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Vol. 10 No. 97

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Rajab 5, 1434 AH


Al-Makura doles out Reps order cash relief to families NNPC to refund of slain policemen >>2 N236bn to FG >>3

Govs kick against state of emergency  ‘It’ll plunge Nigeria in deeper crisis’  Borno, Yobe group alleges foul play

Widows of slain policemen protesting, yesterday at the state police headquarters in Lafia, Nasarawa state. By Lawrence Olaoye


arring last minute change of mind, indications are rife that President Goodluck Jonathan may have resolved to reshuffle his cabinet ahead of the 2015 Presidential elections. Following the successful merger of the major opposition parties in the country with a potent threat to upstage the

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Photo: NAN

Cabinet reshuffle imminent

S/West may get Petroleum, Justice ministries ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015, it was learnt that the Presidency has hatched the plan to fully integrate the South

West region in the government. The plan, according to impeccable source in the Presidency, is to empower party

men in the zone in order to checkmate the rising profile of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has been a major promoter of the

opposition merger, All Progressive Congress (APC). According to the source, a Contd on Page 2

What we discussed with amnesty c’ttee – Boko Haram leader

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Govs kick against state of emergency



By Lawrence Olaoye & Miriam Humbe



















The plea bargain controversy, Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest










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he Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF) yesterday urged the Federal Government to ignore the call for a declaration of state of emergency in certain states of the federation, over insecurity. This is coming as the body also condemned the recent violence and killings in parts of Borno, Nasarawa, Benue, Adamawa and some other states. The Forum in a statement by its Chairman, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, said that the request for state of emergency is "being made by people who do not wish our country well and who are bent on plunging the country into a deeper crisis. "The Federal Government should not allow itself to be distracted from our collective goal of curbing the insurgency in some parts of our country once and for all." While urging security agencies to continue to do their jobs as professionally as possible, the Forum appealed to all aggrieved individuals and groups in the country to appreciate the fact that violence can never be a solution to any problem. "We have no other country to call home and it is important that we understand the danger and futility of destroying our land in the pursuit of selfish agenda. "It is gratifying that governments - federal and states are working hard to get to the root of the killings and nip these orgy of violence in the bud. "We are impressed by the magnanimity of the Federal Government which has

demonstrated an uncommon love for the country by setting up a committee to explore the possibilities of granting amnesty to members of the Boko Haram sect. "It is also a good step that government has agreed to cooperate fully with the National Human Rights Commission in the investigation of the killings in Baga," the statement said. The forum however commiserated with the people and government of those states, the security agencies and the families of the victims and prayed God to give them and indeed every Nigerian the fortitude to bear the loss. It commended the security agencies for the selfless sacrifice they are making in the interest of the nation to restore calm to all parts of the country, even as it urged Federal Government to continue to support affected states in the bid to check violence. The forum advised the Federal Government to remain focused and continue to provide leadership until every part of Nigeria is rid of violence and insurgency. Meanwhile, a socio-political organization, Confluence of BornoYobe Citizens for Justice (CBYC-J) has decried the purported plan by President Goodluck Jonathan to declare a state of emergency in Borno and Yobe states in spite of having inaugurated different committees with the mandate of actualizing peaceful disarmament and resolution of the Boko Haram crisis. In a press statement, the group said it was contradictory and insincere on the part of Jonathan to assign amnesty committees and

seek to impose military governments at the same time, which according to them, "is an upsetting contradiction that clearly shows lack of focus and absence of sincerity in tackling the Boko Haram crisis on the part of the federal government". The statement signed by its Chairman, James Musa Mshelia, and Secretary, Ibrahim Tarmuwa, said, "we need also repeat that the President has no moral or constitutional basis to suspend any of the 36 seating governors under the guise of declaration of a state of emergency, more so that the current security situation in the northeast, arose mainly from failures of the federal government which has the sole responsibility of protecting lives and properties through legitimate use of police and the armed forces under its total control." They however, applauded the efforts of the governors of Yobe state, Ibrahim Gaidam, and his Borno state counterpart, Kashim Shettima who they said, have earned the admiration of all patriotic Nigerians, by being very responsive in handling the security challenges in the States. "The Borno state Governor has rapidly paid compensation to victims including recently adopting three children whose police families were killed in Bama town following an unfortunate carnage. "The Governor has no doubt weathered the storm especially if one takes into account the series of public driven programmes and projects taking place in all nooks and crannies all over the state which is the hallmark of progressive leadership.”

Cabinet reshuffle imminent Contd from Page 1 prominent politician from the South West has been penciled down for the position of the Minister of State for Petroleum and another influential lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, may be nominated to replace the Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, who has been variously rumored to have fallen out of favor with the President. A new Minister of Defence may be appointed, according to the plan. It was learnt that the Presidency reasoned that it would be dangerous to leave the South West, which forms the major plank of the opposition merger party, APC, to the control of the former Lagos state governor. The two new ministers, who are going to be given all necessary pecks and power, when appointed, it was gathered, would be given the marching order to mobilize the region and wrestle power from the opposition ahead

of the 2015 general elections. The source disclosed that Jonathan may announce the new ministers alongside those that would be moved to new departments by May 29th during nation's independence day celebration. It would be recalled that the South West region has been crying of marginalization under Jonathan's administration. This followed the failure of the region to clinch the position of the Speaker of the House of Representatives zoned to it in the 7th Assembly. The seeming marginalization of the region has further made the opposition, under the leadership of Tinubu in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to further tighten its grips on the region. The President, according to the source, is convinced that with little empowerment, the PDP could win in the region considering the defeat inflicted by Tinubu and his

ravaging ACN in Ondo governorship election by the Labour Party's candidate, Governor Olusegun Mimiko. It was reasoned that the only way to win back the hearts of the people is to further empower PDP stakeholders in the region in order to wrest power from the opposition in 2015. The Presidency, according to the source, in it's resolve to empower party members in the South West, has recently awarded a pipeline monitoring contract to a faction of the Odua People's Congress (OPC) under the leadership of Dr. Fredrick Fasheun. Fasheun, in obvious demonstration of his readiness to carry out the mandate to weaken the APC, has indicated his resolve to resuscitate the defunct Unity Arty of Nigeria (UPN). The new party, when registered would mobilize the people and is expected to merge with the ruling PDP to defeat the APC in the South West by 2015, the source maintained.

Amaechi/ Jonathan face-off: Court orders police to vacate Rivers council


Federal High Court in Port Harcourt has ordered the police to vacate Obior/ Akpor council of Rivers state. The court gave the directive on Monday morning. The Speaker of the Rivers state House of Assembly had accused the Federal Government of a ploy to declare a state of emergency in Rivers state, starting from the Obior/Akpor council. The Assembly which is loyal to Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, suspended the council chairman and appointed a caretaker committee while the PDP Chairman, loyal to the Presidency, condemned the suspension and suspended the state lawmakers.

Almakura doles out cash relief to families of slain policemen From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


t was again another season of tears and lamentation as bereaved families and relations of the victims of the Alakyo killings gathered at the Nasarawa state police headquarters to collect cheques of money donated by the state government towards alleviating the plight of the widows and children of the slain security operatives. The bereaved women, numbering about 100, dressed in uniforms belonging to their departed partners, arrived the Makurdi road police headquarters crying and waving tree leaves. At a brief ceremony, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, AIGP Micheal Zokumour, described the killing of scores of policemen by members of the Ombatse last Tuesday as, “the worst in police history,” vowing that everything would be done to bring the perpetrators to book. According to the AIGP, while it is the work of the devil to steal, destroy and kill, the police are like angels on earth, being everywhere there is trouble to make sure there is peace, stressing that, “any society where there is no policeman, that society is gone, any society that does away with the police, that society has done away with itself.” While consoling the bereaved women and relations, Zokumour said the police would take care of the widows and children of the slain policemen by making sure that all their entitlements are paid as soon as possible. He took time to lament the welfare of the police, saying that unlike in other places where the police are the best paid, the situation is the opposite in Nigeria where members of the police have been neglected over time.



L-R: Lagos state Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr Okey Wali, and Lagos state Chief Judge, Justice Ayoola Phillips, during NBA conference, yesterday in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Reps order NNPC to refund N236bn to FG

...Clear CBN on unaccountable expenditures By Umar Muhammad Puma


he House of Representatives yesterday ordered the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to refund the sum of N326 billion to the government coffers within the next one month, as contained in the Auditor General of the Federation's query it failed to defend before a committee of the House. The House committee on Public Accounts chaired by Solomon Adeola handed down the order yesterday when the Corporation's Group Managing By Sunday Ejike Benjamin & Zainab Ahmed Maska


he Jamaátul ahlul sunna lilda’awati wal jihad popularly known as Boko Haram has expressed hope that the amnesty offer will be successful, one of the group’s leaders, Aliyu Tishako said yesterday on the Hausa Service of Radio France International. “It is true that we met with amnesty committee but we are concerned with the way Islam and the Northern part of Nigeria are always misunderstood and the way people think negatively about both. “We also conducted our own investigations on the members of the amnesty committee and we believe they are people who are just and also they can be trusted. This is why we honoured them by answering their call,” he said. Aliyu listed some the conditions for embracing the amnesty programme to include the security agency to stop arresting the sect members and that they should release the ones in their custody. He also said that the government should rebuild their

Director, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, failed to appear before the committee to defend the audit query but preferred to send the NNPC' General Manager, Process and Procedures, Abdulmalik Kalami, to represent him. Others billed to appear alongside the NNPC include the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Petroleum Products Pricing Agency (PPPRA) and the Accountant-General of the Federation among others, over the Auditor–General’s query on the fuel subsidy regime. The Committee rejected the NNPC’s representative insisting

that he was not competent to stand in for the corporation's GMD. Adeola explained that the Committee took the decision as a last resort since the Corporation had refused to provide necessary documents or defend itself and that the PPPRA and other relevant agencies had appeared before the Committee and submitted that the money was with the NNPC. Meanwhile, Deputy Governor of the CBN in charge of Corporate Services, Mr. Suleiman Barau, had clarified that the N2.8 billion queried by the Committee was not used for renovation of the old CBN complex in Port Harcourt but

utilized for the building of a new complex beside the old one in the city. Consequently, the committee cleared the CBN on the query but insisted that its members would still visit the Port Harcourt for an on-the-spot assessment of the old and the new building just as it urged the bank to be ready to provide additional information on the project. The committee however stepped down the query raised on the N844 million property purchased for the National Planning Commission by the CBN, and hereafter requested for more information on the issue. The committee however frowned at the sale of the official residence of the Governor of the CBN built on an acre of land at a prime location in Abuja, at a giveaway price of N160 million, to a private company and directed the bank to proceed to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) by today to find out the owner of the Company and its Directors.

What we discussed with amnesty committee – Boko Haram leader …Nobody visited me, says Kabiru Sokoto houses and mosques and they should be allowed to practise their religion like other citizens, and that they should be fairly treated. According to him, “government should pull out the army. I assure you that as soon as they pull out Mallam Imam (Boko Haram leader) will address the masses so that they will believe what I am telling you now. “There are other forms of terrorism happening example like what happened in Nasarawa state where 100 policemen were killed but because the governor is related to the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, nothing happened. “I assure you that if this had taken place in Borno, Yobe or Katsina you would have been surprised by the number of Muslim lives that would have been lost.” Meanwhile, suspected mastermind of the Christmas Day

bombing of St. Theresa's Catholic Church, in Madalla, Niger state, Kabiru Umar, also known as Kabiru Sokoto yesterday said that the Presidential Committee on Dialogue and Peaceful Resolution of Security Challenges in the North lied when the committee said it met with him along with other detainees suspected to be Boko Haram members at the Kuje Prison in Abuja last week. The committee headed by the Minister of Special Duties, Kabiru Turaki, is expected to work out details of clemency for members of Boko Haram had explained that the visit to Kuje Prison was in continuation of efforts to engage commanders and members of the Boko Haram in a dialogue. But Kabiru Sokoto standing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja affirmed yesterday that, “no member of the amnesty committee, agents or privies had

dialogue with me at the Kuje prison.” Kabiru Sokoto who spoke through his counsel, Sheriff Okoh, said on that particular day of the purported visit, he was undergoing trial at the court sitting before Justice Ademola Adeniyi over his alleged involvement in the Christmas Day bombing that rocked St. Theresa's Catholic Church. The Judge had during cross examination of the accused person asked the prosecution counsel, Chioma Onuegbu, from where the suspect was brought to court and the counsel told him, from the custody of the SSS and the Judge said he was, “shocked to read on the pages of newspapers that some people visited and had dialogue with the accused person even when he was standing trial before him, from 9.00 am to around 5.00 pm on that day.”

Baga, Bama attacks: Boko Haram claims responsibility


he Boko Haram insurgent group in a fresh video clip released yesterday claimed responsibility for the recent attacks at Baga and Bama in Borno state which claimed several lives. The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, also said that Boko Haram had kidnapped an unspecified number of women and children who they were holding hostage. He said that they were ready to release the hostages in exchange for members of the sect being detained in various security formations in the country. Shekau did not identify the women and children he said were in their custody. In the video, Shekau also said the group was behind two recent attacks in Borno which left an estimated 240 people killed. According to Shekau, “in a single house in Damaturu, eight of our women and 14 children were arrested.” “We kidnapped some women and children, including teenage girls. “This was in response to the security forces arresting women, children and infants related to Boko Haram members in Kano, Bauchi and Damaturu. “We are the ones that carried out the Bama attack,” he said, in the attack during which about 55 people were killed and 105 prisoners freed in the raids on a police station, military barracks and government buildings. Shekau said Boko Haram had also carried out a "small operation" on the northern town of Baga on April 16.


The plea bargain controversy By Chijioke Okoronkwo


s high profile corruption cases rock the nation, opinion is divided on the desirability or otherwise of plea bargain. Plea bargain is enshrined in Section 14(2) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act of 2004. The section provides inter alia: ``The Commission may compound any offence punishable under this Act by accepting such sums of money as it thinks fit, not exceeding the amount of the maximum fine to which that person would have been liable if he had been convicted of that offence.'' According to legal experts, plea bargain may take the form of a charge bargain in which the accused pleads guilty to a lesser charge or a sentence bargain in which the accused agrees to plead guilty to the charge in exchange for a light sentence. Mr Okey Wali, the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), said that the use of plea bargain, as a concept in the court of law in Nigeria, was legal. He said that in spite of the fears that plea bargain had contributed to increased rate of corruption in the country; it had a lot of benefits, if properly applied by judges. ``Plea bargain is legal. It is its applicability or practice that is a problem in Nigeria. ``There are some provisions of our law like the EFCC Act and our Common Law Practice that make provision for it,'' he said. Wali said that plea bargain had several advantages if properly applied, adding that it could help judges to verify facts about criminal charges. He also said that it could save the cost of prolonged investigations into criminal matters. ``If practised in its real sense in Nigeria, as it is practised in other jurisdictions of the world, plea bargain will help in verifying facts on criminal acts, as well as save cost. ``Judges can do a lot with the evidence of a man that pleads to the fact that he actually committed a crime. ``Judges can equally use the evidence supplied to prosecute those that are part of a crime and are denying it. ``It is not a bad thing itself, what is bad is its applicability in this county," he added. The NBA president underscored the need to strengthen all relevant institutions charged with responsibilities of applying plea bargain. ``The NBA has always advocated strong judicial institutions that will ensure proper

Lamorde, EFCC Chairman judicial procedures. ``If we have institutions and people who are ready to go by the rules, the use of plea bargain will help in judicial processes. ``However, reverse is the case, where institutions charged with these responsibilities are weak and cannot apply the provisions of the law appropriately,'' Wali added. However, Chief Akin Olujimi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said that plea bargain could mar the objectives of setting up the EFCC. Olujimi, who is a former Attorney-General of the Federation, argued that granting such leniency to accused persons in criminal matters could spur others into crime.

``In the context of the efforts being made to tackle corruption in the country, we have to consider whether plea bargain will not be contrary to the objectives of setting up the EFCC. ``Such concepts could encourage others to get into crime; it is not a good instrument in fighting corruption,'' he said. Mr Ahmed Yusuf, an Abujabased lawyer, however, stressed that plea bargain was unconstitutional, adding that it was smuggled into the country's judicial procedures. ``Plea bargain is an unconstitutional practice in Nigeria; it is a practice in other jurisdictions which was smuggled


Stakeholders insist that any method that could be useful in the efforts to curb corruption in the country should be promoted, adopted and appropriately applied.

into our own jurisdiction. ``It does not have any constitutional backing, as far I am concerned. ``Anything that will accelerate justice can be entertained in prosecution, but the fact that people enter into plea bargaining does not mean that it is constitutionally recognised. ``I think while we are trying to speed up justice delivery, we are, on the other hand, encouraging corruption, so we should prosecute offenders based on the penalties that are stipulated in our statute books. ``We should abide strictly by the Criminal Procedure Code, the Criminal Procedure Act, the Penal Code and the Criminal Code,'' he said. The issue of plea bargain also reechoed at a public hearing on the "Administration of Criminal Justice Bill, 2013." The EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, pleaded that plea bargain should be included in the constitution. He said that the issue of plea bargain had generated unnecessary controversy because of the ignorance of the police and the general public on the issue. ``The problem we (EFCC) are facing is that many (legal) practitioners and members of the public do not understand the concept of plea bargain. ``Another problem is that people continue to argue that it is not in the constitution and it is, therefore, unconstitutional but we are using this medium to appeal to the National Assembly to include plea bargain in the constitution,'' Lamorde said. Mr Dele Adesina (SAN), a former General-Secretary of the NBA, said that there was no need to remove plea bargaining from the EFCC Act. He noted that most times, people felt the accused person did not get the type of custodial sentence they were expecting. ``The essential element of plea bargain system is the opportunity to retrieve what has been acquired illegally,'' he said. Stakeholders insist that any method that could be useful in the efforts to curb corruption in the country should be promoted, adopted and appropriately applied. They, however, warn that the concept should not be manipulated via legal technicalities to promote the interests of the looters of public funds. ``If plea bargain will give embezzlers soft landing, then it should be put off until we are mature for it,'' some of the stakeholders say. Source: NAN


NAF explains Port Harcourt copter crash By Joy Baba


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has said p r e l i m i n a r y investigation by a team of safety and engineering investigators into the Mi-24B helicopter crash which occurred on 9th May, 2013 at the Nigerian Air Force base Port Harcourt has shown that the crash may have occurred as a result of a “tail rotor system failure” in the helicopter. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff. The statement added that machines are subject to system malfunction. The report, according to the statement, also confirmed that the helicopter had flown for 1908 hours before the accident adding that the engines and gear box were in good serviceable condition.


Nasarawa killings: Jonathan playing politics, says Tsav From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


ormer Lagos state Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Tsav, has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of playing politics with the lives of innocent Nigerians by failing to make any nationwide broadcast on the national calamity that happened with the killing of over a hundred security operatives in one fell swoop in Alakyo, Nasarawa state. Speaking to journalists in Lafia on the matter yesterday, the former police boss, observed

that President Jonathan’s silence on the killings smack of double standards when viewed against similar incidents across the country. ”We agree that revenge attack on Ombatse cult community by the police, will negate the statutory role of the police in the protection of lives and property. “However, in a situation where a whole detachment of police officers is killed in one swoop, we expected President Jonathan to make a broadcast to the nation on this grave situation

and to order immediate deployment of the military to go after the suspects and their sponsors, just as was done in Udi and Zaki Biam but with human face,” Tsav said. He said that Jonathan might have maintained sealed lips because the killing of security personnel, at an unprecedented level, in a state controlled by the opposition Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). “Could it be that the President is dragging his feet because the killings took place in a state controlled by the opposition-

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, receiving the 2012 annual report of Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform from Chairman of the Committee, Professor Peter Adeniyi, during the presentation ceremony, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo Joe Oroye.

Suspected Fulani herdsmen kill 50 in Benue From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


nidentified persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen yesterday attacked Ekwo-Okpachanyi village in Agatu local government area of Benue state killing about 50 persons. The incident occurred as the funeral of one of the police officers who was murdered by the Ombatse group in Nasarawa. A source said the herdsmen struck immediately after the burial of the slain police officer, maintaining that they opened fire on the people and also went ahead to destroy houses and other property. Already there is panic in the area even as the Deputy Governor, Chief Steven Lawani, led government officials to ascertain the cause and extent of damage. In the same vein, Governor Gabriel Suswam convened a security meeting. Briefing newsmen after the meeting at the Government House, Suswam decried the incessant attacks by the Fulani on the state. “They are just killing people as if they are killing chickens. This is unacceptable”, he said. The Governor, who said he would report the matter to the President for prompt action, said that soldiers and police officers had been deployed to the area to restore peace in the area. “I want to assure you people that my government is determined to find a lasting solution to the incessant crisis,” Suswam promised.

CPC? “Did not the President take oath to defend the entire country as his constituency? Is Nassarawa State not part of Nigeria? “Must the president fold his arms helplessly and allow Ombatse continue to kill and maim law enforcement agents? “The president has to act; the murderers of the policemen and their sponsors must be arrested and brought to justice. Those still being held captive must also be freed; and above all, the senseless flow of blood must stop for peace to reign,” Tsav said.

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


s President Goodluck Jonathan's forces swell among members of the Nigeria Governors Forum, governors elected on the platform of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) from the south south and south east region have resolved to work for the emergence of their Kastina state counterpart, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema. The governors are Peter Obi (Anambra), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Sullivan Chime (Enugu). The South-South governors Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) agreed during the South-South/ South-East Governors' meeting held in Asaba, the Delta State capital at the weekend. The governors, competent sources said, dumped the current chairman of the forum and Rivers state Governor Rotimi Amaechi in solidarity with President Jonathan. "Yes, the issue was discussed, it was raised by Governor Akpabio and they agreed to

NGF Chair: South- south, south -east govs dump Amaechi for Shema support Mr. President in taking the forum from Amaechi," a source said. The source added that the absence of the Rivers state Governor at the meeting further confirmed speculation that he was no longer in the good books of President Jonathan, thus deepening the political rivalry

between the two political giants in the South-South region. "The governors declared their support for President Jonathan's transformation agenda, which political means there are anti- Amaechi, you know , the Presidency is said to be working hard on its own plan to ensure sufficient votes from

the governors to replace Amaechi." Amaechi is seeking a second term ticket while Shema is being backed by some forces in the Presidency. The two aspirants have been locked in a fierce battle to sell their candidacy to the remaining 34 governors.

Zamfara registers 243,000 farmers for FG fertilizer, seeds


total of 243, 000 farmers in Zamfara have registered under the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support Scheme. Alhaji Raji Musa, the Director, Agriculture Transformation Agenda in the state told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Gusau that those registered would benefit from the subsidised fertiliser and seeds offered farmers under the scheme. He said 150, 000 new farmers were registered this

year as against the 93,000 farmers who were enrolled into the programme in 2012. The director stated that 79,546 out of the farmers who registered this year had been screened and their forms forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Abuja. According to him, the data of 70,454 others registered under the second phase of the exercise are being processed. M u s a a s s u r e d that farmers whose data were processed would collect their

fertiliser and other agricultural input by the end of May. “We have carefully reviewed last year’s fertiliser, improved seeds and other input distribution exercise, and observed that the delay in delivering the input had negative impact on farming activities. “To avoid such mistakes, we have made arrangements to deliver fertiliser to our registered farmers by the end of May this year so that they could stock their input for timely use on their farms,” he said. (NAN)


State of emergency: PDP accuses ACN, CPC of rumour mongering By Lawrence Olaoye


he People's Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday described the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) as rumour mongers and noise makers. The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, alleged that the opposition parties engaged the media in spreading the rumour that the Presidency planned to impose emergency rule in some northern states. According to the party, "the opposition parties in their usual noise making, homage to falsehood and lies, and quest to always be in the news for frivolous reasons, purported in their statements that the Presidency planned to impose emergency rule in some Northern states when no such decision has been reached. "We find it appalling and very disheartening that the leaders of opposition parties made up of elderly persons, who ordinarily should have the interest of the nation at heart have reduced themselves to noise makers and rumour mongers who have nothing to offer but engage in wicked fabrications all in their desperation for power."


‘Minna abattoir is environmental disaster, threat to life’ By Stanley Onyekwere


irector General, Niger state Directorate of Strategies, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), Mallam Iliyasu Dhacko, has described the Minna abattoir as a personification of "environmental disaster" of monumental hygienic threat residents. He said investigations by M&E revealed that some residents of the area have

vacated their houses due to the offensive stench emanating from the abattoir. According to a statement yesterday by the Focal Officer of the Directorate, Mallam Umar Muhammad Kwatachi, the DG made the assertion after leading a team from the directorate to the said abattoir, which supplies of meat daily, for the consumption of people in the area. According to the statement, "the Minna abattoir that daily

supplies meat for the consumption of the residents of the capital city of Niger state can best be described as a personification of environmental disaster of monumental hygienic order to the people of the area." The Sarkin Pawa Minna, Alhaji Isah, who confirmed deplorable state of the abattoir which is unbefitting of a state capital, linked the situation to lack of water as the only borehole in the area is dysfunctional, thus contributing to the filthy

nature of the entire environment. On his part, the Chief Health Inspector (Veterinary) of the centre, Muhammad Kudi Abdullahi, noted that despite the poor sanitary condition of the abattoir, safe and healthy quality meat is daily supplied to the residents of Minna and its environs. "The Monitoring Team also observed that the abattoir lacks modern facilities of transporting meat to the market and tricycles and motor-cycles are usually used and this does not project a good image of meat transportation in a state capital like Minna," the statement said.

Firearms: Iranian gets 17 years jail term From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos and presided over by Justice Okechukwu Okeke yesterday sentenced an Iranian, Azim Aghajani, and his Nigerian counterpart, Ali Jega, to 17 years imprisonment over their involvement in the importation of firearms into Nigeria. Delivering judgment, Okeke held that he was not in doubt that the 13 containers loaded with firearms was imported into the country but the accused persons said the containers had building materials meant for construction in Banjul, Gambia. Justice Okeke also declared that the Federal Government through its lawyer succeeded in tendering before the court email transactions between the convicts. According to Justice Okeke, "it is my opinion that the moment the security started closing in, the story started changing. "I sympathize with the second accused person because of the role he played because he thought he was helping his friend. "It is my view that the accused made false declaration on the bill of lading. "If the goods were truly construction materials, the accused persons should have stated so in the bill of lading. "There is no doubt that the accused persons and their collaborators deal in unlawful importation of arms."

L-R: Head of Department, Policy, Strategy and risk management, Debt Management Office (DMO), Mr Joe Ugoala; resource person, Mr. Baba Musa; and DMO Director General, Dr Abraham Nwankwo; during a workshop on 2013 debt sustainability analysis, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

FG rejects World Bank/IMF debt ratio strategy By Abdulwahab Isa


he Federal Government has objected to the World Bank/ International Monetary Fund's (IMF) prescription to raise the nation's debt ratio threshold to 56 per cent, opting to remain at a conservative realm of 40 per cent to the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The World Bank /IMF- the two external assessors of world economy had at a recent meeting included

Nigeria in the category of countries allowed to borrow of up to 56 per cent of their GDPs. Nigeria's current debt profile stands at $6.67 billion (external debt) and N6.5 trillion (domestic debt). Reacting to the development yesterday in Abuja in an interview with newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony for 2013 Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) workshop for stakeholders, DMO Director-General Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said Nigeria was

comfortable with its 40 per cent threshold and would not subscribe to 56 per cent recommendation of the external assessors. According to Nwankwo, "for Nigeria, we are comfortable with 40 per cent debt to our GDP and we rather remain on the conservative side even though for countries with our rating, the net present value to total public debt ratio has been changed to 56 per cent. "Nigeria advisedly will remain on 40 per cent for practical purposes but

Why I embarked on judicial reforms -CJN From Ayodele Samuel and Matthew Irinloye


hief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice, Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday gave reasons why she embarked on the on-going reform of the Judiciary arguing that "it is meant to bring sanity into the country's judicial system." Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop organized by the Lagos state chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the CJN said that, "the

Judiciary is an indispensable partner in a democratic dispensation. "The Judiciary is responsible of interpreting the law and it has the role of checking the excesses of the Legislature and Executive so that the current democratic dispensation can work. "So, NJC being the image of Judiciary in this country, we cannot afford to slack in our effort to improve the judicial system. "One basic fact must be cleared; nobody is out to witch-hunt

anybody. "The singular message remains that everything has to be done to ensure a credible judicial system in Nigeria." Muktar also lamented what she described as the negative habit of litigants as she explained that, "what is more worrisome is that lawyers who are learned in the country's legal system have engaged themselves in that negative practice and this has led to a lot of frivolous petitions filed before the NJC."

we still continue to belong to the group who are allowed to borrow up to 56 per cent of their GDP net present value." He said that Nigeria would continue to pursue its prudent policy on public debt management stressing that "in terms of policy advice, in terms of strategy, we will use 40 per cent as our benchmark but you know Nigeria has always had its own local threshold which is always more conservative than the peer group threshold." According to him, considering Nigeria’s past history of unsustainable debt profile, it will be unwise for her to traverse the road chosen by others. "Secondly, looking at the structure of our economy, we should appreciate that we are still over dependent on oil for more than 80 per cent of public revenue. "We appreciate that a lot of effort is going on and that is the focus of transformation agenda to ensure that in the next five to seven years, the economy would have been diversified enough and the risks are removed." He noted that the entire debts owed by 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory are within sustainable realm.


First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan (2nd left), displaying her nomination plaque as Global Child Online Protection Champion presented to her by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), recently at the State House, in Abuja. With her is Mr. Tim Akano (left) of the Nigeria office of the International Multilateral Partnership against Cyber Threats (IMPACT) and others.


R-L: Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. (Dr.) Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, congratulates fellow award winner of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Dr Godswill Akpabio, during the 15th convocation ceremony of the university, at the weekend in Enugu.

Pastor Dele Alabi (6th left), his new wife, Mrs. Janet Bidemi Dele Alabi (6th right), in a group photograph with family members, during their wedding ceremony, at the weekend, in Kaduna.

R-L: Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, Alhaji Baba Umar Farouk, Minister of Water Resources. Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, National President, Association of Water Well Drilling Rig Owners and Practitioners (AWDROP), Mr. Micheal Ale, National Vice-President of AWDROP, Engineer Dayo Over loaded and tired vehicle, yesterday at breweries area of Iganmu, Opeyemi, and a member of Board of Trustees, Alhaji Nura Yusuf, during the advocacy visit by the Photo: Mahmud Isa in Lagos. Photo: NAN association to the minister, recently in Abuja.


By Maryam Garba Hassan


CT Muslims Pilgrims’ Welfare Board has completed the sale of first and second batches of forms across the six area councils of the territory during the registration exercise which commenced last week, for the 2013 Hajj, according to the board’s acting Director, Hajiya Fatima Gumi, at a press briefing. She said during the first batch of the exercise, 1200 forms were distributed and that each council got 175 forms while during the second batch,


2013 Hajj: FCT intending pilgrims to choose flight 700 forms were sold. She said that sale of the next batch will commence as soon as the FCT Minister of State, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, gives the approval. Gumi however warned that

intending pilgrims must ensure that they indicate the flight they want to join during the airlift to Saudi Arabia as failure to comply with the flight schedule will attract fine as in normal air travel

regulations. According to her, out of the 350 intending pilgrims for 2012 Hajj who could not make it to the Holy Land due to the issue of Muharram, only 300 showed interest while the

remaining 50 pilgrims are yet to get back to the board. The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has allocated 2,965 seats to the FCT for the 2013 Hajj.

Katsina windmill project to be completed soon, says Minister From Lawal Saidu, Katsina


inister of State for Power, Hajiya Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, has disclosed that the 10 megawatts Lambar Rimi, Katsina windmill power project would be completed in the next 28 days. The Minister who stated this yesterday while on an inspection visit at the project site described it part of Federal Government’s transformation agenda aimed at improving the socio- economic life of the people. According to her, “I wish to express delight with the level of work I have seen and I call on the communities where this project is sited to assist in securing the equipment.” Kuchi commended the

Katsina state government for contributing N400 million for the payment of compensation on the land acquired for the project.

Jonathan Okoronko, noted that the project suffered minor setback due to the kidnap of one of the expatriate workers there.

He also disclosed that some miscreants had equally vandalized some of the equipment at the windmill.

Group makes case for polio vaccination

infected children and the concentration of cases in fewer states as compared to last year is seen as an opportunity for Nigeria, the only polio endemic country in Africa, to curb the scourge of polio. “Experts say that the rainy season provides the best environment for the virus to circulate and if all eligible children in the most affected areas of Nigeria are vaccinated with the WPV vaccine in the next few rounds then the country stands a good chance in curtailing the transmission of the polio virus,” he said.

From Mohammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


he National Chairman of Association of Polio Survivors of Nigeria, Misbahu Lawan Didi, has called on parents to immunize their children below the age of five against polio virus so as to save them from the crippling disease. Speaking on behalf of the association which is an umbrella body for over

Conducting the Minister round the project site, a consultant with the engineering firm handling the project,

100,000 polio-affected people in the country, Didi described Nigeria as the only polio endemic country in Africa. “Every child who does not get the polio drops during a round, breaks the circle of protection and he or she is exposed to contracting the virus. “If we fail to end the transmission of polio virus here, all other countries are at risk of getting a resurgence of

polio. “I urge all religious and traditional leaders to come out and ensure each and every child is vaccinated during every vaccination campaign. “Since the beginning of this year, 16 children below the age of five contracted Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in eight states in northern Nigeria compared to 40 cases that were detected in 10 states for the same period in 2012. “The decrease in number of



Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide (middle), presenting kits to one of the village health workers, Munirat Ibrahim (left), during the launch of SURE-P Maternal and Child Health (MCH), Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) pilot programme, yesterday in Abuja. With them are Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate (right), and Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad (behind), Photo: Mahmud Isa

Briefly Japan trains 37,000 Nigerian teachers


he Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Monday said it trained more than 37,000 teachers in three pilot states on Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE) in Nigeria. Mr. Tetsuo Seki, Chief Representative of JICA in Nigeria, gave the figure at a lecture organized by JICA for some primary school teachers in Abuja. Tetsuo said that the SMASE project had been implemented in three pilot states of Niger, Plateau and Kaduna states.

New NIWA MD resumes work in Lokoja


he new Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma, has resumed duties in Lokoja. Addressing the NIWA staff yesterday, Ciroma urged them to be ready to work in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. The highlight of the event was the signing and handing over of the official documents from the immediate past Managing Director, Ahmed Aminu Yar'Adua. From Sam Egwu, Lokoja

University don wants life jail for rapists


Professor of Psychology at the University of Ilorin, Sunday Harrison Umoh, has recommended that any adult found guilty of rape should be given life imprisonment. Umoh who stated this while delivering the 131st inaugural lecture of University noted that, "the belief that victims of rape are the ones who call for it should be discounted because abnormal men rape young children. "There are men who have lust for animals and others lust for bodies of dead women. "I recommend stricter penalty for men who participate in raping women and penalty suggested for to be in the penitentiary for life." From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

Pilgrimage 2013: Nasarawa pilgrims board to visit Rome, Israel From Maaji Dandaura, Lafia


fficials of the Nasarawa state Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board are to embark on a pre-visit to Rome, Greece and

Israel to make adequate arrangements for the 2013 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The board's Executive Secretary Clement Magaji Odeh, disclosed this while addressing journalists in his office.

Odeh said preparations were on for a successful 2013 noting that the board also plans to launch a book titled, "Nasarawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board 2012 at a glance.'' According to him, the book

will also showcase places of religious importance in the Holy Land in 2012. He said the board took stock of its activities for 2012 so that it can effect changes and move the board forward.

Wukari crisis: Taraba gives cash to victims From Yusha'u Alhassan Jalingo.


araba state Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, has urged the people to embrace peace describing it as the only panacea for and development. Umar spoke yesterday while presenting N30,000 to each of the recent Wukari crisis who are still currently receiving treatment at the Specialist Hospital, Jalingo. Umar said the assistance was a fulfillment of government promise to victims of the crisis in Wukari to bring succor to them besides settling their

medical bills. Speaking to our reporter, the Acting Chief Medical Director of the Hospital, Rimamde Joel, said the victims were responding to treatment. Rimamde said he mobilized staff of the hospital to attend to the victims immediately they were brought from Wukari to Jalingo without charging them, before government's intervention. In another development the subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment programme SURE-P has been flagged up in Taraba state.

At the ceremony yesterday at Jolly Nyanme's Stadium, Jalingo, Taraba state Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, said the programme was designed to address the issue of low infrastructure, poverty, poor social services, among others as they affect the standard of living of all Nigerians. Umar said Taraba state did not only embrace set objectives of the programme but has fashioned out home-grown solutions to make it more effective. He noted that government

started the programme in the state with about six thousand youth with the desire to create thousands of jobs every year and to encourage the privet sector to do same through increased investment in the state. Aspects of the programme involve training of youth in various skills ranging from computer skills to how to raise fingerings, as well as the distribution of highly subsidized motor cycles and tricycles. Each of the beneficiaries is repay only forty per cent of the cost of each of the motorcycles and the tricycles.

Cleric rallies support for amnesty committee on Boko Haram


he Chairman, ECWA Kaduna Central District Church Council, Rev. Joshua Anyam, has urged the public to support Federal Government's amnesty committee for Boko Haram so as to put an end to insurgency in the country. Anyam said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Monday that Nigerians should pray that the committee achieves its mandate to bring an end to the carnage and relief to the victims. "We join hands and pray and see to the success of the work of

the committee, and we pray that God will guide them to be objective in their approach and also in their recommendation to government. "Government too should have the political will to implement whatever recommendation given to it, especially if it is for the overall interest of the nation. "The government should be sincere and firm and be able to garner the political will to implement some of the recommendations that had been given. "As long as the government treats some people as sacred cows,

this problem will continue. "I feel this thing has persisted because either we have failed to speak when we should speak; we tacitly support what is going on down in our hearts or even by being quiet, we are becoming people who are abating what is going on. "I think the populace should be able to give the security agencies information that are necessary. "Security agencies too should be confidential in treating information so as not to jeopardize the lives of their informants.'' Anyam called on all

Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious differences, to continue to pray for the nation as well as support the security agencies in achieving their mandate of protecting the people and the territorial integrity of the people. The cleric also urged the government to hastily look into the proliferation of arms as it had contributed to the nation's security challenges. Anyam advised the public to support security agencies by giving information that would assist in the discharge of their duties. (NAN)



Not-so-obvious money truths and their rationalizations


ne of the beautiful things about life is that there are always pleasant surprises waiting to be discovered. Even with the sometimes mundane topic of money, there are many revelations to be had. Here are five such money truths that aren't necessarily obvious. Always trying to make more money is the wrong pursuit The majority of us can name a few reasons why we want more money: having the freedom to spend more time with our families, providing a comfortable environment for


Think of your retirement, always


y far the most important reason to budget, save, and invest, is to prepare for your own retirement. To do this effectively, you will need to define at what age you hope to retire, and what standard of living you hope to have. Do you want to retire and split your time between northern locations in the summer and a warmer climate during the winter, do you plan on having a simpler lifestyle close to family, or do you hope to have a home base from which you travel around the world? With these two questions answered, you will be able to identify how much you need to invest and for how long in order to meet those goals. To facilitate saving towards retirement, most countries have tax breaks targeted specifically to retirement investments and savings. This can be a major advantage as your tax rate is normally tied to your income, which will be higher during your peak employment years and drop after you retire. This allows you to defer paying tax on the money you saved until you actually need to use it and when your income tax is lower - you not only get an increase to the investment with compounded interest, but also a decrease in your overall taxes paid throughout your life. Once you retire, you can then start to draw on this income, with the benefit that the balance of your retirement investments will still continue to generate interest, which will provides an incremental income stream throughout your retirement years.

our kids or having a comfortable retirement, are just a few of the real motivations people have to earn more. Yet, the way most of us try to make more actually undermines what we are trying to achieve because we always pour more hours into our money-making opportunities. Will you spend more time with your family if you work late into every weeknight? Will you be able to provide a comfortable environment for your child if you are always exhausted? If you spend all your time sitting in front of a computer for decades, do you think your health will hold up for a comfortable retirement? Drawing the fine line between not working enough and working too much is a personal matter, but do take some time to make that decision, because more money doesn't automatically mean you are going to be better off. Having money to spend is more satisfying than spending It's natural to get used to what you already own, but once you spend that cash, it's gone forever. On the other hand, knowing that you have the money to spend is very comforting and will provide you with lasting joy. That's why you should save as much as you can as fast as you can. One day, you will have enough money to quit whenever you want, and that beats owning all those high priced merchandise any day. The added bonus is that when

you save early on and have your money working for you, highpriced merchandise will become pretty affordable too. The more you buy, the more you want to buy When our impulses urge us to buy, the seemingly obvious solution is to satisfy that impulse. Yet the more we buy, the more we will want to buy because we end up being subject to the genius marketing efforts of the retail industry when we are out at malls, online stores, and other outlets more often. This is, of course, a cycle that we can stop if we just start holding out. Getting savings when you shop doesn't mean you saved money Have you ever bought anything you don't need just because it was on sale? Even

finding an online promotion code for 90% off means you wasted 10% if you didn't need that item in the first place. Retailers play to our emotions often, but we shouldn't repeatedly let them take advantage of us! Frugal living is actually the opposite of sacrificing Many of us think of living frugally as some sort of a sacrifice. Yes, it's true that you are often making a conscious effort to not buy something you thought you really wanted. But sometimes you are actually giving yourself the opportunity to achieve so much more. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to start my own business. If I was living the high life and had very high monthly expenses, I would never have had the guts to make the leap. And even if I did jump, the

pressure of needing to pay for huge expenses right off the bat would probably have adversely affected my business decisions early on. Fast forward a few years, and I'm making more money than I ever had, which gives me the opportunity to afford luxuries I could only dream possible while I was working the nine to five. Even though I never intend to inflate my lifestyle drastically, the ability to do so is comforting to say the least. And all this was because I lived frugally at the beginning. Sacrificing? Hardly. Not everyone will end up starting their own business, but too many people miss opportunities because they need the income of their current job. You never know when that opportunity will present itself, so it's better to be prepared.

Habits that lead to constant financial improvement


any of us want to improve our lives. Whether you want to improve your ability to earn money, improve your quality of life, or improve your mind, there's always room to get better. If you want to constantly progress and improve, developing the right habits can take you a long way. Here are 5 habits that, once developed, can help you improve yourself: Read educational and inspirational books A habit of reading can be one of the best ways to improve you. Choose books that are educational and inspirational. Read books about people who've achieved goals similar to yours. Whether it's learning about history, money, business, or art, continue to read. While reading for enjoyment and relaxation can be a pleasurable experience, it's not going to have the same effect. Develop a good educational reading habit, and you'll be well on your way to improvement. Take an interest in others Another way to continually improve is to take an interest in others. Listen to people. Understand their viewpoints. This can help you learn new things, as well as increase your knowledge of the world. Taking

an interest in others can also lead to networking opportunities that will improve your career. And, as you get practice listening to others, you'll develop better relationships, which will improve your emotional life and support system. Try new things Get in the habit of trying new things. Branching outside your comfort zone on occasion is a good way to stretch you. You also get in the habit of knowing that you can accomplish the impossible. Little by little, trying new things can help you expand your horizons and move you forward. Progress is an important part of self-

improvement, and trying new a plan, either. There are plenty things, whether it's an exotic of free online resources for including open food or meeting someone new, learning, from major can help you take those steps courseware universities. Create a schedule into the future. and a plan that allows you to Make a plan Do you have a plan? If you make improvements to your life want to keep improving and then stick with it. yourself, you need to have a Take time for you Don't forget to take time for plan. If you want to improve your finances, you need to make you. Sometimes you just need a financial plan. If you want to to relax and unwind. That way, can recharge your get into shape, you need an you exercise plan. If you want a batteries. Make time for your healthier diet, you need to hobbies and for time with your family and loved ones. You often improve your food plan. "Every day I get up and look come up with your best work From increasing your through the Forbes list of the knowledge base to getting more when you're refreshed. You'll be richest people in America. If I'm sleep at night, a plan can be a more productive, and you'll be not there, I go to work." big help. You don't need to spend able to make solid progress in - Robert Orben a lot of money in order to make your life. Share your Money Tip: do you have a business/money idea, and you want to share it with our dear readers? Then, send it to: or (text it to 08091904890)






Beyond the Berom, Fulani peace deal

eaders of two of the warring ethnic groups on the Plateau - the Berom and the Fulani -met penultimate Sunday in Jos, resolving to pursue a process that could end their lingering feud. This is a welcome development, given that the prolonged Berom-Fulani crises in the northern part of Plateau state had entrenched deep animosity between the two tribes, resulting in reckless killings of hundreds of their people. Worse still, the inter-ethnic warfare claimed the lives of other Nigerians, many of whom were innocent passersby along the region. Also, thousands of cows were rustled and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed in the protracted battle. But at the peace meeting, jointly convened by leaders of the warring communities, the Berom and the Fulani reportedly discussed frankly, and resolved to forgive each other in a bid to end the dispute. No doubt that reconciliation meeting was a significant step towards resolving the enmity between the two ethnic groups. Because, unlike previous attempts to coerce them into a reconciliation process, the meeting of Sunday, May 4 was an initiative of the warring tribes. It could easily pass for a genuine attempt by the erstwhile combatants to end the lingering war, perhaps in realization that the seemingly endless violence does more harm than good to each side. It is also significant considering the

involvement of prominent Berom and Fulani elders in the area, who were widely suspected to have discreetly promoted the mutual suspicion and distrust that had snowballed into bloodshed. Interestingly, the meeting also acknowledged the existence, on both sides, of "crises merchants" and "mischief makers" who could exploit various

beyond the public pronouncements by members of the two groups, genuine efforts must be made to assuage the feelings of hopelessness among victims on both sides who have lost their means of livelihood in the protracted war opportunities to scuttle the reconciliation process, for their selfish ends. However, beyond the public pronouncements by members of the two groups, genuine efforts must be made to assuage the feelings of hopelessness among victims on both sides who have lost their means of livelihood in the protracted war. This is necessary because such victims could easily be enlisted by criminal elements who are

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already benefitting from the crises, to jeopardize the current peace process. In this regard, the Plateau state government must step in by identifying and compensating genuine victims of the feud. Similarly, the state government must designate cattle grazing reserves, not just in northern part of Plateau but also in the entire state. The absence of such grazing routes is one of the major causes of conflict between Fulani herdsmen and various farming communities in the state. On their part, leaders of the Berom and Fulani in the area must keep faith with their various pledges at the reconciliation meeting by constructively engaging each other to thrash out all issues that may be obstacles to a peaceful resolution of the dispute. It is instructive that they have resolved to jointly organize similar reconciliation meetings at the district, ward and village levels to cascade the peace message down to their kith and kin. This must be followed through vigorously in the entire region. They should also eschew sentiments in their resolve to expose criminallyminded persons in their midst who engage in cattle rustling, destruction of farmlands, and other unlawful acts. They must therefore collaborate with security agencies in the state such as the special (military) task force (STF) to fish out those "crises merchants" and "mischief makers" that could endanger the peace process.









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The revolution we need By Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi


overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state spoke truth to Nigeria’s self-absorbed political elite during the week, when he received a 32member Senate Joint Committee on the Massacre in Baga. It is reported in mainline media, he told the committee, which was in the state on a fact-finding mission that, “the nation can be consumed by a revolution.” Noting that, in the near future, Nigerian “youths will chase politicians out of power,” if the socio-economic malaises fuelling violence in the country are not adequately addressed: “Only and until we address some of these issues, believe me, the future is very bleak for all of us as the current crisis is just an appetizer of things to come. Very soon, the youths of this country will be chasing us away.” He further noted that, the political class is indifferent to the plight of the poor, but animated by “sit-tightism” and the desire to acquire more things: “How we can perpetuate ourselves in power. How much we can steal, how many mansions we can buy in Florida, Dubai and London, this is what agitates the minds of the elite of this country, including you and I.” Indeed, all is not well in Nigeria. For instance, governance is a practice of smoke and mirrors. The fuel subsidy crisis showed how our politics elevates falsity, impoverishes the masses and debases our common

humanity. Leaders at various strata of our society seem to have chosen an education in corruption, instead of one in service. As a result, the Nigerian state is weak. Public institutions are inefficient and seen as mere “avenues for chop-chop.” And public servants are perceived as parasitic sleazebags. The recent report by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, entitled, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012” lends credence to this popular perception. The report, which was presented to Congress, noted that Nigeria is steeped in “massive, widespread and pervasive corruption.” It is hilarious that the factuality of this report is now a subject of debate in certain circles. One would have thought it would strengthen our collective resolve to urgently extirpate corruption and ingrain probity in all facets of our national life. We do not promote our national interest by discarding such reports without due consideration. They deserve objective scrutiny, even when they do not capture some of our seeming successes in the fight against graft, or if they are manifestly inspired by EuroAmerican pessimism about our prospect for self-determined development. Let it be said: We do not need violent revolution to move Nigeria forward. We do not need youths to chase politicians out of offices before everyone can truly enjoy the dividends of democracy. We do not need a campaign of violent negativism

to bridge the high income inequality between the haves and have-nots. We do not need ethno-religious warlords to determine our secular orientation as a nation state. What we need is simple. We need leaders who are responsive to the legitimate aspirations of the citizenry. We direly need leaders who are animated by the desire to elevate the socioeconomic status of the poor. We need leaders who will approach youth empowerment and wealth creation from a programmatic stance and not the occasional doling out of handouts. We need leaders who will massively revamp our dilapidated infrastructure. One way to ensure Governor Shettima’s prophetic warning does not become a reality is for us to concertedly work at creating a society that elevates principles above people, justice above tribal sentiments, work above wealth and the common good above the narrow self-interest of the political elite. Toward this end, it

will be profitable for leaders to glean wisdom from the political legacy of Aminu Kano. The enlightened politics of Aminu Kano gave hope for a better life to “Talakawa” (common people). We need leaders like him who are dealers in hope. For him, the purpose of power was to empower people to pursue their concepts of the good life. Alan Feinstein noted that Aminu Kano knew “the ultimate in self-gratification is self-denial for the common welfare.” Sadly, many leaders do not know this truth, or cannot practice it. Therefore, many Nigerians are disillusioned. People without hope are likely to engage in violence for mere bread and butter. It takes hope to cope in times of economic crunch and social turmoil. The revolution we need is of the mind. Our national psyche is skewed in favour of the immediate. We need to do away with “present-mindedness.” This is imperative because, a people who cannot see beyond now, cannot work together and create

Indeed, all is not well in Nigeria. For instance, governance is a practice of smoke and mirrors. The fuel subsidy crisis showed how our politics elevates falsity, impoverishes the masses and debases our common humanity. Leaders at various strata of our society seem to have chosen an education in corruption, instead of one in service

Senate: This House is falling! By Kikiowo Ileowo Nigerians are a very special breed of people. Their tolerance level for the corruption and indolence served them by the ruling class is very high. Yes, you read me right. Since preindependence era, the portrait of Nigeria as an independent nation was evident. If you have read Wole Soyinka’s You Must Set Forth At Dawn, then you have an idea of what am talking about. The Nobel Laureate wrote about the lavish and corrupt lifestyle of one of our founding fathers that traveled to Britain on official assignment with tax payer’s money. He would party, drink and waste the little we had as a nation as if money were found on trees back home. Of note in the memoir was his revelation that the said ‘high ranking’ official paid an ‘arranged’ white female student (aristo babe) with the official cheque that carried the official seal of his political office. Not to bore you with too much stories, the same trend of irresponsibility, abuse of office and misappropriation of funds continue to this day without an end in sight. Democratic institutions have evolved over time to make diverse society better, but why sanity continues to elude our system still remains a mirage today. In democratic process,

institutions such as the legislature have evolved from its primary responsibility of making laws to checking the excesses of the executive arm. The idea of a vibrant legislative arm is simply for check and balances. The Senate, an arm of Nigerian federal legislature as presently constituted is at best a joke of some sort, a moneywasting conglomerate and a cog in the wheel of progress and development of Nigeria. Nigeria runs a bi-camera legislature; The Upper House and Lower House. The Upper House is called the Senate with a total of 109 members, 3 from each of the 36 states of the federation and 1 from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Lower House referred to as House of Representative has a total of 360 members from the 360 federal constituencies of the country. The senate is generally believed to have some sort of ‘seniority’ over the house of representative but in reality, they are only ‘seniors’ in nonperformance and salaries earned. The Senate led by General David Mark is at best docile, and a waste of our limited resources. It cost Nigerian Tax Payers an estimated N400m to service a Senator in a year. Multiplied by 109 senators is a whooping N43.6 billion. A single four year term per senator equals N1.6 billion. I wouldn’t have had

problem with this figure if the Senate was vibrant, up and doing. In the 2013 budget, there is a statutory budget transfer of N150 billion to the National Assembly. As at the time of writing this article, the breakdown is not readily available for analysis. But, it may interest you to note that the Senate President alone is allegedly serviced with N600 million of tax payer’s money yearly. Meaning if he complete his tenure still occupying his seat as the Senate President, Nigerians would have spent a total of N2.4 billion on him alone. No wonder he was alleged to have donated a car worth between $50,000- $100,000 to Tuface Idibia for his wedding which took place in Dubai, a claim he later refuted. When will Nigerians learn not to complain, that’s just ‘recharge card’ money for our senate 'Oga At The Top' (Pun Intended). The tinted characters Nigerians are presently subsiding and enriching through the senate are the likes of Joshua Dariye, former Plateau state governor and thieftain (sorry chieftain) of the PDP, George Akume, Former Benue state governor also elected under the PDP platform and still standing corruption trial in the court of law. Others are Sen. Ali Ndume who is allleged to be a sponsor and

financier of the deadly Boko Haram group, Sen. Sani Ahmad Yerima, former Zamfara State Governor and accused child molester, who is still presently married to an 'under-aged' girl. The senate also have as members; Andy Uba, Gemade Barnabas, Danjuma Goje, a simple task of google-ing these names will tell you much about their characters. These are just a few and as ex-president General Olusegun Obasanjo once revealed, The national assembly is populated by dubious character and criminals. Nigerians wake up; for how long are we going to tolerate this slap on our faces? American legislators from the republican party are pain in ass for Obama, though we are copying their bi-cameral system of legislature, ours is a waste of resources in that we are not as rich as America. Nigeria’s budget is not even up to 1/4 of New York State budget. Ok, let me give you the numbers. On March 29, 2013 the New York state assembly passed a budget of $135 billion into law, that's N20 trillion in Nigeria's currency. The total of Nigeria's budget for 2013 is around N4.5 trillion i.e. $32.6 billion We have not seen much commitment towards economic growth, fighting insecurity, beaming more searchlight on the activities of the executive arm of government from the Nigeria's

a better future. No nation has ever developed significantly by getting overly fixated with gratifying the immediate needs of the power class, or the underclass. The revolution we need is ethical. The present ethical basis of the Nigerian society cannot foster sustainable economic development for all. The impudicity of Nigeria’s elite, which is well-known around the world, has entangled us in the web of poverty, backwardness, social injustice, crony capitalism and political instability. Our checkered political history shows: Sustainable national advancement is elusive, when the ethics of transparency and public spiritedness do not sufficiently influence policy formation and implementation. I dare to say that as long as many public programmes and projects are conceptualised and executed to advance the narrow selfinterest of the power class, Nigeria will keep descending the slope of self-annihilation. We need to collectively, urgently and hugely revamp the ethical framework of state-society and leader-follower engagements. The revolution we need is respect for differences. In a multicultural and multi-religious society, like ours, provincialism breeds animosity and debars progress. Every one of us, even the grassroots man must cultivate the attitude of a savvy player in the global arena. By so doing, we will pleasurably cross social, political, ideological, religious and economic borders without changing our identities, or feeling our sense of wellbeing is threatened. Omozuwa Gabriel Osamwonyi is reachable via LinkedIn Upper Legislative house. For how long are we going to permit this docile and rudderless house from subsisting? Truth be told, there are few senators who are bold, ingenious and totally different from the pack, but we haven't seen any remarkable result from them. I would expect the Senate as the representative of the people, to continually stand President Goodluck Jonathan on his toes. Mr. President is too comfortable on his seat and is not being held accountable for his actions and inactions. He should be held liable for the insecurity and account for the death of citizens in Baga, Bama and Nassarawa. He should be made to feel the 'heat', which ultimately will propel him into action. But as of now, the Nigerian Senate is a waste of our minimal resources and should thus be scrapped. But who will? The same institution is charged with reviewing the Nigerian constitution. Truth is, we are okay with having just the lower house of representative, we can manage their little inadequacies, at least they seen to be working compared to David Mark’s Upper House whose only proud and gallant achievement till date is appeasing their hypocritical mindset by sending homosexuals to 14 years imprisonment or stoning to death in states where Sharia law is practiced. Kikiowo Ileowo, a public commentator and Editor of The Paradigm, is reachable on twitter via @ileowo4ever



Different killings, different places By Maimuna Garba


t is almost a daily routine now to wake up to the news of death, murder in Nigeria, even as such horrific every-day-revelations tantamount to a mild to say that we have grown used to the news of death in Nigeria (some people will say who grows use to the news of death?). In only the last two weeks, Nigeria has lost over 200 citizens from the massacre in Baga, to the clash in Wukari, to the murder of police men in Nasarawa state; the list of killings is endless. The part which was most scary to me and ever since leave me dump founded has been the manner of the gruesome killing of over 80 policemen by a local militia By Femi Fani-Kayode


he Yoruba people of southwestern Nigeria are a nationality of approximately 50 million people, the vast majority of who are concentrated primarily within Nigeria, but who are also spread throughout the entire world. They constitute probably the largest percentage of Africans that live in the diaspora and they have made their own extraordinary contributions in virtually every field of human endeavour throughout the ages. Descendants of the Yoruba and indeed various ancient derivatives and forms of the Yoruba language can be found and are spoken in places like Benin Republic, Brazil, Haiti, Cuba, the United States of America and various other parts of the western world. Today first, second and even third generation Yoruba have settled down and spread all over the world and are amongst the best and most sought after lawyers, nuclear scientists, doctors, industralists, academics, writers, poets, playwrites, clerics, theologians, artists, film producers, historians and intellectuals throughout the world. Wherever they go they tend to flourish and excel. This is nothing new and indeed has always been the case. The first Nigerian to be called to the Bar was a Yoruba man by the name of Sapara Williams who was called to the English Bar and started practising as a lawyer in 1879. Yet Sapara Williams was not a flash in the pan or a one-time wonder. Other Yoruba men followed in his footsteps in quick succession and were called to the English Bar shortly after he was. For example, after him came Joseph Edgarton Shyngle who was called in 1888, then came Gabriel Hugh Savage who was called in 1891, then came Rotimi Alade who was called in 1892, then came Kitoye Ajasa (whose original name was Edmund Macauly)

lot of fears group, known down the as 'Ombaste spines. cult group'. One could Their offence Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text argue that the was that the messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written police got what policemen had contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 they deserved killed nine of because they their words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and (police) have members, a a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed also been completely to: alleged to have different found culpable account given The Editor, in sundry by the state's Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, extra-judicial governor, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. killings... the Umar Tanko Email: argument will Al-Makura, SMS: 08134607052 be, if every who said the citizen feels it's convoy of the now possible to slain to have come under such take laws into his/her own hands policemen was ambushed by heinous killing, their guns and then we are in for a long thing. the cult group. tankers notwithstanding, and I do not know when, how The police as an institution worse still, despite being trained and why we got it wrong, but it saddled by law to maintain law for such odd attacks, then is not too late to get it right. and order protect lives and Firstly, our president must stop property of the citizens of a state normal citizens like me have a


setting up committees whenever atrocities of this magnitude are committed. He, as the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces should use his office and the powers attached to this great office to see that lawlessness is brought to a halt. Secondly, our law enforcement agents need to restrategize because it's obvious that their strategy is obsolete and that lost the modern fighting technique. Thirdly, our traditional institutions should not relent in their efforts of preaching peace and the essences of peaceful co-existence (as it can never be over emphasised). And, finally, we should borrow a leaf from the Boston marathon incidence: from the police to the citizens of Boston who cooperated and saw to it that the bombers were apprehended and face music. Maimuna Garba, sent this Piece from Jos.

Who are the Yoruba people? (I) who was called in 1893, then came Arthur Joseph Eugene Bucknor who was called in 1894 and then came Eric Olaolu Moore who was called in 1903. Ironically Sapara Williams was not the first Nigerian lawyer though he was the first to be called to the English Bar. In those days you did not have to be called to the Bar to practice law and the first Nigerian lawyer that practised without being called to the Bar was a Yoruba man by the name of William Henry Savage. He was described as a ”self-taught and practising lawyer” and he was a registered notary public in England as far back as 1821. These were indeed the greats and every single one of them was a Yoruba man. My friend and brother the respected Mr. Akin AjoseAdeogun, who is a historian by calling and a lawyer by profession, is a man for whom I have tremendous respect. I have often described him as the “living oracle of Nigerian history” simply because he has a photographic memory, a knack for detail, first class sources and has read more books on Nigerian history than anyone that I have ever met before in my life. Akin has an extraordinary mind, he is a living genius and I have often urged him to write a book. You can ask him anything about anyone or any event in any part of our country, since or before independence, and he will give you names, dates and the sequence of events immediately and without any recourse to notes, books or sources. After he has given you the information he will then cite his sources and tell you which books to go and read in order to confirm what he is saying. I have learnt so much from him that I must publicly acknowledge the fact that I owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.

He once told me something that I found very interesting and that reflected the semi godlike status that our earliest lawyers, including some of the names that I mentioned earlier, enjoyed amongst the people. These men were not only revered but they were also admired by all, including members of the British intelligensia, legal fraternity and elites. Akin told me that many years ago in the mid-80’s Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, who himself was one of the legal greats, who was called to the English Bar in 1934, who was the third Nigerian to be appointed as a magistrate in 1938, who was the third Nigerian to be appointed as a High Court judge in 1948 and who was the first Nigerian to be appointed Chief Justice of the Federation in 1958 said the following words to him. He said: “When you saw the way that the earliest Nigerian lawyers conducted themselves in court and argued their cases you would have been filled with pride and you would have wanted to become a lawyer yourself. Members of the public used to fill the court rooms to the brink and sometimes even the forecourts and passages just to watch these great men perform and enjoy their brilliance and oratory. They spoke the Queens english and they knew the law inside out. It is not like that today”. This is a resounding testimony from an illustrious Nigerian and it speaks eloquently about where the Yoruba, as a people, are coming from and the stock and quality of minds that they are made of. Yet the dynamism of the Yoruba and their innovations and “firsts” did not stop there. It went into numerous other spheres of human endeavour quite apart from the law. Permit me to cite just two examples. The first lies within the field of medicine. Dr.

Nathaniel King was the first Nigerian to become a medical practitioner. He graduated from Edinburgh University in 1876 and he was a Creole of Yoruba origin. Next came Dr. Oguntola Sapara who was the second Nigerian to become a medical practitioner and who graduated from Edinburgh University in 1884. He was followed by Dr. John Randle who graduated from Durham University in 1891, then Dr. Orisadipe Obasa who graduated from Edinburgh University in 1892, then Dr. Akinwande Savage who graduated from Edinburgh University in 1900, then Dr. Curtis Adeniyi-Jones who graduated from Durham University in 1901. Others like Dr. Oyejola who graduated in 1905, Dr. Kubolaje Faderin, Dr. Sesi Akapo and Dr. Magnus Macauly who all graduated in 1912, Dr. Moyses Joao Da Rocha who graduated from Edinburgh University in 1913 and many others followed after that. The second example lies within the ranks of the clergy. The first African Anglican Bishop and the first man to translate the Holy Bible and Book of Common Prayer to any African language (outside of Ethiopia) was a Yoruba ex-slave who gave his life to Christ, won his freedom and rose up to become one of the greatest and most respected clerics and leaders that the African continent has ever known by the name of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther. Unknown to many his original name was Rev. John Raban but he changed it in his early years. Crowther got his first degree at the famous Fourah Bay College in Sierra Leonne (which at that time was part of Durham University). He was ordained as an Anglican Bishop in 1864 and in that same year he was awarded a Doctorate degree from Oxford University. This extraordinary man

who was blessed by God with an exceptionally brilliant mind was, as far as I am concerned, one of the greatest Africans that ever lived. He not only translated the Holy Bible and the Book of Common Prayer to Yoruba (an extremely difficult, complicated and painstaking venture which he began in 1843 and which he completed in 1888) but he also codified a number of other christian books and he translated them into the Igbo and Nupe languages. He was literally the pillar and foundation of the Anglican church in west Africa. Throughout his adult life he courageously stood up and fought for the rights and the dignity of the African and he, more than anyone else, was responsible for the spread, influence and power of the christian faith in Nigeria in the late 19th century. He was also the maternal grandfather of the great nationalist Herbert Macaulay who, together with Nnamdi Azikiwe, founded the political party known as the NCNC in 1944. Crowther was also the father-in-law of Rev. Thomas Babington Macauly who founded the Christian Missionary Society Grammar School (CMS Grammar School) in 1859 in what was then the Lagos Colony. CMS Grammar School was the epitome of excellence and a citadel of great learning in those days. It was also the oldest secondry school in Nigeria and the main source of African clergymen and administrators in the Lagos Colony. It is not surprising that it was the sonin-law of the great Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther that founded such a school and that it was his grandson that founded one the greatest political parties that the African continent has ever known. This is another first for the Yoruba. Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation


By Okey Ndibe


rom the outset, Okonkwo, the tragic protagonist of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, comes across as extraordinarily strong, a man who is “well known throughout the nine villages and even beyond” and whose “fame rested on solid personal achievements.” Not only does he stand out in his community, he is also a prototype of the imperial character, a man taken with the singularity of his powers. In an important sense, he foreshadows the British authorities lurking around the corner of late 19th century Umuofia, about to burst upon the lives of a once proud and self-governing people. Like the British colonial authorities, Okonkwo is in no hurry to argue with any force weaker than himself – or with weakness of any sort, period. When he encounters weakness, especially weakness symbolized in another individual, his first impulse is to kill it, squelch it, erase it. He is a veritable serial killer, armed with various stratagems for killing his nemesis – the weak. When a man named Osugo contradicts him at a meeting, a hectoring Okonkwo reminds the man that “this meeting is for men.” As Achebe informs us, Okonkwo knew “how to kill a man’s spirit.” During the Week of Peace, a period when the earth goddess mandates the absolute absence of rancor, belligerence and violence from the community in exchange for her bequest of a bountiful harvest, an imperious Okonkwo


Strategy for fighting corruption thoughtlessly beats one of his wives. For me, the one thing that’s even more significant than Okonkwo’s untoward exhibition of rude power is his community’s poise, their possession of the ultimate means to chastise the errant hero, their capacity – in other words – to deal with the threat of a man who appears not to know where his moral boundaries lie. When he defames Osugo, Okonkwo is compelled to apologize. When he breaches the Week of Peace, he scandalizes his community and incurs the wrath of the goddess whose priest makes a brusque, chastening visit to Okonkwo to spell out the fines. Achebe damningly portrays Okonkwo as a man incapable of thought, a man who reposes too much faith in his physical prowess but puts no store by wisdom. Yet, there are numerous opportunities when the community forces Okonkwo to reckon with the fact that they – to say nothing of their ancestors and gods – are, in the end, more powerful than he. When the strongman foolishly ignores old Ezeudu’s counsel not to have a hand in killing the “doomed lad” called Ikemefuna, it falls to Obierika, Okonkwo’s best friend and an exemplar of the thinking man, to chide the morally repugnant Okonkwo. In a warning that proves prescient, Obierika describes Okonkwo’s participation in the killing of his

adoptive son as the kind of act for which “the earth goddess wipes off” an entire family. Okonkwo earns himself a seven-year exile in his maternal home, Mbanta, when his gun discharges accidentally, inadvertently causing the death of a clansman, Ezeudu’s son. In all of this, the instruction is that the people of Umuofia are able to rein in Okonkwo, a man who has developed a warped and ethically problematic vision of strength as corresponding to virtue. If he could, Okonkwo would gladly have stipulated that he was the only way and the light. He would have insisted that his community’s will be subordinated to his decrees. But Umuofia does not let him. Instead, the community constantly reclaims the ethical ground that Okonkwo wishes to usurp for sheer power. The culmination of this tussle between the community’s sense of propriety and Okonkwo’s faith in violence arrives towards the end of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. The men of Umuofia are holding a meeting to decide an appropriate response to the troubling presence of white men who – to paraphrase Obierika – have put a knife to the things that held the community together, gravely threatening Umuofia’s corporate cohesion. The meeting has hardly taken off when the uniformed messengers of the white intruders appear, with instructions to disband the

gathering. Okonkwo confronts the haughty messengers, draws his machete and beheads one of them. In responding in this decisive, “manly” way to the provocations of the white presence, Okonkwo hopes to propel his fellows into war. In effect, he wishes to make a demand on the warriors of Umuofia. He wants them to prove themselves to him, to demonstrate that they deserve to be called warriors still. He wants them to illustrate that they have not become effeminate, wilted cowards. The men of Umuofia stoutly reject Okonkwo’s precipitate action. They resist the summons to go to war on Okonkwo’s terms. They have a time-tested, settled protocol they must follow before declaring a war. They won’t let a failure at “thinking,” a man whose genius lies exclusively in acting out violently, to determine the nature and timing of their response to the foreign invaders, however egregious and gratuitous the “white” provocation. Rather than join Okonkwo in battle, the men of Umuofia wonder aloud about his awful act. They do not admire his decision to act alone when communal action was meet and mandated. It is, of course, a moment of mutual incomprehension. Okonkwo misreads his community’s refusal to embrace his violent act as final proof of Umuofia’s

decline, its descent into paralysis. Convinced in his misapprehension, he leaves the scene of his final murder to go off and hang himself, no doubt viewing himself as a man utterly betrayed by his fellows, a man who sees no alternative other than a final act of separation: suicide. In death, as in life, Okonkwo is a figure of extreme impulsiveness. Left to his devices, he would sooner force his community to bend to his will. If it were up to him, then, even the ancestors and gods of Umuofia must redefine themselves according to Okonkwo’s strictures. In present-day Nigeria, a man like him could very well be an imperial president or governor – and proceed to mistake himself for the totality of his community, his interests and values superseding those of the rest of his people. Yet, Achebe’s first novel reveals how the members of the Umuofia community – ancestors, the living, and deities – work in concert to check Okonkwo’s masculinist excesses and to hold him accountable to the community’s ethical precepts. The question then arises: What has happened to weaken such faculties of ethical enforcement in contemporary Africa, specifically in the space called Nigeria? Follow Okey Nidbe on twitter @ okeyndibe

New Ekiti deputy gov steps into hallowed shoes By Dele Agekameh


t was swift and well calculated to deliver a big, maximum political punch on Ekiti politics. Perhaps, that is the only mild manner the sudden appointment last weekend of Modupe Adelabu as the deputy governor of Ekiti State could best be described. A professor of Education, Adelabu replaces the immediate past deputy governor, late Eunice Oluwafunmilayo Adunni Olayinka, who passed on, on April 6, 2013, following a protracted battle with cancer. The late Olayinka was an amazon gifted with guts, gumption and iron in her backbone while her sojourn on planet earth lasted. Unfortunately, her poise, finesse, elegance and mental acuity had been consumed by a notorious cancer that cut her down. The outpouring of emotions, grief, tributes, and the wellchoreographed rites of passage with which she was ‘escorted’ from her death bed to her final resting place at Ado-Ekiti, the fast growing capital of Ekiti State, attested to the high esteem the Ekitis usually accord their heroes and heroines, living or dead. No wonder many people, especially her kindred in Ekiti, knighted her “Moremi Ekiti”. This is a great honour and perhaps, the first time in the history of Yoruba land, that someone is considered worthy to literarily step into Moremi’s shoes. Moremi, in Yoruba mythology, was a damsel who was abducted (or kidnapped) by

some bandits from a particularly nagging tribe that perennially invaded Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba land many, many years ago. On one of such raids, Moremi was taken along among the supposed captives, easily one of the spoils of wars then. Legend has it that Moremi allowed herself to be captured by her own volition. Before then, the Yoruba were always voting with their feet whenever the masquerade-looking invaders who they ignorantly referred to as ‘ara-orun’ (spirits) invaded IleIfe. Moremi stopped all that. During her period in captivity, she spied on the so-called invaders who had tormented her people for a long time. One day, she escaped and meandered her way back to Ile-Ife. There she revealed to her people that the recalcitrant invaders were actually human beings disguised in regalia made of raffia palm and dressed like masquerades to frighten and terrorise the people. Now loaded with the gift of insider knowledge, the Yoruba started plotting how to confront the terrorists. By the time they came on their next expedition, they were not only confronted by the now emboldened Yoruba, they were massively slaughtered and rooted. The trick was simple. Long bamboo sticks were mounted with ‘oguso’ (dried palm fruits waste), which was highly combustible. It is still used in some African rural settings to make bonfire till date. So many of them, stored in various ‘armouries’ all over the ancient town, were released. Bonfires were then made of them and the ‘masquerades’ were set on fire

one by one. Before they realised what was happening, the invaders had been rooted. Those who managed to escape, if any, never dared the Yoruba again. It is to the everlasting memory of the heroism of Moremi that the Yoruba worship and equate her with a deity, which she really was. It is in commemoration of the titanic battle that the Ife people celebrate her annually with what is known as ‘Edi’ festival, which holds towards the end of the year. It is an event which attracts people from all walks of life, including the Diaspora, to IleIfe. During the festival, which runs for about seven days, the fourth day called ‘ina-osan’, ‘noon fire’ is celebrated by inducing a mock ‘war’. Here, able-bodied men carrying thick and long firebearing sticks, usually emerge from the innermost recess of the palace of the Ooni of Ife. With the ferocious fire burning all through the streets, crisscrossing Itakogun and Arubidi quarters of the town, a distance of about six or more kilometers to the palace. The procession terminates at a sacred grove located deep inside a thick forest (Igbo Oro), in the Iyekere area of the ancient and historical city, close to present-day Ondo Road. This procession is held amidst drumming, singing, dancing and acrobatic displays by various traditional, gender, age and cultural groups in the town. After the fire-bearing men has exited the palace, another group of tall and huge men dressed in the costume of the ‘masquerade’ invaders of old, will

emerge from ‘hiding’ and dance round Enuwa quarters located just by the gate of the palace. They also dance inside the palace with youths and young children trooping behind them. The final day of the Edi festival is marked by the appearance of ‘Tele’. That seven-day revelry that accompanied the annual Edi festival was the equivalent of what the Ekitis did for Olayinka all through her death to her final interment. That was more than what a princess, which she was, deserved because Olayinka proved that it was possible for a lady to combine beauty with brain and sparkling achievements. By doing that, she joined the lengthy list of eminent women who are today occupying sensitive places in the hall of fame not only in Nigeria or Africa but the world at large. This is a big challenge for the new deputy governor who is stepping into such giant-size shoes. Do I call it Queen-size? I am quite sure that she is up to the task. This is because Adelabu’s academic standing speaks volumes about her talents. Kayode Fayemi, the workaholic, incumbent governor of Ekiti State, had initially wanted her as a deputy, but the case of her ailing husband at the time was more compelling for her total attention. Hence she politely turned down the offer. At that time, she was the Head of the Department of Educational Administration and Planning of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the ancestral home of Moremi. She was later appointed chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board,

SUBEB. As someone who had served as external examiner in some reputable national and stateowned universities, I am sure the education sector in Ekiti State, which is the major industry in the state, is set to witness great transformation, I mean real transformation and certainly not a cosmetic one that has become music in the airwaves all over the place. I think the education portfolio and, in some cases, local government affairs are usually tucked under the purview of deputy governors, especially in educationally advanced states of the South-West of the country. Aside from the education sector, between 2000 and 2003, Adelabu was also a foundation member of Board of Ekiti State World Bank Assisted Poverty Reduction Agency. And fighting poverty is a major plank of the Fayemi administration in Ekiti State and by extension, a major political weapon being wielded by the Action Congress of Nigeria now re-christened All Progressives Congress, APC, a new political identity that is already sending shivers down the spines of other real and fake politicians in the country. I can bet it with any serious politician in Ekiti State today that the choice of Adelabu as deputy governor has given Fayemi another victory, a resounding victory at the yet-tobe-contested and conducted 2014 polls. This is indeed a win-win strategy designed to inflict maximum punishment on the rancorous opposition in the state! Dele Agekameh is on LinkedIn



Jiwa community turbans FCT minister’s wife

The wife of FCT Minister, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed after receiving the staff of office as the Garkuwan Mata of Jiwa, Abuja from the Chief of Jiwa, Alhaji Idris Musa at his palace.

By Adeola Tukuru


Dutse community in FCT bemoans perennial water shortage


s the perennial water situation in Dutse Community in the FCT continues to bite harder, residents say the inability of the Usuma Dam to supply water to the area remains a big surprise. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the dam, which was constructed since 1985 to supply water to FCT and its environs, should have been a source of joy to the more than 30,000 residents of Dutse community, and its environs. It has a designed capacity to produce 100 million cubic metres but currently produces six million cubic metre of water. The Chief of the area, Alhaji Abubakar Bako, Hakimi of Dutesn Alhaji, told NAN that the joy of his people had been cut short as they could not benefit from the project that supplied water far away from them. Bako said that the greatest surprise was that since the completion of the dam, “the community is yet to benefit from it and all the complaints to FCDA, Water Board, have fallen on deaf ears.’’ He also said that this was no fault of theirs as they were meant to understand that the pipes were so big that it could only take water to far places. The traditional ruler said that the people had continued to depend on water vendors (Mairuwa) for their daily need. The people of the community told NAN that their daily expenses on water had gone up, as government had not been able to fulfil its promise over the

water supply. NAN learnt that the scarcity of water has affected the people in the community, as they spend between N180 and N200 per day in getting water from the water vendors. Bako said that the increasing cost of water had caused some of the resident to relocate from the community to other places, adding, “Most of the time we complain, they make promises to us and tell us administrative languages”. “We are not happy that people are drinking and using the water from the dam, but our people can only hear the sound of the water passing through the pipe but we cannot taste it,’’ he said. The newly elected Counsellor for the area, Mrs Mary Makama, also told NAN that far away communities were getting water from the dam, while Dutse, which was near to it was not. She named to communities to include Kubwa, Abuja City, Karu, Nyanyan, Airport and Gwagwalada environs, except Dutse and its immediate surroundings where the dam is located. “Our community leaders have fought for water, but nothing has been done than to keep promising us to have patience,” she said. She said that many houses were demolished in Dutse during the laying of water pipes to different places, and appealed to the FCT to redirect some of the pipes to enable the people benefit from the dam. Mr Adamu Usman, a

Community Chairman at Dutse, who said he has stayed in Dutse for over 15 years, said there was nothing like government presence in Dutse and whatever we enjoyed here was through community effort. Mrs Ngozi Johnson, a resident of Dutse, said that she was tired of the perennial water problem in Dutse, and that she was even contemplating relocating from the area because she could not afford to buy water any more. “Imagine the community that is very close to the dam that suffered demolition to lay water pipes for other communities in the FCT to enjoy the water, we are suffering and government did not even make provision for us.’’ Another resident, Mr Mohammed Danladi, said that he was not happy with the problem they were facing in Dutse because the dam was near them and they still lacked potable water. “I do carry my Jerry cans to office almost every day to fetch drinking water and I do buy water from water vendors for my domestic work at home.” The Head of Department, Water Distribution, FCT Water Board, Mr Ahmed Nahuche, said that Abuja infrastructure development in its first and second phases were ongoing. “We have one phase to be completed and the second phase is in progress. “At the moment, Galadima tank is almost completed but Dutse people and Galadima are supposed to take water from tank one and part of tank three. “By the completion of tank one, most part of the Galadima and

part of Gwarimpa and Kagingi community, will get water and with more development that is coming in we have tank seven that will cover the whole area that has not been covered.’’ The Head of Department, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation, Dr Mohammed Danltassan, expressed concern about the problem of water that Dutse people were facing. He said that it was regrettable that the people could not connect directly to the water strong lines passing through Dutse and other community from the dam. He explained that there was the need to provide a reservoir, where water would be stored and from there redistributed in the community. “Until that provision is made they cannot connect directly to the main strong line which is about a metre in diameter,’’ he said. According to him, the coming of set three and four project plans, will improve water supply to Dutse and its environs. He also said that if a reservoir had been constructed, the town and some other communities would benefit from pipe borne water supply. Danltassan added that last year, they took their survey on functional and non-functional rural water scheme in the FCT and they had submitted their report to the administration. He explained that the plan was to construct a reservoir for the area, but before then, Dutse and its environs should endure with the ground water resource through the provision of bore holes. (NAN)

iwa community under the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), has turbaned the FCT Minister’s wife, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed as the Garkuwan Mata meaning the “Protector of Jiwa womenfolk”. The traditional ruler, Dr. Idris Musa said these was coming from her good works in empowering youths, women and widows as well as care for the dead through her NGO, the Al-Muhibbah Foundation. According to her, she was conferred with the exalted chieftaincy title as a token of status as an outstanding woman leader with uncommon humanitarianism, motherly compassion, selfless service to the people, sterling leadership and care for all in the Responding, Hajiya Bala Mohammed said she was most humbled knowing that his modest contributions towards the empowerment of youths, women and the less privileged in the society have begun to receive attention. She paid tribute to the First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Patience Goodluck Jonathan whose passion for women, youths, children and the less privileged has resulted to over 35% federal political positions being occupied by women in the present dispensation.

Police nab 3 suspected Indian hemp sellers in Gwagwalada By Usman Shuaibu


he Nigerian Police Force (NPF) at Tugan-Maje in Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT yesterday arrested three suspected Indian hemp sellers, Mohammed Aliyu, Kabiru Mohammed and Ismail Umaru in the area. Confirming the incident, the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Zuba police station, CSP Femi Adelegan, said that the suspects were arrested in their hideout during the police patrol. He disclosed that a lot of quantities of Indian hemps were discovered from the suspects a polythene bag. He said that the suspects have been charged to court in Zuba for further investigation. Adelegan, therefore, advised the youths in the area not to engage themselves in selling of Indian hemps or drugs, saying that such act was against the law of the land.



We’re introducing the 1st 6-star hotel on the African continent in Abuja – GM, AES Luxury Apartments INTERVIEW


he hotel industry has long been patronised by large businesses, particularly in Lagos, the commercial capital; what informed your decision to introduce a 6-star hotel in Abuja? Abuja is the business centrehub of Nigeria and AES Apartments decided on putting the first 6- star luxury hotel property here. Seeing is believing; The finishing is like Nigeria hasn’t seen before. It’s actually like a hotel or apartment block out of Dubai, and we feel that it’s a positive move in the right direction being the first 6-star hotel in the African continent and at the rates we are going to charge, which is going to be an affordable price. The apartment varies from N30, 000 up to N95, 000 for our Executive Suites. And we feel that Abuja is crying out for the opulence of what we are going to be able to achieve. Most of the foreign visitors come to Nigeria for investment purposes. Are you trying to take advantage in that area? We will be open for all type of business and our recreation facilities, as you have seen; the size of the pool, the entertaining area, our conference room which can take up to 300 people and so that we have the leisure market. Also our swimming pools are very children- friendly and yes, we are apartments, primarily more than hotel, so we have companies that will book rooms for long time at a very affordable price; but there are definitely gaps in the market, in the apartment market, for quality. There isn’t anything in Abuja and so therefore we will be attracting the corporate and the business clients and for leisure.

With 28 years of his “hands on” expertise, a successful international experience in hotel management, Mr. Paul Murry currently heads the about-to-be launched and the first-of-its-kind 6star luxury hotel in, not only Nigeria, but the African continent. In this interview with Aminu Imam and Ibrahim Kabiru Sule, the Briton explains why he set up AES Luxury Apartments & Executive Suites, which boasts of visible opulence, maximum luxury, highly affordable rates and a highly trained staff, in a choice location within Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. Excerpts: When is the official opening date of the hotel and are you sure you can beat the deadline in view of finishing touches that is still going on? Saturday, the 1st of June; and we will be ready by that date. The pool will be ready. I have on site at the moment 40, 000 staff that are undergoing training and my mates are doing all the touching up and fixing and we are nearly complete. So, we got some breathing spaces. But obviously the training is the target. Having talked about the affordable prices of your hotel, are you fixing these prices based on the fact that it’s the first 6-star hotel in Africa, as you just said, or is that going to be maintained even after the official launching? No, we are going to maintain these prices. These are not opening prices; actually, we have soft opening right now and we are actually selling an apartment at N21, 000, which is until the first of June. That is the opening offer, which is available from 1st of May to 1st of June; But from the 1st of June, our rates would be between N30, 000 to N95, 000. You said this is the first 6star hotel in African continent, most 5-star hotels in the country are lacking in human resource capacity; how important are you taking the issue of capacity building of your staff? First of all, this apartment will have a staff capacity of 100, for now; It’s just under 80

Frontal view of ACE apartments, Abuja

Mr. Paul Murry apartments, so we are going to be giving one and a quarter staff member to each apartment. We have already started intensive training since last month and have given a hundred new jobs in Abuja. I have taken some people, who hitherto had very little experience in some of this kind of job; in some of the housecleaning jobs. Sometimes, when you have this kind of hotel apartment blocks, you need to train them the way to treat people in this kind of opulent building. Security issue is one of the main concerns now,

especially in the North. How adequate is Ace Apartments in this regard? Yes; we have been very adequate with regards to security. First of all, wall, the surrounding wall of the property is very high and has an electric fence; Secondly, we have the expertise of the halogen security and also, we have private military security outfit. But they are not in their uniforms with machine guns; they are much more covert. They are not on site now. But they will be around from the first of June. And of course, the ordinary checking procedures; there is only one entrance and as usual, the procedures of checking the car will happen as always. The cost? 18 million dollars. Most hotels, particularly in Lagos tend to recoup their investments within 7 to 8 years. When do you intend to recoup this investment? We anticipate our return of our investment in about 7 years. Is there anything that informed your decision to locate the hotel in this part of Abuja, which is outside the business centre of the city? I think the positioning of the hotel is a very special one, for a few reasons. One, it is directly on the way to Abuja airport. It’s exactly half way to and fro, in either direction. That is the first thing; Secondly, Jabi, if you look around. the constructions are on-going, there are beautiful

houses, housing estates, there are universities etc. What is also important is that it is very peaceful, with beautiful gardens, surroundings, no annoying car horns, noise and the hustle and bustle of the city. You only take 15 minutes maximum drive from the centre of Abuja and again, 15 minutes from the airport. That is a location (where) you have beautiful surroundings. We do have shops in the apartment; there are two parking shops, a supermarket; we also have a clinic, a gymnasium, in addition to the pool area, and the conference rooms, which can cater for private functions of up to 300 people, both indoors or out. Do you intend to open similar hotel in other states in the country? Yes, I’m the group General Manager of the company and we are already planning the next one in Lagos, in Festac; That will start in January, next year. In view of the low rates of your prices, how are you going to assure customers of maximum comforts, luxury? I have selected the crème-de la crème that Abuja can offer, with regards to my heads of department and through them we continue to train them; the most important thing is that we are going to set standards on very good salary, because we are going to pay the best salaries in Abuja. My minimum salary is N38, 000. So you are talking about the cleaner; He is going to get N38, 000. My supervisors get N150, 000. So with that in mind, they are going to be more proud of being here and when we introduced the service job, we instituted it in a way that it will be based on performance and the amount of business they attract, which they are going to have a percentage. If the attendance is full, they are going to have 100%. We are actually making our staff part of the business. Most hotels pay 50% of the service job; we will be paying between 50% and 100% of the service job, which is obviously on their performance and how busy the hotel is. So you know I think with that in mind, people are going to be working for a very long time, they are going to be putting their very best, they are going to be dedicated, and they are already motivated by paying them good salaries. And I think this is going to make a good difference to the quality of service and consistency.




Man, 21, in court over alleged armed robbery

Court orders lawyer to T pay N2.35m to couple A

n Abuja High Court has ordered a lawyer, Akhigbemen Ehimen, to pay N2.35 million to Mr Cornelius Agbor and his wife, Ebi, being money he swindled them. Delivering judgment in the case, Justice Angela Otaluka held that the evidence before the court proved that the defendant did not deny the plaintiffs’ claims against him. “The plaintiff’s claims against the defendant were not contested in court and this matter was brought under the undefended list which entitles the plaintiffs to summary judgment,’’ she said. Otaluka said there was

overwhelming documentary evidence of agreements reached between the parties on the nature of their business transaction, including the transfer of money to the defendants’ bank account. “The crux of the matter is that the defendant and the plaintiffs agreed to enter into a loan investment, and evidence of cash transfer to the defendant’s bank account are before the court,’’ she said. Otaluka said the case was brought under the undefended list which meant that that the defendant did not enter defence in the matter and so the plaintiffs were entitled to judgment.

“Judgment is, hereby, given in favour of the plaintiffs jointly and the court, therefore, orders that the sum of N2.35 million be paid by the defendant to the plaintiffs immediately,’’ she said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the couple had, through their counsel, Mr Tony Ojong, filed a suit against the defendant for allegedly swindling them. Ojong told the court that the defendant claimed to be a money facility agent and deceitfully collected money from the couple on many occasions under false pretence. He said that the defendant

promised the couple a 15 per cent interest on their money but neither paid back the capital nor the interest, even after the defendants made several demands for payment. Ojong said that his clients’ claims against the defendant was made up of the initial capital and cumulative interests amounting to N2.35 million, and urged the court to order him to pay it. He described the action of his learned colleague as fraudulent and a breach of professional ethics, adding that he acted by pretence as an investment solicitor without due licence. (NAN)

R-L: Wife of the Senator representing FCT, Mrs. Hauwa Phillip Aduda, presenting items to Bwari. Area Council Women Leader, Mrs. Irona Samuel, and Shere Ward Women Leader, Rita Diko, during Mrs. Aduda ongoing women empowerment programme, at the weekend in Bwari Area Council of Abuja.

Woman begs court to dissolve 6-yearold marriage


Photo: Justin ImoOwo

Security man in court for alleged phone theft


he police on Friday arraigned Daniel Ameachi, a security guard at Beer Lodge, Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, in an Abuja Magistrates’ Court for alleged joint act and stealing. The Prosecutor, Mr David Udeh, told the court that the matter was reported by Mactranlia Ikorochea

of African Children Talent Discovery, Abuja, to the Wuse police station on April 26. Udeh said that Ameachi, 27, and another man who is now atlarge, allegedly burgled the complainant’s car and stole his Nokia cell phone, valued at N85,000. He said that the phone was

recovered from the accused during investigation. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the offences. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Ramatu Gulma, granted the accused bail in the sum of N250,000 and a surety in like sum. Gulma said that the surety must have a fixed address and

reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She added that the surety must be a civil servant of not less than level 10 and must present a copy of last promotion and receipt of last rent payment to the court. The magistrate adjourned the case to May 30,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

2 men granted bail over abduction


n Upper Area Court in Gudu, FCT, yesterday granted N300,000 bail each to Alphonsus Pemida, 52, businessman and Isaac Solomon both of Durumi, Abuja for alleged conspiracy and abduction. The Presiding Judge, Malam Adamu Wakili, however, said the bail bonds must be executed by reliable sureties who must be

he police yesterday arraigned one Ibrahim Haruna, 21, of Area 1, Garki Abuja at the Karu Upper Area Court over alleged criminal conspiracy and robbery. The Prosecutor, Mr Umoh Ibor, told the court that one Yahaya Usman reported the matter to the police on March 4. “Haruna and his gang numbering 10, now at large went to Total Filling Station at Area 3, Garki. Ibor said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 97 and 298 of the Penal Code. Section 97 (2) of the code stipulates that whoever is a party to a criminal conspiracy shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or asked to pay fine or both. Section 298 states that whoever commits robbery shall be punished with imprisonment for 21 years with or without fine and would also be caned. The section states further that if the robbery is committed by any person armed with a dangerous or offensive weapon or instrument, he will be sent to life imprisonment without fine. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Presiding Judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N200, 000 and a surety in like sum. He said that the surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court and adjourned the case to July 8,2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

resident within the FCT and have fixed addresses. The Police Prosecutor, Mr Patrick Obetta, had told the court that one Tina Alhaji, a resident of Durumi, Abuja reported the matter to the Durumi police station on April 27. Obetta said that the accused persons went to the house of Alhaji on that date in her absence,

without her consent and requested one of her employees, Begge Dabo, 21, to pack her belongings and come with them. The prosecutor added that the girl was later found in the vehicle of the accused persons on May 7 and they confessed to committing the crime during police investigation. He said the offences were

contrary to sections 97 and 273 of the Penal Code. The offence carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment with or without an option of fine. The accused persons, however, denied the charges and the matter was adjourned to June 14,2013 for hearing. (NAN)

woman, Mrs Ngozi Odoma, of Mararaba in Nasarawa State has appealed to an Upper Area Court in Mararaba to dissolve her six-year-old marriage. She told the court on Friday that her husband, Philip, deceived her into the marriage. “This man here is a married man with seven children. He also claims to be a pastor.’’ She said that Philip had refused to pay her bride price since 2007 and was always giving excuses when reminded to do so. “Philip is in the habit of beating me. The last time, he used a knife, inflicting serious injuries on me. “He has chased me out of the apartment I rented since February, vowing to kill me. “The marriage is blessed with two children. The marriage has broken down irretrievably.’’ She begged the court to dissolve the union and hand over all her property in his possession to her, including a school in Aku Village, Mararaba. But Philip denied the claims, saying: “I am a joint owner of the school.’’ The Presiding Judge, Mr Vincent Gwahemba, ordered the complainant to bring her witnesses to court at the next sitting of the matter. He adjourned the case to June 4,2013. (NAN)




Mob: 08033644990



- Pg 20

FG sets June meetings for $1bn bond to fund power

FG to assist non-oil exporters to EU, says Aganga By Etuka Sunday he Federal Government, on Monday said it would assist exporters of non oil products to address the bottlenecks associated with exports of food produce to


European countries. The move, according to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga would help to facilitate trade to the United Kingdom and countries in the European

Union. Aganga stated this at a workshop and exhibition on export of Nigerian food produce to the UK. The workshop, with theme: “Export of food produce to the

United Kingdom” was organised by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC). The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr

L-R: Member, Governing Board, Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC), General Yunana Nom (rtd), representative of Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Dauda Kigbu, and Executive Director of NEPC, Mr. David Adulugba, during NEPC workshop and exhibition, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

World Bank says 70m Nigerians are poor By Etuka Sunday


he World Bank yesterday revealed through its report that 70 million Nigerian adults are poor and warned that Nigeria is at risk of borrowing to finance budget deficit in two years times. The World Bank, at the launch of the Nigeria Economic Report (NER) warned that if fuel subsidy is maintained at N97 per litre, cash call to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) remains at three per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and federation account distributions increase annually at 3 per cent in real terms Nigeria may borrow to finance budget deficit in 2015. Presenting the report yesterday in Abuja, the Lead Economist of the World Bank Nigeria Country office, John Litwack said “the current balance of the Excess Crude Account may only be sufficient to pull Nigeria through one year following a sharp decline in oil prices. Thus,

...warns Nigeria against borrowing to finance deficit unless Nigeria can manage to accumulate a strong fiscal reserve, macroeconomic stability faces major external risks.” According to the report “the world economic situation is still highly volatile, and an associated macroeconomic crisis would imply high inflation, currency depreciation and increased hardship for a large part of the population.” The World Bank in its economic report on Nigeria in

2012 made an assumptions that “fuel subsidy represents a high and growing opportunity cost to the country. In the absence of the fuel subsidy from 2013 to 2015, under the maintained assumptions, the ECA would have accumulated to over US$20 billion already in 2013 and to well over US$40 billion in 2015.” “Thus in the absence of fuel subsidy, under the first two scenarios, the country could succeed in both accumulating a

sufficient reserve to protect itself from oil price volatility, and in realizing strong increases in distributions to budgets of oil revenues.” Put in another sense, the Economic Report on Nigeria stated that “without fuel subsidy, the fiscal gap by 2015 would also be reduced to less than US$6 billion which is a generally manageable situation, given Nigeria’s current strong debt position.”

Management Tip of the Day

Set the right tone for your talk


hen you present, your audience usually sizes you up before you even utter a word — so it’s critical to make a positive first impression. Start by communicating ahead of time. Send a thoughtfully written agenda with a concise but telling subject

line — and be explicit about what the audience will get out of it. Once they’re in the room, match your disposition to your presentation. For your content to ring true, do you need to come across as passionate? Humbled by the challenges ahead? If you’re announcing a layoff,

be somber, not happy. If your talk is upbeat, chat with individuals as the group gathers. No matter what tone you’re trying to establish, be available and sincere. Source: Harvard Business Review

Dauda Kigbu said the capacity building workshop would also help to reduce complaints by exporters regarding the rejection of traditional food exports by the UK Border Agency. He said, “In view of the strict importance attached to internationally accepted procedures and documentation, especially where food consumables are concerned, this workshop could not have come at a better period-more so, as the nation looks to diversifying its economic base from oil to non oil. “The imperative remains that our exporters have to update themselves and adhere to new conditions for the export of food produce recently issued by the Director General of European Commission’s Health and Consumer Directorate in Brussels.” Also speaking at the event, the EU Head, Import Control Agency, UK, Mr Michael Glavin said for the country to fully harness the potential of non oil export, challenges such as compliance with EU laws and agriculture processing needed to be addressed. He said, “One of the reasons why we are here is to advise and to give more information to Nigerian exporters on how European Union laws can be interpreted and give as much advise and follow ups as to how Nigerian exporters can improve compliance over the next period of months to facilitate trade coming into the UK because if you can come into the UK, you are also entitled to come into other 31 countries as well “We are looking at infrastructure because Nigeria exports fish very well to UK and EU. We are looking to making sure on how to advise how meat exports could be looked at, we are looking to advice on what we call critical control points in Nigeria agriculture industry and in the processing side of the industry to bring it up to line with EU laws. The NEPC Executive Secretary, Mr David Adulugba, who also spoke at the event said with the workshop, the country would begin to witness a quantum leap in the volume of non-oil export. “The British market consistently tops the first 10 chart list of importers of Nigerian goods, and in any case, they have been our traditional trading partner of old; We are looking at it from superlative terms now. “Whatever it is now we want to make it 100 per cent higher. It is no longer going to be business as usual, we must move higher this time around,” he added.




PEM Offshore Limited


EM Offshore Limited has signed a multi-million dollar contract with Kongsberg Maritime for the supply of a full suite of offshore anchor handling, dynamic positioning, power management and crane simulation systems, which will form the main infrastructure for a world-class offshore simulation training centre and the first of its kind in Nigeria and West Africa. The new training centre will be located in Lagos and serve to support the training of local and foreign offshore personnel involved in offshore oil and gas operations. The establishment of the new offshore simulation training centre will create new highvalue employment opportunities for the region and underpin the requirements for qualified marine personnel in this primary offshore supply hub for West Africa, said Kongsberg.

Ikoyi Hotels


n line with the group’s hotel expansion project across Africa, Tsogo Sun Group, foremost South African-based hotel Management Company, has acquired 75 percent share in Ikoyi Hotels Limited, the holding company of the Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotel. With the controlling share, the hotel management company would be investing $70 million (R630 million) more aimed at lifting the hotel to the group’s standard and broadening its reach across West Africa with Nigeria as a launch pad. The investment includes loan funding, while the acquisition is subject to several conditions precedent including regulatory approvals.

Badagry Seaport


resident of the National Association of Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Chief Eugene Nweke has said that the planned establishment of a seaport at Badagry by the Federal Government will boost the economy of West African countries. He said by the time the Badagry port becomes fully operational, it would address the challenges of cargo congestion at the Apapa port and also improve the movement of cargo within the West African sub region. He added that once this is achieved it would improve the economic growth of Nigeria.

FG sets June meetings for $1bn bond to fund power


Stories by Etuka Sunday with agency reports


he Federal Government plans to sell $1 billion (N160bn) of Eurobonds to finance power projects after meetings with international investors in June, Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has said. The securities will be dollardenominated, Okonjo-Iweala said in an interview in Cape Town last week, where she is attended the World Economic Forum on Africa. Nigeria is to host the conference for the first time next year, she said. Nigeria is tapping global markets for the second time, taking advantage of investors’ appetite for higher-yielding assets. The Federal Government is raising funds to boost electricity output in a country where demand is almost double the supply of about 4,000 megawatts. “Preparations are going fullsteam ahead” to sell the bonds, Okonjo-Iweala said. “We need $10 billion a year in investment in infrastructure in Nigeria in order to keep up with the needs of the country.” Nigeria’s $500 million of bonds due January 2021 have surged since the debut in 2011,

Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo

sending yields 271 basis points, or 2.71 percentage points, lower to 4.08 percent, according to data compiled by

Bloomberg. “Our prospects are very good” for the new sale based on the yield drop, OkonjoIweala said.

Shell says crude oil theft is reducing By Etuka Sunday


he Nigerian unit of AngloDutch oil giant, Shell, has admitted that the spate of crude oil theft from its facilities in the Niger Delta is reducing, a development he attributed to the surveillance of the Joint Task Force (JTF), set up by the Federal Government to check the menace. Shell had constantly complained about the high incidence of pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, resulting in revenue losses estimated at over $10billion annually. The company had in fact, recently threatened to shut down its operations if the nothing was done to contain it urgently. Furthermore, Shell has declared more force majeure since the year began than any

Drop in crude oil production worrisome – NUPENG

other oil major operating in Nigeria, a legal clause that absolves it from contractual obligations for failure to meet supply agreements. However, speaking on the sideline of the Offshore Technology Conference, OTC 2013, in Houston Texas, USA, the Country Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu said, “certainly it was on the increase a few months ago, but I can also tell you, I have seen increased attention by the government security agencies, the JTF, Navy, really moving in to stem the tide. So, I wouldn’t say I am happy; but I can see improvement in the responsiveness of the government security agencies.” The Shell boss refused to quantify, as he regularly did in the past how much oil had been

saved since the JTF swung into action, but rather said, “I will be in a position to tell you when our Nembe creek trunkline is back up, but right now, that line is down. Like I said, we are removing the bunkering points from that line, once all those bunkering points are removed, and the line is up and running, we will then be in a position to judge how much oil we are still losing. But right now, whatever figure, I give you, is really going to be artificial.” As far as the force majeure is concerned, Sunmonu noted that this will keep up for a while until “we fully recover because even with all the efforts that government security agencies are putting in, there are some steps we need to take together jointly in order to make sure the effects are not continuing.

he Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has recently said the drop in crude oil production since the first quarter of the year was worrisome. It also advised the Federal Government to install monitoring sensors and alarms on oil installations across the country in order to eliminate crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. NUPENG, in a document signed by its National President, Mr. Achese Igwe, which was made available to our correspondent, said it was alarming that the daily crude oil production was now fluctuating between 1.86 million barrels and 2.1 million barrels as against the estimated 2.48 million bpd in the first quarter of the year. It said, “Government has to change tactics and strategies in the fight against crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism. The union wants the Federal Government to introduce new technologies like monitoring sensors and alarm systems that will trigger off whenever any pipeline is being tampered with. “The union believes that this will go a long way to check crude oil theft from the pipelines and ensure effective surveillance with the help of the host communities where these pipelines traverse.” It observed that the drop in crude oil production, which was as a result of incessant crude theft and pipeline vandalism, should not get out of hand or else the revenue accruing to the government would also drop drastically. The Federal Government, through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, had stated that the drop in oil production in the last quarter amounted to a loss of about $1.23bn (N191bn). According to NUPENG, the drop in revenue will negatively affect the transformation agenda of the present administration. It added that crude oil production drop would also affect Nigeria’s external reserves and further compound the issue of project abandonment.

Statistician urges oil coys to support development of Niger Delta region


he Financial Secretary of the Nigeria Statistical Association, Mr. Fidelis Adaka has called on oil companies and other companies operating in the Niger Delta region to collaborate with the government to develop the area. Adaka made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the weekend in Asaba, Delta state. Speaking on the challenges facing the region, Asaba noted that development of the region

should not be left to the federal and state governments alone. Adaka stressed the need for the public and private sectors to be involved in the development of the region, especially the remote communities where most of the natural resources are exploited. He frowned at the concentration of social amenities and industries in cities to the detriment of the rural areas where the large number of the populace reside.

Adaka called for the exploitation of the numerous raw materials in the rural areas as a way of developing them and providing jobs for the rural populace. “We should try as much as possible to identify the raw materials closest to every area and tap them. We have a lot of untapped raw materials in our various communities and tapping these raw materials and not waiting for the government will attract more development

to our areas,’’ he added. Adaka called for change of attitude on the part of the people to attract investors to the region. He noted that security of investment is paramount for investment as lack of it could prevent foreign investors from establishing industries in the region. Adaka expressed the need for the people to be friendly with themselves and strangers to engender peace and security in the region.



NCC to cut off unregistered SIM cards from June 30 Stories from Chris Alu


he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) would bar all unregistered SIM cards from telecommunications services from June 30, Tony Ojobo Ojobo, the Director of Public Affairs of NCC, disclosed on Friday. He said that unregistered SIM cards would not be able to make or receive calls and send or receive Short Messaging Services (SMS) form June 30. The NCC official also said that the action was to have taken effect in April, but the service providers requested that the date be extended. According to him, the telecoms operators are using the extended period to verify SIM cards on their networks to ascertain the registered and unregistered ones. “The verification has actually started and that is why people get text messages asking them to register, if you have not, you register and if you have registered, you ignore it. The verification is going to continue until that date when we will cut off unregistered SIM cards,” he said. Ojobo said that since the verification exercise started,

subscribers had been responding by registering their SIM cards. He said that the regulatory body would be announcing the registration deadline in the media across the country. According to him, the commission will do the announcement in different languages so that even the telecom consumers at the remotest areas will be aware. It would be recalled that the NCC had on Wednesday, May 8,

fined MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat the sum of N53.8 million, for selling pre-registered SIM cards on their networks. The fines imposed were based on the number of fully activated new SIM cards that were either reported to the commission or purchased and were meant to ensure compliance with the monitoring and enforcement exercises conducted by the commission and validated by the offending network.

Samsung marks 100m Galaxy S series


he Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim has said that the Galaxy S line of smartphones, product of Samsung Mobile, has achieved momentous success with 100 million in unit sales worldwide in less than three years. Kim disclosed this at the unveiling highly anticipated GalaxyS4 smartphone in Nigeria. He said the Galaxy S4 will set the benchmark for how a mobile device can be integrated into daily life. The device, which the company describes as a life companion, was unveiled to the Nigerian public at an elaborate, fashion-themed event held in Lagos at the weekend. “The Galaxy S line of smartphones has achieved momentous success with 100 million in unit sales worldwide in less than three years. This validates the fact that we are addressing what consumers want from a smartphone. We believe that this device will be a true companion to all aspects of their lives; from work, to travel and even watching TV,” he said. Kim added that the device has been optimised for powerful performance on both local and international networks and is already on sale at Samsung stores and accredited dealers nationwide. The world’s first smartphone to boast an AMOLED display with

full HD resolution, the Galaxy S4 runs on Google’s latest Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system and boasts 2GB of RAM. T h e smartphone is the first to allow u s e r s scroll

through e-mails, turn web pages and view documents, all without having to touch the screen. In addition, its “smart pause” feature enables users pause videos just by looking away from the phone’s screen.

The phone has an in-built translator, which can translate voice or text, and allows users to activate commands via voice control when driving. With its thrust on providing innovative, consumer-oriented service, Samsung will also be providing its customers in Nigeria and other pan-African countries with a 24-month “Accidental Damage from Handling” (ADH) warranty to cover screen and liquid damages to the device, at no extra charge. A world first from the level of a device manufacturer, the warranty includes two free repairs in the event of accidental damage to the screen of the device. Speaking on the ADH warranty, Revmatas said: “Customers that purchase the Galaxy S4 from Samsung stores and accredited dealers can register their devices through Samsung’s e-Warranty service from their phones within the first 30 days of purchase. In the event of damage, registered customers will be able to take their device to an authorized Samsung Service Centre for repairs. The Service Centre will replace the screen or board free of charge.” He added that customers will be limited to two incidents requiring repairs within a 24month period.

Access Bank to issue 13m MasterCards for NNIMC


ccess BankPlc, in collaboration with MasterCard, will roll out 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards (NISC) for the Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NNIMC). The move is in line with effort

by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to promote the cashless and financial inclusion policy in Nigeria. It is a pilot programme of the Commission. The NISC is the card scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System (NIMS). This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent. According the bank’s Group Managing Director, Aigboje AigImoukhuede, “Access Bank’s involvement in this project is testament to our ongoing efforts to expand financial inclusion in Nigeria.

“The new identity card will revolutionize the Nigerian economic landscape, breaking down one of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion– proof of identity, while simultaneously providing Nigerians with a world class payment solution”, he stated. Also speaking on the development, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy in Nigeria, noted that the program will bring everyone on a common platform for interacting with the various g o v e r n m e n t agencies and for transacting electronically. “We will implement this initiative in a collaborative manner between the public and private sectors, to achieve its full potential of inclusive citizenship and more effective governance,” Okonjo-Iweala said. The Director General and Chief Executive of the National Identity Management Commission, Chris Onyemenam said MasterCard was chosen as the payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the NISC project because of the company’s commitment to furthering financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the Nigerian economy.”

Etisalat Nigeria partners biNu on speedy browsing


tisalat Nigeria has announced its partnership with biNu to bring the popular mobile application to its 15-million feature phone and Android users. The biNu app includes an extensive range of local and international content, messaging and social features and is 10 times faster than a regular browser, while remaining extremely data efficient so data plans stretch even further. Etisalat users can download the Etisalat branded version of the biNu application from http:/ / biNu is one of the fastest growing mobile apps in Africa in terms of speed, low-data usage and extensive breadth of services, such as Facebook, books, news, and weather. It also includes the ability to share photos and messages with other biNu users as well as non-biNu users in Nigeria and around the world. The biNu VP for Africa, Jeremy George said, “biNu’s partnership with Etisalat gives subscribers an affordable way to turbocharge Internet on their mobile phones.

By providing access to biNu at this special subscription rate, Etisalat is also helping thousands of Nigerians who read free books provided by biNu’s book partner, and the very affordable mobile books being sold on biNu by Harlequin, publisher of the well known Mills and Boon romance novels. Wael Ammar, Chief Commercial Officer for Etisalat Nigeria, said: “Etisalat believes that everyone should have access to the huge amount of information and services that are available on the internet. By partnering with biNu we are making this available to more people, at a lower price on a greater range of handsets and at higher speeds.” Etisalat, the fastest growing mobile network in Nigeria with over 15 million subscribers, is encouraging content owners and developers to get involved in producing Nigerian content on biNu. George added: “biNu makes it very simple to develop and add applications, so local content owners and developers can easily mould biNu to expand the local content make it even more useful to Nigerian members.



6 Nigerian journalists for DABRA awards From Olaseni Durojaiye, Lagos


ix Nigerian journalists were among the final nominees in five out of 10 categories of the 2013 Diageo Africa Business Reporting (DABRA) awards announced on Friday, in London, United Kingdom. Winners of the 10 categories will be decided and announced by a prestigious international judging panel made up of experts from the field of media and business, as well as pan-African initiatives and organisations at the awards ceremony slated for July in London. The finalists from Nigeria are Funke Osae Brown, BusinessDay; Adedayo Oketola, The Punch; Anthony Akazie, Broad Street Journal (Tell Magazine); Oyesina Fadare, National Mirror; Ola Omoyele, ACM Insight, Nigeria and Keisha Gitari, CNBC Africa. The awards are sponsored by Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business.According to Diageo, the awards, which this year celebrate their ten year anniversary, recognise the fact that excellent business journalism plays a crucial role in promoting Africa as a destination for investment. The awards also underline Diageo’s belief that better and more accurate reporting helps to create a fair and responsible environment in which to do business.Over 1,000 entries were received from across Africa and the rest of the world, representing the very best reporting from print, broadcast and new media. A panel of eminent judges will now select the winners of each category. The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony, which will be held in London on Wednesday 17th July 2013. Commenting on this year’s awards, Nick Blazquez, President, Diageo

Africa, Turkey, Russia & Eastern Europe, said, “This year’s awards have once again demonstrated the increasing strength and depth of reporting on African business matters. “Our finalists come from across Africa, as well as from Europe and the United States, showing the enormous appetite around the world for insightful and thought-provoking news on Africa’s business and investment climate”, he stated. “At Diageo, we remain convinced that an accurate and balanced view of the risks and opportunities of doing business across Africa is essential to inform investment decisions. Journalism plays a fundamental role in that process and I am once again highly impressed by the quality of the entries that we have received.

Over 32 m Nigerians use GSM to access Web By Chris Alu


he number of people accessing the Internet over the Global System of Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) mobile networks in Nigeria has now reached 32.3 million, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). Since the end of 2012, the number of people logging on to the worldwide web via their mobile device has increased from 30.9 million to 32.3 million as of February of this year. Leading the market in February was MTN Nigeria with 21.31 million users, which accounted for a market share 65.9 per cent. Following in second place was Airtel Nigeria, which took a market share of 18.16 per cent with its 5.87 million users.

L-R: Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Alhaji Suleiman Barau, Chairman, House of Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, Group Executive Director, Finance and Account, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Bernard Otti, and Deputy Chairman, House of Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Auwal Jattau, during the CBN response to Auditor General query, at National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Hitches trail take-off of Mobile Number Portability T By Chris Alu

here were indications at the weekend that the newly introduced Mobile Number Portability (MNP), may have run into a hitch owing to some alleged sharp practices on the part of one of the major operators in the Global System of Mobile Telecommunications (GSM). This development, it was gathered, compelled the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and interconnect clearing house, Interconnect Nigeria (ICN), to summon an emergency meeting of the

operators in Lagos last Thursday. At the meeting, which had all the operators in attendance, the regulator and the clearing house painted “a dismally low porting activity since the exercise commenced”. According to our source, the snag in the process, it was gathered is that the donor operators appear not to be disposed to quickly processing and releasing the lines to the receiving operator. “It is the underhand practice that appears to have accounted for the low success rate of porting. Although it is early days

yet, the figure of less than 5,000 considering the millions of subscriber base in GSM operations in the country is incongruous”. At the Thursday meeting, NCC and ICN admonished the operators “to ensure that they do not bring dishonour into the exercise”.Although it turned out to be a meeting of muted suspicion, the operators suspected foul play “and urged both the NCC and ICN to investigate the dismal figure and intervene appropriately to restore order and public confidence in the process”. To this end, according to the source, “NCC

Council to checkmate arbitrary port charges


he Nigerian Shippers Council is poised to checkmate arbitrary port charges, Its Acting Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, said in Abuja at the weekend. Fielding questions at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) the acting executive secretary said that very soon, the council would establish acceptable port charges in a manner that neither importers and exporters nor the port concessionaires would lose money. “NSC is conscious and alert to the practice of certain operators who will like to charge arbitrarily

and we will checkmate this,’’ he told NAN. Bello said that the council had been able to stabilise freight rates on Nigerian-bound cargoes, adding that the stabilisation of freight rates would stem inflationary trends. He said: “NSC ensures stability and ensures that the transport sector meets its expectations. For 10 years, due to negotiations with the shipping lines and market forces, NSC has been able to stabilise freight rates all over the world. “If not, the high costs would be passed to consumers. NSC is an

advocate of fair trade and we tell our members (shippers) to declare goods honestly and properly. We are waiting for assent from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investments as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance on container deposits refund and other terminal charges. You cannot increase port charges or local shipping charges without discussing with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council’’, he further stated The chief executive also noted that there was a tendency by some shippers to short-change the government through false declaration. (NAN)

threatened to apply the maximum sanction against any operator that violates the porting regulations. NCC officials pledged to swiftly put in place fines and other regulatory measures that will help to restore sanity in the whole process. Following the meeting and the suspicion of sabotage by some of the telecom operators, “the ICN and its partners interrogated their data to see if any of the operators had deliberately stalled the process. Investigations revealed that the staggering discovery that followed rattled the ICN and its partners”. The source explained, “It was discovered that instead of the abysmally low figure of over 4,000 porting requests recorded, the total number of porting requests made were discovered to have been almost twentyfolds, out of which over half were found to be authentic after proper diagnosis. It was gathered that during the first wave of investigation, the sabotage was traced to a player in the industry, thereby denying two other players the benefit of porting”. Porting operations started on April 22, 2013. It was gathered that NCC and the clearing agents will soon announce various strategies to compel operators to play by the rules.



Report as at Monday, May 13, 2013




For the jobless, a call to be gainfully ‘armed’ By A’isha Biola Raji


midst the unprecedented pang of unemployment across the land, various stakeholders, “armed” with different experiences which they have gained over the years have stepped into the fray. Their solution: unemployed youths should explore ingenious methods, including the prospect of starting their own business without a kobo, with a view to making it against all odds. One of such stakeholders is Mrs. Maureen Ngbudem. Listening to her as she preaches about possibility of making it as an entrepreneur with little or no capital, you may wonder like this: What kind of business is it, that doesn’t need capital or money before one can kick-start it? The business is simply dry cleaning business. You probably might not need hundreds, thousands or millions of naira before you can be your own boss-depending on your situation and circumstances. What you need in a ‘Dry Cleaning Business’, for example, is basically your hands and your neighbours’ clothes to start with. According to Mrs.

Ngbudem, MD and CEO of Poshwash dry cleaners; a standard dry cleaning outfit spread across Federal Capital Territory, it is possible to start laundry business with little or no capital. She said, “You can always start anyhow. It is just for you to think it; you can start this dry cleaning job with little or nothing. “The secret is, don’t expect too much at the beginning, be patient. There is nothing you cannot do if you set your mind to eat. “Generally, you can start a business with little or nothing; no matter how little the amount you have, you can make it in business but don’t expect profit immediately. Whatever little profit you make, put it back into the business and it will only grow. When you invest N20, 000 for instance in dry cleaning and make a N50, 000 profit use the money to buy washing machine and before you know it, you are getting there.” Needless to say, Mrs. Ngbudem is not the lone voice crying in the wilderness. On the contrary, there are many other Nigerians across the country that are also preaching the virtues of becoming self employed with little or no capital. According to them, no matter the challenge facing

a determined young man or lady, they can make it in the business world if only they could be creative, courageous and have determination. Another of such people is Chief Jacob Obande Adogah, the District Head of Igede Centre in Oju L.G.A. of Benue state. According to him, since it is clear that government alone cannot provide employment for everybody, efforts should be made by all and sundry to embrace self employment. He added that even though some kinds of business are very capital intensive, there are other kinds of ventures that can be embarked upon

with little or no capital. He urged our youths to embrace such opportunities instead of indulging in crime and other anti-social activities. Using herself as an example, the Proprietor of Poshwash Dry Cleaners confessed that when she started, it was not easy, but she was determined to succeed by all means. She sincerely believes that, others can also succeed if they have determination. Describing what motivated her interest in dry cleaning, she said it was born from the fact that there was a time in Abuja, when there were few dry cleaning outfits to cater for numerous customers in

You can start a business with little or nothing; no matter how little the amount you have, you can make it in business but don’t expect profit immediately. Whatever little profit you make, put it back into the business and it will only grow

which she was one of them. She said, “Here in Abuja, we used to have only one dry cleaning outfit and all of us were just queuing up to have our clothes dry cleaned. Not only that, I wear white a lot and I noticed that, most of my whites within few months were getting dull instead of getting bright. I started thinking that I could do something better than what was obtained then in terms of dry cleaning.” It was this scenario that pushed Mummy Maureen, as she is fondly called, into thinking and developing interest in the business of dry cleaning. “At that time, I traveled out, and the idea started developing. I realized that dry cleaning in developed countries is a different ball game. It is not like what I thought because, before I traveled, I was thinking that, dry cleaning job is a job meant for particular set of people but I realized from what I saw that it is not so,” she narrated. She added, “Of course we know what posh is, something that is clean, well packaged and cute. Whenever people bring their clothes, we have to make it as posh as possible by letting it go through washing process. “This way, it becomes posh and this is how we arrived at the name Poshwash.”

DIGNITY of LABOUR: Mrs Maureen, who uses herself as an example of how the self employed can make it against all odds, at work in her drycleaning outfit.

Minister of Labour, Chukwuemeka Wogu

Otunba Mike Adenuga: One the “apostles” of self employment in Nigeria

What differentiates her outfit from other dry cleaning outfit is the ability to renew clothes. “Whenever you bring in your clothes; we refresh it and make it come out as if it’s brand new. Most times customers come in and think we are selling new items. Of course we are not selling; we are only dry cleaning the items,” she pointed out. There is no business without its share of challenges, Mrs. Maureen pointed Power failure as number one challenge of dry cleaning or laundry business as it is with other small scale businesses in Nigeria. “The number one problem is usually Power; it is so killing in fact two days

ago, I was so angry with a woman that came for investigation from Power Holding, she accused me of tapping electricity, I got so angry because I usually pay more than N1million in a month just for electricity,” she lamented. Describing the nation’s power condition as killing and annoying, Mrs. Maureen said, “It hurts me so much because despite this huge amount, I still pay for diesel since power is never stable, when it comes, the voltage is low. “In Nigeria, most times the voltage will go down to 170V-110V instead of 200V-220V that we supposed to have. “This fluctuations burn

down our equipment most of the time.” staff attitude to work is another intimidating challenge. According to her, it is not too much of a challenge since she trains her staff herself. She said, “This challenge is not hard to surpass since I am the one training them, and I can always get other people to train. “When a staff leaves, I will train another one again so I don’t get bothered if they decide to leave or not.” An average Nigerian is a person that wants to get paid for service not rendered an attitude that in turn reduces the productivity level of the country. “Basically, an average Nigerian wants to get money without working.

“You see average Nigerian working through the night, sleeping through those nights and at the end of the month would want to get paid. “You don’t just earn money; you have to work to get money,” she said. Alhaji Muhammed Sanni couldn’t agree more. According to him, only hard work and persistence can enable success in business. Like Chief Jacob Obande and Mrs. Maureen, he said our youths should have a more positive attitude whether they want to be self employed. He added that, it is only by having such attitude that, they can succeed in life in general and in business in particular.

Chief Jacob Obande: Admonishes the unemployed to try self employment option



Obada condoles with CDS, CAS over air mishap Stories by Joy Baba he Minister of State for Defence, Erelu (Dr) Olusola Obada has condoled with the Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim and the Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Alex Badeh over the recent Nigeria Alfa Fighter Jet that crashed in Niamey, Niger Republic. The fighter jet which was deployed to support the Africanled International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA) crashed while on non-combat fight, killing the two pilots on board. The minister, who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Aliyu Isma’ila described the late pilots as fine gentlemen. The Permanent Secretary said that the Honourable Minister of State for Defence, Erelu (Dr.) Olusola Obada and the entire staff of the ministry extend their deep sense of sympathy to the Nigerian military and the families of the two pilots involved in the crash. She noted the challenges facing the security services and promised that the ministry will continue to provide quality and timely services to the armed forces. In his response the CDS, commended the minister for her


Northern state governors mourn with NAF


he Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF), has commiserated with the Chief of Air Staff and the entire Nigerian military over last week fatal crash of a Nigerian Air Force jet which occurred at Dargol, near Niamey in the Republic of Niger. This was contained in a statement signed by the spokes person of the chairman of the forum and governor of Niger state, Danladi Ndayebo. Governor Babangida Aliyu in the statement described as a national loss, the death of the two pilots who were aboard the aircraft when it crashed. He further said the deceased Nigerian Air Force personnel were heroes who died in the course of a patriotic duty, praying that God will grant repose to their souls and give their families and friends the fortitude to bear the loss. The forum in the statement, applauded the nation’s military high command which is reported to have begun investigation to unravel the circumstances that led to the accident. “It is our hope that a thorough investigation would be carried out so that the cause or causes could be unraveled and the safety of military personnel ensured,’’ the statement also said.

prompt response to the incident noting that the air mishap is one of the risks that security officers have to live with. In the same vein, Aliyu, on behalf of the minister paid condolence visit to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex

Badeh in his office in Abuja. The minister also assured Badeh that the Ministry will always partner with the Air Force and assist them in realising their mandate. While responding, Badeh also commended the swift condolence

visit of the Minister to the Defence Headquarters. He said that the passage of the two, fine pilots was most touching because it occurred when they were called to a higher duty in the International Peace Mission in Mali adding

that the two recent air mishaps and the loss of the airplanes cannot be over emphasized considering the current security challenges. A minute silent was observed for the repose of the souls of the departed officers.

L-R: Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim; Perm. Sec. Ministry of Defence, Aliyu Isma’ila; and a Director, Air Force Department Mrs. Osaisai, during the condolence visit to the CDS.

A minute silence being observed in honour of the departed officers during the visit.


Stories by Joy Baba with agency report he Chief of Army Staff, (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejerika, has stressed the need for the military to ensure prudent management and application of financial resources. Ihejirika, who was represented by the General Officer Commanding, 81 Division, of the Nigerian Army Maj.-Gen. Obi Umahi stated this recently in Abeokuta at the opening of the Nigerian Army Finance Corps Warrant Officers/ Senior Non- Commissioned Officers 2013 Training Week. The training week had the theme: “Contemporary Security Challenges of the Nigerian Army: The roles of NAFC WOs/SNCOs.” While observing that funding was fundamental to containing the increasing security challenges facing the nation, Ihejirika acknowledged that the development had placed



Ihejirika urges officers to be prudent in management of military resources serious demands on the resources of the army. He said the training was aimed at enhancing the professional competence of the Corps in the management of the resources of the Nigerian Army. “It is not in doubt that it is with proper training that the Nigerian Army can meet contemporary challenges which we are experiencing in the country now. “I envision an army that will effectively manage its available resources,” he said, Ihejirika reiterated that discipline and loyalty to constituted authority remained the bedrock of


instructor pilot who has flown many air craft types in the inventory of the Nigerian Air Force as well as the Pakistan and United States. The senior officer was married and blessed with a child. The statement further said Layelmeson hails from Azare, in Shongom LGA of Gombe state. A graduate of Hellenic Air Force Academy in July 2011 and was commissioned into the Nigerian Air Force as a pilot officer. ‘He was a qualified Squadron Pilot on the Alpha Jet and survived by his parents’ the statement also said. Anas further said the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) Air Marshal Alex Badeh has paid a condolence visit to the families of the deceased in Kaduna and Kainji respectfully.

Air Force graduates 467 recruits on basic military training


he Nigerian Air Force (NAF) at the weekend graduated 467 recruits of its Basic Military Training Course, with a warning to them to be extra security conscious. The Chief of Policies and Plans, NAF Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Abiodun Ogunaike made the call during the passing out parade of the recruits in Kaduna. Ogunaike also charged them to respect civil authority and protect Nigeria’s democracy. According to him “Your duty is to protect all Nigerians irrespective of their ethnic background or religious inclination. “You must remain nonpartisan and avoid any act capable of denting the image of the Air Force. “You are aware of the internal security challenges facing our country now. “As part of the effort to prepare for the task ahead, and

meet emerging operational challenges. He further said that training was partly aimed at fashioning out how the army could play a positive role in enhancing and promoting democratic governance given the relationship between development and security. “Capacity building is essential if warrant officers and senior non- commissioned officers are to contribute effectively. “They need to understand the budgeting process as well as the skills to analyse, monitor and advise on defence expenditure,” he said

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejerika

NAF releases names of pilots killed in Niamey crash he Nigerian Air Force recently released the names of the pilots that died in the ill fated Alpha jet that crashed in Dargol village, Niamey, Niger Republic. The deceased officers are Squadron Leader Benjamin Bem Ado, a member of the 50th regular course of the Nigerian Defence Academy and Flying Officer Ayuba Joab Layelmeson, a member of the 57the regular course of the Nigerian Defence Academy. This was contained in a statement signed by the Air Force Director of Public Relations, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas in Abuja. According to the statement, Ado hails from Konshisha LGA of Benue state and was an

military professionalism urging the trainees to imbibe the spirit of professionalism and make themselves answerable to the people in the discharge of their constitutional roles. The Army Chief urged the Corps to manage the accounts of the army efficiently to avoid audit queries from the Auditor General’s Office and the Public Accounts Committee. COAS said focus of the ongoing transformation process of the force was centred on realignment of the structure of the force adding that it was also centred on training, retraining and innovations to

in pursuance of our missionoriented force development, the curriculum for your course was reviewed with the introduction of internal security module. “If you happen to be involved in internal security operations as you leave here, you must take advantage of the knowledge and skill that you have acquired to safeguard lives and properties,” Ogunaike stated. He reminded them of their responsibilities to the nation and the need for them to maintain high level of discipline, fitness, commitment, loyalty and determination. Also speaking at the occassion, the Guest of Honour and the state Deputy Gov. Nuhu Bajoga commended the support of the Nigerian Air Force in the efforts to ensure sustained peace in the state. Bajoga said that, aside being part of the state security council, their aircraft had been used to access crisis areas in times of need.

Commander, Special Task Force, Plateau State, MajorGeneral Henry Ayoola addressing journalist recently in Abuja.

NAF helicopter makes emergency landing in Port Harcourt


he Nigerian Air Force has confirmed that one of its helicopter on training exercise Mi-24B made an emergency landing at the Nigerian Air Force Base Port Harcourt at 10 am Nigerian time.

This was contained in a statement signed by Group Captain D.J. Alonge on behalf of the Chief of Air Staff, (CAS) Air Marshal Alex Badeh. The statement also said there were no casualty as all the crew

members came out unhurt. It further said that on receipt of the information, CAS immediately constituted a team of experts to unravel the circumstance that led to the accident.

Army set to improve standard of command schools


he acting Commander Nigerian Army Education Corps, Brigadier General Sunday Adebayo has pledge to improve the standard of Command Schools nationwide through upgrade of infrastructure and academic excellence. This he said is to enable them function effectively in educating mainly wards of military personnel and their civilian counterpart which will improve cordial civil-military co-operation. He made this pledge during a courtesy visit to Army headquarters formations located in Lagos. Adebayo called on officers and soldiers to seize this opportunity and enroll their wards into various command schools located in different states across the country. He further stressed the need for all to join the campaign

against examination malpractice because it is only through uprooting the menace of exam irregularities that educational excellence can be achieved. The Commander also lamented on the attitude of some personnel living in the military quarters who make little or no effort to maintain it from total dilapidation. He urged residents of AN Barracks where the headquarters Nigerian Army Education Corps is located to cooperate with the Commander’s drive to give face-lift to accommodations in the barracks using personal efforts. According to him “if you live in an accommodation, it is your house and it is your responsibility to take care of it. I also live in a Barrack, I ensure I give my house and that of my neighbors facelift through changing the roof, windows and

painting” He therefore implored officers living in the Barracks to ensure the neatness and sanitation of the barracks. At the Headquarters 81 Division, Brigadier General Adebayo commended the General officer commanding the Division Major General Obi Abel Umahi for his unrelenting support to all army schools under his command adding that “the corps will continue to ensure better performance of its roles in support of Chief of Army Staff vision” Other formations visited include Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Center, Headquarters Nigerian Army Ordnance Corps, Finance Corps, Other Directorates headquarters within Lagos. Climax of the visits was presentations of souvenirs and group photographs.


Nigeria's agricultural success story with exZimbabwean farmers


ne of the less-popular towns of Nigeria, Shonga, is gradually fast becoming a food hub in both Nigeria and Africa, thanks to white Zimbabwean farmers expelled by Robert Mugabe in early 2000. During the heightened land ownership and race row in Zimbabwe that had since crippled the southern African country's economy, the government of Kwara State in Nigeria banked on the opportunity to lure the displaced farmers to Shonga in what is now deemed a 'success' by observers. "We arrived to virgin bush. We were basically just given GPS points, told to mark them out, clear the bush and find water, build the house, build the sheds, and import cattle. It was right from the grassroots and it was fun. We all lived in tents for a while," said Irvin Reid, one of the Zimbabwean farmers. Less than five years, the lands are now cultivable and both locals and farmers are now reaping the fruits of their labour. But Zimbabwe, which was famously known as the food basket of the continent, is suffering a huge setback in its farming industry after a controversial land redistribution programme. John Worsley-Worswick of Justice for Agriculture, a Zimbabwean campaign group said "We are looking at the worst farming year ever this coming year ‌ there is less arable land that is being prepared, less inputs available ‌ Regardless of what sort of season we have, right from the onset it is destined to be a disaster." Meanwhile the government of Kwara state, which is making gains from the Zimbabwean disaster, said large-scale farming has increased food supply, brought new skills to local farmers and encouraged the awakening of new

agricultural industries. Professor Mohammed Yisa, the state commissioner for Agriculture confirmed that an additional 15 commercial farms had been developed with the already existing 13 at Shonga and about 3,000 people had found jobs on the farms. "We now have electricity, our health is improving because we have a new clinic and water, some of our sons and wives have found work on the farms," said Zubairu Abubakar, 65, an elder of one of the 33 villages within the Shonga farms. The government is also said to be investing a multi-million dollar terminal, which it claims will be the continent's largest. "We are focusing on Shonga, they are producing large, so we are positioning ourselves to be able to move these large quantities of farm produce to anywhere in the world," said Razak Atunwa, state commissioner for works and transport. Nigeria's food import is estimated at 3 billion naira annually, but the Kwara state government initiative will boost its food production and reduce imports. Investors from United States, South Korea and Kuwait are also in the state to put their money where their mouth is. A group from Syria is also said to be clearing about 600 hectares for poultry farm and a South African, David Higgings, recently joined the Shonga farms to manage the only Nigerian milk plant. Recently, the state in partnership with MedeQuip Medical Services, from the United States of America, commenced a 2.2 billion naira ultra-modern diagnostic centre in the Kwara state capital-Ilorin. It is aimed at providing cheaper healthcare delivery service for both its people and those from outside. Source:

Wada urges monarch to support agric programme


overnor Idris Wada of Kogi Sate has urged the new Attah-Igala, HRH. Idakwo Ameh-Oboni II, to support the state government's transformation agenda in the agriculture sector. The governor, who made the call when the Attah of Igala visited him at Government House, Lokoja, urged traditional ruler to use their good offices to boost agricultural production in their areas in order to further drive home government's agriculture agenda. He said that government would not leave any stone unturned in its drive to boost agricultural production in the state. He urged the Attah to assist the state government in this direction, saying that the Igala kingdom was blessed with vast fertile and arable land suitable for high production of food and cash crops. Wada commended the royal father for making his office the first

place of his official assignment after his coronation. "We know the role of Igala Kingdom in this region as we look up to you for the unity of Igalaland. With your pedigree and track records, you will achieve it. "Your late Father was an epitome of quality leadership who raised the morale of Igala people," the governor said. Earlier, Ameh-Oboni II said that with hard work, dedication and prayers, Kogi would attain greater heights in development within a very short time. According to him, the state is blessed with quality human and material resources to transform the state. He commended the governor over the calibre of professionals in his cabinet, saying that they were men and women who had excelled in their various fields of endeavour before their appointment.


Wamakko distributes N1bn loan to farmers in Sokoto


overnor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State has launched the distribution of one billion naira agricultural loan to large scale farmers in the 23 local government areas of the state. Wamakko said the gesture was aimed at further encouraging more people to produce more food for local consumption and export. The governor added that 138 farmers' cooperative groups recently benefited from another loan package of N1.15 billion in partnership with the Bank of Agriculture. He said: "Another set of farmers had in October, 2010 benefited from a one billion naira loan package with the same Fidelity Bank". The governor, who reiterated the determination of

his administration to restore the lost glory of the agricultural sector, also pledged to continue to provide adequate subsidised farming inputs to farmers. "Such gestures are also aimed at further reducing poverty and unemployment and boost the socio economic sector of the state," he said. The Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Arzika Tureta, urged the beneficiaries to use the money for the right purpose. Also, the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr Reginald Ihejiahi, represented by Alhaji idris Yakubu, General Manager (North Bank) of the bank, and expressed happiness with the partnership. "To support the success of

the project, there would be periodic monitoring and evaluation by a team comprising officials of the bank, CBN, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The former Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Sen. Jubril Gada, who responded on behalf of the beneficiaries, commended the state government for the gesture, assuring that the money would be used judiciously. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the scheme is for large scale farmers under a tripartite arrangement with the state, Federal Government and Fidelity Bank. The loan will be disbursed to the farmers under the Federal Government's Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme introduced in 2009. (NAN)

Ghanaian farmer examines the result of rice grown with the aid of fertilizer application

BOA, Niger Govt. partner on N2bn credit scheme By Mohammed Kandi


n furtherance of the A g r i c u l t u r a l Transformation Agenda (ATA) of the Federal Government, as well as its quest to boost agriculture in the state, the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) is to partner with the Niger State Government to provide N2 billion agricultural loan to 10,000 farmers and entrepreneurs in the state. The Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Mohammed Santuraki, who disclosed this during a courtesy call on Governor Babangida Aliyu, in

Minna recently, appealed to the governor to release the state's share of the counterpart funds to facilitate the loan procedures. According to Santuraki, under the arrangement, the bank and the Niger government would provide equal counterpart funding of N1 billion each for the scheme which could generate employment opportunities for the farmers and the teeming youth population in the state. His words: "More than 5, 500 hectares of arable land will be cultivated under the scheme for rice, yam, cowpea, cassava, groundnut and fish."

"There will direct employment of 50, 000 indigenes and the scheme would improve quality of lives of about 500, 000 people in the next one year," he assured. Responding, Governor Aliyu immediately directed that details of farmers and fishermen benefiting in the scheme be compiled and submitted to enable the government properly assess the performance of the facility. Aliyu also directed the Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Ibrahim Matane, to sign a memorandum of understanding with the bank.



Cheap imports will drown local investments, palm oil producers warn Dr. Oyeleye Olukayode


ocal investors in palm oil production and processing have complained that cheap importation of palm oil will kill local industries, cripple the agricultural transformation agenda of the federal government and turn Nigeria into a dumping ground for imported palm oil unless something urgent and drastic is done. Representatives of key associations within the oil palm value chains made these unsettling disclosures in Abuja recently in a meeting with the leader of the oil palm transformation team, Dr. Dickson Okolo. Together, they reviewed the oil palm industry under the current West African sub-regional trade regimes and concluded that neighbouring countries are being used as coverup as sources of the imported palm oil. The national chairman of Oil Palm Growers Association of Nigeria (OPGAN), Igwe Hilary Uche, accused Nigerian collaborators of 'driving' the importation initiatives in collaboration with their foreign counterparts. The OPGAN chairman lamented that local producers are the worst victims. He expressed confidence in that Nigeria has all the required resources to produce palm oil for local consumption. The groups, in unison, expressed dissatisfaction with PZ Wilmar, a company they accused of trading duty-free Crude Palm Oil (CPO) in Nigeria. Mr. Fatai Afolabi, representing the Plantation Owners Forum of Nigeria (POFON), noted rather with dismay that, for the past 10 years, some Nigerians have been working with some Asian, and in particular, Malaysian, investors to "sabotage our local efforts to grow the oil palm industry." Wilmar International, Afolabi said, is the largest plantation owner in Malaysia and Indonesia and this is the company that now partners with PZ, its Nigerian 'trade agent,' to form PZ Wilmar, working to sell Wilmar's CPO in Nigeria. He was specific that PZ has established a refinery in Ikorodu, Lagos, "without due regard to the fact that there are no major plantations around to supply its raw materials, which is indeed a ploy for massive import of duty-free and cheap CPO from Malaysia under ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS)." Afolabi did not spare the Manufacturers' Association of Nigeria (MAN) for what he described as "working to achieve policy changes in favour of PZ Wilmar" and MAN's position in "the past," which did not favour local plantation developers and

USAID/ Kenya assessing the performances of women farmers in Kenya processors, such as pursuing downward review of CET from 35 per cent to five per cent in 2012. He frowned at what he described as 'unacceptable proposal from MAN that any plantation owner that has up to 200 hectares and above should be given a concession to import CPO at zero tariff while some companies are "serving as pipelines to pump CPO from Malaysia and Indonesia to Nigeria." Afolabi recalled the refusal by the federal government, in 2000/2001, of a proposal to set up tank farms in our major ports. These tank farms, he said, have been established in other West African countries

from where cheap and dutyfree CPO is imported under ETLS. He said available reports show that the West African countries exporting palm oil to Nigeria were themselves net importers of the products and were unjustly trading against Nigeria. Okey Ikoro, chairman of the Vegetable/ Edible Oil Producers' Association of Nigeria (VEOPAN), presented a grim outlook as he said "many processors are taking inventory of their stock as a result of the fact that they produce and can no longer refine as there is no market to sell." He said the customers now prefer to go to the

ports and borders to buy cheap CPO. Ikoro underscored the hopelessness of the situation by pointing out that there are cases of alteration of the documents relating to 'country of origin' and that "products such as vegetable oil under prohibition were being freely brought into the country" just as "multipurpose ship not meant to transport CPO now brings it into the country, and even though NAFDAC has complained in the past, the practice persisted." He accused MAN for decisions which are "now in conflict with what the local operators are demanding for the industry."

Continued importation of crude palm oil into Nigeria, it was reasoned, will lead to loss of profit to the local producers and of revenue to the government. Operators are likely to begin to lay off staff, leading to increase in unemployment, suspension of expansion drive along the value chains, compromise in the quality of crude palm oil consumed, while the stocks of publicly quoted firms in oil palm business would take a plunge. The efforts under oil palm transformation agenda might end up in nullity. Olukayode is Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

New fund to accelerate agriculture in Africa launched


new fund called the Agri culture Fast Track has been launched by the United States, Sweden and the African Development Bank to encourage accelerated private investment in sub-Saharan Africa's agricultural infrastructure to connect small farmers with international markets. The fund would be funded by $15 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and $10 million from the government of Sweden. It was developed with support from USAID and would be managed by the African Development Bank. The fund would focus on countries that are part of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, an initiative

launched in 2012 at the G8 Camp David Summit near Washington. Through the New Alliance, the G8 major industrialized nations, African countries and the private sector aim to help lift 50 million people in subSaharan Africa out of poverty by 2022 by supporting agricultural development. The New Alliance matches market-oriented reforms in the African member countries of Burkina Faso, C么te d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia with $3.7 billion of planned private investments in the agriculture sector. (Mali is under review.) "Since the New Alliance for

Food Security and Nutrition was founded last year, we've seen member countries make serious reforms that have led to real progress," said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. "The launch of the Agriculture Fast Track allows African farmers to take advantage of these reforms through fast-tracked infrastructure projects that will better deliver their products to markets." Global food demand is expected to grow by as much as 60 percent by 2050, USAID says. With 60 percent of the world's untilled arable land, predominantly farm-based economies, plentiful natural resources, significant gains in technology and private investment, Africa has the potential to feed not just its own people but others as well.

Improved roads, ports and rail lines are critically needed to achieve that, USAID says. Grow Africa is a partnership that seeks to accelerate investments and change in African agriculture based on national agricultural priorities. It says that for Africa to reduce poverty and food insecurity, partners need to renew and increase their commitments to work together and to integrate what they've learned to ensure that their investments are inclusive, sustainable and transformative. USAID and Grow Africa support the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program of the New Partnership for Africa's Development established by the African Union in 2003. Source: AfricaSTI



Plateau: Peace in sight as Fulani, Berom agree to bury hatchet By Ephraims Sheyin


fter years of devastating communal bloodbath with heavy casualties on both sides, Fulanis and Beroms in Plateau North Senatorial District are heading toward a truce, as both sides recently resolved to forgive each other and coexist peacefully. The resolution followed days of peace talks initiated by Sen. Gyang Pwajok and held in Jos, the state capital. The protracted guerilla-fashioned violence has been characterised by deadly midnight attacks, killing of farmers and herdsmen in the fields, destruction of farmlands, as well as killing and rustling of cattle. Thousands have been killed, as the violence persisted in spite of measures such as heavy military presence, declaration of a state of emergency in affected areas, as well as peace and security meetings organised by the military. The Special Task Force (STF), which oversees efforts to restore peace in Plateau, has also initiated various measures, including medical outreaches, sports competitions and other social functions, to promote togetherness and foster peace; all to no avail. However, as the STF, the police and the warring sides are losing hope on the return of peace, Berom and Fulani leaders surprisingly resolved on their own volition to meet and discuss ways of achieving peace. Observers consider the development as very unique because previous peace-building efforts were mainly spearheaded by security chiefs who literally coerced the warring groups to attend. During the peace talks, the leaders frankly voiced their grievances, resolved their differences and agreed to bury the hatchet, following stakeholders' comments on the devastating effects of the prolonged violence. Specifically, the Fulani accused the Berom of killing and rustling their cows, while attacking herdsmen on the fields. They also wanted unfettered access to grazing fields. On the other hand, the Berom accused the Fulani of perpetrating midnight killings, destruction of farmlands and attacks on farmers. Ironically, both sides accused the STF of taking sides in the conflict. As a preamble, Pwajok commended the two sides for voluntarily deciding to hold the peace talks, which he described as unique. ``We have to listen to each other to understand our differences because the STF and the police have failed in enforcing peace on us. Clearly, we are the ones who can agree to live in peace,'' he said. ``The STF is already frustrated over the persistence of the violence; so, we must fish out from among themselves, those responsible for the crises. ``There are complaints about the killing and theft of cows, the destruction of farmlands and killing of farmers. It is not communities that commit these atrocities; it is individuals. We must identify them and expose them. ``Again, we cannot kill people because a cow has been stolen; we

Governor, Jonah Jang cannot take up arms because a farm has been destroyed. We must all resolve here to place a high premium on human life and good neighbourliness,'' he said. Alhaji Haruna Boro, the Chairman of the Plateau chapter of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, who led the Fulani team, urged both communities to forgive each other ``from the bottom of our hearts''. He declared that his community had forgiven ``all those who offended us and we are prepared for peace. ``We have resolved to forgive and forget ahead. The only thing that remains now is to take the message to the rural dwellers so that they can equally key into the new resolve. ``We want the Beroms to equally demonstrate a forgiving spirit by allowing our cows to move around peacefully because we have resolved never to attack anyone any longer,'' Boro added. Rev. Dauda Choji, the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Riyom, who also declared that the Beroms had forgiven the Fulanis, underscored the need to maintain mutual respect among the communities and advised the groups to take that message home. He advised the Fulanis to keep faith with their new resolve, while cautioning them to refrain from making provocative statements, such

as the one referring to the Beroms as infidels. Mr Moday Dalyop, a Berom elder, however, described the elders from both communities as the masterminds of the crisis, alleging that they were poisoning the minds of the youths against each other. ``Our parents taught us to love everyone. My own father built a house for his Fulani neighbour. However, what we teach our children nowadays is hatred, that is why they take up arms against each other,'' he said. He advised both communities to be wary of the activities of some unscrupulous elements who were bent on instigating violence because of what they would gain from it. He particularly advised Fulani elders against giving arms to their nomadic youths to use against farmers. All the same, a traditional ruler, Davou Manjang, attributed the crises to the haphazard grazing routes which often caused frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen, suggesting a return to the old routes that were clear so as to minimise frictions. He also urged government to clear more farmlands for the Fulanis who were interested in farming. Manjang, however, reminded the two communities of the presence of cow thieves on both sides, stressing


The farmer needs peace to farm, the herdsman needs peace to move to the greenest pasture

that the two groups of thieves usually connived to rustle cows. Sharing similar sentiments, a Fulani leader, Alhaji Matoh Ardo, noted the presence of ``mischief makers'' in both communities and advised the community leaders to be wary of them. He, nonetheless, argued that the destruction of farmlands by cows could never be intentional, advising affected persons to always strive to resolve the matter amicably instead of involving the entire community. Nevertheless, Mr Gyang Tinjang, the chief of Rahoss, noted that the current situation in which the Fulanis and Beroms lived in separate neighbourhoods promoted mutual distrust. He suggested the adoption of mixed settlements to boost mutual confidence among the two ethnic groups. In his contribution, a former Minister of Agriculture, Mr Jonah Madugu, commended the warring communities for resolving to settle the feud on their own accord, describing the action as ``exceptional and wonderful''. To give effect to their resolution, the community leaders resolved to replicate the meetings at the district, village and ward levels soon. They also resolved to collectively monitor the situation to measure progress. These decisions notwithstanding, Mrs Esther Samuel, a Berom woman leader, underscored the need for parents to re-orientate their children to respect human life. She stressed that the concerted efforts should be made to develop a strategy to deal with the recalcitrant members of the society so that they would not be able to destroy the collective decision to promote peace. ``We must also jealously guard the resolve because external parties could kill it by destroying farms or killing cows because they know that the affected party will attack the other to vent their anger,'' Samuel said. As the stakeholders strive to consolidate on the new peace initiative, Pwajok advised the STF to identify and deal with the bad elements within its ranks that had been tarnishing its image, since both sides saw the force as part of the problem. ``Some community leaders accused the STF for its complicity in kinds of atrocities; we cannot sweep such allegations under the carpet,'' he said. Pwajok, however, stressed that he was particularly happy about the frankness exhibited by the two groups during the talks, pledging that efforts would be made to sustain the discussions until the full restoration of peace in the area. ``I cannot fathom a situation without cattle or land; they must exist side by side in a symbiotic relationship. One needs the grass, the other needs the manure. So, I believe we must make some concessions and compromises. ``The farmer needs peace to farm. The herdsman needs peace to move to the greenest pasture,'' he added. Observers commend the Fulanis and Beroms for their groundbreaking effort to achieve peace and pray that the new initiative will engender lasting peace in Plateau North Senatorial District. Source: NAN


Pakistan elections and the challenges facing the new government ANALYSIS By Moeen Cheema


iven the coverage Pakistan's election campaign one may be forgiven for believing that these elections were about one set of issues, and one alone: the role of Islam in statecraft and the country's struggles with terrorism. Militant groups had strategically targeted the three supposedly liberal parties that had been a part of the previous coalition government led by the Pakistan People's Party (PPP). This created an environment of fear in which these parties struggled to hold large public rallies in the run-up to the elections. In sharp contrast, Pakistan's right-leaning parties - especially the Pakistan Muslim League headed by former premier Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) of Imran Khan - were able to campaign relatively openly and hold large gatherings without the threat of terrorist attacks. Liberal critics characterised this as an attempt to tilt the playing field in favour of those parties that are likely to adopt a softer stance on terrorism. There is no denying that selective terrorist attacks distorted the electioneering process, but it had minimal effect on the outcome. Pakistanis came out to vote in unprecedented numbers despite the threat of large-scale terrorism which fortunately did not materialise. And it appears that they largely voted on the issues of economy and governance, to the extent that issues were relevant to their choice. The former ruling parties were penalised for their woeful economic performance, chronic mal-administration,

cronyism and corruption. The two major beneficiaries of the swing were the PTI in the north-western KhyberPakhtunkhwa province and the PML-N in Punjab. The high voter turnout reflects the political engagement of young voters and segments of the urban population who had previously remained disillusioned and disengaged with electoral process. This is a positive development for the prospects of continuing democratisation in Pakistan. However, it is also evident that a substantial portion of the electorate voted according to the demands of patronage-oriented politics. The PML-N had been particularly effective in putting together a candidate list dominated by "electables" in Punjab - that is, individuals who can claim considerable support independent of party affiliation based on local patronage and kinship (biraderi) networks and appears to have reaped the benefits of traditional politics. The PML-N's overwhelming victory in Punjab, the largest and most populous province which accounts for148 out of a total of 272 National Assembly seats, has seen it emerge with the possibility of forming a stable government at the federal level. The party is also set to complete a smooth transition to its second successive provincial government in the province. The timing of the elections also creates the possibility that the incoming federal government will have better working relationships with the other power centres in Pakistan's state. President Zardari's term expires in September and given the hammering received by his party at the polls, he is likely be replaced by a PML-N nominee. The Army Chief and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are also set to retire by the end of the year. While the


The new government will have to deal not only with US expectations, but also find ways to work with a military establishment which has historically enjoyed a sway over foreign and national security policymaking [AFP] previous government managed reasonable terms with the outgoing Army Chief, it had a particularly fractious relationship with the Supreme Court over various cases of corruption. While the Supreme Court is not likely to roll back much of the jurisprudential developments of Justice IftikharChaudhry's tenure, the absence of a Chief Justice with the popular legitimacy he enjoyed will invariably compel the court to grant greater space to an elected government. Despite the possibilities of forming a stable federal government and the provincial administration in Punjab, the PML-N is likely to face a number of difficult challenges the most significant of which will of course be the economic ones. With a budget just around the corner, the PML-N government will have to quickly come to terms with managing a national economy suffocated by enormous debt-servicing and defence expenditures burdens. Tough choices on reforms designed to broaden the tax base, including the documentation of a massive informal economy and imposition of agricultural income tax, can only be deferred at the cost of increasing international debt and continued dependence on foreign aid. The government will also have to find ways to fund desperately needed infrastructure projects in order to end a crippling energy crisis. Managing Pakistan's relationship with the US is going to be a difficult affair as the US seeks to devise a less than dishonourable exit from Afghanistan in the coming years. The new government will have to deal not only with US expectations, but also find ways to work with a military establishment which has historically enjoyed a sway over

foreign and national security policymaking. The PML-N will have to absorb considerable public pressures in the process. In particular, it will have to wage a bruising battle of wits with Imran Khan's PTI which explicitly campaigned on the promise of redefining the terms of partnership in the war in Afghanistan and ending US drone strikes in Pakistan. Other facets of foreign and domestic policy which might lead to friction between the military and the new government include the fate of General Musharraf, currently under trial on a number of criminal charges, and the military operation in Balochistan. There is no love lost between the incoming Prime Minister and the former military dictator who dismissed Nawaz Sharif's last government in a coup in 1999. However, the military will be wary of a high profile prosecution of its former head, involving potential allegations that other senior members of the armed forces were involved in the various actions that are the subject of charges against General Musharraf. A whole host of provincial headaches await the new government in Islamabad. In the aftermath of this election all of Pakistan's parties have been rendered provincial or regional institutions. While the PML-N may form the federal government because of overwhelming support in Punjab, it has little presence in Sindh and KhyberPakhtunkhwa. As a result it will have to deal with provincial governments led by other parties as well as a Senate, the upper house of Parliament, in which the PML-N will probably lack a majority throughout its tenure. As issues of violence in the metropolis of Karachi, terrorism

and drone strikes in the tribal areas of the north-west region, military operation in Balochistan and the demands for the creation of new provinces regain centre stage, the new national government will have to come to terms with working within a federal system in which power is no longer centralised. The fragmentation of the mandate along provincial lines is not necessarily as bad as some commentators are speculating. To give credit where it is due, one big achievement of the previous PPP government was instituting important constitutional amendments which transferred important powers to the provinces. The provincialisation of politics thus creates interesting prospects for a competitive federalism in which the parties heading different provincial governments have an incentive to implement policies and styles of governance that may enable them to regain lost ground in the rest of the country by the time of the next elections. The PTI in particular has the opportunity to implement its campaign promises of instituting justice sector reform, meritocracy in government recruitment and depoliticisation of the bureaucracy and the police if it manages to form the government in KhyberPakhtunkhwa as appears likely. The PTI has also brought to the table demands of social justice, universal education and health, undoing of the public-private divide in the provision of basic services, and creation of elected local governments. If Imran Khan's party makes any strides in furthering this agenda in the terrorism-hit province, where the Pakistani state is presently under the greatest stress, the PML-N government will be under enormous political pressure to match such a performance. Source: AlJazeera



Libya deadly car bomb near Benghazi hospital Darfur rebelfaction leader killed in Chad


he leader of a breakaway faction of Darfur's main rebel and his deputy have been killed after an attack inside Chad near the border with Sudan. Mohamed Bashar and Suleiman Arko were killed during fighting with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), Sudan's intelligence agency announced. JEM fighters aboard a 30vehicle convoy reportedly attacked Bashar's group while they were having lunch, just a few kilometres from the Sudanese border, Harriet Martin, reporting from Khartoum, said. Martin said that there had been conflicting reports about which side started the fight. Nahar Osman, an adviser of Bashar, said that his group was attacked. In an interview with the Sudan Tribune, Nahar said that five other members of Bashar's group were killed, along with a Chadian security officer and two cattle keepers working nearby. JEM said Bashar's forces attacked its base forcing them to fight back. Bashar's rebel faction had signed a peace deal in Doha on April 6 with the Sudanese government to halt 10 years of fighting in Darfur. His top aide Arko led the negotiating team. It was founded by Darfuris, loyal to a prominent religious and political leader Hassan al Turabi. Martin said: "His [Bashar's] death and the death of his deputy is very significant," Martin said, adding that was a serious blow to the peace process. She said that the main JEM group may not have "forgiven" Bashar for signing-up to the Darfur peace deal. Last April, JEM fighters killed a deputy commander of the breakaway faction allied with Bashar. Salah EddinElzein, director of Al Jazeera's Centre for Studies, said that Bashar's death could also raise serious questions about the security arrangement between Sudan and Chad.

Mohamed Bashar


car bomb has exploded outside a major hospital in Libya's northern city of Benghazi, killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens more, according to official sources. Witnesses and an official said that the bomb struck the car park of the city's main emergency Al-Jala hospital on Monday afternoon. The AFP news agency said at least 30 people had been wounded besides the fatalities. Benghazi was the cradle of the uprising that ended Muammar Gaddafi's 42 years of iron rule in 2011. The blast was caused by a car bomb and "caused deaths

and injuries", a security official said, without immediately being able to give further details. Abdullah Massoud, Libyan deputy interior minister, said the blast caused massive damage in the hospital area. It damaged a dozen or more vehicles and shattered the windows of buildings nearby, sending aloft a thick cloud of smoke and flinging dust several blocks away. Only one of the dead was carried into the hospital intact, a doctor told Reuters news agency, which made it difficult to immediately establish the number of people killed. Another doctor said three

deaths were confirmed including a child, along with 17 injuries. "I saw people running and some of them were collecting parts of bodies," a witness who declined to be identified said. Hundreds of angry people gathered at the scene, blaming armed groups for the explosion and calling for them to be driven from Benghazi. Benghazi has seen frequent attacks and assassinations targeting security officials in recent months. The post-Gaddafi transitional government based in Tripoli exerts scant authority over much of the country. The latest violence comes

days after the US and Britain withdrew some staff from their embassies in the Libyan capital citing security concerns over a flare-up between armed groups and the authorities. The fighters, mostly former rebels who helped topple Gaddafi, had surrounded the foreign and justice ministries to press for a vote in the National Assembly barring former officials of his regime from holding government jobs. They lifted the siege on Sunday, ending a two-week standoff, days after the vote was passed by the General National Congress and a pledge by Ali Zeidan, the prime minister, to reshuffle the cabinet soon.

The scene of the blast was packed with sympathizers.

Mass Kenya mental hospital breakout


orty mentally ill patients have escaped from the Mathari Mental Hospital in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, after overpowering guards, police say. A search has been launched for the patients, some of whom are known to be violent, police said. Kenya's Standard

newspaper reports that the group escaped from the state hospital after complaining that the medicine given to them was ineffective. Mathari is the biggest psychiatric hospital in Kenya. In 2011, rights groups called for an investigation into alleged human rights abuses at the hospital following a CNN

documentary "Locked up and Forgotten". The CNN crew reported that during a visit to the hospital, they found a dead body locked up in a seclusion cell with a patient. Senior Nairobi police officer Moses Ombatisaid the patients had staged a protest, before overpowering guards and

escaping. The hospital reported the escape to police on Sunday, divisional police chief Samuel Anampiu is quoted by the Standard as saying. "We have all their particulars and including their pictures and that will make it easy for us to identify them," he said.

Tanzania’s church bombing suspects set free


our suspects from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, who were linked to the May 5 Catholic Church bombing in Arusha, were on Monday set free after being discovered that were not involved in the deadly incident. Regional Police Chief (RPC) LiberatusSabas, said on Monday in the northern safari capital of Arusha that the release of the

aliens was a result of thorough investigation made by Tanzania's security organs in collaboration with those of FBI and Interpol. "When the file of the foreign suspects reached the office of the Director of Prosecutor Department in Arusha, it was advised that the suspects should be handed to the Regional Immigration Office in Arusha to see if the procedures of getting

into the country were met," the RPC said. He however said that the office prepared a charge sheet against Victor Ambrose Kalisti as investigations with other remaining seven suspects continues. "The remaining suspects will be brought in court soon after accomplishing this investigation exercise," Sabas revealed. According to RPC, Tanzania

security agencies have teamed up with their counterparts from Kenya and Uganda. "We deployed our colleagues from Kenya and Uganda because they have that experience of investigating terrorist cases in their countries," he said, calling for Tanzanians to work closely with the security agencies in an effort to discover the terrorist network in the country. Source: Xinhua


Asia and Middle East Sharif assembling new Pakistan government


Taiwan threatens Philippines with sanctions


lthough still to be officially confirmed as Pakistan's election winner, Nawaz Sharif has already received messages of congratulations from the US and India and picked a finance minister to serve in his prospective cabinet. In Karachi, the stock market swelled to hit a record high on hopes Sharif can revive the economy as he held talks on forming a new government. "All of the results aren't in yet; we're still waiting on a numer of constituencies [to count votes] and certain provinces," said Al Jazeera's ImtiazTyab, reporting from Lahore. "Whatever the case, Sharif has been meeting with senior figures from within the PMLN party and we understand talks are being held with independent candidates." PML-N spokesman SiddiqulFarooq said that Sharif's party had secured a "comfortable majority" at the national level and a "twothirds majority" in Punjab province, where Sharif's younger brother Shahbaz would return as chief minister. It was reported on Monday that Ishaq Dar, who served as finance minister in Sharif's second administration and again briefly in 2008, would return to the job. Dar had "all the facts and figures at his fingertips" and will present the budget in June for the next financial year starting on July 1, Farooq said. The election commission is expected to finalise the results on Monday night. Sharif will then have up to three weeks to prepare his government before the president summons the national assembly and new MPs are sworn in. He will then be confirmed as leader of the house and as prime minister, allowing him formally to appoint his cabinet. US President Barack Obama said Washington was ready to work with Islamabad "as equal partners" and welcomed the transition. India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said he hoped to chart "a new course" in relations. Singh and Sharif have had "long discussions" since the election, Sharif said at a press conference on Monday. "Mutual fear needs to be addressed," he said.

The Philippine coastguard said it carried out duties to stop illegal fishing when the fisherman was killed [Reuters]


aiwan's government has issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Philippines' government, demanding an apology over the fatal shooting of a Taiwanese fisherman. The Taiwanese coastguard on Sunday dispatched four vessels to guard the disputed water where the shooting incident took place. "The government is determined to protect our fishermen," cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen said in a statement as vessels headed towards the Bashi Strait, claimed by both governments, where the fisherman was killed on Thursday. Ao Ming-wei, the captain of the coastguard vessel Tainan Jian said his vessel was prepared

to face provocation and the crew would fire against possible threats. Taiwan has demanded Manila apologise and compensate the victim's family or face a freeze on the hiring of its nationals. It also asked the Philippines to bring to justice the coastguards responsible and start negotiating a fisheries agreement. "If the Filipino government fails to respond in a positive manner within 72 hours, the hiring of Philippine workers will be frozen," presidential office spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei said on Saturday. There are about 87,000 Philippine domestic helpers and other workers in Taiwan and they send home hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Lee said other sanctions could include recalling the Taiwan ambassador to the Philippines and asking the Philippines ambassador to Taiwan to return to Manila to assist the investigation. More than 50 bullets hit the ship, killing skipper Hung Shih-cheng. "This is nothing but a slaughter," prosecutor Liu Chiakai said after examining the ship. Several fishermen's groups said they plan to file a protest at the Philippine mission in Taipei Monday. In Manila Abigail Valte, a spokeswoman for President BenignoAquino, said on Saturday that authorities had launched a "transparent and impartial investigation" into the incident.

Yemen military jet crashes in Sanaa


Russian-made Yemeni military jet has crashed into a residential district of the capital Sanaa killing the pilot, an army official told AFP news agency. The Sukhoi crashed on Monday into "Al-Asbahi

residential district in southern Sanaa," the official said. The official did not provide further details. The accident is the second of its kind in the capital this year after 12 people died in February when another military aircraft

The Sukhoi-22 crashed into a populated area in southern part of Sana'a [AFP].

ploughed into a building in a residential area. That plane had also been identified as a Sukhoi SU-22 attack aircraft, and had been on a training mission. An air base is located near the Sanaa international airport, just 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of the capital. Such air accidents are common in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country. In November, a Yemeni air force Antonov M26 crashed during a training mission in a northern district of Sanaa, killing all 10 on board. A fighter jet crashed on takeoff on a routine training mission in the south in October, killing the pilot and injuring another crew member, after what the defence ministry described as a "technical failure." And in October 2011, four people were killed when an Antonov crashed on landing at Al-Anad air base in southern Yemen.

Singapore opens US death inquiry


ingapore has opened a coroner's inquiry into the death of a US engineer whose parents believe he was killed over a China-linked project related to sensitive technology. Shane Todd's death, in June 2012, was registered as a suicide by hanging. But his family allege foul play was involved, pointing to work they say was linked to China's Huawei Technologies. Both Huawei and Mr Todd's employer, a Singapore government institute, reject the claims. Authorities in Singapore have been working with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation on the case after US officials called for Mr Todd's parents' concerns to be investigated. The inquiry - which will focus on determining the cause of death - is expected to last until the end of May, after which a verdict will be issued. Mr Todd's parents, Rick and Mary, are in Singapore and will be testifying. Shane Todd, 31, an electronic engineer, was found hanged at his home in Singapore on 24 June 2012. It was in a Financial Times report in February that Mr Todd's parents raised concerns about the circumstances surrounding his death. They told the newspaper that what they found at their son's home did not match details in a police report related to his apparent suicide. They also said they did not believe he was the author of a suicide note shown to them by police. Mr Todd had been employed at the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in Singapore, a unit under the state-owned Agency for Science, Technology and Research. He had feared a project he was working on harmed US national security, his parents told the FT. They picked up an external hard drive at his home, which the FT said contained copies of their son's computer files from IME, including a planned project apparently involving Huawei - a Chinese telecommunications giant - and IME.

Shane Todd



CONFLUENCE OF BORNO- YOBE CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE (CBYC-J) Head office: No 65 Bakin Transformer, Potiskum L.G.A. Yobe state., mobile: 08036173541 MOTO: To guarantee justice and equity for ALL Borno-Yobe citizens

Boko Haram: It's Contradiction, Insincerity For Jonathan To Assign Amnesty Commitees And Seek To Impose Military Governments At Same Time Purported plans by President Goodluck Jonathan to declare state of emergency in Borno and Yobe States after inaugurating different committees with the mandate of actualising peaceful disarmament and resolution of the Boko Haram crisis, is an upsetting contradiction that clearly shows lack of focus and absence of sincerity in tackling the Boko Haram crisis on the part of the federal government. The federal government need remember that Nigeria has since 1999 returned to democratic rule and has bid farewell to military governments. It also need be said that military government can never be the best way out of the current security situation otherwise, how come the military could not solve the problems of militancy in the Niger Delta under several years of the military administrations? How come General Olusegun Obasanjo with his military background could not solve the Niger Delta problems under a democratic era? Then, how come a “bloody civilian”, late President Umar Musa Yar’adua was able to solve the problems at least, to a large extent? It is also important to refresh our minds and ask, how come there are ethno-religious crisis in Plateau State despite a declaration of emergency and unconstitutional suspension of the then Governor of the State, Joshua Dariye by President Obasanjo, under whose regime, the obedience to the constitution was impliedly put on hold? I think if IBB with his military tact; if late General Sani Abacha, with his military supremacy; and if Obasanjo, with his militarised characters, failed to restore normalcy to the Niger Delta leaving that national task to unhealthy malam Umaru Musa Yar’adua, then, it should be clear to President Goodluck Jonathan, PHD, that an insurgency can be best tackled by applying wisdom rather than military onslaught only. The purported efforts by the Presidency to invoke a state of emergency in Borno and Yobe States, is like the case of ‘a rich first son who after failing to provide clothes, blames the nakedness of his father on a distant cousin’. The constitution is unambiguous as to whose responsibility it is to protect the lives of all Nigerians and defend its territorial integrity. because no Governor has exclusive control over the military, police or any para-

military since all service chiefs across the 36 States of the federation refer to their superiors in Abuja before determining whether to effect orders of Governors or to act the constitution provides in sections 215 and 217. For instance, section 215: (1), says “The President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those direction or cause them to be compiled with. (4) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Governor of a state or such Commissioner of the Government state as he may authorise in that behalf, may give to the Commissioner of Police of that state such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order within the state as he may consider necessary, and the Commissioner of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with:Provided that before carrying out any such directions under the foregoing provisions of this subsection the Commissioner of Police may request that the matter be referred to the President or such minister of the Government of the Federation as may be authorised in that behalf by the President for his directions”. This clearly puts the President in full grip of the police. It is even worse when it comes to controlling the military as section 217 of the constitution says: “(1) There shall be an armed forces for the Federation which shall consist of an army, a navy, an Air Force and such other branches of the armed forces of the Federation as may be established by an Act of the National Assembly. (2) The Federation shall, subject to an Act of the National Assembly made in that behalf, equip and maintain the armed forces as may be considered adequate and effective for the purpose of -(a) defending Nigeria from external aggression; (b) maintaining its territorial integrity and securing its borders from violation on land, sea, or air; (c) suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President…”. Continue on the next page



The role of State Governments is to support the security agencies and in the case of Borno and Yobe States, the Governments are not just supporting security agencies, they actually fund, doing what the federal government ought to be doing.

Section 305 says: “The Governor of a State may, with the sanction of a resolution supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly, request the President to issue a Proclamation of a state of emergency in the State when there is in existence within the State any of the situations specified in subsection (3) (c), (d) and (e) In Borno State for instance, Governor Kashim Shettima of this section and such situation does not extend beyond has to the admiration of all patriotic Nigerians, been very the boundaries of the State�. responsive in handling the security challenges in the State. The Government from investigations, has provided It is important to ask, that if a Governor can be suspended over 200 brand new Hilux patrol vans to the Joint Military on account of emergency, what happens to the President Taskforce and the police command, the Government has where there is need for a declaration of emergency at consistently fuelled and maintained the vehicles, paid the centre, should there be a military head of state? The allowances to all the troops while heads of the security President can only declare an emergency (to suspend agencies have unfettered access to the Governor as the the state assembly) if it is clear to the President that a service chiefs have severally confirmed to the public Governor fails on his own duties by properly working with through the media reports. The federal government has the assembly to effectively collaborate with the federal abdicated on its responsibility by failing to finance the government to guarantee law and order. And even at that military operations, leaving Borno and Yobe States to a declaration of emergency is needed when state is groan with meagre allocations from the federation drifting into a failed one and in this case, where there is account. The Borno State Governor has rapidly paid extreme lawlessness that makes it impossible for the compensation to victims including recently adopting three executive, the state house of assembly and courts to children whose police families were killed in Bama town function. We are very much aware that all the arms of following an unfortunate carnage. The Governor has no government effectively function in Borno and Yobe States. doubt withered the storm especially if one takes into the account the series of public driven programmes and It is worthy to note that what is happening in Borno and projects taking place in all nooks and crannies all over Yobe States are not too different from states under the state which is the hallmark of progressive leadership. emergency because there are special military operations Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State has done in the states and extraordinary measures are being incredibly well also in funding security agencies in Yobe deployed by the military. Every day, the JTF claims it has launched special operations, killing x-y and recovery z. State. So, how come they do so if there is any hindrance? The We need also repeat that the President has no moral or only difference from a constitutional state of emergency constitutional basis to suspend any of the 36 seating and what is in place in Borno and Yobe is plenary being governors under the guise of declaration of a state of held by the two houses of assembly and since the military emergency, more so that the current security situation in has been able to operate in both States in the last two the northeast, arouse mainly from failures of the federal years despite the functioning of the assemblies, then government which has the sole responsibility of protecting there is simply no need for a formal declaration of emergency. If any tier of Government should be blamed lives and properties through legitimate use of police and for the current security situation, the federal government the armed forces under its total control. should squarely take the blame because Governors of the two States have provided adequate support for the The Nigerian constitution has clearly stated conditions federal government to do what it ought to exclusively do. under which an elected Governor, still serving It is important to remind the President that it is the sole constitutional tenure of office, can vacate before responsibility of the federal government to protect lives completion of four years term. The conditions are deaths, and properties of all Nigerians It is becoming clearer day impeachment, resignation, permanent incapacity and by day, that the PDP led federal government is becoming judgements of appellate courts of jurisdiction. Section increasingly intolerant of APC promoting governors and 305 that deals with declaration of state of emergency is seeking ways to take advantage all situations including does not in any way give the President Powers to but unfortunately, the current security situations in Borno suspend a seating Governor. The section empowers the and Yobe States which are strongholds of the APC, for Governor to request from the President, a declaration of political manoeuvres. The President should please state of emergency which would require a state assembly rethink this very unpopular irony. Let us also add that if suspended so that the Governor can have no recourse the President is taking these measures for political to the assembly in taking extraordinary decisions to fortunes ahead of 2015, then it is a most wrong and collaborate with security agencies to bring law and order. untimely move. 2015 is still far, to be frank.

Signed James Musa Mshelia, JP,Chairman

Ibrahim B. Tarmuwa, Secretary



Kebbi State Of Nigeria Ministry Of Health HQ Gwadangaji Secretariat Birnin Kebbi Kebbi State Request For Quotation (RFQ) To Supply Ambulances And Ancillary Equipment


he Kebbi State Government (KBSG) as part of its ongoing programme for revamping the Health Care Delivery Services Sector is requesting for quotations (RFQ) from qualified offerors to supply ambulances and related accessories. The KBSG intends to purchase vehicles with specifications as indicated hereunder. The indicated specifications are the minimum specifications for the needs of KBSG in safety, quality, performance, and standardization. The specification is not intended to be proprietary in any way. The use of trade names in these specifications are to set a quality standard for comparison only but do not intend to exclude any manufacturers of vehicles and related ancillary equipment of this type and quality. Interested firms/suppliers/manufacturers/manufacturers’ representatives may submit quotations in response to this advertisement on or before the 15th of June 2013 at 2:00 P.M. local time, for supply of ambulances to: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health HQ, Gwadangaji Secretariat, BIRNIN KEBBI. KEBBI STATE. The response shall indicate, at a minimum, that the firms/ suppliers/manufacturers/manufacturers’ representatives is in a position to supply, deliver, install, provide training (where appropriate) and commission ambulances sufficient to reasonably meet the safety and operational needs of health care workers to provide ambulance services or other medical emergency services as may be specified for General Hospitals at (1) Augie, (2) Bagudo, (3) Fakai, (4) Ka’oje, (5) Kambaza, (6) Kangiwa, and (7) Suru. These items include: Reconditioned Toyota Microbus to be supplied through converting into Ambulance with particulars of Vehicle as follows: (1) Name of the Vehicle: Toyota Liteace Microbus (Ambulance) (2) Model: Liteace (3) Chassis Number: As Per Model (4) Engine Number: As Per Model (5) Engine Type: As Per Model (6) Steering System: Power (7) Country of Origin: Japan (8) Country Assembled: Japan (9) Year of Manufacturing: 2010 & Above (10) Colour: White/silver (11) A/C ( Dual) (12) Cylinder Displacement: 1800 CC (13) Fuel Type: Petrol (14) Type of Transmission: Auto (15) Seating Capacity: 3 in front row including driver 3 in cabin for attendant and doctor (16) No of seat Belts: Minimum 2(Two) (17) No of Doors: Minimum 4(Four) (18) No of Windows: Minimum 4(Four) (19) No of Cylinder: 4 Cylinder (20) Tyre: Brand New Tyre with Alloy Rim (5 Nos.) (21) No of Battery and Volts: 1(One) 12 Volts (22) Safety and convenient features: Airbag, ABS , Back Camera etc CD Player

(23) Standard Tools: Standard Tools (24) List of vehicles and related ancillary equipments/accessories for ambulance: (a) Electronic Siren with Amplifier, Speaker and Microphone (b) Patient cabin seating capacity-3 persons (c) Medical Oxygen Cylinder and accessories (d) Rotating Beacon Light (e) Stretcher (Lockable) (f) Sub Stretcher (g) Fire Extinguisher (h) First Aid Box (i) Intravenous feeding hook 2 pieces (j) Rear foot step (k) Frosted side & rear glass (l) Roof light at rear cabin (m) Stickers to be pasted on FR, RR, LH and RH and name of each hospital as stated above inscribed on the RIGHT and LEFT side of the vehicle designated for each hospital. (25) Warranty: Minimum 1(one) Year (26) After sales service: 6 Months (27) Delivery Time: 1(one) Month from Purchase Order (28) Validity of the Offer: 1(one) Month (29) No. of the Vehicles: 7(Seven) Units Any quotation submitted by a proposer to KBSG will be accepted or rejected within a period of 30 days from due date. The KBSG reserves the right to waive any informality or irregularity in any quotation, to negotiate for the modification of any quotation(s), to accept the quotation(s) that in KBSG’s sole judgment is/are deemed the most desirable and advantageous to KBSG, to reject any and all quotations, or to re-advertise for quotations, to such extent as KBSG, in its sole opinion, deems necessary or desirable. The KBSG is not liable for any cost associated with the preparation of the quotation or any other costs incurred by any proposer prior to the execution of an agreement. The rejection of any quotation, in whole or in part, by KBSG, will not render KBSG liable for incurring any cost or damage. All material submitted in response to this Request for Quotation becomes the property of KBSG. The KBSG may choose to retain, return (at the proposer’s expense) or dispose of these materials. The KBSG may make such investigations as it deems necessary to determine the ability of the proposer to perform the work, and the proposer shall furnish to the KBSG all such information and data for this purpose as the KBSG may request. In determining the award, consideration will be given to: (a) the experience of the proposer; (b) the proposer's financial condition; (c) regular and constant of VAT, taxes and other fees payable to municipal, Local Government Councils, State or Federal Government (c) the proposer's conduct and performance on previous agreements; (d) the proposer's facilities; (e) the proposer's management skills; and, (f) the ability of the proposer to execute the agreement properly. The KBSG reserves the right to reject any proposal if the evidence submitted by, or investigation of, such proposer fails to satisfy KBSG that such proposer is properly qualified to carry out the obligations of the agreement and to complete the work contemplated herein. Signed: The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Gwadangaji Secretariat, BIRNIN KEBBI. KEBBI STATE.



Eating peppers twice a week could reduce the risk of Parkinson disease 'At the moment we don't fully understand the causes of Parkinson's and we don't know of anything which can prevent the condition, although there are a number of factors that may slightly lower risk including smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and exercise.' Dietician Catherine Collins, from St George's Hospital NHS Trust in London, said the study provided further evidence of the benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet rich in vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers. But she said the findings had 'insufficient robustness' to justify promoting peppers as a protection against Parkinson's. Nicotine content can vary in vegetables due to growing conditions, storage, and harvesting and cooking methods.

By Nick Mcdermott, Science Reporter


ating peppers twice a week could help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by up to a third. Scientists found individuals who ate foods containing an edible form of nicotine, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines, gained a degree of protection against the condition. The research adds to evidence linking a reduced risk of the disease with smoking and the use of nicotine patches. But experts urged caution, saying other constituents in the produce may have played a role in the findings, while the disease itself may also influence whether people smoke or eat certain foods. 'Our study is the first to investigate dietary nicotine and risk of developing Parkinson's disease,' said Dr Susan Searles Nielsen from the University of Washington in Seattle. 'Similar to the many studies that indicate tobacco use might reduce risk of Parkinson's, our findings also suggest a protective effect from nicotine, or perhaps a similar but less toxic chemical in peppers and tobacco.' For the new study, published in the journal Annals of Neurology, 490 patients newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, were questioned about their dietary habits and tobacco use. A further 644 individuals not suffering from any neurological conditions also participated in the study. Vegetable consumption in general was not found to affect Parkinson's risk. But the likelihood of being


Eating peppers twice a week could help reduce the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by up to a third diagnosed with Parkinson's reduced the more people ate vegetables from the Solanaceae family, which contain tiny amounts of nicotine, the addictive chemical in cigarettes. The trend was strongest for peppers, mainly in people with little or no previous exposure to tobacco, with participants who ate them at least twice a week found to be 30 per cent less likely to develop Parkinson's. Although the evidence suggests nicotine to be the active ingredient, the team did not rule out another chemical shared by tobacco and its cousins being responsible for the effect. One possibility was anatabine, which

had anti-inflammatory properties. Previous experiments in animals, showed stimulation of nicotine-sensitive receptor molecules in the brain prevents the kind of nerve damage seen in Parkinson's. Human population studies have also found those who smoke are less likely to develop the disease. Even passive smoking, which involves much less exposure to nicotine, seems to be protective. Parkinson's is a progressive condition in which damage to brain cells eventually leads to tremors, rigidity and slow movement, and there is

currently no cure. Most people with the condition are aged 50 or over, and it affects about 127,000 people in Britain. Claire Bale, from the charity Parkinson's UK, said the study was too small to draw any concrete conclusions. She said: 'This was a small study which involved just over 1,000 people and to produce convincing results, these types of studies really need to involve much larger numbers - tens to hundreds of thousands. 'It also studied a relatively young group of people, the average age was mid-60s, when Parkinson's is a condition which often develops much later in life.

Stimulation of nicotine-sensitive receptor molecules in the brain prevents the kind of nerve damage seen in Parkinson's (pictured)

Could eating walnuts be the key to good heart health? By Nick Mcdermott


ating a handful of walnuts could provide near-instant protection from heart disease. Scientists found 'significant' improvement in cholesterol levels and blood vessel flexibility, which helps blood flow smoothly, just four hours after people consumed either the shelled nuts or walnut oil.

Single doses of whole walnuts or the extracted oil were found to improve heart and blood vessel function

The research suggests regular consumption would protect against cardiovascular disease in the long term. 'Just a handful could help significantly reduce the risk of heart disease,' said Dr Penny Kris-Etherton, professor of nutrition at Penn State University in Pennsylvania. 'Eating shelled walnuts or some walnut oil four times a week will certainly provide very significant

benefits.' The study was the first to identify which parts of the walnut provide the health boost, she explained. The team gave 15 participants with high blood cholesterol levels four treatments - two handfuls of shelled walnuts (85g), six grams of walnut skin, 34g of the nutmeat with the fat removed, or three tablespoons of oil (51g). They looked at their responses after 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, four hours and six hours. The researchers found that a onetime consumption of walnut oil - also found in the shelled nuts - improved blood vessel health after four hours. 'Our study showed that the oil found in walnuts can maintain blood vessel function after a meal,' said lead author Claire Berryman, a graduate student in nutritional sciences at Penn State. 'The walnut oil was particularly good at preserving the function of endothelial cells.' Endothelial cells, which line the blood vessels throughout the body, play an important part in blood vessel flexibility.

The walnuts and its oil was found to strengthen human blood vessels (pictured) According to the researchers, walnuts contain omega-3 fats, plant sterols known to lower cholesterol,

and vitamin E, all of which may help explain their protective effect. Miss Berryman added: 'Implications of this finding could mean improved dietary strategies to fight heart disease.' Heart and circulatory diseases cause more than a quarter of all fatalities in Britain, or more than 159,000 deaths a year. The cost of premature deaths, lost productivity, and medical treatment is around ÂŁ19billion. Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: 'Nuts can be a nutritious choice as they provide us with protein and minerals. However, nuts are also high in fat. Portion control is important to make sure you're benefiting from the nutrients without adding extra calories. 'Walnuts do contain omega-3 fats .?.?. However, the best source of omega-3 fat is oily fish and we don't yet know for certain if walnuts bring the same benefits.' Source:



CPC convention and the quest for change ANALYSIS By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) last weekend, held its last convention where the structures of the party were collapsed into the new merger All Progressive Congress (APC). It would be recalled that few weeks ago, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) held a similar event, during which the party loyalists were told that the party has become defunct, being part of the efforts to librate Nigerians from the shackles of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s political hegemony. Presently, the country is rife with the believe that after thirteen years of being in power, the ruling party has left the socio-economic landscape of the country worse than it met it before General Abdulsalami Abubakar handed it over to former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. In his speech, the CPC chairman, Tony Momoh, emphasised that the decision to collapse the party is part of the extreme sacrifice which the members should make, if actually the country would be redeemed. According to him, the mid-term and last convention, is a very bold step in the right direction, if the opposition parties truly intend to override the stronghold of PDP on Nigeria. Meanwhile, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) equally held its own convention simultaneously in Zamfara state. It is expected that the structures of the party has also been collapsed, in readiness for another general convention where the leadership of the APC, being the common opposition frontier in the country, would be elected. At the CPC’s convention, emphasis was specially made by the speakers on the word ‘Change’. The echoes that emanate from the crowd, distinctively indicated how expectant Nigerians are about the change which APC proposes. Indeed, Nigerians are frustrated by the style of the ruling party, which is more or less, synonymous with hardship and corruption. While the gap between the rich and the poor is unattendedly widening on daily basis, politics is gradually closing in on every single endeavour in the country. This has therefore made many businesses to fold up; genuine business experts that would have created jobs have been frustrated out of the country due to politics, leaving a dreadful chasm of unemployment in their trails.

Chief Bisi Akande

General Muhammud Buhari

Tony Momoh

Chief Ogbonnaya Onu

Even the few that were courageous enough to venture their stakes in Nigeria have various tales of swindle by public and private agencies, due to governments inability to stem the tide of corruption in the country. The prominent believe is that this situation has encouraged unemployment, resulting in the various insurgencies across the country. Kidnapping in the East; oil theft and bunkering in the South; Boko Haram in the North and armed robbery in the West. Warning against this vices at the Eagle Square, the leader of

CPC, Muhammadu Buhari, said, “Anarchy is knocking on the door of many sections of the country and the Federal Government has not demonstrated that it has the good sense of what is going on, or the competence to check it. “The nation is hopelessly adrift. But, if we are to survive, this vicious circle of violence that has engulfed this nation must be brought to an end”, he added. Buhari further blamed the rising mayhem in parts of Nigeria on the PDP-led government, assuring that the

opposition has resolved that it will never again tolerate the mayhem the government deliberately creates in order to cover its guilt, emphasising that the opposition will again never be intimidated. “The government has failed in almost everything; it has proved unable to secure the nation’s internal environment, there is insecurity everywhere. There is spiralling lawlessness all over the country. There is widespread and rising poverty and unemployment across the length and breadth of the country. There is incomplete and

total decline in the quality of social services and an irremediable dilapidation in the nation’s socio-economic infrastructure across board. “There is an unprecedented fall in the nation’s standard of living and an astronomical rise in the standard of dying. In short, today there is nothing going right; and we have become a nation in which nothing works as is should, that is, if it works at all. “When they said they have what they call Transformation Agenda, we didn’t understand, Continued on page 39



Lawmaker seeks adequate funding for NAPTIP


Hon. Manu Swa with Speaker House of Representative Rt, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal at the wedding Fatiha of Hon. Swa in Gombe State recently

Bauchi lawmakers partner Peace Corps to propagate peace From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi State House of Assembly has expressed its readiness to patner the state chapter of the Peace Corps of Nigeria to propagate peace in the state, even as the Assembly called on the corps to ensure a synergy between it and other security agencies. The chairman, House Committee on Security, Honorable Iliyasu Ibrahim Zwall, stated this when the state commandant of the corps, Mr Pat Mburtis Mark, led officials and members of the corps

to an interface with members of the security committee in Bauchi. He stated that having known what the corps stood for and its aims and objectives, the House was ready to work with it and give its support in order to maintain peace as well as for the corps to realize its objectives in Bauchi State. The chairman stated that his committee deemed it fit to have an interface with the officials of the Peace Corps for members of the Assembly who wanted to know more about the corps, its activities considering the controversies surrounding its legality in the

country. Zwall added that the security committee would submit a report on its findings on the corps on the floor of the House, disclosing that the meeting was an avenue for the members of the Assembly to get a first-hand information about the Peace Corps. In his remark the state commandant of Peace Corps stated that the corps was a legal entity duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria. He said that the corps embarked

on recruitment of the youths based on the Presidency's acceptance of its role in empowering them. Responding to question on how the corps generate funds to execute its programmes, Mark said that the corps relied on donor agencies and the three tiers of government for funds, adding, however, that it had not received any support in terms of funding from the Bauchi State government. He however disclosed that members of the corps in the state have been contributing among themselves to run the activities and programmes of the Peace Corps in the state.

Cleric urges Nigerians to pray for peace, stability


ev Jumare Abashiya, the Chairman of Kaduna South District Council of ECWA, on Sunday urged Nigerians to continue praying for peace, unity and stability of the country. Abashiya made the call in a speech at the ECWA Women Fellowship district conference which ended on Sunday in Kaduna. He stressed the importance of prayers in bringing about stability

and progress of any society bedevilled by crises, adding that the collective efforts of all Nigerians would enable the country to overcome the current security challenges. “In our conference we should be able to pray for the peace in our state and Nigeria,” he said, and challenged the women to be steadfast in promoting peace and mutual coexistence.

“ ECWA women should learn to live in peace in their homes, place of work and to teach other women to live in peace with their husbands and other Nigerians at large.” Abashiya said the conference with the theme ‘I want to know Christ’, was intended to bring the women together and encourage them to imbibe the spirit of Christ in their daily lives. “To be like Christ is to know Him

first and follow His footsteps”, he stated, adding that women must strive to excel in whatever they do as “Jesus is not lazy”. The Guest Speaker, Rev. David Kajom also urged Christians to study the life and times of Christ so as to emulate Him in their daily lives. He said they must not despair in the face of the present national challenges but to strive to exalt God’s name at all times. (NAN)

Omisore; a misunderstood politician, says Mimiko


ov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State has described a former deputy governor of Osun, Sen. Iyiola Omisore, as “a grossly misunderstood politician’’. The governor made the observation in Osogbo recently at the 29th International Conference dinner of the Multiple District 404 Nigeria of the Lions Club

International; where he was a special guest. Omisore was awarded the “Melvin Jones Fellow Award’’ — the highest award category in the honours list of Lions Club International. Mimiko said that he had all along known Omisore as a silent philanthropist.

“It is just unfortunate that you are a misunderstood politician,’’ he said, adding “I am sure that in the nearest future, history will vindicate you.’’ Speaking with journalists after the award, Omisore said that he was surprised that the Lions Club International had a record of some of his “silent philanthropic gestures’’.

He pledged that with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, he was inspired to do more for the less-privileged members of the society. “It is one of the silent parts of my service to humanity that Lions Club International has exposed,’’ he said. Omisore donated N5 million to the Lions Club International to execute some of its projects. (NAN)

member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Beni Lar, has called for adequate funding for the operations of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). Lar (PDP- Plateau), who is the Chairman, House committee on Human Rights, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. She said that inadequate funding of the agency was hampering the fight against trafficking in persons in the country. “The lack of funding is hampering our effort in fighting human trafficking,” the law maker said. She said that the Budget Office of the Federation initiated budgets without the inputs of ministries, agencies and critical stakeholders. According to Lar, the envelope system of budgeting adopted by the Budget Office was faulty, as key sectors were usually not consulted when budgets were being planned. “The budget Office does not consult agencies before they give such envelops to them. “If the budget Office can properly do consultation with the agencies, ministries, the National Assembly and other relevant stakeholders before issuing out budgets, it will help. “Our budget is not realistic and not helping to fight human trafficking and other scourges in our society,” she said. The legislator said she was sponsoring a motion seeking the review of the envelop budgeting system. Lar said that the 30 per cent cut in the recurrent budget of NAPTIP was posing a serous problem to the agency that was expected to fight human trafficking. “Human trafficking is a sophisticated organised crime that required enough funding to combat,” she said. She said that to effectively fight human trafficking, there was also a need to step up rehabilitation and reorientation of victims of human trafficking. Lar also said that the fight against the scourge in the country had slowed down considerably because of the absence of adequate legislation. She said that the Bill on trafficking in persons, which passed second reading at the House, would go a long way to check the scourge. She explained that with the inclusion of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Police, Women Affairs Ministry, National Intelligence Agency and Federal Ministry of Labour in the agency’s council, there would be synergy to fight the scourge effectively. NAN reports that the proposed NAPTIP Bill seeks to repeal the existing Act and re-enact a new one to provide mandatory confinement in addition to payment of fines upon conviction. (NAN)



Council boss warns staff against blackmail, gossip From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he newly inaugurated Chairman of Ankpa Local government area of Kogi state, Hon Isah Abdul, has issued stern warning to staff of the council against rumour mongering and mischief even as he promised to pay salary as at when due The chairman gave the warning yesterday in Ankpa at the palace of Ejeh of Ankpa, HRH, Alhaji Amodu Adaji as part of his taking-over ceremony. He said the local government can only witness rapid transformation when the people deliberately decided to tame the monster of thuggery and violence. The council boss noted that his covenant with the people was to impact positively on the people even as he promised to run the administration in line with the nation’s best practices. To this end, he disclosed that he would go out of his way to ensure that the traditional rulers be involved in financial and general purpose committee to show his commitment to transparency and financial discipline He added that his government will work hard to put smile on the faces of the people even as he vowed to make the welfare of the people his priority. Adaji however urged the council boss to run an all inclusive government calling on all to unite for the progress of the local government which since been yearning for development The monarch commended the people for electing the chairman and all the councillors in the just concluded election while urging them to give maximum support to the government.

L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on States and Local Government Administration, Senator Kabir Gaya, Elder Statesman and Nigeria's Former Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), Alhaji Maitama Sule, and Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Mr Elias Mbam, during the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Administration Seminar for 36 states and FCT, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Jonathan luring Rivers Assembly members to impeach Amaechi, says Melaye By Umar Muhammad Puma


xecutive secretary of AntiCorruption Network, Dino Melaye, yesterday accused President Jonathan of using oil blocks to woo members of the Rivers State House of Assembly over alleged plans to impeach governor Rotimi Amaechi. He said the plot is intended to divide members of the House of Assembly who many believe are loyal to Amaechi. "We heard this morning (yesterday) that the President is trying to use oil blocks to woo members of Rivers State House of Assembly who are loyal to Amaechi," Dino alleged. "We will not allow personal interest to plan a manhunt and inducement of the legislators against the governor. We

support the openness, frankness and independence with which Amaechi is confronting his personal political interest," he added. Melaye also accused President Goodluck Jonathan of using the security apparatus, particularly the police to harass members of the opposition. Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, Melaye challenged the presidency to come out openly and prosecute Amaechi if it has any tangible criminal case against him or stop the unending harassment of the governor. "Even though the House of Reps has passed a motion that the State House of Assembly should be reopened, the police have locked down the place. We've seen the systematic approach of the presidency in hunting down any opposition

against Jonathan's ambition in 2015," Melaye said. Speaking further, he said: "We will do everything within the law to ensure the president doesn't use the powers of his office to blackmail or intimidate anybody. The indiscriminate harassment and the use of police in intimidating political office holders who intend to run for presidency in 2015 must stop. "That a Nigerian will come out and say no to bad governance, that Nigerian should be supported. But if Amaechi is corrupt, he should be punished. But the era of using police to harass and intimidate Nigerians is gone. We've no other country than this to call our own. We've to fight for it. "We will fight with the last drop of our blood if the president should try to use state apparatus

to harass the opposition. We will mobilise Nigerians to prove that power actually belongs to the people. Today, it it Amaechi. Tomorrow, it could be Aliyu, Fashola or Kwankwanso. We are going to mobilise Nigerians against the oppressive tendency of President Jonathan. Jonathan should show Nigerians what he has done and why he should be voted for again." The former Reps member also revealed that a case has been instituted against former Niger Delta warlord, Asari Dokumbo over his alleged treason statement that Nigeria will be made ungovernable if President Jonathan isn't reelected in 2015. "This morning, my lawyers instituted a case against Asari Dokubo," herevealed.

CPC convention and the quest for change Continued from page 37 but we now know better; because, within the space of three years, they have transformed the country into a veritable wilderness, where everything that should work doesn’t; where everything can get broken. “They promised to give the nation credible elections; they couldn’t deliver. They promised to fight corruption, they couldn’t deliver. They promised to stop the insurgency and they couldn’t deliver”, Buhari alleged. He however assured that the new APC will ensure that the welfare of Nigerians is well taken care of even as he proposed that the APC government, if elected, will tackle corruption from major

government institutions that have been manipulated and influenced by the ruling party. “This nation is a witness to the fact that whenever we promised to deliver, we delivered. And today, I promise you most solemnly that we shall confront and eliminate corruption from the electoral process. We shall confront and eliminate corruption in the judicial process; and we shall most assuredly confront and eliminate it in the conduct of government business.” He called for the support and sacrifice of all members of the political members to ensure that the process of merger is fully realised, saying “This is a historic moment when several different political parties have

resolved to come together to change Nigeria for the better and stop the mindless drift that has been going on for the last fourteen years.” In an earlier address, the National Chairman of the CPC, Tony Momoh, described the convention as the last in the lifetime of the party as it will merge with other opposition political parties. He added that the APC that will finally emerge will give PDP a run for its money in 2015, regretting that the PDP government had undermined social justice and has given democracy a bad name in Nigeria. “The decision of CPC to go into merger with other political parties is to rescue Nigeria,” Momoh stated. Also speaking,

the Chairman of ACN, Bisi Akande, observed that the coincidence of CPC and ANPP convention to, among other things, endorse the on-going merger process, three weeks after the ACN did its own in Lagos, underscores the unquestionable commitments of the progressive Nigerian leaders to re-direct and reposition politics and governance. Akande, who pointed out that the convention is a positive step, urged the progressive leaders not to be oblivious of the huge challenges they would face in the endeavour, and the series of minefields they are to cross in the common resolve to rescue the country from total collapse. “For about a decade and a half, since the People’s Democratic

Party came to power, the development of this country has been arrested and almost stalled. Their strange institutionalized style of governance has engendered a general sense of hopelessness, despondency and inertia among the citizenry. “Since the coming of this government in 2011, all we have seen are tales of woes, gnashing of teeth and the crimsoning of our street with the blood of fellow citizens. Perhaps, aside the civil war period, the unity of this country has never been as threatened as it is presently. All of our national fault lines are growing deeper and the continuous existence of the country as indivisible entity is increasingly in doubt,” Akande said.



2015 governorship race: Ladoja is hallucinating – Oyo CAN From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Oyo State chapter, has expressed happiness at the reported decision of a former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, to contest the 2015 governorship election in the state, describing it as a welcome development. A media report yesterday indicated that Ladoja, whose reign between 2003 and 2007 was punctuated by impeachment and judicial reinstatement, is warming up for the 2015 governorship race. The party, in a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday by its state Publicity Secretary, Hon. Dauda Kolawole, said that it was not disappointed at the reported move by Ladoja, stating that all

his frantic moves to pull down the ACN-led administration were geared towards paving way for the realization of his ambition. “Any discerning mind would know that the surreptitious move by Ladoja to pull down the Governor Abiola Ajimobi administration through frequent attacks, peddling of falsehood and spreading of outright propaganda, is to clear the path for his governorship ambition which will continue to be a pipe dream,’’ it said. ACN further said that the development would present the people of the state the golden opportunity of asking the former governor questions on what he did to benefit the state while he held sway as governor. “Besides, the people of Oyo State will also have an ample opportunity to ask Ladoja to

present his health dossier, answer questions on why he left Ibadan, the state capital and indeed, the entire state largely under-developed and why nothing worked during his administration. “Senator Ladoja should also be preparing to answer questions on why his administration was characterized by violence and brigandage, and why he promoted thuggery to the level that the people of the state were living in perpetual fear of insecurity,’’ it said. The party also reminded the former governor that by 2015 when the next governor of the state would be sworn in, Ladoja would be 70 years, querying, “what has Ladoja forgotten at the Agodi Government House that he wants to go and take at the age of

70?“Ladoja is indeed confused. At one breath, he said that his lifetime ambition was to become the Olubadan of Ibadanland, while at another breath, he is dreaming of returning as governor. The former governor should be told in plain language that he is suffering from illusion of grandeur. He is nothing but a prisoner of his inordinate ambition,’’ the ACN said. The party, while wishing the former governor well in his new venture, declared that, given the monumental achievements of Governor Ajimobi within a spate of two years in the areas of peace and security, as well as massive infrastructural development across the state, all of which are enjoying wide applause, the 2015 governorship election would be a work-over for him.

R-L: Gombe state Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwmbo, welcoming Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, during the latter's visit to the governor, yesterday in Gombe.

Akwa- Ibom community laments govt’s neglect


he Ibaka community in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom has accused the state government of neglect, saying the area has remained without any infrastructure for many years. A spokesman for the community, Mr Okonkon Ukap, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the community was lacking basic facilities and that it had yet to feel the impact of Gov. Godswill Akpabio’s government. Ukap said that the residents were in dire need of educational and health facilities and that disease were ravaging the area. He also said that roads, water and other basic amenities were lacking in the community and in Mbo Local Government Area. He said the road from Oron

to Mbo in the council was in deplorable condition and had resulted in increase in the cost of transportation in the area. “The road between Oron and Mbo is in bad condition and it has made life difficult in the area. Indeed, we have never been recognised by any government in this state,’’ he said. Ukap also said that the free and compulsory education policy of the state government was being implemented in the area, adding that the only secondary school in the area is owned by the community. “We have been inviting the government to this area, but we have not succeeded. The government promised to take over the only community secondary school in Ibaka, but it has not done so.

“Up till now, we are still suffering and paying our children’s school fees,’’ Ukap said. He said that classrooms in the secondary school were often congested as every child of secondary school age had no other place to go than the community school. “We have a health centre, which has been taken over by bush and there is no electricity. Our people travel to Oron to receive medical attention,’’ he added. According to him, cholera is common in Ibaka, because of lack of potable water. The community’s spokesman also said that fishermen among them were being regularly harassed by sea pirates and called for increased patrol of the

waterways by security operatives. He said that sea piracy and oil spillage were the other major challenges facing residents of the area. However, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Eunice Thomas, pleaded with communities that had yet to benefit from the free and compulsory education of the present administration to be patient as their cases were being looked into. Thomas said that the difficult terrain in Ibaka was responsible for the absence of facilities there. She said that there were plans to visit the areas to see what could be done to make them benefit from free and compulsory education policy. (NAN)

Insecurity: Call for Jonathan resignation ignorant, says Tukur By Lawrence Olaoye


he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday described the call for the resignation of President Goodluck Jonathan to resign his position over insecurity in the country as ignorant. The ruling party chairman pointed out that the Americans did not call for the resignation of their President over the recent bomb blast in that country. Reacting to the statement credited to Asari Dokubo that there will be war if Jonathan does not win in 2015, Tukur, who was addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday advised the Niger Delta warlord that election is not war. This is coming as the PDP boss said he laughed when he read on the pages of newspapers his purported resignation as the chairman of the party. He said “This kind of talk is just ignorance. Is it the President that killed the policemen? He’s not. If there is any security threat, the security personnel will take care of that. The recent bomb blast that killed some people in America, the people did not call President Obama to resign because of that. Out of ignorance people say things. Opposition can say anything if they like. I don’t think we will bother ourselves about this.” On Asari Dokubo, Tukur said ”It is wrong thing to even talk about war in election. Election is free. Election should not be something you talk of war. Election means you offer yourself and they take you or they take another one, that is what election means. “If you make it a matter of controversy then it is you that is creating that controversy and I don’t think people will take serious that issue because in our country we say we are going through democracy, we say we are free to offer ourselves, if we have election nobody will stop us. We love ourselves and we should not fight, when time comes for election, according to the Constitution, cover yourself.” On his supposed resignation, PDP Chairman said, “Of course I laughed when I heard about it. I was in Canada working to bring more business for our people. Went to persuade these people to come and invest in our country, to come and partner with us, we need development because we are deficit in infrastructure, education, in health among others. If they come we will continue to reduce that deficit.”



NSSF knocks NSC, federations over exclusion in boards

FIFA Confederations Cup

Keshi assures Nigeria won't disappoint Africa in Brazil


he President of Nigeria School Sports Federations, Ibrahim Mohammed, has lambasted the National Sports Commission and the sports federations for paying lip service to the development of school sports. Speaking ahead of today's elections into the various boards of non-concessioned sports federations, Mohammed slammed the elements that ought to have facilitated school developments by accusing them of ignoring the presidency's directive of grassroots sports development. According to him, those vested with the authority to initiate policies that would ginger grassroots sports have neglected the NSSF which is responsible for all schools sports activities for pupils of the Under 17 cadre. He was sad that the NSSF as a body has no representatives in the boards of the sports federations. "The federations are not serious and I think the NSC too is part of it. This cannot happen because the world over every serious nation has gone back to the schools in order to develop sports from the grassroots. "It is bad that NSSF is not given representation in all the federations for today's elections except on Judo. It is unacceptable after the President Goodluck Jonathan ordered that school sports should be encouraged." Further, he wondered how grassroots sports development could be achieved without the involving those at the driving wheel of school sports. "How do you develop sports in schools without such representation? What they have done is wrong. Frustrating our representation is very bad and it means under aged sports in Nigeria will die and efforts to go to the grassroots defeated." He lamented that sports such as handball, volleyball and hockey were already dead because of failure to regenerate both interest and talents at the grassroots levels.


uper Eagles head coach Stephen Keshi has assured African continent that Nigeria would make them proud by putting up credible performance at next month's FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. The Eagles, who are African champions courtesy their victory at the 29th AFCON tournament held between January and February this year, will join other continental kings to flex muscles at the FIFA Confederation Cup fiesta. Keshi, who along with other coaches within and outside the continent, is in Cairo attending a three-day symposium on the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, believes the present crop of Eagles though relatively young and inexperienced have what it takes to perform well. ``We'll do our best there to give a good image for the African

... FIFA appoints match officials for Confed Cup


hirty officials have been appointed to officiate at the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 that will kick off in Brazil on June 15. The officials, who represent five of the six confederations, were selected by FIFA's Referees Committee from a list of candidates for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. Before they were selected, the referees, who are likely to be used also in next year's senior FIFA World Cup, were subjected to intensive supervision for about two years. Top FIFA referee Massimo Busacca, now Head of Refereeing of the world's governing body of football disclosed stressing that

Nosa Igiebor, Super Eagles player

Rumbles as elections into sports federations' boards hold today E Stories by Patrick Andrew

lections into the boards of more than 20 nonconcessioned sports federations will be held today even as controversies continue to dog the processes which led to the emergency of some candidates. Accordingly, elections have been shifted in boxing, handball, gymnastics, and may be tennis following alleged protest against the procedures which produced some

football,'' Keshi said in an interview with the official website of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in Cairo, Egypt. Also, he s a i d i t w a s a great chance for the country to play in such an important competition. The FIFA Confederations Cup, currently held every four years, features winners of the six FIFA c o n f e d e r a t i o n championships, along with the FIFA World Cup holder and the host nation. Since 2005, the t o u rnament has been held in the nation that will host the FIFA World Cup in the following year, acting as a dress rehearsal for the bigger and more prestigious tournament. Brazil, host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, will host the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup from June 15 to June 30.

candidates as well as the said preference of the National Sports Commission (NSC) for some of these candidates. Though there have been rumblings over the conduct of the zonal elections neither the NSC had relatively out of the picture until in the last one week when some whose perception is that they had been denied opportunities decided to cry foul. Controversies are said to have been prevalent in gymnastics, boxing, tennis, and

a few others sports federations where it was alleged that the commission had vested interest and has insisted on returning some incumbents. The handball federation was unable to produce a clear candidate for the positions at the zone just and may therefore have a repeat of the last sports federations' elections experience when several voting exercises failed to produce a winner between Mark Jacob and Yusuf Dauda. Peoples Daily Sports learnt that several stakeholders have reasons

to raise alarm over the imposition of some candidates by the leadership of the NSC and have argued that incumbents rejected by their zones are being foisted on the some boards. However, Julius Ogunro, Secretary of the National Sports Federations Electoral Committee (NSFEC), in a statement denied any hanky-panky by the commission stressing that the statutes for the elections had clearly. Elections will not be conducted into 10 boards which had been concessioned.

FIFA's Referees Committee is sending only the best match official in the world to the competition. "These officials are all potential candidates for next year's flagship football event in Brazil, and such high-profile tournaments are key to their preparation. "Like their other colleagues on the open list of 52 overall candidates for 2014, they can officiate matches at any level. We are convinced that they will deliver the quality we strive for," said Busacca. "We prepare like a football team, like players do, paying special attention to uniformity and consistency, fair play, protecting players and the tactical approach. Everything must come together now, in this very important competition, which has some of the best players and a world-class line-up of teams," explained Busacca. The FIFA Confederations Cup will be held from 15 to 30 June in six FIFA World Cup venues across Brazil and will involve among others four teams who, between them, have won 12 of the 19 FIFA World Cups. European champions Spain, Euro 2012 runners-up Italy, South American champions Uruguay and hosts Brazil, who are being joined by North and Central America and Caribbean champions Mexico, Asian champions Japan, African champions Nigeria and Oceania champions and newcomers Tahiti are the teams.



Rudisha ready to imitate Coe, set to run 1000m in Ostrava D

avid Rushida who has dominated the 800 metres for two years now as the world and Olympic champion is set to try something new. The sensational Kenyan athlete confirmed just before the seasonopening Diamond League meet in Doha that he plans for the first time to run a 1 000 at the Ostrava Golden Spike in June. It would be recalled that Sebastian Coe, another 800m great, once held the world record. "I've never attempted 1 000 before. I don't want to speculate because this is something new," he said. "When doing something new you are not sure. Until I can go there, I don't know what I can do." Rudisha's manager, James Templeton, said he was not doing the race for extra motivation but to see where he stands at the longer distance. "Test yourself at slightly longer event. How is my body going to respond? Am I going to be off the world record or, wow, that was really tough and it put me in a world of pain so forget that," Templeton said. "It's kind of a bit into

the unknown so that is nice." But Rudisha isn't about to abandon the 800 anytime soon. The soft-spoken Kenyan says he's already thinking of attempting to break the 800 record for a fourth time and will defend his world title in Moscow and his Olympic gold at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. "I had a passion to be in that stadium, to be at the Olympics. To do better than what my father did was something I was always clawing at," said Rudisha, whose father won silver in the 1968 Olympics in the 4x400 relay. "I wanted to improve from silver to gold medal. To do even better by breaking the world record was something great," he said. "I want to improve. I might break the world record and do better in the future. But to repeat that in four years will not be easy." Like any champion, motivation will be a challenge for Rudisha in the years to come. Some pundits have suggested he remain fresh by trying his hand at 1 500 or offering to race six-time Olympic champion Usain bolt in the 400. Rudisha said he would never go

for 1 500 because he considered himself too heavy. As for a one-off race with Bolt, he said he might consider it one day. "It's very difficult. It also puts a lot of pressure on us. At some point, it would not be a bad idea if we can do it maybe one time in the future just for fun and charity." The 24-year-old seems most concerned with his legacy, although he is not one to brag along the lines of Bolt. Rather, he quietly studies the statistics and how he stacks up against previous recordholders Coe and Wilson Kipketer. Templeton said Rudisha was "conscious of his place in history" but it was not something he often talks about. "I'm sure he is proud of that. He talks about being so proud of his father and how proud his father was of welcoming him back with his own medal from the Olympics," Templeton said. "He would never be quoted 'I want to be the greatest ever.' Leave those sorts of comments for Usain and others. Kenyans aren't like that and neither is David."

Merritt hopes to break 110m record soon

O David Rushida

African Junior Championships

lympic 110m hurdles champion Aries Merritt has stated that he believes his world record at the distance could soon be lowered. He declared in an interview published yesterday that there are possibilities of the improving on the record sooner than expected.

"I think that the world record will come down below 12.8secs. Soon," he was quoted as saying in French sports newspaper L'Equipe. "Many of us can run 12.9 and a lot are working hard to break the record and and the magic number 12.8," the 27-year-old American added. Merritt shattered the previous

record of 12.87secs held by Cuba's Dayron Robles at the final Diamond League meeting last September in Brussels. Robles set the former world best in Ostrava, the Czech Republic, in 2008, 0.01secs quicker than China's Liu Xiang in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 2006.

Edet urges athletes against indulging in damaging acts


melia Edet, a former Chief Coach of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), has charged athletes to represent the country at the 11th African Junior Championships in Pretoria, South Africa, to be good ambassadors. Edet urged the athletes for the championships, scheduled for June 27 to June 30, to be focused and added that they should avoid whatever would tarnish the image of the country. ``My advice will be for them to keep their heads straight, being selected will mean that they have done perfectly well, they have impressive records. ``I expect that when they get to the competition, they should even do better because that is the only way we can win. They should represent the country well,'' she said. Edet also appealed to the AFN to always commence early preparations ahead of the competition, saying that early

preparation would allow the athletes to improve. Some 54 athletes and 16 officials have been called to camp at the High Performance Centre, University of Port Harcourt, ahead of the event.

Aries Merritt

Bolt confirms Zurich date

W Divine Oduduru, one of the new generation athlete

orld and Olympic 100m and 200m champion, Usain Bolt, has confirmed that he would compete at the Diamond League meeting in Zurich in August, the Jamaican athlete said yesterday. "I am excited to go back to Zurich. I love the electric atmosphere at the stadium and both the competition and the events during the week of the

meeting are always extremely wellorganised," he said in a statement on the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) website. The fastest man on the planet and defending 100m and 200m champion from the Beijing and London Olympics said he will decide whether to run the longer or shorter sprint nearer the time of the meeting on August 29.

Bolt's appearance will be his first outing after the World Athletics Championships in Moscow from August 10-18, where he will be hoping to regain the world title he lost to training partner Yohan Blake in Daegu, South Korea, in 2011. Bolt won last year's 200m at Zurich in 19.66secs. In 2009, he won the 100m in 9.81secs and the previous year in 9.83secs. In 2007, he was second in the 200m in 20.19secs.



Abuja, C'wealth Games 2014 cheapest FC Tornadoes fire blanks ticket to cost N37, 355 N O

Philip Idowu, Commonwealth long jumper champion

rganisers of the Commonwealth Games 2014 to be held in Glasgow, Scotland have revealed that the cheapest ticket for the Games will be as low as 25 pounds or $38.41 US, which is eqivalent to N37, 355 going by current exchange rate of N155 per dollar. The officials announced this yesterday noting that it would be a ``family friendly'' ticketing strategy, with a pledge that the event would be ``accessible to all.'' The announcement detailed that two thirds of all briefs for the event on July 23 to Aug. 3, 2014 will go on sale for as low as the amount stated above. The flagship sports will feature a tied pricing structure so as to ensure it is a ``Games for everyone,'' with half-price concessions available to children and those over 60, the online Scotsman newspaper reported. Tickets for one of the most eagerly anticipated events, the men's 100 metres final, will start at 15 pounds, rising to 90 pounds, while prices for the opening ceremony at Celtic Park range start at 40 pounds, going up to 250 pounds. The ticketing programme was designed during a period of many months and reflects the vision and values of Glasgow 2014 to make the games accessible to all, said Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Organising Committe Chairman, Robert Smith. ``We have listened and learnt from previous Commonwealth Games, as well as the London 2012

Olympic and Paralympic Games,'' he noted. Smith added that the event is a Games for everyone and that success is not meant just for the organising committee or partners, but also for the people of Glasgow, Scotland and the Commonwealth. The first phase of ticket sales will be open from Aug. 19 to Sept. 16. A ticketing guide, which includes an application form, will be available on July 23. Ticketmaster, the selling agent, will conduct all sales via online and by post, said the report. For those sports where high demand is expected, such as the 100 metres final, tickets will be allocated through an independent and computerised draw, it added. If a member of the public requests four tickets, they will either be successful or unsuccessful. No one will be offered one, two or three tickets. The price of a ticket includes access to public transport in the local area on the day of each event. Glasgow 2014 said at least 70 per cent of all tickets would be available to the public, with just 8 per cent set aside for sponsors, who would also have to pay. In the athletics competition, there are six price categories, but for most other events, there will only be two or three price bands. Twelve sports would be held on the first day of competition, including swimming and track cycling, and a total of 17 sports and 261 medal events will be contested at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, according to the organising committee.

PSG reject Real’s move for Ancelotti


aris St Germain have rejected a bid by Real Madrid to hire coach Carlo Ancelotti, club president Nasser al Khelaifi said on Monday. "They (Real) came and I discussed it with them. He's got a contract with us for one more year...for me, he's here next year. He's a fantastic guy and I'm sure he'll respect his contract," Al Khelaifi told Reuters. The development also confirmed Jose Mourinho's imminent departure from the

La Liga side that failed to retain the league trophy it won last season and could not reach the final of the UEFA Champions League. Ancelotti refused to confirm he would stay at the club on Sunday after they secured their first Ligue 1 title since 1994. "We are going to talk with the club," said the Italian who joined the team in December 2011. Al Khelaifi explained that he had no desire to discuss the issue with Ancelotti. "Today (yesterday) I don't have any plan to meet him

Jose Mourinho, to exit Real Madrid for Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti PSG's coach wanted by Real

because he has a contract. Now it's time to celebrate and to enjoy the moment," he said. Al Khelaifi added that sporting director Leonardo spent a few hours in hospital on Monday after feeling unwell. "He went for some checks but he's out now," said the club

president. "He will be there to celebrate the title with us (later on Monday)." Ancelotti has been linked with Real in recent weeks after media reports suggested Jose Mourinho would be leaving the Spanish team to rejoin former club Chelsea.

Relegated Reading confront embattled Man City today


eading will today welcome FA Cup runners-up Manchester City to the Madejski Stadium in an English Premiership encounter hoping for nothing but only pride to play for going into the final two games of the season. City surrendered their English Premiership title to cross-town rivals Manchester United before losing to minnows Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup final over the course of the weekend. If City manage to avoid defeat they are certain of finishing in second spot on the Premiership log, while Reading will most likely finish the season in second to last

spot on the table. It has been a disappointing season for both sides for different reasons. The Citizens have failed to win a trophy and the Royals have failed to avoid the drop after winning promotion to the Premier League by winning the Championship last season. City beat West Brom 1-0 in their last Premier League encounter, while Reading beat Fulham 4-2 in an exciting encounter at Craven Cottage. The reverse fixture in December last year ended in a narrow 1-0 victory for Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Gareth Barry netted the solitary goal of the game in the third minute of stoppage time.

iger Tornadoes coach, Hamza Mohammed is satisfied with his side's barren draw at FC Abuja in the Nigeria National League (NNL) week 20 in Abuja yesterday. The encounter earlier scheduled for Sunday had to be discontinued due to heavy downpour while Tornadoes were up by one goal. Mohammed said he is satisfied with the goalless draw as the result has further inched the side close to the top of the log. "I'm satisfied with the point I picked from the game at FC Abuja even though we were supposed to have won the game yesterday (Sunday) before heavy downpour forced the game to be discontinued. "We were leading 1-0 as at the time the game was stopped and rescheduled to be replayed today (Monday). We're still on track towards realising our ambition for promotion to the elite league. "We're two points shy of leaders, Giwa FC and we've resolved to sustain the pressure until we succeed in taking over the mantle of leadership," said Coach Mohammed. Tornadoes will be guests of Spotlight FC on week 21 this weekend in Kano, and Mohammed said the neutral venue for the encounter gives his side the chance to go all out for the three points at stake. "We'll play Spotlight in a Matchday 21 encounter in Kano not Katsina, so the neutral venue is an added advantage for us to vie for the three points. We'll work very hard to ensure we pick the maximum points or at the worst case we pick a point," he said. Tornadoes have garnered 32 points from a possible 60 points.

Mancini may be sacked today


anchester City are set to sack Roberto Mancini of his position as head coach before today's Premier League match against Reading, according to several media houses in England. Mancini's future has been the subject of constant speculation in recent weeks, with Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini set to be the favourite to take over the bench role. The former Inter tactician, lifted the FA Cup trophy in the 2010/11 season to end their 35-year wait for silverware before going on to acquire last season's Premier League title for the first time in 44-year. This term, however, has proven to be less fruitful for the Italian tactician after he failed to successfully defend the league crown, after losing to their cross-city rivals Manchester United. Now, after losing the FA Cup final to Wigan on Saturday evening, his head seems to be heading for the chopping block and it is said that the club will have sacked him by Tuesday afternoon.



Ferguson seeks to understand and improve players' qualities- Saha A

straightaway is the consistency. He is a very demanding manager but he is trying to understand your quality and improve on it. Some managers try to improve the mistakes but he tries to emphasise the quality of every player. He makes the team play in a certain way to emphasise your quality - that is something that is really special as a manager because you may think that he would be trying to erase mistakes but he tries to make sure that you keep doing the things you're good at. That is something I learned from him consistency. Whatever you do - whether it's scoring goals or whatever you have to do it every week. When you win a title, the hardest thing is to do it the next year and obviously he has that in him. Every player said at the start of this season that they never saw him like he has been this year. He has been very demanding with the players, very harsh and trying to improve them. He is older but he has still acting like a really young manager with a lot of passion. That is something special.

fter spending 14 calendar years in England, it was somewhat of a surprise when Louis Saha announced that he was signing for Lazio in January of this year. Since then the 34-year-old Frenchman has made a handful of appearances as he adjusts to life in Serie A, but is approaching the challenge with his honest approach, experience and footballing qualities. In this interview the former Manchester United, Newcastle United and Everton forward spoke on a whole range of subjects ranging from Ryan Giggs to racism in the game. In part one, he discusses him move to Italy, his memories of England and why Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest. What would you say is the main difference between Serie A and the Premier League? I always had in my mind that it would be more difficult for me as a striker. I have been used to the English league which is a bit more open with more free roles for every player on the pitch but the main thing is the freedom of the players. Here (in Italy) it is a bit more tactical and very organised. It is not the catenaccio that it used to be years ago but it is still very defensive which means as a striker you are always facing two or three defenders. In England you may have a few possibilities to be oneon-one with a few more chances to score goals. Italian football did change and technically it is very impressive and sharp with many small players who have technical abilities. What did you make of the atmosphere when Lazio played Roma? It was great. I was trying to compare to English games - for sure it is a bit different - but the atmosphere is special because it is such a big derby. I had a chance to see a few in England with ArsenalTottenham and Manchester United against City or Everton v Liverpool. It is up there. At which English club

Sir Alex Ferguson would you say you were at your happiest? I had a great time at every club that I had the opportunity to play for. As a Manchester United player you are expected to win things so that was definitely a special time for me. But as I said, I really liked when I played for Everton or Fulham because you play most of the games. I had small spells

The first lesson straightaway is the consistency. He is a very demanding manager but he is trying to understand your quality and improve on it. Some managers try to improve the mistakes but he tries to emphasise the quality of every player.

with Newcastle, Sunderland and Tottenham which is harder to consider them as a better time because I didn't play much for them but every experience was great because I'm here to enjoy my football and try to learn from those experiences. You've called some of the biggest stadia in England your home (St James' Park, Stadium of Light, Old Trafford, Goodison Park) at which stadium did you feel the most energy from the fans? It would be easy to say Old Trafford but where I felt the spirit of the '12th player' was at Everton. There is definitely something special there as the crowd are right behind you and

very demanding at the same time. I really felt it there, there are some special fans there. I would say that they felt like a '12th man'. With the spirit of the club, when you play for Everton you feel like any team that is coming to Goodison Park will feel the pressure. The way the team plays and the way the team defends is definitely like a unit. Goodison would only come second in terms of the numbers to Old Trafford. Manchester United just celebrated their 20th title and you played under Sir Alex Ferguson, who is now retiring, for four years. What lessons did you learn from him? The first lesson

Would you say that Ryan Giggs is one of the best players you've played with? Yes definitely the best player. So many players wish to play with him and if you do so, you know you'll be playing at a top level. Giggsy is a top example for any professional not only the youngsters because he's got that desire and respect for the tradition of the club and his work ethic. When you have the chance to work with someone like him it is a privilege.

Louis Saha



FIFA reviews the recently completed national league season in India with Churchill Brothers capping another fine campaign for Goan clubs, while Nigerian-born strikers continued their domination in the goal-scoring stakes.






pictorial 2] Ireland centre Brian O'Driscoll should be fit to play in Leinster's Amlin Challenge Cup final against Stade Francais in Dublin on Friday. 3] Great Britain's Laura Robson beat seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams in the first round of the WTA event in Rome. 4] Stuart Broad wants to summon up the spirit of The Oval 2009 as England aim for a third Zlatan Ibrahimovic has pledged his future to Paris St-Germain after claiming a league trophy with his sixth different club at the weekend 5] Zlatan Ibrahimovic has pledged his future to Paris St-Germain after claiming a league trophy with his sixth different club at the weekend


6] Phil Ball reflects on the La Liga season as Barcelona were finally crowned champions after Real Madrid were beaten



Okala, others back Keshi on Akpala over Eneramo C

oach Stephen Keshi's decision to call up Joseph Akpala instead of Michael Eneramo to replace injured Super Eagles striker, Emmanuel Emenike, has received the backing of some notable former Eagles players. It would be recalled that Werder Bremen FC of Germany's Akpala, was selected ahead of Turkey-based Eneramo for the upcoming FIFA Confederation Cup, scheduled for Brazil. Emmanuel Okala, a former Green Eagles goalkeeper, said that Keshi's decision to pick

Fashola to grace 2nd Athletics Masters in Lagos, says Adu


ov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State would be special guest at the 2nd Africa Athletics Masters (AAM), billed for Lagos, an official of the Nigeria Athletics Masters (NAM) said in Lagos on Monday. Uruemu Adu, the Secretary, NAM, confirmed yesterday in Lagos that the governor was being recognised as the first athletics masters personality, because of his love for sports. The NAM is scheduled to hold from May 30 to June 1 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium and the National Stadium, both in Surulere, Lagos. ``The governor of Lagos State, being a sports lover, has given his support to the athletics masters. So, we decided to make him a recognised athlete for the competition,'' Adu stressed. He noted that Bolaji Abdullahi, the Minister of Sports, had also commended the idea of engaging former athletes taking part in sporting events. ``We are also expecting the honourable minister of sports to grace the event because it has to do with former athletes who have done Nigeria and Africa proud,'' Adu said. Meanwhile, Yusuf Alli, a former Commonwealth Gold medallist in the long jump, told NAN that he was looking forward to the competition, saying, he was missing his favourite event. ``I am looking forward to my showmanship --- getting fans to clap for me as I take a jump, even when this is not really a scoring event. ``I really miss my active days in the sport,'' he said. Adu appealed to sponsors to identify with the competition, saying that the competition had yet to gain the needed support from corporate organisations. ``The problems we are still facing are lack of sponsorship. We have not received the needed support, nevertheless, the masters will hold in Lagos.

Akpala ahead of theTurkeybased striker may have been tactical and added that Keshi knows what he wants from the player. "Keshi is in charge and he has the right to choose and drop anybody; he is also an advanced coach thus, he can't choose any unsuitable player for his squad right now. All we need to do now is to wish him the best,'' he said. In the same vein, Bright Omokaro, another exinternational, said that Keshi was bent on making the nation proud and his decision was to that effect. ``Football is seasonal, the deployment of players depend on the form and the tactical choices of the coach. He could be a player that adapts and is very volatile, I think it's a good choice and I wish him the best,'' Omokaro said. In his reaction, Fatai Amao, a former Super Eagles assistant coach, stressed that everyone was entitled to their opinion. He added that Keshi was responsible for monitoring the players and would have the insight to know how to strike the desired balance in the team. ``He monitors the players; I monitor them too but not like him. That's his job and he will monitor them to determine what is good for the team,'' Fatai added


Joseph Akpala

Dosu backs Obuh's decision on German assistant


osu Joseph, a former Super Eagles Goalkeeper, has supported John Obuh's decision to hire a foreign assistant coach for the Flying Eagles, in the buildup to the U-20 World Cup in Turkey. It would be recalled that Obuh had recently engaged the services of a German coach, Jurgen Press, a former FC Bayern Munich youth coach.

Coach John Obuh

AFN says 2016 Olympic Games preparations on

Dosu said that Obuh's decision to hire a foreigner was a good step, adding that his recent coaching course in Germany might have influenced the decision. He added that Germans were technically and tactically gifted in their understanding of the game, and could play a crucial role in the team's outing. ``I believe it's a good step in the right direction. The most important thing is for the team to perform well in Turkey. ``Obuh recently went for a course in Germany and understands clearly what he passed through, and I believe that might have influenced his decision. ``More so, we all know the Germans to be tactical in their understanding of the game and I'm sure the man can make meaningful contributions to the team," he added. Dosu, who was a member of the victorious gold winning U23 squad at the Atlanta '96 Olympic Games, noted that the German was only there to help the team and nothing else. ``Nigerians shouldn't see this development as an attempt

to win at all costs. It is one that can help the players develop technically and ensure they have a good tournament. ``It is also important for the players to do well so that they can make an impact in the tournament, to enhance their career prospects,'' the former Super Eagles goalkeeper added. Meanwhile, Ademola Olajire, the Media Officer, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), also yesterday confirmed that the German tactician was now on the payroll of the football regulatory body. Olajire said that Obuh had requested for an assistant, and the request was granted, adding that Press' employment had been endorsed by the association. ``Obuh requested for an assistant and the NFF gave him the nod to seek for a suitable coach.Having said so, the German will be paid by the NFF and not from Obuh's pocket," Olajire said. The FIFA U-20 World Cup is slated to hold in Turkey from June 21 to July 13, and the Flying Eagles are in Group B, alongside: Cuba, Portugal and Korea Republic.

avy Commodore Nesiama Omatseye, the Technical Director, Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), on Monday confirmed that preparations for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games had commenced. Omatseye disclosed that preparations for the global fiesta had been categorised into two parts by the AFN: the performance and the development-based aspects, which he said, would run sideby-side. He said that the performance-based aspect would focus on elite athletes, while the development aspect would dwell on budding talents. ``The performance-based aspect of our programme is meant to monitor and mentor our elite athlete both home and abroad, to improve on their performances. ``While the development aspect of the programme is targeted at grassroots athletes, to expose and groom them to the level that they can feature at the Games. ``And the development based aspect is what we saw in the African Youth Athletics Championships (AYAC) in Warri, where our young athletes competed and did well," he said. The director added that the federation had also organised a refresher course for coaches, to keep them acquainted with current trends in the sport. ``We have had a seminar for coaches in March, to keep them abreast of new developments in the sport,'' he said. Omatseye revealed that the AFN had also decided to step up its standard for assessing athletes for the Games, to ensure that only the very best were selected. `` We will prefer attending the Games with a fewer number of athletes who are well-prepared and potential medal hopefuls. ``Unlike what we did in the London 2012 Olympics where we had lots of athletes and no medal to show for it," Omatseye added.



The iconic floating forest of Sydney T

here are a lot of shipwrecks in Sydney's Homebush Bay, near the Olympic village, but none quite like the SS Ayrfield, also known as "The Floating Forest" for the lush mangrove vegetation that now covers its rusty hull. The SS Ayrfield (originally launched as SS Corrimal), was a collier ship built in England in 1911 and used by the Commonwealth Government during World War II to transport supplies to American troops in the Pacific. It was sold in 1950 and operated as a collier on the sixty-miler run between Newcastle and Sydney, until 1972 when the ship's registration was canceled and it was sent to its final resting place, Homebush Bay. Before the 2000 Olympic Games, this place was a ship breaking zone, and the dozens of shipwrecks that still remain here are a constant reminder of its history. Some say there's a certain creepiness about the

Homebush Bay ship graveyard, but that is lessened by the unique look of the SS

Ayrfield, which locals often refer to as the Floating Forest. A bunch of full-grown

mangrove trees now call this rusty partly-submerged piece of metal home, creating a new

and unique attraction that draws in photographers from all over the world.

Photo: Steve Dorman

Woman allergic to modern technology Man spends 4 years writing the bible by hand is forced to live in Faraday cage


andwritten bibles were common before the invention of the printing press, but nowadays they are considered a rarity. 63-year-old Philip Patterson, a retired interior designer from New York, has spent the last four years copying every single word in the King James Bible by hand. Philip Patterson is not the most religious person in the world. He goes to church regularly, but he has never been particularly zealous. One might think the man from Philmont, New York, set out on this painstaking quest as a spiritual journey, but Philip says he did it out of curiosity, to learn more about the Book of Books. It all started one day in 2007, when his longtime partner, Mohammed, told him that Muslims have a tradition of writing out the Quran. Patterson replied that the Bible was too long, but Mohammed said that was more of a reason why he should do it. "The next day I started researching pens and pencils and paper and never looked back," Philip said. 2007 was the year he

Photo: Laura Glazer

started working on his prototype, copying the first five books of the Bible, known as the Pentateuch, which allowed him to figure out the technique, layout and the type of paper and writing instruments that were most suitable for his grand project. Two years later, he started work on the entire King James Bible. The exact word count of the King James Bible depends on who is doing the tallying, but most sources estimate it contains 788,000 words, all of which were painstakingly copied by Philip Patterson, on 2,400 blank pages of 19-by-13-inch watercolor paper. He worked at a wooden desk by his bed, for up to 14 hours a day, but AIDS and anemia brought down the daily work schedule average to between six and eight hours. And as if writing every word in neat, loopy cursive wasn't difficult enough, the modern scribe also penciled in ruled lines on all the pages to guide his writing, erasing them after he was done. "I hadn't counted on the fact that it would end up being beautiful," Patterson told the


1-year-old Velma, from London, England, spends up to 18 hours a day in her homemade Faraday cage, because she is allergic to electromagnetic fields. When she goes out she has to wear a special scarf that shield her from electromagnetic waves. The Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS) sufferer says her problems began in her teenage years, after she suffered a shock when she touched the switch of an electric fire in her bathroom.At first the symptoms were barely noticeable, and at one point she even worked as a secretary for a number of companies, where she had to use a computer. "Even back then I could feel a huge agitation when using the computer, but I thought it was just because I didn't have the technological skills," Velma remembers. Although it is believed previous shocks make people more susceptible, the rare condition really started to affect her after the introduction of 3G technology. Nowadays she has unbearable head and nerve pain, memory loss, tinnitus, heart palpitations, vertigo and aching joints every time she's close the technology, so she spends most of her days in a Faraday cage she built herself, reading, writing and sleeping. "I can't do anything that normal people do without my symptoms showing. I have to do everything in my cage," Velma says. "It's made my life a living hell." She says her social life is virtually non-

existent, because even though her friends understand her problem and are very supportive, "there's only so much time you can spend with the woman that can't go anywhere or do anything." Unable to get a job or even go out of the house without a special scarf to shield her from electromagnetic waves, Velma spends most of her time behind the wire mesh structure that cost $480 to build."We desperately need a white zone an area where there's little or no emissions - where we can go to relax and recuperate," the woman says, but the problem is EHS is currently only recognized as a medical condition in Sweden and Spain. She's been to a physician countless times, asking for tests, but every time she was told there are people out there with bigger problems than hers. Talking about


E l e c t r o m a g n e t i c Hypersensitivity Syndrome, Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe said: "Adults and children today are exposed to very high levels of electromagnetic fields (EMF) that no life on the planet has ever witnessed before. It is no surprise that the numbers of those with EHS and other conditions linked with EMF exposure are rising." Independent experts say in five years time 50% of the world's population could be affected at current exposure levels. Velma is not the only person who has gone to extreme lengths to protect herself from the grueling symptoms of EHS. Back in January, we covered the story of two French women who moved into a cave to escape electromagnetic waves. Via The Sun

. . . putting the people first

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE I told the former governor of Rivers state, Dr. Peter Odili to stop recruiting young boys to assist him to win elections and that these young chaps will be nuisance. And they eventually turned to be Niger Delta militants — Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

SPORTS Jonathan has transformed LA TEST LATEST

Monaco edge Chelsea in Falcao move


helsea's pursuit of Radamel Falcao is over after big-spending Monaco met the •60 million release clause in the Atletico Madrid star's contract. The Colombian striker could complete a move to Monaco as early as Monday in a deal worth •10m-a-year after tax as the club's Russian owner, Dmitry Rybolovlev, looks to build a side to win the Ligue 1 championship next season. Chelsea had been confident of completing a move for Falcao after the 27-year-old was identified by incoming manager Jose Mourinho as his top priority for the summer transfer window. Blues owner Roman Abramovich was also prepared to meet the release clause in Falcao's contract but the player's agent, Jorge Mendes, has now agreed a deal for his client to move to the Stade Louis II. There have been suggestions in Spain that Falcao is desperate to play for Atletico's city rivals Real Madrid, with an escape clause likely to be included in his Monaco contract to allow him to leave either in January or next summer. Chelsea's attempts to sign the former Porto man had been complicated by third-party ownership issues - with Mendes part of a consortium holding an interest in Falcao - and his demands for a salary package worth around 295,000-Euro-aweek to move to Stamford Bridge. As Real Madrid coach Mourinho prepares to formally re-join Chelsea at the end of the season, he is targeting a firstclass upgrade on current strikers Fernando Torres and Demba Ba. Falcao, who has also been a target for Manchester City, has scored 34 goals in all competitions for Atletico this season and is considered one of the most lethal finishers in the world.


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Nigeria into wilderness I

would like all of us here and across the country to reflect on the seriousness of the security situation in the country today. Some areas of the nation are virtual war zones in a country supposedly at peace. Whole local governments in some states in the North East are no-go areas to representatives of constituted authority. Marauders of every description armed to the teeth with all manner of sophisticated armaments roam the national landscape with total and murderous impunity. The patience of this nation and the various communities within it has been severely tried and stretched to its limits. And there is no end in sight. Anarchy is knocking on the door of many sections of this country and the Federal government has not demonstrated that it has the good sense to understand what is going on, or the competence to check it. The nation is hopelessly adrift. But, if we are to survive, this vicious circle of violence that has engulfed this nation must be brought to an end; and we implore the National Assembly to take the lead in this quest for peace. I am sure everybody in this gathering will join me in expressing sympathy for, and solidarity with, the good people of Borno, Yobe, Kano, and now, Nasarawa and Benue states on their suffering and travails. We must explore every opportunity to save our country. This is a historic moment when several different political parties have resolved to come together to change Nigeria for the better and stop the mindless drift that has been going on for the last fourteen years. We must understand and accept that we are here gathered to make history or forever stand accused and condemned by it. We must seize this moment that calls for patriotism and sacrifice—it is time to sacrifice everything—time, resources, ambition and ego—for the greater good. We should carry this process through to a successful conclusion, and leave our legacy and foot-prints on the history of Nigeria. Many political analysts have long stated that the only way to stabilize the country is for opposition parties to merge and oust the ruling PDP. In 2010, during the run-up to the elections of 2011, ACN and CPC inaugurated committees to explore ways and means of merging into a single political party. We have gone to the extent of developing a flag, a logo, a name and have even proceeded to discuss with the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, about the modalities of consummating our plans; but time proved too short, and we were not about to give too many hostages to fortune. So the present move is really a continuation of the efforts begun in 2010; and this time we

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GUEST COLUMNIST Muhammadu Buhari

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari have started early, following the rules step by step. So far, so good. No doubt, all the parties joining to form APC are coming in as equals; but, realistically, we all know that some are more equal than others. Nevertheless, every joining party will bring its peculiar strengths to this union and together we will, in every sense of the word, be too strong for the ruling party to resist. With this, we believe the time for real change has finally come to Nigeria—and it must change now before it become too late. The government has failed in almost everything; it has proved unable to secure the nation’s internal environment: there is insecurity everywhere. There is spiraling lawlessness all over the country. There is widespread and rising poverty and unemployment across the length and breadth of the country. There is a complete and total decline in the quality of social services and an irremediable dilapidation in the nation’s socioeconomic infrastructure across board. There is an unprecedented fall in the nation’s standard of living and an astronomical rise in the standard of dying. In short, today, there is nothing going right; and we have become a nation in which nothing works as it should, that is, if it works at all. When they said they have what they call a Transformation Agenda, we didn’t understand, but we now know better; because, within the space of three years, they have transformed the country into a veritable wilderness, where everything that should work, doesn’t; where everything that can get broken, has. They promised to give the nation credible elections; they

couldn’t deliver. They promised to fight corruption, they couldn’t deliver. They promised to stop the insurgency, and they couldn’t deliver. This nation is witness to the fact that whenever we promised, we delivered. And today, I promise you most solemnly that we shall confront and eliminate corruption in the electoral process. We shall confront and eliminate corruption in the judicial process; and we shall most assuredly confront and eliminate it in the conduct of government business. All these evils derive and draw inspiration from a government that is itself immersed to its neck in a cesspool of corruption; and is best characterized by its own favourite catchphrases: whether it is ‘Do or die,’ or ‘We will rule forever,’ or ‘No vacancy in Aso Rock,’ or they want to ‘fight to finish,’ it is the same thing— something that could never be uttered by true democrats. Their behaviour, language and body language are in complete and total disregard for democratic norms and the ordinary decencies of civilized conduct. We intend to provide a government of different quality and tone to the people of Nigeria, one that will tackle the problem of insecurity, solve the perennial issue of incessant power failure, arrest the shameful deterioration in the standard of education, confront the decline in agricultural production head-on, and stop the collapse of commerce and industry.I commend the proposals shortly to be put before you. The best way to eliminate this government that has not brought anything to Nigerians except thievery of resources and violence is to accept to merge our parties. And we only elect to do this because that is what we believe to be in the best interest of the majority of the people of this country. And I would like to end by once again thanking our steadfast supporters—you, the ordinary folks—who have been the unbreakable backbone of this struggle, from the time we started this journey in APP to ANPP and then to CPC. You did not do it for material gain; otherwise, you will have turned your backs on us. No doubt, you decided to stay the course as a mark of respect for our stand, and possibly knowing that we would never let you down. You

relied on our judgment to forge ahead through the thicket of the country’s corruption-laden politics. This we have tried to do to the best of our ability, and will continue to do so until the masses of this country secure a fair deal from those who lead them. What we desire is democracy and freedom for all our people. And in this struggle, we think we have done our bit. At its formation, the CPC became the greatest crowd-pulling party in the nation’s political history; and within six months of its registration, and in spite of all the rigging of the poll and the snatching of its votes, it was still able to get more than 12 million votes in the 2011 presidential election. After the merger, the sky will be the limit. While thanking you again, I implore you not to relent as we embark on yet another move in the search for a better tomorrow for our country, Nigeria. We are now in the final stages of the move that will culminate in the merger of our party—the CPC—with three other parties. We join this effort compromising none of our principles but yielding to the belief that our diverse efforts, applied in unison, will help arrest the rot that has become our lot. We go into this new arrangement still loyal to you and committed to what you stand for. We go into this arrangement conscious of our responsibilities to you and grateful for all the sacrifices you have been making since the beginning of our journey. We count on you, as we have always done, to guide, support and defend our position. We will strive to work hard to expand and level the democratic playing field in accordance with the dictates of the rule of law. We declare that we are in this together—and together we shall remain to the end. We played by the rules and we accepted to play alongside those who didn’t; because we believed our participation was giving millions hope that positive change will come along the way. Now change has finally come; and they cannot stop it. And we are putting the current leadership of this nation on notice that our people will no longer tolerate its corruption or the rigging, vote thievery and general impunity that have become the norm and standard practice during elections in this country. We have resolved that henceforth our votes must all be counted—and they must all go on to count. And we declare that this nation has now resolved, through its united opposition, that it will never again tolerate or allow to pass the mayhem the government deliberately creates in order to cover up its guilt, obscure the issues and then blame the opposition in order to deceive gullible folks. And we will no longer be intimidated by anyone. Excerpts from a speech be delivered at Saturday’s National Convention of CPC in Abuja, where the party’s merger with other opposition parties to form APC was endorsed.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 14, May, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 14, May, 2013 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 14, May, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Tuesday 14, May, 2013 Edition