Page 1

Vol. 11 No. 65

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dantata rescues NORTEX, FINETEX with N250m >> Pg 6

. . . putting the people first

Boko Haram: US proposes multifaceted strategy >> Pg 2

Shawwal 9, 1434 AH


2015: INEC gets 20m voters’ cards >> Pg 9

Pro-Jonathan rally shuts down Abuja Rented crowd stranded as residents groan

By Tobias Lengnan Dapam, Umar Muhammad Puma, Adeola Tukuru and Abbas Bamali


omen under the auspices of Nigerian Council of Women Society (NCWS) yesterday shut down the nation’s capital, Abuja, making vehicular movements difficult with its attendant unease for the city’s residents, to “celebrate President Goodluck Jonathan”. Although the theme of the rally was tagged ‘Celebration of Nigerian Women for Peace and Empowerment”, it was apparently a grand mobilisation of the womenfolk in tacit support of the yet-to-be announced 2015 presidential ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan. The event literally shut down the entire city and crippled business activities were following the blockage of various routes in and around Abuja by security operatives. For instance, various roads linking the Central Business District as well as Federal Secretariat from the popular Julius Berger and Area One roundabouts were blocked for Contd. on Page 2

L-R: Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, receiving the Best Micro-Finance, Youth and Women Empowerment Award from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, during the 7th Annual MSMEs Finance Conference and D-8 Workshop on Micro Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

PDP crisis: Confusion as Tukur meets Lamido, Kwankwaso, Wamakko >> Pg 2 CBN floats N220bn fund for small enterprises >>Pg 19

















Stockwatch S/Report

23 24-25

Islam Int’l

26 27-30

NEITI audit report: A twist in the tale, Page 4

Strange World Revue









Newsxtra Leisure Sports Columnist

39 40 41-43 48

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Boko Haram: US proposes multi-faceted strategy By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


he United States of America (USA) government yesterday offered to help Nigeria “develop a multi-faceted strategy” to contain violence being perpetrated by the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna lid Da’awati wal Jihad, popularly referred to as Boko Haram, just as it cautioned that a military crackdown alone would not work. The US also urged the Jonathan administration to try and win over the hearts and minds of northerners by protecting them and providing “timely and commensurate justice”. US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Mrs. Wendy

Sherman, who stated these yesterday during the US-Nigeria Bi-national Commission Regional Security Cooperation Working Group meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, warned that Nigeria risks not achieving its potentials, if it failed to overcome the challenge of the Boko Haram. Stemming the bloodshed “may require a new social compact with Nigerian citizens,” said Sherman, who led the US diplomatic and military delegation for the talks. She added that it was crucial to have “an economic recovery strategy as a complement to the government’s security strategy”, saying that Boko Haram only intended to exploit

religious differences to create chaos and make Nigeria un-governable. The envoy also touched on Nigeria’s regional influence on conflict resolution, citing Nigeria’s intervention in the crises in Guinea, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali. The American envoy also said that Nigeria and the US shared close economic ties, noting that Nigeria is the second largest destination in Africa for US private investment, with investments of over $5 billion. Also speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said that Boko Haram was a novel security challenge that was opposite to the people’s values

and orientations. He implored on the US government to offer capacity building support and specialized training programmes for Nigeria’s security and enforcement agencies. Yesterday’s meeting sought to review implementation of decisions reached during the inaugural session of the Regional Security Cooperation meeting held last year. Also in attendance was Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima. The Boko Haram insurgency is estimated to have claimed more than 3,600 lives since 2009, including killings by the security forces who have been accused of widespread atrocities.

Pro-Jonathan rally shuts down Abuja Contd. from Front Page the women rally, thereby resulting traffic snarl in many parts of the city. By the admission of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Bala Mohammed, 30,000 women converged on Abuja for the event as against the 15,000 projected by the organizers. The FCT minister, who was apparently celebrating the “success” of the rally, said in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Lynda Amako-Agriga, that the attendance exceeded their expectations. “It was literally a sea of women as various cultural troupes, women groups, non-governmental organisations, professional women bodies, civil society organisations and so on danced and celebrated freely in an extraordinary show of love, camaraderie, unity and harmony among Nigerian women of different hue”, said the statement. But even as the rally was ongoing, some of the women brought into Abuja from various parts of the country to make the rally tick, became to narrate various tales of woo, as they were left stranded in some hotels in Abuja by the organizers, who the “invitees” said, did not pay them. For instance, most of the women from Taraba state, who could not find a place to sleep and food to eat were seen at one of the “camps” in Wuse Zone 6, making frantic efforts to connect with their relations in Abuja to provide them with such basic needs of life.

Ironically, our sources revealed that the organizers had made provision for N5,000, in addition to a wrapper with the inscription “Celebration of President Goodluck Jonathan”, which many of the women wore yesterday, for each of the invitees. At N5,000 for each of the 30,000 attendants, therefore, the total amount committed to allowance of invitees would have been N150 million, excluding the cost of the producing the wrappers, transportation fares for all of them, and miscellaneous expenses. However, our findings show that many of the women invited would have been shortchanged by zonal or state coordinators, resulting in the lamentations of some of the women who spoke to some of our reporters who went round the city yesterday. The event, which was heralded by a motorized mass rally from Old Parade Ground in Area 10, Abuja, through designated routes started at 7.00am with the promotional posters of President Jonathan on each truck used by the participants. Commenting on the event, Hajiya Habiba Abubakar from Taraba state said it was “successful” but some of them who were not active organizers of the event were lodged in Mambilla Hotel in Wuse Zone 6. “The principal officers are lodged somewhere. But those of us who were picked from nowhere and do not know how the event came about are kept here”, she decried, saying however, that, “So far, we

have no problem”. Others at the same lodge who were visibly angry declined to speak with one of our reporters, preferring to suffer in silence. In her speech, the mother of the day, First Lady, Patience Jonathan, said the day was set aside to celebrate women and their contributions to the growth of the nation. According to her, “the theme of the celebration re-affirmed our vital roles in our houses, community and the society in general.” Mrs. Jonathan also said due to the importance of women in conflict resolution, experts on peace resolution and United Nations (UN) suggest that women should be given chances to play a vital role in peace building even as she added that women are endowed with a special gifts for peace making and bridge building. She called on women to continue to support each other, work hard and remain focused in any situation in order to add value to the country. She also used the forum to call on lawmakers to give women more chances in the chambers to participate in law-making. Special Guest of Honour at the event, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said the event came at a “right time” when the Jonathan administration was giving women more consideration for their great roles in the development of the society. “In our efforts towards achieving the 2020 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), women centres

have trained over 9000 women on different hand work for them to be self reliant”, he said. Commenting about the event, an Abuja based business woman, Nkechi Eze, said it was imperative for women in the country to show support for Patience Jonathan, adding that it is not always easy for people to come together to achieve an aim. “We are only contributing our quota to nation building. The men are also doing their own, so it will be out of place for us to sit back and watch them”, she said. Mrs. Efiong Bassey, who was brought in from Akwa Ibom state also said, the programme was necessitated by the need for women to contribute in nation building. Another participant, Mrs. Ify Ezeibe of Imo Women for Change and Development Initiative, said the rally was to appreciate the government for providing business opportunities for Nigerian women. Similarly, Mrs. Stella Jonathan, the founder of Widows’ Rights Advancement Initiative, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), said the aim of the rally was to celebrate motherhood and dividends of democracy “that women are currently enjoying”. Some of them were unanimous in commending Mrs. Jonathan and her “Women for Change Initiative’’ for staging the rally, saying that it had helped to motivate women to participate in politics. See pictures of the proJonathan women rally on Page 8

Confusion as Tukur meets Lamido, Kwankwaso, Wamakko By Lawrence Olaoye


here was confusion last night over the tone of deliberations at a closed door meeting held yesterday in Abuja, between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and three members of the G++. Tukur met with Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa state, Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state, and their Sokoto state counterpart, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko. The three met the PDP chairman on behalf of the other members of the ‘revolting’ governors’ group. The other members of the G++

are Governors Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara state. But while Tukur claimed after the meeting that a truce was broken between him and the aggrieved PDP governors after the three who met him apologized to him on behalf of the G++, a source close to Governor Wamakko said the ruling party chairman lied. Tukur, in a statement signed on his behalf by his Special Assistant on Media, Prince Oliver Okpara, stated that: “Three out of five northern governors of the Peoples Democratic Party namely Rabiu Kwankwaso, (Kano), Jigawa, (Alh. Sule Lamido)

and (Aliyu) Wamakko (Sokoto) yesterday had a closed door meeting with the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, that lasted for several hours and the governors apologized on behalf of the other governors for their absence notable, (sic) Adamawa and Niger state governors. “And it was resolved that they have returned to the leadership of the party and that all that happened in the past which involved grievances, accusations and counter accusations were done because of gap in communication amidst disinformation from some quarters between them and the leadership of the party.

“And having listened to the national chairman, they are now properly informed about the happening in the party and promised that from henceforth, they will work in harmony and unity with the leadership of the party and also pledged their loyalty under Dr. Bamanga Tukur”, the statement said. It said further that: “National chairman after listening to them also promised as a father to forgive and forget, all that has happened in the past and assured of the leadership of the party to work together with the governors, stressing that any member of the party that feels Contd. on Page 3




Jonathan receives Mali’s highest honour


L-R: Mali Interim President, Professor Dioncounda Traore, conferring the highest honour in Mali (GrandCroix L’ordre Nationale Du Mali) on President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

he Interim President of Mali, Diongunda Traore, yesterday in Abuja, described President Goodluck Jonathan as an “astute mediator’’ who “lit the light when everything was dark and sombre” in Mali. Mr. Traore spoke when he conferred on Mr. Jonathan the highest honour of the Republic of Mali “Grand Croix de L’ordre National du Mali’’ meaning “the Highest Cross of the National Order of Mali.’’ The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ceremony, which held at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, was attended by top political leaders from Mali. Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Peter Obi of A nambra, ministers and presidential aides were also in attendance. Traore, who spoke through an interpreter, said the honour was to appreciate the pivotal roles played by Mr. Jonathan and Nigeria in the restoration of peace and security

to Mali. “I transmit the greetings and gratitude of the Malian people, greetings and gratitude of the Malian people to the Nigerian people who have shown themselves in solidarity in the Malian course. “Greetings and gratitude to yourself, President Jonathan, for your engagement to our fight since the beginning of the security crisis; crisis which has also been political and humanitarian, which shook Mali from January 2012 and for many months. “We know how much your country suffers also from terrorism. “We know how much Nigeria has needs of its troops, of her soldiers and all the soldiers at her disposal to ensure internal security against forces of evil, who have continued to attack innocent citizens. “However, in spite of this internal need and pressure, your country has not hesitated to put at the disposal of Mali her soldiers and her logistics,” the Malian leader said. (NAN)

I remain in PDP, but my associates can register PDM, says Atiku

Confusion as Tukur meets 3 governors


aggrieved over any activity of the party should utilize all the internal mechanisms and platforms set out by the party to reconcile aggrieved members under the cardinal three ‘R’s of the national chairman which is Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebuilding. “The chairman said that their visit was a confirmation of consultations adopted by the leadership of the party to ensure total reconciliation of aggrieved members as set out by the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Gov. Dickson,” Okpala concluded. But our source close to the Sokoto state governor gave a contrary account of what transpired between the aggrieved governors and the PDP chairman. The source, while acknowledging the fact that the three governors actually met with Tukur, said that there was no reconciliation as claimed by the PDP national chairman’s aide. The source disclosed that at the meeting, the governors merely reiterated to Tukur that he is the real problem of the party, just as they hinted him that the ranks of governors opposed to his leadership of the PDP has risen from six to eight. Furthermore, the governors impressed it upon him to voluntarily tell President Goodluck Jonathan of his decision to quit as the party’s chairman, for there to be peace in the PDP, the source stressed. According to the source, Tukur, who literally fell on his knees pleading with the governors to sheathe their sword, was reminded of the consequences of his continued stay as the party’s chairman.

former Vice President and member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has confirmed that some of his political associates are set to register a new party, the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM. The PDM, one of Nigeria’s oldest existing political movements was founded by Nigeria’s former deputy military leader, late Shehu Yar’Adua, and is currently headed by Alhaji Abubakar. Speaking through his media aide, Garba Shehu, Alhaji Abubakar said in a statement, “The PDM platform, which was founded by late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, provided the impetus for his impressive performance across

the country during the September 1992 presidential primaries, which were later cancelled by the military regime.” “The late Gen. Yar’Adua came close to becoming President, thanks to the formidable PDM structure. In 1999, the PDM was also in the forefront in the emergence of former President Obasanjo as PDP presidential candidate. “Political observers also noted that the choice of Atiku Abubakar as running mate to Obasanjo in 1999 was a recognition of the active role of the PDM platform in his victory.” The PDM is known to have top politicians across the county as members including former

Katsina state Governor, Lawal Kaita; and former Minister and Lagos politician, Dapo Sarumi. However Atiku said he remains a member of the Peoples Democatic Party, PDP, but insisted that he doesn’t have the right or power to stop others from associating or seeking the registration of new parties. Further, he said he would would always welcome the expansion of the political space to accommodate all shades of opinions or political hue, and added that many of his political associates are equally members of political parties other than the PDP. According to him, freedom of association as enshrined in

the constitution is the beauty of democracy and that he wouldn’t dissuade any of his followers from seeking a platform to promote their programmes. Alhaji Abubakar recently complained publicly against being ostracised from the PDP in a petition sent to the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, he had alleged that he being denied of his dues as a former vice president and member of the ruling party. The Adamawa-born politician was President Goodluck Jonathan’s main challenger for the PDP presidential ticket prior to 2011. He complained then that the PDP primaries were manipulated to favour the president.

Oil workers slam NASS over PIB


orkers in the nation’s oil sector have criticised the manner in which members of the National Assembly are handing the allimportant Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) particularly the delay in its passage, saying this is blocking new investments in the sector with negative impacts on the economy. The oil workers are also insisting that the National Assembly ensures that the provisions of the PIB covers not only agencies and companies created under the proposed law but all companies operating in the

petroleum sector. The workers under the auspices of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) speaking on the platform of NUPENGASSAN, also want the processes involved in enacting transparent. At the joint news conference in Lagos yesterday, President of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Ogun, criticised the manner in which members of the National Assembly are handing the allimportant Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) particularly the delay in

its passage, saying this is blocking new investments in the sector with negative impacts on the economy. The oil workers are also insisting that the National Assembly ensures that the provisions of the PIB covers not only agencies and companies created under the proposed law but all companies operating in the petroleum sector. He said these laws were enacted to check inherent corruption and misappropriation of funds in public organisations and as such should apply to all government agencies especially those within the petroleum industry.

He observed that subjecting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) successor companies to the FRA and PPA will allow for transparency, probity and accountability in managing the organisations. He also called for a shorter timeframe for approval by FRA and PPA, saying this will take away bureaucratic bottleneck. The two called to question the provision of the PIB granting the president “discretionary powers” to award petroleum licences and leases, saying this should not be allowed as it will encourage more corruption in the oil sector.

Contd. from Page 2



Page 4 Report NEITI audit report: A twist in the tale T By Etuka Sunday

he recent battle between the management of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) and that of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) is one of those episodes Nigerians had witnessed and will continue to witness in the country even against claims that it has been resolved. After a prolong face-off between the two bodies, the truth about the disputed N4.423 billion over-recovery funds has been established as NEITI, on Wednesday 17th August exonerated the PPPRA of being in custody of the funds. A statement, jointly signed by the two organisations clarified that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was in the custody of the disputed funds and therefore NEITI absolved PPPRA of complicity. According to the report, “after exhaustive and useful deliberations, we resolved as follows; that the sum of N4.423 billion in dispute has been reconciled and traced to the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF) domiciled with the CBN; that there is nothing outstanding against PPPRA on the said amount.” It would be recalled that the fight started almost immediately after the public presentation of the “NEITI Audit Report” of the oil and gas sector covering from 2009 to 2011, in which the PPPRA was indicted of N4.423 billion arising from over-recovery of funds collected from marketers, and therefore was asked to remit it to the Federation Account. However, since the presentation, there has been an intense altercation between the Management of PPPRA and NEITI, over the report that is already in the public domain and fast being studied by Nigerians, especially the civil society groups. Although PPPRA was not the only agency that was indicted, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was also indicted to the tone of $4.84billion as financial flows from NLNG including dividends and repayment of loans of which was received by NNPC but yet to be remitted to the CBN/ NNPC JP Morgan Account or Federation Account. To state the issue in parts, immediately after the presentation of the report to stakeholders last month (July 29, 2013), PPPRA issued a statement stating unequivocally, that the NEITI Audit Report was “steeped in inaccuracies and gross misrepresentation of facts, hence misleading, with the glaring potential to further cast aspersions on the activities of PPPRA as key administrator of Petroleum Support Fund (PSF). Shortly after that statement, NEITI also issued a statement to maintain its stand on the Audit Report saying, “NEITI stands by its report. All the companies and government agencies covered by the

NEITI Chairman, Mr. Ledum Mitee independent audit including the PPPRA were fully involved and participated actively in the audit process from conception and design of audit templates, through the population of the templates with information and data to the stage of data and information, reconciliation and validation exercise. “Besides, all the companies and agencies including the PPPRA ‘signed off’ on the report before it was published. “The response by PPPRA is therefore strange misplaced and unfortunate. For avoidance of doubt, NEITI audit process is simpler, uniquely different from the usual audit that the Executive Secretary of PPPRA is used to. The audit report is based on information and data primarily, voluntarily but mandatorily provided to NEITI by PPPRA during the audit exercise. “NEITI, under the EITI global principles and standards does not manufacture either information or data. Our audit process is built strongly on factual data, integrity and openness because it is both “covered entities and multistakeholders - driven”. Therefore the credibility of our report remains solid and one that can be taken to the bank”. In a swift reaction, in what appeared to be dramatic, PPPRA again responded immediately, advising NEITI to desist from confusing the public on the issue. The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA, Mr. Reginald Stanley, told reporters in Abuja that NEITI

appeared to have embarked on a wild-goose chase, instead of addressing the issues at stake. “We challenge NEITI to tell Nigerians where the N4.423 billion it claims was warehoused. If NEITI is indeed, desirous of efficiently doing its job, we challenge it to go and consult the records at the Central Bank of Nigeria, where the PSF account is domiciled. “It should also go a step further by visiting the records at the Federal Ministry of

Finance to confirm if certain amount of money, as claimed, was remitted accordingly or not by the PPPRA. “To all intents and purposes, it is apparent that NEITI is on a wild-goose chase and self-seeking in its putrid claims. Stanley also faulted NEITI’s latest claim that ``all the companies and government agencies covered by the audit, including the PPPRA were fully involved and participated

actively in the audit process’’. He said there was never a time the audit report was `signed off’ by the PPPRA management, challenging NEITI to make a copy of the ‘sign-off’ public to prove its claim. He said that the PPPRA as a responsible government agency, committed to accountability and probity was always ready to subject itself to any enquiry, designed to promote public good and full realisation of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. “We hereby appeal to NEITI to desist from further confusing the general public. Instead, it should revisit and reconcile available figures from both the PSF and Federation Accounts. Provoked by PPPRA’s indignant statement and position, NEITI called a press conference at the weekend and presented the acknowledgement letter endorsed by PPPRA to showed that it was informed of its N4.423bn debt to the federation, arising from over-recovery collected from independent oil marketers between 2008 and 2009. The NEITI’s Director of Communications, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, while showing the journalists the letter, dated June 28, 2013 sent to his organisation by the PPPRA, stressed that, “When the draft report was finally ready, it was made available to all agencies for their vetting, and more inputs where necessary. “I wish to state that the PPPRA received the draft

report, reviewed it, and participated in the final reconciliatory meeting. “After that meeting from where all other agencies and companies signed-off, the PPPRA still came up with additional information on the 28th of June; clearly two days before the final deadline, in which the PPPRA specifically requested NEITI to consider same as ‘superseding all earlier correspondences on the issues.’ In the EITI/ NEITI process that was ‘a sign-off.” However, the question yet unanswered is: If the money has been deposited in the CBN, as they would want us to believe, why was it not reflected in the NEITI report? If the both organizations were aware of such account, then why was there a misunderstanding or long battle to show where the money was kept? Stakeholders opine that if not checked, this kind of war is capable of undermining the effort of government in ensuring transparency and accountability in all its dealings because one of the reasons of figure usage is to provide clarity of presentation or accuracy of reportage. However, now that their differences had been resolved, it would be better if the resolution passed at the meeting is strictly adhered to. The meeting suggested an alternative means of addressing other issues arising from the NEITI Report, using the platform of Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT) set up by Mr.

Executive Secretary of PPPRA, Reginald Stanley

However, the question yet unanswered is: If the money has been deposited in the CBN, as they would want us to believe, why was it not reflected in the NEITI report? If the both organizations were aware of such account, then why was there a misunderstanding or long battle to show where the money was kept?

President to address remedial issues arising from NEITI’s Report. The meeting also stressed the need for effective communication network between the two agencies for effective inter-agency cooperation in the pursuit of their mandates.




Hajj: Jonathan a failure, says late Gani Fawehinmi’s widow Gombe conducts pregnancy W test on 860 women Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ombe State Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has concluded arrangements to conduct pregnancy test Saturday on 860 female intending pilgrims from the state. Executive Secretary of the Board, Alhaji Usman Gurama, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Gombe that the screening would be conducted by the 2013 Hajj Medical team at the Specialists’ Hospital, Gombe. He said that sophisticated scanning machines needed for the screening had already been installed, assuring that the exercise would be thorough. According to him, female intending pilgrims will not be subjected to another pregnancy test at the airport as was the case last year. ``Any of them that gets to the airport means she is ready to go. What should be done is to ensure that she is aware of her status even before she gets to the airport,” he said. Gurama stated that the screening of other intending pilgrims would be conducted next week throughout the 11 local government areas of the state. He said that the induction course for the pilgrims, which started but had to be suspended during the period of the Ramadan Fast, would resume on Saturday. He stated that this year, intending pilgrims would pay N661,500, N698,000 and N776,000 as fare for minimum, medium and maximum seats, respectively, including basic travelling allowance (BTA). He called on the 2,004 intending pilgrims from the state, to be good ambassadors of the state and the country when they got to the Holy land (NAN)

ife of the late Senior Advocate of Nigeria and radical lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, Ganiyat has describes President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as an “outright failure” who should be defeated in the 2015 election. Assessing the nation’s challenges at the Lagos Open Parliament by the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders ( CACOL), Ganiyat

listed the on-going ASUU strike, the high rate of unemployment in the country, epileptic electricity supply in the country and the police pension scandal as some of the issues Jonathan has failed to address. She noted that at no time in the history of Nigeria has the country been steamrolled by so many disasters, loss of lives and unprecedented mishaps as being witnessed now. “Our present Federal

Government led by Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is an outright failure and we pray that by 2015, he will not return. “The inhabitants and indigenes of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria have never witnessed such an unprecedented series of mishaps, disasters and the loss of lives in the nation like we are presently experiencing. “I must say categorically that I am in total support of the ASUU strike and I urge all Nigerians to

L-R: Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, presenting National Productivity Order of Merit (NPOM) Award to founder of NISA Premier Hospital Abuja, Dr. Ibrahim Wada, yesterday in Abuja. Photo Joe Oroye

NGO partners Peoples Media on peace By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


group, Citizens Network for Peace and Development (CNPD), yesterday

partnered People’s Media Limited, publishers of Peoples Daily and Peoples Daily weekend, on ways to achieve peace in the country. Director General of CNPD,

Dressman Preye, who led other members of the group on a courtesy visit to Peoples Daily headquarters in Abuja, said the paper was chosen due to its

LG autonomy: NULGE slams progressive governors

*As APC clarifies forum’s position

From Umar Dankano, Yola & Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he position taken by the All Progressives Congress Governors meeting held in Nasarawa state that consideration should not be given to autonomy of local government system in Nigeria has been strongly criticised by the Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE). National Publicity Secretary of the union, Alhaji Abdulrahman Mutawalli, in an interview with journalists in Yola, yesterday expressed dismay on the position of the APC governors taken in their maiden meeting held in Lafia, Nasarawa state on Wednesday; that local government autonomy

support it,” she said. Fawehinmi said the huge unemployment of Nigerian youth has led to various vices in the society such as armed robbery, kidnapping, prostitution, assassinations and the activities of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. “This is the kind of government we have in Nigeria and we pray that Nigerians will be reasonable not to return them in 2015.”

would tilt the country towards unitary state was, “unfortunate” and “uncalled for”. Mutawalli said as people who claime to be progressive, the governors need to align with the popular wish of majority Nigerians on the issue of local government autonomy. “They should stand by the position of majority Nigerians clearly shown at the zonal public hearings held by the Senate and the People’s Public Sessions held in the 360 federal constituencies by House of Representatives on the matter. But the APC said its governors were not against autonomy for local governments, as reported in a section of the media on Thursday, describing such reports

as a gross misrepresentation of the governors’ position on the issue. In a statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the governors were only asking that such autonomy must be determined by the state houses of Assembly, rather than the National Assembly. ‘’For those who may have been misled by the media reports, we want to state our stand clearly. In the first instance, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives the State Houses of Assembly the power to create local governments. “Therefore, autonomy for local governments should be debated at the Houses of Assembly, not at the National Assembly.

‘’Secondly, giving control of the local governments to the federal government, one of the two federating units in a federalist system of government, will only result in the creation of a unitary government. ‘’And thirdly, all local government administration must be democratically elected in a free and fair election, while Chairmen and Councilors must be accountable to those who elected them. ‘’We are a welfarist party and we believe in accountability and abhor any system where any local government administration is not elected freely and fairly. “The appointment of caretaker committees to run local governments is an aberration.”

objective reportage. Preye, said the NGO was committed to contributing its quota towards nation building and would work assiduously to unite the people in the country towards achieving that. “We in CNPP ultimately seek to create a network of citizens committed to share values of peace, justice, respect, cross cultural understanding and national cooperation as fundamental contents for purposeful development,” he said. While condemning the recent killings in Borno state, the DG warned politicians against unguarded statements which he said might saw a seed of discord in the country’s fragile democracy. Responding, the Chief Operating Officer, Peoples Media Limited, Ali .M.Ali, urged them not to deviate from their major aim of integrating the country and its people across religious and political inclinations. Ali called said the group should be wary of politicians who employ various antics to dampen the image of the organisation.




Borno mosque attack: JNI demands probe By Aisha Biola Raji


he Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Sultan of Sokoto, has demanded a probe into the recent attack and killing of worshippers at a mosque in Konduga town of Borno state. A JNI statement on

Wednesday described the attack as barbaric, callous, obscure and incomprehensible and “utterly condemnable in its entirety.” The statement signed by the JNI Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, said that the group was worried that with the state of emergency currently in place in Borno state, and with the visible security check points at every nook and cranny of the state, “it is hardly

believable that such dastardly acts could still occur unabated. “Hence, the JNI is seriously perturbed by it and calls for curtailing the proliferation of small arms. “In as much as there is the need for restraint and caution on the part of the security men in the affected areas, we are interested to know how the perpetrators gained access to the cordoned areas with such explosives

and guns? “Who were they? Why were they not prevented or arrested and what were the motives behind such repeated orchestrated and heinous acts? “In the light of the above, we call on governments at all levels to do everything possible as a matter of urgency to stop these evil acts of unleashing terror on innocent and peace loving souls,” the JNI stressed.

Jonathan appoints Pius Osunyikanmi DG, Technical Aid Corps


resident Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Dr. Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi as the new Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of the Technical Aid Corps (TAC). He was until his appointment Special Adviser to the President on International Relations. Osunyikanmi succeeds Ambassador Mamman M. Daura whose tenure expired in June. A native of Ile-Oluji in Ondo state, Osunyikanmi holds a doctorate degree in Political Science. He previously served in several capacities including Special Adviser to the Governor of Ondo state on Inter-governmental Affairs and Multilateral Relations (20092010), and Commissioner for Education, Ondo state (2010).

JTF kills 7 suspected armed bandits in Gombe

From David Hassan, Gombe

T L-R: Representative of former Lagos state Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Dr. Leke Pitan, representative of President Goodluck Jonathan, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Ambassador Jibrin Chinade, and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Henry Odein Ajumogobia, during the public presentation of a pictorial biography of Chief Emeka Anyaoku yesterday in Lagos. Photo: Olawale Rotimi

Lagos Dantata rescues NORTEX, police kill FINETEX staff with N250m Customs A officer From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna

From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


n Assistant Inspector of Customs whose name was simply given as Orok was yesterday shot dead allegedly by some policemen at the second gate of Tin Can Ports, Apapa, Lagos. The deceas e d , w h o u n t i l his death was attached to the Federal Operations Unit of the Customs in Ikeja, was said to have been recovering from injury he sustained in an auto accident few weeks ago before he met his death. Sources close to the Customs told our c o r r e s p o n d e n t t h a t the late Orok who works in the office of the Provost at FOU was barely a year old in the service. The Public Relations Officer at FOU, Uche Ejesieme, confirmed the killing, noting that investigations were on to ascertain circumstances that led to the shooting.

major shareholder at the comatose NORTEX/ FINETEX textile companies in Kaduna, Alhaji Aminu Dantata has doled out N250 million as final settlement of staff gratuities. Secretary General, National Union of Textile, Garment & Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, disclosed this at a press conference in Kaduna yesterday. Aremu described the development as a giant stride for the union in the effort to ensure settlement of entitlements of workers in closed textile

factories. According to him, the two companies were closed down in September 2003 without settlement of workers’ gratuities amounting to N305,653,887, outstanding salaries amounting to N63,434,190 as well as outstanding union dues of N7.6m. “When all efforts by the union to bring the management of both companies to a round table discussion failed, the union resorted to legal action to get justice and secure the payment of their terminal benefits. “At the hearing on December 8, 2005, the presiding Judge advised that in order to avoid long argument on

the matter, parties should go for out of court settlement. “The management rolled out a blueprint for the revival of the company and offered to pay the sum of N250 million as the total and final payment for workers’ entitlements. “They (management) explained that only Alhaji Aminu Dantata is ready to bring in the money as other shareholders have backed out and after consultation, and given the workers’ acceptance of the offer, the union wrote to the management accepting the offer of N250 million as full and final settlement of their gratuities.”

was taken at the weekly state Executive Council meeting. He noted that last year, the registration fees were fixed at N37, 000 for Arts students while Science students paid N43, 000. He said that with the reduction, Arts students in the university would now pay N27,000 while N32,000 would be paid by Science students. He said that those who registered last year would be

refunded 25 per cent of fees paid. Similarly, he added, “those who registered last year but have graduated will also be refunded 25 per cent of the fees earlier paid.” Meanwhile, the state transport authority has allocated two 30-seater mass transit buses for use by students of Federal University, Dutsin-ma, Isa Kaita College of Education and secondary schools in the Dutsin-ma area.

Umaru Musa Yar’Adua varsity: Shema approves reduction in fees From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


overnor Ibrahim Shehu Shema of Katsina state has approved the reduction of registration fees for both Arts and Science students of Umaru Musa Yar’adua University by 25 per cent. Shema’s Special Adviser on Higher Education, Alhaji Aliyu Haruna Jani, explained that the decision to reduce the fees

he Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in Gombe state has killed seven suspected armed bandits while a stray bullet hit a teenager which also resulted in her death. Our correspondent who visited the scene reports that the incident happened around 1am on Wednesday when the suspected bandits invaded Baurunde community on the outskirts of Gombe. According to eyewitness accounts, the hoodlums went through a hill and started shooting sporadically, drawing the attention of residents who informed operatives of the JTF who were on patrol. The source said during the gun battle with JTF, some of the hoodlums escaped while others were arrested. The account said that those arrested led the JTF to an uncompleted building where some other bandits were hiding and engaged them in a shootout. The eye witness said that the teenager who lost her life was believed to be a child of one of the hoodlums. He noted that the mother of the teenager was also involved in the gun battle but escaped with bullet wounds. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer at Gombe state Police Command, DSP Fwaje Atajiri, confirmed the attack. He told our reporter that the hoodlums were among those who attacked the NNPC mega filling station in Gombe recently where they lost two policemen and another attack at Makay Supermarket where they carted away undisclosed amount of money. He warned residents especially landlords to always investigate tenants before accommodating them in their respective houses.




Police arrest 98 during Sallah in Sokoto From Mahmoud Muhammad, Sokoto


s part of security challenges nationwide, the Sokoto state Police Command has arrested 98 persons for various offenses

during the Sallah period. The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Almustapha Sani, who disclosed this yesterday while briefing newsmen said the offenders would be prosecuted. “Our intention was to ensure that the growing peace in

Sokoto is maintained. We want the integrity of Nigerians to be valued with sense of maturity where ever they resides”, the PPRO said. He also added that the command would soon charge those with various offenses to

court after interrogations, while those with minor offenses would be released on bail. Sani, who was last year posted on one year assignment at Police Collage, Farfaru, Sokoto and returned to his position as PPRO, further, described Sokoto

as the most peaceful state in the federation. He advised the general public to report any suspicious persons or group of persons, who may likely tarnish the image of the people of the state and the country at large.

NDIC decries female marginalisation in public establishments By Abdulwahab Isa


he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) yesterday expressed concern over gender imbalance in most establishments and public offices where wide gap between male and female exist. To correct the widening gap, the corporation plans to increase the number of female representatives on its board. The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the corporation, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, gave the commitment yesterday in Abuja at a management parley with female employees of the corporation. Umar said the gap, which had become wider in the executive cadre needed to be bridged within the nearest future. Ibrahim said as at August this year, about 27 per cent of the total workforce of the corporation is females. At the executive cadre, he added that the gap is more obvious as only 8.2 per cent of the executive members of staff are female. He said, “Over the years, we have seen a wide gap between male and female presence in the workforce. “In NDIC, as at August 2013, approximately 27 per cent of the total workforce is female. The gap becomes even wider in the executive cadre. “As at the same time, only 8.2 per cent of the executive members of staff are female. This figure was much lower before recent recruitments in the corporation which commenced in August 2010. “The recruitment exercise was concluded with a ratio of 70:30 between males and females respectively. “This is the highest number of female intake in the history of the corporation and the pace will be deliberately enhanced whenever the need arises to conduct recruitment in the future”, he said.

Jobseekers queue to submit employment forms in front of Civil Service Club, yesterday along Gwarinpa Road, in Abuja. PHOTO: MAHMUD ISA

Group backs relocation of Tafawa Balewa LG hqtrs From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


igeria Youth Organization (NYO), Bauchi state chapter, has thrown its weight behind the relocation of the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa Local Government to Bununu town, even as it urged the federal government and the National Assembly to support the relocation for peace to reign in the state. The urge is coming on the heels of media reports on a statement credited to the House of representative member, Hon. Yakubu Dogara representing Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa and Dass Federal Constituency who challenged the relocation of

the headquarters of the local government to Bununu on the floor of the House of Representatives. Dogora claimed that the relocation of the local government was unconstitutional and was motivated by selfish interest of the state government. The chairman of the organization, Mohammed Dauda, who made this known yesterday while addressing pressmen at the NUJ press center in Bauchi said, previous administrations in the state have constituted several committees in order to come out with a lasting solution to stop the re-occurring crisis in the area, but were unsuccessful. He disclosed that the lingering

crisis in the local government which has a record of over fifty years ethno religious crisis has led to the colossal loss of lives and properties as well creating economic backwardness in the state. According to him, “it is however an undeniable fact that laws are made to provide peace and sustainable development for the citizenry and any law that falls short of such an expectation is not a welcomed development.” He therefore expressed the believe that the governor of the state, Isa Yuguda and the Bauchi State House of Assembly acted in accordance with the provision of Section 8(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Ex-Ogun gov, Daniel, joins Labour Party From James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta


he political atmosphere gradually gather momentum in preparation for the 2015 general elections as the immediate past Governor of Ogun state, Otunba Gbenga

Daniel has dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on whose platform he ruled the state for two terms. Daniel who has finally pitched his tent with Labour Party (LP) according to the party’s Chairman, Comrade Olabode Simeon, also agreed to be its grand patron. The chairman said that the

party executive had approached Olabode described the development as a great boost to the strength of the party in the state. He urged members and supporters of LP to participate in the registration exercise which would hold for two weeks.

Hoodlums bomb bank in Delta By Prince Edward, Asaba


are devil armed robbers yesterday bombed an old Bank (name withheld) at Issele-uku, Aniocha-North Local Government Area of Delta State, leaving one person dead while several others were injured. Eyewitness said the robbers numbering eight, gained entrance into the banking hall after allegedly shooting sporadically to scare unsuspecting customers, many of whom scampered for their lives and bombed the ATM savings where they allegedly carted away millions of Naira. It was learnt that the hoodlums came in Siena Camry vehicle, loaded with AK 47; a process the security men at the bank made an attempt to prevent their entry which failed after one of them was allegedly hit with a gun to the ground. Although some police officers in the area who do not want their names in the print, said frantic efforts were put up to prevent them but our informed source said in a mid-drama, the hoodlums made their way into the hall. As it were, there have been frequent cases of banks’ robbery in the recent times across the state, especially Ibusa, Asaba and Agbor where most of the old banks were allegedly looted and some of its customers’ sustained injuries.


Photo Splash

Chaotic traffic resulting from the pro-Jonathan women rally, yesterday in Abuja.



L-R: First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan and wife of the Vice-president, Hajiya Amina Sambo, during the rally. PHOTO: NAN

Different women groups yesterday when the women who thronged Abuja for Jonathan converged on Eagle Square. PHOTO: NAN

Participants’ bags hunged on security gate of Eagle Square, during the women rally for Mr. Jonathan, yesterday in Abuja. PHOTO: NAN

R-L: Senate President David Mark, in a handshake with Chairman, Board of Directors of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Chief Andy Aghaji, during a visit by the VON Board to the Senate President, recently in Abuja.




NGE: Experts discuss potential Nigeria E By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

conomic experts, ministers, governors and top businessmen will on August 21, 2013 come up with viable suggestions on how the nation can be weaned from its age-long dependence on crude oil as the major source of its income. Nigeria Guilt of Editors (NGE),

in a statement issued yesterday by its General Secretary, Isaac Ighure, indicated that the discussion will take centre stage in Asaba, Delta state, during the 9th all Nigerian Editors Conference. It added that the programme which will last for four days will be chaired by renowned veteran journalist and former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Segun Osoba.

Also, Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, is expected to set the tone of the conference in a keynote address of the programme themed; “Nigeria Beyond Oil: Role of the Editor’’. Ministers listed to speak on key issues that are germane to the diversification of the economy are those of Agriculture, Akinwumi Adesina, who will speak on “The

Value Chain Roadmap’’; and Edem uke,Tourism, “Oil Exhaustible, Tourism Inexhaustible”. Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank; and Prof. Sylvester Monye, Special Adviser to the President on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, will deliver papers on “Financial Institutions in a Non-Oil Economy’’, and

‘’Opportunities in Non-Oil Nigeria’’ respectively. Moderators at the high-wire event include top-notch Nigerians, such as the Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Eugene Juwah; and Mr. Onyema Ugochukwu, a former Editor of the Daily Times and former governorship candidate on the ticket of the PDP in Abia State.

Insurgency: Shettima addresses US/Nigeria Commission


overnor Kashim Shettima yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to provide the teaming youths with job opportunities as a measure to arrest the present low level insurgency in the country. According to Shettima, the underlying causes of the present security challenges in our country is as a result of joblessness, illiteracy, hunger and decease which if not properly addressed, it will affect most parts of the country. He made the appeal while addressing the united states – Nigeria Binational Commission (BNC) in Abuja. The Governor was invited by the US Government to speak on current security challenges in Borno state. Shettima praised the united states for showing interest in Nigeria’s stability by partnering to help in addressing the security challenges in the country.

Suspects In the murder of four University of Port Harcourt students coming out of the high court, yesterday in Port Harcourt. Photo: NAN

Kaduna Speaker survives impeachment


he Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mu’azu Usman Gangara, survived an impeachment move by members of the House but has been given 30 days for him and the leadership of the House to amend their leadership style and make the House more vibrant. The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Hon. Yakubu Yusuf, disclosed this while speaking to the media in Kaduna yesterday. Hon. Yusuf, who is a PDP member representing Zaria

Kewaye Constituency said the leadership of the House since the assumption of office of Hon. Gangara as the Speaker had been too weak which has negatively affected activities in the House. “His style of leadership has also created a sour relationship between the executive, judiciary, commissioners and the general public. All attempts to make him see reason and change proved abortive until the motion for his impeachment was brought to the House by Hon. Philemon Usman Gidan

Mana, a PDP member representing Makera constituency. The leadership of our great party – PDP in Kaduna State waded into the matter and we have resolved to give him 30 days to change his style of leadership”, Yusuf revealed. He disclosed that the Speaker of the House from today and the next 30 days will be the architect of his own fate. “If he changes, good for him, but if the House still remains weak, then we know what to do.I must use this occasion to inform you that the Speaker, Rt. Hon.

Mu’azu Usman Dangara, who is also a PDP member like me, led the leadership of the House to apologize to members yesterday and promised to improve on his leadership style. And we, as gentlemen, accepted their apology and gave them 30 days grace to see the promised improvement in their leadership”, Yusuf added. He refuted claims in some quarters that members were given N1m each by the Vice President, Alhaji Muhammad Namadi Sambo to effect the removal of the Speaker, describing it as baseless.

Anambra guber: Ex-Jonathan aide lands Tukur

By Lawrence Olaoye


mmediate past Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Technical Matters and the erstwhile Secretary of the SURE-P Programme, Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, yesterday commended the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, for putting in place political infrastructure that would guarantee a free and fair primary election for the party ticket for the Anambra state November 16th poll. Nwankpo, who is also an aspirant for the gubernatorial slot under the platform of the PDP, is

one of the 15 candidates cleared to participate in the August 24th PDP primary in the state. Nwamkpo in a statement in Abuja said “The national leadership of the party has done very well so far in putting into place the political infrastructure that will

guarantee a successful primary election and that will put the party on sounding footing for a decisive victory during the November governorship election.” He however pointed out that a lot more work still needs to be done, adding that “but there is no doubt

that they are up to the challenge”. Nwamkpo bared his mind on the on-going debate concerning the place of internal democratic practices in the administrative processes of the various parties with specific regard to the conduct of gubernatorial primary elections.

2015: INEC takes delivery of 20 million voter’s card


he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Thursday said it has taken delivery of 20 million permanent voter’s card for 2015 general elections in the country. The Resident Electoral Commission, REC, Gabriel Ada, in charge of Akwa Ibom, disclosed this in Uyo at a stakeholders

meeting organised by the Commission. He said the voters’ card would help to phase out the temporary voters card in the system. The REC said the feature of the permanent voter’s card included a micro-chip with bio-data of every voter. Other features, according

to him, include a readable card which every registered voter would present at the polling unit before being allowed to vote. Ada said the equipment was designed to record the total number of people that are accredited and the total votes cast at each polling unit during elections. (NAN)

Cleric cautions Muslims on social media By Abdul-Rauf Musa


foremost Kaduna based Islamic scholar, Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi has called on Muslims to be circumspect on internet comments and commentaries especially as it relates to Islamic matters and Muslims affairs worldwide. Stating this on his Facebook page, the scholar advised Muslims to be very careful about comments they read in the Internet, adding, “Don’t be deceived by name, gender or race of the commentator, he or she could just be one of the camouflaged agents trying to sow discord among people of different creeds in the Third world. Moreover, the Internet and the social media are faceless media that give a person a false sense of security which encourages the Devil to insinuate a person into saying anything that comes to his mind without restraint or caring about the consequences of such utterances or actions. We should therefore be careful of what we say or write or post into the Internet”. Quoting from Qur’an and Hadith, Sheikh Gumi said, “Allah said: And say to my servants, they should say what is best for the Satan sows discord among people, Satan indeed is an open enemy to mankind,” maintaining that Prophet Muhammad said: “whoever believes in Allah and the last day should say what is good or keep quiet.”




First Lady advocates support for people living with disabilities


he First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, on Wednesday said people living with disabilities should be motivated to realise their potentials. Mrs. Jonathan made the call during a dinner in honour of three first ladies, Mrs. Kim Simplis of Belize, Prof. Khadijat Hamdi of Saharawi Peoples Republic and Mrs. Nompumelelo Zuma of South Africa, who were in Abuja to attend the national women for peace rally. According to the First Lady, if the physically challenged were encouraged, they would reach their full potentials and contribute their quota to nation building. ``There is ability in disability. The Almighty God that created the disabled persons also provided them with the talent and skill to live a fulfilled life. ``We must, therefore, continue to motivate them to overcome their disabilities and launch themselves into greatness’’, she said. She mentioned some famous people who conquered their disabilities to achieve greatness. Simplis of Belize said she was humbled by the reception accorded her by her Nigerian counterpart and the dinner in her honour. ``This is my first visit to Africa and I know Nigeria would be my gateway in my future visits to Africa. ``I will see to it that Belize starts a Women’s Day to celebrate the achievement of women in the country’’, she said. Hamdi of Saharawi expressed appreciation for the support given to her country by Nigeria. ``I consider myself a part of the Nigerian and South African family because the two countries are dear to the hearts of the Saharawi women’’, she said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the wife of the Vice President, Hajiya Amina Sambo, female ministers, legislators and wives of top government functionaries were at the dinner.

Islamic orphanage urges govt to care for orphans From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


Non-Governmental Organization, Islamic Orphanage Foundation (IOF) has urged governments at all levels to take adequate take care of orphans in Nigeria. The Foundation, in a statement signed by its Chairman and

Secretary, Alhaji Seifullahi Alege and Mallam Nureni Kuranga said: “the care for orphans must be paramount in the affairs of everyone in the society. “The Islamic Orphanage Foundation is organizing her 2013 orphanage day in celebration of our dear children who have, in one way or the other lost the parental affectionate feelings due to different

circumstances. “We are committed to giving them a better life and ensure that they partake in all the activities other children who are with their parents engaged in, like quality education among other activities”, the statement added. The statement said the event is scheduled to hold on Saturday 17th August, 2013 and will

L-R: Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, in a handshake with former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, during the public presentation of a book “A Quiet Revolution”, written by Alhaji Ibrahim Bida Buhari, yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel, in Abuja. Photo Joe Oroye

TETFUND earmarks N400m for medical college From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he sum of N400 million has been released to Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU) by Tertiary Institutions Fund (TETFUND) for the construction of new college of medicine at the institution. Hints about the release of the fund was dropped by ATBU

Vice Chancellor, Professor Mohammed Hamisu Muhammad during the foundation laying ceremony of the college held at the permanent site of the University in Bauchi state. He explained that the contract was awarded at the cost of N307,1 49,364, as the remaining balance of N92,850,636 from the released fund will be used to equip the new college which construction

will be completed in 38 weeks. Hamisu said: “The first of the medical college building comprises the main anatomy, and gross anatomy building and the main anatomy structure will house 16 offices, two histology laboratories, data room, staff/rest room, exhibition area, two lecture hall and 18 conveniences”. He commended Bauchi state government for its political will

148 Bauchi indigenes get admission to Oakland University From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


t least 148 indigenes of Bauchi state have secured admission in pattern University of Oakland in the United States of America. The sponsorship of the students followed collaboration between the Bauchi state government and the African Children Talents Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) Governor Isa Yuguda stated this yesterday during the formal award of admission letters to the prospective students held at the Banquet hall of the Government House in Bauchi.

feature fund raising towards the successful implementation of plans earmarked for the orphans. IOF however stressed the need for parents and guardians to always take proper care of their children/ wards noting that, “It is not easy to be orphan or a widow”, and solicited supports from the general public to run the programme of the foundation.

Yuguda who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh said, not less than 148 Bauchi state students were offered admission tom study various courses at the Pattern University of USA. According to the governor, from the inception of this administration to date, tremendous transformation has been witnessed in the education and health sectors, adding that education is the main gateway for positive societal change and economic transformation. Governor Yuguda charged the prospective students to make use of the rear

opportunity given to them, to be God fearing, honest, disciplined and should be good ambassadors of the state and the country at large. Speaking earlier, the Bauchi state commissioner of education who also oversee the higher education ministry, Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu said, out of the 148 students that secured the admission, 103 are Bauchi state indigenes while 35 are non-indigenes that are residence in the state, adding that the students come from all the 20 twenty local government areas of the state. He said the student will be

sponsored by the Foundation while Bauchi state government would take the responsibility to secure their visas and transportation to and from the United States of America. In his remark, the President of the Foundation, Engineer Nuhu Dallaji said the journey began since 2010 in Oakland city of America were Bauchi city beat other cities in sister city competition; that gave Bauchi state the opportunity to secure admission for its indigenes in pattern university of the United States of America. He said, “This is going to be a continued process and the beginning of goods thing for the state through the foundation”.

towards the actualization of the college in Bauchi, adding that all the funds for the establishment of the college from the TETEFUND have been released. The state governor, Isa Yuguda, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh at the occasion said government accords high priority to health care services and protection of the vulnerable, especially pregnant women. He reiterated the determination of the state government to provide health care services to the door step of the common man, as well as to raise the number of state indigents training in medicine by 300%. Saleh said the state government had recruited 863 students in medicine, all of whom have been offered employment under in-service training. According to him, out of the number, 56 students are undergoing training in Egypt and Sudan to become medical doctors. He commended the federal government, National University Commission (NUC) and TETFUND for their support and approvals for the establishment of the college.



Money Sense

6 traits that you need to move from being an employee to self-employed


eople say this always, “I just lost my job!” Then they ask, “How do I start a business?” More people are getting downsized, terminated or just plain fired all the time. Due to state of the economy, finding another job can be difficult. Creating a job of your own by starting a business looks attractive when you can’t find a job, or just can’t stand the job you have. You ask yourself, “How do I start a business?” This is not the first question you should be asking if you’re in this situation; the first question you should be asking is “Should I start a business?” Before you start thinking about the different types of businesses you might start, you have to do some thinking about you. Starting a business is not for everyone. Being self-employed is very different than being an employee. Some people find it impossible to adjust to the differences. Let’s see if you have the necessary entrepreneurial mindset to become self-employed. These are the six traits that I think encapsulate the ways you have to think and behave if you want to make a successful transition from being employed in someone else’s business to starting a business of your own. 1) You have to be flexible to be self-employed If you start a business, you no longer have “one” job with clearly defined duties and responsibilities. You’ll suddenly have multiple jobs, which will be often interrupted by unforeseen crises (particularly in the startup phase). Many employees are used to having days filled with predictable activities; many self-employed people don’t.

Money Tip: Make money marketing other people’s product and yours too


arry out a research and find out which companies have recently been set up and offer to help market their products and services. You can achieve this by making fliers and brochures to be distributed in every neighborhood. The other way is to conduct marketing online. It does not cost much to make the fliers or even to use the internet for marketing purposes because you can start the business on your own without the need for employees.

Quote It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path at Dell. There’s always an opportunity to make a difference. – Michael Dell

Once you start a business, there’s nowhere to pass the responsibility. As an employee, you may be used to passing problems up along the food chain or not be very involved in decision making. As a selfemployed business owner, you’re the one who will have to deal with whatever the crisis is and solve the problem. You’re the one who will have to make the decisions. You have to be a self-motivated initiator When you’re an employee, other people tell you what to do, either directly or indirectly. You get used to having your actions directed by others but you have to direct your own actions as a small business owner. You can’t just sit there and hope that maybe some clients stroll in or that someone will drop by out of the blue with inventory for your retail store. No one’s going to drop work on your desk or point out what needs to be done. For many people who try to become self-employed and start businesses after having a long-term full-time job, this is the hardest adjustment to make. 3) You have to be able to recognize opportunities and go after them Most employees do what they’re assigned to do. There’s someone else who’s “assigned” to look out for opportunities, either a boss in a small business,

or perhaps a sales department or a managerial team in a large corporation. If you start a business, you need to be the one constantly watching for opportunities, and be able to recognize them when you see them. It might be a small

opportunity, such as the chance to pick up a new client, or a large one, such as getting your product on the shelves in a large retail chain, but as a small business owner, you have to keep scanning the horizon yourself and positioning yourself to benefit

from the opportunities that you find. As an employee, you may be used to operating in a “head-down” position; if you’re going to start a business and become successfully self-employed, you need to start operating in the “head-up” position. To be continued…

How to clean/keep Naira notes clean


ow that Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made its intention to deliver new Naira notes next month, there is need to educate ourselves on how to clean and maintain these notes in order to enhance the durability which is an important property of money. In the early 20th century, the U.S. Department of Treasury invented a money-washing machine that cleaned and dried more than 35,000 notes per day. Money-laundering sounds like an easy way to end up in jail, but what do you do when you have a bunch of grimy bank notes? Before you start cleaning, consider the options. If the paper

currency is very old, it is best to leave it be, as the material has aged too much to be cleaned in most manners. It is still worth a lot to collectors. If you simply wish to clean the currency enough to use it again as tender, perhaps you should go to your local bank. Most banks will provide a crisp bank note of equal value. Note that paper money is not actually paper. But normally should have 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen, so you are actually washing fabric. There are also red and blue threads distributed throughout that keep the currency together, meaning it is manufactured to withstand wear and tear, not to look pretty. Though there is this question, can Nigeria

notes be trusted with this quality? Nonetheless, there is need to keep money clean by avoiding squeezing, dropping it in dirty bowls, touching it with dirty hands and most importantly, writing on the note! In any case, if there is need to clean your valued naira notes, you can try this. Remember to apply caution though. 1. Fill bowl with warm water, adding a small amount of dish detergent to create a soapy mixture. 2. Place paper money on a clean, flat surface. Lightly dip a corner of the soft rag in the soapy water and, starting from the middle of the money, brush it laterally toward the edges. Brush past the edges of the paper money to avoid

tearing the corners. Do this for roughly three minutes. 3. Brush the money gently in a circular motion with a slightly moistened soft rag. Again, be careful around the edges. Do this for roughly two minutes. Most paper bills have series silver threads distributed in them that make cleaning harder than on regular paper or fabric. 4. Turn the money over and repeat steps 1 through 3. 5. Once your money is washed, use a dry, soft rag to wipe any excess soap or water away. Lightly pat down the paper money until it is fairly dry. 6. Place the paper currency in the middle of a thick book, making sure that the entire bill is within the pages. As long as you don’t mind a slightly damp text for a brief period of time, this will dry the money quickly and flatten it. Leave the paper money in the book for at least five hours. Do not try to iron the money; ironing may cause further damage and weaken the integrity of the material. 7. If you need the money dried faster, use a hair dryer on the low heat setting. Too much heat can cause the fabric to become brittle. Warnings The key word is brush, not scrub. Scrubbing with any excess force will remove ink and/or fray the fabric of the money. This process will not restore dirty money to its original form. This process will clean excess dirt or stains from paper currency that is not too old. If the paper money in question is very old, do not try to wash it.




PDP’s bad Anambra example yesterday, the number of people who have bought the nomination form and paid the EOI fee stood at 26, including two women, one of them a former women affairs minister. This, in spite of protests by some aspirants who have alleged “political exploitation”. The PDP may have reaped handsomely from that hefty levy. Some have put a N198 million figure on it. But the question is what is this financial gain compared to the electoral deficit a crowd of palm-


here has been much talk about reducing the influence money has on elections in this country. But so far it has remained just that – mere talk. Rather than dwindling, it is growing with every election because the political stakes are becoming higher and higher. Not unexpected in a country where elections are seen as a business to invest in and returns usually are high. Take, for example, the governorship election in Anambra state due on November 16, some three months away. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which is in the opposition in that state, is asking male members who want to pick its nomination for governor to pay N10 million per form each and another N1 million for merely expressing an interest. That comes down to N11 million per aspirant. As for women aspirants, each is required to pay the N1 million for an EOI and N5 million for the nomination form. The party’s national leadership in Abuja has not explained why the astronomical levy, except to say the same amounts would be demanded of aspirants to the governorship in the other states. Unofficial sources at the party’s Wadata Plaza National Secretariat, Abuja, said the unusually high nomination fee was to whittle down the field of aspirants to a manageable one before its August 24 primaries. It had hoped that an exorbitant levy would keep away mere pretenders. But it has not. As at

PDP has put the office of governor in Anambra up for sale to the highest bidders. itchy aspirants would result in for the party at the end of the day? The party wants to avoid the kind of cut throat rivalry and acrimony that saw many party members voting with their feet for Governor Peter Obi of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in 2009. But this is not likely to happen. Already aspirants that have reluctantly paid the N11 million have dismissed any talk of “consensus candidacy”, insisting that the candidate must emerge through a primary election. Party leaders’ appeal that the party closes ranks has failed because the stakes have been raised too high this time round. The way it is, PDP may have already shot

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

itself in the foot by being penny wise and pound foolish. However, it is not so much PDP’s immolation that worries us as the implications of its decision for our democracy. For one, as we already pointed, it marks the ascendancy of the monetization of the electoral process, making politics looking more like a business than a platform for offering selfless public service. The danger in that is that good leadership materials are locked out of the contest, and charlatans have a field day. In the end, those who emerge as leaders are not a product of a fair and transparent ballot but determined by the size of their pockets. As it is, PDP has put the office of governor in Anambra up for sale to the highest bidders. Those who have complained of “political exploitation of Anambra people” are right. What then should the country expect from a corrupted electoral process? A perpetuation of a political culture of self aggrandizement, impunity and insensitivity. The result is what we are seeing today: a worsening crisis of expectations, crime and other forms of insecurity. We earnestly pray other parties, particularly those in the opposition, will not go the way of the so-called biggest party in Africa which has continued to subvert the rules of a fair electoral contest. While INEC mulls curbing election expenses to eliminate the evil influence of moneybags , we hope it will ignore the small matter of nomination fee.











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Opinion No, Pastor Adeboye, your approach is wrong By Larrie Peniel


ew nights ago, I took a break from research work, decided to watch news on local television and catch up with goingson in the polity. After the news, I was not quite enjoying an old movie flick, ‘Broken Arrow’ featuring John Travolta and Christian Slater, being shown on one of the stations and decided to flip to another station. My remote control took me to the 61st Annual Convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and I was just too happy to catch up with the Convention in my living room. Anointing can be anywhere, if faith is exuded like the Centurion. Then before sermon, General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Adeboye made a special announcement. The church is to build a new auditorium, stretching 3km in length and width, and four times the size of the present auditorium, to accommodate many more parishioners, before next year’s convention. Everyone was naturally excited, particularly those who get to camp ground late and cannot be seated in the present auditorium. Then pastor Adeboye shocked me with the following pronouncement: “We need N1 billion from ten people. If you are one of them, please, see my personal Secretary after we finish today. We also need N100million from those who can afford it, if you are in that category,

please, see my personal Secretary as well. Nonetheless, we need everyone’s involvement. If you can afford N50million, N20million, N5million, N1million to as low as N100, kindly make sure you participate. How many of you will build for the Lord?” All hands naturally went up. I could not believe my eyes. I should not bother myself with how a church raises money to finance projects but a dangerous trend is being set and we are made to believe if we cannot ‘donate’ a certain amount of money, we cannot see Daddy G.O.’s personal Secretary. Such ‘privilege’ is for those that can donate handsomely for the work of God. Assuming a rich man in the Convention donates N1Billion effortlessly and a widow, whose next source of meal is unsure, donates her last N100; who among the two should see Pastor Adeboye’s personal Secretary? Well the answer lies in Luke 21:1-4 and Mark 12:41-44, where Jesus Christ acknowledged the poor widow who donated two copper coins (mite) over the rich donors and said “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on”. How do we begin to justify asking members of a congregation to donate such a huge amount of money when poverty is smiling at

most of the country’s citizens? The last time they were told to donate generously for the Lord towards a University project, as ordained by God, they all gladly did. The sad thing is atN510,000 per session for College of Humanities (100L & 200L), N520 for Management Science students and N550 for Natural Sciences students; Redeemer’s University is not for a Redeemer whose minimum wage is around N18,000. So they have contributed to a project, believing they are sowing for God, yet cannot send their wards/kids to such schools. Interestingly, many of the Pastors (and church leaders) running private Universities today, all enjoyed free education (absolutely free, including free lunch of Rice and Chicken – every Sunday) under Awolowo’s magnanimity. Education is now for rich members only but poor members are not exempt from donations. Hmm! If the project were for research on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, I would not bat an eyelid. If it was for national fight against Polio eradication in Nigeria like the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in Africa, we would see the immediate benefits. If it was some sort of entrepreneurial aid to jobless youths, we would feel the impact as a nation. In spite of Bill and Melinda Gates contributions to Polio eradication, Nigeria remains the only African

country (not Rwanda, not Mali, not Somalia or Sudan) where Polio is endemic and she shares this feat with Pakistan and Afghanistan. Interestingly, Pakistan reduced the number of polio cases from 198 in 2011 to 56 in 2012; Afghanistan saw a decrease from 80 to 35 during the same period, however, Nigeria increased from 62 in 2011 to 119 in 2012. In 2013, The Gates Foundation committed a fresh $1.8 Billion to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) out of the $5.5 Billion required. Britain contributed $457million, Canada donated $250 million while $240 million came from Norway. Even the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan donated $120 million. Remarkably, these donations from foreign countries are geared towards solving the Polio scourge in 3 countries, Nigeria included. Foreigners help us to fight major health challenges while our idea of development is in gigantic buildings to be used once or twice a month for religious purposes. Our own priority in Nigeria isowning jets, breaking heads with the mace, fighting for 2015 elections and building bigger auditoriums. Is it not clear why we are not developing as a country? The message I got from the pulpit was clear, concise and profound. It does not matter where the N1 billion comes from, provided

it is donated for God’s work. Ever wonder why it is difficult for Pastors and General Overseers to condemn those who have looted our treasury? Recall when Cecelia Ibru and Erastus Akingbola had front row seats at major religious conventions in Nigeria? Did any Pastor speak against their deeds, like Nathan confronted and condemned King David in 2 Samuel 12? The subtle message is clear: “we need your money for the work of God and it does not matter how you get it”. Those who have sincerely worked hard for their wealth will only donate to worthy causes such as AlikoDangote did when he announced a relief fund contribution of N2.5 billion to the relief effort of flood victims in 2012. So many churches in Nigeria have big auditoriums, yet the level of violence, ethnic hatred, treasury looting and corruption alarmingly increases in a directly proportionate way to the number of churches/mosques available. As a country, we do not need larger auditoriums but men with larger hearts (including me) with genuine love for his/her neighbour. I have been taught to obey and respect authority, more so clergy (that’s why Pastors are ‘gods’ here). I will never say Pastor Adeboye is wrong but in my honest opinion, he chose a wrong approach. Larrie Penuel is on LinkedIn

Twenty naira policeman in memoriam By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu


mourn the demise of my dearest friend, the ubiquitous twenty naira policeman, who was heartlessly made to kick the bucket by Inspector-General of Police MD Abubakar. This monumental loss is indeed very tragic for me because the Twenty-Naira policeman, whilst he lived, happened to be the most dutiful Nigerian worker who was always at his duty post, from Kaura-Namoda to Agenebode, and from Koton-Karfi to Otanchara-Otanzu! Nobody could have accused the policeman of absenteeism all the days of his life! Compared to electricity workers, for instance, the Twenty-Naira policeman was always there. He was never found wanting in his job of collecting N20 at checkpoints! What a price to pay for dutifulness! Here was one Nigerian worker happy to do his job. Now he’s gone kaput just because MD Abubakar never liked his face, or stomach as the case may be. You see, the Twenty-Naira policeman carried his pregnancy with poetic aplomb such that, I learnt from very good sources, that the gurus of the Guinness Book of World Records were on their way to Nigeria to record for history and posterity that it was only in Nigeria that policemen at checkpoints carried huge pregnancies. Even as I am yet to make the scientific connection between the collection of Twenty Naira notes and the impregnation of the Twenty-Naira policeman, it is

meet to admit that IGP Abubakar carries no pregnancy of his own and, as one cannot give what one does not have, there’s no escaping the fact that Abubakar was jealous of his pregnant subordinate, the Twenty-Naira policeman. The real McCoy in the matter is that even in very advanced pregnancy the Twenty-Naira policeman could collect Twenty Naira notes from bus drivers and allied conductors with the agility and acrobatics of the likes of the legendary goalkeeper known as Emmanuel Okala! Now I have done the necessary scientific research to come up with the finding that too much accumulation of N20 notes at checkpoints always led to gargantuan consumption of beer and pepper soup by the police rankand-file, thus leading to the fat beer

belly that became police pregnancy. Who out there doesn’t know that the beer and pepper soup theory was initially proposed by good old AlozieOgugbuaja in regard to the military brass-hats and their many coups? Now that military coups have been overthrown by police pregnancies of the selfsame beer and pepper soup combo, Abubakar could not but strike. By ruthlessly dismantling checkpoints, Abubakar has succeeded in killing the singular honey-pot motivation for joining the police force. Just before the coming of Abubakar, one young man attended a police recruitment interview, and even before he could get the result of the interview he had set up a checkpoint at the Akokwa border in Imo State, collecting so much Twenty Naira such that even the Central Bank

noticed a shortage of N20 notes in its vault! I am yet to clear with CBN Governor SanusiLamidoSanusi whether the activities of this police wannabe led to the introduction of cashless Nigeria! You see, the twenty naira policeman can start up a revolution just at the drop of, you guess, N20! With the Abubakar-induced annihilation of the twenty naira policeman, Mama Iyabo, the ogogoro seller just by the Ikeja Country Club in Lagos, can no longer boast of the ready change almost always supplied from police checkpoints. This has led to a very bad chain reaction since bus drivers who got their change from Mama Iyabo have become short-changed such that they now settle their change matters with their passengers through kick-boxing and kung-fu. And the

By ruthlessly dismantling checkpoints, Abubakar has succeeded in killing the singular honey-pot motivation for joining the police force. Just before the coming of Abubakar, one young man attended a police recruitment interview, and even before he could get the result of the interview he had set up a checkpoint at the Akokwa border in Imo State, collecting so much Twenty Naira such that even the Central Bank noticed a shortage of N20 notes in its vault! I am yet to clear with CBN Governor Sanusi LamidoSanusi whether the activities of this police wannabe led to the introduction of cashless Nigeria!

total absence of the twenty naira policemen all over Nigeria amounts to discombobulating cataclysm! Ask Hon Patrick Obahiagbon for explanation! The twenty naira policeman knew that his primary duty was the capture of Twenty Naira Notes, and in the discharge of this onerous duty he made sure that “sake of a single twenty naira not to be arrested, let all the kidnappers and armed robbers of Nigeria pass freely through the checkpoints!” Be that as it may, Abubakar thinks that because he is the supreme boss of the police he cannot be investigated, without knowing that as an investigative journalist always armed with Twenty Naira for the settlement of the checkpoint boys, I have put him under investigation from way back. Ever since I met him in the company of my late townsman and brother, Chief Jude Ezechukwu, the proprietor of Jasper United Football Club, with whom he served on the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) board, I knew without any shadow of doubt that Abubakar had no liking at all for the twenty naira policeman. See what damage ordinary Twenty Naira has caused, and now IGP Abubakar has done his worst by totally obliterating the twenty naira policeman and his many checkpoints, thus leaving me with the cry-cry duty of writing this obituary with tears of the crocodile in my eyes! Uzor Maxim Uzoatu is on Facebook.



Opinion Aviation: Garba Shehu’s unfair diatribe on MAKIA By Yakubu Dati


shall not join words with Garba Shehu not because all he said was right, but because in the increasing conversation of building a country as complex as Nigeria with a myriad of developmental challenges, the conversation needs to be enriched with all available view points, it is this category that Shehu’s statement falls under. On Wednesday July 31, Shehu had written a piece published in Peoples Daily, with title: Stop playing politics with Kano Airport. At the end of the day Garba Shehu is entitled to his opinion. Every man and woman of goodwill and conscience cannot be happy at the wanton destruction of lives and property that have continued to plague Northern Nigeria. “Have kidnapping a sabotage stopped anyone from accessing the terminal buildings of Lagos, Jos or Enugu airports?” Shehu asked in his article. However, whether Shehu agrees or not terrorism is a danger to all Nigerians irrespective of ethno-religious inclination, and it cannot be placed on the same heinous pedestal as other crimes like kidnapping as Shehu asked rhetorically. Shehu should understand that what I did was to report the perception of investors and foreign carriers on what they perceive to be the problem with MAKIA. Therefore, it is erroneously wrong for Shehu to say I blatantly blamed the fortunes of the airport on security. As at the time the newspapers were publishing his

piece, where he cargo terminal wrote “moreso that has been when for Kano proposed for and much of Kano, when Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, the North, the completed the text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written worst is now project will go contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters over” - a tragic a long way in incident occurred rejuvenating - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your in the night of the economic name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be Monday 29th development of addressed to: July, at Sabon the region. Gari in Kano, And, of about 20 revelers course, at the The Editor, were killed at Kano state Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, a relaxation Government 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. spot in the city, House, the Email: which was widely state governor, reported in the Rabiu SMS: 08134607052 global media. It Kwankwaso, is tragic incidents intimated like this that often shapes opinions continue business even in the most the Minister of Aviation and her on economic interests in Nigeria volatile environments, except if the entourage that “We were worried and not what I say as an aviation threat becomes targeted at aviation (about development in the aviation publicist. agencies and even at that a review sector) before you came.” He A case in point is –during the of the security situation will be expressed his delight at the prospect following week the United States done in order to reposition them. of Turkish and Emirates Airlines Embassy in Nigeria put on hold I will like to recall here the that will resume operations in the planned opening of its Kano viewpoints of the governor of the Kano and other airlines that have consular office, citing insecurity in Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi signified interest in Kano route the northern part of the country. Lamido Sanusi on the occasion saying the state government will This was stated by Rhonda on of unveiling of the terminal commit the sum of 28.4 million Ferguson-Augustus, when during at MAKIA, where he used the to the baggage claim area of the the press briefing she noted that occasion to dispel insinuations airport terminal. I would like to the uncertainty in the north was about the Minister of Aviation, allay the fears of Garba Shehu and responsible for shelving the idea, Princess Stella Oduah, in not being other Kano indigenes that there adding that America wants to be interested in developing the Kano is no grand conspiracy anywhere sure of the safety of the people that hub, when he asked those gathered to undermine aviation business in would be going there. The latter is at the event, “Why build a terminal Kano State or Northern Nigeria, but the driving point for the decisions if you don’t want the airlines to rather efforts aimed at developing of foreign interests to come or not come?” He also used the occasion aviation in Kano and northern to come to Nigeria. But FAAN as an to restate his strong support for Nigeria in particular into multiorgan of government is established the minister saying it stemmed sector business cutting across for the Nigerian people and can from her healthy dissatisfaction agriculture, tourism and cargo for only try to safeguard its staff and with the aviation status quo. He effective multiplier effect befitting facilities, with no choice but to also mentioned that the Agric a city with a heritage of commerce


like Kano’s. So the clear role for all of us is to impress foreign investors by supporting the campaign against terrorism. In the end the benefit is ours. Let me say that when we are confronted by a challenge, it is not a time to bicker, but an opportunity to join hands to find solution. Kano is an important part of Nigeria and it will do no particular good for anyone to whip up a sentiment of an indigene or create sectionalism in a unified society. We are already reaping the fruit of reform in the aviation sector. For instance, EthiopiaAirlines, a member of star Alliance that includes several international carriers has concluded arrangement to commence international flight operations to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu following the upgrade of the airport to an international airport. This month, the first international flight will land in that airport. MAKIA has been in the lead decades ago and where we have that conducive environment I believe it will not take forever for MAKIA to come back because there are already investors waiting to cash in on the opportunity that remodeled airport now offer. And with the current concerted efforts of the government in that direction I believe it will not be too long. So Shehu cannot talk about ‘politics’ where there is progress. Yakubu Dati is the Coordinating General Manager, Communication and Information, Aviation Parastatals

Time to build a Nigeria of our dream By Ogbemudia Ode-Idahosa


he foundation of Nigeria was indeed faulty from the beginning. The amalgamation of the north and south in 1914, was not in the best interest of the people then but for the selfish interest of the colonial authority and their home government and has created a lot of problems now and if not properly handled will bring about a great catastrophe in the future. In plain language, the bringing together of people of different tribes, culture, religion to become one country without their consent can best be describe as crime against their future generations. Why is it a crime against future generation when the amalgamation was done, the people lived in their own territories, did their own thing without bothering about the other tribes? Being one country makes no meaning to them or play any role in their lives. The majority of them do not even know if there was any country called Nigeria. The people of Koma hills are a good example to my generation of how the people lived then in their territories. The Koma hills tribe gives an insight into how the different ethnic groups lived in the past when the amalgamation was done. As the

country began to develop, the demand for human and natural resources increased also, what is not available in one area could be in another place. People started moving out of their place of birth to live, work and engage in business activities in other towns and cities with the belief of being one nation and people. The people became aware of people from other places moving into their environment to live, work and do business. The original local people welcome them because it is in every culture of the Nigeria ethnic groups to receive and treat strangers well while the few that have been privilege to attend the

schools of the white men quickly imbibe the bad side of their way of life and helped water the seed of discord sown by the colonialists. The colonialists who brought the tribes together did so for their own selfish interest and for them to be able to manipulate the people, they deliberately sowed seeds of discord, distorts issues, lied, falsified figures and did other fraudulent acts that later became bones of major distrust among the new generations. While some were holding on to the past fraud legacy left behind by the colonialists others wanted a break from it and build a new nation. Distrust became the order of the day as no

ethnic groups trust each other even when the intention is genuine. There are a lot of decisions that would easily be agreed upon by the people but because of distrust of each other when such issues are raised, people would look at them from ethnic perspective at the end the nation Nigeria becomes the casualty instead of the culprits. What do we do now for ourselves and the future generations? Since the foundation has been destroyed what can Nigerians do (paraphrase)? When a building has a faulty foundation, the wise thing to do is to pull it down, reconstruct the foundation to make it solid. What Nigerians

We can not continue to be together the way we are and pretend there is no problem with us being together. We should not deceive ourselves as a people and nation that we are happy together when we are not. As our elders do say; fall on a matter does not mean you have said it, surviving from one ethno-religious crises to another does not augur well for any country that is serious with development and want to leave a peaceful nation to future generations. Be it a sovereign national conference, conference of different ethnic nationalities, it does not matter the name tag.

should do now is to pull down the structure called Nigeria and build it again. That is all the ethnic nationalities sit down together to talk, decide and agree on how the nation should be without any interference from people who do not have a stake in Nigeria (whose only interest is profiteering). We can not continue to be together the way we are and pretend there is no problem with us being together. We should not deceive ourselves as a people and nation that we are happy together when we are not. As our elders do say; fall on a matter does not mean you have said it, surviving from one ethnoreligious crises to another does not augur well for any country that is serious with development and want to leave a peaceful nation to future generations. Be it a sovereign national conference, conference of different ethnic nationalities, it does not matter the name tag. The most important thing is, let us sit together to talk, decide and agree on how to build a strong Nigeria that all Nigerians will be proud of. Let us return from walking on the wrong road to locate and walk on the right road that will take Nigeria to the promise land. l love Nigeria. Ogbemudia Ode-Idahosa wrote in from Benin City, Edo state




Constitution review: The path not taken By Jaye Gaskia


he most significant indicator of the farcical character of the ongoing exercise that demonstrates clearly that the review is not about us, the citizens, but about the selfish interest and distribution of access to state institutions by the elites, is the fact that there has been no discussion, let alone any sense of the need to prioritise guaranteeing the fundamental human rights of citizens. A radical change in the relationship between the governed and their rulers would have been expanding the list of fundamental human rights in the constitution and making all of them justiceable. This would entail collapsing the rights listed in chapters one and two [Chapter on Fundamental and directive principles of governance] of the constitution, into a single chapter that is made enforceable; while also expanding the rights to include for example the right to food, work etc. It is only by making all the rights enforceable and justiceable for instance, that a state of the nation address bill/act would have made more inclusive sense. There could be a clause in the combined and justiceable Fundamental Human Rights chapter, which lays down the criteria for gradual progress towards fulfilling of the provisions;

and in that context, an annual state of the nation address could have been required by the head of the government at Federal and state levels [President and Governors respectively] to give an annual account of the progress being made towards the gradual realization of the rights. But alas the rights and direct material interests of citizens have been of far less importance to the ruling class in the entire constitution making process! There is a fundamental structural and constitutional challenge around the place of local governments. In theory we operate a federal constitution where the states are the federating units; the constitution endorses this view; yet the same constitution endorses what amounts to a contradiction; a three tier fiscal federalism where the revenue sharing and allocation

formula is between the three tiers of government - Federal, State, and LGAs! For as long as this three tier revenue sharing formula exists, then for so long will there be a need to guarantee the direct access of LGAs to their share, autonomously from states. If we want a two tier federation, then the revenue sharing formula must be between the two tiers. Again, on the question of state creation; without a true fiscal federalism, where the revenue sharing formula is altered in favour of the states as federating units; it makes absolutely no sense creating new states. This is because with the present formula where the Federal government alone takes the lion share of 52% of the revenue; and the states and LGAs share the remaining 48%, creating new states will simply amount to increasing

the number of states that will share the 28% or so of federal revenue allocated to states, thus making states even less viable than they are now. A fairer federal revenue formula will be one in which the federating units actually collect most of the revenue, and then remit a percentage to the federal center. In the first republic for instance, the formula was such that the federal government had 20% share of the revenue; the federating units had 50% share; while there was a further 30% which was put in a distributable pool that was then shared on the basis of ensuring that no level of government has a shortfall in revenue etc. This is a formula that makes sense, and ought to be revived as the basis of a restructured federation with far fewer federating units that we

A fairer federal revenue formula will be one in which the federating units actually collect most of the revenue, and then remit a percentage to the federal center. In the first republic for instance, the formula was such that the federal government had 20% share of the revenue; the federating units had 50% share; while there was a further 30% which was put in a distributable pool that was then shared on the basis of ensuring that no level of government has a shortfall in revenue etc.

Encouraging local oil refining By Akanimo Sunday


n the creeks of Brass, Escravos, Ogoniland, Akassa and other riverine communities of the Niger-Delta, artisanal refining of crude oil forms part of the economic ecosystem and is the mainstay of many families. In the past, fishing and cultivation of crops was the main source of their livelihood. The situation has changed. No thanks to the environmental degradation and pollution occasioned by the activities of oil drilling companies. Illegal refining of crude oil is a booming trade in the creeks of the Niger Delta. In recent time, the Joint Task Force (JTF) has destroyed a lot of small scale artisanal refineries that dot the landscape of the region. Destroying the refineries is a very superficial approach to addressing this problem. They will spring up again and resume production. There is need for government to explore the viability of supporting these local refiners with a view to boosting domestic production and also redistributing wealth. Local refining of crude oil provides makeshift employment to a lot of youths in this endowed but forsaken region. In one of the camps, it was reported that about 400 people earn their living refining what they call “our natural resource”. Crude methodologies are employed by these artisans in the process of refining the oil. Thermal cracking is used in breaking crude into useful products. Essentially, the crude to be refined is put into

a container and heated to varying degrees. Different products are produced from the crude oil at different temperatures. This process may be inefficient, clumsy and a bit dangerous, but it surely works. The end product is usually cynically referred to as ‘adulterated product’. An anecdote would suffice. Before the white men came the liqueur need of Africans was met by what is referred to in local parlance as Kaikai, Ogogoro, Burukutu, etc. These drinks were produced using indigenous distillation processes. Recently, a US-based Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) released the Resource Governance Index ranking which placed Nigeria 40th among 58 natural resources-rich nations in terms of management of the proceeds generated from their resources to bring about commensurate development of its citizens. Nigeria’s overall score was 42, placing it behind 10 other African countries. No African

country was among the first 14 countries in the ranking which is topped by Norway, the US and United Kingdom with 98,92 and 88 scores respectively. The report, which identified mismanagement and corruption as constituting major setback in resource governance in many of the country specifically mentioned Nigeria as having 60 percent of its oil revenue in 2011 alone higher than total international aid to all sub-Saharan Africa. It is glaringly clear that the managers of our natural resources have continually failed in using our natural endowments to improve the lots of Nigerians. The efforts of the aborigines aimed at adding value to their resources should be commended. Since large scale production from the nation’s refineries still remain a mirage, it behooves on government to review its policies and laws on the refining of crude oil. The proposed Petroleum Industry Bill(PIB) should be reworked to recognise the operations

of these artisans as stakeholders, accommodate their needs and incorporate them into the scheme of things. Few years ago, licences to build new refineries were issued to companies. No functional refinery has been built by the licences. The so-called ‘illegal refineries’ are at least working. Against this backdrop, it makes sense to wager that had the licenses been issued to these small scale refiners, who would have aggregated to form a common entrepreneurial front, Nigeria would by now be considering putting an end to the importation of refined products. The resultant effect of that gesture would have been employment generation, wealth creation and re-distribution, and of course, a gigantic leap in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Government should be innovative and ingenuous in formulating policies that regulate the extractive industries. Home made policies regarding the extracting of our natural resources

Recently, a US-based Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) released the Resource Governance Index ranking which placed Nigeria 40th among 58 natural resources-rich nations in terms of management of the proceeds generated from their resources to bring about commensurate development of its citizens. Nigeria’s overall score was 42, placing it behind 10 other African countries. No African country was among the first 14 countries in the ranking which is topped by Norway, the US and United Kingdom with 98,92 and 88 scores respectively.

now have, not more; and with the federating units operating their own constitutions, and operating on the basis of similar formula with respect to the LGAs and community governments. If the reason for demand for new states is genuinely about development and improving the lives of citizens, and not about creating a treasury that can be more easily accessed and looted by the elites why are these demands being made without a concurrent demand for altering the revenue allocation formula? This is why I fear the constitution review exercise will change nothing fundamentally in the relationship between the ruling elites and the subordinate classes, and why the process has thus far been driven by their selfish treasury looting and state patronage dependent interests. And this is why it is incumbent on us to take up the gauntlet, take our destinies into our hands, and organise and mobilise autonomous political movement to Take Back Nigeria! The consequences of failure to do these, I fear, could be that one day soon, this treacherous ruling class will tip our country once again into the abyss of disintegration; and it may well be written concerning Nigeria, by a discerning writer of the near future that ‘There was a country’! Follow on Twitter: @ jayegaskia should be considered against the present practice of copying hook, line and sinker what obtains in other climes. Peculiar problems require peculiar solutions. Local refining of crude oil by the aborigines of the Niger Delta should be encouraged. However, certain criteria would need to be addressed before their activities can be regularised. For a start, a pilot scheme may be set up in one of the oil- producing states to test the workability and viability of this initiative. Licenses would have to be issued to prospective local refiners on a geographical basis, say three licenses per oil-producing states. Licensed operators will have access to purchase crude from NNPC. This will warrant the artisans to form alliances and mergers with a view to collapsing their structures into viable units. Standardisation is another key area that would be addressed. Clearly delineated guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures should be put in place to guide their operations by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC). A paradigm shift is long overdue in the management of our natural resources. Nigerians must benefit from their God -given resources. These folks have demonstrated that it is not so much of a rocket science to refine petroleum products as we are made to believe. They have added value in an illegal way. They need to be integrated into the mainstream by creating a framework that will support their involvement in the oil business. Akanimu Sunday via akanimosunday2@gmail.



FCTA education secretary charges school principals to be effective By Maryam Garba Hassan


Market women waiting for customers, yesterday in Mararaba.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Gwagwalada council staff decries lack of toilets By Usman Shuaibu


staff (name withheld) in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has berated the

administration of the council over the lack of good toilets. He said that most of the toilets at the various offices were no longer functioning, pointing out that only functional toilets were

that of top management officers in the council. He accused the management of the council of lacking of maintenance culture towards their facilities and appealed to the

leadership of the council to expedite action to repair the dilapidated toilets for the benefits of the staff. It was observed that most of the staff defecated or passed excreta at the back of the offices.

Bwari council in FCT decries living conditions at Kubwa Berger camp


he Head of Environmental Department of Bwari Area Council, FCT, Mr Haruna Labaran, on Wednesday decried the poor sanitary condition at the Berger camp in Kubwa. Labaran said this in Bwari in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). ``The camp is not fit for living by human beings, we saw over grown grasses, uncovered soak away,

bad drainage pattern, dilapidated structures, crowded people in a house and many others.’’ He expressed regrets that the environment was littered with refuse in between houses where people occupied with lots of insects around. Labaran said the poor maintenance of the camp was due to the dismissal of half of the staff members of the camp which he put

at 1,228. Labaran, who noted that although the management of Julius Berger carried out some sanitation exercise in the camp sometime ago, said the council was not impressed by the camp’s environment. He advised the management to hand over the camp to the council for proper maintenance to forestall unpleasant health problems.

In his reaction, Mr Clement Iloba, the Public Affairs Advisor of Julius Berger, debunked the allegation of the ultimatum given to the Berger camp residents in Kubwa on the poor sanitary condition. ``The environment might not be up to the standard of Asokoro and Maitama but human beings are living there; so it is fit for habitation,’’ he said. (NAN)

FCT Water board loses N15m monthly to non-reflection of bills-Director


he FCT Water Board says it loses millions of Naira as revenue following the non reconciliation of customers’ accounts. Jiniya disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. He said the board found it difficult to ascertain who has paid from those who have not, because the banks designated to collect payments on behalf of the board were not notifying it of payments made by customers

He said as a result customers often complain that money they had paid was being reflected as arrears in their fresh bills. ``The board reduced the number of banks used for collection of water bills from 15 to nine, as part of effort to solve the problem of non reflection of paid bills but still the problem persists,’’ he said. Jiniya said to address this, the board has sent a memo to the Minister to seek his permission for it to use Fidelity bank as the lead bank for collection of money for the board.

``We have sent a memo to the minister to effect arrangement with our lead bank which is Fidelity bank to intensify efforts on collection of water bills from consumers,” he said. He assured that if the memo was effected, customers would from September, receive alerts after making payments, to show that their bills have been paid correctly. ``When you pay, you will receive an alert to actually indicate that you have paid and the next bill will reflect all payments made.

Jiniya urged residents to pay their bills directly to the bank and not to any official of the board to avoid complications. ``The board has not assigned anybody to collect money from customers. ``Nobody should give a dime to any staff of the water board. We do not collect money from customers, rather they should pay to the approved bank,’’ he said. The director warned that any staff caught in any sharp practises would be sanctioned. (NAN)

he Secretary for Education, FCTA, Malam Kabir Usman, has admonished principals in FCT schools to be effective leaders if they are to meet desired results of imparting knowledge and good moral character in their students. The Secretary made this charge at the 2nd International Best Practices Retreat for school Principals, Proprietors and Administrators taking place in Accra, Ghana, organized by the Exam Ethics Marshals International. In his keynote address titled: “Leadership Skills for Principals” Usman said principals must always lead by example and not be afraid to “jump into the fray” if they are to win the respect and loyalty of their teachers. He also said that the FCT Education Secretariat takes the process of appointment of school principals very seriously indeed and has always ensured that whoever is appointed as a principal has all the prerequisite academic qualifications and leadership qualities. He emphasised that a principal must first of all be a teacher as the position of a principal is simply an elevation to an administrative capacity. “No principal or school head should be able to handle himself well in the classroom”, he said. He listed some qualities which all effective school principals must imbibe which include the ability to communicate, listen, easily accessible for staff and students, to be able to meet challenges effectively, to be able to propose and implement laudable initiatives, be team player and be flexible and adaptable to change. The consequences of leadership failures in the school he concluded will lead to students not reaching their full potentials and eventually become victims of social vices. Unleashed into the larger society he said, these students will bring “nothing but grief to all”. He said that it was the collective efforts of all within the FCT school system that has enabled the FCT to consistently win the best examination ethics compliant state in Nigeria over the last ten years. He promised that the FCT Education authorities will not relent in its efforts to ensure that the FCT remains free of all forms of examination malpractice. Other speakers at the conference include the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Exam Ethics Marshalls International, Prof. Abednego Ekoko, Hajia Fatima Abdulrahman, the National President of the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) Dr. Ike Onyechere the founding chairman of the Exam Ethics Marshalls International, Terry Fuodjing Shuri, a prominent school proprietor from Cameroun and Mrs. Comfort Attah, the General Secretary, Ghana National Association of Teachers.



Vulcaniser in court for allegedly stealing shirt A

26-year-old vulcaniser, Mohammed Abdullahi, of AYA, Asokoro, Abuja, on Wednesday appeared in a Grade 1 Area Court, Aso Pada, Mararaba in Nasarawa State for allegedly stealing a shirt. Police prosecutor Inuwa Maigida told the court that the matter was reported on Aug. 9

by Christopher Onan of One man village at the ‘A’ Division Police Station in Mararaba. Maigida said on Aug. 9, at about 3.30 p.m., Abdullahi went to Onan’s shop, located under the pedestrian bridge in Mararaba, pretending to be interested in buying a shirt. He said that in the process,

the accused stole the short-sleeve shirt valued at N1,500 that was on displayed for sale. The prosecutor alleged that the accused hid the shirt inside his trousers and took to his heels before he was arrested by the police. Maigida said the offence contravened the provision of section 288 of the Penal Code.

Scavengers going about their business, yesterday in Garki 2, Abuja.

The accused pleaded guilty, and the presiding officer, Mr Albert Maga, granted him bail in the sum of N50,000 and a surety in like sum. Maga ordered that the surety must be posses landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court, and adjourned the case to Sept. 5, 2013 (NAN)

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Police arraign 5 security men for alleged negligent conduct


he police on Wednesday arraigned five security guards in a Grade 2 Area Court in Kado for alleged negligent conduct. They are Daniel Galadima, Nomyange Stephen, Dickson Chai, Sunday Abia and Bebechi Aondohumba. The police prosecutor, Insp. Christopher Roko, told the court that the accused, whose ages range from 21

to 27, were staff members of Heroes Protection System Ltd, Abuja. Roko said Mrs Fumi Malomi of Shop No. 40 O’Neal Centre, Jabi, Abuja, reported the case at Utako Police Station on July 20. He said the complainant told the police that the accused broke into Shop No 40 O’Neal Centre and stole the complainant’s DVD player system and five wooden speakers valued at

N300,000 The prosecutor said during interrogation, the police discovered that the five accused persons were on duty on the said date. He said the offence contravened Section 196 of the Penal Code. If convicted, the court shall sentence them to a prison term which may extend to six months or with a fine of N100 or both.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charge. The presiding judge, Alhaji Ahmed Ado, granted them bail in the sum of N30,000 each, with two reliable sureties each in like sum. He ordered that one of the sureties must be a director and or the operations manager of the company. Ado adjourned the case to Sept. 9,2013 for further hearing. (NAN)

Former banker jailed for criminal breach of trust, cheating


Wuse Zone 2 Chief Magistrates Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, sentenced a former banker, Iretiolu John, 31, to one year in prison on a two-count charge of criminal breach of trust and cheating. The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Josephine Obanor, sentenced her to six months imprisonment for breach of trust with an option to pay N25,000 as fine. She also sentenced her to another six months imprisonment for the offence of cheating or to pay an option of N20,000 as fine. Obanor said that the sentences

were to run concurrently. ``The court hereby, orders the convict to refund the sum of N66 million, 102,700 U.S. Dollars and 500 British Pounds to Chief Godwin Agbo, the nominal complainant. ``The court, however, acquits her of the charge of adultery, as the prosecution did not prove its case beyond reasonable doubts,’’ Obanor ruled. Obanor said John was convicted based on her confessional statements which she swore to in an affidavit. ``In the statement, the convict admits to collecting money from

the nominal complainant and not paying the money into his accounts,’’ she said. The accused was first arraigned on April 24, 2012 for the offence of criminal breach of trust, cheating and adultery. Earlier, the Police Prosecutor, Mr David Abuo, informed the court that, between the 2008 and 2011, the convict solicited the patronage of Chief Agbo, to open bank accounts with Zenith Bank. He said that during that period, the convict was working with the Zenith Bank, Wuse, Zone 3, Abuja. Abuo informed the court that

without the consent of Agbo, the convict conspired with other people now at-large and stole Agbo’s money in all the four accounts. He said that the N66 million and 102,700 U.S. Dollars and 500 pounds were withdrawn from Agbo’s account numbers 20033521098, 5024522342, 5362820978 and 100212938. The Defence Counsel, Mrs Chioma Iwu, had, in her submission, urged the court to be lenient to her client, considering the fact that she was a first time offender and had no previous criminal record.(NAN)

Metro Butcher, 38, docked for allegedly causing hurt, mischief


he police on Wednesday arraigned a 38-year-old butcher, Okwudili Eke, in a Mararaba Grade 1 Area Court for alleged criminal force, mischief and causing hurt. The police prosecutor, Cpl. Inuwa Maigida, told the court that the matter was reported on Aug. 2 at the ‘A’ Division Police Station in Mararaba by Theresa Thomas. The prosecutor said the complainant and defendant live in the same residence behind City Rock Hotel, Mararaba, Nasarawa. ``On Aug. 2 at about 5.30 p.m., Thomas was having a confrontation over an issue with the accused person’s daughter, Chidinma Eke when the accused came out from his room and held her by the neck,’’ he said. The he accused assaulted the complainant and destroyed her stove valued N2, 250. ``In the process, her Nokia C3 mobile cell phone valued N9, 000 got missing,” Maigida also alleged. He also said that the offence contravened provisions of sections 265, 327 and 244 of the Penal Code. The accused pleaded not guilty, and the presiding judge, Mr Albert Maga, admitted him to bail in the sum of N100, 000 with a surety in like sum. Maga ordered that the surety be responsible, possess landed property and reside within the jurisdiction of the court. He also ordered the surety to write an undertaking, promising the court that the accused would not commit further offence. He adjourned the case to Sept. 12, 2013 for hearing. (NAN)

Court jails man 11 months for stealing N161, 305 company money


n Abuja Grade 2 Area Court, Kado, FCT on Wednesday sentenced one Daniel Ponkap to 11 months imprisonment for stealing N161,305, belonging to Bhosi Enterprises Nigeria Ltd., Utako Market. The presiding officer, Mr Ahmed Ado sentenced the convict after he pleaded guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, misappropriation and theft. Ado, however, gave the convict an option to pay a fine of N11, 000. The judge also ordered the convict to pay N500, 000 as compensation to Mr Mampau Nanre, the Managing Director of the enterprise. Ado ordered that the money must be paid on or before Sept. 20. ``If the convict fails to pay the fine and compensation on or before Sept. 20, he will serve the jail term handed to him by the court,’’ he said. Earlier, the police prosecutor, Mr Simeon Ibrahim, told the court that on Aug. 9, Nanre went to the Utako Divisional Police Station to report the matter. The prosecution said that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 312, 309 and 287 of the Penal Code. (NAN)



INSIDE, 08033045613

Lagos ex– commissioner assumes duty as FirstBank ED - Pg 22

Nigerian Shippers Council set to tackle high port charges - Pg 20

L-R: Kaduna state Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga, Secretary General, D-8 Countries, Dr. Seyed Ali Mohammad, Taraba state Acting Governor, Alhaji Garba Umar, Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Ekiti state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, and Nasarawa state Deputy Governor, Mr. Damishi Luka, during the 7th Annual MSMEs Finance Conference and D-8 Workshop on Micro Finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

CBN provides N220bn credit line to boost micro, small enterprises By Abdulwahab Isa o boost credit lending to the micro, small and medium enterprises, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday lunched N220 billion Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF). The creation of the fund announced by the CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi lamido Sanusi on the occasion of 7th Annual MSMEs finance conference and D-8 workshop on microfinance is designed to achieve specific objectives. The birth of the fund was lauded by stakeholders and financial experts as a novel development that will ignite growth in the micro and small business segment of the


…pegs interest rate at 9%

economy. Sanusi listed objectives of the N220 billion MSMED fund. According to him, the fund is “designed to Provide wholesale financing windows for participating financial institutions (PFIs); Improve the capacity of the PFIs to meet credit needs of MSMEs; Provide funds at reduced cost to PFIs; enhance access of women entrepreneurs to finance by allocating 60 per cent of the Fund to them; and Improve access of NGOs/MFIs to finance”. The fund to be given to the participating financial institutions (PFI) at 9 % interest rate Sanusi affirmed should be seen as

stimulus for addressing financing gaps aimed at stirring the market dynamics towards MSME development. Nigeria, said Sanusi had about 17.6 million MSMEs in 2012 employing about 32.4 million people contributing about 46.54 per cent of nominal GDP. He said a recent survey by IFC and Mckinsey (2010) also lent credence that 80 per cent of these MSMEs were excluded from the financial markets. “The state of MSMEs in the country underscores the importance of this conference. Suffice it to say that between 2003 and 2012, commercial bank loans

…as Kwankwaso sends Bill on Microfinance Regulatory Agency to state Assembly


o complement the feat Kano state has achieved in the microfinance bank operations, a Bill seeking to establish Microfinance Regulatory Agency is now before the state’s House of Assembly for deliberation. The agency if comes on stream, will serve as the regulatory body for over 30 micro finance banks

currently operating in Kano state which were set up with active support of Kano state government to lend credit facilities to the small, micro and medium businesses . Kano state governor, Engr. Rabiu Kwankwaso disclosed the initiative of his administration while fielding questions from newsmen yesterday in Abuja at

the 7th Annual MSMEs finance conference and D-8 workshop on microfinance where the state for the second year, was adjudged best state in micro finance and youth empowerment. Kwankwaso spoke extensively on empowerment initiatives of his administration targeting, majorly women and youths.

PTML Customs generates N33bn revenue in Q2 Story By Dapo Olalekan he PTML Command of the Nigeria Custom Service at the Tin Can Port Complex has announced a revenue generation in the sum of N33, 836, 998, 293 for the first half of year 2013. The figure shows a N120million difference compared to the N33, 716, 362, 583. 00 generated in the corresponding period of 2012. Briefing journalists on the performance record of the command in Lagos yesterday, the Controller, Mr. Tajudeen


Olanrewaju confirmed that the commands revenue was affected by the sudden pull out of Maersk Line from the PTML terminal. According to him, the pull out necessitated as a result of the shallow depth of the waters at the PTML terminal which does not allow for bigger vessels. In spite of the lower cargo throughput to the command, Olanrewaju said that it has continued to strive to sustain increased revenue. “This figure is significant in the

sense that there has been a drop in the number of cargo coming into the command especially with the withdrawal of Maersk line shipping company from the command” he noted. He said that the command has been able to suppress smuggling except for some isolated cases. In the period under review, the CAC said that six vehicles and four containers were impounded due to falsification of document and unauthorized use of officer’s password.

to small scale enterprises dropped at an exponential rate. Analysis of the annual trend in the share of commercial bank credit to smallscale industries indicates a decline from about 7.5 per cent in 2003 to less than 1% in 2006 and a further decline in 2012 to 0.14 per cent”, Sanusi said. He said many reasons had been attributed to financial gap existing in the sector. “The banks readily attribute their risk aversion stance for not lending to MSMEs to demand-side constraints, which include the lack of managerial capacity, inadequate collateral, and poor record keeping, amongst others. However, there also exist supply-side issues such as high transaction costs and lack of understanding by the banks of the nature and operations of MSMEs. Other constraints plaguing the MSME sub-sector in Nigeria include infrastructure deficit (especially, power and transport), policy inconsistencies, bureaucracy, multiple taxation and levies, weak intellectual property protection and contract enforcement, and insecurity”.

ABUCCIMA to provide exotic tents for 8th Trade Fair, says D-G - Pg 22 Exchange Rates CBN

as at 15th August, 2013




















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Keep people from feeling left out


ocial rejection is hard in any setting, including at the office. When people feel excluded, they can’t be productive, innovative, or collaborative. As a manager you need to create a work environment that discourages rejection. Here’s how: Prime the room for trust. To downplay hierarchies, start meetings by stating that all viewpoints are welcomed and valued. This will ease fear of rejection and put people into a

more collaborative state of mind. Start with a shared reality. Send agenda items out before a meeting or give team members an article to read – and ask them for input. This signals that you care about what they think. Encourage candor and caring. Use open, non-judgmental language and listen with respect in all conversations. Thank people for sharing, and make sure that there are no negative repercussions for doing so.


Commerce&industry Company News

MTN Group records 200 million subscriber base


he MTN Group has achieved its 200 millionth subscriber milestone. The firm said in a statement on Wednesday that the 200 million subscriber mark came a year before its celebration of 20 years of connecting people and economies from South Africa (the launch pad) to South Sudan, its most recent market. It also announced its…

Nigeria loses N24bn annually to vessel delay – Report


he cost of doing business at the nation’s ports remains high despite the reduction in the number of security agencies operating there from 14 to eight about two years ago. For instance, the Chief Executive Officer, Ships and Ports, Mr. Bolaji Akinola, said on Wednesday that Nigeria was losing about N24bn annually due to the…


Nigerian Shippers Council set to tackle high port charges N From Dapo Olalekan Lagos

ot satisfied with the excesses of terminal operators and shipping companies in the maritime sector, the Nigerian Shippers are consulting with big wigs in the freight forwarding sector to find a permanent solution to the challenges confronting the sector. One of the major focuses of the meeting was how to solve the problems of high cost of doing business at Nigerian ports caused by the excesses of shipping companies and terminal operators. Speaking at the meeting, the Executive Secretary of the Shippers Council, Barrister Hassan Bello stated that the main objective of the gathering was to find ways of improving the

operational performance of the ports and make it efficient, cost effective and safe. He noted that complaints from port users have continued to increase even as he said that the port concession exercise has not been able to bring down the high cost of trading at Nigerian ports. “Studies carried out support the fact that cost has continued to escalate while patronage of neighboring ports by Nigerian shippers continue to increase, thus denying the Federal Government much needed revenue from the port industry” he said. Also speaking, the Director of Commercial Shipping Services of the Council, Mrs Dabney Shalholmer solicited the cooperation of the stakeholders in implementing the outcome of the brainstorming

session. “We sincerely believe that you are the key that will open the industry to success, without you as seated around this table, this industry will not move well, we have been in this industry long enough to realize that just a single session of people seating here can scuttle whatever policy released by government, so we need your support and collaboration” Even though the media was excluded from the meeting, but addressing journalist on the resolution of the meeting, Barrister Hassan Bello assured that the council is ready to take the bull by the horn in ensuring that its laws on charges negotiation is enforced. He said that henceforth, there will be sanctions for companies found to be billing shippers unnecessarily.

“The laws also provide for sanctions and these will be metted out accordingly because the transport cost must be sanitized, the whole essence of port reforms is to bring down cost” he maintained. Stakeholders in attendance includes the National president of ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, his NAGAFF counterpart, Eugene, Nweke, President of National Council of Managing Directors, Mr. Lucky Amiwero as well as the founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam. Others were; the Chief Executive Officer of the CRFFN, Sir Mike Jukwe, chief executive officer of Multitrade Limited, Alhaji Al hassan Dantata as well as the Secretary of the Lagos Shippers Association, Mr. Jonathan Nicole.

‘Banks’ reliance on public funds killing private sector’


he House of Representatives on Wednesday criticised the over-reliance on public sector funds by commercial banks in the country. The House Committee on Banking and Currency noted that most banks had abandoned the private sector while chasing government funds, which they considered as “cash cow.” The Chairman of the committee, Mr. ChukwudiJones Onyereri, said in…

Intervention funds: BoI disburses N517bn to beneficiaries


he Bank of Industry has so far disbursed N517bn to key sectors of the economy under the Federal Government’s intervention programme, a presentation detailing the bank’s operation since inception has revealed. Some of the sectors where interventions have been made are manufacturing; power; aviation; cotton; textile and garment; agriculture; automotive industry and cement

We’ll reduce recurrent expenditure to 68.7% —Sambo


ice-President Namadi Sambo on Tuesday said recurrent expenditure in the 2013 budget would be reduced to 68.7 per cent from the 71.5 per cent recorded last year. He said in Minna, the Niger State capital while declaring open the National Council on Finance and Economic Development that the government’s expenditure was expected to grow by…

L-R: Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Wilsher, Head, High Value Events and Sponsorships, Etisalat Nigeria, Ebi Atawodi, Afro Juju icon, Sir Shina Peters, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steve Evans, and R&B Singer, Seyi Shay, during the Lagos edition of Etisalat Cloud 9 Music Platform, recently at Villa Meddici, Victoria Island, in Lagos. . PHOTO: Olawale Rotimi

SMEDAN, Japanese firm plan vehicle recycling plant in Abuja A’isha Bolaji Raji he Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and the Kaiho Sangyo Japan have begun discussions on the proposal for conversion of the Industrial Development Centre (IDC) at the Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja, to a vehicle recycling plant. The Industrial Development Centre was one of the 23 established by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment as a business incubation center and Industrial Park, but have remained largely under-utilized over the years. The proposed vehicle recycling


plant is expected to recycle entirely end-of-life vehicles to be turned into three kinds of steel namely, metal, aluminum and copper, which will then be converted into motor body and spare parts in the nearest future. Speaking on behalf of Kaiho Sangyo Japan, the Project Consultant and Team Leader, Mr. Masayoshi Matsushita said that while he was working with United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Nigeria, he noticed that a lot of dead and abandoned vehicles littered most nooks and crannies of the country and they were an eyesore and could contaminate the environment. “I saw the waste emanating from

these end-of-life vehicles hanging around the whole place, I decided that something good could come out of these comatose automobiles which cumulatively numbered about 400,000 in the whole country and about 8000 in the FCT alone. We went into partnership with the Abuja Investment Company on the development of this project. With the help of UNIDO and JICA, we were able to come up with this company to delve into automobile recycling of ELVs”, said Matsushita. Responding to request, the DirectorGeneral of SMEDAN, Alhaji Bature Umar Masari reiterated the desire and readiness of the Agency to support any good venture that would

bring about development of MSMEs and creation of job for the youth. Umar disclosed that the Agency would explore any opportunity of using the IDC facility for the good of the nation. “We have noted the potentiality of the venture, it is in line with the spirit of Private Public Partnership that will make Nigeria great; we shall deliberate and work with you on the modalities to be followed to arrive at a logical conclusion, we have presently other international companies inspecting some of the IDCs around the country to ascertain their viability and possible investment into them”, the DirectorGeneral stressed.



Tax alert

Tax implication of the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)-Frank Obaro In line with section 8 of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Establishment Act 2007, FIRS issued a draft circular in October 2012 to provide direction to stakeholders on the tax implications of the adoption of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS is expected to far have reaching implications on taxpayers, knowing that quoted companies are expected to adopt it, beginning from 2012, other businesses from 2013 while SMEs are to fully adopt the guidelines in 2014. an entity to do the following in the opening IFRS statement of financial position that it prepares as a starting point for its accounting under IFRS:(a) recognise all assets and liabilities whose recognition is required by IFRSs; (b) not recognise items as assets or liabilities if IFRS do not permit such recognition. (a) reclassify items that it recognised in accordance with previous GAAP as one type of asset, liability or component of equity, but are a different type of asset, liability or component of equity in accordance with IFRSs; and (d) apply IFRS in measuring all recognised assets and liabilities”. FIRS draft guidelines emphasize that the new net asset based on the accounting balance shall be adopted for minimum tax computation and where dividend is paid from retained earnings, it shall be subject to tax in line with section 19 of CITA. Also the details of recognitions, derecognitions and reconciliation must be forwarded to FIRS by the taxpayer including all adjustments to opening retained earnings. Furthermore entities shall have the option to either completely expense or spread within 3 years the revenue expense component of its cost of conversion to IFRS as first time adopters. All conversion cost (Capital & Revenue) must be verified and confirmed by the Service before it can be allowed as Qualified Capital Expenditure or expense. While any

FIRS–Revenus House


hese is to give effect to the Federal Executive Council’s acceptance of the recommendation of the Committee on the roadmap for the adoption of IFRS in Nigeria, which places emphasis on the adoption of globally accepted accounting standards by reporting entities. The adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in a phased transition in a process is to be supervised by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria(FRCN) formerly Nigerian Accounting Standards Board (NASB), under the supervision of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment. Section 55 (1) of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Cap C21,

LFN 2004 requires a company filing a return to submit its audited account with the Service while sections 8, 52 and 53 of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria Act, 2011 gave effect to the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standard. This implies that the audited accounts to be submitted to the Service after the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standard shall be prepared in compliance with standards issued by IFRS. It is in line with the above that FIRS has published these draft guidelines on tax treatments to be given to each of the Standards especially where there are deviations from the present Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) after the adoption. The objective

is to highlight some salient points in the FIRS draft policy document in alignment with the IFRS guidelines. IFRS 1 FIRST TIME ADOPTION -An entity shall prepare and present an opening IFRS statement of financial position at the date of transition to IFRS. This is the starting point for its accounting in accordance with IFRS. An entity shall use the same accounting policies in its opening IFRS statement of financial position and throughout all periods presented in its first IFRS financial statements. Those accounting policies shall comply with each IFRS effective at the end of its first IFRS reporting period. In particular, the IFRS requires

Alhaji Kabir Mashi, Ag. Eexcutive Chairman, FIRS




ABUCCIMA to provide exotic tents for 8th Trade Fair, says D-G T

he Abuja Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA) says it will provide “exotic tents’’ for exhibitors at the forthcoming Eight Abuja International Trade Fair. The fair will hold between Sept. 26 and Oct. 10 at the Jeremiah Useni International Trade Fair Complex, Airport Road, Abuja. Director-General of the chamber, Mr Joe Wenegieme, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. He said the tents, measuring 2,125 square metres and with capacity to accommodate 156 exhibitors,

would be brought from China. “We have bought these exotic exhibition tents from China; we will be clearing the very soon. I have received the bill of laden from the supplier. “Unlike previous years when exhibitors were made to construct their own temporary wooden stands, we have placed orders for exotic exhibition tents from China. Wenegieme described as encouraging, responses from countries, state governments, corporate oganisations and other prospective participants to the chamber’s invitation.

He said that Germany, China, India, Indonesia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, among others, had expressed their interest in participating in the fair. “China has confirmed its participation, 26 companies are coming from Taiwan. Ghana has also confirmed its participation and 65 companies are expected from that country. “In fact, the responses are trickling in and we look forward to a wonderful fair this year,’’ he said. The director-general identified finance and electricity as the major challenges facing the chamber in

the build up to the fair. “We decided to hold the event at the Jeremiah Useni International Trade Fair ground, instead of the Old Parade Ground. “And as you can see, the network of roads and drain system within the complex need serious maintenance and this costs a lot of money. “There is also the challenge of poor power supply, but ABUCCIMA has made provision for a standby electricity generating set. “I am quite optimistic that these challenges would be addressed before the fair begins,’’ Wenegieme said. (NAN)

L-R: Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Alhaji Bature Masari, presenting cash award of N500, 000 to the Nigerian team that won the Students for Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) World Cup 2013 competition, on Wednesday in Abuja. PHOTO: NAN

Africa prudential acquires UAC Registrars plc From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos Africa Prudential Registrars Plc (APR), a leader in the Nigerian share registration industry has acquired UAC Registrars in a landmark acquisition described by stakeholders as representing a mjor millstone. The Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA) between Africa Prudential Registrars and UAC of Nigeria Plc was executed by both parties at the corporate head office of UAC of Nigeria Plc in Lagos. Thedeal will integrate the resources of both companies and drive the deployment of even more robust information technology platforms to further

reduce operating expenses and increase overall profitability. Speaking after the transaction signing ceremony, Chief (Mrs.) Eniola Fadayomi, Chairman of Africa Prudential Registrars Plc, explained that the acquisition was part of the company’s strategy to achieve dominance in the share registration business in Nigeria. “Africa Prudential Registrars Plc is a thoroughbred in this sector. It has close to four decades of share registration experience in the Nigerian Capital Market, and is ranked number one in terms of automation and innovation among corporate registrars in Nigeria. The acquisition is part of our business expansion and growth strategy to deliver value to

all our stakeholders.” Mr. Peter Ashade, Managing Director/CEO of Africa Prudential Registrars Plc added; “In addition to championing the consolidation of Nigeria’s share registration industry, we are also driving improved service delivery in the country’s Capital Markets, and opening up new frontiers to deliver value-added returns to investors. We complement traditional registration with e-share registration. This has helped grow our clientele base from 17 companies at the end of 2006 to over 32 in 2013.” UAC Registrars currently manages the registers of six client companies, including UAC of Nigeria Plc (uacnplc). In addition,

the acquisition will open up new opportunities for the entity, not only in Nigeria, but across the African continent. Africa Prudential Registrars which has several local and international investors, the most prominent of which is Heirs Holdings, the panAfrican investment company is the first and only share register administration firm to be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). UAC Registrars Limited was formerly a wholly owned subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc and a Capital Market Registrar. It is licensed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to perform share registration functions.

Lagos ex– commissioner assumes duty as FirstBank ED By A’sha Bolaji Raji


irst Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the appointment of Mr. Adetokunbo Mukhail Abiru as Executive Director, subject to the approval of Central Bank of Nigeria. He will drive the Corporate Banking business of the Bank, First Bank said yesterday in a statement. Abiru, until recently was Lagos State Commissioner for Finance. The bank said his appointment is geared towards enriching the capacity of the Executive Management and Board, by deepening specialization and strengthening the corporate governance culture. He is a Chartered Accountant and seasoned banker who is coming on the board with his varied skills and well-rounded work experience in both public and private sectors. “I am pleased to welcome Tokunbo back to the FirstBank family. His track record while he was here as the Group Head, Corporate Banking and as finance commissioner in Lagos State typify FirstBank’s value system which is anchored on dependability, entrepreneurship, integrity, resilience, dynamism, and service excellence. I have no doubt that the experience garnered while on Leave of Absence in Lagos State public service, though brief, will have the expected impact in his new responsibility as we make progress with the Bank’s focused transformation for sustainable growth”, said Bisi Onasanya, FirstBank’s GMD/CEO. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (FCA) and Honorary Senior Member, The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (HCIB) with extensive experience in banking and consulting spanning over 20 years, Abiru holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Lagos State University. He also attended various executive management programmes in top rated business schools including Lagos Business School and Harvard Business School. His working career spans stints at Akintola Williams & Co (Chartered Accountants) and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. He joined FirstBank in 2004 and was at various times the relationship Team Leader, Retail Banking; Business Development Manager, Lagos (Ikeja1); and Group Head, Corporate Banking.



Stock Watch

Report as at Thursday, August 15, 2013




Special Report

Fighting malnutrition among Nigerian children By Shittu Ahmed Obasa


he World Food Programme (WEP) defines nutrition as: “The sum total of the processes involved in the taking in and utilisation of substances by which growth, repair, and maintenance of the body are done.” It went further to state that nutrition provides all the important elements that all living things need for life. Nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables are said to contain all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body. On the other hand, malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an imbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, (too high an intake) or in the wrong manner. In the Third World countries such as Nigeria it is the dearth of intake of the much needed nutrients that is very much rampant. Health analysts say malnutrition sets in, when a person is not getting enough food or not getting the right sort of food. According to the United Nations’ Standing Committee on Nutrition Malnutrition is the largest contributor to disease. Malnutrition at the early age is said to lead reduced physical and mental development during childhood. The Fifth report on World Nutrition Situation says, “Stunting, for example, affects 147 million pre-schoolers in developing countries”. And Nigeria is said to account for 10 million of such children. Dr. Davis Omotola, the UNICEF Chief of Nutrition in Nigeria, contended that no responsible parent would want to see his or her child die from an avoidable cause. But, poverty, ignorance, cultural inhibitions, religious beliefs, stiff resistance to childspacing measures, preferential treatment of the boy to the girl are said to have compounded the plight of children in the communities where SAM has become endemic. He expressed worry about the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in Nigeria’s Sahelian region, stretching from Sokoto to Borno. Pockets of high burden areas include Katsina, Kebbi, and Zamfara. He said donations from the international community were required to stem the problem that has pervaded the states sharing borders with Niger Republic. Omotola listed the states as Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara Experts In National Food and Nutrition Survey are coming to grip with the fact that poverty and ignorance are

twin factors are constituting a great impediment to the efforts of international agencies such as UNICEF to save no less than one million of lives children by 2015 in Nigeria. The concerted effort at improving the nutritional status of infants and young persons by both international agencies and domestic non-governmental organisations is said to be under threat owing to wide spread incidents of wasting, stunting and severe acute malnutrition among children in the Sahelian parts. Stakeholders now deem it necessary to exchange innovative and good practices in nutrition, discuss integration and way forward for complementality and ownership of nutrition services in many states for evidence-based results as well as sustainability of the measures put in place to address critical cases of malnutrition in the states confronting severe acute malnutrition. They also are strong in their conviction that the establishment of Committees on Food and Nutrition at the three tiers of government in Nigeria is key to moving the issue of nutrition from back-burner to front-burner in national discourse. But it is the criticality and functionality of the committees that are more often ignored by the policy makers in the nutrition development in the states located in the semi-arid region or those sharing borders with the Sahel where famine and drought are recurring once the quantity of their annual rainfall reduces much more than expected. The criticality of the role of government in rehabilitating the hundreds of thousands of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, wasting and stunting cannot therefore be

The unprecedented humanitarian effort in 2012 mitigated the food crisis and saved the lives of over a million severely malnourished children like these. overstressed, given the varying dimensions of these problems which are currently plaguing states such as Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara. The Nutrition Specialist in the C Field Office of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Dr Florence Oni , told a stakeholder’s meeting on food and nutrition held in Ilorin on July 30, 2013 that malnutrition was the major cause of 53 pre cent of infant mortality and

yet only three states under her jurisdiction had deemed it fit to have budgetary allocations on nutrition activities, much less funding Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition(CMAM) centres in their worst hit communities. She gave out some statistics that no fewer than three states under her jurisdiction have what she termed “non-cure rate malnutrition.” Zamfara has 29.1 per cent followed by Katsina managing 7.9 per cent. The third state was not mentioned may be owing to its demonstration of commitment to surmounting the seeming insurmountable by disbursing more than N100 million within the space of two years on CMAM. She mentioned Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states as the three states that have actually seized the initiative to earmark some money in their annual budgets specifically for their state Committees on Food and Nutrition (SCFN) to implement their work plan in view of the severity of malnutrition in their respective areas. Stressing the need for other states to take their cue from the examples of the aforementioned three states, she praised the governments of the three states for their bold initiative and taking the right step in the right direction. She said

the action of the three states should be sustained as there is imperativeness of giving cash backing within available resources to the approvals emanating from the offices of the state chief executives. She noted the outcome of meeting, which ought to have influenced several states’ Houses of Assembly’s deliberations on 2013 budget, never held until July when the budget estimates had already been scrutinised, passed and signed into law. The delay in convening the meeting, according to her, was largely due to the fact that the2013 UNICEF’s programme is in “a bridge year “. During such a year, the agency’s new country representative assumes duty. The development accounts for the delay in the signing of Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA) between UNICEF and the various state governments interested in partnering with the international agency. She called on the state nutrition officers to intensify the use of evidence based reports as an essential tool for advocacy on malnutrition in order to convince the policy makers, citing her experience in Kebbi State as a good example. “Let us use what is available in our environment as advocacy

tools. If people know how to demand for their rights things will not be the same in Nigeria,” she emphasised She observed that there can be a positive change in the situation of malnourished if stakeholders including NGOs push hard enough. “We have challenges and we accept that we have challenges and that is the only way we can makes”, she enthused. She placed a high premium on access to knowledge and information, saying the media must step up their sensitisation of parents at the grassroots to treat every child as important. Dr Oni identified the Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Sama’ila Mera as an indefatigable ‘Champion of Nutrition’, as he single-handedly

secured N35 million from Kebbi state government for nutrition in the state. According to her, the emir is now duly recognised as one of the three national champions. The others are the Asagba of Asaba, Professor Chike Edozien and the wife of the Second Republic Senate President, Mrs. Marian Wayas. The Nutrition Officer in Katsina state , Hajiya Rabi Mohammed, said the delay in the signing of the PIA had stultified the activities of the state Committee on Food and Nutrition, adding that the government placed a high premium on the PIA’ signing which serves as the much needed tonic to ginger it into action. She further said if the PIA had been signed much earlier in the

year the government would have deemed fit to make a budgetary provision for nutrition activities like the other three states now operating a budgetary line for nutrition activities. Incidentally, the Katsina state Committee Food and Nutrition received in audience its Sokoto State counterpart which has just been given N 10 million in 2013 budget for its activities. The visit, which was geared towards experience-sharing was said to have gone a long way in assisting Sokoto state in the effort to map out its own strategies in tackling the challenges of severe acute malnutrition manifest in the border communities. The Nutrition Officer in Sokoto state, Malam Hamza Abdullahi explained that the experience-sharing tour spanned two other states, namely: Kebbi and Kaduna. The choice of Kaduna for such a tour stunned many participants at the justconcluded meeting because the showing from Kaduna was indeed not impressive. According to the Assistant Nutrition Officer in Kaduna state, Mrs. Jane Gwani, their poor outing at the meeting was caused by internal problems. Accusing fingers were directing at the relevant director in the Ministry of Economic Planning as being the cog in the wheel of progress as the activities of the state Committee on Food and Nutrition remain in the lull since he resumed duty. Dr Oni also recalled an instance when she and the

director in question exchanged hot words on the inactivity of SCFN at a meeting organised for policy makers and top government officials including directors of planning, recently. Before now, Kaduna State used to be a role model for the other seven states in the C Field Office of UNICEF and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Then, the director of planning , Mrs. Ladi Tanko Kokwain was very pushful and highly resourceful in getting things done, with funds being made available for SCFN’s activities as and when due. The nutrition situation in Nigeria is improving at a snail speed and the position of the C Field Office states is indicative that malnutrition stands in the way of attaining the Millennium Development Goal Four, targetting reduction in infant mortality by more than half. Virtually, the reports from Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states lend credence to the above observation as the plumpy nuts and the Ready to Use Therapeutic Food needed at the rehabilitation centres in the affected states are no longer in regular supply and the distance between the centres and some of the communities is a disincentive to many mothers coming from border areas. It is only reasonable that more of the rehabilitation centres are set up to reduce the rate of defaulters among the rural dwellers. But the Nutrition Officer in Zamfara,

Malam Sama’ila Bakwai opines that the existing centres are still yearning for adequate attention as well as resources to manage them properly and that any attempt to increase the number would only worsen their current plights. Obvious it is from all indications that the donor agencies are now showing fatigue in their responses to the situations in the high burden states and are alluding to the need for the governments in the states to show more commitment to owning nutrition services rendered to their citizens by pumping more money into the

development of nutrition. Abject poverty among the lower strata of Nigerian society coupled with wide spread ignorance among parents regarding the basic needs of children under the age of five years are drawbacks to several gestures from nongovernmental organisations and international development partners showing concern to the plight of children suffering from various forms of malnutrition. Shittu Ahmed Obasa wrote from Abuja and is a member of our Editorial Board

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

Health analysts say malnutrition sets in, when a person is not getting enough food or not getting the right sort of food

Failing to act now will condemn thousands of children to die needlessly every year and for millions of others to left physically and mentally stunted




10 signs of accepted Ramadan A

llah says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you As it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) selfrestraint,-”[al-Baqarah: 183]. Sufyan ibn Abdillaah (Rd) said: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam, which I cannot ask anyone else besides you.” He said: “Say: ‘I believe in Allah’ and then be steadfast (upon that).” [Muslim Hadith no. 38] In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. All Praise is due to Allah! We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our evils and bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and final messenger to mankind. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon His last and final Apostle, his Household, his companions and all his followers until the end of time. The ayah quoted above puts in simple terms the essence of fasting the month of Ramadan; “... that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-” [alBaqarah: 183] According to Wordweb Dictionary, self-restraint means, “exhibiting restraint imposed on the self or lessen the intensity of; temper; hold in restraint; hold or keep within limits’’ But, according to Islam’s dictionary, self-restraint means doing and saying all the dos, as well as avoiding all the don’ts which can prevent one from the torment of hell-fire in the next world. Thus, Ramadan is a period in which Muslims are extensively trained for complete one month to learn and keep for life ways, methods and tactics of retraining themselves from falling into the webs of Satan, the coursed one. It is a period in which Muslims are moulded to fit the specified traits, habits and manners which Islam stands for. That is to say anything short of that will be a clear sign of rejection and dismissal. A complete change of behaviours and attitudes from the bad ones prior to the commencement of the fasting, throughout Ramadan and upon completion. This is because the essence of fasting is to attain total forgiveness from all previous sins and moral deficiency, as well as mercy and salvation from the hell-fire. In other words if one knew of having of any awful manner or social paucity that has been disturbing him, such as illicit sexual indulgence, alcohol consumption or drug addiction, backbiting, slandering and infighting, one should try as much as possible to effect a positive transformation and completely depart from such. Such doing signifies one’s acceptance of any act of worship. For simple classification of one’s Ramadan fast in order to know the right group ones belongs are as follows: 1. Becoming positive in the

performance of the five daily one’s attitude. prayers on their appointed times Allah says: “And cover not truth and especially in congregation is a with falsehood, nor conceal the very good evidence of rightness of truth when ye know (what it is).” one’s hajj. [al-Baqarah: 42] 2. Allah says: “(O Prophet), recite “And do not eat up your the Book that has been revealed property among yourselves for to you and establish prayers. vanities, nor use it As bait for the Surely prayers forbids indecency and evil. And Allah’s remembrance is of even greater merit. Allah knows all that you do”. [al-Ankabut: 45] By Husain Zakariyya 3. Fulfilment of Yawale pledges as against empty promises +234-8052952900 (sms only) and unfulfilled commitment. Unfortunately defaulting pledges and oaths have judges, with intent that ye may eat become universal and regular up wrongfully and knowingly a habits of especially third world Little of (other) people’s property.” politicians and their electorates. [al-Baqarah: 188] But, after a successful completion “Ye people of the Book! why do of Ramadan fasting, there should ye clothe truth with falsehood, and not be deliberate uttering of ‘white conceal the truth, while ye have lies’ by any Muslim politician to knowledge?” [al-Imran: 71]

and realise (it) not! In their hearts is a disease; and Allah has increased their disease: and grievous is the penalty They (incur), because They are false (to themselves). When it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” They say: “Why, we only Want to make peace!”. Of a surety, They are the ones who make mischief, but They realise (it) not. When it is said to them: “Believe As the others believe:” They say: “Shall we believe As the fools believe?” Nay, of a surety They are the fools, but They do not know. When They meet those who believe, They say: “We believe;” but when They are alone with their evil ones, They say: “We are really with you: we (were) only jesting.” Allah will throw back their mockery on them, and give them

“O ye who believe! eat not up your property among yourselves In vanities: but let there be amongst you traffic and trade by mutual good-will: nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for Verily Allah hath been to you Most Merciful!” [anNisa’: 29] 5. Hypocrisy has never for once been any part of a believer’s traits. Its cocktail of social detestable attitudes includes insistence lies, customary dishonesty, habitual betrayal of trusts and regular confrontation even when amicable resolution has been achieved. When any of these despicable behaviours ceases to characterize ‘ramadanites’ daily attributes, then such a person deserves from fellow Muslims readmission into fold of believers again! Allah has extensively expose the hypocrites in the following verses, thus: “Of the people there are some who say: “We believe In Allah and the Last Day;” but They do not (really) believe. Fain would They deceive Allah and those who believe, but They only deceive themselves,

rope In their trespasses; so They will wander like blind ones (to and fro). These are They who have bartered guidance for error: but their traffic is profitless, and They have lost true direction.” [al-Baqarah: 8-16] 6. Dedication and commitment to the performance of one’s routine religious duties in their various degrees of importance and magnitude. Taking over religious enthusiasm of the once restrained and disinterest in religious activities, is a good sign of acceptable Ramadan. Allah says: “Who believe In the Unseen, are steadfast In prayer, and spend out of what we have provided for them. And who believe In the Revelation sent to thee, and sent before Thy time, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.” [alBaqarah: 3-5] Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported that the Apostle of Allah said: “Four traits whoever possesses them is a hypocrite and whoever possesses some of them has an element of


their electorates, subordinates and followers. Breaking of promises and contracts for no shariac reasons, are clear sign of rejected Ramadan fast. Allah says: “Those who break Allah’s Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what Allah has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: these cause loss (only) to themselves.’’[al-Baqarag: 27] “Is it not (the case) that every time They make a covenant, some party among them throw it aside?Nay, Most of them are faithless.” [al-BAqarah: 100] “But those who break the Covenant of Allah, after having plighted their word thereto, and cut asunder those things which Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief In the land;- on them is the curse; for them is the terrible home!” [Ar-Ra’ad: 25] 4. Cheating of all sorts is forbidden at any moment of one’s life. Thus, when a returnee from hajj stills swindle, defrauds and bamboozles, that means the hajj was defective. That is to say an accepted hajj leaves no blames in

hypocrisy until he leaves it: the one who when he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise, when he disputes he transgresses and when he makes an agreement he violates it.” [Muslim and Bukhari] 7. Demonstrating and sustenance of compassionate relationship with siblings by helping the weak and sick among them as well as reconciling the aggrieved ones. This deed is a vital means of acquiring and winning the mercy of Allah in both worlds. Allah says: “It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe In Allah and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast In prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, In pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. such are the people of truth, the Allahfearing.” [al-Baqarah: 177] 8. Positive active participation in communal religious and social advancement for collective benefits without waiting for praise from the community. Sharing both the gains and pains of your immediate neighbourhood, in an effort to promote mutual trusts, intraharmony and reciprocal obligations. 9. Among the most credible indications of an acceptable Ramadan is the sensation of the sweetness and lovability of credence and the consciousness of inner contentment during and after performing any act of worship rightly or putting forward of any sacrifice aimed at attainment Allah’s gratification and commendation. There is that feeling satisfaction and happiness emanating from the heart, despite one’s worldly worries and uncertainties. Indeed despite all tribulations around haunting all, everywhere! 10. Periodic fasting should be sustained all the year round. Fasting of the Mondays and Thursdays, the 13th., 14th. and 15th. of every month, the Tasu’a and Ashura, the Arafat day and the infamous six Shawwal should routinely observed as much as possible. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Fear Allah wherever you are, follow up the evil deed with good one, it will remove it and relate with people with good conduct.” [At-Tirmidhi] Therefore, let those who are unwavering to go back to sins after Ramadan know that Allah is always pleased with those who obey Him not considering the month the obedience takes place and is angry with those who disobey Him irrespective of the month the disobedience takes place. The essence of prosperity does not merely lies in long life alone, but interwoven with good deeds. A person’s continuation of good deeds without restricting it to a certain period, particular day, month or special place is a sign of one’s righteousness and acceptance of his good deeds.




Who will pick up the pieces in Egypt? ANALYSIS

By Daniel Levy


t will take time for a more accurate picture to emerge of the events that have begun on August 14, but it is a day that will go down as a watershed moment, and a very bloody one, in the Egyptian upheavals of the early 21st Century - start date: January 25, 2011; end date: unknown. How events unfolded, the numbers of dead, injured and arrested will all be contested. The official version, that of the post-coup military led regime, will be the one that most Egyptians hear through their own media, a media increasingly reminiscent of the Mubarak era. The crackdown when it arrived was sudden, disproportionate and cruel, not the gradual siege and squeeze foretold in official leaks, which now seem to have been part of an intentional misinformation campaign. The first thing to acknowledge is that we are in just year three of what will inevitably be a period of transition and upheaval spread across multiple years if not decades. The next period of political contestation will continue to be a harsh and imbalanced one, with brotherhood supporters being targeted nationwide in what is a very unevenly matched struggle, given the resources at the disposal of the regime. Solidarity protests, crackdowns and mass arrests have begun across many parts of Egypt from Alexandria and the Suez to Aswan. The Sinai was already emerging as a lawless space. Egypt’s longspluttering economy will be another victim, even factoring for billions in assistance from the likeminded Gulf dictatorships and resources withheld from within the state bureaucracy during the brief Morsi presidency (such as the power outages that miraculously ceased post-coup). Egyptian society, previously deeply divided, is now in a place of unprecedented polarisation. The key breaking point for the anyway fragile democratic transition was not of President Morsi’s doing (with his assumption of new powers, imperfect constitutional process and referendum, or political tone deafness). Rather it came on July 3 when the military deposed a democratically elected president, even if it put in place the sham spectacle of a civilian government (from which Vice-President ElBaradei has now resigned in a rare act of dignity).From that moment on Egypt’s upheaval had entered a new phase. What were previously three camps with at least a degree of checks and balances - the military, the brotherhood, and the Tahrir protesters - then collapsed into a binary choice, as the majority of the third camp abandoned democracy and embraced a military coup. Since June 30 any common ground whatsoever has proved to be unsurprisingly elusive. Offers of inclusivity towards the Brotherhood on the part of the

Scenes during the bloody crackdown on Pro Mursi supporters. Coup’ist regime rang very hollow when the deposed president and political leadership were still in detention and with their faith in the democratic process decimated. Democracy for everyone except Islamists doesn’t really cut the mustard and there is every sign of this having been a systematic and planned campaign of political persecution against the Brotherhood. After yesterday inclusivity is meaningless. Defenders of the new regime will no doubt tell us that brotherhood supporters have expressed a willingness to sacrifice themselves and might hope that the pro-Morsi camps references to martyrdom will spook a Western audience. But a willingness to pay the ultimate price for one’s principles (including in this case the legitimacy of an election) is not the same as desiring death, and in other times and other places we have tended to look upon such sacrifice as a noble cause. We have also been told that democracy and political Islam are incompatible. But the proof from Egypt and elsewhere is far from conclusive, in fact the

brotherhood have on balance probably been better democrats than the more Westernised secular political forces. It is the bloody crackdown on the brotherhood which threatens to make the incompatibility argument a selffulfilling prophecy. The Brotherhood’s embrace of the democratic process has evolved over decades of interaction with the political realities of authoritarianism in Egypt and elsewhere and of lessons learnt from the costs, including personal, of pursuing violent struggle. The current cohort of Brotherhood leaders are in no hurry to abandon politics and embrace violence. Still, the more this becomes an existential struggle and a regionwide attempt to definitively crush the Brotherhood by any means, the more difficult it will be to maintain discipline within the ranks. Anyway, there are more radicalised Islamist elements who do not take their orders from the Brotherhood, some organised within hard-line Salafist groups and many critical of the Brotherhood’s democratic project, who will view this as their opportunity. So an escalation in

violence is to be expected. Sadly this will be music to the ears of some of the coup’s leaders and supporters in Egypt and beyond, as any violent radicalism serves their narrative and justifies their actions as fitting an antiterrorism framing. All of which feeds the disturbing personality cult being built around the leader of the coup, Defence Minister, and Commander in Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Given how polarised Egypt is, and the way in which the Egyptian state is feeding anti-Brotherhood sentiment, al-Sisi’s standing is likely to be further enhanced by the crackdown. It would be a monumental error to view al-Sisi as a transitional leader on the path to democracy. The declaration of a state of emergency and imposition of a curfew add to the evidence that we are witnessing a powerful turn away from not towards democratic politics. Posters have been appearing of General Al-Sisis and former military ruler General Gamal Abdel Nasser. Think of Al-Sisi as, at best, a more empty-suited version of Nasser - subtract the element of authentic belief in pan–Arabism

Defenders of the new regime will no doubt tell us that brotherhood supporters have expressed a willingness to sacrifice themselves and might hope that the proMorsi camps references to martyrdom will spook a Western audience.

and social improvement and replace it with loyalty to the vast commercial interests that the military elite now have in Egypt. These are defining days in the Middle East, and Egypt has always been considered the heart of the Arab world. The region is not only threatened by sectarian divisions between Sunni and Shia but also by the schisms within Sunni Islam, and the increasing trend towards a more literal, authoritarian and radical Salafist interpretation of Islam. The more moderate, democratic and integrationist wing of the Sunni political camp - represented by decades of Brotherhood maturation centred in Egypt - is suffering a heavy set back as a result of the coup and bloody crackdown in Cairo, with region-wide consequences. This is an attempt, with support from parts of the Gulf, to end the Brotherhood experiment in democratic political Islam. There is now the looming prospect of a regional politics in which an emaciated group of democratic Islamists argue with an even more emaciated group of secular democrats (not to be confused with the nondemocrats at Tahrir who supported the military coup) - on twitter, in prison and in exile - over who is more to blame for a political reality in which violent authoritarians slug it out with militant religious obscurantists. Long after the dust settles over the al-Nahda and Rabaa squares and the blood is mopped away, the world of Sunni Islam might still be picking up the pieces. Source: Al Jazeera.



International Muslim brotherhood defiant, plans Cairo march


upporters of Egypt’s deposed president Mohamed Mursi plan to march in the capital, Cairo, and reiterated that they are committed to peaceful struggle one day after hundreds of their supporters were killed in a bloody crackdown. “Marches are planned this afternoon from al-Iman mosque to protest the deaths,” a coalition of Mursi’s supporters said in a statement on Thursday, referring to a mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City neighbourhood. World leaders condemned the attack on protesters who had been camped out for nearly seven weeks calling for the reinstatement of Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president. He was deposed by the army on July 3. “We will always be non-violent and peaceful. We remain strong, defiant and resolved,” Brotherhood spokesman Gehad el-Haddad wrote on his Twitter feed. “We will push [forward] until we bring down this military coup,” he added. Protests erupted nationwide after the Cairo crackdown, and at least 525

people were killed across the country, according to official statistics. An Egyptian health ministry spokesman, Khaled el-Khateeb, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the number of injured in the previous day’s violence had risen to 3,572. Al Jazeera’s Jane Ferguson reporting from the Iman Mosque in Cairo’s Nasr City, said: “There are absolutely horrific scenes here just as funerals begin. The bodies are all

across the floor surrounded by bloody shrouds. Lots of relatives crying, lots of anger.” The military-installed government defended the crackdown, saying authorities had no choice but to act. A curfew imposed overnight was relaxed in the morning, and traffic started flowing through the areas where clashes occurred on Wednesday. At the site of one Cairo sit-in,

A group of protesters hurling rocks at security forces

garbage collectors cleared stillsmouldering piles of burnt tents on Thursday. Soldiers dismantled the stage at the heart of the protest camp. A burnt out armoured vehicle stood abandoned in the street. Call for UN debate In Ankara, Turkish prime ministerRecepTayyipErdogan called for the UN Security Council to convene quickly and act after what he described as a massacre in Egypt. “Those who remain silent in the face of this massacre are as guilty as those who carried it out. The UN Security Council must convene quickly,” he said at a news conference. The Muslim Brotherhood has said the true death toll was far higher, with a spokesman saying 2,000 people had been killed in the “massacre”. It was impossible to verify the figures independently given the extent of the violence. The military-installed government has declared a monthlong state of emergency and imposed the dusk-to-dawn curfew on Cairo and 10 other provinces.

Tunisia Islamist chief rejects demand for neutral government


he chairman of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party rejected opposition demands for a non-party government yesterday

and said the experience of Egypt should prompt parties to engage in more dialogue to resolve the country’s crisis.


Ennahda party chairman RachedGhannouchi said he could accept the creation of a national unity government if all political parties were represented, but a cabinet of technicians could not “manage the delicate situation in the country.” Speaking a day after his deputy party leader joined the growing call for non-party rule and Egypt’s military cracked down on backers of deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, he warned the opposition not to speculate about a military coup. Ghannouchi’s decision seemed likely to disappoint opposition parties and the powerful UGTT union federation aligned with them. The opposition parties have said they would negotiate with Ennahda only after it dissolves its Islamist-led

government. “Events in Egypt should push us towards dialogue,” he said, calling Wednesday’s bloody crackdown - in which at least 525 people were killed - “a failure for democracy in Egypt”. “Those who want another alSisi in Tunisia,” he said, referring to Egyptian military leader General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, “should not continue to dream about that”. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the first senior European official to visit Tunisia since the crisis broke out three weeks ago, also called for dialogue and held up Egypt as an example not to be followed. “Tunisia is not Egypt,” he said after a meeting with Prime Minister Ali Larayedh. “Tunisia is on a path of change and what happened in Egypt must not happen in Tunisia.”

administration, said turnout at Sunday’s vote fell slightly to 46 percent from the record level of 49 percent registered in the July 28 first round.

Some 6.8 million Malians were registered to vote. Keita, who captured the public mood with promises to restore the dignity of the once-proud nation, had received the endorsement of 22 of the 25 losing candidates from the July 28 first round.

Keita vows for peace in Mali


brahim Boubacar Keita won Mali’s presidential runoff with 78 percent of the vote, the government said yesterday, giving him a strong mandate to seek peace with northern separatists and for sweeping reforms to the army after a military coup. Former Prime Minister Keita, whose rival SoumailaCisse had already admitted defeat on Monday, has said his first priority will be to forge a lasting peace in northern Mali with Tuareg separatist rebels. Sunday’s vote marked a transition back to democratic rule after the March 2012 coup plunged Mali into turmoil, allowing Islamist insurgents to seize the desert north. A French-led military intervention in January liberated the region. Many in the country’s populous

south, however, are strongly opposed to ceding more autonomy and funds to the northerners, who they blame for the country’s current crisis. Keita also faces huge challenges in reforming the military, tackling widespread corruption and reviving Mali’s ailing economy. His hand will be strengthened by 3.25 billion euros ($4.31 billion) in reconstruction aid pledged at a conference in Brussels in May. “This vote shows that Keita is loved by the people. Now he is the master of his own destiny. He can do what he wants and choose the team that he wants,” said Mariam Diallo, a political campaigner and analyst in Bamako. “But he must be careful not to disappoint the people.” General MoussaSinkoCoulibaly, minister for territorial


Central African Republic serious threat to region – UN


he UN Security Council has warned that the Central African Republic (CAR) poses a “serious threat” to regional stability, following a rebel takeover in March. There has been “a total breakdown in law and order” the Council said. Aid agency Save the Children warned that more than 100,000 children faced sexual abuse and recruitment into armed groups in the country. CAR has gold and diamond deposits but has been unstable since independence. Uganda’s rebel Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has taken advantage of years of unrest in CAR to set up bases in the country. CAR also shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Sudan and South Sudan - all of which are plagued by numerous armed groups. “The country runs the risk of descending into anarchy and chaos,” UN CAR envoy retired Lt Gen Babacar Gaye. Map Fighters from the Seleka coalition which seized power in March, with no chain of command, are said to be sustaining themselves with looting and crime. Gen Gaye said he was worried about plans to absorb some 1,000 former rebels into the police and paramilitary gendarmerie “without prior screening to determine their suitability,” reports the AP news agency. He urged the Security Council to support the African Union’s 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission. About a third of the country’s 4.6 million people need assistance with food, shelter, health care or water, said UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, who recently visited the country. More than 200,000 people have fled their homes and many are living rough in the bush, she said. Michel Djotodia, who seized power from President Francois Bozize when fighters from the Seleka rebel coalition marched into the capital, Bangui, on 24 March 2013, has promised to relinquish power after elections scheduled for 2016.



International Baghdad bomb attacks kill at least 33 – police


yrian rebels said on Thursday they targeted President Bashar al-Assad’s motorcade heading to a Damascus mosque to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, but state television showed him unharmed and the government denied he had been attacked. The Tahrir al-Sham rebel brigade, a unit of the Free Syrian Army, said it fired several artillery shells towards Assad’s convoy in the heart of the capital and that at least some hit their target. If confirmed, the attack would be one of the most direct against Assad in two years of conflict which have pitched mainly Sunni Muslim rebels against the Alawite president. Rebels have targeted Assad’s residences in Damascus and a bombing in the capital last year killed four of his inner circle, but there have been no reports of Assad himself coming under fire. Video footage distributed by the Tahrir al-Sham rebels showed smoke rising from what it said was the Malki district, where Assad and

A vehicle burns at the scene of a car bomb attack in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district. his close aides have homes. Other activists also reported rocket fire into the area. Syria’s government denied the reports. “The news is wholly untrue,” Information Minister Omran Zoabi said. Firas al-Bitar, head of the Tahrir

al-Sham brigade, said his fighters had carried out reconnaissance of the route of Assad’s motorcade and fired 120 mm artillery towards the president’s convoy early on Thursday. “The attack rattled the regime, even if Assad was not hit,” he told Reuters from an undisclosed location

in the capital. “There were two motorcades, one containing Assad and a decoy. We targeted the correct one.” Bitar’s brigade operates mainly in the Ghouta region on the eastern outskirts of the capital. Another official in Tahrir al-Sham said Assad’s forces fired rockets and artillery “like rain” on the region in response to the reported attack. Following the statement, Syrian state television showed footage of Assad praying alongside ministers and other top officials. It said the footage was from Thursday’s Eid prayers at the Anas bin Malek Mosque in Malki. Assad appeared unharmed and smiled at the worshippers as he entered the mosque. Islam Alloush of the Liwa al-Islam, another rebel brigade, told Reuters earlier on Thursday that rebels fired rockets which struck Assad’s motorcade. “Assad was not hit but the information we have based from sources within the regime is that there were casualties within his entourage,” Allooush said. Other activists also reported rockets were fired into the Malki area, which was sealed off by security forces.

Rohingya activist held after Facebook post


n activist has been arrested in Myanmar after posting photos on Facebook from violent clashes between displaced Muslims and security forces in country’s restive state of Rakhine, police and an activist have said. It was not immediately clear what charges Than Shwe, a 29-year-old Rohingya Muslim, would face. A police officer who refused to give his name because he was not authorised to speak to the media said on Wednesday that the man was trying to cause trouble during a visit by UN special rapporteur on human rights. Tomas Ojea Quintana was touring the region after the deadly clashes.

Quintana has urged the state government to release the activist, Thailand based The Irrawaddy newsmagazine reported. Aung Win, a well-known Rohingya activist said said that Than Shwe’s wife called Quintana on Tuesday and told him that her husband had been detained. “He [Quintana] told our community leaders that he has already told the government to release all people who have been detained, included Than Shwe,” said Aung Win, according to the Thailand based newsmagazine. At least one person was killed and around 10 injured after the clash

in a camp for dispossessed Rohingya Muslims last Friday, in the latest violence in Rakhine state, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said. Police torture The most recent unrest occurred after the body of a fisherman was found in a creek near Ohn Taw Gyi camp, said Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing, who called it a drowning. But rumors quickly spread that the man had been beaten to death by police. “He was bleeding from both ears. It looked like he had been smashed in the face by a rifle butt, all his teeth were gone,” said Aung Win, who saw the body before burial.

“This wasn’t a drowning. He was pretty clearly beaten and tortured.” A dispute over the death and custody of the body sparked several riots, which were broken up by police who fired first into the air and then into the crowd, Win Myaing said. Than Shwe, who works for an organisation that delivers food and supplies to camps for Rohingya Muslims, was accused of posting images of the dead and injured online, Aung Win said. Twenty officers went to his home at Monday and brought him to the police station, he said. The United Nations has called for dialogue following the latest unrest.

using what identity Japanese political leaders visit the Yasukuni Shrine, it is an intrinsic attempt to deny and beautify that history of invasion by the Japanese militarists,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. “We urge Japan to ... take concrete steps to win the trust of the international community, otherwise Japan’s relations with its Asian neighbors have no future. China and Korea suffered under Japanese rule, with parts of China occupied from the 1930s and Korea colonized from 1910 to 1945. Japanese leaders have apologized in the past but many in China and South Korea doubt the sincerity of the apologies, partly because of contradictory remarks by politicians. South Korea’s Foreign Ministry called the visits “deplorable”, saying they showed the ministers were “still keeping their eyes shut to history” and urging Japan to offer a sincere apology. Japanese conservatives say it is only

natural to honor the war dead and deny thatdoingsoatYasukuniglorifiesthewar. Internal affairs minister Yoshitaka Shindo and administrative reform

minister Tomomi Inada also visited the shrine as did a group of 89 lawmakers, includingLDPpolicychiefSanaeTakaichi and aides to another 101 MPs.

Japan shrine visit angers China


apan’s prime minister sent an offering to a shrine for war dead yesterday,theanniversaryofJapan’s World War Two defeat, while cabinet members visited it in person, drawing harsh complaints from China and South Korea, and putting at risk tentative steps to improve ties. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was treading a fine line between trying not to inflame tension with China and South Korea and upholding a conservative ideology shared by his supporters. But at least three cabinet ministers and dozens of lawmakers paid their respects at Yasukuni Shrine, seen as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism. Visits to the shrine by top politicians outrage China and South Korea because the shrine honors 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal, along with war dead. China summoned the Japanese ambassador to protest. “It does not matter in what form or

A group of lawmakers are led by a Shinto priest as they visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War Two.

Asia & Middle East UN team to investigate chemical attacks in Syria


he UN says weapons inspectors are to depart shortly for Syria to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons. Under an agreement reached with Damascus, the UN team is to visit three sites over two weeks, including a northern town at the centre of allegations of chemical weapons use. Some 26 people were killed in the attacks in Khan al-Assal in March. The UN mission had been delayed over differences with the Syrian government over the scope of the investigation. However, on 31 July the Syrian government agreed to allow UN inspectors to visit the sites. On Wednesday the UN said its team had completed their trip preparations. “The government of Syria has formally accepted the modalities essential for co-operation to ensure the proper, safe and efficient conduct of the mission,” a spokesman for UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Eduardo delBuey, said. “The departure of the team is now imminent,” he added. The mandate of the 10-man investigating team, led by Swedish arms expert AkeSellstroem, is limited to reporting on whether chemical weapons were actually used and which ones, but it will not determine responsibility for any attacks. After the initial two weeks, the UN said, the trip was “extendable upon mutual consent”. Two of the locations to be investigated have n o t b e e n identified so far. What started out as antigovernment protests inspired by the Arab Spring quickly descended into a full-scale civil war in Syria, with more than 100,000 people killed during the 28-month conflict. The possibility of President Bashar al-Assad using Syria’s chemical weapons stock or rebels obtaining some of the stockpiles is one of the factors that has most worried Western observers of the conflict. The UN says it has received up to 13 reports of chemical weapons use in Syria - one from the Damascus government about the events at Khan al-Assal, with the rest mainly from the UK, France and USA. Both sides of the conflict the rebels and the government - have denied using chemical weapons. Syria is one of seven countries that have not joined the 1997 convention banning chemical weapons. Syria is widely believed to possess large undeclared stockpiles of mustard gas and sarin nerve agent.




Turkey repels hundreds on border with Syria T

urkish troops returned fire after coming under attack along the Syrian border yesterday as more than 1,000 suspected smugglers, including 150 on horseback, tried to cross into Turkey from Syria, the military said. The incident on Turkey’s long Syria frontier, where tensions have been on the rise over the past couple of months, follows a string of similar confrontations

between Turkish soldiers and hundreds of people described by the military as smugglers. Syrian refugees fleeing from the civil war in their homeland often cross over the frontier in large numbers and Turkish officials have conceded smugglers sometimes intermingle with the refugees to use them as cover. The military said it spotted 750-1,000 people on foot, a

separate group of 150 people on horseback, and some 40 vehicles forming a line around 300 meters (yards) along the border near the Turkish village of Kusakli in Hatay’sReyhanli district. The troops deployed armored vehicles and a tank along the frontier to block the group from crossing and issued warnings in Turkish and Arabic to try to keep them back, the military said.

The security forces then intervened, the military said, without elaborating. Some 1520 rounds were fired with a pump-action rifle from Kusakli, prompting the soldiers to return fire. The military did not specify whether smugglers or villagers opened fire. Following the army’s warning shots, the smugglers left the area. Some 35 containers of petrol were found.

said yesterday. The two leaders will meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in St Petersburg scheduled

for September 5-6, the agency quoted a senior state official as saying. U.S. President Barack Obama

earlier this month canceled a meeting with Putin due to be held ahead of the same summit, in retaliation for Moscow granting ex-spy agency contractor Edward Snowden asylum. Moscow and Beijing have progressively strengthened political and commercial ties since the Soviet era, when relations were often strained. Both countries now say they need a counterweight to U.S. influence in the world. As members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China have repeatedly ruled out sanctioning Syria and vetoed three Western and Gulf Arabbacked resolutions condemning President Bashar al-Assad for an increasingly brutal war. In March, Xi paid his first foreign state visit as president to Moscow. Trade flows between Russia and China more than doubled to $87.5 billion in the five years to 2012 - still far below the levels of Russia’s trade with the European Union and China’s with the United States.

again in coalition with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP), rather than seek a “grand coalition” with the SPD. But there is some doubt whether the FDP will pass the 5% threshold necessary to get seats in the Bundestag - the lower house of parliament.

Message of prudence Many in the crowd in the central German market town held “Angie” placards. But there was also some heckling from SPD youth activists, who accused the CDU of allowing intrusive US

Russian, Chinese leaders to hold talks

Putin (L), in a handshake with Xi.


ussian President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next month, Interfax

Merkel launches German election campaign


he German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has launched her reelection campaign by implying she is a safe pair of hands steering the economy. Mrs Merkel addressed about 1,000 people in the picturesque medieval town of Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt. News that the German economy grew by 0.7% in the second quarter boosted her campaign for a third term in power. Her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian allies have a big lead in opinion polls. The election will be held on 22 September, and Mrs Merkel’s campaign tour will take her to nearly 60 events before then. A survey by the Forsa institute puts the CDU-CSU conservative group on 40%, the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) second with 23% and the Greens - the SPD’s campaign allies - on 13%. If she maintains such a strong lead Mrs Merkel should be able to govern


secret surveillance. “Stop watching us” and “Freedom not Surveillance” their banners said. Mrs Merkel’s campaign slogan is “Successful Together”. She attacked SPD-Green plans to increase taxes for higher earners, saying “when someone is successful the first thing they ask is ‘how much can we get from them?’” “We want to help you fulfil your dreams,” she said. She also mocked the Greens’ proposal to make public cafeterias have one meat-free day every week. “What is more important for you and your life - to have someone tell you that on Thursdays you shouldn’t eat meat, or the fact that I as chancellor have ensured that we no longer have five million unemployed, but just three million?” she said. “We have seen in Europe what happens when debts are too high. Growth on borrowed money - that’s impossible,” she said, underlining the fiscal discipline that has fuelled anger towards her in much of southern Europe.

Europe and Americas Manning apologises in WikiLeaks case


S soldier Bradley Manning has apologised to a military court for giving war logs and diplomatic secrets to the WikiLeaks website three years ago, the biggest breach of classified data in the nation’s history. “I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States,” the 25-year-old US Army Private First Class told the sentencing phase of his court-martial in a Fort Meade military court. “I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions... The last few years have been a learning experience.” Manning spoke quietly and nondefiantly in his first extensive public comments since February. Manning faces up to 90 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 documents, battle videos and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, hurling the pro-transparency website and its founder, Julian Assange, into the world spotlight. Defence lawyers seeking a milder sentence rested their case on Wednesday after Manning’s statement. With about a dozen witnesses including Army superiors, mental health professionals and Manning’s own sister, they sought to show Judge Colonel Denise Lind that commanders ignored signs of mental stress. An Army psychologist testified at the hearing that Manning, who is gay, felt isolated because he was wrestling with his gender identity. Another mental health specialist testified that Manning had hoped to end war. “I should have worked more aggressively inside the system... Unfortunately, I can’t go back and change things,” Manning, wearing his dress uniform and glasses, his hair in a crew cut, said from the witness stand. He did not appear to be reading from notes and looked at the judge and around the room as he spoke. “I understand I must pay a price for my decisions,” Manning continued in his first lengthy public statement since February. “I want to be a better person, to go to college, to get a degree and to have a meaningful relationship with my sister and her family.” Manning was convicted of 20 charges, including espionage and theft, on July 30. He was found not guilty of the most serious count, aiding the enemy, which carried a life sentence.




Strange World

Indonesians beat each other up in the name of friendship


very year, a week after the end of Ramadan, the Indonesian villages of Morella and Mamala hold Pukul Sapu, a unique ritual that has men from the two villages beating each other across their bare backs with rattan broomsticks. There’s nothing like a good beating to strengthen the bond between members of a community, at according to the people of Morella and Mamala, two villages in the Maluku province of Indonesia. Seven days after the end of Ramadan, the local young men take part in Pukul Sapu, an ancient ritual that translates as “Beating Brooms”. A fitting name, considering it involves participants hitting each other with strips of rattan across their backs until they are all covered in bloody scars. Before the actual beating begins, the men gather to receive the prayers of the village elders which are supposed to provide protection from serious injury during the proceedings.

Wearing only short pants and headbands, the brave men enter the arena and split into two groups, facing each other. They then take turns in hitting each other across the back and chest with hard rattan brooms, with the one taking the beating lifting his arms into the air to proudly display his bloody wounds. This is not a mock battle, and the traces left by each lash is more than enough proof, yet the participants take the beating without so much as a flinch or cry of pain. As soon as the beating ends, the bloodied bodies of the young men are rubbed with a magic oil, that is said to fix even broken bones in just two or three days. The soothing ointment allegedly heals their wounds without leaving a trace. Its curing properties are well known around Maluku Islands, and they’ve apparently caught the attention of Indonesian and foreign scientists. Despite its violent nature, Pakul Sapu is regarded as an opportunity to strengthen the

brotherhood and friendship between the villagers of Morella and Mamala. Pakul Sapu is not some obscure

wheels, he stripped off the Fiesta’s body and replaced it with the upsidedown carcass of the Chevy Camaro. So he is basically driving a Ford Fiesta that looks like an inverted Camaro. The Ford’s underpowered 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine has thus been saddled with the body of the much larger car, including the extra set of wheels, making it easy prey during a race. But then again, Speedycop didn’t really build it to win the LeMons, just the attention and admiration of his fellow motorheads. “People constantly ask me what drug or alcohol-fueled altered states

of consciousness induce these terrible LeMons builds. I wish could offer such a rational explanation,” Speedycop writes on his website. “I don’t know where they come from, but they are never in short supply. I’m an 8 year-old kid trapped in a 40 year-old body, with just enough talent to pull off my wacky ideas, and, fortunately, enough truly amazing friends to help make them a reality.” One thing is for certain, we haven’t seen the last of Jeff Bloch and his wacky genius, as he himself warns: I have a yard full of potential LeMons cars, and a head full of bad ideas.

little village festival. Every year, it draws thousands of spectators from all over Indonesia and

abroad, including many VIP guests, government officials and local administrators.

cafe prints Upside-down car turns Taiwanese portraits on a cup of coffee driving on Its head


eff Bloch, a.k.a. Speedycop, is an American race-car enthusiast who likes to create all sorts of crazy contraptions for the popular 24-hour LeMons Race. His latest achievement – an upside-down vehicle he describes as “a frightening fusion of a wretched 1990 Ford Festiva and a horrible 1999 Chevy Camaro, with a not-so-subtle twist”. Just two months after making headlines with a Cessna airplane converted into a race car, Jeff Bloch is in the spotlight once again, this time with a ridiculous upside-down car. To create this one-of-a-kind freak on

One of the “portrait” cup of coffees.


The “upside down” Ford fiesta

f you’ve ever wanted to drink your own face, now’s your chance. Taiwanese cafe chain, Let’s Cafe, uses a special latte printer that creates portraits of customers directly on their delicious caffeinated drinks. Let’s Cafe is a chain of small kiosks offering “fast but good coffee” to shoppers on the go all around Taiwan. Faced with the challenge of competing with larger more established cafe chains, they had to come up with a truly original gimmick in order to attract customers. Let’s Cafe needed something not even big players like Starbucks could compete with, and they found it in the ridiculously accurate coffee printing machine. All users have to do is upload a photo from their mobile phone to the coffee dispenser machine

and after the cup has been filled with the caffeinated beverage of their choice, the incorporated printer uses edible ink to sprinkle their photo on the milk foam. While talented latte artists do a great job of creating beautiful designs using rudimentary tools and a steady hand, there are certain limitations to their techniques, whereas this coffee printer is able to produce photorealistic images. According to a promo video released by Let’s Cafe, the coffee printer takes a lot of credit for the chain’s increase in sales. There’s no denying the printed images look amazingly accurate, but taking out the human factor from latte art just makes the whole thing seem soulless. I’m much more impressed by these handdrawn masterpieces, for example.



Weekend Revue

BBA: Beverly’s mum proud despite immorality -Charirty Owoh



espite being criticised by many Nigerians for her shameful romance and disgrace to the country, Beverly’s best friend, Charirty Owoh, told Encomium magazine that the mother is proud of her daughter and supports everything she is doing in the House. “Bev and her mum are best friends. Her mum just called me

now, she’s our best friend. She’s like the third person in our circle because whatever we do we tell her. If you watch the show you will see that there are three people she calls every time, Charirty, Denrele, and mummy Suzy. “Their relationship is very tight. Before Bev dates anybody, she tells her mom. (About Bev and Angelo’s relationship/s3x) She knows. She has seen everything.

Nigerian musicians don’t help upcoming artist-Ice Boss


assarawa state upcoming artist, Ice Boss, has said that the musicians who establish themselves in the industry do not want to assist young ones. Ice Boss who said this recently after his Sallah stage performance at Vista Launch, in Oneman village, said the situation hamper the growth of the

“There’s e’s the good and bad, of course she’s a mother so she would feel the way mother’s would feel but she’s very proud of her daughter and says she’s a queen. She’s already redecorating her room, so she would welcome her back like any mother would. Charity also talked about Beverly’s relationship with 2shotz, saying “Bev can handle controversy. It was evident during the time she

was dating ‘Mr I’ve never battered anyone before’ and all the things they have said about her. “While they were dating, her mother came back from America and the next thing was for him to start telling people that Beverly was doing drugs when she can’t even take alcohol. (Why they broke up) She was in love with with him but I know he instilled fear in her. She said there are different

stories “but I don’t want to talk about it. There are some stories that led to them breaking up, that if it comes out would look totally bad for him. “There are some things that if I speak about will hurt 2shotz in ways that he can never imagine. So, all the things that he is saying right got to a point where he broke her simcard because of phone calls. Who does that?

Ini Edo had no bicycle when I was in Nollywood - Afro Candy


ollywood Reporter, has said that Glen Powell, has been penciled to join the array of stars in the highly rated ‘Expendable 3’ The actor will join Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas in the film. Newcomer Glen Powell has been cast in a lead role in the actionensemble sequel. The 24-year-old will play a highly trained combat veteran who is also an expert hacker and drone pilot. In the past week, there have been several big casting announcements for the film. Antonio Banderas and

Mel Gibson are both set to appear in the film. Harrison Ford will also be featured, while Bruce Willis, who starred in the first two films, will not. Sylvester Stallone broke the news on Twitter that Ford is in and Willis is out. Moments after tweeting that Willis would not return, Stallone added: “Greedy and lazy...a sure formula for career failure”. A source with knowledge of the situation told THR that the fallout was over a specific money demand. Willis was offered $3 million for four days of consecutive work on location in Bulgaria for the film. “He said he’d

drop out unless he got $4 million,” this source close to the production said. Liongate has slated the third film in the action franchise to open on August 15, 2014. Stallone returns as Barney Ross, who leads the group of mercenaries as it undertakes seemingly impossible missions. Patrick Hughes is directing from a screenplay by Stallone and Richard Wenk. Jackie Chan and Nicolas Cage are also set to appear. Powell’s recent acting credits include The Dark Knight Rises and upcoming drama Red Wing. He’s repped by Resolution and Untitled.

industry. He said there was every need to assist young talents to come up with fresh ideas and contribute their quota. The young lad who has great admiration for Wizkid, further called on those in the industry to always motivate and assist young talents in the country.

Britney Spears to enter restaurant business


Britney Spears


ndia Today has said that singer, Britney Spears will join hands with Meatball Spot, an Italian restaurant. “Meatball Spot is in negotiations with a major entertainer about a potential partnership,” the restaurant confirmed to in a statement, without mentioning Spears by name. The moderately-priced eatery is set to open at a new location in the south of Las Vegas Strip. It will serve sandwiches, salads, pizzas, and as the name suggests, six different kinds of meatballs.

Mercy Johnson

Afro Candy

Ini Edo

Justin Timberlake to perform at MTV VMAs


TV announced that Timberlake will take the stage for an “unforgettable” performance and will also receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 25 August, 2013 event at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. He joined previously announced performers; Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke.

Timberlake, who wraps up his Legends of the Summer stadium tour with Jay Z on today, is tied with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis for the most VMA nominations this year with six, including Video of the Year for “Mirrors.” Previous honorees for the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which recognizes innovation and artistry in music video creation and impact,

include Michael Jackson, Madonna, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M., Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Britney Spears, the last artist to receive the award in 2011. Timberlake has won 14 VMAs, as a solo artist and as part of boy band ‘NSYNC, including Male Artist of the Year, Quadruple Threat of the Year and Best Pop Video. Madonna is the only other artist to win more VMAs.



Weekend Revue

Glen Powell joins ‘Expendables 3’


ollywood Reporter, has said that Glen Powell, has been penciled to join the array of stars in the highly rated ‘Expendable 3’ The actor will join Sylvester Stallone, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas in the film. Newcomer Glen Powell has been cast in a lead role in the action-ensemble sequel. The 24-year-old will play a highly trained combat veteran who is also an expert hacker and drone pilot. In the past week, there have been several big casting announcements for the film. Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson are both set to appear in the film. Harrison Ford will also be featured, while Bruce Willis, who starred in the first two films, will not. Sylvester Stallone broke the news on Twitter that Ford is in and Willis is out. Moments after tweeting that Willis would not return, Stallone added: “Greedy and lazy...a sure formula for career failure”. A source with knowledge of the

situation told THR that the fallout was over a specific money demand. Willis was offered $3 million for four days of consecutive work on location in Bulgaria for the film. “He said he’d drop out unless he got

Kanye West wants big wedding

Kanye West and his wife Kim

$4 million,” this source close to the production said. Liongate has slated the third film in the action franchise to open on August 15, 2014. Stallone returns as Barney Ross, who leads the group

of mercenaries as it undertakes seemingly impossible missions. Patrick Hughes is directing from a screenplay by Stallone and Richard Wenk. Jackie Chan and Nicolas Cage

are also set to appear. Powell’s recent acting credits include The Dark Knight Rises and upcoming drama Red Wing. He’s repped by Resolution and Untitled.

Katy Perry and John Mayer have recorded a duet


ndia Today has reported that pop princess, Katy Perry, has recorded a duet with her on/off boyfriend who she got back together with recently after their initial split in March - for his sixth studio album, ‘Paradise Valley’. The country-inspired track is called ‘Whoyoulove’andisasoulfulmid-tempo number, according to Rolling Stone magazine. The news comes after Katy gave a playful wink and joked, ‘We’re doing a lot of collaborating’, when quizzed whether there was any chance of her writing a songwiththe‘YourBodyisaWonderland’ hitmaker during her appearance at the ‘Smurfs 2’ premiere last month. John has also teamed up with Frank OceanforhisnewLPonashortandpoetic song entitled ‘Wildfire’. He previously featured on the hip-hop star’s track ‘Pyramids’. The 35-year-old singer enthused earlier this year: “Frank is such an interesting, deep, touched, wonderful

John Mayer and Katy Perry

guy. They don’t make a lot of other Frank Oceans, and the guy is looking for another. “And the way that his mind works is craving the same frequency that he’s

able to communicate on, and I think he’s just searching for that kind of depth that he has inside of himself in someone else. He’s fascinating to me. He’s so great.”

“Number One” debut as Rhythm hit song of the week


he 36-year-old rapper is adamant he wants a huge ceremony when he ties the knot with partner Kim Kardashian - who has previously been married to Damon Thomas and Kris Humphries - but she’s insisting on having much smaller celebration as it will be her third marriage. A source told Us Weekly magazine: “Kanye has never been married before and wants a big wedding, so Kim is slowly getting used to the idea. “He wants something really cool and big and over the top. It won’t be

cheesy though, there will be a real sense of design.” Friends close to Kanye believe he’s matured since welcoming his daughter, North, into the world in June and is content with his blossoming relationship. The source explained: “Kanye has been in love with Kim for years. He’s so happy now and seriously into her. He has matured quickly and grown a lot. He seems more at peace, it’s cool to see him so happy and calmed down. “He has told friends and family that he was going to marry Kim since the day he met her. And he is determined to do it.”


wo weeks into its debut, the song “Number One” by Noel Empraw has hit radio airwaves running with fresh new tune. This week, the song made it as “Rhythm hit song of the week” on Silverbird Rhythm94.7 including track-listed as New Song of the week on 96.9CoolFM,Wazobia95.5. Produced by Mr Magik and featuring sensational singer Femi Jubal, “Number One” is something new and refreshing with a nice blend of classic hip-hop on an indigenous backdrop with voice of great Mohammed Ali on the sign out.



News Analysis

Why is cycling so popular in the Netherlands?

Acting DG, NITDA Dr. Ashiru Sani Daura


here are more bicycles than residents in The Netherlands and in cities like Amsterdam and The Hague up to 70% of all journeys are made by bike. The BBC’s Hague correspondent, Anna Holligan examines what made everyone get back in the saddle. The 70s velo-rution Before World War II, journeys in the Netherlands were predominantly made by bike, but in the 1950s and 1960s, as car ownership rocketed, this changed. As in many countries in Europe, roads became increasingly congested and cyclists were squeezed to the kerb. The jump in car numbers caused a huge rise in the number of deaths on the roads. In 1971 more than 3,000 people were killed by motor vehicles, 450 of them children.

In response a social movement demanding safer cycling conditions for children was formed. Called Stop de Kindermoord (Stop the Child Murder), it took its name from the headline of an article written by journalist, Vic Langenhoff, whose own child had been killed in a road accident. The Dutch faith in the reliability and sustainability of the motor vehicle was also shaken by the Middle East oil crisis of 1973, when oil-producing countries stopped exports to the US and Western Europe. These twin pressures helped to persuade the Dutch government to invest in improved cycling infrastructure and Dutch urban planners started to diverge from the carcentric road-building policies being pursued throughout the urbanising West.

Path to glory To make cycling safer and more inviting the Dutch have built a vast network of cycle paths. These are clearly marked, have smooth surfaces, separate signs and lights for those on two wheels, and wide enough to allow side-byside cycling and overtaking. In many cities the paths are completely segregated from motorised traffic. Sometimes, where space is scant and both must share, you can see signs showing an image of a cyclist with a car behind accompanied by the words ‘Bike Street: Cars are guests’. At roundabouts, too, it is those using pedal power that have priority. You can cycle around a roundabout while cars (almost always) wait patiently for you to pass. The idea that “the bike is right” is such an alien concept for tourists on bikes that many often find it difficult to navigate roads and junctions at first. Early adopters Even before they can walk, Dutch children are immersed in a world of cycling. As babies and toddlers they travel in special seats on

The sign reads ‘Bike street: Cars are guests’

A roundabout where cyclists get their own lane and have priority over motorists is being trialled in Berkshire for Transport for London

Bike parking, Amsterdam style

“bakfiets”, or cargo bikes. These seats are often equipped with canopies to protect the children from the elements, and some parents have been known to spend a small fortune doing up their machines. As the children grow up they take to their own bikes, something made easier and safer by the discreet cycle lanes being wide enough for children to ride alongside an accompanying adult. And, as the Dutch are not allowed to drive until 18, cycling offers teenagers an alternative form of freedom. Most bike-friendly countries in Europe 1=. Denmark 1=. Netherlands 3. Sweden 4. Finland 5. Germany 6. Belgium 7. Austria 8. Hungary 9. Slovakia 10. UK Source: European Cyclists’ Federation Cycling Barometer The state also plays a part in teaching too, with cycling proficiency lessons a compulsory part of the Dutch school curriculum. All schools have places to park bikes and at some schools 90% of pupils cycle to class. Behind the bike sheds In the university city of Groningen, a cyclists’ dream even by Dutch standards, the central train station has underground parking for 10,000 bikes. Cyclists are accommodated in the way motorists are elsewhere, with electronic counters at the entrance registering how many spaces are available. Bike parking facilities are ubiquitous in The Netherlands - outside schools, office buildings and shops. In return you are expected to only lock up your bike in designated spots - if you chain your bike in the wrong place you could find that it is removed and impounded, and that you will have to hand over 25 Euros to get it back. At home, even people who live in flats without special bike storage facilities can expect to be allowed to leave their bikes in a communal hallway. In the 16th Century, houses in Amsterdam were taxed according to their width, a measure residents countered by building tall, narrow houses. So hallways get filled with bikes - but so many people cycle, no-one really minds, and just clambers past. Source:


Whoever set me up is dangerous, Yobe based lawyer cries out



Barrister Baba Kura Ba’aba is a veteran legal practitioner in Yobe state and National Assistant Legal Adviser, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Special Assistant to former Yobe State Governor on Inter-Party Affairs. In this interview with our Yobe correspondent, Uche Uche, the lawyer narrates how and why he was arrested and detained for sometime by the Joint Task Force (JTF), in Yobe state, on the allegation of him associating with Boko Haram, stressing that the whole episode was the handiwork of his enemies who reported him to the JTF. Excerpts:


ir, recently, you were arrested by the JTF and taken to Damaturu; what was the nature of your offence? Well, it was on Thursday, the 27th of June 2013, I saw group of soldiers in my residence, who came and took me away; on the way I asked them what have I done that warrants my arrest and they told me that they are taking me to Damaturu for consultations and that I will be back immediately; so, I followed them. On getting to Damaturu I realized that it was a big time arrest. They put me in cell; but the good thing about it is that they treated me very well; they respected my age, my profession and I was given a very descent arrangement. But then, arrest is an arrest, and for someone to stay in a cell or staying in a prison for about five weeks is not easy; but I resolved to survive, despite all things done to me I survived. However, you can’t condemn the JTF; they are new here, you know; they have to work on information provided by the people who are in this society. In fact, I told the JTF I do not want to know the people who reported me; some people apparently reported me to the JTF alleging that I am in cohort with Boko Haram, that I am their lawyer and that I am giving them some intelligence and logistic support; that was the whole thing. After about five weeks in JTF custody , they realized that the whole thing has no substance and was untrue, it was a lie; however, there is no way they can release me without serious investigation, so I realized my danger, my predicament, I kept cool, after thorough investigation I was released. Were you granted bail?

Well, I would say a kind of bail, as I had to be reporting on monthly basis for sometime; but as far I as am concerned I know that the case is over. What I will want them to do for me now, if possible, is for them to make sure that whoever reported this should be brought to account for what he has done. I know whosoever did this to me did it perhaps out of malice and if people do that and get away with it, the prevalence of complain against descent people will continue; but if the JTF will own up and say what we were told was a lie and give the innocent victims some kind of punishment, this will save people from being arrested unnecessarily. Are you suggesting that your hands are clean? My hands are clean; I have been in the law profession for 38 years, so how can I start getting dirty hands; I am too old for that. I have six girls and they are all lawyers, my own daughters; my senior brother was the one who formed Justice in Yobe state, Justice Ba’aba, my Junior brother was the Yobe state Secretary to the state government (SSG) for about 12 years. We are a family of jurists; my grandfather was a Judge, my father was a Judge; so how can I destroy my pedigree? How can I become dirty? It is too late for me to go dirty; In fact, I go too straight, I can’t bend. Did the NBA intervene when the JTF arrested you? I was in custody, but apparently, I believe they must have made some efforts, so many people have tried to see me but the security around me was too tight for them to do anything. You have to understand that we are in a situation where the security of the state is in the hands of the JTF, so even my Governor can do very little to assist, let alone the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and it

Barrister Baba Kura Ba’aba

was the prayers from Good Samaritans that assisted me in getting out of this mess. What advice do you have for the JTF? Well, I have been there and I saw some people who are definitely innocent and I am sorry to reveal that 80 percent detained are innocent, so I will advice JTF to quickly go through these people and release them, because I am convinced that many people there are innocent. My fear is: if I, as a lawyer for about 38 years, would be arrested, a traditional title holder for that matter to be detained just like that, I wonder the situation of an ordinary man,

because such an innocent person will have nobody to back him or her; so, let the state government and the JTF put their heads together and get us out of this mess. They should investigate their reports and the report should be thoroughly investigated before embarking on any arrest. Who do you think is responsible for reporting you? In all honesty, I don’t know. If I say I know who it could be, I am lying. The truth of the matter is that I don’t want to know whoever it was, because I am a human being; whoever he is that planned this for me is dangerous, because he must have did it out of sheer malice.

Well, I have been there and I saw some people who are definitely innocent and I am sorry to reveal that 80 percent detained are innocent, so I will advice JTF to quickly go through these people and release them, because I am convinced that many people there are innocent.




Is sugar an invisible killer? By Sarah Griffiths


ven ‘safe’ levels of sugar could be having invisible adverse effects on our health, American researchers. Researchers gave mice the equivalent of a healthy human diet plus three cans of fizzy drink a day and found the female animals died twice as fast as those whose food was not largely composed of sugar. Male mice consuming the sugary diet were less able to hold territory and reproduce, leading scientists to

speculate that sugar has a damaging effect on the health of mammals, including humans. Scientists from the University of Utah said the mice showed no sign of suffering serious physical changes in their bodies. Writing in the online edition of the journal Nature Communications, the researchers said: ‘Our results provide evidence that added sugar consumed at concentrations currently considered safe exerts dramatic adverse impacts on mammalian

health.’ Mice on the experimental diet received 25 percent of their energy intake in the form of added sugar, no matter how many calories they ate. In human terms this was equivalent to a person eating a normal healthy diet plus three cans of sugar-sweetened fizzy drinks a day. After 32 weeks, more than a third of the female mice fed extra sugar died - twice the number fed a nonsugary diet. The death rate of males was not affected, but their survival behaviour was. Males on the sugary diet acquired and held on to 26 percent fewer territories than their normal diet nest-mates and produced 25 percent fewer offspring. Study leader Professor Wayne Potts,at the university, said: ‘This demonstrates the adverse effects of added sugars at human-relevant levels.’ To observe the mice in a more realistic setting, the researchers kept them in room-sized pens rather than cages. This allowed them to compete more naturally for mates and desirable territories.

Despite the effects on the mice, the sugar-fed animals showed only minor metabolic changes, including raised cholesterol. The study found nothing unusual in terms of obesity or insulin and blood sugar levels.

‘Our test shows an adverse outcome from the added-sugar diet that couldn’t be detected by conventional tests,’ said Professor Potts. Source:

Eating raw garlic twice a week halves the risk of developing lung cancer- study By Pat Hagan ating raw garlic just twice a week can almost halve the risk of lung cancer, new research shows. A study carried out in China found adults regularly consuming raw garlic as part of their diet were 44 per cent less likely to suffer the disease. Even when researchers allowed for


whether people smoked - the biggest single cause of lung cancer - they found garlic still seemed to reduce the dangers by around 30 per cent. Around 40,000 people a year are diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales alone. Smoking is thought to cause at least 80 per cent of cases and fewer than one

in ten sufferers are still alive five years after their diagnosis. Previous studies have suggested garlic can protect the lungs against various conditions, as well as ward off other malignancies such as bowel cancer. One study at the University of South Australia suggested the popular herb could slash the risk of bowel tumours by nearly a third. In the latest investigation, scientists at Jiangsu Provincial Centre for Disease Control and Prevention compared 1,424 lung cancer patients with 4,500 healthy adults.

Each one was quizzed on their dietary and lifestyle habits, including how often they consumed garlic and whether they smoked. The results, published online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, showed those who ate raw garlic at least twice a week were significantly less likely to get lung cancer, even if they smoked or were exposed to high-temperature cooking oil fumes, thought to be another trigger for the disease. It’s not clear whether cooked garlic would have the same effect. But previous research suggests the

key ingredient seems to be a chemical called allicin, released when the clove is crushed or chopped. It is thought to dampen down inflammation in the body and act as an anti-oxidant, reducing damage from so-called free radicals to the body’s cells. Other studies have found it may help ward off the common cold, hospital superbugs and even malaria. In a report on their findings the researchers said: ‘Garlic may potentially serve as a preventive agent for lung cancer.’ Source:



Counting the cost of proliferation of political parties News Analysis


he Nigerian political space is awash with demands for a two party system. Proponents of this view insist that if the demand could be met, politics would be more reasonable and governance would likewise have appreciable impact on ordinary Nigerians. To justify two party system, experts have submitted that most of the supposed opposition political parties in Nigeria revolves around same political ideology, even as they individually lack the political spread and strength to compete and match with PDP. It would be recalled that PDP had inadvertently canvassed this view when it said the formation of All Progressives Congress (APC) was a good omen which will pose a reasonable challenge to the ruling party, as against what used to be when APC were separate parties. Interestingly, as this call for two party system becomes rife, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) acted accordingly by descending its hammer on some of the opposition parties who failed to win even one elective office after the 2011 general elections. This move by INEC saw over twenty political parties deleted from INEC’s register, thus tremendously trimming the already overbloated political parties on the nation’s ballot papers which is currently about 70. The Commission relied on the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended), which stipulates that for any registered party to retain INEC’s recognition and to participate in future elections, it must win one out of the numerous elective positions across the country. That is, either governorship or in the federal and state legislature. Before this de-registration exercise, many analysts had decried the proliferation of parties, pointing out that the trend has no democratic value to offer Nigeria’s socio-political development. The negative consequences of this trend is further exacerbated by the fact that chairmen of these parties were allegedly using the funds generated from sale of membership forms and grants from INEC as their means of livelihood. Prior to the 2011 presidential elections, over forty of these parties with less electoral value ps went to the Aso Villa to adopt

As confusion rages over the Abuja High Court ruling which quashed party deregistration exercise by INEC, Ikechukwu Okaforadi examines its import on the nation’s journey to true democracy.

INEC Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega President Goodluck Jonathan as their standard bearer; a move which many committed opposition parties resented. This development heralded the practice of registering multifarious parties with the hope to negotiate with the incumbent at the Residential election. These and many more reasons necessitated the fanfare and commendations which trailed the decision by INEC to deregister some of these parties, especially as many believed the problems which belie free party system, including extortion, distraction, fraud, etc, would be checkmated. However, the joy which stemmed from this vibrant move by INEC was short-lived as the Federal High Court Abuja while ruling on the suit by the affected parties, barred INEC from deleting any party for whatever reason. This court ruling was primarily aimed at opening the political space as some observers argued, but on the contrary, political pundits have again pointed out that this opening of space will continue to derail and stagnate Nigeria’s democracy. Essentially, parties are formed to offer alternative governance to the people, rather than piling up INEC’s list for no meaningful contribution. This explains why a viable opposition party is referred to as government in the waiting. In the case of these small parties, some of them are

PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur

appendages to the ruling parties, through which it extends and flourishes its unhealthy dominion over the genuine opponents. Moreover, most of these small parties were formed by some disappointed PDP stalwarts to serve interests other than winning elections after which they abandon them and return to their folds. This therefore makes winning elections, the least in the priority of the leaders of these parties. One example is the Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), which Orji Uzor Kalu formed, but which he later abandoned only to return to the PDP. Already, there is the fear that the popularity and enthusiasm which accompanied APC’s registration may wane in the face of this by the Abuja High Court. In

addition, this singular court ruling will definitely see more mushroom parties formed before 2015 just to destabilise and checkmate the growth of APC. Former chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Tony Momoh, alluded to this fact when he told Peoples Daily exclusively that the decision of the Abuja High Court to reverse the de-registration exercise, was a rigging game plan of PDP. In addition, he said the hasty reconciliation between Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state and APGA chairman, Victor Umeh, were owed to the pressure from the PDP, all in a bid to undermine the efficacy of APC in the next general election. Now, with these irrelevant parties still on board, it requires that their various agents will

Already, there is the fear that the popularity and enthusiasm which accompanied APC’s registration may wane in the face of this by the Abuja High Court. In addition, this singular court ruling will definitely see more mushroom parties formed before 2015 just to destabilise and checkmate the growth of APC

crowd polling units and collation centres, which is one of the principal loopholes ruling parties often capitalize on to perpetuate their rigging agenda. An observer confessed “The last time I observed election processed in Anambra state for Orient Foundation, it was discovered that it is the agents for these irrelevant parties that mostly stir violence, which usually pave way for the party in power to perfect their rigging plot.” Moreover, there are indications that few months to the 2015 election, majority of these small parties will still adopt President Goodluck Jonathan as their Presidential candidate, just as they did in 2011. A school of thought believe that democracy without regulation breeds anarchy. One dares to add that party proliferation without control measure breeds one party system, which political scientists have warned could worse than military regime. The Court (judiciary) is an indispensable ingredient of true democracy. This is undisputed, especially considering the essential role it plays in the nurturing and sustaining of democracy. However, the decision of the courts sometimes, may be at collision course with the fundamental tenets of democracy, and this is what the veterans in this critical organ of democracy must guard against.




2015 elections will be fiercely contested, says Fashakin INTERVIEW Rotimi Fashakin, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former National Publicity Secretary of the now defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), in this interview with our reporter, Evelyn Okakwu, speaks on the implications of the debut of the new merger party just as he affirms that all measures have been put in place for the party to wrestle power from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by 2015. Excerpts:


hat in your view are the circumstances which led into the merger of opposition parties? Well, the APC is what we call a child of necessity. Since the begining of this dispensation, PDP has been waxing stronger while the other parties have been growing weaker and weaker. So it has reached a situation whereby PDP, despite all its anomalies and misgovernance, has become a party that continues to win elections, basically because the people did not really have a viable choice, since PDP is all over the place. So, it had more access and better ability to rig since it is everywhere. So because of that democracy has been rid of its attractions. It made democracy something that is not exciting. Democracy essentially is about choice. If the electorates, that is the people, are not able to make the right choice, the beauty of democracy will no longer be there. So, when we looked at all these, we considered the fact that ‘look the only time we would say we have had semblance of a credible election in this country was in June 12, 1993. That election Nigerians still relish as the freest; the fairest and probably the most credible in this country. So, you know that after that election, the person who lost was ready to congratulate immediately because he knew he lost fairly. He lost well. So we felt it is necessary for Nigerians to take the driver’s seat of their nation’s destiny again by ensuring that the people are able to make the choice between PDP and a strong opposition. That was very necessary and that is exactly what this merger has achieved with the emergence of APC. Bashir Tofa of the NRC was willing to congratulate his contender in the 1993 elections. Considering the fact that APC is a party born out of three parties and that presidential primaries sometimes constitute problems within parties, how does APC hope to ensure a similar trend? Truly, every person wants to be sure that a fair process has been put in place to moderate the political atmosphere. Where you see people defecting, the problem is that as some people say Nigerian

politicians are bad losers. But, that notwithstanding, some of the reasons for this expressions of grievances is that some of the people felt shortchanged by the process. You know sometimes you could have a situation whereby one godfather somewhere has anointed one person and every other person has to defer to that person. Some people found that offensive and because of that defect and leave. But APC is not a one-man party and that should be clear to every Nigerian by now. It was not founded by one person; so people that really want to solve the Nigerian project; that believe that, look we need to help the Nigerian people to be at the driver’s seat of their own destiny once again; the situation in which some people from a party like the PDP shout from the roof tops and say that for the next twenty years or sixty years, they will be in power. It’s not really going to be the best for our Nation. We must be able to make the people know that when people are going for elections, the party too will have some trepidation. Not that it will be faith accompli that this people are going to win. But that it will have some trepidations that: ‘hey, have we been able to win this people, by our performance. ’ Performance should be the key thing. So, APC is not like the PDP. APC will put in place a transparent process through which the presidential candidate will emerge. So, if anybody looses as a result of that process, democracy is about a game of numbers. One thing with democracy is that if more people want you than the people against you, then it means you have won. It means you are still needed. You are still wanted; you are the one desired. If all of us present ourselves and one person has the highest vote in a fair and a credible election, then it means the person is the one accepted by the people. So that is what democracy is all about. So when a good process is put together like that and somebody looses, of course the person who looses should just accept it. That is what APC is planning to do do to forestall some of these challenges that exist in the electoral process within political parties at primaries. In its congratulatory

Rotimi Fashakin message to the APC, PDP warned the new party not to practice the politics of propaganda. What’s your reaction to this? Well, I know it is the Acting Publicity Secretary of the PDP who made that statement and I have asked myself in a very definitive manner: ‘What does this man mean by Politics of propaganda? ‘We at the CPC then and Alhaji Lai Mohammed of the ACN were not practicing politics of propaganda. I mean when somebody confronts you with viable data and facts, you don’t call that propaganda. When somebody you know points the way to you on where to go; that you are treading on a dangerous path; that you are leading the country precipitously; you know that you are trying to lead the country off the cliff into perdition, using facts; that is not politics of propaganda like PDP was doing, because they don’t seem to have any idea about governance. I mean it got so bad that each time they will have to wait for us to bring out the next criticism to see how they will shape their government. A terrible lack of initiative. We have dealt with such situation and the feedback from them is that it is propaganda. How is it propaganda? Akin to dealing in lies; in mendacity. That was not what we were dealing in. We were talking good facts. The other time we criticized the government on refusing to respect an agreement freely entered into in 2009 with the University lecturers. This same government; this same regime was an offshoot and continuation of the Yar’Adua regime that entered into that agreement. The same regime that is talking about paucity of funds as its reason for not respecting that agreement is the same regime that finds

it comfortable to be asking the Nigerian nation to spend N4bn on a white elephant project of a house. That is a pet project for the first lady. A first lady that is not even recognized by the Nigerian constitution. The same government that has no funds finds it comfortable to be asking for an additional N9bn to add to the already spent N7bn on the new home for the Vice President! We consider it very ridiculous; absolutely incongruous that you will have a situation whereby the government that is complaining of lack of funds; that is not spending enough on education, will find other priorities that are totally irrelevant to the progress of Nigeria. Do you call that propaganda? No, it’s not. We are looking at the facts on ground and we are attacking them. But they are very impervious to criticism. That is why their response to such a criticism was to say it is propaganda. So, we are not going to change tactics with respect to what is going to be happening in the polity. The APC leadership is the aggregiation of the three parties that formed this merger. So, there is basically nothing that will change. Our approach to governance, our approach to national issues shall remain the same. We only have one allegiance and that is the allegiance to the Nigerian people. Ensuring that we have a more stable polity; a better run Nigeria and a more virile nation. That is going to be our agenda and we are not going to be dissuaded from that. What other strategies have been put in place to ensure adequate competition for PDP come 2015 Like I said before, APC is a child of necessity because if you look at the current APC’s constitution, Nigeria’s electoral system has at its

base, the Poling units; after that you have the ward collation centers, the local government collation centers; then the state collation centers and then finally, the Abuja Collation centers. That is the INEC in Abuja. Now when you come to our constitution, most parties currently have executives only at the ward level. We are going deeper than that now. In our constitution, we now have provisions for polling unit executives. So, 2015 elections will be fiercely fought. You can take that from me. It’s not somebody coming to declare result that the party has scored zero in a particular Poling Unit. At least the Poling Unit executives will vote for the party, So like what has always taken place, which is why PDP has always had a free run. You know they will go to remote places and score zero to other parties. Then PDP will have hundred per cent. Such is never going to happen anymore. The 2015 elections will be fiercely fought. INEC has said it is 120,000 poling Units we have. Okay. That means we will have 20, 000 executives at poling Units before you will now have executives at the State and Local government levels as well as at the wards. So APC is geared up to take over. How would you rate he INEC on its activities? You know that INEC, like the political parties did not have any template to work on in terms of the merger process. It is one thing to have something written down in the log or in the constitution, but it is a totally different thing for you to have a template as to whether such has been done before. So, first of all, let me give Kudos to the leadership of INEC. We have never had merger before. So for them to have been able to manage the various steps within the process, the way the INEC leadership professionally handled that project is something very commendable. How they dealt with the obscure group that was trying to steal the acronym APC. Not that they favoured us but they used the right procedure and found them not eligible. So, what this leadership of INEC has done will sit loftily within the annals of electoral endeavors in the country. What are Nigerians expecting from APC? Well APCis the acronym for the party: All Peoples Congress; but it also shares the same acronym with analgesic in the past which is known for curing headaches. Nigerians have been saying that: ‘look, will this APC be the panacea for the multifarious headaches for this nation”. I will say that the APC will create a lot of headaches for PDP and consequently cure the pains of the people. With the broad spectrum of the people in the party, people should know that this is the dawn of a new day.



News Extra Briefs

Katsina Amirul Hajj F

R-L: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Acting Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission, Professor Charles Onocha, and Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Ministry of Education, Barrister Chike Uweazuoke, during the minister’s interaction with Civil Society Groups on the Almajiri education programme, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Jigawa has 6,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


he Jigawa State Agency for the Control of Aids (JISACA), has registered over 6,000 people living with HIV disease across the state. The JISACA Executive Secretary, Dr. Bashir Ahmed, stated this in a goodwill message during the

election of the state chapter of the Network of people living with HIV and AIDS, yesterday at in Dutse. Bashir noted that, a total of 50 persons living with HIV?AIDS have benefited from a six months skills acquisition training programme from government which also gave them N100,000 each as a capital grant for take-off of their businesses.

According to him, 16 health facilities in the state currently render free comprehensive HIV and AIDS services. He appealed to religious and traditional rulers to encourage their subjects to visit any of the nearest designated facilities for HIV/AIDS test and counseling.

Child marriage is slavery, says group By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Association for Orphan and Vulnerable Children in Nigeria (AONN) has urged the Federal Government to design measures to protect the girl child from incessant abuse. Speaking at a press conference tagged, “slavery disguised” in Abuja, the group’s co-coordinator, Mrs. Priscilla Nwachukwu, said that, “it

is madness for somebody to marry a child without considering health, social and economic challenges.” She further warned that marrying off a girl in childhood will deepen her trauma and further enslave the child. “Child marriage has farreaching health, social, economic and political implications for the girl-child and her community. “It truncates a girl’s childhood,

creates grave physical and psychological health risks and robs her of internationally recognised human rights,” Nwachukwu said. While identifying poverty, social ties and protection as reasons some parents give out their children early for marriage, Nwachukwu noted that research has shown that marriage at an age of below 20 years has a risk factor for HIV infection in the girls.

She explained that a girl’s virginal status and physical immaturity increases the risk of HIV transmission. The group further called on governments at all levels to implement health outreach programs for girls and boys and also incorporate preventive and treatment programmes for reproductive health issues into their health services.

2015 Benue governorship: Ex-Speaker joins race From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


former Speaker of the Benue state House of Assembly, Hon. Terhemen Tarzoor, has declared his intention to contest the governorship election in 2015. He said if elected, he would

pursue development of the state through the execution of peopleoriented programmes. Tarzoor who spoke in an interview with newsmen in his Makurdi residence said that building capacity of the people remained the only panacea to development of the state.

“I believe strongly in the role of the traditional rulers in entrenching true democracy. “That is why I am consulting with all the traditional rulers in the Minda axis which include Makurdi, Gwer, Gwer West and Guma local government areas.

“I have also consulted widely with other parts of the state as well as held meetings with forum of ex-legislators in the state,” Tarzoor said. Commenting on the high number of aspirants from the zone for the seat, Tarzoor described it as a welcome development.

Police college graduates anti-bomb technicians, investigators From Matthew Aramunde, Lagos


ne hundred and forty police personnel have completed an intensive programme as anti-bomb technicians and investigators at the Police College, Ikeja Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Commissioner

of Police in charge of Explosive Ordinance Deprogramme (EOD) Command, Abdulmajid Ali, paid glowing tribute to the InspectorGeneral of Police Mohammed Abubakar, for his “deep rooted” concern to combat terrorism and insurgency in the country. He noted that the establishment of EOD unit in

all the states of the Federation including FCT has repositioned the Command to combat the challenges of terrorism and insurgency. Admonishing the graduands to be good ambassadors, Ali said the specialised course confers on them a new status of anti-bomb technicians and investigators and

potential professionals in handling matters on explosives with versed knowledge in Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs). According to him, “the task ahead is indeed challenging, whenever there is a bomb to be detonated or need for an expert opinion regarding explosives and allied materials you would be called upon for such.”

ormer Governor of defunct Kaduna state, Alhaji Abba Musa Rimi, has been appointed Katsina state Amirul Hajj for the 2013 hajj exercise. A statement from the office of Secretary to the State Government, signed by the Chief Press Secretary in the SSG’s office, Alhaji Sani Bala Kabomo, noted that Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema approved the appointment. Other members approved by the governor to serve in the Amirul Hajj delegation include, the state PDP Chairman, Alhaji Rabi’u Gambo Bakori, a member of the Katsina state House of Assembly, Alhaji Halilu Ibrahim Karofi. The rest include, Marusan Katsina, District head of Dutsi, Alhaji Lawal Sani, representing Katsina Emirate Council and Mutawallen Daura, Alhaji Hamisu Abdullahi, representing Daura Emirate Council. The statement said that Alhaji Yahaya Abdullahi Karawa would serve as secretary of the delegation. From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina

Benin varsity lecturer docked over bribery


Law lecturer at the University of Benin, IsuOchiora Okogeri has been arraigned before an Ekiadolor Magistrate’s court in Ovia North East local government area of Edo state for alleged complicity in the transfer of a female student to the Faculty of Law of the school. Isu- Ochiora Okogeri, former Assistant Dean of Faculty of Law is standing trial on a one count charge of corruption for allegedly receiving N100,000.00 from one Omoluwabi Elogho, with a promise to effect her course transfer to the faculty of Law, an offence punishable under Section 98(b)(11) of the criminal code. Giving evidence in the case a prosecution witness, Edoseghe Oghogho Idahosa, who is also Head of the Intelligence Unit at the Security Department of the university, said the accused person committed the offence on December 31, 2012. The witness told the court that the accused person who was also a member of Intra-Faculty Transfer Board on request received the alleged sum of money from the prospective student who was said to be seeking transfer from the Faculty of Art to the Faculty of Law. From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin





Some Interesting Facts

here were about 300 bones in your body when you were born, but by the time you reach adulthood you only have 206. A dentist invented the electric chair!!! The largest baby to be born so far weighed in at 15 pounds, 5 ounces! Sir Edmund was the first to climb Mt. Everest and return back. The tallest man in this world was Robert Wadlow, a chinese man who was 7’1″ tall! Thomas Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb, was actually afraid of the dark Can you feel the pulse in your wrist? For humans the normal pulse is 70 heartbeats per minute. Elephants have a slower pulse of 27 and for a canary it is 1000! If all the blood vessels in your body were laid end to end, they would reach about 60,000 miles. Abraham Lincoln probably had a medical condition called Marfans syndrome. Some of its symptoms are extremely long bones, curved spine, an arm span that is longer than the persons height, eye problems, heart problems and very little fat. It is a rare, inherited condition. In one day your heart beats 100,000 times. Half your body’s red blood cells are replaced every seven days. By the time you are 70 you will have easily drunk over 12,000


gallons of water. Coughing can cause air to move through your windpipe faster than the speed of sound – over a thousand feet per second! Germs only cause disease, right? But a common bacterium, E. Coli, found in the intestine helps us digest green vegetables and beans (also making gases – pew!). These same bacteria also make vitamin K, which causes blood to clot. If we didn’t have these germs we would bleed to death whenever we got a small cut! It takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile. That dust on rugs and your furniture is not only dirt. It’s mostly made of dead skin cells. Everybody loses millions of skin cells every day which fall on the floor and get kicked up to land on

all the surfaces in a room. You could say, “That’s me all over.” It takes food seven seconds to go from the mouth to the stomach via the esophagus. Submitted by: Lovella A human’s small intestine is 6 meters long. The human body is 75% water. Submitted by: veggykid15 Your blood takes a very long trip through your body. If you could stretch out all of a human’s blood vessels, they would be about 60,000 miles long. That’s enough to go around the world twice. Submitted by: Todd The strongest bone in your body is the femur (thighbone), and it’s hollow! Submitted by: aquagirl

The width of your armspan stretched out is the length of your whole body. Submitted by: blue120 The average human dream lasts only 2 to 3 seconds. The average American over fifty will have spent 5 years waiting in lines. The farthest you can see with the naked eye is 2.4 million light years away! (140,000,000,000,000,000,000 miles.) That’s the distance to the giant Andromeda Galaxy. You can see it easily as a dim, la arg rgee gray “cloud” almostt dir d ire rect ctl tly y overhead in a clea ar nigh ightt sky sky. y. Submitted ed by: by: Todd The he a v er era a ge pe perr so son ha hass at a least lea st se sev ven dre dreams ams a ni night nig ht. Sub Su ubm m it itte ted d by y : C hri hristi stin na & Jessic Jes sica a

Say what?


Chris “The Duchess” Walton is the current Guinness World Record holder for longest fingernails. Seen here in NYC back in 2011, her nails (which she’s been growing for 18 years) measured 10 feet 2 inches on her left hand and 9 feet 7 inches on her right at the time.


Paralympian medallist dead: We lost a national heroine, says Jonathan

Joy Onaolapo

Stories by Albert Akota


resident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has described the death of Nigerian Paralympian gold medallist, Mrs. Joy Onaolapo as a big loss to the nation. The President, who said he received the news of the death of the medallist in the London 2012 Paralympics with shock, noted that she was among those who made Nigeria very proud at the games. Recalling meeting Mrs. Onaolapo when the Federal Government hosted and honoured the Paralympics medallists at the State House, Abuja last year, President Jonathan said. “It was indeed remarkable and very inspiring that she did not allow her physical challenge to stop her from reaching for the best in her sporting life, “he said. The President further added that Mrs. Onaolapo’s commitment and determination at the games and in life were worthy of emulation. As preparations are underway for the burial of the Nigerian Paralympics heroine in the 52 kilogram power-lifting category, President Jonathan commiserates with her family, the government and people of Edo State, members of the Nigeria Power Lifting Federation (NPLF) and the entire sporting community. “As we mourn the untimely transition of our beloved sister, let us be consoled by the knowledge that Mrs. Onaolapo’s feat would forever remain fresh in our memory. The President stressed. He added that the country would always remember those who bring honour to the nation. Jonathan prayed that God Almighty would give grace and comfort to the Onaolapo family and grant the soul of the departed peaceful rest.


We are at 85% completion of Eagle’s re-building, says Keshi


he Super Eagles Head Coach Stephen Keshi has said he was almost at 85 per cent completion of re- building the national team. Keshi said this at the post match briefing after the Super Eagles match against the host Bafana Bafana in Durban, South Africa. The visitors beat their hosts 2-0 following goals in the second half of the match scored by Uche Nwofor. He said although the process of team building was still going on he was satisfied with the attitude of the players towards that. “The result of the match is not important to me, but the attitude of the players towards team building. The most important game to me is our match against Malawi on Sept 7. “This match is a happy reunion to the players; we need to come back with our rhythm before our World Cup qualifier against Malawi in Calabar. “We are still in the process of team building. I am at about 85 percent completion of team building, ’’ Keshi said. He said some of the young

Technical crew with the Mandela Challenge trophy players were introduced in the first half because he was not sure of the pattern of game of the host team. “The game was good and both teams played entertaining football. “There are lots of potential

in the Bafana Bafana team and they can do better,’’ Keshi said. He said his team was ready for the World Cup qualifier against Malawi in Calabar. “We are ready for Malawi. The whole nation is waiting, I am waiting for the day the players

too are waiting,’’ Keshi said. The match, which is an international friendly, is to celebrate former President Neslson Mandela’s birthday and raise fund for his pet project, The Nelson Mandela Children Fund.

Nwofor makes case for more Eagles call-ups


che Nwofor fired a brace against South Africa to make a big case for players on the fringes of the Super Eagles to be given a chance sooner rather than later. Former Flying Eagles star Nwofor displayed a top striker’s predatory instincts with two welltaken goals on his full international debut. The VVV Venlo striker, who has been recently linked with a move to the English Premier League, most certainly enhanced his chances of now being part of Coach Stephen Keshi’s plans going forward.

Nwofor’s goals made sure that the team’s star striker Emmanuel Emenike was not missed as was the case at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil in June. Obinna Nsofor back to the team after two years in the international wilderness also looked lively and a threat going forward to justify his return. At the Confederations Cup, the Eagles were short of firepower, but on the evidence of win against South Africa, there are many positives to take away especially when the team attacked. Keshi’s core team remain players

Nwofor now in the Eagles picture after his strikes against Bafana

from the squad who won a third Africa Cup of Nations in February, but after what Nwofor showed on Wednesday night in Durban, he will most likely have to spread his dragnet a little further in search of more options for his team. Keshi will most likely stick to this nucleus when Nigeria host Malawi on September 7 in a decisive 2014

World Cup qualifier and hopefully too for the final qualifying rounds for Brazil in October and November. But it is expected that after the ticket to Brazil 2014 has been secured he will have a look at some other players who deserve to be flying with the Eagles.

Nigeria stands firm on Calabar venue


he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will not change the venue for September’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Malawi. The Football Association of Malawi (FAM) lodged a written complaint to the world football governing body, Fifa seeking for a change in the venue of the clash, Calabar. The Malawians claim Calabar is not safe and will want the game moved to an alternative venue. The NFF has now insisted that the choice of Calabar as venue for the game stands. “I was surprised when the Malawians raised an alarm over the choice of Calabar as venue for the game. This is a city where such games have been played in the past so the arguments they have raised holds no water,” NFF President,

Alhaji Aminu Maigari. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s InspectorGeneral of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has dispatched a detailed security guarantee and comprehensive plan for security for the game. The letter to Fifa guaranteed that the Nigeria Police “will provide adequate security to ensure a conducive environment before, during and after the match between Nigeria and Malawi scheduled for 7th September, 2013 at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, Cross River State”. The guarantee further explained that apart from routine police lead escorts and back-up vehicles for both teams and match officials from point of arrival to point of departure, all hotels and training grounds to be used would be adequately fortified.




Abuja fans hail Super Eagles, technical crew for spanking Bafana Bafana 2-0 By Albert Akota


he Super Eagles devotees in Abuja have hailed the boys and the Stephen Keshi led technical crew for spanking Bafana Bafana 2-0 in front of their teeming supporters in South Africa at the Nelson Mandela Challenge at Mabhida Stadium. Some of the fans, who spoke with Peoples Daily Sports in Abuja yesterday, expressed joy at the victory, saying the coaches made their experience count in the game. Sports enthusiast and coach of ECWA volleyball team, David Job, attributed the victory to the coaches’ experience and exposure to the game of football. “Keshi showed his experience during the match by introducing players that came in at the second half to create the goals,” he said. He added that Keshi’s experiment, especially with new players, added flex to the game. “If Keshi had not invited new players, Uche Nwofor would not have had the opportunity to show Nigerians that he could do the job in the absence of Emmanuel Emenike, “the VIO officer noted. Also speaking, a football fan, Newton Tilo said Nigeria won the match from the bench because there was strength at the bench. “His second half introduction of Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and Uche Nwofor changed the tone of the match. “The team displayed a reminiscent of its Nations Cup winning performance which endeared it to the continent’s football family. “The Eagles should, however, maintain such a level of consistency in future matches to regain their high rating by FIFA and the fans,” the Captain of ECWA FC noted. He also praised the scorer of the

20 polio survivors get tricycles in Katsina

two goals in the match, Uche Nwofor, for giving Nigerians the hope of better things to come and stressed that Nwofor would take the responsibility of rescuing the Eagles in precarious situations. Also reacting, the Secretary of the FCT Football Association, Abdullahi Ibrahim, said that he knew that Nigeria would not lose to the hosts. “I want the Eagles to maintain the level of tactical discipline they exhibited in their match against Bafana Bafana to lift the Mandela Challenge Cup, “he said. Peoples Daily Sports learnt that the former Enugu Rangers striker, Uche Nwofor, who replaced Shola Ameobi at the start of the second half who opened the scoring with a cool finish in the 49th minute, marked a memorable debut with a simple tap in the 68th minute following a sweeping team move involving substitutes Victor Moses and Ahmed Musa. According to the Ibrahim, “Its greatest strength was superb reflex especially in the midfield and defence, as well as the potency of their attack. “The players, despite a short training period, appeared fit and committed, exhibiting great cohesion which is the objective of the team’s rebuilding process,” he said. “I want to thank the technical crew for their second half introduction of Victor Moses, Ahmed Musa and Uche Nwofor which changed the tone of the match and brought the needed vigour

Eagle’s players with Mandela Challenges trophy

team, with the confirmed transfer of defender Godfrey Oboabona to the Turkish League,” he said. He however, called on the team to focus attention on the crucial World Cup qualifier against Malawi in September.

He expressed optimism that Nigeria would beat Malawi in the World Cup qualifier slated for Sept. 7 “Malawi will not leave Nigeria with less than 3 goals from the Eagles; Malawi cannot be a match for Nigeria, “he assured.

Former Arsenal and Nigeria legend Nwankwo Kanu has said that the Super Eagles is the future of football in Africa, in an interview with; the former Ajax player said Nigeria can win the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

and respect him a lot. As you know that he is a straight talker so the players know what is expected from them.

and ingenuity to the team’s attack. “The Eagles should, however, maintain such a level of consistency in future matches to regain their high rating by FIFA. “Keshi should ensure introduction of more home-based players in the

Eagles can win 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, says Kanu

Speaking about players respecting him, it seems like Nigeria are trying out many new faces, and how are they shaping the squad going ahead? We want players that are hungry for success and players who will play for the country with pride and dignity. That is the main reason we have such a squad. Although we can still have experienced players, nobody owns a space; they all need to work hard.


he National Primary Health Care Development Agency has donated 20 tricycles to polio survivors in Katsina State, the state Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Husaini Garba, has said. Garba said in Katsina that the gesture would complement the state government’s efforts towards improving the welfare of victims of polio. He said that the tricycles had been distributed to the beneficiaries and commended the Agency for its support to the state. The commissioner said that the Agency plans to provide similar assistance to other victims of the disease in all the local government areas of the state. Garba said the state government had initiated various skill acquisition programmes for the survivors to make them selfreliant He appealed to parents to ensure that their children were immunised against the six chilkdhood killer diseases, adding that the next round of polio immunisation in the state would come up in September.

What is your expectation for Nigeria’s upcoming match against Malawi and qualifying for the World Cup? We are definitely going to the World Cup next year, and we want to win the Cup for Africa. About the Malawi match - we are ready for it and we will do our best.

Kanu with Eagle’s players


ow highly do you rate the current Nigeria squad? We have a good squad that is competent enough to take us to the World Cup and make us shine on the world map.

What is your take on the coach Stephen Keshi? When he came in to the squad many people were very negative about him but he has proved that he is the best coach we ever had. He is a great guy and what is important is that he knows what he is doing

with the players, as he is a former player as well. How do you think he is coping with being a local coach, compared to Europeans who normally coach Africa’s top nations? Fortunately, the players love

Most critics argue that the current Nigeria team is not as good as your generation. Yet, they won the 2013 Afcon. What do you think has brought back the passion in the squad? We have a great coaching team behind them. And, that is what makes us the best in Africa.




Mourinho buoy on Eto’o’s Bent poised for Fulham loan A desire to join Chelsea


he 32-year-old forward recently admitted he was keen to work under the Portuguese once again, while the Chelsea boss has refused to rule out a move for the Cameroon international Reports have suggested the bigspending Russian side are looking to cut costs, with the 32-year-old forward among the players who could be offloaded this summer. Eto’o claimed he would relish the chance to work with Mourinho once again after winning the Champions League and Serie A under the Portuguese at Inter, while the Chelsea manager refused to rule out a move for the Cameroon international.

ston Villa manager Paul Lambert has confirmed that striker Darren Bent is set to join Fulham on loan this season. Villa has spent most of the transfer window trying to secure a permanent £6 million sale of the striker, with Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Fulham all possible destinations. Fulham manager Martin Jol appears to have won the contest with Bent expected to undergo a medical on Thursday, after being given permission to move to Craven Cottage on a temporary basis. Bent looked set to join Crystal


Tottenham complete Capoue signing

Manchester United make contact over Ozil, Modric M


ottenham have completed the signing of France midfielder Etienne Capoue from Ligue 1 club Toulouse.

anchester United has made contact with Real Madrid about signing one of Luka Modric or Mesut Ozil, Old Trafford sources said. The move signals an escalation of United’s attempts to finally complete transfer business in what has been a frustrating summer. The club is still intent on making three signings before the transfer window closes on September 2, with an all-round creative midfielder the top priority. It is for this reason that United are now negotiating on a few fronts. David Moyes alluded to what one source has described as the club “keeping several plates spinning” at the Premier League launch in London on Thursday. United also remain relaxed about eventually signing Marouane Fellaini to add presence to their midfield. The Belgium midfielder is keen to join the Premier League champions, but there remain some complications to be overcome as regards his Everton contract.

Mesut Ozil

Augsburg sign Argentine striker

Etienne Capoue

The 25-year-old, Spurs’ fourth signing of the summer, has joined for a fee believed to be in the region of £9m. Capoue, who made 174 appearances for Toulouse, scoring 13 goals, has won seven caps for France and can also play as a central defender. He was named in the French league’s Team of the Year in 2012, alongside Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Capoue joins Brazilian midfielder Paulinho from Corinthians, Belgium winger Nacer Chadli from FC Twente and Spain striker Roberto Soldado from Valencia - who arrived for a club record £26m - at White Hart Lane. Tottenham are short in defence after Steven Caulker moved to Cardiff, while Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul are recovering from injuries. His arrival could pave the way for a midfielder to leave White Hart Lane, with Scott Parker linked to West Ham and Queens Park Rangers.

Fellaini release clause expire, says Everton



undesliga club Augsburg has signed Argentine forward Raul Bobadilla from FC Basle on a three-year contract, the German side said yesterday. Bobadilla, who had moved to Basle from Young Boys midway through last season and helped them win the Swiss league title, was briefly suspended by his club in July for a speeding violation. On the pitch, he picked up a seven-game ban last season after insulting a referee. The 26-year-old striker started his European career in Switzerland before moving to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga in 2009. After a loan spell in Greece in 2011 he joined Young Boys in 2012.

Palace late on Wednesday evening, with manager Ian Holloway confident of signing the 29-yearold. Fulham have moved swiftly to head off all competition and have agreed to pay a loan fee in the region of £2 million as well as contributing to the majority of Bent’s £65,000-a-week wages at Villa Park. He was the subject of a £4 million bid from Fulham last month, which was rejected by Villa and Fulham refused to meet Villa’s valuation of the striker, who cost them £24 million from Sunderland in January 2011.

Raul Bobadilla

verton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed Marouane Fellaini’s release clause in his contract has expired. It was reported that the midfielder had a release clause of £22 million in his contract, fuelling speculation that the likes of Manchester United or Arsenal could activate that term. However, Martinez, who took over from new United boss David Moyes at Goodison Park this summer, has suggested an exit for the Belgium international is now unlikely. Martinez said: “Marouane had a clause that was very straightforward, but that finished on July 31. Everyone was a bit expectant. We now focused on adding to the squad. Left-back Leighton Baines has also been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, but Martinez is insistent that his key players will remain on Merseyside.

Marouane Fellaini




Pietersen fit for fifth Ashes Test despite knee scan


Jessica Judd

World Athletics 2013: Judd in tears after 800m exit


ritish teenager Jessica Judd was left in tears after failing to qualify for the women’s 800m semifinals at the World Athletics Championships. The 18-year-old from Canvey Island, who won her event at this year’s European Team Championships, finished fifth in Thursday’s heat in a time not fast enough for a spot in the next

round. British champion Okoro, 28, was second in her heat in a season-best time of one minute 59.43 seconds to qualify automatically. Scot Muir, 20, produced an exceptional sprint over the final 100m to take third spot in her race, clocking 2:00.80 - a personal best. There were mixed fortunes

for British champion Anyika Onuora and former world youth champion Jodie Williams in the women’s 200m heats. Both finished fourth in their separate races, but Onuora’s time of 23.36 seconds was not good enough to secure a spot in Thursday’s semi-finals as a fastest loser, whereas Williams’ 23 seconds saw her qualify 17th fastest out of 24.

ngland batsman Kevin Pietersen has had a precautionary scan on his right knee but is available to be selected for the fifth Ashes Test against Australia at The Oval starting on 21 August. The procedure was part of an ongoing monitoring process following the bone bruising injury suffered by the 33-year-old in February. Pietersen will receive treatment for the rest of the series and beyond. Pietersen has scored 276 runs at an average of 34.5, with a highest score of 113 as England won the series, leading 3-0 with one Test remaining. He was only passed fit to play in the third Test at the last minute after overcoming a calf strain, and has missed three out of eight Tests

Kevin Pietersen this year because of injury. England boss Andy Flower has said the right-hander must “look after himself as well as possible now” in order to extend his international career.

IPC World Swimming: Hynd, Walker wins gold


llie Hynd and Matt Walker both won gold as Great Britain took their medal count to 30 at the IPC World Swimming Championships in Montreal. Hynd claimed his second gold as he beat older brother Sam into second in the S8 400m freestyle on day three. Walker won the S7 50m freestyle, just 0.03 seconds ahead of fellow

Briton Josef Craig, who took silver. The 35-year-old, whose father died three months before he won bronze in the same event at the London 2012 Paralympics, celebrated the 10th world medal of his career. Gold and silver for Ollie and Sam Hynd came a year after they took silver and bronze behind China’s Yinan Wang at the Paralympics.

Wimbledon champion announces her retirement


imbledon champion Marion Bartoli is retiring from tennis just 40 days after winning her only Grand Slam title. The 28-year-old Frenchwoman, ranked seventh in the world, said she was taking the decision with immediate effect because of persistent injuries. She made the tearful announcement at a media conference following defeat by Simona Halep at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.

Bartoli, who beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in the Wimbledon final in July, said her Achilles, shoulder, hip and lower back hurt continually when she plays. The 2007 Wimbledon runnerup had won her first Grand Slam at the 47th attempt - the longest wait in women’s tennis before a maiden Grand Slam. She had returned from her Wimbledon triumph to play in Toronto last week and was playing her first match in Cincinnati having received a first-round bye.

Marion Bartoli Jessica Judd

US Open: Tsonga out with knee injury


o-Wilfried Tsonga has pulled out of this month’s US Open because of injury. The world number eight is not fully fit after a knee problem forced him to withdraw during his second-round match at Wimbledon in June. The US Open at Flushing Meadows begins

on 26 August, with Britain’s Andy Murray the defending champion. “I have to take care of me and make sure I can play 100%,” said Tsonga. The doctors told me that it would be at least two months for my tendon to partially heal and five months to be completely healed.

. . . putting the people first



World Athletics 2013: Don’t crucify Okagbare 1oom fall-out


ormer Special Assistant to the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Abba Yola has lashed out at those who have been expressing disappointment at the 6th place finish by Blessing Okagbare in the final of IAAF world championship 100 meters Yola, who is also the chairman of Nigeria Premier league club, Kano Pillars said Nigerians should be full of praise for Okagbare and not the barrage of disappointment they are expressing. “Okagbare has done well winning a silver in the long jump and finishing 6th in 100metres. It is not easy to be sixth fastest woman in the world. She was eight at the London Olympics and now she is number six. That is an improvement. “She would continue to rise and I believe that she could win in the next games in Brazil. If I have my way she should get a national award for her feat” Yola stated He said that Okagbare may yet win a medal in the 200 metres race so, let us continue to encourage her to do well instead of crucifying her, adding that the woman who broke a 14 year winless streak for Nigeria should be commended.

Isinbayeva speaks against homosexuality


orld pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has spoken out against homosexuality amid protests over new laws in her native Russia. It is now illegal to give under-18s information about homosexuality in Russia - leading to calls for a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Swedish high jumper Emma Green-Tregaro painted her fingernails in the colours of the rainbow flag for Thursday’s qualifying competition at the World Championships in Moscow. Isinbayeva added: “Everyone can participate, everyone can compete, but of course if they will promote sexual relations outside in the street it won’t be respectable for a lot of our citizens because we are all, from inside of us, against it.


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QUOTABLE QUOTE Momodu Bama was one of the most vicious and heartless killers in the group (Boko Haram)with a penchant for slaughtering his victims…[His] father, Abatcha Fulatari, was the spiritual mentor of Boko Haram in charge of indoctrinating child foot soldiers. — Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, JTF spokesman on the killing of Boko Haram’s second in command

Kindergarten president, childish handlers


still recall how one of my sons behaved before going into kindergarten. He did not know how to share toys or food, threw tantrums whenever he failed to get his way or insulted his siblings or sulked when criticized. With years of parental effort at home, and intervention of handlers in nursery school, our son learnt the virtues of sharing, inclusion and getting along with those that he disagreed with. I guess this is the experience of many parents. I have always wondered what manner of person would resort to abuse, bigotry and division when his or her conduct and utterances are interrogated, instead of simply responding in civilized language. APC chairman Bisi Akande’s characterization of Jonathan as a kindergarten president explained everything. And surrounded with equally parochial, morally-flexible handlers, one is bound to read the kind of falsehood that emanates from the likes of Reuben Abati from time to time. It was Aeschylus, the ancient Greek dramatist who said, “In war, truth is the first casualty”. Thank God, despite the provocations of the Dokubos and the Clarks, Nigeria is not at war, but the presidency and presidential hangerson have distorted democratic politics into some sort of warfare. President Goodluck Jonathan’s response to an interview I granted over the weekend is indicative that truth has become a casualty in his shoddy attempt to belittle the salient issues concerning Nigeria that I spoke about, and the weighty fact that the president is the promoter and apostle of ethnic and religious division of Nigeria, purely for political gains! For the records, I was featured on Liberty Radio’s Guest of the Week where I spoke on a number of issues, including the fact that the proceeds from crude oil theft (as confirmed by the Bayelsa state governor, Seriake Dickson) were being used to procure arms to wage war on Nigeria in the event that Jonathan lost his reelection bid in 2015. I also stated that, “PDP has become a virus that is infecting and destroying the country because they are not doing anything productive. They have changed our politics into that of ethnicity and religion to divert attention from their incompetence, lack of capacity and looting of the treasury”. Instead of addressing the issues I raised, presidential spokesman Reuben Abati chose to muddle the discussion and confuse the public. According to a report issued by Governance and Sustainable Initiatives Ltd., entitled Analysis and Lessons of the Current Geopolitical Distribution of Federal Appointments, the Jonathan administration is said to have favoured his home state of Bayelsa 200% times more than the next states with the highest federal representation – Delta, Edo and Anambra. If Jonathan is not playing the ethnic card, can he possibly explain to Nigerians why Bayelsa which has the smallest population

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NASIR EL-RUFAI ON FRIDAY in Nigeria and the fewest number of local government areas, has more than double the number of federal appointees measured by population and weight of responsibility than that of the next state, whilst the most populous states of Lagos and Kano were at the bottom of the representation ladder. What is the president’s response to that? If President Jonathan is not playing ethnic politics, why was he quick to exonerate those he called “my people” in the aftermath of the October 1st 2010 bombings in Abuja? Did Henry Okah, who was eventually convicted of the offence in South Africa, not reveal in court that he was contacted by a highranking official from the presidency who told him to implicate some northerners in the bombing? A year later, after his highly divisive election, he told a delegation of the Ohaneze that he believed that the only votes he got from the North were from Igbo residents in the North. Are those the words of a patriot or an ethnic bigot? This was after an election where he received nearly 100 percent of all votes cast in the South South and South East states, in some cases getting more votes than there were registered voters or even residents. The presidency did not respond to these facts, but chose to distort the matter in order to sweep the issues under the carpet. It may interest the president to know that Nigerians are much wiser now and will not be deceived by the antics of a drowning president and his desperate aides. The president, rather than responding intelligibly to my charge that Jonathan has a deliberately evil strategy of using religion to divide the country for electoral gains, decided it was story time, and proceeded to announce that the president also fasted along with Muslims. It may interest him to know that former president Olusegun Obasanjo also fasted while in office, but did not broadcast it for any political gain. Incidentally, fasting goes beyond abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours; it is an intrinsic spiritual contact between man and his Creator to strive for higher ideals including truthfulness, honesty and keeping promises. Which promise has Jonathan kept? Where is the integrity in this government? Where is the genuine fear of God when looting is the order of the day? Nigeria, by the will of the people, is a secular state. But of all Nigerian leaders, no one except Jonathan makes policy proclamations from his place of

worship. Perhaps, the irony is lost on the president, but not only is it religious politics to make policy statements before only a section of the populace, the implications of making those promises in the house of God, then refusing to fulfil them are serious. Are we not told not to take the name of the Lord in vain? As testimony to the fact that truth has become a casualty in the presidency, Abati went beyond that and concocted a lie that I said Christians were behind the Church bombings that took place in Nigeria. I never said anything like that. All I wrote was that the late National Security Adviser to the president, Gen. Owoye Azazi, and a small group known to him, were behind the dastardly acts, and I pointed out the fact that the moment he was removed as NSA, the church bombings virtually stopped as mysteriously as they started. I would have expected the president to set up an independent panel to find out and tell Nigerians the truth about the horrific church bombings. Why the conspiracy of silence? I am keen to know why the presidency chose to keep quite on my charge that President Jonathan is the godfather of the oil thieves. If that is not the case, how come oil theft jumped from about 100,000 barrels per day before his election to a staggering 400,000 per day now? Can Jonathan explain why he ordered the removal of recognised maritime security officials from the creeks and handed over pipelines and oil installations security to militants? In what country does a bank employ a former bank robber to guard its vaults? Is there not a grand strategy to ease oil theft and procure arms for the militants to use against their fatherland? Why is there no response to this issue? In the interview, I mentioned that the vice president, Namadi Sambo left massive debts as governor of Kaduna state with little to show for it, the same attitude that permeates every facet of Jonathan’s government. Anyone in doubt should check with the Debt Management Office. Kaduna state has the second highest debt of all states in Nigeria, thanks to loans that Sambo pursued as governor for projects that no one can see on the ground. Kaduna is a short drive from Aso Rock, so Jonathan and his cohorts can take a quick drive to see things for themselves. Nothing beats personal experience. One of the largest and longest ‘ongoing’ projects in Kaduna state is the Zaria Water Supply Project, which was

awarded to Sambo’s company before he became governor. Though Zaria is his hometown, he did not complete the project as contractor despite payments, did not conclude it as governor despite his office and is today uncompleted, despite his position. Up until last week, most of Zaria does not have potable water, yet Sambo lists the award of a N7billion Government House contract among his achievements. Indications are that the final figure may reach N20billion before it is completed. Is that an achievement or an appropriate priority? Which 300-bed hospital did Sambo build in Kaduna State when the KASU Teaching Hospital is far from being a centre of excellence? The former governor has a penchant for confusing awarding contracts that remain forever “ongoing” with delivering public services to the citizens. How sad. When the circle around Yar’Adua decided to play sit-tight, unconstitutional politics with his illhealth, we described their actions as that of a cabal and subjected them to public opprobrium. Whether the cabal existed as one unit or several cabals sometimes even working at cross-purposes is not the issue. We waged a war against saboteurs of our constitution through lawful means. Who is the primary beneficiary of that cabal narrative if not Jonathan? I have had my differences with General Muhammadu Buhari, and that explains the context of my 2010 statement. Despite my strong views on issues, I do not suffer from the egotism that prevents reflection, reconsideration and the ability to adjust to new information. The general and I have moved on from those differences and we are working with like-minded compatriots to contribute to providing Nigeria the quality leadership it desperately needs. Those fixated on that to divide us are free to waste their energies. As for Abati, I understand his problem. I will not bother to mention his writings in his previous incarnation where he thoroughly abused the president, his wife and others from whose dining table he now eats, on several occasions. Managing the public image of the inept and incompetent president that Jonathan has proved to be can be a demanding task. That task is further compounded when a medical doctor begins to angle in on the same job, especially as Jonathan has demonstrated clearly that he does not have any idea on how to tackle Nigeria’s massive unemployment challenges. So to keep his job and prove that he is more loyal, Abati thinks that the more he insults the president’s critics, the better he would look. Unfortunately, he has a lot of people to insult, because his boss has nothing to offer Nigerians, which is why he is using ethnic and religious sentiments to play politics. A thinking president would know that stoking ethnicity and religious affiliation is not only unpatriotic, but dangerous in a country like Nigeria, but as desperate as he is to remain in office, nothing seems too low for this president. No wonder Chief Bisi Akande referred to him as a kindergarten president, while Lagos state governor called him a roadside mechanic that cannot be trusted with any vehicle. If only the presidency could hear the truth of what majority of Nigerians who feel betrayed by his agenda of deceit and corruption are saying!

Published by Peoples Media Limited, 35, Ajose Adeogun Street, 1st Floor Peace Park Plaza, Utako, Abuja. Kano office: Plot 3, Zaria Road, Opposite Kano State House of Assembly. Lagos Office: No.8 Oliyide Street, off Unity Road, Ikeja, Lagos. Tel: +234 814 292 9046. Cell: +234 802 443 2099; 803 7007 759. e-mail:; ISSN: 2141– 6141

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 16, August, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 16, August, 2013

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 16, August, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday 16, August, 2013