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Why Kaduna CAN boycotted Jonathan’s breakfast prayer, by state chairman


Vol. 8 No. 19

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jimadal Ula 27, 1433 AH



Ibori bags 13 years jail, loses UK properties >>PAGE 3

Mild drama as Reps 10 killed in re-open Capital Ajaokuta-Enugu Market probe road auto crash >>PAGE 3

Police to probe EFCC over stolen pension funds

>>PAGE 4

>>PAGE 6

Infrastructure: Abuja property developers to pay N350m fee >>PAGE 18

2015: Gov Aliyu group vows to stop Jonathan By Sunday Ejike Benjamin, Lawrence Olaoye


Northern Nigerian group in which Governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state is a leading founder, has vowed to stop President Goodluck Jonathan's sly moves to secure another term in office in 2015. The group, which goes by the name Committee of Concerned Northern Professionals, Politicians, Academics and Businessmen (CCNPPAB), also has among its leading founders, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa state, former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, former Attorney General to the Federation and Minister of Justice, Professor Awwalu Yadudu, and former Group

Managing Director of Unity Bank Plc, Malam Falalu Bello. Jonathan had at the peak of his campaign for election in 2011 pledged not to run for Presidency in 2015. Addressing some Nigerians resident in Ethiopia in that country's capital, Addis Ababa, ahead of the 2011 polls, President Jonathan made a categorical statement that he will serve only a single term and give way to other contenders for the Presidency. This position was re-echoed by his adviser on media, Dr. Reuben Abati, who, while explaining the reasons for Jonathan's proposed Constitution amendment in respect of tenure of office of the President and governors, in July last year, said: "I believe what it means in very clear terms is that Contd on Page 2

Plot to scuttle Reps subsidy probe thickens By Lawrence Olaoye


here are indications that some powerful stakeholders in the oil and gas industry have concluded plans to scuttle the work of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee charged with the responsibility of probing the nation’s subsidy regime. Peoples Daily learnt that the House has been infiltrated by fifth columnists who have been induced to ensure that

recommendations contained in the reports be punctured and rendered ineffective during its consideration. It was gathered that the Committee chaired by Rep Farouk Lawan has been under tremendous pressure to water down the recommendations of the panel. Our reporter learnt that the Committee could not submit the panel’s reports yesterday as planned because the mood of the Contd on Page 2

An intending Muslim pilgrim picking the ballot during the screening for 2012 pilgrimage, yesterday in Kafur local government area of Katsina state. Photo: NAN






















Newsxtra Defence Agric

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Borno PDP scheming to reverse ANPP’s Supreme Court victory – Party chairman, Page 37

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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JTF kills 4 gunmen, apprehend 13 in Maiduguri From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


he Joint Military Task Force, (JTF) in Borno state yesterday evening killed four gunmen comprising three armed robbery suspects and a member of the Boko Haram sect, while 13 other members of the sect were arrested.

Spokesman of the JTF, Lt-Col. Sagir Musa told newsmen in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, that the first incident occurred when a team of soldiers stormed Pompomari ward and burst into a house believed to be the hide-out of Boko Haram members. According to Lt-Col. Musa, JTF had received an intelligence report of some men suspected to be

members of the sect were seen at a compound holding meeting in preparation of a plan to cause mayhem. He explained that members of the task force, acting on a tip off, raided the residence and engaged the gunmen in a shoot out, which left one person dead, while 13 others were apprehended. “Following a tip off, JTF

operatives raided terrorists’ meeting point at the Pompomari area, in the Maiduguri metropolis where they were suspected to be gathering with a view to causing mayhem. When they spotted JTF troops, the terrorists attempted to escape after firing sporadically at the direction of our troops”, the spokesman explained.

2015: Gov Aliyu group vows to stop Jonathan Contd from Page 1 the President will not be a beneficiary. In other words, the President will not come in 2015 to benefit even if the amendment says so. Because if he tries to do that those who are saying it is an attempt at tenure elongation would have been vindicated. And he is fully aware of the concern of Nigerians and he is insisting, he is resolute in upholding that statement that he will not be a beneficiary". Asked to be specific if the President will contest the 2015 presidential election, Dr. Abati said, "that has been made clear by Mr President that this proposal is not to pursue any personal interest and he has also made it clear that if the proposed amendment scale through, he will not be a beneficiary. "I don't see anything that can be more categorical than that. That is quite clear. I think the statement he made in Addis Ababa shortly before elections was that he will not seek a second term in office", he stressed. However, the President's body language lately strongly indicate that he will throw his hat in the ring once the bell is rung for declaration of intent. This indication has given rise to a legal challenge to Jonathan's widely perceived plot to run in 2015. And the northern group of professionals and politicians led by Governor Aliyu and others has declared its resolve to join the suit. Rising from its meeting which dwelled on the Nigerian constitutional system yesterday, the CCNPPAB insisted that the issue of whether President Jonathan is into his first or second term in office was a serious and weighty constitutional issue that could only be determined by a court of law. President Jonathan had, in a counter affidavit to a suit filed before an Abuja High Court by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Cyriacus Njoku, from Zuba Ward in Gwagwalada Area

Council, declared that he is currently serving his first term of four years in office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as provided by the 1999 Constitution. Jonathan told the court in a 15paragraph counter affidavit deposed to by a lawyer, Osahon Okeaya-Inneh in the law firm of his counsel, Mr Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), that he has not indicated or announced anywhere that he would be contesting for the presidential elections in 2015. But the Committee of Concerned Northerners advised the President to allow the due process of the law to prevail and not to intimidate the courts with preemptive and bombastic pronouncements on the issue. In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting yesterday, the northern group expressed worry about the President canvassing his position on the issue through the media, leaving out the proper forum, which is the court of law. The Committee noted with dismay that rather than paying attention to the job for which he was elected less than a year ago, President Jonathan preoccupied himself with schemes of tenure elongation. Yesterday's meeting of CCNPPAB, which was co-chaired by both the chief convener, Dr. Junaid Muhammed and the Committee Chairman on Constitutional Amendment, Professor Awwal Yadudu, recalled the fruitless, but persistent efforts by the Presidency to use the Justice Salihu Modibbo Alfa Belgore Committee that the government set up to introduce a Seven-Year Single Term tenure, allegedly designed to begin with Jonathan. The communiqué said: "In an apparent failure of this effort, it has become clear that the President, who along with his late predecessor, President Umaru Musa Yar'adua served a full fouryear term between 2007 - 2011 and currently serving a second

term seems now clearly bent on finding a way to serving a third term of office. "This was not the first time that a Nigerian leader would seek a tenure elongation, the last time being the third term aspiration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, which was resoundingly defeated and thrown out by Nigerians, adding that, "this single-minded search for Jonathan's tenure elongation will be fought and defeated using all constitutional means available," the group recalled. To this end, the Concerned Northerners said they have taken upon themselves, "the duty of arousing civil society groups and the general public to wake up to this relentless attempt to tenure elongation." The Committee argued that the current Constitution is very clear in the assertion that whichever President serves two terms in office is not eligible for another term of office explaining that a first impression one gets from the reading of the constitution is that for the purposes of tenure, qualification and disqualification, the President and the Vice-President are considered as one. "Based on this", said the communiqué, "President Jonathan will be considered in law to have served his first term between 2007 and 2011". The Concerned Northerners said the fact that there are other arguments on oath-taking, which the Constitution did not allow, Nigerians have to come to grips with the fact that they are confronted by serious and weighty constitutional issues which consequences impinge on the overall well-being of the Republic. In the light of the public interest at stake in the matter in court, the Committee said it has resolved to apply to join the suit to be a part of the process. Njoku, a chieftain of the PDP had, through his counsel, Mr. Osuagwu Ugochukwu, in his suit to stop President Jonathan from

contesting the 2015 presidential election raised two questions for determination by the court. He wants the court to determine, "Whether Section 135(2) of the Constitution which specifies a period of four years in office for the President is only available or applicable to a person elected on the basis of an actual election or includes one in which a person assumes the position of President by operation of law as in the case of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan "Whether Section 137(1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that a person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections applies to the 1st Defendant who first took an Oath of Office as substantive President on May 6, 2010 and took a second Oath of Office as President on May 29, last year". The trial Judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi fixed today to hear Jonathan's application for an extension of time within which his lawyer could file his memorandum of appearance and counter affidavit in response to the plaintiff's suit dated March 20, 2012. This is the second time that Njoku will take the President to court. He had in August 2010 attempted to stop PDP from allowing Jonathan to participate in the PDP presidential primaries of January 2011. Njoku, a card carrying member of the PDP with registration number 1622735, had urged the court to ask the PDP to respect its principle on zoning formula in line with Article 7. 2(c) of the party's Constitution. He said the declaration of Jonathan (third defendant) to contest the presidency on the PDP platform was contrary to Article7.2(c) of the PDP 2009 Constitution (as amended). But the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Lawan Gummi dismissed the zoning suit.

Plot to scuttle Reps subsidy probe thickens Contd from Page 1 House was not receptive. This is coming as there are serious speculations that some vocal members of the House may have been seriously induced financially to ensure that the probe suffers the same fate as that of the Power probe under Rep Ndudi Elumelu in the Sixth Assembly. A lawmaker who pleaded anonymity told our reporter that as a prelude to the submission of the report, several millions of dollars exchanged hands among the lawmakers with a charge to ensure that the recommendations contained were rubbished. According to him, the latest intervention by the powerful

stakeholders has forced the panel to hold back on the submission of the reports yesterday making some lawmakers to raise the eye-brow that they may have resolved to doctor the document to accommodate certain interests. The source equally pointed out that part of the politicization plot of the powerful stakeholders came recently when a group called SouthSouth Youth Caucus led by one David Osaro in a statement stated that “the North wants to use the House of Representatives probe to bring down Jonathan’s government. “It has become very clear that the current House of Representatives probe of the

petroleum industry and the deregulation of the downstream sector is nothing but a subtle plot by the North to discredit and ultimately bring down the Jonathan administration. “It is very evident that in order to achieve their aim, the North quickly cashed in on the fuel subsidy removal issue, and due to its sensitivity, everything was put in place to actualise their plans of truncating this administration. Otherwise, how else do you explain the fact that a probe into the activities of the oil industry should have predated the current administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan? “Even more curious is the fact

that similar probes in the past have not yielded anything that the ordinary Nigerian can be proud of, both in terms of findings and implementation of probe reports. Ordinarily, it would have been taken for granted that the House of Representatives panel may find nothing actually incriminating against the current government of Mr. President but the manner in which the House is going about it truly leaves much to be desired, in terms of its sincerity,” it said. Efforts to reach the Chairman of the panel and his counterpart in the Committee on Media and Public Affairs proved abortive as several calls made to their cell-phone could not get through.



Ibori bags 13 years jail, loses UK properties By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


outhwark Crown Court 9 in London yesterday sentenced former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori to 13 years imprisonment for corruption and money laundering charges. The trial judge, Justice Anthony Pitts handed down the sentence after listening to last minute submissions by both the prosecution and defence. He further held that the sentencing will not be the end of the matter as Ibori’s property will also be confiscated. Earlier on, Ibori’s lawyer, Nicholas Pernell had tried to make

a case for a lenient sentencing. He blamed Badrash Gohil and former Akwa Ibom state governor, Victor Attah, for the V-Mobile scam saying they were the architects of the fraud. He further credited his client with every development in Nigeria, and especially in Delta state, from the banking reforms, to peace in the Niger Delta, education, and building of low-cost housing. Also in his defence, he stated that his client, James Ibori, played a part in supporting British industry even before he became governor. As evidence, he cited a letter from British Airways, thanking Ibori for restoring direct

flights between Nigeria and Britain. Mr. Pernell, in his conclusion, asked the Judge to consider the pressure that his client has been under since investigations began in 2005, and also the accused’s children who now have both their parents in custody before passing his sentence. Also in his defence, veteran sportsman, John Fashanu, made an appearance and testified saying that the former governor achieved a lot in sports, and was instrumental to the end of militancy in the state. He told the court that Ibori built nine mini-sports stadia and

three Olympic-sized stadia in Delta state and also built the first shooting range in Nigeria. The court went for a recess at about 12.30pm and reconvened at 2.25pm after which his sentence was read. James Ibori had earlier pleaded guilty to a number of corruption and money laundering charges against him put at about $250million before Judge Pitts. This includes the V-Mobile and Bombardaire scams which amounted to $50million. Ibori and Victor Attah, former Akwa Ibom state governor also formed a phantom company called ADF to siphon US$37.5million from Delta

and Akwa Ibom states’ shares in VMobile. He was accused of embezzling these funds during his tenure as governor and using most of them to live a lavish lifestyle and acquire property and assets around the world. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has described Ibori’s conviction as a landmark judgment in the global fight against corruption. The Africa Director at Human Rights Watch, said Daniel Bekele said in a statement that, “The world has just got smaller for government officials who believe they can loot their country’s resources with impunity”.

SSS kills Kano resident From Edwin Olofu, Kano


R-L: Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Deziani Alinson-Madueke, President Goodluck Jonathan, Chairman, Total Group Worldwide, Mr. Christophe De Margerie and Mr. Yves-Louis-Darricarrere, during inauguration of USAN Field, "Total Offshore Facility" by the president, yesterday in Port Hacourt, Rivers state.

Mild drama as Reps resume capital market probe By Lawrence Olaoye and Umar Mohammed Puma


mild drama indicating a disconnect in leadership ensued in the House of Representatives yesterday as two principal officers from the House were simultaneously mandated to declare open the new ad hoc committee investigating the near collapse of the nation’s capital market. The Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, had earlier commissioned the Majority Leader of the House, Rep Mulikat Akande

Adeola, to represent him at the event because he was bogged down by other assignments. But before the Leader could get to the event to deliver the Speaker’s message, the House Minority Leader, Rep Femi Gbajabiamila, had taken over the assignment to represent Tambuwal. Midway into Gbajabiamila’s speech, Akande-Adeola appeared with written speech to perform the official function but was taken aback when she realised that Gbajabiamila had taken over. She had to turn back at the door as she hurried back to her office embarrassed.

Yesterday’s incidence only added fillip to the perceived politics of relevance being played by both parties. Meanwhile, the ad hoc committee chaired by Rep Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi yesterday resumed investigation into the near collapse of the Nigerian capital market. The chairman in his opening remarks promised transparency, fairness and justice in the conduct of the exercise even as he vowed to dig deep into the root of the problems in order to find a workable solution to the lingering capital market crisis. According to him, the capital

market’s value went down from N13.5 trillion to N4.6 trillion within 10 months in 2008. “We promise to keep open mind and do our best to ensure that this investigation marks the beginning of the turnaround of our Capital Market in Nigeria.'' Declaring the public hearing open, the Speaker of the House of Representative Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal represented by Gbajabiamila directed the committee on capital market to probe and avoid blame game in their quest to find reasons for the near collapse of the market

peratives of the State Security Service (SSS), in Kano, have reportedly shot one Zaharadeen Musa Muhammad, a resident. Eyewitness account said the incident occurred on Monday at about in Giginyu area of Kano state where the headquarters of the SSS is located. The operatives of the SSS who were on a routine stop and search close to their headquarters were said to have attempted to flag down Muhammad who was driving in company of his younger brother Usman in an ash coloured Toyota Corolla car but he allegedly refused to stop. He was said to be driving on high speed when the officers tried to stop him but he allegedly sped off, a situation which raised suspicion among the operatives who decided to fire warning shots into the air. At this point, the operatives were said to have opened fire on the car killing the middle-aged Muhammad the driver on the spot while his brother didn’t die and is currently receiving treatment. Effort to confirm the incident from the State Director of SSS, Mr. Bassey Etang proved abortive as he didn’t pick calls put to him. However, the spokesperson of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), in Kano, Lt. Ikedichi Iweha confirmed the incident but debunked rumours that is was military men who killed Muhammad.

Why Kaduna CAN boycotted Jonathan’s breakfast Jonathan commissions N5bn “As far as we are concerned, deepwater oil project From Lawal Sadiq Sanusi, Kaduna had sent a text message “CAN president has directed that I invite Kaduna state delegates did not


he crisis in the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kaduna chapter deepened, as its parallel faction last Saturday boycotted the annual presidential prayer breakfast meeting over the substitution of the secretary’s name. According to investigations by our correspondent, the Kaduna chapter had protested the replacement of its secretary in the delegation invited to the breakfast/ prayer by national headquarters of the association. Prior to the event, acting general secretary, Elder Albert Uko,

all state CAN chairmen and their state secretaries to attend the annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast Meeting scheduled for Saturday at State House, Aso Villa”. When contacted, Kaduna state CAN chairman, Reverend Samuel Kujiyat, confirmed the boycott. “We left Kaduna to Abuja on Friday last week for the Presidential Prayer Breakfast in Aso Villa. Arriving at our hotel, I saw my secretary’s name replaced with another name. I prevailed on CAN headquarters officials over the issue but they did not listen to me and we left the place.

attend the presidential breakfast because we left that very night before the event. Why are you appointing somebody from Abuja to be Kaduna state CAN secretary, we were embarrassed in Abuja. We don’t know why CAN president has special interest in Kaduna CAN” he said. However, director of Research, Planning and Strategy, CAN headquarters Abuja, Mr. Sunday Oibe in a telephone reaction said: “What we know is that, CAN headquarters only recognised somebody we know is Kaduna state CAN secretary”.

By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday commissioned the N5billion Usan Deepwater oil facility as part of efforts to meet the targets of 40 billion barrels crude oil reserve and production of 4 million barrels per day in the next 10 years. President Jonathan said the project will have a direct positive impact on the economy, besides other multiplier effects of employment creation and critical skills transfer as it is in line with government reform aimed at expanding crude oil reserve

base and the country's production capacity. "I also would like to assure the industry that our administration is making concerted efforts with the legislature to ensure the speedy passage into law of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)." The Usan is a major deepwater development project with over 500 million barrels of oil in place. The facility, located in Rivers state took about three years to complete and it commenced operation in February. At full capacity, it is expected to produce 180, 000 crude oil per day.



We don’t tamper with peacekeepers’ allowances - Police By Lambert Tyem


olice authorities in Abuja have disclosed that police personnel on international peacekeeping missions abroad have no reason to complain as personnel welfare is most paramount in the force. Police spokesman Olusola E. Amore while reacting to complaints by some officers who participated in Peace Keeping Mission last year debunked allegations that they were shortchanged by police authorities while paying their allowances. According to the police

spokesman,”the records need to be put straight, that no Police Peace Keeper who served in Haiti or elsewhere was under-paid. In fact, members of the Haiti contingent were even paid allowances for extra 13 days that they overstayed in the Mission”. It would be recalled that some members of the Police Peace contingent in Haiti had accused police authorities of short changing them in the payment of their allowances after their return to the country. The allegations of the officers was published in our edition of April l5, 2012.

10 killed along AjaokutaEnugu road in Kogi From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


o fewer than 10 passengers were crushed to death in an automobile killed along Ajaokuta-ItobeEnugu road, in Kogi state yesterday. The accident occurred, according to eyewitness accounts, when a Peace Mass Transit bus from Enugu heading towards Abuja swerved and rammed into a bus from Lokoja heading towards Anyigba. The Majority Leader of Kogi

Boko Haram member escapes arrest From Blessing Tunoh, Yola

…as SSS recovers IEDs in Yola

fficials of the Adamawa State Security Service (SSS) yesterday raided the residence of an alleged Boko Haram member in a suburb of the state capital and recovered a huge cache of improvised explosive devices (IEDs)but the suspect escaped arrest. Displaying the recovered items before newsmen at the SSS headquarters in Yola, State Director of the service Mr. Olugbenga Jayeoba said the exercise was a joint effort between

the Police anti-robbery squad, army and the SSS. “Our men went out on an operation at the residence of one Abubakar Yola at Wuro Jabbe suburb of the state capital following a two-week long monitoring and surveillance on him on the grounds that he belongs to Boko Haram.” Jayeoba explained. He however noted that though the suspect was not at home at the time of the raid, his wife and children were around while


assuring that security outfits in the state are still on his (Abubakar’s) trail. Officer in charge of the Police Anti bomb squad in the state, ASP Phillips Aziege listed 20 wraps of phosphorus, 30 electric detonators, 50kg of ammonium nitrate, 19 IEDs and relay switches. Also recovered were three Qlink bike sirens, 10 Q-link motorcycle keys, four sets of same Q-link motorcycle remote control system among other items.

State House of Assembly, Hon Yakubu Yunusa who witnessed the incident, stated that about 36 people were involved. Yakubu said rescue efforts did not reach the victims, leading to the death of 10 persons out of the 36, stressing that most of the towns and villages along the road had no clinic or cottage hospital. Confirming the incident, the police spokesperson in Kogi state, Mr. Ajayi Okasanmi said that the dead were deposited at the Federal Medical Centre in Lokoja while the rest are responding to treatment.

N138m Shell judgement: Lagos govt wants court to dismiss appeal From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


he Lagos state government, yesterday, asked the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, to dismiss an appeal filed by Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited, against the judgement of Justice Raliatu Adebiyi of a Lagos High Court which ordered the oil company to pay N138,798, 507.43 being deduction and remittance of taxes due to Lagos state government. In a Motion on Notice brought pursuant to Order 4 Rules 10 and Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act, Cap C36, Law of the Federation 2004, Lagos state signed by the Solicitor General of Lagos state, Lawal Pedro (SAN) urged the appellate court to dismiss the appeal filed by Shell Petroleum on the ground that

there was no pending appeal before the court. Besides, Lagos state is praying the court to set aside the request made by Shell seeking for a conditional stay of execution of the judgement of the trial court made on April 21, 2008 which directed the Chief Registrar of the High Court to pay the judgement sum to the respondent/applicant (Lagos State). In a 28-paragraph affidavit in support of the Motion on Notice deposed to by one Tolulope Aderiye, Lagos state stated that the lower court had on April 21, 2008 granted a conditional stay of execution of its judgement and directed Shell (appellant) to pay the judgement sum into an account with the Chief Registrar of the High Court of Lagos state pending the determination of the appeal.

Is this tattered Goodluck Jonathan campaign billboard at Area 11, Garki, Abuja reflecting the inconsistency surrounding his reign? Photo: Mahmud Isa

Attack on Iran possible, says Israeli Defence Minister


sraeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday his country has never promised the United States it would hold off from attacking Iran while nuclear talks were taking place. The comments, in which Barak said that a diplomatic push to reach a compromise with Iran was a waste of “precious time,” said, “we are not committing to anything”. Barak told Israel’s Army Radio

Kaduna govt stops food, material assistance to beggars


aduna state government yesterday said it had stopped giving food and other materials as assistance to beggars in the state. Director of Social Welfare and Child Development, Ministry of Women Affairs, Aisha Mohammed, who announced this in Kaduna yesterday in an

interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said that the action was aimed at discouraging begging. Aisha said the government had discovered that most beggars in Kaduna were immigrants. “We decided to stop food and material assistance when we

discovered that we are spending too much to cater for beggars from other states.” She said, “their presence is sabotaging government efforts in curbing street begging” and appealed to the state government to control the borders, to stem the influx of beggars to Kaduna. (NAN)

that “The dialogue with the Americans is both direct and open.” Israel, arguing that a nuclear Iran would pose an existential threat, has said it will not allow Tehran to acquire a nuclear weapon. It cites Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, Iran’s support for Arab militant groups and its development of missiles capable of striking the Jewish state. Fearing that Iran is moving quickly toward nuclear capability, Israel has repeatedly hinted at an attack if Iran’s uranium enrichment programme continues to advance. Enrichment is a key process in developing weapons, and Israel says Iran is closely approaching a point where it can no longer be stopped. The U.S. favors diplomacy and economic sanctions and has said military action on Iran’s nuclear facilities should only be a last resort if all else fails. Officials from the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany met with Iran in Istanbul last weekend to

discuss the country’s nuclear programme. The talks were described as positive, and they agreed to meet again on May 23 in Baghdad. Barak told Israel’s Army Radio he did not believe the talks would prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. “We regret the time being lost. This is precious time,” he said. Barak said the talks needed to yield quick results. “It requires a few direct meetings where all the demands are put on the table. There you can see if the other side is playing for time, drawing it out through the year, or if indeed the other side is genuinely striving to find a solution,” he said. “In this light, any ‘time-outs,’ especially when they are this long, do not serve our interests,” he said. “Unfortunately, we maintain the view that this will probably not have an impact or bring the Iranians to cease their nuclear programme. Of course, we will be happy to be proven wrong,” he added.



Pension probe: Maina presents empty computer software to Senate committee By Ali Alkali


fter waiting for weeks for a Ghana-must-go bag full of documents, as promised by Abdulrasheed Maina, embattled chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team to buttress his defense, Senator Aloysius Etok led Senate Committee probing pension scam, was monday shocked to find out that the computer soft-ware presented to it by Maina was "empty". Addressing audience at the Senate, chairman of the committee, Senator Etuk, noted that they would no longer accept any form of computer soft copy from any individual or corporate organization as evidence because "the iPod given to us by Maina was blank."

IPod is a line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., primarily as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games, apps and web content. Also, in his submission, the former Head of Service of the Federation (HSF), Prof. Oladapo Afolabi dismissed claims by the PRTT boss that they have recovered six million pounds sterling in Crown Merchant Bank of UK. Addressing the committee, the former HSF asserted that "it is a false claim that anything was recovered. Nothing was lost, nothing was recovered. All I know is that, throughout my stay in office, no money was lost."

Man, 46, docked for defrauding bank From Lawal Sa'idu Funtua, Katsina


46-year old man, Ahmadu Ya'u, alias Sonkaya of 'Yar'adua quarters, Katsina was yesterday arraigned before chief magistrate court Katsina for allegedly defrauding Nigeria Agricultural Cooperative Bank, (NACB) Katsina branch the sum of N3 million. The prosecuting police officer, Sergeant Okolo Usman had told the court that the accused collected the money under false pretence. According to him, the accused plotted a fake cooperative society under which he obtained a loan of N3 million which he refused to pay back. The prosecutor noted that the offence committed by the accused was contrary to section 7 (1) (a) and punishable under section 7 (2) (a1 of the advance fee fraud and other related offence act L.F. N 2006. The presiding magistrate, Nuruddeen Abdulmumini told the accused that he was only

brought to court for mention and directed he should be remanded in prison. Similarly, a driver, Shu'aibu Muhammad of Mando Village in Kaduna state was brought before the court over alleged theft of PHCN cable and 23 insulators. The prosecutor, Okolo Usman told the court that the accused and two others at large were arrested by a police team on patrol with the stolen items at Maigora junction along Dandume- Birnin Gwari road in Katsina state. However, the presiding magistrate, Nuruddeen Abdulmumini ordered the accused to be remanded in police custody for further investigation.

R-L: Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate, receiving some copies of Peoples Daily from Chief Operating Officer of Peoples Media Ltd, Malam Ali M. Ali, during a visit by the management of the media house to the minister, yesterday, in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Immigration arrests 10 victims of human trafficking in Sokoto From Sadeeq Aliyu, Sokoto


mmigration officers at Kware local government check point in Sokoto state have arrested ten victims of human trafficking on their way to Italy and France in search of job. The public relation officer of the command, Assistant Comptroller of Immigration Musa Ibrahim Mahuta who disclosed this to newsmen said the victims who were all males

are within the age bracket of 25 and 35 years. He said they started their journey from Benin in Edo state with the aim of linking with their anchor man based in Niger, and upon interrogation they all confessed that they were heading towards Italy and France through the Mediterranean Sea to seek for employment. According to them, their parents look on to them for

Rape: 27-year-old gets 54 months jail term From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


magistrate court sitting in Benin has jailed one Enobong Solomon for four years and six months for raping a woman.

The convict was charged with two count-charge; rape and assault which he pleaded not guilty. The Prosecutor, Sergent Shaibu Mohammed proved that the convict unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the victim at a farm behind the sport complex, off Godwin Abbey

way, Benin on July 29, 2012. The court held that there was visible cutlass wound inflicted on the woman's finger before the convict raped the woman and warned her never to report to her husband. Chief Magistrate Mike Osayi

Pension scam: Group petitions IG By Lambert Tyem


Non -Governmental Organisation, "Equity and Transparency Initiative" [QTI], has dragged the Pensions Reform Task Team [PRTT], including its Chairman Alhaji Abdul Rasheed Maina, before the Inspector General of police on allegations of gross misconduct and abuse of office. In a petition to the IGP dated April 16, 2012, the group urged the police to launch a full scale investigation into several allegations against the Task Force Team and its Chairman bordering on fraud, abuse of office, as well as the ongoing

sustenance and they have not been able to secure employment in the country, hence they resorted to embark on the tortuous journey to look for alternative outside the country. Mahuta said the victims had been handed over to National Agency for Prohibition and Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for necessary action while efforts are on to trace and arrest the anchor man and his collaborators for prosecution.

‌Calls for Probe of Task Force

accusations and counteraccusations of bribery, theft and fraud between some directors of police pension board and some senators on one hand and between the Senate joint committee on Establishment and Public Service, States and Local Governments, and the PRTT on the other hand, over a N2billion bribe. The petition, signed by the National Secretary of the organisation, Alhaji Isa Dansarki Mohammed, reads in part: "We do not have to forget that Alhaji Rasheed Maina accepted to have

spent N450million to screen 20 pensioners. He claimed to have spent the money in Atlanta, New York, Uk, etc. "He is a signatory to accounts where billions of Naira is kept. These accounts, he has been found to manage without due authorisation from either the Accountant General of the Federation, or the Minister of Finance. Alhaji Maina alone, without any system for checks and balance, manages four pension offices including the State Security Service, police pensions, and pensions in the

Diaspora offices. He should be investigated on his allegations of graft and bribery against the Senate joint committee, police and the EFCC". In the same vein, the group asked the IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, to probe the PRTT boss on an allegation that he expends a sum of N5million in two weeks for the upkeep of 25 policemen and 10 Customs personnel attached to him for security. "You may wish to recall that this same man [Maina] who is currently employing very dirty antics of distraction and

observed that the convict's denial of his confessional statement to the police and afterthought, emphasizing that the convict did not give his own version of the story. The court however, gave the convict an option of fine of sixty thousand naira. diversion to avert, forestall or wriggle himself out of the ongoing pension funds probe by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has by his actions, negated the values and virtues of the current transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. In view of the forgoing, we hereby call on you to carry out full investigation into the above, in the best interest of the Nigerian nation", the group told the IGP. The move by the Equity and Transparency Initiative for Maina's probe came just as the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS] called for immediate dissolution of the Pension Reform Task Team in order to clear the mess in the system


By Richard Ihediwa


he Senate has directed the police to investigate the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), following the alleged involvement of some top officials of the commission in the looting of pension funds in the country. The Senate Joint Committee investigating the administration of pension in the country gave the directive yesterday despite testimonies by the current EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde and the ex-chairman Farida Waziri that they were not in any way involved in the pension fraud. The duo were said to have collected part of the pension fund for trips abroad for biometric exercise for pensioners but allegedly failed to make the trips. Following the explanations by Lamorde and Waziri that they were never involved in the exercise, the committee concluded that some unscrupulous officials in the commission would have used their names to draw the money and


Police to probe EFCC over stolen pension fund Waziri explains why she fled directed the police to conduct a wideranging investigation into the matter so as to apprehend those behind the fraud. Earlier at the hearing, Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Aloysius Etok presented documents in which Waziri’s name was mentioned twice as having collected money and never traveled abroad for the biometric project. Senator Etok also provided another document in which Lamorde was mentioned to have benefited from over N240 million for the verification exercise. The police was also mandated to look into the alleged diversion of N4.6 billion and N1.7 billion meant for death benefit to some dead police

officers. The revelations at the probe yesterday also included the discovery of N5.887 billion said to have been siphoned by one Mr. Christian Madubueke between 2007 and 2012. Madubueke was accosted by the co-Chairman of the Committee, Senator Kabiru Gaya upon discovery that he was mentioned as having collected travel claims of N5.8 million meant for the EFCC chairmen. “In March, N979 million was paid in six places into your account. On the 18th of March, 2011, all these amounts were paid into your account, N900, 000; N800, 000; N850, 000; N700, 000; N700, 000; N700, 000 and N2.7

million.” Responding, Madubueke confirmed to the committee that his account was used as conduit pipe by one Mr. John Yusuf who is an Assistant Director of Account in Police Pension office. Meanwhile, Waziri told the committee that she fled the country after her sack last year following alleged conspiracy by some powerful persons to kill her. She told the Senate that she decided to run for her life when it was very clear that she was no longer safe in the country. She said that the way and manner the former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Haviz Ringim ordered the withdrawal of her security aides also put more fears in her.

L-R: Executive Commissioner, Finance and Admin of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lawal Sani Store, Commissioner of Operations, Mrs. Daisy Ekineh, and Director General of SEC, Ms Arunma Oteh, during the investigation into collapse of the capital market by the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on Capital Market, at the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa


orried by the increased suspicion over alleged mismanagement of the sum of N3.8 billion, out of an approved N4.5 billion being total funds approved by President Jonathan for the establishment of the American Hospital and the American University of Medical Sciences in order to render health care, the House of Representatives yesterday mandated its Committee on Health and that of Federal Capital Territory to Investigate the alleged mismanagement and report back within four weeks for further legislative input. It could be recalled that in 2005, the Federal Government invite AFAM Comprehensive Healthcare Group of New York into the country to work out modalities that will help to solve the problems of poor healthcare in Nigeria, which led to marshal plan for building sustainable capacity in the

From Sam Egwu, lokoja


or gross official misconduct, maladministration, mismanagement and misappropriation of public fund in Olamaboro education sector, the Education secretary of the local government, Mr Sunday Agala, has been suspended. The suspension which was consequent upon reports from the local government education section of the misdeed of the officer was presented on the floor of the House at its plenary yesterday, by member representing the area, Hon Damian Abdul Adejo. It was alleged that Mr. Sunday Agala had created ghost schools, fictitious names and other sundry means to defraud the local government education authority of amount yet to be determined. According to the speaker, if investigation to be headed by the chairman, House committee on education finds him guilty, he would be recommended to the appropriate quarters for proper punishment.

Job seekers besiege Federal Civil Service Commission


Reps to probe N4.5bn American hospital project By Umar Mohammed Puma

Kogi Assembly suspends Olamaboro education secretary

Nigerian healthcare sector, namely the setting up of the American Hospital and American University of Medical Science which are Public Private Partnership (PPP) project between the Federal Republic of Nigerian through the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) via the Abuja Investment Company Limited (AICL); the Nigerian Investors and the American Investors via the American Hospital Limited and the

American Medical and Environmental Companies. The motion which was filed by Hon O. K. Chinda says the marshal plan was later presented to President Goodluck Jonathan who approve a waiver of 4.5 billion on interest and penalties owed by the local government areas on withholding taxes (WHT) and value added tax (VAT) for investment in the PPP project of the American Hospital and the American University of Medical Sciences, and the Central

Bank (CBN) on the order of the accountant General of the Federation paid out from the Federation account (at source) the sum of 3.8 billion Naira out of the 4.5 billion approve by the President. And that the account was opened in violation of the ALGON constitutions which clearly stated that the treasurer and the secretary General shall be co-signatories to the account, with the President as supervising signatory to all ALGON accounts.

Crisis: Shuluwa lambasts critics of Tiv conference From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


onvener of Tiv Elders'/ Stakeholders forum Chief Abu King Shuluwa has chided critics of the conference, which he said, seeks to address pertinent issues of growth and stability of the Tiv nation. Chief Shuluwa who said this yesterday during a chat with newsmen, regretted that a lot of

things have gone wrong with the Tiv nation that must be addressed at a roundtable conference. He particularly lamented the incessant attack on Tiv communities by Fulani herdsmen as well as the Agboughoul crisis that resulted in the wanton destruction of lives and properties, maintaining that permanent solutions ought to be sought to end these feuds.

While dismissing the remarks made by Chief J.K.I. Ugela, the President of Mzough U Tiv, an umbrella body for Tiv sociocultural group, describing the conference as "not properly" constituted, Shuluwa lambasted him as a man not interested in the peace and unity of the Tiv nation. The conference holds on April, 19 and 20, 2012 in Makurdi.

pplicants in Abuja visit the Federal Civil Service Commission daily in search of jobs, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Some of the job seekers interviewed yesterday, said they wanted to join the Federal Civil Service. Mr. Dan Ukpong from Akwa Ibom state told NAN that a file had been opened for him by the commission and had been given a number. ``I am here to check if my name is out for interview but this Civil Defence lady at the gate refused to allow me to go in. She was asking for my identity card which I don't have. '' Mrs. Dorcas Ugah from Kogi state said she was among the people to be interviewed this week for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ``but it was postponed. '' She commended the commission`s commitment to the recruitment of applicants, adding that the effort would reduce unemployment and poverty in the country. Mrs Temitope Babalola from Ekiti State said she came to the commission to submit her documents but ``the security woman refused to allow me to go in''. Babalola said that processing applications online should be the best option, adding that it would reduce the stress of queuing. ``If the Internet system will work out fine as the commission said last month on paper, it will be the best instead of this queue that we are experiencing at the gate. '' (NAN)



Dangers still threaten world economy, warns IMF By Abdulwahab Isa, with agency report he International Monetary Fund (IMF) said risks associated with the global economy are still visible in spite of the slight global growth in the world economy. The global finance body observed a global growth which it said has led to a slow recovery in the U.S. gains traction and dangers from Europe recede. It however noted that risks remain elevated and the gains are very fragile, Reuters quoted IMF as observing yesterday. Of note, IMF said another flareup of the euro-zone sovereign debt crisis or sharp escalation in oil prices on geopolitical uncertainty could easily undermine confidence and disrupt the improving growth path for world economy. "With the passing of the crisis and some good news about the U.S. economy, some optimism has returned. It should remain tempered," said Oliver Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist, in the latest World Economic Outlook. "Most advanced economies still face major brakes on growth. "And the risk of another crisis is still very much present and could well affect both advanced and emerging economies," he said. The global economy is on track to expand this year by 3.5 per cent and by 4.1 per cent in 2013, up slightly from 3.3 per cent and 3.9 per cent GDP output respectively that the IMF had forecast in January. The estimate arose when


L-R: Corps Marshal/Chief Executive Officer, Federal Road Safety Crops (FRSC), Mr. Osita Chidoka, Chairman of the occasion and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, during the National Summit on Nigeria Road Safety Strategy 2012-2016, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Agric minister flags off growth scheme for Taraba, southern states By Mohammed Kandi


ollowing the introduction of the Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES), as part of the government’s efforts to enforce its Agricultural Transformation Agenda Programmes (ATAP) in Nigeria, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Bukar Tijjani, yesterday flagged-off the scheme for Taraba state and the entire southern states. The minister, who expressed delight that ATAP was already becoming efficient in view of the success achieved so far, further noted that the scheme would grant farmers direct access to benefits from the system.

Alhaji Tijjani also disclosed that the event not only marked the beginning of an agricultural economy that is private sector driven, but would enable all the states take responsibility and ensure that farmers get necessary information through the e-wallet system. According to the minister, the essence of the GES scheme was to guarantee access to available subsidy in the scheme to small scale farmers in the states, so as to enable them get direct fertiliser and seeds. He assured that southern farmers would receive fertiliser and seeds at least by April 30, 2012, while stating that roll-out for the northern state commences after a stakeholder

meeting scheduled to hold later this month. On whether the seed and fertiliser companies were prepared to implement the scheme, deputy president of the Seed Association of Nigeria (SEEDAN), Mr. R. O. Olafare expressed optimism that SEEDAN had over 15, 000 metric tonnes of seed for rice, maize, and soya beans in stock. In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cellulant, Goke Akinboro, who is in charge of the e-wallet device through which farmers are to receive all the necessary information on the GES scheme via their mobile telephones, assured that the system was effective.

Monarch urges politicians to stop sponsoring thugs on pilgrimage From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


oliticians in Nasarawa state have been called upon to desist from sending political thugs on hajj so as to avoid any form of misbehaviour which could tarnish the image of the state and the country at large. The Sarkin Kwandere, Alhaji Ahmadu Al-makura, gave the advise while receiving the newly appointed executive secretary of the state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board, Alhaji Abubakar Hassan Na-Laraba, who paid him homage in his palace in Kwandere. Ahmadu Almakura expressed sadness over an incident last year, where some youths instigated a protest in Saudi Arabia, after the completion of the hajj obligations, which, according to him, dented the image of the state. The traditional ruler

further advised well meaning individuals who intend to sponsor people on hajj, to send responsible ones who can protect the good image of their religion, state and nation as a whole. Earlier in his speech, the executive secretary of the pilgrims board, Alhaji NaLaraba, said they with the traditional ruler to seek his cooperation towards carrying out the responsibilities of the board. In a related development, the board, in a release signed by its public relations officer, Alhaji Ibrahim Adamu Shigafarta, the executive secretary, Hassan Na-Laraba also admonished pilgrims on right conducts while visiting the Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu Ogah, in his palace, Na-Laraba who also visited the palaces of the Osuko of Obi, Alhaji Aliyu Dangiwa

Ogiri and the Sarkin Adudu, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed Hassan, disclosed that the National Hajj Commission had already taken disciplinary measures against states and individuals who conducted themselves badly in the holy land. The scribe called on traditional rulers to enlighten their people on the resolve of the board to disallow pregnant women from pilgrimage.

market concern was rampant that Greece could default and Italy and Spain were facing budget crises. Since then, Greece has restructured its debt, Italy and Spain are adopting tough fiscal measures and euro-zone leaders have agreed to enlarge their bailout fund, causing financial market tensions to ease. The U.S., meanwhile, is gradually gaining momentum while China and other emerging economies appear on track for gradual slowdowns without crashing, it said. But the gains are precarious. Should the euro zone crisis erupt once more, it could trigger a widespread dumping of risky assets and rob two per cent from global growth over two years and 3.5 per cent from the euro zone, the IMF warned. Additionally, a 50 per cent increase in the price of oil on would lower global output by 1.25 per cent, the IMF said. To secure the global recovery, the IMF urged central banks in the U.S., euro zone and Japan to stand ready to deliver further monetary easing. The easing will show in governments' exercise of caution over the pace of budget cutbacks wherever feasible; and Europe will consider using public funds to overcapitalise banks. While European leaders have made "major progress" in building fire walls against financial contagion, the region faces a tricky balance of cutting government debt and restoring competitiveness without excessively stifling growth, it warned. (Reuters/NAN)

Wada urged to shun obnoxious education policy From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


or the umpteenth time, the Parents-Teacher Association (PTA), in Kogi state has warned the governor, Capt Idris Wada to shun all policies on education that have no positive impact on students of the state. This was contained in a statement from the association, signed by its Chairman, Paul Jibrin and the Secretary, Audu I.O., in a resolution in Lokoja yesterday. The association said that the desire of the governor to handover JSSCE to NECO was hasty and would have consulted outsiders first for the merits and demerits before the decision. The body insisted that instead

of paying N5, 200. 00 which ordinarily would have been N1, 200.00 was a calculated ploy to stop many students of JSSC from registering as some parents may not afford the cost. What enhances performances of students, according to the Association, were inputs such as teaching aides, qualified teaching personnel, adding that all the states of the federation should use the same curriculum to set examinations. The Association has therefore directed parents and students not to pay N5, 200.00 for JSSC examination registration meant for JSS 111, instead of N,200.00 even as the principals were advised not to use force on any student

Kebbi inagurates committee on revenue generation From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


or more internal revenue, Kebbi state government has inaugurated a 21-man task force committee to coordinate revenue generation activities for the state. Inaugurating the committee yesterday, the Kebbi state deputy governor, Alhaji Ibrahim K.

Aliyu said the committee is to identify all sources of revenue generation to the state, suggest strategies for improving the existing sources and indentify ways of plugging revenue leakages. The committee, according to him, would also monitor payment of monthly salaries and wages in the state.

He urged them to do their best to justify the confidence reposed in them by turning around the fortune of the state, by generating enough fund to complement federal allocation to the state. Responding, the chairman of the committee, Alhaji Sani Aliyu Augie thanked the Kebbi state government for the mandate and promised to discharge its duties.




R-L: Minister of State for FCT, Chief Jumoke Akinjide, with the Special Adviser to the President on Social Matters, Hajiya Aisha Umar, jointly reading a copy of Peoples Daily, before their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on budget, at the State House, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye


L-R: Former Inspector General of Police, Chief Mike Okiro, Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, and Managing Director, SUN Newspapers, Mr. Tony Onyima, during an international security awareness summit on terrorism and other related crimes, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa


GOC, 2 Div., Major-General Mohammed Abubakar (R), pointing at a fake Army logo on the shirt of Mr Johnson Adeleke, a fake Colonel arrested for illegal recruitment of unsuspected youths into the Army, yesteday in Ibadan. Photo: NAN




Some principals at the All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS) 55th Annual General Meeting, yesterday in Enugu. Photo: NAN





Kwara govt doles out N5.4 million to Ilorin fire victims From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin ver 100 victims of an inferno that razed down a whole compound in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital on the 4th April 2012, were given relief materials worth N5.4million including food stuff, mattresses and blanket on Sunday. The Special Assistant to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed on Emergency and Relief Matters, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi who distributed the materials at the victims’ residence, Ile-Alaaro, Gambari area in Ilorin East local government, also disclosed that the state government had received 250 reports of fire


outbreak across the 16 local government areas of the state which are on the lists of victims that would be catered for. The government, he said was worried about the victims of the compound whose homes, household materials and livelihood were lost to the inferno saying “government had lost sleep over the issue, because we thought that you will not find a place to live. The Special Assistant who noted that government could not fully compensate them on the property lost, said they could pick up their lives from the relief materials distributed to them stressing that the administration believes in people’s comfort and would

Ilorin Emir laments poor security From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Emir of Ilorin and chairman, State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, has lamented the security challenges facing the country, describing it as unparalleled in the history of Nigeria. Alhaji Gambari stated this today while receiving members of Study Group 1 of the Executive Course 34, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, who paid him homage in his palace. The Emir said the insecurity in the country as at today is more dreadful than the civil war, because according to him, the enemies’ camps were known during the war unlike now where


enue state government has threatened to hand over dubious contractors to law enforcement agencies for refusal to execute contracts awarded to them after collecting huge sums as mobilisation fees. Governor Gabriel Suswam made the threat yesterday through his deputy, Chief Steven Lawani, while addressing contractors handling various projects with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), under the second quarter of 2008-2011 intervention funds. Suswam frowned that contractors were bent on frustrating government’s efforts in providing basic amenities for the people by their nefarious

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe has stressed the need for Nigerians to respect the rights of others to avoid friction and conflict in the country. Receiving members of the Abuja branch of the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Angwe said every Nigerian must have respect for the rights of others irrespective of cultural, social and political differences. A statement by Lambert Oparah of the Public Affairs department of the commission,

Alaaro who received the relief materials on behalf of the victims, said no amount of words could describe

the worthiness of the gestures the state government extended to the people of the area.

NHRC boss stresses need to respect individual’s rights has it that the NHRC boss said that human rights promotion and protection is the responsibility of all as it is the cornerstone of democracy. “Once people respect the rights of one another, there will be less friction and conflict and consequently, there will be peace and development”, the statement said. The Executive Secretary noted that the NBA plays important role in the propagation of human rights,

adding that the first calling of a lawyer is to rise and defend the oppressed and pledged the readiness of the NHRC to partner with the NBA to improve the human rights of all Nigerians. The chairman, Human Rights Committee, NBA, Mr. Elachi Agada called for a formation of a joint Human Rights Technical committee between NBA and NHRC to address peculiar human rights issues in Nigeria.

the enemies are faceless. He added that the situation had dented the image of the country and her people in the international community, stressing that it is the responsibility of all to save the country from disintegration. Earlier, the head of the delegation, Professor Thomas Imobighe, had said the group was in the state on study tour alongside five others in some states of the federation with a presidential mandate to carry out a study on resource diversification for sustainable development. He was optimistic that their report and recommendations would be able to address the current dependence on oil as the country’s major source of revenue generation.

Benue govt to clamp down on contractors From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

continue to ensure their lives were properly protected. The leader of the Community, Malam Jimoh

attitude of collecting funds only to abandon projects, warning that government would no longer condone such acts. He however assured that government would continue to encourage and patronise indigenous contractors and charged the board to step up its monitoring activities to ensure that projects were executed in consonance with the terms of contract in the interest of the state and the educational sector. Chairman of SUBEB, Dr. David Tsevende warned contractors who have the notion that contracts awarded to them are compensation for party loyalty or political patronage to have a rethink, maintaining that the board will not hesitate to go against any one of them that violates the terms of contract.

L-R: Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Samaila Mera, Emir of Shonga, Dr. Haliru Yahaya, and Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Onaiyekan, during the National Vaccine Summit, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Plateau butchers express concern over rising cost of cows


utchers in Plateau state have expressed deep concern over the rising cost of cows in Jos and environs, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Alhaji Mohammed Sani, the chairman, Plateau chapter of the National Association of Butchers, told NAN yesterday in Jos that the price of well-bred cows had “suddenly gone up by almost 40 percent”. “The rise is just within the last three months and is affecting the business of my members”. He expressed surprise over the hike in cattle price, adding that most butchers could not afford to slaughter big cows

any longer. According to the chairman, the price of a giant bull has risen from N80, 000 to N380, 000 while an average cow cost N320, 000 as against N25, 000 previously. Sani said that a medium sized bull that was sold at N200, 000 in January now cost N280, 000. He said that a smaller bull that was valued at N100, 000 last year now attracts N180, 000. “My members are pushed to the wall due to the price increase but we have been struggling to keep the price of meat in check so as to serve our customers.

”The butchers have been complaining; but the association has only allowed them to make a slight increase on the price of beef. “We have allowed the butchers to increase the price of one kilo of beef fromN700 to N800", he said. Sani said that the price of one kilo of intestines had also been increased from N500 to N650. When contacted, the state chairman, Cattle Dealers Association, Alhaji Sabiu Musa, blamed the rising cost of cows on the high cost of feed and transportation. He noted that the price of diesel had also gone up, there by affecting cost of moving cows from one town to the other. (NAN)



Oyo govt reassures NYSC members of adequate security From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state, yesterday, reassured the entire members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in the state of his administration's total commitment to their security. The governor declared that “the security of corps members is topmost in the priority of the

present government in the state.” Governor Ajimobi made the assertion at Premier Hotel, Ibadan in his keynote address on the occasion of the 2012 Batch ‘B’ PreMobilisation Workshop for the NYSC stakeholders across the country, including the DirectorGeneral, Brigadier-General Nnamdi Okore-Affia. Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji

Akin Olajide, Ajimobi reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to discharge its responsibilities to the NYSC. In this regard, he said, work would be accelerated on the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp under construction at Iseyin with a view to resolving the accommodation problem of corps members. He used the forum to pray for

the sustenance of the NYSC which he described as the major unifying organisation in the country saying the scheme must not fail. “The NYSC has always been an agent of unity in Nigeria hence my prayer that it should not fail,” the governor stated. Speaking earlier, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier-General Okore-Affia, reeled out the objectives of the workshop explaining that it

was “a forum which usually presents a veritable platform for the Students Affairs Officers of corps producing institutions, the NYSC management and the states Mobilisation Schedule Officers to interact as well as to review the previous mobilization exercise with a view to fashioning out more effective strategies for enhanced performance in the mobilization process.”

Disputed property: Party violates court ruling From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


The scene of a multiple accident on Anjorin Street, Lawanson, yesterday in Lagos.

Photo: NAN

Kano traders lament unfair competition from Chinese From Bala Nasir, Kano


antin Kwari traders in Kano state have petitioned Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, alleging that Chinese companies operating in the state are killing them by way of eliminating wholesalers. The traders under the platform of their union, Movement for the Survival of Indigenous Traders of Kantin Kwari Market (MSITKKM), told Governor Kwankwaso that apart from the unfair business

dealing against them by the Chinese companies, they have also rented up hundreds of stalls in the market. The petition which was signed by chairman of the union, Alhaji Saminu Saidu Koki, stated that the Chinese do not discriminate between bulk buyer and retail buyers in pricing their products as they sell uniformly. Also, they use their stooges to woo major customers who used to buy from them before and since they buy directly from the Chinese

companies they stopped patronising them. If they sell to us at the same prices with our former customers and they rent stalls in the market chances are that we will be out of circulation in the near future, members of MSITKKM told the governor. They warned that if nothing is done to stem the problem Kantin Kwari Market will in the near future belong to the Chinese who have all the resources to take over everything in the market hence,

eliminating all the indigenes operating there. This is our country, they said and it is the duty of our government to protect us from a business competition that is not favourable to us in all its ramifications. “The Chinese make hundreds of millions of naira daily and Kano state government is losing millions of naira of tax revenue to the tax evading Chinese companies operating in the market through cronies”.

he violation of a High Court ruling directing both parties involved in the dispute over the ancestral home of a Benin Chief, the late Chief Samuel Obadiaru who was the Obadiaru of Benin, to maintain the status quo has stirred more controversy. Commercial activities were grounded for hours along Ewaise Street yesterday morning as residents who are mainly motor tyre dealers locked their shops to avoid being caught in crossfire. The court presided over by Justice Emmanuel Edigin had ruled on 23rd March 2011 that all parties involved in the suit No: B/ 806/2011 against Mrs. Rafatu Gloria Obadiaru and one other brought before the court by her stepson, Chief Nosakhare Obadiaru, the Obadiaru of Benin Kingdom maintain the state of affairs before the suit was instituted. The disputed building is 106 Ewaise (Forestry) Street which is the home of the late Chief Samuel Obadiaru, now occupied by his eldest surviving son, Chief Nosakhare Obadiaru, who was recently conferred with the hereditary traditional title by the Oba of Benin. The Obadiaru of Benin Kingdom had instituted the suit against Mrs. Obadiaru, his stepmother and one other seeking among others that his late father’s ancestral home or Igiogbe in Bini parlance cannot be shared or alienated in any manner by the holders or any other person for that matter.

NTDC, NTA synergise on transformation agenda Zaria residents celebrate first rainfall By Miriam Humbe


s a means of complementing the transformation agenda of the Federal Government, the directors-general of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation and the Nigerian Television Authority have decided to explore new ways of collaboration. The idea of NTA and NTDC collaboration was mooted by the NTDC DG, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe along with members of his management team when he visited his counterpart,

Malam Usman Magawata at the NTA headquarters in Abuja recently. Introducing his mission to the NTA, Otunba Runsewe said his visit was to solicit a partnership between both corporations and commended the NTA for its brilliant collaboration with Startimes cable service; saying the channels offered by Startimes were impressive. Runsewe revealed that he intended to procure thousands of the Startimes decoders from the NTA which will be given to every Nigerian-based

hospitality outfit like hotels, eateries, parks, travel agencies, with 6 months subscription package, all for free. He appealed to Malam Magawata to subsidise the decoders for other outfits interested in buying in order to achieve appreciable mileage with the efforts. He requested for one hour on NTA to be called “Tourism Hour” where vital issues affecting tourism development in Nigeria like vacancy placements, national security and generally topics as well as contemporary issues will be treated.


esidents of Zaria city in Kaduna state have expressed joy over the arrival of the first rain of the year, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. The rain, which started at about 8:00 p.m., lasted for more than 40 minutes. Reacting to the development, Alhaji Balarabe Danladi, a resident, described the rainfall as a blessing and prayed for a blissful rainy season. “The rains have become a source of joy not only to farmers

but to the entire people in view of the persistent heat in Zaria”. He, however, appealed to the people to avoid dumping refuse into drains to prevent flooding and the attendant destruction of property in the area. Also speaking, a farmer, Malam Musa Dogara, described the rainfall as a sign of Allah’s blessing to mankind. “We want to use this opportunity to appeal to the Kaduna State Government to supply fertilisers as soon as possible”. (NAN)


UNICEF prepares kids as problem solvers From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


nited Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has said that children need to learn life’s emotional and practical lessons to strengthen their ability to solve problem and achieve their goals. This was said during the fiveday training for 40 Child Protection Partners from Gombe state on Child Protection in Emergencies (CPiE) organized by UNICEF D-field office Bauchi in collaboration with Save The Children UK, in Karu local government area of Nasarawa state. Speaking while presenting a paper titled: “The Core Developmental Needs of Children” Mr. Daniel Istifanus Bisu from Save the Children UK said: “Unconditional care also plays a part in a child’s religious upbringing such as in saying that God loves you but spiritual love by itself is not enough.”


EFCC urged to probe Adavi LG finance clerks From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


n appeal has gone to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest and investigate finance clerks in Adavi local government council of Kogi state for allegedly embezzling the sum of N155 million in the last eleven months. This came up from the preliminary report of the staff audit exercise initiated by the local government chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) which was made available to journalists in Lokoja. It was discovered that about

443 ghost workers were on the payroll of the local government, while some people were discovered to have presented fake letters of appointment to the screening committee during the exercise. In a press statement issued by the Dynamic Wheelers Club (DWC), and signed by the President, Mr. Isah Asimole called on all relevant anti-graft agencies to show interest in the event going on in the local government council with a view to rescuing the local government of massive corruption in the council According to him, they have no doubt in the ability of the body headed by Mr. Emmanuel Icha to

come out with a result that will be clearly different from the various past mock screening exercises in the council stressing, “we are worried greatly that the constant and unending presence of ‘Ghost workers’ syndrome in Adavi local government council has negatively affected its growth and development, to such extend that the council has merely become a “pay center” rather than development oriented body which a local government council is meant to be.” Also speaking on the matter the chairman of the screening committee, Mr. Emmanuel Icha confirmed to journalists that some of those who presented fake

employment letters, confessed to the screening committee that some top officers at the local government issued the fake letters to them. The committee discovered that the education department had the largest ghost workers of 100 people, works department, 96 ghost workers, Personnel, 74 ghost workers, Health, 63 ghost workers, Budgetary, 31 ghost workers and Agric department, has 25 ghost workers. All efforts to reach the DLG of Adavi local government area proved abortive as his cell phone was switched off, even as his PRO absolved his boss of any culpability in the matter.

NOA to compile list of traffic offenders By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


n view of the rampant cases of traffic offences by motorists, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) has said that it will partner the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to compile the list of traffic offenders across the country in order to guarantee safety on the roads. The Director-General of the agency, Mike Omeri, who stated this during a visit to the Chairman of Daar Communications, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi in Abuja, added that the fight against social vices required the active involvement of all Nigerians. He called on Nigerians to forward the vehicle registration numbers of erring drivers to the agency for compilation and publication, saying the list will also be forwarded to the relevant law enforcement agencies to assist them track offenders and bring them to book. A statement issued Monday by the Assistant Director, Press in the agency, Fidel Agu stressed that the agency was determined to bring about moral re-orientation that cuts across all the strata of the society, adding that the new approach will involve a comprehensive sectoral approach and collaboration with relevant agencies.

L-R: Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo, with Minister Housing and Urban Development, Ms. Ama Pepple, during the commissioning of FMBN staff buses, Monday in Abuja.

We need agric university in North-West, says Emir of Gwandu From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Emir of Gwandu and chairman of Kebbi state Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Mohammed Iliyasu Bashar has made an appeal to the Federal

Government to establish a University of Agriculture in the North-West. He made the appeal when members of the Federal Government Polytechnics visitation panel who visited the

Waziri Umar Federal Polytechnic in the state, paid him a courtesy visit in his palace yesterday. The Monarch added that the major occupation of the people from north west was agriculture.

In his remark, the chairman of the panel, Dr. Waheed Qadeer said the members visited the monarch to get royal blessings in their bid to foster good relationship with the staff and students of the institution.

Meteorologist urges adherence to building code


meteorologist, Prof. Temi Ologunorisa, Monday urged government at all levels to ensure adherence to building code to enhance flood control. Ologunorisa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the presence of illegal structures compounded the flood problem in some coastal communities. “One major cause of flooding in some major towns and cities in Nigeria today is the increasing number of illegal structures blocking the free flow of water.

“We cannot continue to lose lives and property worth millions of naira to preventable floodrelated disasters within and around our environment. “We need to go back to the drawing board and ensure that structures are erected not on flood plains, but built in line with the government approved building codes.’’ Ologunorisa, , who is also the Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Studies, Osun State University, Osogbo, advocated for the

demolition of illegal structures and the relocation of those living in flood-prone areas. He urged governments to embark on the construction of drains and the channelisation of rivers to enhance the free flow of flood water from communities. The meteorologist also urged residents to desist from dumping refuse into drains. “To avert flood-related emergencies in our communities, environmental law enforcement agencies must ensure that illegal structures are pulled down and

such places declared disaster risk areas. “We need to be proactive now to ensure the safety of lives and property, especially now that we are still expecting more rains,’’ he said. The meteorologist urged inhabitants of flood-prone communities to take proactive measures to checkmate disasters. He appealed to relevant government agencies and environmental NGOs to sensitise inhabitants on the dangers of living in such areas. (NAN)




Odinkalu’s needless invitation


he Nigeria Police Force has remained one of the most despised institutions in the country for the simple reason that Nigerians have lost faith and trust in them. It is therefore no surprise that many Nigerians are united in the call for a holistic overhaul of the Force so that it will become in tune with best practices in policing as is the case in developed parts of the world. In order to achieve this, many concerned individuals and organisations have proffered advice on how to tackle the ills bedevilling the Force. Indeed, the Federal Government itself, in realisation of this critical fact, has also made efforts at sanitizing the police by instituting a number of reform committees over the years. Instructively, the police authorities themselves have admitted the short comings of their men and have supported the yearnings for immediate reforms that will give birth to a Force that all Nigerians will regard as a “friend” and accord it the desired respect. It is against this backdrop that we are dismayed by the recent action of the Acting Inspector General of Police, M.D. Abubakar, which seemed at odds with his avowed statement on assumption of duty to superintend over a new police force. The Acting IGP, last week, invited the Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission [NHRC], Dr. Chidi Odinkalu for questioning over comments he made, and which the

police authorities found unpalatable. Many observers who thought the Acting IGP and his men would welcome the hard truth coming from a concerned stakeholder as Dr. Odinkalu, were taken aback by the surprise invitation, and are left to wonder how any genuine rebirth can be achieved if the police are averse to criticism. While delivering the keynote address at the annual conference of

Dr. Odinkalu’s invitation is therefore unnecessary and an action that only skirts the issue in question rather than addressing it the Nigerian Judiciary Correspondents Association in Abuja on March 5, the NHRC chairman remarked that: "The response of law enforcement to the incapability of the legal system to ensure convictions is an epidemic of third-degree policing, torture and extra-judicial executions. By some estimates, the Police executes well over 2,500 detainees summarily every year". In his letter to Dr. Odinkalu, the Acting IGP said:

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”

"The assertion is highly exaggerated and therefore untrue"'. That the police authorities and the Acting IGP in particular will find this statement offensive to warrant an explanation over it beats the imagination, more so that M.D. Abubakar himself admitted that much in his inaugural speech after taking over from his predecessor. To be sure, Dr. Odinkalu is not the first to draw attention to the worrying spate of extra judicial killings by policemen in the country. The international Non Governmental Organisation, Human Rights Watch has consistently highlighted this sad trend in its yearly reports. Other civil society groups in the country have also done the same. Dr. Odinkalu’s invitation is therefore unnecessary and an action that only skirts the issue in question rather than addressing it. It is doubtful if Dr. Odinkalu’s statement can be equivocated considering his track record of probity, and the fact that as a critical stakeholder whose purview is the protection of the rights of citizens, he has access to relevant data to reach his conclusion. In addition, it is on record that past leadership of the police force have admitted to several cases of extra judicial killings by their men. We have in the past called on the Acting IGP to be circumspect in his actions before he goes down in history as one who talks much and acts less. We are afraid, this latest action will only cast him further in that mould.








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The challenges of immunization in Nigeria By Muhammad Ali Pate


n order to achieve our Vision 20:2020 for Nigeria the situation where approximately one child in 7 dies before the age of 5 years must be reversed. Enhancing child health and survival will boost the quality of the human resources that our country will need for its economic development in this 21st century. Hence, this administration has prioritized immunization service delivery as a key strategy for enhancing child health and survival. Immunization is one of the most cost-effective public health interventions for preventing disease and death. Historically, mankind has interacted with infectious agents almost since the beginning of time. Religious books have documented instances of plagues that are now understood to be due to infectious causes. Along the way our societies may have experienced benefits of inoculation but not understood it well. It was not until Edward Jenner in 1796 successfully used inoculation of cow pox to prevent small pox in humans that inoculation started to be appreciated. Since then we as human beings have successfully eradicated the deadly disease of Smallpox from our world in 1978 through global concerted effort of vaccination. The eradication of Smallpox gave confidence to public health

leaders that we can also eradicate another deadly viral disease, poliomyelitis. From almost 388,000 cases of poliomyelitis in the world in 1988, with the use of vaccines, we are now so close to its eradication with far less than 1,000 cases globally in the last one year. What more evidence do we need to show that vaccines work? The stories of success with vaccination are numerous. Even in our country Nigeria, in recent times we have experienced tremendous successes in our vaccination program. From thousands of cases of children paralyzed by polio in the past we now have cases in the double digits. Measles which used to ravage our communities particularly in the hot season is now much reduced, thanks to integrated measles campaign efforts. Cerebrospinal meningitis which affected more than 55,000 Nigerians in early 2009 was reduced to less than 1,000 in entire 2011 and very limited cases so far in 2012. Routine immunization coverage as measured by DPT3 increased from 42 percent in 2008 to 67 percent in 2010 (WHO/NICS). Full immunization coverage rose from 23 percent (NDHS 2008) to 56 percent in 2010 (NICS). What we have seen is that as immunization coverage increases, vaccine-preventable diseases decline. The priority for us now is to strive to continually expand immunization coverage so that all our children can be

protected with these life-saving measures. Despite the recent progress mentioned above, I will be the first to admit that we have important challenges to the immunization programme in Nigeria. Let me enumerate at least two of these challenges: First, access to vaccines is inequitable, with large disparities between socio-economic and rural-urban segments of our population. There are many rural areas where a child is not able to get properly vaccinated even when the parents are interested. A place like Kollorom in Marte LGA, until recently, had no functional primary health clinic talk less of cold chain infrastructure to allow for routine immunization. Sustainable vaccine delivery requires a level of health system functionality that is best attained when investments are complementary and delivery of services is integrated. States and Local Governments should focus more of their health investments towards the rural areas in order to deal with this challenge. Private sector and civil organizations should act as advocates or involve themselves in addressing this as well. Second, even though childhood vaccination in public facilities is free, many parents are not fully aware of the benefits of vaccination and as a result, miss important opportunities to protect their children against the

vaccine preventable diseases. It is only severe lack of understanding that will lead a parent to refuse for example, the few drops of polio vaccines that will protect their child from a disease that can kill or permanently paralyze. In order to address this challenge, we must embark on continued awareness promotion to all parents and community leaders to recognize and demand for vaccines to protect their children. All children are the same, so no child should be left behind. Our political, religious and traditional leaders should ensure that at all public gatherings or engagements, vaccination is explained and encouraged. The Federal Government is committed to doing its part to expand access to life-saving vaccines by all Nigerian children. This commitment is manifest in actions that the Federal Government has taken to achieve that objective: In 2009, the National Immunization Policy was revised to accommodate new vaccines. In addition to the traditional vaccines, our policy has made room for introducing the pentavalent vaccine, which includes Haemophilus Influenza type b conjugate vaccine, and the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. These vaccines protect children against pneumonia and other invasive bacterial diseases. Thereafter we can consider the rotavirus vaccine which will

protect our children from illness and death due to diarrheal disease. Others like MenAfric conjugate vaccine and HPV vaccine are also quite relevant in this policy context. We strengthened the capacity of immunization managers in all 36 States and FCT to manage the routine immunization system while improving supervisory function in many areas. In 2010/ 2011, Federal Government and development partners invested in cold chain infrastructure and capacity. The Federal Government has continued to provide budgetary resources for procurement of all the routine vaccines used in Nigeria. In 2012, the Government led by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan allocated N6 billion for procurement of routine vaccines and new vaccines against pneumonia. The millions of doses of routine vaccines to be procured directly through UNICEF will be distributed to all the States and FCT for administration to Nigerian children free of charge. In May 2012, we expect the first set of 12 States to introduce the pentavalent vaccine and the rest will follow. In this year we do not expect funding to affect delivery of vaccines. What we require is counterpart actions from all State Governments to ensure their cold stores are up and running and that their health workers are Contd. on page 14

Fluorosis: A make up distraction By Hauwa Yusuf Adamu


onsuming too much fluoride while the teeth are being formed can lead to fluorosis. This condition causes white or brown-white or brown discolouration or spots on the enamel or tooth surface. The effects can range from minor colour changes to surface irregularities of the teeth. Fluorosis does not develop after teeth have erupted into the mouth. Fluorosis is a clinical characteristic by the occurrence of changes in the appearance of teeth enamel ranging between opaque white lines to brownish discolouration with associated pitting of the enamel. Fluorosis is a cosmetic condition not a disease. Often, it is so mild that only a dental professional can detect it. Most cases of fluoridise result from young children taking fluoride supplements or swallowing fluoride tooth paste when the water they drink is already fluoridated. Your permanent teeth from your under your gums in the jawbone during early childhood. They appear in your mouth after the primary or “baby” teeth are lost. The crowns of nearly all the permanent teeth are fully formed by the time you are about 8 years old. The exception is the wisdom teeth, which form in young adulthood. The crown is the part of a tooth you can see in your mouth. The benefits derived from

fluoridated water were discovered while investigations were being made to determine the cause of a discoloration of teeth known as mottled enamel. Around 1908, Dr. Frederick S. Mckay, a dentist working in Colorado springs, colo; noticed that many of his patients has discoloured teeth. This discolouration of mottling seemed to him to occur only among people from certain areas. After studying the problem in different parts of the world, he concluded that something in the drinking water was the cause. Not until 1931 was fluoride found to be the cause of mottling. At that time, studies also showed that it severity was directly related to the amount of fluoride in the water. During his investigation, Dr. Mckay found that decayed, missing, and filled tooth rates (DMF rates) were lower among people afflicted with mottling. By 1939, Dr. Trendley Dean and his staff at the U.S. Public Health Services had demonstrated that water containing about 1.0 part of water produced no disfiguring fluorosis (mottling) and conferred a remarkable resistance to dental decay. These findings have since been confirmed in many places throughout the world. Dr. Dean found that tooth decay rates are reduced about 65 per cent among children who, from birth, drink water containing approximately 1.0 part per million of fluoride, a concentration

equivalent to 1 ounce of fluoride in 30,000 quarts of water to adjust the fluoride content of a water supply to about 1part per million. This was done in 1945 at Grand Rapids, Mich, Newburgh, N.Y, and Brantford, ontariocan. These and other studies showed there was no difference in the effect of fluoride added in controlled amounts from those of fluoride naturally present in the water. To be fully effective fluoridated water must be consumed from birth. Children born after fluoride has been added to the water supply will have as much as 65 per cent less tooth decay than with children drinking fluoride-free water. Children who start drinking fluoridated water at an older age will also have less tooth decay, but the reduction is not as much as in the youngsters. Eventually, as a new generation dream fluoridated water from babdy hood, everyone will benefit. Reduction in tooth decay last for life. In one study with adult with a fluoride free town, for example it was found that in 40 to 44 years old in the fluoride free community has lost four times as many teeth as the same age group in the town with natural water. Teeth affected by mouth fluorosis may show no changes or changes visible only to a dental professional. Mouth to moderate fluorosis produces white lines, strikes or spots. In more severe fluorosis, the teeth can become pitted and half-brown grey

or black spot. The enamel also may have an unusual shape. Your dentist and dental hygienist will ask about your child fluoride intake, this will help determine if the discolouration seen is the result of fluorosis. They also will ask about past and present condition or disabilities that may affect your child‘s teeth. Your dentist will examine your child‘s teeth, gums and take X-ray to make sure the teeth have no other defects or cavities. Other conditions may look like fluorosis development defect and problem with the skull or bones of the face can disrupt the enamel or dentin of the teeth. In addition, high fevers or trauma such as a fall that injures a tooth in infant or young children may discolour teeth. Young children can get cavities in their primary teeth, so any tooth discolouration should be checked at the dental office. Spots and stains left by fluorosis are permanent, they may darken with time. If you have a child under six, put only a small pea-sized amount of tooth paste on his or her tooth brush. Encourage your child to spit rather than swallow after brushing. Avoid tooth paste with flavours that may encourage swallowing. Keep all fluoride containing products out of the reach children. These include tooth paste and mouth washes. Adding fluoride to drinking water is one of the preventive disease programmes of the 21st century.

Children should take fluoride supplement only if the water they drink does not contain enough fluoride. If your child is taking fluoride supplement now, check the amount of fluoride in the water; if you are on a public water supply system, call your supplier to ask about the fluoride level. You can also have your dentist check a sample of your water, and then discuss whether your child needs fluoride supplement. Some food and drinks contain fluoride e.g. many fruit juices and soft drinks that are laced with high degree of fluoride at levels similar to fluoridated water. Some bottled waters now have added fluoride. All of these can add up, it is important to know how much fluoride your child consumes. Remember that fluorosis only affect the appearance of teeth, it does not result in cavities. As a result, most of the treatment for fluorosis consist of masking the stain, many cases of fluorosis are minor enough not to need treatment. Sometimes fluorosis occur only on the back teeth where it cannot be seen. More serious cases and cases involving the front teeth can be treated by removing the surface stained areas through tooth whitening and other procedures. Severe cases of fluorosis can be covered with bonding, crowns and veneers. *Hauwa Adamu is a Mass Communication student of the University of Maiduguri


By Amiru Adamu


kada, kabukabu, going, express and so on are all different names for commercial motorcyclists in Nigeria. Commercial motorcyclists started operating in Nigeria in the 80’s and have since then thrived and prospered till now. As a means of transportation, okada plays a very significant role in Nigeria’s transport system due to its abundance and the ability of the okada rider to access areas where Taxis and Buses cannot. Okada is also cheap, hence its popularity among the low-income earners and students in Nigeria. As a trade okada riding has provided a significant number of Nigerian youth with a means of livelihood. One might assume that okada riding as a trade that requires skill rather than educational qualification is strictly for the un-educated, but almost 50 per cent of the okada riders are graduates and diploma holders, who could not gain employment with their certificates. The crackdown on okada trade by the federal and some state governments, including the recent move by the Kano State


In defence of Okada riders government is threatening to the means of livelihood of will notice that the attacks wipe the trade out of existence. thousands of Nigerian youths, carried out on motorbikes are Already the once thriving okada which will make them go into not comparable in numbers with business of Abuja is history, a crime and other illegal activities attacks carried out using cars. situation that has left so many in order to survive, the ban will Even if one looks at the argument Nigerian youths logically, he that were relying on or she will okada riding notice that without their daily the damage bread. inflicted by Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text The present an attacker messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written insecurity and in a car contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 terrorist activities cannot be words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and in the country are compared a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed being used to justify to that by the various bans on an attacker to: okada riders across on a the country, motorbike. The Editor, without looking at There is Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, the implications of no doubt 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. the ban and the that some Email: let thousands of youths o k a d a SMS: 07037756364 that will be left with r i d e r s no other alternative disregard means of livelihood. Accidents affect the Nigerian masses who traffic rules and regulations. But and traffic decongestion are also depend on okada as a means of so also are some taxi and private part of the excuses given for the transportation due to its cheap drivers. Nobody will protest any fares compared to most taxis. ban on okada riders. form of regulation to check the The argument that okada are excesses of okada riders and In my opinion ban on okada riders will further compound the a threat to security is also not a compel them to obey traffic problems being faced by Nigerian sound one because if one looks at regulations. As a matter of fact, masses. Apart from terminating the recent terrorist attacks, one they should be encouraged to


form and register associations for easy control and possible help from government. I will like to use this medium to call on the federal and state governments that have or are about to impose okada ban to take another look at the situation and do away or reverse the okada ban policy in the interest of justice and fair play. They should consider the increased burden we the Nigerian masses are already carrying due to increase in fuel price which resulted in an automatic increase in the cost of living. They should also bear in mind that Nigerian youth are really struggling to make ends meet and any further move to close down avenues of generating income to sustain themselves will not be taken lightly. Enforcing traffic regulations and ensuring safety on Nigerian roads is a good policy provided it doesn’t rob anyone of his or her means of livelihood. Amiru Adamu is an activist writer and publisher of Northern Wind Magazine

Police and mathematical doubts over killings (II) By Emmanuel Onwubiko


hile not disputing that police personnel are indeed involved in a disturbing pattern of extra-judicial executions, the Acting InspectorGeneral in his letter said that “the assertion is highly exaggerated and therefore untrue”. He equally failed to provide any figures to contradict those provided by Dr. Odinkalu. Rather, the Acting Inspector-General requested Dr. Odinkalu to “provide evidence or facts to support your assertion, as well as verifiable statistics from which you made your “estimates.” However, Bamidele Aturu recalled vividly that in a widely

reported speech on 13th February 2012, the Acting InspectorGeneral himself had publicly stated of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF): “Our anti-robbery squads have become killer teams.” Conversely, in April 2004, then Inspector-General of Police, Tafa Balogun, informed Human Rights Watch researchers that the NPF killed 7,198 “armed robbers” from January 2000 to March 2004. This represents an average official killing rate of 141.1 or an average daily killing rate of about 4.6 persons per day. For the same period, however, Balogun’s successor, Sunday Ehindero, reported much different statistics in a July 2006 letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-

judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. In this letter, Ehindero, claimed that in the five years from 2000-2004, the Nigeria Police Force killed 2,402 and arrested another 20,314 “armed robbers”, representing an inexplicable difference of 4,796 killings between Balogun’s figures and Ehindero’s figures, according to Aturu. Aturu recalled that in 2004 alone, the Legal Defence and Aid Project (LEDAP) documented 2,987 cases of extrajudicial executions by law enforcement agencies. This is roughly consistent with the most recent official police claims. In November 2007, Acting Inspector-General

Mike Okiro reported that the police had killed 785 and arrested 1,628 “armed robbers” in his first one hundred days as IGP. This translates into a daily killing rate of 7.85 persons and a yearly rate of 2,865 police killings. Okiro’s figures also represent a kill-toarrest ratio of 1:2.07. In comparison to the statistics announced by former InspectorGeneral Ehindero in 2000 (sic), Okiro’s data represent an increase of over 400 percent in the official statistics for police killings. The law scholar concluded rightly that the inconsistencies in the official figures strongly suggest that deaths in police custody or encounters are not addressed with sufficient gravity and that records

of such deaths are either nonexistent or very poorly kept. These facts aforementioned were contained in a report titled: “Criminal Force: Torture, abuse and extra-judicial killings by the Nigeria police Force” issued in 2010 by the Network on police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN). The nation’s police hierarchy should do internal clean up and punish all operatives indicted for these vicious crimes and should stop making Nigeria a laughing stock. * Emmanuel Onwubiko, Head, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA; writes from Concluded

The challenges of immunization in Nigeria Contd. from page 13 adequately positioned to deliver the vaccines in primary health centers and outreach sessions. In order to deal decisively with the lingering issue of polio eradication, Mr President recently inaugurated a Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, comprising Federal, State and Civil society membership. The President directed that the Task Force ensure that Nigeria is polio free by the end of this administration. We as members of the task force have assured Nigerians that we will not fail. Already we are seeing significant improvements in the polio eradication effort in Nigeria. From having 27 States with polio we now have only 8 States reporting more than one case in the last 1 year. Recent campaigns in Kano, Borno, and Kebbi States have shown better coverage than in the past, largely due to strong leadership by governors of those

states and their Traditional Leaders. If we continue in this direction, by the end of 2012 we should be close to interruption of the virus if not more. The MenAfriVac campaign that started in late 2011 has in my view, contributed significantly to the very low incidence of cerebrospinal meningitis we are seeing in 2012. Government is committed to the next phase of the campaign in 2012 to cover additional 12-14 States. In the next three years, if we succeed, the seasonal Cerebrospinal Meningitis epidemic will become history in this part of the world. Measles used to kill tens of thousands of Nigerian children. Unfortunately the disease is still with us despite its being 99 percent preventable. The Federal Government’s efforts along with the States, through nationwide integrated measles campaigns in 2008 and 2011 have succeeded in

denting the measles outbreaks. In 2012 there is really no excuse for a child to have measles. Any where we see measles; we should ask the Local Government and State Governments if they have done enough to ensure that all their children are immunized. Parents must also be made to understand the need for immunizing their children against measles. One day we hope that measles will also be eradicated. It will be inappropriate for me to conclude without sharing briefly highlighting additional areas beyond vaccination, where this administration is focusing so as to improve survival of our children. Saving mothers will enhance the survival of children, so we are expanding the already successful midwifery service scheme to cover 1,500 rural primary health centers with midwives and community health workers. Federal government is

planning to recruit thousands of village health workers in a temporary workfare scheme to support mothers during ANC and delivery. Recently we have embarked upon an ambitious effort of saving a million lives through deployment of cost effective interventions. The midwifery and community health worker deployment, scaling up routine immunization and new vaccines, efforts to improve breast feeding and reduce childhood malnutrition, scaling up antibiotics for pneumonia, ORS and zinc for diarrhea and antimalarial drugs for malaria will be expected to save lives that can be quantified and add up to the one million lives. In order to actualize the “saving 1 million lives” campaign, we have developed a framework that takes into account disparate efforts as mentioned above and will be

driven with a coalition approach. I would like to use this opportunity to invite you all to join us in the “saving 1 million lives” campaign coalition in Nigeria, as a publicprivate programmatic collaborative effort. The campaign is expected to be flagged off very soon. We are working with the Clinton Health Access International to roll out the initiative alongside other interested partners. We will be humbled to be joined by many more of you that are here today. Whatever we do, whether it is distributing bed nets, immunizing children, Vitamin A supplementation, encouraging breast feeding, dealing with malnutrition, treating diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria, should add up into a life saved. The life saved should become the currency of our dialogue as health sector development practitioners. Dr Muhammad Ali Pate is the Minister of State for Health.


By Daniel Osunkoya


he hardest work in the world is being out of work. It was no joke when the late American comedian and actor, Slappy White, comically said, “The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you’re on the job.” While it is true that unemployment is one of the greatest problems facing Nigeria today, it should however not be an excuse for one’s failure. We must realize as a nation, that employment by government agencies and multinationals alone cannot solve the problem of unemployment in this country because of our large population. Entrepreneurship is the main solution to tackling joblessness in Nigeria particularly because the current global economic and financial crisis has cause an immense decline in available jobs. According to Greg Watson, a professor and retired private serial entrepreneur, entrepreneurship is more than just starting a business. It is a process through which individuals identify opportunities, allocate resources, By Emmanuel Obasi


ather God, your humble servant, a youth of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous and arguably most gifted black nation, come to you this day on my knees and totally humbled. I come trembling, confused and fearful – yes father really fearful – as I think of my beloved country which recently reached a landmark age, golden jubilee it is called. I come knowing that you can do everything and no counsel of yours can be withheld from you. It is clear to me that the counsel of your heart for Nigeria was aptly captured in the speeches and utterances of our founding fathers, heroes past and friends when Nigeria was born nearly 52 years ago - as an independent nation. These were men and women whom you put your Spirit into at the time, to prophesy concerning the child just born into the world, I mean into the comity of sovereign and free nations. Permit me to say Lord God that they were your prophets. They were your prophets because they spoke (prophesied) of a great and prosperous child - Nigeria, a nation capable of rising to the status of or even above such great nations as America. They spoke of a nation which, considering its enormous latent and visible resources, (human, natural, rich diversity, etc), will in no time begin to run and then go on to set great records in the world stage. Such records were to include: a just and egalitarian nation; a nation whose landscape is decorated with choice and enviable infrastructure – educational, social, etc; a nation of imposing industries, providing more jobs than her well educated and trained citizenry could fill; a nation of men and women who will always recognize that there is dignity in labour – honest, hardworking, incorruptible people. Father, this popular saying has it that “life begins at 40”. In the case of my beloved country, childNigeria, she turned 40 years ago,


Tackling unemployment through entrepreneurship and create value. Greg Watson holds that this creation of value is often through the identification of unmet needs or through the identification of opportunities for change. Entrepreneurs see problems as opportunities, they identify the solutions to those problems and then sell to customers who will pay to have those problems solved. Entrepreneurial success is simply a function of the ability of an entrepreneur to see these opportunities in the marketplace, initiate change or take advantage of change and create value through solutions. Using one’s natural and acquired abilities in providing solutions to problems and getting monetary values in return could also put an end to unemployment. Whatever good or service you see around today was created by an entrepreneur. Nigerians, particularly the youths must

embrace entrepreneurship in spite of the various challenges in our environment that poses as limitation to success. So many challenges we see today have been surmounted by many entrepreneurs. Challenges such as the lack of adequate electricity and security, high cost of communication and transportation, multiple taxes, high interest rate, and cultural barriers for female entrepreneurs, have once been conquered by some. The government’s inability to provide a conducive business environment is a daunting challenge but should not deter people from initiating businesses. There are people that have succeeded despite the challenges they encounter. More so, the major source of job creation all over the world small scale businesses. Since the job market is

shrinking and those seeking for employment are on the increase, a lot of graduates will not get jobs after graduation especially in the presence of increasing number of graduates. Majority of the graduates in Nigeria are searching for ready-made jobs in industries such as oil and gas, telecommunications, and banks while minimal people are willing to create jobs. In a chart with some experts recently, I discovered that enormous opportunities await entrepreneurs who would like to venture into export trading in Nigeria. Many people look out of the way when export business is suggested to them as a business venture. They believe export is a business for the rich, forgetting that business is about generation of ideas which are well packaged, delivered and experimented over a period of time. Export business expenses are

determined by the nature of the goods. Perishable goods are costly to export than non-perishable goods. Export is a business that can be started small and expanded over a period of time. Some of the local foods in Nigeria have a high demand in the international market. Goods such as fish, vegetable leaves, spices and other items found around us are in high demand outside the shores of the country. Just as there are opportunities in the export industry, there are also several business opportunities in real estate, sports, transportation, education, etc. To be a successful entrepreneur it only takes your passion coupled with well researched information on the business you want to do. *Daniel Osunkoya is the Coordinator of D-dan Projects International, a human development training outfit.

Prayer for troubled Nigeria by a despondent youth but is yet to begin life. I say so because at nearly 52 years, none of the prophesies about her have come to concrete fulfilment and as a youth of this country, this is really disheartening, to say the least. Father, You and I know that the non-fulfilment of these prophesies are not because they were false or that you have withdrawn your authority on them, far from this. The truth is that the men and women who over the years have received/handed down the baton of leadership from our founding fathers have failed us woefully. Mighty God, I remember the stories and profiles of our founding fathers. My late father (who died battered and disenchanted by the Nigerian system in my early university days), told me a lot of the stories and I corroborated most of what he told me from what I read in print. They were selfless men and women, true statesmen, visionaries, leaders out to imprint their names in the sands of history. They were people whose words and lives inspired awe, patriotism and hard work. They offered themselves to serve. They got into the struggle for a sovereign nation, inspired by the spirit of service and because they believed in the Nigerian cause. They were not opportunists, looters, liars, greedy and corrupt men and women. They had their weaknesses, yes, but their spirit of service far outweighed whatever weaknesses they had. I do not lose sight of the fact that they were mortals. Father God, I do not wish to bother you with the many things that dishearten and make me tremble about my country Nigeria. I will break down

enumerating the details. During our Golden Jubilee Celebrations, I listened to men and women at different fora speak and enumerate the various reasons for our woes. They also tried hard to proffer a way forward for my beloved country. They believed (and spoke out), that we have not lost it all and that we have another 50 years to get restored. As I listened, I cried and the same time rejoiced. Yes, I rejoiced because I realized all hope is not lost, not with the country brimming with such fine and articulate minds, such as I listened to. Yes father, there is hope because I sense the crystallization of thoughts and deliberate choices of good people in Nigeria – hearts and choices saying one thing, we can rise up from today and possess it. And I know that you are ever willing to order and prosper our good collective choices. And so FATHER GOD, I pray you today to please help Nigeria to truly begin life as we set our sights on the so much talked about year 2020, when we would have added another decade to our existence – clocking 60 years.You waited for us to begin earlier, but we were not ready. You encouraged us when we turned 40, but again we were not ready. We have passed the landmark age of 50 years, will are 52 in few months from now and it is still doubtful - yes doubtful to me - if we are ready to start life. LORD GOD, the tunes have suddenly changed and I fear for the worst. We are no longer just grappling with the heavy burden of corruption, failed leadership, decaying institutions and systemsincluding a near moribund educational system and the like; it is now the heavier burden of

terrorism - brothers killing brothers with reckless abandon as a way of making their points, expressing their grievances or enforcing what they wantwhatever these means. What was never imagined by our founding fathers - your prophets of old has suddenly crept in upon us and is threatening to blow us and our oneness to shreds - so it appears to me LORD. Questions are being raised all around, most bordering on our oneness as a sovereign, united nation - with peoples of different/ distinct cultures and cleavages. Should the different cleavages go their separate ways? Should they remain one or may be enter into some kind of arrangement that still portrays oneness? LORD GOD, the questions are as myriad as they are fearful - yes, really fearful. In all these LORD, I choose to believe that 2020 will come upon us and so I pray; help us to begin to live. I can hear the resounding response of the youth of Nigeria, my generation, saying Amen. I know they are also following recent developments. Fear, doubt, despondency, etc. are also welling up in their minds. Nevertheless, I know they want their country to begin living and so I pray. Help us to begin to walk right, obeying the laws of our country and your Holy laws. During elections, may we be ready to make our votes count, to probe deeply before we cast our votes. Help us to reject the use of mundane things and empty promises to fool us, impose mediocrities upon us and further mortgage our future and those of our children. It is easy to decipher empty promises because the pedigree and antecedents of those

making it are well known by us. Yes, these are well known unless we pretend and chose to remain fools. But father, may you not allow us to. We are ready to hold accountable those that we vote, (yes I mean vote because our votes must count), or those appointed into positions of authority, to help us steward our country’s resources – your good gifts to us. May we no longer take the position of indifference and just allow people we put in positions to do what they want. No, never again. May we resolve never to be found wanting again in the discharge of our civic responsibilities first to Nigeria, but beginning from our families and local communities. May we resolve to engage at all times, in honest job and living, knowing that our labours will never go unrewarded. May we resolve that come the year 2020, when we celebrate our 60 years of nationhood, we shall be busy reflecting on how great we have lived life. We shall also be rigorously strategizing on how to consolidate on our great achievements as a united sovereign nation. LORD, may it be that in 2020, we will be telling the stories of present happenings - especially terrorism - and how we overcame as a people with your help and mercies. I have read stories of countries that passed through near crippling internal developments may be close to or even worse than ours - and yet overcame. And so LORD, my eyes are on 2020 and I know it s possible with you. Thank you Lord. Amen. Mr. Obasi, a Lagos-based chemical engineer, blogs at REHOBOTH



Dear reader, Metro welcomes human interest stories in your neighbourhood. Please call or send SMS to 08065327178 or e-mail to inform us about happenings in your area. Share your experiences or those of your friends and neighbours with fellow readers.

Businessman 34, docked for giving false information

Overloading by a commercial motorcyclist at Bwari, recently in Abuja.

Photo: NAN

FCTA presents 2012 Strategic Health Devt Plan to partners By Josephine Ella


he Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Health Secretariat has presented the 2012 FCT Strategic Health Development Plan to all implementing partners of the secretariat, with a call on them to step up their support towards achieving the health goals collectively. Speaking while making the presentation during a meeting at Bolton White Hotels in Garki with both local and international n o n - g o v e r n m e n t a l organisations (NGOs), the Secretary, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, implored them to study the critical areas of the

•••urges focus on area councils FCT budget for health. This, he said would compliment other areas of health care delivery with shortfalls. He noted “all aspects of care in communicable and non communicable diseases have board representation in the NGOs categories which therefore should translate to complimentary efforts in the public and private sector participation.” While commending the partners, which include the United Nations International Children Education Fund

(UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO) for their various contributions in 2011, he urged them to concentrate on other area councils in the FCT, saying the Abuja Municipal Area Council(AMAC), presently receives higher concentration and focus from the organisations. “I assure you that I will work with you in a focused ways and request that you study the FCT agenda in the strategic health plan document which has highlighted the main agenda/ policies of the health secretariat, use this information in your

work-plan in order to achieve a common goal, reduce duplication and eliminate wastages of resources. “In this line, we all must follow the new rule of collaboration which is one coordination, one planning and one monitoring and evaluation. I implore you all to increase your activities in area councils outside AMAC, as the city is receiving a higher percentage of NGOs activities. You must also ensure that you have a clear mandate of signed MoU with the FCT, to justify the funds entrusted in your care,” he emphasized

Court remands man, 28, for criminal intimidation


n Abuja Upper Area Court yesterday ordered that a 28-yearold Suleiman Ismaila of Kuchikan Village Nasarawa be remanded in prison. Police Prosecutor Oyewusi Abiola told the court that on April 11, a petition was forwarded to the Commissioner of Police FCT Command, Abuja,

by one Mr Bello Yahaya. Abiola said that Yahaya of No 9 Bahazi Street, Wusa Zone 4, wrote the petition against the accused before he was taken to the Commission of Police Operation Squad for investigation. He said that on April 2, the complainant received a phone call from his in lawyer that one

John Adu told him that the accused reported the complainant to him, threatening to deal with him. Abiola added that the accused warned the complainant not to wash his vehicle at Utako Motor Park, if he did; “he will organise things for him and forcefully move him out of the park” and that he also threatened to

eliminate him. He said the offence contravened section 396 of the penal code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Judge Umar Kagarko ordered that the accused be remanded in Keffi Prison, and adjourned the case to May 23, for hearing. (NAN)


34-year-old man, Chinedu Ukachukwu, yesterday appeared before an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ Court charged with giving false information and cheating. Police prosecutor Umar Mohammed told the court that the case was reported at Jikwoyi Police Station by two complainants, Chinyere Maduagwu and Ngozi Okpala, both of Jikwoyi Phase 1, Abuja on Nov. 5, 2011. Mohammed said that the accused person, who resides at the same address with the complainants, had on March 2011 deceived them and collected the sum of N40,000 each to offer them a job at the Federal Road Safety Commission. He said that since then, the accused had refused to offer them the job or refund their money. The prosecutor added that during police investigations, the accused person confessed to the act and the sum of N40,000 was recovered from him. According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened Sections 178 and 322 of the Penal Code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Senior Magistrate, Mr Nkamdimi Buba, granted the accused person bail in the sum of N50,000 with one surety in like sum. Buba adjourned the case to May 8 for further hearing. (NAN)

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A sales lady marketing oil lubricants waiting for customers at Sabon Lugbe, yesterday in Abuja.

A photo journalist on the move with his camera mounted on tripod at the Eagle Square recently.

A babber on duty at Aco Estate Airport road, Abuja

A grinding machine operator starting his generator at Aco Estate Airport road Abuja yesterday.

Human overloading as a woman carrying two loaded sacks along central area in Abuja. Photos: Joe Oroye



Police arraign boy for stealing 2 gas cylinders


Selling local herb mixture at Nyanya bridge recently.

Photo: Mahmud Isa

Court remands man for alleged cheating, joint act A

n Abuja Magistrates’ Court yesterd a y remanded one Johnson Kalu, 36, in prison, charged with joint act and cheating. The police prosecutor, ASP. Patrick Obeta, told the court that Kalu, who lives in Dape village in the Kado area of Abuja, colluded with four

others, now at large, to collect N500,000 from one Mr Emmanuel Ihenacho. Obeta said that the accused, together with the four others, dragged Ihenacho of Durumi New Site, Garki, Abuja to the Angwa cement area of Kado, Abuja, and made him to believe that if he gave them

N500,000, they would make him richer. The prosecutor added that the four others posed as clients who had b e e n m a d e r i c h b y Johnson. Consequently, Obeta said Ihenacho gave them the N500,000, believing that he would be richer. The offence contravenes

sections 79 and 322 of the Penal Code Law. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty. The magistrate, Mr Bashir Alkali, ordered that the accused be remanded in Kuje Prison without bail and adjourned the case till May 9 for continuation of hearing. (NAN)

Land for Infrastructure Swap Model: FCTA proposes N350m commitment fee By Josephine Ella


he Federal Capital T e r r i t o r y Administration has proposed the sum of N350 million financial commitments from investors willing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the administration in the newly introduced Land for Infrastructure Swap Model. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, who disclosed the figure yesterday, at the official presentation of the general frame work for the policy at Transcorp Hilton Hotel said the sum is meant to fund physical plan, preliminary design, detailed engineering design, survey

plan, feasibility studies and preparation of agreement. Tagged ‘Phase IV Transformation Agenda’, the initiative according to the minister, is for development of districts in phase IV of the Federal Capital City, using the FCT land resource for infrastructure development. He further explained that in the scheme: “The FCT administration is to grant agreed percentage of land in a Greenfield district to a developer for real property development under a special contract envisaged by the Land Use Act in exchange for the grant and the developer is to provide the agreed infrastructure in the district without any financial or technical demand from the

administration”. He emphasised that an investor or developer would be required to provide detailed design and provide the agreed infrastructure with 48 months, adding, that such a developer is not permitted to allocate land in the Greenfield allocated to him within the district except he attains 35 percent development of the infrastructure. He also notified that within the framework, the FCTA has the power to revoke such a grant in the event that there is any breach of the special contract. Among the infrastructures investors are expected to provide, are roads, water, telecommunication ducts, electricity, drainage,

culverts, street lights etc. Also speaking at the stakeholders meeting, which had in attendance, investors from various organisations and companies, the DirectorGeneral of the Infrastructure Concession Regulation Commission, Engineer Mansur Ahmed described the policy as a welcome idea. He pointed out that it would not only bring about expansion of housing facilities, but reduce the cost of housing in the FCT and create enormous opportunity for employment of engineer, artisans such as skilled and unskilled workers. This was as he pledged the support of the commission towards ensuring that the initiative works.

ne Ibrahim Patrick, 16, was yesterday arraigned before an Abuja Magistrates’ court for stealing two gas cylinders belonging to one Cyril Ehunwmendoma of Lugbe, Abuja. The Police prosecutor, Jeremiah Elijah, told the court that the case was reported at Lugbe Police station on April 11. He said that the accused and one other person, now at large, conspired to commit the offence. Elijah said that during interrogation, the accused was unable to give a satisfactory account of his action. The prosecutor said the offence contravened Section 288 of the Penal Code. In her ruling, the Senior Magistrate, Hadiza Shagari, granted the accused bail in the sum of N500, 000 and a surety who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court. She said the accused should be remanded in prison custody if he failed to meet the bail conditions. Shagari adjourned the case to May 3 for further hearing. (NAN)

Court remands man, 28, for criminal intimidation


n Abuja Upper Area Court yesterday ordered that a 28-year-old Suleiman Ismaila of Kuchikan Village Nasarawa be remanded in prison. Police Prosecutor Oyewusi Abiola told the court that on April 11, a petition was forwarded to the Commissioner of Police FCT Command, Abuja, by one Mr Bello Yahaya. Abiola said that Yahaya of No 9 Bahazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, wrote the petition against the accused before he was taken to the Commissioner of Police, Operation Squad, for investigation. He said that on April 2, the complainant received a phone call from his in lawyer that one John Adu told him that the accused reported the complainant to him, threatening to deal with him. Abiola added that the accused warned the complainant not to wash his vehicle at Utako Motor Park, if he did; “he will organise things for him and forcefully move him out of the park” and that he also threatened to eliminate him. He said the offence contravened section 396 of the penal code. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Judge Umar Kagarko ordered that the accused be remanded in Keffi Prison and adjourned the case to May 23, for hearing. (NAN)






- Pg 20

Senate wants return of Nigeria Airways

Mob: 08033644990

FAAC allocation for the month of March 2012 S/N




FG (52.68%) States (26.72%) L/govt Councils (20.72%) Derivation (13% of Mineral revenue-oil/gas) Value Added Tax (VAT) & Transfers

620.7 billion

Dangote Sugar pays N3.6 billion dividend By Abdulwahab Isa


n spite of challenging business environment, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc (DSR) is set to pay out N3.6billion as divided to its shareholders for the business year ended December 31, 2011. The management has also, assured of continuous improvement in its performance in view of the new investments undertaken by the organization, a statement by the company said yesterday. The firm posted a turnover of N106.510, 507 billion turnover, for the year while it recorded a Profit Before Taxation (PBT) of N10.6billion, and a Profit After Tax (PAT) of N7.1 billion. The company announced yesterday that the dividend payout amounts to the sum of

Flight schedule AIR NIGERIA (MONDAY - SUNDAY) LOS-A BJ: 07.15, 11.40, 14.00, 16.30, 17.00, 17.20, 18.30 ABJ-LOS: 07.00, 09.30, 10.30, 11.15, 16.15, 19.15, 19.35 ABJ-KANO: 18.40 KANO-ABJ: 08.35 ABJ -SOK (MON): 09.35 ABJ-SOK (FRI): 10.10 ABJ-SOK (WED/SUN): 11.20 SOK-ABJ (MON): 11.35 SOK-ABJ (FRI): 12.00 SOK-ABJ (WED/SUN): 13.20

AEROCONTRACTORS (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 06.50, 13.30, 19.45 LOS-ABJ (SUN): 12.30 LOS-ABJ (SAT): 16.45 ABU-L OS: 07.30, 13.00, 14.00, 19.00 ABU-LOS (SUN): 10.30, 14.30, 19.30 ABU-LOS (SAT): 18.30

DANA AIRLINES (MON - SUN) LOS-ABJ: 07.02, 08.10, 12.06, 15.30, 17.10 ABJ-LOS: 07.20, 09.36, 13.05, 14.40 ABJ-LOS (SAT/SUN): 13.05, 18.00 LOS-KANO : 08.10 KANO-LOS: 11.25 KANO -ABUJA: 11.25 ABUJA-KANO : 10.08


30Kobo per share for every ordinary share of 50 kobo each, held in the company by members as at May 2nd 2012. The modest performance for the year under review, the management noted, was in spite of the economic crisis, low interest rates and increasing price of raw sugar. However, it stated that the selling price of Refined Sugar did not fully reflect the increase in the cost of Raw Sugar as doing so would push the price of the refined product too high for the consumers. “The Board and Management are mindful of these challenges; and are focused on value driven innovation and efficient cost optimization. The sales and marketing strategies have been realigned to position DSR strategically to stay above competition, with a view to drive performance; improve efficiency and output. These efforts are yielding positive results, and have reflected in our first quarter 2012 performance.” To sustain this trend, and deliver the desired financial performance and value for shareholders and all other stakeholders, in the current year and beyond; DSR said investments are being made on its plant to ensure improved maintenance routines and optimal capacity utilization, as well as and meet the everchanging consumer needs. The management further said; “Our priority is to grow our markets both locally and international. Arrangements are currently underway to expand our export horizon beyond Ghana; today we are prospecting other countries across the West African coast. We are also in the process of restructuring our distributorship especially for the retail products.” EXCHANGE RATES


LOS -ABJ: 9.45, 11.45, 2.45 LOS-KANO: 6.15 LOS-KANO (SAT/SUN): 16.30 KANO-LOS: 07.30 KANO-LOS (SUN/SUN): 10.30

• £ RIYAL $

Provision for losses wipes out First Bank’s N50bn profit as Fidelity’s drop to N7.6bn By Abdulwahab Isa


igeria's First Bank has announced a profit before tax of N50.1 billion in its 2011 financial year operations representing 48.2 per cent as against N33.76 billion recorded in 2010. However, a provisioning for losses on bad loans and other items is depleting the bumper profit posted by the bank. According to the bank’s 2011 full year financials issued yesterday, a provision for losses of N44.8 billion (2010: N21.6 billion), of which loan loss provision

BUYING 0.2913 203.1211 246.762 41.25 154.7

SELLING 0.3113 04.4341 248.3571 41.5167 155.7

BUYING 210 254 40 158

SELLING 212 256 42 159

was N32.9 billion (2010: N22.4 billion), had to be made by First Bank. Nonetheless, it recorded several growths both in operating income and gross income. It posted gross earnings of N296.3, and N259.2 billion as operating income as against gross earnings of N232.1 and operating income of N178.1 billion recorded in 2010. In this regard, the bank proposed an 80kobo dividend per share for its shareholders from its net profit. Other milestones announced by First Bank yesterday include,

CPC seals Mobil filling station, arrests manager over fraudulent practice By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


peratives of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) yesterday sealed Mobil Filling station along Kubwa expressway, in Abuja for underdispensing petroleum products to consumers. The operatives, who stormed the area for an all-round enforcement exercise, used a 20 litre measuring cylinder to determine the correctness of what the filling station was selling to consumers and discovered that one of the pump

of the station was cheating consumers of 0.2 litres or N17 out of every 20 litres bought while another pump was shortchanging customers of 0.3 litres or 28 naira out of every 20 litres purchased. Staff of the station however used all sorts of cunning ways to stop CPC officials from testing other pumps, which were suspected to be underdispensing fuel to consumers at a worse rate. The officials therefore sealed the entire station and arrested its standby manager, Mr Dayo Albert.

92.9% growth in profit before tax and exceptional items to N65.6 billion (2010: N34 billion); strong improvement in cost to income ratio to 56.8% (2010: 67.0%), 55.1% ratio recorded in the Bank (2010: 65.8%) Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Bisi Onasanya commended the operating result, noting that: “we have made significant progress in achieving our strategic goal of being the number one financial services group in Nigeria. Our results are reflective of the benefits being reaped from the implementation of our transformation agenda which has improved customer focus, acquisition, satisfaction, business generation and enhanced the sustainability of our earnings base. This has brought about considerable improvements in our interest and non-interest earnings generation capabilities, margin expansion, operational efficiency as well as reduced funding costs”. In another development, Fidelity Bank said its pre-tax profit for 2011 fell 11.32 percent to N7.67 billion ($48.74 million), from 8.65 billion naira in the previous year, the bank said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Gross earnings rose to 70.04 billion naira, from 56.04 billion naira in 2010, the bank said. It also declared a dividend of 0.14 naira per share.

Management Tip of the Day

17th Apr, 2012


ABJ-LOS: 11.30, 3.45, 4.45

R-L: Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko Inde, and Customs Public Relations Officer, Wale Adeniyi, answering questions from journalist after the comptroller official visit to President Goodluck Jonathan, at the State House, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye


Run a Decisive Project Meeting

o keep momentum in a project, you need to run great meetings. Make your next project meeting productive with these three guidelines: Restate the meeting's purpose. Even if you think everyone knows it, it helps to

remind them and sharpen the group's focus. Include everyone. If one or two people dominate the conversation and others are shy about leaping in, draw out new people by saying, "Thanks for those ideas, Carl. What are your thoughts about this problem,

Megan?" End well. Close the meeting with an action plan and a clear time frame. State the decisions the group has made, who owns what, and when they need to report back to the team. Source: Harvard Business Review



COMPANY NEWS NAICOM settles N617.8m claims in Q1


he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has said its Complaints Bureau has settled claims dispute amounting to N617.8 million in first quarter A statement by the Assistant Director, Corporate Affairs, NAICOM, Mr Lucky Fiakpa, said the bureau in the first quarter of this year resolved a total of 17 disputes involving policy holders and insurance companies resulting in claims settlement of N617.8 million.

Fidelity Bank pretax falls by 11.32 %


idelity Bank said its pretax profit for 2011 fell 11.32 percent to 7.67 billion naira ($48.74 million), from 8.65 billion naira in the previous year, the bank said in a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Gross earnings rose to 70.04 billion naira, from 56.04 billion naira in 2010, the bank said.

New master plan to overhaul aviation sector underway – Stella Oduah By Muhammad Sada


master plan to tackle various challenges basseting aviation sector has been introduced, Minster of aviation Mrs. Stella Oduah has confirmed. Oduah at an interactive forum with aviation stakeholders in Abuja expressed optimism that the master plan would address numerous challenges and restore the sector. She harped on need to transform the sector for the realisation of maximum potential to ensure full delivery of services to the citizens of the country. The minister said ” our master plan is a well cut out and carefully put plan in a manner to ensure positive and total

upgrading of entire aviation sector”. According to her the master plan envisages to tackle infrastructural transformation, development of airport cities ; leisure and cargo village

destinations as well as transforming Nigerian airport network into domestic and international hub. On wide disparity of air fares by foreign airlines, she urged the airlines to respect the rights on

Emirates boosts Rome services with 3rd daily flight


orld fastest growing airlines, Emirates said it will boost its operations in Italy this October as the airline adds a third daily flight to Rome taking the total number of flights offered to Italy to 56 a week. The new service will be operated by a 237-seat Airbus A330-200 in a three-class configuration that offers 12 luxurious First Class seats, 42 seats in Business Class and generous space for 183 passengers in

Economy Class adding a total of 15 tonnes of cargo-carrying capacity to the route. "The third daily service to Rome represents another significant initiative that is part of Emirates' partnership with Italy. Emirates is committed to offering more capacity to travellers in addition to giving customers more choice in seamlessly connecting to points across the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Africa all while experiencing the most

NATCOMS advises telecom operators to upgrade facilities


hief Deolu Ogunbanjo, the President of National Association of Telecommunication Subscribers (NATCOMS) has advised the operators to upgrade their networks to meet the growing numbers of subscribers. Ogunbanjo gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He said that this was against the backdrop of complaints by subscribers about the poor services being rendered by the operators.

US stocks jump after strong corporate earnings


tocks are rising at midday after big U.S. companies posted strong quarterly profits and the Spanish government reassured investors with a successful debt auction. Coca-Cola leapt 2.6 percent Tuesday after the company said its profit rose 8 percent in the first three months of the year, topping the forecasts of Wall Street analysts. European markets surged after the Spanish government sold more than •3.2 billion ($4.2 billion) in short-term debt, more than had been expected. The yield on Spain’s 10-year government bond fell to 5.86 percent from 6.10 percent early Monday, a sign of improving confidence in the country’s finances.

airfares granted to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), as according to her, “Act 2006 of the NCAA has the mandate to ensure they do not allow high price and they have to protect Nigerian passengers.

L-R: Managing Consultant, Nachchi Consulting, Mr. Sam Ikoku, Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr Harold Olusegun Demuren, and Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr Nnamdi Udoh, during an interactive session with the aviation sector stakeholders, on Monday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

comfortable and entertaining experience in the sky," said Salem Obaidalla. The Airline's Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation affirmed that "We will continue to invest in Italy, empowering the local economy and helping it expand its business and tourism presence." "Today, the public announcement of the 3rd daily flight by Emirates is strong evidence and an authentic proof of the successful relationship existing between ADR - Aeroporti di Roma and the Dubai based airline," said Fabrizio Palenzona Chairman of ADR. According to him "Without a doubt, Emirates represents a strategic partner in ensuring further traffic growth between Rome and all the main long haul routes in Asia, Australia and a large part of Africa. After being the first airport in Italy able to welcome the A380, thanks to the investment for a new dedicated loading bridge, we're now looking forward in cutting the ribbon next October 1st for this new additional flight," he added. Rome is currently served twice daily by Emirates. Coupled with a triple daily service to Milan commencing on 1st June and a double daily flight to Venice beginning 25th March, the increased weekly frequencies will contribute to a burgeoning trade relationship between Italy and the UAE worth $4.6 billion.

Senate wants return of Nigeria Airways From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Federal Government has been tasked to revive the liquidated Nigeria Airways before the end of the present Goodluck Jonathan administration if the present indiscriminate hike in airfares by foreign airlines must be addressed. Senate President, David Mark made the call while declaring open, a three-day public hearing on the violation of aviation laws and practice by foreign airlines in Nigeria and lapses in operation of the regulatory agencies by the Senate Committee on Aviation. Mark said the return of the nation's national Carrier-Nigeria Airwayswould create employment opportunities for Nigerians as well as restore the country's image in the global aviation industry. Represented by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, he challenged Nigeria to use the present

scenario in the aviation sector to make its impact felt in Africa. "It is important that we direct the Minister of Aviation before the end of this tenure that Nigeria Airways is brought back on stream. I do hope that they will accept the challenge. "We feel very embarrassed each time we travel abroad and see other airlines carry the national flag of their countries and the names of their respective countries and Nigeria is missing. It is not only for the purpose of national pride, it's important for the development of our tourism. It will also generate income and create employment for our people. This is the time for us to do something about it and restore Nigeria's past glory in respect of aviation and air travels''. It would be re-called that when Nigeria Airways was in operations, it was able to force British Airways to reduce its fares on the Lagos-London route on several occasions. The Uganda government last

month announced its resolve to revive its national airline which was liquidated 20 years ago. The Senate also called for the urgent review of Bilateral Air Services Agreement, (BASA), between Nigeria and Britain. The Senate also directed the Ministry of Aviation to restore the agreement which allows Nigeria and Britain equal slots and frequency of 21, which only the British airline enjoys the full privilege, while Nigeria's Arik Air was left with only seven. In his remarks, Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who noted that the public hearing was designed to get to the root of what really happened, how and why they happened, stressed that some pertinent questions had, however, come up, ranging from whether any airline truly manipulated the passenger fuel surcharge to the detriment of the Nigerian people and government. He said: "Any revenue lost to the Federal Government must be

recovered and returned to its coffers. We are confident that at the end of this exercise, our aviation industry will be better, more efficient, more profitable and more competitive." Also in her remarks, Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, who also described the disparity as exploitative and bad, stressed that she had issued stringent warnings to BA and Virgin Atlantic that the price imbalance would not be tolerated and must be dismantled. She said: "Nigeria supports profitable operations when the profits are reasonable but rejects exploitation and unreasonable excessive profiteering by exploiting her people. We are still on this issue and your voice from the Senate is welcome." Director-General, NCAA, Harold Demuren, who also condemned the fare hike by the foreign airlines, told the committee that in 2006, BA made a total gain of £451 million worldwide, of which £112 million came from Nigeria.



Stakeholders spot tourism as Nigeria’s alternative potential to oil

By Miriam Humbe


ourism sector may assume its rightful place as Nigeria's potential source of foreign exchange earning going by the road map being pursued by its stakeholders. A country of huge population of over 150 million people and a vast market, analysts are beginning to call for a considerable shift and diversification from oil as a lone means of survival. The call is not unconnected to the global recession ravaging the global economy; and Nigeria, a monoproduct dependent economy experts have predicted stand the risk of severe economic depression should oil price crash at the international market.

Evidently, the wisdom to diversify the economy and wean it off from oil informed a renewed attention being accord to tourism sector. The culture and tourism sector hitherto relegated to the background is now receiving adequate attention as a tool to realise transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan. Only recently, the DirectorsGeneral of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, and the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA jointly resolved to collaborate using abundant potential inherent in tourism and culture to bring about lost gains. NTDC DG, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe visited his counterpart at the NTA, Mallam Usman Magawata in Abuja and talks

between them centred on the need for collaboration to totally transform the tourism sector. Runsewe announced his intention to procure thousands of the Startimes decoders from NTA for onward distribution to Nigerian-based hospitality outfits like Hotels, Eateries, Parks, Travel Agencies, with 6 months subscription package, all for free. Runsewe's request for a one hour programme on NTA to be called "Tourism Hour" where vital issues affecting tourism development in Nigeria like vacancy placements, national security and other topics as well as contemporary issues was promptly granted by Malam Magawata who promised it's actualization in no distant time. According to the NTDC chief,

Left - Right: Director General (NTDC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, receiving a unique plague from, DirectorGeneral (NTA) Mallam Usman Magawata while on partnership visit to the NTA headquarters in Abuja.

the aim was to add value to the nation's tourism by persuading visitors to Nigeria to embrace and appreciate our local content especially in the area of entertainment. It was hoped that the collaboration would be mutually beneficial to both parties leading to enhancement in the transformation agenda through employment generation and job creation via tourism development. Runsewe's valuable contributions to tourism development have not gone unnoticed as he has been honoured with various awards both at home and abroad. The most recent honour was the special chieftaincy title of "Odejo of Aagboko" translated to mean Philanthropist, giver or benefactor by the O'chi Idoma, Chief Alias Agabaidu Obekpa on behalf of the Idoma nation. The contribution of the tourism sector to the Grosss Domestic Product, GDP of the nation's economy was reported to have risen steadily in the last 4 years according to a report by the World Travel and Tourism Council. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in its report forecasted that travel and tourism industry will generate 897,500 jobs in Nigeria in 2012, comprising 1.4% of total job employment. The report is contained in WTTC's Travel and Tourism Economic Impact on Nigeria 2012. It also noted that travel and tourism is expected to attract capital investment of

N252.5billion, and it is expected to rise in 2012 by 2.3%, and rise by 6.5% per annum over the next ten years to N483.4billion in 2022. Stating further, WTTC forecast that domestic travel spending is expected to grow by 1.5% in 2012 to N119.4billion and rise by 2.4% per annum to N151.5billion in 2022. In Lagos state, tourists were hosted to a flamboyant carnival by the Lagos State government during the Easter celebrations. Themed: "Eko for Show,'' the carnival which was held at the Tafawa Balewa Square, featured different cultural groups, costumed participants and merry makers. It was characterized by lots of colour and music and had people turn out in their thousands to witness it. Tourists from various countries happily took pictures while traders selling masks, costumes and various types of adornments; all made brisk business. Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Lagos state governor vowed to make the state a tourist destination in the African subregion and commended Lagosians for buying into the idea of transforming the state. The Carnival was the high point of the week long activities of the Lagos Heritage Week. It is earnestly hoped that this air of transformation blowing across the tourism sector will spread to other sectors of the Nigerian economy to bring about the most needed development which has for some time, eluded us as a people.



Legal hurdles, garnishee aviation fund poses danger to safety, says NCAA D-G From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


situation where the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is frequently joined as a defendant in cases related to aviation be it between an airline and passengers as well the garnishee of the NCAA account by a law court without recourse to the effect such action will bear on safety has been describe as dangerous to the safety of live and properties. Director-

General of the NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren yesterday said due to the growth of the industry, the authority is face with growing volume of litigation as passengers are becoming more aware of their right says the NCAA is thus usually invited to courts even when it is needless. Speaking at a two days seminar organised for Judges of the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Lagos, Dr. Demuren said the development is not in the interest of Nigeria aviation

industry as it is a major distraction from the performance of NCAA statutory responsibilities affirming that NCAA is a regulatory body charged with the statutory responsibility of regulating the safety, security and economic efficiency of air navigation. "NCAA is not an aircraft operator or an airlines. It is not an airport operator, it is not an air traffic service provider neither is it engaged in the provision of ground handling or

other allied services whatsoever'' he told the Judges. He said ''As such a situation where NCAA is held liable for acts arising from the provision of services at the airports by aircraft operators and air traffic services and other aviation allied services providers is highly detrimental to safety of air transportation as it amounts to a major drain of limited resources which otherwise could be applied to safety critical issues. '' According to him, section 67 (1) of the CAA 2006, designates the aviation industry and by implication, NCAA as an essential service sector pursuant to the provision of section 11(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The DG said It is therefore very worrisome that the operational bank accounts of

NCAA and other aviation agencies should be garnished by order of court without due regards to the essential nature of NCAA's regulatory activities and the overall implication of such an order on the ability of NCAA to safely conduct such activities. "This poses potent danger to safety of lives and properties of millions of air travelers flying in the Nigerian airspace. '' he said. Dr. Demuren who was represented at the event by the Director of Airspace and Aerodrome Standard, Alhaji Lawal Haruna said without funds, NCAA will no longer be in a position to ensure the safe operation of aircraft operating in Nigeria airspace and to carry out daily mandatory surveillance and safety inspection of flights and the flight crew, and the monitoring of airport security.

India Central Bank cuts key interest rate


L-R: Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Bello Adoke, during a meeting on the 2012 budget with President Goodluck Jonathan, at the State House, recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye.

Apapa, Tin-Can ports expect 3,643 vehicles in 13 days


he Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports in Lagos are to receive 3,643 vehicles on board 10 ships in the next 13 days, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. The "Shipping Position", a document of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), issued in Lagos on Tuesday, reported that 3,143 of the vehicles were new ones while 500 were fairly used

vehicles. The document said that a total of 84 ships would berth at the ports before the end of April. It said that 20 of the ships would sail in with various goods, while nine would bring in diesel, seven with petrol, three with kerosene, while one with aviation fuel. The remaining 45 ships will sail in with fertiliser, bulk wheat, steel products, general cargo,

ethanol, soda ash, bulk gypsum, bulk urea, bulk salt, rice and bulk sugar. Thirty-one other ships are awaiting customs clearance to berth and discharge their cargoes at the ports. Seventeen of the ships are laden with petroleum products, while the remaining ones are with steel, rice, fish and general cargoes. (NAN)

he India's Central Bank has cut its key interest rate by a bigger-than-expected half percentage point yesterday , the first cut in three years, and warned that stalled reforms are diminishing the growth potential of Asia's third-biggest economy The Reserve Bank of India cut its short term lending rate - the repo rate - to 8.0 percent from 8.5 percent. Many economists had expected a quarter point cut. The bank said it decided to cut the rate because economic growth has slowed to below what it believes is its long-term trend rate, which in turn is contributing to a moderation in core inflation. The last interest rate cut was in April 2009. Between March 2010 and October 2011, the bank waged a lonely battle against inflation, raising interest rates by 3.75 points in 13 consecutive rate hikes. The central bank cautioned that the scope for further rate cuts is limited, because inflation risks remain and growth has not slowed dramatically below what may be a new and lower normal for India, which once aspired to double-digit economic growth.

The bank said India's "trend" rate of growth, or the amount the economy can expand without stoking inflation, had declined from its pre-financial crisis peak. The bank blamed supply bottlenecks, especially in infrastructure, energy, minerals and labor, for the economy's diminished potential, and said unblocking such constraints was "an imperative." The RBI expects India's economic growth to pick up to 7.3 percent in the current fiscal year from 7.0 percent for the fiscal year ended March 2012. It predicted that inflation, which was 6.9 percent in March, would moderate to 6.5 percent by next March. The RBI's policy document can be read as a tissue of complaint against New Delhi, shot through with reminders about the limitations of monetary policy to bring about economic change. The bank alternated between admonishing and pleading with New Delhi, offering India's government a long wish list. Stop borrowing so much and crowding out private players from debt markets. (AP)

Mobil workers at Qua Iboe Terminal protest poor welfare


orkers at Qua Iboe Terminal in Akwa Ibom operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN) yesterday blocked the access road to the oil facility to protest poor service conditions. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that hundreds of workers, who carried placards and sang solidarity songs, blocked the Eket-Ibeno Road by 5 a.m. to deny access to workers. A combined team of the police, army and navy drafted to secure oil installations in the area appealed to the protesting

workers The team also pledged to convene a meeting between the workers and the management of MPN. NAN learnt that the protesting workers soft pedalled and opened the blockade when representative of the Mobil management at the Qua Iboe Terminal agreed to dialogue with them. Sources at the Qua Iboe Oil Field confirmed that the oil firm earlier fixed a meeting for Tuesday afternoon. But it later shifted the

meeting to Thursday to enable the labour contractors that hired the workers to participate in the talks. The junior workers in their placards said that their monthly wage package of between N18,000 and N22,000 was unrealistic. Mr. Joseph Okon, Coordinator of Janitorial Staff in Mobil locations in Eket and Ibeno told NAN on Tuesday that they were compelled by several years of neglect to embark on the peaceful protest. Okon said: “We have endured

these conditions for several years and have worked in deplorable conditions within the oil industry where workers are supposed to be comfortable. "We earn a paltry sum ranging from N18,000 to N22,000 depending on the labour contractor. “We are often owed for months, there is no condition of service and we are hired and fired without recourse to the labour guidelines. “All attempts to get the attention of the Management have been rebuffed as several

letters on our plight have been ignored so we had no option but to take this option to draw attention to our plight.'' He said that the workers were looking forward to a review of their wages and the formulation of a standardised condition of service to guide all parties. Efforts by NAN to reach the Public Affairs Manager at Qua Iboe Terminal, Mr Akaninyene Esiere, for comments on the development failed as he did not respond to calls made to his mobile phone. (NAN)




Creating wealth from junk vehicles By Grace Yussuf


ith the steady achievements in environmental sustainability and preservation globally, environmentalists have clamoured increasingly for eco-friendly cities and towns through their riddance of junks. This is against the backdrop that the cities are often littered with various wastes, including vehicle junks, which experts say, can be harnessed into wealth through purposeful efforts. So far, developing economies such as China, Brazil, India, Mexico and Argentina, have taken up the challenge, while the benefits have been immense. Not a few Nigerians think that the country should join the league of such nations, which had made wealth out of wastes, especially with the huge volume of wastes dumped indiscriminately in most towns and cities. Such, they say, will create employment, apart from enabling the emergence of small and medium-scale enterprises in the country. Of particular note is the huge volume of vehicle junks, known as End-of-Life-Vehicles (ELVs), which are abandoned by major highways, police stations and elsewhere – all of which pose danger to road users and the environment. By official statistics from the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) and the FRSC, over 500,000 vehicles terminate their driving lives every year in the country. This, invariably, offers a sufficient resource base for waste recycling firms. A Japan-based recycling firm — Kaiho Sangyo, is currently collaborating with the National Automotive Council (NAC) and the United Nations Industrial Organisation (UNIDO), at the instrumentality of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), to set up a pilot ELVs plant in Abuja, the FCT. Mr Noriho Kondo, President of Kaiho Sangyo,

Disused cars packed as junks ready to be recycled

which has been in metals recycling for over 40 years, is emphatic that Nigeria had the potential for ELV business. “From extensive research undertaken by the company in Nigeria, South Africa and Ivory Coast, Nigeria has the greatest potential for ELV business because of the huge number of dumped vehicles,’’ he said. At a recent stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, Kondo emphasized that his company’s decision to come to Nigeria was not primarily out of profit taking but to impart technology to the nation. The chief executive said that through the company’s training arm — International Recycling Educational Centre (IRC), it hoped to help Nigerians to acquire recycling technology. He, however, advised that an act should be enacted to regulate the recycling industry in Nigeria as obtained in other countries, so as to curtail illegal dumping of Automobile Shredded

Residue (ARS) that caused industrial pollution. Stakeholders in the sector, which interacted with the Japanese official expressed similar sentiments. They called on government to urgently develop a viable strategy for development of the sector. The stakeholders included the African Iron and Steel Association, Lagos State Waste Management Board, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Environment, NNPC and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). Others were the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), Motor Mechanic Technicians Association, WAO Global Company Nigeria Ltd.; National Environmental Standards and Enforcement Regulations Agency (NESREA), as well as the Bank of Industry. FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, said that a legal framework for the recycling

business in the country had become imperative. Alhaji Shaibu Isa, Director, AEPD, who spoke on behalf of the minister, described the recycling project as highly prospective, adding that necessary safeguards would be required to avoid certain pitfalls experienced elsewhere. “Without proper processing and harvesting of other useful or toxic materials from the hulk, its disposal can pose a serious health and environmental degradation,’’ he said. He, therefore, tasked the stakeholders to address all issues related to the scope, transportation, storage, treatment and disposal of rejects from ELV in an environmentally friendly manner. Observers note that with the over 10 million cars in Nigeria today, coupled with the deplorable state of the nation’s roads, more vehicles were likely to arrive at their ELV earlier than normal. No doubt, the initiative of

JICA to help develop the private sector in developing countries through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme, is quite salutary. Its support for ELVs project in Nigeria through its E-Square arm, therefore, will impact socially and economically on the poorest groups such as scavengers, scrap traders and secondhand car users. JICA’s Representative, Mr Masuda Yoshiro, said that identical ventures had succeeded in other countries, expressing optimism that it

would not be different in Nigeria According to him, the ELV project is in the right direction to restructure the existing business models of the ELVs currently run by the informal sector. He assured that the pilot recycling factory to be built in Abuja would use the latest Japanese technology and employ workers, who were mainly from the base. By the reckoning of the stakeholders, the ELV would be recycled and transformed into spare parts and new products, which would in turn be sold to local markets as valuable products. “It is my belief that the project, if given the needed support by all stakeholders, will reduce extreme poverty and restore the serene beauty of Abuja. “I hope that the success of this venture will encourage more Japanese companies to come back for business in Nigeria,’’ he said. A consultant to the project, Mr Masayoshi Matsushita, who had served as the country’s UNIDO Representative between 2007 and 2010, also identified other waste products in the country that could be harnessed into wealth. These included agricultural wastes as rice husks, papers and plastics, which could be easily recycled for other uses. “I also noted many abandoned vehicles on the roads, especially on the way to the International Airport and around many police stations in the FCT,” Matsushita said. He expressed concern that many resources were often

It is my belief that the project, if given the needed support by all stakeholders, will reduce extreme poverty and restore the serene beauty of Abuja

An accidental car. Ready for the junk yard?

wasted in Nigeria; hence he thought it wise to send a team to Japan in 2009, to seek opportunities for the transfer of environmentallyfriendly Japanese technology to Nigeria. “We had visited Kaiho Sangyo, located in Kanazawa City, and I was impressed to see how efficiently and effectively the ELVs were recycled in the factory,’’ he added. This, he explained, was the genesis of the cooperation between Kaiho Sangyo, UNIDO and NAC. “Kaiho Sangyo mission team then came to witness the ELV stockpile in the FCT and other fields in Nigeria; they then recognised that the ELVs in the country were not being recycled,’’ he said. Matsushita recalled that in Japan during the 1980s, the high rate of pollution brought about the emergence of recycling companies, from which other precious materials were gotten out of ELVs.’’ “Ninety per cent of ELVs are recycled at Kaiho’s operation factory. Nothing is wasted. Big companies as Toyota and Honda give the pleasure of driving cars but the recycling firms take care of ELVs, where they are buried and revived for other economic uses,’’ he said. Many stakeholders took advantage of the interactive session with the officials of Kaiho Sangyo to seek

explanations on certain aspects of the recycling business. One of such stakeholders, Dr Sanusi Mohammed, a member of the African Iron and Steel Association, lamented that the nation’s Ajaokuta Steel Plant, established 32 years ago had not made any meaningful progress since. He described the business of

recycling as “fantastic”, adding that steel companies would always require metal scraps to manufacture their steel products. “If Ajaokuta was producing, it would require over 50,000 tonnes of scraps annually for production. I hope the Nigerian government will embrace Kondo’s ELV project, to encourage recycling in the

Now extinct, A 404 Peugeot pick-up van. Remnants now junks

country and revive SMEs businesses,’’ he said. Another stakeholder, Mr Deji Badejo, Lagos State Waste Management Board, said that Lagos had a huge stock of “dead vehicles”, which would be useful to the proposed industries. His viewpoint was amplified by Mr Amodu Ayotunde, an official of the Lagos State Ministry of

Environment, who said that a particular site in Lagos — Owode Olurin — onIkorodu Road, had hundreds of such “dead vehicles”. “This has created a lot of nuisance and hazard to human health and the environment. This project will go a long way at sanitizing the environment and become a source of wealth,’’ he said. By experts’ projection, Nigeria requires 200, 000 tonnes of steel yearly for the development of the automotive and construction sectors but the satisfaction of such need still remains a far cry, especially with the comatose state of the Ajaokuta Steel Company. Health and environmental safety were also sources of concern for the stakeholders. They advised the Japanese firm to collaborate with NESREA, Ministry of Environment and other relevant agencies to ensure that the required safety were in place in the recycling business. For Alhaji Aminu Jalal, Director-General of NAC, the success of the project will depend on the enactment of appropriate legislations. He, nonetheless, was optimistic that the recycling plants would not only ameliorate environmental problems but would also boost employment to reduce the people’s poverty level. Jalal pledged the “full support” of the council to the project, urging all stakeholders to collaborate to ensure its success in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government. (NAN Features)



By Nuel Shepherd

Kia’s Soul: Endearing performer


ia's well-designed and wellequipped Soul has made a lot of friends. Now, two years after the boxy hatch's launch, Kia is showing off a mid-cycle refresh for the 2012 model. The Kia Soul is an endearing performer, w i t h spirited acceleration a n d steering. Maybe it is the friendly, k i c k y s h e e t metal or t h e hamsterdriven marketing campaign, but the S o u l colours your driving impressions before you even start it. Once you kick it to life, there is a little more to enjoy, with a pair of new drivetrains that boost power and quiet down the Soul's old raucous inside voice. The base Soul has a 1.6-litre four-cylinder, good for 135 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque, coupled to either a sixspeed manual or automatic transmission. Fuel economy perks up owing to the smooth-shifting automatic and a new Eco package with stop-start technology. However, the larger 2.0-litre four wheel drive, which is not that much less economical, and grunts out 164 horse power is much more preferable. With the extra power, the Soul is a cruiser with good urban grunt, particularly helped out by the new automatic transmission, which has two more gears than the outgoing box. The manual transmission is not so much preferable because though it shifts fine, it has long throws and long pedal movement, and runs counter to the Soul's city-scooter mission. In most versions the Soul rides smoothly, though it can get a bit bouncy on some freeway surfaces, where road noise gets to be an issue. You should think twice about the big 18-inch wheel and tire package, for those reasons. Steering is electric and quicker than the norm in the hatchback class (except for the Ford Focus), and with a 2800-pound curb weight, the Soul feels eager to corner on its strut front and torsion-beam rear suspension. It is one of the few compacts that feels more adept than the sum of its parts, something the Honda Civic has all but given up. Quality With its tall roof and its boxy shape, the Kia Soul promises a roomy, versatile, almost minivanlike cabin. It delivers, too--the Soul has enough room for five passengers or, when the back

seats are folded down, a sizable amount of cargo. Overall, the 2012 Soul is 161.6 inches long, 70.3 inches wide, 63.4 inches high, and it rides on a 100.4-inch wheelbase. The compact dimensions cloak excellent interior space, especially head room. Front-seat passengers get comfortable bucket seats with a half-foot of head room above, and just a little knee room trimmed out for the wide center console and its knobby, easy-to-use controls. Even the Scion xB can't seem to match the Soul's spacious, airy feel. The space for second-row passengers is just as good, and the same high seating position is applied to the back bench. It is wide enough for two adults and one child, or a couple of car seats, and in front and back, the Soul's

tall roof and doors make entry and exit considerably easier than in competitive hatchbacks. The Soul's rear seats flip forward to boost cargo area to more than 53 cubic feet. The cargo floor also has a lift-up panel that hides a small amount of precious cargo, and Kia also offers an optional cargo organiser that's pretty handy for weekend errands. The Soul also has a double-decker glove box than can stow a 15-inch laptop, to go with armrest storage in the center console, and an iPodsized bin atop its center stack, not to mention lots of cup-holders and molded-in bottle holders. The Soul has fit and finish far above what you would expect. Even the hard plastics are nicely surfaced, and trim and panels all fit tightly. Safety Kia has not changed the

standard safety equipment on its 2012 Soul, and it did not need to. The compact hatchback already had six airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control, and in the past those features earned it top scores from safety agencies. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States still rates the Soul as one of its Top Safety Picks, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet updated its Soul ratings since it changed its criteria for the 2011 model year. It has assigned a rollover-protection rating of four stars, which it gets from numeric formulas. The Soul has improved safety for the new year, though it applies only to models with the navigation system. On the costlier versions, Kia fits a rearview camera, which we consider a great safety feature.

However, it is not as essential on the Soul as on bigger crossovers and SUVs, since tall glass areas and a high driving position give the driver excellent outward visibility. Fuel economy For its first two years on sale, the Kia Soul's fuel economy was not especially good, compared to other compact hatchbacks. That has changed for the 2012 version with new powertrains and with a new Eco stop-start feature available as an option on either model. The base 1.6-litre Soul now makes 135 horsepower, up 11 per cent, and comes with a six-speed m a n u a l transmission, with an automatic available. The EPA rates it at 2 7 / 3 5 mpg - an improvement if still a bit shy of cars like the latest Hyundai Elantra or Ford Focus. The Eco package adds on stop-start technology, which shuts off the engine at longer pauses in traffic, automatically restarting with a step on the gas pedal. The speedier Soul has a 2.0litre four with 164 horsepower. With either the six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, it earns an EPA rating of 26/34 mpg. The same Eco package is offered and here, it pushes gas mileage back up to 27/35 mpg. The Eco package lurches a bit when it re-engages the throttle, not objectionably, but noticeably. It does not offer a dramatic fuel economy improvement, but you may believe - as Kia does -that every little bit helps. Exterior/interior In a class of quirky, boxlike cars, the Kia Soul stands out because the quirks work in its favor, and give it a funky flair that is pretty absent in the Scion xB, Nissan Cube, and the like. The urban-wagon concept wins on styling, hands-down. The bullnosed front end wears Kia's new corporate theme between big, alert headlamps (LED-lit on the top model). The angular roofline starts high, and boomerangs down the rear end in a way that reminds us equally of European hatchbacks and the In-N-Out logo. It is a rakish, crisp shape that does not depend on a lot of dazzling details to sell it, though it has a lot of detail across the front. Over time, the rear end has started to look thicker, especially in lighter colors such as green, but the square tail-lamps frame a nearly vertically aligned hatchback that draws the shape to a tight close. The interior is not quite as groundbreaking, but it is wellorganised and not 'over-dressed'. The blend of round shapes and embossed plastics gives the Soul refinement. Kia even lets owners customise the cabin with color and texture, from red plastic dash trim to hounds tooth-check upholstery for the seats.



Baby born with eight limbs in Pakistan DOCTORS in Pakistan are desperately fighting to save a baby boy born with eight limbs.


he unnamed week-old lad, who has six legs, was born with a parasitic twin attached to his abdomen. The case is similar to that of Indian toddler Lakshmi Tatma, who was also born with eight limbs and worshipped as a deity in her home state of Bihar back in 2005. Little Lakshmi made headlines around the world when she was successfully operated upon in 2007 – and then started school walking like any other happy youngster in 2010. Parasitic twins, which form when twin embryos fail to fully separate in the womb, are incredibly rare and occur in about one in 100,000 births. The latest case in Sukkur, 240 miles from the city of Karachi, attracted the attention of government officials, who have promised to fund

an operation to help the youngster. The baby boy’s father Imran Shaikh, an X-ray technician, said he was grateful his son was being treated. He said: “We are a poor family. I am thankful to the government for helping us treat my baby.” Jamal Raza, director of the National Institute of Child Health in Karachi, told reporters that the baby is one of a pair of parasitic twins. He added: “It is not one baby actually. They are two, one of them is premature. “The doctors are examining the infant to plan for necessary treatment to save his life and ensure he lives a normal life.” Parasitic twins are more common in Africa and Asia, where pre-natal screening is less common and birth defects are harder to detect.

Long road ahead ... the little lad will need several operations if he is to live a normal life.

Treatment ... baby boy born with eight limbs is being cared for in hospital

My view by Dr Carol Cooper THIS little boy is in for a rocky road and a huge series of operations if he is to live a normal life. Multi-limbed babies are associated with conjoined twins, which occur when the fertilised egg splits into two or even three at least 15 days after fertilisation. Nobody really knows why this happens but conjoined twins aren’t so incredibly rare any more - thanks to advances in medicine, many are surviving long enough in the womb to be born. If there is a genetic cause then you might expect this to happen in cultures or countries where intermarriage in families is more likely to happen. Source:

Amazing recovery ... Lakshmi Tatma before and after surgery

Police handcuff girl, 6, after she ‘threw a tantrum at school’


olice handcuffed a six-year-old girl after she threw a tantrum at school and could not be controlled by teachers or police. The drastic action came after Salecia Johnson from Milledgeville, Georgia began throwing furniture in the classroom and tearing items off the walls. The girl was crying in the principal’s office when police arrived and she resisted when an officer tried to calm her, a police report said. Unable to control the girl, and for

her own safety, the officer handcuffed her, WMAZ-TV reported. They then took her to a police station where she was charged with assault and damage to property. ‘Our policy is that any detainee unreported to our station in a patrol vehicle is to be handcuffed in the back. ‘There is no age discrimination on that rule,’ Milledgeville Chief of Police Dray Swicord told the news channel.

Tantrum: Salecia Johnson, six, began throwing furniture at school so teachers called police, who handcuffed her and took her to a police station

The police added the girl knocked over a shelf that hurt the principal at Creekside Elementary yet her relatives are outraged over the reaction. ‘Call the police? Is that the first step? Or is there any other kind of intervention that can be taken to help that child?’ Candace Ruff, Salecia’s aunt, asked. ‘She might have misbehaved, but I don’t think she misbehaved to the point where she should have been handcuffed and taken downtown to the police department,’ she added. ‘A six-year-old in kindergarten. They don’t have no business calling the police and handcuffing my child,’ said Earnest Johnson, Salecia’s father. The girl noted that the handcuffs hurt her hands when they were put on. Police said they tried to contact the girl’s mother Constance Ruff but could not reach her, WMAZ reported. Instead, the child was taken to a police station. Due to her age, she will not have to go to court and will not be sentenced. Constance Ruff added that her daughter was suspended and cannot return to school until August. Source:

Unimpressed: The youngster's parents Constance Ruff and Earnest Johnson, pictured, said teachers overreacted by calling the police

Last resort: Police and teachers argued they did it for her safety.



Horrific footage: How Israeli army officer smashed Danish peace protester with rifle


senior Israeli army officer who smashed a proPalestinian protester in the face with his gun has been suspended after footage of the horrific incident was put online. Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner is seen ramming his M-16, with both hands, into Danish national Andreas Ias’s face as activists took part in a bicycle rally in the occupied West Bank. The video from Saturday’s incident shows him falling to the ground and then being carried away by activists. Ias was treated in a Palestinian hospital for ‘light injuries’ and today told Israeli media he was ‘well’. He told Israel’s Channel 10 TV station: ‘We were just walking slowly towards the soldiers, we were chanting Palestinian songs calling for the liberation of Palestine. I don’t believe that’s a provocation.’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the officer’s actions. He said: ‘This behaviour is not characteristic of IDF (Israel Defence Forces) soldiers and commanders and it has no place in the IDF or in the state of Israel.’ But Israeli military spokesman Yoav Mordechai said that, although the officer’s behaviour was unacceptable and he had been

suspended following an initial investigation, the edited video ‘did not reflect the whole story’. He said: ‘These are harsh pictures, but I still can’t divorce the filmed episodes from the incident that lasted over an hour. It included violence by the anarchists and Palestinians, (though) this does not justify what we see.’ The incident came as Channel 10 broadcast a report on Sunday about how Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomacy and sanctions between the two countries completely break down. Alon Ben-David said he spent several weeks with military pilots to gain a unique insight into Israel’s military thinking. He predicted no order would be given to strike before P5+1 talks resume in May. But he added that, if negotiations failed and the order to attack was given, then ‘dozens if not more planes’ would attack. He said: ‘The Israel Air Force does not have the capacity to destroy the entire Iranian programme. The result won’t be definitive.’ The attack, the channel said, would presumably trigger a war in northern Israel, with missile attacks. He added: ‘There will be no tranquility and peace anywhere in Israel.’ Source:

Smashed: Lieutenant-Colonel Shalom Eisner (left) is seen ramming his M-16, with both hands, into Danish national Andreas Ias's face (right) as activists took part in a bicycle rally in the occupied West Bank

Treatment: Fellow bike riders rushed to the victim's aid after he was hit in the face by a senior Israeli army officer.

Protest: Activists trying to get hold of their bikes were told to go away by Israeli army officers.

Treatment: This protester was taken to an ambulance where her wounds were taken care of, following the incident.

Violence: Further scuffles broke out between army officers and the protesters




Issues and people made lucid: A review BOOK REVIEW Book Title: Issues & People Author: Ramatu Ali Ohioma Publisher: Ibadan, Kraft Book Publishers, 2011 Pages: 324 Reviewer: Jideofor Adibe


n this rich compilation of articles originally published in her column in the New Nigerian newspapers, Ramatu takes the reader on a journey. It is a journey of the issues that have helped to shape discourses on various aspects of the Nigerian state and society – economy, international affairs, policy formulation, health, education, women and children and even personalities as well as transition of certain individuals. The articles not only show the author’s perspectives on the issues at the time they were written, they also reveal, when read today, how those issues have mutated over time. One of the significant revelations is that the issues that have dominated discourses appear to have remained intractable, such that several years down the line, virtually same issues remain topical, sometimes without any form of mutation in the trajectories of the arguments. Take for instance the article: ‘The Dangerous Lokoja-Abuja Road’ which the author first published in her New Nigerian column on September 16, 2006. In that piece Ramatu wrote:

Ramatu Ali Ohioma, the author

The cover “Today I had wanted to comment about the 100 days in office of our elected representatives but changed my mind at the last minute because I felt there is a pressing issue at hand. It has to do with the alarming rate of road mishaps presently. The frequency with which we are losing large number of lives in these accidents even before the end of the year when the situation is normally terrible is quite frightening. The recent accident that claimed the lives of seventy people last week on Abuja-Lokoja road is a sad reminder of the long standing problem. This particular route has become a death trap over the years because of the heavy traffic that struggle for

space on that narrow road.” More than five years after Ramatu first wrote the piece, the Lokoja-Abuja road remains a hot spot for not only accidents but also armed robbery. So what has government been doing since then, one may ask? How come that virtually nothing has changed on a road that attracted such an attention more than five years ago? Yet another issue still very relevant in modern international politics is the clamour for the democratisation of the United Nations’ security council especially by Third World countries. Her opinion in 2004 as expressed on page 198 about the need to expand the security council in order to make it more representative and “better placed to meet the challenges of a new world troubled by violence and other problems” captures the present day mood in our part of the world where several African countries are battling to be considered for permanent membership. Nigeria is one of them. Journalists, especially those who maintain regular columns, are often said to write ‘history in a hurry.’ For experienced writers who take out time to do research before writing, that does not mean that what they write is factually wrong. My understanding of that phrase in its positive sense is that such journalists/columnists are able to infuse into their writings the passions and emotions that go with the issues they write about as they unfold. There are a sufficient dose of such passions and emotions in this compilation. In this sense, unlike the analyst or the historian who writes several years after the incident they write about occurred and can therefore afford to be detached, the journalist/ columnist, as someone often affected by the issue he/she writes about, is more of an activist writer. Yes, they can be neutral and objective, but detachment in the mould of the historian and the analyst is often a luxury they cannot afford. I commend this book, which is printed in reader-friendly fonts and packaged well. I would have though wished that the book is organised differently. For instance there are sections on Politics, Policy and Economy. My feeling however is that the articles grouped under each of these categories could have conveniently fitted into any of the three sections meaning that the line between the three sections is quite blurred. The above observation however, cannot detract from the quality of the write-ups, the printing and the packaging. The articles, written in simple, first person pronoun, are a delight to read.

with Patrick-Jude Oteh 0803 700 0496, 0805 953 5215 (SMS only)

Re: Let’s save Nigeria now A rejoinder to Eddie Ugbomah’s article in Clapperboard of Friday, March 23, 2012 on page 34. Continued from last Wednesday


still fail to understand why you will need to set up committees to raise a musical. However, considering the fact that committees are the new ways of doing business in Nigeria, I can understand this. But Chief, you do not need any committee. And in terms of timeframe you do not need six months to raise the first major meeting. This is a serious time wasting exercise. This project is actually dead on arrival. Are the people you mention jobless? And when you say that the money is good – from whose estimation? Please do not forget the fact that musicals cost money and to retain the interest of all the heavyweights you mention, they will need to be paid heavily or this production if it eventually sees the light of the day will not last beyond two performances. The idea of the scripting that you mention is also not exciting or even exhilarating. It does not point to any great art in the making. Is there any new thing in what you propose that a legion government agencies are not doing yet? I agree with you that if this country is to be salvaged, a lot depends on the entertainment industry but not in the way you prescribe. The arts is actually more serious than all of these. I also share your idea that we can do better than some recent musicals we have seen but we need to start rethinking our strategies and our motives. Suppose you get N100m from the government to prosecute this idea, my guess is that there will not be a follow-up. Just a one off project that might probably leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. If you get this amount and declare free performances which usually happens, how will you create the next musical? Until the next government comes in and puts up the money? Let me point you in the direction of the United Arab Emirates and the new arts & culture revolution that is taking

place there. If you had been witness to the recent opening of the Opera House of Oman at Muscat, you will understand what I am talking about. Also, take a look at the museums, arts theatres, opera houses springing up in this once forlorn area of the world and you will see the worthwhile nature of the 20 years investment they are making in the arts. Everyone in major arts capitals is excited. They are all headed to the UAE. Our government with all our resources cannot match a quarter of the recent investments in the arts and culture of the people of that region. Not because we do not understand what it entails to rouse and excite the people with the arts but simply because we are always taking the pedestrian route to get things done and at the end of the day, the results make us look like a group of naked cave men dancing round a fire while roasting meat. We are busy in a primitive acquisition of wealth and the arts are the least of our worries. The people to be pitied are not the folks at the National Troupe according to you. Rather, the people in government deserve our pity and sometimes some contempt too. Everyone’s throats and eyes is in oil and quick money. Let the government invest in the arts and see measurable returns not the phantom results they assault us with on a daily basis. It is high time we practitioners take time out to redefine our art – we need to plan, need to stop our pitiable dependence on government, we need to understand that government has no business in arts funding, need to create and take on more exciting and challenging projects and sincerely put a stop to these series of one off projects that does not dignify or add any extra value to the profession. I wish you well with the project. For purposes of academic study, do let me know how it goes. Creating a night of a thousand stars is not a joke and neither is it a frivolous affair. Let us get serious Chief.C Concluded



Reading Of Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa BOOK REVIEW By Ikhide R. Ikheloa (Nnamdi) Forgetting is the final instrument of genocide. To witness genocide is to feel not only the chill of your own mortality, but the degradation of all humanity… even the most brilliant photography cannot capture the landscape of genocide. - Simon Norfolk


he writers Okey Ndibe and Chenjerai Hove are two of Africa’s finest thinkerwriters. They are awesome wordsmiths, word cannon balls boom fiercely out of their fecund minds pulverizing their targets with uncanny accuracy. They write with an uncommon sensitivity to the issues that Africa faces. This they do with respect and compassion and one is taken by the honesty and industry that they bring to their craft. They have just co-edited a slim volume of essays, Writers, Writing on Conflicts and Wars in Africa, published by Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd. It is a largely academic but highly accessible treasure trove of reflections on war by an army of mostly African writers who have been affected by Africa’s myriad wars and genocides. In about 200 pages and sixteen chapters (including the introduction), the reader comes face to face with the anxieties, nightmares and dreams of sixteen diverse and eclectic artists. These are issues covering past and present wars all over Africa; Biafra, Zimbabwe, the hell delta of Nigeria, Darfur, the Congo, South Africa, etc. Kudos to Ndibe and Hove for ensuring that these writers are a judicious mix of the known and unknown. The resulting essays are refreshing and filled with uncommon candor. The references alone are invaluable. I wrote down passages in the book that spoke to me and then I walked among the words, talking to them. I was shaken to my soul’s roots. Even the cover is evocative in what it does not say. It is an image of beautiful children born into wars they did not ask for. There are all these children mugging for the camera with Africa and decay as a surreal backdrop. As an aside, this compilation of essays came out of a workshop attended by the just-departed poet-warrior Dennis Brutus. In the book, Ndibe and Hove recall his spirit with eerie nostalgia: “Dennis Brutus, the South African poet whose back bears the scar of an apartheid bullet, lent a measure of revolutionary gravitas and hard-earned moral capital to the workshop. When Brutus spoke or read his poems, his voice, though slightly enfeebled by age, still rang out with stunning range and power.” (p11) This book is several conversations burning at once. The writer Yvonne A. Owuor starts the conversations rolling in a piece she admits is a rant. It is a rant pregnant with profound

The book cover gems. She questions why the West glorifies its own wars with stories of valor and views Africa’s wars as savage and barbaric, pointing out that there have been equally gory examples to draw from in the West. Again, Chinua Achebe, in his seminal volume of essays Home and Exile, reminds us of the proverb: “Until the lions produce their own historian, the story of the hunt will glorify only the hunter.” I agree. Africans must tell their own stories or risk the total annihilation of their humanity by the other. We should write about our own humanity, for war is about the sorting of individuals into bins of identity and differences and the hunting down of those anxieties that lurk behind ancestral masks. This book is a defiant ode to the power of the word and Hove captures it neatly: “Those years of war… gave me scars and smiles. Scars because real bullets pierced and tore apart the bodies of real women, children and men. Smiles, for, in the midst of death and pain, I saw children, women and men who proudly showed human resilience even in the face of death as they fought for the restoration of their dignity.” (p38) The last chapter, Reflections on Inyenzi is an evocative essay bearing a conversation between the writers Karin Samuel and Andrew Brown. Brown wrote the book Inyenzi: A Story of Love and Genocide based on the Rwandan genocide. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book. It brings to great closure several issues engaged by the other writers in the book. In simple,

almost clinical prose that flogs the reader’s conscience wide awake, the writers weave fascinating images of war and one is reminded of the starkness of images of apartheid’s war housed in South Africa’s Hector Pieterson museum. This is a slim book bearing weighty reflections on conventional wars in Africa. Wars still rage on in Africa, most of them wreaking havoc below the radar of our uncritical eyes. Every day alien religions wake Africa up and rape her with impunity and send her to bed sobbing inconsolably. Capitalism marches through Africa unchallenged reducing her millions of victims to needy supplicants to the God of more and more. We should reflect on why Africa is in this condition. The book does not. It is not a criticism; a book can only do so much. Africa is enduring many wars and while this book focuses on conventional wars, I propose that today’s most devastating wars are the unconventional. If we don’t focus on those we may be writing our way to irrelevance. Why is the world indifferent to the travails of Africa? In the book, Lauryn Arnott’s drawings are harrowing in their detail and they nicely complement the writing. But it is not enough. In the age of the Internet, the book is dying a long slow death and it is no longer a robust medium for expressing the horrors of war or the joys of triumph over adversity. I dream of creating a virtual museum dedicated to Africa’s suffering – a total convergence of all media and

all voices singing with one earthshaking voice of the horrors that we have seen and heard. And the griots Ndibe and Hove would be the leaders of that mother of all projects. Let’s accept some responsibility. Owuor makes this profound observation: “This war, this violence is ours. Ours is the hateful thing – a roaming stain that prowls through the society and sows seeds of chaos – that thing that appalls our withinness. And horrifies us with the blood it wastes.” (p21) However the book is virtually silent on the crucial question: Why are things the way they are in Africa? There are many questions folded into that question. What is it with Africa and conflict? Why are we constantly forced to question and justify our humanity? What is the role of the writer in shaping events in today’s Africa? Why do some of our writers turn Goebbels on the people? What is the best medium for forcing the people to focus brightly on the fires that burn so fiercely all around Africa? Is this generation of African writers selfabsorbed and narcissistic and why? Has the African writer deserted the role of the writer as the land’s conscience, priest and town-crier? We must seek answers to the why even though it might frighten us. The Internet, that new world that holds the promise of liberation from hell on earth, is right now busily retrieving Africa’s brightest and best minds from Africa and dumping them in Europe and America. Virtually all of Africa’s best thinkers are writing about Africa from the outside looking in. Thanks to technology, sadly, this exodus includes those writers who physically live in Africa. Hope Eghagha in his essay evokes the spirit of the poet-seer Christopher Okigbo using lines from Okigbo’s Hurrah for Thunder: The smell of blood already floats in the lavender-mist of the afternoon The death sentence lies in ambush along the corridors of power; And a great fearful thing already tugs at the cables of the open air, A nebula immense and immeasurable, a night of deep waters – An iron dream unnamed and unprintable, a path of stone This poem was written four decades ago; one could argue that it seems prophetic today only because the situation in Nigeria is heading South fast and the future is certainly frightening. But then the question is why this constancy of turmoil. Okigbo would not know; he was murdered by Nigerian troops on Biafran soil in a war he did not ask for. This book is one more compelling proof that the sacrifices of Okigbo and other African thinkers hunted down and slaughtered for owning words have not been in vain. I salute Okey Ndibe and Chenjerai Hove. African


in the flowerbed By Adeola Ikuomola The sight of our departed heroes' footprints Glittering on the golden plaque of the seasons Compelled our fresh search for selfless shepherds To lead us right into yet a better time and season. They came like raw gold swimming in the furnace And sang like songbirds bouncing in the clouds Oh, the sun rejoiced at their angelic appearance The moon and the stars desired their feigned glory. We tendered our hearts as a red carpet before them And ushered them into our golden national flowerbed To learn from the scrolls of our creative past heroes The excellent articles of selfless leadership and governance The destructive termites terminated our expectations And violated the sacred scrolls of our great heroes past And cast upon our wearied national shoulder blades The triple yoke of ethnicity, theocracy and corruption They twist our mother tongues and ruin our brotherhood They spill our innocent blood for the gods of their making They sprinted away our gold in exchange for pure poverty Their bright days get brighter and our dark nights get darker.

QUO TE UOTE “Were my reasoning, imagination or interest not engaged, I would not and could not learn.” Contd on page 30 –– Winston Churchill.



Sweetened realities that fade away REFLECTION Reflections by Comrade Fidel


was surprised today when I listened to the speech delivered by Jose Miguel Insulza in Cartagena. I thought that the person who was speaking on behalf of the OAS would at least claim some respect for the sovereignty of the peoples of this hemisphere which were for years colonized and cruelly exploited by colonial powers. Why didn't he say a single word about the Malvinas Islands, or demand respect for the sovereign rights of the sister nation of Argentina? The Cartagena Summit went through episodes that will not be easily forgotten. It is true that its celebration required a huge effort. Despite the several hours that have elapsed since its inaugural session, we have no idea of what ever happened during the lunch sponsored by Santos, with which he attempted to make it up for the colossal amount of energy used up by the participants in that Summit. Those who may find this entertaining, will very seldom in their lives have the opportunity to watch the faces of more than thirty political leaders in front of the TV cameras since they got off the car until the moment when, after the heroic and final effort of walking down a long and carpeted corridor, they climbed up the ten or twelve little steps to the stage where the host, smiling and happy, awaited to greet them. It didn't matter whether they were young or of age, or whether they had flat feet, kneecap surgeries or difficulties in one or both legs. They were forced to keep on to the top. Whether rich or poor, they were compelled to observe the protocol. Curiously enough, Obama was the only one who took advantage of that trajectory to do some workout. As he was walking all by himself, it was easier for him to do so: he adopted a sport-like pose and jogged up through the steps. The women attending the Summit either as companions or as Heads of State were the ones who did it best. Once again they proved that the world would be a far better place if they took care of political affairs. Perhaps there will be fewer wars, although no one could be sure of that.

Fidel Castro Ruz former Cuban President Anyone would say that, out of obvious political reasons, Obama was the figure that caused the worst impression in me. However, this was not the case. I saw he was pensive and at times quite absent. It was like as if he were sleeping with open eyes. No one knows how much rest he had before arriving in Cartagena, which Generals he spoke with, what problems were on his mind; whether he was thinking about Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea or Iran. Quite certainly, of course, he was thinking about the elections, the Tea Party moves and Mitt

Romney's sinister plans. At the very last minute, shortly before the Summit, he decided that the contributions of the richest should account for at least 30 per cent of their incomes, like it used to be before the Bush junior administration. This, of course, would allow him to portray a clearer image of his sense of justice before the Republican right. But the real problem is this: the enormous debt accumulated by the federal government, which exceeds 15 trillion dollars and demands no less than 5 trillion dollars in resources. The tax


to be imposed on the richest will contribute around 50 billion dollars in a period of ten years, while the need for money will increase to 5 trillions. Therefore, he will be receiving one dollar per every 100 that are needed. These estimates can be made even by an eighth grader. We should remember very well what Dilma Rousseff demanded: "relations 'on equal terms' with Brazil and the rest of Latin America." "The Euro-zone has responded to the economic crisis with a monetary expansion, thus provoking a 'tsunami' that has led to an

Obama, who is used to saying the last word, knows that the Brazilian economy is emerging with an impressive strength and that, in association with others like those of Venezuela, Argentina, China, Russia, South Africa and others from Latin America and the world, will trace the future of the world's development.

appreciation of the Brazilian currency and has damaged the competitiveness of the national industry", she stated. Those realities do not escape Dilma Rousseff, a capable and intelligent woman who knows how to address them with authority and dignity. Obama, who is used to saying the last word, knows that the Brazilian economy is emerging with an impressive strength and that, in association with others like those of Venezuela, Argentina, China, Russia, South Africa and others from Latin America and the world, will trace the future of the world's development. The biggest problem of all is to preserve peace from the increasing risks of a war that, given the destructive power of modern weapons, would push humanity to the edge of an abyss. I realize that the meetings in Cartagena are taking a long time and the sweetened realities are fading away. Nothing was said about the guayabera shirts presented to Obama as a gift. Somebody will have to compensate the Cartagena designer Edgar GĂłmez.



ICC trials main threat to Kenyan polls: electoral commission Ethiopia PM accuses Eritrea of kidnappings


thiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi accused Eritrea yesterday of abducting dozens of Ethiopian miners from the country's northwest, in a potential escalation of tension between the archenemies. Ethiopian troops crossed into the Red Sea state last month and attacked what they said were military bases used by rebels to stage raids, including a January attack that killed five Western tourists in Ethiopia's remote Afar region. These attacks were the first on Eritrean soil that Ethiopia has admitted to since the end of a devastating 1998-2000 border war, sparking concern that their unresolved frontier spat could escalate into a full-scale war. "They (Eritrean government) recently kidnapped more than 100 young miners who were mining gold in our country's northwest. And in the northeast, they killed some tourists and kidnapped others," Meles said, the latter referring to the January raid. "We have taken proportional measures in both locations," he told lawmakers in response to a question on relations with Eritrea. Meles did not specify when and exactly where the abductions in the country's northwest Tigray region took place, nor the measures his country had subsequently taken. Eritrean officials were not immediately available for comment, but they often dismiss their rivals' allegations as a ploy to harm Eritrea's reputation. Ethiopia routinely accuses Asmara of supporting Ethiopian separatist groups. It blamed an Afar rebel movement for the kidnapping of Westerners in its northern Afar region in 2007, and again for the attack in the same area earlier this year. Gunmen killed two Germans, two Hungarians and an Austrian in a dawn attack on a group of tourists in the remote Afar region on January 17, and seized two Germans and two Ethiopians. A rebel group in the Afar region said in February it had freed the two Germans, although there has been no official confirmation of the release. After the border war, the Haguebased Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission ruled that the flashpoint town of Badme belonged to Eritrea but the village remains in the hands of its neighbour, which is calling for negotiations to implement the ruling. Asmara blames the international community for the impasse, and President Isaias Afewerki last month accused the United States of plotting the Ethiopian raids. Ethiopia is Washington's biggest ally in the Horn of Africa region and has deployed troops in lawless Somalia to fight al Qaeda-linked insurgents in Somalia.

Kikuyu tribe members during post-election violence in Kenya, January 28, 2008.


he possible trial of Kenyan politicians for election violence is the biggest threat for a repeat of unrest at next year's vote, the country's electoral head said, hoping reforms and new technology will ease a "pressure cooker" of tensions. Next March's election will be the

first since a disputed poll in 2007 that triggered a politically-fuelled ethnic slaughter in which more than 1,220 people were killed. Any trouble in Kenya could hit investment, trade and transport in the east African economic powerhouse's land-locked neighbours, especially Rwanda

and Uganda, which rely on Mombasa port for imports of food, consumer goods and fuel. "As we move towards the election, it will become a pressure cooker," said Ahmed Isaack Hassan, head of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that will oversee the vote.

"The issue of the International Criminal Court (ICC) process may bring some tensions. This is the only thing which stands out, we have to wait and see how it will impact the elections." Leading presidential contenders Uhuru Kenyatta, the former finance minister and son of Kenya's founder president, and William Ruto a former higher education minister, face charges of directing ethnic mobs to murder after the 2007 election, along with other crimes against humanity. The charges against Kenyatta, Ruto and two others have shaken a country where the political elite was once seen as almost above the law, and there is concern that, if the presidential hopefuls stand trial and are blocked from running for office, it may trigger fresh violence. In January, the ICC ordered Kenyatta, Ruto, radio presenter Joshua Arap Sang and the head of the civil service, Francis Muthaura, to stand trial for instigating the violence. The four deny the charges and have appealed the ICC's right to try them. Kenyatta and Ruto have forged an alliance against Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who leads in the race according to pollsters, to replace outgoing President Mwai Kibaki.

Sudan parliament calls South an “enemy�


udan's parliament branded South Sudan an "enemy" yesterday and called for a swift recapture of a disputed oil-producing region, as rising border tensions pushed the old civil war foes closer to another full-blown conflict. South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan last July, seized the contested Heglig oilfield last Tuesday, prompting its northern neighbor to vow to recapture the area by "all means." The oilfield is vital to Sudan's economy, producing about half of the 115,000 barrel-per-day output that remained in its control after South Sudan's secession. Addressing the Khartoum parliament, speaker Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir accused the South's ruling party - the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) - of posing a security threat

It accused Khartoum on Sunday of reducing the oil facility "to rubble" in an air strike, an accusation denied by Sudan. "If any damage has occurred in Heglig it may have been on the part of the army of South Sudan,"

Sudanese Information Minister Abdallah Ali Masar said. Both sides regularly make conflicting claims. Limited access to the remote region makes it difficult to independently verify their statements.

to the north. "We declare that we will confront the SPLM until we end its rule of the South, and will work to gather our resources to realize this aim," he said. "We are in a battle that does not finish with the recovery of Heglig, but with an end to the danger that comes from South Sudan." The assembly went on to adopt a resolution describing the SPLM government as "an enemy," but it did not spell out the full implications of the decision. South Sudanese Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin called the decision "ludicrous." "How can they call us an enemy?" he said. South Sudan insists Heglig is rightfully part of the South and says it will not withdraw its troops unless the United Nations deploys a neutral force to monitor a cease-fire.

Armed soldiers stand guard at Talodi in South Kordofan, about 50 km from Sudan's ill-defined border with South Sudan.

Gaddafi's regime in more than seven months of fighting last year. The longtime leader was finally caught and executed by rebels in October. Gaddafi's wife, daughter and two of his sons fled in September and took refuge in Algeria. His outspoken daughter Aisha has spoken several times to Arab media and denounced Libya's new government. In November, she called on Libyans in an interview with a Syrian TV to overthrow their new rulers. Abdel-Jalil said he appreciates "the humanitarian

position of Algeria in welcoming the family," but added, "I remain convinced Algeria would never host those who would pose a threat to Libya." "We agreed what constitutes a threat to Libya, whether by financing or subversion, would not have a place on Algerian territory," he said in the statement, reported by the Algerian state news agency. Abdel-Jalil also said the aim of the visit was to reinforce ties between the two countries, and that they discussed improving security on the borders. Algeria's foreign minister

Libya, Algeria leaders discuss Gaddafi family


ibya's interim leader said yesterday that he and Algeria's president have agreed that the wife and children of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who are now living in Algeria should not do anything that threatens Libya. Libya's Mustafa Abdel-Jalil arrived in Algeria on Sunday for a two-day visit and met with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in an effort to mend ties strained by Algeria's close ties with Gaddafi. Libyan rebels backed by NATO airstrikes overthrew

Mourad Medelci said there was a "strong political will" and a "clear vision" by the two countries to develop bilateral cooperation and that the visit by Abdel-Jalil allows for the "opening of new horizons." Algeria has been very vocal in the past year over the threat of Libyan arms going to smugglers and militants that roam the Sahara desert in the south of the two countries. During Libya's civil war, weapons became readily available in the country and many were taken into neighboring nations.



Australia to end Afghan mission in 2013


ustralia has announced that its troops will be withdraw from Afghanistan nearly a year ahead of a previously scheduled 2014 withdrawal date. Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minster, said on Tuesday that most of 1,550 remaining Australian troops in Afghanistan were expected to return home by the end of 2013. That timetable would see the largest force provided by any nation outside of the NATO alliance leave the country a year ahead of the proposed December 2014 withdrawal date for all international forces. Australian forces had mainly been stationed in the central Uruzgan province, where they trained an Afghan national army brigade to take responsibility for security in the province. "This is a war with a purpose. This is a war with an end," Gillard said in a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute in Canberra. "We have a strategy, a mission and a timeframe for achieving it." The deaths of Osama bin Laden and many of al Qaeda's senior officials, along with general improvements in security were cited as reasons for the accelerated withdrawal. Gillard has said that she will take the proposed timetable to a NATO summit on Chicago on May 20 where she is also expected to sign a partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Citing mid-2013 as a milestone period for the international presence in Afghanistan, Gillard also said that she expected the Afghan President Hamid Karzai to make an announcement on transition in Uruzgan and other provinces in the coming months. Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting live from Kabul, says Gillard is "just pre-empting Hamid Karzai" in his statement about which regions of the nation will be handed over to Afghan security forces. The prime minister said she expected the handover of the central province to Afghan forces to take 12 to 18 months, at which point, the Australian presence in Afghanistan "wll look very different to that which we have today". "We will have completed our training and mentoring mission. ... And the majority of our troops will have returned home", Gillard said. Our correspondent said that though "it's theoretically possible that those Australian troops could have been deployed elsewhere to help the NATO efforts", the 1,500strong Australian forces will largely see their job as complete once control of Uruzgan has been handed over to Afghan forces. Australia would consider keeping some special forces soldiers in Afghanistan beyond 2014 and help fund the ongoing costs of Afghan security forces, Gillard said. "Australia has an enduring national interest in ensuring that Afghanistan does not again become a safe haven for terrorists,'' Gillard said. Opinion polls in Australia have shown falling levels of support for the country's presence in Afghanistan where 32 Australian

soldiers have died since a US-led invasion to overthrow the Taliban in 2001. Some within the political opposition suggested the early

withdrawal was an attempt by Gillard to boost support for her unpopular Labor Party. "It would be a shameful thing if, after nearly 12 years of deployment

in Afghanistan and the loss of more than 30 Australian lives, this mission was foreshortened for reasons of domestic political convenience for the Labor Party

rather than on the basis of the advice of the military commanders in the field,'' opposition Senator George Brandis told Sky News ahead of Tuesday's announcement.

“Made in Japan� engineers find second life in China


Prime Minister Julia Gillard announces plans for troops' exit a year before 2014 deadline for international withdrawal.

heir technical skills helped Japan's corporate giants sweep all before them in the 1980s, and now thousands of ageing Japanese engineers are finding a new lease of life in booming China. "My profession is going out of business in Japan," said 59-year-old Masayuki Aida, who made molds for a Tokyo-based firm for 30 years but has spent most of his 50s in Dongguan, a gritty manufacturing hub in southern China's Pearl River Delta. With the incessant noise of car horns and a pervasive smell of chemicals, the dusty streets of industrial Dongguan are a far cry from Tokyo or Osaka. Construction sites dot the city while beggars clutching tin cans approach cars at every intersection. For Aida and many like him nearing the national retirement age of 60 the choice was simple - face a few years without an income as Japan raises the age at which employees get their pension or work for mainland Chinese and Hong Kong companies. "People aren't making products in Japan anymore," said Aida, who makes molds for goods ranging from toys and earphones to coffee machines. "I wanted to pass on to younger generations all the knowledge and technology about molds I had obtained."

Palestinian prisoners in mass hunger strike


Aida Masayuki chats with a worker in front of an ice-cream machine for Japan market inside a factory in the township of Zhangan near Dongguan in the southern Guangdong province.

Two Palestinian prisoners have been refusing food for 50 days

t least 1,200 Palestinian inmates of Israeli jails began an open-ended hunger strike yesterday as rallies across the occupied territories marked "Prisoners' Day". As thousands gathered in towns and cities in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, three-quarters of the 4,700 Palestinians held by Israel began refusing food, the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) said. "In the framework of (Palestinian) Prisoners' Day, around 2,300 security prisoners said they were refusing their daily meals, and around 1,200 prisoners said they were starting a hunger strike," IPS spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said on Tuesday. Another eight women inmates had also said they were refusing food as a show of solidarity with the Palestinian security prisoners, Weizman said. "We have coped with hunger strikes in the past and we are prepared to do so again now," she added. Speaking to crowds gathered in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, gave a higher figure for the hunger strike, saying "1,500 prisoners from all the factions" had joined it already and more were expected to later in the month.



Norway terrorist US to investigate defends mass killings secret service scandal T T he US Secret Service has revoked the security clearances of 11 agents accused of hiring prostitutes on the eve of President Barack Obama's weekend trip to the Americas summit in Colombia. The agency in charge of providing protection for the president confirmed yesterday that it was investigating the allegations that its members brought prostitutes to their Cartagena hotel on Wednesday, near where the president was to stay. Colombian police said five US military service members were also involved in the incident. But Army Colonel Scott Malcom, a spokesman for US Southern Command, said an

interim investigating officer who began working to collect evidence in the case found information indicating more than five service members may have been involved. The top US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said that the service members had let Obama down by distracting attention from his meeting with Latin American leaders in Cartagena. The alleged incident occurred before Obama arrived in Cartagena, but the news broke while he was there. "We let the boss down because nobody's talking about what went on in Colombia other than this incident," Dempsey said at a news conference with Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary.

"I can speak for myself and my fellow chiefs, we're embarrassed by what occurred in Colombia." Panetta said General Douglas Fraser, the head of Southern Command, had begun an investigation to determine the facts of the incident. Obama said on Sunday that he expected a "rigorous" investigation into the alleged misconduct. "If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I'll be angry," Obama said. "We are representing the people of the United States, and when we travel to another country, I expect us to observe the highest standards."

General Martin Dempsey, right, said the service members had let President Obama down

Spain and Argentina in oil row clash


pain has summoned Argentina's ambassador in Madrid for talks as tensions rise in a dispute over control of a Spanish-owned oil company. The move yesterday came a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner unveiled plans to seize control of the country's biggest oil company YPF, owned by Spain's Repsol. Repsol shares fell sharply during trading on Tuesday, sinking by more than eight per cent in Madrid. Antonio Brufau, the Repsol YPF SA president, told reporters that the company would mount a legal fight against the plan to seize control of YPF. He also accused the Argentine government of launching the move in a bid to to quell rising unrest at home. Kirchner had "carried out an unlawful act and made unlawful charges after a campaign aimed at knocking down YPF shares and allowing expropriation at a bargain price," Brufau said, adding "This battle is not over." Kirchner's announcement also drew swift warnings from key trade partners who said that relations with Buenos Aires would be damaged by the move. "If this policy continues -

draining fields dry, no exploration and practically no investment - the country will end up having no viable future, not because of a lack of resources but because of business policies"

Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, said on Tuesday he expected Argentina to uphold international agreements on business protection with Spain.

he man who has admitted the mass killings of 77 people in Norway last year has told a court he acted out of "goodness, not evil" in order to "defend his country", and would do the same again. Anders Behring Breivik began testifying yesterday on the second day of his trial by calling the July 2011 attacks in Oslo and at a youth camp on the island of Utoeya as "the most sophisticated and spectacular political attack committed in Europe since the Second World War". Dressed in a dark suit, Breivik once again appeared to make a far-right salute as his handcuffs were removed inside the courtroom. Breivik's testimony and cross-examination are not being broadcast live, as earlier court proceedings had been, amid concerns that the defendant could use the trial as a platform for far-right views expounded in a more-than 1,500-page document published online prior to the attack. In that self-styled manifesto, Breivik described a trial as offering "a stage to the world". "These acts are based on goodness, not evil," he said on Tuesday, arguing that he had acted to defend his country against multiculturalism. "They (Norwegians) risk being a minority in their own capital in their own country in the future." Asked if he would carry out the attacks again, Breivik said: "Yes, I would have done it again, because offences against my people ... are many times as bad." Breivik claimed it was "critically important" that he be given a chance to explain his motives for the killings, but Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen repeatedly interrupted his testimony and urged him to keep his statement short. "You could see from the faces

of the relatives of the victims real pain and anguish while they listened to him," said Al Jazeera's Jonah Hull, reporting from the courthouse. Proceedings were briefly adjourned earlier as one of the judges in the Oslo trial was dismissed from the case after it emerged he had posted a comment online at the time of the attacks suggesting the perpetrator should face the death penalty. Lay judge Thomas Indreboe, one of five appointed to rule in the trial, had posted to his Facebook page that the death penalty would be the "only just outcome" in the case. Norway does not have the death penalty. Lawyers on all sides had requested that Indreboe be taken off the trial. Breivik is being tried by a panel of two professional judges and three lay judges, who are local politicians appointed for four-year terms and participating on an equal basis in deciding guilt and sentencing. The system is designed to let ordinary people have a role in the Norwegian justice system, though the lead judge still runs the trial. Breivik is accused over the deaths in July 2011 of eight people in a car bombing in Oslo and 69 others on the island of Utoeya mainly youths attending a summer camp organised by the governing Labour Party - who he said he targeted because he opposed multiculturalism promoted by the party. The trial is expected to focus on whether or not Breivik is criminally sane and therefore accountable for his actions. A first court-ordered psychiatric exam found him insane, while a second opinion came to the opposite conclusion. If the court decides he is criminally insane, he will be committed to psychiatric care; if he is judged to be mentally stable, he could be sentenced to 21 years in prison, which could subsequently be extended if he was still deemed to pose a threat.

Under-pressure Sarkozy denies hawking nuclear reactor to Gaddafi


resident Nicolas Sarkozy denied yesterday an allegation by the former head of French nuclear group Areva that he had sought to sell a nuclear reactor to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi until mid-2010. "There was never any question of selling a reactor to Mr. Gaddafi," Sarkozy told France Inter radio, a week after Anne Lauvergeon, Areva's chief executive until 2011, made the claim in an interview on the website of L'Express last Tuesday. Lauvergeon, known as "Atomic Anne", was a top aide to late Socialist President Francois Mitterrand and has been tipped as a possible minister in a future Socialist government under Francois Hollande. Her allegation has been read as

a political salvo coming as the conservative Sarkozy battles in vain to narrow Hollande's doubledigit lead for a May 6 presidential runoff that will follow a firstround vote on Sunday. "Allow me to tell you that if there is one head of state in the world who has not associated with Mr. Gaddafi and who is responsible for his departure and his fate then that is me," Sarkozy told France Inter. Sarkozy led the West's intervention in Libya that helped rebels end Gaddafi's 42year rule, but back in 2007 he welcomed the late dictator to Paris and a December 2008 cooperation agreement between the two nations made available to the media at the time provides for the supply of nuclear

Nicolas Sarkozy, France"s President and UMP candidate for the 2012 French presidential election, delivers a speech at an election rally, April 16, 2012. reactors. Sarkozy's aides have said Lauvergeon was trying to settle scores and said that if she had been witness to any misconduct in her former post, she should have reported it at the time.

Sarkozy has been pounding Hollande for months over his agreement with the Greens party to reduce France's dependency on nuclear power if the left wins the election and has visited nuclear sites to underline his support for the



Making up for lost time: 34-year-old virgin becomes father of 82 after launching free ‘baby making’ service at his home in Maastricht, although he still makes exceptions if his partners are entering a particularly fertile period. Provided they pay his travelling expenses and accommodation. His 'family' lives in cities like Berlin - three children - and in Holland, Italy, Spain, Belgium, France and even New Zealand. The eldest is now nine while the youngest is two months old. He began donating sperm to local clinics. Then he found there was a market for procreation the natural way and he has never looked back. in Germany is one of the websites

Baby maker: But at the age of 34 Mr Houden was a shy virgin still living with his mother


Personal services: Dutcham Ed Houben has fathered 82 children since becoming a professional baby maker

utchman Ed Houben, 42, sleeps with around 15 childless women a month Had 45 girls and 35 boys in nine years but doesn't know sex of other two a man who stayed a virgin until the age 34 has become a father of 82 in the space of just nine years and he has another ten children on the way. Dutchman Ed Houben, 42, sleeps with around 15 childless women a month in a bid to make their quests to become mothers a reality. He is understood to be the most prolific professional babymaker in the world - and what he does is all legal. He has sown his seed around the globe but usually waits for women to come to him these days

Girlfriend reveals how she watched in horror as boyfriend slit his throat while speaking on Skype


distraught girlfriend told today how she watched in horror as her partner killed himself in front of her - 7,000 miles away over the internet on Skype. Speaking for the first time about the horrific experience Julie Zalinksi told how Adrian Rowland, her boyfriend of two-and-a-half years slashed his throat and wrists.

She could only watch helplessly for more than 10 hours as Adrian Rowland died from his wounds in India where he was abroad on business. Panic-stricken she alerted the UK police who managed to contact the local authorities in Delhi but they were unable to help the 53year-old after he refused to open his front door. An inquest today heard that laws in India prevented the local police and paramedics from smashing their way into Mr Rowland's flat and saving his life. Instead he slowly bled to death in front of Ms Zalinksi's eyes as she begged with her lover to get the help help. Today Ms Zalinksi told how the tragedy unfolded on the fateful morning of Sunday November 27 last year, after she managed to contact him over the internet on Skype. 'He was just in a complete state,' said a tearful Ms Zalinksi from the witness stand. 'He was sweating profusely and his eyes were just staring. 'He kept saying 'they are going to get me, they are going to get me'.' She told the inquest in Oxford how she tried to calm him down but he became more agitated after

suffering what the coroner described as a 'major mental crisis.' 'He said there were people in the room that weren't there,' said his traumatised partner. 'I just kept reassuring him that nobody was there and that I was here for him. I told him that I wasn't going to leave him and would get help to him.' A friend of Ms Zalinksi's arrived at her home near Reading, Berks., and with her help Mr Rowland initially appeared to calm down. 'He then just started to drift to another place again and just got up,' said Ms Zalinksi. 'He started bashing everything around in his flat. He walked into the kitchen, grabbed a glass and smashed it on the table - then stuck it straight into his neck. 'At that point myself and my friend just looked at one another and ran from the bedroom where the computer was and didn't say anything to one another. We couldn't believe what we had just seen.' Adrian, who had previously been employed as a manager at the Formula One racing firm, Jordan Grand Prix, had gone to India some three weeks earlier as a selfemployed consultant in the automotive industry.

Strike rate: Mr Bouden gives 80 per cent of the females he has sex with a child She told how he was emotional when he left but that he was going out there to enable him to build a future for them back in the UK. 'He was very well thought of out there and was well looked after,' said Ms Zalinksi. 'But he really missed his boys and didn't like being away from the UK and me.' The day before his death, Ms Zalinksi told Oxford Coroner Nicholas Gardiner, Mr Rowland had behaved 'strangely' telling her over Skype that he could not talk as he had people over for dinner. She was initially pleased that he was socialising but this turned to worry when he indicated that she was being rude because his guests were already there. Family man: Mr Rowland had three children with his ex-wife 'He really missed his boys and didn't like being away from the UK and me,' said Ms Zalinksi Miss Zalinksi told how Mr Rowland indicated that his guests were already seated at the empty dining table behind the computer camera. However, she later received loving text messages from him and felt reassured. The next morning he was 'hysterical' when she first saw him on Skype, screaming that she would never see him again. Police constable Victoria Blaszko arrived Ms Zalinksi's home with a colleague and was confronted with

he uses to connect with childless women desperate to conceive. They know Ed has a good pedigree; he gives 80 per cent of the females he has sex with a child. All his partners must submit medical records showing they are disease and drug free while he reciprocates. Included in his paperwork is a semen analysis known as a 'spermiogram' that shows he is the real deal a sperm count of less than 20 million shows the potential donor is 'not a good prospect.' The prospects are increased for sperm counts of 80 to 100 million. Houben's count is 100 million. 'I don't fire blanks!' he joked. Sperm banks generally charge around four to five thousand pounds for inseminations. Ed does it for free. He gets his partners to sign documents waiving legal claims to child support; but experts say these would be invalid in the hands of a good lawyer. 'If all the mothers decided to sue him for maintenance he would be paying them off for the rest of this life, and the next,' said one German family lawyer. He has sired 45 girls and 35 boys. Two of the the brood he doesn't know the sex of because the mothers won't tell him. 'My girlfriend says that what I do only makes me more interesting,' he told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine. 'She's coming to visit again soon.' But he hasn'rt managed to make her pregnant yet. the grainy Skype image of Adrian with a serious wound to his neck. She told how her colleague convinced him to wrap a tea towel around his neck, while she assisted the force control room with the challenging task of raising the alarm in India. The coroner heard that Mr Rowland was talking over the internet throughout, to the officers in Ms Zalinksi's flat, but he was not making much sense.

Horror: Julie Zalinksi leaves Oxford County Hall following the inquest into the death of her partner. Adrian Rowland's best friend, Michael Pepper, right, said : 'He really loved Julie and she really loved him. He was the happiest he had ever been'



he curry spice turmeric may help ward off heart attacks in people who have had recent bypass surgery, according to a study. Curcimins - the yellow pigment in turmeric - is known for having antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. Bypass surgery is performed to improve the blood supply to the heart muscle. However, during the operation the organ can be damaged by prolonged lack of blood flow, increasing the patient’s risk of heart attack. The new findings suggest that curcumins may ease those risks when added to traditional drug treatment. The results need to be confirmed in further research, said Wanwarang Wongcharoen from Chiang Mai University in Thailand. Turmeric extracts have long been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. Research has suggested inflammation plays an important role in the development of a range of diseases, including heart disease, and curcumins could have an effect on those pathways, said Bharat Aggarwal, who studies the use of curcumins in cancer therapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. ‘It’s very, very encouraging,’ said Aggarwal of the study. The researchers studied 121 patients who had nonemergency bypass surgery at their hospital between 2009 and 2011. Half of those patients were given one-gram curcumin capsules to take four times a day,


Curry spice ‘lowers risk of heart attack after surgery’ starting three days before their surgery and continuing for five days afterwards. The other half took the same number of drugfree placebo capsules. The researchers found that during their post-bypass hospital stays, 13 per cent of patients who’d been taking curcumins had a heart attack, compared to 30 per cent in the placebo group. After accounting for any initial pre-surgery differences, Wongcharoen and his colleagues calculated that people on curcumins had a 65 per cent lower chance of heart attack. Researchers said it’s likely that the antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties of curcumins may have helped limit heart damage in the patients. ‘Curcumin has for many years now been shown to reduce inflammation and to reduce oxygen toxicity or damage caused by free radicals in a number of experimental settings,’ commented Jawahar Mehta, a cardiologist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. ‘But that doesn’t mean that this is a substitute for medication,’ he said, noting that drugs like aspirin, statins and beta blockers have been proven to help heart patients and people in the current study were taking

those as well. One limitation was that the study was relatively small. Another is that while curcumins are thought to be safe, there

could be side effects at very large doses. ‘Taken in moderation or used in cooking, (curcumins) are quite useful. But I wouldn’t go to

a health food store and start taking four grams of curcumin a day, as was done in this study,’ Mehta said. Source:

Patients given an extract from turmeric (pictured) had a 65% lower risk of heart attack than those given a placebo in a study

Swaddle, side, shush, swing and suck: How the ‘5 S’s’ really DO stop your newborn from crying


t’s a question that has perplexed many a new parent - how to calm your baby when they are having a crying fit? Dr Harvey Karp and author of the book ‘The Happiest Baby on the Block’, believes he has the answer. He calls it the ‘5 S’s’, which involves swaddling the baby in a

blanket, putting them in a sideon position, making shushing sounds, swinging them and giving them a pacifier to suck. This works, he told Msnbc, by replicating a womb environment. What is more his theory has been successfully tested in a medical trial and found to be extremely effective at soothing babies after receiving essential

jabs. Dr John Harrington was inspired after seeing a lecture on the subject given by Dr Karp. He decided to test it at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia where he worked. He split a group of 230 infants who were due vaccines into four groups. One group was

A father is able to stop his daughter Julia crying by using the '5 S's' technique

given water while a second group Shushing must be a loud was given sugar water before continuous noise, while swaddling the getting the jab. The third should be tight to make the baby group were only given the ‘5 S’s’ feel secure, he said. after their shot while the fourth He noted that the calming group received a sugar dose reflex wore off over time and was beforehand and the ‘5 S’s’ after. less effective in four-month old Dr Harrington and the team babies than it was in two-monthfound the babies who received the olds. sugar solution, which is standard Source: practice, were still crying more than two minutes after getting the injection. However, most of the babies who had the physical intervention stopped by 45 seconds. Dr Harrington said: ‘By a minute, nobody was crying of making any sort of fuss at all.’ But keen parents who want to use the techniques at home must be prepared to practice. Dr Karp told Msnbc: ‘Parents do many of these things intuitively, but they may not be doing them correctly. ‘You have to do Dr Harvey Karp designed his baby calming them (5 S’s) exactly technique by recreating the experience of right, or they don’t the womb work.’



The local government system is the hotbed of corruption, says Nasarawa TMC chairman INTERVIEW Ayuba Wandai was recently appointed by Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura of Nasarawa state, as Transition Management Committee (TMC) Chairman of Nasarawa Local Government Area. In this interview with our correspondent in Nasarawa state, Ali Abare Abubakar, the graduate of law who before his appointment was a grass-root politician and an Abuja based legal practitioner, bared his mind on what he saw on ground on his assumption of office and more. Excerpts:


ou were recently inaugurated as the Chairman Transition Management Committee (TMC) for Nasarawa Local Government Area of Nasarawa state, how do you see the office so far? It’s very challenging but such is to be expected. The challenges are of course surmountable, especially, after taking stock of what is on ground. Though what I have seen is not encouraging but the will is there. One of the first things that I will have to tackle immediately after taking charge is to address the issue of staff morale. To help me towards that, I shall embark on the total renovation of the local government secretariat, for as it is now, the structure housing the local government secretariat is completely dilapidated. Staff don’t come to work because they don’t have functional offices. A section of the secretariat was indeed built during the native authority, back in the late 60s. The wing housing the office of the Chairman was also built around 1990 and since then it has not gotten adequate attention in terms of renovation and proper maintenance, with the whole secretariat being dilapidated. Even the Chairman’s office where I have to carry out my work, is dilapidated. So one of the things that I have to do to put things back on track is to tidy up the secretariat so as to encourage the workers to appropriately carry out their responsibilities. The local government is the tier of government where it is expected that the people at the grass root experience what benefit that comes from policy initiations from both the federal and state governments. Do you think, with you now in charge of Nasarawa local government area, the local government is properly positioned to carry out this constitutional mandate? The fact is that previous administrations both at the state and local government levels, seemed to lack the political will to make the local government work to the benefit of the people at the grass root. One thing I have

observed was that funds meant for projects that could positively affect the lives of the people, were diverted. Local government properties are sold to senior staff of the council at will. Like in Nasarawa, we have issues with the Women Development Centre, which have been sold, like we have been told, in controversial circumstances. We have the GRA, land for the low cost housing scheme for staff also sold, even school land have also being carved and sold. We are poised to bring change though. Even the revenue profile of the council is near zero. We have been doing things to make things work, like so far, we have dissolved the Revenue Board,; we have dissolved the Foundation Task Force, we are going to inaugurate new ones shortly and we are also going to inaugurate committees to verify liabilities inherited because when we keep quiet on such liabilities, it could mean acceptance. So we are going to verify these liabilities, ranging from staff claims, which we will pay when funds are available. Some of these claims appear bogus though, so we have to verify them. Especially that only senior staff of the council are affected, with no single junior staff making a claim. There are so many things requiring verification, like claims by contractors for nonexistent projects. We are poised to ensure that we do our best. We intend to construct roads, undertake rural electrification, provide water supply to remote communities, build bridges and culverts in communities that have needs for such projects. We are seriously tackling security issues

Ayuba Wandai and a lot more are on the way. You mentioned security, Nasarawa LG, in the recent past, have experienced series of crisis involving youth restiveness. How do you intend to tackle youth restiveness in your domain? The fact is that, from my understanding, it is not good for the youths to take the law into their hands. But one thing is clear, when there is glaring injustice in the system, some people are bound to rise up against such treatment. Nasarawa is an enlightened community, because we have the Federal Polytechnic and the elites are well educated, they always want to fight for their rights, but the good thing is that, they are now happy with what the governor, Umaru Tanko Al-makura, is doing and the only thing we will do is to make them understand with us is to key in to what he is trying to do for the state. Coming from private practice where the view is that political office holders are corrupt and now that you are in government, has that perspective change? It has not changed! The fact is that, the local government system still remains the hotbed of corruption. You must know what it takes to halt the drift. Like now, I

The local government council is one system where you find a superior officer holding on to the work schedule of five of his subordinates down the ladder, which is most unfortunate and also bad for the system

have settled down fast and have understood the enormity of the challenge ahead. I just have to be in charge, making sure that everybody is doing the right thing. But the fact is that, majority of the workforce at the council level, desire to see change, they want to have a sense of pride in what they do. The local government council is one system where you find a superior officer holding on to the work schedule of five of his subordinates down the ladder, which is most unfortunate and also bad for the system. Because one climbs through the ladder in the service, you find out that when your superiors hold on to your schedule and don’t allow you do your work, the service suffers for your lack of experience. Your level continue to appreciates from years of service but you lack the appropriate work skills because of redundancy. The only thing workers learn fast at the council level is corruption. Once he has the opportunity, he says okay, now is my time and everybody watches while such a person accumulates wealth to the detriment of the people. I am not going to allow that during my time, I have categorically told all those involved to allow every staff keep his or her schedule. If we give you a schedule and you don’t perform, we take it away and give it to he who can do the work. Result is what matter but a situation whereby some people take advantage of the system to make money will not be allowed. Then again, some superior officers have perfected the habit of hiding files they obtained from the open registry, which they keep permanently only to make available when they want to remove or smuggle in something. This is wrong. You see those of us coming from the private sector, we do things more tidier, may be because of profit maximisation. What I want to bring

now at the council level, is to introduce result oriented policies, to bring proactive strategies, to try to make everybody support government in line with what government is trying to do for them. Of course a greater percentage of the populace wants to see changes. I want to decentralize my administration, decentralize the spread of projects as I intend to evenly spread projects across my area of jurisdiction. I will first come to grasp with the pressing needs of various communities and where we could not entirely eliminate such problems, we will of course alleviate such. As a lawyer, what is your advice on how to make the local government system more efficient? A lot of people will want to talk about abolishing the joint account, all this and that. One thing I know is that, joint account or no joint account, is not really the case, once the will to deliver is there. Once funds meant for project are not diverted, I don’t think there is something wrong with the LG law, to my thinking it is even fraudulent this clamour for amending the law. The laws that are in place now are enough to make the councils productive, even though some sections of the law need to be updated to catch up with present realities. It is of course imperative to revisit laws that are up to 50 years old or even native authority laws that are still part of the LG laws. But I still believe that running the system and making it productive is not really an issue of the law. Governor Al-makura appointed educated young men like you in various positions to help him translate his vision for the state, what is your take on this? Of course, it is a good thing he did by appointing young men to help him as he build the state. If you look back at history, the Awolowos, Ezikiwes, Tafawa Balewas, etc, they all made their marks as young men. Young men are vibrant, energetic and they know what it takes. Putting some young men together and mixing them with more experienced persons, will give the chance for them to learn the ropes and fast. I feel challenged because as a young man, I want to leave a legacy, young men have the capacity to deliver. It is glaring now that the first governor of Nasarawa state has arrived, what we have been missing previously is capable leadership. With barely a year in office, what Al-makura has so far achieved has surpassed the cumulative administrations of previous governments. So in four years, Nasarawa state will be a reference point in Nigeria. Of course he needs our support and prayers as he continues to take our state to greater heights.


Lawyers describe as belated INEC’s plan to prosecute 2011 election offenders


ome Lagos lawyers have described as belated, the decision by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to prosecute offenders in the 2011 election. The lawyers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said the pronouncement by the chairman of INEC Board of Electoral Institute, Prof. Lai Olurode, was a big joke. NAN reports that Olurode was recently quoted as saying that one million Nigerians, majority of them from Bauchi, Zamfara, Gombe and Bayelsa, who committed various electoral offences in 2011, would be tried. A lawyer, Mr Sam Nwachukwu, said it was a big joke as, according to him, INEC had disappointed many Nigerians in their performance before and during the elections. “INEC disappointed many Nigerians who hoped for a credible election process. The voters‘ registration exercise was characterised by shortcomings that INEC failed to address. “Prosecuting people for the laxity created by one’s carelessness is totally unacceptable,’’ he said. Another lawyer, Mrs Jennifer Akintola, said that the number of people INEC planned to prosecute was an evidence of unseriousness. “The 2011 election was far below the expectation of many Nigerians. “Many candidates who were declared winners have had their victories nullified by tribunals. “An average Nigerian believes that his vote doesn’t count. INEC cannot redeem its image by prosecuting one million Nigerians. We cannot be fooled,’’ she said. In his remark, Mr Segun Ayelabola, also a lawyer, advised INEC to start preparing for the 2015 elections in order to make necessary improvements on the shortcomings notice in previous elections. “This is not what we should be talking about. INEC should begin preparations for the forthcoming elections. “Nigerians are tired of shoddy electoral processes. We don’t want a repeat of previous mistakes. Let us have credible elections,’’ he said.


True federalism inevitable, Tinubu tells FG From Francis Iwuchukwu, Lagos


ational leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, yesterday insisted that until true federalism is established in Nigeria, the future of the country would not be assured. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Annual Law Week 2012 of the Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) with the theme, "Federalism and the Rule of Law:The Twin Compass to Our Best Future', Tinubu, who was represented by the Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, said unless true federalism is established the problem of Nigeria would mount without solution. Tinubu said, "The way in which we govern ourselves will remain our very worst enemy and highest obstacle. Federalism is not just shifting money from one pot to another in Abuja. It is about empowering state and local government to work for the people they know and who know them. If we can develop this federalism, it will enrich our lives in practical yet profound ways. "Those dangerous roads will be more quickly and better paved. Travel will become less of an invitation to death. "Cost of goods will shrink. Those ramshackle schools will be reduced and our students will receive improved educations. "Federalism is about programmes for local jobs growth and creation so more young

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu people will be more optimistic and less prone to despair, alienation and enacting eventful criminality by forcibly taking those things an uncaring society refused to give." The former governor who argued that the cardinal aspect of the call for federalism is a more equitable allocation of revenue

towards state and local governments, said the federal government is the sole issuer in Nigeria. He frowned at the federal government's attempt to cut the relationship between the state and local governments in the country even as he added that the federal government's plot would

make local government beholden to Abuja for survival. "This is an illogical and counterproductive system of management that must be avoided if we are to avoid the waste of finite resources and time. "Moreover, it is a political sleight-of-hand to weaken those state governments controlled by the opposition parties. "The plan is an attempt to pull the rug from under opposition state governments by allowing the ruling party in Abuja to gain financial remote control of the local structures that underline state institutions." Tinubu recommended dramatic improvement in the nation's security by decentralizing the police force. "We need to make policing and security more effective by decentralizing the police force. Control of the police needs to be placed in the state. "This way, the police will be more responsive and more knowledgeable about their area of operation." Earlier in his welcome address, Ikeja NBA Chairman, Adebamigbe Omole said, the formation of any system of government is influenced by factors of political expediency, geopolitical and socio-cultural consideration among others. According to Omole, "Various agitations by different ethnic nationalities and groups are evidence of the fact that there is a systemic failure of our structure, we cannot but do the needful to put the country on a sound footing for us to have the country of our dream where peace and economic prosperity will reign.

NASS pledges support to aviation sector


he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, on Monday in Abuja pledged the support of the National Assembly (NASS) to the development of the Aviation sector. Tambuwal gave the pledge at a one-day meeting of stakeholders in the aviation industry. Represented by Mr Nkeiruka

Onyejeocha, the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, the Speaker said that the House would partner with stakeholders in the sector to achieve the developmental agenda of the sector. “In partnership and increase of funds, NASS is ready to support the sector in all areas, in terms of legislation, and in helping you to meet people.

Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal

Sen. Hope Uzodinma

“We want you to know that NASS is in support of this sector, but no matter our efforts, you can’t put aside safety and passengers satisfaction. “Therefore, we want the ministry to stand on its feet in making sure that all airlines comply with safety rules, because passengers are the bedrock of the industry, while the stakeholders should promote good services. “We must ensure that Nigerians are not been exploited unnecessarily by any means, we must stand firm that Nigerians are not been shortchanged at all times and I believe we will make good success in the long run’’, Tambuwa said. Earlier, Sen Hope Uzodinma, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation commended the Ministry for the renovation works going on in some airports in the country. He urged the stakeholders to support the initiative and shun corruption, to ensure that the sector achieved its aims, saying “there is no minister who can

achieve success in the midst of corruption”. Ms Ann Ene-Ita, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, said the meeting was aimed at articulating ways for the rapid transformation of the aviation sector. “As we strive to attract foreign investments to make Nigeria a tourism destination of the world, particularly in the Africa region, the aviation industry will continue to require the state of the art and world class facilities. “This is with a view to providing delightful and memorable airport experience to air travellers. “The development of the sector in all its ramifications has been abandoned for long, resulting in infrastructure decay, poor investment flow, avalanche of challenges facing the industry regulators, airline operators and providers of ancillary services. “The task before us is to build the much needed synergy between the private and public sector and forge a common vision for the sector,’’ Ene-Ita said.


PDP chieftain urges media, public to resolve security challenges


he Deputy Treasurer of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sokoto State, A l h a j i M u k t a r i Mapia, yesterday urged the mass media to embark a g g r e s s i v e sensitisation campaign for Nigerians to confront the current security challenges in the country. Mapia told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Sokoto that such campaign would sensitise Nigerians on the need to assist security personnel with intelligence information. Mapia said the senseless killings going in some parts of the country would end if Nigerians cultivated the habit of giving intelligence reports to the appropriate authorities. He said security matters should be treated with all seriousness they deserved, adding that stakeholders must also exercise their civic duties by exposing suspicious characters.


Adamawa PDP fetes Bamanga From Blessing Tunoh, Yola


damawa state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned comments emanating from some quarters suggesting that there was a friction between Adamawa-born National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the party structure in the state. State Chairman of the party Umaru Mijinyawa Kugama stated this shortly after he was inaugurated to serve a second term alongside

his twenty-eight-member Exco by the National Vice Chairman (Northeast) of the party Senator Mohammed Lawan Girgir and 14 other national officials. Kugama who was breaking the silence for the first time since Tukur's emergence as the National Chairman of the party even after the zone voted against him at the party's zonal primary in Bauchi state described the comments as "condemnable, malicious, devilish and uncalled for." "We are sure that the

national chairman who is a respectable elderly man will not trouble us, and we do also on our part would not trouble him; I believe we'll both mind our business and I can assure you everything will be fine." Kugama stated. He also noted that the crisis experienced in the party was normal because of the size of the PDP which he described as one big family. He therefore urged all aggrieved members to follow the proper channels in lodging their complaints and grievances. Peoples Daily learnt the

Girgir led team had so far inaugurated the EXCOs of Borno and Yobe states and would be proceeding to Taraba after the Adamawa exercise. Girgir dismissed speculations making the rounds that the Adamawa state PDP executive would be dissolved adding that no petition has been received from any quarter and said Tuesday's inauguration was a sign that the national headquarters of the party recognises Kugama and his council as the party's representatives in Adamawa.

Ajimobi commiserates with Fayemi over mum’s death From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state has commiserated with his Ekiti state counterpart, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, over the death of his mother, Mrs. Dorcas Aina Fayemi, at the age of 83. Ajimobi, in a statement issued on yesterday in Ibadan by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, described the demise of the matriarch of the Fayemi dynasty as a great loss to the family. “Mama was a devout Christian, a shining example of humility and philanthropy, as she shared virtually everything she had with the needy, irrespective of where they came from,’’ he remarked. Although the governor said that the deceased would be sorely missed by her immediate family, the people of Ekiti State and indeed, the whole of SouthWest, he, however, admonished Gov. Fayemi and his other siblings to take solace in the fact that she lived a fulfilled life. Sen. Ajimobi prayed God to grant the Fayemi family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

L-R: Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman of Oredo Local Government, Pa Matthais Ogunsuyi, and PDP South- South Youth Leader, Mr. Ralph Usuomon, during the decamping of 26 PDP leaders and their supporters to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), yesterday in Benin City.

INEC requests NYSC for more lawyers to prosecute electoral offences


he Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has requested the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to post more lawyers to its offices to assist it in the prosecution of some categories of electoral offenders. The Kogi State INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, made the request in Lokoja on Tuesday while on a courtesy visit to the state Coordinator of the NYSC, Mr Frank Ekpunobi. He further requested that such lawyers must be graduates of the country’s law school. Agbaje said the scheme planned to arraign 5, 896 persons in the state for alleged multiple registration and other offences during the last nationwide registration . He said that the only

lawyer posted by the NYSC to the Lokoja office this year had not been to the law school. The INEC boss, however, lauded the NYSC for supporting the INEC during the April 2011 elections and called on those agitating for the scrapping of the scheme to have a rethink. He said that preparations for the 2015 general elections would commence earlier than scheduled, adding that INEC would rely on the partnership with the NYSC to better its 2011 performance. A g b a j e a l s o commended corps members that participated in the past elections in the state, stressing that they had proved that Nigeria would continue to remain as an indivisible entity. Responding, Ekpunobi described the partnership between the NYSC and INEC as a sacred call to national duty,

saying that the collaboration had come to stay. On INEC’s request for more NYSC lawyers, the coordinator promised that more lawyers would be posted to the Lokoja office of \INEC “without much delay”. The INEC Commissioner also paid a similar visit to the state Director of the National Orientation Agency, Chief Ibikule Medubi. He told the NOA chief that the commission would soon start its voter education campaign from among secondary school pupils and artisans in the state. Agbaje said that the essence of that was to minimise violence during election and reduce the number of voided votes as witnessed during the 2011 elections. He thanked the NOA for its support and cooperation to the

INEC and urged the organisation to enhance such relationship to ensure successful voter education. Receiving the visitor, Medubi pledged the commitment of NOA to INEC to enhance the quality of elections in the state and the country in general . At the NNS Lugard Naval Base Command in Lokoja, the INEC Commissioner commended officers and men of the command for providing effective security during the last elections. The Commander, Commodore Innocent Yinfaowei, said that his men did their best during the election, especially in Ibaji Local Government Area noted for its difficult terrain. He promised the command’s continued maximum cooperation to INEC in future elections.



LASIEC to hold councillorship re-run in Mushin May 5


he Lagos state Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) is to hold a re-run election in Ward H,Oduselu/Ola, in Mushin Local Government Area, on May 5. In a statement on Tuesday, in Lagos, the LASIEC Chairman, retired Justice Abdul-Fatai Adeyinka, said that the re-run election would be carried out using the open-secret ballot system. He promised that the

commission would do its best to make the poll hitch-free. Adeyinka urged eligible voters in the ward to participate fully in the election and shun violence and fraud. The state Local Government Election Tribunal had ordered the re-run in its judgment on a petition filed by one of the candidates who contested for the councillorship seat on Oct. 22, 2011.

The petitioner said that the election in the ward was inconclusive, a position which LASIEC upheld. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LASIEC conducted elections in 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas of the state on Oct. 22, 2011. A total of 28 political parties participated in the chairmanship and councillorship elections.

L-R: Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on Capital Market, Hon. Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi, members of the committees , Hon. Yakubu Dogara , and Hon. Jibril Umar Bubar, during the Ad - Hoc Committee’s investigation into the near collapse of the Capital Market, at the National Assembly, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Benue ACN debunks claims of compromise T From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

he leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Benue State has said categorically that it never intended to enter into any negotiation whatsoever with either Governor Gabriel Suswam or the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) to shelve the mandate of the people or settle the judicial dispute of the April 26, 2011 Governorship election out of court. The party’s governorship candidate Prof. Steve Ugbah who said this while addressing ACN supporters yesterday in Makurdi, expressed shock and disappointment that the mere attendance of a thanksgiving service at the instance of Senator Barnabas Gemade; Senator representing Benue NorthEast Senatorial District at the

National Assembly, could be misconstrued by PDP supporters to mean that the party is planning to compromise it stand. Prof Ugbah explained that the ACN leaders in the state attended the church service as a mark of honor to an elder brother and elder Statesman who is a colleague of the ACN Senate Minority Leader, Senator Dr. George Akume at senate. “That in the presence of God, it was just natural that we sought for the enthronement of Truth as a way to atone for peace and development of Tiv land. By Tiv tradition, peace will come when the true and actual winner of the April 2011 poll takes charge. God knows the true winner and will not allow the mandate of the people of Benue state to go in vain” Prof Ugbah declared. He added that the Church

service was not a forum to solicit or negotiate with the PDP and nothing of that sort ever happened, pledging to remain a loyal and resolute member of the ACN, insisting “under no circumstance shall I negotiate or compromise the mandate of the people”. He also assured party supporters that Senator Akume and all leaders of the ACN remain steadfast and committed to the recovery of the stolen mandate from Dr. Gabriel Suswam and the PDP, and shall not under any guise or circumstance contemplate compromise or settlement. Ugbah confirmed that the ACN case in the Court of Appeal, Makurdi Division challenging the striking out of his petition on 28/ 2/2012 was argued today and judgment reserved for a later.

Alleged N10.8 billion Mansion: Go to court, PDP challenges Oshiomhole From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Edo state Chapter has challenged the Edo state governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole to go to court to prove he does not own the mansion allegedly ascribed to him in the state. The alleged mansion is located at his hometown, Iyamoh in Auchi, the administrative local government area of the State. The state Chairman of PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, yesterday reechoed sentiments, accusing him of using the tax payer's money to build a personal estate, alleged that the party Estate Valuer pegged the cost at N10.8 billion when completed. Orbih, before leading the display of an electronic aerial view of the mansion claimed to have been taken with aid of an helicopter, said, 'When I saw the pictures of the building, what came to my mind was the image of the late Mobutu, the late Congolese Leader. "Anytime the governor, for reasons best known to him, decides to make allegations that he cannot prove, anytime he provokes us we shall continue to expose him so that we shall continue to know who the governor is. "We have more than enough materials. For now, we as a party what we feel for now will interest our people that will generate debate. "But any provocation from him will be replied with similar exposure…We 'll not shy away from taking him on. "The question here is that multi billion project going on in Iyamu as his new private residence, is it tax payers money that is at work? What is the salary of a governor….Three years in government, he's erecting something running into billions. "For us as a party, we owe it a duty to expose some of the things that are happening to the good people of Edo State. More sothe people have been deceived by dress the governor at the time he came into office, let the people lead, you 'll agree with me too that this is a one man show government, he said. He alleged that the first water project awarded by his administration, 'The Dando drilling rig contract was given to his own in-law', adding that the inflated contract was not advertised neither did it go through any bidding process as required by law.

PDP queries release of federal allocation to Aregbesola From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Southwest has questioned the rationale behind the release of federal allocation to the Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola-led government in Osun state, in spite fact that the governor has changed the state to State of Osun, which is that party claims is alien to the constitution. The PDP said the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Federal

Ministry of Finance and the accountant General of the Federation must explain which state they have been releasing allocation meant for Osun state to since Governor Aregbesola replaced the constitutionally recognised Osun state with his own state of Osun. PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon Kayode Babade said in a release issued today that; "Changing Osun state to state of Osun goes beyond mere semantics. It is a fundamental issue, which touches the basics for the existence of Osun State as a creation

of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. "The question RMAFC and other Federal Government agencies must answer is; constitutionally, can state of Osun continue to receive federal allocation meant for Osun state?" On the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) claim that the PDP was out to destablise the Southwest with the security report indicting Aregbesola of breeding Islamic fundamentalist, Babade said; "No doubt, PDP will retrieve the Southwest states from the hands of the locusts that are presently

destroying it. But we are not going to do so by cutting corners like the ACN did in Ekiti and Osun states. "The question that Aregbesola should answer is why he is using members of TAWUN, an Islamic fundamentalist group as security guard instead of men of the police and SSS? He should explain why he sent five SSS officials out of the Government House in Oshogbo because they had disagreement with the TAWUN men that had taken over the job of guarding the governor?

"How will a Comrade, as the name suggests, live the life that the late Michael Imodu lived. A man who led the labour union for several years and at the point he retired from the movement, he did not have a house anywhere in this country. The house he later lived and died in was built for him through contributions from patriotic Nigerians. Besides, 'The money Oshiomhole has received from the federal government, no government has ever received that. Apart from that, the internally generated Revenue of the state has risen to over N2 billion. According to him, "In spite of that Oshiomhole has continued to borrow money both internally and externally. Just recently, he has gone to the World bank to borrow. 'It's no longer news that money meant are being syphoned by this government. He re-affirmed the PDP government if elected commitment to probe local government administration under the Comrade governor and described as undesirable the state government decision to close the state owned Ambrose Alli University, AAU, shortly after the well disaster that claimed two students. '…They came back to school after Easter, they have been sent home again…. I believe that was not the intention of late Prof. Alli when he was establishing that school'. However in swift reaction yesterday, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Media, Mr. Tony Iyare punctured the allegations of the PDP, pointing out that Governor Oshiomhole built his country home at Iyamho 20 years ago as well as his houses in Kaduna and Abuja before becoming governor of the State. "The house in Iyamho is currently undergoing some renovation which is aimed at providing for some walkways and an out-door bar on the existing empty space", adding that the so called #10 billion mansion was an imagination of those who contrived the existence of such building. On the allegation that the governor borrowed money from the World Bank, Mr. Iyare said the sterling show of prudence with public resources put was what led multi-national institutions to partner with the state government with the World Bank granting the state a credit support of $225 million last week which is envisaged to be spread over a three-year period. "Apart from putting development vigorously on the table, the government has built more than 500 kilometres of roads covering more than 400 communities. The government has also embarked on the rebuilding of many primary and secondary schools across the three senatorial zones of the state", Iyare said. This, he said were in addition to building a five-star complex at the Central Hospital, Benin City while many hospitals have been renovated across the state as well as the building of women and children hospital in Ewohimi in Edo Central and Otuo in Edo North to complement the one in Benin City.



26 Super Falcons in camp By Patrick Andrew


Precious Dede

wenty six would-be Super Eagles were in camp yesterday where they are undergoing screening ahead of the May 27 African Women Championship title qualifiers against Zimbabwe in a two-leg fixture. Coach Kadiri Ikhana confirmed this yesterday after the team’s morning training session and also disclosed that the remaining 27 players are expected latest by the Friday. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that Ikhana had called up 53 players to the camp which opened on Sunday in Abuja. Out of the lot the team would be pruned to 45 and then finally to about 30 before serious preparations for the two-legged encounter that would guarantee a place at this year’s finals, billed for Equatorial Guinea in November.

“We have 26 players in camp now and we are expecting 27 more players to make 53 altogether. I am very worried but at least I’m happy that we are able to kick start the programme today. “So all we need to do is to just brush over it since they are players that we know and they are players that we’ve watched during the league so I think we won’t have so much problems sorting them out. “The only challenge is that I’ve been seeing men playing now, I have to face training women; there’s nothing more than that because they are using football boots, they are playing the same ball and everything is the same. “ It’s just that the endurance and the reaction of the women is slow and that’s the only thing we just want to sharpen,” he said adding that he would not apply deadline to force the remaining players to camp. “I think the football house will do that and not me. I’m just a coach on the field of play and I don’t make policies for the team. I’ll report back to the football house and they take their decisions.” He appealed to the NFF to give attention to the Super Falcons in order to get the best from the players. “If we want to have a good female team in this country, we must go the extra mile to satisfy them.”

Violence: NNWL suspends Jarma FC’s matches


he secretariat of the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL), yesterday in Abuja, suspended all matches involving Jarma FC of Kano in its on-going competition for 2011/2012 season. The league’s Secretary, Emmanuel Adesanya, confirmed yesterday that the league body had to take this action to safeguard the league from incidences of violence during matches. He also said the decision was intended to deter the supporters

of the kano-based club from further injuring the reputation of the game, an act would be detrimental to the quest of the league body to secure sponsors. “The club’s supporters were reported to have beaten up the officials of their match against visiting DSS FC of Kaduna on April 2 in Kano. “As a result of this act of violence that is against the rules of the game, we felt there is the need to take action to serve as a deterrent to others. Therefore, their (Jarma FC) matches are on hold for the time being,”

Adesanya said. Adesanya said the disciplinary action was an interim measure, until the Organising and Disciplinary Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) meets to decide on the matter. “This action by the secretariat is the normal step we usually take, until the Organising and Disciplinary Committee of the NFF, in whose hands lie the power to discipline, meets,” he said. It was learnt that Jarma FC fans had, after a Division One D

Week Five match, attacked the match officials who were from the FCT. The Kano side had lost the match 1-2. Jarma FC were to meet hosts Court of Appeal FC of Abuja on April 22 in a week eight match. They were also to host VON FC of Abuja on April 30 in a Week Nine match, before the league goes on a mid-season break same day. With the suspension, the club will therefore not play any match until May as the NFF’s Organising and Disciplinary Committee is not likely to meet until then.

Africa Championship: Scrabble players to be selected at Ibadan Opens


he Secretary, Nigeria Scrabble Federation (NSF), James Eakyns, on Tuesday said that players for the Africa Scrabble Championship (ASC) would be selected at the Ibadan Opens. Eakyns told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the Ibadan Opens would hold from April 20 to April 21, while the ASC would be in Zambia in November. “No fewer than 150 players have indicated interest to participate in the tournament which will serve as a platform to select players who will represent Nigeria at the ASC,” he said. The secretary said that scrabble equipment would be donated to the Lagos State Scrabble Association by Femi Awowade, a board member of NSF, on April 19 to assist in developing the sport. “One of our own, Femi Awowade, who is based in London will be donating some up-to-date gadgets that will go a long way in developing the game to Lagos State,” Eakyns said. He said the event would take place at the Lagos Country Club, adding that it was Awowade’s way of giving back to the society.

Bolaji Abdullahi, Supervising Minister of Sports

Eagles to charter flight for World Cup tie with Malawi

CAF to provide laptops, life saving kits to affiliate associations

he Super Eagles will fly to Malawi on chartered flight for a World Cup tie in June to ensure nothing is taken for granted, officials said. The Flames of Malawi will host Nigeria in a 2014 World Cup qualifier on June 9. A top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official specially told “We plan another chartered flight for the World Cup qualifier in Malawi. “We want to ensure adequate preparation for the match and as such we are leaving nothing to chance especially as it concerns

he Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it will provide all its 54 affiliate associations with “administrative support accessories and medical equipment”, under its “Contract with Africa” programme. A statement on Tuesday on its website,, said that no fewer than six laptop computers and medical emergency kits would be distributed to each of the football associations. CAF said the programme was in line with its commitment to equip the secretariat of member


the comfort of the players.” In February, the NFF also chartered a flight that set them back by as much as $180,000 (about N29 million) for the team’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Rwanda. The Eagles flew on special flights for 2012 Nations Cup qualifiers in Ethiopia and Madagascar. Also the NFF plans send an advanced party to Malawi before the World Cup qualifier. In March 2003, Nigeria beat Malawi 1-0 in Blantyre in a 2004 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match. The Eagles also won the

T Stephen Keshi reverse fixture 4-1 in Abuja in June 2003. Namibia and Kenya are the other teams in Nigeria’s 2014 World Cup qualifying group.

associations to aid the discharge of their duties and ensure that footballers were looked after in the best possible way. The statement said that the medical emergency kits would contain key items considered essential for life support and other threats faced by professional athletes. “CAF is very committed to the programmes of our members and we hope the equipment will be vital in carrying out of their administrative and medical responsibilities,” CAF President Issa Hayatou said.



Audu urges NPL to improve on referees’ remuneration


unday Audu, the immediate past Secretary of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRF), has urged the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) to improve on referees remuneration for better performance. Audu said yesterday in Lagos

Victor Baribote


arri Wolves’ trainer, Maurice Cooreman has identified newlypromoted Akwa United as the strongest team in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) this season. Akwa United have shocked bookmakers with their steady performances this season which has seen them climb up to 5th in the NPL with 29 points from 19 matches. Akwa United are the bestplaced of all the newly-promoted sides this season but Cooreman said he is not surprised by the side’s exploits this season. “For me, the strongest team in the NPL this season is Akwa United. They have very good players and play the game in the right way. They have a very good coach who has built a very solid team and I think they have a great chance (in the league) this season,” Cooreman said. The former Kaduna United trainer also moved to speak on the NPL claiming that the best teams are never given the opportunity to win the domestic title. “The best teams are never allowed to win the league in Nigeria because the officiating is so poor especially during the away matches. The referees are usually not fair and when you complain, they send you off,” he said.

that such a step would reduce the incidence of match fixing allegations being made against referees in the league. He admonished that, for the absence of issues bordering on bribe and match fixing allegations, referees should be paid their indemnities as and when due. “If they pay the referees well, their eyes will not look at the bribe they are being offered. “Their remuneration is still very poor, imagine a referees being paid N15, 000 to officiate a match in Jigawa and he is based in Kastina, its unheard of,” the former secretary said. Speaking on the quality of football played so far in the first stanza of the 2011/2012 NPL season, Audu applauded the standard being exhibited by clubs, through away victories, which he said implied fairness. “The norm is that if clubs perform well, good officiating

should complement their efforts, but if the club performed well and officiating was poor, it will not speak well of the league. “The two have to work together, if one is lacking, the other one won’t achieve its aim. As it is now, the security of referees is commendable, but it can be improved upon,” the former secretary of the NRF said. Audu also commended the effort of the NPL in the provision of adequate security for referees at match venues. He, however, complained about the high handed manner with which the Dispute and Disciplinary Resolution Committee was going about its assignment, noting that “the committee usually makes pronouncement without following due process. “I don’t agree with the decisions they take at times, I don’t agree with them, they go

beyond their bounds, whenever they take their decisions. “My anger again is that they make pronouncements without consulting others involved in the process of arriving at the decision they took to resolve the issue at stake. “They should follow procedures, the way and manner disciplinary issues are handled is not healthy for the league”. On his assessment of the NPL in comparison to what obtained in Europe, South America and South Africa, Audu said adding that there was no basis for comparison. “Even though the league is faring well, we cannot compare it to the European and South American football leagues. “We can’t compare our league with developed countries, but in Africa, Nigeria is number one, followed by maybe South Africa,” he said.

Akwa Utd NPL’s most dangerous team, says Cooreman Cooreman was sent off inside the first 10 minutes when Heartland beat Wolves 3-1 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri on Sunday. It was the second time Cooreman would be getting the marching orders since taking over from Paul Aigbogun at Wolves earlier this season but the Belgian trainer said he would always ‘stand for the truth.’ “I always stand for the truth. On that day (during the Heartland/Wolves game) I was not even talking to the referee. I was talking with my player (Jude) Aneke but the referee didn’t like it,” Cooreman explained. The 69-year-old concluded by voicing his sentiments on whom he felt was the best player currently plying his trade in the NPL. “I think I will select my player, Azubuike Egwuekwe who has shown a lot of dedication this season. He is a very strong player

that is always looking to improve. Every time, he asks me questions on how to be a better

player. I think he is the best player in the league,” Cooreman said.

Azubuike Egwuekwe

Wrestling federation’s secretariat moves to Abuja, says official


he secretariat of the Wrestling Federation of Nigeria (NWF) has moved to Abuja, an official of the federation confirmed yesterday. Olumide Bamiduro, the federation’s Secretary-General, said that the secretariat “is now in the Package B of the Abuja National Stadium”. “We are now in the Indoor Hall at the Package B, and this is to ensure we operate better than before as we get ready for the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” he said. It would be recalled that the wrestling federation’s secretariat had been in Lagos since the body’s formation and operations under the National Associations’ office of the National Sports Commission (NSC). Even when the NSC moved to Abuja in the early 90s, the federation’s secretariat remained in Lagos alongside a number of other sports federations, which had maintained their Lagos offices. Bamiduro told NAN that he was excited by the secretariat’s relocation to Abuja as the development would enhance administrative activities in the federation. “We are also closer to our supervising body, the NSC, and this will help us in preparing our wrestlers who have qualified for the 2012 London Olympics,” he said. “Our wrestlers for the Olympics will be camping in Abuja, and will thereafter be moving abroad for the pre-Games training tour. The secretariat will therefore be crucial to all arrangements in this respect,” he said. Two male wrestlers, Sinivie Boltic and Dick Adibo, and their female counterparts, Obiajunwa Amarachi and Blessing Oborodudu, are already preparing for the London Games. The wrestling federation is expected to open camp for them and eight other wrestlers as part of the preparations for the Olympics.

NIPOGA: Ede, 3 others qualify for semi-finals


he Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun, and Nasarawa Polytechnic, KauraNamoda, have qualified for the semi-finals of the male football competition at the ongoing NIPOGA Games at Ede. Also, the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, and Federal Polytechnic, Offa, are through to the semi-finals. Each of the four teams has seven points, having won two matches and drawn one out of their three preliminary matches. In one of the last group games decided yesterday, the host

football team defeated Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, 2-0 to be in the semi-finals. Victor Owobiko scored the first goal of the match in the 5 th minute of play, while the second was netted in the 84 th minute by Sayo Ogundeji. Lagos State Polytechnic football team defeated Kaduna Polytechnic team 3-1 on Monday in their third match. The coach of the host team, Olaleye Olawole, said his team expected nothing less than winning the final. He urged the players not to be carried away by their

performance but “to keep the tempo until they claim the gold medal of the event“. The two semi-finals matches of the male football event will be played on Friday. In the women’s handball, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, defeated Kogi Polytechnic, Ayangba, by 33 points to 9 points, while Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, defeated the host team by 27 point to 17 points. Also in the women’s volleyball event, Kaduna Polytechnic defeated Kogi State Polytechnic 3-0.



Nadal nervous as Carlo Masters starts today C lay king Rafael Nadal has admitted that he is nervous about today’s start at the Monte Carlo Masters, a fortnight after quitting with knee pain prior to his last match.

Nadal, seeded second behind Novak Djokovic, will play Jarkko Nieminen in the second round after the Finn beat Radek Stepanek 6-3, 7-6 (7-3). In first-round play on Monday, all three seeds on

court advanced. Spain’s number 13 seed Fernando Verdasco, a 2010 finalist against Nadal, beat Belgian Olivier Rochus 4-6, 6-2, 75, while 15th-ranked Austrian Jurgen Melzer

UEFA Champions League: Chelsea ambush Barcelona for revenge


Rafael Nadal straight title on the clay of the principality. “Hopefully it will work well.” The king of clay, whose last trophy came at the 2011 French Open, played down the fact that his last success came 10 months ago. “I haven’t won a title, but how many finals have I played?” asked Nadal, who has appeared in four finals since his Roland Garros triumph.

LOSS OF DOCUMENT This is to notify the general public that the original letter of offer with PLOT NO. MD 14 GUDU DISTRICT ABUJA FCT belonging to CATHERINE ADEBUSOLA SHONEKAN of 13 Tunji Osilaja street Opebi, Ikeja Lagos got lost in transit. All efforts made to trace the document proved abortive.If found, contact the nearest police station or MRS. C. A. JOSEPH at the above address FCTA, AGIS and the general public to please take note. PUBLIC NOTICE CHANGE OF NAME



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helsea’s stride to the UEFA Champions League final was halted in controversial fashion by the eventual winners Barcelona in 2009. That loss generated no little bad blood largely because of the number of assumed bad calls, which probably engendered the violent conduct from Chelsea players. Albeit the two-legged clash ended on even keel, Barcelona had the edge courtesy an away goal following the 1-1 draw at the Stamford Bridge. The first leg at the Nou Camp had ended on barren note. The Stamford Bridge glory came off the boot of Andre Iniesta whose brilliant drive dislodged Petr Cech and moments later Didier Drogba and co were involved in ugly incidence that fetched them UEFA disciplinary action. Ever since, they have managed to miss another confrontation until today’s epic clash which ironically has come when both are not in their best forms even though the match retains all the frenzy peculiar to nailbiting clashes. Roberto Di Matteo seems to have re-jigged Chelsea since he took over from Andre VillasBoas. The team have been excellent at home this season and have won all five games played so far, scoring 16 goals and conceding only two. Di Matteo’s men defeated Benfica with an aggregate score of 3-1 in the quarterfinals and Drogba believes they can achieve similar success if they focus on the upcoming tie. They seem to be in terrific form albeit far from what it used to be under Jose Mourinho whose depth and savvy have remained unbleached. But Barcelona will be in search of a win when they visit Stamford Bridge for today’s first leg of their UEFA Champions League semifinal clash. The last time Barcelona won a match against Chelsea was back in 2006 and since then they have lost once and drawn four times. Pep Guardiola’s men have won four of their five away games in the Champions League this season, the exception being the 0-0 in Milan at the quarterfinal stage which they ended up winning 3-1 on aggregate. Barcelona will be boosted by the return of midfielders Seydou Keita and Ibrahim Afellay from injury, while Gerard Pique is also expected to start after sitting on the bench during the La Liga game against Levante on Saturday. David Luiz is unlikely to feature for Chelsea after picking up a hamstring injury during an FA Cup clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Aside from him, Chelsea will have a solid squad with Drogba, Frank Lampard, skipper John Terry, Fernando Torres, Malouda, John Obi Mikel and several others to choose from. Chelsea will need to be robust and

physically combative to against contain Barcelona because anything less will be playing into the hands of the samba masters and there is practically no way the English team can withstand the Spainish champions in the area of specialisation. Chelsea must be cautious and maintain discipline because as all three of their defeats in 10 matches against Barcelona since 2000 have come when they have had a player sent off. Of course, Barcelona have so many players that can hurt the Blues, which is where Lionel Messi stands out. The Argentine is confident, mercurial and take the game to Chelsea with deft runs. The Argentina forward scored at the weekend for a record 10th straight league game to take his remarkable goal total this season to 63, the best since German great Gerd Mueller scored 67 in 1972-73. Messi’s haul of 14 goals in this season’s Champions League has broken the competition record for one campaign, set by Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2002-03. And he might just be the man to break Chelsea’s backbone. The two sides will meet again in Barcelona for the return leg on April 24th.


By Patrick Andrew

defeated Lukas Kubot 6-2, 7-5. Alexandr Dolgopolov, the number 16 seed, put out Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-2. Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, ranked 352 in the world after a long absence with a knee injury, crushed Donald Young 6-0, 6-1 to leave the American winless in his last five events. Australian Bernard Tomic reached the second round by beating Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-4, 6-3 to claim his first ATPlevel victory on clay. Tomic won a qualifying match in Moncao a year ago but lost out to Julien Benneteau for a spot in the main draw. “I’m scared because this is the start to an important season for me,” saidNadal, who is bidding for an unprecedented eighth

Top badminton players decry dearth of competitions



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This is to notify the general public that the original letter of offer with Plot No. 185 Jahi (B08) District Abuja FCT belonging to ADEYOMBO LIYODE ANIMASHAUN C/O MRS. C. A. JOSEPH of 13 Tunji Osilaja street Opebi, Ikeja Lagos got lost in transit. All efforts made to trace the document proved abortive.If found, contact the nearest police station or MRS. C. A. JOSEPH at the above address FCTA, AGIS and the general public to please take note.

frica’s number three badminton player, Nigeriaborn Ifraimu Jinkam and his compatriot Enejo Abah, yesterday said that the dearth of competitions was stalling the growth of the sport in the country. The duo said that players could hardly boast of a competition in the first quarter of this year and went to express fears that the sport might be extinct soon, if nothing was done to attract people to invest in its growth. Jinkam, who is also Nigeria’s number one player, said the lack of competitions would not help the sport and upcoming players to develop as they hardly participated in national championships. “Players improve when they train regularly and compete in tournaments to assess what they have learnt. It always put them in competition mood. “Some of the players practise on their own, but when there is no competition, they get discouraged,” he said. He also noted that multinational companies should come to the aid of badminton by sponsoring competitions where budding talents would be discovered. “If we can rely a little on government’s allocation and look for alternatives by getting the help of corporate organisations, they will help to organise competitions, at least locally,” Jinkam said. EnejoAbah, Nigeria’s number two player and Africa’s number six, said players would not improve till there were series of competitions to allow them show their skills. “The dearth of local competitions is not good for the development of badminton. If we do not realise this, the sport might die a natural death if we cannot bring up new talents. “A competition is an avenue where you improve because you will know where you are missing it and where you need to improve upon to develop yourself,” he said. He also said credible people should be made to manage the sport to ensure its development.



Official advises parents against imposing choice of sports on wards A

n official of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), Tayo Popoola, has advised parents to encourage their children to take to any sport of their choice. Popoola said such imposition of choice of sports on young athletes would hamper rather than bring out the best in them. “When parents discover the interest of a child in a particular sport like taekwondo, they should give the child all the necessary support to enable the child to develop the talent,” she said. The official attributed the success of Chika Chukwumerije, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, to the immense support he got from his parents and siblings. “Chukwumerije has the full support of his family members, which is his strength and secret of success, and he is a champion that is known in the taekwondo family world wide,” Popoola said. She noted that taekwondo had rules and regulations guiding its practice both in training and competition proper, adding that they were consistently upgraded by the International Taekwondo Federation. Popoola said that such rules would encourage young athletes to take to the sport and enable them to develop their

talents faster. Meanwhile, a former national coach, Osita Egwim, has appeal the Nigeria Teakwondo Federation to organise more taekwondo competitions in the country to identify talents that would replace the ageing champions. Egwim said it was time to scout for athletes, identify them and introduce them to a comprehensive training programme with the aid of modern taekwon-do equipment. “Good a thing, the taekwondo federation has the internationally required equipment, so there is no reason for the country not to be able to raise first class athletes,” he said. He said that current taekwondo champions, such as Chukwumerije and Isa Adam, who would represent Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics, were likely to retire soon. “By now, we should have younger athletes in the various weight categories in place that will represent the country in the next Olympic Games, which is just four years away,” Egwim said. Ferguson Oluigbo, President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Referees Association (NTRA), also advised the NTF to expose athletes to international championships, to enable them to further improve their skills.

Athletes advised to combine careers with education

The Chairman of the Lagos State Fives Association, Nasiru Mohammed, has urged athletes to combine their athletic careers with education. Mohammed, who also urged sports persons to venture into politics, gave while speaking on the need for athletes to prepare themselves for their after sports careers days. “It is imperative for athletes to combine education with their careers because of the role education plays in determining excellence in every endeavour. It is also important for our sports’ stakeholders to go into politics because it is only when sportsmen are in politics that sports could grow,” Mohammed said. The chairman, a Grand Fellow of

Innocent Egbunike, Chief Coach of AFN

Nigerian Youths, also noted that the quest for educational certificates should be a must for athletes to guard against the unexpected incidences that may lead to early exit from their sports of choice or deserved retirement. “Athletes should go to school because it is very important; you may be injured as an athlete, but with a certificate you can later venture into something else. An athlete who does not want to go to school can learn a trade or be an artisan to prevent such an athlete from roaming the streets begging for alms,” he said. On politics, Mohammed advised stakeholders in sports to venture into politics to guarantee the growth of sports in the country. “Sports people should be in politics to implement policies that will promote sports,” the chairman said. Mohammed regretted that much attention is being accorded to football at the expense of other sports in the country, and regretted that it may because of the general lack of interest of sports administrators in other sports. He said that if sports men were the administrators, all the sports in the country would record an impressive turn around. The chairman advised government at all levels to also accord other sports more importance to ensure equal and effective growth. “Let the three tiers of governments face other sports; there are lots of medals in other sports than football. Government should adequately fund other sports,” he said. According to him, if 10 per cent of funds spent on football yearly is given to the other sports, they will also grow.

Oluigbo said the exposure of athletes to international competitions would equip them with the necessary experience and

technicalities to grow. “The problem is that we put too much pressure on the athletes to win medals in all the events, instead of focusing on their gaining the needed experience to excel,” he said. He appealed to the NTF to strengthen its sponsorship drive in the second quarter to ensure that Nigerian athletes participated in the various categories of international taekwondo events.

Chika Chukwumerije, a teakwondoist has successfully combined sports career and education

NVBF vice president commends FIVB on new rules


he Nigeria Volleyball Federation (NVBF) says the decision of the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) to allow less revealing attires in the 2012 London Olympics female beach volleyball is commendable. The decision was reached after a three day meeting in Lausanne on March 29, where the FIVB Board of Administration approved a change in the beach volley uniform rules. The modified women’s uniform rule will apply for all beach volleyball tournaments, including the Olympic Games. Reacting to the development on Monday, Dr Babatunde Morakinyo, the NVBF Vice President, said that FIVB by the decision had taken the religious beliefs of some athletes into consideration. Morakinyo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on telephone that the wearing of bikinis by women to play the

game had resulted in some Islamic countries keeping aloof. “In as much as we are going to play beach volleyball the way it should be played, we should also look into the religious sensibilities of countries participating at the Olympics. “I am happy that they considered the views and belief of Islamic countries because we have some countries that cannot wear the bikinis. It is a good and welcomed development. Countries that are very religion conscious would now have option with the flexibility in uniform, ” he said The women’s Olympic beach volleyball tournament will be played from July 28 to Aug. 12 in a stadium at Horse Guards Parade near Buckingham Palace. The modified rule permits “shorts of a maximum length of 3 centimetrss above the knee, and sleeved or sleeveless tops.”

Police Baton B’ball Club coach says team reaping from hard work


oach Mark Balogun of the Police Baton Basketball Club of Lagos, has attributed his team’s second victory at the ongoing DStv men’s Basketball league to hard work and the players’ compliance with instructions. Balogun said on Sunday, shortly after his team defeated city rival Chariots 7768 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, that he was happy the team was gradually reaping from dedication to hard work and focus. Sunday’s victory was the Police Baton’s second in the league, following an earlier defeat of the Comets 87-82. “I am happy my players are rising from slumber. The league is highly competitive now; even the defending champion, Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt, have lost more than one game this season, which simply means every club has to sit-up,” he said. Also speaking, Coach Charles Ibeziako, of the Chariots, said he was disappointed with his player’s performance, saying he did not know why their pace had slowed

down. “We started the season on a high note, but for over six weeks now they have not been performing to expectation,” Ibeziako said. He said that the coaching crew of the team would try to work on the players’ weaknesses to make-up for their losses. The match, the last in the week eight fixtures, witnessed the Chariots taking the lead in the first quarter at 18-11. However, the Police Baton bounced back in the second quarter, beating the Chariots 28-9, and also won the third and last quarter 11-12 and 27-19, respectively. In its eight matches so far, the Chariots won only one against the Comets of Lagos, 73-67, in the week two fixture of the league. This has put the club in a tight corner being the only club that has won just a match in the league. So far, 32 matches have been played in the league, while the Chariots are the only club with a lone victory.



QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself - and thus mak ey our self make your ourself indispensable — Andre Gide



UEFA Champions League semi-final: It's advantage Bayern Munich


ario Gomez missed plenty of chances last night but he finally makes a telling contribution right at the death when he scored to break the deadlock that was advantage Real Madrid. Bayern are now in pole position to return to Munich for this year's Champions League final on May 19, when they will face either holders Barcelona or Chelsea, who meet in the first leg of their semifinal today. Philipp Lahm had cut in down the byline on the right and crossed into the six-yard box where Gomez was waiting to slide in among a bunch of bodies to score his 40th (and potentially his most important) goal of the season. It was the needed response to the threat of the Germans who had been consistent since Real's Mesut Ozil drew them on level terms. Cristiano Ronaldo's casual effort was saved by Manuel Neuer but the ball bounced off his grip allowing Karim Benzema to latch on it, but his mis-kick ball shot back to the Portuguese winger and he then tees up the German international Ozil to tap home unchallenged. Bayern had a penalty call denied early on but put that behind them when Franck Ribery seized on Sergio Ramos' inability to clear a corner and smashed the ball into the net. It was a massive goal for Bayern, who had started the game really well. The goal was just the first time that Madrid have been behind in the Champions League this season. There was a melee in the dying stages after substitute Thomas Mueller was heavily fouled by Madrid replacement Marcelo, who was shown a yellow card, but Bayern now have everything to play for in the return leg in Spain.

Mario Gomez


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The untold side of late Godwin Daboh


here was time that the renowned Time Magazine put up the name of Adolph Hitler as a candidate for its annual “Man of the Year Award.” The whole idea, the magazine explained was in recognition of the profundity of the impact – good or bad – a man or woman may have made on the rest of humanity. This, understandably, caused an enormous outrage among many of their readers who asked the question “Why Hitler?” Opinions are bound to differ on this enigmatic character. The late Godwin Adzuana Daboh was enriched with unparalleled goodness of the heart. He was also a profoundly mischievous man. To most Nigerians, Daboh was defined by his initial anticorruption crusade. In 1974, he stood up against the icon of Middle-Belt politics, Joseph Saruwan Tarka and pulled him down from the heights that he had attained. It is a matter for historians to determine whether Daboh lived up to the ideal of an anti-corruption crusader. The cherishable aspect of this man’s life can be illustrated by the fact he lived a useful life and was kind and generous to a fault. As I write, there are destitutes, students and widows who will not be eating dinner tonight because Daboh is dead. His controversies appeared to have overshadowed his generous streak. Daboh had a good understanding of the power of the press in all the battles he fought. In his lifetime, he bought and read nearly all of the newspapers he could lay his hand upon to keep himself abreast. He kept reporters close to him and I think it is on account of this he lavished affection on this reporter. I have missed a friend. The number one rule of survival for many public figures was never to respond in kind to Daboh in the media. If Daboh attacked you, read it and keep quiet. Those who made the mistake of engaging him in the press, almost always paid dearly for it. He had an opinion on everything and I think this explained his entry into publishing. When he started The Broom, they abused him and said he was not a professional journalist. Can you believe that Daboh set aside his family and business in Jos and Makurdi to embark on a two-year journalism training programme at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, NIJ, in Lagos? When he faced

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Garba Shehu

Late Godwin Daboh another challenge concerning his academic grounding, he embarked upon a three month training at a Bible School in the United States. When he returned, he added epithet of “Dr. of Divinity,” to answer the new name of Dr. Daboh. As a “journalist”, he used the press’ power of exposure to full effect. He once launched a blistering campaign of calumny against a fellow Benue man, Chief Audu Ogbeh who at that time was the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. He went to Chief Audu Ogbeh to tell him that “you are my younger brother. I am doing this thing to get something from you. You are a stingy man and I know there is no way I can get something from you if I did not damage your name.” They had a good laugh over the matter and they parted as friends. He knew journalists and their games and Daboh would let anyone take a cheap shot at him. I remember the day he stormed the press centre in Abuja, calling out the name of a journalist who has now transformed into a VIP, charging, “I gave you N20,000 and there is nothing in the paper. Where is my story?” The reporter mumbled a few words and the explanation he was

trying to make was that the Editor in Lagos decided not to run it. Daboh said “No way, it’s my money or my story”. As a politician, the late Daboh did lot of things that were difficult to understand. From my knowledge of him, he merely reflected the colours of present day politicians, nothing more, nothing less. It was very strange that he fought his known master and benefactor, General Ibrahim Babangida in the run-up to the 2011 presidential primaries. It was shocking to many when he began to call IBB names. “We will disgrace him if he enters the race,” he said of IBB’s presidential aspiration. As one of those who knew him, Daboh wasn’t ungrateful or rude to IBB. He was only doing what most Nigerians do, the politics of the stomach. He knew where his bread would be buttered. So he followed Goodluck Jonathan and helped him become President. Before this time, Daboh had to my knowledge called meetings of his kinsmen to canvass for a President of Northern origin. He insisted throughout that meeting that the president in 2011 must not come from the South. Many readers will in fact recall that Daboh was that person who went to court to stop the Third Term ambition of President Obasanjo in 2006. The FCT High Court presided by Justice (Mrs.) Goodluck gave an order that the status-quo be maintained. Daboh’s lawyer and the court Bailiff rushed to Port Harcourt to serve the Senator Mantu Committee on Constitutional amendment which was about to vote on the controversial Third Term. Both Bailiff and lawyer were beaten by Mantu’s thugs at the Airport Hotel, Omagwa, PortHarcourt. That was why they could not carry out the service. Anyway, with Daboh’s support and that of others, Jonathan won and went on to be sworn-in in 2011. But it was not

long before Daboh’s moment of introspection came. The election had come and gone and the promises made to him were yet to be fulfilled. Daboh took a deep breath one day and said “This Jonathan man!” He said he hadn’t seen anything from the President all this while, and “I have abused all my people, IBB and Atiku in the newspapers. How can I go back to them?” I think much later, something small came and he waited for the big prize which did not come until death came to snatch him away. This write-up should really be the celebration of Daboh, a man of a rare kind heart. I remember talking to his lawyer Chike Okafor who illustrated to me more of the goodness of Daboh. On many of his days in court, Daboh would be moved by pity to bring out his checkbook to bail out troubled tenants and debtors. “How much is he owing?", he will ask as he sees a man being led to prison. Daboh usually felt no hesitation doling out N10,000, N20,000 sometimes up to N100,000 to bail someone out. So yes, while Daboh “saw money” as we say in Nigerian parlance, he lavished it on people he met whose causes touched him. That was why he was mostly broke. Daboh had a way of getting out of trouble each time he fell into one. There was a day he had a falling out with his friend, the former Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Abubakar Tsav. Using his police connections, Tsav got Area 10 Abuja Police Station to interrogate Daboh. He soon became their friend. Instead of being kept in detention, Daboh was seen buying jeans and TShirts for his police interrogators. That changed the tide. They called Tsav to come and substantiate his charges and he being an ex-police commissioner, he possibly felt too big to come to the station. That dissipated the case. I was privileged to know Daboh as having had a covenant with his Maker. “If I reach 70 years, God may take me away at any point afterwards.” God granted him his wish and Daboh did not die until he passed the 70 year mark. He will surely be missed by widows to whom he gave a monthly upkeep; students who went to school because he paid the fees and destitutes who ate because the kind-hearted Daboh supplied the food.

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednessday, April 18, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednessday, April 18, 2012 Edition

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednessday, April 18, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednessday, April 18, 2012 Edition