Page 1

Vol. 8 No. 85

Friday, July 20, 2012

. . . putting the people first

Ramadan 1, 1433 AH



Reps threaten to impeach Jonathan Declare Oteh unfit to head SEC By Lawrence Olaoye


he frosty relationship between the Presidency and the House of Representatives took a turn for the worse yesterday as the lawmakers launched a three-prong offensive against President Goodluck Jonathan. In firing the first salvo, the lawmakers issued a September 18, 2012 ultimatum to the President to ensure full implementation of the 2012 budget as passed by the National Assembly or face an impeachment process. Also, the legislators unanimously resolved to reject the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) transmitted to the House by the Presidency for consideration on the last day of the 2011/2012 legislative session. Lastly, the House upheld the recommendations of its ad hoc committee which investigated the near collapse of the Capital Market that the appointment of Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Contd on Page 2 By Aminu Imam


he fasting of the holy month of Ramadan begins today in Nigeria and many other countries across the world following the sighting of the moon heralding the commencement of the obligatory fast.

Men of the fire brigade trying to prevent a petroleum tanker involved in an accident from catching fire, yesterday at Mabushi area of Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Ramadan begins today Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), announced yesterday that the new moon was sighted in many states

Robbery: 7 police Inspectors, others arrested in Zamfara >> PAGE 2

across Nigeria, stressing that in line with the laid down Islamic rules, today, July 20, is the first day of Ramadan, 1433 AH after the Hijrah of Prophet Muhammad

Petrol Tanker crashes in Abuja >> PAGE 3

(SAW). The lack of uniformity in sighting of the moon and commencement of fasting has been a source of concern to

Fuel marketers to shut facilities, sack workers >> PAGE 3

Muslims, especially in Nigeria. Penultimate week, the Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria, Contd on Page 2

I’m impressed with Shettima, says Ribadu >> PAGE 11



























2015: ANPP set to join CPC/ACN alliance – Ogbonnaya Onu, Page 40

International 31-34 Strange World 35 Digest








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Robberies: 7 police Inspectors, others arrested in Zamfara From Salisu Zakari Maradun, Gusau


he famous robbers’ hunter, Alhaji Ali Kwara, has disclosed that nine serving policemen in Zamfara state have been nabbed for their involvement in the supply of arms and ammunition to robbers in the state. Ali Kwara who made the disclosure while briefing journalists at the Presidential lounge, Gusau, said seven

Inspectors, a sergeant and a constable were arrested with the assistance of the Special AntiRobbery Squad attached to him and the Zamfara State Police Command after a tipoff. He said the current operation in the state was targeted at ridding the state of gun runners and suppliers of arms to criminals particularly to armed robbers terrorizing the Dansadau Emirate in Maru local government area of

the state. He also said that during his operation in the state, a weapons depot was discovered in Gusau Central Market, which he said belonged to one of the arrested police personnel. The invitation of famous hunter, Ali Kwara by the Zamfara state government to assist in policing the state has paid off within the short period in the state, as gun runners are fleeing the

state in droves for the fear of arrest and prosecution. When contacted, the Zamfara state Police Commissioner, Akila Usman Gwary said he was not competent to speak on the issue as it is being investigated at the Headquarters in Abuja. He said he could only speak on matter when investigations were completed and reported back to him.

Reps threaten to impeach Jonathan Contd from Page 1

Arunma Oteh, be immediately t e r m i n a t e d . T h e recommendation stated: “The appointment of Ms Arunma Oteh be terminated forthwith as DG of SEC, as her appointment is in violation of Section 3(2) and Section 38(1)(b), 2 and 3; Section 315 of the ISA 2007 in that she did not have 15 years experience in the Nigerian Capital Market as required; “She has shown incompetence in the management of human and material resources at her disposal in SEC; lack of transparency in managing Project 50, regulatory failure in some of the recent mergers, acquisitions and approval of transactions by SEC and general inability to carry along her staff, Board, and management in decision making in SEC, and questionable staff recruitment policies.” The House also approved the recommendations of the committee that the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor (CBN), Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and his deputies be subjected to a code of conduct probe for allegedly failing to regulate the Capital Market, which led to its failures and consequent loss of investments by local and foreign investors. The lawmakers equally recommended that former CBN Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, erstwhile Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Ignatius Imala and the current Deputy Governor, Banking Supervision, Tunde Lemo, be further investigated on account of their roles in the banking sector crisis, which led to the apex bank’s intervention in the eight distressed banks in August 2008. However, the lawmakers asked the Presidency to re-present the PIB on their resumption from their annual recess, even as they blamed the Executive for the delay in the consideration and passage of the bill. Alleging poor implementation of the 2012 Budget, the House also directed President Jonathan to order Finance cum Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to

immediately release all funds appropriated for various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) for the first and second quarters of the year. The lawmakers also unanimously resolved to direct the Presidency to ensure timely processing of the releases for the third and fourth quarters in line with the provisions of the Appropriation Act. The legislators, who expressed displeasure over the selective implementation of the Appropriation Act alleged that the Executive has over the past few months, “set aside” the Appropriation Act but resolved to implement the “budget proposal” it submitted ab initio to the National Assembly. Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila and Minority Whip, Samson Osagie, who took turns to comment on the issue on the floor of the House, argued that the Executive’s action was a “gross violation” of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Gbajabiamila who accused the President of grave violation of the Constitution, threatened that “the House shall draft relevant articles of impeachment” in line with Section 143 of the Constitution, if the Presidency failed to ensure 100 percent implementation of the Appropriation Act, when the House resumes its 49-day annual recess beginning from yesterday. The resolution to commence the impeachment process against the President was sequel to the motion sponsored by Sam Tsokwa, Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, who expressed concern that only N200 billion has been released by the Federal Ministry of Finance to execute capital projects out of N1.5 trillion approved in the Appropriation Act. John Enoh, Chairman, House Committee on Appropriation, disclosed that from the sum of N304 billion and N375 billion to be released to the MDAs for the first and second quarters, only N104 billion and N104 billion were released as at June ending. He said: “As at the end of the

second quarter, that is June, 2012, out of about N1.5 trillion for capital expenditure, what the Executive was supposed to release for the first is at least N375 billion but in the first quarter, about N104 billion was released.” On his part, Abdulmumin Jibrin, Chairman, House Committee on Finance warned against further breach of the Constitution just as he dismissed the Federal Government’s claim of not granting waivers. He said: “Documents showed that waivers have been granted consistently to the tune of about N2 billion monthly; but in the month of May alone, N139 billion waiver was granted.” According to Jibrin, records showed that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has so far generated N468 billion, as against N307 billion projected in the appropriation law, leaving a healthy surplus. He also disclosed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has refused to submit its annual budget to the National Assembly for consideration and passage in spite of all entreaties from the National Assembly to the corporation. The lawmakers equally recommended that the Project 50, which they suspected lacked transparency, be investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related matters Commission (ICPC). They further recommended: “That the Head of Service of the Federation should investigate and determine if the Ms. Arunma Oteh committed any of the following offences and report back to the House within 30 days from the adoption of this report: * Illegally stayed in Transcorp Hotel Abuja beyond the period she was entitled to, contravened the monetisation policy of the Federal Government by approving the commission’s fund, N62 million for 5-bedroom apartment; * If it was proper for Ms Oteh as SEC DG to solicit for and obtain donations from companies she regulates for “Project 50; *purchase of three Hilux

vehicles at the cost of N32 million without due processes; *withdrawal of N200 million from the commission’s fund without approval from the Board; and * if it was proper for Ms. Oteh to administer the commission without input from other commissioners and management staff of the commission”.

Ramadan begins today Contd from Page 1 Prof. Dawud Noibi, in a presentation on moon sighting and Muslim unity in Nigeria, decried the controversy moon sighting had caused in the past. He called on the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to ensure there was mass education of Muslims on the need to adhere strictly to the rules regarding moon sighting for the beginning of Ramadan. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia, after receiving verified reports of the sighting of the Ramadan crescent, also declared today as the first day of the holy month of Ramadan this year and the celebration of Eid Al-Fitr will be on Aug. 19, according to a senior Islamic scholar in the Kingdom, Arab News reported. Similarly, religious authorities in most Middle Eastern countries have declared that today, Friday will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a period devoted to dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and good deeds. Official statements issued yesterday in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Yemen said the holy month will start today. Syria however said the holy month will begin Saturday. Ramadan’s start is calculated based on the sighting of the new moon, which marks the beginning of the Muslim lunar month. Some countries use astronomical calculations and observatories, while others rely on the naked eye alone, leading sometimes to different starting times in the Middle East.



Subsidy: Fuel importers threaten to shut facilities, sack workers By Richard Ihediwa


nother energy crisis is looming as owners of jetties and petroleum tank-farms in the country have concluded plans to shut down their facilities by next Monday, unless the Federal Government revisits its position on non-payment of subsidy claims as well as settlement of all outstanding subsidy payments owed them. The fuel importers under the

umbrella of Jetties and Petroleum Tank-Farm Owners of Nigeria (JEPTFON) rose from a crucial meeting yesterday resolving that they would have no option than to shut down operations nationwide and to retrench workers with effect from next Monday if their demands were not met by government. The organisation in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Enoch Kanawa, demanded for the

immediate reversal of no subsidy payment order until the completion of investigations on the subsidy management as well as payment of all outstanding and verified claims for which indemnity has been provided to the Petroleum Product Pricing Agency (PPPRA) and the Debt Management Office (DMO). The group’s demand reads in part: “The JEPTFON demands as follows: that the government

revisit its position on nonpayment of subsidy claims until the conclusion of the probes. Thus, we demand immediate payment of all outstanding claims; immediate settlement of all outstanding and verified subsidy claims of members for which indemnity has been provided by the PPPRA and the DMO; all accrued interest on outstanding claim payments which have been non-existent for six months be paid in full by the

government. They also demanded that “the government respect the Tripartite Memorandum of Understanding signed between JEPTFON and NUPENG in relation to the restructuring of members’ investment loan; that henceforth, government should ensure equitable approval of allocations of products to stakeholders according to qualification to guarantee optimal utilisation of investment capacity.

Dantong, Fulani for burial next week From Nankpah Bwakan, Jos


Delegation of Hausa community in Anambra state led by Alhaji Garba Haruna (4th left), to the state Deputy Governor, Mr. Emeka Sibeudu (5th right), during a visit to the Government House, yesterday in Awka. Photo: NAN

N77m fraud: EFCC docks banker By Lambert Tyem


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned a banker, Mrs. Nneka Nwilene at the Federal High Court III, Port Harcourt, Rivers state on a six count charge of stealing and diversion of funds from customers’ accounts. Mrs. Nwilene, was a former Assistant General Manager of Bank PHB Plc, (now Keystone Bank)

Trans Amadi branch, Port Harcourt, Rivers state. Count two of the six count charge against Mrs. Nwilene reads: “That you Nneka Nwilene ‘f’ on or about the 22nd day of February, 2010 while you were a staff of Bank PHB Plc, Trans Amadi, Port Harcourt, (now Keystone Bank) within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court did steal the sum of N35 million by

fraudulently transferring same from a Platinum Bank account number 0572100177 with the Bank to a Platinum Bank account number 005305000008 in favour of Daba Williams, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 383(1) and punishable under Section 390(9) of the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004”. Mrs. Nwilene pleaded not

guilty to all the counts, prompting the prosecuting counsel, A. Olatunji to urge the court to remand the accused in prison custody pending trial. The defence counsel, M. Onakpoya, however made an oral bail application, insisting that the offence which his client is alleged to have committed was bail able. Justice Onyetenu in her ruling, ordered the defence counsel to file a formal bail application and serve same to the court before July 24, 2012, being the next adjourned date.

Disaster averted as petrol laden Bauchi teachers end 2-week strike withdraw all legal suits pending in tanker crashes in Abuja From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi courts against the Academic Staff By Muhammad Nasir & Muhammad Sada


here was panic yesterday afternoon along the Nnamdi Azikiwe expressway in Mabushi, Abuja, when a petrol tanker coming from Suleja en route Ilobi filling station, Wuse, conveying 45 000 litres of fuel got stalled due to some technical fault and nearly overturned on the bridge connecting Mabushi and Wuse in the Federal Capital Territory. The incident led to the loss of around 7,500 litres of the product

as one of the three tanks containing 15,000 litres each got punctured leading to uncontrollable leakage of petroleum around the area. A possible fire outbreak was averted as men of the FCT Fire Service, FRSC and Vehicle Inspection Officers quickly rallied to the scene with water hoses and other paraphernalia. The driver of the tanker, Musa while responding to questions from our reporter, disclosed that he was from Lagos and was driving the tanker containing petrol to Abuja via Suleja to his final destination when the incident occurred.


he two weeks strike by the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools ASUSS has been put on hold after a resolution at the end of a meeting held between the Bauchi state government, ASUSS and TUC Bauchi. In a statement issue at the end of the meeting signed by the Commissioner of education, Alhaji Ibrahim Aminu, ASUSS Chairman – Abdullahi Mohammed Tanko, TUC Bauchi State Council Chairman, Mohammed Usman made available to newsmen in Bauchi yesterday, said Bauchi state Ministry of Education is to

Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) for the sake of unity and progress in the education sector. In addition, criteria for appointment of officers to various positions under the Ministry are to be worked out in the way that there shall be no inferiority complex in the appointments. The meeting also resolved that appointment of contract officers as regard their conversion should be applied in accordance with the state circular, as payment of allowance (disturbance allowance) should be referred to the Office of the Head of Civil Service.

he Plateau state government yesterday released burial arrangement for the funeral rites of late Senator Gyang Dantong and the late Hon. Gyang Fulani who died on July 9, 2012 in Maseh village of Riyom local government area where they had gone to witness the mass burial of over 50 people massacred in a pastor's house. Abraham Yiljap, the state Commissioner of Information and Communication, announced the burial arrangement at a press briefing in Jos. He said the deceased lawmakers would be accorded state burial for their enormous contributions to the governance of the country and development of the state. Yiljap however, assured that adequate security measures have been put in place to guarantee the security of Senators, Representatives, Presidency staff and visitors who might be coming from other parts of the country for the funeral, saying the state government has put in place measures to forestall any break down of law and order. According to him, “in the blood of these two martyrs shall we win our total freedom to live and occupy a state that is totally free of fear of attacks by those who hates us intensely”.



n our editorial, “Gonin Gora: A gateway to death”, of yesterday, we inadvertently referred to Major. Abdullahi Ibrahim, killed recently at Gonin Gora, on his way to Abuja from Kaduna, as a former House of Representatives member representing Sabon Gari federal constituency in Kano state. However, we have since discovered that he represented Sabon Gari federal constituency in Zaria, Kaduna. We sincerely regret the error. — Editor



N2.5m fraud: Ex- banker bags 5-year jail By Lambert Tyem


ustice Dije Aboki of High Court of Kano state yesterday sentenced Mr. Idris Ado Zango, 31, an ex- banker who was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to five years and nine months in jail for fraud. According to Wilson Uwujaren Ag. Head, Media & Publicity of the commission, “he was however given the option of N600, 000 fine. “Zango of No. 133 Zango Quarters, Kano was charged for obtaining money by false pretence, criminal misappropriation and theft. “His arrest and prosecution followed a petition by his former employer, Skye Bank Plc, when it discovered that he used proxy transactions, withdrawing without a cheque, to defraud some of the bank’s customers especially those he served as account officer”. Investigation showed that Zango had lied to the bank that one Alhaji Ismaila Almajir, the bank customer, had lost his cheque booklet and applied or requested for a new one on behalf of Almajir. Having successfully obtained the new cheque book, started withdrawing various sums from the account. He also fraudulently took some money from the account of another Alhaji Abudullahi Nasidi. In all, he fraudulently withdrew N2, 540,000:00 from his victims’ accounts. Justice Aboki, while convicting the accused said he took into cognizance his remorseful state, coupled with the fact that he had refunded the whole amount involved in the case.

By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


he Principal Technical Officer with the C o m m u n i c a t i o n Intelligence Department of the State Security Services (SSS) and prosecution witness in the October 1, 2010 twin bombing in Abuja, Mr. Wasiu Agbaje yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the masterminds of the blasts in Abuja were to “shake the nation” and create confusion in government. Wasiu who was giving evidence in the ongoing trial of Mr. Edmund Ebiware charged alongside three others for their alleged involvement in the bombing, also released the transcripts of text messages extracted from two phones seized from Ebiware which linked notable individuals in the


n its determination to end militancy in the country, especially the activities of the Boko Haram sect, the joint military and Nigerian Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), yesterday graduated 438 counter-terrorism and counterinsurgency agents at its training school in Kachia, Kaduna state. The Director of the centre, Brig Gen. Tijjani Golau, who disclosed the figure, explained that the graduants comprised of 378 military personnel and 60 NSCDC personnel. Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, said the country has been going through serious security challenges, assuring government’s determination to stop the violence. Ihejirika, disclosed that over 3,000 men had been successfully trained on counter-terrorism and counter -insurgency, to curb the alarming rate of the security threat beclouding the nation. He also expressed the Army’s readiness to ensure proper security of lives and property of Nigerians in any internal or

country including the chairman of a private broadcast outfit. Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN), Wasiu said the bombing of Abuja on the Independence Day two years ago was planned for months before the bombers struck. He said the text messages extracted from Ebiware’s phones and the time the messages were sent informed his conclusions. Only last week, a star prosecution witness in the trial of Ebiware whose name was concealed for security reasons had fingered immediate past

Governor of Bayelsa state, Chief Timpre Sylva as having foreknowledge of the bombing. The ex-governor had however quickly debunked the allegation. The witness whose real name was not disclosed in court but simply called Mr. “X” also testified for the SSS. It would be recalled that a number of suspects were arrested after the twin bomb blasts with only four suspects charged to court over allegation of levying war against the State , an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 37(1) of the Criminal

Code,Cap 77 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990. The accused persons are Edmund Ebiware, Charles Okah, Obi Nwabueze and Tiemkemfa Osuvwo. Tiemkemfa Osuvwo had died in detention. Ebiware was accused of withholding information on the planned attack by not leaking same to the President and security agents to foil the planned attack. Although Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze are still challenging the charge against them, Ebiware applied for separate trial, saying he wanted his case heard and determined.

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele, Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, and Minister of State for FCT, Chief Olajumoke Akinjide, during the opening ceremony of 55th National Council on Health meeting, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Terrorism: Army, NSCDC graduate 438 agents By Tobias Lengnan Dapam

Oct 1 bomb blasts planned to confuse govt, says SSS

external aggression. On whether the move for dialogue with Boko Haram would deter the military from executing the current terrorism training, Ihejirika said dialogue would not stop the activities of the military in providing security for law abiding citizens in the country. On his part, the Commandant General of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin, represented by a deputy commandant in the agency, Sulaiman Bello, said they were satisfied with the quality of training obtained by the men.

Court begins contempt proceedings against Jega over use of patented ballot boxes By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court, Abuja has ordered the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega to explain why he should not be committed to prison for disobeying its order barring the use of collapsible transparent boxes for the July 14, 2012 Edo state governorship elections. The court order was contained in FORM 49 issued by Justice Adamu Bello, copies of which were made available to the newsmen in Abuja

yesterday. The order of the court was issued in pursuant to Order 9 Rule 13 of the Federal High Court procedure rule, compelling Jega to show cause why order of attachment should not be made against him. Other parties affected by the court order are, INEC and the Registrar of Patent, Ministry of Commerce and Industry. “Take notice that the plaintiff will apply to this court for an order for committal to prison the alleged contemnors for having disobeyed the order of this court made on the 5th of June 2012

enjoining and restraining you,’’ the order read. It will be recalled that the court had in its judgment on Tuesday June 5, declared illegal the use of the collapsible transparent ballot boxes used for the 2011 general elections by INEC without the consent of the owner of the patent right to the boxes. The Court also barred the electoral body from using the boxes for any subsequent polls including the July 14 Edo governorship elections without first seeking the approval of the patent owner.

Court slates July 24 to rule on Ndume’s application By Sunday Ejike Benjamin


Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday slated July 24, 2012 to decide whether or not to grant Senator Mohammed Aliyu Ndume leave to travel to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj. The embattled Senator who is facing trial for alleged link with the activities of the Boko Haram sect had approached the court with an application seeking the releases of his international

passport to enable him perform the Lesser Hajj in Saudi Arabia. It would be recalled that officials of the immigration service had earlier quashed Ndume’s bid to travel to Addis Ababa for a Millennium Development Goal (MDG) conference. Ndume’s counsel, Segun Jolaawo whoheld brief for Ricky Tarfa (SAN) argued that Ndume’s application will not be prejudice to the case while assuring that he will come back

for his trial as soon as he returns from Saudi Arabia. He however asked the court to take judicial notice of the fact that the lawmaker had returned his travelling document as soon as he was disallowed from going to Addis Ababa for the MDG conference. Jolaawo also reminded the court that the senator has never flouted the condition of his bail and as such his application for the release of his travel documents should be put into

considerations. Opposing the application, the prosecution counsel, Sunday Mordi who stood in for the Director of Public Prosecution, Mrs. Olufumilayo Fatunde urged the court to refuse the application as granting it would jeopardize the ongoing trial of the Senator. The trial Judge, Justice Kolawole adjourned the case till July 24, 2012 to decide whether or not to approve the release of Ndume’s international passport.



Taraba probes illegal timber trade From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


he Committee on Environment and Urban Development in the Taraba state House of Assembly has been directed to investigate and identify those responsible for illegal tree cutting in the state. This followed a matter of urgent public importance raised by Daniel Ishaya Gani and Rashida Abdullhi, members Representing Wukari II and Nguroje constituencies. The committee was also mandated to ascertain the level of damage done to forest resources in Taraba’s sixteen local governments, find out whether trees were replaced during the process as well as identify officials responsible for the tree cutting. In their contributions, Mark Useni Bako of Takum II and Muhammed Abdulkarim of Ibi Constituency observed that the illegal activities had negatively affected the state’s revenue, hence the need probe. Useni stressed the need for local governments in the state to hold annual tree-planting campaigns in order to control deforestation.

…Suntai pledges to protect lives, property From Yusha’u Alhassan, Jalingo


overnor Danbaba Danfulani Suntai of Taraba state has said the security of lives and property of residents remained his major concern. The governor stated this in Mutum-Biyu, Gassol local government while commissioning and distributing some items provided by the member Representing Bali\Gassol Federal Constituency in the National Assembly Haruna Manu, to the people of his constituency. Suntai said no government could satisfy all the needs of its people but assured that his administration would provide the enabling environment and security for the people to thrive in their socio-economic activities. He described Manu as a gift to the state for positively touching the lives of the people in his constituency.

L-R: President, African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), Mr. Guelpina Ceubah, Minister of Transport, Republic of Angola, Mr. Augusio Da Silva Tomas, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, and President, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Mr. Roberto Kobeh González, during the opening ceremony of Ministerial Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Civil Defence cop arrested over Govt House burglary From Ali Abare Abubakar, Lafia


n officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) (names withheld) attached to the Nasarawa state Government House was on Wednesday arrested over alleged possession of a computer monitor burgled from the media centre within the premises of the Government House. Sources revealed that a

guard stationed at one of the entrances close to the uncompleted banquet hall accosted the NSCDC officer when the latter emerged from a thick bush surrounding the area, clutching a computer monitor. Malam Buhari Jibrin, secretary to the Director of Press Affairs to the Governor, reportedly identified the computer monitor as part of the items stolen from the media centre. Senior security officers

attached to the Government House were said to have questioned the suspect but he was unable to provide satisfactory explanation on the item. Consequently, he handed over to the police for further investigations. When contacted on the issue, the Nasarawa Police Command spokesman, Cornelius Ocholi, said he was unaware of the arrest and pledged to confirm the development from the Divisional

Police Officer (DPO) of the ‘C’ Division where the suspect was kept. But, Public Relations Officer, NSCDC, Soji Alabi, confirmed the arrest. He said the corps would make an official statement on the matter later. Following the burglary, stringent security measures have been mounted at the Government House, with stern security men checking the trunks of vehicles leaving the premises.

Commissioner rues water scarcity in Adamawa

Katsina spends N14 billion on tertiary schools

From Blessing Tunoh, Yola

From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


ewly appointed Commissioner of water resources in Adamawa State, Sajo Gella, has admitted to his ministry's failure to live up to its responsibility of providing portable water to citizens. Gella, who stated this yesterday, said the development was most unfortunate considering the N2.5 billion the state government had so far spent on water projects.

He blamed the anomaly on alleged poor management of the ministry in the recent past. Gella stated that on assumption of office, he discovered there was a misplacement of priority in the ministry and vowed to correct it. “I am greatly saddened because even here in the ministry we buy water from vendors to meet up our daily needs. We are supposed to make water available to people but ironically we cannot even provide same for ourselves,” he lamented.


pecial Adviser on Higher Education to the Katsina State Governor, Dr. Garba Shehu Matazu, has disclosed that the state government had expended N14 billion on its tertiary institutions in the last five years. Matazu, who made the disclosure yesterday while briefing newsmen on the activities of his department, noted that the funds

were spent as part of recurrent and capital expenditure of the four high institutions owned by the state. He stated that most of the chalenges in these high institutions -Musa Yar’Adua University, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Isa Kaita College of Education and Bala Usman College Legal and General Studies - were addressed. Matazu disclosed that even the grievances raised by lecturers were properly addressed through dialogue with their union leaders.

Govt moves against polio, Lassa fever, lead poisoning By A’isha Biola Raji


he Federal Government has listed polio, Lassa fever and the mining-related lead poisoning in Zamfara state as current health challenges it would prioritise and move against nationwide. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, made this declaration yesterday in Abuja, at the opening ceremony of the 55th

National Council on Health (NCH). Delivering his keynote address at the event, Onyebuchi said he had directed the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to move against the diseases in particular in line with the agency’s mandate. He said there would be provision for the chelating agent needed to treat at least four hundred victims of lead poisoning. “More importantly, President

Jonathan has provided funds to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Zamfara Lead Poisoning to enable it begin special preventative work in Zamfara state,” the minister disclosed. According to him, seven laboratories originally built for the control of avian influenza were currently being upgraded to widen their diagnostic capacity to include polio and Lassa fever. In his goodwill message, Deputy

Senate Chairman on Health, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa said the NCH, which is the highest health policymaking body, was making good progress in the sector but admitted that there still existed a huge ground to cover, particularly in terrains that are difficult to access. He said the challenge of affording good health service by all, has been compounded by poor sanitation, inadequate access to water and poor housing conditions.

Also, Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, stated that the rights of women and girls to education, information, physical and mental health should be protected in order to reduce maternal mortality rate. “I invite you to take cognizance of instances of deaths that occur among women and girls as preventable and reflection of poor access, which infringes on human rights,” she said.



Gombe to Islamic cleric counsels Ulamas against provocative sermons partner Peoples From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi while conducting Ramadan Jahun said the sighting of the out the need for all Muslim Tafsir and avoid provocative and moon should be used to establish Ummah to begin fasting at the Media for good n Islamic Cleric based in misleading comments. the commencement of the same time and end at the same Bauchi, Ustaz Ustaz Jahun gave the advice lunar month of Ramadan as it time, describing the attitudes of governance Muhammad Albashir while addressing newsmen in was a closer adherence to the some Muslims who refuse to start By Etuka Sunday


ombe state government has said it would partner with Peoples Media Limited and other media organisations for better coverage and to ensure that good governance is maintained especially in the provision of infrastructural development. This was made known by the state’s Commissioner of Information and Orientation, Rev. Habu Dawaki who led a five-man delegation from the state on a courtesy visit to the organisation's head office in Abuja, yesterday. Rev. Dawaki said the visit was to commend Peoples Daily's efforts in the coverage of the state and to strengthen the existing relationship in the area of publicity for good governance. "This visit is to familiarise ourselves with some of our stakeholders and partners. We want to commend your efforts in giving adequate publicity to Gombe state and to help us with information dissemination of some of the giant strides that are taking place in the state," he said. According to him, more than 21 projects have been constructed and some have been commissioned with some at various stages of completion. He said N4billion has been injected into the expansion of water in Gombe and its environs, adding that N19 billion has been so far spent on projects in some parts of the State. Responding, the Chief Operating Officer, (COO) Peoples Media Limited, Malam Ali M. Ali, confirmed some of the giant strides recorded in Gombe state saying. "I saw some of the things you said when I last visited the state, so the government is on the right track in the area of infrastructural development and you must continue that way." The COO said Peoples Media Limited was ready to partner with the state, some of whose giant strides Peoples Daily reporters in Gombe state have been able to capture. He therefore congratulated the government and advised it to always publicise their developmental efforts.


Tahir Jahun, has called on ulamas to adhere strictly to the teachings of Qur'an and Sunnah

Bauchi yesterday, saying Muslim Ummah should avoid vulgar language during fasting.


he royal rivalry among the first class traditional rulers in Oyo state took another turn yesterday as the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III shunned the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi Ajagungbade II and Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana Odugade I during the launch of Oyo State Security Trust Fund. The monarchs' rivalry attracted attention of many when the Alaafin and his entourage stormed the Ibadan

fasting unless they see the moon by themselves, as unfortunate and called for change.

L-R: Chief Operating Officer, Peoples Medial Ltd (PML), Malam Ali M. Ali, presenting some copies of Peoples Daily to Gombe state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Rev. Habu Dawaki, during the commissioner's visit to PML head office, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Workers fear victimisation as Oteh returns to SEC By Isa Abdulwahab


taff at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have been jittery following the reinstatement of the embattled Director-General of the commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh. Some of the workers of the commission who had spearheaded Wednesday's protests against her reinstatement, according to an insider in the commission, are now apprehensive especially with the

alleged compilation of names of those who took part in the protests by officials of the commission believed to be loyalists of Oteh. President Goodluck Jonathan took the workers by surprise on Wednesday when he ordered Oteh back to her seat as the commission's DG. She was said to have been given a stern warning to adhere to the due process in all her subsequent dealing involving the commission. A close aide of Oteh, who declined identification, yesterday, said those

Alaafin shuns Olubadan, Soun as Oyo launches security trust fund

From Inumidun Ojelade, Ibadan

teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah. The Islamic scholar pointed

Civic Centre, venue of the launch in breach of protocol and by-passing the Olubadan and Soun who had arrived earlier before Alaafin. Alaafin, who walked straight to the podium without greeting and refused to sit beside other traditional rulers, expressed displeasure with the sitting arrangement. Olubadan was represented by Ekarun Olubadan, High Chief Eddy Oyewole. Meanwhile, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has reiterated his administration's commitment to ensuring a crime-free Oyo state.

Senator Ajimobi stated this at the launch of Oyo State Security Trust Fund, which would be private-sector driven, with a Board of Trustees comprising people of impeccable character to manage the pool of funds generated from all the stakeholders that graced the occasion. Governor Ajimobi commended the commitment of his government's partners and other stakeholders in the task of ensuring a crime-free state and an atmosphere of tranquility conducive to business and good governance.

who led the workers out in protest believe that Oteh's loyalists are set to work out plans to ensure they pay for their action. Specifically, one of the employees said those whose faces appear on the pages of newspapers on Thursday as protesting at the commission are particularly apprehensive as loyalists of Oteh reportedly called the attention of the SEC DG to the newspaper publications as evidence of their participation in the protests. "Already, talks of redeployment are going on with the possibility that those who are considered to have contributed to her problems will be pushed out to other stations and possibly be rendered redundant," said one of the sources. Another one said: "The President

did not consider the opinions of those the woman is working with at all in sending her back to the commission. What you will be hearing next, I can tell you are cases of victimisation of those she see as her antagonists". The letter stated that government took this action after having found her not wanting by external auditors who audited all the allegations against her after she was indicted by the House of Representatives report. Abati said though Oteh allowed some administrative blunders; she had a clean bill to continue to act as the commission's boss. Oteh was originally expected to resume working yesterday after her suspension by SEC board last month.

AU chair: Nigeria not ashamed to back Jean Ping - Perm Sec By Joy Baba


he Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi said though Nigeria was not a candidate for the AU chairmanship, supported Dr. Jean Ping based on principle. Ambassador Uhomoibhi stated this, while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday on highlights of the just concluded 19th Ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with the theme "Boosting Intra -African

Trade". He said though Ping lost to South Africa's Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Nigeria was not ashamed of its principled stance to promote unity, solidarity and cohesion in Africa. It would be wrong, according to him, to view the outcome of the AU commission chairmanship election as a failure of Nigeria's diplomacy as Nigeria did not contest the post saying what played out was the quality of Nigeria's principle to abide by its commitments in the continent and to go great length to defend it.



Minister urges speedy review of environmental project By Mohammed Kandi


he Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Ibrahim Mailafia, has directed comprehensive review of the recent Nanka landslide flood and erosion control project in Anambra state. Mailafia, who gave the directive yesterday in Abuja, after holding a meeting with the contractors, said the review was necessary to remedy gaps in the original design and approach to the project.

She urged the contractors, consultants and officials from the Ecological Fund office and the Ministry of Environment, to speed up the process, adding that the project when completed, would bring relief to the surrounding communities. The minister, according to a statement issued by the ministry’s Assistant Director (Press), Lawrence Ojabo, expressed optimism that the project will serve as a model for addressing erosion challenged sites in the country.

Gunmen kill 4 traders in Borno From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri arely 24 hours after the Federal Government announced an end to the State of Emergency in five local government areas of Borno state, unidentified gunmen yesterday afternoon stormed the popular Maiduguri Monday market in the capital city, killing four traders. The latest attack also came a day after the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), made an upward review of the 13-hour curfew imposed in January this year to 15 hours, from to 9pm. Witnesses told newsmen that the incident occurred at an area occupied by cigarette merchants popularly known as the tobacco line of the market when the gunmen stormed the


L-R: Representative of NEMA Director-General, Air Commodore Charles Otegbade, with representative of Plateau state governor, Professor Shedrack Best, during the NEMA assessment visit to the refugee camps at Barkin-Ladi and Riyom local government areas of Plateau state yesterday. Photo: NAN

Senate to probe N150bn oil well scandal S By Richard Ihediwa

enators rose from plenary yesterday resolving to investigate alleged fraud in the payments involving Malabu Oil and Gas Limited and Shell/ Agip arising from the sale of oil bloc OPL 245. This followed a motion by Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi, who drew the attention of the Senate to media reports of alleged underhand dealing by certain persons in the execution of the tripartite transaction involving the Federal Government, Shell/Agip and Malabu Oil and Gas Limited. He said in the transactions referred to the oil bloc “OPL 245”, the Federal Government sold the bloc to Shell/Agip consortium in the sum of $1.092 billion. According to Ningi: “The media reports have raised legal

and ethical issues surrounding the transaction and pattern of distribution of proceeds to the beneficiaries. If all these weighty allegations are ignored, Nigeria may be sanctioned by the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) for violating a global initiative to which it is a signatory and our image will further be eroded locally and internationally.” While calling on the Senate to commit the investigation into the matter to an ad hoc committee which should be made to report back in four weeks, Ningi noted that Nigeria signed up to the EITI in 2003 and followed it up with the policy on Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and urged the Senate to ensure that due process is followed in all transactions on the extractive industry.

“We want to find out whether it is true that monies from the sale were paid to the federation account; whether the Federal Government agent by his position, disbursed these monies; whether the government agent moved money from the federation account or the same agent has moved money from Keystone Bank as alleged”, he said. Most of the senators who spoke supported the motion though a hand few of them prayed that the Senate not to go into the investigation. However, there was a disagreement among lawmakers on whether the matter should be handled by an ad hoc committee or a standing committee. Consequently, Senate President David Mark ruled that the Selection Committee will handle the issue.

Loyalists shun Yar’adua’s book launch From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina


he launch of a book titled “Yar’adua: A True Statesman” written by one Hadiza Rufa’i Imam recorded low turnout as most of the former presidents’ loyalists stayed away from the event. The occasion which took place at the state government secretariat saw most of those invited for the event staying away from it. The Katsina state government sent a Special Adviser, Alhaji Lemamu Tsagero to represent the governor as the launching coincided with the commissioning of a road project in Mani town. The author of the book, Hajiya

Hadiza Imam noted that the book was originally written in Hausa but she said her brother encouraged her to also publish it in English. Imam stressed that the selfless service rendered by the late president during his short tenure encouraged her to write the book. In a remark, Hajiya Habi Yar’adua who spoke on behalf of the ‘Yar’adua family, thanked the author for immortalising their late brother. The chairman of the occasion and Galadiman Katsina, Justice Mamman Nasir, praised the initiative of the author of the book which he said would go a long way in exposing the good works of the late president. About N5 million was

realised at the launching with the chief launcher, Alhaji Dahiru Mangal through his representative making the single biggest donation of N1 million.

area and shot their victims dead. The attackers had reportedly fired several shots in the air, before walking to the area to gun down their victims. It was also gathered that the traders were shot and killed on the spot before they could escape in the ensuing pandemonium as everyone scampered for safety. The incident has crippled activities at the market and other neighbouring areas as shops were hurriedly shut down as the assailants fled the scene before the arrival of the JTF operatives. Sources said the remains of the victims were deposited at the morgue of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, (UMTH) Police spokesman, Mr. Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the killing, saying security agents were on the trail of the fleeing

. . . 3 in Kano From Edwin Olofu, Kano


arely 24 hours into the holy month of Ramadan, unknown gunmen yesterday opened fire and killed three persons in Kano – among the victims a Special Police constabulary. Eyewitness account has it that the gunmen numbering four had arrived on a Jincheng motorcycle and opened fire at a trading centre at Kwanar Freedom in Sharada area where some people were playing cards. They killed two persons on the spot including a police special constabulary while the other one died in the hospital. This is the second time gunmen would open fire in the same place; the first of which two persons thought to be policemen were killed. The attack which occurred

at about 5.40pm yesterday, came after the Kano state government had reviewed the curfew restricting the movement of motorcycles from to as against 6am to 6pm beginning from today. Kano state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rilwan Mohammed Dutse, confirmed the attack but said the police are on top of the situation trying to bring the culprits to book. “This evening some unknown gunmen on motorcycle attacked some people at KwanarFreedom killing two on the spot while the other one died in the hospital. Our men responded to the distress call and have since cordoned off the place; the assailants have escaped but we are doing everything possible to get them”, he stated.

Institute seeks support for cassava flour, bread From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


he Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) has called on stakeholders to support the Federal Government policy on the cassava flour bread, adding that it is capable of generating over N24 billion yearly revenue, and seven million jobs if the 40 percent cassava flour inclusion policy is well implemented and enforced.

Speaking to journalists in Lagos, the Director General, FIIRO, Dr. Gloria Elemo said this is contrary to a report that FIIRO is not in support of the initiative. She said the country is currently imports wheat worth N635 billion (about $4.2bn) yearly, to deplete its foreign exchange earnings and worsening the rate of unemployment, adding that inclusion of cassava in bread is

aimed at reducing wheat imports by half. Elemo said FIIRO has a well researched report on the utilisation of cassava and other local crops in the production of composite bread. She said FIIRO has been in the forefront of the use of CASSAVA for various food products such as garri, fufu, lafun, chips, pellets starch and composite flour as far back as the 60s.



Yobe state Governor, Malam Ibrahim Gaidam (middle), lifting a bag of fertiliser, during the launching of the sale of fertilisers at subsidised rates for the current farming season, recently in Damaturu. With him are Commissioner for Agriculture, Idi Barde Gubana ( right), Deputy Governor, Engineer Abubakar D. Ali (2nd left), and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Adamu Dala Dogo (left).

R-L: Director of Administration, National Mosque, Ustaz Amin Oderachuku Igwebe, congratulating newly appointed Deputy Imam of the mosque, Sheik Ahmed Onilewura, shortly after the presentation of certificate to him, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

L-R: Minister of State for Education, Barrister Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, Akwa Ibom state Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, Executive Secretary, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Ahmed Moddibo, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Eunice Thomas, and Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board, Mrs. Theresa Ekon, with pupils, during the flagoff of the distribution of instructional materials for basic education institutions in the South- South, yesterday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. Photo: Justin Imo-Owo

L-R Former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Alhaji Mohammed Abba Gana, Ambassador Garba Abdu Zakari, former Minister of Police Affairs, Ahaji Adamu Maina Waziri, during a reception in honour of newly posted Nigerian Ambassador to Chad, Garba A. Zakari by his friends, yesterday in Abuja. Photo: Joe Oroye



Mixed feelings as Kebbi NLC suspends strike From Ahmed Idris, Birnin Kebbi


L-R: Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, and Niger state Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Dr. Peter Sarki, during the inaugural meeting of the technical sub-committee on Federal Government Complementary Intervention for Infrastructural Development of adjoining states and FCT, recently in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Power won’t be stable until 2022 – presidential aide From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he prognosis does not look good in anyway and Nigerians who might want to put off replacing their worn power generating sets in the conviction that electricity supply would soon improve must do a rethink now. Reason: Senior Special Assistant to the President on

Energy, Ibrahim Njidda, has said it would take between 10 and 15 years for the country to enjoy stable power supply. Njidda spoke yesterday in Bauchi at the turning of the sod of a 30-megawatt solar power station project, which the Bauchi state government would build in partnership with the German government over 18 months.

He also stated that the country cannot continue to depend on gas to generate power because of the growing demand for electricity. At the project site in Inkil village, along Bauchi-Gombe road, Governor Isa Yuguda said it indicated that good things were in the offing for the people of the state and the country at large.

Jonathan commiserates with Ovie-Whiskey’s family, Ajimobi too By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


resident Goodluck Jonathan has conveyed his condolences to the family of late Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey who died yesterday. Recalling late Justice OvieWhiskey’s enormous contributions to the nation as a

judge and chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), President Jonathan urged his family to take solace in the knowledge that the late Judge lived a very fulfilled life and left a worthy legacy of commendable service to the nation. The President has also

written to condole Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state on the death of his mother, Alhaja Sikirat Abeje Ajimobi. In the letter to the governor, President Jonathan urged him and members of his family to be consoled by Alhaja Ajimobi’s fulfilled life of service as a prominent trader, community leader and devout Muslim.

Provost, don lament decay at horticulture college From Auwal Ahmad, Gombe


he Federal Government and Gombe state have been urged to provide more funds for the Federal College of Horticulture, DadiKowa, Gombe state. Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Baba Yusuf Abubakar, made the appeal when he visited the college. He donated a new 200kv generator to the college, which has been reeling under a power supply problems, among others. Provost of the college, Dr. Abubakar Umar Gurama,

intimated Abubakar on its activities and the challenges confronting the school. Gurama explained that the college, which was established in 2002, was the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a threefold mandate of conducting academic training for extension agents and technicians, leading to the award of certificate in National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) in horticulture technology and other disciplines. Gurama said the college also conduct training activities in vocational skill acquisition for farmers, processors and

other agro-allied personnel. It also engages in multiplication of improved seeds and seedlings for easy access to such inputs by farmers’ groups. The provost listed the challenges confronting the school to include dearth of infrastructure like good road network, accommodation for students and members of staff, auditorium, academic departmental buildings, additional classes, fruit processing unit, irrigation and audio visual facilities. However, Abubakar commissioned some projects executed by the school administration under Dr. Gurama.

Works ministry to monitor roads through GIS By Adeola Tukuru


he Ministry of Works has planned to monitor its Right of Way (ROW) nationwide with Geographic Information System (GIS) that will ensure aerial photography and the use of satellite mapping devices to enhance infrastructural development across the country. In a meeting with an Isreali based company, Ofek Arial photo, led by the company’s Vice President, Oded Ephrat, the Minister of Works, Arch Mike Onelemenmen proposed that besides being used for road mapping, the latest technology would be of immense benefit to the army and police in tackling security challenges in the country. The minister reiterated the use of Nigerians in the company’s activities to enhance government’s efforts at creating job opportunities for the country’s teeming population. Onolemenmen earlier called for collaboration between the Israeli company and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the School of Survey in ensuring a successful; hitch free digital mapping of the nation’s roads. He noted that if the technology is to be adopted, the nation’s satellite must be patronised. He said if properly deployed, the technology will help monitor Nigerian roads and locate cracks or failures. On his part, Ofek Arial photo’s Vice President, Oded Ephrat, stressed that the technology was already in use in Lagos state for road construction.

arely five working days into the strike initiated by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Kebbi state branch over the N18,000 minimum wage, state chairman of the NLC, Sadiq Kao’oje, yesterday announced the suspension action. Addressing newsmen yesterday at the Labour House Birnin Kebbi, the chairman said the suspension would last for one week. Kao’je explained that the step became imperative as negotiations continued between labour leaders and the state government. The Kebbi NLC called for the strike last week Thursday after the state government suspended the payment of the minimum wage. However, the suspension of the strike has caused a rift between the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) members in the state. But Kao’oje stated that if the state government refused to agree with the unions’ proposals, they would resume the strike next week. He urged all the civil servants in the state to go back to work and commended the security agencies for their support while the strike lasted.

Bauchi pilgrims to pay N613, 644, 69 From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi


he Bauchi state Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board has announced that pilgrims from the state for this year’s hajj would pay N613, 644.69 for the minimum seat. Acting Executive Secretary of the board, Alhaji Umaru Yayagana, who disclosed this in Bauchi, said Governor Isa Yuguda has approved the fare, which is in line with the minimum hajj fare sanctioned by the Federal Government. Pilgrims who opt for the minimum fare would receive $750 as basic travelling allowance (BTA). Yayagana stated that those travelling on the medium seat would pay N649,894.69 and receive t$1,000 BTA while pilgrims who desire maximum seats are to pay N727, 769.69 and in return will receive $1,500 BTA. He called on those who had made deposits with either the board or their respective local governments to complete their payments within one week or forfeit their seats, which would then be sold off. Yayagana also called on intending pilgrims who had collected their e-passports for the lesser Hajj to bring the passports without further delay to enable the board secure visas for them in good time.



Balarabe Musa, textile workers celebrate Mandela at 94 From Agaju Madugba, Kaduna


extile workers from across the country under the auspices of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN) converged on Kaduna yesterday to mark the 94th birthday anniversary of former SouthAfrica President, Dr. Nelson Mandela. The union also used the

occasion to felicitate with the Edo state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, over his re-election last weekend and send-forth for a retired Senior Deputy GeneralSecretary of the NUTGTWN, Alhaji Umaru Mohammed. NUTGTWN National President, Comrade Oladele Hunsu, explained that Mandela’s birthday was worthy of celebration because he spent his life in the service of humanity.

According to him, “Mandela made enormous sacrifice. He spent unjust 27 years in prison, in the struggle against apartheid regime in South Africa. “And, in a liberated South Africa, he promoted politics of reconciliation, democracy and development in South Africa. Where others treated power as an end in itself, Mandela saw power as tool for peace and reconciliation.” A former Kaduna state

governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, who chaired the ceremony, also showered encomiums on Mandela and contended that Nigeria’s political leaders should emulate Mandela’s politics of development. According to Musa, inspite of Mandela’s experiences of incarceration by the apartheid regime, he still operated an allinclusive government during his administration. As he put it, “I think that was

the attitude exhibited by the Governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, during the election. “The governor made sure he embarked on development agenda for the people of Edo and that was what marked him out for a resounding success during that election. “And I believe that if this development politics continues in Nigeria, Nigerians will be able to know those who are serving them and vote for them and chase away thieves from government. “Mandela was a liberator, a fighter who eventually became the President of South Africa. “He did not seek revenge against Apartheid regime after he became President, rather he carried everybody along,” he said.

Senate c’ttee eulogizes labour minister By Muhammad Nasir

T L-R: General-Secretary, National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Issa Aremu, former Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, and National President, NUTGTWN, Comrade Oladele Hunsu, singing "happy birthday" to Nelson Mandela who turned 94, on Wednesday in Kaduna. Photo: Agaju Madugba

NSCIA re-appoints Chief Imam, appoints 3 new deputies T By Maryam Garba Hassan

he Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has yesterday announced the re-appointment of the Chief Imam of the National Mosque, Malam Muhammad Musa and the appointment of three new Deputy Imams. This was disclosed yesterday by the Secretary General of the Council, Dr. Lateef Adegbite, who was represented by the council’s

Legal Adviser, Alhaji Murtala, at a press briefing organised by the council in Abuja. He said the new deputy Imams are Dr. Sheik Ibrahim Ahmad Mukareem from the Department of Arabic of Bayero University Kano, Sheikh Ahmad Orinlewura and Dr. Muhammad Kabir Adam Muhammad. He said that one of the three Imams would fulfill Muazeems’ responsibilities as well as coordinate Da’awah activities and

Kogi to sanction owners of buildings used for crime From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


he Kogi state government would henceforth sanction property owners and occupants of buildings found to be used for any criminal activity in the state. This was sequel to recent discovery of arms in residential buildings used to perpetrate crime in the state. The state’s Deputy Governor, Arc Yomi Awoniyi, said, the directive became imperative in the face of the illegal and criminal conversion of residential and

commercial buildings as bomb and ammunition factories and shelters for “enemies of society”in recent times. Arc Awoniyi, also appealed to owners of buildings that have been converted from the approved purpose, to report at the State Town Planning and Development Board for immediate regularisation. He called on the people to report suspicious misuse of buildings and premises for any nefarous activity to security agents or the government institutions in the state.

supervise religious meetings and events in the mosque. Adegbite further explained that henceforth, conduct of Juma’at prayers and sermons would be collegiate as done in the Holy Mosque of Makkah and Madina. “Our council has taken an important step to make worship in the National Mosque more thorough and effective… The Chief Imam of the National Mosque will prepare a roaster accordingly”, he

said. The newly appointed deputy Imams who have been part of the Mosque but regularised now, were each presented with their appointment letters by the legal Adviser. In their response, Sheikh Muhhamad Kabir Adam, who spoke on behalf of the new deputy Imams, thanked the council for the confidence reposed in them and pledged to comply with the rules and regulations of the council.

UNICEF Country Rep advises on polio By A’isha Biola Raji


he outgoing UNICEF Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Suomi Sakai has advised stakeholders in the fight against polio, to apply the strength of the diseases in fighting it. Sakai made this remark at the send forth party organised for her in Abuja by National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). She described her stay in Nigeria as memorable and full of events. “I

do not know if there is anything better than being a country representative to Nigeria,” she said. The executive chairman of NPHCDA, Dr. Ado Muhammad, described the outgoing UNICEF boss as a person who has passion for the survival of children. He said Dr. Sakai has supported Nigeria in all these years particularly in the implementation of MDGs 4 and 5. “She was eager and desperate for change, hence her relationship with the agency in terms of logistics and mobilisation,” he said.

he Chairman, Senate Committee on Employment Labour and Productivity, Senator Wilson Ake said yesterday that industrial harmony is central to the economic development of Nigeria just as he eulogized the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu for sustaining industrial peace and harmony in the country. In a statement signed by Assistant Director Press, Samuel Olowookere, made available to newsmen yesterday, Senator Wilson Ake stated this in Abuja during an oversight visit of the Senate committee to the minister. “Whenever there is peace and harmony, development is imminent, for Nigeria to move forward, the industrial sector must support the activities and policies of the government. I also want to commend the achievements you have made so far in respect of your official responsibilities and encourage you to keep up the good work,” Senator Ake said.

Gwantu appointed media adviser to ABU VC By Maryam Garba Hassan


he Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Professor Abdullahi Mustapha, has approved the appointment of veteran journalist, Malam Waziri Isa Gwantu as his media adviser. Until his appointment via a letter dated July 12, 2012, Gwantu was a consultant to the vice chancellor on media relations. A letter signed by the Vice Chancellor, said “the appointment which takes effect from 1st April, 2012, was made in recognition of your experience in both practical and theoretical journalism practice coupled with your interest and belief in the vision and aspirations of the university”.



Reps probe FG’s electronic fertiliser sale By Lawrence Olaoye


he House of Representatives has ordered its Committee on Agriculture to investigate the new Federal Government's e-wireless voucher fertiliser distribution scheme with a view to addressing its challenges. The Federal Government recently admitted the challenges militating against the e-fertiliser distribution system, and explained through the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, that steps were being taken to adopt the paper voucher option where there are no telephone services. The House’s resolution was sequel to the adoption of a motion moved by a member, Ismail Hussain who said the scheme may have run into hitches, as farmers who have acquired the said vouchers are not seeing fertilisers.

Nigeria will triumph over security challenges — Aliyu From Illiya Garba, Minna


iger state governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has assured that the security challenges beclouding the nation will soon be a thing of the past. Muazu gave this assurance in Minna, the Niger state capital, while inaugurating the Niger state Committee on Peace Building for Sustainable Democratic Culture and the state branch of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice. He said there was every need for the members of the public to assist various security agencies with information that would help arrest the situation, while urging the people to tolerate one another regardless of their religious and political differences. He further assured that the government on its part will work assiduously to unite the people and provide them with effective security of their lives and property.

L-R: Former EFCC chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and Borno state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, during the former’s visit to commiserate with the governor over security challenges in the state, yesterday in Maiduguri.

Kwara distributes 250 tricycles to phase out Okada in Ilorin From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


he Kwara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has distributed 250 tricycles across the 16 local government areas of the state in a bid to replace motor cycles popularly known as okada. The beneficiaries are to pay N397, 000 for a period of three years. Distributing the tricycles, Governor Ahmed said the effort was part of the government’s


he Trade Union Congress (TUC), and Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour, has expressed divergent opinions over the alleged financial insolvency by 35 states of federation as noted by Niger state governor, Dr. Muazu Babagida Aliu noting that it was false alarm. The Kwara state Chairman of TUC, Comrade Isreal Ayoku who stated this in an interview with our reporter at the seminar entitled “Towards finding lasting solutions

the state. “Even though banned in densely-populated areas of Ilorin, commercial motorcyclists are at liberty to operate in other areas of Ilorin metropolis and across other local government areas of the state.” Governor Ahmed appealed to the affected association to take the ban with good faith saying “this government is their own and will do nothing to hamper their wellbeing.

“In the interest of our people, I charge those local government councils that are yet to key-in to the scheme to subscribe in order to ease transportation in their various localities”. The Special Adviser to the Governor on Utility and Transport, Alhaji Bibire Ajape, in his address, said the beneficiaries were chosen without discrimination or favourism stressing that the gesture was part of dividends of democracy.

China promises Africa $20bn to boost ties From Charles Onunaiju, Beijing


t the opening ceremony of the 5th ministerial conference of the Forum on China-African Co-operation in Beijing, China on Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jin Tao proposed measures in five priority areas to boost China-Africa ties in the next three years. Hu said the Chinese side will expand cooperation in investment

TUC, labour institute says states not broke From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin

commitment to the economic empowerment of the people of the state through people-friendly programmes that utilise similar public-private partnership. “I have been reliably informed that Keke Maigida will ply those routes in the Ilorin metropolis where commercial motorcyclists popularly known as okada have been banned. Let me restate here that the ban is not punitive but is designed to strengthen security for the safety of lives and property in

to a traumatised economy: The Intervention of TUC as a Social and Strategic Partner”, noted that Nigeria was a country viewed from the prism of excruciating lack and wants in the ocean of abundance. He explained that Niger state governor, who is also the chairman of Northern States Governors Forum was wrong to have concluded that state governments in the country were experiencing financial problems, instead, the TUC chairman said the state governors should check their unnecessary expenditure.

and financing to support sustainable development in Africa, will continue to increase assistance to Africa to bring the benefits of development to the African people as they will build more agricultural technology demonstration centers as necessary to help African countries increase production capacity. China will implement the "African Talents Programme" to train 30,000 personnel in various sectors

for Africa, offer 18,000 government scholarships, and build cultural and vocational skills training facilities in African countries. They will encourage established Chinese companies and financial institutions to take part in transnational and transregional infrastructural development in Africa. China will help African countries upgrade customs and commodity inspection facilities to promote

intra-regional trade facilities. The Chinese side will enhance people-to-people friendship to lay a solid foundation of public support for enhancing China-Africa common development. United Nations SecretaryGeneral, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon who attended the meeting, praised the Forum for its practical impact on the two sides and urged the conference to sustain the momentum of cooperation.

I’m impressed with Shettima, says Ribadu By Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri


ormer presidential candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) during the 2011 general elections and erstwhile chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Malam Nuhu Ribadu, has expressed satisfaction with the management of the security situation in Borno state by Governor Kashim Shettima. Ribadu, gave the commendation when he paid a

courtesy call on the governor in his office at the Government House in Maiduguri yesterday. Ribadu said he was impressed with Shettima's style of leadership which gives Nigerians the hope that the crisis will come to an end one day. He also said he was amazed that despite challenges the state government carries out meaningful projects. Ribadu said he was in Maiduguri to commiserate with the governor and to extend his sympathy and solidarity with the government and people of the state over security challenges

being faced. Responding Governor Shettima expressed appreciation to the former EFCC boss whom he described as an upright person that is respected internationally. The governor explained that he was touched by Ribadu's words of encouragement, noting that Ribadu is the second high profile dignitary that visited Borno in the wake of its challenges. The governor described the former aspirant as a "beacon of hope" for the young generation, saying that he did excellently well at the EFCC.





Insecurity: Who should pick the bills?

efence and security don't come cheap. These two related items feature most prominently in every country's budget and take a large, if not the largest chunk of it. This is certainly the case in Nigeria where, this year, because of the serious security challenges confronting us, security got the biggest vote of a whopping N1.0 trillion, which translates to about N2.0 billion a day. And a report about a fortnight ago showed that almost 90% of the first and second quarter allocations for the sector have been released, while the releases to other competing sectors range between 35 to 50%. Yet, in spite of all this, there is something very disturbing going on which, unless checked, could worsen the insecurity situation in the country by making the most affected states, already overburdened, even more financially unable to address the root causes of the problem. This is that those Northern states, namely, Borno, Yobe, Plateau, Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Kaduna and Kogi, where the insecurity situation is worst and the insurgents are most active, are being forced to pick up most of the bills for the federally-directed military operations there. We are at sea to understand why things have to be so. The military and the police are both under the direct control of the federal government. Their operation in any part of Nigeria, and abroad, are its direct responsibility, for the discharge of which there is a huge budget. In sharp contrast, most of the affected Northern states are located in the most depressed regions of the

country, all are heavily disadvantaged in terms of their takings from the federation account, and all but one are not just poor but broke, as recent reports show. A certain level of cooperation between the federal and state governments in the effort to contain insurgencies is necessary and quite understandable. It is necessary for the levels of government to work as

There is absolutely no reason or justification for making the states pay for what is clearly a federal responsibility one so as not to give the insurgents an impression of a divided front which they can exploit. It is also understandable and necessary that such cooperation will , involve some expenses on the part of the states. But there is absolutely no reason or justification for making the states pay for what is clearly a federal responsibility. Having to cough out hundreds of millions each from their meagre resources every month has been worsening the economic woes of these states and severely limiting their abilities to discharge their responsibilities to their own populations. There is one state, we

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understand, that every month spends about N1.2 billion out of its own meagre allocation supposedly in aid of the military operations in the state. Why so? As we understand it, the federal government provides all, or almost all the military equipment, arms and ammunition needed for the operations, and also makes available the allowances due to the officers and men in the field. The problem, from what we hear, is that the soldiers in the field never get paid even half of what is due to them because the bulk of the monies is cornered by their commanders who also tell the governors all sorts of stories and sweettalk them into giving them millions in the name of aiding the military operations. There may also be some truth in the widespread allegations that some of the governors use the cover of providing financial aid for the military to steal hundreds of millions every month from their state treasuries. Whatever the case may be, an end must be put to this practice of making these poor states pay for what is not their responsibility. The practice hurts the states' economies. It is an additional and cruel burden on the already overburdened states and it is helping to magnify the region's economic woes. And because it is rendering the states more and more unable to discharge their basic responsibilities to their people, the poverty level in those regions is just the kind of situation the insurgents find suitable for selling their ideologies and getting new recruits into their folds.










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


By Justine John DYIKUK


he African continent Wednesday July 18, celebrated Nelson Madiba Mandela. The nonagenarian is no doubt a man of many distinctions. The air around this region is crystal in admiration and adulation of one who sacrificed comfort and pleasure for the land of his ancestry. The story of Africa cannot be complete without a mention of Madiba. His birthday is legendry; one of continental dimensions yet of transformational and motivational proportions. This piece reflects on the heroic feats of this humble servant of South African pedigree using all he stands for in challenging our contemporary African leaders and as medicine for our current madness. This eulogical and polemical writeup intends to enrich present and future Africans for purposeful leadership in salvaging our people from the shackles of poverty, anarchy and doom. The anti-apartheid icon also known as Rolihlahla was born on 18 July 1918. He fought the racist rule. In 1962 he was accused of sabotage, other similar offenses and sentenced to life imprisonment for twenty seven years on Robben Island. After his years in the prison, he contested election and was voted by his


Mandela at 94: Medicine for African malady? people which saw him serving his country as its first black President for five-years (19941999). Before his election, he was an anti-apartheid leader and co-founder of unikhonto we sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ACN). As the new President, the lawyer gave priority to reconciliation and introduction of policies aimed at reducing poverty and eradication inequality. In South Africa, he has received more than 250 awards over four decades. One which speaks volume is the most celebrated, Noble Peace Laureate he received. It is essential to recall a little about a man who has inspired and continues to inspire countless number of people worldwide. Madiba’s life is characterized by longevity and beautiful strides which is why many eulogize him. His, is not a story of South of Africa alone, but one that goes beyond the shores of black Africa. That he is legend of legends is an understatement. This Pan African is remembered for: Struggle Against

Apartheid: The young dogged and daring Mandela defied time, self-comfort (family, friends, ambition) and circumstances to suffer for the liberation of his people. He, it

Pan Africanism. Many encomiums on the social utility, Facebook, describing this freedom fighter are worthy of note: Kevin Diment says, “Nelson Mandela

Experience has revealed some African leaders with a style of leadership short of the best and painfully described as the worst. Where leaders steal the people’s votes, force their way into office, perpetuate themselves in position of power and eliminate any possible opposition, one cannot but turn to the gods for a miracle was, who drew the curtains of the apartheid regime which hitherto made Africans slaves in their place of parentage. In the life of this man of humane courage, we discover the virtues of patience and perseverance. His life is characterized by decolonization and black freedom. Mandela epitomized

stand(s) for freedom from oppression, a new understanding that we are all meant to be together in this world, no matter what colour, creed or gender we are.” Similarly, Idowu Babagbemi says, “if you know your history and the meaning of the fight for decolonization and black freedom, then you will know

what Mandela did.” Purposeful Leadership: The Mandela story is one of incarnation from ‘grass to grace.’ After his release from prison custody, upon the people’s recommendation, he offered to serve as President of the new South Africa which saw purposeful leadership greased with the oils of dedication and service oriented principles. His experience of incarceration made him ‘a professor of life’ haven drank from its well. Little wonder then, Rabiul Hussain calls him an “African idol of an international golden Oscar.” Barack Obama beautifully refers to him as “a man of unbreakable will.” Exit as at when due: This idol would not allow himself to be carried away by power. Haven served his people to the best of his ability for a five-year term (1994- 1999), he exited the scene but availed his humanitarian services both in private and public to his people and for the good of all. He is one out of the many ‘tight-fisted’ African leaders, who hold on to Continued on page 15

DANA flight 0992 disaster – A crumbling national aviation sector (II) By Collins Oladehinde Ehimiaghe unding is a huge problem in our aviation sector because there isn’t any deliberate attempt to consider appropriate financial template for the industry; airlines and other equally important sub sectors in the aviation industry are run like any other private business in Nigeria where significant profit is the first and main consideration. This is very wrong because safety should be of paramount importance in running the aviation industry even if it entails little financial margins with low returns on investment. Funding of the aviation sector especially airlines can’t be left solely to the dictates of individuals and an underdeveloped and poorly capitalized financial sector found in Nigeria. Extraordinary measures are therefore urgently required for the resolution of this debilitating problem of the aviation sector. Clearly there is pressing need for government to reconsider the options available for funding the aviation sector if we are to avoid the next air disaster in Nigeria. Worldwide, governments in developed and developing countries pass on huge subsidies to their aviation sector; ours


shouldn’t be different if we expect similar safety standards obtainable in these countries. That is why we have consistently argued that government should subsidize transportation instead of wasting subsidy on fuel. Fuel cost though a significant cost in operating any transport equipment, it however remains far less important when compared to the initial huge cost of purchasing the equipment and operating it safely over its life time. If equipment can’t be acquired brand new as manufactured in its original form, then it makes no sense to set money aside to subsidies the fuel required to run it when purchased old, well used and in degraded condition. Furthermore, If the aim of cheap fuel is low and affordable transport fares, then Nigerians are obtaining the benefit by getting cheap price at the petrol pumps but are unknowingly paying a far greater price in the value of human lives lost when we fly onboard old and rickety planes with limited technical support from the ground or ride in dilapidated vehicles plying on death traps called roads. We don’t need government Subsidy Reinvestment (SURE) programme but we need to be sure that all is well within our

transport sector and government can act timely to prevent disasters in future. The huge amount budgeted and spent yearly on fuel subsidy can be transferred to the transport sector to fund infrastructure, equipment and training. This is how it’s done in the developed and smarter societies; we need not reinvent the wheel, it has already being introduced and is running fine elsewhere. The US government funds all federal highway construction and mass transit systems annually with more than $600 bn obtained by taxing the consumption of petroleum products across America: in Nigeria, government subsidizes fuel with about $20 bn but we lack federal highways and all available mass transit systems are in shambles. The aviation industry is the most important mass transportation sector in a country; the development, manufacture and acquisition of aircrafts including the running of the aviation sector are well subsidized by governments that understand the importance of air travel to their national economy. The age of awareness has since passed but the government of Nigeria can do more by becoming aware of good practices involved in running

the aviation sector. Our government must understand the critical importance of air travels and act accordingly. The Federal Government can start by creating an Aviation Sector Assistance Fund (ASAF) worth about $3bn for the industry. Modalities for accessing this loan and aid package can be worked out by; government, capable players in aviation sector together with their sponsoring financial institutions. This fund is more than sufficient for the acquisition of about 20 brand new units of mid range wide body aircrafts desirable for operation by local airlines in Nigeria. Furthermore the fund is capable of financing a modern maintenance air hanger in addition to training and retaining the necessary skilled manpower for both operators and government regulators towards ensuring sustainable safer skies. Inadequate financial capacity is the main threat to air travel in Nigeria and government have a great role to play in ensuring the continuity of a safer aviation sector for the overall growth and development of the country. The proposed ASAF should not be confused with the current intervention fund for the industry approved by the CBN

about two years ago. The N300bn Power and Airline Intervention Fund (PAIF) was set up through the Bank Of Industry (BOI) to assist companies involved in power projects and operators of airlines in the country. With respect to the air industry, the available fund is to fast track the development of the aviation sector by improving the terms of credit to airlines. It is mainly for the refinancing of existing loans and leases of airlines in addition to making available advances to augment working capital requirements of the operators. Essentially, PAIF was set up to address the financial distress observed in the aviation sector after the collapse of some financial institutions following the conduct of the last stress test and financial audit on banks by the CBN in 2009. PAIF is basically to tackle operating cost and reduce other financial burdens of airlines while ASAF is aimed at focusing on funding for the structural cost of creating and sustaining a solid foundation for the aviation sector in Nigeria. Furthermore, ASAF will provide adequately for the fairly good financial base and safety margin for airline operations Contd. on page 14



Yes, I thought I heard permanent secretary By Ade Lisa


ave you ever wondered about the concept of destiny? Sometimes, things occur and we appear to have no control over them. They just happen as if they were meant to be. The palmist will point out that your fortunes are written in the palm of your hands. Palmistry or chiromancy has been practiced from time immemorial. The astrologist will tell you, with the wisdom of Solomon that, “it is all in the stars.” The tarot card reader will tell you to pick the cards to see the secret of your future. One could go on and on, naming the different ancient arts of apparently foretelling the future - from clairvoyance to oneiromancy, (by dreams), but by doing so, we will digress. The point I intend to make is that many of us believe in preordination; that we are on God’s given earth for a purpose. A number of religions affirm the concept of divine ordination. The By Olagunju Olayinka


love good news. I wish my nation well. I want Nigeria to be great again. Many times I have prayed and fasted for Nigeria, just so that her lost glory would be restored and she can take her rightful position among the comity of nations but it seems her leaders derive the greatest satisfaction from making a mockery of my hopes and prayers. The leaders of my country have lost reason. These days, it is almost impossible to hear anything good about Nigeria. Waiting for good news out of my country is like waiting for a camel to pass

theory of pre-determination is a that Dame Jonathan’s career and selfless service speaks philosophical argument that we path should not be befuddled by volumes. Even her most ardent can debate endlessly without her status as the First Lady. He critic will not deny the fact that ever reaching a consensus. further noted that some civil she is diligent, hardworking altruistic. Her However, one thing I can affirm, servants below her had been and indefatigable charitable works, which I am sure in my mind, is made permanent secretaries. that diligence, hard work and Other individuals have come of feeding the poor, giving succor to widows and altruism are helping orphans w i n n i n g received more recipes for prominence success and a when she bright future, Peoples Daily welcomes your letters, opinion articles, text became the wife whatever messages and ‘pictures of yesteryears.’ All written of the President. one’s station is contributions should be concise. Word limits: Letters - 150 These are in life. It was words, Articles - 750 words. Please include your name and gestures that therefore with a valid location. Letters to the Editor should be addressed were extended to a level of to: the less bemusement fortunate while that I read The Editor, she was in some of the Peoples Daily, 1st Floor Peace Plaza, Bayelsa State as comments in 35 Ajose Adeogun Street, Utako, Abuja. the wife of the the media Governor and as that followed Email: let wife of the t h e SMS: 07037756364 D e p u t y announcement Governor. Last by the Bayelsa State Government of the out to defend the position of the year the nation witnessed promotion of 19 new permanent Bayelsa State Government and remarkable leadership skills as secretaries, including the First the First Lady. I feel however Dame Patience mobilized the Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan. that Dame Jonathan really women folk to exercise their The State Governor remarked needs no defence. Her industry civic right to vote during the


general elections. She has also been a leading advocate for youth and women’s issues, including the 35% affirmative action. Many self-appointed critics of the First Lady are obviously biased. They see nothing good in what a pro-active, pragmatic woman can accomplish. If they can purge themselves of their prejudice and look at the facts dispassionately - a hard working wife and mother who put her bright career in the State Civil Service on hold to support her spouse; an individual who has demonstrated remarkable organization skills, who is not daunted by challenges, but who rather would find the solution; a woman who has chosen a career path in the state civil service. Yes, I heard it correctly, that is the woman that is one of the newest Permanent Secretaries in Bayelsa State and I say kudos to that. Ade Lisa, a freelance writer, sent this article from Ketu, Lagos

The teeny weeny good news through the eye of a needle, but if you are an optimist then you must be prepared to keep hoping until the end of time. Every action of our leaders is like a scene out of a soap opera of “absurdity”. Our leaders are well skilled in the art of deception, making it difficult for one to get the teeniest bit of good news from our part of the world. We as followers have since learnt to entertain ourselves with the series of seasonal drama of “shame and disgrace” which a bunch of

Nollywood actors and actresses we call leaders dish out to us daily. These actors and actresses compete to outclass each other by interpreting their script of deceit in the way that most shames us. There is nothing they cannot do to get a major role in order to satisfy their profligate desire. Many Nigerians have since resigned themselves to this fate since nobody in government hears their wailings. Bad news is now so regular, so much the order of the day, that we rarely

notice when there is a crumb of good news. Last weekend, there was an iota of good news, but it was clouded by lots of the usual disheartening news: killings in Jos, a fatal petrol tanker explosion in Port Harcourt, the “promotion” of Dame Jonathan to permanent secretary in Bayelsa state, etc. As a result, not many people took notice of it. But to me, it was the best news thus far this year, considering that the person who made this news is a monarch, the Oba of Benin,

Omo N’Oba Erediauwa. The headline of the news, “Oba of Benin Snubs Jonathan,” means a lot, depending on your perspective. On Saturday, June 30, 2012, President Jonathan, the Peoples Democratic Party’s gubernatorial candidate for Edo state, some state governors, chieftains of the PDP and other top government officials arrived in Benin City for a grand rally ahead of the July 14 Continued on page 15

DANA flight 0992 disaster – A crumbling national aviation sector (II) Continued from page 13

recommended by the Air Marshall Paul Dike’s Task Force on air safety in Nigeria. The report of the committee, set up shortly after the disastrous crash of Sosoliso Airline in Port Harcourt in 2006 in which all 126 passengers including 61 secondary school children lost their lives, was very far reaching especially on the manpower and technical requirement of the aviation sector but fell short on the financial aspect essential for a sustainable safer skies. Professional and competent manpower recommended by the committee can only be cultivated and retained in the industry if funding is available for training and remunerations are competitive with international standards while modern technical infrastructure is dependent on financial capability. The National Aviation Development Fund (NADF) and the Nigerian Airline Support Fund (NASF) also recommended for establishment by the committee including the Airline Development Levy (ADL) to fund both funds are all good ideas but the administration of

two funds by different bodies with different boards will increase inefficiency and corruption while the source and size of the levy appears completely inadequate to cater for the huge financial burden currently besetting the aviation sector. Both NADF and NASF can be effectively managed as departments under ASAF just as the $3bn funding for ASAF will be more than adequate to finance the aviation sector when compared to the $205m expected to be realized yearly from ADL. Proper implementation of the Air Marshall’s committee excellent recommendations for safer skies will certainly require the consideration of a mega fund like ASAF. For ASAF to be successful and ensure safety and the financial stability of the aviation sector as envisaged, government must work hard at eliminating corruption and abuses in the administration of the fund. This is a key requirement and safeguard towards preventing this financial incentive from going the way of similar government subsidy and intervention funds currently

embroiled in controversies. Benefiting companies must show that they deserve assistance and are capable of managing the loan while care must be taken to ensure that disbursement of fund is direct to original equipment manufacturers. High level of corporate and managerial integrity can easily be achieved by advancing credit to only airlines and other aviation sector companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Orders and payment for aircrafts and equipment should be restricted to international brands after an open and competitive tender process for effective and transparent administration of the fund. Local aviation companies should be restricted to accepting and operating the aircrafts and other equipment safely and professionally in addition to timely repayment of loan from proceeds of operation. The quest for safer skies in Nigeria is beyond making cheap money available to the aviation sector through ASAF; it requires serious managerial competencies among operators and the financing authority designated by the federal government for

the purpose of the fund. The aim of the proposed ASAF is clearly to support safer and sustainable air travels in the country by encouraging private sector participation in all the key aspects of the industry. With over N480bn as financial support from government, quoted companies can now provide important services hitherto left to government due to high capital requirement for startup cost. Equipment procurement, infrastructures and training of competent manpower can be carried out by private concerns in line with internationally recognized standards. Grants and very low interest loans with generous terms will facilitate long term planning currently absent in the aviation industry. Strategic management and technical partnerships with experienced foreign airliners can be considered only when funds are available for new and internationally certified aircraft fleet. Cheaper fund will widen operation margins of airlines and reduce unsafe cost cutting measures previously employed to save cost in order to break even and return profit to operators.

The aviation business is known not to be very profitable but government involvement through financial incentives enables a fair return on investment and this is the only way to encourage decent private sector participation in the industry. We must be prepared to fund the aviation sector properly if we truly desire safer skies in Nigeria. The time is now before the next planes drops from the skies and fresh rounds of mourning and bewailing start all over in the country. The Federal Government must act fast and wisely too in its quest to restore the fortunes of our aviation sector and make our skies safe once more for all Nigerians and visitors who arrives through airports into the country for business or pleasure. An Aviation Sector Assistance Fund is clearly a smart way to safer skies in Nigeria. May the souls of all the departed continue to rest in peace. Amen Concluded Collins Oladehinde Ehimiaghe wrote from Port Harcourt


Continued from page 14

governorship election. They were received at the airport by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress. The president, thereafter, proceeded to the palace of the Oba of Benin. The Oba was not there to receive him, so he took his seat next to the Oba’s throne. After the president had been kept waiting for about 15 minutes, a palace official announced to him, his entourage president and the Benin chiefs that were also seated, that the royal father would not be seeing him because of circumstances beyond his control. As it happened, however, the Monarch later saw the president in private. So, why exactly is this good news? One thing is clear, politicians over the years have failed Nigerians. It is no wonder millions of Nigerians look up to their community, traditional and religious/spiritual leaders for help. When there’s darkness, the people turn to them for light. They have become the gods of the people, the voice of the common man; whatever they say the people obey. This the Oba of Benin knows, which is one reason he displayed an uncanny ability to temper his displeasure at the president coming uninvited with his entourage to his palace with respect for the office of the presidency by offering to see him alone in private. In fact, not many non-Benin sons and daughters, in the history of the Benin monarchy, can claim to have been received in the special section where President Jonathan had audience with His Royal Majesty. Yet, the president and his team weren’t pleased.


The teeny weeny good news They would much rather have seen his Royal Majesty in public so that there would be photos of Jonathan sitting next to the Oba in his palace, flashing his usual sweet smile. Sitting next to Jonathan would have been Tony Anenih and his anointed candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavere (rtd). The picture would have made the front page of all our national dailies the next day, under captivating headlines. To them, it would have been enough proof to convince the great people of Edo state that their much-respected king has endorsed Airhiavere, the candidate of Anenih and the PDP. Simply put, they hadn’t gone to the palace to visit the Oba of Benin but to campaign. They had wanted to use the palace as a campaign ground. On December 17, 2010, President Jonathan made an unexpected appearance at the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s (RCCG) Holy Ghost Congress on the fifth night of a six-day programme. The vast crowd of more than 15 million people roared when they saw the president walk in. I remember Jonathan’s pledge then about his government’s commitment to the improvement of the power sector before June of the following year — that is, by June 2011 — as well as to the improvement of education and infrastructure. He had said then as follows: “we cannot woo investors into the country when there is no power supply. No investor will bring his money into an economy where there is no peace.” The next day,

the image of Jonathan kneeling down meekly before the spiritual leader of the RCCG, Pastor Adeboye, was on the cover of the dailies. To many, the image portrayed Jonathan as a good Christian ready to humble himself before God. At least that was the view one Adeolu Ademoyo expressed in his letter to Adeboye: “For the election and from the Redemption camp’s image of the President on his

redemption camp, Jonathan vowed that he would not do anything outside the will of God and so Nigerians trooped out to vote for him en masse. They did not see in him then a man who would spend three million naira per day to feed himself. But they had voted for change and of course change they got. Nigerians now know better: that his visit to the camp was political, that he had gone to

This teeny weeny good news points to one lesson: That if all our community, religious/spiritual and traditional leaders can emulate the Oba of Benin then the future will be happy. Then, feverish birds would no longer tremble in silence before their keepers knees, we got the image of a meek, innocent, harmless, humble servant of the Lord who would serve Nigerians faithfully, talk and walk the faith free of corruption like our Lord Jesus Christ. Given that ethics and spirituality are inseparable for one cannot be a Christian and be corrupt”.[O1] Millions of Nigerians, impressed by Jonathan’s cunning, decided to vote for him and not his party. They likened him to the biblical David who became king of Israel from obscurity. At the

campaign and not to seek spiritual guidance of any sort. That singular act of giving the head of a palpably corrupt regime the space to create the image of a meek and humble servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, in the age of image technology, virtually hoodwinked Nigerians into casting their votes for him during the election, and it is part of the reason we are where we are today. I have a lot of respect Pasto Adeboye because of what I see as his deep spirituality, humility and modesty before God, but all

Mandela at 94: Medicine for African malady? Continued from page 13

power like a hungry monkey for ripened banana, who exited the scene when the ovation was loudest. What can be more matured! Reconciler: He was not embittered by his dungeon years but broke from the bitterness of the past to an allembracing father who tried to carry all along. He was an eye to the blind within and outside his country. He left big shoes for South African’s ACN leaders Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema. He tried to bring his nationals together to form a new liberated South Africa focusing on reconciliation, reduction of poverty and promoting equality among all. He played vital roles in various war-ton countries especially, Burundi. As we joyfully celebrate this iconoclast and quintessential statesman, we mournfully decry what the writer refers to as ‘black leadership’ on the African Continent. From South Africa to North Africa, West Africa to East Africa not leaving out Central Africa, the story isn’t too different. Scientifically, the western world describes Africa States as third world countries or the underdeveloped world.

Democratically, one often hears nascent democracy; economically, we are tagged, developing economies. Many social analysts have ascribed our problem to poor leadership and the resultant effects being poverty, literacy and underdevelopment. Globally, Africa has come to be associated with bribery and corruption typified by looting of public funds to foreign banks, gorgy scenes of malnourished children, skeleton-like creatures hacked by the ravages of war, HIV Aids and malnutrition; other evils include; high child mortality rate, child trafficking, prostitution to mention just a few. Experience has revealed some African leaders with a style of leadership short of the best and painfully described as the worst. Where leaders steal the people’s votes, force their way into office, perpetuate themselves in position of power and eliminate any possible opposition, one cannot but turn to the gods for a miracle. The proverb “those whom the gods want to kill they first make mad,” readily comes to mind. As we roll out the drums for the man of the moment, one

calls on all on the shores of Africa and beyond to reflect on the ideologies of this disciple of purposeful sacrifice. The life and exemplary life of, the father of Africa, as some call him is a big challenge to both leaders and the led within and outside our enclave. While thumbs are up for him, young Africans who regard him as a role model, an idol, a transformer; inspirator, liberator and true leader must not be misled by the bad example of some of our selfish leaders but be transformed and inspired by his ideals. Do other African leaders ever think of inspiring the young, striving for developments of monumental magnitude and leaving behind legacies? Will the likes of Al Bashir and Robert Mugabe be so celebrated when they leave office? Africa must use this birthday as a day for unification and solidarity. The African Union (AU) should move from rhetoric to concrete action in the struggle against poverty, disease, food security, security of lives and property and overall development within the continent. Being our brother’s keeper is only a part of our rich African heritage and no modernity or secularism

should wipe that! Mandela met with world celebrities, religious leaders as well as great political leaders like; Spice Girl and Michael Jackson; Pope John Paul II and Dalai Lami; Bill Clinton and Margaret Thatcher. The Mandela day is an initiative of the Mandela Foundation which encourages everyone to devote 67 minutes of their time in recognition of his 67 years of service to humanity. Suffice it to say that some of his critics claim he is ProCastro and never sides with Cuban democrats. Others have accused his fellow ACN leaders of corruption, scandal and eliminating white farmers. Shall the bowels be flushed along with its content? Far from it! As Olubajo Julius sums it up, let Africa arise to celebrate “a quintessential statesman par excellence – an iconoclast, a truly great African leader. A worthy hero,” – Happy birthday, Madiba Mandela – Viva Africa! Fr. Justine John DYIKUK, a Catholic Priest, Freelance writer/poet and Public Affairs Commentator writes from CIWA, Port Harcourt! Emails: or

our religious leaders must understand one thing: they are the voice of their followers and they have the moral obligation to speak out on behalf of those who have entrusted their fate to them. These followers are those who are suffering and dying every day from the corruption of leaders like Jonathan. Our religious, community and traditional rulers must at all times not associate themselves with thieving politicians in order not to confuse and render hopeless the populace. Politicians are very crafty people. Nigerian politicians, especially, will do anything and everything to win votes during an election year. But all they really seek is to exploit any association with respected personalities in their endless game of deception and manipulation. Our traditional, religious, community and other leaders must not allow devious politicians to use them for their selfish goals. They must guard their reputation jealously and they must be diligent and zealous in their advocacy on behalf of the people. Let us imagine that the Oba of Benin had received President Jonathan and his entourage at his palace before the cameras, and given him the much sought-after photo opportunity. The photos would have made the front pages of all our national dailies the next day, thereby electrifying and captivating the Edo public who hold their Oba in utmost respect. Who knows but that this may have led to Oshiomhole losing the election — that he may not have won a landslide victory over the PDP’s Airhiavere? We can reasonably conclude that the election would have been keenly contested because many would have preferred to vote for the purportedly anointed candidate. But the Oba’s refusal to officially welcome Jonathan to his palace helped many Edolites to make the decision not to vote for the PDP. The Oba chose not to allow himself to be dragged into a public display of deceit. In a sense, then, the people knew the gods had spoken. It was payback time for a who man who had served them steadfastly for the past three years. They came out in their thousands and they rewarded Oshiomhole for a job well done with their votes. One good turn deserves another, they say. This teeny weeny good news points to one lesson: That if all our community, religious/spiritual and traditional leaders can emulate the Oba of Benin then the future will be happy. Then, feverish birds would no longer tremble in silence before their keepers. This Oba has proven himself to be a no-nonsense monarch. Others must follow suit. He was said to have once walked a federal minister from Edo State out of his palace because of the bad state of their roads. The teeny weeny good news is that this is the beginning of the end for all cunning and ruthless politicians in Nigeria.


Cleric urges Muslims to prepare for Ramadan fasting By Usman Shuaibu


he Chief Imam of the Central Mosque in Gwagwalada Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Ahmed Musa has urged Muslims across the country to begin preparations for the Ramadan fasting to achieve the benefits of the holy Month. He said that if the month of Ramadan is sighted and announced by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar iii, it is expected of Muslims all over the country to observe fasting without hesitation. Musa, stated this in an interview with Peoples Daily in Gwagwalada, urging Muslims to avail themselves of this unique opportunity of the holy month to seek forgiveness from God. He stressed the need for Muslims to intensify prayers, alms giving and good deeds during and after the Ramadan fasting. He appealed to religious leaders to use the period to pray for Nigeria against in-security, corruption and ethno – religious violence faced by our country. The cleric emphasised that the nation was in dire need of prayers for God’s guidance in the task of building a vibrant Nigeria.

Driver held for cheating employer


ne Titus Akolo, 33, of Masaka in the neighbouring Nasarawa state has been arraigned before an Abuja Upper Area Court by the police on a one count charge of cheating. Akolo was said to have tricked his boss, Mr Tim Sarumi of Garki 2, Abuja, and gone out with his car without contacting him . He told the court that the accused went about doing business with Sarumi’s car for two days. The Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Ambi Ayuba, who told the court that the matter was reported at the Garki Police Station by Sarumi on July 10, added that the accused refused to remit the sum of N21, 000 to him as proceed from the business. Ayuba said that the offence contravenes the Penal Code. The accused person, however, pleaded not guilty. The Judge, Adamu Wakili, granted the accused bail in the sum of N30, 000 subject to the presentation of a surety. He adjourned the case to September 12, 2012 for further hearing. (NAN)


Man, 32, arraigned for enticing married woman T

he police have arraigned a 32-year-old man, Abe John, at an Abuja Upper Area Court for alleged criminal trespass, mischief, assault and enticing a married woman. The Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Ambi Ayuba told the court that the matter was reported at the Garki Police Station by Mr Zakka Waya of the State House, Abuja on July 16, 2012.

Ayuba said that Waya had information that whenever he went to work the accused usually visited his home. He added that the accused person, residing at Nyanya Junction, allegedly entered Waya’s house with the intention of enticing his wife. Ayuba told the court that the accused was alleged to have committed the offence of assault on

a police man while performing his lawful duty. “When the police officers came to invite you to the police station, you, Abe, refused and in the process tore the uniform of one of the police men, Corporal. Gambo Mohammed attached to Garki police Station”, he further told the court. The prosecutor said that the offences contravene the Penal Code.

The accused person pleaded not guilty. The presiding Judge, Adamu Wakili, granted the accused bail in N100, 000 with one reliable surety in like sum. He ordered that the surety must reside within the FCT and adjourned the case to September 11, 2012 for hearing. (NAN)

A police man takes a look at a vandalised car at the National Assembly visitors park, in Abuja. The car side windscreen was broken and the wheel cover as well as the car stereo was removed, last week by vandals. Photo: Julius Augustine

Unemployment: Youths charged to develop talents By Josephine Ella


igerian youths have been charged to develop the talents in them in order to improve their personal lives and contribute to the development of the nation. The Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Blessing Onuh, gave the charge at the FCT Youth Interactive Forum which held at the secretariat on Wednesday. Organized by the Youth

Development Department and other key stakeholders in the FCT, the theme of the event was: ‘Partnering for a sustainable youth development’. She said the youth should recognize that the continuity of the nation rest on their shoulders and therefore demand that they take the centre stage in the country by providing suggestions on programmes and projects that would incorporate their interest in the national transformation agenda. Onuh noted that government has been burdened with

responsibilities of catering for the various interest of the country with the youth population being at the centre of it all. ”We cannot do everything but we will try our best to empower the youth. Come up with viable idea and we look at it and see the way forward for youth in the country and the FCT where we are,” she told the youths. She said that FCT administration has taken the initiative to develop a youth centre in Nyanya to accommodate the youths and offer them a platform to exploit

their unrestricted creative powers in various form of positive expressions for their development and the territory. Onuh assured that the centre would be replicated in all the six area councils for development of the youth across the territory. Responding to the call, Barr Nkiruka Nnaemego of the Fresh & Brain development initiative, solicited for participation of the youth in the development and implementation of the various programmes as such effort will make the youth express more confidence on the matter.

Carpenter bags 14 days imprisonment for causing harm


carpenter, Nduka Anene of old Aprofin, Life Camp Quarters, Abuja has been sentenced by an Abuja Magistrate’s Court to 14 days imprisonment for causing harm to a fellow. Senior Magistrate Abdullahi Ilelah, however, gave him a fine option of N1, 000 and ordered the convict to pay N25, 000 to the

complainant within the next two weeks. The Prosecutor, Philip Apollos had earlier told the court that Ikenna Ekegbalu of the same address lodged the complaint at the Life Camp Police Station, Abuja, on July 11, 2012. Apollos said that while the complainant was sitting in front of

his house with a friend, the convict, 33, initiated quarrels with Ekegbalu. He added that during a fight that ensued, the accused used a bottle to hit the complainant on his left hand and caused him a fracture. The prosecutor said the complainant was rushed to Gwarimpa General Hospital. Anene pleaded guilty to the

charge and begged for the court for leniency, saying, ”I do not have any reason for my actions. It will not happen again, please the court should have mercy on me’’. The prosecutor said the convict had no previous criminal record and urged the court to compel him to pay the N25, 000 medical bill of the complainant. (NAN)



Man in court for assaulting cop By Kerem Kurugh


An accident scene along Airport Road, yesterday in Abuja.

Photos: Joe Oroye

C’ttee moves to develop FCT’s border communities By Josephine Ella


joint committee comprising representatives of the Federal Government, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states has intensified deliberations on how to fund infrastructural development of communities within the borders of the states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Some of the communities that may benefit from the scheme are Mararaba, New Karu, Suleja, Masaka and Madala, a statement by the Media Special Assistant to the FCT Minister, Nosike Oguenyi revealed. The statement said the move became necessary owing to the fast growth of these unplanned communities. At the inaugural meeting of the technical sub-committee on Federal Government complimentary intervention for infrastructural development of peripheral –FCT communities in Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states on Wednesday in Abuja, the report quoted the FCT

Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed to have said the panel has been mandated to consider different options for funding infrastructure provision in the affected communities. It listed concessionary funds available through windows such as the World Bank, ADB, IDB, Chinese Exim, etc, among those which the peri-FCT states could access with guarantee from the Federal Government to fund such developments. According to the statement, The minister, who chairs the sub-committee, outlined the other terms of reference of the committee which include considering programmes that are feasible under the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) at state level; examining in details relevant infrastructural intervention required for the affected peri-FCT communities. The sub-committee is to equally recommend specific projects in each sector requiring infrastructure intervention, with proper costing, detailed analysis and professional evaluation of all issues. Also projects in urban renewal would be considered, the statement further

indicated. It would be recalled that the technical sub-committee on Federal Government Complementary intervention chaired by the FCT Minister was set up at the instance of the Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo on 28, June, 2012 to evolve a road map for the Federal Government’s infrastructural intervention to address development challenges in the peri-FCT communities of the three adjoining states. The FCT minister was quoted in the statement to have explained that the programme was borne out of President Goodluck Jonathan’s concern over the development dichotomy between the well planned FCT and the unplanned pericommunities. “Accordingly, the provision of basic infrastructure such as roads, mass housing schemes, electricity, water supply and a host of other amenities is expected to not only improve the living condition of the affected communities but also positively impact on the socio-economic status of the communities in tandem with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government,” it said.

Wuse hospital gets intensive, paediatric emergency care units By Josephine Ella


he Wuse General Hospital at Wuse Zone 3, Abuja yesterday, commissioned a fully equipped Intensive Care Unit, Emergence Paediatric Unit and 16 units call rooms. While commissioning the facilities, the Secretary, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Dr. Demola Onakomaiya said the facilities were the first of its kind in any FCT owned secondary health facility. He said with these, quality service delivery and high-end medical care comparable to health facilities anywhere in the world was guaranteed. The secretary said that the 16 units call

rooms would further improve the quality of healthcare delivery and boost staff morale. His words: “The renovated and furnished call rooms will make healthcare staff on call to be readily available round the clock anytime they are called in the hospital. This also will boost the morale of our staff because they will be in a conducive environment while discharging their duties”. Dr. Onakomaiya disclosed that the projects were executed with the National Health Insurance (NHIS) funds and partly by the hospital service accounts. He commended the efforts of the FCT minister towards making the projects a reality.

He urged staff of the hospital to maintain the facilities, urging residents to also access the services. In a remark, the Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Obiora Chibundu said “the facilities would in no small measure add value to quality patient care and expose our health care personnel to modern medical practice while aiding the training of interns and residents”. On his part, the General Manager, FCT Hospital Management Board, Dr. Aminu Mai said the facilities would be replicated in other district hospital in the territory. This was as he noted that one of the priorities of the present FCT administration was to improve health care services in the territory to a world class standard.

32-years-old man, John Onivah, of Zuba, Abuja has been sentenced to one week imprisonment by an Abuja Chief Magistrate’s Court for assaulting a police officer. Onivah, standing trial on a onecount charge of assault, which is contravenes Section 265 of the Penal Code, was said to have attacked the officer, Inspector Olowonusi Bunmi, which is attached to Zone 7 Police Headquarters, Wuse, Zone 3, Abuja at the Wuse bus stop. The Police Prosecutor, Abdullahi Adamu told the court that the case was reported at Wuse Police Station by the complainant on the July, 7, 2012. He explained to the court that the complainant was at the Wuse bus stop, when the accused interrupted his phone call and at the same time lay hold on his uniform, tearing it in the process. The accused pleaded guilty to the charge, claiming that it was a mistake. Magistrate Fatima Malo, sentenced him to one week imprisonment with an option of fine of N200 only.

Health week: AMAC chair tasks nursing mothers on immunization By Adeola Tukuru


he Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon Micah Y. Jiba has challenged mothers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to always avail their babies of immunization exercise of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) administration. Jiba during a visit to Jayi, Dutse and Garki health care centres yesterday, said that the 5-day exercise to mark the Maternal Newborn and Child Health Week, with the theme: ‘A package of care for a healthy family’ was organised in all the 12 wards in the council. He said: “We need your cooperation in all the wards to ensure that you come out and participate in this exercise to ensure that your babies are not affected in any kinds of diseases that is why we have ensured the accessibility of the program to all the wards”. Jiba also called on the residents to always inform and educate others who are not aware of the programme, adding that residents should also give maximum cooperation to the human service development. The chairman said that the exercise was free and was sponsored by the FCT administration. He lauded the FCT minister for his contribution to the programme, saying, his administration is always willing to support the minister to ensure quality health care delivery and other developments to the people of AMAC . The community leader of Jayi , Alhaji Adamu Jayi Dogo lauded FCTA and AMAC administration for the program, pledging to always ensure that the people are well informed and also participate in immunisation programs.




From Abdulwahab Isa, in Akure


espite is underway for the banking public as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will soon review upwards the current N500,000 and N5 million transaction withdrawal limits for individuals and corporate bodies respectively. The CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who stated this at the on-going seminar for financial journalists in Akure, Ondo state capital also disclosed that the bank is targeting 50 million Nigerians into formal banking system, saying that the policy will expand, deepen and moderate the payment system. The apex bank is also harping on the need for more Nigerians to embrace banking culture and the elimination of payment of subsidies on transactions of high net-worth individuals by the banking population, pointing out that these are the basis for the commitment of CBN to the cashless policy. Chide Umeano, Head, shared services office of the CBN, explained that the first review was at the instance of feedback from consumers and also “Lagos state government which complained of the initial amount since transactions involve people from outside Lagos”. The review, he added, would take place in January 2013. But, Umeanor, who also hinted on the termination of exemptions granted to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA), said the essence of the policy is to encourage e-payment transactions by all. “The increase in the limit, in the first instance, from N200, 000 and N2 million, was based on CBN’s feedback system and complaints from Lagos state government. But the current limit will be reviewed again in January,” Umeano said. Although he was noncommittal on the exact figures, the banker said the action would be part of CBN’s response to complaints and its readiness to ensure success of the policy. Sanusi, who was represented by aboard member of CBN, Sam Olofin at the seminar in Akure, said the policy creates a more stable


16th July, 2012 BUYING 0.2686 188.8175 240.7454 41.2943 154.87

SELLING 0.2886 190.0367 242.2999 41.5609 155.87


BUYING 207 258 40 165

SELLING 209 260 42 169


- Pg 20

CBN plans N154.9bn T/bills sale

Mob: 08033644990

CBN Headquarters, Abuja

CBN to review cash withdrawal limit upwards pricing system and curbs inflation, which he regards as impediment to the growth of the economy. “In a recent survey carried out by CBN, we discovered that only 10 percent of daily banking transactions are above N150,000, while 10 percent account for majority of the high value transactions. This suggests that the bulk of the banking population subsidizes the costs that the tiny minority (10 percent) incurs in terms of high cash usage. Furthermore, high cash usage results in a lot of money circulating outside the formal sector, thus limiting the effectiveness of monetary policy.

“We have commenced a financial inclusion programme that will bring at least 50 million more Nigerians into the formal banking system in the next eight years. The cashless policy will help achieve the CBN’s objective of expanding, deepening and moderating the payments system in Nigeria and also galvanize the CBN in ensuring that Nigeria ranks among the top 20 economies of the world, in line with the nation’s Vision 20;20 aspirations”, the governor said. However, a former director of CBN, Okwo Joseph Nnanna said the apex bank can only achieve this if its autonomy is maintained, adding, “an

independent CBN can indeed contribute proactively in enhancing good macroeconomic performance”.

CBN gives UBA go-ahead to restructure


he United Bank for Africa (UBA) said on Wednesday, it had received approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to transfer its subsidiaries into a newly-formed holding company, in line with regulatory requirements to separate core lending from other businesses.

Management Tip of the Day




Maintain momentum for your change effort


hen implementing change, it’s crucial to communicate short-term wins to motivate people to stick with it. But not all near-term successes are created equally. Pick milestones that are:· Visible. People need to see

firsthand that their hard work is making a difference.· Concrete. Ensure that the wins are real and that you’re not declaring victory prematurely.

productive meeting or resolving a scheduling discrepancy, are not shortterm wins. Pick things that show real results and are indisputably relevant.

Unambiguous. Small gains, such as conducting a

Source: Harvard Business Review

DMO issues N75bn in 2017, 2019, 2022 bonds


he DMO said it sold N25 billion of each paper. The yield on the 5-year bond rose to 16.19 percent from 15.85 percent at last month’s auction. It issued the 7-year paper at 16.59 percent compared to 16 percent previously while the 10-year paper was issued at 16.30 percent from 16.21 percent at the last auction. The original coupon rates of 15.10 percent and 16.39 percent for the April 2017 and January 2022 respectively will be maintained, while the coupon rate for the June 2019 was set at 16.00 percent, the DMO said in a statement. Total subscriptions stood at 121.60 billion naira compared with 129.70 billion at the June auction. The DMO issues sovereign bonds monthly to support the local bond market, create a benchmark for corporate issuance and fund its budget deficit. (Reuters)



COMPANY NEWS Accion Microfinance Bank’s profit hits N300m


espite the tough operating environment in the microfinance sub-sector, the 2011 financial results of Accion Microfinance Bank (AMFB) shows growth in virtually all indices as the bank’s recorded a profit before tax of N300 million.

Ecobank bags ‘Best Bank in Africa’ award


he Euromoney, an International Finance magazine, has named Ecobank Plc the Best Bank in Africa and Ecobank Ghana as the Best Bank in Ghana.

NIPC showcases Nigerian products, woos Chinese investors


he Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) in Abuja, on Monday, said its recent trade mission to China was to woo the Far-East Asian country’s investors.

Chinese, Nigerian firms plan N624bn coal power plant in Benue


he clamour for alternative source of energy for power generation may soon come to an end, with plans by an Indian firm- Sepco III and its technical partner, Pacific Holding, to construct a 1,200 Mega Watts coal power plant in Nigeria.

Dangote’s sugar firm targets 150,000-tonne yearly production


angote Group of Companies (DGC) has embarked on expansion scheme of production facility at its Savannah Sugar Company located in Numan in Adamawa State, to raise output to 150, 000 metric tonnes of sugar a year.

Access Bank issues N56bn Eurobond


ccess Bank Plc issued a debut $350 million fiveyear Eurobond yesterday, with a yield of 7.25 percent, IFR said. Citigroup and Goldman Sachs acted as lead managers for the issue.

ABUCCIMA bemoans harsh economic conditions By Abdulrahman Abdulraheem


he President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), Engr Solomon Nyagba has called on the Federal Government to do something urgently about the prevailing economic conditions in the country which make the business climate unfriendly to manufacturers. A former Managing Director of Benue Cement Company (BCC), Engr Nyagba lamented the state of infrastructure, power supply, high cost production and unfavourable competition from imported goods which he said frustrate the efforts of local manufacturers in the country. The ABUCCIMA president, who led a team of executives on a courtesy call to the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Dr Samuel Ortom, said: “As manufacturers and business operators in Nigeria, we find ourselves at the receiving end of very harsh economic environment, faced with several

challenges.” He however commended government in addressing the challenges. “However, there is an urgent need to fast-track the process.” He spoke further: “Our visit today is partly to intimate the minister on the extent of our preparedness towards hosting the 7th Abuja International Trade Fair, commencing from the 27th of September and to end on the 8th of October, 2012.

We request the minister to urgently consider and approve logistic support to the trade fair as contained in our request for sponsorship. We also request that ministry should kindly direct all agencies and parastatals under it to participate in the fair.” He noted that the fair is capable of creating multiple job and business opportunities for Nigerians and thereby reducing poverty. The ABUCCIMA president

called on government to assist the organisation in the construction of International Trade Fair Complex/ Convention Centre so that they can stop using the Old Parade Ground, Area 11. Responding, Dr Ortom assured Nigerians that government is doing everything possible to tackle the identified problems, calling on all stakeholders to join hands with government in addressing the issues raised by ABUCCIMA. On the new trade fair complex, he told the ABUCCIMA that government is creating adequate awareness to attract foreign investors into the area of construction.

CBN plans N154.9bn T/bills sale


he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it plans to auction N154.9 billion ($962 m) in treasury bills with maturities ranging from three months to one year at a twice monthly debt auction on July 26,. The apex bank, in a public notice said it will sell N34.8 billion in 91-day paper and N60 billion each in 182-day and 364-day bills respectively in a Dutch, or reverse, auction. The CBN sells short-dated debt instruments twice a month to control money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity. (Reuters)

L-R: Administrative Manager, Taakra Craft Academy, Miss Cyndy Williams, presenting a souvenir to the NYSC coordinator, FCT, Mr Frank Ekpunobi, during a skills acquisition training, on Wednesday at the NYSC orientation camp in Kubwa, Abuja. Photo: NAN

Etisalat offers customers one phone every 5 minutes From Suleiman Idris, Lagos


s part of its promise to continue exciting and d e l i g h t i n g its customers, Etisalat has announced the revamp of the popular and value-adding 9ja free credit promo. The promo which kicked-off on the 5th of July 2012 will give customers the opportunity to win a phone every five minutes throughout the months

of July and August. Customers who recharge within 5 minutes of every hour, everyday in the months of July and August will qualify for the draw to win Dual SIM phones, Blackberry Curve 4, Etisalat Gaga smartphones, Acer, SamsungGIO and ZTE V9 tablet, every five minutes, 24-7. That is a total of 288 phones to be won, every single day. In addition to this, new and existing prepaid customers who

register in July or August will enjoy bonus airtime offer of 30% of their total recharges in 30 days, from the day they register. The bonus credit is valid for 30 days, and can be used to make calls or send SMS to an network in Nigeria. Announcing the kick-off of this promo, Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Wael Ammar said, “At Etisalat Nigeria, our reward never stops and we are known to give our customers

NBTI loans generate N1.5bn for Nigeria in 7 years By Muhammad Sada


he National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) said on Tuesday that it had generated more than N1.5 billion for the Nigerian economy from 2005 to 2012. The Acting Director of Commercialisation Department of the board, Mr. Isa Yusuf said that the amount was generated from its soft loans and grants to entrepreneurs during the period under review. Yusuf said the grants and soft loans coordinated by NBTI were invested wisely, as a result of which they achieved so much for the economy as well as created job opportunities. “Most of the grants are from

our Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII) and then some of the soft loans that NBTI coordinated with the Bank of Industry and National Economic Reconstruction Fund (NERFUND). “But the fund are being utilised to the best of ability and the repayment is encouraging with little problems here and there because of economic problems in the country and the high cost of production really affecting some of the entrepreneurs in their day-today businesses. “ I can tell you, as at now, the net worth generated is more than N1.5 billion ploughed into the economy. Because of the

encouragement and support these entrepreneurs got, the turnover is really encouraging; a lot of people have got employment. “In fact, more than N1.5 billion has been ploughed back to the economy within the range of when the board was established, 2005 to date.” He said the agency was making concerted efforts to ensure that products made by the entrepreneurs who benefited from the agency’s funding and training schemes across the country hit the market. Yusuf said many of the products were already in the market, adding that the agency would ensure that persons interested in distributing and

selling any of the products were given the opportunity to get involved. Some of the products manufactured by the entrepreneurs were on displayed in the agency’s showroom for the benefit of interested consumers. Some of the products displayed included beads, anti-bacterial hand wash, starch, multipurpose liquid soap, leather shoes, air fresheners, herbal bathing soap and body cream. Others are unripe plantain flour; bean flour; soya flour; spices; packaged pure honey; and fruit juice. Yusuf said the agency would remain committed to the continuous training of entrepreneurs in the country.



Guiding principles for stakeholders: Roles, responsibilities and relationship between the stakeholders (3)


The Federal Ministry of Education (FME)

he Ministry Shall provide support to the state and Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in carrying out public enlightenment campaigns on tax and revenue matters affecting the country. It shall support the process of providing accurate and timely information flow to Nigerians on all tax and revenue matters decided at the state Executive level. In this regard, it shall cooperate with the State and Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities to obtain the required information for dissemination to the public.


he Ministry is responsible for providing support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in developing a tax culture amongst Nigerians. The Ministry through its relevant organs shall be responsible for ensuring the inclusion of taxation in the curricula of Nigerian educational institutions from primary to tertiary institutions based on a cradle to grave concept. The Federal Ministry of Information (FMI) The Ministry is responsible for providing support to the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in carrying out public enlightenment campaigns on tax and revenue matters affecting the country. It shall support the process of providing accurate and timely information flow to Nigerians on all tax and revenue matters decided at the Federal Executive level. In this regard, it shall co-operate with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities to obtain the required information for dissemination to the public. state Executive Council in general and the Ministries of Finance, Education and Information in particular. The State Executive Council (SEC) shall play a role similar to that of the Federal Executive Council as the highest decision making body at state level. In this regard, it shall be responsible for approving all matters pertaining to policy development as well as the implementation and enforcement of taxes at state and local government level. It is also expected to give the necessary leadership and direction to local Governments in respect of revenue generation matters. Tax and revenue matters shall be treated with priority, given the important role they play in the economic development of the states.


he SEC shall ensure a cordial relationship with the judiciary and that the independence and integrity of the Judiciary is maintained at all times. There shall be cooperation amongst all the members of the SEC in relation to revenue matters. All State Government (SG) Ministries, Departments and Agencies are required to provide and share all information that would assist in the accurate assessment and collection of relevant taxes. This would include amongst others: a. Having a revenue generation as distinct from an expenditure mindset. b. Strict implementation of tax laws including overt and

Local Chairman



L-R: Acting Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Alhaji Kabiru Mashi, immediate past President, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN)/ West African Union o f Tax Institute, Mr Rasaq Kunle Quadri, and Secretary Joint Tax Board (JTB), Alhaji Abubakar Lawal, during the 126th meeting of JTB, recently in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa explicit support through referrals of major cases to tax authorities(Federal and State) on a continuous basis and integration of tax "psyche" in the day to day business of government. c. Ensuring proper asesesment, collection and prompt remittance of taxes to designated government accounts. d. Ensuring fiscal compliance of every person that they deal with e. Ensuring that every database maintained in government has a compulsory field for the inclusion of the unique taxpayer identification number for every company, enterprise, individual and other registered organization. f. Use of e-payment systems in all transactions inclusive of direct remittance to the accounts of the tax authorities. g. Use of technology and related systems in the way business is done e.g. electronic cash registers, automated land registers,etc and linkage of database and such systems maintained in government to the Federal and State tax authority databases. h. Ensuring tax is a major consideration in the evaluation process of individuals and organizations such that the lack of payment of taxes is seen as an affront o government and a crime. i. Ensuring that all Tax Clearance Certificates and other tax documents used in government transactions are referred back to the relevant revenue authority for authentification. Some specific roles and responsibilities of respective ministries are as follows:

The state Ministry Finance (SMF)


The Ministry has the primary responsibility for tax policy matters at the state level, including initiating proposal for amendments to tax laws by the National Assembly(in the case of federal tax laws) and the State House of Assembly in the case of State and LG tax laws). The SMF shall coordinate all requests from other State Ministries and Agencies relating to fiscal issues as would ensure harmonization of the fiscal policy issues of the State and Federal government. In this regard, no other State or local Government Ministry or State or local Government agency shall have the right to commit the state or Federal Government through the signing of agreements, writing of letters, or other communication regarding fiscal policy issues without the authority or the consent of the Federal and State Ministry of Finance.


he SMF and other relevant Government agency, which will administer the tax, shall seek recommendations from the relevant stakeholders to ensure that enactments are regularly reviewed and substantially met the principles of good taxation and the objectives of Nigeria's tax system as stated in this document. The SMF shall partner with the Federal Ministry of Finance and other State and Local Government agencies to ensure the development of Nigeria's tax system and a tax culture amongst Nigerian citizens.

The SMF shall in this role, work closely with the State Board of Internal Revenue as well as the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Nigerian Customs Service in the case of imported and excise duties. Support the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Joint Tax Board, and the Nigerian Customs Service (in the case of imported and excise duties) as the case may be on all administration matters as would complement the efforts of those agencies. Such support shall cover amongst others: Ensuring that taxpayers monies collected are effectively accounted for and judiciously utilized. Communicating to the taxpayer the use to which taxpayer monies are being put Demonstrating in action and words that the taxpayer is a priority of government and is well appreciated. The State Ministry Education (FME)


The Ministry shall provide support to the state and Federal Ministry of Finance and the relevant tax and revenue authorities in developing a tax culture amongst Nigerians. The Ministry through its relevant organs shall be responsible for ensuring the inclusion of taxation in the curricula of educational institutions in the State from the primary to tertiary institutions based on a cradle to grave concept. The State Ministry Information (FMI)


ocal Government Chairman is chief Executives at the Local Government level and they would be responsible along with the Local Government Councils for the implementation and enforcement of tax laws at the Local Government level. They would be responsible for oversight functions on the local government revenue authorities and provide leadership and direction to these authorities. Local Government Chairman shall also be responsible for liaison with the State Ministries of Finance and the State Houses of Assembly with respect to revenue matters, which are within the Jurisdiction of the state or Local Governments. They should also ensure adequate funding and staffing of revenue authorities at the Local Government level. Local Government Chairmen in the state shall ensure there is close co-operation between the local government on all revenue matters and ensure eliminate of multiple taxation. Local Government Councils


ocal Government Councils are responsible for collection of revenue at the local government level as provide in the Fourth Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution and the control and regulation of such other matters as they are empowered to. They may also carry out such other functions as may be conferred on them by the State House of Assembly. With respect to revenue generation, it is expected that the local government councils shall carry out this functions in strict adherence and compliance with the relevant legislation as may be enacted by the State House of Assembly. When required the local government councils shall through the local government chairman approach the States Houses of Assembly to enact such laws as may be required for the efficient and effective discharge of their functions.



Nigeria signs N238.4bn railway deal with China


he Federal Government said on Wednesday it had signed a $1.49 billion (N238.4 bn) contract with stateowned China Civil Engineering Construction Corp (CCECC) to build a railway between the commercial capital Lagos and Ibadan. Lagos, the heartbeat of Nigeria’s economy, is around 130 km south of Ibadan, Nigeria’s third largest city and a transit point between the coast and the north. “(Cabinet) today approved the award of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway double track contract to CCECC in the sum of $1.487 billion ... with a completion period of 36 months,” Minister of Transport Idris Umar told reporters. Umar gave no details on where the funds would be found to pay for the project. Ogun state, which borders Lagos state, awarded CCECC an $8.4 million road contract earlier this year.

FG is determined to restore confidence in aviation sector, says Jonathan By Muhammad Sada


he Federal Government is in the process of establishing a safe, vibrant, dedicated, upgraded, as well as a socio-economic development aviation sector with safety as one of the major platforms. This was disclosed by President Goodluck Jonathan at the African ministerial meeting on aviation safety yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja. The President, who was represented by the Vice-President, Architect Namadi Sambo noted that Nigeria has made a tremendous improvement in the sector and went on to ensure the determination of the government to put in place several measures to tackle the issue of aviation in the country as well as the continent in whole. The VP also emphasised on the need for cooperation with other African and International countries as well as stakeholders in the aviation sector to ensure safety and progress and also to implement the pursuance of the goal of zero-accident and zerofatality in the continent. He commended the efforts done by the African Union, by supporting the candidacy of a Nigerian to become the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and added that “ if air transport is safe over the world, then it also should be so

L-R: Country programme manager, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Atsuko Toda, representative of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Omer Hussein, and chairman of the occasion, Mr Olocha Adache, of the international microfinance investors' conference, on Wednesday in Abuja. Photo: NAN

Investment in human capital strategic to economic growth – Mark By Lawrence Olaoye


he President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has canvassed for sustained investment in human capital development as a panacea to the nation’s economic down turn. Speaking at a two-day capacity building workshop on legislative advocacy for grass root civil society organizations (CSOs) in Abuja yesterday, Senator Mark stressed that “Sustained investment in human capital development is a very strategic economic growth driver”. Senator Mark was pleased to note that despite the security and

other challenges, “Nigeria is gradually gaining more respect in the comity of nations on account of return to constitutional democracy and strengthening of democratic institutions”. Underscoring the importance of capacity building towards achieving sustainable development, Senator Mark noted that “the main indicator of the success achieved so far is the number of international development partners operating in Nigeria today, and willing to partner with our development purposes”. He also called for effective advocacy between the

legislature especially the Senate and the CSOs to fill all the gaps and correct misconceptions by the citizenry on government intentions. According to him, “Effective advocacy, especially among the grass roots is key to sustainable legislative process, as our actions and inactions in the course of the discharge of our legitimate duty of law making have far reaching effects on the overall well being of the grassroots”. Earlier, the Chief of Staff to the President of the Senate, Senator Anthony Manzo commended the partners in the workshop, the Directorate for international Development

(DFID) and Policy for Legislative Advocacy Committee (PLAC) for fostering understanding between and among the people alongside the government. He also called for synergy among the Civil Society Organisations and the NonGovernmental Organizations (NGO) on one hand and the government to widen the benefits to the people. In their separate remarks, the DFID representatives, Mr. Julius Scott and Mr. Clement Nwakwo assured the National Assembly of un-relented support adding that Nigerian democracy is progressing in the right direction.

Why this PIB is different – Alison-Madueke By Muhammad Nasir


he Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke yesterday threw more light into the draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that has just been transmitted to

the National Assembly and the features that make it different from other fake versions reportedly making the rounds, adding that the new Bill is tamperproof. The Minister made the clarifications while receiving a

delegation of the United States of American government led by Mr. Michael Froman, a Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States and Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs. Alison-Madueke said besides

Good governance is the missing link in Nigeria - ICAN President


he President of Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Adedoyin Idowu Owolabi has said that lack of good governance is the hurdle to Nigeria’s economic transformation. He made this remarks in his keynote address at the 7th Eastern Districts’ Conference held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state on Tuesday. “I dare add that Nigerians are good and hardworking people. We cherish our African values of diligence and integrity. In our communal lives, we work for the common good and progress of the society. We celebrate excellence earned through hard work. Where did we miss this enviable

heritage? “In my view, good governance is the missing link. Good governance requires integrated processes that recognise important elements of a society and ensures that those elements function at optimum levels in order to ensure that they contribute maximally to the nation’s development “ICAN President said . Speaking further he said, “The 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria affirms this when it declared in Section 16 (1) a-d that “within the context of the ideals and objectives, for which provisions are made in this constitution, harness the resources of the

nation to promote national prosperity ………. that the material resources of the nation are harnessed and distributed as best as possible to serve the common good. “That the economic system is not operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or the means of production in the hands of a few individuals or a group; and suitable and adequate shelter, suitable and adequate food, reasonable national minimum living wage, old age care and pensions and unemployment, sick benefits and welfare of the disabled for all citizens. How well these laudable goals have been achieved over the years is a matter for conjecture.”

the watermarks bearing her own handwriting on every page, the draft Bill is locked in with a code such that no one can add to or remove anything from it without the code, explaining that she took the pain to secure the document to avoid the type of duplication that led to the emergence of fake versions of the old PIB which created confusion in the National Assembly. Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the new PIB was drafted with equity in mind and that the concerns of the international oil companies were taken into consideration so as to engender a win-win situation for Nigeria as well as stakeholders in the oil and gas industry. She listed some of the new provisions in the Bill to include those creating the Asset Management Company which will take over the management of the Joint Ventures from the NNPC which will be unbundled to make way for the establishment of a new company, the National Oil Company which will be competitive and profit-driven.




Nigeria: Rampant oil theft ravages the country’s Delta region As much as one-fifth of federal oil revenue is lost to theft.


he sound of fleeing feet rustles from the undergrowth in this swampy enclave in the Niger Delta, where a fire burns beneath an open tank of crude oil and black smoke fills the sky. Criminal gangs are quick to run when boats approach the illegal refineries all over this region of creeks and waterways latticed by hundreds of kilometres of unguarded pipelines pumping valuable oil. Standing in a foot of oily water, behind a steel tank of hot crude percolating down pipes, Peter, 38, explains how it is done. “We carry the crude, put it in these drums and then we cook it and it runs down these pipes,” he said, oil dripping off his hands, a hood covering his face. “First we get gasoline, then kerosene and then diesel,” he added, coughing as a wave of smoke gets sucked into his lungs. He gave only his first name; others asked not to be named at all. Almost three years since an amnesty was agreed with 26,000 Niger Delta militants, oil theft remains a major headache and is now on the rise, authorities and oil firms say. Although the illegal refiners only make up for a small portion of the theft, the environmental damage

Finance and Cordinating Minister of the Economy, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

they do is huge. Oil spills from leaky pipes pollute vast tropical waterways. Shell, the biggest operator, says 150,000 barrels per day is stolen from Africa’s top oil producer. Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that as much as one-fifth of government revenue is lost to oil theft.

The small amount that is refined locally finds a ready market in a country whose legal refineries are largely defunct. “We’re doing what they can’t,” quips one oil thief from his barge, a swipe at the Nigerian government’s failure to refine much of the fuel it produces because of decades of corruption.

Grand theft Most of the theft happens on a larger scale, when coordinated groups of workers tap into oil infrastructure, siphoning crude into barges and motorboats before transporting the oil onto larger crafts a few miles offshore. The complicity of corrupt

security officials and politicians means this is unlikely to end any time soon, although President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has pledged to crack down. Floating down waterways in Jonathan’s home state of Bayelsa, dozens of plumes of smoke are visible from microrefineries. The damage is incalculable: broken pipelines are abandoned and left to hemorrhage into the creeks, while deadly accidental fires desecrate several square kilometres of wetland vegetation. A visit to one site shows mangrove shoots tipped black where they immerse themselves into the water, dying trees sagging over the creeks and fires raging where illegal refineries are set ablaze by soldiers in periodic crackdowns. One barge carrying illegally refined fuel can be seen dropping off jerry cans to soldiers at a jetty. “I can assure you we are on top of the situation,” Onyema Nwachukwu, Joint Task Force (JTF) spokesman, told Reuters in a barracks in Bayelsa’s capital, Yenagoa. He gave few details. At the height of the conflict in the Delta, in the late 2000s, militants could move global oil prices with large-scale sabotage attacks on pipelines and flowstations. In 2009, the government agreed an amnesty with the militants, who agreed to give up their arms in return for training programmes and a 65,000 naira-permonth stipend, about threeand-a-half times Nigeria’s minimum wage. Although thousands

have been trained in everything from welding to flying planes, there are not always jobs for them, and more than 10,000 have yet to be trained in anything at all. Many ex-militants complain that they only receive a small portion of the stipend, while their former commanders pocket most of the hand-out. The militants said they were fighting for freedom from the shackles of foreign oil firms and corrupt

government. But many were criminal gangs stealing crude, kidnapping oil workers and fighting turf wars with little interest in changing the Delta. Angry youth Since the amnesty, violence has subsided and at first oil theft dipped. But while former militant leaders sit in opulent homes in the capital Abuja or enjoy lucrative government contracts, their foot soldiers, bereft of

Ex-MEND militants threaten a return to the Creeks

Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke

such luxuries, are reverting to old habits. And newcomers are joining in. “Small scale bunkering and illegal refining is becoming more decentralised and freelance because of turf left open by militants,” an oil security official in the Delta told Reuters. Although the government allocated a portion of the budget to regenerating the Niger Delta after the amnesty, many local politicians have not delivered the promised jobs, roads, schools and hospitals, and unemployment has not fallen. “Don’t talk to me about the amnesty. I get 25,000 naira, not the 65,000 they promised. It was all a scam,” said a large figure sitting on the edge of a barge, who identified himself by the nickname ‘Killer’. “If they had given me a job I wouldn’t be doing this.” On the far side of the river bank, crude oil worth hundreds of dollars every minute was being pumped into barges balanced and shifted by six ex-militants, barking orders at each other, nervously looking around to check for the JTF.

The destructive methods of the thieves have helped to further ruin fishing habitats and contaminate water already degraded by decades of oil production in the area. Children wash in rivers filmed with shiny oil. There are no roads to many villages, pushing food and fuel costs three times higher than in wealthier urban regions. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said it would take 30 years and an initial $1 billion to clean up the dangerous levels of pollution and environmental degradation in Ogoniland, a small portion of the Delta. The report found one community was drinking water contaminated by deadly levels of benzene, which causes cancer. Security sources believe without genuine regeneration, criminals could return to war. “Yeah, we got amnesty, but nothing changed. This is all we have to do,” one of the oil thieves said. “If nothing changes we’ll be back to the guns,” another said. “We’ll kill the oil companies, the JTF, all of them.” (Reuters)



My name is Ramadan... I am here again! Allah says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you As it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) selfrestraint.” [al-Baqarah: 183]


ssalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh! I am very delighted that Allah, in His infinite mercy has made it possible for me to visit you for another period of a lunar month. Incidentally, I can take my leave either on the 29th day or may decide to stay for complete 30 days. However, I am planning to stay with you for four consecutive weeks. By extension I hope to meet you on this page four times; except if the month has five Fridays. But, I want you to understand from the onset that I do not have definite time of departing, like that of my opposite, just as I do not have exact time for arrival. My only explanation is that I am very obedient to my Lord, Allah! Whenever He commands me to appear, I will just gladly become into being without option. Though I may not be seen all over the world at the same time, size and position due to various geographical reasons. My news of arrival usually is shared by all, all around the globe. Ubadah bin Saamit (RA), narrated that the Prophet (SAW), used to teach his Sahaabah the following supplication whenever I am near: “Allahumma sallimni Ramadan, wa sallim Ramadan li, wa sallimhu mutaqabilla.” It is translated in English, thus: “O Allah safeguard me for Ramadan and escort safely Ramadan for me, and accept it from me!” My name is Ramadan! This is the name I am known and called with all over the world. I am not alone in my family. I have relatives, and they are all full brothers to me. But, the fact is that I have senior brothers, as well as junior ones. So, do not think that I am without next of kins. In fact we are twelve in number, with me being the 9th son! Can you imagine? My parent have taught us the significance of respecting elders, and orderliness. Our eldest brother is Sheikh Muharram, and the youngest of all is Ustaz Zul-hijja. Because we are not like you human beings, we always observe orderliness in our appearances. We never for once shunt each other since we came into existence. We accept the arrangement and the ranks sacredness, as well as the prearranged functions. We are very happy and satisfied with our job schedules; we never complain with change in official working days or hours. Sometime the hours are longer, and some other time shorter. We never, in fact, quetch to our Lord about seasons of appearance, not for once! Anyone of us can be assigned to appear during any of your seasons; the dry season,

the winter, the autumn, the and traditions. Allah has placed harmattan or rainy season. For high rewards dor any aspect of instance, some years ago, I was the ibadats performed within sighted during the dry season my regime. that is that! Some of you may want to when the horizon was very clear and stars very bright in the night. But, this year, my Lord commanded me to appear during the By Husain Zakariyya rainy season in this part of Yawale world, and d u r i n g +234-8052952900 (sms only) summer in some other know my bio-data and may be part. Each of my brothers has some my age. Okay, let me save your unique characteristics and time. While you are of human distinctive functions carried out origin, we are of celestial. While during his time, although there you have the instincts of may exist overlap or extension preference and willpower to obey of some features across or refuse your Creator’s neighbours. For example, hajj command, we turned down that


four being sacred; that is the right reckoning; therefore be not unjust to yourselves regarding them, and fight the polytheists all together as they fight you all together; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).” [atTaubah: 36] Now I am sure you will begin to save yourselves from further asking more unquestionable questions. So, when you want ask me, just ask me questions that will help you attain closeness to your Creator, only. Something practical, tangible and substance! Next I will tell what you can or say in my very short tenure of about 2, 592, 000 seconds, or

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III

which comes up on the 9th day of Zul-Hijja anually, its preparation starts much earlier in Shawwal through ZulQa'adah. If you want proof, open your Qur'an to chapter two verse 189 and you will come across these beautiful words: “The pilgrimage is (performed in) the well-known months; so whoever determines the performance of the pilgrimage therein, there shall be no intercourse nor fornication nor quarrelling amongst one another; and whatever good you do, Allah knows it; and make provision, for surely the provision is the guarding of oneself, and be careful (of your duty) to Me, O men of understanding.” [al-Baqrah: 197] To be candid with you, Hajj rituals start in my tenure, otherwise we are all distinct from each other. i am the universal trainer and orientator. I give free training on all aspects of the Islam's rituals

option ever since we were created. Allah says: “Surely We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to be unfaithful to it and feared from it, and man has turned unfaithful to it; surely he is unjust, ignorant.” [al-Ahzaab: 72] Hence, our insistence and adamant in obeying Allah strictly. I can see somebody from a distance murmuring as if he is asking of my age. Alright, I am not hiding it at all! My age is running into plenty earthly years beyond the imagination of ordinary young guys like you. But suffice this verse for your quest of numbers that may have little or no meaning to your everyday life. The Qur'an captured this in a historical manner rather in numerical, never before: “Surely the number of months with Allah is twelve months in Allah's ordinance since the day when He created the heavens and the earth, of these

432, 000 minutes, or simply in 720 hours! I am pretty sure you will agree with me how very short the period is when you compare with your average life expectancy of modern time. But, wallahi, time notwithstanding, you can achieve considerable rewards and compensation culpable, with the mercy of your Lord, to move some immeasurable distance closer to Him. But, uf you can only sustain the tempo after my departure. This is not only very feasible, but easily attainable if you heed my advice as we continue talking in the next coming weeks. The first advice I would want sound to you, is to avoid semantic argument about the meaning of my name: Ramadan. Many linguist tried to relate me with seasons by saying that my name means scorching heat of the weather. Others said the scorching of the hunger and thirst in the stomach

of a fasting man. Yet other went far to say the name in off-shoot of the hidden of Allah's names and attributes. Sincerely speaking, these are unnecessary speculations, suppositions and hypotheses of redundancy and indolence. So, please avoid nonessential and inessential arguments. If you think you have free time to waste, you better sit-up and invest them in rewardable duties! The Apostle of Allah said, “There are two blessings that most people miss out on: their free time and their health.” (Bukhari). Therefore, I warn you that during the month of Ramadan; my tenure and regime, no free time, no holiday, no vocation and no leisure time! Every second of every minute of every hour, everyday of my term is very vital and significant! Never undermine any time limit by wasting a fraction of a second away from the blessing and mercy of Allah in this month. Remember that you may not live to witness another me! I mean another Ramadan time to remake your silly mistakes because, thinking of buying time for useless, and probably for punishable investments today, in order to remake up your shortcomings tomorrow, is a brainless option, astaghfirullah! Some of you young guys really make me sick, especially when you heed to the whisper of Satan: you are still young! You still have time! You are just a teenager! No! Let me tell you that as soon you have been conceived in your mother's womb, you are fully matured to die! Open the Qur'an in your hand and read: “O people! if you are in doubt about the raising, then surely We created you from dust, then from a small seed, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh, complete in make and incomplete, that We may make clear to you; and We cause what We please to stay in the wombs till an appointed time, then We bring you forth as babies, then that you may attain your maturity; and of you is he who is caused to die, and of you is he who is brought back to the worst part of life, so that after having knowledge he does not know anything...”" [ al-Hajj: 5] I want you to realise from now on that if you forgot the singular purpose of your creation, you better read this ayats from your shelved Qur'an. Because I very conversant with your attitudes of shelving today's work for tomorrow! Allah says: “And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me. I do not desire from them any sustenance and I do not desire that they should feed Me. Surely Allah is the Bestower of sustenance, the Lord of Power, the Strong.” [az-Zaariyaat: 5658 ] Next week Insha Allah we will continue with our discussion. See you then!



Harnessing potential of SMEs for D-8 countries’ economic growth By Chijioke Okoronkwo


he group of “Developing 8 Countries’’, also known as D-8 countries, was founded in 1987 with the aim of fostering economic cooperation amongst the member states. The members of the group, founded by former Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, are Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Egypt. The other objectives of the D8 are to improve the status of developing countries in the world economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, while enhancing the developing countries’ participation in decision-making at the international level. The D-8, at its recent Working Group Meeting in Abuja, stressed the need to boost the economies of member nations via the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The theme of the meeting was “Promoting International Trade through SMEs Development’’. Speaking at the meeting, Alhaji Nadada Umar, the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), called on investors from the D-8 countries to explore the potential of Nigeria’s agriculture sector. “Agriculture is one area where Nigeria has comparative and competitive advantages which should be fully tapped,’’ he stressed. Umar, who noted that all the sectors of the nation’s economy were in need of foreign investments, stressed that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) were crucial to global economic development. “The SMEs sub-sector provides the platform for opening the D-8 countries to global competitiveness and prosperity, which are required in efforts to elevate them to economically advanced nations. “Therefore, the challenge is for D-8 countries to collaborate and help each other to develop SMEs, which will provide the platform for global competitiveness,’’ he said. Umar gave the assurance that SMEDAN would continue to support the development of SMEs for sustainable economic growth and development. Also speaking, Dr Martin Uhomboihi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, pledged the Federal Government’s readiness to collaborate with the D-8 in efforts to achieve the targets of Vision 20:2020. Uhomboihi, who is also Nigeria’s D-8 Commissioner, said that everything possible would be done to stimulate the growth of SMEs in the country. He noted that the meeting

Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala offered a unique opportunity for Nigeria to foster closer collaboration with other D-8 member countries in efforts to attain the goals of Vision 20:2020. Sharing similar sentiments, Mr Husien Gaddashi, Head of the Iranian delegation, and Mr Husyin Tuysuz, Head of the Turkish delegation, agreed that the economic growth of any country depended largely on sustainable SMEs. The Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, however, disclosed the Federal Government’s plans to boost SMEs through the establishment of industrial parks. Aganga stressed that problems relating to infrastructure which, he noted, had hindered the development of the SMEs in the country, would be addressed decisively. “The ministry is currently promoting private sector-led industrial clusters, parks and common facility centres in different parts of the country. “This is to address the infrastructure challenge, which is one of the major factors militating against the industrial development of the country,’’ he said, adding: “It will also take advantage of the economies of scale accruable in the clusters.’’ Besides, the minister emphasised that Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) remained the backbone of economic development and the

driving force of national growth. Aganga noted that MSMEs accounted for over 80 per cent of the total number of enterprises in Nigeria, employing more than 75 per cent of the country’s total workforce. “The barriers to the growth of MSMEs are low-level business development support services, inefficient implementation of SMEs policy, lack of workspace and common facility centres, skills’ gaps, market access and infrastructure challenges,’’ he said. However, Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the CBN Governor, said that about 95 per cent of MSMEs, which accounted for about 75 per cent of industrial employment in the country, “contribute a mere 10 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).’’ Sanusi, who was represented

by Alhaji Musa Ahmedu, a Deputy Director in CBN, said that the trend ought to be reversed in order to reposition MSMEs into becoming the engine of economic growth. He noted that the Federal Government had established some special financial institutions, including the Small Scale Industry Credit Scheme and the Bank of Industry (BoI), to stimulate the growth MSMEs through provision of credit facilities. Sanusi also said that the Nigerian Bank for Commerce and Industry (NBIC) was set up to provide long-term credit facilities to the organised manufacturing sector. However, Mr Robert Orya, the Managing Director of Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), said that about 80 per cent of the products that were

The barriers to the growth of MSMEs are low-level business development support services, inefficient implementation of SMEs policy, lack of workspace and common facility centres, skills’ gaps, market access and infrastructure challenges

financed by the bank were from SMEs. He also described SMEs as the engine room of every economy because they “alleviate poverty and create wealth’’. Orya, nonetheless, warned of a looming economic recession, adding that the impending economic downturn could only be averted through strong SMEs. “I can foresee another recession; the only way to avert it and insure ourselves is by encouraging the growth of SMEs,’’ he said. Dr Herbert Ajayi, the President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said that policies that fostered the growth of SMEs and the private sector, in general, should be implemented. Ajayi, who was represented by Dr Solomon Nyagba, the President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ABUCCIMA), however, underscored the need for improved security in the country, saying that it would bolster the growth of businesses. He said that Private-Public Partnership (PPP) ventures should be sustained for economic growth, adding, however, that businessmen and SMEs’ operators must cultivate good business ethics. However, Nigeria’s economy has been able to record an appreciable growth. Alhaji Mustafa Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), said that the nation’s economy had grown by 7.36 per cent. He described Nigeria as the third fastest growing economy in the world, saying: ‘This makes Nigeria one of the most viable nations to invest in; the challenges it is facing notwithstanding. “Nigeria has a stable macroeconomic and political environment and cost-effective human resources. “It has a large internal market and a robust youth population of about 60 per cent,’’ he added. Besides, Bello noted that Nigeria was endowed with 36 strategic mineral resources. The executive secretary said that the “One Stop Investment Centre’’, managed under the aegis of NIPC, provided prompt, efficient and transparent services, while coordinating investments with about 26 government parastatal agencies. Observers, nonetheless, urge the government to strengthen all the institutions and policies put in place to amplify the growth of SMEs in the country. “This will enable Nigeria to maximise the benefits accruing to her as a member of the D-8,’’ some of the observers say. Source: NAN


By Ibrahim Mammaga


rked by the incessant ethnoreligious crises in Kaduna State, Gov. Patrick Yakowa on Jan. 25 set up a 60-man Peace and Reconciliation Committee, as part of efforts to resolve the lingering crises. The committee, which has Alhaji Abbas Sambo and retired AVM Ishaya Shekari as cochairmen, was mandated to identify the perceptible factors behind the crises and proffer lasting solutions to them. The governor particularly charged the committee to proffer “practicable and implementable recommendations’’, which could move the state forward. “The state government deemed it necessary to set up the committee to open up channels for direct and candid communication aimed at reconciling all the citizens, while finding lasting solutions to the grievances that exist in the society,’’ Yakowa said. In the course of its assignment, the committee toured communities across the 23 local government areas of the state, where they conducted public sittings. The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who spoke when he received the committee members in Zaria, described democracy and education as “pathways for national growth and development’’ and not weapons of destruction. He recalled the period when the people of Kaduna State lived like brothers and sisters, regardless of factors such as ethnic or religious considerations. In some of the meetings, many community leaders urged the government to create more chiefdoms and appealed to the media to avoid sensational reports which are capable of fuelling ethno-religious crises in the state. For instance, the Koro Community Development Association in Kagarko Local Government Area presented a memorandum in which it appealed to the government to create more chiefdoms in the area as part of strategies to guarantee peaceful coexistence among the people. In his presentation, Ishaq Alhassan-Kauranmata, one of the community leaders, particularly bemoaned the manner in which media reports portrayed the postelection violence in Kaduna State. He advised the media to exercise maximum restraint while reporting issues like ethnoreligious violence in order not to worsen the situation. Alhassan-Kauranmata also appealed to the government to be just, fair and equitable while handling all state matters. Besides, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jamatu Nasri Islam (JNI) stressed that they had since been calling for increased dialogue and mutual trust, particularly after the 2002 Miss World Beauty contest in Kaduna which sparked some violence. The two religious associations regretted that after about nine years of peace and serene coexistence in the state, another round of violence erupted on April 11, 2011 after the presidential


Tackling security challenges in northern Nigeria

Recent crises in some parts of the North have claimed many lives and destroyed a lot of properties election, noting the violence had become recurrent since then. They, nonetheless, lamented that the current violence targeting places of worship in the state and other parts of the country could be very catastrophic, as it could plunge Nigeria into a serious ethnoreligious war. Rev. Samuel Kujiyat, the CAN Chairman in Kaduna State, particularly bemoaned the recent spate of attacks on churches in Kaduna and appealed to Northern leaders to find lasting solutions to the lingering crises. He stressed that the time had come for Muslims and Christians to tell each other the truth and stop the senseless killings induced by hatred. Alhaji Jafaru Makarfi, the state Chairman of JNI, however, blamed the lingering youth restiveness in the area on some unscrupulous politicians, who abandoned the youths after using them to achieve their political ambitions. Dr Aliyu Khalid, the Secretary-General of JNI, urged the government to punish those caught fomenting violence so as to serve as deterrent to others. Also speaking, Mr Anthony Sani, the National Publicity Secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum, described the spate of bombing in some parts of the country as a “big surprise”. “Whatever may be the perceived grievances, there is no justification whatsoever for taking the lives of innocent people who are totally unaware of the nature of your grouses.’’ Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, a

Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna state former governor of Sokoto State, stressed that religious leaders and politicians in the North had vital roles to play in resolving the crises in the region. Bafarawa particularly underscored the need for dialogue to solve the crisis in the North, saying that the people of the region ought to be aware that no one could tackle the crisis for them. Sharing similar sentiments, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, an elder statesman, said that the government must enter into constructive dialogue with members of the Boko Haram group, so as to douse the

aggression. As part of efforts to address the mounting security challenges facing Kaduna State, a stakeholders’ conference was convened in Kaduna on June 23. The participants of the meeting resolved that the state government should revive the security outfit codenamed “ Strike Force’’, which was set up by former Gov. Ahmed Makarfi. The stakeholders also advised the governor to operate an opendoor policy, while opening new communication channels to enable more people, particularly those at the grassroots, to reach him easily.

They, nonetheless, underscored the need to create more employment opportunities in the country, advising the Federal Government to use part of the subsidy reinvestment funds to address issues relating to youth restiveness. But the stakeholders were just re-echoing the viewpoints of some analysts who have suggested that the only panacea to check the menace of youth restiveness and restore peace in the northern Nigeria, in particular, is massive jobs’ creation. The analysts urged governors of states in the North to judiciously use the available resources to create job opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths. For instance, Malam Yakubu Ibrahim, an agricultural economist, urged all the states in the North to emulate Gombe and Kano states which had started implementing pragmatic youthempowerment programmes. He recalled that the Gombe State Government recently trained the first batch of members of Yankalare, a militant group, in various trades, adding that the Kano State Government also distributed 1,000 taxis to some youths as part of its youth empowerment programmes. However, analysts believe that the menace of youth restiveness will be particularly reduced in northern Nigeria if tangible efforts are made to implement the recommendations of the various discussions held on ways of addressing the security challenges confronting the region. Source: NAN



Boy genius, 8, passes Microsoft specialist exams


HIS child prodigy is thought receive very positive feedback to be the world’s youngest from Shafay’s teachers. expert on Microsoft “Every year I give Shafay a new computers - at just eight years old. challenge to try and encourage Shafay Thobani, from him.” Pakistan, has passed the tough Shafay first started working exams to become a Microsoft with computers aged four, and Certified Technology Specialist now combines school classes with while most of his pals are happy children his own age with five computer games. hours of computer classes a day. The young boffin has mastered And his father said the young complex internet protocol and genius has always showed a real domain name systems in order to talent for working with become a certified professional. And amazingly, he passed the baffling tests with a huge 91 per cent score following a gruelling 13 months of learning. Shafay’s father, Dr Shau Thobani, has spoken of his pride in the young lad’s remarkable achievement, which is thought to make him the youngest person ever to be awarded the qualification. Dr Thobani, CEO of tech firm Thobson Technologies, said: “He’s so intelligent. He does complicated maths on his hands instead of a calculator. “I feel like the luckiest parent because at the end Award ... Shafay Thobani with his of each day I only ever certificate from Microsoft


ith a cheeky smile and playful nature, little Liang Xiaoxiao acts just like any other child. As she plays with other toddlers and kicks around a football, she doesn’t have a care in the world. However, the three-year-old’s size compared to the other children she plays with clearly shows that all is not well. It is believed the youngster is the

technology. “When he was three years old he was more interested by my electronics than he was in his own toys. “Even when he was small, I saw something different in Shafay. I

saw a spark in his personality. “Because of the nature of my work, Shafays been born into the world of IT and technology and that is where I think his interest in computers stems from.” Microsoft spokesperson

Thomas Jensen said: “Microsoft does not keep track of the ages of the people who take the certification. I’m not aware of anyone younger than Shafay however I can’t officially confirm this.” But despite Shafay’s remarkable achievement, his proud dad says the lad will be free to choose his own career when he is older. He explained: “I’m not forcing Shafay to do anything in his future. He will decide what he wants to do himself.” Source:

Boy genius ... Shafay Thobani

Three-year-old is world’s tiniest girl at just 1 1/2 foot tall world’s tiniest girl. She was born with a weight of 1.05kg and a height of just 33cm. But

three years on she is only 54 cm tall and weights just 2.5kg. Doctors in Huaihua, China, believe that a genetic mutation has stopped the youngster from getting any bigger. But as these pictures show, it clearly hasn’t dented the love of her mother who proudly watches her child play at the Children’s Hospital of Hunan Province in Changsha, China. This week one of the world’s smallest surviving babies finally Small: With a cheeky smile and playful nature, little was allowed home. Liang Xiaoxiao acts just like any other child. But she B o r n could well be the world's tiniest girl.

weighing just 9.5 ounces, smaller than a can of soda, Kenna Claire Moore is recorded as the fourthsmallest surviving baby in the world. After spending the first six months of her life in intensive care,

when she finally left Presbyterian Hemby Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S, on Tuesday, it was no ordinary discharge. Born at only 25 weeks - a typical pregnancy lasts 40 weeks - doctors

were not sure how long little Kenna would survive, but after 183 days of fighting for her life, parents Nicki and Sam Moore finally got to take her home in what they said was ‘the happiest day of our life’. Source:

Tiny: She was born with a weight of 1.05kg and a height of just 33cm. But three years on she is only 54 cm tall and weights just 2.5kg.



Explosive Allegations: Former nanny says Rupert Murdoch’s wife, Wendi ‘cursed and stole her lunch’


he famously punched a protester who attacked her husband in Parliament. But in her own home Wendi Deng leaves her so staff terrified that they feel like they are in ‘war zone,’ one of her former employees has claimed. The wife of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch routinely swears in front of her two young daughters and once threw a nanny out of a her car because she was angry with her, Ying-Shu Hsu said. She also told U.S. site Gawker that Miss Deng has a terrible temper and is so cheap she feeds her daughters lunches which have been made for employees, forcing them

to go hungry. The explosive allegations lift the lid on the carefully crafted image of Miss Deng, who became famous last July when she took on a protester who tried to smear her husband with a custard pie whilst he gave evidence in the Commons about phone hacking. In an interview Miss Hsu, 69, said she began her employment in the Murdoch household in December 2004 when she answered an anonymous advert for a Chinese language tutor. She claims that her 40 hour week as a teacher for the Murdoch children rapidly turned into childcare and regular trips between

Power couple: The nanny said that while Rupert is a 'gentleman' who never yells in front of the staff, Wendi, seen with her husband at the Sun Valley Media Conference, yells at them constantly.

Children: The nanny was hired by Wendi after answering an anonymous ad for a Chinese tutor for the two children, Chloe, eight, and Grace, 11

their compound in Arizona and estate in Beverly Hills. She told the website that Miss Deng, 43, was despised by the staff, not least because she tried to force out the ones she hated. Miss Hsu said: ‘Everyone who works for her hates her and is scared of her. When she’s there, it’s like a war zone. ‘The two housekeepers worked for Murdoch for many, many years, and when they got married, Wendi tried to fire them. But Rupert wouldn’t let her. So when he leaves, she screams at them.’ The most brutal instance was when Miss Deng supposedly kicked a nanny out of their chauffeurdriven car. Miss Hsu said: ‘One of the nannies made a mistake in the car, and Wendi told the chauffeur to

stop the car and told the nanny to get out and then drove off... ‘...She had a very bad temper and would get angry very easily.’ In a statement Miss Deng and Mr Murdoch said: ‘Ms Hsu is a disgruntled former employee who worked for the Murdoch family for a year more than six years ago. ‘A state court dismissed her claims, ruling that they were ‘inadmissible’ and ‘unpersuasive.’ ‘Having failed in court, she has apparently turned to the media with unfounded and untrue accusations. We will not dignify them with comment.’ Turning to Miss Deng’s supposed cheapness, Miss Hsu said that on one instance her younger daughter Chloe said she wanted some food - so Miss Deng gave her Miss Hsu’s lunch and didn’t buy her

a new one. Miss Hsu said: ‘Murdoch is a gentleman. He appreciated us at the end of the night. But she also curses Rupert all the time. ‘A lot of F-words. She’s always yelling, crying. Murdoch is the calm type.’ Miss Hsu’s employment came to an end in January 2006 when she fell over a tricycle in the Murdoch’s Beverly Hills home and fractured her knee. She sued the Murdochs unsuccessfully for damages and was given £5,100 in severance which she claims is not enough and did not cover her medical bills. Miss Deng is the third wife of Mr Murdoch, 81. Their two children are Chloe, eight, and Grace, 11. Source:

country. We have a centralized police force afflicted both by little selfrespect and a limited sense of its mandate. The efforts to contain Boko Haram's terror has shown that our intelligence gathering apparatus is not fit for purpose, and our security agencies lacking in internal capacity and capability beyond harassing those of us in opposition. The pathetic manner public streets are blocked in the vicinities of security and defense establishments makes the citizens wonder – if those trained and armed to defend us are so scared of the terrorists, how can we expect them to defend the realm? Are they concerned only about their safety and that of those in power? We have not built as much infrastructure as our development requires, and we have failed to moderate our escalating cost of

governance. More importantly, democratic Nigeria is yet to grow in a way that can democratize its fruits through the creation of jobs for our youths. As we dither, divide our citizens, and condone fraud and corruption, the world just leaves us behind. There is no doubt in my mind that we need to give our people a stake in keeping democracy aglow. History shows that even in the developed societies, extremist groups attract more support in moments of economic hardship. And when this is compounded by corruption and politics of selfadvancement of a few, and the economic exclusion of the many, only the peace of the graveyard can result. How do we reverse these tendencies and make democracy work for the greatest number of Nigerians? Our political culture must change from one of self-

enrichment to true public service. The situation in which we spend almost the entire federal revenues for the running cost of government is unacceptable and will crash this democratic experiment – albeit a thirteen year one. Elections must be credible, free and fair because that is what will guarantee the ejection of those that fail the electorate. It is entirely up to INEC and the authorities to ensure these happen otherwise the consequences will be dire. Insecurity is the front-burning issue. It is the primary responsibility of any government which can neither be abdicated nor outsourced. Community leaders and civil society can support the government, but not replace it. The government must adopt a multiple approach that includes enhancing the intelligence-gathering capacities of our security forces and creating

an environment for job creation for the hopeless youths that are being recruited by the terrorists. The administration should therefore stop behaving like a victim and get on with the job! Finally, a single-minded focus on development – physical via infrastructure build-out, human by providing equal access to public education and healthcare, and social services that enable citizens the opportunity to realize their full potentials. Those that are in power that cannot do this at all levels should do the honorable thing resign and allow others that can . We need people that stay awake thinking, and investing the time and effort to get our country working even just a little bit. Apart from fraud and corruption in government, compounded by hatred and suspicion amongst he populace - nothing seems to be growing in Nigeria today.

Civilian rule: few gains, many pains Contd. from Back Page apartheid, based on religion, is beginning to divide cities like my hometown of Kaduna, with people being restricted to their respective ghettoes of faith. At the heart of democracy is a universal idea, but a key feature of present-day Nigeria is an astounding narrowmindedness. It is necessary that we reflect on the probability that by giving undue credence to ethnic and religious group rights, we imperil not only individual rights but also destroy the possibility of building a nation where everyone belongs and feels safe everywhere. Our political elites have encouraged divisions that keep them in office, forgetting that the depletion of trust and cohesion will make it difficult if not impossible for them to enjoy the fruits of the office! This created the insecurity we now suffer all over the


ANALYSIS By Joseph Massad


year and a half into what US media and officials began to refer to as the "Arab Spring", there has been little democracy achieved across Arab countries, even in those countries that saw the overthrow of their despotic US-supported regimes. The main change in the region has been its loss of regime stability and a new instability that reflects negatively on imperial capital investment and the overall imperial strategy in the region. This is not to say that, despite its initial fumbling, US imperialism has not since been able to capture many of the threads of the new political game in the region and control them it is that it no longer controls all the threads. This lack of full control means that Washington has therefore been unable to restore stability, which, in US terms, is defined as dictatorial regimes that are staffed by obedient servants to American diktat and its junior partner in the region, the Jewish settlercolony. In Yemen, the US has become the new direct absolute ruler of the country, no longer ruling through a dictator agent. They are killing and maiming Yemenis at will under the pretext of fighting the terror of al-Qaeda, which did not even exist in Yemen before the United States decided to intervene in that impoverished country. The terror that US forces and their ambassador Gerald Feierstein have imposed on the country has been the major achievement of the Obama administration since the Arab revolts started in January 2011. The other Arab country where the US commands immense control is Bahrain, though all attempts by the Bahraini dictatorship, the Saudi mercenaries - reportedly aided by US and British military and security support and consultation - to crush the revolt have been valiantly resisted by a fearless oppressed population. "Saudis floated the proposition in May to annex Bahrain altogether to the Kingdom and transform it demographically, and thus be done with the whole affair of a majority of Shia being oppressed by a sectarian Sunni monarchy." While regional and imperial capital is abandoning Bahrain slowly to neighbouring Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai, with the mass exodus of the expatriate community, US military presence, not to mention the hegemony of Saudi mercenaries, has intensified. Indeed, the Saudis floated the proposition in May to annex Bahrain altogether to the kingdom and transform it demographically, and thus be done with the whole affair of a majority of Shia being oppressed by a sectarian Sunni monarchy. In their ongoing revolt, Saudis in the Qatif and Al-Ahsa' regions have responded to this proposal in the past few days - demanding that, in defiance of Saudi despotism and its imperial


Arab instability and US strategy(I)

While the Saudi Crown Prince greeted Mohammed Morsi upon his arrival in Jeddah, he left the country alone designs on Bahrain, that they secede from Saudi Arabia and be reunified with Bahrain, of which they had been part before the Saudi state took them over. In Libya, the instability has been legion, except in the oil sector, a situation that parallels that of Iraq nine years after the US-led invasion and occupation of the country. The recent Libyan elections have confirmed NATO's man in power, Mahmoud Jibril, though his ability to control the country (the oil fields, which are in NATO hands, excepted) is next to nil. As for the Qatari-Saudi election competition in Tunisia and Egypt (Saudis support the forces of the anciens regime and the Salafists, while Qatar supports the Muslim Brothers), the Qataris won hands down, though the Saudis are imposing

their conditions. US officials, as expected, play all sides, allying both with the military rulers of Egypt and with the Muslim Brothers, not to mention the liberal secular parties. In Tunisia, the instability of the new government has manifested in power struggles between the president and the prime minister, secular and salafi groups, and the repressive security apparatus and the protesting masses. The fumbling of the Ennahdha party is exposing its machinations to much critical scrutiny, most recently in the illegitimate granting of its leader Rashid alGhannushi, who is not an elected or appointed state official, a diplomatic passport against all conventions. To add insult to injury, this week, Tunisian state


officials have insulted the mother of Muhammad Bouazizi, the first martyr of the Arab revolts, and arrested her for allegedly insulting a court official. In Morocco, Jordan, and Oman, repression and co-option - the traditional imperially sponsored methods of control continue apace with governments retaining the upper hand with varying levels of threats from different citizen groups. Except for the three cases of Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the US are in agreement on strategy on how to deal with the revolts everywhere else (Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Morocco, and of course Yemen where differences were smoothed over with the removal

“In Tunisia, the instability of the new government has manifested in power struggles between the president and the prime minister, secular and salafi groups, and the repressive security apparatus and the protesting masses.�

of Abdullah Saleh and his replacement with US Ambassador Gerald Feierstein), including in Syria where, their unified short-term strategy is the overthrow of the Assad regime. "In Tunisia, the instability of the new government has manifested in power struggles between the president and the prime minister, secular and salafi groups, and the repressive security apparatus and the protesting masses." Disagreement continues on how to deal with the Palestinian Authority. Al Jazeera's recent investigation suggested the death of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat may have been due to the highly radioactive element polonium. This, in turn, has fuelled extant widespread belief that his death came as the result of a collaborative plot between Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials. This will add to the destablisation of the PA - which seems to be going bankrupt, despite Israel's maximal efforts to secure IMF loans on its behalf, efforts which proved fruitless. Source: Aljazeera. Joseph Massad teaches modern Arab politics and intellectual history at Columbia University in New York.



Dozens killed in Zanzibar ferry disaster Tunisia sentences Ben Ali, officials over revolt deaths


Tunisian court sentenced ousted president Zine alAbidine Ben Ali in absentia to life in prison and his security chiefs to up to 20 years on Wednesday over the deaths of protesters during the revolution that launched the Arab Spring. Former Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem was sentenced to 15 years in jail and Ben Ali's security chief Ali Seriati was given 20 years over the killing of protesters in the capital Tunis and the towns of Sousse, Nabeul, Bizerte and Zaghouan as a popular uprising spread through the country early last year. Ben Ali fled with his family to Saudi Arabia. They were among 40 officials of the old regime in the North African country to receive sentences between five and 20 years over the killings. Ahmed Friaa, who was named interior minister shortly before Ben Ali fled on January 14, 2011, was among three officials who had charges against them dropped.

A Tunisian living in France burns a picture of his former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali during a protest in Marseille, January 15, 2011.


ferry with at least 280 people on board has sunk off the east African coast of the Zanzibar archipelago, killing at least 31 people, including some foreigners, the government has said. Dozens of people were missing after the ferry, MV Kalama, capsized after it set sail from the Tanzanian commercial capital of Dar-es-Salaam around midday on Wednesday, officials said. "We have so far received 24 bodies, including two Europeans," Hamad Masoud Hamad, Zanzibar's transport minister, told journalists gathered at the main hospital after the sinking of the MV Kalama. This was the second such ferry disaster in Zanzibar, a semiautonomous part of Tanzania, in less than a year. "The rescue operations are continuing... 124 people have already been found alive and we hope that others will be saved," Emmanuel Nchimbi, Tanzania's interior minister, said. Rescue boats and divers were searching for any remaining survivors on the mostly submerged vessel. Government spokesman Yusuf Chunda said 13 foreigners were rescued and are in hospital. It was not clear how many other foreigners had been on board. "More than 200 people are believed to have been on board the boat when it capsized. We don't know how many of them sank with the boat," Zanzibar police spokesman Mohammed Mhina

Witnesses said some unconscious victims were being carried on stretchers said. "The rescue operation is ongoing as we speak but almost the entire boat has been submerged in water ... only a small part of the boat is now visible." An AFP journalist at the port on the main island of the Indian Ocean archipelago said he had seen 55 survivors, soaking wet, on the quayside. Medical personnel were handing out blankets as the

survivors emerged from rescue boats, before being sent to a nearby hospital. Some unconscious victims were being carried on stretchers. It was not fully clear what caused the accident, but preliminary reports indicated the vessel may have capsized after being hit by strong winds and waves, Mhina said. Police said the vessel was carrying 250 adult passengers and 31 children when it capsized near

Chumbe Island, west of Zanzibar. The ferry is owned by a company named Seagull, which also runs a number of other ferries. Previous reports had indicated the vessel was called MV Salama. More than 200 people perished in September when the ferry Spice Islander capsized while sailing between two of the three islands that make up Zanzibar, in one of the worst maritime disasters in Africa in the past decade.

Islamist rebels - are accused of executions, rapes and the use of child soldiers. The rebels took control of northern Mali after an army coup in March in the impoverished West African country. "I have instructed my office to immediately proceed with a preliminary examination of the

situation," Ms Bensouda said in a statement on Wednesday. She said that the Malian government had admitted that it was "unable to prosecute or try the perpetrators". The inquiry would seek to establish there are grounds to bring charges for the alleged atrocities.

Ms Bensouda earlier said that she regarded the destruction of Muslim shrines in the ancient city of Timbuktu as "a war crime". The army seized power in Mali in March, accusing the elected government of not doing enough to halt the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) and the Islamist groups. But the rebels then took advantage of the army's disarray to seize the whole of the north an area the size of France. Among the insurgents are Tuareg and groups linked to alQaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the north-African wing of alQaeda. Mali was once considered one of the most stable countries in the region. In a separate development, a think-tank warned in its report that any military intervention in Mali could sink the country further into chaos. The International Crisis Group, also urged Mali's warring parties - as well as the world community - to try to find a political solution to the crisis. Last week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he was not ruling out a military option in Mali.

Mali crisis: ICC launches inquiry into ‘atrocities’


he International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched a preliminary inquiry into alleged atrocities committed in rebel-held northern Mali. ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said the move followed a request by the Malian government. Armed groups - including

Mali rebels are accused of executions, rapes and the use of child soldiers



Iran denies Israeli claims on Bulgaria attack


ran's state TV is rejecting accusations of Tehran's involvement in an apparent suicide attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria that killed at least eight people. On the TV website, Iran questions the claims by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others as "ridiculous" and "sensational." The website described the Israeli

charges as attempts to discredit Iran and its allies such as Syria. There have been no official statements by Iranian authorities since the Wednesday attack in the Black Sea city of Burgas. Israeli officials and media say the death toll includes six Israelis and one Bulgarians. The bombing is the latest in a string of attacks and plots around the world that Israel has blamed on

Iran. Iran has denied involvement. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov says that a Michigan license carried by the suspected suicide attacker in the bombing of the bus carrying Israeli tourists was a fake. Borisov said on Thursday "we worked on this with colleagues from the FBI and CIA. They said that there is no such person in their database." He did not release a name. Borisov says he has asked for the

release of a photo of the suspect taken from a security camera from the area before the attack, which gutted the bus at the airport in the Black Sea resort city of Burgas on Wednesday. Earlier, officials lowered the death toll to seven, including the suspected bomber, after mistakenly reporting that someone had died overnight. The Israeli Defence Minister

Ehud Barack called the attacks as part of the global wave on terror. "The attack in Burgas was led by members of Hezbollah and sponsored by Iran, The Al-Qaeda and Islamic Jihad networks also operate globally," he added, citing a long list of recent attacks or attempted attacks on Israelis around the world including in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya and Cyprus.

Senator McCain stands by Hillary Clinton aide


Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjold

enator John McCain publicly supported a senior Obama administration official in denouncing concerns by a group of House Republicans that her family may have connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, which they fear may be trying to gain access to high levels of the U.S. government. Former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and four other lawmakers in the House of Representatives asked the State Department's inspector general's office last month to investigate the possibility that Huma Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, had family ties to the Islamic political group. Their June 13 letter asserted that the State Department had recently taken action "enormously favorable" to the Muslim Brotherhood and that its interests could pose a security risk for the United States. The letter cited a security study by an outside group alleging that

UK police charge three for ‘terror training’

T Senator John McCain

Police has insisted the case has nothing to do with the Olympics, which begins on July 27

hree British Muslims, including a former London police support officer, have been charged with travelling to Pakistan for terror training. Scotland Yard said in a statement yesterday that Richard Dart, 29, Imran Mahmood, 21, and Jahangir Alom, 26, had travelled to Pakistan between 2010 and 2012 "with the intention of committing acts of terrorism or assisting another to commit such acts". The statement also alleges that the three provided others with advice and counselling about how to travel to Pakistan, find training, and how to stay safe while there. Two others, 22-year-old Ruksana Begum and 47-year-old Khalid Javed Baqa, were charged with having material likely to be useful for terrorism. All five had been arrested earlier this month, and at least two of the accused had previously come to public attention. Dart was featured in a recent BBC documentary, "My Brother the Islamist", which chronicled the efforts of his filmmaker stepbrother Robb Leech to understand why the former had rejected his family and embraced an uncompromising form of Islam.

three members' of Abedin's family, including her father who died two decades ago, and her mother and brother were linked to operatives or organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood. "Her position affords her routine access to the secretary and policymaking," the letter said. A State Department spokesman said Clinton "very much values" Abedin's "wise counsel and support" and called the allegations preposterous. McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, took to the Senate floor and called the assertion

New inquiry into ex-UN chief Dag Hammarskjold's death


new inquiry is to be launched into the death of United Nations Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold when his plane crashed in Zambia in 1961. A UN investigation in 1962 failed to find a cause for the Swedishborn diplomat's mysterious demise. New evidence will be examined by an international commission of lawyers. Mr Hammarskjold's plane was travelling to Congo on a peace mission when it crashed in a forest near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. The crash occurred shortly before landing just after midnight on 18 September. All but one of the passengers and crew on the flight were killed. The committee's chairman David Lea said that the time was right to set up the new inquiry. "We believe that the whole of the truth, in significant respects, has yet to be told," he said. Three investigations have failed to determine the cause of the crash, and many conspiracy theories have swirled around Mr Hammarskjold's death. Two investigations held in the British-run Central African Federation, which included Northern Rhodesia, were followed by an official UN inquiry, which concluded that foul play could not be ruled out. Though the inquiry has no official standing, it will be carried out by several high-profile jurists, including South African judge Richard Goldstone, retired British judge Stephen Sedley, former Swedish diplomat Hans Correll and Dutch Supreme Court judge Wilhelmina Thomassen.



Hundreds flee Damascus fighting: NGO H

undreds of Damascus residents fled from clashes and army shelling of several districts of the embattled Syrian capital yesterday, a rights watchdog reported, as the military gave them two days to get out. The military said residents have 48 hours to leave areas where clashes are taking place between security forces and rebels, a security source told AFP. "These extremely violent clashes should continue in the next 48 hours to cleanse Damascus of terrorists by the time Ramadan begins" on Friday, the source said, referring to the Muslim holy fasting month. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog said "hundreds of people" fled several areas. In the western district of Mazzeh, hundreds of people were on the move, "fearing a largescale operation by regime troops," the Observatory said. Residents also fled the southern district of Tadamon and the Palestinian refugee camp Yarmuk for an unknown destination, it added. The latest developments come a day after a bombing in Damascus killed three top officials, including the defense minister and President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law, in a

severe blow to the very heart of the regime. "The army has so far exercised restraint in its operations, but after the attack, it has decided to use all the weapons in its possession to finish the terrorists off," the security source said. The source also said that "the army has told residents to stay away from combat zones, as the

terrorists are trying to use residents as human shields." On Wednesday, at least 214 people were killed, including 124 civilians, across Syria. That included 38 in Damascus on the fourth day of unprecedented clashes in the city between rebels and troops, the Observatory said. The toll did not include the three top regime officials.

"From today onwards, we turn a new page... and Syrians now believe they are at a turning point," the official Al-Thawra newspaper said on Thursday. "The traitors, agents and mercenaries are deluding themselves if they think that Syria will bow to this strike, even if it hurts," said the ruling party's mouthpiece, Al-Baath newspaper.

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (C) stands with leaders of the army, including Fahad Jassim alFreij (front L) and Daoud Rajha (front R) at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in a ceremony to mark the 38th anniversary of the 1973 October War with Israel, in Damascus in this October 6, 2011 file handout photo released to Reuters on July 18, 2012.

Egypt ex-VP Omar Suleiman dies: MENA


gypt's former vice president Omar Suleiman, long-time spy chief to deposed president Hosni Mubarak, died yesterday in the United States, the official MENA news agency reported. "Former vice president General Omar Suleiman died in the early hours of yesterday in a hospital in the United States," the agency said. "He was undergoing medical tests in Cleveland," Suleiman's aide Hussein Kamal told AFP, adding that arrangements were being made to return his body to Egypt for burial.

Suleiman was appointed vice president during the uprising that toppled Mubarak. He left Egypt after a failed bid to run in the country's first ever free presidential elections in May. Initially traveling to Dubai, he later headed to Germany and then on to the United States for treatment, General Saad AlAbbassi, a member of Suleiman's presidential campaign team, told AFP. "His health deteriorated recently. He was in the United States with his family," said Reem Mamdouh, another member of the team. Suleiman, a pillar of the ousted

regime, announced in April that he would be running for the president after initially saying he would stay out of the race. He was barred from pursuing the country's top job on a technicality, after the country's election commission said he failed to get endorsements from 15 provinces as per the law. Suleiman was widely believed to have formed part of the inner circle of Mubarak, who shortly before his fall named the intelligence supremo as vice president. Born in on July 2, 1935 to a well-off family in the southern town of Qena, Suleiman graduated from Cairo's military

academy in 1955. Under Mubarak, Suleiman served as a negotiating partner for the United States, Israel and the Palestinians, orchestrating a series of short-lived truces.

General Omar Suleiman

Russian Muslim leaders attacked in Tatarstan


Mufti Ildus Faizov is known for his criticism of radical Islamic groups operating in the North Caucasus

he most senior Islamic official in Russia's largely Muslim Tatarstan region has been wounded in a car bomb attack and his deputy was killed in a separate shooting. The Mufti of Tatarstan, Ildus Fayzov, was injured when his car was blown up as he left a radio station in the city of Kazan, about 735km east of Moscow, yesterday, the federal Investigative Committee said in a statement. His Deputy Mufti Valiulla Yakupov was shot dead at about the same time at the entrance to his home in Kazan, the committee

added. There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks. Tatarstan, in central Russia, has a large Muslim population. The motive in this case is unclear, but Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for Russia's Investigative Committee, said both leaders were known for fighting extremism and their professional activity was being investigated as one of the reasons for the attacks. Muslim rebels say they are fighting for a separate Islamic state

in the strip of provinces along Russia's southern border and sometimes target mainstream Muslim leaders, who have the backing of regional authorities and Moscow. But their activities have been mostly contained to the Muslim republics of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia in the North Caucasus. Tatarstan has been largely peaceful and is held out as a showcase of religious tolerance in Russia, which as a whole is predominantly Orthodox Christian.

India's legislators vote for new president


ndian legislators are voting for a new president, with former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee seen as a certainty to take up the mainly ceremonial post. Mukherjee, the candidate of the ruling Congress-led alliance, is a respected conciliator, and as head of state he may play a role in who governs India after the general election due in 2014. The president oversees the formation of a new government when no party wins a clear majority, and most observers predict a close result at the next polls given the poor economic outlook and the ruling coalition's lack of decision on major issues. The outcome of the presidential vote will be announced on Sunday, but Mukherjee, 76, has far more support than his rival, former parliamentary speaker PA Sangma, now a state legislator for a tribal constituency in the remote northeast. Mukherjee was set to claim 67 per cent of the electoral college vote with Sangma on 30 per cent, according to the CNN-IBN news channel. "There is no permanent equation in India's coalition politics and if Mukherjee becomes the president then his art of negotiation will be put to the test," TK Tripathi, a leading political analyst and author, told the AFP news agency. The new president will succeed Pratibha Patil, the first woman to hold the post, who took a low-profile and strictly detached approach to her five years in the job. Al Jazeera's Prerna Suri, reporting from New Delhi, said: "The 76-year-old Mukherjee, is a veteran of the Congress party, he was until last month, the country's finance minister. "Known for his art of negotiation, he is considered a kingmaker in this era of coalition politics who is now projecting himself as a son of the soil." Mukherjee, as a minister, was at the heart of a government that has been beset by policy paralysis, rebellious coalition partners and corruption scandals since winning re-election in 2009. He has also endured heavy flak for India's recent sharp fall in economic growth and a growing sense of domestic and international pessimism about the country's future after years of rapid development. Amid such uncertainty, Congress faces a major challenge in keeping enough coalition allies on board to push through much-needed reforms, and the party is already braced for a tough battle in the 2014 polls. The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is supporting 64-year-old Sangma for president, is also unlikely to secure a clear win in national elections, meaning regional parties could hold the balance of power.



edwood was watching TV when she heard a rumbling noise from upstairs. ‘It was drowning out the TV,’ says Carly, a 36-year-old PA, who lives with her husband Dan, 36, a retail manager, in Farnham, Surrey. ‘When I listened harder I realised it was actually loud snoring and snorting.’ But it wasn’t Dan making the entire racket, but the couple’s son Jack, who was just three at the time. ‘The sound was unbelievable I was aghast that a toddler so small could snore like that,’ says Carly. ‘At night, it sounded as if he had a mask on or was being smothered, and it continued on and off until morning.’ Then in March, 14 months after the heavy snoring started, Carly noticed that Jack was repeatedly stopping breathing in his sleep for several seconds at a time, restarting with a gasp for air. ‘The next few nights I’d go into his room to check on him and he’d do it again and again — and I started to worry,’ she says. All children snore at some time, however around one in ten snores regularly, and it’s a source of worry for many parents, says Marianne Davey, founder of the British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association. ‘About one in ten of the calls for help we receive are from parents about snoring children — and it is an increasing problem,’ she says. Snoring is caused when the muscles in the airways relax, then vibrate when air flows past them. Other floppy tissue in the throat, such as the tonsils, can also add to the noise. For most children, snoring isn’t a problem apart from keeping other family members awake ‘as they can make an awful lot of noise’, says Andrew McCombe, ear, nose and throat surgeon at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, and spokesman for ENT UK. Common causes are sleeping on the back, a cold, allergy or being overweight. But for around 2 to 3 per cent of children who snore (an


Your child’s snoring could harm their IQ estimated 350,000 youngsters), this is one of the first symptoms of a more serious condition called obstructive sleep apnoea. This is the medical name for a pause in breathing while sleeping due to obstruction of the airways, which prevents air from travelling to and from the lungs. While most people will have heard of it affecting adults, it also occurs in children. Children with sleep apnoea will snore loudly, have laboured breathing and then go silent for a few seconds, before snorting and gasping for air when they restart breathing. These pauses in breathing cause oxygen levels in the blood to fall, and vital organs including the brain and the heart are affected. Sleep apnoea in adults is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and in children it has similarly troubling consequences, including poor growth, delayed development, behavioural problems, impaired academic performance and reduced concentration. These are in part thought to be due to a lack of oxygen to the brain and other organs. Parents may also notice children sleeping in unusual positions that make it easier for them to breathe, such as their head hanging over the side of the bed. And because these breathing problems can cause them to wake briefly several times a night, in the morning they may be grumpy, in some cases, have a headache (thought to be caused by a lack of oxygen during the night), or refuse to eat breakfast. Worryingly, the condition often goes undiagnosed. ‘Some children can wait a long time for treatment,’ says Warren Lenney, professor of

Unbelievable! Jack's snoring sounded like he was being smothered, says his mum Carly (posed by model)

Breathing problem: Carly Redwood and her son Jack. respiratory child health at Keele University and honorary medical adviser at the British Lung Foundation. ‘This can be attributed to the more subtle symptoms in children as well as the comparatively low awareness of the condition among the public and healthcare professionals. But it’s really important children get diagnosed and treated, especially as we know that it can affect their IQ and performance at school.’ A study carried out at the Melbourne Sleep Centre in Australia found cognitive differences between sleep apnoea sufferers aged seven to 12 and a control group without sleep problems. The authors said prolonged sleep apnoea over several years affected a child’s IQ and education, as well as being associated with behavioural problems and poor memory. And recently research based on 11,000 children in Britain found sleep apnoea and snoring made conditions such as hyperactivity more likely. The theory is that because these children find it hard to concentrate they become more disruptive. All children will stop breathing for short periods in their sleep, says Mr McCombe, but this happens only once or twice a night and doesn’t cause any problems. ‘In sleep apnoea a child will stop breathing around ten times an hour or more (though it can be fewer). If this happens between 15 and 20 times a night it can cause these problems,’ he says. While obesity is the most common cause of sleep apnoea in adults, the prime culprit for children — accounting for four in every five cases — is enlarged tonsils or adenoids, small lumps

of lymph tissue at the back of the nose. Other causes include structural abnormalities of the airways, such as receding jaw, Down’s syndrome (due to a large tongue) and obesity (which is the most common cause in adults). The good news is that the effects can be reversed, says Dr Ranjan Suri, paediatric respiratory consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital and the private Portland Hospital, both in London. ‘Often we find that once the sleep apnoea is sorted out, the child’s academic performance improves, too.’ He adds that the condition can be diagnosed only with an overnight sleep test in a sleep laboratory or at home — where heart rate, breathing patterns and blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are monitored with equipment. This is done via monitors fitted to the finger and chest and tubes inserted into the nose. Treatment options include removal of the tonsils and adenoids (adeno-tonsillectomy), nasal drops that shrink the tiny blood vessels in the lining of the nose, losing weight if necessary or wearing a mask overnight to keep the airways open — though these are not always suitable for young children. Mr McCombe says around 20 per cent of the 29,558 tonsillectomies performed on children in Britain in 2010/11 were done for sleep apnoea — the remainder were for repeated bouts of tonsillitis. When Jack started to act out of character, Carly went to her GP. ‘Jack was tired during the day and falling asleep at nursery. In the mornings he’d complain that his head hurt and he seemed

groggy and tired,’ she says. His VOICE had changed, too, and become very nasal. Friends and family even nicknamed him Darth Vader because of his heavy breathing. Though she had previously gone to the GP when Jack started snoring, Carly was told he would grow out of the condition. However, this time her GP referred him to an ear, nose and throat surgeon. An overnight sleep study to monitor and measure Jack’s oxygen levels revealed he was stopping breathing eight times every hour. The specialist classed Jack as having mild sleep apnoea and said the family could wait to see if he outgrew it or have his tonsils and adenoids removed straight away. ‘We decided to have it done straight away as we didn’t want him to suffer any more,’ says Carly. The one-hour operation was done under a general anaesthetic. ‘The surgeon said afterwards that Jack had whopper tonsils and adenoids — so we were glad he’d had them taken out.’ Jack’s father, Dan, had large adenoids as a child and he, too, had them removed because of his loud snoring. Within just a few weeks Jack’s breathing and sleeping had been transformed. ‘He’s so much happier, his voice is normal again and he’s not constantly tired,’ says Carly. ‘I’m so glad we pursued this and got his sleep apnoea sorted before he starts school in September. ‘People sometimes treat snoring as a joke, but it can be a sign of something far more serious.’ Source:



LG polls: CPC tasks Amosun, officials on fair election campaigns From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


ongress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Ogun state has cautioned the state government on showering state apparatus and hard earned tax payer's funds on the campaign of the 'anointed' candidates of the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in the Local Government elections scheduled to hold next Saturday in the state Ogun state CPC leader, and a frontline pro-democracy activist, Olawale Okunniyi, queried such acts where state paraphernalia and apparatus are used to back the campaign of a particular set of candidates, describing it as 'official corruption and the foundation of electoral rigging in every political contest. He said such 'state' support by a sitting Governor or President, who should be official leader of all, is unfair

to the interests of other parties as the required level playing field in the contest as well as the 'psyche' of the already impoverished mass of the electorates would have been influenced by such partisan skewing of state apparatus and resources in strengthening their party candidates Speaking during a briefing of party leaders and candidates, the CPC governorship candidate in the last general elections said "We are aware that everywhere Governor Ibikunle Amosun went to campaign for ACN candidates, he went with full apparatus and paraphernalia of the state. This can never be a decent way to hold a fair contest and I suspect that Nigeria's current democracy suffers a great deal from this ugly electoral trend "It happened in the general elections with all our incumbents running campaigns with state facilities and funds and I think INEC

and our brother Jega at its helms of affairs are also culpable for not been able to initiate a change to this corrupt electoral show since their inception" Okunniyi observed Okunniyi however opined that if such subtle electoral rigging and clever swinging of the psyche of the electorates is not stopped forthwith, the current democracy may snap by an unprecedented resistance that is bound to follow such impunity. He stressed that things are already worse when compared to the shenanigan of the Second Republic which collapsed like a pack of cards under the jackboot of the military "What we run today in Nigeria is 'Big man rule' and a huge joke called democracy where more than 97% of our people are deliberately impoverished by their rulers and live under poverty lines making it easy for moneybags and highest bidder at election time to have a field day.

"And all we see government do everywhere we go today is intermittent comic reliefs pretending that something is happening. Be not be deceived, there is no governance going on anywhere in Nigeria today as the state apparatus has practically collapsed in private hands" Okunniyi lamented While also welcoming multitude of decampees from ACN and PDP into the CPC, Okunniyi charged all CPC candidates in the forthcoming local government elections to be ready to resist any form and levels of rigging in their areas. He however threatened to go to court to test the propriety of the current state electoral bias for a preferred set of candidates Some of the key members of the restructured executives of the party, who attended the parley at its new secretariat situated on Abiola way, Abeokuta are the State Chairman, Chief Oluwole Smith, his deputy, Mr Kunle Mudashiru, State Secretary,

ACN to PDP: You are the problem to Nigeria’s democracy By Lawrence Olaoye


he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has disagreed with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which prided itself as the pillar for democracy in the country insisting instead that the party is actually the problem with the nation’s democracy. The party in a statement issued yesterday in Ibadan by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said if the truth must be told, the PDP is the main problem hindering the growth of democracy in Nigeria due to its antidemocratic antics, election manipulation tendencies, lack of respect for the rule of law and total disregard of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The party stated ‘’Mr. President, the reason Nigeria’s democracy has survived thus far is not the

Alhaji Bamanga Tukuru

Chief Bisi Akande

robustness of the PDP, as you have said, but the determination and courage of the good people of Nigeria, who have resolved to say ‘never again’ to anti-democratic forces, as well as the robust opposition mounted by a few

progressive forces.. “Were it left for the PDP, this democracy as we know it would have become history. This is the party that has weakened all the institutions that are indispensable to building a virile democracy,

from the judiciary to the legislature. This is the party that has sought to emasculate the opposition by infiltrating their ranks and coercing them into a fake unity government. This is the party that does not believe in one man, one vote, but will rather engage in door-die politics to win at all cost. “Above all, the PDP is the party that has frittered away the commonwealth since 1999 and failed woefully to deliver the dividends of democracy, thus shaking the belief of an increasing number of our citizens in democracy as a system of governance,’’ it said. ACN said the reason the PDP has been subjected to intense criticism by Nigerians, not just the opposition, is that the PDP has failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people in terms of good governance, provision of visionary leadership as well as the basic social amenities that make life more abundant and meaningful. Simply put, the quality-of-life initiative of the PDP is zero!

Atiku pays tribute to Ovie Whiskey's humility, condoles Ajimobi over mother's death faint at the sight of such huge controversies. He prayed to God to By Lawrence Olaoye


ormer Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described the death of Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey, the former Chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), as another major loss to Nigeria's legal profession. Atiku in a condolence message

by his Media Office in Abuja said that one of the greatest qualities of the late Whiskey was his insistence on accuracy on the part of those who made allegations. He particularly recalled Whiskey's famous denial of allegedly collecting one million naira during the First Republic to influence the outcome of the election, to which the late FEDECO Chairman said he would

amount. According to him, Whiskey's insistence that accusers should be sure of their facts first was a challenge to our society where people easily go public with wild allegations without substantiation. Atiku also praised Whiskey's unassuming nature, saying that throughout his post-retirement life, he never courted publicity or

grant his soul eternal rest and the family the fortitude to bear the great loss of their pillar support. Meanwhile, the former Vice President also condoled with Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State on the death of his mother, Alhaja Sikirat Ajimobi. Describing a mother as the greatest gift of man, Atiku said his heart went out to the Governor at this moment of grief.

Ogun state CPC leader, and a frontline pro-democracy activist, Olawale Okunniyi Evang Godwin Odeyemi, State woman Leader, Alhaja Remi Adeyemi, State Publicity Secretary; Mr Sina Oduntan among other leaders and stakeholders of the party in the state

Kwara governor condoles with Ajimobi over mother's death From Olanrewaju Lawal, Ilorin


wara state Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has commiserated with the Governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi on the death of his mother, Alhaji Sikirat Ajimobi. Ahmed, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, said although, Alhaja Sikirat Ajimobi died at an advanced aged of 85 years, her death remains very painful as it has denied the Oyo state Governor the motherly wisdom that would have assisted him in running the affairs of the State. Governor Ahmed urged Governor Ajimobi to acceprt her death as the will of Amighty Alllag noting that Alhaja Sikirat Ajimobi lived a good life and was survived by Children who are pride to every mother. The Governor also described the death of former chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), Justice Victor Ovie-Whiskey as the passage of a jurist per excellence. Governor Ahmed recalled that Justice Ovie-Whiskey as Chairman of FEDECO, during the second republic played crucial role in the democratic process in Nigeria. The Governor prayed the families of Ajimobi and OvieWhiskey the fortitude to bear the loss of their loved ones and the deceased eternal rest.



We voted Oshiomhole to disgrace Anenih - Esan Community Leader From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos


community Leader in Esan Land of Edo Central Senatorial District, Chief Francis Onabis, has said the Esan Community voted massively for the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and its candidate, Comrade Adams Oshiomole to disgrace Peoples Democratic Party PDP bigwigs from the zone. He said the result from the zone has again proved to failed PDP politicians from Esan

community that "the people have wise up and peoples' power is superior." Onabis said the results from the five local councils making up the Esan land of the state make the people feel important in the democratic process, "the result is the defining moment for Esan people who had disgraced 'money and slavery politics' in the region," he added . He said the PDP lost the election in the zone because they underrated electorates from the

zone. "The ordinary masses who have the power to make and mar election, PDP was blind to the element of change, our greatest weapon was the ordinary people, it was a class of war." Onabis who chaired the Concerned Citizens for Good Governance in Nigeria has earlier assured ACN Comrade Oshiomole of more than 20,000 votes from Edo Central. He said "our people came out en-masse to vote for Oshiomole in order to ensure further

transformation of the state and good governance, PDP relied on their fake promises to our people who are now much wiser, lack of developmental projects in the area during the period PDP were in power in years past has shown, Esan people will not be deceived the second time, PDP was deaf to change and refused to change, change is the only thing that is constant in life." He said the key instrument to CAN's victory at the poll was its electioneering messages, idea

Niger gov cautions against winner takes all syndrome

L-R: Senate President David Mark, in a handshake with Senator Solomon Ewuga, after his swearing-in as a Senator representing Nasarawa North, on Tuesday at the National Assembly, in Abuja.

From Iliya Garba, Minna


Photo: Mahmud Isa

Insecurity: Tambuwal preaches tolerance, understanding By Lawrence Olaoye


peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has said with tolerance and understanding among Nigerians, the nation would surmount its present security challenges. Tambuwal, in a statement by

his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, made this known when he paid a condolence visit to Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar yesterday in Bida. The Speaker called on Nigerians to continue to be law abiding and engage in fervent prayers for an end to the security

challenges facing the nation. "The country is indeed in dire need of prayers, and with prayers we will surely come out of this problem," he said. While describing the death of the monarch' s mother as irreparable loss, Tambuwal urged the Etsu to consider it as an act of God.

Responding, Abubakar thanked the Speaker for the visit, saying that the entire Nupe emirate would miss the motherly care of the deceased A special prayer for peace and stability for the country, led by the Chief Imam of Bida, Mallam Tijjani Mohammed, was offered during the visit.

Group partners with public servants for effective service delivery


he Nigerian Network of Women Exporters of Services (NNWES), an NGO, says it is in partnership with public servants on proficiency in service delivery for economic growth. The National President of the association, Joy Okpala, said this at the second Biennial Conference on Proficiency in Service Delivery and Export in Abuja on Wednesday. She said it had been observed that public service in Nigeria still fell short of numerous basic demands for proficient service delivery. Okpala, who spoke on the theme, “Efficiency in proper conduct in service delivery: a panacea to national growth and

based debates and the governor outstanding performance in the last 4 years. While congratulating Governor Oshiomhole on his landslide victory at the poll, he urged him see the victory massively given to him by the people of Edo State as an endorsement of his outstanding performance in office and an expression of their desire for a continuation of his focused, purposeful and dynamic leadership.

economic sustenance”, said that services constituted the most dynamic area of national growth and sustenance. “It is disheartening to note that despite the fact that we are giants of Africa, we have less worthy repute internationally and locally on service delivery. “Some establishments do not appear to understand and appreciate the volume of wealth creation, this need to change in its entirety.” Okpala said that one of the basic reasons for difficulty in harnessing service reforms was the expansive nature of the sector, stressing that there was the need for a change for economic growth to take place. She said that for Nigeria to

overcome the challenges of redundancy in the sector, there was the need for governments at all levels, to make reforms for efficiency and economic development. Also, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), commended the group for the initiative, stressing that it was important for women focused groups to push for development at all levels of the society. He said the gains of the conference were for the benefit of Nigeria, while calling on all other stakeholders to emulate the group. “In this country, reforms being made in the area of governance and in the fight against corruption, are indications of our resolve to make our administration more effective

and facilitate socio-economic development. “ The Director General of the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Hajiya Fatima Hassan-Betara, said that government was ready to provide partnership to ensure change in line with the transformation agenda. She said the conference had shown to the world that women were agents of change, adding that it was evident in their decision making when in power. Participants spoke about prevailing issues such as bureaucracy and red-tapism as other challenges in achieving efficiency in service delivery. (NAN)

iger state governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu has cautioned against the winner takes all syndromes that have typified the nations politics since independence insisting that successful individuals and parties, after elections should accommodate others. He made this remarks in Minna yesterday at the flag-off of this year's sale and distribution of grains to the public. He said the practice of winner takes all has battered the nations entrenchment of democratic ideals and that if the country is to move forward, all shades of opinion should be involved in the running of government after elections. Aliyu asserted "we should not discriminate after elections; after the election we should all become one to promote democratic ideals and move the states and country forward" He said that governments at all levels cannot achieve their aims and objectives unless everyone participated actively in governance adding that "we should all support the governments by letting the administrations know where the government is going wrong". Governor Aliyu reiterated that Nigerians should learn to accommodate each other and disregard the settler/indigene syndrome if the country is to attain the much needed unity and stability. On the sale of the grains to the public at 50% of the market prices, Aliyu said government is implementing the policy started in 2007 to lessen the sufferings of the common man and to force down the escalating prices of goods in the market. "This principle is to eradicate poverty; those who have the means should also complement government efforts" Governor Aliyu declared. Commenting on the Ramadan fast expected to begin this week, Governor Aliyu asked all faithful to resolve to stop "the bad things we have been doing in the last 11 months we must stop backbiting and refuse to go back to all these vices after the Holy month".



2015: ANPP set to join CPC/ACN alliance – Ogbonnaya Onu By Umar Mohammed Puma


he National Chairman of opposition All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Chief Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the party has begun discussions with the National Chairmen of the leading opposition parties in the country, including the CPC and the ACN, with a view to forging co-operation in the areas of common political interest. He said “We have in this regard set up a six man inter-party contact committee that will hold talks with other opposition political

parties with the aims of strengthening multi-lateral understanding for the emergence of a strong platform that will help us win election at all levels of government. Speaking at the party’s National Executive Committee Meeting, which holds at the party’s secretariat in Abuja, Onu added that the membership of the committee will be enlarged to include as many as twenty of its leaders so as to fully tap the variety of experience within the party for the good of all . He therefore called on the

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to review the Electoral Act to accommodate a provision that will make it mandatory for it to ensure that all major political parties, especially those in the opposition are involved in the processes leading to the award of contract for the production of sensitive election materials. According to him, it has become necessary in order to ensure that only non partisan and neutral organizations or individuals are entrusted with such an important responsibility.

“In a true democracy, we should ensure that no remotely or clearly interested party is involved in the production of sensitive electoral materials.” Those who attended the meeting were the new Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustee of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sherrif, Deputy National Chairman North, Alh. Yusuf Musa, National Secretary of the party, Alh. Tijjani Musa Tumsah, Alh. Gmbo Magaji, Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rep. Abdulrahman Kawu, Sen. Ahmed Lawan among others.

L-R: Zamfara state Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, Hon. Jazuli Imam Galadanci, former Speakers, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, and Hon. Ghali Umar Na'abba, during the dinner in honour of former members of the House of Representatives Forum recently elected or appointed into public offices, on Wednesday night in Abuja. Photo: Mahmud Isa

Tambuwal assures Pan African Parliament of partnership


he Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal pledged that the House would partner with the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to promote democracy in Africa. Tambuwal made the pledge when Rep. Bethel Amadi, the President of the Parliament visited him in Abuja. Represented by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, Tambuwal said that the House would support the new

president to ensure that the parliament promotes good governance in the continent. He noted that Amadi was elected based on merit, and urged him to utilise the opportunity to enhance quality legislation that would solidify democracy and good governance in member countries. Earlier, Amadi had sought for collaboration with the House towards enhancing parliamentary democracy in Africa.

“ Africa has come of age, if we continue to work together, Africa will be better for it,” he said. He said the parliament would encourage trade among African nations so as to boost the economy of the continent. According to him, if the volume of African trade put at 10 per cent increases by two per cent, the flow of money within the continent will further increase. Amadi said that there was the need for the African

parliament to facilitate job creation for the youth as a way of building a brighter future for the continent. “The Pan African Parliament is committed to the creation of employment opportunities for African youth,” he said. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Amadi, a member of the House of Representatives, was elected president of the PAP in June 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

NCP urges INEC to double efforts for credible polls in 2015


ational Conscience Party (NCP) yesterday in Osogbo urged INEC to double its efforts to actualise credible elections in 2015. Its National Secretary General, M. Ayodele Akele, gave the advise on Wednesday in Osogbo in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to him, INEC officials need to improve on the electoral process for the right candidate to emerge in the 2015 general elections. “If elections are done on merit, credible elements will emerge.” On party de-registration, Akele told NAN that NCP was against it, adding that political parties should

be allowed to develop with time. The general secretary said that NCP was of the opinion that the Federal Government should finance political parties justifiably to enhance their growth. Akele noted that NCP would not deviate from its ideology of abolishing poverty and social injustice.

He urged the party’s members not to withdraw their support, pointing out that their quota was necessary to boost the party. “We have charged our members to continue to give us ideas that will support and maintain our solidarity, which is only weapon we have and that is our expectation from them.”

Commissioner seeks adequate funding for Federal Character Commission


he Commissioner representing Plateau in the Federal Character Commission, Mr. John Shainaan, has said that lack of funds is hampering the commission’s activities. Shainaan stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. “Our job is not a table job. It is a field job. We have to move round to see how organisations exercise their recruitment. If they are doing it right, we will report. “And if they are not complying with our principles and guidelines, we can take action.’’ Shainaan said the commission has offices in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT, and conducted inspection and investigation to ensure that recruitment in the country was “effective’’. He stressed the need for adequate funding so that the commission’s work would be fast and effective, “especially during recruitment exercises’’. “We need to move round the states to make sure that recruitment exercises are done accordingly, and that organisations comply with the commission’s principles. “All these movements need adequate funds.’’ The commissioner said the issue of national unity would be addressed effectively if the commission was empowered with adequate funding. Shainaan said the commission was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring balanced employment opportunities for all states and the FCT. He said the first mandate of the commission was to ensure equitable distribution of bureaucratic, civil and public posts. He said that most people “do not subscribe to the tenets of the commission’s mandate”, adding: “this is one of the challenges we are facing in the commission.” He gave the assurance that the commission would not relent in its efforts to make organisations to adhere to the federal character principles. “Some of the organisations will deliberately break the laws. We are trying very hard to ensure that we reduce to a minimum, that kind of situation.’’ Shainaan said that the commission was also mandated to issue certificates of clearance to organisations that comply with its principles and guidelines. He explained that after receiving the certificates, the organisations could then issue appointment letters to employees.



Tambuwal, Oshiomhole mourn Ovie-Whiskey By Lawrence Olaoye, Abuja and Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin


L-R: Speaker, Ekiti state House of Assembly, Hon. Adewale Omirin, the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Chief Dayo Fadipe, during a quarterly briefing with local government chairmen, yesterday in Oye Local Government Area of the state.

PDP seeks closer ties with ruling parties in Sudan, Canada, Iraq By Lawrence Olaoye


he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday disclosed that he has initiated moves to have closer ties with the ruling political parties in the African continent. Tukur made the disclosure when he received the Ambassador of Sudan, Dr. Tangelsir Mahgoub-Ali; Canada's Chris Cooter and Iraq's Dr. Ali Abas Bander at the Legacy House of the party in Abuja. The PDP Chairman said the party intends to relate closely with the ruling parties of the 52 state s in Africa in order to interchange on policy with a view to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people. He added that the party began the inter-regional relationship at the party level with ANC of South Africa and would soon move to Ghana to have bilateral talks with the ruling party in that country. He said Nigeria relationship with Sudan has been cordial from the precolonial days adding that the country nationals are much more in Khartoun, the Sudanesse capital. Responding, the Sudanese Ambassador commended Tukur for re-igniting African renaissance even as he acknowledged that a lot of Nigerians are residing in Sudan

without being molested. He added that the relationship between his country and Nigeria has always been cordial even as he promised to help open the frontiers of commercial activities between his country and Nigeria. Similarly, the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria who also paid a courtesy visist on Tukur said the relationaship between his country and Nigeria has been cordial. According to him, bilateral trade between Canada and Nigeria has tripled to over $ 3 billion (over N480 billion) while direct foreign investment from Canada to Nigeria has tripled in the past year. The High Commissioner, the relationship between Nigerian and Canada has been deepened with the establishment of a bilateral commission between the two countries which was signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries in April. Ambassador Cooter declared that Canada has responded positively to the federal government policy of empowering the youths by developing skill training programmes for the Nigerian youths which will soon take off in 27 states. He said that apart from the skill programme, the country has been assisting Nigerian in the area of maternal and child health and has invested over $11

million dollars in this sectors. The diplomat informed the PDP chairman that his country has over 350 mines and will be ready to assist Nigeria to develop the mining industry in the country. On the diplomatic turf, Ambassador Cooter commended Nigeria for its stand on the crisis in Mali and informed Tukur that his home government totally aligned with Nigeria on the leadership tussle in Mali. He further disclosed that the purpose of the courtesy visit was to lay "foundation for deeper and stronger relation between his country and Nigeria. In his response Dr. Tukur applauded the relationship between Nigeria and Canada and expressed optimism that the relationship will get stronger with the establishment of a bilateral commission between the two countries. He appealed to the Ambassador look into the possibility of reducing the difficulties experienced by Nigerians in obtaining Canadian visa to enhance free movement of persons between the two countries. Tukur also declared that PDP intends to establish relationship with the ruling party in Canada in other to strengthen institutions in the country. "I intend to knock at the doors of all the ruling parties for areas where we have mutual interest".

peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has described the death of the former chairman of the defunct Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), Justice Victor OvieWhiskey, as a great loss to the nation. In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal said the deceased served the country diligently as the Chief Justice of the former Bendel State and later as its electoral umpire. The Speaker said of particular interest to him is the unassuming manner with which the deceased lived his retirement life where he neither courted undue publicity nor unwarranted controversy. According to Tambuwal "He was an icon of the legal profession who served Nigeria selflessly as its Chief Electoral Umpire. I remember him for his calm disposition and mature contributions which helped Nigeria's electoral process between 1980 and 1983 when the military took over power. "His death is therefore a great loss not only to his immediate family but to Nigeria as a nation. By his death, our country has once again lost an elder statesman." While praying for the repose of the soul of the deceased, Tambuwal also prayed to God to give his family the fortitude to bear the loss. Similarly, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has mourned the death of the former Chief Judge of the defunct Bendel State. In a condolence message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Oshiomhole said "our thoughts are with the Ovie Whiskey family at this difficult moment. However, much as we mourn, his departure deserves to be celebrated in full compliment to his worthy life. "As Chief Judge of the defunct Bendel State, Ovie Whiskey provided exceptional leadership qualities which endeared him to the Federal Government leading to his appointment as Chairman of the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO). "Justice Ovie Whiskey will be sorely missed, not only by members of his family but also by the Bar and Bench in Edo and Delta states. "His footprints will remain indelible in the sands of Nigeria's history as he contributed his quota to the nation's democracy. We pray to God to grant him peaceful repose and grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss."

Okehi LG brazes the trail for others in Kogi From Sam Egwu, Lokoja


iaison Officer 11 of Okehi local government in Kogi state, Muktar Atima, has reiterated the readiness of the officers in-charge of the area to turn around the LG into a viable economic and political avenue. Atima made the disclosure with his colleague Liaison Officer 1, in Lokoja Kogi state capital yesterday stating that they would make Okehi LG a trail-blazer for other local government areas in the state

to emulate. Explaining, the journalist turned politician noted that time had come for enlightened minds who are ready to work for the people to take the center stage, stressing that the state governor, Capt. Idris Wada has opened the horizon for people to key in. He averred that if the grassroots where the higher population lives are taken care of, the state government would have opportunity to work harder just as she argued that because individuals with

different responsibility abandoned them explains why there are problems here and there. While urging the youths in the state to shun criminal activities and key-in to transformation agenda of the government, Atima noted it would pay more when fully engaged than waiting for others to show the way. He urged the youths to avail themselves of the opportunity created by Capt Wada administration. The Liason Officer 11 of Okehi said that

as a journalist he had an analytical mind to re-direct, re-focus and bring government nearer to the people of his area through conscious articulation of interface with the people with a view to knowing their immediate problems. "Together with my LO 1, we shall try to present Okehi local government to other local government areas in the state as a model where priority attention should be given to the grassroots where development and dividends of democracy should start from".


18th NSF: Amputee footballers beg NSC for participation


ome Amputee footballers have appealed to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to feature their games on a demonstrational basis at the forthcoming 18 th National Sports Festival in Lagos. The athletes, who made the appeal yesterday at the National Stadium, said that allowing them to demonstrate their game would ginger support for it as well as give them a sense of belonging. Dare Kokoye, a goalkeeper, said that he and his team mates had started training in anticipation of a favourable response to their request by the NSC. “We are yearning to display our God-given talent through amputee football at the National Sports Festival, but this can only be possible if the sport receives the approval of the organising

committee,’’ he said. Kokoye said that amputee sport talents scattered across the length and breadth of the country needed to be harnessed and groomed to stardom. His colleague, Ugochukwu Obieze, a striker, also said that amputee athletes needed to be meaningfully engaged in a vocation that would keep them away from mischief, hence their recourse to football. “Amputee footballers are using this medium to tell people that we can make meaningful contribution to nation building in spite of our physical state,’’ he said. Obieze wondered why amputee football could not be considered as one of the events that will feature at the sports festival, and implored


the NSC to accord it recognition. Chimobi Michael, an outfielder player, also asked why the local authorities were ignoring the sport which is recognised by the international Olympic Committee (IOC).

“Since we featured at the Nation’s Cup in Ghana, it does not speak well of the National Sports Commission that we are not part of our own National Sports festival, during which more talents can be discovered,’’

he said. Michael said the participation of amputees at the festival would help to arouse the interest of others who are yearning for a viable medium to showcase their talents.

Ikhana vows to guide Super Falcons to retain AWC title

By Patrick Andrew


adiri Ikhana, the coach of the Super Falcons, said the countries drawn with Nigeria would not prevent the defending champions from retaining its title as African women champions. the finals in Equatorial Guinea,” The coach, who was reacting he said. for the first since the draw in Ikhana said that Falcons’ South Africa that the Super opening match with the Falcons with the Indomitable Indomitable Lionesses of Lionesses of Cameroon, Cote Cameroon would boost d’Ivoire and Ethiopia confidence in the team. counterparts in Group B for the “The first match is always the Women 8 th African toughest one, so I am pleased Championship (AWC), said there that we will face Cameroon in will be no stopping the Falcons. our opening fixture. If we can “Although the group is a tough outplay them, it will be to our one, Nigeria will work hard to advantage because it will boost defend her title. We have been the team’s confidence ahead of drawn in a very strong the other matches. ’’ group and we have to The opening match of the be well prepared to championship will be between progress to the semihosts, Equatorial Guinea and finals and the final. Banyana Banyana of South “Cameroon are Africa on October 28 in Malabo. good. They are The other teams in Group A are ranked second in Senegal and Congo DR. ts Africa and we o l p ing t w o x Falcons’ match against the i have to f h matc t h e l a s t s t h e Indomitable Lionesses of remember that d e g a e of all en t a l l v e g Cameroon is scheduled for Bata e they stopped a v n a i y h a or ha ed t onit riors s tod on Oct. 29. The AWC will hold very good War l o s e m i n L a g o s d e c l a r i s m o c e a from October 28 to November s g Esther Sunday, Falcon Ghana side on n h e a a a am i a t i o n ly. l K want e L ara 11. rent up g n th c their way to reliable players a n d ration C l l A s s o c o n c u r p o i n t s i h i l e K w o f a s d w e b r d e d t , u y n s Fe e F o o e p l a rou oint th fo Stat s will b cond wi n two p fter two tition. ke s o e o g a e e a p s h s La com re to t a are third oint matc the Kanemi FC are n any p the cup anemi a le Kwar e n tt of K ar El Crow yet to e phase day, El C will ba r o m t h e , p u p f h o F t t u o n h gro e d a r e r d m c w at ro eg fro ate Unit hes in th group m , while C e l i m i n second s l d c r rs a t y n a n l a m Pil Pilla e fi read rst a By Albert Akota ano uguri In th ers Kano a r e a l s-the fi K s igeria’s Flying am f i n a l s . ad w h o icate of Maid will e e t l n apparent move to checkmate another round of age-cheat saga, the Nigeria d n o n i o Eagles will go up Tw A, ho rs d rter Football Federation, (NFF) has dragged 18 U-15 players to the Golden n i t e ionship. the qua e state F Warrio gbomos Legacy U O against their p e th r mi Eaglets after consultations with the technical crews of both teams. champ will fo gned by l-Kane n FC of rin at th E i o Rwanda counterparts, the w l u s at I o h o h The Golden Eaglets, who have been in camp under the tutelage of Manu e r t f t i s gr C o a w d e e l C e g e way. l l A re k horns m whil nited F ere. Junior Wasps in a friendly Garba ahead of the Africa Junior Championship, were recently sent on a a ul diu loc me aU Zana recess after going through the Magnetic Resonance Imaging, (MRI) in Abuja. on July 24 in Kigali. will ege Sta th Kwar um, Sur mmed their ga s reached g i o a Speaking to Peoples Daily Sports in Abuja, Chief Coach of the under 15, at A it out wi al Stad n Moh o throw air. It ha teams t The match against Rwanda a t f n f rs e g o m a a d i h l u r t t e l l i e Danladi Nasidi, said that he did not object to the decision because the lads i a i e s f a r P d o N h g is part of the Flying Eagles’ t r c , a e s o i h have what it takes to excel in the Golden Eaglets. Pitc Kanem bs have be a do e for on e again preparation for the 2013 El the clu ld not ng don ur gam truth According to him, the players had gone through the developmental ou is bei t of t h e of do h l n s Africa Youth Championship e u e l l n o f m a g o h programmes of the NFF from U-13 to U-15 under his watch and would e b o s n l t i e rs d “Foo everyth p stage leged. qualifier against Tanzania’s ys an r g a n i s e t o g u a r therefore not be found wanting in the higher cadre of the cadet a u l t w o a a l r o us th s t t h e g , ” Z a n a here is a o n t h e g a m e s Ngorongoro Heroes on July 28 championship. a w t ye g o p i n a d r a umour, c a l l i n g t h e l a s t ayio However, he appealed to in Dar es Salaam. e Ol o s i n g d i n d every r e r e f o r e o n i t o r j e A l coaches Manu Garba, Emmanuel s a l The Junior Wasps have already a r on “In a m t h p t o m uso Amuneke and Nduka Ugbade to r Ol e r u m o u v e r n o r . I u e . c C t i beaten the Ngorongoro Heroes i f o m n of th in o f G he tea e exercise patience and allow the ratio .” edia h in twice in friendly games on F e d e s t s u c h wara m n o t r u t e w r a t h t i v a t e t t h a t w , boys to gradually acclimatize h o e n K s i t s u i e , a m r Saturday and Monday by 2-0 and ag ever t there y i n c u r best to . It is t two gam with their peers in the Golden w o H t ue m a e his tha 2-1 respectively. ot tr g the firs . n Eaglets. ted m a t c h e n s o i d s m s i in i r d ho has our, it er losin smissed h i r d g a u r The Rwandans are using the test h “My advice for the U-17 t t o t h e eam, w e rum ion aft ” he di the r w i t h the t Coach Manu Garba is to be game against Nigeria to prepare for , n t i e i r t y e e o m w f p h p t in m to ap ay sa patience with the boys and their AYC qualifier against Mali on July “It i of the co de to pl e m n e d s n o t h ave to w dence. i i i d t f h r u n n p r r e o allow them to gradually o 28. are e have e a r e c o v e r n o . So, w their co can incu w s G m get into his team if he t n w n t i i a a e u b The Nigerian Under20s are expected r f tat e te fact rega g as wants to get best from “ I n e o u r s o too ou iday to vastatin rted th e are to leave the nation for Kigali on Monday po de u s n c e , s wn Fr l. W p a l e u c them because the e b s e w b a o has do ould before flying into Dar es Salaam for the orm t Cr tournament they are perf agains Crown w ause he ough to y.” c e a AYC qualifier. going to feature in is gam o lose to rath be ayers en on Frid l w p y “T r s Algeria are the hosts of the 2013 AYC different and time is too favourable. ’ e o r t h c o t i ed tv ern Their ages are genuine, they physically fit, G o v m o t i v a t outrigh and seven teams are expected to reach the quite pacy, and eager to play. What he needs now is a n d for an championship next year after two-legged Emmanuel Amuneke, Golden oing to know is the psychology of the boys,” he said. g games are concluded in August. Eaglets’ Assistant Coach

Flying Eagles face Rwanda in tuneup


e s i a r i ie t m p e u n c a r K e l v E o m r ala


NFF sends 18 U-15 players to Golden Eaglets




Sunshine Stars battle ready for Etoile du Sahe, says Akinbobola


he Special Adviser on Sports to the Ondo State governor, Akin Akinbobola, says that Sunshine Stars FC of Akure can still make an impact in the CAF Champions League, in spite of its shaky start. Akinbobola said on Wednesday, in Lagos, that the team was currently working hard to improve on its outlook in its subsequent group stage matches. According to him, the team will not take

chances as they travel to Tunisia to engage Etoile du Sahel, the second Tunisian team in Group A of the ongoing CAF Champions League on July 21. The special adviser urged the club’s fans to pray for the players and wished them luck. “The team is well prepared for the task that lies ahead; they have been in closed camp training as they strive for the maximum points at stake. “We have told our boys

that if they could defeat us at home with the home support, then we should be able to go all out and defeat Etoile de Sahel in Tunisia to get even. “All we are asking from Nigerians is for them to pray for us, so that luck will not run against us like it did at Ijebu-Ode,’’ Akinbobola said. He regretted the numerous chances the Sunshine Stars failed to convert against Esperance, the CAF Champions League’s defending champions,

when they met a fortnight ago in IjebuOde. “We kept hitting the bar; in football you need some element of luck to win a match. For instance, Arsenal play good football, but they have not won any trophy in a long while,’’ he noted. Sunshine Stars will lock horns with Etoile du Sahel of Tunisia on July 21 in Tunis, in the second round of matches in Group A of the ongoing CAF Champions League Competition.

NFF re-affirms AWC trophy target By Albert Akota


he Nigeria Football Federation, (NFF) has reaffirmed its commitment to facilitate the Super Falcons retention of the African Women Championship (AWC) trophy in South Africa and has resolved to provide the necessary logistics to the team’s technical crew for this to be realized. The football federation’s director of technical Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme who disclosed this in Abuja, said that the football house is fully aware of the Herculean task ahead and has subsequently urged all concern to redouble efforts to achieve the desired success. He reassured that the federation would provide the enabling environment to the team to ensure that the players were properly shaped up for the challenges ahead and added that severally friendly games would be organized for the team to test its mental and physical

strength before the finals in Equatorial Guinea. Nigeria have been drawn alongside Cameroun, Cote d’ Ivoire and Ethiopia to compete for the ulmost prize along with other contestants in the finals scheduled for Equatorial Guinea in November. “It an interesting draw couple with the fact that Africa football is coming of age, haven’t say that to me as a person, Super Falcons is still the best in the continent, we lost out in Olympics and the All Africa Games that is by gone. “They played well by becoming Africa champion throughout the qualifier, we (the NFF) have to prepare very well because every team want to beat Nigeria, and the team led by Kadiri Ikhana started very well by bring flash legs into the team and also retained some old legs because you can’t do without experience. “They have done theirs, we must give enabling environment and the necessary logistics to ensure

Esther Sunday, Stella Mbachu, members of the Super Falcons

Lagos Country Club hosts international squash tourney


he best three of the 32 players participating in the ongoing Carglolux/Global Men’s Squash Closed tournament at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, will represent the club in an international competition at the weekend. TayeIge, the chairman of the club’s squash section, disclosed this on Wednesday in Lagos, while disclosing that the club would also be hosting a two-day international competition, slated to hold between today and Saturday. He said that the three best players would compete against their counterparts from the Ibadan Recreation Club, as well as Ghana and Luxemburg, adding that the

invited countries and the club will also feature three players each. Ige explained that the international competition was being organised to promote squash in the country. “The game of squash has nosedived in the country, both at the national and club levels. On our part, we are trying the best we can to ensure the growth of the game,” he said. The chairman said that fabulous prizes would be awarded to winners in the two tournaments. He lauded Cargolux/Global over its sponsorship of the competition in the past eight years. Hanical Hadison, the captain of the squash section, described the competition as one of the most competitive in the club.

Godfrey Oboabana, Sunshine Stars’ skipper nothing short from victory because we are the giant of Africa women’s football, “he said. Peoples Daily Sports recalled that the Cameroon Indomitable Lionesses stopped Super Falcons from the London 2012 Olympic Games football event that will look like a hindrance to the team to advance, but Ikpeme noted that. “Cameroun will be at the Olympics, they stopped us and that’s the reason we must reprimand them when we meet at the AWC. The competition will run from October 28 - November 11 while Falcons will kick-off their title defence on October 29 against bitter rivals, the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroun.

Mancha blasts Baribote’s NPL


ormer Nigeria international, Patrick Mancha, has lambasted the leadership of the Nigeria premier League for failing to give proper leadership to the league body and thus ensuring that the best teams emerge winners. Mancha, who regretted the shoddy manner the league is being run, said from the look of things that it would be difficult for the best team to win the league and thus give the country effective c o n t i n e n t a l representation. In apparent reference to allegation against the chairman of the NPL, Victor Baribote, who is alleged to have aided the promotion of Nembe FC to the elite league, a club said to be financed by him, Mancha declared that so long as things were not properly done so long would Nigerian clubs continue to fail at the international level. Mancha, who played for the Super Eagles between 1993 and 2002, said a lot had changed in the domestic football scene. “Things are different now compared to when I played in the (NPL). The politics now makes it such that the league title goes to the team with the most amount of money; the highest bidder and not necessarily the best side,” Mancha told Mancha said the trend

had a negative effect in football in Nigeria as teams without the financial muscle to compete will always be sitting ducks. “Teams that have no sponsors and those that do not have money to throw around will always suffer because they find it almost impossible to win anything. It’s a sorry state of affairs,” he said. Mancha, who currently holds the reins at Nigeria National League (NNL) side, Plateau United, also took the time to x-ray the chances of his team at the ongoing Federation Cup, currently at its round of 16 stage. “We lost our first game against (champions) Heartland because of a single mistake. It won’t happen again. We have two more games and I am sure we will qualify for the knockout stage of the competition,” he stated.

Victor Baribote, NPL Chairman



Clubs have approached me, Skrtel

Liverpool set for £10m Dempsey

iverpool defender Martin Skrtel has admitted receiving offers to move to other clubs and said: “Anything can happen.” Skrtel, 27 - who won the Player of the Year award as Liverpool finished in a disappointing eighth position last season - is reported to be frustrated by the club’s failure to challenge for the Premier League title. Speculation suggests that champions Manchester City are interested in signing the Slovakian international although his agent, Karol Csonto, had previously insisted his client was staying at Anfield. Skrtel praised the new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who took over from Kenny Dalglish earlier in the summer, saying he had created a more relaxed atmosphere at the club. Rodgers, meanwhile, has confirmed that he would be interested in bringing midfielder Joe Allen to Liverpool from his former club Swansea.

iverpool has been told to stump up £10m for Clint Dempsey. The Reds were embarrassed yesterday when a report on their American owner’s website claimed the US international had become their latest signing. Liverpool is interested in Dempsey, 29, and is weighing up a £5m bid as he is in the final year of his contract. Rodgers said: “Clint is a player we’ve -inquired about, it is as simple as that. Ian Ayre, our managing director, has spoken with the club to see what the position is. That is where we’re at.








Aly Cissokho

Newcastle lose ground on Lyon star


apoli and Inter Milan have edged ahead of Newcastle in the chase to land Lyon full-back Aly Cissokho. The 24-year-old is tipped to leave the French side this summer after four seasons at the Ligue 1 club. Newcastle is interested in Cissokho, but the defender’s agent, Fabrizio Ferrari, believes his client will move to Serie A. Lyon are still awaiting a suitable offer, but we are confident that the boy can get to Italy, but currently there is no relevant news,” Ferrari is quoted as saying on Italian website Cissokho came close to joining Inter’s rivals AC Milan in the summer of 2009, but that move fell through after medical revealed concerns over the left-back’s teeth. Milan medical officials believed Cissokho’s dental problems signified potential spinal issues.

Fergie confidence of landing Van Persie


anchester United boss believes RVP will snub interest from neighbours City and Italian champs Juventus and link up with Wayne Rooney Manchester United believes they have won the £20million race to sign

Robin van Persie

Robin van Persie. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is confident the Arsenal captain will team up with Wayne Rooney to form a formidable strikeforce in a rebuilt side he hopes can win back the title. Howdy pardner: Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie in tandem? Frightening! Manchester United Van Persie scored 30 Premier League goals last term to help the Gunners to third in the table, while Rooney struck 27 times for United. Ferguson is understood to have told footballing friends he believes van Persie will be moving to Old Trafford, despite the interest of money-bags Premier League champions Manchester City and Italian league winners Juventus.

AVB: Modric can go for •40 million


ottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has warned Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain they must pay the full asking price for Luka Modric •40 million. Modric’s future has been the subject of speculation for 12 months, with Villas-Boas former club Chelsea close to signing the Croatia international last year. Real Madrid is reportedly leading the charge for his signature this summer, but Villas-Boas insists Spurs are willing to hold out for an offer they deem adequate. Tottenham are seeking a £35 million transfer fee for Modric, but a Spurs source told ESPN: “Chairman Danel Levy won’t be selling Luka Modric for £35 million. Clubs who are interested know that they would need to move closer to £40 million if they want to buy the player.

Blues must pay £10m for Moses


igan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan has issued an ultimatum to Chelsea to meet his £10 million valuation on Victor Moses or end their pursuit of the player. Whelan has rejected Chelsea’s approaches three times and now claims he has reached the end of the line. “They need to pay the

brass up front, we don’t want any part exchange deals they have offered. Chelsea has so far offered £4 million and a choice of one of their fringe players either on loan, or a player to the value of that sum. Chelsea will pay cash because we are not interested in picking up one of their players on loan or in part exchange.

“They know the price for Moses; we are looking to reach £10 million if that means £8 million cash and some add-ons, that fine, and as the lad knows that we want him to stay but that we won’t stand in his way either. He will worth £15 million or £20 million after a few months with a club like Chelsea.

Victor Moses

Chelsea in for Marseille, Spain star


Liverpool lost out on Gylfi Sigurdsson, who joined Tottenham, and will be loath to let another key target slip by. Dempsey was Fulham’s main man last season, and was fourth on the Football -Writers’ footballer of the year list. Boss Martin Jol is desperate to keep him, having seen Andy Johnson, Pavel -Pogrebnyak and ex-captain Danny Murphy quit Craven Cottage this summer. He wants to bring in a third front man and has been linked with moves for West Ham’s Carlton Cole and out-of-favour Liverpool striker Andy Carroll.


The season is over. Clubs are counting their blessing as well as losses and would like to make amends and even beef up their squads where noticeable lapses exist. And the transfer market is agog barely 24 hours after major European leagues dropped the curtain. And so to keep abreast with latest rumours, we begin daily doses of movements within the market both for players and coaches like.


Cesar Azpilicueta

helsea has resumed talks with Marseille over £7m-rated Spanish right back Cesar Azpilicueta, 22. The former Osasuna man has long been admired by Premier League clubs, and Chelsea made an initial enquiry in January before relenting as Andre Villas-Boas’ position became more strained. Mark Hughes also tried to sign the youth

international while he was at Manchester City, sending scouts to watch him on more than one occasion. Azpilicueta is part of Spain’s Olympic squad who are in Britain preparing to complete a clean sweep of major international honours. The gold medal favourites open their campaign in Glasgow on July 26 against Japan at Hampen Park before

Group D games against Honduras in Newcastle and Morocco in Manchester. Meanwhile, Brazil midfielder Oscar passed a medical and is on the brink of completing his £25m move to Stamford Bridge from Internacional. Shakhtar Donetsk has also encouraged Chelsea to improve their £26m bid for midfielder Willian after pulling him out of a game against Arsenal Kiev.


NSC warns against loitering in National Stadium


ayo Oreweme, the Lagos liaison Officer of the National Sports Commission (NSC), has warned athletes using the National Stadium facilities for their workout, to desist from loitering around after training. Oreweme, who gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday, said that the measure was to reduce the level of abuse the facilities were being subjected to. She warned that athletes who flouted the directive would have themselves to blame because the stadium’s security details would ensure compliance. “We have boldly placed the different training sessions for the day on a notice board for athletes to be aware of and comply accordingly,’’ Oreweme said. She said that appropriate security measures approved by the management had been put in place to prevent athletes and miscreants from sleeping in the National Stadium after their training sessions. “The management is very serious about this issue; the National Stadium is meant for training and not a residential apartment, so we have concluded arrangement to take the bull by the horn. “We have told security men to monitor movement of athletes, because anybody found sleeping after normal training hours will be arrested and handed over to the police,’’ she said. The liaison officer said that the move would prevent athletes from exposing their system to danger, adding, “the weather might not suit their body system because of the breeze,’’. Oreweme said that security officers had been positioned at designated locations within the stadium environment, and would be working both in the morning and night. She said the security men had been instructed to comb all the nooks and crannies of the stadium to fish out anybody hiding in the premises.

Umpire tells ping pongers to exert experience at Olympics


table tennis umpire, Ranti Lajide, has advised Nigerian players to the London 2012 Olympics to bring their personal experiences to bear in their competition for a successful outing at the Games. Lajide said yesterday in Lagos that with their experience as foreign-based professionals they should let their experience speak for them at the London Games stressing that they are capable of securing podium honours. “They have been exposed to series of international competitions, so they should apply their experiences and commitment to make the country proud,’’ he said. Two females, Funke Oshonaike and Offiong Edem and two males, Segun Toriola and Aruna Quadri, are representing Nigeria in the table tennis event at the Games billed to be held from July 27 through Aug. 12. He also advised the “ping-pongers” to take advantage of the Olympics to boost their personal profile, adding: “it’s a Game where athletes also show their talent.” Lajide, who is also the Secretary of Nigeria Table Tennis Umpires Association, deplored the team’s preparation for the Games noting that preparations of the players started when other participating countries were rounding off theirs. Lajide said the preparations ought to have commenced at the end of the 2008 Beijing Games and officials and athletes would have had enough time to maximise their training. “The truth is that our preparations are not adequate for the magnitude of such global Games; we started preparations barely six months ago, victory is not by magic,’’ he added. He said that Olympic Games were about a process which must be followed strictly to put athletes on the right track for success.


Federation Cup: Emordi blames Green for Rangers’ shocked exit


angers’ Head Coach was visibly angry on Wednesday after his team’s shocking exit from the Federation Cup and promptly attributed the defeat to Sharks to the Nigeria Football Federation’s technical sub-committee chairman, Barrister Chris Green. Emordi, who declined to speak at the post-match conference simply retorted when pressured to comment on the match, “I will not comment on the match. You guys can go and write what you saw or interview Chris Green, the Nigeria Football Association’s Technical Committee Chairman”, he in apparent reference to the probably influence of Green on the officiating officials. Green is the chairman of the Rivers State FA and is one of the powerful members of the NFF Executive Committee. Not a few believe that Green, whose words, rightly or wrongly, exert lots of influence on officials, may have to pleased by certain officials to guarantee being assigned subsequently to refer in matches. His presence at the venue of the game, Emordi inferred, may have influenced the match in favour of Sharsk. Emordi may also have referred to the manner in which a penalty was awarded against his team in the 90th minute of the game allowing former Heartland and Warri Wolves defender Thankgod Ike who now plays for Sharks to step forward and convert to give the Port Harcourt-based team the much desired victory. The win ensured Rangers exit from the fiesta in which they had hoped to win to secure a double. The coal citybased team are five points adrift of their nearest rivals on the NPL log and had hoped to add the Federation Cup to what they assumed is already in the kitty. However, Green, declined to speak on the matter stressing, “It will not be fair if I comment on the officiating. The coordinator of the referees is here and I am not the Federation Cup Committee Chairman,’’ Green said. Sharks, who scored the winning goal with the penalty kick in the 90 th minute, had earlier scored through a penalty kick by Victor Ezeji in the 45 th minute and a shot from Gomo Onduku in the 60th minute. Rangers also scored two goals through Ugonna Ugochukwu in the 58th minute and Chikelura Ofuedu’s penalty kick in the 78th minute.

Okey Emordi, Rangers Coach

Chris Green, NFF, Chairman Technical Subcommittee

Dstv Basketball League

8 teams ready for final showdown in Lagos


he eight teams participating in the DStv Men’s Basketball League Final, scheduled to hold from July 23 through July 28 in Lagos, have expressed readiness for the super-8 challenge that is meant to produce the best among them. The teams, four each from the Atlantic and the Savannah Conferences, are expected in Lagos tomorrow for the preliminaries of the championship to would be held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium,

Lagos. Teams, which qualified from the Atlantic Conference qualifiers are the defending champions, Royal Hoopers, Port Harcourt; Dodan Warriors, Lagos; Lagos Islanders, and the Police Baton of Lagos. Their opponents from the Savannah Conference are Kano Pillars; Yelwa Hawks, Bauchi; Niger Potters, Minna, and Kada Stars of Kaduna. Coach Ogoh Odaudu of Hoopers said yesterday that his players were in top form and would

Kano Pillars Basketball team

settle for nothing but the title. “We resumed training in our base last week, and I believe we are set and good to retain the trophy for the 2011/12 season. We have been working hard, and I believe our efforts would be crowned with success at the end of the tournament,’’ Odaudu said. Coach Mark Balogun of Police Baton said that the team’s main goal was to improve on their previous record. “We qualified for the final

eight last in 2010; we failed to qualify last year. Now that we are in the final eight this year, our ambition is to qualify for the final four. As part of our preparation, we will be playing our second trial match with the Lagos Islanders on today (yesterday),” he said. Coach Emma Okolo of Lagos Islanders said that his team would approach every match with all seriousness. “I believe the end result of hard work is success; we have put in our best to make sure we better our performance and I believe we are going to end victorious,” he said. Also speaking, Coach Sanni Ahmed of Kano Pillars said that his team was set to reclaim the trophy which it had won three times in the past. “We were in the fourth position last season. However, we are set this season to reclaim the trophy we had previously won three times,” Ahmed said. He said that his team had been in camp for the past two weeks and that they were rounding-up their preparation for the challenges ahead.



Who has done this to NPL?


he Nigerian Premier League has been ranked as the strongest African league for 2012 and is 24th in the world. That's hardly believable. Indeed, how hollow that sounds considering all the brouhaha and rudderless nature of the Nigerian domestic league. Well, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics who assessed the performances of the clubs from January 1 to July 10 2012, the Nigerian league is the best in Africa. The IFHHS added points won in all continental competitions by the five best placed clubs of the Nigerian Premier League. Last month, two Nigerian clubs Enyimba FC and Sunshine Stars were named in the 2012 top ten club rankings for Africa. They say statistics don't lie, but it may betray human inadequacies in terms of computation and the facts on ground. Facts, especially academic facts, often don't cohere with the realities on ground. In the case of Nigeria, the statistics are surely heartwarming but no less


hristophe Lemaitre hopes to break the stranglehold of the Jamaican and American in the 100m and 200m at the London Olympics. The 22-year old sprinter believes he has the capacity to tackle the likes of Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay among others at the London Games. The French sprinter, who became the first white sprinter to break the symbolic 10sec barrier in 2010 and whose fastest time is 9.92sec, heads to London as an underdog despite his outstanding performance in

incredulous. The domestic league in all sense of modesty is hardly up the pedestal the statistics may have imposed upon it. That's perusing the statistics beyond the bare fact of clubs' involvement in continental campaigns. True, two seasons ago, Kano Pillars and Heartland were in the semifinals of the CAF Champions League, with the latter narrowly missed a sip from the prestigious trophy. Had that happened whatever rating would have been justified. Notwithstanding, that Pillars and Heartland got to the last four of Africa's illustrious clubs championship was perhaps a statement on its own about the potency of Nigerian teams. In subsequent campaigns even uptil this moment, Nigerian clubs are a recurrent decimal in continental fiesta. It's been that way for decades forget that it was until in 2003 that Enyimba FC broke years of jinx by winning the prestigious CAF Champions League and became one of the few clubs to retain same the following season. So, in terms of accumulation of statistics for clubs' continental participation

Nigeria had never been found wanting. However, it's quite curious that Nigeria Premier League is ranked the best in Africa and this at a moment when the league in all modesty has gone awry. Yes, there is an elite league. Well, largely in name because certain indices would qualify and justify whatever classification a league is placed. Unfortunately, not so the NPL. Some four years ago it was ranked third and yet many raised eyebrow because facts on ground then and even more now were clearly to the contrary. Four years on rather than advanced the league has retrogressed beyond words. Then, there was a sponsor, clubs were rewarded nomatter how minute such remuneration was. Players had a semblance of protection because there was a compulsory insurance policy. States were made accountable and therefore salary arrears were not frowned at but spurned with Aristocratic disdain. Defaulting clubs had to pay through their noses when found wanting and fined. It did much to dissuade deliberate contempt for established rule

of engagement of the players and officials. (Now as at the last count 11 clubs were indebted to their players and officials) Then, there was obvious sense of purpose and direction, albeit Chief Oyuki Obaseki was allegedly highhanded in some instances. Better than a lame dog leadership that neither clear disdain for shrewd yes, Nembe FC must arrive in barks nor roars: complacent administration. the elite division whether and tolerable of illicit manners, No, it's not about the deserved or not. especially that which borders players or even coaches. It's The point is, gloating in this on crass disdain for more about having the knack so-called high rating is established rules of conduct. to organise, the will to alter misplaced. It's a terrible harm Yes, the league exists and the course positively, that done to the NPL, because its enjoys reasonable hype. But determination to depart from failed leadership will rather that's where it ends. What you the mundane and strive on the use the false statistics and see are mere chaffs, no plane of modernity and rating as basis to beat their substance, bereft of the international best practice in chest, even as the league ingredients necessary to mien and acts. remains mired in its backward ginger crowd patronage, No, there are players of state. sponsorships and shrewd quality, coaches willing to Nigeria's league is a administration. adapt and adopt technical mockery. No, not in terms of Yes, that's the bane. The nuances as applicable players' ability or that of the domestic lacks leadership, elsewhere for the good of the coaches but the body to lead administration, is devoid of game. But there is no tenable and direct to the Promise Land vision, focus, and derives its leadership at the apex: a or something close to it as was notoriety mainly from irritant leadership that ought to have done by Obaseki. altercation over personal learnt from the inadequacies See now, what irony! That aggrandizement. of Obaseki, and insist on which is ugly adorns in One sees a bunch that repositioning the league for elegance. What ugliness professes competence but upward surge. there will be when it is daily assailed one's sensibility Sadly, rather than this one disrobed? And that time will with hackneyed attitude and is aghast by the selfish quest, come soonest.

WATCH DOG By Patrick Andrew

Lemaitre to dare Bolt, Blake, Powell in London for sprint gold Helsinki, where he set his record. The 22-year-old two-time European 100 metres champion and 2010 200m victor has yet to decide whether he will compete in both sprint distances or focus solely on the 200m. However, he gave a pretty clear hint after running the third fastest time of the year in the event of 19.91 in the 200m at last weekend’s London Diamond League meet. He believes he can take on the Jamaicans and the

Americans - so long as he doesn’t go to sleep in the blocks! “Normally I will run the 200m, yes. I will probably give the 100m a miss. Unless there is a change of plan, where Pierrot (Carraz his coach) is eager to put me into the mix (for the 100m). Maybe at the next Games (Rio-2016) I will do both,” said Lemaitre. Lemaitre, who has carried on studying at the University of Savoie where

he is undertaking a technological degree in electrical engineering and industrial computer science, will certainly not be losing any sleep over the challenges ahead as he usually sleeps for 10 hours a night. Lemaitre, who is a keen footballer and a devoted fan of Marseille whose 2010 title victory he called ‘almost as powerful’ a moment for him as his own winning of the three European gold medals (his third gold was the

4x100m relay to victory), plumped for athletics at the relatively late age of 15. He was discovered by coach and talent spotter Jean-Pierre Nehr when at a fete in Belley, a town in eastern France not far from his birthplace of Annecy, he ran over 50m. The 200m Lemaitre will be a live prospect to deliver France’s first medal in the event at an Olympics since Abdoulaye Seye’s bronze in Rome in 1960.

Christophe Lemaitre

I will be fulfilled going to Glasgow 2014, says boxer It’s win or retire for egun Olalehin, an Ondo would be the ultimate stage defending champion in the the status of the defending State boxer preparing for him to showcase his Welter Weight division champion. Nashiro, who is 30 years Nashiro for the forthcoming talents and do the country having “I am ready to defend my won in the old, won the title in July ormer WBA super-


flyweight champion Nobuo Nashiro will fight Tepparith Singwangcha of Thailand in September. Singwangcha, who now holds the belt, will travel to Osaka to meet the Japanese challenger on September 1, Nashiro’s handlers said in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Tepparith Singwangcha, WBA Super-flyweight champion

2006 and retained it until his loss to Hugo Cazares in May 2010. The two had drawn seven months earlier. “It will be my last fight as a challenger. If I lose, I’m going to retire. I’m determined to pour everything I have into it. I don’t want to regret anything,” said Nashiro, who is 14th on the WBA’s ranking list. The 23-year-old Tepparith became the interim champion in May last year and was promoted to full champion in November. Japan’s Tomonobu Shimizu, who had held the title, was in recess then because of an eye injury. Tepparith defeated Japan’s Daiki Kameda in December in his first defence of the title, and then won a unification match against Shimizu by a technical knockout in April.


Sports 18th National Festival, has said that he will use the competition to actualise his dream of featuring in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Segun, who disclosed this in Akure, said that the Commonwealth Games

proud. “I have won medals for the country before, but I will be more fulfilled if given the chance to be in the next Commonwealth Games,” he said. Segun, who is the current National Sports Festival

Sports 17th National Festival, said that he would defend his title in a creditable manner. “I have been representing Ondo State at the amateur level, and in the last National Sports Festival, I won a gold medal and I intend to retain

welter weight title in this coming festival, so that people will know that I am a champion and I can do it at the International level,” he said. The next Commonwealth Games is slated to hold in Glasgow, Scotland in 2014.

NNWL plans to appoint 40 assessors for Div. One’s final matches


s part of efforts to checkmate under table dealings in the final matches in Division One, the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) said yesterday in Abuja that it would appoint 40 independent assessors to assess the matches. The chairman of the NNWL board, Ahmed Kawu, said that the organisers want to ensure that the season ends on a credible note and as such would spare nothing to ginger fairness in all the centres. “These assessors are for the remaining one round of matches, and the move is in order to avoid match-fixing, as well as to ensure we have a credible end to our season,’’ he said. Kawu said that, in spite of the financial constraints facing the league board, the NNWL had remained the best organised competition in recent times. “We have been trying our best, in spite of the situation we have found ourselves in, and this is why we have always been striving to ensure we do our things very well,’’ he said.

The NNWL board chairman, who is also a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board, however, called on multinationals and other corporate organisations to come to the league’s aid. “This will help us to develop the league, and Nigerian football as a whole from the grassroot level,’’ he said. Kawu, who praised the NFF leadership for its support and co-operation with the NNWL board, also commended the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, for his support. “The I-G and his men have helped in providing adequate security towards successful and hitch-free league matches across the country. “In spite of the security challenges facing the country, the NNWL has been organising its league matches across the country without reports of any ugly incident at match venues,’’ he said. The NNWL is the lowest rung of Nigerian football league ladder with three divisions, involving more than 128 clubs.

. . . putting the people first

FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012

QUO TABLE Q UO TE UOT QUO UOTE Why, as a senior militar y of military offficer icer,, did you choose to break the law instead of pr eser ving it? preser eserving — Go v. F ashola to Colonel Gov Fashola

SPORTS Civilian rule: Few gains, many pains LA TEST LATEST

Rafael Nadal withdraws from Olympics


efending Olympic champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of London 2012, saying he is "not in condition" to compete. The 26-year-old is suffering from tendinitis of the knee and will be unable to defend the singles title he won in Beijing in 2008. "I do not find myself in a condition to compete," he said. "It is one of the saddest moments of my career." "Nadal's ecstatic reaction to his gold medal in Beijing was one of the great memories from the games of four years ago. He left everyone inside the stadium in no doubt about how much Olympic tennis meant to him. But Nadal is still struggling with his long-term knee complaint and now plans to return on the American hard courts, where at least his preparations should have a head start. The Toronto Masters, a mandatory event on the tour, starts the day after the Olympic Tennis Final." The Spanish 11-time Grand Slam winner was expected to carry his nation's flag during the opening ceremony in London. Nadal, ranked third in the world, became the first top-five male to win the Olympic singles when he beat Chile's Fernando Gonzalez in the final four years ago. "I am not able to compete at the Olympics in London and therefore will not be traveling as planned with the Spanish delegation," he said in a statement on the Spanish federation (RFET) website. "I have to think about my colleagues. I cannot be selfish and I have to think of the good of Spanish sport, especially Spanish tennis, and let a teammate who is better prepared to compete. "I've waited until the final moment of my preparation and my training, but I cannot do it." The RFET said world number 30 Feliciano Lopez would replace Nadal, while the country's Olympic committee will select a new flag bearer at a meeting on Friday.


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n the last twelve weeks, this column has focused attention away from analyzing governance of our nation at federal level to the 36 states and their budgets. We analyzed ten state budgets - statistically-significant sample from which some stylized conclusions about the quality of governance will be presented next week. Today, we want to look at the thirteen years of experience with civilian (rather than democratic) rule. I am reluctant to use democracy at this point. The starting point for an assessment of civil rule since 1999 is a deserved tribute to the many Nigerians from all walks of life whose efforts and sacrifices compelled the military to retreat to the barracks. It was a titanic effort, a struggle for which many died, countless were bloodied and many lost livelihoods and liberty. Freedom stirs in the hearts of humanity; neither blandishments nor the whip of tyrants can extinguish these stirrings or even deter a determined people from securing it. Freedom is a wonderful value, and the events of the last 15 years of military rule ought to have convinced everybody that democracy, anchored on fair elections, the rule of law and good governance, is the way to go. In 1998, Nigerians overwhelmingly decided that never again will we accept the shortcuts of military rule and the long nightmare of tragedy that accompanied it. It seems that in 13 years, we have forgotten all that and we seem to have mostly evil emperors at the helm that are more banal than the military dictators, but far less competent in governing. Those of us privileged to have contributed in the design of the transition programme after Abacha's death in June 1998 are proud that it ended with President Olusegun Obasanjo taking the reins in May 1999. Six moths later, I was leading the federal privatization effort and in 2003, administering the FCT. As a private citizen since 2007, I have reflected on our country's journey, and my view is that while we have many things to celebrate, where we have ended up now gives us much more to deplore. Warts and all, we have preserved some prospect for genuine democratic governance. Some fraudulent elections have been overturned and illegal impeachments quashed. Nigerians even united to surprise and defeat the third-term attempt of a sitting president. With vigilance and will, we can invest real substance into the democratic structures that we have and make real the vision that our people can

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Chief Olusegun Obasanjo prosper in freedom. The notion of the citizenship rights is getting reinforced, despite the prolonged hangover afflicting sections of the security establishment. This increased awareness of human rights has sometimes been upheld by the courts that have survived the onslaught of a destructive chief justice that should have never been allowed near that exalted office. While democracy satisfies the intrinsic desire for freedom, it is its instrumental value that ultimately matters for the quotidian realities and longerterm interests of most citizens. People want freedom, but that must include the freedom not to be bombed while worshipping or shopping, and not to starve. It includes freedom to live in dignity, with equal access to social services and to realize the potential their talents can legitimately secure. Civilian rule sold off fiscal

drain-pipes owned by government that were arrogant, insular and provided poor services. The telecommunications sector was liberalized bringing in private investment, creating ancillary businesses, over 60,000 jobs and putting a telephone in the hands of virtually every citizen that wants it. We saw the beginnings of a consumer credit system, and even a pilot mortgage scheme that assisted many buyers of Federal Government houses in Abuja. Nigeria won external debt reliefs, consolidated its banking system and witnessed rapid economic growth, no doubt assisted also by high oil prices. Our foreign reserves grew and we even created a 'rainy day' fund called the Excess Crude Account (ECA). By 2007, the Yar'aduaJonathan government inherited vast foreign reserves ($43bn), ongoing power projects (NIPP-$5bn), new rail systems from Lagos to Kano ($8bn) and Abuja Metro ($800 million), a healthy ECA ($27bn) - in short a basis to hit the ground running, complete ongoing projects, initiate new ones and continue addressing Nigeria's infrastructure deficits. Alas, after $200bn had been earned and spent, that did not happen. What happened? Despite these accomplishments of the Obasanjo government, it was by no means a perfect government, just an effective one. It's attention to the rule of law was uneven. We recall the brazenness with which a well-

While democracy satisfies the intrinsic desire for freedom, it is its instrumental value that ultimately matters for the quotidian realities and longer-term interests of most citizens. People want freedom, but that must include the freedom not to be bombed while worshipping or shopping, and not to starve

connected thug sponsored arson against government buildings in Anambra state as an assault against Governor Chris Ngige from whom he was estranged. That thug was not called to account; instead he was elevated to his party's board of trustees. If people consistently escape justice because of their connections to power, it is an open invitation to people of lesser quality to seize the state and suitably defile it. Impunity then replaced evenhanded common sense and decency. We also managed to compound impunity by assaulting the very basis of democratic legitimacy: free and fair elections. It is a fact that elections in Nigeria have been progressively worse since 1999. International and domestic observers gave devastating verdicts on the conduct of the 2003 elections. Those of 2007 were so awful that the key beneficiary felt compelled to admit as much in his inaugural speech as president. Despite the initial façade, the 2011 elections turned out to be not only similarly flawed, but one of the most deceptive and divisive in our electoral history. Yet true democracy ought not to make people frightened of the consequences of not being in power. With term limits, losers are guaranteed another stab in just a few years. And where the rule of law prevails, an electoral loss is not the same thing as exclusion from the political space and vigorous participation in the process. But such political sophistication prevails only when there's certainty about electoral integrity and where the respect for the rule of law has become part of the DNA. Simply put we have lost the opportunity to routinize the spirit of democracy while we stay busy observing its formal rituals. It was perhaps inevitable that the words of Plato that “the punishment we suffer, if we refuse to take an interest in matters of government, is to live under the government of worse men” would catch up with us. Since 2000, there has been an unacceptable mayhem and bloodshed in Nigeria. The exacerbation of religious and ethnic tensions expressed in violent hues has been one of the most disappointing features of the new civilian era. Democracy would have offered a civilized way to negotiate and manage differences without breaking bones. It thrives on the ability of contending factions to work out a consensus and to summon sufficient coherence to make things work. It is disheartening that virtual Cond. on Page 30

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Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, July 20, 2012  

Peoples Daily Newspaper, Friday, July 20, 2012 Edition