Page 1

Vol. 11 No. 23

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

. . . putting the people first

Sha’aban 11, 1434 AH

Firearms: FG drops charges against 8 Russian sailors



Armed robbers massacre 58 in Zamfara Boko Haram kill 22 in Borno 3,000 Nigerian refugees in Cameroon — UN From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau, Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


ifty-eight people were killed yesterday in Kizara village of Tsafe local government area of Zamfara state by a group of gunmen suspected to be cattle rustlers. The gunmen said to number about 150 besieged the village at about 4 am, riding motorcycles and opened fire on villagers on sight. The gunmen also killed the village head, Mallam Lawali Madawaki, the Chief Imam, Mallam Liman Usman, and the leader of the vigilante group. An eyewitness, Yahaya Bale, said it was a reprisal attack following an earlier organized mission by the community vigilante group who chased the cattle rustlers, to recover some of the animals they had stolen from the community. He said the rustlers had been sending notice of attack to the community “but every time they send the signal, they would fail to come,” he said. Yahaya further explained that it

R-L: Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, during the third day Fidau prayers of former Lagos state Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s mother Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, yesterday in Lagos.

PDP chair: I won’t resign — Tukur N Contd. on Page 2

By Lawrence Olaoye

President meets NASS leadership Governors stop funding party FAAC: Empty treasury stalls funds allocation >>3

ational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, arose from a crucial meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday to declare that he would not resign his position as being presently speculated. This is coming as the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) meets today ahead of its National Executive Council (NEC)’s meeting scheduled to hold tomorrow. Tukur who spoke to State House Contd. on Page 2

Tambuwal to Jonathan: I am your property >>3



























PDP’s politics of suspension and recall, Page 4



Strange World 35 Digest Politics Newsxtra Sports

36 37-38 40 41-45





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PDP chair: I won’t resign — Tukur Contd. from Front Page Correspondents after his parley with the President in company with other members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) explained that his election was properly conducted at the party’s convention. He said reports of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which pointed at irregularities did not affect him and three other members of the NWC and therefore there would be no need for him to resign as being variously speculated in the media. According to him, he was duly and constitutionally elected alongside the National Financial Secretary, the National Auditor and the National Secretary, whose position has been vacant with the removal of Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola by a court order. He stressed “the eight people, all the deputies, and ex-officios and the rest of them whose election in the convention was not voted for,” are those affected. Instead of them vacating their positions, he explained,there are some positions in the NWC that were not properly filled, which needed to be ‘regularized’’. This exercise, he said, entails that about eight of the NWC officials will drop their portfolios and seek fresh mandate if they so wish. Tukur,who was flanked by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, denied the

speculations that he would be resigning tomorrow at the party’s NEC insisting “It is not true that I am resigning. Resign for what? It is not true at all. We are here to run the PDP and we have done so and we will continue to run the PDP.” Metuh who interjected intermittently insisted that Tukur will not resign stressing that the National Chairman is not only in office, but in power. Commenting on the reason for his meeting with the President Tukur said “the meeting is about regularising the family of PDP because there was INEC observation that some of the members of the NWC were not properly elected so it has to be regularized. “The meeting is about regularising the family of PDP because there was INEC observation, some of the members of the NWC were not properly elected so it has to be regularized. Those who have not been elected will resign and they will go back, they will have opportunity to regularize” We are still consulting over Tukur’s fate — Ekweremadu Immediately after the meeting with the PDP leadership yesterday, President Jonathan also met with the leadership of the National Assembly represented by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Emeka Ihedioha. Ekweremadu who briefed

newsmen after the meeting said “this one (yesterday’s meeting) has to do with our party issues because we are of the same political party; it is essentially a party’s affair. Every family has its own issue and the PDP is not an exemption. The most important thing is the ability to resolve those issues and that is why you can see consultations going on. So, I”m hopeful that we will come out of the crisis much stronger.” Commenting on report that Bamanga Tukur and some NWC members of the PDP have been asked to resign, Ekweremadu said, “We are still consulting. In the evening we are going to have a meeting of the national caucus of the party to look at all the options available to the party.” Governors stop funding PDP Following the disagreement between the leadership of the PDP and some governors on the platform of the party, it was learnt that they (the governors) have stopped funding the party leaving the running of the party’s National Secretariat in near shambles. A member of staff who volunteered information on condition of anonymity said “You will notice that there has been power outage at the secretariat for some days now. This is because the party is owing the PHCN several millions of Naira. The diesel supplier who supplies N1.8 million diesel to power the generators monthly has not been paid a dime since

January this year. That one has stopped supplying diesel insisting on settlement of the outstanding. It is really difficult here at the secretariat at the moment.” Gloom, anxiety pervade PDP over rumored NWC sack Gloom, anxiety and fears of the unknown were written all over the faces of some members of staff of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Secretariat yesterday owing to the speculations that members of the party’s NWC have been requested to resign their positions ahead of tomorrow’s National Executive Council (NEC)’s meeting. Following the submission of the reports of the Presidential Committee on PDP Crisis chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to President Goodluck Jonathan, which allegedly recommended the sack of the entire NWC, only two of of the 12 member executive reported to the office yesterday. Those who were in the office yesterday were the National Organising Secretary, and the National Youth Leader. Members of staff, including aides to the principal officials of the party, were seen discussing the development in hushed tones in clusters. There are fears that over 60 aides appointed to work with members of the NWC and other associate staff would lose their jobs should the party’s NEC insist on the ouster of the executive.

Armed robbers massacre 58 in Zamfara Contd. from Front Page was in the early morning of Tuesday that the attackers besieged the village in large numbers, shooting adult men but sparing women and children, on the orders of their leaders. Confirming the incident, the state police Commissioner, Mr. Akila Usman Gwary, who spoke to the press however put the official number of casualties at 30. Insurgents attack students, others in Borno Suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Monday afternoon carried out multiple attacks in four separate areas of Borno state killing at least 22 persons, witnesses told newsmen yesterday. Among those killed were 10 fish sellers, three tea vendors and nine students writing the on-going National Examination Council (NECO). This came barely 24 hours after a similar incident in the neighboring Damaturu, the Yobe state capital, in which another set of insurgents attacked a secondary school and killed nine persons. The first incident yesterday in Maiduguri occurred when 10 men armed with assault rifles, who were reportedly on a revenge mission, raided the Alau dam in the outskirts of Maiduguri, and fired sporadic shots at the direction of some youth who came from Maiduguri to buy fresh and tea vendors, killing 13 persons on the spot, leaving several others wounded. Hansari Ward Over 13 persons were also killed in Hausari Ward by the

suspected insurgents for engaging in the recent capture of the fleeing members of the Boko Haram group. Those killed comprised some youth living in Gwange, Bulumkutu and Hausari wards where the massive manhunt for the insurgents emanated. It was further gathered that the assailants, who were said to be on a revenge mission had launched the attack to visit their anger on the victims for alleged involvement in the activities of the youth vigilante group popularly known as ‘civilian JTF’ who engaged in the massive hunt for the fleeing insurgents. The gunmen reportedly drove in three Volkswagen Golf cars and trailed their victims to the area, disguising as customers before firing at them, causing serious pandemonium with everyone scampering for safety. “When the gunmen stormed the area they blocked all entries and exit routes, firing sporadic shots into the air and reprimanded the victims for exposing their members. “Then they started the shooting,” an eyewitness who survived the incident said. A resident of Gwange and a nieghbour to one of the slain victims, Mallam Mohammed Musa, confirmed the incident to newsmen saying, “yes, one of my neighbours popularly called Garus Maikifi was among the 13 people killed by suspected Boko Haram members.” NECO students killed The other incident occurred later in the day as another set of insurgents reportedly raided three

schools where students were sitting for the NECO, killing nine on the spot, at the Ansarudden , Pimary/ Secondary School in Jajeri Ward. Also attacked were a number of schools at the Federal Low Cost Housing Estate, equally leading to the death of seven more students. Medical personnel at the Borno State Specialist Hospital who declined identification confirmed to newsmen that corpses of the slain students were deposited at the hospital’s mortuary. Spokesman for the Joint Military Task Force, (JTF), Lt-Col. Sagir Musa, could not reached for comment as at press time. Boko Haram statement declares war on the youth Meanwhile, in what seemed as an expression of its anger over the massive capture of several of its members by the youth vigilante group popularly known as ‘civilian JTF’ in Borno and Yobe states in the last two weeks, the Boko Haram sect yesterday declared war against youth in the two states. The group, which also said it is waging a war against the Federal Government in order to establish Islamic legal code said in addition to killing the police, soldiers, all security operatives, politicians and other symbols of authority, the group has added youth to the list of its targets for assassination. In a statement sent to newsmen, one Abu Zinnira, who claimed to be the spokesman for the insurgent group threatened to launch manhunt of their hunters (the youth). “We have established that

youth in Borno and Yobe states are now against our course, they have connived with security operatives and are actively supporting the government of Nigeria in its war against us. “We have also resolved to fight back, “Abu Zinnira said. However, some of the youth who promised to fight the Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri said they would not be deterred from carrying out their mission and there would be no going back. UN says 3,000 refugees in Cameroon Meanwhile the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, said yesterday that no fewer than 3,000 Nigerian refugees had arrived Cameroun as the crisis in neighbouring Nigeria deepens. According to Fatou LejeuneKaba, Africa spokesperson for UNHCR, “UNHCR officers said on Tuesday that up to 3,000 refugees had arrived in Cameroon amid reports of at least 6,000 people escaping to Niger over the past weeks as the confrontation between the Nigerian army and the Boko Haram group intensified in the country’s northeast. However, the Minister of the Interior, Abba Moro, re-affirmed yesterday that only 126 Nigerians fled Maiduguri after the emergency rule declaration. Speaking at a Ministerial Platform, Moro contended that that of the 6, 000 people that fled Maiduguri, to neighbouring countries, following the declaration of state of emergency, only 126 are Nigerians.




I am your property, Tambuwal tells Jonathan


here was mild drama yesterday before the parley of the members of the caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri

Tambuwal, described himself as ‘property ‘of the President. The party men were walking in group with President Goodluck Jonathan holding the hand of Tambuwal closely, when Jonathan

asked the Speaker where he had been all the while and Tambuwal, answered, “I am your property Mr. President. I am not hiding.” The meeting, which started at about 9 pm had in attendance Vice-

President, Muhammad Namadi Sambo, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who according to the constitution of the party is expected to preside over all national caucus meetings of

the party. the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, some principal officers of the National Assembly and chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT).

Terrorism: FG installs 2000 CCTV cameras By Lambert Tyem


L-R: Deputy Managing Director, UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, a UBA customer of over 41 years, Mrs. Ajayi Tomori, Director, UBA Plc, Mrs. Onari Duke. CEO, Fine and Country, Nigeria, Mrs. Udo Maryanne Okonjo, during the presentation of Ruby, a special Current Account for Women, yesterday at UBA House, in Lagos.

Firearms: FG drops charges against 8 Russian sailors


Nigerian court yesterday dismissed charges against eight of 15 Russian seamen arrested in October for alleged illegal arms possession, but set a trial date for later this week for the others. The sailors’ vessel, the MV Myre Seadiver, was seized in October off the coast of Lagos by a naval patrol which also detained its 15 crew members. The vessel belongs to Moscow-based Moran Group, a private security firm.

Weapons found on the vessel included 14 AK-47 rifles with 3 643 rounds of ammunition as well as 22 Benelli MR1 rifles with 4 955 rounds of ammunition. The defence had argued that the suspects were innocent and the ship was contracted to provide security to vessels in the region, which sees repeated pirate attacks. Their lawyer also said permission was sought and secured before the vessel entered Nigeria’s territorial

waters. “The charges against eight of the accused are hereby struck out following an application by the prosecution to withdraw the charges against them,” Federal High Court judge James Tsoho ruled during a hearing in Lagos. He said the trial of the remaining seven suspects will begin on Friday. Precise details of the decision to release eight of the suspects were not made clear.

Defence lawyer Abubakar Unegbu said the charges against the eight were dropped because there was “overwhelming evidence” that they came to Nigeria legally. “The eight are innocent of the charges of illegal entry into the country. They were given visas to enter Nigeria by the Nigerian embassy,” he said. However, it was unclear why they would no longer face charges of illegal arms possession.

e d e r a l Government has installed 2000 close circuit television cameras in Abuja and Lagos as part of the National Public Security Communication System to combat the security challenges in the country. The project which is being handled by ZTE Corporation of China for national security operations is nearing completion. Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade stated that as at December 31,2012, the project had achieved 99 per cent completion, adding that 98 personnel and officials drawn from relevant security stakeholders had been trained in China for the project to develop indigenous capacities to operate and manage the system. The Minister said that the NPSCS will support 1,500,000 subscriber lines and operate through two main switch centres in Abuja and Lagos, 12 base station controllers and 675 base transmitting station sites that will provide the Internet Protocol Cloud for the various applications to which the project applied.

PDP crisis: Jonathan heads reconciliation committee

Empty treasury stalls fund allocation T By Abdulwahab Isa


h a i r m a n of Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) and Minister of state for Finance Dr. Yerima Lawal Ngama, has attributed shortage of revenue accruing to the federation coffers as the core issue threatening cohesion of FAAC. Speaking yesterday in Abuja for the first time aftermath of last week’s boycott of FAAC meeting by states’ Commissioners of finance, Ngama brushed aside purported agreement Commissioners claimed he (Minister) reneged implementing

saying there was never an agreement. “There is nothing like an agreement. The main issue is, we have shortages in the revenue. “So, the amount that was available statutorily is reduced to three tires of the government including the Federal Government. “We don’t have enough because there is a shortfall. The timing is the issue.” The Federal Government, at the wake of last week’s crisis that rocked FAAC meeting set up a Presidential Committee chaired by Bauchi state Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda to step in to the matter and resolve the issue.

Speaking after a closed door session of the Committee, Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda said an agreement had been reached to clear all outstanding issues affecting FAAC. “This Committee was set up following the slight disagreement between our Commissioners of Finance and Minister of State for Finance who chairs FAAC. An agreement has been reached on the Federation Account on all outstanding issues. Part of these, is a commitment to settle the arrears of the Federation Account. We also resolved to look at the revenue generating sources

especially oil bunkering and oil theft in a decisive and sustainable manner” Yuguda said. In her remarks, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the Committee examined cases of pending arrears yet to be cleared and the committee agreed on the need to clear them. “This is a federation account issue. We are all in it together. It is not that the Federal Government owns it. We have agreed now what the arrears are, and how much they are and we are going to clear them”, she adds.

he national caucus of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rose from its meeting last night with a resolution that President Goodluck Jonathan should head a high-powered committee to reconcile the party’s aggrieved members. Governor Godswill Akpabio who is also Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum told reporters after meeting that the President will work assiduously as the father of the party to re-unite all members. He did not name other members of the committee but Akpabio noted that the focus is to ensure that the party’s unity is not compromised. The PDP also constituted another committee will raise guidelines that will be submitted to the National Executive Committee to steer its deliberations.

Nigeria’s illegal borders demarcated by woods, tyre — Interior Minister By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


inister of the Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, yesterday revealed that the country’s illegal borders were barricaded by wood and tyres. Moro who spoke during the

2013 Ministerial Platform, at Radio house, said that the 1, 497 illegal routes and 84 legal routes identified by the Nigegia Immigration Service (NIS), revealed certain irregularities abandoned by previous administration.

“The condition of our borders are alarming,” he said, adding that, “it is unfortunate that the illegal routes are barricaded by tires and woods, which create an easy route for terrorist in to the country. “I want to assure you that we will contain the situation that has

beclouded our country for a long time. “HP CDAN voice and data radios have been procured and being installed in 59 immigration locations nationwide. “This will provide effective communication links between the State

Commands and Border Control posts.” The Minister also said that the e-passport registration embarked upon by the NIS would replace the era of duplication where one person can duplicate over 20 passports.

The Page 4 Report


PDP’s politics of suspension and recall Suspension of erring members has become a weapon used by the PDP to enforce party discipline. But Lawrence Olaoye writes here that indiscriminate suspension could become the ruling party’s albatross.


uspension of erring members of a political party as a disciplinary measure to whip them into line is not alien to party politics in Nigeria. It is generally viewed as the extreme punitive measure reserved for the most recalcitrant party members who may have irredeemably gone beyond rehabilitation. But the recent resort to sledgehammer tactic by the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised several unanswered questions that is currently threatening to consume the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party. Two notable stakeholders of the party were suspended in circumstances most political watchers considered objectionable because they posit that all necessary peace channels were not exploited before the hammer was made to fall on the victims. Rivers state governor and a factional Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and his Sokoto state counterpart, Albaji Aliyu Matagakarda Wamakko, were suspended for allegedly indulging in anti party activities and by extension, insubordination to party authorities. Amaechi, according to the PDP, was suspended because he failed to carry out the directives issued him by the state chapter of the party to restore the suspended executives of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area ofRivers state. Reacting to the suspension, Amaechi said he was a victim of witch hunt because he was not given the opportunity to defend himself before the party leadership resolved to wield the big stick. He equally explained that it would be undemocratic for him to usurp the powers of the state Assembly by unilaterally recalling the local government executives arguing that doing such would offend the principle of separation of powers between the executive, which he heads and the legislature. The Rivers state governor enjoys the sympathies of some stakeholders within the party mainly because of the events that preceded his suspension. Some observers believe that the internal crisis which rocked the Rivers state chapter of the PDP was contrived by some stakeholders in the state to pave the way for Amaechi’s suspension. Part of his sins, according to critics, was his effrontery to declare his Vice Presidential ambition ahead of 2015 when the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan, had his head screwed on getting himself re-elected for second term. For making himself a potential obstacle to Jonathan’s return bid, everything must be done

Governor Rotimi Amaechi

Wamakko’s offense however goes beyond contravention of the ethics of the party as critics believed that he may have been singled out for punishment on the suspicion that he refused to support the party’s consensus candidate, the Plateau state governor, Da Jonah Jang, at the NGF Chairmanship polls. to frustrate the NGF chairman and the first, according to the calculations of his detractors, was to hijack the state party machinery from him. To this extent, a court ruled and removed the state PDP Chairman perceived to be loyal to the Rivers state governor and replaced him with the one considered amenable to the political shenanigans expected to play out ahead of 2015. Not done, the Presidency mobilized some governors in the NGF to ensure that Amaechi never got the second term as the chairman of the body. Though he was intimidated and harangued to drop the ambition, the more politically suave Amaechi remained adamant on contesting for the NGF chairmanship position against all odds. Again, he won. This development drew the ire of the PDP leadership which found alibi in its Rivers chapter’s local politics to descend on the governor. The eventual suspension and the refusal of the PDP leadership to grant Amaechi a recall on the excuse that such would be prejudicial has been seen by many as the confirmation of his claim

that he was a victim of witch hunt. This situation has drawn more condemnations to the ruling party than reverence that its leadership set out to get from its members and critical stakeholders. In the crave to enforce party discipline and supremacy as espoused by the PDP National Chairman, the Sokoto state governor was equally handed suspension allegedly for insubordination and anti party activities. This turned out to be one suspension too many as public outcries which followed the decision attracted the attention of the President, who immediately saw the reason to intervene in the crises rocking the party. Wamakko’s offense however goes beyond contravention of the ethics of the party as critics believed that he may have been singled out for punishment on the suspicion that he refused to support the party’s consensus candidate, the Plateau state governor, Da Jonah Jang, at the NGF Chairmanship polls. Another group also alleged that the Sokoto state governor may have crossed Tukur’s path by

refusing to support the candidate an limited by the party for the state governorship election come 2015. It is being speculated that Wamakko is planning to hand over to someone he could trust rather than handing over power to a candidate sponsored from the headquarters with the imprimatur of the Presidency. The governor’s suspension attracted so much opprobrium from the state so much that the PDP leadership in Sokoto rejected the decision and vowed to support Wamakko to the end. To demonstrate their loyalty to the governor, the Sokoto state chapter of the PDP organized an elaborate reception for the governor on his return from overseas. At the reception, Wamakko made an epoch making speech that sent jitters down the spine of stakeholders across the country when he said “When we took over PDP in 2011, the party has no single elected person from Sokoto state. Today, we have won all the 234 seats of the Councillors as well as all the 23 local government chairmen. sehave won all the 30 members of the state House of Assembly, all the 11 Members of the House of Representatives, all the 3 Senators as well as his deputy, therefore the people of Sokoto state ate ardent lovers and supporters of the PDP.” Visibly angered by his suspension, Wamakko openly called for the resignation of PDP National Chairman on the account that keeping him would affect the fortunes of the party in the 2015 general elections. He also called for the sack of the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Dr. Ahmed Gulak. It is however noteworthy that the Sokoto state governor is the first to voice out the resentment most of his colleagues have for the Tukur’s leadership of the ruling party with an outright call for his removal. President Jonathan, fully aware of the political import of in incurring the wrath of the governors and the people of the North West region, immediately set up a Presidential Committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of theFederation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to investigate causes of the hiccups in the party and recommend solutions. The Anyim committee in league with the PDP Governors’ Forum chaired by the Akwa-Ibom state governor, Barrister Godswill Akpabio, prevailed on the NWC to recall Wamakko and convene the party’s National Executive Council (NEC)’s meeting which was last held in July, 2012. It was also being speculated that the Anyim committee recommended that the Tukur’s led NWC be eased out to pave the way for another PDP leadership expected to emerge

after an emergency congress to be held immediately after the NEC meeting scheduled to hold tomorrow. Analyzing the politics behind the Wamakko’s recall and the possible sack of the PDP NWC as requested by some governors on the platform of the party, critics believed that the Presidency may have made up its minds to sacrifice Tukur and other members of the PDP NWC to pacify the governors. They reasoned that the governors, who are used to calling the shots in the ruling party, have not really been in control since the advent of Tukur’s leadership. They also pointed out that Tukur, with his gospel of party supremacy and discipline p, has so much decimated the influence of the governors to the extent that they are no longer in control of the party machineries in their states. Observers argue that though Tukur may have been acting out the script of the President to whittle down the influence of the governors by ensuring that their platforms are hijacked at the state level, it has become even apparent that their influences and grips on the politics of their respected states may have been underestimated. The PDP leadership recant on Wamakko’s suspension, political commentators submit, was to appeal to the people of the North West, whose votes could sway victory in the direction of whoever they support for the Presidency in 2015. Tukur’s handling of the Wamakko’s issue, it was learnt, never went well with the Presidency which is currently looking for ways to curry the favour of the PDP stakeholders from the zone to prosecute his re-election bid in 2015. With the relative success of the merger All Progressives Congress (APC) and its prospect of registration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), it is considered a political ‘harakiri’ for anyone to toy with a zone that could either make or mar the ambition of the President. The scene currently playing out in the ruling party has now confirmed that the governors cannot be ignored in the nation’s political calculation and whoever would want to become the President must first have the support of the constituents. Beyond the sack of the party’s NWC and the anticipated recall of the Rivers state governor in the post Tukur’s PDP, it is expected that the party leadership would have to carry out an all inclusive reconciliation, not only among the governors but within all other critical and aggrieved stakeholders, otherwise the PDP’s loss will definitely become APC’s gain.




2013 UTME: FG pegs cut-off marks at 180, 150 By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Federal Government yesterday released the cutoff marks for this year’s admission into universities, polytechnics, colleges of education as well as monotechnics and other tertiary institutions pegging the minimum cut- off mark for admission into universities at 180

FAAN designates 13 airports as cargo terminals

and 150 for polytechnics, colleges of education and others. Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, made the announcement in Abuja at the fourth combined policy committee meeting on admissions to tertiary institutions organized by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB). The cut -off marks which were arrived at after heated arguments by stakeholders at the meeting presided over by the Minister only represented a slight drop in what were agreed upon last year. However, argument in favour of creating access to tertiary education and also to encourage Nigerian candidates to attend polytechnics and colleges of education superseded other

factors and the cut off mark for those categories of tertiary institutions was pegged at 150 as against 160 agreed last year. Speaking earlier, Ruqayyatu emphasized on technical and vocational education and training which she said is one area the nation must encourage its youths to participate in if Nigeria must move ahead as a nation and have competitive advantage. “We should collectively work towards encouraging more of our youths to enroll in our TVET institutions, especially the innovation enterprise institutions, most of which are still having challenges of filling their “ she said. She added that President Jonathan has inaugurated a

government-private sector committee on TVET which according to her, is currently working to support the growth of TVET at all levels. She urged managements of tertiary institutions to follow the federal government’s stipulated guidelines on admissions which stated that 70:30 technology/ non-technology ratio for national diploma programs and 60:40 science /arts ratio for degree and Nigeria certificate in education programs and that they must also observe the criteria on merit, catchment and educationally less developed states. JAMB Registrar, Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, disclosed that the government approved 86 innovative enterprise

institutions to run programs leading to the award of national innovative diploma adding that all admissions will be closed on October 31 warning that late submissions would not be entertained. It would be recalled that the minimum cut off marks for admissions last year were 180 and 160 for universities and polytechnics as well as colleges of education respectively. JAMB had this year conducted entrance examination into tertiary institutions with the introduction of dual based test and computer based test for the 1.7 million candidates that sat for the examination on the 18th of May and I of June, 2013, respectively.

From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday disclosed that 13 airports have been designated as perishable cargo airports as part of strategies to transform the aviation sector into a major revenue earner for the country. The airports which have proximity to food baskets region of the country will be developed with international standard perishable cargo facilities to enhance their operations. The authority said based on expression of interest from the private sector and State governments, the following cities have been prioritized to host perishable cargo terminals. They include Abuja, Akure, Calabar, Ilorin, Jalingo, Jos, Kano, and Lagos. Others are Makurdi, Minna, Owerri, Port Harcourt and Uyo. A statement by Coordinating General Manager, Corporate Communications for the Ministry, Mr. Yakubu Dati, explained that state governments have also been encouraged to partner with the government to revive smaller airports, particularly for taxi operations, tourism and cargo operations which could benefit domestic and regional economic development. “This is to enable them key into the over N250 billion naira annual air freight export market out of Africa. Countries like Kenya, South Africa, Benin, Cote d’ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Egypt are participating in the trading in commodities such as fruits, fresh fish, vegetables and flowers while Nigeria, which produces these produce in abundance, records zero participation”, Dati said. He said the strategy was to create the much needed storage infrastructure in view of the large volume involved and to facilitate the evacuation of agricultural produce to domestic markets, in conformity with international standards. The GM said European Union (EU) being the main market for African exporters, accounting for more than 40 per cent of total exports, followed by the US with 20 per cent, intra-regional trade represented only eight per cent of the total with South Africa as the leading exporter to the region with 21 per cent of the total.

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, and National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, during the meeting of PDP leadership with the President, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

APC merger committee submits final report to caucus By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Umar Mohammed Puma


he leader of the joint merger committee of opposition parties, Tom Ikimi, has disclosed that the committee would submit its final report to the caucuses of their various parties yesterday, as a step towards concluding the merging process of the ACN, ANPP, CPC and APGA faction into All Progressive Congress (APC). Briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja after a meeting of the joint merger committee, Ikimi said there would be caucus meetings last night for the various opposition parties in

the merger, explaining that it is at the meeting that the final report would be submitted. He also explained that the major issue discussed at the meeting of joint merger committee was issues that would ensure that every opposition party in the merger are carried along, adding that they have worked out various options which they want to take to the caucuses. According to him, “this evening there will be caucus meeting of the merging parties. “We have worked out various options which we want to take to the caucuses, we will meet with the leadership in our caucuses and

finalize these matters.” “We have put in various structures to ensure that all the merging parties are taking along, and this we will discuss tonight. “Every party has its own operandi.” At this point, he disclosed that since there is no time again to unveil the interim leadership of the mega party, in few days to come, it would be made public who occupy which position.” While giving update on the ongoing registration process of the APC, he said that that application has been sent to INEC, and that INEC has replied, in addition to forms which would be completed

by the party and then sent back to INEC. According to him, the form requires the names of the members of the interim leadership, saying this would be taken to the leadership of the party. “I cannot give you any further update on what you know. Application has been put, INEC has replied, and some forms have been given to the parties to complete, and these forms to complete is to have the names of the interim national officers. On the submission of names we shall discuss it with the leadership of our parties and all these issues will be resolved.”

Detained Aljazeera journalist released


n Aljazeera correspondent, Yvonne Ndege, and her team have been released from a Niger jail after being held by authorities since Saturday. Yvonne Ndege went with her crew – the camera operator,

Romuald Luyindula; producer Mohammed Abubakar; and driver Rabiu Abdullahi; to Zinder in Southern Niger to get materials for a story on refugees. They were detained by the Niger authorities at around 9:00 GMT on

Saturday, questioned, and asked to hand over the materials. “The four-person team was released late on Monday evening without charge to make way back to the border into Nigeria,” Kevin Kriedmann, a spokesperson of

Aljazeera disclosed in a press release early Tuesday. “Al Jazeera would like to thank everyone who was involved in trying to secure the release and safe return of their staff,” Kriedmann added.




Nasarawa stakeholders want Alakio killers arrested From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


takeholders in Nasarawa state have expressed displeasure at the absence of former Governor Aliyu Akwe Doma, Senator Solomon Ewuga and Labaran Maku, Minister of Information, at a crucial meeting held to consider the various security challenges confronting the state. The meeting which held at the Lafia Government House yesterday, had in attendance, former governors, ministers, ambassadors, members of the National Assembly from the state, serving and former Chief Judges of the state among others. In a communiqué read by the

…Doma, Ewuga, Maku absent at meeting

Deputy Governor, Mr. Dameshi Barau Luka, at the end of the meeting, stakeholders resolved that all reports of the commissions of inquiry into previous communal crises, particularly, those on Assakio and Agyaragu should be implemented and those indicted prosecuted without further delay. While also condemning the recent gruesome murder of scores of security operatives at Alakio village by the Eggon ethnic cult, Ombatse, the communiqué added that effort should be intensified to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the heinous act.

The communiqué noted that even though not all Eggon people are members of the Ombatse, it was established that all Ombatse members are of Eggon ethnic origin. The communiqué called on all Eggon elites to stop the criminal activities of the outlawed cult and help fish out the culprits for prosecution. The meeting while endorsing the decision of the state government to constitute a judicial commission of inquiry into the recent killing of security operatives and other innocent citizens at Alakio, condoled with President Jonathan and

families of the deceased security personnel. Earlier in an opening address, Governor Al-makura urged participants at the meeting to remain focused in the collective fight against the violence being perpetrated by the Ombatse sect, calling on them to remember their contributions during the agitations for the creation of the state and not to allow the effort to go in vain. He denounced the claim by Baba Alakio, the Chief Priest of the Ombatse cult who said no invitation was sent to him to appear before police authorities.

L-R: Global Supply Chair Leader, General Electric, Mr. Phel Griffth, Minister of Power, Professor Chinnedu Nebo, Minister of State for Trade and Investment Mr. Samuel Artom, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, Cross River state Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, and Vice-Chairman, General Electric, Mr. John Rice, during ground breaking ceremony of the general electric multi model service and manufacturing facility, on Monday in Calabar free trade zone.

Kaduna Assembly queries composition of SURE-P committee From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Kaduna State House of Assembly yesterday expressed dismay over the composition of Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program (SURE-P) committee just as the state executive council are on each other’s throat over the implementation and composition of members of the state. While receiving the report of its Ad-hoc committee on investigation into the implementation of SURE-P programmes, projects and activities in Kaduna State, the House yesterday expressed dismay that government officials dominate the committee which makes the implementation of the programme too cumbersome as a result of bureaucratic bottlenecks now retarding the progress of the whole exercise. The Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Barrister Kantiok Irimiya Ishaku informed the House that the actual receipts by the Kaduna State

Government of its share of revenue from Subsidy Reduction for the Year 2012 stand at N2,243,188,906.24 at a monthly rate of N280,398,613.28 from May to December, 2012. “No receipts for the months of January - March, 2012 and no mention was made with regards to the Month of April, 2012. However, a lump sum of N560million was said to have been received with no further details,” the report stated. In view of the above, the House adopted the recommendation by the ad-hoc committee that henceforth, the implementation committee of the SURE-P be composed of technocrats and people of proven integrity selected from the three senatorial zones of the state of not more than eleven members. The House also recommended that a dedicated account be opened in commercial banks where the SURE-P funds would be lodged. And the implementation of all SURE-P

programmes, projects, activities and all expenditure related thereto, be subject to approval of the State Executive Council. The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Muazu Usman Gangara, said the House views the conduct of the former Commissioner of Finance, John Ayuba for failing to provide necessary information requested on the SURE-P program by the House, as disrespectful. In view of this, the House passed a vote of no confidence on him and requested his successor to immediately furnish the House with the said documents. “Any movement of funds by Government from Capital to Recurrent must be through virement approved by the House. And the implementation committee do ensure that elected representatives at all levels be involved in the process of identifying beneficiaries for the SURE-P programmes.” The House further ordered that

since the SURE-P funds used were for 2012, the procured items be labelled ‘2012 SURE-P Kaduna State’ and not 2013 as presently inscribed.


etroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), a branch under NUPENG yesterday faulted the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) for accusing it of siphoning products and aiding adulteration. PTD stated that, as the police of the industry, DPR has not been able to apprehend anyone. It added that although it lends its support to the proposed Trucking Policy Project introduced by the DPR, it takes offence at being accused of DPR shortcomings. In a statement signed by its National Secretary, Comrade Dayyabu Garga, “PTD viewed the present attack by the DPR as that of an organization that have failed in its primary responsibilities and instead of being alive to such responsibilities, the Department choose to go buck

Civil service retirees call for reinstatement of pension task force By Stanley Onyekwere


ome retired federal civil servants under the aegis of Civil Service Retirees Association has called on the federal government to reinstate the disbanded Presidential Task force, so as to enable it complete its primary mandate of easing the plights of pensioners in the country. The association which comprises of about 65,000 members from military, paramilitary, extra ministerial departments and agencies, including State Development officers (SDO) under the monetization dispensation, also accused the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) of hijacking the team. They argued that since the Abdulrasheed Maina- task Team was inaugurated in 2010, they have been paying monthly pension duly up to October 2012 when it was allegedly hijacked by the HCSF. Chairman of the association, Emmanuel Omoyemi, who made the position of the retirees known yesterday, during a press briefing, in Abuja, said since then the wheel was reversed, pensions are money no longer paid at as when due. According to the chairman, investigation have revealed that 80 % of those that have received their pensions only got less of their money. Recalling a case, he said, a retiree who is supposed to receive about N140,000 was paid only N5,000.00. He said that directive and action of the Head of service, demanding that pensioners obtain financial statements from their banks cannot help them; because “it is what one deposits with the bank that the bank would download for you.” “I want to appeal to Mr. President as a matter of urgency look into the plights of pensioners in the country, with a view to ameliorating the sad tale of the retired senior citizens, as we are dying on a daily basis, because we are at the disadvantaged corner of the economy of this country,” he said.

Tanker drivers slam DPR over diversion of fuel passing.” “As a union, we have always made our position very clear on adulteration, vandalisation or any act of sabotage in the sector. We did not only condemned it but equally expressed our readiness to sanction any of our member found wanting. But surprisingly, the DPR who are supposed to apprehend erring operators have not shown any zeal or commitment in that direction only to turn around and blame Tanker truck operators,” the statement concluded.




Jonathan seeks more foreign help in war against terrorism By Abubakar Ibrahim


resident Goodluck Ebele Jonathan yesterday restated his call for greater global cooperation and coordination in the war against terrorism. Speaking at separate audiences with the new Ambassadors of Israel, Russia, Greece and Algeria who presented their letters of credence tohim at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Jonathan said that Nigeria and other countries would benefit immensely from greater collaboration amongst their security agencies on efforts to combat domestic and international terrorism. The President told the incoming ambassadors that Nigeria would welcome increased cooperation from countries that are more experienced in such matters for its ongoing operations against domestic terrorist groups. Jonathan told the new Israeli Ambassador, Mr. Uriel Palti that he looked forward to visiting Israel later this year and discussing ways of enhancing bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and Israel with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also assured Mr. Alekos Oikonomopoulos, Mr. Nikolay Udovichenko, Mr. Belkacem Smaili and Mr. Amadou Habibou, the new ambassadors of Greece, Russia, Algeria and Senegal respectively, that the Federal Government would welcome their efforts to strengthen existing cordial relations between Nigeria and their countries. The new ambassadors all expressed their delight at being posted to Nigeria and promised to do everything possible to strengthen diplomatic and economic ties between their countries and Nigeria.

Suspected drug trafficker swallows 126 wraps of heroin From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said the agency apprehended a suspected drug trafficker, Nweke Nwobodo who swallowed 126 wraps of narcotics at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos. The drug, weighing 2.225kg the agency said, is the highest single ingestion since January 2013. Narcotics officials said the suspect was placed on observation when he tested positive to drug ingestion during the inward screening of Qatar Airline passengers on his way from Pakistan. NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, according to a statement said “We have arrested one Nweke Gabriel Nwobodo for ingesting 126 wraps of substances found to be heroin weighing 2.225kg. This is the highest quantity ingested by a suspect since the beginning of the year. The case is currently under investigation”. 33 year old Nwobodo who claims to be a dealer in electronics at Trade Fair Complex and Computer Village both in Lagos, said he was duped and wanted to raise money from drug trafficking. “I sell electronics in Lagos but I lost 11,200 dollars to fraudsters. This affected my business and in the process of trying to get money to revamp my business I was introduced into drugs. If I had succeeded, I would have been paid 1.8 million naira. I spent only one week in Pakistan. My only regret is my pregnant wife who is due to put to birth soon”.

L-R: Wife of Katsina state Governor, Dr. Fatima Ibrahim Shema, Director General, Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Professor Peter Onwualu, and Special Adviser to Katsina state Governor on Economic Affairs, Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, during the governor’s wife visit to RMRDC headquarters, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Lagos markets shut for Tinubu’s mother From Ayodele Samuel,Lagos


igerians from all walks of life, yesterday defied the early morning rain and gathered at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos for the three-day Fidau for the late President/Iyaloja General, Nigeria Market Men and Women, Alhaja Abibat Mogaji. Markets across the state also remained shut as a mark of honour for the late mother of the National

Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who died on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at the age of 96. As a result, trading activities in major markets including Computer Village at Ikeja, Mile 12 at Ojota, Iyana Ipaja among others, were virtually paralysed with traders praising the late Iyaloja. Present at the event were the representative of President Goodluck Jonathan led by Dr. Segun Aganga, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed

Tinubu, former military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Justice Usman Muhammed, Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Almakura, Alhaji Buba Marwa, Abdul Rasak Akanni Okoya, former governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba, Femi Okunnu, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Abah Folawiyo, Demola Seriki, Deputy governor of Lagos State, Adejoke Orelope-

Adefulire, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Femi Pedro, Alhaji A.B. Yusuff, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, Mrs. Sherifat Aregbesola and Iyaloja of Oyo State, Alhaja Wuraola Asake. Others were federal and state high court judges, members of House of Representatives and state Houses of Assembly, commissioners, local government chairmen, religious leaders, traditional rulers, members of market associations, artisans, ethnic groups among others.

admissibility of the documents, on the ground that the documents were neither front loaded (advance submission to the court), nor pleaded in court. According to Uche, tendering of documents before the court should follow normal procedure, adding that the defense counsel had not laid down the foundation for the tendering of the documents. He said photographs are special specie of documentary evidence and added that the defense ought to have tendered the negatives of thephotographs or the memory card containing the photographs, if digital camera was used in taking the photographs which the defense sought to tender before the court. Uche told the court that the conditions for the admittance of a document before the court had not been met by the defense and as such, the documents do not qualify for admissibility. Justice Danlami Senchi adjourned till today for ruling on the admissibility or otherwise of the documents.

Meanwhile, the court admitted in evidence newspaper publications of announcement of the notices of demolition of the estate tendered by the defense counsel, who opened his case Monday. The second defense witness in the matter, Adamu Garba told the court that notices of demolition were dully served on the estate before demolition by the FCTA. The defense witness, who is a town planner 1 and a district officer with the FCTA told the court that, “stop work notice, quit notice and demolition notice”, were dully served on the plaintiff before the buildings were pulled down. Plaintiff’s counsel had earlier told the court the demolition of the estate by the FCT authority was unconstitutional, unwarranted and without due process. But, FCTA in its defense insisted that before one commences building of any structure, the person must get a building approval, as contained in the FCDA Act, adding that the plaintiff (Minanuel estate) did not secure the approval to build

the demolished houses. It would be recalled that the Development Control Department of the FCTA, in October, 2012 demolished about 500 housing units at the Minanuel estate. The property owners of the choice estate, who are demanding the sum of N5 billion as damages, have joined the minister of the FCT, Bala Muhammed as a defendant in the matter. Earlier in his testimony Okey Ibe, who is the General Manager of Minanuel estate, said during cross examination by defense counsel that no notice was served on the house owners before demolition. The witness further denied the assertion that the estate developers, who purportedly got the allocation in 2008, rushed to completion stage of the work due to the demolition notice. The FCTA’s counsel argued that the houses were brought down because they were illegal and that the developers embarked on overvaluation of the property to make claims in court.

Minanuel estate demolition: Courts rules on documents’ admissibility today

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


n Abuja High Court was yesterday asked to reject photographs and other documents sought to be tendered by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) in the suit instituted against the administration by owners of Minanuel estate, along Airport road, Abuja. The property developers had slammed a N5 billion suit against FCTA and the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed over the demolition of 500 units of houses in the estate. At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, the defense counsel, Chief Joe Kyari Gadzama (SAN) sought to tender some photographs of the demolished structures and invoices, media announcement of demolition notices, which he said were dully served on the plaintiff. Plaintiff’s counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) objected to the



Photos Splash

R-L: President Goodluck Jonathan, introducing Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri to Senegal Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Amadou Habibou Ndiaye, during the envoy’s Presentation of letters of credence, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja.

L-R: Peoples Daily Agriculture and Environment correspondent, Mohammed Kandi Baba, cutting cake with bride, Zara Kandi Baba, during their wedding, at the weekend in Bida, Niger state.

L-R: Former Lagos state Governor, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, CPC Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, National President, Muslim Council of Nigeria, Justice Usman Mohammad, Nasarawa state governor, Alhaji Tanko Al-Makura, and former Lagos state Governor, General Buba Marwa, during the Fidau prayers for senator Tinubu’s mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji, yesterday in Lagos.

L-R: Chairman, National Association of Catholic Lawyers, Obinna Ogbuagu, Bunmi Aina-Craig, Christopher Eichie, Secretary, Jacinta Okoye, and Ogechi Onyeukwu, during National Association of Catholic Lawyers Law Week, recently in Abuja.

L-R: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, and Chairman, Trade Union Congress FCT chapter, Comrade Aliyu Abdul Musa, during a visit by the union executives to the minister, yesterday in Abuja. Photos: Joe Oroye, Mahmud Isa & NAN




Controversy trails construction of local government chairmen’s residences From Ahmed Abubakar, Dutse


s allegation of spending outside the Jigawa State’s 2013 budget, on the on-going multi-million Naira projects for the construction of official residences for all the 27 local government Chairmen in the state continues to make the rounds, the State Commissioner

for Local Government, Alhaji Salisu Sale Indarawa, has refuted the allegation. Opposition parties had alleged that each building was being constructed at N67 million and put the total sum at N1.8 billion, alleging further that the projects were not reflected in the 2013 budget.

On the issue of whether it was reflected in the budget or not, Alhaji Indirawa said no projects of such magnitude would see the light of the day without following due process as required by the law, adding that all the stakeholders were deeply involved in the projects. It was gathered that with

the exception of Buji Local Government Area, all the other local governments are executing the projects appropriately and in accordance with the work plan. According to Alhaji Indirawa, “We have since played our supervisory role by kicking against what is happening in Buji”… the contractor was compelled

to change the bullocks, from a substandard one to a standard one”. The Commissioner further pointed out that as the supervising ministry, the role of the ministry is to ensure that all the awarded contracts for the houses were executed perfectly and according to plan.

Rival thugs clash, kill 17 year old boy From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


L-R: Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, and Sokoto state Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, yesterday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja , on their way Lagos to condole with former Lagos state Governor, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on the death of his mother, Alhaja Abibatu Mogaji.

African Child Day 2013: Parents urged to protect children against abuse From Matthew Irinoye Lagos


arents have been urged to take seriously the welfare and up-bringing of their children in order to prevent them from being exposed to all forms of child abuse. Mrs. Titilola Akinlawon (SAN) made the call on Tuesday at the annual lecture organised by the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA), Nigeria to mark the ‘Day of the African Child 2013’. Akinlawon, who chaired the event spoke on the topic: “Child Protection; Culture and Responsibilities” said there was no law that guided the rights of a child in Lagos, until 2010 and before then, there was only one law that guided children in Nigeria. The Senior Advocate noted that though the new generation children have the privilege of electronic media network around them, there was need for parents to inculcate high level of discipline and integrity in their children. “You are our future if we fail to seek for your welfare, then what does the future hold for you”, she said. Speaking on ‘Child Protection’, Mrs. Tam George said the recent report by United States stated that

over 10.5% of children of School age in Nigeria are out of school. “You have the right to sound education, you have right to leisure and recreation, you have right to move together in group, you have right to ask and to express yourself, you have right not to be physically abused”, she said. George however charged the Nigerian children to pursue their goals and also seek more information that can assist them in their academic advancement.

Similarly, Mrs. Lara Williams who spoke on culture and religion also noted that culture has taken away over 90% of day to day activities in Africa, adding that male children need to respect their female counterparts in this part of the World. According to her, there should be an end to the attitude of discrimination between the male and female child in the family. She also frowned at public discrimination against disabled children in the society. “Disabled children are always not

being properly taken care of. They are always being hidden from the public”, she added. Williams urged the children to desist from rebellious acts and instead, package themselves and behave well in their respective homes. She also tasked Nigerian children to always listen to instructions from their parents, adding that, “parents have responsibilities to you and you children also have responsibilities to them”.

17 year old boy, Ibrahim Bello, was in the late hours of Monday klilled by the suspected dreaded ‘Kauraye’ thugs who invaded Sabuwar Unguwa in Katsina metrpolis. According to an eye witness who spoke to Our Correspondent on condition of anonymity, the deceased was severally stabbed by the rampaging thugs who invaded the area during a clash with a rival group. The deceased, Ibrahim Bello, was caught in the web of the violence while on his way to Islamiyya School. He was a student of Usman Nagogo College Arabic and Islamic studies Katsina. Bello, the source added, collapsed after the attack from where he was rushed to Katsina General Hospital. He was confirmed dead on arrival due to injuries he sustained from the attack. When contacted, the Katsina Police Command Spokesman, ASP Aminu Saddiq Abubakar, confirmed the incident and disclosed that seven suspects, including the suspected mastermind, Ahamad Garba, alias “Condemned” were arrested. ASP Abubakar similarly disclosed that arms that include Knives, Sticks, Cutlasses and other dangerous weapons were recovered during search in the houses of the arrested suspects. However, the father of the deceased, Alhaji Bello Sodangi has described his late son as quite, disciplined and humane who had nothing to do with the dreaded ‘kauraye’ thugs and their evil activities.

Three students, pregnant woman slump in UNIBEN By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


our Students, including a pregnant woman, who presented them selves for the ongoing compulsory student’s biometrics at Lecture Theatre 1000 yesterday slumped in University of Benin, Benin City. It was learnt that the exercise which was relatively peaceful was however disrupted when some persons attempted to admit some students through the back door

for registration. Sources say the row may not be unconnected with the ongoing running battle between two rival cult groups which has claimed over 10 lives. It was learnt that the uncontrollable crowd of protesting students attracted the presence of armed security men who fired canisters into the air, forcing everyone to scamper for safety.

The registration was however temporarily suspended by the Adhoc Staff handling students in the Department of Social Science, amid rage. Some of the students prevented a private 14-seater bus belonging to the Adhoc Staff from leaving the venue. Medical personnel of the institution had revived one of the victims, Miss Ewoma, a student of economics and statistics at the

institution’s clinic. Peoples Daily reports that a student of the school was alleged to have been shot and killed last Friday at the school’s sports complex, the former venue of the National university commission (NUC) biometrics. The University’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Harrison Osarenren could not be reached, as several calls put across to him went unanswered.



News Briefs

Northern govs commiserate with Media Trust over Editor’s death


he Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) has condoled with Media Trust Limited, publishers of Daily Trust, Weekly Trust, Sunday Trust and Aminiya over the death of its Managing Editor, Suleiman Mohammed who died on Thursday last week. Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu described the late Editor as a thorough-bred journalist who touched the lives of many in a positive way and helped to strengthen freedom and democracy. The forum described his death as a great loss to journalism profession and humanity in general.

SON warns manufacturers on substandard products


he Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, (SON) Dr. Joseph Odumodu, has warned manufacturers in Nigeria against production of sub-standard products in the country so as to ensure healthy consumption among the people before the end of the year. Odumodu urged manufacturers across the country to endeavour to get all their products registered with MANCAP as the agency was committed to ensuring sanity in the manufacturing sector. The DG who stated this in Ilorin while presenting a re-validation certificate to Ayo-Ayodele pharmaceutical industry yesterday said “among the over 400 industries in Kwara State, I’m happy to inform you that Ayo-Ayodele is outstanding among all.” Represented by the Kwara State Head of SON, Kwara, Mr. Musbau opoola, the DG urged Nigerians to always watch out for the NIS mark which indicates the authenticity of both consumable and nonconsumable products in the market before use. While congratulating the entire management and staff of Ayo-Ayodele for the efforts which earned the firm the revalidation award by SON, Odumodu urged the recipient to continue to meet the laid down rules of the agency. From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

NERC welcomes Mambila, Zungeru hydro-projects


he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) yesterday dismissed the report by a newspaper that the Commission was taking action against the Mambilla and Zungeru power plants, saying that it welcome the idea since additional 3,750 megawatts of electricity would be generated from the projects. In a statement by its Assistant General Manager, Media, Maryam Yaya Abubakar, the Commission stated that the “realisation of an additional 3,750 megawatts of electricity from these projects aligns with NERC’s vision of increase in capacity in the sector.” “Licensing is a fundamental requirement for operators in the sector, and this responsibility rests with the regulator. On 10th June, NERC issued seven licenses to National Independent Power Projects under the Niger Delta Power Holding Company. This is in addition to the three licenses issued previously in 2011. In the same vein, NERC requested the Federal Ministry of Power to ensure that the projects were duly licensed. This request was duly acknowledged by the ministry with a view to commencing the process as soon as possible.” By Etuka Sunday

Vaccinator immunising a boy, during a drama performed by Yabanya Cultural Group organised by Journalists Against Polio (JAP) with support of World Health Organisation (WHO), on Monday at Kawo, in Kaduna State

Child kidnap: Court detains 3 Nigeriens


Chief Magistrate Court in Minna, the Niger State capital yesterday ordered the detention in prison, of three men from the Republic of Niger for the alleged kidnap of a three year old boy, Goodluck Godwin, in Sabondaga area of Minna. The accused persons, Abubakar Usman 26, Musa Ibrahim, 30 and Suleiman Abubakar, 28, were charged under section 97 and 273 of Penal

Code Law for conspiracy and kidnapping. Godwin was said to be playing within his parents compound when the kidnappers picked him and dashed away through the Minna – Bida road. Unknown to them, a concerned neighbour saw them picking the boy and quickly alerted his mother, Mrs. Ruth Francis, who notified the police at Kpankungu Divisional office and the vigilante group patrolling the

area. The boy was reported to have been rescued few hours later by the combined team of the police and vigilante near Bida as the kidnappers were running into their hideout in a village called Gada. It was also learnt that Godwin has reunited with his family. The suspects pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them by the Chief Magistrate, Hajiya Hauwa Baba Yusuf.

Counsel to the accused persons, Barrister C. Ogbuagu applied for bail but the prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jude Akaeze, opposed the bail application and applied for definite date for hearing. In her ruling, the Chief Magistrate struck out the bail application and adjourned the case to July 9, 2013 for hearing and ordered the detention of the accused in prison custody.

Stakeholders parley on food security in Africa By Emmanuel Eko


ood is a basic human right and evidencebased policies which should be put in place to ensure that every individual have access to safe, sufficient, nutritious and sustainably grown food.” This was the view of stakeholders in the food policy research sector during the launching of the Guiding Investments in Sustainable Intensification in Africa (GISAIA) project held recently at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre

in Abuja. GISAIA, a joint effort of the Michigan State University (MSU) USA, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the University of Ibadan and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, was in realisation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), a long-term strategy to support investment planning for improved growth and poverty reduction. Nigeria is one of the 17

African countries that have signed the CAADP compacts. Delivering his opening remarks, Adesoji Adelaja, a professor at MSU and head of Economic Intelligence in the Presidency, said the institution had the capabilities and opportunities to enhance Nigerian agricultural and economic development. He thanked the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID for bringing together various stakeholders focused on strengthening evidencebased policymaking through

research that filled key knowledge gaps and helped build national capacity for policy analysis in Nigeria. In his remarks, Minister of Power Professor Chinedu Nebo noted that research and collaboration held the key to food security in Nigeria and Africa at large. He commended the organizers of the initiative and assured them of the federal government’s determination to tackle Nigeria’s infrastructure challenge for greater food production and supply.

Fertilizer subsidy: Group lauds Kaduna gov By Stanley Onyekwere


group known as Yero Frontiers Movement (YFM) has hailed Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State over the grant of 50% subsidy on the fertilizer to peasant farmers in the state.

The State Coordinator of the Movement, Alhaji Abduljalal Jumare Rigachikun disclosed this in an interview with newsmen in Kaduna saying that the present Yero administration was determined to exploit the agricultural sector in creating jobs and reducing poverty

especially among youth and rural dwellers. Jumare said the governor is worth commending for reducing the cost of NPK fertilizer from the N6,250 market price to N2,500 while Urea which sell at the rate of N6,000 would now be purchased at the cost N2,000.

He added that the people of Kaduna State would continue to identify with Governor Yero for his bold step in repositioning agriculture and jobs creation with a total of N2.4 billion subsidy especially to farmers not captured by the Federal Government Growth Enhancement Support (GES).



Money Sense

Credit vs debit transactions with your ATM card


handed him my debt card and the cashier asked if I wanted to charge it credit or debit. Is he insane?” A few years ago when I first got my debit card, I was confused whenever a cashier asked me whether I wanted to charge my card using credit or debit. Debit please, I always said, wondering whether those people recognised that it’s actually a bank card. Eventually, I found out that my debit card was capable of transactions through the credit card network as well. It would still draw money from my bank account though, so the only difference seemed to be just signing versus punching my pin. My mom always said “anything related to money shouldn’t be seen in public”, so I started requesting for a credit transaction just in case someone saw me input my pin. Little did I know that I also: • Added Fraud Protection – Credit transactions go through their respective network (Visa or Mastercard depending on the logo on your card), which has a zeroliability policy.

• Increased Reward Points – Some bank cards even let you accumulate reward points with your debit cards, but only if you use it through the credit card networks. • Get No Cash Back – One of the great features of using a debit card is that you can take money out using the same transaction without any additional fees. Say credit and you don’t get the same convenience. • Potentially Lowering the Merchant’s Margin – Bigger companies negotiate their credit and debit transaction fees, but smaller merchants who don’t have the same leverage may be charged more for credit transactions. Next time you use your debit card at a local store you want to support, consider saying debit. Note that whether it’s a credit or debit with your ATM card, the money is still coming out of your bank account (so not 0% balance transfer credit cards by any stretch). Unless you opted out (assuming your bank even let’s you do it), you will be charged with overdraft fees if your account doesn’t have enough money to cover your expense.

Money Tip: Want to be financially successful…live within your means

Ways to save money Make your money work for you One of the biggest differences between the wealthy and the not-as-wealthy is that the wealthy people earn interests and everyone else pays interests. It is important to realise that money is a tool that can help you to achieve your goals. In order for you to reach true financial independence you need to have your money begin to work for you--not you for it. Here are three things you can do to start making your money work for you. Budget The most important way to change the way you handle your money is to budget. When you are budgeting you are making your money do what you want it to. By assigning each dollar to a category you are controlling where your money goes and what it does. This will help you to begin to reach your financial goals.

Quote “People don’t like the idea of thinking long term. Many are desperately seeking short term answers because they have money problems to be solved today.” - Robert Kiyosaki:

Like many others, you may find that you are spending more than you’re saving and steadily going deeper into debt as a result. This is an easy and common pattern to fall into, and one that requires some planning and discipline to reverse. The first step is creating a budget. As unpleasant as this may sound, creating a budget is nothing more than examining your income and expenditures in order to determine exactly how much money you have coming in and where you’re spending that money. Once you’ve got a clear understanding of your current budget, your challenge is to find places where you can spend less (or earn more) in order to achieve your financial goals. Here are some steps you can take toward that end: Question your needs and wants What do you want? What do you really need? Evaluate your current financial situation. Take a look at the big picture. Make two lists – one for

needs and one for wants. As you make the list, ask yourself: • Why do I want it? • How would things be different if I had it? • What other things would change if I had it? (for better or worse) • Which things are truly important to me? • Does this match my values? Set guidelines We all have different budgets based on our needs and wants. But building a budget chart shows some guidelines on how much should go toward different expenses. You may need to make adjustments for a daily latte fix or visits to family, but remember to subtract amounts from other areas if you do. Track, trim and target Once you start tracking, you may be surprised to find you spend a lot monthly on eating out or other flexible expenses. Some of these are easily trimmed. Cutting back is usually a better place to start than completely cutting out. Be realistic. It will help you to be better prepared for unexpected costs. The smart ways to trim your expenses. In finding ways to trim flexible expenses, it helps to have a goal to save toward each month. Setting such a goal needs to be SMART: • Specific Smart goals are specific enough to suggest action. Example: Save enough to visit Rome for your wedding anniversary. Not just “save money.” •Measurable: You need to know when you achieved your goal or how close you are. • Attainable: The steps toward reaching your goal need to be reasonable and possible. Example: I know I can save enough money each week to purchase that trip. • Relevant: The goal needs to make sense. You don’t want to work toward a goal that doesn’t fit your need. Example: We would like to stay in four-star hotels in celebration of our anniversary. •Time-related: Set a definite target date. Example: I want to go for holiday next summer.




ome 500 young men from five wards in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, have bonded together under the name “Civilian JTF” to hunt down suspected members of the violent Boko Haram sect that has made the state a dead county. Theirs, as their name suggests, is the civilian arm of the military onslaught to dislodge the sect from the state. Last week, they announced the “capture” of 30 suspects who they handed over to the Joint Task Force (JTF). One of the suspects was said to be a district head (“Bulama” in the local Kanuri language) in Gwange ward who “everybody, the youth and the elderly” knew to be a Boko Haram member, playing a visible role in the insurgency. A leader of Civilian JTF who spoke to journalists on June 11 in Maiduguri on condition of anonymity, explained why the youth have thrown themselves into the counter-insurgency effort: “We, the youth, in Maiduguri have resolved to fish out any member of the sect who ran back into the city from bases in villages and bushes after they were dislodged by federal troops”. Defence ministry spokesman, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, welcomed the arrival of the volunteer fighters on the scene. “Every effort by the civilian populace consistent with current security operations to put an end to the insurgency will be welcome,” he said in Abuja. We at Peoples Daily welcome this

civilian volunteerism in the war on terror. We urge the military authorities to build on it as the start of the next phase of the counter-insurgency campaign. This new phase should concentrate on winning the mind of the civilian population which has borne the brunt of Boko Haram’s regime of killings and destruction of physical structures. Until now, the JTF has been indiscriminate in its handling


Next phase of war on Boko Haram?

We sincerely hope the military authorities and their civilian superiors will seize on this “window of opportunity” offered by the Maiduguri youth to build a strong civilian-military bulwark against the insurgents of the insurgency. It has not been able to distinguish between the enemy and the ordinary, law-abiding man on the street. Summary trial and, sometimes extrajudicial execution, of suspects have alienated the civilian population from the war effort of the government. This so much so that residents have come to dread the JTF soldiers who they see in their neighbourhoods more than Boko Haram elements that they cannot identify.

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The atrocities committed by troops would have gone largely unnoticed but for the searchlight put on these by international human rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, foreign governments and news media. Their sustained reporting of the highhandedness of the military horrified the Nigerian population which had been supportive of the clampdown on the Boko Haram sect. This fear of the military is responsible for the poor quality of intelligence about the sect and its modus operandi. The extra-judicial killing of the original sect leader, Mohammed Yusuf, after his arrest in 2009, was a lost opportunity for the authorities to pry useful information from him. It also led to the transformation of the sect to a violent group and the expansion of its base beyond Maiduguri. We sincerely hope the military authorities and their civilian superiors will seize on this “window of opportunity” offered by the Maiduguri youth to build a strong civilian-military bulwark against the insurgents. Lamentably, signals from the theatre of war do not suggest that. A father last week gave his son away to the JTF as an unrepentant Boko Haram member. However, its soldiers allegedly killed him as he tried to escape from detention. We hope a similar fate will not befall the suspects handed over by the Maiduguri youth.











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By Chiechefulam Ikebuiro


here has been so much talk recently about the growth of Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) and I am wondering where the evidence is. What does it matter if we have the highest GDP in the world and the evidence is not showing on the ordinary Nigerian? Making an illustration with cakes and all at her presentation at the ministerial platform the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, tried to let us know the importance of the GDP growth. That’s fine. Nobody is saying a growth in GDP is a bad thing, but as she said at the beginning of her GDP illustration “after we talk, people will say, ‘GDP growth, what is GDP growth? It’s not important; that’s not what we will eat.’) What else does she expect Nigerians to ask? Are we really expected to eat the “GDP growth’’? The World Bank recently came out with its verdict on Nigeria and the fact is our country is poverty ridden even with the claims of growth in GDP, although the government tried to counter this. It stated that the number of Nigerians living below the poverty line has grown measurably. On unemployment


Opinion When GDP counts it said “Job creation in Nigeria has been inadequate to keep pace with the expanding working age population. The official unemployment rate has steadily increased from 12% of the working age population in 2006 to 24% in 2011. Preliminary indications are that this upward trend continued in 2012.” According to the report even most of the employed are under employed. So what’s the noise about growth in GDP when we are among the poorest nations? This is something we already knew; the World Bank just put a stamp on it. In all this, the

question is if there is growth in our GDP which means growth in the economy, why is there no significant impact on the citizenry? If the Nigerian economy is really growing as they will want us to believe, we expect that plenty businesses spring up, thereby needing labour which makes for increase in employment. Are we seeing businesses spring up? Why is there still so much unemployment and underemployment? The GDP of a state is normally used to measure the standard of living of a people, which means if there is growth

in the GDP, there should be an improvement in the standard of living of a people. How is the standard of living in Nigeria? Why should we have a growth in GDP and the standard of living at its lowest ebb? I guess this should be left to economists to determine, but for some of us, it just does not add up. Government should not expect us to clap for it for telling us our GDP is increasing, if is it really is. We need more than just that. Tell the Nigerian Graduates that are churned out regularly on the streets, with no jobs that the GDP

This is something we already knew; the World Bank just put a stamp on it. In all this, the question is if there is growth in our GDP which means growth in the economy, why is there no significant impact on the citizenry? If the Nigerian economy is really growing as they will want us to believe, we expect that plenty businesses spring up, thereby needing labour which makes for increase in employment.

is growing and see what they do to you. Those that have been out of school years back are not even yet to get employment, not to talk of the fresh graduates. The future gets bleaker by the day. The frustration is getting out of hand, I must say, and if nothing concrete is done soon, there will be chaos! There are even no benefits what so ever for the unemployed. In other climes there is unemployment benefit. I hate repeating this but, of what use is the growth in GDP if we do not have regular power supply, good roads, up to standard health facilities et al? Of what importance is growth in GDP when the ordinary man has no food on his table, no house to live in, not to talk of sending his wards to school? Of what use is the growth in GDP if corruption thrives like there is no tomorrow? The government needs to try to put some (if not all) of these things in place then we can now know what GDP is. It is not just enough to entice us with plans. We want results and soon too. Corruption needs to be tackled to its barest minimum or else we are doomed even if our GDP rises to heaven. Chiechefulam Ikebuiro via

Our national character of demerit By Bámidélé Adémólá-Olátéjú


he latest cut-off marks for admission into unity schools for different states of the federation got me thinking. A male child from Yobe who scores above 2 marks out of 200 will be admitted to a Federal Unity school of his choice while a child, male or female, from Anambra with a score of 138 will be denied admission because the cut-off mark for the state on merit is 139 out of 200. Unity indeed! We have the unity of the African Almond - united but separated by limiting walls. We have enemies of Nigeria at the helm. Those who are formulating these policies are priming this country for disintegration. They are ignoring leprosy while moving on swiftly to cure ring worm. This is scandalous! True, there are gaps. Gaps exist because people in authority are screwing us royally, underfunding education, diverting funds for personal use, encouraging Almajirai culture for the Northern poor, promoting mediocrity and extending the reach of existing stereotypes. Decapitation is not a cure for migraine. Policy makers and implementors must know that “culture, schools and environment counts in intelligence – Richard E. Nisbett (Intelligence and How to Get It).” This round robin education style is killing this country a grade at a time. A nation cannot survive too long without integrity, with the favored states admission method, the country’s integrity is at stake. The education gap in Nigeria will continue to widen because those

who are driven will continue to find a way to get educated and states like Yobe will have no incentive for reform. The gap will widen because we have refused to address the core issues affecting education — culture, schools, teachers, curricula and infrastructure. For instance, eighty percent of Sokoto’s Grade 3 pupils cannot read a single word. Over half of the state’s primary school-age children are out of school – and it has some of the world’s biggest gender gaps in education. What are the Northern governors doing to reverse this shameful statistic? What programmes are they putting in place to improve education and learning in the 21st century? These are the questions true lovers of the Nigeria and the North should ask. It strikes me that this criminal indifference to education in the North is a kind of brutality in itself. What is our future with a deliberate policy of underdevelopment and a national character of demerit? Our children

are being fed the milk of demerit from the cradle. When are we going to get the memo that our individual past eventually becomes our collective history? Our upbringing lends us the moral compass of our lives, it forms our inner reference points, eventually, it showcases the immutability of our past and to a large extent the possibilities for our future. What possibilities do the Northern children have in terms of education? What moral direction are we giving children who do not have to know anything before they are admitted? What kind of spirit are we nurturing in an Anambra boy or girl who scored 138 and cannot be admitted because of her state of origin? We are instilling in these children twisted reference points. We are creating two Nigerias in every way imaginable. What are we getting at, when we tell a child from Yobe all he needs to gain admission is to show up in the examination hall? Showing up means getting 2 marks. “We have inflicted on ourselves a general lack of ambition, we are focused on good enough above all else.

Nigeria has become a society of low standards, where the bar is set so low that we expect and celebrate mediocrity.” I was raving until I recalled we ahave constitutional provenance for demerit. We wrote federal character; the euphemism for favoritism, cronyism, mediocrity, mental laziness and sloth into the Nigerian constitution. Pluralism had always been a blessing until Nigeria was created. Now, we actively devalue our pluralism by promoting an “educated” underclass in the North. The North is getting federally assisted to underperform educational odds. The circle then becomes more vicious. More underperformance breeds the other and the gaps continue to widen. When are we going to stop doing stupid things? After independence, we have started formulating the concept of the Nigerian way. We were taught civics in school, the curricula emphasized our common history, hard work, competition, unity and love of country. Somewhere along, we frittered away all the gains. Our

I was raving until I recalled we ahave constitutional provenance for demerit. We wrote federal character; the euphemism for favoritism, cronyism, mediocrity, mental laziness and sloth into the Nigerian constitution. Pluralism had always been a blessing until Nigeria was created. Now, we actively devalue our pluralism by promoting an “educated” underclass in the North. The North is getting federally assisted to underperform educational odds. The circle then becomes more vicious.

love of short cuts and quick fixes became a fraudulently consistent ideal. Nigeria now has mediocrity as her governing ideology and our receptacle for philosophy. The female child from Zamfara needs 2 marks; where is Sani Yerima? When schools were crumbling under his watch, all he could do for his people was a commitment to political sharia. We are reaping the result now, a male child from Zamfara needs only 4 marks out of 200 to be admitted into a unity school. Our collective dishonesty is as disconcerting as our palpable unwillingness to make Nigeria a worthy country to be proud of. The truth is; this country is promoting indoctrination and dogmatism over education and awareness? The leadership space is hopelessly embroiled in an endless power struggle over who distributes bread and butter. They have become disdainful of us, bereft of any sense of obligation and totally oblivious of our gradual decent into chaos. The focus is about milking the rest of us comatose with the highest common factors being greed and power. Public service is no longer a call to duty but a call to embezzlement and self-enrichment. It is too late for my generation to enjoy the fruits of a just and equitable Nigeria but we can negotiate a better future for our children if we begin to ask questions. We must demand responsibility and make public office holders accountable. We want answers, and our children will be grateful if we do something today. One Nigeria or forget it! Follow writer on Twitter @ olufunmilayo


Letters & Opinion


Politicking at the expense of governance By Mohammed Q. Sidq Isa


he premature escalation in intra and interparty political struggle politicians in government, and the disproportionate momentum defining the wave of the associated political hullaballoo represents the desperation of the incumbents to consolidate their gains, and also that of the opposition to regain their lost ground and “adjust” the political equation that dramatically changed to the advantage of some and disadvantage of some others, in the wake of the death of President Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua in 2010. The undue preoccupation with it affects the balance between politicking and governance, of course, to the detriment of the interest of ordinary Nigerians. Though, the opposition would never relent in their efforts to distract the incumbents with a view to discrediting them politically, it’s imperative for the incumbents to not allow themselves to be distracted at the expense of their obligations. Unfortunately, this is the case in the country, particularly since the death of President Yar’adua and the ascension of Jonathan to power. It is obvious that, whether deliberately or not, the opposition, particularly at the national level, has succeeded in distracting the government, which has taken on politicking at the expense of governance in its bid to cling to power in 2015. This situation is made worse by the existential threat facing the ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. By the way, notwithstanding its accumulated notoriety as a party, and the apparent kleptomania suffered by many of its members, I don’t believe that the PDP per se is all what Nigerians have to get rid of in

By Usman Ibrahim


ear sir, It is with a heart overwhelmed by melancholy that I write you 6 months after your sudden exit from this world to the journey of the unseen; a journey that must be made by all mankind, a journey that is experienced only by the soul without the body. But it is cheerful news I am breaking to you because six months after your transition to the world beyond, the people you left behind are still mourning you. A good sign, that you were a good leader to them. Prayers were offered in some mosques for you and also today in some churches supplications were as well delivered in your favour. While in various homes good prayers, were being said in your remembrance and honour sir, which to me are indications that you have lived a good life of service to not only the people of Kaduna State but, humanity as a whole. Different, but wholesome testimonies have been pouring from numerous quarters by people who have been touched by

resources order to turn and energy in things around highlighting the in the country. obvious, that is, After all, many Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, the implications if not most of of the decay of the opposition text messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written the system, and leaders contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters also the resultant themselves - 150 words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your systematic failure were equally name and a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be to deliver. It’s of thieves and addressed to: course needless incompetent because the when they implications held various The Editor, are too obvious political Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, to waste time positions 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. in highlighting before they Email: them in the first lost out and place, as they subsequently SMS: 08134607052 are everywhere decided to join to behold. As a the opposition matter of fact, everybody, including hardly address relevant issues in their desperate bid to regain the elite, suffers in one way or that have direct bearing on the their lost slots on the big cake. another, though at various degrees While many others are former PDP lives of the people they represent. of course. On one hand for instance, the members forced out of the party in It is unfortunate to note that, incumbents who, having little or internal party feud. even though our politicians, of perhaps nothing to show, beat With due respect to those who course with very few exceptions, single out the PDP as the sole cause about the bush in their futile bid to claim loyalty to their respective claim credit and justify their stay of Nigeria’s current predicaments, political parties, and claim in power, and in the meantime I consider their assumption commitment to its written mission distract the public from assessing too partisan in nature hence and values, the reality is that only them on the bases of the issues that too narrow to identify the real their personal interest determines actually matter. causes of the country’s persistent the extent of their loyalty and On the other hand, the predicaments. While politicking commitment to their parties. opposition, having no practical continues to overshadow Interestingly, I reliably learnt that blueprint to provide a better governing, politicians among both a leading member of the PDP replacement, needlessly waste the opposition and the incumbents


The undue preoccupation with it affects the balance between politicking and governance, of course, to the detriment of the interest of ordinary Nigerians. Though, the opposition would never relent in their efforts to distract the incumbents with a view to discrediting them politically, it’s imperative for the incumbents to not allow themselves to be distracted at the expense of their obligations. Unfortunately, this is the case in the country, particularly since the death of President Yar’adua and the ascension of Jonathan to power.

currently serving as a minister, who is also a former Nigerian ambassador, had once (while still serving as ambassador) wanted to order some custom-made souvenirs in PDP flag colours from a Dubai based vendor, apparently to present it to some key party leaders back in Abuja, however he couldn’t remember what the colours were, so he asked those with him what were the colours of the PDP flag? Notwithstanding whether party flag colours are important or not, I reasoned that if a leading member of a party, who primarily owed his ambassadorial appointment to his influence in it for that matter, could easily forget what the party’s flag colours look like, he was definitely not loyal to the party. After all, apart from some voluminous manifestoes purposely prepared as part of the formality to get registration, and which I believe must have now gathered enough dust in the parties’ secretariats, none of the parties has any practical and binding manifesto defining its policies and/or blueprint with detailed implementation mechanisms. Anyway, this lack of commitment explains the rampant cases of defection from one party to another and/or engagement in antiparty activities whenever their political ambitions are frustrated by some more powerful party members. Yet unfortunately, ordinary Nigerians, who rot away at the receiving end, are easily carried away by emotion and prejudice to turn a blind eye to the real causes of their plight, and allow such politicians to continue toying with their collective intelligence in pursuit of their personal interests in disguise. Mohammed Qaddam Sidq Isa is on www.qaddamsidq.

Lettter to Sir Patrick Yakowa your selfless generosity directly or indirectly. Some among them who had served under you while you were head of Kaduna State Civil Service had said many good things too numerous for me to enumerate in this letter. While you served as a minister, according to them, you were the servant not master because they said, your office was always accessible to the messenger as it was to the permanent secretary in the ministry. The various commissioners in Kaduna state who you had given a rare privilege to serve in your cabinet were not left out in singing your praises for the unrestricted latitude you gave them in discharging their duties. The 23 local government chairmen who served under you in interim capacity between 2011 and 2012 have not forgotten you. You picked some of us who were greenhorns in politics and leadership; you nurtured us into becoming leaders,

not rulers. I still remember your homily to us whenever we erred in fulfilling our promises to the people – you would summon us to converse in your office abode and you would tell us to remember death because, death closes every and any plan to enjoy oneself in the world, you believed is the only tempting motivation that drove one to acquire wealth and properties. You would tell us that we should know one day willingly or unwillingly, we would leave everything we had acquired in the world. You would then throw the epilogue which is usually a puzzler question of “will any of you take money and properties to his grave?” You would then leave us in your characteristic manner to ponder the question and provide the answer for ourselves. From you I learnt the known veritable rudiments of politics and people. Diplomacy, as you had always emphatically stressed was the greatest weapon to win the heart

of your perceived critics and even enemies who would see nothing good in any thing you do. You would echo in your admonition; don’t keep malice, always extend the proverbial olive branch to your enemy. By so doing, you would say, you may win their heart. Your philosophy is one that teaches calmness and happiness even in the face of provocation. You would say to me in confidence, “try and be happy in any circumstance you find yourself; you will not live to regret”. Sir, every member of your family is doing just fine though; they are still mourning you 6 months after. I was in your Kaduna home to see how the family was fairing without you. My only regret, the world you left behind is more unpredictable each passing day; a world where you hear this and that which is unpleasant to the ears. We have failed to learn the lessons being taught by death. We seem to be

forgetful in a hurry the lesson we claimed to have learned due to your departure. We seem to have prioritized worldly pleasure, merriment and jamboree above spiritual ecstasy and human virtue. Let me not bore and unsettle you with our problems which I know will definitely bother you because you had always been while in this world bothered when people were in problems. We will come sooner or later to join you in that journey of the unseen that shall lead us to the day of reckoning when we shall all be judged on the basis of what we have planted, good or bad. I pray to our creator to magnify your good deed so that the good you had done will outweigh and eventually secure you visa to abode of peace and tranquility which is the ultimate goal of every soul, amen. Usman Ibrahim is the Sardaunan Badarawa, Kaduna.




June 12: Hope and ‘dividends’ of democracy My M.B. O.Owolowo


istory was made on June 12, 1993, the day Nigerians shunned ethnic and religious differences to speak with one voice. Nigerians freely expressed their constitutional right and voted for Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (aka M.K.O) of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) as their President. The victory of M.K.O was symbolic because it showed the world Nigerians could set aside their differences to achieve a greater goal, it also confirmed the climate was conducive for democracy at the time. However, the annulment of the June 12 elections killed the religious harmony that was being rebuilt and the foundations of tolerance being re-laid since the incongruities and ruptures of the civil war. Love or loathe M.K.O, he didn’t renege on the people’s mandate and we must acknowledge June 12 wouldn’t have been successful without him. June 12 was about democratic rights and personal choices. M.K.O campaigned with “Hope ‘93” and was voted for across the country as the president-elect. He was mandated by the people to represent their interests as president. In legal terms he was a president in waiting and the presidential inauguration By Taju Tijani


lack culture is under assault as a result of the unrelenting demands of modernity. The cherished ethos and ethical underpinnings of our existence as Africans are disappearing under the counterfeit alternatives of Western lifestyle. As black cultural power recedes, here comes the captivating Euro trash that has equally made captives of millions of black wanabes. From the starryeyed teenagers with obsession for Brazilian and Indian hair to the sugar mums in Levi jean trousers, the seduction to appear chic and ooze street credibility have all combined to make us cultural thieves or if you like, Euro trash slaves. In the heady 60’s and 70’s, there was a vanguard movement appropriately named Black Power. Its glorifying mandate was to reclaim the loss and gloss of black pride and dignity, stolen and vandalised by slavery and black oppression. Then, this emerging tsunami of lust for Western cultural decadence was resisted. Then we had Afro-hair. Black people were proud of African heritage, colour, food, smell, ruggedness and power. Not anymore. In the place of our old collective pride as Africans is the rising hostility to anything ethnic. We are becoming a race of revisionists in less than 60 years of our twilight domination of the social and cultural space. We are now reading our history backwards. There are multi-legged assaults on black culture and pride in the Western world. First is the denigration of anything authentically African by Western media as backward, crude, dirty,

was a mere formality. If Abiola had not been an active participant in the Babangida political transition, history would never have been made on June 12, 1993; if June 12 wasn’t successful the IBB junta wouldn’t have annulled the election. The annulment of the June 12 election led to the inevitable end of the IBB regime, which also led to incarceration of the M.K.O Abiola. The mysterious death of M.K.O Abiola during incarceration led to the ousting of the military regime and birth of the semblance of democracy we have today. If M.K.O. Abiola had not paid the ultimate price with his life, there wouldn’t have been democracy in 1999. But June 12 isn’t about one individual, but the collective battle against

dictatorship, tyranny and the freedom of a nation. Unfortunately, the dividends of democracy has been only restricted to a corrupt and avaricious few, a sharp contrast to the ideals of one of the most philanthropic Nigerians that ever lived, M.K.O Abiola: he was extremely generous and a genuine lover of the masses. We as a nation must revisit those democratic ideals and people oriented schemes geared towards economic liberation and empowerment. With the unabated squandering in the country, we begin to wonder what could have been, and begin to question, did all those who struggled and those that died make such sacrifices so our governors can bicker over who controls the governor’s forum? Were these sacrifices

made for some opportunists to recklessly lord over the rest of us? Did these figures shed their blood so obscene amounts of money could be distributed at the house of assembly? Did these heroes toil so those in power can squander our resources without plans for the nation’s future? Or to exert dictatorial tendencies by victimizing and witch-hunting supposed opponents? Where were most of these opportunists when some brave citizens laid down their lives? Only those bold enough were ready to challenge the military. If the military weren’t confronted they wouldn’t have exited the stage at the time, and those in power who neither fought nor lifted a finger to advocate for democracy wouldn’t be presiding today. It is said when

If M.K.O. Abiola had not paid the ultimate price with his life, there wouldn’t have been democracy in 1999. But June 12 isn’t about one individual, but the collective battle against dictatorship, tyranny and the freedom of a nation. Unfortunately, the dividends of democracy has been only restricted to a corrupt and avaricious few, a sharp contrast to the ideals of one of the most philanthropic Nigerians that ever lived, M.K.O Abiola: he was extremely generous and a genuine lover of the masses

Black cultural rebels phony, mysterious and distasteful. Worse, Africans are being ring fenced into believing in this hidden racism against their culture and black pride. When reporters, editors and documentary makers fan into Africa for stories, their idea of black culture and pride is our mysterious exoticism, diseases, want, poverty, tribal wars, corruption, barbarism, savagery, infrastructural decay, prostitution, witchcraft, fake evangelism, violence, political instability, official greed and early death. Skepticism toward African culture is still dictated by narrow, egotistical and racial binoculars. Africa to the West still implies a vision of doom and disaster on a large scale. In fact, they are still on the Darwinian path to link us to animals. This gratuitous, unrelenting media deception still goes on today. Secondly, there is an ongoing cultural rebels among our youths and even among our adult population. Once the Western media has carried out its cultural crusading sorties against African culture, once our history, customs and practices have been bombed out; once black heritage has been tagged barbaric and savage, then imagine the damage on the free flowing spirit of younger generation of Africans both at home and in the Diaspora. Their young minds are forever neutered and neutralised into accepting white trash as reality. Daily, we embrace the white man’s delusions and hallucinations against black pride and dignity.

These delusions then grow into millstones which we then carry into every areas of our lives as people and as a race. In the western Diaspora, I have never seen any race that has betrayed its cultural roots like black people. We are like a collection of frustrated humanity with confused identity. The dominant white cultural Euro trash is whacking us and whacking us badly. On the sporting field, you could count hundreds of black cultural rebels. Strategic footballing victory on the field is not replicated on the marriage altars. Rather, black soccer stars in their own subtle acceptance of white delusions of beauty, or if you like, marriage engineering, systemically strip our pride away by marrying white trash. I struggle when I see these thin white girls running into the arms of successful sporting soul brothers. Albert Haynesworth, Michael Jordan, Andy Cole, Sol Campbell, Chris Eubank, Frank Bruno and countless others. I disagree with LSE psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa and his stereotypical assumption that black British women are generally undesirable. This love black out and cultural lock down among our richest black sporting folks is an affront. It is forming a kind of contesting struggle with our rich heritage and the natural, unvarnished beauty of a black woman. At a time when you think that our women will seize the cultural ground and reclaim our

lost pride, they have become the worse cultural vandalisers. They are rediscovering the meaning of beauty through white lenses. The cultural failure of black women globally is the ready invasion of their cultural space by western idea of what constitute beauty. Retreating from their own cultural heritage, black women have become helpless accomplice to the popular bigotry of black ugliness. The cultural tenacity of the black race is lost through the disempowering acceptance of white beauty as model. There are no more retro chics with low cut afro hair. The Modupe Debbie Ariyo look is fading under the weight of collective black amnesia. There are no more ethnic, costume jewelleries to adorn black female skin. There are no more authentic African braids and cornrows like Bob Marley, Ghanaian weaving, water melon, kinky braids, basket weaving or Alicia Keys on the heads of our children, wives and colleagues. Braid, that authentic natural look, is cool, manageable, versatile, convenient, attractive, projects culture and even allows air to circulate to the scalps. Rather the new cultural rebels on the block are embracing weave on. Yes, women are more susceptible to gullibility in matters of tastes and beauty. There is no revolution that has swept our children, wives and colleagues away than the advent of wave on. Wave on is a cultural language of rebellious rebuke to our black

an individual doesn’t struggle to attain something, such an acquisition is taken for granted and often abused. Apart from those notable figures previously mentioned, I want to celebrate the real heroes of democracy, my fellow citizens. The man that got stabbed and bleed to death on the street, the lady struck by the soldiers bullet, the boy maimed by vehicles speeding to safety, the girl who lost her chastity on her way back from school, the woman who lost her baby for being caught up in the fracas, the faces that were scared and the wounds that bled. The hearts that yearned for loved ones who never returned. All these events were a consequence of hope. On June 12 1993 we hoped, went to the polls and made history. 20 years later we are still hoping for the Nigeria of our dreams. We are hoping these heroic feats weren’t just based on ousting the military but to reap the actual dividends of democracy. Some have lost hope and some still hope, as some pray the ghosts of June 12 continue to haunt all those who participated in the dashing of hopes. To all those who died for the enthronement of democracy, God knows who you are and it is my prayer your blood was not shed in vain. M.B.O Owolowo is on www. ethnicity. It is a form of rebellion to the idea of African beauty. Wave on gives minute assent to the popular but stereotypical, Euro trash assumption that longer hair makes women more beautiful and attractive. This facile notion has made our women alienated, captives and slaves to Brazilian, Indian and Peruvian hairstyles. Black celebrities - majority of whom are emptiers of black culture - who wear wave on become ready models for our teenagers, wives and colleagues. This disabling conflict of looking beautiful on white prescriptions have made our mothers, sisters, wives, sisters and daughters naive, blind and slaves to the demands of modern living. Even in our homes and restaurants, black cultural rebels are turning their backs against African cuisine in preference for Oriental, Indian and continental dishes. In my unborn and born again years as a restaurant crawler, I have never ever come across an African woman eating abula, amala or eba in a restaurant. It is either the overrated jollof rice/dodo and fried rice/moin moin. At home, we are proud to show our cultural rebelliousness with tart comment like...”Ah...don’t mind that Ayo he doesn’t eat African food”. What? Yes, cultural rebels among us have hijacked Chinese food, Indian Curry and barbecue as standard requirements for birthdays, naming ceremonies, graduation party gatherings and work promotion parties. In this clash of civilization, why are black people losing ground while other races are holding fast to their cultural heritage in the West? Taju Tijani is on www.



Metro Nyanya residents want review of new transport policy


Fulani cultural troupe entertaining guests, at a public function on Monday, in Abuja.

Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Defamation: Minister, director threaten publisher with N7bn libel suit By Stanley Onyekwere


CT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has served notice of intention to file a five N5 billion suit on Desert Herald newspaper and its publisher, Alhaji Tukur Mamu for alleged defamation and libel over a purported series of damaging publications against the minister. In the same vein, the Director of Treasury of FCT Administration, Alhaji Ibrahim Bomai through the

same solicitors has threatened to institute a N2 Billion Naira (N2,000,000,000:00) against Mamu for the same wrong. According to the details of the notice of the impending legal action, allegedly was yesterday, served on the defendant by the counsel to the FCT Minister, Chief Joe K. Gadazama. In the notice, the minister is among other things demanding for an apology and a retraction of the offending newspaper stories

and publication by the publisher within seven days from the date of receipt of the notice failing which he would be left with no option than to institute full legal action against him and his newspaper, the Desert Herald. Gadazama, in a statement made available to Peoples Daily, said the Minister has also written to the Inspector-General of Police to lodge a complaint of criminal defamation, extortion and spreading of injurious falsehood

by Mamu contrary to section 391 and 393 of the penal code. “We demand that within seven (7) days of the receipt of this letter, you cause a bold retraction to be published in two (2) national dailies including the Desert Herald weekly Newspaper as well as two (2) other popular online media platforms a letter of apology addressed to our client and copy to our humble selves”, the statement said.

E-payment boosts FCTA revenue by 40% - Minister By Stanley Onyekwere


he introduction of e-payment by the FCT administration, for its services has increased revenue accruing into its coffers to between 30 and 40 percent. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed made this disclosure yesterday while receiving a delegation from the Central Bank

of Nigeria (CBN) who paid him a working visit in his office. He said the e-payment has blocked leakages of revenue coming into the coffers of the FCT Administration. According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT Minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, the Minister noted that the cashless policy will surely remediate

and rehabilitate the ills of the society thereby boost economic and social activities in the country. Also the Minister who expressed support for the new policy, appealed to the CBN leadership, to assist the FCT Administration build capacity, in a form of training and orientation, so as to bring about perfection of the policy. Earlier, the Deputy Governor

(Operations), Tunde Lemo said that the team was in FCT Administration to preach the gospel of cashless Nigeria that is expected to take off in FCT by July 1, 2013. Lemo reiterated that the Central Bank of Nigeria has introduced the policy to modernize Nigerian economy in tune with the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan.

NGO o r g anises fr ee skills training in Kuje


Non-Government Organisation( NGO), EvaGreen, yesterday organised a free skills acquisition training and empowerment programme for women and youth in Kuje, to promote self reliance. The Executive Director, Mr Emmanuel Amao, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the training programme in the area, that idleness contributed to increase in

crime rate. According to him, the programme, which started on June 18, will end on July 9, free of charge. Amao said “there is an increase in the incidence of people, especially the youth, who leave school without getting employed. “What causes people to indulge in anti-social vices and all other forms of bad behaviour in our society today is idleness. “When people do not have what

to do, it leads to wishful thinking, resulting in stealing, promiscuity and indulgence in violence. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop; if you have something doing, such as a skill, it will benefit you and also help guard against indulging in vices,’’ he said. Amao said the reason for the training was to empower young people, including the married women and single ladies, to divert their energies into doing useful

things. He explained that the programme would create room for free skills training in computer operation, video and photography, paint production, tailoring, Internet and web design, beads and hat making. He said that satellite dish installation, painting, tiling, soap, cream and air freshener making, catering and interior decoration, would be included in the training. (NAN)

cross section of residents of Nyanya suburb of the FCT have called for a review the transport fare for commuters in the area, as the policy had caused untold hardship to the people, especially low wage earners, according to a survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). NAN recalls that the administration on June 3, introduced a new transport policy banning commuter buses popularly called “Araba” from entering the Abuja city centre. Some of the commuters said that the policy had increased the burden of the masses rather than alleviating their suffering. Mr Uye Onu, a commuter who spoke with NAN on Tuesday in Abuja said that since the commencement of the policy, he spent much more than what he used to pay from Karu to Area 1. “I used to pay N100 from Karu to Area 1 when “Araba” was operating; but now, I am paying N100 from Karu to Nyanya, and then pay another N80 from Nyanya to Area 1. ``What then is the benefit of this new policy to the masses? `Was this policy introduced to punish the people or to alleviate their burden? “When mini buses were stopped from operating, we were hoping that the high capacity buses will be charging N50 to different destinations, but today, the story is different, “Onu said. Narrating her ordeal, Miss Inyene Imoh, another commuter, complained that she the little payment she was receiving from her boss had finished on transportation. Imoh said that most of the people working in Abuja resided in Maraba, Karu, One-man-village, and Masaka and were not comfortable with the new policy. Also she noted that people living in these areas were faced difficulties commuting from that area. “Fixing N80 for Nyanya axis is only favouring those living in Nyanya villages; and it is difficult for us who are coming from Nasarawa State. “I want to believe that the FCT Government did not put this into consideration when the policy was made; so I am appealing to the authority to consider us living in these regions since majority of us are coming from Nasarawa to work in Abuja, “Imoh appealed. Mrs Iquo Ekpo, another commuter who also appealed to the authority of FCT, noted that the new transport policy made people to pay more than they should. Ekpo, who lives at New Nyanya village, in Nasarawa State, said she was now spending more on transport to Wuse where she was working. She, therefore, appealed to the FCT authority to reduce the fare for those living in Nyanya axis since most of them were coming from Nasarawa State. Ekpo also urged the management of the transport corporation to be time conscious, as their late departure made commuters to report late to their places of work. “The mini buses “Araba” drivers used to depart on time since they did not go through too many protocols in their operations, and this made people to arrive early at work,’’ she noted. (NAN)



Abaji council boss tasks new executive members on service delivery By Stanley Onyekwere


New Sure-P taxi commissioned by Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, on Monday in Abuja.

Photo: Joe Oroye

Kwali residents appeal for social amenities By Usman Shuaibu


esidents of kwali Area council in the FCT have appealed to the Hon. Daniel Ibrahim ledadministration, to provide social amenities lacking in the area, so as to improve living condition of the common people. They also urged the council leadership to consider rehabilitating the dilapidated access roads in the council and its environs, in order to pave way for the rapid development of the place.

Furthermore, they called on the chairman to place emphasis on the human and capital development of the masses for the smooth running of his administration. Some of the residents, who spoke to Peoples Daily, lamented that the past leaderships of the council had neglected the people, in terms of provision of infrastructural facilities. They also pointed out that most of primary schools in the area were in state of dilapidation and urged the current leadership to do something

about it. One of the residents, Mr. John Samuel, told Peoples Daily that he has been living in kwali for the past twelve years now, however wondered whysuccessive chairmen failed to develop the area. Samuel called on the current council boss to use the wealth of his experiences to bear towards the development of the council and its grassroots, as according to him, government cannot make progress when the masses are neglected in terms of their needs.

A business woman, Mrs. Binta Yohanna, pleaded with the present administration to pay attention to the kwali central market, with view to refurbishing to meet the international standard that would attract investors. Similarly, she accused the past chairmen of the council of having non-challant attitude towards the market despite the revenue being generated in the market while asking the current leadership to expedite action to upgrade the market.

Residents urged to practice effective waste management


n Environmental Health Officer with Satellite Town Development Agency, of the FCTA, Mr. Azeez Sanni has urged residents of the Territory to imbibe the culture of proper management of their waste. He maintained that waste should be packaged properly and drop at designated centres for collection by the relevant authorities. According to him, the agency, in some areas, advised residents to package their waste in a polythene bag and drop same by the road side so that the agency can pick it up. Sanni told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the agency had been trying to cope with the challenges of sensitising the people to the need to take care of the environment. “This is what we have been doing and communities are complying and this has greatly improved the standard of sanitation in the area councils.

“For drainage control and desiccation since the rain has started, our agency has commenced the issue of sensitisation, sanitation and drainage desiccation. “We are removing the debris in receded drainage to be able to pave way for erosion and water flow in our drainage system; as all these drainages have been filled up. “We have the challenges of sanitation; drainage and waste management; lack of awareness on the part of the community and on the part of the public concerning the environment; and started by sensitisation; talking to the people about the environment; how they should manage their waste; where they should place their waste. “Also we started the issue of waste evacuation in all the area councils; the entire satellite towns in collaboration with the area councils whereby we guide the people where they could dump their waste.

“Actually, all those areas we were able to identify them and we were able to start waste evacuation, which has not been happening before. “Don’t dump waste indiscriminately, and people are now buying the attitude of how to manage

their waste, repackage their waste to designed collection points; and as soon as we discovered that the waste is being accumulated in those collection points, we frequently go there with our resources to effect appropriate evacuation. (NAN)

he Chairman, Abaji Area Council, Yahaya Garba Gawu has charged the new executive council members to carry out their assignment with all seriousness, so as to deliver on developmental issues affecting the council. The chairman, who stated this during the swearing –in ceremony of the executive members at the Council Secretariat, said the appointment of each member was base on one year probation, during which they will be assess on performances. His words:“Your appointment today should not be seen as an opportunity to enrich yourself but an opportunity to provide service to the people. “let me at this juncture, draw your attention to the fact that your appointment to these offices was a collective decision of the entire PDP family therefore you should not see yourself as a superior above others instead you should see yourself as a servant of the people.” The chairman urge the new members to share ideas together on developmental issues, he reminded them those oppositions are watching to see the success or failure of this administration; therefore we should not leave stone unturned to achieve our targeted aim. Responding on behalf of the new cabinet members the Council Secretary, Hon. Salihu Alhassan thanked the Chairman for given them opportunity to serve in different capacities, with total cooperation and loyalty for service delivery. A total of five supervisory councilors and six senior advisers were sworn-in together with secrreaqtary at the occasion that witnessed large turnout of party supporters from different wards of the Council, including Royal fathers, district heads and security agencies.

Cleric urges Muslims to exhibit exemplary leadership


he Chief of Jiwa Village in the FCT, Alhaji Idri Musa, has charged Muslims fateful to exhibit exemplary leadership as shown by prophet Mohammad. Musa gave the advice at the monthly lecture series, organised by the Muslim Consultative Forum (MCF) in Abuja. The theme of the lecture was: “The Role of Muslim Leaders in Social Reform’’. Musa, who was represented by Alhaji Ibrahim Jega, the Executive Secretary of the National Mosque Management Committee, decried the nonchalant attitude of some leaders, saddled with the responsibility of

leading the nation. “From Sheikh Usman Danfodio down to late Sir Ahmadu Bello and up to the time of the late Sultan Abubakar III, you will find that things were better then, but now, everyday things are getting worse.’’ He said that the security situation in the North had resulted to the death of hundreds of people, leaving residents of the affected states sleepless at night. ``And one of the qualities of a good leader is the ability to take responsibility and you are not expected to sleep until those whom you lead have access to good leaving conditions,’’ Musa said.

The Guest Speaker, Ustaz Nurudeen Abdulmalik, said that the qualities of a leader as prescribed by Muhammad (SAW) begins with the fear of God. “Anybody who wants to rule the people at all cost, that person is already a failure because you don’t have to print posters and campaign for people to vote for you, your qualities alone can speak for you.’’ He urged Nigerians to vote for leaders who had fear of God, irrespective of tribe or religion and leaders who had knowledge of their immediate environment. (NAN)




Police arraign man over recharge card theft


he police have arraigned a 24-year-old man, Tosin Omolola, 24, of Gwarinpa Estate before Kado Grade 2 Area Court, Abuja, for allegedly stealing recharge cards valued at N188,850. The police prosecutor, Insp. Abdullahi Alhassan, alleged that Esther Okoligwe and Mohammed Garba, all of Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja, reported the matter at the Gishiri Police Station on June 3. Alhassan also alleged that the accused also stole N12, 700 from the complainants. The prosecutor said that the offence contravened the provision of Section 287 of the Penal Code, respectively. If convicted, Omolola shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or be fined or with both. The Presiding Judge, Malam Ahmed Ado, granted him bail in the sum of N200, 000 with two surety in like sum. Ado ordered that one of the sureties must be a civil servant not below salary grade level 06. He, then, adjourned the case to July 1 for further hearing. (NAN)


Mischief: Applicant in court for resisting arrest


olice have arraigned an unemployed man, Mohammed Suleiman, 25, of Kado village, Abuja, in an Abuja Magistrates’ Court for allegedly resisting lawful arrest and mischief. Suleiman is standing trial on a two-count charge of resisting lawful arrest and mischief before Magistrate Abdullateef Abolaji. The police prosecutor, Sgt. Philip Apollos, told the court that

Mechel Umojose of Kado Village reported the case at the Life Camp Police Station on June 8. Apollos told the court that the complainant was in her shop attending to customers when the accused criminally trespassed into her shop and began to intimidate her. He said Suleiman was seen smoking a wrap of drug suspected to be Indian hemp and when

Umojose told him to leave her shop he began to destroy her goods. He said the accused destroyed goods worth N10,000, refused arrest and insulted a police officer, saying: “policeman leave my area before I call my members’’. The prosecutor said it took a team of policemen to arrest the suspect, who pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. Magistrate Abolaji granted him

bail in the sum of N20,000 and two reliable sureties in like sum. He said the sureties must deposit their driver’s licence, National Identity card or international passport with the court registry. Abolaji said the sureties must also live within the jurisdiction of the court, and adjourned the case to June 19 for further hearing. (NAN)

Woman docked over contract scam


woman, Ijeoma Ozor, 37, of Efab Estate at Lokogoma area of the FCT was arraigned by the police, before the Karu Senior Magistrates’ Court over alleged criminal breach of trust and cheating. Ozor was arraigned at the Police Prosecutor, Cpl. Eze Okwuchukwu, told the court that one Hycinth Iloka, of 3 Morroco

St., Suleja, reported the matter at the Apo Police Station on June 13. He said that Ozor fraudulently defrauded Iloka of N607,000 on the pretext of giving him a contract with a Federal Government agency. The prosecutor said that after Iloka had paid the money, Ozor changed her residential address as well as the church where she usually worshipped.

Okwuchukwu said the offence contravened the provisions of section 322 of the Penal Code. The section stipulates three years in prison if the accused is found guilty of the offence. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. Counsel to the accused Mr Okereke Abba applied for bail for the accused.

The Presiding Magistrate, Mrs Hadiza Shagari, granted the accused bail in the sum of N200,000 with a surety in like sum. She said that the surety must be a civil servant working in the FCT and staying within the jurisdiction of the court. Shagari adjourned the case to July 9, for further hearing. (NAN)

Landlord loses N.7m Two men arraigned tenancy claim over smoking against pastor n Abuja High Court has dismissed the Indian hemp



claims of a landlord, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibrin, against one Pastor Chijioke Maduka over tenancy claims amounting to over N700, 000. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jibrin had sued Maduka, who is his tenant, for failing to pay his rent and refusing to quit the apartment after repeated demands. Jibrin had, therefore, requested for an order of the court to eject the defendant and enable him repossess from him the property, a two-bedroom apartment at Lugbe Phase III in Abuja. Delivering judgment, Justice Angela Otaluka held that Maduka was a tenant who paid his rents every year and therefore deserved to be served with a six-month quit notice. “But he was not served such a notice by the plaintiff, who only served the defendant with a seven-day notice of owner’s intention to take possession of his property, which was a fundamental error,’’ she said. Otaluka said that the plaintiff’s noncompliance with the provisions of the recovery of premises law robbed the court of jurisdiction and nullified the proceedings entirely. “The court therefore holds that the plaintiff has failed to prove his case beyond the preponderance of evidence and his claim cannot succeed, and the case is hereby dismissed. “The non-service and non-compliance with the recovery of property law provisions by the plaintiff is a fundamental error which robs the court of jurisdiction and nullifies the proceedings. “The defendant is a tenant who is protected by the recovery of premises law, and deserves a six-month notice to quit; but he was only issued with a seven-day notice of owner’s intention to deliver possession,’’ she said. (NAN)


wo men, David Damilola, 23, and Benjamin Ngbede, 22 of Mpape, were arraigned by the Police, in a Wuse Zone 2 Senior Magistrates’ Court for allegedly smoking Indian hemp. The police prosecutor, Sgt. Mohammed Ahmed, told the court that Insp. Rasaq Balogun, a police officer in charge of Maitama district, arrested the duo while on patrol. Ahmed said the accused were arrested in an uncompleted building on Monrovia Street, Wuse 2 for smoking a substance alleged to be Indian hemp which constituted a nuisance to the public. He said the offence contravened section 183 of the Penal Code. Section 183 stipulates that “a person is guilty of public nuisance or is guilty of an illegal omission when he acts or causes any common injury or danger to persons who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity who may have occasion to use any public right.’’ Damilola and Ngbede however pleaded not guilty to the charge. Senior magistrate Binta Dogonyaro granted each of them bail in the sum of N20, 000 with a surety each in like sum. Dogonyaro said the surety must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and adjourned the case to June 26 for hearing. (NAN)




Terrorism remains greatest threat to aviation, stakeholders - Pg 20

1.5m Nigerians have insurance – NAICOM - Pg 21

L-R: Chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Forte Oil, Chief Femi Otedola, Chairman, Visa Phone, Mr. Jim Ovia, and Managing Director, Access Bank, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, during the Economic Management Team’s meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday at the State House, in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Angola set to outpace Nigeria’s oil production By Etuka Sunday with agency report


ngola drew level with Nigeria in May on daily oil production at 1.97 million barrels per day and sold its first gas cargo from the $10 billion gas plants after 18 months delay, as doubts over future investments in Nigeria’s oil industry linger. The development follows a recent report by Platts survey of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which analysts called ‘worrying’ that Nigeria is the OPEC producer most affected by the shale oil boom that has seen its oil sales into the United States (US) slashed. Imports to the US from Nigeria tumbled to a record low in February, based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the US Energy Department’s statistical arm. Nigeria, which depends largely on earnings from oil to service its budget, has seen its oil revenues drop in recent months. The Angola gas shipment underscores the huge investment by multinational oil companies into the country’s expanding, well-run and supported oil industry, and underlies the increasing unattractiveness

of Nigeria’s oil and gas sector as an investment bride. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) project was bankrolled by Chevron Corp, which according to Bloomberg, plans to spend more than $77 billion on two LNG projects in Australia. Bloomberg reports that, “the facility in Northern Angola plans one or more shipments in June and July before performing checks on its systems and resuming output in the fourth quarter,” said people, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Bloomberg also quotes a distributed

the region and internationally. Nigeria’s oil and gas industry has seen divestments of oil assets by some international oil companies (IOCs) in recent years, and there is uncertainty in sector, in the face of the long delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). “The US has already started to replace Nigerian crudes for shale oil. Nigeria needs to review its export strategy and ensure they increase share in other markets like they have done for LNG in Japan,” reckons Claire Lawrie, head of oil and gas advisory for Africa, at Ernst & Young. Wumi Iledare, director, E n e r g y

The US has already started to replace Nigerian crudes for shale oil. Nigeria needs to review its export strategy and ensure they increase share in other markets like they have done for LNG in Japan business wire in which George Kirkland, vice chairman of San Ramon, California-based Chevron, said the project would commercialise natural gas resources in Western Africa to meet growing demand in

Information and Data Division, Center for Energy Studies at the Louisiana State University, US, said: “Nigeria need to worry much on the lack of transparency and fiscal responsibility within its oil and gas sector in terms of NNPC

governance and financial autonomy.” She added, “Nigeria will attract much more investments to develop and produce its oil and gas resources for the global market in Nigeria, if a transparent and pragmatic PIB is enacted quickly, and an effective federal governance structure.” President Goodluck Jonathan was recently reported to have said that investment in the country’s oil industry was falling because of delays in passing the PIB, adding that the conclusion of the bill was critical. The PIB, which is expected to overhaul the industry, is currently before the National Assembly. It recently scaled the second reading in the legislature.


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MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Use personal stories in your next


essages matter more to people when they’re relatable on a human level. Typically, only stories elicit that kind of response. You can repeat stories you’ve heard, but audiences feel more affection for presenters who reveal their own challenges and vulnerability by giving personal anecdotes. Choose ones that are appropriate for the occasion — they’re relevant and have the right level of drama. Think of stories in advance so that you have an

arsenal you can draw on again and again. Brainstorm past events, such as important times in your life — childhood, adolescence, young adulthood — what you learned, and who you learned it from — teachers, bosses, mentors. Jot down any stories you remember and the emotions they might elicit. Keep a catalogue of these stories to help you prepare future presentations. Source: Business Review




Aviation Company News

Samsung Electronics Co


amsung Electronics Co plans to sell a variation of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone that will transmit data at nearly twice the normal speed, the head of its mobile business said on Monday. J.K. Shin, also co-chief executive of the world’s biggest technology firm by revenue, said the phone would be sold in South Korea as early as this month. Samsung was in talks with several overseas carriers to take the phone, Shin told Reuters in an interview at Samsung’s headquarters in Suwon, just south of Seoul.

Deloitte Africa

90% of technical review panel report implemented - Aviation minister Stories from Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he minister of aviation, Stella Oduah said parastatals in the aviation industry have undertaken a series of measures to ensure a zero accident track record. The comprehensive, safety and security initiatives according to her were undertaken following the Federal Government’s determination to ensure that the right lessons were learned from the Dana Air crash that happened a year ago. Oduah said over 90 per cent of the report of the technical and

administrative review panel on domestic airlines have already been implemented. “The panel report emphasized the need to strengthen air navigation and meteorological infrastructure and the review of the 2001 Nigeria Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) as well as the 2006 Civil Aviation Act”, she said in a statement. Some of the institutional reforms undertaken after the incident she explained include policy, regulatory, legal, human capacity development and economic reforms and initiatives to enhance

safety and security standards in the country. Others were in the area of Meteorological services and infrastructure, communication, navigation and surveillance as well as accident investigation. Another major key aspect of the reforms involves the remodelling of terminal buildings, construction of new international terminal buildings including perishable cargo terminals and the development of aerotropolis not only to enhance safety but to improve the economic well being of Nigerians across the country.

How Arik Air celebrates Emir of Kano’s Golden jubilee


ttaining the golden jubilee as a traditional ruler and especially as Emir of Kano was no mean feat, however the celebration of the golden jubilee of the Emir of Kano was one even an airline

introducing a special promo fare on the Lagos-Kano and Abuja-Kano-Abuja routes. Announcing the special fare in Lagos on Lagos, Arik Air’s Managing Director and Executive Vice President,

was our first destination in Northern Nigeria when we started commercial flights in 2006”. According to him “ his Royal Highness, Alhaji Ado Bayero is a father figure in Nigeria and his

took advantage of to fetes its customers with special fares and promo. To celebrate the enviable achievement of the paramount ruler, Alhaji Ado Bayero as Emir of the ancient of Kano, leading West African carrier Arik Air basked in the euphoria of the 50 years celebration by

Mr. Chris Ndulue, said it was the airline’s special way of appreciating the contributions of the Emir of Kano to the political and socio-economic development of Nigeria. Ndulue said “We in Arik Air see Kano as very strategic to our operations and this explains why the ancient city

reign has brought monumental developments to the ancient city of Kano and Nigeria in general. We identify with the Emir and the people of Kano on this special occasion of the golden jubilee anniversary”. The airline currently serves Kano from both Lagos and Abuja daily.


s a demonstration of its commitment to the Nigerian and African market, Deloitte, one of the leading professional services firms in the world, has announced the formation of an integrated practice across Africa with Nigeria playing a strategic role in the new growth process. The establishment of the integrated Deloitte Africa and the dedicated investment in Nigeria by Akintola Williams Deloitte (AWD) will ensure clients are served seamlessly in Nigeria and across the entire continent. Lwazi Bam, the CEO of Deloitte Africa, asserts that as part of this integration, Deloitte has designated Nigeria a “Priority Market.”

British Airways


ravelers from the United Kingdom to countries in West Arica now have more choice as Britain’s giant carrier, British Airways (BA) said it is increasing its West African schedule to four weekly flight to Sierra Leone and Liberia. The announcement comes just nine months after the airline started operating on the routes and will add 33 percent more capacity between Freetown, Monrovia and London. General Manager for Africa and Europe, Gavin Halliday said the flights will arrive at Terminal 5 at 16h00 on a Friday evening, allowing same-day connections to Washington; saving the need for an overnight transit and visa.

Terrorism remains greatest threat to aviation, stakeholders


rising from a one day seminar in Lagos, stakeholders reaffirmed that terrorism threat is potent and remains the greatest challenge to aviation safety and a source of worry to the world. They reached the consensus at the recent 19th edition of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) and challenged aviation security personnel to be more vigilant at all times saying “these deadly men are evolving new ways of beating security”. In a communiqué issued by the League, the gathering also advocated for inter-agency sharing of information at the airports and explain that the provision of several explosive detector equipment and body scanner machines at major airports would not achieve much without the cooperation

of security operatives and the other stakeholders in the nation’s aviation industry. Participants also discussed pilfering at the airports saying it had become an embarrassment. They urged the authorities to improve surveillance of luggage while urging passengers to also keep their eyes on their belongings. The participants underscored the importance of journalists in the dissemination of aviation and related information and urged them to ensure accurate reporting of the aviation industry and avoid sensational headlines as they are capable of doing a lot of damage to the industry. They maintained that aviation is the most regulated industry in the world and depends heavily on effective and meaningful communication to thrive and

frowned that most times the kind of communication passed to the public through the media are taken from the negative angles. They urged aviation correspondents to understand the working and structure of the aviation industry better to be able to report its activities from a professional point of view affirming that inadequate understanding of the sector would affect the quality of reports. They also expressed strong condemnation over the plight of journalists that were evicted ignominiously from the press centre at the presidential wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos in February early 2011, saying the aviation agencies had been reluctant to get them an alternative accommodation within the airport.

Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah

NIMET staff accuses DG of neglecting civil service rules


he Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) Dr. Anthony Anuforom have incur the wrath of some staff of the agency in what they describe as a total disregard of the federal civil rules and has petitioned the aviation Minister, Stella Oduah over undue favouritism shown to some members of staff by the management of the agency. The Concerned Staff of NIMET alleges that Dr. Anuforom has knowledge of the unwholesome development that has allowed some directors and general managers of NIMET to exceed the required eight years duration of their appointments but choose to turn a blind eye “because of personal relationships”. The agency however noted that no such issue exist within it fold. “The painful but regrettable favouritism and preferential application of tenure system and promotions being executive by the management of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) is in total disregard to the Federal Government policy and Public Service rules” part of the petition read. NIMET Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Eva Azinge said, “I know that this situation exists but I didn’t know that it was already out in the media. It is just that those who are responsible for doing the right documentations have not been able to do so, and the Director General could not be seen to put pressure on people to do their jobs, because it will seem as if he has personal interest in the matter”. “I can assure you that the DG NIMET is not covering up for anybody. The issue of coverup those not exist. Now that the issue has been brought into public domain, we will look into the matter and take action.” She told reporters.



Insurance&Pension Insurance: ‘Customer satisfaction key to financial inclusion’ By Abdulwahab Isa


Stories from Ngozi

Onyeakusi, Lagos


oremost industrialist, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode said insurance industry will experience boom if practitioners adhered strictly to the code of prompt payment of claims. He said the industry will look more attractive to the public if the lump sum agreed to be paid in the event of loss is settled without waste of time, effort and resource. He made the submission recently as the Special guest at the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) 2013 International Education Conference and Exhibition held in Lagos.

He said that his experience about insurance remained positive because he had never had any course to regret ever taking up insurance because he has never fail to be settled promptly any time risk occurs. “My personal experience about insurance is positive. Between March and April, 1979 I suffered two major losses, one was my car involvement in a road accident that left it with a major damage, secondly was the removal of the roof of our building by a heavy rain. All it takes me was just a phone call for me to be compensated; I did not spend any kobo. I think the insurance of today can do that”, he said. He urged the insurance operators

to follow suit as well as convince the people that they don’t need to suffer before getting their claims settled. Dwelling on the topic, ‘The Transformation process and the challenges of Nationhood’, Onosode stated that what Nigeria need at this point in time is a total transformation in all facet both political and economic endeavor, a task he said must emanate from its citizen. Speaking on the topic: Leadership and Strategy: Governance Challenges in a Transforming Economy, Professor Pat Utomi said the leadership in Nigeria has failed to yield the expected dividend because it is theoretical other than intellectual that has continued to affect its economy adversely.

1.5m Nigerians have insurance – NAICOM


ommissioner for Insurance Mr. Fola Daniel has put the number of insured Nigeria at 1.5 million as against 500,000 recorded three years ago. Daniel confirmed the figure recently in Lagos at the Investiture of the President Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Fatai Lawa . He also said the Gross Premium Income (GPI) has increased from N157 million in 2010 to N250 million in 2012, thus translating to an increased in the ratio of premium to

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) moving from below 0.5 per cent to nearly one per cent. He said the collaboration of NAICOM and National Pension Commission (PenCom) has led to the development of annuity market just as companies with foreign equities have increased from three to 10 translating to substantial inflow of foreign direct investment. Daniel said increase in local capacity has moved from less than 10 per cent to 48 per cent. He said the

commencement of implementation of Section 50 of the insurance Act 2003 has improved financial assets of operators. “These are initiatives introduced by NAICOM of which have received full support of the members of the industry and the profession. While acknowledging the positive role of the majority of professionals, we must agree that the industry still has a long way to go to meet the developmental levels achieved by other jurisdictions even on our continent,” he said.

Police pensioners task Okiro on funds From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


etired police officers in the country have commended the appointment of former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mike Okiro, as the new chairman of Police Service Commission and charged him to prevail on the National Assembly to amend the National Pension Commission Act 2004, so as to ameliorate the sufferings of police pensioners. President-General of Elders Club of Nigeria, PENCOM retired Police Officers, Dr. Moses Ajeka, who lamented the plight of police pensioners in the country, during the inaugu-

ration of the Edo State chapter of the association in Benin City, weekend, said police retirees are in the dark on what accrued to them from their contributory pension scheme after 35 years of service. He expressed joy, however, that the appointment of Okiro as chairman of PSC may be the solution to “our problem because he is an officer that understands the issues.” He added that the Elders Club, which came into being in October 2010 is an umbrella body of retirees, aimed at correcting the problems confronting retired police officers in the country. He said: “We are the owners of this money. It should be given back

to us. We don’t even know how our money is administered; nobody knows how the money is being used. At the end of the month, they only give you whatever they like. “Also, while in service, we contributed towards the National Health Scheme. We are being denied the benefits now because we have retired. Having served our fatherland for 35 years, we are supposed to be given what is due to us till death.” He appealed to the National Assembly to do justice to the ongoing amendment to the PENCOM Act before it in other to eliminate what he described as the untold hardship of the retired officers are facing.

iving Customers optimum satisfaction is central to the realization of financial inclusion agenda, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions, Hon. UzorAzubuike observed yesterday. He gave the advice at in his keynote address at the official launching of Transparent Protection Tpl/Gte, an insurance entity committed to promoting insurance penetration in the country. The lawmaker lamented that despite all efforts at reforms, the insurance sector has remained relatively stagnant with only 800, 00 adult population having any form of insurance policy. “This trend is unfortunate and indeed disturbing. The big question therefore should be: Why has the sector failed to put up an impressive performance after so many years and what must be done to quicken the pace of development in the sector?” he queried. Azubuike, who noted that though the sector has been plagued with challenges of improper legal framework, inadequate capital, limited human and technical capacities and low public confidence, said the sector seemed to have vigorously battled the rest of the challenges while nothing concrete had been done to address the major hurdles to insurance penetration, including lack of public awareness for insurance and low public confidence in the system. The lawmaker explained that de-

spite the elimination of fringe players from the market and the present ability of existing insurers to settle genuine claims, most Nigerians were still discouraged from having any form of relationship with insurers due to the persistent crisis of confidence. Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the event and Chairman of Human Rights Commission, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, noted that despite the potentials of the insurance industry in national development, Nigeria has failed to explore its opportunities for sustainable growth. According to him, rather than create values in areas other economies have used to leverage their competitiveness in the global market through the use of insurance and pension savings, Nigerians prefer to spend on cars and other resource-depleting items that have continued to weaken the asset base of the economy. Transparent Protection Limited is established as a not-for-profit organisation is to facilitate, and sustain a complementary platform for mass patronage of insurance products and settlement of all genuine claims, to increase the level of insurance awareness through consistent grassroots sensitization, to help accelerate the pace of insurance development in Nigeria through collaboration with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders and also to promote and influence policy making in the insurance sector through civil society advocacy.

Only 3,500 qualified insurance professioners in Nigeria - CIIN boss


ewly elected President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Fatai Lawal, has decried the low number of qualified professionals in the industry and called on professionals to act promptly to correct the trend. He said of Nigeria population of over 160 million, only 3, 500 are qualified insurance professionals, a figure he described a far cry to address the insurance needs of the population. He pledged his commitment to focus on such programmes that would position the institute towards offering quality education. Lawal spoke recently at his investiture ceremony in Lagos “Today, out of Nigeria population of over 160 million, we have just 3500 professionally qualified insurance professionals, which is a far cry from the population. The only way we can get insurance to penetrate every nook and cranny of this country, is to get more people, involved as crusaders, vanguards for insurance. During my tenure, we shall focus attention on: Empowering selected institutions offering insurance programmes to enhance their capacity to offer quality education, I shall work with my council to reinforce the activities at the College of Insurance and Financial Management which we are building presently at Asese village along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway. He said the theme of his presidency ‘promoting insurance education in Nigeria’ was borne out of the belief, that operators can only create necessary awareness when

President, Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) Fatai Lawal people are fairly and reasonably educated about insurance. Other areas of priority that would engage his attention include promotion of the Insurance Industry Consultative Forum (IICF), completion of the institute’s secretariat to enhance service delivery among others. “During my tenure, we saw focus attention on: Empowering selected institutions offering insurance programmes to enhance their capacity to offer quality education, I shall work with my council to reinforce the activities at the College of Insurance and Financial Management which we are building presently at Asese village along the Lagos Ibadan Expressway.




SMEDAN creates new programme for 5million jobs By Etuka Sunday


he Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), has disclosed plan to create five million new jobs through its National Enterprises Development Programme, NEDEP, before 2015. Director-General of the agency, Alhaji Bature Masari, while speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja recently, said with NEDEP, it would be easier to implement the One Local Government, One

Product, OLOP, scheme across the country. Masari explained that “NEDEP would cover all states of the federation and Abuja with a view to conducting survey of every product being produced in each local government as part of the strategies mapped out by SMEDAN to achieve the goal. “Our objective is that within the few years of implementing NEDEP and other programmes to be initiated, we will generate an estimated five million direct and indirect jobs. “I came here with a mission.

My mission is to contribute immensely to the growth of MSMEs all over the country. MSMEs play the lead role in creating additional employments, wealth generation and poverty reduction”, he stressed. The D-G added; “Part of our strategy is to create new clusters of businesses based on competitive and comparative advantages already identified through the OLOP initiative and raw materials mapping in the 774 local governments.” Masari informed that

SMEDAN, which will identify skills of each youth, would work in conjunction with the Industrial Training Fund, ITF which would train them and the Bank of Industry, BoI, for finance. He said the pilot scheme has started in Kano and Niger states, stressing that it was developed to create jobs, generate wealth and eradicate poverty in the country. This, he said, would be done through the micro, small and medium enterprises, MSMEs sector for effective skills training and acquisition as well as business services development.

NDIC to sign MoU with Polish Bank Guarantee Fund By Abdulwahab Isa


n line with the mission of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI) to share knowledge and experience in deposit insurance and areas of compliance with core principles of effective deposit insurance practice, the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bank Guarantee Fund (BGF) of Poland. The MOU was signed at the end of the NDIC’s recent working visit to the Guarantee Fund of Poland (GFP) on capacity building, information and experience sharing in key operational areas; including early warning system, failure resolution, and establishment of target fund ratio and implementation of a single customer view system. The NDIC delegates comprised the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Alh. Umaru Ibrahim and the Executive Director of Operations, Prince Aghatise Erediauwa.

L-R: Managing Director, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Jos, Professor Bahsir Ibrahim, Director, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Professor Abdulsalami Nasidi, and representative of Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Benson Ajisegiri, during the Fountain Water Summit, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Lekoil acquires stake in US$30m OML113 deal By Etuka Sunday with agency report


ewly listed AIM firm Lekoil (LON:LEK) is set to increase its footprint in Nigeria with the acquisition of a stake in the OML 113 licence. It has done the deal with Panoro Energy. For US$30mln Lekoil will receive a 6.502% participating interest - but, through the terms of the project it will pay 16.3% of the

costs, and it will receive a 12.2% share of the revenues. This area is located adjacent to the OPL310 area, which Lekoil has a 30% economic interest in. OML113 hosts the Aje oil and gas field which is estimated to have contingent resources of nearly 200mln barrels of oil equivalent. Lekoil will have attributable contingent oil resources of 25.3mln barrels. Lekoil says it is confident it will

be able to access sufficient capital to fund the acquisition as well as the associated capital expenditure for the project. “The acquisition of an interest in the Aje field, adjacent to our existing interest in OPL310, is exactly in line with our strategy to focus on assets in corridors of interest identified in our detailed evaluation programme when we established Lekoil,” said chief executive Lekan Akinyanmi.

2013 Int’l Islamic finance confab to hold on infrastructural devt. By Aminu Imam


group of international experts, the Islamic Finance Institute of South Africa (IFISA), International Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance (IIIBF) and The Metropolitan Skills Limited, have disclosed that the global infrastructure market could require funding totaling $2 trillion by 2020. In a newsletter issued by the group to herald the 2013 international conference on Islamic finance, which is being organised by the experts, they pointed out that Islamic finance will play a crucial role in meeting the huge demand. They also noted that the essence of the conference, which has the theme, ‘Infrastructural Development Through Alternative Funding (Islamic Finance) in Africa’, is to enable experts investigate current trends in Islamic finance through infrastructure developments. The investigation will focus on the performance position on developments, challenges and opportunities, especially as Nigerian and other African governments are increasingly looking at the market, through public, private partnerships to help fund enormous infrastructure requirements. The group also observed that Islamic finance has continued to grow at double digit rate, as well as entering the mainstream global finance sector. Meanwhile, the two-day conference which will hold at Transcorp Hilton Abuja, is billed to commence on the 25th June, in the morning. It will also feature branding before, during and after the event, in addition to networking with high profile industry leaders who are shaping the future of Islamic finance in the world.

Dangote commences construction of roads for 14 communities By Abdulwahab Isa


angote Cement Plc, Ibese has commenced the construction and rehabilitation of some roads bordering its 14 host communities within the Yewaland in Ogun state. The hard concrete road, fist of its kind in the South West began following approval from authorities at the federal and state levels on the design and layout of the plan for the area. The roads have been divided into three phases with the 8 km

first phase stretching from Ibese plant to Ilaro junction taking off about a month ago. The commencement of works on the dilapidated road ended months of speculations by anxious residents who felt the project should have taken off earlier having been promised by Dangote Cement that the road would be the first priority after the commencement of production from the factory. The management of Dangote Cement had promised the host communities that it would embark on the rehabilitation

and construction of new roads within the communities as part of its Corporate Social responsibilities. It also stated that the road would be concrete asphalt in furtherance of its campaign for concrete roads and to demonstrate to the whole world the superiority of concrete road over bitumen asphalting. The manager in charge of the Ibese road project, Engineer Auwalu Halliru explained that the roads are in three phases and that the commencement of the ibese plant to Ilaro junction

marked the first phase, saying the 8 km road would be a world standard road in terms of quality and design when completed. Engineer Halliru said the host communities would be full of gratitudes to Dangote cement when the construction is completed because the quality of the road has never been witnessed in any part of the South West. According to him, the second phase of the road would be the 25 km Itori-Ibese road while the third phase would be the IbeseAbeokuta road which will be

interlock stone paved pointing out that both interlocked stone and the concrete would survive any weather and that is why they are better than bitumen asphalt. The road construction, he said was part of the Dangote Cement’s Corporate Social responsibility (CSR), saying the company was also providing water bore holes, rehabilitation of schools and health centers. Excited residents of the Ibese community commended Dangote for the good gesture and described it as the fulfillment of promise made to them earlier.



Stock Watch

Report as at Tuesday, June 18, 2013




Special Report

Challenges of New Senior Secondary School curriculum and implications for girl- child education By Jamila Nuhu Musa and Theodora Ekah


he new Senior Secondary School Curriculum which was developed by the National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) was proposed by the National Council on Education (NEC) to be implemented from September 2011. Going by this plan, the old curriculum will be phased out gradually until it is completely discarded by June, 2014. Almost two years since the NERDC proposal, the process of implementation is still being reviewed as there are unanswered questions as to its structure, the fields of study, subjects in these fields, those subjects that make up the 34 trade/ entrepreneurship subjects and whether students will still

be taking WASCE, SSCE, and NABTEB at the end of their 3 year secondary education. So what is the difference between the old and the proposed new curriculum? Other questions that are still being asked are, when the first batch of new SS students from the new curriculum are to be expected, and the issue of facilities and equipment considering the systematic phase by phase implementation, revision of old books, preparation of new text books where appropriate etc. And concerning the north in particular, what are the implications of the new curriculum for the girl child? Though answers to some of these questions have been provided by the NERCD, some still continue to agitate the mind of teachers, parents, students and other stakeholders in the region,

necessitating the coming together of 22 administrators of senior level cadre from Kano and Jigawa states, made up of directors and deputy directors, from the different sectors, across the secondary schools and the technical schools as well as the mass literacy and even the remedial schools. They were to rub minds on the issues and find out how the new curriculum could among other benefits, reduce, or completely eliminate mass failure of students in their examinations as experienced currently. The 2-day workshop held in Abuja, tagged “Effective Implementation of the New Senior Secondary School Curriculum of WEAC – Implications for Girl’s education”, was facilitated by the Nigerian Educational Research and Development

Council, (NERDC) chaired by NIPSS and coordinated by an NGO, the Development Research Project centre (dRPC), based in Kano state. According to Coordinators of dRPC, Dr Yahaya Hashim and Dr. Judith-Ann Walker, the aim is to create technical experts working to implement the new Senior School Education Curriculum in the selected states. They further revealed that a second team of high level public servants in education from the states will also embark on a study tour to Ekiti State to learn from that state’s achievements in transiting to the new curriculum. The participants took note of the current challenges and expressed optimism that the new curriculum will go a long way in enhancing progress of education in the states. Project officer of the

program, Alhaji Suleiman Mahmoud told Peoples Daily that the workshop was meant to fast track implementation of the curriculum in the north, especially in Kano and Jigawa states, by strengthening public sector capacity. Mahmoud, who works with the dRPC, said “we have observed that the north is lacking in the implementation of the programm particularly the two states, Kano and Jigawa, therefore the need to call the management staff of Ministries of Jigawa and Kano to be sensitised and to also build their capacity so that they can go back to their states and educate their people on the implementation of the new curriculum with the hope that the knowledge will be stepped down to principals, teachers, and the students”. He however, called on

Sulaiman Mahmoud

Some participants at the workshop

government at all levels to look into the issue of reviving Teachers’ Training colleges, saying, “we should go back to reviving the former system of Teachers’ Training College in the country, which I was opportune to pass through and if you ask most of these directors, they passed through that system and because of that training, going through teachers’ college, NCE, I am now a professional teacher” “In the Teachers Training College, most of the things we learnt were infant methods not methods to do with teaching elders. You find out that now in secondary schools we have children from the ages of twelve and above. That was not the method then, in the Teachers’ College”. That particular method or training is lacking now and you find out that it’s only when that opportunity is given to the little ones that they will grow up with good foundation. But without good foundation, how do you expect to have solid foundation? the students that are now in the secondary schools got poor foundation. That’s why it’s good to address issue of the former system of Teachers’ Training College for sound learning.” In their own presentations at the workshop, the duo of NERCD officials, namely Dr Margret Lawani and Kanu

Prof. Rukkayatu Ahmed Rufai J.A, said that the scope of the curriculum covers all Nigerian children, irrespective of sex or geographical location. They reiterated that in line with government’s declaration for the 9 year Basic Education programme, the NERDC with mandate by the National Council on Education, reviewed the existing Senior Secondary education programme for this level of education, that is SSEC, so as to meet the targets of the education programme in the context of NEEDS, MDGs and EFA, all of them programmes of government. They emphasized that gender mainstreaming was addressed in the development of the curricula, syllabuses,

Teachers’ Handbooks, Teacher’s Guides and all other teacher resource materials developed by the NERDC, even though there are still gender disparities in access to education, economic opportunities and health care in Nigeria. For instance, biases in favour of boys, coupled with early marriage, early pregnancy resulting in high drop-out rate of girls. It would be recalled that in the 2009 secondary school examinations conducted by WAEC and NECO, reports indicated that the success rates were 25.99% and 10.7% respectively, that is for those with credits in five (5) subjects including

we should go back to reviving the former system of Teachers’ Training College in the country, which I was opportune to pass through and if you ask most of these directors, they passed through that system and because of that training, going through teachers’ college, NCE, I am now a professional teacher

English and Mathematics. It therefore meant that these two subjects are tantamount to failure, because English is vital for reading, writing and verbal expression; while Mathematics is very important for the current technological world of the 21st century, with all the logic it confers for deductive reasoning. With the success rates as reported the Presidency ordered an investigation to find out what went wrong. Soon after that the honourable Members of the House of Representatives set up a committee to probe the reasons for the mass failure. An analyst acknowledged that even though Nigerians were concerned and waited to see what went wrong, when reports on the probes were made public, it was a laughable venture. “The laughter in such a situation can only be a malicious one. But it can only be the laugh of one whose house had fallen as a result of deliberate and criminal negligence and which borders on some form of insanity. To cry in such circumstance would be the result of a regret, which arises from a sudden realization of lost opportunity. Only a genuine patriot would cry. “It is possible that the

Prof. Godswill Obioma probes are instituted as a result of a sense of guilt arising from the realization that sadly our educational system is dangerously headed for the rocks, if it has not yet reached its nadir” The Executive Secretary, National Education Research and Development Council, Prof. Godswill Obioma, reportedly, said, during the training workshop on the new curriculum for teachers drawn from the public and private schools in Lagos, that the new curriculum for the nation’s senior secondary schools, will not just equip the pupils with skills needed to function in tertiary institutions, but also expose them to vocational studies. The NERDC boss, who was represented by the Director/Head of NERDC South-West Zonal Office, Dr. Moses Salau, explained that the restructuring of the SSS Curriculum resulted in the development of 42 subjects and 34 vocational Trades/ Entrepreneurship curricula. He stated that the curriculum which was approved by the National Council of Education in 2009 would provide for a systematic connection between its contents and the learning of future contents. According to Obioma, the curriculum is structured in a

way that will ensure that senior secondary school graduates are well prepared for higher education and that they had acquired relevant functional trade/entrepreneurship skills needed for poverty eradication, job creation and wealth generation. This, he noted, would strengthen the foundations for ethical, moral and civic values acquired at the basic education level. “This means that the new curriculum is designed to stem the tide of mass failure in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Boardconducted examination. “The philosophy of the curriculum concerning adequate preparation of every senior secondary school graduate for higher education implies that he or she would have passed creditably well in WAEC and JAMB examinations. “That the graduates would have also acquired skills, with the capacity to set up their own businesses as a fall-out of the skills they acquired from the 34 trade subjects. This functional education will make them job creators instead of job seekers, thereby banishing poverty from their lives,” he Obioma.




National Assembly urged to pass housing legislations

Senate President David Mark By Udenna Orji


ollowing the setting up of a committee by the federal government to draw up a roadmap for housing development in Nigeria, housing stakeholders have called for the passage of the various housing reform legislations at the National Assembly without further delay. Government has also been called upon to create an intervention fund to be used for the development of housing for low income earners and the less privileged across the state capitals and local councils of Nigeria. The Managing Director of Resort Savings and Loans Plc, Mr. Abimbola Olayinka who made these calls in Abuja recently stressed that “the three tiers of government should not shy away from their responsibility of providing primary infrastructure if we must achieve our goal of providing affordable housing. The infrastructure projects could be financed by issuing bonds and will also provide a future income stream for government through municipal fees that will be paid by home owners.” He also appealed to the federal government to set up an agency that will oversee the development and delivery of social housing in Nigeria. The agency will act as a dedicated and credible intermediary that will harness national efforts in the social housing sector as different from the existing structures set up with commercial responsibilities and intents. According to him, “high cost of building materials is also a key factor that has led to the high construction cost in Nigeria. The restriction on the importation of cement which by account constitutes about 40 per cent of building materials has also hindered provi-

Speaker, House of Reps, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal sion of social housing”. He therefore advised the government to “seek for alternatives to usage of cement in the building of houses”. In her presentation, Mrs. Fatima WaliAbdurrahman, chief executive officer of The Filmo Group, a real estate company, described social housing as “an umbrella term referring to housing which is owned and managed by the state, not-for-profit organizations, or a combination of the two, usually with the aim of providing affordable rental housing. Social rented housing can be seen either as a broad concept where rented dwellings are provided for a fairly large part of the population or as a narrow concept where dwellings are provided only for the most underprivileged segment of the population. Social housing is often defined from the providers’ perspective which could be government, private sector or not-for-profit organizations, etc” She called for “intervention funds targeted towards the development of social housing programmes and implementation of the social housing policy; adequate infrastructure and facilities that will improve accessibility for social housing programmes; incentives to enhance institutionalized rental housing opportunities for vulnerable and disadvantaged groups; upfront grants to meet part of the land and construction costs to providers of social housing to increase stock; comfort to avert/outlaw illegal eviction of beneficiaries; tax incentives for Social Housing Institution; capital grants, interest-rate subsidies to create a type of “equity” which cushions the private sector loan debt; incorporate default risk insurance schemes for beneficiaries; protection for stakeholders willing to engage in this

limited-profit part of the real estate sector – e.g. publicly owned companies, not-forprofit organizations, foundations etc; plus an increasing number of non-specialized actors (commercial developers and private landlord) through appropriate policies and financial incentives to encourage such participation”. In his contribution, the President of Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Chief Olabode Afolayan, regretted that “government sees lands as another source of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and not as a resource to be used for helping the citizens live a better life”, pointing out that “if we must achieve success in social housing, government must provide the land”. He decried “the overcharging of tax on property by government” and called on government to make land available for the construction of houses to help reduce slums and Nigeria’s deficit of 16 million housing units. In his presentation, Mr. Adekunle Abdulrazaq Oyinloye, Mananging Director of Infrastructure Bank highlighted “the fallacy in the thinking in some quarters that “Social Housing” is for poor and the poor alone” adding that “this could not be further from the truth”. According to him, “in the UK, vital professionals or “key workers” such as teachers, police officers and nurses are mass beneficiaries of Social Housing Programs that enable them to afford quality accommodation near their places of work in cities, as opposed to being forced to live in suburban areas requiring long hours of commuting. Needless to say, such arrangement speaks to household income levels directly”.

In the area of financing, Oyinloye noted that “there is a clear consensus that the extent of financing required to bridge the country’s housing deficit surpasses the supply of capital available from government… there is thus a need for increased private sector participation alongside the public sector, be it from: the commercial banking sector; the contractual savings sector – which includes Insurance Premiums, Mutual Funds and Nigeria’s N3 trillion Pension Funds pot; private equity funds; Third Party Funds; and Development Finance Institutions both here at home and abroad; and many other sources of private capital. …The proven reality is that the provision of housing through budgetary allocations alone would fall far short of addressing the existing huge deficit, which if not quickly addressed, is capable derailing the developmental agenda of the country. The putting in place of adequate regulatory and institutional framework necessary for private sector involvement in housing development initiatives, such as the establishment of the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, the Housing and Infrastructure Finance Unit within the Development Finance Department of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the establishment of PPP Units within key Ministries and State Governments are all part of the necessary fundamentals to providing viable and sustainable solutions. However, there is much more to be done particularly in the areas of Land and Mortgage Legislations. …The Infrastructure Bank is working with public and private sector alike to mobilize funding specifically dedicated to the Housing Sector…”




Nigerian real estate growing phenomenally, says managing director, Continental Estates


nterestingly, despite the recent global meltdown and turmoil in Dubai where property prices are coming down, discerning investors, with eyes on the future are building more portfolios in real estate. And following the approval of a new National Housing Policy and a new Urban Development Policy by the Federal Executive Council last June, foreign capital has been flooding into the country for housing development under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) through which the federal government intends to build one million housing units annually under the new housing policy. The reason for the blossom-

ing real estate sector in Nigeria, according to Seyi Oyetunde, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Continental Estates, is because “real estate cannot crash, it stabilizes. Demand is higher than supply in real estate. I tell you there is nowhere else like real estate. The richest men in the world, if you look at their wealth, the bulk of it comes from real estate. I can’t remember exactly now but I know about 90 per cent of the world’s richest men thrive in real estate. Even when they do other things, it is based on their stock of real estate. They own corner shops everywhere, corner shops that enjoy appreciation. Because they own their

own shops, they don’t rent and if at all they’ve got to rent, maybe it’s out of compulsion. But 90% or 95% of their locations are out rightly owned. People whose wealth is phenomenal and will last about four generations without effort are in real estate. I tell you it is exodus syndrome that happens in Nigeria. With the direct foreign investment into the Nigerian market too, many shops are opened, so many people globally are beginning to realize that the local market in Nigeria is attractive for their various businesses. One of the first things they will need is commercial real estate and then maybe back it up with one serious luxury apartment

for the CEO and then the other managers can be given housing allowances and the rest of them.” Analyzing further, he said “Nigeria is a seriously emerging economy, the opportunities here are phenomenal. When I say phenomenal I mean it’s pretty huge. We have seen the impact of direct foreign investment into Nigeria in the past three years and there is a lot more to be said. The capital market has witnessed its boom; it is right now in a depression and real estate which was neither here nor there for a long while is suddenly beginning to enjoy unprecedented gains too. Those are the things that

drove the likes of myself about four years ago to cultivate a new set of clientele, the billionaire’s club, people who have loads of money, intelligent people but with no wherewithal on real estates. We’ve been able to cultivate and build serious portfolio for them and for all its worth, most of them can boast of not just having money alone locally or offshore, they can boast of owning an estate. When I say estates, we are not talking of one house or two houses or multiple of duplexes but holding huge chuck of real estate that over time has enjoyed serious appreciation. That is what I would want to say about ourselves.”

Fear grips high end property market


he brisk business going on at the low and middle segments of the property market has continued to surge with such property owners raising rents arbitrarily in cities all over Nigeria especially in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. With the surge in rents, a majority of Nigerians are now calling on the National Assembly to expedite action on the Landlord/ Tenants Act which along with other house-related Acts have been lying at the National Assembly, unattended to. Analysts say the surging rents are as a result of the absence of a Rent Regulatory Law in the country which the Landlord / Tenant Act is expected to address. The lull in business nationwide due to rising insecurity has put pressure on most families, leading to property owners raising rents arbitrarily to enable them earn more income to solve their financial problems. Another reason advanced for the surging rent at the low and middle segments of the property market is that those who bought or rented the high end properties have been buffeted by decreas-

ing earnings within the Nigerian economy and thus forced by financial crisis to scale down and patronize the middle and low end markets, putting pressure on these segments. But a Property Consultant, Mr. M.I. Okoro blamed the high rents on the low value of the naira and high exchange rate. According to him, “this is a country where almost 90 percent of building inputs are imported which means that the cost of developing a property has gone up in line with the exchange rate … landlords are not Father Christmas; they too are in business. They would like to recoup their cost of development and make a little profit.” As the low and middle end property markets boom, gloom is the order of the day at the high end segment where buyers are disappearing and prices falling. This end of the market is played by the rich and the very rich most of whom have been financially crippled by the global economic meltdown. It costs hundreds of millions of naira, sometimes billions, to play in this segment of the property market.

FG should encourage banks to grant mortgage loans to Nigerians - Ozoani T he Federal Government has been called upon to develop mortgage policies that will encourage Nigerian banks to grant mortgage loans to Nigerians at a maximum of 9% per annum. Government has also been urged to check the rising inflationary trend in Nigeria as the trend is causing a steady rise in the cost of building inputs in Nigeria, leading to high costs in property development and sales. Speaking with Peoples Daily on how to boost home-

ownership in Nigeria and reduce the nation’s estimated 17 million units housing deficit, the Group General Manager of mass housing developer, El-Salem Nigeria Limited, Mr. Geoffrey Ozoani appealed to government to “come up with very definite policies on mortgage. Definite implementable policies on mortgage that make it attractive for commercial banks to offer mortgage loans to Nigerians because most commercial banks are not providing mortgage facilities”. He noted that “the fear of

our commercial banks is how they can recover their money but a mortgage loan is the easiest loan to recover because the house serves as collateral and usually also rises in value over time. The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) loan is at 6% but if all our commercial banks are encouraged through attractive policies to offer mortgage loans at say 8% or 9%, Nigeria’s housing deficit will drastically reduce. Even in Namibia where I recently returned from, the commercial banks pursue people

to come and collect mortgage loans because their mortgage system works perfectly. He noted that “there is also the burning need to create awareness to Nigerians about mortgages and Nigerian mortgage institutions. Even contributors to the National Housing Fund (NHF) do not know what they are contributing for. States and local governments should make land available to developers and encourage their workers to get loans from mortgage institutions to buy their own

houses”. Commenting on the problems hindering the development of the housing sub-sector, he regretted that “prices of cement and other building materials keep rising even after you have agreed on a house price with a client. By the time the client pays 10% of say N5 million, the cost of building the house has risen to N7 million. Besides all these is the difficulty in getting land. A plot of land jumps in prices virtually monthly. These are some of the challenges”.




Mercedes Benz E-Class impresses with refinement, performance


lthough the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class has received only a midcycle refresh, the list of updates is dizzying. Compared to last year’s model, the 2014 E-Class is a lot sleeker and a little safer, while two of its specialty variants -- the diesel E250 Bluetec (formerly the E350 Bluetec) and the E63 AMG -- have undergone major mechanical surgery. The current-generation Mercedes E-Class has been one of our favorites since it debuted back in 2010. This car impresses us time and again with its trifecta of refinement, performance and cutting-edge technology. But the 2014 version’s improvements are quite compelling, starting with that sleek new shape, which ditches the previous E’s blocky front end in favor of a streamlined flow from nose to tail. The sedan and wagon have also lost their prominent rear fender flares, leaving the coupe and convertible to carry this torch. The evolution continues under the skin, particularly in the turbodiesel E250 Bluetec, which swaps in a four-cylinder engine for the outgoing E350 Bluetec’s V6. Fuel economy gains are substantial, yet the smaller diesel’s robust 369 pound-feet of torque ensures that there’s still adequate get-up-and-go. Most other EClass models are mechanically unchanged apart from a new electric power steering system, which actually doesn’t feel much different from the previous steering system. However, the outrageous E63 AMG gets a bump in horsepower (now rated 550 on the base version), standard all-wheel drive, electronically adjustable shock absorbers with rear air springs, and an optional S package that increases output to a more tolerable 577 hp. Throw in a slew of new safety technologies borrowed from the latest S-Class, including an available advanced lane-keeping system that involves an object-sensing

stereoscopic camera, and you’ve got a recipe for one of Mercedes’ best all-around automobiles yet. Of course, there are plenty of good cars in the midsize luxury class, most notably the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Lexus GS, though none of them can match the sheer variety of body styles and engines in the E-Class lineup. If you’re looking for the best all-around luxury sedan (or wagon, coupe or convertible), the 2014 MercedesBenz E-Class is a good place to start your search. The 2014 Mercedes-Benz EClass is available as a midsize sedan, coupe, convertible (Cabriolet) or wagon. Each body style offers various trim levels: turbodiesel E250 Bluetec (sedan only), V6-powered E350 (all body styles), gas-electric E400 Hybrid (sedan only), V8-powered E550 (all except the wagon) and V8powered E63 AMG (sedan and wagon only). A simplified options structure splits the E250 and E350 fourdoors into two basic types: Luxury and Sport. Luxury models come with 17-inch alloy wheels and a traditional grille with a separate hood ornament, while Sport models switch to 18-inch wheels, a two-bar grille with an integrated three-pointed star, and a sporttuned suspension. Inside, the Sport boasts subtle white-faced gauges and a three-spoke steering wheel in place of the Luxury’s four-spoke design. As an option, you can get the three-spoke wheel with a flat bottom, which comes packaged with 18-inch AMG alloys. Both Luxury and Sport offer standard niceties such as automatic LED headlights, LED taillight accents, adaptive suspension dampers, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a centermounted analog clock, a choice of three wood trims, 14-way power front seats with memory functions, MB-Tex synthetic upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming

mirrors, the COMAND electronics interface, Bluetooth, and an eightspeaker sound system with a sixCD changer and an iPod/USB audio interface. The E350 wagon also includes a power liftgate, a rearview camera and a rear-facing third-row seat. The E400 Hybrid is essentially a Sport model by default (though its wheels are 17-inchers), as is the E550 sedan, which gets the flatbottomed, three-spoke steering wheel and 18-inch AMG wheels as standard. The E550 sedan also features leather upholstery (optional on lesser four-door models). The E-Class coupe and convertible come standard with most of the sedan’s Sport accoutrements, including 18-inch alloys, and they add heated leather sport seats to the mix. The E550 coupes and convertibles also have an adaptive suspension to go with their standard 18-inch AMG wheels. All convertibles receive a power-folding soft top, a rear center pass-through and a pop-up air deflector. A few packages are optional on the E250, E350, E550 and E400 models. The Premium 1 package adds a rearview camera (standard on the wagon), COMAND with navigation and digital music storage, satellite radio, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system and a power rear window sunshade (except on the convertible, which gets the AirScarf neck-warming system instead), as well as active ventilated front seats for the E550 sedan and heated front seats for the other sedans. The Lighting package contributes adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam control, while the Parking Assist package adds a surround-view camera system with front and rear parking sensors along with an automated parallel-parking system. Finally, the Keyless Go package tacks on keyless entry and ignition, a power trunk lid (sedan only; wagon has a

standard power liftgate) and, for the sedan and wagon, a handsfree feature that both opens and closes the trunk or liftgate when you wave your foot under the rear bumper. Note that the Coupe and Cabriolet are additionally eligible for a Sport package that throws in 18-inch AMG wheels, painted front brake calipers (standard on E550), the flat-bottomed steering wheel (also standard on E550), multicontour front seats and aluminum pedals. The speed-freak E63 AMG sedan boasts numerous AMGdeveloped components (engine, transmission, adjustable suspension, steering, brakes, exhaust, exterior and interior trim), 19inch wheels and sport seats with adjustable bolsters and driver massage functions. It also comes standard with the contents of the Premium 1, Lighting, Keyless Go and Parking Assist packages (ex-

cept for the surround-view camera, which costs extra), along with heated rear seats (optional on wagon) and leather upholstery. The AMG S-Model package (optional on sedan, standard on wagon) adds a limited-slip rear differential, different 19-inch wheels, even more power and red brake calipers. Any E63 can be outfitted with carbon-ceramic brakes. The E63 AMG’s driver-seat massage functionality is available on other E-Class models as an option. Other notable options, depending on trim and body style, include an air suspension, an illuminated grille star, a panoramic sunroof (standard on the E63 AMG S-Model wagon), a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system, split-folding rear seats, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, and twin iPad docks behind the front headrests. Source:



Arts & Culture

Arts: The essence, values and misconception

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


H Sculptures on dislay at art gallery in Lagos. By Olayemi Okeniyi


didi Emefiele, an artist, is the first to admit that most Nigerians do not view art as a prestigious field of endeavour. ``I remember after putting in for art in the university, someone told me that I was going to become one of those artists selling their arts and prints by the roadside. ``At that point in time, the public appreciation for art was negligible, compared to what it is right now, but I was so determined,’’ she said. Besides, Emefiele recalled that at a point in time, she was persuaded to study archeology which, according to some people, is similar to art because she had high grades in science subjects. ``Along the line, I quickly realised that archeology and art were two completely different things. At that point, I left the science class after three weeks and switched to the arts class but my parents supported me. ``I’ll always appreciate the fact that my parents gave each and every one of their children the power to do what we wanted to do,’’ she said. Nowadays, artists like Emefiele are reaping the benefits of not succumbing to the general perception that people could only be successful and fulfilled if they engage in certain vocations such as medicine and accounting, among others. Since Emefele began to practice, she had taken part in over 30 group exhibitions and she said that she would hold her second solo exhibition in July. ``Out of about 47 paintings displayed during my first solo exhibition, only three or four are still around; the rest have been sold to Nigerians,’’ she said. Emefiele said that there was a period when art was purely a pastime of the elite, adding, however, that nowadays, everyone wanted to own an art piece, as Nigerians loved good things. She stressed that the fact that one of her paintings, which was displayed during an auction with a starting price of N300,000, was eventually sold for N650,000 somewhat illustrated the dramatic growth of the art industry. She said that in spite of the several feats recorded by the old Nigerian arts, the rest of the world still needed contemporary Nigerian arts.

Emefiele recalled that she participated in a career day, recently organised by a school in Abuja, adding that she was then convinced that many children were actually considering taking up a career in art. She cited the African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC), recently held in Abuja to promote art among young talents, as another illustration of the spectacular growth of Nigeria’s art industry. Mr Steven Eruada, the Public Relations Officer of the Abuja Arts and Craft Village, said that increasing public awareness at the grassroots had stimulated several budding artists to showcase their works during the exposition. Eruada said that the expo served as a tool for promoting and forging the country’s unity as well as national identity. ``The public and private sector should concertedly work for the improvement of the country’s arts and culture sector because art works from all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria would aid efforts to revamp the country’s tourism sector,’’ he said. Contrary to opinions in certain quarters as to the government’s apathy toward the promotion of the art industry, President Goodluck Jonathan is reportedly determined to use arts as a tool for national development. ``The president is determined to diversify sources of revenue generation, with a view to effectively respond to the challenges of job creation and rural economic transformation,’’ Chief Edem Duke, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, said. Duke said that AFAC had showcased a structured exhibition of talent and creativity, particularly in the areas of product design, finishing, packaging and presentation. ``All these are aimed at meeting the global market standards and bringing the benefits accruable from the crafts industry to bear on the national economy. ``The expo will help exhibitors to share idea and network with other practitioners in areas relating to their competence; the exhibitors will also be able to meet prospective investors,’’ he added. Stakeholders, nonetheless, insist the government’s efforts to promote arts should be complemented with committed and sustained

investments in arts’ preservation. At a recent book launch, the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, urged stakeholders in the arts and culture sector to undertake proper archiving, evaluation and preservation of their works. The Obi urged all the citizens to imbibe the culture of documentation and evaluation of Nigerian arts and culture; insisting that the sector ought to be guarded jealously. However, Mr Ovie Omatsola, the Exhibition Director of Thought Pyramid Art Centre, noted that the maintenance and upkeep of art institutions required considerable government support. He suggested that children should be exposed to art in museums and galleries, saying that such exposure would engender a better appreciation of arts and cultural heritage in the country. Omatsola, nonetheless, rejected the notion that contemporary Nigerian arts somewhat imitated Western art traditions, saying that the influence of the two art traditions on each other was bi-dimensional. ``They influence us and we do the same to them, we have been doing that for centuries. For example, the legendary Picasso’s paintings were inspired by African sculptures. ``Look at the masks and objects we have had in our shrines for decades, they are similar to art installations in museums abroad today. ``Contemporary European arts are similar to our arts years ago and when you look at our paintings today, you will see that some of the inspiration comes from the Western world. ``There are some people who believe that art is solely for decoration, while another group has passion for art works; the second group collects art pieces, not just for decoration but because they love art. ``More recently, in schools they are attaching more value to art than they used to because art is part of our heritage. All the same, industry watchers underscore the need for the government to initiate specific programmes aimed at enhancing the development of Nigerian arts. They also urge the government to promote the development of museums across the country so as to boost the growth of the arts and culture sector. Source: NAN

e was one very remarkable priest and he had the unlikely added vocation of being a published poet. His life was a very simple one and his poetry also simple but firm in its message. We met Uba Jon Ofei thirty six years ago in the sleepy rural town of Igarra the headquarters of Akoko Edo Local Government Area of Edo State. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1976, the very first from Igarra. He was quite young when he was ordained and he was your very typical young man. Once you met him, you realized that he was a special kind of person and he was very friendly. His first car was a Volkswagen ‘beetle’ which was the car that was in vogue then and that was the car that the Archdiocese of Benin bought for her priests. His was coloured white but in a fit of revolutionary frenzy, he changed the colour to the red, green and yellow colours of the Rastafari movement. Then Bob Marley was the toast of revolutionaries and to compliment the new wave, he grew a beard to boot. At a meeting in Ekpoma in the early 1980’s, the Archbishop asked him to change the colours within one week! He read voraciously and it was from him that we learnt and heard of books by Wole Soyinka, Fela, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Eldrige Cleaver, Stokely CarMichael, The Black Panther Movement, Angela Davies, Barry White, Tina Turner, Archbishop Oscar Romero and the lots of others and he never missed any VOA broadcast of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday series every January 15th. There were a lot of times he tried to explain to his rural parishioners the meaning and examples of what he read and experienced. To cap it all, he went to study further in Boston, Massachusetts. By the time he got back, the transformation was complete and he had discovered the potency of poetic thoughts. To some of us, this was not new – he spoke pidgin English like he spoke his native Etuno dialect and he was friends with the ‘revolutionary’ section of Nigeria who were always shocked that he was a Roman Catholic priest whose visit to Lagos was never complete without going to see Fela Anikulapo Kuti or a jam at the Afrika Shrine. He regaled us with gists how Fela would yab him that he should go and pull his

cassocks and come to live in the shrine! But he was not in conflict with his vocation. Rather, he was very much at home with it and within the frame of human frailty he lived it. The US school experience helped him to further organize his thoughts and actions into poetry and as soon as he learnt to put this on paper, he never looked back. There was a certain time when if you rode with him, he had pieces of paper scattered in every nook and cranny of his car. At times he stopped in the middle of the road to put down his thoughts on paper. Never afraid of the terror of the night or the arrow that flies by day, Uba Jon Ofei can leave Ibadan at 11pm to drive to Akure or Igarra reaching his destination in the early hours of the morning and according to him, this was the best times to travel – the roads were empty and free. As a priest and a humanist, he never found it out of his way to stop in the middle of nowhere, to offer a lift to one of those long suffering mothers who has a pile of firewood on her head in an eternal struggle. The new struggle will then occur – how do you arrange the firewood inside of the Beetle? Trust Fr. Ofei, he would arrange it both inside the car and in the boot and proceed to take the woman right into her compound. The smile on such a face was never lost on most of us who witnessed such. His reasons sometimes being that such a person had never had the experience of riding in a car before! He was a very simple man that enjoyed the rural postings that he became accustomed to. Whenever he was going on transfer, all his belongings just fit into his beetle and he was on the move. His clothing was never more than a small box full of three to five trousers and six or seven shirts. It was just enough. His work took him to Lagos at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria where he worked in the Justice Development and Peace Commission and in this capacity he moved with the secretariat to Abuja, a city that excited him with its possibilities. Then came the era of gsm – his excitement was childlike! It is very remarkable that he never lost the innocence and traits peculiar to children. He always said that with all the vastness of the earth, the gsm for him was the most revolutionary. How can such a tiny instrument be used to transmit and receive messages? To be continued


Arts & Culture Book Review By Patrick Iroegbu (Ambrose Ehirim)


mericanah, when it was published and launched in April, I face-booked it that anyone in diaspora, including those coming abroad for the first time for diaspora lifestyle should read it. It made eloquent sense as reviewers are now showing. The entire work shows in new ways as captured, imagined and experienced by the author a vivid exploration of being African in America, and indeed, anywherelse Nigerians and Africans converge with their complex dreams in pursuit of more valued things of life. Americanah, a novel, is the very most recent entry by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and it is published by Random House, with a voluminous 477 pages counting and prized at $26.95 for a copy. Ambrose Ehirim contests his passion for this recent novel and other works of the author, Adichie. He paints the picture of a common knowledge and notion immigrants coming from Nigeria carry with them and vigorously discuss them at meeting places and at the same time tend to use explorative chatting expeditions of the “been to” and “checking out” craze to learn and adapt in new areas that they settle down to live a life. Ambrose Ehirim highlights that Adichie’s “Half of a Yellow Sun” stands out in all her stables as the biggest score in marketing and popularity, including positioning in literature which most prizes had gone to, giving her the brand name to sell any novel with her signature attached to it, whether the book was well written and made sense or not, which seems to be the case in her newest entry “Americanah.” For Ambrose Ehirim in a critical and passionate stand point, Americanah” is not a great tale considering the expectations and the following that shot her second novel to the top. Nigerian authors - home and Diaspora - always have the pleasure to begin the enterprise of their books on the home turf where the turnouts in book launchings are huge, graced by festivities and merry-making, big volume sales and sometimes, ridiculously bankrolled when details of the book has not been known or reviewed. Reuters photo-journalist Akintunde Akinleye, Associated Press’ Sunday Alamba, host of related international press and local Nigerian journalists were handy during Adichie’s book launch and signing ceremony Saturday, April 27, 2013, in Lagos. The lukewarm photogenic author sat and stood in front of the cameras posing with her new book, signing autographs along the novel and answering questions from curious readers and the press on the thoughts and writing of “Americanah.” Adichie had a new hair-do and fascinated about it all drawing from the books Ifemelu character, multicolored dress and classically figured, except for the not needed heavy make-ups she was wearing obviously displaying she wasn’t much comfortble with the excessiveness of painting on her face. Most folks who explored the United States and elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere during the push factor years, the economic, social, religious and reasons of things

Americanah - A Critical Perspective like that to why one was compelled to relocate and the aspirations for further academic pursuits is what Adichie is now telling us in the “Americanah” saga, from around which some lost hope but kept sticking around, keeping body and soul one, for opportunities that may knock on their doors as sighs of relief in what had been a stretch, to survive, doing whatever it took out of the very worst situations to overcome their predicaments. It was common. But, though, some had no difficulties from the goodwill that came from either generated government welfare programs or their respective families who had adequate cash possessions. Stories so similar and told over and over the years, Adichie goes on to tell us the uncertainties that had clouded the survival instincts and the determination to fulfill what had been ambitiously waited for before departure only to be confronted with what had been totally strange, taking culture into account, and the social aspect of the new world they had come to adopt and call home. The similarities of the long hurdle to adapt to the situations and become normal, and being used to what goes, surviving all odds, fulfilling what had been the dream and, realizing what it had taken and the time spent to be accomplished, which had been desired through diligence, patience, commitment and, eventually, hard work in which

there was no substitute, ultimately becoming the pursued ideal, is nothing new to the push factor most Nigerians encountered over the years in their quest for a better life Adichie brought up in her new entry. And the adventure had popped up with the zeal not to fail when caught up in crossroads in between having to make decisions on two choices as option; the consequences of having made the wrong choice which could turn out disastrous by its nature and what the future might hold; the pains after all attempts with nothing seemingly working out; the high expectations from native-land where all eyes watched for prospects of a promising future, and, what the consequences could be for a life time, if all had failed, including the expectations from a relationship elsewhere on the globe, in the United Kingdom; had not been clear and in limbo with immigration problems which surely wasn’t promising until that stroke of luck unshackled what had been a barrier and an emerged breakthrough that changed everything, and fortune coming his way though not what had been planned and anticipated. No question, Adichie has catapulted herself to the top, in the ranks of respected Nigerian novelists and inventing “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie” as a public intellectual on the parallel with most, and somewhere in between Flora Nwapa, Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe. In her apparent


tribute to the latter who passed March 21, 2013 in Boston, Adichie showed appreciation and acknowledgement to the man who had driven the force and how she trooped on from a mark that is now defining her, and owing much to the man’s work, and also, much to her own efforts as to how far she came even though in reviewing the man’s “There Was A Country”, and despite giving credits to the points made in the book as far as the story goes on the said war, she derided the publication as carelessly done with repetitions, wordiness and avoidable mistakes. “Americanah” is unnecessarily wordy, too. The events that unfolded from the native-land in preparedness to relocate from an unstable country that was full of uncertainties was retold in many instances. The cities - New Haven, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Princeton and Trenton; the Gothic structures; the motorists while she poked around; the niteclubs; visit to her aunt Uju at the Flatlands and several other encounters with people of race, culture - and what that meant to Ifemelu, describing them the way she thought desirable for each like the cities with its distinct kind of smell except Princeton being smell free is pretty much close Adichie was telling her own story and life experiences in a typical relationship with partners attached to each other and denied access to be together in the United States by the unfortunate events of 9/11 and the restrictions on immigration. There are no expectations of something significantly different from the “Americanah” adventure begun by Ifemelu, from the usual concept of bad regimes typical of Nigeria’s dominance by military juntas and situations in that regard which compels one to seek decent life elsewhere that we haven’t known or seen practically like the case of Ifemelu who had moved to the shores of the United States commencing an entirely new life with aspirations in a world totally different from where she had escaped. Enter Obinze, Ifemelu’s sweetheart originally established as first lovers from what the story tells us, back in Nigeria as students in a military regime that is not encouraging for one to keep staying in the country which had both lovers become desperate to leave the country. Obinze had problems with the restrictions imposed by the United States on the effects of 9/11 which denied him access, leaving him with an option to go elsewhere besides America. He founds himself in the United Kingdom where the going got tougher, unlike Ifemelu in the US, though tough but better overall, Obinze did what he had to do. He had cash while Ifemelu blogged successfully. Both made it back home missing each other for 15 years and unsure of how to continue and get along. “Americanah” is a typical story told from an immigrant’s perspective coupled by the encounters and revelations and the blogging of events as it unfolded in contrast to Obinze’s unfavorable engagements in the United Kingdom, though eventually wealthy and all in all, in a journey that had taken 15 years to decide if both were still meant for each other remains a puzzle the author intends to unveil elsewhere, or probably bent on tales of love, distant relationship, misfortunes and both finally accomplished on different platforms and, now hard to reach decisions on whether to continue with a relationship that had been marred by circumstances beyond their control.

POEM OF THE WEEK When you went away By Abigail George

When you left this world turned on me, Crippled me and left my heart in a frail knot– Tangled in the mirth of obsession towards Possession, form, force, a waking flame, the Arrows of a being of light. They were contagious as a rolling shift in Tides, as I progressed towards you lost in the Land, shades and country of Jane Austen. I basked in the glory of her elements, sampled Incandescence, fragile quiet. If fish could only live on air like I do– Instead they breathe the juice, the veil of fire On an expedition from sea to land before They’re completely erased from sight like you Have been, leaving me quite Ill, inconsolable against invincible cosmic You. I searched this house, turned it upside down Until all my thoughts were black, impoverished– How can I banish the song in my clothed hunger, My still, patched, dark thirst. The climb has been a cold one to bear–night Has ravaged me senseless so that I’ve taken to Medicine which has transitioned me from Ancient death to the tree of life, made me march To the sound of cars and dogs Barking in bursts, the background of the vein Of rain, the symmetry of stars, the silence of a Planet when the night falls–if only you were Here within reach, smelling of roses, my prize Poem, kind, alive, not in flight. I can more or less feel the sea now that you’ve Gone away, promised to write, exchanged addresses– The hours give me courage, there’s a home for Love in my blood, the silence in profound madness, Even in my weeping for my loss.

QUOTE Wisdom finds its literary expression in wisdom literature. Paul Ricoeur





Bush institute to host summit on women empowerment By Hassan Haruna Ginsau


n African first ladies summit is to be held in Dar es Salam, Tanzania on 2nd, July for the ‘advancement of Women’s economic empowerment’. The summit, organized by the Bush Institute, brings together government, private organizations, NGOs and academics to discuss best practices that can reap sustainable, replicable results, benefit women and strengthen society Supported by ExxonMobil, the event will highlight First Ladies as advocates for women’s economic empowerment, health and education, as well as showcase and leverage best practices from private-public partnerships that can be replicated and sustained. The theme of the event is investing in women: strengthening Africa,

and will focus on the important role First Ladies play in promoting women’s education, health and economic empowerment, stressing that Investing in women results in better outcomes for entire families, communities and nations. The event will feature keynote addresses by President and Mrs. Bush, the summit will include First Lady announcements and commitments and the opportunity to learn from experts in the fields of education, health and economic empowerment. Many African countries are committed to introducing critical interventions in education, health and economic opportunity led by First Ladies that will benefit women and strengthen society and also promote women’s economic empowerment, improve education and end deaths from malaria in developing countries.

Teachers urged to ‘take ICT to classrooms’

Information Resource Officer, Dr. Malore I. Brown speaking to teachers at the American Corner Calabar.


eachers in Calabar, Cross River State were challenged to step-up and take Information Communication and Technologies (ICT) to classrooms. The Information Resource Officer (IRO), Dr. Malore I. Brown gave this challenge at a oneday workshop organized by the American Corner (AC) in Calabar. Dr Malore said “Teachers are the beacon of knowledge and as such should lead the way by creating technology-based services for their students.” She later invited the participants to take advantage of the resources and services that are freely available to them at the American Corner located in Calabar. Mrs. Ann Mesembe, AC Coordinator for Calabar while welcoming participants stated challenged them to be open to learning and pick all that is useful to them from the workshop. She invited them to contact AC

anytime they have any challenge. The sessions essentially focused on Effective Teaching Ethics; Taking advantage of Mobile Phones for Education Good; Fulbright Scholarship: All you need to know about it; Growing your teaching experience using free resources. The Facilitators include Dr. (Mrs.) Francisca Bassey, Alumni of US Education Exchange and Lecturer of the University of Calabar, Samuel A. Eyitayo, Whitney M. Young Jr. Information Resource Center (IRC) Director, Lagos; andLilianEkanem, Chairperson, Cross River State Child Protection Network. Partner organizations on this program are Cross River State Ministry of Education, Altramar Services and Cross River State IT Village. The training workshop came to a climax with the admonition from the IRC Director, Elizabeth Akinbulumo. She challenged participants to live up the expectations by developing themselves especially in the area of technology use. In order for them not to stagnate, she advice participants to ask themselves, “what am I doing to develop my teaching career?”Teachers were drawn from various high schools. EssienEssienNya, a Teacher at Community Secondary School, IkotEwa stated that “... the workshop has provided me with unique and more opportunity of updating myself educationally and to be better equipped with the useful tools and techniques to impact on my students.” Another Teacher, EteneOrok of Government Secondary School, IkotAnsa wrote “I have been motivated to equip myself more... this will be made possible through the use of the Internet.”

George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush are founders of the institute.

Russia welcomes the role of Nigeria in African affairs and world policy – Ambassador Stories by Abdulkadir Isa


ussia has applauded the roleNigeria has playedin African affairs and world policy, saying the country remains an inevitable force in global politics. The ambassador of Russia to Nigeria, Ambassador NikolayUdovichenko made these remarks in a post-national day to affirm his country’s stand and support an open, peaceful foreign policy, share among both countries – Nigerian and Russia. MrUdovichenko said Nigeria hold a crucial role in the development of Africa and this has been enhanced through

its viable foreign policy and the support it enjoys from the rest of the continent. He said “My country is committed to open and peaceful foreign policy. We maintain consistent bilateral and multilateral relations based on equal rights of all members of the international community. Strengthening of reciprocal cooperation and partnership with African countries is among our priorities either”. The envoy said both Nigeria and Russia have come a long way and this has been reflected in trade, bilateral ties and promised to build on what his predecessor layed, saying “Looking back

into the history of our bilateral relations I have a strong belief that by joint efforts we will enhance cooperation for the mutual benefit of our nations. My intention is to boost RussianNigerian ties, including economic cooperation”. He called for peace and congratulated their Nigerian friends, “compatriots, graduates of Russian universities on the occasion of the National Day of Russia. I avail myself of this opportunity to wish the people of Nigeria peace, happiness and well-being”, expressing the willingness of Russian companies to do more business in Nigeria just as RUSAL and Gazprom have been doing.

Outgoing Charge d affairs of the Chinese embassy, He Meng (L) with incoming colleague, Zhang Bin during the handover reception held at the Chinese Abuja.




Food fair reveals Nigeria-Japan lineage By Abdulkadir Isa


recent dinning has revealed the possible lineage between Nigeria and Japan. Far apart are both countries – Nigeria and Japan, with Japan deep in the heart of Asia and

Nigeria in West Africa, with dozens of countries between them and thousands of kilometres apart. Before now, nothing was said to join natives of these two countries not culture, or even looks, but a dinning platform has brought the need to make

research deep into genealogy. The recent food fair organised by the Japanese embassy in Nigeria has uncoated possible related heritage not only in food, but also names and cultural practice. At the event, the Japanese presented a special delicacy with

which they prepare to usher in the New Year and use to express gratitude to the Gods of the land, a meal no other than Nigeria’s own TuwonShinkafa. The Asians call this pounded rice meal Mochi, and also serve with soup as practiced in Nigeria and some other parts of West Africa. There is no difference as to the mode of preparation, despite alternative forms like technology, as the Japanese say preparation with local methods helps preserves culture and gives the meal a better look. Mochi is also baked at times and eaten with soup as well, this is no different from the Wainaor Masaas it is called over here in West Africa. These diet similarities also extend to grilled meat – Suya, though the Japanese say Nigerians expose theirs to lesser heat. It was also interesting to find out similarities in designations like Ochida (Japanese) and Chida (Nigerian), Takeshi (Japanese) and Takashi (Nigerian) amongst many. The most attention-grabbing of these was Edo, the name of a state in Nigeria and interestingly, this was the name of Tokyo some years back. Edo in Japanese

Mogadishu gets new taxi service first time in two decades


new taxi service is for the first time back to the residents in Mogadishu, the Somali capital after more than 20 years of conflicts. Residents in the Somali capital now can find another evidence that their city is changing for the better with the launching of a new radio-linked taxi service. Mogadishu Taxi is one of the companies started by Somalis returning from the Diaspora back to the horn of Africa nation, which is currently emerging from over two decades of conflict. Mogadishu has been witnessing resurgence of economic activities since the AlShabaab movement was driven out of the capital by Somali government forces backed by African Union peacekeeping forces back in 2011. Despite occasional deadly attacks by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in the city, Mogadishu has largely remained relatively

stable, with businesses reopening and construction picking up while most of the districts have been repopulated. “The idea to open Mogadishu Taxi Company was started back in 2010, but was eventually launched in May this year. Mogadishu taxi is owned by Somalis most of whom returned from the Diaspora, and locals also include. We felt it was time that Mogadishu people taxi the taxis the city has been known for.” Hussein Ahmed Mohamed Co-owner of Mogadishu taxi told Xinhua at his office in the capital. Mogadishu residents previously used privately-owned individual vehicles as taxis whose owners charged exuberantly high fares to ferry people from one part of the capital to the other. But things have now changed. The new taxi company’s blue and yellow cabs offer cheaper service to residents who can call a control centre to send the taxis to pick them up.

People in Mogadishu have welcomed the new service for its “affordability and reliability”. “This service is welcome because it is quite cheaper than the other options, and

you can be sure of getting a taxi after calling the centre.” Farah AbduleWarsame, a passenger using the new company’s cab said. Source: Xinhua

Hussein Ahmed Mohamed co-owner of the newly-launched Mogadishu Taxi Company,the first of its kind in more than two decades, says his company offers “safe,cheap and reliable” service to the residents Somali.( Faisal Isse-Xinhua)

South Africa urges Britain to investigate spy allegations


he South African government on Tuesday urged the British government to investigate allegations that British intelligence agents spied on South African delegates attending the 2009 Group 20 meeting. This followed reports by the Guardian newspaper that documents leaked by former U.S. spy Edward Snowden showed that South African, Russian and Turkish officials, among others, were targeted by British intelligence agents who used state of the art surveillance equipment to acquire retrieved documents, including briefings for South African delegates to G20 and G8 meetings. The South African government has noted with concern various reports, Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson ClaysonMonyela said. “We do not yet have the full benefit of details reported on, but in principle we would condemn the abuse of privacy and basic human rights particularly if it emanates from those who claim to be democrats,” Monyela said. “We have solid, strong and cordial relations with the United Kingdom and would call on their government to investigate this matter fully with a view to take strong and visible action against any perpetrators,” Monyela said. Source: Xinhua

Egypt, Ethiopia vow to defuse Nile dam row


thiopia and Egypt have agreed to hold further talks to quell tensions over the building of a new dam on the Blue Nile, their foreign ministers say. Ethiopia’s TedrosAdhanom said the two nations have chosen to swim rather than sink together, AFP news agency reports. He met his Egyptian counterpart KamelAmr after Egypt opposed Ethiopia’s plans for a hydroelectric dam. Egypt is worried that the

dam will reduce the water supply vital for its 84 million people. Last week, Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi said he did not want war but he would not allow Egypt’s water supply to be endangered by the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Mr Morsi said he was keeping “all options open”. Previous statements about the dam had been made “in the heat of the moment”, Mr Amr said, at a joint press conference with Mr Tedros in the Ethiopian capital,

Addis Ababa, AFP reports. “We are embarking on a period of mutual cooperation,” Mr Amr is quoted by Bloomberg news agency as saying. “We’re looking to the future and I think the future will be very good for both of us.” In a joint statement, Mr Amr and Mr Tedros said that relations between Egypt and Ethiopia remained “brotherly” and talks to assess the impact of the dam would continue. “We have two options, either to swim or sink together. I

think Ethiopia chooses, and so does Egypt, to swim together,” Mr Tedros said, AFP reports. Mr Amr said Sudan would also be involved in the talks. “We agreed to ask for further studies to ascertain the effects of the dam, not only the safety of the dam, the environmental effects, but also the effects of the dam on the downstream countries,” he added, AFP reports. Ethiopia’s parliament ratified a controversial treaty last week to replace colonial-era

agreements that gave Egypt and Sudan the biggest share of the Nile’s water. The treaty had earlier been signed by five other Nile-basin countries - Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi. It is intended to replace the 1929 treaty written by Britain that awarded Egypt veto power over any project involving the Nile by upstream countries. Ethiopia says the $4.7bn (£3.1bn) dam will eventually provide 6,000 megawatts of power.




Abu Qatada treaty endorsed by King of Jordan


he King of Jordan has endorsed a treaty with the UK, paving the way for the extradition of radical cleric Abu Qatada. The treaty will become law once the document is published in the Jordanian government’s official gazette. In the UK, the treaty is expected to be passed by MPs and become law on Friday. The cleric has already indicated he will not challenge deportation if the treaty is passed because the document guarantees him a fair trial. Once the treaty passes all of its legal hurdles in both countries, the cleric’s deportation is expected to resume. UK Home Secretary Theresa May would be able to issue a fresh deportation order. The cleric would have time to respond if he wished to but that is expected to be only a few days. If he keeps to an assurance given in court that he will leave the UK because the treaty guarantees a fair trial, he would be put on a plane in a matter of weeks, not months. Abu Qatada has fought against deportation from the UK for almost eight years. He has argued he would face inhumane treatment and that he could not get a fair trial. The European Court of Human Rights and senior British judges ruled Jordan must show Abu Qatada would not face a trial that relied on evidence obtained by torturing others. The UK-Jordan Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance, signed in March, states that anyone deported from the UK must be treated humanely and be given a fair trial. It includes specific guarantees designed to ban the use of torture evidence.

King Abdullah of Jordan

Deadly blast as NATO handover to Afghan security


deadly blast in the west of Kabul that left at least three people dead has marked the formal handover of nationwide security from the US-led NATO coalition to Afghan forces. The handover of responsibility on Tuesday is a significant milestone in the nearly 12-year war

against Taliban and other armed groups and marks a turning point for American and NATO military forces, which will now move entirely into a supporting role. It also opens the way for their full withdrawal in 18 months. The ceremonial handover was, however, marred by an explosion that targeted

the convoy of Mohammed Mohaqiq, a prominent ethnic Hazara lawmaker. Mohaqiq is said to have survived the blast. General Mohammad Zahir, chief of the Kabul Criminal Investigation Division, said three people were killed by the bombing and another 30 were wounded - including six

Afghan army officers

Asia & Middle East

bodyguards. “The roadside bomb targeted the Mohaqiq convoy, but he safely passed. One of his vehicles was damaged,” Zahir said. The blast came as hundreds of local and international officials gathered on the capital’s outskirts to mark the beginning of the final phase of security transition to Afghan forces across the nation. Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced the formal handover. “Our security and defence forces will now be in the lead,” he said in a speech. “From here, all security responsibility and all security leadership will be taken by our brave forces.” Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general, said the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) would help militarily if and when needed but will no longer plan, execute or lead operations. “The main effort of our forces is shifting from combat to support,” he said in speech during the ceremony. “By the end of 2014, our combat mission will be completed. At that time, Afghanistan will be fully secured by Afghans,” he said.

…Afghan peace council members to talk with Taliban in Qatar- Karzai


ome members of Afghan High Peace Council will travel to the Gulf state of Qatar to hold formal peace talks with the Taliban, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday. “Members of peace council will go to Qatar to initiate peace talks with the Taliban,” Karzai told a joint press conference

with the visiting NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Earlier on Tuesday, Afghan local media reported that the Taliban had opened a political office in Qatar earlier in the day. “We initially supported the opening of Taliban office in Qatar. But Afghanistan

wants the peace talks to take place inside Afghanistan,” the Afghan leader said. However, he did not give a date for the proposed meeting. The 70-member of the peace council leading by SalaudinRabbani, son of former council chairman BurhanuddinRabbani who was killed in an attack in Kabul

in 2011, was set up by the government in summer 2010 to initiate peace talks with the Taliban. Karzai and other leaders have repeatedly offered peace talks with the Taliban. However, the insurgent group has categorically rejected the offer, saying there will be no talks until foreign troops leave the country.

India floods: Death toll rises amid heavy rain


he death toll from flooding and landslides triggered by heavy rain in northern India has risen to 70, media reports say. At least 45 people have died in Uttarakhand state, while floodrelated deaths have also been reported in Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Over 150 buildings in Uttarakhand have been damaged, and at least one building washed away. Some 30,000 pilgrims on their way to shrines in the region are stranded. At least 15 people were killed in flood-related incidents in Uttar Pradesh after floods in Saharanpur district, staterun broadcaster Doordarshan reported. And in Himachal Pradesh, at least 10 people were killed in landslides in Kinnaur district. Officials in Uttarakhand, the worst-hit state, said several people were missing and a number

In Uttarakhand, the worst-hit state, floods washed vehicles away.

of vehicles and a stationary helicopter had been swept away by floods. On Monday, 57 people were rescued by air force helicopters from different parts of the state, the authorities said. Many people

living near the swollen rivers have been moved to relief camps. Officials said that heavy rains were continuing in Rudraprayag, Chamoli and Uttarkashi districts, and the Ganges river was flowing above the danger mark.

Heavy rains have also been reported in the northern states of Punjab and Haryana. The monsoon season generally lasts from June to September, bringing rain which is critical to India’s farming output.




Biggest protests in 20 years sweep Brazil


s many as 200,000 people have marched through the streets of Brazil’s biggest cities, as protests over rising public transport costs and the expense of staging the 2014 World Cup have spread. The biggest demonstrations were in Rio de Janeiro, where 100,000 people joined a mainly peaceful march. In the capital, Brasilia, people breached security at the National Congress building and scaled its roof. The protests are the largest seen in Brazil for more than 20 years. The trigger was a 2 June increase in the price of a single bus fare in Sao Paulo from 3 reals ($1.40) to 3.20. Authorities said the rise was well below inflation, which since the last price increase in January 2011 has been 15.5%, according to official figures. In the country soon due to host the World Cup and Olympics, many are now complaining that vast sums of money are being wasted instead of used for health and education, says the BBC’s

US reveal Guantanamo ‘indefinite detainees’


Bonfires have been lit in protests across Brazil’s major cities

Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo. Political leaders have also been accused of nepotism and corruption. Protests were reported in as many as 11 cities on Monday.

The demonstrations were relatively peaceful, though some of the 100,000 people estimated to have taken to the streets in Rio de Janeiro threw rocks at police, wounding five officers, set fire

to a car and vandalised the state assembly building, starting a small blaze. The police reportedly used tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets to disperse them.

Czech PM resigns over aide scandal

Czech PM PetrNecas


zech Prime Minister PetrNecas has resigned in an effort to end

political turmoil over a corruption inquiry. His governing coalition will try to form a new government led by someone nominated by his Civic Democratic Party (ODS). MrNecas announced he would quit after prosecutors charged his chief of staff with corruption and abuse of power. Two former MPs, an exminister and the current and former heads of military intelligence were also detained.

All except one have been remanded in custody. “Mr president, in line with the constitution... I resign,” MrNecas told President Milos Zeman on Monday. President Zeman has asked MrNecas to stay on as caretaker leader until a new administration is named. MrZeman has said the charges, brought after armed police raids on government and private offices on Wednesday, were “serious”. Up to 150m koruna (£5m; $8m) in cash, tens of

kilograms of gold and large quantities of documents were seized during the raids. The prime minister’s chief of staff, Jana Nagyova, is suspected of bribing the former MPs with offers of posts in state-owned firms. It is alleged this was in exchange for them giving up their parliamentary seats. MsNagyova - a close colleague of MrNecas for nearly a decade - is also suspected of illegally ordering military intelligence to spy on three people.

Putin faces isolation over Syria as G8 ratchets up pressure


ussian President Vladimir Putin faced growing isolation on the second day of a G8 summit on Tuesday as world leaders lined up to pressure him into toning down his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Syria was set to dominate the last day of the meeting in a secluded, heavily guarded golf resort in Northern Ireland, with Putin standing firm on his position that forcing out Assad would be disastrous for Syria and the region. Following a frosty encounter between the Kremlin chief and U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday, G8 leaders sought to use the last day of talks to find common ground on a transition of power in Syria despite Russia’s stance. If there is no consensus, it is possible a final G8 statement might be released without Russia’s input and in the name of the G7 rather than the G8, officials indicated. Such a scenario would further damage Russia’s position on the world stage. But is something Kremlin-controlled media would probably seize upon to portray Putin

Europe and Americas

as standing up to a bullying and imperialistic West, a familiar charge that still plays well for him at home. Putin, who appeared tense on the first day, has faced a barrage of criticism from Western leaders for supporting Assad, who is trying to crush a two-year-old uprising in which at least 93,000 people have been killed. “It’s a clarifying moment to see what kind of commitments the Russians are willing to make in a leading world forum,” a British official said before the leaders met for dinner. Russia and the United States have agreed to bring together warring sides for a peace conference but their goals are different. Obama wants Assad out while Putin believes it is too dangerous to remove him at a time when there is no clear transition plan. It is unclear what Obama could offer Putin as an incentive to change his mind on Syria as there is little he seems to be looking for at the summit. But it appeared some form of consensus was still possible. An official close to one delegation said

the talks over dinner on Monday had gone better than expected and that a joint communique with Russia on Syria now seemed more likely. A person with direct knowledge of the talks said on condition of anonymity that Putin was constructive and willing to reach consensus during late Monday talks and no hard words were exchanged between him and Obama. However, Russian Foreign

Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday the Syrian opposition must not set preconditions for attending the peace conference proposed by Moscow and Washington, suggesting sticking points remained. Renewed diplomatic tension over Syria stems from last week’s decision by the United States to step up military aid to the rebels, including automatic weapons, light mortars and rocket-propelled grenades.

President Barack Obama (L) alongside President Vladmir Putin (R).

he US has listed 46 inmates held at its military prison in Guantanamo Bay who it says it does not have the evidence to try but are too dangerous to release. It revealed the men’s names in response to a freedom of information request by the Miami Herald. Most are from Yemen and Afghanistan.President Barack Obama vowed last month to renew efforts to shut the prison. Lawyer Clifford Sloan has been appointed to oversee the closure. Mr Sloan, whose appointment was officially announced on Monday, will be tasked with releasing detainees cleared for transfer. Of the 166 detainees at Guantanamo in Cuba, 86 have been cleared for transfer if conditions can be met, including 56 from Yemen. The list of prisoners designated for indefinite detention was drawn up in 2010 but not made public. It includes 26 Yemenis, 12 Afghans, three Saudis, two Kuwaitis, two Libyans, a Kenyan, a Moroccan and a Somali. Two Afghans who were on the list have died, one of a heart attack and one who committed suicide. The US says it either does not have sufficient evidence to try the men, or that the evidence it has is tainted by coercion or abuse. After taking office in 2009, Mr Obama promised to close the prison within a year, but his plans to transfer detainees to maximum security prisons in the US and to try some detainees in the civilian justice system met fierce resistance from both parties in Congress. More than 100 detainees have joined a hunger strike which began in early February to protest against the failure to end their detention without charge. Many have been held for more than a decade. Officials say 44 of those are being force-fed through nasal tubes. On Monday, five prisoners accused of helping orchestrate the 11 September 2001 attacks against the US returned to a military court in the Guantanamo camp for the first time since February, for a week of pre-trial hearings. They include Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the attacks. The government has requested that a trial to be scheduled in late 2014.



Strange World

Revelers throw dead rats at each other as part of bizarre Spanish festival


aving a dead rat thrown straight in the face might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but for the people of El Puig, the yearly Battle of the Rats is an eagerly awaited event. During the bizarre celebration, people pick up frozen rat corpses and throw them at each other in the name of fun. Every year, on the last Sunday of January, the town of El Puig, north of Valencia, hosts the Batalla de Ratas, or Battle of the Rats, one of the weirdest fiestas in Spain. Locals and tourists from all over the world gather in the main square to bash cucañas, a kind of local piñada. Sounds like a fun time, only there’s a catch – the goodies in half of these colorful cucañas include dead rats. Instead of running away in disgust at the sight of rodent corpses falling to the ground, festival goers rush to pick them up and throw them at the crowd. If you’ve been hit by a dead


expect the bidding to go quite so high. “It was a little more heated than I thought it would have been,” she told The Boston Globe. But, she added, the spots will come in handy for her house guests and workers. The record price for a single parking spot in Boston is $300,000.

T h e B a c k B a y neighbourhood, first settled before the advent of cars, is made up of narrow alleyways and streets originally designed for horse-drawn carts. “The demand is not about value. It’s about wanting the parking spot at whatever cost,” said Beth Dickerson of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. Source: odd news

Spaniards in the city of Valencia having fun at the festival.

rat, it’s customary to grab it and throw it back at your attacker. It’s a good thing we’re not in the Middle Ages anymore, and the bubonic plague is nearly extinct, but still, I can’t help but

Odd fishes you didn’t know about

any of you might find all fish to be disgusting, but I for one never had a problem with how they look, I even found some of them to be

rats. How did the Spanish get the idea of throwing dead rats at each other, you ask? The local Sant Pere Festival has been celebrated in El Puig for centuries, only in

the old days the cucañas were filled with fruits, nuts and other natural goodies, instead of packaged candy, and they often attracted the attention of rats. They would find a way into the cucaña to reach the treats, and on the day of the festival when the decorations were hung up and bashed, the rodents would make a surprise appearance in front of the crowd. The disappointed stick-wielders bashed the dazed rats and throw their corpses into the air to general hilarity and disgust. They would often fall on someone, to the delight of the masses. But things really got out of hand in a year when the rats were particularly successful at infiltrating the cucañas, and the square became filled with their battered corpses. The first rat battle ensued, with people merrily throwing them at each other, and to commemorate this memorable event, the Battle of the Rats has been staged every year.

really interesting. But I have to say everything changed as soon as I saw these pictures, these things look like monsters out of my worst nightmares!

think there’s something really unhygienic about throwing rats at people. In their defense, the people of El Puig only use frozen and previously-prepared corpses of humanely-killed

Boston parking spaces go for $560k at auction


Goliath Tigerfish

Goblin Shark

he median sale price for a home in Boston, Massachusetts, is right around $315,000 - but it seems that could also buy you a parking space with some change left over. Parking is such a precious commodity in the city that one resident has paid $560,000 for two off-street spaces near her home. Lisa Blumenthal won the tandem spots in the city’s historic Back Bay neighbourhood during an on-site auction on Thursday held by the Internal Revenue Service. Bidding for the spots began at $42,000, but jumped to six figures within moments. The US tax agency had seized the spots from the previous owner, who owed back taxes. He had originally purchased the spaces for $50,000 in 1993. Stacked one in front of the other and hemmed in by a brick wall, wood fence and a telegraph pole, they may prove a tight squeeze. Ms Blumenthal, who lives in a multimillion-dollar Commonwealth Avenue home that has three parking spaces of its own, said she did not

The two parking spots bought by Miss Blumenthal




Obesity fuels rise in throat cancer in men By Lucy Osborne


besity is fuelling a big rise in men suffering one of the deadliest cancers, warn experts. More than 5,600 men develop cancer of the gullet each year, which is often diagnosed late and has shocking rates of survival. Even with the best care, patients only live three to nine months on average and just 13 per cent survive five years or more. Men are three times more likely to develop the disease than women, who are protected by their hormones until after the menopause. The number of people diagnosed each year with oesophageal cancer in the UK has doubled to around 8,400, including 2,800 women. Cancer affecting the oesophagus, or gullet, that links the throat and

stomach, have been rising for 30 years. It is thought obesity which can cause acid reflux or heartburn - where the contents of the stomach flow back up the gullet - is one of the main factors behind the rise of a form of the disease. But experts fear many people are ignoring warning signs of persistent heartburn and so are their GPs. Tim Underwood, an oesophageal surgeon and researcher at the University of Southampton, said people taking over-the-counter remedies such as Gaviscon for more than three weeks should be aware the problem may not just be indigestion. ‘What I say to GPs when I go out to visit them is that if a middle-aged man who has never seen you before turns up with reflux it needs to be investigated. ‘They’ve come to you for the first time with something that we know is linked to potentially serious disease’

he added. Mr Underwood said between 10 per cent and 14 per cent of the population have reflux at any time and it is getting more common. He said ‘From a surgical point of view, we’re seeing a link between obesity and reflux and there is definitely a link between obesity and oesophageal adenocarcinoma. So you could join the three dots together. ‘We know that obesity can change the dynamics at the border between the oesophagus and the stomach that potentially leads to more reflux.’ Patients are often diagnosed late because early symptoms are ignored or not taken seriously. In some cases changes could be occurring to the cells lining the gullet that may mark a first step to the disease, while another symptom to watch out for is difficulty swallowing food.

(File picture) More than 5,600 men develop cancer of the gullet each year, a disease which experts have warned is fuelled by obesity

Too much red meat can raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes By Jenny Hope Eating more red meat can significantly increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, researchers have warned. They found raising consumption by more than half a serving a day led to a 48 per cent increase in risk over the next four years. In contrast, reducing red meat consumption by the same amount led to a 14 per cent lower risk of the disease.

The number of Britons diagnosed with diabetes hit three million this year for the first time - equivalent to almost one in 20 of the UK’s population

Experts said the link may be due to the fat contained in red meat - mostly saturated fats - which means people should be encouraged to choose leaner cuts. The number of Britons diagnosed with diabetes hit three million this year for the first time - equivalent to almost one in 20 of the UK’s population. Type 2 is strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as being overweight or obese, leading a sedentary lifestyle and

eating an unhealthy diet. In the latest research, scientists analysed data from three earlier U.S. studies involving around 150,000 men andwomen,inwhichdietswereassessed using food questionnaires. The researchers recorded more than 7,500 cases of type 2 diabetes, says a report online in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. It found that compared with a group withnochangeinredmeatconsumption, an increase of half a serving a day resulted in a 48 per cent rise in the risk of developing diabetes over a four-year period. Cutting consumption by half a serving a day led to a 14 per cent cut in risk. Lead researcher Dr An Pan, from the National University of Singapore, said: ‘Increasing red meat intake during a four year interval was associated with anelevatedriskoftype2diabetesmellitus during the subsequent four years. ‘Our results confirm the robustness of the association between red meat and T2DM and add further evidence that limitingredmeatconsumptionovertime

(File picture) Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery remain the only treatment options for the disease Mr Underwood said ‘Food getting stuck when you swallow and persistent heartburn are not normal. ‘If this is happening to you, you need to see your GP. The vast majority of people won’t have anything seriously wrong with them, but it’s important to be checked out. ‘If left untreated acid reflux can damage cells of the oesophagus leading to a condition called Barrett’s oesophagus, which in turn can be a precursor of oesophageal cancer.’ Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, from the Medical Research Council’s Cancer Cell Unit in Cambridge, said ‘One of the real problems is that heartburn and reflux symptoms are seen as a nuisance, but something that’s quite normal.’ Cancer survivor father-of-two Ian Barclay, 65, from Salisbury, told how he used Zantac to suppress symptoms of acid reflux. “That seemed to do the trick - I never went to the doctor because I wasn’t that way inclined,” he said. But he was eventually diagnosed with oesophageal cancer after suffering serious internal bleeding caused by the tumour. ‘I was very lucky because the cancer was caught early enough to

get it all out during surgery, so I didn’t need chemotherapy or radiotherapy,” Mr Barclay added. ‘The most important thing is if you get any problems, anything you’re not sure of, go to your local doctor. If you don’t like what he says, go somewhere else.” Other factors linked to this cancer include smoking, eating too little fruit and vegetables, and drinking alcohol. However, better eradication of a stomach bug called Helicobactor pylori may have inadvertently reduced its protective effect against this cancer. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery remain the only treatment options for the disease. Prof Fitzgerald is involved in a major study aiming to pinpoint genes that may provide targets for new more tailored treatments. Her team is also trialling a new diagnostic technique which uses a ‘sponge on a string’ passed down a patient’s throat to look for early precursors of oesophageal cancer which might replace a more uncomfortable and lengthier procedure called endoscopy. Source:

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes may rise in those who increase the amount of red meat in their diet, warn researchers

confers benefits for T2DM prevention.’ In a commentary in the journal, Dr William Evans, from Duke University in NorthCarolina,said:‘Arecommendation to consume less red meat may help to reduce the epidemic of type 2 diabetes. ‘However, the overwhelming preponderence of molecular, cellular, clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that public health messages should be directed toward the consumption of high-quality protein that is low in total and saturated fats. ‘These public health recommendations should include cuts of red meat that are also low in fat, along with fish, poultry and low-fat dairy

products. ‘It is not the type of protein or meat that is the problem: it is the type of fat.’ Dr Carrie Ruxton from the industrybacked Meat Advisory Panel , said the study showed an association but did not prove that eating red lean meat causes diabetes. She said ‘As a result of this research, we should not change our meat consumption habits and we should sticktoconsuming70gofcookedleanred meat per day and up to 500g per week, as recommended by the Department of Health. Source:



urges LG CPP chairman decries lack of Don officials to fulfil contracts internal democracy in Nigeria social with people T P he National Chairman, Citizens Popular Party (CPP), Mr Sam Eke, has said that his top priority as helmsman of the party is to entrench internal democratic principles. Eke made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja yesterday. He said his decision was based on the reoccurring issues of lack of internal democracy within political parties in the country. ``Most political parties in the country lacks internal democracy and this is one of the set goals I intend to achieve as the new

chairman of CPP,’’ he said. Eke said he would make sure that internal democracy was sustained and well entrenched in the party and by extension sale out the idea to other political party leaders in the advisory council meetings. ``Internal democracy is the bedrock of participatory democracy,’’ he said, adding that most political parties in Nigeria were unprepared for democratic governance from their inception. Eke said that the situation arose because issues the parties canvassed were lacking in clear cut

ideology on how they intend to be achieve. ``Many political parties claimed to have ideologies, but none of them has been able to display this virtue in the way they run the affairs of their parties,’’ he said. He called on the leaders to work with their party manifestos and the constitution of Nigeria to move the nation’s democracy forward. ``As a politician, I have realised that you cannot give what you do not have. ``For you to be a good teacher, you must have been a good student and you must have acquired

knowledge to transfer as a politician or a leader,’’ he said. On membership derive in his party, he said it came with misconception, adding: ``In Nigeria membership of political parties does not translate into electoral success.’’ He said that electoral success was based on focusing and implementing issues that affect the well-being of the people. ``The issues that are current must be on the front burners so that people will be attracted to the party to move the nation forward and deepen our democracy,’’ he said. (NAN)

L-R: Kaduna state Deputy Governor, Ambassador Nuhu Audu Bajoga, and Agwam Bajju, His Royal Highness Nuhu Bature, during the deputy governor’s visit to the royal father, yesterday in Zonkwa, Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

AD mourns Dosunmu, Mogaji From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Lagos State Chapter of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) yesterday condoled with the families of late Senator Wahab Dosunmu (PDP stalwart) and Mrs Habibat Mogaji, mother of ACN Stalwart, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Dosunmu, a former Minister for Housing and Mogaji Iyaloja General were buried in Lagos on Sunday according to Islamic rites. In a statement signed by its State Chairman, Chief Kola Ajayi, the AD stated that the death of the two illustrious Nigerians was sad. “AD shall forever remain fond of the memories of these eminent persons who have defined themselves in the finest traditions of Lagos as a center of excellence. “The late Dosunmu was a quintessential Lagos gentleman

who inspired and reached out to people accross political party, ethnic, religious and class lines. “He was a man of peace and AD prays that his gentle soul will rest in perfect peace with Almighty Allah. “Mogaji was our dearest Iya Oloja (President-General) of the Market Women’s Association of Nigeria. “Indeed Mama Mogaji was so dedicated to the cause of tresourceful and hardworking market women everywhere. “She was a key pillar in the birthing and sustenance of the Alliance for Democracy in Lagos State. “She was fully there through thick and thin during the eight years when AD governed Lagos and her contributions helped to preserve AD’s enviable place as the longest ruling political party

in the history of Lagos state” the party stated. It however commiserated with Tinubu, a former governor of AD in Lagos state and son of the late Iya-Oloja. “Tinubu deployed his mother’s tremendous support and

mobilisation skills which helped him to build the foundation and platform that have continued to sustain the AD and kept it alive in the hearts of the people of Lagos. We pray that God will give him the strenght to bear the loss” the party added.

... Belgore too From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) gubernatorial candidate in Kwara State in 2011 general election and Cheiftain of the party, Muhammed Dele Belgore (SAN) has described the life of late Alhaja Abibat Mahaji, mother of former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu has successful story.

Belgore, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaiye in Ilorin yesterday noted that the late mother spent her life to serve humanity. “Alhaja Abibatu Magaji was an illustrious woman whose selfless service to humanity made her life a huge success story. Mama was an illustrious woman. She was a leader and a social and political activist,”

rof. Sam Egwu of Kogi State University (KSU) Anyigba, has urged elected local council officials nationwide to keep to the social contract they signed with the electorate. He said this could be achieved by fulfilling their promises on the social and economic wellbeing of the people. Egwu gave the advice on Tuesday in Lokoja at a lecture he delivered on ‘’enhancing healthy relationship between the executive and legislative councils in local government system in Kogi State’’. Egwu spoke at a three-day induction workshop, organised by the state House of Assembly in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, for newly elected council officials. He said: ‘’We want the promissory notes of democracy to be realised. This is part and parcel of the social contract.’’ Egwu added that for any government to be legitimate, it must be socially responsible to the people. The don said that legitimacy of government in the country was on the decline due to crisis of governance. Egwu, who is a Professor of Political Science, decried the insulation of the leadership from the followership, adding that the legitimacy of government was on the decline because the leaders were “alien to the people”. Egwu added that the political class had taken advantage of “the ignorance and powerlessness of the people” to seize power and deprive them of their democratic rights. He said the situation had also denied the people the power to effect change in leadership when dissatisfied. According to him, countries that are serious about transformation must decentralise and transfer power to the people easily, to enable them to determine their destiny. On the legislature, Egwu said the arm of government was “historically weak and under-developed due to pathology of inferiority complex’’. He said that so far, there had been a culture of “executive dominance” due to the belief that it could not be checked by other arms of government. On the military, the professor noted that it kept the legislature in limbo for a long time to the extent that it dwarfed its development to the advantage of the executive. Egwu, however, called on the councils “to change the trend of things, deliver the dividends of democracy and accord the people the opportunity to exercise their legitimate democratic powers”. (NAN)




Adedibu’s widow commends Ajimobi From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan


idow of the late Strongman of Ibadan Politics, Chief (Mrs.) Bose Adedibu, has commended the Oyo state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, for his performance in the areas of security, urban tenewal and environmentaal sanitation. Mrs. Adedibu, like her late husband, Chief Lamidi Adedibu, is a staunch member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the party that ruled the state between 2003 and 2011. While featuring on a Yoruba weekly television programme on the State-owned Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS) recently, she acknowledged the fact that the Ajimobi administration had been able to restore the peace which had eluded the state for some years back. ``I am not a member of the Action Congress of Nigeria but a staunch member of the Peoples Democratic Party and I am not leaving the party. But I cannot say because I am a PDP member, I will not acknowledge good performance. ``In all honesty and without being unnecessarily biased, Governor Abiola Ajimobi is doing well. There is peace and security now compared with the violence and brigandage that used to be perpetrated by street urchins,” she said. According to her, a couple of years back, the state was besieged by violence which made it uncomfortable for virtually everyone living in it. ``I remember vividly that at that time, the people of Oyo State used to live in perpetual fear of insecurity. But now, everywhere is peaceful and people are going about their business without fear of molestation,’’ she said. Mrs. Adedibu also acknowledged that Ibadan, and indeed, the entire state, is now wearing a new look owing to the massive urban renewal programme of the state government. She dismissed insinuations by the opposition that shops were being demolished and that traders were being subjected to unnecessary pains, saying that it was only those plying their trades on the streets that were being relocated by government. ``The traders that had been relocated were those trading on the streets and what the government has been doing is to ensure their safety and prevent avoidable accidents and loss of lives,” Mrs. Adedibu said. The widow maintained that, in spite of that, the government had been building shops for traders on the streets who were removed from roadsides.

L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Senator Simeon Ajibola, Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mrs Valerie Ebe, and Chairman, House Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa, Hon. Abubakar Momoh, during the Youth Empowerment Workshop, on Monday in Uyo. Photo: NAN

APGA crisis: Obi seeks reconciliation with Umeh, says Aide


ov. Peter Obi has urged Chief Victor Umeh, the factional National Chairman of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to reconcile with the Chief Maxi Okwuled faction of the party. The Special Adviser to Governor on Political Matters, Mr Fidel Okafor, said this in Onitsha, Anambra, yesterday. Okafor said the party was not chasing anybody out but had resolved to bring everybody back into the fold. ``Chief Umeh should soft-pedal on his stance against the current leadership of APGA and accept the truth in the interest of Ndi Igbo and the political legacy of Chief Chukwuemeka Ojukwu,’’ he said. He said that the current leadership was ready to welcome Umeh and other members back as well as accord them their due respect and regard. He said, ``I want to use this medium to advice Umeh to soft pedal.

``If all of us believe that this party is good enough for the Igbo people, one cannot continue going ahead creating impressions that there are problems. There are problems here and there. ``There is no problem again, the party is willing and ready to reintegrate him, but it does not make any sense if he continuous to fight to be national chairman. ``One, between you and I, there is no political party in this country that has retained one national chairman for 10 years. ``Victor Umeh started acting as national chairman in 2004, next year it will be 10 years and he is not tired. ``Look at, just go and study all the political parties in this country, there is no party that has retained one national chairman for more than four years. ``That is how parties grow, this party thing is not a personal business; you do your beat, you shift and another

person will come in. ``It continuous to change, but in APGA it is as if it has become somebody’s empire or dynasty, where you must be there, probably handover to his son. ``So, that is what we want to stop; it is a national party that gives the Igbo people identity, so we have to do things democratically to reflect how parties are run everywhere. ``Our party’s constitution makes it clear that no one person can occupy one position for above, I mean more than eight years; from 2004 till now. ``My prayer is that he sees reason and accepts peace; if he wants to remain in APGA we can give him a pride of place as a former national chairman, maybe whatever thing he wants. ``But he must let the leadership of the party be, must let the party be because the implication of what he is

Harmonious legislature, executive relationship key to good governance-Osunbor


former Senator, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, said a healthy and harmonious legislative and executive relationship was key to good governance. Osunbor said this in a paper he presented at a two-day International Conference on Emerging Democracies in Africa with the theme, ``Challenges and Opportunities”. The paper is entitled: ``Legislature, Executive Relationship, Toward Building a Pact for Good Governance and Accountability’’. He said the disagreements between the two arms of government were often exaggerated and over dramatised. He said that in some instances,

such disagreements might help to reinforce mutual respect between the two arms of government and promote accountability Osunbor said that the failure by the executive to implement budgets in full had remained one of the reasons for conflicts between the legislature and the executive. He said that while the executive had the responsibility to manage the economy, the legislature was saddled with the responsibility to know how the resources were being managed. ``As representatives of the people, members of the legislature will always resist any attempt to shut them out of the decision as to who gets what, when

and how,” he said. The former senator enjoined the two arms of government to establish a platform or mechanism to bridge differences that would provide a link between them. He attributed the stability being witnessed by the legislature in the country to the ability of members to elect their officials without external influence. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference, among others, is expected to evaluate the roles and weaknesses of institutions and actors in the democratic process of emerging democracies. (NAN)

doing is - if it is not me, let it die.’’ Okafor noted that the convention that produced Okwu and others from the ward level to the national level was free and fair and had been upheld by a court of competent jurisdiction. Responding, Umeh, factional Chairman of APGA, said that he would not join issues with aides and subordinates. Umeh noted that Okafor should be making his appeal of reconciliation to people at his level. (NAN)

South West Assemblies seek financial autonomy


he Conference of Speakers, South West Zone, yesterday canvassed financial autonomy for the legislature in states. The body made the call in Osogbo during its sensitisation visit to Osun Assembly in continuation of its tour of states in the South West Zone. The Speaker of Osun Assembly, Mr Najeem Salam, said separation of powers could only be exercised if there was financial autonomy for the legislature. In their separate contributions, members of Osun Assembly unanimously supported the call for financial autonomy. Earlier, the Speaker of Ekiti Assembly and Vice Chairman of the body, Mr Adewale Omirin, explained that the visit was to ensure the issue of financial autonomy was integrated in the constitution review process. Omirin said that the state legislature must be financially independent to enable it discharge its constitutional role efficiently. (NAN)



News Extra

Kebbi NDLEA boss worries over importation of drugs, dealers From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


he Kebbi State Commander of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Mr.Ulo Okon, has expressed dismay over the increase in the sale and distribution of Diazepam and Cannabis as well as barons that have escaped arrest in boarder settlements in the state.

In a statement signed by him and made available to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi yesterday, he lamented the increase in drug dealing at boarder towns with Benin Republic, adding that the Agency is working out a modality to curtail this menace in the area. He further explained that recently the Agency had arrested 19 drug suspects while 62.2

kilogrammes of Cannabis had been seized across the state. Four “clients” were admitted for counseling and rehabilitation within two months. Mr. Okon also pointed out that its command has a full-fledged counseling and rehabilitation center for drug addicts and traffickers where addicts are trained in Tailoring, ICT, Barbing

and other skills work. He then urged parents and relatives of affected drug victims to take advantage of the Agency’s counseling and rehabilitation programme to end drug abuse. He however appealed to the residents of border communities to assist the agency to curtail importation of drugs and other illicit acts of drug abuse.


Benue to implement minimum wage for teachers in August


enue State Government has agreed to implement the new minimum wage for primary school teachers in the state. This development is the result of a stakeholders’ meeting held between the government and the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Teachers last week. A Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed between the two parties which states that the implementation of the 18, 000. 00 minimum wage will take effect from 1st August 2013. Subsequently, the NUT has called off its two weeks old strike. When asked by journalists if arrears will be paid to the teachers, the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Alex Adum said there was no difference between the salary structure of the state civil servants and the teachers. From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

Panel beater remanded in prison for killing three months old son


L-R: Minister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufai, and Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Dibu Ojerinde, during the combined policy committee meeting on admission to degree awarding institutions, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

SURE-P: LG chairmen charged on internet facilities From Umar Dankano, Yola


he 21 Local Government Area Chairmen in Adamawa State have been charged to hasten the installation of internet facility bases in their respective councils, without which the target audience cannot access the SURE-P programmes. State Coordinator and Chairman, Implementation Committee of the Federal Government Subsidy Funds, SURE-P, Alhaji Salihu Yunusa Belel, gave the charge in an interview with journalists in Yola, stressing that all their empowerment programmes are being processed through the internet. Alhaji Yunusa Belel said his

committee has sat severally with the council chairmen and has agreed to establish at least one internet facility in their domain for easy access to information on the ongoing SURE-P laudable programmes introduced by President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. “In our several meetings with the council chairmen, we agreed that an internet base would be installed for easy access of our information and programmes in which most of them have complied and we have posted our desk officers and coordinators for counseling and guidance on the programmes”, he said. Belel stated that under the YOU WIN programme which

started last year, 227 women have qualified in Adamawa and have already started processing their funds from N2 million – N10 million respectively. On the Community Service Scheme, he said about 400 youths have been captured who are enjoying the package of the scheme while on the Graduate Intensive Scheme where fresh graduates of various disciplines are employed for training to be self-reliant with a salary of N18, 000 per month, he explained that so far, 3,000 youths have been employed and a balance of 2, 000 youths currently being processed for the programme in the state. According to him, the federal

government through SURE-P Programme doles out over N35 billion while over N200 million comes to Adamawa state SURE-P office monthly for disbursement to beneficiaries under various schemes of the programme. “Let me use this opportunity to call on our teaming youths to patronize this laudable programme that is meant to empower them to be useful to themselves and our society because the federal government via fuel subsidy programme (SURE-P) gives N35 million monthly which is shared by the state offices of SURE-P and my state (Adamawa) receives N200 million monthly for the programme”, he said.

Former Deputy Senate President, Legogie dies at 76 By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


ormer Deputy Senate President and a pioneer member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Albert Legogie, is dead. He was aged 76. Legogie died in a private hospital in Benin City. The Septuagenarian hailed from Ugbekpe Ekperi in Etako Central Local Government Council and represented

Edo North Senatorial district during the ill-fated Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (rtd) transition programme. He was also the Company Secretary and Legal Adviser to the Bendel Newspaper Company, Publishers of the Observer Group of Newspapers and General Manager of New Nigerian Salt Company, Oghareki. Eldest son of the deceased, Victor Legogie, said his aged father “suffered malaria and was taken to the hospital.

He recovered and was brought home. In fact, he was doing well but later, he was ill again and we rushed him back to the hospital and unfortunately he died at the hospital”. “So as you know, my Dad was a man of many parts. So we have to inform the National Assembly and the state government before we will be able to fix a date for his burial. We are consulting with a lot of people. We never expected this, it is shocking to us”

he said. Asked why his late father stayed away from politics before his death, he said “it is not as if he has not been playing politics; it is just that he has been at the background, mentoring people. My dad mentored a lot of politicians. He believed that the younger ones should be given opportunity to take over power. That was his philosophy and that was why he decided to be at the background”.

n 18 year old panel beater, John Terver of Zaki Biam, Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State has been arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court presided over by Mrs. Lilian Tsumba for culpable homicide. According to Police Prosecutor, Patrick Sunday, Terver was on 30th May, 2013 said to have given his three months old son, Aondoyima Terver, a substance suspected to be Novan, which resulted in his death. Following the police investigation, the accused was arrested and charged to court for culpable homicide. Ruling on the matter, Magistrate, Mrs. Lillian Tsumba ordered that the accused be remanded at the Makurdi Federal Prison and adjourned the case to the 23rd of July, 2013 for further hearing. From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi

‘Frequent training helps in effective service delivery’


he Rector of Plateau State Polytechnic, Barkin-Ladi, Mr Dauda Gyemang, has stressed on the need for government workers to have constant training saying it is the key to effective service delivery. Gyemang said this at the opening ceremony of a five-week course organized for local government staff in Jos, Plateau State, adding that the course was packaged by the Human Resources Development Centre of the institution. He said it would enhance greater productivity. According to him, ``The only way to survive and progress as a nation is to continue to train and retrain our workforce; it is the only way to keep the workers in tune with modern trends and global growth.’’ From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos



Super Eagles during one of their training sessions

By Patrick Andrew


he row over their slashed bonus and other allowances is only being suspended until the FIFA Confederation Cup, according to the stand-in skipper of the team Vincent Enyeama. Enyeama said Monday night after the Eagles routed less endowed Iron Warriors of Tahiti in their opening game of the iesta that the issue remained unresolved, but was quick to add that they opted to rest the protest against the NFF’s decision until after the tournament. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that the NFF had slashed the winning bonus of the team from $10,000 to $5,000, but the Eagles rejected the offer of $5,000 after beating the Harambee Stars of Kenya in Nairobi. Further, they declined to accept the $2,500 bonus given to them following the 1-1 draw against the Brave Warriors of Na-

Bonus row not over yet, says Enyeama mibia, instead opted to stage a protest by refusing to board the light to South Africa en route Brazil for the FIFA Confederation Cup. That was last Thursday. They did eventually travel to Brazil after the Senate President, David Mark, intervened by getting the Presidency to wire the difference of the slashed bonus to the team. But they arrived in Brazil some 36 hours before their irst game, which they played and won yesterday.

Enyeama, who had to stand-in in the absence of Joseph Yobo, the substantive skipper of the team, disclosed in Brazil that the matter would not be wished away because the leadership of the NFF must be made to learn to consult widely before taking any serious decision. According to him, while they appreciated the intervention of the leadership of the National Assembly and Presidency as was the case when the Head Coach Stephen Keshi was had to resign over undue inter-

ferences from the leadership of the NFF, the Eagles want the Aminu Maigari-led board to reckon with them into matters patterning to their welfare. Meanwhile, Keshi believes that the bonus row has been resolved following the intervention of the Presidency and the leadership of the NASS. “The issue of the bonuses has been settled. Nothing is holding us back anymore and all we need to do now is play football,” he said.

Onazi may y play p y against g Uruguay g y Flying Eagles con ident • No further injury scare of good outing at World Cup


tephen Keshi was more delighted with the no-injury report in the Super Eagles than the team’s 6-1 trouncing of the Iron Warriors of Tahiti on Monday night. The coach, who lost four key players to injury, heaved a sigh of relief after the team’s doctor con irmed that Ogenyi Onazi, could be it and available for selection for Thursday’s game against Uruguay. Besides, there was no serious injury problem in the team after the match against the French Polynesian players who were very physical. AFCON Golden Boot winner, Emmanuel Emenike, Victor Moses, Gabriel Rueben, Kalu Uche were the known names that were

knocked out of the squad to Brazil because of injury problems. Onazi, whose partnership with Mikel Obi stabilises the mid ield, picked a serious knock against Namibia and the team’s medical team had feared that he might be out for as long as three weeks. But that seems otherwise. “There are no (new) injuries to the players, because I’ve already lost four players. I’m just happy there’s no major problem concerning injuries,” he said evidently delighted. On Onazi, Keshi was optimistic the Lazio player would be available for selection for the encounter with Uruguay, which is likely to play a signi icant role in determining whether or not Nigeria progress from Group B.


he Flying he Flyying Fl ing g Eagles Eagle Ea gl s have have expressed expre ex p sse pre ssed d confidence that they would have a good outing at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey. The team trained twice yesterday ahead of their opening game on Friday. Samm Audu, the team’s media officer, who said this in a statement in Abuja yesterday, declared that the team was the first in Group B to arrive in Kayseri, Turkey. The statement said the team flew from Munich, Germany, to Istanbul where they connected a local flight to Kayseri. They are expected to play two group games there before heading to Istanbul for their final group game. According to the statement, the team

has since has siince checked ch heck ked d into i to their int th thei h ir Hilton H Hil ilton ilt on Hotel H tell Hot in Kayseri. It said that in spite of the highly publicised coverage of the anti-government protest, there were no visible signs of trouble in either Istanbul or Kayseri. The other teams in Group B - Portugal, Cuba and South Korea -- are also expected at the hotel. Debutants Cuba and South Korea will open the U-20 World Cup on Friday afternoon with Nigeria battling Portugal in the second game of the group in a late kick-off also on Friday.



Sports FIFA Confed Cup: Upbeat Eagles arrive in Salvador

Federation Cup: Pillars, Wolves, Sunshine go for broke


igeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Leading elite clubs Kano Pillars, Sunshine Stars and Warri Wolves are among 34 teams that will he Super Eagles yesterday ar- Spaniards will look to pile up the rived in Salvador north-east- goals against Tahiti tomorrow, the be involved in the Round of 64 games of this year’s Federn Brazil yesterday ahead Eagles have con idence they can eration Cup competition today. Wolves go up against Dynamite FC of Benin City at Thursday’s crucial game against overpower Oscar Tabarez’La CeDiego Forlan and Lius Suarez Uru- leste and earn a semi inal ticket the Rojenny Stadium in Oba, near Onitsha while Sunahead of their inal group phase shine Stars, semi inalists in last year’s CAF Champions guay. The Eagles are upbeat especial- tango with world champions Spain League competition, will tackle Fountain FC of Ekiti at the Ilorin Sports Stadium. Pillars, reigning Premier ly after humbling ledglings Iron in Fortaleza on Sunday. League champions, Warriors of Tahiti take on Global Acadand will have to emy FC of Anambra beat Uruguay or at the Con luence Staat worse play a dium in Lokoja. draw to harbour As usual, one canany hope of adnot rule out the tradivancing from the tional FA Cup upsets group. overnor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom yesterday established a Bureau and today’s matches Spain’s Furia for Sports and Youth Development to replace Ministry of Youth and may not be exception Roja (Red Fury) Sports. but for now none can who edged UruThis was contained in a statement issued in Uyo by the Secretary to say for sure which of guay 2-1 in the State Government, Mr Umana Okon Umana, in Uyo. the big guns will fall irst match of the According to the statement, the development which he said is meant to serve by the way side. pool on Sunday the people better, will see the bureau will take over the activities of the scrapped ministry Only four matchnight, are second “As part of efforts at restructuring the machinery of his government, Gov. es are to be decided behind the AfriGodswill Akpabio, has approved the establishment of the Bureau for Sports and between this weekcan champions on Youth Development,’’ it stated. end and next week goals difference. Wednesday, for variWhile the


Akpabio scraps Ministry of Youth and Sports


ous reasons. The match between Enugu Rangers and Danlawan of Jigawa will come up next week Wednesday at the Jos Township Stadium, as the Coal City Antelopes are involved in this year’s CAF Confederation Cup competition. Yarma Light of Gombe square up against Akwa United in Katsina on Sunday, while Gateway FC tackles Premier League side 3SC in Akure same day and Prime FC of Osogbo and Bayelsa United do battle in Benin City on Tuesday next week. Teams J. Atete FC Sharks FC Plateau Utd Warri Wolves Sportlight Apa United Kano Pillars Gombe Utd Adamawa Utd Nembe City Fountain FC Enyimba FC Dolphins FC Akwa Starlet Kaduna Utd Arewa Pillars

Matches today vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs vs

Venue Insurance Akure Kogi Utd Warri Wikki Kano Dynamite Rojenny Bagu Mission Kaduna El-Kanemi Bauchi Global Academy Lokoja Bussdor Abuja Nasarawa Utd Gombe Igbo Amb. Owerri Sunshine Ilorin Police Machine A/Ekiti NAF FC Benin City Kwara Utd Oghara Unicem Rovers K/Ala ABS FC Kaduna

A ll Ni ge r ia Cha mpionships

Okagbare leads star-glut field to Calabar today By Patrick Andrew


igeria’s 100m leading light and women current champion, Blessing Okagbare, leads a rich ield of both foreign and home-based athletes to the All Nigerian Athletics Championships, which takes off the block today.

Blessing+Okagbare sprinting during one of the Olympic races

The event, a follow up from the Warri Classic last, will see the champion, whose records of 11.00 seconds and 22.31 in 200m in 100m and 200m respectively, will be contested, comes up at the UJ Esuene Stadium Calabar. The multi-talented US-based runner, that only last month was second behind Jester in a major meets, is the record holder in long jump with 6.92m. Also expected to vie her for honour are the likes Regina George, a quartermiler, Biola Onakoya, Doreen Amata, Omolara Omotosho, Chinazom Amadi, Gloria Asumnu and Bukola Abogunloko. Also, among the males are Ogho-Oghene Egwero, Noah Akwu, Shola Anola, Tosin Oke, Salim Nurudeen and a host of other foreign and home-based athletes. The championships will serve as trials to select the country’s representatives to the forthcoming 14th IAAF World Championships scheduled to hold from August 18 to August 21 in Moscow. Besides, the 54 junior athletes who are scheduled to participate in the African Junior Championships in South Africa next will equally feature. Of icials said the Calabar meet will allow them the chance to re-evaluate mental and physical conditions of the athletes ahead of the continental iesta. Peoples Daily Sports recalls that Nigeria won the earlier edition held in Warri and of icials of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) have been working assiduously for a repeat performance. Meanwhile, Ene iok Udo-Ubong, a former Olympian, has urged athletes intending to participate in the upcoming All Nigeria Athletics Championships billed for Calabar, to put up their best performance. ``Basically it is a place where all the talents come to compete for the sole purpose of choosing the best of the best, it’s an amazing avenue,’’ he said. Udo-Ubong said in Lagos yesterday that the championship would be an avenue for the athletes to assess themselves-- competition-wise. Udo-Ubong, who was a member of the country’s quartet that won gold in the 4x400m event at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, also charged the athletes to aim for worldwide recognition for themselves. ``Athletes should grab this opportunity wisely and com-

pete to get worldwide recognition by qualifying for the IAAF World Championship in Athletics in Moscow,’’ the former Olympian said. He also commended the Cross River government for deeming it necessary to sponsor the event for the bene it of the country’s teeming youths. ``it’s really good that the state government is helping. It’s

Tosin Oke




Inte r national Transf er

Real Madrid desperate to pin down Cristiano Ronaldo, offer N317bn


eal Madrid are desperate to keep their prize star, Cristiano Ronaldo, as a result they are dangling €155m or N317, 750 billion (at the current rate of N205 per euro) to secure the Portuguese player in their fold. Already, Madrid are in advanced talks with Ronaldo’s representatives over the deal that will a period of five years. Should the deal be sealed, Ronaldo will earn €15m annually after tax in what will be the most lucrative contract in the history of the game. Ronaldo, who has scored 201 goals in just 199 games in his four seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, raised alarm bells on Thursday when he posted a cryptic message on Twitter which read simply: “All the news about my renewal with Real Madrid are false.” Days earlier, however, he revealed his intention to remain at the Spanish side beyond his current contract, which expires in 2015. The former Manchester United had issues with Real following the club’s a lack of public support from the club in the race for the Ballon d’Or, a fall-out with team-mate Marcelo and the club’s apparent unwillingness to discuss a new deal. His once robust relationship with Jose Mourinho went soar a few months ago over a tactical correction made by Mourinho in a game against Valencia in January. Madrid signed Ronaldo from Manchester United in a world-record €94 million deal back in the summer of 2009, following Florentino Perez’s return to the presidency at the capital club. He currently earns around €10m annually after tax. When Ronaldo arrived, however, the socalled ‘Beckham Law’, which allowed foreigners who had lived in Spain for less than 10 years and who earned above €120,000 per annum to pay a lower tax rate of around 23 per cent and not the usual 45%, was still in force. David Beckham was one of the first to take advantage of the law after his move from Manchester United in 2003. However, the Spanish government has since scrapped that initiative and a new deal would see Ronaldo required to pay 52% of his salary to the taxman. Hence, Madrid will be faced with an annual outlay close to €31m in order to pay the Portuguese the

net €15m he has asked for. Madrid, however, are aware of the importance of keeping Cristiano. The capital club missed out on Neymar recently, while they look to be frustrated in their pursuit of Dortmund duo Ilkay Gundogan and Robert Lewandowski. Other previous transfer targets, such as Sergio Aguero and Radamel Falcao, will not be arriving either, while Gareth Bale is expensive and unwilling to force a move and Edinson Cavani is considered overpriced by the Madrid board. Ronaldo’s renewal, therefore, assumes even greater importance. President Perez has already revealed Real’s intention to make the Portuguese the cornerstone of the club’s next sporting project. “I want to build Real Madrid around Cristiano Ronaldo,” he said late last month. “And I want Cristiano to be the best-paid player in the world.” Madrid are ready to meet Ronaldo’s wage demands and make the Portuguese a higher earner than Lionel Messi, who takes home around €13m before bonuses at Barcelona, and Falcao, who will bring in €14m annually at Monaco. Samuel Eto’o earns €20m per year at Anzhi Makhachkala, although the Cameroonian is on just a three-year deal and his total package will be surpassed by Ronaldo’s Real contract. The one sticking point currently is the player’s image rights. Cristiano currently has a 60 per cent share (of which he pays a third to Jorge Mendes’ company Gestifute), while the club keep 40%. The Portuguese is keen to improve that ratio and his recent tweet, as well as news stories leaked to press over a stalemate in negotiations, is thought to be two tactics used in conjunction with Mendes in order to apply pressure on the club. However, both parties are confident an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks. Culled from Goal

Sevilla welcome Liverpool interest in Alberto


evilla sporting director Monchi has said Liverpool’s initial offer for attacker Luis Alberto is good, but not good enough. The Merseyside club’s interest in the 21-year-old, who claimed 11 goals and set up another 17 on loan at Barca B last season, has been well documented in Spain, and an €8 million bid rumoured to have been tabled. Monchi also talked about a potential summer move for last season’s top scorer Alvaro Negredo, who reportedly favours a move to Atletico Madrid but is also interesting Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, West Ham and Everton. Left-back Santiago Luna, recently on loan at Real Mallorca,

was close to a permanent move to Aston Villa, he said. He added that midfielders Ivan Rakitic and Gary Medel were not for sale, while the club hoped Geoffrey Kondogbia would stay despite his complicated ownership situation, which involves third party investors the Doyen Group, and reported interest from Real Madrid, Arsenal and Juventus. Meanwhile, Liverpool have told Luis Suarez to submit a written transfer request if he wishes to force through his departure from Anfield, according to club sources. The striker has repeatedly said he wants out, has yet to confirm confirm officially to senior figures at Anfield of his decision.


Ethiopia hand S/Africa lifeline, admit fielding ineligible player


thiopia soccer officials have admitted fielding an ineligible player in a World Cup qualifier and are resigned to being stripped of three points, potentially handing South Africa and Botswana a 2014 lifeline. “We have evaluated the situation and we came across the issue that we made a mistake,” Ethiopian Football Federation president Sahilu Gebremariam told Reuters. FIFA had announced on Sunday it was investigating allegations that Ethiopia had fielded an ineligible player, Minyahile Beyene, in their 2-1 win in Botswana on June 8. He was yellow-carded twice. The disclosure came after a 2-1 win over South Africa in Addis Ababa secured them top place in Group A and a place in the final phase of the African qualifiers for the 2014 finals in Brazil. That win ended South Africa and Botswana

2014 World Cup hopes as Ethiopia opened an unassailable five-point lead in the group. That’s no longer so. Should Ethiopia be and redistributed, Ethiopia will have 10 points, South Africa will be on eight and Botswana on seven with each team having one match left to play in Round 2. In their last Round 2 matches on September 6, Ethiopia play away against Central African Republic, while South Africa host Botswana. Already, Burkina Faso and Gabon lost points for fielding Cameroon-born players who were ineligible to play for their national teams and Sudan lost three points for using a suspended player. There also cases pending against Equatorial Guinea, for using imported players from Brazil and Colombia in their recent World Cup qualifiers, and Togo, who played with an ineligible player when they beat Cameroon earlier this month.


Some Interesting Facts The people who live on Tristan da Cunha are over 2,000km (about 1,300 miles) from their nearest neighbours on the island of St. Helena. That’s nearly as far as Moscow is from London. The temperature of Earth increases about 36 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) for every kilometer (about 0.62 miles) you go down. The age of the earth is Loudly proclaimed by the scientific establishment of evolution believers and the mass media as being around 4.6 billion years old. Life began in the seas 3.1 billion to 3.4 billion years ago. Land dwellers appeared 400 million years ago, a relatively recent point in the geologic time line. The Peregrine Falcon around 200mph (320 km/h) is the fastest bird on the planet, the top speed recorded is 242.3mph (390 km/h). The flower with the world’s largest bloom is the Rafflesia arnoldii. This rare flower is found in the rainforests of Indonesia. It can grow to be 3 feet across and weigh up to 15 pounds. About 70% of the world’s fresh water is stored as glacial ice. Total fertility rate of the world is 2.59 children born/ woman. Niger is 7.46 (highest), India is 2.73, US is 2.09


Leisure & Hong Kong is 0.95 only (Lowest). Blue whales are found throughout the world’s oceans, the lifespan is estimated to be 80 years & population is between 1300 & 2000 only, its dangerously low. There is no land at all at the North Pole, only ice on top of sea. The Arctic Ocean has about 12 million sq km of floating ice and has the coldest winter temperature of -34 degrees centigrade. A 1960 Chilean earthquake was the strongest earthquake in recent times, which occurred off the coast, had a magnitude of 9.6 and broke a fault more than 1000

miles (1600 kilometers) long. The distance from the surface of Earth to the center is about 3,963 miles (6,378 kilometers). The coldest temperature ever measured on Earth was -129 Fahrenheit (-89 Celsius) at Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983. About 20 to 30 volcanoes erupt each year, mostly under the sea. Continents are typically defined as landmasses made of low-density rock that essentially floats on the molten material below. Greenland fits this description. Lake Bosumtwi in Ghana

formed in a hollow made by a meteorite. Baikal Lake in Russian Fed. is the deepest lake (5315 ft) in the world. El Azizia in Libya recorded a temperature of 136 degrees Fahrenheit (57.8 Celsius) on Sept. 13, 1922 - the hottest ever measured. The Antarctic ice sheet is 3-4 km thick, covers 13 million sq km and has temperatures as low as -70 degrees centigrade. The world’s windiest place is Commonwealth Bay, Antartica with winds regularly exceeding 150 miles per hour.

Say what?



Driving for success: Four young students wearing their smart shirts and trousers squeeze onto a moped as they make their way to school. Source:

. . . putting the people first



Classy Spain retain U21 title


hiago Alcantara inspired Spain Under-21s to European Championship glory, with the reported Manchester United target hitting a hat-trick as Italy were defeated in Jerusalem. The 22-year-old Barcelona midfielder has been regularly linked with a move to Old Trafford and saw his considerable stock rise further as Spain stylishly disposed of the country of his birth. Alcantara, part of the Spain side that won the tournament in Denmark two years ago, headed home his first after just six minutes, but Italy were quickly level through a fine Ciro Immobile goal. Spain regained the lead through Alcantara in the 31st minute, before the son of Brazilian 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho completed his hat-trick with a penalty seven minutes later. Manchester City target Isco added to Alcantara’s treble in the second half and, despite a nervy ending following a strike from Liverpool’s Fabio Borini, but La Rojita retained their title in style. Spain dominated from the outset and took an early lead through Alcantara, who headed home an Alvaro Morata cross from close range. It was an impressive goal but one that was soon cancelled out as Giulio Donati played a wonderfully-weighted ball from the back, which Immobile controlled before dinking over Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea. Spain quickly returned to the attack and goalkeeper Francesco Bardi had to be alert to deny Morata after the Real Madrid striker was put through by Alcantara. The Inter Milan goalkeeper was again called into action soon after to stop Koke flicking home a Cristian Tello cross.

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Did I say I am Rivers state governor? How can I be impersonating him? — Governor David Jang of Plateau state, reacting to Rivers Governor, Rotimi Amaechi’s accusation that the former is impersonating him as Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum.

Nigerian woman caught between benevolence and rape A

re there countries in which women are worse treated than in Nigeria? Yes, I would say, there are, especially in those dictatorships that profess to practising Islam in the way it should not, and in all those countries, where capitalism has transformed women into sex slaves. In this country under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, there has been a very visible effort to raise the involvement of women in public affairs. Despite their disadvantages in other areas, women in large number have been made ministers. One of them Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is both Minister of Finance and the de-facto Prime Minister, the highest-ever position achieved by any woman in Nigeria. There has equally been a rise in the number of women achievers in fields as diverse as business, entertainment and sports. As many are bound to believe, we live in a country where most of the population is underprivileged, and so therefore, one cannot isolate women and talk about their problems. But to say this is to make a grave omission of the prejudices and crimes against women that are so pervasive and deep-rooted. Crimes against women have crossed all limits and must therefore become a matter for serious concern to the authorities in Nigeria. The fact that we have a woman “Prime Minister” and CEOs of banks and corporations does not mean that women in Nigeria have freedom and safety. The recent conviction by a Magistrate’s Court in Kiyawa, Jigawa State of a senior



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Garba Shehu

Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina academic and professor (names withheld) of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria has tragically highlighted the type of sexual harassment women (married and unmarried) suffer in work places. In pleading for a remission of his sentence to a two months period of imprisonment, the Professor confessed to his sexual predation and pleaded his age, saying he was a grandfather. The universities in the country have for some time now become “free zones” where the Nigerian State has ceased to exist and no cases of rape or sexual harassment get any serious attention. In fact victims in such cases are often

told to remain silent for the sake of propriety. The rising incidence of rape against women calls in particular the need for urgent government attention and a roll-back plan. A recent survey by the Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA), investigating the reasons for high HIV prevalence and lower age of first sex among adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years found that “forced sex was the main reason for sexual debut” after love and peer pressure. Thirty-one percent (31%) of girls, many of them with HIV reported that their first sexual debut is rape. Many blame the Nollywood and foreign movies for the rising incidence of rape, which in my view is largely untrue because there are millions of people like myself who watch movies daily and don’t think that rape is the right way to go. No one would, however, deny that Nollywood is a bad reflection of the Nigerian society when it comes to the issue of women. In movies such as “Blackberry Babes” and “Fazebook Babes”, women are portrayed, to quote the words of another writer, “as cold and two-timing, always in search of a rich man o r sugar daddy… (films) do their bit in

In this country, rape occurs in some police stations, in the Aso Rock in the reported case of a Personal Assistant to President Jonathan and for which a clampdown of silence was allegedly imposed on Villa staff and, as many Nigerians would recall, in the hallowed palaces of our rulers as in the celebrated story of the “royal rape” involving the Youth Corp member who narrated how a traditional ruler raped her during service. Military operations like the one in Odi, Bayelsa State have often been dogged by allegations of rape

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normalizing rape culture in Nigeria and generating sympathy for rapists and abusers. There is also a truism in assentions made to the effect that rape happens because of the Nigerian culture. One Morufu Garba, a fake prophet was recently nabbed by the police in Ebute-metta area of Lagos. His victim, one Aminat Ajale told “Crime Alert” that Garba requested to have a few words with her and from the moment he tapped her shoulders, she lost control of her senses and action. In this country, rape occurs in some police stations, in the Aso Rock in the reported case of a Personal Assistant to President Jonathan and for which a clampdown of silence was allegedly imposed on Villa staff and, as many Nigerians would recall, in the hallowed palaces of our rulers as in the celebrated story of the “royal rape” involving the Youth Corp member who narrated how a traditional ruler raped her during service. Military operations like the one in Odi, Bayelsa State have often been dogged by allegations of rape. None of these, in their horrid details amount to the chilling rate of South Africa rapes where a uniquely rape phenomenon, the “corrective rape” by which lesbians are targeted and raped to “cure” their sexuality is currently sparking a massive outrage. This notwithstanding, the treatment of women in Nigeria leaves one with no option than to say it is regressive and depressive. As many are bound to argue, there are many communities in this country in which it is the man who is at the receiving end from the woman. This is true in many homes where the woman is the bread winner and the poor man would just fear to even comment. But to tell the truth, both government and the citizens need to come out of their deep denial and act together to roll back the pervasive crime and prejudice against our women. To borrow the words of Mrs. Onikepo Oshodi, President, Women Empowerment Movement, “we want the government to come out and tell us what their position is especially the Ministry of Women Affairs. We cannot continue to watch like this. They have to do more than they are doing.”

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

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 19, June, 2013  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Wednesday 19, June, 2013