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Vol. 13 No. 66

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

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Chibok: Air Force intensifies aerial surveillance

. . . putting the people first

Rajab 21, 1435 AH

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Police avert another bomb explosion in Kano


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Again, Reps minority whip's father kidnapped in Edo

Chibok girls

No talks with Boko Haram – FG  British rescue plane breaks down >>pg 2

Kano state Governor, Engineer Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso (middle), addressing journalists during his visit to the site of Sunday night’s bomb blast, yesterday at Sabon Gari, in Kano. With him are his Deputy, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje (Left of the governor), the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Ade Shinaba (1st right), military officers, and government officials.

Jonathan in crucial meeting with security chiefs By Evelyn Okakwu


wo days after his return from a regional summit in France, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday held a

closed door meeting with service chiefs to review the security situation in the country. Although journalists were not briefed after the meeting, it was gathered that the ongoing

efforts to rescue the over 200 Chibok school girls abducted over a month ago, as well as Sunday night’s bomb blast in Kano in which 10 people were feared killed, were discussed.

A source told State House journalists that the president demanded an update from the service chiefs on the ongoing search-and-rescue operations on the Chibok abduction.

The meeting, it was learnt, also discussed the decisions reached at the regional security summit on Nigeria held weekend in Paris, at the instance of Presi Contd on Page 2

























Chibok girls: No talks with Boko Haram – FG  British rescue plane breaks down By Ahmed I. Shekarau, with agency reports


he Nigerian government has said that it is not in discussions with the dreaded Boko Haram sect on modalities for the release of the over 200 school girls abducted in Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state, since last month. A British newspaper, Telegraph, reported on Sunday that the federal government of Nigeria was in indirect talks with the sect on possibility of securing the release of the abductees, with or without conditions. "Contrary to the public rejection of any swap deal by the Nigerian government, there are some on-the-ground talks taking place. An agreement was reached about two or three days ago in principle to start releasing some prisoners", the newspaper quoted an unnamed source close to Boko

Haram as saying. However, the Nigerian government vehemently denied this claim yesterday, saying there was no iota of truth in the story published by the British newspaper. Head of an Information Management Centre newly established in Abuja, Mike Omeri, told the Hausa service of the BBC in an interview monitored yesterday, that the government does not rely on media reports carrying out its operations. Rather, it deals in concrete matters through appropriate channels of engagement with various governments and other stakeholders, said Mr. Omeri, who is also director general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA). Reiterating the government's rebuttal of the Telegraph story, he said while some media reports are true, not all could be said to be factual and accurate, adding

that this particular one on the purported talks with Boko Haram was "absolutely untrue". He however assured that the Nigerian government was doing its best to ensure the release and return of the abducted Chibok school girls to their families in safe and sound health. Meanwhile, Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD), said yesterday that a spy plane sent to help in the search for the kidnapped schoolgirls kidnapped had been grounded en route due to a fault. “A technical fault which has delayed the Sentinel aircraft on its way to Ghana is being investigated and will be solved as soon as possible,” Agence France Presse (AFP) quoted a MoD statement as saying. “In the meantime the UK military team continues its work on the ground while other surveillance aircraft continue the search for the missing schoolgirls”, the

statement said. AFP reported the Times as saying that the Royal Air Force jet had taken off from Waddington base in east England as planned, but the crew soon noticed a fault. They decided to fly on and eventually touched down in Senegal, where the plane is now being repaired. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced last week he had offered Nigeria the surveillance plane and a military team to help with the search for more than 200 missing schoolgirls abducted over a month ago. The Ministry of Defence clarified that one Sentinel plane would be sent. Specialist teams from the United States, Britain, France and Israel have been sent to help in the search operation, which Nigeria’s military has said is concentrated on the Sambisa forest area of Borno state.

ECOWAS set to tackle Boko Haram By Ikechukwu Okaforadi

Govt should stop sponsoring pilgrimages - Lemu – Page 9















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he Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has resolved to invoke necessary sections of its laws including military might to fight the Boko Haram insurgents ravaging parts of the sub region especially northern Nigeria. A statement issued yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Senate President, Paul Mumeh, said the Ghanaian President, John Mahama announced this when he declared open the 2014 First Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja Nigeria today. Mahama, who spoke through the Vice President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah Arthur, said ECOWAS condemned in strong terms

the activities of Boko Haram and promised that the Sub-regional body will do everything possible to fight the insurgents. The Ghanaian leader said, "We condemn in the strongest of terms, the continuous killing of innocent Nigerians in parts of the North. We shall invoke relevant sections of our laws to fight this crime. The recent abduction of over 200 school girls in Chibok is reprehensible and so disheartening. No decent society will accept this”. Mahama urged ECOWAS Parliament to cooperate and support the governments of the sub region in the fight against insurgency. In his speech, the Senate President of Nigeria, David Mark who

represented President Goodluck Jonathan, told the gathering that the Boko Haram activities have negatively affected the economic and socio-political life of Nigerians. According to Mark, “Terrorism and insurgency are alien to our culture. We must therefore stand united against it in all its ramifications. We will continue to seek regional and international collaboration in the fight against these crimes which by their nature are transnational”. The Senate President therefore called for understanding to ensure that the West African sub region renowned for her unity, cooperation, brotherly love and peaceful coexistence continues to maintain and improve on this. Mark said that recent events

have shown that there is a crescendo of regional security challenges that requires us to fortify our democratic institutions in order to be able to confront and overcome these issues. Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Toga Gayewa Mcintosh, in his remarks, said peace and security is imperative as the bed rock for development and integration in Africa. Also speaking, the Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, who doubles as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, promised that the Legislature would lay the necessary frame work for the governments of the sub- region to tackle the menace of Boko Haram and insurgency.

tion Centre, Abuja, said already, discussions and collaborations are on-going between Nigeria and the countries offering assistance in the search for the missing girls. Dousing insinuations that Nigerians troops were not engaged in search for the girls, the Centre displayed photographs showing members of the armed forces in various locations in the region. Earlier, Coordinator of the Centre, Mr. Mike Omeri, who is Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), had disclosed that there were active land and air patrols by troops within the North-east, and that Nigeria and her partners were in

constant touch with each other on the issue. Omeri expressed official suspicion that the threat letter allegedly sent to a secondary school in Makurdi, Benue state, about Boko Haram terrorists was a handiwork of mischief makers and probably not from the sect. “But we will not take things for granted and so, security measures have been taken around the school to ensure maximum protection. It could also be the handiwork of copy cat criminals. Security forces are not taking chances. A copy of the handwritten letter is being carefully studied for further action”, Frank Mba, spokesperson for the Nigeria Police clarified.

Jonathan in crucial meeting with security chiefs Contd from Front Page dent Francois Hollande. The two-hour meeting, which was held in the president’s office, was attended by Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Kenneth Minimah, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu. Also in attendance were the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Ita Ekpeyong.

Chibok: Air Force intensifies aerial surveillance

Meanwhile, as global outcry continues unabated over the abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) said yesterday that it has continued its intense surveillance of the entire North-east region of the country. Defence spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, who revealed this at the daily media briefing by the National Informa-




Yoruba groups insist on regional autonomy From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ome Yoruba groups yesterday threatened that the Yoruba nation would secede from Nigeria if not granted regional autonomy. The groups, led by Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), a panYoruba group, includes the Yoruba Assembly, Afenifere Renewal Group, Atayase, Agbekoya Reformed Society, Oodua Nationalist Coalition, and Oodua Foundation said that it has become imperative for the Yoruba people to discuss the nature of their relationship within Nigeria. The groups expressed displeasure that many of its demands at the conference had been thrown away as Northern groups in the conference had ganged up to defeat autonomy for the regions. ARG General Secretary, Ayo Afolabi, addressing a news conference to unveil the Publication of “Regional Autonomy or Nothing” at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota in Lagos, said, “We have a country where we are not happy with what is happening. We hope the opportunity of the confab will be used to address these issues. If it doesn’t work for us, then we go our separate ways. “We are therefore baffled at the ‘take-it-or-Ieave-it’ attitude of delegates from other ethnic nationalities, particularly the Northern delegates, who circulated a document full of fallacies few weeks ago. Those fallacies have now been exposed by the facts and figures contained in the publication we are unveiling today.” Afolabi said it was inconceivable that northern leaders were the ones leading the campaign against devolution of power and restructuring of government, saying that if any region needed a stronger

federating unit with greater capacity to provide education, health, security, wealth creation and other social amenities, it was the North where strong links exist between the level of poverty and conscription of innocent youths into extremist tendencies. “It appears Northern leaders are not concerned, and indeed have no plan for the teeming youth from the region, as long as they are able to continue clinging to their hold on power. However, we are never in doubt that regionalism is the most viable instrument for a stronger and united Nigeria.” He stated that the Yoruba people demanded a regional government with its own constitution and unfettered political and fis-

cal autonomy, except on issues it agreed to cede to the Federal Government, adding that the southwest region must include all Yoruba people outside the imposed artificial boundaries in Edo, Delta, Kogi and Kwara states. Afolabi said the Yoruba people demanded a negotiated legislative exclusive, concurrent and residual list as well as a unicameral legislature at the centre, as details of the Regional legislature shall be clearly set out in the Constitution. Afenifere also demanded a new people‘s Constitution, saying that the resolutions and conclusions of the 2014 National Conference shall lead to an autonomous Constitution, that is a home-grown and all inclusive

draft that shall be submitted to the Nigerian electorate voting in a Referendum. The group further demanded a special status for Lagos as the economic nerve centre of Nigeria and the West African sub-region. “We are not enforcing our demands on others. They are free to explore whatever suits them while we should be free to organise our governance the way it suits us. For us, Yoruba people, we demand regional autonomy for the southwest region within a united Nigeria. Yoruba people will effectively communicate to all other ethnic nationalities an understanding of the aims and objectives of the Yoruba people,” Afolabi added.

Kano state Police Command intercepted Mitsubishi Station Wagon car loaded with assorted gas cylinders, one container of fuel and other electrical components of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), yesterday in Kano.

Sect’s activities preceded Boko Haram leaders Jonathan’s govt - Aliyu not from Borno – Shehu From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna & Elizabeth Embu


iger state Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has said that the activities of the Boko Haram sect, preceded President Goodluck Jonathan, saying the sect was not aimed at frustrating the 2015 bid of the President. Aliyu made the remarks yesterday at the 2014 National Conference of Directors of Planning, Research and Statistics (DPRS) held at JLK International Conference Centre in Minna. "Boko Haram did not start with President Goodluck Jonathan, and it is not aimed at stopping Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential election", Aliyu said. He revealed that the activities of the dreaded sect started as far back as the 1990’s in Yobe state and that since then it has been escalating because of lack of political will to stop the sect from wreaking havoc on Nigerians.

The governor also said that the activities of Boko Haram were different from those of the Niger Delta militants, calling on Nigerians to shun sentiment and face the issues of terminating the activities of the sect to restore peace in the country. Aliyu described the sect as a ‘social malaise’ that had hit the north, and caused serious debate among various Islamic scholars. While calling on the Presidency to look properly into the letters of agreements it signed with other countries helping in the fight against the sect, Aliyu called on the Jonathan led administration to ensure that the foreign allies over stay their period of operations in the country. He also castigated those that have been criticizing the rebasing of the country’s economy, saying the rebasing of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was not a gimmick by government but an accurate statistical data of the development of the national economy.


he Shehu of Borno, Dr. Abubakar Ibn Garbai, yesterday declared that the leaders of the violent Islamic sect, Boko Haram are not indigenes of the state. The Shehu of Borno made the remark yesterday when the Presidential fact finding committee on Chibok, led by the Spokesperson of the Committee, Kingsley Osadolor, visited him in his Palace. He described the abduction of over 200 secondary school girls in Borno State as unfortunate, saying, "What is happening now is unfortunate. It's entirely new to us. None of the leaders of Boko Haram is from Borno. They cannot claim to be from here. The problem was brought to us from elsewhere." The traditional ruler said the people of Borno were peace-loving people, and that the Borno Empire had been in existence for about 1,200 years. Also speaking, the Chairman of the committee, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Sabo (rtd) recalled that Maiduguri

which was a famous centre in the Trans-Sahara Trade, regretted that the city and the state had suffered severe socio-economic dislocation as a result of insurgency in recent years. He said: "We are now in the main theatre where the Chibok schoolgirls were taken away against their will. The whole world is mobilized against the abduction, and we cannot be happy while our daughters remain in captivity." He said that the committee had an open mind to the assignment, saying, "We are not here with preconceived notions. We are here to find facts that will lead to a resolution of the current hostage crisis involving the schoolgirls." He called for the cooperation of all concerned, saying, the Committee, while in Borno State, would engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, to enable the Committee have a holistic appreciation of the matter at hand, and advise the Federal Government accordingly.

Police avert another bomb explosion in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano & Joy Baba, Abuja


ano state police command has averted another deadly bomb explosion in the Sabon Gari city of Kano yesterday, just shortly after an explosion rocked the Sabon Gari city on Sunday. Commissioner of police in Kano, Aderenle Shinaba, who spoke to journalists in Kano yesterday, said that officers under his command discovered another car primed with explosives in Sabon Gari city of Kano. Shinaba told journalists at the scene of the blast yesterday, that the car was abandoned by a would be suicide bomber after his men intensified patrol in the city shortly after the first car bomb went off. “A Mitsubishi car ash in colour was discovered by our men along Tafawa Balewa road in the city, primed with two gas cylinders wired with a 25 liters of petroleum; our men has since diffused it, residents should be more vigilant and assist the police in dealing with these terrorist”, he stated. Shinaba confirmed the death of four persons and the suicide bomber, while seven others sustained injuries, revealing that three out of the deceased were male and a girl in secondary school. He pleaded with Kano residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement in their respective areas to the security agents. Meanwhile, normalcy has returned to the Sabon Gari area, as residents were seeing going about their normal business, with increase in police patrol around the area. The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mbah, in a statement he signed, said “The Police in Kano yesterday at about 9:00am averted what could have been another devastating bomb blast in the ancient city of Kano. “Kano Police operatives, acting on intelligence, tracked and recovered a Mitsubishi Station Wagon car, ash in colour, with registration number Kano - AE 756 GSW, loaded with assorted gas cylinders, one container of fuel and other electrical components of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)”, Mbah said. The statement further said the vehicle was recovered at Tafawa Balewa Street, Nasarawa area and has since been rendered safe by Police Bomb Disposal experts. Meanwhile, the security agencies in Kano have commenced investigation into both the aborted blast, as well as the last night bomb incident in Sabon Gari city of Kano.




Abduction: FG’s Fact-Finding Committee commences sitting in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


embers of the Presidential Fact-Finding Committee on the Abduction of Chibok schoolgirls yesterday commenced a closed-door sitting with relevant security operatives, representatives of parents of the abducted girls, government officials and other stakeholders in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital. Spokesman of the committee Mr. Kingsley Osadolor, disclosed this in a statement , saying on ar-

rival, the committee has visited the Shehu of Borno Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi in his palace. During a courtesy call on the Shehu of Borno at his palace on the committee’s Chairman BrigGeneral Ibrahim Sabo, (rtd) said that the committee had entered a crucial phase of its assignment. ``We are now in the main theatre where the Chibok schoolgirls were taken away against their will. The whole world is mobilised against the abduction, and we cannot be happy while our daughters remain in captivity,” he said.

He added that the committee had an open mind to its assignment. “We are not here with preconceived notions. We are here to find facts that will lead to a resolution of the current hostage crisis involving the schoolgirls.” According to the statement, during its assignment in the state,

the committee would engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, to enable the it has a holistic appreciation of the matter at hand, and advise the Federal Government accordingly. He, therefore, solicited the support and cooperation of stakeholders and other concerned indi-

viduals to enable the committee realise a fruitful result. In his remarks, the monarch tasked the committee to ensure justice abs equity in its assignment and expressed readiness of the state council of chiefs to partner with committer to ensure better results.

Legislators’ salaries: Court awards N20, 000 costs against NASS From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


Federal High Court sitting in Benin yesterday, awarded the sum of N20,000.00 as cost against the National Assembly over alleged delay in responding to the application one Chief Patrick Osagie Eholor. The applicant Counsel, Barrister Dan Ogbegie, relying on section 1 (1,2&3), section 2, 4,7 and 20 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011, had told the court to compel the clerk of National Assembly to disclose the allowances of the duo from June 2007 till date. In a suit No. FHC/B/CS/94/13 the applicant among others demanded for the allowances, salaries and other emoluments and

monies released to two National Assembly members, Senator Ehigie Uzamere representing (Edo south senatorial district) and Hon. Engr. Nosakhare Osahon representing Ovia North East Federal Constituency. The presiding Judge, Justice Lima George, in his ruling, expressed surprise at the kind of order the plaintiff counsel is seeking haven’t been served two motions (order of mandamus and extension of time). He opined that “the non-attachment of exhibit does not distract from the responsibility of your reply. This is an argument for laziness” and thereafter awarded the sum of N10,000 as cost unnecessary argument and N10,000 for the applicant.

Chibok: Shettima won’t join issues with Dokubo – Aide From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


orno state Governor, Kashim Shettima’s Special Adviser on Communications and spokesman, Isa Gusau, yesterday said his boss will not trade words with a jester like exNiger Delta militant leader, Asari Dokubo over the missing schoolgirls abduction saga. Gusau spoke in reaction to some media reports yesterday, quoting Dokubo alleging that no girl was abducted in Chibok and that Governor Shettima and his party, the APC staged a political scam on the kidnap to hit at President Goodluck Jonathan ahead off 2015 elections. “Governor Shettima is too serious-minded to reply Asari Dokubo, who is just a joker as most Nigerians regard him. As a one-time journalist covering the Niger Delta, I had come in direct contact with Asari when he organised a rally in support of late Gaddafi in Port Harcourt and also when he organised the 2011/2012 Isaac Boro Lecture in Port Harcourt,

which he kept interrupting, taking over the microphone from people like respected lawyers like Festus Keyamo, intermittently speaking without protocol and without shame like a child. He is just a joke; no reasonable Nigerian takes him serious. He was reported saying Chibok abduction was a sham. I won’t be surprised if by next week the same Asari Dokubo leads another rally to counter the one he just held”, the spokesman said. How can Governor Shettima reply a jester? How can he respond to such a play by Asari that falls far below the standard of Nollywood, when he is busy working very hard with all relevant bodies finding ways on how to secure the freedom of his and Borno’s precious daughters in captivity?” Gusau queried. He added that Dokubo is one of those attracting very negative impression against the Presidency, noting the “earlier the Presidency distances its self from Asari, the quicker his childish views don’t do further damage to those he tries to please”.

L-R: Senate President David Mark, Ghana Vice President, Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Attah, and Deputy Senate President and Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, after the foundation laying ceremony of the new office complex of ECOWAS Parliament, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

NGE urges FG to rescue Chibok girls By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), has urged the federal government to live up to its promise to free the over 200 school girls abducted in Chibok, Borno state, by the Boko Haram sect. The Guild, in a communiqué issued by its President, Femi Adesina, at the end of its standing committee meeting in Owerri, noted that the abduction was not only an assault on Chibok,

but the entire country. It praised Nigerians for rising up in unison against the abduction of the school girls and commended the international community for offering assistance to Nigeria to free them. The Guild urged Nigerians to be security conscious and pass relevant information to security agents who are expected to promptly act on such information in order to stop terrorism in the country. The communiqué further

decried the acrimonious nature of the ongoing National Conference and called on delegates to watch their utterances capable of causing more disunity in the country. The Guild also expressed worry that the 2014 budget had not been passed five months into the year. It therefore called on both the executive and the legislative arms of government to resolve their differences on the issue and pass the budget urgently.

General Buhari distances self from alleged fraudster arrested by EFCC


eneral Muhammadu Buhari has distanced himself from one “Mohammed Buhari” arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for scamming a woman, Mrs. Florence Nwokocha, of N20 million in a ‘Ponzi’ scheme, according to the on-line journal, SaharaReporters yesterday. A statement issued by the General, through the Chairman of the “Buhari Vanguard”, Com Jasper Azuatalam, stated that the tenuous link between the former head of state and the scammer in EFCC detention was aimed at smearing the general. SaharaReporters had earlier published a report yesterday concerning the detention of Mohammed Buhari by the EFCC,

whereby sources within the agency claimed the detained Buhari claimed he was General Buhari’s adopted son. However, according to the disclaimer : ”It is regrettable to note that after several unsuccessful attempts to smear the hard earned respect, popularity, dignity, and enviable image of Muhammadu Buhari, mischief makers have resorted to a laughable tactic of linking Muhammadu Buhari to a crime just because someone who has been alleged to have committed a crime somewhere bears the name “Buhari”. “Muhammadu Buhari wishes to state categorically that he does not have any adopted son called “Mohammed Buhari” and had no need to adopt a son at any time

having been blessed with choice children, both male and females. Muhammadu Buhari and his family do not know the said “Mohammed Buhari” who is alleged to be involved in a #20M scam and is being held by EFCC. The disclaimer further stated that “however, this is understandable, since the entire attempts by mischief makers to discredit Muhammadu Buhari as an individual has failed. We frown at these poorly articulated gimmicks to indirectly link Muhammadu Buhari and his family to a crime allegedly committed by someone unknown to him and his family just for the fact that the said suspect bears the name “Mohammed Buhari”.




Again, Reps minority whip’s father kidnapped in Edo

NIMC establishes 200 new enrolment centres nationwide By Tobias Lengnan Dapam


he National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) said it has established over 200 new Enrolment Centres across the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Commission, in a statement issued yesterday by its Deputy Director Corporate Communications, Abdulhamid Umar, quoted the Director of Operations, Mrs. Cecilia Yahaya as saying: "We have also commenced enrolment exercises for the National Identification Number (NIN) in these Enrolment Centres in the last 10 weeks. "We are committed to ensuring that the deployment of all enrolment infrastructures based on global best practices is done to enable NIMC meet the Presidential directive of December 31, 2014". Mrs. Yahaya added that a number of Enrolment Centres have also been opened in more Tertiary Institutions nationwide. She called on all eligible applicants to visit the NIMC website, to see the full list of Enrolment Centres closest to them. The director of operations further explained that the deployment of the Enrolment Centres is to facilitate, as well as fast-track the enrolment of all Nigerians wherever they may reside.

Boko Haram: Northern govs urge security agencies to scale up surveillance activities From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


he Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) yesterday called on security agencies working to contain the activities of the dreaded Boko Haram sect to scale up surveillance activities. Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu also urged them to re-strategize their operations to end the scourge of what he described as senseless killing of defenseless citizens. Governor Aliyu made the call in his reaction to Sunday’s explosion which killed several persons at a relaxation point in Sabon Gari area of Kano in Kano state.

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


L-R: National President, Association of General and Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMPN), Dr. Frank Odafen, 1st National Vice President, Society of Family Physicians (SFP), Dr. Akin Moses, and Vice-Chairman, Society of Family Physicians FCT chapter, Dr. Udofia Oscar, during the opening ceremony of 2014 World Family Doctors Day , yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Chibok: Girls Brigade stages protest in Lafia, urges FG to secure release of girls From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


embers of the Girls’ Brigade across Nasarawa state, have staged a protest demanding the federal government to step up measures to secure the release of the over 200 girls abducted in Chibok by the Boko Haram sect. The girls marched through the city yesterday singing solidarity songs while displaying placards before converging by the entrance of Government House where they were received by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Zainab Abdulmumini, who stood in for Governor Umaru Tanko Al-

makura. Leader of the protest and state commandant of the Girls’ Brigade, Mary Musa Jerry, told the SSG that the girls decided to embark on the protest because they are deeply concerned over the predicament of the girls abducted in Chibok. She said it has become necessary for the girls to go into the streets to demand for the quick release of the abducted Chibok girls. “We are here to cry to our Governor, so that he will take it to the Federal Government. We are here eating and sleeping in comfort, what about the abducted girls? We demand that the federal government step up measures to secure the quick release of the girls” Mary

said. Responding, Zainab Abdulmumini, the Nasarawa SSG, said the protest by the Girls Brigade is in consonance with what is expected of every right thinking citizen, adding that the protest is not in vain and that she will communicate their message to the Governor for onward transmission to the president. She assured the protesters that all the 36 state governments in conjunction with the federal government are up and doing to see to the release of the Chibok girls, stressing however that time is of essence in securing the release of the girls safely.

‘FG & NEMCO, please pay our monthly pension and gratuity and other benefits’; ‘FG let your agreement of 2012 prior to privatization of PHCN stand; ‘We are old people. You too will be old’; ‘FG be sympathetic and pay us our entitlement and other benefits; ‘NELMCO/FG, we are old people. Don’t let us die’. The Chairman, Bauchi State chapter of the union, Malam Isa Olarewaju, said that the protest was a struggle against the pains being inflicted by Federal government on people that work or them for 35 years, saying that “for three months now no salaries some of

us for four years no gratuities this is barbaric for those that serve the government” Olariwaju said, “Many of our colleagues are diabetic. Many are suffering from other ailments and they are finding it extremely difficult to manage these ailments because there is no money to buy drugs. Some are hospitalized and all attempts to see the governor to let him know our plights proved abortive. He accused the government of frustrating them, saying many of them had died due to lack of money while some of their children had been withdrawn from schools

he father of House of Representatives Minority Whip, Samson Osagie was on Sunday evening kidnapped. Pa Imarhiagbe Ogbewe Samson was reportedly abducted by gunmen at his residence at Urhokuosa, Uhunmwode local government area of Edo. The octogenarian was kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be kidnappers in April 2012 and was freed after ransom was allegedly paid by his family. Reports from Urokuosa Community, in Uhunmwode local government area of the State said six armed member gang stormed his residence with a golf car at 7pm on Sunday fired gunshots before taken the victim away in their operational vehicle, whose registration number was yet to be identified. The aide said the abduction came on the heels of a faceoff between the victim and some persons at Urhokuosa Community over the disputed All progressives Congress (APC) registration and inconclusive party congresses. The aide who pleaded anonymity said the youths were outlawed from forcefully selling peoples land in the community. "The lawmaker, who has been assisting in developing the community has been urging the youths to embrace peace to avert communal crisis in Urhokuosa," he stated. While calling on the commissioner of police and security agencies to prevail on the youth to release the octogenarian unconditionally, the aide said the kidnappers were yet to open negotiation with the family. When contacted, the Acting spokesman for Edo State police Command, Mr. Ejiroro Ahwara said the Command was yet to be

Bauchi electricity pensioners protest non-payment of pension, 4 years gratuities From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


cores of members of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Electricity Sector, Bauchi state chapter, yesterday protested peacefully against the alleged nonpayment of their three months pension and four years gratuities. The pensioners, who protested at the front gate of the office of the Bauchi Electricity Distribution Company Plc, at Ahmadu Bello way, Bauchi, chanted songs, carrying placards and calling on the federal government to give them their entitlements Some of the placards read:

for the same reason. According to him, “We are urging the Federal Government and the Board of Nigeria Electricity Liability Management, GTE/ LTD to address their plights”. The National Adviser on interim Union Relation, Alhaji Abubakar Tangale, said the nonpayment of the pension had made life unbearable for many of the pensioners. “We cannot continue to suffer when we have worked hard for the country and we are now supposed to be enjoying, but you can see how haggard many of us are looking. This is unfair.”



News ‘Nigeria records 20,000 Fistula cases annually’ From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


wenty thousand new cases of Obstetric Fistula is said to recorded in Nigeria annually making Nigeria the largest country with the disorder. The wife of Kaduna State Governor, Hajiya Fatima Ramalan Yero disclosed this in a keynote address at the 2014 International Day to End obstetric Fistula held in Kaduna yesterday. Mrs. Yero added that it is painful that out of the 800,000 people living with the disorders, 85% are in the Northern part of the country a condition that is not acceptable. “A lot of us have not grasped the seriousness of this problem but I do expect that, the doctors would give us the technical overviews and the scale of the problem. “This gathering is to give a voice to the thousands of voiceless women, a gathering to draw attention to an often neglected social issue. It is unacceptable that over 500,000 of our mothers, sisters and daughters live with this debilitating condition in Nigeria and 20,000 more develop in every single year,” Mrs. Yero said. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Nigeria, Ms. Ratidzai Ndhlovu said Obstetric Fistula thrives among the poor women and girls, the uneducated and those who have limited access to health services which include maternal and family planning. Ms. Ndhlovu added that Obstetric Fistula is in two types: Vesico Vaginal Fistula which causes abnormal opening between vagina and the urinary bladder, thus leading to uncontrollable urine; while Recto Vaginal Fistula (RVF) is an abnormal opening between the vagina and the rectum which causes leaking of faeces. These disorders maybe as a result of prolong childbirth labour. In his own speech, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu said United Nations General Assembly has set aside 23rd May of each year for commemorating the International Day to end obstetric fistula, through significantly raising awareness and intensifying actions towards ending obstetric fistula. The Minister disclosed that the treatment of obstetric fistula is a priority for the Federal Government as part of its commitment to improve the maternal reproductive health indices.

Boko Haram threat on Benue colleges: Police embark on sensitisation From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi


ollowing instructions by the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Abubakar directing that security be beefed up at all colleges especially Government College and Mount Saint Gabriel's Secondary, Makurdi, Benue State capital, the State police command yesterday embarked on sensitization at both Colleges. The State Police Commissioner Adams Audu was accompanied on the sensitization visits by the Assistant Inspector of Police, Zone 4 Adeola Adeleji as well as other senior police officers of the command. Addressing teachers, students and other management staff of both schools, Adams said the command is not taking the threat lightly in view of the recent abduction of over 200 girls in Chibok, maintaining that they have taken drastic steps to avert any attack on both colleges. He added that his men have been fully mobilized to comb all the areas of the schools to ensure that they are well fortified. The Police Commissioner also urged the school authority to be on alert and inform the police of any strange movement around their schools.

Principals of Government College, Makurdi, Mr. Godfrey Apine Ugudu and his Mount Saint

Gabriel's counterpart Rev. Fr. Angus Fraser commended the prompt response of the police

on the security threat, expressing confidence in them to forestall any possible attack.

L-R: Kano state Commissioner for Education, Malam Tajudeen Gambo, Osun state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Dr. MacJohn Nwabiala, during the Home Grown School Feeding high level meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

Ilorin High Court dismisses No disparity in SUBEB staff suit against Emir salaries, says chairman From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


n High Court sitting in Ilorin has dismissed a suit instituted by the deposed Balogun Alanamu of Ilorin, Alhaji Shu’aib Mahmud against the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, the Ilorin Emirate Council and the current Balogun Alanamu, Abubakar Jos. The presiding judge, Justice E.B Mohammed, in his ruling said: “The writ of summon of the claimant, which was unsigned, is incompetent and thereby lacked merit as such.” It would be recalled that the Emir of Ilorin had in 2005 deposed Alhaji Mahmud as the Balogun Alanamu of Ilorin and appointed and installed Alhaji Abubakar Jos. The claimant through his law-

yer, Femi Falana (SAN) and Abeni Mohammed (SAN), had dragged the Emir of Ilorin and others to court over his deposition /removal describing it has illegal, irregular, unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever. He noted that it is contrary to the custom, tradition and practice of the Balogun Alanamu family of Ilorin and that the family has not removed or recommended his deposition and that he still commands respect, support and loyalty of the entire members of the family with the exception of the newly appointed Balogun Alanamu. Justice Mohammed in his rulings therefore granted the prayers of the defendants as he struck out the suit for incompetent, lack of merit and that it has no place in the law.

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


auchi state Universal Education Board (SUBEB) Chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Dabo said he is unaware of any disparity in salaries between staff of the board and other civil servants in the state. Dabo, who described the NASU complaint of disparity in salaries between staff of the board and other civil servant as founded, said however that he will not hesitate to rectify the anomaly if the disparity exists. Alhaji Abdullahi Dabo was speaking on Friday, at the presentation of Awards for staff of the board organized by the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associations Institutions (NASU) SUBEB Unit, Bauchi.

Dabo who also described the occasion as historic and first of its kind in the history of the board, urged other affiliate bodies of the labour organization to emulate NASU with a view to motivate and boost the morale of staff under their jurisdictions. The Chairman assured NASU members that they will be incorporated into the board’s committee on discipline and promotion, as he directed the Accountant to unfailingly issue monthly salaries payment slips to staff of the board. He applauded NASU for its concern over the security of the board’s headquarters’ premises, recalling a recent incident where some men of the underworld carted away some computers and other properties from its offices.

39 candidates pass Presidential Scholarship Scheme exam By Maryam Garba Hassan


hirty-nine candidates, out of the 623 candidates that sat for the screening examination of the second edition of the Presidential Special Scholarship Scheme for Innovation and Development (PRESSID), have passed the examination. This was disclosed in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie It would be recalled that the 623 sat for the examination on the

10th of December, 2013. According to the stamen the second edition of the scheme was for the 2014/2015 academic session. The statement added that the 39 successful candidates have been invited for an initial briefing at the NUC, on June 9. Okojie urged the candidates to come along with their original certificates, NYSC discharge certificates, letters from two guarantors, international passports and letters of admission (if any). He said the successful candidates were also encouraged to ap-

ply to study in any of the top 25 universities in the world approved for the scheme as indicated on the NUC’s Website. Candidates are advised to check the NUC website; www.nuc., for further information, the statement added. Okojie, who is also the Chairman, Implementation Committee of the scheme, said the successful candidates had met the minimum requirements for the scheme, initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan. “The 39 candidates happened to be the best among the best and

the essence of the scheme was to train professionals to drive the transformation agenda of the present administration and the goals of the vision 20:2020’. Okojie said the candidates, upon graduation, would return to Nigeria to work for the government for five years before taking up any other appointment. It would recalled that 2,000 candidates applied for selected programmes into engineering, technology, sciences, basic medical sciences, medicine and economics among other fields, where the country was experiencing shortfalls.




Man, 25, docked for throwing his 2-year old son in river A

25 year-old truck driver, Ibrahim Sanni, was yesterday remanded in prison custody by a Kaduna Chief Magistrates’ Court for alleged murder of his twoyear-old baby. Sanni, who resides at Kargi village, Kubau local government area of Kaduna, was remanded for allegedly throwing his baby boy into the Kubau River, on Dec. 28, 2013. The Chief Magistrate Mr. Bashri Shittu, ordered that the

accused be kept in prison custody under Section 185 (A) of the Criminal Penal Code pending an advice from the Ministry of Justice. Shittu said that his court had no jurisdiction, to try the case adding that the accused was only brought for cognisance. He said that the accused had the right to apply for his bail at the state high court and adjourned the case till June 25, for further mention.

The Prosecutor, Insp. Sani Umar, had prayed the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending full investigation into the case. He told the court that the accused was accosted by the mother of the baby, Shafa’atu Umaru, who reported the case to the Divisional Police Headquaters, Anchau Kubau. He said the accused was caught by Shafa’atu while throwing

the baby into the river, but she was unable to recover the baby. The prosecutor said that, the accused was the former husband to the mother of the baby. He said that the offence contravened Section 221 of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State, 1991. When the charge was read to the accused, he told the court that he understood the charge against him. (NAN)

Man appears in court after 6 years in police custody


he police in Lagos on Monday arraigned a 32-year-old man, Kelvin Robert, over alleged conspiracy and armed robbery, after six years in police custody. The accused appeared before a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere, on a two-count charge. He allegedly committed the offences on March 11, 2008 at the Tin-Can Island, Apapa, Lagos, at 7.30p.m. According to the charge sheet, Robert and some others, still at large, conspired and robbed Mrs. Deborah Davies of jewelry, mobile phones and other valuables at gunpoint. The police said that the offences contravened Sections 402 and 406 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. Robert, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge. His Counsel, Mr. C.C. Ekpobosa, expressed dissatisfaction that the accused was being charged to court after six years of arrest. “The man had been in custody since 2008. That is, six years wasted out of his lifetime,” he said. Justice Raliatu Adebiyi adjourned the case till June 27 for substantive trial. (NAN)

Labourer docked for mischief

T L-R: Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Zainab Maina, and Executive Director, United Nations Women, Mrs. Phumzile Mlambongcuka, during her visit to minister, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Nabbed drug syndicate poses as travel agent From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


he National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said it discovered a drug syndicate that operates under the cover of a travel Agency. It said two suspects members of the gang were whisked at the international wing of the Murtala

Mohammed Airport in Lagos. The duo were found to be in possession of 4.660kg of substances suspected to be methamphetamine at the airport car park. NDLEA Commander at the Lagos Airport, Hamza Umar said Gwacham Emmanuel Orakwe, 25, and Alhaji Ayila Kolawole, 47 played prominent roles in the attempt to coordinate and smuggle

the drug to India and apprehended at the car park. The anti-drug agency said the drug was packed in five parcels in the bag of Gwacham who had a valid Emirate ticket to India. It said preliminary investigation revealed that Ayila contracted Gwacham to traffic drugs to India for a fee. The suspects have volunteered

their statements to narcotic investigators. “Whatever trick drug barons apply, we shall expose them. This arrest is important for the Agency because we have moved beyond the courier to the mastermind of the illicit exportation. Investigation is on-going and more arrests shall be made” the agency Chairman Ahmadu Giade told journalists.

Christmas Day theft: Exhibits eaten by rat - Witness


Prosecution Witness, Insp Ayo Ajayi, on Monday told a Surulere Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos, that exhibits in the trial of five persons charged with burglary had been eaten by rats. The accused – Simon Friday, 24; Emmanuel Obasi, 26; Stephen Ogbuechi, 27; and Efosa Kadiri, 25, - were arraigned on Jan. 3, 2013, on a three-count charge of conspiracy, burglary and stealing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the accused were alleged to have broken into the media centre of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, and stolen some goods. However, they pleaded not guilty to the charges. NAN reports that the exhibits were items recovered from the accused after their arrest. They included a bag of rice and 16 gallons of groundnut oil, all valued at N39,300.

Ajayi, the Investigating Police Officer, in the case, said that the exhibits, which were perishable items, had been in police custody since the arraignment of the accused. He said that the exhibits later disappeared from the exhibit room. According to him, during police investigation, it was discovered that the accused gained access into the media centre through the roof.

During the arraignment, the Prosecutor, Insp. Gabriel Ekundayo, told the court that the accused broke into the media centre on Christmas Day in 2012 and stole the goods. Ekundayo said that the offences contravened Sections 285, 307 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011. The Magistrate, Mrs. Mobolaji Olajuwon, adjourned the case to June 26 for further hearing. (NAN)

he police yesterday arraigned a 30-year-old labourer, Ibrahim Bashir, in a Senior Magistrates’ Court in Life Camp, Abuja, for mischief. The accused, who resides at Sahara Gates, Gwarinpa, Abuja, is standing trial for mischief before Senior Magistrate, Mr. Zubairu Mohammed. The prosecutor, Sgt. Salihu Mohammed, told the court that Mr. Ifeayi Ebirilem of Kuchi Benna village, Gwarinpa, Abuja lodged a complaint against the accused at Gwarinpa Police Station on May 15. Mohammed alleged that on the said date, at about 7 a.m. while the complainant was about to convey labourers to a building site with his truck, the accused intentionally broke his windscreen. He said the accused stood at a distance from the truck, picked a stone and threw it at the windscreen of the vehicle, breaking it. The prosecutor said that during police investigation the accused could not give a satisfactory account of his action. The accused pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the Senior Magistrate admitted him to bail in the sum of N100, 000 with one surety in like sum. Mohammed said the surety must have a reasonable means of livelihood, with a traceable and verifiable work address. He said the surety should be resident within the jurisdiction of the court, and adjourned the matter to May 26. (NAN)



Congratulations To An Achiever

Mallam Abubakar Mohammed FDA, FMFMI Director-General National Directorate Of Employment (NDE)

I and the children celebrate you as you add yet another feather to your cap. As you are Honoured today as the Most Outstanding Nigerian Administrator (Service Delivery), by the Nigerian-German Business Association and Disciples of Democracy Magazine, in Frankfurt, Germany, we celebrate your commitment, courage, innovation and loyalty to the cause of mass job creation in Nigeria. We are wishing you continuous good health, long life and Allah’s abundant blessings in all your endeavours.

Signed: Hajiya Safiya A. Mohammed for & on behalf of the family



Govt should stop sponsoring pilgrimages- Lemu T

he co-chairman of the committee on religion, Alhaji Nurudeen Lemu in this interview with Hassan Haruna Ginsau discusses the major recommendations his committee have proposed for deliberation at the plenary tomorrow. What are the major issues your committee discussed and what were the major recommendations that you came up with? We discussed many things but we came up with three major recommendations. First of all, because of the way people’s rights are infringed upon in regards to religion; the banning of hijabs, the banning of certain practices and so on. Just because a person a Muslim or a Christian he doesn’t enjoy his fundamental rights as a Nigerian citizen. So what we recommended is for the establishment of a commission on religious equity. We have the Human rights commission which deals with the preservation of people’s rights, but due to the nature of religion it is hard to even get to court, or for authorities to act justly, and people don’t tend to like cases dealing with religion. So we want a commission to be established that will focus on the rights of Muslims, Christians and people of other faiths. The commission should make sure their religious rights are not infringed, no matter who is committing the offence be it in a mosque, church or anywhere.

As long it’s going to be offensive it should be stopped, anything that will cause provocation should be stopped. The commission should make sure it has avenues to stop such acts and also strive to improve, in particular the relationship between Muslims and Christians especially in areas where religious crises are common. Secondly among our recommendations has to do with the Hajj commission and pilgrimages to Jerusalem. We have noticed that there are ways in which the government is stealing funds through this avenue and there is a better way, particularly what is done in Malaysia whereby the Government oversees but doesn’t sponsor for Hajj. Since the Quran says whoever Allah gives the means is who should go for Hajj we should leave it at that. If the Government is going to have a hand in issues concerning Hajj it should help with visa, consular services, and medical and security issues and so on. But it shouldn’t be a 100% Government procedure, whether for Muslims or Christians. We discussed with clerics and they also believed that it would be more useful to Muslims if we adopted Malaysia’s approach. How is it conducted in Malaysia? It’s almost like a privatisation. They have an organisation whereby if your

L-R: Senator Jibrin Aminu, Dr. Bello Halliru, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, Dr.Hassan Adamu, and Mr. Edwin K. Clark, during the National Conference, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

L-R: Chairman, National Conference Committee on Finance, Senator Adamu Aleiro, and his Deputy, Senator Azu Agboti, during the submission of committee’s report before the Chairman of the conference, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

money for Hajj is not complete, you give it and it is put into an Islamic investment where it will multiply. Similar to a pension fund you give little by little until it amounts to the money for a ticket, and all other expenses. We have discussed with the Hajj commission and the Nigeria Christian Pilgrim Commission as to what plan would be best for the people and the advice they gave us is the recommendation we gave which has already been submitted. In a lot of states in the North politicians reward people for certain efforts and contributions during elections with a Hajj seat, don’t you think this recommendation will affect these people? The problem is that since the money the Government uses belongs to the people, it should be used through ways all of the people will benefit. Hajj should not be politicised. Government funds should rather be used to assist Islamic clerics and schools, assist people with scholarships, and help the masses and so on. When Kano state said they would not be taking anyone for Hajj they got increased savings of over N1 billion. You see the kinds of schools that the money

will build, that would be better for the people, as opposed to someone that the law doesn’t permit to go for Hajj, why? Because his money is not enough, it is not obligatory on him. It is only obligatory on someone who has the means. Why should you take the people’s money that was meant for say education that is obligatory and use it for something that the Sharia has not made compulsory on a person. Alhamdulillah, we had a lot of discussions and thirdly we gave a proposal on restoration of ethical values. How can we help people preserve their dignity in their relations with others? What we observed is that this isn’t the work of just religious bodies but also commissions such as the ICPC, EFCC, the police, education sector, the media, and so on. We however gave recommendations on how to improve ethical values. Considering the touchy nature of religion in Nigeria, who would make up the religious equity commission? We are recommending that there will be council which would include top members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, top members of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs with the Sultan and

others such as respected members of non-Christian and non- Muslim groups, so that it’s not just about Muslims and Christians. So it’s going to constitute of a council that will watch over the activities, but it’s going to be a government commission and we are recommending for various positions that this commission would be able not just to identify but also to investigate and also to prosecute people who have violated the religious rights of others. So the job is similar to the job of the Human rights commission in that it is able to identify cases and prosecute and not have to take things through the longer process of courts. What we have noticed is that other commissions have not really tackled the issue of religious discrimination. When people make very inflammatory remarks in the name of religion that have a possibility of raising tension nobody is in a hurry to arrest them. It’s only when it has gone out of hand and people are been killed that you now get police coming in. So what we now want to do is nip things in the bud, not to wait for tension to rise, no! The moment temperatures start to rise let’s see who adding fuel to the fire is and let’s tackle it at that level.




NAN Editor, Ifeyinwa Omowole, emerges NAWOJ president


embers of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), has elected, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Omowole of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) as its new president. Omowole, NAN Senior Editor, polled 469 votes to defeat

her opponent, Mrs. Fatima Abdulkareem, who scored 198 votes in the 2014 NAWOJ elections in Badagry, Lagos. In acceptance speech at the weekend, Omowole pledged to give NAWOJ a responsive leadership that would encourage capacity building of its members

to enhance their profession. She assured that her tenure would wear a human face, adding that the new executive would initiate a website for the association for global interactions. Earlier, Malam Mohammad Garba, National President, Nigeria Union of Journalist

(NUJ), advised the new officers to embark on capacity building of their colleagues to be able match the times. NAN reports that 32 candidates contested the elections and 18 officers were elected to run the affairs of the association for the next three years. (NAN)

L-R: Member, House of Representatives, Hon. Mohammed Sani Umar Kalgo, and Alhaji Safuri Ibeto, during the wedding fatiha of Hon. Kalgo’s son, Dr Umar Abbas Sani Kalgo and Zakiyya Mansur Ahmed, at the weekend in Kaduna.

CACOL flays ICPC boss over comment on corruption From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has flayed the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta over his comment that stealing is not corruption. The ICPC boss said this in Abuja, while hosting a delegation from the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria. Nta noted that most Nigerians, including the educated, did not quite understand what constitutes corruption and stressed that it was wrong to classify theft as such. Reacting to the statement, the Executive Chairman of the Coalition, Mr. Debo Adeniran described the statement from the ICPC boss as a

shameful thing. He said, “Such statement coming from the head of an anticorruption agency is a shame. Does it mean stealing is not bad after all? We surprised that the ICPC that is supposed to guide President Goodluck Jonathan right is actually misleading him. Now it is obvious where the president got his definition and why he is not interested in catching thieves. This is more like a piper dancing to the tune of his paymaster. When the President made that definition we thought he didn’t consult the right authority to get him acquainted with what should be classified as corruption. At CACOL, we believe that any act of dishonesty is corruption and stealing cannot be said to be an honest act. Unfortunately, the ICPC

boss failed to tell us what category of malfeasance stealing belongs? Do we now call it bad governance? And even bad governance itself is corruption because you couldn’t have been foisting inconsiderate governance on people on whose mandate you rode to power and say that you are not engaging in corruption. Basically, stealing is synonymous with corruption. All these playing on words is a mere cover-up for the inability of the ICPC to perform its constitutional roles. Is the ICPC boss saying that the stealing of $20bn from the NNPC’s coffers is not corruption? It is so disheartening that while some people are busy bleeding the country’s treasury white, Mr. President and a supposed anti-corruption crusader are busy chasing after semantics. It is unfortunate that President

Goodluck Jonathan and his cohorts are making frantic effort to make corruption look honourable and it is unthinkable that a Barrister of Mr. Ekpo Nta’s calibre could engage in such grandstanding. We thought that Nta, being a thorough-bred professional, is a knowledgeable person but he has declared ignorance on the subject matter and because of that display of ignorance he should just tender his resignation letter because someone who doesn’t know what constitutes corruption cannot fight it. He doesn’t even know what his job entails. We are sure that there are honourable men and women that have been in that Commission before Nta got there so he should not be allowed to pollute them with his dogmatic acceptance of what the President said,” Adeniran stated.

Former DIG Dan-Madami faults Nigerian Islamic Affairs Council From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


ormer Police Chief, Alhaji Muhammadu Dan-Madami has advocated for the reinvigoration of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs through constitutional amendments in the leadership of the organization. to reflect the federal and Islamic character of Nigeria. Dan-Madami, a former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, said

the re-invigorated council should employ efficient permanent staff from the Secretary-General downwards with clearly spelt-out functions and targets. The former police boss at the Northeast 60th anniversary of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), held in Bauchi, at the weekend, also suggested that the organisation’s name be changed to something less dictatorial.

“Besides the fact that the word ‘Supreme’ connotes, in military circle, a dictatorial revolutionary tendency, there is no person or thing that deserves to be called such a name except Allah, the Exalted”, he said. The former DIG explained that the Council for Islamic Affairs should start afresh by creating an umbrella organisation that will mobilise Muslims from all nooks and corners, by building upon the

already stabilized structures of the numerous Muslim associations all over the country. He, therefore, suggested for the formation of a Federation of Muslim Association of Nigeria (FMAN) on the basis of Shahadatain, Al-Qur’an, Sunnah and unity of Qibla, to be headed by one leader from among Muslims in Nigeria and governed by a National Council (Majlis-ash Shurah).

CSO charges media on objectivity By Albert Akota


he Coalition of Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria (CSOs) has called on media practitioners and owners to be objective and sincere in their reportage as misinformation can harm the nation’s interest more.

The organization, in a press statement, titled: “Don’t Mislead Us” and signed by it national president, Comrade Etuk Bassey Williams, said the recent report in some dailies where the management team of NARSDA were accused of inefficiency, especially in curbing insurgency by the chairman

senate committee on Science and Technology during their official visit of the committee to the agency, was misleading as the management was never accused rather praised. He said the chairman of the committee, who was the immediate past director general of the agency, commended the efforts of the

agency and urge government to fund outstanding results. Bassey said NARSDA is not a security agency, as its satellite cannot even pick somebody running on the ground but can help and have been helping in many other ways with the security agencies.

Nigeria needs salvaging, says Almakura From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


overnor Umaru Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa state has said that, considering the way things are being handled in the country, Nigeria needs salvaging by a party and group of people, who he said have good ideologies and time-tested values which are the embodiment of the All Progressive Congress (APC). Governor Al-makura stated this yesterday in Lafia, on the occasion of the swearing-in ceremony of the newly-elected state executives of the APC. According to Al-makura, Nigeria is facing a great challenge, with the country having come this far, stressing that there is every need to salvage the country. “A salvation that would come from a group of people with good philosophy, who have good ideologies, who respect certain time tested values. And that is what APC stands for”, he said. He said with the inauguration of the state party executives, the APC has been fully democratized in Nasarawa, following the successful conduct of the ward and local government congresses. While urging all those who he said have gone astray when they joined other political parties to return to the path of APC, Almakura showed appreciation to the outgoing interim management committee of the party.

Catholic Archbishop admonishes Adamawa community From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna archdiocese, Mathew Man’oso Ndagoso, has called on his community residents in Kaduna to be law abiding and live in peace with everybody wherever they find themselves. The clergy, who was the special guest of honor at the thanksgiving ceremony of Kaduna branch of Bwazza Kun Moshat community of Adamawa state, held recently at Narayi Bayan Dutse, Kaduna, told them to up hold the tenets of love thy neighbor in all their dealings wherever they find themselves. “I commend your efforts for gathering together under one umbrella for this occasion of thanksgiving to God for His grace upon all of us. It is a thing of joy to note that you have been carrying your activities in peace whether at home or at your various businesses. Archbishop Ndagoso was later presented with a plague by Elder John Fwah, on behalf of the community. Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Captain Oliver Nzalgana (rtd) commended the Bwaza community in Kaduna for the foresight to organise a social gathering in the face of myriad of worries Nigerians are facing.



Money Sense How you can easily get a job W

hether you’re looking for your very first job, switching careers, or re-entering the job market after an extended absence, finding a job requires two main tasks: understanding yourself and understanding the job market. Presuming you’ve already chosen a career and are currently searching for jobs, here are several ways to actually get a job. Build your qualifications: Revise your resume before you start job hunting, make sure that your resume is as complete and up-to-date as possible. Your resume is an important distillation of who you are, where you come from, and what you can offer. Here are a few tips to consider: Be honest. Never lie on your resume: It will come back to haunt you later.Use active verbs. When describing what you did at your last job, make the sentence as tight and active as possible. For instance, instead of saying “Served as patient contact for getting bills and contacting insurance,” say “Liaised with patients and insurance companies, and managed financial transactions. Proofreadyour resume several times for grammatical or spelling errors. Even something as simple as a typographic error, could negatively impact your ability to land an interview, so pay close attention to what you’ve left on the page. Have one or two other people look at it as well. Keep the formatting clean: How your resume looks is almost as important as how it reads. Use a simple, classic font (such as Times New Roman, Arial or Helvetica), black ink on white paper, and sufficiently wide margins (about 1” on each side). Use bold or italic lettering sparingly if at all, and ensure your name and contact information are prominently displayed. Develop your personal elevator pitch: Many structured interviews, particularly those at large companies, start with a question like “Tell me about

yourself.” The interviewer doesn’t really want you to go back to grade school and talk about your childhood. This is a specific question with a right answer: in two minutes or so, the interviewer wants to get you to relax and loosen out your vocal cords, understand your background, your accomplishments, why you want to work at XYZ Company and what your future goals are. Keep it short between 30 seconds and two minutes — and have the basics of it memorized so that you don’t stammer when you’re asked to describe yourself. Technological ability: Most job openings will require people who are IT or computer literate or know how to operate different machines and office equipment, whether it’s a PC or multi-function copier and

scanner. This doesn’t mean that employers need people who are technology graduates, knowing the basic principles of using current technology are sufficient. Communicate effectively: Employers tend to value and hire people who are able to express their thoughts efficiently through verbal and written communication. People who land a good job easily are usually those who are adept in speaking and writing. Network: The best companies to work for tend to rely heavily on employee referrals. Make a list of all of your friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Contact them one by one and ask them if they know of any openings for which they could recommend you. Don’t be too humble or apologetic. Tell

them what you’re looking for, but let them know you’re flexible and open to suggestions. Volunteer: Internships may fall into this category. An internship is a great way to get your foot in the door, as many companies prefer to hire from within. Even if you’re far removed from your twenties or your college days, the willingness to work for little or no money shows companies that you’re serious about putting in the work, learning the skills, and getting ahead. Cold call: Locate a specific person who can help you (usually the human resources or hiring manager at a company or organization you’re interested in). Call that person and ask if they are hiring, but do not become discouraged if they are not. Ask

…and how to increase your income


f you want to be the best and learn how to become a millionaire, you must first find out what the top people do and then do it yourself. They look upon everything that happens in their companies as though they own one hundred percent of the stock. They take everything personally. They feel personally responsible for sales, quality, profitability, distribution and cost effectiveness. They are totally engaged with their work and with their products and services. Would you like to make more money? Well, go to the nearest mirror and negotiate with your boss. The person in the mirror

is the one who determines how much you earn and how well you do in your profession and how much you get paid for it. This is the first step towards learning how to become a millionaireand becoming financially independent. Here’s an exercise for you to help you make more money: On the first day of each month, take your own personal check book and write out a check for the amount of money you want to earn that month and date it for the last day of that month. Make it payable to yourself. Sign it. Then, for the rest of the month, you concentrate on figuring out

how you are going to make payroll, just like a company president. If you have to increase your sales in order to increase your paycheck, your job is to figure out how to do it. You are the president. As the president of your own professional sales corporation, your current employer is your best client. By making the decision to go from employee status to being the president of your own organization, you have made the critical decision to become the primary creative force in your own life and the ability to make more money. You no longer see yourself as a victim or a passive

recipient of what happens in the economy. You are an active agent. You are in charge. You go out into the work place and you make your own life and your own living. You sell your services to the highest bidder and you deliver the very best services of which your personal sales corporation is possible. Instead of waiting for things to happen, or hoping that things will happen, you instead make things happen. Second, break your monthly desired income down into daily and hourly rates of pay. Make sure that everything you do pays you your desired hourly rate.

what kind of qualifications they look for or if they have apprentice or government-sponsored work programs. Ask if you can send your resume indicating what field you want to go into. Tweak your mentality Change your attitude: There’s a difference between making phone calls and going to interviews thinking “I’m looking for a job” versus “I’m here to do the work you need to have done”. When you’re looking to get a job, you’re expecting someone to give something to you, so you focus on impressing them. Settle down: If you’ve moved around a lot, be prepared to offer a good reason for it. Otherwise, you’ll need to make a good case for why you want to stick around in the area where the job is located. A company doesn’t want to hire someone with wanderlust who still wants to relocate. Be prepared to outline why you are where you are today, how long you intend to stay there, and why. Give specific reasons like, “This city has the best school systems in the entire country.” Fit the job to the skills rather than the other way around: Many people search for jobs, then try to see how they can tweak the way they present their own skills and experiences to fit the job description. Instead, try something different. Instead of this top-down approach, start from the bottom up, make a list of all of your skills, determine which kinds of businesses and industries need them most (ask around for advice if you need to) and find businesses that will benefit from having you and your skills around. You might find that you get more satisfaction and enjoyment out of a career that wasn’t even on your radar to begin with.It’s important the nature of the job fits your personality and salary requirements; otherwise you’ll have spent a significant amount of time to find a day job you dread getting up for every morning.

Money Tip: If you are doing a thorough job search, you will get rejected sometimes. If you’re not getting rejected, you’re not putting yourself out there enough and if you don’t learn to see rejection as a chance to improve your approach, then you’ll have a very difficult time getting a job.

Quote The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools– Confucius




irst, Nigerians were told that President Goodluck Jonathan would be in Chibok, a rural community in Borno state, where over 200 girls were abducted from their dorms by gunmen believed to be Boko Haram insurgents a month ago. According to Presidency sources, Jonathan would visit the burnt out school early Friday morning and later in the day fly out to Paris, France where he would attend a security meeting the next day, Saturday, to discuss mainly the 5-year old Boko Haram insurgency in three North-east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states. The meeting, which was attended by government officials from Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, was financed and hosted by the French government. Delegates also went from the United States and the United Kingdom. The two European countries and the US, a week earlier, had decided to step up to the plate in the search for the kidnapped schoolgirls when they realized that the Nigerian government was not quite up to it due to its slow response to the Chibok traģedy. That led a former Republican presidential candidate, John McCain to remark that Nigeria lacked a functional government. Far away in Nairobi, Kenya, former President Olusegun Obasanjo told journalists that President Jonathan was overwhelmed by Nigeria’s present security challenges. Twice in less than a month, Boko Haram took their murderous campaign close to Abuja, the seat of government, when on April 14 and May 1 they bombed Nyanya, a suburb of the

capital city, killing over 100 people. The Chibok abductions happened on April 15, a day after the April 14 bombing of Nyanya bus station during an early morning rush. It was exactly a month after when the news filtered out that Mr. President would, after all, be visiting Chibok. The visit, if it had taken place, would


Chibok: A Jonathan no show

This is not the way Nigerians want their president to conduct himself in the nation’s most difficult times. Nigerians want a leader who will say he cares and walk his talk. Jonathan is anything but that. have given him an opportunity to reconnect with a sorrowing nation which had come to see him as a leader who did not care or lacked empathy. As it turned out, the president did not visit Chibok where parents of the kidnapped schoolgirls had been waiting all day to receive him. Instead, he flew out of the country to dine and wine with western leaders, led by French President Francois Hollande, in the name of a security meeting. On his return, he avoided Chibok again. In lame defence of President Jonathan, his media spokesman, Dr.

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

Reuben Abati, said the president had never planned to visit Chibok in the first place. If he had, an official statement announcing a planned visit would have been given to “document it”. He said that was standard practice. But this defence raises a question on its own. If the president never planned to visit Chibok, how come the misinformation? All the national dailies and online publications that ran the story of the President’s impending Chibok visit couldn’t have been wrong – all of them! This says a lot about the way Presidency officials handle or mishandle information about the President’s movements in and out of the country. Besides, the failed Chibok visit is further proof of the scorn the President and his wife, Dame Patience, have for Nigerians. Even when he tries to show he cares, he eventually makes a mess of it. Recall that on the day Nyanya was first bombed, Jonathan briefly visited the site in the afternoon and immediately afterwards resumed his reelection campaign outside Abuja. On her part, a fortnight ago, the First Lady invited some women from Borno state to a meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, only to accuse them of having fabricated the abductions in order to embarrass her husband’s government. Not done, she ordered the arrest and detention of two of the women. This is not the way Nigerians want their president to conduct himself in the nation’s most difficult times. Nigerians want a leader who will say he cares and walk his talk. Jonathan is anything but that.










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Opinion Democratisation of violence or state of emergency? By Babayola Toungo


he request for the extension of the state of emergency in the northeast states tabled before the National Assembly by Goodluck Jonathan and sheepishly approved by the House of Representatives is clear indication that they have harkened to the misinformed call of the Southern Leadership Assembly and not the informed call by the North East Leadership Forum. While the former live over a thousand kilometres away from the northeast, the later are right at the centre of the mayhem. The act of tabling the request in itself is further prove positive that the Jonathan administration “has now become a government of impunity run by an evil-minded leadership”, to quote Admiral Murtala Nyako. While the people of the three states – Borno, Yobe and Adamawa – are counting the days and eagerly waiting for the last day of the emergency rule, those who the Admiral described in his Memo as “murderous/ cutthroats imbedded in our legitimate and traditional defence and security organisations” are pushing for the extension of the emergency. As it turns out, Admiral, the “cutthroats” are also embedded in the political class. The people of these three states have been living through hell in the past one year. Their routines have been dislocated, their economic activities were grounded and their psyches have

been brutalised. Worse of all, the security situation became shoddier under the emergency regime. An unnecessary curfew is imposed on the people making life more difficult than before the proclamation. All businesses must be closed from a certain time to a definite time. One is not allowed to venture out once the curfew hour kick-ins. Even the act of taking a sick relation or expectant mother to the hospital has become risky because one may either be shot or arrested. While they were enduring these, those calling for the extension of the state of emergency are ensconced in far away places like Abuja, Enugu, Port-Harcourt or Lagos. It is not unusual for the soldiers to close down a whole town in the middle of the day in the name of “stop and search operation”. While the innocent

and law abiding are harassed, humiliated and confined to their houses defenceless and at the mercy of killers, the killers are having a field day with unbridled impunity and access – choosing and picking their targets. Another fallout of the state of emergency is the unwitting “democratisation of violence” – the proliferation of arms within the northeast of arms and ammunition. Today in the northeast, a toddler knows what an AK-47 looks like. Small arms and rifles are now common sight. It also led to the escalation of violence to unthinkable proportions. Before the declaration of the emergency regime, the insurgents operate in small ways before the audacious Baga massacre, which was attributed to the military. This was the point that the mayhem took a life

of its own and the declaration of the state of emergency only escalated the killing sprees. With the insurgents killing and destroying at will, the soldiers are harassing, humiliating and brutalising the people. The innocent poor are now living a life filled with violence from both sides. The proclamation of a state of emergency in a democratic dispensation is an aberration and can therefore not be used ad infinitum. If Jonathan believes that the Boko Haram menace falls under the factors numerated in S.305 (3) (c or d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), then in my opinion, the threat by the Ijaw Youth Congress should be treated under S. 305 (3) (f). With the near collapse of civilisation in the eastern region in the recent past when Port Harcourt was

The proclamation of a state of emergency in a democratic dispensation is an aberration and can therefore not be used ad infinitum. If Jonathan believes that the Boko Haram menace falls under the factors numerated in S.305 (3) (c or d) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), then in my opinion, the threat by the Ijaw Youth Congress should be treated under S. 305 (3) (f). With the near collapse of civilisation in the eastern region in the recent past when Port Harcourt was practically set ablaze, no such drastic action was taken on the region. What is the difference now?

practically set ablaze, no such drastic action was taken on the region. What is the difference now? If the logic of those calling for the extension of the state of emergency in the three northeastern states is allowed to prevail, then the northern region of Nigeria should brace itself for a declaration of state of emergency in the whole of the region before the 2015 elections. Either by design or default, the north is on fire – Boko Haram in the northeast, farmers/ herders clashes in the north central and bandits in the northwest. The success of the Civilian JTF in Borno is inspite of the emergency, not because of it. Were the people of Raan, Kala Balge local government to rely on the soldiers to save them, their town will have been laid to ruins. For the people of the northeast, emergency rule is akin to lining them up to be killed. This, they are rising to reject. The result? Everybody is arming himself the best way they know how. This way they are all soldiers defending their lives and livelihoods. Violence have been democratised by the emergency rule and who knows what becomes of these “civilian” JTF’s after the war against Boko Haram is won? I leave that to your imagination. The Senate may yet save the people by denying Jonathan his request. If all else fails, then Diariz God. Babayola Toungo via babayolatoungo@yahoo.

A faulty judgment of apex court By Umar Ardo


n Friday May 9, 2014 in a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Kumai Bayang Aka’ahs, Supreme Court of Nigeria dismissed my appeal on the PDP gubernatorial primary election in Adamawa state in 2012. By this judgment, the apex court affirmed that I was not an ‘Aspirant’ for the governorship and therefore had no locus standi to institute a case against whatever irregularities committed in the process of conducting the primaries. Why am I not an aspirant after buying, filling and submitting Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms, and after being screened and cleared by the party, and with my name on the ballot paper, the court said because I did not participate fully in the primaries. Secondly, in a supporting argument, the court said that I obtained Expression

of Interest Form but did not pay for it. Now this is a very serious allegation – if really I did not pay for my forms, then indeed I have no right to raise an issue on the conduct of the primaries. Thirdly, the court raised an issue of court procedure which it ruled that

my lawyers did not follow and therefore rendered the case incompetent. Now these three are issues of facts, law and procedure. As a ‘proverbial lay man’ in the legal profession, I won’t be able to discuss law and court procedure, but I know

the facts of my case. It is a fact the court asserted that I did not participate fully in the primaries, and so cannot complain on the primaries. What is ‘participating fully in the primaries’, the court did not say. But in the first place, where did the court get the

It goes against the spirit of the law; it contradicts previous judgments of the court; it is bias and selective; it is low in logic and intellect, and is a huge miscarriage of justice not only against me but also against thousands of PDP members in Adamawa state who were denied the right to participate in the gubernatorial nomination process of their party in the October 2011 Primaries. The judgment unwittingly winds back the hand of the cloak in entrenching internal democracy in Nigeria’s party politics. Its substance is of little value both to jurisprudence and to our polity

idea that I did not participate fully in the primaries when all the parties in the suit ab initio are agreed that there were only two contestants in the primary elections – myself and Governor Nyako - and that I was defeated, and the issue of participation was never in contention? The answer is that the trial court brought it suomotu, i.e. all by itself without getting counsels to address it. I appealed against this infraction at the Court of Appeal and won. Yet without any cross-appeal on the matter, the Supreme Court astonishingly reintroduced the matter in which it claimed I did not ‘fully participate’ in and therefore have no right to complain. Two of us went through the processes from ‘A’ to ‘D’. In the conduct of ‘E’, that is electing the 3 ward Ad hoc delegates, the provision of the Party Guidelines was breached in that Delegates’ Contiuned on page 15




The NBA and the insurgency By Chidi Anselm Odinkalu


n the night of 17 September 2012, insurgents assassinated Zanna Mallam Gana, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Borno State. Mallam Gana was killed in his home in Bama where he had gone to spend the week-end. In response to his killing, the institutions for the defence of the rule of law in Nigeria, including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said nothing. For most people beyond Borno State, Mallam Gana was just another morbid statistic in the insurgency in Borno. For the legal profession in the State, however, it was the beginning of a sustained assault that has deepened. In the eighteen months since his killing, the insurgents have killed many other lawyers in Borno state. Abubakar Sadiq, another lawyer, was also shot and killed in Bama while he was enlisting help to escape from insurgent who had forcibly seized his car. Insurgents also attacked and killed Babagana Alkali, Modu Denjami, and Ahmed Wali, all members of the Maiduguri Bar. Last year, insurgents similarly killed Jibrin Mohammed in his home in Maiduguri. He was also a member of the Maiduguri Bar. Also killed was Mohammed’s two year old daughter who died in his arms. To the south of Maiduguri in Gwoza, Adamu Dugje, another lawyer was also assassinated by the insurgents. All these were real

person, real lawyers. As their examples show, in addition to educational institutions, lawyers and institutions of the rule of law have been a specific focus of attacks as the insurgency in north-east Nigeria has deepened. The number of

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lawyers killed does not fully account for the brutality of the assault on the law and its institutions. Besides the dead, many lawyers have also been injured, terrorized or forced

to flee the insurgency. Peter Adebayo Bello, a lawyer in Maiduguri, was attacked in his house, shot in the head and left to die. He survived but has evacuated from Maiduguri. Also in Maiduguri, the

insurgents attacked Musa Mohammed, another lawyer, in his house. Mohammed survived merely because he was quick witted enough to deny that he was a lawyer. But

his assailants beat him to pulp and warned him that they would be return if they found out that he had lied to them. Unwilling to test fate, Mohammed fled Maiduguri and is now

In the face of this brutal and escalating attack on the legal profession in North-east Nigeria, the leadership of the NBA has offered little ideas, support or reinforcement to the affected institutions, leading many to question whether it cares or knows how to. On 13 February 2014, the NBA organised an event to provide “relief” to lawyers affected by the insurgency in north-east Nigeria. Speaking at the event, the NBA President, OkeyWali, a Senior Advocate, acknowledged that “Legal practice in North Eastern Nigeria has been largely disrupted as a result of the insurgency in that region. In fact, it is non-existent”, and lamented: “as I speak most of our members have not only lost their practice as professionals, but have also lost their livelihood and physical wellbeing. Even some of our members are regarded as insurgents and threatened with prosecution

struggling to re-build his life and practice elsewhere. In Borno, for instance, lawyers and courts have been wiped out from all but the State capital, Maiduguri. With security assets stretched, judicial officers have all re-located to Maiduguri. At the Bar, entire branches have been displaced. The Biu Branch of the NBA, for instance, no longer maintains any member in Biu. In many locations outside the capital, the insurgents maintain road blocks where clean shaven men are particularly targeted for execution because they are assumed to be lawyers, police or other security personnel. In the face of this brutal and escalating attack on the legal profession in North-east Nigeria, the leadership of the NBA has offered little ideas, support or reinforcement to the affected institutions, leading many to question whether it cares or knows how to. On 13 February 2014, the NBA organised an event to provide “relief” to lawyers affected by the insurgency in north-east Nigeria. Speaking at the event, the NBA President, OkeyWali, a Senior Advocate, acknowledged that “Legal practice in North Eastern Nigeria has been largely disrupted as a result of the insurgency in that region. In fact, it is non-existent”, and lamented: “as I speak most of our members have not only lost their practice as professionals, but have also lost their livelihood and Contiuned on page 15

Why Jonathan must go to Chibok By Muhammad Al-Ameen


eadership comes with enormous responsibilities, courage and risks. Therefore, anyone aspiring for leadership at any level must be adequately prepared with this at the back of his mind before venturing for leadership positions. The leader is a guide who provides his people with vision, direction and strength. He or she is an authority that is looked up to for solution to problems affecting the people. Therefore, when a part or whole of a geographical entity under the care of a leader is infringed or abused, the hope of the followers rests on the bold, fast and decisive actions of their leaders. Another factor that makes a leader unique is his ability

to identify with the plight of his people especially at times of need. Recently, the Prime minster of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited the Soma coal mine accident which claimed over 200 lives. The Prime minister was advised on security grounds not to visit the site because relations of the victims were raging in anger over poor safety measures provided for the miners. The people see government as an ‘accomplice’ to the mining company. They argued that the accident would have been averted if government had compelled the company to observe the standard safety measures. Amidst the mad rage, Prime minister Erdogan drove to the accident site even when the angry mob attempted lynching him.

Back home, when news emerged that President Goodluck Jonathan was visiting Chibok before proceeding to France for the security meeting, parents of the abducted Chibok girls, and many sympathizers sighed “at last, after one month, Mr President will be in Chibok to commiserate with the community to give them hope and strength over the missing girls”. Alas, discordant tunes over the visit started vibrating from Abuja. It was either Mr. President put off the visit or, never indicated interest of going to Chibok and when the president left for France, the people’s hope in receiving a presidential belated sympathy visit was dashed and, the remaining strength left with them diminished further. A lot of things crossed the

minds of Nigerians. When will this president identify with the plight of. Nigerians in Chibok? When will Chibok parents tap strength and hope in their President? A president who is about seeking their mandate for another term of office. It is quite disturbing to hear Mr President telling reporters in France that it is not necessary for him to go to Chibok. Whosoever advised President Jonathan not to go to Chibok, must have misled him as well. Imagine a country visited by national tragedy. Who is the chief mourner? Of course, it is President Jonathan. It is certain that the people of Chibok who felt lifted with the news that Mr President was visiting them, would have their already devastated spirits further weakened. Like the courageous visit

by APC governors who walked the streets of Maiduguri last year in spite of bomb scares, which gave the residents a sense of care, concern and belonging, it is indeed necessary that Mr President visits Chibok to lift up the spirit of a ruined community. As the 2015 elections get closer, the people have been strengthened by the successful conduct of local council election in Yobe state. It has provided them with hope towards 2015. They also argued that elections were being conducted in worse scenarios like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria therefore, they cannot be marginalized in 2015. Muhammad AlAmeen can be reached on muhammedalameen437@



Comment Embracing the war on terror By Musa Abdullahi


or anyone who is in power, whether as President or even Governor, embracing the war on terror is not only the sanest thing to do, but may be necessary as a survival strategy. President Goodluck Jonathan is going to be president again on May 29, 2015. I am not an oracle, but when Iread that the Paris meeting which he attended has asked him to lead the war on terror, I came to the conclusion that his tenure has been extended. Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state

has chosen the wrong path to becoming Nigeria’s President, that of human and infrastructural development. It is not the one designed for the Third World. Which is the path chosen for Third World, and who made the choice? The path of strife and destruction is the one chosen for the Third World. Those who made the choice are the ones who colonized the Third World earlier. Currently, China is facing anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam, leading to death of its citizens, and the exodus of hundreds. China in its rise was/is aiming at controlling the market in its region; now with this new, manufactured

enmity, trust will be lost. The Chinese explained that terror attacks on their territories are financed by foreign powers, who detest China’s rise. When you see the wife of President Obama holding the ‘release our girls’ placard, do you believe it is out of pity? No! She was acting out her role in the war on terror script. I do not believe that even President Jonathan understands the war on terror script like the leader of CAN, Ayo. He has an unlimited supply of inflammatory remarks that he hopes will bring about the needed war between Christians and Muslims. What will be the consequence? Of

course the consequence is positive: a totally Christian Nigeria; as if one needs to remind him that Congo is in tatters, though a Christian state. Recently someone deemed it necessary to send a warning to Fashola, Governor of Lagos: that Boko Haram will soon attack Lagos. So if a bomb explodes in this or that market, killing hundreds, will that not lead to something? But why? Why should some nations be exporting terror to others? What benefit do they derive from killing and burning towns and farms of villagers in Borno or Yobe? I do not know the answers,

and the authors won’t tell us. But lest we forget, the NSA, IGP, and Minister of Defense, are all Northerners and Muslims. Ordinary Muslims, ordinary Christians, are itching to get at each other’s throat, while the enemy looks on gleefully. Jonathan will be on saddle for a long time fighting a perpetual war on terror, which will not stop till Nigerians are totally incapacitated. Is he naive? I doubt it. He simply loves the glamour of being President, and must serve the masters who put him there in the first place. Musa Abdullahi via

A faulty judgment of apex court Contiuned from page 13

Nomination Forms were not sold and the elections did not hold. Rather, the party along with my fellow ‘aspirant’ sad down in the comfort of the Government House and drew up a list of 678 of the Governor’s supporters and submitted as electedAd hoc delegates and asked that in the morning we should assemble at the election venue for the purpose of conducting item ‘G’ – i.e. the Primary Election. I objected, insisting that conducting item ‘E’ in accordance to the Guidelines is a condition– precedent to proceeding to item ‘G’.I then threatened that if they proceeded to ‘G’ without rectifying ‘E’, I will proceed to court. And that was exactly what happened – they proceeded to item ‘G’ and I proceeded to court. But at the end of the day,

with this decision of the Supreme Court, the gamut of our courts refused to entertain my suit. For the trial court, its ground was that I did not participate in the primary election, an issue brought by the court soumotu. For the Court of Appeal, its ground was that I do not qualify as an aspirant as defined by the Supreme Court in other previous cases, and therefore by the doctrine of stare decisis I cannot be imbued with locus standi to be heard by the court. And for the Supreme Court, even with my name on the ballot, I did not ‘fully participate’ in the primaries and therefore lack the right to be heard. Also, the Supreme Court added that I did not pay for my Expression of Interest Form which further disqualifies me from being a bonafide aspirant. But where did the Supreme Court get the

idea that I did not pay for my forms? The answer is from the 1st Respondent’s statement of defense. Other than the fact that this was not an issue in the appeal for determination (because I paid all my fees and the receipts are attached in my petition before the court), how come the court would see this false claim in the Statement of Defense but failed to also see in the same Statement of Defense the averment that only I and the 1st Defendant contested the primaries in which it claimed I was defeated? Clearly, the court merely chose what it wanted to see and left what it did not want to see. In the end, I was not heard. The Supreme Court’s Judgment in my case is fundamentally faulty. Ithink it was the late Justice Oputa who once commented that the Supreme Court is supreme not because it

is infallible; it is supreme because its determination is final. The erudite jurist may well have had my case in mind for making the comment. Although we are bound by this judgment of the Supreme Court, the judgment by itself is not beyond criticism. It fails to address the issues put forth for determination. It is a very poor and confused judgment. It goes against the spirit of the law; it contradicts previous judgments of the court; it is bias and selective; it is low in logic and intellect, and is a huge miscarriage of justice not only against me but also against thousands of PDP members in Adamawa state who were denied the right to participate in the gubernatorial nomination process of their party in the October 2011 Primaries. The judgment unwittingly winds back the hand of the

cloak in entrenching internal democracy in Nigeria’s party politics. Its substance is of little value both to jurisprudence and to our polity. To all intents and purposes, the Supreme Court is a three-in-one-court - first and foremost, a Court of Justice; then a Court of Law; and a Political Court. Ideally (at its best), its judgments should imbed the cause and course of these three elements. However, this judgment is empty in all - it has neither advanced the course of democracy, law nor justice. Instead, by the finality of its decision, it simply compromises democratic nomination process, basically abrogates the provisions of the law and unkindly metes grave public injustice on the society. Dr. Umar Ardo is on

The NBA and the insurgency Contiuned from page 14

physical wellbeing. Even some of our members are regarded as insurgents and threatened with prosecution.” So what did the NBA do to address this situation? It has spent 1.52 Million Naira on cheques of 100,000 Naira each to the survivors of four lawyers killed and another 70,000 each to 16 lawyers displaced by the insurgency. This is both miserable and pathetic. At the conclusion of the meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) in Abuja, in May 2014, the NBA

requested that “our branches in the North-eastern part of Nigeria, namely, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states, should document clearly the allegations and patterns of violation of human rights by security agents in the NorthEast and that such reports should be sent to the NBA National Secretariat so that we can take them up with the relevant security and government agencies and also the Defence Headquarters.” The most charitable that can be said about this is that it is mis-guided, mis-informed and lacking in imagination. The Bar

in the north-east has unquestionably encountered difficulties with the security agencies in the region. But the most serious attacks on the Bar and the rule of law have come from the insurgency. It has killed many lawyers, run many more out of town and is an assault on the rule of law. Rather than document the persecution of its own members, the leadership of the NBA prefers to pass the buck to branches in parts where it has acknowledged that the Bar is “non-existent”. To compound matters, when the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) earlier this year offered

to enlist the skills of lawyers in Borno in prosecuting detainees under the Terrorism Prevention Act, the leadership of the NBA quickly stepped in to divert the briefs to themselves, asking the DHQ to exclusively discuss such matters with the NBA at the national level. The mission of the NBA is “Promoting the Rule of Law”. It does injustice to this mission when all it seeks is to secure briefs for NBA’s plutocrats off the back of a profession under brutal assault from the insurgency. On the insurgency, the leadership of the NBA has

been wantonly missing in action. It is little wonder that many lawyers living with the insurgency believe the NBA has failed them. If it cannot come up with a sensible programme of assistance and support, the NBA should at least show thoughtful solidarity. And if it cannot do either of these, the NBA leadership should confess that it lacks the imagination for these times and frankly abdicate. Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, a member of the National Executive Committee of the NBA, wrote thisnin his personal capacity



Tailor in trouble for absconding with customer’s material

The Coordinator of the FCT Community Based Health Insurance Scheme (CBHIS), Dr. Grace Aganaba, presenting certified health insurance cards to Chief of Gurufata community, Haruna Tatobwa, during CBHIS’s official handover of cards to the chiefs of the 50 selected communities for onward distribution to natives that have registered in their respective communities in the Territory.


he police have arraigned a tailor, Stephen Joseph in an Abuja Senior Magistrates’ court, for allegedly absconding with his customer’s textile material worth N10, 000. Joseph, who resides in Gishiri Village, Abuja, is charged with criminal breach of trust and cheating. The prosecutor, Cpl. Sani Yusuf, told the court that one Mr. Okpanachi Omadechi of TOS Benson Crescent, Utako, Abuja, lodged a report against the accused on Jan. 7 at the Mabushi Police Station. Yusuf said that the complainant gave the accused the textile material he bought for N10, 000 to saw a `kaftan’ for him. He said that the complainant paid N1, 500 being as advance payment for sowing the material. Yusuf said that the accused `disappeared’ after collecting the material and the advance payment until he was arrested by the police. The prosecutor said during police investigation, the accused confessed to committing the crime. Yusuf said that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 312 and 322 of the Penal code respectively. If convicted, he faces three years in prison with fine or both. After the charges were read to him, the accused pleaded not guilty and said he misplaced the material. Senior Magistrate Aliyu Shafa admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N5, 000 with one surety in the like sum who must reside within the court’s jurisdiction. He adjourned the matter until June 18 for trial proper. (NAN)

Photo: Stanley Onyekwere

Residents hail FCTA’s health insurance scheme as CBHIS presents cards to 50 communities By Stanley Onyekwere


esidents of SabonGurufata community, in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has commended the FCT Administration for its efforts through the Community Based Health Insurances Scheme (CBHIS), towards ensuring that every resident in rural communities in the FCT have access to affordable health care delivery. The natives who were visibly filled with excitement at the presence of the CBHIS team, led by the Coordinator, Dr. Grace Aganaba, expressed gratitude to the FCT Minister of State, Oloye

Insecurity: Bwari CAN calls for intensive prayers By Usman Shuaibu


he chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Bwari Area Council chapter of the FCT, Rev. Knatnubwa Amos, has called on citizens to pray intensively, so as to put an end to the lingering security challenges facing the country. Amos, who made the call in an interview with Peoples Daily, at the weekend, urged all the Muslims as well as Christians to always pray for the progress of the country at their various places of worship. While commenting on the abduction of the school girls in Borno state by the dreaded Boko Haram, Amos pleaded with the

government and security agencies to expedite action to rescue the abductees from the camp of the insurgents. He further advised both Muslims and Christians to continue to live in harmony, urging them to shun any act capable of causing religious crisis in the society. He appealed to the government of the day to provide employment for the youths, in order to arrest the societal vices amongst them. He however, called for the provision of electricity, potable water as well as good roads by the government to enable the people to feel the impact of the government in their domains.

Olajumoke Akinjide, for her determination to ensure that people of all the FCT rural communities have an insurance cover, to enable them access affordable health care services. Peoples Daily reports that for people to be captured in the scheme they are required to register with N150, every month and N1, 800per year. With this amount, they can have unlimited access to better health care delivery. The Chief of SabonGurufata,Chief Haruna Tatobwa, said that the health insurance scheme has given hope to surviving a lot of sicknesses from various health hazards ravagingpeople in most rural communities in Gwagwalada. Tatobwa, who is also the chairman of the Board of Trustee of the 50 communities registering for the community-based health insurance programme in the Council, said “I know that my people are comfortable with the

arrangement and they are going to benefit very well from it. “I am so happy about this new health development through the community base insurance scheme that has come to this community, because, my people has suffered a lot because of different health challenges. “Even some of the chief have met me to inform me that they want to register for it. I want to advice people in all the communities to come out and register for the health insurance, because it is for the people and the government of the FCT is also for the people. The scheme is available to help us at any time in terms of health care,” he said. On his part, a resident, Isah Adamu, said there is positive belief among the people that the community base health care insurance scheme would improve on health care delivery in the area and the FCT at large. However, the Coordinator of CBHIS, while presenting the health

insurance cards to the Chiefs of the 50 selected communities, for them to distribute to the natives that have registered in their respective communities, saidthe FCT minister of state was committed to ensure that every resident of all the communities in the FCT have access to better health care delivery. “Health is wealth, and a healthy people mean a wealthy community, that is why the FCTA has placed complete seriousness in ensuring that the people are channeled towards accessing better health care delivery. “That is why the FCT minister of state has made provision for everything it would take to make it possible for the scheme to be successful. “We have told the people, that for them to be in the scheme they should register with N150 a month and N1800 a year. With this amount they can have unlimited access to better health care delivery and stay healthy always,” she said.

NYSC members want FCT minister to provide accommodation


ome corps members serving in Abuja, the nation’s capital have called on the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to build an NYSC lodge in the city for members whose employers cannot afford to accommodate. The corps members, who made the call while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) , said though the responsibility of providing accommodation for corps members

was that of employers, the FCTA could introduce a housing scheme for them. A batch `B’ member, Miss Nnoli Ogozirim, said accommodation was one of the major challenges facingb corps members. “I am from a state where accommodation and transportation is relatively cheap. “It is not easy getting accommodation in Abuja. Living here in the city is expensive. Even when you

get it, you will pay so much. “I am now staying on the outskirts of Abuja and my allowance from the NYSC, in addition to what they give me from my primary place of assignment, ends up being spent on accommodation every month,” she said. Ogozirim also appealed to the Federal Government to increase the monthly allowance paid to FCT Corps members. (NAN)




Young men selling phone accessories on roadside, yesterday in Nyanya.

Two young men taking dangerous ride in an overloaded truck, yesterday along Area 1- AYA Road, in Abuja.

A young man hawking coconut, yesterday in Garki, Abuja.

Two middle-aged men buying fura da nono, yesterday at Federal Secretariat, in Abuja.

Two young men providing local manicure service to a customer, yesterday in Garki 2, Abuja Photos: Justin Imo-owo




Applicant in court for kidnapping, raping housewife


A man relaxing on railway crossing, yesterday at Kagini near Kubwa, in Abuja.

Photo: NAN


Student bags 6 months’ imprisonment for homosexuality


n Upper Area court, in Zuba, Abuja, has sentenced a student, Nonso Nzeti, to six months imprisonment for having anal sex with a 17-year old boy. The presiding judge, Malam Aminu Sa’ad, passed the judgement after the 23-year old 300-level student of University

of Abuja pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of committing unnatural offence. Sa’ad also added a compulsory fine of N50,000 to be paid by the convict. Earlier the prosecutor, Cpl. Momoh Ibrahim, told the court that on March 30, one Ige Sunday

of Duste Makaranta, Abuja, reported the matter at Duste Alhaji Police Station. Ibrahim said Sunday discovered that his apprentice (name withheld) was walking abnormally. He said when the boy was asked; he said that the accused and

his friends, now at large, forcefully had sexual intercourse with him through his anus. The prosecutor told the court that during police investigation, the convict confessed to have committed the crime, adding that his crime contravened the Penal code. (NAN)

Court discharges 3 men charged with armed robbery


hree men charged with armed robbery and possessions of firearms have regained their freedom, after an FCT High court discharged for want of diligent prosecution. Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, who discharged the accused, expressed displeasure over the failure of the police to produce their witnesses in the trial. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Chukwuemeka Nze, 38, Emmanuel Madobe 34, and David Obande, 28, were jointly arraigned on five counts bordering on alleged conspiracy, armed

robberypossession of firearms. Baba-Yusuf said the prosecutor had stalled court proceedings several times, adding, “the court will not grant you another adjournment. “The court has granted you several adjournments; the continuous detention of these accused persons without any explanation by the persecutor is unconstitutional and unacceptable. “It is not enough for the prosecution to keep telling the court that witnesses are coming as a justification for continuous adjournment.” The judge said the court would

not be deceived by such excuses as there was no indictment against the accused persons. “The accused persons are hereby discharged,” the judge said. Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. John Ijegbemi, informed the court that the key witness was not in court for the trial to commence. “My lord, the witness who is the nominal complainant and the principal witness in the case has refused to appear before the court to testify in spite of several contacts in this regard. “The Investigating Police Officer, SP Marcus Voumba, has been

transferred to Taraba State,” the prosecutor said. The counsel to the accused, Mr. Edward Ewu, prayed the court to discharge his clients. He submitted that the accused had been in prison custody since 2011. Ewu said that the prosecution lacked material evidence to prove his case against the accused. NAN recalls that the three were alleged to have robbed a businessman, Mr. Shedrack Adejoh, of his Toyota Camry, No. CN 386 RBC on September 23, 2011 and collected N8.500 from him.

Public servant docked for disconnecting electricity supply to neighbour’s house


public servant, Charles Nwachukwu, has appeared in a Senior Magistrates’ court, in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, for allegedly disconnecting electricity supply to his neighbour’s house. Nwachukwu, who resides at plot 423 Block 6, Flat 21, San Pedro Street, Wuse Zone 1, Abuja, is standing trial on a one count charge of inciting disturbance. The prosecutor, Sgt Abdullahi

Adamu, told the court that Ms Helen Mabu of Plot 423, Block 6, Flat 17, San Pedro Street, Wuse Zone 1, lodged the report at the police station on May 6. Adamu said the accused person disconnected the complainant’s electricity supply without his consent, which led to exchange of words between the two. The prosecutor said such an act was capable of disturbing public

peace, adding that the offence contravened the provisions of Section 114 of the Penal code. If convicted, the accused is liable to prison term which may extend to two years or fine or both. However, the accused person pleaded not guilty to the charge. The Senior Magistrate, Grace Adeniyi, admitted him to bail in the sum of N100,000 and two

sureties in like sum. Adeniyi ordered that one of the sureties must be a public servant on any grade level, while the other must be a businessman. The senior magistrate also ordered that the sureties must be resident within the court’s jurisdiction and must have fixed and traceable residential addresses and adjourned the matter until June 11. (NAN)

38-year old applicant, Augustine Tochukwu, has appeared before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High court, for allegedly kidnapping and raping a housewife. Tochukwu, of Umudioka Awka, Anambra, is charged with fourcounts of conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnap and rape. The prosecutor, Cpl. John Ijagbemi, told the court that the accused, kidnapped his victim on Jan. 18, 2013. Ojagbemi alleged that that the accused, in furtherance of his illegal act, used his telephone to call and text the victim’s husband, Mr Nzota Chidi, demanding for N40 million as ransom or risk losing his wife. Ijagbemi said the accused also raped his victim. After the charges were read to him, the accused pleaded not guilty. In a ruling, Justice Husseini Baba-Yusuf, admitted the accused on bail in the sum of N500,000 with two reliable sureties in like sum. Baba-Yusuf ordered the sureties to produce title deeds of landed property within the FCT. The judge also ordered that if the accused failed to meet the bail conditions, he would be remanded at the Kuje Medium Security Prison. Baba-Yusuf adjourned the case until October 13, for trial. (NAN)

Court jails thrift collector 11 months for cheating


n Upper Area Court in Zuba, Abuja, has sentenced a thrift collector, Gloria Augustine, to 11 months in prison for cheating five customers of N120, 000. Augustine, 25, who resides in Ministers’ Hill Zuba, Abuja, is charged with two counts of criminal breach of trust and cheating. The presiding judge, Malam Aminu Sa’ad, sentenced her after she pleaded guilty. Sa’ad, however, gave the convict an option of N73,000 fine. He also ordered her to refund the N120,000 she collected from the five customers. Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. Momoh Ibrahim, told the court that on May 13, Mr Emeka Amos, Binta Salisu, Umaru Sadiq, Cyprian Onuenuko and Chudac Okonkwo, all residents of Zuba, FCT, lodged a report at the police station. Ibrahim told the court that the complainants, as at April, saved N120, 000. The prosecutor said during police interrogation, the convict confessed that her husband withdrew the money where she lodged in their joint Eco Bank account. He also said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 312 and 322 of the Penal code respectively.



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Etisalat Nigeria awards cars to 50 distribution partners -Pg 21

L-R: Group Executive Director, Gas & Power, Mr. David Ige, briefing Minister of State for Power, Hon. Mohammed Wakil, on the Escravos-Lagos Pipeline recently in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

Port Harcourt refinery blast: We were not affected-NNPC By Etuka Sunday


o fewer than seven persons were alleged to have died from an explosion that rocked the Nigeria’s 210,000-barrels-perday capacity refinery in Port Harcourt and the Jetty in Okrika Rivers State, a local government official has disclosed. “From what I have been

told, there are casualties. Seven persons were said to have lost their lives,” Tamuno Williams, chairman of the local government, told journalists. However, it was further gathered that the explosion was caused by pipeline vandals who hacked into the pipeline to steal the crude oil. Meanwhile, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation

(NNPC) yesterday refuted reports in the media that the Port Harcourt Refinery in AlesaEleme and the nearby Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, PPMC Evacuation/ Reception Jetty in Okrika Rivers State were gutted by fire on Sunday. A statement by the Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division,

Entrepreneurship: ICON Afrique boss laments over youth unemployment

By Clem Khena-Ogbena, Abuja


he Chief Executive and Managing Director, ICON Afrique, Mrs. Jackie Ola, has expressed regret over the rising youth unemployment in Nigeria, saying many youths in the country had potentials and dreams but lacked the opportunities to maximise such gifts. Ola, who is also the chief executive and managing director of NaomiDavids Limited, an international people’s development and human resources consultancy company, stated this at the weekend, during an exclusive interview with PEOPLES DAILY at the ICON Afrique Youth Empowerment Showcase/ Exhibition, in Abuja. She added that if youths’ potentials were harnessed and developed through capacity training, they could be be useful to themselves and the society. Ola gave the assurance that after this event, which was aimed at driving self-employed youths and those with skills and potentials to showcase their talents and endeavours, NaomiDavids would further organise capacity training for the affected youths, at

the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Forum (NEF), in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, after which the qualified ones would be assisted with funds, to support their businesses. She also noted with concern that so many people had skills which they could use to fend for themselves, but unaware of existing opportunities through which they could access the assistance and support they may require. Ola explained that ICON Afrique, which focuses on youth empowerment in the country, had aff iliated groups responsible for providing capacity building training for self employment and entrepreneurship, adding that ICON Afrique, which is a nongovernmental organisation, would provide an enrichment training for, assist, support and promote up coming fashion designers, designers in other areas, song writers, singers, and the likes. The ICON Afrique boss stated, “We focus on youth empowerment. I know a lot of people here who have talents, who have gifts but do not have platform to showcase what they are , and also we have our affiliated groups that are

responsible for training certain more people within the situation of joblessness in the country to be self employed, as entrepreneurs. “There are so many people who have skills and who can use them to fend for themselves, and do not know of the opportunities for them in the country to access the help they need. “That is why we are here. Also, there are some people who would showcase the talents they have. So, we have young fashion designers, song writers, singers, dancers. We have entrepreneurs generally. We have people who manufacture things from the little materials they have. We have people in the entertainment; we all know what the entertainment industry in the country is.” In his remark, the President, NEF, Dr, Sidney Inegbedion, urged the youths and budding entrepreneurs to share their business ideas or information and network, adding that they should identify their areas of needs. According to Inegbedion, NEF would be willing to advise and counsel them. He stated, “We will leave our institution open for you, for whatever advice, support or technical assistance you need.”

Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said Port Harcourt Refinery and the Okrika Jetty are intact. The NNPC in a Press Release explained that findings from its preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was caused by the activities of oil thieves who hacked into a pipeline somewhere in the creek where they were siphoning petroleum products when the explosion occurred and that the fire did not in any way affect the refinery or the PPMC Jetty in Okrika as widely reported. “We can confirm that the Port Harcourt Refinery and the Okrika Jetty are intact. The reported fire incident did not in any way affect our operations. While we sympathize with the families of the oil marauders who reportedly lost their lives in the unfortunate inferno, we wish to implore community leaders in Okrika and its environs to appeal to their wards to refrain from product theft and hacking of pipelines,” the NNPC said. The Corporation affirmed the integrity of its pipelines stating that engineers and technologists from the PPMC Pipelines Right of Way Unit are being dispatched to the scene of the incident for proper technical evaluation.

NERC threatens to sanction Discos on reporting obligations -Pg 20

ICPC partners COREN to eliminate quack engineers -Pg 22 Exchange Rates CBN as at 18th MAY, 2014 Buying



















MANAGEMENT TIP OF THE DAY Limit constant communication to get more done


ou might be surprised to hear that some successful executives deliberately limit their phone and email use. It’s not easy to manage a team by phone — though phone conversations are a fine way to broadcast simple information, thoughtful listening while on the phone can be challenging. If you need to exchange and analyze ideas, you’re better off meeting in person, so try

holding your most important conversations face-to-face. Also consider that some cognitive processes happen only when you step away from the frenetic responsiveness of email — and that your 24-hour availability might hamper your team’s initiative. Weaker team members may rely on your responses, but you and your team will get more done if they work more autonomously.




NERC threatens to sanction Discos on reporting obligations By Etuka Sunday


he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has threatened to sanction electricity Distribution companies (Discos) over their compliance of their reporting obligations. A statement by the Head, Public Affairs Department, NERC, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, said it was the first time the Commission was assessing the utilities on their Key Performance Indicators since they took over barely six months ago. With just three out of the eleven Distribution Companies meeting up with the directive, the Commission

considered it a total disregard of its directives and warned that it will soon enforce the relevant section of the EPSR Act (2005) on reporting obligation. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) expressed reservations on the compliance level of Distribution Companies in the reporting and submission of data that would allow for proper network data assessment by the Commission. The reporting obligation as contained in part 10, section 94(2) of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act (2005) states that any person who fails or refuses to furnish a return or to supply information in

the manner and time prescribed, or gives false or incomplete information commits an offence and is liable on conviction. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi said that the CEOs had been told at their April meeting to comply with the Commission’s request on submission of baseline statistics on distribution assets they took over. According to Dr. Amadi, there is a need for network data assessment, amongst which is to establish a data bank of all existing distribution assets, to monitor, track and report performance of the Distribution Companies with respect to

strengthening of distribution systems and capacity expansion as well as facilitate expansion and development of the distribution networks. He urged the Distribution Companies to improve on their performances and make necessary adjustments. He said a similar exercise with the Transmission and Generation Companies will soon be carried out. “Discos are to note their performances and make necessary adjustments to ensure timely and accurate reporting. Similar exercises would be conducted for Transmission and Generation Companies”, Dr. Amadi said.

L-R: Kaduna state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Bashir Zubairu Birnin Gwari, Special Adviser to the President on Youth Empowerment, Ambassador Obi Adim, during the signing of the Integrated Youth Economic Empowerment Programme Corps (IYEEP Corps) Memorandum of Understanding, at the weekend in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye

SEC committed to financial literacy- Oteh By Doyin Ojosipe


he Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Arunma Oteh has said that the Commission would play its role as the Apex regulator of Nigeria’s capital market in ensuring that more Nigerians become financially literate. Oteh said this when she received members of the Nigerian Institute of

Management (NIM) in her office over the weekend. According to the DG, the commitment to financial education among other considerations informed the decision of the Commission to partner with the entertainment industry to communicate to Nigerians, issues relating to financial literacy. She said, “ As the Apex Regulator of the capital market we need to raise financially literate citizens who spend

wisely and save wisely “ We believe if people are well schooled, they will be able to make informed financial decisions. We are keen on ensuring that Nigeria has financially responsible citiens”. Oteh emphasized that integrity and discipline are very important to the Commission as it must strive to be a role model in all it does. “We must be a role model in everything we do because our work

entails regulations and enduring that our markets are where we want them to be and also ensure that Nigeria is the preferred investor destination” she said. Earlier in an address, President of the Institute, Dr. Nelson Uwaga commended the SEC for the meritorious service it has been rendering to the nation and the economy and on its efforts in turning around the nation’s capital market.

Marketers call for ban on imported bitumen

From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


he National Association of Bitumen Marketers and Distributors of Nigeria has called for ban on imported bitumen, saying that the importation of the product is running them out of business. The Association stated this during a press conference to express the implication of the imported bitumen, otherwise known as coal-tar in local parlance on their business. The National Secretary of the Association, Mr. Emma Olelewe said the imported product is cheaper than the locally produced one. Olelewe added that because of this development, business men who have the capacity to import the product are smiling to the banks,

while members of the association are walloping in incapacitation as they could not afford to buy the locally produced bitumen. He pointed out that even if they should afford to purchase the local roduct, they would run into a loss since the end users have higher patronage for the imported commodity. He disclosed that the association has written to the Senate Committee, House Committee on downstream as well as relevant authorities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) at different times on the issue to no avail. He said, “The price of the locally produced bitumen is N147, 825.00 per metric ton ex-Kaduna Refinery Depot, without

transportation. “The landing cost of imported bitumen to Nigeria which is mostly imported by foreigners is N105,000.00 per metric ton, while the importers deliver to construction companies at N150,000.00 per metric ton inclusive of transport to anywhere in Nigeria thereby pushing Nigerians out of jobs. “The massive importation of bitumen is a big threat to the locally produced bitumen available at the Kaduna Refinery. “The question now is, why should imported bitumen be cheaper than locally produced bitumen”? “Since Mr. President is a listening leader, we therefore appeal to him to use his good office to save the bitumen sub-sector by increasing the import duty on

imported bitumen which is just 5% as has been done to rice importation and very recently fairly used cars (Tokunbo). He also disclosed that the association had in July 2013 written to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, National Assembly, on the high cost of bitumen in Nigeria and its effect on the economy. He read the letter in part, “We are therefore compelled to write this letter to you and your committee to know that our failure to patronize this very important product in preference to imported ones may not be unconnected to alleged deliberate policy by PPMC to sabotage our economy and good intention of your committee on works and by extension the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.

IPMAN says FCT court order can lead to judicial anarchy


hief Obasi Lawson-led Independent Petroleum Marketers Association Nigeria (IPMAN) faction, has said that court order restraining him as the association president was capable of bringing ridicule to the judiciary. The Counsel to Lawson-led IPMAN, Mr Reuben Wanogho, who stated this in Abuja while speaking with some newsmen over the judgment, said such order could result to judicial anarchy. NAN recalls that an FCT High Court on May 16 restrained Lawson from parading himself as President of IPMAN pending the determination of the suit. The Plaintiff, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, being a factional president of the association, in a suit number FCT/ HC/4141/2014, urged the court to restrain Lawson from the act. Wanogho said that it was a judicial miscarriage for another High Court to give such order when there was an existing High Court order from Port Harcourt declaring Lawson as IPMAN National President on March 20. The Lawson-led IPMAN Counsel said because the same the judgment was also appealed by those who went to the Abuja Federal High Court to obtain restraining order. Wanogho said that it was only an Appellate Court that could give such a restraining order and not a Federal High Court that has the same jurisdiction that declared Lawson as the president. ``They have a constitutional right to go to court. ``However in exercising that right, you must also advise yourself of the possible incidence of judicial anarchy which the court at all times will want to prevent. ``Judicial anarchy in the sense that you create by your action a scenario in which two court of coordinate jurisdiction may make different orders in respect of the same issue between the same parties,” he said. On the restraining order, he stated that Lawson-led IPMAN Executives would go to court to vacate the order, stressing that IPMAN could not have two national presidents at a time ``It is very wrong because the court has declared Chief Obasi Lawson as the National President of IPMAN and nobody can declare himself again as a parallel national president ``I and my team have been instructed to take every legal step to challenge the action at the FCT. ``Suffice to say that the judgment of the Federal High Court is potent, is alive, is subsisting and must be respected. ``The order of the FCT did not pretend to set aside that judgment contrary to the propaganda making the round,” he said. According to Wanogho, the FCT High Court cannot sit in judgment over the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt neither can it review the judgment, especially when same is the subject of appeal. (NAN)




Etisalat Nigeria awards cars to 50 distribution partners Stories by Chris Alu


tisalat, Nigeria’s has strengthened its route to the market with the awards of its distribution parners tagged ‘Heroes Awards’. The awards which was in 11 categories was done in order to appreciate the effort of its distribution partners towards its success in the past business year. Speaking at the occasion, Matthew Willsher, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, said that the company is pleased to recognise and reward its distribution partners because they are an

important link with the subscribers and have to believe in the business to represent it well before the public. Willsher thanked the partners for the role they have played in taking Etisalat to its present position in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria with hopes that team work will take both parties higher. “The awards we have given today are just a token to show that we appreciate the effort of our distribution partners in helping take our products and services to the end users. We are grateful to our distribution partners for the part they have played in taking us to where we are today. We hope that they will

keep up the effort so that we can both achieve our goals.” He said. The distribution partner with the Highest SIM Activations Award went to Upper Room Limited. Mr. Olukorede Odukoya managing director of the company went home with a new Toyota Hilux truck. 10 distribution partners won in the Best Overall Performance category. The CEO’s Award for Overall Excellence went to Office Devices Ltd., Alennsar Infinity Company Ltd. and CantStop Nigeria Ltd. A total of 50 distribution partners were rewarded at the event. The prizes include a Toyota

Hilux for the Distribution Partner with Highest SIM activations; a Land Rover LR4 each for top-three Distribution Partners with Best Overall Performance, and other exciting prizes. According to Edward Emeano one of the three distribution partners who won the CEO’s Award for Overall Excellence, “it is a thing of joy to work with Etisalat as the company’s service offerings make marketing easier. I am pleased to be recognised today but this is only possible because of innovative products and services which Etisalat offers. I am honoured to be part of the Etisalat team.

The World-wide ICT infrastructure. the Internet is currently the most important driving force behind the transition from IT to ICT .

FG to commence world class data operation centre by December


he Federal Government has targeted December 2015 for the commencement of data operation which would be world class network operating centre in Abuja. The project was triggered by government’s quest for a harmonized system in designing websites, registering domain names and creating e-mail addresses for government activities. The project will ensure sustainability of the platform, which is the essence of a data center. In a progress report released by the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology and described as “a tip of the iceberg”, by Mrs. Omobola Johnson, the Minister, the data center that will well equipped, will also be staffed round the clock. The report reads: “It s being built with uncompromising standards for security, power supply, and environmental controls. “It will be designed to offer enterprise data lasting services with particular focus on connectivity, redundancy and resilience. There are additional data centers currently under development as part of the nationwide infrastructure roll out plan”. The report also highlighted government’s intention to track citizens engagements in what services are been accessed mostly online and also host data generated from online engagements. The plan is part of promoting the “Whole of Government” approach in the information age.

Huawei to train 10,000 Africans for GDP growth, job creation


uawei technology in collaboration with African leaders has advised them to view deployment of 4G mobile broadband for GDP growth and job creation. Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, told the leaders that it will provide training to 10,000 people in Africa over the next five years. The announcement was made by senior Huawei Executives at the World Economic Forum on Africa held in Abuja, Nigeria, under the theme: The World Economic Forum on Africa, “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs”. Mr. Charles Ding, global vice president of Huawei, said at the forum, “Huawei is committed to developing its business in Africa where our commitment will create mutually beneficial opportunities and win-win outcomes. Africa and China have enjoyed a strong relationship that has seen extensive cooperation in political, economic, and cultural areas.

Africa has an open and inclusive approach to international trade relations, which has created a sound business environment for Huawei’s development in the region.” Ding went on to discuss Huawei’s approach for the region, “Huawei considers Africa to be one of our most important strategic growth markets, by localizing our operations, we can better understand the needs of the market, and improve our overall capabilities. We’re proud to have an opportunity to play an important role in Africa’s modernization. We are also committed to create more jobs and promote ICT industry growth and development in Africa.” Currently, Huawei employs a workforce of over 7,100 across Africa and has created 12,000 jobs indirectly through procurement and outsourcing services. In the last five years, Huawei’s seven training centers in Africa have provided training to15,000 engineers, a commitment that is well aligned with the company’s

strategies of “transferring technologies to Africa” and “intensifying localization efforts”. Under these strategies, Huawei plans to support and develop the sustainable growth of Africa’s ICT industry by cultivating local talent. In the carrier space, Huawei will continue to enhance communications infrastructure construction and mobile broadband network deployment, to allow users to enjoy easier and more affordable network and communications services. In the enterprise space, Huawei will strengthen its cooperation with local industry, to build Africa’s “Smart Cities”, and promote the implementation of remote e-education, mobile banking, intelligent transportation, and intelligent power projects, to accelerate the informatization of industries. In the consumer and smart device spaces, Huawei will continue to launch quality products by focusing on the consumer experience. The company will also

increase investments in technology innovation, focusing on product design, processes, and quality, while improving software and the overall user experience. When speaking of Huawei’s future plans for Africa, Ding said, “The future development of the ICT industry is reliant on several factors, including, effective planning, innovative technologies, and sufficient investment. The successful implementation of these three strands will improve the competitiveness of the industry and promote the development of the digital economy. Huawei is entirely committed to our work in Africa and to our support of public and private stakeholders. We are confident that the future of the industry in Africa holds many opportunities, and we will continue to increase our investment in this region and play a more active role in reshaping society though ICT.” While commending Huawei success stories in Africa, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating

coordinating minister for the Economy and minister of Finance said that, “We appreciate Huawei’s plan of establishing ICT scholarship in some Nigerian Universities” Similarly, Mr Daniel Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire noted that, “Huawei has made great performance in 2013. The launch of Huawei P7 Smartphone is another success to show Huawei’s leading technology. We thank Huawei for its efforts of introducing high technology solutions to Côte d’Ivoire. Huawei is welcomed to bring more experience and skills to local society” For Mr Moussa Mara, prime minister of Mali, Huawei should build more capacity in Africa especially in Mali. “We welcome Huawei to push more projects between China and Mali.” “We welcome Huawei to do more contribution to Togo on skills transferring, local talent cultivation and training,” H.E. Ms Cina Lawson, minister of Posts and Digital Economy of Togo said.



Business Osun to resuscitate ICPC partners COREN to moribund cocoa industry eliminate quack engineers From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


overnor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said that the moribund Cocoa Product Industry in Ede would soon become operational . He spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Community Forum, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye on weekend at a public sensitization programme in Ede on government policies and programmes. According to him, the government had last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese Company for the resuscitation of the industry, saying, “the resuscitation process is now at final stage”. He said: “The resuscitation process of CPI is almost at the final stage and what this means is that we are bringing the industry back to life fully. “When it is back to life, it will boost the economy of Ede, its environ and Osun in general and it would create job for our youths. “This development is a departure from the past, this commitment is for real, he said. Aregbesola then noted that the on-going resuscitation of the industry was one of the promises made by his administration which has now become a reality. Calling for the continuous support of the people before, during and after the August 9 governorship election, the governor emphasized that he would continue to encourage investors through his policies and programmes to boost the economy of the state. The governor re-emphasized the need for the people to ensure the sustenance of the peaceful co-existence in the state, urging that the youths should not allow themselves to be used for security breach. Speaking at the Forum, the Timi of Edeland, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal used the occasion to drum support for Aregbesola’s administration to ensure success in his developmental policies and programmes.

By Joy Baba The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the weekend signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to reduce corrupt practices and eliminate quacks from the engineering profession in order to minimise frequent collapse of buildings and other engineering failure with its attendant socio-economic loss to Nigeria. Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, at the signing

ceremony in Abuja said the MOU became necessary due to the high level of quacks. It would also stem corrupt practices in engineering practice at the various stages of design, contracting and supervision by registered professionals. A statement signed by the commission’s resident consultant, Folu Olamiti said Mr Nta called on COREN members to ensure that the activities of its members were adequately regulated and pledged the support of ICPC to ensure that non-engineers “present fake professional documentation or impersonate Engineers

while bidding for government contracts”. He said ICPC would continue to partner with all professional bodies to ensure they enforce professional ethics and closely monitor their members to avoid incidences of corrupt practices. The ICPC boss cautioned against falsification of annual audited records and tax clearance certificates among members of COREN and the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) and other professional bodies because quite a number of offenders were facing prosecution. He challenged COREN to come up with system designs

that would reduce corruption through good practices and flow charts adding that it was better to prevent corruption than to prosecute. In his remarks, COREN President Engr. Kashim Ali, attributed the negative perception about the profession to quackery and added that the effective implementation of the MOU would reduce the menace. He admitted that COREN was already in partnership with the Corporate Affairs Commission to ensure that quacks were denied registration as engineers.

Director General, Nigeria Institute of Science and Laboratory Technology, Dr. Ighodalo Ijagbore (right), presenting Award for Excellence in Government Process Re engineering to the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Mr. Gerald Ilukwe (2nd right), during the 3rd Cyber Nigeria Forum/ Africa Innovation Award, yesterday in Lagos. With them are Head/ Internal Audit, Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Mr. Owoicho Igoji (left), and Manager/ Stakeholders Management, Galaxy Backbone Ltd, Mr. Franklyn Ginger-Eke (2nd left) Photo: Olawale Rotimi

Minister foresees economic growth, youth empowerment By Miriam Humbe


inister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation Chief Edem Duke has predicted that the nation’s culture sector will move Nigeria from a monoeconomy, create wealth and generate youth employment. The minister said this in Abuja at a pre-event press briefing on the preparations of his ministry towards the 2014 World Culture Day celebrations slated for Wednesday, May 21.

Themed: “cultural entrepreneurship development in Nigeria”, the 2014 World Culture Day celebration has planned activities aimed at encouraging Nigerians to develop their entrepreneurship potentials inherent in the culture sector. Some of the activities to mark the day include exhibition of arts and crafts by school children and other stakeholders, drama, dance and fashion show presentations, life demonstrations of some

cultural products, beads making, traditional hair dressing and motivational talks by Nollywood Artistes and lectures by culture experts. While explaining the strategic importance of the Culture sector, Chief Edem Duke said, “The Culture sector is in line with President Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda and has served and will continue to serve as a veritable tool that will generate employment for our teeming unemployed youth,

create wealth for creative diversity which abounds in Nigeria’’. The United Nations Education and Scientific Organisation, UNESCO in 2002 declared May 21 annually as a day for the International community to reflect, promote and showcase cultural diversity as a vehicle for guaranteeing peace and prosperity. Some foreign embassies in Nigeria have been invited to showcase their culture on the day.

Ashaka Cement to increase its supply to 4 metro tones From David Hassan, Gombe


he leadership of Ashaka cement PLC a subsidiary of Lafarge world largest company has said it would increased its supply from 3 metro tone to 4 metro tones in order to meet the demand of consumers world wide. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Company Mr.Leonard Palka who disclosed this

yesterday in Gombe during a stakeholders sensitization workshop of Ashaka cement in conjunction with Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) with a theme strengthening our core value that was held at Emerald Hotel in Gombe. According to him, Lafarge company is operating in more than 64 countries in the world and is known for its ability to innovate the needs of its consumers inorder to give

them quality product to enable them enhance their buildings. Speaking further, the Managing director explained that Ashaka cement has been in the market for 35 years with flagship brand of Cement that is popularly known as star of the North which according to him has a total of 32.5 class of cement used for general purpose. He then commended

the state government, the Standard Organization of Nigeria as well as professional bodies for their kind support that have been rendering to the company, noting that they are committed tov improve communities through different CSR projects. He appreciated the patronage over the years and promise to continue to deliver high quality products in order to enhance the maximum

need of consumers in the country. Also speaking at the event, the Director General of Standards Organization of Nigeria Dr.Joseph Ikemefuna Odumodu who was represented by the Regional Coordinator North-east Region Princess Marline Sambo Waziri said a lot has been achieved in the fight against substandard products nation wide.


Stock Watch

Report as at Monday, May 19, 2014





Special Report

Irrigation agriculture as alternative means of tackling Boko Haram T

he current governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, had sometime in 2004 warned that, “if we don’t find jobs for our teeming youth to do during the day, they’ll create jobs to do at night for themselves”. Oshiomhole, then president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), was decrying the speed with which industries were closing across the country due to numerous factors, central of which was the Nigerian government’s failure to provide the enabling environment for those factories to sustain their operations. While it was too clear for Oshiomhole that the nation was heading towards doom at the rate citizens were losing their jobs then, he probably hardly envisaged it will get to its current state. Not so surprising for most citizens, however, the North of the country is worse off in terms socio-economic stability, primarily due to the failure of leadership. And in the thick of this rudderless situation sprang up Boko Haram, a very nasty and multifaceted phenomenon that has dealt the most unkind blow at the region and its citizens. Notwithstanding, Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, the person most challenged by the insurgency is still striving to enthrall citizens of his state to see hope in the nearest future. Among a series of projects/programmes geared towards creating massive employment for the state’s teeming citizens, and ending youth restiveness that boosts Boko Haram

Nigeria is going through its most trying moment since the civil war, with an insurgency that has cost it more than 12,000 people, and a national government that appears too befuddled to give hope to the over 160 million weary citizens. However, amidst the seeming hopelessness, the man worst-hit by the Boko Haram heat, Governor Kashim Shettiima of Borno state, still struggles to give some meaning out of life to the nearly five million people in his state. Ahmed I. Shekarau reports on one of the series of steps taken by the Borno government to tackle the dreaded rebellion.

Some of the 50 citizens of Borno who left Nigeria for India on Saturday for three weeks train-the-trainers course on installation, effective usage and maintenance of irrigation Agriculture equipment, a trip designed as part of measures to fight Boko Haram through jobs creation to discourage economic based Boko Haram recruitment... at a farewell attended by Governor Kashim Shettima and his honorary Adviser on Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh which held Ogbeh farms in Kuje, FCT on Saturday. The trainees arrived India yesterday.

activities, is an extensive irrigation agriculture scheme. Through the scheme, the government is investing billions to empower citizens to turn a new leaf in their lives, despite the distraction of the grueling insurgency. Last Saturday, the government dispatched 50 of its citizens to India for a course on Irrigation Agriculture, a move Governor Shettima

said, was part of his administration’s three approaches to fighting the Boko Haram attacks in the state. The 50 citizens left Nigeria on board an Ethiopian airline craft from Abuja, shortly after Shettima addressed them at a farewell held at Ogbeh farms, belonging to former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Audu Ogbeh,

located in Kuje area of the FCT. Ogbeh is also honourary adviser on agriculture to Governor Shettima. The 50 citizens, selected from across the 27 local government areas of the state are to undergoing three weeks train-the-trainers course on irrigation equipment installation, effective utilization and maintenance, after which

they will train farmers across the state. A world leader, Jain Irrigation of India, which is currently installing drip and centre pivot irrigation equipment in the state, is to conduct the training as part of a contract between the state and the company. In his brief remarks at the event, Chief Ogbeh urged the trainees to heed to the lessons they will learn in India,

just as he eulogized the Borno governor for his steadfastness in developing knowledge based agriculture in his state. Ogbeh, who said he was extremely proud of Shettima’s courage in sticking with his people despite the atrocious attacks by Boko Haram. According to him, a charlatan would have abandoned Borno and lived most periods of

his tenure as governor in Abuja or elsewhere. “But anytime you come here (into Abuja) you rush back to meet your people”. The former PDP chieftain noted that Borno is the second largest state in Nigeria, and “it’s three times the size of the entire South-east zone”, stressing that with a visionary leadership that has strong commitment to agriculture, the state should help Nigeria cut down heavily on its over $20 billion annual food imports, besides creating huge employment opportunities for its people. On his part, Shettima in his farewell address revealed that his government has since discovered that in addition to misguided beliefs, Boko Haram insurgents have over the years been recruiting foot soldiers they pay salaries. Those foot soldiers, according to him, accept the offers due to “joblessness, hopelessness and extreme poverty”, conditions, he said, can be addressed with massive investment in agriculture. The governor said he believes that Boko Haram can best be contained through a combination of military socio-political, and economic solutions, maintaining that none can be effective without the others. Shettima had noted that in addition to Indian irrigation equipment, an American company from Nebraska state which the world headquarters of irrigation equipment, is installing 50 units of centre pivot and sprinkler irrigation equipment along Maiduguri -Konduga farm areas as a

pilot program, revealing that 400 units of such equipment from US, India and China are expected for installation across private farms in the State with a view increasing cropping in the State to revolutionize agriculture and create millions of jobs so that Boko Haram wouldn’t find easy recruits as they have been enjoying. The governor explained that 50 unemployed graduates of Agriculture had undergone a different train-thetrainers course for three months in Thailand, some citizens had been trained in Sebore farms in Adamawa and others in Benin Republic. He said the State is currently taking delivery of 400 containers of agricultural machinery and has taken delivery of 500 mobile

rice mills and groundnut processing units while the State has established a micro finance bank it will capitalize to provide loans to farmers and finance agricultural activities through policies that will be friendly to farmers.

Shettima said all the steps were being taken to wage an economic war on Boko Haram by making the group a small minority so that it can be overcome by majority of employed citizens. The governor then

Besides those driven by spiritual motives, there is also the economically induced Boko Haram. This can be seen where some youths were paid as low as N5,000 to burn schools and spy on our security men. So that goes to show that Boko Haram is not only propelled by evil spiritual motive but also by economic motives”, the governor said

advised the trainees to live up to the trust that the government bestowed, while realising that they are entrusted to help in addressing a serious crisis through knowledge based agriculture. The challenges of tackling Boko Haram are surely enormous, but the step taken by the Borno government is no doubt one of the surest ways to deal with the phenomenon from its roots. This is the challenge all the 19 northern states government must face squarely, to checkmate other symptoms of this disease from spreading across the entire region. It has already manifested in various other states but could well be surmounted with visionary leadership, as Chief Audu Ogbeh has said.

Governor Kashim Shettima bidding farewell to one of the 50 citizens who left Nigeria for India on Saturday. To his left is Chief Ogbeh and the Borno Agriculture Commissioner, Usman Zanna




Rustling: When FG mulled military action in Rugu Forest in Katsina


he Federal Government last Wednesday expressed determination to deploy military forces to flush out suspected cattle rustlers in Rugu Forest in Katsina State. Speaking through the National Assembly, the federal government expressed worry over increase in rustling, saying it would sustain military presence in the forest. Sen. Muhammadu Magoro, Chairman, Senate Joint Ad hoc Committee on Security, gave the hint in Faskari, Katsina State and assured continued presence of military personnel and surveillance helicopters across the forest. He urged residents to accord the government proper cooperation to rid the place of hoodlums and rustlers. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the senator also held interactive session with victims of multiple armed men attacks in Faskari and Sabuwa local government areas at Maigora village. Magoro said the committee was constituted by the upper chamber to obtain direct information from the victims at their respective areas. He appealed to residents to collaborate with their community leaders and provide useful information on all suspicious movements in their communities. The senator said that hoodlums had agents and those that harbour them within the settlements and must be exposed and brought to book. In their separate remarks, the Transition Committee Chairman of Faskari Local Government, Alhaji Isiyaku Ahmad and Vice Chairman of Sabuwa Local Government, Alhaji Kabir Dahiru, expressed appreciation over the visit. They said that the incessant attacks had hindered farming activities in the affected areas. Also, the Ward Head of Faskari, Alhaji Lawal Garba, urged other community leaders to provide names of suspected hoodlums perpetrating the bad acts within the

communities. Garba explained that the attackers had subjected people to hardships, saying that the only option was to come out with the truth and assist government to face the hoodlums. However, Malam Sani Wakili and Alhaji Alhassan Woti, respectively appealed to government to establish military barracks in the forest as well as clear some portions up to at least 30 kilometres from the settlements. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that many other victims’ families had testified and Magoro assured to forward their complaints and suggestions to the relevant authorities. Other members of the committee on the visit were Senators Barnabas Gemade, Atiku Bagudu, Joshua Lidani and Sani Sale. The committee, which will also visit Zamfara and Kaduna states, had earlier visited Nassarawa, Plateau and Benue states on similar mission. It will be recalled that gunmen had killed more than 117 persons in an attack on some communities in the two local governments on March 11 with 1, 915 persons displaced as a result of the attack. Rugu town, now called “Illela” is located in Safana local government area of Katsina state. Many people have not heard about this old Empire called “Rugu” because of the dynamic changes in its life’s journey. Over two hundred years ago, there were hundreds of warriors from the Gobir empire who migrated to the south, and settled at Rugu forest popularly known as Dajin Rugu, they were the ancestors or the founders of Rugu so to speak. Gobir Empire comprised the present North-west states in Nigeria and the southern part of Niger Republic. There was no specific reason for their migration, it was a normal thing in those days for people to move from one place and settle in another in their hundreds and becoming founders of the

In those days, underground caves served as hide-out for women, children and the aged during wars

Houses were built much closer to each other to allow for easy communication and security

Sand pots for cooking and collecting water abound in Rugu place. However, in the olden days people could migrate due to certain reasons, like misunderstanding with their rulers, diversity of believe, environmental problems, looking for a greener pasture, insecurity, struggles to form a new province, family crisis, and many more. So they traveled through Zamfara province and settled in Rugu forest beside a large rock or hill called “Dutsen Rugu”. They settled with their families, cattle, horses, camels, donkeys, slaves and farm products. They were farmers by profession and practiced Islam as religion. The Rugu rock comprised many narrow but long inner hollows. It also has underground wide caves with conducive environment used as hide-out by women, children, and old people against enemies during war. It contained water that

was deposited through the spring water which flowed regularly and used for drinking and domestic use by the people. With available water in the caves people could stay there for a long period of time, like weeks or a couple of months. This is the reason why it is difficult for their enemies to attack them easily. There were monkeys and bears inside Rugu hills, this does not prevent them (the ancient people) from sharing the cave with the wild animals, but it was done with care. Occasionally there were records of encounter with wild animals which caused injuries and deaths of people as well as their domestic animals. Among their domestic animals were cows, sheep, goats, horses, chicken, camels and the rest which were reared by children who were

warned not to go too far into the forest to avoid being attacked by wild animals. Among the ancient people of Rugu, there was a man among them who was their leader, he was generous and brave. He was nominated as their king. Such appointment stemmed from brevity and knowledge. After they settled in the place, they built their houses in the town using sand and clay, trees and grasses, the forest served as the town’s fortress to prevent invaders and attackers. The houses were built much close to each other to allow for easy communication and for security. Their King’s house was located at the centre of the town for protection against invaders and attackers. Source: NAN, and a Rugu family’s blog




Lessons of the soldiers’ mutiny in Maiduguri By Joy Baba


here are lessons to be learnt from the Maiduguri soldiers’ mutiny recently. The media was awash with reports of how not to take soldiers, under ranks for granted. It is no longer news that these categories of soldiers are the ones who really face the brunt of insurgency. They man the roads day and night and sweat to make good names for their superiors, yet they are allegedly being short changed or taken for granted by their superiors who sit in their air conditioned offices barking out orders. Though the military authorities have denied the allegations, the mutiny drives home some facts, our soldiers deserve better treatment, they are human beings, and it is time to have second look at some worries of the under ranks. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal also stated this sometimes ago and said investigations would unravel some of these facts though nothing much has been heard on this. Last week’s mutiny in newly established 7 Division of the Nigerian Army has proved that junior officers are experiencing hardship in the discharge of their duties partly because of seemingly ‘poor’ treatment by superior officers especially in this period of insurgency, as reported lately in some quarters. Many have opined that under rank officers know the consequences of being associated with what is called “accidental discharge” and would not shoot into the air during an address by a commandant. So, for such officer to damn the consequences of committing mutiny showed that something was amiss. This single act also proved Borno state governor, Kashim Shetima right when he said Boko Haram members were more motivated and

Major General Chris Olukolade

better equipped than the soldiers though he came under condemnation from different quarters including the military. People/workers would generally put in their best in anything they are doing given enough remuneration which tends to boost their morale. In the case of the military as well, Nigerian soldiers like their counterparts across the world are expected to be highly motivated especially in the fight against insurgency taking place in the north eastern part of Nigeria but this is reportedly not so. The reason some

Nigerian soldiers were said to have taken to their heels when confronted by the daring insurgents because they feel they can’t risk their lives for nothing. It is sad that local hunters and vigilante groups have professed ability to take the bull by the horns to engage the sect in the dreaded Sambisa forest as against our supposedly ‘well funded military’ Reports said that the soldiers became enraged when they saw the bodies of their colleagues ambushed by Boko Haram terrorists in Chibok, a town in Borno

State that has spurred global protests over the abductions of schoolgirls by members of the Islamist sect. It was also said that the restive soldiers complained that their superiors had not provided them with adequate weaponry with which to fight the war against the better-armed Boko Haram militants. According to some of the under ranks “We the soldiers don’t have the kind of arms and ammunition that (Boko Haram) fighters have. So every day, they kill our men anyhow, but it is never published for Nigerians to

Many have opined that under rank officers know the consequences of being associated with what is called “accidental discharge” and would not shoot into the air during an address by a commandant. So, for such officer to damn the consequences of committing mutiny showed that something was amiss.

know the truth about what is happening to soldiers. They allegedly complained that the commanding officers “are too busy ‘eating’ money and do not pay our allowances on time. And once (a soldier dies), nobody knows what happens to his allowances again.” These soldiers further complained that their military commanders have not devised a troop rotation system to ensure that those in combat can get some rest before being redeployed to continue the bloody and frustrating war with Boko Haram insurgents. Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade in a statement shortly after the mutiny incident said enquiry had commenced into what led to the incident and also confirmed to Peoples Daily that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the 7 Division, Major General Abubakar Mohammed had been redeployed. “The 7 Division of the Nigerian Army is to institute a military board of enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the conduct of soldiers who fired some shots today while the General Officers Commanding was addressing troops in Maimalari cantonment Maiduguri” his statement said. The major thing the board of enquiry should do is tell the GOC newly redeployed to 7 Division and every other division to treat their men right. GOCs do not go out to combat the insurgents whenever there is any form of attack so they do not feel the ‘pains’ of the officers who swore to put their lives on the line for Nigerians but they must be given the courage to do so. The mutiny in Maiduguri should be clarion call for the military to review conditions of their officers so as to forge ahead in the mission of securing the nation from insurgency and other security challenges.




‘Infrastructure, climate change limit agric production in Nigeria’


he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, has identified infrastructure and climate change as major challenges of agricultural production in the country. Adesina, who disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said that the ministry was working

at resolving the challenges. He said that to address some of these challenges, the ministry had launched staple crop processing zones and had upgraded power, water and roads in agricultural zones to reduce the cost of agricultural productions. “Infrastructure and climate change are the major challenges that we are facing, but we are

working on them. “We have already launched what is called staple crop processing zones. “These are vast areas where we are producing a lot of food to which we are attracting the private sector to come and invest. “There are 14 of them being set up across the country; their investment will add value to our

rice, cassava, soybeans and our sorghum. “We are also upgrading power, water and roads in those areas to reduce the cost of doing business by these people. “I am also happy to inform you that we have massive support of the World Bank and African Development Bank on that,’’ he said. (NAN)

Kebbi allocates 2,000 hectares of farmland to displaced persons


he Kebbi state government has prepared 2,000 hectares of farmland to enable displaced persons to engage in farming in Bagudo Local Government Area. Alhaji Sanusi Katune, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi recently. NAN reports that citizens living on land along the Nigeria/Benin Republic border were resettled due to clashes with their neighbours. Katune, who did not disclose the number of beneficiaries, said the cleared farmland was taken from the 57,643 hectares of forest reserve in the area. He said the state government had provided the resettled persons with amenities that included houses, clinics and schools at Mahuta and Unguwar-Isa. Katune urged the beneficiaries to ensure judicious use of the farmland in order to improve their economic status. He advised the community leaders to seek support from the Ministry of Agriculture, to ensure they harvested abundant food crops. (NAN)


major operation to distribute seeds and tools has been launched in the Central African Republic to support crisis-hit farming families, a statement by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), has said. It also said the effort was the largest intervention in the country led by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and its humanitarian partners. According to the statement, “some 16 international and national non-governmental organizations are working with FAO to overcome the challenges of inaccessible roads and a deteriorating security situation to ensure that farmers receive agricultural kits in time for the next planting season.” The statement also disclosed that a total of 1 800 tonnes of staple crop seeds, as well as hand tools, will be distributed by the end of May to 75 700 vulnerable families - or 378 500 people - in 15 prefectures across the conflictstricken nation. Each family is receiving 25 kg of seeds and two hoes so that they can produce at least 500 kg of groundnuts, maize and rice to contribute to feeding them for around four months.

Africa: G8, FAO open agriculture projects


A farmer watering plants in a guarding in Lagos state

FG plans 1.3m tonnes increase in beef consumption by 2050

1000 oil palm farmers benefit from GES in Delta



he Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, has projected an increase in beef consumption in the country from 360,000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes by 2050. Adesina , who disclosed this recently during the 2nd induction ceremony of 12 individuals as fellows of the Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, NIAS in Abuja, stressed the need for the revamping of Nigeria’s livestock sub-sector to meet the increasing demand for beef. He said: “We need to invest in animal genetics, in artificial insemination and modernise our abattoirs in the country,” adding, “The total amount of

Farmers receive seeds, farm tools in Central African Republic

beef we eat is about 360,000 tonnes a year; we expect that to increase to 1.3 million tonnes by 2050. “We need to have younger entrepreneurs in agriculture; the average age of our farmers is between 55 years to 65 years. The minister attributed the high rate of clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers to climate change warning that “unless we deal with the issues now, there would be no farmers to feed us in the next 50 years.” Adesina also observed herdsmen in countries like Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso were moving their animals down south for grazing, thereby putting pressure on Nigeria’s carrying capacity.

he Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Delta, Mr Felix Kehis, has said that 1,500 oil palm farmers will benefit from the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Scheme (GES) programme in the state. Kehis made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Asaba recently. He said the programme, which would commence on May 19, was meant to increase and strengthen the production of oil palm in the state. The Director said that each beneficiary would receive 50 improved oil palm seedlings, two bags of fertilisers and agro-chemicals, to enhance its cultivation.

``We are selecting no fewer than 1,500 oil palm farmers in the state as beneficiaries of the special GES programme. ``Each farmer will receive 50 seedlings, two bags of fertilisers and agro-chemical at a total cost of N6, 362,’’ he said. Kehis also said that a special GES programme for livestock farmers would be rolled out in the state. He said the ministry had penciled 300 sheep and goat farmers, 100 poultry farmers and 60 pig farmers to benefit from the programme. ``These groups are going to be reached with special inputs and are going to be closely monitored to ensure that they deliver,” he said. (NAN)

nterest in ensuring the openness of agricultural and nutritional data is gaining momentum and two major initiatives working to facilitate their accessibility are considering joining forces, a meeting has heard. Deputy Director, UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s statistical division, Josef Schmidhuber, said at a recent meeting in Italy, that open data are crucial to fight food insecurity and build a sustainable agricultural system. “But many organisations who study or work in agriculture do not make their data public - and even if they do, the data are hard to find, unreliable, irrelevant or impossible to compare with those from other sources,” he said. In 2008, the FAO was among the organisations that launched the CIARD (Coherence in Information for Agricultural Research for Development) movement, Johannes Keizer, FAO information systems officer, told the audience. The initiative is doing an excellent job in engaging the scientific community, Catherine Woteki, chief scientist at the US Department of Agriculture, told SciDev.Net.




African awakening will avert future food crises

African female farmers harvesting maize from a farm belonging farmer’s cooperative in Kenya recently. By Shenggen Fan & Kanayo F. Nwanze


hirty years on from a famine that claimed more than a million lives, Ethiopia is making great strides towards food security. And though progress across the continent is uneven, many other African nations are adopting policies that see agricultural development as a priority, to protect smallholder farmers and other rural households from the threats of volatile food prices, conflict and climate change. ‘Resilience’ is a term used in development discourse for the ability of poor communities to bounce back from shocks and stresses. Building resilience means helping these communities, as well as countries and global institutions, to prevent, anticipate and cope with such shocks. In the end, it means not just supporting recovery from crises but getting to the point where people are even better off than they were before the shocks occurred. In our view, there are six critical aspects of agricultural policy reform that hold important lessons to guide investment in building resilient rural communities. The first lesson is the need to invest in early warning systems, which help countries avoid overreliance on emergency relief when crises hit. When rains fail – as they did in 2011, leaving the Horn of Africa under threat of another famine – Ethiopia had an

early warning system in place. The system not only tracked problems on the food supply side, such as rainfall and crop yields, but also monitored household nutrition levels. As a result, the country was better equipped to deliver food assistance to those who needed it most urgently. The second policy choice is to invest in effective social safety nets. Since 2005, Ethiopia has managed the Productive Safety Net Programme, which gives poor rural people food assistance in return for their participation in projects that develop community infrastructure, like building health-care centres and restoring degraded watersheds. The safety net has operated in tandem with other food security initiatives offering assistance to community members who are unable to participate in public works, such as the elderly. Around half a million households registered with the programme between 2008 and 2012. Such schemes can help vulnerable communities become self-sufficient and build resilience against future food crises. Third, it is vital for African countries to invest in agricultural research and development. In the 1960s and 1970s, Africa was a net exporter of food. Today, it is far more reliant on food aid. What changed? For one thing, many African governments slashed budgets for agricultural R&D. By contrast, other countries have upped theirs and seen significant agricultural growth and rural

poverty reduction. For instance, Ghana, the only African nation that has yet achieved the first Millennium Development Goal of halving hunger, did so at least partly by doubling its agricultural R&D budget. To be effective, research on new crop and livestock varieties should go beyond just increasing yields. R&D should also help to build plant and animal tolerance against drought, heat and diseases, and to enhance nutrition. A fourth key area for investment entails building robust markets that focus on both production and distribution. In Ethiopia, this has meant the establishment of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, which provides market information to over 250,000 people via SMS text messages. Similarly, Tanzania recruits ‘market spies’ to send current prices to remote farmers by SMS. Disseminating this information helps small farmers get fair market value for their produce. In other cases, building robust markets may mean literally building market infrastructure. In Madagascar, for example, some communities now have concretefortified markets that, when storms and flooding hit, can be back up and running within days. A fifth essential element for greater resilience in Africa is cross-country collaboration. Once an innovation has been proven, it must be shared across the continent for maximum impact. For instance, when a group of farmers from Niger saw

facilitating market links across the African continent will be critical to build resilience by boosting regional, continental and, ultimately, global trade.

improved traditional planting pits in Burkina Faso, they were deeply impressed by the pits’ capacity to combat water run-off and gully erosion. When they got home, some of the farmers decided to create their own planting pits. Yields increased and barren land was rehabilitated. The technique is now also being used in Cape Verde. Finally, facilitating market links across the African continent will be critical to build resilience by boosting regional, continental and, ultimately, global trade. To this end, the African Union has renewed its commitment to build inter-country trade through the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. The programme provides road and transport links for land-locked countries, thereby unlocking Africa’s currently untapped

markets. These are just some of the lessons that have been learned. But lessons not only have to be learned; they must also be applied in order to drive the kind of inclusive growth that can end hunger and poverty across Africa. It is up to individual African countries to take note of the agricultural policies and investments that have yielded the best results. By helping them to do so and supporting them with the right investments, we can safeguard the continent from future food disasters. Shenggen Fan is director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute. Kanayo F. Nwanze is president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.




Extensive cell phone use can triple brain cancer risk


uestions continue to arise about cell phones and their contribution to certain cancers. Even the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has raised some concern about extensive cell phone use. The NCI explains that cell phones emit radio frequency energy in the form of non-ionizing radiation. In other words, a cell phone basically lets off radio waves which are absorbed by the nearest tissues of the body. If a person carries a phone in their pocket all day long, energy can be absorbed into the person’s side and midsection. More than 15 hours of cell phone use per month may triple brain cancer risk French scientists are now reporting on a new cohort study showing how extensive cell phone use can increase one’s risk of brain cancer. The study, included in the newest issue of the British journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, found that brain cancer risks tripled in individuals who use their phones for more than 15 hours per month. This study coincides with a report in 2011 from the International Agency for Research on Cancer showing how mobile phones let off radio frequency fields that are capable of possessing carcinogenic activity in some people. In this new French study, glioma and meningioma brain tumors occurred three times more often than normal in patients who used their cell phones extensively in their careers and day-to-day activities. “Our study is part of that trend, but the results have to be confirmed,” said Isabelle Baldi, of the University of Bordeaux in southwestern France, who took part in the study. Naysayers of the study believe that the results cannot be confirmed and do not include an accurate picture of phone use in real life, including factors such as smoking. Furthermore, a relationship between cell phone use and cancer is never established in the cohort study. Also, as phone technology evolves, different levels of radioactivity are emitted by different phones, making cancer connections nearly impossible to make. The study even acknowledged this: “The rapid evolution of technology has led to a considerable increase in the use of mobile phones and a parallel decrease of [radiowave intensity] emitted by the phones.” “It is difficult to define a level of risk, if any, especially as mobile phone technology is constantly evolving.” Tumor rates three times higher for those with careers that demand extensive cell phone use In the cohort study, several

A farmer scrolling through his phone different groups of people were followed over time as cell phone use was averaged among the groups. In the study, 253 cases of glioma and 194 cases of meningioma were investigated in between 2004 and 2006. Patients’ lifestyles were compared with 892 healthy (control) individuals from the general population. The researchers examined cell phone use of all individuals in a two- to ten-year period, with an average observation period of five years. After analyzing cancer incidence data, the researchers found striking results. On average, glioma and meningioma patients used their

cell phones more extensively for career and lifestyle purposes. Those in sales used their phone the most, which likely contributed to the higher prevalence of brain cancer. Risk highest for cell phone use before age 20 The findings correlate with a Swedish cohort study between 1997 and 2003 that showed increased risk for glioma with cumulative cell phone use. Questionnaires investigating cell phone use from 1,251 brain cancer patients and 2,438 healthy controls showed an increased risk for glioma for patients who first used cell phones before the age of 20. Possibly,

highest risk of brain cancer from cell phone use is based on both extended use (over 15 hours a week) and from use beginning at an early age. Key points: • Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held. • The amount of radiofrequency energy a cell phone user is exposed to depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s

The amount of radiofrequency energy a cell phone user is exposed to depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s distance from cell phone towers.

distance from cell phone towers. • Studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck. More research is needed because cell phone technology and how people use cell phones have been changing rapidly. There are three main reasons why people are concerned that cell phones (also known as “wireless” or “mobile” telephones) might have the potential to cause certain types of cancer or other health problems: o Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy (radio waves), a form of non-ionizing radiation. Tissues nearest to where the phone is held can absorb this energy. o The number of cell phone users has increased rapidly. As of 2010, there were more than 303 million subscribers to cell phone service in the United States, according to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. This is a nearly threefold increase from the 110 million users in 2000. Globally, the number of cell phone subscriptions is estimated by the International Telecommunications Union to be 5 billion. o Over time, the number of cell phone calls per day, the length of each call, and the amount of time people use cell phones have increased. Cell phone technology has also undergone substantial changes. Source: NaturalNews



International Afghanistan: Time for new blood ANALYSIS


he Afghan elections were hailed as a major victory for a country gripped by war and terror for over 35 years. Almost seven million voters - 36 percent of them women - came out to say a resounding “no” to the terror of the Taliban, and a clear “yes” to the ballot box. Yet the inconclusive results raise the danger of the return of several so-called “warlords” to the future government of Afghanistan. Take Abdullah Abdullah’s victory with 45 percent of the votes. This was impressive especially for the only Tajik-Pashtun among eight Pashtun candidates. Even more positive was the recent alliance he made with the third runner up, Zalmai Rassoul, who received 11.5 percent of the votes. However, Abdullah’s acceptance of an offer of alliance with Gul Agha Sherzai, the former governor of Nangrahar and Kandahar (and an alleged former “warlord”), was a step in the wrong direction. Likewise, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who had almost 32 percent in the first round, and is credited as a former finance minister who fought corruption, was criticised in international circles for choosing General Abdul Rashid Dostum, who faces allegations of rights abuses, as his first vice president. There is a younger generation of political activists, cutting across the ethnic and gender lines, that is keen to play a direct role in the affairs of Afghanistan. The advantage of this generation is that although it has experienced the pain of civil war years, it has not been directly involved. The second round planned for mid-June gives both Abdullah and Ghani an equal chance to win. Abdullah has the numbers card with 13 percent more votes, and Ghani has the ethnic card with the likelihood of more Pashtuns voting for him this time round. The second round also gives them an equal chance to move the political narrative forward by making smarter alliances. They could select and deselect their alliances in such a way as to reverse the endemic trend of strongmen in government. This time, they could form alliances with the new generation of political activists, new political parties, prominent civil society figures and social groups and women of stature who have played a major role in the success of the elections. These are likely to bring the two candidates new votes and more credibility and thus a better response from donor countries. Strongmen and cronies s things stand, the dangers are there. With the alliances so far made and reportedly


With the alliances made so far, both candidates are likely to have a minimum of four to five “warlords” in their leadership teams

planned for the second round, both candidates are likely to have a minimum of four to five “warlords” in their leadership teams. Some have already been designated the post of vice president and others joining will no doubt demand nothing less than prominent posts. They would bring with them their entourages and cronies. This goes against the wishes of the people of Afghanistan, especially civil society and women, who have been outspoken about war crimes. “The past record of these warlords is indicative of their ability to ruin everything,” said Soraya Parlika, a veteran woman activist. She called on the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission to “throw them out of the final ballot”. An extensive survey by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) addressing issues of justice and accountability also made clear that majority of people in Afghanistan want past crimes to be confronted.

Yet the question of transitional justice was never tackled in the 13 years of President Hamid Karzai’s rule. Karzai, fearful of consequences, always had several “warlords” in key positions. In 2012, AIHRC was barred from publishing its findings in a report entitled “Conflict Mapping in Afghanistan Since 1978”. And when the international rights watchdog, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the government to seek the repeal of the recent amnesty and election laws that prevent the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) from disqualifying presidential candidates and running mates responsible for past atrocities, nothing was done. Often the excuse for inaction is that everyone has somehow been involved in war crimes of the past three decades. Perhaps many have been, but there are also dozens and dozens of highly qualified Afghan men and women who have no such backgrounds. There is a younger generation

of political activists, cutting across the ethnic and gender lines, that is keen to play a direct role in the affairs of Afghanistan. The advantage of this generation is that although it has experienced the pain of the civil war years, it has not been directly involved. Their attitude to politics and society is diametrically opposed to that of so-called warlords. They are determined to change the tired face of Afghan politics often associated with corruption and patriarchal leadership. Younger generation ver the past decade, they have formed political parties, such as Afghanistan “1400, Our Country Our Responsibility”, and joined civil society organisations such as Afghanistan Civil Society Forum, or women’s networks, or law associations, and election watchdogs, some were elected as parliamentarians, others became journalists and human rights experts, all contributing


The second round of elections is a historical opportunity for the next president of Afghanistan to rise up to the challenge of making alliances with this new generation of activists and, at the same time

immensely to the success of the April 5 elections. Over the past two years, they exerted daily pressure on the authorities, and on the international community to ensure transparency, integrity and inclusiveness of the elections. They encouraged public participation and public awareness, warning the authorities that they are watching every move they make. They have a fresh outlook on where Afghanistan should be headed. Many are working as successful entrepreneurs and managers in private firms or are recruited by international organisations for their expertise and professionalism. Yet this new dynamic generation of qualified men and women has been unable to reach official posts because the strongmen and their cronies have been occupying them. The second round of elections is a historical opportunity for the next president of Afghanistan to rise up to the challenge of making alliances with this new generation of activists and, at the same time, reducing the number of “warlords” in the cabinet. The presence of more strongmen in government would mean the continuation of most of Afghanistan’s acute problems including disregard for the rule of law, increased corruption, perpetuation of the narco-economy and the impossibility of keeping a check on good governance. Courtesy; Aljazeera



International Libyan armed groups fight over capital O South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, warns of ‘famine’


outh Sudan’s president has warned his country faces “one of worst famines ever” unless the current conflict is ended. Salva Kiir also accused his sacked deputy, Riek Machar, of stoking ethnic tension and violating a ceasefire. Last week, Mr Kiir postponed presidential elections due next year to give government and rebel forces more time to achieve reconciliation. Some one million people have fled their homes since fighting broke out. The unrest erupted last December after the president alleged that Mr Machar was plotting a coup - allegations the ex-deputy denies. The U n ite d Natio n s ha s accused both sides of crimes against humanity, including mass killings and gang-rape, and threatened sanctions against those responsible for the violence. “It is a man-made disaster and that is why we want the war to stop, [to] allow humanitarian access to the country. If Riek Machar was to understand that the civilian population is going to face one of the worst famines there has ever been, this is the time.” UN humanitarian official Jan Egeland on Monday also warned that some 7.3 million people could go hungry by August.

President Salva Kiir

n Sunday around noon, the city was experiencing an eery calm as people rushed to stock up on food and petrol supplies in anticipation of a fresh round of fighting. Earlier in the day, militias had stormed Libya’s parliament building and demanded that the assembly drafting the constitution become the country’s new parliament in place of the General National Congress (GNC), following the heaviest fighting seen in the capital since 2011. Militias from Zintan, where rebel fighters rose to prominence after getting hold of a large number of weapons during the uprising in 2011, launched an offensive against the Islamist-led militias in Tripoli. The move was a show of support for Colonel Khalifa Heftar, who launched a military operation named “Libya Dignity” against Islamist militias in the eastern city of Benghazi in early May. “The Libyan people’s support for the operation does not mean they support Heftar,” political analyst

Kamal al-Mizoghi told Al Jazeera. “Libyans are looking for someone to guide and save them and it does not matter who that is.” The two Zintan militias, QaQa and Sawaik, along with other army units from different areas around Tripoli, attacked bases on the outskirts of the capital, including the notorious 27th Brigade located 27km west of Tripoli. The 27th Brigade is thought to be home to an Islamist militia under the command of a man named Buka. Buka is the head of one of the units of the country’s “Libya Shield”, a large brigade that supports the Islamist trend represented in the GNC. They were bought to Tripoli from Benghazi by the GNC to protect them in anticipation of an attack from Zintan. Clashes broke out on Airport Road, as civilians fled the streets and headed home. Convoys of cars mounted with rocket launchers and anti-aircraft weaponry could be seen heading to Tripoli from the eastern outskirts. Zintan militias attacked a group

led by AbdulGani Alkikly, in Absaleem in southwest Tripoli near Airport Road, forcing the airport to close down and locking in those in it. These militias from Zintan must be stopped. They are only looking for power. - Anwar Suwan, Misrata pro-GNC militia leader Alkikly called for assistance from other Tripoli militias. Many who responded were units under the Preventative Security Brigade, an antidrug and alcohol fighting group. Their head, AbdulRauf Kara, was behind the death of many drug dealers in the past two years, prompting support from some areas in Tripoli for the Zintan and Heftar movement. Mukhtar Alakhthar, head of a small unit of Zintan fighters currently in control of Tripoli’s airport, said: “The fighting is going well. The men on the ground will not take it easy on the Islamists.” Civilian infrastructure on Airport Road was hit, and one woman was photographed by a social media user

being rushed to a hospital after a rocket hit her apartment. The fighting continued all night. Justice Minister Salah al-Margani escaped an assassination attempt along with fellow Culture Minister Habib Lameen. Al-Margani later gave a press conference condemning all acts of violence. Anwar Suwan, a Misrata pro-GNC militia leader, said: “These militias from Zintan must be stopped. They are only looking for power.” Misrata, a city east of Tripoli, is thought to have the only force that can take on Zintan, but they did not join the fighting. The Misrata military council held a meeting after the fighting broke out to discuss what their next move will be. Later that night, Libyan army spokesman Khalid Furnana called on the GNC to put a hold on all its activities, and asked that the 60-member committee, based in the eastern town of Albaitha and elected in March to draft Libya’s new constitution, act as the country’s new parliament.

R-L: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Habiba M. Lawal, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Jong Young Chol, and Secretary to the Embassy, Mr. IL Jun, during their visit to Ministry of Women Affairs, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Uganda HIV nurse, Rosemary Namubiru, jailed by Kampala court


Ugandan court has sentenced a nurse to three years in prison for negligence over the potential infection of a two-year-old boy with HIV. Rosemary Namubiru, who is HIV-positive, was criminally negligent by using an intravenous needle, that she had accidentally pricked her finger with, on the child, the court ruled. The child was not infected and HIV/Aids activists condemned the trial. The case was keenly watched and some papers dubbed her the “killer nurse”. The boy’s father, Daniel Mushabe, welcomed the ruling, saying he hoped the case would

spur President Yoweri Museveni to sign into law a bill which criminalises the transmission of HIV. The bill - already approved by parliament - says anyone who wilfully passes on HIV could face a fine of $1,900 (£1,130), a 10-year jail term or both. Namubiru’s five-month trial has been closely followed in Uganda, reports the BBC’s Patience Atuhaire from the capital, Kampala. Many members of the public were condemned the nurse, while HIV/Aids activists defended the 64-year-old, our reporter says. It is extremely hard to feel happiness in such circumstances without really getting to the

bottom of the matter ” Handing down sentence in a packed court room, chief magistrate Olive Kazaarwe said Namubiru lacked remorse for her actions. Namubiru, a paediatric nurse with 30 years’ experience, had maintained her innocence during the trial, and the boy was not infected with the virus. Her lawyer David Kabanda said he was unhappy with the ruling, and was considering what to do next. Namubiru said she had decided to administer intra-venous fluids through the boy’s arm, but had difficulty finding a vein in which she could insert the needle. It was then that she

accidentally hurt her finger, but had no intention of passing the virus to the boy, she said. Welcoming the ruling, Mr Mushabe said he hoped doctors and nurses will now “think twice” in future when treating patients. “It is extremely hard to feel happiness in such circumstances without really getting to the bottom of the matter and finding out why Namubiru, without any provocation, went out of her way to infect our child,” he said. HIV/Aids activists said the nurse had not acted maliciously, and her life had been ruined. The public anger towards her show the stigma people with HIV/ Aids still face, they said.



International Iraq’s Maliki ‘set to win elections’ P

rime Minister Nouri alMaliki’s coalition won the most seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections but fell short of a majority, leaving him in the driver’s seat to retain his post despite vocal opposition. Monday’s results from the election commission showed Maliki’s State of Law alliance garnered 92 out of 328 parliamentary seats, with the incumbent himself winning more than 721,000 personal votes. Both were by far the highest such figures from the April 30 election. But he still fell short of a majority, meaning he will have to win the support of rivals from across the communal spectrum, some of whom have sharply criticised Maliki and refused to countenance his bid for a third term in office. State of Law won 30 seats in Baghdad alone, and came first in 10 provinces overall, all of them in the bloc’s traditional heartland in the Shia-majority south of the country. Maliki’s main rivals all finished with between 19 and 29 seats overall, according to an AFP news agency tally of election commission results. Iraq’s political parties have for weeks been meeting and manoeuvring as they seek to build post-election alliances, but the formation of a new government is still expected to take several months. As in previous elections, the main blocs are expected to agree on an encompassing package that ensures the prime minister, president and parliament speaker are all selected together. Under a de facto agreement established in recent years, Iraq’s

prime minister is a Shia Arab, the president is a Kurd and the speaker of parliament is a Sunni Arab. Maliki’s critics accuse him of consolidating power, particularly within the security forces, and blame him for a year-long deterioration in security, rampant corruption and what they say is an insufficient improvement in basic services. The election and its aftermath came amid a surge in violence that has killed more than 3,500

people this year, fuelling fears that Iraq could be slipping back into the all-out conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives in 2006 and 2007. In particular, the 63-year-old faces strong and vocal opposition in the Sunni-dominated west and the Kurdish north, with rivals there insisting they will not agree to a third term. Maliki blames external factors such as the war in neighbouring

Syria for the surge in unrest, and says his so-called partners in government snipe at him in public and block his legislative efforts in parliament. The run-up to the election, Iraq’s first since US troops withdrew at the end of 2011, was plagued by attacks on candidates and campaign rallies, and allegations of malpractice that contributed to lower turnout in areas populated by disgruntled minority Sunnis.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki

Pakistan drops charges against FBI agent


Pakistani court has dropped a case against a US law enforcement agent charged with weapons offenses for trying to board a flight while carrying bullets and a knife in his luggage. Police said on Monday that they had asked for the case to be cancelled, after authorities had arrested Joel Cox, a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, at Karachi’s airport on May 4 after he tried to board a civilian flight with the knife and 15 9mm bullets. “Since he was not carrying a weapon, only bullets were found from his luggage, the investigation report recommended the cancellation of the case,” Inspector Khalid Mehmood told Reuters news agency. Cox had spent three nights in jail before being freed on a $10,000 bond, Reuters reported. In 2011, Pakistan arrested a CIA contractor, who shot dead two men he thought were trying to rob him,

souring US-Pakistani ties at a time when the two nations were already deeply suspicious of each other.

The detained contractor, Raymond Davis, was eventually freed after the payment of “blood

money” to the families of the two men, a practice allowed by Pakistani law.

FBI agent Joel Cox had spent three nights in jail before being freed

Asia & Middle East Pakistani Taliban chief vows fight for Sharia


n a rare video appearance, the chief of the Pakistani Taliban has declared that his group will continue to fight the state until Islamic law is enforced across the country, apparently scuppering the possibility of scheduled peace talks with the government. “We have accepted Allah’s writ and his power, and the Pakistan army, intelligence agencies and government must also accept Allah’s writ,” said Mullah Fazlullah while addressing a group of about two dozen fighters. The video was released by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s media wing on Sunday and is the first appearance by the TTP chief since November 2013. It shows Fazlullah arriving at what appears to be a TTP training camp in a mountainous area. About two dozen fighters, armed with automatic rifles, pistols and rocket-propelled grenades are visible in the video, which also shows them firing their weapons. “Those fighters who are with us, they are there. But those who have fallen out of contact, they should be in contact with their district commanders. Every fighter should prepare themselves to face tanks, artillery and army camps,” Fazlullah said, in an apparent call to arms. “Our jihad will continue until that moment that either Sharia is established, or we embrace martyrdom.” Fazlullah was elected leader of the TTP after his predecessor, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a US drone strike in November last year. He has, however, exercised weak control over the group, which has seen dozens of its fighters killed in infighting in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal area in recent weeks. Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said the message made it clear Fazlullah is not going to pursue talks with the government. “There is a serious rift among the Taliban,” he said. “The Pakistani government is saying that as there is a split, any group that does not want to talk will be isolated.” The statement from the TTP chief has thrown into doubt the future of planned dialogue between the TTP and government negotiators, scheduled to be held this week. On Friday, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the interior minister, said that the next meeting between the two sides would be “result-oriented”. “The government has just one agenda: that there should be peace according to Pakistan’s law and constitution,” he said at a press conference.



International Europe and Americas

US indicts China officials over cyber spying


he United States has indicted five Chinese military officials with cyber espionage charges for allegedly hacking into US companies to gain trade secrets, the Justice Department has said, publicly accusing China of cyber spying for the first time. The department said on Monday that the hackers targeted US companies in the nuclear power, metals and solar products industries to steal information useful to competitors in China. The charges are the first-of-itskind against state actors by the US. China refuted the accusation, saying they were “made up,” Reuters news agency reported. China’s Foreign Ministry said that it had already protested against the indictment and urged the US to “immediately rectify mistake”. The ministry added that “socalled prosecution” would damage China-US relations and mutual trust, Reuters reported. US Attorney-General Eric Holder said that the companies targeted are Alcoa World Alumina, Westinghouse Electric Company, Allegheny Technologies, US Steel Corporation, United Steelworkers Union, and SolarWorld. “This is a tactic the US government categorically denounces,” Holder said. “Our economic security and ability to compete in the global market place are directly linked to national security.” The hackers also targeted United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied-Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW), officials said. US officials have long been concerned about hacking from abroad, especially China. Classified US State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks traced major systems breaches to China, Reuters news agency reported in 2011.

US Attorney-General Eric Holder

Putin orders troops near Ukraine to withdraw R

ussian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops deployed near Ukraine to return to their home bases, while fighting continued in the eastern parts of the country. Putin on Monday ordered Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu to pull back forces involved in “planned spring” drills in the Rostov, Belgorod and Bryansk regions to their home bases, the Kremlin said. The order appears to go further than a similar statement by the Russian leader two weeks ago that troops were being pulled back from the border to shooting ranges. The three regions border Ukraine and the withdrawal of troops deployed there to other Russian provinces could signal a genuine attempt by Moscow to de-escalate the worst crisis in its relations with the West since the Cold War. It would also be a move that was easily verifiable by Western intelligence. The West, however, said they saw no sign of a pullout after Putin’s earlier claim of a withdrawal and NATO on Monday said it did not see any immediate movements to validate the latest assertions. The Kremlin statement did not say how many troops would be pulled out from the three regions or specify how quick the withdrawal would be. The United States and the European Union have placed travel bans and asset freezes on members

Russian President Vladimir

of Putin’s entourage since Russia’s annexation of Crimea over what has been perceived as overly aggressive moves. The withdrawal of troops could ease these tensions. The EU also threatened to target entire sectors of the Russian economy with sanctions if Russia tries to derail Ukraine’s presidential vote due to take place on May 25. Facing the prospect of more Western sanctions, Putin supported a peace plan for settling the crisis, which was brokered by the Swiss chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Pro-Russian rebels, who have seized government buildings in eastern Ukraine and fought government troops, however, vowed to block Sunday’s vote, especially in the newly-declared independent regions of Donetsk and Luhansk The OSCE road map, supported by Putin, aims to halt the violence and de-escalate tensions ahead of the vote, by offering an amnesty for those involved in the unrest and urging talks on decentralisation and the status of the Russian language. The OSCE also has sent an observer mission for the election.

The first round tables under the plan were held in Ukraine last week, but the government refused to invite representatives of rebels in the east, whom it dubbed “separatists’’ and “terrorists”. Even though the Russian Foreign Ministry has criticised the round tables for failing to include the government’s foes, Putin welcomed them as an attempt to establish dialogue. He also urged the Ukrainian authorities to immediately end a military operation in eastern Ukraine, where fighting continued on Monday.

Mladic defence opens at war crimes tribunal


atko Mladic’s defence case has opened at the Yugoslav war crimes court, with the Bosnian Serb ex-army chief accused of masterminding some of Europe’s worst atrocities since World War II. Mladic, 72, faces 11 charges ranging from hostage-taking to genocide for his role in Bosnia’s brutal 1992-95 conflict in which 100,000 people died and 2.2 million were left homeless. An unnamed witness was scheduled to take the stand on Monday before a three-judge bench of the Hague-based International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Presiding Judge Alphons Orie has given Mladic’s lawyers 207 hours to question witnesses - the same amount of time given to the prosecution, who finished their case earlier this year, the ICTY said in a statement. There was no restriction on the number of witnesses defence

Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia”

lawyers could call, it added. Arrested in Serbia and transferred to the ICTY in 2011, the former Bosnian Serb commander is in particular wanted for his role in the June 1995 massacre of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia. There, Mladic’s forces overran lightly armed Dutch UN troops

protecting the supposedly safe enclave, before murdering the men and boys and dumping their bodies into mass graves. Dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia”, the former Bosnian Serb army general is also held responsible for conducting a campaign against residents of Bosnia’s capital Sarajevo during a 44-month siege.

About 10,000 people were killed, many by snipers and shelling. Mladic has also been charged for taking hostage a group of more than 200 UN peacekeepers during the conflict, keeping them in strategic locations as “human shields” against NATO air strikes. Mladic, known for his outbursts in court, has denied the charges. He faces life in prison if convicted. In January, he refused to testify at the trial of Radovan Karadzic, his political counterpart at the time, repeatedly dismissing the UN Yugoslav war crimes tribunal as “satanic”. Karadzic had hoped Mladic would testify that they did not agree or plan to expel Muslims or Croats from areas under Serb control. The two men could have been tried together had they been arrested around the same time. But Karadzic was arrested in July 2008 and Mladic in May 2011.



Strange World Costa Rican ‘Mole Man’ spends 10 years digging large underground home by hand


anuel Barrantes, fondly known as ‘El Hombre Topo’ or ‘The Mole Man’, has spent the last 10 years building himself a unique underground home. The 62-year-old Costa Rican did it all by hand, using only picks and shovels for tools. He now uses the large tunnel as a residence and a museum, welcoming tourists and teaching children about archeology and geography. The underground dwelling is located in Perez Zeledon, a canton of San José Province in

Costa Rica. Popularly known as ‘Topolandia’, the unique dwelling features over 400 square meters of tunnels. The walls and corridors of the caves are adorned with a variety of hand-carved sculptures of turtles, dinosaurs and even TV characters like the Flintstones. The largest tunnel inside the house is at least 16 meters deep, with a comfortable lounge to welcome visitors. There are other rooms too – bedrooms with beds made of stone and as many

as nine windows for fresh air, conference rooms, wells with crystal-clear water, baths and showers. The whole area is powered by electricity. There’s even a landline telephone for communication. Also Topolandia is completely insulated – it keeps out the heat and the cold, as if by magic. Barrantes, who lives in the tunnels with his wife and daughters, said that his underground world offers protection against global warming, acid rain and calamities such as earthquakes. The idea for this unique home

came to him during his many travels across Europe and South America. Barrantes visited a total of 18 countries as a backpacker, working as a miner and learning various digging techniques. He witnessed people living caves and caverns, protected from harsh weather, and that’s how he was inspired to create Topolandia. “One day, I just walked to Perez Zeledon and I thought I could do my ‘little cabin’ under the earth,” said Barrantes. When he started digging, one of his daughters cried that he was crazy, that he would be buried underground. Thankfully,

nothing of the sort happened. “This is my life, my work,” he said. “This is a den of alluvium, a natural ecological museum. This is almost a mansion. It’s a structure that will not collapse because it is perfectly designed to hold, and it has no concrete.” Although his underground home is quite large, Barrantes has no plans to stop. He’s never found gold or diamonds in the past 10 years of digging, but that hasn’t put him off in the least. He wants to excavate until he cannot anymore, and he jokes that he’ll probably dig his way to China some day!

In South Korea people check into prison to reduce stress


y Sumitra on May Prison would probably be the last place I’d think of checking into to relieve stress, but that’s exactly what hundreds of South Koreans are doing these days.‘Prison Inside Me’ is a stress-reduction center with a penal theme, located on the outskirts of Hongcheon, about 58 miles northeast of Seoul. Prison Inside Me is the brainchild of 47-year-old Kwon Yong-seok, who was previously a lawyer. “I didn’t know how to stop working back then,” he said. “I felt like I was being swept away against my will, and it seemed I couldn’t control my own life.” That’s when he decided to spend time behind bars. He asked his old acquaintance – a prison governor – if he could spend a week locked up in jail. Although he said it was for ‘therapeutic reasons’, his bizarre request was rejected. So Kwon decided to take matters into his own hands, and began to make plans for his prison-like spiritual center. It was ready in June last year, after a year of construction that cost about 2 billion won ($19 million). Kwon managed to cover the cost through loans and donations from friends and relatives. The facility, he

said, was not built for profit. Paying guests are expected to turn in their cell phones, books and other belongings and put on a regulation uniform before checking in. Then they are shown to one of the 28 60-square-foot solitary confinement cells, furnished with only a toilet, a sink and a small table. Meals are served through a slot in the door. This is where they will spend most of their time, meditating and silently reflecting on life. There are also private meditation classes, spiritual classes, and ‘healing’ plays conducted as group sessions in the auditorium. A twonight stay at Prison Inside Me costs 150,000 won ($146). As serene as the concept sounds, running the place isn’t exactly easy for Kwon and his wife. They originally envisioned a longer stay for their guests, but people weren’t able to take so much time off. So they had to cut it down to just two days. They also had to make a huge concession – permitting guests to check their smartphones at least once a day. “People seem nervous without a phone and simply worry too much about an emergency, which seldom happens,” said Kwon. Like this one time, a personality


class was conducted on the premises for a group of 20 people. A Catholic priest helped them understand themselves and others better, which is an essential element to finding inner peace. But as soon as a short break was announced, the participants rushed to grab their cell phones. “Someone might have called or left me a message,” participant Park Seong-ho said. He also pointed out that while he was satisfied with the programs, he

thought the place was too warm and clean to feel like real prison. “It would have been more helpful for self-control if the facility had been in poorer shape like a real prison,” he said. But other ‘inmates’ indicated that the experience has helped them a lot. Hundreds of South Koreans seeking relief from the stresses of modern day life are checking in at the facility. Park Woo-sub, another guest, said: “It is very suffocating because I am physically restrained. But on the

other hand, it is very helpful, in that I can look into my inner self and talk to myself.” And that’s exactly what Kwong wants guests to take away from the center – a peek into their inner selves. “I only hope that this place offers a chance for visitors to reflect on themselves,” he said. “I sometimes walk backwards so that I can see the road I’ve just walked. People rarely do so and only think about roads ahead. I think we need to try to look back.”




The food industry should be regulated like tobacco – Experts By Lizzie Parry


he food industry should be regulated like the tobacco industry, experts today said. Rising obesity levels poses a greater global health risk than smoking, prompting international bodies to join forces to urge governments across the world to impose more stringent rules. The World Obesity Federation and Consumers International is leading the call for stricter controls on how food is advertised, with plans to introduce pictures on packaging showing the damage caused by obesity, similar to those on cigarette packets. Improving the nutritional information on packaging and raising the standards for food provided in hospitals and schools could form part of a plan put forward by the CI and WOF. The new rules could also involve reducing salt, saturated fat and sugar levels in food, and directing more funds at educating the public about healthy eating. It comes as experts say unhealthy diets now rank above tobacco as a global cause of preventable non-communicable diseases. Global deaths attributable to obesity and being overweight have rose from 2.6million in 2005 to 3.4million in 2014, prompting experts to warn of an epidemic. The CI and WOF will officially launch their recommendations for a Global Convention to protect and promote healthy diets at the World Health Assembly in Geneva this week.

They will call on governments to commit to a raft of policy measures designed to help people make healthier lifestyle choices. Consumers International Director General, Amanda Long said: ‘The scale of the impact of unhealthy food on consumer health is comparable to the impact of cigarettes. ‘The food and beverage industry has dragged its feet on meaningful change and governments have felt unable or unwilling to act. ‘The only answer remaining for the global community is a framework convention and we urge governments to seriously consider our recommendations for achieving that.

‘If they do not, we risk decades of obstruction from industry and a repeat of the catastrophic global health crisis caused by smoking.’ World Obesity Federation Director of Policy, Dr Tim Lobstein said: ‘The global prevalence of obesity - defined as a BMI of more than 30 - doubled between 1980 and 2008, to 10 per cent of all men worldwide, and 14 per cent of all women. ‘That’s 205 million men and 297 million women - more than half a billion obese people. ‘In terms of numbers, the United States has led the way, but they are closely followed by China, Brazil, and Mexico. ‘These figures show the scale of

The World Obesity Federation and Consumers International are calling on all governments to take action and impose more stringent controls on how food is advertised, salt, saturated fat and sugar levels as well as calling for healthier food in hospitals and schools and greater education of the public

the problem to be addressed. ‘If obesity was an infectious disease we would have seen billions of dollars being invested in bringing it under control. ‘But because obesity is largely caused by the overconsumption of fatty and sugary foods, we have seen policy-makers unwilling to take on the corporate interests who promote these foods. ‘Governments need to take

collective action and a Framework Convention offers them the chance to do this.’ The publication of the new recommendations come on the 10th anniversary of the World Health Organisation Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity and Health, which recognised the health impact of unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Source:

Campaigners today said the food industry should be regulated in the same way as the tobacco industry, in the face of the worldwide obesity epidemic

How the craze for running ever longer distances can damage the heart By Mark Branagan


unning marathons and other gruelling races is bad for the heart and could lead to serious cardiac problems in later life. Those who enjoy a lean look from taking part in marathons, triathlons and iron man challenges are more likely to need pacemakers in old age,

Running marathons can cause serious heart problems later in life

a new study says. Tests on mice, funded by the British Heart Foundation, show microscopic changes take place in the body due to exercise training. This can disrupt the electrical pulse of the heart, causing the superfit to suffer abnormal heart rhythms. The number of people taking part in marathons is going up every year. Elderly athletes with a lifelong history of endurance training and competing are prone to heart rhythm

disturbances, known as arrhythmias. This is due to molecular changes in the heart’s pacemaker from the exercise training, according to scientists from the University of Manchester. Normal adults have a resting heart beat of between 60 and 100 per minute. But the hearts of athletes beat as slow as 30 times a minute - or even lower at night when there can be long pauses between beats. Cyclists Sir Chris Hoy and Miguel

People who are super-fit when they are young are more likely to need pacemakers when they are old

Indurain have resting heart rates of 30 and 28 beats per minute, the scientists say. Author Dr Alicia D’Souza said: ‘The heart rate is set by the heart’s pacemaker, but this is controlled by the nervous system. The “vagal” nerves lower the heart rate and therefore it was assumed the low heart rate of athletes is the result of over activity of the vagal nerves. ‘But our research shows this is not the case. Actually, the heart’s pacemaker changes in response to training and in particular there is a decrease in an important pacemaker protein, known as HCN4, and this is responsible for the low heart rate.’ The researchers say these molecular changes in the cardiac structure which govern heart rhythm may help us to understand the more frequent occurrence of heart rhythm disturbances or even loss of consciousness in athletes. Professor Mark Boyett, lead researcher on the study, added: ‘This is important because although normally a low resting heart rate of an athlete does not cause problems,

elderly athletes with a lifelong training history are more likely to need an artificial electronic pacemaker fitted.’ More than 500 marathons take place in Europe and America each year with around one million taking part. The number is forecast to rise by five per cent each year. But Professor Boyett stressed that although endurance exercise training can have harmful effects on the heart, ‘it is more than outweighed by the beneficial effects’. Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: ‘This study shows the heart’s electrical wiring changes in mice that exercise for long periods, and these changes in heart rhythm are sustained afterwards. ‘If the findings are reproduced in humans they could have implications for heart health in older athletes. ‘But much more research is needed before we could draw that conclusion.’ The research is published in the journal Nature Communications. Source:



4 Edo legislators, top APC chieftains defect to PDP

Presidency arresting, harassing our members in Bayelsa - APC

From Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin

From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


our All Progressives Congress (APC) House of Assembly members in Edo state and some aggrieved top members of the party led by the former Secretary to the State Government, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, yesterday announced their defection to the Peoples Democratic party (PDP). The legislators are, Patrick Osayimwen (Oredo East constituency), Jude Ise-Idehen (Ikpoba-Okha constituency), Friday Ogierhiakhi (Orhionmwon south constituency) and Razaq Momoh (Etsako West constituency). Their defection followed the inability by the leadership to heed the call for the outright cancellation of the concluded APC party Registration and inconclusive congresses by the group. Former Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Prince Tony Omoaghe, who addressed the crowd of supporters, chided the state governor, Adams Oshiomhole, for allegedly hijacking the APC structure. Pastor Ize-Iyamu, former national vice chairman of the defunct ACN, said: “No man is God”, and described as “unfortunate” the exit of the members of the party, which he claimed, have laboured to build the party. Responding, interim state Publicity Secretary of APC, Godwin Erhahon, wish the defectors well to the “lion’s den”, describing the members of the group as “seasonal birds”. According to him, “we are sure we are parting to meet again. And they will come back in the next season”. Former chairman of the defunct ACN in the state and former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Thomas Okosun, described their decision as sad, and urged them to retrace their steps if their actions was not for personal interest. “Let me say for us it is sad, sad in the sense that these are people who have been our friends for years have today decided to leave us. But that is not the end of life, we have a responsibility as a political party to begin to rebuild our party for the next elections, and not just for elections but begin to work more for the people of Edo state because power is meant to be used for the benefit of the common people. “They should not be deceived by believing that PDP will ever win elections in Edo state any more, it is over and it is over for PDP. The glory of God has since departed from PDP. Yes that we won election.


he All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm over the alleged arrest and persistent harassment of its members in Bayelsa state by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)led federal government, using the police as its arrowhead. The arrest and harassment,

according to the APC, was in an attempt to clear the state of all the vestige of opposition ahead of the 2015 general elections. In a statement issued in Lagos, yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said under the alleged plan, leaders of the APC in Bayelsa, who it said have been strenuously building the party,

will be decimated. ‘’For those who may say this plan is far fetched, Mr. Samuel Ogbuku, the former Chief of Staff to Ex-Bayelsa Gov. Timipre Sylva, who is a key APC leader in the state, has been arrested in connection with a murder that took place in 2010. Curiously, Mr. Ogbuku, who has been resident in the state and who

L-R: Jigawa state Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, and the state PDP Chairman, Alhaji Salisu Mahmuda, during the state executive meeting of the party, yesterday in Dutse. Photo: NAN

has no immunity from arrest, is just now being picked up by the police over a murder that took place over three years ago. ‘’Realizing that the suspect whom the police claimed mentioned Mr. Ogbuku’s name in connection with the murder has recanted, hence the under charge can no longer be sustained, the police quickly dragged him to court on a charge related to cultism. The plan by the police, who arrested Mr. Ogbuku in commando style while returning from a funeral, had been to take him into custody along with Mr Sylva and one Israel Sunny-Goli, but the other two did not attend the funeral. ‘’A democratically-elected President cannot and must not shut the democratic space against the opposition, whether in his home state where he is expected to show leadership by example or anywhere else across the federation. We are therefore calling on the Presidency to stop the harassment and intimidation of our members in Bayelsa State,’’ APC said. The party said the police in particular must not allow itself to be used to stifle democracy and deny Bayelsa citizens of their constitutional rights to associate freely, warning that any further harassment, intimidation and threat to the lives of its members in Bayelsa will not be tolerated.

APC’s statement on cabinet reshuffle callous-Niger govt From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


he Niger state government yesterday called on the people of the state to dismiss All Progressives Congress’ (APC) criticism of the recent cabinet reshuffle by the Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government. It described the allegations by the opposition party as not only false and baseless but callous.

Reacting to APC’s allegation that last week’s cabinet shake-up was carried out for political expediency, the state’s Commissioner of Information, Communications and Strategy, Danladi Ndayebo described the party’s statement as careless, provocative and contemptuous. Ndayebo wondered why the APC would want to cast aspersion on the integrity of the PDP led government in the state over a cabinet reshuffle that was carried out to reposition the executive council for optimal

performance. “For the avoidance of doubt, the decision to re-jig the composition of the executive council was premised on the need to reposition the cabinet for efficiency and effectiveness anchored on the state’s vision to become one of the top three most developed state economies in the country,” Ndayebo said in a statement. “We only hope that the unnecessarily aggressive statement by the APC at a time the state is trying

to make unprecedented progress is not a confirmation of our fear that the APC is pursuing a political objective of discrediting the government at all costs,” the statement added. On the performance of the PDP government, Ndayebo said the opposition must be blind not to notice Governor Aliyu’s achievements. The statement advised APC to criticise the government constructively rather than engaging in cheap shots and meaningless diatribe.

Zoning: Akwa Ibom guber aspirant drags PDP to court


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirant from Akwa-Ibom, Mr Leo Ekpenyong has challenged the rotation and zoning policy of the party in court. Ekpenyong, in an originating summon filed in an FCT High Court by his lawyer, Mr Olusegun Ogundiran, prayed the court to declare the policy as illegal and contrary to the principle of

democracy. The plaintiff in a 12 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by him prayed the court to declare that the provision of section 7 (3) c of the PDP constitution 2012 is discriminatory and selective. The said provision stated that “adhering to the policy of the rotation and zoning of party and public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity justice and fairness.” Ekpenyong said that the provision

was contrary to the provision of Section 14 (2) C and 42 (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as (amended). The plaintiff also sought that the resolution of the state chapter of the PDP contained in the communiqué of April 22 meeting was contrary to democratic principle of fair play and equity. According to him, the resolution which zoned the 2015 governorship

of the state to Eket Senatorial District, was contrary to principle of fair play and equity and participatory government in Akwa Ibom state. The plaintiff averred that the zoning formula had pre-determined the result of the party primaries and urged the court to declare it illegal. The case filed before Justice Abubakar Umar of the FCT High Court, who is yet to have a fix date for mention. (NAN)




Angry reactions trail Tinubu’s verbiage against Yoruba traditional rulers From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ince the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, recently stirred the honet nest by disclosing that only three monarchs in Yorubaland are upright, describing others as “useless”, the region has known no calm. “You are not part of the useless Obas in Yorubaland who will sell out, we know them and it is not yet time to mention names. In Yorubaland today, you are the best monarch and that is not contestable. The good Obas’ in Yorubaland, who are forthright, firm and stand by the truth are not up to five, they are just three. Oba Awujale, Oba Akiolu and another,” Tinubu said when given the podium at special prayer session held at the Ijebu-Ode Central Mosque to mark the 80th birthday of the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Kayode Adetona. Several traditional institutions in the region however have begun to meet on Tinubu’s comment describing it as an aberration on the sacred Yourba tradition. Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade, while addressing a group of foremost traditional rulers in Osun State lampooned the APC national leader over his statement. He said it was the traditional rulers in the South West that held their subjects together, giving room for people like him (Tinubu) to actualise his political ambition. The traditional ruler said he had to express his protest over the statement credited to Tinubu on behalf of the majority of Yoruba rulers in Nigeria. According to Sijuwade, Tinubu had forgotten that “when our country was upside down, it was the traditional rulers in this country that saved the situation. If we left the country as politicians did, there would have been no state for the leader of APC to rule when he came back. “Two among the three obas mentioned by him were the best friends of the late military head of state, General Sani Abacha

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

and among them, one was on the paylist of the late General and one lifted crude oil allocated to him by General Abacha. You can ask them, Abacha gave me money on more than one occasion, but I refused. “And if you want to talk of the annulment of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola’s election, these two/ three traditional rulers should be properly investigated, because they were neither here nor there,” the traditional ruler said. “If any of our leaders wants to make a categorical statement on an important issue like the Oba in Yorubaland, he should please try to check records to know exactly what each one of them has done, because there is so much blackmail and, fortunately, the late Abacha’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) is alive and he is in a position to tell the world the obas who were close associates of his late boss,” Oba Sijuwade added. A senior traditional chief in Lagos who does not want his name in print said“ Am sure Oba’s in Yoruba land will officially respond to him. We meet and discuss the issue, we know our worth, our subjects respect us and hold us in high esteem, why should a politician who want to lead the Yoruba nations say the Traditional

rulers are useless. With this Tinubu can never be addressed as a Yoruba leader. In fact he does not worth being called a Yoruba man; a son will not insult his culture.” The high chief said that Tinubu’s generalisation of Yoruba Obas as useless, is self indictment as the APC leader has collected chieftaincy titles from these Obas he labeled as useless. Apart from being the Asiwaju of Lagos, Tinubu is the Agba Akin of Ijeshaland; Aare of Ile-Oluji; Aare Atayese of Ilawe Ekiti, Aare Ago of Egba land amongst others. Describing Tinubu’s statement

as an insult on the entire traditional institution in Yorubaland, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose said “only someone without history and integrity will open his mouth to castigate our Obas, who are the custodians of Yoruba culture and tradition.” Fayose maintained that “traditional rulers in Ekiti State are not useless, and we take serious exception to any individual or group rubbishing our revered Obas. It is either all Obas in Ekiti State are not forthright, firm and honest or there is just one of them that is forthright, since he (Tinubu) had already mentioned two Obas among the three that he believed are forthright in Yoruba land.” Fayose said Tinubu’s comment is a calculated attempt to cause disunity among our revered royal fathers by playing certain obas against others. The PDP candidate said all true sons and daughters of Oduduwa must rise against any attempt by the politicians to sow discord among the traditional rulers through careless and unguarded talks. “We are also not unmindful of the refusal of the APC government in Ekiti State to pay palace staff and denial to our Obas the five percent share in the Excess Crude Oil Proceeds. Tinubu’s statement is therefore a continuation of the APC’s contempt for our traditional institution, and we condemn this insult on our revered traditional

Traditional rulers are powerful, revered in Yorubaland and their subjects attest to this. Therefore, I urge you to use your influence in your various domains to ensure that peace reigns perpetually beyond election period

rulers in Ekiti State in its entirety. We also demand an apology from Tinubu and his party, APC.” Also a politician and public affairs analysis, Babatunde Olalere Gbadamosi, said “the arrogance of some people is beginning to become nauseating. How can one politician pronounce all Yoruba Obas useless and there is calm across the land? The outrageous statement credited to the owner of the APC calls for responses from all blue-bloods in Yorubaland. “I am from Ikorodu, and my Oba, His Royal Majesty, Kabiyesi Oba Salaudeen Oguntade Oyefusi, Ayangburen II, is most certainly not useless!! The Akran of Badagry, His Royal Majesty, Aholu Wheno Menu-Toyi 1, is certainly not useless, and neither are countless other royal personages across Yorubaland. “The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Okunade Sijuade, Olubuse II; The Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, His Royal Majesty, The Timi of Ede, The Ewi of AdoEkiti, The Soun of Ogbomoso, The Alake of Egbaland, The Akarigbo of Remoland, The Olubadan of Ibadan, The Ataoja of Oshobgo, The Olofa of Offa, The Olu of Ikeja, The Alara of Ilara, The Alaketu of Ketu, The Olowo of Owo...these and many more are deservedly respected across the land and in their respective domains.He who spits on his culture spits on himself” he said. Osun state Governor Rauf Aregbesola, however shares a different view from his national leader. He described the traditional rulers as custodians of culture. “Traditional rulers are powerful, revered in Yorubaland and their subjects attest to this. Therefore, I urge you to use your influence in your various domains to ensure that peace reigns perpetually beyond election period,” he said. Yoruba’s are waiting passionately for Tinubu who owns the traditional title of Aare Ago of Egba Land, to release the list of third ‘upright’ traditional ruler in the land.

Ekiti 2014: Fayose accuses APC of booking hotels with N100m From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) government in the state of wasting over N100 million public funds to book all hotels in the state ahead of the June 21 governorship election. In a released issued yesterday by Director General of the Ayo

Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, the governorship candidate alleged that the state government was owing hoteliers in the state over N200 million since last year. AFCO, which described the government’s action as admittance of fear, said it was wicked for the state government that refused to pay its hotel bills for over six months to have suddenly realised that it needed to pay over N100 million to book

hotels just because of election. The governorship candidate, who said all attempts to circumvent the will of Ekiti people by the APC government will fail, added that: “If they like, let them pay for all hotel rooms in Ekiti, let them pay for all farmlands and even vacant residential accommodations in Ekiti, they won’t survive defeat on June 21”. While calling on hoteliers in the state to demand for the

payment of over N200 million being owed them by the state government, Fayose said; “Let all outstandings being owed our hotel owners by the APC evil government be paid first. “And if Governor Kayode Fayemi and those that are using the June 21 election to siphon Ekiti funds like, let them go beyond the booking of all hotel rooms in Ekiti. Let them also book all roads in the State so that no one can be able to use the

roads between now and June 21. “They can also go a step further in the demonstration of their wickedness and desperation by booking the air that we breathe so that no one will be able to breathe because of the June 21 election. “Whatever devilish actions that they take between now and June 21, they cannot escape defeat in the election because Ekiti people are tired of their government of deceit”, he said.



News Extra

Kaduna pilgrims’ board free of touts - Board overseer From Muhammad Ibrahim, Kaduna


aduna State pilgrims Welfare Board Overseer, Alhaji Muhammadu Kabiru Kasim yesterday said they have succeeded in sanitizing the board from touts who specialized in defrauding pilgrims in the state. According to him, in the past some people use the board to defraud innocent pilgrims of

their money. Speaking during a workshop, titled: “Train-the-trainers”, organised for Ulamas and Pilgrims Officers from 23 local government areas, said presently the board is free as he cautioned intending pilgrims not to give money to people that are not pilgrims officers at their local government areas. He said only Pilgrims officers at various local government areas are authorized to Sale

seats. “Even the Pilgrims officers, the moment they collect intending pilgrim’s money, he or she should be given a receipt immediately. We are doing this to ensure that no intending pilgrim is defrauded, as the case in the past. Now, we don’t have cases of touts because we have succeeded in sanitizing the board,” he said. According to him, the only case they have in the board with regards to fraud, the security

agents are investigating. He appealed to staff of the board to stay away from any act capable of tarnishing the image of the board, Islam and State in general. In his remarks, Emir of Birnin Gwari, Alhaji Zubairu Jibril Mai Gwari tasked the pilgrim’s officers to fear Allah and discharged their duties diligently. He commended the board management for a job well done by transforming the board.

Cleric doubts France’s sincerity over Boko Haram From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna


Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmed Abubakar Gumi, has expressed doubt over the sincerity of France in the war against suspected Boko Haram militia, insisting that the country had never had never shown genuine concern about the religion Islam. Gumi, in a statement he entitled: ‘Boko Haram: The French Connection’, issued at the weekend, also alleged that French nation, unlike the English, was known to be rabidly anti-Islamic, as recently a law was passed banning the Niqab, the epitome of a Muslim woman’s chastity in public places throughout the European country. He said the hate for modesty and purity of lifestyle amongst the French cannot be hidden. “So, when this nation of gays, lesbians and licentious life wants to come in, in the global conspiracy called Boko Haram at this material time, observers are left with no options but to believe that the French doesn’t want to be left out in the cold. It has to exert its relevance too”, he said. Otherwise, he said, Nigerians that were affected by the conspiracy had realized the plot that there was never any war against Boko Haram because it was all sham. “Innocent people are framed, arrested, incarcerated and killed. The intelligence of these nations are behind all these atrocities one way or the other. It is all about destabilization and exploitation.” “The affected Nigerians have come to the conclusion that they have to take the bull by horn and fight the deceived Boko Haram ‘foot soldiers’ directly. Villagers have already started the real war that will unfold the plan. “Watch out for more destabilizing incidents and never be instigated to cause commotion. Leave in peace with everybody; they only operate and thrive when there is disorder. May Allah protect us as all,” he said.

Prevent disease outbreaks, minister tasks stakeholders By Evelyn Okakwu


igeria’s Minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has charged stake holders in Nigeria’s medical sector to rise up to the challenge of reducing disease outbreaks in Nigeria. He made this known at the second pre National Council on Health (NCH) meeting in Abuja recently. Prof Onyebuchi who noted that the pre NCH meeting would focus on highlighting the resolutions of the 56th NCH meeting held last year in Lagos, added that the present NCH meeting would also analyse other cases like epidemics and other health-related cases that can constitute topical issues before the next NCH meeting “The purpose of this pre NCH meeting is to analyse the previous NCH meeting that is the 56th NCH meeting; find out how far we have gone, to put in place the resolutions. The second step is that, in between, there are various issues that would have taken place; which may require some urgent steps. Health is not something we wait for an annual meeting before doing something about”, he stated. The minister added that issues arising from the stake holders in the nation’s herbal medicine will also top the agenda for the day.

Incubation Centre to give free skills training women in NHIS flag-off: Kogi community student gets scholarship to Bauchi CEO, Allied Care for Humanity Development Initiative, Barrister Gloria Ezezikika (left), and others, during a rally over the abduction Chibok school girls, recently in Abuja.

By Evelyn Okakwu


he Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas, has offered a scholarship to an indigent student of Emoriko community, Augustine Sunday. Augustine, who is a sixteen year-old SS 2 student of Emoriko Secondary School, was informed of the scholarship during the formal flag-off of the health

insurance programme for members of the Emoriko Mutual Health Association, in Emoriko, a rural community in Olamaboro local government area of Kogi state. Dr. Thomas said the gesture was propelled by the young boy’s educational qualifications, which portrayed him in good light and the fact that the beneficiary was a child from a financially humble family. The Executive Secretary, who

noted that the gesture was one of more coming in future, said it was part of the insurance program of his institute to cater for the future of young Nigerians through provision of quality education; consequently, the lucky recipient has found the empowerment to continue his studies to any level of his capacity and choice. Dr. Thomas added that as a man of humble beginning, he felt the need to do his part in lifting Nigerians like young Augustine.

Group extols Gov. Aliyu for passing vote of confidence on SSG From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna


political association in Niger state, called Reality Group, has commended Governor Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu for passing a vote of confidence on the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Hon. Sa’idu Ndako Idris Kpaki. The group gave the commendation in a statement jointly signed by its Coordinator, Comrade Ali

Muhammad, and Secretary, Hon. Adamu Jibril Kpatsuwa. “We expressed appreciation to the governor for expressing his confidence on the SSG in the presence of everybody during the last swearingin of new commissioners at the Government House,” the statement said. The group said the confidence vote by the governor was not only on SSG, but also on people of Zone A Senatorial District,

where Hon. Kpaki hailed from. It described the SSG as “a humble and dynamic leader, a pillar of reconciliation and a rallying point for both old and young politicians in the zone. The group enjoined the general public to shun rumour mongering in its entirety, and called on all political groups in the state to give their maximum support to the administration of Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, in order to achieve his laudable goals and objectives.

From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi Technology Incubation Centre is to give free training to women in different skills in Bauchi, to enhance their source of income, The centre’s Manager, Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed, disclosed this to newsmen at the weekend, in Bauchi, saying that the training would commence with 20 women from Bauchi local government, while other women from 19 local government areas of the state would be co-opted in due course. Mohammed said the women would be trained in cosmetics, charcoal and soap making because of high demand for the products in the state. ``We will conduct the training for free, with the hope that the state government would appreciate and sustain it with a view to equip the women with constant source of income. ``We have already concluded discussion with the Bauchi local government chairman, who would select the women for us, ``she said.



Photo Splash

Members of the Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN), Omu-Aran chapter, during a rally for the release of the abducted Chibok school girls, yesterday in Omu-Aran, Kwara state.

L-R: Village Head of Sabon Kaura, Malam Umaru Sanda, and Bauchi state Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Mohammed Dhamina inspecting a newly installed transformer during the commissioner’s inspection of power project, yesterday at Sabon Kaura village, in Bauchi state. L-R: Former Director-General, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Professor Longmas Wapmuk, handing-over to his successor, Mrs. Juliet Chukkas-Onaeke, yesterday in Jos.

L-R: Director, National Population Commission, Oyo state, Mr. Rafiu Balogun; Assistant Director (Census), Mr. Olusola Olunlade, and representatives of UNICEF, Mrs. Roselyn Akinroye, during a workshop on comprehensive assessment of civil registration and vital statistics in Nigeria, yesterday in Ibadan.

Fire gutted part of Daleko market, yesterday at Isolo, in Lagos.

Photos: NAN


PEOPLES DAILY, TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014, SMS- 08142929046, 08036258222,

Nigeria will surprise opponents at World Cup, says Uchebo T

he Cercle Brugge striker, Michael Uchebo has said that the Super Eagles would surprise it opponents at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The former Enugu Rangers forward received his first call-up to the national team and earned his first cap on March 6 in the goalless draw with Mexico in a friendly match, playing the first half before being replaced. “I’m very happy. I didn’t conceive the thought of making the 30man list with the great number of Nigerian stars at home and abroad,” Uchebo told Goal. “I didn’t imagine that I was going to be talking about a call-up to the team. My World Cup invitation was a surprise, but with a big desire. I think that I am in a great moment. “Now that I have the chance that I sincerely look forward to - I am going to try to fight for a place and take advantage of this opportunity,” the former VVV Venlo star said. On the chances of Nigeria doing well at the World Cup, Uchebo said the Stephen Keshi-led Super Eagles will shock everyone in Brazil.

He said that the African champions have the human capacity to challenge any country in the world and would not be intimidated by their credentials or group of stars. “Well, as you know it’s the World Cup and every country that has qualified for the [it] harbours the dream of winning the tournament. No one should write off Nigeria as we have the talents and quality to succeed at the international level. “My teammates and I are not afraid of any country either small or mighty because with our wealth of experience as players and exposure of our technical crew we will surprise the world in Brazil. All we need is to play as a unit and take to the coaches’ instructions,” he concluded. The 24-year-old reserved his comments over his future at the Belgian Pro League club as his two-year contract with the side is expected to expire on May 29, 2014. “I don’t want to talk about my club career for now my focus is on helping the Super Eagles succeed at the World Cup if I make the final 23-man squad,” he said.

Michael Uchebo

Sports will create peaceful co-existence - Minister By Albert Akota

T Eagles

World Cup: Ejidike to give Eagles $1,000 for each goal


he Nigeria’s Pillar of Sport, Donatus Agu-Ejidike, yesterday said he would give the Super Eagles 1,000 dollars for every goal scored at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Agu-Ejidike made the pledge while addressing newsmen in Abuja. He said that he would be going to the World Cup to contribute his little quota to the success of the national team. “As the Nigeria Pillar of Sports, I want to contribute my

little quota to energising the team. “In this regard, each goal scored by the Super Eagles at the World Cup in Brazil will attract 1,000 dollars. “So, we want them to score as many goals as possible to get more dollars,’’ he said. Agu-Ejidike pledged his office’s commitment to support any individual or organisation working toward sports development. According to him, we are not relenting in our efforts to do

everything possible to develop sports and we will continue to partner with any organisation or individual that wants to develop sports. Eagles with 31 other countries would feature at the mundial which holds between June 12 and July 13. The Super Eagles have been drawn in Group F with Argentina, Bosnia-Hergovinia and Iran and they will start their campaign at the World Cup against Iran on June 16.

he Minister of Sports, Tammy Danagogo, yesterday in Abuja said sports was a catalyst for social development and peaceful coexistence. Danagogo said this when the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Special Duties, Sarah Pane, visited him in his office at the National Stadium. “Sports can be employed to unite individuals and communities, highlight common interest, as well as bridge cultural, gender, religious and ethnic divides. “It has the capacity to bring about peace and prevent conflict, thereby strengthening interactions between communities, people and culture,’’ Danagogo said. He said his goal as Sports Minister was to make sports a way of life since it was a considerable ingredient of a healthy way of life and keeping fit. “As a way of life, sports develop force, dexterity and accuracy, which can among other things preserve good physical health and also breed strong

leadership traits necessary for building a formidable society. “”The skills and values learned through sports are especially important for the youths, given that they are the leaders of tomorrow.’’ Danagogo, who is also the Chairman, National Sports Commission (NSC), pledged the commission’s readiness to collaborate with the office of the Special Adviser to encourage young and talented children. “We want to develop their career in sports, because one of the cardinal objectives of the NSC is not only to hunt and discover talents, but also to nurture them to podium athletes who will bring glory and honour to Nigeria.’’ Earlier, Pane had said the purpose of the visit was to seek the assistance and collaboration of the NSC to organise a pre-season international tournament in Abuja and Lagos. “We also want to seek the minister’s approval to raise funds to take three girls under the ages of 10, who have demonstrated exceptional talents in chess and table tennis, for career training in Europe,’’ she said.




DG NTI calls for active participation in sporting activities


he Director-General and Chief Executive of the National Teachers’ Institute, Kaduna, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu has called for more sporting activities and participation by educational institutions across the country. He made the call during the ongoing sporting activities at

Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Dr Aminu, who led the National Teachers’ Institute’s Squash Team to the Squash tournament holding at ABU, Zaria as part of the event marking the university’s sports week, also added that sporting activities apart from keeping the body fit and healthy

fosters unity and collaboration amongst participating Institutions. The Vice Chancellor of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha thanked the NTI Team for the participation and outstanding performance. He reiterated the importance of sports to the well

being of individuals and as a unifying vehicle for educational institutions in the country. Participants and team players expressed their satisfaction with the organization of the squash tournament while calling on other institutions of learning to engage in more sporting

activities. The Squash tournament saw stiff competition and high spirit of sportsmanship between the Ahmadu Bello University Team and their counterpart from the National Teachers’ Institute. At the end, trophies were presented to both teams for outstanding performance.

an impact in the second half and earn valuable points to enable us remain in the league come next season. “The club has already recruited six new players,’’ he

said. Two FCT clubs in Division A have the lowest points after the first round with FRSC having 17 points and Nigeria Prisons 10 points.

NNL: FCT football clubs set to improve in second round


he Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Nigeria Prisons Football Clubs have promised to improve their performances in the second round of the 2013/2014 Nigeria National League (NNL). The FCT-based league sides made the promise in separate interviews with newsmen in Abuja. The Head of Sports Unit of FRSC, Bola Balogun, said it was unfortunate that the team drastically went down to the bottom on the league table after the first round. He said the team was using the mid-season break to look at the way forward to ensure that they moved up at the end of the season to escape relegation. Balogun said that they have decided to reinforce the team by recruiting new players and

sacking some to ensure that only the best hands played in the next round. “We are making some moves to make sure that we are not relegated. “We are making efforts, so that when we resume for the second round, we will improve on our performance. “We intend to get some new players, while we do away with some when we resume; there will be changes and we are going to intensify our training programme. “And I am sure that at the end of the league, we won’t face relegation,’’ he said. The Director of Sports, Nigeria Prisons, Abioye Adesina, said that in spite of the club’s poor performance, they still had quality players in the team. He said they had recruited

Supreme Court FC six new players to help boost their performance in the second round, adding that they hoped to earn valuable points to keep them in the league. “I believe we can still make

Okagbare wins double in Shanghai


lessing Okagbare got a double victory in Shanghai, winning the women’s long jump with a leap of 6.86 meters on her first attempt and then capturing the 200 in 22.36 seconds. “I was just going out there to do my best,” she said. “If I execute properly, I wouldn’t get less than a win.” Jamaican Shelly-Ann FraserPryce, who won the 100 last week at the season-opening Diamond League meet in Qatar, dropped out before the start with a shin injury, and her countrywoman, Veronica Campbell-Brown, who missed much of last season because of a doping ban that was

later overturned, finished fifth. Campbell-Brown, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 200, tested positive for a banned diuretic at a meet in Jamaica last May, but denied intentionally taking any prohibited substance. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld her appeal against a two-year doping ban in February, citing flaws in the test collection procedures and possible “environmental contamination” of her urine sample. “I’ve been doing track and field all my life and the honest truth is I’ve never used drugs in my life. I don’t know where that (positive test) come from. And to sit there knowing what I know, I

NIS to train 240 coaches in 2014


he National Institute for Sports (NISports) said yesterday that no fewer than 240 coaches would be trained in its 2014 programme. Dr Sunny Ikhioya, the Director of the institute, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in a telephone interview that the idea was to train the same number of coaches that were trained last year. Ikhioya said that the plan of the institute was to ensure Nigerian coaches were at par up with their foreign counterparts in handling athletes, clubs or in

academies. “Every year, we do have our regular sandwich programme in Lagos for Nigerian coaches; but now, we want to extend it to Abuja; it’s a three-month programme. “We had about 240 coaches that passed through us last year and this year, we hope to train the same number. “It is expected that after we have trained these coaches, they should develop themselves further through international training; their employers can also help them to achieve that.’’

Blessing Okagbare inaction against Madison and Pint

have to sit there and watch 2013 go by, it’s heart-wrenching,” Campbell-Brown said. “I know sooner or later I will get back into the shape I want to be.” Jamaica had just one winner on the night in Novlene WilliamsMills, who took the women’s 400 in 50.31. She was just 0.6 seconds ahead of former world champion Amantle Montsho of Bostwana. American Allyson Felix was fifth in her first race since collapsing on the track with a torn hamstring at last year’s worlds. Another American, Emma Coburn, surprised the field in the women’s 3,000 steeplechase, beating all three medalists at last year’s worlds in a time of 9 minutes, 19.80 seconds. A two-time NCAA champion at the University of Colorado, she took the lead on the first lap and opened up a 70-meter gap with two laps to go. Americans also captured two

other events: Michael Tinsley won the men’s 400 hurdles and Christian Cantwell led an American sweep of the shot put. Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie continued his dominance in the pole vault, winning easily with a leap of 5.92 meters, while Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi won the women’s 1,500 in 3 minutes, 58.72 seconds. Christian Cantwell led an American sweep of the shot put, with two-time world champion David Storl of Germany finishing fourth. Justin Gatlin cruised to victory in the 100 meters at the Shanghai Diamond League meet on Sunday, while Chinese hurdler Xie Wenjun got the loudest cheer of the night by upsetting world champion David Oliver in the 110-meter hurdles. Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, got off to a good start and pulled away from the field after 60 meters, finishing in 9.92

seconds — the fastest time in the world this year. Jamaica’s Nesta Carter was 0.2 seconds back in second and American Michael Rodgers was third. American sprinter Justin Gatlin ran the fastest 100 in the world this year, winning in Shanghai with a time of 9.92 seconds. “I have much more left in the tank,” Gatlin said. “I cruised at 9.92 with no wind. I felt I made it look easy.” Gatlin was the only sprinter to beat Jamaican star Usain Bolt last year, edging him at the line in the 100 in Rome last June. But the American couldn’t match that feat when it mattered, falling to Bolt at the worlds in Moscow two months later. Bolt didn’t compete in Shanghai this year, but Gatlin believes he sent the defending world and Olympic champion a message with his impressive time on Sunday.



Sports Liverpool in pot 3 for UCL draw


Giggs retires from football

iverpool will be hoping for a favourable draw in next season’s Champions League group stage and will need lady luck on their side as ESPN can reveal they are now certain to be in the third pot of seeds. Results over the weekend, which saw CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg qualify for the Champions League at the expense of Lokomotiv Moscow, extinguished Liverpool’s faint hopes of being elevated into the second pot for the draw on Aug. 28. Even if Lokomotiv had qualified, Liverpool would still have required an unlikely set of results with all playoff seeds losing in order to propel them up a pot. Manchester City recorded their highest UEFA coefficient score last season in reaching the Round of 16 in the Champions League before exiting to Barcelona. But, with UEFA’s club ranking based on European performance over a five-year period, they have now lost the points they gained from reaching the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup in 2008-09. It means City will be grateful for the domestic failure of European powerhouses such as


Manchester United, AC Milan and Inter Milan -- as that gives them the very last spot in pot 2. Liverpool and City will definitely be drawn against one of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Benfica, Atletico Madrid or FC Porto, so will likely hope their opponents are Portuguese. Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are certain to be in pot 2, as will Borussia Dortmund barring disaster for both Arsenal and Porto in the playoffs. Just as in past seasons, pot 4 will have a sting in the tail for a couple of groups as it features both AS Roma and AS Monaco runners-up to worthy domestic champions in Juve and PSG. Arsenal, Porto, Bayer Leverkusen and Napoli will be seeded in the non-champions route playoffs, along with Zenit St Petersburg if they come through the third qualifying round. Athletic Bilbao, Lille and FC Copenhagen are among the teams the seeds could face for a place in the group stage. But Bilbao will definitely be in pot 3 if they qualify as the La Liga club will have to beat a seeded team to get through, which will elevate them from the bottom pot.

Luis Suarez

Messi signs new Barcelona deal


ionel Messi has signed a new and improved contract with Barcelona, the club have announced. The Argentina international reached a provisional agreement over a new deal at the end of last week following months of speculation that he had reached an impasse over fresh terms. The 26-year-old released a statement earlier on Monday claiming he could be forced to consider his options should he no longer feel the “affection” of the club he joined as a youngster, though he maintained he was eager to continue his Camp Nou career. And the Rosario-born star has now finally brought an end to speculation over his immediate

future by putting pen-to-paper on a new and improved contract, though the club did not disclose the precise terms of the deal. “FC Barcelona would like to announce that Leo Messi and the Club signed a revised contract this afternoon,” a statement on the club’s official website read. “The signing took place in the presence of Leo Messi, his father Jorge Messi and the Club President Josep Maria Bartomeu, as well as the sporting vice-president Jordi Mestre and the Club CEO, Antoni Rossich. “During the signing, which was made in the Presidential Box at the Camp Nou, Leo Messi repeatedly expressed his excitement about the new deal.”

Lionel Messi

Manchester City, PSG fined by UEFA


anchester City and Paris St Germain, two of the newly rich clubs in European soccer, have been fiup to 60 million euros ($82.23 million) and had their squads capped for next season’s Champions League after breaching Uefa’s financial rules. As part of their settlement with Uefa, Premier League

Ryan Giggs

yan Giggs announced yesterday he was retiring from his career as a player following his appointment as assistant manager to newlyinstalled Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal. The 40-year-old one-club man revealed his decision in an open letter to supporters published on United’s website. His statement signalled the end of the career of English football’s most decorated player with Giggs, the winner of 34 major trophies, bringing down the curtain on a 23-year career featuring a United record 963 appearances.

“Today is a fantastic day for Manchester United,” Giggs, caretaker manager for the final four games of the season after the club sacked David Moyes, wrote. “Louis van Gaal is a great appointment and let me begin by telling you how delighted I am to be working with someone of his calibre. His credentials are second to none and I’m positive the club will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.” Giggs, who thanked United’s backroom staff and his family for all their support since he made his United debut as a 17-year-old in 1990, said his prevailing mood was one of optimism.

champions City, owned by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, and Qatari-owned French champions PSG have also agreed to curbs on transfer spending over the next two seasons. City said their transfer spending would be capped at a net figure of 60 million euros this summer but added that the

restrictions would not greatly impact their plans. The deals broadly matched recent media reports of the likely sanctions under new rules that prevent clubs from running up unlimited financial losses. City made clear that they had reluctantly agreed a deal with Uefa, believing they had complied with the rules.

Barcelona appoints Enrique as first-team coach


Luis Enrique

arcelona has appointed Luis Enrique as their new first-team coach on a twoyear deal. The 44-year-old former Barca player, who managed the club’s B team between 2008 and 2011, left his role as Celta Vigo boss last week. Barcelona parted company with manager Gerardo Martino after finishing second to Atletico Madrid in La Liga. Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta recommended Enrique, who has also managed Roma, to replace the Argentine.




Nathan Cleverly wins cruiserweight debut against Shawn Corbin N

athan Cleverly made an impressive debut at cruiserweight with a second-round stoppage of Shawn Corbin. The Welshman returned to the ring for the first time since losing his WBO light-heavyweight title to Sergey Kovalev in August 2013. But cleverly, 27 delighted the Cardiff crowd to claim the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title against the 39-year-old WBC Caribbean champion. Corbin was sent reeling by an uppercut and Cleverly finished him off in style. The Cefn Fforest fighter had weighed in at 14st 2lb for Saturday’s bout at the Motorpoint Arena, with Corbin registering 13st 13lb on the scales.

The Guyana-born boxer was clearly dazed and his guard dropped, allowing Cleverly to unload with lefts and rights on Corbin’s chin that gave the referee little option but to step in and end the fight. Injuries had delayed Cleverly’s comeback three times, but after his impressive debut at the 14st 4lb limit his career seems back on track. Topping the promotion at the Motorpoint Arena was Lee Selby, who moved closer to a world title fight after beating Romulo Koasicha in their WBC International title eliminator. Earlier on the card in Cardiff, former WBA light-welterweight champion Gavin Rees beat Gary Buckland in his final fight before retirement.

Cleverly, Bellew rematch due in November


athan Cleverly is set for a rematch against Tony Bellew on 29 November if the pair win their next bouts in July. The Welshman, who beat Bellew on points in 2011, made an impressive debut at cruiserweight on Saturday with a second-round stoppage of Shawn Corbin. His thoughts immediately turned to Bellew and he said: “The rematch could happen before the end of the year. Bellew and Cleverly are expected to fight on the same

card in Liverpool on 12 July and with the potential of setting up a return to the city for their rematch on 29 November. “We are on collision course in a big way,” added Cleverly. “It’s a great grudge match, British rivalry and fantastic for boxing.” Cleverly said his victory over Corbin, to win the WBA Inter-Continental cruiserweight title, had also helped him to “eradicate” the painful memories of losing his title and undefeated record to Sergey Kovalev in August 2013.

Nathan Cleverly and Shawn Corbin

Wiggins targets Tour de France after first win

Sir Bradley Wiggins


ir Bradley Wiggins wants to ride the Tour de France after becoming Britain’s first winner of the Tour of California. Wiggins, 34, had previously cast doubt on being part of Team Sky for the Grand Tour he won

in 2012 but he now hopes to make the nine-man team, which is set to be led by 2013 champion Chris Froome. The 28-year-old British sprinter, who rides for Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, powered for the line from 200 metres

out and won by a tyre’s width from Giant Shimano’s John Degenkolb to claim his second victory in the eight-stage race. Cannondale’s Peter Sagan, 24, was beaten into third. Wiggins, meanwhile, protected his 30-second advantage over Australia’s Rohan Dennis on the final stage, having led for seven of the eight days in California, Defending champion Froome will expect to be Team Sky’s team leader in this year’s Tour de France, which begins with two stages in Yorkshire. The first is a 190km race from Leeds to Harrogate on Saturday, 5 July and is followed by a 200km stage from York to Sheffield. The Tour then heads from Cambridge to London on Monday, 7 July before continuing in France.

Felix disappoints on return at Shanghai Diamond League


Tony Bellew

our-time Olympic gold medallist Allyson Felix made a disappointing return from injury at the second meeting of the Diamond League season, coming fifth in the 400m in Shanghai. Jamaican Novlene Williams-Mills ran in 50.31 seconds to beat Botswanan Amantle Montsho, while Felix finished in 50.81. American Justin Gatlin won the 100m in 9.92, the world’s fastest time this year, with Dwain Chambers seventh. British record holder Steve Lewis finished eighth in the pole vault, won by Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie with a

Allyson Felix clearance of 5.92 metres. American Felix, 28, had targeted a quick return to the form that saw her crowned

200m Olympic champion in 2012, but was unable to follow the pace in her first race since injuring a hamstring at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. Gatlin, Olympic 100m gold medallist in 2004, finished 0.2 seconds ahead of Jamaica’s Nesta Carter, while his compatriot Michael Rodgers was third. In the women’s long jump, Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria set a new meeting record of 6.86 metres to claim first, while 25-year-old Briton Shara Proctor finished ninth. Okagbare, 25, also triumphed in the 200m, setting another new meeting record of 22.36 to edge Anthonique Strachan of Bahamas.




P-i-c-t-o-r-i-a-l 1. Nathan Cleverly says he could fight Tony Bellew in November if both boxers come through their next fights in July. 2. The Man United icon has finally retired from the pitch after a club-record 963 matches in order to concentrate on his role as Louis van Gaal’s assistant 3. Victoria Azarenka withdraws from French Open with foot injury 4. The Villareal striker scored his 14th goal at the weekend while Nsofor got a brace and Martins notched a superb strike in the MLS


5. Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele claims victory from Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang by five seconds in the 2014 Great Manchester Run.

2 3






Group F: Argentina, Nigeria renew rivalry


roup F will feature one match that has become something of a classic fixture of and five that have never been played on the big stage before, part of the reason for which is because BosniaHerzegovina are making their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup, while Iran have only ever faced their group rivals in friendlies. As for Argentina and Nigeria, the other two combatants in the group, there is not much they do not know about each other. Their meeting next June will be the latest instalment in an exciting rivalry between the two sides, led by Lionel Messi and John Obi Mikel, who have faced off three times in major competitions at different age levels: the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Netherlands 2005, the gold medal match at the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament Beijing 2008 and in the group phase at South Africa 2010. On all three occasions Argentina won. The teams There is not much that has not already been said about twotime world champions Argentina or for that matter about Messi, who will renew his bid to lift the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Alejandro Sabella’s men are the favourites to top a group in which reigning African champions Nigeria will be aiming to make the experience they have acquired on their four previous appearances count. Meanwhile, Bosnia will be out to replicate the entertaining brand of football that made them the fourth-highest scorers in the European qualifiers, and Iran, coached by Portugal’s Carlos Queiroz will hope to combine solid organisation with the technical attributes they have long been known for. Players to watch Lionel Messi, (ARG), Sergio Aguero (ARG), Gonzalo Higuain (ARG), John Obi Mikel (NGA), Victor Moses (NGA), Victor Obinna (NGA), Edin Dzeko (BIH), Vedad Ibisevic (BIH), Miralem Pjanic (BIH), Reza Ghoochannejhad (IRN), Javad Nekounam (IRN), Karim Ansari (IRN). The crunch match Bosnia-Nigeria: in a section that most people will expect Argentina to win, games such as this one will be crucial in deciding who goes through to the last 16. The European side will have the challenge of performing in circumstances that will be entirely new to them, while the Nigerians will be eyeing the chance to reach the knockout phase for the first time since France 1998. A look back Argentina 2-1 Nigeria, 25 June 1994, Boston This game, which will forever be remembered as Diego Armando Maradona’s last match for his country, pitted

an Argentina side packed with stars such as El Diez, Claudio Caniggia, Fernando Redondo and Gabriel Batistuta against a Nigeria team very much on the up and up and featuring the likes of Rashidi Yekini, Finidi George and Emmanuel Amunike. The Africans took a surprise early lead through Samson Siasia, only for the wily Caniggia to turn the game around with a typically predatory double. The blond-haired striker’s cry of “Diego, Diego”, imploring Maradona to play the pass that would lead to his second goal, is an iconic moment for Argentina fans. Did you know? Bosnia-Herzegovina, who played their first official match as an independent national team in November 1995, came close to making their World Cup debut at South Africa 2010 but lost out in the play-offs to Portugal. Twenty-four of their 26 most regularly selected players ply their trade outside the country. The stat The number of years since Argentina and Iran met for the first and only time t to date. That match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, took place in Madrid on 22 March 1977 7 and

Javad Nekounam

Emmanuel Amenike

formed part of Real Madrid’s 75th anniversary

celebrations. One year later La Albiceleste won their maiden World Cup title on home soil in a competition that marked the Asian side’s world finals debut.

Edin Dzeko

Lionel Messi



Some Interesting Facts


9. Three hundred million cells die in the human body every minute. 40. Like fingerprints, every individual has an unique tongue print that can be used for identification. 41. A human head remains conscious for about 15 to 20 seconds after it is been decapitated. 42. It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown. 43. Humans can make do longer without food than sleep. Provided there is water, the average human could survive a month to two months without food depending on their body fat and other factors. Sleep deprived people, however, start experiencing radical personality and psychological changes after only a few sleepless days. The longest recorded time anyone has ever gone without sleep is 11 days, at the end of which the experimenter was awake, but stumbled over words, hallucinated and frequently forgot what he was doing. 44. The most common blood type in the world is Type O.The rarest blood type, A-H or Bombay blood, due to the location of its discovery, has been found in less than hundred people since it was discovered 45. Every human spent about half an hour after being conceived, as a single cell. Shortly afterward, the cells begin rapidly dividing and begin forming the components of a tiny embryo.

46. Right-handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people do. This is largely due to the fact that a majority of the machines and tools we use on a daily basis are designed for those who are right handed, making them somewhat dangerous for


lefties to use and resulting in thousands of accidents and deaths each year. 47. Your ears secrete more earwax when you are afraid than when you aren’t. 48. Koalas and primates are the only animals with unique fingerprints. 49. Humans are the only animals to produce emotional tears. 50. The human heart creates enough pressure to squirt blood 30 feet in the air.

Say what?



Mrs Shumilova said: ‘I get inspired mainly by desire to express something I feel, though I usually cannot tell exactly what that is until I have taken the shot’. Source:


. . . putting the people first

TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014

I am really scared to go back there(school; but I have no option if I am asked to because I need to finish my final year exams which were stopped half way through. – Ms. Sarah Lawan

SPORTS Jonathan’s voodoo development index LATEST

Van Gaal named as new Manchester United manager


ouis van Gaal has been confirmed as the new manager of Manchester United, with Ryan Giggs named his assistant. The Dutchman will begin a three-year contract at Old Trafford after the conclusion of his work in charge of Netherlands at the World Cup. Frans Hoek and Marcel Bout, countrymen of Van Gaal, also arrive at Old Trafford as coaches, with the former specialising in goalkeeping and the latter in scouting the opposition. Van Gaal told friends that he was “very keen” on taking over at United following the sacking of David Moyes in April. “To work as a manager for Manchester United, the biggest club in the world makes me very proud,” Van Gaal said. “This club has big ambitions; I too have big ambitions. Together I’m sure we will make history.” “In Louis van Gaal, we have secured the services of one of the outstanding managers in the game today,” United’s chief executive, Ed Woodward, said in a statement. “He has achieved many things in his career to date and Old Trafford provides him with a fitting stage on which to write new chapters in the Manchester United story. “Everyone is very excited about this new phase in the club’s history. His track record of success in winning leagues and cups across Europe throughout his career makes him the perfect choice for us.” The appointment of Giggs as Van Gaal’s No.2 fits the incoming manager’s desire for an ally on the coaching staff who knows the club well, as explained by Goal earlier in May. Patrick Kliuvert had been expected to follow Van Gaal to England, but it was decided earlier in May that the former Barcelona striker would not make the move to Old Trafford. “I am thrilled to have the chance to serve as assistant manager,” the Welshman enthused. “Louis van Gaal is a world-class coach and I know I will learn a lot about coaching from being able to observe and contribute at such close quarters. “Manchester United has been a huge part of my life and I’m delighted to be able to continue that relationship in such a key role.”


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his our president will never cease to amaze with his simplistic ways and rationalizations. On the Boko Haram insurgents whose abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state that has now taken centre stage, globally, President Gooodluck Jonathan simply dismissed criticisms of his reported aborted trip to Chibok, contending that it was not mandatory for him to visit the town. Of course, simplicity is one of President Jonathan’s virtues. He comes across as the regular guy made good – no pretentious frills or airs. Even his speech carries no affectations, though some of us would wish he packs more punch than his trademark flat, monotone of delivery. But that is natural Ebele for you. Anyway, how could anyone want to crucify the man if the deeply internalized character molding of the pristine, uncomplicated simplicity of his rural upbringing in the rusticvillage of Otueke has permanently etched an enduring, simplistic thought process on his impressionable young mind? In the fast trajectory of God’s amazing grace on the young academic’s rise to Mount Olympus of power, there apparently was no time for grooming, for creating a new personality for him – the public persona. No doubt, his simplicity has its advantage – it got him the votes in 2011 general election, with his projection as one of us common folks. Remember the shoeless, canoe boy imagery? But then, simplicity in disposition, coupled with simplistic speech, can become a baggagethat diminishes the high office of the President of the most populous Black nation on earth. The Presidency is a unique platform to inspire the populace and for those it has pleased God, in his wisdom, to put on that throne, they owe it a duty to the nation not to become letdowns. Stirring words and bold actions are the hallmarks

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Tuesday Column Bisi Olawunmi

President Jonathan of any inspiring leadership. Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s war time Prime Minister stirred the British to stand firm against Nazi Germany and snatched victory from the jaws defeat; Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. galvanized his underdog African race in the US with his soul-stirring ‘I have a Dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and changed the course of American history, for ever. They spoke, gave hope and lifted spirits in troubled times. These are troubled times in Nigeria. Can this president rise up to the occasion? I have my doubts, not when our ‘gentleman’ president projects a simplistic understanding of grave situations and seems more rattled and exasperated, as if he is being unfairly ‘crucified’. It is a wrong attitude. And unfortunately for this president, he is apparently surrounded by those who stoke this feeling of his being made scapegoat of a governance crisis he inherited. Admitted, the

system rot preceded him, but the issue is: What has he done to lift the gloom? Has he been able to stir and energize the populace? Where a leader has speech and action deficiencies, disaster looms. Nigeria is heading toward that foreboding threshold. Mr. President must demonstrate a clearer understanding of the state of the nation and speak reassuringly to the people. President Jonathan is a highly educated person - with a PhD- and a doctorate degree does not come cheap. I should know; I recently took that hard road, and as a senior citizen. He got his PhD as a young man and that meant he was a sharp fellow. So, you ask: What happened? The attributes of a PhD are the rigour of research and understanding of relationships among variables. The economy is an area where there is need for the President to demonstrate understanding of the relationship between statistics and the situation on the ground as statistics alone does not give a complete picture of the state of the economy.Statistics can become an exercise in gimmickry, the protestations of Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, at the Kukah Centre workshop notwithstanding. The re-basing of Nigeria’s economy, that has made it to upstage South Africa as Africa’s biggest economy, is one such gimmickry, primarily to massage a bruised political ego – to showcase a ‘success’ story. But the World Bank put dampers on the celebration of this ‘feat’ by rating Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world. The World Bank has indices of development– including per capita income, gross domestic

These are troubled times in Nigeria. Can this president rise up to the occasion? I have my doubts, not when our ‘gentleman’ president projects a simplistic understanding of grave situations and seems more rattled and exasperated, as if he is being unfairly ‘crucified’. It is a wrong attitude.

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product, school enrolment, state of infrastructural facilities, life expectancy - uniformly applied to all countries in its rating. For those of us ‘on the ground’, Nigeria’s rating among the poor nations closely reflects the daily battle of survival among the preponderant majority. But President Jonathan, still basking in the re-basing euphoria, wouldn’t take such ‘nonsense’ rating, not even from the World Bank. Pronto, the president created his own ONE INDEX RATING of development to show that Nigeria is a buoyant economy the ownership of private executive jets by the country’s parasitic, Jet-set elite. The President, at his 2014 May Day speech at Eagle Square in Abuja, hadcontended : “Nigeria is not a poor country. Nigerians are the most travelled people. There is no country you go that you will not see Nigerians… AlikoDangote was recently classified among the 25 richest people in the world… I visited Kenya recently on a state visit and there was a programme for Nigerian and Kenyan business men to interact and the number of private jets that landed in Nairobi that day was a subject of discussion in Kenyan media for over a week”. He then declared: “If you talk about ownership of private jets, Nigeria will be among the first 10 countries, yet they are saying that Nigeria is among the five poorest countries”. What a laughable, simplistic talk! A voodoo development index. How can it be lost on the President that the presence of most Nigerians abroad as economic migrants is their escape option from grinding poverty and insecurity at home? Does it also occur to the President that the boom in private jet ownership is perceived by the people as manifesting the boom in corruption under the Jonathan Presidency? The other day, President Jonathan wondered why we are raising dust about Boko Haram terror campaign, saying that it is our turn to experience the global trend of terrorism, sowe must endure. Again, simplistic talk. With BH rampaging in the core North and Fulani herdsmen militia invading North Central, with threatening spillover southwards – it may not come as a surprise if, in his signature simplistic nature and in spite of the horror of the times, President Jonathan tells us, in the words of singer, Bobby Ferrin: Don’t worry, be happy! Dr. Bisi Olawunmi, lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Bowen University, Iwo is reachable onolawunmibisi@

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Tuesday, May 20th, 2014. Edition  
Tuesday, May 20th, 2014. Edition