passes. But

Keshi has insisted he is too crucial in his plans to be left out. “The player also lost about four days of training after he suffered chicken pox and so was quarantined and did not travel with the rest of the squad to Spain for the match against Catalonia.” According to a wire service, Keshi plans a defensive midfield combination of Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi and Reuben in South Africa. “As the situation is now, Mikel will now be the one supplying the long balls, while Reuben will keep to short passes so as to avoid a relapse of his groin problem,” another official informed. Reuben only played his first match on Saturday against modest Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam as a second-half substitute since the Eagles began a training camp in Portugal at the end of last year.


Mikel Obi

Erico not impressed with Eagles’ build-up that last Wednesday’s friendly match against Cape Verde’s Blue Sharks would help the Nigerian squad during the AFCON. “The friendly matches played by the Super Eagles are just test games for the players and in my opinion, they are not a true reflection of what to expect when the Nations Cup begins. At least

the friendly matches will give the coaches the chance to see the players and know their strengths and weaknesses as well as carry out their plan based on those lines. “It was good that they faced an African opposition in Cape Verde after playing the Catalonia team. The game against Cape Verde at least

would have given the team an idea of what to expect at the Nations Cup especially the physical side of the African game,” said Erico. Nigeria have remained unbeaten in their pre-Afcon matches against Venezuela, Catalonia and Sparta Rotterdam.

The Super Eagles will play their last warm-up game against Farense tomorrow before the start of the AFCON in South Africa on January 19. NIGERIA’S GROUP GAMES Jan 21: v Burkina Faso Jan 25: v Zambia Jan 29: v Ethiopia



Say what?

Some Interesting Facts * Large kangaroos cover more than 30 feet with each jump * Whip makes a cracking sound because its tip moves faster than the speed of sound * Two animal rights protesters were protesting at the cruelty of sending pigs to a slaughterhouse in Bonn. Suddenly the pigs, all two thousand of them, escaped through a broken fence andstampeded, trampling the two hapless protesters to death * If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle;if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural cause. * The human heart creates enough pressure while pumping to squirt blood 30 feet!!


* If you are struck by lightning, your skin will be heated to 28,000 degrees Centigrade, hotter than the surface of the Sun.

Getting Started Each sudoku puzzle is a 9 by 9 grid of horizontal and vertical rows, evenly separated into 9 squares with 9 spaces each. Instead of word clues, each puzzle’s solution is determined by the pattern of the numbers already filled in you. You solve the puzzle by filling in the missing digits so that, when completed, each row and each square will have all the number from 1 to 9; each number will appear in exactly nine spaces within each puzzle.

* If you trace your family tree back 25 generations, you will have 33,554,432 direct ancestors - assuming no incest was involved. * The average distance between the stars in the sky is 20 million miles. * It would take a modern spaceship 70,000 years to get to the nearest star to earth. * An asteroid wiped out every single dinosaur in the world, but not a single species of toad or salamander was affected. No one knows why, nor why the crocodiles and tortoises survived.


Yesterday’s solution

Pals... British keeper Alex Larenty, 51, with 40-stone Jamu the lion, at Johannesburg Lion Park, South Africa. Source:

Aussie Open: Djokovic faces tough first round

. . . putting the people first



Guardiola to 'take Manchester City job'


ormer Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will replace Roberto Mancini as manager of English champions Manchester City in the summer, the Sun on Sunday claimed. Guardiola, 41, said last Monday he was ready to return to coaching after stepping down from the Barcelona job at the end of last season having guided them to 14 trophies in his four years in charge, including two Champions League titles. The Sun on Sunday claims Guardiola will opt for City over Chelsea because he sees the Abu Dhabi-owned side as being the more likely to challenge for European honours despite the London side having won the Champions League last season. Mancini - who has won an FA Cup and the Prmeier League titles in his time at the club - is set to pay for his failure to guide the expensively-assembled side into the Champions League knockout stages on two occasions. "It is 100 per cent certain that Guardiola is going to City this summer," a high level source in Spanish football told the paper. And when I say 100 per cent I don't mean 99 per cent, I mean 100 per cent!" According to the paper, Guardiola will become the highest-paid manager in England on £10 million pounds (12,085,500 euros, $16.1million US) a year after tax.

Aussie Open: Djokovic faces tough first round


ovak Djokovic, bidding to become the first man in the professional era to win three successive Australian Open titles, meets France's PaulHenri Mathieu in the final game of the day session on Rod Laver Arena today. Mathieu was ranked as high as 12th in the world five years ago but needed surgery on his left knee and missed all of 2011. Maria Sharapova will be on the centre court against fellow Russian Olga Puchkova, while former French Open champion Li Na will meet Kazakhstan's Sesil Karatantcheva on Margaret Court Arena, the third showcourt at the sprawling tennis complex.


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QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE No nation can experience rapid sustainable development without durable and sustainable peace. — Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar

Z.E.D.A at 20 Education makes people easy to lead but difficult to drive, easy to govern but difficult to enslave - Lord Henry Brougham


wenty years ago, five young people from Zaria dared to dream. Dr Alimi Bello, late Aminu Jamoh, Alhaji Abubakar Tamimu, Dr Abdulkadir Kassim and Dr Isah M. Abbas sat down to review the lamentable state of education and the living conditions of people in Zaria, and resolved to initiate a movement to reverse a trend that showed all signs of worsening. They worried that if the trend then, captured by the statistics, "degenerates a little further, there will hardly be anybody from this part of the country that will be qualified for admission into any institution of higher learning." Yet institutions in Zaria admitted people from all over Nigeria, and these young people asked whether Zaria people should continue to allow themselves "to sit and watch others attend institutions of higher learning located in our environment to the exclusion of our brothers and children"? That dream was what culminated in the Zaria Education Development Association (ZEDA). The dream was not about stopping other young people from attending institutions in Zaria, a tradition the people of Zazzau had inherited and maintained for centuries. The vision was to improve the quality of the education provided by schools in and around Zaria in such a manner that more and more children from Zazzau emirate will compete favourably with others for places in all institutions. The more Zazzau children qualified and gained admission at higher levels, the more the chances that the decaying economy of Zaria will be improved. Fewer numbers of children will finish primary and secondary schools without qualifications to proceed to higher institutions, or any hope to acquire skills or vocation as selfreliant adults. You will arrest crime and destitutions, and limit the damage which almajirai schools dropouts and barelyliterate secondary school leavers cause to themselves and the community. The dream of creating a community based-initiative to reverse a most damaging trend could not have had a better setting than Zaria. Zazzau Emirate, the capital of which is Zaria, has been a center of learning

311 689 606 327 454

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FIFTEEN MINUTES with Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

Alhaji Shehu Idris, Emir of Zazzau for centuries. Zaria accommodates quite probably more quality institutions of higher learning per capita than any other city in the country. Its legendary contribution to national elite from institutions such as Alhudahuda College, Barewa College, St. Paul's College (now Kufena College), Nigerian Military School, and the octopus that is now the Ahmadu Bello University, numerous tertiary and research institutions and a number of relatively-new excellent private schools place it squarely in the forefront of the development of Islamic and western education. It is no exaggeration that the institutions of Zaria educated more than half of Nigeria's elite. Sadly, it is also no exaggeration to say that the number of Zaria people that attended them dwindled with the expansion of the many opportunities which these institutions provided. Fortunately, the dream of those young people was given substance by the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji (Dr.) Shehu Idris, CFR and a number of prominent people of Zaria, all of whom had played pivotal roles in the development of education in Zaria in the past. The clarion call was answered by notable and distinguished people such as late Abdurrahman Mora, Muhammadu Lawal Sambo, Balarabe Mahmud, Engineer Abdullahi Nuhu Bamalli, late Muhammadu Bello Aliyu and

Professor Mukhtar Abdurrahman, all of whom served on the Board of Trustees. Those who died were later replaced by equally distinguished and committed people such as Prof Yahya Aliyu, Dr Stephen Kitchener, Alhaji Muhammadu Jibo, Prof Idris Abdulkadir, late Engr Garba Yaroson, Alhaji (Dr) Gidado Idris, Hon Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, Mrs M.D. Akanya and Alhaji Ahmed T. Mora. Dr Alimi Bello has been the ubiquitous and indefatigable Secretary from inception. Last week, the Zaria Education Development Association (ZEDA) celebrated its 20 years of existence with a series of events. The week of activity provided an opportunity for much stocktaking, congratulations and some lamentations over missed goals. There were many achievements to celebrate. A dream that become a reality and survived and developed over a twenty year period in our nation today is wellworth celebrating. It is even more a cause of celebration because it was a dream borne out of the desire of an elite to reach out and reduce the pains and deprivations of the underprivileged and the unfortunate. The anniversary celebrated many notable sacrifices which allowed excellence among school children to be recognized and celebrated. It acknowledged good teachers. It thanked those who provided scholarships and bursaries so that hundreds of students studied medicine, engineering, Arabic and political science; something they may not have been able to do. It acknowledge the uncommon spirit of communal self-support among the people of Zazzau Emirate; acknowledged their intellectuals, politicians, businessmen and leaders who supported the Association's Remedial Programme, Vocation Training Programme, Prominent Indigene and Friends Scholarship Scheme, Workshops on Career Guidance and Counselling and the many competitions involving quiz, spelling and essays

involving schools in and around Zaria. It received information that many communities and governments have sent study teams to learn how Zaria people did it. On the whole, the 20th anniversary provided an opportunity to assess how privilege can build bridges within its community in a manner that prevents irreversible damage. Sadly, it also took cognizance of failures to achieve targets set by communities because a lot of intervening variables come into play. One of these is the failure of leaders to recognize that investment in quality education and skills acquisition is singularly the most important objective of northern governments today. Another is the absence of vision among political and community leaders which should guide the imperatives of good governance and reduce the damage of corruption and impunity by leaders. The week was also a sad reminder that the absence of a comprehensive programme to reverse the decline in education in the north, including the failure to come to terms with the limitations of the almajirci system and the widening gulf between the quality of education of children of the rich and those of the poor; as well as those between the north and south of the country, represent the biggest handicap in the desire of the north to heal itself and develop in a nation where education makes so much difference. The people of Zazzau emirate had a good reason to celebrate a very important initiative last week. They would also have sent signals to other like-minded associations and governments that it is possible and necessary to adopt a holistic approach to the problems of education in the north. Charity can make difference, but it cannot replace sound policies, investment and vision. For Nigerians living in the North, the yardstick to apply in electing people in any election should now be how they intend to tackle the education of the young, and create an economy that allows them to get jobs. No one should get our votes if they have their children studying in England, Ukraine, Dubai or Ghana. The rich and the powerful cannot be safe and secure when children of the poor receive no education, no skills and no guarantees of life better than those of their parents. ZEDA reminds Nigerians that communities can help themselves. But communities must also elect and insist that leaders spend public funds to reduce the gulf between wealth and poverty. No child should be deprived of the opportunity to study to the limit of his or her ability because they have poor parents.

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234-09-8734478. Cell: +234 805 727 9862. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

`Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 14, January, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Monday 14, January, 2013 Edition