Page 1

Vol. 12 No. 100

Monday, February 17, 2014

. . . putting the people first

Rabi’uth Thani 18, 1435 AH



>>>>> Page 6

106 massacred in Borno village


Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima (middle), pulling down a stalk-house before setting it ablaze to launch the Borno state Stalk Houses Eradication Programme, on Saturday at Maffa village located along Maiduguri-Konduga/Bama road. Twenty two units of low-cost model houses were built and freely allocated to the 22 families who have in the last 50 years lived in stalk-houses.



overnor Kashim Shettima of Borno state has said that his government would construct 250 houses for 800 residents of Bulabulin Ngarnam in Maiduguri who

were displaced by the Boko Haram crisis. Governor Shettima made the disclosure while inspecting the site for the construction of the houses near the Maiduguri

Flour Mills. He said the gesture was aimed at providing shelter to the victims who had lost their property to the crisis. The governor directed the

committee handling the project to commence work on the site next week for early completion. “We are building 250 houses for the residents to enable them to have shelter for their families.

“We are hoping that the houses will be ready early enough to provide succour to the victims”, Shettima said. He advised the committee Contd. on Page 2

       




CONTENTS INEC to test permanent voters’ card in Ekiti, Osun elections News














Stockwatch S/Report Feature Health

23 24,25 28 29,30


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it is looking to use the permanent voter’s card in the conduct of the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states ahead of the 2015 general elections. The elections will hold in June in Ekiti state and August in Osun state. Chief Press Secretary to the INEC chairman, Kayode Idowu, disclosed this yesterday on Channels Television’s programme, Politics Today. Idowu, said the commission was doing everything possible to guide against the kind of irregularities experienced in the Anambra governorship election held in 2014. He explained that the commission would issue the permanent voter’s card few months before the elections to ensure that all eligible voters were captured ahead of the election. “In Ekiti state, we will be issuing the permanent voters card

but the card reader will not be used for now until 2015. “We are also ensuring that whatever challenges we had in Anambra concerning logistics are being addressed to make sure that materials are in all polling units at the right time,” Mr. Idowu explained. Pointing out some of the irregularities experienced in Anambra state’s governorship election, one of the observers of the election, the Executive Director, Enough Is Enough Nigeria, Yemi Ademolekun, stressed the need for the electoral body to commence a sensitisation programme before the election, insisting that poor voters’ education contributed hugely to the poor conduct of the election in Anambra. Another observer present at the Anambra governorship election, the President, Voters’ Awareness Initiative, Mr Wale Ogunnade, insisted that the INEC boss, Attahiru Jega, should be on ground to monitor

INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega election, when it is conducted for just one state. “By the time you set a good example and things are done right in a place, it will help ensure that the small boys will put up good attitude and do the right thing at other times,” he argued. Mr Ogunnade, who is also a lawyer advocated a continuous voters’ registration process, which he said the INEC had been

empowered to undertake, as provided by Section 9 and 10 of the Electoral Act. “Continues voter’s registration should be put to work and ensure that everyone that turns 18 is registered in their local council as soon as they turn 18 and not when the election is already near,” he said, calling on all Nigerians to contribute their best to the success of the 2015 elections. Ahead of the 2015 elections, Mr. Idowu pointed out that the commission had done a lot in addressing issues that arose in Anambra. “Towards Ekiti and Osun and 2015 , we are doing everything possible to make sure that everybody who ought to be on the biometric register and who for one reason or the other is not there now, are giving the opportunity to be on the biometric register. That was the reason we were in Osun last week. “We are in a lot of sensitisation,” he said.

106 massacred in Borno From Mustapha Kwaru, Maiduguri & Umar Dankano, Yola

N Aide dispels rumour of Tambuwal’s defection to APC –Page 10

Int’l Digest Politics

31-34 36 37-38

News Extra 39,40 Sports




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

Phones for News: 08142929046 08024432099

o fewer than 106 people were killed in the latest round of attacks on Izghe, a community in Gwoza local government area of southern Borno state, which shares borders with Madagali town in Madagali local government area of Adamawa state. The attacks are part of the series of terror campaigns by suspected members of the dreaded Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna lid Da’awati wal Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram. At least 10,000 persons have fled Izghe and are currently taking refuge in Madagali according to the Chairman of Madagali local government area, Maina Ularamu. This is coming barely 74 hours after the insurgents ambushed some soldiers who were on their way from Madagali to Izghe, to rescue villagers during an attack mid last week. Nine of the soldiers were reportedly killed while others injured, even though some of the insurgents were also killed by the soldiers. In the fresh attack, residents said the gunmen invaded Izghe, shooting sporadically and setting their homes (mostly thatched) ablaze. The insurgents were suspected

to have invaded the town after escaping from their camps in Sambisa and other parts of Borno and Yobe states, during recent military raids. Although there were conflicting figures on the casualties, Senator Muhammad Ali Ndume, who represents Borno South Senatorial District, confirmed that 106 people were killed in the latest round of violence by the insurgents. Ndume disclosed that while speaking to the Hausa service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), in a report monitored last night from Abuja. According to the senator, the last person to be buried was an old woman. Ndume said he had escorted the Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima to meet with the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), earlier yesterday to seek for swift federal government action to halt the rising spate of violence in the region. Ndume said residents of Izghe were seen fleeing into neighbouring Adamawa villages out of fear just as he regretted that only the poor are suffering from the scourge of the insurgents. The Madagali local government chairman, in his account, confirmed that survivors of the attack from the gunmen were fleeing into his area. According to him, “the people

are of the same tribe and because of the difficult terrain, they can’t go through Gwoza; it’s easier to connect Madagali.” He appealed to the Adamawa state governor, Murtala Nyako, to learn from his counterpart in Borno by urgently stepping-in to assist the victims. Narrating the incident, a fleeing villager, who did not want his name in print said: “They invaded our village while most of people were fleeing; the attackers asked us to assemble in one place. Initially we thought they are soldiers who came to rescue us, but before blinking our eyes, the insurgents started their heinous act, slaughtering people like goats; at least 63 persons were killed.” The villager continued: “They (insurgents) came in at about 10pm yesterday (Saturday). They were driving six pickup vans filled with young men chanting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great). Others were on motorcycles. “Those of us who heard their arrival earlier were able to escape but several of our colleagues who were already asleep couldn’t make it before the gunmen caught them. They burnt houses, and left with 10 vehicles belonging to our people. Several women and children were found seriously injured. We had to flee the village because we cannot risk being attacked again.

Our food stores have been looted by the gunmen too,” he stressed. Another eye witness, who claimed to have lost a father inlaw in the attack, said over 90 inhabitants were killed, while several others are missing as the insurgents raided the area. Malam Adamu Izghe, an indigene of the village said the terrorists who were in hundreds went with sophisticated weapons and started shooting sporadically, setting many houses, shops and buildings ablaze. He said the insurgents razed down the whole community and even trailed those that escaped to nearby villages and slaughtered them. According to him, members of the community in Maiduguri have cried for help to both the federal and state governments over the incessant attacks by insurgents without concrete measures taken by government. He lamented that Gwoza, Bama, Konduga and Damboa local government areas have been under siege by the insurgents in recent times, and called on the federal government to deploy more military personnel and equipment to the areas. The state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Lawal Tanko, who confirmed the attack, said he was yet to ascertain the number of casualties as at press time.

...Shettima to build 250 houses for victims Contd. from Page 1 to make use of cement blocks instead of the usual brick blocks for such houses to reduce cost, stressing that “each household should have a two-bedroom house to accommodate the

family. “The house might not necessarily contain a big parlour and other artificial design, but let it be convenient for the family”, he said. Responding, the Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Ibrahim

Ali, commended the governor for approving the construction of the houses and expressed willingness to commence work as soon as possible. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that residents of Bulabulin Ngarnam were

rendered homeless last year after a military operation which demolished structures in the area. The area was believed to be the hide-out and operational base of the Boko Haram militants. (NAN)




N5bn pension scam: Court hears bail arguments of former Director today By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


federal high court in Abuja will today resume hearing of arguments on the bail of a former Director of Pension Accounts in the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation [OHCSF], Dr. Sani Teidi shaibu currently standing trial for allegedly diverting N5billion meant for pensioners in the country. He was said to have acted in connivance with a former man-

ager of the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc, Mr. Udusegbe Omoefe Eric. Eight months after he was granted bail by Justice Adeniyi Ademola in the sum of N500 million, the former Director is still languishing in Kuje prison. In admitting them to bail, the court ordered that they should provide two sureties who must deposit the title deeds of their property with the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court. According to the judge, “The

accused persons should equally deposit their travelling documents with the court registrar and must not travel without the permission of the court.” When the matter came up at the last adjourned date, counsel to Shaibu, Sunday Ameh [SAN] raised the issue saying, “My lord, my client has met all the bail conditions as directed by the court. All the title documents of the two sureties’ worth over N500 million have been at-

tached and verified by the Abuja Geographical Information System [AGIS] and the file is now before you.” But responding, Justice Ademola said the issue of bail was an administrative issue and cannot be discussed in open court adding that a lot of files were pending before him and that he would create time to look at them. Mr. Ameh described the continued stay of his client in prison as strange because according to

FCT minister condemns media reports about Patience Jonathan’s health

L-R: National Chairman, Jama’atu Iizalatil Bidahwa’iqamatis Sunnah and Conference of Ahlus-Sunnah of Nigeria (JIBWIS\ COAN), Sheikh Abdullahi Balalau, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, and Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero Ramalan, during the 1st annual conference of Ahlus-Sunnah of Nigeria, on Saturday at Tafawa Balewa Square, in Lagos.


he Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed, has condemned media reports on a purported foreign trip by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, for medical treatment Mohammed, who spoke yesterday in Abuja, when the first lady paid him a condolence visit over the death of his brother, Malam Yusuf Mohammed, described the report as malicious. “We want to dispute media reports that you are sick and rushed abroad, but here you are resplendent and beautiful. “We wish to tell the ‘Judases’ that they are not God and that anybody can fall sick.” He said that Mrs Jonathan’s support to her husband, the nation and vulnerable women was important, noting that she had a “positive impact on our lives”. Mohammed said that his late brother was a technocrat who lived a life worthy of emulation. “He served as a teacher, administrator; he trained me and brought me to a level where we can relate with people of integrity and pedigree,” he said. Condoling the minister earlier, the first lady said that the death of Malam Mohammed was a loss to the government and people of Bauchi State, as he was a well-respected community leader in the state. “It is quite sad, but we can’t question God. He gives and takes, but we can pray that his soul should rest in perfect peace, and may God raise another person to fill his gap. (NAN)

him he has met his bail conditions. The suspects who are answering to a 22-count criminal charge bordering on conspiracy, fraud, breach of public trust and obtaining by false pretence, were on June 7, arraigned before the high court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC). EFCC had maintained that the accused persons used nine companies and siphoned pension funds.

5 days after, protesters free 1000 Chevron employees From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


hevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC/Chevron) Joint Venture, has confirmED that more than 1000 junior contract workers locked down over the past five days in its Escravos Gas-To-Liquids (EGTL) Camp have been freed. The workers had been held

against their will by some protesting community workers employed by local community contractors. CNL’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Deji Haastrup, in a statement, said the federal government’s security apparatus, the Joint Task Force (JTF), successfully set the workers free on Saturday. “All the workers are safe and on their way home.

Foundation empowers 33 widows, women with disabilities in Kaduna From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


n an effort to reduce poverty, a group, under the aegis of Vision Trust Foundation, distributed cash to widows and women with disability in Kaduna State to enable them set up businesses. According to the group, the foundation is aimed at making women self dependent. Speaking during the distribution, Chairman of the group, Mallam Muhammad Haruna said “Vision Trust Foundation”, a nonprofit, non political organization was set up in 1995. While urging the wealthy persons in the society to emulate the foundation, Haruna said:

“We have a huge plot of land in Rigasa, the idea was to have a school to reduce begging which has become a problem in this country”. On the sources of funds for the group, he said prominent people among them contribute money given to the beneficiaries. He explained that most of the widows are involved in menial jobs and the group help them with capital to expand their businesses as each got N19,000 as loan. On behalf of the beneficiaries, Hajiya Fatima Abubakar thanked the leadership of the group for deeming it fit to assist women with capital and called on all beneficiaries to payback their loans to enable others to benefit.

“We are happy that this has been finally brought to a peaceful conclusion,” said Many of the workers are now either back in Warri, Delta state or en-route to Warri to re-unite with their families”, Haastrup said. The statement said further that CNL has notified its employees of the successful rescue of their workers. The Delta state government and community leaders have all been continu-

ously briefed throughout the duration of the lockdown. CNL said it reiterates its commitment to treating all its contractors fairly. “We will continue to advocate respect for the Rule of Law and the use of constructive dialogue in the resolution of all issues. The safety of our employees and contractors remain our first priority in all our operations,” Haastrup added.

Dankwambo trains 1,554 youths in skill acquisition programme From David Hassan, Gombe


ombe state government has embarked on training of 1,554 youths in skill acquisition programme under its youth empowerment scheme to reduce unemployment and check youth restiveness in the state. Commissioner of Youth Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation in Gombe state, Alhaji Mijinyawa Sani Labaran, who disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend said “ the state government under Dankwambo administration will empower youths to become self reliant in the soci-

ety”. He said the government will not relent in its effort to improve the living standard of the people particularly the youths whom according to him, are future leaders. The commissioner explained that the 1,554 youths who are currently undergoing training will be deployed to various ministries based on their field of specialization for special training under experts. “The training will last for 2 weeks after which another set of youths will be engaged for training”, he said.




Ajimobi urges Muslims to be of good conduct


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has urged Muslims to be of good conduct and be united irrespective of the Islamic groups they belong to. Ajimobi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Ismail Ali, made the call yesterday during the Muslim Unity Day organised by the Muslim Community of Oyo State (MUSCOYS) in Ibadan. He said that Muslims should always behave in a manner that others would emulate. The Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Monsurat Sunmonu, advised Muslims to avoid undue criticisms of fellow human beings, saying that this could breed disunity in the country. The guest lecturer, Sheik Muhammed-Jamiu Bakare, said that criticism was seriously affecting the unity of the Muslims, saying that nobody was perfect, The Chairman of MUSCOYS, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, said that the Muslim Unity Day was the first of its kind to be held in Oyo state. Sanni promised that the event would now be held annually to sensitise Muslims on some basic principles of Islam.

Police arrest church security for alleged rape in Anambra


he Police in Anambra yesterday said a security guard attached to a church at Nkpor, near Onitsha, suspected to have raped a 14-year-old girl, has been arrested. The Police Public Relations Officer in the command, Mr Emeka Chukwuemeka, told newsmen that the suspect and two others, now at large, allegedly committed the offence in a church compound in the community. According to him, the three suspects threatened the girl with a machete before raping her. ``We have launched full search for other culprits and commenced investigation into the case, and when we conclude, the suspects will be arraigned,” he said. The father of the girl, Mr Nzeyi Nwolisa, said the girl had been taken to hospital for treatment. He appealed to the police to speed up investigation so as to apprehend the remaining suspects and charge them to court. (NAN)

This shows the calf with 4 eyes and 2 tongues

Cow delivers calf with 4 eyes, 2 tongues in Minna From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


t was a grotesque site as the people of Gbeganu community in Minna the Niger state capital beheld at the weekend, a cow being reared by the Fulani at the neighborhood

gave birth to a calf with four eyes, two tongues and without real nose. The community gathered in their hundreds to catch a glimpse of this strange creature, a first of its kind in the community. When our reporter visited the scene, the owner of the calf

who gave his name as Usman Ibrahim expressed shock at the bit but said that it was God’s making. Usman who spoke in Hausa told our reporter that the cow had been sick and undergone several treatments during the pregnancy.

The Chief Imam of the community, Mallam Mohammed Nda, who also expressed shock, said that it was the work of God who creates all things while calling on every believer to be prayerful and always seek forgiveness from Allah (the Creator) of heaven and earth.

Police kill ex PDP chairmanship aspirant during Val celebration in Kwara From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


former Chairmanship aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, Femi Awoyale has been allegedly shot dead by a police constable during the Valentine

Day celebration at Oro, a town close to Irepodun. It was gathered that the policeman was at Topmost Hotel where he was providing security for Valentine fun seekers. A source told journalists that the un-named officer who was said to be drunk and sleeping, suddenly woke up when he heard noise of trouble makers

and shot twice to the air. After the tension was doused, he was said to go back to rest when his gun went off and a bullet accidentally hit Ayodele. “The butt of gun hit the wall and bullets were released and it hit Awoyale in the chest and he died instantly”, the source said. The lifeless body of the de-

ceased has been deposited at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) mortuary. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Ajayi Okasanmi confirmed the incident and said the officer affected has been arrested and is currently being interrogated at the Kwara state Police headquarters, Ilorin.

I was not bribed to decamp to PDP- Dangaladima By Chris Alu


ep. Sani Umar Dangaladima, PDP member representing Birning Magaji/Kaura Namoda federal constituency of Zamfara state, has debunked the news that

he was bribed with huge sums of money before he defected to PDP . Describing it as a script orchestrated by APC members who saw his rising political profile as a trait, the lawmaker told newsmen in Abuja that he

was never at any point in time seduced or lured with money to decamp to PDP rather, he defected because of the way APC officials in the state were playing pranks on him. According to him, “APC officials constitute themselves as

cabal that takes decisions without consulting other stakeholders”. He explained that, any party that is being hijacked by few members will not hold water and that is exactly what APC in Zamfara state is doing.






Lead poison: FG installs 3 milling machines in Zamfara T From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau

he federal government has installed three Igoli wet milling machines to be used by over 60 mining cooperative societies in Zamfara state, in order to herald the commencement of safer

mining in the state. A South African consultant employed by the federal government, Mr. Azaria Mabasa, described the development as the most significant step to enhance safer mining among Nigerian mining communities and to guaranty value for the

commodities being processed by the local miners. “With the development, miners are now discouraged from using the local methods in mining processing, but rather would embark on dry milling technology upon which the government will continue giving

required support especially in training and provisions for chemicals”, he said. Since the outbreak of lead poisoning in the state in 2010 which led to the death of hundreds of children in Bagegga and other communities, the federal government has joined hands in

complementing the efforts of the state government and indeed the local miners to set up ground for safer mining in all the affected areas. The three machines were installed in Bagegga, Jabaka and Kwali mining pitch complexes in three local government areas.

Shettima declares war on stalk houses


overnor Kashim Shettima yesterday made a declaration of war on houses made of stalks and thatched roofs when he unveiled an ambitious programme that is aimed at replacing thousands of mud-like houses made of cornstalks, wheat-stalks and millet-stalks owned by villagers in different parts of the State. Tagged, “The Borno State Stalk Houses Eradication Programme”, Shettima launched the scheme with the commissioning of 22 modern houses, built by the state government and allocated to 22 families at Mafa village, located along MaiduguriKonduga/Bama road in Jere local government area of the state.

The 22 families and their descendants have been living in the village in the past fifty years under stalk houses without water and electricity until Governor Shettima sighted them a year ago while driving along the road, stopped over, interacted with the villagers and ordered the construction of detached units of two bed-room flats for each of the families. Speaking at the commissioning, Governor Shettima said, “I am happy today that we are gathered to allocate houses to our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and children in a community that for nearly fifty years lived under the rains and the sun”.

ICPC confiscate 372 international passports Nasarawa state Governor, Alhaji Umaru Tanko Al-Makura (right), answering questions from journalists after his registration as All Progressives Congress (APC) member, recently at Gayam ward, last Friday in Lafia . With him is his Chief Press Secretary, Iliyasu Ali Yakubu (left).

Sokoto Orthopaedic Hospital ready soon - HoS From Raji Bello, Sokoto


okoto state government yesterday disclosed that the ultra-modern, multi-million naira Orthopaedic Hospital at Wamakko town in Wamakko local government area of the state is to be inaugurated soon. The state’s Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Bature Shinkafi, revealed this at the inauguration of a privatelyowned health facility, the Bone and Joint Orthopaedic Hospital in Sokoto. According to him, “The Wamakko Orthopaedic Hospital which is the first of

its kind in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states is now a reality. “The Hospital has been completed and it had been equipped with the best, stateof-the-art facilities, to make it of international standard. “Similarly, the state government had since recruited the specialty consultants and other para-medics for the hospital, from within and outside Nigeria”, he added. Shinkafi said that the state government established the new hospital to reduce the sufferings of accident and trauma victims who often had to travel to Kano or outside Nigeria for treatment.

He assured that the state government would partner with the new private hospital, even as he urged that, its services should be made affordable and efficient. Also speaking, Head of Public Health Department of the Uthmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Prof. Taofeeq Ibrahim stressed the need for increased public- private sectors partnerships, to further provide the health needs of Nigerians. In his remark, the proprietor of the Hospital, Dr Mohammed Oboirien, said that it is committed to delivering effective and efficient orthopaedic and trauma care.

By Joy Baba


he Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has seized 372 international passports recovered from several persons and agents as part of an ongoing clampdown on corruption-prone processes in the acquisition of visas. A statement signed by the Commission’s media consultant, Folu Olamiti, said the Commission has directed owners of the recovered passports to appear at its headquarters, located at Plot 802 Constitution Avenue, Zone A9, Central Business District Area, Abuja between 19th and 28th February 2014 from 10am to 3pm each day, excluding weekends. Olamiti further said the affected persons are to come along with proof of ownership and the travel documents supporting their visa applications to respective embassies to collect their passports.

Insecurity tops agenda of Northern governors meeting From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna he Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) is holding its meeting today in Kaduna, with insecurity in the region on top the agenda for the parley. This was disclosed by the Niger state Secretary to the State Government and Chairman, Northern SSG’s Forum, Alhaji Saidu Ndako Idris at a meeting of the forum ahead of the governors forum


meeting held yesterday in the state. According to him, the governors sought the need to meet and deliberate on the emergency rule imposed in three northern states, particularly Borno that is still suffering from insecurity. “We need to sympathize with our colleagues from the three states that are suffering from the terrorists onslaught because we have not met since the imposition of the emergency rule. We are also

going to talk about our common interest in the north and the Sardauna Foundation that was set to look at some critical issues with regards to north because that is what Sardauna stands for”, he said. He also said part of the agenda is to look at the five years strategic plan of the New Nigerian Development Company (NNDC). Whether there would be a change of leadership in the governors forum

he said he was not aware of such a move. However, the SSG has not said anything with regards to New Nigerian Newspapers that has been closed for more than a year and whether it’s part of their agenda and issue related to Kaduna Textile Limited (KTL). Ndayako further urged the SSGs present to plead with their principals to pay their dues regularly and in due time.

According to the statement: “Operatives of ICPC, had in October, 2013, arrested 18 suspects in Abuja and Lagos. Three of them were allegedly involved in the production of fake documents to satisfy visa requirements, while one was in possession of suspicious travel documents “Others were either arrested with forged public documents or for allegedly colluding with someone in India to procure a fake invitation letters from an Indian Hospital, culpable ones have since been arraigned in courts. The statement also said ICPC had initiated several arrests after receiving an ever increasing number of petitions from prospective students seeking educational placement and patients seeking medical attention abroad who were duped by some agents. Subsequently, ICPC issued a “Visa Scam Press Advisory” last year warning intending travellers of the consequences of patronising and using dubious travel agents and touts to obtain visas through corrupt practices. Travellers were further advised to use verifiable documents and only deal with official and registered travel and appropriate government Agencies. The statement noted that ICPC is delighted that these investigations and arrests have led to significant changes in visa administration by respective government departments, Travel Agencies, embassies and travellers.




ThisDay bomber appeals life imprisonment sentence By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


onvicted Boko Haram member, Umar Mustapha, sentenced to life imprisonment by a Federal High Court, Abuja for his role in the bombing of media houses in Kaduna State, has appealed his conviction. In a notice of appeal filed at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, by his lawyer, Nureni Suleiman, Umar is seeks, among others, the voiding of his conviction. Umar, in the notice of appeal filed on February 11, raised six grounds of appeal and pledged to add more, if necessary. It would be recalled that Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the

Federal High Court, had, in a November 15, 2013 judgment, found Umar guilty in the April 26, 2012 bombing of SOJ Plaza, a building, Kaduna, housing offices of three newspapers - Thisday, The Sun and The Moment. He was found to have driven a white Honda Academy car, with registration number AL 306 MKA (laden with improvised explosives devices) into the premises, which later exploded, killing three persons and injuring several others. The judge convicted him and sentenced him to life imprisonment with hard labour. In his appeal, Umar contended among others, that the trial judge erred when he

held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt to sustain his conviction. He argued that evidence by all the prosecution witnesses were contradictory and unreliable to warrant his conviction. Umar also argued that the judge was wrong to have convicted him on the strength of evidence by non-existing witnesses, who were not only masked, but failed to disclose their identities. He contended that the trial judge erred in convicting him because he was denied fair trial on the ground that the trial was conducted in secret and under the watch of “armed and fierce looking men of the Nigeria Police Force.”

Umar further contended that his witnesses could not access the court because the trial was in secret and movement allegedly restricted by the police and men of the State Security Service (SSS). He accused the trial judge of not subjecting his testimony to holistic evaluation, and thereby caused a miscarriage of justice to him. Umar argued that the judge failed to take into account the fact that he had been in custody before the judgement, when he sentenced him to life imprisonment with hard labour and prayed the appellate court to set aside the judgment and discharge and acquit him.

We are winning war against illicit drugs - Kwankwaso From Edwin Olofu, Kano


ano state government said its battle against drug trafficking and abuse is on course and nothing will deter it from prosecuting anyone engaged in selling illicit drugs or consuming them. The state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso disclosed this over the weekend during the graduation of 1st and 2nd batch of Inmates of Kano Reformatory Institute, Kiru, held at the Government House in Kano. He said the administration is adopting a multi dimensional

approach to solve the twin problems bedeviling the state, including public enlightenment, engagement of parents and other critical stakeholders as well as the establishment of two special task forces on proliferation of illicit drugs and medical consumables. Kwankwaso added that the government established the Kiru Reformatory to rehabilitate and build the capacities of drug addicts, so that they can become responsible and productive citizens. He emphasized that the government has taken decisive measures to ban unwholesome

sale of drugs and other medical consumables in all parts of the state especially at Sabon Gari Market through NDLEA and NAFDAC. He said, “This has led to the confiscation and destruction of fake drugs worth over N3.3 billion and we shall remain resolute in this direction”, the governor stressed. Speaking particularly on the graduating students of the reformatory, the governor explained that the institute is being operated under a public-private partnership with some NGOs even as the government alone

spent N30 million on training the 1st and 2nd batches of the inmates. Responding, the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Adenrele T. Shinaba called on other states of the federation to emulate Kano by establishing a similar Institute to cater for drug addicts in their domains. In his speech, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle mentioned noted that fighting against drug barons is not enough but emphasis need to be placed on education and helping drug addicts to reclaim their lives just as Kano state government is doing. L-R: Archbishop of Bendel Province, Anglican Communion, Most Reverend Friday Imaekhai, Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and state Commissioner for Basic Education, Hon Patrick Aguinede, during governor’s meeting with the church leaders on the building and perimeter fence erected by the church on government land, at the weekend in Benin City.

Youths burnt down hotel belonging to Nasarawa APC chairman From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


nknown youths early yesterday in Akwanga, set ablaze a section of the Light House Hotel, belonging to Stanley Buba, Nasarawa state Interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). When our reporter visited

the hotel premises, sympathizers were seen milling around, with a section of the hotel serving as the reception/restaurant, completely razed down. One of the workers in the hotel, a lady, told Peoples Daily that the youths made two attempts to burn down the hotel, first invading the place at around 12 am Sunday morning but that

they were repelled by vigilant security men. However, the lady maintained that undeterred, the same youths attacked the hotel again at around 5 am, following which they allegedly set part of the hotel on fire before escaping from the scene. Confirming the incident, the Divisional Police Officer in

charge of the Akwanga police division, Ada P.O, said the matter was reported to his office and that investigation is ongoing. Investigations by our reporter revealed that the matter may not be unconnected with the recent suspension of the state deputy governor,Dameshi Barau Luka from the APC over his alleged anti party activities.

Police arrest 3 officers over death of Gov. Orji’s son’s aide


olice said on Sunday in Umuahia, that they had arrested three policemen in connection with Saturday’s killing of an aide to Gov. Theodore Orji’s son, Chinedu. The Abia Police Command spokesman, Mr Geoffrey Ogbonnaya (ASP), who stated this in Umuahia, confirmed the death of the aide, identified as John Ndubuka. He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that the suspects were arrested between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, adding that the command had commenced full investigation into the incident. NAN reports that the incident occurred during a civic reception organised for the governor in Umuahia by the people of Ikwuano, Umuahia North and Umuahia South local government areas, respectively. An eye-witness said that the deceased, who was part of the crowd at the site of the old Umuahia main market, where the event took place, suddenly slumped and started bleeding. ‘’When he slumped, nobody knew what happened to him, until we saw blood gushing out from his chest,’’ the eyewitness said on the condition of anonymity. The deceased was said to have been rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, where he reportedly died. Ogbonnaya explained that the investigation would help the police to unravel the circumstances that led to the death. Briefing newsmen on the incident on Sunday, Abia Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Chief Eze Chikamnayo, also confirmed theincident and said that the shots were fired by the police. Chikamnayo, however, explained that the shots were “only two” fired into the air to disperse the crowd at the entrance to the venue of the reception. He said that the source of the killer shot could not be ascertained, but said that the police had begun full investigation into the incident. (NAN)



USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS ON ANY EMERGENCY Council endorsed the useful phone numbers submitted by the security agents for easy access in case of any emergency on the metropolitan Roads. Accordingly, the general public may easily Contact KAROTA for: Breakdown of Vehicle(s), Traffic Congestion, Accidents, and Illegal/Wrong Parking to kindly Call KAROTA through the following number – 08091626747. Similarly, the State Police Command could be contacted on – 08032419754 and 08123821575. In addition, the State Fire Service can also be contacted on – 07051246833 and 08191778888.



ne can link citizenry support to the present administration with its commitment to deliver the dividend of democracy through the execution of approved projects now dotting every part of the state. The State is now a construction zone. In fact, citizens have begun to evaluate the significance of such projects in relation to their economic and social progress. We can identify four (4) fundamental trends of this administration’s transformation under the present leadership, which is shaping every aspects of the state for the better. First, the State is witnessing rapid urban and rural transformation, followed by improved socio-political economic development, infrastructural upsurge and finally educational and agricultural rejuvenation. These developments have not been witnessed in the history of the State. Thus, the 136th sitting’s central theme is urban renewal policy of this administration. In fact, the inception of this administration brings with it a second era of the emergence of urbanization and urban renewal in Kano State. The first era was witnessed under Audu Bako regime when most of the few major roads were constructed in the State, such as the Murtala Muhammed Road. Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso understands the significance of urban renewal in the modernization of the cities within the State and the improvement of the living standards of the citizenry. After all, sustainable development all over the world requires governments to provide public facilities and infrastructure that could ensure safety, water, roads, sanitation, healthcare, economic and social benefits. Thus, the great transformation of the State being witnessed now could be linked with the vision of the Governor of recognizing that the State in particular and the nation in general are living in a period of profound social, economic, political and technological changes. For this reason, the State requires accelerated expansion of its facilities, such as roads, water supply, healthcare delivery, etc. This for instance, explains the billions of Naira being expended on the provision of water to the teeming population of the State. On the procurement and laying of water pipes alone over N5 billion was expended. However, the policy of urban renewal could be seen clearly with the establishment of the three new cities of Kwankwasiyya, Amana, and Bandirawo at the outskirts of the metropolitan Kano. The construction of these cities on virgin land has never been witnessed in this part of the country. In fact, at present, no government in the federation, with the probable exception of the Federal Government invested such huge sum of money in housing development in this period of democratic epoch. The building of these cities will in the near future decongest the metropolitan city of Kano as thousands will reside in them thereby curtailing the rise of slums and illegal settlements. It is on this line of thinking that one can comprehend this administration’s numerous road construction projects. Eng. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso understands the significance of roads construction in the improvement of commuting within and outside the metropolis. It is proved that inadequate road networks and services have grave implications on deepening poverty and societal backwardness. This explains this administration’s efforts to open up every nooks and crannies of the State. After all, sustainability of urban or rural area has to do with its accessibility within and from various angles. Each road construction has direct impact on the environs as it enhances commuting within and between the communities, brings socio-economic benefits by increasing access to markets, reduce costs of transportation, increase the value of properties, etc. It also encourages the future development and expansion of the existing facilities to cater for increased influx of new settlers. This administration has completed most of the abandoned road projects awarded by the previous administration at its dying hours and has awarded the construction and dualization of major ones, such as Zaria road, Hadejia road, Gwarzo road, Sheikh Jafar road, Airport road Challawa-Kwanar Madobi road, etc. These identified roads are to consume almost N20 billion. In addition, the State is now witnessing the construction of Wuju-Wuju road, Kofar Nassarawa Flyover, Murtala Muhammed-Wapa Flyover, etc. which will also consume an estimated sum of around N23 billion. The construction of flyovers by a State Government single-handedly had not been witnessed in this country’s construction history. If we add the over N100 billion set aside for the 5 kilometers rural roads being constructed in the 44 Local Governments, this administration has surpassed all administrations that had ruled the State in the provision of road networks. With these constructions, traditional city or one-lane roads are being replaced by express and a number of specialized roads, such as link, collectors, distributors, arterials, by-passes, relief, ring roads, highways, etc. The construction of these roads has been paying great attention and respect to urban design values. The broadened roads have reduced traffic congestion, beautified and modernized the metropolis. This brief is necessary in order to lay the foundation for understanding the requests submitted by the Hon. Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning at this meeting (136th) for the construction of two major metropolitan roads (the upgrading/dualization of Mallam Aminu Kano Road and upgrading/ dualization of New Court road), continuation of interlock tiling of major roads and the construction of Tatsawaraki Bridge along Zaria road. The requests for the approvals of these projects follow this administration’s policy on urban renewal and development. However, before deliberating on the memoranda submitted for the 136th meeting, Council as usual reviewed the deliberations and approvals of the 135th sitting. At that sitting, eleven (11) MDAs had submitted (37) memoranda

and Physical Planning had prepared Bills of Quantities and invited bidding by competent construction companies for the execution of the project. Council deliberated on the significance of the project and awarded the project at the sum of N285,955,800.00. The project when completed will be a relief to commuters within and outside the affected environs. c) Request for Funds for the Expansion of Tatsawaraki Bridge Along Zaria Road:The contents of this memorandum solicited the attention of the esteemed Council on the ongoing expansion of Zaria Road to decongest the traffic volume along the road and boost the socio – economic development of the State. It is in line with that, Council noted the need for the expansion of Tatsawaraki Bridge to also accommodate larger volume of traffic as a result of road expansion and upgrading. Accordingly, Council acknowledged the request, considered and approved the release of the sum of N373,390,951.50 to enable the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning execute the said project. d) Request for Funds to Enable the Continuation of Interlocking Work within Kano Metropolis:Council acknowledged with appreciation the level of interlock tiling of major roads in the metropolis, which is aimed at beautifying the city and to provide safe movement for the pedestrian as well as guarding against hawking and road encroachment. Accordingly, Council considered and approved the release of the sum of N90,000,000.00 to enable the continuation of the interlock tiling along metropolitan roads.

Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of which twelve (12) were approved for execution with an expenditure of N218,294,110.00 covering twelve (12) projects. After this review, today Wednesday 12th February, 2014 (12thRabi’ul Thanni 1435 AH) the Kano State Executive Council held its one hundred and thirty sixth (136) sitting presided over by Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE. During this meeting (13) MDAs submitted (47) memoranda for deliberation by Council of which thirteen (13) were approved for execution with an expenditure of N1,600,966,837.46 covering twelve (12) projects and one (1) on policy as follows: 1. MINISTRY OF LAND AND PHYSICAL PLANNING Four (4) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning, which were approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds for the Upgrading/Dualization of New Court Road Gyadi Gyadi (Yantsaki to Zoo Road):It is imperative to note that, the present administration under the leadership of Governor Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE has taken giant stride toward provisions and general reactivation of infrastructures across the State, such as upgrading the existing roads and creation of new ones within the metropolis, interlock tiling of major roads for safe movement by pedestrians all with the sole aim of reducing traffic congestion as well as minimizing hardship being experienced by the road users and accommodate more traffic volume for the present and future. The contents of this memorandum drew the kind attention of the Council that the length of the above mentioned road is about 1,620M and serve as vital link between Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Zoo Road. It also explained the types of work to be carried out during the exercise, which include; clearance, filter, scarification, cutting of unsuitable filling, ring pipeline drains with chambers at intervals and ring/box culverts, pedestrian and vehicular slab, sub – base and stone base courses, priming, asphaltic binder and wearing courses, solid and broken lines, zebra painting on kerbs, edge kerbs, crush barrier, service duct and interlocking tiles. In line with above, the Ministerial Tenders Board had invited Contractors to quote for the execution of the project. It is against the background of the foregoing development, the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning requested the sum of N504,800,450.00 for the execution of project on contract basis. Accordingly, Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N504,800,450.00 for the successful execution of the said project. b) Request for Funds for the Upgrading/Dualization of Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Road:The contents of this memorandum informed members of the Council that Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Road has a total length of 820M and serves as important link between Zaria road, Darmanawa road, Isah Waziri road and New Court road. The road was amongst those shortlisted for dualization/ expansion to ease commuting in the metropolitan Kano. The Ministry of land

2. OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY GOVERNOR/MINISTRY FOR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS One (1) memorandum was submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry for Local Governments and was approved for execution. Thus: a) Information Memorandum on the Report of 1st Islamic Ramadan Musabaqah Quiz Conducted During Last Year Ramadan Fasting Period (2013/1434AH) in the State:Following the successful conduct of the 2013 World Qur’anic Recitation Competition, which was held at Saudi Arabia; an indigenous citizen of Kano State took the number one position. The individual was equally honored by the present administration with a gift of a house in one of the three new cities of Kwankwasiyya, Amana and Badirawo. This administration’s support for educational advancement of the State is exemplary. This explains its support for the sponsorship of local, national and international participation of State indigenous citizens in Musabaqab competition and other Islamic Religious activities. Accordingly, this memorandum from the Senior Special Assistant on Islamiyya Schools through the Deputy Governor’s office examined and made observations from the conduct of last year’s 2013/1434AH Ramadan Musabaqah quiz and recommended to Council for approval as follows: i) The sustenance of the Annual Ramadan Quiz and to involve the 44 Local Government Areas in the conduct of preliminary competition on Musabaqah in the Month of Sha’aban in order to produce best candidates that will represent them in the State Ramadan Musabaqah Competition. ii) The three (3) Senatorial Zones Competition of the Musabaqah be financed by the respective Local Government Areas within the Zone. iii) The State Government to shoulder the responsibility of the final round of the competition, which include venue/logistics arrangement, gift items to the winners/best performing Local Governments, TV/Radio live coverage program. Council acknowledged the report and agreed on the proposition for the 44 Local Government Areas to ensure the conduct of the Annual Musabaqah competition. 3. OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE STATE GOVERNMENT This Office submitted (13) memoranda for deliberation by Council on behalf of the Chairman (Governor. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, FNSE) including other MDAs. Two (2) were approved for execution and the remaining ones are on various policy issues, details of which are presented below: a) Presentation of Report from the Sub-Committee for the Revival & Excursion to Monuments and Historical Sites in Kano State:In its usual commitment to enhance the internally generated revenue and empowering teeming youths across the State, Council recalled the establishment of a sub-committee that would trace the possibility of reviving the tourism industry, which will also aid in the revival of primary and secondary school pupils excursion to monuments and historical sites in the State. The contents of this memorandum was from the Sub-committee through the office of the Commissioner for State Affairs, which informed Council that, it has identified a number of monuments/historical sites to be revived and harnessed to provide site for excursion and tourism. The identified sites are: Dala and Goron Dutse Hills, City Gates, Kano Pioneer Market (Rimi Market), Gidan Rumfa, Archeological grounds, Madabo cemetery, Old Zawiyya, Sarki Contd on Page 9

PEOPLES DAILY, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2013 Alwali Tomb, Government House, Kano Zoological Garden, Rumfa College Kano, House of Assembly, Aminu Kano International Airport, Emir’s Palace and Radio/Television Houses. Council noted with appreciation the report and directed the State Tourism Management Board and the History and Culture Bureau to study and improve the contents for the smooth take off of the excursion program starting with four (4) sites namely: Government House, Kano Zoological Garden, Gidan Makama and Gidan Danhausa. b) Information Memorandum on the Appointment of A Registrar, Kano Sports Institute, Karfi:Council recalled the establishment of the Kano Sports Institute located at Karfi along Kano – Zaria Road. As the institute construction project is at the finishing stage, the need arises for the appointment of a Registrar for the school. Out of those who applied for the post, Dr. Musa Sa’ad Muhammed was found to have the requisite academic and professional qualifications for the job. Council acknowledged and approved the appointment of the Registrar of Kano Sports Institute, Karfi in person of Dr. Musa Sa’ad Muhammad and urged him to hasten the immediate commencement of academic activities of the Institute. 4. MINISTRY OF PLANNING & BUDGET One (1) memorandum was submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Planning & Budget, which was approved for execution. Thus: a) Request for Funds for the Implementation of WSSSRP II – EU/ UNICEF Assisted Project:The State is always willing to collaborate with foreign and domestic development partners, who are ready to support its development programs and projects. This memorandum is on this line as it was on a joint partnership between the State Government and EU/UNICEF for the execution of rural development projects. Under the project; the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Program II, 1,574 boreholes and 470 VIP latrines are to be constructed in two selected Local Governments of Madobi and Takai within four (4) years. The EU/UNICEF will be handling the procurement of components for the construction of the boreholes and latrines using their 70% contribution, which stands at the sum of N1,969,291,742.02. The State Government and the two selected Local Governments of Madobi and Takai are to contribute the 30% balance for the successful execution of the projects. To see to the implementation of the program the sum of N1 billion was provided in the 2014 budget. Thus, the EU/UNICEF will contribute N700 million this year and the State and the Local Governments will contribute the remaining N300 million. As at now, a total of 400 sets of hand pumps worth N26million have been supplied by the foreign partners and the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency has been authorized to construct 150 hand pumps in the two Local Governments. The funding of the 150 boreholes will be shared as follows: AGENCIES PERCENTAGE AMOUNT i. EU/UNICEF 70% N89,250,000.00 ii. State Government 18% N22,950,000.00 iii. Madobi andTakai Local Governments 12% N15,300,000.00 Total 100% N127,500,000.00 Similarly, the Ministry of Planning & Budget proposed to the Council a request for the sum of N38,250,000.00 in the ratio where State Government contributes N22,500,000.00 and the Madobi and Takai Local Governments will contribute N15,930,000.00, while EU/UNICEF would also contribute the sum of N89,250,000.00 for the construction of 150 hand pumps boreholes in the 2 LGAs under the first phase of the program. Council considered and approved the release of the sum of N38,250,000.00 for the construction of the 150 hand pump boreholes at Madobi and Takai Local Government Areas and directed for a discussion between the Government and the EU/UNICEF for the construction of additional earth dams across some selected rural communities. 5. MINISTRY OF WORKS, HOUSING & TRANSPORT One (1) memorandum was submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Works, Housing & Transport, which was approved for execution. Thus: a) Information Memorandum on Report of the Proposed Kano Rail Mass Transit Development (KRMT) by Emerging Asia Capital Partners (EACP):In order to reduce traffic congestion on major roads within the metropolis, Council noted the report by the Ministry of Works, Housing & Transport on the proposed agreement on the signing of a MoU for the development of Rail Mass Transit between the State Government and Emerging Asia Capital Partners (EACP) on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT). EACP is a renowned company in Asia as it structured the Bangkok Sky train at the cost of $1.7 billion, (which was financed privately), the $680 million 380 Indonesian Coal fired IPP and Laos PDR electricity industry. The company submitted a comprehensive proposal for the construction of the rail, which will cover a total length of 76.4 Kilometers, with 36.4 Kilometers of rail bridges and 40 kilometers sub-grade. The routes will have 26 stations along the corridors for passengers disembarking or joining. The company has already indicated its readiness to begin with two corridors; Katsina road with 22.7 Kilometers and 10 Kilometers of railway bridges, 12.7 Kilometers sub-grade and 11 stations. The second route is the Zaria road one with 19.5 kilometers, 9.54 Kilometers of railway bridges, 10 Kilometers subgrade and 9 stations. The project will consume around $1.5 billion, which will be financed by the Company in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank. In fact, to power the train the company is proposing generating electricity using Hybridsolar panel thermal power plant to generate 100mgw. Council deliberated on the significance of the project in the socioeconomic development of the State, financing of the project by the foreign investor in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank accepted the proposition and approved the signing of the MoU between the Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport and EACP. 6. MINISTRY OF EDUCATION Three (3) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Education, which were approved for execution. Thus:

PAGE 9 a) Request for Funds for the Purchase of Trade Subjects Teaching Equipment for some Senior Secondary Schools in the State:The content of this memorandum from the Ministry of Education reminded Council of the introduction of new Senior Secondary Schools curriculum in 2011. The new curriculum introduced two new compulsory subjects that all candidates in Senior Secondary Schools must offer. These are Civic Education and Trade/Entrepreneur subjects. With the introduction of the new courses the need arises for the procurement of certain equipment, teaching aid materials/books and the construction of specified shades for the use of the students and teaching staff. This explains the reason behind the submission of this memorandum for the release of the sum of N49,747,012.67 for the supply of equipment and construction of shades at some selected schools for continual training of students on Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Leather works. This expenditure will prepare the students sitting 2014 WAEC, NECO and NABTEB examinations. Council considered and approved the release of the sum of N49,747,012.67 for the supply of equipment/construction of shades where rigorous training would be conducted to the final year students who will sit for at least one trade/entrepreneur subject in the 2014 WAEC, NECO and NABTEB examinations. b) Request for Funds for the Reconstruction of Collapsed RAC Block at GTC Kano:The administration’s efforts for the renovation and reconstruction of existing and new school buildings are being commended by the citizenry. This leads to the increase in the number of students’ intake and the massive recruitment of qualified classroom teachers who would sustain the needed man power in the State public schools. This memorandum was from the Ministry of Education requesting Council’s approval for the release of the sum of N11,131,334.58 for the execution of the reconstruction of a dilapidated block of building, which accommodates Refrigeration, Air Condition, Radio and Television Departments as well as computer center of the renowned college. Council considered and approved the release of the sum of N11,131,334.58 to cover the reconstruction of the dilapidated building at the GTC Kano. c) Request for Funds for the Payment of Registration Fees for WAEC and NABTEB Examinations of Science & Technical Colleges for the year 2014:Every year the State Government pays the registration fees for WAEC and NABTEB examinations for candidates with five (5) credits (with a credit in English and Mathematics) in their qualifying examinations. This policy is meant to support the children of parents who cannot afford to pay the fees due to poverty, thereby increasing the number of State citizens admitted into tertiary institutions. Thus, the content of this memorandum is on this line. It is a request for the release of the sum of N26,080,000.00 for the 1640 students shortlisted to sit in the 2014 WAEC and NABTEB examination from the Science and Technical Schools. Council considered and approved the release of the sum of N26,080,000.00 as cost of WAEC and NABTEB examinations for the successfully competent final year secondary schools students who obtained credits in English and Maths in the 2013 Qualifying examinations. 7. MINISTRY OF HIGHER EDUCATION One (1) memorandum was submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Higher Education, which was approved for execution. Thus: Request for funds for the completion of the construction of an Administrative Block at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso The esteemed Council may recall at its sitting held on Wednesday 23rd November, 2011 where it directed for the return to site of the contractor handling the construction of an Administrative Block at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, which was awarded at the total cost of N142,521,590.79. Council noted that certain items were omitted in the contract Bills of Quantities, such as additional doors and windows as well as re-enforcement of 20mm and 16mm bars totaling the sum of N24,208,588.71. Council considered and approved the release of the sum of N24,208,588.71 as cost of variation of the omitted items in the contract for continual construction of the Administrative block at Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kumbotso. 8. MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES Two (2) memoranda were submitted for deliberation by Council from the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which were approved for execution as follows: a) Request for Approval to Participate in the Tractor Trade Show 2014 at Bagauda, Agricultural Show Site:It could be recalled that the present administration had undertaken series of programs and projects right from its inception to date all aimed at the revitalization of agricultural production in the State ranging from establishment of some Institutions where skills acquisition/empowerment program are conducted. The contents of this memorandum solicited the kind attention of the Council to note that, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources has received a letter of request for Partnership on Tractor Trade Show 2014 scheduled to hold in Kano from 17th February, 2014 to 11th March, 2014. The memorandum stressed that the main idea behind the event is designed to provide platform for an interactive session where stakeholders will discuss and brainstorm on the value of mechanized farming in their own context or evaluation, as well as tractor plough competition where tractor owners will show off their capabilities and improved skills. The Fair is expected to develop a private sector led tractor market in the State and Country at large. It is against the background of the foregoing development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources requested for a venue of the event, publicity, provision of security as well as other necessary support for the successful hosting of the event with the financial implication in the sum of N740,000.00 only. Accordingly, Council noted, considered and approved the release of the requested sum of N740,000.00 to enable the smooth conduct of the event. b) Request for Funds as Loan for the Implementation of Agricultural Development Projects; Kano Commercial Crops Development Initiatives (KCCDI) Among Others:The contents of this memorandum drew the attention of Council to recall an earlier approval granted and the subsequent signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the State Government and Bank of Agriculture

Limited on Commercial Crops Development Initiatives. The project will consume N2,000,000,000.00, which was agreed to be contributed on equal basis between the two partners i.e. 50% : 50%. The amount will be expended on enhancing the production and processing of rice, maize, wheat, tomatoes, onions, cassava, sesame, Moringa, livestock product, etc. It is in line with the above development, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources received a letter of reminder from Bank of Agriculture (BOA) requesting the Ministry to deposit the sum of N250,000,000.00 as its share for the program in Zenith Bank, for the said collaboration to be disbursed to eligible farmers and processors on the successful implementation of the activities across the State. The Bank of Agriculture will contribute its share of N250,000,000.00 too. Accordingly, Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N250,000,000.00 for the smooth conduct of the programme. 9. MINISTRY OF HEALTH a) Request for Funds for the Implementation of Four (4) Rounds of Polio Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) Campaign in the State:The present administration believes in the wellbeing of its citizens. As such, this Government is bent on doing everything possible to improve and bring meaningful improvement in the State’s health system. New routine programs are being introduced and implemented that are significant in both preventive and curative aspects of healthcare delivery. The contents of this memorandum solicited the kind attention of the Council to note the tremendous efforts of the present administration towards the eradication of polio in particular and improving the quality of immunization services in general over the last twelve (12) months. It also stressed the giant commitment made on the review of Kano State Government – Bill Gates and Dangote Foundations Immunization Partnership in 2013. In view of the foregoing development, the Ministry of Health recommended the release of the sum of N23,846,500.00 as transport allowances, feeding/refreshment, security and other logistics to cater for the four (4) rounds of National Polio Campaign scheduled between March to June, 2014. Accordingly, Council noted, considered and approved the release of the sum of N23,846,500.00 for the smooth implementation of the aforesaid exercise. UPDATE ON ACTIVITIES OF THE 136TH EXCO SITTING INTERIM REPORT ON OFFICIAL VISIT BY GOVERNOR RABIU MUSA KWANKWASO TO NIGER REPUBLIC Council noted the official visit by Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to Niger Republic on 11th February, 2014(11th Rabiul Thani, 1435 AH). During the visit, the Governor visited the Bilingual College, which was established in collaboration with the Niger Republic, to see Kano state students studying in the College in order to ascertain things for himself. The Governor interacted with the students who spoke with him in both French and English languages. It was an impressive moment for the Governor and the students. In another development, Council noted that during the visit, Kano State Government of Nigeria and Niger Republic Government have also agreed to establish a female college in the State of Zindar Niger Republic in order to extend the same gesture to female students from the two countries. Finally, Council wishes to extend its gratitude to the Government and people of Niger Republic for the Warm and Befitting Reception it accorded to the Governor and his entourage. NATIONAL COUNCIL OF STATE MEETING Council noted the conduct of the National Council of State meeting which took place on 24th January, 2014 at the Conference Hall, State House, Abuja. During the meeting, the Deputy Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, represented Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso where a communiqué was issued to members on the composition of the convening of the National Conference. CONDUCT OF SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ORGANIZED BY CBN Council noted the conduct of a sensitization workshop organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in collaboration with the Kano State Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives and Tourism in respect of N220 Billion Naira Micro Loan Scheme in which the State is participating and the signing of a MoU for accessing the N2 billion Fund through the State 44 Micro Finance Banks. The N2 billion is for micro businesses across the state, out of which 60% is targeted to women. OTHER ACTIVITIES Council noted the meeting with the State Government and Strass Berger of the cultural unit of the United States Embassy on the Young African Leaders Initiative, which is a fellowship program designed for young African leaders. The meeting centered on the possible collaboration between the United States Cultural Office and Kano State Government in the areas of fellowship program, health, related programs, etc. UPDATE ON 197 KANO AND KAZAURE INFORMATICS STUDENTS Council noted the update on 197 Kano and Kazaure informatics students who were sponsored by the present administration for a one year top-up degree program at Uganda. Council also noted that 83 had already arrived Uganda, 56 are expected to depart on Wednesday 12/2/2014 and the remaining 58 would depart Kano for Uganda on Saturday 15th February, 2014. GRADUATION CEREMONY OF TRAINEES OF KNITTING, SEWING AND EMBROIDERY Council noted the successful conduct of the graduation ceremony for the trainees in knitting, sewing and embroidery, which was conducted by Nigeria Export Promotion Council and Messrs. Adahama Textile and Garment Co. Ltd at the Government house. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso attended the ceremony in person due to its significance on Thursday 13th febuary, 2014. During the ceremony trainees were provided with empowerment packages to assist them to practice what they learned during the training.

Signed: Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Information, Internal Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Kano State




Aide dispels rumour of Tambuwal’s defection to APC From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


pecial Advise to the Speaker of the House of Representatives on Legislative and Legal Matters Mr. Child Igbawua has stated that the Speaker Aminu Tambawual has no intention to defect to the All Progressive

Congress, APC. Mr. Igbawua who said this at the weekend during a chat with newsmen, maintained that the Speaker is at the moment concentrating on putting things right in his parry, the People Democratic Party, PDP . He also dispelled rumors making the rounds that he has already defected to the APC,

insisting that he remains in the party and is working hard with his principal to restore the fortunes of the party in the House. “My boss is in the fore front of those struggling to put things right in the party and it would question my quality and integrity as his adviser to defect to the APC. Until, he tells me that he is incapable of achieving this task

then I will know that he is unable to do so but at the moment we are still in the PDP.” he said. Commenting on the defection issue in the lower house, he maintained that the Speaker’s seat is not in any way threatened since it is not a political position but a constitutional one. “Whether the Speaker defects or the APC forms majority in the

house, he remains the speaker because he was not elected by the PDP but the members. It is only the position of the house leaders that would be affected that of the Speaker and his deputy are not affected by numerical strength of the members. It is only twothird of the members of the house that can remove him”, he said.

Niger SSG sets up task force on okada ban enforcement From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


L-R: Princess Yewande Onile-Ere, wife of the Lagos state Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Asouju Oba of Lagos, Chief Mokolade Okoya-Thomas, Mrs. Omolara Fashola, and Alhaja Abba Folawiyo, during the Senior’s Valentine Programme Organised by Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials(COWLSO), on Saturday night in Lagos. Photo: NAN

FG moves relief materials to Boko Haram victims in Konduga By Joy Baba


ith more troops being deployed to Konduga in Brono state for the protection of lives and propertiy, the Federal Government has also moved truckloads of relief materials to the people of the area who were recently attacked by suspected insurgents. The truckload of materials which were transported by officials of the National Emergency

Management Agency (NEMA) led by its North-West Zonal Cordinator Muhammad Kanar, include food items, toiletries, clothing and other basic needs. A statement signed by NEMA’s zonal spokesman in the Northeast, Abdulkadir Ibrahim said, with the destruction of markets in the community, the gestures of the federal government was wellreceived by people who trooped out to receive the materials. The Zonal Coordinator of

NEMA, Muhammad Kanar assured members of the community that more items would be distributed including building materials to rehabilitate some of the structures destroyed in the attacks. NEMA has undertaken many of such interventions in recent times in various communities in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states where a state of emergency has been declared as a result of the insurgent activities.

Ban on rallies at airports: APC accuses police of favouring PDP From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the police of engaging in a selective enforcement of its ban on political, socio-cultural and religious rallies at the nation’s airports. A statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the police was

wrong to have allowed the PDP to flout the ban with impunity on Feb. 1st, when hundreds of the party’s members thronged the Bauchi Airport to welcome the new PDP Chairman Adamu Muazu. It said a video footage of the reception showed PDP supporters, cultural troops and praise singers besieging the airport when the PDP chairman arrived the state. was contained in a statement issued by force spokesman Frank

Mba . The party said the double standard being exhibited by the police is the reason “ many Nigerians are saying the Nigeria Police Force has turned itself to the enforcement arm of the PDP”. ‘’We are therefore waiting for the police to either appropriately sanction the PDP for contravening its orders or immediately lift the ban on rallies at the airports”, the statement said.

Manchok attack: Kaduna govt donates N7.6m worth of materials to 173 victims From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna, with agency report


he Kaduna State Government has donated items worth N7.6 million to the owners of 173 houses, destroyed during the recent attack in Manchok, Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State. This is contained in a statement signed by Mr James Kazah, the Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Kaduna. Presenting the materials, the Deputy Governor, Amb. Nuhu Bajoga, condemned the attack and cautioned against vengeance. Bajoga, who is also Chairman, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), said that government was working with security agencies to fish out the culprits and to avoid a repeat. He that the relief materials were ‘meant to cushion the suffering of the victims’’ and pledged government readiness to promptly respond to the needs of the affected persons. (NAN)

ten member Task Force on Enforcement of Ban on Commercial Motorcycles in Minna and its suburbs have been inaugurated by the Secretary to the Government of Niger State, Saidu Ndako Idris Kpaki. Inaugurating the Task Force in his office, Idris Kpaki explained that the State Government decided to constitute the Task Force because it has come to the notice of government that some commercial motorcycles operatives are flouting the law banning their activities. The Secretary to the State Government said government would not fold its arms and watch some people endangering the lives of others adding that government is stepping up the enforcement of the traffic law with a view to safeguarding lives and property of the citizenry. The SSG warned that anybody caught in the act of violating the law banning the use of commercial motorcycles would be made to face the full wrath of the law. He said the Task Force consists of men of proven integrity, honesty and charged them to discharge their duties diligently. The SSG disclosed the terms of reference of the Task Force to include enforcement of ban on commercial motorcycles and private motorcycle carrying more than one person, ensuring that defaulters/offenders apprehended are charged to court alongside their motorcycle and regulate the number of passengers to be carried by Tricycles (Keke Talba) among others. Responding, the Chairman of the Task Force, ASP David Ehoda said they would work assiduously so as to achieve the set objectives, assuring that they will not abuse the confidence reposed in them.



Money Sense

Best ways to invest in your own home By Matthew Frankel


hen considering all of the various investment options available, most people don’t think of the home they already live in as an option. However, there are several things you can do to your own home that cannot only increase its value, but make it more appealing and easier to sell, should you decide to. Here are some of the best ways to add value to your home that will give you the best bang for your buck in property value (as well as a nicer house to live in).

a $200,000 (N32,000,000) house probably won’t add much equity.

Windows and doors

This is where real equity is built when doing home improvement projects. If you are somewhat “handy,” it really does pay to only hire professionals to do the things you aren’t comfortable doing. For example, finishing a basement becomes much cheaper if you do things like hang the drywall yourself and paint. Don’t do things yourself that you aren’t 100% sure you know how to do, but not paying for labour can knock up to 50% off the cost of the project.

A general rule is you will get more added value for your money with replacement projects as opposed to remodeling. So, things like new windows (especially the energy-efficient type), a shiny new front door, or replacing that tired siding should be pretty high on your priority list, if they haven’t been done in a while. According to RealEstate. com, you can expect a 72% return on investment for these types of replacement projects, and more if the existing windows or doors are in bad shape. Finish that attic! (Or basement) According to Remodeling magazine, the number one project you can do is to finish an unfinished attic

Money Tip: Start a go-to fund for emergencies: The average family will face up to $2,000 (N320,000) a year in unexpected bills, says Register. For families already stretching to pay the bills, those surprises can trigger long-term financial problems. While you can’t plan what or when, you can have money set aside just in case. “You need to really boost your cash reserves,” says Edelman.

Quote There is some magic in wealth, which can thus make persons pay their court to it, when it does not even benefit them. How strange it is, that a fool or knave, with riches, should be treated with more respect by the world, than a good man, or a wise man in poverty! – Ann Radcliffe

What won’t add equity? Unless there is something really wrong with the flooring in your home now, a new floor won’t add too much equity. The same goes for luxury features such as an outdoor kitchen or a swimming pool (which can actually be seen as a negative in some areas). Do all that you can by yourself

or basement. C onverting an attic into a bedroom will cost you around $50,000 (N8,000,000) and about 72.5% should be recouped when selling the home. A basement can be converted into a sports den (aka a “man cave”), a game room, play room, or extra bedrooms. An in-law apartment is one of the more popular conversions for an unfinished basement. In the meantime, you will have extra useable space to enjoy! A bathroom can pay for itself and more Now, if you decide to build an over-the-top bathroom suite, remember one thing: while it will certainly be appealing to prospective buyers, it will not raise your home’s value by anywhere near the amount it cost to put in.

On the other hand, a modest bathroom can be a good idea. According to the National Association of Home Builders, adding a half bathroom could raise a home’s value by 10.5% and a full bathroom by 20%. The price of adding a new bathroom can be very high or very low, depending on where you live and how difficult it is to put in the necessary plumbing. For instance, if there is easy access to sewage lines right under where you want your new bathroom, it can make the job cost thousands less than it otherwise would. The lawn: Sweat equity This is one area where a do-it-yourselfer can really make some money. According to Money magazine, a professional-looking landscape can be done for

between $500 (N80,000) and $3,000 (N480,000) in materials, depending on the size of the yard, and can raise a home’s prospective selling price by more than 10%. A word about kitchens A kitchen remodel can instantly make a home more attractive and easy to sell, but is only a good “investment” if the kitchen remodel is relatively minor (under $15,000 (N2,400,000). Sellers can expect to recoup more than 90% from a budget remodel like this, and in some cases, the new kitchen will more than pay for itself in equity. However, don’t go overboard, and don’t put in a kitchen that is “too nice” for the house. For example, a $15,000 (N2,400,000) Viking commercial range in

Are you ready to make changes? While it is certainly nice to improve your home’s value, also consider that you get to enjoy the use of the improvements as well. A finished attic or basement can add 1,000 usable square feet to a home, which not only increases the value but increases your standard of living while occupying the home as well. The “Holy Grail” of home repairs is to figure out how to get more than 100% of your money back in equity while transforming your house into the home of your dreams.

…and how to plan your finance for the future


he future, or the final frontier, is a big question mark. You may see some things you wish to have for the future, like money, security, a family, but you won’t make those things happen unless you have a plan to ensure their probability. Set reachable goals for yourself: Plan for your immediate future first. Write down the goals that you can reach within the next six months, and then move on from there. By the time you are finished, you’ll have a clear view of where you wish to be in ten years and how to get there.

Plan for your financial future: Look at all of your current expenses and your income and find out where you can cut unneeded expenses. You should also look at diligently paying down any outstanding debts you currently have. Credit card debts can eat you alive in interest, so these should be the first to go. Begin a savings plan that covers six months of your expenses should any catastrophes occur: It may mean living lean for a while, but having a cushion in your monetary accounts gives you security and peace of mind. Start with your job:

Whether you are looking for work, or looking to get promoted to a better paying job, you need to have a plan of action that can put you where you need to be. This means taking into account what type of courses, certifications or degrees you may need to get the job or position you want. Map out any family plans that you and your spouse hope for: As a woman, you need to take an assessment of your current health. If you could use to lose a few pounds or have a healthier diet that is something you can begin taking control of one to two years before you hope

to conceive. It is also a good idea to begin planning for savings and college funds for the children in your future. Save for your retirement: By using your company’s 401k plan, or your own IRA or other savings account, you can begin saving for your retirement at any age. With the cost of living increasing, and the stock market’s ups and downs, saving for your retirement in your twenties is not too soon. Even if you are older, talking to a retirement planner can help you get back on track for an enjoyable retirement.




Cleaning up Jonathan’s stinking stable panel also called for her removal. Whatever the President’s reasons are for sacking Oduah, we believe he has done the right thing as it is indeed good riddance to someone who has displayed unacceptable arrogance and whose tenure was mired in one corruption scandal after another till the end. We urge the President not to stop there. If he is serious about fighting corruption, he should take the war to the petroleum sector with a special searchlight on the NNPC where numerous reports including those of NASS committees, NEITI, Ribadu committee, among others, have indicated that there is large scale mismanagement of monies accruing to the nation. The revelation by the CBN governor also is another pointer that all is and Caleb Olubolade - of the not well with NNPC’s accounting ministries of Niger Delta, Finance process. and Police Affairs respectively. As We also urge him to enable with Oghiadomhe, no coherent the anti-corruption agencies in reason was adduced for their sack, the land to prosecute the former with the Presidency choosing to aviation minister over the cars carry on with its game of deceit and scandal. Until government not being straight with Nigerians. begins to truly demonstrate Even Oduah who has been its seriousness by prosecuting linked with the N225 million high profile persons involved bulletproof cars scandal and her in corruption, our growth will messy certificates affair was let continue to be hampered. As go without any explanation in elections approach, we hope spite of the recommendation the President’s actions are of her immediate sack by the not motivated by the need to House committee that probed her warm his way into the hearts of involvement in the cars scandal. Nigerians in order to get their The report of the presidential votes. few days later when he booted out the powerful aviation minister, Stella Oduah, and three others Godsday Orubebe, Yarima Ngama

Iffighting he is serious about corruption, he to should take the war the petroleum sector with aon special searchlight NNPC the

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”


resident Goodluck Jonathan did his reputation - and that of his government - a lot of good last week with the surprise sacking of key members of his cabinet. These kitchen cabinet members who were hitherto regarded as untouchables were brought back down to earth with a loud thud that has left many looking at President Jonathan through a whole new prism. As many commentators proclaimed, our commander-in-chief has certainly got his mojo back. And with it, it is hoped the fight against corruption will be fought with renewed zeal. It started with the sack of the President’s chief of staff, Mike Oghiadomhe, whom the Presidency said was relieved of his duties so that he could pursue his supposed political career. The snag there, however, is that very little has been heard from Oghiadomhe himself. About a week after his sack, he still has not confirmed his interest in contesting any political post as the Presidency wants us to believe. Despite the apparent spin, Nigerians believe that the real reason behind his ouster was his alleged link to the scandalous missing monies at the NNPC which has continued to dog the administration. The President followed this shocker with an even bigger one











“To be a reputable, profitable, innovative and technologically reliant media company offering world class services and products”




2015: Why not a North-east Presidency? By Bukar Mustapha


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the timetable for the 2015 federal elections. This means political activities will soon peak and the atmosphere will once again be charged. The most important political horse-trading that will soon ensue is determining who occupies the Presidency. There is understandably considerable interest in this all important position. Many political gladiators are pulling up their sleeves for a showdown. The North ought to have taken over the presidency in 2007 for a period of eight years, that is after President Olusegun Obasanjo had ruled for a stretch of eight years. It did take over. But fate conspired to deny the North of the eight years. Expectedly, and as provided for by the constitution, then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan took over from late President

Umaru Musa Yar’adua, first as acting president and later (on Yar’adua’s death) as president. However, instead of President Jonathan to complete what remains of the Yar’adua/Jonathan tenure and let the position comes back to the North again, he manipulated his way to getting a fresh mandate. However, as the political mill begins to roll once again, there is a resounding agitation to send President Jonathan parking. First, to most patriotic Nigerians, the man has only managed to hold the country in one place: stagnant, without any progress. On the extreme side, others are even lamenting that the country only witnessed retrogression on many sides, under the watch of President Jonathan. For the North-east, the six years or so of the Jonathan Presidency have been the most uneventful. For us, it has become what the Latin would call the year of horrors. The time-bomb

planted by years of neglect of this area has suddenly gone off and to the chagrin of all, the government seems helpless on the two expected directions: containing the insurgency, and cushioning the impacts on the victims and the affected towns. While the government’s security forces daily avenge attacks on them by the insurgents on the hapless civilian population, the civil government has shown no willingness to help victims recover psychologically and materially. The pointer to this is the paltry budgetary provision of N2 billion for the entire North-East, after all the promises. For the average person from this region, our people are being treated as secondclass citizens in their own country. First and foremost, federal presence in this vast zone is, for lack of better word, abysmal. Strategic and key institutions of governments have not been sited here. There

appeared to be no deliberate industrialization policies by the federal government to develop the region. The scattered industries around have also been left to rot in neglect. It is the opinion of our people that things have been allowed to degenerate over time in this region because its capable and competent persons have been tactically shut out of power at the highest decision making level. For a very long time, there seems to be silent but dangerous trend in the politics of the North, and Nigeria in general where there appears to be a sort of consensus or conspiracy against the NorthEast geopolitical zone. This dangerous trend, whose unfortunate manifest is now the insurgency in parts of the area, which goes on unabated, is a direct result of neglect and marginalization. Anytime an opportunity presents itself for the North to present the head of government, it goes to the North-west or the North-

central to the detriment of the interest of the Northeast. Despite producing senior thoroughbred military officers, the region was never for once accorded the honour of producing the head of state. Those fine officers, therefore, were only used (or expended) in military operations where, thank goodness, they proved themselves to be brave, professionals and good managers of humans. A quick rundown of the history of Nigeria’s military rule shows that when General Ironsi was toppled in July, 1966, the then Colonel Yakubu Gowon (from the North-Central) was handed over the mantle for eight years. From Gowon, the North-West took over via Murtala. There then come Buhari (from the North-West) who removed a fellow NorthWest person – Shehu Shagari. General Babangida, from the North-Central succeeded Buhari and he in turn was followed by Abacha (from the North-West). The military era ended with General

National Industrial Court and judicial absolutism By Jiti Ogunye


efore the listing of the National Industrial Court (NIC) as a superior court of record and the definition of the Court’s jurisdiction in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, a lot of persuasive arguments were made in the legal ( Bar and Bench) and labour circles in Nigeria in support of it. These arguments included the need to strengthen the Court by incorporating its establishment and composition, jurisdiction, and power in the Constitution like the other superior courts of record in Nigeria: High Court, Federal High Court, Customary Court of Appeal, Sharia Court of Appeal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. ( See Section 6 (3 & 5 [ak]) of the Constitution. Such incorporation, it was strenuously argued, would elevate the judgments and awards of the NIC to the status of the decisions and judgments of the regular superior courts of record and give these judgments and awards the respect that would command willing abidance, and the character of enforceability that would compel unwilling

compliance. Originally, the NIC was a court of very limited jurisdiction. The jurisdiction of the NIC in civil causes and matters related to labour, trade unions, and industrial relations; environment and conditions of work, health, safety and welfare of labour; strike, lock-out or industrial action; and interpretation of collective agreements, award of arbitral tribunal, terms of settlement of labour dispute, et cetera ( See Section 7 of the NIC Act, 2006). Under the NIC Act, 2006, the NIC was, subject to the right of appeal in Section 9 thereof, a final court. That was understandable, and indeed, desirable in a trade dispute resolution system that was more arbitral and was meant to promote good labour relations and industrial harmony than it was adversarial and adjudicatory. Many of the matters adjudicated by the Court originated from conciliation and arbitration, under the Trade Disputes Act, Vol. 15, Cap T8, LFN,2004, whereby, after the failure of conciliation, a trade dispute is referred to the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) by the Minister of Labour, and if the award of the IAP is

objected to by any of the trade disputants, the matter is further referred to the NIC for a final resolution. Be it noted that before the advent of the NIC Act 2006 and NIC Rules, 2007, the NIC was established in, and its powers and jurisdiction were defined by the Trade Disputes Act, Vol. 15, Cap T8, LFN,2004. In other words, the NIC, before now, was not regarded as a unit of the Judiciary, deserving of a separate Act of the Legislature, establishing it and vesting it with powers, but was seen and operated as a court without technical rules of practice and procedure, given an existence in the Trade Disputes Act, for resolution of labour and trade disputes. When the NIC was eventually listed as a superior court of record and its establishment and composition, appointment of its President and judges, its jurisdiction, powers, constitution, and practice and procedure were defined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ( Third Alteration) Act No. 3 of 2010, the preexisting limited jurisdiction of the NIC was not only inordinately expanded with the NIC acquiring

additional adjudicatory powers over more subjects, ( some of them not labour and industrial relations connected), but also the Court, by an inexcusable lapse of legislative judgment, was made, with little exception, a court of first and last resort, a court whose decisions and awards cannot be appealed. By this, the court has now assumed the character of a military tribunal established under a military decree during the dark days of the military era, which wielded the fearsome powers to try and impose penal sanctions on Nigerians, subject only to the ratification of its decisions by the Supreme Military Council, Armed Forces Ruling Council or the Provisional Ruling Council ( the legislative façade of the military despots). In the case of the NIC, save cases in which decisions handed down are appealable, the Court’s decisions and awards are not subject to review or reconsideration by a higher judicial authority. They are final. The judicial despotism is total. As can be seen from the items under its “exclusive judicial list“, the NIC has now gravitated from being

a court of resolution of trade, labour or industrial dispute to a court that has jurisdiction to entertain anything labour,child labour, child abuse, and human trafficking; and sexual harassment at the workplace! More than that, in a supposed Federation, where increasingly, emphasis is being placed on true federalism and devolution of powers, all matters relating to labour, employment or industrial relations, be they in the public sector across the Country ( local, state or federal) or in the private sector, have now been unitarily consolidated under the jurisdictional power-grab of the NIC. Indeed, it is still difficult to fathom the motive or mind-set that inspired this judicial totalitarianism. While expanding the jurisdiction of the NIC, the National Assembly in collaboration with State Houses of Assembly ought also to have expanded the right of appeal over the decisions of the NIC in tandem. It failed to do so. Titi Ogunye, a legal scholar and author, is reachable on jiti.




Now we all can’t buy shoes By Peregrino Brimah


efore attempting to digest what $20 billion is, it is important to mention what the $20 billion missing is not. $20 billion Nigeria’s income missing/ looted is not all that was looted in just 19 months from the nation’s coffers. This sum is at best half the actual total figure that is looted from oil revenue and internal projects and bogus contracts. It is ‘crazy’ to realize that more than half the nation’s income is stolen by those in power and their handful of world acclaimed billionaire cabal co-conspirators. What is the value of $20 billion? $20 billion represents one eighth of Nigeria’s total oil derived income. That is one quarter of our yearly earnings. $20 billion equals 10 million $2000, that is one million $20,000! With $20 billion, every Nigerian individual, including the poorest in Bama and Baga and the old and dying in all villages, will get N10,000. With $20 billion, every single Nigerian can get 5 new pairs of shoes. With $20 billion, which these unconscionable people have

pocketed, every 100 Nigerians could have been allocated $20,000 for capital projects. Every 100 Nigerians could get a school built, a clinic, a playground, a park, a community center, etc. With $20 billion looted, every household in Nigeria, including every mud family home in every

WRITE TO US Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed to: The Editor, Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. Email: SMS: 08134607052

single village could get either a $1000 generator borehole or an inverter-solar panel system! With $20 billion stolen, every home in every village and town could have a $500 laptop computer. With $20 billion dollars stolen in 19 months, 2 children in every family could be sponsored throughout their education right up to university. With $20 billion

looted, one child of every family of 5 can be sponsored to a good college even in America. With $20 billion stolen, Nigeria could have purchased 40,000 armored personnel carriers, APCs, to successfully finally decimate Boko Haram and be prepared for any future battles within and outside our borders. With $20 billion stolen, Nigeria could have bought a million drones, for tracking

every single robbery and moving terrorist. With $20 billion, we could have purchased 150,000 helicopters for all our police, hospital and other emergency departments across the nation. Brazil, São Paulo’s automated modern

subway lines cost $1.6 billion. It had 11 stations, with fully lit automatic trains. In Singapore, 22 miles of track cost $4.8 billion, at $130 million per kilometer. With the $20 billion stolen, 10 states in Nigeria could have had fully functional, ultramodern subway systems! With $20 billion stolen, Nigeria’s transport system could have had 200,000 luxury

buses ferrying Nigerians around the nation. Nigeria’s oil minister, Diezani Madukwe has blurted that if this stolen money is to be investigated, the Obasanjo government (in power in 2004) too must be investigated since this looting started since then. We have no problem with that. We will find our money, every last kobo of it, no matter what it costs us. Many Nigerians will never rest till the culprits of such humongous theft are all thrown in jail and the key tossed in the ocean. May this investigation spiral to all old regimes all the way back to our first, we will investigate this! This is very depressing. Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi told us that it is because we do not protest like every other nation on earth that such insane robberies can occur in broad day light. Are we sitting down with this wicked nonsense? Let the FGN/NNPC be prepared for a full public investigated investigation and #OccupyNigeria! The thieves who stole our $20 billion will spit it out! Enough is enough! Dr. Peregrino Brimah via or Twitter: @ EveryNigerian

Okonjo-Iweala’s option: Kill Nigerians now By Charles Onunaiju


acts are emerging as to why President Jonathan’s economic roadmap, ruthlessly administered by the coordinating minister of the economy and former World Bank managing director, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is not only a costly rigmarole but a patent exercise in futility. Until perhaps, a considerable number of Nigerians are wiped off, would the regime’s economic roadmap have any chance of success. This was much implied in the lamentation by the President at the swearing in ceremony of the new helmsman of National Population Commission in Abuja. Lamenting that “people say if the economy is growing, it should, in a way, impact the lives of people like (in terms of ) employment, feeding and other things, the president reported that “she (the finance minister) said well, if the economy is growing at a particular rate and our population is growing much more than the growth of the economy, then we have challenges. When we relate the two, the economic rate and population rate, then you run at negative and probably these are the issues”. Now if the Jonathan administration and its economic czar are profoundly confounded by a population growth rate that unravels its best economic policy formula and renders

it unworkable, why persist in the perennial economic folly of “reforming, the unreformable”. From the despondency of the president, and the reported policy exhaustion of the finance minister, the only plausible option for their economic growth rate, to make meaningful impact in the lives of Nigerians, is to kill off a good number so that the rest would step into a life of abundance, generated by economic growth, marched with low population density. If not for outright wiping away of many Nigerians, the policy implications for resolving the regime’s dilemma of high rate population growth would be to institute a regime of population decline. In this regard, the politically motivated social chaos, from which terrorism, violent crime, disease, hunger urban squalor thrive could have been deliberate policy choice to drive home the feasibility and

prospects of fundamentalist supply side economics. However, aside from the fallacy contained in the President Jonathan’s assumption that high population rate nullifies the impact of an equally high growth rate, the truth is that a huge population mobilised for productive economic activities, through deliberate policy of capacity building would actually constitute the main engine of balanced growth and drive inclusive economic prosperity. The Peoples Republic of China, with over one billion people, since the start of its economic reform in the late 1970s, maintained an average economic growth rate of about 8% and is well known to have pulled more than 600 million people out of poverty within the period. At the third plenum of the communist party devoted to economic issues, last November, the ruling party set the target

of 2021, the centenary of its founding, to achieve a fairly prosperous society for all Chinese. The antecedent and credibility of the communist party of China does not leave anyone in doubt about the prospective achievement of the target. India, Brazil, Russia are other members of the BRICS nations with huge populations whose economic growth have translated into inclusive social progress and shared prosperity for all their peoples. Within a decade of coming to office of the workers party (PT), in Brazil, more than 30 million people have been lifted out of extreme poverty, through a deliberate policy choice. In all the cases of the BRICS countries, including South Africa, inclusive prosperity and social progress is not left to happen as the spontaneous consequence of any growth rate rather economic growth is consciously and deliberately tailored

From the despondency of the president, and the reported policy exhaustion of the finance minister, the only plausible option for their economic growth rate, to make meaningful impact in the lives of Nigerians, is to kill off a good number so that the rest would step into a life of abundance, generated by economic growth, marched with low population density. If not for outright wiping away of many Nigerians, the policy implications for resolving the regime’s dilemma of high rate population growth would be to institute a regime of population decline. In this regard, the politically motivated social chaos, from which terrorism, violent crime, disease, hunger urban squalor thrive could have been deliberate policy choice to drive home the feasibility and prospects of fundamentalist supply side economics.

through policy calibration to produce inclusive and shared prosperity. President Jonathan and his economic team, led by OkonjoIweala, do not obviously know how to turn the asset of our population growth rate into a dynamic engine of inclusive growth and shared prosperity. The huge revenue from crude oil sales have not translated into any modest industrial infrastructure even for the oil sector that lays the golden eggs. Rather the sector has built itself into the infrastructure of the country’s bourgeoning corruption industry. Agriculture and industry two critical sectors that is well known to traditionally kick start any meaning growth in any economy, remains comatose in spite of excessive doses of government propaganda to the contrary. The minister of Agriculture, Adesina Akinwummi, makes a mountain out of a molehill of reining in fertilizer racketeering as if that is the only ailment of the crucial agriculture sector. He talks about transforming agriculture to business, as if it has ever been a charity. Agriculture has historically been at the centre of our people’s life and even before the monetization of the economy, agriculture provided the major instrument of economic exchange. Charles Onunaiju is a journalist based in Abuja



Comment Behold, our new President By Abdullahi Yunusa


his is incredible. Incurable cynics like me have long written off the possibility of having a President who truly understands the centrality and importance of his office in the entire life of a complex nation as Nigeria – a president that will be accepted, recognized and given the support to steer the ship of state in the right direction; a president who knows the right people to make up his team and those not to get close to. A president whose word is his bond. A president who openly calls a spade its very name. A president who places national interest above personal, group, ethnic or sectional considerations. What more can we say than to roll out the drums, appear in our best regalia and sing songs of praise to God for this rare 11th miracle. Thank God for our ‘new President’. I learnt the new President has pledged to make Nigeria inhabitable for troublemakers, treasury looters and self-seeking politicians whose pastime is

to overheat the polity through careless and unguarded statements. I learnt his administration will be a marked difference from the less than average performance rating of his predecessor where ministers, Director Generals and other top government functionaries singlehandedly formulate and execute policies that suits their whims and caprices. During this inglorious era, the supreme document, the Nigerian constitution, was never opened or referred to when doing official business. Then, the ruling party’s constitution became the nation’s law book. We do hope this ‘New President’ won’t end up disappointing us same way his predecessor did. If what the ‘new President’ has so far done just within few weeks of his entry into Aso Rock are anything to go by, we should hope for better things to come. While his predecessor’s ‘liver problem’ made him to foot-drag on dealing decisively with corrupt elements in his government, the ‘new President’ has within one

week in office sacked his chief of staff and four ministers. Yes, this is the kind of President that Nigeria yearns for. Not a president that will set up committees to kill a snake or repair a broken sewage line. This is competence, capability and preparedness in action. This has really shown that we need more than luck to sail through the turbulent and cascading waters of life. Another landmark decision that differentiates the new President from his immediate predecessor is the sacking of Service Chiefs under whose watch insurgency assumed alarming proportion. The new President wasn’t happy with the growing insecurity in different parts of the country, especially the north east where terrorists have annexed three states to themselves. These insurgents have reduced the nation’s security apparatchik to mere community vigilante groups armed with dane guns to match the fire-power of AK 47-wielding terrorists. He also identified inter-agency rivalry among various security organs as

major hindrance to winning the war against insurgency. While the former President was scared of calling the erstwhile Service Chiefs to order, his successor didn’t only drop them, but accused them of frustrating genuine efforts aimed at routing out insurgency from Nigeria. Yes! This is how to be President. It is beyond wearing Niger Delta attires with a cowboy cap to match. It is about calling a spade its very name. It is about rising up to occasion. It is not about jumping to set up several committees that their recommendations will be left to gather dusts on government shelves and lockers. It appears the ‘new President’ has learnt a lot from the many mistakes of his predecessor. Experience, they say is the best teacher. ‘Our President’, in line with his readiness to cage the hydra-headed monster called corruption, has promised never to protect or defend any member of his team caught short changing the system or ordering his or her subordinates to “Do The Needful”.

This is no doubt a clear departure from what we experienced not too long ago. The new man swore never to shield anyone from paying for his or her crims, not even those who campaigned or raised money for his election. I am particularly delighted by the fact that the ‘new president’ has shown clear convincing signs that his reign will bring about a new Nigeria where no serving government official will not contemplate buying armoured cars talk more of spending a humongous amount of N255 Million on two bullet proof cars. He has also promised to ensure that top government functionaries are made to be accountable to the people. God has indeed answered our fervent prayers. After a very long time we can now say we have a president who knows his onions. A president who knows that the Constitution has empowered him to hire and fire with smart fingers. Abdullahi Yunusa wrote in from Imane, in Kogi State.

London, UK. Anyway, you find a plot of land in, say, Akure, Ilorin, Benin, Owerri, or Port Harcourt. You jump through the hoops to obtain a C of O (Certificate of Occupancy) and draw up a building plan. Now, are you going to remain in your village until the house is completed or are you going to return to your base here? Of course, you will have to return to your family and job abroad while your house is being built. Are you going to hand the construction of your house over to a friend or relative? May the Lord help you if someone else is monitoring your house construction for you. You can be sure to pay twice what it should normally cost you for the construction of that house. And it may not even be without structural defects! After building your own house, you now return to the questions raised before: when and how do you leave the U.K. or the U.S. for Nigeria? What would you do for a living in Nigeria? You then begin to think about the whole idea of leaving Nigeria in the first place. Was it worth it at all? Yes, it may have given you an initial leg-up when you first left…at least, you

left behind abject poverty and a seemingly irredeemable poor standard of living, and found, in your new abode, a richer quality of life. But has not the law of “diminishing returns” set in? The family and friends you left in Nigeria, some of whom you used to send money, did not remain in the same place you left them. You find out that they, too, have built their own homes. If they are in the civil service, they have accrued a substantial retirement benefit. If they are in the private sector, they have also put away enough assets for retirement years. All of them have attained positions of authority and influence and have contributed to the growth of their communities one way or the other. Their children have obtained university education and have gone on to bigger and better things. Your family and friends have done all these without leaving Nigeria except on vacation (if that). They have achieved so much while enjoying the cathartic effect of being around childhood friends and extended family members. They have achieved so much while attending the same church or mosque. You ask yourself again: was it worth it? And as you ponder this question, your nephew calls from Nigeria and asks for assistance in immigrating to the U.K. You weigh the options: should you tell him that it is not worth it? If you did, would he not accuse you of not wanting him to do “as good as you have done”? You decide you will just give him enough of the pros and cons and leave him to make the decision. And you pray that he decides to stay home and keep looking for that job. Biodun Ladepo wrote in from Los Angeles and can be reached on oluyole2@yahoo. com

Checking out of Nigeria? By Biodun Ladepo


id I mention already that you would have a wife and children too? Well, along with those monthly utilities bills are the daily (if not hourly) nonspecified, unexpected bills to be paid on the children. Whereas in your village, you could send your wife to her parents and your children to their uncles and aunties for help, here, you are basically on your own. And as you grapple with balancing your checkbook by taking a second job, you get word from your village that papa or mama is ill; or sister’s child just secured admission to a university; or that grandpa just died; or that brother’s business needs financial rejuvenation. You look at your bank account and you find just enough money to pay your bills at the end of the month (or no money at all because you just paid your bills). You decide to ignore the call from home because selfpreservation is a sacred order. But your conscience keeps knocking; you remember that papa had to sell part of his farm to see you through school in the village; you remember that mama spent countless nights in the hospital when you were dying of malaria; you remember that your best friend (who has now joined the chorus of people needing money back home) contributed his feeding allowance towards your visa fees. Even if you wanted to lie to them that you were broke, you couldn’t make a convincing case. What about that picture you sent home showing you in front of a huge house with two nice cars in the garage? What about that picture of you, your wife, and children standing in front of the fireplace in a well-furnished living room? What about the picture of you

guys at the park, in the pool, at the beach, playing around as if you have no worries? What about that last time you visited Nigeria and convened a meeting of the entire village at the village square, where you doled out money to everybody, including those that did not even ask? Now you are in a quandary; conscientious but broke. You weigh all your options: do any of the problems require your physical presence in Nigeria? Or could you just borrow more money and send home? If you send money home, how much is too much; how much would reinforce the erroneous notion in the mind of your folks that you are rich? You consider the totality of your life in the U.S. – the fact that at 60, you are still taking the trash out; you are still washing your own car; you are still washing your own clothes; you are still sweeping and vacuuming your own house; you are still mowing your own lawn; you are still doing groceries. You consider the fact that for 30 years you really did not make any real friends here. Somehow, you just found yourself holding more to the friends you left in Nigeria rather than make new ones here. You discover that weekend outings with

your friends, family, and extended family members in Nigeria cannot be replicated in the U.S. Yes, social life in London and New York can have close resemblance to social life in Lagos or Enugu, but not every Nigerian here came from Lagos or Enugu. At work, you find out that you have reached an impenetrable glass ceiling. Your employers will not promote you anymore because… er…you “look different” and “speak different”, even though you remain the most valuable expert at the office. You find yourself in a rot, doing the same thing over and over for years. So, you seriously consider returning to Nigeria, back to your village, back to the “owambe” parties and the “isiewu” joints that you have missed. You make an “explorative” visit to Nigeria, smartly testing the water before taking the plunge. People tell you that owning your own house before coming home is a no-brainer. You start to look for a piece of land. May the Lord help you if you are from the “village” of Lagos and you want to build there. The cost of a plot of land in some parts of Lagos will buy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, US or 10 Downing Street,

You consider the totality of your life in the U.S. – the fact that at 60, you are still taking the trash out; you are still washing your own car; you are still washing your own clothes; you are still sweeping and vacuuming your own house; you are still mowing your own lawn; you are still doing groceries. You consider the fact that for 30 years you really did not make any real friends here. Somehow, you just found yourself holding more to the friends you left in Nigeria rather than make new ones here. You discover that weekend outings with your friends, family, and extended family members in Nigeria cannot be replicated in the U.S. Yes, social life in London and New York can have close resemblance to social life in Lagos or Enugu, but not every Nigerian here came from Lagos or Enugu.



Aviation village takes off with 270 housing units

L-R: FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr. John Chukwu, Minister of State for FCT and Supervising Minister of Police Affairs, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, and General Manager, Gilmor Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Moshe Ben Nachom, during the signing of agreement for the provision of infrastructure in Wasa district, at the weekend in Abuja.

By Stanley Onyekwere


he Aviation Village housing estate along Airport Road, off Umar Musa Yar’Adua Way, Abuja, is booming with brand new 270 affordable housing units, as part of government’s initiatives toward improving the living standards of Abuja residents and Nigerians at large. Unveiling the housing units last week, President Goodluck Jonathan, said though the units looks small in number but great things starts small and this, his administration has begun in transforming the housing sector. The President who was received by the minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammmed, said, improving the living standard of Nigerians is a cardinal objective of his administration as Nigerians deserve decent houses. According to him, improving the living standards of Nigerians is a cardinal objective to which we are totally and reasonably committed and we are vigorously pursuing in developing the Nigerian housing sector” Peoples Daily reports that, to ensure transparency and accountability, the President also launched the new National Housing Fund (NHF) electronic card (e-card). “I am glad to commission the aviation housing built for Nigerians and formally launch the National Housing Fund (NHF) electronic card (e-card). “The significance of both projects would be better appreciated when we recall that only three weeks ago, we announced the Nigeria Mortgage and Finance Company. Together, these are strong indicators of the quick wins emerging in reinvigorated approach that the administration has adopted to address the housing challenges. “All Nigerians must live in decent houses. We are commissioning a vision of our government and we are commissioning the success of the housing sector,” he said.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Community health: 30 workers receive training on reduction of maternal, child mortality


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Primary Health Care Development Board (PHCDPB) says training of community health care workers could significantly fast track Nigeria’s attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5. The MDG’s 4 and 5 are the reduction of maternal and child mortality. The Executive Secretary of the board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed said this at the weekend, at a closing ceremony of the training of 30 community health care workers in the FCT. The training was organised by Community Based Newborn Care programme, aimed at equipping staff. Mohammed said that the training would enable the health workers have the skills to handle delivery and to give relevant health advises that

could help prevent complications during and after delivery. “The work of a community health worker is to be able to identify a pregnant woman; give relevant advice and ensure that the woman delivers in a healthcare facility; “Nigerian government and partners have tried their best to make traditional birth attendance to carry out the work at the community, but we find out they are not doing their work. “The main work of community health workers is to go to a community, help a woman who is already in labour and at a point of delivery. “They have all the essential equipment and health knowledge to carry out safe delivery, even if the baby is sick they know what to do to help,’’ he said. According to Mohammed, a society cannot develop if it has high maternal and mortality.

He urged participants to practice what they had been taught and should judiciously use the health kits given to them by UNICEF to save lives of mother and children. Mohammed also urged healthcare workers to change their attitude so that pregnant women could come to delivery at health facility. Speaking earlier, the leader of the programme, Dr Esther Obinya, said the training was geared toward giving care to pregnant women during and after delivery. She said that the programme came about because the maternal and child death indices were not too satisfactory, though a lot had been done to achieve progress. Obinya said that most women were not delivering at health centres because of misconception and attitude of health workers, adding that the programme was an intervention to reach women at

Sambo, First lady commiserate with Bala over brother’s death By Stanley Onyekwere


ice President of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo, has condoled with the Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed, over the death

of his elder brother, Mallam Yusuf Mohammed Baba, who died recently. Late Mallam Baba, was the District Head of Duguri, Bauchi state, a former Secretary to the Government of Bauchi state (SSG) and principal of many

secondary schools in school before he died at the age of 80. The vice president who lead a delegation on a condolence visit to the minister, expressed sympathy for what he described as a great loss, as he prayed that he(Bala) and the family

NGO reiterates commitment to improving welfare of needy By Usman Shuaibu


he senior programmes officer in charge of Women Friendly Initiative (WFI), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mrs. Frances Teshoma, has said that the leadership of

home. “There are various myths about child birth and looking after children; for example, they say that when your leg is swollen it is because you are going to have twins or a baby boy. “Meanwhile, when your leg is swollen during pregnancy it is probably because you are having hypertension in pregnancy, which can kill. “They do not know these things; they have a completely different attitude, the same with breast feeding. We need to go to them using the community health care workers to enlighten them,’’ she said. One of the participants, Mrs. Christiana Odigwe, said they had been trained on how to encourage pregnant women at the grassroots to attend ante-natal. Odigwe said that they were also trained on how to discourage women from giving birth at home. (NAN)

the organization would remain committed to the welfare of needy in the territory. She said the organisation would not relent in its effort to continue to place emphasis on the welfare of widows in the society. Teshoma, who asserted this in an interview with PeoplesDaily in Kuje, further said the NGO is

committed to the welfare of old people as well as elders in the society. She said the financial resources of the organisation would always be channeled towards the provision of basic necessities of life for less privileged ones. She added that the organisation is committed to organize inter-

schools quiz competitions among students in FCT, to encourage them in their studies. The WFI official, however pleaded with the government at all levels, as well as spirited philanthropists, to assist the organisation in cash and or kind to carry out its laudable projects at hand.

have the fortitude to bear the loss. He also prayed that god bless the family he left behind. Similarly, First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, also paid a condolence visit to the FCT minister, at the his Life Camp Official residence, yesterday. Responding, the FCT minister, expressed his gratitude on behalf of his family; saying that visits “has really dignified the family.” He said, the visits show that the government relates with the high and low in the society. “We will convey the message to all the members of our family that you have been here on behalf of the government”.





Court remands guard for rape of minor


Mararaba Upper Area court, near Abuja has ordered the remand of a 26-year old man in prison for allegedly having carnal knowledge of a 14-year old girl. The presiding judge, Mr Vincent Gwahemba, ordered that the accused, who is of Kuchikau 1, be remanded till March 5 when the case would be further mentioned. Gwahemba said the court was using its powers under Section 183 of the Criminal Procedure code to remand the accused to enable the police conclude investigations. Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Joseph Ahua, had told the court that the accused lured the 14-year old girl and forcefully had canal knowledge of her. He said the incident happened on February 9 at a corner of the market in Masaka, Nasarawa state. The prosecutor said the offence is punishable under Section 283 of the Penal code, adding that the offence is not bailable. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge leveled against him. (NAN)


Court jails water vendor, recharge card seller for theft A

Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrate’s court, Abuja, has sentenced two men to one month in prison each for theft. The two men, Musa Salisu, 39, a water vendor (Mai-ruwa), and Adamu Musa, 24, a recharge card seller, were said to have stolen a Blackberry phone from Ohidemehim Williams, the complainant.

Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. Monday Akor, had informed the court that on February 7 at about 3.36 p.m., Williams, of One Man Village, Nasarawa, lodged a report at the Maitama Police Station. Akor said that on the same day, the two accused, both of Mabushi Village, Abuja, stole the complainant’s Blackberry phone at OAU Jjunction, Maitama.

He told the court that the phone was valued at N65, 000 and that when they were arrested, the said phone was found on them. Both accused pleaded guilty to the charge levelled against them. The Counsel to the accused, Mr. Azubuike Moneke, prayed the court to show mercy because of the negative impact a full sentence would have on the dependents of his

clients. Delivering judgment, Senior Magistrate Grace Adebayo, sentenced the accused to one month in prison each, to serve as a deterrent to others. She held that the court tempered justice with mercy because the convicts had shown remorse and the complainant was now in possession of the stolen item. (NAN)

FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed (right) listening to the Vice Chairman of the FCT Press Corps, Mallam Abubakar Sani, during a condolence visit by the FCT Press Corps to the minister over the death of his elder brother, recently.

Driver bags 3 months’ imprisonment for stealing company’s vehicle Driver bags 3 months’ imprisonment for stealing company’s vehicle A 32-year old driver, Clement Osagbovo, is to serve three months in prison for stealing a company vehicle, following his conviction and sentence by an Upper Area court in Karu, Abuja for the crime. The presiding judge, Mr. Umar Kagarko, convicted Osagbovo after he pleaded guilty to stealing the vehicle and after pleading with the court for leniency. Kagarko, however, gave him an option to pay a fine of N30, 000 and also warned the convict to stay away from crimes and be of good behaviour. The court also ordered that the stolen vehicle be removed from police custody and returned to the rightful owner after 30 days from February 13. In his plea, the convict had said “I am very sorry for stealing the car. I have been working for the company for a very long time. I did it out of frustration.

“I approached my brother for financial help and, when he could not help me, he advised me to go and steal the vehicle because two of my children were very ill and I had no money to take them to the hospital. “Please sir, temper justice with mercy. I am a father of five children and my wife is not

working’’. Earlier, the prosecutor, Insp. Phillips Arugwu, had told the court that Osagbovo was reported at the Asokoro Police Station on January 20 by Mr. Uche Okonkwo of MAD Science Limited. Arugwu said the complainant reported that a white Nissan bus with

registration number FKJ189XG was stolen from the company premises at Hillside, Asokoro in Abuja. The prosecutor said during investigation the accused was arrested on February 10 at Benin City in Edo and the car was found in his custody. He added that the offence was contrary to sections 289

and 348 of the Penal code respectively. Counsel to the accused, Joseph Omyike of Maxim Law Firm, Nyanya in Abuja, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy on behalf of his client. Omyike had also said his client was the sole breadwinner of his family. (NAN)

… as court slams applicant with 3 months jail term for stealing musical instruments


n Upper Area Court in Karu, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has sentenced an applicant, Adamu Bulus, to three months in prison for stealing musical instruments worth N1.9 million. Bulus was arraigned alongside Yekini Momoh and Chimezie Orji, charged with joint act and theft. The presiding judge, Alhaji Umar Kagarko, sentenced Bulus, a resident of Durumi in Abuja, after he pleaded guilty.

Kagarko however gave the convict an option of paying a fine of N25, 000. However, the judge granted Momoh and Orji bail in the sum of N100, 000 each, after they pleaded not guilty to the charge. He ordered that the accused persons must present two sureties, each in like sum and who must be resident within the FCT, with a fixed address. Kagarko then adjourned the case to April 16. Earlier, the prosecutor,

Insp. Israel Nongu, had told the court that Ms Princess Okah of Gaduwa Recreation Centre in Abuja had lodged a report about the three men. He said Okah reported the matter at the Apo Police station on January 24. According to the First Information Report, Bulus had formed a common intention with the two accused persons and stole the complainant’s musical instruments worth N 1.9 million. The prosecutor said during

police investigations, the stolen musical instruments were recovered from the convict. Nongu said Bulus also admitted to committing the crime with the help of the two accused persons. The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 79 and 289 of the Penal code respectively. If convicted, the duo of Momoh and Orji face seven years each in prison or a fine or both.(NAN)



INSIDE 08066605655,08182721672

Kano govt, BOI disburse loan facility to 108 SMEs - Pg 20

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Abuja

CBN launches biometric project nationwide From Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched a biometric registration of banks’ customers across the country. This project according to CBN would pave way for issuing of Bank Verification Number (BVN) which is a unique identity for every bank customer. Speaking during the official launching of the project in Lagos, the governor of CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi stated the project would not only provide unique identity for all bank customers within the country but would go a long way in reducing financial fraud, money laundry and create access to credit

facilities for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs). “This is a major development that protects you from fraud, fights money laundering, cybercrime and fraud. It is a unique customer identity. With this, you have your data. Every Nigerian bank has access to the data. Every microfinance bank has access to the data. Every financial institution has access to the data. He stated that one unique feature about the ID system in eradication of financial crime was that with its existence alone those who perpetrate crimes, knowing full well that they would be captured using their figure prints would never think of getting involved in such. “With this, if you commit a

fraud in Maiduguri and you try to withdraw the money in Ibadan, this new unique ID system will pick you up because it is a unique ID with a single database for all the banks. “Just the fact that you know that if you committed a crime, you will never get to use a bank or a MFBs is enough to stop that fraud-the same thing with money laundering or any other crime. It is up to bank customers to register.” According Sanusi, any bank customer who fails to register after 18 months would not transact with any bank in the country. He further informed that the coming week, the apex bank would issue a circular to banks on how to start.

Power: World Bank to supply 40,000 free prepaid metres to Kaduna consumers From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he World Bank is set to supply 40,000 prepaid modern cluster metres to the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDC) as part of its efforts to compliment the transformation agenda of the present administration in the power sector, and also help to increase the revenue generation of the sector in the state. The General Manager, Project Management Unit, which is a component unit of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Engr. Joseph Ciroma, stated this while briefing newsmen shortly after their meeting with the management of the KEDC at their Kaduna headquarters office recently. According to him, “We are here in effort to compliment the effort of Mr. President to ensure that power is fixed right as the number one sector in this country, because once power is fixed right, we believe other sectors will be fixed right. “This programme is also being anchored by the office of the

Minister of power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo through which intervention is carried out in the power sector in collaboration with the World Bank not only in Kaduna but in other part of the country. “The visit is to jumpstart the free distribution process and to have the contractors on board on the Proposed 40,000 prepaid metres that the World Bank had en-marked for distribution to KEDC” he said. “As I speak we are all here with the contractors and today has become the effective date that this project has started. We are hoping that in the next twelve months we should be able to roll out these prepaid meters for distribution free to Kaduna electricity consumers. “All the metres will be properly installed and all the losses that used to be incurred by the KEDC as a result of by passing of meters are going to be properly addressed. Like I said, within the next twelve months we should have been able to roll out the meters that are coming all the way from China, and customers will be happy with the modern meters

that are going to be brought in.’ He said the metres are not the normal metres, “they are new technology and not the conventional meters that we are used to which is normally installed in your houses, these metres are going to be installed on the poles, so only the load power that comes into the house.” Mr. Ciroma said about 120,000 metres was successfully installed in Abuja for over one year now, and ever since then the revenue collection jumped from the normal to about 300 percent with no cases of power by pass, expressing confidence that the same will be replicated and surpassed it in Kaduna after the installations. “These metres are free of charge, the cables and installations are free of charge. We are calling on the customers to corporate with contractors to ensure its success, no customer is expected to give money to any body and whoever is found in that act will be shown the way out,” he stressed. Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of KEDC Mallam Idris

“The CBN will issue a circular next week that will basically inform customers that this has now started. As soon as a bank gets the circular, the branches will issue notice to customers to find time to come in once and register. You can register anywhere actually. You can go to any bank or agent to register. Once you register, you cannot register again.” “What the banks are going to do is try to put all the information on your existing ATM card. If you have a First Bank or Zenith Bank ATM Visa card or MasterCard, they can put on your Bank Verification Number, and put your biometric on it. So you don’t need to carry two or three cards; so all is going to be on one card.

Mohammed while commending the magnanimity of the World Bank, also stressed that the donation of such prepaid metres will further help in revenue generation for the company. He assured that the company is committed to providing uninterrupted power supply in the state, just as he said everything is being done to achieve such commitment in the state, adding that KEDC will ensure that the impact of the meters to be supplied by World Bank are felt by the customers.

FBN Life acquires 71% stake in Oasis Insurance -Pg 21

Nigeria not self – sufficient in cement production – Producers -Pg 22 Exchange Rates CBN as at 11th February, 2014 Buying



















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY To manage well, get out of the way


anagement, like payroll and sales, is becoming another function to facilitate the work of the technically and creatively skilled people who do the heavy lifting. We need managers, not because people need a boss, but because people need someone to resolve the issues that are stopping them from doing their work. Managers aren’t ball carriers.

They’re running interference for the ball carriers. In the world of minimally invasive management, managers have three primary jobs: they need to hire, they need to develop and serve their people, and they need to fire. But most of the time, managers need to get out of the way and let people do their work. Source: Harvard Business Review




Kano govt, BOI disburse loan facility to 108 SMEs By Etuka Sunday


ano state government, in collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BOI) have begun disbursement of a N2 billion loan facility to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state. A statement by the Director of Press and Public Relations, to the Executive Governor of Kano state, Halilu Ibrahim Dantiye said, under the first phase of the programme, N300 million

was disbursed to 108 qualified Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state. The statement quoted the state governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, while presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries, as saying that each beneficiary will receive a loan from N1.7 million to N8.5 million, depending on their chosen business. Explaining that the loan is interest free, the governor stated that the state government has

forfeited the 10 percent interest due to it but each beneficiary will, however, pay five percent of the loan collected, as administrative charges to the BOI. Kwankwaso said that the beneficiaries are expected to repay the loan within three years, assuring that 800 SMEs would benefit from the N2 billion loan package, aimed at creating wealth and alleviating unempleyment. In her remarks, BOI Managing Director, Madam

Evelyn Ndali Oputo said her bank was encouraged to partner with the Kwankwaso administration in providing the loan because the governor is very serious in transforming the economy of the state. Oputa, therefore, advised the beneficiaries to utilize the loan appropriately, revealing that in the next phase of the disbursement, many women entrepreneurs would benefit because of the immense role they play in economic development

of the society. Earlier, the state Commissioner of Commerce and Industries, Danburan Abubakar Nuhu stated that the beneficiaries were engaged a sensitization workshop with a view to imparting basic conditions for accessing and utilizing the loan. A Kano-based industrialist, Dan Adala of Kano, Alhaji Ishaku Umar Tofa commended the BOI for cooperating with the government of Kano state in order not only to improve the living standard of Kano people but Nigerians at large.

1000 Chevron workers freed after 5 days lockdown From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

C L-R: Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Olusegun Awolowo, Managing Director, Bank of Industries (BIO), Ms. Evelyn Oputu, Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, and Speaker, Kano state House of Assembly, Hon. Isyaku Ali Danja, after the grand ceremony of distribution of cheques to the 800 beneficiaries of the N2bn KNSG/BOI counterpart fund, recently in Kano.

ATSSSAN vows to ensure completion of Oduah’s projects From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


arely a week after the former aviation Minister was relieved of her job, members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) an umbrella body of workers in the sector has vowed they were ready to work with the government to ensure the completion of all ongoing projects initiated by Oduah. Benjamin Okewu president

and deputy national secretary Tarnongu Captain at the end of the association’s meeting in Lagos said all hands must be on deck to ensure that the exit of Princess Stella Oduah does not in any way negatively affect the aviation industry. “On behalf of the members of our union across the nooks and crannies of this country in the aviation and allied industries, we are driving by patriotic fervour and an un-alloyed commitment

to sustainable transformation of our great country to recognize the monumental changes currently on-going in our governance polity. As we commend the Federal Government for its boldness in charting these audacious steps, we also enjoined all well-meaning Nigerians to maintain hope and strive to make our country the cynosure of all eyes in the world” The Union said they were not averse to change since it was the

only thing that was constant in life adding that it was time for the President to appoint a person with sincere and fundamental interest of the aviation industry at heart. They assured President Jonathan of their readiness to provide the necessary platform and safety verve to support the incoming minister and the team to ensure that the transformation agenda of the President in the aviation industry in Nigeria was not truncated.

Shell MD to speak on oil theft impact in Nigeria

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Country Chairman,Managing Director of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu is schedule to speak on the impact of oil theft in Nigeria at the 11th Annual Aret Adams Memorial Lecture. Sunmonu will be Guest Speaker, while Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mr. Atedo Peterside, will Chair the Memorial lecture slated for 27th February, 2014 in Lagos. According to the Programs Coordinator of Aret Adams Foundation, Mr. Akin Jokojeje, said this year’s lecture which is the 11th in the series has a theme, tagged “Oil Theft: Its Impact on Nigeria”. He said that the Foundation

was established in honour of the late Chief Godwin Aret Adams, the first Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (1988 to 1990), who later became the Special Adviser on Petroleum Resources to former Head of State, Federal Republic of Nigeria, adding that Aret Adams made outstanding contributions toward the growth of Nigeria’s Oil & Gas industry and the nation’s economy in general. The Foundation, Mr. Jokojeje said is aimed at promoting and building educational capacity and policy formulations. He disclosed that the National Energy policy delivered to the Federal government in April 1980 was formulated by the late Aret Adams and that it was him that re-energized negotiations that led to the successful execution of

shareholders agreements for the execution of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) project in 1989 and many others. He went further to reveal that the Foundation has institutionalized the Aret Adams Professorial Chairs at the University of Port Harcourt with the support of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC). In addition, the Late Chief Aret Adams been a Geologist per excellence during his life time and an alumni of the University of Ibadan, has propelled the Foundation to be given scholarship awards to the best few selected Post Graduate students in Geology of the University of Ibadan on yearly basis to assist them in the pursuit of their degree programmes. Also giving an insight into the

forthcoming annual lecture, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Foundation and Chairman, Afren Energy Resources Limited Mr. Egbert Imomoh noted that Chief Aret Adams left behind a legacy of professionalism and humanitarianism as epitomized in many lives he touched, irrespective of tribe or religion affiliations while he was alive. It was those virtues of his that motivated few colleagues and associates to establish the Foundation, to propagate and sustain the life-long dreams of the late Godwin Aret Adams”. The BOT Chairman also revealed that one of the major highlights of this year’s lecture would be the presentation of scholarship awards to another set of Post Graduate students in Geology of the University of Ibadan.

hevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture has confirmed that more than 1000 junior contract workers locked down over the past five days in the Escravos Gas-To-Liquids (EGTL) Camp have been freed. The workers had been held against their wish by some protesting community workers employed by local community contractors. CNL’s General Manager Policy Government and Public Affairs, Deji Haastrup, in a statement said the Federal Government’s security apparatus, the Joint Task Force (JTF) successfully set the workers free on Saturday, “all the workers are safe and on their way home. “We are happy that this has been finally brought to a peaceful conclusion,” said Many of the workers are now either back in Warri, Delta State or en-route to Warri to re-unite with their families, Haastrup said. CNL has notified their employers of the successful rescue of their workers. The Delta State Government and community leaders have all been continuously briefed throughout the duration of the lock down. CNL reiterates its commitment to treating all its contractors fairly. “We will continue to advocate respect for the Rule of Law and the use of constructive dialogue in the resolution of all issues. The safety of our employees and contractors remain our first priority in all our operations,” Haastrup added.



Capital Market Stories from Ngozi Onyeakusi, Lagos


asis Insurance Plc has announced that it has sold 71.2 per cent of its stake to FBN Life Assurance Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc. According a notice from the company to the Nigerian Stock Exchange(NSE) majority shareholders of the company- Oasis Group Limited and MetroWest Investments Limited have sold to FBN Life Assurance Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, a total of 4,630,595,326 ordinary shares of 50kobo each representing 71.2 per cent of the total issued ordinary share capital of Oasis Insurance. It further stated the acquisition was effected through the execution of a share sale and purchase agreement between the parties following receipt of the requisite regulatory approvals from the National Insurance Commission, Securities & Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Following this majority acquisition, FBN Life is required to make a mandatory take-over bid to the remaining shareholders of Oasis insurance in line with Section 131 of the Investment and Securities

Currencyincirculation increases by 1.4% ...As total deposits at CBN decline by 3.4%


t N1.5 trillion, currencyin-circulation, increased by 1.4 per cent in the month of November, 2013 compared with the increase of 5.1 and 9.8 per cent at the end of the preceding month and the corresponding period of 2012, respectively. The development relative to the preceding month reflected the 3.9 per cent increase in currency outside banks. Total deposits at the CBN amounted to N6.3 trillion, indicating a decline of 3.7 per cent below the level at the end of the preceding month. The development reflected the respective decline in all its components, the DMBs, Federal Government and private sector deposits. Of the total deposits, the percentage shares of the Federal Government, banks and private sector were 49.9, 45.4 and 4.7 per cent, respectively, compared with 50.7, 44.7, and 4.6 per cent at end-October 2013. Reserve money (RM), the CBN operating target, rose byn1.1 per cent to N4, 463.1 billion at the end of the review month.

FBN Life acquires 71% stake in Oasis Insurance Act and Rule 445 of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Rules and Regulations. As a result of this transaction Oasis Insurance becomes a

subsidiary of FBN Life, and a member of FBN Holdings Plc. We intend to leverage on this affiliation with FBN Holdings Plc to expand our coverage of

the Nigerian general insurance market by offering our insurance products through First Bank Limited’s branch network. More importantly, the acquisition allows

Oasis Insurance and FBN Life to leverage their relative strengths, thereby creating synergies for the benefit for their respective stakeholders.

L-R: Head, Africa Oil & Gas Sector, LPMG, Mr. Dimeji Salaudeen, Chairman, Energy & National Resources Sector, Mr. Michiel Soeting, and Sales Marketing & Communications, Mr. Marie-Therese Phido, during a news conference tagged, shale gas and its implication for Nigeria, recently in Lagos. Photo: NAN

Market indicators drop by 4.9%


harp price drop recorded in the share price of major blue chips such as Pfizer Products Plc, National Sports Lotery Plc, Oando Plc. on the floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange has resulted in the twin market measurement declined By 4.92 per cent. Specifically, the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalization both depreciated by 4.92% to close on Friday at 38,767.29 and N12.427 trillion respectively. Likewise, all of the NSE sector indices depreciated during the week. The NSE 30 depreciated by 5.64% to close at 1,741.97, NSE Insurance by 5.19% to close at 143.58, NSE Oil/Gas by 7.08% to close at 300.54, NSE Lotus II by 1.73% to close at 2,839.39. The NSE Consumer Goods index depreciated by 4.91% to close at 996.04, NSE Banking index edged lower by 9.84% to close at 368.56, the NSE Industrial Goods index sheds 2.03% to close at 2,550.76 while the NSE-ASeM closed flat. Review of activity in the market indicated that turnover of 1.918 billion shares worth N25.134 billion in 25,346 deals were traded this week by investors in contrast

to a total of 1.591 billion shares valued at N23.079 billion that exchanged hands in 26,257 deals the previous week. The Financial Services Industry (measured by volume) led the activity chart with 1.465 billion shares valued at N12.927 billion traded in 13,693 deals; thus contributing 76.37% and 51.43% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. The Oil and Gas Industry followed with a turnover of 145.423 million shares worth N1.239 billion in 2,716 deals. The third place was occupied by the Conglomerates Industry with 137.095 million shares worth N630.718 million in 1,546 deals. Trading in the top three equities namely, NEM Insurance Company Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank Nigeria Plc and FBN Holdings Plc (measured by volume) accounted for 554.707 million shares worth N6.106 billion in 4,649 deals, contributing 28.93% and 24.29% to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively. Sixteen (16) equities appreciated in prices during the week lower than Forty-six (46) equities of the preceding

week. Sixty-seven (67) equities depreciated in prices higher than Thirty nine (39) equities of the preceding week, while one hundred and fifteen (115) equities remained unchanged higher than one hundred and thirteen (113) equities in the previous week. 7UP Bottling Company Plc led the gainers table for the week, growing by 15. 74 per cent or N11.24 kobo to close at N82.64 kobo, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc followed with 5.63 per cent or N4.00 to close at N75.00 while Port Land Paints and Products Nigeria Plc gained 4.95 per cent or N0.26 kobo to close at N5.51 kobo. Other stocks that appreciated in price were Betaglass Company Nigeria Plc 4.73 per cent, Trans Nationwide Express Plc 3.24 per cent, Total Finaelf Plc 2.85 per cent, Paints and Coatings Manufacturers Plc 3.24 kobo, Union Dicon Salt Plc 2.47 per cent, Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc 2.46 per cent and Red Star Express Plc 2.27 per cent On the contrary, Pfizer Products Plc topped losers chart, shedding N26.87 per cent or N0.64 kobo to close at N1.74 kobo, National Sports Lotery Plc trailed with a loss of 17.74 per cent or N0.11 kobo to close at N0.51 kobo

while Oando Plc declined by 16.63 per cent or N3.63 kobo to close at N18.20 kobo. Other companies recorded price depreciation were Cement Company of Northern Nigerian Plc 15. 58 per cent, Union Bank of Nigerian Plc 14 per cent, IPWA Plc 13.04 per cent, United Bank for Africa Plc 13.14 per cent, Custodian and Allied Plc 13.04 per cent, Fidelity Bank Plc 12.24 per cent and Great Nigeria Insurance Plc 11.84 per cent. Also traded during the week were a total of 225 units of NewGold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) valued at N459,220.00 executed in 6 deals compared with a total of 165 units of NewGold valued at N326,855 million transacted last week in 3 deals. Similarly, 600 units of FGN bonds valued at N663,189.87 were this week traded in 7 deals compared with a total of 1,090 units of FGN bonds valued at N1.212 million transacted last week in 11 deals. Report on the OTC market for FGN bonds showed that a turnover of 5.179 million units valued at N5.165 billion in 19 deals were recorded this week ended February 14th 2014.



Business Airtel partners Nicowa on business packages By Chris Alu


irtel Nigeria in collaboration with Nigerian Cooperative Women Alliance (NICOWA) over the weekend undertook a business proposal that would provide special business packages to the women group on yearly basis. In the proposal Airtel would reduced call rate charges for the over three thousand NICOWA members and also provide electronic training skills for the women in order to help them down load recharge cards online for effective business transactions. Performing the ceremony in Abuja, the national president of NICOWA Mrs Esther Eke stated that the partnership deal with Airtel was to reduce their call rate charges to enable their members transact business effectively. She said that NICOWA as an association with multi-national business all over the country needs to collaborate with Airtel to achieve its aims and objectives on daily basis. Mrs. Esther said that NICOWA as a business group has cassava flour production; fish pounds; yam flour and chicken poultry farm that will help grow the economy and empower the women. she explained that at the moment the association is seeking the cooperation of foreign expatriates for logistics and training supports that will help expand its business and create jobs for the women and widows ,according to her, time has come for the women to be liberated, I tell you NICOWA is going to help our women and widows to have a voice and contribute their quarter to the development of this country, she added. In her response, the Airtel zonal business manager North Central, Miss Lynda Umeh stated that the business proposal is to help NICOWA take advantage of their numerous packages the company roles out to groups and association for effective services delivery, according to her, the special business packages includes, free device offer, call reduction rates as well as electronic training for the women.

Nigeria not self–sufficient in cement production–Producers From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ontrary to Federal Government claims that Nigeria has attained self-sufficiency in cement production, the Cement Producers Association of Nigeria (CPAN) yesterday denied that the nation has attained such fate. President Goodluck Jonathan at the launch of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), last week, restated Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Olusegun Aganga, claims that Nigeria is selfsufficient in cement production. However, CPAN Chairman Mr David Iweta in a statement said a group of people are deceiving the Federal Government to believe that Nigeria had attained self-sufficiency

… Want cement import ban lifted


the cement production. Iweta stressed that the misleading information had resulted to pushing the price from the expected price for locally manufactured cement from about N500 to N1, 800 per bag. “This prompted the Federal Government to push up the duty and levy on cement import to 35 per cent plus other import bills to a total of 45 per cent on imported cement. It also made the government to suspend all already granted cement import licenses such that manufacturers can sell their cement at N1, 800,” it stated. The Association further revealed that this action had shut

the doors to other players into the industry and had blocked competition in the industry adding that the action had also led to poor quality of the product leading to collapse building and loss of lives. He argued that if the country is self-sufficient in the cement production, the products should be sold as low as five hundred per bag in the market. The Association however appealed to the Federal Government to lift suspension on cement import licenses, blaming the ban for the high cost of cement in the country. The cement producers said lifting the ban on cement

importation will bring price down the product to a thousand naira (N1000). “Lifting of the suspension is the only way to bring down the high price of cement currently being sold at N1, 800 per bag insisting that this will bring down the price to N1, 000. “It is unacceptable for Nigerians to buy cement at N1, 800 instead of N500 per bag as it is being sold by countries that have attained self-sufficiency and net exporter in cement production.” “We urged the Presidency to suspend all licenses to bring down the price of cement to N1, 000 as it was selling during the late President Yar’Adua’s regime with duty and VAT at five and 10 per cent, respectively,” the association said.

Webb Fontaine dumps MTN for another network

By Dapo Olalekan


ollowing recent complaint by importers and clearing agents at the nation’s port over server breakdown, Service provider, Webb Fontaine has decided to ditch MTN network for another network provider. In an exclusive chat with our correspondent, the Managing Director of Webb Fontaine, Mr. Mukthar Ahmed said his

...As Port operators lament incessant server failures

organization’s plan was aimed at curbing the incessant accusation by Customs agents on the constant server failure of customs Server as well as providing efficiency. According to him, the current challenges encountered during cargo clearance especially with the new Pre- Arrival Assessment Reports (PAAR) was created

by the network provider which his MTN not Webb Fontaine. “Of recent the issue has been more with the Service provider which is MTN since they provide the network services. It is not completely Webb Fontaine”, He said. He added that another era was set to birth with the introduction of another network

Airtel Nigeria head office Abuja

provider who would oversee the affairs of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt axis respectively. In his words, “Two weeks from now Webb Fontaine will sign another contract with another network provider for services within Yaba and Abuja axis as well as the Port Harcourt and Abuja axis respectively”, He said. However he noted that the present challenges encountered will be addressed with the existence of an alternate network provider. “So, there are challenges but we will overcome them by the time we have an alternative network provider”, He added. Meanwhile, reacting to the current server failures across customs system in the Ports, Mukthar advised for the participation and cooperation of all concerned stakeholders and individuals. “We have to join forces and see how we can make things work because the failure of Customs is not only apportioned to them but every other concerned individual, even Nigeria as a whole”. “Although, I agree with you that there are challenges which can only be solved when we all come together we will come out of it not just criticizing rather, we find solutions.” He advised

First Hausa Islamic software launched in Kano From Mustapha Adamu, Kano


he first version of islamic software created in Hausa language has been launched in Kano State. The software, which was named Maidarasu 2.0, is the first of its kind in the history of Hausa. It also contains Quran (written and recitation, with different reciters), Hadith, Quran translation, knowledge of islamic rites and rituals, history of prophets, companions of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH), prayers, questions and answers, videos among other things. Speaking at the event, Abubakar

Muhammad Tsangarwa, who created the software, said he introduced the software after painstaking research on what has never been created in computer; hence he created the Islamic Hausa version of software. “As a computer literate for about 14 years, I decided to come up with unique computer software after a painstaking research; hence i created this software which is the first of its kind in history.” He said He said, “I decided to create the software because it would be easier and friendlier to the user because of the Hausa language that it was created in. Unlike Encarta or Al-Alim which came in English

language, my software came in Hausa to allow the user, especially here in Nigeria, to easily use it.” “I am very happy with this unforgettable day and I would try to be updating and upgrading the version of the software in future. It is the day that our governors and royal fathers gathered just to grace my occasion. This is an exciting moment for me.” In his remarks, the Kano State governor, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who was represented by the state’s commissioner for higher education, Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa, praised the creator of the software for the giant project. Kwankwaso, said his

administration has purchased five copies of the software at the sum of N100,000, adding that the administration has also purchased five copies to each of the eight tertiary institutions in the State. He further stated that “the software is a great contribution to the development of Islam in the state and even beyond. Earlier, the Kaduna State governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, represented by the state’s Special Adviser on Islamic matters, Alhaji Halliru Abdullahi Maraya, called on muslims to make frequent use of the software, especially the Quran section of the software.



Stock Watch

Report as at Friday, February 14, 2014




Special Report

Security operatives and irritating ‘friendly’ attitudes ``Bros! Anything for your boys?, Oga, we dey here o!, Madam, your people dey loyal o!.’’


uch statements come in different forms and styles, all in a bid by some private security operatives to solicit tips from anyone who passes around them. One can easily decipher someone who is always tipping the security operatives by the quality of time and energy they dedicate to compliments. ``Morn sir”, ``Welcome ma” are part of the vocabulary. It is now commonplace to find, not only the police, but other security operatives carrying the luggage of persons who usually give them tips; to the detriment of their work which also entails searching anyone coming into the

A security guard at work

premises of an organisation. These security operatives are hired to man gates, receptions, restricted areas and even checkpoints. The operatives work at airports, government and private establishments, banks, churches and residential areas and they choose their prospective customers by means of the kind of attire they wear or the type of cars they drive. The development is now becoming a source of concern to several people, compelling observers to complain about the veiled manner in which the security operatives solicit inducements with reckless abandon. ``Nowadays, I hardly go to any public place where there are security men without thinking of how to evade them and

their demands,’’ Mr. Ahmed Omowale, a civil servant in the FCT, said. The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the regulator of private security agencies, says that only 850 out of the 1,360 registered private security outfits in the country are functional. However, experts insist that the attitudinal problem of the private security operatives is very much counterproductive to their work. They note that the ``begging’’ posture of some private security personnel portends danger to the lives and property of the people they are hired to protect. ``The security operatives are often carried away by their quest for tips to such an extent that they lose focus of their prime responsibility of securing

the place,’’ Omowale said. Therefore, many Nigerians, including Omowale, tend to wonder if there are any guidelines or rules governing the operations of private security operatives, particularly with regard to soliciting and receiving tips or sometimes bribes. Mr. Nwinyi Nnamdi, the Assistant Commandant General, Private Guard Department of the NSCDC, said that there were extant rules outlawing such behaviour. ``There are regulations; we have what we call the Private Guards Act which guides the operations of practitioners in the field; the ethics of the profession. ``Private guards trying to be `unusually friendly’ with strangers in their place of duty is a common menace.

``It is something that we don’t take kindly to because first of all, once someone mortgages himself by soliciting inducements; it goes against the ethics of the profession. ``We definitely frown at it because it goes against the provisions of the Act and there are sanctions which include the dismissal of the affected security guard. ``We are the regulator, if we discover that the practice is common among the security guards of a particular company, we have no other choice than to invite the company down here.

``We have field officers and if our monitoring activity confirms that the officers of a particular company have the penchant to compromise, we would withdraw the company’s licence,” he said. Although he did not disclose the specific number of the companies whose licenses had been withdrawn, Nnamdi said that none of the license withdrawals was anchored on the actions of ``unusually friendly’’ personnel. However, he stressed that the issue of inducementsoliciting guards was a major

The development is now becoming a source of concern to several people, compelling observers to complain about the veiled manner in which the security operatives solicit inducements with reckless abandon

Dr Ade Abolurin, Commandant-General, NSCDC

A policeman checking a driver’s licence recently, in Abuja theme of discussion when the NSCDC licensed 31 private security outfits recently. He urged the citizens to always endeavour to report any mischievous guard to his employer or the NSCDC. In spite of the regulations governing the profession, observers wonder if the security companies are aware of the waywardness of some of their staff or they just tend to shy away from sanctioning aberrant workers. All the same, Mr. Austin Udoh, the Operations Manager

of Austria Security Limited, Abuja, said that the punishment for soliciting tips in the company was outright sack. He, however, stressed that the officials of the agency were seriously sensitised to the dangers of soliciting inducements during their training. ``We give them physical training, we teach them how to engage in physical combat, we tell them the dos and don’ts of the profession, and we also caution them to desist from soliciting tips.

A private security outfit training its officials

``We pay our staff better than so many other outfits in the country; that is why we insist that they must be well behaved anywhere they are stationed,” he said. It is, however, pertinent to note that the Nigeria Police Force sternly frowns at all forms of inducement, as it outlaws bribery, which attracts grave penalties such as outright dismissal from service. But observers insist that the measure has not proved to be a pragmatic disincentive to some corrupt officers who still collect

bribes. A school of thought is, however, of the opinion that the tendency of private security operatives and others on similar assignment to collect tips could be blamed on their poor remuneration. Others reject the notion, saying that poor remuneration cannot be cited as an excuse for dereliction of duty. On the issue of remuneration, Nnamdi said that the NSCDC was currently looking into how to standardise and improve the remuneration

of private security operatives. ``That is why when we are going through the records of the security outfits, we always take note of issues like how much they pay their employees and how much they charge your clients. ``When we look at the records and we see that the company cannot guarantee the payment of a living wage to its staff, we sanction it. ``Our field men are on ground to give us information and even the guards themselves have a complaints unit where they can lodge complaints about the company,” he said. Besides, Nnamdi said that the NSCDC was now mandating the private security outfits to take insurance policies that could improve the lives and health of their personnel in the event of job-related accidents or even deaths. All in all, the general consensus of opinion is that the private security business has become a flourishing business in the country. Observers, nonetheless, underscore the need to make concerted efforts to stem perceptible aberrations in the industry, particularly those relating to the habit of some private security operatives who routinely harass people for tips. Source: (NAN)



Almajiri Schools and the North:

Jonathan’s gaffe By Mohammed Mustapha


he fact that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Nigeria’s hitherto shoeless President came to Sokoto city, the Seat of the legendary Sokoto Caliphate is no longer news. Indeed, majority of the President’s recent public speeches were always as controversial as they are unguarded, nepotic and damn too unppresidential. Jonathan’s failed political foray into Sokoto on Saturday., the 8th of Feb.2014 was just the same. The President on that day presided over a hugely unsuccessful political jamboree which only added nothing to the dwindling foftunes of the sinking Peopes Democratic Party ( PDP). This is premised upon the current tangible reality of the PDP, whose flag had been torn and tattered. The PDP is now like a sinking ship, deep off-shore. On that black political day, the President, his Vice, the Senate President and the national president of the party, among others, were all in Sokoto to receive into their confused fold, Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa. For the avoidance of doubt, Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa is now politically bankrupt. He also remains as politically irrelevant and inconsequential in the current political equation in the state and Nigeria, generally. It is also glaringly evident that, it is a case of a confused and politicallyimbecile former governor of Sokoto state disgracefully abandoning his kiths and kins in favour of a political bigot. The former governor had by that singular act of abandoing the people of the state in favour of a, clueless and shoeless fisherman, Jonathan, showed his disdain for suffering Nigerians and in fact his hitherto north sentiments. It also confirmed too glaring his lack of principle largely, due to his pivotal education. The crux here however is that Jonathan and his cohorts abandoned very serious government business in Abuja and wasted useful man-hour and public resources to comically celebrate a politician the Sokoto people have roundly rejected since leaving office as an accidental Governor who has forsaken God. As if that obnoxious disservice to Nigerians was not enough, the President on that openly assaulted the cultural, religious and socioeconomic identities of sakwatawa and nay, the north. The President told the whole world that ,he was in Sokoto a couple of months earlier to commisison a model almajiri school. The school was also a copycat of the one already established at Tudun-Yandogo, Dange/ Shuni local government. It was first established by Peoples-Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko to bolster the historic and premier almajiri education system ( Tsangaya). Jonathan was sold the idea and he sent a powerful delegation led by former Education minister, professor Rukayya Rufai to understudy the sokoto model which was eventually replicated by the federal government. This centuries-old system is indeed not only ascribed to the poor, up here in the north. It is a system that took its roots in the desire by the Muslims to ensure the ceaseless study and memorization of the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Scripture of the Muslims. Indeed, the system is as useful as any of the formal and non formal education systems in Nigeria. The Muslims, the world over study and memorize the Holy Qur’an, from craddle to the grave. So for the president to say that if he were from the north, he would have been an “ almajir” because he was poor, was terribly devoid of any political decorum. That statement and allusion to the effect that the north is predominantly poor, was uncalled for. The President had really brought to the fore his long held hatred and misguided negative emotions against the north and northerners. So, there was little wonder therefore when the ever-goofing megaphone of the federal government emulated his Boss by describing the governors of two foremost states in the north, Kano and Sokoto, as “ shameless........ and being like nomadic fulanis.” In fact, the gaffe of Jonathan on that day had really exposed the inability of his administration to add any value to the electorate in Sokoto.The said almajiri School at Gagi near Sokoto,is presently the only physical evidence of the federal government in Sokoto state since Jonathan came to power. The connection of that school and the inability of President Jonathan

to deliver any tangible dividends of democracy to the people of Sokoto state is not therefore far-fetched. The President’s toddler-thinking is that the north, and Sokoto in particular, are poor. That informed his boast of constructing “ numerous almajiri schools “ in the north. The north boasts of ever-successful almajiri schools even before the emergence of an amalgamated Nigeria. The rest story is self-teaching. President Jonathan has indeed continued to show his immature political acumen, in actions and in principle. This is hinged on his continous assault and neglect of the north, in favour of the South, especially his home-region, the South- South. His programmes and policies just openly show this unequal treatment, mishandling and misruling of a federated Nigeria. For istance , some few examples include the various progrmames executed and being executed specifically for the South-South. These include the presidential amnesty programme, the dedication of a Ministry to the South-South, the Niger-Delta Ministry and the payment of the thirteen per cent derievation to the oil producing states. Billions of naira is indeed being sunk into these drain-pipes, largely for the region where the President hails from. For the avoidance of any doubt, Jonathan’s country home, Otueke is domiciled in Bayelsa state, deep in the Niger Delta region. In his own myopic thinking, the north only needs almajiri schools, not projects that could bolster the socio-economic and educational standards of the northern region. This is just as unpatriotic and callous against a region that had for decades contributed immeasurably to the growth and development of Nigeria. It still does. The northern agricultural sector was a at a time a major revenue earner, part of whose revenue was used to develop the oil industry in the country at the advent of oil exploitation and exploration. The northern agricultural sector still plays key roles in fattening the nation’s GDP. So, to ascribe poverty and almajirchi to the north, is so insulting to the psyche and persons of the north. That provocative vitupurative statement of the hitherto shoeless President had indeed stirred the honest’s nest. It has continued to attract the right reactions from various quarters. The chairman of the Sokoto state chapter of the Arewa Consultative Forum, a non-profit, non-political and non religioous pan-northern group, Ambassador Bala Dan-Iyan Sokoto wondered why Jonathan made such a callous and heinous pronouncement. The former Minister and an astute Diplomat rightly said that the federal government under President Jonathan has done nothing to the state and indeed the entire north when juxtaposed to the dozens of billions of naira being sunk into the south-south and the Niger-Delta in particular. This, the foremost traditional tittle holder and elder statesman said is an act of injustice against a key player in Nigeria, the north. The former Minister of Youths and Social Dvelopment, Alhaji Inuwa Abdulkadir has also taken a swipe at President Jonathan for making such extremely unguarded remark. He also lambasted the “ basket-mouth”of the federal government for describing two northern Governors as “ nomadic fulanis” sequel to their recent defection to the APC from the anti-people PDP. This is as if it is not the right of any citizen of this country to legally associate with any group of persons or to belong to any political association. Abdulkadir, who is also the incumbent interim Chairman of the All Progressives congress APC, Sokoto state, spoke of the need for equality and social justice in Nigeria. Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko had also expressed disappointment with the President for his seemingly negative thinking and actions. According to the governor, “ Nigerians are desirous of a country where all the citizens are equally free and treated as such.” All these point to the fact that, prioritizing the construction of almajiri schools in the north by the federal government and eulogizing it is a misplacement of priorities. Therefore, for the President to publicly eulogize this largely misplaced gesture is a gaffe by Him. The north indeed urgently needs more federal government’s presence much more than the wrongly celebrated almajiri schools.



Education ERC faults Lagos Assembly’s resolution on LASU crisis Kaura LG sponsors students to study abroad

From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau


aura Namoda local governmnet area of Zamfara state is sponsoring eleven young boys, selected from poor families, to study Bsc. medical courses at the Kampala International University of Uganda. The chairman of the council, Lawali Muhammad Liman, told newsmen that it was compelled to embark on the project due to the high need for medical personnel in the local area government. He said the council has also decided to sponsor the training of undisclosed number of eligible candidates to study Medical surgery and Nursing. Muhammad Liman explained that the candidates will eventually undergo a 5-year study, upon which they will be paid monthly allowances of N20,000 each, adding that each of the sponsored candidates had signed a bond that they will serve the local government at the end of their studies for a period of three years. “My aim is to convert the local government into developed community. In the next few years, people will come to imitate from us the kind of our lucrative investments. We would suffer the expenses for now, but of course, we would laugh at last”, the Chairman said.

By Akilani Abdullah


group, Education Rights Campaign (ERC), has faulted the resolutions of the Lagos State House of Assembly on the ongoing crisis in the Lagos State University. It would be recalled that there was a crisis in LASU on January 22 and 23 over the closure of the university’s portal, which as a result denied about 1292 access to writing their examinations. The crisis, which left some of the students injured and properties damaged, also prompted the school management to shut the institution indefinitely. Few days after the crisis, the Lagos Assembly ordered the school management to re-open the

e-portal and open the university as soon as damaged properties are fixed. But, this seems not to go well with ERC, which accused the Lagos lawmakers of taking sides in the crisis. National Coordinator of ERC, Hassan Soweto in a press conference on Wednesday, noted that it was improper for the Lagos Assembly not to fault the dictatorial nature of LASU management during its sitting. He also expressed dissatisfaction with a statement credited to the Lagos Assembly Speaker, Ikuforiji, that some of the students should be expelled for protesting. He said, “We condemn the resolutions of the Lagos state

House of Assembly on the lingering crises in LASU. We reject the resolutions of the Lagos state house of assembly, which sought to put the whole blame of the crises on students whereas the cause is the outrageous fee hike in the institution. “Most especially, the statement credited to the speakers that the ringleaders of the January 23rd, 2014 protest should be fished out is an endorsement of expulsion and suspension of LASU students. “We therefore hold that the resolutions of the Assembly is a dress rehearsal for further attacks on the democratic rights of students of the university and it does not touch on the real roots of the crises, which is the skyrocketing fees being paid at

LASU. The resolutions also kept silent on the reopening of the university.” The education right activist, however, proffered reversal of the university students’ school fee as the lasting solution to crisis. He added, “We call on the mass of the students of Lagos State University to reject the resolutions of the Lagos State House of Assembly as it will lay basis for unwarranted victimization of students, without any effort to resolve the lingering crisis in the university. We call on students of LASU to demand the reversal of the fee hike, the reopening of the university as well as the opening of registration portal without limitation of time, in order for all students to register”.

NOUN establishes Schools of Agriculture, Health Sciences


rof. Vincent Tenebe, the Vice Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), on Saturday said the university had established Schools of Agriculture and Health Sciences. Tenebe disclosed this at the 11th matriculation of NOUN Special Study Centre, Gwagwalada, FCT. The vice chancellor, who was represented by the Director of NOUN, Gwagwalada Centre, Mr Emmanueel Umoh, said they were approved by NOUN and the NUC. The vice chancellor informed the students that the university was about perfecting the on-line facilitation platform. Tenebe said the university had also enlarged its General Studies programmes to include Communication and Information Technology (CIT) and General Studies (GST). He urged the students to make good use of their study materials and other learning avenue to a great extent to ensure success at the end of their programmes. Some of the students told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that they were happy as they would now be recognised as students of the university. NAN reports that 246 students matriculated for 2014/15 session. (NAN)

L-R: Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole, Osun state Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, and Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Proessor Froeland Ndoma Egba, during the 24th Nigerian University Games, on Saturday in Ife, Osun state. Photo: NAN

SMEDAN, NUC, KASU sign pact By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Kaduna State University (KASU) have signed a memorandum

of understanding (MOU) to inculcate the spirit of entrepreneurship in students of tertiary institutions in the country. The MOU signing which took place in the Auditorium of the National Universities Commission will see SMEDAN creating a standardized

schedule of activities for entrepreneurship clubs in all universities. Speaking during the ceremony, the Director General of SMEDAN Alhaji Bature Umar Masari commended the National Universities Commission and Kaduna State University for their role in

entrenching entrepreneurship in the Universities. Alhaji Masari noted that the agency was encouraged and agreed to go into partnership and collaboration with NUC and KASU which has been leading the way in the area of entrepreneurship in the tertiary institutions.

Monarch tasks parents on children’s education

From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he District Head of Bajida in Zuru Emirate, Alhaji Musa Mohammed has called on parents to ensure the enrolment of their wards in both Western and Islamic education.

Muhammed made this call at the weekend while deliver a speech at the anual Dokachi Uhola festival. He said both western and Islamic education were important in the society. The Monarch explained that the purpose of organizing the festival

was to celebrate the end of the year’s good harvest and help the youths to choose their life partner. The District head who also commended the effort of Governor Dakingari for constructing bridge and roads in his community. Also speaking at the occasion,

the Commissioner of Forestry in the state, Mr. Isaku Dauda commended the effort of the people of Fakai for showcasing their rich cultural heritage, assuring them of government’s commitment towards their plight.




Healing the ‘wounds’ of mining in Plateau State

By Prudence Arobani


he `scars’ of tin mining is still evident in Plateau State and the `Tin City’ of Jos. The state is dotted with over 4,000 abandoned mining ponds, described as very dangerous as they contain radioactive materials. The ponds are reminders of the mining years, when tin was among the major sources of foreign exchange earners for the country. Alhaji Sani Shehu, National President, Miners Association of Nigeria (MAN), said tin was a major source of foreign exchange earner for the country before exploitation of oil. He however said that ``decades of tin mining left the area strewn with deep gorges, lakes and devastation. ``As a matter of fact, the state and its inhabitants have had one unpalatable story or the other to tell about the negative impact of mining on the land and their lives,” he said. Jonah Jang of Plateau, said the state has more than 4,000 mining ponds, which he described as ``very dangerous.” He said that those residing around the old tin mine neighbourhoods, complained of polluted air, soil and water, among others. Jang said that he had been applying for ecological fund since 2007 to address the devastation. ``The special funds, if granted, will be used to reclaim land by sand filling mining ponds and dangerous gullies scattered in various parts of the state,” he said. The governor regretted that tin, one of the sources of revenue for the country before the exploitation of oil, had now become a nightmare. ``When this country became independent, Plateau Province contributed to the national economy with tin and columbite,’’ he said. The governor said that part of the money used to prospect for petroleum in the Niger Delta came from tin and columbite, mined in Plateau Province. He said that today, the `` ponds are killing the people; my people are suffering from all sorts of cancers- breast, pelvic and prostate.” Prof. Barnabas Mandong, a former Commissioner for

Gov. Jonah Jang

A columbite lump, has high grade quality

Mining in Jos, Plateau state

Mining in Jos, Plateau state

Health in Plateau, said the high radioactive materials in the ponds were not only dangerous to humans, but to vegetables. ``The vegetables irrigated with the water from the ponds are contaminated, and unfortunately members of the public consume them. ``Also, the houses built with sands from the ponds emit radioactive substance causing health hazards. ``All these have led to rising cases of breast and pelvic cancers among inhabitants of the state,” he said. However, stakeholders want the Federal Government to continue with the sand filling of the ponds which commenced in 2008. Mr. Sam Godongs, Plateau Coordinator, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), noted that the Federal Ministry of Environment commenced the filling of the ponds in 2008,

but it was abandoned few years later. He also said that the ministry took the maps of the mining areas in the state, with a few to solving the environmental problems associated with mining in the state. There is hope that Plateau, and other solid minerals producing states may start benefitting from the 13 per cent derivation fund, which would increase their capacity to tackles posed by mining activities. Mr. Elias Mbam, Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), raised the hope when he said that the 13 per cent derivational clause also applies to solid minerals extraction. Mbam said that constitutional provision of 13 per cent derivation was not meant for oil production only but for all minerals. He said that the Accountant

General of the Federation (AGF), has opened a solid minerals account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and advised affected states to access the fund. ``If you have minerals in your state and it is developed and it generates revenue into the Federation Account, you are entitled to 13 per cent of what is paid into the Federation Account,” he said. Mbam also advised states with ecological problems to approach the Ecological Fund Office for funding, as there are constitutional provisions for tackling ecological problems. An environmentalist, Dr John Agbaji, has however stressed the need for scientific information about mining areas. He said that people living in mining areas, should know the distance they should maintain from the mining sites. Agbaji also called on the

relevant authorities to sensitise the people about the effects of mining devastation on their lives and the environment. While awaiting for articulated programmes to address the challenges posed by mining activities in the affected areas, stakeholders want the relevant authorities to control and regulate mining. They say that illegal mining could worsen the already bad situation. Columbite and Tantalite are ores used to produce the elements niobium and tantalum. In Nigeria, pegmatite deposits of coltan are frequently also the source of several precious and semi-precious stones such as beryl, aquamarine, and tourmaline. These pegmatites are found in Nassarawa State near the Jos Plateau, as well as in several areas in southeast Nigeria. (NAN)



Healthy Living Gum diseases: Dentist advises Nigerians to brush twice daily


dentist with the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos, Dr Adebayo Onisarotu, has advised people to cultivate the habit of brushing in the morning and night to prevent gum diseases. Onisarotu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, that the disease was common among adults. According to him, gum disease or gingivitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most common as a result of poor dental hygiene. “Gingivitis is a very common condition and varies widely in severity, it is characterised by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed. “Gum disease is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene which allows bacteria in plaque and calculus to remain on the teeth and infect the gums,’’ Onisarotu said. He said gum disease is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. Onisarotu said the warning signs of gum disease include gums that were receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before. “Another symptoms could be red, swollen or tender gums in your mouth, bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food. ``Pus between the gums and teeth, sores in the mouth or persistent bad breath and many more,’’ he said. Onisarotu said brushing of teeth at night has beneficial effect as it removes plaque, food and other foreign objects. He said many elderly persons experiencing tooth loss was as a result of improper care of the teeth when they were young. “Adults are more prone to gum diseases, the tooth fall off as a result of weak gums, which is not normal as people usually think it was only due to old age. Whether old or young, it is very important to wash properly and take care of the teeth regularly,’’ he said. Onisarotu said if one must use chewing sticks; it should be used the proper way to get the best results. (NAN)

Nigeria requires 160 radiotherapy units to cope with cancer burden-Expert


Radiologist, Prof. Ifeoma Okoye, has said Nigeria required more radiotherapy units for victims of cancer to access and have proper diagnosis and treatment. Okoye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that lack of adequate radiotherapy units, has contributed to rising cases of cancer in the country.

According to her, only four are functional out of the 12 radiotherapy units in the country. ``By recommendation of International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) country`s recommendation for every one million population, one radiotherapy unit is needed for you to have an

Radiotherapy is effective for cancer detection and treatment

efficient radiotherapy service. `` Now, because of the poor infrastructure we have in low and medium income countries, Nigeria currently has nearly 12 centres for radiotherapy, out of those 12 centres, there are barely four of them working. ``The population of Nigeria as estimated is 160 million and that is supposed to

be an under estimation. ``So, if we are taking the population of 160 million that means we need 160 radiotherapy units in Nigeria. ``If all 12 centres are working, we are still underserved in terms of radiation treatment and diagnosis in order to cope with the cancer burden in Nigeria, `` she said.

A Vesico Virginal Fistula (VVF) patient with urine bowl

Kebbi VVF centre cures 216 patients in 13 months


he Kebbi State Vesico Vaginal Festulae (VVF) Centre, Birnin Kebbi, said it treated 216 patients in the last 13 months. The Medical Director of the centre, Dr Abubakar Dakingari, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Birnin Kebbi that 169 patients were operated upon while 47 were treated with

catheter. He said most patients sustained the disease as a result of prolonged labour, while some of them were victims of genital mutilation. ``The centre offers treatment free to patients from within and outside and neighbouring countries,’’ he said. Dakingari also noted that many women affected by the condition

were from remote villages that lacked roads and capable health care facilities. He also blamed ignorance and poverty for the occurrence of the ailment, especially among teenage girls giving birth for the first time. ``The ailment is also common among older women living in the villages,’’ he said.

The medical director said the state government was taking care of the treatment of the patients as well as their feeding. He said the centre was supported by USAID and non-governmental organisations, but called on wealthy individuals, stakeholders and philanthropists to provide additional support. (NAN)

PANS awardee lauds student body for honour


Pharmacist and one of the recent recipient of The Pharmaceuticals Association of Nigerian Students (PANS), award, organised by the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Musa Mohammed Zango of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Warri has described the honour done to them as a motivating factor that would ginger them up. Zango stated this to news men shortly after been conferred with the prestigious PANS

award alongside eight others. At the occasion, the association awarded the First indigenous Principal, School of Pharmacy, Zaria, to late Alhaji Adamu Bako Dikko for his contribution to Pharmaceutical education in the North and the country at large. The award followed the commissioning of the Association’s project executed at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University. Speaking at the occasion the immediate past Registrar,

Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), Dr Ahmed Tijjani Mora, described the celebrant as an icon in the field of Pharmacy education in the country. Also, the Chairman of the occasion, the Vice Chancellor, Bauchi State University, Professor Ezzedeen Abdulrahaman urged Pharmacists to imbibe the culture of truthfulness and the fear of God in their practice. Professor Abdulrahman represented by the DirectorGeneral, National Research

Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Professor K.S Gamaliel noted that the performance of Pharmaceutical Students in the University has always been outstanding. Other awardees include the Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, Professor Ibrahim Adamu Yakasai, Pharmacist Ayuba Tanko, Dr. Ahmed Tijjani Mora among others.

Funtua LG immunises 127,263 children against polio


untua Local Government Area of Katsina State has said it immunised 127,263 children against poliomyelitis and other child killer diseases in January 2014. Alhaji Abdu Isa-Yankara, the Primary Healthcare Coordinator in the area, said this in Funtua while distributing treated mosquito nets

and other consumables to hospitals under the Roll Back Malaria Programme. He said 137,460 doses of oral polio vaccines were received for the exercise, while 125,354 children were immunised against the child killer diseases. The coordinator commended

traditional and religious leaders and the council for supporting the exercise, saying their support contributed immensely to the success recorded during the exercise. Isa-Yankara urged immunisation workers to ensure proper record keeping for the

successful implementation of the exercise in the future. He also directed the workers to report anyone who rejected poliomyelitis vaccine for his child. The coordinator said 15 health facilities benefited from the support given under the programme. (NAN)


Healthy Living


Treating Treating vertigo-dizziness at home eye L problems with herbal remedies


he eyes can suffer from many problems. From redness to loss of vision, the range of conditions and diseases that affect the eye are varied and wide. The symptoms include red, itchy eyes with a yellow discharge, a gritty feeling in the eyes, sensitivity to light, soreness, swelling, red eyes, and scaly eyelids. Cucumber slices and wet tea bags are good for puffy and tired eyes. So are cool compresses made with rosewater, cornflower, or strawberry leaves. Mild eye infections and irritations can be soothed with tea compresses. Leave on eyes for fifteen minutes three or four times a day. Other herbs to try are parsley root, aloe vera, gingko biloba, hawthorn, yellow dock root, dandelion root, and barley grass. Weak eyes and blurred vision can be a sign of liver malfunction. A good diet with lots of vitamin A can really help. A healthy drink recipe for the eyes includes a cup of carrot juice, a tablespoon of wheat germ, a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of sesame seeds, a teaspoon of brewer’s yeast. Stress causes many eye problems. Seeing sparks of light or colour with your eyes closed is a sign that the body needs to relax. Try sipping rosemary tea while resting in a peaceful atmosphere. Ways to improve your visionBlink regularly. Change your focus every five minutes when driving or using the computer. Massage the temples and skin between the brows frequently when doing any close-up work. Squeeze eyes shut and then open them wide, ten or fifteen times to increase blood flow to the eyes. To improve eye vision, avoid smoky places, air pollution, chemical diuretics, aspirin, antihistamines, nicotine, hard liquor, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Herbal health online

ightheadedness or dizziness is usually not a cause for concern unless it is severe, does not go away, or occurs with other symptoms such as an irregular heartbeat or fainting. Lightheadedness can lead to falls and other injuries so lie down for a minute or two to allow more blood to flow to your brain, then sit up slowly and remain sitting for 1 to 2 minutes before slowly standing up. Rest. Some viral illnesses, such as a cold or the flu can lead to dizziness, resting will help prevent attacks.

Do not drive, operate equipment, or climb on a ladder, do not use substances that can affect your circulation, like caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs. Dehydration can cause or increase dizziness, when you have diarrhea, vomiting, or a fever. Drink more fluids, especially water and other fluids such as fruit juice mixed to half-strength with water, rehydration drinks, weak tea with sugar, clear broth, and gelatin dessert. If you have kidney disease or heart disease, do not drink

many fluids without first talking to your doctor. Call your doctor if nausea or vomiting develops or increase, severe dehydration or fainting occurs. Pumpkin seeds as healthy snack When you buy your pumpkin, rather than just tossing the seeds, roast them in the oven for a nutritious snack. These flat little seeds provide a wealth of nutritional benefits, giving you plant-based protein and a host of minerals.

Overall nutrition A 1-ounce serving of roasted pumpkin seeds – about a handful – gives you almost 8.5 grams of protein. That’s 15 percent of the daily requirement for men and 18 percent for women. The same-size serving is low in carbs, providing just 4 grams, almost half of which come from fiber. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of several minerals, including iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium as well as zinc. Source: Food health

Pumpkin seeds as healthy snack

Study: Hepatitis B Vaccine damages the liver it is supposed to protect


ccording to Hippocratic tradition, the safety level of a preventive medicine must be very high, as it is aimed at protecting people against diseases that they may not contract”, Marc Girard, Autoimmune hazards of hepatitis B vaccine. Startling new research published in the journal Apoptosis indicates that hepatitis B vaccine, which is designed to prevent Hepatitis B virus, induced damage to the liver, actually causes liver cell destruction. In the study titled “Hepatitis B vaccine induces apoptotic death in Hepa1-6 cells, researchers set out to establish an in vitro model system amenable to mechanistic investigations of cytotoxicity induced by hepatitis B vaccine, and to investigate the mechanisms of vaccine-induced cell death”. They found the hepatitis B vaccine induced a “loss of mitochondrial integrity, apoptosis induction, and cell death” in liver cells exposed to a low dose of adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine. The adjuvant used was ‘aluminum hydroxide’, which is increasingly being identified as a contributing cause of autoimmune disease in immunized populations. The discovery that the hepatitis B vaccine damages the liver (hepatotoxicity) confirms earlier findings in 1999 that the vaccine increases the incidence of liver

problems in U.S. children less than 6 years old by up to 294% versus unvaccinated controls. Why are infants vaccinated for Hepatitis B virus? The real danger here is that universal vaccination against Hepatitis B virus may be causing far more harm than good. It is actually our youngest — infants

— who are most at risk of being irreparably harmed, as the CDC’s vaccine schedule requires Hepatitis B vaccination at birth, 1-2 months, and then again at 3-6 months of age. Another glaring problem with Hep. B vaccine in infants is that Hepatitis B virus is only transmitted through blood or

semen by those who are infected, which are two routes of exposure an infant — certainly not one born in a hospital — should ever be exposed to; unless, of course, the mother is a carrier, and therefore can transmit it vertically to her offspring. Health Impact New




violent and brutal conflict is underway in the Central African Republic. Although English-speaking media has only recently began to pay real attention to the progress of the conflict, the current phase of violence goes as far back as January 2013, and is deeply intertwined with the history of the country. At its simplest, the conflict apparently pits the Muslim Seleka rebels against the Christian antibalaka militia groups. Yet the seemingly random lynching of individuals, notably minutes after a presidential address in Bangui, which has brought the crisis in the CAR to the attention of the nonFrancophone world, suggests that even these categories may be insufficient. Four individuals have occupied the CAR presidency since March 2013, and even though the country made the history books recently by appointing as transitional leader the third female head of state in contemporary Africa, there is little to celebrate as the fighting escalates in scale and in brutality. Is this just another case of “Africans gone mad”? Are poor people really so irrational that they would begin to randomly massacre each other in broad daylight on the basis of their religion? Or is there more to this story? The first position suggests intractability: History suggests that violent religious or ethnic differences are rarely resolved militarily, unless one side is completely exterminated literally or figuratively through deportation or state cleavage. The second urges a more thorough review of the less obvious factors that are contributing to the violence, which if addressed, may go some way towards reducing it if not addressing it entirely. Three such factors in the CAR merit further attention. First, the CAR is part of a conflict system that involves South Sudan, Sudan, northern Uganda, north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad (not to mention the tacit involvement of neighbouring countries like Rwanda and Cameroon). My theory of conflict systems argues that as primarily economically driven conflicts, modern wars are rarely self-contained. Instead they form part of an economic and social network that links discrete points of violence within a region, where one player at one point may seek to exacerbate a conflict in another region for profit, to deflect attention from domestic problems, or


International Chasing ghosts in the Central African Republic

A worker for French-owned Arevawhich owns 90 percent of deposits in a uranium mine in the CAR

to support historical allies in exchange for support against domestic opponents. Conflict systems generally correlate to pre-colonial social networks and post-colonial economic systems. In the CAR, although geographically, the current war is occurring in a separate independent political entity, it is also part of a broader system of violence that links to ongoing or apparently resolved conflicts in the region. Historical exploitation through the slave trade, similar patterns of colonisation and neo-colonial economic pressures that unite the Sahelian mining belt, link the CAR as much to the DRC as to Sudan or Chad. Which begets some important secondary questions. First, where is the LRA? In 2008 the Lord’s Resistance Army moved from northern Uganda into northwestern DRC, through South Sudan and the CAR. During the infamous Christmas Massacres, they killed, raped

and maimed hundreds of civilians, and then ominously diffused throughout the region. Although their violence in the CAR was mostly concentrated in the south-east, keep in mind that except for the leadership, no one knows who is or isn’t in the LRA. Where did all of the combatants go? The LRA’s modus operandi is to inflict brutality on children kidnapped from the region and then unleash them on civilians in remote regions: Can this unchecked movement through the CAR be ruled out as part of the systemic violence we’re witnessing? Related to this is the influence of neighbouring countries, particularly Chad, over the armed groups in the region. To stave off domestic rebellions, political leaders in Sudan, Chad and the CAR have been providing tactical and military support to various groups across their borders. This was part of the genesis of the crisis in Darfur and has had an impact even in Mali. Beyond

a simple Christian-Muslim binary therefore, does the dividing line between Seleka and anti-balaka correspond to militia groups who have been financed in order to destabilise the presidency in the CAR or in neighbouring countries? What about the influence of formerly deposed leaders who retain an interest in the presidency? Thirdly, we must examine the economic interests of the leadership and other actors before dismissing the violence as wholly irrational. Most violence - structural or physical - today is deployed to get or retain control of state mechanisms, but it’s not simply about wealth. It is also about the relative security or insulation from struggle that the wealth secures very quickly, particularly in some of the toughest regions in the world. The difference betweeen being in power and not being in power is often the difference between life and death. This means there is

Tied to this are the incentives for international actors to foster just enough instability to cripple accountability mechanisms in conflict regions.

significant incentive to secure state resources for a small coterie, and to exclude others by any means necessary. Tied to this are the incentives for international actors to foster just enough instability to cripple accountability mechanisms in conflict regions. The public ignorance of the economic significance of the CAR (and indeed other Sahelian countries) does not impinge on their economic and strategic significance. Yes, the CAR is landlocked but it is also home to significant reserves of uranium, the key ingredient in nuclear reactors. As of 2010, 90 percent of the deposits in Bakouma were owned by Uramin, a private corporation in which Areva, the French nuclear giant, is 100 percent shareholder. The impact of this wholly unequal set up is exacerbated by the fact that 75 percent of France’s energy is derived from nuclear sources, giving Areva and France significant financial interest in what happens in the CAR. Which perhaps explains the presence of 1,600 French troops in one of Africa’s poorest countries, intervening in a conflict that has been characterised by sporadic, if intense and grotesque, bouts of violence. It’s not that the fighting in the CAR isn’t serious or brutal. It is just that in a world in which there is a Somalia, a Syria, an Afghanistan and even a DRC, wherein thousands are dying each year, for a European nation to respond so quickly and relatively robustly questions must be raised about just who or what France is there to protect. A peaceful and lasting resolution is only possible if we understand and as far as possible address local fears and perceptions. Places that the news cycle may ignore are haunted by economic, social and historical ghosts we have never bothered to understand, and what may appear irrational or unnecessary from the outside can sometimes be explained by taking a step back and examining all the factors, not just the easily deployable ones. To the people living with them, these ghosts have as much an impact on the decision-making process as the cost-benefit analyses of the Western Homo Economicus, and just because Homo Economicus won’t see them, doesn’t mean they’re not real. Source: Al Jazeera



International Lawyers for Egypt’s Mursi walk out as trial adjourned Militants kill policemen, civilian in Tunisian border attack


ilitants disguised as security officials killed three Tunisian policemen and a civilian in an attack near the border with Algeria, the state news agency TAP said yesterday. The agency did not name any group in the attack. Tunisia’s security forces have been battling militants from the banned Islamist movement Ansar al-Sharia, whose leader has declared allegiance to al Qaeda’s North Africa wing. TAP said four gunmen dressed as Tunisian security officials killed the four and wounded two police and a border agent just after midnight in d’Awled Manna, in northwest Jendouba province. The militants stole weapons and a vehicle, TAP said. Ansar al-Sharia was one of the most hardline Islamist groups to emerge after Tunisia’s 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine elAbidine Ben Ali, whose government often jailed Islamist leaders. One of the Arab world’s most secular countries, Tunisia has progressed in its transition to democracy after the revolt, with a new constitution praised for its modernity and elections scheduled for this year. But Islamist militant violence is one of the main challenges for the new caretaker government. Earlier this month, police killed seven militants armed with suicide bomb vests and explosives in a raid north of the capital. Ansar al-Sharia led by a veteran of Afghanistan’s conflicts, was blamed for storming the U.S. embassy in Tunis in 2012 and is listed by Washington as a foreign terrorist organization, with ties to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.



awyers for deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi have walked out of his trial on charges of espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terror. The trial has now been adjourned until 23 February. The lawyers withdrew in protest at Mr Mursi and other defendants being confined in a soundproofed

glass cage. The Islamist former leader is facing four separate trials, three of which have now opened. Mr Mursi was brought to Cairo’s police academy yesterday morning by helicopter from the Burj al-Arab prison where he is being held. In this trial, he and 35 others are accused of working with Lebanese and Palestinian groups to carry out

attacks in Egypt. Mr Mursi has been put in the soundproof cage in recent appearances to prevent him shouting and disrupting proceedings. The defendants have said they cannot follow proceedings because of the cage, but the judge insisted that headphones installed inside the dock will allow them to listen.

The cage allows the judge to control when the defendants are heard. At one point when he was audible, Mr Mursi said: “What are you so afraid of? Are you afraid because you have no public support?” Reuters reports. The court said it would appoint a new defence team. Mr Mursi was ousted by the military last July following mass street protests against his rule. Since Mr Mursi was ousted there has been a severe crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as on other activists seen as hostile to the military-backed government. The Brotherhood has been declared a terrorist organisation and authorities have punished any public show of support for it. Other senior Brotherhood figures, including supreme guide Mohammed Badie and his deputy and former presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater, are also facing a raft of charges, At least 1,000 people have died in clashes between security forces and pro-Mursi protesters since he was deposed, with thousands more arrested.

France says CAR operation to last longer than expected


rance’s military operation in the Central African Republic will last longer than initially planned because the situation in the country is worse than anticipated, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Saturday. “I think it will be longer than expected because the level of hatred and violence is more important than we had imagined,” Le Drian told France Inter radio. “A military operation is not decreed as clockwork, we have to adapt.” France said on Friday it would send another 400 troops to help combat the crisis in the African country as U.N. chief

Ban Ki-moon pleaded for swifter, robust international help to stop sectarian violence that could turn into genocide. Almost a million people, or a quarter of the population of the former French colony, have been displaced by fighting which erupted after the mostly Muslim Seleka rebel group seized power in March last year in the majority Christian country. Seleka leader Michel Djotodia gave up power last month as Christian militias stepped up their attacks on Muslims. At least 2,000 people have been killed since December in what a U.N. official described as a wave of “ethnic-religious cleansing”.

France had hoped to quickly hand sole responsibility for security to the African Union peacekeeping force MISCA, which

has deployed over 5,300 troops to Central African Republic, including soldiers from Rwanda, Burundi, Chad and Cameroon.

Yves-Le Drian (C) and Central African Republic’s interim President Catherine Samba Panza (2nd R) look at seized weapons

Hundreds trapped in South African gold mine


cave-in has trapped more than 200 people who were illegally mining in an abandoned gold mineshaft east of

Rescue workers at the site of the illegal mine

Johannesburg, South Africa Rescuers are trying to reach the miners, trapped by fallen boulders below the surface at the old mine

site in Benoni, Reuters reported yesterday. Shain Germaner, a journalist for the Star newspaper, told Al Jazeera that the men were believed to have been trapped since Saturday morning. Heavy equipment had been brought in to try to remove the boulders obstructing the shaft. Werner Vermaak, an emergency services spokesperson, told Al Jazeera that rescuers said rescuers were communicating with a group of about 30 miners trapped below the surface.

“They told us there are about 200 others trapped further below,” he said. “It’s an abandoned mine shaft in the middle of the public veld (open fields) ... it was not a blocked-off area,” he said, adding that no injuries or casualties had been reported so far. A spokesman for The Gold One, which has prospecting rights to the area, said the miners were trapped in the “New Kleinfontein 6” ventilation shaft, which had been closed off with concrete slabs.



he UK and France have blamed the Syrian government for failing to break an impasse with the opposition in a second round of peace talks in Geneva. Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab mediator apologised to the Syrian people on Saturday as both sides left Geneva without agreeing on a plan for further talks. “I think that what has been, the little that has been achieved in Homs, gave them even more hope that maybe this is the beginning of the coming out of this horrible crisis they are in. I apologise to them that on these two rounds we have not helped them very much,” Brahimi told Reuters news agency. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Saturday that “the responsibility lies squarely with the Assad regime,” and that the situation was “a serious setback in the search for peace in Syria”. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also blamed the failure of the talks squarely on Damascus. The regime “blocked any progress on establishing a transitional government and stepped up violence and acts of terror against the civilian population,” Fabius said. Britain’s Hague said the impasse showed the urgency of adopting a new UN Security Council resolution on Syria.


International UK, France blameDamascus for peace talks failure …Mediator Mediator apologises for lack of progress



Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, told reporters yesterday: “We spent six days talking about the necessity to adopt a draft agenda, at the end today the international mediator

came to the meeting with a draft agenda, we immediately accepted the draft agenda while the other side did not. “Whatever you hear from these amateurs when they come here and

they stand on the podium and they address the media, the international media, this is not true, they are just misleading the public opinion by circulating some kind of wrong rumours,” Jaafari added.

yesterday, the Shia leader stated he would not hold any political office and that no bloc would represent him in the Iraqi parliament. The letter also stated that Sadr would be closing all

his offices. Despite not holding any official position in the Iraqi government, Sadr holds significant influence in Iraqi politics. He was the creator of the Mehdi Army, a paramilitary group that was involved in the Iraq War and clashed with US forces on many occasions. The Mehdi Army was disbanded under government pressure in 2008, following a clash with Iraqi Army forces controlled by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Sadr is also a head of a political party named after him, which forms part of the National Iraqi Alliance coalition in the Iraqi parliament. Sadr has been a very vocal critic of the continued US presence in Iraq

after the toppling of Saddam Hussein. In 2004, a US-backed arrest warrant was issued for Sadr over the murder of a rival religious leader. Followers of Sadr stood for parliament as part of the United Iraqi Alliance bloc of Shia political groups in December 2005. But in November 2006, Sadr declared a boycott of the Iraqi government in protest over a summit held by al-Maliki and President George Bush in Jordan. The boycott lasted for two months, with the Sadrists eventually returning to their positions. In anticipation of “the surge” crackdown by US troops, he fled the country to Iran in 2007, returning to Iraq four years later.

al- Sadr

Lebanon forms government after 10-month deadlock


ebanon announced a new government on Saturday, breaking a 10-month political deadlock during which spillover violence from neighboring Syria worsened internal instability. A caretaker government has run the country since former Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned in March as parties aligned with the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement and a Sunni-led rival bloc pursued a power struggle exacerbated by their support for opposing sides in Syria’s almost three-year-old civil war. “A government in the national interest was formed in a spirit of inclusivity,” new Prime Minister Tammam Salam declared on live television.

Thai police fail to reach deal with protesters


Iraqi cleric, Sadr, retires from politics raqi religious and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr has announced a complete withdrawal from Iraqi politics. In a letter posted on his website

Asia & Middle East

He said he hoped the new government would allow Lebanon to hold presidential elections before President Michel Suleiman’s mandate expires in May and finally conduct parliamentary polls that were postponed last year due to the political impasse. “I extend my hand to all the leaders and I am relying on their wisdom to reach these goals and I call on all of them together to make concessions in the interest of our national project,” he said. Parliament designated the Sunni lawmaker as prime minister in April 2013, but he had been unable to form a cabinet for months due to rivalries between the Hezbollah-dominated March 8

bloc and the March 14 alliance, led by the Sunni Future Party. Former Energy Minister Gebran Bassil, from the March 8 bloc, becomes foreign minister.

Former Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, also from March 8, takes the finance portfolio. Nouhad Machnouk, a March 14 legislator, was named interior minister.


hai police and a prominent protest leader failed to reach a deal yesterday to reopen state offices and roads in Bangkok that have been occupied for months by protesters seeking to overthrow Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Talks with Buddhist monk Luang Pu Buddha Issara, a protest leader, failed to free up an occupied government complex in the north of the capital as a third day of a security operation designed to retake sites occupied by protesters drew to a close. Buddha Issara said the government was using a request to reopen roads as an excuse to crack down on protesters. “If there is blood loss...will the authorities take responsibility? Or will you blame it on provocateurs?,” Buddha Issara asked police representatives. Speaking to the monk during a televised video conference, NaretNanthachot, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 1, said police would not use force. “I am asking for your kindness and understanding...tens of thousands of people are frustrated each day by their inability to use roads,” said Naret. Both sides agreed to talk at a later date. Hundreds of riot police began an operation to reclaim key intersections and state buildings in Bangkok on Friday in what authorities said would be a slow operation to take back areas that have been occupied by protesters for several weeks. Labor Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung, who is charge of the operation, said the government would continue with its operation and try to reclaim five protest sites next week. “This gathering has caused distress to others...that’s why we have to reclaim the sites starting next week,” Chalerm said at a news conference yesterday. The security operation has so far avoided larger sites in the city center occupied by the main protest group, the People’s Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), focusing instead on state offices on the outskirts of Bangkok. Authorities say the protest movement is dwindling in size, giving security forces an opportunity to try to re-open major thoroughfares and remove barricades that have blocked access to ministries and prevented the government from functioning fully. Security forces put up little resistance when protesters moved to occupy ministries and major intersections over the past few months, but despite efforts to show restraint 11 people have been killed and hundreds hurt in sporadic violence since the protests began in November.



International Europe and Americas

Partial verdict in Florida loud rap-music killing


north Florida jury has convicted a man of three counts of attempted murder for opening fire on a car of black teenagers during an argument over loud rap music, but could not reach a verdict on a murder charge for the killing of a 17-year-old in the car. Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old software engineer, fired 10 rounds at an SUV carrying the four teenagers in a Jacksonville petrol station car park in November 2012, killing Jordan Davis. The jury said it was deadlocked on the most serious charge of first degree murder against Dunn, forcing judge Russell Healey to declare a mistrial on that count. The jury also found Dunn guilty on a fifth count of firing into an occupied vehicle, the Reuters news agency reported. The trial has drawn international attention because of racial overtones and Dunn’s claims of self-defence. Following the case in which George Zimmerman was acquitted six months ago over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, the trial also renewed attention towards Florida’s self-defense laws that permit people who say they feel threatened to use lethal force to defend themselves. The failure to reach a verdict on the first degree murder charge is a blow for the prosecution and the Davis family. But the three guilty verdicts on the charge of attempted second degree murder against the other teenagers in the SUV, mean that Dunn still faces a sentence of at least 60 years in jail, legal analysts said. Prosecutors told a news conference after the verdicts that they plan to retry Dunn on the first degree murder charge, Reuters reported. “It’s been a long, long road and we’re so very happy to have just a little bit of closure,” Davis’ mother, Lucy Mc Bath, told reporters. “It’s sad for Mr Dunn that he will live the rest of his life in that sense of torment. I will pray for him. I will ask my family to pray for him. “But we are so grateful for the charges that have been brought against him, we are so grateful for the truth, we are so grateful that the jurors were able to understand the common sense of it all.” The sequestered jury began deliberating on Wednesday afternoon after a week of testimony and spent more than 30 hours trying to reach a verdict. Dunn, who had no prior convictions, testified earlier this week that he began shooting in a state of panic after he thought he saw the barrel of a gun in the back window as Davis started to get out of the car.

UK communities brace for more floods


odden communities along the River Thames braced for more floods, as Britain counted the cost of a storm that claimed several lives and left tens of thousands of homes without power. AFP news agency reported that at least three people were killed in separate incidents in Ireland, Britain and the English Channel

after violent winds and heavy rain swept in from the Atlantic on Friday. Pulling down power lines and disrupting transport networks across the region, the storm brought fresh misery to flood-hit communities in Britain, parts of which are suffering their wettest start to the year for 250 years. Prime Minister David Cameron

warned on Saturday that the worst was not yet over as he visited the Thames-side village of Chertsey, west of London, to see how the military were helping bolster flood defences. “What we do in the next 24 hours is vital because tragically the river levels will rise again. So every sand bag delivered, every house helped, every flood barrier put in

A community in Chertsey affected by the flooding

place can make a big difference,” Cameron said. More than 3,000 members of the military are involved in the flood relief effort, according to the defence ministry, as the government seeks to counter criticism that it was too slow to respond to the crisis. Fourteen severe flood alerts warning of a risk to life were in place along the River Thames on Saturday night, with another two issued for the southwest of England, which has borne the brunt of two months of heavy rain. In an interview with the Observer newspaper published yesterday, opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband blamed climate change for the run of bad weather, and urged government ministers to treat global warming as a “national security issue”. Cameron said last month that “I very much suspect” there is a link but said that either way, there should be more investment in flood defences. “Tragically these weather events have been hitting community and after community and doing that week after week,” a wind-swept Cameron said in Chertsey. “It has been very, very tough for people and my heart goes out

Ukraine protesters end Kiev occupation, press Yanukovych a new


krainian anti-government protesters ended a twomonth-old occupation of city hall in the capital Kiev on Sunday to meet an amnesty offer aimed at easing a stand-off over President Viktor Yanukovych’s rule. The authorities, for their part, withdrew riot police from a flashpoint district of the city, near the Dynamo Kiev football stadium, where at least three protesters died in January in violence between ultraradical activists and police. Despite the conciliatory moves on both sides, opposition leaders sought to keep up pressure on Yanukovych, telling a rally of supporters in Kiev’s Independence Square that he must abandon “dictatorial” powers and allow them to form a government which would be independent of him.

But tension still simmered in the city ahead of a parliament session tomorrow when Yanukovych may present his candidate for prime minister - a move that will show the extent to which he is ready to make further concessions to the opposition after 12 weeks of often ugly street confrontation. The unrest was sparked by Yanukovych in November when he spurned a free trade agreement long in the making with the European Union and opted for a $15 billion package of Russian credits and cheaper gas to shore up Ukraine’s ailing economy. The revolt spiraled into countrywide protests at perceived sleaze and corruption in the Yanukovych administration and has triggered a geopolitical tussle

between East and West. As Russia beckons with a $15 billion aid package to plug holes in Ukraine’s heavily-indebted economy, the United States and its Western allies have urged him to

The demonstrations come at a time of growing political tension in Venezuela. Three people were killed during anti-government protests on

Wednesday, and some 100 students were arrested. Mr Maduro accused the opposition of stirring up trouble as part of a coup plot and urged his supporters to march for peace on Saturday. Government supporters began arriving at Venezuela Square, in central Caracas, in the morning. They were dressed predominantly in red or in Venezuela’s national colours - blue, yellow and red. Hours later Mr Maduro addressed thousands of his supporters in Bolivar Avenue. The march was broadcast live on national television. “I call all the people to the streets in order to defend peace,”

move back towards an IMF-backed deal with Europe. At least six people have been killed and hundreds of people police and protesters - injured in the bloodshed.

Protesters leaving city hall in Kiev

Pro, anti-Maduro marches gather thousands in Venezuela


upporters and opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro have taken to the streets of the capital, Caracas, in rival marches.

Protesters stand in front of a barricade set on fire

he said. He warned that his government would not give in to those he described as “fascists,” including former president of neighbouring Colombia, Alvaro Uribe. “Alvaro Uribe is behind this, financing and directing these fascist movements. “He intended to use a Venezuelan television channel [NTN24] to do the same they did on 11 April 2002,” Mr Maduro said, referring to a failed military coup against the late President, Hugo Chavez. Mr Uribe, a centre-right politician, was a fierce enemy of Mr Chavez and accused the late president of supporting Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Farc.




Shekarau: Dead End for a Religious Demagogue By Saminu Kurawa


ll those familiar with the recent events that led to the terrible political blunder by former Kano state governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, know that the man’s political career is indeed coming to a very sad

end. The defection of Shekarau, an erstwhile chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the collapsing Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, represents a rapid reversal of the little political fortunes he might have enjoyed in the last few years being a governor of Kano state. But the move has justified genuine suspicions by many discerning observers that Shekarau has consistently been used as a mole by the presidency to destabilize the Kwankwassiya movement in Kano. The blunt refusal of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute Shekarau over his scandalous purchase of 1,000 vehicles when he was governor indicates a clear collusion between him and the presidency. Among the beneficiaries of the vehicles which were bought at extortionately high prices, were ironically, the presidency, some fictitious persons and the then EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu. But Ribadu has since denied the offer when approached by the Grassroots Anti Corruption Awareness Network Initiative (GACANI), a Kano-based anti-graft advocacy group. Also, Shekarau, who contested for the presidency under the then All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP in 2011 against, Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, knew that there was no way he could win a presidential ballot even in the nearest polling unit to his house. Yet the man vehemently refused to withdraw because he had apparently been hired by the presidency to split Buhari’s votes in northern states especially Kano. Another proof that Shekarau has been an inherently PDP man could be cited in a comment he made in January 2011 during one of the merger talks in Ibadan. He was quoted to have said: “This idea about merging is not to disloge the PDP...We just don’t want to dislodge the PDP”. All other comments Shekarau had made against the PDP were just a smokescreen to hypocritically show that he was protecting the interests of the masses when he was clandestinely contributing to sustain the PDP misrule in the country. Since he ventured into politics in 2003, Shekarau had worn the toga of religion and developed dexterity for misusing religion to manipulate the sensibilities of the people in order to divert attention from the massive plunder of public funds and neglect of the people that characterized his administration. In 2007, he openly described anyone who voted for the PDP as an “infidel” while branding the PDP itself as a Christian party even though the Presidential candidate for the party then was Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua, a Muslim. Many people later observed that Shekarau’s manipulation of religion was a tactic he always used to appeal to people, knowing that he has little other leadership quality that would make him a popular figure. But now that it has become convenient for him, Shekarau has shamelessly defected to the same party he labeled as a Christian party in a move that exposed him as a typical emblem of egocentric politicians that lack even an iota of regard for public interests. There are reports that the man, being so broke after he massively invested in shares that subsequently lost their value, might have joined some so-called northern elders like the Yakasais to trade the interests of their people and the future of the northern region for as little as N3 billion. There is little wonder why Shekarau, a relatively withdrawn and naive politician, suddenly became bold enough to be throwing funny political jabs at courageous northern political leaders who always stand up to defend the rights of their people without minding whose oxen are gored. Shekarau only needs to take a glimpse of a few social media comments to know the implication of his defection to the PDP and his declaration of support to a government which has caused Nigeria, especially the North, to be held in thrall to chronic underdevelopment, insecurity, poverty, illiteracy,

unemployment and general backwardness. *Haba Malam Shekarau, yaya zaka yi da tsinuwar talakawa,* whose interests you claimed to be protecting by being in politics? Was it not you, who told Nigerians just in September 2012 that the PDPled government has failed Nigeria, especially, in the area of security? “Security has gone down to the lowest level without government living up to its responsibilities and protecting her citizens”, the Daily Trust*newspaper of 10 September 2012 reported you as saying during your visit to Imam of Oguta Mosque in Imo state. Already, many of the politicians you were once aligned with, including 10 members of the House of Representatives and their colleagues at the Kano state House of Assembly have disowned you by refusing to join you in the PDP, because they know you have sided with an infamous party that gleefully insults the intelligence of Nigerians and abuse their rights. Every Nigerian knows that Shekarau has become a willing tool who offers himself to serve a government that is synonymous with endemic failure, grand corruption, perennial impunity and epic incompetence; A government that has failed Nigerians in virtually every aspect of their social, political and economic lives. I heard that Shekarau, blinded by his narcissism, has already acquired the guts to libel others as cultists without any proof, when he should be burying his head in shame after dismally failing to develop Kano state, despite the enormous financial resources accrued by his government in both federal allocations and internally generated revenues estimated at almost N1 trillion in eight years. Kano residents still recall big disappointment, how the massive financial irresponsibility of the Shekarau government instigated a petition by the Movement for Justice in Nigeria (MOJIN) which led to the arrest of Salihu Takai and nine other officials by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly mismanaging more than N44 billion in 2010. This happened at a time the Department for International Development (DfiD) released a report containing a damning revelation about the terribly pathetic situation of schools and hospitals in the state. According to the report published in 2011, only 10 and 13 percent of pupils passed English and Maths subjects. There were more than 100 pupils per classroom, and four out of every 10 classrooms lack blackboards. About 200 pupils were sharing a toilet in most public schools. Kano state polytechnic was shut down for almost a year over nonpayment of lecturers’ salaries and its students were harshly dispersed by security agents when they tried to protest the government’s action. In the area of health care, the report found that maternal mortality rate during Shekarau’s regime, was almost twice the national average of 545 with over 1,025 deaths per 100,000 due to the suspension of the free antenatal services introduced by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. During that time about 90 percent of all patients taken to Egypt for basic medical treatment were found to be Kano indigenes. They must have spent huge amounts of money enough to build a decent hospital with all the required facilities in Kano. Again, Shekarau had initially hidden behind religion to vigorously oppose the polio immunization exercise, saying it contained substances for sterilizing women and girls. But after travelling abroad, Shekarau returned not only to endorse the polio vaccine, but to become one of its most vocal advocates. This prompted huge suspicions that the man might have been bribed to stupor in order to deceive his own people. Finally, the decision of Shekarau to join the PDP is of little significance to all well-meaning Nigerians because they believe that his style of governance is so similar to that of the PDP that he just can never fit in any other decent and patriotic party that cares about Nigerians. It was God that finally sent Shekarau back home to PDP to suffer a painful political demise together with his fedora-donning paymaster in 2015. Saminu Kurawa lives in Kumbotso local government area of Kano state




If sugar is the ‘new tobacco’ what are the alternatives? By Laura Topham


iven this week’s headlines describing it as the ‘new tobacco’, you might be forgiven for thinking sugar is toxic - but in fact we simply need to moderate our intake. ‘Refined table sugar, sucrose, is made up of two molecules - glucose and fructose,’ says nutritionist Laura Thomas. ‘Glucose is absorbed and used by all organs, while fructose is metabolised only by the liver. Our bodies can deal with only small amounts - an excess converts to fatty acids and causes biochemical reactions detrimental to our health.’ Here we examine an array of natural sugar substitutes that can contain fewer calories, and act in different ways when broken down during digestion. Stevia What is it? A herb used for centuries in its native South America. Derived from the plant’s leaves and available in liquid or powder form, it is now used in snacks and some soft drinks. Is it good for me? ‘Stevia is about 300 times sweeter than table sugar and has virtually no calories,’ says Thomas. ‘It contains no fructose and gets its sweetness from two other types of sugar molecules called stevioside and rebaudioside.’ Use for A good fructose-free substitute in tea. Try SweetLeaf Stevia Natural Sweetener, £11.99 for 115g, healthy

You might be forgiven for thinking sugar is toxic - but in fact we simply need to moderate our intake


Coconut sugar

Date sugar

Meridian Maple Syrup

Sweet as sugar? 10/10 Coconut Palm Sugar What is it? Granules distilled from the coconut tree. Sap from the palm flower buds is heated until the liquid evaporates, leaving behind the sugar. Is it good for me? ‘Coconut sugar takes longer to be broken down so will not cause such a spike in your insulin levels,’ says Thomas. ‘Fluctuations in blood sugar levels are normal but over time raised insulin can lead to insulin resistance. This product is high in calories at 375 per 100g, and it also contains 35 per cent fructose.’ Use for A brown sugar substitute, especially in baking. Try Organic Coconut Palm

Sugar, £4.49, healthysupplies. Sweet as sugar? 5/10 Date Sugar What is it? Derived from dehydrated dates, it comes as a powder, paste or syrup. Is it good for me? ‘This has all the nutritional benefits of dates with fibre, vitamins and minerals,’ says Thomas. ‘It is relatively close to the natural form of whole unprocessed dates and the fibre helps slow the blood sugar response. Dates are high in calories though, so watch your intake.’ Use for A crumbled topping on desserts or added to porridge. It’s also brilliant in sticky toffee pudding. Try Date Sugar, £8.60 for 454g, Sweet as sugar? 7/10 Honey What is it? Honey is produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. Available either set or runny. Is it good for me? ‘Honey contains vitamins, minerals and antibacterial properties,’ explains Thomas. ‘But while higher in nutrients than normal sugar, it’s still high in calories - 330 calories per 100g, against 400 in sugar. It’s also moderately high in fructose at 35-40 per cent.’ Use for A substitute for sugar in bakes such as brownies and as a porridge topping. Try Tiptree Scottish Heather Honey, £5.49 for 340g, redmoped. Sweet as sugar? 6/10 Brown Rice Syrup What is it? This comes from boiling brown rice with enzymes to break down the starch. The resulting substance is then cooked to produce a sweet syrup. Is it good for me? ‘Brown rice syrup contains complex

carbohydrates, maltose and a small amount of glucose, which means it is released more slowly into the bloodstream, making it healthier than sugar,’ says Thomas. ‘It’s low in fructose at around 3-4 per cent.’ Use for Homemade granolas. Try Crazy Jack Organic Brown Rice Syrup, £2.29 for 330g, Sweet as sugar? 3/10 Agave Syrup What is it? A sweet, honey-like liquid that comes from the heart of the agave plant, grown in Mexico. Is it good for me? ‘Agave has been hailed as a godsend because of its low impact on blood sugar levels and as it has nearly 25 per cent less calories than sugar at 310 per 100g,’ says Thomas. ‘However, depending on how it’s manufactured, it can be up to 90 per cent fructose.’ Use for Although often found in ‘healthy’ products and brands, agave syrup can be very refined so less processed sweeteners may be preferable. You only need a little bit. Try The Groovy Food Company’s Premium Agave Nectar, £3.35, 250ml, holland Sweet as sugar? 9/10 Maple Syrup What is it? Syrup produced from the starch-rich sap of maple trees. Is it good for me? ‘Maple syrup has a higher impact on blood sugar than other substitutes,’ reveals Thomas. ‘It is about half fructose. It also contains calcium, manganese and iron. Although nutrition varies between different grades, two tablespoons can provide 22 per cent of your RDA of manganese, an essential nutrient for bones.’ Use for A sauce for pancakes

and other desserts. Adds a unique flavour to dishes. Try Meridian Organic Maple Syrup, 330g, £6.49, Sweet as sugar? 7/10 Molasses What is it? A thick by-product of turning sugar cane into white sugar, resulting from the repeated boiling of the plant’s extracted juice. Is it good for me? ‘This has one of the best nutritional profiles as a 28g serving contains at least 10 per cent of your recommended daily intake of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc,’ explains Thomas. ‘It also has fewer calories than refined sugar.’ Use for Pancakes, cakes or biscuits when you want a deep, distinctive flavour. Try Meridian Natural Molasses Pure Cane. £2.89 for 740g, Source:

Meridian molasses



Christians women politicians warn against inflammatory statements From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


hristian Women in politics have cautioned politicians against making inflammatory statements that might cause political violence as 2015 political activities approaches Coordinator, Christian women in Politics, Bauchi state, Mrs. Sarah Yohanna Ryaghan gave be warning during the meeting of the stakeholders of the women forum which cuts across all the 20 councils of the of state at the weekend Ryaghan disclosed that the meeting was organised to sensitize women on how to conduct themselves as the forum will not afford to fold its arm and be watching women exhibiting habit that are contrary to their marital vows. The beauty of women involvement in active politics, according to the coordinator, is to bring necessary change out of democracy towards the plights of women and children. “I beg you not to illicitly expose your dignity to wayward politician and at the end, your husband will be forced to divorce you, watch out carefully” Ryaghan warn. She urged women to shun everything that will bring disunity in Bauchi state and the country as a whole when she described them as catalyst and weapon for socioeconomic development. Ryagyan also expressed dismay that culture, religion and

perception seems to have relegated women participation in politics especially in the North where it places them only in the kitchen unlike other regions in the country. She stressed that the major aim of the women forum is to create an enabling environment where government will involve them in decision making through appointment to various organs

of government in line with the 35 percent federal government affirmative action. The coordinator commended Yuguda for donating food stuffs to the forum especially during yuletide to cushion women plights as a commitment of the administration to carry women along. In her remarks, Chairman,

Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), Bauchi state chapter, who was represented by Pastor Abiola Badaru charged Christian women in politics to be watchful and allow themselves to be guided by the ethics of truth. She also warned them not to allow themselves to be derailed by Ghana-must-go politics to abandon creditable aspirants.

L-R: Chairman, PDP, Oyo state, Alhaji Olayinka Taiwo, receiving letter of intent from PDP Governorship Aspirant in Oyo state Mr. Femi Babalola, and his wife, Mrs. Peju Babalola, last Friday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN

Shekarau scores Dickson high on transparency, good governance By Lawrence Olaoye


ormer Kano state governor and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, has commended the Bayelsa state governor, Hon. Henry SeriakeDickson, for institutionalizing transparency in his state. Shekarau, who was at the second year anniversary of the Bayelsa governor in Yenagoa at the weekend observed that Dickson is

the first governor in the country to have consciously signed an anticorruption bill into law. The former Kano state governor equally lauded Dickson for good governance through his myriads of projects touching on the lives of the people of the states. He specifically commended the Bayelsa state governor on his welfare Programme where the aged, those above 70 years, are being paid the token of N5000 monthly. Shekarau, who tested Dickson’s

performance based on the seven good governance parameters set by the United Nations and the World Bank, said the governor passed excellently going by the ‘Marking Schemes’ prescribed by the world bodies. Dickson, while commenting on his anti-corruption efforts in an interactive session with newsmen in Yenagoa said “Our government is a clear departure from the past. In Bayelsa, we have passed anticorruption bill into law. We know

there is the EFCC at the federal level, but there can never be too much laws on control and eradication of corruption. “In Bayelsa, we have put so many checks in place that even when anyone wants to steal, it is difficult for him to do so. In short, there is no money to steal in Bayelsa because we are committed to the development of the state and resources are geared towards provision of infrastructure,” Dickson explained.

Call your agric commissioner to order, PDP stalwart tells Shema From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


PDP stalwart in Katsina State, Alhaji Nura Lawal Qasim, has called on Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema to caution his commissioner of agriculture, Alhaji Musa Adamu Funtua, over his alleged constant assault on the state’s deputy governor, Alhaji Abdullahi

Faskari. Qasim, who made the call in an interview with newsmen, yesterday in Katsina noted that the alleged commissioner’s supporters several attack on the deputy governor and his supporters was threatening peace in the state. He alleged “ we all know what happened in Malumfashi recently where the deputy governor, commissioner for local government

and their supporters were attacked during a working visit to the area”. The stalwart added that the recent fracas in Daudawa town which led to the disruption of the state agric show was allegedly plotted by the commissioner after the alleged attack on the deputy governor who represented Shema at the opening ceremony of the event. He point out that “ the deputy

governor was not at the event in his own capacity; he was there representing the governor. So any attack on him should be considered as attack on the governor”. Qasim similarly wondered why the deputy governor was blamed for the disruption of the agric show’s closing ceremony and the violence that followed alleging that it was clear to all those sponsoring political thuggery in the state.

Orubebe joins Delta guber race By Ikechukwu Okaforadi


ormer Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe, yesterday declared his intention to contest the Delta governorship race, even as he clarified that he resigned as a minister in order to give the new concept of governance to the people of Delta state. Speaking during the handover ceremony to the Minister of State for the Ministry, Darius Ishaku, he charged Nigerians to judge politicians based on the content of their characters. He said that ethnicity, religion and race have no impact on the capacity of politicians to deliver good governance to Nigerians, adding that his passion to contest for the governorship election in his state was to deliver service and good governance to his people at higher level. He used the occasion to deny the rumours that he was sacked by President Goodluck Jonathan, emphasising that he willingly resigned as minister to enable him prepare for the governorship race. Orubebe, who commended Jonathan for giving him the opportunity to serve Nigerians as minister, also urged the people to continue supporting the President beyond 2015 to enable him accomplish his good intentions for Nigeria. According to him, “the roads are now working, the rails have come on board after many years, the power is receiving massive attention, agriculture is now a business for both the rich and the poor; in a place like Nigeria, it is difficult to have Jonathan as Nigeria’s President”. However, the Minister of State for Nigeria Delta Affairs, who is now the supervising Minister commended Orubebe for lifting the ministry to an enviable standard, even as he described him as a humane and dedicated leader. He however regretted that a lot of projects which the Minister initiated, including youths skills acquisition and empowerment centres, housing units, road projects, especially the East/ West road worth of N350 billion, would not be commissioned by him. Meanwhile, he lamented that the ministry is not having enough funds to complete the East/West road, even as he appreciated the sacrifices and dedication which the minister had put in to make the road almost completed.



Politics Regional politics, coup, bane of Nigeria’s development - Gulak From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


R-L: Chairperson, House Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a handshake with Senator Ata Idoko Ali, after the plenary session, recently at the National Assembly in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

olitical Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Barrister Ahmed Ali Gulak, has said turbulent regionalized politics resulting to military coup and counter coups were responsible for Nigeria’s backwardness from independence till date. He stated this while speaking as the Guest of Week on Liberty Radio in Kaduna yesterday Gulak said that “Definitely from 1960 till date, Nigeria should have fared well and we would have been better than where we are if we have gotten it right from onset. “Nigeria got it wrong maybe right from the beginning. Don’t forget immediately after our independence we had coup; political development as at that

2015: Arewa community tips Oshiomhole for VP From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


head of 2015 presidential election, Nigerians of northern extraction living in Edo State, (Arewa Community), have declared their support for the state Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to run for the position of the Vice President on the platform of All progressives congress (APC). The State Co-ordinator of

``Arewa final push’’, Alhaji Shuaibu Bebeji gave the declaration during the inauguration of the group yesterday in Benin City, the State capital. ``But we shall not relent in our continuous support for him. We want to use this medium to ask him to take a shot at the presidency by aligning with a very credible and sustainable northern candidate in our great party, APC’” he urged. According to him, ``He (Oshiomhole) means well for us all,

but it is sad that his good intentions are being hijacked by some few cabal.’’ He urged the leadership of the APC to allow internal democracy as a mechanism to elect leaders of the party in order to avoid any implosion. ``We want to inform all Edo people that there is a great revolution and political storm currently moving across the length of Edo State,” he asserted. Bebeji also stressed that the nation was in dare need visionary

leaders who can re-write history instead of causing deflection. Chairman and State leader of the group, Hon. Friday Ogieriakhi, House of Assembly member representing Orhionmwon South constituency, said the unity of Nigeria should not be undermined by any individual or group of persons irrespective of ethnic, religion, and political differences, insisting that sovereignty resides with the people.

2015 Elections: No position is worth dying for- Gov Uduaghan From Adesoji Oyinlola, Lagos


elta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has said that no political office was worth a human life just as he charged politicians to refrain from bitterness and violence as they jostle for vantage positions ahead of the 2015 general elections Uduaghan who gave the charge in Asaba while speaking at a Special Valentine Day event tagged “An Evening with the First Family”,

informed politicians that power belongs to God, who freely gives it to whom He pleases. “It is good to have political ambition, but remember that God gives power to whom He pleases. If you contest any political position and it did not work out, accept it as the will of God and God’s plan for you. He may have better plans for you in future”, he stated. Continuing he said: “No political position is worth dying for and we should not encourage

any person to die for our political aspirations. Remember we will be held accountable for our actions and inactions in this world when we die “. He urged Nigerians especially the political class in the spirit of the season to show love to one another and refrain from doing harm to others adding that “if we love one another, we will not harm each other either with physical arms or with our tongues”. The governor enjoined

couples to use the Valentine Day celebration to renew their marriage vows and love for one another as well as share the blessings of love as this would bring them closer and make their relationship more stable. Also, the Governor used the occasion to urge Nigerians to be involved in one form of physical exercise or another so as to keep fit and healthy stressing that healthy family units means a healthy society.

time were turbulent. Don’t forget operation-wet in South-West, how Zik had to leave the South West party to form the NCNC. Don’t forget our politics right from that time were regionalized. South has the Action Group (AG), the North has the Northern Congress Party (NCP) and the East has the NCNC, because politics was so regionalized, people get loyal to their regional Party not Ideology and I think that is where we started getting it wrong. “Instead of us looking at nationalist citizens of Nigeria, we were more region and after that turbulence which followed, Military came in and there were coups and counter coups. And until 1979 when we again had the taste of democracy under Shehu Shagari, after four (4) years military again came in,” he stated. Expressing his view on reports that President Goodluck Jonathan has pressurized the Vice President Sambo to rally support for Isaiah Balat to run for the governorship of Kaduna State if he did not want to lose his seat to Governor Shema of Katsina State, Gulak debunked the report saying “This is the handiwork of the opposition who have come back with their mischief. “President Jonathan has nothing to do with Kaduna politics in terms of who becomes governor and deputy; it is entirely in the hands of Kaduna people. “We know their tactics, all their strategies is divide the house, bring in differences and the opposition comes in and takes it over. The strategy of divide and rule, causing confusion within the presidency and the PDP will not work,” he said. Reacting the INEC election time table, Gulak said “INEC is saddled with constitutional responsibility to conduct election and let us leave them to marshal their own logistics, to make their own strategy because they know where the shoe pinches. Let us allow them to do their job. But what we need to do is encourage them to give us credible elections. “Election is not a tea party but a serious business. It involves a lot of logistics, security, and transportation and so on. But for people to sit down in a corridor of their office and house to condemn INEC that the election should be done one day as if it is a tea party is not fair,” Gulak stated.

Registration: Accord party targets 100, 000 members nationwide From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ccord party has said its decision to register at least 100, 000 members in the proposed nationwide party registration schedule to begin in March this year is not negotiable.

It however did not disclose the date when the exercise would commence. In a communiqué after the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) by the National Secretary of the party, Dr. Samson Isibor in Benin City, Edo state capital, the party cautioned the Independent National

Electoral Commission against “shoddy elections as witnessed in Anambra and Ondo states governorship polls.” Isibor along with the National Youth Eader of the party, Mallam Umaru Abdul has been nominated by the NEC as delegate to represent it at the forth coming National

conference. The party’s NEC also resolved to participate in the forth coming governorship election in Ekiti and Osun states respectively. It however warned Oyo state former governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and its erstwhile National chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Lawal Nalado

from impersonating the party, pointing out that the duo had been expelled from the AP. The communiqué further stated: “The NEC and NWC of the Accord Party set up a committee to investigate the imposition of non-members as chairmen in some state through the back door by Alhaji Nalado”.



News Extra

Lawyer tackles Clark over comment on Dopkesi

Suswam lauds Orhii’s anti-illicit drugs war


From Matthew Irinoye, Lagos


Lagos based human rights activist and constitutional lawyer, Wale Ogunade, has condemned a statement credited to the First Republic Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, describing High Chief Raymond Dokpesi as unfit to occupy the Office of Chief of Staff to the President. Chief Clark was reported to have described Chief Dokpesi as “treacherous”, obviously due to his romance with members of the opposition parties. However, Ogunade, during a press briefing stated that “in a society where good men refuse to talk, evil pervades the land.” “To put the record straight as it regards integrity, consistency and dedication, Dopkesi has been consistent, dedicated and proactive to the cause of common man, in fact, he is a pan-Nigerian through Daar group which employs Nigerians irrespective of tribe, culture or religious affiliations”, the lawyer said.

Northern govs condole Etsu Nupe over uncle’s death From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


hairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Niger state, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has commiserated with Etsu Nupe and Chairman of Niger state Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, over the death of his uncle, Kpotun Nupe, Barrister Halilu Usman, who died in Kaduna at the weekend. A condolence message signed by Governor Aliyu’s spokesman, Danladi Ndayebo, described the death of Barrister Usman as a big loss to Etsu Yahaya and the entire people of Niger state. “Over the years, the onetime Company Secretary of the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) was a uniting force who worked for peace, unity and tolerance among diverse ethnic and religious interests that cohabit in the Nupe Kingdom,” the statement said.

Victims of Konduga insurgency queue up during the distribution of relief materials by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to them, at the weekend, in Konduga.

enue State Governor Gabriel Suswam has commended the courage of the DirectorGeneral, National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii in the fight against fake and counterfeit drugs in the country. The governor said at the weekend in Lessel, Ushongo local government area of the state during a reception organized for the NAFDAC DG by his countrymen, that the performance of the agency under Orhii earned Nigeria global recognition. Governor Suswam assured the NAFDAC DG of the state’s total support towards his success for a second term in office, reminding him that he would bear a heavier burden on his shoulder in the fight against fake and counterfeit drugs.

Confab: Yoruba in Kwara, Kogi demand state From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


head of National Conference, the Yoruba speaking people of Kwara and Kogi states have agitated for creation of a state, as well as adjustment of boundary to let them be part of the South-west geopolitical zone. They made their views known at a mini conference organised by Kwara South Consultative Forum (KSCF), held at Omu-Aran, headquarters of Irepodun local

government area of Kwara state. The Yoruba speaking of Kogi state, ‘Okun’, Asa and Moro LGA of Kwara state sent in their representatives to the mini conference while Ibolo people of Offa, Oyun as well as Yoruba in Ilorin East and South Local government areas of Kwara state were also represented. While making his presentation, the National President of Omo-Ibile Igbomina, Dr. S .A. B. Atolagbe said the association supports the

creation of a state that would include all Yoruba in Kwara and Kogi state with boundary adjustment that would merged them with their kinsman in South-West. In his remarks, the representative of Okun people in Kogi, Mr. Jibril Olu Yusuf, who is also a member of Okun Development Association, said his people had met at the Palace of Obaro of Kaaba and resolved to follow the resolution of Yoruba people of Kwara state on state

creation and boundary adjustment. “Don’t let us go to South-west as divided people. Let us go as one. We, Okun in Kogi, have resolved to go along with our bothers in Kwara; let us demand for a state.” Both Chairman of Kwara State chapter of Afenifere, Chief Taiwo Olarogun and former National Secretary of Afenifere, Pa Ayo Opadokun supported the agitation of the stakeholders on state creation for Yoruba people in Kogi and Kwara states.

Justice, fairness must guide leaders, says don


rof. Lanre Badmus of the Department of Religion, University of Ilorin, yesterday said that justice and fairness must be the guiding principles of a good leader. In a lecture he delivered in Ilorin, Badmus said that good leadership was imperative to the success and prosperity of any society. The lecture had the theme: “Leadership Imperatives: Islamic

Perspective”. It was organised by the Obafemi Awolowo University Muslim Graduates’ Association (UNIFEMGA). The lecture was to mark the UNIFEMGA 2014 Day of Honour. “Many people in leadership positions have forgotten justice; hence, the chaotic situations faced in societies. “Lack of a good leader causes chaos in any society”, Badmus said. The professor of religion noted

that Islam mandated that there must be a leader to direct affairs where there were three or more people. “Leadership role starts as the head of a family, head of any given department and, of course, the head of a community, nationally and internationally’’, he stressed. In his remarks, Prof. Shehu Jimoh, Chairman Governing Council, Kwara State Polytechnic, said that a leader must be

accountable, patient and humble. Earlier in a welcome address, Prof. Abduwahab Egbewole, National President of UNIFEMGA, hailed the members of the association for their services to the association and the society. He urged Muslims to eschew selfishness and do their best to please Allah. Alhaji Niyi Afolayan, who spoke on behalf of 10 people honoured at the event, thanked the association. (NAN)

Dasuki charges security agencies’ spokespersons on media relations


pokespersons of security and response agencies in Nigeria have been urged to cultivate and sustain mutual relationship with media practitioners towards a better understanding on the current challenges in fighting criminal elements. The National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who made the call weekend at the inauguration of

the Forum of Spokespersons in Security and Response Agencies (FOSSAR) in Abuja, said accurate and responsible public information is also vital to the war against terror. “The next stage of war on terror should include advocacy and media engagement through accurate, timely and responsible information to dissuade our people from criminal

activities as well as to silent the propaganda tools of terrorists,” he said. Represented by the Director Special Duties, Col, Bello Fadile (rtd), the NSA said “with various forms and channels of communication, security managers and their information personnel must proactively and timely address and response to issues in curtailing rumour

mongering and mischief. A statement signed by Emmanuel Okeh, Head, PD of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and secretary of the FOSSAR, said Col Dasuki also urged the media to be wary of politicians who may be playing politics with actions that may be detrimental to national security and national interest for selfish ambitions.


Photo Splash


President Goodluck Jonathan (2nd right), exchanging pleasantries with CBN Governor, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (left), during the president’s visit to Emir of Kano palace, on Saturday in Kano. With them are Wanban Kano, Alhaji Abbas Sanusi (2nd left) and Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero (sitting-right).

Participants at a one-day conference organised by Kwara South Consultative Forum, on Saturday in Omu-Aran, Kwara state. R-L: Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Usman Jubrin, with his wife, Mrs. Lamin Jubrin, during a reception in his honour by members of 24th Regular Combatant Course, on Friday night in Abuja.

Participants at a one-day sensitisation workshop on drug abuse amongst women, on Saturday in Sokoto.

L-R: Former Lagos state Military Administrator, Brigadier-General Raji Rasaki, Chief Imam of Ibadanland, Alhaji Haruna Suara; Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo state, Alhaji Ishaq Sanni, and Secretary to Oyo state Government, Mr Ismail Alli, during the Muslim Unity Day, yesterday in Ibadan. Photos: NAN


Stories by Albert Akota


he National Sports Commission (NSC) has thrown it full weight behind the ongoing Mega Veteran Handball Association of Nigeria (MVHAN) “tagged” reviving and re-awaking the Handball competition in the country. Despite the full support of the NSC, the battle president of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) Yusuf Dauda shuns the conference organised by the MVHAN over the weekend at the Abuja national stadium. Dauda has earlier directed state associations and handball clubs in the country to distance themselves from participating in any competition organised by a group called ``Mega Veterans’’. The Chairman of the MVHA, Mr. Mark Jacob, said that not less than 25 teams both male and female all over the country are presently participating at the open championship billed at two venues, Civil defence academy at Suaka and Abuja national stadium. According to him, “the aim and objectives of the tourney is to revive and re-awaking the Handball competition in the country. “It is imperative to refresh your memories on the struggle of our group currently embarked upon, for almost four years now no single competition held in the Nigeria


NSC backs Mega Veterans championship as Dauda shuns conference Handball Federation. “We are shock at the deteriorating fortunes of the handball in the country, we invites Nigerians to join us in effort towards reviving the lost glory of the game. “We invited stakeholders in handball family especially Dauda so that we can reconcile all the differences within ourself but he didn’t show up, we are surprised for person like him (Dauda) to missed this great opportunity to re-awakening handball in Nigeria. “I want to sincerely thank the NSC especially the minister of sports Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and the Director General Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleyye respectively for their support towards the championship, “Jacob said. Mega Veterans consist of former players who plied their trade with various handball clubs both home and abroad, former national league players and former national team players. Others are former team managers, coaches, former coaches and persons that have high stakes in handball game.

FCT handball players in action

Eagles get new World Cup kits


he African champion Super Eagles will be decked out in new kits when they play at the Brazil 2014 World Cup this summer. According to the German apparel giant Adidas “the Nigeria 2014 World Cup Home Shirt is based on the new Adidas Condivo 14 Kit template, which is also used for several other national teams. The new Nigeria 2014 World Cup Home Kit comes with a lighter new green color compared to recent kits made by Adidas, making the kit color similar to the bright green color used in the 1990s. On the front of the new Nigeria 2014 World Cup Kit feature small darker green pinstripes, while the sleeves are divided in one light green and one dark green part. The Adidas stripes on the sleeves are white, while on the back under the collar features the lettering Nigeria. The V-collar features both green colors, similar to the sleeve cuffs.” It is expected that Nigeria will play with green shorts and socks. Meanwhile the new Nigeria 2014 Away Kit has dark and light green accents and is in all white. The Adidas Condivo Football Shirt is designed with top quality technology which is used at the highest level of the game; including Climacool and Climalite, which improves breathability and wicks sweat. In addition to being made with adizero technology, the shirt offers a superior fit which enhances comfort and efficiency when running, ensuring players can play better for longer Nigeria will play against Argentina, BosniaHerzegovina and Iran in Brazil.

World Cup squad: Keshi may consider Osaze T Osaze

he Chief Coach of the Super Eagles Stephen Keshi has said the door to the world Cup is open for Osaze Odemwingie, but insisted on a talk with

the striker. Keshi and Odemwingie were involved in a highly publicised row during which the Stoke City striker took to social media

Twitter to blast the Eagles handler after he was sensationally left out of a 2013 Africa Cup of Nations training camp in Portugal. A bitter Osaze will go on to say he has quit international football, but later rescinded the decision. “Keshi has said the door is still open for Osaze, but he will need to talk with the player before he could recall him to his team,” a top official informed “He said this while he was defending his squad list for the Mexico friendly before the technical committee. “Some of the top officials at the meeting said they wish to be at the clearthe-air talk with Osaze.” Osaze last played for Nigeria two years ago in a 2013 AFCON qualifier in Rwanda after which he went on a tirade after he was hauled off the pitch. The striker is hoping to revive his career in the English Premier League with Stoke City after he seemed to stall at Cardiff City. Keshi has already recalled another Eagles ‘rebel’ skipper Joseph Yobo after he clashed with the experienced defender.

As Vito ends Kano Pillars’ CAF CL dream T

he Nigerian Champions, Kano Pillars FC at the weekend knocked out of CAF Champions League after they failed to overturn a 3-1 deficit they suffered last week in DR Congo. Kano Pillars defeated AS Vito of DR Congo 2-1 at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano on Saturday but lost out on 4-3 aggregate Etekiama Agiti of AS Vito FC took advantage of some defensive mix up in the first minute of the entertaining encounter to score. Pillars FC bounced back in the 66th and 70th minutes through substitute Kabiru Umar and Abdul Haruna to score two goals. In a post match briefing, Kano Pillars FC Board Chairman, Alhaji Abba Yola, said he was pleased with the performance of the players. “I am pleased with the performance of the players even though, we are out. I also want to commend Mr Okey Emordi for the good work’’, he said. Similarly, Vitos Manager, Mr Florent Igete, thanked his players for winning the game away from home. He also commended Kano Pillars players for their fighting spirit.




Niger Tornadoes stop sign on fees, budget N164 million From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna

Mega Veterans handball championship begins in Abuja By Albert Akota


he Chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Coach Patrick Asuzu, said the first Mega Veterans National Senior Handball Championship would hold in Abuja from Feb.16 to 22 of this month. The chairman, who stated this

Abuja said that the tournament in Abuja, would take place in two centres at the Civil Defence College in Sauka and the Abuja national stadium Package B. He said that the championship was needful because for over four years there had not been a senior handball tourney, stating that some players had even lost their job due to lack of tournament. “This tournament would have

beenheldbeforenowincollaboration been held before now in collaboration with the Nigeria Handball Federation (NHF). “But the President of the federation was not forthcoming, so we had to continue with the plans and fund it alone. “We are not interested in taking up the affairs of the federation, all we are interested in is the development of the game, we want to reawaken the game, especially the senior players.’’

Asuzu said 25 teams would participate in the tournament. The chairman of the Mega veterans, Mr Mark Jacob, commended the Director-General of the NSC for making it a reality. He, however, said they took NHF to court because they want everything to be done properly according to the rules guiding the election process into the federation.

First NNL victory excites Mighty Jets FC chairman G

Work permit may end Success’ Udinese move

olden Eaglets star striker Isaac Success has yet to join Italian club Udinese as he is still waiting for his work permit. Success was the first player from t Eaglets Class of 2013 to sign an the o overseas deal soon after the African U tournament in Morocco last April. U17 He is believed to have been r receiving a salary since June and his p parents and academy have received a l large pay-off. But he is still in Nigeria after his h handlers announced he will join U Udinese by January when he would h clocked 18 years. have “Success is still in Nigeria and t those managing him say the delay h been caused by the fact he is has s waiting for issuance of his work still p permit,” a top source informed. “He has been training and keeping fit in Lagos under one of the partners o his agent.” of The big striker was widely expected t shine at the last U17 World Cup in to U United Arab Emirates in November, b he suffered a hamstring injury by but h second game which ruled him out his f the rest of the competition. for

Yakubu Alfa


he Management of Niger Tornadoes FC of Minna has abolished sign on fees for it players as the state government approved the sum of N164 million budget for the team this fiscal year. The team chairman Alhaji Dattijo Aliyu disclosed this to journalists after addressing the player before the commencement of the leaque in Minna, Niger state capital. He noted that about N8 million would be released monthly to carter for salaries and allowances of the team while some players are expected to go home with N195,000 and N110,000 monthly in replacement sigh on fees. Aliyu was optimistic that the team will enjoy maximum support and cooperation as their welfare will never be taking for granted. He has directed the team manager and secretary to pay the players their match bonus immediately after matches assuring that necessary mercenary have been put in place to avoid it distraction. Responding the team technical adviser Mr Godwin Uwa promised not to let down the people of Niger state who gave him the opportunity to serve.

Jets players


he Chairman, Chairman Mighty Jets FC of Jos, Chief Godfrey Hamza, yesterday expressed delight over his side’s victory in its first outing in the 2013/2014 Nigeria National League (NNL). The Jos side spanked Spotlight FC of Katsina 3-0 at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium on Saturday as the competition


FRSC, Abuja 1 vs 1 Adamawa United Mighty Jets, Jos 3 vs 0 Spotlight FC, Katsina Sokoto United 0 vs 0 Kwara United, Jos Kogi United, Lokoja 3 vs 1 Ranchers Bees Niger Tornadors, Minna 3 vs 0 Supreme Court, Abuja


C.O.D, Lagos 1 vs 1 Gateway, Abeokuta Akwa Starlets, 1 vs 0 Ekiti United Go Round FC 1 vs 0 Prime FC, Oyo Bendel Insurance 1 vs 0 First Bank FC, Lagos

kicked off. off Hamza said winning the first match of the season was ``a big morale booster for the team’’. The chairman, who said that Mighty Jets’ sights were already on the Globacom Premier League, described the win as the first step toward achieving

that dream. dream He, however, said that some ``nuts need to be tightened’’ to correct the lapses noticed during the match. “We would have scored more goals but for poor finishing. Certainly, we shall do better as the league continues,’’ he said.

Success - Yet to join Udinese

Supreme FC upbeat despite 3-0 defeat to Niger Tornadoes


espite losing its opening away match against Niger Tornadoes in one of the Nigeria National League (NNL) games decided at the weekend inside Bako Kontangora stadium in Minna, Head Coach of Supreme Court FC of Abuja Henry Haggai has promised to work on identified lapses ahead of subsequent ties. Controversial decisions by officiating Referees throughout the 90 minutes of tensed encounter gifted home team Tornadoes 3-0 win over visiting Supreme Court FC. Speaking shortly after the game, Coach Haggai who chooses to keep his calm expressed disappointment on the outcome of the match but maintained that the team would take nothing to chance as d season goes on. In the build up to the league opening account, expectation was high due to several preparations ranging from intense training to pre-season test games which the team have been exposed to vis-à-vis the level of motivation and support the players have continued to enjoy from the club’s management. However, Coach Haggai remained optimistic “I don’t want to bother myself with the decision taken by the Referee. “We will go back and re-strategize. What happened in the match today (Saturday) reminds me of what happened last season when we lost with similar margin but at the end of the day, were able to regroup, came back and reclaim our top spot.









The general public is hereby informed that the above named foundation has applied to the corporate affairs commission for registration under part “C” of the companies and allied matters act 1 of 1990.

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Foundation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja for registration under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 1990.


THE TRUSTEES ARE 1. Oladiran Moshood Akewukanowo 2. Oladiran Risikat Olawumi 3. Adebayo Nafsat Abolore 4. Abdulrahmon Ibraheem. Chairman 5. Kazeem Gbenga Musa 6. Adeniran Kehinde. Secretary


AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1.TO CATER FOR THE FEEDING, WELFARE AND CARE OF THE LESSPRIVILED. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the registrar-general, corporate affairs commission, plot 420 Tigris crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Garki, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

AIM AND OBJECTIVE 1. To promote teaching of islam Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Aguiyi ironsi Street Maitaima, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: LOUIS C.C. 07039892966


Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Aguiyi ironsi Street Maitaima, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: VIVIANNE AMOSUN





THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT 2004 COMPANY LIMITED BY SHARES AFRICA SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT LIMITED MEMBERS VOLUNTARY WINDING UP SPECIAL RESOLUTION (PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 457 (B) & 464(1) OF CAMA 2004) At the annual general meeting of the above named company held at its registered address, Lagos Nigeria on ……13…… day of ……February…… 2014. The following Special Resolutions were duly and unanimously passed; (1) That ‘AFRICA SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT LIMITED’ be wound up. (2) That Mr. UHABIA OJIKE of Ojike, Okechukwu & Co (Chartered Accountants) 18 Oba - Akran Avenue, Ikeja Lagos with phone number 08052090525, be appointed as liquidator until the Company is wound up. Dated this ………13…….. Day of ……FEBRUARY……….. 2014 …………………………………………………………………… DIRECTOR DIRECTOR ZHAO XIAO FENG ENG WAI PUN


THIS IS TO INFROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT THE ABOVE NAMED HAS APPLIED FOR REGISTRATION TO CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION UNDER PART C OF THE COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT NO 1 OF 1990 THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Harrison Benjamin Ifon - National President 2. Glady Uniyeme Obong - Vice President 3. Joseph Benjamin - Secretary AIM AND OBJECTIVE: For true auditing record transparency and accountability. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Registrar General Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Aguiyi ironsi Street Maitaima, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. Signed: Harrison Benjamin Ifon

This is to inform the General Public that the above named Associations has apply for registration to the Corporate Affairs Commission under Part ‘C’ Commission of the Companies and Allied Matters No. 1 of 1990 TRUSTEES 1. UCHE CHEKWUEMEKA ERNEST CHAIRMAN 2. MAJOR RAPHEAL O. OSUETHA (RTD) 3. ALH. ABUBAKAR DANLADI ABUBAKAR SECRETARY 4. ENGR. AYODELE VICTOR OLOSEGUN 5. CHRISTIAN AKANNOH U. 6. HASSAN USMAN 7. MRS. MARGRET OBIRE E. 8. MRS. JOY OBINWA 9. CHIEF CLIFFORD ONYECHE E. 10. FIDELIA DUMEBI OKEKE AIMS 1. Unity and Development 2. To duly and legally established means of raising funds so as to meet financial obligation to the welfare of its members. Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the Register General Corporate Affairs Commission Plots 420, Tigirs Crescent of Aguiyi Ironsi Street P.M.B. 198 Maitama, Abuja, within 28 days from the day of publication. Signed: Chairman & Secretary







THIS IS TO INFORM THE GENERAL PUBLIC THAT THE ABOVE NAMED FOUNDATION HAS APPLIED FOR REGISTRATION TO CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION UNDER PART C OF THE COMPANIES AND ALLIED MATTERS ACT NO. 1 OF 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1.Joy Oby Ojih 2.Mrs Augustina Oghomwem 3.Dr Chris Ohimain 4.Bala Mohammed 5.Garus Ibrahim 6.Tony Ishaka 7.Baba Abdul Bala 8.Dolly Ojihebor 9.Barr.Igbonna Anthony THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: assist in providing education for the less privilege. assist the poor by providing basic necessities of life. assist in providing medical assistance to the sick in our society. work with missionary organisation,churches and non -religious groups in providing charitable assistance in rural and non rural areas in skill acquisition,youth and empowerment. ANY OBJECTION TO THIS REGISTRATION SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL. CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, 420, TIGRIS CRESCENT, OFF AGUYI IRONSI STREET. PMB 198, MATIAMA, ABUJA WITHIN 28TH DAYS FROM THE DATE OF PUBLICATION.




















THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1.Ashimole Felix 2.Chinedu Eluchie 3.Nmesoma Ashimole


THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES ARE: 1.To promote interfaith relations. 2.To preach revival and the word of God.










Sports Chisora beats Johnson ahead of Fury summer rematch


ritish heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury moved closer to a rematch after both secured wins in east London. Chisora, 30, won a unanimous points decision in a gritty 12-round

contest against veteran American Kevin Johnson. In contrast, 25-year-old Fury provided a demonstration of his power, flooring southpaw Joey Abell four times before the fight was stopped in the fourth.

The pair first fought in 2011 with Fury prevailing, and with both victorious on Saturday a rematch seems likely. Topping the bill at the Copper Box Arena, which was used for handball at the London 2012

Olympics, Chisora entered the ring in good form having won four successive contests, the most recent against Ondrej Pala in November. But the defence of his WBO and WBA International titles against the hardy Johnson, a veteran of a 2009 defeat by Vitali Klitschko and

a Fury loss in Belfast in December 2012, took time to come to the boil. After four cagey rounds, European champion Chisora floored his opponent with a thunderous overhand right in the fifth, but Johnson saw out the remaining 40 seconds to the bell.

Fury dismisses heavyweight rival comment


yson Fury has called fellow British heavyweight Dereck Chisora “useless”, “onepaced” and “a bum” ahead of a likely rematch between the pair. Chisora, the WBO and WBA international heavyweight champion overcame Kevin Johnson in London on Saturday. Fury beat Joey Abell on the same bill as Chisora, whom he defeated in 2011. “I beat Chisora comfortably three years ago,” said Fury. “He is a bum compared to me - I want [WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO champion] Wladimir Klitschko. Manchester’s Fury, 25, saw

Kevin Johnson and Dereck Chisora (L)

off 30-year-old Zimbabwe-born Chisora via a unanimous decision over 12 rounds in July 2011, and has since improved his professional record to 22 wins in 22 contests, 16 by knockout. “Chisora is one-paced - lefthook then right-hand swing. He’s useless,” Fury told Box Nation. “I bring the action, every time I come to fight. European champion Chisora won convincingly on points over 12 rounds against experienced American Johnson at the Copper Box Arena to retain his WBO and WBA International titles.

Bolt to run at Glasgow Grand Prix


nternational athletes competing at the Glasgow Grand Prix this summer will be exempt from income tax, the government has announced. The 11-12 July meeting at Hampden is part of the Diamond League series - the first time it has come to Scotland. The event takes place two weeks before the Commonwealth Games and should attract several star names. Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt has

previously limited appearances in Britain due to tax regulations. UK rules impose a levy on visiting sportspeople to include global sponsorship and endorsement earnings as well as any appearance fee. A similar exemption for the Commonwealth Games was announced in January 2012. Bolt will race at the Paris Diamond League on 5 July but remains undecided on competing at the Commonwealth Games. Tyson Fury (L)

Dibaba sets new World indoor record


thiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba set her third world best in 15 days by shattering the indoor two-mile record at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix. The 23-year-old’s time of nine minutes and 0.48 seconds eclipsed Meseret Defar’s mark by almost six seconds. Dibaba, sister of three-time Olympic champion Tirunesh, already owns the world 3,000m and 1500m indoor records. Elsewhere, British indoor champion James Dasaolu won the men’s 60m despite suffering an injury during the race. The 26-year-old Londoner posted the quickest time of the year in the heats, clocking 6.47 seconds,

Usain Bolt (M)

but his 6.50-second victory in the final was marred by an injury sustained in the final 10m. The Ethiopian was expected to better compatriot Defar’s time of 9:06.28, set in Prague in 2009, and did so convincingly, despite slowing towards the end. Her feat is a world best rather than a world record as the two miles race is not an official world record event. Dibaba, who is also the sister of Olympic silver medallist Ejegayehu Dibaba, broke the 3,000m world indoor record by 13 seconds on 6 February. That record in Stockholm came just five days after she had set the 1500m world indoor mark in Karlsruhe, Germany.

Murray beaten by Cilic at Rotterdam quarter-finals


ritain’s Andy Murray has been beaten by Marin Cilic in the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals. Murray, seeded second in Rotterdam, was broken in his first service game and again in the fifth game of the second set as he lost

6-3 6-4 in 71 minutes. Murray, who had back surgery in September but reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open last month, failed to convert any of three break points from 40-0 in game six of the second set as Croatia’s Cilic saw out a

comfortable win. Cilic, who last beat Murray at the 2009 US Open, has now won 16 straight sets on the ATP World Tour. Last week, he lifted his fourth PBZ Zagreb Indoors title when he beat Tommy Haas in the final.

Andy Murray









This to inform the general public of loss of the following Land Documents belonging to IBRAHIM BABANGIDA MOHAMMED (a) land document registered as Right of occupancy (R of O) No PL 5813 dated 17/12/1982 (b) (C of O) No PL 5819 dated 11/11/1989 of land situated at GRA Keffi (c) Assignment of right of occupancy No PL 5813 All effort to trace the above documents proved abortive , the inistry of lands Nasarawa state and the general public should please take note.






1. Pastor Hezekiah Adebayo Osungbaro 1. Pastor Hezekiah Adebayo Osungbaro 2. Evang. Elizabeth Olubisi Osungbaro 2. Evang. Elizabeth Olubisi Osungbaro 3. Pastor Adetoro Moses Olukayode 3. Evang. Daniel Damilare Osungbaro 4. Pastor Chino Madu 5. Rev. Olushola Ojewale Afurugbin 6. Mr. Adeola Sunday Adedapo 7. Mr. Kehinde Adedayo Opeyemu Article 21 (2) should read thus: The Trustees shall not be less than Three (3) nor more than Ten (10) in number



THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1 wokoma ibisobebo. 2 comrade Granville tekenari wellington. 3 mr whyte paul. 4 mr uwa omiete. 5 barr [ mrs] tamuno-emi jim George. 6 mr oduboye francis. 7 Mr Williams ibinabo Aims and objective 1. To promote the welfares of the members ANY OBJECTION TO THIS REGISTRATION SHOULD BE FORWARDED TO THE REGISTRAR-GENERAL. CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, 420, TIGRIS CRESCENT, OFF AGUYI IRONSI STREET. PMB 198, MATIAMA, ABUJA WITHIN 28TH DAYS FROM THE DATE OF PUBLICATION. SIGNED: Secretary





The general public is hereby informed that the above named INITIATIVE has applied to the corporate affairs commission for registration under part “C” of the companies and allied matters act 1 of 1990. THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. DR. SUNDAY ADEYEMI ADEWUYI .....CHAIRMAN 2. MRS. KEHINDE ROSELINE ADEWUYI 3. PHARM. MRS. VICTORIA TINUADE MAIRAFI 4- AMB. WAZIRI IDRIS 5. PROF. ABDULMUMINI HASSAN RAFINDADI 6- ENGR. EMMANUEL ADEREMI ADEWUYI 7... HAJIYA FATIMA KILISHI YARI 8.... MR. KAYODE ANTHONY OLUTUNMOGUN------SECRETARY AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1.TO CREATE AWARENESS AND FIGHT THE SPREAD OF CANCER 2- TO PROMOTE THE LIVES OF COMMUNITY DWELLERS THROUGH AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT 3- TO HELP PEOPLE FIGHT AND SURVIVE THE CANCER SOURGE Any objection to this registration should be forwarded to the registrar-general, corporate affairs commission, plot 420 Tigris crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Garki, Abuja within 28 days of this publication. SIGNED: BARR. S. O MAIKENTI









Some Interesting Facts


our left lung is smaller than your right lung to make room for your heart. • Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. • Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying. • The Boeing 747 is capable of flying upside-down if it weren’t for the fact that the wings would shear off when trying to roll it over. • Never hold your nose and cover your mouth when sneezing, as it can blow out your eyeballs. • The world’s smartest pig, owned by a mathematics teacher in Madison, WI, memorized the multiplication tables up to 12. • In ancient Greece, children of wealthy families were dipped in olive oil at birth to keep them hairless throughout their lives. • Every Labrador retriever dreams about bananas once in a while. • Approximately one-sixth of your life is spent on Wednesdays. • You can actually sharpen the blades on a pencil sharpener by wrapping your pencils in aluminum foil before inserting them. • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321 • 12 newborns will be given to the wrong parents daily. • 123,000,000 cars are being driven down the U.S’s highways. • 160 cars can drive side by side on the Monumental Axis in Brazil, the world’s widest road. • A cockroach can live several weeks with its head cut off. A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you can



eat your plate. • A cow produces 200 times more gas a day than a person. • A dime has 118 ridges around the edge. • A dragonfly has a lifespan of 24 hours. • A giraffe can clean its ears with its 21-inch tongue. • A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel can. • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. • A pregnant goldfish is called a twit. • A Saudi Arabian woman can get a divorce if her husband doesn’t give her coffee. • A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes. • A quarter has 119 grooves on its edge, a dime has one less groove. • A whale’s penis is called a dork. • America once issued a 5-cent bill. • An iguana can stay under water for 28 minutes.


• An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain. • Bats always turn left when exiting a cave. • Ben and Jerry’s send the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo. • Dolphins sleep with one eye open. • Hershey’s Kisses are called that because the machine that makes them looks like it’s kissing the conveyor belt. • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes. • If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5,000 times, but more like 4,950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom. • In most advertisements, including newspapers, the time displayed on a watch is 10:10. • It’s impossible to sneeze with your eyes open. (Don’t try this at home!) • More Monopoly money is printed in a year, than real money printed throughout the world. • More people are killed annually by donkeys than die in air crashes. • More people use blue toothbrushes, than red ones. • Mosquitoes have teeth. • Most Americans’ car horns beep in the key of F. • Most cows give more milk when they listen to music. • Most dust particles in your house are made from dead skin. • Most lipstick contains fish scales. • Over 1000 birds a year die from smashing into windows.

Say what?


Ye Yee ee haw! haw!! Tex ha TTexas, Texas exas as,, 19 1939 1939. 939 39. A cow cowgirl gi l d gir drop dropped rop pped p d a nic nick nickel i kel k l in in a par p parking king kin ki gm meter ete t r tto oh hit hitch itch itc it hh her er pon p pony. y. Wh y. When Whe h n this photo was taken El Paso was still a highly horse-conscious town with many cattle-ranch residents. Source:

. . . putting the people first


QUOTABLE QUOTE The US is not here to do anything for Nigeria; we are here to do things with Nigeria as two equals working together to make the world a better place. –US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. James Entwistle

SPORTS The bogeyman from Borno LATEST

Eagles officials depart for Brazil 2014 Seminar


he Super Eagles officials led by Head Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi will literarily return to school this week as they take part in a FIFA organized World Cup seminar strictly for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, holding in June this year. Apart from Keshi, other officials who departed Nigeria for Brazil yesterday night are team Administrator, Dayo Enebi Achor, team doctor; Ibrahim Gyaran, Media Officer of the team; Ben Alaiya, Chief Security Officer, ACP Abubakar Baba, Scribe of the NFF Security Committee, Christian Emeruwa and Chuks Alizor of the NFF Marketing Department. FIFA is organizing the course to prepare officials of the qualified nations for Mundial 2014 for high level of professionalism and service delivery during the summer World Cup. Coaches of all 32 qualified nations and other relevant officials will be in the Brazilian city of Florianopolis for the weeklong seminar.

Arsenal knocks Liverpool out of FA Cup to face Everton


rsenal held off a late fightback from Liverpool to book their place in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium. Brendan Rodgers’ side hammered Arse n a l 5 - 1 a t Anfield in the Premier League last weekend, but the north London club restored some pride by avenging that defeat to set up a last-eight encounter with Everton. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handed the hosts an early advantage after 16 minutes, sliding the ball home from inside the area to register a third goal from his last three appearances at the Emirates Stadium. Steven Gerrard’s penalty gave Liverpool hope a minute before the hour and the visitors were aggrieved when referee Howard Webb failed to award another spot-kick after OxladeChamberlain appeared to foul Luis Suarez in the area.


0803 0805 0814 0805 0803


orno is a land of infinite contradictions. From historical records, it is an offshoot of Kanem Borno, one of the earliest empires in these parts. Founded in the 9th century AD, it encompassed an area covering not only Chad but modern southern Libya, eastern Niger, north eastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon at the height of its power. Kanem Borno also made history as the first black kingdom to accept Islam. North African traders, Berbers and Arabs brought Islam here around 1068 AD. It soon became a centre of learning with an Islamic institute at Geidam attracting the best Islamic scholars all over the world. It also played a very strategic role in the Trans Saharan trade that flourished long before colonial intervention. Over the years, Borno has produced as many men of independent means as it has produced men of independent minds. Opposition politics is the name of the game in Borno since Nigeria became independent. In the first republic of the 60s, Borno Youth Movement (BYM) was the most popular political movement here. In 1976, the state was carved out of the giant North-east and on return to democracy in 1979, Ibrahim Waziri’s GNPP found home in Borno. And since the return of democracy in 1999, Borno is one of the few states that the PDP behemoth has not ruled. I first stepped my foot on Borno in 1982. By then, years of misrule had produced piles of social injustices that

“ 311 689 292 327 454

7458 1765 9046 1969 0344

Emmanuel Yawe 08024565402

exploded into a violent social upheaval. My editors at the New Nigerian, for whatever reason, felt I was the one to undertake the dangerous task of reporting the Bulumkutu uprising by Maitastine fanatics. The horror I saw and reported will remain with me till I die. In 2003, a man by the name Ali Modu Sheriff was elected governor of the state on the ticket of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP. Even for a country like Nigeria, notorious for political violence, his emergence was distinctive for his whole sale reliance on terror as an electoral asset. A testimonial of his acts of terror was given by General Jeremiah Useni (Jerry Boy) not too long ago. The General had gone to Borno in his capacity as the Deputy National Chairman of his party. One aspect of his visit that unsettled him was that everywhere he visited in company of Modu Sheriff, he found a large battalion of well armed political thugs. Even as a general, he found the presence of the thugs menacing and so he complained to his host, Modu Sheriff. To his greatest surprise, the man whispered into his ear that he should not worry; that the armed thugs –

known as ECOMOG - were an electoral asset to their party during elections! There is yet another testimony, this time from the State Security Services (SSS). They made a public presentation of a man nicknamed Usman AlZawahiri, alias Konduga as a Boko Haram terrorist. The man himself spoke freely saying he started his journey into terrorism as a member of ECOMOG before graduating into Boko Haram. You can now see the link. The self confessed felon made a submission that tried to link the relationship between Boko Haram and the former government in Borno state. Things went sour after Sheriff’s former Commissioner for Religious Affairs, Buji Foi was sacked and eventually killed in circumstances that the sect believed were officially instigated by Governor Sheriff. As governor of Borno state, there were reports in the print media alleging looting of the state’s treasury. A colleague who had an exclusive interview with the governor pointed out to him that the reports were capable of denting his government’s image in the eyes of the public. The governor retorted that he was not bothered. He then explained that since over 80% of his people are illiterates, newspapers can go ahead with their publications; nobody in the state was paying attention to them anyway. If a governor could celebrate the illiteracy of his people the way Sheriff did in that interview, is it a surprise that some group in the same

It is more than a coincidence that there was relative peace in Maiduguri after the state of emergency was declared. At that time Sheriff was on self exile. Then he returned, (I understand to take control of APC in the state and pursue his senatorial ambition). Since then all hell has been let loose on Borno - the bombings a few weeks ago and now the massacre in Konduga and the spread of the violence to neighbouring Adamawa with threats to invade Cameroon.

state would one day wake up and declare that boko is haram? Of greater concern to Nigerians is the failure of the SSS to apprehend and try Modu Sherrif, even with the many allegations in the public domain against him. Even if we discard the evidence of Konduga whose relationship with the SSS makes us suspicious of his motives, we cannot treat that by General Jeremiah Useni with levity. Apart from being an accomplished, war tested General, this man has been a state governor and several times a minister in the 70s, 80s and 90s. He has also served this country in the Supreme Military Council, (80s and 90s) the highest ruling body in Nigeria at the time. What kind of security network do we have in this country which refuses to act on the evidence publicly presented by this caliber of attester? The refusal of the security agencies to put Senator Ali Modu Sheriff on trial has turned all aspects of fighting Boko Haram into a charade. It is more than a coincidence that there was relative peace in Maiduguri after the state of emergency was declared. At that time Sheriff was on self exile. Then he returned, (I understand to take control of APC in the state and pursue his senatorial ambition). Since then all hell has been let loose on Borno - the bombings a few weeks ago and now the massacre in Konduga and the spread of the violence to neighbouring Adamawa with threats to invade Cameroon. In the beginning, Borno led all communities in Nigeria in terms of literacy when the Islamic world thronged there in search of knowledge. In the beginning, Borno was a prosperous community as the vortex of Trans Saharan trade. Today, Boko Haram has destroyed the prosperity of Borno with their violent crusade to abolish literacy in the land. How long will the Nigerian security network look the other way while one man inflicts pain on people in the pursuit of his ambition? To some of us, this bogeyman from Borno must be stopped before he introduces storm in the Senate. We are watching.

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

Monday 17th February, 2014  
Monday 17th February, 2014